In this week’s digital news, Snapchat releases a report on social media activity, Amazon unveils free sample campaign, Microsoft and Kroger partner to offer “connected” grocery stores, and more.
Snapchat releases report on social activity
The popular social media messaging app recently partnered with Murphy Research to conduct a study about social media app behavior. The study surveyed 1,000 app users between the ages of 13 and 44. Primarily, the report found that Snapchat makes users feel happy. Ninety five percent of Snapchatters say the app makes them feel happy, which is more than any other app tested. The survey also revealed that Snapchat and Twitter are the apps most used while on the go, commuting, socializing, and shopping. It also showed that Snapchat users are above all looking to connect with close friends through the app, and are more likely to be using it within social situations. Check out the full report here.
Amazon to begin sending out data-fueled free samples
A new free sample initiative is in the works at Amazon this week. Essentially, Amazon will provide consumer brands with a trove of purchase data. Then the product brands, like Maybelline and Folgers, will pay to send free samples to relevant consumers to drive sales. Technically the framework for this program has been in place for a while, as anyone with an Amazon.com account can currently get free unsolicited samples. It’s a default feature that customers can opt out of if they so choose. But the company now intends to significantly ramp up the program using data insights. So far, free samples have included grocery items from brands like KIND and Dunkin’ Donuts. They’ve also included beauty products from Calvin Klein, Dove and Lumify, and household products from Oxiclean.
Microsoft and Kroger partner to create data-driven grocery stores
Kroger and Microsoft have transformed two retail stores in Ohio and Washington using technology powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. One of the key features of the “connected” grocery stores are digital shelf displays which update with price and nutritional info in real time. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Customers can use the Kroger app to make grocery lists ahead of time. Then the app guides users around the store, with the shelf displays lighting up as users approach. While this innovation seems geared to a pleasant user experience, it’s important to remember what it’s really for — generating data. This purchase data can be used by Kroger to target consumers with highly-targeted ads as they peruse the store. Though this pilot is limited to just two stores for now, Kroger said that the results will determine future expansion plans throughout 2019 and beyond. Plus, the company is open to selling the service to other grocery chains.
Google Chrome increases ad blocking efforts
Google announced this week that its browser will stop showing disruptive ads worldwide beginning July 9. This news follows the recent expansion of Better Ads Standards (BAS). The BAS were developed by the Coalition for Better Ads, and they filter ads based on 12 experiences that users find intrusive. Google seems committed to improving user ad experiences online, as the company’s past few Google Chrome updates have steadily prioritized it. For example, the January 2018 update allowed users to mute reminder ads and entire sites that auto play videos. This new commitment, however, will make a much more significant impact. The Coalition for Better Ads’ standards rails against pop-up ads, auto-play video ads, and large sticky ads on desktop and mobile. If users are less offended by their ad experience, and advertisers can still find their audiences, it’s a win-win.
7 marketing trends to watch for in 2019
Platforms are changing, attention spans are shortening, and issue-driven messaging is on the rise. Several key trends are already shaping the marketing landscape this year, so let’s break a couple of them down. First off, the influence of Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ‘Just Do It’ campaign will rear its head. Hot button issues are no longer off the table, which will certainly shake things up. It’s clear that consumers are receptive to bold issue-driven marketing campaigns, and brands will adapt. Second, the proliferation of data privacy legislation will make companies sink or swim. More states will pass legislation like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and many more companies will be forced into compliance. Companies that can adapt properly will be able to boast about their compliance, while those who can’t will likely face a dismal fate. For the other five key trends, check out the report here.