Snapchat is publishing research reports titled "Retail Footprints," which break down the digital and in-store shopping habits of its users, who are 20% more likely to make mobile purchases than are those not on the platform, per Snapchat's Amy Moussavi. Insights from the report include that users who are big-box shoppers are 2.9 times more likely to be burger fans and that apparel shoppers are 2.8 times more likely to be coffee aficionados.
Industry executives discuss the emerging science of voice search optimization, the challenges of investing in the tactic when measurement is not yet quantifiable and how to balance delivering valuable experiences while not overstepping privacy issues. "At what point are we overstepping that boundary, and does it become creepy. ... And the consumer is ultimately the one that gets to vote," says WE Communication's Kristin Flor Perret.
Molly St. Louis spotlights brands that are using purposeful advertising to provoke social media debate and create a connection with consumers. She writes about the social discussions sparked by Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad, Airbnb's spot that subtly referenced the refugee crisis and Budweiser's celebration of America's legacy of accepting immigrants.
Walmart is plunging into an array of new technologies, teaming with PayPal for financial products and Eko for interactive video, and even by developing shopping cart handles that gauge the biometrics of its shoppers. The Eko partnership is expected to produce video content such as cooking shows and toy catalogs that invite viewers to engage.
Privacy concerns surrounding patient data are hindering the progress of patient portals that allow users to easily track their health records and issues. If a log-in and opt-in platform similar to social media use was established, patients could have both privacy and quick access to health data, says Stephen Dart, senior director of product management at AdvancedMD.
A Tappable study found 42% of gamers prefer playing through mobile phones, while 32% prefer consoles and 26% like computers. Tappable founder Sam Furr credits the growing sophistication of smartphones as well as their sheer availability and convenience for the popularity boost.
Discussions at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Digital Content NewFronts West emphasized the importance of branded content as the future for advertisers to reach consumers, with Lyft's Ari Avishay describing the pinnacle of marketing as the moment when a brand is able to "connect with people through popular culture." The Honest Co.'s Shannon Pruitt said that "brands have to earn their seat" at the content table and that if they don't respect consumers as their hosts, they "won't be invited back to the party."
Glossier, which built its brand and audience on Instagram and Facebook, is launching its own platform to develop a direct, independent connection with its audience -- a strategy that's being increasingly adopted by direct-to-consumer brands, writes Hilary Milnes. As Glossier's Henry Davis notes, "If you don't want to be disintermediated by a retailer, why would you want to be disintermediated by a platform further up the funnel?"
Facebook announced Thursday that it has removed over 800 accounts and publishers in the US for spamming users with political messaging. Facebook said the accounts had "consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior."
Consolidation among platforms in the business-to-business world of social listening suggests that the field is maturing and yielding legitimate value. Brands increasingly understand the importance of customer insights provided, pointing the way to more effective messaging, writes Kerry Flynn.
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