• Connect

Reads & Feeds

  1. You have no privacy, don’t get over it. So you’ve never read those epic terms and conditions that come with Google mail – and likely resigned yourself to having no privacy and the indiscriminate scanning of users’ cloud data. So what happens when you suffer the consequence of Big Tech looking at your email? This is a sobering story. In short, Mark, a man flagged by Google as a purveyor of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) for taking pictures of his son’s penis and sending them to their family doctor, subsequently lost nearly every aspect of his digital life when Google deleted his account. Read more over at the excellent Stratechery.
  2. JP Morgan paper on Big Data, AI & Machine Learning. An excellent summary of #MachineLearning #AI and #BigData #DataScience.  And even an overview of types of alternative data and a brilliant tutorial on #ML methods to analyse data. 
  3. Mckinsey says the Metaverse will generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030 and is too big for companies to ignore.

Random but worth it:

  1. Bruce Mau is coming to Sydney. One of the many designers I admire. I can’t wait to see him speaking and the movie.
  2. A great set of resources for clearer thinking
  3. You’ve been waiting to hear this for like 3,400 years.
  4. This has to be the coolest fish ever

  • Connect

TV Matters, Or Does It

Youtube’s most recent upfront reignited the debate around the relevance of TV and the much-maligned 30-second spot. Ritson counterbalanced the hyperbole with:

“I think most marketers these days agree that the reports of the death of linear TV have been wildly exaggerated. But nonetheless, we have to accept that a lot of people are watching a lot less linear TV than perhaps they once did,” said Ritson.

“That’s a major problem, especially for big brands who have for decades depended on linear TV to build their brands at the top of the funnel through its enormous reach. And that’s exactly where YouTube plays a wonderful role. As a supplement to linear TV, especially on connected televisions, YouTube provides a brilliant way to restore that reach, particularly among the younger demographics that have proven so difficult in recent years to reach out to.”

While Ritson is right, there are two problems with this.

First, the idea of a “top of the funnel” is antiquated. We are in need of the continuous creation of mental, physical and digital availability for our brands across all stages of the funnel. All buyers buy infrequently. The funnel is a broken metaphor. More to come on that.

Digital mediums – Youtube – plays a critical role in generating that availability. The issue is efficiency, effectiveness and reach. That is where the debate starts. So even if we are watching TV less – much less in my case – does that smaller viewing audience more efficiently and effectively create availability? I can’t recall a single ad or brand I’ve seen on Youtube but can recall brands I’ve seen on TV. Samples of one make for terrible evidence.

Second, drawing two mediums into a compare and delete debate is futile. The reality is all marketers of any quality will be working the media mix for outcomes. It’s not either, or – but rather where to allocate the spend across a mix. As more of us consume formats that move – TV, video, social the real losers will be static media. Not just in terms of the reach and efficiency of that media but also the complexity and cost in making that media work.

What is true is that we must adjust all marketing to reflect the attention span of audiences – short formats for intercepting the “feed” and much longer formats for engagement.

“Six second bumpers and 15-second spots. A smart mix can build a great story … languishing behind is the 30 and its cousin, the 45-second spot, which generate the lowest ROI across all screens … 30-seconds is too complex to automate, too simple to convince. It’s too short if I’ve chosen to engage with it, and it’s far too long if I’m forced to watch it. Consumers tend to skip the platform if they’re faced with the forced 30-second spot. Hence skippable format and the burst of the six second bumper. It’s long enough to grab my attention and over before I have the chance to object.”

The best performing ads, created by only 15 per cent of advertisers, were longer than three minutes, per Hunt.

So, go long, go short – but don’t get trapped in the middle.

  • Connect

Travel – Predictably Unpredictable

So, rather than providing ad-hoc reviews of hotels, airlines and places to eat, I thought I’d start bundling it into a short Travelogue.

Travelling in Australia is well predictably unpredictable these days. Predictable stratospheric pricing for hotels and flights with unpredictable service levels appears to be the strategy pursued by the big brands.

Another trip with Qantas Melbourne to Sydney and back, another cancelled flight. Predictably, if you book a flight between 1 pm and 4 pm, you won’t be flying on at least one of the legs. In my case, 57% predictability. So, another day with hours lost and plans that needed to be reshaped and 58 minutes on the phone while Qantas attempted to move me to a more convenient flight and failed.

Rather than offering us all $50, how about Qantas simply eliminating a few more flights? Today it feels like a classic “book and switch” scheme – they lock you in knowing the flight won’t likely happen and switch you indiscriminately to another flight when it is too late to book with another carrier. This would also increase competition on routes – clearly not something Qantas would be a big fan of.

Hotels remain a mixed bag. The Star is clean, modern and well put together. Reflecting that it’s a casino hotel, my room was without a desk and with plenty of room for one – and a balcony. OK, value for money. I’m still stumped on why so many Hotels aren’t putting desks into rooms.

My go-to in Sydney – Spicers Potts Point – was sadly fully booked, so I tried the Hotel Challis around the corner. Another hotel pitching itself in the boutique category but nothing like one in reality. Tiny rooms, half a desk, no vibe to speak of, disinterested staff, and average amenities. Let’s call it a slightly above standard budget hotel. Not worth the money despite the location.

Not much dining out on this trip. Not sure what is going on in Barangaroo, but to say it was a ghost town on a Wednesday night would be an understatement. Give CHI by Lotus Dining a shot – great food, and you might get the whole place to yourself. They take Liven, so clock up your rewards and enjoy.

  • Connect

Reads & Feeds

  1. We know creativity matters; doing it well is another thing. Creativity is one of the hardest things to nail as a B2B marketer. Agencies that understand B2B and are willing to work within B2B budgets are near impossible to find. A great read on the lack of creativity in most B2B marketing and a terrific interview with the DocuSign CMO on how they nailed it with Hard Hat.
  2. 60:40 Rule debunked by Prof Byron Sharp. Well said and argued.
  • Loved

You can’t buy love

Qantas’ move to give all us frequent flyers $50 as an apology is a nice gesture to compensate for the hours lost due to delayed flights and hunting for misplaced baggage. 

Will it buy any of the love lost since returning to the skies? Unlikely. What the frequent fliers – yours included – want is an idea of what improvement looks like and when it will happen.

For many of us zipping between Melbourne and Sydney, we know the probability of a flight being cancelled is extraordinarily high. Book a 2.30 or one of its past-the-hour cousins, and there is a good chance (based on my experience) that the flight will be cancelled and consolidated with another. It’s not hard to figure out when this is due to a real issue as your new flight will now be inconveniently later. In the main, it’s 30 minutes later.

How about Tile or Apple Tags for our bags – so at least we know where they are and don’t have to suffer painful wait times tracking them down?

Or some certainty on the cost of fares coming down on international routes. $50 doesn’t cover the incredible increases in the cost of travel – especially for small businesses?

At least Alan Joyce – a CEO that should be regarded as one of Australia’s best – has acknowledged the pain many of us experience every week.

Will it make up for lost love for the brand? Not so much. But the gesture matters.

And hopefully, for the exceptional staff, he has in the lounges and onboard, it will relieve some of the grief I see them getting every week from angry and frustrated passengers.