Long form video

There is an increase in media coverage recently about consumers having shorter attention spans and the need to create short and sharp video content to meet their viewing habits. However, in order to meet your marketing objectives, it is necessary to dig deeper to understand your target audience, the channels they engage with and how your content aligns with that.

In Ooyala’s Q1 2017 Global Video report, the consumption of long-form content has increased over the span of five years across all devices:

Ooyala_Video.jpg

This means that contrary to what we’ve often been told about our waning attention spans, people are actually still capable of sitting through longer pieces of video content, and are doing so increasingly across devices. Long form content is still useful in telling a story, entertaining and inspiring your audience, which is hard to achieve through short video formats.

In fact, a study of over 1.5million videos by video platform TwentyThree found that mid-form and long-form videos, which are at least 15 minutes long, had over half of all video engagement (engagement measured through time watched) although it encompasses just over 8% of all video.

Here are some examples of how brands across Asia use longer form video content to engage their audience:

Nike Greater China

Rise is a reality TV show by Nike which has teenage basketball players pitted against each other in order to find a rising star in basketball.

Beauty Bound Asia

SK-II launched Beauty Bound, a program hosted on YouTube with aspiring beauty creators on YouTube compete in challenges to win entry prestigious access to SK-II’s Beauty Circle, giving them exposure to the top creators and celebrities.

Beauty Bound promotional video

Toyota Taiwan

Toyota Taiwan’s 7-minute-long video tells a touching story of expressing care across three generations of family.

That being said, video is even more effective when you use a mix of short form and long form content. Use the short form for tactical promotions and brand awareness, while using longer form videos for storytelling, so as to entertain or inspire your audience to your brand story, improving your long term brand equity.

Paid tools for content promotion: Outbrain vs Taboola

As marketers, we are all aware of the importance of content creation, however, promoting content to the right audiences is also an integral part of the content marketing process that marketers tend to overlook. The 80/20 content rule by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers states that 20% of the time should be on content creation and 80% of the time spent on content promotion.

Content promotion can be done through social media networks, social media management tools, paid content promotion tools, distribution tools, emails and newsletter.  Today we will share with you 2 paid content promotion tools you can use to advertise content on websites across the Internet.

1.    Outbrain

Established in 2006, Outbrain is a content discovery tool which allows your content to be promoted as recommendations on other premium publisher sites to relevant audiences. It is available as self-serve, through Zemanta, and via DSPs like AppNexus and The Trade Desk.

Outbrain-1.jpg
Outbrain-2.jpg
Outbrain-3.jpg

Cost:

Outbrain runs on a Cost-per-Click pricing model. You will be charged by the number of clicks each campaign receives based on the CPC you set. For example, if you set the campaign budget to $100 and the CPC to $0.50, you will pay $0.50 for every click until you hit your $100 budget cap. With this CPC, you can receive a maximum of 200 clicks. Once the budget has been hit, your content will no longer be distributed to the network of publisher sites. However, a reader can still click on content that was served prior to the budget being fulfilled. As a result, you may be charged up to 20% more than your budget for clicks delivered during this time. There is a minimum spend of USD$20 a day.

Languages available:

English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch

Publisher sites:

More than 5000 publisher sites. Sampling of the few premium publishers site below

Outbrain-publishers.jpg

2.    Taboola

 Has similar offerings to Outbrain with a different publisher list. Taboola offers what Outbrain doesn’t which is the ability to promote content on a tablet. You can buy programmatically through The Trade Desk and AppNexus.  

Taboola-1.jpg
Taboola-3.jpg
Taboola-2.jpg
Taboola-4.jpg

Cost:

Works on a CPC basis with a minimum daily spend of $75.

Languages Available:

Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Thai

Publisher Sites:

Sampling of a few publisher sites. Lesser publisher sites than Outbrain

Taboola-publishers.jpg

Both Outbrain and Taboola has different publisher sites so in fact you could use both content promotion tools concurrently. 

6 free SEO tools to optimise your website

Are you tirelessly creating content for your website, but not seeing it appearing on search engine results page? Our team has reviewed sites that look great and have wonderful content, but when search engine optimisation is not placed as a priority, these efforts go to waste as the content is not optimised to be visible for customers searching for it. In this post, we provide you with 6 free tools to help guide you if you are first starting out in SEO:

Technical

1.     Google Analytics

https://analytics.google.com

Google Analytics gives you access to valuable site data. To further track how search affects your site, integrate Google Search Console with Google Analytics, as it gives you insight to queries people search to land on your page.

2.     SEO Site Checkup

https://seositecheckup.com

SEO Site Checkup is a quick tool to see how well your site is doing in terms of its technical SEO. Simply enter your site URL and it would suggest quick and immediate ways to fix elements on your site that would help to improve SEO.

3.     XML Sitemaps

https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

XML sitemaps creates a sitemap for your site. Including a sitemap on your site helps to list all the pages on your site, allowing search engine crawlers to crawl through your site more intelligently.

4.     Google PageSpeed Insights Tool

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

This tool gives you an idea of how your site is performing in terms of speed and provides on how you can optimise your page speed. Page optimisation is critical in ensuring a smooth user experience

Content and Keyword

5.     Google Keyword Planner

https://adwords.google.com/intl/en_sg/home/tools/keyword-planner/

Straight from Google themselves, Google Keyword Planner tells you how likely it is someone would search for the keyword by providing you with average monthly searches, as well as your competition. It is meant to be used to plan your campaign keywords when purchasing keywords on Adwords, but it could help you uncover new keywords that you might use in content on your website for free.

6.     Answer the Public

http://www.answerthepublic.com

This tool allows you to get content ideas surrounding your keywords as the tool provides questions that your target audience might type into Google. For example, if you were to type in “digital marketing agency”, it would return with search result ideas such as “how a digital marketing agency works” “digital marketing agency for small businesses”, “digital marketing agency in Singapore”. These longtail keyword ideas can guide your content creation process.

How does search engine optimisation tie together with your overall digital marketing strategy? Have a chat with us to find out more about how we can help you plan your marketing.

The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ad Formats

Facebook is constantly launching new ad formats for businesses to advertise. To most effectively utilize these advertising options, it is crucial to test different ad formats according to industry best practices, coupled with engaging creative to see which works best for your business.  In this post, we would look at 4 different ad formats from Facebook that you may use for your campaigns:

1. Canvas Ads

FB-Canvas-ads.png

Launched in Feb 2016, Canvas ads are mobile-optimised, full screen ad creatives that loads up to ten times faster than standard mobile web. There are various image layout options for advertisers to choose from, such as allowing users to swipe through multiple images, tilt the image, zoom in/out the images or make the image linkable.

Canvas Ad Case Study

NESTLE Malaysia promoted its “Wellness Together-Gather” campaign and nutrition themed bundles on Lazada to a targeted audience of 25- to 44-year-old women, who are considered the primary household shoppers. The company used Canvas to bring the ad creative to life and entice people with promotional deals. NESTLÉ Malaysia then used Custom Audience targeting to reach Lazada’s customers who had shown an interest in health and wellness products. To reach more people who resembled this group, the brand also used Lookalike Audience targeting.

NESTLÉ Malaysia’s month-long April 2017 campaign helped the company increase conversions and surpass its goal of doubling online sales. In all, the Facebook campaign delivered:

·      2.5X increase in online sales (versus period before the Facebook campaign)

·      19X more transactions (using advanced targeting compared to broad interest targeting)

·      99% lower cost per online purchase (using advanced targeting compared to broad interest targeting)

2. Carousel Ads

FB-Carousel-ads.png

Carousel Ads have been around since 2014. This format allows advertisers to show up to 10 images and/or videos in a single ad unit. This is extremely useful for advertisers wanting to promote multiple products and offers.

Target-style-fb-carousel-ad.png

Carousel Ad Case Study

To launch its new Marimekko range, Target Style cleverly used Facebook's video carousel format to make immersive panorama-style spots. Colorful, creative and engaging, the ads featured homeware and fashion, and allowed customers to click directly through to products.

3. Collection Ads

FB-Collection-Ad.png

Collection is a mobile-only ad format that pairs a video or photo with four product images below it in the News Feed. This format makes it easier for people to discover, explore, purchase and browse your products in a more engaging manner.

Collection Ad Case Study

Shopbop-Collection-Ad.png

Shopbop used a Facebook Collection Ad to promote its #FindYourSpring campaign. The video captured the movement of romantic looks and silhouettes and inspired shopping by pairing the creative with styles that featured playful prints and pink hues.

4. Slideshow

Facebook slideshow adverts are video-like adverts that use images, videos, text and sound. Slideshow ads can be played on smartphones, tablets and computers like a video. The advantages of using slideshow is that you can target people on 3G and 2G connections. Slideshow ads also uses 5x less data than video ads allowing slideshow to deliver across all connections speeds.

Slideshow Ad Case Study

Carbon38-Slideshow-Ad.png

Carbon38 an activewear ecommerce company decided to test slideshow ads to see if this moving format would have a greater impact on sales. The company used the slideshow format to display many of its featured designers and trendy styles in a single ad. Copy encouraged people to “sweat in style,” while a “Shop Now” call-to-action button directed people to the Carbon38 website where they could browse the company’s bestselling items and other products.

Carbon38’s 10-day campaign in August–September 2016 proved the positive impact of high-quality slideshow ads and inspired the company to relaunch an always-on version of the campaign just 3 days later. Compared to photo ads, the slideshow ad campaign achieved the following results:

·      14% lower cost per acquisition

·      85% increase in return on ad spend

·      40% higher click-through rate

·      14% increase in new session rate

To find out more about Facebook's ad formats, click here.

Source: 

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/149759192130274?helpref=related

https://adespresso.com/guides/facebook-ads-beginner/facebook-ads-types/

https://www.facebook.com/business/success/nestle-malaysia

https://www.facebook.com/business/success/carbon38#

https://www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub/gallery/148890178992295/

https://www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub/gallery/192100421232801/

Amazon makes its entry into Southeast Asia through Singapore

Amazon launched its express, same-day delivery services, Prime Now in Singapore on Wednesday night (July 26), making it Amazon’s first foray into Southeast Asia (SEA), making smaller e-commerce companies shake in their boots. Mr Dave Clark, Amazon’s SVP Worldwide Operations told The Business Times that Singapore is a top export destination for Amazon based on items bought on its global websites. Xiaofeng Wang, a senior analyst at Forrester also mentioned Singapore was chosen as its first market due to the fact that “consumers here are more westernized and affluent.”

Ecommerce in Southeast Asia has huge potential for growth with a population beyond 600 million people and an expected growth of total sales across e-commerce by 25% year on year. The region has over 262 million internet users and many of these consumers are mobile-first internet users, or people who primarily access the web through their mobile phones. This number is predicted to reach 292 million by 2020 showing a huge opportunity for retailers who are looking to expand their business especially their mobile offerings. 

By 2019, ecommerce sales in the region is expected to be contributing to over three-fourths of the worldwide growth of $1.907 trillion and retail ecommerce sales is expected to more than double over the next four years, climbing from $14.04 billion in 2016 to $31.80 billion in 2020.

However, there are still hindrances that stands in the way of the ecommerce growth in SEA such as the massive variation in payment preferences in different countries and the underdeveloped ecommerce logistics infrastructure. In Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines, there is a high preference for cash on delivery in comparison to credit and debit card usage. The limited internet access in rural areas and poor user experience is also the reason ecommerce is slow to develop.

Alibaba was the first to enter the Southeast Asian market when it purchased Lazada in April 2016. In pre-empting the arrival of Amazon Prime, Lazada launched their membership program called LiveUp together with RedMart and four international online brands: Taobao Collection, Netflix, Uber and UberEats. The membership is like Amazon’s Prime service which includes benefits such as same-day delivery and access to the company’s video streaming service.

We will now just wait to see the ripple effects the entry of Amazon will have on the regional ecommerce players.

 

Source:

eMarketer Retail Ecommerce Sales in Southeast Asia Opportunities and Challenges for Six Key Markets

eMarketer Global Ecommerce Platforms 2015 A Country by Country Look at the Top Retail Ecommerce Sites

eMarketer Retail Ecommerce Sales in Southeast Asia Opportunities and Challenges for Six Key Markets

https://e27.co/e-commerce-opportunity-tapping-next-600-million-shoppers-southeast-asia-20170308/

https://wearesocial.com/sg/blog/2017/01/digital-in-2017-global-overview

https://e27.co/amazon-arrives-southeast-asia-e-commerce-giant-will-launch-singapore-week-20170725/

https://www.techinasia.com/lazada-redmart-liveup-subscription-service

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/26/amazon-launches-prime-now-services-in-singapore.html

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/consumer/for-singapore-retail-a-new-amazon-challenge

Programmatic Masters 2017

The inaugural Programmatic Masters was held last week as part of the ATS Singapore 2017  program. This one day training course was designed to complement the full day conference discussion at ATS Singapore 2017. Led by Jodie Collins, managing director of RE/digital, the full day training session included presentations, activities and guest speakers from demand side platform The Trade Desk and analytics firm Sparkline.

With programmatic penetration in APAC standing at 17% of overall digital ad spend and being expected to double to 35% by 2019, there is clearly a need for teams to be equipped with the relevant knowledge to plan effective programmatic strategies for their companies.

The full day training session was attended by a mix of representatives from across marketing, media agencies, analytics, ad tech and publishers. Participants worked in groups to discuss programmatic concepts, data strategy and measurement, and how they could apply the knowledge in practical examples as well as back in their jobs.

To see highlights from the event, click here.

RE/digital and ATS Singapore will be working together to bring more trainings events to the APAC market. Please do let us know if you’d also like us to work with your company on a training session for your team.

Challenges in Programmatic Marketing

There has been a shift to programmatic marketing over the last few years as marketers look to leverage the huge amounts of data that has been generated to target the right audience.

Yet, for the past few years, we have seen a myriad of challenges which threaten the industry. The biggest challenges include:

Ad fraud

Ad fraud refers to the act of misrepresenting ad impressions, clicks and conversions in order to generate revenue. As companies purchase advertising from a media supply chain that is not transparent, it leads to discomfort as to whether the large amounts of dollars placed into programmatic is justified. In fact, a CNBC report states that businesses could lose $16.4 billion to online advertising fraud in 2017. What is being done to make media buying more transparent?

Viewability

Viewability is a measurement of whether an ad has been seen or clicked by a person. It is important as client-side marketers and agencies to want to have control over the quality of media that they are buying. What viewability metrics should marketers focus on to best meet their marketing objectives?

Brand safety

Brand safety means keeping your brand safe by keeping your ads well-placed, avoiding them to be placed alongside content that is damaging. An example is the recent incident where big brand marketers realised their ads on Youtube appear together with extremist videos. How can we ensure that these ads appear in a safe environment and do not tarnish the brand’s image?

Despite these challenges, programmatic ad spending in APAC in 2017 is estimated to be $10.2bn, or 18% of ad buying budget in a forecast by Magna Global (eMarketer). Furthermore, with the increase in use of digital devices across the region with more than half of Southeast Asia’s population accessing the internet (WeAreSocial), it is hard to ignore the opportunities for advertising in which programmatic offers. Marketers should learn to manage these challenges instead of being fearful.

If you’re new to programmatic and want equip yourself with the skills to use programmatic in your marketing or learn how to plan an effective programmatic strategy, sign up for our Programmatic Masters course today.

The Programmatic Masters course is a one day training course organised by ATS and RE/digital. Experts in the industry would help you demystify the world of programmatic and give you confidence in speaking with your clients or agencies about using programmatic in your marketing. Early bird tickets start from $257.50.

Purchase tickets via Eventbrite here: http://bit.ly/2qSNHH8

Programmatic Masters 2017 homepage: http://bit.ly/2rRz4ZS

7 Creative Ways to use Instagram Carousel

Instagram launched Carousel a few months back, allowing users to post up to 10 square photos or videos in a single Instagram post. This is exciting as it is an avenue to expend your creativity, connecting with your consumers using this new post format. You may also use Carousel to experiment with what works, before putting up paid creative Carousel ads.

To help you get inspired, we have trawled through Instagram to learn how some top brands and Instagrammers have used Carousel:

1.  Split a large photo into a few parts

Give your audience a bigger picture by splitting your large photos and panoramas into a few parts. Airbnb introduced their outdoor trip with a series of recurring photos which form a larger picture amplifying the experience one can have on their trip:

2.  Introduce a series

Lego introduces the series of mini figurines to show that they have something for everyone. In the same way, introduce a variety of your products in the same product line using this method.

3.  Tell a story in sequence

Comic artists have taken the opportunity to post each frame in a separate photo to tell their story instead of fitting the comic into one image. Inform audience in the caption to swipe right to continue the story.

official new character: zit

A post shared by Alex Norris (@dorrismccomics) on

4. Post multiple photos from one event

Paint a richer picture of events when more than one visual is used. National Geographic posted a series of pictures and videos in this Carousel, bringing to life the world-famous Iditarod race.

5. Showcase different angles

Use different perspectives of the same object to pique the interest of your viewers. NASA posted different angles of our beautiful planet Earth on Earth day:

6. Before and After

Use Carousel to show transformation. This may be used to showcase a new product or if you wish to showcase the efficacy of your brand’s product on the item it is used on. Maybelline New York shows followers how to achieve the perfect brow with their new eyebrow product.

7. Step-by-step how-to guide

Post steps of the process in different frames using images and video. Buzzfeedtasty guides their followers in making a sourdough bread by first posting a leading question, then a video with the method for preparation and ends off with the finished product. 

Weekly Review #20

1. How marketing changes when shopping is automated (Harvard Business Review)  
Much of marketing is premised on companies delivering messages to customers to influence their purchases and consumption. But within a few years, this model of marketing, advertising, and shopping will become obsolete.
2. Why cross-device targeting is a marketing must-have this holiday season (Adweek)
Brands are competing for shoppers' attention and a bigger piece of their holiday budgets. How do you ensure that you're investing holiday marketing budgets in the most impactful, efficient way? 
3. Spotify serves its first vertical video ads in new 'branded moments' (Adage
Spotify is serving its first vertical video ads through a new "branded moments" offering that gives people 30 minutes of commercial-free listening music afterward.
4. 'Adulting': A fluid process for young people (Campaign Asia
Brands should start understanding and assisting young people in the complex business of growing up, according to McCann’s latest ‘Truth about Youth’ research.
5. Salesforce won't pursue bid for Twitter (Wall Street Journal
Lack of buyer interest means the social media company will have to forge ahead on its own, for now.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest digital news in your inbox!

Weekly Review #18

1. The new tech talent you need to succeed in digital (McKinsey&Company)  
In today's rapidly changing digital landscape, companies that understand their talent needs and know how to meet them have a competitive edge. 
2. Clayton Christensen has a new theory (Wall Street Journal)
His latest book "Competing Against Luck" focuses on marketing and consumer behaviour. He argues that when companies develop and promote products, they need to figure out what drives the choices of customers.
3. Snapchat and Instagram usage doubles in Asia: Kantar TNS (Campaign Asia
According to Kantar TNS, the use of social-media platforms Instagram and Snapchat has doubled across Asia Pacific since 2014 as engagement with these highly visual platforms continues to grow.
4. Programmatic native is here, and premium publishers are wary (Digiday
Marketing dollars are poised to flow into programmatic native advertising next year, and many except premium publishers are excited.
5. APAC marketers struggling to manage countless touchpoints: TNS (Campaign Asia
Only a third of APAC marketers feel in control of the online and offline channels they're using to reach consumers.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest digital news in your inbox!

A worthwhile investment in knowledge

Buying a subscription to SmartInsights has been one of the best investments I’ve made this year.

This website is an excellent collection of marketing strategy and tactical guidance, with a heavy focus on digital. Through an ongoing monthly subscription you get access to current thinking and approaches in the marketing world alongside lots of practical, useful tools.

Even as someone who has been doing this work for some time, I find the tools very useful; as a refresher on what’s important, on proof to be able to give to clients to support thinking and as training support materials for the more junior members of our teams.

I signed up for the “limited monthly plan” which gives you a great level of access tot he materials on the site, and allows you to carry over any unused credits from one month to the next month. Considering it’s not a website you visit on a daily basis, you find that this often happens and this ability to save your credits to then be able to download multiple guides or templates when a specific need arises is incredibly valuable.

I’d suggest this is a worthwhile investment for anyone in marketing or advertising.

Weekly Review #16

NEWS THIS WEEK

Week #16
 

1. Brands have started using Twitter's latest customer service tools (Digiday)  
Twitter's new update makes two-way communication between brands and their customers a lot easier.
2. Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Google, Facebook and more form 'coalition for better ads' (The Drum)
The world's biggest advertisers and media owners have united to form 'coalition for better ads' at a time where skepticism over digital media is rife.
3. Marketers are getting the Snapchat targeting data they want. Will that scare off users? (Adweek
The popular messaging app aims to attract deep-pocketed marketers and investors with the introduction of in-app behavioural targeting in the fourth quarter timed to a rumoured IPO. 
4. Voice is chat's next battle ground (Tech Crunch
Soon, we’ll talk and listen to our messaging apps when it’s more convenient than typing or reading. The age of voice is about to arrive.
5. As India's bloggers mature, brands have more opportunity to engage (Campaign Asia
Sixty percent of bloggers now say they are working full-time, opening up opportunities for sustainable brand positioning and influence. 

Weekly Review #14

NEWS THIS WEEK

Week #14

1. Google injects machine learning into analytics app (Adage)  
It will provide a new stream of automated insights in its Google Analytics mobile app, allowing marketers to see key data metrics in a matter of minutes. 
2. 4 things managers need to know about data (Forbes)
It is becoming clear that there is a data divide opening up. Gautam Tambay, CEO of Springboard, a company helping to close this divide, talks about what managers need to know today about working with data.
3. Everything startups need to know about email marketing (Tech in Asia
An infographic to help you learn how effective email marketing can truly change your business.
4. Facebook wants you to talk to your friends more (Mashable
The company is testing its new feature "What friends are talking about" to encourage people to talk to one another on its platform as there has been a decline in people posting personal content.
5. Singapore marketers on the health of industry in the island city state (The Drum
Senior marketers from Singapore discuss their take on the country's strength, weaknesses and the state of its talent pool.

Want to receive weekly updates on the latest digital news? Subscribe to our newsletter today! 

 

Augmented reality at your fingertips with Blippar

Picture this: you see a breed of dog you don’t recognise. Instead of trying to type vague descriptions of the dog into Google, (“small brown dog with big sharp ears”), you point your phone camera at it instantly recognises its breed, feeds you with information about this dog breed and even gives you related dog videos.

Sounds kind of sci-fi, doesn’t it?

Welcome to the world of augmented reality (defined by Mashable.com as a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data). The truth is, such technology many of us expect only out of sci-fi or spy movies are accessible to all of us –and all you need is literally just a smartphone.

The RE team decided to test the phone app Blippar, a leader in mobile augmented reality. Blippar is available for download on your regular Appstore.

Using the app, point your phone at an object and it immediately provides you with keywords. (Luxury, handle, indoors etc) After assessing these keywords, the brand of the product appears (Michael Kors), providing us with information about the brand, and other brands or keywords that are relevant to it (Kate Spade New York, Coach Inc, Handbag etc). 

We tried it with a water bottle too…

Amongst many other things.

We had some laughs when the app returned our Crunchie chocolate bar as a “hot dog”, and our very Asian friend’s face as “Frank A Alexander”, a male American horse trainer. However, this mobile AR technology at its early stages has wowed us in its accessibility, breadth of knowledge and ability to analyse information without the user needing to input any other information.

With such ease of use, the potential for mobile AR is huge, especially for the consumer goods industry. Imagine picking up a lipstick used by your friend, and being able to find out all its different available shades and where you might be able to purchase it? In fact, forward thinking consumer goods brands including P&G, Coca-Cola and Nestle have already begun using augmented reality to enhance consumers’ retail experiences. 

How can you, too, create an immersive experience for your consumers using AR?

Weekly Review #4

NEWS THIS WEEK

Week #4

Welcome to the RE/digital weekly review, where we curate our picks of the week's best digital and tech news.
 

  1. Op-ed: What publishers should do about ad blocking now
     (Digiday) - Some pragmatic tips on what publishers, creative and media agencies can do to respond to ad-blocking.
  2. You'll be outraged at how easy it was to get you to click on this headline (Wired) - Yes we fell for it too. The psychology of click bait.
  3. Facebook launches online creative hub in bid to simplify creation of ads (Adage) - A helpful tool for creatives trying to understand Facebook's ever-changing range of ad options. 
  4. 5 things that are radically reshaping shopper marketing (Adweek) - A great trends piece on the digital/retail relationship. Everyone from retail giants to specialty boutiques is feeling the pressure to adapt more seamlessly to the digital world.
  5. Will the next Siri be empathetic (TechCrunch) - The next stage in AI is in artificial intelligence becoming empathetic: not about seeing users as a group, but seeing each user as an individual and designing a system that picks up subtle human clues. 

AI+ business and life: it's coming, get ready

I was chatting yesterday with a senior lawyer friend of mine who said to me, “I’ll be out of a job in 10 years.” I think he’s right and wrong– he’ll be out of his job as it exists today, and it will be less than 10 years. However, I predict he’s highly likely to be doing a job that makes use of his extensive legal experience that pairs him up with artificial intelligence to do the more mundane work of sifting through reams of background data to give him what he needs to develop client solutions.

This conversation with my lawyer friend came up as I was telling him about a fireside chat I moderated last week at startup conference Echelon in Singapore. I chatted with Chih-Han Yu, the brilliant and personable co-founder of Appier, a mobile advertising technology company that has artificial intelligence at its core.

Chih-Han’s biography is an impressive record of research and practice in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, including a PhD in robotics from Harvard, and involvement in developing various projects such as collaborative robotics for people with polio to assist them with walking.

Chih-Han spoke about the opportunities for businesses thinking about how to use artificial intelligence, saying that any industry that’s producing reams of data presents an opportunity to create “AI+”. What AI+ means is that we can add artificial intelligence to existing business models to improve product offerings and efficiencies. This could be better financial decision making, medically assisted health decisions or more personalised education for students.

His advice for businesses: define a customer need and/or business problem like you normally would, and then review where you can then add sets of data to incorporate AI.

(As an aside – I heard a great quote from the CEO of Fetch Robotics at a recent presentation too, where she described AI as potentially taking on any tasks that fit in the Three Ds: “dirty, dull and dangerous.”)

If you work in the media agency or publisher world, you’ve already seen the initial wave of automation and machine learning directly impacting how we buy and sell media. It has completely changed how we work and operate. Some would say for the worse, some for the better. Either way, it’s going to continue and we need to be ready for what’s coming next.

For anyone working in the professions, I’d suggest reading a fascinating book called “The Future of Professions” by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind. They make well-founded predictions about the impact of technology and artificial intelligence on the professions, particularly law. Major disruption is on its way.

We’re starting to work with some clients now where we’re assessing how to apply automation or machine learning to areas of their business to improve products and performance beyond marketing. The potential is huge and also a little unnerving. I figure it’s best we start to think now about what is coming though, so we can prepare our businesses and teams – not to mention our children – for the roles of the future which will no doubt have them working in very different ways to us, collaboratively with AI.

Weekly Review #2

NEWS THIS WEEK

Week #2
 

1. Mary Meeker 2016 Internet Trends Highlights (TechCrunch) - A summary of Internet trends 2016 instead of going through the 213-paged report yourself.

2. Visa created a ring that can be used for payments (The Verge) - Visa introduces contactless payment rings and gives them out to 45 athletes heading for the Rio 2016 Olympics. 

3. Mondelez goes beyond ad agencies, partners with companies like Buzzfeed for digital content (AdWeek) - For the first time, multinational food conglomerate partners with media companies Buzzfeed and Fox to produce more apps, games and "sponsored content".

4. Björk uses VR for an enhanced music experience (The Verge) - Icelandic Singer-songwriter takes listeners to a virtual version of the country using virtual reality.

5. Nobody really understands Southeast Asia (TechinAsia) - Experts on Southeast Asia are a rare breed.

Skyscanner launches chatbot on Facebook Messenger

Chatbots are beginning to gain traction, with the most high profile example being Facebook’s recent announcement about integration of chatbots into its messenger app. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the rapid rise of messaging apps in dominating people’s time and how increased connectivity has changed consumer expectations. It is hence no surprise that this highly consumer-centric and convenient innovation will be what marketers next consider in their mobile marketing strategies.

We can see some other companies starting to explore the opportunities for collaboration with Facebook.

Skyscanner recently launched its chatbot via Facebook Messenger, allowing you to conveniently search for ticket prices without having to switch applications while you make holiday plans with your friends on the app. (Test out their bot here)

What's Next?

Designer Isil Uzum created a video concept on Dribble about the future of purchasing flight tickets through your phone through Facebook messenger, integrated with Skyscanner, Virgin Airlines and Visa chatbots. This includes flight search features, quick input of passenger data and fuss-free payment splitting functions, allowing you to split bills when purchasing air tickets as a group.

If chat bots are done right, they may well be the primary customer service channel of the future, and leading brands should start to explore now.

Weekly Review #1

NEWS THIS WEEK

Week #1

Welcome to the RE/digital weekly review, where we curate our picks of the week's best digital and tech news.

VIRTUAL REALITY

1. CMO's Guide to Virtual Reality (Adage) - Do you need to explain VR to your executive teams? Get the key points in this guide for CMOs. 
2. Unilever Shooting VR content for their brands (Campaign Live UK) - The world's biggest marketer is already committing to creating VR content for its brands before the technology goes mainstream.
3. Google launches Daydream, a platform for 'high-quality' mobile virtual reality, launching this fall (VentureBeat) - A timely move for the tech giant to keep up with the VR movement, after launching Google Cardboard headset two years ago.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

4. Why brands from Barbie to Uber are so hot on Chatbots (Adweek) - Everyone is talking chatbots for customer service.
5. Accenture creates Artificial Intelligence agent Amelia (The Drum) - Accenture has created an AI who can handle customer service and also learn from its interactions.  
6. Google shows off AI to keep up with Facebook, Amazon and Apple (Bloomberg) -Google unveiled new app Allo at its I/O developer conference, which responds to messages by reading and understanding people’s text conversations.