Share the Week - September 8, 2017

Jonathan Gardner

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing.

Sense and Marketing Sensibility

Most of us navigate the world and our lives with five senses (six, if you’re Bruce Willis), and many in the technosphere are making bets that seeing and hearing (and speaking) seem to be the way we will way wayfind, discover products and content, and make purchases. This is logical: if consumers are going to be there, brands should be as well; walking the streets or driving with a device it would be great if the camera, microphone and speaker could team up to supplement your experience rather than distract and pull you away from it.

This week, Seb Joseph reported in Digiday that CPG companies are getting ready for a time when shaking up a cocktail at home may involve a role for voice search in getting the recipe right: Diageo is laying the groundwork for when a large part of its search buying is for voice rather than text, or rather based on the meaning behind a query instead of a specific keyword. Much of Diageo’s early voice search efforts involve brainstorming what naturally spoken questions may be asked about its brands, especially because there’s a chance that cost per click could rise if there is only room for one paid search placement. Bidding strategies aside, Diageo is also considering the feasibility of producing variations of ad copy that deliver the best possible answers. If someone asked for a Moscow mule, for example, not only would Smirnoff need to have copy in place to answer the query, it might also need copy ready if the next question were “What vodka should I buy?” or “What ingredients are in it?”

Add to that potential the ability of machine learning to map our world to help understand what we see and where we’re going. Tom Simonite writes in Wired about Google’s updated Street View initiative to feed clearer, closer shots of buildings and street signs into Google’s image recognition algorithms. Those algorithms can pore over millions of signs and storefronts without getting tired. By hoovering up vast amounts of information visible on the world’s streets -- signs, business names, perhaps even opening hours posted in the window of your corner deli -- Google hopes to improve its already formidable digital mapping database.

The company wants to handle queries that assume knowledge of what the world looks like, such as, “What’s the name of the pink store next to the church on the corner?” Google’s push to get us talking with its Siri-style virtual assistant encourages us to be more conversational in our demands.

It’s pretty clear to us that people are using visual cues to navigate their world and it’s evident to the brands we work with as well. ShareIQ has deep experience with the technical challenges involved in understanding visual content and we’re making a big bet on this being the future of how brands and their customers will navigate the discover-to-buy pathway.

P&G’s Marketing Spin Cycle

Major CPG companies have certainly been stirring up the marketing and ad tech world with their wariness bringing cost-cutting and hitting ad agency forecasts. This week, Adweek’s Lauren Johnson featured P&G chief brand officer, Mark Pritchard, and his concerns about fraud and transparency, with intimations of a reckoning to come for the ad tech industry: “Frankly, there’s, we believe, at least 20 to 30 percent of waste in the media supply chain because of lack of viewability, nontransparent contracts, nontransparent measurement of inputs, fraud and now even your ads showing up in unsafe places.”

Not a minute later, activist investor Nelson Peltz and his hedge fund, Trian, released an extensive report on areas where they believe the company should improve. An important point: the gadfly believes P&G is being outmarketed, especially by smaller, up-and-coming brands. Trian's primary statistical evidence of P&G falling behind rivals in digital marketing is a chart comparing Instagram followers for its brands vs. competitors. For example, Always only has 12,000 Instagram followers versus 37,000 for Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Kotex and 100,000 for Thinx. P&G needs to hire more outside talent to raise its game in digital, including e-commerce and subscription services, where Gillette, for example, has been losing ground to Unilever's Dollar Shave Club and Harry's, according to Trian.

The brands we work with view social media and influencer strategies as a key part of marketing campaigns helping consumers discover products they want to purchase. Our mission is focused on solving an important, but previously overlooked, problem for brands. ShareIQ has uniquely built an unparalleled platform that can identify an image on the web or on Instagram, Pinterest, et. al. instantaneously and use that information to allow a marketer to take action. And, we recently released a powerful tool that turns social media viewers and engagers into actionable first-party audiences.

It’s Not a Snap Getting Paid

If you’re going to market on digital, just like the CPG players you gotta go where the audience is. It seems influencers are fleeing Snapchat in drove these days, taking their followers to other platforms. According to Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier: The number of influencers posting Snapchat stories in the second quarter fell 20 percent from the first quarter, while Instagram saw an 11 percent jump.

Influencers are going where the money’s at and a Snapchat payday seems far off -- brands see a lot more success building engagement for their visual content on Instagram and Pinterest. And, they really want accountability for their influencer marketing programs. However big or small the audience, marketers want to know exactly who they’re reaching, says UEG’s Josh Kaplan, whose clients include Microsoft, Samsung, and Unilever. “It’s very important to us to have an apples-to-apples comparison with how we’re spending our dollars.” If clients choose Snap, he says, “we get a lot of screen shots.”

The Best of the Rest

MarketingLand - Instagram starts testing Facebook’s app-like Canvas ads within Stories feed - Gap Inc. wants to turn Athleta into a billion-dollar brand

Mashable - Inside the black market where people pay thousands of dollars for Instagram verification

Huffpost - Pinterest Announces Its First Ever UK Style Awards Winners

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing
Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan is vice president of marketing for ShareIQ, based in New York City.