Episode 8: ⏰ TikTok'ed?


🔥 mary meeker for 🖼️ visual marketers, addictive candy = TikTok, the disruptor CMO 🤽‍♂️playbook; marketing 💸 1/2 budgets = content; D2C 🔑 key = retention. Will your brand be filtered 🚬 ‘in’ or filtered ‘out’?

Helping marketers translate trends into actions, Get Customer Productive is a Robb Hecht curated newsletter that marketing execs read to empower their customers, their careers and to keep their brands ahead of societal automation, social commerce & algorithmic CX trends coming out of Amazon, Facebook, Apple & Google + China’s BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent). Let me know how you think it can be improved, simply hit reply or reach me here.

[👀 The Week’s Insights Rollup]

👉Hello Automated Marketer,

From D2C companies being overly focused on acquisition to the detriment of extending their CLV metrics through loyalty and retention efforts, to Mary Meeker’s annual report highlighting the true rise of visual marketing and strong growth of ‘shoppable commerce” across social platforms, the past few weeks have been a mix of Cannes news and the growing realization that martech is now at the center of marketing communications. Content now takes almost half of today’s marketing budget. And it’s official, the key to D2C is to gamify customer delight. Moving forward, to ensure your brand is not ‘filtered out” of the social platforms algorithms you’d best build campaigns on value, emotions and generating customer reviews. And are you ready?…YouTube announces shoppable videos are coming. Hey by the way - if you’re ‘digitally transforming’ (really means ‘data transforming’) your company, make sure you’re transforming your culture too.

To the East, China’s Tencent increases its power by offering brands the leveraging of its massive database of detailed, customizable, user profiles derived from across the Tencent ecosystem, connecting Adtech to Martech to smart retail. As for the addictive TikTok everyone is talking about, the Wall Street Journal had a piece outlining its U.S. strategy right in the middle of the trade negotiations - saying “Using high-end artificial intelligence, TikTok has figured out how to serve up the fun parts of social media - focusing on fluff - and to create a viral user-made video network that none of the other giants have managed to pull off”….noting that, Zhang (TikTok’s founder) learned early on “that consumers don’t always know what they want and are highly open to suggestions.” Sounds a little communist/socialist to me, but at the rate TikTok’s growing; it, like the Chinese economy over the past 20 years - they’re doing something right.

PS. Have you gotten your CEO’s permission to disrupt yet?

👯 Spotlight:this Week’s Influencers👯

Hugh Williams, Luck Koch, Nikhil Lai, @StevenVBe, @danielnewmanUV, @rainbowbex, @marymeeker, @Brionic, Mobvista team, @MarkWalkerFord, James Chadwick, @natalieLsach

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🛍️  Marketing Strategy: How to Build A D2C (Direct to Consumer) Subscription Brand

👉Retention is Key to D2C. LINK by Hugh Williams, Exchange Wire. SO WHAT? DTC brands have no problems getting customers, says Hugh, because they’re interesting and people want to try new things. But, in terms of that second sale, D2C can literally run out of potential buyers to convert, because in some categories there are too many challenger brands and differentiation is hard to achieve (they are all innovative, minimalist, and offer great terms of use) making it hard to win a larger piece of the pie. What’s the solution: Retention. ASK YOURSELF: Are you too focused on customer acquisition, only to the detriment of building community and a loyal retention customer base?

👉Traditional Retailers Invest in D2C Strategies. LINK. eMarketer Analyst, Luck Koch. SO WHAT? D2C companies face a different set of realities compared with legacy brands: mature companies, traditional retailers, wholesalers or brick-and-mortar-first brands (who often must first please shareholders with profits). Legacy brands have a different set of growth goals and internal stakeholders to please—and to not mince any of Luck’s words: D2Cs get to burn a lot of money. For some traditional brands, it’s not feasible to do a total overhaul of their marketing stack to unify customer data, at least not all at once. Legacy brands aren’t able to respond as nimbly as D2C brands because of the profit expectations their shareholders have. ASK YOURSELF: if you are working for a legacy brand, will you ever truly be ever to shift the internal paradigm; or will you recommend acquisitions instead?

👉Consumer Intimacy: The Essential Value Of First-Party Data. LINK. by Nikhil Lai. SO WHAT? Birchbox entices consumer loyalty by adding novelty to its transactions and designing opportunities for self-expression.  Each month, Birchbox enfranchises users to customize their box by selecting a sample of their choice. (Users learn about their choice of samples by monitoring Birchbox’s Facebook and Instagram channels for routine Sample Choice revelations.)  Throughout these touch-points, Birchbox celebrates its consumers’ agency with a mix of self-interest and altruism.  As it gamifies customer delight, Birchbox is guided by its first-party data to know what and for whom it should create. ASK YOURSELF: how are you gamifying customer delight?

🧬 How to Drive Your Marketing AI, Algorithms & Automation

👉Automated Commerce: Will Your Brand be Filtered in or Filtered Out. LINK. By WARC’s @StevenVBe (Steven Van Belleghem). SO WHAT? Steven points out that it won’t be long until we have an always available, omnipresent AI platform for every consumer. AI will bring big changes to everyday commerce – and brands have a limited window in which to act to avoid becoming invisible to customers. He predicts branding will change and be constructed around 1) strong brands built on emotions, 2) great products AI will recommend due to good reviews etc; 3) brands filtered out due to lack of value and bad reviews. ASK YOURSELF: will your brand be ‘filtered in’, or ‘filtered out’?

👉How Marketers Are Using AI And Machine Learning To Grow Audiences. LINK by @danielnewmanUV (Daniel Newman). SO WHAT? In looking at what Daniel outlined last Sept, we are tracking nicely in 2019:

 🦁 Build an eCommerce everywhere / Amazon Strategy

👉Key Retail & eCommerce Trends from Meeker’s Internet Report 2019, by @rainbowbex Rebecca Sentance, @marymeeker. LINK. SO WHAT? Of particular importance in this year’s Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report is the intense rise of shopability becoming integrated into social platforms, apps and services of every kind, offline retail increasingly becoming digitized, and eCommerce reaching new communities and demographics. Consumers now start their product searches on Amazon than search engines like Google and Bing now, but Jeff Bezos still relies on other services like Facebook and YouTube to inspire people to want things. With eCommerce growth now reaching 13% of all retail purchases (and parcel shipments rising swiftly) -signals point to big opportunities for new shopping apps. With the rise of social shopping - Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram also made a key statement in the report insights, "People have always been visual—our brains are wired for images. Writing was a hack, a detour. Pictorial languages are how we all started to communicate—we are coming full circle, I suppose." ASK YOURSELF: are you now building a visual-first Amazon + ‘eCommerce is everywhere’ digital strategy?

🇨🇳 Chinese Tech & Retail AI Innovations

👉Why China’s Tencent is About to Leapfrog the Competition, by @Brionic (Brian Monahan). LINK. SO WHAT? Had to include this as part of my #PATCI (pay attention to Chinese innovation) series, Brian describes the new data-driven marketing power rising in the East, observing that if Tencent executes on its vision, they will leapfrog the current generation of marketing platforms. Tencent Data Cloud = its end-to-end marketing platform creates detailed, customizable, user profiles derived from across the Tencent ecosystem, connecting Adtech to Martech to smart retail. The gist of Tencent’s offer is for marketers to simply bring an interesting idea that provides value to users. From there, Tencent will help:

  • Build that experience inside their walled garden.

  • Tell you who will be interested in your thing and everything about them.

  • Source key opinion Leaders (KOLs) who influence your target.

  • Deliver targeted ads with zero waste.

  • Use dynamic offers in the payment process to drive conversion.

  • Incentivize pass along and advocacy.

  • Use its messaging platform to drive repeat engagement.

  • Connect to retail partners to track true ROI.

  • And drop machine learning on top of it all to optimize performance in real time.

  • *One note to this news piece - don’t forget, the Chinese use Tencent tools as a gateway to the Internet, vs via Google and Amazon in the States. What’s that mean- well, it means companies like Tencent effectively have much more weight than is revealed to the ‘Western’ eye - due to their massive databases

👉 Where Instagram Goes, China has led the Way. LINK by Mobvista team. SO WHAT: the western world still lags behind China when it comes to social shopping. YouTube is believed to be considering launching shopping services towards the end of the year through which products in its videos- or related formats, will be made available for purchase. China, which is more advanced with social shopping, could offer Western marketers very crucial tips in getting the products right and ensuring the imagery and video are enticing enough to hook browsers and turn them into customers. ASK YOURSELF: Are you prepared for video shopping? How must your video creative be developed to ensure a seamless customer experience?

How to Win at Social Commerce / CX

👉Almost half of marketing budgets are now spent on content. LINK by @MarkWalkerFord. SO WHAT: I remember telling an interviewer once that content would be the biggest line item in their marketing budget in the near short future. Turns out the prophecy has been fulfilled with this infographic. ASK YOURSELF: Are you leveraging written content, video content and SEO in your marketing plans to rise to the top of the social platforms?

Modern Marketer Leadership Corner

👉The Disruptor CMO Playbook (19 strategies CMOs can use to take charge, adapt faster, and optimize the metrics that matter): LINK by James Chadwick. SO WHAT: Chadwick lays out 19 (why 19?) marketing principles modern marketers should drive their brands by. ASK YOURSELF: can you implement 75% of these with your marketing team by year's end?

👉What is the role of the Chief Digital Officer? LINK. By Natalie Sachmechi @natalieLsach. SO WHAT?: Natalie defines how the CDO’s role is to help companies stay competitive in an age of increasing digitization, striving to implement new digital models; while the CIO looks to improve existing models. A common trait of CDOs seems to be their ability to help companies grow not only technologically, but culturally. “Digital is not only about technology,” says a source. “It’s also about people.” ASK YOURSELF: if you are looking to your IT leads for your true organizational digital transformation; look elsewhere.

👉New Job: Director, China Expansion @ Away SO WHAT? You will partner with the VP, International & Managing Director, China in all aspects of market entry strategy & execution, from market research & discovery to in-market CX, retail, & operations - resourcing to liaising with potential third party vendors, ensuring that all strategic decisions take into account both local & HQ contexts. Developing a strategy for how Away can enter the market via both e-commerce & physical retail & ensuring it is coordinated with Away’s strategy in mainland China. Experience in both e-commerce & physical retail operations prior familiarity with Tmall operations is a must. ASK YOURSELF: don’t you want this job?

👉Need Career Advice from someone at a FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) company? Look here.

🤡  What’s On my Amazon Wishlist?

👉Agency: Starting a Creative Firm in the Age of Digital Marketing (Advertising Age) by Rick Webb

👉Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil

👉Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us about Economics and Life by Alan B. Krueger

🎧 What’s Your Brandhacker Story?

👉We need your D2C, digital transformation & subscription marketing insights. Visit Brandhacker Stories and provide your perspectives.

🎙️ Brandhacker? What Are You Working On?

👉Got Feedback or news? Hey, thank you for reading. 👨I’m @robbhecht - your Get Customer Productive modern marketing coach. Fancy sending some feedback on how we can make GCP better for you? I’m honored that you’re reading, and delighted that I am learning from you all.  Now, tell me what you’re working on and let’s capture you in our next episode.

Have a great week - Robb

☕ PS. If you fancy buying me a coffee, I’ll return the favor :-)

🎙️ Readership Notes

👉Shout outs to those who have reached out and updated me on what they are up to: Piers Fawkes, Husam Machlovi and Patrick Toner.

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