North Thinking
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North Thinking

TRENDING NORTH: JAN ‘22

A monthly look at the marketing and advertising industry from NORTH’s point of view.

Source: Unsplash

Cookie Jar: A 2022 Update
Nicole Shockley, Media Director

In March 2021, we introduced a new series called the “Cookie Jar.” The series followed the privacy sandbox, and helped brands and advertisers prepare for a world without third-party cookies by December 2021. The marketing world was in a panic, and in June 2021 Google announced third-party cookies would be around for a little longer. Google hopes to phase out third-party cookies by 2023.

That said, the tech giant is still trying to figure out how to manage data in a post-cookie world. Earlier this month Google announced that FLoCs would be replaced with “Topics.” Google stated that, “With Topics, your browser determines a handful of topics, like “Fitness” or “Travel & Transportation,” that represent your top interests for that week based on your browsing history.” The industry is as skepitcal about Topics as it was about FLoCs — the data behind Topics is only kept for three weeks. Google also only shares one topic with potential advertisers, so the full picture of a consumer isn’t available. Topics is still in the early stages, and I am holding out for another solution.

Upping Your 2022 Social Status
Madelyn Brennecke, Senior Performance Marketing Manager

Hootsuite released their top social trends for 2022. They predict a continued rise in TikTok use and recommend brands start to build a presence on that platform. However, new social media feeds like TikTok and Instagram Stories have made skipping ads easier than ever. Brands need to start creating ads that have a more native feel, either by changing the production style and content, or by using creators and influencers. Making ads more entertaining and less disruptive and over-produced will increase attention and engagement. Furthermore, brands should invest in social listening to make content that feels timely and relevant to the user. Finally, this is the year to invest bigger budgets in the smaller social platforms, like TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest, where ad fatigue is lower.

How to Grow Your Instagram Followers
Madelyn Brennecke, Senior Performance Marketing Manager

While growing followers on Instagram seems to be less important these days as organic reach has decreased due to algorithm shifts, this metric remains important for brand trust and growing partnerships. For brands looking to grow their following, there are many strategies to incorporate into your social media strategy. When crafting your strategy and content calendar, start by aligning your content with moments, either moments relevant to the user, like holidays, seasons, or common cultural events (like Dry January), or moments related to your brand, like new product launches. Focus on content that is useful, inspirational or entertaining for your audience. Then expand your reach by tagging partner accounts, including hashtags, or participating in competitions and giveaways. For a deeper dive, check out this article by Search Engine Journal.

France Takes a Swing at Carbon Emissions in Advertising
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

As climate change continues to be a major issue across the globe, France has made one small step to making a change, specifically for a daily carbon emitter — vehicles. Set to begin in March, France announced that car commercials and advertisements will have to make statements in their ads about alternative modes of transportation, to help remind consumers of their other options. In each advertisement, carmakers will have to state one of the three approved statements: “Consider carpooling,” “For day-to-day use, take public transportation,” or “For short trips, opt for walking or cycling.” Although a small step to a cleaner future, it is a potentially beneficial move that many other advertisers may be soon required to take across the globe.

Source: Spotify

People Continue to Spend Time on Mobile Apps
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

For many advertisers, podcasts continue to be of heavy interest — countless people listen to podcasts and the recall rate continues to soar for brands looking to get into the ears of their consumers. However, a huge drawback is the lack of analytics that come with a podcast buy. That’s where Spotify stepped the podcast game to the next level — with their new Call to Action cards, which will display a visual ad in the Spotify app when the audio ad begins to play. In addition, the placement will resurface later on while exploring the Spotify app, so individuals can click through to utilize promo codes and URLs whenever they are ready. As advertisers continue to seek out the most trackable placements, this update to Spotify will continue to solidify podcasts as a heavy hitter for brands.

LG Offers Guaranteed CTV Outcomes
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

LG, the well known TV set and connected TV provider, has recently announced a new solution for advertisers, focused on providing guaranteed KPIs. In the announcement, LG stated that advertisers will not be billed for metrics that do not meet predetermined goals — meaning that, for example, if a video does not meet the video completion rate metric, the advertiser will not be billed. Additionally, in the next few months, LG will roll out “elements including tune-in, web visits, physical location visits, etc.” This delivery change will be a massive shift for many advertisers, as the digital space continues to shift and KPIs continue to be challenging to meet.

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