The Media Minute 9.27.23

Media Organizations Create Principles For Governing AI

Bryce Hall, a McKinsey associate partner, recently shared an analogy he heard from a business leader about generative AI: “We’ve just opened Jurassic Park, but we haven’t yet installed the electric fences.”

Earlier this month, 26 global media organizations essentially announced that they weren’t waiting for electricians and contractors, and were instead establishing their own principles that they “believe should govern the development, deployment, and regulation of Artificial Intelligence systems and applications.”

Emphasizing that they embrace the opportunities AI technologies will present to both businesses and society, the organizations are calling for responsible development as they “also pose risks for the sustainability of the creative industries, the public’s trust in knowledge, journalism, and science, and the health of our democracies.”

Sale Ads Are The Best Drivers Of Awareness, Purchase For Digital Shoppers
Ads for products on sale are the most effective form of retail media advertising, with 51% of US digital shoppers saying they pay attention to them and 44% of digital shoppers saying they purchase from them, per Integral Ad Science.

Influencer Grows In Influence, Set To Top $34B In Marketing Spend
The global influencer marketing economy, which expanded 21.5% last year, is on track to grow another 16.9% this year, topping $34 billion in spending. The U.S., which accounts for more than three-quarters of the worldwide influencer marketing marketplace, is expected to expand its share — rising 17.6% this year to more than $26 billion, according to an annual update to PQ Media’s “Global Influencer Marketing Forecast” report.

Marketers’ Brand Safety Tactics May Not Be Enough
Brand safety is a hot topic in the marketing industry. In fact, over 80% of marketing professionals believe it’s a major concern, according to recently published findings by the Journal of Advertising Research. However, with new innovations like the metaverse raising fresh concerns for marketers and more mature platforms like X, formerly Twitter, falling into controversy, brand safety has become an even more debated topic. Plus, according to the Journal of Advertising Research’s findings, consumers are just as aware, even reporting that consuming ads near content considered even mildly negative could turn them off a brand.

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The Media Minute 9.20.23

Advertiser Associations Set New Diverse Media Investment Guidelines

Last week, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) released new guidelines intended to “help those marketers who are interested in supporting diverse suppliers but are still sitting on the sidelines and not sure where to begin.”

The report, entitled “Guidelines For Getting Started When Investing With Diverse Media Companies,” offered 11 guidelines to directly address what the report calls “a gap between interest and investment — between intent and action” where large companies aren’t investing in diverse suppliers “in any meaningful way.”


When Writing For Busy Readers, Less Is More

The average person receives dozens or even hundreds of messages — emails, text messages, and so on — each day, and the average professional spends nearly one-third of their workweek reading and responding to emails. Those numbers don’t even account for all the other communications that professionals receive outside the workplace. For busy readers, handling this torrent of information and messages is like living in an endless game of Whac-A-Mole. Highly relevant updates about health and school can inadvertently get overlooked or whacked with the delete button. And yet there is a distressingly widespread misconception among writers that more is better.


Peacock’s Trick To Keep Subscribers Coming Back? Emails — Billions Of Them

Addicted to checking your email? Streaming services — yes, streaming services — might be betting on it. The annual churn rate across streamers in the US in the 12 months ending in June averaged 47%, according to Parks Associates, and consumers report taking longer than ever to find shows to watch, meaning streamers are pressed to find ways to keep viewers from canceling their subscriptions. And there’s a relatively simple channel that some media companies are tapping into as part of their efforts to try to keep viewers plugged in week after week: The humble email inbox. … More broadly, every single premium subscription streamer saw churn rates in June 2023 increase compared to the year prior — with the exception of Peacock, which saw churn rates decline 2%, according to data from Antenna.


AI Aggravation: Job Loss, Privacy Are Among Marketers’ Concerns

AI will help brands boost productivity. But it may also lead to job loss and other problems, judging by AI In Marketing and Communications, a study from The Conference Board in collaboration with Ragan Communications. Of the companies polled, 82% say AI will improve productivity, perhaps a lot. But 40% fear it will reduce the number of jobs, and some say it will reduce them a great deal.

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The Media Minute 9.13.23

Cost Of Doing Business: How Much Does An Ad Agency Cost?

For years, Mirabel’s Marketing Manager blog has been providing tips, best practices, how-to’s, explainers, and thorough breakdowns of every marketing topic under the sun so that businesses and brands of all sizes can make the most of their efforts. About the only thing the blogs haven’t addressed is the cost of an outside agency — and there’s a huge, almost prohibitive reason for that.

In fact, the Association of National Advertisers, 4A’s, and Advertiser Perceptions recently collaborated to put a spotlight on that very reason, with a study entitled “The Cost of the Pitch.” After interviewing more than 300 brand marketers and agency execs, they found that most brand-side marketers (59%) say cost is the most important factor considered when selecting an agency.


45% Of U.S., U.K. Advertisers Have Used Same Ad Approach For Past 5 Years

Around half of advertisers have seen privacy changes such as the drop-off in legacy third-party identifiers, with a negative impact on campaigns. About the same number expect upcoming privacy changes and challenges to reduce campaign effectiveness. But even more surprising is that 45% of U.S. and U.K. advertisers have been using the same approach to advertising for the last five years, and 71% of this group don’t plan to change their strategy in the next year. That leaves 32% who will continue to use outdated advertising strategies.


Marketers Have Pulled Back On Growth Strategies, Report Says

Growth marketing is shrinking. That’s one of the takeaways from digital agency Dept’s third annual report on the topic, which found a 40% decline in marketers who are using growth marketing strategies this year compared to last among the 450 senior managers or above who were surveyed. Dept defines growth marketing as “the blend” of performance and brand strategies.


We Analyzed Millions of ChatGPT User Sessions: Visits Are Down 29% Since May

Generative AI, and ChatGPT in particular have been catnip to the tech press, the mainstream media, and the conversations of professionals in nearly every field. How is it going to disrupt your work?! Will AI replace you? Are Hollywood writers, real estate agents, dog walkers, and anesthesiologists even useful anymore? In concert with the fine folks at Datos, whose opt-in, anonymized panel of 20M devices (desktop and mobile, covering 200+ countries) provides outstanding insight into what real people are doing on the web, we undertook a challenging project to answer at least some of the mystery surrounding ChatGPT.

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The Media Minute 9.6.23

Trillion In ’24: Global Ad Spend To Enter Four Comma Club

It’s probably more than just the extra Leap Day that will push it over this threshold, but according to the World Advertising Research Center, 2024 will be the year when global advertising spend surpasses $1 trillion. Surveying media industry organizations in 100 worldwide markets and analyzing revenue data from the largest media owners, WARC foresees a 8.2% boost from 2023’s ad spend of $963.5 billion.

U.S. Ad Market Climbs 6.2% In July

After dipping slightly in June, the U.S. Ad Market Tracker posted its biggest gain in monthly U.S. ad spending since April 2022. July ad spending by the major U.S. ad agencies pooling their data in the index rose 6.2% over July 2022, which was down 8.2% from July 2021.

Billboards Claim The Largest Share Of U.S. Programmatic OOH Ad Spend
The largest share of US programmatic out-of-home (OOH) ad spend went to billboards (41%) in H1 of this year, followed by screens and TVs (24%) and display panels (14%), according to Place Exchange.

The 2023 CMO State of the Union
2023 has proven to be the year of radical change in marketing. Cookies are being phased out, AI is becoming more integrated, and tight markets means more trips to the CFO’s office to scrutinize the budget. To top it off, traditional paid channels are getting more expensive and aren’t converting like they used to, leaving CMOs wondering where exactly growth will come from in the next 12 months and beyond. So, what’s a marketer to do?

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The Media Minute 8.30.23

Meta’s Ad Revenue Share ‘Out Of Step’ With Time Spent On Platforms

For digital advertising, Meta still sits (with Google) firmly at the top. However, according to recently crunched numbers in a separate Insider Intelligence report, Meta’s share of ad revenue is “surprisingly out of step with how much time people actually spend on its platforms, particularly when compared with competitors like YouTube and TikTok.”


Ads Are Coming To TikTok Search Results

TikTok users searching the app for specific videos will begin to see sponsored content in search results. The company announced today that advertisers will be able to place ads alongside organic content that appears when searching in the app. When a user clicks on an ad, they can continue scrolling to view search results in a feed-like format. Ads are pulled from other videos that the brand is running on the platform.


Journalists Are Opening PR Pitches, But It Takes Longer For Stories To Appear

Publishers worried about efficiency in the newsroom should check out the Q3 Propel Media Barometer. It will tell them how hard journalists are working. It looks like they are doing pretty well despite being overworked. The study found that journalists opened 49.14% of the email PR pitches they received in Q2 2023. This marked a 10% increase YoY. 


70% Of SMB Marketers Willing To Pay More For Tools With AI Or Automation

Artificial intelligence remains a big draw with SMB martech buyers: 70% say they’d pay more for a marketing platform that gave them access to AI or automation tools, according to a new study. SMBs (defined by the study as orgs with 250 employees or less) are a target-rich environment for vendors as only 26% have AI and/or automation technology, according to a study of nearly 500 SMBs conducted by digital marketing and automation platform Constant Contact and research firm Ascend2.

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The Media Minute 8.23.23

Publisher Priorities: Economy, Cookies … And, Yes, Attention Metrics

In asking publishers to rank the Top 3 trends they felt were vital to their company, Emodo found “a clear trend and one somewhat surprising result.”

The biggest priority for more than half (57%) of the respondents was the impact of the economy, while the third-largest priority was privacy and cookie deprecation (for 40%).

“Less expected at number two (52%),” the research found, “was the rise of publisher focus on Attention metrics — a theme that has gripped advertisers and marketers of late.”


Email By Design: Tools And Techniques Used In Message Creation

Email design teams are using a wide variety of technologies to personalize their sends, but most are not yet deploying AI, judging by The 2023 State of  Email Design Report, a study by Litmus. The most common design elements now include personalization using dynamic content (63%), personalization in the subject line (60%), animated GIFs or PNGs (58%) …


Marketing Uses For Generative AI That Will Outlive The Hype

Generative AI was the shiny new thing this year (despite having been around for quite a while). Curious consumers wrote poems with ChatGPT, created masterpieces with Midjourney, and browsed Google’s and Microsoft’s AI-chatbot search functionalities. As the hype clears, which generative AI applications will be most relevant for business? And how can marketers put those applications to use? Chatbots are useful for retail customer service, where just 3% of organizations expect generative AI to be significantly disruptive, but 93% say it’s a topic of discussion in the boardroom and 62% say they have already established a team and budget focused on generative AI, according to the Capgemini Research Institute.


46% Of Marketers Struggle To Find The Best Email Marketing Tool Or Service Provider

The economic landscape is very different for marketers to navigate in 2023 than it was even a year ago, as instability looms over industries and the threat of a recession has business owners remaining cautious on some marketing fronts, but more aggressive in other channels. One channel that consistently delivers results, no matter the economic season, is email marketing. In fact, our recent survey of 300 marketing professionals found that almost 75% considered their email marketing efforts to be effective.

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The Media Minute 8.16.23

Advertisers Optimistic in 2023, But Need Help

Advertisers are optimistic about their economic future, with three in five planning on spending more in 2023. E&P has that and other highlights from a recent Borrell Associates survey of almost 2,000 local advertisers and ad agencies. In addition to the 62% spending more on advertising this year, more than half (55%) are purchasing digital advertising from a media company.


Americans Have High Expectations For Ads, But Don’t Always Remember Them A Day Later

What was the last ad you saw? You might remember if you’re a marketer, but if not, it’s unlikely; most people only remember up to a tenth of the ads they’ve seen in the past 24 hours. That’s one of the findings from market research firm Provoke Insights’s advertising trends report from this summer.


AI Insights from The State of PR Technology 2023 Report

The results are in and 76% of PR practitioners foresee that critical thinking will be the paramount PR skill of the future. The truth is, AI can do a lot to speed up productivity. But can it ever quite replace that essential human touch?


To Have And To Hold: B2C Brands Face Customer Churn, Channel Shifts

Email ranks as the second most effective customer retention channel. But it is also the channel that has slipped the most even as brands face serious challenges overall, judging by State of B2C Customer Retention, a global study by Spectrm. 

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The Media Minute 8.9.23

Ads Require ‘More Creativity And Nuance’

“If there’s one item that’s completely changed the game with paid search, it’s how consumer privacy expectations are shifting ad targeting,” NP Digital’s Paid Media Fast Forward report says. “From industry leaders to smaller players, advertisers don’t have as much flexibility when creating hyper-specific targeting for campaigns.”

The report points to the moving away from third-party cookies as well as privacy changes as reasons that ads require “more creativity and nuance than ever before.”


Research Reveals More Consumers Will Share All Types of Personal Information With Brands This Year

Of the 15 different types of information Airship tracked year-over-year, email addresses are the most freely shared at 86% of respondents. This year, “interests relevant to a brand” (78%) displaced “name” as the second most shared information.


2023 State of Video Technology

Over 8 out of 10 (81%) of people want more video content from brands, but 70% of consumers say they rarely or never receive video from brands. That’s down from 74% last year, meaning brands are using video more for digital communications — but not nearly enough.


The Revenue Narrative: B2B Marketers Are Taking A Dollar-Based Approach

It shouldn’t be that hard for B2B executives to wrap their minds around the idea of revenue marketing: Simply, it means focusing on revenue as the ultimate goal. Of course, it also calls for alignment of marketing with revenue goals, integration of sales and marketing … But 97% say they can define it, according to the 2023 Revenue Marketing B2B Benchmark Report, a study by Demand Spring.

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The Media Minute 8.2.23

Reader Regularity Makes Biggest Impact On Subscriptions, Revenue

It’s not often that a publishing study seems to flip all established logic.

And yet, here we are, with a better way of measuring a news site’s success.

Data from more than a hundred news outlets was collected by the Medill Subscriber Engagement Index from Northwestern University to see what made an impact on subscriptions and revenues. The most important factors weren’t the typically relied upon page-views or time spent on the site, but rather reader regularity.


The Economic Potential Of Generative AI: The Next Productivity Frontier

Generative AI’s impact on productivity could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy. Our latest research estimates that generative AI could add the equivalent of $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually across the 63 use cases we analyzed—by comparison, the United Kingdom’s entire GDP in 2021 was $3.1 trillion. This would increase the impact of all artificial intelligence by 15 to 40 percent. This estimate would roughly double if we include the impact of embedding generative AI into software that is currently used for other tasks beyond those use cases.


65% Of CTV Advertisers Upping Spend In 2023, By Average 23%

A new survey of agency and brand marketers involved in decision-making for connected TV/OTT advertising finds 65% indicating that they’ll increase spending in those media this year, by an average 23%. 


Organic Search Drove 36% Of Overall Website Traffic For 6 Key Industries

From social to email, paid, video and organic marketing, marketers are tasked with staying on top of a growing number of channels that drive traffic, but organic search remains the most cost-effective and impactful channel in the long term, according to the findings. On average, organic search produced 36% of overall website traffic for the six key industries that Conductor analyzed for Organic Industry Benchmarks, an overview of organic SEO traffic and search engine-result page trends across industry websites in 2023.

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The Media Minute 7.26.23

Good News, Bot News — Google Testing AI Tool That Writes News Stories

Google has its own game-changing AI tool in store, and they’re showing it off directly to the publishers. That’s the word at least from The New York Times, one of a number of news organizations to whom Google reportedly pitched an AI product capable of taking in current-event data and generating news stories. The article’s anonymous sources said The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal’s owner News Corp were amongst the organizations who saw demonstrations of the tool, known internally as Genesis.


Five Reasons Threads Could Still Go The Distance

One week later, Threads’ engagement is down — but the prize is still there for the taking.


Twitter Begins Its Transition To ‘X’ After Changing Its Iconic Bird Logo

Unlike when Dogecoin’s Shiba Inu briefly replaced it, it seems Twitter’s longstanding bird logo is genuinely having its last curtain call. Elon Musk and Twitter (or should we say X?) CEO Linda Yaccarino announced that the company was rebranding as “X” and projected the new emblem onto the company’s San Francisco headquarters. 


Study: Digital Marketing Works Better

A new survey by a British trade publication shows that 86.7% of brand-side marketers believe that digital channels are an effective tool for building brands, compared to 80.1% who think the same of offline media. The poll, based on interviews with 1,300 marketers, challenges the belief that digital is more effective for boosting short-term results. More than a third (38.3%) of B2B marketers say digital is “very effective” at building brands, compared with 34.9% of B2C marketers who believe the same.

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