9 min read

Blowing Up Black Friday & Cyber Monday 💥

Are SMB's Ready For A Very-2020 Holiday Season, Why Your Facebook Results Will Decline This Month, And 5 New Tools/Tips You Can Use Immediately
Blowing Up Black Friday & Cyber Monday 💥

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Businesses will be blowing up Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) this year.

You probably read that as businesses will have huge sales days during BFCM. But I meant it as businesses are stretching the idea of BFCM so far that it may no longer be recognizable.

More so, every day, big brands are expanding their holiday promotions up and out. They are moving them up in the calendar, and they are expanding the promotion footprints broader and broader.

This response, of course, is COVID-related. By most accounts, our national logistics system will under more stress than usual, many retailers are still sitting on piles of inventory from quarantine, and consumers are on pace to break all records for holiday shopping done online.

This week, Morning Brew did a deep dive to see if SMB’s are ready for this abnormal holiday season.

If your coupon codes activate first thing on Thanksgiving Day, you’re late.
Among the 53% of respondents making “meaningful” changes to their markdown experiences, most are shifting to bigger online sales.
Small businesses aren't going to BOPIS their way to beating out Amazon this holiday season. But they’ll have better odds of connecting with shoppers if they add a local touch to big box-tested and approved strategies.

Get platform-wide brand safety protection - Microsoft Advertising

For all Microsoft Audience Ads campaigns, IAS will automatically scan all pages of all sites that Microsoft Audience Network ads can appear on. They will rate the page based on risk associated across their standard content categories (Adult, Alcohol, Gambling, Hate Speech, Illegal Downloads, Illegal Drugs, Offensive Language and Controversial Content, Violence) and send a signal to our system preventing us from showing any ads on any pages that they deem as moderate or high risk.

Microsoft’s Bing Wins Search Slots in Google’s Android Auction - Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search app will appear as a download prompt on new Android phones in Germany, the U.K. and France after it won slots in a Google auction for rivals.

Google announced the results of its October-December auction on Tuesday, showing info.com won slots on a choice screen for new Android phones in all 31 countries, PrivacyWall won slots in 22 countries, GMX in 16 countries and Bing in 13 countries. DuckDuckGo won just eight slots in smaller markets, down from a slot in each country in the last period.

Alphabet Inc.’s search unit was ordered by the European Union in 2018 to find ways to remedy its power over search on mobile phones. Google has a stable 97% market share for search in Europe, according to Statcounter figures for August. Google decided to auction off three slots to rivals to appear on a screen asking users to pick them as a default. The auction process hasn’t yet generated many downloads for rivals.

Analysts believe that Android has a 53% market share in the United Kingdom. So the 97% search market share of Google could be shifting significantly.

🗣 Social

Facebook Ads to Remove 28-Day Attribution Model

Facebook Ads announced today it’s retiring its 28-day attribution window option. After they do, the longest remaining attribution window will be their already-existing 7-day option.

Two pieces of context before we dive deeper:

  1. The attribution window is the defined period from which Facebook (or Instagram) connects an ad interaction with a conversion where the ad takes credit for the conversion. By default, Facebook considers a 28-day window for ad clicks and a 1-day window for ad views.
  2. The attribution window is different than the conversion window. More on that later.

Is this change a big deal?

Facebook's 28-Day Attribution Window: What Should You Do?

It depends on the brand.

For some, it isn’t. As I noted above, if sales mostly happen within 7 days of an ad click, the picture doesn’t change much just because you change your attribution to 28 days.

But, for brands with those longer sales cycles, this could be a real adjustment.

If you’re wailing, “WHYYYYY?” this isn’t exactly an arbitrary decision by Facebook. Privacy changes are coming in the form of reduced tracking in Apple’s iOS14 release, and Chrome browsers are operating on a 2-year timeline to stop using cookies altogether for advertising.

I have outlined how you can use Facebook Business Manager to determine the impact on your business:

Beyond reporting, does this impact performance?

Facebook Eliminates 28-Day Attribution Window - Jon Loomer Digital

According to Facebook:
Note that this change has no impact on delivery or performance of your ads.I was initially skeptical about this, but after hearing more from Lucas on our team and getting further confirmation from some of our helpful readers in the comments, this does appear possible.

Facebook is eliminating the 28-day attribution window, which wouldn’t necessarily impact the conversion window (two different things).

The attribution window is how Facebook reports conversions to you; the conversion window is how Facebook optimizes. And the conversion window already falls within a maximum of seven days.

As for reaction from other industry experts:

Facebook Removes the 20% Text Limit on Ad Images

The purpose of the rule originally was to reduce the noisiness in a Facebook News Feed. Especially prior to the multiple ad units and media options that exist now, the Feed was largely text and images. Adding even more text had the potential to make a more cluttered and overwhelming experience.

However, over time, the platform evolved. Text in an image was no longer the distraction it might have been as Facebook continued to roll out new ad types that were far more flashy.

Facebook will start surfacing some public group discussions in News Feeds and search results - The Verge

The most intriguing update is starting out as a test at first. Facebook says it’ll start surfacing public group discussions in people’s News Feeds. These can show up if someone shares a link or reshares a post. Beneath that link, people will be able to click to see relevant discussions that are taking place about that same post or link in public Facebook groups. The original poster can then join the discussion even without joining the group.

Recommended groups will also show up in the group tab if Facebook deems them relevant to people’s interests. Additionally, public group posts will start showing up in search results outside of Facebook, effectively giving them more reach and a much larger audience. Taken altogether, these updates set public groups to grow fast, which could backfire if extremist groups or communities spreading misinformation are promoted. Facebook says any posts marked false by a third-party fact checked won’t be eligible to be surfaced through these features.

Say 👋 to Messenger: Introducing New Messaging Features for Instagram - About Facebook

Messages and calls from friends and family using Instagram will stay in your Instagram app. The main change is that people using the Messenger app can now reach you on Instagram without you needing to download a new app, and vice versa. You can also control where you receive messages and calls, such as in your chats, in your message requests or not at all.

We’re also adding more than 10 new features so you can stay close to your friends. Selfie stickers are a unique hybrid of Boomerang, emojis, and selfies – and a new way to react to conversations. Watch Together lets you watch trending videos with friends on IGTV during a video call. We’re also introducing vanish mode, where you can set messages to automatically disappear after they’re seen.

Facebook introduces Accounts Center, a tool for managing a growing number of cross-app settings | TechCrunch

Despite being under antitrust investigations in the U.S. and E.U., Facebook today is rolling out a new feature that highlights the extent to which its suite of apps now interoperate. The company this morning introduced a consumer-facing tool called “Accounts Center,” which is found in the Settings section of Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. The feature aims to give users the ability to manage their connected experiences across Facebook-owned apps, like Single Sign On and Facebook Pay, for example.

While antitrust investigations drag one, Facebook is sprinting to merge all of its apps so they cannot easily be broken up. The government is losing this race, but considering their power, do they care?

📺 Television

Samsung Ads Launches Samsung Demand-Side Platform 10/01/2020

Samsung Ads, the advanced TV advertising unit of the TV set manufacturer, is launching Samsung DSP, a self-serve demand-side platform.

The Samsung DSP (a demand-side platform) will give programmatic buyers access to exclusive CTV inventory, as well as offering targeted audiences and data from across 45 million households.

Advertisers can manage the campaign reach and frequency of linear TV, connected TV (CTV) and mobile and desktop.

Buyers can use Samsung Ads proprietary data and ad units alongside third-party audiences and inventory.

From streaming content to blogs, there are new self-serve ad networks popping up everywhere.

📈 Reporting & Revenue

New DTC brands focus on profitability rather than reach | WARC

According to news portal Built In, it seems that the next generation of successful DTC brands is “eager to throw out the old playbook”, avoiding the urge to grow at all costs in favour of sustainable scalability.

Until recently, the standard approach from DTCs was to develop an attractively-packaged product and then splash large sums of their venture capital on social media exposure and digital advertising to build up a customer base, even if that wasn’t profitable.

As the cost of digital advertising has risen over the past five years, some industry experts believe the old model is no longer either sustainable or sensible.

🤦‍♂️

I wonder if the “grow at all cost” approach has anything to do with the advertising costs becoming untenable?

🛍 Marketplace

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Sale will be Oct. 13-14 after COVID delay

It's official. Amazon Prime Day 2020 will be Oct. 13-14.

After delaying the annual Black Friday-like sale amid the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon confirmed the dates and details of the shopping event early Monday. Several early Prime Day deals are now available, including what the e-commerce giant calls its "biggest small business promotion."

Now through Oct. 12, Prime members who spend $10 on items sold by select small businesses on Amazon get a $10 credit to use on Prime Day on almost any product on the site including small businesses, which can be found on a new dedicated landing page with curated collections at Amazon.com/supportsmall.

Vox Media Unveils Self-Serve Tool For Marketers 09/30/2020

Vox Media’s new self-serve tool Concert Ad Manager is aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses that want to build and launch ad campaigns at scale across premium publishers in the company's marketplaces.

From streaming content to blogs, there are new self-serve ad networks popping up everywhere.

🏬 Brick & Mortar

Store Landlords Face a Battle for a Cut of Online Sales

If retailers want leases that reflect modern shopping habits, should they hand over a cut of online sales to their landlords?

Some property owners think this would be a fair trade off in the clamor for more flexible rent arrangements. So far, though, there is no good way to measure what landlords might be entitled to and tenants have few reasons to play ball.

From global fashion players like Zara and H&M to mom-and-pop stores, most retailers are demanding better terms from landlords as the Covid-19 pandemic slows sales, particularly offline. In the U.K., shop owners received only two-thirds of the quarterly rent they were owed in the three months to Sept. 22, according to data by Remit Consulting. More tenants now want to hand over a percentage of their sales as rent rather than a fixed monthly or quarterly fee, an arrangement already common in the U.S.

🛠 Tips & Tools

Google Launches Mini-Site of Holiday Marketing Resources

The Grow My Store tool will analyze your site’s customer experience, and show how your site performs relative to others in the same retail category.

Simply enter the URL for your online store and Grow My Store will return tailored recommendations for improvement.

It takes several hours for Google to generate a full report, so be aware of that before starting.

Introducing Cloudflare Radar

All this activity, good and bad, shows up in the trends and details that Cloudflare tracks to help improve our service and protect our customers. Until today this insight was only available internally at Cloudflare, today we are launching a new service, Cloudflare Radar, that shines a light on the Internet’s patterns.

Each second, Cloudflare handles on average 18 million HTTP requests and 6 million DNS requests. With 1 billion unique IP addresses connecting to Cloudflare’s network we have one of the most representative views on Internet traffic worldwide.

And by blocking 72 billion cyberthreats every day Cloudflare also has a unique position in understanding and mitigating Internet threats.

Our goal is to help build a better Internet and we want to do this by exposing insights, threats and trends based on the aggregated data that we have. We want to help anyone understand what is happening on the Internet from a security, performance and usage perspective. Every Internet user should have easy access to answer the questions that they have.

👋 Holla!

Questions, comments, inquiries? I’d love to hear from you! Email newsletter@robbettis.com.