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9 Minute Read

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August 24, 2021

Top 12 Stories from July

July was a busy month in design and marketing news! Check out these stories that we have compiled to stay up to date.

Olympic rings on bridge overlooking Hong Kong river


1. Is UX Design the Future of SEO?

John Muller of Google


Google says a site's appearance can affect its search rankings

At an SEO conference this past week, John Muller of Google suggested that, in the long run, if a site does not visually appear credible, it can affect its ranking in Google's SERPs. Muller's comments challenge the notion that a mediocre site can survive in the modern digital age. Accepting critical feedback and fixing the little things in order to increase quality, are key steps towards bettering one's SEO, he added.


Source: Search Engine Journal (​​https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ux-playbook-ranking-serps/294635/

2. Do Corporations Really Support The Pride Movement?

People waving pride flags in front of Proctor and Gamble logo
Bryna Bedder for Getty Images

As Pride Month Ends, So Too Does Corporate Support

As Pride month came to a close, so too did the ad campaigns in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. However, experts are warning against the usual tokenist displays of support. As consumers are turning a sharper eye to the companies they buy from, a push for the support to go deeper than these companies' own monetary gains is building steam. Rich Ferraro, CFO at GLAAD, says that if companies aren't actually pushing for real changes for the LGBTQIA+ community, they are demeaning what Pride is all about.


Source: CNBC (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/20/the-right-way-for-brands-to-approach-pride-month-and-all-year-round.html

3. Did Audi find a solution to the GDPR data crackdown?

Person in car holding phone with Google chrome while driving Audi

As Google looks to Sunset Third-Party Cookies, Audi finds a breakthrough

As Google aims to sunset third-party cookies in Chrome, where an estimated 60% of the market is, more companies are following Audi's newfound alternative. The alternative included an exclusion list based on media consumption demographics and an effort to use Audi's first-party-data to find look-alike audiences. The result: a 70% conversion rate. With over 68% of U.S. publishers using first-party IDs, the overall volume is still below 20% and focuses on authenticated users. With enough time, exacting these solutions could mean a viable path forward.


Source: Digiday (https://digiday.com/marketing/googles-cookie-delay-may-offer-breathing-room-but-should-be-used-with-caution-say-marketers/

4. Challenges Arise with Olympics going 100% Virtual to Audience

Olympic rings on bridge overlooking Hong Kong river


Marketing the 2020 Olympics in 2021

The IOC's digital engagement and marketing director, Christopher Carroll, says marketing operations will use a 'people-centric' approach with athletes taking center stage as the Olympics go fully digital this year. Third parties traditionally led the IOC's interactions with their audiences. Now, Carroll hopes a new data-driven strategy to develop direct relationships with personalized content will have this year’s viewership of the games at pre-pandemic levels, if not higher.


Source: Matt Barker for MarketingWeek (https://www.marketingweek.com/olympic-marketing-digital-tokyo-2020/


5. As 3rd Party Cookies Become Relics of the Past, Keeping Up Proves Difficult

Two people working on whiteboard and drawing with erase markers


Develop your strategy now, says GM's VP of Product

"While device-based targeting gets harder, there’s no denying that people-based messaging is better and more effective. The question is, how long will marketers hold onto the past knowing that a new age has already begun?" says VP of Product Dennis Ellis. His solution is building a strategy to address identity challenges NOW. Be sure to understand the future of identity-- record creation, enrichment, and translation-- and create high-definition personalized experiences.


Source: Dennis Ellis for Adweek (https://www.adweek.com/partner-articles/whats-your-strategy-for-thriving-in-a-first-party-data-world/


6.Why You Need to Update Your Values In Today's Market

Man wearing suit looking at whiteboard with business illustrations


The privacy of your customers is your priority, too…

A recent study by Entrust showed that 79% of adults in the UK are concerned about the collection and use of their data. Increasing transparency and putting customers in control of their data builds trust in your brand. In today's market, balancing the relevance of ads with the privacy of your customers is paramount. With plenty of data at the ready, your priority should be making data actionable for specific goals while also protecting it.


Source: Security Magazine (https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/94486-only-21-of-people-trust-global-brands-to-keep-their-data-safe-and-secure)  


7. Increased Marketing Boosts Coke's Q2 Revenue by 42%

Up-close image of Coca Cola bottle

Coke Sees Success Beyond Pre-Pandemic Levels

The leading provider in non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages, Coca Cola, has rebounded from last year's battering Quarter 2 performance to a turnaround of 180 degrees and then some. Emerging from the pandemic, Coca Cola doubled their marketing spending which leveled off with pre-pandemic levels. The spending, in which a large amount went towards branding campaigns for each of Coca Cola's individual beverages, saw a 54% retail growth year-to-date. Net revenues also grew 42% to $10.1 billion. And following suit of other major corporations, Coca Cola will double its spending on minority-owned media companies by 2024.


Source: The Coca Cola Company Second Quarter 2021 Results (https://www.coca-colacompany.com/press-releases/coca-cola-reports-second-quarter-2021-results

8. A Rebrand as the Only Way to Survive 

soccer star Megan Rapinoe posing for Victoria's Secret
Photo: Victoria’s Secret

Victoria's Secret Ditches Angels, says 'Hello' to Activists

Transitioning from a predominantly male to a majority female board, ditching the traditionally 'hot' angels and replacing them with activists of all colors and sizes (pictured: soccer star Megan Rapinoe); these are just some of the steps that Victoria's Secret is taking as part of its rebranding campaign "TheVSCollective". The brand sees a rebrand away from patriarchal Eurocentric standards as its only path forward with recent events largely shaping the conversation about race and inclusivity. The question that time will answer: Are they ditching the patriarchy or their customers?


Source: Halley Bondy for NBC (https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/angels-no-more-can-victoria-s-secret-rebrand-unattainable-sexy-ncna1272514


9. TikTok Dances...For Businesses?

TikTok logo on pink background with medical mask

TikTok Has Entered the Digital Advertising Chat

TikTok is teaming with Vimeo to integrate the software solutions provider's video-creation tools into its app. The Vimeo Create feature, now available in the TikTok Ad Manager, is targeted at small- and medium-sized businesses to help them trim production times and costs. Leading up to the rollout, the companies asked marketers new to TikTok to test the product, with soy-based candle brand NaturalAnnie Essentials reporting conversion rates more than five times higher than those on other online channels. Many see the move as TikTok positioning itself in competition with Instagram and Snapchat for digital ads.

Source: Peter Adams for Marketing Dive (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/tiktok-integrates-vimeos-video-creation-tools-to-attract-more-small-busine/603539/


10. Confusion: Cleveland's Next Problem

Cleveland Guardians logo on red background
Photo: USA Today

The Cleveland Indians Are Now the 'Guardians' -- Why?

For both practical and ethical reasons, the name for Cleveland's baseball team was no longer suitable. The team's rebrand from 'Indians' to 'Guardians' quickly drew the expected ire of conservatives and satisfaction of liberals, in addition to widespread confusion. Inspired by the 'Guardians of Transportation' statue, the new brand is represented by two letters 'G' encompassing a baseball with wings that appear more like they were borrowed from turkeys than a super-human entity. Politics aside, questions remain about the brand's ability to attract viewers rather than confusion. With the official rollout of the new logo in 2022, only time will tell...

11. Google Ad Revenue Skyrockets 69%, Retail Leads Growth

Google office park building with trees in front of building

Google Capitalizes on Digital Retail Shift

Google's advertising revenue soared 69% year-over-year and Youtube Ads saw an 84% increase year-over-year. Google's search network and other offerings made up the rest of its revenue. The industry which saw the biggest growth, though, is retail. It is no surprise that as retailers are looking to refine and grow their online presence after the pandemic Google took the opportunity to enter into competition with fellow tech-world giant Amazon. In an attempt to compete with Amazon, last summer Google opened up free product listings and 0% commission fees while perfecting integrations with merchant partners like Shopify, WooCommerce and GoDaddy. The competition in this sector will likely only continue to increase.


Source: Peter Adams for Marketing Dive (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/google-ad-revenue-soars-69-as-new-bets-in-commerce-video-pay-off/604029/


12. Advertisers Tap into the Anime Craze

Taco Bell Introduces the 'Fry Force' anime cartoon
Photo: Taco Bell

Taco Bell Introduces the 'Fry Force'

Do you watch Mecha and Kaiju? Taco Bell is betting on it. In a continuation of its efforts to play off of Hollywood-themed productions in their advertisements, the latest to come out of Live Más Productions: manga and anime. Aligning itself with the recent growth of anime viewership in the United States, Taco Bell is capitalizing on the Japanese manga format in order to re-introduce (for the seventh time) their renowned Nacho Fries. While other brands like KFC and P&G have previously tried to use anime in their advertisements, Taco Bell is the first after the most recent, pandemic-driven spike in viewership. In all likelihood we might be seeing a lot more anime on our screens in the near future.


Source: Peter Adams for Marketing Dive (https://www.marketingdive.com/news/taco-bell-releases-anime-style-ad-manga-tie-in-to-hype-nacho-fries-return/603471/