Community Notes are eviscerating Twitter’s scammy advertisers

Matthew Gault hits the nail on the head with his take on advertising on Twitter these days. Many of the big advertisers have left, leaving a bunch of scammy drop-shipping companies that Twitter users are calling out via Community Notes.

“Twitter has an ad problem. Mainstream advertisers have fled the platform in droves since erratic billionaire Elon Musk took over the site, and what’s replaced them is a flood of dropshipping companies and scammy video games. The problem has gotten so bad that users have taken it upon themselves to warn each other about the site’s junky ads.

Twitter’s feed looks a lot like Facebook these days. Both are awash in bottom-barrel advertisers that were once relegated to the dregs of the chumbox at the bottom of Daily Mail articles but now clog up our social media feeds”.

Posted by Rob in Tech

Another personalisation fail

I’ve been doing a Personalisation experiment on Twitter for a few months.

My ‘For You’ feed is littered with posts from bullshit accounts like ‘No Context Humans’ and ‘CCTV Idiots’. Every time I see one, I click the ‘Not interested in this post’ option.

It has absolutely zero effect. Every time I go back to the feed I see posts from the same accounts. What gives?

If I tell you I hate (or love) something a million times and you do nothing with that information, that’s a huge missed opportunity.

I get that this generic viral content gets a lot of views and engagement, so Twitter thinks that, by blasting it all over the For You feed, they’ll juice their numbers a bit. But if I tell you time after time that this is something that I explicitly do not like, why on Earth are they not using that information.

File this one in the ‘Doesn’t make sense since Elon showed up’ drawer.

Twitter Not interested in this post X

Stop showing me this shit

Posted by Rob in Tech

Free-returns might become a thing of the past

I came across this excellent article by Amanda Mull in The Atlantic about how free ecommerce returns might be going the way of the dodo.

Processing returns is obviously a massive expense to retailers. While letting customers return goods bought online for free was a much needed tactic during the early years of the ecommerce revolution to reduce the perceived risk involved in buying clothes without seeing them with your own eyes, now that most people are used to online shopping, this could be a perk that is open for being chopped.

“A little bit more friction in the purchase process can be a good thing. In part, returns rates have become so high because online shopping has been built into a perfect vehicle for overconsumption”.

Free Returns The Atlantic

Posted by Rob in Tech

Humans are terrible drivers

One of the biggest roadblocks (pun intended) to the adoption of full self-driving – apart from getting the actual tech to work of course – is addressing the psychological barrier to putting your life in the hands of software to get you from A to B.

Autonomous driving is not perfect, and every accident will be covered in detail in the media. Having said that, it is becoming increasingly safer than human driving, and this is an excellent point to lean on for EV manufacturers.

That’s why I love this full-page ad from the Chevy Cruise autonomous driving project in the New York Times showing how many lives could be saved by letting computers do all the driving.

h/t to Neville Medhora on Twitter.

Full self driving ad

Posted by Rob in Tech
Lessons from Guinness’s stellar rise

Lessons from Guinness’s stellar rise

I love this piece from the great Mark Ritson on how Guinness has been winning lately – leveraging its distinctive brand assets (the white and black pint) and social listening (people missing pints of Guinness during Covid and seeing the white and black everywhere they went) and, in doing so, becoming the most popular pint in the UK.

He outlines nine lessons for marketers to take from what Guinness are doing right.

  1. The raw material is good – it helps if you’ve got a great product to begin with, but that’s just the start.
  2. It is a team effort – unlike some brands (looking at you Burger King) there is not one Marketing Rock Star taking all the limelight, it’s very much a team success.
  3. Social listening – uncovering trends like the one mentioned above, not just using social media as a customer service tool.
  4. Play the long game – they didn’t pause marketing spend during Covid like a lot of big brands.
  5. Integrated marketing communications – they developed their own in-house marketing mix modelling (MMM) system and used it in an integrated campaign across television, social, OOH and point of sale.
  6. Use Your KBAs (Key Brand Assets) – they leveraged the iconic black and white pint.
  7. Category entry points – varied the context of their messages to reinforce various category entry points across different customer groups.
  8. Set a handful of long and short objectives – Don’t be focused solely on short-term KPIs.
  9. Learn from the year before – A good brand plan starts with the lessons from the previous year. What were the objectives, were they achieved and what was learned?

“In your planning sessions for the year ahead, be brave and smart enough to first look backwards. Spend a day on what you learned from last year and how those learnings will alter the approach you will adopt in the year to come”. Wise words Mark.

I bloody love this campaign.

Posted by Rob in Tech