Ever since they poached David Marcus from Paypal we have known that Facebook were going to get into money and they have now launched their payment service for Messenger. It’s very simple – once you have added a debit card to your account – and it’s free. (Credit cards aren’t accepted right now because of the fraud risk and the fees) Once it’s all working we can expect it to roll out to the WhatsApp user base too.
With Forrester estimating mobile payments will triple to $142bn by 2019, this puts Facebook in the money game – but we think the real prize is people paying for things rather than paying their friends. Which is why the interesting news from Facebook this week is their purchase of shopping curation site The Find.
Whilst big brands are switching spend to Facebook it’s the smaller advertisers who arguably can have the most impact – the 2 million advertisers. Demonstrating how well the new Products ads work by enabling payments would solve the attribution issue once and for all.
One of the most prolific bloggers about Financial Services wonders whether banks are heading for their Kodak/Nokia moment.
Another of the smarter thinkers around Money has 5 suggestions on what banks should be thinking about – which all make good sense. But is anyone listening?
And the innovation is coming from everywhere – in China Alibaba are trialling facial recognition for payments – which sounds similar to what Square does in the US and what Paypal trialled in Richmond.
Wearables & Proximity; Mickey Mouse technology?
Halifax Bank is trying a wearable that reads your heartbeat to unlock your account but it seems rather complicated and one suspects a double espresso or running up the stairs might cause a problem. This sounds more like a PR stunt.
The Disney wristband sounds like a PR stunt too, but they do seem to have a really exciting service – because it solves real problems. This longish piece is worth reading as it also gets into how proximity can be helpful. If you are thinking about beacons – and who isn’t ? – there is a lot to learn here.
And the new VC backed bus service in San Francisco is a good use case for Bluetooth / proximity. As well as showing how tech (and tech focused investment) is starting to impact every aspect of life. One other interesting example is Subway rewarding customers who use their instore wifi. Why – because the data is so valuable – knowing how often someone visits your stores can drive your CRM and – now – your programmatic and retargeting. The ability to connect your physical world with the digital world enables great experiences for customers
Programmatic going mainstream
As mentioned here a while back WPP are looking to take a stake in DunnHumby – the Tesco owned data powerhouse that drove the phenomenal success of the Tesco Clubcard and now works with retailers around the world. Now cynics may suggest this story has popped up again because Tesco is reviewing its £100m media account – something Sir Martin has been after for years. How better to out maneuver the competition than by negotiating for an acquisition?
But it would be an expensive tactic and the real value of Dunn Humby is the data which could fuel the WPP programmatic play. Just like their stake in MySupermarket and the recent deal with Comscore this deal would fit with WPPs ambitions in data and insight – well explained in this WSJ piece.
Whilst programmatic and its plethora of TLAs* can be a little arcane for many, it is going mainstream very quickly. Every publisher is trying to work out their best approach – the UK ‘quality’ news brands have combined to launch the Pangea alliance. This alliance lets the publishers combine their reach and their data to better battle GAFA in programmatic buys.
Of course the original Pangea continent eventually split and formed the various continents we are familiar with today. Can this alliance last? The first thing the buyers will do is try and see which approach gets the best value – buy everything from Pangea or divide and conquer and deal direct.
Smart clients see the opportunity and are experimenting – this look at what some UK brands are doing is interesting. A few are even taking programmatic in house – Kelloggs are very positive about their experience and the numbers for taking it inhouse seem to add up – if you know what you are doing.
*Three Letter Acronyms
We have argued before that the industry obsessions with metrics – like clicks and views – that are poor surrogates for what really counts; impact on sales.
P&G know a little about marketing and they have called for more consistency around advertising and the sales outcome. This interview with Global Brand Office is good insight into how smart brands are approaching digital; he sees further growth from the current 35% share for digital.
Unilever are also looking for better research but want to move from recall and persuasion to measuring engagement.
A new study from the Mobile Marketing Association provides some real metrics – they replicated the studies the IAB did for digital 10 years ago to measure the impact of mobile in multi channel campaigns for Coke, Walmart, Mastercard and others. All the studies showed a very positive impact for mobile – on footfall in stores, purchase intent and actual sales. They argue that mobile merits a double digit share of total spend – not just of the digital budget,
Apps for news
This is an interesting look at how the news industry uses apps – and argues that most publishers would be better to concentrate on mobile web. It also tackles the myth about app use dominating mobile use – pointing out that a huge proportion of the time allocated to the Facebook app is actually spent on web pages delivered within Facebook.
There is no right or wrong answer – as ever the right strategy is dictated by the problem you are solving – for your business and for your customer.
Meerkat & Periscope
There is no doubt that the app that won SXSW this year was Meerkat. It is everywhere and everyone is streaming – although lots of them are not that interesting. We did see one example that demonstrates just how disruptive it will be. Social media guru Gary Veynerchuck gave a great keynote at this weeks Guardian Changing Media Summit – and he streamed it on Meerkat. Not a perfect experience but it worked really well and the 250+ people watching didn’t pay the £999 delegate fee.
Lots going on at Twitter – a new second screen experience and – maybe – a new homepage. Gary V is unconvinced by Twitter and in his talk he calls on them to sort the ‘noise’ https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/and find a way to emulate the Facebok feed – and their algorythms
The Homescreen project is an interesting insight into how people use apps and someone has dug further into the data to see how people group them- suggesting how the apps are primarily used.
The Apple retail stores are a huge success for Apple – arguably one of their most effective marketing tools. It turns out that they tend to pay reduced rents in malls given their ability to pull in shoppers.
More on Apple - looks like they are finally going to make a play in TV content
The big trend for agencies and brands at SxSW was the Start Up competitions – but with 80 taking place the standard was variable. They are not as easy as they seem and like hacks a couple of years ago it can look like start ups are being exploited.
Finally , with CES, MWC and SxSW over the next stop on the merry go round is Cannes. Google and AKQA have a good round up of what it takes to win a Futures Lion
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