How Will These Major Changes in Marketing Affect You?
Written by: Jamie Lin
Live from Inbound17
If you own a business, you know that you should invest in marketing. That’s how growth happens. But unless you’re a marketer, chances are that the intricacies of different marketing methodologies are not very interesting to you. If I had a penny for every time I’ve seen someone’s eyes glaze over when I explain the inherent benefits of CPI versus CPC and the suggested value attributions for each… you get the idea.
That’s part of my challenge as a digital marketer: taking the numbers and turning it into something that non-marketers care about. So, when I say “Inbound17,” that may mean nothing to you. Allow me to explain: it’s a conference where digital marketing specialists get to discuss the changes they’re seeing and the challenges that they are facing to figure out how we’re going to adjust our methodologies for a better solution.
And it’s happening right now. The question now is: how do your current marketing efforts stack up? Is your strategy as efficient as it can be, or is it becoming outdated in the rapidly changing world of marketing? That’s what FiComm is here to find out.
This year, our team was invited to attend a preview day for Inbound17 where we got a first-hand look at what we can expect for the rest of the week. These are the trends we’ve noted during our preview and are excited to explore during the week.
Facebook is (no surprise) changing us all
You may know that Facebook is the biggest – and one of the oldest — social media platforms in existence. When even your grandmother knows how to find and friend you, you know it’s ubiquitous.
If you’re even a little social media marketing savvy, you know that Facebook has one of the most comprehensive data aggregation systems around.
What you may not know is that because it is ubiquitous, popular marketing strategies and platforms will change to meet the Facebook mold. The social media giant unleashed its algorithm update late last year, and we are now seeing a shift in the consumption of ads, articles, video, you name it.
How to use this information: While many advisors worry about how Facebook communications affect compliance, you need to know what’s going on with it to know how it affects your organization’s marketing process. How are the platforms you currently use going to evolve in the next 6 months?
Messaging is becoming increasingly essential
Isn’t it better to get ahold of a real person than to interact with some faceless bot? Of course it is. Which is why messaging apps are on the rise. Messenger apps function similar to SMS texting, only it doesn’t incur the traditional SMS fee, which is a big deal if you communicate with people internationally. For businesses, that means that your consumer can research your brand and online presence while also communicating with you in a more direct way than email.
How to use this information: There is a whole new avenue of customer outreach communication that you could be missing. It may be worth researching how many of your current clients would be interested in communicating via messaging.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is the new buzzword
With more data than ever, targeting ideal audiences is only getting more refined. Some marketers have taken this a step further; they’ve taken that data to create campaigns that feel so targeted, that it seems like they were created for one person. The secret: they are. Ad agencies are now rolling out entire campaigns based on one person they have selected as their contact of choice. The result: bigger accounts, more loyal customers, and a lower relative cost per acquisition.
How to use this information: there are more minute ways of taking advantage of your marketing data, if you’ve got the tenacity.
Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily
What a week it was.
First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern American history. On behalf of everyone at U.S. Global Investors, I extend my sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families.
The memory of the shooting was still fresh in people’s minds during last Tuesday’s Hollywood premiere of Blade Runner 2049, which nixed the usual red carpet and other glitz in light of the tragedy. Before the film, producers shared poignant words, saying that in times such as these, the arts are crucial now more than ever.
I had the distinct privilege to attend the premiere. My good friend Frank Giustra, whose production company Thunderbird Entertainment owns a stake in the Blade Runner franchise, was kind enough to invite me along. Despite the somber mood—a pivotal scene in the film even takes place in an irradiated Las Vegas—I thought Blade Runner 2049 was spectacular. Even if you’re not a fan of the original 1982 film, it’s still worth experiencing in theaters. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s synth-heavy score is especially haunting.
CNET recently published an interesting piece examining the accuracy of future tech as depicted in the original Blade Runner, from androids to flying cars to off-world travel read the article here.
Still in the Early Innings of Cryptocurrencies
Speaking of the future, I spoke on the topic of the blockchain last week at the Subscriber Investment Summit in Vancouver. My presentation focused on the future of mining—not just of gold and precious metals but also cryptocurrencies.
Believe it or not, there are upwards of 2,100 digital currencies being traded in the world right now, with a combined market cap of nearly $150 billion, according to Coinranking.com.
Obviously not all of these cryptos will survive. We’re still in the early innings. Last month I compared this exciting new digital world to the earliest days of the dotcom era, and just as there were winners and losers then, so too will there be winners and losers today. Although bitcoin and Ethereum appear to be the frontrunners right now, recall that only 20 years ago AOL and Yahoo! were poised to dominate the internet. How times have changed!
It will be interesting to see which coins emerge as the “Amazon” and “Google” of cryptocurrencies.
For now, Ethereum has some huge backers. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), according to its website, seeks to “learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production—Ethereum.” The EEA includes several big-name financial and tech firms such as Credit Suisse, Intel, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, whose own CEO, Jamie Dimon, knocked cryptos a couple of weeks ago.
To learn more about the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, watch this engaging two-minute video.
Will Bitcoin Replace Gold?
Lately I’ve been seeing more and more headlines asking whether cryptos are “killing” gold. Would the gold price be higher today if massive amounts of money weren’t flowing into bitcoin? Both assets, after all, are sometimes favored as safe havens. They’re decentralized and accepted all over the world, 24 hours a day. Transactions are anonymous. Supply is limited.
But I don’t think for a second that cryptocurrencies will ever replace gold, for a number of reasons. For one, cryptos are strictly forms of currency, whereas gold has many other time-tested applications, from jewelry to dentistry to electronics.
Unlike cryptos, gold doesn’t require electricity to trade. This makes it especially useful in situations such as hurricane-ravished Puerto Rico, where 95 percent of people are reportedly still without power. Right now the island’s economy is cash-only. If you have gold jewelry or coins, they can be converted into cash—all without electricity or WiFi.
Finally, gold remains one of the most liquid assets, traded daily in well-established exchanges all around the globe. Every day, some £13.8 billion, or $18 billion, worth of physical gold are traded in London alone, according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). The cryptocurrency market, although expanding rapidly, is not quite there yet.
I will admit, though, that bitcoin is energizing some investors, especially millennials, in ways that gold might have a hard time doing. The proof is all over the internet. You can find a number of TED Talks on bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, but to my knowledge, none is available on gold investing. YouTube is likewise bursting at the seams with videos on cryptos.
Bitcoin is up 350 percent for the year, Ethereum an unbelievable 3,600 percent. Gold, meanwhile, is up around 10 percent. Producers, as measured by the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index, have gained 11.5 percent in 2017, 23 percent since its 52-week low in December 2016.
Look Past the Negativity to Find the Good News
The news is filled with negative headlines, and sometimes it’s challenging to stay positive. Take Friday’s jobs report. It showed that the U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September, the first month in seven years that this happened. A weak report was expected because of Hurricane Irma, but no one could have guessed the losses would be this deep.
The jobs report wasn’t all bad news, however. For one, the decline is very likely temporary. Beyond that, a record 4.88 million Americans who were previously sitting out of the labor force found work last month. This helped the unemployment rate fall to 4.2 percent, a 16-year low.
There’s more that supports a stronger U.S. economy. As I shared with you last week, the Manufacturing ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 13-year high in September, indicating rapid expansion in the manufacturing industry. Factory orders were up during the month. Auto sales were up. Oil has stayed in the relatively low $50-a-barrel range, which is good for transportation and industrials, especially airlines. Small-cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 Index, continue to climb above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages as excitement over tax reform intensifies.
These are among the reasons why I remain bullish.
One final note: Speaking on tax reform, Warren Buffett told CNBC last week that he’s waiting to sell assets until he knows the plan will go through. “I would feel kind of silly if I realized $1 billion worth of gains and paid $350 million in tax on it if I just waited a few months and would have paid $250 million,” he said.
It’s a fair comment, and I imagine other like-minded, forward-thinking investors, buyers and sellers will also wait to make huge transactions if they can help it. Tax reform isn’t a done deal, but I think it has a much better chance of being signed into law than a health care overhaul.
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