Advertisers Not Wowed By AI Placements

Well, well, isn’t this cute. One of the downsides of letting Google and Microsoft auto-select your ad placements, is that occasionally they will turn up in places you don’t want them to – either it’s not relevant, not useful, or it’s just somewhere the brand doesn’t want to be. Of course, MS & Google being the good citizens they are have plopped company’s ads in to generative AI streams, against content which occasionally really isn’t suitable. Auto ad placement is all well and good, but if you are going to run an “experiment” (as most AI experiences are currently labelled), then putting add in-stream with no notice, or opt-out for the advertiser is a bit beyond the pale. At one point, media would trial a new ad placement and invite selected advertisers to advertise for free, or at much reduced rates while they all worked out the kinks of the ad placement. Not now. Pay up and no choice. 

I run PPC and Paid Social advertising for clients. Come talk to me about ways to run ads and make money. 

TikTok About to Disrupt Shopping to the Tune of $20 billion

I’m really not sure how this is going to go. Obviously TikTok is the current bad actor in social media (if we ignore Twitter and the current stoush happening on Reddit, and as long as Facebook doesn’t do anything too naughty – or get caught for it), but as a means of protecting itself from advertising downturns, it’s ramping up its own ecommerce store and offerings and has hopes of running $20 billion in ecommerce sales through it in short order. Unlike other marketplace operators, this appears to be an Amazon style competitor where the sales are run through TikTok, not just processed by them and fulfilled by someone else. Apparently, it’s worked in China, so they’re rolling it out in SE Asia before going global, and maybe offering it in the US. 

If you want to talk ecommerce development, I can help with that. Or just good old social media management.  

LinkedIn Trials AI Ads, Hellscape Ensues

I struggled not to have every single article about AI this week. Everybody and their Aunt is rushing to get on the AI bandwagon, amid talk of it being the Second or Third Coming. Not wanting to be left behind, LinkedIn has rolled out some new ad formats and placements (at least to a test audience – see how this work Google & Microsoft?) which use generative AI to help with copy for ads and kinda chat-bot type ads (called Conversation and Thought-Leader Ads). A teensy, small issue with this is the sheer amount of copy which the AI will use to generate its own copy will shortly be generated itself by AI. We’ve yet to resolve this circularity, and at the moment, I’m not sure anyone cares, until it’s too late. 

Let’s have a chat about Content Strategy and Creation. 

Google (Universal) Analytics: The End is Nigh

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, or like a lot of clients, setting GA up and then forgetting about it for years and years, you will know that Google Analytics is changing big-time in the next few days, June 30th to be exact. That will be the last day Universal Analytics (which started a long time ago as a server app called Urchin) processes new data, unless you’re a paid client. On July 1st GA4, for all its clear and critical faults, will be the only game in town. If you’ve not changed over yet, it’s not too late. Google will set it up for you, or attempt to – it’s not an exact replica – or you can contact me, sharpish. Once you’ve done that you can revel in the lack of clarity in new reports, missing data points, and challenging ways to measure performance in this new world. 

Contact me if you want to set up GA4 as part of my Analytics and Performance services. 

Apple Ski Goggles Released

Woo! Apple have finally released their AR / VR headset, called Vision Pro, for the remarkably low, low(!) price of just $3,499 USD. That’s a lot of money for a pair of fancy ski goggles. Of course, they’ve just released it as Zuck appears to have pivoted Meta from its Metaverse farrago to an AI standpoint. Are Apple a day late and a dollar short? I’m really not sure. I think these systems have some brilliant uses ahead in the industrial and business world, especially when combined with AI – think remote flying, remote medical, etc. I’m not sure they’re an everyday choice for family usage yet, aside from gaming. Time will tell, and when Apple released the iPhone, everybody laughed, same when they released the iPod, so they have a history of letting a market mature before creating a product which absolutely nails some of the user frustrations with the category. 

If you want to chat to me about web technology and developing for it, I’m all ears, and goggles. 

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