Morning <<First Name>>!

I hope you had a relaxing weekend. I certainly did and even managed to get caught up on the last two episodes of the Star Wars saga. Thanks to the sun setting at 3 PM, movie nights are now endlessly longer than they used to be.

It's Monday so let's kick start this week with learning new tactics and discovering innovative ways to tackle your most pressing challenges.

Millennials now wield more decision making power at work. What does that mean for marketing?

Since the global lockdown started we've all been spending a lot more time staring at our screens.

And that's true for both our personal and professional selves.

Since the start of the pandemic, B2B buyers are consuming more online content than before.

And there are differences in the type of content consumed as well.

For instance, interest in reading:
  • Executive summaries increased by 265%,
  • Landing Pages increased by 139% and
  • Webinars increased by 108%.

For the digital natives, this is more 'duh' than a revelation but bare with me.

(I know I have a stack of downloads that I opted in for and then promptly forgot about.)

The interesting thing is that, for the first time, online content and digital interactions are not only replacing in-person meetings, but people seem to have developed a preference for them!

Research by McKinsey shows that buyers have enjoyed the efficiency and convenience of self-serve and remote interactions so much that only about 20% hope to return to in-person interactions.

As an introvert, I'm pleased by this statistic. As a digital marketer, I'm ecstatic!

This shift is already reflected in how marketers across Europe are planning their budgets for 2021.

There's an increased focus on investing in innovation and the use of new technologies for engaging customers.

This isn't a 'new normal' type of shift either.

Because I know you're sick of hearing everything slightly out of the ordinary getting put under the 'New Normal' blanket.

But believe me when I tell you that this one is different. And I'll tell you why.

Millennials have officially grown up (yay us!).

And they're moving up the ranks and taking leadership roles in the workplace.

All generation shifts bring their own challenges. 

Millennials are the first cohort of digital natives that don't have any professional experience predating Google, Facebook, Amazon and thousands of other cloud-based apps for, well... literally everything.

GWI and LinkedIn explored this generational shift and discovered that millennials, whom they've dubbed BETA, are already key influencers in their organisations as well as approach B2B purchasing very differently.

You can download the research from here.

SMS marketing is blowing up. Can you beat Gary V. to it?

With search and social becoming ever more congested, churn rate going up and performance of email marketing flattening out, DTC marketers are branching out.

And SMS marketing is blowing up.

As a channel, it's still nascent but it's been growing steadily in the last 18 months.

In an interview with Digiday, Digishop Girl's CEO told that 70% of their clients are already using SMS to find new ways to reach and engage customers.

In the same article, an investor and advisor to the DTC brand Judy explained that SMS campaigns are getting around 70% CTR and upwards of 25% Conversion Rate.

I gotta say that's pretty impressive considering Mailchimp's average open rate is 21% and CTR is less than 3% which isn't too far from other industry benchmarks.

SMS can be a very personal and intimate communication channel.

I'm a bit torn, to be honest.

SMS and text messages are by far my favourite way to reach out to friends and family.

I was 28 when I finally gave in to talking to people on the phone and taught myself not to get anxious anytime my phone buzzed.

It seems that DTC marketers know how big a deal it is when someone signs up to receive as SMS and they're being mindful of that when planning their campaigns.

You can check out many examples of SMS marketing in use here and here.

For the time being, it seems that SMS marketing is working for DTC brands but it remains to be seen if and to what extent other consumer brands can use it as well.

Past surveys have shown that people do want to receive service-related information such as an appointment reminder but will they like brands to bombarding them with SMS marketing. 

I have my doubts.

One thing is certain. There are new opportunities for brands that embrace empathy and offer personalised experiences as people continue to reward them with loyalty and engagement.

That said if you're really serious about using SMS as a way to have ongoing conversations with your customers, you need to look for ways to prove the value of the service before you press send.

In case you missed

"Facebook is issuing coupons to all the advertisers that were misled, but the compensation varies depending on how much the advertiser based its spending on the conversion lift studies, says a Facebook spokeswoman. In some cases, it's thousands of dollars, and in the larger cases it can reach into the millions, advertising industry executives tell Ad Age. The ad execs reached for this story spoke on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly."

Advertising Age: Facebook offers millions of dollars in refunds to advertisers tripped by measurement mistake

"Now, when sending a video on Snapchat, users can submit it to Spotlight. The posts are moderated by humans and use machine learning to make sure they comply with Snap’s content standards. If they do, they can appear on Spotlight. The most successful Spotlight posts are eligible for a slice of the $1 million a day that the company is offering creators until the end of the year. But Snapchat, previously a-friends-and-family focused environment, is raising a few eyebrows by encouraging content creators to now go viral. "

Adweek: ‘No community without comments’: Snapchat’s Spotlight hits snags in its creator ambitions

"Essentially, a relevant experience is what keeps customers coming back for more, and it is also the criteria that leading brands are measured against. “What we’ve found is that customers are not just comparing a grocer to a grocer, or an airline to an airline – they are comparing any one of those businesses to Netflix, or to Google, to Facebook, in terms of the kind of customer relevance that they expect.”

Econsultancy: The role of personalisation in customer loyalty post-Covid

"While other publishers like The Wall Street Journal already offer text to speech technology for its articles, Baran says BBC’s version will be different because Songbird was built with cognitive and behavioral integrated software that will start to learn the patterns of its readers.

He explains this tool will also start to prioritize content for audiences based on user preference, while maintaining the BBC’s curation of balanced journalism, ensuring its audiences are served the most important news that also feels relevant to them."

The Drum: Why BBC believes listening to articles is the future of consuming content

"Audi has kept customers up-to date about changes to showroom opening conditions around the world as governments have modified their lockdown rules. Direct Line performed more experiments on its website in 12 weeks at the height of the UK crisis than it had done in the previous three years. TSB relaunched its friend referral scheme in six weeks.

What all these companies have in common is they use an agile approach to get things done more quickly."

The Drum: Why agility is the future of marketing, not just its present




“The relentless pursuit of mass will make you boring, because mass means average, it means the center of the curve, it requires you to offend no one and satisfy everyone.” - Seth Godin

Until next week,

PS. Are we connected on LinkedIn? No? Let's remedy that, shall we?
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Thanks for reading and sharing! BR, Aliyar.
Had so many espresso shots you can't remember why I'm sending you these emails? You're receiving these email because you opted in (on my website to get this weekly espresso shot of knowledge, confidence and inspiration to your inbox. That was a good move, but if you want to take a bad turn down a dark alley, you can easily update your preferences using the links below. | Aliyar Hussain, Rysäkuja 3 a 5, Helsinki 00980, Finland

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