UM Weekly Roundup: 30th October 2020
Pinterest adds new display options for retailers for end of year sales push
With Christmas slowly but surely coming into focus, brands are planning ways to give sales a boost towards the end of a tough year. To try and help, Pinterest has announced a range of new features to help retailers maximise reach and sales during this time, including new ‘storefront’ profiles and a new shopping ad format. What’s more, when Pinners search for shopping-related ideas on the platform, they will also be shown select listings of recommended sellers in their search results.
Why is this important?
Pinterest has looked for a way to “better replicate in-store shopping experiences” and even physical high street shopping experiences, browsing multiple brands in one session. For example, the update gives retailers the capability to transform their ‘Shop’ tab into a storefront - with digital advertising benefits, such as featuring in-stock products organised by category and dynamically-created recommendations. This provides a better layout of business profiles for browsing purposes, with a new presentation of products here. All these new additions could help boost brand exposure and awareness for their ranges, which could drive a greater number of potential customers through to site when attendance at physical stores has been disrupted this year.
Google using a new algorithm to ensure personalisation and privacy at the same time
Google has been testing the use of audience cohorts which, in simple terms, means users with similar browsing histories and interests may get targeted collectively and not individually. According to Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts API, findings show that targeting interest-based cohorts would deliver significantly better results when compared to random user groupings. In terms of how this affects internet user privacy, theoretically such methods will preserve rather than impinge upon it. However, Google has expressed a concern with this kind of approach. Having groups that are too large can affect ad personalisation features. Therefore, finding the ‘sweet spot’ in terms of audience size is key to making a cohort meaningful and effective.
Why is this important?
Studies such as this indicate that there might be a way to deliver personalisation and privacy at the same time. For many years the digital ad industry has held the privilege of delivering high ad personalisation to the users. With the new cookie and opt-in privacy rules coming in place, it has encountered more challenges. Although this is a significant step towards overcoming the privacy versus personalisation dilemma, there is though still a lot of work that needs to be done to get to a final resolution.
Behavioural Science, Black Friday and OOH
Black Friday (27th November) is fast approaching and there has been a lot of uncertainty around whether brands should advertise and encourage the public to spend money on pre-Christmas bargains given the current economic state. Despite the on-going uncertainty, retail has bounced back strongly with footfall tracking at around 90% of pre-covid levels in some areas. Local lockdowns have shown little impact on shopping activity.
Many brands use tried and tested behavioural science strategies to engage consumers during this period. With consumers behaviour, attitudes and attention spans disrupted in the current environment,it is more important than ever to understand the science of behaviour and how people come to make their choices. Marketing techniques such as ‘priming’, ‘social proof’ and ‘loss aversion’ all take effect in this Black Friday period as the retail sector begins the build up to Christmas. Outdoor advertising is viewed as a an ideal channel to prime people. Consumers are less negative towards outdoor billboards than they are towards adverts interrupting social feeds, programmes etc. Research has also found that consumers suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). Black Friday’s messaging is centred around their ‘once it’s gone, it’s gone’ messaging which is where social proof and loss aversion is seen.
Why is this important?
It is important for brands to recognise that priming, social proof and loss aversion are still effective strategies to target consumers for Black Friday. Given the current economic climate, footfall around retail is still quite high which shows consumers are still purchasing non
-essential products. That ‘non-intrusive’ nature of outdoor gives brands viewability within this time period without enforcing a large ‘hard sell’ campaign.