Google, Facebook and Amazon. The rulers and rules have been established. Now you have to play.
Bloomberg calls it GoogBook. The European union calls it unfair. Yahoo calls it game over. Whatever you call it, The dominance of the Google, Facebook as Internet advertising juggernaughts, and of Amazon in the online retail sector, is becoming more pronounced.
In 2015, U.S. digital advertising reached $60B, nearly double that of 2011. According to MoffettNathanson, 54% of that revenue (and 67% of the mobile ad market) went to Google and Facebook, with Google earning a cool $30B of it. Most other competitors lost market share.
In the retail sector, it’s a similar situation. In 2009, 68% of consumers reported shopping at Walmart and 31% at Amazon in a given four-week period. Fast forward to 2016, and KantarRetail says the figures are now 60% and 60%. Macy’s, Staples and Sports Authority are a testament to the impact on brick-and-mortar stores. But Amazon continues to out-distance other online rivals, too. Research company Macquarie reports that Amazon raked in 24% of every dollar of total retail sales grown in 2015 and 51% of every online dollar of sales growth.
The bottom line is that marketers are rightfully concerned about the dominance of these market leaders but in the short-term, harnessing the power of these platforms while taking steps to control your own prospect and customer data is your key to winning.
We recently launched the summer digital and social campaign for a global hotel and resort chain. Social (Facebook and Instagram) was a major part of the organic and paid components of the campaign (although ‘organic’ is a misnomer because an average 3-5% of Facebook followers see your content unless it’s promoted). There was a material cost for promoting the campaign. However, we were able to drive users to a off-Facebook experience where a promotion helped us collect contact information, resort location and type preferences, vacation activity interests, and in-marketness, all of which our clients are able to leverage to remarket on an ongoing basis, since they now own the data.
In the food and beverage space, we’re working to a launch a new brand of specialty teas. Our client’s marketing plan calls for promotion of the line on Amazon to take advantage of the high growth of F&B sales driven by recent Amazon Prime membership growth and associated free shipping. However, beyond the sale, our clients will leverage their own direct communications with customers to create a rich database that enables timely and relevant remarketing.
In Google, we’re working with a hotel property to leverage Google’s Assisted Booking feature while helping them make other changes that will encourage prospects to skip OTAs (Online Travel Agents – not the spring NFL practices) and book directly.
Bottom line – there is no escaping the fact that these platforms will remain central parts of your brand’s marketing efforts. However, taking steps to ensure that your own organization makes good use of the resulting data will put more of the control of the customer relationship back in your hands.