In the Headlights : May 1, 2019 Issue

In The Headlights

Thanks to everyone who attended our webinar on measuring the right marketing data. If you missed it, you can catch the replay here.

Someone asked recently, after seeing one of our talks, why social media as we know it will be destroyed, and why by the end of 2020. The answer? This coming election cycle will elevate information warfare and cyberwarfare to unprecedented levels. What will likely happen is simple and be one of three scenarios:

  1. Social media becomes unusable except for our closest circles, because disinformation will be rampant across every public channel. This is Mark Zuckerberg’s bet, and why Facebook is racing to shore up its direct messaging infrastructure, showing off a new Facebook interface yesterday at F8 with private networking at its heart. Public social media conversation will wither under the onslaught of fake everything.
  2. Social media becomes highly-regulated as governments realize it must be regulated and supervised. Industry self-supervision is a joke at best, and containing hostile foreign and domestic actors will be a legitimate national security issue in the EU and possibly in the US (depending on how willing people are to exit their partisan bubbles and see what’s really going on). Bet on the EU imposing draconian regulations; equally bet the US won’t take those steps.
  3. Social media becomes such a wasteland due to lack of regulation and rampant information warfare that users abandon it altogether. This is the least likely scenario – people still need a place to connect and some will gladly still suffer the swamp if it means having partisan viewpoints affirmed and reinforced.

Let’s put the political part aside and look at this situation through a marketing lens. No matter what scenario plays out, social media will be less useful to marketers in the coming months and years. Led by Facebook, social networks have built the walls around their gardens ever higher, forcing marketers to pay more and receive less. With privacy issues, data breaches, and massive interface changes as well as user habits changing, marketers who are over-reliant on social media had better diversify their portfolios. Social media will become significantly less measurable, too – the privacy changes and private conversations mean tracking our content will be extremely difficult.

What’s your plan? For Trust Insights, we’re doubling down on SEO – search overtook social as the primary driver of traffic to company websites a couple of years ago. We’re doubling down on email marketing. We’re doubling down on building private communities (getting ahead of the trend in scenario 1 above) like our Analytics for Marketers Slack group (join for free!). And we’re giving a hard look at our own events; in short, we’re focused on building relationships with you that are more direct and less managed by algorithms. On the analytics front, everyone needs to get really good at building memorable tracking and properties – in an age of untrackable private conversation, you’ll need better analytics than ever.

While we can’t say this strategy is right for every business in every situation, being closer to your customers has historically never been a bad thing. What’s your plan for a future with less effective, less measurable social media?

In this week’s Bright Idea, we bring you the replay of our webinar! Thanks to all who made it, and all who had such really terrific questions in the Q and A. If you’ve got questions after watching the webinar, just hit reply to this email and ask – we read every reply.

Replay the webinar now!

In Case You Missed It

Social Media Marketing

Media Landscape

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Business and Leadership

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Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • InfoShare, May 2019, Gdansk, Poland
  • NEDMA, May 2019, Boston
  • MAICON, July 2019, Cleveland
  • Content Marketing World, September 2019, Cleveland
  • INBOUND, September 2019, Boston
  • MarketingProfs B2B Forum, October 2019, Washington DC

Going to a conference we should know about? Reach out!

FTC Disclosure: Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them.

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