Friday Wrap #124: A new Inbox, get social and save your job, the omnicultural consumer, and more

Friday Wrap for October 24, 2014
Flickr photo courtesy of Ruth Hartnup
Welcome to the Friday Wrap, my weekly summary of stuff I have found in the last seven days that didn’t grab the big headlines but is still important, interesting, and/or worthwhile for communicators and marketers. I collect these on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

Will the right to be forgotten come to America?—The European Court’s decision to invent a new right—the right to be forgotten—is one of the more troubling digital developments of recent years. The idea that someone can prevent search engines from finding published accounts about them is like telling libraries to remove cards from the card catalogue so people can’t find certain books. The right to be forgotten must be most appreciated by tyrants and swindlers and others who’d rather you not know their history. At least it was confined to Europe. But now, Consumer Watchdog wants Google to offer the same capability to American consumers. And a lot of Americans seem to want it. Read more

Google unveils Inbox app—Google has introduced a new email app to complement (not replace) Gmail or other email clients. Dubbed Inbox, the app manages email to make it easier to deal with, sorting messages, converting some into reminders, highlighting important information and linking to external resources that could be useful. It also groups similar messages—like bills—into “Bundles.” Currently, it’s available through invitation only. Read more

Augmented reality company attracts $.5 billion worth of investment—Magic Leap is making a pretty audacious claim, but companies like Google are interested enough to pony up more than half a billion (with a “b”) dollars in hopes the company’s technology is for real. Founders claim to have developed a technology that will overlay digital animation on a user’s field of vision, producing a lifelike image you see without needing glasses or a helmet. Read more

Don’t claim to be “most recommended” based on Web reviews alone—The Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Review Board has determined that you can’t claim to be the “most recommended” when the claim’s foundation is an interpretation of online reviews. Euro-Pro made the claim about its Shark vacuum cleaner based on an analysis of reviews on eight web sites. Read more

Will Twitter “buy” button debut next year?—Though Twitter won’t confirm it, VentureBeat reports that sources have revealed the Buy button will be available to anybody in the first quarter of 2015. Twitter launched the button last month to a few select businesses as a test, and has said more will be added. The button only works on mobile devices and lets users make purchases or donations from a tweeted message. Read more

Brands offer one-sided relationships, customers say—The only reason brands share anything with customers is to sell them something. That’s the view of 70% of global consumers, according to Edelman’s second annual Brandshare study. Two-thirds say there’s no much value in these one-sided relationships. Only 17% of people think brands do a good job of offering meaningful interactions, even though 87% want those meaningful interactions. Read more

Resisting technology is a bad business move—Companies that embrace modern marketing techniques are more likely to exceed their revenue goals and become industry leaders. Forrester Consulting found there’s a strong correlation between embracing marketing technology and greater business success. In the study, 44% of marketers who scored at the top of the modern marketer scale exceeded revenue goals by 10% or more, compared to 23% of all the rest. Read more

There’s a disconnect between B2B marketers and customers—Three-fourths of B2B marketers refer to their products and services as part of their content strategy, but 71% of executives said they don’t have a positive impression of content that feels like a sales pitch. The Economist Group’s research also found that B2B customers heavily favor text over video or audio content. Read more

Catch-22 in the world of marketing—Chief Marketing Officers are under increasing pressure to prove the ROI of their work. Yet they don’t have the resources to figure out just how much their efforts are producing. CMOs are also hamstrung in their efforts to expand their mobile presence. The problems, according to a Leapfrog Marketing Institute study, include internal silos, resistance to change, and limited expertise with emerging technologies and solutions. Read more

Trends

Brands strike a chord using Someecards—You’ve undoubtedly seen them, even if you didn’t know the source. Someecards use simple black-and-white illustrations as the basis for edgy, funny, biting commentary in the form of an e-greeting card, most of which are created and made available by users. The site gets about 7 million users per month and the brand is heavily followed on social services. Now, brands like Beechnut and Cottonelle are striking a chord with customers by sending out cards, part of Someecards’ move to beome relevant for brands. And it’s working. Read more

Are you prepared for “omnicultural” marketing?—If Emojis confound you, consider this: They enable people who don’t share a common language to communicate. That’s one of the trends that’s growing as people across geographies and cultures connect online: They establish a common culture rather than struggle to adapt to each other’s differences. The rise of social visual communication is also partly the result of people from diverse backgrounds meeting and socializing online, since images can convey ideas without words, bridge divides, and create understanding. Particularly among younger consumers, marketers should consider incorporating omnicultural marketing into their efforts. Read more

Tumblr population explodes—If Tumblr isn’t a consideration when you’re trying to reach people, consider that the publishing site’s audience has grown 40% in the past 15 months—and it was already a significant service before that. Tumblr currently has 420 million active users, 206 million registered blogs. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer expects Tumblr to generate $100 million in revenue next year. Read more

Does your brand have a sonic strategy?—Only half of the world’s top 10 brands have employed a “comprehensive blueprint” for the aural aspects of their identity, including what the interior of their retail locations sound like, what music they use in advertising and marketing, and what sounds their products make. Employees make a difference in developing a sonic strategy, since they’ll spend more time dealing with those choices than any other audience. Every brand has a sound, whether it has been strategized or not, and it goes beyond music. It’s all part of the increasing focus on audio across multiple media. Read more

Mobile

Millennials aren’t happy with your website on their mobile devices—Millennials and cellphones go together like peanut butter and jelly, and 86% of them are fed up with websites that don’t offer decent mobile functionality. Read more

Twitter to offer mobile app-development platform—It wasn’t too long ago that Twitter invoked draconian restrictions on the third-party tools that helped propel the service to prominence. Many of those companies closed up shop in face of the barriers. But times have changed, and Twitter has announced it will introduce “Fabric,” an app development platform for developers that want to tap into Twitter. According to PR News, “Twitter is ripping a page out of PR 101: build relationships and cultivate goodwill with partners who can help to boost the brand and put more fannies in the seats.” Read more