Marketing Trends to Watch: Amazon Advertising

Google announced that earnings from Google Ads had dropped this last quarter. Feeling pressure from newbies on the block, like Amazon, is sure to shakeup the Google Boardroom.

Google Ads has been king – that is until recently. With renewed pressure from Bing Ads – now called Microsoft Advertising – which appears structured to expand in unknown marketing arenas, Amazon is also now strongly entering the pay per click platform mix.

Amazon has an accredited professionals program and I will be starting my training this week. Not only has Amazon changed the way we buy online, but it may now be the biggest contender against Google for the e-commerce pay per click dollar.

Have you seen this yourself, you are looking to buy a product and now do not even go to Google, but rather start your search on Amazon? I am doing just this myself. Do I click on the Amazon Sponsored items – you bet I do as usually they are a great deal and the price is right. Add to that free prime shipping and Amazon is rapidly becoming my shopping search engine. I rarely buy now items on Google.com – and only if I cannot find it on Amazon.

Amazon has tested services too, so they are just not all about selling products. I have seen cleaning services and pest control service programs on Amazon. Tie that in with the super smart Alexa devices and app that are becoming assistants of choice in millions of homes and Google should be worried.

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The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Takes Effect January 1, 2020 – What to Know

The California Consumer Privacy Act or CCPA which was enacted in 2018 takes effect January 1, 2020.

Here’s what the new bill says:

The California Constitution grants a right of privacy. Existing law provides for the confidentiality of personal information in various contexts and requires a business or person that suffers a breach of security of computerized data that includes personal information, as defined, to disclose that breach, as specified.
This bill would enact the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. Beginning January 1, 2020, the bill would grant a consumer a right to request a business to disclose the categories and specific pieces of personal information that it collects about the consumer, the categories of sources from which that information is collected, the business purposes for collecting or selling the information, and the categories of 3rd parties with which the information is shared.
The bill would require a business to make disclosures about the information and the purposes for which it is used. The bill would grant a consumer the right to request deletion of personal information and would require the business to delete upon receipt of a verified request, as specified.
The bill would grant a consumer a right to request that a business that sells the consumer’s personal information, or discloses it for a business purpose, disclose the categories of information that it collects and categories of information and the identity of 3rd parties to which the information was sold or disclosed.
The bill would require a business to provide this information in response to a verifiable consumer request. The bill would authorize a consumer to opt out of the sale of personal information by a business and would prohibit the business from discriminating against the consumer for exercising this right, including by charging the consumer who opts out a different price or providing the consumer a different quality of goods or services, except if the difference is reasonably related to value provided by the consumer’s data.
The bill would authorize businesses to offer financial incentives for collection of personal information. The bill would prohibit a business from selling the personal information of a consumer under 16 years of age, unless affirmatively authorized, as specified, to be referred to as the right to opt in.
The bill would prescribe requirements for receiving, processing, and satisfying these requests from consumers. The bill would prescribe various definitions for its purposes and would define “personal information” with reference to a broad list of characteristics and behaviors, personal and commercial, as well as inferences drawn from this information. The bill would prohibit the provisions described above from restricting the ability of the business to comply with federal, state, or local laws, among other things.
The bill would provide for its enforcement by the Attorney General, as specified, and would provide a private right of action in connection with certain unauthorized access and exfiltration, theft, or disclosure of a consumer’s nonencrypted or nonredacted personal information, as defined.
The bill would prescribe a method for distribution of proceeds of Attorney General actions. The bill would create the Consumer Privacy Fund in the General Fund with the moneys in the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to be applied to support the purposes of the bill and its enforcement.
The bill scheduled to take effect January 1, 2020, is similar in nature to the GDPR which the EU put into effect this past year to protect the rights of citizens’ and impacts website worldwide that have EU visitors. Even if a business does not sell products or services in the EU they should be GDPR compliant.
In the California bill on the CCPA the impact is similar and protects California residents on website even if the website does not sell or provide services in California.
Sage recommends:
Considering that many US and even worldwide businesses ship products to California, or have online properties like websites that are available to Californians, a significant number of businesses will need to make timely preparations, and ensure ongoing compliant processes are in place. Read the full article.
For most small businesses, they will not need to change their online marketing due to this new act, as it mainly effects businesses with over $25 million in revenue or those that are in business to sell site visitors’ personal information.
That being said, the minimum implementation that a website should use at this time is the GDPR which is the privacy protection for the EU. Most clients we work with do not fit into the category that will be impacted by the new CCPA law.
It is important to understand that privacy laws are changing and that consumers now require websites, that they visit, to be more transparent as to what the site does with their personal information and who they share it with.
To me, this seems like a great time to review your business policies about privacy and to update your own website’s posted privacy policy to meet these new consumer expectations and laws.
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Incorporating Social Media Into Your Internet Marketing Strategy

In the eyes of many business owners the value of social media is shrinking. Does that mean that you should move out of posting to your blog, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?

It depends on where your audience is and how active your followers are. Although you may never be able to say that you got a lead from Twitter, there may still be value to your business and brand by posting on the Twitter platform.

For most businesses, I like LinkedIn posting, for news and information I like Twitter, and to connect with and announce promotions to consumers, I like Facebook.

Each platform has a unique use for your business, but when the value stops, it is time to look carefully at where you invest your time and money and make sure that your investment still makes sense.

If you need help with social media or analyzing which platforms are the best fit for your business and audience consider our services to provide a honest opinion and quality content.

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The Role of Social Media on Your Website: If You’re Not Using It- Lose It

Social media is about connecting. One of my pet peeves is for business websites to have social media icons to various platforms, but they have not updated them for months or sometimes years.

My rule is, if you are not using it – lose it!

We all have our favorite social media accounts to use and some of us will use more than others, but if you are going to have the icon on your website, you should try to do one update a week and at the minimum of once a month. If you cannot keep on top of that consider farming out your social media updates to an employee or contactor.

When you are operating in a competitive market, social media interaction may be the one thing that helps differentiate you from your competitors. Especially if you are providing value to users in the things you are doing on social media.

It does not have to be difficult to keep your platforms updated. You can use an application like Hootsuite or Sendible to schedule, repeat, and save updates to reuse. In fact with Hootsuite, you can even send the same update to multiple profiles with one click.

Don’t make things hard for yourself, boost traffic and engage clients with the smart use of social media.

 

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