Welcome to the latest edition of the Digital Revolution, where we provide you the latest updates from the world of digital. This month is a jam-packed update across all areas of digital marketing, with a mix of new updates and further updates from the December edition. 

TikTok Takes Teen Safety to the Next Level 

What is it?: On the 3rd of January, it was announced new innovations to ensure content is appropriate for teen users. This was also accompanied with a TV ad campaign, advertising the ways that parents and guardians can utilise features, to increase their confidence that TikTok is a safe environment for their children. 
Why is it important?: The growth of TikTok continues to be exponential, with a 62.5% YoY increase in 2022. This comes at a time where all other platforms are either waning or plateauing. Some of the concerns that brand owners face is whether their organic and paid content will be targeting the right consumer and aligned with the right content. Whilst parents and guardians have equally valid concerns as to whether TikTok is a safe space. 
What action should you take?: None of these changes are on the advertiser side, so there are no immediate changes to your campaigns. Whilst ad spend reduces across many platforms, the suggestion is that TikTok is not being affected, demonstrating brand confidence is rising in the platform. 

Google Announce Plans to Sunset Google Optimize 

What is it?: On the 23rd of January, it was announced that Google will be sunsetting their freemium website testing solution Google Optimize. The solution will be ceased to exist at the end of September. The suggestion is that Google will move such functionality to GA4. 
Why is it important?: Whilst there are other paid for solutions available in the market, the solution is extremely popular with small to medium sized business’ and agencies to increase metrics such as Conversion Rate and Average Order Value. At a time where adding costs to your technology stack isn’t the most favoured route, the industry will be looking to Google to understand when and how they integrate. 
What action should you take?: We are working with our eCommerce partners to support their roadmap development for 2023. We are encouraging all of our partners to ensure that any A/B testing plans are completed well ahead of the closure date. This falls nicely in line with ensuring that customer journeys are well optimised prior to the Golden Quarter (peak 2023). 

Tech Giants Announce ChatGPT Features 

What is it?: Last month we mentioned the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAPI, as a potential way of solving problems through automation. Since the launch, there has been an arms race to sign up for accounts and understand how ChatGPT can solve real-life business problems. The initial suggestion was that this could be a real threat to Google’s search proposition, as users find new ways to solve problems outside of Google. It was however unveiled that an emergency meeting took place in January, with the founders Larry Page and Sergey coming back into the fold to discuss product direction. It is believed that there will be 20 product updates related to the chatbot in 2023, with the objective of the ChatGPT: 
Getting facts right 
Ensuring safety 
Getting rid of misinformation 
Shopify also announced an integration with Open API, with the example use case including automatically tagging products, based on the product content. 
Why is it important?: Last week, Google like many of the other advertising providers announced that their ad revenue was down YoY, when comparing to Q4 2021. Whilst this is a sign of the market wanting ‘less for more’, with advertisers pulling back media spend, Google cannot afford for its relevancy to users to be reduced. 
What action should you take?: Whilst you cannot speed up Google’s product developments, you can explore the use of the ChatGPT yourself. There may be a bit of a waiting list for an OpenAPI account, however we recommend that you head over to the account notification page. Whilst the jury is still out on how much ChatGPT can support in the area of content creation, understanding how it could help in saving time for your business with niche problems would be a good starting point. 

Bonus Update … Google’s Algorithm Double Act Finally Roll Out 

We mentioned that the Google Helpful Content Update and Link Spam Update were still rolling out in January. Both finally completed on the 12th January, ending a 38 day rollout period. As mentioned last month, updates like this are very unusual, with two updates and an extended rollout period unheard of. If you haven’t already done so, we would recommend you check your performance, to ensure you haven’t been negatively affected. 

Our final thoughts ... 

There continues to be a lot of discussion around the role of ChatGPT and other similar solutions and what affects they can have on both digital marketing and society. To what extent can consumer experience be improved, or will it simply be compromised by the lack of the human touch? Is the adoption likely to affect the economy and risk a rise in unemployment rates? Does the authenticity of homework become under scrutiny? It is clear that it is way too early to answer all of these questions. The only thing that is clear is that shying away from innovations such as these will leave you behind the curve in a few years time. Don’t be afraid to embrace, learn and consider the potential benefits for your business. 
If any of our January updates have peeked your interest, don’t hesitate to get in touch to understand how we can help you. 
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