Today we look back at some of the key changes and innovations across all aspects of digital in May. We give you a snapshot of what the update is, why it is important and what action you should take. This month we see updates across the entire digital marketing mix. 

TikTok Begins Testing In-App Shopping to Challenge Facebook 

What is it?: On Tuesday 11th May, it was announced that TikTok are working with selected brands including streetwear label Hype to test in-app sales in Europe, a move that will intensify its competition with Facebook Inc. and further blur the line between social media and online shopping. 
 
Why is it important?: TikTok has seen the launch of this work extremely well for the Douyin equivalent in China. This move to expand across more countries is another sign that TikTok are looking to take market share away from Facebook and Instagram. 
 
What action should you take?: The prototype so far is only visible to selected participants and it remains unknown when TikTok will release to all brands. We recommend you speak to your account management team at TikTok, to get an idea of when this will be rolled out. If you do not have any contacts, we would be happy to support you further via our partnership with TikTok. One top tip for TikTok is to avoid any of the content being a direct response advert. 
 

DuckDuckGo, Firefox & GitHub say ‘no FLoCing way’ to Google’s privacy updates 

What is it?: Last month we updated that high profile publishers such as the Guardian have resisted the FLoC trial and Wordpress has threatened to block FLoC. On Monday 17th May, it was published on the Drum that technology companies including DuckDuckGo, Firefox & GitHub had followed suit. 
 
Why is it important?: This could be seen as another set back for advertisers, who are concerned over the loss of cookie data to both track and personalise your ads to customers. If this current push back still exists in 2022, this could have a significant impact on the amount of data which an advertiser can use. 
 
What action should you take?: With the recent Apple ios 14.5 update, launched in April 2021, which prompts users to either opt in or out of being tracked, the main recommendation no matter what your sector, would be to focus on developing your CRM strategy to use for acquisition marketing, whilst also focussing on how you can retain customers via subscription models and loyalty programmes.  
 

Google continue to invest in Smart Bidding 

What is it?: On Wednesday 19th May, Google announced further updates to their Smart Bidding capabilities, including being able to apply seasonality at the account level, recommendations for max conversions and target impression share simulators. 
 
Why is it important?: Paid search budget is typically the highest spending channel across all of digital marketing. It is essential that you have a proactive plan on how to optimise your activity. Investment in bid management solutions can also be expense. Googles Smart Bidding solution raises the question of whether this investment is value for money. In addition, for those advertisers who manually manage their account, it provides the opportunity to save some time. 
 
What action should you take?: Whilst there is always going to be the negative connotations that sit around letting Google decide how to spend your budget, we would recommend A/B testing vs. your current optimisation approach. Our experience shows that the solution is not right for every brand and product however you will most likely find certain areas of your account that it will work for. 
 

Google broad core update rolling out in June 

What is it?: On Wednesday 2nd June it was announced that Google was rolling out a broad core update. This is a surprise update, as there is also another core update planned to be rolled out from July. The core updates are typically not as close together as the June and July updates. 
 
Why is it important?: This update comes at an interesting time, when the planned page experience algorithm update is also due to be launched in June. With both being rolled out in the same month, we expect to see some fluctuations in all brands SEO performance over the month.  
 
What action should you take?: We recommend that you look for any drops in performance for specific pages following the 2nd June, to ensure that you haven't been impacted by the core update. You can use Google Search Console to track page average position on a daily basis. Any page which continues to remain at a lower level should be evaluated to ensure the content is customer centric and meets SEO best practices. For more advice on optimising for the Page Experience Update, head over to the recent review of the IGTV Lunch and Learn Live post. 
 

Our final thoughts ... 

As expected there is still no clarity on how FLoC's solution will land and whether this is an industry wide solution. One thing that is for certain is that digital advertisers will have less data to use to target their ads. We advise that you don't get left behind and look to develop your first party CRM strategy, which can be used to combat the loss in third party.  
 
If any of the above has peaked your interest, don't hesitate to get in touch to understand how we can help you. 
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