Apr 15, 2020

Bringing you the latest on COVID-19 and much much more

by Digital Marketing Institute

News in Review April 28th

The last two weeks have seen many firsts, like negative oil prices, the star-studded Together at Home awareness concert, and all sorts of people older than 16 taking to TikTok to entertain us all.

Here at the Digital Marketing Institute we are committed to supporting our students and members. Check out our spring update our the membership platform for lots of useful pointers to our library content that’s relevant for you right now. Not a member?  Sign up today!

This news review is published every two weeks as an overview of what’s happening in the world of digital marketing. 

Animal Crossing, an Escape for the Socially-Distanced

Covid-19 Update: eCommerce, Gaming & Getting Creative

My own at-home family life has been saved by kids playing multi-player games like Roblox and Minecraft but what’s really taken the gaming world by storm has been the latest release of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing. Almost 2 million copies were sold in Japan alone in its first three days. This is the game of the moment, an escapist, slow-moving and friendly universe which feels both secure and adventurous to the millions of stay-at-home players looking for something to distract them from their own real-life surroundings. It might even keep them away from the busy streaming services, like Netflix and Disney Plus. This fascinating article from The Drum looks at how brands have been managing to make themselves indispensable elements of the game’s environment, from clothing designs by top fashion houses like Gucci to the Getty Museum’s art-generator for characters’ homes.

The State of Digital Transformation

Covid-19 Update: eCommerce, Gaming & Getting Creative

Digital Transformation. It’s the phrase we often come back to, always exploring what it really means. (Indeed at DMI we recently recorded a podcast on just this topic). One big element of the concept is moving your operations to digital, and for many brands, the Covid-19 crisis has pushed them to move faster with that transformation. A recent survey of Australian and New Zealand businesses shows that 73% claimed to have successfully moved their workforces online. Read more.

How to write, perform and produce your own album… in a lockdown

British singer-songwriter Charli XCX might be staying close to home in LA but that hasn’t stopped her producing new music. Going full omni-channel, she appealed to her fans for review demos, give feedback on lyrics and ideas through twitter and zoom calls, and got fans to provide visuals and remixes. The result is a uniquely isolation-era sound and emotion. Read more

In Other News

  • The Australian government is taking a concerted stand to push back against local media content being used for free by Google and Facebook. Read more.
  • Many people are wondering how the cinema industry can survive the crisis - there is even a whole Wikipedia page devoted to detailing what festivals, releases and productions have been affected. But there is hope, as the industry has survived worse, from the Spanish Flu to the advent of television.
  • It's always a good time to think about micro-influencers and how marketers should consider making the most of them for niche and new markets. See this blog post from Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.
  • You might, like me, remember fondly the Budweiser’s Whassup ad, from (ahem) 2000. Well, it’s back - with a new quarantine theme. A brilliant revival
  • This Canadian news story looks at how dating apps are proving even more popular in a time of pandemic. Read more.
  • ECommerce giant Amazon has of course seen massive profits in the last few weeks, but also legal issues in France, labor issues in the US, and general newsworthiness.
  • Speaking of retail, the big American department stores have been hit especially badly by the crisis, outlined in this New York Times article.
  • And finally. The pandemic-related creativity continues apace. Here’s one of our favorite sites of people dressing up as famous artworks.
Covid-19 Update: eCommerce, Gaming & Getting Creative

Stay tuned for our next news roundup in two weeks, sign up for our upcoming webinars and keep listening to our podcasts

The Digital Marketing Institute

News in Review April 15th

It feels as if the world has never changed as quickly as it has in the last two weeks of life in this global pandemic. Our aim here is to bring you just a few stories that caught our attention in the world of digital marketing over the last couple of weeks. Don't forget to check out our very useful Covid-19 Guide for Social Media Managers. Do please sign up to our membership to read more additional content like this.

Huge Increases in Social Media activity

The last few weeks have seen enormous jumps in online activity.  Facebook recently shared its own data, noting that total messaging on its platform was up by more than 50% over last month. This would include Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp combined. It also claimed that time across all apps since the crisis had grown 70%, as well, and time in group calls (three or more participants) was up by more than 1,000% during the last month.

WhatsApp limits message forwarding

According to a company blog… “we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can contribute to the spread of misinformation. We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation.”

Additionally, the company is also working with nonprofit organizations such as the WHO to build helplines, and has committed to donate millions of dollars. The World Health Organization’s helpline on Messenger and WhatsApp has already reached more than 10 million users, days after its launch. The Indian government also launched a helpdesk bot on WhatsApp last month.

The WHO has partnered with WhatsApp to launch a messaging service that will provide the latest information on the virus to about 2 billion people.

Zoom privacy issues

Since our last update (see below) Zoom has become an integral part of today's communications. But as it has grown so have concerns over privacy issues.

Healthcare workers on the front page

Frontline carers across the globe are receiving attention and support in many ways, not least in presenting them as they are, like in this well-received Dove campaign or on the covers of Grazia magazine.

Bringing You The Latest on Covid-19 and Much Much More

Google 3D Animals

Google's launch of its 3D Animals app has been a timely one, keeping many kids (and adults) busy in their homes and even tieing in nicely with the immensely popular Tiger King show on Netflix. 

Dreaming of Travel

Some tourism organizations are trying to remind people that someday, we might just be able to travel again.

Maskies, no Selfies

Two new hashtags to watch for,  #maskie and #maskiesnotselfies

Social Distancing temporary logos proving to be not so popular

A number of big-name brands, including McDonalds, have tried their hand at adjusting their brand identity to fit with the times. Not everyone likes the trend

DMI in the News 

We were delighted to be included in this Forbes list of top marketing classes.

See you in two weeks' time for our next news digest. Don't forget to sign up for our upcoming webinars.

Stay safe, and keep well. 

The Digital Marketing Institute

News in Review: March 30th

It’s hard to believe a month has gone by since our last digital marketing news digest. What a month it’s been, for everyone, in every part of the world. Here at DMI our concern is first and foremost our students’ wellbeing and we’re always looking for ways to support you in your professional development. Do please sign up to our membership to read more additional content like this.

Coronavirus Pandemic

As the first global crisis of the social media age, the coronavirus COVID-19 has prompted truly organic, and novel, uses of social media and online platforms. We use brand new words, like social distancing and caremongering and online communication tools like Zoom and Slack have really come into their own. As well as ongoing online classes (including DMI’s of course) we can see continual evolution in online resources for at-home schoolchildren, local resources for those in need, co-video parties, performers and artists doing online concerts and events, online pub quizzes, and an awful lot of comedy. You can also really see the original spirit of the internet come into its own in dozens of areas, like the hackathons for gathering insights into fighting Covid-19, and the British teenager who created an NHS-approved app for generating posters for hand-washing that go along with your favourite song lyrics: my own poster, by Elbow (appropriately) is below. 

Bringing You The Latest on Covid-19 and Much Much More

Digital Transformation

A mid-March survey by eConsultancy and Marketing Week looked at how the pandemic is a catch-22 situation for businesses in terms of digital transformation, but there’s little doubt that... “there will be a lasting impact from this abrupt digitalisation”. Read the full story here.

The effects on every type of business are not yet fully apparent. There’s some excellent analysis of digital strategy directions in this Forbes article.

Tackling the “Infodemic”

In the push to ensure people are exposed to authentic advice, Facebook, YouTube, and Google and others have been trying to make efforts to surface credible information, as well as donating ad space to health agencies such as the WHO and CDC and relevant local authorities.

Twitter - who have claimed someone tweets about coronavirus every 45 milliseconds - advised businesses that “this is not a marketing opportunity”. “In times of crisis, people look to leaders and institutions for guidance, reassurance and information. Increasingly, they also look to brands", according to Alex Josephson and Eimear Lambe of TwitterNext. They added, “This is not about looking at what others are doing and copying, it’s about understanding the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives, how that has changed, and how your brand can help or be useful during this crisis. It’s also about looking for opportunities to lead by."

The Digital Marketing Landscape

While Italian doctors have been warning the rest of the world about their experience, one Italian digital marketer has some unique insights for the rest of the marketing world. She has noticed a massive surge in online buying and activity on social media, inappropriate use of CTAs like “book”, “join”, “get out” when messages with emotional connection clearly resonate better. Instagram has become Italy’s new family tv, and piazza, with performances, games, cookery, exhibitions and museum tours, fitness classes and “aperi-videos”. Read the interview here

Other Highlights

  • Popular British independent brewer, Brew Dog has launched a hand sanitizer which it is giving away free, as have several Irish distillers.
  • There has been a surge in digital masks downloaded from Snapchat
  • Zoom has gained more users than ever as people work (and socialize remotely) but the platform is starting to see an increase in trolling and graphic content. (NYTimes)
  • Further proof of the true reach of Influencers: The Surgeon-General of the US encouraged Kylie Jenner to use her massive influence to spread the message of safety, and UFC champion Conor McGregor was tapped in a similar way by Irish authorities.
  • One of TikTok’s biggest stars, 15-year-old dancer Charli D’Amelio (44 million followers and rising) is trending the hashtag #distancedance, which will raise money for Feeding America (with P&G) if they reach 3million videos
Bringing You The Latest on Covid-19 and Much Much More

And, Finally... Other News

  • Streaming service Disney Plus could not have chosen a better time to broaden its release beyond North America. On March 24th, it launched in the UK & Ireland and some European countries (with some delays) timing nicely with widespread school closures and a massive upsurge in at-home users. Read more.
  • UK Insurance giant Direct Line has decided to end its long-running Fixer campaign. In our 2019 video interview with Direct Line’s marketing chief (check) Mark Evans, he discussed how the Fixer had worked so well for the brand.
  • Google search view in 3D is now live for e-commerce sites.

See you in two weeks time for our next news digest. Don't forget to sign up for our upcoming webinars.

Stay safe, and keep well. 

The Digital Marketing Institute

Upgrade to Power Membership to continue your access to thousands of articles, toolkits, podcasts, lessons and much much more.
Become a Power Member

CPD points available

This content is eligible for CPD points. Please sign in if you wish to track this in your account.