Apr 15, 2020

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

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 continue to keep in touch with us through our forum and by email.

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 Membership Team

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. Have a read of our membership manager Caroline’s latest update for members, which includes great tips on working from home for those now doing so.

To that end, we are now publishing this news digest once every two weeks, to bring you relevant stories from around the world of digital marketing we feel you might have missed. We are also working on providing you stories (new and from the archive) of relevant topics to help inform you through this period, and we welcome contributions and ideas for content.

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. See the interview here.
  • 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 Membership Team

Emma Prunty
Emma Prunty

As the DMI's Content Editor Emma works to bring our members insightful and topical content every week. She has worked in digital everything for over 20 years, from New York to Oslo and Toronto to Dublin, and is always on the lookout for the latest currents of where things are going next. As producer of our popular podcast, winner of the 2023 Memcom Podcast Award, she's always happy to hear from anyone interested in coming on the show to share their expertise. She can be found on LinkedIn.

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.