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October Update: New in Google Analytics, YouTube DIY, & Amazon

The leaves have fallen, pumpkins are cooked, and votes are cast. Winter is definitely coming, and so is the year’s biggest shopping season. October saw enormous quarterly results for the big tech firms - a net profit of $38 billion between the big four. Influencers are really taking to the online shopfronts of Instagram and other platforms. We are also starting to see ecommerce ramping up for Black Friday and the holiday season, with many new lockdowns around the world creating more difficulties for retail stores, especially those selling toys.

Independent bookshops in the US have found a way to group together and compete (to some degree) with Amazon, with the launch of bookshop.org. Claimed by some as a revolutionary moment, the site accelerated its plans to launch in the UK, to be ready in time for Christmas.

Introducing Google Analytics 4

October Update: New in Google Analytics, YouTube DIY, & Amazon

One big bit of news this month was Google’s new update for Google Analytics (dubbed 4), which should help marketers get even more accurate data. New elements for the platform include AI-powered insights and predictions, deeper audience integrations with Google Ads, customer lifecycle-framed reporting, They also give an indication of how they anticipate ways in which machine learning will help deal with the cookie-less future, a topic we will be keeping an eye on here at DMI. 

Dad, How Do I?

A global pandemic, during which millions of people were staying at home, was clearly the ideal time to launch a how-to YouTube channel. In early April, Rob Kenny, a 50-something father of teens, videoed himself imparting practical advice on simple household tasks. The very first video couldn’t have been simpler - How to Tie a Tie. The YouTube channel he created, Dad how do I? was quickly shared beyond his family and by June it had amassed over 2 million subscribers and he has started joining up with retailers. A real home-hewn success.

Amazon's Swedish Meatballs

October Update: New in Google Analytics, YouTube DIY, & Amazon

The undeniable business success story of 2020 is Amazon, the truly global marketplace. As well as reaching the one-million employee mark, they have opened their first bricks-and-mortar store in North Carolina, Their ongoing march through the world of commerce doesn’t always go smoothly. Hoping to simplify the online shopping experience for Swedish residents and gather together more local merchants, Amazon launched a Swedish-language version of the site. It quickly received a lot of bad press for its poor translation (clearly based on machine translation and not correct localization). Products are being listed with many offensive or unclear words, and somehow the Argentinian flag was placed on the site, rather than the Swedish one.

In Other News

  • An interesting detail coming out of the US election campaigning period was the use of text messaging as a tool. In fact, it has shown itself to be the workhouse, at ground level, for many aspects of political campaigning. According to research company Gartner, “70-98% of text messages are actually read, compared with 20% of emails and people respond to 40-50% of texts, but only 6% of emails.” Read more at the BBC.
  • Paul McCartney has sold an exclusive vinyl version of his next album via Spotify. His followers on Spotify got an email link to the exclusive offer. By using a digital streaming platform to sell a traditional vinyl album, he sold it out within a day. It might have helped that he does a “Sir” before his name.
  • This short BBC video explains the busy history of Alibaba’s payment arm, Alipay, which has grown, over 16 years, to become a financial giant with over a billion active users.
  • Speaking of Sweden...Ikea will open more than 50 stores, despite a fall in annual revenues and a surge in online sales. Most of these new stores will be smaller in size and located in city centers, as the world’s biggest furniture retailer plans to market its products closer to people’s homes. Ikea’s sales in the year to August fell 4% to €39.6bn, while online sales rose almost 50% in the previous financial year. The company promised in June to refund all the furlough payments it received from nine governments around the world. Read on.
  • The world of remote working continues to evolve. These two NYTimes articles are worth reading: one looking at a company called Ultranauts that has been working remotely with a diverse employee base for years. And another piece has some excellent tips on how to progress your career while working remotely: the bottom line, show your presence, keep up your skills, and communicate.
  • A new LinkedIn report lists the top five fastest-growing skills identified since the pandemic began. We were very happy to see that we already cover three out of the five in our course offerings and membership library: Digital Marketing, Data Analysis, and Agile Project Management.   

And, Finally

Unless you’ve been living in a cave (which would be quite understandable), you’ll have heard about the oddly-timed news from Kim Kardashian of her island getaway with friends to celebrate her 40th birthday. Here are some of the highlights tweeted by others with their own island “celebrations”. 

On a more positive note, Twitter proved an undeniably effective tool for England footballer Marcus Rashford who essentially launched a one-man campaign to source free meals for British schoolchildren during the October mid-term school holiday, after the government failed to act

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