This is issue no. 101 of 180. The last issue saw a 42.75% open rate with a 🔥9.97% going to this article on how Google Analytics ruined marketing. A whopping 38.7% of issue 100's readers clicked through to an interesting article.
MEDIA: Digital ads pop up online so frequently and ubiquitously that many people are using software to block them. But if you try to stop ads from showing up on Facebook’s desktop website, you will now be out of luck: The social network has found a way to block the ad blockers. On Tuesday, Facebook will flip a switch across its desktop website that essentially renders all ad blockers — the programs that prevent websites from displaying ads on the page when a user visits the site — useless.
BRAND: Coach (COH) started its life in the discount-heavy U.S. department store channel but will now toss nostalgia aside as it tries to elevate the perception of its brand among consumers. The handbag and accessory maker announced a bold decision on Tuesday to shutter about 25% of its North American department store locations -- otherwise known as wholesale locations. Most of the locations tend to be low volume, according to the company, and the closings will be spread out in terms of geography.
INNOVATION: At least 15 major investors put money in two or more of the “anti-Uber alliance” companies: Lyft, a distant second to Uber in the U.S., and market leaders Ola Cabs of India, Grab of southeast Asia and Didi Chuxing in China, which defeated Uber in that country. That includes Didi, which has minor stakes in the other three. (See accompanying chart, based on data from PitchBook, though not all investors in multiple companies are listed.)
MEDIA: Until now, Moments have been created only by Twitter’s in-house team of editors as well as a small number of publishers and media companies. But when the feature—formerly known as “Project Lightning”—launched last October, the social media company promised it would eventually be available to any user. In a blog post on Tuesday, Twitter product manager Gaby Peña said the company wanted to give people “a new and dynamic way to tell their stories.”
BRAND: Look at Homer’s Odyssey or The Wizard of Oz . . . any great story that grabs your attention will probably have elements of this universal structure. Park’s work is all about translating this proven story structure into the modern stories of business brands. Making parallels between the two is shockingly effective—and pervasive. We could show you 30-second TV commercials that use all 10 of these steps. If you’re looking to hone your B2B storytelling, march through these 10 steps (or “chapters”) of the hero’s journey.
ADTECH: Increased mobile shopping and rural market demand will continue to drive Alibaba’s China ecommerce sales growth,” said eMarketer analyst Andria Cheng. “On the international front, Alibaba’s April investment in Singapore-based ecommerce player Lazada will give it access to rising middle class consumers in key Southeast Asian markets and further its goal to drive growth outside of China.
ECOMMERCE: Lore left Amazon in 2013 after his contract expired and decided to take on his former employer through Jet.com which promised to deliver consumers prices that we as much as 15 percent cheaper than Amazon. Lore felt that Jet.com would achieve profitability by 2020 when it delivers $20 billion worth of goods a year. However, the business struggled in its early days, and Lore scrapped an initial pledge not to charge an annual membership fee and offering smaller discounts compared to its competitors.
ECOMMERCE: Memebox specializes in Korean beauty brands — it currently sells over 1,200 products from the country, many of which were introduced to the U.S. and China via its platform first. But what’s particularly interesting is the way that the company itself is stepping up to fill product “gaps” that it sees among its catalogue with its own brand products. Hur explained it with a comparison to Netflix’s original programming. “It’s the same way that Netflix knows political dramas are popular and Kevin Spacey is a big name actor,” he said.
ECOMMERCE: I'm very cautious about it because I feel like there's definitely a right and wrong way to do it. Look, if you stick a product module on every post, it's not going to work. We know that. We're not that low in the funnel. But then you look at companies like Wirecutter and they're making content that's naturally transactable and low in the funnel, and that does work. Now, is it going to be a billion dollars of revenue? Probably not. But could it be material revenue? Sure. Another thing we're very interested in is carts and mobile web checkout.
BRAND: The IOC and USOC announced changes to sponsorship rule 40 that allow athletes to appear in generic advertising that does not explicitly mention the games or use any Olympics intellectual property. To take advantage of those changes, U.S. athletes and nonsponsors had to submit waivers to the USOC by Jan. 27, 2016, and those ads had to have been in market by March 27. Examples of such campaigns are Under Armour's "Rule Yourself" spots with Michael Phelps and GoPro's digital video series, "Finding Missy," with Missy Franklin.