China’s Consumer Purchasing Holds Up

As we watch the economy in China for adjustments due to the current trade challenges, it is notable that retail sales growth continues unabated meaning that consumers are buying, that they have yet to be affected by the outer noise and that the slight weakening in the country’s industrial sector has yet to reach down to the street. Watch here for any changes. Source: www.; National Bureau of Statistics of China

Forrester: Mobile’s Share of Ad Spend to Increase 21% by 2022

New Forrester Research data projects mobile’s share of digital ad spending to increase by 21% by 2022. The data also sees the relative positions of mobile ad spending’s three components remaining almost the same with mobile social taking shares from mobile search, though all sub-categories will benefit from an increase in allocated spending.  Source: Destination CRM

Chinese Consumers Not Yet Affected by Trade News

Based on the early downward indicators from China’s industrial sector and last month’s Consumer Confidence decline, the biggest in the 13-month period, we are paying close attention the country’s vital signs. Are the noises from the industrial sector bleeding down to the street? July’s rebound implies that confidence has not yet eroded as a result of the trade issues between the US and China. Consumers will continue to buy things if they remain positive.  Sources:; Nat’l Bureau of Statistics, China

Native Advertising in the Mobile World

Sixty years ago Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” The professor’s point was that radio is different from TV, which in turn, is different from film. And, he went on; people absorb information from each in different ways. The best use of a given medium respects its nature. For mobile, it is where and when do people use their device and what apps do they use. Add to those fundamental marketing data points the idea of native advertising, which mimics the style of the content in which it resides, and you have the ultimate understanding of the medium as the message.

That’s the core idea behind an article by Farshad Fardad, CEO of Causal IQ who expands his recommendations on native mobile advertising by suggesting that for the deepest connection an advertiser should hone the message to reflect the app in use. His example is the person playing Words with Friends who is served an ad promoting brain food.

Once the campaign is active, measuring results becomes central. Fardad lays it out, “For direct response campaigns, marketers typically optimize toward clicks or conversions. For branding, advertisers measure viewability and engagement rates.” Native mobile ads are expected to be the majority of mobile display advertising in the near future. For success in this world, these ideas are worth remembering. Source: MarTech

China Begins to Feel Trade Pressure

Early industrial numbers coming out of China indicate the tariff food fight between the US and China is having a more negative effect on China’s economy than on the US economy. While the US is moving toward more protectionist trade policies, China, according to the latest words of its President Xi Jinping, appears to be holding steady with a gradual opening of its economy. Last week President Xi said, “We are willing to use practical actions to drive all parties to jointly adhere to trade liberalization and facilitation and build an open world economy.”

It remains to be seen if the industrial numbers trickle down to consumer sentiment, which would mean the pressure is moving through China’s whole economy. Global News

The logic of BidWin’s China Strategy

Today’s big China story is the brewing trade war between China and the US. While the noise is about tariffs and intellectual property rights, it is having an affect on unrelated US-identified businesses located in China as consumer resentment creeps into buying practices. Fast food chains KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King have a lot at stake.

Our strategy side-steps the US-identity questions by redirecting Chinese impressions that land in Western ad stacks to Chinese ad stacks. These otherwise wasted impressions are monetized in China by Chinese advertisers. The winners are on both sides. US ad stacks see revenue for dead impressions and Chinese consumers see ads that are relevant to their interests. Trade wars are irrelevant.  Source: South China Morning Post

In-House: Where Content Marketing and AI Content Creation Meet

These data suggest that marketers view content marketing quite favorably. Overwhelming percentages believe it to be an asset and that it generates sales-ready leads. Result: A majority are planning to increase budgets in the next year.

Notably, 64% of the marketers questioned are outsourcing the content writing, which runs counter to the trend of bringing digital marketing functions in-house. AI content creation can aid in the writing process and can allow even the writing to be brought in-house with the added benefit of saving some of the precious budget.  Source: Marketing Profs; iScribblers

Consumer Prices on a 3-Month Climb

If we remove the anomaly that is February from the equation, the period after it, the last five months, sees a Consumer Price Index that is only marginally higher than the seven month period prior to the spike. The Index has been on a slow rise over the last three months, which is likely to affect retail sales.  Source:; National Bureau of Statistics of China

Responsibility in the AI Age

AI is like fire. When it’s in the fireplace it heats the room, but when it escapes the fireplace, it destroys the room. AI at its best expands a marketer’s voice, at its worst it replaces working people and helps amplify bad actors. In a age when the adoption of AI-influenced marketing seems inevitable, companies must have a conscious responsibility to use it properly.

What does that mean? It means that replacing editorial people with AI is not a good practice because as prolific as AI can be, a human will always be required as the final reader/editor. AI does offer the chance to create more content without adding overhead, but one shouldn’t be conned into thinking that AI content can exist without human intervention.

Responsible AI use also means that the human intervention has to restrain the bad actor in all of us – revenue goals add pressure at the end of a quarter. Additionally, sources must checked for validity and properly credit must go to those sources. These are the same standards followed when we create content ourselves and they cannot be forgotten when our creativity is being augmented by AI.  Source: CTO; BidWin Analysis