AI as the Next Great Cyber Threat

The invention of controlled fire was a turning point for humanity. To that point fire was mostly a bad thing. Once controlled, man could make a ribeye and fire became a good thing.

The early history of AI has dwelled on the positive – how it could deliver better medical diagnosis or, in our world, how it could help find the right audience or create more specifically relatable messages. It can help us sell more stuff. Great!

But, like fire, the good side implies a bad side that we haven’t talked about much. AI’s bad side: When the bad guys start applying the same machine learning tricks we are using for benign marketing purposes to their stolen databases, our cyber security problems will multiply dramatically. Phishing emails will become even more alluring. They will arrive on your screen at your most vulnerable.

All of which leads to the inevitable good verses evil battle. When the force of evil AI  becomes apparent, it will force an AI defense response to counter it. And the escalating battle will be engaged.   Source: SiliconANGLE

Eyes on the Chinese Consumer

Will Chinese consumers fold under the pressure? That’s today’s question for the world economy. It results from the successful adjustments made by the Chinese government to turn its economy toward the consumer, which now accounts for 78% of its economy. These days, if the Chinese consumer stops buying it will affect the world.

To keep spending moving the government has loosened credit and reduced taxes to put more money in worker’s pockets. And the job market seems to be holding as well. With the exception of some manufacturing sector losses, independent surveys indicate that the job market remains strong.  Source: Seeking Alpha

The Ratio: Traditional v. Digital Marketing

It has been obvious for some years that digital marketing has been siphoning off ad dollars from traditional media. Print media has suffered the most, especially among those publishers that did not make the digital adjustment made by The New York Times and the Washington Post.

For marketers, the question is how to proportion their ad dollars between the two. It appears the pendulum is still swinging toward digital because marketers know instinctually, if not actually, that 60% of us check our Facebook timeline once a day, that 66% of last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases were made via mobile phone according to Shopify and that 97% of business-to-business marketers favor LinkedIn.

So, where are you on the digital-traditional scale? 60% -40% or 70% -30%?  Source: Business Insider

Manufacturing Rebound

In a lesson on why one cannot generalize from one data point, we note the strong rebound in the Purchasing Manager’s Index for February after a dismal January. Given the talk about declining Chinese growth resulting from the trade wars, it was natural that the steep PMI drop in January would be viewed as more than it appears to have been. We’ll have to watch next month’s number for for a pattern. Was January an anomaly? Or was it the beginning of a volatile period?  Source: China Caixin

The Regs are Coming

Government regulation is the newest and most consequential moving part in today’s digital advertising space. As we’ve commented before, GDPR has been the driver toward regulation in the world. In the US, the gauntlet has been picked up by California and at least ten other states, which are implementing various levels of digital regulation. Therein lies the problem and the reason the IAB, in a change from its historic position in favor of self-regulation, is seeking federal regulation to standardize the approach.

In a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee, IAB wrote, “A uniform federal privacy standard could provide clarity, market certainty and add fuel to future innovation while preserving the value and benefit that online advertising brings to the internet ecosystem.”

There will be more regulation. The question is, will it take a fractured, multi-state form or will it be a more uniform, coherent form from the feds?   Source: AdExchange

Video: the New Word-of-Mouth

For those of us who spend inordinate amounts of time watching YouTube videos about the obscurities of life or the momentary interests of life (Samurai Carpenter is the best) know the instinctual truth of the researcher who claims that videos are shared 1,200% more than web links or text. For marketers that fact is should be a light bulb. If social media and content marketing are an attempt at artificially re-creating word-of-mouth, then video dramatically ups the ante.

In a Forbes article, Scott Darrohn suggests that to make the most of your video marketing, keywords should be inserted in a video’s title, description and URL. They will draw more search responses and search responses will lead to more link sharing, hence expanded “word-of-mouth.”  Source: Forbes

Read the Footnotes

At this writing, there appears to be a coming breakthrough in the trade negotiations with China. Of course the devil is in the details, but any end to the disruptive trade tensions would add some stability to the world’s economy.

Most important to Western technology businesses is the promise that this agreement will do something to correct the intellectual property rights issues that have long plagued us. We will be anxious to see to what extent joint ownership rules will be adjusted and patent integrity will be protected. Our recommendation: read the footnotes on any agreement.  Source: BidWin analysis

Maximizing a Core Mobile Advantage: Location

Reality: With all the next level, automated marketing schemes that are claimed today, the most fundamental of all, location targeting, is still at the core – particularly with mobile devices. Location is the most basic feedback we get from mobile phones. Everything else is one step removed from an educated inference.

Given that reality, there are a couple ways to get more from location data than we do:

  • Geo-Fencing – identifying and pushing a message to a phone based on their current location.
  • Geo-Targeting – identifying and pushing a message to a phone based on a past location.
  • Geo-Conquesting – identifying phones that have been at a competitor’s location and messaging them.

In all cases, advertisers do need to take care not to target individuals. Rather, to protect privacy, they need to “aggregate and anonymize [data], to prevent any individual tracking.”  Source: MarketingLand

China’s Un-Phased Consumer

In retrospect, one can explain the reason Chinese consumers have shown relatively little reaction to existing trade issues or the decrease in local manufacturing. It is the steady decline of consumer prices over the last three months. As far as the man-on-the-street is concerned, life has gotten modestly easier through that period. January’s prices were the lowest since January of last year.  Source: www. Tradingeconomics.com; National Bureau of Statistics of China

The 5G Future

5G’s advantage is simple: speed. The predictions say the new generation will range from “10 times and 1,000 times faster than 4G.” This pattern of continuously faster technology has been seen before in ever advancing desktop computer speeds.

Reality is there’s never enough speed because it’s speed that allows all other benefits such as more, better data. True to form, 5G promises more immediate data. Based on where we are with today’s level of data – the vast majority of which is not used – this fresh data dump carries lots of promise, but is likely to be more hyperbole.

The most immediate advantage of added speed for advertisers will be with load times for images and video. instant video is appealing and, in itself, could increase viewability and change the balance of content from written to visual. Game time is next year.  Source: AdExchanger