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A global coalition of 10 privacy regulators is chiding Google for taking a lackluster approach to protecting its users’ privacy, singling out the recent launch of the Buzz social networking service as the latest in a string of product rollouts in which the company appeared to treat privacy as an afterthought.

Led by Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, the officials have delivered a letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt that asks the company to scale down the amount of data it collects about its users and provide more transparent notice about how that information will be used.

“We are increasingly concerned that, too often, the privacy rights of the world’s citizens are being forgotten as Google rolls out new technological applications,” they wrote.

With Buzz, Google was looking to give its Gmail service a social-networking overlay, surfacing connections based on the people with who users wrote and instant-messaged most frequently. But under the default settings, people’s private connections could be made public, sparking outrage from some users and members of the privacy community.

Google moved quickly to implement a series of updates to tighten up the sharing settings on Buzz. But for critics, that cycle only reinforced a troubling pattern of releases that overstep on the privacy front, followed by a groundswell of protest and then, eventually, changes to the product’s settings that they argue should have been included in the initial rollout.

“We remain extremely concerned about how a product with such significant privacy issues was launched in the first place,” the regulators wrote. “We would have expected a company of your stature to set a better example.”

They cited the international rollout of Street View as another instance when Google had to tweak the product to address privacy concerns and certain countries’ data-protection laws.

In addition to capping its data-collection apparatus at the minimum amount of information necessary, the regulators asked Google to ensure that opt-out mechanisms are prominently displayed and intuitive, and to include strong privacy protections in the default settings of new products.

Responding to the letter, Google called attention to the recent initiatives it has launched to provide users with more insight into how their information is collected and options for controlling how it is used. Those efforts include Google’s privacy dashboard, the Ads Preferences Manager and the Data Liberation Front, an engineering division that offers users the ability to manipulate how their information is used across Google’s product lines.

“We try very hard to be upfront about the data we collect, and how we use it, as well as to build meaningful controls into our products,” a Google spokesman told chúng tôi “Of course, we do not get everything 100 percent right — that is why we acted so quickly on Buzz following the user feedback we received.”

Stoddart last year headed up a lengthy investigation of Facebook’s privacy practices, which ultimately prompted the company to update its data-collection policies in August. Then in January, responding to a fresh complaint about Facebook’s site-wide privacy overhaul, Stoddart opened a new probe of the company.

Joining Stoddart as signatories of the letter were the chief privacy regulators of France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, a group of lawmakers has called on the Federal Trade Commission to open a probe into Google Buzz, echoing the complaint filed in February by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a prominent privacy rights group.

Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.

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Google Tag Manager Vs Global Site Tag (Gtag.js)

Google Tag Manager vs Global Site Tag: what are they, and which should you use? 

Google Tag Manager and the Global Site Tag can seem interchangeable, but they are two different tools and should be chosen wisely based on your needs.

An overview of what we’ll cover: 

So let’s dive in!  

What Is the Global Site Tag?

The Global Site Tag is a tracking code that you install in the header section of your website. It tracks information on your website and forwards it to Google Analytics or other Google-associated tools. 

Google introduced this all-in-one code in 2023. Before that, each marketing product had its own tracking code. This meant that to use Google Ads, you needed to add the chúng tôi code or chúng tôi for Google Analytics.

Every tool required a separate installation of code. As a result, every new addition of code would increase the complexity of your site’s HTML and JavaScript execution. 

And what if you just wanted to see pageviews on your website? You would have to send this data to different tools and consolidate it, which is a bit of a pain.

Thus, this implementation became quite inefficient.

To solve this problem, Google came up with a more holistic solution for your tracking requirements. With the Global Site Tag (gtag.js), most of the work was cut out for the user—and you only had to install the code once.

Let’s demonstrate how this works. 

How Does It Work?

All you have to do to install this code is add the script to the head section of your website. The Global Site Tag will be on the top of all the tracking scripts. Below it, you can configure any other tools like Google Analytics or Google Ads. 

These tools are added to the background automatically. So when you send your data for analysis, the codes don’t need to run multiple times.

This also reduces the base code length and increases the efficiency of the data. 

What Is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that acts as a common tool for running all different tracking tags, just like Global Site Tag. 

The key difference is that, unlike Global Site Tag, Google Tag Manager is not confined to Google tracking tools. Google Tag Manager accommodates a variety of other tools, including templates from community members. 

You can manage not only Google Ads and Google Analytics, but many other tracking Tags like Facebook Pixel or LinkedIn Tag through the single central interface of Google Tag Manager. 

Let’s see how this works!

How Does It Work?

Working with Google Tag Manager is quite easy.

You can deploy all your tracking Tags such as quotes from Google Analytics or Google Ads through its central interface. You can also put your Facebook Pixel into a custom HTML Tag and deploy it on Google Tag Manager.

In fact, you can do much more with Google Tag Manager than with the Global Site Tag. For example, you can test a code before deploying it, show a graphical user interface, control multiple versions, and access different triggers that you can utilize to deploy all this tracking.

However, the premise remains the same. Just like the chúng tôi implementation, you can define a single interaction with a trigger that you want to track, then send data to different tools.

So let’s compare them further to get a better understanding.

What is the Difference Between the Global Site Tag and Google Tag Manager?

We already know that both the tools are similar in the way that they can deploy either multiple tracking points or one tracking point to a variety of Google tools. 

In simpler words, if you want to send tracking information to your Google Ads or Google Analytics account, you easily accomplish this with either Google Tag Manager or the Global Site Tag.

But how are these tools different from one another? 

There are three main differences between Global Site Tag and Google Tag Manager: third-party tool compatibility, additional functionalities, and graphical user interfaces.

Third-Party Marketing Tool Compatibility

The first and major difference is the compatibility of Google Tag Manager with other tracking tools. 

While the chúng tôi script only works with Google tools, Google Tag Manager allows you to send data to any tool that has a JavaScript-based tracking code. 

Even if Google Tag Manager doesn’t have a native integration with your favorite tools, you can usually install tracking codes via a Tag template or a custom HTML Tag. It is thus more flexible in that regard and agnostic to any tracking tools.


The next major difference is the functionalities that the two provide.

The Global Site Tag doesn’t add any bells and whistles to your tracking system. What you see in your Google tools (Analytics, Ads, etc.) is exactly what you get.

Google Tag Manager provides more features in its interface. You can update new versions of your tracking implementation or revert to an old one if you find bugs. You can also test and debug your implementation using GTM’s Preview Mode to keep each version as clean as possible. 

User Interface

Lastly, Google Tag Manager has a graphical user interface that is not available for the Global Site Tag. 

This means that with the chúng tôi you’ll need to do all your site’s tracking coding on your own. The Global Site Tag is effectively invisible to you as a marketer or developer except for in the website’s script. This will require at least a basic knowledge of JavaScript to configure your tools correctly with the Global Site Tag.

Google Tag Manager, on the other hand, has a very intuitive and user-friendly interface that requires little to no JavaScript knowledge (unless you’re building your own custom HTML Tags). 

It’s much more approachable for marketers who don’t pull double-duty as developers.


When Should You Use the Global Site Tag vs Google Tag Manager?

The Global Site Tag is just a mini version of Google Tag Manager. Based on your tracking requirements, you can choose when to use each tool.

For example, if you have a new website in which you want to set up a tool to track your visitor behaviour, you’ll need to install Google Analytics. This can be done by both Global Site Tag as well as Google Tag Manager. 

Global Site Tag

To install Google Analytics on your website with the Global Site Tag, you will be asked to add the chúng tôi code in the head section. 

Going further, if you want to drive more traffic to your website, you can choose to add Google Ads as well. This can be easily done since we already installed Global Site Tag earlier. 

The Global Site Tag will then send over data to both Google Analytics and Google Ads. 

If you keep on adding different codes to your website, it will start creating chaos inside the HTML. It will become difficult to track which code fires which tool—a developer’s nightmare when you finally decide to clean it up later. 

Google Tag Manager

At this stage, the wise option will be to choose Google Tag Manager. This will decrease your workload significantly and also increase efficiency. 

Google Tag Manager will give you a graphical user interface that makes it easier to manage multiple codes.

Hence, it might be a better option to use Google Tag Manager instead of adding codes manually to your page. 

Which One Do I Recommend?

If given a choice, I’d definitely recommend using Google Tag Manager, even to marketers who are capable of adding the manual codes. 

Similarly, if you have a new website and want to install just one tracking system on it, Google Tag Manager will still be a preferable choice. 

It’s always better to have your website processed by a Tag management system rather than adding the codes manually. 

However, for legacy cases, it might be time-consuming to replace all the old codes with Google Tag Manager, so it would be better to continue using Global Site Tag.

Also, if you feel that you want to do the tracking manually and if you already have some modules, you could use the Global Site Tag.

But for most other cases, I would recommend using Google Tag Manager as it is a widely accepted tracking system in today’s world. 

Frequently Asked Questions Can I Install the Global Site Tag through Google Tag Manager?

In a way, yes, you can sort of install the Global Site Tag through Google Tag Manager. 

One thing to remember here is that the Global Site Tag is a mini version of Google Tag Manager itself. 

So it’s already sending data over to different tracking tools. This means you will not install the Global Site Tag into Google Tag Manager per se, but take these tools and install them into Google Tag Manager. 

So if you’re sending data over to AdWords or to Google Analytics via the Global Site Tag, then you would need to utilize the Tag template within Google Tag Manager to deploy the same tracking points with Google Tag Manager. 

🚨 Note: Do not take the gtag.js script and put it into a custom HTML Tag of Google Tag Manager. That is not a best practice and would lead to problems in your tracking.

Is It Ok to Have Google Tag Manager and Global Site Tag Installed on the Same Page?

Technically, yes. Google Tag Manager and Global Site Tag are compatible with each other and can be installed on the same page. 

However, both these tools utilize some common resources that can lead to conflict in some cases. For example, the data layer is one such resource that is used by both tools.

Therefore, it is important to be careful while adding both of them together. You will also need to test the implementation of tools by checking whether the correct data is sent to these tools. 

Overall, the process is doable but complicated. That’s why I would recommend not to install them together on the same page. 

🚨 Note: For individual tools, you should use either Google Tag Manager or the Global Site Tag, but not both. If you install both of them, you will end up sending duplicate data to any tools that are connected to your website via both implementations. This could result in double-counting pageviews and other metrics, which will obviously ruin your data.

FAQ What are the main differences between the Global Site Tag and Google Tag Manager?

The main differences between the Global Site Tag and Google Tag Manager are:

When should I use the Global Site Tag vs Google Tag Manager?

You should use the Global Site Tag when you only need to track data for Google marketing tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads. If you require compatibility with third-party marketing tools or additional functionalities like testing and version control, it’s recommended to use Google Tag Manager.

Is it okay to have Google Tag Manager and the Global Site Tag installed on the same page?

While it is technically possible to install both Google Tag Manager and the Global Site Tag on the same page, it can lead to conflicts and complications due to their shared resources. It’s recommended to use either Google Tag Manager or the Global Site Tag for individual tools to avoid sending duplicate data and ensure accurate tracking.


In conclusion, we can say that Google Tag Manager wins between the two—Google Tag Manager vs Global Site Tag. 

Global Site Tag is a mini segment of Google Tag Manager. It is neither as flexible nor as powerful as Google Tag Manager. For some specific use cases, it can be the right choice. However, for most tracking requirements, you should install Google Tag Manager.

If you are new to Google Tag Manager and want to learn its basics, check out our in-depth Google Tag Manager tutorial.

Google Shares The Privacy Sandbox’s Most Recent Conversion Tracking Proposals

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would not build or use alternative identifiers to track users in replacement of third-party cookies, which are set to be phased out by 2023. Instead, Google has moved forward with testing Federated Learning Cohorts (FLoC), with the goal of anonymizing individual data within larger crowds, or cohorts, of data.

First-Party vs Third-Party Cookies

Before we delve into the details around the proposals, it’s important to understand the difference between first-party and third-party cookies:

First-party cookies are those that are set by the current website that a user is visiting. This allows the domain that a visitor is currently browsing, to store analytics data and a host of other items that can benefit user experience, such as keeping a user logged in, or saving their cart even if they aren’t signed in.

Because the goal of FLoC is to replace the use of third-party cookies, this most recent announcement around conversion tracking focuses on view-through conversions and cross-device conversion measurement, both of which are currently reliant on third-party cookies.

The Most Recent Measurement Proposals

The measurement proposals leverage an API that has the capability to report both event-level and aggregated information. With the goal of preserving privacy, the API uses the following techniques:

Aggregating data that is reported in order to ensure that each person’s activities and identity remain anonymous.

Limiting the amount of information reported about each conversion so that it isn’t possible to expose the identity of the person behind the conversion.

Adding “noise” to the data that is reported, to protect each person’s privacy by including some random data along with the actual data.

Google notes that it is beginning to run simulations in order to better understand how different use cases might be impacted by the various proposals and will be sharing findings in the future.

Tracking View-Through Conversions

The current proposal for view-through conversions leverages the event-level capability of the API to report on conversions that are attributed to ad impressions from other sites across the web.

Advertisers reporting on overall campaign performance could use the aggregate reporting capability, which would allow for more precise information on KPIs without compromising privacy since aggregated reporting keeps identities anonymous as part of a larger group.

Tracking Cross-Device Conversions Keeping Up To Date With FLoC


Google’s Announcement

More Details on View-Through Tracking

More Details on Cross-Device Tracking

Comment: 27 Percent App Store Commission Is Apple Treating Regulators With Disdain Again

Apple’s latest response to antitrust regulation is to announce a 27 percent App Store commission instead of the standard 30 percent for apps that offer alternative payment systems.

Not worldwide, of course. Apple is still reacting on a country-by-country, regulation-by-regulation, lawsuit-by-lawsuit basis – so this specific policy relates only to dating apps, and only in the Netherlands…

As we noted earlier, this is clearly the least the company thinks may be needed to comply with the law – and imposes an additional administrative burden on developers too.

A 27% commission does not exactly seem like a compelling option — when Apple’s own In-App Purchase system is easy to use and deeply integrated into the system. Apple says that the 27% cut is based on the price paid by the user, net of value-added tax. It says “this is a reduced rate that excludes value related to payment processing and related activities”.

Each month, developers will have to send a report to Apple that lists their sales. Apple will then send out invoices for its commission, that must be paid within 45 days.

Not only that, but the reduction of just three percentage points is smaller than the four points Google offered in South Korea, and that has been received with disappointment and concern.

The official said the KCC was aware of concern over Google’s planned policy of only reducing its service charge to developers by 4 percentage points when users choose an alternative billing system, and the regulator is waiting for additional information from Google.

Apple is, once again, doing the absolute minimum it thinks it can get away with. I’ve argued before that Apple could have headed off this whole antitrust avalanche by being proactive at an early stage, and emerged looking like the good guy instead of the guy who grumbles as he does the smallest things required of him.

I can only echo my earlier amazement at the incompetence of the company when it comes to protecting its most valuable asset: its brand image.

For a company whose business is “skating to where the puck will be,” it’s astonishing to me how badly the company does this when it comes to reputational issues.

For each of the big issues that have brought the company bad publicity this year, Apple has taken its usual “We know best” approach. When it has made changes, it has been dragged kicking and screaming to its revised position, rather than taking a lead.

I mean, I get it, the company wants to protect as much of its Services income as possible, and it wants to avoid setting precedents that will hurt it in other countries. But that train has not only left the station, it’s halfway to its destination and its passengers are settling down to dinner.

For as long as Apple maintains its miserly approach to concessions, it will continue to face ever more additions to the mountain of antitrust pressure, legislation, and lawsuits it faces around the world. It is utterly insane to try to respond to each new development with a rushed and minor change to policy in one country at a time.

Apple needs to behave like a global company, and like a responsible one that cares about its reputation. It needs to make meaningful change; it needs to do so globally; and it needs to do it proactively, rather than waiting to be forced into compliance.

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

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Huobi Global: Providing Profit Opportunities During A Crypto Winter

Since the crash of algorithmic stablecoin LUNA in early May, the crypto market has seen over US$45 billion lost in value, shattering the dreams of thousands of investors, some of who invested their life savings into what they thought was a safe haven. 

Last week, crypto fund assets fell to their lowest point since July 2023, and Bitcoin (BTC)  fell to a low of US$25,892 from a high of US$47,444 just two months ago. 

Terra founder Do Kwon has since made efforts to recompense investors by creating a fork of the Terra blockchain through the construction of a new chain that does not include the UST stablecoin project. Naming the original chain as Terra Classic, Token LUNC, and the newly forked chain as Terra, Token LUNA, Kwon has been trying to rebuild the Terra ecosystem. 

An initial sum of airdrops for the new LUNA tokens have been made to LUNA’s original token holders, and a plan for long-term, yearly distribution will be made over time in an attempt to compensate users based on the losses they have suffered. Since efforts from Kwon and various market players to stabilize the crypto space, BTC has recovered and stabilized at around US$30,000, with prices of another layer 1 tokens including ETH and SOL reaching stable levels as well. 

During the market crash and time of immense volatility, Huobi’s first response has been to protect its investors, and offer other opportunities for trading profits. Shortly after the crash, Huobi’s derivatives and spots trading platforms delisted LUNA to protect against further damage to traders; as Terra 2.0 launched its recovery plan and airdrop, an immediate re-list of the new LUNA token was done to provide certain levels of compensation to the original investors. Since then, Huobi has also introduced new strategies and rewards backed by Huobi’s own liquidity to help investors break profit, even during a crypto winter. 

Exciting Airdrops and Rewards

Earlier this month, Huobi Global introduced new innovative products and strategies that offered rewards of US$31 million a month. The series of promotional events aimed to attract more investors to the crypto space at all levels of financial knowledge and is the opening of a series of campaigns by Huobi such as PrimeList and PrimeEarn. 

In March of this year, Huobi also launched the CandyDrop campaign, a promotional event that offered free token airdrops every day and a $4.34 million USDT prize pool in the past month. Results of the event were strongly positive, with a total of 1.25 million people participating, and over 320,000 participants successfully receiving airdrop rewards. One individual user won prizes worth 2,470 USDT based on the highest value on the day of listing.

Competitive Investing Strategies

While exchanges stand to gain through high trading fees and lower returns on deposit products, Huobi has worked to bring competitive rates that may help its users yield a better profit on deposit and derivative products. The debut of PrimeEarn, crypto-asset management, and deposit product, offered users notably high APYs for fixed deposits of mainstream assets. Users gained a chance to win up to 30% APY for staking mainstream crypto assets such as BTC, USDT, and ETH when they participated in Huobi PrimeEarn High-Yield Tuesday events. 

The 20%-30% APY offered on USDT and ETH deposits with PrimeEarn are the highest rates offered on the market by crypto-asset exchanges today, as a result of Huobi’s dedication to providing competitive rates to its users, and are much more lucrative compared to rates of 7% on average for mainstream assets offered by exchanges such as Binance. As for PrimeEarn, the deposit pool accumulated throughout the past 5 events stands at a total of 660 million USDT, and rewards for users who participated in group competitions reached as high as 5 million USDT. 

Aside from deposit products, Huobi also hosts competitive rebates for derivatives and became the first exchange to offer maker fee rebates for USDT-margined futures to all users, at a rate of 0.015%. 

With more attractive returns and APYs, Huobi hopes to attract more users of all experience levels. Crypto-derivatives in particular can prove to be a beneficial way to safeguard investor pockets, especially during volatile market conditions, as they can diversify portfolios and offer sophisticated strategies. With trading products such as Huobi Options and Huobi futures, traders can speculate on future prices of an underlying asset for income at a much lower cost than the asset itself, or hedge the risk exposure of their existing positions.

An Expanding Global Market

Even during a market downturn, Huobi capitalizes on its mature corporate ecosystem to expand services in emerging markets and builds on its compliance capabilities by acquiring new licenses and regulated service entities. In recent times, Huobi announced the acquisition of Bitex, a regional cryptocurrency exchange with operations in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. This is the first in a series of expansionary investments and acquisitions planned for 2023, each of which is designed to accelerate Huobi’s global growth. 

During the crypto winter, Huobi stays bullish with expansionary strategies and aims to help more users across the globe find new opportunities for trading, ultimately supporting the long-term growth of the cryptocurrency industry. 

Marketing Action Plan To Survive In A Global Recession

What needs to go into a marketing communications action plan to survive a recession?

By May, we saw many countries moving from lockdown to re-opening some businesses, with new measures in place. But this wasn’t enough.

By mid-June, the impending global recession had been confirmed, the worst economic hit since WWII. This forecast by the World Bank demonstrates a GDP drop in 2023 for all regions, Latin America and the Caribbean being hit the worst and East Asia Pacific the least.

To help consider the priorities and options from a marketing perspective we have published this free recession marketing action plan guide to help marketers consider their next steps. In this article I review some of the main considerations.

Download our Free Resource – Creating a marketing action plan for a recession

With changes in consumer in consumer spending, it becomes vital to rapidly think through new alternative approaches to prioritize marketing activities with the biggest potential. That’s where this guide aims to help, by presenting a checklist of 45 ideas to review.

Access the

The huge pressure of responding to a recession on marketing budgets, campaigns, and marketers

The CMO COVID-19 special report confirmed that 84% of marketers confirm they have ‘improvised to generate new marketing strategies during the pandemic’, with 42% shifting resources to new products or offerings as plans take a back seat.

Your recession-beating marketing action plan

Anyway, you will be painfully aware of this already, so let’s get to it. I’ve structured these ideas for you to review using the ‘plan’ part of our RACE marketing planning system.

RACE is designed to be relevant to most businesses for who digital multichannel communications are important, including both businesses that sell online and those that use digital channels to create awareness and brand preference which encourages people to work offline. It’s not designed for these times (what is?), but it does give a structure to consider ideas.

We’ll look at different ideas across the customer lifecycle shown below:

I was prompted to write this article and the accompanying guide since I was talking earlier in the week to a group of small business owners and marketers in the tourism and hospitality sector in the south of England.

Tourism destinations and their accommodation, entertainment and venues, will obviously be one of the hardest-hit sectors in the current market. In some industries, like aviation, it’s unfortunately inevitable that some staff may need to be put on unpaid leave and marketing campaigns curtailed. But for others, where there is still consumer demand, new approaches can be considered.

Does this sound overdramatic? Maybe it’s because I’m writing about this sector, who are in a battle for survival (their words). However, all industries can benefit from considering low cost and no cost inbound marketing techniques.

About these data-driven tools and techniques

We created Smart Insights to help share marketing best practices. Two key pillars of our approach are to encourage marketers to use a more planned approach to their marketing and to harness the power of analysis to test, learn and refine your approach – it’s why we’re called Smart Insights.

Download our Free Resource – Creating a marketing action plan for a recession

With changes in consumer in consumer spending, it becomes vital to rapidly think through new alternative approaches to prioritize marketing activities with the biggest potential. That’s where this guide aims to help, by presenting a checklist of ideas to review.

Access the

Both of these techniques have the benefit that they’re free, all that’s needed is a change of mindset and changing your allocation of time through planning to focus more time on planning, testing and improving.

We know from our research that many businesses and particularly smaller businesses don’t tend to plan. It’s arguably less necessary, but now short, focused plans are more important than ever. If this is your situation, it’s really a change of mindset

Plan – defining your marketing strategy and action plans 1. Create action plans to prioritize your resources

Our Managing digital marketing in 2023 research shows that many businesses don’t naturally plan.

This chart shows that around half of companies don’t have a dedicated digital marketing strategy and this was similar for the businesses in the workshop. Many didn’t have any formal marketing plan.

In any recession, a plan becomes even more important since you will have to revise your forecasts and really prioritize the most effective techniques. Larger businesses may develop business continuity plans, but for smaller businesses, having more flexible actionable plans are important. In this article, I’m going to cover a lot of practical ideas and hopefully, they will prompt some ideas with you that you can test, but they need to be scheduled in.

In the workshop, I talked about our recommended 90-day planning technique which will help you plan and monitor all the tests you select across RACE. For example, in one quarter you may test your home page effectiveness, in another, update your navigation.

Outpace your competition in a challenging SME market

Access a complete marketing survival kit to grow your business during a recession

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2. Sort your analytics!

You can’t start your analysis and data-driven marketing without this. By sort, I mean customize your analytics so you can tell whether interactions with your website are really generating value for the business and you. In the workshop we talked about setting up the right types of goals and putting values against them, which is more challenging when you’re not selling online, but perfectly possible. By defining value for your goals you will then be able to much better understand the effectiveness of your content in achieving goals (though Page Value) and the effectiveness of your media investments (through Goal value per visit).

For example, Google’s Demo account data shows how Page Value provides a good way of comparing different page types to see how they support conversion – here they vary quite widely. You can work on pages that are less effective.

We also discussed the need to use Google Tag Manager, concluding that it’s not essential for small businesses, but valuable if you are going to set up more complex goals and remarketing lists.

3. Get the balance between campaign and always-on activities right

In smaller businesses, there is a natural tendency to focus on campaign activities to generate awareness and demand. Thinking longer-term and moving from campaign to always-on marketing activities that support the long-term growth of the brand makes sense in the face of declining budgets.

The latest E-Consultancy COVID-19 stats roundup reports that UK retail footfall continues to rise in August, but remains 32% lower year-on-year. Much of this footfall seems to come from purchasing ‘essential items’ shopping (70% of UK shoppers made a trip out to do so during 12-16 August). Whereas fewer UK shoppers are regularly going out and about for non-essential items (25% of UK shoppers during the same period).

This graph from the Office for National Statistics shows how high-demand products have fluctuated in price over this time period.

To succeed in digital marketing also means tapping into existing demand as people search for your types of services or review alternative providers in listings. Gaining good ratings and visibility in Trip Advisor is important in the tourism sector, of course. Always-on also involves using automated marketing activities for email marketing and retargeting, which we’ll come back to.

Use tools like Google Trends, Keyword planner and Google Search Console to see the latest changes in behaviour.

4. Review the gaps in your always-on marketing.

The visual above shows ALL the activities you could potentially deploy to integrate your paid, owned and earned media activities. Very often there are gaps in what could be used, as this example shows. Perhaps you could improve your middle or bottom of funnel content, or you could improve your email welcomes, we’ll return to these also.

5. Review your STP

Segmentation stands for Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning. it’s well-known as being at the heart of focusing your marketing appeal on key audiences you’re targeting. You can read more in our free marketing models download.

In times of recessions, the balance between different audiences and markets may change. An obvious example in destination marketing, is that there will be more local companies.

6. Refine your personas

Effective marketing should always start with the customer and understanding customer preferences and perceptions – and how they change through time. Personas are a great way to share your understanding of customers. So put more time into creating effective persona – our persona template gives a framework for the essential information in the ‘perfect persona’. Including content mapping is an essential way to make your personas more actionable as we’ll show with the example in the ‘ACT’ section.

7. Positioning – re-examine the strengths of your brand

Introducing research about how companies use digital media and technology, Philip Alford who invited me to speak for businesses who were members of the local tourism association, starting the day by stressing that you have to start with your brand and how the customer perceives it alongside other businesses.

8. Improve your Digital value proposition (DVP)

In my books, dating way back to 2000, I recommended marketers review their ‘OVP’ or Online Value Proposition as part of their strategy. Clearly a website needs to communicate the core brand offering and brand personality, but digital gives great opportunities to add value to an audience and so develop brand preference and support purchase intent.

In the workshop, we looked at how this destination had thought through its DVP, by providing lots of options under it’s ‘Visit Us’, this is often just a single page.

In another example, this wedding venue has multiple pages describing its wedding options. By creating more detailed content and then interlinking it can help the offer become more appealing. Plus it has the benefit of making the site more effective in organic search when people are searching for this content. Simply put, the more content you develop that meets consumers’ interests, the more visits and higher conversion you should see.

9. Understand changed customer preferences

Personas should be based on research, but they may not reflect changing concerns of the time, so look to use published research or conduct your own research to see how consumer spending power has changed.

For example, the shift value attributed to e-commerce in all persona types during the pandemic has had huge repercussions for both online and the high street.

While online sales fell back 7% in July, they still very much dominate retail landscape, with online shopping 50% up on figures from February. As physical stores began to open again, July saw an overall year on year increase for retail of 3%, but for some retailers this is not enough.

10. Benchmark communications against competitors

A simple, practical tip. Keep a closer eye on your competitors than ever. In the panel, I explained how I keep an eye on our competitors and publishers we follow using Twitter lists which can then be followed as streams in Hootsuite. It’s a geeky tip, but Matt, one of the panellists, used exactly this technique in Tweetdeck to track communications for their clubs and restaurants and then compare and improve them relative to competitors.

We also recommend setting up Talkwalker or Mention as simple free brand alerts that is more powerful than the better known Google alerts.

11. Update your brand tone-of-voice

Speaking with a common, appealing voice can be difficult across all of the different channels, so developing a common agreed approach for people writing across. See these brand tone-of-voice examples for quick ways to reconsider your approach.

12. Smarter discounting

This technique can be applied in many sectors that need to be reconsidered during times of recession since consumers have less cash and competitors may offer deeper discounts. We discussed options for testing discounts for tourist attractions and bars and clubs and doing it in a creative way. For example testing 10, 20, even 30% discount, what works best in the customer journey. We noted that it wouldn’t work for some price points and some audiences. This is where being creative comes in since.

13. Review your martech stack

The research we discussed looked at what could be included in our martech stack. See our essential digital marketing tools and free guide for examples of types of tools you can need. As one example, I asked how many people were AB testing their website pages. While some people were testing their email creative using AB testing, few had used Google Optimize to test. This is a tool that is relatively simple, so you can get started with limited agency support.

I’d also say that using multiple cloud-based marketing tools can be expensive – some estimates put it at 15 to 25% of the marketing budget. There are potential savings here, either by consolidation to a single marketing cloud solution or stopping using tools you don’t use so much.

14. Review your marketing resourcing

Many businesses will be looking at the cost vs benefit of how they use consultants and agencies. Many of the businesses I spoke to, were using consultants as specialists who knew the intricacies of digital and had set them up.

15. Encourage learning

Consider the skills gaps within your team – which are most needed to prioritize. One Business Member we’re working with has recently conducted this and have concluded that it’s the fundamentals of copywriting and proofing that is the number one.

Smart Insights are all about online learning of digital marketing using relevant examples and plans, not just showing the features of systems. Through this blog, we offer many free resources or you can try our list of free online training marketing courses to improve your digital marketing skills.

Download our Free Resource – Creating a marketing action plan for a recession

With changes in consumer in consumer spending, it becomes vital to rapidly think through new alternative approaches to prioritize marketing activities with the biggest potential. That’s where this guide aims to help, by presenting a checklist of 45 ideas to review.

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