Good morning, and welcome to the Chinese app crisis.

A bit like the Cuban missile crisis, but triggered by short dance videos. Honestly, who would have thought three years ago that international tensions between the U.S. and China would escalate over a social video app heavily used (around 40%) by Gen Z, and a messaging app which has a comparatively small audience outside of China (estimated less than 10% of its total audience)?

But last week, President Trump went ahead and issued executive orders banning transactions between TikTok and WeChat and U.S. citizens or businesses, a move viewed as effectively banning the apps in the U.S. The orders, which may be open to legal challenge, take effect in 45 days—not insignificantly the time the President has “allowed” Microsoft to conclude a deal to take over TikTok’s U.S. business.

All of which means that marketers working for brands with campaigns planned around those apps have to turn on a dime. But I guess this year marketers are getting used to doing just that.

Kim Davis,
Editorial Director, MarTech Today


How visual commerce is transforming the customer experience

ROVI is a new acronym worth knowing. It means return on visual investment, and is used by visual commerce platform Atlatl and other vendors in the space to signal that visual commerce campaigns have significantly less overhead as integrated visual displays and platforms can replace onsite sales staff and expensive marketing material.

Perhaps surprisingly, B2B brands, especially in manufacturing and construction, have been pioneers of visual commerce—replacing or supplementing static online catalogs—but consumer brands like Apple and Nike have embraced it too. 

Visual commerce can be as sophisticated as using a visual digital platform to sell a car, where you can experiment with different colors, interiors, seating material and even digitally place the car in your driveway to see if it clashes with the color of your house. Or visual commerce can be much simpler and less expensive like identifying the right size, material and length of that elusive black cocktail dress for your Saturday night dinner party.

Read more here »


Out-of-the-[Black]-box: Delivering data-driven marketing

The first step in your digital transformation toward a data-driven business is a unified customer profile that enables your data to be actionable and available in real-time, but that’s just the beginning. How do you decide who to target with what experience or message? Download this white paper from Lytics and take the first in your digital transformation toward a data-driven business.

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Content Marketing

15 seconds of engagement as a simple content metric

Time on page is a familiar metric for content success, but inPowered, the AI-driven content marketing, has proposed a specific minimum 15 seconds of engagement as optimal.

The intention is to get away from vanity metrics or meaningless total traffic reporting, and focus on visitors who are actually engaged with a piece of content. Data is used to drive a post-click customer journey, with AI making recommendations for next-best-action.

AI-driven content distribution, including re-targeting the 15 second-plus visitors, is said by inPowered to show superior ROI to DSP and ad-network buys.

Why we care. A lot of work has gone into using AI to analyse digital behavior and make content recommendations based on it. Being able to target and re-target website visitors who actually care about the content will drive better results.

Read more here »

MarTech Minute

Lexalytics to provide AI-based NLP for Zignal Labs

Zignal Labs, producer of the real-time opinion platform Impact Intelligence, has selected Lexalytics to provide its natural language processing service and text analytics capabilities to assist analysts, marketers and communicators comprehend sentiment and perceptions across media channels, and in multiple languages.

Zignal Labs will use Lexalytics’ Salience engine to analyze media in real-time across over a dozen industries, including:

Consumer Products;
Financial Services
Sports; and

Zignal’s audience now can review comments and experiences about current events, products and services while categorizing the content. Zignal processes billions of documents every month for large enterprises in both domestic and international markets. 

“We have seen an explosion in the amount of content we are analyzing for our customers in all parts of the world and had a need to expand our NLP capabilities for international languages,” said Zignal Labs CTO Jonathan Dodson. 

Why we care. Separating domestic and international markets seems so 20th century. As we have learned in the past five months, we are living in one connected world.

Other announcements:

WordPress announces new remote work collaboration tool
iTranslate releases AI-powered writing assistant
GoPro announces second quarter results

Kiss digital asset chaos goodbye

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What We're Reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

How marketing operations and martech professionals use ‘no code’ tools – chiefmartec

The best free apps for video calling – The Verge

Tencent stock drops after firm Is targeted by Trump Executive Order – Wall Street Journal