It’s episode 77 of the Future Tribe Podcast! This season, your hosts are Germaine and Kelsey, who discuss all things business, tech, marketing, branding and more!What we talk about
- The way forward machine
- Brands jumping on the vegan bandwagon - Wagamama
- Netflix introduces 'fast laughs'
- It happened with Harabara, and it's happening with Space Grotesk
- Hotjar has a new logo
- Canva launches video editing
- Australian advertisers wasted $54m last quarter!
- Sensis have rebranded to Thryv
- Google rolls out infinity scroll
- Dark patterns and ethical website design
- The guerrilla marketing campaign using Squid Game
Disclaimer: This transcript was generated automatically and as such, may contain various spelling and syntax errors
Germaine: [00:00:00] Hello, Future Tribe. Welcome to another episode of the Future Tribe show. I am Germaine.
Kelsey: And I’m Kelsey.
Germaine: And just like every week, we’re going to be covering a bunch of news in the business, branding, WordPress, marketing space. We’ve got a bunch of interesting things to talk to you about today, including a few links that are a bit more fun and informative rather than necessarily news, but we’ll, we’ll get to that in time.
So starting off with talking about the way forward machine, if you’re familiar with the way back machine this is a interesting take on a similar concept. We’ve got a topic about brands potentially becoming more vegan, and is that a new trend or has that already passed as a trend? We’ve got Netflix fast laughs, Harabara, it happened with Harabara and it’s happening with space grotesque, something to talk about there. Hotjar getting a new logo, [00:01:00] and Canva launching their video editing suite, which is not surprising to anyone I would say.
Kelsey: Yeah. We’ll also be discussing a report that came out about just how much Australian advertisers wasted last quarter in terms of money. Census has had a rebrand to thrive. Talking about Google rolling out infinity scroll. Also going into dark patterns in websites and some ethical questions around that. And also a bit of a fun one in terms of squid game, which is the popular Netflix show, I think most popular show of all time on Netflix, and discussing some guerrilla marketing that’s happened around that.
Germaine: All right. I think with that said and done, let’s roll the intro and start talking and discussing.[00:02:00]
All right, so the first one, the way forward machine, have you played around with this?
Kelsey: think you sent the link through the other day and I forgot to actually have a look at it. So I’d love you to walk me through it.
Germaine: Well, I, I think let’s reserve what happens to the listeners and the viewers to actually checking it out for themselves down in the description.
But essentially it’s part of what, from what I can tell archive.org mission of communicating about the free internet and this, this has been an ongoing battle from, you know internet service providers who throttle certain types of traffic to all sorts of different arguments that exist and have existed around the world.
This is a exaggerated take on all that. I don’t want to say too much. Check it out in your own time, simply because there are so many permutations of what that outcome is. The general message is that [00:03:00] we should probably be looking at freedom on the internet and how we handle that and how we look at our leaders and politicians and how we put pressure on them, on how to act in, in terms of the internet.
So not, not, not too much else to say there it’s like the way back machine, but how it would be if you were looking into the future with a bit of a negative twist or maybe an out of control government and law sort of approach
Kelsey: I’ll have to check that out after the podcast then
Germaine: that’s right. And so this one’s the next thing that we want to talk about is something that you put in there, Kelsey, brands becoming more vegan.
What do you w what do you want to talk about there?
Kelsey: Yeah, so I came across this article. So Wagamama, which I don’t think it’s in Australia, but it’s a UK chain quite popular over there. They have released this ad, which basically uses like a [00:04:00] weird take on Godzilla and is sort of angry at the world and you know, how polluted and things it is.
And then it just ends on, Wagamama saying 50% of our food is now vegan. And I just sort of started thinking about it as a, I guess, social commentary of brands jumping on this sort of vegan bandwagon. I think it’s really awesome. But I was sort of wondering whether, you know, are they early to the game?
I sort of, haven’t seen too many brands really pushing the vegan side of things and especially not 50% of their menu being vegan or whether they’re actually quite late to the game, and, you know, they’re just starting to realize that it’s important to a lot of people to have those kinds of options.
Germaine: Do you also think this definitely is a bigger topic than we can sort of unpack on one episode, let alone as a small part of one episode, but I always have my, the sinister sort of side of me makes me similar to the NAB [00:05:00] jab tab or whole, whole conversation about them jumping on board with promoting getting the jab or getting the COVID-19 vaccine. I wonder if this is just them trying to appeal to a certain demographic or, I mean, did Wagamama do you know if they got rid of half the menu to replace it with vegan options or did they just expand their menu?
Kelsey: Yeah. So I’m not sure on that actually. I’m gonna assume that menu would change somewhat periodically. But I’ve got no idea whether it’s a case of taking out a lot of meat products and replacing it with vegan or products that are already somewhat vegetarian and just making them more vegan. I’m not a hundred percent sure on that, but yeah, I think when it does come to brands like this, you do have to sort of question sometimes what the motive is, but also at the same time, these brands and these companies do have real people behind them. And they’ve got real people that do have different values and [00:06:00] sort of, you know, they’d be asking internally, hey, can we do this? Let’s get a vegan menu on, let’s do more things ethically.
So like, I think that it does come from a human place, but also there’s of course there’s going to be positives for the business as well.
Germaine: Let’s see jumping, jumping on one of the comments there though. It’s sort of this argument, even you have about moving to electric vehicles and electric vehicles being better for the environment, depending on who you actually ask. And depending on the research who conducts the research. It’s arguable as to the benefits. And I’m not saying that it’s necessarily the case with vegan alternatives. And that’s where the whole, and we talked about this last week, about how, in some industries, it’s just all about marketing. It’s not really about a differentiated product.
Like it’s the same toilet paper, for example, that we talked about last, last episode, I think it was. And in some instances, at least a small part of me feels like it’s, it’s just [00:07:00] handy for marketing purposes. Whether the real impact on the business is is financial or, you know, good PR is sort of to be, to be determined and to be sort of, you know, when you, when you work out how you balance things out, like McDonald’s, for example, I will not be happy if they replace half the options with vegan options. Expand them all you like and add more items because you know, McDonald’s has a fairly, like they have seasonal menus, but their menus are also like you get the classics. In fact, now you can get most of their classics, 24 hours a day, I think. Breakfast options. Yeah. So from, from that angle, I think it’s just a very easy way for, for a company to provide options. And I’m not saying providing options is a bad thing either. But I do wonder like what place these big behemoths have when it comes to introducing [00:08:00] vegan options. And then how do brands who have always just been the vegan option, like a hundred, not that there are fast food chains that are just vegan that I’m aware of. I know.
Kelsey: No. Yeah. So it’s actually going to say on the topic of McDonald’s. So in Australia, as far as I’m aware, there’s no vegan or even vegetarian option in terms of a burger from McDonald’s. And then I think when it comes to Wagamama, so it sort of in that argument of it just being a nice little add on, PR kind of thing. I think in the case of Wagamama, when they’ve talked about 50% of the menu becoming vegan, I think that’s sort of beyond a PR stunt. I think that is a very big statement to make, even if it’s expanded, like that’s a massive focus on being vegan rather than just, I think in case of like hungry jacks, let’s say they’ve got a veggie burger, it’s one veggie burger, that’s it, that’s your whole option.
And they put a lot of emphasis on that when it came out. But I think in this case, Wagamama is saying, this is what we [00:09:00] care about as a company, we’re actually going to make this a real option rather than just here’s your one thing have fun. So I really liked it.
Germaine: I think it’s tokenistic option there it’s it’s at, at worst or, you know, like, in the end, if you, if you want a vegan or vegetarian option, the worst part of the outcome can be that someone has more options, which isn’t actually that bad an outcome. So I definitely agree with you on, on that point, it never hurts to have more options. You might not even feel like having meat that day.
You might not be vegan or vegetarian per se, but just want to eat something that isn’t beef or chicken, and you should have that freedom. And it it’ll depend, I think ultimately these companies we’ll just see how that works out for them financially. Because there’s real repercussions here, right? When you expand a menu by 50%, you then need [00:10:00] 50% more space for everything or at the very least you don’t want to be eating a veggie Patty that is two weeks old because they’ve had to freeze it and no one’s sort of been eating it. So it’ll be interesting to see how they handle this and how as well, the more fresh sort of branded brands, branded brands, the fresh you get, what, I mean, the brands that are more fresh than fast food or fresh, fast food.
How have they sort of handled this? Because I would imagine they need to keep an eye on demand as much as they need to keep an eye on, you know, best by dates and expire dates.
So from that to another thing that you put in there, which is. Netflix has fast laughs.
Kelsey: Yeah. So the other day, for the first time in probably months, I came on to my phone app for Netflix and I’m usually just on my TV or what ever [00:11:00] and I came across this thing called fast laughs which was just another part of the app, like a little bit of another tab.
And it was essentially a reels or tiktok identical product. But basically it just took like a couple of minutes or a couple of, you know, 30 seconds snippets from all different shows on Netflix. That like funny moments essentially. And you could just sit there and scroll through. And then of course, if you found something that was funny that you sort of hadn’t seen before click through and watch it.
I just thought it was interesting, like right from within the app which I just thought was such an interesting approach to obviously tiktok and Instagram reels that are currently try.. well, instagram is trying to compete with Tik Tok probably not so much the other way around, but I think Netflix is seeing the success of those two and said, how can we adapt this for us?
And now they’ve got fast laughs. Haven’t been on there since, I haven’t, you know, scrolled through it, so I’m not sure how effective it really is, but I imagine if there’s one day I’m like really bored and I can’t find something to watch, maybe I’ll go in there and have a scroll and hope that something [00:12:00] pops up.
Germaine: See, that’s better than they have like a randomize option. And where you, if you don’t know, you can just pick a button and just watch whatever. So to me that is just highly unlikely that I do that. But with fast lasts, at least I get sort of a, a quick snippet saying that though. Do you know if that’s only for comedy at the moment?
Kelsey: I hadn’t really thought about that, actually.
I assume so, if it’s fast laughs, cause I mean, you don’t want to just get some random scene from some very serious movie and not really understand the context. I think there’s probably a lot more that goes into it. I’ll have to explore it a bit more. I sort of just had a scroll the other day and thought I should mention this on the pod.
Yeah, I’ll have, I’ll have more of an explore and maybe come back with a report on my usage later.
Germaine: Later. I mean, it, it to me is really interesting in that Netflix is obviously a certain platform, right? So it’s, it’s one of, one of many video platforms and it’s, it’s its own platform. [00:13:00] That is really what the product is.
Yes. The, they have their studios to supply content onto that platform. But at the end of the day, they want people to come to Netflix and consume content within Netflix. That’s, that’s the, that’s the platform, but they’ve sort of, they, they have a YouTube channel, for example, called Netflix is a joke amongst many other YouTube channels.
And what I think is interesting from this is Netflix exploring on other platforms, how they can work on that content. And, and, and as a result, their marketing it’s to me, at least in my opinion, it’s extremely effective. TV channels used to do this where you could watch like a three minute highlight or not, not quite a trailer, but you know, an episode of a certain show, they just take three minutes and you can watch that on YouTube.
And then you scroll down and if you’re in Australia, you realize that it’s regional locked so you can’t actually [00:14:00] watch it anyway. But ultimately it is still a lead gen for them. And these platforms like Facebook, YouTube, et cetera, I would assume has to let Netflix post this content because otherwise they’ll just, you know, shout about it all.
And, and make a, make a whole sort of song and dance about it, which is, which is in their rights. So it’s something that smaller businesses can take out, I guess some inspiration from too, is looking at okay, what sort of content or what sort, what sort of product or service do you offer and how can I look at getting onto some of these bigger platforms too, and then repurpose content similar to how we do with the podcast?
We have not really talked about that in the past, but we have the video version that goes on YouTube. We have the future tribe clips channel that sort of takes little short, shorter chunks of [00:15:00] very specific content and puts that out there. And then we’ve got the podcast itself. We then push that on to our website, with the transcript. And then of course the podcast sort of gets disseminated across many other podcasts listening platforms. So it’s, for me, the biggest takeaway is that Netflix is so big and yes, they focus on other forms of marketing. And further, further on in this episode, we’ll talk about a report that talks about how much Australian advertisers have wasted in, in marketing. But what Netflix is doing is something that I would say wouldn’t cost as much. It’s essentially content marketing, but done within their own app and then on their competitors’ platforms.
Kelsey: Absolutely. Yeah.
Germaine: It’s interesting. No, Yeah, it is, especially because it’s such a big company. So they’d have, [00:16:00] I would think as much money as anyone else, if they wanted to market this in a different way or wanted to spend the money on advertising.
But let’s jump from that to something that would have sounded really confusing too. I mean, to you Kelsey, to most listeners I phrased it as it happened with Harabara, it’s happening with space grotesque and essentially what I just wanted to mention. And I, and it was more a point of conversation than necessarily that I’ve got a specific point.
But back when we were known as Numaine I, I wouldn’t even be able to say what year it would have been maybe 2014, 2015. I used potentially even earlier than that, Harabara as the font for the wordmark. And a year or two later, it just started to be used on everything. In fact, I still see, and I forget the names of these big organizations, but I still see it [00:17:00] used on the logos or for the logos of big companies.
And now it’s happening with space grotesque, which used to be the word mark or the font that we used in our previous Futuretheory logo. So, and this isn’t a case of what do you call it, where you, you notice things a lot more when you either use it or see it for the first time. This isn’t a case of that.
And I’m not suggesting that I’m a visionary. I am wondering though what you think about it?
Kelsey: I mean, I’m not super familiar with Harabara but, in any of these kinds of circumstances, if you’ve got something that’s a good product, people are going to realize it’s a good product and it’s going to take a while for it to pick up.
And you know, in your case, you identified this early and then a year or two later, it, you know, became quite a popular. It’s just, how all these products function, I guess, and then you kind of get sick of seeing it and it stops being [00:18:00] such good product at that point because you’re seeing it every where.
It’s not original anymore. It’s not unique.
Germaine: Yeah. Okay. So that’s a fair point. Damiane mentioned when I was talking to him from a development point of view that Space Grotesque is now available on Google fonts and it it’s always been free and it’s available for free from Google fonts, which is Google’s free repository of fonts for anyone who’s not aware. And it’s fantastic because it’s free. So rather than having to pay licensing fees for fonts, you get access to it free, we’ll include a link for anyone who’s interested in the description, but space grotesque is now available through there. So he was also suggesting that now that it’s available through such a prominent platform, it’s got a lot more eyes on it.
And then using that logic with what you’ve just mentioned, Kelsey, maybe it is as simple as it is good. It has an outreach to a wider [00:19:00] audience, so more people are going to use it. And we just picked up on it early and it’s just happened for the second time. We haven’t made a huge fuss about this yet.
And it will be disseminating more information about this for you. The first tee here this, that we’ve got a trademarked new logo with a new word mark coming out. So maybe we’ll see, but maybe three years down the line or two years down the line, the font that we based, our new word mark will catch on too
Kelsey: Yeah, we’ll see. We’ll have to check back in.
Germaine: Yeah, yeah, exactly. On, on episode 150 or some ridiculous number like that, we’ll we’ll check in and see see if, if my visionary status is, remains intact or if it’s just fallen apart.
So talking about new logos, we’ve got [00:20:00] a couple rebrands and logos that we, we wanted to bring up. And the first one is Hotjar.
Do you know what Hotjar is Kelsey?
Kelsey: I’ve heard the name. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they do.
Germaine: So Hotjar is a analytics tool. Let me share this for anyone who is watching or will be watching in the future. Here we go. All right. So this is what Hotjar and new logo looks like, they’ve they’re their analytics, like a tracking tool to understand how, how users behave and interact with especially a website.
I think they’ve potentially gone into web apps and apps in general. So, they’ve rebranded. I’m not sure how many times they’ve actually used, you know, had a different logo introduced, going further down to try and [00:21:00] maybe see a history of the, that logo. There is a lot of examples of application. Isn’t there?
Kelsey: Yeah, a lot of collateral.
Germaine: Yes, but nothing to talk about the previous iterations, but for anyone who’s used Hotjar I think that’d be very familiar with, it’s a this logo here. My. Actually, no. What is, what is your initial reaction?
Kelsey: Initial reaction I’m drawn to the new icon. I’m thinking of it in the context of analytics, I like that it’s got that upward movement. It’s not quite the flame they had in the old one, but it still mimics that flame like approach, I suppose. So I think that’s kind of cool. I mean, I like it overall. It’s not offensive. I’m not, it’s, it just kinda feels like a different logo to the previous. I’m not sure if it’s sort of an improvement necessarily or a step back, but more, just a different logo.
Germaine: Hmm. Yeah. [00:22:00] Do you think, I feel like maybe they did contemplate bringing the flame over, but it looks very Tinder, like yeah.
Kelsey: Same color as well. They’ve adjusted to that sort of orange rather than the pinky-red.
Germaine: Yeah, which, which is a smart move. I think that that old logo looks potentially almost like a slightly more professional comic Sans and that’s no good. Yeah, isn’t it. Where this new move I do, like sort of the oval, collateral and expansion of their brand, but they’ve introduced a color palette that is all over the place.
Again, we’ve talked about this over and over again, and I don’t think Hotjar just like Dropbox and a lot of other brands. I don’t think they, they are big enough to just have a color palette that includes essentially every color that you [00:23:00] could ever want to use. Okay. I get the whole, you know, I think the, the, the suggestion here is that various types of flames are inspired the color palette, but to me, It’s a bit of a reach when you think about Hotjar.
I never think about fire. I know the names is hot, but it’s heat and fire are two different things. Do you think the new logo is supposed to, or the new icon is supposed to represent like smoke maybe?
Kelsey: Potentially I sorta more just see the like almost cartoon heat flames for the, like the heatwaves kind of thing.
And yeah, just in that upwards movement, like you would hope to see in your analytics, things improving. So I think it’s kind of trying to do both things in that sense.
Germaine: We also see sort of the Zed, like not necessarily the full, full Zed or Zee, depending on where you’re, you’re listening from, of that user journey from, you know, going down our website as well.
I sort of see that and you sort of tracking. [00:24:00] I know there’s two iterations of it, but sort of tracking that further down. I do think that T looks awkward a little bit.
Kelsey: Yeah. I was sort of thinking before, when you were speaking that the T and J sit kind of funny, like the J’s very skinny in between the T and a almost.
Germaine: Yeah. It’s a bit, I feel like they could have done a bit better in terms of the kerning there.
Kelsey: Yeah. I think I can see why they had to do it in that it’s the only letter that has an overlap with another letter. But if you’d pulled that J across, you’d have this massive white space between the T and the whatever letter was next to it.
Germaine: Yeah. It’s potentially, oh, there you go. There’s animation for anyone watching is sort of trying to show how the trace graphic came to be. Not the most convincing by the way. I’ve never, that, that sort of journey [00:25:00] there, I think, I mean, Hotjar would know better than I do, but I’ve never seen that sort of user journey where they start from one place and sort of keep bouncing up and down.
It’s more of a Z usually. Some of this, it is, it is nice to look at, but I think some of this is a bit of a reach,
Kelsey: Looking at those graphics. It makes me think that it’s, I mean, I’m not as familiar with Hotjar I think, but it really makes me think of it’s heat mapping tool to really understand the customer journey.
And I feel like those lines really help to make sense of where things are going like that first animation we were looking at sort of drew attention to where people looked first and what their journey was across the page. So I quite liked that myself. I’m not sure how that would go in a real application.
Germaine: Well, yeah, so it might not necessarily translate to the real world as much, but you’re definitely taking, I would say the right things away from, from that though, looking further through these illustrations, I do feel like they [00:26:00] look more fun and is not to be offensive to Hotjar, but what they do, isn’t the most engrossing or the most interesting for the average, like quote unquote, residential consumer.
And they’re trying to make it a lot more fun perhaps, but maybe they, maybe they do want to go down that road of, you know, I, Kelsey, if you’re building a website on Wix and you want to get a bit more information, maybe, maybe they’re starting to push into that market because sort of, they’ve not exhausted, but they’ve reached as many professional designers and developers as maybe they could have.
Kelsey: But I think it could also appeal to more professional people as well, in terms of, it looks like they’re really focusing on the visual approach. And I think as somebody who sort of works in the SEO space and everything, you’re looking at all different kinds of numbers all the time having something else, which gives you a visual understanding, I think is nicer.
And it’s [00:27:00] probably easier than if you’re working with clients, let’s say, or your reporting to a senior manager of some sort to say to break it down for them in an easy to understand way. So I think there’s some good application in that sense.
Germaine: Th that’s true. It’s not something that I sort of thought about.
And then even if you’re trying to convince a, not so developer minded or design minded individual, which would be, more or less everyone else in an organization who sort of doesn’t fit into your team. It might make it easier to do so because there is something that looks more pleasurable to touch and work with.
So yeah. Fair, fair commentary I would say talking about design, tool that I think, and talking about design from like a general consumer point of view, Canva I think is the, is the king queen, you know, any is a royalty and [00:28:00] today where we’re talking about the fact that they’ve now announced launching a video editing suite which surprises I would say just about nobody am I correct in saying that
Kelsey: that seems like the logical next step, once you’ve sort of optimized your graphic design side of things to a good enough point. Obviously that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped optimizing that but, yeah, expanding your service offering at this point. Now they’ve got such a large market share is the obvious next step.
Germaine: Yeah. It’s it is the obvious next step. I wonder what this will do to, you know, there’s been talk of video being the next frontier when it comes to content creation, original content creation as well.
And I don’t mean to say that in a way that like, oh, videos, this new thing existed for so long. Yeah. I’m aware. But video has been historically the hardest thing for the average person to do apart from sort of picking up a phone and sort of going from there. We haven’t, I haven’t played around with the new [00:29:00] features from Canva, they’re a huge company. I’m sure they’ve done a really good job with it. But saying that we can’t stand behind a comment like that. They, they may be really stuffed it up as well. Just as much as the next quota yet.
Kelsey: It’s I was just thinking in terms of, yeah, video creation, as you mentioned, it’s not a new thing, but I think accessible video creation has not been there until recently.
Like I think apps such as TikTok let’s say who came out as a video app, but they introduced all these video creation features within the app, which made it really easy for people to actually make fun, engaging videos. Like even YouTube, for example, was a case of like, you’ve got to have your specialist suite of software elsewhere, get that created and put it up in pretty much every other app that you’ve used.
There wasn’t really anything that was really dedicated to simple, quick, video creation. So I think Canvas obviously identified places like TikTok and said, you know, they’re doing a great job. Let’s get into the same market. [00:30:00] Let’s make this easy for people and be the sort of first to that part of it.
Germaine: Well, yeah, you sort of think about even Instagram and what Instagram did to change how people edited images. It’s not that image editing didn’t exist, but until a certain point, Photoshop was almost the only way or light room where the only ways to edit and work on images until Instagram made it something that you could just carry in your pocket.
And I don’t feel like that’s happened yet in the video space, which is where your you’re sort of saying canvas coming in. And I wholeheartedly agree because TikTok and Instagram video though, they, they’re good, but they don’t really let you produce video. They let you, well, not, not to a, not to a high degree, they let you produce video to the sense that you can trim things down and cut things down.
But, but not, not to, you know, a more robust [00:31:00] degree. So maybe, maybe this is, this is that, that software to do it. And that’s the next frontier for them talking about all this video? I we’ve mentioned obviously at the, at the top of our conversation about of the top of the episode, about Aussie advertisers wasting $54 million on digital media campaigns last quarter which is a huge, huge number.
Does it surprise you?
Kelsey: I haven’t really ever looked into the numbers. Like I would, I would be interested to know what the comparison is from quarter to quarter, and I would also be interested to know sort of the background. How it was wasted, whether it was COVID related or something else. Sort of what went into that number.
Like it’s a massive number, of course, but it’s a massive number in the context that we’re used to thinking as a consumer in the term, in the space of, you know, national funding and budgets and blah, blah, blah. It’s a, it’s a fair bit, but [00:32:00] I don’t know
Germaine: at least 40, nearly 40% of the digital marketing spend is wasted.
So, so I get your point now that we can see it in context. 40% wasted and that’s, that’s auditing 67 brands across industries like pharmaceutical, real estate, finance and so on and so forth, including aSX listed or stock stock listed public companies and private companies as well with budgets from half a million to 27 million.
Another interesting thing that they found out of this was that the retail sector was the worst for ad spend wastage, wasting over $15 million in the quarter. And then real estate at 10 mill, insurance at eight mill, pharmaceuticals at five mil, and then education. I am a little surprised that there’s no banking in there, but, I guess insurance is pseudo banking. [00:33:00] Real estate is kind of banking as well. So maybe the banking sector gets in there in that way. There’s also a breakdown of the worst digital channels. So keeping the 54 million in mind about half of that was wasted on Facebook at 25 million, followed by Google at 20 million, bing at 8 million and LinkedIn at 4 million.
That is, those are big numbers
Kelsey: yeah, i, it, it keeps making me think about whether COVID has had the impact on this. Like, are these brands wasting money because they’re needing to adjust their marketing strategy previously, they’ve got sort of proven techniques and they know it works and everything, all of a sudden adjusting to COVID saying, let’s take some risks, let’s try this new approach hasn’t worked, wasted.
Is that where that’s coming from? Is it that far off what it would usually be? I’m not sure. Yeah.
Germaine: I think again, we’re looking at it in isolation and I haven’t sort of looked into what the [00:34:00] normal wastage numbers are like, but it doesn’t surprise me at the same time that Facebook is where a lot of funding is a wasted.
I think Facebook, a lot of people, a lot of clients who of ours have told us of all their stories about how useless Facebook is .Facebook, I mean, most platforms nowadays take a certain critical mass for it to be worth it. Until you get to that critical mass. It’s not that it’s pointless, but you don’t see the return that you think you would.
The next being Google, I think Google have been very pressuring in how they try and sell your Google ads over the last few years that it’s, it used to be something that you, you know, you needed to really know how to do Google ads to get, get on board and start advertising on Google. But nowadays there’s I forget what they call it because I always switch out of that view into like the expert mode.
But I think it’s called maybe Google ads express where they try and make it really easy for you to just spend money. And we have so many clients who actually go down that road, they [00:35:00] end up just spending and advertising through Google ads and some of them get results. Some of them don’t, they usually come to us and sort of say, this hasn’t been working or. Germaine, should we be doing Google ads? Which is hard to answer with a simple yes or no, because it always always has to be. It depends really. But again, I think all this comes back to the reasoning as to why I’m a huge fan of content marketing, even talk about Netflix before about the fact that the beauty with those sorts of approaches is that yes, you can’t reach necessarily new audiences in that you can’t reach people who aren’t looking for a solution that you’re offering, but you can reach, especially important for small businesses, you can reach audiences that are looking for the specific thing that you’re working on. And content marketing is something that I’m a huge fan of, something that you were aware of, you [00:36:00] asked about that when you applied for the job, because it’s, it is really a fantastic approach content and inbound marketing.
So to me, just, I think, regardless of COVID and I totally get what you’re talking about there, because it could be that they had these commitments for TV ads, for example, and people just didn’t have the money, or, you know, there are certain things that I wouldn’t want to just buy online that I’d want to buy and try out in person like clothing.
So it’s not surprising that the retail sector struggled, but at the same time, it’s kind of, it’s kind of sad that, you know, 50 million plus was just thrown away. And could it be so much more just down the drain. Talking about companies that their waste money, I don’t hate or dislike, well, I dislike Sensis. You, you know who Sensis is?
Kelsey: Look, I’m not going to lie every time I see it. It just makes me think of the Australian census, which I know [00:37:00] different spelling, but that’s always , as in the report they do every few years to make sure like the population of Australia yes. That’s what I always think of. And then I just get confused between the two,
Germaine: maybe that’s where that name was inspired from.
Kelsey: It’s. I mean, it’s definitely different spelling,
Germaine: certainly different spelling, but I wonder, so census is who, who owns or did the yellow pages in the white pages? Oh, that’s right. Yeah, so they actually have 141 year history.
Who knew since this was a need sort of started being used as a name apparently 19 years ago. But yeah, they can, part of that history can be traced back to something like 1880, which is quite crazy. That’s when the white pages launched. So I wanted to bring up the fact that they rebranded to thrive.
More so to talk about the fact that we’ve lost another Aussie company [00:38:00] being bought by an American company. It was acquired by Thryv in the U S for $260 million in March. And that was after Telstra sold 70% of Sensis to another private equity firm in the U S so we’re just, there’s the, we’ve talked about this as well.
When we talked about CNN ditching Australia in one of the previous episodes. The fact that they’re American companies and it’s not nationalistic or patriotic, it’s just the concerns around international organizations being able to manipulate such a, or at least control such a significant thing is significant business, a significant asset in Australia.
And that affects the marketing space as well.
Kelsey: Absolutely. I have to say the one thing that’s bugging me looking at this, is it spelled T H R Y V. I can deal with the Y I just feel like there should be an E on [00:39:00] the end of that. If they’re going to go with the traditional, like word thrive and that’s, it’s honestly just bugging me, like, I don’t like looking at it.
Germaine: I also, well, I don’t, I think we’re being nice to them by pro by pronouncing it thrive as well. I think I wouldn’t be surprised if someone sees that and goes Thriv because it doesn’t have the E so it doesn’t, it does have sort of that harsh finish. I think, yeah, there’s just so many things that are wrong with this, but at the same time, it’s a private company.
So, so what can we do? We just have to deal with it. But it, it, it it’ll be interesting moving forward because Telstra themselves offer competing offer services that compete with what we do, for example, in terms of digital marketing and web development, Sensis used to, I’m not sure if they still do so there are a lot of really big players now investing into these, this area, because it is so important.
I feel though, [00:40:00] like this is going to lead to more wastage in terms of ad spend again, talking about what we were just, just going into, because these big, big companies they’re sales driven. So what are they going to do? They’re going to want you to sell more online through digital ads because they get the fees for maintaining those things for you now yes, you would stop doing it after a certain period of time.
And if, if, if it was ineffective, but at the same time, you’ve still wasted that money for a certain period of time. And no doubt, they’d be trying to convince you with minimum contracts and minimum spend and things like that. So I just, I do dislike that side of what’s happening, but I might be alone.
Kelsey: No, I think that’s fair enough. Always good to be wary of, you know, takeovers and things like that.
Germaine: I think. Yeah. Especially in the advertising and money spending space. Now last week we talked about, was it last week that we talked [00:41:00] about Google rolling up, rolling out some updates.
Kelsey: I believe so, yeah, they had that sort of increased transparency with the extra data about when it was you know, the website was originally made and all of that sort of stuff.
Germaine: Yeah. And that wasn’t, so I at least don’t think that was so financial driven, but then we also talked about then stopping ads about climate change which I just saw the financial gain for them because they said outright that the advertisers didn’t want to advertise next to those sorts of that sort of content.
And now they’ve announced infinite scrolling on, on Google search results or they’re calling it continuous scrolling, which is rolling out to Google search for most English searches and mobile devices in the U S that’s their official announcement.
Kelsey: I think at some point already, I feel like I have this weird memory of Google having infinite scrolling.
At some point
Germaine: they may have. They may have experimented with it. So Google and a lot of big companies are known to [00:42:00] just push a certain, you know, a thousand users get access to a feature during the testing process. So you may have been a feature to, to me, it’s, it’s an interesting one because now we’re moving away from Google ads being up the top to Google ads, being potentially anywhere in the search results, making it harder to differentiate ads and, you know, genuine search terms.
It also raises concerns for me around like Google shaking up things that are just a classic that they’ve sort of left alone for a long time. I’ve appreciated that about Google, that, that, not that. The best or, or they’re not about making money versus other companies, but I feel like, yes, Google kills off like introduces and kills off products all the time, but they’ve left that core offering [00:43:00] fairly manageable.
Like you’re not sort of dealing with ads, for example, on Google search in terms of like a display ads, which they could have easily done. Like they could have just made it into a billboard, which, which they haven’t done. But with this step to me, that trying that they’re mucking around with Google search, which I’ve just appreciated that they’ve left it alone.
But I wonder if, I mean, am I alone in that. Yeah,
Kelsey: I’m not really sure what to think about it because I’m sort of thinking from the perspective of, at the moment, you know, you go through your search, you’ll get to the bottom. Maybe you’ll go to the second page. Not often. You’ll get to the third page though.
And you’re sort of leave your search there, or research something, if you haven’t found what you’re looking for. I wonder how that will change user behavior with endless scrolling, because you’re not going to sort of realize you’ve hit the end of that first page, which you usually recognized as the most relevant.
And I wonder what that will do in terms of sort of ranking for organic search results. Whether it’s going to be slightly less important to be [00:44:00] first page, because all of a sudden, you’re not just first page. You’re just some way down the scroll. I wonder what that’s going to. Yeah. I’m not sure what that’s going to do.
Germaine: Yeah. I think it’ll have really interesting repercussions. As, as you said, you’re no longer first page because I would argue that I’d rather be at the top of page two then maybe in the middle of page one potential. Just just cause you might risk being lost in the, in the mess versus just being clearly the first or second search option.
I can’t help, but think that, yeah, they’ve done it for a financial reason. Similar to when Facebook moved to the non chronological newsfeed, it just suddenly opens up the canvas from being X amount of search items. And then we’d go to go to another page to a, we can do whatever you want. And we can show whatever we want and.
Almost as much space as we want, so they can start playing around with those things.
Kelsey: I wonder if it will keep users on Google longer, whether that’s an outcome [00:45:00] they’re after or whether it would shorten the time they’re on, on the search results and what kind of impact that might have. Cause obviously as you said, they don’t have the display stuff, but if you’re scrolling and you are seeing more of the ads, maybe they’ll charge more for the ads.
Germaine: Well, also how many times, well it’s called like with tick tock, you infinitely scroll, right? Exactly. Exactly. I think there are huge business pros as to why Google, what want to do what they’re doing. And basically all of that is potentially negative and that we might find ourselves just scrolling through Google search results forever, which is a weird place to.
I think that we could get to a B but we shall, we shall wait and see, because Google, our Google are one company that, you know, is, is happy to launch something and then call it if it doesn’t work and they change Google search all the [00:46:00] time like on a weekly or daily basis. So talking about negative stuff, you, you, you put this one in about Dark Patterns websites.
Kelsey: Yeah. It was an article I came across earlier this morning. And it was a term I hadn’t heard before. And it sorta touches on actually a few of the things we’ve discussed today in this podcast. So it’s basically a thing called Dark Patterns and it’s where websites will essentially manipulate users to make a decision that they maybe wouldn’t make otherwise.
And I was sort of reading through this article and I was like, yeah, this is, you know, it doesn’t sound super ethical. Some of these approaches that websites are using. And then I also started to think about. What point is it marketing and convincing somebody to do something? VS unethical manipulation. Like where does that line actually start or end?
Germaine: I also just want to jump in and say, you said unethical manipulation. I think exactly marketing is then ethical manipulation. So it’s it’s hard to draw that line.
Kelsey: Yeah. And I mean, [00:47:00] from, I mean, studying at uni, for example, we did a course or a unit called consumer psychology and that’s a part of marketing.
And that’s really like, obviously there was a lot of ethical considerations. We were taught in that, but at the same time, it’s understanding how certain colors or putting stickers on the ground or playing certain music will influence a person’s behavior and decisions. And just that in itself, you know, you do have so many ethical things that can come up on that.
So when you’re designing. You know, websites, for example, to make it really easy, to subscribe to something, but really difficult to then unsubscribe or change that decision is that dark, dark pattern is that what that’s classified as? And I was thinking as well, when I started writing this about my experience with Amazon.
So I think I was trying to get one product and I thought, look, let’s just sign up for the free trial of Amazon prime and then I’ll unsubscribe. And it was fine. I did unsubscribe, but the actual process to unsubscribe, I think it was like five steps of me saying, yes, I want to unsubscribe. And each time it was like a really big [00:48:00] green button of like no, keep my membership and a tiny little thing saying yes, continue, which took me to another page, which sort of questions, some other parts of why it was unsubscribing.
And it was such a process to actually just say, like, get me out of here by the end of it. I was quite frustrated. Like I said, I got there, but it was not easy. And they kept using all these tactics to keep me subscribed.
And you have to be very alert throughout that process, because like he said, the things that catch your eye what’s a desirable outcome for Amazon itself and not, or not, not for you as a user, despite you starting the hunt subscribe or cancellation flow and they know well, and truly that you just want to, you know, be done with this.
I do wonder if there’ll be a law about it, Leah, you know how emails for example, have to have an unsubscribed down the bottom. Yep.
Although there’s still a lot that don’t, which I have come across and it’s very frustrating. I mean this particular article, so it’s talking about dark patterns in New Zealand and basically [00:49:00] raising the question of whether it needs to start being regulated.
So it sort of, it does start talking about like privacy acts and things like that. So I think that. you know, this particular person’s come across some, I guess, information and they’ve started to have that conversation, which I think is quite important. And yeah, it’ll be interesting to see, I guess what happens with it because I think the internet space traditionally has been quite unregulated.
And then as all these different things are popping up, they’re starting to be more regulation particularly here in Australia when it comes to like news and things as we’ve discussed in the past. So it’s just, it’ll be very interesting to see how governments and things can have an impact on this, or whether it will be a consumer push to say, stop treating me like this kind of thing, or what’s what will happen with it.
Cause this is the first I’ve come across this concept. I hadn’t really thought about it that much, but it’s a really good point
Germaine: It’s the first I’ve heard of it as well, but Microsoft does it in windows and I’ve updated to windows 11. I am yet to find an easy way, for example, to set [00:50:00] Chrome as my default browser instead of edge, because it used to be, you can just go switch it from one to the other, and now you actually get the, the default option is that they give you a bunch of extensions.
You have to like go in and say dot HTML. Doesn’t open in edge, opens in Chrome and so on and so forth. And he had like, at least from my screen, I had something like 15 different options. And I just, wasn’t willing to sit there changing each and every single one.
Kelsey: And you’re somebody that’s in the space. So you’re familiar with it as well.
Take somebody who’s not familiar. How would they get around that? When all of a sudden they might have particular advertising or something that’s coming through edge. And, and
Germaine: we will, we launched a website last week to for, for an organization that has, you know, they, they get thousands. You know, into the tens of thousands of visitors.
And it’s been an interesting experience because every time we launch, we get almost a slightly different demographic and we get some feedback from that demographic. And what we found [00:51:00] here was that they, this, they had users who are sort of that age group that didn’t necessarily that they had Chrome.
Like we’ve got a screenshot of one error that they were facing and they had Chrome, but they were using internet Explorer despite like right next to internet Explorer that the task bar had the Chrome icon, but they just didn’t know to use it. Because even if you download Chrome, Microsoft so good at forcing you to go in this case, this, this computer was so old that it still had internet Explorer, let alone age anybody felt pro update to windows 11.
You’ve got, you’ve got edge trying to just, you know, sneak into every single corner. So it’s. It’s a, it’s a terminology. The dark patterns sort of terminology is something that I haven’t heard before, but it’s well and truly existence and concerning as well. But from, from, yeah, what I’ve seen, like you’ve said, there’s been less regulation around the [00:52:00] space, less regulation around technology in the past.
So maybe, maybe it’ll be sort of put a stop too soon, but it does remind me of whether. The tech space it’s to an extent like F1 racing, where, you know, there, there are rules and the winner to win has to push the rules to the, to the point at which, you know, the organized it has to then be banned for the next season.
And is, is technology getting to that sort of point where,
Kelsey: yeah, it’s definitely reactive kind of regulation and it has to be because until they sort of developers and things come up with these new concepts and adjust rules that don’t exist, they can’t be rules in place because the people that are putting those regulations in, they can’t anticipate all of that stuff.
Germaine: Exactly. I this, this episode has been a bit, a little bit pessimistic. I want to say
it has been, that’s kind of, we’ve got a fun one though, which I wanted to sort of mention to finish off with, [00:53:00] which if you haven’t seen squid game, go watch it. I assume pretty much everyone has seen its good game at this point.
You got 111 million views or some, some, some crazy number like that. So I would say, yeah,
Kelsey: I think Netflix is most, yeah, most popular series of all time. And it’s only been out. A couple of weeks, I think. So it took off. But there was a guerrilla marketing campaign that came out. I can’t remember which country it was in, but it was basically a debt company that helps people get out of debt.
And they just got the printouts of the cards that have, you know, the S the circle, triangle and square, the little business cards that they slip under the door it’s good game. And they just started slipping those into doors of people that had debt. Just to basically say, you could be in this kind of situation, obviously it’s a bit scary and dystopian and everything.
But I just thought it was a really cool little marketing campaign, really creative. I think that they sort of thought it out quite carefully without it being terrifying to people. Because I think on the back of the card, so they got information [00:54:00] about it and who to contact and things. I just thought it was a cool campaign that I wanted to give a shout out.
Germaine: It was yeah. Conducted by a debt debt app called relief who was trying to get the word out about the dangers of credit card debt and about 10,000 people received those cards in the New York and Miami sort of geographic geographical regions. Their point was that credit card debt in America is not far off $1 trillion.
So $930 billion of credit card debt in the U S so they were trying to get the word out. This is another example we were talking about Netflix earlier with their marketing approach of just something that small businesses can do. Now, this would have cost, it costs a bit, but nowhere near as much as you would think, at least in terms of production for a small business.
Well, I mean, it’s
Kelsey: just a letter drop really? It’s exactly. Yeah.
Germaine: And you can get those business cards sort of costs down [00:55:00] 2 cents, if not fractions of cents at, so she had a scale of 10,000. I love it.
Kelsey: Yeah. And I think in this case, it’s a really good example of knowing your audience as well. So it sort of mentioned in this article that millennial and gen Z have the highest rates of credit card debt.
And I think that’s probably American numbers, but it’s probably true across a lot of countries. And of course with game and Netflix, yeah. Squeak over Netflix really is gen Z millennial audience as their primary. So that’s really understanding that audience and knowing who to target and how the target with them in the best way and timely as well, which is always very important keeping on top of,
Germaine: oh, if he can hit that, hit that, you know, essentially trifecta of audience, relevance and timeliness, I would say you’re, you’re just, you’re just killing it.
Is that a, is that a pun we’re talking about? Squeak. Let’s not ruin ruin anything, but a single person listening to this episode who hasn’t watched screwed game.
Kelsey: I mean, by now you’ve surely seen the [00:56:00] spoilers, so probably not revealing anything
Germaine: new. That’s true. If you haven’t watched it, go, go check it out.
I think there are some interesting questions that are squid games raising in terms of like people who are like watching it, because it’s quite a gory gruesome, a gruesome show to watch. But that’s, that’s one for another episode, if it gets out of control because yeah, I’ve just heard about miners consuming and watching squid game, which is yeah.
A conversation for another time. I think on that note, we’ll end this episode. Thanks for listening links as always down in the description and we will catch you on the next. Yeah, catch you later. .