This Week in Business and Brands: Marathon Marketing, Amazon’s Ambitions, and More


Regulation Revamp: Watch Your Language

In the aftermath of Facebook’s (literal) trials and tribulations, websites and online services across the world are now coming to terms with imminent changes to their policy language. Terms of Service documents, often glossed over by registering users looking to get up and running quickly, will soon be undergoing a whole new style revamp to increase clarity and avoid confusion. The effort is in no small part due to the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, which demands “plain language when explaining consent,” telling users exactly where and how their personal data might be exploited down the road. Hopefully, that means the days of 50,000-word ToS novels are nearing their final chapter, as companies that violate the GDPR could be fined as high as 4 percent of their global revenue. As websites scramble to adapt their user agreements to comply, they’ll have some help in the form of, a consultancy that encourages brands to “bend over backwards” to polish up legalese into simplified straight-talk. As data collection policies face harsher scrutiny, greater transparency is one movement on which all users are happy to click “I agree.”

Assuaging Advertisers: Tidying Up for Tide

After pressing pause on their ads for over a year, P&G is ready to give Google another shot at pairing their products with select streaming videos. It looks like the massive conglomerate is comfortable enough with the platform’s promises to clean up their act – despite Thursday’s report of over 300 advertisers unknowingly running ads on YouTube videos supporting white supremacy and pedophilia. Under a whole new process made for greater supervision, P&G will only advertise on company-reviewed-and-approved videos, coming from fewer than 10,000 channels (down from 3 million last time around). It’s a big win back for YouTube, who’s made similar efforts to give more control to their advertisers about where and how their ads are displayed. They’re also incorporating more manual review processes for their videos – which should make P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard happy, as his critique of automation was the main motivation behind the brand’s withdrawal in 2017. Time will tell whether the new rules put profits in fast-forward or we’ll simply see a replay of last year…

Talking Tactics, Tête-à-Tête: Assessing Amazon’s Arc

With 100 million Prime members to its name, Amazon certainly knows a thing or two about wowing customers. For the brand’s next big move, turn to Gartner L2’s Director of Amazon Research, Cooper Smith, for some future forecasting about Bezos’s brain:

  • On another big buy: “Amazon’s biggest problem when expanding into new categories is relationships with legacy brands. So I would say the next will either be a European luxury retailer, or a U.S.-based mass luxury retailer like Neiman Marcus.”
  • On making Whole Foods whole: “Amazon Go is representative of two things that Amazon does well: it uses automation to achieve efficiency, and it collects data to better target consumers and induce more loyal shopping. This technology is one of the ways Amazon will compete against traditional retailers.
  • On the joie de Jeff: “Bezos doesn’t run Amazon like a traditional CEO. His ambition isn’t to become the world’s number-one retailer. That’s a means to an end. His vision is for Amazon to be the ultimate purveyor in the marketing, selling and transportation of goods. Amazon’s opportunity is in owning every aspect of the supply chain.”

Snappy Strategy: Got to Be Real

In an age where anyone with a website can claim considerable clout, it’s not always easy for the true expert to stand out. As Sean Blanda stated, a fake expert’s “interest is not in making the reader’s life any better, it is in building their own profile as some kind of influencer or thought leader.” So how can you build your business on providing genuine expertise for your clients and customers? Don’t downplay strength because of speed: just because you now arrive at solutions fast doesn’t mean there aren’t years of accumulated research and knowledge behind them. After all, expertise comes “through repeated exposure to similar patterns,” and that ability to recognize the recurring is one fake experts can’t confidently claim. So be sure to value your velocity – and reap the rewards of regarding the real.

Powerful Personalization: Marathon Marketing

That’s all for this week! We’ll leave you with this look at Adidas’s amazing creative campaign to an audience of 30,000 runners, each getting their very own 26.2 miles of fame…