WTF is GDPR and What Does It Mean for Online Marketing?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in all of the headlines and swarming everyone’s inboxes since mid-May as businesses work to comply with the EU’s new data privacy and protection rules. Given the nature of our job as marketers, this automatically affects us and the companies we work with – especially when working with businesses inside and outside the European Union. Many of us online marketers are still a little shaky on what these new laws will mean for marketing efforts in the long-term, though.

Straight from Investopedia‘s mouth, here’s the gist of what GDPR really is:

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). The GDPR sets out the principles for data management and the rights of the individual, while also imposing fines that can be revenue-based. The General Data Protection Regulation covers all companies that deal with data of EU citizens, so it is a critical regulation for corporate compliance officers at banks, insurers, and other financial companies.

Without all of the jargon, the awesome people at Moz explained it all in a much more helpful, easy-to-digest way. Along with this, they break down what exactly GDPR will do to the tools and services we regularly use to collect, process, analyze or store data; mainly Google Analytics, email marketing, referrals, and AdWords. Here’s a quick recap of what Moz had to share:

GDPR + Google Analytics

If you use Google Analytics, Google is your data processor and since they handle data from people all over the world, they’ve had to take steps to become compliant with GDPR standards. However, you/your company are considered the data controller in this relationship and you will also need to take steps to make sure your Google Analytics account is set up to meet the new requirements.

GDPR + Privacy Policies

Under GDPR, a site’s privacy policy needs to be clearly written in plain language and answer basic questions like what information is being collected, why it’s being collected, how it’s being collected, who is collecting it, how it will be used, and if it will be shared with anyone else. If your site is likely to be visited by children, this information needs to be written simply enough for a child to be able to understand it.

GDPR + Email Marketing

As far as email marketing goes, GDPR is going to have the biggest impact on those who do things that have already been considered sketchy, like buying lists of contacts or not making it clear when someone is signing up to receive emails from you.

Even if you’re confident your European contacts have opted in, there’s no harm in sending out an email asking them to confirm that they would like to continue receiving messages from you.

GDPR + Google AdWords

Google will now be requiring publishers to get clear consent from individuals to have their information collected. Not only does this mean you have to give more information about how a person’s information will be used, you’ll also need to keep records of consent and tell users how they can opt out later on if they want to do so. If a person doesn’t give consent to having their information collected, Google will be making it possible to serve them non-personalized ads.

See more of Moz’s GDPR breakdown here >> 

Transparency, in every sense of the word, is the wave of the present and future of business. It’s our jobs as marketers to make sure that ourselves, and the clients and companies that we work with, are fully on-board with these new privacy changes. With this new era of digital integrity, GDPR is only the beginning of new rules and regulations where personal information is concerned – let’s all buck up and get ready for the next changes in data law because it’s only a matter of time before they’re put into place.

5 Books On Expert Marketing Psychology We Love

Marketing Psychology

At the very heart of every successful marketing strategy is the psychology behind it that makes it work. The actions, behaviors, feelings, and perceptions of customers are the driving force behind most purchasing decisions, making a firm understanding of marketing psychology one of the most important factors to consider for any campaign.

While marketers and psychologists are rarely one in the same, the two fields are so intertwined that it’s impossible (and honestly unreasonable) to ignore. Using marketing psychology is an intelligent, ethical thing to do in order to engage, inform, and create loyal consumers.

We employ a lot of psychological assessment and consideration when planning and strategizing for our clients, but we don’t have ALL of the answers. To help fill in the gaps, we regularly read up on techniques, best practices, and updates in the world of marketing psychology. Here are some of the best books we’re into now:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition

Author: Robert Cialdini

About the author: Robert is currently the Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.

What you will learn: How people reach their action. Robert walks the reader through the psychology of why people say yes. This is exceptionally valuable as a marketing psychology book as we reach an age where AI can easily switch our purchase decisions at the very last minute. This crucial time of purchase will really help the seller rethink end-of-purchase strategy all the while being fascinated with the way our own brain works.

Where to find it: Amazon

The Complete Guide to Understanding Consumer Psychology

Author: Neil Patel

About the author: Neil is one of the most famous names in the industry. An influencer, star and general contributor to most online marketing knowledge. Co-Founder of Crazy Egg and KISSMetrics and absolutely obsessed with business growth.

What you will learn: It’s a free guide broken into seven easy-to-digest chapters where you can find easy to follow subjects like color use, online conception, emotions, small tactics with big wins and avoiding points of friction. It’s probably one of the easiest guides on the internet.

Where to find it: Quick Sprout

Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing

Author: Rodger Dooley

About the author: Dooley is the sole creator and publisher of this book, hailing from the popular blog – Neuromarketing, which researches brain behavior in marketing, advertising, and sales.

What you will learn: This is a very specific book for learning everything practical for acting on behavior patterns and the neuroscience and how to attract new customers. It’s the marketing psychology book for small businesses and non-profits which unleashes techniques that will enable your business to form emotional bonds with new customers.

Where to find it: Wiley

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Author: Jonah Berger

About the author: An expert on the most valuable marketing technique – word-of-mouth. Jonah is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on viral marketing, social influence, and trends.

What you will learn: This isn’t just a marketing psychology book that interests the marketer, it’s rather a broad way of learning about our natural psychological inclination to other various decisions. These daily examples are highly relevant to marketers as they explain the desires of the consumer.

Where to find it: Amazon

Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing

Author: Douglas Van Praet

About the author:

What you will learn: It’s bringing a revolutionary concept to the cognitive science of how we market, advertise and consume in the modern digital age. This is the best possible book that will help you break down the elements of the human brain and apply them to your marketing activities across any industry. You can learn about codified steps, behavior change and traditionally what humans strategies are.

Where to find it: Amazon

It can be a sensitive matter to notice ways where your brain triggers purchase, consumers have habits and everyone is different but the usual purchase method can actually be very simple. There’s a lot to learn on this subject if you’re looking for customer success these books will influence the way you stop and think about the way your customers will make your next purchase.

If you feel like you need a little more background knowledge on the way consumers behave and to inject this into your next campaign, give us a shout to see how we can spice things up.

From 2018: What Is The Next Step For AI Evolution?

AI marketing

We’re a month into 2018 already; we’ve already discussed the predictions of every element of marketing, and how to best plan out the year for ourselves and our clients. But what does the future hold?

We know the robots are already in our kitchen, our desks and down your local bar covering appliances, assistance, and customer succession. The next possible domination for them is unknown, but if we look into various sectors to study where they could conquer, then this allows us more time to plan strategically to work with them as our sidekick, not our competitor. There are speculations and desires of where it will strike next, until then, here are some examples of the direction and the next steps of AI evolution in marketing and other prominent industries today.

The Evolution of AI Within Marketing

We can safely say that the marketing industry has changed significantly, but we all know we are just at the dawn of AI evolution. Brands are yet to completely understand the complex changes in which artificial intelligence will change our workplaces and our day-to-days. 8 in 10 B2B marketing executives believe that by 2020, AI will completely revolutionize marketing. The major effects it will make to work practices will be more efficient in operations as machine learning implementation can take care of many admin roles, healthcare, finance and many more.  

Example: Personalization With Phrasee

One challenging role in digital marketing is creating subject lines that compel your readers just to click on your email. A live, human employee will know the ins and outs of your client base, your regular reader, demographics, what worked or what didn’t – therefore, they are able to create more personalized subjects creating a higher value to the content. Now AI-powered software such as Phrasee exists to help you optimize content, and continually improve those open rates and CTRs.  

Example: Purchase Recommendations With Gray Jean’s Genie

Genie is an AI-powered recommendation engine that predicts consumer behavior used by marketers to better target their customers at the right time, with the right message. Gray Jean claims that with their experience, they have been able to predict customers next likely purchase with up to 72% accuracy. Because the platforms hosts behaviors from online and offline, CRM and social media capabilities, deals can be customized with geo-targeting, push notifications, emails and social ads. This defines the next step of AI evolution as more and more companies will need to adopt systems like Genie in order to compete in their eCommerce industry.

The Evolution of AI Across Other Industries

Trains, cars, buses, trams, boats? Truth be told, the mechanisms of all of these transportation forms are in line for their next steps towards AI evolution. You may instantly think, “danger,” but as a matter of fact, this artificial intelligence is capable of detecting hazards, humans and natural causes by landscapes.

Example: Self-Driving Mobiles With Hack Rod

Before any other self-driving Uber, Google, or Tesla cars were created, there was HackRod. These cars have actually taken the data from the driver’s brain waves and other combined sensors, and run it through a machine learning process to create the car’s “nervous system.”

AI Implementing Creativity

To think of a form of creativity, we would automatically think personal talent – songwriting or sculpturing can surely not be the next step in AI evolution, wouldn’t you think. AI technology is capable of playing games, being your personal assistant, and delivering packages to your door, which means they are also fully capable of helping humans create something special or intricate in the shape of an art form.

Example: Creativity With The Infinite Drum Machine

The Infinite Drum-Machine essentially combes thousands of sounds creating musical experiments. The method of this seemingly simple mechanism matches drum patterns which are close together, with the category of color, all into one machine that looks like the solar system. You can click anywhere on the board and create percussive sounds and patterns, that has completely been assisted by AI technology. The craziest part is that anyone can access it.

Example: AutoDraw

Another Google AI experiment will help any doodle artist create better quality images by recognizing a primary drawing and creating something similar, but better. It’s nothing you can make money like Da Vinci from – but for substitute GIFs, your next logo or the outline of your next coloring book, yes it’ll do the job. We’re definitely on our way, and this is in the books for the next steps of AI evolution as ideas for advances are probably underway.



Some of this may come as a shock, some may come as a nice surprise. Regardless of any emotion towards these next steps in AI evolution, the reality is that we all need to be considering them in our workplaces sometime soon.. otherwise we’ll just fall behind.

If you need any further expert advice, reach out to us so we can share our knowledge, and help you strategize the next best step for AI in your business.

Research Reigns Supreme for eCommerce During the Holidays

We’re huge fans of research; as it turns out, so are consumers today.

Marketing Dive released a study based on some stunning new eCommerce data compiled by Rakuten Marketing. Here are the main takeaways and highlights that every online business needs to know for the hectic season of holiday shopping:

  • Click-through and ad engagement rates jumped 154% and 111%, respectively, during the week before Thanksgiving.
  • 46% of all page views occurred on a mobile device over the week of Thanksgiving. Mobile revenue was up 43% during the same period.
  • Combined online shopping revenue over Thanksgiving and Black Friday this year (2017) jumped 23% from 2016.
  • Online revenue and purchases on Thursday grew 28% and 35%, respectively, over last year, while online revenue on Friday increased 21%.

The article goes on to discuss what this means for digital marketers and advertisers:

Research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing found a notably undermarketed day was Green Monday, the second Monday in December. Just 6% of marketers executed campaigns on that day, but those that did saw a 50% higher conversion rate than business-as-usual email sends. Yes Lifecycle also found that Cyber Monday emails convert about 53% more holiday shoppers than Black Friday ones, pointing to the an opportunity for marketers to leverage in future years of the annual holiday shopping frenzy.

Check out all of the insights on the Marketing Dive site here. 

Need some help re-strategizing for the holidays? We’re here for you.

Halloween Ads: The Best Spooky & Seasonal Marketing Campaigns We Saw

October is ripe for well-intended Fall-centric puns, a barrage of emails boasting flash sales and seasonal promotions, paranormal-inspired video content, social contests around pumpkin spice lattes, and brands vying for the attention of your everyday consumer. It goes without saying, but some definitely do this better than others. Without further ado, here’s our roundup of some of the top brands working Halloween in their favor (the right way) this year.

Without further ado, here’s our roundup of some of the top brands working Halloween in their favor (the right way) this year.

Best of Video: Mars

There’s nothing that says dedication to great marketing quite like a carefully-calculated series of weird, spooky short films. Mars, the company behind many of our all-time chocolatey favorites, does not disappoint with the elaborate, often eerie mini-movies that make us equally creeped out and craving more candy. Here’s the clip for Skittle, “Floor 9.5.”

Best of Social: Burger King

Sometimes feuds are childish, and sometimes they help you drive more sales. It’s just business. In the latest episode of the battle between Burger King and McDonald’s, the King has a new campaign offering free Whoppers to the first 500 guests donning full clown gear: #ScaryClownNight. In select cities, you just have to show up between 7pm and closing wearing a creepy clown costume on Halloween night and you’ll get free food.

The chain is, of course, also encouraging participants to post all their getups online using their #ScaryClownNight.

Best of Mobile: Iron Maiden + Angry Birds

This is one of those partnerships that sound absolutely ridiculous in theory, but in practice makes so much incredible sense. Angry Birds and Iron Maiden have teamed up to create a complete mobile game that’s themed around Halloween. With a new setting on a “heavy metal” island, the new game features Iron Maiden’s “Eddie the Head” and centers around each album the band has released to date. When you really think about it, it’s quite a spookily genius move for both.

Best of Experiential: TopShop

Okay, so we may or may not have already binged the entirety of the newest season of Stranger Things, but that doesn’t take away from our excitement for this campaign. At its flagship store in London, Topshop is hosting a crazy clever, in-store experience to go along with a ‘Stranger Things’ pop-up for the season. Fans and visitors can step inside Joyce’s living room, take a look at the Hawkins Laboratory, and even peer into Will Byers’ secret forest hideout.

What have been your favorite seasonal campaigns of 2017? Drop us a comment on Facebook and get the convo started.