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Happy Marketing September 2023

Hello!

It’s finally fall, so it’s time for pumpkin-spiced-everything and a hit of your fave marketing newsletter.

In this month’s edition we’re getting deep into the future of search, building a Q4 strategy that BOOMS (hint, everyone loves a bargain), and *this guy* makes an appearance…

Digital marketers waking up on the 1st of September.

Psst! Has some lovely colleague forwarded you this email? If you’re into marketing and, urm, cows? – join us here 🐮

Is Smoking Cool Again?

First, I don’t need to tell you that smoking has had a pretty big fall from grace. Big Tobacco just isn’t cool anymore but, like the smell of stale cigarette smoke, it still has a way of lingering around.

The key to that cloying longevity? Not just physical addiction, cigarettes also have an infamously great marketing team. The latest brand that’s got influencers talking? Hestia.

With its oh-so-cool packaging, ‘natural’ vibes, and guerrilla marketing doling out free cigarettes to cool young people in cities across the USA, Hestia is the latest tobacco brand that seems to have broken free of tight advertising rules and earned its space as an emerging ‘cool’ brand.

But scratch the surface, and Hestia’s marketing tactics aren’t that radical. Influencers influence, and giving your product for free to cool people is a long tried and tested strategy.

The thing I like about Hestia? They are taking micro-influencing to the next level. Their ultra-micro influencers™ (that’s my term, and I’m keeping it) are just those cool people you see at parties. They’ve not got 100k followers, but when they spark up at 2am they’re cool enough to make you think, hey, that looks really good.

And, brands, that’s the thing worth tapping into.

Poll of the Month

How would you spend 5 hours of extra focus time in a week?

We love hearing from you guys at Nouvel Âge, and this week, it’s all about self-time. I don’t know about you, but every second of the day I am bombarded with notifications and stress fun reminders about work 🌝

Five hours of focus time would be an incredible blessing, and I personally would love to spend that time connecting, sharing, and brainstorming with my wonderful customers. I’m interested in getting better at serving my community, and that time would help me learn how.

So, hey! This month, let’s do it. HMU and let’s grab coffee together, virtually or here in LA. My treat ☕❤️

Too Early for This Guy? 🎅

HO HO HO it’s never too early for the holidays! Especially if you’re a marketer lol 🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃

If you’re an ecom brand, now’s the time to look ahead at those holiday trends and start thinking about how you can make the Christmas holiday shopping experience a dream for your customers (psst — this webinar is a great place to start).

Our hot tip for this year? PRICE MATTERS. Above everything.

We already saw how, on Prime Day, customers were happy to shed their brand loyalty and shop elsewhere if there was a better deal to be found. With inflation and wage stagnation, meaning customers are feeling the pinch, the biggest deals will always win out.

So, my recommendation for seasonal ads is to hone in on price, stack those discounts, and make everything feel like an absolutely great deal (even when it isn’t 😉).

I have some mixed opinions about ChatGPT. I mean I love it, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, I’m so sick of reading regurgitated AI content. (If that’s you, yes we do know and it sucks.)

But on the other hand, ChatGPT is pretty useful. Need a rapid definition or a thesaurus list of synonyms to slot into your copy, Joey Tribinani style? Need a quick answer to a niggling question? ChatGPT is the place to go, giving you immediate answers without having to click through to the search results.

The truth is, humans are lazy. The fewer clicks the better. That means that search engines are in danger.

But it’s not just AI that’s shaking up the search world. Gen-Z and their love of social media is also having an impact. Now, 31% of consumers go to social media to find answers to their questions – a sizable chunk that will keep growing.

All this means that businesses can’t just rely on an SEO strategy. You need a social media search strategy and to think about an AI strategy, too.

Does-the-dash-even-matter.com?

In other search marketing news, Google has finally given its verdict on the long standing question – does your domain name impact search results?

The answer according to Google’s John Mueller? No. It doesn’t. So you can stop worrying now.

…Or can you? Well it actually might be true that keywords in your domain name might mean better click-thru rates. Google’s black-box algorithm means that even Google might not be able to say anything with certainty.

So, that’s that, another definitive non-answer in the world of SEO.

It’s almost spooky season lol forgive me for this gif 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃, nightmare before christmas

It’s almost spooky season lol forgive me for this gif 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

[INSERT COMPULSORY AI MENTION] 🤖

Are you even writing a digital marketing newsletter if you don’t pay homage to our AI overlords? In the news this month, two tech giants announced AI news: Amazon and TikTok.

At Amazon, users will now be able to read AI-generated summaries of product reviews highlighting key themes. Whereas TikTok is moving towards full transparency by introducing a compulsory label on AI-generated content.

How AI will influence decision-making is a hugely evolving topic, and it will be interesting to see what will happen to these features once the dust surrounding AI settles. In the meantime, it’s best to start prepping your ecom and social media team — will these tools impact you? (yeah, start looking at what your reviews say, pronto!)

My Soccer Blues ⚽⚽⚽

This month has all been about the ladies and the FIFA World cup down-under…. ¡Viva España!

BUT how did soccer score online? When tracking big tournaments like this, I LOVE to drill down into the data and get into sentiment.

And there were some surprises in this report from Brandwatch, alongside a whole host of new ways of discussing and understanding the tournament culturally. The World Cup wasn’t just a huge milestone for women’s sports in general (in spite of THAT disgusting kiss) it was also a resounding success for expanding audiences to a new range of diversity, and some of the winners online might surprise you.

Me when someone tries to talk to me about soccer at any other time than right now.

Me when someone tries to talk to me about soccer at any other time than right now.

Your Social Media Hit

September was a busy month for launches of new social media features.

We had new music options from IG, DMs and alt text from Threads, and in-app shopping from TikTok (albeit just in the UK for now).

So, what can we learn from these new features? Well, music and collaboration are still critical for social media as it becomes more and more immersive. Now, brands need to step up their content marketing again, thinking about sound as much as visuals — even on static posts.

Plus, social media is expanding its reach. TikTok knows that search is moving in its favor, so if it can capture that traffic and keep payments, shopping, and search in-app, the future is bright.

As for Threads, it’s still finding its feet. Usage has slumped after its successful launch, and it’s still unclear if it’s a viable alternative to Twitter X. Watch this space.

Retail Growth or Mirage?

Finally, this graph has been keeping me awake at night. No prizes for guessing why.

Ouch.

We’re hearing a lot about how the market is resilient and how spending is bouncing back. That’s promising, and when we see graphs with a nice increasing line, it makes us all feel happy 📈

But, and it is a big but, the truth is inflation is inflating these figures. Consumer spending might well be up, but we’re getting a lot less for our buck. Those big, optional purchases are slipping down our list of priorities and it’s harder and harder to justify discretionary spend.

I said it before and I’m saying it again. If you’re a brand that relies on consumer spending, PRICE MATTERS RIGHT NOW. Pivot your final quarter strategy to your pricing and you’re on to a winner.

🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

September is here and I’m getting back into my cozy sweaters and sipping my pumpkin spice yes I live in sunny LA but so what.

But you know what else September brings? Christmas, duh!

Okay, okay, I know this newsletter was a little premature but it’s only half because I’m excited. Mostly, I’m thinking about how your ads are gonna perform this holiday season, and what you can do to make it your best yet.

Why not let me buy you a latte this month and let you in on how Nouvel Âge can help you get ready for the biggest shopping season of the year?

I PROMISE I’ll make it worth your while ‘cause I’ll even bring my dog.

She’ll let you give her belly rubs but only if you let us do your Christmas ad strategy.

Just send us a message and we’ll find a date that works. Cool (my dog) has a busy schedule.

See ya in Starbs!

Natalie

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