Ad duopoly



Is the Meta-Google empire crumbling?


Meta used to be synonymous with social media advertising, Google with search… and together they ruled the digital ad world.

But new industry signals show their duopoly is being challenged…

Tilting the throne: Meta and Google account for $300B of all forecasted advertising revenue for 2022, with their rivals making up the remaining $100B.

$100B may not seem like much, but go back four years and you’ll find no trace of competing ad channels.

It’s like TikTok, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple showed up out of nowhere and stole a quarter of the ad spend.

Right place, right time: Privacy regulations are hitting Meta and Google hard, creating industry changes that suit these “challengers” in many ways…

  • Amazon and Apple can serve ads using their own first-party data.
  • Microsoft can use Bing data to fine-tune LinkedIn ads.
  • TikTok’s feed recommendation algorithm can help suggest ads to users.

Too many to count: Meanwhile, other marketing channels are becoming accessible to advertisers, including streaming ads, podcast ads, and even video game ads.

… And digital advertisers are already allocating budgets to platforms that aren’t social media or search engines.

Why we care: Knowing how the ad landscape is changing gives you the opportunity to try new and potentially lucrative channels—and plan your budget accordingly.

One thing is certain: digital marketing is getting more interesting than ever. If only there was a newsletter to keep up with it all…


28.3M InMails reveal cold email insights

In today’s episode of tech companies educating marketing and sales about their platforms…

LinkedIn published a list of cold outreach tips based on their analysis of 28.3M LinkedIn emails, also known as InMails.

Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Shorter is better. 25-50 word emails get 65% replies.
  • Simplify your writing. Write at fifth grade level, and you’ll see 50% more replies.
  • Personalize your outreach. Sprinkle your pitch with personalization to double your open rates.
  • Use an unassuming tone. “Did you know that [stats]” InMails don’t cut it. Ask thoughtful questions and be curious about your prospect.

As a bonus tip, reviewing your prospects’ work history and asking questions about their experience can prompt replies.

Why we care: It’s not easy connecting with the right people and building strategic relationships on LinkedIn, but it is worthwhile, so any help is welcome.

Plus, you can apply the same tips to cold emails outside of the LinkedIn platform as well.

Oh, and speaking of connecting with the right people…


Unfiltered DTC lessons from $2B founders


The most challenging time of the year is about to start…

How would you like to beat your wildest sales expectations by December 31?

DTCx is taking their smash-hit virtual conferences in person in Los Angeles for three days. And this year, 250 leaders will gather to prepare for a tumultuous Q4.

This is your chance to network with and learn from DTC pros like Lo Bosworth (founder of Love Wellness), Alex Collis (Director of Operation at Princess Polly), Aaron Spivak (Co-Founder of Hush), Hamid Saify (SVP of Digital Retail), and others.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Founders lessons from brands doing a combined $2B+ in sales.
  • Hands-on workshops with your favorite brands and tools.
  • Food trucks from the best spots in LA.
  • A boozy brunch.
  • Giveaways: DTCx swag, AirPods, Bluetooth speakers, and more.

After this event, you’ll have five or six DTC killers in your network you can rely on, plus advanced customer retention strategies your competitors will wish they had.

Get your ticket here.


Want to improve your brand? Ask the right questions


Your customers are a treasure trove of information.

It’s why many brands often conduct interviews with existing customers to gather valuable insights and identify ways they can improve.

But, as Samantha Leal points out in her useful Twitter thread, to get insightful answers, you have to ask insightful questions.

How do you know which questions unlock growth? Samantha shared 22 questions you should always be asking your customers, based on seven different customer knowledge categories.

Of course, we can’t share them all here, but we’ll tease you with the most interesting ones…

To explore customer goals and their struggles and motivations to purchase, ask:

  • When you decided to try was there a problem you were trying to solve?
  • Knowing you wanted to , why did you choose above others?

To understand pains and the issues with previous solutions, ask:

  • What have you been using before to get the job done?
  • Why did you start looking for something new?
  • What was your biggest problem with the ?

To uncover trigger events and when or how they realized they have a problem ask:

  • When did you have the first thought that you might need something new?
  • What was going on that triggered the thought? Can you describe it?
  • What happened afterward? Did you immediately start looking for new solutions?

To identify your value proposition and why they chose your product and not a competitor’s, ask:

  • If you had to narrow it down, what was the #1 reason you decided to try ?
  • Where would you typically go when looking for info about ?

This is less than half of all questions! We suggest reading Samantha’s entire thread to grab them all.


Is your website suffering from one of these common issues?


Broken images. Complex JavaScript issues. Slow load speeds.

These are just a few of 130 common issues that can choke traffic and reduce your rankings.

Simply unclogging your website from these issues can give your site a lift.

Semrush’s Site Audit fixes those web issues in 3 easy steps. For free.

The formula is easy: Find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your website. Identify the technical issues. Eliminate them!

Check your website’s health now.


Only people with an IQ in the top 1% will understand this insight


Hey, you’re smart, right?

Then you’re going to like this insight.

It’s called the “IQ Close,” and it’s the same tactic we used in the title of this section.

You can probably guess how it works—we did say you were smart—but basically the IQ Close is a tactic marketers use to associate their product with intelligence.

If we think intelligent people are doing something smart, and we consider ourselves intelligent, then naturally we want to do it, too.

Here are three different examples of the IQ Close in action:

  • You’re on a test drive. “Hey, look,” the salesman says, “this car can really get up and go. One time I had someone cry it scared ‘em so much. But you seem like you can handle it. Floor it when we turn the corner, will you?”
  • You’re on a mental health startup’s website. The headlining social proof is a review from a PhD in neuroscience, touting how much they enjoy the product.
  • You’re reading a promo email for an online course. The copy reads, “This course is for go-getters. People who can commit. Only buy this if you’re ready to put in the time. If you’re not, this isn’t for you.”

All these examples use the IQ Close in different ways, but they follow a core principle: Make people feel good about themselves for buying your product. Make them feel smart, like they’re not the same as everyone else.

Study the three angles above—and brainstorm some of your own—to figure out what’ll work for your product.

Or, you can join Stacked Marketer Pro to get access to both of our reports on psychological hacking for marketers.

Check a preview here.

Plenty of smart marketers have already signed up…


SCALING CONTENT MARKETING: 87,000 teams of all sizes use Storyblok’s content management system to create outstanding digital experiences… fast. Its powerful visual editor empowers flawless collaboration between editors and developers and halves time to market. Discover how Storyblok makes your content work harder.*

META: That’s handy… You can now share Reels from third-party platforms. Facebook just announced its Reels API, which enables apps to add a “share to Reels” feature for desktop or mobile. Nice.

ADVERTISING: Uh oh. Ad spending in the US declined for a third consecutive month, though on a much smaller scale – just 3.3% compared to August 2021. It will be interesting to see how the curve changes as we approach the holidays.

SEO: No, Google doesn’t release core update after core update just to unnerve you. They release one update at a time to “help you understand them.” Don’t be surprised if another core update comes out after the current one. Fun times!

*This is a sponsored post


Smell me, shop with me, or deliver me. I won’t change.

You can find the answer here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The royal corgi effect


Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years over 32 sovereign countries…

… and more than 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Her affection for the breed proved to be an unintended influencer campaign, making nearly everyone aware of the Corgi.

But the Corgi popularity timeline isn’t linear:

  • It peaked during the 1960s with 9,000 puppy registrations in the UK.
  • The late 1990s saw Corgis falling out of popularity.
  • In 2014, only 274 new puppies were registered.

However, Netflix’s The Crown brought the cute, pointy-eared furballs back in the spotlight with 50% more puppy registrations in 2018—and the number’s growing.

Not a bad legacy!

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