Attack of the bots


Yesterday was a slow one for marketing news, but the SEO world was abuzz with two things: A new Google update, and a bot attack. Let’s talk about both:

  • Don’t get too excited if you see a spike in traffic from January 31st. No, there wasn’t a new Google update boosting your search traffic. Instead, Marie Haynes reported that many sites saw an attack of bot traffic on that date. To filter out this traffic, exclude the country the bot traffic was coming from.
  • Google launched a new search result feature. It’s designed to tell you more about a search result in the SERPs, as a way to build trust. There’s now a menu icon next to results that’ll give you a little more information about the site you’re going to visit.

In the new SERP feature, Google defaults to showing an excerpt from your site’s Wikipedia page. If your site doesn’t have one, Google will show alternative context, such as when your site was first indexed.


Rev your engines…

…Because this growth marketing framework from Dan Hockenmaier and Lenny Rachitsky recommends that you treat your business like a high-performance race car.

According to Dan and Lenny, your model for growth can be summarized in four parts:

  • The (growth) engine. This is the bread-and-butter of your growth marketing strategy; self-sustaining tactics that drive sales.
  • Turbo boosts. One-off tactics that’ll give your business a brief boost, but don’t sustain long-term. For example, a Super Bowl ad or PR stunt.
  • Lubricants. Things that help your model function more smoothly. This includes items like improved conversion rates and a stronger brand.
  • Fuel. The input you need for your engine to run. Capital, content, and users are all part of the fuel.

Most importantly, understand the growth engine – it’s the core of your growth model and you’ll need it to survive. Dan and Lenny suggest a few key parts for a good growth engine:

  • Performance marketing: Facebook, Adwords, and more.
  • Virality: Referral programs, word of mouth, and more.
  • Content: SEO, YouTube content, shareable video content, and newsletters.
  • Sales: Inbound and outbound salespeople.

Get these four things right, and your growth engine is off to a healthy start. We’ve only scratched the surface of the full playbook, which you can check out here if you’re interested.

See you at the finish line.


Behind the scenes of one of the most overlooked e-commerce giants


Everybody talks about how creepy Wish’s Facebook Ads are.

Nobody talks about the fact that Wish is one of the most efficient big spenders on Facebook and Google, with hundreds of millions of dollars in monthly ad spend.

Here are some facts about Wish:

  • It’s the number one shopping app in 40+ countries.
  • They sell 2M items every day.
  • Wish probably had a record of GMV (gross merchandise value) to headcount ratio, with several million dollars of GMV per employee for a long time.
  • Both Amazon and Facebook tried to acquire Wish.

Those are some good numbers in a world dominated by Amazon. And according to Christian Limon, former growth chief at Wish, they achieved this because they ignored all best practices, personal tastes, and Silicon Valley’s opinions.

And in this Twitter thread, Lenny Rachitsky broke down the successful growth of Wish.

Ready for the nuggets?

  • Your brand’s constraint is Wish’s opportunity: They leave no space for taste or opinion. It’s a company based on pure data. They sell what data tell them they should.
  • Serve the underserved: Most of Wish’s initial sales came from American zip codes with 95% Spanish speakers. Later, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Countries where the average household income is $18k per year.
  • Think full funnel: Wish grew primarily with paid ads. However, they recognized they had a perception problem. Indeed, the top Google search result for Wish was “is Wish a scam”. They worked this out by partnering with respected brands, such as the Los Angeles Lakers. And they even sponsored the McGregor vs Mayweather boxing match.
  • Play to your leadership strengths: Peter Szulczewski, the Wish founder, is the “Michael Jordan of growth and performance marketing”. He maintains total control of what everyone does at the company.
  • Hack the flywheel: Wish started as a free wish-listing product. That allowed them to acquire a lot of demand. They then went to the Chinese sellers with the most desired items and offered this demand to them.
  • Become the best at your growth channel: Wish contributed to the invention of what is now one of the most significant Facebook Ads products: Dynamic Product Ads.
  • Right timing: Wish was launched during the perfect time combination of smartphone adoption and the birth of Facebook Ads.

So the next time you see one of those creepy ads, mind that they made Peter Szulczewski a billionaire.


AMAZON: In a new transparency report, Amazon reported that government demands for user data spiked approximately 800% in 2020.

INSTAGRAM: Struggling to think of music for Instagram Stories? There’s a new feature being tested that’ll show you featured music.

SOCIAL MEDIA: The past year has been a stressful one for social media managers, no doubt. This article gives a thoughtful take on what’s changing, and the future of social media as a whole.

FACEBOOK: Trying to anticipate Apple’s iOS 14 ad tracking transparency (ATT), the company is testing a new prompt that asks users to allow app and website tracking.


What lies on the ground, 100 feet in the air?

You can find the solution here.


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

Mask ID is here


When Apple first introduced Face ID in 2017, they certainly didn’t expect the entire world to be wearing masks just a few years later.

And it’s taken nearly a year, but it looks like we finally have a solution to the Face-ID-in-public dilemma – if you have an Apple Watch, that is.

In the new iOS 14.5 update, Apple added a feature that will automatically unlock your phone if you’re wearing your Apple Watch and Face ID detects that you’re wearing a mask.

It’s a cool little update, but we’re not all the way there yet: You’ll still have to either type in your password or use true Face ID for making purchases.

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