Platforms cool down on native shopping


If Instagram stops copying a trend, does that mean it’s a bad idea?

What’s going on: Instagram is backing off its attempts to recreate in-platform shopping experience—a trend that immensely popular in China.

The app intends to significantly scale back shopping features, remove the Shop tab, and shift away from in-stream commerce.

It’s not just Instagram: Meta recently tried to turn Messenger into a native commerce app before abandoning the project.

Even TikTok is seeing declines in shopping behavior in the US and Europe.

Why we care: Unlike videos, social shopping just isn’t sticking with Western audiences.

That’s good to know if you were hoping to turn your livestreams into live sprees.

Speaking of e-commerce…


Guess who has the most engaging ads?

Did you say TikTok? You’re close… but wrong.

According to Kantar’s latest Media Reactions report, Amazon wins when it comes to engagement, beating TikTok, Spotify, Google, and Snapchat ads.

Makes sense: Unlike social media platforms, most consumers associate Amazon with shopping. It’s why they log on.

So if you’re in e-commerce, it’s a good place to run ads.

Amazon is not your thing? Worry not: For the third consecutive year, consumers think TikTok is the most innovative platform out there.

And according to research, marketers are poised to spend more on TikTok in 2023 than any other platform.

A few more important takeaways:

  • Online video, video streaming, and social media stories are getting the biggest net increase in budget allocations.
  • 61% of marketers are about to get more active in the metaverse.
  • Influencer marketing and podcast ads are the online formats with the most equity.

Why we care: While you shouldn’t follow the crowd, it helps to know the landscape.

Pay attention to how your customers and competitors view and use platforms. That’s how you’ll find opportunities to market your products and services effectively and efficiently.


Clear your calendar on October 17 if you want to grow your e-commerce or affiliate business


You don’t always learn business-changing marketing secrets and insights in a Slack channel or during a Zoom call.

Sometimes you can only learn them by talking to people one on one.

That’s just one of the many reasons to join the top affiliate and e-commerce marketers who are flying to Lisbon on October 16-17, 2022.

They’re attending the Affiliate Business Club Conference.

It’s taking place in a 16th century Portuguese convent. The weather will be warm. The networking and business opportunities endless.

And you’ll get the chance to meet top speakers and influencers and well-known exhibitors.

Affiliate Business Conference is a prestigious event that has already been held 82 times and in 21 countries. So if anyone knows how to deliver world class networking and learning experiences… it’s them.

And for the Lisbon event, they’re going even bigger.

RSVP now for free.


5 tips for making your product demo more fun… and closing more sales, too


“Sooo here’s how you log into our product… make an account… do a basic thing…”

This is definitely not how to make your product demo engaging and fun.

… But as April Dunford points out, it’s how most product walkthroughs tend to be:

  • Too focused on elementary, bland, and boring stuff.
  • Too focused on features instead of the value they bring to customers.
  • Skimming the benefits, but not expounding on them enough. “This will save you time.” Yeah? How much time?

Instead of doing demos like everyone else, April suggests improving yours and closing more sales by taking a few intentional steps…

First, set the stage: Start by positioning your product in a specific context. What’s the real problem? How do we solve it? What are the tradeoffs? Where do you fit?

Remember, your walkthrough is not a lecture… It’s a conversation.

Show custers why your product is unique: “We built [product] because it delivers [value] like nobody else and it’s ideal for [customer].”

Spell it out for your customers; don’t make them figure it out on their own.

Emphasize the product’s differentiated value: For example, “We’re the only solution that cuts your dev time in half. Here’s how we do it.”

Cut down—or completely eliminate—the time you spend on features that don’t move the needle for the customer sitting in front of you.

Include proof: You say you deliver value? OK, prove it. Provide stats, customer references, quotes, and video testimonials in your slides.

End by agreeing on what happens next: Don’t just wrap it up, pack it up, and leave. Instead, nudge customers to take the next step.

“We would be happy to dive deeper… Should we arrange a proof of concept meeting? Who should we reach out to? Can we give you a quote?”

All this will make your product walkthrough much more engaging. It’s also an opportunity to position yourself as a different, better alternative to your competitors.


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Don’t make this Rings of Power marketing mistake


Middle Earth. It’s the sort of place most of us think about when we think about “fantasy.”

And thanks to Amazon, we’ve got some fresh Middle Earth content: Their new, mega-expensive show, Rings of Power.

But while critical reception to the actual show has been mostly positive, many hardcore fans wrote it off before the first episode even aired.


Their marketing was all over the place: The tone of marketing materials—from music to footage to imagery—confused both fans and mainstream audiences.

See, Amazon was trying hard to please both hardcore fans and mainstream audiences.

But many core fans got annoyed and made a huge fuss about the show before it ever released, contributing to some bad press.

And in the end, Amazon ended up pleasing almost no one.

The Crew’s take: Trying a few core messages is better than throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

Remember your core value props, know what your target audience cares about, and focus on those.

If you try to market to everyone, you’ll often end up reaching no one.

P.S. Amazon’s show, Rings of Power, is pretty good so far. At least, we think so.


MARKETING: Discover how a leaked MIT paper can help you gain influence in your market. The System 1 Manipulation report is full of examples of how game developers, salespeople, and companies like Amazon, Facebook and Reddit exploit fallacies in their sales & marketing. Join Stacked Marketeer Pro to read it.*

GOOGLE: No more bid adjustments on popular content. Google is deprecating top content bids next month and all campaigns using the feature will stop working automatically. Noted.

YOUTUBE: Good news if you’re running sports betting ads… YouTube will allow them on Masthead as long as they comply with the company’s Gambiling and games policy. The change is already in effect.

BUSINESS: India is joining Amazon on its fake reviews hunt. Their government is ready to announce a new set of regulations that will sanction anyone paying people to artificially endorse products and services.

ADVERTISING: Speaking of India… Google and Meta video ads are seeing huge success in this $20B market. And TikTok being banned in the country may have something to do with it…

PODCASTS: You know how Spotify lets you watch Joe Rogan’s podcast instead of only listening to it? Looks like this is becoming the norm as more and more podcasts start using video. Something to note if you’re running a podcast of your own.

*This is a sponsored post.


What was the largest island in the world before Australia was discovered?

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.

Emotional support alligator


If you see an actual alligator…on a leash… and walking casually in a park… don’t worry.

This is no ordinary gator.

Wally is a registered “emotional support alligator,” and the pet of a long-time reptile rescuer from Philadelphia.

Apparently Wally provided immense emotional support during his owner’s cancer treatment, and “doesn’t show anger or aggression.”

Turns out cold-blooded animals provide warmth. Who knew?

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