Good morning, are you running Amazon search ads?

The early days of cheap clicks, little competition, and buggy interfaces with sparse reporting are gone. Amazon advertising has evolved dramatically, and both marketers and merchants are flocking to the platform. More competition means advertisers need to be savvier to ensure their ad campaigns are profitable. At SMX West last month, Kaitlyn McGrew, senior SEM manager at PMG Digital Agency, offered strategies to ensure your Amazon ad campaigns stay profitable as advertising gets more competitive. Marketing to the full funnel of Amazon shoppers and maintaining a well-structured ad account are just two of her key recommendations. 

Speaking of Amazon, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) last week released its latest Retail and Consumer Shipping Report, which looks at consumer satisfaction across department and discount stores, specialty retailers, drug stores, supermarkets, internet retail and gas stations. Amazon and Costco unsurprisingly tied for highest satisfaction scores, topping all others on the list. As a category whole, digital commerce beat traditional retail in overall customer satisfaction.

The ACSI report indicated “no improvement among the brick-and-mortar categories,” but did mention that “the customer satisfaction bleeding for traditional retailers has stopped.” By comparison, there was a year-over-year improvement for digital commerce, reflecting “a much stronger level of customer satisfaction overall.” While the industry often views retail through a siloed digital or traditional lens, here’s the bottom line: customers really just care about convenience, price, and service.

Keep reading for an update on Facebook’s new Messenger overhaul and more. 

Taylor Peterson, 
Deputy Editor


TikTok, the internet’s shiny new toy

I have a dog; other than my girlfriend, my dog is the love of my life. Problem is, my dog gets distracted super easy. Throw something shiny or squeaky down the hall and my dog is lost for hours.

Marketers and e-commerce pros can be like distracted dogs. Every year or two the shiny new toy comes out and everyone gets distracted. People forget about ROI, forget about real value, forget about what works and all of a sudden, some magical new platform will cure their problem.

I preach value, day and night, value, value, value. Facebook is a much more sophisticated tool, and while it has serious issues of its own, we can gauge what does and does not work. Native ads are on the rise because of targeting and cost. These might not sound as sexy as some random media buyer claiming s/he can create a star-spangled TikTok campaign for $40,000 that’ll wow 16-22-year-olds, but when the retailer looks at results, it’ll be severely disappointed.

Ignore the shiny new toy and remember what matters. No one in the 12th century could fathom indoor plumbing let alone the internet, but basic business principles still apply. Buy for a dollar, sell for two. However, you promote, make sure it makes cents and dollars. Snapchat is practically a forgotten relic, but it has broad appeal, followers and a measurable algorithm. Let’s not crown TikTok just yet.

– Nick Shackelford is the co-founder of Structured Social and Geek Out Education


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Facebook Shorts

Messenger ditches ‘discover’ tab in new redesign, Facebook adds a new 2D-to-3D image generator feature

A new Messenger experience. After toying with the idea back in 2018, Facebook is finally gearing up to launch a new look for Messenger which favors speed and efficiency over broader use cases (like chatbots and ‘discover’ feeds). In fact, the new layout eliminates the ‘Discover’ tab altogether, meaning the main in-app menu will now only include options for ‘Chats’ and ‘People’. Zuckerberg posted on Monday: “We’ve completely rewritten Messenger to get a lot faster. Starting today, we’ll be rolling out the new Messenger app for iOS. Once the rollout is complete, Messenger will be one quarter the size and load twice as fast. When you open Messenger throughout the day, it will feel much faster and more responsive compared to other apps you use. Enjoy!”

2D to 3D photo capabilities. Feeling creative? Last week, Facebook added a new feature that lets users simulate depth in any image to convert a static picture to 3D, Social Media Today reports. The 3D Photos feature relies on portrait mode technology and machine learning models to produce 3D photos from “virtually any standard 2D picture,” Facebook said. Users can access the new feature in the post publishing area, which now shows a ‘3D photo’ option next to the mix of other long-standing creative features. 


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt Is Leading A Digital Transformation At The Once-Troubled Fast Casual Brand – Forbes

Coronavirus scare hits media, advertising industries – Axios

CMOs lose status as companies shift spending to technology – Marketing Dive

Twitter Surges After Activists Seek to Replace CEO Dorsey – Bloomberg

The Other Streaming Battle – AdExchanger

Funding for female founders increased in 2019—but only to 2.7% – Fortune

Apple to pay up to $500 million to settle U.S. lawsuit over slow iPhones – Yahoo! Finance

Twitter pulls out of SXSW conference over coronavirus concerns – The Verge