Commercial Leaders Continue to Rely on Social Media to Drive Revenue Despite the Difficulties in Measuring Effectiveness

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Commercial Leaders Continue to Rely on Social Media to Drive Revenue Despite the Difficulties in Measuring Effectiveness

James Hammersley, CEO at Good Growth provides his opinion on the changing role of digital and social media in the US and what trend companies should be looking out for.

Our recent research has shown a worrying confirmation of trends we are seeing in the market. It highlighted that only 67% of marketers feel they may be able to measure social media ROI in the next two years. Despite this, the report also states that 50% of marketers are planning to increase their resource and budget for social media spend in the next twelve months.  The report suggests this –  why plan to increase investment before you can measure its impact?

In 2016 Facebook generated US$26BN in advertising revenue, a 57% per cent increase on the previous year, even though the available evidence suggests that it has a consistently lower direct sales ROI compared to other channels available. Despite the direct ROI performance, eMarketer forecasts that social networks will take a quarter of digital ad spend in 2018, with marketers in the UK expected to spend $3.3BN on social media advertising. An increase of 24% over 2017. eMarketer also expects that social media’s share of the digital market will continue to increase and hit 29.7% in 2020.

Research from Statista showed that the increase in US social media advertising spend over the three years since 2015 has been dramatic. $10.8bn was spent in 2015, this is expected to increase to $19.3bn by the end of 2018. This is a remarkable climb and is backed up by a report from 4C Insights that showed a 60% increase in social media advertising spend in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year.

There is an argument to think about this channel as equivalent to television – an early stage of consumer engagement that encourages consideration at a later stage when a consumer turns into a shopper and there is some merit in this given the amount of time spent on social media.  But after the high-profile Cambridge Analytica revelations, consumers will be far more conscious of how their data is being used on social media and brands too may revise their strategies.  

It seems that there is still a long way to go in showing the worth of social media. Despite stating that 20% of time is spent online on social, IT Pro Portal reports that most businesses are investing in far more in advertising and media spend elsewhere [1]. Global advertising agency group WPP are quoted as spending close to three times more on search marketing than social media [2].

The report highlights the outcome of a study undertaken by Unilever that concluded there was a better ROI from spending money on paid traffic sources as opposed to through social channels. The results demonstrated that online display ads had a higher ROI than expected. The most effect ROI, however, was found through TV advertising, where for every £1 spent, £1.79 was generated in revenue.

In recent months, there has also been a significant increase in attention paid to the locations of ads as well as towards the content being shown alongside the paid content. This has become a major issue for brands interacting with display advertising, particularly programmatic activity, and it is now generating concerns in social media marketing as well.

Advertising giant Unilever has threatened to withdraw its advertising from Facebook and Google due to the continued “swamp” of fake news, racism, sexism and extremism – they are refusing to support platforms that fail to eliminate content that promotes anger and hate.

Similarly, Proctor and Gamble, the worlds’ biggest advertiser with a spend of US$10.5bn, issued a similar warning before cutting $100m (£72m) of digital ad spend without any negative impact on sales.

It is clear advertisers are becoming increasingly wary of online quality and so are unlikely to shift much more money aggressively from TV to social as these concerns continue to mount. Until social channels become better equipped in monitoring the content they are hosting, there will continue to be a concern for brands around the use of these channels where there is a reputational risk. 

The key point is to be clear from the outset whether you are investing for ‘consideration’ or ‘conversion’ and how success will be measured. And a final thought: Just because consumers are there, it doesn’t mean they want you there too, almost two thirds of Britons don’t want brands appearing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks [3].

Ultimately, identifying the revenue resulting directly from investment into social channels continues to be extremely difficult. Undoubtedly, social media remains a huge market for brands to build reputation and increase exposure. The key is a customer first approach. Investing strategically, rather than blindly, means companies have a better chance of getting results from investment and also avoiding the increasing consumer unease surrounding social media.


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A Full-Service Manufacturer for the Health and Beauty Industry

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A Full-Service Manufacturer for the Health and Beauty Industry

Cosmedx Science Inc. produces personal care products. We profile the company and our CEO of the Year in California, Christopher Amato, as we aim to find out more about the creative and innovative firm which offers a variety of services and care.

Cosmedx Science offers skin care, children, facial washes, bath and shower gels, hair care, homeopathic, nutrition drinks, and pet care products. Boasting a wealth of experience, CEO Christopher Amato possesses over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, having owned multiple companies throughout the years. In 2009, he founded the Triton Family of Companies that services numerous aspects of business including business consulting for development and capital fund raising. He was also the former President of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce in Arcadia, Arizona. Many new exciting things are happening at Cosmedx Science since his purchase of the company in 2013.

Regarding the team’s research and development (R&D), Cosmedx Science is inventive in its nature, and its manufacturing innovation starts with an intricate process which begins with its R&D. Cosmedx’s R&D meets the changing needs of its customers in the ever developing personal care sector, and the company stays ahead of other similar firms by diligently creating new product designs and development, and consistently improving the existing ones.

Furthermore, within Cosmedx, innovation and production are linked together. Enabling the team to be innovative and further advance its products, the firm utilizes its 78,000-square ft. state of the art manufacturing facility in California, in compliance with US FDA, and cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Process) as well as meeting the most rigorous quality, safety, and environmental standards to deliver world class innovative products.

Ensuring that every product is delivered with the utmost quality, the company’s supply of consistent, high quality consumable products is supported by its quality control and quality assurance. Guaranteeing that clients and customers will always receive the best goods, the firm’s QC and QA teams work together to fulfil their specific requirements. A stringent process is in place for product testing and continued monitoring of material stability, eliminating any defects during production.

Alongside every well-renowned high-quality product is an exceptional delivery of customer service. Since its inception, Cosmedx has been focused on being the best-in-class manufacturer of contract filled products. Employing highly qualified and committed staff, the team are dedicated to maintaining the highest level of customer service, with its top-notch customer service team going the extra mile to ensure that customers can expect quality, reliability and integrity.

Internally, the team at the top work incredibly hard to ensure that employees and team members are able to thrive in their respective positions. The team consists of a diverse workforce which is fully trained and committed to producing world class, high quality products. Contributing to the thriving work environment which in turn contributes to the success of the firm are the support and admin staff, who are stellar and resourceful problem solvers.

Key to its management there are dedicated professionals who are licensed, certified, and are experts in their respective fields. Together, they work as a team in order to meet their goals and deliver to their customers’ needs.

Ultimately, the togetherness and expertise of a wealth of clients are major factors in making Cosmedx Science the success it is today, and eventually this comes down to excellence at the top, as employees learn from the leadership of their CEO, especially if they are someone they look up to, like Chris.

Company: Cosmedx Science Inc.

Contact: Chris Amato

Address: 475 N. Sheridan Street, Corona, California, 92880, USA

Phone: 001 951 371 7565

Website: www.cosmedxscience.com

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Managing the Rise of Criminal and Abusive User Generated Content

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Managing the Rise of Criminal and Abusive User Generated Content

Patrik Frisk, CEO at Besedo provides his opinion on how to manage the rise of Criminal and Abusive User Gernerated Content

The amount of User Generated Content (UGC) across the internet has grown incredibly quickly over the past few years. Consumers use UGC, especially reviews, to make purchasing decisions with research showing that 92 per cent of people trust recommendations from individuals (even strangers) over brands. A positive or negative review can therefore make a huge difference to a business with consumers acting almost as a marketing function.

With such an increase, perhaps inevitably, there has also been a substantial rise in the amount of criminal, fraudulent or offensive posts. This can cause companies real issues in terms of reputation and financial loss unless they are able to quickly identify and remove such posts.

However, with the sheer amount of UGC now appearing on sites, the job of moderating has become a crucial, but resource heavy role.  We have seen the likes of Google commit to employing 10,000 people  specifically with the role of moderating YouTube videos. This came after the severe criticism from both the public and advertisers regarding the amount of highly offensive content that remained on the site.

Such a commitment, whilst admirable, is a necessity in this case. The continuing loss of advertisers simply could not continue and Google had to be seen to be solving this high-profile issue. Most organizations, of course, do not have the budget to deploy such a sizable workforce. Every website that allows UGC will have to deal with a percentage of negative content. Adding to this challenge is the increasing amount of regulation being introduced by governments in order to crack down on negative, offensive and criminal UGC.

In Europe, the German Government at the beginning of 2018 introduced regulation that means websites that operate in the German market now have 24 hours to identify and remove UGC related to ‘hate speech’. The law initially at least is restricted to sites with over two million users, but those who fail to act will face fines of up to 50m Euros. This would seem to be only the beginning of a number of regulations that will sweep across all countries and is also likely to impact smaller sites as the efforts to combat offensive UGC continues.

So, both in terms of reputation and adherence to the latest regulations, the moderation of UGC is now a crucial element of any online retailer/marketplace. Unless you have almost unlimited resource, companies have to find ways of making this process efficient.

This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play such an important role. It is a hugely efficient way of quickly identifying possible abusive or inappropriate added content, allowing it to be taken down before it impacts end-users. AI is constantly learning and so the process will become increasingly efficient and effective. However, without the input of human expertise, AI, on its own, can only play a limited role. Using experts who have knowledge of the type of language used and the changing trends of criminal’s use of sites alongside AI technology strikes a good balance; allowing legitimate posts to be approved and added in a timely manner, whilst weeding out the abusive or criminal posts and removing them quickly.

Up until recently AI has been fairly prohibitive for all but the biggest companies. The financial investment needed has meant smaller companies have been unable to take advantage of the technology. Furthermore, providing AI with the huge amount of data sets needed for it to act independently can be near impossible for smaller volume sites. This is changing though and it is not just huge enterprise sized organizations that can benefit. Indeed, there are some solutions that are now “off-shelf” ready for businesses to use, pre-loaded with AI modules constructed to deal with most general content moderation challenges for online marketplaces. These can be immediately put into action combatting criminal and abusive posts.

Undoubtedly, UGC can provide huge benefits for online businesses and can act as one of the pillars for success for many. The independent third-party endorsement it brings from customers recommending good or servicess is unbeatable marketing for businesses. However, the inevitable rise of criminal, offensive or fraudulent UGC has meant that companies have to manage this carefully and effectively. With the regulatory landscape changing all the time and the perpetual threat to reputation as a result of inappropriate UGC appearing and remaining on site; action must be taken. Using technology alongside human expertise is increasingly being considered the most effective method of moderating content effectively and efficiently.

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