Firefox To Block The DigiTrust Universal ID; Apple And Microsoft Are The Kings Of Tech

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Tough Cookie

Mozilla, operator of the Firefox web browser, will block the IAB’s DigiTrust ID, an anonymized, cookie-based identifier used by ad tech and media companies, Digiday reports. Firefox has single-digit share in the browser market – just 4% – but it’s a blow to the IAB Tech Lab initiative all the same and for the overall effort to create a pseudonymous ID that spans the web. “We know certain companies take the position that there is no sufficient consumer value to justify ‘tracking’ – anonymous audience recognition – of any kind, not even for use in communicating privacy choices,” said Jordan Mitchell, the IAB Tech Lab’s SVP of membership and operations. “They believe no third party can be trusted. We take a different position: that trust should be established directly between consumers and the brands, and publishers they trust, and with the third parties that those brands and publishers trust.” More.

Ecom And Go

Did big retail and apparel brands overcorrect in shifting their sales and marketing mix to the internet and ecommerce? More and more signs point to “yes.” Simon Peel, global media director at Adidas, said at a conference in October that the brand’s focus on demonstrable ROI led to an over-investment in digital performance marketing at the expense of brand building. And Gap, which reported quarterly earnings this week, also copped to focusing too much on promotional advertising and discounts. Digital promotions drive results, but it can be risky, because shoppers get accustomed to low prices and subsequently tune out discount marketers when merchandise isn’t on sale. Gap CFO Teri List-Stoll told investors that the Old Navy brand, for instance, has “frankly become too heavily dependent on messaging around discounting as opposed to bigger-picture brand messaging.” CNBC has more on that.

A Bad Influence

People think of the influencer category as purely promotional – and it’s true that influencers are paid to hawk products and are usually judged by the traffic and sales driven by their accounts. But perhaps the most powerful weapon in the influencer arsenal is criticism. Some influencers say that deflating a brand, even without much knowledge or experience with the brand, is part of the authentic daily portrayal of their lives that helps create loyal readers, The New York Times writes. Minor influencers that criticize brands online are rewarded with faster service and remedies to their problems, as the companies try to quickly quash the negative call-out before it becomes a runaway topic on Instagram or Facebook. Criticism from such trusted sources can snowball, and even when issues are resolved or turn out to be incorrect, the brand damage is difficult to reverse. Social marketing pros are well aware of this dynamic. A group of makeup and fashion influencers created a news storm last year when they revealed that brands pay influencers more to slam a rival then to promote their own products. More.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Google, Amazon and Facebook get most of the attention, but tech stalwarts Apple and Microsoft have pulled far ahead of the younger set of Silicon Valley giants (as well as every other company). Apple and Microsoft, with a combined market cap of more than $2.3 trillion, are now twice as large as the entire S&P 500 energy sector, The Wall Street Journal reports. With promising, high-growth revenue streams opening up – namely, Apple’s Services segment and the Microsoft cloud computing business – these older forces in the category seem well-positioned to seize more tech industry gains, despite concerns for years about their innovation and growth prospects. More.

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