The Podscribe is the podcasters’ tool to transcribe speech-to-text audios for contextual advertising targets. 

The audio advertising technology company, AdsWizz announced its new tool named PodScribe which is a new way to target podcast ad campaigns. Podcast advertisers lack a tool to help them scale their target ads, and they often end up putting in ads episode by episode.

PodScribe uses speech-to-text transcription technology that will analyze podcast content. This tool will enable advertisers to use targeting campaigns based on keywords, concepts, topics, and interests. 

The PodScribe will provide advertisers with valuable targeting and brand safety features to further monetize their podcast. The tool has been in the private beta stage for over a year and is being piloted with leading podcast publishers. 

Brand safety with AdsWizz

To ensure brand safety, the digital advertising company AdsWizz partnered up up Comscore. With PodScribe’s transcription capabilities and Comscore’s activation solution suite, advertisers can reach specific audiences in a brand-safe environment across desktop and mobile platforms. 

“The podcast industry can only truly take off if ad buying is easy and accessible,” said AdsWizz CEO, Alexis Van der Wyer. This tool is part of their goals of pushing forward the podcast advertising that will be both beneficial for listeners and brands. This more is monumental in the podcast industry considering the massive listeners there are in the U.S. alone. It is estimated that over 67 million Americans tune in to podcasts on a daily basis. The podcast industry is one of the fastest-growing channels that advertisers can use to reach out to more clients. 

What does this mean for you? 

The podcast industry is growing by the day, and since January 2018, Podcast mobile app usage increased to 60%. The ad revenue is expected to exceed $1 billion in 2021. This projection prompted Spotify, a leading audio streaming service, to venture into advertising and started offering services for ad buyers. The lack of scalable targeting was an issue until AdsWizz officially announced PodScribe. 

Advertisers, agencies, and buyers can now tap the podcast listening audience using PodScribe. This will also help advertisers to improve their target ad campaign via AdsWizz’s AudioMatic platform. Advertisers can also use PodWave, another feature available in AdsWizz. All these features are helpful for podcasters, advertisers, and brands to monetize their inventory more effectively. 

Facebook is contemplating ads within the Groups Tab.

Groups are a great place to find individuals in specific individuals and demographics. Facebook might capitalize on this by permanently adding ad placements into the group tab. The select advertisers will be able to utilize the new features in the Ads Manager. 

Business 2 Community explained their thoughts on the increased focus on community in the platform. Facebook has poured into its campaign aimed at increasing group engagement, and an example of this is an ad created by Facebook called “‘Game Day’ Commercial – More Together.”

Facebook’s Product Manager, Melissa Tokmak explained in an email to Marketing Land, “We’re running a small test to place ads in the Groups tab and will evaluate whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”

Lately, Facebook has been making frequent updates to their ad platform, whether it’s to recoup ad dollars lost during the Cambridge Analytica breach or because users are becoming more aware of their privacy, Facebook wants to make their ad platform more attractive.  Updates have included increased transparency, tools to better track ROI, rebranded ad offerings, and integrations with Facebook Pixel.   

The social media superpower has also had increased competition from platforms like Microsoft Advertising, Amazon, and Google Ads. These preliminary Group Tab ad tests further prove Facebook’s need to grow and offer more personalized offerings that are competitive in the crowded ad competition.   

This ad offering could give users the ability to take in products and ads that line up with their sensibilities. Marketers being able to aim ads at a target market within a group could be a huge benefit to brands from large to small.  

Time hasn’t been kind to Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, as it faces doubts one after another. 

Twenty-one organizations have confirmed and signed on the Libra Association charter while other companies withdrawal their support of the Libra project. Despite this, the board of directors and the executive team has also been formalized. 

The team is comprised of David Marcus, Calibra CEO, and the head of the board. The other four members are Katie Haunm a general partner with Andreesen Horowitz, Patrick Ellis, general counsel at PayU, Matthew Davie, CSO of Kiva, and Wences Casares, CEO of Xapo. 

The Libra project was announced on June 18, 2019, and has elicited both positive and negative feedback from many entities. It’s been confirmed that more than 1,500 organizations have shown interest in joining the project and 180 of these companies have passed the preliminary membership requirements. Each member of the organization is expected to invest $10 million to help fund the project. 

High-profile companies exit from Libra venture

Despite the buzz that it created in the early days of its announcement, several organizations backed out from the venture shortly before the official confirmation of Libra in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Companies that jumped ship include Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, eBay, Stripe, eBay, Mercado Pago, and Booking Holdings. Paypal withdrew its support from the project and the other companies followed suit. Marcus thanked Mastercard and Visa in his tweet for sticking with the Libra plans as long as they can. 

The spokesperson of eBay also released a statement regarding their departure. The online shopping company told Business Insider that they respect the Libra initiative and their decision to not push through with Libra is due to their plans of focusing more on eBay’s payment experience for their customers. 

There’s still no exact date for Libra’s launch, but the initial target was early next year. However, Zuckerberg said in September that it may take a longer time due to the regulators who need convincing. 

Libra cryptocurrency and advertiser empire

CEO of startup business Amino, Will Lutrell said that this digital currency will give Facebook the ability to compete against Amazon’s ad business. It’s also a direct competitor of Paypal’s Venmo. Libra allows Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp users to make instant purchases in the platforms directly and thus will further improve Facebook and its advertisers. With this digital currency, Facebook will house insights and metrics that many marketers crave.  

Google makes the sales funnel slicker by adding a feature that enables sellers to add photos from consumers

Earlier this month, Google released a feature that implements Images of products from users to help consumers through the research and purchase process. With the addition of this feature consumers can tac images of their products onto the product reviews. 

Though the service is currently refined to the U.S., Google has plans to expand the feature to more devices and additional countries.  

This new addition to Google’s search features could be a huge help to brick and mortar stores as well as solely digitally-based business that want to promote their wares through review with images. Pinterest has made a lot of recent additions to their platform to do just what Google is trying to accomplish with their new user-generated image feature.  

Why does it matter?

The feature is now accessible to shopping advertisers through Product Ratings. It’s important to note that the feature can only be accessed if the seller is accepted into the program. The quality of product images is important to users and plays a role in whether or not users make a purchase. Google backs this up with research that found that 50% of buyers used images to help them decide on a purchase. 

The first step to make this feature work for you is to apply for the Google product rating program. This new feature could be a great addition avenue by which to attract users who heavily research products.  

An Oxfam report says that Walmart beats other companies including Whole Foods in terms of workers’ rights issues in the supply chain industry. 

Oxfam released its second edition of it’s Behind the Barcodes report which graded 10 of the major supermarkets in terms of transparency, its treatment of workers, women, and farmers throughout their chains. Basically everyone who is part of the chains from producing groceries and other goods. 

The research was extensive and included interviews with workers across countries such as the U.S., India, and Brazil. It shows how some of the largest supply chains continuously cut costs while maximizing their profits on account of their workforce. 

Walmart came in first 

Walmart had the highest mark and earned 23% of all possible points as opposed to Whole Foods’ 3%. WholeFoods has been in the industry for a long time but the company did not meet the markers and standards tested by Oxfam.

Walmart, on the other hand, had higher points due to its established labor rights policies implemented throughout its supply chain. The company made sure to protect the rights of their workers up to its small-scale farmers. 

Oppressive working conditions in Whole Foods continues

Oxfam reports that Whole Foods failed to meet the requirements of its mission to further nourish people and the planet. Investigations revealed that laborers are overworked and underpaid. 

In a Whole Foods farm in North Carolina, farmers are reported to work 14 hours a day with few to no break and limited access to toilets. The farmers keep their lips tied for fear of losing their job. The same working conditions are seen in other farms of Whole Foods including the farm in North East Brazil. Many female workers have developed serious allergies and skin diseases due to pesticides and chemicals and without protection. 

WholeFoods’ response 

The company released a statement regarding the report and said that the said report isn’t entirely true. The report did not reflect the companies efforts in addressing human rights and labor issues. 

The statement further explained how they’ve always been front and center in taking immediate action in addressing issues within their supply chain. Whole Foods also stressed out their disappointment towards Oxfam for not initially sharing details on the allegations made against some of their farms. 

Meanwhile, Walmart’s reputation in the market is improving and its CEO has received positive feedback on his decisions on selling ammunition and guns. 

Google updates its search consoles to help creators’ videos appear in Google search and Discover. 

Video is one of the fastest ways for people to consume information. With that in mind, Google wants to give creators more tools to optimize their content’s performance.

Users search for videos on Google in three different ways: through the main Search page, the videos Search tab, and in Discover for mobile. 

Video appearances in Performance Report

Performance reports have been available in the Search Console but this time, but due to the recent updates the report is now more extensive. Google pointed out that “performance report already includes an option to see the performance of your video tab search results (type=video)…you can now also see the performance of your videos in the main Search results tab (type=web) and in Discover using the new “Videos” appearance.

This new tool allows creators to see how their videos are performing on the search engine. It will also enable them to identify issues in their videos and fix them. 

Video Enhancement report details

The other video report is video enhancement. This tool is especially important for sites that use structured data in annotating their videos. The enhancement reports include errors and warnings, as well as the ability to re-crawl sites after addressing. 

Structured data makes it easier for Google to see when videos appear on the page. In turn, the performance is shown including the video length, upload date, and other metadata.

What does this mean for you?

Videos are one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and widen out audience reach. Many brands also invest in video creation to put their content into the Google search engine and Google Discover for mobile. 

How-to videos, tutorials, and the like do well in terms of traffic. Brands capitalize on putting videos on topics that resonate with their audience. Using these new tools, sites can easily see how their videos are performing and affecting their traffic. Seeing the videos that perform well on their site give them the opportunity to lean more into making similar content. This, in turn, helps in increasing not only traffic but also conversion. 

The Q&A platform is bringing more targeting options for its advertisers. 

Quora may not be most advertisers’ top choice when it comes to marketing options, but with its new targeting options, you might as well look into what Quora can offer. The platform has over 300 million monthly visitors searching for answers to specific questions often related to companies, products, and solutions that businesses can provide. 

This week, Quora added 3 new targeting options to better help advertisers in its platform perform well. These are the keyword history, gender, and browser-specific targeting

Keyword History 

This new feature is a combination of the already existing keyword targeting and question targeting on Quora. This option enables advertisers to reach more people who have an interest in subjects and topics relating to your business based on the keywords they use. 

The ads target people who visited questions pertaining to their business. Quora’s Product Manager, Franklin Horn wrote that the keyword history targeting is a way to follow up people who have already shown that they are from the same niche as you. It will enable advertisers to increase their profitable conversions. 

Gender targeting

 Another option is gender targeting which advertisers can use to focus their ads specific to gender. This is helpful for brands and companies that produce products and services specific to either men and women. The messaging can also be changed to tailor the needs of each gender.  Advertisers can create two ad-sets and specific call-to-action for each gender. 

A study done by Tinuiti shows that men splurge more than women. Brands can capitalize on this and tailor their ads towards men’s tendency to spend more. Quora notes that the beta of this targeting option helped some businesses to increase their conversion to up to 4% compared to their campaigns without gender targeting. 

Browser targeting

This option is already offered mobile platform but it’s just now that it’s offered to specific desktop browsers too such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Platform and browser targeting allows advertisers to choose whether to target desktop and mobile devices individually or simultaneously. For mobile targeting, you can target users using iOs and Android devices. 

Quora says that making separate campaigns is more effective as it aids advertisers with their budget utilization and optimization. Budgets are determining at the campaign level so it’s not possible to put more ad spend to a device if you’re targeting both device and desktop in your campaign. 

Why does this mean for you?

Quora is slowly entering the advertising platform steadily and it’s been adding new options and updating its features to cater to the needs of advertisers and marketers. Its number of users comes close to Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit and it won’t be surprising to see it increasing. 

 Toys R Us partners up with Target to launch its new website. 

Toys R Us faced some major financial struggles last year but are now trying to get back to their feet with new partnerships including Target. Target announced a partnership with the toy company to help it relaunch the site This deal will give the toy company an online presence since they’ve filed for bankruptcy.

Richard Barry, Tru Kids’ CEO shared that Target was tapped to be the partner company since they already have good command in the toy business. Aside from that, Target also has a strong supply chain and a clear understanding of how the toy industry works. 

The new website 

Barry added that the new site isn’t only for making purchases. It’s also expected to become a source for parents to look for the latest toys to buy for their children including the newest educational tools for kids. The site will also have video content and product reviews. 

“…the website is immersive and heavily content-oriented… One of the things we have been working on with the initial launch is to make the site very relevant for consumers this holiday season,” says Barry.

With Target backing the toy company, Toys R Us can focus their efforts on ensuring the success of their relaunching and secure their longevity in the industry. Target will then take over their online portion and brand dealings. 

What’s in it for Target?

Target has been expanding its investments in the toy industry. To prepare for the holiday season, Target added a quarter-million square feet to over 500 stores in the U.S. for their toy section. There are also some 100 branches that will get a remodeling to get a toy aisle. 

Last August, Target partnered up with Disney for their stores to have exclusive rights on selling Disney toys, apparel, and accessories. There have been 26 stores to date with more stores to open for the next year. 

This new partnership with Toys R Us’ mother company, TRU KIDS will further Target’s reach into the toy industry. Nikhil Nayar, Target’s senior VP of marketing said that this partnership will accelerate their business. 

Online presence for brands

Toys R Us knows that online presence is imperative to keep the business going. The online marketing industry is important for businesses, as it has a huge influence on how consumers, make their purchasing decisions. 

Advertisers and brands best make their investments for digital presence in order to become competent in their industries.

A merger is the next best thing for many digital marketing companies as S4 Capital’s MediaMonks announced a $150 million merger with Silicon Valley’s biggest digital marketing agency. 

Founder of S4 Capital, Martin Sorrell announced its expansion, in which they acquiring Firewood, the largest advertising agency in Silicon Valley. Sorrell said that Firewood has a list of clients comprised of Silicon Valley’s finest. This merge is expected to help S4 Capital with its expansion goals of doubling the size of the company by 2021. 

MediaMonks was also acquited by S4 Capital in 2018 as part of the plan for a better, faster, and cheaper advertising solution, it’s partnering up with the digital agency, Firewood. 

Firewood digital agency

Founded by Juan and Lanya Zambrano in 2010, Firewood has grown to have headquarters in Silicon Valley and six more offices around the globe. The company’s 300 employees are focused on creative, strategy, planning, and performance media, and technology services. Firewood digital agency has worked with Google, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Waze, and other platforms in the past.

The digital agency makes an embedded model for its clients. These models act as an extension to its clients’ marketing team. 

S4 acquisitions 

S4 Capital has been busy looking out for companies to merge with to accelerate their plans of expansion, and the acquisitions don’t stop with Firewood and Mediamonk. The company acquired the programmatic solution provider MightyHive last year. In April this year, S4 Capital acquired the Amsterdam-based video production Caramel Pictures and ProgMedia which is a Brazilian programmatic advertising specialist. 

Furthering their expansion with Firewood digital agency, Sorrell said that this merger is an opportunity to create a new era in communications services. With Firewood’s client list, the S4 Capital family is very much excited about the many things they can do together. This deal increased S4’s employee number to 1,800 in 23 countries and a market cap of $600 million. 

Despite the merge, Firewood will still operate under its own name and its office. The organizational structure will also be the same. Zambrano said that their company had several suitors due to their explosive growth but it was S4 that proved to be willing to take up their requirements. Firewood wanted to keep the culture of its company, diversify its clients, and enhance more opportunities for their employees. 

Firewood digital agency will be paid $112.5 million, in cash and in shares and will also be paid an additional $37.5 million if the agency reaches its expected operating target this year. 

No political ads allowed, says Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s VP of global business solutions. 

TikTok is putting space between itself and other giant social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. As announced by the company, they have chosen to now allot political ads on their app. 

Chandlee further explained, the paid ads are in the TikTok community adhere to certain standards and political ads do not fit the platform and its community. Ads that promote or oppose candidates, political leaders, political parties, political issues from local to federal levels, and other election-related ads are not allowed. 

Focused on its roots 

Video-app, TikTok, is a platform that fosters creativity among its diverse users. Since its launched, the app has been focused on increasing its user growth. One of the most effective ways to do that is to improve its advertising offering. This includes in-feed video ads, launch-screen ads, sponsored hashtags challenges, and many others. It also launched a beta version of Creator Marketplace to connect brands with creators for their marketing campaigns. This could open opportunities for both brands and creators. 

Despite all these ad advancements, the app is adamant in its stance against political ads. In the post, Chandlee wrote that they are focused on creating an entertaining and authentic experience for the users. The company goes back to its mission of inspiring creativity and building joy among its users. 

Challenges in political ads

Other social platforms are facing significant challenges with political ads. Facebook created a system to check the credentials of political advertisers, and advertisers are asked to submit sensitive identification information including:

  • Phone number
  • Street address
  • Tax ID number
  • US Federal Election Commission ID number

Facebook also launched a transparency ad tool in its policy to limit and hopefully eradicate the spread misinformation. Twitter also requires a certification process and plans on creating operational and tooling support for its political advertising policies. Snapchat imposed transparency too and requires political ads to have a “paid for by” tag for the ads. 

TikTok’s decision of banning political ads isn’t new, it’s more of a reminder to political advertisers about its existing policy. This statement shows its strong stance against political manipulation and misleading content. 

TikTok is a community where users, creators, and brands can come together to build trends while having fun in the process. Chandlee also stated that the app is a free zone and for people from many places who just want a positive and refreshing environment.