Industry Insights: October 3, 2023
by Jordan DeGraw • October 3, 2023
TikTok Measures Twice, Cuts Once
Hello, friends! It’s a new week, and nothing smells quite so delicious as fresh industry insights baking in the oven (just like mama used to make). Remember, whether you give me the credit for these insights or not, it’s my hope that they provide you with the context you need to stay agile in an ever-changing market. This week we’re talking about lost workdays, TikTok attribution analytics, and microplastics EVERYWHERE. Let’s go!
Labor shortages and worker strikes, which led to a staggering 4.1 million lost workdays in August, have become persistent issues that show no signs of immediate resolution. Interestingly, these challenges can’t be solely attributed to the ongoing pandemic. Factors such as the retirement of baby boomers, declining birth rates, evolving immigration policies, and shifting worker preferences have collectively created a shortage of available workers to fill job openings. While this situation may be conducive to wage growth, it presents a significant challenge for HR departments striving to meet staffing needs.
Although the Federal Reserve (the Fed) has noted a slowdown in inflation, consumers aren’t quite ready to celebrate just yet. The cost of purchasing the same goods and services that a median-income family required two years ago has surged, now demanding an additional $734 each month. Yikes!
In a striking illustration of income disparity, the average worker faces an astonishing uphill battle. It would take not just one lifetime but two lifetimes, equivalent to a staggering 186 years, for an average worker to earn what the average CEO makes in just one year. This stark contrast in earnings underscores the profound ick we feel in our collective wallets.
The dream of homeownership is slipping further from reach as the median mortgage reaches an all-time high, reaching a daunting $2,632 per month, according to Redfin. The Housing Affordability Index, which typically signifies the capacity of a median-income family to afford a median-priced home, has taken a significant hit. It has plummeted from a reading of 175 in 2021 to a concerning 87.8. Thanks a lot, 7.5% mortgage rates…
Who doesn’t love a good controversy? In Congress, a bill with good intentions yet strong opposition is currently under debate. This legislation aims to place restrictions on harmful content directed at children, particularly those under the age of 17, by requiring social media companies not to promote material related to issues like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bullying, and sexual exploitation. However, opposition to the bill argues that its implementation could lead to overzealous content censorship, potentially encompassing any controversial topics or those that might later be associated with harm. On the bright side, advertisers may find a silver lining in terms of brand safety, as their ads would no longer be displayed alongside content that could negatively impact mental health.
In the world of digital advertising, TikTok has unveiled a groundbreaking first-party measurement solution known as Attribution Analytics. This move responds to findings from a post-purchase survey, revealing that more than 79% of conversions attributed to TikTok were not accounted for by last-click attribution models. Attribution Analytics aims to provide a deeper understanding of the value derived from TikTok ads, offering insights that were previously overlooked within click-based models. So perhaps your TikTok ads are working better than you think?
Meanwhile, during a cross-examination in the Department of Justice’s antitrust case, Google advertising executive Jerry Dischler made a noteworthy statement. He asserted, “I would not say Google search ads are a must-have for any advertiser… We are losing share to other new entrants,” shedding light on the evolving landscape where Google isn’t a massive monopoly with a chokehold on SERPs.
In the financial realm, email marketing platform Klaviyo made a significant move last week, going public after a successful 11-year run in the business world. The company made its debut on the market under the ticker symbol $KVYO, marking a new chapter in its journey where everyone knows how to pronounce and spell their name…
Lastly, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is set to introduce AI chatbots with distinct personalities. This development, reported by the Wall Street Journal, hints at a potentially transformative addition to the world of digital communication as AI-driven chatbots become more nuanced and human-like in their interactions (hopefully by examining and learning from human-like humans besides Mark Zuckerberg).
Just for Fun:
If it seems like songs are shorter now than they used to be, it’s true. Since the year 2000, the average length of songs has decreased by more than 30 seconds. This change is largely attributed to the influence of platforms like Spotify, where the algorithm and artist compensation model tend to favor shorter songs with catchy hooks in the first 30 seconds. Doesn’t seem to matter to Metallica, who will continue to melt our faces with 10-minute shred sessions for the next 41 years.
“Microplastics, microplastics, everywhere.” An alarming global concern, these tiny plastic particles are found virtually everywhere. What’s even more disconcerting is the realization that we likely inhale the equivalent of a credit card’s worth of plastic each week. The implications of such exposure to microplastics on our health and the environment raise significant concerns, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this pervasive issue.
In a Cave Johnson-esque move, Elon Musk’s brain implant company is now recruiting subjects for its first human trial. This trial marks a significant step in the development of brain-computer interfaces, offering potential breakthroughs in fields such as medical science and human-machine interaction. However, count me out.
That’s all our industry insights for this week, folks! Slice ‘em up, put butter ‘em, and maybe even drizzle a little bit of honey on there for good measure. Join me again next week when I try to exhale a credit card made of microplastics in hopes that it can pay for my inflated grocery bill.
Have microplasticky week (because you literally don’t have a choice),
Your friendly Industry Insights devotee,