Category Archives: messaging

Marketing Insights NZ 2017 Presentation series

Following on from the success of our Marketing Insights for 2017 trends presentation (which is still available here), we’ve just launched a new monthly Marketing Insights NZ 2017 Presentation Series which focusses in on some of the hottest and most important NZ marketing topics and trends for 2017, 2018 and beyond.


These presentations look ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2017 and 2018 — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive report & slide deck in PowerPoint format (with accompanying notes) – information that you can easily present to your team and your clients, bringing everyone up to speed on the latest New Zealand Marketing Insights as we accelerate through 2017. All presentations are unbranded, so you can add your own branding and comments.

Each presentation consists of at least 150 slides, dealing with as many key insights.

We’ve settled on six of the most important topics of the year ahead, starting with a comprehensive look at the New Zealand consumer:

1 NZ Consumer Trends 2017 (available NOW)


This presentation starts with a helicopter-level overview of the New Zealand consumer, drawing on local research to get an understanding of current Kiwi demographics, interests and behaviours.

Then, based on McKinsey research, we explore the dynamics (and the marketing implications) of five prevailing forces that are likely to have a lasting impact on Kiwis over the next few years — and which you need to factor into your marketing plans:

  • the changing face of the consumer
  • evolving geopolitical dynamics
  • new patterns of personal consumption
  • technological advancements
  • structural industry shifts

From there, we turn our attention to some of the specific trends influencing NZ consumer behaviour today. Here are just a few of the key issues covered in this Consumer Trends presentation:

The Longevity Economy
We’ve been warned about it for what seems like a very long time. Now it’s here: the baby boomer age wave has finally arrived, bringing with it all sorts of changes, not just for that generation but also for their children and grandchildren (and, needless to say, for marketers as well).

Kids in Charge
At the other end of the spectrum, we see younger children having a much greater influence on the household and its purchasing behaviours. What are the implications for your carefully crafted brand persuasion campaigns?

If They Don’t Know You By Now
One of the unintended consequences of the carefully curated, infinitely personalised Internet experience is that, as MINTEL notes, “many consumers find themselves in a perpetual cycle of being exposed only to ideas, beliefs, opinions and services with which they already identify“. When search results, social media posts and video suggestions are all tailored “just for you”, you’re unlikely to be served serendipitous content that doesn’t reflect your worldview. That’s true of brands and marketing messages as well. So how do you break through and get noticed?

Right Here, Right Now
Kiwi consumers, in common with their peers in other parts of the world, have moved to an expectation of instant gratification. With their trusty smart phones in their pockets or purses, they head out into the world confident that whenever they need food, fuel or shopping satisfaction, such delights are merely a swipe or a tap away. It’s a significant challenge for marketers, to rearrange their data geolocationally to meet consumer needs — and to make sure that the information is available in formats that our digital intermediaries Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (and their voice-activated minions Alexa, Google Assistant & Home, M, Siri and Cortana) can understand.

Shopping Glocal
As the Internet caught on down under, Kiwi online shopping was quick to go global, especially for those products unavailable in New Zealand (or too expensive to source locally, for a variety of reasons). Even so, the perceived complexity of global shopping limited its adoption amongst the tech-timid.

Times have changed, particularly because leading US retailers have come to recognise the potential revenues to be gained from global audiences. Over the last few years, famous brands such as Macy’s and Neiman Marcus have been welcoming Kiwi visitors to their websites with the news that they are:

  • now shipping to New Zealand
  • displaying prices in Kiwi dollars
  • offering low international shipping rates
  • calculating duties and taxes at checkout
  • providing guaranteed landing costs

All in all, it’s an attractive mix — but it is now becoming even more so, as global retailers move into the neighbourhood. Already, many of the biggest sellers on Trade Me are now international operators. H&M, Top Shop, David Jones and Zara have begun colonisation of local shopping precincts. And Amazon is about to open distribution centres across the Tasman, reducing shipping costs even further.

“Glocal” (Global+Local) is a horrible neologism — and an even worse reality for Kiwi retailers. We examine the trend, its implications and possible solutions.

Other Shopping trends we review include:

  • Fashion for “Real bodies” — clothing tailored for real people, not just supermodels
  • Healthwear — clothing that monitors (and sometimes helps with) health conditions
  • Fashion’s fast lane — leading fashion designers are slashing the timelag between runway shows and getting products instore

What other topics do we cover in this NZ Consumer Trends presentation?

Try these:

  • Authenticity and its importance in a world of fake news, overblown hype and unsubstantiated promises
  • The expectations (and the perils) of Personalisation
  • Subscription Everything — curation meets recurring revenue
  • Fitness on display — “look at me” sportwear
  • Experiential Digital — what Pokemon Go taught us about blending real and virtual
  • Gone Incognito — hiding in plain sight, consumers rebel against the death of privacy
  • The Ethical Consumer — we won’t pay more but we expect brands to behave
  • Addiction in your pocket or purse — the smartphone breeds subservience
  • Always On, unlimited — the connected majority
  • Streaming Video changes us all — bingewatching, your programmes whenever and wherever
  • Adblocking goes mainstream — display ads are under threat as adblocking gets built into browser software
  • AI everywhere — Skynet takes over, one “OK Google” at a time
  • Voice input ascendant — voice recognition software is now faster and more efficient than keyboard entry
  • Biometric ID — your face, your eye or your fingerprint is now your password (and much easier to remember)
  • The Sharing Economy — cars, bikes, accommodation: what else can we share?
  • P2P Financing — why should the banks make all the money?
  • Maori Cuisine — coming to a restaurant near you
  • Back to Traditional Products & Tastes — a return to authentic values
  • V Power — plant-focused formulations wow the mainstream
  • Night Foods — food ingredients designed to help us sleep

All that and plenty more (many of which we’re keeping under our hats for now), in the NZ Consumer Trends 2017 report and slide presentation, to be published in May 2017. To order this presentation, see the available packages below.

3 Content Marketing 2018 (to be published June 2017)


Content Marketing continues to blossom, especially in New Zealand, as more and more brands realise that consumers are doing their own homework online rather than seeking advice from salespeople (who may — how can we put this delicately? — not be entirely objective).

One of the solutions: provide helpful, relevant content online so that when consumers do their homework, you’re able to shape their thinking accordingly.

That’s why Content Marketing has earned its place as one of the topics we cover in this year’s Marketing Insights Presentation Series.

Here are some of the issues we feature:

The power of Nearby and Micro-Moment Marketing
The ubiquitous smart phone continue to change the game. Where once longform content was king, now snackable snippets — served up in answer to queries like “restaurant near me” — have become the new currency. We explore the trend and its implications.

Content Marketing as Defensive Mechanism
So many people are talking — not always positively — about brands and companies online, and organisations don’t always get the chance to present their own point of view as part of that conversation. As a result, many are turning to Content Marketing as a means to get their message out there.

Talking to Your Own
Content marketing has also seen itself become an internal PR tool, used to communicate in a planned and more effective manner with staff, dealers and suppliers. How are you ensuring that your own people know what they should about your organisation?

Overcoming “Content Shock”
Even when marketers do invest in Content Marketing, there are challenges. One of the biggest challenge: getting heard out there, amongst the ever-increasing cacophony of social media posts, blogs, video and all. It’s been dubbed “Content Shock” — and we look at how to deal with it.

Content Will Get useful or Get Ignored
Smart marketers will begin to invest in bigger content projects such as creating free and robust online tools, writing the go-to books in their industries, and creating environments where their customers can build a community to share knowledge

content marketers will be held accountable not just for how much content they create, but what it does for the business (much like demand generation teams).

Other topics that will feature in this presentation include:

  • Personalisation
  • Engagement
  • Data-driven Insights
  • Interactive Experiences
  • Face-to-face Opportunities & Live Events
  • challenges of developing engaging visual content
  • the talent shortage
  • Algorithm-driven content distribution
  • Live video
  • compelling content experiences
  • the emergence of AI journalism
  • Immersive Content Formats
  • Science-based content marketing
  • The rise of the Content Librarian
  • The continuing rise of paid promotion and the decline of organic reach

Scroll down to order.

4 Search Marketing 2018 (to be published July 2017)


Next: an examination of Search Marketing Trends as we head towards 2018.

In this presentation, we’ll wax lyrical about a wide ranging collection of topics, including:

Mobile Really Must Be First
In May 2015, Google reported that mobile searches had surpassed desktop searches on its search engine. Since then, the company has taken many steps which signal that mobile, not desktop, should be considered as the default user experience. Google is moving towards giving priority to mobile-centric indexing, which means that your website must as well.

Three Seconds is the New Fast
According to a study Google presented in late 2016, website that gain priority in search results will be expected to load in three seconds or less. That’s simply a recognition by Google of the impatience of mobile-wielding web surfers. As you might imagine, that has direct implications for your website structure — and whether or not you opt for accelerated mobile pages (AMP) or Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which allow a website to work as if it were an app.

How Machine Learning is Revolutionising Google Search
Google CEO Sundar Pichai laid out the corporate mindset: “Machine learning is a core, transformative way by which we’re rethinking how we’re doing everything. We are thoughtfully applying it across all our products, be it search, ads, YouTube, or Play. And we’re in early days, but you will see us — in a systematic way — apply machine learning in all these areas.”

Perils of the Google Answer Box
In 2017/18, brands will need to place value on optimizing their digital content based on intent rather than specific keywords. As you have no doubt noticed, Google has become more and more likely to offer up specific answers rather than simply links to search results.

For example, here’s Google’s answer to the query “what is the height of mt egmont”:


So how do you get chosen to be the answer to such a query? We explore the options.

Google Shopping Now in NZ
Google Shopping has arrived in New Zealand and is likely to play a larger and larger role in commerce-based search queries. We look at the players so far and examine the possibilities.

Big Data + Search = Attribution Challenges
Today’s conversion paths are extremely complex and as a result, micro-moments matter more than ever. Engaging with customers’ days, weeks, and even months before they’re ready to convert is going to be the new norm.

Reconsider Bing
Bing is a big player amongst the new breed of digital assistants. It’s fueling the search of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, apart from being the default search engine of Microsoft’s Cortana. Ignore it at your peril.

The Move to Natural Language Queries
Why does Google have this irresistible interest in natural language? Sure, on an ideal level, it’s because Google wants “to provide the better answer to users’ needs,” and to do that, Google must:

  • Understand what each web document is about (semantics);
  • Understand what users are actually searching for, now that more and more using their voice to search

Voice Search
Already 20% of mobile queries are Voice Search (and will be 50% in 2020, according to Microsoft). Voice Search is going above and beyond voice recognition and evolving into voice understanding. This involves several changes with respect to:

  • previous searches
  • location-based context
  • context based on frequently used apps
  • personalised information
  • keyword research based on spoken queries

How should marketers modify their content to cope with those new search parameters?

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

  • the big challenges of cross-channel marketing
  • getting to know Google RankBrain
  • image recognition searches
  • Key SEO Stats
  • Google’s top 3 ranking signals
  • User Experience Optimisation
  • Content Marketing That Impacts SEO
  • and, of course, a whole lot more

4 Influencer Marketing 2017 (to be published August 2017)


Our next special report/presentation deals with the fast-growing topic of Influencer Marketing.

If you’re not sure exactly what Influencer Marketing is, allow TapInfluence to explain:

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay Influencers to get out the word for you.

Influencer Marketing has evolved from humble origins to end up as the preferred buzzword to describe the current iteration of a well-established and familiar marketing tool: using “celebrities” to promote your products.

There’s a bit more to Influencer Marketing than just plunking a few celebrities into a TV commercial, however. Today’s definition of “celebrities” (Influencers) has broadened to encompass those who are, in the words of Andy Warhol, “famous for 15 minutes”.

At the same time, the number of celebrity followers that an Influencer might attract has shrunk from hundreds of thousands to, sometimes mere hundreds (whose celebrity leaders have been accordingly dubbed micro-influencers).

The Internet in general, and social media in particular, has brought us thousands of influencers and micro-influencers, whose hustling on behalf of a product can encourage many of their followers to actually purchase said product.

Why? Because, according to a report by Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands. And, let’s face it, many brands have brought that fate upon themselves by their own less-than-trustworthy behaviour.

Anyway, here’s how Google Trends depicts Influencer Marketing’s growth in search popularity over the last few years:


How hot is Influencer Marketing, really?

Here’s one indicator: 84% of US marketers are planning to use Influencer Marketing this year (according to Acorn Influence).

So, to bring you up to speed with Influencer Marketing, we’re producing this special presentation, whose topics include:

The Seven Most Effective Influencer Marketing Strategies
As it turns out, there’s a bit more to Influencer Marketing than simply tracking down people who seem to have a lot of followers in social media. We share proven strategies which will help lessen potential heartache.

How to Choose the Influencers Who are Right for You
Not all Influencers are created equal (and there are more than a few pretenders to the throne out there). We discuss what to look for (and what to avoid) — and why you should proceed slowly as you assemble your Influencer team.

Best Practices on Connecting with Influencers
Once you’ve determined the most appropriate Influencers for your brand, it’s time to reach out and connect. If you’re not careful though, and haven’t thought through the right approach, you might be turned down — or end up paying too much. We share lessons from others that will help ease the way.

Where and How to Find Kiwi Influencers
There are surprising numbers of influential New Zealanders who have attracted a wide following through their efforts on YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and elsewhere. We show you how to find them — and also sound a few cautionary notes.

In the Influencer Marketing NZ Presentation, we also examine:

  • the top Power Words to use
  • creative ways to incentivize influencers
  • Influencer Marketing measurement, KPIs & ROI
  • the four Rs of effective Influencer Marketing
  • how to run successful Influencer Marketing campaigns
  • what Google’s purchase of Famebit tells us about the future of Influencer Marketing
  • why major players are now buying Influencers
  • Influencer Case Studies
  • Influencer Marketing Tools
  • why Influencer campaigns fail
  • the fastest way to destroy your Influencer Marketing efforts
  • twenty trends that will shape Influencer Marketing in the next year

All that and of course much more, in the Influencer Marketing NZ 2017 report and slide presentation, coming out in August. Again, to order this presentation, see the available packages below.


5 Online Video Marketing 2017 (to be published September 2017)


Online Video is no longer an “up-and-coming” marketing tactic — it’s here, and it’s a powerful way to communicate your brand story, explain your value proposition, and build relationships with your customers and prospects.

And the statistics show that it’s working its socks off, especially with younger audiences:


The 2016 Nielsen New Zealand Multi-Screen Report, covering trends of Kiwi video viewing, reveals that around a quarter (26%) of New Zealanders watch TV content through other devices (not a TV set) in an average week. Besides the TV set, the most popular devices for watching video content across a week are desktops/laptops (39%), smartphones (27%) and tablets (18%).

We offer a training course covering Online Video Marketing, but the topic has become so important that we’re also creating this special report/presentation to bring you up to speed with the latest developments in Online Video.

In the presentation, we cover:

Google Loves Video
It’s not always evident down our way, but Google gives priority in search results to those that include videos. Which spells opportunity: add videos to your pages, optimised for relevant keywords, and feel the Google love.

Customers Now Expect Moving Pictures
When you realize that 25% of consumers will lose interest in your brand if you don’t have a video explaining your product or service, you’ll quickly decide the videos are really important for your brand as well.

The Transformative Nature of Live Video
Facebook and YouTube have gone all-in on live video, giving live content pride of place on their respective networks. If you can create relevant, entertaining live video for your brand, this just could be the most effective weapon in your marketing arsenal.

One Size No Longer Fits All
Gone are the days when you could make one video on Youtube and share it all over social media. Nowadays, it’s vital to create content that’s relevant to each platform.

Vertical Videos Are A Thing
The near-universal adoption of smartphones, as both capture and viewing mechanism, means that Vertical Video is now a valid — and desirable — format. But you do need to develop content that’s optimised for that format.

More Videos Will Be Designed to Play Without Sound
According to Digiday, 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. Suddenly, that stark statistic underlines the necessity of providing effective captions for your videos. In this section we reveal a surprisingly easy way to create captions for Facebook.

Other topics featured in this presentation include:

  • the steady growth of VR and 360 degree videos
  • how brands have already started integrating videos into their website design
  • the unexpected value of video voicemail
  • skyrocketing Video Advertising budgets
  • the accelerated growth of Video Retargeting
  • Increase in A/B Video Testing
  • Crisis Management and Video
  • the viral ingredients of successful videos

All that and the latest breaking news and trends, in the Online Video Marketing NZ 2017 report and slide presentation, coming out in September. Again, to order see the available packages below.


6 Messaging Apps 2017 (to be published October 2017)


According to Evan Wray, Co-Founder and VP of Swyft Media:

Messaging today is very similar to where traditional social media was in 2007/08. Brands know that there are hundreds of millions/billions of highly engaged users, but these same brands are also still trying to figure out exactly how to engage these users effectively. This is a massive opportunity for first movers in the messaging space, just like there was in 2007/08 for those brands that took advantage of social.”

Well, we’ve been there done that in the social media space, so we know an opportunity when we see it — and we’re more than happy to share it with you through this Messaging NZ 2017 presentation.

The presentation covers:

Users Getting Older
In the early days of messaging, early adopters were largely drawn from younger generations. Now, as they usually do, the grown-ups are getting into the act. By mid-2016, 29% of those aged 30-49 used messaging apps compared with 42% of 18-29s (US data).

Chatbots becoming useful
Chatbots have been around a whole lot longer than you think (since 1994, according to Wikipedia, when they were first described as chatterbots). But they’ve only really gone mainstream in the last couple of years, thanks to messaging apps in general — and Facebook Messenger particular. At the Facebook f8 developer conference in April 2017, Facebook announced that Messenger has grown to support 100,000 developers who have made 100,000 bots. Most don’t do much — but the technology has now moved from novelty to utility, especially in terms of enhanced customer service and truly personalised results thanks to machine learning.

The Top 5 Chatbot Capabilities
According to a study by the US interactive advertising bureau, these are the top five capabilities that chatbots make possible:

  • personal connection
  • discovery
  • curation
  • utility
  • online to off-line connection

What Else Might Messaging Apps Do?
To peek into the future of messaging apps, turn our attention to China’s own WeChat.
WeChat provides what several different apps would normally provide – text messaging, voice messaging, group messaging, video conferencing, video games, content sharing, location sharing, payment options and more. You can perform almost any task within the WeChat app – buy a mortgage, trade a stock and even grocery shop. Most recently, WeChat announced that users will be able to pay for Starbucks via the app’s payments.

Brands Will Embrace A2P (application-to-person) Messaging
Received a text message with an appointment reminder or an authentication code whilst banking online? That’s A2P, and is a great opportunity for brands to enhance their offerings and communicate more effectively, one-to-one, with customers.

Minimum Effort
Many of the development opportunities within messaging and machine learning are embodied in the notion of “minimum effort”. In a nutshell, when communicating with a company, consumers want their interactions to be made easier because the company already “knows” certain things about them (such as their clothing and shoes sizes, for example, or their preferred pizza flavours). Such knowledge is not typically available to front desk staff in the real world — but should be available in the virtual world once the customer identifies himself or herself.

Effective Enterprise Messaging
The majority of workers today prefer and expect to communicate with colleagues and receive company-related content on their mobiles.

Other topics that this presentation will cover include:

  • Chat-based commerce and payments
  • Security issues and opportunities
  • and the latest developments in messaging trends when the presentation is released

This presentation is due to be published in October 2017. Scroll down for ordering details.


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New Short Course: Mastering Messaging Apps

As the mobile phone becomes the dominant communications mechanism, more and more consumers are turning away from mainstream social networks and instead connecting with each other through one or more specialist mobile messaging applications.

It’s now becoming more and more essential for you to understand how the messaging apps work and how they can be used effectively for business. Otherwise, because so many young Kiwis are spending their time on apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and Snapchat, if you don’t learn all about messaging apps you could be missing half your audience.
And that’s why we’ve put together this short course, to bring you up to speed with the Messaging Apps before it’s too late.

The course covers:


Lesson One: The Rise of Dark Social

As traditional social media networks such as Facebook have gone mainstream, consumers have been less inclined to share their personal lives through such public channels. Instead, they have become much more likely to use “Dark Social” tools such as the messaging apps to share the juicy stuff with their friends — they’ve learned the lessons from myriad well-publicised social fails and don’t wish to repeat others’ mistakes.

As a result of this migration to more private communications, the top four messaging apps now attract more eyeballs than the top four social networking apps.

In this lesson, we explore the rise of the messaging apps and review:

  • the performances of the various apps and the current state of the messaging app wars
  • which demographics are most likely to use the apps
  • the revenue opportunities with messaging apps, now and in the near future — and the potential usages which are the most relevant for New Zealand organisations


Lesson Two: International Inspiration

Much of the cutting-edge development in messaging apps comes from Asian networks, a direct side-effect of the early adoption of mobile technology in Asian markets.

This lesson looks at what we can learn from services like WeChat, the messaging service that dominates communications in China, such as:

  • how Chinese consumers are actually using the app
  • unexpected services bundled into WeChat
  • how Western brands are plugged into WeChat
  • which WeChat-like offerings we can expect to see on WhatsApp and Messenger, sooner rather than later


Lesson Three: WhatsApp

In February 2014 Facebook paid a staggering 19 Billion US Dollars (in a mix of cash and stock) to acquire the leading mobile messaging app WhatsApp.

In Lesson Three, we explore:

  • what Facebook got for their money
  • what functionality WhatsApp offers for marketers and brands
  • how you can best use WhatsApp for your organisation
  • WhatsApp marketing campaign case studies
  • what you should include in your WhatsApp marketing strategies
  • how you should measure success on WhatsApp
  • how to using WhatsApp and similar messaging apps for CRM


Lesson Four: Facebook Messenger

Okay, by now you will have gotten a good grasp on messaging apps and how marketers can use them effectively. As we turn our attention to Facebook Messenger, what we really need to know is what’s unique and what’s different about this app.

We look at the numbers. We explore what marketers need to know about Facebook Messenger.

We look at some of the ways that brands have already been using Messenger.

We review the future of Messenger.

And we look at a dozen guidelines to help you take full advantage of what has now become the leading messaging app.


Lesson Five: Google Allo & Duo

Given the importance of mobile to Google, it was inevitable that the search engine giant would introduce its own entry into the messaging space.

In fact, in mid-May 2016, at its I/O Conference, Google announced the upcoming launch of two offerings: Allo & Duo.

In this lesson, we explore the two new services, show you what each can do and give you a heads up on what to look for.


Lesson Six: Snapchat

Snapchat was born when its founders realised that there was an opportunity for an app whose messages were ephemeral, disappearing as they were being viewed.

Although that offering has been diluted somewhat by the recent introduction of Snapchat Stories, it’s still an attractive proposition for the privacy-sensitive.

In this lesson, we review Snapchat and what it can offer to marketers, including:

  • how Snapchat works
  • who marketers should follow on the platform
  • the many ways that brands can use Snapchat
  • Snapchat filters, lenses and snapcodes
  • the best types of content to share on Snapchat
  • ten brands that are doing Snapchat right
  • NZ brands already using SnapChat effectively


Lesson Seven: Telegram

The Telegram messaging app is one of those products that happens to be hot but, as we’ll see, is of limited appeal to marketers because the app’s founders are avidly anti-commercial.

Still, Telegram is hardly a niche product (with 100 million monthly users) so let’s find out more about it.

In Lesson Seven, we review the 9 top reasons why any marketer should add Telegram to their arsenal (despite that determinedly anti-commercial attitude).


Lesson Eight: Yammer, Slack and Facebook At Work

In this lesson we review closed messaging apps such as Yammer, Slack and Facebook At Work and consider how these private social networks (PSNs) can be useful for business.

We explore:

  • some of the tasks you can do better and more efficiently with PSNs
  • how businesses are currently using PSNs
  • the seven golden rules of PSNs


Lesson Nine: Chatbots & Digital Assistants

Chatbots and Digital Assistants (eg Siri, Cortana, Google Now & Facebook M) are proving a valuable addition to messaging apps, helping businesses to respond more effectively to commonly-asked questions and interact more efficiently with consumers.

In this lesson we review what’s currently available in these two categories (including Google’s new Assistant, launched in conjunction with its latest mobile phone, the Pixel).

We explore:

  • how organisations are currently using chatbots
  • where businesses and brands should begin to employ chatbots
  • the promises and perils of digital assistants


Lesson Ten: Privacy & Regulation

If you’re going to start playing in the messaging space, then you need to take into account both NZ’s Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act and our Harmful Digital Communications Act (and, perhaps, Australia’s privacy legislation, the US’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act and/or relevant European privacy legislation, depending on where your target audience lives).

In this final lesson we talk about the implications of the various Acts and regulations and what you need to do to ensure that you stay within both the spirit and the letter of the law.



This course begins on Wednesday 27 December, 2017.



This online training short course is available for $397 +GST. However we offer an Early Bird Discount of $100 +GSTpay just $297+GST when you book by Wednesday 20 December, 2017.

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this course, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here:

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.



You’ll receive our emailed confirmation of your booking. Then on the first day of the course we’ll follow up with details of your Login and Password, along with an Enrolment Key for your online training course.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email us at [email protected]

5 Key Facts You Should Know About Messaging Apps

You’ve probably noticed that more and more people are using messaging apps on their mobile devices. You may even have signed up for one or two yourself, especially since Facebook split its messaging capabilities off from its main Facebook app and pointed its members to Facebook Messenger instead.

As it turns out, however, mobile messaging apps are far more important than you might have realized.

Here are five key facts that you really should know about messaging apps:

1. Messaging Apps (combined with other Dark Social sources) dominate social sharing


What is Dark Social?
The term “Dark Social” was coined in 2012 by Alexis C. Madrigal, tech editor at, to refer to web traffic that comes from outside sources that web analytics are not able to track. Dark Social sources include messaging apps, email and other private digital communications.

It’s an interesting phenomenon that, as traditional social media networks such as Facebook have gone mainstream, consumers have been less inclined to share their personal lives through such public channels. Instead, they have become much more likely to use Dark Social tools to share the juicy stuff with their friends.

In fact, Facebook has, according to a recent report from The Informant, been struggling to reverse a 21% decline in “original” sharing (personal updates) across its 1.6 billion monthly active users.

As the Guardian newspaper notes:

After more than a decade of picking up “friends” – everyone from your BFF to your grandmother to that guy who lived down the hall in your dorm way back in your first year of college (what’s his name again?) – we’ve decided that maybe we’re not 100% comfortable sharing intimate details of our lives with such random and disparate groups of people. Or, maybe we’re just all on Snapchat now – another major anxiety of Facebook’s.

Facebook employees are blaming something called “context collapse”: where people, information or expectations from one context invade or encroach upon another. Despite its elegance as a term, it’s a complicated and nuanced phenomenon – one that evokes norms of behavior, communication, sharing and privacy all at once.

For users confronting collapsed contexts on Facebook, the withholding of personal anecdotes and information isn’t a problem – it is a solution.

For years, Facebook’s strategy has caused regular controversies around user privacy and ethics – blunders that got people exposed, outed and emotionally manipulated along the way. Users seem to have combated the problem by taking Facebook’s own advice, as shared by Facebook’s president of communications and public policy, Elliot Schrage, in 2010: “If you’re not comfortable sharing, don’t.”

As messaging apps have gained traction, they’ve become the first choice of many for sharing information on a much more personal level.

2. Messaging Apps are now more popular than Social Networks

By the beginning of 2015, the top four Messaging Apps collectively had more users than the top four Social Networking Apps, according to BI Intelligence.


Most of that growth has taken place since the beginning of 2014 — it’s an impressive ‘hockey stick’ pattern by any measure.

From those figures, you’d get the impression that nearly three billion people are now using messaging apps. No so much — there’s a lot of duplication.

3. Messaging App adoption is spread across multiple apps

Messaging App usage is far more splintered than social network usage, for a very obvious reason: if you’re connecting one-to-one, you need to use the app that your friend/family member uses. Because it’s trivial (and free) to download a messaging app, when you need to connect to a friend who uses a different app, you simply add that app to your phone.


In the old days, people migrated from mySpace to Bebo to Facebook because that’s where their friends were clustering — but that was pre-smartphone. Nowadays, with messaging apps free and happily co-existing on the same device, those who use messaging apps typically have several different apps, with different clusters of friends connected through each app.

4. Young Adults are (currently) more likely to use Messaging Apps

Half (49%) of smartphone owners ages 18 to 29 use messaging apps, while 41% use apps that automatically delete sent messages, according to a 2015 Pew Internet study.

That’s not surprising — as Facebook went mainstream, younger web users were amongst the first to realize that it wasn’t a good idea to post content publicly that they didn’t want their parents to see.

Of course, the desire for privacy isn’t confined to the young, and the messaging apps have plenty of growth in them yet, as consumers of all ages graduate, not just from Facebook but also from limited-functionality SMS texting, to more powerful messaging apps that allow them to share multimedia in realtime, for free (in wifi zones) or nearly free (as part of smartphone pricing bundles).

5. Artificial Intelligence is taking over messaging

“I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.” Those chilling words, spoken by the HAL 9000 computer in Arthur C. Clarke’s legendary “2001 A Space Odyssey“, sum up both our hopes and fears when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. We want computers smart enough to understand us and take appropriate action — whilst at the same time we worry about what might happen if they are that smart.

We’ve already seen Siri, Cortana, Google Now and Facebook’s own ‘M’ at work, taking simple steps in response to our instructions. Now Facebook thinks that “chatbots” — AI programs that strike up a conversation with us — represent the best opportunity for corporates to involve themselves in messaging apps. We should note that competitors like Kik, Line and Telegram have had their own bot platforms running for some time, so the concept isn’t exactly new. What’s important about Facebook’s announcement is that the leading player in messaging has now put its weight behind the technology.

At April 2016’s f8 Developers’ conference, Facebook announced that (after running various pilot programs with select businesses) it was opening up its Messenger platform broadly, in beta, to let chatbots into the app on a large scale.

So far, the results from Facebook trials have been somewhat underwhelming:


So will chatbots actually be beneficial for businesses?

Yes, according to data collected by Daden Limited (based on chatbot usage on websites in the past):

  • “the use of avatars on Dell’s site found that users who interacted with them were twice as likely to give personal information than those who didn’t”.
  • “online campaign featuring avatars for V Graham Norton and Celebrity Big Brother…. generated clickthrough rates of 30%“.
  • “when avatars are used for e-learning content, use of the online courses increases by 400%
  • “Revenues increased by £6,000 a month
  • “Sales increased by 35%
  • “Click-through rates increased by 250%
  • 62% of visitors converted to registrants”
  • “Site traffic lifted and sustained by 200%

In other words, it’s good for the bottom line. So off you go, start building your Cyberdyne Systems bot.

In Summary

Messaging Apps are now an essential component of the digital marketing world. You owe it to yourself to learn as much as you can about messaging and how you can it in your business.

If you’d like to know a whole lot more about Messaging Apps, we cover the topic in detail in Lesson Two of our new Social Media Refresher online training course. For more details, click here.


Is OTT Messaging The New Social?

We’ve all become increasingly familiar with the tragic tales of people going for a job, standing for a public position or simply claiming to be off sick, only to be outed by their Facebook posts which reveal their failings, sins and indiscretions to the world.

We live in increasingly glass houses, where our lives are (in the finest tradition of The Truman Show) broadcast live to the world. Even if we avoid posting selfies in flagrante delicto, we can still end up tagged in photos that unflatter us. In the process of sharing stuff with our friends, we’re more and more likely to end up sharing with Google and its few billion acquaintances as well.

We’ve tended to view this is as an inevitable social transition, as the archaic notion of privacy is abandoned in favour of an always-connected “what happens in Vegas … now stays online forever” transparency paradigm. Yes, today’s employers may tut-tut and refuse to hire those whose indiscretions are blatantly displayed online; but tomorrow’s employers, their own failings similarly emblazoned across social networks, are likely to be more tolerant (or so we hope).

What we’re now seeing, however, is a move away from open social networks to the closed user spaces of OTT* messaging applications, especially amongst teens and young adults who are tired of leaving a digital trail which can be seen by parents and employers and by which they can be judged.

* These messaging applications are called OTT (Over The Top), to indicate that they sit on top of the mobile infrastructure, using internet data connectivity rather than the cellular messaging facility, usually at a much lower pricepoint

The move to OTT messaging is problematic for marketers, however, for several reasons:

1. No Clear Leaders

As ReadWrite notes:

“The messaging landscape is fragmented. Teenagers are ditching social media to chat on services like WhatsApp, Snapchat, WeChat and KakaoTalk. Apps like Kik, Line and Tango are other popular SMS replacements, [along with] Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, GroupMe and Skype.”

2. Advertising May Not Be Welcome

It doesn’t help that service providers such as WhatsApp are saying they don’t want to include advertising:

The people at WhatsApp say explicitly that they “are not fans of advertising.” Because of this, “WhatsApp is currently ad-free and we hope to keep it that way forever.” Are you listening, every other company? Because this is what users want.

Mainstream OTT messaging providers such as Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts will be more sympathetic to marketers’ needs — but first they need to capture a significant market share.

3. Messaging Platforms Are Aiming To Keep Those Eyeballs Engaged

As always in the mobile space, the Asian markets demonstrate the future of OTT messaging platforms. According to BGR:

Mobile apps linked to messaging services are taking over the two most important Asian app markets, Japan and Korea. Today, nine out of the ten biggest revenue generators on South Korea’s Google Play app chart are Kakao apps. It is effectively becoming impossible to launch a major hit in the Korean app market unless you use Kakao’s messaging app as your platform. This in turn means that everyone interested in mobile apps is using Kakao. The messaging app has turned into the dominant platform for game distribution. LINE’s role in Japan is not quite as strong, but games for this messaging app regularly hold about half of the positions in Japan’s top-10 iPhone and Android app revenue charts.

… Time spent on messaging apps is exploding even in markets where games linked to these platforms have not yet taken off. According to The Hindu, people in India now spend 27 minutes per day on chat apps, up from 7 minutes just two years earlier. Many of the most populous countries in the world — China, India, Japan, Korea — have now fallen in thrall of the messaging apps. Their share of the daily leisure time of consumers is rapidly expanding. This will inevitably give messaging app vendors a golden chance to turn into content delivery companies. And to stage a serious offensive against Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Second, revenue growth generated by games linked to messaging apps is unearthly. LINE is now generating 67% revenue growth — between quarters, not annually. China’s WeChat is already on a big, global marketing binge, which has helped it boost its presence dramatically from Italy to Nigeria over the past summer.

Finally, one of the hottest app industry topics in Tokyo [at the Japan Game Show in September 2013] was the expansion of content services that we are about to witness. Over the next year, a rapidly expanding selection of comics, videos and music will start flowing to users of WeChat, LINE and Kakao.

4. OTT Messaging Is Taking Over from SMS

OTT Messaging isn’t only competing with Social Media, of course — it’s also taking on good old SMS text messaging, and (according to an April 2013 study by Informa) it’s already won. Business Insider reports that 41 billion OTT messages are now exchanged every day, compared with 19.5 billion SMS messages.

A late-2012 white paper by McKinsey highlights the key drivers of OTT adoption:

  • Technology Readiness, in the form of 3G or 4G networks; and penetration of smartphones
  • Cost Incentives, with SMS too expensive relative to data charges
  • Social Propensity, particularly driven by smartphone adoption amongst teens and young adults
  • Market share of specific OTT messaging applications

Here’s how those triggers drove adoption in South Korea and the Netherlands, according to McKinsey :


Do most of these triggers apply in New Zealand? Indeed they do.

5. Blink And You’ll Miss It

As if the proliferation of messaging platforms was not enough to worry about in itself, we’re now seeing the development of content that, like SnapChat, self-destructs. Forbes reports:

[Ephemeral apps, such as, in this example, Frankly, work like this:] send a message, and your recipient will initially see a box of blurred text. Once they tap it, a set timer counts down the seconds till the message has been deleted; sent to the digital afterlife. Chat windows, for the most part, thus stand empty at all times. Each time someone sends a text, they can also tap a black “x” afterwards to take it back, in case they change their mind. The idea is that the sender is always in control.

“Maybe, just as the rise of big data and government surveillance and privacy concerns and the over-curated self images on Facebook, people are saying, ‘I miss the days when I could have a private conversation,’” says Frankly founder Steve Chung. “‘Maybe I’m not saying anything bad, but you and I sit down in a coffee shop and we remember what we remember. When we leave, we don’t have reams of paper that recorded it all.’”

The question then isn’t if people want their messages deleted — plenty seem perfectly happy to keep reams of recorded texts — but whether they want more control over what is recorded.

Other ephemeral messaging services include such little-known names as Wickr, Blink, Gryphn, Ansa, SecretInk and Tiger Text. They’re fighting for market share in a still-developing arena, responding to consumer demand for a little more privacy.

Your messages probably still aren’t safe from the likes of the GCSB, Julian Assange or Edward Snowdon, but at least your boss shouldn’t be able to read them without your permission.

PS We cover OTT Messaging in detail in our new Mobile Marketing course