The Department of Justice has filed its long-threatened antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using its adtech to create a monopoly. The suit seeks to force the tech giant get rid of its ad businesses and stop the company from engaging in allegedly anticompetitive practices.
“Having inserted itself into all aspects of the digital advertising marketplace, Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” the lawsuit says.
Varför vi bryr oss. Google simultaneously acting as broker, supplier and auctioneer of online ads has always been problematic at best. As Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) put it, “The conflicts of interest are so glaring that one Google employee described Google’s ad business as being like ‘if Goldman or Citibank owned the NYSE.’” Cracking down on monopolistic business practices does great things for the consumer and the economy. The breakup of AT&T in the 1980s is why communication is so inexpensive and widespread today.
In the past, Google has rebutted monopoly claims by pointing to the large number of other companies which facilitate online advertising. The company did not respond to a request for comment today.
This is the fifth antitrust lawsuit filed by state and federal officials against Google since 2020. That year a group of states led by Texas filed an antitrust lawsuit over the company’s advertising technology, while the DOJ and another group of states sued Google over claims that it abused its dominance over online search. In 2021, several states also sued over Google’s app store practices.
Google and other tech giants are currently under pressure from governments around the world trying to restrain their power over online information and commerce. In the European Union, Amazon, Google, Apple and others have faced antitrust investigations and charges, as well as new laws limiting the use and collection of consumer data.
Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.
OK, you get it. Artificial intelligence is kind of a big deal. It’s a huge buzzword in the marketing community, with people talking daily about how it’ll change the world. And you can’t throw a rock without hitting a company with AI in the name these days.
Salesforce’s summer release delivers a series of enhancements to improve the user experience and saving time through efficiency. After all, what good is a tool if it’s challenging to use and takes up a bunch of time that none of us have?
Highlights covered in this edition include admin and CRM enhancements, Account Engagement (formerly Pardot), and feature upgrades for Commerce.
Admin and CRM enhancements
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time user of Salesforce, these admin and CRM enhancement enable you to customize the experience and find things faster.
Layout. Imagine trying to read a book, but the words are all jumbled together, making it nearly impossible to understand. Before the latest layout updates, that’s how Salesforce used to feel for many users — especially first-timers. The updated layout includes consolidated address fields, phone numbers, and well-spaced elements to improve readability and navigability. In addition, you can now align fields horizontally for user adoption and data visibility.
Optimized app pages. Users can customize and optimize app pages, making information more accessible and digestible for users. Maximizing and minimizing sections of pages will help you and your team find what you’re looking for faster, which means less time spent scrolling.
Gender-neutral salutations. The importance of honoring all of your customers cannot be overstated. Salesforce has adopted gender-neutral salutations so you can better reflect the diversity of your customers. An “Mx.” salutation is now available, which is a significant step towards making everyone feel seen and valued.
Customizable dashboards. The dashboard, which has been a significant source of frustration, is now customizable and can be tailored to your customers with the ability to add custom images and text. Plus, you can add up to five filters and focus your dashboard. All this is to say that you can set your workspace to suit your needs and preferences, making it more efficient and narrowly tailored for your target audience.
Updated calendar. The last important update in this section is that the calendar feature has been revamped to include a drag-and-drop capability to move events around easily. Plus, there are now overlapping event tiles and color-coded events for better usability. Updates to calendar functions have been a longtime request by Salesforce users, and the upgrades are exciting because they lead to increased productivity.
Salesforce’s Account Engagement, formerly known as Pardot, has received several significant updates to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Completed actions + external actions. Trigger partner completion actions with external actions in the same setup. Previously, external actions had to be triggered via Engagement Studio, but you can use your Account Engagement platform and third-party tools to automatically create a multi-touch experience while also creating operational efficiencies between marketing systems. Let’s say you have a user fill out a form on your site. You can now automatically register them via your webinar tool. You can also create an automatic second touch by sending them a text message after the form completion.
Optimizer tool. The new optimizer tool for Account Engagement allows users to see how the tool and your business unit(s) are operating at any time. This includes identifying areas to improve your overall performance, which in turn creates more efficient touchpoints for your customer. A great example of the tool at work is identifying the overuse of automation rules that can slow overall operational processes ‘behind the scenes’ (which can delay critical communications to your customers!). In digital, every second counts; Optimizer’s ability to surface risks to Account Engagement users means you’ll be spending time fixing automations rather than manually auditing your tool.
Data Cloud. Account Engagement now works with Salesforce Data Cloud (formerly Salesforce CDP) to connect data from multiple sources and unify that data into unified customer profiles. Once unified profiles are available, Account Engagement users can segment and personalize their customer communications, driving increased engagement and revenue.
Guest check-out upgrade among Commerce enhancements
Several significant updates that enhance customer experience were included in this release: upgrades to guest checkout, a self-service reorder portal, a Pay Now feature, and saved payment methods.
Guest check-out feature. Allows customers to browse and check out anonymously, making the shopping experience faster and less intrusive.
Self-service reorder portal. Simplifies the process of placing repeat orders, saving time and effort.
Pay Now: Makes it easier to process payments without going through the checkout process by letting businesses send a URL or a page to a customer so they can make a payment immediately. Think of it as skipping the line and going straight to the cashier.
Saved payment methods. Also enables quicker checkouts by eliminating the need to re-enter payment information each time. This feature mimics a digital wallet, only you don’t need to dig around to find your credit card.
Joe is Vice President, Salesforce Technology at Shift7 Digital. As a member of the Shift7 leadership team, Joe works to craft solutions and architectures that meet ambitious client goals using the power of the Salesforce platform, including product ownership for Shift7’s Industry GTM Accelerators. Joe brings more than 20 years of experience implementing Salesforce and other digital platforms including enterprise solutions and complex technology implementations. He sits on the Salesforce B2B Commerce product advisory board. Shift7 Digital is a Salesforce Ventures-backed agency, revolutionizing the digital experience for manufacturers, distributors, and their customers.
If you are reading this article, chances are that you know something about Ryan Deiss and his Customer Value Journey. Ryan literally built a marketing education empire on the concept of this framework.
It’s so important to the DigitalMarketer community that he even has the original napkin version framed like a relic to be viewed like the Mona Lisa.
My name is James Bullis. I am a Marketing Technologist / Webmaster with over 25 years in the industry. I remember when I first learned about this concept around 15 years ago.
It was originally called Customer Value Optimization and had an entirely different structure. I’m a web designer and when I started working in this industry I started out in marketing.
When I became a web designer, I didn’t understand that a business web design is a part of a business’ marketing plan. After learning more about marketing, I realized how I could put these concepts into the website and use them to create a better website experience for my customers’ website visitors.
Then the along came the Customer Value Journey (CVJ) which was a fundamental upgrade and made the entire foundational framework make more sense. It essentially closed the loop and created an endless flywheel of customers if applied correctly.
It really played well in helping to understand how a business website should be laid out so that the traffic could be funneled through the Customer Value Journey.
The CVJ is not the only part of this foundational framework. It is usually accompanied by an Ideal Client Avatar and the Before & After exercise. Essentially, you need to understand who you want to help and be able to empathize with them to discover how you can bring value by easing their pain.
But there is a real problem when it comes to the CVJ that I have noticed over the years. It seems to me that no one will sit down and do it.
Do I know this for a fact? No. But, I can guess with some authority that most people who have learned this framework skip over it in practice.
This became obvious to me some years ago inside of DigitalMarketer Engage – the Facebook group of people who have spent some time and money with DigitalMarketer to engage with other members to talk about the frameworks, get advice, and learn from each other.
You could always tell when a fresh wave of members would join because the same questions were asked repeatedly.
These were questions that could simply be answered if they took the time to go through the process of completing these exercises for each new campaign or business that they started to work on as marketers.
I don’t know why people skip over these foundational steps. The framework itself along with the worksheets probably make the concept seem simple and insignificant but it is a powerful exercise that will save you a ton of time, money, and resources.
Years ago, DigitalMarketer invited people to a conference in Austin to learn some amazing new concepts that were going to change the way we thought about digital marketing.
I was excited. I packed up. Headed to Texas. Arrived at the event. Sat down. Excited to learn something new when the guys came out and began talking about…the CVJ. The avatar. The before and after exercise.
I was a bit dumbfounded and a little bit angry at myself when I realized that this framework…was the secret. And I realized that I was not taking the time to do these exercises.
I realized that I wanted to spend my time learning about these frameworks and exercises but I myself was not implementing them. I did something drastic when I left that event. I went home and disconnected myself from everything DigitalMarketer and I decided that I wouldn’t invest in learning any new concepts until I started with these fundamentals.
For years, I worked on numerous projects, and I took a stand to make sure that we sat down and did the work. This is what I discovered.
Why the Customer Value Journey Is STILL Essential
The CVJ is essential because it answers the most important questions that everyone who works with a business needs to know:
Who Do You Help?
How Do You Help?
Why Does It Matter?
It’s also important because it puts this information in a format that can be shared with anyone who works on a business including sales, marketing, and technology. If my clients already had a CVJ for their business when I started designing and building a new website for them, it would be so much easier to create a website that actually gets results.
If the information that is contained in a CVJ were given to a graphic designer, marketing contractor, customer service rep, sales rep, consultant, anyone…this would make working the clients and ensuring their success so much easier. We call it greasing the skids because it makes it outlines everything that needs to be done in a simple to understand and comprehend format.
After using this framework on any new projects, I don’t know how I could realistically provide value to my clients if I didn’t help them create their CVJ.
The CVJ Is an Experiment in Marketing
Everything that we do in marketing is an experiment. Every little decision we make is a series of experiments that lead us to always be optimizing. No matter how far we’ve come, we can always do it better. For that reason, the CVJ is more of a living document that changes over time as the campaigns that you work on. A business can have multiple CVJs.
Think about it. You can get this process wrong because chances are you and your customer are just guessing about what will work. The more you do it, the easier it will be for you to ensure your customer’s success, but chances are, if you are creating a CVJ for a customer, they probably never completed one before and these concepts are new.
You can get it wrong. In fact, you can get it wrong and waste time, money, and resources by targeting the wrong people. Last year, I did a session with a client where we went through the process of mapping out their Ideal Customer Avatar, Before & After Exercise, and CVJ.
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For months we created content, updated the website, and ran social media campaign. It wasn’t until we expanded on these exercises with AI that we realized that we were targeting the wrong prospect. Now we can avoid that.
The CVJ Is Easier To Create Than Ever with AI
Om jag skulle fråga en grupp marknadsförare varför de inte använde ett ramverk för att bedriva sin marknadsföring, skulle jag föreställa mig att huvudkonsensus skulle vara att handlingen att sitta ner med sin klient och få en fullständig förståelse för dessa begrepp inte är något som du eller din kund verkligen vill göra.
I klientens sinne bör du bara känna till denna information (genom något mirakel). Verkligheten är att alla företag är olika och även om du kanske kan upprepa begreppen i dessa övningar, kommer övningarna att slutföras och dokumenteras att spara dig mycket tid och hjärtesorg i det långa loppet.
Jag älskar citatet från Lincoln som säger: "Om jag fick sex timmar på mig att hugga ner ett träd skulle jag ägna de första fyra åt att slipa min yxa."
Det här konceptet är sant i så många aspekter av affärer, men som jag sa tidigare, om du tar dig tid att dokumentera CVJ, ICA och före och efter träning kommer du att vara så långt på väg att du kommer att göra ditt liv mycket enklare .
Nåväl, nu har vi det här som heter AI. Och vad jag har upptäckt om AI är att den verkligen är lämpad för att hjälpa till att lösa det här problemet. Faktum är att nu när jag har börjat använda AI för att skapa den här grunden kan jag inte låta bli att generera koncepten, expandera på dem och göra något av det mest fokuserade innehållet som talar direkt till potentiella kunder.
CVJ-ramverket är avgörande för framgång som marknadsförare. Nu med hjälp av AI-verktyg kan du ta vilken ram som helst och injicera den med steroider för att skapa en omfattande marknadsföringsbas som bokstavligen kan förändra dina marknadsföringskampanjer.
Du kan inte bara skapa utökade versioner av dessa grundläggande ramverk, utan du kan nu använda dem som referens när du skapar innehåll för att skapa medvetenhet och öka engagemanget hos din publik.
AI:s gryning inom digital marknadsföring är spännande och erbjuder gränslösa möjligheter att stärka och effektivisera de strategier vi använder. Genom att utnyttja AI-kapaciteten kan skapandet och tillämpningen av grundläggande ramverk som Customer Value Journey (CVJ), Ideal Client Avatar (ICA) och övningen Före och efter förstärkas avsevärt.
Förbi är de dagar då marknadsförare försummar dessa kritiska steg på grund av deras tidskrävande karaktär eller den upplevda komplexiteten. Med AI kan vi förbättra dessa processer, minska marginalen för fel och i slutändan leverera mer riktat och slagkraftigt innehåll.
Under min personliga resa som webbdesigner som blev marknadsföringsteknolog har jag sett värdet av dessa verktyg till bordet, men också bevittnat deras försummelse. Genom att använda AI kan vi förändra denna trend och se till att dessa värdefulla resurser används till sin fulla potential.
Genom att ta oss tid att implementera dessa verktyg på rätt sätt ger vi inte bara ett enormt värde till våra kunder utan skapar också en bättre upplevelse för slutanvändaren, vilket leder till mer framgångsrika marknadsföringskampanjer.
Som digitala marknadsförare har vi en spännande väg framför oss. Beväpnade med den transformativa kraften hos AI kan vi ta visdomen som är inkapslad i CVJ och andra ramverk och släppa lös den i en större skala än någonsin tidigare.
I en tid där varje affärsbeslut blir datadrivet, säkerställer tillkomsten av AI att nyanserna av mänsklig insikt förblir centrala i våra marknadsföringsstrategier.
Det gör att vi kan balansera skalorna mellan data och empati, mellan effektivitet och effektivitet och i slutändan mellan verksamheten och kunden. Så när vi går in i framtiden för digital marknadsföring, låt oss komma ihåg att föra dessa värdefulla lärdomar framåt och ta till oss verktygen som AI tillhandahåller för att förstärka vår resa.