7 Digital Marketing Stats From the Past Week That Got Our Attention

#FoodDay hashtags a missed opportunity, CMOs want AI and more

It was a healthy week in the realm of interactive numbers. iStock.com
Headshot of Christopher Heine

The dog days of summer have done little to discourage marketers from revealing intriguing research, other surprising numbers and cutting-edge initiatives. Check out the seven digital marketing stats that caught our eye in the past week:

1. Another day, another #FoodDay
Last week, it was #NationalIceCreamSandwichDay. Just before that, it as #NationalHotDogDay. It seems like there’s #FoodXYorZDay every day on Twitter. They’re big opportunities for food marketers, so we asked Socialbakers, based in Prague, Czech Republic, to see which of those days has gotten the most attention from brands so far this year.

The winner was #NationalJunkFoodDay on July 21, which actually only got 61 tweets from brands. So while these hashtags always seem to trend (#NationalIceCreamSandwichDay trended nationally for two days) on Twitter, surprisingly, brands stay relatively inactive.

2. Sharktastic social
Also according to Socialbakers, the most engaging tweet during Discovery’s 30th annual Shark Week was by Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps. He raced a shark (sort of), garnering a lot of buzz in general, but specifically with this tweet that got more than 3,400 retweets and almost 15,000 likes:

3. CMOs think AI
According to a new IBM study, 61 percent of marketing chiefs and sales leaders say cognitive computing will disrupt marketing and sales by 2020. At the same time, only 24 percent said they have an AI strategy in place to successfully implement these technologies right now.

4. Vimeo bests YouTube for emailed videos
Email service provider GetResponse analyzed nearly 2 billion emails from March to May of 2017 in 126 countries across 19 industries. Campaigns that used a Vimeo video averaged a 12.5 percent click-through rate, while YouTube clips only got a CTR of 5.6 percent.

The study also found that Thursday was the best day for email, getting the highest open rate, 23 percent, and the best CTR, 3.5 percent. However, GetResponse also found that Wednesday was the busiest day for email campaigns.

5. Ads that are more than just talk
Speaking of IBM, the company last year launched Watson Ads, which lets viewers “talk” with a brand’s ad and request additional info. Toyota, Campbell Soup and Unilever have tested the units, often averaging between one and two minutes of engagement, per Big Blue. “We have already begun to see that consumers are spending more time with these cognitive ads than with other digital ads,” said Carrie Seifer, CRO for the IBM Watson content and IoT platform.

Read our cover story about voice AI here.

6. Home is where the answers are
Google Home and Amazon Echo are all the rage right now as smart speakers become increasingly common household devices. That’s why 360i created VSM, which asks Google Home and Alexa Dot (Echo’s little-sister device) thousands of questions around the clock, and whether the queries are answered automatically gets recorded on an Excel spreadsheet. An early round of testing found that for the travel category, Google answered 72 percent of questions while Amazon responded to 13 percent of the queries. In the second round of testing for finance, Google answered 68 percent of questions while Amazon answered roughly 14 percent.

Mike Dobbs, the agency’s longtime vp of SEO, thinks unanswered questions present brands with an opportunity to become the search result with targeted, voice-minded digital content. “That’s one interesting thing that we believe is going to be white space that marketers need to explore,” he said. “They can raise their hands to take conversations on when major systems don’t have the data sources or depths to [provide an answer].”

7. Startups go corporate
Conglomerates such as Nestlé and Procter & Gamble are increasingly looking to startups for inspiration and long-term company innovation. For instance, Nestlé has its Henri@Nestle program, which is named after the company’s 19th-century scientist-founder Henri Nestlé and virtually connects numerous independent innovation labs from London to Shanghai.

In terms of P&G, through Aug. 31, startups can submit a digital marketing or Internet of Things service for the chance to pitch the packaged-goods giant at ad-tech conference Dmexco. On Sept. 14, up to 20 startups will be selected to pitch their best ideas to work with the brand at the conference’s Start-Up Village. Four startups will then be picked to pitch during a Shark Tank-like event on Sept. 15 with the chance of winning 20,000 euros (or roughly $23,580).

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@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.