The Clock Keeps Ticking On Microsoft’s Pursuit To Purchase TikTok In The US

Late last year, we predicted that companies like Facebook or Meredith Corporation would court TikTok for acquisition but that its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, would ultimately hold out for an IPO. Now, it looks like we were half right. Increasing scrutiny from lawmakers over data privacy concerns and TikTok’s influence on the US market came to a head last week when Donald Trump said he would ban it for its ties to China. ByteDance is being forced to divest its US TikTok operations, and Microsoft’s preliminary offer provides a way for TikTok to move forward in the US. It also gives Microsoft access to an attractive user base of digitally native teens and 20-somethings. As part of the purchase, Microsoft said it will “ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.” Should the acquisition go through, marketing leaders must watch how Microsoft plans to integrate TikTok into its broader consumer-facing portfolio (including LinkedIn, Bing, Xbox, etc.), whether it allows TikTok to operate autonomously, and how it will balance customer needs with the desire to monetize.

Amid The Largest Fall In GDP, US Tech Investment RemainBright Spot

The economic damage revealed in the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Q2 2020 report was even worse than we or other forecasters had projected. Real GDP fell at an annualized rate of 32.9% — the largest fall on record dating back to the 1940s. The decrease was broad-based, including annualized drops in business investment (30%) and personal consumption (35%). But US tech investment held up surprisingly well: On the same annualized basis, business investment in computer equipment rose at a 71.2% rate, communications increased at a 3.8% rate, and software decreased at a mere 1% rate. Although the big drop sets the stage for an impressive bounce-back in Q3, the economic recession will continue and may get worse before it gets better. Ongoing consumer anxiety, the success of COVID-19 containment efforts in the South and West, and the outcome of the next stimulus bills will be key factors in determining the size of the bounce. For the tech sector, the pickup in computer and communications equipment will likely be reversed as layoffs and concerns about the future business outlook lead to sharp cuts in Q3 and Q4. And despite the stickiness of cloud software, continued slow growth in spending will show that the recession has spread to industries that are big buyers of software, such as financial services, healthcare, and government. For a deeper dive into Forrester’s forecast for the US tech market in 2020 and 2021, join our webinar on August 4.

The B2C Adtech And Martech Tech Tides Help You Make Tech Investments Based On Value, Not Hype

B2C marketers and advertisers need technology to boost productivity and to make their jobs easier. But the seemingly endless landscape of available solutions makes building a tech stack an overwhelming undertaking. Luckily, we just published some research that can help. The Tech Tide™ reports for adtech and martech give marketers an overview of 30-plus technology categories and advice to guide tech investments. In the research, we find that some emerging technologies carry more hype than value, identity and customer-interaction-enabling technologies are on the rise, and a few longstanding technologies are being sunsetted in favor of newcomers. Be sure to check out these reports to see our full analysis of the adtech and martech ecosystem, including maturity, business value, sample use cases, and vendor lists for each category.