It’s Time To Treat The Discipline Of Software With Respect

This isn’t another dig into an already told story about Iowa’s failed app. By now, everyone knows that the app — designed to collect caucus numbers in Iowa — bombed brutally (it ruined the nights of 1,600 caucus managers and countless others). Our insight: We must better embrace the challenges and importance of software with structures that would prevent an application from ever launching without testing and certification at scale. After all, we would never drive across a bridge that wasn’t built by a professional engineer and certified by every inspector in the county. We won’t even install a new hot water heater without it being inspected and approved. And yet software gets rolled out like tote bags and water bottles at a conference. Until we — you — embrace the costs of testing and certifying software at scale, failures like Iowa will be commonplace. It’s time to treat software as we treat any other engineering discipline: professionally.

Social Earnings Show Advertising Strength After Tumultuous Year

Q4 2019 earnings for Facebook, Snap, and Twitter are in. For marketers, it’s largely good news: All three companies reported user growth and a boost in ad dollars, showing yet again that scandals don’t spell doom for social advertising. Facebook’s stock took a dive after reporting higher-than-anticipated expenses, primarily from increases in headcount and privacy efforts; at the same time, advertising made up a full 98.4% of Q4 revenue, so we’re not expecting significant changes to Facebook’s ad business. Snap announced that it had achieved its highest number of active advertisers ever and reported that it would continue making significant investments in its ad products, signaling a deeper shift toward advertiser efficiencies. And Twitter reported its best quarterly earnings in a while, emphasizing efforts to rebuild its core ad server and shift investment toward interest-based engagement and major event partnerships, such as the Olympics later this year. To understand the sustainability and potential of social advertising, read “The State Of Social Advertising.”

Attempts At Tugging On Consumer Heartstrings Doesn’t Guarantee Super Ad Performance

Nostalgia grabbed the top spot in USA Today’s Ad Meter poll with Bill Murray’s reprise of Groundhog Day for Jeep. While there were no Budweiser Clydesdales to tug at your heartstrings this year, Google powerfully used emotion with its ads featuring a widower using Google Assistant to help remember his wife. How did consumers reactOverall, Ad Age and reported that the Super Bowl television spots generated 63 million earned media views on social networks and 4 billion social impressions. The Jeep ad captured the highest digital share of voice, generating 14.58of the total ad impressions, online views, and social impressions across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and search engines. But the buzz about these ads was positive, negative, and neutral, so it’s an open question whether this activity helps justify the burgeoning price tag of these ads. The real test of ad effectiveness — driving more incremental revenue — has yet to be seen.

Speaking of the Super Bowl . . .

It’s Time To Rethink The Super Bowl Advertising Strategy

The Super Bowl remains a unique mass media event and the premier advertising showcase; few opportunities like it exist that allow marketers to reach a plurality of Americans. Despite the event’s audience-aggregating advantage, the year-over-year (YoY) growth of Super Bowl ad costs far outpaces the respective YoY growth of audiences. From 2008–2018, the cost per 30 seconds grew an average of 5.27% YoY, while Super Bowl audiences grew at only 1.03%. At $5.6 million per 30 seconds and climbing, it’s worth reconsidering the impact of advertising in the big game relative to the rising cost of marketing.

America’s First Fully 5G-Enabled Hospital Went Live Last Week

This facility, leveraging the internet of things and edge computing, is the Department of Veterans Affairs in Palo Alto, California, an affiliate of Stanford University School of Medicine. Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie said last week at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, “What 5G will deliver is richer, more detailed three-dimensional images of the patients’ anatomy. The resolution is so clear and consistent that it will give us reliable means of delivering telesurgery services to veterans across the nation.” He added that it will also be a breakthrough for surgeons beyond just the operating room: “That means we will have the capacity to allow VA’s best physicians to consult during surgery even if they are not in the same room and are halfway across the country.” Wilkie added that beyond these efforts, it is also driving medical innovations, including exoskeletons that can be controlled by the patient and assisted by their mobility device, as well as telehealth systems codeveloped with Walmart that are being used to diagnose patients remotely. Click here to learn more about preparing your own 5G timeline and strategy.