Weekly News Roundup: Google, Facebook Bet on Digital Transparency

Weekly marketing news roundup | markethink

Another busy week for the digital marketing industry is coming to a close, and we wanted to share what we think were the most important news pieces of the past few days. We’ve got an exciting new product launch, a useful guide for business owners, and a couple of policy updates from some big online brands. Let’s dive right in. 

1. Google announces plans to cut 50% of its marketing budget for 2020

CNBC got the scoop on Google’s intentions of cutting its marketing budget for the second half of 2020 down to 50%. Journalists viewed some internal documents that suggest the coronavirus situation is starting to impact the online giant. According to an email that reportedly went out to Google marketing staff this week, the company is planning budget cuts and a new hiring freeze for all full-time and contract employees. In the hours following the news, Google shares dropped close to 2%, according to CNBC. 

Read the full story here

2. Facebook and Instagram to show the location of posts published by high-reach, US-targeting pages

It’s no big secret that many corporations and international brands use outsourcing for their digital marketing efforts, including social media. However, not all brands are transparent about this fact, and Facebook is putting an end to that. In an effort to boost transparency and avoid fraudulent posts, Facebook and Instagram posts by high-reaching brands that target U.S. audiences will start to show location information.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company started offering more context about Facebook Pages in 2018, to help users better understand who’s behind a page and to enhance the authenticity of an account. Now, they’re taking it one step further by showing the location on all posts published by popular Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts, in an effort to increase transparency towards users. 

Get the full story here

3. Google to require identity verification for advertisers

Google will start requiring documentation to verify the identity and authenticity of online advertisers. The move comes on the heels of the company’s 2018 policy update that requires identity verification for all political advertisements on Google Ads.

Advertisers will need to provide personal IDs, business incorporation information, operating geography, and possibly further items to prove their identity. The measure will first roll out in the U.S., and will apply to Search, Display, and YouTube. Users will be able to see additional information on ads, such as Advertiser name and country location, and they will also have a toggle option to stop receiving ads from that particular source. 

Find out more on the new policy here

4. Moz’s Rand Fishkin officially launches SparkToro

Digital marketing ‘guru’ Rand Fishkin has officially launched SparkToro this week. SparkToro is an audience intelligence tool that helps marketers, entrepreneurs and other individuals reach their target audience with their products and services. The tool can assist businesses and entrepreneurs get a better understanding of their audiences, their behaviors, preferences, schedules, interests, and so on.

This understanding reportedly comes from a database containing over 70 million unique profiles representing billions of social accounts, websites and shares, which are compiled and updated daily. The good news is that Fishkin is offering anyone who wants to try it out 10 free searches per month, and will also donate $1 to a Covid-19 relief fund for every unique account that runs a search on SparkToro.

Learn more about the product here

5. Cushman & Wakefield releases how-to guide on reopening workplaces

Real estate is our bread and butter, so naturally we’re keeping an eye out for any news related to the industry. This week, Cushman & Wakefield released its ‘Recovery Readiness: A How-to Guide for Reopening Your Workplace.’ The guide is directed at both real estate landlords and tenants, in an effort to prepare industry professionals for the moment their businesses will reopen physically.

Stay-at-home restrictions will eventually lift, and business owners and tenants alike need to be ready to embrace change in the workplace to avoid further spread of the coronavirus. Cushman leaned on insights and best practices gathered from its recent effort to move 10,000 companies and close to 1 million workers back into 800 million square feet of commercial buildings it manages in China. 

Read Cushman & Wakefield’s recommendations here

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