My Five #450

A stat attack, A.I., content fatigue, cookies, cinnamon and milk are all on the menu in this week’s My Five. Feast your eyes.

You are reading: My Five #450

Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Joe.

1. The impact of the C-bomb on e-commerce

Even the most ardent of ostriches will have noticed that things have not been normal for the past eighteen months. We are living in crazy times and almost every aspect of our lives has been impacted by the response to a novel virus. This is very true for business, where there have been both winners and losers.

It is no secret that digital’s meteoric rise over the past decade has been supercharged by a pair of Bezos rockets after populations were confined to their homes. The acceleration of e-commerce throughout 2020 was staggering and the likes of Amazon have definitely been in the winners enclosure.

Whilst there are now signs that the growth may be stalling, I was interested to read a round up of e-commerce stats from Econsultancy, which does a very good job of highlighting just how explosive the growth in e-commerce has been.

Rather than regurgitate the stats here, I would encourage you to head over to the post as it is an interesting read and it is hard to cherry pick the most interesting.

2. Artificial intelligence in marketing

If you know me, you will know that I have a tendency to be cynical. Personally, I like to think of this as a healthy critical mind (and honesty to call a spade a spade if the evidence does not support the promise) but I confess to being guilty of seeing the empty half of the cup more often than not.

An area where I have most definitely felt cynical in recent years is that of artificial intelligence. I am not opposed to it at all and had an interesting chat about AI in email several years ago, but I have seen so many miracle platforms promising the world thanks to their amazing machine learning that I feel I am justified to question the actual value of some of the propositions that are put in front of me. There is no doubt that automation can be a massive time saver and there are many scenarios where it is almost impossible to be effective without the help of some silicon power, but I am still a big fan of the human brain.

I did, however, really enjoy reading a great post this week about how AI can be used in marketing. It is well balanced and shows that you can benefit from advances in the efficacy of algorithms to do heavy lifting tasks without having to have enterprise level budgets. A great collection of applications of AI during the customer lifecycle.

3. Content fatigue

The ‘content is king’ drum as been banged for many years now. Anyone who has published a website and has even a passing interest in digital marketing will have learned about the importance of content. It is indisputable that you need engaging content as a cornerstone of most digital marketing initiatives.

It can, however, be really difficult to ideate and create such ‘brilliant’ content and I am sure you will have experienced writers’ block at some stage? How on earth do you avoid repeating yourself or churning out another version of the same content that your competitors are producing?

I enjoyed reading this week and it may help you overcome some of the content creation challenges that you may feel. It is definitely worth a read.

4. No more cookie notifications?

There was quite a bit announcement from the UK government this week regarding the implications of leaving the EU and what this means for GDPR:

On the surface of things, I think that we should welcome “a package of measures to help the UK seize the opportunities of data to boost growth, trade and improve its public services” and I would definitely not mourn the loss of those annoying cookie notification pop ups (which are one of the changes that have been mooted). Having a read of some of the comments on the Twitter thread above would suggest that not all are especially welcoming of the news.

I welcome the notion of creating data laws based on common sense, as opposed to a box ticking exercise to satisfy EU rules, but am a bit worried about our government’s ability to apply common sense, based on the evidence of the past eighteen months.

Cynical? Me? See section 2 :-)

5. Don’t you love a challenge?

I am sure I am not the only one to have spent a childhood doing fairly bonkers things. It is a miracle that a broken arm was my worst injury. I guess it is human nature to push the boundary and who doesn’t love an adrenalin shot?

The internet has helped fuel such masochistic challenges, although arguably the first really big one that I can remember (the ice bucket challenge) was created with a charitable cause at the heart and was based on exerting misery on others rather than yourself. The cinnamon challenge has always made me laugh and this remains one of my all time favourite YouTube videos:

The Cinnamon Challenge ... by GloZell and her Big Behind Earrings

The latest challenge to be putting people in A&E is the #cratechallenge, where the pain seekers scale milk crates that have been stacked into a mini mountain. Seven milk crates doesn’t really sound that impressive, but the crashes are spectacular and no doubt extremely painful in many cases. I am getting old, so this is not one for me.

Here is a good compilation of what is involved:


Have a great weekend.


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