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‘Marketers are unprepared for what is coming’: How Google’s AI search overhaul affects organic SEO for brands – and what to do about it

Plummeting top search rankings and click through rates following suit have marketers and SEO agencies worried. Commissioned by local and international publishers, UK-based Authoritas has been running the numbers on both publisher and brand search terms and how they compare with Google’s new AI-compiled amalgamated answers for the last year. AI Overviews isn’t yet in Australia, but it’s coming. There are potential upsides for brands, per CEO Laurence O’Toole. But the hard work starts now – because search is about to change forever and the millions sunk into SEO may soon be largely stranded.

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GroupM forecasts modest ad spend growth amid economic uncertainty

GroupM’s mid-year ad spend forecast for 2024 predicts a 7.8% global advertising revenue growth, reaching US$989.9 billion and surpassing one trillion in revenue in 2025. However, at a local level, GroupM economists project a modest overall growth across all channels at 1.1% for 2024, with stronger growth expected in 2025.

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Reclaiming kids from algorithms: Hyundai signs up to 36 Months campaign, founders Wippa and Galluzzo urge brands to walk purpose talk; Banning social media for under-16s likely hot election issue

Hyundai is the first brand to have signed on to the 36 Months campaign to lift the minimum age for social media accounts from 13 to 16, launched by Nova radio’s Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli and Rob Galluzzo, the boss of production company Finch. Galluzzo is “100 per cent certain” more brands will follow to help build and fund the programs that rebuild a physical social network for teens that isn’t manipulated by the anxiety-inducing algorithms that have made young teenagers the product. Which creates the perfect platform for brands to walk all the talk about ‘purpose’ and ‘showing up in the right way’. “A brand can go to its board, and ask ‘how do we want to show up for these kids, these families, the community?’ If they don’t have an answer to that, they probably need to have a pretty big discussion about what they stand for as companies,” per Galluzzo. Now 36 Months is building out three crucial pillars to use the time reclaimed from the platforms to better prepare young Australians for physical and digital life ahead. Wippa and Galluzzo unpack where next, and how brands can help repair the fractured civics they have inadvertently funded.

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‘The marketing funnel was never real’: Initiative global CEO says AI forcing creative and media back together; brands must ‘game platform algorithms’… and then those Accenture Song defectors

“It’s a trap”, Initiative global CEO Dimitri Maex stated bluntly on a miserable Sydney morning, leaning over a cafe table with his then ANZ CEO Mel Fein. Maex wasn’t predicting the bombshell defection two weeks later of Fein and her two Initiative lieutenants, Sam Geer and Chris Colter, to Accenture Song. Or was he, given the timing of his flash Australian fly by? Whatever the case, Maex in a follow-up from the conversation with Fein – before it emerged she was bolting to set up a new, rival media agency venture – was almost effusive of the talents possessed by the media agency posse. More on that later, but the trap Maex was provocatively speaking of was the marketing funnel – it never existed and adherence to its construct is wayward and distorting investment decisions, he says. Marketers need new models, fast, but most of Initiative’s clients, says Maex, don’t have them – and very few can clearly articulate how marketing contributes to business. So he has a short-cut – and here it comes, sans Fein, Geer and Colter.

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