Every time EDGE host Erin Sparks (Site Strategics CEO) and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann produce a new episode of the EDGE of the Web podcast, they also put together a bonus news segment about trending digital marketing headlines. The latest features special guest Amy Bishop, Owner of Cultivative Marketing, a digital media agency. Here’s the bonus news roundup from Episode 350 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast:
Apple is gathering data from Apple Maps to show how well people are social distancing
From Todd Haselton and Christina Farr on CNBC we learn that Apple is gathering data from Apple Maps to show how well people are social distancing. Apple on Tuesday launched a new tool that shows how well people are following social distancing guidelines. It gathers anonymous data from Apple Maps and works similarly to what Google is doing to show trends from Google Maps.
- Erin Sparks: This was a fascinating article. Crowd sourcing location data during a pandemic.
- Amy Bishop: Yes, the article does say that Apple is not tying any of the data to mobile IDs or anything like that, so privacy is being maintained. Whether or not you want to believe that is another thing entirely, but the data is very interesting. I found it rather encouraging in terms of the social distancing. People are really doing it. Of course there are still lots of essential workers moving around, which is good. And while other people are also moving around, a lot of it is probably just to get out of the house for a while, as opposed to interacting with people in public.
- Erin Sparks: It was encouraging, right up until you looked at the map of all the people returning from spring break in Florida fanning out all across the country.
- Amy Bishop: Yes, that was somewhat disturbing and less encouraging. “Alarming” is probably too strong a word, but it did feel like a direct view into exactly how this virus spreads when you have all these people who were just congregating in close quarters returning to all four corners of the country.
- Erin Sparks: I wonder if we should even be looking at data like this just because we can. Is this kind of data just creating more hypersensitivity than is really needed.
- Amy Bishop: Yes, there’s probably an element of that to be aware of. I don’t think it would be realistic to expect the numbers or the movements to go down much further than where they’re at. And it’s not be something you’d want to be looking at every day or obsessing over. We already have daily stats on the number of cases and deaths. Tracking this kind of data too closely could be counterproductive in terms of increasing people’s anxiety levels.
- Erin Sparks: Yes, step away from the data. Hunker down and get through it but don’t obsess over it.
Amazon pauses new grocery signups, hires another 75,000 workers
According to Kate Cox on ARS Technica, Amazon pauses new grocery signups, hires another 75,000 workers. As many consumers stay at home, limiting themselves to online shopping only, Amazon—already the default online “everything store” for millions—has been reaping the benefit. But even the massive conglomerate can’t keep up with consumer demand for groceries, home essentials, and everything else. In an attempt to catch up, it is both going on a hiring spree and limiting new customers.
- Erin Sparks: Those are some impressive hiring stats.
- Amy Bishop: I’m all for job creation in any form right now. Grocery delivery services are getting slammed, so increasing that capacity is a good thing because it can help keep people out of stores, which is a good thing in terms of better social distancing. It’s a shame that it’s probably happening out of a place of fear. And while I’m all for more jobs, I wish more of them could be with local and smaller businesses instead of a giant corporation.
- Erin Sparks: Everyone has to adapt to the situation we’re in. I saw a local HVAC company that sent a communication out to their customers saying they wouldn’t be sending technicians out for non-emergency service calls, but they offered to help customers out by delivering their groceries. It’s a way to keep their technicians employed and busy, help their customers with something not even related to their core business, and you can bet those customers are going to remember how their HVAC company adapted and helped in a time of crisis.
- Amy Bishop: Yes, that’s a great story. And I am seeing similar stories of small businesses that are able to pivot and find some need or niche they can serve.
- Jacob Mann: I saw something that said Amazon was slashing the percentage of commission its Amazon Affiliates can get. The question is why? Is it because they know everyone is turning to Amazon to make even more purchases online than usual because of the pandemic so they’re going to rake in more money by slashing affiliate commissions? If that’s the case, it’s a pretty crappy thing to do. Maybe it was something that had already been planned. If it was, then it’s really bad timing.
- Amy Bishop: How businesses respond and behave during this crisis is really important because people are going to remember it. The car insurance companies giving some percentage of premium refunds to customers since everyone is driving so much less is the right thing to do, for example. The customers will remember the good and the bad.
Google Reveals How Search Behavior Has Changed During COVID-19 Pandemic
On Search Engine Journal, Matt Southern reports: Google Reveals How Search Behavior Has Changed During COVID-19 Pandemic. Google has published data on recent search trends, revealing the top 5 ways search behavior is changing during the pandemic.
- Erin Sparks: This data is meant to help marketers understand the shifting sands and navigate how search is changing during the pandemic. Google even gave guidance on how to respond as marketers and businesses to what people are searching for. If you can help your customers with information they need, they will remember that.
- Amy Bishop: Yes, it’s that same focus on how your business can help its customers during a crisis. Do well and you’ll be building the long-term relationships with customers that really matter.
- Erin Sparks: And digital marketing agencies should be encouraging their client businesses to do be helpful to their customers in these ways.
- Amy Bishop: People are searching for information they need. Businesses need to look at how they can supply relevant content to fill those needs that is still related to their business in some way. People are feeling really vulnerable right now. This is a very important time to be customer-centric, even more so than normal.
Connect with Amy Bishop and Cultivative Marketing
Twitter: @Hoffman8 (https://twitter.com/Hoffman8)
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