Is Facebook helping small businesses survive the COVID-19 crisis and make money? How will Google’s Search Console Insights help publishers? How did Oracle and Salesforce breach GDPR and what will the outcome be? What new features is Intercom introducing to help businesses?

“Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” – Chris Brogan

In this article, we’ll cover the following digital marketing news:

  1. How is Facebook helping SMBs to survive the COVID-19 pandemic?
  2. What is Search Console Insights?
  3. Who is suing Oracle and Salesforce and why?
  4. How is Intercom helping businesses improve their customer support?

Ready to dive in?

Social Media

Facebook Is Offering A New All-In-One Tool (Free For A Year)

Facebook is dedicated to helping small businesses (SMBs) survive and make money during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But how?

Previously Facebook announced a $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help SMBs. Later on, the company introduced Facebook Shops focused on assisting SMBs to sell their products/services online. Now, the company has announced a new product – paid online events. 

What are paid online events? It’s a free product that will give “businesses, creators, educators and media publishers”  the opportunity to earn money from online events on Facebook. Users can set up paid events such as online classes, webinars, expert talks, etc. and, the best part, they will keep 100% of the revenue generated themselves. There’s a small catch, though. For iOS users to partake, event hosts will have to give up 30% of the purchase price in what Facebook calls, an “App-Store Tax”. Company representatives requested Apple to waive the 30% app-store revenue cut. However, Apple reportedly declined.

Digital Marketing News: Facebook's New Free Tool, Google's Search Console Insights, Two Tech Giants Getting Sued And Intercom's Biggest Update Ever | EmailOut.com - free email marketing software

The details. Marketers will be able to host, promote, sell tickets and collect payment all within Facebook. The one thing they have to do first is to check if they are eligible. If they are, then they just have to create the event, promote it to their organic followers (or through Facebook ads) and collect payment through Facebook. (You need to have a linked bank account to get the money)

The company also stated that “to support small businesses and creators, Facebook will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year.” If you are a cynic, this new tool may seem like a way for the company to drive product adoption until it reaches a broad base of users before it starts charging them. But, its potential of helping SMBs generate revenue in these uncertain times is quite valuable; and, based on the feedback, appreciated. 

Search Engine and SEO News

Search Console + Google Analytics = Search Console Insights

In June, we told you about Google’s announcement to provide a new experience by combining Search Console and Google Analytics data to give its users more useful data about their website.

Now, the company has finally announced the Search Console Insights (SCI) will start rolling out to beta testers. 

According to Google, Search Console Insights will be useful to content creators and publishers as it’ll help them answer the following questions – 

a) which is their best performing content piece?
b) how’s their new content performing?
c) in what way do people discover their content across the web?
d) what are their website’s top and trending queries on Google Search?
e) which other websites and articles are linking to their website’s content – and are they getting any new links?

If you cannot access Search Console Insights, don’t panic. According to the company, “it is a closed beta that is currently only available to a group of users that have already received an official email from us for a specific site.”

The ability to have specific Google Analytics data in Search Console is not only a massive convenience to creators and publishers. It also helps both to review their website’s data in new ways and have access to way more insights to make more informed decisions and improve their content.

PPC and Ads News

A Lawsuit Against Oracle And Salesforce Over Online Ad Tracking

The Privacy Collective, a Dutch non-profit foundation set up for the primary purpose of pursuing and/or supporting claims for data misuse in breach of privacy rights, has filed lawsuits against the tech giants Oracle and Salesforce in Dutch, English and Welsh courts claiming both companies have breached GDPR by utilising third-party cookies to process as well as share users’ data to sell targeted ads online.

“Oracle and Salesforce are only two of many companies using cookies to track, monitor and collect consumers’ data and sharing it via a process known as ‘real-time bidding’ where the data is being auctioned to advertisers”, states the Collective.

The Collectives’s lawsuit claims that the two companies are collecting and sharing consumers’ data without first obtaining explicit consent from the users which is a direct violation of GDPR and what makes the matter even worse, both companies have been in breach of the privacy regulation since it came into force.

The lawsuit will argue that mass surveillance on Internet users for the nefarious purposes of carrying out real-time bidding ad auctions can’t possibly comply with the EU’s strict regulations around consent to process personal data.

“Claims in the lawsuits against the tech giants could end up exceeding €10 billion as it could potentially combine millions of users who visited popular websites like Spotify, Reddit, Dropbox, IKEA, IMDB, Amazon, Booking.com, Thesaurus.com, Rotten Tomatoes, BBC Good Food, Debenhams, Barclaycard.com and more”, according to the Collective.

Take a look at the responses given by representatives of both companies addressing the foundation’s lawsuits.

Dorian Daley, Oracle’s Executive VP and General Counsel – 

“The Privacy Collective knowingly filed a meritless action based on deliberate misrepresentations of the facts.  As Oracle previously informed the Privacy Collective, Oracle has no direct role in the real-time bidding process (RTB), has a minimal data footprint in the EU; and, has a comprehensive GDPR compliance program. Despite Oracle’s fulsome explanation, the Privacy Collective has decided to pursue its shake-down through litigation filed in bad faith. Oracle will vigorously defend against these baseless claims.”

Salesforce spokesperson – 

“At Salesforce, trust is our number one value. Nothing is more important to us than the privacy and security of our corporate customers’ data. We design and build our services with privacy at the forefront. We provide our corporate customers with tools to help them comply with their obligations under applicable privacy laws; including the EU GDPR, to preserve the privacy rights of their customers. Salesforce and another data management platform provider have received a privacy-related complaint from a Dutch group called The Privacy Collective. Salesforce disagrees with the allegations and intends to demonstrate they are without merit.”

In other GDPR related news, as a result of the recent Court of Justice of the European Union ruling on data transfers, invalidating the Privacy Shield, Google will be moving to Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) for transfers of online advertising and measurement personal data out of the Europe Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland and the UK. Google will, therefore, update its existing Google Ads policies to add the relevant SCCs as adopted by the European Commission; and, ensure GDPR compliance. 

Digital Marketing News

This month Intercom announced its biggest launch ever giving businesses over 20 new features aimed at helping them improve their customer support without having to sacrifice efficiency or waste time. 

The new features will allow businesses to handle more complicated queries, decrease response times and automate manual tasks and processes. The release will also eliminate old choices (the email-based ticketing system and the faster messenger-based support lacking depth), and it will no longer force businesses to choose between those two main options for online support.

According to the company, they wanted to introduce not only an update to its conversational relationship platform but also, a genuinely new experience in terms of both functionality and usability. 

The new features include – 

a) a more efficient ticketing flow – Intercom’s bots will collect information and prioritise issues as well as identify emergencies;

b) a more flexible messenger platform – customers will get support whether that’s in real-time or over several days;

c) 12 new reporting metrics – the three new reporting dashboards introduced are conversations report, effectiveness report and a team performance report. The new metrics will be divided among all three new reports ensuring businesses will be able to “monitor their team’s workload, improve support effectiveness and see what type of issues are taking up the most time based on conversation data.”

Why should you care? Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, many businesses have been forced to move their operations online and their support teams are on the front lines of this change. With every day’s efforts to deliver excellent and fast customer service while also being bombarded with large amounts of enquiries and issues, having the right customer support tool is more vital than ever. Intercom’s new features will remove any existing obstacles from providing top-notch customer support.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any suggestions or ideas about which digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

EmailOut offers the most generous email marketing software freemium product for professional micro-businesses and SMEs across the globe coupled with the very best rates for large volume corporate senders. Take a look now.

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Adi Angelova

Author Adi Angelova

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