Most companies I speak to think that 'live streaming' is either a gimmick, a great way to continue to talk about themselves, or worse still, 'just another version of old folks TV shopping'.

More on that later!

A couple of years ago (pre GDPR) circa 86% of ads were using behavioral targeting, a practice which is now becoming more difficult to do as the public grow more aware of how ad tech, and social media companies are using personal data without any real visibility of its value and end use.

This has had the effect of squeezing out non-targeted display ads, such as those that rely on contextual factors to select the ad — e.g. the content being viewed, device type or location.

The latter are now the exception; a fall-back such as for when cookies have been blocked.

The rise, access, and availability on any device in any location for your prospects to do their own due diligence on a company, brand and it’s employees via social media will either upend you, or can be a catalyst to help grow your business.

It's a combination of providing 'social proof' during the 'social buying' stages - in simple terms, if your competitor understands the social landscape better than you, and has adopted 'social selling' as key strategic initiative I guarantee the traffic will go to your competitor, the phone will stop ringing, and you will continue to miss those targets.

I write quite a lot of blogs, they vary from my focus on the digital intrusions from the advertising industry, to how social media and content discovery is transforming companies of all shapes and sizes around the world who have realised that it's not just a place to 'advertise and promote' themselves. 

As a 'growth' consultant my approach is always based on a sound and proven strategy called 'leverage and build'. Which in plain english means let's take what you have built today to see if we can leverage it to build a new set of growth opportunities.

Many people confuse building a brand with building awareness, and making the right people aware of you is a big part of brand marketing, of course, but it’s not the only thing you have to achieve.

When an advertiser’s $1 in media spend starts and ends with Google tech, publishers receive 69 cents of every dollar, or 69%. Google takes the other 31%, according to 2019 aggregate data.

Google’s DSP, DV360, takes an average of 13 cents of every $1 an advertiser spends. Then, Google Ad Manager charges an average of 18 cents to the publisher.

If you do the math and add into the above numbers that somewhere between 50% - 75% of every marketing dollar also goes into a fraud bots pocket you have to agree that even without Covid this is not sustainable business logic?

There is one sector that in my humble opinion are already set up to really exploit the social opportunity with physical retail. This is the TV shopping sector which includes the mighty QVC, HSN, and over in the UK Ideal Shopping TV, and many more.

When I see the unabated rise of 'social commerce', and in particular 'live streaming' I wonder how much of the so called developed online/offline retailers of the world and its companies are looking at this and not only wondering "how's this going to change what we do as a business?"

If I were operating in 'TV Shopping' I would argue that this is about to create an explosion in opportunities, it will definitely take folk away from the lean back couch experience, and it will truly unleash all the Superpowers, infrastructure, and resources from an industry that has led the way for 'experiential' retail - guess what, you are WAY out in front - but only if they can grasp it today.

They already have the know how to leverage technical, resource, and back office logistics. 

The global opportunity for them to attract the non celebrity influencers (your employees) to leverage the value of those assets, IP, and commercial opportunities must be immense.

Let's take a look at a very simple example of disruption;

You're a retailer (offline/online) you have a great business selling all sorts of home-wares (other categories apply) , you and your suppliers have done very well over the years, they find you products to sell from all over the world, your buying team select said products and BINGO you promote and sell them via your physical retail outlets, and of course your online website. 

Your average weekly turnover from say 'exotic rugs' is £100k, not bad, happy days for all and this is how it's always been.....then came social media, and with it social commerce that includes in it's playbook 'live streaming'!

Now lets consider there are circa 100+ small traders (probably in the thousands) on numerous social networks around the world , they also sell 'exotic rugs', however they're only turning over £1k+ per week - so now what do you and your supplier do and say?

Food for thought - hopefully?