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Adaptive, Responsive, Mobile-Friendly
What do these terms mean?

Adaptive web design, responsive web design, and mobile friendly design are all strategies used to create user-friendly websites that work well on different types of devices. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages.

Adaptive web design is a method for creating websites that is based on the idea of developing multiple versions of a website for different devices. Essentially, an adaptive approach creates custom designs for desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones, allowing them to dynamically adjust to the device being used. The benefit of this approach is that it allows for more device-specific customizations and user experiences. However, it can also be more difficult to maintain since it requires different designs for different devices.

Responsive web design is a way for web developers to create sites that respond to the size of the device being used to view the site. Rather than creating multiple versions of each page, a single “fluid” version of a website is created that adjusts itself based on the device or screen size. This approach is beneficial due to the fact that only one set of code needs to be maintained, reducing the workload of web developers. The downside of responsive web design is that it can be difficult to make specific customizations for certain devices.

Mobile friendly design is focused on optimizing websites for smaller screens and mobile devices. This approach is often simpler, as compared to adaptive or responsive web design, because it involves designing webpages that are easy to navigate and use on smaller screens. While mobile friendly design is generally less customizable, the benefit is that it is easier and faster to implement since the focus is on making sure the page looks good on a smartphone or tablet.

In conclusion, there are many different approaches for developing user-friendly websites for different devices. Adaptive web design, responsive web design, and mobile friendly design are all viable strategies for creating great user experiences, but each comes with their own advantages and challenges. Ultimately, which option is best for your project depends on your goals, budget, and timelines.
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TikTok’s uncertain future: the issues marketers should (and shouldn’t) fret over

The much anticipated testimony of TikTok CEO Shou Chew before Congress last Thursday has been discussed, debated and deconstructed over the last week.

Hearings like this tend to have this effect; they unravel more like a courtroom drama than a robust policy debate.

Needless to say, marketers are still baffled. The hearing left them with a lot of unanswered questions — questions that Digiday can’t necessarily provide concrete answers to, but can rattle through the probabilities, likely outcomes and implications surrounding them all.

First up: a ban is unlikely

Yes, the b-word is being bandied around a lot when it comes to musings on the future of TikTok. But the truth is, an outright ban is rather unlikely.

For starters, a ban would require U.S. lawmakers to prove that the short-form video app is a genuine national security risk. So far, that hasn’t happened. Rep AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) of New York said as much in her first-ever TikTok, stating that usually in these situations, Congress receives a classified briefing. “I can tell you that Congress has not received a classified briefing around the allegations of national security risks regarding TikTok,” she said.

Then there are the steep political costs that Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said a ban could invoke as a result of cutting people off from an app used practically daily. Chew announced that the app had amassed 150 million American monthly active users, meaning it’s already very enmeshed in U.S. society. Further, Gen Z, which is TikTok’s core demographic, will be a strong factor in the next general election cycle. 

“Upsetting them [Gen Z] in such a massive way would essentially be political suicide, especially for any democratic candidate depending on GenZ votes,” said Molly Lopez, owner-partner of Hite Digital.

And that’s before the technical barriers of making something like this stick are considered. Broadly speaking, a ban like this would be a very clumsy way of solving a very delicate and politically charged issue. So expect other alternatives to be considered before a ban is.

“Isn’t it about time we all knew what the privacy and security risks are so that we can make our own minds up about whether to continue using TikTok?,” said Nigel Jones, co-founder of Privacy Compliance Hub. 

Whatever the outcome for TikTok, the need for a federal privacy law is clear

More marketers seem to subscribe to this view following the hearing. They realize that something needs to be done to address the broken privacy laws that have allowed the situation to escalate as it has done. But they know banning one single platform isn’t the way to go, and won’t actually solve the industry-wide problem. Not when the U.S. is a mesh of federal and state privacy laws, alongside some judicial precedents. 

A ban on TikTok doesn’t change this. And it all but avoids the root of the problem U.S. lawmakers are trying to resolve: personal data being collected and processed without informed consent. A ban on TikTok doesn’t stop this from happening, simply because every other platform would still carry on collecting data as they always have done. So what is needed is some sort of federal law that gives people clearer controls over how their data can be aggregated, traded and processed.

Whisper it, but TikTok has made strides to assuage concerns rooted in Western governments’ practice

For all the similarities TikTok has to its counterparts — cultural cachet, ad measurement snafus, frictions with creators, to name a few — its attempts to allay privacy concerns from lawmakers set it apart.

Few companies (if any) have ever made their code available for inspection, for one. And don’t forget the announcement of an additional two planned data centers in Europe, dubbed Project Clover —  totaling two in Dublin, Ireland and one in the Hamar region of Norway — (which include external oversight) to ease privacy concerns on that side of the Atlantic. How much these efforts matter remains to be seen. After all, the narrative that TikTok could be co-opted by the Chinese government for nefarious means isn’t completely unfounded.

For example, a late 2022 update to its privacy policy confirmed that staff in China had access to certain aspects of TikTok user information, even if such data sharing is based on a “demonstrated need” to enable its staff to “do their job” using “methods that are recognized under GDPR”.

Of course, TikTok has since reiterated that this is simply not true via its Myth vs Fact material it sent to advertisers in the wake of last Thursday’s hearing.

But still, that initial revelation left marketers wary.

“TikTok will tell you that there’s an iron box around their European data, but if you unpick the threads at the edges, then it’s unclear as to how true that is,” added one former senior marketer at a global advertiser that looked over TikTok’s privacy policies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

But the same marketer is also pragmatic about the steps TikTok has made to date.

“I think that TikTok, in Europe at least, has worked hard to put in place controls that comply with European data protection law and show that they don’t need to worry about all the stories they hear,” said the marketer. “I think they’ve stolen a march on companies like Facebook by getting out in front and saying, ‘No, we take privacy really seriously’.”

Brand safety, not data privacy, is the issue marketers currently have with TikTok

Marketers’ concerns around TikTok still primarily center on brand safety. Although data protection is increasingly gaining parity. That came through loud and clear in the conversations Digiday had with several marketers over the past week — and those concerns go right back to the earliest days of advertising on the platform.

Back then, marketers were put off by the lack of brand safety controls that meant they weren’t sure what content their ads were going to appear around.

“TikTok has always been the wild wild west of trying it and seeing if it’s gonna work or not,” said Amy Gilbert vp of social innovation at The Social Element. “There’s not really consistency into what is or isn’t banned or shared on that platform. It’s hard to see that being regulated.”

The checks and balances on the app have improved in the years since. In fact, it even hosted a brand safety summit for advertisers earlier this year to show how safe a space it is for ads these days. And yet, there are still many marketers who need convincing otherwise.

And they may have a point. TikTok’s recommendation algorithm pushes self harm and eating disorder content to teenagers within minutes of them expressing interest in the topics. That’s according to research that was published in December.

That said, TikTok has recently updated its algorithm, enabling users to reset their For You page, so the app doesn’t continually feed them the same types of content.

Coincidental that the update was revealed about a week before Chew’s congressional hearing? We can’t be sure. But while a reset option is not a definite solution to either problem, it does demonstrate that TikTok is, at the very least, listening.

Even if a ban were to happen, the short form format is here to stay

Marketers are generally enthralled by TikTok. So much so that a number of them have since gone all in by building TikTok studios, rebranding to become TikTok-first, and so on. Understandably those businesses might be questioning if their latest investments, driven by their hunch on how well it will pan out long-term, have a lifespan.

But the fact is, TikTok or no TikTok, what the app has done is put short-form video on the map, bigger than it ever had been before. And that format isn’t going anywhere. So chances are, if TikTok is banned, sure it’s a short-term upheaval with regards to maybe another rebrand to move away from the TikTok-first idea, or moving those experimental budgets back into alternative platforms. But it’s not half as much of a hassle as it would be if, say, Meta or Google got banned tomorrow.

“Given the rise of Reels and Shorts, the cross-platform relevance of TikTok-style content is higher than ever, making the concern over the ban less intense than it would have been before Meta and YouTube introduced those content formats,” said Keith Bendes, vp of strategy at Linqia.

Publishers speak out on the state of the media business at the Digiday Publishing Summit

Publishers have had to persevere through a harsh winter, as the ad market went cold and hiring freezes set in. With the calendar flipping to spring, do publishers feel like the economic conditions are starting to thaw, or do they expect the second quarter to be similarly frigid?

That’s the question we put to the publishers in attendance at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Vail, Colorado, which took place March 27 through 29. Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.

Why DOOH is a big draw for startups and direct response marketers

In a quest to boost brand awareness, small businesses and startups that were once focused predominantly on direct response marketing are increasingly adding digital out-of-home advertising to their media mixes. 

“A lot of startups used to be very performance focused and have to be when you’re trying to be super efficient,” said Leah Askew, Digitas North America’s svp and head of precision media. “Out-of-home is just a more digestible next step as you’re moving up the funnel, which is frankly what you need to be doing.”

This is especially true as the digital ad marketplace has become increasingly saturated with advertisers, creeping CPMs and data privacy crackdowns. Many are pivoting to brand awareness tactics, and rethinking their advertising on Facebook and Instagram. DOOH advertising offers flexibility in media buying and creative, in addition to targeting, measurement and programmatic marketing tools thanks to technological advances.

“Things have come a long way from buying billboards and transit shelters. We’re seeing a lot more interactive units, unique units in different places,” Askew added. “The industry is spending its time digitizing.”

In light of this, brands like oral care company Cocofloss, Hero Cosmetics and Joah Beauty have recently launched DOOH efforts with Sos, a nationwide network of smart vending machines in the bathrooms of high-traffic public access locations like Rockefeller Center in New York and Fenway Park in Boston. 

“We are very focused currently this year on increasing our brand awareness,” said Haejin Chang, brand director at Joah Beauty. “That’s why digital out-of-[home] is very important for us. The beauty space is very cluttered. How can we tap into new consumers? [DOOH] is one way.” (Chang did not disclose specific DOOH ad spend details.)

Drink brand Lemon Perfect and floral company Venus et Fleur have invested in similar efforts. They’re pushing to diversify their media spend beyond performance marketing to include more brand awareness and leveraging DOOH via kiosks and other digital screens. 

It’s a first-time investment for Lemon Perfect, which is testing the media channel to get in front of shoppers as the shift beyond the pandemic continues. For Lemon Perfect, DOOH offers flexibility to pivot budget and creative, similar to online media channels like search or social media advertising. Cost efficiency, flexibility on campaign run times and the ability to rotate creative were major selling points for the brand. (The brand did not respond to a request for specific DOOH spend figures.)

“As long as they continue to shop in-person and visit lifestyle points of interest (shopping malls, golf courses, etc.), DOOH will continue to be part of our marketing strategy,” Richa Anand, director of brand marketing at Lemon Perfect, said in an emailed statement to Digiday.

Meanwhile, Hero Cosmetics increased its DOOH investment this year, accounting for about 5% of the brand’s awareness media budget, according to Amy Calhoun, vp of marketing at Hero Cosmetics. This is the brand’s third year leveraging DOOH, which has seen a steady increase in spend year-over-year, per Calhoun. Hero Cosmetics’ efforts started in the summer of 2021 with digital taxi toppers. 

Over the last year, there’s been an estimated 20% increase in DOOH client requests at Quan Media Group, according to CEO Brian Rappaport. In January, one brand ran a campaign that was solely DOOH, leveraging bulletins, kiosks and digital boats with QR codes attached to understand effectiveness, he added. 

“The ability to utilize creative flexibility, not incur production costs, shorten deliverable timelines and most of all — play off of [in real life] events — while tapping into [user generated content] has become so appealing to early stage growth brands,” Rappaport wrote in an emailed statement to Digiday. 

OOH ad revenue increased 20.7% in 2022 from the year prior, accounting for $8.6 billion, according to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America. Meanwhile, the DOOH segment jumped 24.2% compared to 2021, per the OAAA, making it the second consecutive year DOOH grew by over 20%. 

The flexibility of DOOH is a major selling point for many advertisers, according to agency executives. And even with the economic downturn putting media budgets under a significant amount of scrutiny, DOOH spend is expected to continue because of that. 

“We’ve got the data to prove that digital out of home is showing strong lifts in awareness and consideration,” Askew said, adding that DOOH is driving performance when it runs alongside other media, namely social advertising. “That increase in spend year-over-year has given us the proof. So I frankly expect to see it continue to 2023 for that reason.” 

Maybe Web3 isn’t as dead as it would seem, as agencies play with new data-generating models

Despite waning interest in some pockets of the ad industry, media agencies are still continuing to invest in Web3 technologies in new ways, from client activations to data management.

While the metaverse is only one part of Web3’s potential, some companies, including Disney and Meta, have recently pulled back or divested from some of their metaverse efforts, casting a bit of a pall on what only a year ago was a darling of innovation. However, agencies say clients are eager to test and utilize Web3 tools and experiences, despite the fading hype and economic instability so far this year.

“We’re used to these hype cycles in tech,” said Henry Cowling, chief innovation officer at Media.Monks. “We have a more sober outlook on the metaverse now than we have had previously on NFTs [non-fungible tokens], for example. But I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt the meta trends, [such as] with young people… spending more and more time online.”

At Media.Monks, transitioning from Web2 to Web3 has been about “making Web3 less sexy,” said Cowling. Thinking about Web3 that way helps people see past the sensation and make it more accessible, he elaborated.

In March, Media.Monks partnered with Salesforce Web3 to simplify the NFT process and Web3 data management. The platform allows agencies to help brands mint and manage NFT collections and connect that data back to their ecosystem. The application integration also lets brands create and connect omnichannel content across Web2 and Web3 with a view of the customer interactions with NFTs.

Media.Monks, along with Vayner3, Deloitte Digital and Accenture, have been a part of the group of launch partners using these blockchain and digital wallet functions. Many client conversations have recently focused on driving value with Web3, whether it is through token-gated commerce, content or loyalty programs, said Nich Seo, director of go-to-market at Media.Monks.

“A lot of brands are kind of just starting from ground zero in a way,” Seo told Digiday. “We have those that are just kind of dipping their toes into the first place. We usually start with the use case as to what they are trying to drive in terms of value for consumers.”

Cowling agreed that they have been thinking about these Web3 developments as “innovating on the future of loyalty” and what that means for brands. The agency has guided clients on testing these features, whether it is loyalty programs, avatars in the metaverse or social media and in-game content and experiences.

“How do you go from what has been a Web2 mindset of just kind of collecting points within a single monolithic platform,” Cowling added, “to something that’s more decentralized — that’s more of an emotional reward mechanism with your consumers?”

The Salesforce integrations make this Web3 process invisible on the customer experience side, while providing an easy way to build experiences for the marketer, Cowling explained.

Part of Salesforce’s NFT management also gives brands a simple way to create their collections directly on Salesforce, added with real-time customer insights, blockchain activity monitoring and automated processes. Brands from Mattel to clothing company Scotch & Soda, have used Salesforce Web3 to manage their NFTs, with some reporting adding new customers.

Scotch & Soda said a process that would otherwise take months to create its Club Soda 3.0 NFT pilot program was completed in “less than two weeks.” With the platform’s data integration, the brand was able to view real-time insights on the 30% net new customers through the program, said Claire Boots, global CRM manager at Scotch & Soda.

Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential, believes these kinds of immersive entertainment and experiences will continue to shape its work with Web3 and influencers. His influencer marketing agency in the last month partnered with decentralized virtual world The Sandbox to support client activations in the metaverse. The VR platform reported having more than 360,000 players spending 80 minutes a day on average during their Alpha Season 3.

“There’s a bit of a hype cycle where people just want to get in there and get a headline and want to figure out ways to stay ahead of the curve,” Detert said. “Those that have longevity, those that go through the process of learning what is actually going to drive value for consumers and for brands are the people that are going to be here in the next few years.”

The agency will work with The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, to help brands increase their presence in Web3 by leveraging influencers and creating immersive content. The partnership also entails a training program for Influential’s content creators, covering topics like strategy, transitions into Web3 and community engagement.

Detert said the agency is taking this step because consumers want a way to connect that goes beyond “regular screens on their phones.” He believes that is where the opportunity for more immersive content comes in, and there is room to bring more influencers into the business.

“I think that the kind of fervent attempt at throwing anything against the wall to hope that it would drive value, that’s done,” Detert said. “What we’re trying to do is bridge the gap, for those that are both able to drive traffic there, but also be builders inside these worlds, or celebrities that can exist in these worlds.”

Some 400 partners have joined The Sandbox, including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, Gucci and Adidas. The gaming platform has been supporting brands aiming to create new entertainment culture, from gaming to digital ownership. Mathieu Cervety, ecosystem partnerships director of The Sandbox, said the immersive content lends itself to more engagement than passive scrolling on social media.

“Beyond that, these virtual spaces are an extension of existing campaigns, providing a virtual component to integrated marketing campaigns that stretch across all digital channels — and even in real life,” Cervety said. “These immersive experiences are a sticky way to drive interest in new and interesting ways, with brands learning in real-time what works best for their core customers.”

As Detert put it, creating these new experiences and content is a part of the current Web2.5 world. Agencies and brands are still in this transition until Web3 becomes “an integrated version together,” Detert added.

“Immersive entertainment is going to become more and more immersive as we figure out different ways for the senses or goggles… to become more the standard. Then not only will it be here to stay, it’ll actually evolve with something that potentially will be almost unrecognizable in the next 10 years.”