#1 Digital Marketing News: Walmart Takes on Amazon in Telehealth

In a move to counter Amazon’s healthcare services strategy, Walmart has purchased telehealth provider MeMD. The retail giant will use this acquisition to enter the virtual health care services market. It plans to offer these services throughout the USA.

Previously, Amazon had introduced Amazon Care telehealth services to its employees in Washington State. It plans to roll this out to its employees across the USA, presumably in preparation for offering the services to the public.

These companies are expanding their healthcare businesses. Both have pharmacy operations. Two years ago, Walmart opened health clinics in some of its stores. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

#2 Digital Marketing News: Ad Spending in the USA Expected to Grow 15%

Projected ad spending in the USA is expected to grow 15% over 2020 levels and return to the growth curve it experienced through the 2010s. Total 2021 ad spending in the USA will exceed US$250 billion, according to ad buying company Group M.

A significant shift in ad spending occurred in 2020, as digital advertising comprised more than 50% percent of all ad spending for the first time. This trend will continue in 2021, with digital ad spending projected at US$137.5 billion. Advertisers like beverage company Anheuser-Busch InBev SA believe digital advertising allows advertising to be more flexible and efficient – especially significant because Anheuser-Busch has traditionally been one of the biggest spenders on television advertising.

“The recovery and vaccination rates have accelerated faster than we thought,” said Marcel Marcondes, U.S. marketing chief for Anheuser-Busch. Advertisers in almost all sectors are planning to spend more to rebuild brand awareness and gain market share during the economic recovery. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)

#3 Digital Marketing News: Vaccine Finder Apps Rollout in India

Facebook, Google, and some smaller startups like Paytm and HealthifyMe are introducing vaccine finder apps for mobile users in India. They are joining the effort to match individuals to the available vaccine doses in their respective areas. “In the beginning, vaccine hesitancy really slowed the process,” said Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, chairman of Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt, an India-wide hospital network. “Now there’s vaccine desperation and, with only a small number of vaccines available daily, vaccine despondency.”

Facebook recently released a Vaccine Finder Tool in 17 languages on its mobile app. Facebook partners with the government to show appointment and walk-in options.

Google has collaborated with the Ministry of Health to “accurately surface information on vaccination centers on Google Search, Maps, and Google Assistant,” according to a statement by the company. Government officials receive regular Google Trends reports on vaccine queries to aid in decision-making.

Digital payments startup Paytm also offers a Vaccine Finder to provide vaccine availability information through Paytm’s chat feature. The tool surveys 780 districts in India and lets users input their location and age to find and book appointments. (source: Bloomberg)

#4 Digital Marketing News: Digital Marketers Anticipate Internal Challenges in 2021

Gartner’s Digital Marketing Leader Survey for 2021 has found that over 35% of digital marketers think issues within their organizations will be their biggest challenges. According to Noah Elkin, vice president and analyst in Gartner’s marketing practice, “Digital marketing leaders must think and act multidimensionally, bringing an equal measure of strategic, tactical, and relation-building skills to the marketing team and the organization as a whole.” Elkin says successful digital marketers will build on existing relationships with IT and communications groups, cultivate CEO support, and develop relationships with company financial executives.

The survey respondents named these as their top three challenges:

  • Cultivating cross-functional relationships to gain support for the digital marketing vision
  • Promoting the visibility of the role of digital marketing technologies/data
  • Allocating budget and resources to strategic digital marketing priorities

“A solid alliance with IT will be critical to elevating the role digital marketing technologies and data play as well as managing those technologies to maximum effect,” Elkin says. (source: CRM Magazine)

#5 Digital Marketing News: Mondelēz Shifts Focus to Digital and Personalized Marketing

At the Alliance Bernstein 37th Annual Strategic Conference for investors, Mondelēz CEO Dirk Van De Put described his company’s shift toward digital marketing. He said that digital marketing now takes up 60% of the food company’s marketing investment.

Van De Put said that this shift to digital brings with it two challenges. First, creative excellence in digital is very different than in print or TV. Second, 35% of the digital marketing Mondelēz does is personalized.

Personalization is both driven by data and creates new data about marketing. The company has invested in better analytics to produce more valuable insights to guide personalization and the overall digital marketing effort. The objective is to drive high engagement with consumers.

Digital marketing also supports the company’s strategy to expand opportunities beyond grocery store sales. The emphasis on digital marketing will help the company develop new channels through e-commerce, which has become more urgent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has changed consumer buying habits.

(source: Seeking Alpha)

These were the top digital marketing news.

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