Ricola’s social pivot, full-screen Twitter ads: Monday’s daily brief

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MarTech’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s digital marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, social media means different things to different users.

The same applies to marketers. They can deeply engage users who are close to purchase and drive sales, or they can raise awareness and curiosity about a brand at the top of the funnel. Our first feature here shows the latter: an iconic brand, Ricola, in their quest to gain a new following of everyday users, not just cold sufferers.

Social platforms have countless ways to measure user behavior and campaign success, but there’s nothing like good old email. New privacy regulations, however, call for marketers to approach email marketing through an updated lens, and we have a breakdown from our Periodic Table to cover each aspect of compliance.

Further down, transparency of a different kind from Google. They’ve indicated to app developers that they will allow users to opt out of Advertiser ID, a move that draws comparisons with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency.

Chris Wood,


Ricola’s social and influencer-driven pivot  

Here’s something to yodel about. The safeguards people are taking during the pandemic have caused cold and flu cases to plummet, which is a great thing for humanity. But it’s not so great for an iconic cough drop maker like Ricola, which has seen sales decline 40% during the pandemic. To turn things around, the company leaned heavily on influencer marketing to find new audiences beyond customers with the sniffles.

“One thing about social media is that it is nimble and you can test things very quickly,” said Alok Ummat, Director of Marketing for Ricola Canada. “In the COVID environment, every brand is experiencing this, where sales are so up and down. This impacts your marketing budget.”

Social media can be used to drill down and engage a targeted audience. But it can also be used to break new ground at scale. In addition to traditional tentpole media buys (Ricola sprang for a Super Bowl ad at the beginning of the year), Ummat looked closely at TikTok, a rapidly growing platform for social engagement and influential creators that also had an affordable cost-per-click.

The Canadian campaign focused on other uses for cough drops beyond treating a cold, and after the first week,the campaign saw click-through-rates 85% higher on TikTok than on YouTube, and 2 million impressions on TikTok in the same timeframe.

“One of the things we always toyed with was how do we become an all-year health and wellness brand,” Ummat said. “We decided to talk about how people use their throats and get a tired throat from being on Zoom calls all day, using their voice and getting tired for other reasons historically they didn’t think about when thinking about Ricola.”

Read more here.

Email marketing breakdown: compliance  

Compliance has emerged as one of the most essential factors to consider in your email marketing strategy, especially in the face of growing privacy and accessibility concerns.

For starters, before you send emails you must ensure that your audience has given you Permission (P) to send emails to them. Permission means that the recipient has given you explicit and informed consent to send messages to them. This happens when your subscribers Opt-in (In) through a sign-up form.

The first thing that your email system should trigger is a Double opt-in (In2) email. The double opt-in requires the subscriber to confirm that they sincerely want to receive emails from you or your brand. This can be executed as a “welcome” email.

The second agreement from the subscriber is critical. It stops people and bots that put in email addresses that don’t belong to them. Legally, under the United States’ CAN-SPAM Act, you must share your Physical address (Ph). You are also required to own the sender domain that your emails come from and include an Opt-out (Oo) for subscribers who want to stop receiving your emails.

There’s more elements here.

Google announces its own version of App Tracking Transparency

Google has notified Android app developers that it will enable users to opt out of sharing their Advertiser ID, which enables marketers to track users as they move between apps, the Financial Times first reported last week. On its face, it sounds quite similar to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency that rolled out just six weeks ago.

However, the wording Google used on its Advertiser ID help page suggests that users will have the option to opt out, as where Apple’s implementation requires users to opt in to tracking. If users have to dig through menus, they probably won’t (at least not as many of them), which will soften the blow to advertisers that rely on this data. If it ends up being closer to Apple’s implementation, in which users are asked for permission the first time an app is opened, then it’s likely that a larger proportion of users will opt out.

The change will roll out in phases, beginning with apps running on Android 12 towards the end of this year.

Read more here.

Full-screen ads arrive on Twitter in the form of Fleet ads

Twitter is now testing Fleet ads. If it rolls out more widely, it’ll be the first full-screen ad format available on the social media platform. Fleet ads are vertical format, support 9:16 aspect ratio images and video (up to 30 seconds long), and feature a swipe-up call-to-action. They appear between Fleets, when users are browsing Fleets from other users or brands, similar to Instagram Stories ads.

Although this test is currently limited to a group of mobile users in the U.S., the company also said that it is taking a closer look at how vertical, full-screen ads perform on the platform. It’s unclear what proportion of users have adopted Fleets, but whether or not Fleets are here to stay, it seems that full-screen ad formats may be available to Twitter advertisers in one form or another at some point.

Why we care. Fleet ads may help Twitter maintain parity with Instagram’s and TikTok’s ad offerings. And, social media platforms tend to be popular among different demographics, so full-screen Twitter ads (whether Fleet ads or otherwise) may help advertisers reach audiences that they might have a harder time marketing to on other social media networks.

Read more here.

Quote of the day

“You can have the greatest product in the world, but if people don’t understand your why or what your product is being hired to do, you aren’t going to go far. The number one skill every entrepreneur needs to learn is how to be a strong storyteller.” Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify.

About The Author


Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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