MTM#31: WeChat Rises in the East & Pinterest Rises in the West

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And this week on my podcast, we’re talking about fragmentation, consolidation, and advertising. Let’s get into the digital marketing news.

Will super-apps of the East make it to the West?

Have you heard of super-apps? In China, everyone uses a super-app called WeChat that you may or may not have heard of. It’s called a “super-app” because people use it for everything: from talking to friends and family, to paying for items on the street, to ordering food and groceries, to paying rent. It’s the one app that does it all.

If an app works this well in the East, would a super-app that provides this level of consolidation work here in the West?

In the West, VCs invest in a variety of different apps. But the market is so fragmented that I don’t know if it would work for us.

On the other hand, Amazon Prime is already consolidated. With Prime, you not only get discounts on online shopping, but you also receive free music and video streaming. Additionally, Amazon has a cloud-based photo app that backs up your photos for free.

WeChat may work so well in China because in that country, most people’s first contact with the internet is through their mobile device.

Speaking of consolidation, Google and Facebook are the two biggest ad platforms. And, as a result of their stranglehold on the market, they’re getting hit with antitrust and privacy lawsuits. A lot of ad inventory belongs to them. So that’s why Facebook, Amazon, and Google also are always under scrutiny.

Pinterest’s annual revenue increases by 51%

Pinterest’s revenues hit $400 million for Q4 of 2019, growing 46 percent year-over-year.

While their U.S. monthly active users (MAUs) increased 8 percent to 88 million, Pinterest’s global MAUs increased 26 percent year-over-year to 335 million.

Pinterest went public in April 2019, their biggest year yet. They crossed the 1-billion-dollar revenue benchmark.

Does anyone use Pinterest? If so, please reply and let me know. I don’t use it personally. But if you’re a B2C industry, and you use imagery to sell your product, such as jewelry or home remodeling, I can see Pinterest as a viable platform.


– Hey y’all.

[00:00:01.01] Welcome back to More Than Marketing.

[00:00:02.07] It’s me, Arsham Mirshah.

[00:00:04.05] And this week, we’re talking fragmentation

[00:00:06.06] and consolidation.

[00:00:08.08] And advertising.

[00:00:10.04] Let’s get into it.

[00:00:11.03] Have you heard of super apps?

[00:00:13.03] So, apparently, in China,
there is a super app

[00:00:17.09] called WeChat.

[00:00:18.08] You may have heard of it, you may not.

[00:00:21.01] It’s really popular in China.

[00:00:22.09] It’s, you know, I would imagine

[00:00:25.08] pretty much everyone uses it.

[00:00:27.09] And it’s a super app
because, people use it from,

[00:00:32.02] for everything from, you know, WeChat.

[00:00:35.06] So obviously talking to your
families, friends and family.

[00:00:38.07] But also to paying for
things, like on the street.

[00:00:41.05] Ordering food and
groceries, plane tickets.

[00:00:44.07] Paying your rent and things like that.

[00:00:47.03] So, it’s.

[00:00:50.01] It’s like a.

[00:00:51.05] It’s like one app that does it all.

[00:00:53.04] Now if I.

[00:00:54.04] That’s what’s happening in the
East, in places like China.

[00:00:59.05] Would that work here in the West?

[00:01:01.02] Like that level of consolidation?

[00:01:05.01] I don’t know.

[00:01:05.09] I mean, I feel like, in
the West, you have VC’s

[00:01:11.00] investing in all different types of apps.

[00:01:13.08] A dog walking app, an app
for this, an app for that.

[00:01:17.01] It feels very fragmented, okay?

[00:01:20.05] I don’t know if it would work for us.

[00:01:21.06] But then I think, on the
other hand, like, Amazon.

[00:01:24.07] Amazon Prime.

[00:01:25.06] If you have Amazon Prime, yeah okay.

[00:01:28.00] You get discounts on, you know,
online shopping with Amazon.

[00:01:30.08] But you also get music
streaming, video streaming.

[00:01:36.00] They have a photos app that, you know,

[00:01:38.04] you can back up your photos for free.

[00:01:41.00] It’s like, now they have
different apps or all those.

[00:01:44.05] But it is kind of consolidated to Amazon.

[00:01:47.01] So it’s kind of interesting.

[00:01:48.04] And consolidation and
fragmentation is a theme.

[00:01:52.02] I don’t know if WeChat would work here.

[00:01:54.06] I think the reason it works
in China is cause, you know,

[00:01:57.02] most of the people there,
their first contact

[00:02:00.04] with the internet is actually
with a mobile device.

[00:02:03.09] Not with a computer.

[00:02:06.00] And so, you know, they get a
mobile device and it’s like,

[00:02:09.05] their friends tell them, “Yeah.

[00:02:10.04] “Download WeChat.

[00:02:11.03] “That’s all you need.”

[00:02:12.05] Right?

[00:02:14.05] So anyway, that’s.

[00:02:16.02] It feels really consolidated there.

[00:02:18.07] Now let’s bring that to advertising world.

[00:02:21.08] Y’all know Google and
Facebook are the two biggest

[00:02:24.09] ad platforms, ad networks, right?

[00:02:27.06] And as a result, they’re
getting hit with anti-trust

[00:02:30.09] and privacy and lawsuit and what have you.

[00:02:35.00] You know, maybe for good reason.

[00:02:37.02] Because they do have kind
of a strangle on, you know,

[00:02:41.08] those spaces.

[00:02:44.04] But are they really
harming consumer welfare?

[00:02:47.08] I mean, if you want to
advertise on Google, yeah,

[00:02:50.01] it’s gonna be expensive cause
it’s a bidding mechanism.

[00:02:52.03] But it’s not hurting the
consumer in that way.

[00:02:55.01] Unless, you argue that, you know,

[00:02:57.01] because that’s the way
that most businesses

[00:02:59.07] make their money.

[00:03:01.02] They have to advertise and
they’re paying top dollar

[00:03:03.02] and then they pass that on to you

[00:03:05.08] in the price of the products.

[00:03:07.02] I don’t know.

[00:03:08.01] I’m not sure.

[00:03:09.07] But, I do know that, you
know, Facebook and Google

[00:03:12.05] are getting hit from every direction.

[00:03:14.04] You know, anti-trust,
privacy and what have you.

[00:03:18.01] And it’s interesting
because, it feels like

[00:03:21.05] a lot of inventory has
consolidated to them.

[00:03:25.00] But that’s not true.

[00:03:26.03] That’s not true at all.

[00:03:27.06] You look at Pinterest.

[00:03:28.07] Pinterest went public last year.

[00:03:32.00] I think in Q, end of Q1 or Q2 of 2019.

[00:03:36.04] And 2019 was their biggest year yet.

[00:03:39.04] They crossed a billion dollars of revenue.

[00:03:41.06] They had 26% year over year growth

[00:03:46.01] in their global monthly active users.

[00:03:50.01] Does anyone actually use Pinterest?

[00:03:52.00] Like, someone please
comment and holler at me.

[00:03:54.02] I don’t use it, personally.

[00:03:55.07] But if you’re a B to C
where, where, you know,

[00:04:01.07] imagery is going to
help sell your product.

[00:04:05.05] I don’t know, jewelry or home remodeling

[00:04:08.02] or things like that.

[00:04:10.04] I can see Pinterest being a viable place

[00:04:13.08] for you to advertise, frankly.

[00:04:15.06] Right?

[00:04:16.04] So, and that’s not
consolidated to the big,

[00:04:18.08] the big tech giants.

[00:04:20.06] So, that’s kind of cool.

[00:04:22.02] Also, in terms of like what
I see in fragmentation is,

[00:04:26.04] you have new mediums coming on

[00:04:30.08] all the time.

[00:04:31.07] So, podcasting, for example.

[00:04:34.04] I Heart Radio and Spotify,
both recently announced

[00:04:37.09] that they’re gonna open up
a self service ad network.

[00:04:42.04] And, you know, so with podcasts,

[00:04:44.04] you’re gonna be able to
advertise on different podcasts.

[00:04:47.05] Now, it’s only on their
exclusive shows, it looks like.

[00:04:50.03] For now.

[00:04:51.01] But, they’ve also hinted

[00:04:51.09] that they’re gonna open it up later.

[00:04:54.06] You know, our firm,
WebMechanix, we’re known

[00:04:57.05] for finding niche ad platforms
or doing kind of niche buys.

[00:05:03.06] Or sponsoring content.

[00:05:05.01] So, it’s.

[00:05:07.00] I see the industry consolidating.

[00:05:11.03] I can see it.

[00:05:12.03] Everyone can kind of see it.

[00:05:13.03] And that’s probably why you have

[00:05:15.04] Facebook and Google always under fire.

[00:05:18.00] And Amazon too, frankly.

[00:05:20.04] But, I also see a lot of new platforms

[00:05:24.06] and technology coming
out all over the place.

[00:05:26.07] So, it’s, you know, it’s
kind of how you look at it.

[00:05:30.05] And if you look, there are traffic sources

[00:05:33.07] and there are different
channels that you can find.

[00:05:37.02] And find, you know, relatively
inexpensive traffic for

[00:05:42.01] and thereby lower conversion,
cost for conversion.

[00:05:46.03] So, you know, if you,

[00:05:48.08] if you do your homework
and look, you’ll find it.

[00:05:50.08] I want to know what you
think, though, you know.

[00:05:52.05] Should Google and Facebook be under fire?

[00:05:54.08] Would super apps work
over here in the West?

[00:05:58.01] And, what niche platforms are you using

[00:06:01.02] to find relevant traffic
for your business?

[00:06:05.02] Thanks for tuning in.

[00:06:06.01] Short episode.

[00:06:07.01] Holler at me.

[00:06:07.09] I want to hear what you have to say.

[00:06:09.03] And I’ll see you next week.

[00:06:10.04] Cheers.

Arsham Mirshah

Arsham MirshahCEO & Co-Founder

Podcasts Info:
News + Business

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