Five articles that have us buzzing this week

TikTok privacy policy update surprises users with more personalized ads

TikTok plans to follow suit with other social media platforms in starting to personalize ads based on the content you interact with. However, this probably should not be such a surprise to users since TikTok is already personalizing your video feeds based on how long you watch and how you engage with videos. It will be an interesting case study of how users’ perception and overall engagement with the app change after the implementation of these new policies.

Google Opens Enrollment For Career Certification Courses

This could be a gamechanger for marketers of all experience levels and could have bigger implications for the future of digital learning. Google’s new course offerings are available for a low $39 per month and students can go as fast as they want through the course meaning the faster you complete, the cheaper it will be. On top of that, Google is saying that they will look at the course completions as equivalents to 4-year college degrees!

Zero-click Google searches rose to nearly 65% in 2020

Zero click searches, or searches that did not result in a click or the user leaving the Google SERP, are on the rise and is not a good trend for brands or publishers. As a user, a zero click search is usually a success as you found out the answer to your question as fast as possible. However, if your brand’s page answers someone’s question but does not result in a site visitor, you do not get that interaction with your brand or the additional ad dollars. Brands may have to think of ways to push more users to click through to their site while still obeying Google’s stringent SEO guidelines.

Digital marketing strategies take center stage at this year’s virtual SXSW

This year’s SXSW may have cemented what marketers have been thinking since last summer, consumer behaviors may have changed for good because of COVID-19. From ordering groceries online to having virtual concerts and benefits, everything has shifted to be in the digital sphere and companies need to pivot in order to continue to be relevant.

4 major factors contributing to sales effectiveness and why marketing should care

This article does a good job of making the sometimes forgotten connection between marketing and sales. Siloed departments lead to splintered communication, goals, and decreased sales. However, when working together and using the right marketing tools, teams can easily accomplish all of the 4 factors mentioned in this article.