The Webrepublican Nr. 45, November 2017

05 Nov 2017 / by Simon Wüthrich and Natalie Schönbächler / Webrepublic / Comments

Five trends for 2018, an award, new Search Ads for app marketers, a new Data Protection Regulation and a rare interview; 1,487 readers, an open rate of 42.2% and 6 minutes 45 seconds of reading time. That’s Webrepublican no. 45.



The Webrepublican


  • Ernst & Young named our founder and Managing Director, Tom Hanan, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2017 in the Retail/Service category. We’re over the moon about this accomplishment, and in our blog Tom explains to whom he owes his thanks. In an interview with persönlich, he discussed the award ceremony, Switzerland’s capacity for innovation and good digital campaigns.

EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Tom Hanan

  • Lars, our Director SEA and Nicole, Senior Specialist SEA, were at the Heroconf in London to share their expertise on “Voice Search” and “Marrying Social and Search” with an international audience.
  • Our Software Architect César attended PyCon Ireland, where he spoke about serverless Python applications that run in the cloud, saving both time and money.
  • Chinese entrepreneurs want to learn how to create brands that are sought-after the world over – so they are now embarking on an educational journey to Switzerland. We accompanied some of these entrepreneurs during their trip to the Bernese Oberland and hosted them here in Zurich; Handelszeitung also joined us. The Chinese press covered the story here and here.
  • Welcome aboard: Laura (Social) and Martin (SEO). 

Newbies Martin und Laura


App marketers can now use Search Ads for Apple’s Swiss App Store. The visibility created by these ads can be a crucial factor in an app’s success – which should not be underestimated in a store with more than two million apps. Apps Flyer’s Performance Index illustrates the same thing. In addition to Facebook and Google, Apple Search Ads are morphing into the method-of-choice for app marketing in the Apple ecosystem: they deliver lucrative users at competitive prices.

We launched the first Apple Search Ads campaigns in October and can attest to their performance; the values we recorded are significantly better than other channels. This isn’t surprising, since more than 60% of app downloads are generated in Apple’s App Store. By the way, you can find more information on app marketing in our infographic

Infographic App-Marketing


Google is already consistently using mobile-first indexing for “a few sites”. It’s now slowly implementing the complete rollout, meaning it’s high time for SEOs to make their websites more mobile-friendly.

When it comes to improving a website’s mobile interface, many publishers and a growing number of marketers rely on Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). But their experiences are now demonstrating that AMPs are not always the best option.


The growth of programmatic advertising shows no signs of slowing down. This is confirmed by the latest figures from the IAB Europe Report: The programmatic display advertising market in Europe grew by 42.7% from EUR 5.7 billion in 2015 to EUR 8.1 billion in 2016. Today, 50.1% of European display advertising spend is used for programmatic applications.

We discussed what this means for marketers at the Programmatic Shift in August. The topics we addressed – binding standards, transparency and shared data worlds – will also be fiercely debated at the Programmatic Advertising Day in Zurich on November 23.

Programmatic Advertising Day 2017


On May 25, 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect. The law will apply worldwide to all processing of personal data of EU citizens. As a result, nearly all Swiss websites that offer services or products to EU citizens, and thus analyze their behavior, will be impacted.

While pessimists may consider the GDPR ad-tech armageddon, optimists are playing down the issue. We believe the GDPR is relevant and will promote the professionalization of our industry, since the directive will force companies to take responsibility for the way they collect and use data. More specifically, companies would do well to implement “Privacy by Design”. This means recording and processing data only when it serves a certain purpose and complies with data protection law. As a result, marketers, which increasingly rely on robust data, need to know that GDPR is not just an issue for the IT and Legal departments. This is why umbrella associations such as IAB Switzerland are developing manuals and best practice guides on the topic.


The e-commerce sector also understands the relevance of data and data analysis. A study by Criteo and Forbes Insights shows that brands and retailers see much potential in collaboration and pooled data assets in order to better meet customer demands and stay competitive. Naturally, they still need to heed the Data Protection Regulation, which is why the retail association Ecommerce Europe is already preparing online retailers for May 25, 2018. However, there remain many unanswered questions. For example, how will the recording function offered by smart assistants be treated legally?


When Facebook opened its Messenger feature to chatbots, TechCrunch, Gizmodo and others published stories about “overhyped technology” and “disappointing user experience”. But that seems to be changing now. In more than 100,000 experiments, chatbots are talking with Facebook Messenger users, and the results are showing possible cost savings and growth in revenue

Meanwhile, Facebook is fiddling around with your feed again. The social network is currently testing out two newsfeeds on users in six countries. Posts from pages land in the Explore Feed, and those from friends and advertisers in the News Feed. If the experiment is successful (from Facebook’s perspective), brands will have to be prepared to fork out more money to continue advertising in users’ News Feeds.


“I don’t know whether humans want to change that fast.” Google CEO Sundar Pichai surprised readers with his astute comments on political, ethical and social challenges in a detailed interview with The Guardian. It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to read this article!

Sundar Pichai, Photograph: John Lee for the Guardian


In his novella The Machine Stops, E M Forster describes a world run by a machine, where people live underground, isolated but with every necessary comfort, and exclusively communicate via the vigilant machine... until it suddenly stops. Forster’s prescient vision, written in 1909(!), highlights one of the most important questions of our time: How do people maintain their autonomy in the age of machines?




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