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Author: Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles

I am a tech reporter and have been writing about technology, digital marketing and startups at Econsultancy since January 2009.

Three creative ways publishers and advertisers are combating ad blockers

Ad blocking has been on the rise for years, but publishers aren't accepting the inconvenient truth behind the trend. Instead they're trying to combat the ad blockers.

Some are asking users with ad blockers to disable them, and others are experimenting with alternative techniques, such as subscription business models.

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Will the Tesco Bank attack dent trust in startup banks?

In 1997, UK retail giant Tesco launched a bank. "Our vision is to be the bank for people who shop at Tesco," stated Benny Higgins, the bank's CEO.

While Tesco Bank's two-decades long history means it's an elder compared to upstarts like Monzo, which led a record-breaking £1m crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, Tesco Bank has only offered current accounts since 2014, putting it in the growing category of upstarts targeting high street banks.

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What marketers need to know about Instagram shopping

Instagram is no longer just a place for celebrity selfies and FOMO-inducing travel snaps, and even companies like The Financial Times are finding success on the platform, which now counts 500m monthly active users.

Now, the Facebook-owned service is looking to support brands that want to use Instagram to sell their wares.

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Are retailers compromising site performance in pursuit of ad dollars?

Retailers are increasingly looking to exploit opportunities to generate revenue through on-site advertising.

But as they do so, they run the risk of bloating their sites and harming user experience.

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What marketers need to know about Facebook's ethnic affinity ad targeting

Last week, one of Facebook's ad targeting options became a topic of controversy.

It all started with an article bearing the headline, Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race.

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The Financial Times finds unexpected social success on Instagram

Facebook-owned Instagram is home to many brands, and is particularly popular among industries that lend themselves to stunning photography, like fashion. 

But brands in industries that aren't as photogenic can find success on Instagram.

Case in point: The Financial Times (FT).

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Google to create separate mobile index: What you need to know

If you needed any more evidence that mobile has taken over the world, you got it last week when news broke that Google is going to be creating a dedicated mobile index.

Here's what you need to know about it.

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Pharma company Novartis taps Facebook Live event to promote heart failure drugs

Pharma companies' television ads are losing their sway with consumers.

And due to scrutiny from the public, government regulators and even physicians, pharma marketers are spending more on unbranded ads, some of which have been criticised for being unnecessarily scary.

But for all the challenges and criticism the pharma industry faces today, there are plenty of opportunities, and some companies are taking advantage of them.

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Traffic to hotel websites is declining: How should they respond?

There is little doubt that residential rental sites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway are disrupting the multi-billion dollar hotel business.

There is still significant debate about the long-term impact of that disruption but if a new study conducted by Hitwise, a division of Connexity, is any indication, these sites are complicating hotels' online efforts.

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The doctor is always in: Baidu to launch medical chatbot

The chatbots are here and brands are already putting them to use.

While many early adopters, such as Domino's Pizza, are employing chatbots for conversational commerce, the opportunities aren't limited to commerce and marketing.

In fact, in the future, chatbots could be a common way for individuals to interact with healthcare providers. 

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The five things every company can learn from the Wells Fargo scandal

Wells Fargo's ongoing fraud scandal, which involved the creation of 2m fake accounts by bank employees, demonstrates some of the reasons banks are vulnerable to fintech startups.

But there are lessons that all companies can learn from Wells Fargo's woes. Here are five of them.

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If search marketers can't predict which pages will outrank each other, is SEO just a crapshoot?

For years, many companies have invested heavily in SEO. But when it really comes down to it, is SEO just a crapshoot?

That's a question worth asking following a survey that asked hundreds of respondents to predict which page would rank higher than the other for a variety of keywords.

The result: "most SEOs are no better than a coin-flip at predicting which page will rank better."

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