In this week’s episode, Grace and Liel look at the earning call results from Meta, Google, and Microsoft and review what this signals regarding marketing opportunities for law firms. The conversation discusses the transition from Google My Business to Google Business Profile and what this means for your law firm and another mass tort coming together.
For tech companies, 2022 just hasn’t been a great year. Particularly for Meta, which has seen drops at all levels and announced that things are about to get worse. But with higher daily active users than anticipated, Facebook and Instagram continue to be extremely valuable platforms for your law firm to be present. And with less competition, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
Recent studies suggest that there may be a correlation between children diagnosed with autism whose mothers took Tylenol during pregnancy. Will this mass tort take off? Listen now to find out where things are standing.
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Liel: [00:00:00] Last week, some of the most expected earning results were revealed meta missed on the top and bottom lines and gave a troubling forecast for the third quarter. Youtube and Microsoft also failed to meet their forecast, but Google search surpassed expectations. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. And This is In-camera podcast where we focus on active users above any other metric. Welcome to our podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations. Grace Welcome back. How are you?
Grace: [00:01:00] Today? Good. How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:01:02] I’m good, Grace. I’m struggling a little bit here. You know, while a couple of weeks ago I was very complimentary about squad cas, new interface and stuff. Right now I’m having some issues and complaints with it. So quite honestly, their user experience, just something to think about. They went onto to put the live session and the record session with the same tone, which why would they do that, right? Why would they do that? It’s confusing for distracted users like me when they want to actually start recording their episode. They may, by mistake go to the other red button, which is leave the session, which is what I just did now. So you know these small things, but it’s a good lesson in UX because honestly, you know, you want to make sure that you’re not confusing your users with different CTAs that are completely opposite to each other, them having the same color. Now, Grace, I also owe an apology to the audience because last week’s episode, my audio was so bad. I mean, I can imagine it must have been painful for those who did venture into listening the whole episode with me sounding as if I was in a distant zoom zoom call. But again, I could not not publish the episode, it being so full of insights primarily from you with regards to completion. So, you know, my apologies and I think I took the right steps this time to make sure that audio quality is not going to be an issue. So with all of those things having been said, how are you? How is your week going?
Grace: [00:02:34] I’m doing well. My week is going pretty well. It’s a lot of new content and a lot of information that we’re posting currently across the board. And so yeah, I mean, it’s just a different thing. So, so far so good this week. You know, I think that we have a lot of new things kind of coming up and we’ll talk about them as we go along here. But at the moment, there there do there does seem to be kind of a resurgence on some of these mass torts, I have to say.
Liel: [00:02:57] Right. And you were just mentioning, I would say fair to call it emerging, mass tort, because it doesn’t sound like from what you’ve said, that it’s brand, brand new, but it seems like it’s worth being talked about and paying attention to it. So we’ll get to it in just one moment. But first things first. So it’s eight end of July. And as expected, companies have been releasing their Q2 results throughout the second half of the month. And this week it’s been a it’s been a big one because we have all the biggest tech companies reporting on their Q2s and Grace. You know, these shouldn’t come as a surprise, but guess who’s up? Google ad revenue is up.
Grace: [00:03:47] So is Google, right?
Liel: [00:03:49] Always for Google. So last year they were 50.4 billion this quarter. Now there are 56.3 billion. So obviously they’re doing good. And as an extension of Google, YouTube is doing also very good. They had a 5% increase. They went from 7 billion in 2021 to 7.3 billion. But it actually fell short to what the predictions were of 7.5 billion. And then we have LinkedIn, which LinkedIn had an increase in revenue. They were 26%. And it’s apparently good for them. Why? Because Microsoft as a whole is not looking good. Microsoft actually had a drop of about 100 million. But I think things are going to be changing for Microsoft very soon, particularly now that they’ve partnered with Netflix for their OTT product. And so definitely that’s going to change entirely the whole scene for them. But I think it still puts them you know, it doesn’t it’s not big enough for it to make them competitive with with a bigger player, which in this case it’s going to be Google. And so what can we learn out of this call. Well, it sounds like YouTube shorts, right. And for those who do not know what shorts are, are kind of like the answer of YouTube to vertical video, primarily the type of video that gained a lot of popularity through platforms like Tik Tok is actually gaining some momentum. It was reported that over 1.5 billion signing users per month have actually watched this type of video and there is over 30 billion daily views of content that comes from the shorts section in YouTube. That’s quite significant. Overall, they’ve also reported that they have surpassed 5 million subscribers for this particular platform and apparently they are also announcing a partnership with Spotify, sorry, which Shopify, so that it just makes it easier for users to be able to share products and such through this type of video and, you know, allow them to access those.
Liel: [00:06:11] So really interesting stuff. Okay. So from Google, what we can learn is that performance, Max, is kind of like their prodigy child. They’re so proud of it and they’re pushing it so hard. Grace And you know what? It is actually noticing, showing, showing results because they’re actually five X years today in adoption. So people are actually trying out, to say the least, the campaign. And while it’s not necessarily being reported, though, if that if those five X increase in new campaigns includes accounts that have been automatically transitioned from things like smart shopping into performance max campaigns, because you need to remember that as we’ve mentioned before, local lights will also transition to performance max eventually and such. So, you know, it’s like a little bit funny that they report the growth, but you’re not quite sure whether that is growth that they actually forced users into shifting their strategies to that or not. But obviously, we know here that Google really, really wants performance, Max, to succeed and to be kind of like the future of the platform. But as we’ve mentioned here, time and time and again, it has a lot of room for improvement. So that’s just kind of like a quick rundown of things that could be of interest about the Q2 earnings that were reported actually just today. So Grace, any comments on this?
Grace: [00:07:49] Yeah, especially on the performance, Max, I think that’s hilarious because you’re 1,000% right. I mean, we all know that if you got forced into it, it’s not like it’s exactly a5x truth. Right? So the other question that I always have is while it’s increased use of five X, has that in turn increased people’s conversions or anything by five X as well, or is it just funding them? So it’s yeah, that’s a very interesting number. Statistics to me while I love them because they can give you a good idea of certain things. At the same time it’s what’s the sample that you’re talking about and are those numbers really relevant to you in this case? No. Yeah. The fact that they grew five X in performance max usage, we know what that means. Yeah, it doesn’t mean much to me, but at the same time it is good to know because they are forcing it and they are pushing it and everyone at some point is going to have to be on performance, Max. Kind of, whether you like it or not, truthfully.
Liel: [00:08:48] Yeah. And so just also to give a little bit more of of context, because we’re here obviously focused on the ad revenue. But when you look at all of Alphabet’s Q2 reports and Microsoft’s Q4, because for Marketo, Microsoft is Q4 that they are reporting both were fell short in projections. Right. So even though ad revenue is doing good primarily for Google, that doesn’t mean that alphabet as a whole hit their targets. And of course, there are several factors that are alluding to when it comes down to these. Such as. The war in Ukraine, supply chain issues and obviously the economic uncertainty, the whole idea of a possible recession is obviously generating a lot of fear up to a certain extent. So these things are reflected in the overall numbers. But the one thing that we continue to see is that advertisers strong standing when it comes down to retaining market share and continuing promoting their brands, their services and so forth and so on. And as we’ve said time and time and again, if you’re in a position of doing so, you should also take that same approach. So, yeah, good, good. Just, you know, way to start off the call with is worth mentioning also that all companies are reporting tremendous earnings over these past week, car manufacturers here in the United States also tremendous results. And so, you know, let’s shift gears and talk about another Google update that I think we really talked about here before. We probably mentioned it at some point, and that was the transition of Google. My business as we all are used to, probably still calling your listing in Google. So Google, my business official name has changed and is now Google business profile. So Grace, can you give us a little explanation as to what does this mean? What has changed and do we really need to do anything about it at this point?
Grace: [00:10:49] So yeah, I’ll start with kind of what the change is. I mean, for those of you that are listen to her podcast or really know anything about Google. Google My Business, which is now Google Business Profiles, had its own kind of settings and certain things that you could do through different parts of Google my business as its own section within Google now with it being part of what they call the Google business profile, you they make it a little easier for you to be able to edit the things through the map. So if you have obviously access as an owner or administrator or something like that, when you pull up the profile on the website on Google, you can actually edit right from that screen and you had those options kind of before. But I’d say with this change or shift, they’re trying to make it even easier. How we were talking about the UI, right, or UX experience, they’re trying to make it easier for the business owner or business manager of that profile to update things, because that’s what Google does, right? They want the user experience to be the best possible every time. And that includes you as a business and you’re not now your Google business profile. Instead of my business giving you the opportunity or option to edit it from different ways, that instead of locking you into having to log in here or log in there, you pull it up on the map and you can edit right from there. I actually just did that recently this week, so it’s kind of interesting that we’re talking about this this week considering that Google business profiles has it. It didn’t drastically change, but it did change enough that you would notice if you go into the Google business profile now, the way the location codes and the store codes and the the way that your locations are listed even looks slightly different. And they’re trying to give you and I’d like your input on this, obviously, but I feel like they’re trying to give you more at your fingertips and at a glance than before.
Liel: [00:12:46] So. Grace, I think what Google is doing here is it’s strategizing to create their maps app, its own search engine, right? They’re trying for it to become more of a place where people are actually going to search for local businesses. And so by actually merging the Google my business product into the actual maps, they are initiating this transition, starting with business owners. Right. And so owners paying more attention into maps. Maps becomes more of a relevant type of venue to be visible. And so obviously there is the review side of things, but then there’s performance max. Performance Max is heavily influenced by proximity and by impressions in maps as well. And I think what Google is trying to do here is to a little bit change the mindset of users around the app, the map app and make it more user friendly and more helpful to find local businesses for whatever it is that they need. So rather than going to Google and searching there and then the Google sending them to the local path or if they’re on a mobile device opening their map app to give them more information about a business, it actually does it in a slightly more seamless way now through enabling users to just have a better experience overall with local search doing it.
Liel: [00:14:20] Through the Maps app and from the management side of things of your profile. I think Grace, it makes sense. It’s not like they removed functionality and I haven’t really deep into what’s the how’s the map navigation of our business profile compared to what you’ve had to do in the Google my business to the access and the different things that you could do through the actual Google my business profile. But I will tell you that a couple of times already in the past, a couple of weeks I’ve received notifications from the Maps app. You know, whether it’s been new questions that we’ve received from people that have visited our profile in search. And so it certainly makes it makes it more dynamic. Right. And the and the fact that you can just go right into the Maps app and you don’t necessarily need to have the Google My business app, which let’s face it, a lot of business owners, they did not have the Google my business app downloaded into their mobile devices and therefore they were being limited to being able to interact with their listing when they were on the go. And so now because most of people, I mean, honestly, most of people have the Maps app in their mobile devices because they use it for navigation and now they can also use it for more things, which is managing their business profile.
Liel: [00:15:34] And again, so I think this is just a smart move of just Google playing strengths and they know they have a very strong map product and they’re just merging it in a more close proximity to their listings service. And I think it’s a good move. I think it makes sense. I think it will benefit users and I think it will also create more opportunity for local businesses to be able to leverage Google as a platform to be discovered by potential new clients. So I do like it. And, you know, like any, any new transition like this are probably going to be opportunities and some getting used to some of the changes. But as a whole, I think it’s been a very, very seamless process and you know that it’s been seamless because it hasn’t may created a lot of noise. You don’t hear people complaining about it. You don’t necessarily hear users complaining about it. So, you know, this is being spot on.
Grace: [00:16:33] Yeah, I actually think, like you said, that’s that’s a really good indicator, right? That nobody’s complaining and you don’t hear all these Reddit posts everywhere that say how horrible the changes have been. And I honestly, I felt the opposite. I felt like it was a normal and almost organic change because I started noticing a lot of those things after we initially talked about it. And then I really noticed it this week because I was doing some location updates and it does inform you, I mean, just about anybody on maps and search can actually update your profile. And they, you know, Google gives you a certain amount of time to approve or accept and and even reject the changes or suggested improvements to your hours as an example, things like that, let’s say your restaurant, even your menu item, sometimes they can update. So it’s really good idea to check your profile and really even look on your phone and search for your your place on line, right on maps and see what it looks like, you know, and what that looks like to other people. Because you will hopefully if you’re logged in, not logged in necessarily, but if you are part of Google Profile, which you should be, if you’re not, do it now, please. You should be getting notifications as to people that are now suggesting updates or edits if that happens, because we did, you know, they were suggesting updates to the hours, they were suggesting updates to certain phone numbers to provide more phone numbers and things of that nature. So yeah, I do like to get Google business profile changes and I feel like it’s actually for the better, whereas sometimes it not always is. But Google strives to do the best that it can for the users, and I feel like they succeeded pretty well on this one.
Liel: [00:18:10] Yeah, totally. Grace So, Grace, let’s get into the last piece of this conversation, which was mass tort you were just telling me about before we initiated the recording session. So set the scene here, please.
Grace: [00:18:28] Oh, so this one’s kind of sad. I mean, all of the mass torts are really sad, but anything having to do with the the weakest and the people that can’t protect themselves is always kind of a gut check, you know, and that’s kind of where this one is coming from. So this one is an alleged case, obviously, just like every other one. I’m not a lawyer, but I will always put a disclaimer on that. It’s alleged until there’s, you know, the the mass tort litigation goes through and all that. But this new one has to do with Tylenol, acetaminophen. It could be brand name or it could be for now. It could be brand name or it could be the generic acetaminophen. They are claiming that if pregnant women took it while they were again pregnant, the child in utero was being affected. So that when the child is born, they are being born with developmental disabilities ranging from autism, ADHD, ADHD and other similar types of behavioral disorders. It’s it’s a significant blow, I would say, to, you know, to this community, obviously, because people that, you know, women are in pain and they need something that can help them when they’re pregnant. And so thinking that acetaminophen or Tylenol is safe when you are pregnant and finding out later that it actually harmed your baby and your baby now has a developmental disability because of it. It’s a pretty hard pill to swallow, no pun intended in this case.
Liel: [00:20:05] I mean, where are we in the stage of this potential, mass tort.? Is it has it materialized as such? Is it still.
Grace: [00:20:15] So.
Liel: [00:20:16] Getting.
Grace: [00:20:17] In 2019, there was an initial study done. Right. So this is I would call this, like you said at the beginning, more of an emerging scientists kind of have been talking about this for for a decent amount of time now, maybe a couple of years on how it. Medication, but this one in particular, obviously, during pregnancy can affect the child. And so where this one is, is they are going to spend quite a bit of time. It being Johnson and Johnson. There’s going to be a lot of time between this and when they’re going to be able to bring it to what they call the Daubert or Frye standard. Right. For it to become an MDL or for it to become a mass tort. It has to pass the Dabbagh or Frye standard. They call it different things in different states, but it basically is linking having enough proof to link the injury to, in this case, the drug. So they’re currently going through the research. They are going to be going through what they call science days and things of that nature to figure out if there’s enough causal link between what’s happening and this actual drug. So it is very loose at the moment, but there is an to believe that there is a causal link. Right. So, you know, it it’s hard for me sometimes when I talk about these things, especially when I talk about them, when it has to do with babies, you know, like I talk a lot, you know, and it really hurts me and I’m sure it hurts all everybody that hears this when it has to do with children.
Liel: [00:21:58] So it is sad.
Grace: [00:21:59] Yeah. So I mean, right now, again, they are just they’re taking in claims there have been client adverse action reports filed with the FDA. And that’s, you know, for those of you that know or have listened to some of our previous podcasts, that’s kind of where it starts, right? Is where people are telling the FDA that there’s a problem or it really depends on what it is if it’s a product like a device or a drug. But a lot of times with drugs like this, it has to do with the Federal Drug Administration being reported to and being told that there’s a lot of people getting harmed by a particular drug. So that’s really where this one kind of started. And figuring out the link is where they have to go next.
Liel: [00:22:42] All right, Grace, I guess for this one, we’ll just have to keep our eyes open and see how things continue to evolve. And just remember, just as we’ve said on the last conversation, right. If if this is something that calls you, this is something that you see as something you would want to get involved or not. This is a time this these stages are when there is a lot of opportunity to create content to become noticeable without necessarily having to start spending big dollars in advertising. And so this could be an opportunity for some. But as with everything with mass tort it’s a waiting game. You, you cannot spit up all these things and you need to let them run their course and you need to be ready for blows because it’s usually not necessarily straight forward, smooth sailing. So it sounds like this is going to be an uphill climb, but.
Grace: [00:23:43] It usually.
Liel: [00:23:44] Is. Usually hopefully it will it will yield good results and justice for those who deserve it.
Grace: [00:23:52] Grace. I have one update. I actually found it. I should have said this at the beginning, but on June 10th, 2022, a motion was filed to centralize all the Tylenol autism ADHD lawsuits. They originally have just five days to respond. The defendants. Yeah, but they requested an extension, and they now have an extension until three days ago, July 26. So, yeah, on the next one I will definitely let you know what I can locate in terms of the actual litigation update if it came together or if they requested it. A further extension.
Liel: [00:24:28] All right. Well, that’s big news. And yes, certainly that will change the scope of things quite a bit. So looking forward to hearing news and updates on that. So Grace, let’s bring this down to takeaways because it’s been a very diverse conversation covering all kinds of stuff, and I’m sure we can. Pick up three that are good, actionable things to consider.
Grace: [00:24:56] So I would say for me, the first one has to do with the performance, Max. I know that we’ve kind of dabbled in it and talked about it in a few other podcasts as well. I’d say, you know, definitely take a look at what it’s doing or not doing and poke around some because as Liel said, near the beginning of this, local service ads are going to go the way of performance, Max. So I would say it would be pretty important for you or your marketing team to understand what performance Max is and what the differences are between that and what whatever it is you’re currently running.
Liel: [00:25:31] Yeah. Go really good one, Grace. I am going to do take away number two and stay within the digital marketing pay per click space. And I think you need to look at Q2 results and really assess where the opportunities are. And one area that we really didn’t talk about during this episode, but it’s very important to acknowledge, is that book ads reported not great results and their ad revenues dropped. And what this tells you Grace is there is an opportunity there. Why is there an opportunity there? Because when you zoom out and you look at the whole numbers, you will see that there is actually been more users logging in to people to Facebook on a daily basis. They are now averaging at one point, well, almost 2 billion people logging into Facebook every day, active users. Right. And so this is really, really important to acknowledge because while Facebook as a way of running as a platform that allows you to run very highly targeted ads may no longer be as effective as it was. Facebook is still a great platform to just get in front of your market. Right. And I think people are just getting confused about how much they need to segment their audiences for them to actually see return on investment.
Liel: [00:26:57] And you need to remember, the law firm particularly has a consumer focused law firm. Certainly, yeah. If you can use some insight, some information to segment your audience such as language, such as geographical location and such. That’s wonderful. Leverage that. But don’t get too obsessed about having to reach particular people with very specific interests and so forth and so on, because at the end of the day, there is no way not even doing that. You cannot necessarily predict exactly who’s going to be in need of your services the day of tomorrow. So eyeballs watching your ads, people hearing what you have to say. That’s good. That’s actually already a good use of your marketing budget. Of course, you want to do this in a clever way, but look where the opportunity is. By no, Facebook has become a less relevant place to advertise in anything. It has just become a more affordable platform to be because there is less competition, it’s less saturated. And the fact that the number of active users has not gone down just tells you that people are still there. So, again, you know, do not misread the the results here. That’s my takeaway. Number two, Grace, we have room for one more.
Grace: [00:28:11] I always say this and you know I do and I can’t help myself. I’ll say it again. Diversify yourself. If you’re in mass torts, you know, never stick to one tort because as you can see, it could change from one second to the next. As we saw with talcum powder going into bankruptcy and 3 a.m. now going into bankruptcy. So if that’s the pattern, I would say please always make sure you diversify yourselves around different mass torts because you never know at what point it could either happen or not happen. Right. And that that means all kinds of things. If you understand mass torts and what we’ve talked about on this podcast. So just make sure that whatever you do, you diversify your practice areas. And that’s not just mass torts, right? If you can’t obviously, if you can’t, if it’s something that makes sense to you, your business, your practices, do it.
Liel: [00:28:58] Yeah. And not to overstep here, but if I understand correctly, is, you know, sometimes that these companies file for bankruptcy. It doesn’t mean that everything is lost. Right? Sometimes they file for bankruptcy not to have to spend as much as they would potentially have to spend if they were trying to continue running business as normal. But they file bankruptcy, but they still need to pay out, right?
Grace: [00:29:23] Correct. Correct. A bankruptcy court has its own sets of rules and regulations. And so that’s why they pushed it to bankruptcy. Bankruptcy court. So they could limit their exposure to compensation.
Liel: [00:29:35] Yeah. Because as you were saying it, you know, Boy Scouts come to mind and they’re they’re filed for bankruptcy. But still, there was a way to get some compensation for the victims.
Grace: [00:29:46] They essentially create a fund that you can then pay out from. That’s kind of what Camp Lejeune is going to be, very similar to the 911 fund that was created. So it’s, you know, along the same kind of path when you have a bankruptcy, you have a fund that has to be drawn from. And once it’s out, it’s out.
Liel: [00:30:02] Got it. Grace. Well, thank you again for another great, very educational conversation. And we’ll be back next week.
Grace: [00:30:09] Next week it is. Liel, thank you.
Liel: [00:30:11] All right. Bye. If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your coworkers, leave us a review and send us your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next week.
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