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In Preparation for Proposition 24 | Volume 5

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Privacy concerns surrounding customer data have come to a head in California. The votes are in; Proposition 24 will be passed on December 11.

What does that mean for you as a digital marketer? You’ll just have to keep reading to find out. 

Before we get into that, here’s a peek at what’s to come:

  • A dive into the driverless future thanks to automation SaaS
  • Hopin becomes a double unicorn after Series B funding (and we have the secret to their success)
  • The role of robots in the future of grocery shopping

Our Podcast Pick: Ready to have your mind blown? Well, hold on to your head because Ross Simmonds is shaking things up by exposing 2 critical SEO tips even the pros get wrong and giving you the #1 Content Marketing Strategy for 2020. Listen now through the SEO for the Rest of Us Podcast or if you’d prefer to watch check out the interview in video form

We Have A Proposition For You

Well, this isn’t our proposition, it’s California’s Proposition 24: The Consumer Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). 

This law will be certified on December 11, after 56% of California residents voted in favour of it, leaving 44%­­ against it. And it’s about time that marketers prepare for the changes that will come out of this new act.

We pulled out the Core CPRA principles to be aware of

  • Greater protection of California residents’ personal information (ethnicity, financial, genetic, geolocation, health, private communications, race, religion, sexual orientation and union membership)
  • Stricter limitations on the potential for lobbyists to dilute privacy-protection measures voted upon by California residents
  • Establishment of a California Privacy Protection Agency to enforce the requirements; funded by up to $10 million per year
  • Safeguards for the information of minors, including an opt-in requirement to sell the data of consumers under age 16, and tripling the maximum fines for violations

If any of those principles sound familiar it is because the CPRA is moving closer to aligning with the General Data Protection Regulations of the EU (or GDPR, as it’s more commonly known). 

Those in the digital media ecosystem need to look at the strengthened definition of what constitutes “personal information” and identify which partners within your supply chain have access to it.

Reshma Karnik, MediaLink’s VP of data and technology solutions, advises that all media players ensure their third-party data partners, who are used to collect or process information (such as ad-tech vendors and platform providers), have done their due diligence on this new policy, as well.

California is the leader for state privacy laws across America, other states have attempted similar privacy legislation (like NYC’s failed privacy bill) and they continue to advocate for a national consumer privacy law through the industry coalition Privacy for America.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s David Grimaldi said this about the nationalization of a privacy act.

Congress is the one body that can set a national standard. Data privacy is so big and so broad and impacts so many consumers’ lives across state lines that it really requires a piece of legislation that should go through the deliberative process of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.”

This will depend on the makeup of those electoral bodies and who occupies the White House on completion of the 2020 vote counting.

For now, as digital marketers reliant on access to personal information, we should act consciously and gracefully. In these times, we need to take what we can get without creeping into spaces we aren’t supposed to. That will only lead to fines but also larger restrictions and possible destruction of this industry completely. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Users want to take control of what online information is accessible by companies
  • Privacy protection is only going to increase in the coming years as local and national legislation increase
  • Information protection won’t prevent access to personal information, it simply limits the amount and kind of data which can be collected and how it can be used – especially surrounding children’s information

The Autonomous Industry Astonishes Us

Remember back in 2014 when Tesla made semi-autonomous driving cars with the release of their autopilot feature?  

And now they are promoting fully autonomous commercial vehicles by the end of 2020, which seems unimaginable (remember when The Jetsons seemed extremely far-fetched?). Nevertheless, this technology has taken off already in the logistics and SaaS industries. 

Outrider, an autonomous logistics startup, raised $65 million to make warehouses and distribution centers driverless. 

Unlike other companies making autonomous vehicles, Outrider is a SaaS company. Providing the technology as a solution for customer-owned, fully and semi-autonomous freight and transportation fleets. 

Outrider says the computer vision-based vehicles running on its software are capable of up to level 4 automated driving. That is defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers as fully self-driving in most conditions. 

This software excels in efficiency and safety standards while complying with strict environmental standards. Though the details are vague, Outrider claims its three-way system integrates with many of the supply chain software already in use by large enterprises. 

Venture capital deals worth approximately $1.2 billion have been targeting logistics-focused robotics and automation companies within the U.S., since 2015. 

The global autonomous truck market is on the rise as well, it is expected to be valued at $1,004 million in 2020 and is projected to reach a market size of $1,669 million by 2025, with a CAGR of 10.4% from 2020 to 2025 . These futuristic vehicles save the logistics and shipping industry up to $70 billion annually while increasing productivity by 30%.

This technology has been transformative to other industries as well, TuSimple and Einride, along with others, have raised tens of millions for autonomous freight systems, transporting logs, shipping containers and other cargo items. 

Could it be time for more SaaS and logistics companies to get out of the driver’s seat and into the development of the next best autonomous driving software? We think so.

Key Takeaways:

  • Automation is a huge SaaS and business opportunity
  • Efficiency and productivity increase with SaaS-based automation
  • Warehouses need to get ready to welcome vehicle automation into their labour mix

Hopin Hopped to a $2 Billion Valuation

If anything, the last few months has led to the accelerated adoption of so many technologies, services, and experiences. 

  • The adoption of ecomm has accelerated.
  • The adoption of esports has accelerated.
  • The adoption of home gyms has accelerated.
  • The adoption of remote work has accelerated.
  • The adoption of virtual health has accelerated.
  • The adoption of video conferencing has accelerated.

The list could go on… but we are going to focus on one experience we thought we had lost – the ability to attend events

Enter Hopin, a startup providing online events software. 

In the summer, Hopin raised $40 million in Series A funding and now it has achieved $125 million in Series B round of capital. According to the CEO of Hopin, Johnny Boufarhat, the new capital was raised at a $2.125 billion valuation.

Making Hopin a double unicorn.

Before the pandemic in March of 2020, Hopin had 16,000 monthly event attendees; that number skyrocketed to 175,000 in June of 2020. Now in November, it claims to have more than 3.5 million users with over 50,000 groups registered to host events on its software. 

Hopin has gone from an idea on the back of a napkin to a SaaS product generating more than 2 million visitors every single month – all within a year of conception.

So what marketing techniques, in particular, have allowed Hopin to explode? 

And no, COVID-19, though it helped boost demand, is not a genuine marketing strategy. 

It was the implementation of a backlink acquisition strategy, and it is one that may have come about accidentally. Regardless, it has developed into a thing of beauty. 

The main driver of their backlink success: generating backlinks from highly authoritative sites

Want to know how they did it?

Running an event using Hopin requires the user to create a landing page which uses the Hopin URL and branding. This results in Hopin benefitting from:

  1. Brand exposure from the landing page design.
  2. Backlink benefits that come from the hosting brand’s promotion of the event 

But wait there’s more! 

Hopin was able to establish a cyclical system of backlink attraction with no additional effort, growing exponentially amidst this break out industry. Just three weeks ago we were introduced to OnZoom, bringing Zoom into the expanded online event hosting industry. 

Key Takeaways

  • Backlinks can be attained organically 
  • Not all backlinks need to come from an article link 
  • Risks can pay off when entering an emerging industry 
  • Creating a mutually beneficial backlink viral loop will lead to a backlink moat


📈  Looking for the next hot startup to invest in and keep on your radar? Look no further than Open Start Up’s list of  “100+ Startups that have hit more than $1K MRR in about 12-24 months.”

💸 Beginning as a video podcast platform with the goal of facilitating political debates through video, “Riverside.fm Raises $2.5M in Funding” and has been supported by the likes of Hillary Clinton, the BBC, and Marvel. 

🎧 Bringing it back to the audio podcasts we know and love, “Spotify is buying podcast hosting and ad company Megaphone for $235M.” Though they have already been partners in streaming, this acquisition is focused on Megaphone’s ad services.  



When thinking about Robots and their future role in society our minds quickly wander to Will Smith’s I, Robot. But it looks like we have given them too much credit. In our capitalist society, we have a bigger concern than robot takeover and that is robot unemployment. 

As reported by Ryan Duffy in a Tale of Two Automata, Walmart had big plans to roll out in-store robots to take over stacking shelves and monitoring inventory. However, as eCommerce rises these in-store robots are becoming less necessary – plus Walmart is concerned about how many shoppers would want to shop alongside a CP-30… I know I would. 

Though in-store robots have been kicked to the curb, warehouse robots are proving to be a very useful addition. Companies like Ocado, a British supermarket that claims to be the largest online grocery retailer, said this: 

“Ocado wants to expand the scope of automatable fulfillment operations. It’s targeting a relatively unsolved robotics task—picking and packing—which requires even more dexterity and perception capabilities with groceries.”



The SaaS SEO MBA via Tyler Hakes



Nothing Was the Same by Drake (Best Song: Started from the Bottom

Originally Sent Out Thursday, November 12, 2020. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today.

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