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Posts tagged ‘internet marketing’


PRESENTATION: Marketing in a multi screen World [Millward -Brown]




REPORT: Social, Digital & Mobile Around The World (January 2014)

This report presents key statistics, data and behavioural indicators for social, digital and mobile channels around the world. Alongside regional statistics, it also presents in-depth analyses for 24 of the world’s largest economies: Argentina, Australia, Brazile, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Thailand, the UAE, the UK, and the USA. This report has been prepared by ‘We Are Social’ a consultancy.


Score a touchdown with your marketing strategy

Super Bowl Ads – The marketing lessons

You don’t have the budget for a Super Bowl ad, but you can still learn from the best…

“Steal with pride” a former boss used to tell me. He was referring to using our competitors’ marketing ideas against them. I was never entirely convinced of the ethics of his advice, but we can certainly all learn from scrutinising world-class marketing.

What better classroom than the pressure cooker of Super Bowl advertising? For those not in the know, Super Bowl ads are the most expensive spots on the planet, costing a cool $3.8-million (that is about R35-million) for 30 seconds.

Howard Fox Chartered Marketer: Author or Score a Touchdown.

This article was first published in Your Business magazine.

The event itself is a really big deal in the States. Super Bowl Sunday is the second highest food consumption day on the American calendar, just behind Thanksgiving. The approximately 111 million television viewers apparently consume 13 000 000kg of chips , 90 million chicken wings and 3 600 000kg of guacamole, washed down with 325.5 million gallons of beer. No wonder marketers target them with such vigour.

Give and ye shall receive

This year’s Super Bowl adverts were varied in message and approach: from Psy dancing Gangnam Style with giant, man-sized pistachio nuts to Budweiser’s offer to have viewers help name the baby Clydesdale horse about to join their beer-carriage team by tweeting “#clydesdales.

What they all shared was that they tried to offer some value to viewers in return for the 30 seconds taken away from the game. Many attempted to be funny, a few achieved this. Some, like the cute baby Clydesdales, managed to fit an emotive tale into the allotted half-minute slot. The escape of the old folk from the Glencobrooke Retirement Home for a night on the town,  including a foam party, tattoos and a run-in with the cops — before late night snacks at Taco Bell – was fantastically uplifting.

When marketing you need to respect that your “target market” is made up of real people and that you need to earn the right to intrude into their homes. We are inclined to forget that while we may have paid a lot of money to advertise, the targets of our communication haven’t directly benefitted from our advertising.

The same holds true with other forms of marketing. Take email campaigns for example. Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t give you the right to spam them. You need to earn the right to have your emails opened. Some email campaigns have opening rates of less than a third of one percent of emails sent. That is a clear indication that recipients aren’t getting any value and they quickly learn to delete.

In your next email campaign, remember this Super Bowl lesson and offer useful (and relevant) information targeting the recipient’s interests, industry or profession. Perhaps include links to relevant video or news items. Remember “special offers” are only special to people who have an interest in them. To everyone else they are spam.

Hashtags rule

Twitter hashtags and other social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, were virtually ubiquitous throughout all Super Bowl adverts this year. So ubiquitous in fact that the Samsung Galaxy ad, which depicts guys brainstorming what to say in a Super Bowl ad, ends with the characters saying: “I like hashtags… Ok we use hashtags” as (obviously) their twitter hashtag comes up on screen.

An advert is really just an invitation to make a connection and possibly do business. Social media offers the opportunity to connect with prospective consumers and to magnify your reach by creating a buzz on the internet.

Super Bowl adverts play this game to the max with teasers on You Tube prior to game day and competitions and incentives to get people talking about the adverts when they are flighted.

In South Africa we are still somewhat behind the curve when it comes to leveraging social media for business. It is a relatively inexpensive channel to build an ongoing relationship with customers and prospective customers. But it is critical that the content adds value and is appropriate for the social medium.

The 30-second rule

Limiting yourself to 30 seconds to express your brand’s USP – unique selling proposition – is a great discipline. You really need to capture the essence of the brand. It brings the important things into focus. This isn’t unique to Super Bowl ads of course, but the cost and annual nature of this marketing opportunity certainly ensures that the message is distilled to the core of the proposition.

My stand-out advert here was for Soda Stream. I remember Soda Stream from my youth, it really came in a poor second when compared to the Real Thing. Soda Stream has realised that they are unlikely to win a cola taste war. Their unique (and it really is unique) proposition is that, unlike the big beverage companies, they don’t distribute millions of bottles around the world. Their advert demonstrated this USP strongly.

It is powerful stuff. So powerful in fact that the broadcaster banned the first edition of the ad, for fear that they would lose the advertising spend of the other beverage companies. Banning an advert, as Nando’s has proven, simply focuses attention on the issue. Soda Stream went on to enjoy five million You Tube hits and free publicity across all traditional media.

There is nothing more powerful than a truly unique, well-communicated proposition. Couldn’t you use a little of this in your businesses? How much time have you spend trying to define a really differentiated USP? This should be the real focus of all your marketing efforts.

Nothing beats an astronaut

You’ve probably seen the Axe ad on local TV, it was also flighted during the Super Bowl. For those who haven’t seen it: the ad uses a simple but dramatic creative concept, with an initial hero-lifesaver rescuing a bikini-clad girl from the waves. She stares dreamily into her hero’s eyes until she sees an approaching astronaut, she then runs off into the astronaut’s arms.

The advert is brilliant because it leverages two insights: deodorant isn’t really about smelling good, it’s about attracting girls, and nothing beats an astronaut, ever. Every guy has dreamed of being an astronaut. Unilever, the manufacturers of Axe are in a position, given the global sales of the product, to help a lucky winner fulfil this dream. From the consumer’s point of view it’s a dream that their money can’t realistically buy.

The lesson? Selling dreams is a fruitful proposition. Is there an opportunity in your business to sell a dream? If successful, you can trump your competitors, no matter how commoditised your product. It’s worth spending the time thinking about it.

Few marketers enjoy the sort of budget required to fund Super Bowl ads, but there is plenty to be learnt from watching them …


Internet Trends: Mary Meeker / Liang Wu KPCB

The latest edition of the annual Internet Trends report finds continued robust online growth. There are now 2.4 billion Internet users around the world, and the total continues to grow apace. Mobile usage is expanding rapidly, while the mobile advertising opportunity remains largely untapped. The report reviews the shifting online landscape, which has become more social and content rich, with expanded use of photos, video and audio. Looking ahead, the report finds early signs of growth for wearable computing devices, like glasses, connected wrist bands and watches – and the emergence of connected cars, drones and other new platforms.


Ghost in the machine

We’re losing the battle, forfeiting our power. Our mojo is weakening. Marketers are being squeezed-out by the machine. Consumers are being assimilated (like the Borg in Star Trek) into the interconnected collective of the market.

It used to be that marketing was about people – we even graciously added them to our “marketing p’s” when we expanded from four to  seven p’s. Obviously they weren’t so important that they made it into the initial quadrumvirate, but we’ve grown to understand people. Research and insight teams helped. People liked us and our brands. It’s been a great century together, driving the economic miracle of consumption-driven capitalism. They were simple creatures these ‘people’. They diligently consumed traditional, mass media and didn’t talk back. Importantly, businesses selling to people need marketers with our addiction to expensive advertising and promotions, while media owners since Guttenberg have happily provided the setting for this love-in.

This article first appeared in 'The Annual 2012'.

This article first appeared in
‘The Annual 2012’.

Party-pooper Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, (‘Tim BL’ to his mates) gatecrashed the party with his Internet thingy. He seems like a bright guy – what was he thinking connecting the world like that? The tyranny of search. Price-comparison engines. Online shopping. It’s changed the game. Gone are the days when marketers decided what consumers would know, and where the only feedback was monthly brand awareness scores from the research house. Pay-per-click advertising’s explicit stats effectively writes its own copy. Comparison engines determine viable pricing. Social media feedback issues prompt snotklaps to campaigns that miss the mark.

The technologising of marketing is accelerating. The ‘Internet of things’, first proposed by Kevin Ashton – an expert in RFID (the technology that makes your staff access-card work) in 1999, will hasten this trend. Once virtually (pardon the pun) all marketable items are systemically identifiable within the ‘collective’ that is the Internet, the rules irrevocably change. Your fridge, having ascertained your habits, restocks itself automatically. Location-based services centred on consumers’ cell phones, combined with social media profiles such as “Klout”, will ensure automated marketing discount systems only offer free cappuccinos to those with high influence. Google, already ubiquitous in search, geospatial data (e.g. Google Maps, Earth) and consumer advertising behaviour reveals its true intention with acquisitions such as ITA Software, which offers “comprehensive airfare pricing and shopping options”. Sounds like marketing. Not sure their mantra of ‘don’t be evil’ will protect us.

Human assimilation into the marketing collective is next. For the duration of the 2012 Olympics, the London Eye ferris-wheel radiated the prevailing Olympic sentiment of the Twitterverse. An algorithm determined whether tweeters were collectively positive or negative, displaying their sentiment in the colour of the wheel’s illumination.

Combine this simple depiction of the current zeitgeist with individual consumer’s thoughts and assimilation would be complete. Emotiv, an Australian company, has developed a ‘revolutionary new personal interface for human computer interaction based on the latest developments in neuro-technology’. The $300 EPOC headset, according to its manufacturer, interprets facial expressions and emotional states in real-time while it reads and interprets a player’s conscious thoughts and intent.

So in my favourite scenario, your Internet-enabled fridge’s twitter algorithm notes an inconsistency between a particularly positive public spirit and lamentably low stocks of Champagne for a Friday night knees up. Checking your own sentiment from signals emanating from your neural headset, it determines you too are indeed in the party mood. Inviting your Facebook friends currently in town, (perhaps asking you to confirm those perennially on your “b-list”), it calculates the quantum of supplies needed. Utilising price comparison engines, it flashes a shortlist of three your favourite brands onto your computer. Your headset detects your reaction, picking your favourite. Later when only the hangover remains, your ever-helpful kitchen appliance tweets the attendees a survey, checking not only whether you did indeed choose the favourite Champers, but checking your personal party brand standing as well.

Marketers, we had better start learning machine language.

This article was first published in The Annual 2012.

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