The sporting event offers advertisers a huge platform, but without serious commitment, marketers are better spending their budget elsewhere
As the Super Bowl 50 approaches, marketers should be wary of pouring their time and energy into half-hearted real-time marketing attempts to hijack the day, because just like on the pitch itself, it’s a case of go hard or go home.
The 2015 Super Bowl had an average domestic audience of 114.4 million people (expanding to 160 million globally), making it the most-watched broadcast in the history of US television, with 118.5 million tuning in for the Pepsi-sponsored half-time show starring Katy Perry. The event certainly gets people talking, with more than 28.4m tweets sent and more than 65 million people posting, commenting or at least liking something about the 2015 game on Facebook. Viewership numbers are impressive, but to give it some context, the Fifa World Cup final in 2014 attracted over a billion viewers and, in this world of multi-channel television, only a 47.5% share of US TV ratings.
Related: Five things great brands will do differently on social media in 2016Continue reading...
Paul Armstrong examines the platforms and products you might’ve overlooked in the hunt for the next big thing
It’s around this time of year that people start looking at the next 12 months (and beyond) and asking what’s the next big thing? It’s a fine question and one we enjoy speculating about but it ignores what’s staring us in the face: there’s already a lot out there. But are we using it well enough? What platforms should we know but don’t? With that in mind, here are my top five marketing tools.
With a recent event netting the Economist 10,000 subscriptions, marketers should embrace experiential marketing to amplify their presence
Experiential marketing builds on traditional promotional campaigns in an age of immersive theatre and pop-up retail. Defined by Creative Guerilla marketing, it is, “a form of advertising that focuses primarily on helping consumers experience a brand... [immersing] the consumers within the product by engaging as many other human senses as possible.”
Promotional advertising has served the media industry well but now we can integrate it with our digital and real-world marketing, content, social media and PR.
Related: Marketing risks becoming mechanistic without imaginative ideas to animate itContinue reading...
The Beatles struck a chord with the right combination of originality, creativity and innovation – a lesson that marketing creatives should bear in mind
The Beatles weren’t that good when they first formed.
Don’t take my word for it, Paul McCartney said in a recent radio interview: “We obviously weren’t that good. We were formulating it all.”
Related: Marketing risks becoming mechanistic without imaginative ideas to animate it
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With video set to dominate users’ newsfeeds, marketers need to consider how to make their content work on the platform
Whether for hitting 4bn daily views, or with accusations that they “lied and cheated” their way to that number, Facebook’s video offering has certainly been grabbing headlines lately. All the updates, debates and comparisons can, however, be a little overwhelming. What does it really mean for marketers and how can we maximise this opportunity?
Facebook’s biggest change has been autoplay, the process by which videos automatically begin silently playing in your newsfeed. Much like the moving images in Harry Potter’s newspaper, this motion does bring the newsfeed to life, but it also slightly removes the user choice on whether they want it to play at all.
Related: What's the key to a marketing hit: an original sound or the same old tune?Continue reading...
The new digital marketing machine is increasingly concerned with data but we need to remember that great brands are built on ideas
Over recent years the marketing and communications community has raced to build a new marketing model for the digital age; a model that is more connected, more agile and less wasteful; a model that transforms the way we market brands to consumers. The industry has made real progress and the opportunities for efficiency and effectiveness seem limitless. But the model should not become an end in itself. Once we’ve built the perfect marketing machine, we’ll still need ideas to animate it; and ideas will remain largely intangible, irrational and irregular. We still need to plan for the ghost in the machine.
Fundamentally the age of technology affords us an opportunity to harness the vehicles of persuasion (advertising) more directly to the mechanics of consumption (purchase) and of relationship management (CRM). Modern brands will be built around data rich, adaptive digital platforms that take consumers on a seamless journey from seeing relevant content, to selling an experience, to securing a relationship.
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It’s easy to be distracted by the latest shiny innovations, but a focus on quality content and media planning are key for successful social media marketing
Social channels have become walled gardens, offering meaningful mobile reach and relative safety from fraud and adblockers. Ironically there’s never been a better time to invest in them, not because of some new promise of engagement and conversation, but because they’re starting to deliver on traditional media and marketing objectives. There are however still plenty of ways to completely waste your time and money on social media marketing, and no reason at all why every brand should “have” to use it.
Related: Five brands that got social media right in 2015Continue reading...
From taking risks to offering exclusive content, here’s how marketers can tap into one of the fastest-growing social platforms
The past year has seen organic reach in social media – reach not supported by paid advertising – decline further. Simultaneously more users, particularly younger ones, are spending more time in private spaces, harder to access by brands, including WhatsApp, Yik Yak and Snapchat. The latter has emerged as the leading dark social channel with over 700m snaps shared every day. How can brands be part of the conversation on this ever-growing platform?
One defining feature of these platforms is that they’re private and, unlike other social media, are almost completely unmeasurable. This is key. The adults of tomorrow are actively avoiding channels where they feel like they have to care about how liked and appreciated their content is and gravitating to places where they can be their true selves without that pressure to gain approval.
Related: Brands only measure the tip of the social media icebergContinue reading...
Connections between people’s taste in music and what they do mean that playlists will become a powerful predictor of consumer habits
“Show me your top 100 music tracks and I’ll tell you where you buy your clothes, where you shop for food, which brand of beer you prefer and where you like to go on vacation.”
In my dreams. As a marketer with a music buff for a partner, having that kind of superpower would be a hoot. Just imagine casually scrolling through somebody’s MP3 player, then confidently declaring: “From your taste in music, I can tell you like Gap, street markets, Dos Equis and staycations with days at the beach.”
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From Lexus offering 100 different ads on Facebook to Clash of Clans’ video storytelling, here are some of the best social media campaigns from 2015
It was the year social media marketing finally started to grow up. In 2015 advertisers began switching serious percentages of their total media investment into channels such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and alongside that came a new degree of scrutiny and best practice. By the end of the third quarter, Facebook’s advertising revenue had jumped 45% year on year to $4.3bn , while Twitter’s was up 60% to $513m (which confusingly still disappointed investors).
It is, however, a hollow victory for many early social evangelists – the shift hasn’t happened because senior marketers finally bought into a new world of conversation and “engagement”, but because social platforms started to show they could play by the rules of traditional advertising. Facebook went so far as to launch a TRP tool to sell its reach in the same way as TV, and just about every platform you could name went heavy on video, an inherently passive and one-way format.
Related: The golden days of free, mass social media reach never really existed
The only way to master...
Unsolicited SMS messages are designed for our mobile-focused world, but they could face a similar fate to email spam
A prescient episode of The Simpsons (season 12, episode 14) referred to advertising as a three-pronged attack – subliminal, where the message was hidden; liminal, which was conventional advertising; and superliminal, which was shouting the message at random people in the street.
Today, some companies choose to take the superliminal concept further by effectively shouting at us via SMS. If your number gets onto an advertiser’s list, you are on the receiving end of a relentless stream of calls and texts. Many of these do not involve other people, since the calls are generated by automated software and if you pick up, you hear a recorded message.
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Western practices won’t cut it for Chinese consumers, with more using social media than in the US and Europe combined
To say this hasn’t been the greatest couple of months for China would be an understatement. But, despite the current gloom, innovation still stands strong. Regularly unique, sometimes surprising, often completely different to anything you’ve seen in the west, China’s approach to marketing and social media has been an incredible journey over the last few years. We’ve been following this progress closely, with the team in our Shanghai office, and we’ve recently published a report into the digital, social and mobile landscape in China.
There were some big numbers in there, with the headline stats focused predominantly on mobile and social growth. There are now 574 million mobile social media users in China, up 15 million since this time last year, as well as the fact that there are now 659 million social media users – more than the US and Europe combined. But what does all this tell marketers about China, and how to approach it? Here are the five key points to consider when communicating with a Chinese audience.
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We round up the best insights and tips from our recent webchat on the impact of technology on marketing
- Read the live Q&A in full
Geoffrey Colon, group product marketing manager, emerging and social media, Microsoft
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Concerns around viewability and ad blocking are plaguing digital advertising, but social channels could prove vital for marketers willing to rethink their approach
Social media marketing in its original form is dead. This isn’t news: Facebook killed it off nearly four years ago, although many marketers don’t seem to have noticed yet. Ironically, though, there’s never been a better time to invest advertising budgets into social platforms – channels which have moved on from the fans, engagement and conversation metrics they were once built on.
Online advertising is starting to command meaningful ad budgets and with that comes a new level of scrutiny. Current skeletons in the closet include viewability (whether ads show in full to a user or are hidden down the page when a robot visits the site) and ad blocking (software which stops adverts appearing for users at all).
Related: The golden days of free, mass social media reach never really existedContinue reading...
As media consumption becomes more complex, agencies urgently need to invest in both their programmatic and creative capabilities
Discussion at the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda summit confirmed what marketing organisations have been experiencing and talking about continually with clients; the current pace of change is faster than ever, relentless even, and agility and collaboration need to be hardwired into the organisational DNA of every future-proof business.
Related: Changing Media Summit 2016 programme
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