Monday, 26 September 2016

7th October is Byte Night

Across the UK, people will be sleeping rough on Byte Night to raise £1.4 million for Action for Children. This event began in 1998 and now attracts more than 1,200 participants. Venues are hosting sleepouts and promoting fundraising activities for Byte Night.

To raise awareness of the event and explain the fundraising need, and to encourage involvement, Byte Night tweets and uses Facebook.

Byte Night also communicates via its LinkedIn profile page, because of the strong business participation from IT and other professions. Business leaders promote fundraising inside their organisations and to public audiences, as well.

So watch for #ByteNight tags across social media and get involved!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Brand personality builds marketing impact

Brand personality is a key ingredient in any marketing plan--especially for small businesses that want to grow quickly. Differentiation communicated with personality, including perhaps a bit of humour, attracts attention on a small budget to build brand awareness and preference. 

For example, Jimmy's Iced Coffee is a fast-growing business based in Dorset. Its brand personality shines through all of its marketing, from the logo to the product packaging and beyond.

The packaging shows a tagline ("Keep your chin up") from the first Jimmy's YouTube rap-beat promotional video, which attracted 3.5 million views in a year. It also echoes elements from Jimmy's brand history. Jimmy's has, in fact, expanded distribution by emphasising its brand personality and is now on the shelves of Tesco, Sainsbury and other major UK grocery chains.

What's Jimmy's secret to social media marketing? 'The good thing about online, if you do something offline you should be able to just put it online and show people what you’re doing. It’s not just pack shots of our cartons on Instagram all day long', he tells Management Today.

Take a look at how brand personality is showcased on Jimmy's social media: Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

IBM thinks 'consumer' and 'brand story'

Traditionally a business-to-business marketer of computer hardware, software and consulting services, 105-year-old IBM just hired its first chief marketing officer for the corporation. Why? Because IBM is increasingly visible to the consumer world and needs to be sure its marketing is targeted, coordinated and differentiated across every subsidiary, product line and location.

In particular, the new CMO has experience with digital marketing and is knowledgeable about the importance of Big Data, key elements in IBM's marketing plan for Watson and other initiatives.

IBM has developed a range of sophisticated tools for applying analytics to customers' marketing challenges. When marketing IBM itself, Big Data is the key to segmenting markets and communicating what it can offer to meet individual customers' needs.

Did you know IBM now hires professional screenwriters to script ads? Professionals know how to tell a story, which all brands must be able to do to engage B2B or consumer audiences. 'Ultimately, our goal is really to make an emotional connection, and we think we can do that better by being personal without of course, being creepy', notes the CMO of IBM Commerce.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Growth in digital ad spending

AD BUDGETS in 2017

Not surprisingly, many experts project continued growth in digital ad spending. Even as UK ad spending increases overall, budgets for digital ads are growing more.

Digital video ads are a small percentage of all digital ad spending right now, but projected to grow in the future as content marketing and other digital elements become increasingly important.

Looking towards the future, UK spending on social media advertising is expected to increase at the expense of spending on ads appearing in news vehicles.

Then there's UK mobile ad spending...projected to grow quite rapidly in the coming months and years. Marketers are experimenting and shifting money into mobile budgets to reach mobile users where and when purchasing decisions are made. But you probably already knew that, because you've noticed mobile marketing on your cell. Right?

Thursday, 8 September 2016

How did LEGO do?

From LEGO's corporate newsroom
LEGO recently reported turnover and profits . . . and different media outlets viewed the results in different ways.
  • 'Lego wobbles after American downturn and higher wage bill' - The Evening Standard's headline
  • 'Lego continues to build up sales' - BBC's headline
  • 'Building on bricks with clicks' - CNBC's headline
  • 'Lego profit falls 1.8% as company builds in China and Mexico' - Irish Times headline
  • 'Toymaker LEGO builds more plant capacity to revive growth in US Sales' - Reuters
LEGO's profits are down a bit because it's expanding its workforce and its manufacturing capacity. Why? Because worldwide demand continues to grow and grow and grow.

In fact, demand was so extraordinarily high in 2015 that LEGO struggled to fill all orders for Christmas.

To avoid a repeat, LEGO is investing now as it continues implementing its global marketing plan, following a long-term growth strategy. Just in time: LEGO products are, of course, on this year's lists of top children's toys for Christmas.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Competitors as Stakeholders: More Collaboration


Once again, I'm revisiting the topic of competitors as stakeholders--because of the increasingly popular concept of collaboration amongst competitors.

Earlier this year, I quoted Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet on the vital importance of collaboration: Competition creates win-lose scenarios, but collaboration benefits us all.

More examples of competitors collaborating are emerging. For example, the founder of an online media network says that 'The Carousel Network was formed with the view that working collaboratively with other publishers is the smart way forward if we are going to look at a strong future of influence and reach'. By banding together with others in the industry, Carousel gains in strength and moves closer to achieving its own goals.

Collaborating on something that builds goodwill for all the competitors involved--such as a charity event or an event to increase awareness of a city or country--can result in positive outcomes for customers as well as companies. In one case, chefs from competing restaurants worked on a 'local dinner' menu that showcased their best meals and enhanced the reputation of the area as a magnet for food-lovers.

Competitors are also seeking to collaborate on new technology and new tech standards that will affect the overall industry. And of course, competitors have been collaborating (through industry groups) to tackle social responsibility and sustainability issues. Watch for more collaborative initiatives in the future.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Online marketing: seconds count

Seconds really count in online marketing.
  • Amazon calculated that a one-second slowdown in loading its e-commerce site could cost it as much as £1.2 billion (US $1.6 billion) in sales per year. 
  • The US department store Nordstrom actually experienced a sales drop of 11% after its retail website began loading more slowly--only half a second more slowly. 
  • Mobile-friendly websites also have to be speedy to retain Millennials' attention, which is why Google offers a free speed-test utility.
Google reportedly plans to lower the results ranking of mobile websites that use pop-up ads--because it wants mobile users to get their results faster. Meanwhile, Google itself is testing ads that will load more quickly on mobile sites, helping to speed up load time for sites that carry the ads.

Marketers, when you develop your marketing plans for e-commerce or brand promotions online, test and refine to be sure your sites load quickly. Seconds lost can translate into visitors lost and money lost.