Monday, 28 March 2016

Most popular posts of the past 7 years

In a few days, my blog celebrates its 7th anniversary. It's time to see which posts were the most popular during the first 7 years.

Above, the results via Google's stats: Yes, competitors are stakeholders is clearly the winner--by far. Nearly 10% of the visitors to this blog want to know whether competitors are stakeholders (or want to see the arguments in favour). It's an important and relevant topic, with good arguments on both sides.

Tesco is one of the largest retailers active in international retailing. It's also a case study in many college classrooms, and my book analyses its marketing activities, so two of my many posts about the retailer are among the most-viewed of all time.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) attract many views, as do product lifecycle and sustainability posts.

Thank you for reading. Welcome to my 8th year of blogging about marketing in the UK and around the world.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Unilever's social, mobile and digital future

Unilever's head of consumer and market insights said last week that brands must 'Be social or get ready to be branded "anti-social"'. Social media marketing is a strength for Unilever, which has found that buzz actually translates into sales, not just goodwill and brand awareness.

With market demographics and behaviours changing, the Unilever exec says companies should not worry about having different strategies for seniors and Millennials, two customer segments that his brands target.

Unilever's well-known brands continue to use traditional adverts but some--such as Knorr--are also experimenting with artificial intelligence to give customers the information they need, precisely when needed. As an example, Knorr's Chef Wendy invites consumers in Asia and Africa to text for recipe ideas based on the foods they have on hand.

Looking toward the future, Unilever is part of a new coalition that will share market-research data with the goal of helping all better prepare for sustainability, address income inequality and eliminate poverty.

In addition, the Unilever Foundry project is focusing on five areas where startups can make a difference in 2016: (1) retail, (2) content creation, (3) data insights and innovation, (4) sustainability and (5) new technologies.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Ryanair's 'always getting better'

Ryanair--known for low air fares--has been wooing back travellers with an initiative it calls 'Always Getting Better'. Above, CEO Michael O'Leary discusses this marketing programme, which is part of the reason for Ryanair's growth--and supports its ambitious growth goals for future markets.

The purpose is to improve customer satisfaction by addressing some of the complaints that have annoyed travellers about Ryanair, including very high fees for 'extras' and website navigation that complicated the process of buying tickets. This also extends to the interior design of its aircraft.

With demand for business travel increasing as economic conditions improve, Ryanair (already Europe's largest discount carrier) has decided to meet the specific needs of this market with Business Plus. Business flyers can change their itineraries on the day of travel without penalty, choose seats in advance and receive priority boarding.

Now Ryanair sees opportunity in corporate jets for hire. Its first 60-seat jet is available to businesses (or sports teams or affluent individuals) that want to travel on their own schedule and in comfort. Of course, Ryanair's corporate jet is competitively priced and extras cost, well, extra.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Marketing WWF's Earth Hour

Social media and traditional media are helping the World Wildlife Fund to promote Earth Hour on 19 March. The idea is to switch off the lights from 20.30 to 21.30 and go social to support sustainability.

This worldwide effort, which began in Sydney in 2007, increases awareness of our role in protecting the planet's precious natural resources, not just wildlife.

The social media campaign by WWF UK includes:
  • #PassthePanda and #EarthHourUK hashtags to encourage participation on Twitter, Facebook and other sites
  • YouTube videos
  • Incredible nature photos on Instagram
  • Pinterest posts
  • A Facebook app to 'donate your social power' by posting about local environmental issues and sharing information with people in other areas
Traditional media marketing by WWF includes an unusual and engaging advert to attract attention and encourage participation. Other groups are joining the campaign. The Sustainable Restaurant Association's members will serve dinner by candlelight during Earth Hour, for instance.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Olympics sponsors put marketing plans into action

Corporate sponsors of the upcoming Rio Summer Olympics are using marketing to connect with audiences through the personal stories of athletes and their families. Remember 'Thank you, Mum' from the last Olympics? That was Procter and Gamble's memorable marketing idea, connecting with consumers on an emotional level by showing how mothers provide vital behind-the-scenes motivation for athletes. Here's a video about P&G's support from the Olympic sponsor page.

P&G doesn't just market the Olympics sponsorship under its corporate umbrella. Many of its billion-pound consumer brands will also have a tie-in campaign for the Rio summer games. 'One of the myths is that the Olympics is more of an image-building opportunity', P&G's brand director of Olympics & sports marketing said at a recent sports marketing conference. 'Over the last three [Olympic] games, we’ve seen how it is a business-building platform for brands'.

BMW, like many sponsors, is not only sponsoring Olympic teams, it's focusing its marketing efforts on selected athletes. For example, BMW is creating marketing communications to follow medal-contenders and up-and-comers alike on the Canadian team, including high-jumper Derek Drouin. Each athlete chosen for BMW's marketing treatment will receive a BMW to drive.

Visa International is a long-time Olympics sponsor with experience marketing its financial services in conjunction with sports sponsorships. This year, it teamed up with another sponsor, Swatch, to allow attendees in Rio to pay using a smartwatch app. Like so many other sponsors, Visa has its own roster of athletes that will be the face of its marketing efforts.

Watch for more marketing activities, especially social media marketing, in the weeks leading up to the opening of the Olympics.