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.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Researching most trusted brands

Every year, Reader's Digest works with marketing researchers to survey consumers in various parts of the world about the brands they most trust.

In its introduction to the 2016 report about trusted brands in Asia, Reader's Digest wrote:
A trusted brand enjoys international appeal, yet at the same time upholds a strong local connection. It has individual relevance for all its consumers, just about anywhere and in any culture.
Conducting research about trusted brands in Canada, Reader's Digest reported the top brands within product categories, with some winners being Canadian brands and some global brands, such as:
  • Most trusted cereal: Kellogg's (global brand)
  • Most trusted smartphone: Apple (global brand)
  • Most trusted pharmacy: Shoppers Drug Mart (Canadian brand)
In New Zealand, Reader's Digest reported the top brands within product categories, again a mix of global and national brands, such as:
  • Most trusted bank: Kiwi Bank (New Zealand brand)
  • Most trusted car rental firm: Hertz (global brand)
  • Most trusted car brand: Toyota (global brand)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Pop-up shops boost brands, test products, target customers

Pop-up shops are increasingly popular. Some pop-ups test interest in certain merchandise or new products. Others are opened for short-term promotion of brands amongst targeted customers.

Pop-ups don't always sell merchandise...sometimes they're focused on bringing the brand experience to life for a limited period in a targeted location.
Not only are pop-ups temporary, they can also be located or relocated to specific areas where target customers live, work, shop or enjoy leisure activities like sports and concerts.

Here are a few recent examples of UK pop-ups:
  • Kanye West opened pop-ups in London and elsewhere to promote his current album.
  • Morrissey opened a pop-up in the Salford Lads Club when he appeared at Manchester Arena.
  • A dance teacher opened the Ballet Box in Westmorland to dance apparel.
  • Insert Coin opened a London popup to promote its new line of Pokémon apparel.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Small Business Saturday plans 100 days of marketing

From 26 August, #SmallBizSatUk is beginning 100 days of marketing on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, plus LinkedIn and widespread mainstream publicity. The goals: to increase awareness among UK shoppers of the benefits of supporting small businesses, to introduce small businesses to a wider audience and to encourage purchasing from small businesses on 3 December 2016.

Small Business Saturday was originally founded by the global financial services firm American Express. The UK group is now independent, operated by Small Is Big CIC to promote small businesses all year.

Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has been growing in awareness and participation. In 2015, customers spent £623 million buying from small UK businesses on Small Business Saturday.

This year, 100 small businesses will be featured in the weeks leading up to 3 December, giving each the opportunity for higher awareness and positive brand associations. In turn, each small business can leverage this opportunity for more local recognition and specific promotions targeting its customers, using tips and tools provided by Small Business Saturday UK. 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Lots of interest in marketing with Pinterest

Lots of brands are using Pinterest as part of broader-based social media marketing campaigns designed to reinforce brand image, build buzz for new products, expand their audiences and stimulate purchasing.

Pinterest is doing its part to support brand marketing through shopping buttons and boards, Promoted Pins and other marketing techniques that engage consumers. In fact, more than 1,000 brands signed up for Pinterest UK's Promoted Pins just weeks after this promotional opportunity was introduced.

So who's marketing with Pinterest? Here are just 3 of the many brands:
  • Burberry. One of the most social-media-savvy brands on the planet, Burberry has a new Cat Lashes mascara Pinterest campaign. Burberry's Pinterest page has nearly 180k followers.
  • Based in London, Made-dot-com has Pinterest boards with more than 24k followers. It uses Promoted Pins, knowing that consumers who pin furniture and other products are often ready to actually make a purchase.
  • L'Oreal. The global beauty products marketer studied one of its Pinterest video campaigns and found buying intentions increased by 31%.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Top adverts have heart

In marketing communications, facts can be less persuasive than emotion, as the 'top adverts' lists suggest.

Take a look at Adweek's 'ad of the day' and you'll see many adverts that appeal through humour, inspiration and heart-warming emotions. For example, here's an uplifting Samsung advert created to celebrate the Rio Olympics.

Read what Campaign says about the emotion-driven adverts so many brands are producing for the Rio Olympics. Human truths over product features is one of the phrases that stands out in Campaign's analysis. In other words, consider emotional appeals rather than rational appeals for certain adverts and campaigns.

Also look at the Best ads on TV site, where fun, inspiration and other emotional appeals are often showcased in the featured adverts.

When Campaign selected the best Easter 2016 adverts, its picks included lots of humour to stand out from the crowd. It also liked the all-chocolate 'pop-up' bar that Carlsberg beer established temporarily during the Easter season--playing on the love of chocolate.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Same-day delivery: marketing battleground for retailers

Sainsbury's recently announced it would offer same-day delivery of groceries ordered by noon. This is one of the ways the supermarket giant is battling aggressive competition from Amazon and no-frills discounters like Aldi. Sainsbury's is also proceeding with its acquisition of Argos, which itself offers same-day delivery or collection of toys and other products.

Amazon is offering same-day grocery delivery in London (in partnership with Morrisons for certain private brands). Whether delivered by drone in the future, as shown above, or not, Amazon Fresh promises Prime members that orders placed before the cutoff time will be at the customer's door by evening.

Rivals Aldi and Lidl are feeling the challenge of Brexit's impact on currency fluctuations. Because both Aldi and Lidl source many products from EU suppliers, the UK stores have to deal with higher costs when the pound sterling is low--and higher costs cut into already thin profit margins. For Sainsbury's and other UK-based retailers, however, this may present an opportunity to press price war advantages.

Meanwhile, speedy delivery is a niche being explored by startups such as Convibo, which offers one-hour delivery of grocery orders from London retailers such as Whole Foods and Waitrose. How much demand exists for one-hour delivery, compared with same-day delivery, is unclear--but this startup is a good example of distribution in general and service in particular as key points of differentiation.