Saturday, 23 March 2013

Why WOM is more important than ever

We all know consumer's are becoming more aware of the effects of advertising but as marketers how do we react to this? I believe the traditional communication of Word-Of-Mouth is more important than ever before. However, there is a clear need to integrate and utilise the offering of online tools. 

Facebook is a great example of harnising this through its sponsored stories application that they have been using for a couple of years now. A recent report on Mashable has shown that 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends and family whereas only 10% trust advertising. This highlights the importance to engage with your customers and concentrate on current consumer satisfaction, especially relevant in industries where brand loyalty is weak such as the confectionery market. A knock-on effect of focusing on this will mean that consumers' perceptions of your brand are more likely to be positive and with the right incentive they will share these with their friends.

The next important step would be to involve the brand on more platforms such as social media networks in order to harness the sentiment being said about your brand. Having a voice online means that you can monitor, contribute and encourage more being said about your brand. On a final note, this allows your brand to create a strategy around UGC that can offer a more authentic voice, which as it says above is more important than ever.

How do you think a brand could utilise WOM and OWOM better? Let me know at @nickwilliamgale on Twitter

Friday, 22 March 2013

Guest Blog: Is 'Big Data' a big deal?

This is a first, my first guest blogger and an important subject needing covered, Big Data. It is written from the perspective of an International Relations graduate with relevant links for further reading.

My following of recent US political campaigns isn't just out of an interest in US politics. Its also because these campaigns, particularly the innovative Obama for America campaigns, have in some ways been interesting barometers for new trends in marketing communication and how businesses use technology as a whole.

After President Obama successfully won re-election in 2012, there was a wave of media coverage suggesting this was really a victory for Big Data [1, 2, 3]. The campaign had used data to revolutionize online fundraising, the targeting of television of digital advertisements and had found a way to produce models of voters that allowed a better honing of phone-calls, direct mailings and social media. This was partly possible because the Obama campaign had created a huge new system that merged information from previously separate databases, such as polling information, data from fundraising, data from field-workers, consumer databases and also data gathered from social media. This subsequently allowed the campaign to gain a better perception of what kind of message would appeal to different variations of voters [1].

There are signs that using data in this way to gain new insights in business has become an increasing trend; the new IBM CEO discussing how technology will transform business has stated that it will better allow companies to make more objective calls [4]. Mashable have also predicted that Big Data will become a key part of services offered by digital agencies in order to maintain competitive advantage [5]. So to business studies and/or marketing management students out there, and anyone else with an interest, big data is definitely something worth researching in your spare time, as the current generation of students intending on going into marketing will likely be dealing with it to a greater extent than industry currently is today.

Links are as follows:

What role do you think 'Big Data' has in the marketing world? contact via Twitter to let me know @nickwilliamgale

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Natwest "Thing called Love" TV ad: My thoughts

The new Natwest ad entitled "Thing called Love" depicts a relationship between father and daughter, dramatising the father's sacrifices he makes while she grows up. This ad follows on from a new wave of banking ads trying to alter the negative perceptions consumers' have of their ethics and hard line corporate identity. Barclays brought out a very similar ad in January with the same storyline. 

However, looking at the advertisement itself, I think its brilliant! The agency employed (M&C Saatchi) uses nostalgia, family themes and humour to promote Natwest's e-ISA savings product. The target audience is directed towards an older demographic who have some extra disposable income to save but have other commitments also to think about, in this case, children, which brings about many costly surprises. The ad cleverly demonstrates the ease of altering account details, transfering money and its accessability on mobile.

What I like most about this ad is the way M&C Saatchi have positioned a product that is usually sold in unimaginative and boring ways by many banks. What I feel is important is that Natwest continue this fatherhood/family themed image into their other communications with this product as many banks come across as too corporate and dijointed in their branches.

This new wave of humours ads have changed my opinion of banks in terms of their flexibility of marketing themselves but I feel it will take a more time to alter the current damaged customer perceptions of them.

What do you think of this ad? Do you prefer the Barclays one? Let me know @nickwilliamgale 

Man's best friend is a...Samsung Galaxy S4?

Samsung are about to launch their latest attack on the highly competitive, fast developing mobile communications industry with its new weapon, the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, what seems most interesting is not the new specs they have added but how they are marketing it as a consumer's "life campanion".

Many have been disappointed with the offerings of the released upgrade with some asking, is it enough? Samsung, on the other hand are not so withdrawn, apparently injecting an estimated $150m on the launch, exceeding Apple's $108m spent on the Iphone 5. The tag line is to be marketed to try and "improve consumer's quality of life". I feel this is a bit of an exaggeration, whereas a more modest marketing slogan may be more aligned with the Samsung brand.

Marketing Week claim there to be four areas the campaign will be leveraged on including: Togetherness, Meaningful moments, Simplifying everyday tasks and Health. We will have to wait and see what the next 12 months bring Samsung but I'm not so sure it will be as successful as its predecessor's last year. This especially with fierce competition from the Blackberry Z10 and the soon to be released Iphones5.

What do you think? Let me know via Twitter @nickwilliamgale

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Which brand is missing a trick?


Brand loyalty in the tourism sector is poor. Thomas Cook is one of many brands that isn’t capitalising on this. They could do so by developing a more robust CRM model. Currently the brand underutilises social and other digital platforms. I believe offering more personalised communications through an IMC strategy, would benefit the brand. People book holidays on reviews, price, availability and ease. Factor these into a model and a long term relationship can start to be built between brand and consumer by applying Gamification traits. Instead of using social as a sales mechanism, Thomas Cook needs to realise the demand for a more ‘involved service’. Aspects could be: Reward customer holiday reviews on shared media (social); offer a utility list customers can use when purchasing holiday stuff (mobile); App containing current exchange rates, countdown to flight departure and texts to remind them to have their passport. Also, direct mail could be used to purchase more activities. 


What brand do you think is missing a trick? Do you agree? Let me know on Twitter via @nickwilliamgale 

Why Lemons are better than a whole fruit basket: VW 'Lemon' Ad (1960's)

I have chosen a campaign that shows originality, humour and simplicity in the rawest of forms. The advert in particular is the VW advert entitled 'Lemon', which DDB New York created in the 1960's. Being the first advertising form to bare its brittle bones of honesty to the public was revolutionary. No previous campaign had projected such morality to its target audience and was proud to do so. The ad pictures the car and a description of its scrutinised journey from production to market. It didn't shout over other models or sell 'corporate lies' of dramatic lifestyle changes consumers might experience along with its purchase, it simply offered a reliable, truthful and quirky car that consumers could relate to. I believe this was effective as it commandeered a place in post-war hearts of consumers looking for an area of comfort in their lives. Many argue this sparked a 'golden era' in advertising where others followed in VW's steps. This emphasises the impact it had on society but also the advertising world. Similarities can be drawn today from Tesco Mobile adverts and how they position themselves against the Cadillacs of the mobile industry with their message of simplicity.   

Possibly one of the greatest ads of its time? What do you think? Contact me on Twitter @nickwilliamgale

Sunday, 2 December 2012

How Yorkie's new campaign could be more successful

I'm writing this in light of a previous post I wrote about what I liked about the new "Man Fuel for Man Stuff" Campaign by Yorkie as I feel some changes would improve it.

Firstly, in order for Yorkie's new campaign to be successful, I believe an IMC approach is vital for them to adopt, if they are to connect with their target audiences. The digital revolution has emphasised the importance for marketers to offer an online presence as well as an offline one, especially for FMCG goods with low loyalty. The 2.0 era that Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social networking sites have created have changed the way brands have to communicate with their audiences. Therefore, I feel a presence to boost their current social platforms is needed. In alignment with their current ‘man fuel for man stuff’ slogan I feel the following medias are just a few that could be used:

Social Media: ‘Low involvement’ brands need to create a voice on shared media through UGC. Yorkie’s fans upload images/videos/evidence of their everyday achievements, amplifying these would complement the TV ad through Twitter hashtags Facebook competitions, Pinterest Boards.

Magazine/Newspaper: Target Audience fits the demographic that also can be found in the likes of The Sun, Nuts, Stuff, FHM.

Packaging: Using a QR code on the packet to link through to Facebook page- drives engagement

Mobile: Location-based promotions at football matches to drive sales