industry why they’re placing added emphasis on digital marketing, and you’re likely to hear the response, ‘That’s where the audience is’. And this sentiment is only becoming more defined as digital technology proliferates and becomes a bigger part of our lives.
We now have a generation born into this digital landscape and who will one day grow into the consumers that brands will rely on for profits.
Kate Thomas, a senior communications manager at Spark, says the average Kiwi company now spends over 20 percent of their marketing budgets on digital advertising and, if the latest IABNZ figures are anything to go by, then this cut is projected to be even bigger in 2015.
Already, there are some brands that are hedging even bigger bets on digital. Mitre 10 spends approximately 30 percent of its marketing budget on digital, while Spark subsidiary Big Bipe puts all its chips on the channel, with the sole goal of attracting the coveted millennial audience
Another major fan of the digital channel is Tourism New Zealand. “Over the past five years, Tourism New Zealand has increased the proportion of its campaign budget spent in digital from 10-15 percent to 70-75 percent,” says the organisation’s director of marketing Andrew Fraser.
“Instead of producing work that appeals to a broad consumer base via traditional media, digital media provides the best opportunity to reach and motivate potential visitors who are actively considering New Zealand more efficiently.”
This ability to target specific consumers when viewed alongside the measurability of the channel gives brands the potential not only to send their marketing messages directly to specific clients but also to gauge how effective the campaign was.
But these advantages also come with risk, in that a marketing mistake might be subject to immediate lampooning on social media. And no amount of PR puffery can coat over the annoyance of customers publicly sharing their revile at an imprudent Tweet, a chauvinistic ad or a bad in-store experience.
So significant is the impact of social media on business image that Thomas recently announced that the rebranded telco would be appointing a team of four social media experts to consolidate its capabilities in this area. “We are starting to think of everything as being socially driven,” she says.
Such shifts in business strategy mean the role played by creative advertising agencies has evolved in a way that places pronounced emphasis on digital skills. These days, if an agency doesn’t have the prowess to execute effectively in the digital channel it could be construed as a major flaw in terms what it offers to clients. Alternatively, if an agency has earned its digital stripes and proven itself adept in the channel, this could be enough to convince the client to dig a little deeper and maybe shift a few more dollars into the campaign.
agency Cucumber’s Digital General Manager, Clare Swallow, says today’s myriad of technology choices can be overwhelming to marketers. Compounding this, the fastevolving IT landscape is matched only by tech-savvy customers seeking more from their interactions with businesses. They expect an authentic ‘experience’ – the more personalised, the more impact. ‘Big data’ is key to finding out what these customers want, in order to provide this experience. Data also helps drive critical business decision-making around marketing strategies.
“Once we have this core data, we can use robust, agile IT platforms and methodologies to deliver solutions and campaigns that speak to individuals, not groups. Customers expect interactions to be integrated and seamless. Gone are the days when a separate mobile, social or website strategy was developed or a one-size-fits-all approach applied.”
Traditionally, marketers focused more on pushing product and services and often used competitors as benchmarks. This no longer cuts it – marketers now need to ‘add value’ to the customer’s purchasing experience.
“With tools like Kentico and Sitecore, integrated with Salesforce, or Microsoft Dynamics, we can tap into the customer’s behaviour in real-time and respond accordingly. This increases conversion to business goal, while improving customer experiences, and providing all-in-one solutions for marketers.” Cucumber proves this holistic approach to marketing and investment in technology works. In partnership with Trustpower, Cucumber recently won the ROI Award and the Retail, Wholesale and Consumer Goods Award at the 2014 Sitecore Experience Awards for Australia
and New Zealand. Cucumber developed a website that ensures a customer’s experience is personalised at every online ‘touchpoint’, at any time, on any device.
The responsive design has seen an increase in customer acquisition, customers adopting more service lines and a reduction in customer churn.
“Simply put, we utilised the technology to bring all of the ‘touchpoints’ for the customer to a central, very personalised point. By making things more relevant we have increased the connection consumers have with the brand in their always on world” Looking ahead, Swallow says marketers should start investing in technology solutions around growing channels such as video – an increasingly cost-effective, personal engagement tool.
Another hot opportunity is in the mobile space. For example, New Zealand is only starting to come to grips with mobile marketing. Over here, $1 in every $50 of marketing spend is on mobile. In the UK this is $1 in every $5. Swallow expects this will change as the return becomes more obvious and the skillset more available.
“Technology has opened up so many opportunities for marketers. But our dynamic field means we are also faced with the challenge of more change, competition and higher demand than ever before. But by investing in IT, marketers will ensure that technology is used to help us bind both the creative and analytical components of marketing to authentically and ‘personally’ connect with people.”
media for those behaviours that drive business goals and grow brand value. For Slingshot, for example, we’re using incremental conversation rate optimisation to grow web sign-ups by as much as eight percent per month. A Gladeye is a cocktail invented in the 1920s. Heavy on absinthe, it’s an acquired taste and it might make you blind, but there’s a metaphor to be had in the mix of ingredients that come together to make a cohesive whole: great results in digital come from a convergence of creative, technology and networks. It no longer makes sense to keep these skills in different buildings.
Digital creatives should be creative technologists. Innovation needs experimentation, and that makes working prototypes built by developers an essential part of the creative process. Contrary to popular belief, code is creative. It’s only when visual designers attempt to precisely map out an experience as storyboards of still images that they deprive programmers of the opportunity to invent, and limit the scope to what’s already been done. Involving creative geeks in the process from the outset results in the right tools and platforms and often a recombination of technologies that itself creates something new and exciting.
Media is a crucial part of this mix. The best digital media is inseparable from the creative message it promotes. It can amplify shared experiences and turn social interactions into the carriers of brand messages. It can programmatically target high value customers and can tailor an experience to a group as small as one. It can contextually respond to the world around it, and can dynamically adjust to the increasingly diverse technical, social, time and place contexts of networked media channels.
A recent mobile game campaign for Vodafone involved the blend of all these elements. We incorporated live wind conditions on Manukau Harbour right into the game, making it exciting and keeping the conversation live and relevant. But the true innovation was to use that same live wind variable to dynamically adjust programmatic media spend on the fly, automatically running more mobile ads when the wind was high and players had a better chance at a high score, and fewer ads when the wind dropped. The blend of smart technology, media and creative delivered campaign results 44 times beyond targets, a result that would not have been possible if media weren’t tightly integrated into the creative and development process from the outset.
To evolve and grow in the new digital landscape, brands need to keep innovating and experimenting with an integrated mix of technology, storytelling and media channels, because the sum is always greater than its parts.
• Digital strategists
• Digital analysts
• Digital account servicing at all levels
• Digital producers
• Digital media directors
• SEO/SEM specialists
• UX/UI consultants and designers
• Digital designers
• Digital project managers
• Digital content managers
• Head of social media
• Digital art directors
• Digital planners
• Performance marketing
• Programmatic managers
• Ecommerce managers But these only tell the story of the present. What of the future? Online publication Futurespeaker.com recently speculated on some of the jobs that will exist before 2020. Here are five: Specialists will add digital augmentations to the structures of our homes.
Meanwhile, across the Tasman, the DOOH market has surged, with revenue around AU$113 million last year representing 19 percent of all OOH revenue.
Animating the static
The growing trend of digital billboards— and the potential they bring—is dominating the OOH conversation these days. And, as has also been seen in mobile industry, the size of the screens is increasing with progressions in technology. And while the Kiwi market hasn’t yet been treated to anything quite as jaw-dropping as the block-long, eight-storey-high, size-of-afootball-field behemoth that was turned on in Times Square shortly before Christmas, APN Outdoor’s new 94 m2 outdoor screen (it’s named Apollo after the Greek God of light), is also pretty formidible.
“We thought it deserved a special moniker due to its size and shape, technical superiority and landmark qualities,” explains Phil Clemas, APN Outdoor general manager for New Zealand.
Since 2012, APN Outdoor has been leading the charge to large format digital. “Digital adds new dynamism to the strengths of traditional billboard advertising by allowing multiple content changes and immediacy, making it easier for brands to be more relevant to their target audiences,” says Clemas.
It’s becoming more affordable for operators and advertisers, says Clemas. As more operators expand their portfolios the cost of technology is reducing and with shorter cycles than traditional billboards, and the opportunity to share the media investment across multiple brands and products, overall campaigns are more cost-effective. “Also, the ease in which content can change and be scheduled makes DOOH suddenly more relevant to ad categories like retail and FMCG,” he says.
“We’ve rolled out the most advanced outdoor LED technology available anywhere and it will remain extremely capable for several years to come. Advertisers will only be limited by council consent conditions, available budgets and their imaginations.”
The flexibility of DOOH isn’t limited to APN Outdoor. Cameron Taylor, the general manger of oOh! Media New Zealand, also sees digital technology evolving the way advertisers interact with passersby.
“OOH advertising [allows] advertisers incredible flexibility to run short, targeted, interactive campaigns that engage shoppers in centres, change advertising messages according to the time of day or the weather, and run interactive competitions,” he says.
“Digital is a major focus of our business here in 2015. We’ve already started upgrading our inventory to state-ofthe-art 70-inch digital screens, which adds to our network of 500 shopalites across our 25 shopping centres.”
And, he says, while OOH once had fixed posting cycles, they’re now able to offer advertisers a flexible, dynamic solution that takes advantage of OOH’s ability to simultaneously reach a range of audiences. “We can expect to see more companies using DOOH in the same way,” says Taylor.
Adshel’s Nick Vile is also talking change: “I don’t think it’s any secret that we’re working on a project to digitise some of our existing street furniture assets, turning them from static display opportunities to digital out-of-home opportunities.” He’s not saying how or when or where, but it’s an investment that will allow advertising ‘in the now’, targeting audiences at a time and place that’s relevant to them.
More than a glow
Giant and fancy billboards may make news but, as Luke Irving at Fingermark Digital Technologies points out, DOOH is about
creative,” says Taylor. “That’s the challenge the industry needs to remain focused on.”
Fortunately, according to Young & Shand account director Dan Maas, there isn’t a shortage of opportunity to bring the content to life. “You can personalise, be re-active, have direct interaction with consumers and integrate connective technology,” says Maas. “The big plus with DOOH is flexibility. Swapping out creative in real-time based on a phased campaign, or better yet, adjusted in reaction to something topical or to conversations in your social communities.”
Adshel’s recently launched Connect is enabling brands to engage with their target audience via smartphone technology, says Vile. “The technology allows advertisers to easily integrate mobile into their campaigns using the permanent NFC tags and QR codes placed on top of 750 pedestrian focused panels in our nationwide network.”
But interaction with digital devices will only happen if consumers are aware that the screen is not just an electronic poster, warns iSEE Digital TV’s managing director Warren Sinclair. “And it’s got to be done right or you’re simply adding to the clutter in store.”
iSEE’s network of screens covers locations across the country—Kaitaia to Invercargill—allowing for individual granularity of display media. They can deliver an uplift in sales of 40 percent plus for products available in-store, and prompt brand awareness of around 19 percent, says Sinclair, all for as little as two cents per play versus thousands on traditional media. “These are very real figures,” he says.
“We have screens in selected fuel locations and reports show 40 to 50 people a day asking for the stuff that’s on screen.” Being creative with the creative is essential, he says, “otherwise consumers end up suffering banner blindness. They won’t see it.”
At OGGI Digital Gordon Frykberg was something of a DOOH pioneer in this country. He’s moved on and recently announced the launch of Tower TV, a new joint venture with Val Morgan Outdoor Australia. Currently in the process of rolling out their first locations as part of a digital media network with screens located in the foyer and lift surround environment of office buildings and complexes, their objective is to be in 50 to 60 locations with as many as 250 screens by the year’s end.
Tower TV’s advertising is wrapped around informative and engaging content; weather, news and sport updates, time, stock market and financial updates plus business leader Twitter feeds research has shown people want to see.
“We’ve unashamedly borrowed the very best from similar networks overseas and we’re absolutely confident we have a unique model able to deliver a powerful media footprint,” says Frykberg. “We’ll also be delivering meaningful research through our exclusive DART measurement system, already operating in Australia.”