Digital Marketing Digital is dead
We’re predicting 2015 is the year digital marketing dies. What do I mean by that? Well first and foremost we need to focus on the fundamentals of marketing. We also need to acknowledge that the new media world is different, more transparent. We need to have great products that are useful for our consumers. Consumers are looking for the complete package, and if you’re not delivering this they’ll find out. So take a leadership role and build the vision of where you want to go. In this new world consumers are always on, they’re connected, only one click away from writing a review, sharing their thoughts and opinions, or liking content. With well over 50 percent of internet traffic coming through mobile devices, we need to understand that consumers are always ready to respond so we need to work in a responsive, real-time basis. This does allow us unprecedented visibility of consumer opinion but we need to have an always-on focus to harness this. The move to being always-on is one of the biggest shifts that has occurred over the last few years, but we need to be moving to always-on campaigns. Taking an integrated digital approach means you can be testing and optimising campaigns in the market to maximise your results. Doing this, you can increase performance after a campaign launch by a factor of 50 to 200 percent. This is where an integrated approach to planning, creative and media really pays dividends.
Social Media can be used to drive conversations around persona pain points and promote your content offers in relevant groups and conversations. How well are you and your team connected into the places your personas hang out in?
Review your keywords – have you included terms your personas are using when they’re trying to find solutions to their pain points or during key stages in their buyer journeys?
Are you making the best use of the footer of your business email? This is an ideal place to put middle of the funnel content offers.
Your video may sell the sizzle, but does it ask for the order? Do you have the means for the visitor to act and take the next step in the buyer journey?
In the past, advertising agencies struggled to understand what was happening to their business and flailed around in the digital space allowing smart young entrepreneurs to found digital agencies to help lead clients to digital safety. But times have changed.
It will soon make no more sense to have a digital agency than to have a billboard agency or a radio agency. Almost every advertising agency works in digital as a matter of course and digital agencies are trying to close the void from the other side by increasingly claiming competency in traditional areas (generally with little evidence). This means that where digital agencies become as competent as traditional agencies in all areas they become a traditional agency.
Digital, or interactive, or online, or new media or cyber is not one beast. It is made up of a number of channels that have both enhanced and complicated our attempts to market our clients’ business to consumers. They require new skills and knowledge but not, I would suggest, complete technical mastery. Personally, I do not know how to code HTML but neither can I use Avid, Photoshop or a Red camera. I have no idea which buttons to press on a sound engineer’s desk, but I reckon I know enough to work together with someone who does to get the desired result. Shane from Franklin Road may disagree.
In 2013 I was invited to be the New Zealand judge on the Cyber (Digital) category at the Cannes ‘Festival of Creativity’. As one of the few non digitalagency jurors I felt as skittish as a cat at a dog show but I thought it a good opportunity to go undercover and see what differences there were between digital and advertising creatives.
After several days of arguing over idea, execution and when we should next have a coffee break, I think I’d avoided standing out as a digital luddite apart from my failure to laugh at in-jokes about flash animation and my insistence on shaving every other day. As a jury we chose two Grands Prix, one of which was a series of internet films called ‘The Beauty Inside’ for the clients Intel and Toshiba. I thought it was a great piece of work; a really clever idea that was innovative, technically interesting, relevant to the product and beautifully executed.
As we leant back in our excruciatingly painful conference centre chairs, basking in the haze of finally reaching a conclusion most people were happy with, I decided to do a little probing. I figured it was too late to throw me off the jury so I innocently suggested to my colleagues that the films we were judging as a cyber jury were being judged pretty much the same as the ones being judged down the hall by the film jury and they were being judged in the same way.
The basis for my argument was that consumers view any marketing content pretty much the same whether it be served to them via TV, their laptop, the cinema or their smart phone. i.e. the medium used has relatively little effect on the impact of the content shown, and if it was a great TV ad it would generally make a great online film and vice versa. In fact, the short format of TV ads could have been designed for internet viewers with their nervous goldfish attention spans. Therefore digital is not a fundamentally separate discipline, just one that needs adjustments of the craft that advertisers have been using for decades.
I steeled myself for an aggressive response and eyed up the exit. A quick sprint and a jump over the balcony and I would be safe in the tepid waters of the Mediterranean. However, somewhat to my surprise and, if honest, mild disappointment, my fellow jurors agreed that filmic content, whether for TV or online, was basically the same thing and we should stop behaving like they were different.
Further support came when two days later the 2013 Cannes Film Jury announced the winner of their own Grand Prix: The Beauty Inside for Intel and Toshiba.
So two juries, one of digital judges and one of advertising judges, had independently come to the same conclusion. The campaign may have been designed to work online yet it was created by an advertising agency, Pereira and O’Dell from San Francisco.
At the press conference my fellow judge James Hilton, founder of one of the world’s leading digital agencies, AKQA, noted: ‘We see films being voted for in Cyber - what this shows is digital is everywhere and
it’s kind of redundant to talk about things in terms of digital.’
Digital is not a weird adjunct for clovenhoved specialists. It is an integral part of what we do. We are all digitalists now. Let’s play nicely.
Listen in at ten past nine tomorrow morning for your chance to win $100,000 in cash.”
Yep, it’s radio survey period and the madness has begun. For many years now, the radio survey has been conducted twice a year, released in April (T1) and October (T2), which has resulted in heightened promotional activity from the radio stations with anything and everything thrown at attracting listeners.
But that is all about to change, hopefully for the good and the future of the industry. There will be no official T1 survey conducted in Q1 this year as agreed by the two large radio networks and independent stations. The T2 survey that runs August to September is planned to go ahead and will most likely act as a control measure for a potentially new radio audience measurement system.
MediaWorks announced pre-Christmas that it would be undertaking an independent review of the measurement system, citing the current technology as old and a need to remain relevant in an increasingly data-driven media landscape. Alternatively, NZME has embarked on their own review of the current measurement system and has also financed a T1 survey independently. It’s expected that the consultants employed by both radio networks will present their findings together.
Whilst Omnicom Media Group agencies applaud this well overdue review, it is a shame that the radio industry hasn’t worked more closely together to review and source new and improved methods of measurement from other markets. What is encouraging though is the speed at which the radio industry wants to move, with review findings presented back to the radio industry in Q1, hopefully resulting in consensus and swift action. The current diary system is dated and now carries little value for agencies. Radio programmers also crave a measurement system that is more accurate in order to gauge their performance in the market. Although we, as an industry, have grand ambitions to create robust measurement systems, we can’t lose sight of the size of our market and the limitations that come with a small market, namely capital investment. We don’t expect the radio industry to implement a bulletproof measurement system, as I don’t believe one exists.
However, a hybrid approach similar to other markets (UK and Australia) whereby a diary and online survey co-exist would be a good place to start. The survey needs to move away from a confined period and move towards a system similar to that employed by Radio NZ, which surveys across 40 weeks of the year (February-November). Recall would improve, which would result in data that is more accurate and reflective of radio consumption across the country.
Electronic measurement has been suggested as an alternative, however, this may be a leap too far for our market in the short-term, which could result in lower reported audiences during the transition period and a higher cost to implement. This would set the radio industry back after a buoyant few years in terms of ad revenue. Should the radio industry explore electronic measurement, there could be some upsides that are worthy of exploration, such as an audience currency similar to TV, accurate listening measurement via minute-by-minute audience data and more continuous data. Electronic measurement would be interesting and a step closer to programmatic radio trading, however, I believe a transition towards a weighted diary and online measurement system would best fit this market in the short-term. We would need to see the construct of the survey panel that is more representative across online and diary to capture better insights from which to plan and trade against.
The frequency of survey data releases would need to increase. In-depth quarterly presentations to the market at a minimum, but access to continuous data from an agency point of view would be ideal, especially now given the greater amount of data available to agencies.
How we measure audience engagement across platforms would present an opportunity for the likes of Pandora and Spotify to be considered within the survey and have a say in the future of radio measurement. From my point of view, they should be in partnership with the radio networks as part of this review. Digital radio is growing and the blurring of what radio actually represents will continue to be challenged. The ability to understand how consumers are engaging with radio brands and shows in social feeds would be an interesting addition to the new measurement system. Perhaps it’s not a short-term solution, but certainly a consideration for the future.
We now operate in a data-rich environment and media vendors must keep pace with the demands of our market and global market trends. We are excited by the review, which will hopefully lead to a more robust measurement system from which agencies can better understand and plan against radio audiences, providing more accuracy across the year. Let’s hope we see communication from the radio industry soon, outlining the future of radio audience measurement.
No doubt there’ll still be room for radio promotions.
Idon’t know about you, but everywhere I look lately I see the words ‘big data’, ‘content is king’, ‘social media is the new black’ and an infinite number of other generalisations about how our media consumption and behaviour is being moulded by technological innovations.
These innovations have taught us to speak in 140 characters or less, share what we’re having for dinner with a bunch of virtual strangers and consume pictures rather than words, preferably 45 seconds or less (thanks YouTube). In the process, they have also encouraged us to be always on, always connected and have led to a pandemic of that archetypal 21st century disease, FOMO.
‘But wait a minute,’ I hear you say, mag in one hand, laptop open and smartphone at the ready should someone urgently need to txt you. All this technology is a good thing, especially for marketers. We now have omni-channel opportunities to engage prospects and customers alike. We can connect and sell in so many different ways. It’s nirvana, isn’t it?
I don’t disagree. But when I look at my family and friends I see a very different picture. I see people trying to get on with life and working out ways to minimise the complications in their everyday environment, complications caused by the technological innovations aforementioned.
As consumers, each of us has the most powerful tools of all at our disposal: opposable thumbs and independent thought. With these tools we have the power to switch off, change over and delete. To my knowledge there hasn’t been a technology yet that can beat it.
My colleagues and I have been pondering this fact for some time now and it has become abundantly clear that content can only be king when it is accompanied by a well-thought-through strategy. The best content in the world is no good if no one sees it. It’s no good if they see it and don’t understand it. It’s no good if they watch it and don’t get it. Content needs to be timely, relevant and engaging. It needs to have a purpose and a place in the overall marketing mix. It needs to be developed as a result of a clear, well-thoughtthrough strategy and delivered through a comprehensive plan.
If we remember these three basic things we should all see better results: 1. R elevance. Is what you’re showing me and where you’re showing it to me relevant to me at that time (of the day, of the year, in my life). If not I will disengage immediately, and even worse I might publicly vilify your effort. This is not Field of Dreams. You cannot build it and hope that they will come; Kevin Costner will not save you. I cannot stress this point enough. Too many times really great content dies on the vine because all the energy and effort (budget) was spent on building and little effort was put towards disseminating to, or attracting the very people we want to see it and engage with it. 3. I t is not a set-and-forget world anymore, if it ever was. Optimise, optimise, optimise. Ensure you have allowed enough budget to watch the watchers, follow the stats and tweak, edit or completely withdraw – whatever is necessary. A recent conversation with a client made me think. We had produced some video content for them, which seemed to be working well. We had followed rules one and two above but there was still an issue. The data was showing us that the majority of views stopped at the same point in the video. On closer inspection this was more or less when the client’s logo appeared. Enter rule three.
As direct marketers it’s in our DNA to target, to find the people we want to talk to and at best have a one-to-one conversation. This is no easy task and I applaud the many brands out there that are working hard to better understand who their core market is and where they are. Some are even taking the time to build mechanisms to have meaningful value exchanges over a long period of time as they play the long game.
So I say yes to big data and yes to faster, better technology and yes to the power of the consumer to make choices. But it’s up to us to use the first two wisely if we wish the third to work in our favour.
Only a few years ago, apps were a new concept. Now they’re everywhere. And with businesses like Kiwi start-up Putti, which allows you to build your own app with no coding knowledge required, the market is only going to become more crowded. This raises some tricky issues when it comes to trademark protection.
Trademarks are badges of origin for your company’s goods or services. Trademark registration does not protect your software code or the function of your app, though some of these elements may attract copyright protection. Trademarks are the words, logos or other signs that indicate to consumers what your app is called, and where it came from.
When you prepare to launch a new app, regardless of the type of product or service it relates to, it’s always prudent to obtain an availability search from an IP expert. This will tell you what registered and unregistered trademarks are already in your market that could pose a risk to your use or registration of the proposed trademark.
Because of the global nature of apps, it can be difficult to assess these risks. This is because it is relatively easy to create an app, give it a name, and make it available worldwide on Google’s Play store or the Apple App Store. From that day forth, it will show up in search results for that title. On the face of it, if someone else has already created an app with the same name or icon you plan to use, this poses a potential legal risk.
If an app’s creator has attained a reputation in your country for the name, icon or other trademark they use for their app, then your use of the same or a similar trademark may confuse or deceive consumers, and you may be liable under the Fair Trading Act or common law. If the owner has registered their trademark in the country or countries where you intend to market your app, you may also be liable for trademark infringement.
The consequences of infringing someone else’s rights in their app can be severe. The leading app marketplaces have take-down procedures in place, meaning that if another trademark owner makes an allegation of infringement, your app might be removed from the marketplace very quickly. The owner of an infringed app could also seek an injunction or damages from you. If your app is your sole product, or a vital tool for your customers, this could be disastrous. Given how quickly apps can spread to consumers worldwide, the repercussions of having to change your name or trademark after launch should be avoided if at all possible.
But what if the owner of an existing app has not invested any time or money in promotion, and only a handful of consumers have ever downloaded the app – and none in your country of interest?
Without a valid trademark registration or a reputation in your market, the risk posed by such an app may be very low or non-existent. It’s important to know what rights you may have to defend yourself against an allegation of infringement. Obtaining trademark registration for your app name and any logos you intend to use is likely to strengthen your position, and will also make it easier to stop others using your trademarks in the future.
You also need to consider some of the unique constraints of apps. For instance, a customer’s first access to your app is likely to be on a small mobile screen, with its name compacted or abbreviated, and a small square for your icon. This reduces the opportunity to distinguish your brand by use of your usual house mark and brand get-up, and may increase the risk of confusion with similar names or icons.
The risks of launching a new app will be different for every business and can depend in part on whether the app is an extension of your existing business under a trademark for which you already have a reputation, or whether you are a new business for which the app is going to be your primary offering to consumers. In all cases, it is best to know the risks before you go in.