Category Archives: Marketing Insights

Tips and trends from realms of marketing

It’s About The Content Experience

Congratulations to Macleay College lecturer Zeina Khodr for her recent publication in  B&T Magazine. In her opinion piece (below) Zeina recaps her recent visit to the 8th Content Marketing World Conference in Cleveland and discusses why marketers need to think beyond ‘marketing’ their ‘content’.

 

jwt

F#*K content marketing, it’s about the content experience.

This isn’t me making a statement – it was emblazoned on a stand in the expo hall, but it’s a statement that resonates.

In fact, I even Instagrammed it.

For the second year running, I made the long-haul to Cleveland to attend the 8thContent Marketing World 2018.

I’m amongst over 4,000 marketers in attendance and immersed in the content game, and it seems the conference has moved past its own name because I realise pretty quickly it’s no longer just about content marketing.

This content gig is getting harder to do, and harder to do right.

Over the last few days I’ve spent some time kicking the tyres of AI-driven content, sitting in on a hardcore AI masterclass learning how to use R and Python, wading through spreadsheets of social sentiments and navigating IBM Watson.

I know for sure what many of us have long felt creeping up – our creativity, no matter how brilliant, can only get us so far anymore.

We need to marry that with data and insights, and get ourselves sorted in these respects damn quickly if we want to keep up and cut through.

AI is still something that gives people the creeps, and marketers are still navigating ways around this.

Most are not prepared for how big a game changer this is going to be, and understand very little about the impact AI will have on their business as a whole, let alone their marketing.

This year, the newest addition to the conference program focused on tech, platforms and data.

In fact, you would have felt right at home if you were a data-scientist and probably a little out of your depth if you were a straight-up creative.

Conversational Marketing made its debut but is still in its early phases.

We’re rapidly moving from the era of ‘search’ to the era of ‘ask’.

Figuring out how to take your SEO-driven and optimized content and make it relevant for conversational marketing is still a far-off reality for most marketers.

But the rise of voice-assistants and the proliferation of voice, in general, will bring this to a head. Need to unlock an Alexa skill for your brand?

Emerging megatrends had a strong presence in the conference content and expo hall – it was all about AI (yes it’s a big category), Immersive Experience (AR) and digital platforms. Yet the biggest surprise was perhaps the slight reluctance of content creators and marketers to deep dive. Most of the breakout sessions had a smattering of attendees while long lines formed for the intro sessions. The sentiment was that this stuff is hard, complex and most are still wrapping their heads around it, and will likely need to get their digital peeps on board.

My fellow Aussie, Natalie Giddings from The Remarkables presented an excellent session on Influencer Marketing with standing room only. So yeah, marketers are still grappling with some of the fundamentals.

My feelings on this? You can’t expect your creatives (the marketers and content creators) to become experts on this stuff overnight.

They’re right to feel overwhelmed – it is new territory, complex and difficult. But you do have a duty to help them grapple with what the industry is facing and form tighter alignment between digital and creative teams to give them the insights that will help them navigate this new landscape.

If you don’t work to bring them up to speed, you do them a disservice and risk them being left behind as the industry moves on, and you will be unable to provide a service to your clients that is cutting-edge and forward thinking.

With proliferating customer touch-points, what marketers should most care about is consistency across all channels and the content experience their users have at every point along the brand journey.

Whether you’re an insurance company or an FMCG brand, creating and managing content is a team sport and no longer the realm of clever content creators and storytelling.

Having just written the Digital Content Writing course for Macleay College and in the early stages of mapping out a Masterclass for Content Marketers for the Australian Marketing Institute, I’ll be rethinking some of the materials but knowing the fundamentals don’t change.

You absolutely have to focus on the audience and make it meaningful, but you also need to push your ideas forward and explore, with confidence and credibility, the new technologies available to you if you want the delivery of your ideas to remain interesting, relevant and most critically create curiosity.

So yeah, F#*K content marketing.

And remember that the universal truth still remains – whatever bit of ‘content’ you’re ‘marketing’, focus on the content and audience experience and make it meaningful. Audience attention can’t be bought, it’s earned over time.

This is a long game.

 

jwt
By Zeina Khodr
Content Writing Lecturer, Advertising & Media

This article was originally published by B&T Magazine on 12 September, 2018.

Welcome To The World Of The Individual

Demographics Are Dead: Welcome To The World Of The Individual 

Since the mid 20th Century, consumer targeting meant broadcasting out to a specific group of people based on gender, age, and location. Yet in 2017, data collection is far more intricate, and those brackets that we use to define and group people are now far too broad. Is it time for communicators to stop generalising markets, and shift our focus to the individual?

People no longer define themselves within one set of beliefs in the way we did 30 years ago. We have evolved to accept every facet of our personalities, and have multiple defining characteristics beyond our ethnic background, location, religious beliefs or even age. The only way to successfully market to the people of the future, is to get to know them beyond basic demographics and look further into their personality type, habits, and opinions.

Only a few years ago, people began to grow extremely uncomfortable with the amount of data that platforms, such as a Facebook, had on them. Yet it seems more and more widely accepted now that we all carry a complex digital footprint, and in that footprint is everything any brand needs to know about us. Many successful brands follow people on their daily interactions with digital media – from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to sleep. Marketing to the individual based on their digital data is a guaranteed way to increase brand awareness, whether your audience likes it or not. This retargeting model and its breach on privacy is another conversation, but we need acknowledge that when it comes to brand awareness, this method of individual marketing is a stepping stone in getting to know your consumer.

You’re probably thinking that this method of individual consumer targeting can’t possibly work for every brand – and you’re right. Keep in mind that data is power. Not all brands need social media and retargeting to reach their consumer, but all brands do need that vital information on their audience. Think about it in terms of the friends you have on Facebook; you may have never met someone, but based on their daily Facebook activity clogging your newsfeed, you can probably tell exactly what, why, and when they’d buy. Yet from a marketing perspective, this person is probably defined as ’50-65, woman, Eastern Suburbs’.

Let’s get personal. Look beyond classic defining characteristics and get to know your consumer on a deeper level. Consumers are getting smarter, so if we can respect our consumer as an individual with distinctive opinions and beliefs, then we can build a trusting relationship between brand and audience. (Even if achieving that personal relationship means digging deep in data).

By Keira Scurry (Bachelor of Advertising and Media student)

What is this trickery called retargeting? Is it effective?

Remember when you were in the market for a fresh pair of kicks or a new top to impress that not so special someone on your recently memorable for all the wrong reasons tinder date? You jumped onto ASOS and when overwhelmed with the choices thought “Fuck it I’ll look later.”. No? Well, facebook sure seems to think you did. Next thing you know your sitting in class, at work, on the train and you stumble your way online only to see banner ads from ASOS for the exact category you were perusing. Creepy. But hey no harm no foul you shrug it off right? And that weekend you’re out shopping with friends and low and behold find that perfect pair of shoes, tie, whatever, no need to keep looking but that’s not what Facebook thinks…next thing you know all you see for the next few weeks are ads for shoes over and over again to the point of irrational anger. Or is it rational?

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This is just one example of how technology is influencing advertisement and is more commonly known as ‘Adtech’. The example above highlights one of the most notorious forms of Adtech called retargeting where it roughly works like this; a website uses cookie-based technology that uses javascript code to follow those who visit the page around the rest of the web. This is done so anonymously and is done so in a way that the ad will only target those who have visited the said website. The purpose of this, of course, is so that even though Bob didn’t make it all the way to the ‘check out’, maybe he got distracted or something came up, brands and websites can subtly remind Bob about the new ultra shiny garden hose reel and other similar categorical items and hey, maybe Bob will complete the purchase at a later time and think fondly about that website.

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But is this ethical? Is Bob only buying that hose reel because he kept seeing images of it everywhere he went and now only bought it based on one initial passing thought, turned action off of subliminal advertising? More and more consumers are becoming irritated and fed up with the constant feed of adverts in their lives opting for web browser extensions that block all ads and it even caused big companies like Apple to start building these types of ad blockers into their own web browsers which have then been used as part of a selling point of their products. Innovations in technology have brought about a lot of new and amazing streams in which the advertising industry can play with but is the industry just being lazy?

The term ‘brand engagement’ is thrown around a lot these days where big brands want consumers to ‘engage’ with them but tactics like retargeting has had the exact opposite effect where consumers are actively trying to disengage with brands and ads so they can have a moment of peace from the bombardment of products and services shoved down their eyeballs. If you rely heavily on retargeting your potential consumers for your products and or services are you even offering anything of worth? Perhaps its time to think more creatively and do something that has consumers wanting to engage with your website and or brand.

By Lachlan Burdis (Bachelor of Advertising and Media student)

3 great ads I had nothing to do with!

In the tradition of the popular Thinkbox series of shorts that explore some of the greatest TV advertisements in the company of leading Creatives ‘who know a thing or two about making them’, I’ve decided to put forward my own three choices of great advertisements that I had nothing to do with. Now, I’m no Chief Creative Officer of a huge agency, but I feel like I still know a good ad from a bad one. So here goes.

In the age of digital television recorders, advertisement skipping, product placement, overlay ads, Google and pretty much the internet in general, making a TVC stand out above the rest has become tough. Attention spans have shortened, and the point now is to make a TVC that instantly grabs attention and is genuinely engaging. I’ve selected three TVCs that have recently inspired me in my journey through studying advertising; brilliant commercials, old and new, that I admire. (Oh and by the way, if you’ve never heard of it, check out advert.ge on Facebook – absolutely brilliant page constantly posting great TVC’s from around the globe.)

Ad #1: It’s now or never.

As the rest of the world runs for their lives and civilization crumbles around them, the bar-goers enjoy their last moments together and make the most of theirs. The bartender pours shots of Cuervo, a man plays Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never” on the jukebox and couples tango while destruction around them ensues, because as for these brave souls; ‘tomorrow is overrated’.

The coolness factor is stratospheric here. CP+B’s campaign, directed by Ringan Ledwidge, features stunning visuals and uses an end-of-days scenario in charming fashion as a metaphor for living in the moment. The Elvis ballad, which was the second best-selling single of his career, is conceptually perfect and cuts right through the mayhem. The end tagline, “Tomorrow Is Overrated,” is a fun way to highlight tequila’s reputation as a liquor that can lead to unparalleled nights of abandon – and a way to emphasize the primacy of now in times of uncertainty.

Ad #2: Only time.

Who would have thought that more than 85 million people would watch the Muscles from Brussels doing his signature split with two Volvo trucks moving in reverse on a highway, backed by Enya’s “Only Time”? Volvo knew.

Directed by Andreas Nilsson, Volvo filmed the short on a runway in Spain in one take after three days of rehearsals. The short was, at the time, the latest in a series of videos Volvo used to promote how easy it was, and is, to steer its new high-tech big rigs – others have featured a woman walking a tightrope between to moving trucks heading toward a tunnel and a hamster steering one up the edge of a cliff.

The series, and the Jean-Claude Van Damme video in particular, are an insanely clever way to get attention to a type of vehicle most consumers usually don’t care or even think about while proving to other brands that they can use short clips to generate a Super Bowl-sized audience for little money when upping the creativity level of their campaigns.

Ad #3: Satisfaction.

While they sleep, a man’s tongue crawls completely out of his mouth and embarks on a journey to a house party down the road, bringing back home a cold Tooheys Extra Dry.

Yes, another alcohol ad. But prove to me that this isn’t one of the greatest Australian ads ever. I distinctively remember always rushing to the TV whenever I could hear Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” playing. “The tongue beer ad is on!”, I would say. I was 12.

This Tooheys TVC, created by BMF in Sydney, drew dozens of complaints but ranks as one of the best television commercials in the world. The Advertising Standards Board rejected a deluge of complaints about the ad, while Tooheys claims it reinvigorated Australian beer advertising. The advertisement is deliberately distinctive to reflect the diverse and growing consumer appetite for the brand, with a particular focus on younger consumers. At the core of the ad, the tongue is a simple yet strategic device to highlight the importance of taste.

The overall theme of my three advertisements, it seems, is that they all effectively make use of one huge feature amongst the impact of the visuals; that of music. Each advertisement conveys a strong message, but through the added characteristic of music, and specifically popularised music, the ad becomes something else. It becomes engaging.

Rowan James Slade

It’s all about the Idea!

You could have the greatest production team, the best global agency, and an amazing client. But just remember this does not mean anything with a bad idea.

Let me give you an example of a simple idea that was a pure genius. Do you remember the power cut during the third quarter of Super Bowl 2013, which caused the lights to go out for 34 minutes? The sandwich cookies brand, Oreo was quick to think in this situation and posted on social media ‘‘Power out? No problem. You can always dunk in the dark’.

 It revealed a simple picture of an Oreo cookie in a dark room. You could argue how Oreo was a great success compared to the other brands that paid for a spot in the memorable, global game. However I disagree with this theory as great ideas also went into all of those other commercials even If they didn’t think of it in 10 minutes. For example the Budweiser commercial- brotherhood, it worked because of the idea behind it. It was a surprising advertisement away from the typical alcohol ad. It told a warm, hearing story between a man and his horse that were separated, yet three years later they were reunited. It engaged the audience from the start as we questioned what the advertisement was for as it had a cinematic feel to it.

According to SJ Insights the number of ads that adults are now exposed to across all five media (TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines) is about 360 per day; of these, only 150-155 are even noted, and far fewer make a strong enough impact to be recalled, make an impression, and ultimately, make a sale. It is vital that there is a strong idea behind any campaign; if your ad is noticed out of those 360 per day then you are on your way to success. One campaign that has stood our for me this week as my bus goes past it everyday is a campaign that was advertising Mardi Gras. It was the simplicity that made me love the outdoor advertisement. Instead of using a billboard outside Westfield in Bondi Junction they have simply made a mural to advertise Mardi Gras using a colourful set of wings, which, people can stand next to and take photos. This always grabs my attention, as the advertisement looks different every time I look at it with different people laughing and smiling, whilst taking photos with the wings. It is memorable as it made me feel happy. You could spend fortunes on a TV commercial or a print ad but if the idea is not relatable or doesn’t make your audience feel an emotion then it gets lost in the world of advertising.

Just remember the greatest ideas are the simplest.

Chloe Alexandra Geggus

Programmatics – WTF?

Programmatic ads have changed the game in online advertising, but there’s still heaps of confusion around what it actually is and how it all works. So let’s break it down. Programmatic buying refers to any ad space bought automatically on a web page these can be bought by 1. Bidding for one space or two. Buying it directly. These spaces are bid on its called programmatic real-time bidding (RTB) this is what serves internet users with display advertising on the web.

But where do they do all this buying and bidding? Well, all the interesting stuff happens on Ad exchange.  Ad exchange will auction off the space to the highest bidder, then the add will appear when the page is done loading. So basically as a page loads, if it has ad space on it that’s available to be bid on, info about the web page and who’s viewing it is passed on to an ad exchange and an auction will be held. The prices of the ad spaces completely depend’s on how much buyers are willing to pay.

You’ve probably confused, how could there be an auction in a matter of seconds that it takes to load a page?! But that’s exactly how long an auction on ad exchange will take. It happens so quickly because advertisers use a fully automated software demand side platform (DSP) to help them decide which ad space to purchase and to bid on ads for them. This does remove the need for human sales people, negotiation skills and a huge amount of time as these decisions are made immediately and simply the highest bidder wins.

The Use of RTB means advertisers no longer have to purchase ad space for a set amount of money for a set amount of time on websites they assume will bring them traffic instead ads can be specifically targeted to relevant audiences across a wide range of sites and prices and can all be managed in real time!

Programmatic advertising has taken a lot of stress off agency’s when buying ads as the process of buying has become much more efficient and cheap. Agencies no longer have to research the best ad space to place an ad, rely on an admin heavy process and manually place the ad before the ad is even running. Now thanks to programmatic advertising’s marketers can now have faster access to ad inventory, complete pricing control and immediate and seamless delivery.

Sophie Robertson

Sell Me Content… ‘A New Word To Help Sell An Old Concept!’

Content marketing is a strategic way of attracting and engaging a defined targeted audience. Brands distribute valuable or relevant information to ‘pull in’ consumers, rather than using traditional advertising, which focuses on ‘pushing’ out a message.

Content is designed not to interrupt, but to interact.

From simply uploading an image or news article to Facebook, to putting peoples names on coke bottles or Jack Daniel’s sponsoring a YouTube video that shows ‘behind the scenes’ of a music producer, content marketing is on the rise. Boosted by the growth of social media, its effective and getting more and more creative and innovative.

I don’t believe people are ‘fooled’ by it. They know that its marketing based, but it doesn’t matter, if they like it, they will engage and interact.

However, Content is not a new concept. It is simply indirect information or entertainment targeted to a consumer segment market. Brands have been doing this forever…
Whether it’s a Magazine article in “Women’s Weekly,” informing you on how to get the cleanest clothes from your washing machine (brought to you by Cold Power) or MTV interviewing a popular rock band.

Content is not a new concept.It’s just a new word. And we have a shiny new potential lathered platform to use it.

It’s a word advertisers like to throw around to sound smarter. To add a little ‘pizzazz’ to what they’re talking about.

The idea hasn’t changed. It’s been around since the beginning…

How do we advertise without annoying the consumer with the same repetitive message over and over?

Lets give them something they’re interested in, and throw our logo in there somewhere or good measure. BOOM. Content.
But you still need a great idea, and how do you sell an idea? What can you use to help sell something that has yet to be proven to work?

You use jargon.

An internally constructed ad language that makes you sound like a wanker, but a wanker that knows what his talking about. Words like programmatic, channels, platforms, integrated, traffic, ideation and organic reach.
You use it to make old concepts sound new again.

Advertisers have the ideas, but they need to sell them to clients. They need to sound fresh, on top of it and impressive. They need to have a bit of the dodgy car salesman approach, or they might lose the account. All agencies have good ideas. But it’s a hard fought fight to see who can sell theirs the best.

Smother the client in so much jargon that they can’t understand what you’re saying, but they think you’re a genius… a wanker, but a genius as well.

Daniel Fitzsimmons