tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/advertising Latest Advertising content from Econsultancy 2016-05-23T14:29:29+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67840 2016-05-23T14:29:29+01:00 2016-05-23T14:29:29+01:00 Highly targeted online ads don't work: Stanford researchers Patricio Robles <p>Eilene Zimmerman <a href="http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/pedro-gardete-real-price-cheap-talk">explains</a>...</p> <blockquote> <p>In this case, the researchers were looking at cheap talk in retail, for example, an ad promising 'Lowest Prices in Town'.</p> <p>That can be credible when it’s used to draw in appropriate customers; in this case, those who are price sensitive.</p> </blockquote> <p>At the same time...</p> <blockquote> <p>They found that the most personalized ads were less effective because consumers worried they were being exploited.</p> <p>For example, says [Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Pedro Gardete], someone looking for a prom dress 'might get an ad from a retailer saying, "We have a wide selection of prom dresses! Click on this link!" The consumer clicks, and it turns out the retailer has dresses for all occasions but not specifically proms,' says Gardete.</p> <p>Those kinds of ads frustrate consumers and eventually become meaningless to them.</p> </blockquote> <p>Based on this, Gardete suggests that businesses might adopt a "less is more" approach in which less information is collected, information collection is more transparent, and targeting is used more sparingly. </p> <h3>Theory versus reality</h3> <p>While there's no doubt that a growing number of consumers are concerned about their privacy and how marketers are using information to track and target them, given the continued level of interest and investment in targeting tech and targeted ad offerings, does the researchers' model actually reflect reality?</p> <p>Obviously, a hypothetical retailer falsely promoting that it has a wide selection of prom dresses when it doesn't isn't likely to see good results, <strong>but this isn't how most experienced digital marketers are operating.</strong></p> <p>Instead, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64099-what-is-retargeting-and-why-do-you-need-it/">retargeting</a> (and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10194-the-roi-of-personalisation-infographic">personalisation</a>) are widely seen to drive ROI in the real world.</p> <p>As an example, AdRoll, a performance marketing platform provider, detailed <a href="https://www.adroll.com/sites/default/files/resources/pdf/case-study/AdRoll%20Case%20Study%20-%20Chubbies.pdf">in a case study</a> (PDF) how one apparel retailer used retargeting to deliver a 10.5x average ROI, 13% conversion lift and 33% lower CPA than average for other apparel retailers.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64980-put-your-email-list-to-work-facebook-custom-audiences">Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences</a> have delivered similarly impressive results.</p> <p>Crowdfunding platform Tilt <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/success/tilt">doubled</a> its conversion rate using Custom Audiences, and lowered its mobile cost per install by 30% using Lookalike Audiences.</p> <p>And Hospitality giant MGM <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/success/mgm-resorts-international">realized</a> a greater than 5x return on spend using Custom Audiences.</p> <p>Needless to say, any specific marketer's mileage will vary, but on the whole, marketers are becoming more and more adept at targeting consumers online and doing so to good effect. </p> <p>That doesn't mean that marketers should rely on targeted ads exclusively, and the Stanford research is a reminder that targeted ads need to deliver what they promise to consumers.</p> <p>But targeted ads are here to stay because they work well enough of the time, even if <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67830-young-users-aren-t-fans-of-targeted-social-ads-report/">many consumers say they don't like them</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67794 2016-05-17T11:23:00+01:00 2016-05-17T11:23:00+01:00 Why use CRM data in programmatic media campaigns? Ben Davis <h3>The benefits of using CRM in programmatic</h3> <p>Programmatic advertising shows a particular banner or a video ad to a particular consumer. That's essentially its power.</p> <p>The consumer is recognised by a cookie which gives away their demographic, past behaviour, geography or device, and then the advertiser can serve whatever content they feel best suits.</p> <p>However, CRM or first-party data is often not integrated with programmatic media spend.</p> <p>This seems counterintuitive to the advertising layman (like me) because spend appears to be wasted.</p> <p>As consultant Mark Patron puts it:</p> <blockquote> <p>Currently, if you’re a big brand and you have 25% of the UK as customers, a quarter of the time you are talking to your customers and three-quarters of the time you’re not.</p> <p>It would make a big difference to be able to differentiate between the two, from a display advertising point of view.</p> </blockquote> <p>So, say I'm a customer of a broadband internet provider - it doesn't make much sense for that provider to show me ads that extol the virtues of its contracts.</p> <p>Yes, these ads might contribute to my renewal, but without the advertiser knowing who I am, it can't tailor the ad to my specific circumstances.</p> <p>Even if I do click through the ad, if CRM data isn't integrated with the campaign, I will be sent to a salesy page, rather than a 'welcome back' message.</p> <p>In fact, CRM data is often used in ad campaigns in the telco industry - check out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67606-how-o2-achieves-creativity-through-data/">this example from O2</a> (the photo below shows examples of some O2 creative on Facebook).</p> <p>The personalised ads achieved 49% lower cost per order (CPO). In the early upgrade segment the CPO reduced by a whopping 61%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2609/Screen_Shot_2016-03-03_at_13.07.57.png" alt="o2 programmatic creative" width="615"></p> <p>CRM data isn't just about online activity either. That's one of the advantages of using first-party data - you may be targeting customers that have never used your website.</p> <p>This could be retail customers with a loyalty card (think IKEA perhaps). If you know their email address, this can be used in social advertising or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66979-google-customer-match-what-does-it-mean-for-marketers/">Google's Customer Match</a>.</p> <p>Data management platforms (DMPs) can also match personal information with cookie pools.</p> <h3>The challenges of integrating CRM &amp; programmatic </h3> <h4><strong>You have to be in it for the long-haul</strong></h4> <p>Using first-party data means that an effective model has to be used for programmatic spend, one more akin to the lifecycle management that database marketers will use.</p> <p>To maximise lifetime value is often the goal, but this isn't something that can be determined with a quick test, plugging CRM data into a DMP and awaiting great results.</p> <p>Testing and learning here applies to multiple channels across an extended time frame.</p> <p>It's much more to take on than the fairly discrete methods of matching media to generic personas or behaviours.</p> <p>Rav Dhaliwal of AllSaints talks about the power of this long-term approach in the Econsultancy report:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s all about bidding for the right customer at the right time. How do I know that customer is worth making a bid on? That’s where CLV [customer lifetime value] comes in. It helps add intelligence to these decisions...</p> <p>Through deep integrations with our own first-party data sources, we now can micro-target customers based on numerous signals of user intent and propensity – the envy of many other brands’ display marketing programmes.</p> </blockquote> <h4><strong>The organisation might not be ready</strong></h4> <p>Where does CRM live in your organisation? Is it in marketing? Is it linked to media buy in any way?</p> <p>Separate teams and skills naturally lead to a reluctance or simple inertia when it comes to integrating CRM and media.</p> <p>Media buying can be alien to the CRM team.</p> <p>Nick Bonney, Head of Insight at Camelot, says organisational skills and approach can be the biggest hindrance:</p> <blockquote> <p>For all the talk about big data, the technology to some extent can be a bit of a red herring. And actually the people and the process, are as, if not more important, than the technology piece.</p> <p>You can have all the best toys in the box, but if your business isn’t working in a way that enables you to get the best data out of them, it’s still going to be a waste of money.</p> </blockquote> <h4><strong>Technology, as usual, holds everyone up </strong></h4> <p>A tech stack needs to be able to seamlessly move CRM data to a DMP and back again, by way of other software.</p> <p>If organisations are yet to pull data out of silos, that's a big job to begin with.</p> <h4><strong>Privacy worries?</strong></h4> <p>While first-party data will also be supplied anonymously, there's no doubt that privacy compliance (how can you legally use customer data?) is a concern.</p> <p>However, as the O2 example shows, those combining the power of CRM and programmatic media at scale are making big strides.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-role-of-crm-in-data-driven-advertising/">The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Marketing</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4102 2016-05-17T10:10:00+01:00 2016-05-17T10:10:00+01:00 The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Advertising <p>In today’s world of multichannel shopping, <strong>CRM increasingly means combining digital, mobile and social data together with data tracked or projected from traditional touchpoints</strong> - which is no mean feat.</p> <p>While some businesses claim they are doing a good job of joining up traditional offline data with online, the reality is that most are lacking the know-how and infrastructure to do this properly.</p> <p>The proliferation of data silos and fragmented team structures means that the goal of being able to identify individual customers to a granular level and target them with personalised content and experiences is, for many companies, as elusive as it’s ever been.</p> <p><strong>The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Advertising</strong> report, produced in partnership with <a title="Sociomantic Labs" href="https://www.sociomantic.com/"><strong>Sociomantic Labs</strong></a>, investigates the <strong>extent to which marketers are using CRM data to plan and optimise their marketing</strong>. It also looks to assess the current impact CRM is having upon email, display advertising, social advertising, websites and customer journeys in particular.</p> <p>The report features <strong>in-depth opinions from senior-level executives working within ecommerce, digital and marketing departments</strong>, from companies including AllSaints, Camelot, Natue.com, Occam, Reed.co.uk, Skipton Building Society, Sole Society, TalkTalk, UK grocery retailer and Patron Direct.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>Why is CRM important?</li> <li>Where does CRM sit within the organisation?</li> <li>What role does CRM play in cross-channel marketing?</li> <li>What types of CRM segmentation and personalisation are being used for online marketing?</li> <li>Which CRM technology and tools are businesses choosing to invest in?</li> <li>How is customer lifetime value (CLV) being measured?</li> <li>How does having a CLV strategy benefit CRM?</li> <li>What are the main challenges with CRM?</li> <li>What are the future trends and predictions for CRM?</li> </ul> <h2>Who should read this report?</h2> <p>This report is for anyone interested in CRM, in particular brand marketers who are just about to, or have already started using CRM as part of their data-driven advertising.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67852 2016-05-17T10:04:01+01:00 2016-05-17T10:04:01+01:00 Style or sell-out: Three examples of celebrity fashion collaborations Nikki Gilliland <p>Luckily for them, as our report on the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">Rise of Influencers</a> explains, brands are becoming more interested in aligning themselves with influential figures in order to gain consumer trust.</p> <p>In 2016, the celebrity fashion line is a win-win for both brands and influencers alike.</p> <p>But when it comes to ‘designing’ clothes, how do we know the influencer or celebrity in question has any <em>actual</em> talent?</p> <p>Is the product a genuine reflection of a flair for fashion. Or, merely a money-making ploy aimed at fans desperate to look like their idols?</p> <p>Here is a little analysis of a few recent examples.</p> <h3><strong>Ivy Park for Topshop</strong></h3> <p>Now a brand in her own right, Beyoncé is not averse to lending her talents elsewhere.</p> <p>Her latest side project is the Topshop collaboration Ivy Park – a 128-piece collection of athleisure-wear including hoodies, leggings, vests, caps and more.</p> <p><strong>How does it measure up?</strong></p> <p>Inspired by her own personal appreciation for workout clothes, Ivy Park is a typically ‘Beyoncé-esque’ brand.</p> <p>Speaking to Elle magazine, she recently touched on the motivation behind the project.</p> <blockquote> <p>True beauty is in the health of our minds, hearts and bodies. I know that when I feel physically strong, I am mentally strong and I wanted to create a brand that made other women feel the same way.</p> </blockquote> <p>Despite this empowering message and lot of initial fanfare, Ivy Park has garnered criticism due to its lack of accessibility for women sized 18 and over - a sentiment seemingly at odds with a woman known for promoting a healthy body image.</p> <p>In fairness, perhaps we can put this down to Topshop and its reputation for designing clothes for a particular size and shape.</p> <p>The high street favourite is certainly no stranger to criticism on this topic, having recently angered women over this rather ill-judged-tweet about Adele.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Topshop">@Topshop</a> 12, 14, 16, 18, make some clothes real people fit in. <a href="https://twitter.com/Adele">@Adele</a></p> — Bert Swattermain (@BertSwattermain) <a href="https://twitter.com/BertSwattermain/status/711531719875289088">March 20, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Naturally, controversy surrounding Ivy Park has somewhat overshadowed the launch, and it does seem to be the focal point of most online reviews.</p> <p>Like the athleisure trend itself, Ivy Park has a bit of a ‘love it or hate it’ feel.</p> <p>Dedicated fans have naturally been desperate to get their hands on the collection, but for anyone ambivalent towards both Beyoncé and athleisure, it’s a little hard to get excited about a range of mostly black and grey workout gear.</p> <p>That being said, in terms of targeting its core audience, Topshop certainly has got it spot on.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k6yJjjZci_Y?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3><strong>Yeezy for Adidas</strong></h3> <p>Since parting ways with Nike, Kanye West has continued his foray into footwear with a collaboration with Adidas – the latest brand to snap up his line of ‘Yeezy’ sports shoes.</p> <p>To most people, trainers are a fairly run of the mill purchase. But this is Kanye West we’re talking about - a man very much used to believing his own hype (and orchestrating it too).</p> <p>And with the first line of Yeezy Boots selling out in 10 just minutes, there’s no denying that it has been one of the most anticipated collaborations in recent years.</p> <p><strong>Are the shoes really worth the price tag?</strong></p> <p>Despite retailing at £150 or $200, many fans have resorted to buying pairs on eBay with a mark-up of over four times the original price.</p> <p>Naturally there has been frustration over the line’s limited availability, however if this was a deliberate move by Adidas, it appears to have been successful.</p> <p>After a 20% decline in 2014, net sales for Adidas have since risen, with many people citing the Kanye-effect as a reason behind the brand’s boost.</p> <p>Of course, like the man himself, this (and West’s foray into fashion) has drawn its fair share of <a href="http://www.racked.com/2015/9/17/9348001/cathy-horny-yeezy-season-2-review">criticism</a>.</p> <p>With an inflated ego as well as inflated prices, many have suggested that the quality of the product is not deserving of the amount of success it has created for Adidas.</p> <p>While this is perhaps true, it’s important to remember that sportswear brands have been utilising the selling power of athletes for years. Is there really a difference between David Beckham and Kanye West promoting a shoe?</p> <p>As Adidas have shrewdly shown, it all depends what kind of influence you’re more inclined to buy into.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zoyHanWp6OY?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3><strong>Archive by Alexa for M&amp;S</strong></h3> <p>Alexa Chung is known for being a ‘style icon’. Since her days as a snarky C4 presenter she has risen in the best-dressed ranks, slowly establishing herself as one of those people who can make anything look cool.</p> <p>But the question is - can she make Marks &amp; Spencer cool?</p> <p>M&amp;S sure is counting on it. With year-on-year losses and a 2.7% decline in sales of its clothing and homeware in Q4, it looks like it’s <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35984316">make or break</a> for new boss Steve Rowe.</p> <p>From Alexa’s standpoint, despite the insistence of her “long-standing affection for Marks &amp; Spencer", it does seem like she’s part of shoe-horned attempt to attract a younger audience.</p> <p>Like most young women, she probably does have some kind of an affinity with the brand (if only for its underwear), but I highly doubt it is a store that’s on her every day radar.</p> <p>In terms of the clothes, Alexa’s collection is not all that original, but oddly enough that has been a deliberate move.</p> <p>Reinventing ‘key’ pieces from M&amp;S’s past, she has curated a number of items inspired by former decades.</p> <p>With 32,000 users registering interest beforehand and popular pieces like the ‘The Harry Blouse’ and ‘The Misty Dress’ selling out not long after launch, the collaboration has definitely attracted interest.</p> <p>There has been positive feedback from some <a href="http://www.thefashionlift.co.uk/2016/04/archive-by-alexa-at-m-best-bits.html">appreciating</a> the reasonable prices and wearable trends, however, reviews have since been mixed, with many bemoaning the poor quality and lack of stock in stores.</p> <p>Unlike Beyoncé’s collaboration, which was designed for an existing audience, Alexa’s might prove less successful simply because of its flash-in-the-pan status.</p> <p>Sure, there might be a winter collection, and it might tempt a few teenagers into M&amp;S while the collection is there, but I highly doubt it’ll instil any kind of brand affinity into their Topshop-loving hearts.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TBJTg2Sl48k?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>When it comes to fashion there’s no denying the power of the influencer, and yet, it doesn’t always mean guaranteed success.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic, check out the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">Rise of Influencers</a> report.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67830 2016-05-13T14:02:06+01:00 2016-05-13T14:02:06+01:00 Young users aren't fans of targeted social ads: Report Patricio Robles <p>Harris Poll <a href="http://www.lithium.com/company/news-room/press-releases/2016/lithium-74-percent-of-digital-natives-tired-of-brands-shouting-at-them">asked</a> some 2,000 consumers across generations about their use of social and found that nearly three-quarters (74%) took issue with marketers targeting their social feeds.</p> <p>Most worryingly, over half (56%) said they were cutting back or stopping use of social platforms because of these ads.</p> <p>These numbers suggest the possibility that by pouring more money into ads that target younger users' social feeds, marketers risk losing them.</p> <p>According to Lithium Technologies president and CEO Rob Tarkoff:</p> <blockquote> <p>Pushing out ads on social media is the surest way for brands to alienate consumers, especially the younger generations who make up more than 50% of the population.</p> <p>The promise of social technologies has always been about connecting people, not shouting at them, and the brands that don’t do this risk their very existence.</p> </blockquote> <p>But is this really the case? </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64189-facebook-ads-drive-60-increase-in-sales-revenue">Facebook ads have been seen to drive significant sales increases</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62772-organic-posts-are-most-popular-social-tactic-but-paid-ads-are-more-successful-report">for years</a> marketers have found paid ads on popular social platforms <a href="http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Ad-Execs-Give-Facebook-Highest-Grades-Social-Ad-Effectiveness/1013123">to be quite effective</a>.</p> <p>The world's largest social network, Facebook, has the most mature ad offerings of any of these platforms, and propelled by a growing billion-plus member userbase and higher revenue-per-user, it grew its ad sales by a whopping 57% in the first quarter of 2016.</p> <p>If younger users, which still make up a considerable portion of Facebook's member ranks, were <em>really</em> alienated by ads and cutting back usage of the service as a result, such gains would be unlikely.</p> <h3>So what gives?</h3> <p>For one, ads that target social feeds, although marked as such, aren't always recognized as ads by users.</p> <p>And even when they are, because marketers are increasingly upping their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66951-seven-golden-rules-for-content-marketing">content marketing</a> games, there's a chance that the content they're promoting will actually be of interest to users.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wolfgangdigital.com/blog/facebook-ad-ctr-study-newsfeed-v-display-from-the-wolfgang-lab">Higher CTRs for News Feed ads versus display ads on Facebook</a> are evidence of this.</p> <p>But there's also another dynamic at work here. Thanks to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands">influencer marketing</a>, companies are targeting users through their social feeds, and in many cases users don't even know it.</p> <p>What's more: ironically, the very users who say they don't want to be targeted appear to be more receptive to influencer marketing. </p> <p>According to the Harris Poll survey, younger generations are far more likely to trust people they follow online and celebrity endorsers than members of Gen X and Baby Boomers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4854/harris_poll_press_release_table-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="349"></p> <p>While influencer marketing campaigns frequently don't use official ad offerings, it's worth considering that when it comes to their social feeds, users simply can't escape being targeted by marketers, whether they like it or not.</p> <p>And now that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67656-instagram-is-shaking-up-its-feed-with-an-algorithm-what-brands-need-to-know">algorithms are taking over</a>, there will be fewer and fewer feeds that are free from ads.</p> <p>So while millennials and members of Gen Z don't want to feel that they're being bombarded with ads on social platforms, the reality is that social ads in all their forms are here to stay and many marketers are finding them to be increasingly effective.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67829 2016-05-12T14:55:49+01:00 2016-05-12T14:55:49+01:00 Google aims to help advertisers capitalize on viral videos Patricio Robles <p>As <a href="https://youtube.googleblog.com/2016/05/highlights-from-tonights-youtube.html">detailed on</a> the official YouTube blog...</p> <blockquote> <p>Pop culture moments like the Harlem Shake and Let It Go are as unexpected as they are popular. While Google Preferred gives brands access to established creator channels, our new Breakout Videos offering lets them advertise on emerging content - the hottest and fastest-rising videos on YouTube.</p> <p>With the launch of Google Preferred Breakout Videos in the US, brands can be there alongside the next breakout star. </p> </blockquote> <p>What's more, Google announced that advertisers will be able to execute their Preferred Breakout Videos campaigns programmatically using a new offering, Programmatic Guaranteed for Google Preferred, which is accessible via the DoubleClick Bid Manager.</p> <h3>A new avenue to capitalize on shifting ad budgets</h3> <p>According to Google, "Already this year, among the Google Preferred campaigns we measured, 75% drove lifts in consideration and 61% drove lifts in favorability. Google Preferred is driving results later in the consumer journey, too: it raised purchase intent in two-thirds of campaigns."</p> <p>With results like that, it's no surprise that some brands are investing more heavily in their YouTube ads.</p> <p>Just last week, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/article_email/interpublic-to-shift-250-million-in-tv-ad-spending-to-youtube-1462359623-lMyQjAxMTE2NzA0NDEwMjQ2Wj">news broke</a> that Interpublic's Magna Global had signed a deal with Google that entailed shifting $250m of its television ad spend to YouTube through Google Preferred.</p> <p>While still a single-digit percentage of what Magna Global spends on ads every year, the agreement marked YouTube's biggest upfront deal to date and demonstrates that brands and their ad buyers are increasingly comfortable with online video ads.</p> <p>Over time, Breakout Videos could help Google acquire an even bigger slice of the pie.</p> <p>That's because while the channels that are part of Google Preferred generate a considerable amount of its most desirable ad inventory, viral hits can come out of nowhere.</p> <p>For instance, according to video performance analytics firm Visible Measures, within the first 40 days, Harlem Shake videos <a href="http://www.visiblemeasures.com/2013/04/04/the-harlem-shake-hits-1-billion-views/">had generated over 1bn views</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8f7wj_RcqYk?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Such viral hits represent a great opportunity for YouTube advertisers, but making the most out of these trends while they're smoking hot is not always easy for brands.</p> <p>If Google has its way, Preferred Breakout Videos will change that, ensuring that fast-moving brands can piggyback on the next Harlem Shake before the world comes to its senses.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67818 2016-05-11T15:11:51+01:00 2016-05-11T15:11:51+01:00 Content is king, but for brands, there's too much of it Patricio Robles <p>Obviously, as Pierce points out, "You could never read and see everything online. Not in 100 lifetimes. Not even if you never ate or peed or worked again."</p> <p>That's a blessing and a curse for individuals, but increasingly, it's a thorn in the side of brands.</p> <h3>Brands become content creators</h3> <p>Thanks to the rise of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats">ad blockers</a> and generally skeptical consumers, more and more brands are becoming content creators.</p> <p>Starbucks, for example, isn't just a coffee chain. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66192-are-brands-the-saviours-of-long-form-content">It's a storyteller</a>, and not a bad one at that.</p> <p>By creating content and not ads, brands are hoping that they can reach consumers and build stronger relationships with them, but cutting through the clutter is increasingly difficult because of the deluge of content.</p> <p>To help consumers separate the wheat from the chaff, popular platforms on which content is distributed and shared are increasingly turning to algorithms.</p> <p>While Facebook's News Feed has been subject to an algorithm for years, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67656-instagram-is-shaking-up-its-feed-with-an-algorithm-what-brands-need-to-know">Instagram</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67515-twitter-unveils-new-timeline-feature-what-you-need-to-know">Twitter</a>, services that have historically displayed content in chronological order, have recently introduced algorithms of their own.</p> <p>Many users have voiced displeasure about the introduction of these algorithms, but given the overwhelming amount of content posted to Instagram and Twitter, it's not hard to understand why these companies are adopting them.</p> <p>Beyond trying to make sure users see the content that's most likely to be relevant to them, algorithms pave the way for these services to more tightly control organic reach, which can in turn be used to bolster their paid ad offerings.</p> <h3>It's not just algorithms</h3> <p>Algorithms present brands that have jumped on the content bandwagon with numerous challenges.</p> <p>The biggest: it's increasingly difficult and costly to ensure that content gets delivered to its target audience.</p> <p>Quality content isn't cheap to produce in the first place, so brands that aren't getting the love they want from the algorithms often face a sub-optimal choice: pay up or let expensive content go to waste.</p> <p>But it's not just algorithms that brands have to worry about.</p> <p>In the past week Facebook <a href="http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006">has come under scrutiny</a> after some of its former "news curators" claimed that they "routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential 'trending' news section."</p> <p>While the alleged suppression of content from conservative news sites doesn't relate directly to brand content, it highlights the fact that employees at companies like Facebook exert significant control over the content that large numbers of consumers see.</p> <p>This means that a small group of individuals can make decisions that impact millions upon millions of people.</p> <h3><strong>So what are brands to do?</strong></h3> <p>For better or worse, it's increasingly difficult for brands to ignore content marketing altogether.</p> <p>Content marketing can deliver ROI, and there are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67775-six-common-reasons-content-marketing-campaigns-don-t-perform">common mistakes brands can avoid</a> to increase the likelihood of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62001-content-marketing-strategy-an-a-z-guide-to-success/">success</a>. Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64539-introducing-the-periodic-table-of-content-marketing/">Periodic Table of Content Marketing</a> can help. </p> <p>But as content volumes increase and third-party distribution platforms become the primary means through which digital content reaches consumers, brands will have to get to grips with the fact that embracing content creation will not be a panacea.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67817 2016-05-10T09:34:00+01:00 2016-05-10T09:34:00+01:00 Four creative programmatic advertising case studies Ben Davis <h3>1. Amanda Foundation - Digital Pawprint</h3> <p>It's easy to see why this campaign is one of the archetypal programmatic case studies.</p> <p>With simple rules and powerful creative, these ads show how effective segmented advertising can be.</p> <p>Each ad from the non-profit organization that homes shelter animals was tailored to a user depending on their previous browsing behaviour and demographics.</p> <p>So, if a user was known to be in a young demographic and a fan of the outdoors, they might be shown an ad for an athletic dog, with appropriate messaging.</p> <p>Similarly, an avid reader might be targeted with an ad featuring a cat.</p> <p>Here is just a selection of some of the creative used.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4756/Screen_Shot_2016-05-09_at_10.22.11.png" alt="amanda foundation" width="615" height="288"> </p> <p><a href="http://cwmead.com/digitalpawprint/"><em>Image via Chris Mead</em></a></p> <h3>2. O2 - Tariff Refresh</h3> <p>Nick Adams, O2's head of digital excellence, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67606-how-o2-achieves-creativity-through-data">discussed the telco's work in programmatic</a> at one of Econsultancy's recent conferences.</p> <p>One of the campaigns aligned with O2's TV campaign advertising tariff refreshes. </p> <p>The ads were repurposed for mobile video ads, with data about the user (their device and location) being used to add relevant messaging to the video.</p> <p>The videos referenced the user's model of phone, its recycling value with O2, the offers on upgrades (and what upgrades were generally preferred), as well as the nearest store.</p> <p>More than 1,000 versions of the video ad were created in real-time over the course of the campaign.</p> <p>Results included 128% increase in click-through rate over generic video. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2608/Screen_Shot_2016-03-03_at_13.08.22.png" alt="o2 programmatic video" width="615"></p> <h3>3. The 2015 winner: The Economist - Raising eyebrows and subscriptions</h3> <p>The winner of Best Programmatic or Performance Marketing Campaign at the 2015 Masters of Marketing Awards was The Economist.</p> <p>We've <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67447-the-economist-finding-new-readers-with-creative-programmatic-display">covered the campaign extensively</a> on the Econsultancy blog. Here's a summary: </p> <ul> <li>The aim was to target intellectually-curious readers who had previously been reluctant to try The Economist.</li> <li>The ads used Economist content and eye-catching headlines, with humour, wit and provocation.</li> <li>Context was key to placement, analysing subscriber usage to identify the best Economist content and aligning target cookie data against seven segments (from finance to social justice).</li> <li>Page context and viewer profile were then assessed in real-time, serving an appropriate ad. The example below sums up the tone of the campaign.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1088/Screen_Shot_2016-01-26_at_19.43.37.png" alt="economist ad" width="615"></p> <p>The ads linked to an Economist content hub which presented the article in question but also invited the user to subscribe.</p> <p>Results included 650,000 new prospects, 3.6m people taking action and a campaign ROI of 10:1, on a £1.2m media budget.</p> <p><em>An Economist content hub.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1085/Screen_Shot_2016-01-26_at_19.41.12.png" alt="economist content hub" width="499" height="480"></p> <h3>4. AirAsia - customer confidence</h3> <p>AirAsia is a great example of a brand combining CRM data with a programmatic campaign.</p> <p>This is often difficult to do, because the organisation has to have its data available across CRM and media departments, and has to be prepared to fit longer-term customer value models to media spend.</p> <p>The campaign was carried out on Facebook and sought to bolster confidence in the AirAsia brand during a difficult year for the airline.</p> <p>Display and video ads were the channels used, segmenting customers in three ways:</p> <ul> <li>Those who bought an AirAsia ticket previously, but not since the airline's December 2014 crash.</li> <li>Those who bought a ticket after the incident.</li> <li>High-value AirAsia advocates (regular customers that champion the brand).</li> </ul> <p>These customer profiles were targeted on Facebook with differing creative. </p> <ul> <li>Frequent flyers were shown ads detailing reasonable rates for routes they had flown before, directing these people to the AirAsia site.</li> <li>Recent website visitors who searched for a route but didn't convert were retargeted on Facebook with information about these routes.</li> <li>High-value customers were targeted with brand advertising, including video. </li> </ul> <p>Results were impressive, according to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/success/AirAsia">Facebook's case study</a>, generating 30x return on ad spend with its own CRM data and with 20% of video viewers watching the entire video.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/0303/aa3-blog-flyer.png" alt="air asia facebook ad" width="470" height="318"></p> <p><strong><em>Head over to <a href="http://bit.ly/1ZwnObD">the Festival website</a> if you're interested in submitting an application for the 2016 Masters of Marketing Awards</em>.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67819 2016-05-06T14:44:15+01:00 2016-05-06T14:44:15+01:00 10 fine digital marketing stats from this week Ben Davis <p>Now, on with the stats...</p> <h3>Volkswagen the least-engaging brand amongst US consumers</h3> <p>42,792 American consumers participated in <a href="http://brandkeys.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Press-Release-2016-Least-Engaging-Brands.pdf">Brand Keys’ 2016 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index</a>.</p> <p>I'm not entirely sure how emotional engagement strength was calculated, but it's a percentage measure with 100% representing the ideal.</p> <p>The lowest engaging brands were as follows:</p> <p>1. Volkswagen (29%)</p> <p>2. Blackberry (30%)</p> <p>3. American Apparel (38%)</p> <p>4. Cosi (39%)</p> <p>5. Aéropostale (41%)</p> <p>6. Sears (42%)</p> <p>7. kobo (43%)</p> <p>8. Budweiser (49)%</p> <p>9. Sports Authority (50%)</p> <p>10. Whole Foods (53%)</p> <p>Six brands were in this bottom 10 for the first time. Volkswagen was one - obviously as a result of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66972-social-media-and-crisis-management-a-volkswagen-case-study/">emissions scandal</a>.</p> <p>Whole Foods features after being accused of price rigging. American Apparel and Aéropostale have both 'suffered badly at the hands of online and corporate management' according to Brand Keys.</p> <p>The other newbies in the bottom 10 were Sports Authority, which entered into bankruptcy protection in March, and Cosi, the sandwich chain, which hashed store closures and staff cuts.</p> <h3>Facebook Reactions represent just 3% of all interactions on the platform</h3> <p><a href="https://www.quintly.com/blog/2016/05/facebook-reactions-study/">Quintly's analysis</a> of 130,000 Facebook posts found:</p> <ul> <li>Reactions are just 3% of all interactions.</li> <li>"Love" is the predominate Reaction.</li> <li>Videos receive 40% more Reactions than images.</li> </ul> <p>The table below shows how profile size impacts on post engagement and reactions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4680/Screen_Shot_2016-05-05_at_16.41.31.png" alt="facebook research" width="615" height="438"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4679/Screen_Shot_2016-05-05_at_16.43.12.png" alt="facebook reactions" width="615" height="478"></p> <h3>Amazon profits are flying</h3> <p>The company reported a $513m profit during Q1 2016, up from a $57m loss over the same period in 2015.</p> <p>$29.1bn worth of goods and services were sold, up 28% year-on-year.</p> <p>Amazon Web Services sales were up 64% year-on-year, to $2.6bn.</p> <h3>Enagagement with branded content is deeper on smartphones</h3> <p><a href="http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/148304/Polar_Academy_Assets/Polar-Academy-State-of-Branded-Content-Benchmarks-and-Insights.pdf">Polar's benchmark report</a> looks at aggregate performance and engagement data with branded content placed by its native format ad platform.</p> <p>6,165 branded content campaigns involving 18bn native placements were analysed.</p> <p>Engagement with branded content on smartphones is shown as significantly higher than on desktop and tablet (119s vs 89s for tablet and 73s for desktop).</p> <p>A 127% higher clickthrough rate was seen on smartphones than desktop.</p> <p>The finance vertical saw greatest engagement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4682/Screen_Shot_2016-05-05_at_16.53.49.png" alt="time spent by device with branded content" width="615" height="340"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4681/Screen_Shot_2016-05-05_at_16.52.55.png" alt="time spent by publisher vertical" width="615" height="340"></p> <h3>VR excites 69% of adults!</h3> <p>The Advanced Imaging Society surveyed 1,000 adults about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality">VR</a>.</p> <ul> <li>69% of adults between the ages of 18 and 60 were excited about experiencing VR.</li> <li>73% of men and 65% of women were looking forward to VR experiences.</li> <li>An ability to "explore places" they can't travel to interested 74% of respondents.</li> <li>Experiencing entertainment more deeply was a draw for 68%. </li> </ul> <p>Unfortunately I don't have a link to the study.</p> <h3>Better pricing drives customers online </h3> <p><a href="http://www.gfk.com/insights/press-release/drivers-of-online-and-in-store-shopping-are-not-as-sharply-divided-as-you-think/">GfK has analysed</a> the reasons why shoppers choose to shop in-store or online.</p> <p>The charts below show which causal factors were selected by the highest proportion of shoppers in either channel.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, seeing and feeling the products before purchase was the main motivation for in-store shopping (51% of consumers said this was a factor).</p> <p>Online shopping was motivated chiefly by the desire to save money (55% said this was a factor).</p> <p>The survey took in over 23,000 consumers in 23 countries across APAC, LATAM, Europe, North America and the Middle East.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4694/Screen_Shot_2016-05-06_at_08.59.13.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4695/Screen_Shot_2016-05-06_at_08.58.57.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>Half of Britons cut social usage, cite too many ads</h3> <p>Lithium says that over half of Britons say they have cut down their social media usage because of too many ads.</p> <p>The same research indicated that websites containing product reviews, and online social communities are most trusted when researching product or service information.</p> <p>70% of UK adults will not buy something that does not have positive online reviews.</p> <p>The results are <a href="http://www.lithium.com/download?p=http://www.lithium.com/pdfs/infographic/lithium_extreme_expectations_study_UK.pdf">presented by Lithium</a>, though there is no methodology included.</p> <h3>52% of travel research happens on mobile</h3> <p>Hitwise has revealed 52% of visits to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns">travel</a> ‘destination’ sites are made from a mobile.</p> <p>After booking a trip, Brits continue planning via mobile, with 72% researching ‘things to do’ from their smartphone.</p> <p>The tables below show local and international destinations that are enjoying the greatest percentage increase in search share, as well as those that have fallen the most.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4677/Screen_Shot_2016-05-05_at_16.33.01.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4678/Screen_Shot_2016-05-05_at_16.35.00.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>70% say free returns would make them buy online</h3> <p>Onestop Internet recently commissioned a survey exploring consumer preferences for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65854-15-tips-for-improving-ecommerce-returns-policies">returns</a>.</p> <ul> <li>38% of respondents reported making an online purchase in the last week.</li> <li>70% of respondents said free returns would make them more likely to buy online.</li> <li>38% of respondents said finding the perfect fit while ordering apparel online is a challenge either every time or more than half of the time.</li> <li>65% of respondents said they would be willing to accept a shorter return period if it meant they could order multiple sizes online and only be charged for one unit.</li> </ul> <p>No methodology available here.</p> <h3>French mobile networks are the best performing</h3> <p>STL Partners has released <a href="http://www.telco2research.com/articles/EB_MobiNEX-The-Mobile-Network-Customer-Experience-Index-Q4-2015">The Mobile Network Experience Index</a>, benchmarking mobile operators’ network speed and reliability by measuring the consumer app experience.</p> <p>The benchmark looks at download speed, average latency, error rate and latency consistency (the percentage of app requests that take longer than 500 milliseconds to fulfil).</p> <ul> <li>Bouygues Telecom of France scored highest - 76 out of 100.</li> <li>Two other French operators followed – Free (73) and Orange (70).</li> <li>British operators, EE (65) and O2 (61) were next.</li> <li>The five worst operators identified were E-Plus of Germany (26), Wind of Italy (26), Telefónica's Movistar of Spain (33), Sprint of the US (33), and 3 Italy (36).</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67813 2016-05-06T10:53:19+01:00 2016-05-06T10:53:19+01:00 The digital campaigns behind London’s Mayoral election Edwin Bos <p>And how did candidates use the voices of their supporters to sell their personal and party brand to the undecided? And, most importantly, did any candidate do it best?</p> <p>Let’s look at their official campaign videos first.</p> <p>Unlike <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/london-mayor-election-2016-zac-goldsmith-unveils-campaign-video-starring-david-cameron-theresa-may-a6969746.html">Goldsmith’s campaign video</a>, where he features the Tory grandees rallying to his cause, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ADZvsuvsvI">Khan's slickly produced video</a> at least shows the faces of ordinary Londoners (although they aren’t allowed to speak).</p> <p>Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon’s video is less of an ego trip: she talks to ‘ordinary’ Londoners (is there any such thing?) about housing, child care, and transport.</p> <p>The people she interviews seem approachable, knowledgeable and engaged. She’s a clear winner.</p> <p>The only problem? Only 1,006 people have actually watched it.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rxOZN-2KuNc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>The campaign website is important for recruiting evangelists for the cause.</p> <p>The Lib Dems have the ‘Get involved’ section in pride of place on their website although the email signup looks quite old-fashioned.</p> <p><a href="http://www.londonlibdems.org.uk/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4700/lib_dem_website.png" alt="" width="800" height="367"></a></p> <p>Sadiq Khan wants you to ‘Get involved’, and ‘Donate’.</p> <p><a href="http://www.sadiq.london/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4703/Sadiq_Khan.png" alt="" width="800" height="368"></a></p> <p>Zac Goldsmith’s site is a bit more corporate - you can volunteer (which always smacks of charity work) or you can sign a petition ‘Back Zac’s Plan’ which seems quite a passive way of getting support.</p> <p>He does have his social feeds on the homepage which make his campaign seem more inclusive although the ‘Donate’ section is a little overpowering. No one is a clear winner.  </p> <p><a href="https://backzac2016.com/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4706/zac_goldmisth.png" alt="" width="800" height="496"></a></p> <h3>Social campaigning</h3> <p>Social media will undoubtedly be a key battleground for all candidates - it's one of the easiest ways they can spread their message and amplify the voices of their supporters.</p> <p>Brandwatch research clearly showed who was winning:</p> <blockquote> <p>Khan garnered 41% of the Twitter mentions, well ahead of his nearest rival, Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, who accounted for 32% of the conversation. </p> </blockquote> <p>Khan has far more followers than Goldsmith. There are 91,200 Twitter followers on his personal page and 6,547 following the campaign handle @teamkhan2016.</p> <p>Zac Goldsmith trails behind with 61,800 supporters. His campaign account @BackZacPress has 2,656 followers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4713/zac_twitter.png" alt="" width="800" height="423"></p> <p>The Lib Dems are a far off third. Caroline Pigeon has 8,261 followers to her personal account and the uninspiring @londonlibdems has tweeted almost twice as much as @backzacpress but has a similar amount of followers.</p> <p>On Facebook, Khan and Goldsmith seem to be more comparable. They both have around 95,000 followers.</p> <p>Khan’s campaign video has been shared on Facebook 1,545 times but Goldsmith’s posts are generally shared by more people, averaging at about 40 to 50 shares per post. Khan is a clear winner.</p> <p>But before we go any further, <strong>who actually likes politicians?</strong></p> <p>Do we actually want to see them tweeting more or see their mugs in our Facebook feed? Is it going to engage people? And worse, could it make them seem less genuine and more desperate for your vote?</p> <p>For such a smooth looking chap, Goldsmith's campaign has been marked by PR gaffes.</p> <p>There was the time that his sister Jemima tweeted her support. But as her second name is Khan, some people got confused.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Some confusion over my Khan v Goldsmith poll: People seem to think I am asking about Imran Khan or else my name change- Khan or Goldsmith.</p> — Jemima Goldsmith (@Jemima_Khan) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jemima_Khan/status/695932198239789056">6 February 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>He then got mauled <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/zac-goldsmith-twitter-q-and-a_uk_5707a8cae4b00c769e2db8ca" target="_blank">in his Q&amp;A session</a> - a warning of the perils of actively engaging with users. Predictably enough, the most vicious tweets came from writers for the Guardian.</p> <p>Goldsmith did score once or twice:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ken Livingstone <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AskZac?src=hash">#AskZac</a> <a href="https://t.co/YoUMcrkhlb">https://t.co/YoUMcrkhlb</a></p> — Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZacGoldsmith/status/718366549007056896">April 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Goldsmith is quite an easy target; hashtags like #No2RacistZac and #whereszacstax have been doing the rounds.</p> <p>He hasn’t bothered to engage with them and that’s symptomatic of his campaign at large.</p> <p>It's high-handed and relies on high profile spokesmen and women to back him - not the average punter who’ll be voting.</p> <p>When it comes to people power, grassroots organisations should be the engine. But then again, it depends on the engine...</p> <p>One organisation, Conservative Connect which aims to speak to those of ‘diverse social-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds’, produced a quite astounding campaign video for Goldsmith which feels like it's been inspired by North Korean propaganda: ‘He is worthy of appreciation, he is patient and he is brave’.  </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gq-pDjrs-FA?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Note there have been no comments posted below the video.</p> <p>Although Khan can't stop himself from mentioning that he grew up on a council estate at every opportunity, he has been the best at giving supporters a platform and a chance to be advocates for his brand.</p> <p>He's been using the hashtag #TeamKhan which has a more inclusive feel than #BackZac2016 or Pidgeon’s #CarolineCan.</p> <p>Who does Pidgeon think she is? Obama? Although Sadiq already tried that with #YesWeKhan.</p> <p>With #TeamKhan, the Labour candidate has been collecting and promoting all the praise his supporters have provided. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just met up with some friends after a long time and the conversation was all about how young Londoners need <a href="https://twitter.com/SadiqKhan">@SadiqKhan</a> as mayor come May 5th</p> — Zahin (@zahinkingahmed) <a href="https://twitter.com/zahinkingahmed/status/725012154034847744">April 26, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">My son just told me <a href="https://twitter.com/SadiqKhan">@SadiqKhan</a> won his primary school's 'London Mayor election' by a landslide today. Hope history follows suit next week.</p> — Susan (@marthasydenham) <a href="https://twitter.com/marthasydenham/status/725014285777293313">April 26, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>And that approach works. It humanises his campaign and shows that he’s someone who represents a wide range of Londoners - the medium is the message.</p> <p>Whether you think his plans for transport, housing or security are feasible, and that's another question entirely, you can't deny he looks like he’s listening to Londoners more than the other candidates, which surely is what we're electing them for.</p> <p>Khan cruises ahead in this round.</p> <h3>But it’s all relative...</h3> <p>What becomes apparent is both how little the candidates are using people power and how disengaged many Londoners feel.</p> <p>The absence of engagement has made people call for an injection of the excitement found in the US elections.</p> <p>The Evening Standard reported on a programme which sent young people out to the US to find out how people in their age group might be encouraged to vote.</p> <p>Student James Tune, 20, who recently returned from Ohio, said:</p> <blockquote> <p>The campaigns for Mayor should really look at social media. Politicians post stuff but they need to actively engage with people – look at the people who are replying, invite them to things, and get them involved.</p> </blockquote> <p>I couldn’t agree more. It holds true for online and in real life.</p> <p>Speaking for Londoners - and to them, and with them - is something all the candidates, including Khan, should be doing far more.</p> <p>After all, they are here to represent us.</p>