tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/advertising Latest Advertising content from Econsultancy 2017-04-21T15:10:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69028 2017-04-21T15:10:00+01:00 2017-04-21T15:10:00+01:00 10 tremendous digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>UK search data shows surge in ‘snap election’ queries</h3> <p>Following on from the announcement of the snap general election this week, Hitwise has analysed how the UK responded online.</p> <p>Data shows there was a 2,000% increase in searches for Theresa May on print media sites, while three out of five searches on Tuesday 18th were about the election news. Most searches were in the form of questions, with the nation generally appearing unsure about what a ‘snap election’ actually means.</p> <h3>One fifth of retailers are failing to offer preferred delivery options</h3> <p><a href="http://ampersandcommerce.com/insights/yougov-consumer-survey-delivery-2017/" target="_blank">Research from Ampersand</a> has found that many of the UK’s biggest retailers are failing to offer next day delivery, despite a YouGov survey showing that 58% of people favour this method over any other.</p> <p>In comparison to 2014, Ampersand found that most people still favour next day delivery over click and collect and same day delivery, with preference for this increasing 6% within three years. </p> <p>Meanwhile, preference for same day delivery has gone from 21% in 2014 down to 12% this year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5625/Ampersand.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="492"></p> <h3>UK add-to-basket rates on the up in Q4</h3> <p>Monetate's latest <a href="http://info.monetate.com/ecommerce_report_EQ4_2016.html" target="_blank">ecommerce report</a> has revealed that UK add-to-basket rates were 3.75% higher in Q4 2016 than a year previously. </p> <p>The report also shows that both global and UK conversion rates were lower this Q4 than in 2015. However, global and UK conversion rates saw its first increase since Q4 of 2015.</p> <p>Meanwhile, website visits via mobile continued to increase globally, with 44% of UK website visits coming from smartphones.</p> <h3>75% of UK consumers have not spoken to a chatbot</h3> <p>New research from <a href="https://insights.ubisend.com/2017-chatbot-report" target="_blank">Ubisend</a> has uncovered the brand characters people would most like to see turned into chatbots. Compare the Market’s Meerkats topped the poll, followed by the Andrex puppies and Nespresso’s George Clooney. </p> <p>Other research found that 75% of UK consumers have not yet spoken to a chatbot, however, 57% of consumers are aware of what a chatbot is. </p> <p>Lastly, 35% want to see more companies adopting chatbots to solve their queries, with 68% citing ‘reaching the desired outcome’ as the most important factor in their experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5628/chatbots.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="297"></p> <h3>Expedia outperforms other travel brands with 7% market share</h3> <p>Conductor has released its first ever <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwis1ZyKnbXTAhXOaVAKHc0ZA4EQFggiMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fww2.conductor.com%2Frs%2F149-ZMU-763%2Fimages%2FConductor-Organic-Online-Market-Share-Report-Holiday-2016.pdf&amp;usg=AFQjCNGO-bWF8Ak2EEpMJ7kZeecHFR3fjA" target="_blank">Organic Market Share</a> report, detailing the brands that excel at reaching consumers from organic search.</p> <p>In the travel category, Expedia was found to be the overall top performer, taking a 7% market share. Meanwhile, TripAdvisor dominates the ‘early stages’ of the consumer journey category with a 10% share. </p> <p>Data shows that airlines, car rental companies and hotel chains (including Hilton) have the potential to increase their visibility. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5627/Online_market_share.JPG" alt="" width="713" height="404"></p> <h3>Consumers prefer traditional advertising to digital</h3> <p>Research by Kantar Media has found that UK consumers feel significantly more positive about advertising on traditional platforms, such as TV and magazines, than they do about online formats.</p> <p>In a survey, 33% said they actively dislike seeing advertising on online video services and search engines, while 30% dislike being served ads in news and articles online. In contrast, only 13% and 14% of consumers dislike seeing ads in printed newspapers and printed magazines.</p> <p>With online ads predicted to account for more than half of all advertising spend in the next few years, this provides food for thought for brands.</p> <h3>Connected shopping driven by Generation Y </h3> <p>New research from Savvy suggests that the mass adoption of smartphones and social media has contributed to a fundamental change in the path to purchase.</p> <p>Data shows that Generation Y is driving changes in retail due to being constantly connected. 66% say they regularly use their smartphone to buy products and 49% regularly use their smartphones while in the supermarket. While this group represents around a third of shoppers at the moment, they are predicted to account for 47% by 2022.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5634/connected_shopper.jpg" alt="" width="680" height="453"></p> <h3>UK marketers increase budgets in 2017</h3> <p>According to data from the Q1 2017 <a href="http://www.ipa.co.uk/page/ipa-bellwether-report#.WPnTjtLyuUk" target="_blank">IPA Bellwether Report</a>, marketing budgets increased in Q1 2017 with significant growth seen in internet and main media advertising categories.  </p> <p>The report suggests that the overall outlook for 2017/18 is positive, with 26.1% of companies suggesting growth in total budgets for the coming year. Meanwhile, ad spend is now predicted to grow 0.6%, replacing the previous forecast of -0.7%.</p> <h3>Only 55% of Brits associate Easter with religion</h3> <p>New <a href="https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/04/13/only-55-brits-associate-jesus-christ-easter/" target="_blank">research from YouGov</a> has found that Brits are more likely to think of Easter in relation to chocolate eggs than religious connotations. </p> <p>In a survey of 2,670 UK adults, only 55% said they personally associate Jesus with Easter, while 67% said they associate it with a bank holiday. Chocolate eggs is clearly at the forefront of everyone’s minds, with 76% associating this with Easter above anything else.</p> <p>In a separate study, Captify analysed found that Cadbury products dominate searches for chocolate eggs, with Crème Egg accounting for 29% of searches and Mini Eggs accounting for 18%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5626/YouGov.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="752"></p> <h3>Luxury ad spend predicted to shift online </h3> <p>Zenith's <a href="https://www.zenithmedia.com/product/advertising-expenditure-forecasts" target="_blank">latest report</a> suggests that expenditure on luxury advertising is set to recover, with growth predicted to occur due to an increase in online spend. Zenith predicts a 3.9% rise in 2017 – a welcome figure following a 0.5% decline in 2016.</p> <p>It also predicts that the internet will become the main luxury advertising medium in 2018, despite print currently being the principal medium, accounting for 32.7% of ad spend in 2016 compared to 25.8% for internet advertising.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69006 2017-04-20T15:00:00+01:00 2017-04-20T15:00:00+01:00 What publishers and advertisers need to know about Princeton and Stanford's new super ad blocker Patricio Robles <h4>1. It uses "perceptual ad blocking"</h4> <p>Most ad blockers in use today look for the footprints of digital ads. For example, they scan the contents of a page, identifying snippets of code and URLs that are commonly associated with ads and ad networks. This approach is very effective at blocking ads served by major ad players like Google, but it's far less effective at weeding out ads that are served by publishers themselves, including native ads.</p> <p>The university researchers' ad blocker uses computer vision technology to analyze the contents of a web page much the same way a human would. As Vice's Jason Koebler <a href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/princetons-ad-blocking-superweapon-may-put-an-end-to-the-ad-blocking-arms-race">explained</a>...</p> <blockquote> <p>...it uses optical character recognition, design techniques, and container searches (the boxes that ads are commonly put in on a page) to detect words like "sponsored" or "close ad" that are required to appear on every ad, which is what allows it to detect and block Facebook ads.</p> </blockquote> <h4>2. It could be 100% effective at blocking ads</h4> <p><a href="http://randomwalker.info/publications/ad-blocking-framework-techniques.pdf">According to</a> a paper published by the Princeton and Stanford researchers who created the new ad blocker, so long as advertisers and publishers adhere to the disclosure standards promulgated by regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), "a perceptual ad blocker will have a 100% recall at identifying ads governed by that standard."</p> <h4>3. The ad blocker is difficult if not impossible to detect</h4> <p>The new computer vision-based approach allows the Princeton and Stanford ad blocker to more stealthily block ads by taking advantage of techniques normally employed by malware. In fact, when tested on 50 websites employing anti ad-blocking scripts, the university's ad blocker was able to block ads without being detected 100% of the time. </p> <p>Because it stealthily blocks ads, the super ad blocker is able to avoid detection by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66606-here-come-the-ad-blocker-blockers">anti ad-blocking techniques</a> that publishers commonly use to thwart users who browse their sites with ad blockers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1281/netflixad.png" alt="" width="590" height="226"></p> <p>That's obviously not going to be good news for the growing number of publishers that are using anti ad-blockers to cut off access to people using the technology, and could encourage some of them to erect more restrictive paywalls.</p> <h4>4. The technology is currently available in a proof-of-concept that doesn't block ads</h4> <p>While it's probably only a matter of time before perceptual ad blocking technology makes its full debut, for now, the Princeton and Stanford researchers decided to release a limited proof-of-concept in the form of <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/perceptual-ad-blocker/mahgiflleahghaapkboihnbhdplhnchp?hl=en">a Chrome extension</a> that doesn't actually block ads. Instead, the extension highlights the ads it identifies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5479/adblocker.png" alt="" width="644" height="404"></p> <h4>5. Perceptual ad blocking isn't the only new approach to ad blocking that could have a big impact</h4> <p>While it would appear that perceptual ad blocking has the potential to end the ad blocking wars, handing victory to consumers and defeat to publishers and advertisers, this new approach to ad blocking isn't the only one that publishers and advertisers need to worry about. </p> <p>In a paper detailing their perceptual ad blocking tech, the Princeton and Stanford researchers also presented another technique that could make ad blocking more effective. Under this approach, a browser extension would create two copies of a page, blocking ads in the one displayed to users. The end result would be that publishers would again have no way to identify users who are blocking ads.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69009 2017-04-20T11:31:51+01:00 2017-04-20T11:31:51+01:00 Can Wells Fargo's new brand platform help it restore consumer trust? Patricio Robles <p>Wells Fargo recently revealed that new checking account openings have dropped by 43% year-on-year and new credit card applications have plunged by an even greater amount – 55%.</p> <p>According to some observers, dealing with the fallout from this scandal represents perhaps the biggest challenge the bank has faced since it was founded in 1852. Ironically, the scandal could have been avoided if the company had heeded the advice of its largest shareholder, Warren Buffett. The legendary investor famously once stated, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."</p> <p>Now faced with the task of rebuilding its reputation, Wells Fargo <a href="https://stories.wf.com/new-brand-platform-wells-fargo-building-better-company-every-day/">has unveiled</a> a new brand platform dubbed Building Better Every Day.</p> <p>According to Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo's CMO, "Our research clearly shows our customers are ready to hear a different message from us, and the 'Building Better Every Day' platform behind this advertising came directly from the research results. In addition to showing our customers how we are building a better bank – fixing things, and making them right – this effort is focused on how we are helping customers achieve their financial goals."</p> <p>The Building Better Every Day platform will rely on marketing across virtually all channels, including digital, television, print, radio and billboard. It aims to highlight how Wells Fargo is helping customers through "customer-centric" technological innovation, guidance and personalized service, security and community involvement.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WJGAO63-IKs?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Phil Wang, a marketing manager who was involved in the platform's development, says that the ads will focus a lot on interactions between Wells Fargo and its customers. "Team members are front and center in these spots, and portrayed as helping customers in a way that's in keeping with our vision and values."</p> <p>To hammer home the bank's commitment to the diverse communities it has a presence in, Wells Fargo is even creating ads for specific audiences in other languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.</p> <h4>All of this sounds like a textbook plan from a marketing perspective, but will Wells Fargo's new brand platform really heal the damage caused by its scandal?</h4> <p>There are reasons to be skeptical because not only was the scandal itself really, really ugly in nature, the timing couldn't have been worse for the banking behemoth.</p> <p>First, big banks are among consumers' least favorite institutions today thanks in large part to the financial crisis of 2008, which was widely blamed on out-of-control financial institutions. While Wells Fargo had the most pristine reputation of any big bank following the crisis, having emerged from the Great Recession largely unscathed, the unauthorized account scandal plays right into Wall Street critics' argument that big banks are out of control and simply can't be trusted. </p> <p>Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, banks find themselves under attack from fintech startups that are attempting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68159-five-ways-fintech-upstarts-are-disrupting-established-financial-institutions/">to disrupt</a> their business models. From consumer, business and mortgage lending to brokerage services and everything in between, many of the financial services that consumers used to obtain from the bank where they kept their checking and savings accounts are increasingly acquired through standalone non-bank service providers in an unbundled fashion. By some estimates, this <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68981-could-established-financial-services-firms-lose-a-quarter-of-their-revenue-to-fintechs/">could soon cost established financial institutions a quarter of their revenue</a>.</p> <p>In fact, that Wells Fargo employees were opening unauthorized accounts to meet aggressive sales quotas hints that it is increasingly difficult for banks to successfully cross-sell to their customers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68334-wells-fargo-scandal-shows-why-banks-are-vulnerable-to-fintech-startups/">in the age of unbundling</a>. </p> <p>Unfortunately for Wells Fargo, the damage caused by the actions of thousands of its employees probably won't be undone with a new brand platform and an aggressive and expensive marketing campaign. While it's not too soon for the bank to start employing marketing in an effort to re-engage consumers, ultimately Wells Fargo will probably have to accept that the old Buffett nugget of wisdom is pretty accurate.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69004 2017-04-18T14:55:00+01:00 2017-04-18T14:55:00+01:00 As Facebook cracks down on a major spam operation, USA Today loses millions of Likes Patricio Robles <p>The social network <a href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-security/disrupting-a-major-spam-operation/10154327278540766/">also announced</a> that it disrupted a major spam operation it had been fighting for half a year. According to Facebook, the operation was "made up of inauthentic likes and comments that appear to come from accounts located in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries. We found that most of this activity was generated not through traditional mass account creation methods, but by more sophisticated means that try to mask the fact that the accounts are part of the same coordinated operation. They used tricks to avoid detection, including redirecting their traffic through 'proxies that disguised their location."</p> <p>Facebook believes that the accounts created by the operation, which were still largely dormant, would later have been used to send mass spam to real users.</p> <p>Shabnam Shaik, a member of Facebook's Protect and Care team, explained that "Our systems were able to identify a large portion of this illegitimate activity – and to remove a substantial number of inauthentic likes." He added, "As we remove the rest of the inauthentic likes, we expect that 99% of impacted Pages with more than 10,000 likes will see a drop of less than 3%. None of these likes were the result of paid ads from the affected Pages."</p> <h4>But there apparently was an exception to that: USA Today.</h4> <p>According to social media monitoring platform CrowdTangle, USA Today had more than 15m Likes on Facebook as of last Thursday. By Friday, that figure had dropped to around 10m, and today, USA Today's Facebook Page has well under 10m Likes.</p> <p>As The Daily Caller's Alex Pfeiffer <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/14/facebook-discovers-major-spam-operation-usa-today-likes-plummet/">observed</a>, based on CrowdTangle's data, "no other major publisher appears to have experienced the same drop."</p> <p>While one might jump to the conclusion that the drop indicates USA Today was somehow involved in an effort to artificially inflate its Like count, that isn't the case. In fact, USA Today parent Gannett <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/04/14/facebook-breaks-up-fake-account-ring-targeting-publisher-pages/100451010/">reported</a> suspicious account activity to Facebook, which helped spark the social network's crackdown.</p> <p>According to Maribel Wadsworth, Gannett's chief transformation officer, "USA TODAY NETWORK takes great pride in our journalism and the trust our consumers and advertising partners have in us. Since we first brought this issue to Facebook’s attention, we have been in close communication with them and look forward to a swift solution that prevents this illegitimate activity from happening on our Facebook page in the future."</p> <p>There is irony in this story, however. In January, Jamie Motttram, then USA Today's social chief, bragged on Twitter about the growth of the publisher's Facebook Page, noting that it was the "fastest-growing FB page in news."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/USATODAY">@USATODAY</a> Facebook page passed the 10 million-fans mark! Big milestone for the fastest-growing FB page in news. <a href="https://t.co/ceNeCtcqYM">pic.twitter.com/ceNeCtcqYM</a></p> — Jamie Mottram (@JamieMottram) <a href="https://twitter.com/JamieMottram/status/824991639961747456">January 27, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The precipitous drop in Likes on the USA Today Facebook Page following Facebook's crackdown suggests that much of that growth was the result of fake account activity, which offers two points publishers active on Facebook might want to mull: </p> <p>1) Clearly, publishers have a limited ability to determine how much of the activity on their Facebook Pages is legitimate, and without Facebook's help, there's little they can do to crack down on bad behavior.</p> <p>2) While Facebook noted that the "illegitimate activity" was in no way related to paid ads, one has to wonder whether investment decisions have been influenced by such activity. After all, publishers are almost certainly influenced by metrics like Likes when determining how much to spend on the social network, directly and indirectly. To the extent that those metrics are inflated, publishers risk increasing spend when it isn't necessarily justified and/or seeing some of their spend go to waste.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68724-marketers-plan-facebook-audits-following-metrics-faux-pas/">Marketers plan Facebook audits after metrics faux pas</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68978 2017-04-13T01:00:00+01:00 2017-04-13T01:00:00+01:00 Three brands recently 'shamed' in China and how others can avoid a similar fate Jeff Rajeck <p>Last August, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68232-china-introduces-far-reaching-new-internet-ad-law-why-it-matters/">Econsultancy warned brands advertising in China</a> to become familiar with new advertising legislation in the country.</p> <p>In particular, they needed to know that <strong>the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce is looking for exaggerations and falsehoods in ads</strong>, especially for companies that sell health-related or financial products.</p> <p>Brands in China should also be aware of the TV show known as '315' which names and shames firms on national television for stretching the truth, including large brands such as Apple and Volkswagen in previous years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5330/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>Here are the stories of three companies that fell foul of the examiners in March of this year and what other brands can do to avoid the same thing happening to them.</p> <h3>1. Blackmores (Australia)</h3> <p>Blackmores is a manufacturer and distributer of vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements. <strong>It has also had enormous success in China with double-digit growth over the past two years</strong> and sales of over A$100m in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5332/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="440"></p> <p>One <a href="http://readysetgochina.com.au/blackmores-success-hiccups-with-china-the-real-reason/">overview of the brand's strategy</a> in the country says that Blackmores has been successful in China because of its strategy on China's biggest social chat platform, WeChat.</p> <p>Yet it seems that WeChat was also the cause of the brand's recent shaming.</p> <p><a href="http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/blackmores-fined-65000-in-china-for-false-claims/news-story/200cac6b72cf60609d80e3754a01a9de">According to the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce</a>, the company's advertising on WeChat claimed that its products could 'prevent and cure cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and arthritis'. Additionally, the bureau noted that Blackmores made an unsupported claim to be "the No 1 Australian nutritious product brand." </p> <p>As a result of violating the new advertising laws, <strong>the firm was fined RMB346,600 (around US$50,000) and consumers were entitled to claim three times the price they paid for comparative products as compensation.</strong></p> <p>If the brand or its agency had reviewed the law before advertising, it would have read that <a href="http://hk.lexiscn.com/law/interim-measures-for-the-administration-of-internet-advertising.html">Article 6 bans the advertisement of medical treatments unless it has been examined by the 'advertising examination authority'</a>.</p> <p>While the law does not indicate how to seek approval, brands should learn from this incident and seek legal advice before advertising products with health benefits or medical treatments and ensure they are not violating current legislation.</p> <h3>2. Nike (USA)</h3> <p>Like in the rest of the world, Nike is a very popular footwear brand in China and more that 10% of the brand's global sales are in the country.</p> <p>Recently, though, the TV show '315' (so named because March 15th is World Consumer Rights Day) found that 300 of its Hyperdunk sneakers were advertised as having 'Zoom Air' airbags. Yet when the shoes were cut open, <strong>no 'airbags' were found. </strong>315 proceeded to name and shame Nike on its most recent programme.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5331/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="500"></p> <p>According to industry experts, it's unlikely that there will be any legal implications due to this error. Nike has, however, <a href="http://www.campaignasia.com/article/nike-muji-targeted-in-china-consumer-rights-expose/434712">admitted fault</a> and "will fully cooperate with the government regulators regarding their inquiries." When asked about the gravity of the incident, the CEO of H+K Strategies in China said that "the damage is more to [Nike's] public image."</p> <p>So what can brands do to avoid a similar situation?</p> <p>While it is highly unlikely that a brand the size of Nike's could ever ensure that 100% of its products were absolutely to the advertised standard, other brands can still learn from the experience.</p> <p>First off, <strong>marketers should note how far '315' will go in order to challenge a claim made in an ad</strong> and so they should be careful about making grandiose statements.</p> <p>Other <strong>brands should also learn from how Nike handled this issue.</strong> It was clear that Nike had a PR response ready to go and did not dig the brand in deeper by hesitating or trying to explain it away. The truth may hurt, but it's best to suffer it quickly rather than letting it get out of hand.</p> <h3>3. Muji (Japan)</h3> <p>Muji, the Japanese household items, stationery, and apparel brand, was also shamed on the most recent broadcast of the consumer watch show '315'. The company was accused of importing food into China from an area of Tokyo where high levels of radiation were detected in 2015.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5333/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="400"></strong></p> <p>Unlike Nike, Muji's parent company Ryohin Keikaku quickly announced that <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/076736c8-0d42-11e7-b030-768954394623">the firm was not selling products in China from any areas affected by radiation.</a> This claim was subsequently confirmed by the Financial Times who backed up the claim that <strong>the address in question was the food company's headquarters, not where the food was grown.</strong></p> <p>Again, there is little that Muji could have done to avoid the accusation as memories of nuclear contamination from the Fukushima disaster are still very clear in consumers' minds. </p> <p><strong>The lesson from this episode is that Chinese consumers are very sensitive to food safety issues.</strong> There are numerous cultural reasons for this but another important factor is that, in 2008, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal">six infants died from infant formula which was intentionally tampered with</a> and at least another 50,000 were hospitalized.  </p> <p>After such a scare, it is unsurprising that food safety is still of great concern in the country and so <strong>any brand that sells food in any capacity needs to be extra careful about the quality and safety of their product.</strong></p> <p>Muji will probably suffer unnecessarily from the accusations but, again, it was smart to address the issue head on through rapid crisis response.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>China and its billion or so consumers are a tempting target for many Western brands. In order to become and remain successful, though, <strong>companies need to understand the many quirks of the markets and to be prepared to manage the fallout if they make a mistake. </strong></p> <p>For most brands, this will mean working with a local partner who will ensure that the company doesn't commit any egregious mistakes but <strong>brand marketers should also become familiar with the law and institutions such as the '315' TV programme as well.</strong></p> <p>Doing so will hopefully keep their company from 'losing face' in the country and a subsequent humiliation, and expensive, retreat.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3236 2017-04-12T10:24:24+01:00 2017-04-12T10:24:24+01:00 Digital Media Planning <p>As customers connect with brands across multiple channels, both on and offline, marketers are being required to plan around these connected users and place data at the heart of their activity.</p> <p>This course will outline how you can put the customer at the centre and make a case for joined-up business, marketing and comms. Emerge with new frames of reference that will inform your day to day activity and empower you in your marketing career.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3235 2017-04-12T10:23:24+01:00 2017-04-12T10:23:24+01:00 Digital Media Planning <p>As customers connect with brands across multiple channels, both on and offline, marketers are being required to plan around these connected users and place data at the heart of their activity.</p> <p>This course will outline how you can put the customer at the centre and make a case for joined-up business, marketing and comms. Emerge with new frames of reference that will inform your day to day activity and empower you in your marketing career.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68980 2017-04-10T15:00:00+01:00 2017-04-10T15:00:00+01:00 Digital advertising is totally out of control Patricio Robles <p>In the past several weeks, major advertisers and ad agenices have pulled ads from Google and YouTube <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/03/27/google-youtube-ad-boycott/">in a boycott</a> that was sparked by a Times investigation which found that ads from prominent brands were being displayed alongside extremist content. By some estimates, the boycott could cost Google hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.</p> <p>In response, Google has promised change, but the truth of the matter is that the problem appears to be even larger than estimated, as practically everywhere observers look, they are finding examples of offensive content being used to serve ads from major brands.</p> <p>Heat Street, for instance, <a href="https://heatst.com/tech/many-popular-youtube-toy-channels-for-kids-contain-bizarre-graphic-poop-videos/">has detailed</a> how popular toy channels on YouTube targeting parents and children, some with millions of subscribers, are home to bizarre "poop" videos. "The videos feature children, some as old as 10, playing with fake human excrement-sometimes even eating it. Often these videos will wrack up exponentially more views than straight toy videos on the channel," it writes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5338/weirdyoutubevideo.jpg" alt="" width="619" height="379"></p> <p>One disturbing video published on a YouTube channel with 4.5 million subscribers and run by a family that has had a book published by Hachette "shows two young girls who appear to mock defecate in a toilet and smear themselves in fake poop. One of the girls even throws a realistic-looking stool at the other girl, who catches it and then drops it on the floor."</p> <p>Another channel features even more bizarre and disturbing content, such as a video with the title "POOP EXPLOSION Silicone Baby Doll Poops and Pees Diaper Change Poop Drink and Wet Feeding Baby Video." The channel is run by a school teacher who says she's now making so much money from YouTube that she has stopped making toy dolls, ostensibly to focus on her videos.</p> <p><strong>That money frequently comes from brand advertisers whose ads are displayed with this content.</strong></p> <p>It's not that advertisers are intending to be a piggy bank for YouTubers who produce bizarre poop videos. When Heat Street reached out to Dell and Citibank, whose ads were displayed on some of the disturbing videos it identified in its investigation, Dell explained that it "works with our media partners to indicate what types of sites we'd like to be associated with and which sites to block. Unfortunately these sites are proliferating at an accelerated rate and often slip through the cracks." </p> <p>Citibank offered a slightly different spin, telling Heat Street, "We have a number of policies and procedures in place for our vendors designed to help prevent our advertising from appearing in connection with inappropriate content. In the rare event that an ad appears on a site with inappropriate or offensive content, we demand its immediate removal."</p> <p><strong>The problem for advertisers is that incidences of their ads being displayed with questionable content are anything but "rare."</strong> On platforms like YouTube, it doesn't take much time to find ads appearing with videos that are offensive by any reasonable measure. </p> <p>Take, for example, the countless "prank" videos that have proliferated on Google's crown jewel of video. Many contain content that is objectively violent, sexual, degrading, racist, sexist or just downright disgusting. No brand would reasonably consider this content "brand safe," but that doesn't mean their ads aren't being displayed with it.</p> <p>Unfortunately, while there are almost certainly steps Google and advertisers can take to deal with some of the most egregious examples of brand-unsafe content, there is a more fundamental problem: the incentives for advertisers and content creators in the digital ad market are totally perverse.</p> <p>Whether the industry wants to accept it or not, the digital advertising market is currently in a race to the bottom. Content creators are going to extremes, literally and figuratively, to create content that captures eyeballs because...wait for it...advertisers want eyeballs.</p> <p>To its credit, Google has started to take action. For example, YouTube last week <a href="https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2017/04/introducing-expanded-youtube-partner.html">announced</a> that it will now require content creators to rack up 10,000 views on their channels before those channels can participate in YouTube's partner program, which allows content creators to monetize their videos. But while that will likely help protect content creators from impersonators who steal their content, it's not clear that it will do much to improve the overall YouTube advertising ecosystem. After all, as Heat Street's investigation demonstrated, there are content creators whose videos have generated far more than 10,000 views publishing content that no brand advertiser would see value in.</p> <p>At the end of the day, unless and until advertisers reign in their unhealthy thirst for reach and efficiency at all costs and start <em>forcing</em> content creators and ad platforms to do better, the digital advertising market will continue to be the source of an unpleasant stench and brands will increasingly find that they are on the receiving end of the complaints about it.</p> <p>Fortunately, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68259-are-online-advertisers-wising-up-about-content-quality/">advertisers seem to be wising up about content quality</a> and the YouTube boycott suggests that advertisers may have finally reached a breaking point. But if they expect meaningful change, they will need to continue to put pressure on content creators and digital ad giants like Google because the out of control situation will not be fixed in a matter of weeks or even months.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68650-the-future-of-programmatic-2017-and-beyond/">The future of programmatic: 2017 and beyond</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68961 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 Amazon tries its hand at influencer affiliate marketing Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/31/amazon-quietly-launches-its-own-social-media-influencer-program-into-beta/">According to</a> TechCrunch's Sarah Perez, the program functions like the company's affiliate program in that participants are paid a commission for product sales that they drive. It is not known if the commission structure differs from Amazon's affiliate program.</p> <p>Unlike Amazon's affiliate program, which requires that affiliates link to Amazon products from their own websites, Amazon is offering influencers vanity URLs, such as <em>https://www.amazon.com/shop/whatsupmoms</em>, on which lists of products they curate are displayed. As Perez notes, "Basically, it's a more exclusive step up from Amazon Affiliate linking, and offers a better browsing experience."</p> <p>One of the early participants in the Amazon Influencer Program is WhatsUpMoms, which claims to be the top parenting network on YouTube. Its president and COO, Liane Mullin, says that the program was a natural fit. "We are constantly asked by our community for product recommendations and about the products used in our videos. Now that we have our own Amazon store it makes it much easier to have a curated collection all in one spot," she told TechCrunch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5232/amazoninfluencer.jpg" alt="" width="878" height="322"></p> <h3>The appeal of performance marketing for influencers</h3> <p>Amazon's desire to team up with influencers isn't at all surprising. After all, influential social media entities like WhatsUpMoms, which counts more than 1.5m subscribers to its YouTube channel, have the ability to promote products to broad and often loyal audiences. And there's <a href="http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-bloggers-20160809-snap-story.html">strong evidence that influencers <em>can </em>convert their followings into<em> </em>sales</a>.</p> <p>For that reason, it's reportedly not uncommon for brands to pay the most prominent of influencers – those with millions of subscribers on popular social platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat – well into the five figures, and in some cases even six figures, for each promotional post.</p> <p>Given the large sums being paid in the upper echelons of the market, brands tapping influencers to promote their wares will increasingly seek to justify the spend <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">by tracking ROI</a> and ensuring that their deals make financial sense. Performance marketing payment structures, which align compensation directly to customer acquisition or sales, could help them do just that in a very straightforward manner.</p> <h3>But will influencers embrace performance marketing?</h3> <p>For those earning thousands of dollars or more for sponsored posts, the prospect of giving up a guaranteed payment for a percentage of sales generated or a set fee for each customer acquisition might not be all that appealing. While some arrangements could theoretically offer significant upside, the truly influential influencers aren't likely to see the benefits of taking on increased risk unless the market dynamic changes completely and they are forced to.</p> <p>Instead, so long as their sway is growing and bringing with it negotiating leverage, expect to see more top influencers focus on long-term <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/16/loreal-on-why-other-brands-are-using-influencers-the-wrong-way/">partnerships</a> in which they might even work with brands to co-create product lines that they have a real ownership stake in. And expect to see the most ambitious influencers try to follow in the footsteps of social media stars like Michelle Phan, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2015/10/05/how-michelle-phan-built-a-500-million-company/">who has built</a> her own business empire on the back of her YouTube popularity.</p> <p>Of course, none of this means that the Amazon Influencer Program is destined to fail. But absent a bigger hook than an Amazon page on which influencers can curate lists of products that are sold on Amazon, it seems unlikely that the influencers with "large followings" Amazon is courting would have good reason to give their Amazon Influencer Program links top billing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68956 2017-04-06T14:05:43+01:00 2017-04-06T14:05:43+01:00 Should marketers be able to prove the ROI of influencers? Ben Davis <h4>Influencer marketing is now at the top table</h4> <p>The first point to make is that spending on influencer marketing is not insignificant. The past couple of years have seen high profile campaigns, particularly in fashion and beauty, but also in travel, food and beyond.</p> <p>Sponsored social posts from the most influential stars can now command fees of up to $100,000. In 2016, according to <a href="http://www.linqia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/The-State-of-Influencer-Marketing-2017-FINAL.pdf">Linqia's State of Influencer Marketing report</a>, most marketers (33% of respondents) say they spend $25,000 - $50,000 on an influencer marketing campaign.</p> <p>What's more, these figures are rising. 59% of survey respondents for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">Econsultancy's 2016 Rise of Influencers report</a> said they planned to increase influencer marketing budgets through 2016.</p> <h4>Humble beginnings have led to little or no measurement</h4> <p>Both Econsultancy and Linqia's surveys identify measuring ROI as one the biggest challenges for marketers working with influencers, selected by 65% and 78% of respondents respectively (as one of their three biggest challenges). In the Linqia survey, this is by far the most common challenge amongst respondents, and in the Econsultancy survey is beaten only by finding the right influencer (73%). </p> <p>Maddie Raedts of the Influencer Marketing Agency suggests that this inability to measure ROI stems from influencer marketing's roots.</p> <p>“It all started far more basically with little giveaways or barter deals," she says, "but now, after all these years, brands are investing far more and really want to see ROI. Is it really driving consumer buying behaviour, or boosting brand awareness or actually pushing traffic to a particular website? These are the questions we need to be answering.”</p> <p>This naivety about ROI is confirmed by influencers themselves. Hayley Carr, author of the London Beauty Queen blog, admits that, “A lot of the time I find I’m better equipped to deal with measurement than brands or agencies. I have a booking sheet which asks the brand what their objectives are and what they’re looking to achieve, and nine times out of 10 it comes back blank."</p> <p>Hayley continues, "There’s no measurement thought process from a brand or PR point of view. They don’t know how to measure success and they don’t know what they’re looking for. There’s a lot of money going round in the blogosphere but no one’s really measuring it to see what ROI they’re getting."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/5287/roi_influencers-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="influencer challenges" width="300"></p> <h4>Marketers need to prioritise engagement over reach</h4> <p>74% of influencers surveyed in The Voice of the Influencer report say that brands they work with are looking for reach/numbers when choosing who to collaborate with. 57% of influencer respondents said this was their greatest challenge, being judged on their number of followers, over and above context and content.</p> <p>Even in the world of print and TV advertising, it's obvious that reach is just one goal of any campaign. Advertisers also want to ensure the best context for their ads, to ensure they get cut through with their audience. Display advertising shows us how misleading potential reach can be, if the format, the targeting and the context don't work properly.</p> <p>This is perhaps even more apposite when it comes to social media and influencers. Large numbers of followers sometimes aren't all they seem, particularly on Instagram. A study by Markerly looked at over 800,000 Instagram users and showed diminishing returns in terms of engagement rate as follower total rises.</p> <p>Those accounts with fewer than 1,000 followers had an average 8% rate of engagement, whereas those with more than 10m followers averaged a 1.6% rate of engagement. It's this phenomenon that has led to many brands beginning to work with micro-influencers to target longer term and more valuable engagement with fans.</p> <p>The theory here is that though influencer marketing must prove its value as a way to market, proving ROI is more nuanced than counting Likes or shares.</p> <p>Darby Barton and Nichole Brandt from influencer marketing agency XOMAD say traditional marketing metrics such as traffic and conversions generated can lead to "inaccurate expectations and campaign planning. Cost per engagement models will provide more accurate pricing and greater ROI for influencer strategies."</p> <h4>Influencer content has lower CPM than standard social advertising</h4> <p>Though brands are spending more on influencer marketing, they may be getting more bang for their buck when compared with traditional advertising.</p> <p>The cost of seeding influencer content is relatively cheap when judged against traditional social media advertising on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis. Ed East, CEO of BillionDollarBoy.com, writing for MarketingTech says: "There are figures all over the internet looking at specifics but on average social media advertising is three times more expensive than influencer marketing.”</p> <p>In addition brands working with micro- and mid-level influencers could stand to make significant savings on content production as influencers' production skills improve. East writes that "the influencer is largely replacing the role of the model and photoshoot for product campaigns. Influencers have become so advanced in their production skills that brands no longer need to hire professional photographers, models and locations to create beautiful content for their brand as they would with a traditional advertorial shoot. Influencers include all production costs within their fees, which are impressively lower than a traditional production."</p> <p>These dynamics mean that brands see influencers as an affordable way to create compelling content that can improve advertising effectiveness and lower costs of using big stars and big above-the-line budgets.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/5171/marriott_rewards-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="marriott influencer campaign" width="470" height="256"></p> <p><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68955-marriott-uses-snapchat-influencer-campaign-to-target-millennials/">Marriott's recent Snapchat campaign</a> with Jen Levinson</em></p> <h4>But standard biddable media metrics cannot be easily applied</h4> <p>However, as Barton and Brandt allude to, there are softer (or at least more difficult to measure) metrics that are most pertinent to influencer marketing.</p> <p>Though sentiment analysis and brand awareness measures are fairly straightforward, taking stock of authenticity, quality of content and long-term relationships (with influencer and consumer) is more difficult. Doubtless though that these more touchy-feely metrics correlate with some firmer KPIs.</p> <p>The Kendall Jenner Pepsi advert fiasco is one example of how traditional advertising, when attempting to aspire to authenticity, can go horribly awry. This episode alone shows how influencer marketing potentially represents less of a risk than trying to achieve the same goal through big brand creative.</p> <h4>Yeah.....but what about sales and revenue?</h4> <p>The title of this article is designed to get the goat of old school marketing and advertising types. "Of course we should be able to prove the ROI of influencer marketing! That's what we do - we sell stuff."</p> <p>I agree with this sentiment, of course. And where influencers are used to feed into a publishing strategy or social advertising, there's no reason marketers shouldn't be aspiring to the same multi-touch attribution models and advanced causal-impact analysis.</p> <p>However, disassociating influencer marketing from its more genuine/authentic roots is a recipe for disaster, and to that end, brands must understand the role of influencers in developing their brand, particularly its appeal to younger demographics.</p> <p>Big campaigns should lead to an uplift in sales, just like TV advertising, but let's leave the last word to Julia Munder, International Marketing Manager at Maxwell Scott Bags, who says, “Revenue is a bonus, but it doesn’t always work that way."</p> <p>She continues, "From a brand perspective, if I allocate budget, I always need to make sure I get something out of it. So that could be newsletter signups, it could be followers, it could be subscribers on social channels. As long as we see an outcome that could result in something that brings us revenue or get the brand out there, then I consider it to be a successful cooperation with the influencer.”</p> <p><em><strong>See the Econsultancy report for more debate and tips on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">measuring ROI from influencers</a></strong></em></p>