What are some of the stories to make headlines in the marketing world in January?
Global social ad spend doubled at the end of 2015
Which according to The Drum is all thanks to Facebook’s improved ad offering. The Drum are reporting on findings from Kenshoo’s most recent digital marketing snapshot study, which analysed 550bn ad impressions on leading digital media assets. It revealed that not only did spending grow by 50%, but mobile was the biggest driver of overall growth.
With Facebook moving from campaigns based on their own internal interactions (likes, shares, comments) to campaigns that are focused on pushed clicks back through to company’s websites or apps, which has proven a huge hit with marketers.
They also noted that Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) opened to advertising, which will have had an effect on those looking to build their image advertising.
Weibo remove 140 character limit, will Twitter do the same?
There has been debate for a very long time on whether Twitter should remove their 140 character limit, and it looks like it may be a very likely possibility in the near future, though there has been no confirmation of this from Twitter yet.
But the speculation has been enough to send Chinese microblogging site Weibo into action quickly and remove their 140 character limit as of January 28th for “senior users” and will be rolled out to all users by February 28th.
It looks like only 140 characters will still be displayed, with the option to read more if the post is longer. We will have to see if Twitter follows suit in the coming months.
Is customer experience overtaking managed marketing?
Notonthehighstreet is looking to replace it’s marketing manager Ben Carter with a customer experience manager instead. Like many companies such as Asda, Tesco and Vue, notonthehighstreet are looking to put customer experience at the core of their marketing, showing a difference in their strategy. This is looking to be a big trend in 2016 (which we have more on that below), with companies focusing on building long term relationships with customers rather than using short term marketing ploys.
What’s the best marketing example we’ve seen in January?
This month we’re featuring Kit Kat and their holographic campaign they are running in Japan for students and their families.
With KitKat sounding like the Japanese ‘kitto katsu’ which means ‘surely win’ it has become a popular gift for students who are studying for university entrance exams, as a sign of belief that they can achieve their goal of attending university.
KitKat used this knowledge to its advantage by launching KIT MAIL, where anyone rooting for a student can send them a KitKat bar in a special package with a handwritten note to keep their spirits up. These packages are popular and readily available at post offices around the country.
They have built on this further now launching KIT MAIL hologram this month. The package now not only includes a KitKat bar but also a clear plastic pyramid. Students then place the pyramid on their phone, and when they play a designated Youtube video by popular Japanese boy band DISH// they see a ‘hologram’ of the band in the pyramid.
The hologram includes an encouraging message from the band (dressed in KitKat brand colours), which is aimed to inspire stressed out students, and get them motivated to continue studying.
This works incredibly well on a number of levels. KitKat have stuck to their main tagline of “have a break, have a KitKat” but have been able to build on a cultural reference to create a relatively cheap, easy to post, gladly received gift, that is time relevant. If that wasn’t enough, they have also been able to incorporate a popular band, and create something rather special with a small piece of kit.
You can read more about the campaign and see the advert here.
What’s to come?
With it being the beginning of a brand new year, there’s a lot of speculation of what 2016 will bring for the marketing industry. Here are just a few of the top trends we’re expected to see:
This seems to already be taking shape, and has been mentioned in numerous articles by Hubspot, Social Media Today and Zest Digital as a top trend for 2016. And as we can see in the news above, it is something already being implemented by bigger companies. Relationship marketing is using data collected about your customers to create customer loyalty and long term customer engagement, which doesn’t have to be as creepy as it sounds. This article has a great story of a company MooseJaw using relationship marketing. Where a customer bought a hoodie for his girlfriend for Christmas, but after she dumped him a few weeks before Santa arrived, he decided to return the hoodie, including in the ‘reason for return’ that his girlfriend dumped him. MooseJaw didn’t have to do anything with this information, but they decided to send their customer a large package full of t-shirts, stickers, and a card that read, “we’re sorry your girlfriend broke up with you, we decided to give you a gift” and a card full of jokes and drawings from the staff. Using the information they already had, they were able to delight their customer and build a bond. Remember using relationship marketing is all about the long term aim of loyalty rather than a quick sell.
With so many online platforms now available, a huge amount of content needed to keep you relevant and interesting, and not always having access to the biggest marketing team in the world, marketing automation is becoming a more attractive option to ensure the most is gained from the hard work you are putting in. Marketing automation can be used in a number of ways from scheduling emails or automating social media, to managing your content and feeding your potential customers through the sales funnel. Automation means you can keep interaction with your customer whether it’s from a welcome email, or a triggered similar content email, or a thank you email. This is something we will see across companies of all sizes, with small businesses looking to be taking full advantage of this. Venture Harbour have a great article full of examples of how small businesses have made this work for them.
Location based technology
Location based marketing is what it says on the tin. Marketing based on your location, calculated by your mobile device or wearable technology. One of the most popular uses is by shops and businesses in the high street whose apps you may have downloaded, by using iBeacon’s or geolocation to send you deals or offers when you are passing their business. Though it goes a lot further than this. This article has some great examples, such as Nivea using a tracker embedded into a magazine advert, which could be torn out and worn as a wristband on a child’s hand, so if they wondered too far off at a beach for example, the parents would receive an alert. Or a Pet food company who have installed snack ball machines in a number of parks, where you can vend a ball for your pet which has a sensor in it. The vending machine throws the ball into the park, and dogs that bring the ball back fast enough and are deemed ‘healthy’ receive a bowl of dog food from the kiosk.
Ephemeral marketing (or content with an expiry date to you and me)
We have SnapChat to thank for this new motion, or at least for bringing the idea into a more accepted marketing method. Ephemeral marketing focuses on content that only exists for a certain time period and then it’s gone. So with Snapchat, the sending of a photo which is only available for a 10 second window and then it’s gone, which has proven extremely popular with Snapchat now having 100 million daily active users. So how are you going to use this in your marketing? Well, it works well with ‘bitesize marketing’ strategies (we mentioned this in one of our previous blogs) where you can build anticipation for a new product, or leak parts of new blogs or articles before releasing the actual article.
The internet of things.
The internet of things is nothing new, but it looks like it might be coming in to its own in 2016. The IoT is connecting devices over the internet and letting them speak to one another. This is like your exercise band telling your smartphone what activity you’ve done today, or turning your home’s heating off through your smartphone. But how does this affect marketing? Well, the more data being created by monitoring people’s movements, actions and lifestyle choices, the more accurate data marketers have to use to be able to target ideal audiences. Sound a bit creepy? That’s what a lot of people have thought up until now. But with more people open to syncing devices together, automating their homes and using more wearable technology, it may become the norm quicker than we think.