Little lumps of thoughts

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A collection from the last year of little lumps of thoughts from some bright folk within Five by Five …

A collection from the last year of little lumps of thoughts from some bright folk within Five by Five
fivebyfivedigital.com
@fbfdigital

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  • 1. Little lumps of thoughts A collection of thoughts from the last year by some bright people that sometimes got published and sometimes didn’t. 2009 fivebyfivedigital.com @fbfdigital
  • 2. The biggest challenges facing brands in 2010
    • With the convergence of technology truly enabling mass customisation, and now mobile optimising our real-time ability to engage, share with and influence the communities we are part of, brands need to understand relevance and value more than ever before in the history of marketing.
    • Concepts of trust, transparency, loyalty and openness are a given. We are told that brand audiences are restless, experimental, imaginative and of course, challenging. Well betide the brand that ignores it’s audience. The challenge for 2010 is creating value, richness and fun by balancing brands and culture.
    • The doomsayers are having a field-day as we move into the second decade of this millennium yet, in the face of adversity, the human race has a wonderful ability to rise above all that is thrown at it. To reinvent definitions of achievement and to re-calibrate measures of delight.
    • Brands can play their part in this challenging landscape but to do so they need to be creative as well as relevant. To achieve this we will see the emergence of engaging couplings; humour and value, honesty and humility, participation and support. In this way brands will become part of the success not it’s reason and in doing so will establish reputations that equip them to enter the next decade.
    Graham Freeman Brand Planner [email_address] @grahamblog1
  • 3.
    • Brands are still a central part of marketing communications, so ‘sub-social’ brand investment was worth while. But with everyone now contributing to brand reputation, good or bad, brand management has become more complex, harder and uncertain. We have entered uncharted territory - so what’s in our brand tool kit has to change too. Differentiating, compelling and true propositions, consistently delivered in often unknown touch-points in this social world, are constantly under the ‘authenticity’ microscope. This uncontrollable audience focus drives our need for careful strategic navigation rather than tactical reaction, otherwise our brands risks disappearing into a dark hole of oblivion.
    • Social brands are about conversations; listening, engaging and managing reputation. Communications have leaped from one way traditional campaigns to infinite relationships. The iconic enabling symbol of our age is the iPhone; not just a cool looking device, it’s about connectivity. And ownership tells everyone you inhabit the connected world. A world where our brands needs to live.
    • Connectivity has unleashed the powerful new concept of social branding and its impact has only just begun! To survive, brands, now more than ever, need to be relevant and be trusted, whenever and wherever, passive or active, always reliable in delivering and exceeding expectations, but never ever inaccessible,
    • The 60’s and 70’s were about products and services marketed to ‘captive’ audiences in front of TV’s watching set programmes at set times. In the 80’s and 90’s, audiences became segmented and brands gained balance sheet value. Then it all went digital with access to information and on-line shopping. Now, almost without us noticing, brands have gone social. The trade-off for the exponential opportunity this represents is loss of ability to control communication, audiences and content. This is the new world we call social branding.
    Social Brands What’s in your brand toolkit as we travel across time & space? Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/halwani_inaya/2621128846/
  • 4.
    • People are now only one click away from perfect jobs, ideal products and damning reviews. ‘Brand utility’, where the brand creates something useful to you, has created new dimensions of connecting people with friends and others who work, study and live around them (e.g. www.facebook.com ) , aggregating product offerings and simplifying complexity (e.g. www.comparethemarket.com ) or providing personal choice (e.g. www.spotify.com access to instant, simple and free music access).
    • This disruption of traditional marketing is just one way that social media disrupts conventional brand communication models and in so doing necessitates different behaviours, attitudes and actions for brands to stay relevant.
    • In this environment social brands need to clearly differentiate through enduring compelling and true propositions; augmented by demonstrating openness, transparency and authenticity. Brand currency is enhanced through detachable and user generated content and uncontrollable user advocacy. Brand advocacy ‘people-powers’ social brands with audiences, as if watching X-Factor, deciding whether propositions are really relevant – if not they bomb, there’s no where to hide in this environment.
    • So let me ask again, what’s in your brand tool kit now? If it’s anything like ours, along with traditional marcomms it will include some new goodies; strategies for managing online reputation and engagement with influencer networks, brand outposts to put the brand where audiences are and social currency to make our brand valuable in a new world. It includes ‘listen and engage’ measurement tools with real-time dashboard modelling to make sense of this new rich vein of engagement, guiding informed decision making on our brand’s journey. Importantly it we will include an engagement programme for internal as well as external audiences because social branding is not just about ‘marketing it is about the way we communicate across every part of our business.
    • Like it or not, we’re all on this social brand journey and our success will rely on making informed choices enabling us to building social currency and become trusted sources of engagement. Scary or exciting? You choose. It’s your social brand’s future.
    Graham Freeman Brand Planner [email_address] @grahamblog1 Published: Figaro Digital http://bit.ly/6p9gw0
  • 5. What a difference a year makes Trends in the domestic travel industry
    • In summer 2008 forecasters predicted ‘modest growth (1.4%) over the coming years and ‘less affluent’ groups seeking a change of scenery closer to home.’ The economic downturn in autumn 2008 was deeper and had more far reaching impact than anyone expected. This resulted in the advent of increased domestic volume and dramatically shortened booking times due to an almost universal lack of confidence and employment uncertainty. The Times reported last year that many UK destination had ‘lost the capacity to cater for the traditional fortnight-by-the-sea family holiday’ and ‘the resorts that have succeeded in reinventing themselves have done so as short-break destinations’. However a note of caution the article goes on to identify that visitors are however cutting back on spending to off set travel and accommodation.
    • Overall the domestic market appears to be profiting from this increase in domestic holidays, even in the face of another year of poor summer weather and, although the exact figures will not be known for some time, these are likely to be stronger than expected a year ago. In effect it needs to be a solution rather than falling back into being a poor second to sunnier more predictable destination but never the less expensive destinations.
    • In July Travel Weekly carried an article forecasting that there will be a rising trend back to holidays abroad in 2011 and a ‘gradual’ decline in domestic trips by 2013 (7.7%). However overall the volumes will continue to rise with the socio economic, less mobile and pension poor, profile of an aging population all resulting in what has been coined in the industry as ‘Staycation’ where families who cancel or cut back their holiday plans opt to stay at home during their summer break. Many people believe that they are entitled to a holiday and are finding innovative ways to make it happen within reduced budgets often cutting back on peripheral spending. It costs a lot to get to the islands and they are trying to save elsewhere.”
    • The other major change is that social media has gone mainstream. People are connected and what we call Brand 2.0 propositions have never needed to be more compelling and true – there’s nowhere to hide in today’s digital environment.
    • Previously so called ‘niche’ interest groups (DINKS, SINKS, Empty Nesters and Golden Oldies) have just got bigger by linking to like minded communities and sharing experiences and dramatically their influence. We live in a truly connected society where brands are equal and not exclusively in control of their destiny.
  • 6.
    • Destinations need to join in, listen and engage with their target audiences, resonate, build relevant relationships and manage its reputation so as to be a solution to their needs.
    • In this challenging environment the tourist industry continues to become more sophisticated in its approach and understanding of marketing communications. Central government recognises the importance of the revenue it generates commissioning specialist reports such as Deloitte’s November 2008 ‘Economic Case for the Visitor economy’ which identifies that “ultimately, the quality of offer and perceptions (marketing) drive the visitor numbers and spending”. Within the report Deloitte also identify that Information provision is the biggest potential influencer with an upper quartile impact.
    • The Department of Culture, media and sport (DCMS) stated in their March 2009 response to British Tourism’s Framework Document recommendation 3: Further develop UK-wide tourism internet platforms and share new media strategies to support the industry and national tourist boards that “to maintain our international competitiveness and provide the best possible service to domestic visitors, it is vital that we maximise the potential gains from new media strategies”
    • Another silver lining from the economic situation has been the substantial increase in visitors from France (3.6m) and Euroland as a result of a very favourable exchange rate (a fall of 37% against the pound in December 2008). Whether this continues is out of the island’s control but it has had many new visitors from the mainland which can easily be reached and attracted back through social media involvement.
    • At home, in April 2009, the National Trust identified a ‘Simple Pleasures’ concept from results of a OnePoll survey of 2000 people which revealed that 84% of people ‘consider days out at beauty spots to be more important this year as people look to find ways to make their money go further’ and ‘64% of people favoured walks in the park and a third visits to galleries and historic gardens as being more popular than theme parks and sporting events’ People are necessarily changing the way they achieve value for their leisure needs.
    • Socio economic trends
    • Substantial reduction in employment and increases in unemployment rates, redundancy and lack of consumer confidence have all combined to create a very new environment in which make accurate trend forecasting a challenge. What we do know is that visitors are more cautious, booking closer to time of travel and seeking value from every purchase irrespective of its purpose.
    • The West Midlands has fared particularly badly with unemployment the highest in the country at around 10% and job vacancy rates down 70% per 10 thousand resident populations. Reducing recruitment, hours, employee earnings, making people redundant or implementing part-time working are the main options available to businesses looking to reduce input costs during the recession which has all added to falling consumer confidence.
  • 7.
    • Individually this has been further compounded by low interest rates hitting pensions, with the likelihood of people not having significant savings, due to a past culture of earn and spend rather than save. UK house prices at the beginning of the recession were some of the most over valued in the developed world which has resulted in up to 30% falls in value with the effect of reductions in personal equity, decreases in the ability to raise finance, and, in many cases, negative equity.
    • London has not escaped, particularly in the financial services sector with employment rates down to 70% and redundancy rates of 10%. The South East as a whole is faring better with figures of 78% and 9% respectively.
    • A Study by Kleeneze revealed that over 1 in 3 UK households (35%) have had their income reduced with those households affected seeing their income dropping by an average of 19.71%, the equivalent of £6,460 per year for the typical UK family. The hardest hit areas have been the South West and Midlands with 48% and 43% of households respectively affected by a drop in income.
    • However, people are showing resilience and fighting back, with a significant proportion (20.5%) finding ways to bring in extra cash. The most common ways to increase income have been for people to take on a second job, which is where companies like Kleeneze are benefiting, (7.1% of those reporting a loss of income) or sell their car or house to raise funds (4.1%).
    • Nearly one million UK households now include a lodger as homeowners seek to increase their income during the recession. 87 percent of UK households are making changes to their grocery shopping habits through avoidance, economisation, store switching and prudence. Even the betting industry has been affected by this austere new age of budgeting with William Hill reporting fewer people coming into its high street outlets to gamble at weekends.
    • It is against this backdrop of uncertainty, hardship and the continual need for reward and value that the domestic tourism industry is competing. Research by VisitBritain, the tourism authority, has revealed that 74 per cent of people are trying to reduce their holiday spending, and are spending more time planning their trips to maximise value, a cottage in Britain where you can just pack the car up and take all your own food suggests that you've got greater control. B budgetary control and perceived value for money are the critical drivers with new trends of Stayvacationing and Voluntourism materialising to meet the need.
    • Whilst the economy appears to be stabilising and growth is forecast for 2010/11 it will take time for confidence to recover not least because ours is a service economy dependent of the other global economies. To compete in this socio economic environment the tourism industry needs to listen to its consumers, engage with them and provide real value for precious income.
    Graham Freeman Brand Planner [email_address] @grahamblog1
  • 8. The 5 types of social currency
    • The social web has created a hyper-word-of-mouth platform that has tipped the balance of power away from brands. As a result, brands are now beginning to realise that engagement is the new communications. In order for a brand to achieve engagement with its stakeholders, it needs to consider the value that their content will deliver, or to frame it from the recipients perspective - what's in it for me. 
    • If the content has high value then not only will the recipient be more likely to engage with it, but they will be more likely to engage in conversation with the brand, compelling them to pass-along the content to their friends because it has social currency. 
    • I have identified 5 core types of social currency value; Useful, Entertainment, Monetary, Information and Personal. 
    • Before giving some explanation and examples for each area, it is worth pointing out that they are all channel agnostic, so for example 'events' are particularly suited for entertainment. In fact, an event like Barcardi's B-Live can in itself provide a rich stream of social currency for the digital channel e.g. twitter announcements, flickr photostreams and YouTube channels.
  • 9.
    • Useful value Is more commonly referred to as brand utilities, so although Nike+ is held up as the 'daddy' of brand utilities, there are also a huge numbers of mobile apps that would qualify for this category. 
    • 2) Entertainment value I s more commonly referred to as branded entertainment and it's interesting to note that typically this is the approach that an ad campaign concept would take. The ultimate proof of social currency is when your content is being remixed and parodied, as happened with the Cadbury's gorilla campaign. 
    • 3) Monetary value Is the social equivalent of the conventional sales promotion or PR activity. So it could be a simple voucher like the infamous Threshers' discount voucher or a competition run in conjunction with an influential blogger.
    • 4) Information value In the form of knowledge and thought leadership, can be produced in various formats e.g. video interviews, slideshare presentations and blog posts (like this one ;). More superficial forms of information, like gossip and conspiracy, can also be adopted.
    • 5) Personal value Is a particularly interesting currency, as it often provides social currency that is extremely compelling. The global success of reality TV shows, such as Big Brother, and the talent shows such as Pop Idol and X-Factor demonstrate the importance of fame.
    • Key to successfully producing high-value social currency is setting out with the right mind-set at the planning stage and get the right multi-disciplined team together to work on the social currency idea.
    • As the above Venn diagram suggests, there are opportunities to blend various currencies together and if done correctly, produce in a more potent piece of currency. An example of this would be a game (entertainment) which has a leaderboard (fame).
    • It is possible to capitalise on social currency that has already gained momentum by adopting the concept in your campaign - maybe we should call this meme-riding? T-mobile did this very successfully when they rode the flash-mobbing meme with their 'Dance' campaign.
    Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer [email_address] @stevesponder blog.stevesponder.com
  • 10. 7-step social media analytics strategy
    • After reading a huge amount about social media measurement over recent months I thought I'd add my five pennies worth to the conversation. What follows is a 7 step process for helping brands put in place a robust social media analytics strategy.
    • The first consideration is whether the conversation has been started by content produced by the brand or the community. This is important as it will have an impact on the approach and some of the specific actions as we move through the process.  So to give some context to this, brand initiated could be a video uploaded to YouTube or a blogger out-reach programme. Community initiated conversations could be the beginning of a crisis or the start of a positive groundswell response to your new product launch.
    • 2. For brand initiated activity, clarifying the objectives may reflect a tactical approach (increase the number of Twitter followers) or a more strategic one (build our brand influence). For community initiated conversations the objective could be to identify how social the brands' marketplace is or maybe to protect the brands reputation. whitepapers although at the moment it is serving us and our clients well.
    • 3. With the objectives clarified it is now a lot easier to identify the appropriate metrics which when measured will tell us if the objective has been met. It is important for clients to understand the options and complexities around different metrics by exposing them to all the choices available together with the pros and cons of these. To help our clients we have a metric toolkit which includes 50-odd different metrics across 4 key categories.
  • 11.
    • 4. For brand initiated activity we can now set some targets. Obviously, the more social media activity you have under your belt the more data you have to set realistic targets.
    • 5. Active listening is the term we use to cover social media monitoring, measuring, tracking, alerting and data-mining. So, with the appropriate metrics identified we can then select the right monitoring tool and implement our active listening plan. Interestingly we estimate that the commercial social media analytic tools (SMATs) can only measure circa 50% of the possible metrics within our toolkit and therefore need to be augmented with other grassroots tools. 
    • 6. For brand initiated conversations this is the point at which we can start the activity or programme.
    • 7. Lastly, we actively listen based on the plan and the brand would respond in accordance with the engagement policy. 
    • This process has evolved over the last year as the SMATs have evolved and as I read and digest others blog posts and
    Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer [email_address] @stevesponder blog.stevesponder.com
  • 12. I believe…
    • I believe the Cluetrain Manifesto  was way ahead of its time.
    • I believe that marketing and communication industries are going through unprecedented change - the Internet kick started it, social media continues the disruption.
    • I believe  Clay Shirky when he said; 'A revolution doesn't happen when society adopts new tools, it happens when society adopts new behaviours'.
    • I believe the conventional linear marketing funnel is defunct due to new behaviours created by social media.
    • I believe people are in control through hyper-word of mouth.
    • I believe that social media is not dissimilar to branding for a number of reasons. It is nebulous and a new concept that is difficult for organisations to get their heads and arms around. It is about building reputation, and that takes time. It is a long term investment that adds value to the brand when done right, but when done wrong, can effect an entire organisation. It is a huge internal orchestration challenge. 
    • I believe social media is so important, I've created the  Social Media Strategic Framework .
    • I believe that terms like message and audience are defunct.
    • I believe our business is no longer about advertising to 1m people to convert 100. It is now about building relationships with the right 10 people who are networked with a 1,000 (inspired by Matt Dickman ).
    • I believe Branded Entertainment and Brand Utilities are both sub-sets of Branded Content .
    • I believe Branded Content should aim to be social currency, which in turn should be used to start or contribute to conversations. Putting it another way, social media and branded content are two sides of the same coin .
    • I believe content owners (publishers and broadcasters) are being disintermediated and this will impact on brand marketing models, i.e. instead of broadcasters monetising content through selling ad space, brands create this content and monetise it through selling their products and services.   
    • I believe 'If it's not worth talking about, it's not worth doing' is a good mantra for conversational marketing activity (source anonymous).
    • I believe that the 'Creative Brief' should be renamed 'Idea Brief'.
    • I believe it's fun playing with bright shiny objects like social graphs, QR codes, DOOH, augmented reality and in-game advertising. The best fun comes from the strategic application of these tools and the true satisfaction of knowing you've made a difference.
    Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer [email_address] @stevesponder blog.stevesponder.com
  • 13. Introducing our social media strategic framework
    • There are certainly no shortage of agencies offering social media tactics to brands although almost all of this activity is crude, forcing a conventional advertising approach into this new social media environment.
    • Social media has disrupted the conventional marketing model. People are one click away from the perfect job, the ideal product, a damming video diary or the 5 star review.
    • Access to, and control over, this information results in different behaviour and attitudes. I believe social media is disrupting markets and the result will be more profound than the introduction of the Internet. 
    • Brands need to adopt different mindsets, models, approaches and strategies to meet their commercial objectives. In order to help brands adapt to this change I have been working with my colleagues at Five by Five and Headstream to develop a Social Media Strategic Framework which we believe will enable brands to strategically navigate through, as opposed to just blindly rolling out the latest, must-have tactics.
  • 14.
    • Our Social Media Strategic Framework (SMSF) sets out a number of key areas for organisations to consider:
    • Social Media Strategy As organisations start to understand the far reaching implications of social media they quickly appreciate the need to define a social media strategy that mutually supports other strategies within the organisation.
    • Influencer Networks
    • Influencers will play different roles within different market-sectors, so the key here is to understand how to identify them, the role they play and how to engage with them.
    • Brand Outposts
    • Don't just set-up a Twitter account because everyone's doing it. Take a step back and think about how your outposts will support your social media strategy, who will run your outposts and where the content will come from?
    • 4) Reputation Management Arguably, real-time eavesdropping on what people are saying about your brand is one of the most immediate benefits of social media marketing although, conversely engaging in a negative conversation could escalate in a full blown crisis so again a clear separate strategy is required here.
    • 5) Conversation & Engagement Activity
    • Brands with something interesting, useful and/or relevant to say should be aiming to start conversations, using branded content as social currency. A distribution strategy will then ensure that engaging content has the best opportunity to kick-start a conversation.
    • In conclusion, the strategic intent should be for organisations to be an authentic part of the social media community and appropriate conversations, along the way there will be immediate, tangible results although like branding, social media is about the long-haul. It's about systemically and consistently building the reputation of the brand where the pay-back is ultimately brand equity.
    • I hope you find our Social Media Strategic Framework interesting and that it builds on, and continues, the conversation.
    Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer [email_address] @stevesponder blog.stevesponder.com
  • 15. Brand content is king
    • The online media landscape is constantly evolving and as it does it is presenting brand owners with equal measures of challenges and opportunities.
    • With regards to brand communications there were three key developments over the last year, firstly online has become a dominant channel; according to IAB the Internet now accounts for 18.7% of the advertising market with Press Display at 19.3% and TV at 21.7%, secondly within the online channel social media has captured a huge percentage of users time spent online,
    • Time reported that social networking sites are now the most popular kind of site and lastly video has now become a common element of the online media mix, according to data from comScore , more than 27.4 million U.K. Internet users (78 percent of the total U.K. Internet audience) viewed 3.2 billion videos online in June 2008.
    • The challenge for brand owners is two-fold, how do you cost efficiently reach your audience through the ever growing number of fragmented media channels and how do you successfully engage them when each generation is becoming progressively more immune to interruptive advertising? it looks set to play an ever increasing role in brand communications.
    • And here in lies the opportunity, with the disintermediation of media, brands are now able to reach their audience directly via social media and brand-owned sites. This saving in media expenditure, together with tumbling production costs, make investments in brand content strategies more viable than ever.
  • 16.
    • Branded content can take many forms but generally fall into two areas; branded entertainment and brand utilities.
    • Branded entertainment could manifest itself as anything from a 60sec movie clip to a MMOG (that’s massively multi-player online game for those not in the know). Brand owners who commission entertainment need to ensure they are authentically blending key brand messages into truly engaging content.
    • Brand utilities could be anything from a calculator widget to an ambitious utility strategy like Nike+, which has successfully embedded social networking functionality directly into the product itself. Brand owners commissioning utilities need to ensure they are delivering valuable functionality for their audience that encapsulates the brand promise.
    • In summary, with branded content enabling companies to build direct and more engaging relationships with their audience
    Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer [email_address] @stevesponder blog.stevesponder.com
  • 17. Big boxes of social media
    • After watching the Web 2.0 hyper-juggernaut scream into town a couple of years back it’s been interesting to see it delivering a big boxes of social media filled with shiny new tactics including a bunch of social networks, a corporate blog, a few micro-blogging platforms, a suite of widgets and a packet of chicklets.  
    • It’s unfortunate that there was no mention of which department to deliver it to and no instructions.  As a result the box was mistakenly handed to the marketing department. Interestingly enough a similar story happened 10 years ago when the Web 1.0 hyper-juggernaut incorrectly delivered the website boxes to the IT department instead of the marketing dept, remember the issues that caused? 
    • So, and in lieu of any instruction manual the marketing guys have been busy blending social media into the marketing mix; resulting in social networks being added to the media planning process, playing with corporate blogs, producing widgets and starting a Facebook groups. But they are simply applying existing marketing principles to these new media, that’s not their fault that’s the natural thing for them to do.
    • The other thing missing from the social media box was the sticker ‘Interactive  - Handle with Care”, this means social media opens up a feedback-loop, encouraging a response, a comment and sometimes conversation, something the marketing team have not been prepared for.
    • We’re now becoming aware the box should have been delivered to the CEO as we appreciate that the impact of social media is far, far broader than the marketing department; it touches every brand touch point, customer service, human resources and challenges the product development team to deliver the ultimate product. 
    • The impending challenge for CEO’s to respond to this new world order, without the instruction manual, is huge; re-structuring and streamlining internal departments, processes and communication channels. So, if you’re in the marketing department and see a big box labelled social media please pop it up to the CEO’s office, thanks.
    Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer [email_address] @stevesponder blog.stevesponder.com Image source: http://www.socialmediabrisbane.com.au/images/social_media_box.png
  • 18. Interactive brand experiences
    • People don’t separate the message they receive from a brand based on where they see or hear it. The Internet Advertising Bureau states that the internet now accounts for 18.7% of the total UK advertising market, with press display at 19.3% and TV at 21.7%. What we do online either adds to or takes away from the overall brand experience.
    • The challenge for brand owners is two fold. Where do you put your message; and once you have the space, how do you get a smarter and more selective consumer to engage with your content?
    • Here in lies the opportunity. Digital production is ever-evolving and more accessible than ever before, so every brand has the option to create richer and deeper brand experiences online. Campaign ideas can be created and expressed seamlessly across a growing spectrum of media – perhaps for the first time, ideas can be boundaryless.
    • Online advertising provides different spaces to build a brand experience. What makes digital advertising different and exciting for both brand owner and consumer is that online ads aren’t static. Consumers can interact with the content, play games within the space, watch multiple video streams, buy stuff and even change the ad themselves.
  • 19.
    • In today’s digital age, concepts for online advertising are increasingly being put at the centre of the campaign rather than an after thought. Brand storytelling can happen in different spaces that are linked together, with digital providing the richest part of the story.
    • Online advertising is by far the most measurable, reactive and immersive advertising medium. Data and ROI are part and parcel of any digital offering. Better still, you don’t have to wait to the end of the campaign to find out how it went. Data is immediate, optimisation is in real-time. Technological versatility also allows for effective campaigns to be rolled out globally and easily personalised to the end audience.
    • Brand owners have always known that it takes great branded experiences to engage audiences. Embrace the opportunity to find new and innovative ways to do this through digital advertising and you will get great results.
    Steve Sponder Chief Digital Officer [email_address] @stevesponder blog.stevesponder.com Published: Marketing Week Interactive Seven http://bit.ly/6fq6eP
  • 20. What makes a good online shopping basket experience
    • Clear product descriptions and price information so users are reassured that what they wanted to buy has magically found its way to their basket.
    • 2. Images to re-enforce the product description because people think visually too, especially when it comes to colour choices.
    • 3. Easy removal, amendment or addition of items because they’re allowed to change their minds.
    • 4. Clear navigation to proceed to purchase or back to similar products, back to home, or a new search as these are users’ typical next steps.
    • 5. Clear labelling of the basket during the entire shopping experience so the user can see what’s in it at any time.
    • 6. Ability to save.
    • Shopping basket drop-off can be avoided by learning from the benchmark leaders: Amazon, Carphone Warehouse and Figleaves. What they do is simply make it easy for you to buy, change your mind, save it for later and come back, and compile wish lists which others can buy for you. What makes a good shopping basket experience?
    Nicholas Gill Head of Planning [email_address] @nicholasgill bluurb.wordpress.com Published: IAB Vertical Series: Retail http://bit.ly/8eQA7h
  • 21. It’s all about the brand experience – seamless but not standardised
    • The always-on consumer requires a brand experience
    • The way users consume digital has changed the way brands need to behave in the digital space. Where traditional media (web 1.0) is shouting, web 2.0 is about conversations. Consumers expect to be involved, engaged and invited to collaborate. They have on-demand expectations; they expect real-time dialogue and want personalised experiences. This is where digital has the advantages of relevance and context enabling consumers to immerse as much or as little as they want, when they want, how they want.
    • Social networks are now culturally assimilated into the psyche
    • People are spending less time on communication and content sites and more on consumer generated media (+47%) and entertainment (+8%) sites which has seen the huge rise of social networks leading to the ubiquitous Facebook app in every creative presentation in the last 18 months. To dramatise the impact social networks have had; Christmas Day 2007 was the busiest ever day for social networks in the UK. Facebook was the 3rd most visited website pushing eBay to 4th for the first time.
    • Social search on social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Linked In etc. will become more valuable to users because of relevancy and their inherent higher trust in consumer, particularly peer, reviews of places, people and companies than from brands themselves. 90% of consumers trust recommendations from other consumers compared to 45% from a TV ad. Augment this with the fact that 51% of users would abandon a consumer electronics purchase due to negative user generated comments and positive opinion and increased use of social search become increasingly important. Combining search and peer advice will become more important than contextual listings and vertical search.
  • 22.
    • Extending the gaming across channels will become expected. From console to PC to mobile, porting your stats and chat systems will become the norm. The communications activity a brand produces must also replicate this experience.
    • Community
    • Enabling the brand in the social networks these consumers operate in is no longer an option. This does encompass the ubiquitous Facebook Group and Application but it needs to go beyond this. Being a fan of a new product is only part of the story. Enabling true consumer engagement through releasing the brand and content into the hands of the passionate consumers, let them co-create and collaborate with you to take the product to new levels. Participation is not just a buzz word, it’s an expectation.
    • This extends to online advertising where it’s about engagement and interaction. Advertising static content gets lost. Deeper engagement and immersion delivers results.
    • Digital enables deeper immersion than any other channel. Fan boys will want more than just the official web site and the occasional developer diary. Taking learnings from some of the major theatrical releases in modern times, Batman: The Dark Knight and Cloverfield, brands need to extend their digital presence to involve, inspire and create talkability.
    Gaming has shifted our notion of entertainment A huge shift in consumer attitudes has turned video games into the UK's most popular form of entertainment with UK sales of games outstripping music and video for the first time in 2008. As CD sales continue to decline, the traditional high street music retailers are diversifying and changing store layouts to focus on more lucrative areas such as gaming. Gaming is clearly no longer confined to the traditional Generation Y and younger audiences. Social gaming platforms, like the Nintendo Wii, have been shown to have a positive influence in the home changing the traditional view of gaming by families: facilitating peer bonding and encouraging child exercise. 25% of all UK homes now have a Nintendo Wii. As much as consumers don’t experience brands in silo channels these days, increasingly they will want to continue their gaming experience across channels. Already this is happening in nascent territory such as downloadable content to enhance the gaming experience. Online gaming shifted from niche to mainstream with the advent of games such as Call of Duty to the point where Radio 1 DJ’s Chris Moyles and Vernon Kay talk about their gamer tags and gaming activities. You can’t get more mainstream than Radio 1.
  • 23.
    • Device convergence
    • Today we carry many pieces of equipment, tomorrow one. And it won’t be the laptop.
    • Witness the rapid growth in mobile internet usage today, fuelled by the accessible interface of the Apple iPhone and new Google Android mobile platform. 38% of users will access the internet via a mobile device by the time the Olympics come to this country in 2012.The pace of development in mobiles will leave other devices in their wake. If you can get an 8 mega pixel camera phone today, why buy a separate camera tomorrow?
    • There is a symbiotic relationship between TV and digital. Far from being separate channels, the two work in solid combination to drive relevance, association with brand values and importantly intent to purchase and talkability. Digital amplifies this through the innate social aspects of the medium.
    • Is it the death of TV?
    • 164 minutes online everyday versus 148 minutes watching TV everyday suggest TV is dead. Well, not quite. It’s where and how consumers are watching their TV that matters. People are now accessing TV online, shifting their media and increasingly mashing it (the youth demographic mash 44 hrs of activity into a 24 hr day) meaning they watch TV and are online at the same time. A massive engagement and relationship deepening opportunity for digital.
    • The notion of time-shifting means PVRs change viewing habits to when consumers are ready to watch it and over 70% of PVR owners fast forward through advertising. Innovations such as BBC iPlayer and Channel 4 On Demand are place-shifting where consumers watch. They’re still watching TV but on their own terms. And often on multiple devices. In a straight choice between the TV and their PC 80% of younger consumers wouldn’t lose their PC because it’s more versatile at delivering the content they want.
    • Implications of a digital future
    • The single biggest implication is that consumers do not think in terms off or online. For them this is antiquated. There is no line. They don’t experience a brand or product the way brands are organised into departments and responsibilities. They experience it the way they want to. On their terms.
  • 24.
    • A brand is the sum of all perceptions resulting from every point of contact a person has with a company, either directly or indirectly, over time. Different people have different ways of performing a task. There is no need to limit to a single way of doing things. Be non-linear. Don’t force users to follow a specific path: brands can create and users will find multiple paths to same content. Consumer interactions are not aligned vertically with the corporate structure. They cut across multiple departments of a company.
    • This means it’s about creating a brand experience, not a channel led approach. Think of experiences rather than channels. A channel can provide multiple experiences.
    • Adopt a more integrated and customer-centric approach to communications. Consider the moments of interaction between people and brands, and seek to generate as much value as possible from these interactions. The experience needs to be consistent and seamless across all points of interaction. This doesn’t necessarily mean matching luggage creatively but must absolutely be aligned from a strategic perspective and applying that to understand the role that each channel plays in the complete experience.
    • In a nutshell, multiple ways to access the content and having great content that is informative, entertaining and engaging in the first place.
    Nicholas Gill Head of Planning [email_address] @nicholasgill bluurb.wordpress.com
  • 25. Travel industry
    • In order to increase usability and revenue for Island Cruises, Five by Five did what is expected and, working with a usability specialist, undertook full usability reviews and stakeholder and end user interviews. Listening in to consumers at the call centre gave us a full and open understanding of what consumers actually want at the time of booking, what their frustrations and barriers are to booking.
    • The additional insight garnered at these simple sessions is often over-looked in favour of more complex research gathering but it has helped Island Cruises to improve conversions on their website 71% year on year and break through the £1m revenue barrier for two months in succession in 2008.
    • In addition to the usability improvements, tactical up-sell and cross-sell messages through the booking process, pre-bookable entertainment and excursions for example, has also swelled the average basket size which has been a huge contributory factor in the revenue growth.
    • Ensuring prices and availability are up to date is paramount in the travel business to provide consumers with the information they need at the point of browsing or booking. For Island Cruises, Five by Five developed a bespoke content management system with simple functionality that enables the client team to manage pricing and availability data seamlessly driving efficiency and speed to market.
    • Observations and trends in Travel
    • Taking the whole family
    • Multi-generational holidays are becoming the norm requiring operators to accommodate the needs of children, parents and grandparents in one hit. This is happening because of the aging profile of our nation and more wealthy grandparents taking a more active role in family lives.
    • Eco-friendly
    • Altruism and eco-friendly holidays will also become increasingly important, especially with the trend to explore new, unseen lands. The holiday must be both sustainable and awe-inspiring. A difficult balance but one that can deliver both stand-out and ability to charge a premium for the operator.
    Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vintageroadside/2348149833/
  • 26.
    • Mass premiumisation re-defines luxury
    • The luxury bar is being raised as the mass market has been able to afford ever more exotic holidays funded either on credit, home equity. The parallel on the high street is the Prada handbag effortlessly mixed with the Primark top. Consumers have been able to upgrade their lives in every aspect: witness the rise of champagne sales in chain outlets such as Tiger Tiger.
    • To counter this, inconspicuous consumption has replaced ostentation and garishness in search of unique and authentic experiences, setting true luxury holidays apart. This seeking of new experiences is also re-defining that luxury doesn’t always equate to highly expensive; exclusivity, lesser-travelled paths and differentiated places to capture the imagination and provide social currency are the new commodities.
    • Doing something different is what a luxury holiday is all about although the ‘something’ differs by generation with grandparents and parents looking for pampering and privileged access, younger generations try to out do one another with new and varied cultural or learning experiences.
    • This is re-enforced by up and coming destinations in China, India, Africa, the Middle East and Southern America competing with the traditional mainstay long-haul destinations. Train travel is discovering it’s own romantic renaissance with Eurostar renewing the interest in France. Traditional luxury cruising is also making a return with two in five luxury holidays.
    • The credit crunch impact
    • The luxury sector is fairly robust when it comes to the predicted credit crunch because of the wealth of the consumers in the sector. Reductions in city bonuses may have moderate repercussions.
    • The mainstream will no longer be able to afford to trade up so the budget break will return en masse.
    Nicholas Gill Head of Planning [email_address] @nicholasgill bluurb.wordpress.com
  • 27. Five things social media isn’t…
    • 1 … something that lives in the marketing silo
    • It disrupts the entire business model meaning you have to listen to customers and change your mindset and behaviour accordingly. Can the marketing department deal with customer services complaints? Senior management buy-in is integral. Social media requires a way of thinking which includes a willingness to listen to customers, make changes based on feedback and trust employees to talk to customers. Integrating with your other activities – marketing and business – is crucial.
    • 2 … just about Twitter
    • Brand outposts such as a Twitter or Facebook may well be a cornerstone of your social media strategy but don’t start there. Have a robust strategy in place and understand your objectives and how you can connect with the passion points of your consumers.
    • 3 … a quick fix
    • Social media should be treated with the same reverence and long-term engagement as your brand. It is not a one-shot deal. It’s a long-term commitment to openness, experimentation and change that requires time to truly bear fruit.
    • 4 … free
    • A constant stream of engaging social currency, deployed across brand outposts and through trusted influencer networks, allied to user generated content, e-commerce with real-time response and moderation, isn’t easy. It needs the right financial commitment. Even taking free software like WordPress and making it function as an effective interactive site, with e-commerce and company brand style sheets takes more than time. It takes skill, experience, and investment.
    • 5 … immune from measurement
    • One of the oft heard complaints about social media is that it can’t be measured. Bollocks. Engagement, influence, infectiousness, share of voice, sentiment, increased traffic leading to sales. All of this is measurable today. Pizza Hut’s iPhone app delivered $1m. Dell’s Twitter activity alone realised $1m incremental revenue last year and at a recent Revolution event, Michael Buck from Dell stated that a 10% reduction in customer service calls would enable the investment in social media to breakeven. Fundamentally it comes back to your objectives and making sure they have measurable components baked-in to them.
    Matt Burrough Senior Account Director [email_address] @mattb45
  • 28. We talked at… Tweeting Social Stuff Marketing Magazine Digital Savvy Youth: Social Networking & Twitter in focus workshop In association with Phones 4U Presentation: http://bit.ly/2RddEG Nicholas Gill Head of Planning [email_address] @nicholasgill bluurb.wordpress.com Social Media Disruption with a B2B Flavour IBM Exclusive Mid market Seminar Presentation: http://bit.ly/2eiy9e Nicholas Gill Head of Planning [email_address] @nicholasgill bluurb.wordpress.com Revolution Magazine More bang for your buck – marketing in a recession Chris Buckley Group Planning Director [email_address] @buckers
  • 29. Continue the conversation fivebyfivedigital.com @fbfdigital If you would like to get in touch, or arrange a time to chat over a cup of coffee, please contact: Andrea Catt +44 (0)23 8082 8520 [email_address]