Marketing machines still need a human touch

Earlier this year Google rolled out a new ads settings feature that allows users to mute ‘reminder ads’; known in the wider digital industry as retargeting ads.  

But why would consumers want to make use of this feature? When managed effectively, retargeting ads should improve the user experience, reminding them about products they have browsed, suggesting viable alternatives, delivering relevant special offers, and...

By Piero Pavone, 20 April 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising.

Are below the fold ads more engaging?

Conventional wisdom would say that an ad that is above the fold would be more effective than one that a user won’t see unless they actively scroll down the page. New research from ad tech company Sovrn seems to suggest that the opposite may actually be true.

The company looked at over three billion engagements across 130 million page views on 400 websites to see whether ads above or below the fold into which bring the best results.

The research team focused on the difference between engagement time,...

By Aaron Bob, 19 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising.

Closing the intent gap to drive sales

More than half of European consumers aged 18 to 34-years-old want ads that are relevant and personalised, according to the Adobe Digital Insights report. And although generally most marketers think they have improved in terms of matching consumer interests (69% in Germany; 49% in the UK; 36% in France), consumers beg to differ.

Only 33% of people in the UK think they are being served up advertising that is of value to them, compared with...

By Harvey Sarjant, 19 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing.

Is ‘measurement culture’ killing creativity?

Data has redefined the marketing game in the last decade. Before, marketers would pump content out to their chosen medium and judge its success based on any increase in sales. Now, they sit on top of a pile of data that can tell them exactly how their campaigns are performing.

But is this ocean of data putting the focus of modern marketing too heavily on analysis, measurement and insight at the cost of creativity?

This seems to be a common view, according to a survey of 250 marketing decision-makers, with 72%...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 17 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Branding, Content Marketing.

It’s no longer a choice between targeting or audience reach: Both are imperative to succeed

It used to be so simple. If you were looking to acquire new customers you needed the reach of mass campaigns to attract them to you. If you wanted to build and enhance relationships with existing customers, you needed to deploy what you had learned and tailor your targeted messages precisely.

Now, thanks to ad blocking, savvy consumers opt-out more easily than ever, so ensuring communications are accurately targeted to potential customers is imperative.

Simultaneously, respecting and acknowledging...

By Richard Foster, 17 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Personalised Marketing.

Can the year of the influencer thrive through National Day campaigns?

With Mother’s Day and Easter disappearing into the distance for another year, many brands will be analysing the performance of their themed marketing campaigns. This year, there is even more of a compelling argument to include influencers in this strategy.

The 2017 festive season saw around half of young people purchase products promoted by popular influencers on social media - no wonder 2018 has been dubbed ‘The Year Of The Influencer’. With Father’s Day not far behind, brands...

By Aaron Brooks, 16 April 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Branding, Campaigns, Customer Experience.

Innovation, personalisation and experimentation: Why you might not be doing any of it right

The word ‘innovation’ must rank fairly highly on a list of the most used and abused buzzwords in digital marketing today. Every organisation thinks that they’re innovative in some form or other – but are they going about it the right way?

San Francisco-based Optimizely believes not. According to Global Head of Strategy Hazjier Pourkhalkhali – who would like to believe his company is ‘the biggest digital laboratory in the world’ – three quarters of all...

Are humans the flaw in the AI machine?

With many predicting that 2018 will be a watershed year for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), we might expect that marketers will find their jobs becoming easier over the next 12 months. However, our plans to let technology take the strain could be at risk if we lose faith in these new techniques without first giving them enough time or attention.

There are...

By Nick Welch, 13 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding.

Consumers want customisation and service while brands offer discounts

New research provides further evidence that marketers are missing the mark when it comes to personalisation. According to Epsilon’s report, there is often a disconnect between marketers and the consumers they are trying to reach, centring around a misunderstanding of what the latter actually want from personalisation.

In a survey of consumers, the company found that 32% want brands to customise their...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Personalised Marketing.

Bravery: challenging the client

The best client-agency relationships involve a creative partnership – listening and inputting on both sides. The client knows their business and their sector best and may also have a strong in-house marketing and communications team. Meanwhile, the agency knows (or should know) the best routes to market and have a strong sense of what’s going to resonate most in the media and other external forums.

To simplify what can be a complex equation, it’s when content knowledge meets communications...

By David Morgan, 12 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Customer Experience.

Six key ways to distribute your content and grow your following at the same time

If you’re a leader in business, you’re probably not enamoured by social media. Sure, you’ve got accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter that an assistant or a member of your marketing team maintains, but you’re not too active there personally. You don’t have many followers, but you don’t mind; you have bigger things to worry about than who’s reading your tweets.

Too many leaders shy away from social because they see it as “kid stuff” or a time suck that has no place...

By John Hall, 11 April 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Content Marketing, Publishing, Social Media Marketing.

UK Lords call for action on digital advertising

The UK’s digital advertising industry should take greater steps to self-regulate, according to a newly published report from the House of Lords Communications Committee.

The advertising industry is seen as a success story of the last few decades. The UK advertising in a digital age report claims that the UK is a global hub for the ad industry, adding £120 billion and over 1 million jobs to the economy in 2016.

The industry is, however, in a state of flux. Evidence given to the committee in the last few weeks...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology.

The three priority tasks of the Chief Influence Officer for 2018 and beyond

2017 has seen a systemic change in influencer marketing. Innovative brands such as Nissan UK have integrated influencer marketing throughout the customer journey, making it an integral part of their marketing and communication strategies.

Other organisations have moved from experimentation to transformation, now acknowledging how influencer marketing is transforming workflows, processes and expertise across multiple...

By Nicolas Chabot, 11 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

Case study: Personalised messaging helps reassure consumers making their first ‘adult’ purchase

Despite the relative anonymity of the internet and ecommerce transactions, some people can still be a little uncertain when it comes to making certain more, ahem, risqué purchases.

The adult retail industry (think lingerie and adult gifts) has some fairly unique challenges when it comes to new customer acquisition. The main factor at work here is first time buyers being worried about whether or not the purchase is ‘normal’ and whether they should be embarrassed or ashamed about...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 10 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Personalised Marketing.

The crippling hidden expenses of bringing technology in-house

An integral part of any business is technology, but regardless of whether it is owned or outsourced, it is still a significant investment for brands to make. The most important aspects for brands to consider when looking to implement new technology are transparency and control, especially with the impending tightening of new data regulations on the horizon.

This is why brands shouldn’t just look to a vendor, but an end-to-end technology provider that delivers clear costing, controlled processes, full...

By Robert Berkeley, 10 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology.

Smaller agencies filling gaps of declining AOR model

Business leaders at large multinational companies that work with marketing firms are still mostly relying on Agencies of Record (AOR). A new survey carried out by the Economist Intelligence unit for Globality asked 307 multinational business leaders with annual turnovers of £1bn, finds that 58% currently use an AOR.

But, as many companies face pressure to create more value from their marketing strategies, many are beginning to move away from large agencies and towards smaller specialists. 66% of those...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 09 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice.

How viral content became a hotbed of online ad fraud and what can be done to stamp it out

Just weeks ago, Unilever, one of the biggest advertising spenders in the world, threatened to pull ads from digital and social platforms if they fail to eradicate content which “creates division in society and promotes anger and hate.” Considering that Unilever spent over $9 billion (£6.4) billion on advertising in 2017 and recently stated its intention to increase this spend by £220 million in 2018 (

By Nigel Gilbert, 09 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

Instagram and Facebook limiting data access for third-party developers

Both Facebook and Instagram have made changes that will limit the amount of data that third-party developers can access, as the company is still reeling from the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The news came as a shock to many developers, especially the scale of the changes. Instagram has instituted a 96% cut to how often software developers can pull data from its API for mobile apps. The API now allow permits third-party apps to request 200 data updates an hour, down from the previous 5,000.

This has the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media Marketing.

Levelling the playing field: Democratising audience data

Today, acceleration is happening to companies that are able to engage the right consumers through social platforms and employ technology to expand market size globally.

Dollar Shave Club went from $0 to $200m in revenue in only 4 years and completed a $1bn exit. HelloFresh scaled to c.€600m of sales in less than 4 years. Tesla booked c.500k of pre-orders for its model 3 without a dollar spent on advertising.

small businesses need ready access to audience insights in order to compete

The key aspect of succeeding in...

By Ali Little, 06 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Data-driven marketing.