In this month's digest, we explore consumer motivations for content engagement, report on why the UK should stay in Creative Europe and why traditional PR may be facing extinction.
We also explore how to connect the online and offline consumer experience, as well as why brands shouldn't focus on short term marketing effectiveness. Finally, we examine the multi-layered marketing strategy Consider This implemented for Liverpool Theatre School to boost its online presence.
Prior to even beginning a marketing campaign, advertisers are inundated with data on their prospective consumers. Who are they? Where do they live? What sector do they belong to? How do they spend their spare time? How do they acquire their information?
The answer to these questions are all well and good but the most important one is usually bypassed – and that is ‘Why’? Why does the consumer become motivated to use a product or brand? Knowing the answer to that question will give you a much greater insight to what drives the consumer.
AOL has released a new global study into this very question. The company’s in-depth research revealed how consumers around the world engaged with online content. They did this in eight separate ways, referred to as ‘content moments':
- Inspire - seeking fresh ideas, trying new things or thinking from a different perspective
- Be in the know - searching for relevant ideas to stay updated
- Find - looking for answers and advice or investigating specific topics and items
- Comfort - seeking support or insight
- Connect - wanting to learn new things and feel like part of a community
- Feel good - finding moments that can improve moods and help in feeling relaxed
- Entertain - seeking an escape or mental break
- Update socially - searching for information to stay updated and take a mental break
Arts leaders have said that the UK should endeavour to remain a part of Creative Europe and keep participating in the European Capital of Culture programme after it leaves the European Union.
A new report, published last month, summarised the challenges faced by Brexit and called for the UK Government to quantify the benefits the creative industries currently receive from EU funding sources and, most importantly, ensure these are maintained. It also calls on retention of tariff-free access to the EU market to ensure ease of movement between the EU and the UK for work such as concerts or theatre tours, as well as protection of intellectual property rights.
The report demonstrates that Creative Europe – the European Commission’s €1.46bn culture and audiovisual programme – grants more funding to the UK than any other country except Germany.
In the last five years, the way the public consume media is unrecognisable. As a result of this trend, the PR model of press releases and media stunts has moved from newspapers to all things digital.
It comes as no surprise that online advertising spend has increased to $60 billion (approximately £48 billion) in just 20 years. These days people tend to rely on online platforms like Twitter for their news and stream political debates on Facebook Live. According to PR Week, 51% of people use social media as a source of news once a week, while over a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds use social media as their main source of news.
What does this show us? Simple: There is no longer such a thing as ‘traditional media’. PR professionals already work more closely with social, digital marketing teams. Gone are the days of the standalone PR agency.
Per Gwen Morrison, CEO of The Store at WPP, has said brands should be looking at the online customer journey as they are the people driving it. This journey has become more complicated due to hundreds of touch points for a single transaction, one as simple as buying a pair of shoes.
Consumers are not concerned about channels, when they want a product, they expect it to be the way they want and where they want it to be, according to Lori Tauber Marcus, former global CMO of Peloton. This implies that the notion of omnichannel is rather outdated because it assumes those channels are rigidly in place.
One other problem is attribution: If a push notification sends a consumer into a store to make their purchase, does attribution go to digital, retail, or both? What's more, retail outlets require more customer data in order for the salesperson to make better recommendations based on previous purchases. However, due to consumers' low adoption levels of CRM data-pulling systems, a considerable disconnect still exists.
According to Graham Harris, VP of brand partnerships at Bazaarvoice, one of the biggest challenges facing marketers in this arena is obtaining data and then making it portable to get a more holistic view.
Though Marcus accepted technology is an issue, she also stated that marketers can’t blame everything on just IT and data. Rather, part of the issue can also be found in retailers' incentive structure whereby stores are rewarded for store sales and e-commerce is rewarded for e-commerce sales; “It’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport”, said Marcus.
Therefore, retailers must figure out how to reward closing sales more broadly.
Research, based on approx. 500 case studies, suggests the marketing industry is placing too much focus on short-term marketing effectiveness. The research suggests that this is having a negative effect on awareness, share of voice and, in the end, profits.
On average, 47% of communications budget is now allocated to short-term activation strategies, up from 31% in 2014.
What's of even higher concern is the decline in effectiveness, as in the ability to create brand frame and profit growth contributions. The research illustrates that this peaked in and around 2009 but has since been falling. Even the long-term case studies have lost efficiency, with levels which are now below where they were a decade ago.
Consider This worked with Liverpool Theatre School in order to reinforce the online presence of the school, raise awareness of its courses in the regional area and across the UK, increase the number of student applications and enhance new student recruitment.
To achieve these objectives we devised and implemented a multi-layered marketing strategy which included creating a new brand, website development, multi-media advertising campaigns and social media management.
We created and designed a new brand and logo refresh to work across all schools materials, including the new website, and also updated stationary items, i.e. letterhead, business cards, compliment slips, with the new design. The bold and striking concept ensured the client's brand stood out and is instantly recognisable.
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