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By Jane Wareing

Space & Time’s Jane Wareing examines a ‘halo effect’ from Meta ads – and outlines how to optimize your advertising strategy to make the most of it.

Space & Time on Meta ads’ halo effect / Ramez E. Nassif via Unsplash

In digital advertising, understanding the true impact of your campaigns is crucial.

While Meta ads don’t always see the highest last-click return on Google Analytics, they can be highly effective at driving consumer discovery. That’s a significant halo effect. And through search tracking via custom conversions, we can begin to shed light on how it works.

Meta and search tracking 101

Meta’s custom conversion feature means that you can create metrics in the platform, allowing you to track the number of people who have landed on your website via a search engine, after seeing (or clicking on) a Meta ad.

This this works by setting up conversions using Meta’s ‘referring domain’ and ‘URL contains’ parameters and inputting filters to ensure you only pick up website visitors who came through search domains. Depending on how your paid search URL tracking is set up, you can split this simply into ‘paid’ and ‘organic’, or you can dig deeper and split them by campaign types – for example, ‘brand’, ‘non-brand’, and ‘performance max’.

This further split allows you to see the effect of your ads on these different campaign types. For example, in a brand awareness campaign, you may further prove the effectiveness of your advertising through A/B testing and comparing branded search conversions alongside typical brand awareness metrics.

Setting your objectives

Tracking Meta’s halo effect can benefit various types of campaign, targeting different stages of the conversion funnel. This is especially valuable for products or services with longer purchase cycles, as it can illustrate the more immediate impact of your Meta ads and the role they play in driving last-click conversions from other channels.

Either way, there are three key reasons to set up search tracking for your Meta activity, regardless of your product or service.

First, it helps you to understand the true value of Meta ads. By tracking how these ads influence your website traffic, you can measure their effectiveness and make data-driven decisions to test or amend audiences or creative.

Second, you can use it to drive consumers earlier in their purchase journey. Meta ads can act as a catalyst for potential customers to start searching for specific keywords, especially branded keywords. Understanding this can help you create more engaging and educational content to guide them through the conversion funnel.

Third, it opens up the opportunity for highly engaged retargeting audiences. By knowing which users arrived at your website through search engines, you can create retargeting campaigns that specifically target them, increasing the chances of conversion.

Does it work?

We’ve tested this with clients. With one, for example, we gained increased insights into the discovery our Meta ads were driving, including over 86,000 landing page views after searching on Google or Bing during the first month of recording this data.

We also set up a retargeting audience based on those who had landed on a client’s website after searching on Google. Testing this against our original dynamic retargeting campaign, the retargeting campaign delivered a 4.3x higher return on ad spend and 71% lower cost per purchase, as well as a 39% higher click-through rate when looking at Meta attribution data.

When diving into Google Analytics last-click attribution data, we saw even more favourable results, with an 18x higher purchase rate and 4.96x higher return on ad spend for the search retargeting audience compared to the original dynamic retargeting audience. This shows the value of specifically targeting this highly engaged audience, and Meta’s value as a final driver to purchase for this group.

Using search tracking to understand Meta’s halo effect allows you to make informed decisions to optimize your advertising strategy based on key results, as well as offering new retargeting audience opportunities. While customer journeys are available to view in GA4, concrete results within the Meta platform showing the effect of its advertising on other channels can go a long way in proving that Meta ads have a more significant role in driving discovery and conversions than traditional last-click attribution might suggest.

Feature Image Credit: Ramez E. Nassif via Unsplash

By Jane Wareing

Sourced from The Drum

By Calum Jaspan

In this outtake from The Weekend Mumbo newsletter, Mumbrella’s Calum Jaspan explores why ‘conflicts’ are still a sensitive topic, how one agency is finding a way around them, and if there is a path forward.

“One is fine. Two is a conflict. Three or more is a specialisation.” That line someone quipped to me this week resonated heavily.

“If I had just one of everything, I’d go broke.”

That one was said by advertising legend (and I think we can call him that in context) Harold Mitchell at Mumbrella360, 11 years ago. 

Much to the malign of successful ad agency bosses, they are largely still limited to one client per sector, lest they become specialists and then close off other opportunities.

Many in adland complain that their industry is subject to an outdated system that few other industries are.

Examples often put forward are consulting, lawyers or investment bankers.

A quick google search will show you, for example, that EY’s clients in 2022 included AT&T, and Verizon; 21st Century Fox and Time Warner; Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook.

An agency CEO told me this week: “Consultants, auditors, and media owners all have access to competitive information and a load of details, but for some reason creative, media and earned agencies aren’t able to work across competitors. It’s a legacy that should evolve.

“If you don’t trust your agency but you do the media owners, consultants and auditors then there is a severe problem and you should review your agency partners.”

So why is there still so much conflict around conflict? 

There are cases, such as a sector duopoly, where it makes sense to manage conflicts closely.

Take WPP and its forced exit from the Coles pitch last year as an example. Woolworths engaged WPP’s Hogarth, so naturally, they were out of the running.

“Not every client is Coles and Woolies though,” one senior marketer told me this week. “You have to be pragmatic,” they said, and not take a blanket view on things.

Would they engage an agency already working with a competitor? While they admitted it might make them uncomfortable, if the agency displayed effective ethical walls, they would be ok with it.

“You can’t contract your way into good work. Clients get the work they deserve.”

No sooner than I had heard that, I asked another marketer this week if they would be ok with their agency working with another brand in the same category.

“Fuck no!”

I suggested that ethical walls are common practice in many industries and some marketers believe they could work in this industry.

“That’s rubbish,” they responded. “Everyone talks, and you as a journalist should know that!

“How are they making sure there is no leakage?

“If there are businesses that are fine with that, ok. But the minute it fucks up, who are they going to blame?”

Speaking of leaks, while rare, they do happen. Just take the PwC Peter Collins leak that has led news this week.

There are examples, however, of brands being comfortable with their agencies working with competitors.

The Monkeys Melbourne found itself inside the Carlton United Breweries cellar door in 2020 after its client Asahi purchased the Australian beer conglomerate.

CUB then recently narrowed its roster down to two main agencies, Clemenger BBDO and The Monkeys (with a few sub brands being serviced by other agencies).

The Monkeys and Canadian Club have a successful partnership in the books

Its sister agency, The Monkeys Sydney, has helped build Beam Suntory-owned Canadian Club significant market share in recent years off the platform ‘Over beer?’.

Many clients would take issue with this. One agency (albeit separate offices, with separate teams), working on two clients in a fiercely competitive sector.

The Monkeys has flouted the unwritten rule, and that isn’t the only example.

It has been Entain Group’s (Ladbrokes and Neds) rostered creative agency for several years now, so it was a surprise when the Mark Green-headed Accenture Song was appointed as Tabcorp’s new creative and brand agency last month, splitting duties with Ogilvy as its customer agency.

I’m just going to dot the ‘i’ here and say The Monkeys is part of Accenture Song.

Entain’s chief marketing officer James Burnette told me a few weeks ago he has absolutely no issue with the new partnership, and that the brand and agency continue to be happily engaged with each other.

Moving forward? 

An industry pundit who has written about this topic in the past suggested clients need to “stop being so sensitive” about conflicts.

With bottom lines to protect, it is hard to pass up business when it stares you in the face. How do agencies generally get around this? They create more agencies. Enter the ‘conflict agency’. Which of course no one really wants to admit it is – it’s a genuine agency that has seen a market opportunity. A very specific market opportunity.

That in itself is an issue. There are so many agencies. No wonder there is a talent crisis.

Holding groups previously sneezed out new agencies anytime they needed to retain a client or add one without having to deal with conflict.

“You have agencies spawned purely for the sake of this. But guess what, they (the client) always end up moving,” one industry source said.

Some have started packaging them back up, but then this naturally leads again to the problem you were trying to solve. 

And it even works the other way. Some of Australia’s biggest brands including Optus, Telstra, IAG, Suncorp and the aforementioned CUB work with a roster of agencies, in what could be perceived as an attempt to stash them away from their competitors.

IAG splits creative duties across several agency brands

With some sectors such as financial services now so varied, it seems silly that a brilliant agency is denied the opportunity to work with a new client due to conflict.

“There’s more of them than there are of us, so we need to figure this out,” another agency boss said of a conversation they had with a colleague.

So what is the solution?

One suggestion has been for an agency to license out a campaign to a client. This would promote longevity in brand platforms, reward better work and put up barriers within the scope of work it’s creating for a brand.

Charge for longevity, value and frequency, not hours and people.

And that’s exactly what you can expect to see from Huge, according to Mat Baxter, who has launched the agency locally. 

“We want to show clients what you can get from buying a product, instead of people and hours,” he told Mumbrella.

Another option would be, as one pundit mentioned, for agencies to stand up for themselves and stop entertaining conflict as being an issue, or only accepting exclusivity with a client if it promises the same to them.

So maybe Accenture Song and The Monkeys are on to something, and the pitch to clients is that agencies can handle conflicts. But maybe it helps being backed by a company that specialises in them too.

By Calum Jaspan

Sourced from Mumbrella

 

 

By George Sanders

What are the sorts of problems a B2B marketing agency can help you fix? In the first of a mini-series, George Sanders of Earnest goes back to basics.

When you’re thinking about employing the services of a B2B marketing agency, one of your first questions should be, “Do I actually need one?” Frustratingly, there’s often no one to ask, so here’s a guide on what to consider for B2B brand marketers left feeling stranded.

The right agency can do incredible things for your brand by providing experience and expertise that supplements, augments and amplifies your own, and solving the problems that you can’t internally. But you need to know what those problems are first; you don’t want to approach an agency with a vague, “how can you help me?” If you say to a car salesperson, “I think I need a car,” they’ll probably reply, “here’s our fastest, most expensive and reddest one.”

By first understanding and defining your goals, requirements, priorities and budgets, you can ensure you find the suitable agency partner to meet your needs efficiently, effectively and enjoyably – and avoid succumbing to greasy, glad-handing hustlers.

Defining your objectives

What are your needs and objectives? Think about both business objectives and marketing objectives. The former should already exist as a commercial strategy, and the latter should be captured in a marketing plan, defining opportunities, challenges and requirements to define the agency brief.

If you don’t have a marketing plan, create one yourself or employ the services of a freelance marketing consultant. To progress without one risks directionless activity, no clear line to commercial objectives, and wasted time and budget.

Business objectives

Business objectives are too often overlooked, forgotten or unknown by marketing teams. You should find them in company strategy presentations or board/investor reports, and might focus on international expansion, improving profitability or growing product lines.

By clearly connecting them to marketing strategy, marketers can ensure their work is more visibly and meaningfully contributing to actual business success, and that the metrics provide value outside of the marketing department.

Marketing objectives

Marketing objectives should be part of a marketing strategy and plan that helps make the business objectives happen. If your business objective is to grow revenue in the US market by 50%, your marketing objectives should work to make that happen (for example, by increasing brand awareness in the US by X%, provisioning for demand generation and providing local sales teams with tools and assets).

By defining these objectives, you can then determine what’s possible internally, and where you need external support. It may be that what you’re looking to achieve isn’t something that an agency can help with (sometimes businesses need to ‘get their house in order’ before they go outside).

For brands without a marketing strategy, marketing consultants can be invaluable. The right consultant will develop a picture of what you have, what you need, how to achieve it, and where (if at all) agency support would be most valuable. A common objection is, “Christ, they charge how much per day?” But the upfront cost of a marketing strategy could save the cost of going with the wrong agency. This is the architect before bringing the builders onsite.

Define your agency needs

Next, determine what kind of agency is required. This depends on objectives, your teams’ expertise and your work capacity.

B2B agency services range from strategic big-thinking (brand story and identity, campaign strategies, creative ideas, full-funnel development and production – this is where we at Earnest mostly sit), to more tactical and production-only (tactical or business-as-usual content and asset production, digital marketing, event production).

There are agencies that provide both ends of the spectrum; others specialize in one or the other. Understanding what you need and where the agency provides the most value will help you decide which one is right for you. Another clumsy house-building analogy: a handyman can do a bit of everything, but for a swimming pool you’ll probably want a specialist. The task dictates the service, not the other way around.

It’s important to realize what agencies cannot help you with, such as selling the need for external agency support to stakeholders; promoting the role of marketing internally; securing budget; and developing strategies and objectives. They can offer guidance and support, but these typically wouldn’t be in their remit.

Defining KPIs and the brief

Next, how will you measure the success of your work together?

Project KPIs should align with marketing strategy, determined by the task. That could be ‘increase visitors to the website by X%’ or ‘deliver a new brand identity by the end of December.’ This will help you find the right agency, help agencies determine if they’re right for you and inform the brief.

The importance of the written brief to agencies can’t be overstated. The quality of work from an agency is directly related to the quality of the brief; incorrect information, missing details and changing direction will lead to work that’s inaccurate, irrelevant and eventually costly.

Once the above are in place, determine what the engagement process looks like. Is it a request for proposal or a full-on strategic/creative pitch?

Engaging with an agency can supercharge your marketing with robust insight, informed strategy and inspiring creative. But don’t run into the unknown without foundational elements in place. The reality of the working world (aggressive deadlines, demanding stakeholders and tight budgets) make it difficult to have these in place when you need them, but taking a step back and communicating the importance of planning and objective-setting can pay off disproportionately.

Feature Image Credit: Matthew Waring via Unsplash

By George Sanders

Soured from The Drum

By Marcus Foley

As augmented reality (AR) progresses and technology continues to evolve, Tommy co-founder and chief growth officer Marcus Foley considers how it can be used in new industries.

AR has moved into the mainstream. For some age groups, it’s phenomenally familiar already. It’s still an exciting and fast-moving growth area for the marketing industry, developing at pace. The global AR market is expected to expand with a 40%+ compound annual growth rate in the next six to eight years. It’s allowing brands to create experiences that only a few years ago we couldn’t imagine delivering on a phone to a waiting crowd of millions (or billions – 3.5 billion users globally, as it stands). Even fewer than this many people would be confident enough to pick it up, play, share and create with it. Now we’re delivering hundreds every few months.

Tommy predict where the evolution of AR will take the advertising industry. Image: Lucrezia Carnelos/Unsplash

Tommy predicts where the evolution of AR will take the advertising industry / Lucrezia Carnelos via Unsplash

At Tommy, we spend a lot of time designing, making and geeking out over AR experiences. This is partly driven by being an official partner for TikTok, and working with a considerable number of household name entertainment brands. AR can be a brilliant tool for famous characters and their fans, and we’ll come on to that, but it is also becoming increasingly important for the retail sector – 71% of shoppers recently reported they would shop with a retailer more often if it offered AR.

Why is AR so attractive to shoppers? For the relevant brands, it’s the ease and speed of product trial, which can be mind-blowing these days. Want to try a new hair color? Click, it’s done. You like it? Click, it’s in your basket. Want to see that new sofa, in your chosen fabric, in your lounge? Click, it’s done. It might save two or three trips to the showroom. What has changed is that it’s become easier to deliver on devices without the need for apps, it’s much easier to use and it’s far more convincing, which has opened up the market. This is without talking about the myriad of fashion brands that have tested, trialled or permanently used AR in their purchase journey. Trying on, personalizing, seeing things in your context – these all de-risk the purchase and give customers the confidence to buy.

What else is pushing AR into familiar spaces and sometimes unexpected hands? Social media, of course. What’s interesting about AR in these spaces is that it has become a part of turning the traditional model of influence on its head. In social media, AR is helping everyday people (not brands or celebrities) to tell more immersive, richer stories with unlimited creative possibilities – without a budget or a studio – from their own special effects lab. Where once the technology barriers and costs kept this as a domain for the few, it’s now in the hands of a huge volume of people. With so many individuals and ideas with such powerful tools, it takes storytelling and share ability to a whole new level.

The younger generations are often the instigator, but all generations are being exposed to AR through their peers, friends and family. It might be in photos and videos using lenses, a shared moment playing a game at a family event, or a website where a convenient trial moment is embedded into the customer journey. If you ask them, ‘Do you use AR?’, they would probably say no, but they are part of a growing number of people who are starting to see the blend of digital and physical imagery as being ‘normal.’ Of course, it’s not just Josephine Bloggs putting bunny ears on Granny – it’s also the creators and brands that are intentionally building an audience that is driving expectation and desire for AR too.

So what about them? For one, the entertainment industry loves AR, and albeit from our slightly biased perspective, is doing some amazing work to bring their IP to people in immersive moments that were previously impossible. Combining novel experiences with getting a fan closer to their favourite characters – in many cases appearing as their favourite foe or hero – can go a long way to encourage people to try, create and share. The noise from each major release ripples through feeds and, once again, AR becomes less novelty and more expected. Those who don’t have it become the odd ones out.

AR is no longer a novelty – and the expectation and desire for it is growing. What does this mean for marketers? It means that it’s time to start having a serious think about AR, and to identify if it works for your product and target market. This is not to advocate for the use of technology where it doesn’t fit, but to encourage you to explore, and at least understand, how your customers are using these tools to engage with people, products and places. It’s great fun, and its capacity to inspire and connect people with pure entertainment moments shouldn’t be overlooked. However, it’s more than that – it’s a shift in the way we experience brand and product that is here to stay.

By Marcus Foley

Sourced from The Drum

By Simone Morris

For decades, brands have held the power and had their say over the creative direction of their advertising. But with the rise of influencer marketing, is the tide turning? Simone Morris of GottaBe Marketing considers this phenomenon, and looks at how brands can make successful work using influencers.

Have you ever wondered who has the power when you are putting together a campaign? Some might say the brand does; others might say it rests with those who have the purchasing power. Either way, it’s time to break down this complex relationship. Within this post we will discuss whether brands are representing or assuming, why brands must make the change, and why it is beneficial to recognize minority ethnic influencers.

GottaBe! consider the usefulness of influencers today and why brands need to reprioritise diverse representation in campaigns.

GottaBe Marketing considers why brands need to reprioritize diverse representation in campaigns

Are brands representing or assuming?

Millennials and gen Z are the reason for the rise and demand of influencer marketing. Influencers have the power to help consumers decide whether to buy a product. As we mentioned in The power of ethnic influencers for brands, influencers are key to a successful campaign.

It is imperative that you consider the ethnicities of your brand’s audience and how you can market to each one. If your audience is predominately white, ask yourself what you need to do to attract others, as your brand will only attract those it represents. Gone are the days of ‘one size fits all’ marketing; campaigns need to be tailored to break through and reach cross-sections of society.

At GottaBe Marketing our goal is to create campaigns that fill these gaps. So, no matter whether you are trying to bridge the gap between South East Asians, Muslims, Africans, Christians, English speakers or other groups, we can help create a campaign that breaks these ‘traditional’ barriers.

Power brands must make the change

As the field of marketing has changed, there is more inclusion of different backgrounds, and there is a need for this to be reflected within all marketing campaigns. Eric Toda, former marketing executive at Gap Inc, Airbnb and Nike, mentioned in Diversity In Influencer Marketing: Why Representation Matters: “As marketers we continue to be one of the only industries in the world that can influence large masses of people; we can do that in the effort of good, or we can choose the other route. We need to put value-driven messages out there, show real life versus a sterilized mirage, and instil purpose.”

To overcome these obstacles, it is important to think about the target demographic and bring into the campaign a diverse mix of influences and cultures. Select influencers from all backgrounds who will champion the brand and the values that your brand represents.

The content that you produce and your relationship with influencers should be authentic. Arthur Altounian, vice-president of Inca’s APAC, said in a recent article: “Many consumers, particularly those in the younger generation, expect more from brands and won’t engage with content that they deem as ‘too polished’ or ‘too fake.’”

Having this authenticity allows influencers to have some creative freedom as they know their audience best and will be able to tell your brand’s story in a way that will connect with their followers.

The other key aspect to being successful is representation. As mentioned by Sonia Thompson in her article: “Representation in marketing matters now more than ever, and to some groups more than others.”

In her research, she found that 74% of consumers say representation in marketing is important to them and determines which brands they engage with and buy from. When Thompson asked the question, ‘What do you wish more brands knew about representation?’ to consumers, the responses show how crucial it is. They included:

  • ‘The damage they do by underrepresentation’
  • ‘How much it can affect someone and their feelings about themselves when they never see themselves represented. Like they are not important’
  • ‘Representation doesn’t hurt anyone. It only helps’

Those responses from consumers are why it is key to include minority ethnic influencers in your marketing campaigns. Very few products or services are created for one race, gender or viewpoint, therefore your marketing should not be aimed at one single sector of consumers.

Why is it beneficial to recognize minority ethnic influencers?

Having your audience feel represented by your company’s campaign has an impact on the revenue as it increases factors such as brand purpose. Studies have been done in the US that show the power consumers have if they feel the brand is representative of them – or if the brand is not. In Why diversity in ads is more important than ever for revenue [2020] it details this effect, saying: “Not only do minority groups have huge spending power, but these tightly-knit communities” have a huge impact on pop culture and mainstream media.

A 2016 report by Nielson said that African-American millennials are 25% more likely than all millennials to say they are among the first of their friends/colleagues to try new products, echoing the fact that minorities are pivotal in creating trends and ultimately influencing purchase decisions. These are big word-of-mouth opportunities, and the most powerful marketing tool for raising brand awareness and loyalty.

This power can have a massive impact on the success of not just the campaign or product, but the brand as well. We all want to see ourselves reflected in the brand that we are supporting; we are buying into that brand as well as buying the product. And millennials and gen Z aren’t afraid to use their voice in regard to brands.

These generations appreciate and want transparency from companies. They want to see campaigns that feature influencers with whom they associate and will hold brands accountable as they make changes.

By Simone Morris

Sourced from The Drum

By Stas Pamintuan

Not enough companies dedicate time and effort to blogging, which is a great way of promoting services and connecting with users – new and old. Stas Pamintuan, junior SEO executive at Digital Ethos, shares some fool proof techniques for blogging in style to ensure that posts engage readers.

As Google becomes increasingly sophisticated at determining user search intent, it’s evident that content writing answering your customers’ questions is one of the key ways to develop a powerful SEO blog strategy. Creating topics that address the queries and concerns of your customers allows you to take advantage of Google’s algorithm and searchers’ trends toward longer search strings.

Here’s a little secret – the information you need is readily available for free. All it takes is a few searches, as well as knowing where to look. And if you can figure out what your target audience is searching for, the process of finding blog topic ideas comes quite easily. Not only that, but there are also various tools and resources to help you generate ideas and streamline this process.

Use medium- and long-tail keywords for SEO

When you focus on writing blogs that answer specific questions, you’ll attract buyers who are after what you offer. This is where medium- and long-tail keywords come in as they improve click-through rates and conversions because they answer questions from customers who are in specific stages of the buyer’s journey.

In essence, you’re pre-qualifying your audience. Even if you end up receiving fewer site visits, those that do click through to your site will be more likely to convert into buyers because of this. It’s better to target users who are searching for your products or services and convert, rather than getting more visitors who immediately bounce off of the site.

Check Google Analytics

Reviewing your analytics can help you discover what pain points customers are looking to solve. Are more people clicking on a specific product or service page? Is there a specific blog people are looking at on your site? How many times are they downloading your resources?

Understanding these behaviours can help you find what’s working. You can also find gaps in the content you release, so you can generate more copy to help you resolve your audience’s pain points.

Practice social listening

With so many conversations happening on social media, it can definitely be a challenging space to maneuver if you’re not sure what you’re after. But if you’re able to identify their presence on socials, social listening becomes a tool you can leverage to find interesting blog topics to write about.

Follow hashtags, like pages or join groups that are related to your products and services. This way, you’ll be able to find out about the conversations your audience is having and even their pain points; but regardless, there is an abundance of blog topic ideas as people will always be having conversations, old and new.

Rather than connecting with one person, when you optimize your content correctly you have the ability to connect with everyone in a group.

Keyword tools to help you generate blog topic ideas

To help you get started, here are some keyword research tools you can use to generate blog topic ideas that people are searching for online.

Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a free keyword generator tool that helps you to find relevant keywords from their database of over 8bn queries. You can enter up to 10 words or phrases and even choose from one of six keyword ideas reports. What’s even more useful is that search query relevance can be divided between Google, Bing and Amazon and queries from seven other search engines.

Semrush: Semrush is one more tool that helps you to find keywords based on search queries and questions.

AnswerThePublic: AnswerThePublic is a tool that generates a visualization of questions people are asking about a topic. The good thing here is that there are so many topic clusters you’re definitely bound to find popular blog topics to suit you.

Google Keyword Planner: If you have an existing AdWords account, Google Keyword Planner allows you to find keywords along with their stats and their popularity in your choice of region.

Quora: When you enter a word or phrase on Quora, it generates a list of questions that its users are asking about a particular subject. You can even dig deeper by filtering By Type and selecting Questions or Topics. When you filter by Topics, you’ll see how many times questions about that topic have been asked.

We’re always ahead of the game

As a specialist in content marketing, the team at Digital Ethos can make your business worth discovering. We can work with you to deliver truly consumable content that magnifies your brand and everything it’s about.

By Stas Pamintuan

Sourced from The Drum

By

The landscape of digital marketing solutions changes so frequently that it’s almost impossible to imagine its future. For entrepreneurs and businesses, it’s become even more of an opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the market. Stas Pamintuan of agency Digital Ethos looks into this future, looks at five trends every marketer should keep abreast of.

As many companies transitioned to remote work throughout the pandemic, digital marketing became essential to most businesses’ survival.

This is still the case, as many have stayed remote or moved toward hybrid working. Fast-growing means ever-changing and evolving, so in order to venture into the future of digital marketing, keeping with the times is essential for adaptation to your target market’s wants and needs.

1. Expanded reach in generation Z

As generation Z starts to mature, businesses must reconsider their marketing strategies. That generation wants memorable experiences, and digital marketing solutions have to be more precise in their purpose.

One way to do this might is leveraging user-generated content to create a sense of exclusivity for your product or service. This will make it something they can relate to and more likely to side with, especially if they have FOMO.

2. Omnichannel and integrated approach

As consumers become more aware of what they want, market expectations have become more specific. This is evident on digital platforms and channels. It’s even more important in the way you market to your target audience. Whether that’s through social channels, PR or content, there are plenty of opportunities to maintain a unified omnipresence.

A unified omnichannel marketing strategy enables you to create an irresistible online presence for your brand – collectively, that’s the goal of digital marketing.

3. Personalization

Make sure your campaigns are personalized. While it’s obvious that most consumers value privacy, they also favour personalization. You can see this in appreciation for tailor-made Spotify playlists and Netflix recommendations.

Each element of the campaign is essential, allowing you to deliver value via storytelling. Personalized campaigns see higher rates of engagement, conversions and reviews from customers. The first step in obtaining this data is allowing customers to opt-in for data tracking and analysis, so they are aware of how their data is being used, before analysing it.

4. Micro-influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has hugely grown in recent years, with top influencers on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter attracting millions of followers and making a decent income from brand deals. While this offers great ROI compared to traditional advertising channels, there are still some issues.

From fake followers to big-name influencers losing their power as they take on more and more sponsored posts, consumers perceptions of authenticity (and the relevance of influencers’ recommendations) can be affected. As consumers continue to value individual recommendations over being marketed at, it makes sense to invest in micro-influencers – social media users who have a smaller but dedicated audience who are trusted to deliver authentic content. Influencers’ power will be measured not by the number of followers they have, but by their personal relationships with their followers.

5. Video to overtake digital channels

Savvy marketers have recognized the power of using online video in their digital marketing solutions for years. We’re not quite at the peak yet, but video is proving itself as a powerful medium; we’ve seen a massive rise in live streaming video, especially over the last year or so.

From social media to SEO, digital marketing continues to impact billions of people. And with more advanced tools and changes in best practices, digital marketing solutions will continue to propel businesses to step up their competitive drive in the market. That’s the beauty of this space. It’s about adapting and delivering tailor-made marketing strategies to keep your online presence flowing.

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Sourced from The Drum

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Agencies’ in-house marketing teams have a unique job – what Propellernet’s marketing director Georgie Monaghan calls ‘marketing marketers.’ How can they navigate it? She takes us through those challenges, from managing resources to dealing with the struggle of not being able to talk about some of your best work.

It’s the question that I’ve begun to dread and I’m not sure why: “So, what do you do?” Oh, shit. My brain runs through all possible answers. “I’m in marketing.” Nope, they will collar me in to helping with their aunt’s dog grooming company. “B2B marketing.” Do they know what B2B means? “I market marketers.” Well, that is what I do but now I sound like a dick; there’s a blank nod; the conversation changes. The moment’s gone.

Rob Mayhew’s hilarious and very honest portrayal of agency life has got me reflecting on my own role recently – which is ultimately to market some of the UK’s leading marketers. It’s a role that comes with its own unique challenges. So, for the brave marketer marketers, this one is for you.

Finding resource

There is none. If you’re doing your job right, everyone is manically busy and resourced to the max. But to do your job, you need resource – to write content, to write award entries, to run an event… the list goes on.

This is a good problem to have, and it’s one that I’ve faced a lot in agency roles. How do you tackle it?

First, you’ve got to be clear why an opportunity deserves resource. It’s not just about monetary investment – for a business that sells time, why is this important?

Second, be proactive: what can you do to limit the resource needed? Can you ghost write elements of response you need? Everyone works differently, so learn how key stakeholders like to operate and create a plan based around them individually.

Finally, be flexible. Agency life is fast-paced; to enjoy the role, you have to be able to flex. Yes, set your deadlines and meet them, but don’t beat yourself up if everything on your well-articulated marketing strategy doesn’t happen. Keep track of those things, monitor and report on them, and voice when things really are impacting your performance.

And yes, you will invariably be there with one minute to go still trying to get an award entry uploaded.

Marketing agency budgets

Often, the events you would love to target are astronomically out of reach. Award entries add up. And random expenses from across the business get thrown your way.

As with resource, be flexible and proactive and build business cases. Beyond the data you can see, business development, client services and HR need to be your best friends to keep track of incoming leads; common threads across upsell opportunities; and brand perception when it comes to recruitment.

We’re doing the most amazing work – but you can’t tell anyone about it

This happens so often in agency life. You win a new client… but you can’t announce it. And of course, you’re getting the most amazing results for that client, but you can’t case study them or put them forward for an award. There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s just one of those things. It cuts deep. Smile, move on and drink a large glass of wine while reading the new win updates the following week.

Brand messaging

I vividly remember sitting in a meeting with the recommended agency register and them saying: “Don’t say it’s your people that make you different… of course it is, everyone says that. What really makes you different as an agency?” This has stuck with me throughout my career, brand and agency side. People, their skills and their contacts often come and go. Why should a client work with you as an agency? What can you bring them over another agency? What is true and genuine to your brand? These are big questions that you won’t be able to answer on your own. But you’ll be flying when you know what they are.

You’re marketing the experts

No one said this was going to be easy, but let’s be honest: that’s why we love it. When you present your marketing strategy for the year, you are doing this to a room full of people who are paid to build out marketing strategies day in and day out for some of the world’s leading brands. Intimidating or what? But you know your agency, you’ve got under the skin of your brand and have used all the data and insights you can to build out those recommendations into a strategy. You’ve got this.

And, in regards to being at the forefront of a fantastic industry, full of brilliant minds – well, there’s no other place I’d rather be. Here’s to the silent army of marketing marketers. I salute you.

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Sourced from The Drum

Partnerships can be an excellent way to expand reach, spread the load and create a more collaborative coordinated marketing approach. The Marketing Practice’s head of inside sales and data strategy Phil Jones interviews its client ServiceNow to find out how it views partnerships, and offers tips on how to cultivate a successful mutually-beneficial relationship.

When it comes to B2B routes to market in the technology sector, ‘two’s company, three’s a crowd’ couldn’t be further from the truth. Partnering up with other organizations makes sense for vendors, partner organizations and clients alike. Vendor organizations can increase revenue and market penetration and strengthen client relationships. Organizations that fall into the ‘partner’ category – which covers anything from distributors and resellers to systems integrators and consultancy firms – can offer clients a broader range of sophisticated propositions. And clients often receive a more bespoke, integrated response to the problem they’re looking to solve.

That’s not to say it’s easy. It can be challenging to coordinate teams and offerings within a global multinational – add a partner or three into the mix, and the complexity increases accordingly. So I asked Carl Shanahan, senior manager of the technology partner program at ServiceNow, to share his tips on creating and managing partnerships that add value to all parties.

How do you decide which partners you need?

The customer’s always right. So, if your customer is coming to you saying I want to use your product, and I also want to use your competitor’s product, you have to figure out with partners how you do that. The partner’s job is to fill the areas that either your technology doesn’t do, your salespeople don’t cover, your services don’t provide or a vertical market in which you don’t know how to walk and talk.

Equally, you might spot a market opportunity that means you actively seek certain partners; or there may be a strategic account that you can’t crack alone.

What should the starting point be for a successful partnership?

Successful partnership programs are focused on solving the customer’s biggest business challenges. They require strong cross-functional collaboration across technology, marketing and sales teams. Start building your partnership by identifying the value that you will each get out of it – which new routes to revenue does the partnership open, and what further opportunities might appear as the partnership develops?

Looking for ways to optimize the partner experience and add value should be an ‘always-on’ activity. So I look at all three steps in the partnership – technical, marketing and sales – to determine where they are getting stuck, make the program more accessible for them, and make it easier for them to raise their hand and get help.

How do you align objectives?

Focus on building your offering around customer challenges. A big part is really hooking into the conversation with the partner about how they grow and expand their revenue as a company. What markets or new business opportunities can we open for them? How can your partnership open up new routes to revenue and reduce time to value?

A long-term partner of ours had customers coming to them asking for software apps and integrations. At that time, they offered implementation and wraparound services only, but we worked with them to help them develop a technology offering too. In less than a year, we’ve been able to open up a new line of business for them: now they can sell customers a great application with a services model, set it up for them, customize it as required and provide ongoing support.

How do you take a joint offering to market?

Keep it simple. Limit your plan to a page with two or three goals that you decide on together. These goals can include entering a new market, targeting specific companies or growing your user base.

Focus on building your messaging and marketing where you’ve already had success, such as a particular industry or account. Sometimes partners can be resistant to a narrow focus on a few customers or markets. But that focus allows us to illustrate why customers need this proposition and, more importantly, the value the partner can offer, given its understanding of the market and the customer’s very specific business problem.

How can you anticipate and overcome challenges?

Different partners have different capabilities, offer different benefits and require different levels of support. Take the time to learn how each partner operates. Research how each partner makes money, what the sales process looks like and what training or support they might need.

The people element often gets overlooked. Yes, you want to make it easy for partners to self-serve, but if partners don’t have a support system to reach out to, they will quickly become frustrated with the process and move on. In addition, since partners are often selling dozens of other products (some of which may be your competitors), you need to be proactive in understanding how you can support each partner to add value to its customers and progress joint opportunities.

How do you get sales teams onboard?

Make sure sales understand the value of working with partners. Train your sales teams to identify opportunities to bring in partners to enhance each other’s portfolios, drive bigger, more strategic deals, and help them close more sales. Share stories of how the partners are helping customers realize the value of company solutions. For example, partners can provide valuable customer feedback helping to shape product roadmaps, increase speed to market and test new propositions contributing to the overall solution development.

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Sourced from The Drum

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Social media ROI is one of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) in marketing. It is often expressed as a percentage. KPIs allow you to compare and contrast different marketing channels to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of each channel.

Unlike measurements such as likes or shares, which are specific to social media, you can easily compare the ROI of all your social networks to that of your search engine advertising or email campaigns. This is because analysing your ROI across various channels allows you to rationalize the impact of all your marketing efforts with one clear concise single measurement. This analysis helps you identify immediately which social networks are most profitable as well as cost-effective for your business.

How do you measure customer engagement on social media?

Engagement is often considered to be one of the most valuable metrics for measuring lead generation on social media. However, you need to consider a multitude of factors when it comes to customer engagement. For example, are you addressing the right audience, how will your audience interact with your brand, and what does your audience do to engage with your brand and spread your content? A large follower base and many quality posts mean nothing if users are not genuinely interested in what you are offering.

To measure engagement, you need to measure user reactions. The reality of modern social media is that people see a lot of news and fresh content every day. If a consumer is interested in a piece of content, they will take a moment to comment on or like a post. Customer engagement on social media is a one-time thing. In effect, it shows that the user is interested in your brand’s publication in a well-filled community.

Measuring customer engagement

Retweets, likes, bookmarks and time spent watching your stories or videos can be monitored in real-time. To do this, you need to use social analytics software and web tools. You can also measure customer engagement using a specific formula: customer engagement = (amount of interactions/reach of posts) x 100.

Measuring negative customer engagement

Negative feedback is another form of customer engagement. You can know how a customer feels about your company, even with a negative comment. By taking the time to express themselves, the consumer is in a way showing that they expect a correction, which in turn can improve their experience.

How to measure the success of social media marketing?

As stated above, KPIs help in your company’s decision-making process. There are a few indicators that will be discussed in turn below. Each indicator should be monitored according to the objectives you have set yourself. For ease, we will group them into four sub-categories.

Reach

The reach metric lets you know how far your content reaches in terms of audience. In other words, it is an indication of the number of people who have seen your publication once. However, using reach as a metric for success should be done with caution. This is because the reach metric is often an estimated figure. However, the benefit of this is that it allows you to quantify the size of your potential audience. For example, a reach of 10,000 means that 10,000 people will see your publication at least once in their news feed.

Impressions

The impressions metric should be distinguished from reach. It corresponds to the number of times your publication has appeared on the screen. This content can be seen several times by the same person. For example, if your reach is 1,000 as in the previous example and the number of impressions is 10,000, it could be assumed that users have seen the publication 10 times.

Mentions

Mentions are the number of times your content has been mentioned by a person or influencer. This is one way to reach more people. Being mentioned often can mean that your content is liked for its quality. For example, when a person or influencer mentions you in a post or shares your content, they use the @personname feature. You will receive a notification that they have mentioned you.

Community

This indicator corresponds to your number of subscribers. You can follow its evolution. Its increase or decrease should be closely observed as it is directly correlated to the quality of your content. This indicator also allows you to learn more about the profile of your community (for example, their gender, age or location).

To measure the reach of your posts, impressions, mentions and your community, you can use social media tools such as Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights and Twitter Analytics. Each platform has its specificities. For example, with LinkedIn Demographics, you can learn more about the professional characteristics of your site visitors. Facebook Insights will allow you to know the hours of activity of your community.

There are alternatives to the integrated tools for knowing the results of your actions on social networks. This is the case of tools such as Hootsuite or CX Social, to name but a few.

How do I optimize content for social media marketing?

Ensuring an effective presence on social networks is a marketing challenge for all companies. Global login statistics show that potential customers are online more than elsewhere. This means that companies need to get involved in digital, which is now at the heart of marketing strategies.

Methods for social media and optimizing your marketing strategy

While all companies are now present on social media, not all have the same results. Information with high added value for internet users is needed, but the publication medium plays an equally important role. Even when communicating about your products, the approach must be designed to arouse the curiosity of the user.

Adjusting your brand to your audience

On social networks, you must adjust to the sensitivities of your community, depending on the medium on which you are communicating. As a rule, long texts are not welcome. The preferred format on social networks is images and videos, which may explain the growing success of TikTok and Instagram Reels.

When should I post on social media?

The timing, frequency and target audience of each post should be carefully considered.

Some platforms help you to automate your communication on social networks. From one interface you can control all your social media pages, plan and schedule up-to-the-minute posts, and analyse your marketing strategy.

One of the main advantages of such a tool is of course the possibility to synchronize your posts on all social networks. In addition, you can track your audience in real-time to measure and analyse the reach of each action.

Communicating on social networks to make money is a more demanding and complicated process than you might think. Having innovative tools at your disposal to automate and professionalize this communication can only help the company to achieve its objectives.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when approaching your social media strategy, it’s important that when considering all of the factors mentioned above that they are always considered in light of your brand’s marketing KPIs to determine the success of your campaigns.

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Jenny Stanley is managing director at Appetite Creative.

Sourced from The Drum