Marketing Services


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


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.


Sourced from The Drum


With the Covid-19 pandemic transforming shopping habits, journey orchestration matters now more than ever before. Digital commerce has shifted the journey stage balance. Annie Little, strategy director at agency Initials, asks whether there is, now, such thing as ‘the’ consumer journey for any given category and explains the complex maze of touchpoints that brands must carefully navigate.

The stakes have never been higher.

Brands need to get a firm grip on how the consumer journey has evolved and update traditional linear purchase funnels from their marketing agenda as a strategic priority.

Here, we’ll look at the evolution of the purchasing journey, the impact this has on consumer behaviour, and how to ensure that (in a sea of endless consumer choice) your brand gets chosen first.

Decision paralysis

The ease with which consumers can access product information has changed the landscape forever.

Gone are the days of a linear purchase journey. With more options and far greater accessibility than ever before, consumers today are spoiled for choice.

While this new world offers countless benefits for brands and retailers, it also adds a new layer of complexity to consumer decision-making. When this complexity reaches a tipping point, it can spiral into ‘decision paralysis’: too much choice, too many options, too hard to decide.

Such an overwhelming wealth of information for consumers to wade through has done the opposite of streamlining the consumer journey. In many ways, these extra touchpoints and decision-factors have created a more complex and cumbersome path to purchase.

A new model for the consumer journey

Some of the savviest brands and retailers have quickly pivoted their consumer engagement strategies, adopting prevailing shoppable touchpoints to remove any immediate friction or pain points for their target audience.

Creating a high-converting omnichannel purchase journey can’t be a checkbox exercise. A more holistic and strategic approach is required, spanning the entire consumer journey and incorporating reciprocal actions at every experience encounter.

This requires, first, an understanding of how the consumer journey has evolved; and, second, insight into how consumers are navigating their way through it.

Let’s start with the former. The ‘messy middle’, coined by Google, is a space of abundant choice and unlimited content. Here, consumers explore and evaluate product information, research brands, and weigh up their options. This is happening across an ever-expanding digital ecosystem, from online channels to social media to search engines, aggregators, review website and much more.

This exposure is not a stage or step in the buying process, but an ‘always-on’ experience. Consumers will traverse the loop between exploration and evaluation many times before making a purchasing decision.

So, how can brands show up at the right moment and win consumer preference?

How to address cognitive biases and win consumer preference

While the initial trigger and purchasing moments still stand in today’s journey, the middle area between the trigger and purchase has become messy and complex.

Due to the constant bombardment that consumers now face, they are turning to a range of coping mechanisms (including cognitive biases) to shortcut indecision and make purchase conclusions.

Cognitive biases are often a result of the brain’s attempt to simplify information processing. In this case, they help consumers make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed.

These cognitive biases shape shopping behaviour and influence why we choose one product over another.

By responding to the cognitive biases at play intelligently, responsibly, and at the right moment in the consumer journey, brands can effectively shorten the gap between trigger and purchase and emerge victorious at the point of conversion.

But how do brands pinpoint which biases are at play during a typical purchase journey in their category?

At Initials, we’ve developed a strategic model to help brands hack the consumer journey and win the moments that matter. Since the path to purchase is no longer linear, we can’t afford to think in linear terms.

Our Consumer Journey Hacker is a data-driven and behavioural science-based strategy that helps brands plan for the right stimuli that will impact buyers in key moments.

Understanding behavioural biases does more than just increase advertising effectiveness; it can encourage a deeper psychological understanding of consumers and their cultural norms and nuances. It can inspire new business strategies and products.

These behavioural science principles (and the behavioural and informational needs they align with) are powerful tools for winning and defending consumer preference in the new complex consumer journey.

The goal is close the gap between trigger and purchase. This means consumers spend less time exposed to competitor brands and transition to your basket faster and with greater confidence.

In a sea of overwhelming choice, this is how your brand can emerge victorious.


Sourced from The Drum


Digital marketing is an ever-changing world, with new platforms and algorithms constantly shifting the goal posts. Tom Welbourne, founder and director at agency The Good Marketer, tells us how to avoid rookie mistakes.

The constantly-shifting digital marketing landscape is exciting and full of opportunities. But this presents room to make costly mistakes, from underestimating the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) to lacking clarity about social media marketing goals. Gaps in your marketing plan can make otherwise promising strategies fall at the first hurdle.

To avoid making mistakes, the key is knowledge. We’ve compiled the six biggest mistakes that newbie digital marketers make to equip you with the knowledge of what to avoid – and how to do things the right way.

1. No clarity on audience

Think you know who your audience is? It’s time to rethink your assumptions and get more specific. Most people have an idea of who their audience is, but this is useless if you don’t clearly define their age, gender, and interests as well as broad audience categories.

For example, a mortgage provider will have multiple audiences, from first-time buyers looking for their first mortgage to more mature homeowners who have had mortgages before but are looking for a new agreement.

Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to find out who your audience really is, rather than who you think they are.

2. Lack of clear goals

You won’t get to where you’re going if you don’t know exactly where that is. Clear goals give you a clear destination and help to map where you need to hit along the way. If you establish that you want to reach 10,000 followers on Instagram, you can break this down into what you need to achieve month-on-month to achieve that overall goal.

Digital marketers use the ‘Smart’ (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goal framework to create well-defined growth goals that will give a direction to take and the basis to measure your campaign’s success.

3. Setting unrealistic goals

Perhaps the most important aspect of Smart goals is the ‘achievable’ aspect. Having clear goals is important, but you will always end up falling short if your goals aren’t realistic.

If you currently have 500 followers, setting a goal to gain 10,000 followers organically in six months is always going to leave you disappointed and feeling like you’ve failed.

To ensure your goals are realistic, evaluate based on past experience; do some research about similar businesses; or speak to other people in your industry about what could be achievable.

4. Ignoring SEO

Everyone loves an aesthetically-pleasing website, but how many people prioritize SEO when building their site?

SEO is an essential digital marketing strategy used to increase the online brand visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs). When someone searches a keyword related to your business, SEO improves the likelihood of making it to the top of those results.

When newbie digital marketers hear about SEO, they can mistake the acronym as something too technical for your average marketer, but they’d be wrong. SEO is something that even a beginner can do comfortably when equipped with the right knowledge.

5. Overlooking quality content

You’ve heard it over and over and will continue to: content is king. Your marketing strategy is nothing if you haven’t taken the time to create quality content that works for your audience.

Ultimately, your digital marketing strategy will succeed if your content can provide value to your audience. Whether you’re solving a problem or providing valuable insight, take time to reflect on how your content conveys value.

6. Lack of recorded strategy

Often, newbie marketers have a strategy in mind for how to reach their goal, but leave it undocumented and not fully developed. A written strategy gives you a clear outline of how to grow your brand or business, and how to leverage your USPs to achieve your vision of success.

Being a digital marketer is a learning curve. The mistakes will probably be plenty, so the best you can do is equip yourself with a solid framework that provides a path to follow. The best marketers are able to use the same process of goal-setting, strategizing and implementation no matter the project. Once you get to grips with how these stages can benefit you and your work, the world is your oyster.


Sourced from The Drum


Influencer marketing has evolved and so must your approach. Here’s what you need to do to make this powerful approach work as part of your full-funnel marketing strategy.

Like most nascent marketing channels, influencer marketing began as something of a Wild West. Metrics were thorny, processes were clouded, and many brands got burned working with influencer platforms or individual creators who produced scant measurable results.

The upshot is that, even now that influencer marketing has matured into a more structured discipline, some brands remain skeptical of the entire medium.

We are at the point where brands who have struggled to produce and prove value from working with influencers in the past, must consider starting from scratch. That doesn’t don’t mean scrapping your Influencer program, but effectively taking a beat to re-evaluate your approach and reset it.

Build an influencer marketing strategy from the ground up with the same scrutiny you would apply to any other strategy. That means a rigorous brand analysis and quantitative vetting process should drive discovery of potential influencers. While the process of engaging and partnering with or deploying an influencer should be as automated as possible. And, last, measurement should focus on influencers’ ability to drive sales. Influencers who can move the bottom line are the ones brands should redeploy to optimize over time.

Gone are the days when influencer marketing was purely a brand awareness play. In the right hands, influencer is now a full-funnel, full-service discipline, meaning it covers awareness and bottom-of-funnel activations, discovery upfront, and measurement on the back end. Here are three cores to building an influencer marketing strategy from scratch and turning it into a proven revenue generator.

Understand who you are and what you need to accomplish

Brands need to set clear specifications to select the right creators. Brands should ask themselves: What are your values? Which audiences are you trying to reach? What backgrounds would you like your creators to represent? What messages do you need to send to your audience?

Next comes the quantitative decision-making process that has historically eluded the discipline. What are your key performance indicators? What calls to action will you bake into your influencer campaigns? How will you measure success? Beyond numbers of followers (the conventional metric), what engagement rates do you expect influencers to command, and how do those rates line up with sales goals?

Once brands have figured this out, they can select influencers who meet their criteria. Brands should also implement a repeatable process for creating content briefs to set influencers up for success. These, too, can be optimized over time, allowing advertisers to eliminate ambiguities. Now is when cutting-edge influencer practices come in, transforming the discipline into a full-funnel strategy.

Maximize distribution, measure influencer success and optimize

The fatal flaw in most content marketing strategies is that brands focus all their attention on creating great content, and after they have created it, they simply slap it into a blog or repost it to a couple of social channels. The same failure has historically applied to influencer marketing.

But sophisticated practitioners can turn distribution into a source of value. For example, a video created for Instagram might be amplified by paid social, an OTT campaign, digital out-of-home billboards, or programmatic display.

After brands have transformed what could have been a simple influencer Instagram video into an omnichannel campaign, they can leverage cross-channel data to quantify sales driven collaboration. This is a far cry from the old influencer measurement framework in which advertisers would report on the number of eyeballs a campaign reached or how many comments it spurred.

Once brands understand how much revenue individual influencers are driving, they can optimize campaigns, staffing a bench of key collaborators. Over time, by following this model, they can build an “army” of Influencers who deeply understand the brand and can convert their audience, ultimately making things more efficient and seamless. This process of distribution, measurement, and optimization should ultimately equip brands with a well-oiled machine of creators proven to be worth the investment – and then some.

Raise the bar for influencer marketing

It is understandable that many advertisers are wary of influencer marketing. But forward-thinking brands should not let past failures dictate future strategy for a channel that has evolved.

Influencer marketing should be part of a full-funnel strategy. It builds awareness and trust through powerful, authentic content that resonates with consumers on an emotional level. It also drives sales and lends itself to granular measurement, which allows for optimization so that influencer becomes not only more lucrative but also more efficient over time.

The only thing standing between many brands and a revenue-generating Influencer Marketing strategy is outdated assumptions about the channel. By challenging past wisdom and applying the same structure that governs other performance marketing channels to influencers, brands can unlock fresh revenue-generating opportunities.


Crystal Duncan is senior vice president, head of partnership marketing, Tinuiti

Sourced from The Drum


Paid search is arguably the most knowledge-rich, mature digital marketing channel. It also moves fast, and can be hard for non-experts to keep track of. For The Drum’s Deep Dive into Digital Advertising, Rebecca Wilkes of performance marketing agency Summit Media looks into four trends for the year ahead and what marketers can do about them.

Paid search is the most mature digital marketing channel. It started back in 1996, with Google AdWords launching in 2000. Since then, we’ve seen the launch of many key initiatives such as product listing ads, seller ratings and expanded text ads.

Right now, paid search is also arguably digital’s most evolving channel. Here are four evolutions to look out for.

1. Changes to responsive search ads as Google focuses on automation

In August 2021, Google announced that automation should be a key focus for marketers, and from June 30 2022 responsive search ads (RSAs) will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited within standard search campaigns. Expanded text ads (ETAs) will no longer be an option for marketers.

RSAs allow marketers to enter multiple headlines and descriptions for ads. Google then uses machine learning (ML) to automatically test different combinations to find the highest-performing ad.

There should be two clear benefits for advertisers using RSAs v ETAs. First, increased engagement from customers due to improved click-through rates; and, second, lower costs due to improved ad copy.

From our testing (albeit at limited volumes), we’ve seen higher click-through rates and lower cost-per-click. You should prepare yourself by ensuring RSAs are in every ad group, and review performance of these ads to ensure they’re of the highest quality in line with Google’s scoring.

2. The start of keyword-less world: Performance Max

After its introduction in November 2021, Google announced that Performance Max will replace Smart Shopping and local campaigns by the end of Q3 2022.

Rather than the usual keyword-based search campaign, Performance Max uses your creative assets alongside business goals and automated bidding, with user signals and data-driven attribution to tailor ads to potential customers across the Google ecosystem (search, display, YouTube, Gmail and Discovery). This goal-based format helps marketers target customers at the right stage of their purchase journey, depending on the goal of the campaign.

Performance Max campaigns will be built from any existing smart shopping and local campaigns. Existing settings will remain, but will be automatically upgraded from July onward. So it’s important to start testing and learning now.

We recommend you create new campaigns and pause any relevant activity (such as Smart Shopping), then start working through the new additional creative assets available. Make sure you’re clear with measures of success – GA4 provides the most detail on performance.

3. The re-introduction of broad match (but not as we know it)

Since 2014, Google has been changing keyword match rules. This always brings unpredictability around budget and performance.

Before, broad match meant that if the search query was contextually similar to the keyword being targeted, your ad could show. This has now had a much-needed overhaul to ensure marketers remain in control of budgets. Modern search is an evolution of broad match and focuses on the meaning of your keyword and the intent behind it; this can include searches that don’t contain the original keyword terms.

Google’s BERT algorithm technology helps interpret queries, language and search intent. It uses this understanding to make keyword matching behaviour more closely aligned. That makes broad matches more relevant.

We’ve seen great results from testing, with incremental traffic and revenue. You should ensure you’re live with automated bidding, as the new broad match needs this to work effectively. Choose campaigns to switch to broad match and run a test (you could start by testing any previous broad match modifier keywords).

Test this on stable campaigns, using robust testing methodologies (such as Google’s built-in testing functions).

4. The removal of third-party cookies and the influence of audience

For years, brands have used cookies to help them target ads to the right audiences. With the removal of third-party cookies, Google is now focusing on the intent of people’s searches rather than audiences, capturing people on the likelihood that they will meet a campaign’s objectives.

Measurement and optimization will be impacted. Review your platform’s initiatives to mitigate this. Understand whether they align with business goals and objectives.

Google recently announced that it will be sunsetting Universal Analytics from July 1 2023. Think about the way you’re tracking to be able to capture and measure effectively moving forward, and what the platform you use is doing to enable continued measurement and reporting.

First-party data also becomes important in targeting an engaged audience. Contextual targeting will again rise to the frontier for display/programmatic activity.

So make sure you’re working closely with your provider and review targeting options for future activity and how to capture your target audience.

The loss of third-party cookies and how to combat this should be a key talking point across all brands to make sure you’re not left behind when the change is made.


Sourced from The Drum


The attrition rates for app users are staggering – but do they have to be? Steve Peretz, group director (health experience and product strategy) at Appnovation, shares four strategies for engagement and retention.

Abandoned shopping carts, neglected Netflix series, snap decisions on Tinder. There’s plenty of evidence that audiences in the digital age have low attention spans and rely heavily on first impressions.

It’s no different with apps. The average app loses 77% of daily users within three days of installation. Within 30 days, it’s 90%. Three months in, 95%.

Often this rapid disengagement results from something simple, such as an error in the app’s design or a frustrating experience. But this negative first impression invariably has adverse commercial consequences for the brand or company behind the app.

Dubbed the ‘halo effect,’ app users can base their entire perception of a business on this initial interaction. They express their dissatisfaction by taking their purchasing power elsewhere.

Fortunately, the halo effect can also work in reverse. Get that first impression right, and customers will stay for longer. Follow up with great customer experience, and they’re likely to spend more, stay loyal and increase frequency of impulse purchasing.

Here are four first impression strategies to help brands achieve a match and ensure initial interactions result in successful engagement:

1. First contact: convey benefits simply and succinctly

Users judge apps by their descriptions. App descriptions and reviews are a fundamental reason people consider a download, so keep it focused. Use relevant keywords. Explain the app’s value proposition concisely. App users don’t want to scroll endlessly to understand the point of a product, so craft a message that cuts through.

Challenger bank Monzo’s app couldn’t be clearer about what it does: ‘Banking made easy.’ Likewise, Deliveroo entices app users by saying: ‘Food: we get it. We all have our favourites. With Deliveroo, get your favourite local restaurants and takeaways delivered straight to your door.’

If the initial messaging easily answers questions around why someone should engage with a digital solution, the brand has hit the bullseye.

2. Debut experience: try before you buy

Sharing a flavour of the app’s experience makes sense before customers commit to the download. If possible, offer the app for free – at least upfront (tiers can come later). Share content that gives a sense of the experience without requiring consumers to hand over personal data. Avoid blitzing people with ads, which will build frustration, not engagement.

Wellbeing app Headspace tells potential customers it will help them ‘Get happy. Stress less. Sleep soundly.’ It then supports app users from the first point of engagement with free educational resources on managing stress, improving sleep and learning to meditate. Users get ample opportunity to build trust in the brand before confidently purchasing the app.

Consider offering a preview video, which increases app conversions by over 20%. A well-crafted video delivers a compelling first impression, building immediate engagement and showing how the app works. For example, podcast and audiobook service Audible differentiates itself with a preview that doubles up as a mini-tutorial and a short promo.

3. Onboarding: use gradual disclosure

After downloading an app, users want to use it immediately. They get frustrated if they can’t engage with an experience quickly. Avoid complex registration processes and complicated tutorials.

Instead, brands need to use gradual disclosure techniques to educate and inform customers about the app in bite-sized chunks. The goal is to tell the audience what they need to know when they need to know it, not overload them.

This can take the form of streamlined content previews, ‘accordion’ elements, mega-menus, sliders or animated hints. Start with the basics and then disclose the more complicated aspects of the solution once the customer needs them.

Shopify is especially adept at gradual disclosure, incorporating the method right from the sign-up page via a non-intrusive pop-up window that explains the domain. Registration processes should be user-friendly and well-tested.

4. Retention: prompt action with instant reward

So far, all the brand has done is get its customer to the starting line. But the main battle begins once the customer is onboard. Work to sustain their early enthusiasm by rewarding their effort immediately and providing instant gratification.

New users should realize that brand interactions will directly lead to personalized rewards. Caffe Nero’s app immediately offers users the opportunity to accumulate stamps for a free coffee, which draws them into an app experience that positions them against competitors through positive reviews on Apple’s App Store.

Elsewhere, health group The Mighty invites new members into the community by extending an invitation to make an introduction. Right away, they feel like a part of the group, having found an online home.

Beware of deterring new users with a barrage of push notifications. It’s a tricky balance, particularly for digital health solutions that require regular inputs (for example, to monitor chronic conditions). If in doubt, err on the conservative side, and restrict communication to relevant, purposeful messages.

Some user attrition is bound to occur, no matter how well-designed the solution. But a strong first impression undoubtedly contributes to committed customer engagement. First impression strategies can help build impactful, purposeful apps with longevity.


Sourced from The Drum


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.


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.


Sourced from The Drum


“Privacy regulations, e-commerce integration, customer data platforms, and better ROI optimization enabled by smarter marketing analytics” will be some of the leading trends going forward, according to Ben Poole, head of office of Singapore-based data company Fifty-Five.

Brands are finding themselves in very uncertain business environments, as there is a move towards the post-pandemic new normal. As already experienced, the decisions being made today will chart the journey to the future of digital marketing, and impact long-term successes. Here are some trends that will impact the digital marketing landscape of the present and the future.

Consumer data privacy will reshape digital marketing

Cookies and other available trackers will continue to be compromised by the ‘triple cookie restriction’: legal (GDPR, PDPA); technical (browsers and operating systems); and behavioural (ad blockers and cookie notice blockers). Consumer data privacy is a key concern for regulators and consumers alike, as more turn to online services and platforms to fulfil day-to-day functions. Data privacy regulations are fast evolving in Southeast Asia. For example, Singapore and Thailand have already implemented PDPA (personal data protection act) regulations that comprise requirements governing the collection, use, and care of personal data which protects consumer data privacy.

In 2022 and beyond, countries in Southeast Asia are expected to seek tougher approaches to data regulations. These data privacy enhancements are already leading to a major shift across advertising platforms to develop consent-based solutions. Meanwhile, the ‘walled gardens’ such as social platforms like Google, Facebook, and e-commerce like Lazada will seek to strengthen their hand with first-party data, while the rest of the open web will come to rely more and more on contextually driven targeting solutions.

With the increasing shift to first-party data and modelization, media measurement and activation teams will increasingly employ data compliance experts and data scientists to ensure data safety, data quality, and data actionability. The securing of data, renewal of measurement and targeting approaches, and deployment of a ‘watch-and-innovate’ mindset will become ever more important in 2022.

Ecommerce will change how brands organize themselves and their data

The pandemic has accelerated Southeast Asia’s digital commerce transformation. By the end of 2021, there will be 350 million digital consumers in this region, of which almost 80% of consumers will have gone digital, according to Facebook’s Annual Digital Consumer Report.

In 2022 and beyond, many digital habits learned in the last few months will persist, including e-commerce and grocery shopping – which have seen the most profound change with almost half of all digital consumers in Southeast Asia now shopping online for daily necessities.

The divergence of media investments across digital platforms (Google, Facebook, TikTok) and marketplaces (Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, Tokopedia), has led to increased data and organizational silos, creating challenges around accurately measuring and optimizing digital marketing budgets.

Brands will reorganize to integrate digital media and e-commerce teams while rethinking their data architecture to take into account this increased investment into new e-retail platforms.

The future will be about a unified customer view

As Southeast Asia continues to see a transformation in online user behaviour and digital commerce, marketing investments have diversified across various platforms, leading to data silos that prevent digital marketers from seeing a complete view of customers and their buying journeys.

The customer data platform (CDP) promises to reconcile all channels’ first-party data in a privacy-compliant manner. The CDP creates a more complete view of each customer by capturing data from multiple systems, linking information related to the same customer, and storing the information to track behaviour over time. It contains personal identifiers used to target marketing messages and track individual-level marketing results.

The real question then would be: will all marketers need a CDP? Not necessarily, as there are currently more than 10 technologies such as Google Cloud Platform, that have features that overlap with a CDP existing in the market today that can achieve similar results.

Therefore, when choosing to acquire a CDP, the marketer must first determine if they have access to a large amount of individual-level data to learn how to achieve a higher level of data granularity. Marketers should also consider whether they have the in-house skills necessary to deploy a CDP, whether that be an IT team or knowledgeable marketing technologist.

Evolving shape of brand engagement backed by digital analytics

The future of digital marketing analytics technology is bright. New and improved tech such as Google Analytics 4 will represent a new paradigm in digital analytics. Digital marketers will look forward to more in-depth marketing analytics and e-commerce reports, which will provide the opportunity to create enriched customer journeys that are multi-screen and multi-device.

Expect to see cross-platform material benefits (consistent metrics and dimensions, for integrated reporting across web and app); flexible and efficient (faster event modelling for more granular and flexible analysis); more visual (ad-hoc analysis and improved data visualization for a deeper understanding of your users); more intelligent (machine learning capabilities that automatically surface insights, anomalies and predictions).

A new era in digital marketing beckons, driven by evolving data privacy, emerging consumer behaviours, and technology solutions that will help the modern marketer craft privacy safe, superior customer experiences – all driven by data. The securing of compliant data, the design of new media measurement and activation methods, and keeping a ‘watch-and-innovate’ mindset towards regulatory and platform privacy changes, will be key to succeeding in 2022 and beyond.

The future would be about unlocking the potential of these advanced analytics to give digital marketers more user-centric insights, with a much deeper understanding of individual customer journeys, and how to improve them for better business results.


Ben Poole is head of office of Singapore-based data company Fifty-Five.

Sourced from The Drum