The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Don't interrupt people, involve them: Why marketing needs to become more democratic
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This post is part of the WFA's Project Reconnect, and is written by Simon Kemp, Regional Managing Partner for We Are Social in Asia

The more people are involved in something, the more they engage with it.

This is true in marketing too, and the organisations that succeed in actively involving their audiences and consumers in the creation and development of their brands are best placed to succeed in the long term.

It's perhaps little surprise, then, that 'participation' was one of the 'New 4Ps' that we discovered in our recent research for Project Reconnect (the other Ps were People, Purpose, and Principles).

So what does Participation mean for your brand?

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Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

22 January 2015 16:42

IJMR Landmark Paper: ‘Messages from the spiral of silence’
 
Posted by: Peter Mouncey, Editor-In-Chief, IJMR
 
Peter Mouncey

As we enter 2015, electioneering in the UK has already started, up front of May's general election. Is this going to be a difficult time for the pollsters, especially following on from their perceived performance in predicting the outcome of last September's referendum in Scotland on independence?

All the signs point to a complex situation, with the possible annihilation of the Liberals; the rise of UKIP; the increasing support for the SNP in Scotland, possibly causing Labour a lot of grief; the role of the Green vote. Forecasting the likely outcome looks to be more problematic than has been the case for many years.

One issue that was discussed in the context of the polls conducted leading up to the referendum vote in Scotland last autumn was the impact of the 'spiral of silence' which may have contributed towards the 'no' vote having been understated in the polls. So, what exactly is the 'spiral of silence' effect, and are there ways in which pollsters can try to account for its influence when predicting voting intentions?

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Subjects: Consumers, Data

21 January 2015 12:03

Sex, Lies and Survey Data
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This post is by Richard Shotton, Head of Insight at ZenithOptimedia.

Much of advertising research is based on listening to what consumers say and then adapting campaigns accordingly. It seems a logical enough approach. However, it's based on the premise that what consumers say and what they do are aligned. Unfortunately there's a growing body of evidence that shows that the two things are often at odds.

Take sex. When heterosexual men and women are asked about the number of partners they have slept with the numbers vary dramatically. A 2013 Lancet study of 15,000 adults found that UK women admit to sleeping with an average of eight partners compared to twelve for men. The scale of the difference is not logically consistent. The most plausible explanation is that men feel a cultural pressure to exaggerate their exploits whilst women feel a corresponding pressure to play it down. Surveys, therefore, tell us more about what people feel they should say than the absolute truth.

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Subjects: Consumers, Data

21 January 2015 10:36

adam&eveDDB on how to win at Christmas
 
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
 
Joseph Clift

Christmas isn't just the busiest sales period for the UK's retailers, it's also the time when they unveil their biggest, brightest and most expensive-to-make ads. And, according to Toby Harrison and Les Binet of adam&eveDDB, the festive period has become British adland's equivalent of the Super Bowl in the US. "It feels like Christmas advertising is where it's hot now," Binet said. "It's the area where everyone wants to compete." To Harrison, "it's become almost an arms race among advertisers – not necessarily to deliver amazing sales, but to deliver on their own brand ambition to 'win at Christmas'."

And they should know. The agency has made many of the past few years' most memorable Christmas ads – most famously for department store chain John Lewis. These TV-led campaigns took the 2012 IPA Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix, having generated over £250m of incremental profit for the client over the years.

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Subjects: Advertising, Consumers

19 December 2014 11:24

New Perspectives on Indian Youth
 
Posted by: Brian Carruthers, Brian is the News Editor at Warc, Warc
 
Brian Carruthers

This post introduces Warc's new article series 'New Perspectives on Indian Youth'.

India is a young country, both demographically and economically. More than half the population of 1.2 billion is under the age of 25 and if one stretches the definition of young to 35 that encompasses two thirds of the total population. The contrast with other Asian countries is stark: by 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan.

As several of our contributors to this series note, India in its current incarnation was born in 1991, when the then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao initiated reforms to liberalise the country's sclerotic economy, opening it up to trade and investment and dismantling state monopolies, a process that continues today.

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Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

17 December 2014 14:51

Multi-device Targeting – Who, Why, How?
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This post is by Paul Lyonette, UK Country Manager at YuMe.

Building strong consumer relationships is key to a brand's success. Persuading consumers that a brand is worthy of their attention – and loyalty – is one of the main purposes of advertising, but this can be a lengthy process that involves numerous touch points. Therefore, brands need to ensure they are targeting relevant consumers and not wasting their marketing budget on the wrong audience.

Today this is more relevant than ever as content is consumed across a wide spectrum of platforms and devices, which creates a fragmented audience that can be challenging to reach. Device switching is now a way of life with more than 60% of online UK adults using at least two devices to access digital content each day, and 40% start an activity on one device and complete it on another. Our own research in conjunction with Nielsen found that households own on average 4.4 devices, with teenagers owning on average 3.2 devices. This further highlights the challenges faced by marketers who need to better understand the channels through which to engage their intended audience.

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Subjects: Advertising, Consumers, Digital

24 November 2014 15:34

How to change the world
 
Posted by: James Hurman, Founder, Previously Unavailable
 
James Hurman

In 2010 in Stockholm, an innovative speed camera system was trialled for the first time. It quickly proved to be extremely effective in changing driver behaviour for the better. Much more so than normal speed cameras. The results were published and spread virally, amazing everybody who saw them. Then, after just three days, the speed camera was taken down and put away. It was never used, anywhere in the world, ever again.

That speed camera was part of a Volkswagen campaign by DDB Stockholm called The Fun Theory'. They gamified staircases, litter cans and bottle bins to show how easy it was to change people's behaviour by making chore-ish experiences more fun.

The 'speed camera lottery' was the best bit of the campaign. They took a speed camera and modified it, so that it took a photo of every car that passed, rather than just the speeding ones. Those exceeding the speed limit were fined, just like normal. But those travelling at or below the speed limit were each given a chance to win the money collected from the speeders. They rewarded good behaviour rather than just punishing bad behaviour. And average speed fell 22% to well beneath the speed limit.

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Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

19 November 2014 14:09

Price is in the eye of the beholder
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This post is by Richard Shotton, Head of Insight at ZenithOptimedia.

Recent work by psychologists such as Daniel Kahneman has revealed many insights into how our minds work. Kahneman has popularised the idea that rather than being rational calculating machines we respond to the dizzying amount of information around us by relying on a series of mental short-cuts, or in his terms heuristics. Many of these short-cuts are prone to biases.

One of the most interesting biases is that we struggle to judge scale in an absolute sense. Instead we make relative judgements: we term an item as large or small by comparing it to other items around us.

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Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

18 November 2014 17:22

Is market research invited to the big data party?
 
Posted by: Peter Mouncey, Editor-In-Chief, IJMR
 
Peter Mouncey

The Association of Survey Computing (ASC) held their second one day conference of 2014 at Imperial College, London, on September 26th on the theme of 'Making connections: unleashing the power of data'.

As usual, a very interesting day, but I want to focus on just one presentation, entitled 'Market research at the big data party', given by Mike Page (Blueocean). Page discussed the extent to which market research is viewed as a key input in the world of big data, and what might be the challenges in doing so.

Sadly, I felt it was like going back a quarter of a century, to when I was attempting to merge market research with data from a customer database and there was a major debate on whether market researchers should be involved in handling data from sources other than surveys.

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Subjects: Data, Consumers

25 October 2014 12:28

Unravelling the path to purchase
 
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
 
Lena Roland

The customer journey and path to purchase has changed from a linear process to a more convoluted route, a change that can be largely attributed to digital technology. Digital and mobile technology means that consumers are ‘always on’ and have the ability to shop and buy, anytime and anywhere. Thus these channels are critical engagement platforms in the customer journey.

  • Research suggests purchase decisions, or the moment of truths, starts long before shoppers enter a store. Thus brands need to implement multi-touchpoint shopper strategies.
  • The physical store has to be more than a place to buy goods. Experiences, tours, taste and touch are important to physical retailing. Uniqlo and Adidas are two brands using innovative in-store techniques to engage with shoppers.
  • It is important to align all aspects of the business – strategy, comms AND employees – to optimise the customer journey.
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Subjects: Marketing, Consumers, Advertising

24 October 2014 14:26

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