The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Privacy and the importance of "informed choice"
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

Who owns your data? Who has access to it? How is it being used? Can it, will it, ever be used against you? How is data being managed? And can data ever discriminate? These were some of the important questions raised at a recent debate hosted in London by The Foundation, an independent growth and innovation consultancy.

Information is multiplying and in many ways is making life simpler and more convenient, but, according to Charlie Dawson, founding partner at The Foundation, people are becoming more and more aware that their entire lives can be "captured, examined and publicised" and so "consequences are starting to emerge", he warned.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing, Data

13 November 2015 11:30

Ad planning: Going beyond demographics
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

Ian Reynolds, managing director at KBH On-Train Media, explains why an emphasis on advertiser segmentation by behaviour has never been more important.

Socio-demographic groupings have always been the bread and butter of marketing – right at the start of our careers we all learned that this is the basics of targeting consumers. It has been commonplace to make assumptions about people’s propensity to be interested in products based on their age, gender, income or social class.

But have we reached a point where those classifications alone have ceased to be useful? The huge change in the attitudes and behaviour of older people is the biggest prompt for this re-think. With an ever-increasing number of retirees using their new free time to cycle around Europe blogging from a tablet as opposed to stereotypically wiling away their days watching TV, classifying this age group by the date they were born has become meaningless.


Subjects: Advertising, Consumers

28 October 2015 10:33

Key ingredients for marketing to 'Foodies'
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

Alexandra Curley, Insights Director at Spinnaker, a digital marketing agency based in London, shared findings from its new report, Defining Foodies, at a breakfast event held in central London last week. This explores the growth of the Foodie phenomenon and seeks to understand the attitudes and behaviours of Foodies, people it defines as having "a particular interest in food".

Although the term 'Foodie' has been around since 1980, in recent years there has been a notable increase in all things food which has fuelled an interest in such things as home-baking, food provenance, authentic ingredients and pop-up restaurants.


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

27 October 2015 16:34

My kingdom for your attention: Why brands need to move away from attention-seeking social media strategies
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Anjali Puri, Global Head of TNS Qualitative

Marketers have the opportunity to address one of the fundamental tensions created by technology, but it requires shifting focus from an attention-seeking, eyeball-counting agenda to one that makes people the recipients of attention.

When we talk with consumers about what makes them engage with brands online, we find an increasing desire to humanise the entities they are interacting with – more than anything else, consumers warm to brands that listen, respond and interact with them in the manner of real people. Take this comment about Kleenex, a brand that has managed its social media strategy in a brilliantly people-centric way.


Subjects: Consumers, Media

22 October 2015 15:24

Marketing to mums
Posted by: MEC

With a plethora of information coming from traditional media, new media and word of mouth, brands that develop relevant messaging will appeal to mums.

This post is by Louise Twycross-Lewis, MEC.

Brands and marketers have long been attracted to the purchasing influence mums have on their households. With approximately 7 million mums in the UK, with children aged 15 and under in their households (source: GB TGI 2015 Q3), they are a sizeable chunk of the population. While it cannot be claimed that this audience is ignored, it is clear that brands are not always speaking to them in the right way.

Mintel's Marketing To Mums report details mothers' attitudes towards advertising, the role that the internet and social media has in their purchasing journeys, and highlights some of the ways of marketing to mums today.


Subjects: Consumers, Data

06 October 2015 10:36

Asian marketers need to be mobile first
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Reynold D'Silva, ‎group head, FMCG / CPG, Tech, Telco, Auto, Media / Entertainment at Facebook Singapore.

With the appearance of separate pedestrian lanes for people who walk looking down at their mobile screens, we know we are truly in the age of the mobile-first generation in Asia.

By 2020, 80% of consumers in Asia will own mobile phones, the majority of which will be smartphones. All these devices can and will be connected to the internet and for the majority of people they will be the main channel of internet access and digital media consumption.

Mobile-first consumers already spend from 37% to 90% more time on their mobile screens than they do watching TV screens. But with this increase in time spent comes a reduction in attention spans and a desire for instant gratification.


Subjects: Digital, Marketing, Consumers

01 October 2015 10:56

Time to be less human
Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter SF
Gareth Kay

Craig Mod is a product designer (best known for his work on Flipboard) and one of my heroes. Recently, I rediscovered a brilliant article he wrote a few years ago called 'Subcompact Publishing'. It's a rather wonderful rant about the stupidity of digital magazines.

He poses a simple question: physical magazines and books are simple to use. So why are most digital magazines and books so complicated that you need a set of instructions? Why do they take forever to download? Why are they full of motion graphics and video that get in the way of the experience rather than enhancing it?

Craig thinks the answer is down to a tendency that can be seen in Homer Simpson's car, The Homer. Given the chance to design his dream car, Homer just adds more and more layers of stuff on top of everything cars have ever offered. More horns, more cup holders, more soundproof bubbles for children and sisters-in-law.


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

24 September 2015 10:13

The 'new normal'
Posted by: Edward Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China
Edward Bell

There's a lot of talk about the 'new normal' in China. And with the slowdown now percolating every corner of Chinese life, one is left with a palpable sense that, from consumers, the 'new normal' calls for 'more value'.

There was a time, several years ago amid the double-digit growth era, when the deep frugality of Chineseness almost gave way to financial flippancy. People were so confident of the future that the cost of things was rendered not unimportant, but less relevant. When everything is going up, what matters is what it will be worth, not what it costs now.

With steadily declining GDP growth rates and two severe down-jolts in the Shanghai share market, the value 'reflex' is back in the forefront of the Chinese mind. And in the context of the highly anticipated 'rerise' of China, it makes for unusual headlines.


Subjects: Consumers, Brands

22 September 2015 08:59

Windows of opportunity: How Konrad Lorenz's Nobel winning work can be applied to advertising
Posted by: Richard Shotton, Head of Insight, ZenithOptimedia
Richard Shotton

Advertising has benefited significantly from the application of Daniel Kahneman's research into behavioural economics. However, Kahneman is not the only Nobel Laureate that advertising should look to for inspiration. Konrad Lorenz's work, for which he was awarded the Noble Prize in 1973, deserves more attention than it currently receives as it has direct relevance to marketing.

In Lorenz's most famous experiment he split a batch of Greylag geese eggs into two. One set, the control, was raised by their mother while the experimental set was exposed to no-one else but Lorenz. The goslings in the experimental set became deeply attached to Lorenz; to all intents and purpose he became their mother figure. They followed him wherever he went and mimicked his behaviour. When, after a few days, they were introduced to their mother they showed no sign of recognition.

From this experiment, and others like it, Lorenz developed the theory of imprinting. He hypothesised that there was a short window of open-ness, roughly 32 hours for geese, in which basic characteristics and behaviours could be shaped. Outside of that window habits became solidified and no amount of hectoring could change them.

In many ways consumers are like those geese. There are short windows of opportunity in which brands have a good chance of influencing behaviour.


Subjects: Advertising, Consumers, Marketing

17 September 2015 11:52

Retail marketing: When it comes to building loyalty, it's the brand product manufacturers that have the edge
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by José Carlos González-Hurtado, presiden of IRI International.

Even the most price-focused brands have come to understand the importance of customer loyalty in recent years. Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair – once famous for its stark approach to customer service – recently credited its 25% profit increase to the "enhanced customer experience" it now offers. Discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl have also realised that low prices are no longer enough to keep customers returning.

Many FMCG retailers still have a long way to go when it comes to making customer loyalty a priority, however. As margins are eroded, price wars break out and online retailers and discounters rise, growing sales by building and sustaining a base of loyal customers is critical. Yet retailers are failing to make use of the rich consumer data they have ready access to, applying it primarily to inform short-term price and promotions activities.


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers, Advertising

16 September 2015 11:22


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