The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Six ways to cut ad costs by 19% – and get better ideas
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Goh ShuFen, president of IAS.

We've all seen the Mad Men episode where Don Draper strides into the room and sells the client a complete idea. One client, one agency, one easy decision. Life was simple then, but today, with multiple stakeholders, markets and agencies, companies need a far more disciplined approach to improving integrated marketing.

When the P&G CFO John Moeller announced his firm was looking to drive $500m in savings from agencies, a key area outlined was how agencies integrate.

It was with this thought in mind, we initiated "Integration 40", a fresh look at 40 of the best integrated marketing campaigns and processes from around the world. We reviewed hundreds of campaigns from six continents before selecting the final list.

Along the way, and through our other consulting work on integration, we discovered something else.



Subjects: Advertising, Marketing

24 June 2015 15:35

Retailers need to focus on retail technology to drive footfall
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Gavin Ray, SVP of marketing & products at ip.access.

"The high street is dead", the critics proclaim. Mary Portas walks down the empty street like Will Smith in I am legend; a post-apocalyptic nightmare with boarded up shops and tumbleweed drifting slowly along in the wind. There’s no one about.

Depicting the current high street as some sort of ghost town is perhaps slightly disingenuous. If you consider that 94 per cent of global retail is conducted offline (in the real-world of high streets and shopping centres), it puts into perspective the fact that bricks-and-mortar retail is still alive and kicking strongly.

But there is a problem. Retailers are fighting to unify the shopping experience for consumers moving between these worlds. While 76 per cent of purchasing decisions are made in store, 66 per cent of shoppers have said that in-store delivered messages influence their purchasing decision (Popai), and there-in lies the problem. Two thirds of shoppers clearly see that there is high benefit in making informed purchasing decisions, but not enough is being done yet to provide them with useful and relevant information that will better equip them to purchase particular products in-store like they do online.


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers, Digital

19 June 2015 17:26

Last word from the East: The end of big luxe?
Posted by: Edward Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China
Edward Bell

You have to feel sorry for the big luxury brands. Encouraged by years of explosive growth and projections of China becoming the world's largest luxury market, they expanded like crazy, opening dozens of new outlets every year and ever-larger flagship stores. And then in late 2012, President Xi Jinping launched his much-publicised crackdown on 'excess'. Ever since, China's luxury industry has been in a flat spin, dazed and confused, lacking clear direction. Is this the end of the 'Golden handbag'?

The past two years have been a hard landing for luxe. Every brand that rode the rocket of 'official gifting' has come down just as hard. The luxury watch business – which dropped 25% immediately after Xi Jinping's speech – is today 95% smaller than the pre-2012 heyday levels. The Macau watch fair was cancelled due to 'low interest'.

High-end liquor has also been decimated. Baijiu, the strong-tasting Chinese white spirit, once a favourite gifting item, has seen sales drop by two-thirds. Even foreign spirit houses, such as Diageo, that are much smaller in volume, are off 25%.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

18 June 2015 16:53

Are you paying attention? Confirmation bias and how to overcome it
Posted by: Richard Shotton, Head of Insight, ZenithOptimedia
Richard Shotton

A couple of weeks ago, 40,000 people made the arduous journey to Omaha, Nebraska. They weren't travelling to see an NFL or NBA game but to listen to Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger speak. These two fund managers have become billionaires through understanding human behaviour better than any of their peers. Their speeches are peppered with insights into customer motivation, which makes them not only popular but also of interest to marketers.

One of Munger's regular themes is how hard it is to change customer's minds once they're made up. In his vivid phrase:

"The human mind is a lot like the human egg, in that the human egg has a shut-off device. One sperm gets in, and it shuts down so that the next one can't get in. The human mind has a big tendency of the same sort."


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

17 June 2015 11:49

The customer experience engine: How to organize marketing for outstanding customer experience
Posted by: Brand Learning
Brand Learning

In this post, for The Economist Group Lean Back blog, Rich Bryson argues that marketing departments need to organise themselves differently to deliver the customer experience. For his full perspective read our white paper.The customer experience engine: How to organize marketing for outstanding customer experience

In our rapidly changing world, it’s the customer experience that matters above all else. It’s what builds relationships and drives growth. This customer experience is enhanced or impaired through every interaction a customer has with an organization. As Simon Lowden, CMO for PepsiCo North America, has said: “in today’s world, partnering cross-functionally is everything.”

Continuing to organize marketing in outdated structures while calling to break down silos will no longer suffice. We need a new approach that focuses also on marketing working with other functions as a “Customer Experience Engine,” shaping outstanding customer experiences that drive business growth. There is no one-size-fits-all, but there are principles for success.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing, Brands

12 June 2015 15:23

The tipping point for customer-centred leadership
Posted by: Brand Learning
Brand Learning

When a Chief Brand Officer is elected to take over the helm at the world’s biggest fast-food chain, you have to acknowledge that a leadership tipping point has been reached. A clear sign that leadership needs to be customer-centred. From March, McDonald’s new CEO & President will be ex-brand man, Steve Easterbrook. In his inaugural press release he states,

"I am honored to lead this great brand, and am committed to working with our franchisees, suppliers and employees to drive forward our strategic business priorities to better serve our customers."

I’m very grateful for that quote as it beautifully summarises the essence of customer-centred leadership as we outline in our white paper True Marketing Leadership. In order for Steve to be successful at McDonald’s  he’s got to keep things simple and the framework below might just provide a useful roadmap for his leadership journey.


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

10 June 2015 16:59

Making a hash of hashtags
Posted by: Darika Ahrens LDN Stock
Darika Ahrens

The other day, I had the rare joy of teaching some friends how to use Twitter. I used to be able to fill an entire day's training session – and entire room – with my thoughts on how to use Twitter for brands. Don't laugh. In a pre-Facebook world there was a lot to discuss.

But I have to confess, I felt a bit fraudulent helping some new folk get into it when I've been a little off Twitter myself in recent years. I used to be on Twitter hourly. Now? Perhaps weekly. I'm not sure exactly why. I know I'm part of a general trend towards user decline on Twitter, but I started to worry my Twitter advice is out of touch.

Take the hashtag for example. My friends asked the usual "Everyone's using them – should we use them? How should we use them?" My rule for Twitter newbies has always been a bit like Mr Miyagi to The Karate Kid – if you're asking me how to use a hashtag, you're not ready to use a hashtag.

"Why? What will happen if we use the wrong hashtag?" my students always ask. Well, of course, nothing. But there's a subtle art to it. Like knowing the difference between what makes a great headline or is just icky click bait. The hashtag used badly, reeks of desperation to me. And cool people don't follow desperate people online.


Subjects: Digital, Marketing

09 June 2015 16:29

Delivering entertaining and creative content will hit the sweet spot
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Sandra Peat, Strategy Director at ONE TWO FOUR.

More than ever before, consumers are in the driving seat when it comes to brand communications. They are both savvy and cynical, making it ever more challenging to produce content that cuts through. Content can be a fantastic way to build relevance and engagement with your audience, leveraging their interests through credibility and awareness. However, in this day and age, it's essential that brands think beyond the obvious content options and be more creative with how they speak to their audience, while still adding value. To hit the sweet spot, brands must therefore create a balance between their objectives and listening to its audiences' passions - and deliver content when and where they want it.

Adrian Pettett, CEO of Cake, recently made the statement that "There's never been a greater need for boldness and disruption. Ultimately it's about brilliant ideas, now more than ever." Brands need to be more creative and bolder in their approach to content today to stand out and appeal to their audience. More often than not, content is viewed as a sure fire way to deliver messages but brands are not accurately observing how their audience consume content and in what way.


Subjects: Digital, Marketing

26 May 2015 11:44

The shopper of the future: Why young shoppers won't turn their back on physical stores
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by the team at GfK.

Despite their love of and ease within the online world, today's young people are not exclusively virtual shoppers, glued to their screens throughout the purchase journey. This new generation of digital natives loves the environment of the store, and values the interaction it offers. And they show no signs of changing their viewpoint.

This creates opportunities for brick and click retailers to challenge the purely online players, some of which – like eBay and Amazon – are responding by migrating out of their virtual comfort zone to investigate the high street. Global Young Shopper survey questioned shoppers aged 16-21 in ten markets around the world. Here's what they told us about their online and offline shopping experiences.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

19 May 2015 16:31

Pleas, promises and placards: Digital impressions from #GE15
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Philip Iorio, media planner at ZenithOptimedia.

Electioneering is a fascinating case study of marketing in action – an intense blast of advertising and PR that highlights both the strengths and limitations of the communications industry.

Deep pockets are no guarantee for success

Considered to have the most draconian political advertising rules in the free world, political adverts are – and have always been – banned on British TV and radio. This ensures the political views broadcast into homes are not determined by those with the deepest pockets. To give you an idea of how deep pockets can be, the battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in 2008 saw almost $1bn spent on presidential campaign ads. In 2010 in contrast, UK parties reportedly spent £31m.


Subjects: Marketing

14 May 2015 15:04


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