Headlines: Aug 23, 2015

CMOs focus on customer journey

28 August 2015
NEW YORK: Chief marketing officers are shifting their budgets away from individual channels and placing greater emphasis on the entire customer journey, a new study has found.

The CMO Club, in partnership with IBM, conducted research among 100 of the world's top marketers – with budgets of $1bn or more – for its report Marketing is a (Buyer) Journey, Not a Destination and stated that marketing was becoming less about the funnel and more about the journey as budgets were increasingly spread over the whole cycle.

At the same time, customer retention and advocacy were increasing in importance as the marketing focus moved away from simple customer acquisition.

"CMOs can no longer afford to dedicate a majority of their budget to customer acquisition and allocate market spend by channel," the study said. "Marketing focused solely on awareness and/or the purchase funnel is obsolete."

They are instead investing across the entire customer journey and doing so more or less evenly at every stage: "discover" took 20% of budgets in the study, with "learn" on 16% ,"try" on 16%, "buy" on 21%, "use" on 13% and "advocate" on 14%.

Social and online channels were described as "multi-tasker mediums" across all stages. And while there is a clear momentum towards digital, traditional channels remain important: spending across buying stages was roughly evenly divided between them (52% traditional, 38% digital).

The top budgeted areas were content (13%), followed by advertising (12%), digital online, events and digital websites (all on 11%).

Some 57% CMOs surveyed expected their marketing budgets to increase over the next two to three years and planned to increase spending across every stage of the buyer journey by an average 50%.

Pete Krainik, CEO and founder of The CMO Club, professed himself excited by these findings. "Marketing dollars are in a seismic shift from channel to journey with feedback metrics that allow for rapid experimentation across campaigns and tactics," he said.

Data sourced from CMO Club, MarketWatch; additional content by Warc staff

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Dell champions 'global-friendly' ethos

28 August 2015
NEW YORK: Brands seeking to translate content into other languages might benefit from training their marketers to be more "global-friendly", a leading executive from Dell has argued.

Wayne Bourland, the technology company's director/global localization, discussed this topic on a webinar organised by Brand2Global.

His department works with 100 teams around the world, ensuring that Dell's marketing and ecommerce content is effectively translated into 28 different languages.

Some of the common challenges, he revealed, include capturing the essence of a US brand positioning in nations where it is not a good cultural fit, as well as dealing with copy which references American rules and regulations.

"We spend a little bit of time working with our upstream teams on how to be global-friendly," he said. (For more, including budget tips, read Warc's exclusive report: Making marketing work overseas: translation tips from Dell.)

"But, to be absolutely honest with you, I think we do a pretty bad job of doing that, primarily because we're supporting a hundred different teams that are creating marketing content all over the world [and] a lot of different ad agencies.

"We don't really have the ability to get into those teams as much as we would like, and in front of those teams as much as we would like, to influence the creative process … It needs to happen."

The problem, he suggested, partly results from the fact that members of in-house or agency teams often don't "have a good understanding" of other countries.

"Think about: you're a 25-year-old coming out of college, you've got your marketing degree and now you're writing this content for this large enterprise," said Bourland.

"You may not know really anything about the world outside the United States."

More broadly, he asserted that many brand custodians do not understand what is required to translate content so it matches the original engagement effect.

"You've got all of that time and dollars invested in creating that source English, and then you dump it all through the translation process," he said.

"And you think that two or three days later, you're going to get it back in 28 languages … and it's going to look just as brilliant as the stuff that came out of the ad agency. That's the wrong expectation."

Data sourced from Warc

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Consumers want free online news

28 August 2015
LONDON: UK consumers want their online news to be free at the point of consumption, a survey finding reinforced by data which highlights the fact that the slowest growing newsbrands are those operating paywalls.

A poll of 1,055 adults for The News Hub, an open journalism platform, found near-unanimous support for online news to be free: 96% of respondents agreed there should be no charges to access news websites.

At the same time, new data from NRS PADD (National Readership Survey Print And Digital Data) showed that over the 12 months from July 2014 to July 2015 the fastest growing readerships among UK news brands were at those which did not charge for access.

The Daily Mirror's monthly readership figures doubled (+101%) over the period with much of this coming via mobile, while the Guardian was not far behind, with a 98.5% increase, followed by the Telegraph on +92.6%.

The Times, in contrast, registered a +5.5% increase, while sister paper the Sun managed +6.9%. Both of these titles owned by Rupert Murdoch's News UK operate paywalls.

More generally, reported Newsworks, the data showed that newsbrands reached nearly 20m people across the UK every day (38%), 34m people (66%) each week and just under 40m people (76%) each month across print and PC.

Adding in estimates for mobile lifted the monthly figure to 46m, or around nine in ten (89%) of the potential newsreading population.

Another indication of how the news industry is changing came in the finding that 35.3m people (68%) are still reading newspapers on a monthly basis, but newsbrands reach 36.3m people (70%) across digital platforms alone every month.

Newsbrands remain an excellent medium for reaching a high-income audience, Newsorks noted, with 94% of ABC1s reading a newsbrand each month and 97% of chief income earners with over £70,000 of net annual income. Newsbrands also reach 32m main shoppers (89%) every month.

Young people were the biggest consumers of newsbrands across all platforms with 96% of 15-24 year olds accessing newsbrands each month.

Advertising spend on digital newsbrands reached a record-high £387m last year, according to the AA/Warc Expenditure Report. Digital ad revenues for newsbrands are expected to top half a billion pounds next year.


Data sourced from BusinessWire, Newsworks; additional content by Warc staff

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Android preferred for mobile email

28 August 2015
LONDON: Email open and click rates across Europe are growing significantly faster on Android devices than iOS ones, new research has shown.

SendGrid, an email delivery platform, collected data on ten billion emails sent across its database of 200,000 companies during two ten-day periods in 2014 and 2015 and found that email open rates on Android devices were growing almost nine times faster than those on iOS devices.

Email opens on an Android device rose by an average of 68% across the EU, compared to 8% growth for iPhone.

In the UK, Android open and click rates grew year-on-year by 23%, while the growth was much more significant in Bulgaria (+364%), Poland (+309%) and Luxembourg (+178%).

Overall, 22 of the 28 EU member states saw an increase in Android email usage, significantly overtaking Apple devices for user engagements in year-on-year growth.

In the UK, the iPhone accounted for almost a quarter (24%) of email opens and clicks, but this was an 8% decrease on 2014. Bigger declines were seen in Slovakia (-38%), Luxembourg (-21%) and the Netherlands (-14%).

The iPad saw a more significant decline of 15% year-on-year across Europe. The greatest declines came in the Czech Republic where open rates fell by 52% year on year, closely followed by Latvia and Greece (both falling by 49%). The UK was one of the few exceptions – open rates on the Apple tablet increased by 5%.

Overall, iPhone and iPad email use in Europe was relatively stagnant, with an average growth of only 1% between 2014 and 2015.

Aaron Beach, SendGrid's senior data scientist, noted that it was 33 years since the first corporate email had been sent and it remained the 'de facto' business communications tool of the modern era, even in the mobile era.

Smartphones had now become the dominant platform for sending and receiving corporate email, he said. "Our data indicates that tablet usage just hasn't taken off in the same meaningful way," he added.

Data sourced from SendGrid; additional content by Warc staff

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Vertical video swells completion rates

28 August 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile video ad campaigns shot vertically can deliver a significant increase in completion rates according to adtech firm Celtra.

One such campaign for Audi, designed around the car marque's involvement in the Le Mans race, achieved a 36% completion rate, which Celtra reported was 80% higher than its automotive benchmark.

"We believe that this is the form that will eventually get the most traction on mobile devices because of the way that consumption of content works on mobile and the way users are using and interacting with content," Mihael Mikek, CEO and co-founder of Celtra, told Mobile Marketer.

"Snapchat proved this with their success," he added. "Right now, a number of other companies are trying to develop and catch up."

Earlier this year, Snapchat, the photo-sharing app, reported that vertical ads were viewed to the end nine times more frequently than horizontal ones and advised content producers to simply turn their cameras on their side to frame shots as they will appear on phones.

More recently, it teamed up with WPP Group, the advertising holding company, and the Daily Mail, the news title, to create Truffle Pig, a content agency that will test new marketing formats – especially vertical video.

The advent of video streaming apps such as Meerkat and Periscope have reinforced the need for marketers to have a vertical perspective for mobile devices.

The Audi campaign, however, was actually taken from a TV ad and cropped to fit in portrait mode while also being shortened from 30 to eight seconds.

Mikek reported that Celtra currently has 20 brands lined up to run vertical video ads using its technology and expects the trend to be embraced across the industry.

"Going forward, vertical video will be one of the main focuses," Mikek said. "In the next few months, we'll see many more brands doing it."

And the use of vertical video is not restricted to mobile. 

In a Warc Trends Snapshot on vertical video, Sergio Claudio, vp/digital innovation and strategy at RockOrange, explained that such material usually displays well on Facebook, and can be employed in skyscraper and 300 x 600 ad units on desktop, providing the "same amount of real estate" as on mobile.


Data sourced from Mobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff

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Aussie marketers tackle adtech issues

28 August 2015
SYDNEY: Australia's advertising and marketing industry is increasingly concerned with issues around digital advertising technology according to a new report which also highlights several areas where further education is required.

In The State of the Market: Marketing and Advertising Technology study, for which IAB Australia surveyed 200 respondents, brand safety, ad fraud detection and viewability emerged as areas of particular interest, B&T reported.

But while 76% of respondents were already using ad viewability tracking technology, only half of agencies (48%) had invested in brand safety technology, while a similar proportion of publishers (52%) were not using ad fraud detection.

The study further found that agencies, clients and publishers were all looking to taking advantage of a broad range of tools and technologies in the areas of analytics and measurement.

Relatively few were yet using attribution modelling, data visualisation and content personalisation technologies, although many indicated an intention to start doing so within the next six months.

Up to 15% of clients or marketers, for example, signalled their intent to use mobile analytics or marketing tools, while 10% of clients, marketers and agencies planned to use video analytics. Attribution modelling was a priority for 29% of publishers.

One potential obstacle the survey discovered, however, is that the self-declared understanding of these various technologies was not great.

Clients listed attribution modelling, platforms and data visualisation as their priority areas for education and information. Agencies covered added ad fraud detection to this list while publishers were focused on mobile analytics, ad viewability tracking and ad fraud detection.

"As more and more consumers are using mobile and engaging with online video, marketers and advertisers are acknowledging they need to better analyse and use a range of tools to understand and serve their customers," said Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia.

"The industry has expressed a clear hunger for greater accountability and a growing sophistication in their needs so we will continue to work towards supporting their needs," she added.

Data sourced from B&T; additional content by Warc staff

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Clarity ahead for India's TV ratings

28 August 2015
MUMBAI: The long-running debate around India's TV ratings has taken a new, and decisive, turn as the two main protagonists have pooled their resources in a new company to gather all relevant data.

BARC India, the television rating company formed by broadcasters, agencies and advertisers, and TAM India, the television audience measurement company owned by Nielsen and Kantar, are forming a separate meter company which will manage all 34,000 television meters which the two organisations currently operate.

The new business – in which BARC has a 51% stake, TAM 49% – will carry out field work and supply raw data to BARC which will analyse the findings and supply a television rating which will be the sole trading currency for the industry.

This development means an end to the TAM television ratings, the accuracy of which had been disputed by broadcasters, although TAM India will continue to provide non-TV ratings services.

"This partnership is a big step forward and in this era of cooperation, we welcome this move forward as a joint industry body," said Punit Goenka, chairman of BARC India.

"The technology and methodological prowess of BARC, combined with the extra meters and the field force will definitely help the industry progress," he added.

Six months ago, the two sides were at loggerheads as LV Krishnan, CEO of TAM Media Research, condemned the "shameful" behaviour of industry bodies which had advised members to end their arrangements with TAM and subscribe instead to BARC.

The tone now, however, is very different, with Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, stating: "We are happy to cooperate with BARC India to be able to provide clarity and a large single sample for the industry and to keep India as a key market for us."

And Steve Hasker, global president, Nielsen, said the new venture "draws strengths from both BARC India and TAM India" and would offer "great coverage and representation".

The Indian TV advertising market was worth US$2.2bn last year and is expected to grow at an average rate of 8.1% this year and next, according to the latest data from Warc's International Ad Forecast.

Further, Warc's Media Inflation Forecast, which draws consensus from three major ad agencies on the price of marketing via different media, finds that the cost of a 30 second TV spot in India is likely to rise 10% this year.


Data sourced from IndianTelevision.com, Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Warc launches 2016 Innovation Prize

27 August 2015
LONDON: Warc is today launching the Warc Prize for Innovation 2016, a global search for effective innovation in marketing with a $10,000 cash prize fund.

Now in its fourth year, the competition is free to enter and open to all forms of marketing and communications. Entrants must submit a case study of marketing innovation that delivered meaningful results for a brand.

The work should have been in-market at any time between January 1 2014 and November 30 2015. Full entry details are available at the Prize website.

Innovation can be hard to define, beyond a sense that it marks a break from what went before, and entrants are asked to explain why their strategies should merit being described as innovative.

Nigel Jones, global chief strategy Officer at FCB, judged the 2014 Prize and noted that the industry's definition of innovation was broadening.

"When I first came into the industry, innovation was about new insights and new compositions, and new ways of talking to the audience. Increasingly, that's not true. Innovation is now about utility and what you're going to do with the product or use the product for.”

The competition will name Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners. The Grand Prix, for the best overall paper, will win $5,000.

In addition there are five $1,000 Special Awards, which will be awarded to the best examples of specific types of innovation: product or service innovation, channel innovation, category innovation, co-created innovation and innovation in a not-profit-campaign.

All winning entries will be published and promoted in the Warc Innovation Casebook 2016, Warc's annual report on the world's freshest communication ideas.

The last iteration of the Innovation Prize was won by Clever Buoy, a shark detector campaign for Australian mobile provider Optus. This case study plus useful tips about how to impress the judges, is available on the Prize website, while further information about previous winning cases and their common themes can be found in previous editions of the Innovation Casebook.

A jury of senior marketers for some of the world's biggest brands, plus agency-side experts from around the world, will be announced in the coming months.

Data sourced from Warc

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Brands should build experiences

27 August 2015
LONDON: Marketers seeking to build brand experiences and consumer engagement are being offered a way to bridge the digital and physical environments by the creators of an augmented reality app.

The Traces app sends content to a location rather than a device; the recipient has to be in the right location at the right time to unlock the content – which can be anything from a photo to a video or audio clip – via a digital marker left by the sender and which is revealed in the smartphone's camera view

This twist to location-based marketing has already been used by GoPro, the action camera brand: at SXSW earlier this year it created mobile scavenger hunts around Austin, offering GoPro products and exclusive access to SXSW events to the winners.

And Oxfam, the aid and development charity, recently launched a campaign which employs Traces to deliver messages to people passing its shops and to solicit donations.

Neuroscientist Beau Lotto, founder of Traces, told Marketing that "A lot of my research is on perception, how the brain makes sense of other people – it has to physically engage with the world and the people it cares about."

"What I'm arguing for is the space between," he said, "to have content not on your phone but in the world itself."

So rather than simply clicking on a mobile device, "Traces requires the brain to embark on a journey of discovery, generating dopamine and fostering empathy between connections".

Brands, Lotto suggested, could use this to create experiences and reward people for being in a certain location: "the effort to get a Trace boosts its value".

The brain loves experiences, he explained. "People will spend more money for experiences than objects, and their significance lasts longer."

Lotto further argued that for brands to succeed in digital they had to learn to give.

"We have brands that are close to us, like musicians, and we'll go further for those than for anything else," he said. "And in going further, we feel closer to the brand by having made that effort."

Data sourced from Marketing, Third Sector, Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile gap persists for publishers

27 August 2015
NEW YORK: US publishers report that more than half of visits to their digital properties are coming from mobile devices but that these are contributing less than one fifth of digital ad revenues.

That's the case at the The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and a similar gap is evident at the New York Times Co. "[Mobile revenues] are definitely lagging audience. No question," Meredith Kopit Levien, the latter's chief revenue officer, told the Wall Street Journal.

Where mobile accounts for perhaps 20% of digital ad revenue at the Wall Street Journal sites, that figure is around 15% at those of the New York Times.

Targeting is a major issue, since the tracking infrastructure that has been developed over many years is set up for desktops and doesn't work at all well on mobile.

Andy Blau, Time Inc.'s group general manager, highlighted the difficulties: "We need to be able to help advertisers differentiate between people interested in buying mid-priced cars or expensive cars," he explained.

Unfortunately for publishers anxious to recoup print advertising losses, Facebook and Google are rather more adept at making such distinctions and are soaking up the greater part of mobile advertising dollars.

While some publishers have chosen to jump on the Facebook bandwagon, using its Instant Articles program to publish stories directly to the site, others are exploring alternative approaches.

The New York Times, for example, is to trial a new ad product that divides a day into seven parts and enables marketers to target messages to users in these particular "moments".

The mobile gap was also remarked on by Travis Johnson, global mobile head at IPG Mediabrands. "Consumers are so much more in this space than the advertisers are," he told Beet.tv.

"We've got clients … seeing upwards of 50% of their site traffic come through from mobile devices, and they're dedicating 1% of their spend towards driving people there," he said.

"They're not optimising their assets and making the most of that," he added.

He suggested the gap arose since mobile was still a new space for IT, marketing and sales teams.

"It's almost a new piece of infrastructure to get all your assets aligned," he said. "It's taking a lot of clients quite some time."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, Beet.tv; additional content by Warc staff

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Vloggers are a missed opportunity

27 August 2015
NEW YORK: Vloggers are significantly more likely than TV or movie stars to influence millennial purchase intent but brands have yet to fully exploit the opportunities they offer a report has said.

Think tank L2 highlighted the relative influences of these sources in its latest Intelligence Report, on the subject of video. YouTube vloggers had a 62%-63% influence on young adults and teens compared to the 46%-49% exercised by TV and movie stars.

It pointed out that an average popular beauty vlogger video achieved some 438,770 video views and contrasted this with the monthly circulation of some leading magazine titles aimed at a similar demographic.

Thus, for example, Cosmopolitan sells 289,044 copies, while Marie Claire shifts 202,127 and Vogue 200,032.

Overall, beauty vloggers registered more than 700m video views every month, with popular channels attracting 15 times more views and 108 times more subscribers than those belonging to beauty and hair care brands.

But even those brands attempting to leverage partnerships with vloggers often "underutilised this advantage", the report said.

Some 17% of beauty and hair care brands posted content featuring vloggers on their social properties during the final quarter of 2014, but half of these same brands then failed to take advantage of the vloggers' huge audiences on their own YouTube channels.

L2 cited Clean & Clear as an example: the teen skincare brand had featured two popular YouTube vloggers – MayBaby and MamaMiaMakeup – on its brand channel, where video views could reach maybe 17,000, during this period.

But neither vlogger had mentioned the brand in their own videos which typically attract 1.5m views in the case of MayBaby and 371,000 in the case of MamaMiaMakeup.

Sponsoring product placement in videos by popular vloggers could be a better strategy L2 suggested.

This is an area where brands need to tread carefully and ensure transparency. In the UK, vloggers have recently been issued with new guidelines stressing the need to clearly identify when they are promoting a product.

Data sourced from L2; additional content by Warc staff

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SE Asia leads in mobile marketing

27 August 2015
SINGAPORE: The Asia Pacific region is leading the way in the shift to mobile-first business, with marketers in South East Asia particularly focused on mobile as an effective form of customer engagement.

That's the conclusion of a new study by Adobe Digital Index – Best of the Best Benchmark 2015 – which compared the overall average versus the top 20% websites as rated on six key performance indicators across eight regions: South East Asia (including Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia), Australia and New Zealand, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan and the US.

The indicators included smartphone and tablet traffic; stick rate (defined as the percentage of visits that last more than one page); visits-per-visitor; time spent; conversion rate; and click-through-rate.

South East Asia saw double-digit increases year-over-year in their share of smartphone visits, with an 18% increase for best of the best websites and 11% increase for average websites.

Loyal return visitors were more prominent in the region than the US, both from average websites and best of the best websites, which, Adobe Digital Index pointed out, equates to higher loyalty and reduced acquisition costs.

Time spent on websites is the best metric for site engagement and the best of the best websites were 22% higher than the average; all countries in Asia Pacific fared better than the US.

"The best digital marketers in South East Asia are delivering strong results in some key performance areas,” said Tamara Gaffney, Director, Adobe Digital Index.

"Not only did we see the gaps increase for smartphone visits between the best of the best websites and the average websites, we congruently saw the "best of the best” are also moving away from the average in terms of stick rate, indicating the direct correlation between mobile capability and consumer engagement.”

But click-through rates were weak in South East Asia, showing a lack of alignment between consumer intent and advertising execution. Similarly some of the weakest conversion rates were also in the region.

"The data is telling us that delivering seamless experiences across devices is the key to acquisition and engagement,” Gaffney concluded.

Data sourced from Adobe Digital Index; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands refine mela tactics

27 August 2015
NEW DELHI: With the world's largest religious gathering happening over the next three weeks, brands have an opportunity to reach millions of Indian consumers in a very different context from usual.

The Kumbh Mela starting in Nasik on Saturday is only the biggest of many melas taking place over the next few months where brands can explore new and inventive ways of getting their message across to rural consumers.

"There is always a prestige attached to participating in big melas," according to Deepak Oberoi, CEO of experiential marketing business RC&M.

"The local media do stories on the best stalls and it gives a brand so much added publicity without spending a thing," he told the Economic Times.

At the last Kumbh Mela, for example, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) set up 50 handwashing stations to promote its Lifebuoy soap. But what was really newsworthy was the tactic of imprinting the message "Did you wash your hands with Lifebuoy?" on fresh roti breads served by 100 local restaurants.

HUL also brought a novel strategy for its 3 Roses tea brand to the recent Maha Pushkaram in Andhra Pradesh. Some 250 tea stalls were given 3,000 special cups on which a brand logo and message appeared when it was filled with hot liquid.

"The cup transforms a mundane moment into a magical one," explained Shiva Krishnamurthy, general manager & category head/tea. 

"There was a unanimous 'wow' around the 'magic' effect – many even wanted to take the cup home with them," he added.

While novelty and inventiveness may grab people's attention, basic utility is also welcome at such gatherings.

"At the Maha Kumbh 2013, people were camping out," said George Angelo, executive director of sales at FMCG business Dabur. "Odomos is the only protection against mosquitos that works both outdoors and indoors – we distributed it extensively in sachets."

But according to Dalveer Singh, head of experiential marketing, APAC, Dialogue Factory, "The people who have used melas in the best way are local brands".

He drew attention to the "ganji baniyan guys" who "use a call to attention with small rhymes in local language and make an appeal to the entire family". Major brands, he suggested could usefully treat local vendors as a source of insights.


Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Coke's content model fizzes with Mad Men

26 August 2015
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA: Coca-Cola is using storytelling to deeply engage shoppers – an approach which was epitomised following the appearance of its flagship brand in the finale of the Mad Men series on AMC.

Douglas Busk, Coca-Cola's global group director/digital communications and social media, discussed this topic at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Digital & Social Media Conference.

He said that Coca-Cola Journey, its official website, helped the Atlanta-based firm reach core stakeholders "in the same way they engage us, which is through storytelling." (For more, including further details of Coke's content strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Coke's behind-the-scenes Journey with Mad Men.)

And the fact Mad Men's final episode closed with Coke's iconic Hilltop ad handed Coca-Cola its greatest chance to leverage fans' interest in the long-running series, in which its brands had regularly featured.

"We simply wanted to provide the real story behind the show, and the characters as depicted, including 'Hilltop' … if only to ensure that the facts were top of the fold," said Busk.

As soon as the last instalment of Don Draper's story finished on the West Coast, the organisation thus had a selection of material ready on Coca-Cola Journey, its official website.

More specifically, the firm refreshed an article about the making of the "Hilltop" spot which it had originally uploaded a few years earlier, alongside introducing a companion piece on the "Unbottled" blog.

"We were aware that 'Hilltop' was going to be featured. We didn't know how. We simply delivered a copy of the ad to the producers," said Busk.

By providing an authoritative – and engaging – take on the subject, however, Coca-Cola was able to connect with Mad Men fans while also making a significant impression in the media.

"The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and dozens of others publications not only mentioned Journey, but they didn't refer to some anonymous [Coca-Cola] person," said Busk.

"They all linked directly to our Journey pieces as official points of record. So it wasn't pushed through the filter of: 'This is what some company shill is telling you.'"

Data sourced from Warc

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African affluents are heavy media users

26 August 2015
DAR ES SALAAM: Affluent Africans are heavy media users, consuming almost five hours a day, with digital fast gaining ground on television.

Nanzala Mwaura, director of client relations at Ipsos SSA, used the findings of a survey by the research organisation – which covered 3.4m affluents in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco – to profile a typical African Affluent for an audience at the All Africa Media Research Conference currently taking place in Dar es Salaam.

They spend just over two hours a day watching television, The MediaOnline reported, while the internet occupies around one and a half hours and print, in the form of newspapers and magazines, about one hour.

The penetration of international television was highest in Uganda and lowest in South Africa.

"Affluent lives and lifestyles have become intertwined with media in general and digital media in particular," Mwaura explained.

Almost all (98%) of this group owned a smartphone and a PC or laptop, while six in ten (62%) owned a tablet; the same proportion (60%) owned all three devices.

Social media has proved a real draw, with 94% of African Affluents having visited a site in the past 30 days.

Mwaura went on to describe African Affluents as "clever, connected, shopaholics".

Ipsos's research found that 88% of them were prepared to pay extra for quality and 90% of them preferred to buy well-known brands.

Most were armed with credit cards (80%) to facilitate their shopping, and among these one third possessed a gold or platinum card.

Luxury brands hoping to tap into this market, however, may have to play a long game. BusinessDay recently reported that Diamond Walk, a new upmarket mall in Johannesburg, often had more security guards than shoppers and quoted a wealth manager as saying brands might have to sustain losses for up to ten years.

Separate research has detailed the cities where the wealthiest Africans live, with the highest concentration found in Johannesburg, home to 23,400 millionaires.

Lagos had less than half that number (9,100), followed by Nairobi (6,200), Luanda (4,900) and Accra (2,250).

Data sourced from The MediaOnline; BusinessDay Live, AFK Insider; additional content by Warc staff

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German social users guard privacy

26 August 2015
BERLIN: The great majority of German social media users avoid posting personal information on social media, while one third never comment on products or services a survey has said.

Bitkom polled 1,013 internet users over the age of 14 years, including 703 active users of social networks, and found that fully 85% consciously refrained from posting information that disclosed certain personal details.

And 43% indicated their participation in networks was not under their real name.

"Most social network users are very careful with personal information and opinions," said Susanne Dehmel, managing director/trust and security, Bitkom.

"They decide what content they will share with other members of the network depending on the situation and content involved."

According to the survey, 41% declined to make any comments on religious content while 37% avoided expressing a view on political issues.

Family privacy was another issue for a significant proportion of respondents: 39% would not post pictures of their children.

Brands' efforts to engage consumers via this platform also run into a wall as one third said they did not comment on products or services.

Almost two thirds were ready, however, to give up information about their sexual orientation, and 45% to add information to photos in which they saw themselves.

A separate Bitkom survey of social media use and television revealed that more than a quarter of social media users (27%) also used sites like Facebook or Twitter, or communities like Couchfunk, to follow TV-related content.

Most do so passively, simply reading what others have written, but almost one in ten (9%) actively participate in discussions.

"The exchange with the community gives the viewer the feeling of sitting together with others in a room and watching TV," observed Timm Lutter of Bitkom, adding that some programmes aired opinions and survey results from social media.

Data sourced from Bitkom; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile users prefer ads to sharing

26 August 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile consumers are far more likely to click on an ad than on a button inviting them to share branded content via social media, new research has claimed.

"We analysed over 61m mobile sessions and found that only 0.2% of mobile users do any social sharing," said Haresh Kumar, vp/marketing at Moovweb, a mobile experience optimisation business.

In fact, mobile consumers were 11.5 times more likely to click on an advertisement than a social sharing button, Mobile Marketer reported.

"This has deep marketing implications," Kumar noted, "since mobile device traffic is, on average, over 60%."

There are practical reasons for the reluctance to share, as users have to log in first. A single tap on a mobile ad is far easier than laboriously typing out a username and password.

One possible tactic to counter this obstacle would be to add a strong call to action with an incentive, such as a discount or a sweepstakes entry.

"Social sharing has evolved, specifically as it pertains to shopping priorities," said Kumar, explaining that while consumers are increasingly happy to shop on mobile devices, they are not ready to share their purchases with their networks.

"Social is likely the channel of influence during discovery and preference phase," he said. "Social is not top of mind when a consumer is in the moment and making a purchase."

The research showed that Facebook had the highest social sharing button engagement, followed closely by Pinterest. Twitter was third but mobile users were three times more likely to share posts on Facebook.

Kumar advised that while a multiplicity of social sharing buttons could work on desktop, "on mobile it might make sense to limit [them] to a few".

Data sourced from Nobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff

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Aussies engage with loyalty schemes

26 August 2015
SYDNEY: Australian consumers are more active in loyalty programs than ever before, with a significant proportion buying items they don't need just to earn rewards, a new study has found.

A total of 1,367 consumers who were members of at least one loyalty program – and 84% of Australians fall into this category – were surveyed by by strategic loyalty consultancy Directivity and retention agency Citrus.

The subsequent For Love or Money report stated that 59% of members were active in all of their programs – the average number of memberships was 3.8 – and that this represented a 31% incremental increase from a similar 2013 survey.

They were also spending more: 82% of respondents indicated that they tended to buy more from those companies whose loyalty programs they were members of, a slight increase on the 80% figure of 2013.

And 16% confessed they even bought things they didn't need in order to earn rewards, a figure that jumped to 26% for men under 45.

"If you do the maths, that's a reasonable additional spend that goes straight to the bottom line," observed Adam Posner, report co-author and CEO of Directivity.

"Loyalty programs are a real business imperative for driving brand loyalty and profitability," he said. "While consumers are telling us they're more selective with their programs, they're also more active and engaged."

One reason for that is that brands are keeping their programs simple and fewer people are dropping out.

The research also revealed that consumers are slow to embrace new technology: two thirds (67%) of members preferred a traditional loyalty card while only 10% would choose a mobile app to interact with a program.

"We found this one of the most surprising findings of all," said Peter Noble, report co-author and CEO of Citrus. "It goes to show that getting the card into a person's wallet or purse is a critical piece of brand real estate and connection."

The report also revealed that members would like some form of acknowledgement for interacting with brands: 53% wanted to be rewarded for answering surveys and 46% for opening emails.

Data sourced from The Loyalty Point; additional content by Warc staff

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Personalisation boosts email open rates

26 August 2015
WALTHAM, MASS: Sending more personalised email campaigns can result in open rates being lifted by nearly 150% a new study has claimed.

This was one of the conclusions reached by Constant Contact, an online marketing specialist, from an analysis of the more than 100bn customer emails it has sent over the past two years.

Campaigns sent to 35 subscribers or fewer, suggesting more personalised content, saw the best open rates of 55%, a figure that dwarfed the average open rate of 22%.

Campaigns sent to more than 7,500 subscribers, on the other hand, suggest low personalisation levels and these averaged an open rate of 14%.

Jesse Harriott, chief analytics officer at Constant Contact, claimed this was "conclusive proof that personalising the emails you send, so that you're speaking directly to specific interests and wants of a subscriber, not only strengthens the relationship with subscribers, it results in better campaign performance".

"Small businesses tend to be great at developing authentic customer relationships," he added, "and this data underscores the marketing value of those relationships."

Another finding was that the subscriber domain was also a factor influencing open rates. Campaigns sent to Comcast Cable, Verizon Wireless, and Cox Communications email addresses had the highest open rates out of any domain name, with AOL, Hotmail, and Yahoo! bringing up the rear.

The study further confirmed that mobile devices now make up a majority of email opens.

Just over half (51%) of all emails are now opened on either a smartphone or tablet, according to the study – 39% on a smartphone and 12% on a tablet.

Harriott added that three quarters of subscribers would delete emails if unable to read them on their mobile device.

"Small businesses must have a mobile-first mindset when it comes to their email marketing," he declared.

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Programmatic video surges in SE Asia

26 August 2015
SINGAPORE: Advertisers across Southeast Asia are upping their investment in programmatic video, with mobile in particular registering a surge in the second quarter of the year according to a new report.

A quarterly report from Tubemogul examined four markets in the region – Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines – and revealed a 20% increase in mobile video programmatic auctions compared to the first quarter.

"The data reflects an evolution in buying attitudes where advertisers are now planning their media buys holistically across desktop and mobile screens," said Susan Salop, VP/Asia, TubeMogul.

"We are witnessing a shift by advertisers in Southeast Asia to diversify their video campaigns and reach audiences whenever and wherever they access video content," she added.

All four markets had seen the average number of daily auctions increase quarter-on-quarter, Mumbrella reported. The fastest growing market was Singapore, which registered a 28% increase to 2.9m; the greatest absolute rise came in Indonesia, where almost 14m daily auctions took place, up from 11.5m in the first quarter.

Not only was the quantity of programmatic mobile inventory growing but its quality was improving. This, Salop noted, had led to more stable pricing compared to the "wild fluctuations" that had been seen in previous quarters.

She added that advertisers were now realising that video completion rates on portable devices were high because of strong user engagement.

Advertisers are moving beyond simply buying video at scale and are now assessing the engagement metrics that mobile video can provide, she said.

Desktop pre-roll inventory had also grown impressively, with Singapore recording an eight-fold increase while Indonesia leapt 17 times.

"We have moved past the question of whether there is enough scale and inventory in Southeast Asia for brands and agencies to buy digital video programmatically," stated Salop.

"The data shows that advertisers who want to plan and optimise their video advertising media buys across screens can do it today."

Data sourced from Mumbrella, Digital Market Asia; additional content by Warc staff

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Coke puts fizz into online content

25 August 2015
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, is using an "A-to-B-to-C" content model to ensure its official website tells engaging stories which its marketing cannot, or does not, focus on.

Douglas Busk, Coca-Cola's global group director/digital communications and social media, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Digital & Social Media Conference.

"If you're seeing a paid ad for us on the Super Bowl or the World Cup, that's 'A-to-B' content," he said. (For more, including further details of its approach to content, read Warc's exclusive report: Coca-Cola's Journey to online publishing platform.)

"That's our traditional mechanism that Coca-Cola has done so well with. We have paid, earned and shared for over 129 years."

But Coca-Cola Journey, the organisation's magazine-like official website, fulfils a distinctive purpose for the firm.

"We also have our own opportunity to tell another story that goes deeper. And that's 'A-to-B-to-C' content," said Busk.

Such material may span anything from details of product innovations to outlining what its sweeteners are made of and details covering its corporate social responsibility programs.

This output all tells stories in Coca-Cola's own voice, and without relying on press releases or other techniques which have usually been employed to push out news, stories and company updates.

"We tell the stories of the [Coca-Cola] people and the processes that pull back the curtain on the company," said Busk.

Often, this task involves answering questions which "nag at our consumers' - and even our critics' - minds", he revealed.

"Most frequently," continued Busk, "we find that the intriguing stories that have spreadability and virality, are, in fact, exactly those that our marketing teams aren't necessarily focused on.

"We need to be able to tell stories that our marketers can't, shouldn't, wouldn't or, frankly, don't," he added.

Data sourced from Warc

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Brands see benefits of music videos

25 August 2015
LONDON: Opportunities for product placement and reaching younger audiences are encouraging an increasing number of brands to use music videos as an essential component of their campaigns.

For UK online retailer Very, targeting consumers on YouTube has proved highly effective, to such an extent that the company's marketing director believes music videos will become the future of marketing.

"We know that our target customer over indexes on YouTube in order to watch music videos so taking fashion to that space is a no brainer and a big win for us," said Kenyatte Nelson in comments to Marketing Week.

"Music is a universal language and allows us to approach our customers in a less commercial and a more engaging way. There aren't many brands truly investing in this space, but they will – it will become the future of marketing," he added.

But it is not just music videos that offer opportunities, he said, pointing to the popular US TV show "Scandal", which he suggested is watched as much for the outfits worn by the lead characters as for the plotline.

"The main character Olivia Pope always wears a beautiful coat, it could be a Burberry or a Calvin Klein. It is a running joke that this thing sells out the next day," he said.

Product placement is also being made easier with the inventive use of modern technology, according to James Cornish, UK sales director of video-hosting service Vevo.

He cited MirriAd, a Universal-backed native advertising platform which can integrate brands messages into music videos, and said Vevo worked with MirriAd to insert billboards and branding into the Minions computer-animated movie.

Another advantage of online video is its ability to engage younger audience and its longevity, said music analyst Mark Mulligan.

"What's key to brands getting into music videos is longevity," he said. "If you advertise on television, it's time sensitive. However if a brand places an advert or product placement within a music video, it will still be seen two years from now and still in big numbers."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Twitter users are loyal TV fans

25 August 2015
NEW YORK: TV networks and advertisers have opportunities to maximise earned media and build loyalty among viewers who use Twitter over the course of a programme's season, according to a new report.

Research firm Nielsen sought to establish whether these "social TV authors" are limited to the same group who comment on Twitter each week or if other viewers join in during the course of a programme's season.

Based on analysis of 113 programme seasons, from premiere to finale, covering September 2014 to May 2015, Nielsen Social uncovered three key insights for marketers.

It found that new social TV authors regularly join conversations about programmes; loyal authors are valuable for more than just their social allegiance; and big programme moments inspire more fans to participate.

After finding that an average of 10 times as many authors tweet about a programme in total across a season compared with the number of authors who contribute in an average week, the report concluded that "new voices jump into the conversation throughout the season".

Nielsen suggested that provides an opportunity for networks and advertisers to convert new authors into loyal programme authors, perhaps through on-screen calls to action or paid social campaigns.

There is also value for networks and advertisers in engaging loyal programme authors because, for the top loyal programmes, more than a fifth of authors tweet about three or more episodes during a season.

ABC's "Scandal" has the top programme loyalty on Twitter, at 24%, followed by AMC's "The Walking Dead" (23%), Fox's "Empire" (22%), ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder" (22%) and FX's "Sons of Anarchy" (21%).

Finally, the study found there are big moments within a season when larger groups of authors jump into the conversation.

On average, 25% of all programme authors tweet about premieres and 16% tweet about finales while, between these two groups combined, 38% tweet during those two moments.

With a full 25% of authors tweeting about premieres, Nielsen said premieres could be a critical point at the beginning of a season to maximise "early buzz and foster loyalty for ensuing episodes".

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff

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Instagram influences creative work

25 August 2015
NEW YORK: As a growing number of brands use Instagram as an advertising channel for their campaigns, the natural visual style of the photo-sharing app is causing many creatives to adapt their work to make it fit well with the medium.

As reported by Adweek, design teams are beginning to see the benefit of moving away from over-lit and over-edited photos to a more "authentic" look and this approach increasingly is being used for campaigns.

One example was a campaign organised by agency Deutsch LA for Taco Bell, the fast-food chain, in which the photography focused on post-purchase moments, such as friends eating tacos together on the beach, to give the images a more "honest feel".

Nathan Iverson, evp and design director at Deutsch LA, said: "We kind of call it 'perfectly imperfect'. People will call you out pretty easily if your food looks overly propped or overly perfect, because that's not how it is."

He added that Instagram is not necessarily inventing anything new, but is allowing designers to tap into old photographic techniques to "give life back to photographs that not everybody had access to".

For Alex Nassour, an art director at North Carolina agency McKinney, Instagram is also encouraging creatives around the world to embrace new trends.

"Now Instagram especially is responsible for speeding up the rate that we try to push aesthetics and try new things," he said.

Meanwhile, Chris Corley, group creative director at VML in Kansas City, said advertising has to adapt to Instagram and so agencies are starting to hire photographers who are respected on the platform to shoot for both digital and print.

With authenticity becoming a "huge part" of the evolution of photography, he expected that an increasing number of campaigns, including print, will move away from looking too overproduced and instead seek to offer a more first-person view.

Data sourced from Adweek; additional content by Warc staff

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China remains top for grocery sales

25 August 2015
BEIJING/LONDON: Despite global stock market jitters about the state of the Chinese economy, grocery sales in the country are forecast to increase by a third between now and 2020, according to a new industry report.

With sales of $1,119bn in 2015, China is already the largest grocery market in the world, but rapid development in medium tier cities will drive sales up to $1,491bn in five years' time, the UK-based Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) has said.

China's rapid adoption of smartphones and other devices will also drive "explosive growth" in online grocery shopping, which the IGD expected will triple in size by 2020.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said these developments in China will offer many more opportunities for retailers and Western brands.

"China will maintain its position as the world's biggest grocery market for the foreseeable future," she said. "Although the Chinese growth rate is slowing, it's still very impressive, particularly in tier three and four cities."

India and some other Asian countries are also expected to record rapid growth over the next five years, again supported by their expanding populations and the growth of online shopping options.

The grocery sector in India is forecast to increase by 79% to $901bn in 2020, by which date Indonesia's grocery market is expected to be worth $351bn, or nearly as much as the UK's ($352bn).

The Philippines is expected to record 60% growth to $160bn, but growth will be much lower in the mature Japanese market which is expected to grow by only 6% over the next five years to $485bn.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is forecast to generate the fastest growth of the 15 largest markets covered in the report, with grocery sales expected to increase by 85% to $306bn.

By 2020, the US will remain the second largest grocery market in the world with sales of $1,305bn, the report predicted, but its growth rate of 21% will be lower than in China, India and many other emerging markets.

Data sourced from IGD; additional content by Warc staff

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Nigerian ecommerce faces hurdles

25 August 2015
LAGOS: Trust and convenience are the drivers behind the huge growth of ecommerce in Nigeria, but high internet costs and poor infrastructure are limiting its potential, one of the country's leading digital innovators has said.

Speaking to the Daily Times, Raphael Afaedor said there had been significant progress over the last few years, but ecommerce growth is being hindered by longstanding problems with poor roads, telecommunication networks and an unsteady power supply.

Afaedor is well-placed to speak with authority because he is the former co-founder of Jumia, Nigeria's largest online retailer, and currently the co-founder and CEO of rival online marketplace, Supermart.ng.

"It will be a welcome development if the government can make strategic plans and policies to check these infrastructures and ensure that they are in place in order to aid not just ecommerce business but businesses generally," he said, while recognising that the security situation has to be its top priority.

In the meantime, he called on all organisations to think creatively and work around these infrastructure challenges to ensure they deliver for their customers.

There are great opportunities for those businesses able to do so because Nigerians have become much more trusting about the ecommerce option.

Nigerian consumers gained confidence in ecommerce ventures because they were able to pay on delivery, he said, but increasing numbers are now willing to pay in advance.

"At Supermart.ng, for instance, there is a system in place that customers can trust to deliver their groceries to them within three hours without any hitch so they pay online before deliver, not after delivery," he said.

This growing consumer confidence in ecommerce, as well as the convenience that online shopping offers, has helped the sector to grow at an estimated 25% a year.

He went on to point to a recent report from the Ministry of Communications Technology that disclosed ecommerce in Nigeria was worth just $35m in 2012, but it is now valued at $550m and has the potential of $13bn if it is harnessed well.

Data sourced from Daily Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Google India: Mobile overtakes desktop

25 August 2015
MUMBAI: Search queries on Google that come from mobile devices in India have now surpassed desktop queries, the internet giant's country marketing director has revealed.

Although Sandeep Menon did not disclose the exact figure, he confirmed that mobile search is now "more than 50%", up from less than 25% in the second half of 2013. The share of mobile and desktop was equal last year, Business Standard reported.

Menon attributed the rapid growth of mobile queries in India to the sheer number of new mobile internet users going online each month, which Google estimates at about six million.

With rival Facebook having already reported that its mobile traffic in India was higher than traffic from desktop, there will be implications for advertisers, said Hareesh Tibrewala, joint CEO of digital ad firm Social Wavelength.

"It means advertisers have to come up with more content for mobiles too as the advertisement spending is expected to go up," he said.

As the trend to mobile gathers momentum, Google also aims to win over new and existing Indian customers with a range of new features that it showcased at its Google House event at the end of last week.

For example, Google has been developing a voice search function that does not require users to type out their request and it has been optimised for English in a Hindi accent as well as in Hindi.

Also on display was a new instant translation feature in Google Translate that was launched recently in Hindi. Users can receive instant translations by opening the app and then pointing their device at text.

Google India also announced at the event that its YouTube subsidiary has partnered with Whistling Woods International, the renowned film school, to set up a new YouTube Space in Mumbai.

Data sourced from Business Standard, Udaipur Kiran; additional content by Warc staff

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Online conversion rates drop

24 August 2015
GLOBAL: Online conversion rates dropped sharply in the first quarter of 2015, a survey has shown, as consumers browsed more and also spent less on each order.

Figures contained in the latest Ecommerce Quarterly report from Monetate, the online personalisation business, were based on more than seven billion online shopping sessions across its global customer base of online retailers.

The study said that the global conversion rate had fallen to 2.32% in Q1 2015, compared to 2.54% a year earlier. The add-to-cart rate was also down, from 8.31% to 7.39% over the same period.

Mike Harris, vp/EMEA at Monetate, highlighted the fact that people were visiting more product pages in each shopping session – up from 2.09 to 2.28 – as they compared prices, delivery options and return policies.

"As they move between sites, this has the effect of reducing conversion rates as they browse but don't buy," he told Marketing Week.

Conversion rates varied by referral method, with people visiting a website directly producing the highest rate, at 2.46%; but this had fallen from 2.81% a year earlier.

Smaller declines were evident for people clicking through from email, down from 2.29% to 2.18%, and search, down from 2.10% to 2.04%.

Only social reported an increase in conversion rates, from 0.99% to 1.17%, indicating that efforts to generate sales through these platforms are working and may be given an additional boost as people start to use the 'buy now' buttons the platforms have introduced.

Average order values wee also falling: the study reported a 2% drop to £78.54 from Q1 2014 to Q1 2015. Order values were actually up marginally for desktop, but had fallen significantly for smartphones (-15%) and tablets (-7%).

"Companies are not optimising the cross-sell or up-sell piece on mobile," Harris said.

"They are also not focusing on the research part of the mobile shopping experience, which lends itself to smaller AOV," he added. "In comparison, the desktop experience is optimised with tactics such as product recommendations that are focused on increasing AOV."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Abandoned mobile purchases cost £6bn

24 August 2015
LONDON: More than a half of UK smartphone owners have abandoned a mobile transaction, costing retailers a potential £6bn a survey has found.

Harris Interactive polled 1,013 UK online adults aged over 18 on behalf of Jumio, the identity management and credentials company, for the latter's 2015 Mobile Consumer Insights Study.

This found that that 55% of respondents had given up on a mobile purchase, while a quarter had abandoned attempts to open an online gaming (24%) or financial services (25%) account.

And around one-third (32%) of those abandoning a transaction did not attempt it again.

"As mobile transactions continue to skyrocket, so do abandoned purchases, incomplete account openings and lost revenue," said Marc Barach, Jumio CMO.

He added that while abandonment rates had improved over the past two years, "experiences are still far from being as seamless as they need to be in order for retailers to stem the tide of lost opportunity and put a potential £6bn back in their pockets".

Fashion retailers suffered most, with 53% of respondents abandoning purchases in this sector and women significantly more likely to do so than men (62% v 44%).

Second worst was food and drink (39%) followed by travel (38%), entertainment (35%), household goods (35%), tickets for events (30%) and electronics (30%).

Customer concerns about usability made up the top three reasons for abandonment, including slow loading times (32%), payment process being too complicated (27%) and difficulty with navigating the checkout process (26%). Typing information on a small screen was also cited by 21% of respondents.

Overall, the study found that usability issues (68%) far outweighed purchase uncertainty (21%) or payment security (16%) when it came to abandoning a mobile transaction.

When people did try again later, just over a quarter (27%) said they did so on a computer while the rest persevered with their smartphones (22%) or tablets (17%).

Men (73%) were more likely than women (63%) to attempt a transaction again.

Data sourced from Jumio; additional content by Warc staff

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Cable, mobile are MasterCard drivers

24 August 2015
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA: Cable TV has emerged as a powerful message driver for MasterCard in a new cross-marketing effectiveness study, but mobile was a strong number two.

At the ANA's 2015 Social Media Conference, Adam Broitman, vp/senior business leader for global digital marketing at the financial services brand, discussed a research program that had been sponsored by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and carried out by Marketing Evolution.

This had sought to resolve "the impact of mobile on brand KPI sales and determine the optimized percent of mobile in the total mix and assess the role relative to other mobile elements".

Broitman admitted to some initial skepticism. "Because the MMA was sponsoring it, I thought mobile was going to be number one. But when we looked at the study, Marketing Evolution's methodology was irrefutable."

And the number-two standing was a "powerful" statement in the study that included a full range of digital and legacy media. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: MasterCard generates powerful return on mobile investment.)

As Marketing Evolution reported: "Mobile worked almost twice as hard compared to the campaign average, in terms of the number of people it converted on image per dollar spent."

Digging deeper into the results, the research revealed that "Mobile social was one-and-a-half times as effective as mobile display ads." In the overall audience sample, mobile users were twice as likely to agree with the statement "MasterCard is a good card to carry" than the average respondent to the brand messaging.

And, when Marketing Evolution studied commercial wear-out on mobile devices – what Broitman called "the point of diminishing returns" – the research revealed that MasterCard could have spent nearly twice as much on mobile while maintaining the same level of efficiency.

And what if the brand had doubled-down? "It would have resulted in an additional 7% increase in the image lift that we were looking for."

"The beauty about the mobile device is it's really a great creative pallet," Broitman enthused. "There's so much you can do with it – display, couponing, shopper marketing, mobile video, mobile messaging."

And the message from the MasterCard digital marketer to the ANA audience: "Being irrelevant to consumers in the age of mobile is not acceptable anymore."


Data sourced from Warc

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Publishers missing Instagram opportunity

24 August 2015
NEW YORK: Publishers have more than doubled their engagement rate on Instagram, but only a minority are currently active on this platform, research has revealed.

Shareablee, a provider of social media insights, reported that social activity within the media publishing industry had grown 68% in the first half of 2015, with by far the greatest growth coming at Instagram, which registered a 133% increase.

It added, however, that only 41% of media publishers currently have an Instagram presence, "indicating a massive missed outlet for further reach and engagement among social audiences".

"With 300m active users, Instagram is a 'must' for brands to engage," Marci Troutman, CEO of mobile solutions business SiteMinis, told Mobile Marketer.

"Social media is the new billboard for all facets of marketing and advertising and if ignored will be to the detriment of the brands longevity in the future."

Shareablee identified "social amplification" – the sum of shares and retweets on Twitter and Facebook – as a metric for identifying the content that resonates with a social audience. And it said that for the US media publishing industry, this had grown by 105% during the first half of 2015 compared with a year earlier.

Social actions on video content were growing especially fast, up 255% over this period. But the increased engagement was especially evident on Instagram, where Shareablee reported growth of 622%.

This would suggest more opportunities for video advertising, but think tank L2 has observed that Instagram possesses unique limitations in this regard.

Videos on the site have to be 15 seconds or less and usually auto-play without sound, meaning that the platform is "ideal for brief, highly visual content that blends with its creative aesthetic".

In the first quarter of 2015, photos were also getting 1.4 times more engagement than video posts. "Brands with creative shortcomings might be better served moving to other platforms," L2 thus suggested.

Data sourced from Shareablee, Mobile Marketer, L2; additional content by Warc staff

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China's OTV use is 'habitual'

24 August 2015
SHANGHAI: Online video content (OTV) is hugely popular in China but few consumers discover new content on OTV platforms themselves and many prefer to stick to favourite platforms where they already know what they want to watch.

"Video in China is the world's largest market boasting of over 500m viewers," according to Bhasker Jaiswal, managing partner/business intelligence, OMD China. "The exponential growth of users and advertising spending has created many new challenges in the realm of video advertising."

Accordingly, the marketing communications and media investment business carried out a quantitative research study, with AdMaster and Mintel, which sought to understand how consumers choose the online video content they watch and why they choose the platforms they do.

The study reported that Chinese spend around 80 minutes per day watching online video, making it a crucial form of media for marketers.

Looking beyond the bare bones of time spent, the study found that internet search (41%) and word of mouth (37%) were the top sources of new content discovery for people in China.

But it also said that TV watching is habitual, as 69% of OTV viewers already know what they want to watch and 41% consistently use their favourite video platform.

And the reasons for favouring a particular platform were more likely to be a factor of the user experience than the content supplied.

"Content is not where OTV players differentiate themselves," the report stated. Of the top five reasons for choosing an OTV platform, only one related to content.

In terms of OTV advertising, device choice was crucial. Mobile ads outperformed PC ads in driving purchase intent (13% vs 8%), but PC ads were still best for driving awareness.

Further, women reacted better to mobile ads while older audiences were more heavily influenced by PC ads.

And rather than bombard the target audience, the report found that frequency capping and short ads achieved higher recall.

Brand recall was best at a frequency below 5+, while that for product recall was best at a frequency of 5-10+.

Short video ads of 15 seconds outperformed longer versions of 30 seconds across all brand metrics including ad recall, product recall, brand recall and purchase intention.

Data sourced from OMD China; additional content by Warc staff

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PKL 2 declared a success

24 August 2015
NEW DELHI: Increased ratings, ad volumes and brand involvement have all contributed to making the second season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), which finished yesterday, a resounding success.

Data from TAM Sports, reported in Exchange4Media, showed a 56% rise in ratings as TVRs reached 1.23 compared to last season's figure of 0.79.

The highest rating recorded was 1.67, for the match between Jaipur Pink Panthers and Dabang Delhi, while the second highest was 1.55, for the game between Bengal Warriors and U Mumba.

Mumbai was the top metro market in terms of viewership, while Maharashtra led among the states.

Overall, time spent viewing (TSV) per match was up 15% to 19 minutes 27 seconds.

Much of this came from a younger male audience, in particular 15-24 year olds in the ABC socio-economic classification. But female viewership was also significant, contributing 39% of the total viewership of the league.

The over-35s made up just over one third (35%) of all viewers, while the D and E groups accounted for a similar proportion (34%).

Commercial ad volumes had leapt ahead, growing 24-fold from 1.5 hours to 36.6 hours, and the total number of brands taking part rose from eight to 20.

Altogether, nine brand owners – two more than season one – advertised products across 12 categories (eight in 2014). And seven of these advertisers were new to the PKL.

Flipkart, Bajaj Electricals and Coca Cola topped the advertiser list during the second season of PKL, Exchange4Media reported.

The only real negative was that the reach of the league had dipped from 108m to 103m.

The success of this year's competition has prompted broadcaster Star to announce there will be two seasons in 2016, with an earlier one slotted in at the start of the year before cricket's T20 World Cup and the India Premier League.

"It is a five-week activity now, we want to move it to 10 weeks," said Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer at Star India.

"[The] more the volume, [the] more popular it will be", he added. "A lot of young people are already watching kabaddi on our digital platforms, which is a great indicator."

Data sourced from Exchange4Media, Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Millennials cautious on credit

23 August 2015
CHARLOTTE, NC: Not only are US Millennials less likely to own a credit card than older generations, those that do tend to use them more responsibly according to a new survey.

LendingTree, the online loan marketplace, surveyed 3,170 Americans to gain insight into credit card behaviours, sentiments and trends and found that younger generations appeared to be less reliant on credit cards than previous generations.

Millennials had the lowest levels of credit card ownership with 61% of this group owning at least one credit card.

Ownership rates increased the older consumers got, with 79% of Gen X respondents possessing at least one card, rising to 89% among Baby Boomers and 97% among the Silent Generation born between 1925 and 1945.

Millennials' low ownership rates reflected in part a cautious approach to debt: "Don't need one. Don't spend what you don't have," was the attitude of a quarter of that age group. And just 29% of them said that credit cards were "pretty much required today".

Not only do Millennials feel they do not need credit cards, but among those that still use cards, they were better at paying off their balance in full each month when compared to both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Roughly 54% percent of Millennials paid their balance in full each month with Baby Boomers were close behind on 53%.

Only 42% of Gen X paid their balance in full each month. Additionally, Gen Xers had the highest percentage of respondents only paying the minimum balance.

The Silent Generation were most responsible in this regard, with 72% paying outstanding balances in full each month.

"The millennial generation seems to be more averse to debt as it relates to credit cards, which could be attributed to lasting scars from the financial crisis of 2007-08," said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree.

"Older Americans are more reliant on credit cards to maintain their monthly expenses and cash flows when compared to younger generations," he added. "It will be interesting to see how this trend develops with the emergence and adoption of new payment methods."


Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff

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DHL 'emotionalises' the brand

21 August 2015
LONDON: Logistics firm DHL is aiming to use its sponsorship of next month's Rugby World Cup to shift its image away from that of a functional B2B operation towards a more consumer-oriented one.

"It's about emotionalising our brand," Fiona Taag, global sponsorship manager, explained to Marketing. "We're pretty much a household name – now we want to tell DHL's story beyond showcasing our logo."

To that end it has put up a reported £6.5m to become a headline sponsor alongside more familiar sporting sponsorship names such as beer brand Heineken, car marque Land Rover, airline Emirates and financial businesses MasterCard and Société Générale.

"We have changed from being just B2B to being much more consumer-facing," said Taag.

"That's largely been driven by an e-commerce world, with many people buying online and needing products shipped," she added. "We're more consumer-facing than we ever were."

DHL's sponsorship will include the non-consumer facing and prosaic, if vital, task of moving team equipment between stadia.

But the brand has also devised various emotional activities, from having a child deliver the match ball during the opening game to recruiting ex-Welsh international Adam Jones to give away tickets to fans as part of its Scrum Share campaign.

Another well-known player will be disguised as "DHL Tackleman" and will be commenting on Twitter and write regular blogs.

Taag highlighted three goals DHL hoped to achieve, including: promoting its logistics operation through content, but not in an "overly commercial way"; boosting employee engagement; and increasing brand consideration.

"We're more about opening people up to the idea of working with DHL, and we hope to be top-of-mind when it comes to choosing a courier," she said.

With other global sports, from football to cricket and most recently athletics, having been hit by various scandals, rugby is benefiting from a clean reputation that is proving attractive to brands.

"The opportunity is in the social side," according to Steve Martin, chief executive of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment.

"Rugby is played in a very good, respectful way," he said. "The values of rugby are very strong and, as a result, there's quite a positive response in the sponsorship market."

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff

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African VOD battle heats up

21 August 2015
CAPE TOWN: Naspers, the South African media group, has launched a new video-on-demand service called ShowMax, the latest move by businesses keen to gain a foothold in Africa's VOD market before the entry of giants like Netflix.

Initially the Naspers service will focus on the 1m households in South Africa with good internet speeds. "We have a platform that is completely scalable, but right now it is only about South Africa," said John Kotsaftis, general manager of ShowMax.

News reports suggested, however, that Naspers is aiming to deliver video content to mobile devices across the whole continent within three years.

There are now three VOD services in South Africa, the other two being MTN FrontRow, launched last December, and VIDI, which Times Media Group introduced in September.

Netflix is expected to join them some time in 2016, but MyBroadband said South African consumers were already accessing Netlflix and Hulu via DNS-based unblocking services and virtual private networks.

Kotsaftis claimed that the content offered by ShowMax would be a deciding factor in the battles ahead. In addition to Hollywood shows, "we have a vast local content selection which Netflix will never have if they enter the market", he told CNBC Africa.

Further north, Nigeria's IrokoTV has been operating since late 2011 when it began distributing the output of the Nigerian film industry. Nollywood produced 2,000 films last year and generated $4.1bn in revenue, figures which are now attracting the attention of a new generation of VOD entrepreneurs.

Afrostream, for example, was set up by France-born Africans to target the European diaspora and Francophone Africa

But, said co-founder Tonje Bakang, "we know that the real market is in Africa, where there's a middle class of 300m people".

Data sourced from Reuters, Mail & Guardian Africa, CNBC Africa, MyBroadband; additional content by Warc staff

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Google tests search video ads

21 August 2015
NEW YORK: Search advertisers may no longer be limited to a few lines of text as Google is reported to be developing new ad products that will show promoted video ads in search results.

"What used to be narrowly defined as search is being turned on its head," one digital marketing executive told Digiday on condition of anonymity.

"Google is finally getting away from just having three lines of text. Video ads have taken over mobile, Facebook and YouTube, and Google is thinking about how to integrate them into search."

Google declined to comment beyond saying "We've experimented with a number of different video search formats over the years but don't have anything specific we're launching right now".

The SEM Post recently reported that both Yahoo and Bing had already added sponsored video ads to their search result pages, in the form of thumbnail images with a play symbol, and described the move "a game changer" for the two search engines.

John Cosley, marketing director in the Search Advertising Group at Microsoft, claimed Bing's Rich Ads delivered better engagement and higher conversion rates.

And Forrester analyst Jim Nail said if promoted video ads in search worked "it would be a gusher of money for Google".

One agency source pointed out that brands' own websites were becoming increasingly irrelevant as more and more video views were coming from outside platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.

"Marketers are getting less dependent on the microsite, because every feed-based website is giving the content away right there, when consumers want it," the source said.

"Google's doing the same thing bringing the content to the feed, and that's video."

Data sourced from Digiday, SEM Post; additional content by Warc staff

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Consumers need reassurance on innovation

21 August 2015
SYDNEY: Two thirds of Australian consumers are bored by brands constantly telling them they need to update or upgrade, a new survey has shown, and nine in ten said concerns about issues such as privacy would stop them buying new products.

The Innovation and the Earned Brand study from PR firm Edelman surveyed 10,000 respondents across 10 countries including Australia, Japan, India, China, the UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico and the US.

This found that while consumers were largely ready to embrace innovations they needed to be reassured by marketers but this wasn't happening.

"All brands, marketers and communicators need to think about communicating a new innovation differently," said Michelle Hutton, global practice chair, consumer marketing at Edelman told Mumbrella.

"You can't just talk about the inspirational components of that innovation, you've got to really reassure people – allow them to find that peer-to-peer review easily and participate in it."

Fully 87% of Australian respondents indicated they would not buy products or services from companies that failed to address how innovations affected their concerns pertaining to privacy, security and the environment.

According to Hutton, the feeling among those surveyed was that brands were "talking at me, they're not listening to me, they're not allowing me to be part of the conversation, to share my views, to find out about other people's views around products and services".

Almost two thirds (64%) of Australian consumers said they trusted a brand more if they found it easy to review its products and services; and 59% trusted a brand more if they were encouraged to review its products and services.

The study also highlighted an "innovation gap" in certain sectors. Fewer Australians were looking for further innovation from the technology and mobile industries, but more wanted to see greater innovation in energy, healthcare and education.



Data sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff

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Half of young use messaging apps

21 August 2015
WASHINGTON, DC: Social and mobile behaviour in the US continues to change rapidly, with the use of messaging apps increasing among all age groups while usage of Pinterest and Instagram has doubled since 2012, according to new research.

The Pew Research Center carried out telephone interviews with 1,907 adults and found that just over one third (36%) used messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage, a figure that rose to 49% among 18-29 year olds.

Younger users also favoured apps that automatically delete sent messages – 41% chose these against just 17% of all users.

The survey also explored usage of social media platforms and online forums. Not surprisingly, growth on Facebook has reached a plateau: 72% of online users are already Facebook users – compared to 67% in 2012 – with 70% saying they log on daily.

Over that same period, however, the proportion of online adults using Instagram had risen from 13% to 28% with the comparable figures for Pinterest rising from 15% to 31%.

LinkedIn and Twitter saw slower rates of growth: the proportion of online adults using LinkedIn had risen from 20% to 25% (and had actually fallen from 28% in 2014), while Twitter saw a rise from 16% to 23%.

None of the social media platforms measured had experienced a statistically significant increase in usage between September 2014 and April 2015, Pew reported, but in terms of user engagement, the proportion of Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn users who used the respective sites daily had increased significantly.

Instagram registered a ten-point uplift to 59% of Instagram users, as did Pinterest which now stands at 27%; for LinkedIn an increase of nine points took it to 22%.

At 38%, Twitter saw no significant changes in its proportion of daily users.

But even if the microblogging site is not growing its number of users, it has more than doubled the audience it can reach to around 700m.

Advertisers using its new Audience Platform can reach users of third-party apps via MoPub, the mobile ad exchange it bought in 2013, as well as Twitter users.


Data sourced from Pew Research Center, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Blog: Marketing's eternal obsession with youth

21 August 2015
Advertising is often criticised for its obsession with youth and for ignoring older, wealthier consumers. But, says Richard Shotton, this approach makes sense for brands looking to grow market share.

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Travelers brings digital energy to insurance

21 August 2015
NEW YORK: The digital marketing ecosystem, previously dominated by CPG companies, has captured the attention of forward-looking B2B brands such as Travelers.

John H. Bell, vp/enterprise digital marketing at the commercial insurance group, discussed this subject at the ANA's 2015 Digital & Social Media Conference.

Travelers is attempting to create the kind of engagement CPG brands enjoy, but with a brand whose offerings include such services as cyber-risk avoidance, management of supply-chain disruptions and property protections.

"[Travelers] does have a marketing culture," Bell insisted. (For more, including how Travelers is helping customers understand difficult choices, read Warc's exclusive report: Travelers' dilemma: Speaking B2B in a digital voice.)

But it's a culture with messages grounded in what he called "data-driven responsive marketing, where we're trying to earn people's attention and drive them to action."

Underpinning the commercial insurance practice, he continued, is "an underwriting culture, which, for a marketer, is particularly challenging: If you know what underwriters do, essentially they assess risk and avoid it like the plague."

Or, in other words, not the type of brand building that relies on the quips of charming lizards to move product.

Bell's task is further complicated by the particular circumstance of the insurance business. "While we do sell direct to consumers in one part of our business, the majority of our business is sold through independent agents," he explained.

"They sell Travelers; they sell our competitors. We do not control the sales channel. We do not have a closed loop (...) We have smarter customers trying to solve their problems earlier."

According to Bell, "8.9 sources of information are reviewed by B2B buyers versus half that [number] not so long ago. Essentially they're finding and consuming a lot of sources to form their point of view.

"They're not just going to our website. They're not just going to their peers. Or they're not just referring to content that they read online and editorial sources," he added.

"They're grabbing everything to form a point of view. And 84% of B2B buyers rank word of mouth as the top trusted source for buying decisions."


Data sourced from Warc

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Smartphone adoption surges in Asia's P4

21 August 2015
NEW DELHI: Smartphone ownership has leapt 545% in 30 months across India, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, countries referred to as the "P4" (Power 4) Asian sub-region in a new study.

The APAC State of Mobile Advertising report from mobile Opera Mediaworks and the Mobile Marketing Association, was based on second quarter data from 400m unique users on the Opera Mediaworks mobile ad platform.

This reported that, across the P4 countries, 76% of internet users can now access the web via a mobile device, a figure that rises to 93% in Indonesia.

These users remain overwhelmingly young and male, although something approaching parity can be seen in the Philippines where 45.5% of mobile consumers are female.

Opera Mediaworks also reported increased demand for, and rapid adoption of, mobile video-ad units. Both Vietnam and Indonesia had a higher percentage of high-frequency mobile video users – defined as those accessing mobile sites and apps five or more days a week – than the global average, while India and the Philippines contained more low-frequency users – accessing one or two days a week.

The "regular" frequency group – three or four days a week – were all similar in market share and close to the global average.

The Philippines, however, had the highest ratio of video-ad impressions compared to the volume of all impressions served in its market, and it also exceeded the expected global standard (ratio of 1:1). At 0.68:1, India was far ahead of the Asian average of 0.41:1.

"India remains one of the most exciting markets in Asia when it comes to smartphone adoption and rapid shift of consumers to make mobile as primary screen," Vikas Gulati, managing director/Asia at Opera Mediaworks, told IndianTelvision.com.

"Mobile advertising, on the other hand, is highly underrepresented in India," he added, "and there is massive opportunity for advertisers to connect with the prime prospects, deliver rich and meaningful experiences at a time and place when it matters the most."

Data sourced from Opera MediaWorks, IndianTelevision.com; additional content by Warc staff

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ECB positions itself as 'passion point'

20 August 2015
LONDON: As the final Ashes test match gets under way the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is hoping to use the England team's series victory to position itself as a "passion point" between fans and brands.

Chief sales and marketing officer Sanjay Patel noted that almost 10m people in the UK are interested in cricket in an ordinary year and that figure increases during an Ashes series, when England are playing Australia.

"We take advantage of it in a couple of ways," he explained to Marketing Week.

"Firstly, we use our digital channels to engage people and recruit new fans. We have got huge reach on our channels, with over three million [followers] on social media, and with our content we try to think about the digital journey of a fan."

The second tack involves promoting the Team England brand, which is also good for partners, which include team sponsor Waitrose, official car supplier Toyota and broadcaster Sky.

In addition, outreach work has boosted the number of female players to around 63,000, and Kia Motors has built on its sponsorship of the Surrey team and its ground – now known as the Kia Oval – to become the sole title sponsor of England women's home tests and Ashes series.

"Cricket has been very successful for us," Paul Philpott, president and chief executive of Kia Motors UK, told the Telegraph, reporting the brand was on track to sell more than 80,000 cars in the UK for the first time this year.

While Patel wanted sponsorship revenues to grow he didn't think that necessarily meant adding more sponsorship categories and attracting more advertisers.

"It's more a case of offering new rights for partners, particularly in the area of digital," he said. "I see that as a huge growth area and one that brands need and want.

"Brands are desperate for content and we have huge amounts of it and massive reach, so we want brands to see us as the passion point between the consumer and their brand."

Data sourced from Marketing Week, Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff

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New guidelines issued for vloggers

20 August 2015
LONDON: The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has responded to requests from vloggers and produced a new set of guidelines offering clear guidance on how and when advertising rules apply to them.

This follows an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling last year where the regulator found that a number of vloggers had failed to make sufficiently clear to viewers that their videos were in fact part of a campaigns for well-known brands.

Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, said that wherever ads appear the public should be confident they can trust what an advertiser says.

"It"s simply not fair if we"re being advertised to and are not made aware of that fact," he said. "Our guidance will give vloggers greater confidence that they"re sticking to the rules which in turn will help maintain the relationship and trust they've built with their followers."

The new CAP guidelines highlight the fact that advertising rules apply across all media – including online and social channels – and that ads must be obviously identifiable as such.

A number of vlogging scenarios are envisaged, including online marketing by a brand, 'advertorial" vlogs, commercial breaks within vlogs, product placement, sponsorship and free items.

Vlogger's videos about their own products and promotion of such products within a boarded editorial piece are also covered.

CAP and ASA further reminded brands and agencies looking to partner with vloggers of the need to be transparent.

"Any advertiser or agency that asks a vlogger not to be up-front that they"re advertising are asking them to break the advertising rules and potentially the law," CAP said.

Vlogs are popular but few people turn to them when they want to find out about new products or are looking for product information.

A recent GlobalWebIndex report said that just 7% of internet users and 12% of vlog viewers discovered new products this way; when looking for product information the equivalent figures were 5% and 10%.

Data sourced from CAP; additional content by Warc staff

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Kraft Heinz takes long-term view

20 August 2015
CHICAGO: Marketers in the consumer packaged goods category must move from short-term thinking to a longer-term perspective, a leading executive from Kraft Heinz has warned.

Tim Burke, director/category leadership at Kraft Heinz – the organisation formed this year by a merger of Kraft Foods and the HJ Heinz Company – discussed this subject at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) Shopper Insights Forum in Chicago.

And he argued the emphasis on quarterly or annual targets – resulting, in part, from the fact senior marketers often handle a specific brand for two years at most – encourages a mind-set largely focused on the near future.

This, in turn, leads practitioners to prioritise either developing brand extensions or boosting distribution, which represent two of the simplest paths towards quickly driving growth.

"We have a number to meet," said Burke. (For more, including insights into the future of retail, read Warc's exclusive report: Kraft Heinz addresses the future of retail.)

"And what has happened? Our stores have got bigger, our aisles have got more confusing, there are more products than ever on the shelf."

Elaborating on this theme, he suggested that bricks-and-mortar stores frequently contain around 30,000 items, but customers typically buy only 300 offerings.

"Just think about that. That's what we've done. We've confused the situation, because we're all tackling and trying to go after a number," said Burke.

"And I get that, trust me. I have a number I have to obtain as well. But this is what has happened to us. We're all in it for the short term, so none of us are really stewards of what the growth is for the future. I think that has to stop."

In building on this idea, Burke drew attention to organisations such as Blockbuster, the former video retail giant, which focused on incremental improvements to its service and failed to respond to wider digital shifts reshaping the entertainment industry.

Companies like Kraft Heinz must, therefore, proactively react to trends including ecommerce and evolving retail preferences if they are to remain relevant.

"The industry has been built on need for a long time. And that's been great. We'd tick up 2% every year on inflation and maybe get some more shoppers in the door because of population growth," said Burke.

"But no longer can we do that. There are so many more choices; there are so many more ways to get at things that we need to right change now, or we could follow the same path."

Data sourced from Warc

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Beacons boost shopper engagement

20 August 2015
NEW YORK: Industry experts have cautioned marketers against using beacons to bombard shoppers with offers, although one regional grocer has reported a tripling of in-store redemptions since it began using the technology.

Illinois-based Niemann Foods has installed beacons in all 44 of its County Market stores following successful trials.

"Once we launched the app in all our County Market stores, we saw customer response skyrocket," Nathaniel Jones, the chain's supermarket's electronic marketing manager, told Mobile Commerce Daily.

"In-store offer redemptions have tripled from May," he reported, while in-store offers had produced a 600% greater open rate than mass marketed offers.

He compared digital redemption rates as high as 50% with the 2% achieved by printed ad coupons. "You can see the attractiveness of receiving real-time, relevant offers while you're in the store," he said. "The personalised ad flyer is really a unique feature that our shoppers love."

And more and more Country Market shoppers are getting the message, both metaphorically and literally.

"We've also discovered that nearly 10% of all devices entering our stores in the Springfield area now have the app and that number is climbing every week," Jones added. "Shopper engagement via the app is growing at 15% week over week since May".

But experts told Mobile Marketer that the real value of beacons lay not in their use as a promotional vehicle – overuse would likely lead to shoppers turning off notifications – but in using the proximity data gathered to produce more personalised ads and a better shopping experience.

"If the only value perceived by shoppers is 'instant saving' and discounts, shoppers may grow weary of the experience and turn their attention away from beacon-triggered content," warned Gary Lee, CEO of marketing solutions business InReality.

And Lara Mehanna, vp/ sales and business development at Sonata Local, the hyper-local advertising platform, highlighted the retargeting possibilities.

"The retargeting side of beacons is really a valuable proposition for brands," she said. "Understanding the specifics of location gives marketers much more context and additional information on intent and interests to use to drive sales and repeat purchase."

Data sourced from Mobile Commerce Daily, Mobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff

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CPG launches depend on few households

20 August 2015
ST. PETERSBURG, FL: Most new CPG launches fail, in part because of the very small percentage of households – less than 1% – that drive most sales volumes for such products, a new study has shown.

Catalina, the personalised digital media company, analysed the behaviour of some 45m consistent shoppers across 11,000 US stores, looking at the 50 top-selling food and beverage products identified in the latest IRI New Product Pacesetter report.

It found that just 0.7% of shoppers accounted for 80% of volume for the average new product studied.

Of the 50 new food and beverage products it assessed, just eight had shopper concentrations of more than 1% driving 80% of volume, and only one had a concentration above 2%.

In addition, the study uncovered extremely low retention rates for most new products, with just 11% of those who had tried in the first six months of a launch still engaged with a new item after one year.

It's clear, said Marla Thompson, SVP/US strategy for Catalina, that "it is critical for brands and retailers to find likely triers and repeat buyers while also engaging the right shoppers over time to sustain repeat purchasing".

She added that "purchase-based targeting can be a cornerstone of successful new product launches".

According to the report, engaging shoppers based on predictive modeling of their likelihood to buy can result in trial rates that are five times more than the natural trial rate.

But even targeting the most receptive shoppers may not be enough to succeed as the study also identified a major distribution challenge for new products.

It took 28 weeks for the average new product to reach 75% of its peak distribution in stores tracked in the study, a delay that is likely to result in wasted media spend and missed opportunities.

Data sourced from Catalina; additional content by Warc staff

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BCA is Indonesia's most valuable brand

20 August 2015
JAKARTA: BCA (Bank Central Asia) tops a list of Indonesia's most valuable brands in which banks feature prominently, accounting for one quarter of the total value of the top 50.

The first ranking of Indonesian brands by BrandZ, produced by Millward Brown and based on financial analysis and consumer research, valued BCA at $9.9bn. Three other banks also made the top ten, including Bank Rakyat Indonesia in second place worth $8.3bn), Mandiri in fourth worth $6.2bn and BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia) in seventh worth $2.0bn.

BrandZ noted that Indonesian banks have excelled at making themselves accessible and using digital technology to innovate in ways consumers find highly relevant to their lives.

BCA in particular pioneered mobile banking in the country and has also launched popular innovations such as a pre-paid payment card Flazz.

Tobacco companies, which are still permitted to advertise on television, supplied an equal number of entrants in the top ten including A Mild, in fifth worth $5.9bn, Surya, in eighth worth $1.9bn, Dji Sam Soe, in ninth worth $1.8bn, and Marlboro, in tenth worth $1.7bn.

Telecoms business Telkomsel (in third worth $6.4bn) and retailer Matahari (in sixth worth $2.1bn) rounded out the top ten.

Outside this group, BrandZ reported strong performances from the real estate, food and dairy, soft drinks, personal care, retail and entertainment sectors.

FMCG brands made up 28% of the ranking, a high proportion compared to other markets, while the technology sector was not a major presence as home-grown tech brands have yet to achieve significant scale.

"Indonesia's fast growth, stability and consumer confidence create perfect conditions for brand-building," according to Ranjana Singh, WPP Indonesia.

Local brands currently dominate the Top 50, but multinationals are succeeding by tailoring attributes to the market.

"Brands will win in Indonesia if they can meet consumers' functional needs, while communicating stories that build meaningful connections," Singh advised.

And she added that this would be a worthwhile investment: "BrandZ data shows that businesses in Indonesia which nurture the power of their brands are four times more valuable than those that don't."

Data sourced from BrandZ; additional content by Warc staff

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WIMI pays off for HUL

20 August 2015
NEW DELHI: Hindustan Unilever's (HUL) restructuring of its operations into 14 distinct consumer clusters is starting to pay off for the FMCG giant according to its top executive.

"The numbers reflect that the strategy is working in terms of volume growth and share," CEO Sanjiv Mehta told the Economic Times.

The Winning in Many Indias (WIMI) initiative, launched in September last year, shifted the emphasis away from metros to take account of a growing rural market and the fact that different categories are at different stages of development across the country.

HUL now claims that WIMI has helped 90% of its portfolio gain market share, much of that from regional brands.

"WIMI has helped us understand finer nuances about local consumers and provide us a more granular understanding of the market," Mehta explained.

Managers are spending more time in the field, picking up local consumer insights and a better understanding of the competition and responding accordingly.

When two managers reported back on the significant market for tea in the 'Punjab and Hills' cluster, for example, the company acted quickly to alter the blend of its Taaza brand to suit the local taste before advertising the change on local media; it claimed a spike in volume growth as a result.

Such actions reflect Mehta's desire to inculcate a start-up mentality among staff. "We want to have the soul of a small company where speed is the currency, bias for action is the norm, where people are empowered on the frontline," he stated.

And he was also insistent that his managerial team should be representative of the country as a whole.

"Our internal population represents the different clusters of the country and we don't just have talent from urban India but people who represent the whole ethos and fabric of the country," he said.

"Insights from these young managers are being taken right into the boardroom to ensure that our execution reflects such understandings."

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Marketers lag on digital interaction

19 August 2015
SAN JOSE, CA: Most senior global marketers are struggling to make their mobile, social and web channels work together to provide an engaging experience for their customers, according to a new report.

Brand Attraction from Enriched Interaction, a study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, sponsored by IBM Digital Experience, was based on input from 287 marketing leaders across all regions of the world.

This found that they had embraced the importance of digital experiences: nearly half of respondents believed that these could deliver a more compelling customer experience while 40% thought they made it easier for customers to consume and share content and had the ability to heighten credibility, trust and authority.

But only 19% said they were extremely good or very good in this area while 45% gave lacklustre grades on their ability to captivate and engage customers – 27% said they were "slowly evolving" while 18% admitted they weren't doing a good job at all.

Overall, only 5% had highly or tightly integrated content and commerce compared to 64% who reported they had plans or existing programs to improve this.

The experience of the National Geographic Channel was informative. "As a 127-year-old brand, we've suffered from antiquated systems or multiple systems that don't talk to each other," explained Dawn Rodney-Tranchitella, svp/strategic marketing and creative.

"But we engage with more than 650m people around the world every month, and part of that engagement is understanding what their interests are, what their affinities are and how they're interested in participating with us."

As a result, the brand is engaged in a delicate balancing act to set up new platforms and technology to effectively develop its relationships with millions of customers while at the same time maintaining existing internal systems and keeping track of innovations that may have to be adopted in future.

The challenge for digital marketers, said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, is to "create an end-to-end, multi-channel experience that engages and enlivens customer, partner and employee audiences with more compelling and relevant content-driven commerce and conversation".

Data sourced from CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff

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Own label gains ground

19 August 2015
LONDON: Own-label ranges in the UK have gained a high recognition factor with shoppers, with eight in ten regularly buying own-label and branded products according to new research.

A study by Instantly, the consumer insights business, sought the views of 840 UK consumers and found that around two thirds knew the names of the private-label ranges supplied by supermarkets Tesco (Everyday Value) and Asda (Smart Price).

It was no surprise that price was the main factor in choosing own-label products, cited by 58% of respondents, while taste and quality were major reasons that 49% would opt for branded products.

The gap between the two appears to be closing, however. Some 81% of respondents bought both own-label and branded products and almost half (48%) agreed that supermarket own labels had improved over the past decade,

Six in ten felt there was no difference between own label and brands when asked which was more healthy.

And they were evenly split when asked if they thought that more expensive branded products were a worthwhile investment.

Coca-Cola was among the brands consumers were ready to pay out for. Almost half (48%) those surveyed said they would never forsake Coca-Cola for an own-brand equivalent.

Rival Pepsi was slightly less well regarded as only one third (33%) said they wouldn't swap it. Cadbury's chocolate (38%) and Heinz Ketchup (35%) also rated reasonably high on this score.

"With the ever intensifying battle between supermarkets, own-label products have become a major factor," said Ben Leet, UK MD of Instantly.

"Major brands such as Coca-Cola are still dominant but own-label products aren't far behind and supermarkets need to capitalise," he added

Research firm IRI has detailed how private-label ranges are increasingly being marketed as "real" brands and how retailers are focusing on those product areas that deliver the best margin.

At the same time, however, it noted that consumers were beginning to find some retailers' propositions confusing as retailers introduced a number of private-label goods at different price tiers, from value to premium.

Data sourced from Instantly; additional content by Warc staff

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German consumers open to native ads

19 August 2015
BERLIN: A majority of German internet users have seen native advertising with most not concerned about the distinction between “church and state" as long as they find the content interesting and useful.

Digital marketing firm ForwardAdGroup interviewed almost 500 people about their use and perception of native advertising campaigns and found that they were generally positive thanks to the relevance of the content.

Nearly 70% of those surveyed had read native ads at some time, with two thirds reporting that the fact they found the content appealing was more important than whether or not it was editorial or advertising.

Some 41% had clicked on an ad to see the full article, and of this group, around one quarter had continued to read the entire piece while six in ten had read some of it.

One third rated such ads as 'good' or 'very good' and respondents were twice as likely to regard native ads as interesting and informative compared to display ads (33% v 15%).

They also scored more highly than display ads on entertainment value (30% v 22%), and usefulness (25% v 14%).

The sort of content users were most interested in was background information on their favourite brands, cited by 64%, although photos (44%), funny information (41%) and insider tips (34%) were also cited.

And around one in four said they could imagine commenting on these kinds of content and a similar proportion had already shared content on a particular brand.

Native ads can also bring some unexpected benefits to brands as survey respondents indicated that the nature of such advertising made the advertised brand appear more modern (50%), committed (49%) and creative (46%).

Data sourced from ForwardAd Group; additional content by Warc staff

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IRI debunks millennial myths

19 August 2015
CHICAGO: Brands seeking to effectively engage millennials may benefit from reconsidering several widespread "myths" about this audience, according to an executive from research firm IRI.

Donna Wydra, principal/consumer and shopper marketing at the company, discussed this subject at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) Shopper Insights Forum in Chicago.

"We wanted to take a look at some of the myths that give millennials a bad name," she said. (For more, including further data regarding this group, read Warc's exclusive report: IRI debunks five millennials myths.)

"We're trying to move past this generalisation that, 'It's all about me', 'Generation I don't really feel like working today', 'I'll just live in my parents' basement for ever'.

"It's not necessarily like that ... They are more than just what you hear in the media."

To take one example, Wydra suggested the frequently heard accusation that millennials represent the "most self-absorbed generation" ever is seemingly lent support by selfie sticks and social media.

But IRI's data shows that 68% of this group equate success with working for a cause they believe in – versus 58% for boomers and 56% for Generation X.

A further 58% of millennials agree that contributing to the community is an indicator of success, while 39% make financial donations to good causes and 25% regularly volunteer.

"So, no, they are not just self-absorbed. And maybe they are not at all. They are actually reaching out and doing a lot for the world. So I would say that myth is, probably, mostly dispelled," said Wydra.

Another common misconception concerning this cohort is that they are not brand loyal. IRI, though, discovered that 44% display fealty to their favoured products – totals hitting 45% for boomers and 41% for Generation X.

"Frankly, they are as brand loyal as any other generation," she Wydra. "What really is different is what they expect from a brand."

More specifically, their choices are generally not shaped by which offerings their parents bought, but based on a careful consideration of the price/value equation.

Data sourced from Warc

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Data integration snag for APAC marketers

19 August 2015
SINGAPORE: Many marketers across Asia Pacific are finding it difficult to integrate large amounts of data from different sources to enable them to make decisions in real time, new research has said.

Research firm TNS polled 2,700 marketing professionals across eight countries – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand – for its TNS Marketing Monitor report and found that around one third (35%) were managing real-time data as part of their role.

Those in Indonesia led the way, with 39% there handling real-time data, compared to just 27% in South Korea.

Whether having direct involvement with such data or not, the majority of respondents said the volume of information available was limiting their ability to take quick and informed decisions.

Seven in ten (70%) reported difficulties integrating data from a multitude of sources, while two thirds (68%) said insights were not actionable enough and six in ten (60%) reported that these were coming through too slowly.

One consequence of this, the report found, was that marketers were tending to rely on traditional methods of measuring campaign success – sales uplift and market share uplift were the top two metrics cited.

"Despite their importance, these metrics are retrospective and do not empower businesses to track the ongoing reception of campaigns, react to live issues and make the changes that could nudge their marketing activity in a more favourable direction," Jon Foged, managing director at TNS Singapore, told Marketing Interactive.

Social media monitoring ranked only fourth in respondents' priorities for measuring real-time campaign performance, and its use varied widely.

China, for example, has a sophisticated social media infrastructure but just 30% of marketers said they were monitoring it with a view to informing marketing decisions. That compared with figures of 55% and 50% for Singapore and Malaysia respectively.

The importance of properly addressing the issue was stressed by Nitin Nishandar, managing director of brand & communications, Asia Pacific, TNS, who said that "Real-time data needs to deliver real-time value – otherwise it's just distracting noise".

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive; additional content by Warc staff

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Blog: Brand manufacturers have the edge in building loyalty

19 August 2015
Shoppers choose a store for its convenience , but they'll go to another if they can't find the product they want. José Carlos González-Hurtado of IRI International argues that retailers need to think more like brand manufacturers and give the issue of loyalty the strategic consideration it deserves.

Warc

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Indian malls ditch local brands

19 August 2015
NEW DELHI: India's mall owners are taking steps to relocate local brands to less attractive locations or even evicting them as they look to free up prime retail space for global brands.

"We would rather have a Zara or a Mothercare as our anchor tenant that brings their full range in a 4,000-5000 sq ft than … multi-brand chains," Arjun Sharma, chairman of mall operator Select Group, told the Economic Times.

"Brands like Westside are slowly going away (from large malls) and they will get replaced by a Forever 21, H&M probably or a Zara," he added. "It is part of normal churn."

So far, however, this practice appears to be limited to major cities and chains such as Westside, Pantaloons, Shoppers Stop and Lifestyle are likely to find continued relevance in lower tier cities.

In the metros, however, malls are looking for ways to refresh their appeal and attract a younger demographic.

"We need to understand that the visitors' profile have been changing and aspirations are going up," explained Mukesh Kumar, vice-president at Infiniti Mall in Mumbai, who is shifting Reliance Trends from its current location in order to bring in fashion retailer Gap.

"The mall is basically a partnership between the customers coming to the mall and the retailer and if we do not change, they will start going to some other mall," he added. "The people coming to the mall want new brands so we have to keep evolving."

Shuffling the pack of brands available is within the power of the mall operator but location, design and layout are other factors that are harder to change and a recent report from property consultant JLL India highlighted the fact that many of the country's shopping malls are performing poorly.

Of 95 malls operating in Delhi-NCR, it said that just 12 could be described as successful.

Malls are also having to face up to the threat posed by ecommerce which is hitting footfall – another reason for spicing up their offer with global brands.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Summer declines hit cable TV

19 August 2015
NEW YORK: Two thirds of the most-watched cable TV channels in the US experienced significant ratings declines during July, with a variety of reasons being put forward, from changing consumer behaviour to more aggressive network programming.

Nielsen data revealed double-digit declines, compared to the same month in 2014, at TNT (-22%), Disney Channel (-19%), Bravo (-23%) and MTV (-24%), among others. In all, prime-time ratings dropped at 21 of the top 30 cable channels, the Wall Street Journal reported.

One explanation may be that Nielsen data has yet to take account of changing consumer viewing patterns as it does not include content being watched on tablets and mobile phones.

Another factor is that "People are getting used to using summer to binge view and catch-up", according to Billie Gold, vp/director of programming at media agency Dentsu.

This typically involves viewers devoting more time to VOD or stored DVR shows and less to the new shows that cable networks have launched at this time of year when the broadcast networks' traditional fall-spring season has ended.

But the broadcast networks have now flooded their summer schedules with both reality and scripted shows, while the continued growth of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu has also hit cable audiences.

"The bar has been raised," said David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, who pointed out that a summer break was no longer possible for the networks.

"You run the risk of losing more audience", he warned, if you take time out while other channels continue to produce fresh content.

Research firm SNL Kagan recently reported that pay-TV operators had lost 625,000 video subscribers in the second quarter of 2015, the largest quarterly drop on record and warned the trend was likely to continue for the rest of the year.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff

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