Marketing confidence rallies in Europe

21 November 2014
GLOBAL: Global marketing confidence remained steady during November, with that in Europe picking up after the previous month's dip and Asia-Pacific falling back slightly according to the latest Global Marketing Index (GMI).

The headline GMI for the month stood at 56.5, a marginal monthly increase of 0.2 points. Europe had moved up from October's index figure of 57.2 to 58.1, while Asia-Pacific slipped from 56.4 to 55.9 and the Americas remained unchanged on 55.9.

The Global Marketing Index, produced by World Economics, is a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry which tracks marketers' expectations in three key areas – trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing levels. A reading of 50 indicates no change while 60+ indicates rapid growth.

Trading conditions were strong across the board, with both Europe and Asia-Pacific recording rises to take their indexes for this metric back above 60. In the case of the former a 1.9 point increase to 61.4 was a welcome counter to the 5.3 point decline recorded in October; for the latter, a 2.1 point rise to 62.1 continued the strong performance of the previous month. The Americas was steady on 59.0.

While the overall index for marketing budgets remained in positive territory, it eased down 0.6 points to stand at 53.4, marking the 23rd successive month that panellists have reported rises in the amount of resources devoted to marketing.

The greatest optimism was to be seen in Europe, where the index rose 1.1 points to 56.0, reversing the trend of the previous month. But the Americas were down 1.5 to 52.0, and Asia-Pacific was edging close to the point at which marketers report falling expenditure, as its index dropped 4.3 to 50.9.

The final component of the GMI, the index of staffing levels, stood at 55.9, slightly up on October, and indicating that marketing departments are still adding staff. Regionally, the index rose 1.5 in the Americas and 0.8 in Asia-Pacific but slipped back 0.5 in Europe.

Ed Jones, World Economics chief executive, remarked that the figures showed strong business activity and solid growth. "The only media increasing their share of advertising budgets in all regions were digital and mobile," he added.

Data sourced from World Economics; additional content by Warc staff


Smartphones drive m-commerce

21 November 2014
LONDON: The rapid uptake of smartphones by UK consumers over the past five years has been accompanied by a rise in m-commerce so that more than half of smartphone owners now browse for items on their device and more than one third go on to buy.

According to the latest research from eDigitalResearch, consumer confidence in the mobile channel has followed the same path as that seen earlier in e-commerce, with people starting out with small, low-value purchases and progressing to larger, more expensive items. Overall it has grown by 666% in the past five years.

Smartphones have quickly become an integral part of the shopping journey, as 54% use them to browse and 36% to buy, with clothing and footwear the items most likely to be bought this way.

"Smartphones have had a fundamental effect on all shopping journeys, not just online, but in store as well," said Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch.

"Our tracking over the years has revealed that over one third (36%) of consumers now use their mobiles when out shopping to check product and customer reviews alone."

It was not too fanciful to suggest that soon every transaction could involve a mobile device at some point in the shopping journey. "It signals the importance for retailers to optimise every part of their customer experience, from online to in store," stated Eccleston.

And that need can only become more urgent as the introduction of 4G leads to faster connection speeds and consumers becoming even more reliant on their mobile devices.

Developments such as Beacon technology also promise to transform the mobile experience, with more than half (54%) of smartphone owners open to receiving personalised messages from retailers.

"Beacon technology has the ability to drive the m-commerce revolution onto the next level," said Eccleston. He described the facility to deliver such content to smartphone owners as they wandered past a store as "the final piece of the jigsaw when it comes to multichannel".

Data sourced from eDigitalResearch; additional content by Warc staff


Coke exploits health trends

21 November 2014
ATLANTA: Coca-Cola's shift of its marketing focus away from larger packaging formats towards smaller ones as it seeks to take advantage of the new priorities of US consumers is paying off according to a leading executive.

The company has diversified in recent years into other areas such as water and fruit juices to take account of changing tastes, and has introduced a series of new products – Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Coke Life – to address concerns around issues such as sugar content. 

"The health and wellness trend has set up, almost teed up, a tremendous opportunity for the Coca-Cola brand with our smaller packages," Sandy Douglas, global chief customer officer/president, Coca-Cola North America, told a Morgan Stanley Global Consumer Conference reported by Seeking Alpha.

"Consumers love it," he said, reporting that purchase intent for the new 7.5 ounce mini-can was up 25% among mothers compared to the standard 12-ounce can. "It takes away issues that moms have with our brand," he added. "Waste, too much [product], those are problems that people have."

Douglas conceded that the way two litre bottles and 12 ounce cans had been promoted for the past 30 years had resulted in some commodification of the category. "In the middle is where the consumer trend is happening," he said.

Looking across the grocery landscape he observed that diet and frozen products were struggling as consumers were increasingly heading for the Fresh section when in store.

That had been the inspiration for the recent introduction of Coke Life, sweetened with cane sugar and stevia, and with one third fewer calories.

"You'll see it in stores now in glass bottles," he said. "Premium priced as close to the natural section as we can market it."

And this trend is no short term-fad – Douglas expected it would continue and explained that "we see Coke Life as a platform". Far from being a finished product, he said the formula would be continually refined to reduce the number of calories and improve the taste.

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff


Bigger malls better for China

21 November 2014
HONG KONG: Chinese shoppers may have taken to online shopping with alacrity but they retain an enthusiasm for bricks and mortar, preferably larger malls, a study has shown.

CBRE, the commercial real estate firm, questioned over 11,000 consumers in 11 major countries across the Asia-Pacific region for its report How We Like To Shop. This found that affordability, cleanliness and security were among the factors shoppers of all ages valued most in a shopping centre for all age groups.

"The key message from consumers is clear – landlords and developers need to get the basics right," Jonathan Hsu, director of CBRE Research for Asia Pacific, told Jing Daily.

And within Greater China – which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as the mainland – the report said that shoppers overwhelmingly preferred to visit large malls.

Two thirds (66%) of respondents in this market liked to shop in a mall with at least 50 stores. Around one in five (22%) chose smaller shopping centres while 12% stuck to street shopping.

And those people going to big malls also expect to see big shops rather than a profusion of small outlets. "Bigger means better" for this region, the report said, as it noted the growth in flagship stores in recent years.

It recommended mall owners should "focus on providing a well-rounded experience to their customers" including a good mix of retail tenants and a broad selection of food and beverage outlets.

The region's consumers have also observed an increase in entertainment facilities along with more events, performances and exhibitions as mall owners seek to offer a "retailtainment" experience that drives footfall and increases the amount of time shoppers spend at the venue.

In the future, 80% of survey respondents said they would continue to shop as often or more in a physical store. But an even greater proportion – 85% – said they planned to shop online more than they do now.

"Retail landlords will have to integrate this platform into their overall strategy to remain competitive and, ultimately, to survive," said the report.

That meant developing innovative ways to reach consumers. Sebastian Skiff, CBRE's executive director of retail services for Asia, suggested using big data techniques to track "likes" and "check-ins" on social media in order to formulate a tailored marketing strategy.

And shopping centre apps with special offers and contests could boost user engagement and help build customer loyalty.

Data sourced from CBRE, Jing Daily; additional content by Warc staff


India's online shoppers to treble

21 November 2014
NEW DELHI: India's ecommerce boom shows no signs of abating, according to a new report, despite many consumers expressing unhappiness with their online shopping experience.

Google India's study of online shopping growth was based on a survey of 6,859 online buyers and non-buyers across 50 cities. It predicted there would be 100m online shoppers by 2016, up from the current figure of 35m, and the industry would be worth around $15bn, Indian Express reported.

Most of this will come via mobile, which Google India MD Rajan Anandan said was "driving growth in every single internet product entity".

Shopping queries from mobile, for example, had grown from 24% in 2012 to 57% in 2014. The report also noted that seven in ten respondents in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities planned to buy online during the next 12 months; in addition, women buyers typically spend twice as much as men in Tier 1 and one in four is already buying on mobile.

The motivations for shopping online ranged from practical – 65% cited convenience and 64% the range of products available – to prestige – 60% opted to buy online in order to improve their social status.

But there are some major hurdles that ecommerce businesses will need to address, as 62% of buyers were unhappy with their shopping experience and 67% complained about the complexity of the returns process. Among non-buyers, 55% said they didn't trust the quality of products sold online.

Delivery needed to be improved, agreed Sahil Barua, CEO at Delhivery. "Older models of distribution do not work any more," he told Pitch. "We need to simplify processes and also see what mobile can do for the supply side."

The industry needed to act now if it was to satisfy the expected growth in shopper numbers, said Nitin Bawankule, Google India industry director for e-commerce, local and classifieds. "Improved customer experience across all touch points, easy to use mobile apps can create a strong pull for non-buyers to shop online in Tier I and Tier 2 cities," he added.

Data sourced from Indian Express, The Hindu, Pitch; additional content by Warc staff


Clorox expands multicultural brief

21 November 2014
MIAMI: Clorox, the cleaning and household goods group, is making sure that multicultural marketing is now "everyone's responsibility", a goal forming part of the company's evolving total-market strategy.

David Cardona, the firm's director/shopper marketing, category advisory and multicultural capabilities, discussed this theme at the 2014 Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference.

"We've been embracing and talking about total market for the last year-and-a-half," he said. (For more, including how the firm is implementing this idea at the brand level, read Warc's exclusive report: How Clorox developed a total-market strategy.)

More specifically, the organisation – which has a portfolio including Glad bags, Brita water filters and Kingsford charcoal – has dispersed the responsibility for multicultural messaging across its brand teams.

Adopting and implementing this model promises to fuel a total-market mindset among its marketers, with extremely beneficial results.

"It's about finding the most relevant, efficient way to communicate to your target," he said.

Successfully tapping into the potential advantages of this model, Cardona continued, requires incorporating deep multicultural insights throughout the marketing cycle.

"We've basically enhanced our business planning process in order to make sure that we are thinking about multicultural much, much, much earlier in the process," he said. "It all has to start with the beginning."

Previously, Clorox had a "separate and siloed" approach to consumer segmentation, which posed problems in terms of developing cohesive strategies.

"When you added them all together, we ended up with 11 segments. And they were not necessarily connecting to each other very well," said Cardona.

By streamlining its internal operations, Clorox has overcome many of the prior issues. But Cardona also emphasised that success in total-market communications is always a long-term "journey".

"It's not an easy thing. Otherwise, we all would have cracked the code from the get-go," he said.

Data sourced from Warc


Canadian marketers lag on programmatic

21 November 2014
NEW YORK: Less than 10% of marketers in Canada are comfortable using programmatic buying, with seven in ten being either unaware of this concept or simply having heard of the term.

When AcuityAds and Marketing Magazine surveyed 522 marketers across Canada, they found that 34% had not heard of programmatic, and almost half of the remainder (49%) rated their understanding as "very poor".

A similar proportion (45%) said their brand was below average or lagging behind on programmatic execution.

"There just aren't many marketers in Canada who would describe themselves as black belts in programmatic buying," observed eMarketer.

That lack of understanding was the main factor holding back investment in programmatic. Almost one third of survey respondents (32%) cited this as a major impediment.

"I'm not surprised," Frederick Lecoq, svp/marketing for FGL Sports and Mark's at Canadian Tire, told Marketing. "We digital marketers haven't done a proper job educating our organisation and peers to make programmatic buying easy to understand."

Other obstacles to investment were more closely linked to the mechanics of programmatic, including worries over whether premium content really was premium (31%), whether ads were being viewed by the right audience (29%), whether ads were being placed on inappropriate sites (26%) and transparency over how money was being spent (25%).

The survey also found that agencies were further down the programmatic road than brand marketers, who often appeared happy to leave decisions on this subject to agency staff.

On average, programmatic-aware marketers estimated their brands were committing 15.9% of their digital spend to this activity, a figure predicted to almost double, to 30.9%, by 2017.

Earlier this year Warc published The Programmatic Primer: A Marketer's Guide to the Online Advertising Ecosystem, which aims to bring some clarity and understanding to this area.

Author Ted McConnell warned that the fact trading is automated would in itself bring few benefits, as success is down to how marketers use data.

Data sourced from eMarketer, Marketing; additional content by Warc staff


Family is an idea, not an institution

20 November 2014
LONDON: The notion of what constitutes a family is evolving far beyond the traditional average of mother, father and 2.4 children, with most Britons now believing that one size no longer fits all.

The Future of Families, a study of 4,000 people across the UK by media agency OMD UK and publisher Time Inc, UK highlighted the changes taking place, as 19% of respondents chose to include friends within the family sphere and 36% brought their in-laws into the circle. And 29% even viewed their pets as part of the family.

Overall, half of those surveyed believed that there simply wouldn't be a stereotypical family structure in future.

And just as the definition of family is altering, so too are the roles within it. In particular, parents were found to be sharing more of the day-to-day responsibilities and decision making than they did when a similar survey was undertaken in 2008.

This was especially true in the fields of childcare and upbringing (up from 54% to 67%), working and earning money (up from 34% to 41%) and shopping decisions (up from 24% to 33%).

Financial burdens abound, with two thirds of respondents concerned about the cost of living and one third worried about making the rent or mortgage payment each month.

But these same pressures, the report said, "have triggered the development of broader, more powerful family support networks", with, for example, two thirds of grandparents being called into action as childminders on a weekly basis.

People have also adopted cost-saving mechanisms as part of their everyday life. Thus, some 60% of mothers said they had swapped products to save money, up from 47% in 2009. And 63% of women were budgeting more carefully, compared to 43% in 2009.

The other major change in the past five years is the prevalence of technology in the home. Parents understandably worried about the sharing of personal information (68%) and privacy (67%), but most (78%) thought technology was not domestically disruptive and could even bring families back together in the living room, to watch movies on demand or to watch live TV events and tweet about them.

"It's encouraging to see that family is as important as ever - government, businesses and brands should take note of its changing face, behaviours and needs in order to effectively communicate with families across Britain today and in the future," said Lynne Springett, insight director, Time Inc UK.

Data sourced from OMD UK; additional content by Warc staff


'Unstoppable' programmatic surges

20 November 2014
LONDON: UK programmatic spending has leapt ahead during the first three quarters of 2014, according to latest figures, as it begins to extend to higher quality inventory.

Data from Standard Media Index (SMI), which captures information directly from leading media buying agencies, show year-on-year programmatic advertising spend up 61.6% during the first three quarters and by 49.5% during the third quarter.

Alberto Leyes, director of business development at SMI, told Marketing Week the growth of programmatic was "unstoppable". By next year, he said, some of the bigger media owners in the UK could be selling almost half their inventory this way.

"Advertisers and media owners originally used programmatic to buy and sell unsold and low-quality inventory," he added. "Now the premium and high-quality inventory is starting to be sold through programmatic too. It's here to stay and is expected to keep growing over the next few years."

While programmatic was moving ahead the overall market was marginally down during the third quarter, as the expected post-World Cup hangover kicked in. Over the year as a whole, adspend was up 4.6%.

Digital spending continued to increase at the fastest rate, up 12.7% for the year and 3.7% for the quarter. Television also performed well, up 6% for the year and 7.3% in the quarter, as it played an increasingly central role in multichannel advertising strategies.

Print spending carried on falling: newspapers were down 18.9% in the third quarter and magazines 10.1%. But SMI reported that online advertising on some of the UK's leading newspaper websites was up significantly: by 40.1% at the Guardian, 37.5% at Mail Online and 34.9% at the Telegraph.

Among digital publishers, Twitter registered the greatest growth, up 81.7% for the year to date. Facebook's 21.1% uplift was small by comparison. But Leyes did explain that SMI only measures social media spending that goes through agencies, and much of their inventory is actually sold direct to advertisers.

Warc's UK Expenditure Report, produced alongside the UK Advertising Association, found digital adspend on newsbrands was up 17.8% yoy in Q2 2014.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


China leads in digital innovation

20 November 2014
HONG KONG: Marketers around the world have much to learn from what is happening in China, according to a leading industry figure, who regards it as leading the field in terms of digital innovation and O2O.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Michael McLaren, global CEO of MRM/McCann, enthused about digital developments in that country. "The China digital landscape in unbelievable," he said. The innovation he saw taking place there was "truly world class".

One reason for this may be that Chinese marketers are less set in their ways of thinking than their counterparts in more developed markets, as consumerism has really only taken off there in the past six or seven years. Consumers are similarly open to new ways of doing things.

"I think there's a receptivity to innovation in that marketplace that is not something you see everywhere in the world," McLaren observed.

He singled out phone manufacturer Xiaomi as an example that any brand anywhere could learn from, particularly its engagement with users, with feedback encouraged and the lessons learned incorporated into new products and product upgrades.

That effective use of social and digital could, he suggested, be successfully tied in with a more traditional media approach. But, he added, "there's no one playbook. You have to make some educated bets on what you can do and do them very well".

Another area where he saw China setting the pace was in O2O, with digital technology being integrated into many aspects of everyday life, from the use of apps to hail taxis to paying for items in-store using a digital wallet.

"The guys who are going to be nimble are the guys who are going to recognise that it's the marriage of digital and physical [that brings success]," McLaren said.

He added that digital technology was "probably only at the black-and-white TV stage" of development and was going to become ever more sophisticated.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff


Mobile becomes America's first screen

20 November 2014
NEW YORK: The average American now spends almost three hours a day on a mobile device, pushing these ahead of television for the first time, according to a new analysis.

While time spent on TV has remained constant, at 168 minutes, for the past three years, Flurry, the mobile analytics business, charted the rise of time spent on mobile devices, from 109 minutes at the start of 2012 to 162 minutes at the beginning of this year.

Over the past nine months, time spent on mobile devices has increased a further 9.3% to reach 177 minutes. "As of September 2014, it is a new world in the American living room," declared Flurry.

There is of course an overlap in the time spent with these devices: Nielsen has reported that 86% of US smartphone owners use their smartphones and tablets while watching TV, and nearly half do so daily.

Earlier this year eMarketer noted that consumers were already spending more time online than on TV, and that more time was being now spent on the mobile internet than on the desktop as smartphones and tablets reached "critical mass".

Flurry attributed the latest development to the growth in mobile apps helping people do everything from staying fit and organised to checking sports scores. It was, it said, "only logical that they would turn to their phones more often than their TV sets".

And while this appeared to be true – time spent on the mobile web remained flat – it was not the leading apps that were driving the increasing time consumers were spending on mobile.

The top 25 apps, ranked by time spent, had seen a mere 1% increase in time spent with them (from 69 minutes to 70 minutes) during the first nine months of the year, while the rest had registered a 21% increase (from 70 minutes to 85 minutes).

Mobile overtaking television was a big moment for the app industry as well as the mobile industry, said Flurry. "Most app developers didn't know back in 2008 that they would be building the next generation of TV channels. Many consumers installing apps also didn't know that they were tuning in to new TV channels."

Data sourced from Flurry; additional content by Warc staff


Australians embrace VOD

20 November 2014
SYDNEY: Half of connected Australians, from all walks of life, are watching professionally produced film and television video content via the internet, a new study has revealed.

A report for government agency Screen Australia – Online and On Demand: Trends in Australian online video use – explored trends in current online video use, including barriers and drivers to using different platforms and the kinds of content viewers are seeking once they get there, based on a series of focus groups and a survey of more than almost 1,600 Australians aged 14 and over.

This found that 50% of Australian internet users were watching movies and televisioncontent online, although this accounted for only a small proportion of overall viewing which remains wedded to broadcast TV and cinema or DVDs.

Online viewing is for everyone, with students to older women, empty nesters to young male urbanites watching video online," declared Graeme Morrison, CEO Screen Australia.

"We can only expect the number of online viewers to grow with greater awareness, new services and better access developing in response to market demand," he added.

People were drawn to the convenience of VOD but didn't expect to pay much for it, the report said. Catch-up TV services and ad-supported services such as YouTube were the most popular and the most used.

The uptake of paid services remains low, with only 13% to 16% of VOD viewers currently subscribing to services or paying to download TV or movie content.

Around 30% had done so in the past or would consider doing to in the future. Almost six in ten respondents indicated they had no internet in paying for content.

That situation may be about to change, however, as Australia's existing cable and streaming services have been revising their pricing packages ahead of the launch of Netflix in the region, which is now planned for March 2015.

Richard Freudenstein, chief executive of cable subscription service Foxtel, told The Age that the market was "going to be very competitive" and "noisy". He did not expect that any company offering subscription VOD would make any money out of the service in the short term.

Monetising content will be the major issue to address, according to Morrison, who noted that "the shift in audience behaviours has largely already occurred".

Data sourced from Screen Australia, The Age; additional content by Warc staff


Toyota adapts multicultural model

20 November 2014
MIAMI: Toyota, the automaker, is anticipating the future growth of the multicultural audience by revolutionising how its agencies work together to reach various consumer groups.

Edward Laukes, vp/performance and guest experience at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, discussed this topic while speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.

Given that the cohorts traditionally defined as "minority" segments are set to make up the majority of the American population by around 2050, Toyota believes a "new-mainstream" strategy is the best long-term solution.

This marks a move towards total-market communications, supported with specific messaging aimed at Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American or White Non-Hispanic shoppers as necessary. (For more, including further details of this refreshed approach, read Warc's exclusive report: Toyota makes "total market" a primary marketing driver.)

For its agencies – a roster including Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, plus multicultural specialists like Conill Advertising, Burrell Communications and interTrend Communications – that has required embracing a new approach.

In formalising this idea, Toyota created the "Total Toyota" – or T2 – model, under which its shops will work together in a more integrated way throughout the marketing cycle.

"Before we created T2," Laukes said, "we had separate development paths … across each of our partners.

"This created separate creative briefs and separate media plans, along with separate production and media budgets and completely separate go-to-market plans."

"This is how we've done it for years. And, frankly, it was very successful. But it was – and is – not sustainable."

While the brand's agency teams have now achieved heightened integration from a strategic perspective, Toyota is determined that they continue to represent their distinctive cultures and perspectives.

"To be clear," Laukes said, "T2 is not a new business entity. All of our agencies retain their identity and their staffing. They work together in collaboration with all the Toyota agencies."

It has also, he continued, "enabled four creative directors from four agencies to work together to create the strongest idea."

Data sourced form Warc


Americans in tech-life balance fail

20 November 2014
BOISE, ID: Most Americans believe they have a healthy tech-life balance but in reality most can't go more than two hours without feeling compelled to check their phone or email a new survey has shown.

An independent survey commissioned by Crucial, a maker of computer memory products, polled 1,000 adults aged 18 to 65 about their use of technology and its impact on their personal and professional lives. This found that one in four became stressed by going longer than 30 minutes without access to their electronics devices as they lived with a fear of missing out.

The disconnect between how Americans see their relationship with technology and the truth was evident in the lengths to which men would go in order to stay connected.

Three quarters claimed to have a balanced or very balanced tech-life ratio, but 84% admitted to having checked a mobile device in inappropriate circumstances, such as while driving, in a movie theatre, at a funeral or during a child's play/recital.

Additionally, one in five acknowledged that they would rather go without a car than give up technology for a week, while 16% would forgo showering for the same length of time.

And 12% said they had lied about the amount of time they had spent on their mobile device.

Women too thought they had achieved a tech-life balance but they were more likely to feel guilty about the amount of time they spent checking their devices. They were also more sceptical about the role of tech, with almost six in ten (62%) fearing for the art of verbal communication and four in ten (39%) worried about the adverse impact on people's posture from continually looking down at their phones.

The millennials surveyed were, unsurprisingly, the most connected, but they didn't always welcome that. Three in ten (31%) – more than any other age group – wanted to return to a time when people were not constantly connected, a finding possibly not unconnected to that fact that one third admitted that technology had been the cause of an argument with a significant other.

Quite apart from the social fallout, technology-induced apprehension was also driven by the technology itself, with one third of respondents reporting they had to wait longer than five minutes for their devices to load or stat up.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


Mobile saturation imminent

19 November 2014
STOCKHOLM: Ninety per cent of the world's population over six years old will have a mobile phone within the next five years a new report has claimed.

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report, from the eponymous telecoms company, predicts that the number of mobile subscriptions will grow from the current figure of 7.1bn to 9.5bn by 2020, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%.

Smartphone subscriptions are projected to grow three times as fast, at 15% CAGR, to reach a total of 6.1bn in 2020. This is being driven in large part by the increasing affordability of smartphones in developing markets, which means they are set to overtake global feature phone subscriptions within two years.

During the third quarter of 2014 alone, there were 110m new mobile subscriptions globally, with Asia-Pacific accounting for almost half of these and Africa almost one quarter.

India saw the largest number of net additions, at 18m, followed by China on 12m and Indonesia on 5m, the rest of Asia-Pacific contributing another 17m. There were also 26m new subscriptions across the African continent.

"The falling cost of both data usage and handsets, coupled with improved usability and increasing network coverage, are making mobile technology a global phenomenon that will soon be available to the vast majority of the world's population, regardless of age or location," declared Rima Qureshi, chief strategy officer at Ericsson.

And as smartphone penetration deepens, mobile video traffic is expected to continue to grow dramatically, increasing tenfold by 2020 to account for 55% of all mobile data traffic.

In 4G-dominated networks mobile video already constitutes between 45% and 55% of mobile traffic as the quality of video streaming has improved and as flat rate data plans enable users to watch video without fear of incurring large bills.

The report also looked at what a 5G future could mean. In addition to enhanced mobile broadband, it envisaged "mass market personalised TV" as part of a fully networked society.

Data sourced from Ericsson; additional content by Warc staff


VPNs a threat to digital ads

19 November 2014
LONDON: The increasingly widespread use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to access the internet, especially in developing markets, poses a threat to digital publishers' collection of data that can be used to target advertising.

Research firm GlobalWebIndex surveyed 170,000 individuals spread across 32 countries for its new report, The Missing Billion, which explores how passive web analytics have skewed understanding of the global internet population. It argues that trends in VPN usage, device sharing and mobile-only access mean that hundreds of millions of internet users are effectively invisible in traditional internet studies.

Its own research suggests that there are around 410m people worldwide using various software and technology to help them mask their true location and to remain anonymous while online.

In part this is about overcoming restrictions imposed by governments and media companies, whether China's ban on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter or US sites limiting access to TV shows to US users.

The survey revealed that 50% of the total simply wanted access to better content while 28% were looking to access news and social networking sites.

"It's definitely an issue," agreed Steve Carrod, co-owner and director of consulting at Digital Media Performance Group. "A major international broadcast client of ours sees 90% of traffic to its Chinese service supposedly come from the US due to VPN use," he told DigiDay.

"It affects their ability to personalise content," he continued. "It also skews conversion data for things like subscriptions, email signups, or any key conversion point."

In Indonesia, the proportion of online consumers using a VPN stands at over 40%, while the figure is over 30% in other major emerging markets including Brazil, China, Mexico, India and Turkey.

The report further estimated that the prevalence of device sharing in emerging markets – for example, 38% of Brazilian users only go online with a shared device – had resulted in 417m internet users not being counted.

"International markets are a missed opportunity for some companies," said Jason Mander, head of trends at GlobalWebIndex. 

"This issue with Web analytics might leave some to believe America is dominant in terms of Internet use, that foreign markets are still 'emerging' on the Web. In fact, they have huge digital populations and a hunger for quality content."

Data sourced from GlobalWebIndex, DigiDay; additional content by Warc staff


WOM drives $6tr spending

19 November 2014
HOLLYWOOD, CA: Word of mouth, both online and offline, is responsible for driving $6tr of consumer spending every year, new research has shown.

The Return on Word of Mouth study was organised by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and based on econometric modelling of sales and marketing data provided by participating brands – including AT&T, Discovery Communications, Intuit, PepsiCo, and Weight Watchers. This found that online and offline consumer conversations and recommendations accounted for 13% of consumer sales.

And despite digital making inroads into most aspects of people's lives, off line word of mouth remained more important, driving two thirds of these sales compared to online's one third.

"Intuitively, we know that a consumer recommendation is going to be a powerful contributor to brand sales, but this is the first time a rigorous study has quantified that impact across a range of product and service categories," said WOMMA President Suzanne Fanning.

"We hope this research will lead marketers to elevate the role of word of mouth, both online and offline, in their marketing plans," she added.

Happily for the world of advertising, word of mouth was also found to amplify the effects of paid media by 15% as consumers spread advertised messages. But most of the time WOM worked separately from these, based around such things as product or customer service experiences, public relations, owned and earned digital content and referral marketing.

Researchers also established that an offline word-of-mouth impression drove at least five times more sales than a paid advertising impression, and as much as 100 times more for higher-consideration categories.

And the impact of such recommendations typically happened much closer to the time of purchase than traditional media, often within two weeks.

"Word of mouth is an area that begs for more deliberate decisioning and planning from marketers, as it works hand-in-glove with paid media," said Nancy Smith, president of Analytic Partners, one of the research consultants on the project.

Her colleague Alice K. Sylvester of Sequent Partners, added that world of mouth could be "incorporated into marketers' econometric models and managed with the same level of knowledge as advertising and promotion".

Data sourced from WOMMA, PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


Viewability rates fall

19 November 2014
NEW YORK: More than three quarters of video ads were played to completion during the third quarter, according to latest figures, but only one in five was actually in view to the user.

The Q3 2014 Media Quality Report from Integral Ad Science, a provider of digital advertising intelligence, assessed the online ad industry on four metrics – TRue Advertising Quality (TRAQ), brand risk, viewability and ad fraud – and included benchmarks for video for the first time.

The fact that overall video completion rates were much higher than viewable video completion rates was, said Integral, "indicative of significant frequency of autoplay and of disruptive user behavior, such as scrolling videos out of view as they are playing".

Overall, 30% of video impressions were deemed viewable, as measured by the standards laid down by the Media Ratings council, i.e. in view for two continuous seconds.

This was lower than that achieved by display which recorded viewability figures of 53.4% for Publishers and 36.7% for Networks & Exchanges.

The latter figure, MediaPost noted, marked a new low in 2014, as display viewability rates – with 50% of the ad being in view for at least one second – had been running at 51.3% in the first quarter, falling to 45.3% in the second.

And, if one extended the standard to a more realistic figure of five seconds, only 21.6% of display ads could still be described as viewable; at 15 seconds that fell to 12.5%. Again, both these figures were down on the preceding quarter.

Fraud in video was also higher than display with an average of 15% versus 3% for Publishers and 13.7% for Networks & Exchanges.

Integral's TRAQ score, based on a combination of factors, including viewability, fraud, clutter, brand safety and professionalism, stood at 561 for video. This meant, Integral said, that overall media quality for video was lower than for display inventory, which registered TRAQ scores of 675 for Publishers and 540 for Networks & Exchanges.

And, putting these figures in context, MediaPost observed a "downward spiral" over the course of the past 12 months, with the score for Networks & Exchanges having dropped from 597 in Q4 2013 to 578 in Q1 2014 and 576 in Q2 2014.

Data sourced from Integral Ad Science, Market Wired, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff


Perception of private label picks up

19 November 2014
SINGAPORE: Consumer perception of retailers' private label products is improving across Asia according to a new report, but this positive sentiment has yet to translate into an uplift in sales.

For its 2014 Global Private Label Report, market researcher Nielsen polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries, exploring their views on private label quality, value, assortment and packaging.

It found that 84% of Vietnamese and 83% of Thai respondents had improved perceptions of store branded products, the highest in the region and well above the global average of 71%.

But even though private label products have been available in the region for some 25 years they have yet to make any significant inroads into sales. Value share is highest in Singapore at 8.1%, around half the global average of 16.5%.

The figures for Hong Kong (5.1%), India (4.5%) and Taiwan (3.1%) are low but they are further advanced in this regard than China (1.3%), Thailand (0.8%) and Indonesia (0.6%).

"Asian shoppers are strongly brand loyal, and retailers have not invested enough in private-label marketing programs to persuade shoppers to trust its quality," said Peter Gale, managing director of retailer services, Nielsen Asia-Pacific and Middle East.

"Many Asian retailers have virtually copied and pasted the European model without dedicating the groundwork necessary to build loyalty," he added. "Just launching new private-label products is not going to drive significant growth unless retailers address the fundamental issue of shopper demand properly."

The difficulties for retailers are evident in the finding that Asia-Pacific had the highest percentage of respondents (58%) who believed name brands are worth the extra price – 10% higher than the global average, 20% higher than North America and 26% higher than Europe.

Nearly six in 10 respondents in Indonesia (59%), the Philippines (58%) and Thailand (56%) believed they risked wasting money by trying new brands and instead they preferred to buy the trusted brand advertised on TV every week, especially now that it is increasingly offered at a discounted price.

But Gale also noted that Asian consumers were slowly "building a repertoire of private label products that they like and will buy again, even at a more expensive price than a branded alternative".

There was, he suggested, an opportunity to tailor private label ranges to local tastes and drive trial and build loyalty over time.

Data sourced from PR Newswire, Marketing Interactive; additional content by Warc staff


Australian business neglects YouTube

19 November 2014
SYDNEY: Most Australian companies are failing to make an impression on YouTube, the video sharing channel, with many neglecting it and active users generating only small viewing figures according to a new report.

Chimney Group, the video producer, looked at the top 1,000 companies in Australia for its YouTop100 study examining how efficiently they used their YouTube channel and found that just over one quarter (28.2%) had updated it in the past year.

Among the top 100 active channels – ranked on efficiency, or the total number of views in the past 12 months divided by the total number of videos on the channel – the average number of views per video was 22,426, but 61% of companies had fewer than 1,000 views on average.

Less than 10% posted a video every week, but frequent updates were not necessarily the way to achieve success, The Australian reported

It noted that, in efficiency terms, some of the more prominent users of the channel, such as Toyota and ANZ Bank, were languishing in the lower reaches of the rankings, at 88th and 69th respectively.

The top five most successful users of the channel were found to be Apple, ExxonMobil, Nestlé, Air New Zealand and Bank of Queensland.

"We knew Apple would be up there because they have a nice, synchronised strategy," said Lee Ritson, CEO Chimney Group Australia

And while the presence of ExxonMobil was a surprise, Ritson suggested this was because "they were posting videos about future-proof technology which would be interesting to the scientific community".

Nestlé, meanwhile, was posting international content which was being watched, while high-quality and entertaining posts from Air NZ and Bank of Queensland had also performed well.

Investment in video works well for some companies, but for the remainder there may be a question mark over an approach that takes money away from more traditional advertising.

"There's huge room for improvement in digital broadcast strategy," Ritson declared. "A lot of the content that was getting posted was getting minimal views. One solid piece would do better."

He suggested that companies should think of posting a video to their channels on at least a monthly basis.

Data sourced from Chimney Group; The Australian; additional content by Warc staff


The Cosmopolitan finds winning formula

19 November 2014
NEW YORK: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the luxury hotel and casino, draws on three core marketing principles as it seeks to stand out in one of America's most competitive geographies.

Angela Wise, vp/marketing at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, discussed this topic while speaking at a recent conference.

And she reported that the high-end resort, which launched in 2010, occupies a distinctive position on the Strip, as it is an independent operator up against major players including MGM and Caesar's Entertainment.

The first principle feeding into its marketing strategy thus reads: "We didn't want to follow culture, we wanted to lead it," said Wise. (For more, including the company's aim to create a new media channel, read Warc's exclusive report: The Cosmopolitan Hotel and United Airlines find a new way to engage flyers.)

"This was really an opportunity for us to not emulate what was being done, but to really find our creativity and drive that home."

Many properties in Las Vegas, for example, have specific theme and styles, or else are "really defined and proper in some ways," according to Wise.

"So, for us, it was finding a way to really let our independent spirit shine, and be more highly design-driven and stylistic, and trying to find that kind of spirit."

A related goal covers The Cosmopolitan's second core aim: "to have a unique point of view". Understanding the needs and preferences of its sophisticated audience – which it calls the "curious class" – is part of this process.

"Once you can tap into the consumer's desire for authenticity, we felt like that was a really great place for us," Wise said.

Innovating in the communications field is another priority, as achieving meaningful engagement is a particular challenge in Las Vegas.

"We're going to have a lot of fast-followers; if something works, everyone wants to tack on. So the idea about continually innovating and investing was really important to us," she said.

"Consumers can have anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 messages that are inputted on them on a daily basis – and certainly, if you're in Las Vegas, you're at the top end of this."

Data sourced from Warc


UK shoppers plan prudent Xmas

18 November 2014
LONDON: Almost half of shoppers in the UK intend to keep a tight rein on their Christmas spending, as habits inculcated over the past few years of economic downturn become second nature.

For its new report – WindowOn … Spending Habits – shopper research agency Shoppercentric surveyed more than 1,000 adults and found that 44% of UK consumers said they needed to keep to a strict budget this year. And 29% agreed that the economic downturn had taught them to be careful and they wanted to keep it that way.

Further evidence of the continued straitened circumstances of the nation came in the statistic that only 5% of those surveyed said they had more money available this year and would be spending more than last year.

"The powers that be may be telling us that the UK is in growth again but our research shows 60% of UK shoppers are still experiencing rising costs while their income remains static and a further 14% are dealing with a job loss or pay reduction," said Danielle Pinnington, managing director at Shoppercentric.

But she expected that shoppers would be not be depriving themselves, rather "using their carefully honed savviness to make their money stretch further".

With that in mind, two thirds of shoppers (65%) said they would choose the channel – online or in-store – that gave them the best price.

And just as many expected to make gift purchases in store (78%) as online via desktop or laptop (77%). Further, some 19% planed on buying via a tablet and 14% via their smartphone.

In addition to possible price factors, another major reason for shopping online was imply to avoid the crowds – 47% expressed this sentiment. But slightly more (50%) were prepared to brave the hordes to ensure they got the right present.

One in five (21%) also refused to shop online amid worries a present would not be delivered on time.

Pinnington argued that the rise in popularity of click & collect would help to drive more shoppers in-store. This, she said "presents retailers with a huge opportunity to really lay on the ambience, and roll out the tempting displays to play to their strengths and encourage incremental purchasing.

"If they could tempt each of those customers to pick up just one extra item in addition to their parcel collection, retailers will be able to deliver a seriously big uplift in sales," she said.

Data sourced from Shoppercentric; additional content by Warc staff


McDonald's profits from insight

18 November 2014
LONDON: Customer research has been at the heart of the consistent UK performance of McDonald's, the fast food business, its chief executive has said.

"One thing I did when I joined the business in 2006 was to really dial up the investment in consumer insight," Jill McDonald told the Daily Telegraph.

Back then she was the chief marketing officer and she recalled the problems the brand was facing following the Super Size Me documentary which had questioned everything from nutrition standards to advertising methods.

That film had not presented a balanced view, she said, "but it was a bit of a wake-up call in terms of needing to do better about communicating to consumers the quality of our food and the truth about our food".

Her success in that regard is evident in 34 consecutive quarters of sales growth, the Telegraph noted.

"[A]bsolutely number one is get closer to your customers and get superior insight, that's a real competitive advantage," she declared.

The other arm of her strategy has been to "invest in what is going to make the difference to them [customers] and what is going to drive additional visits".

So in the six years leading up to the London Olympics in 2012 restaurants were refurbished and food quality made a priority. The value of the latter approach was demonstrated during the horsemeat scandal which swept the UK in 2013, with supermarkets, food manufacturers and rival burger chains finding traces of horsemeat in their products.

The resulting uproar "wasn't great for the industry and it wasn't great for Britain", said McDonald. "However, we were in some ways pleased because it gave us an opportunity to demonstrate really tangibly what a strong and robust supply chain system McDonald's has … It gave another reason for customers to trust us."

As well as staying close to the customer, McDonald's has developed the ability to react quickly to changing food fashions, such as introducing smoothies and frappes.

"What we are pretty good at is fast following," said McDonald. "We see a trend and are able to democratise it – so give great quality, more convenience, and at better prices than the competition."

Data sourced from Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff


Facebook pushes brands to pay

18 November 2014
MENLO PARK, CA: In response to users, Facebook is to reduce the number of promotional posts that appear in their news feeds from brands whose pages they have 'liked'.

The company announced that from January it was introducing "new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages".

According to the announcement, as part of an ongoing survey, Facebook had asked "hundreds of thousands" of people how they felt about the content in their news feed and discovered that users wanted less promotional content – meaning fewer promotional posts from Pages they liked rather than fewer ads.

And Facebook also highlighted three particular types of post that people found annoying, including those that simply pushed people to buy a product or install an app, that pushed them to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context and that reused the same content as ads.

"Most of the stuff we listed, like sweepstakes, probably doesn't fall in the category of great content," Brian Boland, Facebook's vice president for ad products, told the New York Times. "We're responding to what people want to see."

Rejecting a suggestion that Facebook simply wanted to make more money from advertising, he said that "an ad maker doesn't want to serve content to people who don't want to see those posts".

The volume of material now being published means that some users could have up to 15,000 new items to see, so Facebook's algorithms are already filtering content to the detriment of brand posts, whose organic reach is estimated to have slipped to somewhere between 2% and 8%.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, advertisers will hardly be surprised by this latest development but they "have to be pretty annoyed that they spent all that time worried about accumulating lots of fans, who now they have to pay to reach".

But Jan Rezab, chief executive of social media analytics firm Socialbakers, said the focus on quality was correct. "Brands with high-quality content, like Red Bull, or ones with high engagement, like Harley-Davidson, will still reach their fans," he said.

Data sourced from Facebook, New York Times, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff


Consumers confused by green claims

18 November 2014
MARIETTA, GA: Consumers are confused by many of the green claims made on product packaging, especially those which are technical, generic or simply involve a logo with no context, a study has found.

For its Claiming Green report, UL Environment, a business offering certification, validation and testing services, surveyed 1,017 consumers in the US and Canada, and generated almost 42,000 head-to-head comparisons of green product claims in the DIY, electronics, personal care and cleaning categories.

The claims were divided into three types – certified claims, legitimate claims and problematic claims – depending on how well they met the Federal Trade Commission's Green Guides.

Certified claims performed best across all product categories, being chosen 54% of the time when put through a head-to-head comparison with problematic claims, which were chosen 24% of the time.

When legitimate claims were matched with problematic claims, they came out ahead, but by a narrower margin, being chosen 39% of the time to problematic's 35%. And in two categories – DIY and personal care – problematic claims were even chosen ahead of legitimate claims.

Respondents were also asked if they would pay up to 10% more for a product with third-party certifications, a question which produced a 58:42 split in favour of this proposal.

Drilling down further, respondents then viewed a list of potential claims in different categories and chose the ones they'd be willing to meet a 10% premium for. At this point, 70% chose at least one certified claim, while 59% chose at least one problematic claim and only 44% chose at least one legitimate claim.

This demonstrated, said UL Environment, that "consumers assign real value to third-party certifications", and products carrying these marks were "likely increasing the perceived value" of their offering.

But how that matter is presented remains an issue: a logo with the certifying body's name and no explanation of what it meant were poorly received, for instance. Consumers also reacted negatively to claims with overly technical or generic language.

"As purchasers become more sophisticated about product claims, successfully communicating green claims is more important than ever to a company's brand and reputation," said Lisa Meier, UL Environment's vice president and general manager.

Data sourced from PR Newswire, UL Environment; additional content by Warc staff


Sports tops Aussie TV tweets

18 November 2014
SYDNEY: Australia's reputation as a sporting nation extends beyond the arena to the sofa, as new research shows Australians to be among the world's most enthusiastic users of Twitter when viewing sport on television.

Nielsen, the measurement business, partnered with the microblogging site to monitor social TV conversations across Australia and found that sports generated 36% of all TV-related tweets. This was well ahead of the next two subjects for tweeting: reality shows and current affairs each accounted for 20% of tweets, then came news (16%) and drama (6%), The Australian reported.

"We seem to be over-indexing in sport," said Danny Keens, Twitter's global chair of television. "It's definitely bigger in Australia than it is in the US. It's a lot bigger than what we thought it would be."

The data showed that, during October, there were more than 1.2m tweets related to TV programs which generated more than 97.5m impressions.

The five highest rating programs in terms of Twitter engagement were the National Rugby League grand final and the Bathurst 1000 touring car race, followed by the finales of three reality shows – The Block, The Bachelor, and The X Factor.

Keens noted that all five were locally produced, as were all the related tweets. "It opens up huge opportunities for us to continue to work more closely with the broadcasters and the production houses here," he said.

Subscribers to the new metric are understood to get access to real-time analysis of what people are tweeting about across all TV shows, while the study is to be expanded to include data on which brands viewers are tweeting about, according to Scott Gillham, Nielsen head of Twitter TV Ratings.

"Being able to measure and evaluate TV programs by their social engagement allows networks to better understand audience reactions to their programming, while offering advertisers and agencies another element in evaluating where to place media spend and the impact of those placements in driving earned media," he said.

Data sourced from The Australian; additional content by Warc staff


SMEs key to Indian luxury market

18 November 2014
NEW DELHI: Consumer confidence in India has grown in the wake of the election of a new government earlier this year, and while opinions are divided on what that means for the luxury sector, there is a greater consensus on the importance of small business owners.

"[Brands] are going out of their way to reach out to consumers who have the money but [are not familiar] with luxury products, such as SME owners," Neelesh Hundekari, partner at consultancy A.T. Kearney India, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

"It is acknowledged by every [industry player] that SME owners are the segment with the highest potential, and all luxury products now target that segment," he added.

Hundekari further advised "micro-segmenting" that market, breaking down the owners by, for example, region and ethnicity, in order to more precisely target potential buyers.

Some observers regard the recent upbeat economic mood as being positive for the luxury sector, but others are more cautious.

A recent analysis by Euromonitor International, for example, noted long-standing issues around the availability of suitable retail space and skilled retail staff, as well as the high customs duties on imported products.

Many luxury consumers are value conscious and opt to shop overseas, according to Hundekari, with the result that the Indian luxury market will experience "explosive growth", of the sort seen in China until recently, unless customs duties are rationalised. Restrictions on foreign direct investment would also have to be eased.

That being the case, he suggested luxury brands needed to be "really sharp and smart" in their marketing and retail presence and to look to keep stores small, and not necessarily in luxury malls, in order to minimise overheads.

One example of a brand being smart in its marketing approach is TAG Heuer, the upmarket watchmaker. Puneet Sewra, marketing director for India explained to [Impact] that "breakthrough marketing helps when you have a small media budget".

When it announced film actor Ranbir Kapoor as a brand ambassador, the event took place at the home of the annual Formula One Grand Prix and featured stunt performances and the actor himself parachuting in.

"To create noise, you need to create talking points, something that people can remember and relate to," said Sewra. "We reach a selective audience and attempt to create a lasting memory by what we have done and not because they are seeing our ads 20 times a day."

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific, [Impact]; additional content by Warc staff


Bank of America drives branding change

18 November 2014
ORLANDO, FL: Bank of America, the financial services group, is showing how to transform a business and brand in the connected, socially-conscious age by drawing on the insights of experts ranging from political leaders to community activists.

Anne Finucane, the company's global chief strategy/marketing officer, discussed this subject while speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' 2014 Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Florida.

In detailing how the firm has revolutionised its approach – a process summed up by the tagline "Life's better when we're connected" – she outlined the diverse mix of stakeholders it has called upon.

"The think tanks [and] the academic institutions elevated our thinking," she said. (For more, including how BoA has reconnected with consumers and its employees, read Warc's exclusive report: Repositioning Bank of America: From Main Street and Wall Street to Capitol Hill.)

"And then we went to see politicians, both in Washington and in their home states, to talk about what we were doing in their home state about lending, investing, foreclosures, loan modifications, employment."

Another cohort Bank of America reached out to was community leaders who were tackling challenges like affordable housing and rejuvenating deprived areas – problems it has the power and muscle to help tackle.

"We had to talk to community activists, and they were not going to be satisfied with marketing phrases: they wanted real data and real evidence," said Finucane.

In a bid to formalise such principles on an on-going basis, BoA has established a National Community Advisory Council featuring 24 senior figures from the social, cultural, spiritual and political worlds.

One of the main responsibilities of this body is to assess the bank's strategic direction and new products through the lens of their potential impact on major issues facing society.

"They challenged every decision we made. We brought to them product decisions for what we were doing on foreclosures and loan modifications – they challenged us," said Finucane.

Going to such lengths has reflected both the magnitude of the obstacles that Bank of America was up against as a result of the financial crisis and its commitment to thoroughgoing change.

"We needed to … demonstrate value to all the audiences that you can imagine, all the constituencies that any one of us deals with us: multinationals, elected officials, influencers in the US, Asia, Latin America, Europe; our customers; and, probably, at that point, most importantly, our employees," Finucane said.

Data sourced from Warc


'Super-sharers' drive video views

17 November 2014
LONDON: Almost 83% of video shares worldwide are made by just 17.9% of internet users and Facebook is by far the most used sharing platform, a new global study has found.

The Geography of Sharing Report by Unruly, the marketing technology company, analysed video sharing patterns across 11 countries and over 521bn video views.

The majority of video shares occur on Facebook (59.4%), the report discovered, but Twitter is also popular and used by 13.8%, followed by Google+ (9.3%), Tumblr (5.7%) and Pinterest (3.9%).

Over three-quarters of video views take place outside of YouTube, the report said, but among those who use YouTube, video-sharers in Brazil are the most active.

Looking at the 17.9% of internet users who account for 82.4% of video shares – a group Unruly identifies as "super-sharers" – the report found they share videos with their social networks more than once a week. In all, 8.6% of them do so daily.

Olly Smith, EMEA MD at Unruly, suggested advertisers looking to drive more earned media should target these "super-sharer" consumers.

"Our data shows that for brands wanting to extend their audience reach and maximise earned media on their digital video campaigns, targeting super-sharers across a broad range of platforms greatly increases their chances of success," he said.

Smith added that "local activation" is the key to success, considering that the report found differences in behaviour around the world.

South Koreans, for example, are the fastest sharers, with 20% of shares occurring within the first 24 hours of the launch. They are also the most likely (28%) to click, replay or share an ad than users in the other 10 countries covered in the study.

At 79%, viewers in Germany are more likely to watch an ad to the end, followed by the UK (77%), but across all countries happiness is the main motivation to share a video.

Data sourced from Unruly; additional content by Warc staff


Luxury market growth slows sharply

17 November 2014
LONDON: The global luxury goods industry recorded growth of just 2.4% last year, significantly down from 2012's 10.4% rise, a new report has revealed.

According to the luxury and cosmetics financial factbook 2014 from EY, the professional services firm, this made 2013 perhaps the "most challenging" year since the recession of 2009 for luxury companies.

It calculated the global luxury market at €217bn in 2013 and also noted that the global cosmetics market recorded modest growth of 3.8%, suggesting an overall valuation of €175bn for the year.

However, more positively, EY forecast growth in the luxury market of between 4% and 6% over the next couple of years and that China will remain a key market. The industry also maintained profitability despite last year's decline in growth, EY said.

Chinese consumers accounted for about a third of global luxury spend in 2013, but are expected to add up to 40% to luxury growth by 2020 as incomes rise and teenagers push demand.

That said, EY warned brands that the Chinese market is coming under pressure from new government regulations against gift-giving, higher prices caused by luxury sales taxes and changing consumer trends.

Chinese consumers are becoming more discerning, for example, and have a growing desire for more high-end products. They also lack brand loyalty, the report said, and want more use of digital channels.

Turning to the cosmetics market, EY said the longer term outlook remains positive as the number of consumers with access to these products in emerging markets is expected to increase by 50%.

Consequently, the beauty industry is expected to double in the next 10 to 15 years as more and more consumers in tropical climates or living in relatively polluted cities seek out high quality cosmetics.

Luxury brands also need to ensure they have online and ecommerce strategies in place, EY advised. Although online business accounted for only 4.5% of global sales, EY said the sector is growing at a "massive" 30% year on year.

Data sourced from EY; additional content by Warc staff


P&G looks to sampling

17 November 2014
CINCINNATI, OH: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, intends to divert an increasing proportion of its marketing spend into sampling, in an effort to reach the many people who have never tried its brands.

Speaking at an investor conference, AG Lafley, the company's ceo, highlighted how such programs had been instrumental in propelling the Pampers diaper brand to market leadership in the US.

And while reaching new mothers in hospitals, for example, is a relatively straightforward process, P&G is also tackling more difficult-to-reach demographics, with its Gillette shaving brand aiming to send one of its latest-technology razors to every US male on his 18th birthday.

Gillette is a well-known name, but its top-end range of Fusion ProGlide blades have apparently only been tried by 14% of American men. Swiffer, the innovative cleaning product, has similarly been tried by just 10% of US consumers.

In addition to this focus on what Lafley described as "point of market entry", agencies were hit by a second announcement that P&G is also planning to make fewer ads, Advertising Age reported.

"With the overwhelming amount of information clutter in the world, we're finding that fewer advertising messages, communicated more consistently and with fewer changes, are more effective at delivering top-of-mind awareness," said Procter's global brand building officer, Marc Pritchard. 

He also revealed that the business was now using a proprietary programmatic buying system as it continued to put more money into digital advertising.

These developments are the latest in a series of shifts taking place at P&G, which earlier this year revealed it was planning to sell up to 100 brands, around half its total portfolio, and concentrate instead on the remaining "core" brands that account for 90% of sales and 95% of profits.

Only last week, investment mogul Warren Buffett bought the Duracell battery brand. Lafley said then: "We will continue to accelerate and increase productivity savings, sharpen our strategies and strengthen our portfolio."

Cutting the number of ads will also result in lower agency and production costs, and P&G's chief financial officer, Jon Moeller, was keen to see a continuing decline in non-advertising costs, which currently account for around a third of its total marketing budget.

But he also indicated that these savings would be reinvested in more marketing, noting that brands such as Tide and Pampers had actually increased their spending as a share of sales last year.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Reuters, Forbes; additional content by Warc staff


How to build support for analytics

17 November 2014
NEW YORK: Brands seeking to build out their analytics capabilities should consider using a "high-profile, high-priority area" as a test case to help secure buy in from other departments, a leading executive has argued.

Justin Croft, manager/brand platforms at C Spire - the telecoms group - discussed this subject after winning the 2014 Marketing Analytics Leadership Award, a competition launched by MarketShare, the analytics firm.

"There's nothing wrong with setting out to build a marketing analytics program, but all the stakeholders should be aligned on a problem that's core to your strategy," he said. (For more, including tips from Intel and Citrix, read Warc's exclusive report: Putting data to work: Insights from the 2014 Marketing Analytics Leadership Award.)

"Pick a high-profile, high-priority area that everyone will be thrilled to have insight into. Then the skillsets, resources and technologies will flow from there."

C Spire has yielded the benefits that come with rigorous analytics by creating a "predictive next-best action system" which is integrated across all of its customer touchpoints.

This system led it to win the Marketing Analytics Leadership Award, which was run in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). Warc and Advertising Age were the contest's media partners.

By using its bespoke platform, C Spire has achieved broad reach for offers, optimised marketing messages to suit specific audiences and fuelled return on investment in terms of customer retention, upselling and service.

"In general," Croft observed, "analytics gives brand marketers justifiable, defendable results that they can use to make sound, fact-based decisions about their business.

"That also helps to make decisions more relatable to non-marketers - it makes it easier to explain an investment to accounting, for example."

Looking at the analytics function overall, he suggested that the "breadth of topics and challenges" which experts in the discipline are expected to address has increased dramatically in the last few years.

More specifically, they are now required to move beyond duties such as marketing mix modelling into areas including in-depth segmentation, social-media and drawing on sensor and log data.

Generally, the bulk of problems "can be solved with the data you use every day", like that concerning transactions and customer behaviour, Croft reported.

The real challenge involves achieving the necessary level of "focus and understanding" that truly effective analytics demands on an on-going basis, he added.

Data sourced from Warc


Brands innovate with retail stores

17 November 2014
SHANGHAI: A number of leading brands are enjoying success and reaching out to Chinese consumers after adapting their "concept stores" to local tastes and conditions.

They include Johnnie Walker, the world's biggest Scotch whisky label owned by Diageo, and M&M's, the chocolate brand owned by Mars.

According to a report in Campaign-Asia, these brands are among those that have become increasingly aware of the importance of creating a sensory experience for customers who visit bricks-and-mortar stores.

M&M's, for example, has opened a new concept store in Shanghai's Brilliance Shimao International Plaza and it has attracted a large following among young consumers.

Part of its success is because M&M's took inspiration from Chinese culture, heritage and modern architecture, the report said.

In similar fashion, Johnnie Walker has launched a portfolio of "Johnnie Walker House" concept stores in Shanghai and other cities where customers can learn about whisky culture and immerse themselves in the brand's history and provenance.

"With Johnnie Walker House, we offer unique experiences – part education, part private club, part museum, part retail – for our consumers," explained James Thompson, global managing director at Diageo Reserve.

As well as improving the shopping experience, other key factors that underpin a successful concept store include adaptation to the local market, history, accessibility and location, regional marketers explained.

"They plant a flag in a city and firmly in consumers' minds to say, 'This is a leading brand, this is a winning brand', and everyone likes to bet on a winner," said Richard McCabe, regional planning director at McCann Worldgroup.

It comes as delegates at a retail conference in Singapore last week heard that over half of the world's shopping mall space currently under construction is happening in China.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) told participants that developers are also building a variety of formats across the country and in the wider region.

These include luxury factory outlet centres, especially in China in response to a slowing luxury market, as well as luxury malls in Singapore and the Thai capital, Bangkok.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia, Inside Retail Asia; additional content by Warc staff


Consumer spending rises in US

17 November 2014
ATLANTA, GA: Consumer spending climbed by almost 4% in the US last month, providing an impressive prelude to the holiday season, according to a new report.

First Data Corporation, the financial services tech firm, stated that a strong Halloween - which also had the advantage of falling on a Friday - contributed to 3.8% year-on-year dollar spending growth in October.

This trend built on an expansion of 3.1% during September, and was driven in part by early holiday shopping, the company revealed.

Average ticket prices rose by 0.7% last month, although the rising cost of gas and a slew of deals and offers from retailers ahead of the holidays meant this figure was down from exactly 1% in September.

Breaking out the numbers by category, the leisure sector saw an annual uptick of 4.6% in October, with recreation and amusement parks fuelling this result.

Food and beverage stores enjoyed a lift of 4.9%, while food services and drinking places registered growth of 6.3% in the same period.

Krish Mantripragada, svp/information and analytics solutions at First Data, struck an optimistic note about the mood of American consumers.

"We're off and running with a strong start to the holiday shopping season as this year, consumers are showing confidence in their early spending," he said. "This confidence, which is buoyed by a lower unemployment rate, made October 2014 a robust spending month."

At the regional level, the Southwest recorded an improvement of 5.4% in October, with new home sales and rising employment guiding the Midwest to an increase of 4.7%.

Credit cards delivered dollar volume growth of 5.5%, a total reaching 3.4% for prepaid, as well as 2.5% for pin debit and 2.1% for signature debit. Cheques, by contrast, logged a modest gain of 0.1%.

Data sourced from First Data Corporation; additional content by Warc staff


Hong Kong should improve mobile

17 November 2014
HONG KONG: Although nearly three-quarters (74%) of Hong Kong consumers will search online for potential purchases, only 30% will see the process through to a sale, research from Google has shown.

In the Hong Kong segment of its global Consumer Barometer study, Google found 39% of respondents in the territory encountered difficulties accessing brand websites on mobile, Marketing Interactive reported.

Commonly cited problems included the user experience interfaces of websites, such as search and navigation, and the absence of ecommerce functions like product selection and check-out facilities.

With mobile adoption in Hong Kong now standing at 74%, up from 63% last year, it has become essential for brands to develop a good mobile website, said Dominic Allon, MD of Google Hong Kong.

He said Hong Kong has the strongest bias towards smartphones in the world and has grown a highly mobile consumer base, which meant the business community should be leading mobile too.

"We are seeing the emergence of the mobile-only era. If you don't have a good mobile website, your shop is basically closed to these people," he explained.

This was underlined in further survey findings that 14% of respondents in Hong Kong use only their smartphones to browse the internet, compared to 6% in the UK and just 3% in Japan.

Also, 13% of people in Hong Kong use their mobile devices to browse websites more than they do via PCs.

"Consumers here have evolved and brands and businesses in Hong Kong need to wake up fast. Not having a good mobile site is like closing the blinds on your shop window during opening hours," Allon warned in comments reported by the Standard.

"Businesses should engage with the consumers the moment they start searching, and on the screens where they spend most of their time," he added.

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive, Standard; additional content by Warc staff


Black Friday hits UK

14 November 2014
LONDON: More UK retailers are gearing up for Black Friday as US-owned businesses have imported the tradition and as it has gained widespread awareness among UK consumers.

A survey of 1,000 UK shoppers by consumer experience business eDigitalResearch and Global Consumer Knowledge Centre IORMA revealed that a "staggering" 72% had heard of the shopping term Black Friday and that almost one quarter (22%) had bought something on Black Friday in the past.

Chris Russell, Joint CEO at eDigitalResearch and IORMA Board Advisor, noted that until very recently few people were even aware of the term but many were now "actively anticipating the day to arrive" – 28 November this year.

He emphasised that retailers needed to be ready to exploit the opportunity. "The entire retail experience and customer journey – from marketing to logistics – needs to be exceptional," he stated.

The first stirrings of UK Black Friday came in 2010, when online retail giant Amazon promoted it, but it really gained traction in 2013, when others, including Walmart-owned supermarket chain Asda, offered deals in store.

An Asda spokesperson told Retail Week: "Customers told us they loved the amazing deals on offer. We will see even bigger and better deals [this year]."

Among the other retailers preparing for the day are supermarket Sainsbury's, department store John Lewis and online merchant Shop Direct.

"This is the first time we have done it," said Sainsbury's non-food director James Brown. "But we have seen what they do in the States ... we talked about how our customers are increasingly aware of the Black Friday event."

The advertising industry stands to benefit from an extra boost to the annual pre-Christmas spend. Shop Direct, for example, is investing £1m to promote a week of Black Friday events and Sainsbury will also be promoting its deals.

Cyber Monday, the online equivalent of Black Friday, has less resonance among UK consumers – just under half (45%) had heard the term – but the date roughly co-incides with a surge in online retail activity in the UK as almost one third (30%) of consumers expected to make the majority of their Christmas purchases around then.

"What was once a traditional event originating in one country can very quickly now migrate in the global online borderless world, to markets in other countries," noted John Andrews, Chairman and CEO of IORMA.

Data sourced from eDigitalResearch, Retail Week; Additional content by Warc staff


Marketers must address privacy issue

14 November 2014
LONDON: Marketers consistently underestimate the level of consumer concern regarding the (mis)use of their contact details and the unauthorised distribution of such information to third parties, new research has found.

The Annual Marketing-GAP Tracker from fast.Map, the online market research agency, took a particular interest in this issue ahead of impending European Union legislation that plans to make consumers opt in to marketing contact, rather than the current opt-out approach.

Most consumers "don't bother to even read the opt-out box", said the report, as it warned that new laws "could spell instant death to third-party data collection companies and an end to prospect-driven direct marketing".

Based on the responses of two panels – 1,180 consumers and 310 marketers – fast.Map found that executives "underestimate by up to 100% all consumers' areas of concern".

For example, 85% of consumers said they would be concerned or very concerned if their details were passed to another organisation but only 45% of marketers thought shoppers might see this as a problem.

In a similar vein, 83% of consumers would be worried if an organisation did not keep the promises they had made in their permission statement. And, again, fully 45% of marketers failed to appreciate the depth of consumer feeling on the matter.

In fact, the research showed that only 6% of people would opt in to receive marketing messages from all the companies that currently contact them, although 19% of marketers thought they would.

And consumers also increasingly expect something in return for receiving this messaging – discounts, special offers and samples were all persuasive benefits that marketers undervalued.

"This is the new battleground of marketing," David Cole, fast.MAP managing director, told Marketing Week. "There will be a huge growth in compliance and helping marketers gain consent."

He added that marketers would have to deploy skills of "analysis, copywriting and creativity to engage people on that new battleground".

And he warned against "weak-willed marketers" delegating the copywriting to lawyers, as this would simply result in databases being decimated.

Data sourced from fast.MAP, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


Music streaming faces shake-up

14 November 2014
NEW YORK: YouTube's launch of a Music Key, a subscription service that allows users to play music videos without being interrupted by ads, marks a potentially significant change in the digital music landscape.

With 1bn monthly users YouTube has long been the most popular music platform in the world among fans, but the music industry is less enamoured as its product has been given away free with very little coming back in the form of royalties.

The Wall Street Journal noted that the average user of a free, ad-supported streaming service was worth around $4 a year to record companies, a far cry from the $50-$75 common in an earlier era when people bought physical products.

Spotify is the leading streaming service that charges users, and around 70% of a subscriber's annual $120 payment goes back to record labels and music publishers, putting it on par with records and CDs.

But Spotify has three times as many free users as paying subscribers – 37.5m against 12.5m – and the split at Pandora is even more stark – 76.5m monthly active users in the US but just 3.5m who pay.

Record labels and artists are understandably keen to see more people pay for subscriptions, a stance highlighted recently by Taylor Swift who pulled her entire catalogue from Spotify, apparently after it refused to restrict access to her music to subscribers.

With YouTube now entering the subscription market, the economics for labels and artists start to look distinctly different. Given the platform's size, even if only a small proportion of its users start paying, there will be rather more income to redistribute.

One record company executive said that in hindsight it had been a mistake to ever allow licensees to offer any on-demand listening features free. The major labels are now reported to be pressing streaming services to cut back on their free-trial periods, to do more to reduce churn rates and to sell more advertising on their free services.

Ads are what often drive users to sign up, in order to avoid them, something keen music lovers are more likely to do. 

"What we need is the average music consumer to sign up for Spotify," Robb McDaniels, chief executive of INgrooves, a digital distributor, told the New York Times. "We've got the high-volume users, the uber users. But we need the soccer moms."

Data sourced from YouTube, Wall Street Journal, New York Times; additional content by Warc staff


Kraft taps power of first-party data

14 November 2014
ORLANDO: Kraft Foods believes that first-party data collected directly by companies and brands constitutes a uniquely powerful tool for understanding consumers and fully meeting their needs.

Deanie Elsner, evp/cmo of Kraft Foods Group, discussed this subject when speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2014 Masters of Marketing conference.

And while she conceded that grocery manufacturers are not the most obvious candidates to lead the big data revolution, many players in this space have digital assets which supply a raft of invaluable information.

"Data, in this space, is the new currency," she said. (For more, including examples of how the firm is using data, read Warc's exclusive report: Kraft Foods translates big data into brand success.)

As with monetary currencies, however, not all forms of data possesses equal worth. And for Kraft, leveraging first-party data is a particularly profitable approach.

"It's data that you own; you have full transparency of that data; you understand everything about your consumer – their behaviours, their likes, their dislikes," Elsner said.

Alongside these strengths, "the best part" of first-party data, she continued, is that "it's proprietary and it's free" – making it both impossible to duplicate and an extremely cost-effective source of insights.

While many brand custodians are forced to rely on aggregated figures and estimates from audience modelling, Kraft Foods can thus tap into "the real thing".

More specifically, mixing sales figures with shopper, social and advertising data – among other sources – holds enormous potential for marketers. "Imagine how powerful that is," Elsner said.

And she left the ANA attendees in no doubt about the necessity of utilising such material if they are to acquire a deep knowledge of the customer.

"You need a lot of data today to understand how to get to this new consumer. You need to understand them behaviourally. You need to understand where they go, what they think, where they shop," she said.

"And once you action that data, you've got to have something to talk to this new consumer about. And that is how we're approaching big data."

Data sourced from Warc


Small brands champion new sports leagues

14 November 2014
MUMBAI: Lesser known brands have led the charge into India's new range of sporting leagues, but early success means they could be pushed aside by larger brands seeking to exploit a proven channel.

The commercial triumph of India Premier League cricket has spawned copies in other sports in the past couple of years, including the Hockey India League and the Indian Badminton League, while 2014 alone has seen the advent of football's Indian Super League, the Pro Kabaddi League and the World Kabaddi League, with the Champions Tennis League due to begin shortly.

The IPL behemoth attracts major advertisers who can afford the significant sums involved. The new leagues appeal to smaller advertisers, many of whom are using sport as a marketing platform for the first time, who see an opportunity to gain national exposure at considerably less cost than using cricket.

Listing the franchisees involved in the Pro-Kabbadi League, Indian Badminton League and the Hockey India League, Afaqs noted that among the real estate majors, lifestyle brands and retail companies were many that were significant regional players but without a national presence.

The price of participation in the new sporting leagues is a fraction of that required for cricket. According to Afaqs, sponsorship ranges between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 2 crore, while on-ground sponsorship on cricket in 2013 averaged Rs. 508 crore and team sponsorship was just over Rs. 600 crore.

"If the leagues can get their pricing right they will open a brand new window," stated Darshan M, CEO of sports marketing consultancy Spoment Media. Positioning was also going to be important. "It is unfortunate if they start comparing themselves with cricket and alienate themselves," he added.

With so many of these new leagues only in their first or second year, brands are still at an experimental stage. Sandeep Tarkas, CEO of the Bengal Warriors kabbadi team which is owned by Future Group, related how a major brand had declined to get involved. "The first year needed a belief which the small advertisers showed," he said.

That faith was rewarded as broadcaster Star India recently revealed it had achieved unexpectedly high ratings and engagement figures for its coverage of the Pro-Kabbadi League.

Recent research on Asian sports fans suggests brands should consider segmenting them in terms of their behaviour, rather than simply targeting the most avid: interactive fans, for example, have a higher predisposition to supporting sponsorship.

Data sourced from Afaqs; additional content by Warc staff


Marketers target Chinese commuters

14 November 2014
NEW YORK/BEIJING: Chinese smartphone users interact with mobile ads three times more on a daily basis than their American counterparts, according to new research which also identifies an opportunity to target them with ads during their commute to work.

A study carried out for trade organisations IAB and IAB China surveyed 500 respondents in each country found that differences in lifestyle and transport were major factors in explaining how each nation consumed mobile media.

Thus, for example, more US mobile users consume media on their devices when they first wake up in the morning (39%), while more Chinese users do so right before bed (45%). Chinese users also conduct media-related activities on their smartphone during their commute and at coffee breaks more than American users.

In fact, Chinese consumers are three times as likely as Americans to use a smartphone while on public transport. And the IAB said that consumers' mobile use while commuting in China could be likened to premium commuter time radio in the US.

Mobile ads served in China during travel to and from work could be similarly successful to US drivetime radio advertising, it suggested, and could facilitate purchases with a diversion to a store or restaurant on the way.

"Previous studies have pointed to our country as being 'mobile first,' and this study reinforces that fact, while uncovering key factors that can make all the difference when launching a mobile ad campaign in China," said Chen Yong, who leads IAB China.

The greater use of public transport in China was also thought to be a factor in consumers there being more likely to view full-length TV shows on their smartphones on a weekly basis (71% v 28%).

Chinese smartphone users are more likely to interact with ads on the device – almost six in ten (59%) do so at least once a day – three times as many as American users (22%).

The research also found that the characteristics of mobile ads most likely to elicit a consumer response were similar in both countries.

These included ads related to something that people are currently shopping for, ads that include a coupon for an item that is already under purchase consideration, ads that consumers think are "fun" and ads for users' favourite brands.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff


US auto buyers shun Chinese marques

14 November 2014
NEW YORK: Close to half of those US consumers in the market for a new car would consider a foreign brand but Chinese marques come far down their, list new research has shown.

According to the Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery Study from researcher GfK, 44% of those intending to buy a new vehicle in the future said its country of origin would influence their purchase decision. Most (91%) would consider a US brand, while those from Germany (67%) and Japan (66%) were also popular options.

But just 18% would consider a vehicle made in China; only Russia and India (both 16%) came below China in the estimation of US buyers. But these views varied widely according to age: 7% of those over the age of 55 said they were 'very' or 'somewhat' open to a Chinese vehicle, compared to 33% for those under 35.

That trend was evident more generally, with intenders in the 55-plus age bracket more likely to care about country of origin than those under 35 (49% v 39%). Country-sensitive buyers were also more likely to be found in the Midwest, where 49% said place of origin mattered, and the Northeast, where the figure was 46%.

"Chinese vehicles clearly have a lot to prove in the US market," said Jeff Campana, svp/Auto at GfK. "Verbatim comments from our respondents show that negative publicity about Chinese products in other categories – such as pet food and toys – have spilled over to create concerns about Chinese vehicles." 

Qualitative research indicated that product quality and safety were the main reasons for the rejection of Chinese vehicles. Labour conditions, environmental regulations and economic competitiveness between China and the US also emerged as strong themes driving consumers away from considering Chinese vehicles.

"Auto makers in China have reason to take action," said Campana. "A concerted campaign demonstrating their commitment to safety could be essential to opening the US market to Chinese vehicles."

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff


Online motivations vary widely

13 November 2014
GLOBAL: Connected consumers globally are driven by four key motivations but the weight they give to each of these can vary significantly depending on the stage of a country's economic development according to a new report.

The Connected Consumer Study, produced by consulting firm A.T. Kearney, covered ten countries (the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Nigeria) with 10,000 evenly distributed respondents and identified personal connection, exploration, self-expression and convenience as the main stimuli for going online.

Exploration predictably attracted the highest response, with 95% of all those surveyed agreeing they wanted to get online in order to find and learn new things.

This was more true of mature markets – emerging markets tended to value self-expression more highly, as did those places where opportunities for offline self-expression are limited.

In China, Nigeria, and India, for example, more than 85% of respondents said the ability to express their opinions was a key reason for being online.

Interpersonal connection was cited by 73% of participants, and once again this was much stronger in some countries, with India (94%), Nigeria (89%) and China (88%) again standing out.

The convenience factor was more personal, as for some people it might mean home delivery, for others the ability to access sports or movie content.

These motivations, said Hana Ben-Shabat, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study, were changing the roles played by brands and retailers. If they were to be successful, she said, they would have to "address these needs by building communities, entertaining, and educating consumers and maintaining an ongoing dialogue".

From an advertising standpoint, the behaviour of the connected consumer followed the mature-emerging market divide. In the US, for example, just 7% of respondents clicked on banner ads or pop-ups, but in Nigeria 93% said they clicked on these at least sometimes; there were also very high figures for India (84%) and China (83%).

This split was also evident in social media, with up to three quarters of respondents in the US, UK, Germany and Japan saying they rarely or never considered social media chatter when thinking about which products, services or brands to buy.

But most consumers in China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Nigeria will use social network feedback when shopping. And in China almost 95% occasionally or frequently used social networks to evaluate products, services and brands.

Data sourced from AT Kearney; additional content by Warc staff


Neuroscience backs tablet ads

13 November 2014
LONDON: Advertising in tablet editions of newspapers can deliver the same levels of engagement and memorability as the print issue, new research has shown.

The Times commissioned a study utilising neuroscience to examine how readers responded at a subconscious level when viewing content on each version. The results, MediaTel reported, suggested that prevailing views would need to be reassessed.

While there were some small physical differences in how people accessed newspaper content on the different platforms, "if it is presented consistently, the way readers process the information and what they take out is similar across both content and advertising", the study said.

So, while tablet ads are typically seen for a shorter period than print ads they "still deliver the same levels of memorability".

Tablets were able to generate immediate visual attention; by comparison, print was a "slower burn medium, eliciting stronger levels of emotional intensity". But both delivered the same levels of memory encoding, or the ability to store and recall information, which in turn is seen as crucial in influencing future actions.

"This research challenges the common held belief in our industry that people behave differently based on which platform they are consuming content," said Abba Newbery, director of ad strategy for News UK Commercial. 

"What it actually shows is that behaviour is driven by content and not platform. If memory encoding for ads on print and tablet are the same despite people spending shorter time on tablet ads then maybe news brands should be charging the same?"

Insight consultant David Brennan added a note of caution, pointing out that "Times tablet readers are particularly engaged with the title if they are subscribers, so there may be a cohort effect".

But he felt the similarities in brain processing between tablet and print made sense. This "supports the view that mobile devices have enhanced traditional media experiences in a way that online via laptops and desktops do not," he added.

Data sourced from MediaTel; additional content by Warc staff


Connected TV takes off in Spain

13 November 2014
MADRID: Connected TV is gaining ground in the Spanish market as a new report shows almost one third of users there  have completely stopped watching TV programmes in the traditional way.

The Second Annual Survey of Connected TV and Video Online, produced by trade organisation IAB Spain in association with ecommerce marketing specialist VIKO and video advertising platform Smartclip, also revealed that smart TVs have become the main way to access connected TV with 54% of users adopting this route, a 20% uplift on 2013.

Almost one quarter (24%) of connected TV users said they were now watching less traditional TV and a similar proportion were watching online video, double that reported in 2013.

Angel Fernández Nebot, Smartclip country manager Spain, observed a 'gradual and profound change that is occurring in the way we consume media'.

As regards online video, the survey noted a 20% increase in the consumption via the websites hosting it, while that via social media had fallen 5%. YouTube dominated the online video market with 76% watching here. The nearest rival, Vimeo, was a long way behind on 12%, followed by Yomvi (10%), Nubeox (6%) and wakiTV (5%).

When it came to actual content, there was an upward trend for film, TVOD, music and exclusive internet programmes.

While users could pay up to €6 a month to access this material, almost two thirds (64%) of Spaniards were willing to accept online video advertising if that meant they could get free content.

"The adaptation and evolution of connected connectivity is a reality that opens up many options for users and advertisers," declared Antonio Traugott, Director General of IAB Spain.

"Smart TV penetration will continue to grow, which will mean increased investment in advertising and communication on connected TVs. Its evolution will accelerate so that eventually investment in digital will surpass conventional television."

Data sourced from IAB Spain; additional content by Warc staff


Brands look to cultural identity

13 November 2014
SINGAPORE: Global brands need to address Asian consumers' desire for a sense of identity and relevance amid fears that traditional values are eroding, according to new research.

The latest findings from the ongoing Generation Asia study conducted by the Y&R agency, which covers 32,000 people in ten Asian markets, found that 73% of 36-60 year-olds and 70% of 18-35 year-olds were worried about how globalisation had affected long-held standards.

Interestingly, the two groups had arrived at this conclusion from opposite directions – the older being raised with aspirations to international ideals, while the younger were increasingly seeking their own cultural place in the world.

Much of this change was taking place in the public realm – three quarters of respondents felt that it was solely within the family that attempts were being made to preserve values – emphasising the role advertisers have to play.

Y&R advocated a new 'culturalisation' approach to marketing communications. "This need to connect with people's cultural identity is what brands really need to focus on instead of the supposed choice, and endless tired debates, of globalisation versus localisation," said Hari Ramanathan Chief Strategy Officer, Y&R Asia.

One might argue that localisation necessarily involves at least some element of culturalisation. When Peter Field analysed the shortlisted entries to the first Warc Prize for Asian Strategy he noted that local insights had been essential to the success of many campaigns.

"The campaigns that increasingly work hardest are the ones that drive the most buzz and sharing, and these are almost without exception very local … For a campaign to have a strong buzz effect it needs to be inspiring and surprising and both these qualities tend to be culturally dependent," he wrote.

A recent episode of Jing Daily's Thoughtful China series made a similar point about the potential for the use of language and culture by international brands.

"A lot of the humour in Chinese language, and especially on the internet, is around puns," said Sam Flemming, founder and CEO of Kantar Media CIC. "If a foreign brand uses Chinese puns, it really demonstrates that they are global but also that they are local."

Data sourced from WPP, Jing Daily; additional content by Warc staff


US citizens downbeat on privacy

13 November 2014
WASHINGTON, DC: The great majority of US citizens feel they have no control over their personal information and more are concerned about advertisers than government having access to the data they share on social media according to a new report.

The Pew Research Center's Internet Project commissioned a representative online panel of 607 adults to respond to a series of surveys in the wake of 2013's revelations about US government surveillance programs by contractor Edward Snowden; twenty six also participated in one of three online focus groups.

Fully 91% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that consumers had lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.

And 80% of those who used social networking sites said they were concerned about third parties like advertisers or businesses accessing the data they shared on these sites.

Despite Snowden's exposure of government activities, people were still marginally more prepared to trust it than advertisers, as 70% of social networking site users said that they were at least somewhat concerned about the government accessing some of the information they shared on social networking sites without their knowledge.

Two thirds of Americans (64%) also thought the government should do more to regulate advertisers, compared with 34% who believed the government should not get more involved.

But even though they were unhappy about who was accessing their information and the uses to which it was being put, Americans were prepared to make trade-offs in certain circumstances, such as when their sharing of information provided access to free services.

Six in ten (61%) disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: 'I appreciate that online services are more efficient because of the increased access they have to my personal data.'

At the same time, however, 55% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: 'I am willing to share some information about myself with companies in order to use online services for free.'

Among the things they are most unwilling to share are social security details and information about their health and medication. More happily for advertisers, few regarded their basic purchasing habits (7%) or media preferences (9%) as being very sensitive.

Data sourced from Pew Center; additional content by Warc staff


Modern life is hard, say Indian men

13 November 2014
MUMBAI: Indian men find many aspects of modern life difficult to deal with, from achieving a satisfactory standard of living to raising a family, a new report has said.

The ManMood study from agency FCB Ulka involved 100 hours of interviews with men aged 18 to 44, single and married, parents and non-parents, in both workshops and in-home interactions. They were from the A and B socio-economic classifications and from the four metros as well as smaller cities like Kochi, Mysore, Jodhpur and Indore. The picture that emerged was of an increasingly dissatisfied, materialistic, vain and selfish man.

Just 26% of those surveyed said they were happy with their standard of living, down from a figure of 46% in 2001. Writing in the Economic Times, Ruta Patel, head of strategic planning at FCB Ulka, said they had a different approach to life from previous generations, emphasising the practical and downplaying the role of values.

This attitude manifested itself in the tendency of men to define themselves in terms of material worth, which can only exacerbate unhappiness, as the report noted that 'the goal post of success is constantly shifting".

One example of this materialism was evident in the rush to acquire electronic gadgets. "The acquisition of an expensive electronic item obviates the concern of taking on a loan due to the perceived image as an 'asset'," the report said.

It also identified 'appearance anxiety' as a related trend, since grooming is associated with success. Younger Indian men, in particular, were concerned with this, and in less affluent households were likely to be an early adopter of various types of branded cosmetics.

Domestically, men were reassessing their role but remained some way from being the new-age man often portrayed by advertisers. They were helping around the house more than their own fathers ever did and were more engaged with their children, but there was an underlying resentment at the need to add these duties to those of breadwinner.

The research also highlighted how male thinking on parental responsibilities is changing, as there is an expectation that children will become financially independent very early, to the extent of paying for their own higher education.

This was a revelation, said Patel, who spoke of a sense of 'I am not going to get back any of the money I spend on my child". She suggested there were opportunities here for the finance sector to help relieve anxieties.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


ARF seeks 'hard truths' about advertising

13 November 2014
NEW YORK: The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) is launching an initiative to show "How Advertising Works", with the aim of highlighting "some hard truths" about the impact of communications.

Gayle Fuguitt, president/ceo of the organisation, discussed this topic while speaking at its 2014 Industry Leader Forum in New York.

And she reported that the "How Advertising Works" effort will tap into "more than six decades of insight" in reaching its goal.

"We're going to spend 2015, 2016 and 2017 moving [that content] forward," Fuguitt continued. (For more, see Warc's exclusive report: ARF unveils new "How Advertising Works" initiative.)

One of the main motivations behind this idea is economic in nature, as marketers are seeking to leverage big data in ever more deep and rigorous ways.

"A hundred billion dollars are going to pour into the insights-and-analytics field in the next three years. That's a 72% increase in growth," said Fuguitt.

The Advertising Research Foundation's program will also be grounded, at least in part, on a "measurement mandate" it shares with many of the industry's foremost trade associations.

Among these groups are the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Media Rating Council (MRC).

These bodies are collectively interested in several "key platforms" as they attempt to bring a new set of more standardised metrics to marketing, Fuguitt said.

Items on this list include identifying cross-platform GRPs and ROI and successfully incorporating creative quality into modelling.

"Since great advertising is fuelled 75% by creative quality and 25% by media," said Fuguitt, the formulation of a creative metric "is critical and important".

Further priorities involve supporting real-time course correction and encouraging collaborative processes, she added, in order to get "the right insight to the right decision maker at the right time".

Data sourced from Warc


CFOs don't know their ROMI

12 November 2014
LONDON: Three quarters of finance directors are unable to say what they get in return for their company's marketing spend, new research has shown.

Econsultancy surveyed 171 senior finance executives in the UK working at board or director level within organisations across a range of sectors and sizes, as well as carrying out in-depth interviews with both finance directors and chief marketing officers.

In an echo of Oscar Wilde's quip about cynics, most of the finance directors polled had a clear idea of what they were spending on marketing but were unable to quantify the return on investment.

What emerged from the research – being presented in full at the Festival of Marketing currently taking place in London's Tobacco Dock – was a picture of the two functions speaking different languages and not fully appreciating the role the other played.

So, for example, 62% of senior finance executives believed that marketing was a critical function within their business, but only 39% had confidence in marketers to make good commercial decisions.

But there was a clear need for that to change, as just over a third of finance executives (35%) believed that 'the role of marketing has expanded in recent years to include more strategic and financial responsibility'.

Accordingly, there was a widespread desire for marketing departments to show a greater understanding of commercial objectives (52%) and to provide realistic forecasts and projections (48%).

CMOs may be further disheartened by the finding that 24% of finance directors don't know what percentage of their organisations' revenues are directly driven by marketing activity.

But some had a more positive outlook. Andrew Peeler, CFO at health insurer Bupa, for example, understood that "from a finance perspective you can see marketing working when brand awareness is increasing, you're selling more, and you have truly differentiated products and service, you are gaining share".

Not only could marketing "demonstrate its value in terms that finance understands", he said, but the two should be "aligned from the onset of strategic decisions and key projects and build their plans together".

Data sourced from Econsultancy; additional content by Warc staff


Financial services marketers frustrated

12 November 2014
LONDON: The City of London may be a leading centre of world finance but it is not particularly creative in its approach to marketing, as a new survey finds many marketers working in financial services frustrated by the lack of support for creative communications strategies.

Digital agency Dog interviewed 200 marketing, advertising, PR and specialist digital creatives within the UK financial services sector and found that only 7% believed their creative skills were being fully valued and utilised. And almost all felt that creative content was not seen as being very important to the bottom line of the business.

Further, more than three quarters said their company's attitudes to new creative content strategies had not changed in the last three years, while one in four did not believe they were working in a creative industry.

A major problem appeared to be the reluctance of boardrooms to fully embrace the potential offered by digital channels and more creative marketing methods.

Almost one third of marketers cited a dearth of support at board level; just 2% of respondents reported an excellent level of engagement from the top echelon when proposing and delivering new creative content strategies. In addition, only 9% said their company had a forward thinking attitude towards the creative process.

A silo mentality clearly did not help, with over half of survey respondents seeing poor integration with other areas of the business as the biggest barrier to their effectiveness as a creative professional. Just 8% considered the marketing and communications functions in their organisations to be well integrated and connected.

Gerry McCusker, managing director of Dog commented on the frustration felt by marketers in the industry and the opportunities that were being missed. "In today's digitally led world, every marketing strategy should be creative, and all marketing activity should support wider business strategies." he said.

"The potential is huge, yet the financial services industry is lagging behind other sectors," he added.

David Cowan, managing director of The Financial Services Forum, welcomed the findings and challenged marketers to prove business impact while at the same time encouraging CEOs to be more open to the creative solutions brought by their marketing teams.

Data sourced from Dog; additional content by Warc staff


Unilever lifts viewability standards

12 November 2014
NEW YORK: FMCG group Unilever has raised the bar for what constitutes viewability in online advertising and in doing so has potentially set back an emerging industry consensus on this issue.

Earlier this year the Media Ratings Council published its Viewable Impression Measurement Guidelines, which spelled out specific parameters for how viewable impressions should be measured. These included a requirement that "50% of pixels must be in the viewable portion of an internet browser for a minimum of one continuous second to qualify as a viewable display impression". For video, 50% must be in view for at least two seconds.

Unilever, however, requires that 100% of an ad must be viewable in a browser, although it does not specify for how long. And for video, not only must 100% of the player be in view, a person must click to start it rather than having it play automatically, and then they must play at least half the ad with the sound on.

Rob Master, vp/media for the Americas at Unilever, told Advertising Age that "there's a huge opportunity to bring greater rigour and accountability where so much more money is flowing".

For Ari Bluman, chief digital investment officer at GroupM, which handles Unilever's media buying through its Mindshare agency, this was a straightforward, commonsense approach. "What we're asking for is that we no longer want to buy ads that are not viewed by human beings," he said.

But some within the industry expressed disappointment at this breaking of ranks. Sherrill Mane of the IAB noted that both Unilever and GroupM had been involved in the Making Measurement Make Sense initiative that brought together agencies and advertisers in a search for clear metrics.

"It's really a shame," she said, "because you want to start somewhere and build, not say 'We did this hard work but I don't care, we're going to take the standard where we want'."

She also worried that the higher standards could adversely affect smaller publishers who might now need to pay two MRC-accredited vendors to get two different viewership measurements.

Recently Vivek Shah, chair of the IAB, highlighted some of the ongoing problems around viewability, not least the "very cost-prohibitive viewability-vendor landscape".

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Singles Day just keeps growing

12 November 2014
BEIJING: China's annual online shopping day keeps getting bigger every year, with leading online retailer Alibaba reporting it had passed last year's $5.9bn record little over half way through the 24-hour retail marathon.

Singles Day originated some 20 years ago when university students chose it as an "anti-Valentine's Day" when single people could buy things for themselves. It was only five years ago that it took on its current form, when Alibaba-owned Tmall initiated it as an online shopping day, since when it has grown to become the world's biggest online retail sales day.

The much-anticipated event is now being targeted by brands in the same way they approach other significant dates in the retail calendar, such as Christmas or the Chinese New Year, Shaun Rein from China Market Research in Shanghai, told the BBC.

And more than 27,000 global brands have taken the plunge this year, some for the first time. For example, Tesla Motors, the US manufacturer of electric cars opened a store on Taobao and sold out its stock in a few hours. And international brands like retailer Uniqlo and sports goods maker Adidas reported a boom in sales.

But domestic brands were among the big winners. Phone maker Xiaomi reported it had sold 720,000 of its Mi smartphones within 12 hours. Huawei, the telecoms business, Haier, the white goods manufacturer, and Linshimuye, a furniture retailer, also featured among the top five sellers, as measured by gross merchandise value.

The scale of the day is extraordinary, with Alibaba shifting $1bn of goods within the first twenty minutes and $2bn after one hour. It expected sales revenues to be up almost 60% on last year at just over $9bn, more than twice the US's Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

CEO Jack Ma said he was now worried about making 260m deliveries on time. 

In a further indication of the rapidly shifting trends in Chinese ecommerce, around 43% of all sales value came via orders placed on mobile phones.

"We give them [shoppers] what they want, give them the value" Daniel Zhang, COO Alibaba, told Bloomberg TV. We'll focus on that, he added, and not worry about what rivals are doing.

Data sourced from Alibaba, BBC, Bloomberg, China Radio International; additional content by Warc staff


Marketers excited by programmatic

12 November 2014
NEW YORK: A majority of marketers are now buying with programmatic, but for many it is still new and they view it as 'exciting' and 'promising', a new study has said.

For The Programmatic Pulse, programmatic business Chango surveyed 232 brand marketers and interviewed key stakeholders in Fortune 500 companies. It found that three quarters (75%) of marketers were already using this buying method, but around one third (31%) had been doing so for less than 12 months.

Accordingly, marketers were described as "bullish" on programmatic's potential: when asked what word described their feelings about its future, the top responses were "optimistic", "exciting" and "promising".

There was none of the anxiety that can sometimes accompany the introduction of new technologies, Chango observed. That was also clear in the finding that many were shifting budgets to support it.

Three quarters anticipated that their programmatic budgets would increase in 2015, with most respondents believing that the greater part of digital buying will be done programmatically in the future.

Looking further ahead, 75% thought that programmatic would expand beyond display with 67% expecting it to embrace television.

The study showed that what marketers valued most about programmatic was the ability to target consumers across devices – this was cited by 80% of respondents. And close behind was the improved performance (78%) it offered.

Having a more complete data set and cost efficiencies (both 72%) were also important factors.

One third (33%) of respondents preferred to bring all their programmatic work in house, while slightly more (39%) opted to leave that side of things entirely to agencies. The remainder (28%) operated a mix of the two.

Amid all this enthusiasm there were, however, some inhibiting factors that were holding back the wider adoption of programmatic. Chief among these were the challenges of measuring the ROI of programmatic campaigns (67%) and the difficulty of integrating data (57%).

Earlier this year Warc published The Programmatic Primer, a guide to the online advertising ecosystem written by digital marketing expert Ted McConnell, which also includes examples of best practice and commentary from the industry's leading thinkers.

Data sourced from Chango; additional content by Warc staff


Brands neglect music streaming options

12 November 2014
SYDNEY: Brands in Australia are failing to take full advantage of the advertising opportunities offered by music streaming platforms, with many simply recycling the ads they run on other media.

That's the conclusion reached by Ad News which spent time listening to each of the ad-funded versions of the top three streaming sites in Australia – Rdio, Spotify and Pandora.

While all three sites offered around four 30-second ads per hour, AdNews observed that most brands' ads followed the style of those which appeared on websites, social channels and radio.

Kate Vale, Spotify managing director in Australia, admitted that some advertisers were using the platform as a replacement for radio, but added that "some of the strongest campaign results … have come from brands who tailor their ads to take advantage of the specific benefits of our ad platform".

And she offered the example of Disney, which had served targeted audio ads which did more than just ask listeners to watch the trailer for a new cinema release – they were also invited to engage with musical content from the film.

But such examples were so far the exception in the Australian market, AdNews suggested. Brands ought to be looking at how they could creatively exploit options such as playlists and sponsored ad-free segments which allow a user uninterrupted music for 30 minutes.

Over at Pandora, Jane Huxley, manager for Australia and New Zealand, said her listeners weren't specifically music lovers, but rather a wide audience who were usually doing something else while listening.

She preferred to focus on a different area. "The concept of wastage is critical to us," she said. "We pay royalties on every song we spin. We don't serve ads if you are not listening, we don't serve ads if you are not looking and we target our ads to relevant demographics."

Nonetheless, Ad News felt that advertisers who didn't explore the particular possibilities of music streaming were "potentially missing out on connecting with a new audience".

"Without creating engaging content, advertising on the platforms is a waste of money," it stated.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff


ANA 'embraces' total-market strategy

12 November 2014
MIAMI: The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the industry body, is "embracing" total-market communications, a strategy that has rapidly gained ground on more traditional forms of multicultural marketing.

Bob Liodice, the ANA's president/ceo, discussed this subject while giving his keynote speech at the trade group's 2014 Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference in Miami, Florida.

And he revealed the organization was far from alone in "embracing" this model, which is also supported by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) and Asian American Advertising Federation (AAAF).

To bring further clarity to this concept, Liodice defined it as: "A marketing approach followed by corporations and their trusted internal and external partners that proactively integrates diverse segment considerations." (For more, including three challenges facing multicultural marketers, read Warc's exclusive report: ANA embraces "total market strategy" at 2014 Multicultural Conference.)

He continued, "This is done from inception (with rigorous purchase drivers and insights of each segment) through the entire strategic process and execution with the goal of enhancing value and growth effectiveness."

While this technique is typically seen as being more all-encompassing than the previous multicultural tactics employed by brands, the notion outlined by the ANA, AHAA and AAAF did leave some room for flexibility.

Specifically, it incorporated three "potential total market approaches" that, together, offer a degree of malleability in how brands seek to engage with America's increasingly diverse populace.

The first member of this triumvirate involves adopting "one, fully-integrated 'new mainstream' approach," Liodice told the conference audience.

Additionally, brands may consider "individual Hispanic, African American, Asian or White Non-Hispanic segment approaches," he further ventured.

Finally, the ANA's chief executive suggested that "in most cases" marketers might be expected to combine these two formulations for their multicultural campaigns.

And, according to Liodice, each of these models necessarily comes with the caveat that they must always be aligned "under one overarching strategy".

Data sourced from Warc