Creative lines get blurred

1 October 2014
LONDON: Agencies no longer possess the "unfair advantage" of creativity and need to reconsider their position in a world where this talent is widespread and where the very definition of what it entails is becoming blurred.

Writing in a special edition of Admap marking its 50th anniversary, James Hurman, founder of Auckland-based innovation consultancy Previously Unavailable, argued that business and consumers had become far more creative in recent years and that the creative industries were "fast losing ownership of creativity".

In an article titled Creativity ain't what it used to be, he pointed to the example of Kickstarter, where the best videos "are every bit as good as the best case study videos at Cannes. And the best ideas within those videos are often better". At the same time, more consumers were becoming makers or co-creators.

And within the advertising world itself he had observed a shift in focus "from the communication of the product or experience to applying creativity to the actual product or experience".

One example of this was a previous winner of the Warc Prize for Innovation, The Overstay Checkout, a campaign for Art Series Hotels. This was based around the realisation that there was little point in requiring hotel guests to leave their room by 10am if there was no-one else checking in until much later.

So the hotel changed its policy and let guests stay for free until the next guest arrived. Or, as Hurman said: "It gave away something that cost the company nothing to create enormous perceived value."

While one of creators of this campaign regarded it as simply a pricing and policy change – nothing creative – Hurman argued that it was in fact "brilliantly creative, a stroke of genius".

He saw a similar process at work in this year's Cannes Creative Lions Grand Prix – Guilt Trips for the V/Line train operator in Australia, where parents guilt-tripped their 20-something children into paying them a visit. The commercial merit in this approach was evident in the sales of 160,000 extra train rides, he remarked.

Overall Hurman suggested that those companies which used creativity to position their brand though their product, experience and behaviour, while simultaneously tapping into universal human truths, were the ones that were winning out.

Data sourced from Admap


Oreo ranked top food brand

1 October 2014
LONDON: Snack brand Oreo, along with Mondelez International, have topped a new ranking of food brands and advertisers based on the Warc 100 database.

Oreo scored 91 points overall, beating second-ranked Wrigley's Extra by 50 points. M&M's, Lay's and Doritos rounded out the top five on 39, 36 and 35 points respectively.

Meanwhile, Mondelez International was the number one food advertiser – here defined as a company that owns one or more individual brands – by almost 100 points, beating Unilever in second place with 261 points to 154. Mars was the third place finisher on 123 points.

The Warc 100 is an annual ranking of the world's 100 best marketing campaigns and companies, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions. Over the past year, Warc has tracked more than 1700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

These rankings have been generated by the Warc 100 table builder. Available exclusively to Warc subscribers, this tool allows users to put together their own bespoke datasets, filtering the Warc 100 database by company type – agency, network, brand and so on – product category and location.

On the agency side, FCB New York was the top creative shop for food campaigns, with 49 points. AMV BBDO in London was second on 42, with BBDO China third on 38. BBDO Worldwide beat Ogilvy & Mather as top agency network for food campaigns, on 264 points to 104, while Omnicom Group and Interpublic were number one and two holding companies respectively (438 points to 324).

When these rankings are extended across all product categories, Colenso BBDO in New Zealand was the number one creative agency, with BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom finishing first on the agency network and holding companies rankings respectively. The brands and advertisers rankings, across all product categories, were won by Coca-Cola and Unilever.

Earlier in the year, Warc announced its inaugural Warc 100, ranking the 100 smartest marketing campaigns of the past year. This ranking was led by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign from JWT Cairo for telecoms firm Vodafone.

Data sourced from Warc


Native in-video advertising takes off

1 October 2014
NEW YORK/LONDON: Post-production product placement in music videos has opened up a new revenue stream for record companies and artists while offering multiple targeting options for brands.

A UK start-up, Mirriad, has developed a technique for inserting brands into video footage after filming has taken place and can alter the brands depending on audience or region. This means, for example, that the same video being watched by a viewer in the UK could contain completely different product placements to those seen by a viewer in China.

"Being inside content is more valuable than being outside content," Mark Popkiewicz, MirriAd's chief executive, told the Financial Times, a reference to the current practice of advertising featuring as a pre-roll which viewers often skip, or as a banner which is simply ignored.

Mirriad scans existing videos for surfaces – bare brick walls, empty billboards, even plain drinking mugs – and is then able to integrate branded assets such as images, video and actual products.

While the system is highly automated, "There has to be a human in the loop to check for context and make sure [the combination of the ad and content] look right," Mirriad COO Ted Mico told Media Post.

Among the first to take advantage of this are Universal Music Group, the record label, which has teamed up with ad agency Havas, whose clients will have the opportunity to advertise in videos by Universal artists.

One of these, liqueur brand Grand Marnier, has already bought space in videos by Avicii, a Swedish dance music producer, and Far East Movement, a US hip-hop band.

Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of the Havas Group, saw the development as a way to help brands build better relationships with consumers. "Mirriad will make it possible for us to create a more authentic, logical and in-context connection with our clients and audiences that have insatiable appetites for content across multiple screens," he said, in remarks reported by Billboard.

For Universal, there was a similar pay-off, as chairman and CEO Lucian Grange explained: "We have the ability to insure that artists' and brands' interests are aligned while we remain focused on presenting fans with the most compelling music experience possible."

Data sourced from Financial Times, Billboard, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff


IAB demands artistry

1 October 2014
NEW YORK: Marketers must focus their efforts on becoming both "technologists and artists" if they are to thrive in the changing digital world, according to Randall Rothenberg, president/ceo of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

While addressing this year's IAB MIXX conference in New York – an event celebrating its tenth anniversary – Rothenberg outlined some of the challenges now facing brand custodians in the new media space.

"We have the chance – and we have the responsibility – to be technologists and artists," he said. (For more, including the other challenges facing the industry, read Warc's exclusive report: At IAB MIXX, the promise of art dances with digital technology.)

"Our work is about beauty and human emotion, about changing hearts and minds. And that's what we're going to be talking about over the next two days."

As part of this process, marketers need to expand the range of their focus, and aim to create campaigns and experiences that can truly delight and engage consumers.

"We have before us an opportunity – even an obligation – to transition our industry from the transactional to the inspirational," said Rothenberg.

"We must show the world that technology and the communications we enable can inspire; can move people to act."

Reaching this can be considered a major sign of success for an industry which, just ten years ago, was unsure about its place and status in the wider communications ecosystem.

Even five years ago, Rothenberg asserted, the predominance of formats like banner ads and pre-rolls left few tangible options, whereas there are now a vast array of further choices for brands to choose from.

"Today, with smartphones, tablets, phablets, laptops, desktops, connected TVs, WiFi [and] 4G, we are the primary means by which men and women, boys and girls, learn about the world around them," he said.

"Today, we are the single largest advertising-supported medium in the United States."

The winners of the 2014 IAB MIXX Awards have also been announced, with the Best-in-Show prize going to Chipotle Mexican Grill and Creative Artists Agency for their campaign 'The Scarecrow', which cleverly blended an app-based game and an animated short film.

On the tenth anniversary of the awards, there were special honours for American Express, as the 'Most-Awarded' marketer in the history of the program, and DigitasLBi, as the 'Most-Awarded' agency.

The success of these two, said David Doty, Executive Vice President and CMO, IAB, was confirmation that "creativity can win out in an age of disruption".

Data sourced from Warc


Latin America gains ad share

1 October 2014
NEW YORK: North America is the single largest contributor to the global ad economy, accounting for over one third of the total, with faster growing regions like Asia Pacific and Latin America gaining share at the expense of Western Europe, according to a new study.

The Global Media Intelligence Report, from insights provider eMarketer, put North America's share at 35.5% in 2014, which it expected to remain unchanged out to 2018.

Most of this was attributable to the US (92.9%) and that proportion is only going to get bigger as Canada's share was slated to dip below 7% by 2016 and continue to decline as adspend there grows more slowly than in its larger neighbour.

Further south, Latin America's share of the global total marginally exceeds that of Canada, standing at 7.3% in 2014 and is projected to increase to 8.4% by 2018, making it the biggest regional gainer.

Within that, Brazil will account for more than half of all adspend, its total predicted to grow from $20.43bn in 2014 to $29.50bn in 2018. Mexico ($5.15bn to $6.79bn) and Argentina ($3.78bn to $4.54bn) are a long way behind.

TV is and will remain the most influential ad medium in Latin America with a share of total advertising expenditure above 60%. Internet spending stands at less than 10%, its progress hindered by low levels of broadband penetration.

According to eMarketer estimates, only 11.7% of the population in the region will subscribe to a broadband service in 2014. And less than one third of households have a fixed connection to the internet, compared with over 67% in Western Europe and 74.6% in North America.

Despite North America being so far advanced in terms of digital, eMarketer expected advertising spending on digital platforms there would grow faster than in any other region between 2014 and 2018.

Within the US, more than 30 cents of every ad dollar will be spent on digital media in 2015, while Canada will not reach this particular landmark until 2018. Across the whole region average advertising spend per internet user is currently $194.95 and projected to increase by around 50% to pass $296 by 2018.

Among the remaining regions Asia-Pacific was forecast to increase its share from 27.9% to 28.6% between 2014 and 2018, while that of Central & Eastern Europe will edge up from 4.5% to 4.9%. The Middle East & Africa was unchanged on 3.8% while Western Europe fell from 21.0% to 18.8%.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Online India gripped by FOMO

1 October 2014
MUMBAI: Online Indians are heavy internet users who live with a fear of missing out (FOMO) when not connected, a new study has revealed.

Tata Communications conducted an online survey of 9,417 respondents across six countries – India, Singapore, UK, USA, Germany and France – aimed at capturing behavioural, technical and philosophical responses in relation to people's associations, understanding and emotional connections to the internet.

Almost of half (46%) of Indian respondents spent six hours or more a day actively using the internet, compared to a global average of 29%. And more than half (56%) said they could not survive more than five hours without internet connectivity.

Such heavy internet usage resulted in fully 82% of Indians admitting to a fear of missing out, the highest percentage of any country surveyed. Indian men typically spent more time online than women, but it was the women who ended up feeling more anxious when not connected – 21% v 16%.

In general, Asian respondents appeared to be the most internet dependent. Less than half of Singaporeans and Indians were capable of lasting up to 12 hours without internet access compared to 86% of German, 77% of French, 75% of US and 70% of UK respondents.

That enthusiasm for the online life was also reflected in the changing attitudes towards television, with smartphones and tablets rapidly becoming the preferred screen. Nearly twice as many Indians (43%) were willing to give up television for the internet as were Americans (17%) and Europeans (22%).

When asked what was the main benefit of the internet to society, three quarters of Indians cited its ability to 'connect people globally with incredible speed', far ahead of other options that brands might have preferred, such as 'enabling e-commerce' (4%) or 'making shopping easier' (3%).

Further differences between Asia and the US/Europe emerged when considering the most inspirational opportunity that the internet will deliver in the future: 32% of Singaporeans and 27% of Indians picked smart cities as their preferred choice; Europeans and Americans opted for light speed connectivity.

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff


Vietnam scraps ad cost cap

1 October 2014
HO CHI MINH CITY: Brand owners, retailers and agencies have all welcomed the decision of the Vietnamese government to remove a long-standing cap on deductible advertising costs.

Over a number of years the cap had risen from 7% of a firm's total input costs to 10% and then 15%, before being finally scrapped. Businesses have argued for some time that it is up to them to decide how much to spend on advertising and marketing and that the cap was hampering their ability to invest in building brands.

"Lifting the ceiling spending on ads is a correct decision of the state management agencies," Dinh Thi My Loan, chair of the Vietnam Retailers' Association, told VietnamNet.

There has been growing pressure for change in recent weeks, with Loan telling a conference that only Vietnam and China, of 50 countries surveyed, operated such advertising cost limits. And in the case of China, firms were at least able to transfer unused quota to the following year.

She also rejected the idea that lifting the cap would lead to manufacturers increasing the selling prices of their products. If manufacturers spent too much on ads, she argued, that pushed production costs up and products would not sell as well.

The new dispensation was applauded by Pham Thanh Minh, Secretary General of the Hanoi Ad Association, who expected that the freedom to spend as they wished would lead to companies increasing their focus on brand building.

"The building of trademarks requires the important tools of advertising and public relations," Minh said. Not only would the removal of the advertising cap accelerate this process it would also help advertising companies to further grow and develop.

VietnamNet also referred to a survey conducted by consulting firm Ernst & Young, which stated that lifting the cap on marketing expenses would generate economic growth, improve business competitiveness and bring about products at lower prices for consumers.

Data sourced from VietnamNet, Talk Vietnam; additional content by Warc staff


Emerging markets drive device growth

30 September 2014
NUREMBERG: The global market for digital devices is predicted to be $1 trillion in 2015, with emerging markets the fastest growing area as developed countries reach saturation point, a new study has said.

Forecasts from global market research agency GfK, covering 70 different digital device types, show that while the total forecast has remained unchanged since 2011, there have been multi-billion dollar changes at country level. The 10 largest growth markets are set to increase by over $10bn in 2015 and are dominated by emerging markets.

The speed of this shift is evident in the fact that there were seven new entries in the top ten smartphone growth markets for 2015.

Falling out of the list were the US, Japan, UK, Germany, South Korea, Russia and Italy, to be replaced by Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Vietnam and Bangladesh. India, China and Brazil were constants.

"The reason for emerging market dominance of smartphone growth in the next year is that pricing is reaching the sweet spot of $30 to $50 (around £18 to £30)," Kevin Walsh, Forecasting Director at GfK, told the Daily Telegraph. "This brings a major population segment (earning $2,000 to $4,000) into the market."

India provides by far the greatest opportunity. Falling prices there are driving volume sales of smartphones, leading to an overall technology device growth of nearly $5bn next year, up 16% on 2014.

Consequently, global sales of feature phones are falling rapidly – volume sales are expected to be down 20% and value sales down 30% in 2015 – although they remain important in some markets. Walsh pointed to emerging APAC countries, the Middle East and Africa but added there were opportunities for low end smartphone makers, "as we are seeing clear evidence of consumers willing to accept a price jump when they upgrade from a feature phone to their first smartphone".

After India, the fastest growing markets for all digital devices were Pakistan (+15%), Bangladesh (+13%), Nigeria (+13%), Vietnam (+11%), Egypt (+8%), Philippines (+6%) and Indonesia (+3%).

Data sourced from GfK, Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff


Brand experience tops reputation

30 September 2014
LONDON: Brand reputation counts for little in the world of online retailing, where consumers place far greater emphasis on their actual brand experience, according to a new study.

The 2014 Consumer and Marketer Personalisation Study from BloomReach, a business matching consumer intent to retailer content, surveyed 1,000 UK consumers and 122 UK online retailers in an exploration of attitudes toward features such as product recommendations, intuitive search results, relevant content and ease of navigation.

The report found that marketers were greatly underestimating the importance of personalisation. Around one third of retailers (34%) said they thought that brand reputation was the most important factor when consumers were choosing a retailer, while just 2% cited a personalised shopping experience.

Consumers didn't quite see it that way, however, as 85% said brand reputation was not an important factor and 31% said they would be more likely to make purchases if they were offered personalised experiences such as product recommendations or tailored content.

The disconnect could also be seen in other findings from the report. In all, 59% of consumers believed that online experiences were more unique to their needs, while 80% of retail marketers disagreed with this view, saying that online could not offer a more personal experience.

"There is clearly a gap between what UK consumers are looking for in an online experience and what UK retail brands think consumers are looking for," said Raj De Datta, co-founder and CEO of BloomReach.

Retailers will need to take a leaf out of Amazon's book, as four out of five UK consumers (82%) said that no company offered comparable levels of web-personalisation to the online retailing giant.

Datta agreed that Amazon had "raised the bar in customer experience" and said other retailers needed to catch up. "The good news is that consumers are more open to competitor brands, placing little value in brand reputation but a lot of importance in the experience," he stated.

Marketers needed to focus on improving the latter rather than simply relying on a brand name, Datta added.

Data sourced from BloomReach; additional content by Warc staff


Programmatic hits tipping point

30 September 2014
NEW YORK: Programmatic spending continues to advance, increasing its share of global display-related advertising expenditure from 33% in 2013 to 42% this year and is predicted to hit 48% in 2015, according to new figures from Magna Global.

The strategic global media unit of IPG Mediabrands analysed digital media buying in 35 countries and said that inventory transacted through programmatic methods would increase 52% in 2014 to reach $21bn, of which $9.3bn would be transacted through real-time bidding (RTB) methods.

It projected an average annual growth of 27% out to 2018, by which time programmatic adspend would be worth $53bn.

Magna Global revealed that social inventory was already predominantly traded programmatically, while display and video were expected to reach adoption rates of 54% and 43% respectively by 2018.

"Pretty much all of social in most markets is transacted through a technology platform," Luke Stillman, forecasting manager at Magna Global, told Bloomberg. "Even within digital, the programmatic portion is the fastest growing," he added.

The US is leading the way in the adoption of programmatic – with $10.9bn worth of transactions in 2014, it represented 53% of the global market. Programmatic transactions are forecast to take 62% of US display-related digital dollars this year, growing to 82% by 2018.

Within the next four years it foresaw only the most premium digital inventory – such as sponsorship, full episode video or non-standard formats – continuing to be transacted through traditional mechanisms.

Magna identified several drivers of this growth, including the pressure to reduce transaction costs, the chance to monetise the so-called 'long tail' of digital media impressions, and the opportunity to leverage consumer data at scale to improve the efficiency of ad campaigns.

There had also been significantly increased uptake of programmatic by certain categories in the past 18 months, particularly among large verticals, such as CPG, automotive and pharmaceuticals, and direct-response verticals – including real estate, dating, gaming and education.

This was a direct consequence of new tools allowing marketers to measure and benchmark the impact and efficiency of programmatic campaigns on branding goals and not just immediate conversion.

Data sourced from Magna Global, Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff


Experiences play key role for Red Bull

30 September 2014
NEW YORK: Red Bull, the energy drink brand, is leveraging engaging experiences in various different "playgrounds" as a means of building strong bonds with members of its target audience.

Ian Trombetta, Red Bull's head/brand marketing, discussed its approach while speaking at The Content Marketing Summit, a conference held by NewsCred in New York.

"We know that consumers live for experiences. So, knowing this, we've gone out and created playgrounds: playgrounds in music, and dance, and art, and action sports," he said.

"Our brand is really all about experiences. And with that, those experiences turn consumers into brand lovers. And those brand lovers engage." (For more, including ways in which the brand identifies new opportunities, read Warc's exclusive report: How Red Bull turns 'haters' into brand lovers.)

The scale of Red Bull's marketing endeavours is evidenced by the fact it has links with more than 167 sports worldwide, alongside running over 300 branded events in the US alone each year.

It also has relationships with over 600 well-known figures in various sports and genres of music. Many of these individuals are from scenes where there are high levels of scepticism regarding companies and brands.

"We go out and we find the 'haters': the people who hate corporations being involved in their scene," he said. "We talk to them. We sit down with them, and we find out ways we can actually build value with what they're doing," said Trombetta.

"And, once we do that, we're able to build relevant content in those scenes, whether it be within music, action sports, mainstream sports, etc."

In constructing this network of individual affiliations and major events, Red Bull has met the desires of a generation of consumers who are constantly on the go and prefer seeing and doing to accumulating material goods.

Engagement levels among these consumers is then further enhanced by Red Bull's ability to deliver compelling content – whether that is online video, movies or TV shows – as well as its willingness to stay the course with the "scenes" it becomes involved with.

"I see, sometimes, brands dip their toe in, and if they don't have a success right away, they pull away from it, and move away, and try and do something else that's more traditional," Trombetta said.

"For us: we're all in. And we know there is going to be failure along the way. Hopefully we can just mitigate that with more big wins."

Data sourced from Warc


Advertisers face social media backlash

30 September 2014
NEW YORK: Even as Facebook announced the launch of a new ad platform, Atlas, which it claims will deliver 'people-based marketing', a backlash appears to be under way with a new ad-free social network attracting 30,000 new user requests every hour.

A Facebook blog post said that marketers using Atlas would be able to "easily solve the cross-device problem through targeting, serving and measuring across devices", while at the same time connecting online campaigns to actual offline sales.

Omnicom, the agency holding company, has already signed up to an agency-wide ad-serving and measurement partnership and plans to jointly develop integrations to enable more automated capabilities for its clients, including Pepsi and Intel which are among the first testing the new platform.

Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Omnicom Digital, described the technology on offer as "marketing nirvana" in remarks reported by Adweek.

For people who are disinclined to be regarded as guinea pigs in the world of advertising and marketing, Ello, a recently established social networking site, offers an alternative vision.

"You are the product that's bought and sold," Ello advises in its manifesto, as it explains that "Your social network is owned by advertisers" but states Ello itself will remain ad-free.

But not running ads does not mean it is not collecting information from users, who can only join by invitation. The Wall Street Journal said that location, referring websites and time spent are stored to help understand how the site is used and can be made better. But IP addresses are stripped and anonymised in order to make it difficult for anyone to trace data back to any one user.

Even at its current rate of growth, it will be a long time before Ello poses a real threat to Facebook but, as the Harvard Business Review noted, the attention it is receiving is symptomatic of a growing disillusionment among consumers and indicates that businesses "need to rethink their core approach to social media itself". That in turn means "addressing the trust gap", which, it suggested, was about more than privacy or invasive ads.

"It reflects the frustration with the steady commercialisation of our online interactions and spaces," it said, arguing that companies needed to focus less on algorithms and ad targeting and more on the value they can offer to their customers' online lives, whether through co-creation or meaningful conversations.

Data sourced from Facebook, Ello, Adweek, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review; additional content by Warc staff


India leads Warc Asia Prize shortlist

30 September 2014
SINGAPORE: A total of 40 entries have been shortlisted for the 2014 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy, with almost half of these coming from India.

Now in its fourth year, the Prize received more than 180 entries in 2014, a record high for the competition. The 40 making the shortlist came from 11 markets, and from a mix of major networks and local independents. India was far out in front with 19 entries, followed by China (five entries) and the Philippines (four entries).

The full shortlist can be viewed on the Prize website,, where Warc subscribers can also read the shortlisted papers.

The winners will be announced at an event in Singapore on 6th November when a cash prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the Grand Prix winner for the most insightful marketing strategy in the region, plus five further Special Awards of $1,000 each.

The judging panel, made up of senior client-side marketers and agency-side strategy experts, is currently deciding which entries will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, and which will take home the cash prizes.

"I will be looking for truly breakthrough heart- or mind-opening ideas, inspired by deep human insights of the target audience," said Freddy Bharucha, Prize chairman and chief marketing officer for Procter & Gamble Asia.

"The ideas and execution must be brilliant in driving the brand's strategy, equity and benefits (emotional and functional), giving the brand a competitive advantage in the marketplace," he added.

Further details on the Prize, including the full judging panel, can be found here. For prize-related queries please email

Data sourced from Warc


Indian advertising gains from ecommerce

30 September 2014
NEW DELHI: India's most important shopping season will see the country's top ecommerce sites take their checkout battles into the advertising arena with a major outlay on TV and print in the weeks leading up to Diwali.

Media planners are expecting Snapdeal, Flipkart and Amazon to spend in the region of Rs 200 crore ($32.4m) between now and late October, covering a period that accounts for around 40% of the annual sales of many brands, according to the Economic Times.

And industry observers are anticipating a potentially significant retail shift. "This season we could see consumers moving in a big way from offline to digital shopping," said Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail advisory firm Technopak.

While most of the expenditure is slated to take place in traditional media, higher ad rates during the holiday peak will push some spending into digital channels. "Closer to Diwali, you will see some of these sites taking over the entire ad space of top online publishers for at least two to three days," said Saurabh Srivastava, director at consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers India.

The retailers themselves are taking different slants on what will be a busy season. "We wanted to break the clutter that surrounds festive ads," said Sandeep Komaravelly, svp/ marketing at Snapdeal.

To that end the retailer has recruited a total of 28 celebrities and created 50 advertisement films, to be aired across 85 national and regional channels, booking as many as 2,000 ad spots a day.

Rival Flipkart is focusing its marketing in a one-week campaign counting down to a sale day on October 6th, which it is calling the Big Billion Day, revealing more details as the event approaches. The company is reported to have blocked over 1,000 ad spots a day on television for October.

While details of Amazon's plans were unavailable, country head Amit Agarwal promised: "We will be very visible and very aggressive with our marketing campaign across all media."

Visiting India, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos dismissed the notion that the ecommerce industry there was facing a winner-takes-all outcome. There was room for multiple winners, he said, and a lot of opportunity to invest – Amazon had just announced it was putting $2bn into spending on infrastructure, transportation, fulfilment centres, mobile, customer acquisition and product categories.

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


UK leads European online shopping

29 September 2014
LONDON: British consumers are 40% more likely to shop online than other Europeans and their intent to buy automotive products, computer equipment and e-books has tripled since 2011, new research has revealed.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Ecommerce, which polled 30,000 internet users in 60 countries, found 17% of respondents from the UK intend to buy a car or motorcycle online compared to 5% in 2011.

Meanwhile, the proportion intending to buy an e-book has tripled to 33% over the same period, Marketing Magazine reported.

Almost half (45%) of online British consumers intend to book a hotel room or buy clothes over the next six months while a similar proportion (43%) plan to buy airline tickets.

Another 41% intend to buy tickets for events, such as the cinema and exhibitions, while 39% plan to buy DVDs, games and books, the study found.

It also revealed that although UK consumers are 40% more inclined to buy online than their counterparts across Europe as a whole, a significant minority still have reservations about the experience.

More than a third (34%) do not like buying online because of delivery costs while 29% are concerned about handing over their financial details.

These findings prompted Mike Watkins, Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight, to urge retailers to do more to reassure UK shoppers about their security arrangements and to make their websites easier to navigate.

"More reassuring security features to improve consumer confidence are a must, while free delivery should be a serious consideration," he said.

"Sites should also have easier navigation and clearer presentation – retailers rightly put a lot of effort into perfecting this in-store and their virtual shops require the same level of attention," he added.

The study also found "showrooming" to be a common practice in the UK – more than four in 10 (43%) check out products in a shop before buying online, Internet Retailing reported.

Furthermore, half (50%) of UK consumers say they research products online before buying. More than half (54%) read online reviews while one in five (18%) use social media to help them with their purchase decisions – although this is almost half the European average of 33%.

Data sourced from Marketing Magazine, Internet Retailing; additional content by Warc staff


Brands 'essential' to half of millennials

29 September 2014
NEW YORK: Brands can build loyalty among younger customers by appealing to the group's interest in tech and pop culture, but should also take care to treat them seriously, a new report has advised.

These are the key findings in the "Hashtag Nation: Marketing to the Selfie Generation" study from Havas Worldwide, the media agency network, which questioned 10,574 consumers aged 16 and over in 29 markets around the world.

It found that younger consumers are much more willing to invite the brands they like into their daily lives via social media.

Nearly half say brands are "essential" to them – a view shared by only a quarter of respondents aged 55 or more – and 60% consider brands to be "an important part of the creative content online".

But the report also warns brands that they should not take younger consumers for granted because four in ten of those aged 16 to 34 feel brands do not take their generation seriously enough.

Pop culture, especially American pop culture, is also an important feature for this generation. Far more than older generations, pop culture helps form 51% of their personalities and 50% of their attitudes, the report suggested.

"What's particularly encouraging about this study is that the data point to a real sense of partnership between young people and brands," said Andrew Bennett, global CEO of Havas Worldwide and Havas Creative Group.

"Brands rely on youth not just for what's in their wallets, but for what's in their heads and hearts – their creative input, their enthusiastic evangelism, their energy," he added.

"It's a relationship built on mutual interests and trust – and it's up to brands not to break that bond by being disingenuous or failing to keep their promises."

Technology is another element that drives engagement between brands and young consumers, whose favourite brands are Samsung, Google, YouTube, PayPal and Facebook.

But the report also states that, regardless of which sector they operate in, companies can become a tech brand as long as their marketers use digital technologies to provide new and innovative experiences for this generation.

Data sourced from Havas Worldwide; additional content by Warc staff


Twitter increases UK TV ratings

29 September 2014
LONDON: More than one in ten (11%) of British TV programmes increased their ratings over the past year because of viewers' tweets, according to a new study into the correlation between TV viewing levels and Twitter activity.

The report, "A Year in the Life of TV and Twitter" from Kantar Media, the market research firm, also found the top 30 TV series accounted for 50% of all measured Twitter UK TV activity and 9% of viewing volume.

Excluding live sports and news, the study covered live TV programmes and analysed 110m tweets from the beginning of June 2013 to the end of May 2014.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it found twitter activity was particularly heavy for entertainment, talent shows, constructed reality, documentaries, soaps, special events and a few dramas, including Sherlock, Downtown Abbey and Doctor Who.

The X-Factor attracted the highest number of tweets over the year – the competitive music show delivered 9.4m tweets and accounted for 8.6% of all TV-related tweets.

It was followed by Celebrity Big Brother, Britain's Got Talent, Made in Chelsea and I'm a Celebrity. EastEnders, the BBC soap opera, also made it into the top ten.

At 4m tweets, the BRIT Awards in February 2014 was the highest rated show on Twitter in terms of tweets for a single broadcast show.

It was followed by I'm a Celebrity from November 2013 and Children in Need 2013, also broadcast last November, Britain's Got Talent and the X-Factor final.

Love Actually, broadcast on Christmas Day, was the most tweeted film of the year (150,000 tweets) while the most tweeted-about drama was the 50th anniversary edition of Doctor Who (just under 501,000 tweets).

"People have always talked about TV with friends and family, and Twitter extends these conversations outside the living room," said Andy Brown, global CEO of Kantar Media.

"This study demonstrates that 'twitter friendly' shows that encourage tweets during the broadcast or have a younger, evangelical audience for example, can punch above their weight. These conversations are encouraging all of us to turn on and tune in to great TV shows" he added.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff


Creativity boosts sales performance

29 September 2014
SAN JOSE, CA: Productivity and efficiency have been the traditional indicators of business performance, but a new study argues that creativity helps brands to outperform their rivals in terms of both revenue growth and market share.

According to the Creative Dividend survey, conducted by Forrester Research for Adobe, the US software company, 58% of firms that believe they cultivate creativity reported revenue growth of 10% or more compared to 2012.

By contrast, only 20% of the less creative companies recorded a similar performance.

Based on a poll of senior managers from more than 300 large global brands across eight countries, the survey also revealed that creative companies were more likely to achieve greater market share and "competitive leadership".

Of those reporting market share leadership, creative companies outnumbered their less creative counterparts by a factor of 1.5, the report said.

Despite growing awareness of creativity's influence on commercial success, almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents said they did not see their companies as creative.

And just over half (51%) said they were neutral or not aligned with creative firms, while 10% believed their employer's business practices led to the opposite of a creative environment.

Brands that embrace creativity also appeared to foster better morale in the workplace, the report suggested.

More than two-thirds (69%) of creative companies said they have won awards and national recognition for being "a best place to work," compared to just 27% of companies deemed to be less creative.

David Wadhwani, senior vice president of digital media at Adobe, said creative companies were 50% more likely to report a commanding market leadership position over their competitors.

"For years, business leaders have focused on things like employee productivity, process efficiency and workforce planning as the key success drivers for their companies. But over the past few years, the mindset has shifted," he said.

"Leading companies recognise the importance of another key success driver – the need to infuse creativity into all aspects of the business environment – from strategy and culture, to innovation and customer engagement."

Data sourced from Adobe; additional content by Warc staff


Indians prefer sustainable products

29 September 2014
HYDERABAD: A significant majority of consumers in India are familiar with green products, have confidence that they are better for the environment and feel that bio-based ingredients enhance the desirability of a product, a new survey has found.

The DuPont Green Living Survey: India, conducted by TNS Global, is the third nationwide survey of its kind for the US chemical company – its previous reports having covered attitudes to green goods in North America and China.

Based on the responses of 1,270 Indian consumers in 12 major cities, the survey established that nearly two-thirds (63%) are familiar with green products and, of those, 85% are confident that they are better for the environment.

Interestingly, this places India's confidence in green products at a higher level than consumers in the other countries surveyed.

Previous studies showed consumers in China had 70% confidence while in Canada and the US confidence was shared by 65% and 60% respectively.

Overall familiarity with green products was higher in Canada (78%) and the US (76%), although India's rate of 63% is much higher than the 43% recorded in China.

"Green and bio-based solutions are not only essential to address the challenges of India's growing population, but also an expectation of a younger generation and rising middle class," said Vikram Prabhu, regional business director, Asia Pacific, DuPont Industrial Biosciences.

"We are particularly encouraged that there is broad awareness of green products across the country with India's younger generation leading the way," he added.

Looking at the results on a regional basis, the survey found familiarity with green products is the highest in South India (83%) and the East (68%), followed by the West (42%) and North (53%).

A full 95% of South Indians are also most confident that green products are better for the environment.

Brands should also be aware that more than two-thirds (67%) of Indian consumers are likely to buy clothes, personal care, hygiene and household products made from bio-based ingredients that offer environmental benefits.

Furthermore, younger consumers aged below 30 have the highest level of familiarity (69%) and, with nearly half the country's population aged below 25, the report said "there is strong potential for green product adoption and demand growth".

Data sourced from DuPont; additional content by Warc staff


Brands refine Hispanic media mix

29 September 2014
NEW YORK: Advertisers in the US are drawing on the specific strengths of channels like online and outdoor when planning their Spanish-language campaigns, according to a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research.

Amy Jo Coffey, an associate professor of telecommunication management at the University of Florida, discussed this theme in her article, "The Power of Cultural Factors in Spanish-Language Advertising".

Coffey's survey panel included over 130 executives from US brand owners and agencies, and a mix of English-only advertisers and marketers who employed other languages to promote their goods and services.

Fully 73.2% of advertisers had leveraged bilingual advertising. Coffey also found that 12 languages had been used in communications at some point, led by Spanish on 93.9%, ahead of Chinese and Portuguese on 12.2%.

Digging further into the result, Coffey broke out the factors most-closely correlating with the individual media channels the participants chose to invest in.

At the broad level, she discovered, "cultural traits and preferences" played a key role across all the platforms featured in the study.

"This consensus highlights this factor's shared valuation by advertisers who are trying to reach Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States," Coffey said.

Looking beyond that overall statement, however, the research revealed some significant variation by medium, such as out-of-home and the internet.

As an example, the "size of the demographic group" served as the most-influential indicator as to why brands utilised outdoor ads to reach this cohort.

Turning to online, the "availability of separate metrics" regarding this demographic was an especially influential factor for predicting where Spanish-language advertisers would spend their money.

"The current study found that media platform is a mitigating factor in how advertisers perceive audience value and may affect how strong a role other demographic and market factors play into the advertiser's investment decision," Coffey suggested.

Indeed, the audience's "dependency on a non-English language" and frequency of foreign-language media consumption were not found to be significant predictors.

And if the rising affluence of Hispanic households has usually been viewed as a central consideration, Coffey found it was "not positively related" to spending on Spanish-language audiences on any platform.

"The current study demonstrated … that although household income likely is important, it is not the driving factor in linguistic market segmentation," she said.

Data sourced from Warc


Technical issues disrupt m-commerce

29 September 2014
HONG KONG: More than three-quarters (78%) of consumers in Asia Pacific experience technical issues when browsing sites on their smartphones, which affects their purchase decisions and perceptions about a brand, a new report has found.

A full 28% say they would not buy from an m-commerce site if they experience a technical difficulty, according to Rackspace, the cloud service provider, which polled 1,200 consumers aged 22-44 in Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

And more than nine in ten (93%) say their perception of a brand is affected if its website has consistent problems, Retail in Asia reported.

"Ecommerce companies need to realise the severity of poorly managed m-commerce sites and the impact it's having on consumers," said Ajit Melarkode, managing director of Rackspace Asia Pacific.

"Downtime or timed-out errors are not only causing consumer frustrations, but they're also enabling consumers to forego purchasing. A five second delay in page loading can be the difference in a sale or not," he warned.

Slow page loading is the number one frustration across the region and is felt most acutely in Hong Kong.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of consumers in Hong Kong say this is the top challenge among server-related technical problems, followed by consumers in Singapore (58%) and India (54%).

Scaling issues affect 39% of consumers in the three countries surveyed – Singapore (46%), Hong Kong (40%) and India (31%) – while page freezing is the third most prevalent technical problem.

Nearly all consumers (97%) feel a level of frustration with websites and one-fifth close the site and move on if they experience a technical problem, CIO India reported.

In addition, 40% say they would wait 6-10 seconds for the webpage to load before leaving a site, while only a quarter say they would wait longer than 15 seconds for a webpage to load before leaving.

Adam McCarthy, director and general manager of Rackspace Asia, suggested brands should join forces with an IT hosting partner that can manage, scale and support their website.

"To retain customers on your m-commerce site, performance and support is key," he said.

Data sourced from Retail in Asia, CIO India; additional content by Warc staff


Social media's shopping role questioned

26 September 2014
GLOBAL: Consumers are now placing less importance on social media as a part of the customer journey than they did two years, according to new research.

Consulting firm Capgemini surveyed more than 18,000 digital shoppers across 18 countries for its second Digital Shopper Relevancy Report and found that while the role of social media had declined on a number of metrics, that of the smartphone had grown.

Specifically, the importance of social media in retail awareness had declined from 3.09 to 3.02 since 2012 (on a five point scale where five was extremely important); scores for choice fell from 2.99 to 2.93 and post-sales fell from 2.99 to 2.87.

The equivalent figures for smartphones showed a rise in importance for awareness from 2.88 to 3.07, for choice from 2.82 to 3.01 and for post-sales from 2.91 to 3.00. Smartphones also showed improvements in two other metrics: transactions, up from 2.81 to 2.94, and delivery, up from 2.93 to 3.09.

"Despite the surge in Facebook's ad revenues and marketing innovations like Twitter's new 'Buy' button, there is definitely a question mark over where and how 'social' fits into the shopper journey," said Kees Jacobs, Global Digital Proposition Lead, Capgemini Digital Customer Experience.

While social media was most relevant in the 'awareness' and 'choice' phases of shopping journeys, he suggested that retailers "still have work to do at every stage of the purchasing journey in order to make social media play a useful, valuable role in buying a product or service" .

Overall, social media was seen to be less important to the shopper journey than conventional retail store experiences, web, smartphone, email or the use of technologies in-store.

When carrying out retail transactions, 72% of shoppers saw the store as important or very important compared to 67% for the internet. Only 14% said physical stores had become less important for them, but at the same time 51% expected to spend more online than in-store in the future.

The report further revealed that high-growth markets had a stronger preference for digital technologies than mature markets and had a greater appetite for personalised offers and recommendations.

The latter were rated 'extremely important' by a significant proportion of consumers in India (46%), Mexico (40%) and Brazil (38%). This was in stark contrast to the equivalent statistics for the UK (13%), France (15%) and Germany (24%).

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff


Banking on content pays off

26 September 2014
LONDON: High quality content can be a vital ingredient for banks looking to dispel consumer cynicism and increase trust and loyalty metrics, a new study has shown.

NewsCred, a content marketing platform, surveyed 1,000 UK consumers for its report, The Trust Transaction, and found that while around one third professed not to trust their bank, more than half (56%) said they trusted their bank more when it provided helpful, useful content.

Further, half of respondents suggested that good content was a factor in reducing their desire to switch banks. And not only was content capable of boosting loyalty, it was also driving ROI, as one third of respondents indicated that they had signed up to new products and services based on useful content from their bank.

In an area where many consumers can feel at sea, 58% said personal finance articles helped them make decisions, and 57% agreed that content from a bank helped them understand which products were most beneficial.

Millennials aged between 18 and 24 years old proved to be the most highly engaged and receptive audience for banks. Two thirds of this group trusted a bank more when it offers them useful content, compared with half of respondents overall.

A broadly similar proportion (59%) said they would spend longer on their bank's website if it provided interesting articles, compared to the average response of 36%. And almost twice as many of this group as older consumers would share interesting articles on social media.

But banks need to be careful about who exactly is producing that content. Just 20% of respondents would trust content written directly by representatives of the bank, while finance journalists and independent experts drew much higher levels of trust at 53% and 54% respectively.

"Banks are being judged by the quality of content they create," said Shafqat Islam, NewsCred founder and CEO. "[They] need to think carefully about how they build their content strategies, using the right teams, tools and insight to make an impact and truly connect with their target audiences."

Data sourced from NewsCred; additional content by Warc staff


Cisco spices B2B with humour

26 September 2014
NEW YORK: Business-to-business (B2B) marketers should consider injecting more humour into their campaigns to engage customers in different and deeper ways, a leading executive from Cisco has argued.

Tim Washer, Cisco's executive product/rich media marketing, discussed this theme while speaking at the Content Marketing Summit, an event organised by NewsCred.

"I have worked most of my life in B2B, which – by definition – is humourless," he said. (For more, including details of how the firm has implemented this idea, read Warc's exclusive report: Cisco injects humour into B2B marketing.)

Alongside helping companies stand out amid the swathe of technical and functional information in the B2B space, taking a light-hearted tone lets brands demonstrate a greater degree of warmth and openness.

"One of the most powerful things about humour, I think, is that it shows our authentic selves," said Washer.

"I think when somebody laughs, they have lost control for a minute, and therefore we know, 'Okay; they're being honest with us'.

"In this context, that's the most intimate connection you can make with someone. So if you can scale that globally by putting it in a YouTube video, why don't you give it a shot?"

Another core benefit of adopting this tactic is the capacity to present a "kinder, humbler image" – and thus make massive corporations like Cisco more approachable on the personal level.

"That's what humour can do," said Washer. "It's such a powerful tool to humanise."

With writing credits for Saturday Night Live and appearances on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Late Night with Conan O'Brien to his name, Washer knows the comedy terrain well.

And rather than dismissing this vehicle as too risky or too throwaway for their products, he suggested that B2B brands should work with comedy experts to test out this strategy.

"If you can add humour to it, you can cut to the bone, get people's attention; dopamine's released, they're opening to listening to a message; and you can just have a much stronger impact than any other way of communicating," he said.

Data sourced from Warc


Social logins become standard

26 September 2014
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: US consumers are increasingly opting to use their social network accounts to log into websites and apps, finding this route offers the greatest convenience, according to a new survey.

Gigya, a digital consumer management firm and provider of social sign-in plugins, surveyed 2,000 US adults aged 18 to 55 and found that 77% had used social logins, a significant increase on a previous survey in 2012, when just 53% had done so.

Not only were more people using social logins, they were using the logins more often, reported Marketing Land. Just over one third (34%) said they 'always' used a social login, almost three times as many as did two years ago (12%). And 32% said they 'often' used them, up from 23% in 2012.

Those using them 'sometimes' dropped from 36% to 33% and a mere 1% said they never used them, a huge fall from the 29% who had never used them two years previously.

At the heart of this change in attitude was a simple desire to make life easier. Of those using social logins, 53% said they didn't want to spend time filling out registration forms; and 47% didn't want the hassle of creating or remembering another user name and/or password.

"It's clear that consumers today have reached a threshold where convenience is king," said Patrick Saley, Gigya CEO. "Our study shows that social login use is becoming essentially ubiquitous and is becoming a standard for consumers when interacting with brands on web and mobile."

Convenience also over-rode any concerns about privacy even though there was a widespread expectation among respondents that their data would be used in ways they had never intended.

Almost half (47%) believed sites would sell their data, and around four in ten thought they would post on their wall without permission (42%) and spam their friends on social networks (41%). Those worries were, in fact, a major reason not to use a social login on some sites.

Saley noted that consumers were willing to share information if they knew what it was used for and how it would benefit them. But the level of disquiet among consumers was evident in the survey finding that 86% wanted data collection companies to be more heavily regulated by government institutions.

Data sourced from Marketing Land; additional content by Warc staff


Fifth of online Indians are heavy users

26 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Half of India's internet users are online at least 15 days every month and one fifth go online almost every day, new data has revealed.

The Internet Consumption Trends report, published jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB-WAM, and reported by Thinking Aloud, was based on data captured from a sample of 98.7m urban internet users over the age of 15.

During August 2014, over one third of internet users were classified as 'heavy users': 20% logged in more than 25 days a month and a further 18% did so between 20 and 24 days.

Some 12% were identified as 'medium users', being online between 16 and 19 days in the month, while 16% were 'low users' at 10 to 15 days and 5% 'occasional users' at 8 to 9 days.

Across all demographics, more people went online on weekdays than on weekends, an indication that more people are using the internet for work purposes, or, possibly, for personal purposes while at work.

Usage generally peaked in mid-afternoon, although for younger consumers and lower income groups usage tended to be greatest at lunchtime. And the average time spent online each month was more or less the same across all groups at something over 1,500 minutes.

Among the top online activities were search, email/messaging, social networks and online videos, and a significant gender gap was evident across all of these. Thus, for example, of those putting search as their top activity, 60% were male compared to 34% female. A similar pattern emerged for email (54% v 31%), social networks (54% v 30%) and online video (49% v 27%).

But that picture may be starting to change, according to Rajan Anandan, vp/Google India. "For the first time in India, the growth rate of women Internet users in urban India has exceeded men in the last one year," he told the Times of India. "We need to build on this."

Google has teamed up with MARD – a social initiative described by its founder, actor Farhan Akhtar, as a progressive movement for a more gender-equal world – to encourage more women to learn to use the internet and to democratise access to information.

A social campaign called #ReachForTheSky hopes to bring 50m women online with help from existing internet users.

Data sourced from Thinking Aloud, Times of India; additional content by Warc staff


Women, reforms drive China ecommerce

26 September 2014
BEIJING: Women are a major reason for the boom in China's ecommerce which is set to be given a further boost by customs reforms making it easier for them to shop overseas.

A report from Minsheng Securities highlighted the fact that women are responsible for more than 60% of general goods purchases made online in China, while 70% of all people involved in group buying online in China are women.

Want China Times further pointed out that women constituted a minority of the country's internet users, at 44% of the total, and had a higher average online spend.

Consequently, women are shaping the future of internet and mobile spending with their preferences. Beauty products, for example, already rank among the best-selling items online.

Minsheng attributed the rise of the "she-economy" to the "liberation of women's self-consciousness by the internet" and expected that online marketing would increasingly be aimed towards this group.

Overseas brands are likely to be joining the scramble to reach China's women as a series of customs reforms promotes foreign trade and cross-border ecommerce.

In the latest development in this area, southern city Guangzhou is allowing ecommerce companies to simultaneously register overseas orders with customs, so that tariff collection and other procedures can be sped up as the goods go through clearing.

Luo Shuang, a director at discount retailer, told Xinhua that buying from overseas was beset by irregularities and legal problems, but the new arrangements were welcome.

"After the grey areas are cleared, Chinese consumers' satisfaction with cross-border online shopping will see a significant rise, and so will their demand for global brands and quality goods," she said.

Leading online retailers have noted the direction of travel, with Amazon last month announcing plans to open a cross-border ecommerce service in China to connect Chinese shoppers to its global sales network and grow direct-purchase imports.

Data sourced from Want China Times, Xinhua; additional content by Warc staff


Is it Christmas already?

26 September 2014
BOSTON, MA: As the first advertisements and in-store displays with a Christmas theme start to appear, US consumers appear equally divided between detesting their early arrival and welcoming them.

The Bain & Co consultancy polled 621 American adults last week and found that two thirds had already seen holiday displays – Santas in CostCo for example – and noted that Kmart had launched the season's first holiday ad.

Respondents split into three camps, with around one third (32.7%) saying they hated early holiday marketing, one third loving it (32.7%) and one third (34.7%) largely indifferent.

Blogging on the Harvard Business Review site, Bain executives Darrell Rigby and Suzanne Tager reported that positive responders felt that early holiday marketing put them in a good mood, helped them to avoid procrastination and gave them helpful ideas.

Those most likely to appreciate early promotions included shoppers under 45, those with children in their households, and those on lower incomes (under $20,000), who the authors suggested, would welcome the chance to spread holiday spending over longer periods.

Retailers also have an obvious interest in extending the holiday shopping period, they observed. Apart from the opportunity to increase sales volumes, a longer season lowers the chances of running out of stock, reduces staff costs – in terms of overtime and recruiting and training temporary personnel – and lessens the risk that bad weather might discourage last-minute shoppers or delay deliveries.

Retailers will this year be placing even greater emphasis on the holidays, following on a slow back-to-school shopping season. Bloomberg highlighted two reports, one showing that spending for this period had risen 3.1%, the smallest increase in more than five years, the other charting falls in store traffic – down 4.2% in July and down another 4.7% in August.

"Competition is going to remain fierce, and there's going to be a significant amount of promotions taking place," said Ken Perkins, president of industry tracker Retail Metrics.

Data sourced from Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff


Apps spark consumer privacy concerns

25 September 2014
LONDON: More than one third of UK consumers say they have deleted an app on their mobile device because of concerns about the use to which their personal data is being put.

A survey for law firm Osborne Clarke and app developer Mubaloo found that 35% of respondents had done so and that only one quarter trusted companies to protect the data gathered through mobile apps, MediaTel reported.

"Companies need to constantly review their position in relation to using consumers' data," said Osborne Clarke. "What may be well perceived to be acceptable one week, may have massively changed the next because of a change in regulations or the enforcement agenda of the regulators, or a leak or flaw being exploited."

It pointed to a study undertaken for regulator Ofcom earlier this year in which in-app purchasing and in-app advertising appeared as greater concerns than privacy.

That study also noted a clear difference between what app users claim to do and what they actually do. "Whilst many users said that they would refuse certain permissions, in reality most simply download and use the apps without fully looking at permission details," it said.

A separate survey of over 1,200 mobile apps by 26 privacy regulators from across the world recently found that a high number of apps accessed large amounts of personal information without adequately explaining how that was being used.

The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) said 85% of apps surveyed failed to clearly explain how they were collecting, using and disclosing personal information while around 1 in 3 apps appeared to request an excessive number of permissions to access additional personal information.

Further, 59% of these apps left users struggling to find basic privacy information, while 43% were guilty of not tailoring privacy communications adequately for smaller mobile screens.

Dr. Mark Mason, CEO and founder of Mubaloo, said customers were prepared to share a certain amount of personal information if they could see the value in an app. "Businesses need to understand that the balance between perceived value and disclosure is very delicate and transparency over data usage is absolutely essential," he stated.

Data sourced from MediaTel, Ofcom, ICO; additional content by Warc staff


Video vital for MidEast news

25 September 2014
DUBAI: Consumers in the Middle East spend more than one hour a day on news consumption and show a preference for stories that include video content, new research has shown.

Consulting firm Deloitte polled 18-44 year olds in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – 1,000 in each nation – for the Associated Press-funded report "Spring Tide: The new era for video news in the Middle East and North Africa".

This highlighted the role news plays in the lives of consumers in the region, as they spend an average of 72 minutes every day on news content – longer than their counterparts in the UK, Germany and Japan – and almost all (97%) talk about this news over the course of their daily lives.

Matthew Guest, head of digital strategy for Deloitte Europe, noted a key difference between news consumers in the Middle East, where they valued trust and quality in their news providers, and those in European and Asian markets, where speed tended to be the paramount consideration.

News functioned as social currency in the region, he said, and the audience there was more discerning. "They want to have depth of understanding of the news and different perspectives rather than just being the first to hear about a story."

While the survey revealed a preference for locally produced content, more than half of respondents thought international TV content was a better source of news because of the better quality video clips available there.

In fact, three quarters indicated that they were more likely to access a news story if it had an accompanying video and 83% said video clips improved their overall understanding of content. Video consumers also had a higher dwell time on news content each day.

The report suggested that the finding of most significance for broadcasters was that almost two thirds (63%) of respondents wanted more regionally focused stories, in addition to the international news they already consumed.

There had also been a sharp shift in the way consumers discovered news, with 59% doing so primarily via social media. Overall, 70% of those surveyed said they used social media for news more today than they did a year ago.

That said, TV remains important for finding out more on a story once it has broken, with 43% of respondents watching TV first to get more information about the news.

Data sourced from Zawya, Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff


Australia top for digital marketing

25 September 2014
SYDNEY: When it comes to digital marketing Australia is emerging as a regional centre of excellence, a new survey has said.

The CMO Council's third annual Asia-Pacific Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard, produced in partnership with Adobe, was based on survey responses from 807 senior marketers across Asia-Pacific.

Over a range of measures – marketing skill levels, levels, organisational alignment around digital marketing, marketing readiness and attitude towards digital adoption – Australia outperformed others in the region, including China, India, Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong.

In Australia, for example, 54% of organisations surveyed said chief marketing executives were in charge of their company's digital marketing strategy, significantly more than the regional average of 39%. And 62% had a champion in the leadership team, nearly double the Asia-Pacific average of 38%.

"The world has incorrectly made assumptions about the Australian market," Liz Miller, CMO Council vice-president of marketing, told The Australian. "The skill level, mindset, expertise and sophistication (of the Australian marketing industry) are far more aligned with the US and Europe."

She pointed to brands such as ANZ Bank and Westpac as good examples of local brands that were "leading with data, committed to digital and also committed to mobile".

Miller highlighted the use of data to develop strategy. "Australia is really the highest when it comes to using data to impact a campaign life cycle (such as by segmenting customer bases, and using data to improve campaign results)," she said.

"The opposite is true in China and Korea where they're really only using data to report on key performance indicators."

But the survey also noted continuing conflict between marketing and IT departments, with Miller suggesting too many marketers regarded IT as simply the hired help and were failing to get it involved at an early enough stage.

One organisation that has successfully addressed this divide is Tourism Australia, where CMO and CIO have forged a close relationship and improved the collaboration and effectiveness of the two functions.

"It is about language," CMO Nick Baker told a recent conference. "It is about walking a mile in their shoes and understanding what their platforms are … Find out what they're [CIOs] into – even if you have to buy their weird magazines."

Data sourced from CMO Council, The Australian; additional content by Warc staff


Twitter focuses on real-time

25 September 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: Microblogging site Twitter is looking to build on some real-time marketing triumphs at high-profile events and to extend this activity into a range of occasions, a leading executive has said.

In the 20 months since biscuit brand Oreo caught social media's attention with its famous "You can still dunk in the dark" tweet during a power outage at the 2013 Super Bowl, marketers have been looking for ways to emulate that success.

Ross Hoffman, director of brand strategy at Twitter, told Advertising Age that in addition to popular sporting and entertainment events – this year's Academy Awards brought another much-retweeted post in the form of the host's selfie with the stars, using a Samsung phone – he was exploring new avenues such as product launches and event-based sponsorships.

"When marketers are integrated in television, they're running media across the entire web for a specific moment in time," he said. "Twitter can be a connective tissue across all of that."

Accordingly, Twitter has developed a "war room" it calls Hatch to offer expertise and advice and encourage marketers to take the plunge. Hoffman stressed the importance of advance planning.

"Probably about a quarter in advance, we'll prepare a laundry list of questions for a brand and an agency really getting at the root of what they want to do: [whether] it's around an event, a product release, a key time of the year," he explained. "We want to think about the innovation that we can push with them."

By the time of the event itself "we'll have one to three pretty good ideas about where we'll be going". And, equally importantly, processes will be in place to deal with the marketer's nightmare of it all going wrong.

On that point, Hoffman said he was starting to see a better relationship between marketers and their legal departments as they reached a better understanding of the platform and its possibilities.

He also suggested that brands that were regular Twitter users were best-placed to tap into prominent occasions in real-time, when paying for a presence was going to be significantly higher.

"If you're continually building that following, building the reach, building that muscle memory, getting your agencies more nimble, that's when you can exploit those major moments," he said.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Brands are in social driving seat

25 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Consumers are no longer in control of social media, according to a leading industry figure who argues that a combination of business development and commercial considerations has "put brands back in the driver's seat".

Peter Kim, chief digital officer of the Cheil Worldwide agency, dismissed the idea that brands were at the mercy of consumers on social media. That might have been the case once, he told the Economic Times, but with the founders of social sites opting for IPOs, there came an urgent need to monetise and that mean attracting brands with big budgets.

Allied with that was the trend to making everything shoppable, with sites from Instagram to YouTube all directing consumers to buy online. "We are seeing the trend of jumping directly from awareness to purchase," he said. "There are US retail brands like Target that have made Instagram shoppable to make more money."

These were two of six digital trends Kim had observed, and the growth of sites such as Instagram and Pinterest highlighted another – a shift away from the written word towards pictures. "Brands need to tell their stories in images now," he advised.

He also felt that brands still had some way to go in fully utilising big data to drive mass personalisation, and that the sharing economy was seeing a resurgence. And in the near future brands would have to prepare themselves for the internet of things, which was poised for take-off.

Ultimately, he said, "Everything that can be digital, will be digital" and brands had to figure out how best to play among the digital trends he had outlined, with the particular approach taken depending on the product line or country in which they were operating.

In the context of India, Kim said that digital transformation still had some way to go, but once broadband penetration reached a critical point then "new business models, new interactive models can come up".

So far, he said, it was international brands such as Nestlé, P&G and Reckitt Benckiser that were leading the way in digital, adapting their global tactics to the local market.

While there is no shortage of statistics on how quickly India's consumers are embracing digital channels, especially mobile, a conference earlier this year heard that advertisers may require better metrics than those currently on offer if they are commit to significant expenditure in digital.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


Beer brands head LatAm rankings

25 September 2014
MEXICO CITY: Beer brands dominate the upper reaches of a ranking of the most valuable brands in Latin America, with five in the top ten and Corona sitting in the top spot.

Compiled by Millward Brown, the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands 2014 report determined the value of brands from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, taking into account the views of potential and current buyers of a brand, alongside financial data.

Corona, from Mexico, saw its brand value increase 21% to reach $8bn, comfortably keeping it in the number one slot. Millward Brown noted its "solid brand positioning and the positive feelings consumers have towards it – both in Mexico and overseas".

Few other beer brands in the top ten were able to demonstrate a similar performance. Skol, from Brazil, was in second place with a valuation of $7bn, an 8% rise on the previous year. Another Brazilian brand, Brahma, was in eighth place and its $3.58bn valuation represented a 6% decline. In ninth was Aguila, from Colombia, down 9% to $3.56bn.

But there was a stellar showing from Mexican brand Modelo, whose value had leapt 51% to $3.5bn and pushed it up 14 places to tenth, helped by it "presenting itself as a young yet sophisticated brand, and creating a sense of status and craftsmanship".

Of the remaining top ten brands, two were Chilean retailers – Falabella in third place worth $6bn (+8%) and Sodimac in fifth worth $4.1bn (+16%). Another two were Mexican telecoms providers – TelCel in fourth place worth $5.3bn (-19%) and Televisa in seventh worth $3.6bn (+11%). Finally Bradesco, a Mexican bank took fifth spot with a valuation of $4.2bn (-24%).

Mexican brands dominated the rankings, accounting for 33% of overall value, up from 29% last year. Brazilian brands' share slipped from 28% to 24%, while Chile moved up slightly to 19% and Colombia was steady on 16%.

Peru (4%) and Argentina (1%) had little presence in the rankings. The most valuable brand in Peru was another beer brand, Cristal, in 33rd place worth $1.6bn, while Argentina's sole entry was energy business YPF, in 33rd spot worth $1.5bn.

"Brands that have positioned themselves successfully for middle class consumers increased substantially in value in the LatAm region," said Eduardo Tomiya, Managing Director of Millward Brown Vermeer.

His colleague Gonzalo Fuentes, CEO of Millward Brown Latin America, advised that were significant opportunities for those brands which could "start looking at the whole region as their playground" and move beyond their local markets to become "true LatAm brands".

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff


Save-A-Lot tracks return on engagement

25 September 2014
NEW YORK: Save-A-Lot, the US supermarket chain, believes that "return on engagement" is one of the most important metrics in measuring the success of blogger outreach programs.

Carlos Gil, Save-A-Lot's head/digital and social media, discussed the company's efforts to work with bloggers on a recent webinar sponsored by Social Media Today.

He reported that the firm has distributed giftcards to selected influential bloggers, asking them to shop in its stores, make a recipe and write about their experience. (For more, including further detail on achieving return on engagement, read Warc's exclusive report: Building advocacy programs: Five tips from Save-A-Lot.)

In determining the efficacy of such initiatives, Gil asserted that providing hard numbers which satisfy the C-suite is vital for today's marketers.

Two figures he recommended tracking closely are mentions and impressions on social media. When combined, these totals constitute what could be termed "return on engagement".

Said Gil, "I know all the executives want to talk about return on investment, but really keep the focus around return on engagement.

"There's value behind that. Otherwise, you would have had to spend, in some cases, thousands of dollars just to generate [that value] through traditional and paid-media channels."

While connecting social media activity with sales is still a challenge for many brands, Gil suggested there are strong correlational factors at work to serve as a useful proxy for marketers to draw upon.

"Shares, retweets, 'likes', etc.: that has implied value that creates brand awareness and loyalty over time, which leads to incremental sales dollars."

On a similar theme, he argued that marketers must be careful not to use platforms like Facebook and Twitter simply as an extension of their flyers and advertising.

"Social media is not sales; it's relationship building. And it's this fundamental belief that I have that really makes an advocate program come to life," said Gil.

Data sourced from Warc


Facebook solves cookie question

24 September 2014
NEW YORK: Facebook's imminent launch of a new advertising platform is expected to bypass online advertising's current reliance on cookies, improve targeting and track users across devices, according to observers.

The social media giant has re-engineered the Atlas Advertiser Suite it bought from Microsoft last year and will use the new model to link users' ad interactions to their Facebook accounts which can in turn be used to follow users across desktop and mobile devices, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"The biggest impact of this will be in mobile," said one ad executive, noting that people spend more time on mobile but, because cookies don't work there, marketers are reluctant to invest heavily. "This could finally enable us to spend more money in mobile," the executive added.

But the implications go beyond mobile. "What Facebook is doing is potentially more powerful than what Google can currently do," said Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategist of advertising holding company Publicis Groupe.

Google's leading position is unlikely to be under immediate threat – Facebook's advertising revenues are currently less than one fifth of Google's but that will start to depending on how quickly marketers embrace the new product. It is a year since Warc reported that Google was developing a tracker to replace third-party cookies but, as the WSJ noted, this has yet to be offered to marketers.

Google is now facing challenges on a number of fronts, both commercial and legal, as the European Union this week threatened formal antitrust charges if the internet giant fails to satisfactorily address concerns that it manipulates search results to favour its own services and products.

Facebook meanwhile has yet another trick up its sleeve with Atlas which can be used to link offline behaviour to online. Thus, a consumer buying a product in store might give an email address; if that address is linked to a Facebook account then the social network could inform the retailer if, when, and where the consumer saw its ads across the Web.

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


Amazon tops customer experience study

24 September 2014
LONDON: Internet giant Amazon has topped a benchmark study looking at the digital customer experience in the UK, followed by department store Debenhams and fashion retailer Marks & Spencer.

The eChannel Retail Benchmark report from eDigitalResearch used a mystery shopper survey to assess the customer experience in ten retailers across key digital channels – including websites, mobile sites and apps – from first impressions to making a purchase.

Amazon achieved its number one spot thanks to its core multichannel functionality, said eDigitalResearch, which pointed in particular to the search and purchase sections of the customer journey.

Consumers liked the accurate and fast predictive text on keyword search, the extensive integrated customer reviews on product pages and the one-click purchase option.

Department store Debenhams was in second place, helped by a recent update to its site design, while Marks & Spencer, top in a previous study, slipped to third, let down by a site relaunch that scored poorly in terms of first impressions and the checkout stage.

John Lewis was in fourth spot, while Topman and ASOS tied in joint fifth. Then came, in order, House of Fraser, Topshop, New Look and finally Laura Ashley.

"Amazon have long led the field with their multichannel customer experience, introducing ideas such as predictive search text and one-click purchases," noted Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch.

A separate report last year by US-based ForeSee, a provider of customer experience analytics, also put Amazon at the head of an index rating customer experiences with global brands.

"While they still don't lead the way when it comes to design or first impressions," Eccleston continued, "Amazon clearly understand their customers – they know that people are often wanting to make purchases quickly and their digital channels more than deliver on this front."

The results also found that having a consistent customer experience across channels will keep customers returning – people who shop regularly with brands notice if a feature is missing when shopping via their mobile, for example.

One of the main challenges retail brands faced, eDigitalResearch said, was in optimising all features effectively without overcrowding or cluttering mobile sites or apps.

Data sourced from eDigitalResearch; additional content by Warc staff


BA takes to beacons

24 September 2014
LONDON: British Airways has become the latest business to embrace beacon technology, introducing it into Terminals 3 and 5 at Heathrow airport, following a short trial at its head office.

Starting in October, those customers using the latest version of the airline's iPhone app will receive 'push notifications' when they arrive at the airport informing them when their gate is open and when the aircraft is boarding.

The Drum reported that BA had overcome one of the barriers to beacon adoption – connecting to wifi – by the simple expedient of delivering a personalised welcome message including the relevant wifi password when customers entered the airport lounge.

Drew Crawley, British Airways' chief commercial officer, welcomed the opportunity to add value to the customer experience. "The potential to optimise mobile and digital technology is endless, but requires a careful balance of adding value without bombarding customers," he said.

That risk was highlighted earlier this year by Neil Stewart, global chief client officer, at media agency Maxus. He related to MediaTel his experience of a trip through Bangkok airport where he was deluged with 63 text messages from retailers in the duty-free area.

"The challenge for using tech in the retail space is refraining from being too intrusive," he said.

Rather than use the technology to send consumers 'targeted 'offers they don't really want, Nick Hirst of adam&eveDDB, recommended being useful in the same way BA is doing. Writing in Admap he offered another airline example from Heathrow – Virgin Atlantic is trialling a service where passengers' mobiles will automatically display their boarding passes as they near security.

Navigation could be even more useful, he suggested, with beacons freeing up sales staff from having to guide people around the store or helping sales staff locate items for customers more quickly.

That may come eventually, but in the short term it seems more likely that retailers will go down the bombardment route. 

Commercial property developer Land Securities has just turned a Leeds mall into what it claims is the "UK's most digitally enabled retail and leisure destination". Tim Hutchinson, who developed the Trinity Leeds app, spoke of retailers being able to "push exclusive content such as special offers, recommendations and even contactless payment".

Data sourced from The Drum, Admap, Internet Retailing; additional content by Warc staff


Marketers 'addicted to CTRs'

24 September 2014
NEW YORK: Marketers need to wean themselves off an "addiction" to click through rates, which in themselves are a poor indicator of an ad's performance, research has suggested.

A study carried out by market research giant Nielsen for xAd, the location marketplace, analysed the performance of 80 mobile campaigns from 12 national brands that ran on the xAd platform. Campaign success was assessed on various measures including click-through-rate (CTR), secondary actions such as calls and navigation and the uplift in in-store visits.

While CTR is a common way of measuring engagement in online advertising, it totally fails when used as the sole metric for success in the mobile context, where it is "glaringly inaccurate", according to xAd.

"Not only do small touchscreens often lead to accidental clicks, inflating CTR, but the metric also fails to capture post-click engagements," it said.

Quite apart from simply measuring clicks, many marketers may be trying to optimise mobile display ads to generate those clicks, noted Marketing Land.

The study showed that that CTR appeared to be completely unrelated, or even negatively correlated, with Secondary-Action Rate (SAR), while lower CTRs were often associated with the highest lifts in store visitation rate.

"In the same way that marketing needed to be re-evaluated at the advent of PCs, the mobile advertising industry needs to rethink mobile campaign measurement," said Monica Ho, SVP of marketing at xAd.

"With most purchases still happening offline, one of the primary goals of any mobile campaign should be to drive in-store traffic and sales," she added. "Clear indicators of purchase intent, like SAR and Store Visitation Lift (SVL), provide the most accurate picture of how well a mobile campaign has achieved this."

In fact, SVL, or the percentage of ad-exposed audience that visited a retail location divided by non-ad-exposed visitors, appeared to be the best purchase indicator for all verticals, with SAR a close second, according to the report.

Given the variable relationship between the metrics and the fact that optimising towards one often negatively impacted the others, xAd emphasised the importance of selecting the correct Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for a campaign before it began.

For example, the positive impact of optimisation was most extreme for SAR, where this measure increased by up to 200%, while at the same time decreasing CTR by 25%.

Data sourced from Marketing Land, xAd; additional content by Warc staff


China's tourism deficit grows

24 September 2014
BEIJING: The rapid growth in the number of Chinese tourists travelling overseas is leading to a widening gap in the country's net tourism spend, with the nation's inbound tourism rates remaining sluggish.

"A tourism deficit greater than $100bn is a sure thing this year," according to Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy. A new report from his organisation predicts that a total of 116m Chinese will travel overseas during 2014 and will spend $155bn, a 20% increase on the previous year.

The figures are being driven by the country's richer middle class who are seeking more exotic experiences and buying luxury goods in foreign cities. On some estimates there will be 500m trips by Chinese tourists in 2020, changing the pattern of the global travel and tourism industry

Chinese tourists can now travel to 151 countries, many of which will be keen to welcome high-spending visitors. On his recent trip to India, President Xi Jingping signed agreements covering a wide range of areas including tourism, and India is now preparing to launch a tourism promotion campaign in Chinese media.

There is currently little traffic between the two countries. In 2012, around 600,000 Indians visited China for business, tourism and study, while only 140,000 Chinese went in the opposite direction.

The chances of boosting those numbers may, however, be helped by the unlikely source of French criminals. Paris is a magnet for Chinese tourists, attracting almost 1m last year, but, the New York Times reported, there is growing sense of disillusionment as they are being targeted by thieves and muggers. The situation has become so bad that at one point the Chinese government considered sending police officers to Paris to help protect them.

During 2014, the number of Chinese tour groups coming to the city has fallen 20% compared to 2013, the report added.

Data sourced from China Daily, Huffington Post, FirstBiz, New York Times; additional content by Warc staff


Online grocers threaten kirana stores

24 September 2014
NEW DELHI: India has seen a sharp rise in the number of online grocery sites as internet usage grows and time-poor urban consumers explore new shopping options.

A report from the US Department of Agriculture, reported by the Indian Express, said that the number of such outlets had tripled in the past year, from 14 to 44, and would continue to grow alongside the increase in internet users and the changing shopping preferences of a younger, professional demographic.

Most currently operate in individual cities and are effectively in competition with kirana stores – local independent outlets, many of which already provide a near-equivalent service, with quick home delivery and credit extended to trusted consumers.

Compared to these stores, online retailers will need to overcome delivery challenges, the report said, but a mixture of keen pricing and convenience – both in terms of payment options and time saved – means that more consumers are prepared to overcome a reluctance to buy products unseen and to trust the safety of online transactions.

While the range of products offered by these sites is largely domestic, there is a clear trend towards introducing more international brands. One such site, LocalBanya, now offers a variety of cheeses for example. It reports that around 10% of its revenue comes from its international portfolio and this is growing at 25% a month.

According to Pragya Singh of Technopak consultants, the fact that grocery is largely a standardised category is helping attract people online. "This also presents an opportunity to tap niche or imported products," she told the Business Standard, "since consumers do not have easy access to such products and, hence, there is a higher propensity to buy online."

Hari Menon, founder of the BigBasket site noted another factor. "We see high demand for packaged imported foods and cheeses among the expatriate community in cities like Bangalore, where a lot of foreign information technology executives live," he said.

His business is expanding rapidly, and expects to be present in ten cities within the next year , with as much as 20% of the products it carries being imported.

Data sourced from Indian Express, Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff


Telcos, tech brands lead on analytics

24 September 2014
NEW YORK: Telcos and tech brands are leading the way when it comes to measuring and optimising marketing spend, the shortlist of finalists for the 2014 Marketing Analytics Leadership Award (MALA) suggests.

Now in its second year, the competition - which has a prize fund of $100,000 - is organised by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) and Marketing Science Institute (MSI)

One of the finalists for this year's contest is Citrix, a company active in categories like cloud computing, networking and virtualisation - and which is keen to explore how to optimise its spend around lifetime revenue.

"What was really important to us was understanding the impact of all the media touchpoints together, and that's what we were able to achieve with building this sophisticated model," Jocelyn La Sala, Citrix's media director, added in a video featuring all the finalists.

Also on the shortlist is C Spire, the telecoms group, and one of the main challenger brands taking on wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon.

"The impact of analytics on our business can be seen in customer retention, it can be seen in sales, it can be seen in the products and services that are launched to market - and it's on a quantifiable basis," said Lisa Flynt, director/brand marketing and growth strategy at C Spire Wireless.

Completing the trio of contenders for the Marketing Analytics Leadership Award - which is presented by MarketShare and has Warc and Advertising Age as its media sponsors - is Intel, the microchip specialist.

"With analytics, it gives the opportunity to take advantage of the much wider scope of data. Now we start to take in behavioural data, transactional data, and then marry that with our attitudinal or opinion-based data," said Antony Barton, director/corporate marketing research and analytics at Intel. 

"And it really gives us a great opportunity to have deeper insights and, in some cases, get to the insights faster."

Each of the entrants going through to the last round of judging was required to demonstrate how marketing analytics programs had impacted their core business.

Some of the other criteria included factors like clarity, relevance, the magnitude of the marketing question being addressed, innovation in terms of the approach used and scientific rigor.

"Today's most successful marketing organisations are embracing sophisticated analytics to an unprecedented degree," Bob Liodice, president/ceo of the ANA, said.

"They're using data not only to drive the bottom line, but to address their organisations' most fundamental challenges and opportunities.

Among the judges was Beth Comstock, cmo/svp at General Electric, Tony Pace, cmo of Subway, Roger Adam, cmo of USAA, and Gayle Fuguitt, ceo/president of the Advertising Research Foundation.

Data sourced from Warc


D&A spending surges

23 September 2014
STAMFORD, CT: Digital & alternative (D&A) media account for almost one quarter of global advertising and marketing revenues, according to a new study which predicts their share will reach one third in the next four years.

In its report Global Digital & Alternative Media Revenue Forecast 2014-18, researchers PQ Media said that spending on D&A media – it lists 40 such channels ranging from online search and digital outdoor to consumer events and word of mouth – rose 11.9% to $252.12bn in 2013, compared to a 0.8% increase in traditional media revenues to $754.87bn, as the combined total exceeded $1tr for the first time.

Growth is expected to be even higher in 2014, at 13.7%, driven by mobile social media, mobile gaming, online video, online videogames, digital place-based networks, and word-of-mouth marketing. There has also been a boost from the Winter Olympics in Russia at the start of the year and the summer World Cup in Brazil.

Patrick Quinn, CEO, PQ Media, described D&A media revenues as being "supercharged by the mobile juggernaut across various advertising and marketing channels" and noted that major brands were shifting budgets to mobile search, as tablet penetration rose and PC households declined.

Global D&A advertising revenues jumped 14.7% to $102.63bn in 2013, while D&A marketing rose more slowly, by 10%, to $149.52bn, a 41:59 split.

The US was the largest market, growing 12.6% in 2013 to hit $103bn, split 34:66 between advertising and marketing. This was almost five times the size of second-ranked Japan. India was the fastest growing D&A market, up 21.3%. The UK had the highest D&A media share of its total media revenues at 30.6% in 2013, followed by Japan, Canada and Australia, and the US placing seventh with a 26.5% share.

Looking further out, PQ Media projected D&A media revenues to rise at a 14.2% CAGR over the next five years to reach $489.76bn in 2018.

Data sourced from PQ Media; additional content by Warc staff


Fashion brands use Twitter best

23 September 2014
LONDON: Fashion brands are among the most effective at using Twitter, a new study has revealed.

Social media agency Battenhall analysed the use of social media for brand and corporate communications by companies in the FTSE 100 index and found that the overall number of tweets from this group had risen dramatically in the past year – the cumulative total was up 250%. But it concluded that while some were doing it well, most were "doing a bad job or nothing at all".

The top performers on Twitter were luxury fashion brand Burberry, soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, broadcast network ITV, fashion retailer Marks & Spencer and supermarket Sainsbury's.

Burberry ticked several boxes – it had the most number of followers, at 3.1m, ahead of Coca-Cola on 2.7m – and was the fastest growing in terms of followers, adding more than 1m in the past 12 months.

Others in the top five had far fewer followers, with ITV on just over half a million, although this was double the previous year's figure, Marks & Spencer on 337,000, and Sainsbury's on 291,000.

"Burberry can be seen as a role model for other brands on social media," the report declared, "as it has managed to keep up its reputation offline as well as online across all social media channels."

The study highlighted the separation of Burberry's main Twitter account from its customer service account, an approach it said allowed followers to "enjoy creative tweets and experimentation with new apps", while the brand could also deliver timely content planned around events such as the recently concluded London Fashion Week.

The brand with the greatest influence on Twitter, however, was Marks & Spencer, which scored 83.4 on the Moz system, which measures influence on engagement and follower size and where 100 is the highest score possible.

On this metric, Burberry dropped to third, scoring 80.1, behind Next, another retail fashion brand, on 83.3.

The study also found that 10 companies had no Twitter presence at all, while others, such as mining groups GlencoreXstrata and BHPBilliton, performed poorly. Drew Benvie, managing director of Battenhall, expressed some alarm at this gap.

"We are seeing an increasingly polarised view of UK Plc online, which means many brands are simply not fit for purpose whether it is on their ability to listen to customers or publish financial news," he told the Telegraph.

Data sourced from Battenhall, Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff


Africa's internet adspend grows

23 September 2014
JOHANNESBURG: Internet advertising is growing fast across Africa, with its share of total expenditure set to double in some major markets over the next four years.

The latest Entertainment and Media Outlook report for the region from consulting firm PwC showed that internet advertising was making the greatest inroads in Nigeria, where its share was forecast to rise from 5.7% in 2014 to 12% in 2018, helped by a predicted CAGR of 32.7% between 2013 and 2018. By the end of that period it will have long overtaken traditional media such as newspapers and radio.

Smaller advances were evident in South Africa, where internet's share was predicted to increase from 4.3% to 7%, although its place in the pecking order will remain behind TV, radio, newspapers and out of home. A CAGR of 22.7% will be driven by search and mobile advertising, the report said, with Google, the most visited site in the country, holding the vast majority of the South African search market.

In the Kenyan market, a CAGR of 31.5% will make it the fastest growing advertising segment, boosting it share from 6% to 8.6%, but it will remain in fifth spot, after TV, radio, newspapers and out of home.

In monetary terms, South Africa remains some way ahead of the others, with current internet adspend standing at around $186m, compared to $59m in Kenya and $56m in Nigeria.

"Growth in the South African entertainment and media industry is largely being driven by the internet and by consumers' love of new technology, in particular mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets, as well as applications powered by data analytics and cloud services," said Vicki Myburgh, entertainment and media industries leader for PwC South Africa, in remarks reported by The Drum.

She expected that, as in the rest of the world, South Africa's growth was likely to be digital, but added that "we believe that progress in the South African E&M market will be gradual and that there are still plenty of opportunities for 'old' and 'traditional' media yet".

Data sourced from PwC, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff


Western brands err on China positioning

23 September 2014
BEIJING: Many Western brands have got their positioning wrong in China, according to a leading industry figure, who argues that they are out of step with the market and too focused on a very small number of middle-class urban consumers.

Breaking down the figures, Chris Baker, managing director of digital agency Totem Media, pointed out that the total commonly given for the number of consumers in the Chinese middle class was between 300m and 400m, based on a household income threshold of just $9,700 a year.

"It's clear that it's not the same middle class as marketers coming from the US or EU are accustomed to," he wrote in Campaign Asia-Pacific. He suggested that these marketers were in reality fighting over an urban audience of around 43m whose household income was $17,000 or more.

Further, there were plenty of brands aiming at consumers at the top end of that segment who made more than $37,000. That amounted to a total of 7.68m, "which is similar in size to Sweden, although still not as affluent on a per-household basis".

Multinationals, said Baker, "appear to be mis-sizing the current opportunity, getting segments wrong and following up with tactics that don't fit the game as well as local competitors". They were ahead of the market in that they had applied a global strategy, affixing themselves to an imagined affluent persona and were now waiting for the market to catch up.

Chinese brands, in contrast, are in step with the market, he said, with products and prices that match the expectations of the growing middle class. Xiaomi, the smartphone manufacturer, was a perfect example of this – it overtook Samsung in Q2 2014 to become the top smartphone vendor in China with a market share of 14%.

"It's unclear whether most global brands are going to be able to penetrate the market much further with prices that are so out of step with the majority of consumers," he said.

While consumers might aspire to such brands they were more likely to be actually buying Chinese products. Overseas brands, he suggested, needed to create products aimed at lower price points and to follow the example of Xiaomi in developing the facility to run online sales and promotions.

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


Print offers opportunities in India

23 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Advertising in India may be changing fast but print still has an important role to play in reaching certain markets while at the same time grabbing new opportunities offered by the digital revolution.

Sunil Kataria, coo/sales, marketing and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, told Impact magazine that while the digitisation of television was "changing the game" in rural areas, print came into its own in those parts of the country that had an erratic electricity supply. In those places he was also likely to use "a bit of radio and rural activation".

He also felt that as the market became increasingly fragmented that marketers needed to react accordingly. "Regional print gets value here by helping in micro-segmentation," he said, "especially as education has become an important investment in our economy in the last ten years and literacy rates have gone up around 10%."

Additionally, innovation in print could take campaigns in new directions – he cited the launch of Godrej Aer which had involved the production of a fragrant newspaper which delivered a sensory impact alongside the printed ad.

Long-term, however, the shift towards digital media has major implications for traditional print. A recent PwC report noted that in 2013 subscription revenues from internet connections had already overtaken print media revenue from advertising and subscriptions.

By 2018, internet access was predicted to take a 29% share, up from 22% in 2013, while print fell from 20% to 14% over the same period. "Relative shares of traditional media are expected to go down to accommodate growth in newer segments," Smita Jha, leader, entertainment and media practice, at PwC, told Livemint. "However, the individual sizes of these segments will continue to grow."

Print faces a "digital tsunami", according to Aroon Purie, editor in chief of The India Today Group. But he saw plenty of opportunities to transfer content into the new medium. "The future is digital and if you don't invest in that now, you will soon die," he said in remarks reported by

He argued that the print industry needed to become multi-platform and to get into contextual advertising.

Data sourced from [Impact], Livemint,; additional content by Warc staff


Programmatic benefits publishers

23 September 2014
BOSTON, MA: Publishers are seeing an increase in ad requests and a growing use of high value ad formats via programmatic trading according to a leading mobile advertising marketplace.

Nexage reported that programmatic spend through its Nexage Marketplace was up 227% year on year and said publishers grew ad requests 192% while video inventory had surged ahead by 516%.

It attributed these stellar growth figures to three key trends, including a "massive shift" to mobile, the adoption of programmatic as the core trading model and an increase in brand spending in the premium segment.

For those publishers using private exchanges the returns were even better, as Nexage, which numbers Fox News and Mail Online among its clients, said they had experienced revenue growth of 718% during 2014.

"Premium publishers, agencies and advertisers are certainly rallying around mobile programmatic," said Ernie Cormier, CEO and president of Nexage. "But mobile programmatic is not simply a broad trend, it is a strategy designed to drive their businesses forward; a strategy geared to get results. And results drive action."

While few doubt that programmatic is the future for digital advertising, there are some questions over who exactly will be carrying it out. Sir Martin Sorrell, head of WPP, recently dismissed the trend for brand owners to bring programmatic buying in-house.

"It's a temporary phenomenon," he told CMO Today. "Our view is after a year or two it will change."

He suggested that ad buying was not a core competency for most organisations, never mind understanding and implementing complex advertising technologies. "I question whether [clients] will be able to apply technology successfully," he said,

But brand owners have opted for this route in part because of media agencies' reluctance to be transparent about the money they make on programmatic deals. Pete Mitchell, global media innovations director for Mondelez International, recently argued that programmatic was at a crossroads, where agencies could either charge clients an undisclosed margin and risk losing business or be upfront about it and build a long-term relationship.

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


Sport Chek tackles digital disruption

23 September 2014
TORONTO: Sport Chek, the Canadian sporting goods retailer, is actively seeking to address the "value chain chaos" which could potentially result from making effective use of digital marketing.

Duncan Fulton, svp/communications and corporate affairs at Canadian Tire Corp – the owner of Sport Chek – discussed this theme at a recent conference.

"Most of Canada's companies are not properly equipped to be making decisions on digital, because we don't understand the implications," he said.

When outlining the specific implications that might come from leveraging digital, Fulton cited the example of increasing bicycle sales through the heightened targeting offered by new media.

"So, here's what's going to happen," he asserted. "We're going to sell 6,000 bikes instead of 4,000 bikes." (For more details, including how the flyer can be transformed for the digital age, read Warc's exclusive report: Sport Chek and the supply-chain downside of digital growth.)

One major problem, however, is that Sport Chek's orders have to be placed months in advance, meaning that the company will not be able to easily meet this spike in demand.

And that fact could have a knock-on impact for customer satisfaction ratings, as "they're going to come in looking for a bike" and it may be out of stock.

Even the option of waiting out the current purchase cycle and ordering more bicycles next year does not fully resolve the broader issue, according to Fulton.

"Guess what's going to happen?" he said to the DX3 audience. "We're going to show up at the distribution centre where we've been storing bikes for 30 years."

And at this point, the company will face the challenge of identifying precisely where to store the additional inventory.

Such an example, Fulton reported, is illustrative of the "entire value chain chaos" that can result simply "because we marketed one bike digitally."

Extrapolating that trend across a whole product portfolio indicates the shift now facing businesses, both in Canada and beyond. "Digital is disrupting everything," is how Fulton described this situation.

Data sourced from Warc