Good causes boost social media impact

21 October 2014
LONDON: Using cause-driven social campaigns can be more effective than using social-driven brand story campaigns, according to a new Warc report.

Seriously Social, an analysis of social-driven case studies by marketing consultant Peter Field, indicates that linking a brand with a broader purpose or cause can be a powerful approach and can lead to better long-term results than story-led strategies.

In the report, Field analyses case studies from the Warc Prize for Social Strategy, a global competition for examples of social ideas that drive business results. The competition defined social strategy as any activity designed to generate participation, conversation, sharing or advocacy.

Field was able to compare the impact of campaigns that associated a brand with a good cause, with the impact of those that built a story around a brand.

He found that media usage for cause-driven campaigns was more strongly focused on online, WOM/earned media and traditional advertising channels (excluding TV). Brand story campaigns, in contrast, made wider use of media channels and, as they were more likely to be short-term campaigns, included much more activation.

These patterns had an impact on subsequent effectiveness. "Cause-driven campaigns are more strongly associated with business effects," Field stated, a finding that became even clearer when stripping non-profit campaigns out of the calculation.

The business effectiveness of cause driven-campaigns was found to increase markedly over time, whereas that of brand story campaigns did not.

"Again, this is a reflection of the short-term outlook of the latter group," Field said, who suggested that conclusions about effectiveness drawn over a period of less than six months would underplay the true strength of cause-driven campaigns.

In fact, not only were cause-driven campaigns better at delivering business effects they also generated greater numbers of brand effects once the non-profits were removed from the equation.

Data sourced from Warc


Consumers confident in online delivery

21 October 2014
LONDON: UK consumers are increasingly confident about the delivery of online shopping, with almost half saying they will order Christmas gifts with less than a week to go, but they will hold retailers to blame if the goods do not arrive.

These findings emerged from the latest eCustomerServiceIndex results from eDigitalResearch and online retail association body IMRG. In 2013, 34% of online shoppers were willing to risk placing an order online with less than a week to go until Christmas Day, but this figure has now risen to 47%. The 13 point rise in 12 months indicates how consumer expectations of delivery have changed in a short period.

In particular, 53% said they would feel comfortable in placing an online order as late as Wednesday 17th December, while 32% were prepared to push the date to Saturday 20th in the full expectation of receiving their items before Christmas Day.

The survey results, said Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, emphasised the need for retailers and couriers to have a comprehensive logistics strategy in place. "Year after year, we've seen retailers increasing push their last ordering dates closer to Christmas Day itself and it's important for retailers to ensure that they see through on these promises," he said.

In the past, 18% of consumers surveyed reported that online gift orders had failed to arrive in time. Of these, 41% placed the responsibility on the retailers, while couriers and the Royal Mail each attracted the ire of 14%.

Ecclestone noted that it was vital to deal with such circumstances appropriately and cited the example of Appliances Online which provides takeaway dinners to customers if an oven delivery fails to appear on time.

"Properly managing situations and responding promptly when things do go wrong with deliveries … will be key for retailers in ensuring that consumers are not left frustrated and disappointed this Christmas," he said.

Data sourced from eDigitalResearch; additional content by Warc staff


CMOs pressured on digital ROI

21 October 2014
NEW YORK: Most chief marketing officers report that they are under greater pressure than five years ago to deliver measureable ROI in digital and mobile but many find it difficult to do this.

The 2014 CMO Digital Benchmark Study, from Leapfrog Marketing Institute, surveyed 91 executive-level marketers at major companies – 72% of respondents worked at organisations with 3,000 or more employees, nearly half of them controlled marketing budgets of over $25m – and found that 93% felt the burden of linking their marketing efforts to financial results.

But all too often their businesses lacked the ability to do so, thanks to a combination of internal silos, a resistance to change and limited expertise.

Fred Ehle, managing partner of consultancy BrandApart, which worked on the study with Leapfrog, told Advertising Age that consumers were adopting new technologies around mobile at a faster rate than companies and that corporate structures were a major factor in the inability of marketing departments to keep up with their consumers.

"There's a siloed nature of corporations in general, and it gets heightened when you work beyond the typical functions you've done in the past," he said.

And one of the characteristics of a siloed organisation is a reluctance or failure to share data and expertise. When asked about the integration of digital and offline marketing communication channels in providing a path to purchase, only 40% of respondents were able to say they had achieved even this much.

A mere 4% reported that their internal omnichannel capabilities were very well developed.

The executives surveyed felt that their websites, data tracking/analytics and mobile were the most important capabilities at their disposal but at the same time these were revealed to be frequently among the least-developed.

Thus, for example, one third of senior marketers were unable to use data tracking and analytics to track sales.

Ehle suggested that marketers develop case studies that demonstrated success in data, mobile or digital. And executives from the different departments within a company – finance, IT, marketing, for example – needed to develop better communications between them while coming up with agreed metrics to link marketing to sales.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Hong Kong protests hit luxury brands

21 October 2014
HONG KONG: Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are not only hitting current sales of luxury brands but may require them to rethink their entire marketing approach in future.

Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas, claimed that luxury sales had plummeted up to 40% during the recent Golden Week holiday at the start of October.

Luxury watchmakers are particularly vulnerable – as much as one fifth of some leading watchmakers' revenue comes from Hong Kong – and AFP suggested that retail sales had declined by up to half in recent weeks.

French luxury firm LVMH did not put a figure on the effects of the protests but did say they would have an impact on its quarterly results. "We have already noted some negative impact on activity in duty free shops in the third-quarter," said group finance director Jean-Jacques Guiony. He reported fewer shoppers in downtown stores as the ongoing protests had disrupted travel plans, especially by large tourist groups.

While brands are grappling with the short-term impact of the (so far) four-week long protests, the more prescient will also be considering the long-term implications.

In the South China Morning Post, financial writer Peter Guy argued that the protests had changed assumptions about youth, whose aspirations evidently did not necessarily include joining the ranks of the wealthy and powerful in Hong Kong's high society.

In fact, that latter group was in danger of becoming an irrelevant object of contempt, a development that would "dramatically affect how luxury brands engage their next generation of customers".

Today's university student is likely to be tomorrow's luxury customer, Guy said, and their values had to be understood. They had more enlightened beliefs than their elders and would decline to be part of a "social-climbing circus of envy".

Prestigious brands, from fashion to wealth management, will need to rethink how they engage this new demographic, he asserted.

Data sourced from South China Morning Post, AFP, Fashion United; additional content by Warc staff


Mondelez says planning must evolve

21 October 2014
CHICAGO: Planners must tackle "business challenges" rather than focus solely on "communications challenges" to thrive in the new marketing ecosystem, according to a leading executive from Mondelez International.

Eliza Esquivel, vp/global brand strategy at the snacks company, discussed this topic while speaking at the Strategy Festival 2014 organised by the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies).

And she outlined a "huge problem" for planners to address, in the form of proving their value beyond simply delivering creative.

"If we, as planners, exist solely to serve the creative work – to brief it in and help sell it in – we're in trouble," Esquivel told the conference audience.

"In fact, this self-belief among planners is the single biggest threat to our existence." (For more, including more insights about the changing role of planning, read Warc's exclusive report: Mondelez strategist challenges 4A's Strategy Festival to light creative fires.)

That is because "communications challenges" are only part of a much wider set of "business challenges" now facing clients.

"Whenever a planner walks into a client meeting as a planner, they are seen as someone who spends money, not makes money," Esquivel said. "That is what ultimately disempowers us all. That's what needs to change."

Achieving such a transformation is growing in importance at a time when brands are rolling out ever-increasing amounts of content – but also as the quality of this material does not always match the quantity.

Many planners, Esquivel suggested, are guilty of exhibiting "bystander syndrome" when faced with this situation, giving the impression they are "just too posh to push".

Consistently providing innovative solutions to business problems promises to remedy this perception, and enhance the status of planning across the board.

"As a client, I can tell you creativity is the hardest thing for us, but it's the thing we desperately need the most," said Esquivel.

Data sourced from Warc


Radio leads social media interaction

21 October 2014
SYDNEY: Radio generates a higher level of social media interaction with its audience than any other medium in Australia, according to a new report which also highlights the ability of social media to strengthen the relationship between a listener and a station.

AudienScope, a quarterly national online survey of radio behaviour carried out by researcher GfK, is based on responses from 1,250 listeners. The Q3 2014 report found that 61% of radio listeners had interacted with a radio station's social media page during the previous month, but only 52% had done so with a TV page; the proportion dropped to 36% for newspapers and 33% for magazines.

The main reason for taking to social media was to supplement the listening experience with visual material – 44% of respondents wanted to see videos and photos from a radio show.

Reading about or commenting on music-related content was also popular, with 42% doing so, while similar actions around non-music content, such as celebrities or current affairs, were cited by 39%.

This engagement resulted in a strengthening in the relationship between listener and station for around half (52%) of those taking part, whether that was talking more to other people about the station or simply spending more time listening to it. 

Unsurprisingly, it was younger listeners – one in three of under-25s – who were most likely to be active on radio's social media pages.

And, in a further finding, reported by Mumbrella, young people were found to be twice as likely as older listeners to be influenced by radio competitions and promotions. "This is something that seems to resonate with younger listeners whether it is a cash giveaway or the opportunity to meet a celebrity or go overseas," said Morten Boyer, general manager of GfK media.

He added that the survey had also sought to discover if there was anything that drove consumers to listen at different parts of the day. "Being entertained was the leading reason in every timeslot that people listened to the radio," he declared.

Data sourced from GfK, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff


Showrooming drops off in US

21 October 2014
NEW YORK: US consumers are more likely to engage in webrooming than showrooming, as a new report indicates the latter activity falling out of favour during the past year.

Researcher GfK surveyed shoppers in 17 countries and 15 categories for its 2014 FutureBuy global study of shopping habits and preferences and found that incidents of smartphone showrooming – seeing a product in a store, then buying it online from another retailer using a smartphone – dropped from 37% in the US in 2013 to 28% this year.

Webrooming, on the other hand, where consumers buy in a store after researching a purchase online using a smartphone, was carried out by 41% of respondents.

Among the various age groups, only Generation Z was more likely to showroom more than webroom, and even then not by much: 39% v 34%.

The greatest differences came among Generations X (43% v 29%) and Y (46% v 32%), both of which were 14 points ahead when it came to webrooming. For Baby Boomers there was a 12 point gap (30% v 18%).

Across the 15 product and service categories studied, 44% of US shoppers reported combining online and in-person shopping activities, up seven points on 2013. And this behaviour was percolating down from big ticket purchases to lower priced categories, including beauty and personal care (reported by 39% of shoppers), lawn and garden (29%), and food and beverage (22%).

For those shoppers making their purchases in a bricks-and-mortar environment, the main drivers were the ability to see and feel before buying (58% preferred bricks and mortar, versus 9% online) and to get products sooner (53% v 16%). When online was the preferred purchase avenue, saving money (61% v 28%) and ease of purchase (53% v 24%) were deciding factors.

"The big takeaway from this year's FutureBuy study is how dynamic the shopper environment has become," said Joe Beier, evp/Shopper and Retail Strategy at GfK North America. "We are seeing double-digit point changes in metrics designed to measure relatively foundational behaviours, such as omnichannel and devices used to shop."

Brands needed to build out an up-to-date and nuanced shopper insights platform, he warned, otherwise they were "simply in 'hit-or-miss' mode in execution".

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff


Global adspend up 42% on 2004

20 October 2014
LONDON: Global adspend has increased from $362bn in 2004 to $512.9bn in 2013, a rise of 41.7% over the past decade, according to new long-term analysis published by Warc.

The Global Ad Trends report draws on data stored in Warc's adspend database, which tracks advertising expenditure for main media across 88 individual markets going back to 1980.

The last ten years have seen major shifts in the allocation of advertising budgets by media channel and global region, the report shows.

Despite some gloomy predictions for its future relevance, TV remains the biggest advertising medium globally with 40.8% share of total adspend, having recorded overall spend of $209.5bn in 2013. The channel registered significant growth of 55.7% since 2004.

Over the same period, internet advertising spend grew from $15.5bn in 2004 to $120.4bn in 2013, an increase of 675%. This equates to a ten-year rise in share of global adspend from 4.3% in 2004 to 23.5% in 2013.

This rapid expansion for internet has come at the expense of the print sector – inclusive of both newspapers and magazines – which has seen total advertising spend fall by $41.1bn over the last ten years to just $116.4bn.

Both newspapers and magazines saw their shares of total global adspend roughly halve since 2004.

Turning to the remaining media, both out of home and cinema maintained their overall shares of global ad revenues since 2004, with marginal increases of 0.2pp and 0.1pp respectively.

Out of home accounted for total spend of $30.2bn in 2013, while cinema – the smallest advertising channel measured – registered just $2.5bn. Radio, with advertising spend of $34bn in 2013, saw a decline of 2.0pp overall from 2004.

Looking at advertising budgets by region, North America remains the biggest spender, accounting for 33.6% or $172.2bn in 2013, but saw a drop of 11.1pp since 2004.

Europe traditionally has been the second biggest region for ad budgets, but in 2012 – challenged by rapid growth in China – it was overtaken by Asia-Pacific. Europe accounts for 27.2% of global adspend ($139.4bn) with Asia-Pacific on 27.3% ($140.1bn).

The three remaining global regions – Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East – account for just 12% of global adspend between them, although this is a significantly higher proportion than the 4.1% recorded ten years' ago.

Data sourced from Warc


UK leads European online shopping

20 October 2014
LEEDS: British consumers are almost twice as likely to shop online as their French counterparts and they shop online nearly three times as much as consumers in Germany, a new study has revealed.

Now in its fifth year, the latest Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey from Hermes, the multinational consumer delivery company, found 27% of UK consumers shopped online over the past three months.

This compared with 14% of French consumers and just 10% of Germans, according to responses from 4,000 consumers in the three largest economies of the EU.

Furthermore, a full 42% of UK consumers said they plan to increase their online shopping spend over the next year compared to 30% of French respondents and 28% of Germans.

British consumers were also found to be more likely to increase the range of retailers they will shop from. Almost three-quarters (73%) expected to expand their retail horizons compared to the French (64%) and the Germans (58%), the survey found.

This growing willingness by European consumers, especially those in the UK, to put their trust in online retailers appeared to be underpinned by three main trends.

Consumers have responded to improvements in delivery services across all three countries, increased adoption of mobile devices has made the experience easier, and a free and reliable returns policy is important too.

Almost twice as many UK consumers (23%) said they shop regularly on a smartphone or tablet as do Germans (11%) or the French (9%), although a laptop was used more by all three nationalities.

Commenting on the findings, Hermes CEO Carole Woodhead said that online retail is continuing to grow "at a prolific pace" and welcomed the investment the sector has made in good delivery options, which has helped to boost consumer confidence.

"It presents online retailers with a huge opportunity to continue to expand their customer base and increase revenue," she said.

Almost coinciding with the release of the Hermes findings, Amazon revealed the launch of its first same-day delivery service in the UK, the Financial Times reported.

Branded "Pass My Parcel", the US ecommerce giant will use Connect Group, the newspaper distributor, to deliver packages to more than 6,000 locations, including 500 newsagents and convenience stores.

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


US programmatic adspend will double

20 October 2014
NEW YORK: Programmatic adspend in the US is expected to grow exponentially over the next two years, rising from just over $10bn this year to $20.41bn in 2016, according to new analysis from eMarketer.

The research firm examined dozens of data sources and conducted interviews with more than 50 ad agency executives to reach its conclusion.

With growth of 137.1% in 2014, programmatic adspend will top $10bn this year and will account for 45% of total US digital display adspend this year.

It is then projected to rise another 47.9% in 2015, valuing it at $14.88bn and representing 55% of the total display ad market, before rising a further 37.2% in 2016 when programmatic will account for 63%.

"Programmatic advertising has gotten a lot of hype in the past 12 to 24 months, but it's finally fair to say that today, holdouts on participation are proving the exception, not the norm," said Lauren Fisher, an eMarketer analyst.

"2014 has proven a pivotal year, and with the majority of infrastructure now laid and testing well in progress, we'll see programmatic ad spending explode from 2015 into 2016," she added.

Much of the growth is coming via the mobile channel, eMarketer said, and this year mobile will account for 44.1% of all US programmatic display adspend, or $4.44bn.

Mobile is also expected to overtake desktop as early as next year, taking 56.2% of all programmatic adspend in the country.

Another trend highlighted in the report is the growing impact of programmatic direct as a transaction method.

Growth is currently driven by real-time bidding (RTB), which accounts for 92% of programmatic adspend this year, but RTB's share is expected to fall to 58% in 2016.

The space will be filled by programmatic direct – the hybrid model between the traditional direct deals and the new automated deals – and it is forecast to account for the remaining 42% of the US programmatic market by 2016, or $8.57bn.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Indian ecommerce to hit $6bn in 2015

20 October 2014
GOA: The Indian ecommerce market is expected to grow 70% to $6bn in 2015, making it one of the fastest-growing markets in Asia-Pacific, a new industry report has forecast.

Valued at $3.5bn in 2014, ecommerce is coming from a relatively low base in India yet it is growing at 60-70% every year, according to Gartner, the IT research firm.

At less than 4% of the total retail market, ecommerce has plenty of room to grow and, as the adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices continues to increase in the country, then so will mobile commerce, the report said.

Mobile commerce represents less than 5% of total digital commerce at the moment, but 30% of traffic to ecommerce sites comes from mobile devices.

This is a reflection of what Gartner identified as a "rapidly growing ecosystem to engage customers on mobile".

Praveen Sengar, research director at Gartner, said digital commerce is at a nascent stage in India, but the market is maturing as companies continue to invest in the development of their digital platforms.

"The digital commerce platform market is maturing; incumbent vendors are investing in building out their commerce platforms, and those in adjacent areas, such as search, order management and marketing – both through organic development and acquisition," he said.

B2C ecommerce dominates the Indian digital market – B2B being mostly limited to organisations using online channels to improve integration in the supply chain.

However, Gartner warned that the profitability and viability of B2C ecommerce is being put under pressure by limited internet penetration, low digital commerce volume, multiple payment models, logistics and fulfilment challenges.

"The biggest challenge is getting the business digital commerce strategy right and adequate investments in people, process and technology to engage with customers across channels which has been ignored by Indian enterprises so far," the report said.

Data sourced from Gartner; additional content by Warc staff


Content strategies fall short, ANA finds

20 October 2014
ORLANDO: An "astonishing" number of marketers have not yet formalised their content strategy and distribution processes, Bob Liodice, president/ceo of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), has revealed.

Liodice discussed this subject while speaking at the organisation's 2014 Masters of Marketing conference, held in Orlando, Florida.

During a keynote speech at the event, he cited research conducted by the ANA and McKinsey, the management consultancy, showing that considerable room for progress remains in the content arena.

"An astonishing 84% of marketers do not have a formal content strategy and distribution process," said Liodice. "As such, their content supply chain is not properly managed." (For the full story read Warc's exclusive report: ANA sets new standards for marketing ecosystem.)

Until such an objective is achieved, the hyperbole surrounding content marketing is unlikely to be translated into the results desired by practitioners.

"Content is sexy to talk about, but there is a limited view about its tie to the organization," added Liodice.

The debate about the current limitations observable in the content space fed into wider learnings that emerged from the ANA/McKinsey analysis, which were collectively described as the "Three Cs of Disruption."

Understanding the second of these issues, in the form of establishing a broader model of the "customer experience", could - among its many benefits - help enhance fledgling content-marketing regimes.

The third "C" stands for "complexity", an issue that was raised by 86% of marketers as a force for disruptive change in the industry.

"However, only 67% have responded with adequate investment," Liodice informed the Masters of Marketing conference audience.

Building on this theme, the ANA's president/ceo reported that data and analytics often remain a work in progress for brand custodians, too.

"Nearly all marketers say that making data-informed decisions is foundational to more effective marketing," said Liodice.

"Yet more than one-third of companies are still not using data to make decisions. And almost half don't have the right analytics in place."

Data sourced from Warc


ANZ companies lag on big data

20 October 2014
SYDNEY: Companies in Australia and New Zealand have been warned that they are failing to capitalise on the possibilities offered by big data analytics, after new research found only a fifth of the firms have a big data strategy.

Based on the responses of 150 enterprises in both countries, the Forrester Research study for Dell, the US IT firm, found that only 22% of respondents are currently implementing or expanding corporate strategies to harness big data, ZDNet reported.

Even among those using big data, the technology is employed only for very specific purposes, such as fraud detection, compliance, risk management and marketing ROI.

Forrester researcher Tim Sheedy, who presented the findings at the 2014 Dell User Forum A/NZ event in Sydney, expressed surprise that Australia and New Zealand seemed to be so hesitant considering they are both risk-averse economies.

"We tend to make data-centric decisions, so I was surprised that when you're trying to make data-centric decisions, you're not using that data more effectively," he said.

"It's one of the big trends, it's happening everywhere," he continued. "Every day there are more opportunities to analyse data and make better decisions. But I was surprised that more people didn't have a strategy to deal with that."

While companies in the region make good use of other technology, such as cloud infrastructure (81%) and network security software (87%), it appears they're lagging behind other markets when it comes to big data.

IBM recently conducted an international survey of almost 1,500 decision-makers from what it called "pacesetter", or technically advanced, companies and found 70% considered analytics to be an integral part of the decision-making process.

Covering 15 industries in 13 countries, the IBM Business Tech Trends Study also found 60% planned to increase their investment in analytics by more than 10% over the next two years.

Data sourced from ZDNet, IBM; additional content by Warc staff


Millennials like in-store expertise

20 October 2014
CINCINNATI: The great majority of US millennials would welcome the opportunity to take part in loyalty programs that offer in-store sessions with a consultant or specialist, a new survey has revealed.

LoyaltyOne, the Ohio-based loyalty program consultancy, polled 1,034 young US adults aged 18-29 about how they would respond to such offers across a range of sectors.

The grocery sector stood out with 84% of respondents saying they would be likely to shop more often with a grocery retailer that offered a session with a nutritionist or chef as part of their rewards or loyalty program.

Close behind, almost four-in-five (79%) said they would be tempted to shop more at a clothing store that offered a loyalty program allowing a session with a stylist.

A similar move by an electronics store offering a session with a technician or software expert would entice 77% of the survey respondents, the survey found.

And 69% would welcome tuition from a plumber or other tradesman if offered the chance by a home improvement store. Meanwhile, 68% would be inclined to shop more at a cosmetics retailer if offered a session with a makeup artist.

"Marketing to millennials successfully will depend on how well retailers meet their unique needs," said Fred Thompson, retail practice leader at LoyaltyOne.

"Offering sessions with a consultant or expert in the field helps to develop a meaningful relationship between the retailer and shopper, which leads to increased engagement, loyalty and, ultimately, profitability," he added.

Data sourced from LoyaltyOne; additional content by Warc staff


Warc names Innovation Prize shortlist

17 October 2014
LONDON: A total of 28 entries have been shortlisted for the $10,000 Warc Prize for Innovation, which recognises the best case studies worldwide that used innovative thinking to deliver tangible results.

The full shortlist of entries – received from a record 98 submissions – can be viewed on the Prize website.

Now in its third year, the top winning entry will receive the $5,000 Grand Prix while a further five Special Awards of $1,000 each will be chosen by a distinguished panel of judges.

Made up of senior client-side marketers and agency-side strategy experts, the judging panel is chaired by Peter Espersen, Head of Community Co-Creation for the LEGO Group, and the outcome of their picks will be announced at an event in London in December.

Shortlisted entries come from 12 countries this year – including the UK, Australia, China, India and Brazil – and, for the first time, the shortlist features five entries from the UAE and three from Peru.

Coca-Cola has four entries in this year's competition for campaigns ranging from China to the Middle East while Mercedes-Benz and SmartLife, the non-profit organisation from the UAE, each have two.

Several major brands have been shortlisted – including Audi, Samsung, Unilever, Vodafone and Westpac – but other innovative campaigns come from less well-known organisations.

These include, among others, the University of Engineering and Technology from Peru and the Victoria Responsible Gambling Foundation from Australia.

Data sourced from Warc


Agency teamwork best serves clients

17 October 2014
LONDON: The creation of integrated teams across the WPP agency network has not diluted the individual agency brands nor undermined their performance, Sir Martin Sorrell has said.

As chief executive of the world's largest advertising network, responsible for a family of more than 350 companies, he has outlined how WPP's pioneering collaborative 'Team' model enhances client service.

Writing in the 50th anniversary edition of Admap, which is concentrating on the future of brand communications, he explained that the initiative brings colleagues together from across the WPP network so that clients can access the best talent.

In an article entitled "The future of the agency service model", he added that WPP clients are also able to work through a single point of contact, a global client leader, who is supported by country and regional managers.

They marshal resources and foster collaboration for the benefit of clients while helping them to identify new local business opportunities and potential investments. In addition, they support efforts to attract and retain the best talent.

Another initiative that demonstrably enhances client service, he said, is WPP's Worldwide Partnership Programme, an internal awards scheme established in 1997 that encourages collaboration across companies and disciplines.

"Critically, every case is endorsed and signed off by the respective client as adding value to their business," he emphasised.

A recent example includes work by JWT, MediaCom and other agencies on behalf of Capita and the British Army. This proved to be successful because, in the clients' words, they "were able to trust the team to collaborate at all times, irrespective of internal operating company boundaries".

While cost-effectiveness is another benefit for clients in the current financial climate, Sorrell said the main value of cross-group teams is to provide clients with access to a broad pool of talent and resources.

"The primary attraction of the model is that it offers a much simpler route to a much broader range of talent, services and resources than dealing with a large number of unconnected agencies," he said.

Turning to the challenges and opportunities that digital presents to the industry, Sorrell did not underestimate the extent of the transformation ahead – it will be inexorable, unpredictable and indefinite, he said – but expressed confidence that the industry will manage and adapt.

"We're not new to this, and adland has navigated the Google revolution pretty well to date," he said. "It has also been remarkably robust throughout the longest recession in living memory."

Data sourced from Admap


Alibaba to take Singles' Day global

17 October 2014
SHANGHAI: Singles' Day, an unofficial Chinese holiday on November 11 and the world's single biggest shopping day, is about to go global under plans announced by Alibaba, the ecommerce giant.

The annual sales event is significant for China's ecommerce vendors and Alibaba last year sold a record 35bn yuan ($5.7bn) in just 24 hours, Want China Times reported.

This figure dwarfed last year's Cyber Monday sales in the US which amounted to $2.29bn, itself a record for US e-retailers.

Building on the attention brought on by its recent $25bn IPO, Alibaba wants to turn Singles' Day into a worldwide shopping festival and intends to use its English-language AliExpress platform to assist with this task.

Wang Yulei, the CEO of Tmall, Alibaba's B2C site, outlined the company's plans in an article on the Sina Tech website, with excerpts translated by Tech in Asia.

"This year for Singles' Day, our core keyword is globalisation. Starting from this year, future Singles' Days will definitely not just be for consumers in a particular region, Singles' Day will be for the whole world.

"In the past there was only the traditional method of creating a domestic brand, opening retail shops and sales channels, and it was a long process. But with the internet, this can be accomplished quite quickly.

"So that is our goal for this year's Singles' Day: the first step is globalisation," he said.

Alibaba will co-ordinate activity across Tmall, Taobao and its other ecommerce platforms, and has secured the confirmed participation of more than 200 overseas vendors from more than 20 countries, Wang said.

Singles' Day started off as a joke in the early 1990's when students from Nanjing University chose November 11 as its date because 11/11 resembles four single people.

However, as pointed out, making 11/11 a day for a global shopping spree might be seen as inappropriate in some Western countries because it coincides with Remembrance Day.

Data sourced from Want China Times, Tech in Asia,; additional content by Warc staff


CBS and HBO plan streaming services

17 October 2014
NEW YORK: HBO and CBS, the US TV networks, have both announced plans to launch stand-alone, online streaming services to US households that have high-speed internet access but no pay-TV service.

Speaking at an investors' conference organised by parent company Time Warner, HBO's Richard Plepler said viewers would not require pay-TV subscription for the service, USA Today reported.

Those 10m households represent "a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped," he said. "It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO."

"There are 80m homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them," he asserted.

Meanwhile, CBS's new "CBS All Access" service will provide live programming as well current and past shows on-demand at a cost of $5.99 per month.

The live service will start off in 14 US markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas and San Francisco, with more expected to follow.

According to the New York Times, these developments mark the arrival of "à la carte TV" much faster than many in the media industry expected.

"Everybody is talking about it. It is an important part of our future," said Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS Corporation.

"Our job is to do the best content we can and let people enjoy it in whatever way they want. The world is heading in that direction."

The announcements follow news that Netflix reported lower-than-expected global subscriber growth of 3.02m in the third quarter, which caused its share price to drop by 27%.

"HBO and ESPN are the two main reasons why people have cable and satellite TV," James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, told Associated Press.

"The whole industry has eyed them for years nervous that one day they would decide to do exactly what [HBO] said they'll do in 2015. We don't know until we see pricing and packaging how rapidly this will force a change in the way pay TV operators work, but it will definitely force a change," he predicted.

However, breaking away from the cable and satellite providers may force HBO to incur additional expenses, Associated Press said, such as having to build up its own customer service and marketing departments.

To date, those responsibilities have been managed mostly by the pay-TV providers that include HBO in their packages.

Data sourced from USA Today, New York Times, Associated Press; additional content by Warc staff


Newcastle Brown targets the news

17 October 2014
NEW YORK: Newcastle Brown Ale, the beer brand owned by Heineken, ranks being "in the news" among its top targets, as this strategy constitutes an effective and efficient way to drive views of its digital content.

Quinn Kilbury, brand director for the imported beer in the US, discussed this subject while speaking at Advertising Week 2014 in New York.

And he reported that when targets are set for the product's content marketing, impressions are given far greater weight than securing a certain number of views.

"We want to be in the news. And from the news come the views," he said. (For more, including details of how the brand has moved almost exclusively to digital, read Warc's exclusive report: How Newcastle Brown Ale brewed up a digital success story.)

Newcastle Brown Ale has proved adept at achieving this goal, as exemplified by an attention-grabbing initiative, featuring actress Anna Kendrick and former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, around this year's Super Bowl.

Its tongue-in-cheek campaign aimed to "hijack" the conversation by discussing the over-the-top Super Bowl spot Newcastle Brown Ale would have made if it had the money – lampooning many adland clichés along the way.

"We don't want to spend a ton, and if you spend a little bit on the right celebrity who fits the brand tone and fits the brand voice, you're much more likely to get the earned impressions you're looking for."

In all, the program yielded more than 600 organic media placements and generated in advance of one billion impressions.

Further recent efforts have included offering a $1 cheque to 50,000 people signing up to follow Newcastle Brown Ale on Twitter, and proposing America may have turned out better if Britain won the Revolutionary War as part of the "Independence Eve" campaign.

"You have to do something that people want to see. You have to do something that's entertaining, that doesn't feel like a commercial. That's the choice people have to make," said Kilbury.

"There is a lot of good advertising out there, but there are also a lot of stereotypes that we like to make fun of and have fun with.

"And so that is basically what our campaign comes down to: is how can we find the darker side of advertising, and have a little fun with that?"

Data sourced from Warc


Hong Kong responds to wearables

17 October 2014
HONG KONG: The market for smart technology wristbands and other wearables in Hong Kong is likely to grow as consumers become increasingly health-conscious, representatives from two US tech firms have forecast.

But keeping the product uncomplicated and easy to use will be at least as important as the marketing underpinning their adoption, argued Yolanda Chan and Salina Wang in comments to Marketing Interactive.

Chan, the vp and general manager Asia-Pacific at Fitbit, a San Francisco-based activity tracker, said most consumers using smart wristbands in Hong Kong are early adopters who are very health-conscious or keen on sports, but the technology could appeal to a wider consumer base as long as it's kept simple.

"If the software is easy to use and you can easily share information through the platform with your friends to encourage and challenge each other to work out, you can gradually build a community of people using the wearable device," she said.

She noted that a number of big players, such as Apple, are beginning to enter the market and this is encouraging smaller operators to take part too.

"Suddenly, big and small brands alike are starting to feel there is business to be done in this market and they are starting to flood in, she said. "When brands like Google, Samsung and Apple are willing to invest in the industry, other manufacturers see it's worth investing in."

Wang, who is head of Asia-Pacific for global marketing and B2B at Oregon Scientific, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based IDT International, agreed that simple functionality is the essential formula to win over new users.

"People are increasingly lazy, which is why things need to be easy to use. Sometimes, the more functions your product has, the more complicated it becomes," she said.

"You simply need to offer the most basic functions, such as recording how many steps you walked today, how many calories you burned and how many hours you slept for," she added.

For Wang, the market for smart wristbands in Hong Kong will continue to grow and she also saw great potential for marketers to be able to use them to promote special offers and incentive schemes.

"It can be a pretty good marketing tool, especially with notifications built in," she said.

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive; additional content by Warc staff


Brands lag consumer expectations

17 October 2014
BOSTON: A gap between the perceptions and expectations of digtal consumers and senior marketers has been highlighted in a recent report, which identified five areas of disconnect.

Consumers and brand marketers do not see eye-to-eye on mobile, social media, real-time ecommerce, omnichannel capability and brand loyalty, according to the "State of the Customer Journey 2014" report from Kitewheel.

The customer engagement firm based its report on the responses of 382 US consumers, who self-identified as being tech-savvy, and 209 senior-level marketers.

It said real-time ecommerce presents a "huge opportunity for brands" because 91% of consumers feel an "in the moment" offer might influence their purchase.

However, only 32% of marketers have the tools in place to deliver on this "real-time" promise and most offers arrive too late to make a significant difference.

Just over three-quarters (76%) of consumers use mobile devices to compare prices and read reviews while shopping, the report found, but half (51%) of marketers are not managing mobile apps as a consumer touch point.

Over two-thirds of the consumers surveyed expect a response to tweets directed at a brand, but 45% of marketers say their company would be unlikely to be able to respond to every social media interaction.

Finally, nearly three-quarters (73%) of consumers believe loyalty programs should be a way for brands to show consumers how loyal they are to them as a customer, yet two-thirds (66%) of marketers view loyalty programs from the opposite perspective.

Data sourced from Kitewheel; additional content by Warc staff


Marketing optimism remains bullish

16 October 2014
LONDON: Optimism among UK marketers remains buoyant as the latest IPA Bellwether Report reveals budgets have been revised up for the eighth consecutive quarter.

The Q3 2014 IPA Bellwether Report, researched and published by Markit Economics on behalf of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, has shown a net balance of +12.6% of companies registering an increase in budgets.

Although this figure was lower than +20.4% recorded in Q1 and +15.2% in Q2, it still marked two years of continuous growth for UK marketing budgets and was the third highest level in the survey's history.

"The third quarter upward revision to marketing budgets was the third largest recorded since the survey began in 2000, exceeded only by the upward revisions already seen in the first two quarters of the year," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit and author of the report.

"This represents a remarkably positive picture of companies gaining confidence about the economic outlook as the year has progressed, ploughing more money into budgets that had already been set higher at the start of the year.

"At this rate, 2014 is panning out to be the best year for growth of marketing spend in the survey's 15-year history."

Spending on internet marketing was again revised higher than any other Bellwether category and stood at +14.5% in Q3, fractionally down from +14.7% in Q2.

Within this, search recorded a net balance increase of +9.4%, which despite being the lowest since the Q4 2013 survey, still meant there have been positive results over 21 successive quarters.

Spending on main media advertising was not far behind, recording a net balance upward revision of +9.2%, down from +11.5% in Q2.

Other Bellwether categories to record growth included events (+7.8%), direct marketing (+2.1%) and PR (+1.0%), but there were budget reductions for sales promotions (-1.1%), market research (-1.7%) and other (-4.7%).

The survey also reported a net balance of +38.6% of companies indicating they had grown more optimistic about their own financial prospects (up from +37.5% in Q2) and for the wider industry (+30.4%, down from +33.0% in Q2).

The results, coupled with other encouraging data about the UK economy, led the Bellwether to predict adspend growth of 7.0% in 2014, although it expected adspend to fall to 3.8% in 2015 because of an increased chance of higher interest rates.

Commenting on the report, IPA director general Paul Bainsfair, said: "Two years of continuous investment in marketing budgets, coupled with sustained confidence, has enabled the industry to innovate and diversify, and crucially, to drive business growth."

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff


Twitter offers bank transfers

16 October 2014
PARIS: Groupe BPCE, one of the largest banks in France, has joined forces with social network Twitter to allow its customers to make financial transactions via tweets.

The service will be run by S-Money, the bank's mobile payments division, enabling Twitter users to link their accounts to BPCE's existing money transfer service.

Although the arrangement is not a formal partnership, Twitter is allowing BPCE to incorporate its social network and it forms part of Twitter's wider aim of exploring new revenue streams, the New York Times reported.

Just last month, it started testing a "buy" button on tweets sent by selected brands, musicians and non-profit organisations in the US.

Under the agreement with BPCE, customers will be able to transfer up to €500, or about $635, via tweets but the service will be available only to those with French bank accounts and all of the Twitter messages will be open to public view.

The free service will be used mostly for crowdfunding, charity fundraising and pooled payments, such as gifts for friends, said Nicolas Chatillon, chief executive of S-Money, in an interview with Bloomberg.

He said it will be "easy, rapid, secure and free of charge" and that retweets will be blocked for security reasons.

S-Money currently has about 100,000 users in France and Chatillon is hopeful that the Twitter facility will help to expand the product's appeal, especially among younger users.

Twitter is not the first social network to expand into banking services. Rakuten Bank in Japan offers a similar service via Facebook and Apple announced plans last month for a mobile payments service via its new iPhone 6.

The development comes as Euromonitor International, the research firm, predicts that the increasing sophistication of mobile banking apps and their rapid uptake by consumers could soon take mobile payments mainstream.

Writing in Mobile Payments Today, Michelle Evans, a senior analyst at Euromonitor, said the UK, in particular, has emerged as a "hotbed for mobile payments".

Euromonitor estimates that UK consumers, on a per capita basis, will spend $824 via mobile payments in 2014, with almost 80% coming from purchases made on tablets.

Data sourced from New York Times, Bloomberg, Mobile Payments Today; additional content by Warc staff


US millennials are more upbeat

16 October 2014
NEW YORK: US millennials, especially those of Hispanic descent, are more optimistic than they were last year about their country's future, according to the US segment of a new global survey.

The second Global Millennial Survey commissioned by Telefónica, the Spanish telecoms company, questioned just over 6,700 young adults aged 18 to 30 in 18 countries, including 1,000 millennials in the US, half of them Hispanic.

It found an average of over half (51%) of young American adults believe their country's best days lie ahead compared to 44% in last year's inaugural survey. This opinion is shared by 58% of Hispanics and 49% of non-Hispanics.

Overall, 89% are "generally optimistic" about their futures and 43% say they're "very optimistic" compared with 35% last year.

However, they have concerns about the economy and society that go beyond their individual interests. Over a quarter (26%) view the economy as the most important issue facing the US today and 77% believe wealth inequality is growing.

Corruption (47%), political leadership (38%) and the education system (38%) are perceived to be the biggest barriers to the country's growth.

And they believe that equal opportunities for all (32%) and a strong education system (28%) are the key to domestic growth.

While more than half (59%) are satisfied with the education system, two-thirds (66%) are concerned about its affordability, although quality of teachers (53%) and quality of curriculum (52%) also worry them.

Turning to their adoption of technology, the survey found US millennials own more mobile devices than last year.

Nearly four-in-five (79%) now own a smartphone (up from 70%), 56% own a tablet (up from 37%) and 58% use these devices primarily for entertainment.

When it comes to deciding on whether to buy a technology brand, more than a third (34%) say commitment to sustainability and social impact is very important.

The adoption of mobile devices by this generation is mirrored elsewhere in other parts of the world, the survey found.

Among young Brazilian adults, 78% use smartphones and 42% use tablets while the statistics for millennials in Western Europe are 84% and 40% respectively, Telecompaper reported.

In Brazil, smartphones are used for social networks (68%), news (60%), phone calls (57%), text messages (56%), online videos (51%), posting videos (40%), making videos and taking photos (37%), playing games (31%) and streaming videos (30%).

Smartphones are used by nearly a quarter (24%) to make a financial transaction and by 20% to make a purchase.

Data sourced from Telefónica; additional content by Warc staff


Heineken USA innovates on mobile

16 October 2014
NEW YORK: Heineken USA, the brewing group, believes that native and programmatic advertising can both play an increasingly important role for brands as they seek to reach consumers via mobile.

Ron Amram, the firm's senior media director, discussed this theme while speaking at Advertising Week 2014, an event held in New York. And he suggested contextualised native advertising has great potential on mobile.

"What we're finding - and this is kind of an evolution that we have to undergo as marketers: the more customised your creative is, [the more] you have to leverage the native ability," he said. (For more, including a case study featuring the Desperados brand, read Warc's exclusive report: Heineken USA's mobile marketing mandate: Stop the thumb.)

"If you are not understanding why your ad is a perfect fit for a consumer in a specific context, then you're not talking to them in that specific instance, and it's not going to be as relevant and as effective."

Native is especially powerful as a brand-building tool - a trait which appeals to Heineken USA's natural impulse towards "upper-funnel media buys" that enhance core marketing metrics.

"For us, there's a huge opportunity there, because – specifically with mobile – there's the element of personalisation." Amram continued.

"So, you're adding geography and passion, because the mobile device is so personal. You're adding so many other touchpoints to the consumer that other media types don't have."

Programmatic advertising – which involves the automated buying of inventory based on the profile of individual consumers – is another emerging opportunity for marketers on this channel.

One advantage of that model, according to Amram, is that it makes the purchasing of media much less "opaque" than previously. Such a benefit will become more apparent as programmatic spans across a growing range of media.

Additionally, an automated strategy in this space can allow brands to operate intelligently, at speed and, ideally, at significant scale on mobile.

"If it's combining all of those three things all together, the transition will probably happen very quickly," Amram predicted.

These two trends, in tandem, also point to a clear movement towards delivering personalised messaging to a brand's target audience on wireless devices.

"The media now – from a programmatic sense, from a native sense – allows you to do that. So if you're not leveraging that with your creative, you're holding back the impact of your campaigns," said Amram.

Data sourced from Warc


Australia veers from APAC confidence

16 October 2014
SINGAPORE: Consumer confidence across Asia-Pacific has grown to its highest level in more than 10 years, although sentiment is notably downbeat in Australia, a new bi-annual survey has revealed.

According to the latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, 12 out of 16 Asia-Pacific markets recorded positive sentiment while experiencing some or significant improvement over the past six months.

Collectively, the region posted 68.3 Index points in the first half of 2014, up 6.9 points since the second half of 2013, where 50 is used as the benchmark for neutral sentiment.

Myanmar (94.1 points), Indonesia (94.0 points) and India (89.1 points) recorded the region's highest consumer confidence scores while Bangladesh posted the highest rise, climbing 25.9 points to 66.4 on the Index.

Consumer confidence in Taiwan also increased by a large margin, rising 24.9 points to 57.6, and Thailand posted a double-digit rise of 14.6 points to 86.6.

Singapore saw a 13.2 point increase in consumer sentiment to take it into positive territory with an Index score of 60.6 points and consumer confidence also rose in New Zealand, where it climbed 10.8 points to 65.8.

However, Australia stood out with an Index score of just 37.2 points for the first half of 2014, representing a fall of 12 points since the end of last year.

This would appear to chime with findings in a global survey from research firm Nielsen in July that found consumer confidence in Australia had declined to 85 on the Nielsen measurement, the country's lowest score since it began measuring global sentiment in 2005.

Pierre Burret, head of delivery, quality & resource management for Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa at MasterCard Advisors, welcomed the survey results and urged emerging markets to continue their efforts to innovate.

He said: "The region's overall optimism for the future is an encouraging sign, and demonstrates the importance of continuing to innovate with partners in emerging markets like Myanmar, India and Indonesia, in efforts to drive economic growth."

12,574 adult respondents from 27 countries across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa took part in the survey, which was conducted between July and August 2014.

They were asked to give a six-month outlook on five key economic indicators – the economy, employment prospects, regular income prospects, the stock market, and quality of life.

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff


Traditional media holds Asia's rich

16 October 2014
HONG KONG: Even though digital media consumption is on the rise in Asia-Pacific, traditional media is still the preferred first source of information for affluent consumers, a new survey of 10 regional markets has revealed.

According to the Affluent Asia Study from research firm Ipsos, traditional TV channels have a reach of 61% among the affluent while print has a reach of 32%, Marketing Interactive reported.

These figures rise to 66% and 42% respectively when digital content is added, said Ipsos, which questioned 18,830 people earning at least $43,000 per year.

Its survey did not include mainland China, but covered 13 cities in the 10 markets of Hong Kong, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Ipsos found that TV is still the most popular medium for news (39%), entertainment (47%), sport (47%) and finance (27%), and that the internet – excluding mobile websites – only dominates as a source for travel information (40%).

Print is the second main source for news (23%), joint second with the internet for finance (26%), although it lags behind for entertainment (12%).

CNN is the top news source in terms of monthly multi-platform and daily, weekly and monthly TV reach, the report said. It reaches 34% of Asia's affluent, followed by BBC World News (24%), CNBC (16%), Channel NewsAsia (13%) and Bloomberg (12%).

In terms of monthly reach, CNN scores 27%, followed by BBC World News (18%), CNBC (12%), Channel NewsAsia (10%), Bloomberg (7%), Sky News (5%), Euronews (4%), Al Jazeera English (4%) and RT (2%).

CNN also beats BBC World News in its monthly reach on websites and apps (9% versus 5%).

Elsewhere, Google enjoys more reach among Asia's affluent than any media brand, Mumbrella reported. Nearly three-quarters (72.3%) say they used the search engine over the previous month.

YouTube followed with 63.7% and then Facebook (63.1%), Yahoo (49.4%), MSN (17.4%), Skype (23.9%) and LinkedIn (13.7%).

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


Women influence alcohol brands

16 October 2014
CHICAGO: American women are increasingly influential for the alcoholic beverages market and, in particular, young women and those from ethnic minorities will shape the future of the industry, a new report has stated.

The "2014 Special Trends in Adult Beverage Report: Women's Purchases and Preferences" comes from Technomic, the food and drink industry insights firm.

It says women are more likely than the general population to spend more on adult beverages than last year (30% versus 19%) and they are also more likely than the general population to try out new beverages to drink at home (42% versus 35%).

Furthermore, women are more likely to "take cues" when deciding what to order and are influenced by menu descriptions (39% versus 29% of the general population) and samples (32% versus 26%).

"Men are traditionally the target of adult beverage marketing initiatives, but women truly are influencers," said Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic.

"We find women are increasing their knowledge of adult beverages, open to promotions, interested in trying new drinks and eager to share their discoveries with others," she added.

Not surprisingly, younger women are shown to be more open to trying beers and strong ciders than older (35+) women, but the report also found women from ethnic minorities consume more alcoholic drinks than white women, who are also less likely to order spirits.

Among women aged 21 to 34, the most popular drinks consumed on-premise are domestic regular beer (71%), imported beer (66%), domestic light beer (64%), flavoured malt (62%), craft beer (58%) and strong cider (54%).

By contrast, for women aged over 35, domestic light beer is the on-premise alcoholic drink of choice for 38%, followed by domestic regular beer (35%), imported beer (34%) and craft beer (30%).

Data sourced from Technomic; additional content by Warc staff


Global wealth rises to $263 trillion

15 October 2014
ZURICH: Total global household wealth grew by 8.3% to $263 trillion from mid-2013 to mid-2014 and is forecast to grow 40% to $369 trillion by 2019, according to a new report from Credit Suisse, the investment bank.

The US, the world's largest economy, is expected to remain the world's most affluent country with more than $114 trillion in wealth by 2019, but wealth in China and India is expected to grow rapidly at 11% and 9% a year respectively over the next five years.

With the release of its fifth annual Global Wealth Report, Credit Suisse predicted that the share of wealth from emerging markets will likely reach 21% by 2009, or $76.4 trillion, and China alone will account for nearly 10% of total global wealth.

There are currently 34.8m millionaires in the world, up 164% since 2000, and their number is expected to swell by 53% to 53.2m by 2019.

Meanwhile, the number of Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals – defined as people with at least $50m in assets – stands at 128,000. The US accounts for almost half (49%) of this group, followed by China (6%), Germany (4.3%) and the UK (3.6%).

China today has as many UNNW individuals as all of Europe had in 2001, the report said.

The report defines net wealth as the value of financial assets plus real assets, such as property, minus household debt. This means an individual needs just $3,650 to be classed among the wealthiest half of the world's population.

On this basis, Switzerland ranks as the country with the highest average wealth per adult at $581,000, followed by Australia ($431,000), Norway ($359,000), the US ($348,000) and Sweden ($333,000).

These rankings change, however, when median wealth per adult is calculated. By this measure, Australia is ranked as the top economy ($225,000 per adult), followed by Belgium ($173,000), Italy ($142,000), France ($141,000) and the UK ($131,000).

Credit Suisse also highlighted that wealth inequality has increased since 2008, especially in emerging economies like China and India.

"Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth," Credit Suisse said in comments reported by the International Business Times.

"In sharp contrast, the richest decile hold 87% of the world's wealth, and the top percentile alone account for 48.2% of global assets," it continued.

"We expect to see a big improvement in the position of emerging economies over the next five years. Asia and particularly China will account for the largest portion of newly created wealth among the emerging markets."

Data sourced from Credit Suisse; additional content by Warc staff


John Lewis reveals UK shopping habits

15 October 2014
LONDON: Over half of the customer traffic to the website of John Lewis, the UK department store chain, comes from mobile devices, overtaking PCs for the first time.

According to the second annual John Lewis Retail Report, which analysed its own customer transactions over a year to July 2014, the convenience of mobile shopping also encourages customers to make purchases in the early hours.

Online sales between the hours of midnight and 6am rose by almost a third (31%) over the past year, Marketing Magazine reported, although 70% of all sales still take place in physical stores.

Looking at these overnight purchases in closer detail, men tend to log on to buy formalwear between 1am and 2am while parents shop for nursery items at about 4am. Meanwhile, women shop for shoes and handbags between 5am and 7am.

While mobile has become increasingly important, the report said the ability to mix and match purchase channels and delivery options is now the norm.

John Lewis said at least 50% of purchases have an online characteristic while almost a quarter (23%) of its customers research online and then buy in a shop. Convenience and personalisation are also becoming more important, the retailer said.

Separately, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) announced that total retail spending in the UK was 0.8% lower in September than the same month a year ago.

This was the steepest fall since December 2008, excluding Easter distortions, which the BRC said was caused by unseasonably warm weather and declining food sales.

However, the BRC and KPMG, the business services firm which co-authored the report, remained upbeat about prospects for UK retailers in the months ahead.

"One warm September doesn't ruin a Christmas and retailers on the whole are on a firm footing as they enter the all-important final quarter," said David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG.

"The winners will be those who have invested in their systems and carefully managed their stock levels to give themselves the best shot at a successful Christmas," he added.

Data sourced from John Lewis, Marketing Magazine, BRC; additional content by Warc staff


Google rebrands its delivery service

15 October 2014
WASHINGTON DC: In a direct challenge to Amazon, Google is rebranding and expanding its same-day delivery service to three more American cities, and will offer customers products from nine brands, the tech giant has announced.

Starting on Tuesday 14 October, the rebranded Google Express – launched a year ago in California as Google Shopping Express – has been made available to consumers in Washington DC, Boston and Chicago, the Washington Post reported.

It previously served only the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and parts of New York, and it is expected to provide a similar service to AmazonFresh.

Customers of AmazonFresh receive free delivery for purchases of more than $35, as long as they pay a $299 annual membership fee. Under Google's offer, customers will pay $10 a month, or $95 a year, for same-day orders over $15.

The service, which used to be free, also offers new shoppers three months of free membership. Non-members will pay $4.99 per order for purchases of at least $15.

Google Express will offer goods from nine brands – Babies "R" Us, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Giant Food, Guitar Center, L'Occitane, Sports Authority, Staples and Walgreens – many of these are already online advertising partners of Google.

The service is a natural extension of the company's interest in providing easy-to-use technology to connect businesses with consumers, explained Brian Elliott, head of Google Shopping Partnerships.

He said: "We see places where there are long-term needs in the market to create really great user experiences, where given our tech know-how and our reach with users, we can help make these things happen for merchants in a way that would be very hard for them to do on their own."

Data sourced from Washington Post; additional content by Warc staff


Amazon teams up with Future Group

15 October 2014
MUMBAI: Ecommerce in India is about to enter a new phase after Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, announced a strategic alliance with Future Group, the Indian conglomerate with interests ranging from fashion to food.

In a statement announcing their partnership, Amazon India and Future Group said they would be able to leverage the best of consumer insight from the online and offline world and create an omnichannel approach to serving customers.

Once launched, customers on will be able to access the largest online stores of Future Group fashion brands, such as Lee Cooper, Converse and Indigo Nation, Inside Retail Asia reported.

Customers will also benefit from rich product content, secure payments, fast delivery and easy returns on the Amazon platform, the companies said.

In addition, Future Group's portfolio of more than 40 brands and 10,000 unique styles will be sold exclusively via the Amazon platform. will also partner Future Group brands to promote existing and new brands, explore co-branding opportunities and accelerate new product development in categories which are currently not served by retailers, they added.

Kishore Biyani, CEO of Future Group, attributed the success of both companies to their insights into customers and their willingness to innovate.

"The bottom line in each of our retail success stories is 'know your customer'. Insights into the soul of Indian consumers – how they operate, think, dream and live – help us to innovate and create functionally differentiating products and experiences," he said.

"Partnership with Amazon, which obsesses to be earth's most customer-centric company, will enable us to leverage their strengths, investments and innovations in technology to reach out to [a] wider set of consumers across India," he added.

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


FMCG brands expand in SE Asia

15 October 2014
BANGKOK/HANOI: Unilever and Nestlé are to expand their operations in Thailand and Vietnam respectively, the two European FMCG giants have announced in separate statements.

Unilever plans to increase its investment in Thailand by 8bn baht ($246.6m) to take advantage of the country's growing middle-class and its access to the Asean free-trade zone.

Speaking to just-food, the company said its planned expansion will be underpinned by five sustainable business growth strategies.

It aims to build brand loyalty through "constant product innovation" and to use digital marketing to strengthen its relationship with its customers.

Third, it will continue to invest in its production base in Thailand while also seeking to enhance its relationship with retailers. And, finally, it will work on developing the skills of its local staff.

Unilever Thailand will open a new head office in Bangkok in December that will cost 2.6bn baht. It is also investing in a new warehouse (2bn baht), a new ice cream cold room (1.5bn baht), while expanding its personal care plant (1.2bn baht) and its food processing plant (700m baht).

"This is the biggest investment for Unilever Thailand in the past 20 years," said Supattra Paopiamsap, chairwoman of Unilever Thailand, in comments reported by the Bangkok Post.

"Thailand is a strategic country for Unilever globally due [to] its good geographical location, which can serve as a hub for the upcoming Asean Economic Community, while the number of middle-class consumers here can reach 50m by 2020," she said.

It comes as Nestlé, Unilever's Swiss competitor, announced that it will spend 35m Swiss francs (about $36.5m) to expand its Milo chocolate malt beverage factory in southern Vietnam.

That would double the company's production capacity at its Binh An plant in Bien Hoa City and strengthen its presence in the country's growing nutritional beverage sector.

Wayne England, chairman and CEO of Nestlé Indochina told Tuoi Tre News that the company has "a long-term vision and a firm belief in the potential of the country" because of its "young and dynamic population, expanding consumer market, and favourable business environment".

Data sourced from just-food, Bangkok Post, Tuoi Tre News; additional content by Warc staff


Gillette looks 'beyond the face'

15 October 2014
MIAMI: Gillette, the shaving brand owned by Procter & Gamble, is putting digital content at the heart of efforts to "grow beyond the face" in the US.

Daniel Ordoñez, the svp/corporate strategy for Procter & Gamble in Panama, discussed this subject when speaking at the Festival of Media LatAm 2014.

"Gillette is growing beyond the face," he said. (For more, including insights into men's changing habits, read exclusive Warc's report: Gillette brings Latin American shaving culture to US.)

The impetus behind this idea has emerged especially strongly in Central and South America, where many men now shave their chest, back and areas further below the neck.

While these habits are not yet as widespread north of the border, Ordoñez reported that they are gaining traction. "It's a trend we're beginning to tap into in the US," he said.

At the product level, offerings like Gillette Body Razor are "designed to go where face razors aren't". And the brand's marketing has, necessarily, been tailored in a similar fashion.

By way of an example, Gillette has uploaded online content which can answer the types of question typically posed by curious American men, such as "How do I shave my chest?"

"We didn't just put a television ad on YouTube," Ordoñez said. "But digital was the place to tell men how to shave their chest, how to shave their groin area. We needed to find a place for our message."

Just as with any nascent category, providing educational and instructional content regarding the concept of "manscaping" is an essential part of Gillette's strategy.

"Access to information will mean more informed decisions. In [the] past, men have operated on autopilot," said Ordoñez.

Data sourced from Warc


Search engines 'fail' to highlight ads

15 October 2014
WASHINGTON DC: Leading search engines in the US – including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft – have been accused of making it difficult for users to distinguish between ads and organic search results.

An article in the Wall Street Journal has suggested that the three leading US search engines have done little to comply with a requirement issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that they do more to highlight ads in search results.

Mary Engle, the FTC's associate director for advertising practices, wrote to 22 search sites in June 2013, warning them that they risked misleading consumers because of a "decline in compliance".

She specifically urged the search sites to include more prominent shading for ads and to label them "explicitly and unambiguously".

However, the article went on to say that Google now simply displays a small yellow "Ad" label next to some paid links while the shading of ads on Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing search results "is nearly imperceptible".

The Wall Street Journal also included "then and now" graphics of search results to illustrate how ads are being labelled.

"Consumers are being tricked," asserted Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a consumer-advocacy group.

All three main search engines responded to the accusation, insisting that they clearly distinguish ads from organic search results.

Yahoo said it believed its "practices in displaying search results to be consistent" with FTC guidelines. Microsoft said it had "instituted clear labels to distinguish ads from organic search results".

Meanwhile, Google said it has "always prominently labelled advertisements".

Mary Engle declined to say whether the FTC is considering enforcement action or if it has taken up the issue with the search engines concerned.

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


Global views vary on smartwatches

14 October 2014
NUREMBERG: Chinese and American consumers are far more open than their British and German counterparts to the functional possibilities offered by smartwatches, according to a new survey conducted in five countries.

The Chinese, in particular, see value in using smartwatches to transmit healthcare data, as travel tickets, online identification, identity cards, and payment systems. But consumers in Germany and the UK are the most sceptical about all these functions.

These are among the key findings uncovered by GfK, the global research agency, which questioned 5,000 smartphone owners – 1,000 in each market – in China, Germany, South Korea, the UK and the US.

Nearly half of those surveyed would be interested in using smartwatches to send personal healthcare data to doctors, but this ranges from 69% in China to just 25% in Germany.

This compares with half (50%) of Americans, 43% of South Koreans and about one-third of respondents in the UK.

Men are more open to the concept than women and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the willingness to share health data increases with age, the study found.

Similarly, older people are more willing to use smartwatches for online identification. Nearly half (48%) of the over-50s are interested in this function, compared to 46% of 30-49 year-olds and 42% of those aged 16-29.

Over two-thirds (68%) of Chinese respondents are happy to use a smartwatch as secure identification, but this drops to just under half (49%) of Americans, 37% of South Koreans, one-third (33%) of Britons and just one-quarter of Germans.

On whether smartwatches could be used as a form of ID, again the Chinese are the most open to the idea.

Over half (57%) say they would be happy to do so, followed by respondents in the US (41%), South Korea (33%), the UK (28%), but only one-fifth of Germans feel the same.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Chinese see potential for smartwatches as travel tickets, followed by South Korea (54%), the US (41%), the UK (32%) and Germany (31%).

Using smartwatches as a method for making payments fails to interest most consumers outside of China, the only country to record a slim majority.

Just over half (54%) of Chinese respondents would be interested in using a smartwatch at the checkout compared to a global average of just 35%.

Only 40% of US respondents would welcome the idea, dropping to 28% in South Korea, 27% in the UK and just 20% in Germany, the country that is most hesitant on all five questions.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff


Admap Prize 2015 is launched

14 October 2014
LONDON: Admap, Warc's flagship magazine dedicated to thought leadership, today launches the Admap Prize 2015, offering a $5,000 cash prize to the best essay discussing Big Data and its influence on creative thinking.

The competition is free to enter and seeks to encourage and reward excellence in strategic thinking in brand communications.

Full details on the subject – "Does Big Data inspire or hinder creative thinking" – as well as details about how to submit entries are available on the Admap Prize website. The closing date for entry is January 31, 2015.

A distinguished panel of thought leaders from both the agency and client side will judge the entries and they include Marc Mathieu, Senior Vice-President, Marketing, at Unilever, and Julie Kollman, Global Head of Insights at SABMiller.

Commenting on this year's theme, Admap editor Colin Grimshaw said the collection and use of data is an issue of fundamental importance to the industry.

"It's a topic that is being hotly argued in all corners of our industry and the question we have set goes to the heart of the debate and anxiety around data," he said.

"The gathering of data, its manipulation and its employment is fundamental to the future of marketing," he added.

Big Data is neither a panacea for all of marketing's ills nor "the enemy at the gate", he said, but important questions need to be asked about its role in the creative process and the development of ideas.

For example, while Big Data can help to finesse media strategy, some media planners fear programmatic buying will replace human skill in media selection, he noted.

There is also the ongoing debate about how data can be used to optimise brand messaging to the benefit of consumers without infringing their privacy.

These and other thoughts will be the subject of this year's prize, a unique opportunity to have the quality of ideas recognised by some of the industry's leading thinkers.

In addition to the $5,000 cash prize, essays awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze will be published in a special edition of Admap magazine and on

Data sourced from Warc


Instagram is top social site for teens

14 October 2014
MINNEAPOLIS: Instagram, the photo-sharing network, has become the most popular social media site for US teenagers, according to the autumn findings of a bi-annual study of teenage attitudes across 41 states.

Based on the responses of 7,200 US teens with an average age of 16, the latest "Taking Stock With Teens" results from Piper Jaffray, the investment bank, found about three-quarters (76%) now use Instagram, up from 69% in its previous report.

Facebook, once the most popular site, has witnessed a significant fall in popularity from 72% to 45% and has been overtaken by Twitter, Marketing Charts reported.

Twitter is now the second most popular social media site, used by 59% of US teenagers, although this too is a decline on its 63% usage recorded six months ago.

Pinterest and Tumblr are used by 22% and 21% respectively while 14% use "other" social media sites, including Snapchat (4%).

Of particular note for marketers, the report found 38% of US teenagers believe Instagram is a favourable marketing channel to reach them, a view shared by 34% about Twitter and 21% about Facebook.

"Teens use social media, mainly Instagram, to create their own unique personal brands and seek peer affirmation," explained Steph Wissink, co-director of research at Piper Jaffray.

Amazon is by far their preferred shopping website (32%), followed by Nike (8%), eBay (5%) and Forever 21 (5%) while 2% each opt for Urban Outfitters, Victoria's Secret, American Eagle, Nordstrom, Pacsun, Brandy Melville and Eastbay.

Apple remains the top consumer electronics brand for teens. In all, 67% own an iPhone, up 6% from spring 2014, and almost three-quarters (73%) expect their next phone to be an iPhone.

Over half (54%) own an iPad, 12% have an iPad Mini, while 16% own an Android tablet, 6% own a Kindle Fire, and 7% have a smartwatch.

In other findings, food is their second largest spending category (20%), behind clothing (21%) and ahead of accessories/personal care (10%).

The average spend on fashion goods per year has risen to $1,069, up from $995 annual spend recorded in the same period last year, and Nike is the top preferred clothing brand for almost a quarter (22%), followed by American Eagle (8%) and Forever 21 (7%).

Data sourced from Piper Jaffray, Marketing Charts; additional content by Warc staff


Mobile influences millennial moms

14 October 2014
NEW YORK: Combining mobile with the in-store experience is the most effective method of reaching "millennial moms", who also use different devices for different categories, a new report has found.

The study, conducted by mobile ad network Millennial Media for Ansible, Interpublic's mobile ad agency, analysed the behaviour of 535 millennial mothers aged 18 to 34, Mobile Marketing reported.

Looking at how they behave across four product categories – retail, consumer electronics, consumer goods and automotive – the report found almost three-quarters (73%) use smartphones for consumer electronics content.

This compares with just a quarter (24%) of millennial mothers who use desktop PCs for this category and 3% who use tablets.

By contrast, three-quarters use PCs to investigate the auto category – most probably because of the larger screen size – compared to just 15% who use smartphones and 10% who use tablets.

When out shopping, millennial moms use their mobile devices to take pictures of products (50%), text family and friends (39%) and send product photos to others (40%).

This finding prompted Ansible CEO Angela Steele to urge retailers and FMCG brands to link their apps to the real world shopping habits of millennial mothers.

"Combining mobile with the in-store experience is really the strongest use of mobile," she advised.

Mobile devices also play an important role in helping millennial mothers to find inspiration about a particular product, the report found.

About a third of those surveyed said smartphones played a role helping them with research and to get ideas, with a fifth (21%) making a purchase.

Tablets played a similar role for a quarter (25%) at the inspiration and research stage, with 18% making a purchase.

This could be of particular importance when considering that millennial mothers tend to have higher rates of mobile device ownership. The survey found 85% have a smartphone and 43% own a tablet.

Also, over half (53%) are in full-time employment and 69% are married with a household income of over $50,000, the report said.

Data sourced from Mobile Marketing; additional content by Warc staff


WhatsApp connects luxury brands

14 October 2014
NEW DELHI: WhatsApp, India's top instant messaging app and used by 65m consumers, is becoming an increasingly important promotional channel for luxury and premium brands, industry insiders have said.

They include representatives from Reliance Brands, which retails labels like Diesel, Zegna and Brooks Brothers in the country, as well as Nordic Kandie, the high-end chocolate retailer, and Italian menswear brand Corneliani.

"The service helps us connect better with the clients not just in the metro cities where we have stores, but also 45 locations across India," said Summet Yadav, business head of Reliance Brands in comments reported by the Economic Times.

He said customers find it convenient to use WhatsApp to search the latest stock and to book items to be home-delivered or collected. "Conversion rates in case of customers using WhatsApp are as high as 80%," he asserted.

It is an experience shared by Nordic Kandie. Thea Tammeleht, the company's founder and director, said nearly 7-in-10 enquiries received via WhatsApp convert into sales and most enquiries are sent on Sundays.

"We find this way of communicating easy for business as we are able to send price lists, images of products, pre-and post-shipping," she said.

Customers, in turn, are also using the app to share pictures of the products with their family and friends before making a final purchase decision.

"Currently we engage with at least 15% of our top repeat clients via WhatsApp and it is growing very fast," said Prem Dewan, retail head of Corneliani, which has seen its customers try on outfits first and share photos before buying the final product.

This means "WhatsApp is being used by brands to both generate leads as well as manage customer service at a more micro level", said Apeksha Harihar, editor of Social Samosa, a social media news portal.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


Brands risk ignoring African-Americans

14 October 2014
NEW YORK: Brands pursuing a total-market strategy must be careful not to neglect African-American shoppers, a leading executive has argued in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

In a recently-published "Speaker's Box" piece, Esther (E.T.) Franklin, evp/head of Starcom MediaVest Group Americas Experience Strategy, observed that marketing messages are increasingly inclusive in tone.

The total-market approach – which largely looks at the general and minority markets as a single entity with the aim of seeking out universal truths that are applicable across the board – is symptomatic of this idea in action.

A problem potentially resulting from this thinking, however, is that such communications are often not premised upon in-depth cultural insights or the specific experiences of African-Americans.

"Black America – the very audience that helped give rise to multicultural opportunities in marketing/media/advertising as the aftereffects of a hard-fought (and won) Civil Rights movement – is disappearing from the landscape it helped create," Franklin warned.

"Strategies guided by the Black perspective are dropping out of the strategic marketing mix, even as brand owners take millions of dollars that should be invested in targeting Black audiences and spend those funds in programs that make no connection to Black consumers."

Rather than constituting definitive progress on multicultural marketing in the past, many contemporary campaigns, therefore, threaten to move the industry backwards instead of forwards.

"Today's total-market efforts are tactical in nature," she added. "Based on casting, music, and celebrity ploys, they lag decades behind the strategically grounded, culturally vibrant, winning approaches of a bygone era."

More positively, better meeting the needs of a consumer base possessing a collective buying power of over $1 trillion is thus a renewed opportunity for companies that are capable of responding effectively.

Achieving this goal, in turn, depends on recognising that culture is a key part of an individual'' identity, and how they see themselves in the world. At present, by contrast, "cultural resonance rarely shows up", Franklin said.

So how might brands start to remedy this situation? "Black people want stories told from their voices – experiences of and about them – to be equitably reflective of the whole of their reality," she advised.

Data sourced from Warc


Sports retail becomes lifestyle brand

14 October 2014
SINGAPORE: As a growing proportion of middle-class consumers in Singapore adopt health and fitness as a lifestyle, the sports retail sector has avoided a slowdown in the wider fashion segment and it looks forward to continued growth.

Several leading sports apparel brands – including US label Under Armour, Canadian label Lululemon – have been expanding their presence in the country and expect to grow further, Channel News Asia reported.

Under Armour, for example, opened its first store only in May this year, but it has since added two more stores and aims to grow over the next three years.

Angelica Suiza, chief product and ecommerce officer at Triple Pte Ltd, the official distributor of Under Armour products, said: "The rising middle class is definitely a reality in Singapore and across the neighbouring countries.

"That is basically where you will find different age sectors across the middle class really getting involved in physical activities, so that is why sports will always be a relevant segment."

Sulian Claire, the senior director for retail and lifestyle at Savills, the consultants, agreed that sports clothing is becoming a lifestyle brand.

"What is happening in the last year or so is you are actually seeing a convergence of sports and fashion. That pretty much is the trend," she said.

"Even on the fashion runways, you are seeing a lot of fashion brands featuring sports-inspired fashion, whether it is a baseball jersey or basketball jersey," she added.

Another retail and property consultancy, JLL, expects the sports retail sector to continue to grow, especially if retailers can keep the price of imported brands competitive and focus on creating a differentiated experience in physical stores.

Data sourced from Channel News Asia; additional content by Warc staff


Brands survive by being agile

13 October 2014
LONDON: Brands must put aside the certainties of brand management that date from the last century and adapt to today's rapidly changing business environment by making themselves agile, two leading industry practitioners have said.

Lois Jacobs and Thomas Ordahl – respectively the CEO and chief strategy officer of Landor, the global brand consultancy – argue that the speed of modern-day disruption means brands must be created and managed in an entirely new context.

Writing in the 50th anniversary edition of Admap, which is concentrating on the future of brand communications, they identify six essential characteristics that help to make an "agile brand".

Brands must be "adaptive", they say, and above all "understand that success requires being both nimble to risk and responsive to opportunity", citing Nike as a good example of a brand that successfully evolved from a single category.

An agile brand must also be "principled" and very clear about what it stands for. "It is this interplay between standing for something and yet never standing still that makes agile brands successful," they suggested.

"Networked" is the third essential characteristic. Through its network of customers, employees, partners and communities, an agile brand – such as in the example they give – can ensure they have vital relationships and ongoing relevance.

Fourth, brands must be "leading", take an active rather than a reactive approach, or otherwise risk being defined by others. Jacobs and Ordahl say perhaps no brand more than Virgin is better at defining its own future.

Fifth, the evolution of digital has also made "multichannel" a key element for an agile brand. Luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co, for example, has perhaps surprisingly become an online success story by developing a successful ecommerce business while also maintaining its strong historical associations.

Finally, a brand should think in "global" terms and be aware that it can face unexpected competitors, innovations and insights from outside its region.

Above all, Jacobs and Ordahl, conclude – it is up to brand managers and their agencies to change their practices and their habits to "build the great brands of the future".

Data sourced from Admap


Britons distrust internet of things

13 October 2014
LONDON: Security and privacy are high on the list of concerns for British consumers, yet they remain open to some of the advantages that the "internet of things" can bring, a new survey has shown.

A survey of 1,600 UK consumers by business services firm KPMG found more than half (58%) resent the idea that computers seem to run their lives and 70% suggest that, with so many inter-connected devices, it is too easy for things to go wrong.

The survey also found that many Britons seem to want to return to the days of simple technology with over half (54%) saying they wished their phones only made calls.

The majority also don't see the point of some home-based smart technology, such as internet-connected fridges that order food when supplies run low or cookers that remind householders about recipes.

However, they are more responsive to connected technology that deals with health and energy. Nearly half (48%) welcome the concept of smart meters than can save energy while 40% like health monitors that warn about impending illness.

It seems much of this distrust leads back to a perception of being kept under "Big Brother" surveillance – an opinion shared by over half (56%) of respondents.

This concern also extends to the workplace where more than a third (36%) fear their employer could use new technology to monitor everything they do. 

"It is clear that consumers are struggling with a desire to use connected devices as a route towards an easier life, but they remain wary of the rise of the machine," said Wil Rockall, a director in KPMG's Cyber Security practice.

But, he added: "They still support innovation, recognising that in the right environment having the latest technology is key – nearly 60% acknowledge that technology makes us more effective at our job."

The survey chimes with a recent poll in the US,in which McAfee, the computer security firm, found the great majority of Americans expect connected devices to be commonplace in the home and at work by 2025, yet 68% worry about the security implications.

Data sourced from KPMG; additional content by Warc staff


Singapore tops global digital index

13 October 2014
SINGAPORE: Singapore is the country most prepared for the digital age because it has the necessary infrastructure and supporting conditions in place, a new global study has revealed.

According to the Digital Evolution Index, a joint study by MasterCard Global Insights and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, Singapore has the highest Index score out 50 countries assessed on four key drivers – supply, demand, institutions and innovation.

Taken together, these drivers cover each nation's digital infrastructure, consumer digital engagement, institutional support and the extent of innovation in ecommerce.

Hong Kong ranks third on the Index, but notably Malaysia (#23), China (#29) and Thailand (#35) are named as the top three fastest moving digital economies.

All three countries are described as "break out" developing countries experiencing rapid digital gains and likely to emerge as strong digital economies if their evolution rates continue.

"Asia is a hotbed of digital adoption," said Raj Dhamodharan, group head of emerging payments, Asia-Pacific, Mastercard.

"We're seeing developed markets in the region claiming the top spots in the Index, and emerging markets showing immense potential with their rapid pace of digital adoption," he added.

In addition to the "break out" countries, the report identifies three other categories that it describes as "trajectory zones".

"Stall out" countries represent the mature markets of Western and Northern Europe, Australia and Japan where the report says innovation and seeking markets overseas will be critical to continued growth.

"Stand out" countries – such as Singapore, Hong Kong and the US – have and continue to maintain high levels of digital transactions, but they will have to maintain fast-track innovation to remain at this high level.

Finally, "watch out" countries with large populations like Indonesia, Russia and Nigeria present significant opportunities for investment despite their difficulties.

All countries ranked in the report's global top ten are either "stand out" or "stall out" and, joining Singapore and Hong Kong, they include Sweden (#2), the UK (#4), Switzerland (#5), the US (#6), Finland (#7), Canada (#8), South Korea (#9) and the Netherlands (#10).

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff


Luxury market set to recover in China

13 October 2014
SHANGHAI/LONDON: China is on track to overtake Japan as the second largest luxury market in the world by 2019, according to new industry data from Euromonitor International.

Even though China dropped from third to fourth place in the research firm's global rankings because of slowing growth and a government clampdown on extravagant consumption and luxury gift-giving, the country is still expected to rebound.

Writing in Luxury Society, Fflur Roberts, head of luxury goods at Euromonitor, said China is expected to post 4% real growth in 2014, rising to 6% in 2015, with luxury spending forecast to increase by 52% in real terms over the next five years.

"China is still on course to overtake Japan as the second biggest luxury market in the world, but this shift will now be delayed until 2019 as opposed to the previous prediction of 2016," she said.

Disposable income in China is expected to increase 64% by 2019 and that, combined with high spending by wealthy Chinese tourists, will help drive overall global luxury spending by 19% to $405bn.

The US, which remained the largest luxury market in 2014 with a valuation of $78bn, is forecast to retain its top position in 2019, but Chinese spending will contribute to the global total.

"We expect to see more spending by wealthy Chinese tourists outside mainland China as well as amongst Chinese diasporas," Roberts explained.

"Many high-income consumers from the mainland are likely to look to relocate overseas, with the US, Europe and Canada top choices for a new home. As they move, so will their buying power," she added.

Turning to the outlook for the rest of the world, Euromonitor reported that India remains the fastest growing market having increased its real market value by 98% over the last five years.

Meanwhile, Western Europe – buoyed by luxury shopping destinations like London, Paris and Milan – remains the largest region with $113bn in sales.

But luxury sales in Eastern Europe remain muted because of economic sanctions in Russia and prevailing political instability.

Data sourced from Euromonitor, Luxury Society; additional content by Warc staff


US holiday spending will increase

13 October 2014
NEW YORK: Retailers, especially those offering discounts, can look forward to a busier holiday shopping season this year after a new survey revealed that 25% of US consumers plan to spend more on holiday gifts compared to 20% in 2013.

Spending on holiday gifts is expected to average $718, according to the Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey, an online poll of 500 US consumers conducted in September 2014.

It found two-thirds (66%) are likely to shop on Black Friday – the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving Day – compared to 55% in 2013 and just 44% in 2007. Enthusiasm to go shopping on that day is at its highest for eight years, the report said.

The likelihood that Americans will go shopping on Thanksgiving Day and evening is also up on last year (45% versus 38% in 2013) and nearly half (47%) plan to shop in a physical store between 6pm on Thanksgiving Day and 5am on Black Friday.

However, while the survey indicates that US consumers are more confident about spending this year, the report warns that they remain price-conscious.

Nearly all respondents (96%) said that discounts will be important to their purchasing decisions and more than a quarter (29%) said it would take a discount of 50% or more to persuade them to make a purchase.

Gift cards (57%), apparel (56%) and toys (42%) top consumers' holiday shopping lists this year and Accenture advised that a gift card may prompt additional sales.

"The holiday shopping season is one of the most competitive times of the year for retailers, but they also have a big opportunity to drive sales and acquire new customers," said Dave Richards, global managing director of Accenture Retail.

"Personalised promotions and pushing gift cards are a good way for retailers to continue momentum and stretch this success into the post-holiday season," he added.

More than half (51%) of respondents plan to use the internet to spend at least half of their total holiday gift purchases while free shipping is the top incentive (69%) for them to do so.

In terms of offers, consumers respond to competitor price-matching on the spot (40%), loyalty programs for exclusive deals (35%), purchasing online with in-store delivery or pickup (32%), while loyalty programs appeal to about a fifth (19%).

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff


Pepsi develops its brand story

13 October 2014
NEW YORK: Marketers must seek to become "brand makers" rather than simply acting as brand managers, according to a leading executive from PepsiCo.

Javier Farfan, the company's head of music, entertainment and culture marketing, discussed this subject while speaking at MediaPost's OMMA Premium Display Conference.

"As brand managers, we need to be more 'brand makers'," he asserted. (For more, including useful hints and tips for marketers, read Warc's report: The challenge of staying ahead: How Pepsi keeps its finger on the Pulse.)

By way of illustration, Farfan pointed to the development of Pepsi Pulse - the banner now employed by the cola brand's official website, which today largely focuses on topics of specific interest to millennials.

In foregrounding sports, music, entertainment and similar themes, Pepsi is establishing its own distinctive "voice", an increasingly important strategy as the line between brands and publishers continues to blur.

Undertaking such a task is even more essential for a product which has long prided itself on being on the cutting edge of popular culture.

"We have to get into this concept of being an editor and a storyteller of our brands - and apply a filter of what's going on culturally, because we're a lifestyle brand - through those vehicles and use them correctly," said Farfan.

Pepsi Pulse now attracts millions of regular visitors, as well as fuelling an enormous number of social media conversations and earned media impressions.

Based on this experience, Farfan noted that the content produced by marketers will not automatically find a receptive audience among the intended target demographic when compared with traditional sources of news and information.

"The difference is: when somebody sees our brand in front of the word, as that editorial voice, they discount it," he cautioned the OMMA delegates.

"So I think we have to be authentic to the space - and show and prove what value we're bringing to the consumer."

Data sourced from Warc


Poor customer care hits retail apps

13 October 2014
RESTON, VA: If US mobile shoppers encounter difficulties when using a retailer's app, over half (51%) will abandon their mobile shopping cart, a new report has warned.

And a further 20% of mobile consumers will stop using the app entirely if they have to struggle with it, according to a survey of 1,000 US adults by Contact Solutions, the mobile customer care provider.

Yet even though three out of four consumers now shop online, and 30% use a mobile device at least as much as they shop via a computer, retailers do not appear to be meeting consumers' expectations about the performance of their apps.

More than half (55%) of mobile shoppers say they struggle at least once every five visits and a full 92% say it would be helpful to have customer care automatically provided within an app to help complete a task.

Furthermore, 16% of respondents say they struggle with mobile retail apps at least half the time and more than a third (38%) express disappointment with the unavailability of help within an app.

John Hibel, director of marketing at Contact Solutions, acknowledged that retailers' investment in online and mobile shopping is beginning to pay off, but said they need to pay more attention to customer care.

"Customers are using apps more frequently for shopping, but when they encounter problems and cannot get the help they need, the results are disastrous for retailers," he said.

"The solution is simple: invest more in your app's customer care offerings so it can meet your customers' expectations and provide them with a seamless shopping experience."

Data sourced from Contact Solutions; additional content by Warc staff