How brands can tap music fans

26 November 2015
LONDON: Music fans accept the role brands have to play in artist development and in sustaining the music industry, but while "selling out" is no longer an issue "selling unwisely" is.

Research into music fandom by Twitter and Crowd DNA, presented in an ESOMAR paper The future fan, explored how this has evolved and what it means for brands and the media.

The authors, Gemma Proctor, research manager at Twitter UK, and Andy Crysell, managing director at insight business Crowd DNA, noted that the word 'music' was tweeted almost 12m times in the UK in 2014 and outlined an interview and survey-based study designed to understand the choice of this social network as a platform to talk about music.

They reported that while many aspects of music fandom, and what drives people to become fans have not changed, the advent of social media has enabled what they call "the age of the fan ecosystem" where artists, fans, brands and media all feed off each other.

Passion, identity, belonging and knowledge were highlighted as drivers of fandom and social media has a role in meeting these needs, with Twitter proving a particularly good platform for not only "remote participation" – informing fans unable to attend an event – but also for "digital intimacy" with artists themselves.

"The interest in fandom and fan communities among brands and media has reached new levels, with strategies for creating commercial advantage an absolute priority," according to Proctor and Crysell.

And while artists aren't seen as selling out when they partner with a brand, they do need to "sell wisely", and that means brands understanding what fans want to receive from them in the music space.

Most obviously that entails shared values between brand, artist and fans. And, tied to fandom drivers, giving fans opportunities to meet or interact with their idols, helping them feel part of the action and find out new things are all part of the mix.

But brands also need to commit for the long term, the authors said; "You can't expect to turn up at one festival, Tweet about it and instantly become associated with music".

Data sourced from ESOMAR


Optimal digital OOH spend figured

26 November 2015
LONDON: About 45% of an advertiser's out-of-home (OOH) budget should be given over to digital outdoor media according to a new study.

At the request of Talon, the independent outdoor media specialist, BrandScience, the Omnicom econometrics and data science business, analysed some 211 OOH ad campaigns that ran between 2011 and 2015.

It concluded that the 45% figure would deliver maximum effectiveness, Marketing reported, taking into account the various costs associated with digital and traditional OOH. Above that level diminishing returns set in.

The study didn't stop there, however, as it also came up with detailed advice on how different categories can maximise ROI when combining digital and traditional OOH as part of a wider media mix.

So, for example, optimal OOH investment for grocery retailers was put at £7m, a figure likely to deliver 70% in incremental value.

For travel companies, it recommended OOH investment of £2.7m, to yield 15% in incremental value.

"We can clearly measure out-of-home effectively and we have proved that a slightly increased OOH spend – in many cases – delivers higher ROI," claimed Sally Dickerson, the global chief executive at BrandScience.

Past BrandScience work in this field has purported to show that out-of-home is the second most efficient media, behind radio, and that OOH can improve the rate of return on investment for all other media used in an ad campaign, except for print.

At the same time, a higher proportion of budget spent on OOH increased ROI, while the reverse was true for TV spending.

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America recently launched a campaign, Feel the Real, highlighting the fact that, unlike many online ads, billboards are seen by humans.

As well as posters headlined "You are consuming this advertisement. You are real", the campaign tackled agency thinking specifically with headlines such as "Media planners, do you have a reality problem?" and, in one positioned outside Ogilvy & Mather's New York office, "Hey, Shelly, does this ad feel real to you?" – a dig at the agency's Chairman Emeritus Shelly Lazarus.

Data sourced from Marketing, OMA, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff


Addressable TV needs to scale

26 November 2015
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: Addressable TV has been proven as a business model in 2015 and now needs to scale up, according to industry figures.

"It's an exciting time," according to Steve Marshall, CEO of Invision, a supplier of multi-platform advertising sales software, who outlined to a two-stage process as regards scaleability with addressable.

"There's the technology, being able to scale the backend technology to serve more ads in more commercial breaks," he said. "And then there's scaling the revenue."

He said he was "very bullish on the ability to do both" but he thought they would happen "in different time frames".

"2015 was the year when the addressable model was proven," he added. When it comes to scaling the revenue, "over the next two to three years, you will see significant increases".

It will take that long because "they've really just scratched the surface of the inventory – MVPDs have only lit up a small percentage of their two minutes per hour."

The challenge ahead for a vendor such as Invision, he explained, is to give those multichannel video programming distributors the tools to understand how much more inventory they should give to addressable as compared to traditional linear TV.

The timeline envisaged by Marshall was echoed by Oren Harnevo, CEO of video advertising technology company Eyeview, who concurred that addressable TV had yet to scale.

"This year is a very big opportunity for brands to put more money in – in TV advertising that's targeted to the household or to a small group or segment," he said.

"The concept of being able to target according to CRM data – or third party data – on television is crazy-unique," he added.

The big change he suggested had come when MSOs and MVPs had got on board and opened up their data.

"Television needed to upgrade, to be more relevant ... the MSOs and MVPs got it. When they open up, the agencies, marketers and the vendor community start to take it in. Now there's a wave of 'this starting to happen'."

Data sourced from; additional content by Warc staff


Beacons to deliver this season

26 November 2015
NEW YORK: With more retailers deploying beacons, proximity marketing is expected to deliver increased engagement and conversion this holiday season, especially with the millennial demographic.

According to inMarket, a beacon platform that claims to reach 38m monthly shoppers across the US, beacons and proximity marketing programs will influence $7.5bn of millennial spending over the next few weeks.

"We saw a lot of test-and-learn across various industries in beacon tech in 2014 and early 2015," said Kevin Hunter, president of inMarket. "Now, we are seeing the savviest marketers benefit from hypertargeting and contextual mobile experiences for consumers, both in-store and before she shops."

He added that millennials were the most desirable demographic for marketers, "and beacons plus proximity tools – when coupled with app scale – can provide access to interested shoppers at their most receptive times".

"The significance of $7.5bn really is that marketers can impact this millennial spending while the shopper is in-store, ready to buy," he said.

On the inMarket platform itself, the top five product categories to benefit from in-store proximity engagements in 2015 were deli items, over-the-counter medication, wine and spirits, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.

These rankings were based on average incremental spending driven with inMarket proximity campaigns during the year.

"Proximity tends to be an excellent way to engage shoppers about new or timely products," Hunter said.

"While we can't comment on campaigns that are in-progress, we do have a number of major brands using the technology to drive awareness and sales for holiday-themed products."

Mobile Marketer named one of these as Philips Norelco, the consumer electronics brand, which is running a campaign aimed at driving traffic into the men's grooming aisle to pick up an electric shaver as a gift.

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


Lower tier cities drive luxury sales

26 November 2015
NEW DELHI: More than one third of luxury brand sales in India come from lower tier cities, according to a new study which highlights the different thinking of consumers there from those in the metros.

The report from the Confederation of Indian Industry and researcher IMRB International, titled Emerging Consumers of Luxury – India Tiers 2 & 3 was based on interviews with consumers in these cities aged 20 to 55 and with an annual household income of over Rs 1 crore.

It found that 35% of sales of luxury brands came from places like Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Coimbatore, Anand, Bhopal, Patna, Kochi and Rajkot, the Economic Times reported.

What these high net worth individuals were actually buying was gender dependent, with much of men's spending directed towards cars, while women favoured apparel.

"In keeping with what we saw as the psychological characteristics of the consumer in these cities, men tend to need to signal their power or status that is possibly best done through automobiles which by sheer size and presence are hard to miss," the study noted.

Luxury watches too were an item that sent particular social signals for men while clothing came down their list of priorities.

Women, on the other hand, were more interested in buying luxury products they could enjoy, hence their focus on apparel.

But, Fibre2fashion noted, they tended to be cautious, owning perhaps a couple of designer handbags to create "just the right impression" in society.

"The small town woman still carries her cultural baggage along with her new found modern and semi-westernised identity," it said.

Quality was the thing that these consumers in lower tier cities valued most in luxury products, being cited by 75% of respondents, followed by luxuriousness (69%), style (64%), modernity (63%) and reliability (61%).

One area where lower tier cities differ markedly from metros is in the experiential aspects of luxury ownership, such as art or travel. These remain at very low levels of penetration in the tier 2 and 3 towns, the report said.

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


Asia business elite turn to digital

26 November 2015
SINGAPORE: Asia's business leaders are embracing digital platforms, but print formats remain strong, according to a new study.

Researcher Ipsos investigated the media consumption habits of more than 259,000 senior business executives in Asia for its 2015 Business Elite – Asia report. These people commanded an income of more than US$194,760 and controlled an average US$4.6m in business purchases.

The survey, reported in Campaign Asia-Pacific, revealed that their support of print publications showed no sign of waning, with 96% still buying magazines and newspapers regularly.

But as publications digitise their offerings – including multi-platform print and online subscriptions – 94% were also consuming media via smartphone or tablet.

The average respondent purchased nine different print publications each month, and accessed an average 12 different online publications.

Readership numbers indicate that news or business publications – both in print and online – provide the best platforms for brands seeking to target Asia's business elite. Time, Forbes, the Financial Times, The Economist and BusinessWeek all enjoy readership of more than 25% of this group regionally.

For luxury brands, including high-end fashion, automotive and travel, print ads in well-read traditional media alongside targeted digital ads for tablets can provide increased visibility among target audiences, with tablets also providing an added level of interactivity that increases engagement.

A 2014 study indicated that tablet edition readers appreciate the digital magazine format and see advertising as an essential part of the magazine experience. Among those who recalled at least one ad from a given digital magazine, 62% believed that interactive features provided them more information.

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


Korean consumers get cynical

26 November 2015
SEOUL: Korean consumers are becoming cynical about store pricing as they are increasingly exposed to cheaper international online marketplaces and have experienced months of sales and promotions by bricks-and-mortar outlets.

K-Sale Day, Korea's Black Friday, Korea Grand Sale are just some of the events that have taken place recently as retailers and government seek to boost consumer spending. This slumped in the wake of an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in late May when people avoided crowded places in an attempt to avoid infection.

One consequence of that was that more consumers went online for not only essentials like groceries, but also for big ticket items and discovered that these could often be acquired relatively cheaply and with a straightforward delivery process, Inside Retail Asia reported.

"As more consumers learn they can easily buy products at a much cheaper price via online vendors, offline shops are more frequently conducting discount events to retain their customers," according to Jun Mi-young, a professor at Seoul National University.

"The experience of buying foreign brands at discounted prices has created a healthy dose of cynicism about department stores' pricing policy," he added.

Inside Retail Asia highlighted one example – the price of a kitchen knife set slashed by almost 60% in a sale but still more than the price charged by several online shopping malls on any given day.

And as bricks-and-mortar sales start earlier and last longer, it noted, "they become less important and easier for consumers to ignore".

That said, the retail discount events have had some short-term impact, as government data shows that the 22 retailers that joined its own Black Friday Korea campaign saw their sales rise 20.7% year-on-year to 719.4bn Won (US$634.9m) during the two-weeks of the event.

But "squeezing margins is not a sustainable business model", Jun pointed out.

"As the rise of digital shopping has become an inevitable trend in the retail industry, offline sales channels should seek ways to provide better in-store experiences and quality service," he said.

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


CEE advertisers neglect second screen

25 November 2015
WARSAW: Internet users across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regularly go online using smartphones and tablets while watching television, but advertisers in many markets are failing to take full advantage of this trend, according to a new report.

Media agency MEC surveyed 5,000 internet users across five CEE markets, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Russia, for its Multiscreen Study and found that while TV advertisers were aware of the multiscreening trend only a few were taking care to continue interaction with their audience on another screen.

In the Czech Republic, for example, half of the advertisers who encouraged viewers to visit their websites in TV commercials did not have a mobile website; in Russia, 40% of marketers neglected this aspect.

"For those viewers who decide to follow the invitation this can mean discomfort turning the whole experience with the brand sour," MEC noted.

It is not as though only a few consumers are engaging in the multiscreening habit – 73% of viewers in Poland did so, with 59% using a smartphone. That figure rose to 91% in Romania, where 79% use a smartphone.

And the percentage of online users who searched the web for information about the brands advertised on TV ranged between 40% at the lower end for Hungary up to 77% for the Czech Republic and Romania; for Russia the figure was 74% and for Poland 58%.

Many of them carry out this activity during commercial breaks. "Paradoxically, although snatching some of the audience attention, smartphones or tablets often ensure that the audience stay in front of the TV screen," noted Rogier Croes, chief digital officer/CEE, Russia, Ukraine and CIS at MEC.

"Advertisers should seize the occasion," he added.

Combined television and internet spending accounts for between 60% (Hungary) and almost 80% (Poland and Romania) of advertisers' media budgets, making a large part of ROI dependent on how effectively those media are used in campaigns.

"The multiscreening phenomenon, which has changed and enriched the way we watch television over the recent years, is clearly underrated in the strategies of advertisers in the region," said Anna Lubowska, chairwoman/CEE, Russia, Ukraine, CIS at MEC.

Data sourced from MEC; additional content by Warc staff


Tech dining habits tell tale

25 November 2015
EUROPE: Household mealtimes frequently involve some form of technology, whether television or smartphone, but, contrary to what one might expect, younger consumers are more likely to have a tech-free meal than the middle aged.

According to the Global Generational Lifestyles report from researcher Nielsen, which polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries, fewer than half (43%) of Europeans said their household mealtimes were technology-free.

That figure rose to 52% among the Silent Generation – those aged over 65 – but after them Gen Z (aged 15-20) were most likely to avoid technology at mealtimes. Some 46% did so, followed by Millennials (43%), while Gen X came in at 42% and Baby Boomers at 41%.

"Millennials may have the biggest reputation for being glued to their connected devices, but older respondents are more likely to be distracted in this way during mealtimes at home than their younger counterparts," said Terrie Brennan, evp/advertising solutions Europe, Nielsen.

"It's a sign that today's consumers are bucking yesterday's preconceived generational notions and, in fact, many older people are embracing a more technology-driven world," she added.

Nielsen contended that the report called into question other accepted wisdom about the habits of younger and older consumers.

Thus, for example, across Europe, the youngest and oldest generations – Generation Z and the Silent Generation – were equally as likely to cite newspaper websites (18%) as a preferred source of news.

And the youngest were only a little more likely than the oldest to cite TV news websites (16% vs 14%) and search engines (26% vs 23%).

But major – and expected – differences were apparent when it came to social media, where Generation Z (45%) was nearly six times as likely as the Silent Generation (8%) to cite social media as a preferred news source.

More evidence that Generation Z is not as obsessed by technology as some believe came in the area of leisure. The youngest generation was more likely to spend its spare time in contact with family and friends (29%), playing sports (24%) and reading (23%) than playing video games (20%).

"Just as older people are increasingly embracing technology, sizeable numbers of younger people are turning to more traditional pastimes," said Brennan.

"Yes, there are differences between the generations. But when it comes to using technology, in many ways it's remarkable how similar we are."

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff


Podcast marketing picks up pace

25 November 2015
NEW YORK: A GE-sponsored eight-part science fiction series has been heard by more people than Serial, last year's surprise podcast success, and an increasing number of brands are now exploring this channel.

The Message, which uses the industrial conglomerate's real ultrasound technology to solve a fictional mystery, has been downloaded more than 1m times, the Financial Times reported.

That figure had "exceeded all our expectations", said Andy Goldberg, GE's chief creative officer.

"It's had a different reach than video on either mobile or desktop," he told the FT. "It opens up opportunities for where you can reach people."

It helps that it's a natural fit for GE as it builds on the heritage of General Electric Theater, a long-running television and radio and anthology series.

"We sort of took a page from that and said, 'OK, we're going to create the GE Podcast Theater'," CMO Linda Boff told a recent ANA conference.

But other companies are finding success via podcasting without having such a background.

Software business Adobe, for example, makes its marketing research white papers available as podcasts for executives without the time or inclination to read lengthy documents. And it reports these are getting six times as many downloads as traditional PDFs.

"It's really quite accessible and extremely inexpensive," according to Alex Amado, vp/ experience marketing at Adobe. At between 10% and 15% of the cost of a video, "it's something we can do a lot of".

At the first-ever IAB Podcast Upfront in September, Julia Turner, editor in chief of Slate, described podcasts as "mobile ad opportunities that have been hiding in plain sight" and argued that "digital audio is a medium poised to hit the big time".

And Slate is backing that view, as Panoply, the podcast network it owns and which co-produced The Message, is creating a unit that will focus on custom work for advertisers.

The long term picture may look very different to today, however, according to NiemanLab, which suggested that the open "RSS-plus-MP3 tech" at the core of podcasting might not survive in the face of publisher demand for data.

The future could involve proprietary technology and middlemen controlling distribution.

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


Independent viewability metrics demanded

25 November 2015
NEW YORK: Digital media owners' inventory should be measured by a third party according to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which warned that ad spending would move away from those unable to provide this facility.

When the organisation surveyed its members, 97% of respondents agreed on the need for independent verification of viewability standards, while 90% said they were not fully confident that their digital working media met current industry standards.

Some large media owners do not allow third-party measurement vendors to report viewable ad impressions to their clients, preferring to use internally derived metrics that have not been independently verified.

But nearly two-thirds of ANA respondents felt "very strongly" that a digital media owner should have internally derived metrics accredited by the Media Rating Council.

And if this pressure was not enough to shift the thinking of such media owners, some 61% of ANA respondents indicated they would shift their spending elsewhere if these owners failed to provide the independent measurement they sought.

"During a time of intense scrutiny on transparency and accountability, it's vitally important that all digital media owners measure viewability by an independent third party, consistent with industry standards," said Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO.

"The future of digital advertising measurement relies on heightened accountability through consistent industry standards by all in the ecosystem," he added.

The Alliance for Audited Media, an associated body founded by the ANA, noted that the quality of the digital supply chain was only as strong as its weakest link.

"Marketers have a vested interest in ensuring that all the various technologies, platforms, and media channels on which their digital ads run have been independently verified as meeting industry standards," it said.

Both it the ANA called for marketers to take a lead and demand the greater transparency and accountability that comes with a third-party certification audit.

Data sourced from ANA; additional content by Warc staff


Aussies omnivorous on content

25 November 2015
SYDNEY: Connected Australians are consuming content daily from a wide range of sources, including smart refrigerators and thermostats, according to a global study.

For The State of Content: Expectations on the Rise, Adobe surveyed more than 6,000 consumers across the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia and found that Australia was the only country to have connected home devices and appliances as one of their top five sources of content used every day.

On average, Australians were accessing 11 sources of content through five different devices every day, B&T reported, with smartphones and laptops the devices most frequently used by Millennials.

"Australians are generally early adopters of new technologies, so it's no surprise to see the country is among the leaders in the adoption of connected home products such as internet connected fridges, home security systems and nanny cams," said Chris Skelton, managing director of Adobe Australia and New Zealand.

The report also said that more than three quarters (78%) of Australians were consuming content across multiple screens and that, on average, they were using more than two devices at the same time.

But it also appeared that Australians are becoming increasingly sceptical about the content they consume: more than half (55%) questioned whether a news article was biased or wondered if an author had been paid or incentivised to post a positive review.

And a similar proportion (56%) were likely to wonder whether a photo in an ad had been altered.

Younger age groups, however, were less likely to be concerned by such issues. Over one-third of Millennials valued entertainment over accuracy and more than half admitted they didn't fact-check content they shared.

Skelton noted that 64% of Australians trusted content from a family member or friend, significantly more than those trusting content from government officials or celebrities.

"It is becoming increasingly vital for brands to develop content that is authentic, to provide an accurate and valuable source of information," he stated.

And not just authentic – the report said it also needs to be well-designed and easy to consume if it is to hold an audience.

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


Blog: Circulation to certification

25 November 2015
The International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulation has changed its name. President Pedro Silva and secretary Jerry Wright explain why the decision to replace 'circulation' with 'certification' is not a trivial one.



Email leads purchase conversions in Asia

25 November 2015
HONG KONG: Email is still the leading channel for purchase conversion in Asia, according to a new report.

A study from eTailAsia and Experian, Digital Consumer View 2015 – Asia, has revealed that shoppers across the region are more responsive to email marketing than other digital channels, including social media, brand apps, SMS or chat apps.

Hong Kong was the most engaged, with 70% of respondents there having purchased a product featured in an email. The rates remained high across the region, with 67% of Indonesians, 64% of Chinese, and 62% of Thais also shopping from email communications. Brands appeared to have picked up on this with 74% of respondents across the region now receiving personalized marketing emails.

Smart, well-timed content is key to engaging customers, with 52% of respondents citing the "sheer volume" of emails cited as the most common reason for unsubscribing, with irrelevant content as runner up.

Social media drove the second largest number of purchase conversions.

Shoppers in South East Asia's developing markets were more likely to purchase after seeing a product featured on their social media – more than half of the respondents made a purchase after receiving promotional content on social media.

Uptake rates were between 62% and 65% in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. As consumers in developing markets gain more disposable income, they want to buy exciting new products but often face a lack of local availability, pushing customers online to purchase via social media.

In comparison, in Singapore where many big brands have physical stores, just 39% of shoppers had purchased via social media.

Conversions from SMS-based marketing and branded apps remained low across the region, except for China.

Data sourced from Experian; additional content by Warc staff


Smartphones drive India video ads

25 November 2015
NEW DELHI: Affordable 4G devices are helping drive India's smartphone market and encouraging a shift to mobile advertising with video ads proving especially effective.

Latest data from the International Data Corporation's (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker show that 28.3m smartphones were shipped to India in the third quarter of 2015, up 21.4% on the same period a year earlier.

In particular, shipments of 4G-enabled devices grew three-fold over the second quarter as Chinese vendors attempted to capture market share and as e-commerce sites stocked up ahead of the festive season and its accompanying sales days.

But Korean manufacturer Samsung is currently the biggest 4G player in the country thanks to its popular sub $150 LTE models such as Galaxy Grand Prime and Galaxy J2.

Further, Jaipal Singh, market analyst/Client Devices at IDC, reported that around half of smartphones sold had five inch or bigger displays.

"This highlights the shift in consumer preference from a device mostly used for voice calling to an advanced multimedia experience," he said.

A separate report from Opera Mediaworks and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) claimed that 75% of mobile users in India now have smartphones and said the country now led the Asia Pacific region in terms of mobile advertising revenue and traffic.

The Q3 State of Mobile Advertising study, reported in Gizmodo, looked at mobile users on Opera's mobile-ad platform in six APAC countries.

And, according to Vikas Gulati, managing director/Asia, Opera Mediaworks: "Video ad on smartphones is what is truly powering the monetization potential of the region."

He said such ads were effective at attracting, engaging and converting mobile consumers, adding that India leads in overall traffic, accounting for 53% of impressions.

The top three categories for ad impressions, he said, were mobile stores and career portals, social networking sites and apps, and sports.

Data sourced from IDC, Gizmodo; additional content by Warc staff


Gloomy outlook for European ad industry

24 November 2015
BRUSSELS: Business confidence across Europe's advertising and marketing industry fell sharply in the third quarter thanks to a combination of economic, political and social factors.

The latest European Advertising Business Climate Index, produced by the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) trade organisation and based on monthly data collected from advertising and market research companies for the European Commission, stood at +5, down from +16 in the second quarter.

EACA attributed the decline to changes in the global economy as a result of China's economic slowdown, geopolitical tensions in Europe and neighbouring countries, as well as the implications of the refugee crisis on the EU Single Market.

The UK was the country that experienced the greatest swing in sentiment, moving from +28.6 to -10.7 over the three months to the end of September; it is now among the bottom three in Europe as regards business confidence in advertising and marketing, the other two being Greece (-25) and France (-8).

Spain also registered a significant drop, from +31 to +11, but remained in positive territory. Confidence was highest in Germany (+31), Lithuania (+27) and Romania (+24).

Demand for advertising services decreased from +14 to +5 between July and October 2015, with the downward trend also reflected in demand expectations which fell from +21 for the third quarter to +10 for the fourth.

And that pessimism was felt across all regions – Northern, Mediterranean, Western, and Central/Eastern. Companies from Mediterranean Europe expressed the lowest expectations for the fourth quarter, at +5 points, significantly down from +23 points for the third quarter.

UK and Spanish advertising and market research companies were the least optimistic about the demand for their services in October scoring -12.4 and -10 respectively, in comparison to +24.9 and +57 points scored in July.

Conversely, French and German companies now have higher expectations than in July rising from -17 and +33 respectively to -1 and +46 in October.

Employment expectations, meanwhile, have dropped from +3 for the third quarter to zero for the fourth.

Data sourced from EACA; additional content by Warc staff


New metric can boost marketing

24 November 2015
NEW YORK: A new metric developed by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) promises to elevate the standing of marketers in the boardroom by tying consumer preference to market share.

The MASB, set up by academics, market researchers and marketers seven years ago, has recently completed the first part of a research project where it trialled a "brand choice" metric.

This involved a study of 100 packaged-goods and automotive brands, with around 500 people per brand being asked which of several competing brands in a category they would choose if they were winners of a prize draw.

Movements in this metric were tracked across an 18-month period and found to correlate closely with market share, Advertising Age reported.

The correlation figure of 0.88 – one indicates the strongest correlation, zero the weakest – rose as high as 0.94 once the effects of pricing and distribution differences were removed.

"I'm actually very optimistic," said Donald Stewart, marketing professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and MASB chair, of the Brand Choice metric. "It's simple. It's easy to understand. It's highly predictive.

"We are now at the point where we can begin to contribute to the financial dialogue of the firm as well as the marketing dialogue," he added.

By linking the new metric not just to market share but to other metrics such as price premium and distribution coverage, "we can actually generate estimates of future operating cash flow, which allows you to get at the value of a brand", Stewart explained.

Brand valuations can be notoriously subjective, as was evident at a panel discussion during the recent Festival of Marketing event in London, where an audience was equally divided on whether brand valuations were "bullshit or brilliant".

The next stage in MASB's research will tackle this issue, as it looks at how the Brand Choice metric holds up compared to the valuations produced by the likes of Interbrand or Millward Brown's BrandZ.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Cinemas nix religious ad

24 November 2015
LONDON: Digital Cinema Media has sparked a row after it refused to run an ad from the Church of England on the grounds it could offend some viewers, even as a respected industry figure has suggested the Christian church was the "first great global brand".

The Church of England had planned to run its "just pray" ad, which promotes a new website, before the showing of the latest Star Wars film, which opens in the UK the week before Christmas, Marketing reported.

But DCM, which handles the advertising for the Odeon, Cineworld and Vue chains and so controls around 80% of the UK's cinema advertising, has declined to accept it. "Digital Cinema Media has a policy of not accepting 'political or religious advertising' content for use in its cinemas," said a spokeswoman.

"Some advertisements – unintentionally or otherwise – could cause offence to those of differing political persuasions, as well as to those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith," she added. "In this regard, DCM treats all political or religious beliefs equally."

The Church of England's director of communications professed himself "bewildered" by the decision.

"In one way the decision of the cinemas is just plain silly but the fact that they have insisted upon it makes it rather chilling in terms of limiting free speech," he added.

Adland veteran Sir John Hegarty had a different take on Christianity, arguing at yesterday's Digital Cinema Media Upfront, reported by The Drum, that if marketers wanted a good example of a well-built brand they could as well look to the church as to Coca-Cola or Nike.

"It has the greatest logo," he noted. "If you think about it, what a great brand. They were through the line definitely, they branded the churches with the sign of the cross, [which was] absolute genius.

"They diversified into christenings, weddings, funerals, [which is] brand extension and fundamentally important, and, of course, they went global… the first great global brand."

The analogy didn't stop there, as he suggested the church had effectively advertised the brand by getting the greatest artists and musicians to work for it.

"When you want to think about brand thinking or an example go straight to the Church," he said. "Two thousand years later it's still going and not a lot of brands can say that."

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


'Work that matters' drives Coca-Cola

24 November 2015
NEW YORK: Marketers should strive to produce not just more content but a greater amount of "work that matters", according to a leading executive from Coca-Cola.

Wendy Clark, the firm's president/sparkling brands and strategic marketing – and who will become president/CEO of DDB North America in January 2016 – discussed this topic at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) MIXX event.

And she suggested that marketers aiming to thrive on platforms like YouTube must find new ways of creating content – while carefully balancing the demands for quality and quantity.

"The content and conversation around your brands is happening without you. So, therefore, you must figure out how to partner with these consumers," said Clark. (For more, including tips for how agencies can prosper in the digital world, read Warc's exclusive report: Coke's Clark primes for move to DDB.)

"The goal isn't 'more'; it's 'more good' – work that matters. This is important not only for your brands and company, but, quite frankly, this is important for the industry. We need to hold ourselves to a standard of work that matters."

An example of this idea in action was "Make It Happy", which ran during and around the 2015 Super Bowl, and demonstrated the "brave, impactful, optimistic, confident, compelling, interesting and ambitious" values of Coca-Cola.

This partnership involved "content creators and influencers who helped us expand our execution in all forms and types of content, to make the point around 'Make It Happy' – to make it a happier and richer world."

And such an effort evidenced how marketers can move beyond their established patterns of working and have a meaningful impact.

"When we collaborated and came together with YouTube, we created something better than I believe either of us could alone," Clark said.

"The goal in this real-time, socially-rich, content-rich marketplace is not to just do more content; it's to do more good [content] … We must hold ourselves to this bar – this metric – as an industry."

Data sourced from Warc


E-cigarette marketing grows

24 November 2015
WASHINGTON, DC: Expenditure on the marketing of e-cigarettes has increased significantly, prompting calls for tighter restrictions to prevent the sector advertising to youth.

According to an analysis of industry data by Truth Initiative, a public health organisation dedicated to the rejection of tobacco, e-cigarette advertising expenditures rose by 52% between 2013 and 2014 to reach $115.3m, with most of that spending going on magazines and cable TV.

It further reported that 82% of 12-17 year-olds and 88% of 18-21 year-olds had seen an e-cigarette ad in 2015.

Traditional cigarette advertising has not been permitted on US television for more than 40 years and Truth Initiative suggested that e-cigarette brands were purposefully targeting a young audience by running ads on networks such as Comedy Central, AMC, ESPN, VH1 and Spike.

The various flavours available, including gummy bear and cotton candy, are also designed for a younger age group.

Earlier this year, data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products indicated that e-cigarette use among middle and high school students had tripled between 2013 to 2014, from 4.5% to 13.4%.

"Advertising, particularly television, is extremely expensive and no advertiser would waste money against a target that is outside their intended audience," noted Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative.

"These new data provide further evidence that the Food and Drug Administration must restrict e-cigarette marketing to youth."

The American Academy of Pediatrics has also called on the Food and Drug Administration to expand its jurisdiction to include e-cigarettes, liquid nicotine and all other tobacco products and for Congress to immediately raise the purchase age for such products to 21.

Cynthia Cabrera, president of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, which represents the e-cigarette industry, has argued that the product can save lives by helping smokers switch away from traditional cigarettes.

Data sourced from Truth Initiative, CDC, US News& World Report; additional content by Warc staff


Coke test-markets via app

24 November 2015
NEW DELHI: In a departure from its normal practice, Coca-Cola is test-marketing a new product in India through an e-commerce platform rather than selected modern trade stores.

The soft drinks giant has tied up with Grofers, a mobile app that specialises in grocery delivery, to enable consumers to order Sprite Zero, a low-calorie version of its popular Sprite carbonated drink, and have it delivered to their door.

During the two-week trial the company will pilot smaller-than-usual 300 ml cans costing Rs 25, the Economic Times reported.

"Coke will use the insights from on-demand sale on Grofers for Sprite Zero to identify and track consumer preferences and post-purchase feedback," according to an unnamed executive.

While the diet soft drinks market has grown in recent years it remains a niche category, accounting for around 2% of the total soft drinks market.

But, the Times Of India noted recently, last year's introduction of Coke Zero gave the sector a boost, as compound annual growth rates tripled to 39%.

"Coke Zero has become a Rs 40-crore brand within around ten months of its launch," one industry expert reported.

And Debabrata Mukherjee, vp/marketing & commercial, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, expressed surprise at the "strong consumer traction and high rates of conversion".

"What is important," she added, "is that it is perhaps showing the way for a lot of consumer brands in the diet and light foods category – a category that has not met with a lot of success in the Indian market."

For the new product, the combination of no-sugar – Sprite Zero contains the same sweeteners used in Coca-Cola Zero: aspartame and acesulfame – and a smaller can size could address some of the health concerns surrounding soft drinks.

Grofers, however, is promoting Sprite Zero by offering prizes to those consumers who buy the most during different daily time slots as well as over the course of the promotional period.

Data sourced from Economic Times, Times Of India, Grofers; additional content by Warc staff


Thai e-commerce expands

24 November 2015
BANGKOK: Thai e-commerce is growing and shifting to mobile while Thai e-commerce businesses are eyeing overseas expansion.

Two thirds (66%) of Thai internet users shop online at least once a month and more than half (53%) have done so using their mobile devices, according to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2015, which identified trends in payments behaviour and openness to using contactless payments among consumers in six Southeast Asian countries.

For one third (32%) mobile was their preferred online shopping method, The Nation reported, and the responses suggested this could rise to 42% next year, with strongest appetite coming from men.

Thai respondents shopping online were mostly interested in making their lives easier, whether that was by having goods delivered to them directly (40%) or through the overall convenience of the experience (37%).

Factors such as price (15%) and choice (8%) were much less important.

Some of the most popular items bought online are generally unavailable in any other context, such as software, apps and app-related content (53%).

But events and concerts (53%), travel services (47%), and digital content like games, music, and videos (40%) were also widely purchased.

"Categories such as fashion and accessories, movie tickets, and bill payments will become key growth drivers as they have low online share but high frequency of purchase," said Suripong Tantiyanon, Visa country manager, Thailand.

"The high proportion of transactions made via smartphones also presents a strong opportunity for growth," he added.

Meanwhile iTrueMart, Thailand's leading e-commerce retailer, has launched its first e-commerce site in the Philippines as it aims to become the dominant e-commerce player there within two years, the Manila Bulletin reported.

"Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore will follow later in 2016," said Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa, CEO of Ascend Group, owner of iTrueMart.

The expansion comes as businesses across all sectors look to exploit regional opportunities in the development of the ASEAN Economic Community.

"E-commerce will have huge potential when the AEC fully materializes," said Vichitkulwongsa.

But merchants have work to do to if they are to take full advantage of this development. The Visa study highlighted missed sales opportunities due to transactions being abandoned. 

Almost six in ten (57%) consumers had done so, with slow loading pages (35%) and difficulty in navigating websites (24%) the main reasons given.

Data sourced from The Nation, Manila Bulletin; additional content by Warc staff


HK Instagrammers keen on brands

24 November 2015
HONG KONG: Brands are among the top three categories that Instagram users in Hong Kong are interested in, along with friends and celebrities, research has shown.

A survey run by Instagram itself, and reported in Marketing Magazine, also revealed that users in Hong Kong are mostly young, trend-conscious people with an interest in fashion, beauty and the latest gadgets.

Although Instagram is sporadically banned in mainland China, the photo-posting app is popular among Hong Kong millennials. And a full 87% of the service's users in this age group share new products or experiences with their friends on Instagram.

The numbers indicate that Instagram is an ideal marketing platform for consumer brands, particularly those targeted at young women, as users are more likely to be women with a high level of education and enjoying increased purchasing power.

Almost three quarters of female users (72%) surveyed said they like shopping, 66% said they want to be perceived as someone who has taste and a sense of beauty and 72% said they want to be perceived as unique.

Hong Kong's male Instagram users also make an effort to keep their finger on pulse, and consider themselves trend-savvy: 75% said they are trend-conscious and 61% actively keep up to date with the latest products, trends and topics.

Overall, more than half of Hong Kong users (53%) follow brands on Instagram, with brand followers spending a longer average time scrolling their feed.

Though more than 70% of the platform's users in Hong Kong are aged between 18-34 years old, users over 35 are much more likely to enjoy luxury goods with 69% preferring designer products.

Instagram's paid advertising service recently rolled out to brands targeting the Hong Kong market, with the first batch of partners including Hong Kong's tourism board, Vidal Sassoon, Sony Mobile HK and Opensnap.

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff


YouTube rivals TV for young viewers

23 November 2015
LONDON: Young UK teens are now more likely to prefer watching YouTube videos than TV programmes according to a new Ofcom report which also finds few are able to distinguish online search ads.

The Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report, based on 1,279 in-home interviews with parents and children aged 5 to 15, found that 29% of 12-15 year olds would rather watch YouTube videos compared to the 25% who chose TV first.

That marked a turnaround from a similar study in 2014, when 25% opted for YouTube first and 30% for TV.

Observing the growing influence of "digital intermediaries" as sources for content for this generation, the report noted that "they are also seen by some children as legitimating brands, helping to vouchsafe the veracity or trustworthiness of content accessed through their sites".

For example, a small but increasing proportion of online 12-15 year olds now turn to YouTube for true and accurate information about serious things going on in the world (8% vs. 3% in 2014).

In fact, the proportion of children in this age group who think that that the information on news websites and apps is "always true" has roughly doubled in the past year, from 8% to 14%.

Similarly, one in five 12-15 year olds using search engines believed that if these list information then it must be true. But half were able to make some type of critical judgement about search engine results.

That faculty did not extend to spotting the advertisements thrown up in the course of a search.

When shown a picture of results returned by Google for an online search for 'trainers', their attention was drawn to the first two results at the top of the list, which were distinguished by an orange box with the word 'Ad' written in it. Just 31% of 12-15 year olds correctly identified these sponsored links as advertising.

But they fared better in regard to vlogging, as 47% were aware of the potential for vloggers to be paid for endorsing products or brands.

Data sourced from Ofcom; additional content by Warc staff


Brands move programmatic in house

23 November 2015
EUROPE: Nearly all European video buyers are using programmatic to some extent and almost all are planning to bring programmatic buying capabilities in house within the next 12 months, if they haven't already done so.

These findings come from the European State of the Video Industry report from AOL, which collected quantitative data on digital video from 411 brands, agencies and publishers in the UK, France, Netherlands and Germany.

Nearly all video buyers (98%) in those European markets surveyed – the UK, France, Netherlands and Germany – were already buying video programmatically; an average of 39% of their total video budgets were being channelled this way and that figure was set to rise to 43% in 2016.

On the sell side, 97% of those surveyed were selling digital video programmatically, with three quarters of those making their premium video inventory available for sale via programmatic buying.

Of the brands surveyed, nearly half (48%) said they had brought programmatic video buying capabilities in-house, while 47% were planning to do so in the next 12 months. Only 5% said they had not, or had no plans to do so.

That will be disappointing for media agencies, whose expertise in this field was questioned by around one third (35%) of brands.

But that was not the main reason for the shift taking place. Some 59% of brands polled said it brought greater efficiency to their planning, buying and reporting, while 57% cited the ability to integrate with in-house automation and CRM systems.

Linked to all this is the recognition of the value of data and the need to address associated issues of quality and safety – this was the top challenge for buyers, cited by 50%.

If agencies are to tackle this in-house shift, they will need to "advance their value proposition and more closely partner with brands and media owners", AOL advised.

Not only will they have to be able to supply programmatic expertise, they will also need to do so with a level of transparency that reassures clients they are making the best decisions for them.

Data sourced from AOL; additional content by Warc staff


Snapchat is a measurement challenge

23 November 2015
NEW YORK: Snapchat, the time limited photo-sharing app, is often seen as a vital social channel for reaching youth but it is also posing marketers some difficult challenges as they attempt to measure the results of their work with influencers.

Unlike other social networks, Snapchat offers little in the way of performance metrics and what there is, is not publicly available. Marketers are reduced to relying on influencers taking a screenshot of their personal analytics page in order to understand how many people have seen a video.

"You can have millions of dollars paid out in these campaigns, and they're basically being run on screenshots and text messages between C-level executives and teenagers," said Misha Talavera, co-founder at NeoReach, which links marketers with Snapchat creators.

"Stuff can get messed up," he told the Wall Street Journal.

So marketers and agencies are developing a number of ways to address the various issues that arise when working with young people with limited business experience.

And Speakr, a marketing platform for social influencers, asks them to check in multiple times a day in order to avoid everyday problems like having a flat phone battery.

Similarly, Collectively, an agency connecting marketers with digital influencers, now stipulates in its contracts with Snapchat influencers that they must regularly take screenshots of their personal analytics data as well as downloading the videos they produce before they disappear.

Most comply with these requirements, according to Alexa Tonner, head of partnerships at Collectively, but, she admitted, "it can be kind of scary".

At least one start-up is addressing the gap in the market. Delmondo has created a product it says will assist brands in calculating key data points such as the size of followings of Snapchat influencers, their average engagement rates and the projected performance of their videos.

"Brands can tap into this, put together a plan and then look at their results," said chief executive Nick Cicero.

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


Mobile display gives way to content

23 November 2015
SINGAPORE: Asia's mobile marketers expect to make greater use of content over the next five years and to reduce their reliance on display-based advertising, according to new research from Warc and the Mobile Marketing Association.

The State of the Industry: Mobile Marketing in Asia report, launched yesterday at the Mobile Marketing Association Forum in Singapore, shows that 70% of marketers currently use display advertising but just 44% plan to use it in five years' time.

Content, in contrast, is set to take pole position, with adoption rising from 33% today to 49% by 2020.

The survey, which included the opinions of nearly 300 marketers in 17 countries across Asia-Pacific, assessed how industry professionals are using mobile marketing in the region.

Asia currently leads the world in mobile marketing, with users across the region much more likely to use their smartphone as the first point of access to brands. But despite mobile being acknowledged as one of the most important trends impacting marketing in Asia, just 54% of those surveyed have a formal mobile marketing strategy in place, although this is an increase from 44% in 2014.

Marketers are pairing their mobile marketing efforts with online channels – 84% of respondents found social media is complimentary to mobile outreach, with online search following closely at 60%, a 12 percentage point increase from 2014. Traditional media – print, outdoor, radio – are losing ground as marketers turn to new media channels.

"Confidence in the channel's importance continues to rise and the investments speak for themselves," said Edward Pank, managing director at Warc Asia Pacific.

"The ongoing challenge now is that today's consumers expect much more of their mobile content and experience. So in order to keep up, marketers need to hone their skills further and innovate strategically."

As for brands blazing a path with smart mobile engagement, Unilever, recognised for its scale across the region, was seen as the most innovative brand in mobile marketing.

Data sourced from Warc


Chase gives sponsorship a digital edge

23 November 2015
NEW YORK: Chase Bank, the financial services provider, has enhanced the impact of its sponsorship program by injecting these partnerships with interactive components using channels such as social media and mobile.

Jess Sheehan, JP Morgan Chase's vp/head of social media, discussed this subject at a session during Advertising Week 2015 in New York.

And she reported that Chase – which has high-profile tie-ups with allies like the US Open tennis tournament, PGA golf championship and Emmy Awards for TV's brightest stars – was consistently giving its sponsorships a digital edge.

"It's more than the TV experience," said Sheehan. (For more, including examples, read Warc's exclusive report: Chase banks on social and mobile to drive sponsorship.)

"When we were sponsoring sporting events such as the US Open or PGA Championship, we knew we had to also tap into the mobile audience [and] the social audience, and make sure that we were placing our brand prominently in those conversations as well."

According to IEG, the whole of JPMorgan Chase invested between $60m and $65m in sponsorship in 2014 – and the return on this outlay can increasingly be boosted by making the brand's output interactive, not interruptive.

"There are so many more opportunities to be relevant. Because that's the other thing: you don't want to provide more noise to a situation and be putting horrible brand placements, basically, between the viewer and what they want to see.

"So we want to find ways to integrate ourselves naturally into those situations," said Sheehan,

During the US Open, for example, Chase helped provide a live digital content stream, alongside instant replays on Twitter. It also curated social media conversations on a dedicated campaign web page.

And the live stream from the tennis grand slam event offered views from multiple camera angles – a unique perspective not available anywhere else.

"We're all about showing the premier experience that you get with a Chase card. So it's all about showing inside access, the extras, the things that a normal consumer doesn't get to see or doesn't get to experience, so they understand, 'Oh, if I had a Chase card, I can get pre-sale ticket access; I can get into the Chase lounge; I can do x, y and z'," said Sheehan.

Data sourced from Warc


Give social to PR

23 November 2015
MENLO PARK, CA: PR is emerging as the favoured keeper of corporate social media responsibilities, with marketing slipping down the ladder, research has shown.

When staffing firm The Creative Group polled more than 400 advertising and marketing executives it found that just over half (51%) felt PR and communications departments were best suited to handle corporate social media channels.

That marked a 12 point rise in two years – a similar study in 2013 reported that 39% thought the PR/communications function should be dealing with this activity.

And while marketing was then roughly at the same level – 35% – a significant gap has subsequently appeared as just 28% now regard it as the best department to oversee social media.

Customer service experienced a similar decline in favour, from 15% to 9%, while 5% continued to prefer business owners and CEOs for the task.

"Social media can affect a company's reputation, so it stands to reason that this channel is tied closely to public relations," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, in remarks reported by PR Daily.

The channel has of course been the source of numerous PR and marketing disasters since brands started using it and it has become essential to establish procedures and protocols to follow that can be, as one Microsoft executive recently argued, turned into opportunities for showing off superior customer service skills.

This approach helped Chevrolet deal with a developing crisis when a Chevy representative stumbled over his words while presenting the Most Valuable Player award at the end of the 2014 World Series.

His statement that a new truck contained a winning combination of "technology and stuff" quickly became a Twitter meme. But since the automaker had a team in place, it was able to formulate a strategy and upload its own tweet in the right conversation at the right time and so reshape online chatter.

Data sourced from PR Daily; additional content by Warc staff


Pepsi in China smartphone play

23 November 2015
BEIJING: A month after it first indicated it was planning to offer a Pepsi smartphone in China, the soft drinks giant has launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising 3m yuan to build 4,000 handsets.

If the required amount is raised, manufacturing will be licensed out to a third party. In its first day on crowdfunding site JD Finance, the Pepsi Phone raised 580,325 yuan, Pocket-lint reported; at that rate the phone should meet its target in the 14 days the process still has to run.

The price funders will pay for the Android handset, that comes with a mid-range spec, will depend on how quickly they get in. Quartz detailed a sliding scale, where the first thousand people to pledge funds could buy a phone for 499 yuan, the second thousand will pay 699 yuan, the third thousand 999 yuan and the final thousand 1,299 yuan.

"The P1 comes equipped with the Pepsi logo engraved on the back, and ships with Pepsi-themed wallpaper. But other than that, it's your ordinary Android phone," it reported.

When the project was first floated, a spokeswoman said the phones would only be available in China but the effort was "similar to recent globally licensed Pepsi products which include apparel and accessories".

Last year Pepsi launched a limited-edition line of apparel, accessories, electronics, and skateboards designed by fashion labels to coincide with the FIFA World Cup.

At the time, Kristin Patrick, Pepsi's global chief marketing officer, explained that the brand wanted to "create covetable product that was high quality and well designed".

"We did not want the product emblazoned with logos, as this generation of consumers is not interested in branding that is too heavy handed," she added. The Pepsi phone seems to fit that description.

And the risks for Pepsi appear negligible as it has lined up buyers in advance; if the funding target isn't met, no phones get made.

Quartz noted that the Pepsi phone was indicative of a wider trend, as Chinese manufacturers  like Xiaomi and Huawei have pushed down smartphone prices to target entry level buyers.

"Smartphones are no longer cutting-edge technology – they're swag," it said. So brands like Samsung and Apple may find themselves in competition with a soft drinks maker.

Data sourced from Quartz, Pocket-lint, Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff


Indian online millennials 'reckless'

23 November 2015
AHMEDABAD: India's internet users have acquired some poor habits when it comes to online security and millennials are the worst offenders, a new report has claimed.

"They are either naive to online security or don't understand the gravity of the issue," said David Lee, senior product manager, Norton Mobile Group, part of Symantec, the security software provider which carried out a global survey of 17,125 device users aged 18 plus across 17 countries including 1,000 users from India.

Thirty one percent of Indian millennials admitted to sharing passwords and engaging in other risky online behaviour such as not using passwords at all, using weak passwords and keeping critical information in their mobiles.

That compared to 25% of online users overall who shared passwords with family and friends, Mint reported. And among these, 36% shared banking passwords, 54% social media credentials and 60% their email password.

One reason for this lax approach among millennials is that four in ten believe they aren't "interesting enough" to be a target of online crime.

But that isn't actually the case, as the report said that more than half of them had experienced some form of online crime – e-mail or social media account breaches, identity theft, bank account or credit card information theft, cyber bullying – in the last 12 months.

"Even though millennials have been immersed in online technology most of their lives, they are more reckless in many ways with only one in four believing they have most responsibility when an online crime occurs," said Ritesh Chopra, country manager, India, Norton by Symantec.

Indians generally are not unaware of the potential for online crime – 60% worry about it – but they regularly overestimate the effectiveness of their security practices. And 61% don't know what to do when they're affected by cyber crime.

Further, some 31% of Indians (driven mostly by millennials) reported personally having their mobile device stolen in 2014 as compared to the global average of 15%.

And 54% thought it more likely their credit card would be stolen online than from their wallet – a consideration when the government is promoting the attractions of a cashless economy.

Data sourced from Mint; additional content by Warc staff


Retailers rein in brands' digital spend

20 November 2015
LONDON: Major supermarket chains want the comfort of TV campaigns to reassure them they should be putting brands on their shelves, and a leading marketer has said this stance is preventing it from fully exploiting digital channels.

"When you go to trade, they still want to see [from your media plan] that you are on ITV or Channel 4," explained Katalin Spielman, head of media for Johnson & Johnson, the personal care business.

"It's easier for them to see that you're spending enough money on a marketing campaign," she told a TubeMogul event reported by The Drum.

To an extent it was always thus as the major chains have looked to brands promoting their products to supplement their own marketing efforts and drive consumers into stores.

But it has become a particular issue recently in a fiercely competitive UK grocery market, where the major chains are rethinking their strategies as they look for ways to combat the rise of discount chains.

Only this week, Kantar Worldpanel reported that the combined share of discount retailers Aldi and Lidl had reached 10% of the British grocery market for the first time, double that of only three years ago.

One response of the majors has been to reduce the number of items they stock. At the start of this year Tesco's new CEO said he planned to pull up to a third of products off its shelves, while Asda has indicated it will cut 10%. "You need to fight for shop space," said Spielman.

And that means convincing supermarket buying teams that TV need not necessarily play such a prominent role in the media plan in a world where cross-device campaigns are becoming the norm.

"There's an education that needs to happen from brand side to trade," Spielman admitted and she suggested that better content would help.

"The more interesting content we can create that lives cross-device the easier it is to solve," she added. "[Trade] understand that we have these great insights into Johnson Baby, but they need to fall in love with the campaign – that's easier than trying to explain that it will be seen by this amount of people with this frequency."

Data sourced from The Drum, Kantar Worldpanel, The Guardian; additional content by Warc staff


Social research ethics questioned

20 November 2015
LONDON: Few social media users understand their data may be shared for research purposes and standards in this area need tightening, a new study has said. 

The #SocialEthics report from researcher Ipsos MORI and think tank Demos is the outcome of a year-long exploration of social media research ethics, including qualitative workshops and an online survey of 1,250 adults.

This found that just 38% of respondents were aware their individual social media posts were potentially being analysed by third parties for research projects. And 60% said that should not happen, despite this possibility being outlined in the terms and conditions of the major social networks.

And when asked to review how likely they would be to approve a social media research project on a scale of one (definitely would not) to ten (definitely would), the average score was 5.02.

The study further noted that 41% had given a score of four or below, which it suggested was indicative of being unlikely to approve such research.

"There are a lot of safeguards that need to be put in place to introduce a broad-based trust in social media research" it observed, adding that in workshops it had found a real distrust of organisations using data without direct consent.

Among participants, there was a feeling that "they were losing control of data that is being shared on social media".

Their fears will not have been allayed by the report authors' comments that research methodology is sometimes led by what is technically possible rather than what might be regarded as ethically appropriate.

They further noted that a considerable amount of social media analysis conducted in the UK is done outside any formal ethical structures, whether by brands or social media analytics platforms (and none of the latter have signed up to the ethical code of the Market Research Society).

The report offered recommendations on how research organisations and social media platforms can build trust, including greater transparency around research projects and a review of terms and conditions.

Social media users could also be allowed to opt-out from individual projects or all research conducted by particular organisations, while researchers should minimise unnecessary personal data collection, ensuring they gather only what is needed for their project. Social media users should also be consulted if researchers plan on using verbatim content.

Data sourced from Ipsos MORI; additional content by Warc staff


Digital marketing is mainstream

20 November 2015
STAMFORD, CT: Digital marketing is now mainstream, according to a new report which finds that 98% of marketers say online and offline activities are merging.

Gartner's CMO Spend Survey 2015-16 included responses from business leaders responsible for marketing in 339 large and extra-large companies in North America and the UK.

One third of respondents said that digital techniques were now fully incorporated into their marketing operations, while 10% were expanding the role of marketing to create new digitally-led business models.

"Marketers no longer make a clear distinction between offline and online marketing disciplines," said Yvonne Genovese, group vice president at Gartner.

"As customers opt for digitally led experiences, digital marketing stops being a discrete discipline and instead becomes the context for all marketing. Digital marketing is now marketing in a digital world."

Digital commerce has also increased and now accounts for 11% of the digital marketing budget, up from 8% in 2014, as marketers become more accountable for driving results and as the marketing and selling functions move closer together.

"In many cases, digital merges these two into a single, continuous activity from initial awareness, through engagement, conversion, transaction and repeat purchase," explained Jake Sorofman, research vice president at Gartner. "Marketers can now tie spend to revenue. In fact, it's becoming a mandate."

And as marketing budgets rise – respondents expected these to account for 11% of company revenues this year, up from 10% last year; and two thirds anticipated further increases in 2016 – digital commerce has been earmarked as an area for technology investment.

Almost two thirds of marketers (64%) ranked this in their top five priorities; only social marketing (65%) was higher. Marketing analytics (61%) and customer experience (56%) were next with advertising operations (54%) down the list.

But bigger budgets also come with bigger expectations, Sorofman noted. "As customer buying journeys and customer expectations expand, so, too, does marketing's scope of responsibility," he said.

"As a result, the marketing remit now often includes driving broad-mandate customer experience, digital commerce and innovation initiatives."

Data sourced from Gartner; additional content by Warc staff


Retailers need to up game

20 November 2015
SAN FRANCISCO: As the peak holiday shopping season approaches a new report suggests that retailers have to up their game both on and offline if they are to offer a seamless consumer experience and attract happy shoppers.

The 2015 Connected Shoppers Report from CRM business Salesforce was based on a survey of 2,046 adults at the end of October 2015. It explored their attitudes, habits and use of technology as part of the shopping experience and concluded that retailers need to accelerate digital transformations to provide personalized, one-to-one customer journeys.

There were several areas in which a gap between consumer wishes and expectations was evident. For example, almost a third (31%) of in-store shoppers said they wanted store associates to know what they had previously purchased in the store or online, but only 10% expected this to actually happen.

In fact, half of consumers who shop in-store indicated they would be more likely to shop at a retailer based on the technology that store associates use to assist them. But many retailers are still falling short in equipping associates with this ability, the report said.

With the majority of in-store shoppers (82%) having researched products online first, nearly half (48%) believed that they typically know more about a retailer's product than the store associate. Just over a quarter (28%) even agreed that robots could replace store associates.

Among younger shoppers – and millennials are a trillion-dollar market for retailers, Salesforce noted – almost two thirds (61%) were ready to trade personal data for a better shopping experience.

And just over one third (36%) said they would like retailers to know who they are when they walk into stores with location-based technologies.

"Retailers are no longer just competing with the store down the block during the holidays. They're competing with Amazon," said Shelley Bransten, svp/retail, Salesforce.

"Brick-and-mortar brands that bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds have the best chance of thriving during the holidays--and beyond," she added.

Data sourced from Salesforce; additional content by Warc staff


Frito-Lay backs marketing technologists

20 November 2015
NEW YORK: Marketers who want to thrive in the digital age will need to become "marketing technologists", according to a leading executive from Frito-Lay.

Ram Krishnan, the svp/cmo in North America for PepsiCo's snacks division, discussed this subject at Advertising Week 2015 in New York City.

"The role of 'marketer' has changed to being a 'marketing technologist,'" he said. (For more, including examples of this idea in practice, read Warc's exclusive report: Frito-Lay champions "marketing technologists".)

Should this transformation appear more semantic than substantive to today's digitally-savvy brand custodians, Krishnan sounded a warning about its scale.

"Outside of information technology, no other function is going to change as dramatically as the marketing function. And it's driven by the convergence of three things," he said.

The first of these involves the fact that consumers can now voice their opinions to brands via an increasingly diverse range of digital platforms.

"Consumers are no longer passive. They're active. They want a two-way conversation," Krishnan reported.

A second – and interlocking – development covers data, which is reshaping every part of the communications process, from conceiving campaigns to measuring performance.

"Fundamentally, how we gather consumer insights has changed. We used to be about stated intent: go talk to consumers, what is their stated intent to do certain actions. We don't do that any more," Krishnan said.

"Now it's about data, because data equals consumer information. So at any given time we're tracking six layers of data to inform and educate the innovation pipeline and the consumer conversation that we're having."

And while the advance of ad blocking suggests consumers are resistant to brand messages, the Frito-Lay marketer was optimistic that the right approach could yield results.

"They're willing to give up data as long as you add value back to their lives," he told the Advertising Week assembly.

Working alongside the shifts in the consumer and data environments is the rise of technologies that marketers will need to master.

"I think the one shared objective we all have is to get the content out to the consumer. We want to do that, and technology lets you do it at a speed of light that was not possible before," said Krishnan.

"I think, more and more, we're expecting marketers to be content creators, not just curators."

Data sourced from Warc


Blog: When did planners become strategists?

20 November 2015
Nowadays contexts change so quickly that a fixed plan has limited usefulness. Instead, argues freelance strategist Heather LeFevre, "we should be creating brand strategies that are algorithms". Her annual planner survey, now open, has been retitled accordingly. 



Indonesian ecommerce advertising grows

20 November 2015
JAKARTA: Advertising expenditure by ecommerce companies in Indonesia jumped 50% in the first nine months of the year according to new data from Nielsen.

The market researcher reported that this sector had led growth in television and print media and that their total expenditure for the first three quarters amounted to Rp 2.26 trillion ($163.9m).

It highlighted the "enormous" increases in spending at two companies in particular: online travel booking service Traveloka boosted ad spending 702% while ecommerce site Tokopedia posted nearly 17-fold growth.

Other rapidly-growing sectors, the Jakarta Globe reported, included infant formula, up 40%, and clove cigarettes, up 30%.

The single biggest spending category, however, has been government and political organisations. They spent Rp 4.58 trillion over the same nine-month period, and while this represented a 15% decline on last year, when there was an election, it was still much higher than spending on ads for individual consumer goods categories, the Jakarta Post noted.

Expenditure on the largest of these, hair care, for example, amounted to Rp 3.35 trillion.

Hellen Katerina, media director of Nielsen Indonesia, said that political advertising had been geared towards congratulatory or condolence-offering ads from government institutions, regional administrations and political bodies.

East Kalimantan province, for example, spent Rp 404.9 billion on advertising, a 79% year-on-year increase, as it received various awards from central government relating to areas such as public service performance and financial reporting.

Government spending was mostly allocated to newspapers and despite the sums spent, it has merely slowed the decline in ad revenues for this medium, which were down 6% to Rp 22.8 trillion over the period; magazine spending was down 13% to Rp 1.4 trillion.

Television remains the major medium measured by Nielsen, up 8% to Rp 62 trillion and accounting for 72% of the market, compared to newspapers' 26% and magazines' 3%.

Total advertising expenditure has risen every year for the last 15, according to Warc's Adspend Database, propelling Indonesia to 8th place in the list of highest spending ad markets.

Data sourced from Jakarta Post, Jakarta Globe; additional content by Warc staff


Noodle wars get nasty

20 November 2015
NEW DELHI: As Nestlé India looks to get its Maggi brand back on track after its ban, other companies are eyeing up this market, including the fast-growing Patanjali which has found itself embroiled in a bureaucratic battle with the FSSAI.

The food regulator has said that Patanjali, an FMCG business founded by yoga guru Baba Ramdev, had not been granted approval or a licence for the range of instant noodles it has launched.

Patanjali, however, maintains that it has a licence for pasta and that noodles come under the 'pasta' category.

"Our representatives are going to the FSSAI headquarters with original copies of the selling licence, along with the manufacturer's licence," said Ramdev. "It seems there is an issue of lack of coordination and it could be resolved by sitting together."

The intervention of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), denouncing "crony capitalist swamis", has added another layer of intrigue.

Last month Patanjali tied up with leading retail group Future Group to extend the distribution of its range of ayurvedic products, which include fruit juices, herb tea and toiletries as well as noodles.

Devangshu Dutta, CEO of retail consultancy Third Eyesight, questioned the reasoning behind the launch of Patanjali noodles.

"While a lot of food and nutraceutical products resonate easily with the Patanjali brand, instant noodles seems completely counterintuitive under this brand's umbrella," he told Quartz India. "How much consumers will support this new launch remains to be seen."

According to Quartz, Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is now one of the fastest growing FMCG businesses in India, and could soon rival long-established and bigger names like HUL, Nestlé and ITC Foods. The planned launch of a range of yoga wear will also see it pitched against global sportswear giants Nike and Adidas.

The business model developed by the company has generally eschewed mainstream advertising, preferring instead to rely on the personal endorsement of Ramdev and his instructors and followers, who include a number of popular celebrities. But as it has got bigger it has taken on agencies.

Data sourced from Economic Times, Financial Express, Quartz India; additional content by Warc staff


Mobile travel booking takes flight

20 November 2015
SINGAPORE: South East Asia is leading the world in travel booking from mobile devices, recent research has revealed.

According to performance marketing firm Criteo, nearly a third (30%) of online travel bookings in the past 12 months in South-east Asia were made from a mobile phone. Worldwide, the average proportion of online travel bookers purchasing via mobile is 23%, with the wider Asia-Pacific region at 27%.

Mobile apps, meanwhile, are generating 49% of mobile-based bookings, up from 12% just one year ago. Airbnb, the holiday accommodation app, has seen a similarly meteoric trajectory: the number of Asian customers making mobile bookings now is 60 times that when it launched in 2013.

Mobile is now a critical lead driver and travel brands operating in the region, such as Resorts World Sentosa, Expedia and Starwood hotel group, have all refined their mobile offer to move beyond simply securing tickets and hotel reservations to find ways in which they can use mobile to grow their business.

South East Asian customers expect a one-stop shop at their fingertips, with real-time prices, booking availability and cashless payment options available at the tap of the smartphone screen. Brands prioritizing a mobile-optimized user experience have immediate payoff – smartphones account for almost half (47%) of same-day hotel bookings.

"We are investing in technology to enable our hotel partners to reach travellers in the way that they want to shop," said Mieke De Schepper, vp/Asia-Pacific at the Expedia Group, in comments to the Straits Times.

"The speed of innovation is faster than ever and the industry needs to focus on being nimble," she added.

Data sourced from Straits Times, Criteo; additional content by Warc staff


TV remains draw for young

19 November 2015
GLOBAL: The TV set continues to dominate millennials' media consumption, as they not only watch live television for between two and three hours a day but also devote most of their video viewing time to this device.

TV organisations from 14 countries have brought together a range of statistics to mark World Television Day on Saturday 21 November, the focus of which is younger viewers. And while these bodies may measure and report TV consumption in different ways, it seems clear that young people are still watching a lot of TV.

So, for example, in the USA, 18-24 year olds watch an average of 2 hours, 33 minutes of TV a day, rising to 3 hours, 50 minutes for 25-34 year olds. In Canada, 18-34 year olds watch 2 hours, 43 minutes of linear TV daily.

In Europe the figures are similar: in the UK, 16-34 year olds watch 2 hours, 23 minutes of linear TV every day, in Italy, 15-34 year olds watch an average of 2 hours, 33 minutes daily, while in Germany the figure is 2 hours, 21 mins for 18-34 year olds.

And while video services like Netflix and YouTube have become popular, they have yet to displace television in the affections of the younger generation.

TV accounts for 65% of video consumption by 16-24 year olds in the UK, for 74% of that by 14-29 year olds in Germany and for 70% of that by 15-24 year olds in France.

And in the USA, 18-34 year olds spend more time online with ad-supported TV brands (39 minutes) than with Google, AOL, MSN and Yahoo! combined (25 minutes) or with Facebook (23 minutes).

Similarly, a proliferation of devices means television can now be viewed anytime, anywhere, but most millennials are, for now at least, sticking with the traditional TV set.

In the UK, for example, 70% of 16-24 year olds' total video consumption – 65% of which is TV – takes place on a TV set.

Finally, millennials are well disposed towards TV advertising in many territories, with 16-24 year olds in the UK saying they find TV advertising more enjoyable, memorable and humorous than any other media.

Fully 54% enjoy TV advertising, compared to 16% for social media; and 69% say TV advertising makes them laugh, compared to 24% for social, while 73% say TV advertising is memorable, compared to 17% for social media.

In Italy two thirds of 18-34 year olds claim they pay attention to TV advertising and they are also more likely than average to consider it useful.

Data sourced from Thinkbox; additional content by Warc staff


Emojis deliver Dell's marketing message

19 November 2015
NEW YORK: Dell, the technology group, has successfully shown how emojis can be used to support a wider campaign message, rather than simply being a form of standalone experimentation.

At Advertising Week 2015 in New York, Erin Lin, a mobile marketing consultant at Dell discussed the branded "stickers" it had rolled out for apps like Kik during the back-to-school period.

More specifically, she reported that the company's first foray with emojis played directly into its "Learn it. Share it" campaign, where young influencers in various fields sought to inspire the teenage audience.

"We have teen influencers that have a lot of social followers," she said. (For more, including results, read Warc's exclusive report: Emojis spread Dell's back-to-school message.)

"This tied back really well to our campaign, because our campaign was 'Learn it, share it' – so it has a really strong social and sharing aspect.

"So the sharing part of emoji totally makes sense. And we wanted to drive engagement, and we know that messaging apps definitely drive great engagement."

Dell's pack of "stickers" typically involved a cartoon teen holding one of the company's products – and reflected simple sentiments like "Hey", "LOL" and "Miss you".

"The way they chat is, literally, someone will type a sentence, and other people will follow with ten different stickers. That's how they communicate with each other," said Lin.

"Then another sentence, and another eight different stickers. That's really how young people are talking to each other now."

And when it came to determining whether its emojis were playing a role in these conversations, Dell could draw on a variety of measures.

"There are a few metrics that we talk about. One is how fast people download a certain number of packs of stickers," Lin told the Advertising Week assembly.

"That shows how attractive they are to the consumer initially. And the second portion is shares per download: that shows how engaged they are. And the third part is definitely the time spent," she said. "It's really great performance."

Data sourced from Warc


Cyber security taxes business leaders

19 November 2015
LONDON: Global business leaders are "extremely concerned" about issues of cyber security, according to research which also indicates this area is likely to be an important consideration in the year ahead.

The finding emerged from Mobile Elite, a survey of 500 senior business executives across Europe, Asia and the US by broadcaster CNBC, tracking their use of mobile devices.

Fully 82% of this group agreed that mobile data privacy and security is a concern with 41% believing that it will be the most influential factor in driving business change during 2016.

That put it ahead of other areas such as cloud technology (35%) and mobile e-commerce (34%).

The fact that business leaders are so exercised by security issues may be related to their own increasing use of mobile devices, and not just for consuming content – they are also keen on using mobile payment systems and on remotely operating appliances at home.

But as a news organisation, CNBC has a particular interest in how this group consumes news and it found that 91% have access to news and business content via their smartphone or tablet.

And the variety and volume of news and business content consumed on these devices has increased across the board between 2014 and 2015, with access to 'news feeds' registering the highest growth for smartphones (45% to 60%).

The mobile behaviour of business leaders is in many respects much like any other user in that the device has become an intrinsic part of daily life: six in ten reach for their smartphone as soon as they wake up.

But while the average user may be diving into their social media feeds to see what their friends are doing, weekday mornings are more likely to see business executives looking at news content (87%) or financial news and stock prices (71%).

Around half (51%) tuned into the TV as a result of seeing content on their smartphones and three quarters regularly engaged into dual-screening. The symbiotic relationship of mobile and TV was further illustrated in the finding that 62% of business leaders have followed up on their smartphone or tablet as a result of seeing content on TV.

CNBC's research also highlighted how business leaders are using their mobile devices to explore a connected lifestyle, with four in ten claiming to use their mobile device to operate appliances within the home.

And three quarters (74%) agreed that systems including Apple Pay and other digital wallet offerings are the future for e-commerce.

"We could be witnessing the start of the next mobile renaissance," said Mike Jeanes, director of research/EMEA at CNBC.

Data sourced from CNBC; additional content by Warc staff


The millennial lens needs focus

19 November 2015
NEW YORK: Too many marketers continue to classify consumers into broad categories like millennials and as a result are failing to target audiences effectively and allocate their spending efficiently.

"People keep thinking millennials, millennials, millennials—but there are different types," Max Knight, vp/marketing services at ad tech firm Turn, told Adweek. "People keep saying this word, but it can't just be this big group."

Turn's own analysis highlighted four groups within the wider classification and suggested that the majority of millennials (57%) fell into the "struggling aspirationals" segment.

These consumers it described as green, healthy and fit. They are also "comparatively fiscally challenged", meaning that marketers might want to consider promotions and limited-time offers as ways of reaching them.

The next largest segmentation was "successful homeowners" (18%) and Turn advised that video advertising was an underutilised route to this group. "Marketers should align high-impact media with an audience that's ready to spend," it said.

"Active affluents" (17%) included many new parents with a love of the outdoors and leisure travel – so that mobile campaigns are likely to be a better way of reaching them.

The final, smallest group was "comfortable TV watchers" (8%) and here Turn thought it wise to delve deeper: "groups that display strong preferences may reveal unique interests markets can cater to more specifically".

A similar point about millennials was made by one of the many trend reports that appear at this time of year.

Hotwire PR based its recent effort on crowdsourced data from 400 communicators across 22 countries and declared 2016 would be the year marketers finally stopped targeting millennials as a single demographic, Instead, it said, they will develop an "age-agnostic" approach, focusing on certain mindsets and values.

"We may even forget about age in general – it's just a number – and focus marketing on what really motivates our audience: their passions and the life they choose to live," it added.

That may be a forlorn hope, however, as Turn's research also indicated that advertisers are spending 500% more on millennials than on all other age groups combined.

In particular, they are spending six times as much on video, 4.5 times as much on mobile and four times as much on both display and social.

Data sourced from Adweek, Hotwire PR; additional content by Warc staff


Agencies back online video

19 November 2015
CHICAGO: Agencies are increasingly confident in the return on investment to be gained from online video and are devoting more focus to this area, new research has shown.

A third quarter survey of advertising agencies conducted by STRATA, a supplier of media buying and selling software, found that 71% reported more interest in that medium compared to a year ago, the largest increase in the history of the survey.

Almost half (45%) said they were confident they were getting good value in recent online video ad purchases, up 51% on the same time last year. At the same time the proportion of agencies still unsure of online video advertising value had dropped by around a quarter over the year to 36%.

A major contributing factor to this surge in conviction is better targeting: 55% said their online video ads reached their intended targets most of the time, up 38% from a year ago.

At the same time, agencies have been exploring new ways to increase the reach of video ad buys through video aggregators and ad networks. Just over half (52%) reported that accessing these was now 'important' or 'very important' to them, a jump of over 54% from the second quarter.

On a similar point, three quarters (76%) of agencies said it was 'important' or 'very important' to extend their buys into premium online video from cable/broadcast networks, a 32% increase from a year ago.

"As confidence in online video ROI grows, agency appetite and acceptance of different forms of digital video will only rise," said J.D. Miller, director at STRATA.

"We are seeing agencies increasing their focus on automation tools including programmatic, to find the right inventory, the right audience at the right time."

On the last point, the survey found 40% of agencies were making at least 20% of their buys programmatically.

This was across a range of ad types, including mobile (29% of agencies), streaming video (22%), and streaming audio (24%).

But many agencies still have worries over the quality of inventory (60%) and the transparency of inventory sources (45%).

Just under $2.0bn was spent on online video advertising in the US during the first six months of 2015, a 35% rise from the previous year, according to the latest data from the Internet Advertising Bureau. This amounted to approximately 7% of all online advertising expenditure in H1 2015.

Data sourced from STRATA; additional content by Warc staff


WeChat route to China's mums

19 November 2015
BEIJING: Infant nutrition is a hot topic among Chinese mothers with much discussion taking place on WeChat, where a study has identified several areas currently lacking in suitable content and which brands could usefully address.

Intelligence provider Kantar Media CIC teamed up with agency Ogilvy China to analyse WeChat content around mothers and infant nutrition, collecting six months of data from 92 leading, influential mother and infant WeChat public media accounts, plus 12 mother and infant care key opinion leader (KOL) public accounts as well as 24 brand accounts.

With KOL accounts often being those of well-known nutritionists and paediatricians, these tended to express leadership in mother and infant expertise and knowledge. Media accounts were more likely to offer social and messaging functions, while brand accounts were more focused on customer service and marketing-related activities.

And from a marketing point of view, the content in each of these three categories displayed different characteristics: brand accounts had the greatest amount of original content, media had the highest forwarding rate while KOLs tended to have the greatest audience reach.

The study advised that while original content had the advantage of leveraging media reach, brands should also focus on developing their own KOLs, establishing the brand in the field of mother and infant nutrition to establish public leadership.

Among the accounts studied, infant nutrition topics – including daily diet, illness, growth and health, food taboos – made up almost half (48.7%) of all content, but most of it was centred around a child's first year; nutrition information for 1-2 year olds accounted for only 1.5% of all content, while that of 3-6 year olds was a mere 0.3%.

Brands should focus on strengthening their online nutrition content for older age groups, the study suggested, while at the same time addressing food taboos.

The study also highlighted the paucity of content – only 1.7% – relevant to pregnant mothers. "This is a clear opportunity for brands to beef up content," the report advised.

"By focusing on content across different trimesters and different facets of pregnancy including diet, developmental knowledge and peer interaction, they can ultimately increase brand viscosity."

Data sourced from Kantar Media CIC; additional content by Warc staff


Future Group builds brand portfolio

19 November 2015
MUMBAI: Future Group, the leading Indian retail business, intends to add significantly to its existing portfolio of FMCG brands as it aims to take a larger share of this market, a step that will put it into more direct competition with the likes of Hindustan Unilever and Britannia Industries.

"We were always a consumer goods company," Kishore Biyani, group CEO, Future Group maintained.

"Retail is a way of distributing your goods," he told the Economic Times. "Big Bazaar became big and we are known by that name but our ability to think multiple brands at the same time exists."

Big Bazaar is only one of the retail formats operated by Future Group – others include Food Bazaar, Foodhall, KB's Fair Price and the recently acquired Nilgiri's and Easy Day.

The scale of Biyani's ambitions are apparent in his aim of more than quadrupling the number of SKUs to 2,000. And while Future Group's own brands currently contribute an estimated Rs 1000 crore, Biyani wants that figure to hit Rs 10,000 crore by 2020.

But the advertising industry may not benefit as much as those figures might suggest, as Biyani declared that the traditional ways of launching and building a brand are over.

"In the new world, it's not just branding but the role of the product, its quality and distribution that make a difference," he explained.

"All the old economy people still believe in building brands and spending money on advertising: I think brands are about an experience. That cannot be built merely through advertising."

A challenge for Future Group will be getting its brands into retailers beyond its own collection of stores, without giving consumers a reason to shop elsewhere.

"We won't get into traditional distribution," Biyani said. "One of our logistics company will set up warehouses. Though technology we will appoint distributors and take orders. It will be very different."

In five years' time he confidently expected that "30% to 40% of all our brands will be sold in other stores" while 70% of sales in Future Group stores would be its own brands.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


Social, mobile key to festive retail

19 November 2015
HONG KONG: Social media and mobile e-commerce are going hand in hand this festive season, as more and more peer recommendations drive leads to online merchants.

A recent study by predictive marketing platform Custora, reported in Digital Market Asia, highlighted that mobile traffic to e-commerce sites has increased. While mobile traffic remains at around one third in Westernised markets, in mobile-first Asia it is much higher. Sales data from Alibaba indicated that more than 70% of its traffic for this month's Singles Day was from mobile phones.

The trend looks set to continue into the end-of-year festive season as brands prepare for the busiest time of the year.

The power of peer-to-peer recommendations is stronger than ever, putting social media squarely in the spotlight as a key lead generator.

Brands can no longer hide from bad reviews – a Nielsen survey showed 92% of consumers trust product recommendations from their peers. Consumers are using live-update travel review sites like TripAdvisor to plan their holiday season trips, pushing brands to put a focus on customer service year-round.

With a massive influx of sales happening online, around-the-clock customer service is also an increasing priority for brands. Research by Twitter indicates that online shoppers are more likely to shop outside of store opening hours, with purchases peaking between 8pm and midnight. Shopping buzz surges 83% during these hours.

For brands, the busy holiday period is also a huge opportunity for brands to capture shopper data and engage customers through the rest of the year.

Research by content delivery technologists Akamai, reported in Enterprise Innovation, shows that 78% of shoppers are allowing the use of their information gleaned from their in-store purchases so that retailers can provide a more personalized experience through the year.

Akamai also noted websites with an effective personalization feature are able to achieve a growth of 210% in terms of completed purchases while clicks to the purchase page are up by 30.4%.

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


Procurement function will stay

19 November 2015
NEW YORK: PepsiCo's decision to scrap its marketing procurement department is unlikely to herald a widespread shift in this direction, according to a survey by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

The ANA sent a survey to its procurement and financial management community asking if they thought PepsiCo's recent move to hand procurement responsibilities back to brand executives was indicative of an industry trend.

Of the 148 member responses, a 68% majority said "no", versus 15% saying "yes" and 17% that didn't know or weren't sure.

And the ANA's survey highlighted several reasons why procurement professionals feel – or hope – few companies are likely to follow this route, including know-how and time.

Marketing/brand teams, they suggested, generally don't have the same skills as marketing procurement specialists, who have expertise in areas including negotiation, contracting, supplier management and risk management.

And if marketing has to take on procurement work, it could be time-consuming and distracting, making these departments less effective.

"Procurement provides expertise in areas that are beyond the skill sets of most marketers," said Bill Duggan, group EVP at the ANA. "That allows marketers to do what they do best: marketing!

"At the vast majority of ANA member companies, marketing procurement is not going away."

Survey respondents also observed that there was value in procurement acting as a neutral third party.

At the same time, within their own community, procurement professionals, perhaps conscious of a possible wind of change, admitted a need for continuous learning to foster stronger relationships with their marketing colleagues.

Some examples included the alignment of goals between marketing and procurement, as well as the need for procurement to better understand marketing in order to be effective.

Data sourced from ANA; additional content by Warc staff


Shoppers fret over purchase decisions

18 November 2015
LONDON: One third of consumers worry that they have made the wrong decision after buying a product, especially a major purchase where the typical buying cycle is measured in years, according to new research.

According to How people buy, a study of the consumer journey produced by Newsworks, the trade body, consumers now have access to too much information and are bombarded with messages, which makes their buying choices more unclear.

The study involved both qualitative and quantitative research, including an online survey among 2,000 adults aged 18-65 who ever read newsbrands (90% of the total number for that audience) in order to quantify the role of media touchpoints along the stages of the journeys

It reported that there is not necessarily a strong correlation between size of purchase and the level of planning that goes into it. "Even bigger purchases, where thousands of pounds change hands, can be impulsive," the report stated.

But it was apparent that brand preferences help consumers feel more certain about their purchases. Shoppers with brands in mind before they start looking to buy were less likely to worry about the choice they had made after buying (27%).

Media clearly help frame brand perceptions, helping people to form opinions as they semi-consciously absorb information on products, brands and retailers.

The research found that newsbrands play an important role within that mix, with readers trusting their chosen newsbrand to direct them to the choices that matter.

For the majority of consumers, newsbrands inferred relevance and a sense of 'rightness' onto brands: 84% of respondents agreed that if a newspaper recommends something, then there's a good chance they'll like it and a similar proportion (85%) said that just seeing a brand or product in their newsbrand "gives me more confidence that it's right for me".

Dr Nick Southgate, a behavioural economics expert who helped conduct the research, said: "When people make decisions what they truly desire is to make a confident decision. Regret, and the anticipation of regret, shadows our decisions and undercuts confidence."

Data sourced from Newsworks; additional content by Warc staff


Death knell for lads' mags?

18 November 2015
LONDON: The announcement by Bauer Media that it is to suspend publication of FHM and ZOO magazines marks the end of an era for "lads' mags".

Over time, young men's media habits have continually moved towards mobile and social, Bauer noted.

It went on to claim that the two male-orientated titles had a combined digital audience of over 5m, but ABC data shows that FHM's print circulation was less than 100,000 last year. Rivals like Nuts and Loaded have also closed in the past year as circulation fell.

James Brown, who gained notoriety during his period as editor of Loaded, told Marketing Week that "publishing has definitely been much improved by digital technology".

He observed that the shift from print to websites was now moving on to social, making websites almost redundant.

"It's democratised it," he said. "When I started out in publishing … it was very difficult to get into. Now you can do anything, anywhere, on your phone."

But he added that print wasn't dead, although it faced major challenges and needed to evolve. The rise of free newspapers and magazines has been one welcome development, he suggested.

"[Going free] changed [listings magazine] Time Out from struggling to sell 40,000 a week to going out to 500,000 people," Brown noted, adding that NME, the music newspaper which recently relaunched as a free paper, should have taken that route six years ago.

"Every day of the week now you get given a fairly competently put together magazine at a travel point or a garage," he noted. And there has also been "massive growth" in small independent magazines.

"The main thing is you've just got to get the print into the audience's hands that the advertisers want," he stated.

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


Advertising adds economic value

18 November 2015
NEW YORK: Advertising plays a vital role in the US economy according to a new report, supporting $5.8 trillion in output and 20m jobs in 2014.

Research by IHS Economics and Country Risk, commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and The Advertising Coalition, detailed the impact of advertising on the economy at both national and state levels, as the effects of advertising expenditure extended beyond the immediate industry.

So, for example, every dollar of ad spending supported, on average, about $19 of economic output (sales) nationally; and for every $1m spent, 67 American jobs were supported across a broad range of industries, throughout the economy.

The $5.8 trillion figure above represents 16% of total US output; when considered in terms of GDP, advertising becomes even more important, with its impact accounting for 19% of the total.

And the study forecast that advertising spending would increase at an average annual rate of 3.3% between now and 2019, by when the industry would help directly and indirectly foster $7.4 trillion in US economic activity and support 23m jobs.

All these figures are intended to help the industry make a case to lawmakers that legislation should not be changed to remove the cost of business advertising as a tax-deductible expense. There is a proposal that advertisers be permitted to deduct only half of annual advertising expenses with the balance to be amortised over five years.

"This new study underscores the essential nature of advertising in promoting both business and economic growth in this country," said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA.

"There are very few American industries that can compare in terms of across-the-board economic value," added Bob Flanagan, director at IHS.

The ANA has suggested that implementing the new tax proposals will cost advertisers $169bn over ten years.

Figures from Warc's Adspend Database show that for every man, woman and child in the US, $513.10 was spent on advertising last year.

Data sourced from ANA; additional content by Warc staff


Brand trust higher in Asia

18 November 2015
MUMBAI: Brand trust is significantly higher than the global average among Asian consumers, who are also far more likely to be care about brands disappearing new research has found.

The 2015 Meaningful Brands study from Havas Media – which covers 1,000 brands, 300,000 people, 34 countries and 12 industry sectors – involves assessing the impact of brands on collective and personal wellbeing as well as marketplace factors relating to product performance such as quality and price.

This year's study reported that people in Asia Pacific trusted 83% of brands compared to just 50% globally. And they would be bothered by the disappearance of 60% of brands, a figure that falls to just 26% globally.

Overall, Havas said that Asia Pacific people's connection with brands was stronger than in Western regions and other emerging economies, with ten times higher attachment.

In a country like India, brands are viewed as much more than functional products. The study showed that 75% of Indian consumers, for example, believe brands should play a role in improving quality of life and wellbeing (the Asia Pacific average is 69% the global average 67%).

And two thirds (67%) feel that brands are working hard at improving quality of life and wellbeing, compared to an Asia Pacific average of 55% and a global average of 38%.

"People in India are happy to have brands as partners and as enablers to help them improve their quality of life and wellbeing," said Mohit Joshi, managing director, Havas Media Group India.

He added that this "throws open exciting possibilities for marketers and brands to interact with their customers".

Dairy brand Amul emerged as India's Most Meaningful Brand in the study – food is one of the most meaningful sectors in the country – followed by snack brand Cadbury and internet giant Google.

Indians had the highest attachment towards Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the state-owned insurance group: 86% of people would care if LIC disappeared tomorrow (globally most people would not care if 74% of brands disappeared the next day).

Data sourced from Havas Media; additional content by Warc staff


Facebook beats TV for reach in APAC

18 November 2015
SINGAPORE: Facebook is the number one channel for generating reach across Asia Pacific, beating TV, a new report has shown.

Facebook research, in conjunction with Millward Brown, has revealed that Facebook generates eight percent more incremental reach than television in Asia Pacific, and is 400% more cost efficient.

The study, reported in Campaign Asia-Pacific, found that for every dollar invested into Facebook advertising, brands get twice the impact of television – a convincing metric as online video engagement soars across Asia.

The research may spur brands to see social media as the natural partner for TV channel advertising, which has been slow to evolve in Asia.

Signs are that social media platforms like Facebook are adapting much faster to Asia's desire for personalised video content, as the smartphone becomes the first point of contact for brands with consumers across much of Asia.

Though TV marketing is no longer limited to a family's single TV set, with on-demand and smartphone-centric services more commonplace, marketers are yet to fully embrace the partnership social media can offer TV marketing.

According to the research, nearly half of TV viewers are also watching related content on one of their devices.

Reynold D'Silva, Facebook's group head of FMCG, tech, telco and media brands in South East Asia believes that Facebook's video growth is due to individually-targeted marketing being more successful.

"People-based marketing is more effective," said D'Silva to Campaign Asia-Pacific.

D'Silva wrote in a piece for Warc earlier this year that as consumers become used to personalised entertainment, brands must follow suit.

As reported in The Verge, Facebook videos now receive more than eight billion views every day, double the number of daily views from April alone and eight times the average number of views recorded in September 2014.

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


Blog: Emotional insurance

18 November 2015
The biggest disruption to the Asian insurance market in recent years hasn't been new channels or technology, argues Edward Bell of FCB Greater China. It's been the shift of focus in TV advertising from fears to tears.



ANA chief champions brands and growth

18 November 2015
ORLANDO: Marketing must aim to build brands and drive business results with "incredible consistency and reliability", Bob Liodice, president/ceo of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), has suggested.

Liodice discussed this subject at the organisation's 2015 Masters of Marketing Conference – an event held in Orlando, Florida.

"Mastering brands and driving results – time and again, with incredible consistency and reliability – is what our marketing ecosystem should dynamically generate," he said. (For more, including examples of inspiring campaigns, read Warc's exclusive report: Liodice cites best practices for new marketers.)

Drilling down into this topic, he asserted that the agenda for practitioners has three foundational elements which remain constant despite the major changes impacting the industry.

"The universal truth is that great marketing isn't great unless it is validated by superb business results, well-developed brands and, of course, enduring business growth," he said.

And growth, he reported, represents much more than a line on a spreadsheet. Rather, when marketing masters consider this idea, they speak in terms of revenue, income, market share, social responsibility and influence.

The search for this growth is undoubtedly taking place at a time when technological capabilities are evolving at a rapid speed – a trend offering huge opportunities for digitally-savvy marketers.

"As the legacy marketing model continues to be disrupted, challenging marketers have responded in new and innovative ways," said Liodice.

"We no longer hope for change. We create change through multiscreen platforms and integrated marketing programs; through efficient programmatic media strategies; through addressable, interactive and connected campaigns; through [the] intelligent expansion of social media; through expansive strategies using outdoor, digital, place-based media and real-time marketing; and leveraging one of the hottest buttons of media today, connected TV."

Just as marketers are able to build brands and businesses, he further ventured, their work can have a far wider social and economic influence.

"As an industry, our responsibility is to advance, protect and defend the rights of all marketers while we build our brands and our businesses," said Liodice.

"We're an economic engine for the global community. We build brands. We grow businesses. We create jobs. We influence lives. We build careers. And we have an impact on society. We're all of that and more."

Data sourced from Warc


Ad tech firms rush to DC

18 November 2015
WASHINGTON, DC: Next year's US presidential election is expected to see significantly increased spending on digital advertising, but insiders have suggested some of the ad tech firms descending on the nation's capital are likely to be disappointed.

"The number of third parties setting up shop is crazy," said Zac Moffatt, CEO of Targeted Victory, a Republican digital media-buying agency.

"There are a lot of leases being taken out, but I'd be concerned," he told AdExchanger. "Some of those offices are going to end up with tumbleweed blowing around."

Despite the fact over $1bn is predicted to be spent on digital marketing by political advertisers in 2016, he maintained, "There's a disconnect between the number of people trying to get in the door and the size of the market as it currently exists, and that's going to be a tough squeeze for some people."

On the Democrat side, Nate Lubin, the 2012 digital director and, until recently, director of digital strategy at the White House, questioned whether some ad tech vendors were suitable to operate in the political space.

The way campaigns are structured – around fundraising, volunteering and get-out-the vote drives – does not necessarily lend itself to the latest marketing technology, he suggested.

Another difference highlighted by AdExchanger is the relative centralisation of party machines.

Thus, Democrats tend to see more advertising resources channelled through the candidate's campaign, while on the Republican side, more goes through fundraising committees known as super PACs.

And there is also the legacy of 2012 to consider. "Data and optimisation was a pillar of the Obama campaign, and that's been baked into the whole organisational structure on the Democratic side," said Lubin.

There is no such continuity on the Republican side, however, where Moffatt faces a struggle to divert spending from television into digital channels.

"Campaigns and political groups still haven't fully embraced digital media," he said. "They'll use DoubleClick, Facebook, platforms they can't do without, but others are going to have to find new ways to demonstrate ROI."

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff


Panasonic localises in India

18 November 2015
NEW DELHI: Innovation and localisation are key to success in India according to the president of Panasonic India.

Speaking to Afaqs!, Daizo Ito said it wasn't possible for foreign businesses to develop products for the US and European markets and then import these to India. "It no longer works that way," he said.

He pointed out that India had undergone huge social and economic change in the last generation and remained a very diverse market with consumers defying easy categorisation.

"Indian consumers are not only looking for the availability of products," he said. "They also want better experience, services and ambience.

"To succeed in this country, it becomes imperative for brands to innovate and make products keeping in mind the needs of the local people."

Accordingly, Panasonic now focuses heavily on the localisation of products and technologies to suit the preferences of Indian consumers.

For example, Ito reported that "the USB port is used in a big way by Indians as opposed to other markets".

He added that Panasonic now viewed India as a manufacturing hub for the wider region, with plans to export products such as washing machines and air conditioners beyond Asia to the Middle East and Africa.

It also plans on expanding its mobile phone business to offer both smartphones and feature phones across a similar geographical area.

"We aim to strategically leverage our expertise and resources in India for the benefit of other emerging markets," he explained.

Localisation has more often been associated with food brands seeking to adapt their offerings to suit local tastes.

Kantar Worldpanel has noted how local FMCG brands have gained ground in Asia at the expense of global brands as they have been able to respond more quickly to consumer expectations around areas such as flavours and scents.

But international players are drawing up strategies to deal with this. PepsiCo, for example, has created a "palate map" of India to help it understand regional preferences, while a sensory evaluation of early product prototypes helps it shortlist those products that work best at a sensory level, going beyond just likeability and appeal.

Data sourced from Afaqs!; additional content by Warc staff