The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Delivering entertaining and creative content will hit the sweet spot
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Sandra Peat, Strategy Director at ONE TWO FOUR.

More than ever before, consumers are in the driving seat when it comes to brand communications. They are both savvy and cynical, making it ever more challenging to produce content that cuts through. Content can be a fantastic way to build relevance and engagement with your audience, leveraging their interests through credibility and awareness. However, in this day and age, it's essential that brands think beyond the obvious content options and be more creative with how they speak to their audience, while still adding value. To hit the sweet spot, brands must therefore create a balance between their objectives and listening to its audiences' passions - and deliver content when and where they want it.

Adrian Pettett, CEO of Cake, recently made the statement that "There's never been a greater need for boldness and disruption. Ultimately it's about brilliant ideas, now more than ever." Brands need to be more creative and bolder in their approach to content today to stand out and appeal to their audience. More often than not, content is viewed as a sure fire way to deliver messages but brands are not accurately observing how their audience consume content and in what way.


Subjects: Digital, Marketing

26 May 2015 11:44

Mobile wallets: Only the beginning
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Juan Ageitos, Senior Marketing Manager at mGage

We are heading rapidly towards a situation where mobile is synonymous with 'wallet'. With a flurry of innovations in the sector such as the launch of Samsung's m-payment service, the unveiling of the Apple Watch, the ability to pay via Snapchat, the introduction of payments on social media, and an increase in consumers paying for things on their mobile, it is no surprise that mobile wallets are poised to become a massive marketing channel.

Results from a recent survey carried out by mGage, looking into consumers' attitudes towards charging things to their mobile bill, suggest that this is a natural progression and something that consumers are ready to welcome. The research found that almost one third of consumers have donated to charity via their mobile phones, with a similar number being happy to pay for everyday items by charging them to their mobile phone bill. Of these, 80% of consumers said they would be happy to charge up to £15 on every-day items to their mobile.


Subjects: Digital, Consumers

22 May 2015 16:57

The rise of instant messaging
Posted by: MEC

This post is by Gearóid Godson,

It's impossible to have missed the exponential rise in the popularity of instant messaging apps over the last couple of years. A quick glance at the apple app store reveals WhatsApp sitting proudly at the top of the free apps, with Facebook messenger and Snapchat in third and seventh place respectively. In addition to these well-established products, there are a number of emerging apps such as Kik and YikYak which are starting to attract the attention of young users and brands alike.

It is the age profile of users of these apps that is particularly interesting to marketers and brands as they have seen aggressive growth among young users. WhatsApp is a slight anomaly as it was the first messaging app to gain widespread traction and it was seen largely as a replacement for text messaging, while circumventing costly international SMS fees. To this end, it has become popular across the whole spectrum of smartphone users. Snapchat is the most interesting of these apps as it has appeared comparatively recently and has quickly gained popularity amongst young consumers. According to GlobalWebIndex statistics, more than half of Snapchat's users are aged between 16 and 24. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that this age group is favouring the use of these closed platforms ahead of more traditional, open social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.


Subjects: Digital

21 May 2015 11:49

The shopper of the future: Why young shoppers won't turn their back on physical stores
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by the team at GfK.

Despite their love of and ease within the online world, today's young people are not exclusively virtual shoppers, glued to their screens throughout the purchase journey. This new generation of digital natives loves the environment of the store, and values the interaction it offers. And they show no signs of changing their viewpoint.

This creates opportunities for brick and click retailers to challenge the purely online players, some of which – like eBay and Amazon – are responding by migrating out of their virtual comfort zone to investigate the high street. Global Young Shopper survey questioned shoppers aged 16-21 in ten markets around the world. Here's what they told us about their online and offline shopping experiences.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

19 May 2015 16:31

Why politics is too much like football
Posted by: Richard Shotton, Head of Insight, ZenithOptimedia
Richard Shotton

Jay Leno said that "Politics is just show business for ugly people". But perhaps he was drawing a comparison with the wrong form of entertainment. According to our research the parallels between politics and football are far stronger. One of the most striking aspects of football is the loyalty of fans, with life-long allegiances being handed down from one generation to the next. Our research suggests this unswerving dedication is just as prevalent in politics.

ZenithOptimedia surveyed 1,004 nationally representative voters about their views on raising VAT by a penny to fund 10,000 extra nurses. The results were then split by political affiliation. The twist was that half the respondents were told it was a Conservative policy and half Labour.

When Labour supporters thought the policy came from Labour there was strong support: 14pc completely agreed. However, support plummeted to 3pc when it was described as a Conservative policy. Similarly, amongst Tories the policy was four times more popular when it was seen to come from their party.


Subjects: Consumers, Brands

19 May 2015 16:11

Premium Publishers have reasons to be cheerful
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Sam Finlay, head of Digital and Custom Solutions at Time Inc. UK.

If there was one theme to emerge from my day at the Digital Media Strategies conference held last month it was that premium publishers are seemingly getting their swagger back, realising they hold real value in today's digital advertising ecosystem. The unique premise that there is no scarcity of supply in digital inventory is now being challenged more than ever as clients and agencies seek transparency, quality and engagement.

Watching sessions involving speakers from Enders, New York Times, Johnston Press, Taboola, Omnicom and Mashable left me with the impression that there are five strong reasons why premium publishers have good reason to be cheerful:

1. Trading automation: once feared for its impending crushing of ad yields, automated trading is quickly growing beyond performance campaigns and into branding. This is where premium publishers can offer the relevant environment with the trust and loyalty of its audience who have an affinity with their brand. Douglas McCabe, CEO of Enders, reiterated research from the AOP which showed advocacy, engagement and direct contact were far higher after seeing ads across original content sites than portals or social networks. If Automation efficiently delivers these benefits to a wider selection and greater volume of clients, then this can only be a good thing.


Subjects: Digital, Advertising

18 May 2015 10:51

The growing influence of mcommerce
Posted by: MEC

This post is by Louise Twycross-Lewis

Mobile is increasingly becoming the number-one platform for digital transactions, with smartphones set to become the dominant device.

The UK continues to be a global leader of mobile transactions according to a recent eMarketer report. This year, mobile ecommerce (mcommerce) will account for 31.5% of the UK's total retail digital sales, amounting to £18.6 billion. This is in the context of where digital buying is becoming the norm – it is estimated that 74.3% of the UK population will be digital purchasers in 2015, which is well above the 22.6% global average.

eMarketer estimates that mcommerce will rise to 34% of all digital sales (worth £22.7 billion) next year, but some commentators go further and suggest it could exceed 50% in 2016 (Source: Criteo – Ad Week Europe).


Subjects: Digital, Consumers

15 May 2015 14:39

Pleas, promises and placards: Digital impressions from #GE15
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Philip Iorio, media planner at ZenithOptimedia.

Electioneering is a fascinating case study of marketing in action – an intense blast of advertising and PR that highlights both the strengths and limitations of the communications industry.

Deep pockets are no guarantee for success

Considered to have the most draconian political advertising rules in the free world, political adverts are – and have always been – banned on British TV and radio. This ensures the political views broadcast into homes are not determined by those with the deepest pockets. To give you an idea of how deep pockets can be, the battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in 2008 saw almost $1bn spent on presidential campaign ads. In 2010 in contrast, UK parties reportedly spent £31m.


Subjects: Marketing

14 May 2015 15:04

The obsession with 'granular' data
Posted by: Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB

Some years ago, we met a client who was wildly excited about large customer data sets. "It's the granularity that's so amazing," he enthused. "For instance, people who shop in petrol stations on a Thursday…" and so it went on. Eventually, we asked a simple question: what was happening to market share? He seemed slightly annoyed. Market share wasn't relevant for a complex business like his, he said. He wasn't selling baked beans!

So we analysed his data in a different way, not drilling down into the detail but aggregating up to find the trends. And we quickly found patterns that his data-mining techniques had missed. We identified six key measures of market share, and all were in long-term decline.

It is commonly assumed that the more data you have, the better. But in our experience, the more granular the data, the harder it is to see the wood for the trees. Digital data is often daily or hourly, which makes it easier to measure short-term marketing effects. But it makes it harder to measure long-term effects, which get lost in the noise. Similarly, if you analyse sales by store and SKU, the effects of promotions seem huge. But brand-level data shows they are much smaller once cannibalisation and store-switching are taken into account.


Subjects: Data

14 May 2015 09:21

Social ROI comes of age: Highlights from Warc Prize for Social Strategy shortlist
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The Warc Prize for Social Strategy shortlist features 32 entries which Warc subscribers can view here. And what a shortlist! There are some great case studies that demonstrate excellent use of social/digital that drove solid business results. These cases mark a notable maturity in digital marketing, linking earned media to commercial impact.


Subjects: Awards, Marketing, Advertising

13 May 2015 11:50


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