Facebook mobile ad revenues surge

25 April 2014
MENLO PARK, CA: Facebook's mobile advertising revenues, as a proportion of the whole, has doubled within a year as more of the tech giant's user base accesses the service via smartphone or tablet.

In a quarterly earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined several "milestones", including having more than 1bn monthly active users on mobile and almost 55% of daily active users only connecting on mobile.

Zuckerberg also highlighted the fact that, in the first quarter of 2014, some 59% of the company's advertising revenue came from mobile, up from 53% in the fourth quarter of last year and up from 30% in the same period last year.

In monetary terms, mobile ad revenue was growing even faster, up from $377m in the first quarter of 2013 to around $1.3bn in Q1 2014.

That performance had been helped by App Installs, "one of our best performing ad products," Zuckerberg said, which had driven over 350m installs to date.

Over 60% of the top grossing apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play use Mobile App Ads, which, he observed "is a pretty impressive performance for a product that launched in January last year".

In addition to the expanding user base, more and more marketers were turning to Facebook, and while the growth was broad-based, there was "particular strength" from small and medium-sized businesses and from direct response, the company claimed.

Zuckerberg added that improved targeting and simplified ad tools were proving attractive to this audience. "Ten times more marketers are now using our Custom Audiences targeting feature compared to last year," he said.

Investment in improving measurement tools was another factor, with direct response advertisers now able measure the impact of a Facebook ad campaign on online sales.

For the future, Zuckerberg saw "significant opportunities" to develop newer products like premium video and ads on Instagram, while a mobile ad network was at an early testing phase. He said initial results here were promising but he did not expect meaningful contributions from these projects during 2014.

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff

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Amazon India steps up a gear

25 April 2014
BANGALORE: In a flurry of activity, e-commerce giant Amazon is attracting both sellers and buyers onto its Indian platform as it seeks to take the top online retailer spot in the country.

This week it has begun a pilot project in Bangalore which brings kiranas – neighbourhood convenience stores – on board as collection points for online buyers. The Economic Times described the move as "an indigenous improvisation on Amazon Lockers".

The head of Amazon India, Amit Agarawal said that the company had identified and trained staff at small kiosks and stores to act as shipment pick-up points. "Depending on the results, we will take a call on how and what we want to roll out nationally at an appropriate time," he said.

"We are continually innovating to find solutions that enhance convenience and experience for our customers," he added.

The move addresses the problem of failed deliveries, one faced by online retailers everywhere, not just India. Amazon has also introduced a scheduled delivery programme for high-value items and is expanding the range of products available for same-day delivery.

As well as offering greater convenience for buyers, Amazon is attempting to make life simpler for sellers by cutting bureaucracy and making it possible for them to market their products on the same day they register on the Amazon portal. On rival platforms this process can take two weeks.

Merchants can also avail themselves of Amazon's 'easy-ship' delivery service, asking it to pick up and ship the products they sell.

These steps are expected to attract more small retailers, with "a few thousand sellers" reported to have already registered for the new services.

Amazon has backed these developments with an advertising campaign that has included TV spots during the current India Premier League cricket tournament. "Amazon is moving from first gear to fourth," said Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail advisory Technopak. "They have the basics in place."

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Mums want info on Twitter

25 April 2014
LONDON: Two third of mothers expect to be able to interact with brands on Twitter and to find useful information there according to new research from the microblogging site.

Announcing the findings at the Mumstock event in London, run by the Mumsnet website, Oliver Newton, brand and agency advocate at Twitter, said 67% of mums felt this way and most preferred information rather than humorous posts.

Twitter established who the mums on the platform were based on how and what they tweeted.

"A lot of brands fall into the trap of thinking you have to be a real comedy account on Twitter, it's all about the Mega Lolz. It really isn't," said Newton, in remarks reported by The Drum.

"The study shows that the type of content people most value from brands is information," he continued. "If you can provide that with humour then game on, if you can't, don't worry about it. But don't feel like you have to be a comedian on Twitter."

He further revealed that the average number of brands followed by mothers on Twitter was 32 and that they were most interested in competitions, promotions, and information on the best time for buying products.

Four out of five mothers (82%) also followed a celebrity and many were now using Twitter to get celebrity gossip rather than reading magazines.

Family and friends were much less important reasons for being on the site, with only 43% saying it enabled them to be closer.

Newton also said that 77% of mothers were accessing Twitter via a mobile device, a broadly similar proportion to the rest of the population.

Several of these strands came together in Procter & Gamble's award-winning Proud Sponsors of Moms campaign, which it ran during the 2012 Olympic Games and which sought to honour the role mother played in helping their children reach their full potential.

As part of this exercise, P&G used Twitter to contribute to real-time conversations surrounding Olympic athletes and mothers.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff

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Siemens 'Americanises' the brand

25 April 2014
CHICAGO: Siemens, the engineering and electronics firm, has successfully changed perceptions of the company by partnering with Disney to 'Americanise' the brand.

Siemens was seen as a German company, despite a US history dating back to the Civil War, Darren Sparks, Siemens USA's director/strategic marketing alliances, told a conference audience. But with clients and prospects eager to "buy American" there was a pressing need to enhance its local credentials.

"The problem was that we lacked American identity," he said. "We needed to 'Americanise' the brand" and to do it in a particular way. "This was about 'Americanising' the brand for our sales team," Sparks explained.

A 12-year "strategic alliance" with Disney, the entertainment icon, addressed the immediate issue in a number of ways. (For more, including the development of a '360-degree' business model, read Warc'c exclusive report: How working with Disney helped Siemens succeed the American way.)

"We wanted activation 365 days a year. There are very few opportunities out there that can give that to you every single day," Sparks said. "And that was the power of what the Disney brand could bring to us, not just through a theme-park setting, but through all their digital assets, their networks, the family of companies at Disney."

This affiliation had also helped to humanise the technology supplied by Siemens. "We wanted millions of consumers to be able to interact with our products and solutions that are very high-tech and advanced," Sparks observed. "But, previously, there wasn't a real way to do that to the masses."

Siemens is now able to achieve that through the supply of technology for Disney's theme parks which not only gives sales people a story to tell but also attracts the attention of executives on vacation.

"Someone will be in the park and they will write us a note and say, 'Hey, I had no idea Siemens did this, this and this. But my kids were interacting with your exhibits, and I'm totally intrigued with your healthcare stuff. Can you tell me about digital records?' And that has led to a sale," said Sparks.

A bonus for Siemens is that its 19 internal units were able to present a more unified outlook to the rest of the world. Prior to the Disney tie-up each unit had managed its own sponsorship arrangements, resulting in an occasionally incoherent and inefficient approach.

But Disney, said Sparks, "crosses all 19 lines of businesses, and that's the first criteria before we can look at scale".

Data sourced from Warc

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Mobile chat gains in Nigeria

25 April 2014
LAGOS: Social media sites are among the most visited across Africa but in Nigeria mobile chat platforms and microblogs are proving the most attractive to consumers, according to a report.

The Social Media Landscape in Nigeria, from communications consultancy AfricaPractice, said that internet penetration in that country stood at about 30%, with over 50m internet users; of these 72% visited social media sites.

Google in its global and national forms were the websites most visited by Nigerians, but after that came Facebook (3rd), YouTube (5th), Blogger (6th), LinkedIn (8th) and Twitter (9th). Other rankings in the top ten were taken by Yahoo! (4th) Nairaland (7th) and Wikipedia (10th).

While the number of Facebook users had steadily increased over the past few years and stood at 6.5m in 2013, the report said it was losing active users to other platforms, especially mobile chat.

Within Nigeria the leading mobile chat apps included Eskimi, with forums devoted to jobs and music and over 10m users, 2go, which connects with friends and new people and has just under 10m users, and WhatsApp, the mobile messaging site with around 5m users. Blackberry Messenger, another mobile chat platform is estimated to have over 2m users.

One reason for the growing use of mobile chat platforms is the basic one off cost. These apps perform well on lower bandwidths and use less data, making it more affordable, the report said. In addition, mobile chat was cheaper than SMS.

Social media in Nigeria served four core purposes, the report suggested, including accountability, civic engagement, branding and information source.

Brands were "realizing the significance of being a part of these networks and connecting with their customer base in non-traditional ways". As in other countries, they were encouraging customers to engage with them on these platforms, while also providing services through those platforms.

Data sourced from How We Made It In Africa, AfricaPractice; additional content by Warc staff

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Western brands target Chinese breakfast

25 April 2014
SHANGHAI: Western restaurant brands such as Pizza Hut and McDonald's are planning further expansion in China, with many developing breakfast menus in new moves to attract local diners.

Yum Brands, owner of Pizza Hut and KFC, expects to open at least 700 new restaurants in the country during 2014; 123 new units have already opened during the first quarter.

Yum Brands recently reported increased sales and profits which it attributed in part to an overhaul of its menus. That momentum continued with a new breakfast menu unveiled earlier this week to be served in 300 Pizza Hut branches.

China Daily noted that Western chains, from KFC to Starbucks, were increasingly targeting breakfast with menu items such as coffee and cakes. As a result, traditional Chinese restaurants and stalls were struggling for trade, despite their steamed buns and soybean milk being significantly cheaper.

A number of reasons were evinced for this development, including food scares, which have resulted in white collar workers trusting western restaurants to supply safe and good quality food, and a more pleasant dining environment.

Beyond breakfast, Gao Jianfeng, general manager at Shanghai-based Bogo Consultants, also observed the impact of the government's austerity campaign which, he told China News, had "pushed customers to more casual and lower-end restaurants … [and] stimulated the sales at such restaurants as Pizza Hut".

The breakfast scrap taking place in China is, however, merely the latest iteration of a wider battle between western quick-service restaurants. Bloomberg recently reported how, in the US, McDonald's had reacted to a new Taco Bell (another Yum Brands outlet) breakfast menu item – waffle tacos – with an offer of free coffee.

McDonald's too is seeking to add another 300 outlets in China through increased franchises. Zeng Qishan, McDonald's China CEO, recently indicated his intention to double the proportion of franchised stores from 12% to 25%, although even that figure is a long way behind its global average of 80%.

While there will be a focus on first-tier cities, Gao said that McDonald's locations in second- and third-tier cities were losing to those of KFC.

Data sourced from China Daily, China News, Bloomberg TV; additional content by Warc staff

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Marketer optimism rises in April

24 April 2014
LONDON: Optimism among global marketers increased in April, with a strong rise in mobile spending set to underpin a general increase in budgets, according to the latest data from Warc's Global Marketing Index (GMI).

The headline GMI figure, which takes into account marketers' expectations in three key areas – marketing budgets, staffing levels and trading conditions – was up 1.1 points to 58.3.

Warc's GMI is a unique indicator of the state of the global marketing industry. Each month, it tracks conditions among marketers within their organisation and region - a reading of 50 indicates no change from the previous month, while a reading of 60 indicates rapid growth.

Headline GMI for the Americas reached 59.9, up 2.4 points from March, making this the most optimistic region. The reading for Europe reached 57.5, up 0.5 month on month, while Asia Pacific's reading stayed flat from March on 57.4.

Marketing budgets picked up across the board, showing a global 1.4 point monthly gain to 55.6. This total was boosted by the strongest expected growth recorded for mobile for two years.

Regionally, Europe registered the greatest uptick for marketing budgets across all media, up 2.8 points to 55.1. Elsewhere, the increases were more modest – up 0.5 to 55.6 in Asia Pacific and up 0.2 to 55.7 in the Americas – but the trend was clear.

Marketers were still very optimistic about trading conditions, the second component of the headline GMI, with this index on 61.1, although this figure was a 1.4 fall from that recorded in March. In Europe, the index dropped 4.6 points to 58.9 in April, possibly due to the volatility surrounding the situation in Ukraine.

Asia-Pacific was also down, although the 2.8 dip left it on 60.4, while the Americas leapt ahead 3.1 points to 63.5, a level last seen two years ago in April 2012.

The index of staffing levels, the third and final component of the headline GMI, recovered strongly across all regions, up 3.9 to 60.5 in the Americas, 3.2 points to 58.4 in Europe and 2.3 points to 56.3 in Asia Pacific.

"This is another month of strong data, signalling that marketers are becoming increasingly optimistic within the broader economic improvement," said Suzy Young, Data and Journals Director at Warc.

"The very sharp increase in planned mobile spend is especially striking this month, and signals that the general shift in marketing budgets towards digital could actually be accelerating in the months ahead," she added.


Data sourced from Warc

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Battle is on for mobile gatekeepers

24 April 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: The mobile home screen is emerging as the new battleground for app makers, with marketers keen to access the user data that such "launcher" apps can capture.

The Financial Times reported research from Flurry showing a tenfold increase in the use of these apps during the past year. And while the total numbers remained relatively small, chief executive Simon Khalaf maintained the speed of the apps' adoption meant they could not be ignored.

"The battle for the mobile home screen has begun," he declared.

Flurry estimates suggest there are already some 30m US users of home-screen apps, which effectively add another user interface on top of the manufacturer's default and allow consumers to personalise their device to far greater degree.

For example, existing apps might be organised into folders, such as 'news' or 'social', while more sophisticated options enable the phone to decide, based on time and place, what apps are displayed; so a different set could appear on the home screen when a user is in the office.

"We think phones can bring content to us without having to search for it," explained Mark Daiss, co-founder of one such app maker, Aviate. "We feel the home screens should be getting the best content to you the moment it's useful," he added.

But consumers are required to grant a degree of access they may not be comfortable with. Aviate, for example, demands permission to read text messages and calendar events and to know the device's location even when the GPS function is turned off.

There is clearly scope for marketers to use such information to target advertising and to build on the app-install advertising already offered by Facebook, Twitter and now Google.

This week Google announced it would let app developers target its mobile customers based on the apps they had already downloaded. Thus, someone using an app to measure how far they run, might see an ad for an app helping to track their diet.

It is also integrating this service with AdWords so that businesses can buy advertisements that, when clicked, will redirect users directly inside their already-downloaded and installed mobile apps.

The stakes are potentially high — as much as 60% of Facebook's mobile ad revenues are thought to come from app-install ads.

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

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Brands can bridge device gap

24 April 2014
BEIJING: Brands that deal effectively with Chinese consumers' constant switching between devices can build bridges and enhance user experiences in new ways, a report from a leading agency has argued.

The 2014 China Digital Playbook from Group M Interaction, now available on Warc, predicted that most of China would be carrying a smartphone by the end of 2014 and looking at it over 100 times a day.

But despite these numbers, brands were still failing to allocate their money accordingly – only around 5% of digital budgets went to mobile as they persisted with PC-based ad-buying styles. Further, they should be considering tablets and preparing themselves for the potential uptake of wearables, the report said.

A plethora of devices – smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs and outdoor – with consumers constantly shifting between them, meant campaign tracking and analysis was difficult, but progress was being made as leading platforms such as Tencent better organised their data and encouraged standard log-ins.

In addition, logged-in users of video sites such as Youku could switch from PC to mobile (and back) mid-stream without losing their place in the viewing experience. Consequently, advertisers were better able to measure reach and control frequency across devices.

But rather than expect all the various issues surrounding cross-screen campaigns and tracking to be suddenly resolved, Group M advised "a simple housecleaning item: check out and clean up the digital content you have in place."

Primarily that entailed understanding at first-hand what the consumer journey was like on brand sites across the various devices.

It was all too easy, the report suggested, to spend heavily to attract customers only to then lose them through "carelessly overlooking the cracks that emerge in our many-device world".

The good news, however, was that brands could "position themselves in the interstices, bridging physical-digital, TV-digital, and digital-digital device connections".

Ultimately, said GroupM, brand marketers needed to be as digital-centric and as passionate about the internet as their Chinese consumers.

Data sourced from GroupM Interaction; additional content by Warc staff

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Auto leads mobile optimisation

24 April 2014
LONDON: More than half of the websites of leading brands across Europe have been optimised for mobile with the automotive category leading the way according to new research.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK carried out a study in February across the top 100 advertisers in five EU countries – Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the UK – and found that 54% of sites were optimised for mobile.

In the UK, the figure was higher, at 64%, and the IAB UK noted that this had increased by six points in six months, as its previous study in August 2013 had shown 58% of leading UK brands to have optimised sites.

The study also broke out the automotive, technology, retail, finance, media and FMCG sectors for each country. Across the five nations surveyed, the average for mobile optimised sites in the automotive sector was 85%, but in the UK this rose to 100%.

In contrast, the UK was lagging behind in the FMCG sector, where just 22% of sites were optimised for mobile compared to 55% in Germany, 44% in France, 41% in Spain and 27% in Italy.

Alex Kozloff, IAB's Head of Mobile, welcomed the insight into how mobile was faring across Europe. "It's great to see that the UK has experienced a 10% increase in mobile optimisation since August last year and that sectors, such as automotive and retail, are now really making the most of mobile," he added.

The UK also registered the highest score in the survey with regards to responsive design. Almost one quarter (24%) of the top 100 advertisers, such as Sky, Sainsbury's, Disney and Chanel, had a responsive site, more than double the figure of six months ago when a mere 11% had such sites.

In the rest of Europe, Spain led the way with 15% of top brands having a responsive site, followed by France (13%), Italy (13%) and Germany (7%).

At the recent Advertising Week Europe event in London, Tim Elkington, the IAB's Director of Research and Strategy, stressed the need for brands to have a mobile-optimised site, as even if consumers were not actually buying via a mobile device many would be researching potential purchases on them.


Data sourced from IAB UK; additional content by Warc staff

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Bold Doritos looks beyond Super Bowl

24 April 2014
NEW YORK: Doritos, the snack foods brand, has built on the success of its annual Super Bowl spots to create engagement with millennial consumers throughout the year.

"We want to be more than just a brand that delivered chuckles every February once a year to your Super Bowl party," Mike Quintana, director/shopper strategy and insights at Frito-Lay North America, told an audience at the recent Advertising Research Foundation's 2014 Re:Think conference.

The brand's user-generated "Crash the Super Bowl" commercials have been hugely successful, being among the most watched and, more importantly, delivering some $250m in incremental sales over the past four years.

But Quintana explained that the brand had to move beyond the Super Bowl: "We needed communications that could … be useful throughout the whole 12 months of the year to drive business for us." (For more, including how Doritos improved its agency relationships, see Warc's exclusive report: Doritos seeks "bold" brand continuity beyond Super Bowl spots.)

Doritos' research found that being "bold" was a theme that resonated strongly with the target demographic, but it was a very particular kind of bold that was "unique among millennial males" said Quintana.

"They have to identify themselves as individuals who can stand out [in a crowd] so that they could fit in with the people that were important to them," he added.

That meant embracing a degree of risk, whether standing up to a teacher or asking a special girl out on a date. It was also something their friends could see on Facebook, something they could retweet with hashtags like #cantbelievehedidthat.

"It definitely was something that had purpose and direction," Quintana stated.

"These little steps – these rites of passage – establish who they are as people [and what they] understood bold to be," he said. "We wanted to take that bold with a purpose, but not [being overly] serious, and bring it into our brand communication."

Data sourced from Warc

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Vietnam pay TV attracts new players

24 April 2014
SINGAPORE: The pay TV market in Vietnam is predicted to grow 60% over the next four years with advertisers expected to follow, attracted by a combination of a young demographic and an expanding middle class.

Media Business Asia noted that of the 20m or so TV homes in the country, less than one quarter currently subscribed to pay-TV but it forecast penetration would increase at a compound annual growth rate of 7.9% between 2012 and 2017.

Those figures have attracted the attention of Multi Channels Asia (MCA), a Singapore-based channel distributor, which recently announced a joint venture with Thaole Entertainment, a Vietnamese television content provider, to establish Multi Channels Vietnam. This will handle distribution for channels such as Bloomberg Television, ITV Choice, the Outdoor Channel and Motorvision.

MCA envisaged ad sales being the core revenue driver in the long term, with subscriber fees being traded for a broader reach.

"There is an advertising opportunity in Vietnam, although that pot of gold is at the end of a very long rainbow," MCA managing director Gregg Creevey told Media Business Asia. "Meaningful advertising revenue is two to three years off," he added.

He further noted that the Vietnamese market was more tightly regulated than it had been a few years ago. For example, in addition to the process of acquiring a content licence there were now rules requiring foreign content to be vetted by a local partner.

But, said Crevey, "that has not stopped the demand for quality pay TV content, or quelled the interest of international channels wanting to enter the market".

For Thaole Entertainment, director Linh Hong Phan claimed "there are not many markets in Asia that offer the same opportunities as Vietnam", thanks to the country's young demographic profile and growing middle class.

Potential advertisers might also note a recent study from the Eden Strategy Institute in Singapore which found that the country's emerging middle class were most concerned about losing their health and, if their income were doubled, would most likely save the extra money.

Data sourced from Media Business Asia, MCA: additional content by Warc staff

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Asia leads programmatic growth

23 April 2014
GLOBAL/SINGAPORE: Asia is expected to register the highest levels of growth in the global programmatic market in 2014 with an increase of 73% and total spend of just over $500m, the latest industry data has forecast.

According to Magna Global, the global media unit of IPG Mediabrands, Korea's programmatic spend of $247m will account for almost half of the region's total.

However, while Korea will lead the programmatic share in the region's developing markets this year, "The International State of Programmatic" report forecasts that Malaysia and Singapore will emerge as the top two regional markets for real-time bidding (RTB) in 2014 with a spend of $12m and $10m respectively.

Total RTB spend in the developing Asian markets will be $54m in 2014 and Malaysia and Singapore's RTB penetration is expected to surpass that of China, Campaign Asia reported. Both countries will achieve 30% RTB market share by 2018.

The report also noted that the combined size of the programmatic markets in Japan, China and Australia are six times larger than the rest of developing Asia and that China's display market will be worth $15m by 2017.

Looking at the other regions covered in the report, North America remains by far the largest market, accounting for more than half of global total programmatic spend.

Other major players include Australia, Japan, China and the UK, but the top ten programmatic markets are expected to record a lower growth rate of 39% this year compared to growth of between 57% and 66% among the small to medium players.

For example, strong growth rates are forecast for Latin America, where RTB and non-RTB spending is expected to increase as much as 61% by 2018, with Colombia's RTB penetration matching that of Mexico and Brazil.

"As a marketer who has been on both sides of the table – client and agency – I strongly agree with many who suggest that programmatic is the transformative force in the industry," concluded Shaffia Sanchez, president of world markets at Magna Global.

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

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Online store collections to grow

23 April 2014
LONDON: "Click and collect", the growing consumer trend to order goods online and then pick them up later at a physical store, is forecast to surpass home delivery in the UK by 2015, causing several leading supermarket chains to adapt to meet demand.

Based on statistics from strategy consultants OC&C, the volume of units ordered online but collected from a store will grow by 53m parcels in 2015 compared with an increase of 38m parcels delivered directly to British homes.

It forecasts 60% compound annual growth for non-food click and collect volumes between 2012 and 2017 compared with only 5% for home delivery, the Financial Times reported.

This means non-food click and collect will make up 30% of the UK market by 2017 from its current base of 11%, OC&C predicted, and UK retailers are at the forefront of the development.

Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, has established 260 grocery click and collect locations, including drive-through collection points.

Also, as reported by Marketing Week, it will offer the service for free on groceries as part of its bid to stem declining sales and marketing share.

Meanwhile, Asda already has 110 drive-throughs and plans to create 1,000 click and collect locations by 2018. Potential locations could include transport hubs, office blocks or airports, suggested Mark Ibbotson, retail director at Asda.

Walmart, Asda's parent company, is taking a close interest in one of Asda's trial sites in the Leeds suburb of Pudsey, where it has installed temperature-controlled lockers which shoppers can access by entering an order number or scanning a QR code.

"Click and collect is an interesting idea," said Neil Ashe, Walmart's president and CEO of e-commerce. "If [click and collect] turns out to be popular with customers, it could definitely make a difference."

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

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Newspapers find new revenue streams

23 April 2014
ARLINGTON, VA: Even though ad revenue from traditional print media decreased 8.6% in 2013 and overall adspend fell 6.5% from the previous year, US newspapers have managed to find other sources of income, the latest industry data has shown.

According to projections from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), total US newspaper media revenues fell 2.6% to $37.6bn last year, yet circulation revenue increased by 3.7% to $10.87bn, while revenue from "new and other sources" rose 5% to $3.5bn.

US newspapers earned $23.57bn from advertising, or 63% of total revenues, and this included $17.3bn from traditional print (-8.6%), $3.42bn from digital ads (+1.5%), $1.4bn from direct marketing (+2.4%) and $1.45bn from niche publications (-5.8%).

This means that traditional print ads now account for only about half of total newspaper revenues and the NAA identified an industry trend towards digital and new sources, such as marketing services and event marketing.

Digital agency and marketing services recorded an impressive 43% growth rate in 2013, revenue from event marketing increased 5%, commercial printing income rose 4% while income from royalties, licensing, rental, waste and scrap sales climbed 3%.

However, e-commerce registered a fall of -4% while revenue from distribution of other products to consumers fell -2%.

Within the circulation revenue total of $10.9bn, digital-only circulation income recorded rapid growth of 47% while print and digital bundled circulation rose 107%.

Meanwhile, mobile ad revenues increased by 77%, but they accounted for less than 1% of overall revenues.

NAA concluded that the US newspaper industry is evolving its business model "in a significant way" by taking advantage of developments in technology, consumer behaviour and advertisers' interest to diversify its revenue stream.

Data sourced from Newspaper Association of America; additional content by Warc staff

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Gap outlines omnichannel strategy

23 April 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: Omnichannel services will be given a major lift at Gap, the US clothing retailer, after it announced plans to test a new order-in-store facility and to expand its existing reserve-in-store service.

As part of a presentation to analysts last week, Gap said it wanted all its stores in the US to offer a reserve-in-store service by the end of the second quarter for online and mobile customers. This service will also be available at of the company's Brand Republic stores.

Gap's new order-in-store service, which forms part of the company's bid to merge online and in-store operations, is designed to stem the estimated 70% of shoppers who leave its stores without making a purchase, RetailWire reported.

The service will allow customers to order goods from Gap's online catalogue at its brick-and-mortar stores and the company also plans to have shop assistants on hand to help with the transactions.

Speaking in February about the company's plans to raise the minimum hourly rate for its staff to $9 this year and $10 in 2015, Gap chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy said: "We've got to get better people in our store because order-in-store needs a higher calibre individual in our stores to close the deal."

Art Peck, Gap's president of growth, innovation and digital, went on to describe the initiative as "a big conversation opportunity" with its customers.

He also told investors that just under 500,000 reservations had been made since Gap's reserve-in-store service was launched last June, ABC reported, and said the service had helped to drive higher transactions.

Gap is also looking to expand abroad and sees China as the market with the greatest growth potential. It plans to open another 30 Gap stores in China this fiscal year to complement its existing estate of 81 stores.

Data sourced from RetailWire, ABC; additional content by Warc staff

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Instant messaging market heats up

23 April 2014
TOKYO: Leading instant messaging providers, such as WhatsApp and WeChat of China, are facing a growing challenge from Line, a rapidly expanding Japanese-Korean rival which is building up an international following.

By adapting to local cultures and branching out into other services, the company says it has gained 175m monthly active users, of whom 85% come from outside its home market of Japan, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A subsidiary of Naver Corporation, the Korean internet content operator, Line has been in business since only 2011 and has extended its consumer base beyond its core Asian market into Latin America and Spain through marketing campaigns and responding to cultural preferences.

For example, the company says it now has 16m registered users in Spain – a country with about 24m smartphone users – after launching a marketing campaign with two of Spain's largest football clubs to offer emoticons that featured team players.

Similarly, Line suddenly became popular in Brazil after it adapted its "Moon" emoticon to suit local taste for a less "cutesy" character.

And with 10m registered users in Mexico, it now plans to target the US, which Line COO Takeshi Idezawa describes as a priority while also recognising that it could be "a difficult market".

Concentrating initially on US Hispanic audiences, Line has already launched its first major TV advertising campaign in the US with a campaign broadcast on Telemundo, Univision and other Hispanic networks. If successful, the company says it may extend its TV advertising to the rest of the country.

Industry observers also attribute Line's global expansion to its willingness to branch out into other services, such as e-commerce, digital marketing and games – a development that Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has described as being about building a consumer company.

For example, mobile games alone accounted for 60% of Line's revenue in Q4 2013 while 20% came from the sale of digital stickers, or emoticons, and last year the company is thought to have recorded sales of $505.8m compared to an estimated $20m for WhatsApp.

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

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Nokia prepares for rebrand

23 April 2014
HELSINKI: Nokia is reportedly about to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile, signalling still-closer ties between the Finnish mobile phone company and the US tech giant.

According to a post on the Nokia Power User blog, which summarises the contents of a letter to Nokia's business suppliers, the renaming will take place as part of Microsoft's acquisition of the company.

"Please note that upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy," the letter states.

"Microsoft Mobile Oy is the legal entity name that should be used for VAT IDs and for the issuance of invoices," it continued.

In a separate statement, Microsoft has said that its €5.4bn all-cash acquisition of Nokia is set to complete this week. A "strategic alliance" between the two companies was originally announced in 2011.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Annette Zimmerman, a research analyst at Gartner, commented: "The Nokia brand still has a high value to people. That doesn't mean the Microsoft brand is not known - but what does it mean to people?"

Nokia has suffered steady declines in market share over recent years, a trend exacerbated by the global consumer switch from feature phones to smartphones.

Figures from Gartner released in February suggest that Nokia's overall market share dropped from 19.1% of the mobile phone market in 2012 to 13.9% in 2013.

Over the same period, the share taken by Samsung, the world's largest handset maker, grew from 22% to 24.6%.


Data sourced from Financial Times/Nokia Power User/Marketing Week/Gartner; additional content by Warc staff

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Measuring WOM exercises marketers

22 April 2014
CHICAGO: Two thirds of marketers believe that word-of-mouth marketing is more effective than "traditional" marketing but they struggle to measure it effectively and to show ROI a new survey has said.

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and the American Marketing Association (AMA) collaborated on a survey of 328 corporate marketing professionals to assess the state of the word-of-mouth marketing industry, both online and offline.

The biggest issue facing the sector, it said, and one that may hamper its growth, is measurement. Fully 89% of marketers stated they had problems calculating offline WOM, while 79% said the same thing about online social.

And those difficulties contributed to another factor that is holding the sector back: 85% of respondents said they couldn't prove the return on investment of WOM marketing.

Consequently WOM was not a major budget item in most companies' marketing plans, coming well down the pecking order behind customer service (54%), email marketing (40%), customer relationship management (39%) and digital advertising (36%).

On 21%, it was, however, ahead of television (12%). This was, WOMMA said, because TV spending was concentrated among the very largest companies.

And it noted that when the data was broken down between smaller and larger companies (larger being those with 1,000 employees or more), smaller companies showed a greater financial commitment to WOM.

Some 29% of smaller companies described social media marketing as a "major" category, compared to 20% of larger companies. The equivalent figures for offline WOM were 23% vs 17%.

Despite the reservations about measurement, 70% of marketers were intending to increase spending on social media, more than any other marketing channel. Most expected spending on offline WOM to remain stable.

Larger companies were more likely planning to doing this than smaller ones (74% vs 67%), but that situation was reversed when it came to offline WOM, which 32% of smaller businesses described as a growing budget area, compared to 23% of large firms.

WOM marketing was used primarily to increase brand awareness, with 82% of respondents identifying this as a "major" objective. And more than two thirds also expected it to increase brand equity (73%), create consumer engagement (69%) and drive recommendations (65%).

Data sourced from WOMMA; additional content by Warc staff

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Chinese auto industry faces shake-up

22 April 2014
BEIJING: The share of the Chinese auto market taken by local marques is shrinking as they fail to compete with foreign brands, prompting one consultant to describe them as "zombies" and the Chinese government to seek industry consolidation.

Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) show that in March 2014 local manufacturers accounted for 39.3% of sales, down from 50% four years earlier.

Announcing the figures, Dong Yang, secretary-general of CAAM, said the figures demonstrated that domestic brands were failing to compete. "The time for hand-to-hand combat to the death between local and foreign brands has really started," he added.

Speaking ahead of the Beijing Motor Show, Jochen Siebert, managing director of Shanghai-based JSC Automotive Consulting, was also blunt in his assessment.

"A lot of what the local automakers make is rubbish," he told the South China Morning Post. "They are more or less zombies and there's no way for them to compete with the big boys."

Quality has been a major issue for local brands, which have struggled to match the standards set by foreign marques. Although even they have faced problems – for example, BMW became the most recent foreign manufacturer to issue a vehicle recall, in their case, to deal with a defective bolt on 230,000 cars.

In the fight to the death predicted by Yang, one local brand, Qoros, has tackled the quality issue head on by putting it first.

Andy Edwards, BBH China's head of planning, told Warc earlier this year that the brand was challenging the market and the consumer by being better: "A better car; better connectivity; better value; a better ownership experience. We don't think any other car company is delivering this".

Jaguar Land Rover, meanwhile, has said that its new Chinese production line can produce vehicles of better quality than those made in the UK. And Bob Grace, head of its China operations, told the Financial Times that the company would also be adding a new Chinese brand to its portfolio.

The government has stepped in to promote consolidation in a sector that features around 70 manufacturers, perhaps half of which make few vehicles but retain their licence to do so. It had previously indicated a desire to see the creation of a handful of carmakers capable of shifting more than 2m units a year.

Data sourced from South China Morning Post, Bloomberg, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff

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UK consumer confidence at new high

22 April 2014
LONDON: Consumer confidence in the UK has risen to its highest level in over two years, according to the latest Deloitte Consumer Tracker, which also recorded a significant increase in spending on big-ticket items.

The professional services firm has been analysing consumer spending and attitudes on a quarterly basis since Q3 2011 and found current overall confidence to be 11 points higher (-7% in Q1 2014 vs. -18% in Q3 2011).

Coming just a week after official statistics confirmed a further rise in employment and wages rising in line with inflation for the first time in years, net spending on big-ticket items is 5% higher than in Q1 2013.

Spending on holidays and electrical goods rose by 4% and 5% respectively since the same period last year while consumer confidence about their levels of disposable income increased by 7% in the last quarter alone (-20% in Q1 2014 vs. -27% in Q4 2013), the fastest growth since the Tracker began.

British consumers are also less concerned about their personal circumstances because they expect lower taxes and the value of their homes to continue to rise.

Furthermore, fewer consumers expect food and utility prices to rise and Deloitte anticipated that shoppers would continue to increase their discretionary spending.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said: "Following a succession of good news about the UK economy, the strong growth in overall confidence this quarter points to consumers being much more positive and suggests the recovery is gathering pace.

"Lower inflation, easier access to credit, historically low interest rates and an improving job market have all helped bolster consumers' spending power."

Ben Perkins, head of consumer business research at Deloitte, agreed there were now more sustainable conditions for "robust growth" in consumer spending over the next couple of years, but cautioned that a possible rise in interest rates remains a concern for consumers. 

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff

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Ford extends its consumer insights

22 April 2014
NEW YORK: Ford, the automaker, is leveraging digital insights covering sectors from fast food to electronics as it seeks to better understand the developing consumer path to purchase.

Will Neafsey, Ford's global consumer analytics and tracking manager, told delegates at the Advertising Research Foundation's 2014 Re:Think Conference about analysis it had conducted with Luth Research.

This study gathered insights regarding the automotive category, and equivalent material concerning how people researched and bought smartphones and pizzas – thus placing the findings into a deeper comparative context.

Based on data from 2,000 respondents relating to their perceptions and media consumption, the firm was able to ascertain the ways in which overall habits are evolving – and the specific shifts impacting the auto segment.

"The purchase of a vehicle is an extremely complex thing for most people," Neafsey said. (For more, including takeaways for brands and researchers from the study, read Warc's exclusive report: Ford draws insights from pizzas and smartphones.)

"What this is giving us a chance to do is actually look at that and try to understand that last ten yards of what happens between when I do all my rational research and then how I'm finally going a home with a new vehicle."

Indeed, focusing on the closing stages of the funnel – when consumers are turning into buyers – was especially important, as channels such as social media continue to transform established patterns of behaviour.

"We said, 'Look, at the last minute, there's a lot going on.' We need to understand what's going on at that point and what are they looking at," Neafsey said.

"Good diagnostics are starting to get to the dissection of what people are looking at."

Developing a fuller picture of the digitally-empowered audience also counters perceptions of "Ford as a bit of a rustbelt company that's always kind of looking in the past," he added.

"The reality is we're always trying to move forward."

Data sourced from Warc

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Office hours boost Indian e-commerce

22 April 2014
NEW DELHI: Despite increasing adoption of smart mobile devices and improved connectivity in the home, online retailers in India have confirmed they are busiest during weekday afternoons, suggesting the office is the source of many purchases.

This occurs because online shoppers find it convenient to take advantage of office computers during breaks from work, but also because of familiarity with large screen desktops and the home delivery options on offer, retailers told the Economic Times.

They said over half of all online orders are made on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays before declining at weekends when shoppers visit physical stores, often having done their research online.

For example, eBay India, which has announced plans to create the world's largest trader base in India, receives most of its orders between 3pm and 6pm while one-third of Amazon's sales are made between noon and 3pm.

"E-commerce is a weekday shopping destination for most customers, while offline dominates on weekends," said Ajay Modani, co-founder of Capillary Technologies, the Bangalore-based online retail solutions firm.

His company's analysis found office-based PCs made up 80% of the time shoppers spent on e-commerce sites and Modani said it witnessed "spikes when people log in from offices" with repeat buyers following this trend heavily.

Sriram Ravi, head of digital marketing at Chennai-based Hasbro Clothing, agreed that it received about 20% of its orders at lunchtime and a "marked increase" during office closing hours when people used the last hour after work to browse and buy.

Same-day and weekend delivery timings also appear to be influencing online behaviour, according to Sandeep Komaravelly, vp of marketing at Snapdeal.com, the online marketplace based in New Delhi.

"When buying in office hours, buyers have already done their research [and] know what they want," he said. "Convenience of home delivery over the weekend makes it attractive to shop at work."

Smartphone usage is certainly on the rise, confirmed Pavan Sondur, CEO of Bangalore-based IT provider Unbxd (having increased to up to 30% of transactions since last year), yet it would appear shoppers still prefer the larger screen of a desktop and remain uncertain about some mobile apps even if they're available. 

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

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UK YouTubers buy digital content

22 April 2014
LONDON: YouTube users in the UK are significantly more likely than non-users to buy digital content and to try new products research has found.

As part of a global study, Google surveyed 1,583 people in the UK, of which 74% were YouTube users aged 13 to 64. This revealed that 31% of YouTube users said they would be among the first people to try new products, compared with 14% of non-users.

Similarly, they were two times more likely to buy digital movies and books than non-YouTube users, Marketing reported. And 22% said they had looked up more information online after seeing an ad on YouTube.

Google argued that the findings dispelled an image of YouTube users as primarily young consumers who expected content to be free.

And, in a dig at a section of the marketing community, Derek Scobie, the head of YouTube brand propositions for Northern and Central Europe, said that "some senior and older marketers may still experience YouTube largely through clips sent through e-mail or through hearing about it second hand".

They may not have realised, he gently suggested, that YouTube was "more than a viewing platform" and that users could "engage directly with the content and creators".

Most YouTube users went online every day (89%) and were socially active, with 62% having liked or commented on a status, post or blog in the preceding month. Further, half were connected to more than 100 people online.

The most popular type of content accessed was music (59%), followed by comedy and DIY.

The survey also found that YouTube users watched less TV than non-YouTube users, and were more likely to have the TV on in the background while focusing on other devices (62% vs 47%).

These results lend weight to recent remarks by Google's chief business officer Nikesh Arora, who said during an earnings call that the digital was "at a significant industry moment" as it moved to the forefront of marketers' plans.

"Marketers and agencies that have historically built their brand on TV are reorienting their creative, planning and investments with digital at the centre," he declared.

In evidence he pointed to the 2014 Super Bowl: advertisers, he said, had extended the life and reach of their TV spots on YouTube, where they had been seen by three times the size of the audience that watched the same ads on TV.

Data sourced from Marketing; Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile users 'open' to sponsored data

21 April 2014
SANTA CLARA, CA: The majority of American mobile subscribers, especially younger users, have concerns about exceeding their monthly data limits, but they would engage more often with content providers if they were offered sponsored data plans, a new study has revealed.

Based on a survey of 1,000 US smartphone and tablet owners aged 18 and over, which was conducted in January by Wakefield Research on behalf of Citrix, the IT networking provider, the report found 82% of respondents feared the impact of mobile apps on their monthly data quota and avoided using an app as a result.

Adults with children were more likely to exceed their monthly data limit, the report said, with 72% saying this happened to them compared to just 46% of childless adults, while 66% of iPhone subscribers expressed concern compared with 48% of Android smartphone users.

Just over two-thirds (67%) of those who watch at least one mobile video a month said they exceeded their data limit, but this fell to 36% for those who watch less than that, the study also noted.

However, US smart device users remain receptive to sponsored data plans and the majority said they would use more data if provided with the option. A full 78% of millennial respondents said they would be open to such plans compared to just over half (52%) of the baby boomer generation.

Sponsored data allows subscribers to check new apps and features without deducting from their monthly data limits and can also be used for promotions and customer loyalty initiatives.

In terms of content usage, the study found 39% of subscribers said they would access information about their bank accounts, 33% would watch educational videos, 28% said they would watch ads, 21% would use the data allowance to hold a teleconference while 18% would file an insurance claim.

These tasks were more likely to be carried out by adults with children – 77% of parents said they would do so if data usage was sponsored compared with 58% of non-parents.

"Sponsored data plans are likely to be a growing source of revenue for mobile operators," concluded Chris Koopmans, vp of service provider platforms at Citrix. "[They] are one way in which content providers can engage with their target audience."

Data sourced from Citrix; additional content by Warc staff

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Curiosity drives India's youth

21 April 2014
MUMBAI: India's youth are hard working and inquisitive, regarding internet access as an opportunity to learn rather than shop, a new survey has found.

Music channel MTV spent six months questioning 11,000 respondents aged 13 to 25 in the AB socio-economic groups across 40 cities for its annual youth survey. When asked what the internet meant to them 32% cited learning, while 27% saw new opportunities and 23% said it gave them exposure to the world, as illustrated in an infographic on exchange4media.

At the other end of the scale, just 8% thought of online shopping, while a similar proportion mentioned pursuing a passion or hobby and making new connections and friends.

The words this age group felt defined them most included hard working (33%), open minded (26%), happy (25%) and confident (20%).

The survey suggested that easy access to the world and information via the internet, coupled with supportive parents, was a potent combination that had helped make this generation the happiest and most optimistic it had ever seen.

And money, while still important, played a much reduced role compared to three years ago; then, 85% regarded money as an indicator of success, but now just 54% held that view.

Similarly, 90% had seen money as a facilitator for bringing happiness but that proportion had fallen to 61%.

For Aditya Swamy, EVP and business head, MTV India, the major finding to emerge from the research was that "young people are using their curiosity to curate their lives".

"Brands are tapping into this curious generation and have realised that they cannot be passive any longer and need to make a stand to connect to the youth," he added, in remarks reported by Best Media Info.

Connection was another theme running through the report. For example, when asked to pick four things (from a 21-strong list) they spent their money on, 36% said mobile phone bills and 23% internet/surfing bills, putting these two in the top three spending options.

And regarding social media, the survey said that staying in touch with old friends was the primary reason for using these platforms (43%). Making new friends and meeting new people was no longer a major driver (4%).

Data sourced from exchange4media, Best Media Info; additional content by Warc staff

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PC sales rebound in Western Europe

21 April 2014
LONDON: PC shipments in Western Europe posted 8.6% growth in the first quarter of 2014, setting the region apart from the rest of an EMEA market that recorded an overall decline of 1.1% compared to Q1 2013, the latest industry data has shown.

The rapid improvement in Western Europe was underpinned by strong demand from the commercial sector and signs of renewed economic confidence, reported the International Data Corporation (IDC).

It recorded a 15.1% increase in shipments to commercial customers and a more modest 2.1% rise in the consumer sector, which meant the consumer market returned positive results for the first time in nearly two years.

On top of the improved business outlook in the region, IDC also attributed demand to Microsoft's decision [on April 8] to end Windows XP support, which further stimulated renewals, while noting that desktop PC shipments grew by double digits.

"While consumers in Europe are still spending on tablets and smartphones, interest in desktop and portable PCs has increased again recently, as some end users start to purchase PCs again after years of delayed renewals," said Maciek Gornicki, a senior analyst at IDC.

By contrast, shipments fell in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Middle East and Africa (MEA), which declined by 16.7% and 8.4% respectively, caused by a mixture of currency fluctuation, political unrest and ongoing economic uncertainty.

Even though the MEA's –8% decline compared poorly with Western Europe, IDC said its performance was better than expected, especially in the consumer sector.

Likewise, there was some good news for the CEE region – notably, positive results in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania, which went some way to mitigate a major slowdown in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine.

Taking EMEA as a whole, total shipments reached 21.8m units over the quarter. Desktop PC shipments increased by 1.4% while those of portable PCs fell by 2.6%.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) maintained its lead after posting 16.4% year-on-year growth to 4.7m units to increase its market share to 21.6% while Lenovo recorded impressive growth of 33%.

This took the Chinese company's market share to 15.9%, or 3.45m units, and suggested Lenovo may be on course to fulfil its ambition, announced in September last year, to overtake HP in the European PC market by 2015. 

Dell recorded respectable growth of 9.6%, enabling it to overtake Acer to become the third largest vendor, while Taiwanese companies Acer and Asus made up the final two vendors among the top five.




Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff

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Adtech faces one step back in China

21 April 2014
NEW YORK/BEIJING: Foreign adtech companies attempting to gain a foothold in the Chinese market may need to need to take a step backwards if they are to take advantage of the opportunities available leading industry figures have said.

Peter and Cain Wang, ceo and coo respectively of AdsMOGO, a major Chinese ad exchange, were responding to a question posed by Ad Exchanger, asking what challenges foreign entrants to China faced.

They highlighted the "dramatically different ecosystem", with familiar Western businesses such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and YouTube being either absent or insignificant players. Their advice was to "identify and establish reliable local media inventory and data partnerships even before you enter the market".

Another major issue was the level of market and technology development, with China's mobile advertising and marketing tending to lag several years behind the US. That could mean, the Wangs said, "you may need to make changes to your products and policies – sometimes even step backwards – to seize the opportunities in China".

Xiaofeng Wang, an analyst at Forrester Research, concurred with the need to understand the local market. "Consumer behaviour, the media landscape and the advertising ecosystem are all very unique here", he stated, adding that this also explained why so few foreign companies had succeeded in the Chinese digital market.

More detail was supplied by Tom Simpson, CEO of mediaQuark, a Singapore-based real time intelligence business. He noted that major Chinese publishers often controlled inventory by using proprietary ad tech platforms, which he argued would help the programmatic premium market, but not the wider ad tech ecosystem or foreign entrants.

He also saw a "significant opportunity" as regards data, which was still hard to acquire. "Driving better understanding and transparency is absolutely essential for clients, agencies and publishers in China to fully realise the benefits offered by ad tech," he declared.

But Andy Fisher, chief analytics officer at US CRM business Merkle, which also has offices in Shanghai and Nanjing, cautioned against an Occidental approach, noting that few Chinese advertisers were asking for things like viewability verification.

"As US- and foreign-based companies move into China, they need to support Chinese ad buying models as well," he argued. "For example if you can't support cost-per-time buys, you will have a limited audience for your product."

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff

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Aon revamps sports sponsorship

21 April 2014
CHICAGO: Aon, a company specialising in managing risk and talent, has developed its sponsorship tie-up with Manchester United Football Club from focusing on awareness to driving "understanding and preference".

The firm's logo has featured on Manchester United's famous red shirts since 2010, but will be replaced by that of Chevrolet later this year.

Patrick Pierce, Aon's director/global marketing and communications, told delegates at IEG's 2014 Sponsorship Conference that its website traffic jumped by 66% upon announcing its original tie-up with the football team.

"What we found, it was amazing … the performance of the club: it really drives traffic to our site," said Pierce. (For more, including how Aon is seeking to drive sales among other club sponsor, read Warc's exclusive report: Looking beyond the logo: Aon redefines its sponsorship of Manchester United.)

More importantly, awareness among business decision-makers – Aon's core target audience –also rose to over 50%.

However, Pierce suggested that this total was starting to reach a peak, meaning that a shift in emphasis promised to provide a stronger return on investment.

"We're not going to generate incremental awareness over the next seven years if they win a treble and all that stuff. We're probably going to still be in the mid-50s no matter what," said Pierce.

Drilling down into its data offered a guide as to how Aon's strategy could be evolved to beneficial effect, as the business leaders aware of its relationship with Manchester United tended to give it higher favourability scores.

"This is the halo effect," said Pierce. "This was kind of our big 'Aha' – awareness is great, but when they know about what we're doing, and they experience it, they become a lot more favourable."

As a result, Aon and Manchester United formulated "a solution, not just a sponsorship" as they revamped their affiliation.

While Aon's logo is no longer featured on Manchester United's kit, the firm's sponsorship of the club's training complex and other assets has been translated into opportunities to generate both content and revenue.

Data sourced from Warc

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Social TV encourages CTR in Italy

21 April 2014
ROME: Although Italy lags behind the UK and Scandinavian countries in terms of smartphone user penetration, recent research suggests a significant proportion of Italians use their devices to visit social networks while watching TV and to view ads.

According to analysis from eMarketer, based on a study conducted by comScore MobiLens in March 2014, almost half (46.3%) of smartphone users in Italy who use their device for any TV-related activity also access social networks.

With smartphone penetration in Italy estimated to account for 41.8% of the population in 2014, or 25.8m people, this means that more than 12m users are likely to visit social networks while watching TV this year.

Furthermore, a high proportion then go on to click through to ads if prompted by a TV programme to visit social networks.

Under these circumstances, if prompted, more than half (54%) say they then click on an ad – an impressive click-through rate (CTR) because it equates to 6m people.

Other social networking activities performed by smartphone users in Italy include reading posts from organisations, brands or events, which 69.4% of those prompted by a TV programme to visit a social network take part in.

Over two-thirds (71.5%) say they follow a posted link to a website, 65.2% read posts from public figures and celebrities while almost exactly half (50.2%) receive coupons and discount offers.

Smartphone penetration is also forecast to rise in Italy, as in every other Western European country, over the next three years although Italy is still expected to remain below the regional average.

By 2017, eMarketer expects 57.8% of Italians to own at least one smartphone compared to a Western European average of 65.1%, which will include rates of 65.8% in the UK, 79.3% in the Netherlands and as much as 83.2% in Denmark.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff

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Clients outgrow their agencies

18 April 2014
MIAMI: Agencies and clients frequently appear to be talking different languages, according to a new report that also reveals a major disconnect in their views on why their relationships come to an end.

The 2014 SoDA report, from the global society for digital marketing innovators, was based on a worldwide survey of 736 decision makers, evenly split between advertisers and digital agencies and representing an annual marketing spend of $25.4bn.

SoDA found that the number one reason for clients walking away was that they had outgrown their agency's ability to deliver against their needs (27%). Agencies, however, overwhelmingly pointed to new client management as the number one reason (39%).

Agency respondents ranked failure to deliver for clients' growing needs a distant fourth, a major discrepancy said SoDA. The specific service areas clients cited the most for termination was dissatisfaction with strategy (11%); again, few agencies (6%) viewed this as the root problem.

Despite that fact that more clients were bring their digital work in-house – 13% of the total – agencies generally thought advertisers lacked digital talent, with 50% or more highlighting gaps in paid, earned and owned-media strategy and execution as well as user experience and product innovation.

Chris Buettner, SoDA's executive director and managing editor of The SoDA Report, said the move in-house was not necessarily bad news for digital agencies. "The opportunity is in data, mobile and product innovation – areas of high demand," he said.

The report suggested that, while both sides agreed marketing creativity was most important, clients rated product and service innovation second, while agencies rated it fourth in importance. Agencies rated customer-centred marketing for clients third, while clients scored it fifth in terms of priority.

Over 60% of clients felt their digital agency was excellent or good at evaluating digital trends for practical use. But nearly one in three agency respondents (29%) did not offer any training on current or emerging trends and technologies, which the report described as a missed opportunity to increase revenue and for clients to capitalise on the changes.

For digital agencies to prosper, said Buettner, they would need to provide the "core value trinity" of creative marketing, innovation and expertise in emerging trends. That way, they could embed themselves in internal client teams while building stronger digital expertise across marketing and customer experience.

Data sourced from SoDA; additional content by Warc staff

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Online IPL to attract advertisers

18 April 2014
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The seventh IPL season is finally underway and even though it lacks the excitement of previous years, broadcasters and publishers are confident of gaining increased TV and online audiences with advertisers following.

"The uncertainty, late scheduling and the general elections have taken the buzz out this time," Hemant Dua, head of GMR Sports, which owns the Delhi Daredevils franchise, told the Economic Times.

He expected, however, that things would begin to pick up after the elections and when the tournament returned to India; the Daredevils' outdoor campaign had been delayed accordingly.

Meanwhile Times Internet and Star India, which share the internet and mobile broadcast rights, are hoping to pull in a significant online audience for the competition.

Satyan Gajwani, Times Internet CEO, told Livemint that over the past three years the IPL on Indiatimes had been the largest digital sports streaming event in the world.

"Last year, we reached 55m users and we expect that to grow this year," he said, with the launch of GoCricket.com. The fact that online viewers had not had to pay for access had helped drive these figures.

In addition, in Star India's first year of involvement it is breaking with its usual practice of charging a subscription fee for live content on StarSports.com and will show the IPL near-live with a five minute delay, a move which is expected to bring in 50m viewers to that site alone.

The numbers are likely to prove attractive to advertisers, with major brands like Hindustan Unilever and Amazon reported to have signed online sponsorship deals worth Rs.3-5 crore each.

Star India is also focusing on mobile content ahead of internet. "[I]n a country like India, which has a growing base of mobile users, it only makes sense to ensure that our product and design are fine-tuned to deliver a good viewer experience on that medium," explained Star India COO Sanjay Gupta.

While online viewership appears set to rise, Multi Screen Media, which owns the television broadcast rights to the tournament, expected this would supplement TV viewing rather than supplant it.

"At the end of the day, you really can't watch an entire match on a handset," said Rohit Gupta, president (network sales) at Multi Screen Media.

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

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Global brands trail online in China

18 April 2014
BEIJING: Retail sales in China are growing faster than the overall economy thanks in part to the rapid expansion of online shopping, an area where global brands need to adopt a more proactive approach according to a new report.

Latest data shows that the overall economy grew at 7.4% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. This was the slowest rate since Q3 2012, but retail sales were up 12% in the same period, which a Ministry of Commerce spokesman attributed to a boom in online shopping, increased consumption in the catering sector, and purchases of electronic gadgets and travel packages.

But the 2014 Digital Playbook, a study from GroupM Interaction, warned that many international brands continued to take a cautious stance on Chinese e-tailing, preferring to await instructions from head offices in Europe or the US, markets that trailed China in the development of e-tailing, rather than taking the initiative themselves.

It noted that online sales were predicted to take 7.5% of the total retail market in 2015 and said that within a few years that figure could rise to 50%, Campaign Asia-Pacific reported. Brands should therefore be aiming to get at least 5% of their China sales online.

A combination of factors were driving some 60m new shoppers online every year. The retail sector was, said the study, "archaic and inefficient" in the major cities while it had not yet arrived at scale in lower tier cities. Physical shoppers also faced the problems of pollution, a lack of parking and long queues.

Online shopping, however, offered better prices, a greater selection and the facility to buy direct from brands and so avoid counterfeit goods.

"It suits the connected-ness and impatience of modern consumers who might discuss something at a dinner party and pull out their phones to buy it right there and then," said the report.

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

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Two in three Germans dual-screen

18 April 2014
HAMBURG: More than two thirds of German internet users engage in dual-screening while watching television with around one in ten being described as "insatiable" multiscreeners according to a new survey.

For its My Screens report, media agency Initiative surveyed 1,029 internet users aged 14 to 59 who possessed the facility to use other devices while watching television. It found that 68% typically had at least one additional screen in use, most often a laptop (42%) or smartphone (36%). Among the other options, desktop PCs (21%) were ahead of tablets (13%).

A small group, amounting to 8% of the total surveyed, were multiscreeners in a big way and classed as insatiable users. They tended to be younger (aged 20 to 39) and most (85%) spent at least one fifth of their television viewing time using other screens, with the smartphone the most important of these. Around one in four also used a third screen.

They were using these parallel screens in approximately equal parts for communication, information retrieval and entertainment. One in two were gathering information on TV content and one in three discussing and posting about it.

Around one third were also looking for information about products or offers seen on TV advertising and had bought a product on that basis.

The biggest group, making up 37% of the total surveyed, were described as "selective" users, who only picked up a second screen in certain circumstances, such as during advertisements or, for example, when watching less personally relevant programmes with their children.

Even then they were more likely to communicate with family and friends than to comment on TV content.

One third of respondents were "intuitive" users who were most likely to reach for the second screen during commercials and reality TV or talent shows. And one third of these said they spent over half their viewing time on other screens, mostly for communication and information gathering. This group rarely commented on TV content.

A final group of "objectors" made up 21% of the total and preferred to focus on one medium at a time. They were typically older, aged 40 to 59, and more sceptical.

Data sourced from Initiative; additional content by Warc staff

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MilkPEP partners for better targeting

18 April 2014
CHICAGO: Working with partners that deliver highly-targeted impressions and assist with measurement has helped chocolate milk use sponsorship to become an authentic "recovery drink" for athletes.

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) – a trade body funded by more than 100 processors across America – is charged with boosting the number of people drinking milk in its various forms.

Julie Kadison, the organisation's chief executive, told delegates at IEG's Sponsorship 2014 conference that low-fat chocolate milk's positioning as a "recovery drink" was based on evidence from over 20 scientific studies.

In activating this idea, it forged alliances with numerous partners boasting impeccable credentials in the sporting world, including IRONMAN, USA Hockey, Lifetime Fitness, the Competitor Group and Esprit de She.

"When we advertise or we partner with those properties, we really get a very targeted reach to our audience," said Kadison. (For more, including how the "Refuel" campaign was brought to life via a tie-up with former NFL star Hines Ward, read Warc's exclusive report: How chocolate milk became a drink for athletes, not kids.)

Among the primary considerations for MilkPEP when identifying which operators to affiliate with is how each party can add value – beyond the simply financial – for the other.

For MilkPEP, according to Kadison, this process involves answering an important question: "How can our partners help us reach those folks and bring us more impressions that are truly targeted?"

This applies to anything from on-the-ground connections at the finish line to engaging the social media audience. "It's very important that these partners can bring us awareness of our message," she continued.

"We also utilise our partners to go out and do their own surveys to help us understand if we're really pinpointing the right people and getting the message across," said Kadison.

Having effectively moved into the competitive category of sports drinks, the Milk Processor Education Program finds itself up against many rivals with deep pockets – meaning there is a threat of being "blocked out".

"There are some brands which have broader reach [and] much bigger budgets than we have," Kadison told the IEG audience.

"One of the things that we do to try and avoid that is, once we find a partner who we think is going to bring a lot of value – and we can bring value to – we lock in to multi-year terms."

Data sourced from Warc

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Google kills pub debate

18 April 2014
LONDON: More than half of UK adults trust Google more than their friends or partners when seeking the answer to a question, a development that has effectively killed the traditional pub debate, a new survey has said.

A study of 2,000 UK adults conducted by Search Laboratory, the SEM business, found that 60% would turn to the search engine first for an answer, with 30% choosing a partner and 10% someone or something else.

"Google is seen as a kind of oracle," Ian Harris, CEO and founder of Search Laboratory, explained to The Drum. "When you type in a question to a search engine you almost always take the first results as gospel so it's not surprising to see that we as a nation trust it more than our friends and family."

One consequence of this, he noted, had been the end of spirited discussions in the pub "as any argument is almost always ended by the phrase 'I've Googled it…'". He did not expect "I've Twittered it" to enter common usage any time soon.

Google was also likely to be the first choice for verifying breaking news, with around half of people turning there; in contrast, social media attracted only 11%.

The youngest age groups were significantly more reliant on Google, with 77% of 18-24 year olds citing it as their first port of call, compared to 50% of the over-55s. They also searched it more often, using it on average 3.3 times daily, as against the older group's 2.1 times.

Distinct regional differences were apparent, with Londoners searching the most frequently every day (3.48) and those from the East Midlands the least (2.03). Further, Scotland had the highest proportion of people searching on Google more than ten times a day (12%) while a third of those surveyed in Yorkshire said they did not use Google search at all on a daily basis.

Google's chief business officer recently observed a rise in mobile search queries. "People are more and more focused about what they look for in mobile devices," he said. "They are closer to intent. They are closer to transaction."

Advertisers were, he said, "just beginning to understand what it takes for the end user to come transact on their [mobile] website".


Data sourced from The Drum, Search Laboratory, Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff

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Global TV viewing habits change

17 April 2014
GLOBAL: Turkey, China and Russia are the countries at the forefront of the shift from viewing live TV to watching programming streamed from the internet and watching TV on a computer or laptop.

The findings emerged from a survey by Ipsos OTX, the innovation centre for the market research firm, which polled 15,551 adults in 20 countries. Globally, most people still watched live television (86%) but other modes were becoming increasingly popular.

Over one quarter (27%) watched via a computer while 16% streamed content from the internet to their TV set. The use of a DVR or other recording device was cited by 16% while watching on a mobile device was being done by 11%.

Streaming from the internet to TV was most popular among those in Turkey (44%), Russia (36%) and China (33%). This top group also included South Korea (25%), India (23%), Sweden (19%) and Great Britain (17%).

Ipsos further identified a "middle pack" consisting of Canada (17%), the US (17%), Brazil (15%), Mexico (13%), Spain (12%), Italy (11%) and Australia (10%). A bottom group of those least likely to stream content from the internet to TV comprised South Africa (9%), Argentina (9%), Poland (7%), Germany (5%), France (5%), and Japan (3%).

Watching TV on computer or laptop was chosen most often by those from China (52%), Russia (43%) and Turkey (42%). Joining them in the top group were India (40%), Sweden (35%), South Korea (31%) and Great Britain (29%).

A middle group included Poland (27%), South Africa (26%), Canada (26%), Germany (24%), Mexico (24%), Spain (23%) and Brazil (21%). Those from Argentina (20%), the United States (20%), Australia (19%), Italy (17%), Japan (14%) and France (12%) were least likely to watch TV on computer or laptop.

Turkey (20%) and China (25%) also featured strongly among countries most likely to watch TV programming on a mobile device, but South Korea (26%) led the way here. Russia (5%), in contrast, was near the bottom, along with Poland (5%), Germany (4%) and France (4%).

Alternative viewing modes available appealed more to the under 35s, with 35% watching on a laptop or computer (17% of 50-64 year olds), 20% streaming from the internet (11% of 50-64 year olds) and 15% watching on a mobile device (5% of 50-64 year olds).

Data sourced from Ipsos OTX; additional content by Warc staff

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Luxury shoppers seek bargains

17 April 2014
NEW YORK: Shoppers for luxury products are increasingly cost-conscious and open to experiential marketing, according to two new surveys.

Researcher Unity Marketing polled 1,335 affluent American consumers (in the top 20% of households by income) on their attitudes towards luxury and found that 57% looked to shop during sales while 52% regularly comparison shopped.

"The old idea that 'if you have to ask the price, then you can't afford it' has been replaced by the wealthy being focused on price and getting the most bang for their buck and sometimes that means asking for a discount, looking to find the lowest price or making strategic brand substitutes to save money," Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, told Luxury Daily.

She warned that heritage luxury brands – the likes of Louis Vuitton, Mercedes and Gucci – should not be complacent when considering who their competition was.

"Luxury consumers today have the widest possible range of brands to choose from and many, many times they find that a less exclusive brand offers superior value for the money," said Danziger.

This shift in attitude meant that the perception of what constituted a status symbol was also changing. In the automotive sector, for example, male buyers were becoming less concerned about a brand's price and more about what it said about them as individuals.

So a man might opt for a Mini Cooper rather than a Porsche, for example, because he thought it was a better fit with his personality. Mini Cooper's marketers have worked hard to position it as an "endearing cultural challenger", at one point even challenging Porsche to a race, a stunt that gained widespread press coverage and social media buzz.

Separately, a survey of luxury executives by Wealth-X, the ultra high net worth (UHNW) intelligence firm, found that 90% of respondents saw experiential marketing as crucial to their brand's ability to connect with clients.

Digital marketing was widely regarded as a vehicle for brand awareness, with 84% saying they used it to raise their brand's visibility, not to increase sales or the number of clients. And 16% did not use digital marketing at all.

Social media was not greatly used either, as 53% did not include this platform in any marketing strategy.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily, Wealth-X; additional content by Warc staff

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Packaging sways Indian consumers

17 April 2014
MUMBAI: Indian consumers put packaging on a par with the brand when it comes to overall product satisfaction, according to a report which found that packaging is three times more important to consumer satisfaction in developing markets.

A total of 7,665 consumers in ten markets – Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US – were surveyed for the Packaging Matters report from packaging business MeadWestvaco.

While 41% of consumers globally said that packaging was important to overall product satisfaction, that figure leapt to 71% among Indians, the highest of any nationality, the Business Standard reported.

Developed countries were not particularly bothered by this aspect, with Germany (26%), the UK (21%), the US (18%) and Japan (17%) all well below average.

Apart from China (38%) it was emerging nations which responded most to packaging, with India followed by Turkey (70%), Brazil (60%), Russia (43%) and South Africa (43%).

A total of six criteria were applied to achieve an overall product satisfaction rating, including considerations around quality, price, amount, brand, variety and packaging. For Indian consumers the brand itself (75%) was only slightly ahead of the packaging (71%), which had a significant impact on shopping behaviour both in-store and online, and for both for first-time and repeat purchases.

The report noted that around 65% of Indians had tried something new because the packaging had attracted their attention. More than half (55%) had purchased a product again for the same reason while a similar proportion (50%) had switched brands because of negative experiences with new packaging.

Packaging can also lead to more "stickiness" online, the Business Standard said. When shopping online 41% of Indians said that product packaging had led them to do more research on an item, while 39% had written a review than mentioned the packaging.

In addition to these actions, 40% had become brand fans on social networks and 36% had posted something about the product on social media.

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

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Goldman Sachs leverages social media

17 April 2014
NEW YORK: Major financial services brands could benefit from using social media as a channel to help explain their business and demonstrate the value they bring to the economy, a leading executive has argued.

Lisa Shalett, head of brand marketing and digital strategy at Goldman Sachs, suggested to a recent conference that financial companies could make greater use of this medium to enhance popular understanding of what is a "very complex" sector.

"I think Wall Street in general has to do a better job of showing why it matters, how relevant it is and how it is effective in a positive way to the economy and society," she said. (For more, including how Goldman Sachs has developed its approach to social, read Warc's exclusive report: How the financial crisis prompted Goldman Sachs to embrace social media.)

As a category which is heavily regulated, tapping social media has, quite reasonably, been an activity that many players have approached with considerable caution.

"In a world where communications have become so democratised with social media, you don't want social media conversations to be happening about you or your brand without you knowing or participating in it," said Shalett.

With public trust still fragile after the financial crisis, however, platforms like Twitter offer a forum for organisations to go beyond the headlines and distribute their own positive stories.

"That doesn't mean you can change that conversation," said Shalett, but you could build trust "which is important in any industry, and especially ours".

Although Goldman Sachs primarily serves institutional clients rather than consumers, this does not imply the views of the wider audience are unimportant.

"We certainly realise the importance of communicating, and being more transparent and contributing, hopefully, in a way that adds value," Shalett asserted.

Data sourced from Warc

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UK marketing outlook brighter

17 April 2014
LONDON: The outlook for UK marketers is brighter than it has been for some time according to the latest quarterly IPA Bellwether Report which shows a significant upwards revision of marketing budgets in the first three months of the year.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising report, which features data drawn from a panel of around 300 UK marketing professionals, found a net balance of +24% of companies registering an increase in budgets during Q1 2014 (that figure being calculated by subtracting the percentage reporting a downward revision from the percentage reporting an upward revision).

This was a sharp rise on the previous quarter's figure of +11% and marked a sixth successive quarter of budgets being revised upwards. The IPA also noted that it was the largest single upwards revision in 14 years of data collection.

Report author Chris Williamson said the upbeat assessment painted "a remarkably buoyant picture" for the remainder of the year.

"Companies are ramping up their markets and advertising expenditure in the face of growing optimism about the economic outlook," he said. "As higher marketing spend is also usually accompanied by rising business investment and job creation, this augurs well for economic growth to top 3.0% this year."

The figures meant that marketing executives ended the 2013/14 financial year on a more positive note than they began it, with a net balance of +17.2% reporting increased budgets compared to the +13.5% anticipating this at the start of the year. This was the first time since 2006/07 that this had happened.

All categories had registered upwards revisions, with main media advertising being the primary beneficiary of the uplift, recording a series record net balance of +11.7%.

It also supplanted internet advertising as the best performer of all categories for the first time in just under three years and, said the report, indicated a growing confidence and willingness amongst marketing executives to commit to high profile campaigns.

Internet advertising had a net balance of +8.5% and within that search was on +13.9%.

For the rest, events recorded a net balance of +6.2%, sales promotions was on +3.4%, direct marketing +2.6%, PR +2.1% and market research +1.1%.

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands tap Australian ideals

17 April 2014
SYDNEY: Brands could build consumer loyalty by aligning themselves with Australian ideals, in particular the notion that everyone is given a "fair go", a leading industry figure has maintained.

Addressing a French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry event, reported by B&T, brand strategist Neal Cotton, director at The Lab Strategy, argued that the country's egalitarianism was slipping away in an increasingly polarised society.

"The gap between rich and poor is getting greater" he said as he further observed "the idea of a two-speed economy and now the idea of two-speed cities".

But he saw a huge desire to recapture egalitarian ideals "and this is the opportunity for brands", he declared.

His comments built on a white paper from The Lab Strategy in which the notion of "eroding egalitarianism" was explored, whether that was the crippling cost of housing or the particular skillsets now needed to participate in the country's booming industries of mining and technology.

At a more prosaic level, sports fans were now cut off from players who were no longer local heroes but had become larger-than-life figures. "The corporatisation of local values has transformed what was once something very close to the community into something with broader cultural relevance but arguably less personal connection," the white paper said.

Cotton's "Australian Meaning Map" illustrated some of these points, with brands operating within a matrix that ranged from the conventional to the unconventional on one axis and from the denial or prevention of inferiority to the denial or prevention of superiority on the other.

Thus brands might, for example, tell a story of courage and struggle or utilise self-deprecating humour to appeal to the Australian tendency to side with the underdog.

Cotton cited Bega Cheese, which he works with, as a brand that was speaking to Australian ideals.

"It is the fourth biggest selling brand in supermarkets, and they are priced at a premium. They balance this superior stature with endearing stories of humility and hard work," he explained.

Bega's award-winning campaign let the farmers behind the product tell their own stories to the public and generated an emotional connection with consumers as well as achieving a 1:4 ROI.

Data sourced from B&T, The Lab Strategy; additional content by Warc staff

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