Why marketers need to Lean In
As a business with 80% of the board executives and 50% of the directors being female, there has been quite a lot of buzz on the subject of gender diversity around the Brand Learning office in the last few weeks, provoked by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Slightly late to the party, I watched her extremely engaging 2010 TED talk Why we have too few women leaders (below), and shared it with my colleagues on our social collaboration network, Yammer. 26 comments later, it was clear this topic of gender equality and leadership was on the top of many people's minds.
Since then, a group of us at Brand Learning, along with thousands of others, have explored and dissected her philosophy in greater detail. We wanted to know – why is this topic important for organisations in general and for marketing in particular?
IAB Europe's AdEx report: What's the future for online branding?
Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc
As you may have read this morning, IAB Europe, the region's internet advertising trade body, released its 2012 digital adspend figures at its Interact event in Barcelona yesterday. And the headline data from the AdEx report tell a familiar success story. Despite the tough economy, the sector grew by 11.5% year on year, with digital taking a 25% share of Europe's all-media adspend. Over the next few years, it's a safe bet that online advertising will overtake TV, which took a 28% share in 2012, to become the region's single biggest adspend channel.
But dig a little deeper, and it's not all good news. While online is still vastly outperforming the traditional media, adspend for which contracted by -4% in Europe in 2012, the way digital budgets are being allocated should cause concern. One of the big themes of day one of Interact was advertisers' tendency to use digital for direct response rather than for branding. The 2012 data bear this out: search ads remain by far the biggest online category, up +15.5%, while display rose by +9.1%. And one euro in two spent on digital over the year was spent on search. In other words, while TV's dominance over digital is under threat in absolute adspend terms, its role as the biggest brand-building channel is considerably more secure.
Innovation Prize Vote Leaders
Carlos Grande, Editor, Warc
Warc needs you to decide the winner of the Popular Vote in the Warc Prize for Innovation 2013. This will be awarded to the long-listed entry with the highest combined total of likes for its video on our Vimeo page and downloads of its case study on Warc.
Heavy downloading on Warc of the IKEA Human Coupons case study from Leo Burnett has catapulted it from the bottom of the Vimeo popularity rankings to the top of the all-important combined rankings.
The future of advocacy
Molly Flatt, Social business director, 1000heads
What on earth is a prosumer? It sounds like it might refer to someone following the latest Neanderthal diet or positive psychology programme, but it may well describe you. The term was coined by Alvin Toffer in his 1980 book The Third Wave to describe someone who is both a 'consumer' and a 'professional' or 'producer': essentially, 'consumers unusually interested in [certain] products'. Essentially, people who are evangelical about, and valuable to, their chosen brands.
It's not hard to see why the term is gaining new resonance. It has cropped up in blogs from the likes of Sparked, it is the subject of a recent American Behavioural Scientist paper, 'The Coming of Age of the Prosumer', and it has been fuelled by recent studies suggesting that social media fans not only talk more about brands, but buy more from them too. Consider Forrester's findings that Facebook fans are 79% more likely to purchase and 36% more likely to recommend brands than non-fans.
Mythbuster: The spurious authority of numbers
Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB
Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them... like the spurious authority of numbers.
The other day we did something we hadn't done for a very long time. A young client, new to quantitative testing, asked us to go through his pre-testing questionnaire for a proposed new ad. Did it cover the issues he was interested in he wondered?