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Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category

Marmite Ad – love it or hate it, it’s grabbing the headlines

August 8th, 2013

On Monday evening, I was watching a Dispatches documentary on Channel 4, titled Celebs, Brands and Fake fans, which although interesting, is not the focus of this post.

I expected that programme to cause some debate, but I didn’t expect an ad that ran the same evening to steal the headlines.

While watching the show, I caught the airing of the latest Marmite advert, which if you haven’t seen, you may have heard of it by now if you follow the mainstream media.

You can watch it here:

24 hours after the Ad aired, it had racked up 250 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, and by Thursday that figure had risen to 400 complaints.

It’s pretty clear to see that the Ad, which was created by by Adam & Eve/DDB, is based on an animal rescue theme, as it incorporates a Rescue Unit arriving in vans to shame owners when neglected Marmite jars are unearthed and taken to a re-homing centre, with the final slogan; love it hate it just don’t forget it.

This approach caused the complaints and Unilever (Marmite’s owner) responded on Thursday by making a £18,000 donation to the RSPCA.

A Marmite spokeswoman said that the donation to the RSPCA was made “to support the great work they are doing to combat animal cruelty“. She added that the company believed the ad was unmistakably Marmite:”People either love it or hate it and they certainly won’t forget it.”

Matt Cull, an RSPCA fundraiser, said: “Love the advert or hate it – we are thrilled to announce that Marmite have put their money where their mouth is and are spreading the love for animal welfare by making a donation to the RSPCA. Marmite have offered us £18,000 – which is how much it costs to run our inspectorate service for one day. This will make a massive difference to the animals and are very grateful for their generosity.”

From a marketing point of view the campaign is already proving a huge success. In fact I would say the backlash was expected and courted by the nature of the ad, and the donation has managed to take the potentially negative sting out of a contentious issue.

The ASA will announce next week whether it will launch an investigation into the ad. A spokesman for the advertising watchdog confirmed that it had also received a handful of emails and tweets in support of it.

As with Marmite, you either love or hate the Ad.


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Digital is more important to the UK economy than we realised, but digital representation at board level is lacking

July 26th, 2013



Interesting research out this week shows the importance of digital to the UK economy, and the lack of digital knowledge in the FTSE 100 and 250 organisations that generate a considerable amount of the UK’s wealth.

First let’s deal with the growing importance of digital for the UK economy. According to the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR)  The Government’s method of categorising businesses is out of date.

It estimates that there are at least 270,00, and possibly as many as 471,000, companies in the digital economy, rather than the 167,000 calculated by the Government.

Using these new measurements, the digital economy would account for 11% of the UK workforce, rather than 5%, which is a pretty significant shift.

NIESR says the Government’s official Standard Industrial Classification missed out a large number of companies in business and domestic software, architecture, engineering and scientific and technical consulting.

“Why?” I hear you ask, well, it’s all down to that lovely check box many of us have to tick when defining our business: ‘Other’.

Unfortunately, many companies are forced to register as “Other” within their industries because, when the system was conceived in 1948, it was impossible  to imagine what might drive growth in the future.

Typical examples of miscategorised firms include marketing companies, businesses that write specialist software and app developers.

The report also says the revenue reported by digital companies is growing 25% faster than that of traditional firms and that growth in the digital economy is not simply driven by London. Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton, Reading, Aberdeen, Milton Keynes and Basingstoke all feature highly.

So if the NIESR is to be believed, the digital economy is stronger than ever, and even stronger than we realised, so it would make sense that digital is now being recognised as an essential element at boardroom level, right? Wrong!

In fact, according to Russell Reynolds Associates, digital-transformation only three of the UK’s top 350 companies have three or more tech-savvy board members. Those three being ARM Holdings, TalkTalk and Telecity Group.

To be fair three or more tech-savvy board members is quite a high target, even though I agree it is necessary.

However, the more worrying stat is that only one in ten of the companies surveyed had “digital representation” on boards, meaning that they had at least one digital member. These include the likes of Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury, HSBC, BT, Vodafone, Betfair, William Hill and Easyjet.

This leaves 308 of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies in Britain with no digital board members at all.

To put this into context, the rate of digital non executive board appointments is on the rise, with around 4% of 2012 newly appointed directors in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 having digital backgrounds. However, the UK is still lagging far behind the United States, where 15% of newly appointed Fortune 100 directors in 2012 had digital backgrounds.

It makes sense that digital representation is growing at board level, but as with all business developments, it takes time to get senior representation and that can stifle growth. At a time when the UK is beginning to see small levels of recovery, it’s more important than ever to support our growth sectors.


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Using YouTube as a Campaign Platform for Your Business

June 26th, 2013

This is a guest post by Connie Davis, contributing author for NerdWallet



Starting a small business is one thing but getting word out about your business is entirely another. In the past your only option was to pay a lot of money to produce and place a commercial on T.V. Now, there are other cheaper and more effective options.

Using YouTube for a PR campaign is an excellent way to get the word out about your new business. YouTube is the largest internet video site by far. Its most popular video, the K-Pop music video “Gangnam Style”, has over a billion views. People’s lives have been completely changed through YouTube and it’s becoming more and more common for small businesses to promote themselves through the use of internet video.

YouTube: Showing – Not Telling

It’s good to have voiceover or a person in the video, but you don’t just want a talking head. If you do choose to have voice in your video, consider hiring a script writer and, if budget allows, a professional voice over artist. YouTube allows you to show what your business does, how it does it, and why you think the consumer should spend their money on your business. Explaining your business is extremely important for PR. Visual examples because it gives the consumer honest and straightforward information about your product, and the YouTube community will be more inclined to appreciate it.

A major factor that makes YouTube great for PR is that it gives a face to your business. Consumers like to feel cared about and the best way to do that is to get more personal. It’s hard to feel cared for with big goliath companies. YouTube allows a business to show personality. All of these factors work together to make your business seem more friendly and approachable. Consumers should feel a connection to your business, which will increase interest by word of mouth.

Targeting niche markets

Chances are, your business may have more of a niche market. YouTube is an excellent place to discover the people that are most interested in your business, and how to communicate with them. YouTube has a very useful feature that lets you see the demographics of your audience. By analyzing who is watching, you will get a better angle on the best way to approach your targeted audience.

One word of warning: YouTube comments should not be taken seriously. They are notorious for being threatening, mean, insulting, and downright disturbing. There are many people out there that think its great sport to belittle others on the Internet. Ignore them! Do not take any of the comments personally and resist the urge to simply take the video down or disable comments.

Every single YouTube video gets bad comments. However, YouTube has a system for voting up good comments, so focus on the ones that are most popular. It is also a good idea to monitor the comments for serious questions that you can respond to. Respond to those people who seem to have genuine interest in your video and reach out to them accordingly. This is just another way to show you care about your customers, which will, ultimately, reflect the quality of your business.

YouTube can be used by small businesses as a cross between a commercial and a direct line to the consumers. It is a great way to stay connected, advertise your business, and garner interest. Producing is cheaper than ever with webcams, and uploading to YouTube is free.

Spread the word of your video using any other forms of social media and, with any luck, it will take off in popularity. Just keep trying, keep posting videos and stay positive. YouTube can be a tough nut to crack, but it is worth a try.

Connie Davis is a contributing author for NerdWallet, a personal finance website, where you can find advice on a range of topics from managing credit debt to where to find online coupons


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Twitter takes the lead in dual-screen ad models with Amplify

May 31st, 2013

Using social networks such as Twitter when watching TV has become a strong trend, especially when related to sporting events and popular series or lifestyle-specific programming.

In fact, according to Twitter, Ninety-five percent of live TV conversation currently happens on Twitter, (Bluefin) and half of all Super Bowl commercials had hashtags on them, helping guide viewers to the collective conversation.

Last week, at Internet Week New York, Twitter announced a new service called ‘Twitter Amplify’ that allows media brands and their advertising partners to promote television clips on Twitter, basically bringing real-time video into the Twitter platform.

Here’s an example from Twitter focused on the NBA, which is pushing the best Rapid Replays from TV, through a Tweet, to your mobile phone encompassing Sony Pictures, Sprint and Taco Bell. As you can see, the video also features a link to an ad.



Speaking at Internet Week New York, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo talked about how the company has made advertising a more “frictionless” experience because of its emphasis of real-time updates, and adding more broadcasting-like experiences into Twitter will further that concept.

Twitter Amplify has launched with a range of media partners including A&E, BBC America, Conde Nast, Discovery, Fox, Major League Baseball and the WWE. A full list of media partners is available via Twitter’s blog post on the subject.

The ads promise to help advertisers extend their messages beyond broadcasters’ TV audiences to reach their Twitter followers as well.

In addition to Amplify, Twitter also announced plans to begin testing TV ad targeting with select partners.

Using a new TV Ads dashboard, Twitter claims its partners will be able to target their messages, in the form of Promoted Tweets, to Twitter users who have already seen their ads on TV.

Twitter is also stepping up its security with a two step authentication process to avoid repeating recent embarrassing hack examples. And in another ad-based move, Twitter has also signed a deal with Starcom to allow the companies to combine resources for measuring and tracking data and advertising.

These moves will certainly add to Twitter’s growing media relevance and build on its monetisation plans that started slowly, but are now kicking into gear.




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Is Facebook’s power beginning to wane, or are we seeing the next evolution of the network?

May 23rd, 2013



Last week there was a bit of a stir caused in no small part by the following tweet from Rupert Murdoch:

“Look out Facebook! Hours spent participating per member dropping seriously. First really bad sign as seen by crappy MySpace years ago.”

So is this the beginning of the end for Facebook? Or is this just a bit of negativity from the man that acquired MySpace in 2005 for $580m, but sold it for $35m six years later, having done very little to evolve the network, or react to the growing popularity of Facebook?

My vote goes to option two, and a bit of sour grapes from Mr Murdoch. However there has been the odd suggestion that Facebook is starting to fall in popularity, based mainly on engagement figures, but this seems far from being a major concern for the all powerful social network.

The story goes that younger internet users are being lured away by mobile sharing apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, or Instagram, which has 100 million monthly users and was of course acquired by Facebook last year.

This angle is supported by the wider feeling that niche social networks are gaining in popularity and some users are beginning to move away from the big networks. However, this needs to be put into perspective.

In the US Facebook has 142 million unique visitors a month, down more than 10 million in a year, according to Nielsen. But the company’s figures also show the Facebook app had 99 million unique users from Android and Apple smartphones in March, a rise of 37 million on a year ago.

Measuring users and movement between platforms on Facebook is difficult, as smartphone users are switching their Facebook time to apps.

In October 2012, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the site had reached 1 billion monthly active users, and according to eMarketer, Facebook will make $6.6bn this year, up from $5.1bn in 2012.

Facebook’s move from desktop to mobile has been ongoing for sometime and; after Google, Facebook is now the second-biggest mobile advertising publisher.

Put simply; they get mobile.

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Andrew Bruce Smith: proving social media ROI with Google Analytics

March 27th, 2013


Andrew Bruce Smith, Director, Escherman

Google Analytics is ubiquitous – 86% of British businesses have installed it, even if they’re not all using it. It’s free to install – but the true cost is in understanding how to get the most out of it. And it can prove the direct and indirect value of social media.

When you login, you are confronted with a default screen. Social is probably buried in the referral traffic.

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Panel: Is quality the forgotten metric?

March 27th, 2013


Luke Brynley-Jones leads a panel debate, on the idea that quality has been forgotten as a social metric. What do people think?

Sharon Flaherty, head of content & PR, How do you know if anything’s quality content? I get e-mails from people all the time asking me to host their infographic with an embedded link, for SEO purposes. How do I know if it’s quality? Have they done their research? Guest blogging is becoming dangerous, because it’s all about SEO.

Lutz Finger, co-founder of Fisheye Analytics: You need to act like a journalist. People used to hail that social networks got way from the gatekeepers. That means that people need to act like journalists to verify the quality of content. There is a need for it. It’s an interesting cycle backwards.

Robin grant

Robin Grant, managing director, We Are Social: What defines a quality fan base? Raw numbers don’t cut it. Engagement is arguably a better number – because surely only quality content would attract engagement? Well, possibly not. Are pictures of tomato ketchup – which get great engagement – actually having any impact on the brand? It’s almost impossible to track that. You can have facile, lightweight engagement.

Katie Howell, MD, Immediate Future: It’s about layers. There are a whole series of layers – but I totally disagree that you need a journalist. There are different skills needed. People need to understand their audience in detail, and what the purpose of the content is. Most journalists aren’t trained in that. If you get into optimisation, you figure out how to add another action to engagement. The rhetoric is that social media is a conversation. With one of our B2B clients, the best performance is where there’s no conversation.

Sharon flaherty

Sharon: We got into content seriously when the Mayday update pushed us to page 2 of Google. It worked, but it took two years. We use Google Analytics, and have it in the place that they can track people’s journeys from the content they land on through the site.

Lutz: What we measure needs to have an aim. If you don’t have that, you can’t build measurement. Quality is “quality for a certain aim”. If I’m trying to sell my book, I’m giving speeches that get people to sign up for information on my book. If they sign up, it was good content. LinkedIn endorsements immediately triggered companies offering endorsement bots. What makes an important person? My wife and kids are important to me

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Lutz Finger: the rise of the influential social media bot

March 27th, 2013


Lutz Finger, Co-Founder, Fisheye Analytics

There are fake social media profile out there. Why? What’s their business model? That’s what I want to discuss.

7% of Tweets are fake. This are not spam – these are friend. 20% of us accept friend requests from people we don’t know and check out.

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Marshall Sponder: making your measurement and analytics tools actually work

March 27th, 2013


Marshall Sponder, Analyst and Metrics Consultant

Ultraviolet data is the data that’s all around us, but which we don’t see and thus don’t use. How can we capture this data, and is it worth it? The data we need is often the data we already have.

In the 1950s and 60s we had big computers and structured data. In the 1990s the personal computer led to a shift towards unstructured data. How much do you want to look into that big pot of data? How much value does it have to you? I have so much unstructured data now, I have to decide (as a company) what I’m going to look at, and what questions I need to ask myself before I look at it. We’ll soon be living in a work where lifestyle choices make you a less desirable person, because you can use the data to figure this out.

In the social space, for every new channel there are now forms of analytics. Your level of investment in platforms in this is going to be defined by your business needs and business size. You need data, and you need to understand the business problem it could solve – and then you pay for the workflow. As your sophistication increases, so too will your investment.

Most marketing implementations are a mess – a mass of platforms that don’t talk well to each other. The biggest challenge is hooking up motoring, social CRM and engagement tools so that the information starts making sense. Things like Google Glass are just going to create more and more data, which means more and more platforms will emerge to analyse that data

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Panel: Which social media metrics matter?

March 27th, 2013


Conferences are full of award-winning social media campaigns, but no chairman is starting a company report celebrating a fourfold increase in Retweets – how can we connect the coal face with the boardroom, asks Philip Sheldrake of Euler Partners, chairman of the panel.

Andrew Bruce Smith, Escherman: Obviously, the best metrics are the ones that most match our business goals. Olivier Blanchard is a big advocate of ROI as pure cash. Our industry is wallowing in non-cash metrics, so no wonder we’re struggling to make the business case.

Jacqui Taylor: For me, it’s about context. What do the massive numbers Obama’s team pout out about the economy actually mean? That’s why we create blended teams. Metrics evolve on from KPIs – but it’s certainly not Likes. Completely disagrees on ROI. Social data’s actually the key – but nobody will believe us for five years.

Matt Owen, eConsultancy: Money is what matters to the board. Those of us working on this are still looking at last click attribution. Likes and follows are vanity metrics – you can buy them – it’s all about targeting.


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