Firstly, a campaign to promote Savages’ new album “Adore Life” caught my eye at the start of this week, with some striking outdoor posters taken in locations such as Shepherds Bush, elsewhere in London and in the USA. As social media updates then amplified its reach much further, this is a great example of traditional media with a twist helping to drive online buzz. Admittedly, the fact that Savages are signed to pretty much my favourite record label Matador makes it more likely that I’ll personally see this, but in terms of some tight customer targeting there, job done! A fair bit of other music news caught my eye this week too, in particular Spotify’s announcement that they will soon be adding video, initially just on mobile apps. Looking back to older music formats, Wired took an interesting trip to a vinyl factory in Holland, this week’s take on the “record renaissance”.
In the digital marketing world, a trend much discussed in recent weeks has been the fact that social media ad spend (driven mainly by mobile) has been growing at a much faster rate than search spend and this infographic from Kenshoo provides a really useful snapshot of the key stats in Q4 2015. The headline figure here is that social spend grew by 50% year on year, with search up by the much smaller 8%, driven mainly by PLAs (aka Google Shopping). This research chimes with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg urging brands to “catch up” in mobile, along with the news that 80% of Facebook’s ad revenue in December was mobile, up from 20% just 3 years ago.
The Guardian took an intriguing look at why many modern movie posters are unsatisfying from both an artistic and marketing point of view. As Michael Barnett from Marketing Week states “You would think the most effective way to [maximise box-office revenues] is to create something memorable and striking, but most of the time, marketers will choose the low risk option”. This report outlines that the future may be brighter however, with the growth of digital poster sites offering fresh creative options “for a new level of visual inventiveness”.
Finally and perhaps appropriate for a Friday, irreverent IT site The Register reported that pubs are “officially good for the soul”, showing that the constant need for the long standing physical social network of hanging out with friends remains as important as ever in this digital age (if we really needed to know this?!). As the research for this was commissioned by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale), this is perhaps unsurprising but good to see nonetheless. Cheers...
It’s been a week of landmarks in the digital and marketing world. Wikipedia turned 15 and amongst the news celebrating this, I particularly liked this round-up of the most edited pages each year. 2012 is a year that really shows the variety of Wikipedia (which boasts 5m English articles now, up from 500,000 in 2005), with the most edited page being “Syrian Civil War” followed by “Gangnam Style” at number two.
LinkedIn announced that it has now reached 20m members in the UK, equating to 58% of the working population. LinkedIn added 2m new UK members during 2015 from what was already obviously a fairly significant base. It was interesting to reflect on this in a week when arguably the first social network to gain mainstream acceptance in the UK - Friends Reunited - finally shut for good. This prompted many to question “I thought that shut years ago?”, while I enjoyed this look at other once popular social networks and what happened to them.
One final landmark too: The Drum celebrated 60 years of UK TV advertising with an entertaining mash-up showing 60 great adverts in under 90 seconds, well worth a quick view. And yes, Shake’n’Vac does make the cut.
The start of the week brought further confirmation of the move away from the high street and towards online retailing, with the BRC announcing that high street footfall over Christmas was 4% down on last year; albeit there was better news for retail parks where footfall grew by 2%. In other ecommerce news, Aldi this week made its first foray into selling online with the launch of its wine store, the start of a £35m ecommerce investment with plans to sell electrical items, clothing and more later on this year. Marks & Spencer also launched a new online store this week, with the launch of an Australian website, its first offering of this type outside Europe as M&S continues its international expansion plans.
Finally, Twitter went down for many users on Tuesday (apparently due to “an internal code change”), which of course brought many completely rational reactions from users, some of which are summarised in this blog.
A quick round-up of recent marketing news and ecommerce trading updates, plus the week’s largest story online: the death of David Bowie and the social media reaction to this, much heartfelt but some clumsily opportunistic.
A last shout for overall 2016 predictions too with Econsultancy founder Ashley Friedlein’s 10 digital marketing and ecommerce trends; lots of interesting insights and I was pleased to see that Ashley’s first prediction (about marketing tech architecture or “marchitecture”) was in line with my recent 2016 blog post, which also started with this point.
It’s been a very busy week for post Christmas corporate trading updates. Obviously, these have shown various winners and losers, but one consistent trend has been the continuing rise of ecommerce (and in particular mobile) sales. Internet Retailing’s take on December’s BRC sales figures highlighted this well, while Marketing Week demonstrated how digital marketing was helping to driving overall brand engagement as well as direct sales, with Aldi’s John Lewis spoof singled out for praise.
Finally, David Bowie’s sudden and unexpected death on Monday led to a wealth of reaction, with social media of course to the fore. Much of this was personal tributes explaining just what Bowie meant to the individuals in question but there was also some really terrible bandwagon jumping by various non-related brands keen to get in the action. Crocs’ terrible tweet was possibly the most publicised offender and certainly one of the worst, as Brand Republic pointed out, while the ever entertaining Condescending Corporate Brand Page on Facebook rounded up quite a few other awful examples. A time to reflect that even seemingly otherworldly figures have family and friends to consider and that trying to sell shoes on the back of this is at best tawdry, at worst completely insensitive; surely not what Bowie was envisaging in his guise as an early internet pioneer, among the many strings to his bow.
Getting back into the usual routine, the first week of the year is often full of ecommerce, digital and media news and this week proved no exception. Here’s a quick round up of the stories that caught my eye over the last 7 days.
Rail fares go up at the start of each year and we seem to get the accompanying “why?” news stories every year too. However, 2016’s 1.1% UK rail fares rise pales into insignificance next to Twitter’s mooted move to increase its 140 character limit to 10,000. Despite the ensuing panic and negative reactions, Twitter streams themselves are in reality likely to remain the same, as Slate pointed out, with a “read more” or similar call to action taking you to any expanded content. It will be interesting to see how this pans out; this new development is predicted to go live within 3 months.
Sainsbury’s reported £1bn offer for Home Retail Group (owner of Argos and Homebase) has been all over the news this week too, a story of particular personal interest, having spent 8 enjoyable years previously working within Argos’ ecommerce operation. Opinion has been divided on the wisdom of Sainsbury’s bid but this Internet Retailing article provides a good take on the rationale behind it; namely Argos’ multichannel expertise plus the ongoing threat from Amazon, especially notable with their plans to expand Amazon Pantry in the UK this year. With Home Retail having firmly rejected the first bid, Sainsbury’s are reported to now be mulling over making a new, improved offer.
Across the pond, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas seems to start earlier and earlier each year, showcasing this year’s shiny new toys and gadgets, with the “Internet of Things” again highly to the fore. This Fast Co Design round-up highlights 7 “best ideas from CES” (and I personally can’t wait for a robot helicopter taxi), but most headlines were driven by Netflix and their announcement that they were launching this month around the world in 130 more countries. This means Netflix is now available globally in more than 200 countries, a target they had previously set for the end of 2016 as I looked at in my last blog. Not a bad start to 2016 to hit an ambitious year end target in the first week, I would say.
The first week of the year also typically brings with it more “what to expect this year” predictions. Media Guardian’s comprehensive “2016 – the year ahead” section included useful thoughts on digital advertising (alongside more traditional fare such as TV and radio) and the likely impact of adblocking before concluding “expect the usual stratospheric figures for ad spend growth on mobile, and in video”. Digital media was also examined, in particular looking at Vice’s move into traditional TV. For another look at what 2016 may bring, my “6 for 2016” blog unsurprisingly has 6 more forecasts for the coming year.
Finally, Tom Fishburne was on typically good form with his take on New Year resolutions, filtered through a marketing lens which I am sure will resonate with many...
Lead blogger and founder of Clear Digital: talking about ecommerce, digital, marketing and media.