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March 2017


INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Chartered Institute of Marketing cites YouGov survey on ethical advertising

Pulling advertising from YouTube and other parts of Google might appear an extreme reaction by M&S and HSBC, but they could be just the tip of the iceberg, says Chris Daly, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

This year it will become increasingly common to see brands taking action to build an ethical company name, and ensure they are engaging in reputable marketing practices.

The CIM’s recent YouGov survey revealed almost nine out of ten (87%) of marketers feel there is now more pressure for their brand to act ethically and provide a role model for society.

This is not just because it’s a good thing to do so: 89% believe the internet, and particularly social media, is giving consumers more information on how brands behave and more power to affect change.

“It is no surprise, then, that 70% reported they were concerned about factors outside of marketing that could affect their ability to protect the brand,” said Daly. “To get a handle on this, marketing needs to have a much stronger influence throughout an organisation to shape ethical policies and protect brand reputation.”

Registration open for the Print & Digital Innovations Summit

The Print & Digital Innovations Summit will take place on November 23rd at the Intercontinental London – The O2, giving the UK’s print and digital marketing communities a unique chance to meet, network and do business.

The event, combining the previously separate Marketing Business Forum and Print Services Summit, has been refactored to better serve the evolving market – your attendance is entirely complimentary, inclusive of one-to-one meetings with trusted solution providers based on mutual interest, educational seminars hosted by industry thought leaders and copious networking opportunities.

To confirm your place online, click here.

The Print & Digital Innovations Summit is structured so that senior marketers like yourself can meet directly with specialist suppliers, who can assist with your current and future needs. But don’t just take our word for it – Here are some thoughts from last year’s delegates:

“The event was beautifully put together, the suppliers were amazing and perfect for what I was looking for”

“Useful event- well planned, organised and executed”

“A great event to meet new potential suppliers and network with other marketing professionals”
Coats plc

“A thoroughly enjoyable event for both long standing and less experienced print professionals. Well organised and well worth attending”
Bristol- Myers Squibb

“It was the best networking event I have ever been to, very carefully planned according to my needs. I just had to arrive and speak to who I already selected. The 20 minute sessions are not too short and not too long. I found more partners who I am sure I can work together with in the future”

“As a first time visitor to the event and also fairly new to coordinating MandM’s direct mail campaigns, the event was interesting in how it brought together the whole print world spectrum from creative through to delivery.”
MandM Direct

For further information on the Print & Digital Innovations Summit and to book your place, please contact Paige Aitken on 01992 374079 or email


OPINION: Augmented reality is going mainstream by stealth

We may have talked excitedly about Virtual Reality (VR) for the past five years, but it still feels like an emerging  technology.  I read the other day that 63% of Americans are not aware of VR or haven’t got a clear idea what it is, which means there is still a massive wow! factor opportunity.

We have tested VR a lot and have run a couple of campaigns for mobile operator DNA including a pop-up VR downhill ski experience that put the public in the boots of Olympic skiers via two 360-degree giant slalom and ski cross videos.  We used VR because it was cool and new – it hadn’t been attempted before in Finland.

VR is still quite stunt driven because there are limitations, especially with the equipment – good quality sets are still not mainstream.  But in the future it’s going to be huge.  The level of immersion is mindblowing and I can see some custom gaming uses emerging, but by summer 2018 VR will maximise its potential.

VR gives a sense of scale and distance, with its potential uses widespread. For example, I know that VR is used as an effective solution by organisations selling large-scale equipment.  It’s a lot easier to transport a VR setup to demo than it is to transport a military tank.

Because VR gives a really good perspective of being in a particular space, it is also being used to great effect alongside personalisation.  IKEA has used VR to allow shoppers to customise rooms and personally, I think it would be great see a car manufacturer like MINI use VR to produce one-off cars.

I’d love to do a VR walk-round of a MINI, sit inside and adjust it, add my own wishlist and see it brought to life.  It’s great for education too, in fact every time you have to show something new you should use VR.

Having said that, I am going to predict that Augmented Reality (AR) is going to be bigger than VR because of its widespread use on mobile platforms.

Interestingly, most people don’t think they have used AR until you ask them if they use Snapchat filters or play Pokemon Go.  It’s a fantastic sign of impending success when when people use something without knowing it. It’s nearly mainstream.

My ‘watch this space’ tip is to keep a close eye on Mixed Reality. Microsoft Hololens is definitely top of the list as the opportunities are amazing.

Ossi Honkanen is Senior Creative, Manager of Innovation, gadget hoarder and gaming enthusiast at hasan & partners, marketing communications agency with 111 people from 10 different countries, based in Helsinki and Stockholm.

GUEST BLOG: How healthcare firms are embracing Virtual Reality

Just a few years ago, the phrase ‘virtual reality’ would conjure up images of high tech gamers. Today, it’s a very different story. With billions of pounds of investment and half of Silicone Valley now focussed on rolling out VR/AR, it’s time to take the opportunities in this sector very seriously as a marketer.

Cost effective hardware

Over the next two years the industry will be driven by accessibility and affordability of the hardware itself. To date, consumers have been limited on choice, with early adopters splashing out thousands to be the first to jump on the wagon. But there are cost effective alternatives that the mass market is certainly warming to, namely utilising their mobile devices within a built for purpose headset – take Google Daydream and Samsung Gear for example.

Social media will drive VR

Facebook picked up Oculus for a reason. They predicted the VR trend and will play a huge part in making it a daily reality for many of us with the official launch of their Virtual World Project, which has all the signs of changing the way we communicate with each other.

How will brands get involved

We are already seeing big brands incorporate VR into their marketing campaigns, although arguably, right now it’s to drive publicity rather than generate any decent level of return, namely due to the lack of consumer education and accessibility to hardware.

Last Christmas we saw John Lewis give shoppers the chance to virtually bounce along with the animals from its Christmas advert, with the VR aspect being seen as the ‘cherry on the top’ of this huge integrated campaign. This was a great extension, but it’s where consumer experience is a key marketing tool for a brand that this technology comes into its own. The leisure and holiday industry for one is wising up to the power of virtually transporting consumers to its destinations. What better way to show off a beautiful beach resort in is full glory than to give consumers a fully immersive experience without them having to leave their home? Marriott has taken this one step further with telephone booths designed like teleportation devices fitted with heaters and wind jets for complete virtual immersion into a warm, breezy beach destination.

But these mainstream consumer industries are just playing with the technology right now. The consumer healthcare industry on the other hand has so many revenue generation possibilities opened up by VR and AR. In fact, Global Industry Analysts predict that the worldwide market for virtual reality in healthcare will reach $3.8 billion by 2020*.

Healthcare charities have been quick off the mark to recognise this opportunity to drive awareness and education. The UK National Autistic Society has created a VR film enabling people to experience what it’s like to live with the condition and, with the help of Samsung Gear, has taken this on tour around UK shopping centres. From the trade’s perspective, health care professionals can now step into the shoes of sufferers and therefore learn to be more empathetic towards patients.

Similarly, with the help of VR, healthcare and over the counter brands can now add a new dimension of value to their patients, with supportive (and branded) VR experiences that can help with depression and anxiety, SAD, manage pain plus many other ailments.

Furthermore, fully immersive experiences that educate on the correct administration of drugs and self-treatment products deliver a standard and consistency of education never seen before. Not only does this take the brand marketing to a new level but it has the potential to reduce the rising admittances to hospital emergency departments – and could even help prevent death.

Before marketers dismiss this technology due to the perception that it commands a high price tag, they only need to look at 360-degree video. Introduced by Facebook and YouTube in 2015, marketers have at their fingertips entirely immersive and highly interactive videos. Combine the cost of a basic 360-degree camera (£200) and the smartphone’s built-in gyroscope, and suddenly you have a ‘window’ into a virtual environment. Forget the frills and fancy extras of photo booths, a straight forward 360-degree video game alone can provide enhanced education on a product’s offering, benefits and usage.

We as marketers are only just at the beginning of an exciting journey into what it can bring to our wider marketing strategies. Where compelling and fully immersive experiences help to market a brand then these technologies are the future – and they don’t need to blow the budgets. It’s time to recognise the potential, get into the minds of your consumers and start to reap the rewards before other brands steal the show.

Hayden Allen-Vercoe is COO of Orbital Media, digital and social media specialists with experience in delivering virtual reality in consumer healthcare.


ISBA report claims traditional marketing agency model ‘too slow’

Findings from a new report reveal that advertisers are seeking closer relationships with fewer suppliers, with 62% adopting a move towards on-site and in-house solutions.

The research, carried out by the ISBA in association with on-site specialist Oliver and independent market research consultancy Future Thinking, found that just under half of the brands polled currently have or are considering adopting an on-site (45%) or in-house (44%) approach.

This shift in operations is being driven for a need to have deeper sector knowledge, data confidentially and transparency, plus closer working collaborations, as content needs increase across all platforms.

External agencies are being perceived as too slow by advertisers, with 68% of marketers expressing frustration with the time it takes external agencies to make decisions or turn around briefs, dropping to 8% for on-site and 20% for in-house agencies.

43% of the marketers polled said procurement was either not very or not at all influential in the decision to hire agencies.

Advantages identified for selecting on-site agencies were the desire for speed and agility (86%), improved cost efficiencies (68%), collaboration (64%) and operational control (54%) that comes from working together in the same building. Institutional knowledge (21%) and strategic capabilities (21%) were also identified as important.

For in-house, those polled cited improved brand expertise (61%) collaboration (52%) operational control (55%) and creative expertise (33%) as the main advantages.

54% of marketers use on-site agencies on a project-by-project basis.

Debbie Morrison, director of consultancy and best practice at ISBA, said: “Agility is increasingly a big issue for clients, especially in relation to digital activities, so it is no surprise that we are seeing a rise in these types of activities being handled in-house and particularly with on-site agencies. Adapting to the new demands that marketers have should be a key priority for agencies as they encounter an increasingly competitive market.”

The study polled IBSA members over a two-month period between December 2016 and February 2017. 85 senior ISBA members took part in the survey. In terms of UK advertising expenditure, half of the companies that responded spend more than £30million annually and over a third of respondents spend more than £50million. The report follows a series of ANA studies in the United States, where 58% of advertisers were shifting towards in-house or on-site in 2013 (according to evidence from the ANA).

Letter writing – Is it time to reignite a lost art?

With some 41 States in the US saying that cursive writing need no longer be taught in schools, is this the death knell of a method of communication that has changed the world? Write a letter to someone today, says Forum Events Director Paul Rowney...

Imagine what history would be like if the likes of Churchill, Roosevelt, Hemingway, Orwell… had not written letters to their friends, relatives and work colleagues? Not only would we know a lot less about many major historical events, but we would also know precious little about these famous personalities, their characters, their feelings, the way they thought that them such political, literary or philosophical powerhouses.

But who writes letters nowadays? Not many people it seems. According to an item in the Huffington Post from 2011, “Last year the typical home received a personal letter about every seven weeks, according to the annual survey done by the post office. As recently as 1987 it was once every two weeks.”

So when did you last write a letter? As in putting Pen to Paper, not an email or an update on Facebook, but a personal one to one correspondence that went in the mail?

Here’s why you should consider resurrecting what could soon be a lost art.

First, because you are writing specifically to one person, you can say more intimate, relevant and interesting things, solely for the benefit of the recipient. It makes you feel good, and them feel special.

Second, because it takes time and thought to write a letter, those two things are what makes them so unique. You have taken some time out of you ‘busy schedule’ to do something for someone else’s pleasure. That time has been spent putting ideas, thoughts, feelings on paper in a structured, considered way. Not a bad self-discipline and one immediately recognised by the reader.

Third, it’s not cheap, the paper, envelopes (your time), postage, all costs. But then anything worth doing well normally involves some extra time and money. It’s an investment in your relationship with the recipient that will repay itself in many ways.

Fourth, people keep letters, they represent reminders of you, and the ones you receive keep your senders’ memories, and personality as a permanent reminder and record for you and posterity.

Fifth, they show you care and that you’re thinking of them and sharing with them your (at times) innermost thoughts, concerns, problems and happiness. It’s the next best thing to being with them. And because they are tangible the effect is long term and irreplaceable.

Sixth, when you do write, use a pen, not a computer. It’s more work but it sparks the creativity in you-and makes sure your handwriting skills are kept up to standard. With many schools now no longer teaching ‘cursive writing’, we may be the last generation that knows how to write and read handwriting, so keep this skill alive.

Seventh, start today and be astounded at the response from your recipient when they receive your unexpected letter. Especially if they are of the ‘older’ generation. They will be thrilled. Equally you’ll be delighted when amongst all the junk mail and bills you see an envelope with writing on it from them! When was the last time you saw that?

Then for all the above reasons, you’ll sit down and relish not just the contents of the letter, but the fact someone has taken the time, effort and thought to craft a communication solely for your benefit and enjoyment.

Just like everyone appreciates a birthday present that the giver has clearly gone to much trouble to personalise and buy because they know ‘it’s just right for you’. So receiving a handwritten letter conveys that same sense of individual concern and personal concern we all want, but seldom get.


APSCo reports increase in UK marketing jobs

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) have announced that marketing vacancies accounted for a growing percentage of all available jobs in the year to January 2017.

The APSCo Marketing Trends Report found that while overall marketing vacancy numbers remained fairly stable, at around 2,100 per month, marketing jobs as a percentage had increased by 17% year-on-year, due to a fall in the overall number of professional vacancies.

Although vacancies in London accounted for more than half (58%) of all new openings, the fastest growth in marketing jobs was found in regions, with the North east, West Midlands and Wales seeing vacancies increase by 41%, 34% and 30% respectively.

The statistics in the report were provided by Vacancysoft, data publishers for the recruitment industry.

“It’s unsurprising that marketing vacancies represent a larger proportion of roles than they did a year ago,” said Ann Swain, chief executive of ASCo. “Once the preserve of large-multinationals, now almost every organisation has marketing resources in place, whether that be in-house or outsourced to a specialist agency. The explosion of digital media in recent years means that it is now absolutely crucial that brands manage their reputation in real-time, or risk losing share of voice in their respective markets.”

The Report also revealed that a number of disciplines saw double digit growth in demand, with both the insurance and pharmaceutical sectors experiencing growth of over 25% year-on-year.

“It’s interesting that the growth in marketing roles is highest in the insurance and pharma sectors, as these are areas where differentiating an organisation from competing brands is arguably most difficult – businesses in these sectors have traditionally promoted similar USPs and Employer Value Propositions (EVPs).” said Swain. “I don’t think it’s any coincidence that these are also sectors where our members are witnessing some of the most acute talent shortages. “Similarly, it’s also not unexpected that vacancy growth is accelerating outside of London, as an increasing number of big businesses ‘Northshore’ operations to not only cut costs but also tap into skilled talent pools outside of the capital.”

GUEST BLOG: What’s new in print and digital? Here’s your opportunity to find out…

By Chris Cannon, Portfolio Manager, Forum Events…

Print is dead! Long live print! Here at Forum Events, we have a long history of working within the print sector, having hosted our Print Services Summit for 10 years.

In that decade, much has changed, of course – and nothing more so than the rapid rise in digital print products and services, juxtaposed with the consolidation of the traditional print sector.

But print ISN’T dead. We still love the smell of a magazine hot off the press, freemium newspapers such as the Metro are holding steady and book sales are showing growth.

However, the savvy print businesses have adapted to provide new products and services that suit the brave new (or not so new) world of digital – and we have too.

The Print & Digital Innovations Summit is the result. Like its previous form, it’s a one-day event aimed at print and marketing professionals who are looking for new product, technology and solutions providers.

Simply put, we match buyers’ requirements with the suppliers who attend the event for a series of one-to-one meetings throughout the day.

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to attend seminars sessions hosted by industry thought-leaders.

And we’ll even throw in lunch and refreshments, too.

Print and marketing professionals are invited to attend for free.

Simply contact Paige Aitken via to find out more.

Or, if you’re a supplier to the sector, please contact Sam Walker via


Design ME Textiles Launches London’s First 24-Hour Textile Studio

A new textile-printing studio has launched, providing an affordable space for students, graduates, textile designers and print enthusiasts.

Design ME Textiles is the brainchild of Design Graduate Michelle Smith, who came up with the innovative idea while at university.

Smith found that the lack of access in the textiles studio prevented her from carrying out the textile processes that she needed for her final collection.

With the issue continuing after graduation and the continual struggle to find a studio that could help her continue printing as well as teaching her about all the different textiles techniques she wanted to learn, she turned frustration into a business and the idea was born.

Design ME Textiles now offers screen-printing, dye and digital fabric printing facilities, as well as weekly workshops. Monthly memberships are available in four different options, catering to everyone’s needs (this also includes a ‘pay as you go’ option).

Members include renowned menswear designers Alex Mullins and Liam Hodges.

Based in Peckham’s undercover art district, Design ME Textiles hopes to establish itself as a textile one-stop shop, supporting many different designers from start-up to well-established businesses, where collaborations and important network connections can be established for the long-term greater good of the creative industry.


New owner for Kodak ‘imminent’, say reports

US technology company Kodak has brought forward the announcement of its Q4 and 2016 figures by a week, with expectation mounting that the company will also announce the identity of the new owner of its high-speed inkjet business – with Xerox a firm favourite to become the new home for the business, according to Print Week.

In March last year Kodak announced plans to sell the Prosper high-speed inkjet product line, together with its new 1,800dpi Ultrastream inkjet technology that it targeted at OEM partners. The deal had hoped to be finalised by the end of 2016.

During the initial announcement, Jeff Clarke, Kodak Chief Executive, described the likely buyer as having greater scale and go-to-market resources in digital printing markets, with “hundreds or possibly thousands” of sales and business development professionals worldwide. This narrowed the filed of likely trade buyers down to just a handful of possible purchasers, with Xerox leading the pack.

In 2013 Xerox acquired French inkjet developer Impika and has stated that it intends to grow its inkjet offering organically and through acquisitions.

Turnover for the group currently is over £9bn. Independent investment bank Sagent Advisors have managed the sale, along with European corporate finance firm DC Advisory.

Potential interest from a Japanese buyer has also been rumoured through both companies links with Japanese investment bank Daiwa.

Kodak will continue to retain the legacy Versamark inkjet business.

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