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Take part in our digital marketing industry survey!

The Digital Marketing Solutions Summit is an amazing opportunity for collaboration between industry professionals and those looking to provide the latest and greatest products to the market.

It all takes place on May 8th 2017 at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, bringing the digital marketing industry together for one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities.

To help us create the best event possible, we’d love to ask you a few questions about your role in the industry, your thoughts on its key issues and your priorities for 2017.

It’ll take just a few minutes to complete via an online form – plus you can enter a prize draw at the end for the chance to win £100 of Amazon vouchers!

 

Click here to take the survey!

 

For more information about the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit and to attend for FREE as one of VIP delegates, contact Kerry Naumburger: k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk

Thank you for taking the time to help us shape the key event for your industry!

Industry Spotlight: Is this the end of the email discount?

Consumers and marketers alike enjoy a good old email coupon. So much so that various studies have found a staggering 20 – 30 per cent of marketing emails now feature a discount, voucher or giveaway based incentive; and, understandably, evidenced by their tenure as a long time favourite in a marketer’s archive.

The critical factor in the promotional arena is the perceived level of exclusivity to the recipient, and this goes hand-in-hand with how well past data has been used for personalisation. But in the absence of perfect execution, is there still a place for incentive-based email? Here’s a closer look at its pros and cons in today’s digital landscape.

 

The Pros

Quickly gain brand traction: There’s no faster way to boost subscriber rates than by offering a strong incentive or freebie, and is also a great method for brand exposure and starting conversations. Krispy Kreme growth hacked their email list by 71 per cent thanks to their “Friends of…” campaign offering free doughnuts in return for referrals to family and friends.

Boost product uptake: Flooding the market with fast moving consumables is a powerful way to generate recurring demand. Freebie uptake is admittedly less effective in Services and SaaS where tactile value is not immediately realised on redemption. Creating urgency (time limits or download quota) is an effective way to boost uptake in these markets.

* Something to say: Don’t let competitors get a word in – end it with a promotion! Being delightfully creative is one thing but doing it consistently is another. A discount or voucher keeps you in the foreground and provides something worth saying while working on your next marketing masterpiece.

* Build an audience profile: A strong promotion is a big opportunity to profile new and existing data. Carefully consider the requisite fields and leverage that data in future to create a continual improvement cycle.

 

The Cons

* Change in list composition: Yes, you’ve increased subscribers by a million percent but your list composition will be drastically different. One-off giveaways tend to attract low lifetime-value subscribers so solid expectation management and segmentation is essential.

* Demand fulfilment: Even the best laid schemes go awry and with digital especially, things can quickly get out of hand. Oversubscription will turn a potentially positive brand experience into a bad one. Be upfront about quantities and don’t let promises go unfulfilled!

* Effect on brand positioning: Your email subscribers are often your most loyal customers so cheapening the brand with precipitous promotions is ill-advised. If you are positioned as the market premium, then a subtler incentive that does not implicate future pricing and brand perception is required. Don’t over-promote at the expense of brand.

* Risk of escalation: Competitors will soon catch wind of aggressive promotions (they have definitely subscribed to your email) and will soon respond with their own incentivised promotions. Discounts are easily countered and squeeze margins over time, so focus on the experiential, creative and personal instead.

 

Takeaways

Arguably the biggest positive for promotional mailers is the ability to use past insight to make ever-more effective campaigns with a greater degree of personalisation. Choosing not to customise campaigns to the recipient’s exact needs comes with the tacit understanding that everyone is entitled to the same advantages – and where’s the added value in that!

There are still benefits to the old-school, generic incentive but they are contextual, and highly dependent on industry and brand positioning. Giveaways can elevate new brands and quickly establish voice in new channels, but established names beware.

So while the coupon survives to fight another day, its rule as the marketer’s darling is certainly contested. Its day is certainly not up yet, but the mindset must soon evolve to stay relevant. And as other marketing tactics such as native and inbound continue to mature, so must email.

 

Words by Ross Carroll, senior email marketing manager at Fat Media

Forum Insight: The essential client meeting checklist…

A well prepared face-to-face client meeting can create a significant impact on the quality of existing and new business relationships; as well as vastly increasing the value of a company in the long term.

Conducting client meetings is also a viable solution to sustaining business longevity which, is primarily determined by the loyalty and commitment of its customer base. Therefore, by following our essential checklist, a strong focus on hosting productive client meetings could turn out to be the one of best investments you will ever make in your business…

  1. Do your homework

It’s worthwhile to spend some time researching your clients’ business: their strengths, weaknesses, competitors and challenges. Gathering as much information as possible before your meeting will give you the much-needed confidence to hold a strong conversation and proactively suggest appropriate solutions.

  1. Plan your meeting

Particularly at a Forum or Summit, it’s likely you will only have around 20 minutes to make a bold first impression, so don’t waste it! Make sure to rehearse answers to any potential questions you feel the client may ask, and you’ll then be ready to overcome any obstacle.

  1. Focus solely on the client

Your last meeting went really well, and the client has given you a brief. Put that meeting to one side – you already have a date set for the next contact. Don’t neglect the client sitting in front of you; their potential contract could be bigger than the last and it crucial to keep this focus. If the clients purchasing requirement is good enough for them to travel to the Forum, then the sales opportunity is good enough for you to give them your undivided attention.

  1. Watch your body language

Get it wrong and it will be a deal breaker. Be immaculately dressed; firmly shake hands and pay attention to how you sit or stand. Strategically plan your coffee breaks; don’t leave your stand five minutes before your next meeting – they may be five minutes early! Inevitably, first impressions always count, so talk to them like you mean it. Be enthusiastic about the things you are talking about; listen to what they say and ask as many questions as you can.

Poor digital ad views lead marketers to continue ‘wasting money’…

A new research study compiled by Lumen has found that a significant amount of digital advertising is not being viewed at all, and suggests many marketers are not productively applying the effective techniques learned from other platforms.

Conducted in partnership with Aimia, analysis commenced in January of this year and researchers installed laptop-mounted eye tracking cameras on 300 consumers’ laptops to gather visual data on what they notice while online; recording a total of 30,000 minutes of data and  evidence relating to around 15,000 digital ads.

Results concluded with only 44 per cent of digital display ads receiving any views at all, and just nine per cent of those ads received more than one second of attention. In addition, four per cent of the ads in question garnered more than two seconds of engagement.

Managing director at Lumen, Mike Follett, commented: “The best digital ads do get looked at – but they tend to be simple, elegant, beautiful ads that a creative department would be proud of, rather than moving direct mail pieces. When developing digital ads, creatives should ‘think like a poster’ rather than taking their cues from ‘performance marketers’, who have literally nothing to teach the advertising industry.”

Read more on the study here

Google announces ‘real-time ads’ to help marketers jump on micro-moments…

An amazing performance at the VMAs, a goal in the FA Cup final or a politician messing up in a high-profile interview — moments like these always spark the interest of those watching, cause a frenzy on social media and become trending topics within minutes, if not seconds.

If firms could capitalise on these so-called ‘micro-moments’, the potential benefit could be huge. Thankfully, Google hopes to be able to do just that. Inspired by the ‘Dancing Left Shark’ at Katy Perry’s halftime show at the Super Bowl in February last year, Google announced last week that is rolling out ‘real-time ads’.

In a nutshell, AdWords online tools will allow a pre-created ad to have a component — like photos or overlaid text — that can be updated immediately to reflect a ‘micro-moment’ that is generating chatter. It certainly paves the way for a time when ad elements could be automatically generated from trends detected on social media.

The new format — announced at a press event in Google/YouTube’s offices in New York — is now being made available to a select group of brands. Google said it expected to roll out the new service “more broadly” later this year.

A company statement said: “With Real-Time Ads, brands will be able to instantly run an ad across YouTube, hundreds of thousands of apps, and over two million sites in our Google Display Network with a message that ties directly to the big moment consumers just experienced.”

‘Man on the Moon’ goes viral for festive hype

The annual Christmas advert for iconic retailer John Lewis has smashed all previous records, with more than six million views via their YouTube channel over the first weekend alone. The advert has escalated to almost ‘cult’ status, highly anticipated and recognised by many as the kick-off to the festive season. Usually highly emotive and narrative in style, the adverts engage wholly on the emotive side to the Christmas season. Its feel good, emotionally-charged narrative and music over the past few years have led it to be a major seasonal event in the marketing calendar.

Launched firstly in 2007 this year is the retailer’s ninth edition, with increasing pressure to come up trumps and ‘wow’ audiences with an innovative yet engaging campaign for 2015. With a phenomenal £7million budget, even in the days after its launch a number of spoof ‘budget’ versions cropped up on the internet just add to the buzz surrounding the retailer’s latest marketing effort.

The ad is in support of charity Age UK and features the strapline “Show someone they are loved this Christmas”. This initial spike in interest at this point puts it way ahead of the 2014 “Monty and the Penguin” but still to reach the phenomenal 13 million views in the first 24 hours achieved by the 2013 version “The Bear & The Hare”.

Craig Inglis, Customer Director at John Lewis said: “Our Christmas advert is once again all about going the extra mile to give someone the perfect gift. This year though, the story is told in a uniquely creative and engaging way as we see Lily, our heroine, go to great lengths to connect with the Man on the Moon.

“We hope it inspires people to find really special gifts for their loved ones and through our partnership with Age UK, raises awareness of the issue of loneliness amongst older people and encourages others to support in any way they can.”

 

Boost the figure further and view #manonthemoon ad here.

Are you ‘emoji savvy’ in your marketing reach?

Internet retailers are being urged to look beyond the written word and embrace the popularity of the emoji to interact with a younger generation. Global courier ParcelHero says e-tailers should embrace the cartoon style imagery within its marketing to engagement younger audiences.

The small image icons are booming in popularity – backed up by the company’s research which found 92 percent of the online population now use emoji’s. So much so, that a ‘thumbs up’ or a happy face inserted has overtake the popularity of internet text abbreviations such as ‘LOL’.

ParcelHero’s head of public relations, David Jinks, explains, “Internet traders, from the smallest eBayer to giants such as Amazon, all need to start using the language of emoji’s. ParcelHero’s new research shows that people of all ages are happily emoting with emoji’s, and are using them to communicate with etailers to give feedback on products and deliveries. After all a smiling face, or a frowning face for that matter, says a thousand words.”