Thursday, 30 October 2014

PC World. Benefits led - cliched but true

Nice example of a brand focussing on the benefit not the features, really simple idea.

"These are not headphones. These are 30 minutes of escape into your own private space."

Friday, 24 October 2014

Will automation kill creative and marketing agencies?

What happens when marketing automation services are combined with site optimisation platforms, retargeting and CRM solutions? So imagine the best of eloqua, monetate, outbrain, adobe, salesforce or whoever building an end to end solution to engage consumers. Don't think they wont, they have started already.

Clients will understandably be seduced by the ability to test, learn, respond in real time. No need for strategy as that rarely survives a smack in the face (Mike Tyson). It will be short term continuous tactical optimisation. It will be personalised. And it will probably work. Relationships will of course be overtly transactional. And brand will be delivered through content and 121. Control. Lovely.

The marketing department will need some other stuff. Some content, although they probably got too much anyway. So what they really need is a copy writer and an editorial plan. And of course a few pictures, some nice creative. Maybe an app build, assuming they need something more than the basic. Companies like umajin let you build a basic one quickly and cost effectively.

So what will the role of the agency be? A design shop, delivering creative assets. Perhaps if we are lucky we will incubate services like community management, handing it over to the client when it is up and running. There may be brand consultancies delivering territories and small creative shops executing the strategy. They will have to compete on price and speed.

The best agencies will transform themselves into strategic partners, helping clients procure creative solutions. The weaker ones will be arguing it is all about the creative, emotional engagement and ignore the commercial challenges.

The really smart ones will have to become platform integrators. Don't really know what that means. But clearly there is role for someone to be an agnostic expert. Someone to advise how to pull it together and spot the missing gaps in the customer experience.

I am off to brush up my knowledge of automation and all the platforms that get launched almost weekly.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Money can buy you love: loyalty marketing

Loyalty programs seem to be on the rise again. To be honest I have always struggled with them. The gain seems to be too little over too long to bother. And the ones I like are the ones that give me things for doing nothing, or more to the point nothing more than I would have done anyway. Which rather defeats the purpose of a loyalty program. They should change behaviour.

How many people have cards for Sainsbury's, Tesco and Co-op. I need to find out. But I did observe a couple in queue at co-op exchanging vouchers then 2 days later in Sainsburys waving the reward card. I only clocked them because they took so long discussing the virtues of a co-operative organisation. They clearly admired the co-op but not enough. 

I only went there for my daily special brew top up. 

With a few caveats the secret to loyalty is doing what you do very well. Good product, good price, good service and easy. Easy in that your brand is the path of least resistance. 

Talking of easy. I am not a fan of easyJet but I tend to think of them first for local flights, I know my way round the website. I go there before I go to skyscanner. It is the default. That's what your aim should be. And if you cant be the default, make sure it is easy to engage with your brand. Remove the hoops. 

Of course it always help if they like your brand. 

But what I find interesting is the emergence of paid for loyalty schemes. When you pay for something you have sunk costs, so to that extent you are going to make sure you use it. Hey presto. Behaviour change.

Intercontinental have run ambassador club for yonks, very successfully. But it is a profit centre not just a cost to the business. Guardian have launched their new membership program not sure it is a loyalty program, but it looks like an interesting value exchange with customers, so may be it is. The other interesting thing about paid for programs is that consumers defend and advocate them, after all you can hardly buy in to it and say it is crap. 

So perhaps the secret of loyalty is just for businesses to what they do well, don't expect people to value what you hand out for free. 

But remember maybe money can buy you love. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

About Me

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United Kingdom
Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.