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techmap: Overcoming Content Shock

All hail techmap! What a brilliant evening.

A massive round of applause to last night’s panel of experts: Emily Turner, Doug Kessler and Gareth Case, who provided great insight into strategies and tactics for overcoming content shock. We hope you left last night’s Meetup with some key takeaways about how best to handle the content revolution.

Emily Turner kick started the talks by taking us back a decade to consider just how far content marketing has come. She reminded us of a time when CD-ROMS were the norm and when market research would only skim the surface, providing limited insights surrounding our audience we were trying to reach.

Fast forward 10 years, we are now engulfed by a mass of technology and data is at the cornerstone of everything we do, but more than ever, it appears we are moving further away from the audience we are trying to connect and engage with.

Let’s look at Tesco & Lush as examples.

Two large organisations that have recently had to set-up digital organisations in London, to carry out meetings across departmental functions, to consider consumer insights. Even some of the most successful big brand names are asking for help in an attempt to get closer to their audience.

Doug Kessler started his talk with a few calculations and came to the conclusion that we’ve been living with content shock for over 450 years; reiterating that content marketing is not a new thing. 450 years? That sure adds up to a big boatload of content and nowadays, every B2B marketing agency is cramming the word content into everything they do. Again, do the math – lots and lots and lots more content from more and more sources being produced. In Doug’s famous words, “we’re all about to be buried in Crap.


Doug went on to talk about the key factors which content shock appears to ignore,

1. Granularity

2. Change

3. Quality

According to Doug, there will always be a vacuum for new content but there’s content and there’s capital C content. Just doing content marketing doesn’t cut it anymore; you have to be doing it right and you have to be hitting home-runs repeatedly. Create a brand that people want to come back to, how? By creating content that captures your audiences’ attention.

Doug highlighted how to increase the likelihood of hitting home-runs with your content,

1. Create content with confidence

2. Stay in your sweet spot

3. Create content which displays emotion

Gareth Case began his talk by giving the audience something to think about, “ask yourself this, would the same piece of content work for a CEO of a bank and the CTO of a bank?”

Gareth posed as a case study at last night’s Meetup and demonstrated the use of Turtl by Xchanging. He introduced Turtl, as a digital publishing tool, which in his opinion, successfully bridges the content online gap by redefining collateral. Xchanging are the first Turtl customer in the world, and have replaced all customer facing materials including, presentations, white-papers, brochures and fact sheets, newsletters and surveys and the list goes on.

Gareth went on to give an overview of how Turtl poses as an analytics engine allowing you to,

  • See who’s reading your content
  • And for how long
  • And on what device
  • And in what country
  • And if they’re sharing it
  • And who with…

Gareth advocates that Turtl has produced great results for Xchanging; “78% click-through rate on our first email, social sharing up by 600%, 22% of our readers are engaging in polls… actual leads are being captured.”

Gareth’s key takeaway note – “start strong and the content recycling opportunities are almost endless.”

The talks were followed by a great Q&A session; here’s a snippet for you:

1. How do you strike the balance between data and creativity? 

Emily: You need to understand the holistic approach, the real conversions; put the user at the heart of what you are doing.

Gareth: Data is vital to what we do but ultimately the user needs to be central to everything you do.

2. Content generation – what brands are pioneering the way?

Emily: Government Digital Service, everything they do is about transparency in terms of codes and processes, and what they share. Others that spring to mind include Association of Account Technicians and Institute of Engineering, particularly for their YouTube content.

Gareth: SAS; in B2C terms a brand called Bounty – their content is really personalised and empathy wise its definitely up there. Paddy Power is another great example.

Doug: B2B wise its got to be MailChimp, HubSpot and GE, GE are especially pioneering the way; in terms of B2C, although it seems cliche, Nike – they have such attitude.

3. Does content marketing still have value?

Gareth: Most definitely; its the most important part of the marketing mix and it sits at the heart of the mix.

Doug: People think it is a hype and a fad; but can you ever imagine a time when packaging up your expertise to help your team do their jobs is non-existent? Content marketing is much more fundamental than a fad. Yes it has faddish elements but its here to stay.

Emily: Yes and B2B are ahead because of personalisation and segmentation. B2C are trying too much to be membership organisations that’s why they are lagging behind.

 4. Some B2B marketers loath using marketing automation tools as they feel it makes their role redundant. How can they adapt?

Gareth: Tools to curate content are really important otherwise your required to have a team on hand 24/7. Realistically, nowadays it is almost impossible to manual automate content.

Doug: People jump into using tools even before they  know what they are using them for; education is key.

A key takeaway from last night’s Meetup? “Become a life long learner and that’s how you can overcome content shock.” (Quote: Emily Turner).

What a great evening. We hope you left feeling a little less bewildered by content shock and gained some ideas which you can apply to your own business, agency, or marketing plan. We’ll be posting videos of the talks up on the blog here just as soon as they have been edited. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for the next techmap Meetup – Is Data the Holy Grail for Marketers? Registration is open now.

techmap: Is Programmatic the Future of Advertising?

What a great evening! We found out all the answers at our first techmap event.

A common agreement among our speakers from last night was that ‘we all need educating when it comes to programmatic’. It was suggested a lack of education, combined with an urgency to break into the programmatic space, is creating a whirlwind of confusion.

Andy Bush Senior Vice President of Time Inc

Andy kicked off the evening’s chatter by stating programmatic is not rocket science. Only two things are needed when it comes down to programmatic:

1. a publisher

2. a client.

Andy used a simple definition: ‘programmatic refers to delivering a set unit at a set price’. 

With this in mind, a key question when considering programmatic should be considered:

“what are we delivering in programmatic form so the end user has a great experience?”

So many people are trying to make money from programmatic, but are not understanding the experience for the end user or how to go about creating it. Again, creating unnecessary confusion around the subject area.

Andy went on to explain how Time Inc has moved beyond just digital and into print programmatic; enabling advertisers, initially in the US, to target the most highly desired segments in the digital marketplace in print too.

Jack Rutter Platform Director at TubeMogul

Jack contended that programmatic is going to play a massive part in the future of advertising. Whether it be through TubeMogul’s software, or anybody else such as Google or MediaMath and so on. The fact that software enables the central planning, management and reporting of advertising campaigns across multiple formats means that programmatic is here to stay.

Jack explained that ever since the evolution of the internet, a programmatic approach made sense. Search was the first to utilise software to automate the buying of key words with demand or auction based pricing. After that came display and in it’s initial guise it looked like programmatic was more aligned with DR (direct response) than branding.

Jack referred to Marc Andreessen and how he once famously said that “software is eating the world”. If we reflect on the changes in the way that business is done and how we live our lives now versus 25 years ago he is right. In the UK programmatic across digital is beginning to mature and in the near future we will start to see programmatic buying software being utilised to buy and sell TV spots, Outdoor bill boards and even on daily press ads.

Gawain Owen Digital Lead at Nestle UK & Ireland

Gawain started by referring to when Nestle were approached about a product called Xaxis, offering programmatic trading. He explains how the product works a bit like a washing machine; you put something in, spin it around and it comes out the other side with a bit of targeting to it. From then onwards he set himself the task to go into the market to really understand how programmatic works.

Gawain suggests programmatic trading really isn’t that difficult to get to grips with. He goes onto explain inventory as ‘the ad available’ and ‘the ability to target the consumer through data; with data you can target very precisely where you want to get to’. We now understand through data that people who want to buy a Nestle Nespresso machine go on more websites than just the four which serve a whole range of websites so we now use both adverse party and third party data.

Gawain reveals that Nestle spend about 30% of its money in digital adverting, of which a significant amount goes into programmatic trading. Nestle currently collaborates with 3 different types of companies, including agency trade desks (audience on demand), specialist trade desks (programmatic companies) and search agencies; whilst identifying the pros and cons of each one of them.

Demand side, Nestle currently work with TubeMogul and Google. The company also looks at data management platforms to identify how data can be aggravated across all mediums. Ultimately, no brand can grow its market share if its advertising is not being seen – thus buying and analysing inventory for verification purposes is paramount in today’s digital world.

Stephane Lecuyot Digital Acquisition Manager at Nestle Nespresso

Stephane discusses how programmatic is still very new; but that the key thing is to get transparency and efficiency and to move away from that very rigid and fixed media plan towards a more flexible media plan.

He goes on to explain how the company used to buy display and negotiate with publishers; this was then booked for 3 months. Within these 3 months there was no room for optimisation from the data which was received. But now with programmatic we can optimise, we have full transparency and for us that’s the key thing – its really cost-efficient in showing banners with the right message.

During the Q&A session, a series of questions posed to the panelist were, “what surprised you the most about programmatic, which one piece of advice and learning material, should we as the audience take away with us tonight?”

The answers included:

Jack Rutter: Biggest surprise was the level of talk about fraud in the dirty parts of programmatic; publishers who don’t have an inventory, buy-in from somewhere else, which feeds into the dirty parts of the industry.

Andy Bush: “The one piece of advice I would give would be to read, absorb & consume everything; embed yourself into programmatic because it is the future of buying.”

Gawain Owen: Learning material – work with smart agencies and people. Source the people who you can see have their head well and truly screwed on in the programmatic scene. People talking to people means that everyone is on the programmatic journey together.

Stephane Lecuyot: My advice? Check everything.

What a great evening. We hope you left with a better understanding of programmatic advertising, or buying, and some ideas you can apply to your own business, agency, or marketing plan.

Is Programmatic the Future of Advertising?

techmapAs we gear up the next techmap event, I’ve become captivated by programmatic advertising.

I can’t help but read every piece of content that will help me to answer the question of whether programmatic is the future of advertising? After all, if it’s going to be a good event, I want to make sure our panellists answer all the right questions.

For those of you completely new to programmatic advertising, this is without a doubt a subject you will want to learn more about.

Rapid advances in digital technologies have revolutionised the world of marketing and communications – you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see how the marketing world is changing. Where once there was a clear divide between paid, earned and owned, now they are frequently all glued together in a digital world, with the promise of ever-greater returns.

Marketing was once the domain of mad men, but it is being overrun by a new digital landscape owned by the “math men” of tomorrow.

There’s no greater example of this than with programmatic advertising. Historically ad buying has been dominated by sales relationships, business entertaining and – in some cases still – with orders placed by fax. Now complicated digital exchanges are selling online media inventory (and in the case of Time Inc in print too) in real time, targeted to a specific individuals characteristics and their browsing habits. It’s a brave, complex and extremely fast paced world.

Look under the hood and you will find yourself in a world of acronyms; DSP, SSP, RTB etc. but don’t let these confuse you; it’s really not as confusing as it appears.

What’s particularly interesting is a general lack of understanding we’ve found during our research for this event. There’s a real knowledge gap, especially for those who have grown up with broadcast, print and OOH media as the primary platforms. The new breed of digital first marketers are often much more at home with programmatic.

For media planning / buying professionals the event is a real opportunity to get up to date in one sitting. Our guest speakers will be covering the subject from three angles:

  1. Media owner – Andy Bush from Time Inc will be looking at programmatic from the media’s point of view, covering the essentials of what, when, how and why.
  1. Brand owner – Gawain Owen from Nestle will be looking at the challenges and opportunities for inhouse marketers of taking on programmatic buying.
  1. Tech provider – Jack Rutter from TubeMogul will be looking at programmatic from a technology providers perspective.

For in-house marketers it’s a real chance to think about how you can squeeze some extra performance and value from your budgets, while learning what some of the potential dangers are too.

We plan to make techmap a real source of value for the marketing community. I hope you will consider joining us for this next event on programmatic advertising, or at some point in the future. Our event calendar looks like this:

  • Overcoming Content Shock, Monday 27th April, London
  • Is Data the Holy Grail for Marketers, Monday 18th May, London
  • ROI’s Secret Sauce, Monday 29th June, London
  • CRM and the Promise of Automation, 14th September, London
  • Paid, Earned, Owned – Who Really Cares?, 18th October, London
  • Can Marketers Get to Grips with the Human Condition, 30th Nov, London

I hope to see you on the 16th March for what is going to be a fascinating conversation and debate.

Is programmatic the future of advertising? We are about to find out.

The Opportunity of Behavioural Targeting

Sometimes it’s easy to get the feeling you are being watched. It’s most obvious when you realise every banner or text link advert you see on the web is the same. They all match the search term you entered into Google earlier in the day for call centre solutions, or blogging tips, or, whatever really.

The reason you see the same ads over and over again is because you are being targeted based on your behaviour. Websites essentially store a cookie on your machine, which Google then links to search queries, which in turn allows them to serve targeted ads based on those interests. Simples.

As an advertiser this is how you follow people around the web, it’s called retargeting. You can learn all about it in this short recorded webinar from Google. Powerful stuff when applied appropriately.

Is this just about retargeting? 

Not at all. Retargeting is not the only way marketers can target you based on your behaviours. One of the more useful applications of behavioural marketing is to use the analytics and tracking tools available within marketing automation platforms. This allows you to match an individual’s web browsing pattern to a contact record in your database.

For example let’s imagine a visitor is on your website. If he goes to just one page then bounces away, you might give them a lead score of 10. But if they visited 10 pages and fill in a form to download a white paper, suddenly the anonymous visitor becomes a person. Let’s say Barry Trotter from Microsoft (insert name of your ideal customer here). Now you can start to collect more data on Barry to better target your marketing based on his behaviours – which pages he visits, case studies he downloads etc. You can even allocate an appropriate lead score based on where they are in the buying cycle.Armed with this knowledge you can better focus in on Barry’s needs and wants.

You can prioritise your campaigns too: the higher the lead score, the more you want to engage them through marketing or ultimately sales. Tailor your messaging and follow-up based on the information you have gathered online. Barry is not going to know what’s hit him when your inside sales team calls and starts to discuss the exact solutions to his problems.

Is this just for Online?

No. This works offline too. Which customers attended a seminar, or responded to a direct mail campaign? What can you learn based on those behaviours that will inform your next marketing campaign? But this is marketing 101. When you apply technology you can scale your behavioural targeting more easily, capturing ever more data on your target audience.

So what’s the point?

The point of all this is simple: the better you get to know your target audience, the more closely you can align your marketing to their needs and wants. The more closely aligned your marketing is, the higher you are likely to convert web visitors into leads, into customers; or attract leads at the top of the funnel in the first place. You can start with small steps such as retargeting on paid search campaigns, and lead scoring based on website behaviours.

But right at the top end you have programmatic ad campaigns. This is when you serve exactly the right ads based on your target audiences profiles and browser behaviours. There’s a helpful and short video explaining programmatic advertising from market leaders Xaxis you can watch below:

We’re going to be running an event in London this coming March all about programmatic advertising and encourage you to attend. If you are in any doubt that this is the future of advertising, you absolutely have to come along to find out more. Join us at techmap here.

Behavioural targeting is without a doubt a great opportunity for marketers at all levels and in all industries. You can get in touch with me here or on twitter if you would like to talk about how you can apply this to your business.

Pay Per Click Advertising with Google Adwords: more than just clicks and traffic.

Google Adwords, or any Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaign must be clearly defined, carefully monitored, and maintained, to be the most effective. It is vital to understand your audience, and have clearly marked goals, not only to make sure that your campaign is providing the most value, but to understand the benefit of Adwords on other channels.

Google Adwords is not a risky advertising move, it’s more targeted, more measurable, and ultimately more profitable than almost any other medium, but that ease of use does mean, that inexperienced advertising can lead to missed opportunities and misguided interaction.

Using Adwords to gain leads, conversions, brand awareness, or applied as tool to understand keywords and audience, are some of the best uses of the service. When applied correctly, it is possible to create highly specific targeting which fulfils the needs of your business, allowing you to turn those leads into highly profitable, engaged customers.

Adwords is not a click factory

Let’s clarify one thing right off the bat, if your PPC account manager is only reporting clicks and traffic, they’re doing something wrong, very wrong. Google Adwords in partnership with Google Analytics allows bidding to not only be highly specific, but also highly measurable and accountable. This means that you can focus on specific endpoints for your Adwords campaign, whether that’s conversions, click-through-rate to a specific page, or engagement with your brand, and the route that users have taken to reach it.

Before monitoring any metrics, or even considering the analytics that Google provides, you should set goals and conduct research.  When you research keywords, competitors and audience, you can build a more complete view of how your goals can be achieved, and with tools such as Google Trends, you can monitor peaks and troughs. Which is especially useful if you’re in a seasonal or resurgent industry.

I cannot stress the importance of setting and fully discussing goals with the team who will deliver your advertising campaign. Not only to create a clear set of success criteria for your campaign to understand whether the campaign is working for your business, but also to allow your search engine marketer to discuss ways in which you can increase the reach of the campaign; offline, through social, and other marketing channels. Goals are important… they let everyone working on your campaign to plan, become profitable, and sustain a strong and positive relationship.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Lead Generation

Creating leads and acquisitions are commonly seen as the primary functions of Google Adwords, and Google has created a great marketplace to drive customers and possible conversions towards your site or store. Profit on a per acquisition basis allows advertisers to balance the price of a conversion, with the limit of their budget to create the best possible return on investment.

Whilst some businesses use Adwords to provide a constant flow of users, it is also possible to create a campaign tailored around a specific product range, store, or even promotion, allowing your scope to fit your goals and budget. All campaigns allow your adverts, whether it be a text, image, product or video ad, to appeal to a specific user’s need, whether they’re precise such as “buy macbook pro 2014” or as vague as “new laptop”.

Lead generation can be used as effectively for offline businesses. All you need is a store location registered with Google+ Local (Google’s service for associating real-world businesses with their identities online), or a call extension (which allows users to call you from their phone with one button press), and you can prompt a conversion to your store, without the user having to complete complex directory enquiries.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Brand Awareness

Google Adwords allows your customers to make instant purchasing decisions, yet is equally effective at building relationships with your brand, products or company.

A key metric here is impressions, the number of users who have seen your ads. Impressions can easily be in thousands with Google Adwords, this is due to Google’s incredible volume of search traffic, but also its many partnerships with sites online. Through Google Display Advertising, you can have adverts appear in email-boxes, on thousands of partner sites, on YouTube, and many other media providers, all of which can be highly targeted to reach your audience.

Google Adwords also has a feature called Remarketing, this allows you to continue to engage users after they have left your website, keeping them in contact with your brand, while they browse other website. This can be highly effective for products and services which have longer lead times, but also this re-appearance of your advert is great for cementing a brand in the mind of the user.

When using Google Adwords for brand awareness, messaging, imagery and branding are of upmost importance, that is why, for larger campaigns, I would recommend you work with an organisation which has these elements built into their team. With great branding, messaging, graphics and video experts in addition to your advertiser, you can create an advert which can create a customer relationship which is long, stable and profitable, while missing one of this components can mean a less successful campaign.

Using Google Adwords and PPC for Keyword Research

Google Adwords can also be used as a search tool for other methods of online marketing, such as Search Engine Optimisation. Creating broad-reach adverts, with effective landing pages (page the user goes to when the advert is clicked), it is possible to get data not otherwise accessible to search marketers.

As Google has made changes towards privacy and implemented solutions which protect user data more deeply, strategies such as Keyword Research with PPC continue to be effective, consensual ways to get data which will let Adwords Campaigns be targeted to the correct user groups.

There are many applications of Google Adwords, only a few of which have been described here. If you business has goal, which involves leads, conversions, brand awareness, or many other measurable targets, then Advertising through Google Adwords will likely be a highly effective solution for your business.

It isn’t B2B Marketing but it is Great

I know this blog is supposed to be all about b2b marketing, but I just had to share this recent campaign from Pepsi Max.

The clever marketers from Pepsi designed a campaign using augmented reality. Essentially they took over a bus stop in London such that anyone waiting for a bus would be entertained by a fake window. In the window there appeared to be flying saucers, an attacking robot, and a loose tiger making their way down the street towards the bus stop.

You will see what I mean if you watch the video below… entertaining and engaging stuff.

Now to get my thinking cap on for how we could apply this type of creativity in b2b marketing. It never hurts to seek inspiration from great consumer campaigns.


Researching the Implicit Memory and it’s Impact on Advertising

Are you responsible for advertising either in a b2c or b2b environment? If you answered yes, then read on.

We’ve been working with Warc (publishers of Admap) to develop the 11th Annual Advertising Research conference called ‘Get to the Truth: Researching the Implicit Memory’, running on September 25th in London.

Advertising Research conference

It’s all about how to create advertising campaigns that affect the way your audience thinks and feels as well as what hey say and do. 

So what does that mean?

Measuring the effectiveness of a message is one of the fundamentals of advertising research. Researchers are beginning to use indirect measures of memory as a growing body of evidence suggests that the unconscious plays an important role in determining one’s actions, attitudes and behaviours.

This conference features a line up of research professionals and brand case studies exploring the latest research methodologies that analyse the implicit memory: neuroscience, behavioural observation, qualitative research, online and mobile. It addresses how to take a multi-disciplinary approach by blending different research practices to really get under the skin of your audience.

Case studies include 02, Heineken, eBay, Heinz, Danone and AOL. There will also be expert researchers from decode, Conquest, Ipsos, Northstar, Face and Firefly to name but a few.

It’s a packed agenda.

If you work in advertising and have any interest in making sure your latest campaign achieves the best possible result, this is the place to be.

You can find out more and book tickets here. 

Choose Klaxon

choose klaxon

No prizes for guessing which movie inspired this poster, but we’d love to hear from you if you are looking for a marketing agency.

At Klaxon we know you need marketing outcomes and results that can be measured and this is exactly what we aim to deliver. You can find out more about our marketing expertise here and our team members here.


Small Business Advertising on Twitter

I signed up for a trial of Promoted Products on Twitter – the twitter equivalent of Google PPC – but sadly as I don’t have a US billing address I can only watch from the sidelines. But for those smaller businesses on the other side of the pond, it’s worth thinking about advertising on Twitter.

You can see in the short video below what your options are, but in summary:

1. Promoted Accounts

Twitter matches your interests, with the interests of potential followers. It then recommends you to those potential followers. Simple. If your objective is to grow your following, this is the best option for  you.

2. Promoted Tweets

Twitter automatically promotes your best performing tweets to people who match your interests. If you want engagement and click throughs, this is the option for you.

For both you only pay per action.

In others you only pay when you gain a new follower, or when someone engages with your tweet. You set a daily budget limit and away you go.

Sounds good to me. Now we just need it to be live for small businesses in the UK too. (By the way, thanks American Express for promoting that offer to UK Cardholders who aren’t eligible).

When to Use a QR Code?

QR CodeSat on the tube this morning an advert for British Airways (I think) caught my eye. Not the content, but the fact the fact it had a QR code as the call to action. This seemed a little odd to me, given tube trains spend most of their life underground where there isn’t currently access to the Internet.

A similar thought occurred to me walking past a hotel currently being built in Moorgate. On the side of the building works, about 50ft above street level, is a massive banner featuring a QR code. The code must be at least a metre square in size. You can of course pick up an Internet connection outside in Central London, but how would you scan a code at that height and of that size?

Then of course there are the QR codes you see on some television shows. The BBC trialled this recently on a cookery show, where you were invited to scan the code on your television screen to get to the recipe. The few seconds available didn’t even give me time to reach my phone, let alone start up the scanner app.

These to me are all good examples of when not to use a QR code.

When then should you use a QR code?

Here’s a simple checklist to work with. If you can satisfy each of these points then you could think about using a QR code in your campaign:

  1. Your target audience is tech savvy and likely to have a smartphone
  2. You have a landing page optimised to work on a mobile phone
  3. Your call to action does not require downloading a large file, completing a long subscribe form, or doing anything that will eat up a lot of bandwidth
  4. Your QR code will be in a position where it is easy to scan and where there will be an internet connection
  5. You have an offer or call to action based on real value for your target audience

QR codes are quick, easy, convenient and trackable, but ultimately not worth the ink if you don’t meet these criteria. Perhaps a more simple vanity URL would be a better option for your campaign.

Please let us know if you have used QR codes succesfully. We would love to give some examples of best practice case studies here on the blog.