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Summer Edition 2019 #82
Dear Friends: We are in the company of some really August content this edition of BrandKnew. The heat is on and we have packed this issue with distilled essence that will surely make waves. For all the talk about data that we see and hear, we now examine how data can be used by brands to make an emotional connection with customers. What would definitely please the connoisseurs is the feature on the 15 Most Drastic Brand Logo Changes in History. That will make for riveting reading. We also debate about the need for CMOs to seriously consider aligning Creative and Marketing and shed the Church and State relationship that exists between the two. Conventional approaches are not winning businesses for the advertising agency. In this issue, we make a serious case for how advertising agencies can align their new business development program to net better yields and accounts. The feature on brands actually replacing sectors would definitely be an eye opener and there are substantial take aways for brand owners and marketers in that. It’s time to beard the lion in its own den for marketers; we debate about the five fears that marketers should face immediately. In an increasingly over commoditised world, differentiation is a challenge for brands. The article on how Packaging can be a Big Differentiator for brands is examined here. There is a reason why Digital Media is killing Advertising and we take a dive into that. A lot of brands are considering ditching the CMO position- we try to understand why- There is bucket loads more to soak in this edition and I urge you all to take your time doing it. Till the next… Best
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Suresh Dinakaran @ISDGlobalDubai
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Managing Editor: Suresh Dinakaran Creative Head/Director Operations: Pravin Ahir Magazine Concept & Design/ New Media Specialist: Mufaddal Joher Business Development Director: Rishi Mohan Senior Hustler-Digital Marketing & Brand Development: Nikhil Thekkumkoottathil Brand Research & Creative Engagement Specialist: Anushka Kartha Country Head, Australia: Norbert D’Souza Country Head, UK: Sagar Patil Regional Director: Krishna Chugh Country Manager, India: Vinit Chugh Performance Marketing Architect: Ryan Govindan Video Content Specialist: Mikhaela Cena Brand Engagement and Outreach Specialist: Anuva Madan Content Development Specialist: Abijith Pradeep
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15 Most Drastic Logo Changes in Branding History How to Build A Winning Advertising Agency New Business Program Why More Brands Are Ditching The CMO Position Why Digital Media is Killing TV Advertising Tofu or Takeout: Why Eating Healthy Is So Hard How advertisers can get the most from VR, AR ads Take 5: How Companies Benefit from Corporate Social Responsibility The CMO Payoff for Aligning Creative and Marketing Five fears marketers should face immediately Balancing Act: How to Embrace Both Intuition and Structure in a Creative Freelance Career Should brands take a stand? Design Debate: Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Inspiration? The Science Behind the Growing Importance of Collaboration Brands are replacing sectors (and what this means) Could packaging play a new role in brand differentiation? Every Little Helps: How to use data to create an emotional connection Book, Line & Sinker
15 Most Drastic Logo Changes in Branding History By Ivan De Luce
Most logo changes by big brands are subtle. Think Coca-Cola — since the 1880s, its logo design has barely evolved. The Coca-Cola logo is ubiquitous and consistent, and it pays off: Coca-Cola is widely regarded as the most recognized brand worldwide. Some, however, are so drastic that they look as if they’ve been created for completely different companies. It can be risky to redesign a major logo, but many big brands are still willing to take the plunge. It doesn’t always end well. Clothing retailer Gap, for example, changed its logo in 2010, then reverted back to the old design just days after serious customer backlash.
In 1962, Pepsi introduced its sans serif logo that eventually inspired its current redesign.
Here are the most drastic logo redesigns in brand history.
Adolf Hitler is often credited for designing an early version of the iconic VW Beetle. The pre-WWII logo for the car manufacturer bears Hitler’s influence as well, a swastika-like symbol clearly outlining the letters. VW dropped the shape in 1939 for a cleaner design that resembled teeth on a gear. That design eventually became
When it came to design, the latter half of the 20th century marked a time of simplification. IBM’s logo evolution reflects this trend — its current design dates back to 1972. It’s meant to evoke “speed and dynamism,” according to IBM’s website.
Pepsi Pepsi represents the path that many brands have taken — phasing out lettering entirely until all that remains in a logo is the symbol itself. Pepsi’s first logo is illustrative of the design emphasis of the late 19th century. The more intricate a design, the better.
today’s button-like logo. The blue color wasn’t added until 1967, and Volkswagen has barely changed its look since.
Amazon Amazon’s original logo attempted to incorporate a river into the letter “A,” but only succeeded in making a shape that looks like neither.
based on a Norse woodcut of a siren spreading her tails. Over time, Starbucks covered up the siren’s breasts, then her tail, then did away with all wording in the logo in 2011.
“That river would have never conveyed a personality,” Claudine Jaenichen, an information design professor at Chapman University, told Marketplace. Today’s logo is more legible, and even includes an Easter egg— the arrow points from “A” to “z” to illustrate that the e-commerce giant has everything consumers need.
Granted, Audiwerke was only one of four companies that came to make up the Audi we know today. But given that it’s the namesake of the current company, its logo stands in stark contrast to the minimalist ring design, which was first introduced in 1932 and brought back in 1985.
Microsoft has changed its Windows operating system logo about as often as they’ve issued new versions of it. One of the first versions was Windows NT 3.5x, released in 1994 (pictured above). Rather than undergoing one drastic logo change, Windows went through several, which culminated in the ultra-minimalist 2012 design for Windows 8.
The original American Airlines logo featured an eagle flying between the company’s initials. American Airlines unveiled its current logo in 2013, after a merger with US Airways. The change came after 45 years of its previous logo, a straight-edge version of its iconic eagle placed above two Helvetica “A”s.
FedEx In 1994, FedEx was in need of a rebranding. They shortened the company name from Federal Express, and at the same
The Starbucks logo went through some small but deliberate changes over 40 years to get to its present state. According to the Starbucks website, the seafaring theme was
time changed their logo, which features a hidden arrow within the “Ex.”
The bold blue letters in today’s logo weren’t introduced until 1998.
The new logo’s designer, Lindon Leader, was immediately celebrated for the award-winning design.
Fiat’s bold logo evolution has been marked by many drastic redesigns. The original 1898 logo gave way to a bolder, clearer image with “FIAT” printed in gold. In the 1990s, however, the letters were scrapped in favor of diagonal stripes. Apple’s original logo, co-designed by Steve Jobs, depicted Sir Isaac Newton seconds away from revelation. It was complex to the point of being hard to look at, hence a quick switch, in 1976, to the rainbow apple, which has barely changed since.
Today’s logo is remarkably similar to the one Fiat used from 1959 to 1965.
Royal Dutch Shell’s logo hasn’t changed in substance over time, but there are miles between today’s design and the original. In 1941, Shell introduced its red and yellow color scheme mainly for their gas stations, which were meant to attract drivers’ eyes on the road. Its current logo dates back to 1999.
Mazda’s original logo, like Pepsi’s, is letter-oriented. The switch to the “M” logo occurred in 1997, after Mazda tried three different symbols before it. Each one was completely different from the last, but in the last two decades, Mazda has kept its look constant.
Nokia Nokia’s first logo dates back to the company’s origins as a Finnish industrial powerhouse. However, as times changed, Nokia’s logo needed to modernize. It went through a number of changes, including a red triangle with small red lettering, and a black ring with white lettering.
Compared with its contemporaries, Kodak’s earliest logo design was ahead of its time, due to its clean lines and sans serif lettering. In 1935, Kodak introduced its red and yellow color scheme, and hasn’t deviated from it since, despite a number of rebrandings.
How to Build A Winning Advertising Agency New Business Program By Peter Levitan
This is a 2019 UPDATE of 2016’s initial “How to Build A Winning Advertising Agency New Business Program” blog post. Advertising agency business development is now a 24/7 operation. Here is some advice on how to deliver. By the way, this post currently has over 32,900 views. The post’s popularity is due to three key reasons: 1. It directly addresses a major advertising agency pain point: how to build a winning and efficient new business plan. 2. The post is well optimized for search engines and, therefore… 3. Google loves it. [FYI, my number two trafficked post is, “How To Name Your Advertising Agency – Part One” at 30,000 + views. While always rethinking their website, advertising agencies also obsess about their name. by the way, this post is also a very good cheat sheet on naming that you can steal if a client ever needs a new brand name.
“How To Build…” is all about the most important thing an advertising agency can do (while it is nurturing its current clients)… run a new business program that ensures that the agency will keep growing. Agencies are like sharks. They must keep moving forward to eat or else. Your potential clients have over 4,000 marketing communications ‘agency’ options (other agencies, new consultancies, freelancers, even your ex-creative director…). Therefore, any form of business development passivity on your part – sucks. If you think you are doing everything right, you probably are not. How can I say this? I never thought that all was well whilst running business development at Saatchi & Saatchi and when I owned my own agency.
Here’s my “ad”: I suggest that you give me a shout and take me up on my Corleone offer – It’s hard to refuse.
OK, Let’s Go… When I owned Citrus, my Portland and Bend Oregon advertising agency, I woke up every morning (and even some nights) thinking hard about my agency’s business development program. I lived as if Nike, our largest client, was about to walk out the back door along with its revenues. I bet as an ad agency owner or manager you have rough nights too. One of the things I knew I could and should do was to manage this back-door issue was to have an active, I stress active, new business plan in place. Here are some (I stress some) of the elements of my new business plan. They helped me grow my agency Citrus (with new clients like Harrah’s, LegalZoom, Nike and the Montana Lottery). I hope my insights help you grow your agency.
EXECUTION RULES. When I set out to write this advertising agency new business post I didn’t think that it would be this long – a warning to the ADHD types. But, advertising agency new business planning is complex and is getting more complex every day due to the rapid changes in our industry and technology. That said, the devil in business development, you know what’s coming, is in the detail. Success is all about execution. For example, running a successful inbound biz dev program that attracts market attention must be based on a sound strategy and smart agency process if you want to run a 24/7 sales program. Staying the course is critical.
THE ADVERTISING AGENCY BUSINESS PLAN. FIRST THINGS FIRST. I have never been able to construct an effective business development program without first having an agency business plan. The business plan should include (at least): • Your agency’s business and business development objectives • An assessment of your current strengths and weakness (I have all of my clients do an internal SWOT analysis) • A competitive agency positioning (specialization is a good thing) • An analysis of your space in the world – as in, why would a client hire you? • Clear target market objectives and target market personas • A service plan (it might mean adding new services) • Your inbound and outbound (think Account Based Marketing) plan • The very important objective of running unignorable messaging • A dedication to being consistent and efficient – as in having a process Your business plan should also help you plan for your future
in the evolving world of marketing communications. I think that client confusion with the evolving state of advertising and marketing – this includes big and small clients – makes today a great time to be an agency. Winning agencies are resolving their business challenges, crafting the right services and guidance and, importantly, are willing to modify their business model to avoid disruption to achieve success. It is also imperative that you develop a roadmap for how to grow your current agency to become the agency of the future. The market, communication platforms and client expectations are changing rapidly. Assess your current strengths, weaknesses and how your agency expertise and personnel are going to stay ahead of change (do an annual SWOT analysis). Change can be very profitable. What if you could restart your agency using a blank sheet of paper? Would you build a replica of your current agency or would it look dramatically different? If you think that change is in order, you better get started. Here is a powerful mantra from General Eric Shinseki. “If you dislike change, you’re going to dislike irrelevance even more.”
THE AGENCY NEW BUSINESS PROGRAM – JOIN THE 34% Armed with your business plan you can get ahead of your competitors by having a comprehensive new business plan. Most agencies do not have a plan. Get this industry research… 66% Of Advertising Agencies Report That They Do Not Have a Business Development Plan. This Is Lunacy! Your plan should include most, if not all of the following: Conduct an agency brand review to determine if your current brand and services deliver market differentiation; build a positive reputation; generate incoming client interest and attract talented employees. Create a set of ‘buyer’ personas so you know exactly what type of client you want and how they think and act. Have a compelling agency brand story that is driven by your history, products, services and your personality. Need help? Read Seth Godin’s “All Marketers Are Liars.”
MANAGING THE PROCESS.
persistent and patient.
Unless your phone is ringing off the hook, your agency’s new business program must be an agency priority.
Use Account-Based Marketing. An ex-Microsoft exec, a client of mine, recently lauded Account Based marketing. He described it as something “new”. I quickly recognized it as ‘targeted sales’ and laughed. Whatever… it works. Here is a Wiki definition.
Agency leadership has to be actively involved with establishing new business objectives, strategic planning and execution. Stay on top of the process. Have at least bi-monthly new business planning meetings. Business development is 24/7. Your digital marketing program and management and staff activities must be ongoing and consistent. Hire a Business Development Director to help manage the new business program and act as the agency sales leader or hunter. This person’s key job is to get meetings with the right prospects. Use my Business Development Director’s compensation plan to orient their focus. Stimulate and empower others in the organization to participate. Everyone is responsible for growth. Best case, they will come up with a marketable new service. At the least, they should be keeping their eyes open for leads.
BE UNIGNORABLE. Yes, that’s Jennifer Lawrence on the left. I’m using her to make the point about being unignorable. To make it in Hollywood, where there are hundreds of wannabees, you’ve got to be unignorable. Same for the advertising industry. There are over 4,000 marketing agency options that your prospective client can access. These range from huge multinational agencies (and, yes they go after small clients too) to oneperson experts. Clients are baffled by the number of agencies and types and then how to choose between them. I firmly believe that the only way you will win the new business game is to be unignorable. Me Too marketing will not get you the clients you want. Stand out, make noise, say something different, be a sales entity and sell. Big point: your agency website, your digital front door, has only about 8 seconds to make an impression — and, get that client to want to make contact. 8 seconds. This isn’t a design issue. This is a sales issue. I urge you to read The Unignorable Advertising Agency.
PROSPECTING. Prospecting is a long-term play and takes time. Be prepared,
Account-Based Marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one. Simply put –> ABM = Targeted Outreach = Direct Interest = Sales. This is a big subject worth studying. It’s all about identifying the target company and its people and then having a sound plan to reach them with the information and insights they will want to read. Manage an active Excel prospect database and/or CRM system. If you have to, keep it simple – use a pad. But, do it. Build an “A-Level” prospect list. Establish selection criteria and do your research. I’ve always thought that there are three types of desirable clients: Those that pay well (that means they are profitable); those who demand great work; those who are famous and enhance your reputation. Two of the above are good. Pay well is best. My agency’s client Nike had all three. To build up-to-date lists I’ve used the services of The List Inc., Red Books and LinkedIn. You can also hire interns or go offshore for worker bee assistance. Build an email list to keep all prospects, clients, and associates aware of agency thought leadership, news and growth. Advertise. Yup, test targeted advertising on LinkedIn (via your corporate page); ditto on Facebook and Twitter. Referrals are good. Manage your referral process. Periodically ask your friends, family, business associates, employees (many don’t think about new business) and current clients for referrals. have a referral system. Track the career path and whereabouts of past clients. LinkedIn notifications could become your best friend. Read business publications, industry trade press, and pertinent websites. To manage agency time, assign information buckets to different staff members. Get past just reading the same trade press your competitors read.
A WORD ON INCOMING. PITCH LESS. Pitching and even working on everything that rings the doorbell can be a mistake. Qualify the lead. Pitching the right accounts will increase your batting average. Pitching the wrong accounts will sap your agency’s energy, cash and
time. Read my book on pitching if you want to find out why pitching everything that raises its hand can put you out of business. Remember, you have a business plan that lays out the type of clients you want and can win.
Run events for prospects and clients. My agency Citrus got senior executives from Facebook, Google, Google Maps, LinkedIn and Yahoo! to speak at our own Portland “Meet the Makers” events. We just had to ask nicely.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TOOLS.
Turn cold calling into warm calling. Yes, the phone still works – if handled with care. I like to soften the prospect with a series of insight-rich thought leadership mailings (if it’s email you will see if has been opened) and then call early to reach the key prospect before their day begins or to leave a minipitch voicemail. Consider having a script handy.
Years ago I heard Jonathan Bond of New York’s Kirshenbaum Bond make this comment about new business activity: “I don’t know what works so we do everything.” Here are some tools worth considering. Make sure that you have an agency website that sells. The great majority of agency websites do not. Get past brochureware. Here are some blog posts about how to create winning, sales-oriented agency websites. Maintain sales pressure. Schedule your outbound marketing to keep up consistent sales pressure — you can’t tell when a prospect will have a new project or an AOR account looking for a new agency. I’ve always made it an agency priority to send out high-value emails at least every four to six weeks. Deliver high-value thought-leadership. Clients are looking for strategic agencies and solutions to their pain points and objectives. But, keep in mind that you are not the only thoughtleader on the block. There are zillions of Google results for “best advertising blogs”. To beat these horrific odds you need to become a narrow-subject thought-leader to break through the clutter. It’s way better to become a niche advertising or category expert than be a Me Too generalist. Be smart. Before you make any calls, do basic research so you know about your prospect’s business, possible pain points and what sales messages might resonant. Have a smart sales script that puts the client first. Remember the rules of Account Based marketing. Want more inbound? Get your brilliant thinking out there via a strategic social media program. Blogs (uniques blogs that is), Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (sponsored posts work hard for me) and the strategic use of Instagram and Pinterest (yes, Pinterest) will take time — but work. Don’t forget SlideShare, YouTube videos and good old-fashioned white papers, monthly emails and speaking engagements. Get your brains out there and make the client you want you by looking like you can help them get their bonus. Do not overreach. One of the keys to social media success is selecting platforms that your agency can manage on a day-to-day basis. There are a lot of empty agency blogs and Twitter feeds that do much more harm to reputations than good.
Be efficient. Optimize and integrate everything you do. Try the Rule of Five. Amplify everything you do by five. The white paper goes in the mail (yes, mail); on your blog; on your LinkedIn page; out via Twitter and on SlideShare… You get the idea.
Email. Yes, email still works and volume is now being driven by increased mobile usage. But, make sure your emails have value and don’t overwhelm. KISS works here. Another big point: having an agency video on your website is nice (actually, I think it’s critical). But, having a video that goes beyond just being there to getting watched and passed along by your target audience because it provides value is way better. If your video drives incoming interest, tells your agency’s story and builds chemistry, you will drive lead generation. It is all about how you execute. Be different… Sometimes it is good to break out of digital… A personalized letter, as in paper, or mailing just might break through the digital clutter. How about an agency zine? Think even more different. Over the years, I’ve used online surveys, postcards, music CD’s, etched wine bottles, targeted micro-sites, digital mad libs (yes, mad libs); books like Jeffery Abrahams’ “101 Mission Statements From Top Companies” and even Krispy Kreme donuts to get meetings. Here is a case history for a food-smile-based program that announced our new Portland office. We delivered a box of hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a personalized digital promotional program to generate awareness and smiles. Get out of the office and go to events to hear new ideas and meet new people. Join relevant groups and organizations. Guest post to get more eyes on your thinking. See what I’ve done with my friends at HubSpot. Writing for them even got me a speaking gi at their huge fall event. Create some buzz. PR is your friend. I highly recommend that you think of PR as an essential business development tool. Win creative awards. Go get some EFFIE’s to support your ROI story. But, watch the award budget.
FIRST MEETINGS. Whatever solicitation marketing you did worked and you landed a meeting. Here are some first meeting basics: • Keep it simple. don’t overwhelm the clients. • Listen: Probe for problems. Consider going beyond solution sales to tell them what they should be worried about. For more on this sales technique, I suggest that you read “The End of Solution Sales” in the July – August 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review. • Sell something special: Deliver a USP. • Deliver an unignorable insight. Ask me about how to use
Google’s consumer research. • Make friends: Work the chemistry and dazzle. The master goal: Get a second meeting to keep the dialog going.
RFPS. Getting an RFP is like getting asked out on a date or for a test-drive. You should be flattered — but. To manage incoming, build a RFP decision matrix. You should quickly have an idea of which RFP’s to respond to and which aren’t worth the effort. RFP responses always chew up agencies. Make sure that this date is worthwhile. If it’s a go, ask for a meeting to discuss the RFP. If the client is unwilling to give you some time, you might want to pass. Read up on why you might want to NOT pitch that account. Here’s a decision matrix…do not Pitch that account! Keep your response lean. Chances are that the client has asked for too many responses and could become braindead by the time they get to yours. Make sure you answer every question in the RFP before you go beyond what they are asking for. Once you have ticked all the client boxes, go beyond. Don’t forget to include agency personality and consider an “Easter Egg” surprise element.
PITCHING. Oh, the uncertainty. Does the client have a favorite? Is this a strategic search or just a scheduled management or procurement exercise? Does the incumbent have an advantage? What type of agency is the client actually looking for? Who is the key decision maker? Do you present what they are asking for or what you think they need? Helping to understand the client’s motivations is where your most experienced management comes into play. Pitching is an art. I’ve been pitching new business since the ’80s, ran business development at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York and London and pitched often for my own agency. OK, I admit it… I want you to buy my book on pitching and presenting. You can buy it at Amazon right here. Here are what I believe are the primary elements of a perfect pitch process. This is only a topline list. • Pick a pitch leader and the right team for planning and writing. • Watch your costs. Create a budget. We have all seen pitch costs gone wild. • Create a timetable that includes strategy development,
creative development and staging and rehearsals. • Consider building a war room, it can be an online war room, to help focus your effort. • Determine the client, category and customer issues and opportunities and make sure you address them. • Use research to support your strategic insights. But, note that the other agencies might be doing the same. That said, clients are always interested in seeing brief strategic videos of their customers talking about their products and services. • Determine and manage how you communicate your strengths and manage your weaknesses. Consider doing an agency SWOT analysis through the client’s lens. • Talk more about them than you. Actually, talk much more about them. • Act like you really want the business. Surprisingly, I’ve been told by clients that not all agencies know how to look interested. • Pitches are theater. Stories are better than endless credentials. Case histories are better than showing endless amounts of work. For inspiration, watch Steve Jobs. • If you can, get the client to come to you. I’ve pitched in too many soulless client boardrooms or hotel conference rooms. It can be a buzz kill. • If you have to go to them, find a way to scout out the room and equipment ahead of the meeting. • Put your best presenters in the room. Don’t include talented but uninspiring people simply because it is their turn or that they worked on the pitch. I’ve made this mistake. It’s a bad one. Get ahead of the problem and train your team on how to present. Do this now. • Don’t forget to smile. Interpersonal chemistry wins pitches.
CONCLUSION. The business of running an advertising, digital, experiential, design, PR agency is hard work. Too many agencies sound alike. Clients are skittish and are overwhelmed by choice. It is therefore essential that you create and run a business development program that makes you a stand out candidate. That means that you need to look and sound like an agency that can clearly meet a client’s needs. That means that you need to have a standout brand and sales proposition. That means you need to both target the clients you want and are able to be found by them when they are out looking for you. I am Peter Levitan. I’ve worked with dozens of advertising, PR and digital agencies across the globe to create massively successful business development plans that add high-quality clients – faster.
WHY MORE BRANDS ARE DITCHING THE CMO POSITION A DEEP DIVE INTO WHY COMPANIES ARE RIDDING THEMSELVES OF THE LONG-RESPECTED CHIEF MARKETING ROLE By E.J. Schultz
Chief marketing officers, who have among the shortest tenures in the C-suite, are used to pressure. But now their very existence is coming under threat. Several big-name companies have recently done away with the CMO position altogether—including Johnson & Johnson, Uber, Lyft, Beam Suntory, Taco Bell and Hyatt Hotels, accelerating a trend that began a few years ago. Companies are consolidating marketing duties with executives who have broader mandates that often include sales and commercial functions such as product development, retail oversight and more. This has given rise to titles like “chief growth officer,” “chief experience officer,” “chief commercial officer,” “chief brand officer” and even “president of brands,”
the moniker Beam Suntory created in June when it opted not to fill its CMO job, which had been vacant for 10 months. It’s almost as if the word “marketing” itself needs a marketing campaign because it no longer encompasses all that goes into building brands and growing revenue. “We’re at that tipping point where we’re trying to decide what marketing really means in this era,” says Keith Johnston, VP and research director serving CMO professionals at Forrester, noting the rise of data-driven communication. To be sure, the CMO title remains fairly prevalent: 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have one at the corporate level, according to executive search firm Spencer Stuart. But that is down from 74 percent in 2009.
“Nobody is saying marketing is going away,” says Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers. The larger question is how the art and science of marketing is “melded together to create the best growth opportunities,” he says. “While I have a personal preference for a chief marketing officer, that is not to say a chief growth officer…is beyond the scope of being successful.” Evan Sharp, a consultant in the CMO practice at recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, says there is a “growing groundswell” to move away from the CMO moniker to reflect the new ways companies are reaching customers, including with data-driven personalized communication. Even Russell Reynolds is adapting: The firm is rebranding its CMO practice to be called “customer activation and growth.”
Financial accountability Historically “CMOs were all about outbound marketing and ‘we tell the customer who we are, what we stand for.’ Now it’s all about having a conversation with the customer being twoway,” Sharp says. “That’s often why these titles are changing, because the way companies are marketing has become a balance of left-brain, right-brain. It’s no longer all about creative.” Sharp pointed to Hyatt Hotels, which early last year eliminated its global chief marketing officer position, parting ways with Maryam Banikarim, who had held the post since 2015. The hotel chain created a chief commercial officer position, filling it with Mark Vondrasek, who reports directly to CEO Mark Hoplamazian and oversees a huge range of operations, including loyalty programs, global sales, revenue management, distribution strategy, corporate marketing, communications, digital and customer-service centers. The change was part of a larger corporate restructuring meant to “allow Hyatt to better focus, prioritize and coordinate its activities driving guest and customer engagement,” the company stated in a press release. Another bellwether is Coca-Cola Co., which did away with the global CMO title in 2017 after Marcos de Quinto departed. It marked the first time since 1993 that the beverage giant operated without a CMO. Marketing oversight was consolidated into the chief growth officer role, held by Francisco Crespo, who also oversees corporate strategy and retail relationships. Bringing the disciplines under a single leader helped Coke ensure that “building brands was not only creating strong preference and equity but also translating that equity into revenue and margin growth,” Crespo said in an email interview. One reason some companies have moved away from CMOs is that the role, in some cases, lacks financial accountability. That was partly why Beam Suntory created the president of brands position. It will be filled by former Carlsberg executive Jessica Spence, who gets profit-and-loss responsibility over the company’s largest global brands, working alongside region presidents. Her duties include global innovation and product
R&D in addition to integrated marketing communications and design. The old CMO role lacked “accountability for the performance of the brands,” Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi told Ad Age in a recent interview.
A broader remit Meanwhile, companies that had created the CMO position in recent years have recently decided they can do without it. For instance, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos. in June confirmed that CMO Alison Lewis, who had held the title since the company created it in 2013, was leaving and would not be replaced. The company attributed the move to a change in “business model” and said other executives would take over Lewis’ duties, including Michael Sneed, executive VPglobal corporate affairs and chief communications officer, who effectively oversaw the companywide marketing services organization, also including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, prior to Lewis’ arrival. The reign of Uber’s CMO was even shorter: In June, the ridesharing giant parted ways with Rebecca Messina after hiring her from Beam Suntory in September as the company’s firstever global CMO. Marketing was consolidated under senior VP Jill Hazelbaker, who also handles communications and public policy. “It’s increasingly clear that it’s crucial for us to have a consistent, unified narrative to consumers, partners, the press, and policymakers,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated in an email sent to employees describing the change. Uber competitor Lyft slashed the CMO role after Joy Howard, who held the position for just eight months, left earlier this year to become CMO at Dashlane, a start-up that makes an app designed to protect personal data online. Lyft, which had cycled through three top marketing executives in two years, opted to split marketing oversight across two roles: a VP of marketing operations, whose duties include media and consumer insights; and a VP of brand, overseeing creative and experiential. Like Uber, Taco Bell has also cited the need for crafting a consistent message across various consumer touchpoints as a rationale for doing away with the CMO title. CMO Marisa Thalberg was elevated to global chief brand officer at the beginning of 2018. The new title gives her oversight of a broad array of activities extending beyond traditional advertising, such as a branded Taco Bell pop-up hotel in Palm Springs, California that will be open for a few days in August. The title “speaks to a recognition that being responsible for the brand encompasses a bigger remit,” Thalberg says, including “stewardship of the brand in all its facets.” Contributing: Jack Neff, Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl
E.J. Schultz, Assistant Managing Editor at Ad Age.
Why Digital Media is Killing TV Advertising By Luke Pensworth
In 2018, research conducted by the Leichtman Research Group found that 78% of households still watch traditional satellite or cable TV. Looking at that statistic, you wouldn’t think that TV viewing is on the decline -- but it is, and with it, TV ad spend. For instance, considering research from the same group in 2018, you’ll see 69% of homes in 2018 were subscribed to a video streaming service -- which is up from 52%, just two years prior. On top of all that, internet usage itself has risen to over four billion users since last year. That number encompasses over half of the global population, with China, India and the United States ranking ahead of all other countries in terms of internet users. Traditional TV viewing has dropped dramatically since 2012, particularly among 18-24 year olds. In the next few years, we’re going to continue to see a decline of TV viewing -- and
with it, a steep drop-off of traditional TV advertising in favor of using digital media as the preferred advertising platform.
Even social networks like Facebook and Twitter are creating their own versions of video streaming.
Here, I’m going to explain why.
In addition, in 2019, digital ad spending will surpass TV ad spend, and traditional ad spend, for the first time ever. It’s also projected that by 2023, digital will exceed two-thirds of total media spending.
The Decline of TV Advertising TV advertising spend actually climbed 16% from 2010 to 2017, according to analysis by ARK Investment Management. And yet, conversely, TV viewing decreased in that time by 20%. In years past, TV was the only form of media you could use to reach a massive market during prime hours -- but now, people aren’t watching as much. The way we see it, there are a few components to this shift. First, a study by Omnicom Media Group’s Hearts & Science agency found that nearly half of Millennials and Gen Xers are no longer viewing video content on traditional TV. Instead, they are choosing to view content on newer streaming platforms -- Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube TV, which have been taking over the viewing space. In fact, on average, they’re consuming 30 hours of video content on streaming platforms per week. This makes these generations “unreachable” through traditional advertising methods, particularly since most streaming platforms, like Netflix, don’t allow brands to advertise on the site. Additionally, when these audiences do watch regular TV, they aren’t solely engaged in the show -- for instance, on commercial breaks they’re likely to pull out their phones or other devices, so they might not remember or watch TV commercials at all. If these losses continue as projected, by 2023 viewing hours could be less than half what they were in 2010, and cut in half again by the year 2028.
ARK’s research suggests that if marketers begin to take these dropping viewing hours into account and continue to shift their budgets toward digital methods, the United States’ TV ad revenue could plummet to less than half its current levels over the next 10 years. The Rise of Digital Advertising In contrast, online streaming platforms have been experiencing massive growth. For example, YouTube TV increased its viewership by more than 10X between 2010 and 2017.
But why exactly is this happening? Why the shift? Let’s dive into that further. Here, I’ll outline five reasons digital ad spending is surpassing traditional.
1. Digital media is cheaper. The cost difference between TV advertising and digital marketing methods is tremendous. A 30-second TV ad -which may or may not reach your ideal audience -- will cost you over one-third of a million dollars ... plus setup costs. In contrast, while you need to hire employees to conduct SEO and potentially invest in SEO products, SEO itself is free, and can help you organically reach your target audience over the long-term. PPC and email marketing have cheap set-ups, and could cost anywhere from a few cents per click to a few dollars. Frankly, that sort of disparity -- while it makes sense logistically -- is fairly ludicrous.
2. Digital marketing allows for better segmentation. Traditional TV advertising lets you broadcast to anyone who turns on the channel. To reach a specific audience to whom your product will appeal, you need to guess what sort of TV programming could appeal to your ideal demographic -- it’s difficult to apply or collect any audience-specific analytics. With TV advertising, the closest you can get to understanding a TV channel’s audience is through ratings like Nielsen ratings or the Gross Ratings Point. These ratings are used to estimate the percentage of the desired demographic on a particular channel through statistically relevant sampling. The downside to TV ratings like Nielsen is that, 1) these are estimates, not exact numbers; and 2) as an advertiser, you still need to pay to broadcast to anyone who views that channel, not just your intended demographic. It’s a wide-net strategy. Digital media methods, however, are able to mine personal data on a more individual level, allowing for dramatically greater personalization. You’re searching for a “green Columbia jacket?” Well, my company has that jacket, and we’ve applied the right filter to catch your search term on Google instantly. If you don’t buy the jacket today, that’s okay -- we can use retargeting to show you an ad on your social networks about our green Columbia jacket, and remind you of your interest in the future. Plus, we can create different ads for different segments -hikers looking for sturdy Columbia jackets in the summertime, versus skiers who need athletic cold-weather jackets. TV can’t say the same -- it’s estimates and wide-nets all around.
3. Digital marketing is more agile. Leading off the last point, digital media advertising methods allow you to track, measure, and make adjustments necessary to optimize your ads -- in real time. Everything from adjusting a few words, a color, or a filter can be done quickly, and cheaply. Every change you make to your digital marketing campaigns or content can be made quantifiable by tracking CTRs and conversion rates to identify exactly where something needs to be tweaked, and how -- and, again, you’ll see quickly if you made the right choice. TV ads, in contrast, need time to see if they’ll pan out, and they can’t be adjusted easily ... or affordably. You can make multiple versions upfront of the same advertisement to air in different regions, but beyond that, it’s clumsy and expensive to make tweaks and adjustments.
4. Video ads are online now, too. TV used to be the king of storytelling -- in a short span of time, you’d get a scene, a protagonist, a problem, and a solution. Internet initially just used banner ads, which, while annoying, were effective -- but only in the short-term. Eventually, digital advertisers had to figure something else out. Slowly, they started to determine more versatile methods -- images, images in slide decks, and video. Users are already increasingly shifting toward the internet and internet content as their preferred method of entertainment. Online video ads are a powerful threat to TV because it’s ultimately a familiar type of storytelling, and on the platform preferred by consumers.
5. Advertising follows attention. As mentioned earlier, viewing has shifted from traditional
media to digital. And ultimately, where attention shifts, advertising should follow. In 2019, brands will need to consider digital methods if they want to reach their target audience, many of whom are using online streaming services more than they’re using their cable box.
Why TV Is Still Around I’m going to play contrarian for a moment, here. Digital media seems to be killing TV advertising, but maybe it’s not -- or, at least not entirely. Research by WARC suggests that consumers actually pay more attention to ads on TV than they do on YouTube or Facebook. In fact, TV held more than twice the active viewing than YouTube, and 15 times more than Facebook. Ultimately, TV still works for advertising. It’s often effective to diversify the channels on which you promote your products or services -- and TV is one of those channels. So, while digital media may be killing TV advertising’s spot as the #1 channel, it likely won’t go entirely by the wayside. However, we’re going to say it again -- where attention shifts, advertising follows. Despite research suggesting things aren’t as dire for TV ads as you might think, the numbers are still pretty clear on at least one front: more consumers are shifting toward viewing content online. This means, as marketers, you need to be devoting more of your budget to where your audience is. TV doesn’t have to be cut entirely -- and probably shouldn’t be -- but finding the right mix of digital and TV is critical for finding success in this new age of online-first viewing. Luke is the founder and the editor-in-chief of DailyWireless. As far as he could remember, he’s always been a wireless enthusiast/consumer. He detests many reviews he finds online, as he keeps ending up investing in services and products he isn’t satisfied with at all.
Tofu or Takeout: Why Eating Healthy Is So Har By Knowledge@Wharton
A Saturday morning trip to the farmer’s market is as popular now as garage sales were a generation ago; restaurants are touting their farm-to-table offerings, and even the smallest grocery store has a healthy foods aisle. Eating healthy is easier than ever, yet people around the world are consuming more processed and packaged food than at any time in human history, with devastating effects on health. A new book from food writer Bee Wilson, The Way We Eat Now: How the Food Revolution Has Transformed Our Lives, Our Bodies, and Our World, examines how food, which should be one of life’s greatest pleasures, has become a source of anxiety, obsession and confusion. Wilson also holds the food industry and policymakers accountable for pushing mixed messages and helping consumers get hooked on cheap, fast, easy foods. The Knowledge@Wharton radio show on SiriusXM invited Wilson to talk about the paradox of the modern diet. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.) An edited transcript of the conversation follows. Knowledge@Wharton: How much has the food industry changed in the last decade or so?
Bee Wilson: It has changed hugely over the past five years, 10 years, 50 years. If you think the way our grandparents’ generation would have eaten and drunk, water was the normal drink. People had regular meals. There weren’t many snacks between meals. Now there are so many snacks, it’s almost as if between-meals are taking up more of our day than meals. And some people are obsessing more about the nutritional content of their post-gym protein bar than they are about what they’re having for dinner. Almost everything has changed — how we eat, what we eat. Knowledge@Wharton: You’re right that three square meals have gone by the wayside because we’re now thinking about eating smaller amounts more frequently over the course of the day. Wilson: Exactly. It’s partly that the way we eat has this intricate relationship with the way we live. We’ve been saying for decades that we’re too busy to cook. But one of the new things now is people saying they’re too busy to eat, which is really bizarre and strange. You look at these new drinks Soylent, where people think they don’t have time to sit and chew and swallow, so they’re going to swallow some kind of
beige liquid instead. I’m not knocking it. I interviewed some really intelligent people for the book who said it worked for them.
“We’ve been saying for decades that we’re too busy to cook. But one of the new things now is people saying they’re too busy to eat, which is really bizarre and strange.” If you look at what’s sold as food that’s affordable, it’s so greasy and unhealthy that they would rather drink one of these liquids and then maybe cook themselves a nice homecooked dinner in the evening. But to me, that’s a sign of how radically food has failed in its job, which should be both to nourish us and give us pleasure. These days, it seems like it doesn’t do a very good job of either. Knowledge@Wharton: At the start of the book, you wrote that even grapes have changed over the last several years. Wilson: Grapes have changed hugely. I do end by saying grapes are the least of our worries. I’m not saying stop eating grapes, by any means. Grapes are still fruit. Grapes are still far more healthful than 90% of what’s being sold as food. But you look at grapes and think, “Well, they’re very ancient and unchanging. The ancient Romans had grapes. They’ve been in wine production for centuries.” But if you look at what’s sold as grapes, they’re completely different from what grapes were in the past. We used to have grapes that had seeds in them, whereas now these seedless grape varieties have been around for a long time, but they weren’t normal. I’m not saying we necessarily want grapes to have seeds in them, but the seeds had nutrients. If you get a bunch of white, seedless grapes in the supermarket, it doesn’t have the same vital nutrients that you’re expecting grapes to have. It doesn’t have the health benefits. It’s very sweet, like almost everything that we eat. Almost everything about grapes has changed, almost without us noticing. Knowledge@Wharton: We have seen the rate of obesity increase here in the United States, but is it an international problem? Wilson: It’s hugely a global story. That was the biggest surprise to me when I began doing the research. I’d read so many things and had so many conversations about this being a Western problem, and it’s no longer a Western problem. On every continent, there has been this common, radical set of changes from savory foods to sweet ones, from meals to snacks. These changes are happening so rapidly in some countries such as Brazil and Mexico. They’re the kinds of changes that took the U.S. decades to reach that level of obesity and tooth decay and Type 2 diabetes that’s now happening in places like Mexico in under a decade.
Knowledge@Wharton: Can you talk about the transition to more packaged and processed foods over the years and how that has made eating healthy a challenge? Wilson: It has changed hugely. As with everything, it’s a question of ratio. There are processed foods, which might be something like a can of tomatoes. Well, that’s quite a useful kind of processed food. But ultra-processed food would be anything from junk food to sweetened breakfast cereals. Those now make up 50% of what the average person in the U.S. buys as food, which is huge. Nobody is saying you’re going to die if you occasionally eat a bowl of breakfast cereal, if that gives you pleasure. But when 50% of what people are eating is ultra-processed, something quite deep has changed. There’s a whole series of studies done showing that when people eat ultra-processed foods, we overeat because they’re very easy to over consume. They’re also linked with higher levels of diet-related cancer.
“Nobody is saying you’re going to die if you occasionally eat a bowl of breakfast cereal. But when 50% of what people are eating is ultraprocessed, something quite deep has changed.” Knowledge@Wharton: But we also see a lot of people who are eating more pork. I know how you prepare it plays a role, but pork is seen as a healthier option than some of the things that people eat. Wilson: Yes, so this is interesting. It’s a deeply economic story, as well. It is, as I see it, simultaneously a really happy story and a sad story. It really is the best and worst of times. The reason these changes happen across the world is because when incomes rise, people move away from farms into cities. Lots of other things change. They buy electric rice cookers if they’re in Asia. They buy microwaves if they’re everywhere else. Meat is another huge part of the story. People buy themselves the foods that their grandparents dreamed of eating, which were luxury foods, feast foods. That eventually means sugar and meat, but also oil. That was a big surprise to me. I knew that our diets were really high in sugar. Sometimes people say, “What’s wrong with modern diets is that they’re so low in fat and high in sugar,” which is true, except for the “low in fat” part. It turns out that even more than sugar, what we’re consuming is loads of cheap vegetable oils. It’s partly because they go into these ultra-processed foods, but it’s partly because in places like China, people dreamed of vegetable oil as a kind of luxury. In the old days of famine, fat was literally almost like riches. Then suddenly incomes go up, the price of oil goes down, it’s there in every store, and people almost don’t notice that they’re just pouring in five times as much oil as people would have done in the past.
It’s the same with meat. Pork was something that’s always been a luxury food in China. But only now can people afford to buy as much of it as their heart desires. Knowledge@Wharton: In the U.S., younger generations are moving in greater numbers to cities. How has that changed eating habits and efforts at eating healthy food? Wilson: I think one of the saddest things about how we eat today is that eating, which is fundamentally for human beings, should be a really social activity. It becomes something quite lonely for so many of us. It’s not that there’s anything wrong in eating a meal by yourself. After all, about a third of households in places like the U.S. and U.K. are single-person households. You can have a delicious meal by yourself. It can be a way of really taking care of yourself at the end of a long working day. But the sad thing is that so often we are just in this kind of little bubble, ordering in something from Uber Eats, staring at a screen, not really giving our meals this kind of social aspect that you were describing of going to a pub, being with friends. I think that would be a huge loss if we lose out on that. Because food feeds a lot more than just our bodies. It’s also culture, it’s belonging, it’s mental health. I came across a really interesting study that looked at Japanese-American men in California and their rates of heart disease. Some of them had much higher heart disease than others, but it wasn’t [tied] to what they eat, it was the extent to which they were still eating in social groups in quite a ritualized way, as they had done back in Japan. I thought that was really telling, because our culture is endlessly telling us we’re too busy to eat, we’re too busy to sit down. It’s also telling us food doesn’t matter very much. And none of those things, it turns out, are true. Knowledge@Wharton: You note there is more information and disinformation about food than ever, which has changed the industry in different ways. Can you talk about that?
“Food feeds a lot more than just our bodies. It’s also culture, it’s belonging, it’s mental health.” Knowledge@Wharton: It’s not just what we eat, it’s how much we eat. We know that there are a number of health threats associated with obesity, but we are also talking about the higher medical costs involved. That’s an even larger story in the U.S. right now because of our fractured health care system. Wilson: That’s a huge story. Another part of the story, which I think doesn’t get talked about enough, is how do we talk about people with obesity? I have a section in the book on weight stigma, and it’s something we don’t examine anything like enough. If you’re looking at societies like the U.S., where two-thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese, how is it that we can still be writing such horrible, judgmental newspaper headlines suggesting that people with obesity are lacking in willpower, when the entire food environment has changed. We’re living in a world flooded with sugar, and in some sense not to be overweight or obese is to react against such environments. One of the many things I think is wrong with how we eat is that we blame ourselves and our own bodies too much, and we don’t look outwards at the environment that made us this way. Knowledge@Wharton: What needs to happen to get people to start eating healthy food? So many issues need to be dealt with, but if we’re able to tackle them one or two at a time, what needs to be approached? Wilson: It’s overwhelming because it’s huge, it’s everything. As an individual, I have some suggestions at the end. They’re very simple and obvious things, like making time for cooking, especially learning to cook things that you actually want to eat, and reconnecting with your senses.
Wilson: It’s so confusing, and it’s so polarizing. On the one hand, you have these people saying, “If you eat a single bite of carbohydrate, your insulin levels will go sky high.” On the other hand, you’ve got people advocating really purist vegan diets. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being vegan. I’m just saying there’s a sub-strand of clean eating where people are feeling that if they put anything in their body that’s not “pure,” that there’s something wrong with that.
But a lot of this change, in my view, has to happen at a government level. I’ve taken inspiration from a few places around the world. The government of Chile has enacted the most radical food laws the world has ever seen. They have banned cartoon characters from boxes of frosted, sugary kids’ cereals because they see that as an incitement to sell sugar. When I first heard this, I thought it was amazing. They also have these very clear stop signs on certain foods that are high in sugar or high in saturated fat. I think that’s one way to go.
And that makes me really sad. It feels like our eating is becoming kind of angry, polarized, quite disordered in some ways. There’s a lot of shame and guilt around food, and of course it’s a brilliant marketing device for the food industry. No matter what worry or concern somebody has, it can be packaged and sold back to us at an inflated price, as something “protein-boosted” or “guilt-free dark chocolate snack” or whatever it might be.
The other thing I would love to see more of is food education. I’ve been heavily involved in this project in the U.K. called TastEd, where we go into schools, bring in delicious fresh produce, and just get the kids to interact with the food with all of their senses. It’s just amazing. I’ve met 12-year-olds who’ve never eaten a raw tomato in their life, so they don’t know if they like tomatoes or not because they’ve never had the chance to make up their minds.
It’s really hard. I think the thing that’s most missing in the way eat now is that we don’t seem to trust our own senses anymore to tell us what to eat. It’s as if we don’t actually know what food is anymore.
It’s not going to be the whole answer, but I feel like a combination of better government regulation of the food supply, education — and I feel like consumers slowly maybe are shifting themselves in a healthier direction.
How advertisers can get the most from VR, AR ads VR ADS IN 2019: WHAT’S WORKING, AND WHAT’S NOT By Ara Parikh
Look at a typical advertising trade pub in 2019 and you’ll see headlines around big marketing-first brands like Apple and Nike, buzzy technologies like voice, AI, and blockchain, and rallying cries against power and privacy violations. In 2016 and 2017, it was virtual reality that dominated these headlines. But as those new tech trends emerged, those headlines stopped. In 2018, we wrote about how we still saw yet tremendous demand for VR/AR advertising, having served 1 billion VR/AR ads. We learned three big lessons last year, namely that ad performance, turnkey distribution across platforms, and live in-market demos were the key to VR advertising success…not big headlines. It’s 2019 now and the new year brings an entirely new learning: the key to broader mainstream VR advertising success is all about using lighter forms of immersive ad experiences. Why is this? People today still think of virtual reality as a hyper-futuristic technology: giant headsets set in the sci-fi worlds of Black Mirror and Ready Player One. However, there is still a lack of mass adoption of these headsets that’s needed to put VR in a place of prominence and used in the real world, not a made up one.
Even so, this has not stopped advertisers from leveraging the fundamental concepts of VR to get better audience engagement in their marketing campaigns — a very pragmatic objective. Fundamentally, virtual reality is about creating a digital experience that goes beyond typical flat, 2D content. Using this definition, different types of content can harness this underlying concept to create technologies that create a similar, but lighter, experience to virtual reality. Call it bang for buck — no headset required.
Why are brands moving from flat to immersive content? Before understanding the different approaches to lighter immersive content, it’s critical to understand why brands are investing in immersive content at all. Any shift in creative approach requires effort and exploring the unfamiliar, so how do brands come to the decision to transform their ad content? Ultimately, it’s not about trying the “cool, new thing.” Rather, it’s about advertising performance — the actual goals on clicks, views, and engagements that marketers use to measure success. This was true in 2018 and it’s still true in 2019 (and will hold true in 2020, 2021 …). Trying new content formats is an investment, and companies need to be able to justify that investment. To create ads that engage audiences and increase sales, brands are increasingly turning to immersive content for performance reasons. For instance, Cathay Pacific found great marketing success through an immersive ad campaign. Immersing viewers using 360° video technology, they allowed potential customers to experience how it feels to travel with their airline from checking in at the airport all the way to lounging in their cabin. The brand found it easier to distribute these experiences by having people view on mobile and desktop, rather than plug in a headset, which enabled the campaign to reach more people and perform better. This ad campaign not only saw higher than average clickthrough rates but also increased unaided awareness by 29%, brand favorability by 25%, and preference for airline 12% compared to control ads that used the same creative and targeting, but were flat and 2D. In other words, by using immersive content, Cathay Pacific found both increased ad engagement and significant sales uplift, when measured by clicks and cost-per-conversion.
completely immerse viewers by requiring more active engagement (be it through moving around a smartphone or using a VR headset), they can see a more complete story. -
From a 2018 internal study based on over 700 million ads served, we found 360° videos had an 85% completion rate compared to 2D video’s 58% completion rate.
• Consideration Stage: Product Interaction -
Having 3D objects within display ads helps consumers more actively learn about and interact with products. Because users can interact with a 3D model of a product by twisting and turning it, companies have seen higher levels of engagement within an ad unit.
Last year, Takis experimented with a 3D object display ad, and they found it to be a success with a 7.7% engagement rate.
• Intent Stage: Stage: AR Try-Ons -
Augmented reality increases click-performance, storytelling, and product interaction because users are able to directly interact with products through this technology, see how it would fit in with their environment, and have a direct link to purchase.
Consider this Michael Kors glasses AR try-on from Facebook, which allows users to try on glasses using a filter and purchase, all within a Facebook ad. Our findings show that users spent on average 30 seconds using AR experiences.
Fitting immersive format to the goal Brands today are deciding which “lighter” immersive format is appropriate for their needs based on their business and marketing performance objectives. Certain formats fit different marketing goals better across the consumer buying journey. For example: • Click-performance -
To improve click-performance, a 360° or 3D photo banner works best. We have found that 360° ads had a 22X CTR compared to 2D ads and 3D photos ads reduced cost per conversion by 25%.
• Awareness Stage: Visual Storytelling -
For visual storytelling, 360° videos help make a stronger impression. Because these methods
Above: Options for immersive advertising
VR advertising today, in anticipation of the future So what is the current state of VR advertising? Due to the lack of physical headsets used by consumers, there is a limit put on VR advertising capabilities today. As a result, companies, instead, utilize the fundamental principles of VR advertising without using VR itself. And this is catching on. The latest ad industry trends indicate that creating using immersive ads is becoming easier & easier.
Big tech uses light VR A lighter form of immersive advertising
content into their digital ad stack. • Google -
Google recently expanded its Poly platform with the addition of a new ad unit, Swirl, which focuses on adding interactive 3D content into a banner ad, and a 3D editor, which users can use to enhance their Swirl ads through features such as changing backgrounds, adding animations, and reflections.
The search engine also now allows for 3D objects in search results, which can also be viewed in an AR setting
• YouTube: -
The video platform expanded its features by integrating a 360° video functionality for the platform.
YouTube also recently revealed expanded AR capabilities, which would allow viewers to “try-on” makeup products in various shades.
• Facebook: -
In 2018, Facebook launched 3D object posts and 3D photo posts to the News Feed, further exploring the possibilities of light immersive content.
Like YouTube, the social media behemoth has integrated 360° video in their apps and browsers, accessed on desktop and mobile
While, ultimately, with the advancement of technology, the economy will shift towards physical VR headsets and VR ads, we see companies utilizing the underlying concepts of VR to more easily create immersive experiences that can be distributed at scale. Above: A lighter form of immersive advertising
Big Tech is already implementing lighter forms of immersive
Ara Parikh heads product marketing at OmniVirt, a 360 degree VR advertising platform for brands and publishers.
Take 5: How Companies Benefit from Corporate Social Responsibility CSR IS IN VOGUE. AND IT CAN HELP A FIRM’S BOTTOM LINE. By Emily Stone
Corporate social responsibility has been a buzzword for a while. And it’s not hard to see how communities stand to benefit when firms are serious about CSR—be it by participating in a clean water campaign or having a large philanthropic presence. But what about the firms themselves? How does doing good affect their bottom line? Here, Kellogg faculty share research and perspectives on how companies can also benefit from engaging in socially responsible activities.
at Kellogg when the research was conducted and is now at the University of Iowa. Instead, when a company devotes resources to a CSR program, it sends a signal to investors about the overall health and financial performance of the company. Specifically, companies whose CSR spending exceeds investor expectations experience positive stock returns. The opposite is true if the CSR spending is less than investors had expected, the researchers find.
To start with, how do investors react when a company directs its resources toward CSR programs?
And this investor response occurs despite the fact that, as the research found, overall, CSR expenditures do not generate a return on investment, so in isolation, they would be expected to reduce shareholder value.
The answer has less to do with the CSR initiatives themselves than previously thought, according to research from professor emeritus Thomas Lys and assistant professor James Naughton, both of the accounting information and management department, as well as Clare Wang, who was
So what is at work? The researchers explain that when investors see a firm withhold or devote resources to CSR initiatives, they infer that its executives are acting on private information about the future earnings and cash flows of the firm. In other words, CSR is what “rich” companies do.
1. Pinpointing the Benefit of CSR
2. Going Green Pays Off
Most research examining the effects of CSR—and in particular, environmentally friendly activities— has focused on company stock price. Operations professor Sunil Chopra chose a different angle. He and a co-author analyzed how eco-activities affect companies’ operating performance—a range of measures that include costs, revenues, margins, and profits.
That was the focus of research from marketing professor Alexander Chernev. He and a coauthor found that knowing that a company has behaved ethically can cause customers to perceive that company’s products as performing better. They call this effect a “benevolent halo.”
They used a database of press releases to identify companies in the computer and electronics industry that announced an eco-activity between 2000 and 2011 and that had publically available financial data. Then they paired each company with a control firm that did not initiate eco-friendly practices but was similar across a variety of other factors. When the researchers analyzed the operating performance of companies for two years prior to the announcement and two years following it, they found that, overall, eco-activities paid off: companies that pursued them performed better than those that did not, and the difference was especially striking in the second year following the announcement. The biggest long-term benefit went to companies that engaged in activities that were more complex, such as those that followed the directives of a standard-setting organization like LEED or required collaboration with other companies. For example, Hewlett-Packard adopted new technology from Citrix Systems designed to lower the consumption of power and cooling resources in computer servers. “If you’re just doing something like changing the light bulbs, that’s simple and has an immediate benefit,” Chopra says. “But collaborations often involve other parts of the supply chain. They’re more complex, and they require an initial investment. But they do seem to pay off.”
3. The Benefits of CSR Contracting More and more companies are tying their CEO’s compensation to achieving CSR goals, a tool known as CSR contracting. Kellogg’s Dylan Minor wondered how effective such contracts really are—at benefiting society, as well as the firm. So Minor and coauthors built a database of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that use CSR contracting. The pace of growth in CSR contracting was remarkable. As of 2013, “almost 40 percent of public companies were currently contracting in some form,” says Minor, an assistant professor of managerial economics and decision sciences. “Going back ten years, it was only 12 percent.” The researchers then used three measures from outside organizations to assess each company’s actual behavior. They found that on all three measures—toxic chemical emissions, the number of eco-friendly patents filed, and an overall rating of social responsibility—companies improved when they used CSR contracting. Perhaps more striking: these improvements did not come at the expense of a company’s bottom line. In fact, the research found that CSR contracting led a firm’s value to increase by three percent over the next year.
4. You Can Taste the Benevolence How far do the effects of CSR reach? Can it impact the way customers perceive not just a company, but a company’s
“This is a different story than just saying, ‘People like the company more,’” Chernev says. “The increase in positive perception is not based on advertising. Consumers actually experience the product in a different way.” The researchers devised a series of experiments in which consumers were able to sample a product—such as tasting wine or inspecting the results of a teeth whitener—and evaluate its performance. Some participants were presented with written descriptions of the company’s socially responsible behavior: for instance, that the company behind the teeth whitener had made sizable donations to UNICEF, or that the winery donated part of each sale to the American Heart Association. Importantly, the charitable giving was entirely unrelated to the company’s core business. Nonetheless, participants who were told about the giving consistently rated product performance higher than those who did not learn of any giving. Yet, not all corporate giving is rewarded with a benevolent halo, the researchers found. For one, customers need to have some uncertainty about a product’s performance—otherwise there is no need to infer information about the product based on the company’s social responsibility. In the wine-drinking experiment, participants who considered themselves to be inexperienced wine drinkers were more affected by the charitable donations than those who had more self-reported expertise. Moreover, consumers must believe the company’s motives to be authentically benevolent, rather than merely selfinterested. And the halo effect is strongest for customers who believe that corporations have an obligation to act charitably.
5. “If You’re Inconsistent, You’re Toast” How has CSR changed over the years? A conversation last year between Shannon Schuyler, the chief corporate responsibility and purpose officer at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Megan Kashner, Kellogg’s director of social impact, addresses this question. For example, according to Kashner, entire industries are coming together around issues they think are important to society and to their business. Companies, Schuyler explains, “say, ‘I don’t care if we go head-to-head on the shelves. If we do this together, we help our industry more than if we went it alone.’” She points to issues like banding together to oppose North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill.” “Leaders are talking with their colleagues on a daily basis because they don’t want to get things wrong or appear out of step.” Another trend, says Schuyler, who is also an adjunct lecturer of social impact: “Today, if you’re inconsistent, you’re toast. You’ve got to stand for something, and you have to make sure that your behaviors and your values guide you through the decision-making process.”
The CMO Payoff for Aligning Creative and Marketing By Alex Withers
Studies and countless anecdotes show that CMOs are increasingly taking work in-house and building internal creative agencies. They hope that bringing deep brand knowledge inside the business will yield higher quality creative and provide greater efficiencies for their overall marketing organization. However, there are indications that things may not be going as planned. A recent survey of 566 creatives and marketers – conducted jointly by my company, inMotionNow, and InSource, a professional organization for in-house creatives – found a sizable number of respondents seemingly lack confidence in their leadership and reported morale issues. For example, just 64 percent of respondents said their creative leadership is effective and even fewer (54 percent) said their marketing leadership is effective. Less than half (45 percent) said morale on the creative team is high. Why? The organizational transformation has unfolded in such a way that it has knocked these two teams out of alignment. Marketing leaders must realize they can’t just bolt on a creative team and expect miracles. We know this because it shows up repeatedly in the data: in a climate where many businesses brought substantial creative resources in-house, just half (47 percent) said the
relationship between creative and marketing was better this year in comparison to the previous year. Likewise, collaboration between marketing and creative didn’t fare much better with just 51 percent saying collaboration was effective. In other words, upwards of half the combined team in some organizations aren’t playing well with each other. Collaboration, or the lack thereof, has an outsized impact on ordinary day-to-day tasks. Nearly half (46 percent) of creatives indicated they don’t get enough information in the creative brief to just to begin a project – and most (72 percent) say it’s is the single biggest administrative task that soaks up time that could be better spent being creative. Moreover, an astonishing 79 percent of creatives said they receive feedback on the performance of creative assets just some of the time or not at all. These statistics suggest a consistent theme of troubled collaboration throughout the core process. Creatives don’t get the information they need at project kick-off, which means campaign expectations aren’t aligned, and therefore, unsurprisingly there’s a lack of feedback and performance insight. How can marketing expect better performing creative if a collaborative process does not exist? The simple answer is… they can’t. As a result, higher quality creative and marketing efficiencies never materialize – and the deep brand knowledge remains untapped.
Creative Process is Lost in the In-House Shuffle Our study isn’t the only one that’s bringing awareness to the scope of the problem. Indeed, a new report by the CMO Council – Reshaping Global Engagement Operations – found similar viewpoints among senior marketing leaders: “Serious questions about structure and resource alignment were called into question as marketers shared that rather than an aligned network of connected in-house and agency resources, 76 percent faced a disconnected and scattered collection of multiple creative teams, partners and contractors whose responsiveness and capabilities were in need of improvement (according to 32 percent of senior leaders), more often failing to meet the needs of both global and local marketing execution.” Scattered organizations usually have disparate processes and that data suggests it’s hindering execution. In addition, the lack of alignment is beginning to cast doubt on the future of marketing performance as well: “Only 10 percent of marketers are exceedingly confident in their current capabilities while 39 percent admit that they are still hedging their bets… confident in their teams, but willing to admit there is plenty of room for things to go horribly wrong.” It’s clear that something is being lost in the shuffle. I suspect, in the course of moving creative teams in-house, one of two things have happened: 1. The marketing team treated their creative agency like a vendor – a factory for prettying things up – rather than a strategic partner. Subsequently, when the CMO brought that creative team in-house, marketing naturally treated this team the same way; “mechanical artists,” as one respondent put it in our survey. 2. In the course of bringing the creative team in-house, marketing leaders lost the commitment to process and collaboration that outside agencies demanded to do work effectively: strong creative briefs, project management, traffic control and analysis and feedback.
The Payoff for Aligning Creative and Marketing In order to reap the benefits of in-housing, creative and marketing teams must develop a strategic relationship. It means marketing leaders need to establish clear standards, documented processes, open communication and culture where marketing and creative both harbor a healthy respect for one another. There are sizable benefits – a payoff – for focusing on this area too. When we cross-analyzed the answers to our survey by just those teams that reported strong alignment between creative and marketing, the results were significant. Strongly aligned creative and marketing teams are: • 18 percent more likely to say collaboration is effective;
• 16 percent more likely say their marketing leadership is effective; • 12 percent more likely to report using best practices; • 12 percent more likely to have high morale; and • 11 percent more likely to say their creative leadership is effective These aren’t just feel-good statistics, rather these translate into high performing teams that produce real business benefits. For example, the pro-basketball team Minnesota Timberwolves shared an anecdote in the study, that a highly collaborative process builds trust and fosters cultural environment also leads to better feedback. “Creative can freely focus on being creative knowing marketing is simply looking to keep the creative on brand and ensure it performs optimally,” wrote Courtney Brown, the creative project manager for the organization. The result? The collaboration between creative and marketing analysts discovered ticket sales improved when creatives used a logo on their promotional material, as opposed to player imagery.
Three Ways CMOs can Align Creative and Marketing If you’ve grown your in-house team and you see things are going sideways – what can you do? In my experience, there are three key areas senior marketing leaders should focus on:
1) Create parity among teams. The first step is to create parity between these two teams. Dispel all notions of “internal client” and “internal service agency” and replace it with a philosophy of collaborative partners in pursuit of the same business goals. To paraphrase my colleague Andy Brenits, president of the InSource board of directors, creatives don’t serve anyone, they are every bit strategic partners.
2) Foster a culture of respect. It’s not enough to demand process – people need to know why as well. CMOs can foster a culture of mutual respect with understanding. This has a profound upside across the organizations because marketers that understand the creative process tend to be stronger marketers. Likewise, creatives that understand the metrics of marketing produce better creative.
3) Embrace collaborative tools. Marketing has poured all sorts of budget into technology: marketing automation, multitouch attribution software, and programmatic advertising among others. These have improved the efficiency of distribution in marketing, which ironically, all depend on content developed by the creative team. If there’s ever been a time to arm creatives with collaborative technologies that drive efficiency, improve creative productivity and facilitate alignment with marketing, it’s now.
Five fears marketers should face immediately By Matt Zilli
Courageous marketers are beginning to break barriers in many areas – not for fun, but because they have to, says Matt Zilli. It’s the only way to successfully ride today’s rapid cycles of change and continually increase engagement with customers. The time to act is now. Marketers must move boldly and eliminate fears in these five areas if they are to stay relevant. Here’s how to start:
1. Fear of technology The sheer volume of marketing data today is both daunting and exhilarating. Marketers need to get their arms around their available data and listen to what it can tell them – yet most marketers have only 30% of their technology stacks integrated. That means all those fancy marketing technologies you’ve invested in see only a sliver of the overall picture, which means you probably see only a sliver of the picture too. Fearless marketers are not afraid of tackling complex technologies, bringing them together and finding hidden insights in the data that other marketers would miss.
2. Fear of personalisation Most marketers would agree that betting on personalisation is going to pay off, much more than ‘batch and blast’ campaigns. The fear of personalisation creeps in when the sheer scale of the matter raises its head. So, start small. Make sure you know your customers deeply and understand what they expect of your company. Then figure out what need be personalised and the objective you hope to achieve – such as increased follow-on sales or upselling. Finally, pick just three or four things to personalise that can help meet that objective, and put them in place in a single channel, campaign or marketing tactic. Granted, personalisation is big, and even a small dip in the pool takes a decent amount of resources, but there is no payoff until you start somewhere.
3. Fear of AI Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area that is fraught with fears. What marketer would ever allow a machine to take control of their message? Yet we have more data than any of us can ever consider, so we must find opportunities to use AI to extend our own effectiveness. This starts with education so that the organisation can begin to prepare for when AI is the norm. Then, as with personalisation, deployment should proceed in small steps. Don’t force AI, pick one use case to try in a lowrisk fashion, then build the expertise and the business case for proceeding with AI in other areas.
4. Fear of partnering Marketing needs to own or influence the end-to-end customer journey, with all its customer touch points. But even a fearless marketer can’t do it alone. Partnerships across the business are imperative, particularly with sales, service and other customerfacing teams. Everyone involved, not just marketing, needs to abandon their fears of losing their turf to build partnerships based on give and take, with no ‘first among equals’. Yet the marketer is the one who must lead the charge in making partnerships happen by being the loudest, most efficient and most impactful megaphone for end-to-end customer engagement.
5. Fear of proving your worth Finally, courageous marketers must break barriers by proving marketing value and how marketers contribute to growing revenues and profits. Years ago, it was impossible to prove marketing value, but the digital world has helped us shine a light on things like contribution to pipeline and revenue, defending marketing’s value. Now, it’s time to play offence. These days, the fearless marketer seeks out this debate and has the tools, measurements and analytics in place to not just defend marketing’s budget but to get even the most sceptical board of directors to give marketing more. Fearless marketers are not a rare breed. The capacity is in all of us. The tools to support fearless marketing are available. All that is needed is the will to act.
Balancing Act: How to Embrace Both Intuition and Structure in a Creative Freelance Career ILLUSTRATOR AND ARTIST LAURA CHAUTIN ON HONING CREATIVE IMPULSES AND EMBRACING SUPPORT OF A COMMUNITY TO BUILD A CAREER. By Mia Pinjuh
Truly successful creatives know how to tap into their intuition when making decisions about the direction of their work. In a way, the path a creative career takes can be art itself. Laura Chautin has nurtured her burgeoning success by listening to her intuition when deciding what work will make her happy. She is undaunted by the challenge of a new frontier, trying her hand at textile design, screen printing and custom ceramic mobiles. This freedom and willingness to experiment can be traced back to a structured, formal arts education where she built the tools and skills that ultimately gave her the confidence to branch out and take on a multitude of creative tasks. Her work is imbued with a playful spirit thanks to her tendency to create and experiment across mediums. A pattern has already emerged in Chautin’s young career – motivated by curiosity and the desire to explore an idea
that won’t let her go, she will initially make work only for herself without worrying about commercial viability. These experiments have been spotted by people who want in on her distinctive, colorful designs, who then commission similar work from her. That is just how several of her projects have been born, including the Bum Tees with their playful floral motif. The success that she has had with these ventures speaks to the value of respecting your ideas, listening to your creative impulses and giving them the necessary space to thrive. Chautin has spent time working in London (where she lived until she was 16, and again for her painting degree) and New York (where she moved four years ago) and values the creative influences each city has on her process. “When I go back to London, I feel very much at home, I feel cozy, it’s the comfiest city in the world, and I feel inspired by the people I know there.” Being surrounded by artists, designers and
creative thinkers has led to multiple collaborations that grew out of organic connections. Among these are window designs for Otherwild, custom illustrations for Ladurée, and one-off mobiles for clients. Here, Laura talks about the logistics of launching a creative career, balancing creative output and money-making gigs, and the validation of recognition from the artist community.
Q. How did you get started with your art and design work?
assistant capacity that has been helpful to you as a freelance artist and designer now? A. I also do assistant prop design right now, so it’s still in the creative field. The set and prop design world is really intertwined in New York, so if a friend can’t take a job, she’ll tell me to do it. I work with a couple different prop designers and set designers here, and I never really turn down those jobs, because that’s a good source of income. For example, next week, I have a full week working for Macy’s and that’s obviously super helpful. I’ve learned through all these jobs that I love working for myself. When I first moved to New York, I didn’t do any work for myself. I was an assistant at an interior design firm, then I worked on the windows for Barneys, then another interior design firm. I thought that seemed like more of a path I should do because I’ll make money doing this. But I didn’t make any artwork and I was so sad.
Laura Chautin’s t-shirt and tote designs on display at Stems in Brooklyn.
A. I always wanted to do something creative. In high school I was only interested in art and history and that was what I was focusing on in college. When I was 18, I went to Chelsea for a foundation degree in painting at the University of the Arts London. The teachers weren’t really around and I thought maybe I wasn’t really an artist because I didn’t know what I was doing. Luckily, I had gotten into an art fair before I moved and met the people at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). They looked at my portfolio and kept my place for a year.
My first job out of college, I was meant to work under the assistant to the boss, but she quit in my first week, and I was expected to fill the assistant’s role. I learned a lot but it was so stressful. I knew the boss liked what I was doing, but I always had this doubt, and that pushed me to say that I needed to work for myself. I was still working toward his vision. Pretty much immediately, I was getting to work early and building my own website, thinking that it was what I needed to do to be happy. Before that, I hadn’t been making work for myself and I was miserable. I was too stressed and all of my creative energy was going towards this job.
“I’ve learned through all these jobs that I love working for myself.” London was a one-year foundation degree and a lot of people love it, but I just wasn’t ready to be let go at that point in my life, I needed structure. Being at SAIC really gave me freedom to explore things, and not be that scared of going into different realms I started to feel like I could draw and paint and printmake. And that’s especially valuable for me now because I do a lot of different things in my current career. I learnt how to stretch a canvas, paint with oils, things I hadn’t learned before.
Q. After graduating, you took on several assistant roles in the interior design and retail industries. What did you learn working in an
Chautin’s whimsical mobiles started out with a custom project request from a friend.
Q. How did you sustain yourself financially while you started making art for yourself again? A. When I quit my first assistant job and started at Barneys, I had a bit more freedom. It was a four-day job doing their windows, so I could start painting again. At that point I was still confused. I felt like I had to get a full time job again, that I couldn’t just be an artist. And that was mostly from not having confidence in myself. I had no confidence and no friends who had moved to New York to pursue being an artist. I had this idea that things need to be done in a certain way. I’m super English like that – I follow the rules.
Q. You are now a part of a diverse creative
she wanted specific, personal things included. That definitely gave me more confidence. I really like taking on projects when someone comes to me with an idea. I’ve learned through doing custom illustrations that I like having a project, I like making something happen based on an idea, even if it’s not something I’d usually do. The first time I did food drawings, I was working a part-time retail job and a designer was having a launch at Ladurée. It was the first time I’d ever made art that wasn’t just for myself. I was asked to make an invite and a menu for the event. I only had two nights to do it, I was working all through the night. If you think that something’s right, you have to do it. All I could think of was “I love it.” I had so much fun doing it, it made me so happy.
community here in New York. As you met more people through your work, did it help to expand your definition of what being an artist looked like as a career path? A. My friend Katie Kimmel was hugely helpful to me, we met at school. She was working at a ceramics studio and making her own stuff and people started recognizing her for it. She also makes animations and at school she would work nonstop on her own stuff because she found it fun, and that was really inspiring to me. She made these bags and said “it’s so cool and so easy, you should just do it.” I painted this big painting and so I took a part of it and printed it on a bag. I was actually wearing that to a Group Partner sample sale and one of the girls who works there thought it was cool and wanted one. That was the first time I realized that people want what I’d been making. It felt so validating. Making more art, getting more recognition, more people being like “this is cool, keep doing it” has been encouraging. My partner Masami (Masami Hosono, creative director at Vacancy Project) has been so supportive. It’s so inspiring, she didn’t start in New York, and she is of the mindset of “just do it.”
“I really like taking on projects when someone comes to me with an idea.” Q. Tell us about the different mediums you work in now, and how you came to work on such a diverse range of projects. You seem to do everything. A. I’m still at the point now where I accept most jobs, because I think I should be accepting most jobs. I think it’s good for me to try different things. With projects like making mobiles, no one initially asked me to do that. My friend had a baby, and I just thought it would be cute to make a mobile. It made sense because I like small things, and I like painting, so it was just fun for me to do that. I had a client who started following me on Instagram and she was having a baby, and she asked me to make this very custom mobile. It was a collaboration, but
A series of illustrations of New York City storefronts is one of Chautin’s personal projects.
As for the flower t-shirt design, I thought about making it a planter, but it didn’t quite work out. I still thought it was a cute illustration and that it would be a fun t-shirt to have embroidered just for me. I just bought a t-shirt from the Gap and made a one-off for myself. When I wore it, people thought it was funny and cool. I got some orders just from wearing my one-off and then started producing it in small batches.
Q. What’s next for you? A. I’ve been looking at being part of an agency for illustration, so I can have someone help get me more jobs [Ed. Note: this is a popular debate!]. I enjoy having the push of an illustration assignment, even if it’s something I’m uncomfortable with, like portraiture and drawing people. I would love to make big sculptures, and explore types of printmaking, etching, or lithography. I’m also taking a ceramics class, as I do want to learn new skills. At the moment, I’m making a book of foods for a client. For Christmas, I made Masami a book of her favorite foods and posted it on Instagram. The client saw it and asked me to make him a large scale book, which is new for me. It’s going to be a full meal, with a check at the end, and it will be professionally bound. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Should brands take a stand? By Warc Staff
Taking a strong point of view can be a risk for a brand in today’s tumultuous environment, but sometimes it’s unavoidable – and that’s when an understanding of brand values comes into its own.
fuel to the fire.”
Rather than settle for a quiet life, brands need to appreciate the dynamics of today’s political and social landscape if they are to carve a distinct path to better consumer engagement, according to Kristin Van Note, Strategy Director at Grey New York.
A survey of 1,000 people in the US, by Lightspeed for Grey, sought to understand attitudes towards such ads.
Ultimately, she argues in a WARC Best Practice paper, Brands in the age of division, “division itself has become the cultural conversation of our time”. Making sense of that may require more than what she describes as “togetherness ads” which attempt to unify people over divisive social issues. Political division is such that even small executional missteps can be followed by a stream of social media conversations that skewer them as viewers call out ads for being tone-deaf, insensitive, or racist. “In this tenuous era, brands may be more vulnerable than they think,” Van Note says. “Well-meaning, innocuous messages of hope may not simply fall on deaf ears, but instead add
So why make political or togetherness-related messages at all, she asks?
Consumer views were divided along age lines, with the youngest groups most valuing brands that address issues they care about – even if they’re also most sceptical about brands and advertising to start with. And for those brands taking a stand and taking action, the brand lift that follows is not necessarily accompanied by an equivalent sales lift, she reports. New Balance, she adds, didn’t even have a choice over whether to take a stand: when a white supremacist group declared it their unofficial sneaker, social media outrage inevitably followed and the brand had to respond. That’s when it’s necessary “to know what your values are and what you’re willing to stand up for, to better connect across divided audiences and right the course,” Van Note advises. Sourced from WARC
Design Debate: Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Inspiration? THREE DESIGNERS FACE OFF ON THE PROS AND CONS OF CONSTANT INSPIRATION. READY, SET, DEBATE. By Madeleine Morley
In our newest design debate, Nadine Kolodziey, Thomas Kronbichler, and Polina Joffe weigh on the pros and cons of endless visual stimulation. Ready, set, debate. “Following too many design feeds online encourages repetition and stifles creativity. That’s why we have to be smart in how we curate our personal streams.” —Nadine Kolodziey, illustrator We’re online all the time, and that means we’re constantly in
contact with visual stimulation of some kind or another. If you’re always looking at other people’s designs on the bus or during a break, though, then you subconsciously involve it in your own output. Soon you realize: “Bummer; I’ve just made something that looks exactly the same as what other people are doing.” You copy and repeat, and although it might start out subconsciously, eventually you’re participating in a trend. You lose sight of your personal approach; what others are doing begins to cloud your judgement and intuition.
I understand why people might want to be part of a trend. A client might want something that’s trendy – and it could be helpful strategically to be thought of as part of a collection of people who work in a certain way. Ultimately, though, it’s limiting on both sides. The illustrator doesn’t have a sense of individuality in their work, and all clients are buying similar styles – which means their brand lacks distinction.
If you’re trying to get inspired, looking at other creative work is the wrong strategy. It’s important to look at other designs – to know what’s going on – but in moderation. If you’re trying to get inspired, looking at other creative work is the wrong strategy. It’s personally very hard for me to be inspired when I follow a lot of other illustrators online. I’ve been using Instagram for two and a half years now. At first, I always looked at other illustrators’ work. Of course I did, because it’s what I do. I love illustration. But then I noticed that it was hindering my creative potential. I started noticing that I was working in a similar color palette to many others. I noticed that looking at other work reduces the personal courage needed to try something new. When I look at a finished piece of work by another illustrator, it’s impossible for me to see potential in it. I can’t be creative, because I’m compelled to mimic what that other person has done. The solution lies in how I choose what to follow online. There is a difference between looking at work by your colleagues and looking at general images. I’m interested in online inspiration that becomes like a “hint,” and I curate my social media streams accordingly. Instead of following other illustrators on Instagram, I follow content that’s aesthetically intriguing. I’ll follow people who collect unusual stones or take photographs of beautifully arranged Japanese food, for example. I particularly like ‘I’m Google,’ a blog that arranges images not thematically, but visually. When I view images like these, they immediately spark new concepts and directions in my mind, especially when I’m beginning work on a new commission. These sources then become a trigger for me: I’ll see an image of a rock from outer space when I’m scrolling, and its form will inspire how I then arrange a composition.
“Online inspiration encourages international networking and conversation. The problem is when images of design are circulated without context.” - Thomas Kronbichler, founder and creative director, Studio Mut
At Studio Mut, we are big fans of digital space, and we’re not afraid of inspiration overload. We’re a small studio in a small town in the middle of the Alps—this is Heidi land here—so the internet provides us with incredible inspiration from all
around the world. It also gives us a platform for presenting our own designs, which would have been impossible 10 years ago. Because of how images circulate online, we can reach a European and American audience with our work. And as a result of online feeds and social media, the graphic design community is now extremely close. This has negative effects, of course – a lot of people say graphic design is getting too similar aesthetically. But the positive side is that there’s a lot more graphic design today. People can get involved in the industry from almost anywhere, instead of just major cities; it’s more inclusive. There are people in small towns all across Europe, for example, who are doing crazy things, and we’re all able to watch and support one another from afar. The circulation of images online is ultimately good for graphic design as an art form.
I’m not inspired by images of a particular design. Instead I’m inspired when I hear about a designer’s process. The problem is that online there is not a lot of curating. With certain blogs and streams, there is no explanation in terms of where an image comes from. Projects that were designed for friends and projects done for huge companies are circulated in the same space, which is interesting, but I miss the sense of differentiation and context. The story behind a design and how a problem is solved is so crucial to one’s understanding of it. I find that I’m not inspired by images of a particular design, but instead I’m inspired when I hear about a designer’s process. Learning about a designer’s particular philosophy is far more likely to inform my own. I also enjoy hearing about how a designer approaches client-relationships. This, of course, cannot be summed up by a simple image. I’ve personally moved away from browsing on Tumblr blogs and Pinterest because what inspires me most is hearing about how a problem was solved. Ultimately, the most inspiration I get is from videos of designers talking at conferences. There is something so exciting about hearing people talk about their process. I get a lot from how someone frames a project and approaches it; how they describe client relationships and how they deconstruct a brief. I like to hear about the stumbling blocks they came up against, and then how they overcame them. Therefore it’s not creative process that informs me (Studio Mut’s creative process is very formulated now); rather it’s more attitudes, or ways of thinking, that I find inspirational.
I can watch all of Michael’s videos without having to leave my studio in the Alps. Just last week, for example, I binge-watched all videos of Michael Bierut talks available online. I love how he presents
his work, and how generous he is with giving credits to other people for example. It’s his attitude that I admire. And I can watch all of Michael’s videos without having to leave my studio in the Alps. It’s perfect. “It’s extremely important to be aware of what’s happening, and online inspiration has streamlined that process.” — Polina Joffe, art director and graphic designer If you know what others are doing, you can choose to engage with it or you can choose to reject it. In order to form opinions and make informed decisions, you definitely need to be in the know. I’m constantly looking at what other people are doing online, and I’m continually soaking things up on blogs and social media. Then when it comes to a specific project, I will do project-specific research. The amount of inspiration we have via the internet makes this research phase very easy and productive. I often remember concepts and ideas that designers have used previously that I’ve come across on social media, and then I update, transform, and remix those ideas with my own so that they work for my specific brief. Online browsing has given me a huge visual dictionary of concepts and approaches that I hold in my mind, and I can dip into it whenever I’m beginning a new commission.
We often talk about creativity coming from within, but I don’t know if I believe that. Everything comes from somewhere. I recently did a project for Tate London’s education team.
The project was aimed at young people. First of all, if you’re working for young people, it’s important to be aware of trends that are happening in young people’s fields so that you can reference them. You need to nod toward a visual language that the audience will understand. If you’re not aware of that language, you can’t make those references. For the research phase of the project, I looked at how other designers have also dealt with communicating the idea of learning. Originally I had the idea of doing something with notebooks and binders. I then remembered projects I’d seen online that had used ring binders or notepad paper, and was able to go back and look at them again. Seeing how others have dealt with similar themes spurred new ideas for me. We often talk about creativity coming from within, but I don’t know if I believe that. Everything comes from somewhere. For me, creativity is often about seeing how people have remixed ideas before, and then doing my own special and specific remix. A lot of the history of visual communication has been about copying, updating, and shifting. There is, of course, a danger in recreating what others have done too much, and using similar elements to the point of ripping them off. That’s why you have to look at a lot of different sources when you’re doing research and getting inspired. The amount of images that we now have available at our fingertips, if used responsibly, can encourage a fresh take and keep us up to date. Madeleine Morley is a design and architecture writer based in Berlin. She studied English literature at Cambridge University and went on to complete an MA in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has written for Creative Review, AIGA, Monotype, magCulture, AnOther, and The Guardian among others.
The Science Behind the Growing Importance of Collaboration PLUS, IDEAS FOR DESIGNING SPACES THAT ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO TEAM UP IN UNIQUE WAYS. By Emily Stone
Collaboration is a hot buzzword in the business world. And with good reason. Working with people who have different perspectives or areas of expertise can result in better ideas and outcomes. But collaboration does not always just happen. Sometimes it needs a little nudge. Kellogg’s Benjamin Jones, a strategy professor at the Kellogg School, discusses why collaboration is so important today— and how organizations can design their buildings and common spaces to encourage it.
Niche Knowledge Why is collaboration necessary? Part of the answer—and a growing part, according to Jones’s research—is that our individual knowledge base is becoming more and more specialized. “There’s more and more to know in the world, and you can only have so much in your head,” he says. “So the share of stuff you know as an individual is declining in any field.” Jones points to the Wright Brothers as an example. In 1903, two men designed and flew an airplane. Today, a Boeing 787
has dozens of specialists working on the engines alone. Then there are the controls, the hydraulics, the airframe itself. “There’s just so much going on in designing, building, and flying that plane,” Jones says. “There is an incredible range of specialized skills.” Meaning, you are unlikely to build a plane today as an aviation generalist. It is the collaboration among all those specialists that gets it off the ground. And the same goes for teams at other factories or offices.
Teaming Up This increasing specialization of skills means that you need bigger and bigger groups, with more and more specialists, in order to be successful. “Over time, this is an ongoing, never-ending phenomenon of increased specialization, which is ever increasing the demand for collaboration,” Jones says.
“There’s more and more to know in the world, and you can only have so much in your head. So the share of stuff you know as an individual is declining in any field.”
Jones, along with Brian Uzzi, a professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, demonstrated this in research that focused on the world of academic publishing. They examined 30 years’ worth of scientific papers—more than 19 million overall—and found that collaboration among scientists and across research institutions grew steadily from the 1950s on.
And it was not just quantity, but quality that was impacted, the researchers found. By identifying the highest-impact, game-changing papers—as measured by how often they were cited by fellow scientists—Jones and Uzzi found that collaboration provides a significant boost. “In everything, teams beat solo,” Jones says. “In the 1950s and 60s, in lots of fields, solo beat teams. It’s flipped. Now teams always have a higher home-run probability than solo.”
Adding Just Enough Spice But simply adding more and more people to a team does not guarantee success. There is an art to collaboration, too. In another project with Uzzi, the researchers turned again to the realm of academic research, this time asking: were the most high-impact papers very conventional in the way they integrated ideas, or were they very novel? “Are they combining things that everyone else is combining?” Jones says. “Or are they combining things together that no one’s combining?” They found that the sweet spot was when research was mostly conventional but had just a little bit of novelty. The most successful papers, “are mostly hyper-conventional,” Jones says, “really deep in an area everyone’s seen before. And then there’s a little bit of spice.”
Finding the right balance is the key. “If the whole thing is spicy, it does badly,” he says. “If it’s hyper-conventional with no spice, it does badly. So you’ve got to be really grounded, but then you’ve got to mix in something unexpected.” This sweet spot applies far outside the realm of scientific research. Take consumer goods—particularly those that involve new technology. “So many consumer products that are novel, when you look at them, have all these conventional features that they don’t actually need,” Jones says. He pulls out his phone and takes a picture to demonstrate. “Hear that click? It’s a click just like a camera,” he says. “Why? They could have had it go ‘boop,’ or it could have vibrated or it could have said, ‘banana.’ But instead it makes that click. You’re used to that sound as a consumer, so you’re comfortable.”
Laying the Groundwork for Collaboration What can organizations do to encourage the next breakthrough product or idea? How can they ensure that little bit of spice, that teaming up of specialists in new ways? One solution is to, quite literally, make space for people to meet potential collaborators they may not otherwise run into. Pixar is a perfect example, Jones says. “Pixar designed its headquarters in California with all the bathrooms in the center of the building, and all the food and coffee in the center in an atrium,” Jones says. “They were very intentional about wanting people who are artists and animators, and the coders, and the music people, and the screen writers to be constantly bumping into each other in random ways to spark ideas.” Company leaders can also hold events—from putting out bagels in the morning to afternoon happy hours—in these central spaces to encourage mixing and mingling of ideas, Jones says. At Kellogg, the new Global Hub building opened this spring with collaborative space at its core. And, Jones says, it is working. He has already started talking about potential new collaborations with people outside his department. “You’re bumping into people and you’re having conversations that you wouldn’t otherwise have,” he says. “I’m talking to a finance person, to a marketing person, to a sociologist.” Not every interaction is going to lead to a home run, he says. But that’s okay. “Many of those interactions are going to be dead ends,” from a collaborative point of view, Jones says. “But I think it creates the greater probability of creating some interactions where you’re like, ‘Hey, wait a second. We should talk.’” FEATURED FACULTY: Benjamin F. Jones, Professor of Strategy; Faculty Director, Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI)
Brands are replacing sectors (and what this means) By Manfredi Ricca and Andy Payne
Among the most widely used phrases in articles, conferences and meetings nowadays are variations on the theme of “the lines between sectors are blurring.” While this is indeed happening, it is a loose and partial view of the full story. What is actually happening is that brands are replacing sectors. Our yearly Best Global Brands study shows how the fastestrising brands and businesses are those that are firmly built around people’s needs and that constantly evolve to provide immediate, seamless and often simultaneous access to knowledge, relationships, experiences, products and services. The growth of these businesses is an indication of how, over the past few years, the sources of competitive advantage have shifted from the supply side (e.g., manufacturing, economies of scale, knowledge, resources, technology and so forth) to the demand side (such as needs, attention, and relationships). Therefore, while we have traditionally been accustomed to making sense of the business world through the lens of supply – i.e., sectors, industries, competences, product categories – today’s economic reality can only be understood through the lens of demand – i.e., needs, desires, experiences, benefits. Take Amazon, one of the most dynamic and pervasive businesses. With its multiple and fast-evolving propositions, what sector is it in? It is hard to say. It is much easier to think about what promise this business seeks to deliver – with ‘fulfillment’ being a credible, if apocryphal, answer. Likewise, some of the world’s fastest growing businesses are hard to ascribe to a sector as such. They no longer create a
promise around capabilities, but build capabilities around an overarching promise, which defines what business they’re really in – from Google’s ‘access to information’, to Disney’s ‘magic’, to Apple’s ‘empowerment’. Anchored to their promise, these brands cross and combine categories, building seamlessly ecosystems of products, services, experiences and partnerships that are notionally diverse – but are, in fact, connected by that very promise. These are pure demand side businesses – founded more on the principle of what people will need, rather than what the organisations can make. Hence, rather than a matter of brands within categories, it is increasingly a question of categories within brands. This should not be confused with the traditional paradigm of diversification, whereby businesses would broaden their offering potentially across different sectors based on industrial synergies or pure financial appetite. Today we are seeing a different type of expansion, which looks more like the completion of an ecosystem connecting products, services and experiences gravitating around a specific promise and helping bring it to life. While diversification was a supply-side exercise, ecosystems are driven by demand-side synergies. And while diversification is typically additive in its results – creating incremental streams of revenues – ecosystems go beyond, accelerating growth by adding as well as multiplying income, thanks to well-thought through inter-plays between data and experiences. As sectors merge and dissolve, barriers to entry – except the regulatory ones – will also naturally disappear. Brands will become the barriers. With the movement of talent, knowledge
and technology being more friction-less than ever before, brands are the strongest long-term differentiators, and hence least imitable competitive asset. The replacement of sectors by brands is not merely a conceptual observation, but bears significant consequences on four key strategic issues. 1. What A few years ago, it was fair to think of the brand as the business strategy brought to life. The business strategy was the bedrock, and the brand would make it visible and understandable internally and externally. Today, in many cases, the opposite is true. The brand – what a business stands for, both internally and externally – is increasingly the constant, with the business strategy adapting at an accelerating speed, at times across multiple, interconnected business models. While in traditional marketing brand strategy was meant to create differentiation around a business model, today’s fastest growing companies show that business models are supposed to make brands constantly relevant. The opportunity for a brand such as our client Moleskine is to explore potential interconnected business models that can combine to bring the promise of Inspiring Journeys to life through new, meaningful and relevant products, services and experiences, beginning with the Moleskine Cafè. 2. Why Specifically, a business’s purpose – its fundamental reason for existing – will become inseparable from the business strategy – and, in fact, central to it. The accelerating speed of social, technological and competitive change means that business will no longer afford their purpose to be an abstract, elegant encapsulation, but rather the North Star for navigating across seas of change. The way organisations grow, thrive and change starts from people’s needs and desires; these combine with the leadership’s vision to build the brand’s purpose, which is then reflected into one or more interconnected promises, giving birth to exceptional experiences. At a time where virtually everything in a business’s ‘what’ and ‘how’ must change before it has to, a brand’s purpose – its ‘why’ – should be a long-term center of gravity. Over time Nike, ranking #18 in our Interbrand’s 2017 Best Global Brands, has created an ecosystem of products and services threaded together by the purpose of ‘bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*if you have a body, you are an athlete)’. It is simple to imagine a future where Nike may weave apparel, services, food, healthcare, education into a category of one. 3. Who The number of cases where traditional sector analysis will apply is likely to decrease. More and more, the competitive trajectories of brands originating from notionally diverse categories will overlap in unpredictable and intricate ways. The most dangerous competition will be hidden from sight – impossible to predict, hard to pre-empt, and difficult to
challenge. The silver lining of this otherwise uncomfortable landscape is given by cross-industry partnerships, whereby the opportunities for mutually beneficial alliances have never been so exciting and potentially disruptive. Think about the much-discussed arena of mobility (notice – a benefit, not a sector!), where businesses that just recently were not direct competitors – such as car manufacturers, city or state transport authorities, service providers such as car rentals, digital native businesses, consumer electronics manufacturers, and so forth – are converging around similar needs of similar customers. 4. How In the nineties, the prevailing view saw the so-called ‘core competences’ as the engine of competitive advantage. Today, competences must shift and morph quickly and flexibly to surf the waves of change and the ability to play across categories – a key challenge for talent retention and growth, as well as a potential dilemma between culture and capability. Netflix is an interesting case in point, whereby the transition from a distribution business (a supply-side definition) to an entertainment business (a demand-side definition spanning technology, production, content, creativity) imposed the need to radically rethink the business’s talent pool. An almost legendary internal presentation includes a slide drawing a comparison between a slide that defines the company as “a pro sports team” as opposed to a “family”, indicating that as the business changes so will needs and roles, and therefore people. If, from a competitive standpoint, brands are replacing sectors, from a customer perspective they are playing wider and deeper roles in our lives. They use vast amounts of data about us to integrate diverse products, services and experiences in an ongoing cycle of promise and delivery. As a result, people and businesses will increasingly know more about each other. Their relationship will be more frequent and intimate than ever before. This is changing the way we understand, judge, buy into and buy from brands. Long gone are the days when the only view on how businesses operated, what it stood for, or what it was like to work for it was through our exposure to a selection of glitzy billboards and print. Today’s intimacy, fuelled by technology, means that organisations are no longer black boxes, but transparent. Consumers, employees and audiences have access to virtually every single facet of a business, thus associating it to what it does, not just what it says or looks like. And as businesses do more for us across different categories, the gaps between promises and deliveries is in permanent full view. Which means that, in addition to being transparent, organisations also need to be porous, constantly breathing in social comment and perceptions to re-oxygenate their entire system. Today, growth requires brands – the overarching promise – and the business – its delivery – to move firmly hand in hand, in a journey of constant exploration, experimentation and renewal, moving freely across what once were sector boundaries.
Could packaging play a new role in brand differentiation? By Warc Staff
Both PepsiCo and Nestlé have announced some potentially significant packaging developments in the war on plastic waste, but as consumer sentiment shifts, observers suggest there are opportunities to completely rethink the role of packaging.
Both businesses signed up last year to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, which advocates for the elimination of unnecessary plastic packaging and greater reuse and recycling of plastics.
Nestlé is now wrapping its YES! fruit bars and nut bars in environmentally friendly paper, having devised a polymercoated paper – which is recyclable and which degrades within six months in the ocean – that can be used on an existing high-speed production line without ripping.
Reuse of packaging, in particular, opens up possible new avenues for brands. A pilot program in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Paris aims to reinvent packaging as a service, with multi-use containers “borrowed” by the consumer before being taken away to be cleaned, sterilised and reused.
The Financial Times reported that the food giant has not patented the technology and intends to make it available to other businesses next year. “It is not in our interest to hold on to this,” said Jas Scott de Martinville, Nestlé’s global confectionery research and development leader. “We want the industry to use paper.” PepsiCo, meanwhile, is to begin using 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate for its LIFEWTR brand, end the use of plastic packaging for its bubbly sparkling water brand and plans to introduce aluminium can packaging for its Aquafina water brand in the US, according to Packaging Gateway. “We are doing our part to address the issue head-on by reducing, recycling and reinventing our packaging to make it more sustainable, and we won’t stop until we live in a world where plastics are renewed and reused,” said chairman and chief executive officer Ramon Laguarta.
“This major shift in ownership of the package from the consumer to the brand is a ticket to unfettered imagination in consumer experience and sustainability,” according to Stuart Leslie of design firm 4sight Inc. “The package essentially becomes an asset and can be viewed and designed as a device,” he wrote in Adweek. “Brands can rethink what their package does and how the consumer uses it, such as a pill package that reminds you when to take or reorder pills, detect when food has expired (say goodbye to the smell test), automatically order more product when it’s running low or even self-seal to ensure freshness.” Sourced from Financial Times, Packaging Gateway, Inc, Adweek; additional content by WARC staff
Every Little Helps: How to use data to create an emotional connection By Tim Mason
Tesco has been one of the UK’s biggest retailers for nearly forty years. One of its greatest assets, the Clubcard loyalty scheme, helped create an emotional connection to customers that was a major contributor to growth. Launched in 1995, Tesco Clubcard still has some 17 million members. I was Tesco marketing director then, and I believe its founding objectives still resonate with customers in building emotional loyalty with them today. When I joined as a junior marketer in 1982, Tesco was focused on operational modernisation. Having ditched the Green Shield Stamps sales promotion scheme in 1997, it took Tesco nearly 13 years to revisit loyalty. It spent the intervening years putting its house in order. It created a better product range, centralised distribution, merchandising and pricing, built more modern stores, and benchmarked against competitors. When recession hit in the 1980s, Tesco had made sure it could compete effectively. It then turned to its customers to understand who shopped with Tesco and why they bought what they did in order to complete its offer. That’s why I always point out that the building of any connection with customers has to have good foundations. With the introduction of the ‘Every Little Helps’ strategy in 1993, Tesco wanted to be a better place to shop. The underlying assumption that functional reliability and innovation cannot promote emotional loyalty isn’t true. Great
functional performance promotes great loyalty: think of Aldi, Amazon and Apple, to name three. For example, Tesco asked customers how to improve the store experience, they said ‘tackle long queues’. So, the ‘One in Front’ initiative aimed to open another checkout if there was more than one customer before you. It was demonstrating that it wanted to understand and address customer pain points. By 1995, Tesco’s ‘Every Little Helps’ strategy reached its apotheosis with the launch of the one point-per-£1 Clubcard loyalty scheme. Clubcard had three main objectives: • to recognise customers and thank them for their custom; • to enable direct performance marketing in a way rarely used by a branch-based grocery business; • to capture data on customer shopping behaviour that would enable Tesco to run the business better. Tesco essentially wanted to know who its best customers were by capturing their identity and tying it back to their shopping basket. This data was analysed to understand what they were likely to want to buy in future. We used ‘data’ generated by establishing a swipe card-based connection with customers at checkout to drive ‘insight’. This, in turn, was used to prompt ‘action’ designed to foster ‘loyalty,’ using the D.I.A.L methodology.
Earning 21st century loyalty The research supports that this is what customers still want too. Eagle Eye, the digital marketing technology company where I am now CEO, surveyed 4,000 consumers about what influences their choice of retailer.1 Unsurprisingly, price was top. But a variety of relevant and timely promotions, discounts and a loyalty scheme or some other type of reward recognising continued custom ranked a close second and third respectively. Applied to my ‘analogue learnings’ from those Tesco days, the main thing that has changed is the sheer volume of data that consumers generate and share about themselves now they live digitally connected lives. There are more ways and means to understand what customers want by capturing their IDs, purchase history, habits and preferences. Big data and AI systems now exist to analyse both what you bought and will likely buy. The purpose of Tesco’s ‘Every Little Helps’ strategy was to “create value for the customer to earn their lifetime loyalty”. The opportunity with digital to understand and demonstrate that value is far greater today. But, the capability to establish digital customer connections that foster emotional loyalty significantly lags the opportunity. My new book, Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World, explores why.
It looks at how retailers and brands can compete effectively, both online and online, against those digital-first businesses which are winning customers by virtue of knowing who they are and marketing to them directly. Established retailers need to forge the same digital connections but extend them into store in order to know their best customers and engage them with relevant and timely content in an integrated and consistent way. Stores need a ‘mobile makeover’ to add a digitally augmented layer of speed, convenience and choice using digital touchpoints to interact with the devices we are never without and engage customers ‘in the now’. Loyalty isn’t the only way to engage customers during their online and offline shopping journeys: ratings, reviews, recipe or outfit inspiration, navigation, payment and promotions all require a digital connection. Only by creating better integrated and consistent digital connections to support customer shopping journeys will retailers and brands generate the data they need to analyse and act on to build emotional connections.
Tim Mason, Chief Executive Officer, Eagle Eye Solutions Ltd
By Seth Godin
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
For the first time, Godin offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one compact, accessible, timeless package. This is Marketing shows you how to do work you’re proud of, whether you’re a tech startup founder, a small business owner, or part of a large corporation. No matter what your product or service, this book will help you reframe how it’s presented to the world, in order to meaningfully connect with people who want it.
By Donald Miller Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services.
Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld
A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century
This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See
By James B. Twitchell Branded Nation uncovers a society where megachurches resemble shopping malls (and not by accident); where a university lives or dies on the talents of its image makers -- and its ranking in U.S. News & World Report; and where museums have turned to motorcycle exhibits and fashion shows to bolster revenue, even franchising their own institutions into brands.
By Scott Bedbury, Stephen Fenichell
Upstart!: Visual Identities for Start-Ups and New Businesses
What Branding ISN’T: Have more than a logo, make your brand LEGENDARY.
By Gestalten, Anna Sinofzik Upstart! presents fresh branding ideas for entrepreneurs and designers. To stand out in a land of consumerist plenty, the new generation of small business entrepreneurs has learned to set high design standards. Poised between playfulness and professionalism, their holistic visual identity concepts become an integral part of their core business.
The 23 Commandments of Branding: 23 Proven Branding Strategies to Promote Your Business without Going Broke By Jerome Ford The 23 Commandments of branding will show you how to build and grow your brand without going broke.This book gives you proven techniques that my freelance clients pay me for – on retainer every month.In fact, a client who owns a hair boutique in North Carolina is using these techniques to grow her brand...
In A New Brand World, Scott Bedbury, who helped make Nike and Starbucks two of the most successful brands of recent years, explains this often mysterious process by setting out the principles that helped these companies become leaders in their respective industries.
By Andrew J Oleson (Author), Natalie Turner (Designer) Branding is essential to the success of your organization, and it involves many things. In this book, we will tell you what branding ISN’T so you can avoid the unwise and costly errors that we’ve seen organizations make. Knowing what NOT to do is just as important as knowing what to do. These principles are time-tested, and, if executed correctly, will guide you to having more than...
The Power of Licensing: Harnessing Brand Equity By Michael Stone As CEO of Beanstalk, a leading, New York Citybased global brand licensing agency and part of the Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC), author Michael Stone has worked with companies as diverse as HGTV, the Ford Motor Company, the Coca-Cola Company and AT&T to create highly ambitious and successful strategic licensing and brand extension programs for Beanstalk’s clients. At an increasing pace over the past decade, all types of organizations with strong brands...
The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader: How to Succeed by Building Customer and Company Value Kindle Edition By Thomas Barta, Patrick Barwise
Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company’s Future - and What to Do About It Kindle Edition
The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, by former McKinsey Partner Thomas Barta and senior London Business School professor Patrick Barwise, is the first research-based leadership book for marketers in the 21st century. Based on the largest ever research study of its kind, with detailed data on over 8,600 leaders in more...
By Tien Tzuo, Gabe Weisert
Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You
The Story Engine: An entrepreneur’s guide to conte Kindle Edition
By John Hall It’s the winning approach John Hall used to build Influence & Co. into one of “America’s Most Promising Companies,” according to Forbes. In this step-by-step guide, he shows you how to use content to keep your brand front and center in the minds of decision makers who matter.
Growth Hacker Marketing By Ryan Holiday This book points out that many of the megabrands of today haven’t spent much of anything on traditional marketing. Instead, they figure out how to reach customers who “sell” other customers on using the product. While I’m not certain that the techniques Holiday espouses will work in every (or even many) business situations, the book is worth reading simply to understand how companies like Dropbox and Twitter suddenly burst out of nowhere.
Tzuo shows how to use subscriptions to build lucrative, ongoing one-on-one relationships with your customers. This may require reinventing substantial parts of your company, from your accounting practices to your entire IT architecture, but the payoff can be enormous.
By Kyle Gray, Tom Morkes (Foreword) Every entrepreneur has a story to tell, whether they’re running seven-figure startups or small personal brands. Your story is the most powerful asset you have at your disposal. It can cut through the noise and connect you with your customers. Content marketing is one of the most affordable and powerful digital marketing tools available to tell your story at scale.
Netflixed: The Epic Battle for America’s Eyeballs By Gina Keating Journalist Gina Keating recounts the fast-paced drama of the company’s turbulent rise to the top and its attempt to invent two new kinds of business. First it engaged in a grueling war against videostore behemoth Blockbuster, transforming movie rental forever. Then it jumped into an even bigger battle for online video streaming against Google, Hulu, Amazon, and the big cable companies.
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy
By Richard H. Thaler
By Micah Zenko
Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.
Red teaming. It is a practice as old as the Devil’s Advocate, the eleventh-century Vatican official charged with discrediting candidates for sainthood. Today, red teams-comprised primarily of fearless skeptics and those assuming the role of saboteurs who seek to better understand the interests, intentions, and capabilities of institutions or potential competitors-are used widely in both the public and private sector.