Webinar: Programmatic Advertising – what you need to know

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Social Media.

In this webinar interview with Michael Petersen, CEO Pivotus, Kym delved into the oft misunderstood world of programmatic advertising.

With the recent announcement of third-party cookies going away, there’s some consternation about the end of display advertising. But programmatic advertising just needs to shift and be mindful of how we target the audience. So in this webinar, we’ll go through the basics of what programmatic advertising is and how you can best utilise this in your mix.

In this webinar, she provided the info you need, sharing knowledge, practical tips with the wonderful humour and warmth that Michael brings to the fore.

This interview-style webinar covered:

1. What Programmatic buying is in real language – and where it fits for the marketing team
2. The top 5 things you need to know about this
3. The different types of media you can buy programmatically
4. Examples of best practice and advice on how to manage the creative vs media spend
5. The impact the loss of cookies means to programmatic buying

Watch the webinar here.

Webinar: Gen who? How to Understand Generational Nuances

Posted in Advertising, Marketing.

Are you fluent in Gen Z?
In this webinar, Kym Vercoe in her role as strategist for Engine Group,  lets you in on the secrets to bridging the communication gap and engaging with each generation in ways that make sense to them. Gen who? How to Understand Generational Nuances, asks how can you affect change in an audience that doesn’t think like you?

Find out all you ever wanted to know about:

  • Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y, Z and Alpha
  • The how, what and where of communications
  • The triggers that work
  • Briefing tips

Every generation is different and whether you’re a government department, a private business focused on growth or a retail company keen to attract more customers, learning to speak their language should be your number one priority.

Watch the webinar here.

Webinar: Demystifying Behaviour Change

Posted in Advertising, Marketing.

If you’re not changing behaviour, change your thinking.

Presented by Kym Vercoe in her role as strategist at Engine Group, this webinar breaks down the motivations and methods you can use to effect positive change in your target audience including:

  • 5 steps needed to create a campaign that genuinely affects change
  • Connecting with your audience through benefit-based communications
  • Distilling the ‘why’ of your campaign
  • Thinking like a ‘brand’ in the government space

Whether you’re a government department, a private business focused on growth or a retail company keen to attract more customers, it’s a must-see for anyone looking to build a successful communications strategy that will create genuine behavioural change.

Watch the webinar here.

Tomorrow thinking

Posted in Advertising, Marketing.

Whilst working with the folks at Engine Group, we’ve had some clients who are in the fortunate position of still being able to trade wondering how and if they should be marketing at a time when they genuinely don’t know what’s next. For those of us in the position to trade on, it’s a question of not so much thinking about today, but more so, what about tomorrow? How can we bolster our brand so that we are here, and our customers with us, when we hopefully pop out the other side?

In times of uncertainty, and especially when it’s as uncertain as it is right now, the brands who will be better placed to prosper will be the ones who seek to be empathetic and authentic. To be human, to have a heart. To be about connection, rather than collection.

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs he noted that you can’t motivate people at the higher end of the hierarchy (in things like ego and self-development – where brands usually play when wanting to connect and engineer a sale) – if their fundamental physiological (food, health) and safety (shelter, stability) needs are not met.

Right now, consumers are hyper-focused on their basic needs and are looking to brands to either provide assistance with those basics or help meet their need for social connection (being loved, belonging, inclusion) – not to sell them.

Emotional connection

Brands who can share their truth and their hearts will be the ones to whom consumers gravitate. More attuned than ever, today’s hyper-sensitive consumer will see straight through a veiled attempt at selling them something under the guise of ‘doing good’. What they’ll appreciate is a business trying to keep its doors open and in doing so, being real. Being vulnerable. Being honest. And still finding a way to genuinely connect in the way they expect their favourite brands to do.

In a time where people are losing their jobs, not sure of how they’ll pay the rent/ the mortgage, the messages need to be mindful, respectful, conscious. But they still need to be there. People are seeking good news, wanting to feel safe, and still connected to their known community. And brands form part of that community.

So if it’s within your reach, now is the time to ask – what are your customers feeling right now and how might you help them through that time? How can you be a positive, proactive member of their community, that is seen as being helpful rather than opportunistic? Or worse, not heard from at all.

In times like these, of course there’s the option of shutting communication down to either the bare minimum or turning it off completely. To hunker down and stop any ‘unnecessary’ spend. And that’s true – if it will mean further hardship, then staying afloat is paramount. But know that if you choose not to (or can’t) keep communicating with your customers, the risk is they might not be there when you are able to eventually talk to them – that in leaving them to fend for themselves, they may learn to live without you.

This is about going back to your fundamentals of why you are in businesses – what your actual purpose is – and being true to that.

Finding your why

The interesting thing is, this is what strategic marketers have been saying for some time – only now it really, really matters that companies actually begin to live this. Author Simon Sinek suggests, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. It’s connecting consumers with you emotionally that brings them along your journey. Not your what, not your how. Not your sales spiel, not being clever for the sake of it, or ‘hurry now 50% off’. Right now it’s your why, and it’s never mattered more.

It’s moved beyond just selling your offer. Now more than ever, it’s about being human, being real, being respectful, and undeniably being conscious of the impact you do and can make as a brand at a time like this.

This is about your long game.

When the dust has settled and we return back to whatever ‘normal’ might look like in a few months’ time, where will your brand be? Will it be coming out of the darkness and essentially starting from scratch in trying to connect again with your audience? Or will it be continuing the respectful, humble conversation you’ve kept going through our collective time of trouble?

This is not about being ‘seen’ to be a good corporate citizen, it’s about actually being one.

How to navigate ‘what next’

You don’t have to speak directly to the crisis, but still being mindful and conscious of how your audience is feeling right now means you can remain connected to them in their time of need.

  • What pain points do your customers have right now you could genuinely help with? (Woolworths opening early for older Australians)
  • Can you keep connecting by bringing a smile? (our client Vanuatu Tourism are receiving a wonderful response from their audience in sharing images of their fabulous island noting they’re keeping it safe for when you can come visit)
  • Are you able to be helpful in a way that truly connects with your brand? (XXXX beer asking us to swap a beer with mates to stay home)
  • Can you be generous and show some true empathy? (like Adobe Creative Cloud have done with free subscriptions for students until May so they can keep working while at home)

This is about protecting your brand and preparing for life beyond the immediate crisis we are facing. There is historical proof that brands who keep talking and connecting in appropriate ways will emerge more successfully from an economic crisis than competitors who don’t (Kantar research showed strong brands recovered nine times faster than weaker brands in the 2008 financial crash). So if you are able, now is the time to foster your brand, not deep freeze it.

Brands that can keep the communication fire burning, (even if only through continuing the conversation through social channels at very little or no expense), and bring warmth and compassion to their tribe, will be the ones consumers are most likely to return to when this is all just a memory.

So, tomorrow thinking is about asking how you can keep your brand alive in your customers hearts so you’re still top of mind, and still connected, when we emerge on the other side. It’s your long game and it’s never been more important.

If you don’t have copyright, it could be catastrophic. Just ask STA

Posted in Uncategorized.
Blue Steel

Copyright quickbrownfox

With all this publishing we’re all doing across social media, it’s easy to get carried away and see a great photo you like and just add it to your post. It won’t matter, right? Wrong.

STA Travel just found out the hard way that using a great shot you’ve found, without asking permission of the owner of said shot, can get you into hot water.

It seems they saw a photo online from a former customer and thought “that would look great in our own work” and just went ahead and used it both online and then in a printed brochure.

Now I hear you saying, “oh how silly of them, who does that?”. But think about it. When was the last time you added a photo to one of your posts without purchasing it or gaining approval from the owner of the image to use it? Or did you just go to Flickr, Google Images, or see something in your own feed and save it down and use it? We’ve all done it, some knowingly running the gauntlet and some unwittingly. But it’s all breaching copyright and you could find yourself in the same hot water STA are now in.

STA have done the right thing and taken the image down, but the owner of the photo still retains the right to sue them. Tricky situation because it breaches not only her copyright but also her privacy rights (a photo where the person can be identified falls under the Privacy Act). The ball is now in her court.

The hard part is that some sites say their images are ‘free to use’, but they rely on you to seek permission to publish. It’s easy to see how you can get into strife without realising it.

The best rule of thumb is – if you didn’t take the shot and seek permission from the talent shown within that shot to use it for promotional purposes, then you will need to either get approval to use or pay for it – or end up paying for it in other ways.

There are some great sites that let you buy images quite cheaply – Shutterstock, iStock, Stocksy and more – a quick Internet search will show you plenty to choose from. These sites you pay for the image but at least you know you’ve got permission to publish. As for the ‘free’ sites, be sure that if you’re using an image from these guys, you check the fine print to ensure you do indeed have permission to use.

*Meeshka the cat provided permission for quickbrownfox to use this image for promotional purpose

Xmas Ducks in a Row

Posted in Marketing, Social Media.

quickbrownfox christmasWith only 3 weekends to Christmas, it’s time to get a few of your ducks in a row if you haven’t done so already. Here’s a few things that might help in getting December off to a great start…

  • The festive season is not just for retailers
    Even if you don’t sell retail products, you can still promote to and engage your audience at this time of year. What about creating an offer you can tailor to the season? Or ask your database to share the cheer and give you suggestions for new services or products? You could ask your customers to upload a picture of their team in festive outfits using your product or service to your social media pages. Or perhaps find a way to count down the 12 days of Christmas? It doesn’t just have to be for the department store sales – you too can connect with your customers and followers.
  • Santa uses his branding well, so should you
    This time of year is a great time to thank your client base (and your key suppliers and staff), be that with a card or perhaps a personalised gift. And it’s a perfect opportunity to let your brand come to life for them. Get your cards made with your branding strong and proud (digital printing is really affordable now) and if you’re buying a gift, find ways to link this with your branding (for example, rather than a pen, you could do a branded cup cake). Get clever, your audience will appreciate your effort.
  • Being social takes planning
    With January only weeks away, you need to have your next round of blog posts decided and planned out, along with your posting strategy for your social media accounts. Take the time to review the stats and find out when is the best time to post to each for you and what seems to get the best reactions and tailor next year’s posts accordingly. Even writing 3 months of content in advance can take a huge amount of pressure off – and will allow you to look and feel more strategic about things. With many folks away in the few weeks over Christmas and New Year, it’s a great time to get ahead of the pack.

Hopefully you’ll get some time off to reflect on a great year and look forward to an even better one in 2015. Enjoy.

Privacy laws and SPAM (and not the porcine kind)

Posted in Uncategorized.

 

UPDATE: As at 12 March 2014, the Australian Privacy Laws changed. So if you hold a customer database or sell products to customers where you hold their information and you have a turnover of $3m or more, then you need to read up on what’s different so you don’t get into any strife. They’ve put together a nifty PDF that gives you the drum, which offers hours of entertaining reading.

The short story is:

  • there’s some things you need to be sure your Privacy Policy now states (read the PDF for the list)
  • you have to make this Policy readily available and easily accessible
  • be careful about the types of information you request and store
  • storage and use of personal data must be safe
  • and there’s a new mandatory credit reporting privacy code

It’s dry reading and a little bit government-speak, so if in doubt, get your legal team to review your processes so that you don’t find yourself accidentally contravening this new policy. Unfortunately, “I didn’t know” won’t cut it.spam

While we’re talking about policies, it’s probably timely to also remind yourself of the Australian SPAM Act and make sure you’re not emailing people willy-nilly without their consent. If you are promoting your business in any way (other than just your logo), then you MUST have the permission of the recipient. You can read more here to ensure you’re following the rules properly. It’s important you don’t break the law, but it’s even more important that the audience you are mailing to are engaged and want to hear from you.

Bedtime reading anyone?

 

when PR goes bad

Posted in Copywriting, Marketing, Public Relations.

Butterfly-gate

monarchbutterfly

This week we were reminded of why a ‘PR stunt’ needs to be thought through from every angle before releasing it into the wild – literally. Sydney PR firm, ‘Free Publicity’, sent live butterflies to journalists to promote the DVD release of ‘Under the Dome’.

Now, whilst technically ‘on brand’ (butterflies form a major theme of the show), sending a journalist a live butterfly in an envelope is not cool (even if “great care was taken” to ensure their safety).

It certainly gained some publicity, but not the good kind. It also didn’t help that the PR firm managed a clanger of a typo in their pre-release (asking if the journalist would be in office to “except” the delivery). Cut-through is one thing, but sensitivity to how your idea might be received cannot be overlooked (nor can spell-check). And, given this is actually not a new idea (yes, some other firm did this back in August), it begs the question ‘what on earth were they thinking?’ There’s some serious damage-control going on now in the firm and I suspect some disappointment they didn’t run with a ‘snow dome’ option instead.

PR is a tricky and fickle thing. Get it right and you can have media stories galore about your product and brand. Get it wrong and well, the opportunity flies out the door.

If you need some PR ideas to get your product noticed (that don’t involve sending live animals in the mail), we’d be happy to help.

 

 

Is it a bad thing to use a stock image?

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Social Media.
Marketing brisbane

There’s so many for and against arguments it’s hard to take a side on this one, but it is a question that comes up a lot within marketing circles – is it a bad thing to use a stock image?

Well, as usual, the answer is, it depends.

The case for:

  • if your budget is tight and if you have a specialised product or service where the chances of anyone else using the same stock image to promote their similar service is minimal, then sometimes stock images can suit your purpose (see my cute fox stock images as an example)
  • if you’re preparing a presentation and it needs some life added but you don’t own enough images, stock shots can play a good part here
  • your facebook posts will always do better if there’s an image involved, and now that they’re giving you free access to Shutterstock images for that precise purpose, there’s a great reason to keep your info fresh using stock imagery (see the quickbrownfox facebook page post on this for more detail)
  • it’s also true for other social media like LinkedIn and blogs – imagery can really bring these to life, so adding stock imagery can be a good way to achieve this without breaking the bank

The case against:

  • at the end of the day we’re talking about your brand image. So using someone else’s interpretation of that might be at odds with your purpose. In the quickbrownfox case, we are unlikely to be able to get a suitable fox to provide an appropriate facial expression at an achievable cost, so in this instance it falls into the ‘case for’. But generally your brand will need to showcase a skill, a mood, your people or give an insight into your brand’s personality which should come from within, not from an image library trying to hit multiple marks
  • photography is not as expensive as you think. At minimum, you need a hero image (or 2) and some support shots that help bring your brand to life so we’re not talking a 5 day shoot here necessarily. You will have invested in getting your logo, website design, copy writing, and collateral materials right – don’t let it all down with a stock image of ‘people shaking hands’ or ‘happy smiling corporate people’
  • you will own these images and no one else can use them without your permission. So you won’t find your competitors using exactly the same shot to promote their (perhaps inferior) product offer
  • imagery is emotive – it’s supposed to be. So make sure you don’t compromise on the emotion you evoke with your consumer – they’ll see right through it

At the end of the day it will come down to a combination of budget and intent. If you can, you should always aim to take and own your own shots. But for the right purpose and in the right circumstance, a stock shot might just do the trick.

5 things NOT to do to your customers…

Posted in Advertising, Marketing.

We thought you might enjoy these helpful tips the folks at Marketing magazine shared:

1. Don’t get their brand name wrong > Check the spelling of their brand, especially weird use of caps and their nuances (eg PayPal, quickbrownfox, eBay). Note that goes for the client’s name too!

2. Don’t quote price ranges > If you say the cost is between $500 and $800 – they’ll always hear the lower amount. Same goes for time frames. Use exact numbers to avoid disappointment all round

3. Don’t say ‘but’ > Using ‘but’ can sound like you’re not going to resolve the issue. Try using ‘and’ or moving straight to solutions “Monday isn’t possible – I’ll get priority on your project and have it by Tuesday 10am – is that ok with you?”

4. Don’t go in blind > Got a new client or contact? Don’t say “And what do you do?”. Do a little homework and then get them to elaborate…”From my research I understand you do X – tell me more”

5. Don’t put the ‘A Team’ on the project > Telling them they’ve got the ‘A Team’ suggests you also have a ‘B Team’ who they might get next time. Instead tell them your philosophy is to hire only the best people at what they do and you’ve cherry-picked the team members that will best suit this specific project’s needs to get the best result.

While most of us would never do any of the things listed above, I bet a few of you have had it done to you!