Tag Archives: Marketing

New survey by Gekko reveals retail staff are more influential than celebrities and vloggers

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The results from a recent survey published today by field marketing agency Gekko entitled ‘Shopper Influencers’ reveals that the bricks and mortar retail environment continues to play a significant role in influencing shoppers purchasing decisions across both general and high value goods. The survey by OnePoll was conducted among 2000 UK consumers between 18 and 55+.

Even among today’s tech savvy 18 to 24 years old’s more than 40% prefer to head in-store to see, touch and experience a product before buying, rising to 58% for the over 55’s. Most surprising is that 38% of 18 to 24 year old’s want a personal service and recommendation from in-store staff, the highest among all of the age categories. Only a small proportion of 18 to 24 year old shoppers are swayed by celebrity endorsement (18%) or the opinion of vlogger’s and bloggers (28%).

The influence of friends (70%) and online reviews (71%) among this age group is significantly higher in making product purchase decisions and this is consistent across all age groups. And when it comes to high value items such as TV’s, home appliances and luxury items, the trend continues with online reviews, personal recommendation and the in-store experience rating as the most important influences across all age categories.

When it comes to looking at the key influencers across product sectors there are some notable trends: 

  • Within the tech sector, online reviews from other people are still heavily relied upon (38%) among 18 to 24 year olds but interestingly this is also the case for all age groups with (35%) for over 55’s.
  • Similar to tech, for home appliances, user reviews rate highly across all groups (32%) 18 to 24 year olds, rising up to (46%) among 45 to 54s.
  • For beauty and fashion, reviews from other people score highly across all age groups but in this sector, unlike the others, the influence of bloggers and vloggers is much more highly rated, although only among the younger 18-24 generation (32%) for beauty and (23%) for fashion.

When asked what advertising has influenced a considered purchase none of the mainstream advertising channels were cited as influential: just 7.5% for TV, 8.7% for website, 4.6% for social media, 3% for billboard and 2% for newspaper and print. Advertising in-situ within the retail environment however was rated the key influencing factor at 19%.

Daniel Todaro, Managing Director of Gekko, said: “According to the ONS, while online sales continue to rise, e-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales July to August 2017 was still only 16.4%.  The findings of this study show that the shop floor is clearly still winning in considered purchases, therefore marketers need to invest in making the experience as good as it can be. When a shopper is ready to make a purchase they will look for advice and guidance from people who have experience of using the product be that friends, family, other users or experts in-store. Consumers today are much more savvy and recognise that celebrities and vloggers have been paid for their endorsement, while time and money spent working with staff on the shop floor will in fact pay for itself through category development and increased sales at a higher average sales price, making your marketing work harder.”

Read the article here

Source: Gekko

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Should Brands Be ‘In’ or ‘Out’ of the Political Debate?

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When considering how much time, money, and effort brands invest in establishing their equity as a valuable asset, you have to ask: should they be risking this equity by adopting a political position? The answer is probably not, just as you wouldn’t debate religion or social economics in the context of your brand. However, as we are seeing in the UK with the EU Referendum, and in the US with the Presidential race, brands are getting braver and sticking their noses into the political debate, risking alienating those that buy their products based on brand alone.

It’s a given that a brand’s stance on social responsibility is of paramount importance, for example, ensuring they pay a living wage relevant to the countries in which they operate in, paying statutory taxes, and exposing corruption in sponsorship, as in the case of the rather embattled FIFA. But, when the debate shifts to who to vote for, you run a huge risk of upsetting red or blue, left or right, yes or no.

Why would a brand financially invest in finding the most appropriate brand ambassadors or advertising campaigns only to potentially destroy any good will created amongst their loyal fans by pinning their colours to a political cause? Customers are ultimately what generates revenue for any brand. Speaking to your audience in the correct manner is essential to stimulating interest and persuading them to spend their hard earned money on your brand. Therefore, apart from the obvious free PR achieved, why take a gamble by entering into the political debate?

We recently commissioned consumer research, speaking to 2,000 respondents on the effects of consumer spending due to UK’s pending EU Referendum. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the vote could see the UK, a member for over 40 years, leave the European Union. The In (remain) and the Out (leave) campaigns have created aggressive and clever campaigns, coercing some brands to comment.

What our research shows is that brands should proceed with caution when entering the political debate. When asked whether consumers agree with “I’m more likely to support the side taken by a brand that I trust,” 25% of 18-24 year olds disagreed. However, as we progressed to the 55+ age group, i.e. those with more disposable income and more likely to vote, this disagreement increased to 41%. It’s therefore a sobering thought for any brand to realise that you may alienate a large proportion of your loyal customer base – an audience not just buying for themselves, but also the wider family unit.

When asked if “brands should stay out of politics altogether,” a staggering 61% of respondents said yes, with only 7% disagreeing. When you dissect this across all age groups, it becomes more pertinent as the feeling is consistent with 55% of 18-24, 56% of 25-34, 58% of 35-44 & 45-54, and topped by 68% of the 55+ agreeing. Bring gender into the equation and 64% of females feel more strongly about brands staying out of politics, compared to 58% of males, making political brand association more unappealing as originally thought. With research indicating that brands should be politically agnostic, think about any brand looking to endorse Clinton and Trump.

The statistics are a clear indicator for any brand entering the political debate, for whatever reason, it could potentially become a toxic issue causing long term damage to your reputation across the ages and sexes. Why take the risk? A brand’s social conscience should prevail, and any legitimate lobbying should cease when it spills into the public domain. The damage caused to your brand is likely to outweigh any financial gain from influencing the electorate.

 

Read more at: http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2016/06/15/should-brands-be-in-or-out-of-the-political-debate/

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Sport sponsorship: the good, the bad and the politics

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Sponsoring major sporting events on an international playing field can bring rewards to brands. It’s any marketer’s dream and brings boundless opportunities for brands. There is return, beyond the cache of being associated with such high profile events. After all, there is the index-linked effect on sales, which can’t be ignored, as well as the value of a brand’s stock and overall stature in today’s economic climate.

You only have to tot up the figures to see how lucrative this market is. Adidas claims that the London 2012 Olympics boosted its sales, while Kantar reports that from 2004 through 2013, the Super Bowl game has generated $2 billion of network advertising sales from more than 130 marketers.

However, while sponsorship can give brands a chance to promote themselves on a global stage, as well as enter new markets, they must be prepared for the politics too. The 2008 Beijing Olympics saw sponsors targeted for their association with the event, with protesters putting pressure on them over China’s human rights record. There was also much scrutiny spotlighted on the London 2012 over brands that were not aligned with the Olympic values. Heineken and Cadbury, McDonalds and Coca-Cola bore the brunt of the negativity in light of not being wholly associated with good health. When people took to the streets in Rio over the Brazilian Governments preparations for the 2014 World Cup, the media turned to the sponsors for their response.

Now, it’s Sochi where some sponsors have found themselves having to handle difficult political questions over human rights and the government’s controversial law banning so-called gay ‘propaganda’. These are brands that simply signed up to sponsor one of the biggest events in the world, and presumably support the ethics of the Olympics movement. When McDonald’s started using #CheersToSochi on Twitter to cheer on athletes, protestors hijacked the hashtag.

Now when you search for the hashtag you’ll see reams of fiery messages directed at sponsors. Commentators have used the same McDonald’s branded Twitter feed to attack Visa, Procter & Gamble and other long-time Olympic sponsors that have issued statements backing a non-discriminatory games — but stopped short of condemning Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” laws. AT&T, a Team USA sponsor but not a global Olympics backer, has been the only brand with official Olympic ties to publicly condemn Russia’s laws.

Many brands take a ‘politics-neutral’ approach, avoiding taking sides on controversial or political issues. Silence can often be golden if a brand doesn’t have anything relevant to say or the credibility to say it. However, when they’re involved in massive sponsorships, it becomes very difficult for brands to maintain this position. And when they don’t respond they’re deemed as complicit anyhow. Or they could be like Google and change their Doodle to the colours of the rainbow.  

But regardless of whether a brand decides to jump headfirst into the political ring or stay well clear, if they do so they must be prepared for the consequences.  The reality is that we need these global brands to support the global events they sponsor. They serve to inspire us, our children, our nations and create a bubble where for several weeks of the year, the world unites around one event together in the name of sport. We should never ignore the issues but for the sake of the athletes, perhaps put the politics to one side and get on with the games and applaud human endeavour made possible with the support of brand sponsorship.

By Dan Todaro, MD, Gekko

Read the full article at http://www.utalkmarketing.com/Pages/Article.aspx?ArticleID=23636&Title=Sport_sponsorship:_the_good,_the_bad_and_the_politics

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Google Endorsements: Industry reaction

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This weekend Google announced its latest advertising platform – Shared Endorsements. Similar to the soon-to-be defunct Sponsored Stories option on Facebook, Google’s Shared Endorsements will pull in users’ names and profile pictures in adverts, ranging from Google Play store recommendations to adverts for restaurants.

Following the announcement The Drum asked a cross section of marketers what the introduction of Shared Endorsements could mean for advertisers and what lessons Google could learn from Facebook’s mistakes.

It’s no surprise that Facebook’s Sponsored Stories didn’t meet with vast amounts of success. So how can Google’s Shared Endorsements avoid that trap?

The trick is to offer consumers exactly what they want. No-one likes to be bombarded with messages that are completely irrelevant to their tastes and buying behaviours. Think how frustrating it would be to be marketed a beer ad if you only drink wine.

Nonetheless, the potential this offers to marketers is huge, with a massive, global audience who will potentially see their ad.

Therein lies its key factor – its reach. Google’s audience is so vast that it outstrips all other forms of advertising. What brands must ensure, however, is that the content that they are putting in front of people actually appeals to them. After all, a targeted campaign will always be more effective than a blanket approach.

read more at: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/01/14/google-endorsements-industry-reaction-digitaslbi-havas-mec-iprospect-and-more

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Can Anything Be Done To Save The Ailing PC Sector?

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Following what was described as the longest decline in history back in the summer, PC shipments are now at a five year low – and it shows no signs of abating, despite the traditionally fruitful festive period impending.

Steve Jobs, sitting on stage at a conference in 2007 with Gates, first raised the idea of a “post-PC” era, a time when the traditional PC would no longer be the centre of a user’s universe. Instead, more mobile, function-specific devices would come into play, and would make computers much more personal than the PC. The proposal of a post-PC era was certainly in the interests of Apple, but the vision would quickly come to fruition with the iPhone kicking a smartphone revolution; one that would also include such vendors as Samsung and HTC, as well as bringing Google’s Android operating system to the fore.

Flash-forward to Christmas 2013 and fewer consumers have a new PC on their wish-list this year?  Gartner research shows the desktop and laptop market in Western Europe is declining even faster than expected and would likely continue to do so. The UK has been hit especially hard, making for particularly grim reading following a brutal 2012. But should this be a surprise?

Well, we can point to frugality as one reason, with consumers and businesses unwilling to trade in and upgrade their current PCs until absolutely necessary (with Windows 8 no doubt having an impact on this decision), but tablets and smartphones are taking huge chunks out of PC market share.

This is evidenced in no clearer detail than the contrasting fortunes of Lenovo and Acer in recent weeks. Lenovo, the world’s biggest PC maker, has been focusing on mobile devices amid a slowing global PC market. The result? A 36% jump in profits. Meanwhile Acer, the world’s fourth largest computer manufacturer and has been hit by further losses.

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report points to how that is playing out in terms of usage. When consumers are active users of smartphones (now at 51% penetration in the UK) and tablets (now double the penetration of 2012 at 24%, 56% of which is iPad), those consumers are swaying away from using desktop PCs and laptops. Our smaller, less expensive and Internet-friendly alternatives are taking over. It’s perhaps too soon for this Christmas now, but brands in this space need to adapt quickly.

With new brands entering the tablet market all the time, trying to grab a slice of the fortunes (Tesco’s Hudl the latest in a long line), it has driven a tremendous level of choice and value to the consumer; enabling it to become a cost-effective option for the vast majority of consumers.

Moreover, the connectedness provided by our smartphones and tablets also mean that we’re using our PCs significantly less. Whether it be shopping, banking, socialising or e-mail, the strain is now spread across three of four devices and with less functions to be relied upon, the PC upgrade more often than not will be bottom of the priority list. With lower usage means a longer product life too.

However, despite the market shrinkage, I believe there is still a place for PCs in people’s lives. But they have to quickly find and define a new purpose. If e-mail, shopping, banking and even TV-streaming are to be handled by tablets, then in addition to the latter, photography, gaming and design can be the new points of emphasis. Likewise, how can manufacturers tailor their offering to their business audience?

The critical issue when looking at the dip in shipments is that the lost unit sales are largely at the lower end of the PC market. Cheap, commodity-spec, throw-away boxes powered by low-end chips have been made obsolete by tablets. Rather than attempting to be as multi-purpose as possible should PC manufacturers look to consolidate function and emphasise value within USPs.

PCs may never regain the market share they once enjoyed, but there is still plenty of space for them to exist in a complementary role —more portable, more energy-efficient and in a range of new form factors. Whether targeting businesses or the consumer, the PC remains an integrated part of the user’s wider digital consumption habits, becoming the hub of your digital life which tablets and smartphones complement as satellite devices.

By Daniel Todaro, MD, Gekko

read the full article at http://www.techbubbles.co.uk/blog/can-anything-be-done-to-save-the-ailing-pc-sector/

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Freeview unveils experiential road show featuring dancing tadpoles

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Freeview is looking to extend its latest campaign with a new experiential road show featuring two dancing tadpoles.
 
Created by Gekko, the activity features a large dome structure containing a digital floor projection featuring the tadpoles, recognisable from the ongoing TV campaign, with children able to ‘splash water’ and interact with the tadpoles.
 
James Chambers, retail marketing manager at Freeview, said: “With our latest experiential road show we wanted to demonstrate that entertainment is even better when it’s free. By creating something fun and a bit out of the ordinary, we hope to get people thinking about Freeview differently.”
 
The road show will be fully integrated with current ATL, digital, PR and social media activity.
 
A team of ambassadors will also be on hand to demonstrate all the benefits on offer from Freeview.

Read more at http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/10/22/freeview-unveils-experiential-road-show-featuring-dancing-tadpoles#RO8hMRtOS53fuIdw.99

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Marketing key to capitalising on back to university rush

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Daniel Todaro, MD of field marketing agency Gekko, shares his views on what retailers and resellers can be doing to maximise their sales to students and universities.
 
The yearly appearance of autumn leaves signal two things for retailers: it marks the end of summer, but it also signals the annual back to school rush.
 
With children of all ages preparing for the new school or university year, thousands of parents will be charged with the task of effectively equipping their offspring with the equipment necessary to navigate the upcoming year. Recent research shows the back to school bill for the UK totals £1.3 billion alone, but to believe this investment is purely made in stationary and PE kit would be a grave mistake.
 
Following the school rush, thousands of teenagers will be making the pilgrimage back to university too; a journey that could not possibly be made without the latest technology. While the parents will be the ones inevitably opening their wallets, many are allowing their offspring to take increasing ownership over the purchase decision-making on high ticket electrical items. Now, more so than ever, it represents a significant opportunity for retailers and brands to drive sales.
 
This time of year is always accompanied by a surfeit of advertising targeting parents to make their purchases for the inevitable return to school. The effectiveness of this advertising is not in question but it cannot work in isolation. Advertising serves to drive customers through the door but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that footfall will translate into much needed sales.
 
Without help, consumers will naturally gravitate towards value and promotions; which for brands can result little more than a sales roulette – particularly with frugal parents looking to limit their losses with their free-spending children.
 
The largest impact will inevitably be made at point of sale. However, like TV, this cannot act in isolation. What is crucial is a robust through-the-line marketing approach; a seamlessly joined up experience characterised by a strong narrative through the line, from the TV to the in store.
 
Having staff that are correctly trained to deliver the messages communicated in the advertising is pivotal. Staff should be able to communicate the messaging effectively and consistently; able to deal with any question. This human element is pivotal, and what many consumers visit the store for – the ability to have a real conversation with an expert and receive guidance in making a decision. After all, no one wants to speak to a robot(or buy the wrong product!).
 
Empathy is crucial, particularly in a category where consumers are not likely to be experts on the products and fearful of making the wrong choice and wasting money. However, compliance – which is often overlooked, is equally important. A brand may spend millions on artistic ATL, but this can be for nothing if the product and promotion is not displayed accurately in store.
 
Back to school is a gift to retailers, especially retailers specialising in technology. With a ready-made calendar hook to fuel footfall retail outlets need to put the work in only to convert this into sales. Retailers must ensure that they implement a through-the-line approach to convey a seamless message in-store where every available touch point is utilised to maintain the brand experience and drive sales with a higher average basket value.
 
Daniel Todaro is from field marketing agency Gekko

Read the full article at http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/opinion-marketing-key-to-capitalising-on-back-to-university-rush/032029

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Who Can Save Our Faltering High Streets? Why Not the Mega-Brands?

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The plight of the UK High Street is well-documented. With countless retailers closing and sales figures dwindling year on year, the High Street question is one that many are keen to answer before a great British institution disappears before our eyes. HMV and Jessops were given last-minute reprieves when faced with the gallows, but as we move forward it’s inevitable that more big names will fall upon the hardest of times, with fewer being granted a second chance.
 
There have been a number of solutions mooted as means for saving the High Street. A government minister has also suggested consolidating retail spaces within towns by converting empty units into affordable housing. What’s clear is that initiatives are sorely needed to truly bring life back to dead commercial business districts, so here’s an idea:  Why not ask major brands to sponsor the High Street? Many may feel that it’s perhaps about time corporations demonstrated a bit of social responsibility and gave back to the communities from which they profit so ostensibly.
 
With the point of purchase increasingly becoming ‘any place, any time,’ the emphasis shifts to experience – the need for brands to curate spaces dependent not entirely on sales, but immersive, engaging environments. Environments that consumers can spend time in without any obligation, experience the brand and perhaps become a long-term advocate tied-in on an emotional level.
 
With this in mind, why shouldn’t the biggest brands think bigger? Under the term umbrella branding, the P&Gs, GSKs and Unilevers of the world have all made moves in recent times to bring their masterbrands to the fore and develop a relationship with consumers for the first time in their histories. So why not think beyond single retail units and engage their wider portfolio to create a real immersive experience that also gives back to the community at the same time? Cellular carriers have done this to great effect, as have some CE brands. Of course, I can’t fail to mention Apple, the most profitable retailer by square footage, which Microsoft is presently trying to emulate in the US.
 
Take Unilever, a global masterbrand that has made a concerted effort to place social responsibility at the heart of its operations. Notably, its ‘Sustainable Living Plan’ sits front and centre within the organisation’s modern-day mission and is deemed a ‘strategic response to the challenges our world faces.’ Furthermore, it has partnered with D&AD to create a brand new award, the White Pencil, for the best example of design and creativity that has social good at its core and sets purpose above profit.
 
Unilever has a vast portfolio of brands, including Marmite, Walls, Lynx, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove and Persil to name just a few. According to the figures, it holds over 400 brands worldwide with over two billion consumers using them daily. So why couldn’t they utilize these brands and take over empty retail units? It would both promote the shared ideals and values of the Unilever proposition, but also deliver a unique experience that our towns desperately need.
 
Furthermore, in addition to retail units allocated to various brands within the portfolio, retail space could also be offered to small businesses and students, in order to showcase and sell their products and talents. The current environment makes it challenging for entrepreneurs to start up and an investment from a brand would provide both a valuable platform for budding business owners and also a little bit of hope, too. Plus, such an investment would be a very small price to pay for the opportunity to create a High-Street-wide brand experience.
 
Lastly, much debate has centred upon local communities becoming increasingly homogenized and such a move would go a long way to sparking some life back into our towns. The High Street is so much more than the point of purchase and it’s vital not just to our economy, but also to our society. What better way to engage a community than by injecting some belief, inspiration and positive energy into a struggling economy?
 
Although the burden of responsibility appears to be a hot potato at times, the seeds of social consciences are still sprouting and emerging. It requires bold thinking, indeed, but, in light of tax scandals and ethical controversies, it offers an opportunity for such brands to truly put their money where their mouths are, give back and perhaps change the shape of the High Street for new generations.

Read the full article at http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2013/09/20/mega-brands/

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Training: Get in the groove and go with the data flow

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Omnichannel marketing means freeing up your data and schooling employees in the analytic tools necessary to sharing digital content with social networks.

Toshiba, a longstanding client of Gekko, share their views:

For Toshiba, training is all about engagement through interaction. We work with field marketing expert Gekko to ensure our retail field team are fully immersed in the brand through interactive training.

The level of data management with our training allows us to offer more information and knowledge because we are able to have a greater understanding of the hundreds of stores nationwide that carry Toshiba products and promotions.

Data collection, for example, enables us to monitor activity on a highly detailed level, which, in turn, positively affects the information we pass onto store staff. The training element evolves constantly.

We use our own Toshiba tablets to equip staff using information in real time to bring them up to speed on the latest developments and promotions. As more information becomes available, staff are able to learn how to respond to shopping trends and promotions immediately.

It’s essential that store staff are fully up to date with key features and the latest product developments. If staff can project Toshiba’s brand message seamlessly in their approach it will form an intuitive reputation among consumers to drive sales and loyalty.

Read more at: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/trends/training-get-in-the-groove-and-go-with-the-data-flow/4007797.article

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