PREJUDICE AND COMPANY CULTURE by Jordan Connelly, Media Assistant

“So, Who here is prejudiced?”

I recently attended the Marketing Society’s first Inspiring Diversity event in Glasgow chaired by The Leith Agency’s Fiona Burton which featured excellent discussions from Alaba Okuyiga (Head of Training & Consultancy, enei) and Tanya Castell (CEO of Changing the Chemistry).

“So, Who here is prejudiced?” this was the opening question from speaker Alaba Okuyiga, the answer – everyone. We are all guilty of unconscious bias driven by our limited cognitive capacity but what does that actually mean and what does it mean for business? Continue reading “PREJUDICE AND COMPANY CULTURE by Jordan Connelly, Media Assistant”

INSPIRING WOMEN, INSPIRING CHANGE by Claire Mathieson, Account Manager

This week I attended Management Today’s Inspiring Women in Business Conference Edinburgh, which played host to some incredible speakers. From Karyn McCluskey fighting Glasgow’s gangs to Ruth Davidson becoming the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, “inspiring” was absolutely the right word . However, of all the incredible speeches there’s one thing that’s really stuck with me and that was a quote from Archie Struthers, global head of investment governance & oversight at Aberdeen Standard Investments:

“Presenteeism is a dangerous cultural hangover”

When flexible working is reserved to a specific group of people that are unable to attend events out of hours, unable to socialise as part of the team and even feel guilty because of their ‘absenteeism’ it can have a negative cultural effect. If one of the world’s largest financial companies (who as an industry aren’t exactly known for their flexibility) are able to say; it is possible to do your job from home – then why are we still having this debate? Continue reading “INSPIRING WOMEN, INSPIRING CHANGE by Claire Mathieson, Account Manager”

Q: IS TV OLD FASHIONED? by Kenneth McFarlane, Account Director

Q: “Is TV old-fashioned?”

A: “Absolutely not.  We’ve gone from four channels to hundreds.”

So spoke Sky’s Deputy MD in early 2018.  But it could easily have been an answer given at the tail-end of the last century.  This has long stopped being something to shout about – it’s an accepted fact, especially for my generation (the dreaded ‘millennials’).  Has nothing else happened with TV in the last decade that’s worth talking about?

Obviously, the answer is yes.  From HD to dabbling in 3D and Product Placement to addressable TV, a lot has happened to the box in the corner.  But Product Placement is now over 7yrs old.  Sky launched AdSmart in 2014.

With outdoor, media owners are able to talk about new formats, new panels and new ways of buying on a near-constant basis.  Online channels are evolving with even more regularity.  There’s always a new facebook format, targeting strategy or buying system to talk about.  The very fact that people are asking if TV is old-fashioned shows a perceived lack of ‘newness’.  Delivering the most profit, taking the lion’s share of the media day and evoking much more emotion than other media channels are all impressive facts – but they’re not new. Continue reading “Q: IS TV OLD FASHIONED? by Kenneth McFarlane, Account Director”

VOICE – THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN SEARCH by Oliver Corbishley, Digital Executive

A key aspect of the digital age is the constant technological evolution that changes the landscape. Search is no different, with the evolution from basic query search to adaptive, intelligent search that accompanies us everywhere.

We’re moving from the handheld mobile life to a new frontier with Voice search playing a growing role in our lives. With devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home seeing adoption rates similar  to early-era smartphones, voice search usage is expanding rapidly. 55% of teens and 40% of adults in the USA already use voice search daily (Google) and 50% of all searches are expected to come from voice by 2020 (ComScore).

Consumer satisfaction with Smart Speaker devices is high, with 65% of owners not wanting to go back to life without their devices and 42% considering them “essential” (Edison). People are also surprisingly willing to purchase products through their smart speakers, with 57% having made a purchase via their smart speaker and 35% having made a purchase of over $100.

Just Eat recently ran a voucher promotion via Alexa, encouraging users to download the Just Eat Alexa skill and order via their Echo speaker by offering a discount voucher. Though outside channels are currently required to spread awareness of this promotion it shows an early indication of how Brands can adapt to voice search technology.

Despite speculation, Amazon denies plans to add advertising to Alexa devices and we still don’t have indications from either Amazon or Google of how advertising will manifest on their Smart Speakers. One possible path would see advertisers pay for higher placement in search results, similar to how paid search works on Google. This path has issues for Amazon who want to see the Echo and Alexa driving product sales through their store. The fear is that replacing smart recommendations and past purchases with paid ads could annoy consumers and turn them off from their Smart Speaker

Businesses need to be thinking about how customers’ new relationship with voice search will impact on their digital strategies. While playing music and checking the weather are the most common regular uses for voice search, 52% use their Smart Speakers to ask general questions. With 75% of US households projected to have a Smart Speaker by 2020, Brands need to be prepared for a world were voice is the default medium for search.

STOP FUNDING HATE & CAMPAIGN PLANNING by Martin Wilson, Account Manager

The Stop Funding Hate campaign has recently found itself where it wants to be, in the media spotlight.  Paperchase became one of the highest profile advertisers to react to campaign pressure and apologise for a recent promotion (see here).  While Pizza Hut have also now apologised over a free pizza promotion in The Sun.

Leaving aside personal views for the moment, Stop Funding Hate raises some interesting points for media planners. We plan as effectively as we can taking all sorts of data into consideration as we plot and strategise ways to achieve our client’s objectives.   What weight should we give to social media pressure?

Stop Funding Hate exists to persuade advertisers to do what their name suggests by stopping companies spending their advertising dollar with publishers who they consider to be ‘using fear and division to spread hate’, namely the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun. They do so by encouraging consumers to politely communicate their distaste towards these advertisers, particularly through social media channels.

As media planners it’s vital that we stay entirely neutral when considering what’s best for our clients. Personal politics or beliefs shouldn’t come into the equation. If it so happens that one of the above mentioned publications reaches the ideal audience then we can’t discount it based on our own individual ideals. A single ad insertion in The Sun, Mail and Express reaches over 7 million adults. However, we also have a responsibility to be fully aware of external factors such as Stop Funding Hate. We should explain the potential consequences of our advertising decisions to the client who may wish to avoid any controversy, or may have their own views on those publishers.

Interestingly Paperchase has seen a 6% brand awareness spike since this story went public, very useful pre-Christmas! How cynical would we have to be to consider a major campaign in the Daily Mail only to very publicly cancel it and apologise to customers for a terrible lapse of judgement? Far more cynical than me, I can guarantee that.