Digital Leadership, Holiday Season Advertising & Other Marketing News

Neil Henry / Curation, News, trends Leave a Comment

News and views from this week in marketing. What inspired and encouraged, shocked and appalled? Here’s our top 10.

1. Taking The Lead

Kicking off this week, an interesting piece in the race to go digital 2.0. Where businesses have judged that India’s Silicon Valley – Bangalore – is the best host among 45 cities worldwide.

“India’s cities may suffer more than most from infrastructure deficits, pollution, poverty and other ills, but when it comes to the environment for digital transformation, their executives are remarkably optimistic… By contrast, developed cities account for eight of the 10 lowest readings in the barometer.”

Good read: Bangalore Beats San Francisco in Confidence to Go Digital

Equally interesting are the findings on which skills are most in demand. 1. digital security and 2. big data analytics. Behind these are cloud computing, social media, and artificial intelligence. Two of which are a major surprise to me as the cloud and AI are synonymous with digital transformation. Then again it’s probably a year too early for AI.

And while we’re on the subject of India…

2. A Digital-First Economy

A fascinating look at what has transpired in the past year since India’s government did the unthinkable – i.e. removed 86% of the country’s currency notes from circulation.

From then to now, “more than 1 billion people participated in a “reboot” of the country’s financial and monetary system” and the results are amazing.

Good read: How India Is Moving Toward a Digital-First Economy

A brave and yet extremely insightful move. Demonetization was only the start, now India is in a strong position to build a fully digitally empowered society.

3. Advertising Faux Pas (Not!)

This is genius!

How do you get readers of a major literary magazine to notice your advertisement? By putting a massive typo right in the headline. That is bound to wind them up no end!

Good read: This Ad Is Trolling Readers of a Major Literary Magazine With a Glaring Typo

Mighty effective marketing I would say. Just not something to be repeated too often.

4. Analytics

According to Avinash Kaushik, the secret to successful Web Analytics is as follows: “If you have a budget of $100 to make smart decisions about your website.. invest $10 in tools and vendor implementation and spend $90 on Analysts with big brains… It’s your investment in [people] that will deliver glory”

Good read: Marketing Analytics: No tool is ever as valuable as the analyst

There are analytics tools for every marketing channel, tactical campaign, business model and audience type. They range from the ultra cheap (free) to the mega expensive ($100,000+).

Gathering data, big BIG data, is a frenzied occupation because finding a beautiful diamond amongst the roughest of stones can set a company up with a lucrative opportunity. That diamond can come in the form of analytical awareness – deep insights into consumer behaviors, buying patterns or online activity.

Looking at a mountain of data, you must have the right tools to store, filter and digest information. But more importantly, you must have the right analyst to know where, how and why.

5. Searcher Intent

Another super Whiteboard Friday from Rand Fishkin. “Buried inside most SERPs (especially those with more general queries) is a host of insight into Google’s assumptions about searcher intent”.

Offering great insights into what Google does in SERPS when it isn’t quite sure what a searcher means by a certain search query. As such it presents results that cater for multiple possible meanings and in so doing gives us extremely useful information to help build stronger search marketing strategies of our own.

Good read: How Google Gives Us insight into Searcher Intent Through the Results

We have found over the past 10 years of working on SEM campaigns that it is common for businesses to use keywords that they ‘think’ people use to search for their business, product, service, when actually a much better strategy is to point them to Google and say, “don’t ‘think’, go see for yourself”, what people want based on Google perception.

This, after all, is based on a billion and more search results that have shaped the way Google knows – with some level of certainty – how we want to be presented with information. Even if it isn’t 100% sure.

6. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is trending upwards, with projections for an even steeper climb in 2018. But “before you invest big bucks in hiring an influencer for your brand, read this guide to ensure that they’re the right influencer for your business.”

Good read: Influencer Or Imposter? A Quick Guide To Influencer Marketing

With customer ‘experience’ replacing brand ‘loyalty’ there is no doubt reputation management is harder to come by. Simply put, consumers are becoming less brand advocates, more personalized to whomever and whatever solution meets their need.

Your influencer marketing strategy can do much to flip the switch here, ensuring your own customers loyalty remains, while delivering timely and personalized experiences.

7. Marketoonist

Absolutely fabulous! Fifteen years of marketing gold – in cartoon form – from Tom Fishburne at Marketoonist.

To celebrate he’s shared one cartoon from each of the 15 years, and they are well worth a look.

Good read: 15 Years of Marketing Cartoons, from Brand Management to Digital Transformation

Here are 3 that really tickled me:

On brand loyalty
On digital strategy
On banner ads

8. Holiday Season Ad Spend

The UK Advertising Association says that brands will be spending a record £6bn on Christmas advertising in 2017. “Driven by intense market competition, especially within the retail sector, and the rise of big-budget campaigns… It believes spending on ads has jumped nearly 40% in just seven years.”

Good read: Christmas ad spend ‘to hit record high’

But there is an interesting dilemma here because it has gotten to the point where advertisements – certainly those on TV – are no longer selling products but lifestyle choices and emotion.

I would go so far as to say the huge budgets being spent on advertising here in the UK – in the battle to have the No.1 Christmas Ad – are all about brand awareness.

They don’t really even showcase a product at all. Which is very clever, and very telling as to what big business philosophy is considered most important in marketing – brand perception.

Speaking of paid advertising…

9. Paid Search Trends This Holiday Season

Search Engine Land columnist Andy Taylor shares data that should help predict trends in the e-commerce and retail space this holiday season.

A close look at four topical trends and an excellent set of conclusions. Advertisers, should most definitely take note!

  1. Will Black Friday continue to close the paid search sales gap on Cyber Monday?
  2. Does Google Shopping have the juice to keep growing faster?
  3. Will phones and tablets top 60% paid search traffic share?
  4. How big will Maps ads get on key days?

Good read: Four key holiday paid search trends to keep an eye on

For me, trends 2 and 3 are the most interesting ones, they will say much about how advertising strategy should be developed, with an eye firmly on serving the consumer through positive experiences.

10. Take On Me

And finally, when two worlds collide (on Twitter)

The American Historical Association (AHA), and the Norwegian band a-ha (best known for its 1985 hit “Take On Me,”) had to recently clarify a few hashtag-related matters on Twitter to help their followers avoid confusion.

Good read: Use the Wrong Conference Hashtag, and an 80s Band May Tweet at You

On that note, let’s reminisce, it was after all an 80’s classic…


Until next week.

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