On Reflection…

This final reflective post will focus on online video advertising and the way in which this form of advertising is impacting on the digital marketing environment and what affect this has on the public sphere. I will be making evaluations upon what I have learnt throughout the course of writing this blog, and will base my conclusions on findings within my previous blogs.

Watching online videos is fast becoming one of the predominant activities for the majority of internet users, with 78% of people watching videos online at least once a week and 55% of people watching online videos daily (Howells, 2013). This increase of online video consumption saw an increase of 38% from 2011 to 2012, with videos expected to account for 57% of consumer internet traffic by 2015, which is nearly four times as much traffic as any other form of web browsing (Cisco, 2012).

This, alongside the recent news that Youtube is cutting the cost of advertising  via their site, leaves little surprise as to why using online videos as a form of advertising is now considered to be a powerful and imperative marketing tool for many brands and businesses; with anybody not doing so being likely to be left in the wake of their competition.

youtube ads

(Youtube, 2013)

It is no surprise to me that online video advertising has taken off as much as it has. When I consider the amount of time I and people I know spend watching videos online in comparison to the more traditional methods of consumption such as television, there was clearly a necessity for marketers to recognise this and partially withdraw television ad spend in order to increase money spent advertising via online videos.

A recent report by comScore demonstrates this influx in spending by businesses on online video advertising. They declare that in December 2012 around 23% of online videos had ads in them. This figure compares to just 14% of videos in December 2011, which represents an increase of 64% in the volume of adverts attached to online videos on a year-to-year basis (comScore, 2013). Within that same time period, the time which consumers actually spent watching video adverts rose by 58%; taking the % of all minutes spent viewing videos online up to 1.9% (Howells, 2013).

Videos graph

                                                                                                 (comScore, 2013)

These figures appear to me to be a true representation of the way in which consumers are viewing adverts, and to what mass. As a university student, my work schedule often doesn’t allow me to watch television at the times when programmes are first scheduled; this means that I tend to watch the majority of television programmes online and on-demand. During this time I have observed a noticeable increase in the number of ads shown alongside programmes that I have been watching; which coincides with the findings within comScore’s report.

There are, however, certain stumbling blocks that advertisers will have to overcome in order to reach the vast numbers of internet users. For instance, ad-blocking software has been developed which, when installed, blocks all adverts from appearing on web pages and videos. One particular piece of software called ‘Ad Block Plus’ has been downloaded over 180million times since it was made available in 2007 (economist, 2012). This consumer trend has proved difficult to stem; demonstrated in 2010 when Technology-news outlet ‘Ars Technica’ found that 40% of its users were blocking its ads. They took the measure of blocking their access for a day, but managed to sign up only 200 users (from 5million users a month) for its ad-free version.

AdBlock

                                                             (AdBlock, 2013)

It is clear that Google recognise the significant impact that the blocking of ads could have on their profitability from advertising. It is therefore, of little surprise that they have recently removed ad-blocking software from their app store, stating that “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies.” (Google, 2013). Co-founder of AdBlock responded to Google, stating that “Google is stepping all over the checks and balances that make the Internet democratic”, going on to state that “We encourage advertising that is done appropriately and conforms to an Acceptable Ads policy.”  (Faida, 2013).

google-chrome-web-store

(Google, 2013)

I read into these recent occurrences with great interest, as I am not only an internet user, but also a consumer and a stakeholder within marketing. From an internet user’s point of view, I recognise that certain online adverts can be intrusive and annoying, therefore, I feel that I should have the option to remove ads that pop up or interfere with what I am doing. However, as a marketer, I believe that web pages and web video is an important medium for advertisers to be able to utilise. Taking this into consideration, I would argue that any adverts that do not conform to an Acceptable Ads policy should be automatically removed, allowing organisations and consumers to share their online space without either party feeling any grievance.

Over the course of the last three months, I have gone from a student with partial knowledge about digital media and blogging itself, to now, holding a passion for blogging and beholding an in-depth knowledge and opinion on digital media. This has subsequently taught me that, the digital landscape is ever-changing; therefore, if I am to sustain any knowledge on the subject, it is essential to keep up to date on the goings on in the digital media world. I will keep up to date on the world of digital media by utilising a digital medium that I have also learned about whilst writing my blog; an RSS feed, which will forward to me relevant web pages and articles relating to digital media.

If I were to have the opportunity to repeat my blog, I would choose an alternative provider such as Blogger as opposed to WordPress. This is because Blogger tends to attract more viewers and interactivity than WordPress; the likelihood being because Blogger is owned by Google which results in Blogger appearing higher within search engine results. Having developed such an interest in digital media, I look forward to continuing my blog in my spare time; I believe this could also aid me within my future career, as it will not only give me an insight into the current digital environment, but could also act as a useful example to show prospective employers.

Bibliography:

Atkinson, C. (2013). YouTube Is Slashing Prices to Attract Advertisers for NewFront Money. Available: http://www.reelseo.com/youtube-slashing-prices-attract-advertisers-newfront-money/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Bulkley, K. (2013). Connected Future. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/video-advertising/introduction. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Careless, J. (2013). The State of Online Video Advertising 2013.Available: http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/The-State-of-Online-Video-Advertising-2013-88071.aspx. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Cisco. (2012). Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2011-2016. Available: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns525/ns537/ns705/ns827/white_paper_c11-481360_ns827_Networking_Solutions_White_Paper.html. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Crompton, C. (2013). Vanishing Ads: Ad Blocking Will Change Online Advertising. Available: http://ecommerceinsiders.com/vanishing-ads-adblock-adtrap-retailers-rethink-advertising-530/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Crosset, K. (2013). Ad Blocking Apps to Challenge Growth of Mobile Advertising. Available: http://www.marketingforecast.com/archives/22184. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Gosschalk, M. (2013). A New Era for Online Video. Available: http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations_and_Whitepapers/2011/A_New_Era_for_Online_Video. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Howells, R. (2013). Time Spent Watching Online Video Ads on the Rise.Available: http://www.spectrecom.co.uk/time-spent-watching-online-video-ads-on-rise/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Jarboe, G. (2012). Average American Viewer Watched Over 200 Videos for Almost 22.3 Hours in July 2012. Available: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2199677/Average-American-Viewer-Watched-Over-200-Videos-for-Almost-22.3-Hours-in-July-2012. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Learmonth, M. (2013). YouTube Drops Price for Upfront Packages to Lure TV Dollars. Available: http://adage.com/article/digital/youtube-drops-price-upfront-packages-lure-tv-dollars/241137/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Lomas, N. (2013). AdBlock Plus Responds To Play Store Ban: “Unilateral Move By Google Threatens Consumer Choice”. Available: http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/14/adblock-plusresponds-to-google-play-bar/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Marketing Charts. (2012). Mobile Devices Account For More Than 5% of Online Video Consumption. Available: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/interactive/mobile-devices-account-for-more-than-5-of-online-video-consumption-24907/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

N/A. (). Internet video ad completion rates continue to grow.Available: http://www.yume.com/blog/internet-video-ad-completion-rates-continue-to-grow/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

N/A. (2013). Video Advertising. Available: http://www.reelseo.com/video/advertising/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Page, C. (2013). Google removes ad blocking Android apps from its Google Play store. Available: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2254860/google-removes-adblocking-android-apps-from-its-google-play-store. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Softpedia. (2012). Mozilla Announces 100 Million AdBlock Plus Downloads. Available: http://news.softpedia.com/newsImage/Mozilla-Announces-100-Million-AdBlock-Plus-Downloads-2.png/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Statista. (2013). U.S. video advertising as percentage of total online video consumption from July 2010 to January 2013. Available: http://www.statista.com/statistics/173802/proportion-of-online-video-ads-of-total-online-video-consumption/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Three Motion Media. (2013). The Power of Online Video: The Stats.Available: http://threemotion.co.uk/the-power-of-online-video-the-stats-2013/. Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.

Mobile Advertising and M-commerce

Digital media has not only changed the way in which consumers and brands communicate with one another, but has also seen the emergence of new trends in the way consumers choose to shop, and

“M-commerce looks set to be key to the future of retail, as empowered shoppers respond well to the ability to research clothing brands, read reviews and make purchases at the touch of a button. Companies are also using QR codes to engage young, online-savvy consumers.” (Mintel, 2013)

This trend has, no doubt been fuelled by burgeoning smartphone ownership, with those with internet-enabled mobiles now in the majority (54%) (Mintel, 2013) and this has led to mobile retail being projected to grow by 42% per year for the next five years to reach a total value of £2.5 billion by 2016” (Paypal, 2012).

In order to achieve these figures, retailers must make use of available technology and allow consumers to shop and communicate with them, using applications and websites tailored to smartphones and iPads. As these are set to be a “must-have for fashion brands and retailers, and those which lag behind will forfeit a substantial generator of sales” (Mintel, 2013)

The above image demonstrates how many brands are developing CSS3 compatible websites in order to allow a seamless browsing experience for mobile users. Other brands are, however, taking the mobile branding experience to the next level. Last summer, Coca-Cola ran an innovative campaign in Hong Kong that “successfully combined the reach of TV with the engagement of mobile to create a true phenomenon across the region.” (MobiAdNews, 2013)

Savvy marketers at Coca-Cola had noticed that the time that teens spent watching TV had dropped by over 10% in the last two years. These figures, alongside rapidly growing time being spent using mobiles; led to Coca-Cola making the decision to use mobile as a means of interacting with their ads. (MobiAdNews, 2013)

The video below details how Coca-Cola’s innovative ‘Chok-Chok’ campaign worked.

Bibliography:

Mintel, 2013. Mobile Phones – UK – 2013. London: Mintel Group. Available from: http://academic.mintel.com/display/655027/?highlight=true#hit [Accessed 30 April 2013].

Mobi Ad News. (2013). Chok! Chok! Chok! Coke’s Interactive TV-Mobile Gaming Promotion!. Available: http://www.mobiadnews.com/?p=6196. Last accessed 18th Apr 2013.

Design of website

Cart abandonment rates on e-tail websites have hit an all-time high in 2013, with 73.6% of online baskets being abandoned; a rise from 70.7% in the last quarter of 2012. (www.basketabandonment.com, 2013)

Although these figures may, on first inspection, appear to be alarmingly high; it is important for e-tailers to “consider the online shopping cart in the greater purchase path” (e-marketer, 2013). For example, many consumers may use the cart as a mere tool to compare online prices and shipping rates, or treat their cart as an on-going shopping list; ultimately completing their purchases online (e-marketer, 2013). Other factors include the number of consumers using their smartphone to research purchases; later completing the purchase using a laptop or PC.

Many marketers, however, believe that suitable web design, navigation usability can reduce the number of consumers abandoning at checkout. John Lewis is a prime example of an e-tailer who has taken measures to make the experience of using their website as pleasant and user-friendly as possible.

john lewis

John Lewis’ checkout page is uncluttered, and follows the recommended format of high-end websites where it is “appropriate to use muted colours, formal language and professional-standard images” (Smith, 2013)

Another design feature of their website which may help John Lewis to reduce the number of abandoned carts is the large text highlighting how consumers can qualify for free delivery; something which the image below demonstrates as being a major factor of why consumers abandon their online cart.

reasons for

The page also offers the comforting option to ‘Continue securely’, which is appropriate to their target market who are likely to be more mature and may have apprehensions about the safety of shopping online. The ‘Add to wish list’ option addresses the issue of cart abandoning; offering the consumer to save the item for later, which may encourage them to complete the purchase at a later date.

Bibliography:

Basket Abandonment. (2013). Basket Abandonment Stats: Q1 2013.Available: http://basketabandonment.com/2013/04/08/basket-abandonment-stats-q1-2013/. Last accessed 21st March 2013.

E-Marketer. (2013). Retailers Rethink Shopping Cart Abandonment.Available: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Retailers-Rethink-Shopping-Cart-Abandonment/1009645. Last accessed 21st March 2013.

Gulden, J. (2013). Responsive Web Design: 11 Great Examples from the Financial Industry. Available: http://socialmediatoday.com/jacey-gulden/1410816/responsive-web-design-11-great-examples-financial-industry. Last accessed 21st March 2013.

Moss, T. (). Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) & web accessibility.Available: http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/uk-website-legal-requirements.shtml. Last accessed 21st March 2013.

Smith, A. (2013). How to Make Your Web Design Reflect Your Brand Personality. Available: http://www.bestdesigntuts.com/how-to-make-your-web-design-reflect-your-brand-personality. Last accessed 21st March 2013.

The Borderless Digital World

Advances in social networking, online video and other communication technologies has brought upon a boarderless digital world, allowing firms to explore markets outside of their cultural sphere and national identity. Businesses are beginning to develop a more global approach to branding and communication strategies. (Whatley, 2012)

Luxury brands; who in the past would have only targeted segments using traditional demographic methods, are now including “other characteristics such as location (New York, Palm Beach, Monaco)” (Whatley, 2012). In addition to this, today’s borderless digital world has resulted these luxury clothing brands also  “turning to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and applications associated with these platforms to target affluent, younger and technically savvy customers”. (Cooper, 2010)burberry-art-of-trench-11(Burberry, 2012)

A recent example of this is the way in which the Burberry Group engages consumers through extensive social media platforms to connect them with the brand. They have developed country-specific Twitter accounts in Brazil,Mexico, Japan, Turkey and Korea. Burberry have also taken the next step; developing their own social media site ‘artofthetrench.com’. This site entices a global audience from all generations to share their experiences of their iconic trench coat (Brand Burberry blog, 2011). Users of the site are encouraged to build a unique trench coat online, selecting style, fabric, color and other custom options (MillwardBrown/BrandZ, 2012).

armani-frames-contest(Armani, 2012)

Other platforms are also being utilized by brands in order to interact with consumers, for instance, Giorgio Armani recently launched a “Frames of Your Holiday” campaign via Instagram. Focusing on lifestyle; consumers can become part of the Armani campaign by uploading their Instagram images on the Armani social media sites. Armani’s CEO described how “the digital-focused campaign redefined the brand for a younger demographic” (de Boni, 2011).

Reference

Amuah, Hazel Berrard, The Role of Creativity in the Market Segmentation Process and the Benefits of Strategic Global Positioning (March 6, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2245142 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2245142

Brown, M. (2012). Creating Affluence: Luxury Branding and Global Strategy. Available: http://www.academia.edu/2366123/Creating_Affluence_Global_Luxury_Branding_and_Marketing_Strategies. Last accessed 14th Mar 2013.

Liabotis, B. (2007). THREE STRATEGIES FOR ACHIEVING AND SUSTAINING GROWTH . Available: http://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/topics/strategy/three-strategies-for-achieving-and-sustaining-growth#.UYHmR7W-lPU. Last accessed 14th Mar 2013.

Zook, C (2004). Beyond the Core: Expand Your Market Without Abandoning Your Roots. Boston: Harvard Business Press Books. 44-51.

PR through digital communication…

Today we discussed ways in which brands were utilizing the way in which it is now possible have a two-way communication process with consumers through PR campaigns.

The charity ‘Water is Life’ has demonstrated how companies can now monitor consumer behavior and latch onto common trends in order to design effective PR campaigns which will reach consumers on a level of which may be unattainable via traditional means of market research.

‘Water is Life’ used social media monitoring (BrandWatch, 2012) to gauge the worldwide Facebook and Twitter trend, where users speak ironically about daily the problems people who live in developed countries face, for example “I hate it when my glass of water is so cold it hurts my teeth #firstworldproblems’.

‘Water is Life’ used PR in order to communicate directly with a target group; in this instance young people. As this PR campaign was run via social media, it allows instant feedback through likes and comments, making it a cost effective form of PR for businesses to utilize.

The use of social media monitoring demonstrates further how the relationships between brands and consumers is changing. Below is an example of social media activity which was monitored in order to assess the popularity of tea brands.

twitter(Sentimentmetrics, 2013)

Marketers monitored these conversations and were able to produce the following graphics which demonstrate the findings of the study. (Please click for larger image)

Comparison-sentiment-chart(Sentimentmetrics, 2013)

Bibliography:

Brand Watch. (2012). Social CRM. Available: http://www.brandwatch.com/social-media-monitoring/. Last accessed 7th Mar 2013.

Janet Hoek, Zane Kearns, Kathryn Wilkinson, (2003) “A new brand’s behaviour in an established market”, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 12 Iss: 1, pp.52 – 65

Sentiment Metrics. (2013). USING SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING TO UNDERSTAND CONSUMER MOTIVATIONS AND BEHAVIOUR. Available: http://www.sentimentmetrics.com/blog/tag/consumer-behaviour/. Last accessed 7th Mar 2013.

Whitlow, D. (2012). Meet the Expers. Available: http://www.ellis-brigham.com/advice-inspiration/about-us/meet-the-experts/. Last accessed 7th Feb 2013.

Growing Brand Awareness…

The influx of digital media has impacted hugely on branding and brands. In what is often referred to as the ‘postdigital world’, digital certainly isn’t merely another channel to how brands are managed- it is now considered fundamental to how brands are managed; so much so that this year digital marketing is expected to lose its prefix of digital (Interbrand, 2012). Many brands, however, may face challenges from consumers, as according to recent studies, people in developed countries are “far less open to seeing brands in their digital space” (Roberts, 2012), with 61% of UK social media users stating that they would prefer not to communicate with brands via social media (Roberts, 2012).

The fact that the majority of consumers appear to believe that brands do not belong in the digital space has left marketers with the problem of having to convince consumers that brands can communicate effectively within this space, this has resulted in many brands devising tactics that allow them to share the digital space with consumers more seamlessly in order to relate with them on a less invasive level. An example of this being utilized effectively is the brand ‘Old spice’ who launched a re-branding campaign which resulted in consumers embracing and willingly sharing their content.

Below are some figures that represent the success and popularity of Old Spice’s campaign:

  • The number one most viewed sponsored channel on YouTube
  • 236 million YouTube Views
  • 80,000 Twitter followers in 2 days
  • Facebook Interaction increased 800% with the personalized videos (Fans now total over 1.5 million)
  • Sales figures increased by 107 %

(Bullas, 2012)

Bibliography:

Bullas, J. (2011). 11 Social Media Marketing Lessons from the Old Spice Campaign Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/08/30/11-social-media-marketing-lessons-from-the-old-spice-campaign/#myYBBVHf6QVAJqUI.99 . Available: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/08/30/11-social-media-marketing-lessons-from-the-old-spice-campaign/. Last accessed 28th Feb 2013.

Open Dialogue. (2012). How CMOs can build brands online. Available: https://www.opendialogueinc.com/pages/posts/how-cmos-can-build-brands-online-66.php. Last accessed 28th Feb 2013.

O’reilly, L. (2013). ‘Digital marketing’ to become just ‘marketing’ in 2013. Available: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/digital-marketing-to-become-just-marketing-in-2013/4005302.article. Last accessed 28th Feb 2013.

Online/Offline Brand Campaign Effectiveness

With the number of people now using the internet reaching over 7 Billion worldwide (internetworldstats, 2012), it is no wonder that brands are continuing to turn towards the online world of advertising and brand building. Even when advertising offline, many brands are recognising that in order to achieve maximum effectiveness of their campaigns, it is important to combine offline campaigns with online social media campaigns. 52% of marketers state that they combine print ads with paid social media campaigns, with 37% also combining TV advertising with online campaigns (Donhert, 2013).

Social media advertising appears to be used primarily for brand building, with only 16% of marketers deploying online campaigns which target a direct response from consumers (Donhert, 2013).

This increase of advertisers looking to include online brand building in their media mix has resulted in the need for more confidence that their online investments are helping them to achieve their brand goals, and a prerequisite for metrics that have the ability to demonstrate the success and effectiveness across their campaigns (Nielson, 2011).

Early methods of applying KPIs involved metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), which were used by e-commerce marketers to measure the effectiveness of direct-response campaigns in order to develop strategies for optimizing online sales.

Nielson3

However, with much of online marketing now being geared towards brand building with the objective of driving consumers in-store, new metrics are being introduced in order to measure the effectiveness of this form of marketing. (Nielson, 2011). Below is an example of the new metrics being introduced to help brands measure the effectiveness of their online brand campaigns.

Neilson Online

“Nielsen Online Brand Effect measures online advertising effectiveness using simple, strategic standardized poll questions that are an integrated part of the Facebook experience”

Bibliography:

Dohnert, J. (2013). 66% of Advertisers Using Paid Social Ads, ROI Still a Concern [Survey]. Available: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2243737/66-of-Advertisers-Using-Paid-Social-Ads-ROI-Still-a-Concern-Survey. Last accessed 14th Feb 2013.

Ha, L. (2007). Online Advertising in Journals: A Review. Available: http://adclubtoledo.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/jcira.spring2008.onlinereview.pdf. Last accessed 14th Feb 2013.

MIS Quarterly Vol. 30 No. 1 pp 13-28 March 2006. (2006). The Personalization Privacy Paradox: An Empirical Evaluation of Information Transparency and the Willingness to be Profiled Online for Personalization. MIS Quarterly. 30 (1), 13-19.

N/A. (2012). INTERNET USAGE STATISTICS The Internet Big Picture.Available: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. Last accessed 14th Feb 2013.

Nielson. (2012). LEADING BRANDS START MEASURING ONLINE AD PERFORMANCE WITH REVOLUTIONARY NIELSEN ONLINE CAMPAIGN RATINGS AS IT LAUNCHES IN UK. Available: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2012/leading-brands-measuring-online-ad-performance-with-nielsen-online-campaign-ratings-in-uk.html. Last accessed 14th Feb 2013

Nielson. (2010). Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4DBrRKZk0o. Last accessed 14th Feb 2013.

RT Media. (2012). Latest study highlights the importance of online advertising. Available: http://rtmedia.com/blog/2012/04/03/latest-study-highlights-the-importance-of-online-advertising/. Last accessed 14th Feb 2013

Viliavin, R. (2011). Analysis of Online Marketing Campaigns Effectiveness from A to Z. Available: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/analysis-of-online-marketing-campaigns-effectiveness-from-a-to-z/28795/. Last accessed 14th Feb 2013