Consumers want customisation and service while brands offer discounts

New research provides further evidence that marketers are missing the mark when it comes to personalisation. According to Epsilon’s report, there is often a disconnect between marketers and the consumers they are trying to reach, centring around a misunderstanding of what the latter actually want from personalisation.

In a survey of consumers, the company found that 32% want brands to customise their offerings to suit them and their specific needs, while another 32% thought that knowledge of their likes and dislikes was the most important part of successful personalisation.

Brands, however, tend not to be focusing on this kind of personalised experience. Instead, 31% of those surveyed area putting most of their eggs into the discounts and rewards programmes basket. 22% are putting simple recommendations at the heart of their personalisation strategy.

When it came to customisation and service, these were prioritised by 16% and 8% of brands respondents respectively.

Insight and action

“With the report revealing that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalised experiences, it’s a no-brainer. But brands need to be aware that there are so many factors within ‘personalisation’ and this doesn’t always mean saving money on your next purchase,” commented Elliott Clayton, SVP Media UK, Conversant.

Tellingly, 27% of the consumers surveyed didn’t think that brands are trying hard enough to improve their personalisation, and 7% actually think that they are getting worse.

“If consumers feel that brands are offering less personalisation, then clearly something is going very wrong,” concluded Clayton.

“The only way for brands to truly understand their customers’ buying motivations and what their consumers want is to access insight on both past and real-time consumer actions and decisions through a true single customer view. However, they also need to be able to act on this insight, creating real one-to-one conversations, gradually building them up over time and across all their devices.”

Source:; 12 Apr 2018

Data Breach Fails To Slow Facebook Demand, Advertisers Boost Spending 62% In Q1

Despite the fallout surrounding Cambridge Analytica’s breach of the personal data of 87 million Facebook users, the “social network” was not impacted in demand from advertisers, according to an analysis of the first-quarter social network’s advertising marketplace published this morning by media planning and buying platform 4C.

Facebook’s advertising revenues jumped 62% in the first quarter of 2018 versus the same quarter a year earlier, according to 4C’s “The State of Media” report.

The report does show a sequential decline of 34% from Facebook’s fourth-quarter 2017 ad revenues, but that likely reflects seasonal demand from advertisers.

At $5.12, Facebook’s current CPM is not the most expensive among the major social networks — LinkedIn’s $16.99 is — but that likely reflects the employment and recruitment advertising market norms, versus conventional consumer marketing.

With a click-through rate more than twice that of its next-closest-performing competitor Pinterest, Facebook is still a pretty good deal, according to the analysis, which shows it yielding the most efficient cost-per-click — just 48 cents.

Source:; 15 Apr 2018

Instagram and Facebook limiting data access for third-party developers

Both Facebook and Instagram have made changes that will limit the amount of data that third-party developers can access, as the company is still reeling from the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The news came as a shock to many developers, especially the scale of the changes. Instagram has instituted a 96% cut to how often software developers can pull data from its API for mobile apps. The API now allow permits third-party apps to request 200 data updates an hour, down from the previous 5,000.

This has the effect of limiting the total volume of information that these apps have access to. This will affect everything from games apps to those that are designed to help marketers keep track on user posts or complaints. These apps are now likely to stop working once they hit the limit.

Some developers report being cut off completely and Instagram has reportedly stopped accepting some new apps entirely.

Facebook will also be restricting developer access to data such as lists of event attendees and group member lists. Apps that are designed to access group pages on Facebook, access page data or allow users to log in with their Facebook credentials will now have to be approved by Facebook.

Facebook also plans to launch a feature that will let users see a list of the apps that they installed and the information they are sharing with them.

Influencer effects?

Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO and co-founder of influencer marketing platform Traackr believes that this change in access to data will likely affect the way influencers spend their time and brands spend their money.

“Whenever a platform makes significant changes in how they operate and move toward less open sharing, it creates more challenges for influencers to grow their audience as fast as they could otherwise, making it harder for them to earn top dollars from brands,” he says.

“Over and over again, influencers have demonstrated their ability to switch platforms and bring their audiences with them. Influencers will always transition to platforms that make it easier for them to engage their followers, publish content easily and measure their success. Marketers will need to observe if shifts to other platforms take place in the coming months.

“From the brand’s point of view, without metrics and KPIs available to them, they are forced to look at the platform as a silo, and based on history, decrease investment in these platforms. I expect that 2018 marketing dollars might not get spent in the way they were intended just a few days ago”

Source:; 6 Apr 2018

Twitter unveils new APAC sports streaming deals

From football to table tennis, deals encompass new partnerships and extensions of existing ones.

Twitter announced nine new Asia-Pacific sports video content collaborations, bolstering the existing deals the platform has in the region.

Speaking at Sportel Asia in Singapore, Aneesh Madani, Twitter APAC head of sports, revealed the partnerships, which include highlights, clips and other content from the following broadcasters:

– Astro Malaysia
– Fox Sports Asia
– Eleven Sports
– International Table Tennis Foundation
– BallBall
– Asian Tour
– TV One
– NetTV
– SportsFix TV

The deal with Astro Malaysia includes content from the FIFA World Cup, taking place in Russia in June. “Alongside our broadcast all 64 matches of the World Cup, Twitter will help amplify the most exciting moments from Astro’s coverage, and immerse fans in the ‘world game’,” said CK Lee, Astro VP of sports content.

The package covers content from a range sports including football, racing, tennis, golf and martial arts.

Each partner will also use Twitter’s in-stream sponsorship platform to allow advertisers to reach target audiences and publishers to monetise their video content.

Madani said: “Digital video consumption in Asia Pacific is growing rapidly. Introducing these new in-stream video sponsorship deals for sports to advertisers in Asia Pacific will strengthen the success of our partners in the region, and give fans an easy way to keep up with the sports they care about most.”

Twitter already has APAC video content deals with One Championship, the NBA and WNBA.

Source:; 15 Mar 2018

YouTube adds on TrueView for reach for ‘even more flexibility’

Google’s YouTube has launched TrueView for reach in a bid to help brands reach more audiences with “even more flexibility”.  According to Google, TrueView for reach brings its popular in-stream format built on user choice together with the simplicity of CPM buying.

“Optimised for efficient reach, this format can help raise awareness among a broad set of customers — and do so within our 95% viewable and 95% audible environment,” said the company in a statement. It is also being lauded by YouTube as a simpler way to buy ad space, which bolster’s YouTube’s current suite of TrueView products such as its TrueView for action feature, allowing advertisers to add call to action functions on their ads.

Currently, Google’s TrueView is marketed on the promise that brands only pay when a viewer chooses to watch their video ad. TrueView ads are also classified as opt-in, so advertisers aren’t restricted by time limits, according to Google. Present TrueView products include TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and bumper ads.

The new format already sees brands such as Samsung Electronics America as one of its beta partners. Jay Altschuler, VP of Media at Samsung Electronics America, said that during its flagship phone launch last spring, Samsung was able to reach over 50% more people at half the CPM using TrueView for reach.

“We were eager to test and learn as the launch partner of YouTube’s new TrueView for reach solution since marketing today is no longer about reach – it’s about engaged reach. User choice and attention are both critical for building a meaningful connection with consumers,” Altschuler added.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Tsangaratos, digital marketing manager at Pepsi France said that TrueView for reach not only enabled the brand to achieve “massive on-target reach”, it also delivered high completion rates on its 10-second video. CPMs also proved to be more competitive, and Pepsi saw 30% lower CPMs on average compared to previous campaigns.

“This ultimately drove lower average costs on incremental reach points: -46% versus TV on specific target audiences,” Vanessa Tsangaratos said.

Source:; 3 Apr 2018

LinkedIn Goes All-In On Video Marketing

Marketers and brands can now leverage video for Sponsored content and Company Pages, to reach their audiences on LinkedIn.

Video has a proven track record of being the most efficient way to capture an audience’s attention on social media. LinkedIn made its first move a few months back, allowing users to share organic, native or uploaded videos on its platform. Individual creators have found video to be a great way to share knowledge, and to express themselves on a platform that had often been seen as “a little boring.”

LinkedIn will make video sharing available on Company pages as well, allowing businesses and publishers to take advantage of the feature. This is great news for organic reach and engagement on the platform. Based on the results of its beta program, LinkedIn found Company Page videos to be 5x more likely to start a conversation among members than other types of content.

Bring Your Campaigns To Life With Video For Sponsored Content

Video might be one of the top engaging types of content, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t engage with the right audience. According to an internal LinkedIn study, over 46% of B2B advertisers surveyed, said that being able to target the right audience was a top challenge when running video campaigns.

Native video ads finally bring together the power of video and targeting on LinkedIn. You will now be able to build the right audience for your video campaigns, based on professional traits like job title, seniority, company name, industry, skills, and more. LinkedIn will also let you target videos based on your Matched Audiences – which provides demographic and interest targeting of the people who have visited your website.

Unlike pre- or post-roll video ads, video for Sponsored Content ads live directly on the feed as standalone posts.

Since launching as a private beta program back in October 2017, over 700 advertisers, including GE, Philips and Audi Canada have tested Video for Sponsored Content to highlight their products and services, but also their company mission, customer stories, and thought leadership content. These videos are helping marketers deepen engagement with their brands: on average, LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.

“Video content is crucial for our brand, and these changes allow LinkedIn’s professional community to more easily derive value from the content we are producing,” said Kaydee Bridges, Vice President, Digital & Social Media Strategy at Goldman Sachs. “While our videos can be long – up to 3 minutes – we are seeing deep engagement at a great value.”

Video for Sponsored Content will allow you to measure success through insights and detailed breakdowns of the types of professionals watching, engaging with, and even converting on your video ads (through conversion tracking.)

Renske Siersema, Social Media Manager at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, also shared the importance of leveraging video to engage with their audience of business travellers. “Video stands out because it doesn’t tell, but it shows. On a platform where there’s more business content, a video stands out more, especially on LinkedIn.”

Video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages will be available to all businesses in the next few weeks. LinkedIn has also signed an agreement with Oracle’s Moat to offer third-party video measurement and viewability. These services should be available to customers later this year.

For its new video ad product, LinkedIn has signed an agreement with Oracle’s Moat to offer 3rd party video measurement and viewability.

Source:; 29 Mar 2018

Google finally rolls out mobile-first indexing

After years of releasing free tools that evaluate the speed of mobile sites and make the business case for prioritising it, Google has announced the rollout of mobile-first indexing.

After years of offering advertisers tools to diagnose the health of websites and develop action items for improving speed on both desktop and mobile, Google has finally done it.

From now on, advertisers, publishers, and agencies that are interested in achieving a high rank in query results (in other words, all advertisers, publishers and agencies) will need to turn all their attention toward mobile-first digital properties.

That’s because Google will now rely entirely on mobile sites and the adherence to mobile-first indexing best practices to determine the quality of content for indexing and ranking.

According to the announcement blog post authored by Fan Zhang, a software engineer at Google, site owners and webmasters were informed of the migration through Search Console.

“Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our—primarily mobile—users find what they’re looking for,” Zhang wrote. “We continue to have one single index that we use for serving search results. We do not have a ‘mobile-first index’ that’s separate from our main index. Historically, the desktop version was indexed, but increasingly, we will be using the mobile versions of content.”

Site owners will see significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot, Zhang added. Google will also show the mobile version of pages in Search results and Google cached pages.

“Brands who don’t have responsive, dynamic mobile content will see the negative impact of these changes even if this move on its own will not hurt their rankings,” said Attila Jakab, managing director of Infectious Media. “If you are brand and you’re not set up for a mobile-first world, you should hear the alarm bells go off, and look at every piece of content you have online through the mobile lens and focus on this as a business priority.”

Advertisers and agencies that have created unique URLs for desktop and mobile have been advised to rely on the Search Console to verify both versions of the site. This will be done by checking the URLs and ensuring that the servers supporting the sites can withstand the pressure of the forthcoming spike in site crawl rates—for desktop and mobile.

Google also recommends that site content that appears on a desktop version of a site be updated on the mobile version as well, including text, images, and videos.

Source:; 28 Mar 2018

Google on top again as search beats social on referral traffic

According to research by content marketing platform Shareaholic, search outpaced social in the percentage of overall traffic that it delivered in 2017. This reverses a trend of social dominance that began in 2014.

The analytic platform looked at externally referred traffic from over 400 million internet users and 250,000 mobile and desktop sites. A year ago site visitors were more likely to be referred from social networks, but search seems to have made a comeback in 2017.

Search drove 35% of site visits in 2017 compared to 26% from social. Shareaholic consider the changes to the Facebook news feed algorithms to be a major factor in the shift over the last 12 months.

Another important factor is that search engines are indexing more and more social content and including it within their rankings and results pages. This means that internet users are increasingly finding social content being aggregated by search engines, rather than only being accessible through searches on individual social media networks.

This has seen Google reclaim their place as the world’s foremost referrer of traffic.

Facebook drops

With regards to the social media networks themselves, the biggest change overall was Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s site’s share of visits dropped a pretty significant 12.7% in the second half of 2017. The site has had a bumpy year, with the anger over its potential role in the US election continues to simmer and the major changes made to what content it displays on its news feed.

Facebook users are also spending 5% less time on the site, although they are spending more time watching Facebook Live broadcasts and watching video. Because video and live streaming tend to link out to less other pages, this could be a big factor in the big drop in referrals.

Pinterest and Instagram are the biggest profiteers of Facebook’s drop. Instagram in particular has double its user base in the past two years, while Pinterest has seen a 1.5% percentage point increase in share of visits year on year. The sites success is built on the fact that its 200 million monthly active users have saved over a 100 billion Pins, all of which provide opportunities to drive traffic to an external source.

The thing that links Instagram and Pinterest is that they are both heavily focused on images, indicating that image sharing is an important element of distributing and driving traffic to content and product pages.

Source:; 1 Mar 2018

F1’s commercial boss on transforming the ‘under-managed’ business

Sean Bratches admits there have been times that he hasn’t known whether to “laugh or cry” as he tries to get under the skin of the brand for the first time.

Formula One commercial boss Sean Bratches admits he underestimated the scale of the job when he joined, saying he didn’t realise before he joined that F1 was essentially a “one-man operation” and the company was mainly made up of attorneys and accountants, with no marketing or commercial operation and little understanding of what the fans wanted.

Speaking at Advertising Week Europe yesterday (20 March), Bratches said he has faced a huge job to set up a commercial operation and move its revenues away from being mostly focused on TV rights and race-hosting fees to creating a better experience for fans and sponsors. Yet that opportunity is one of the primary reasons why Liberty Media bought F1 for £8bn just over a year ago.

“Liberty Media acquired F1 for three primary reasons. Firstly, this is a fantastic brand, a global brand, with a pretty good balance sheet. Secondly, in the world we live in with tech continuing to disintermediate the consumer experience the thesis is that live sports is going to be [one of] the last bastion of platforms, brands, genres that can aggregate large audiences at a given point in time.

“And thirdly they felt it was an under-managed business. The 21st century leadership opportunity to grow the business is pretty significant.”

Bratches was one of the first people to join the business after the Liberty Media deal. He previously spent 27 years working at ESPN, latterly as executive vice-president of sales and marketing.

He said his first job was working on the basics – understanding who F1 is as a brand and how it is perceived by the fans. And so even before the deal closed he detailed how he went on a “covert mission” to Wieden+Kennedy in London to undertake F1’s first global brand study.

That research involved speaking to fans across four continents. For example, F1 identified 10 avid fans on each continent and spoke to them for seven hours about their thoughts of the brand, as well as talking to casual fans and panels.

From that, he explained, came a “trove of data” that has helped F1 better understand the fans and what the sport means to them that turned the sport on its head.

“[On the old] F1 website there was a pithy statement about what F1 is that ended with ‘Pursuit: speed’. What we found out is that what attracts people to F1 is not the speed, it’s the racing.

“They wanted that picked up on TV so we created a sporting and tech group headed by F1 legend Ross Brawn who is charged with working with the circuits where we race to create overtaking capabilities. And broadcast partners are really central to this from a strategic standpoint.”

Becoming a media and entertainment brand

F1 now sees its broadcast partners in a different light and is keen to work with them not just on revenue but on marketing and raising awareness of the brand. In future, Bratches said he expects 30% of races in a particular country to be free-to-air with the rest on pay TV to “create a marketing and revenue platform”.

F1 is also, for the first time, launching its own over-the-top service, F1 TV. That offers the sport the opportunity to “reimagine its product” with more cameras around the circuit, particularly where overtaking is happening, to put the focus on the racing.

And Bratches, who was speaking to Oystercatchers CEO Suki Thompson, is keen to make F1 “a little less predictive”. Since the 2015 season, only three teams have won a Grand Prix, while in the Premier League the bottom three teams have either beaten or drawn with the top six teams 29% of the time.

“As a Swansea fan you know you are probably not going to win the Premier League but if you go and play Manchester City or Arsenal you know you have a chance to win because it happens. That doesn’t happen today in F1. We want to make it a bit less predictive,” he explains.

There will also be more events for fans to get involved in beyond the races. There will be new fan zones and F1 is introducing fan festivals in four host cities – Berlin, Marseille, Miami and Shanghai – that will take place in the week of the Grand Prix but run from Wednesday right through to Sunday.

“We want to really engage fans through food courts, static car shows, Pirelli show tyres, sponsor activations, merchandise sales. And three of the four will have live show car runs with F1 cars ripping up and down the streets of the city.

“In the broadest sense we are trying to reposition F1 from a motorsport company to a media and entertainment brand.”

That includes looking at sponsorship opportunities. F1 had just five under previous owner Bernie Ecclestone, and Bratches compared that to a Premier League football team like Manchester United, which has 96.

“When you juxtapose us with other similarly situated sports entities or leagues, we are way under-punching our weight class.”

Bratches admitted that half the time since he joined he hasn’t known whether to “laugh or cry”. For example, he found it astounding F1 had never run a global marketing campaign.

Its first, created by Wieden+Kennedy and launched last week, focuses on engineered insanity, which Bratches described as “two polarised concepts working in harmony in this sport like no other”. It builds on F1’s new philosophy of putting fans first and features F1 supporters, with social films supporting the main ad telling their story of F1 and what it means to them.

Creating a 21st century leadership team

F1 now has a commercial division with 10 distinct areas of focus, including strategy, digital events, hospitality, marketing, sponsorship, media rights and communications. And while Bratches said the group is “staffed from the head”, it needs to start “filling out the body”.

“We had a unique opportunity to bring in the leadership teams of this commercial division and it is a fantastic edit of talent. The unique thing in this role is that no culture existed prior to me arriving so I have been able to create my own culture, which is somewhat unique particularly for a 67-year-old company,” he explained.

That culture, he added, is about cultivating leaders that “make other people better”, sharing rather than taking credit, a code of ethical and moral behaviour and “communicating, communicating, communicating”. The offices reflect this, with F1’s London HQ designed to replicate a garage and sponsors including Pirelli and Heineken “provisioning” the team with features including a bar.

“I try to roll a grenade in every room I walk into to get things going. When I got here a year ago there was nothing in the pipe and I am really proud in terms of what we have accomplished. I think we’ll turn the sport on its head but there continues to be a lot to do,” he explained.

Source:; 21 Mar 2018