Netflix Could Become Industry’s Biggest Spender On Content In 2018

Netflix says it may spend as much as $8 billion on content in 2018 — a figure that could make it the biggest content buyer of any media or technology company.

The company slipped the figure into its quarterly letter to shareholders Monday evening, adding that it had $17 billion in content commitments over the next few years, and is expected to spend between $7 billion and $8 billion on content in 2018.

For comparison, the $8 billion figure would be nearly twice what broadcast networks like NBC and CBS spend on content, according to data from SNL Kagan and Boston Consulting Group.

The only other company to spend more on content than Netflix until now has been ESPN, which totalled an estimated $7.3 billion in 2016, largely due to expensive live sports rights.

If ESPN’s spend is similar to what it was in 2016, Netflix could be poised to surpass the Disney-owned cable sports giant. Of course, sports rights tend to rise in price over time, thanks to contracts that were signed years ago, before the cable bundle began to fray. So ESPN’s spot atop the content world may yet be secure.

Netflix’s rapidly growing content spend adds to its competitive challenge for ad-supported media. The more cash it spends on content, the more eyeballs Netflix can steal from other sources of video, including many ad-supported companies.

Source: mediapost.com; 17 Oct 2017

How an oil and gas giant outmaneuvered low oil prices

Italian oil and gas company Eni has transformed under a leader determined to reduce costs without cutting jobs—instead including employees in the turnaround mission.

Transforming a business that must reduce costs doesn’t always have to mean pain for employees—even if that business is a multinational energy company hit hard by dropping oil prices. In this interview, Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi speaks with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland about navigating the oil and gas company amid drastic drops in oil prices, securing exploration successes, reinvesting capital gains, and driving a comprehensive culture change.

Video of Interview

Transforming an oil and gas giant

I wanted to reduce costs without cutting head count, and I wanted to optimize the structure of the company. Reorganization was very useful, and we got about €800 million per year of cost reduction by just changing the organization and distributing resources in a different way. Those were the first steps.

Then we turned to the refinery. The refinery was exceeding capacity in Italy—which was also the case in Europe overall, but in Italy especially—by about 40, 50 million tons per year. So we shut down the one refinery that caused the big losses for the company, and the same thing was done for the chemical business.

I had to study, because I had to talk to and convince the people that we have to change. Not just culture in terms of costs, but culture in terms of technology, applications, and final output for the chemical and refinery businesses. It was an interesting and intense activity. I had to be involved personally because I had to convince my people—not just give an order or use a consultant—I had to work with them. That was a big three-year effort.

What’s the right amount of risk?

My main objective at the very beginning was to bring the cash neutrality from about $120 per barrel—which is very high, because if you have a cash neutrality at $120 per barrel and the price is $110, you lose $10 per barrel—so the issue was to go from $120 down to about $50 per barrel, where it is now.

I started in 2011, 2012. I called it dual exploration. What I thought to do, is say, “I take a high stake in the asset.” Between 70 percent and 100 percent. I take the risk. I go and select an asset with a low risk, but in a good place, as I told you, close to our facilities. Once I give value to this asset, I can sell at a very high value. Because I have big stake, I can sell at 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent.

I remain with the 40 percent; that is a typical stake to operate. And I operate, but I can’t anticipate the cash in. You can imagine when I started this, we start the exploration, then we develop. Before cashing in, you can wait for four, five, or six years, then you can cash in immediately. So you reduce your risk. You de-risk your position in the country. In the last three and a half years, we got €9.1 billion from exploration selling, with a capital gain of €8.1 billion, so a very high capital gain, that allowed us to reinvest. That is something that we started immediately.

Retraining to support a transformation

When you retrain, you have the opportunity to communicate, to explain not just what your employees are going to do—so you give them a drive, direction—but also what is happening in the company. Because we are a big company, and when you talk with the first line or the second line, they know what is happening.

Then you go down, down, down in the scale, and people don’t know. They are scared. They don’t understand. They receive very scary messages from outside, from the press, from the television, from the world. So you have to explain where you are going.

The market for energy in Africa and beyond

We are the biggest exploration and production company in terms of equity production and research; we are in 15 countries. In Africa there is a lot to do in terms of access to energy, so we need to develop the African energy market. Consumption, it has to grow. But it is still at the very beginning, considering that it represents 15 percent of the worldwide population, which uses 3 percent, 4 percent of the worldwide energy. Europe is 7 percent, and consumption is at 12 percent, 13 percent. And Africa needs energy. Normally the model was different, so we’d find gas and oil and do exports. Africa has a lot of energy, but it doesn’t have access to energy. More than 650 million people don’t have access to electricity, so you cannot think that they can develop themselves. That is a wonderful market.

I don’t think that oil and gas is going to disappear because it’s not sustainable, as some argue. We cannot do differently, because when we talk about renewables and electrical cars, we talk about ourselves—we think about Europe, we think about the US, and we represent the US, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, or 14 percent of the world population. Eighty-six percent are in a different kind of situation. They don’t have gasoline. They don’t have electricity. They don’t have power.

So they need oil and gas. They need renewables, clearly. They need a different energy mix.

The secret to staying balanced and resilient

First of all, it’s family. You must have a strong family. A strong family, wife, children, a situation where you can be comfortable and you know that you have them with you, and that is quite important.

And then passion. When there is passion, there is adrenaline, and you love what you are doing, you are never tired. When you love your people, you think that you have to talk to them because you have to convince them, they have to understand that you are with them, you are not tired.

I grew up in this company, so all my family’s here, because I have all my people; we grew up together, and we are still together. I started my 37th year in the company.

I’m really lucky, honestly. And I thank God that I have this lucky life.

Source: mckinsey.com; Oct 2017

Sceptical Malaysians don’t believe what they see on social media

Despite high levels of connectivity, brands face a struggle to connect with Malaysians via online channels, according to Kantar TNS’s latest “Connected Life” research.

The findings show that while Malaysians spend 7.2 hours online every day, the opportunity for brands to engage with them there is under threat, as consumers are mistrusting of online content and are sceptical of brand motivations.

The research revealed that sceptical Malaysians do not trust the content they are consuming online, as just 17% of connected consumers consider social media content to be reliable. This contrasts markedly with other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, where 59% and 61% respectively trust social media content. Almost one in three (31%) also have concerns about how much control the social media networks have over the content that they see on their feeds.

“Malaysians spend a large proportion of their day online. We’re constantly connected to the internet thanks to our mobile devices and ever-improving data costs and speeds,” MC Lai, managing director of Malaysia at Kantar TNS, said.

More importantly, marketers need to realise that Malaysians are not easy targets in this digital world. In comparison to other less developed countries in the region, Lai said:

Malaysian consumers are more mistrusting of what they see online, and are more uncomfortable with brands collecting their personal data.
Therefore, he added, brands need to step up the game and demonstrate the value they can bring to Malaysian consumers’ lives if they want to earn their trust and ensure that they are able to use these channels for meaningful brand conversations.

Trust in brands

The study also showed that trust in brands varies significantly between markets. In Malaysia, consumers are moderately cynical, with only 41% of the connected consumer population trusting global brands. This trust level falls significantly in other markets such as Australia (19%), however in emerging markets such as Vietnam, 54% of consumers remain trusting of these brands.

Circling back to personal data issues, the findings show that despite the benefits that can be delivered through sharing data, Malaysians are cautious of how much of their personal data they share online. About 38% of consumers in Malaysia object to connected devices monitoring their activities even if it makes their lives easier, compared to 15% in Indonesia. Over half (51%) of Malaysians have concerns about the amount of personal data that brands have on them, compared to 33% across the region. Malaysians are also found to become increasingly aware of the price they are paying for their connected lifestyles, and many feel on the losing end of an unfair exchange.

Trust is fragile, Michael Nicholas, global lead of connected solutions at Kantar TNS, said. Nicholas added, while brands in for emerging countries see higher levels of consumer trust today than those in developed ones, they should not take it for granted.

“To build and protect trust, brands need to put the customer first. That means understanding their motivations, understanding the right moments to engage with them, respecting their time as valuable, and being more transparent about how and when they collect and use their personal data. Above all, that means putting the customer first – something that many marketers have forgotten to do,” he added.

Source: adweek.com; 17 Oct 2017

Instagram doubles its advertiser base

Instagram says it has doubled its advertiser base over the last six months as it hits 2 million monthly active advertisers.

And the photo-based social network says its users are also becoming more engaged. It claims users under the age of 25 now spend an average of 32 minutes a day on Instagram.

Meanwhile, last month, an impressive 180 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, called, emailed or direct messaged to learn about a business.

“Now 80% of people choose to follow a business they care about on Instagram, further proving that people are looking actively engage with brands in a meaningful way,” says Jim Squires, head of Instagram business.

“Users are spending more time on the platform than ever before, and we know video is a huge part of that. For businesses, motion is becoming the new filter for advertisers as they embrace Stories to connect with and inspire their customers through an immersive video experience, with 60% of Instagram videos watched with sound-on. We’re excited to see how advertisers continue to use video in creative ways to reach their community.

Source: marketingweek.com; 26 Sep 2017

‘Segment of one’, the future of consumer marketing

Think with Google’s Guest Editor, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed, shares his perspective on the shift from mass marketing to mass customization and how brands will adapt.

The connected world and the ubiquity of technology have rewritten the rules of building brands, innovation, media, creativity, and retail forever. While the internet served as the enabler for this transformation, the real driver has undoubtedly been the mobile phone.

Mobile is unlocking consumer control, empowerment, and choice to an extent we have never seen before, driving a hyper-segmentation revolution. As we move from mass marketing to massive customization—from focusing on averages to individuals—I believe that in the future we will build brands in segments of one. For marketers who have traditionally created and marketed brands to the dominant majority—the largest segment—this means thinking about marketing very differently than in the past.

Who is today’s consumer?

Today’s hyper-empowered, tech-augmented consumers are increasingly in control of the branded messages they receive and how they shop for brands. As micro-moment behaviour—where people instinctively turn to their device to act upon a need—becomes the norm, consumers’ expectations of value, convenience, and immediacy of response from brands are becoming increasingly demanding.

Search is absolutely central here, acting as the filter that enables the empowered consumer to get what they want, when they want, wherever they want. People—myself included—can’t remember what it was like not to be able to do things before their mobile was in their pocket.

This gives rise to two key characteristics of today’s consumer: immediacy and relevance. For example, searches for “open now” have tripled since 2015 and mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown over 120% since 2015. And when it comes to relevance, expectation is accelerating rapidly. Since early this year, the volume for local searches without including the specification “near me” have outgrown comparable searches which did include it.

What does this mean for brands?

For brands to be allowed a part in the hyper-empowered consumer’s life, they have to be able to both anticipate and assist with their needs. This means being relevant, tailored, and personal—a huge shift from when brands (especially CPG businesses like Unilever) tended to be built for the masses. And they need to do it all in real time, in context, in the language.

There is a huge opportunity here for brands to help simplify lives in this complex world—to make massive choice digestible. Just think about how long it takes you to shop in a foreign supermarket where you don’t know the brands. Similarly, brands can help simplify the online world of seemingly never ending content to help organize people’s experiences in a connected world.

So what should marketers be doing?

It can certainly feel daunting and at times overwhelming to face this new world order. But I genuinely believe that there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. Still, what does all this mean for marketers in the day to day? In practice, I think it means three things.

Put people first. Leverage data to deeply understand the new and complex consumer journey, and be clear where your brand should be present to add the most value. Keep your consumer as the true north to connect with them on a one-to-one basis.

Cut through the clutter and build brand love by standing for something meaningful. People don’t just want a product to buy, they want an idea to buy into. Millennials and Gen Z show us time and time again that they want brands rooted in purpose and doing good for the world. Once that purpose is clear, it allows brands to create engaging experiences that sustain a far longer and richer consumer conversation than simply talking about a new product variant or a seasonal promotion.

Unlock the magical combination of data-driven consumer understanding and brilliant purpose-led creative to build deep and meaningful one-to-one relationships at scale. Marketing is magic plus logic, art plus science. Never before have we as marketers had the ability for the logic half of the equation that data affords us today. At the same time—as consumer attention is more selective—never before have we had such a need for the magic. At Unilever we have an ambition to have a billion one-to-one relationships—I don’t believe that a focus on the individual has to mean “niche.”

Mobile is rewriting communication and commerce, changing the relationship between brands and people forever. And with half of the world still waiting to join the online world, we are only at the foothills of what is possible. The brands that lead this, providing consumers with a frictionless experience online and off, are the brands that will win in the future.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Oct 2017

Apple’s decision to limit cookie tracking upends targeted mobile advertising

The repercussions of Apple’s recent decision to limit cookie tracking on the new Safari 11 browser will be felt by all advertisers across mobile.

With cookie data restricted after 24 hours and purged after 30 days, Apple’s intelligent tracking prevention (ITP) means marketers’ ability to deliver targeted campaigns is hampered.

In the United States, where Safari accounts for more than half the mobile browser market, ITP has produced a strong reaction, with six trade associations from the digital advertising community having published an open letter objecting to the development.

Cookie crumbles

On the surface this is about advertising, and Apple putting pressure on the advertising ecosystem formed around its rival, Google. But when the trade associations wrote, “The infrastructure of the modern Internet depends on consistent and generally applicable standards for cookies,” they touched on the real war being fought, of which ITP is the latest battle.

The sustainable strategic advantages lie in the widespread use of proprietary unique persistent identifiers. Whoever scales its identifier can lay claim to a large slice of “the infrastructure of the modern Internet” and the benefits that will bring.

But GAFA – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – are not the only industry players with access to valuable identifiers.

Mobile network operators (MNOs) – the sleeping giants sitting on a telecoms market worth more than $1 trillion – have their own massively scaled mobile identifiers: billions of them, matched against real customers with real billing relationships at their root.

Apple’s announcement could be just the trigger MNOs need to make use of their own identifiers.

So, what makes identifiers the key currency of the digital advertising world, and, in an era of global data protection regulations, how can wireless carriers take advantage of Apple’s decision?

Value of identity

In an increasingly competitive landscape, brands depend on accurate and current consumer profiles to deliver relevant, personalized messaging.

Continuous consumer interaction with digital technology produces vast amounts of valuable information about who they are, what they are interested in, and how they behave, but to be used for effective targeting, each piece of data must be linked back to the consumer using some form of identifier.

Propriety persistent IDs – which are embedded directly into a device operating system (OS) or formed from registration based log-in data – are a more effective identifier than the traditional cookie in today’s mobile-first world.

The dominant propriety persistent IDs in the market are owned by Google, Facebook and Apple, allowing these companies to offer brands precisely targeted advertising opportunities. Anyone hoping to rival these ad-tech giants must have equally powerful persistent IDs at their disposal.

Publishers are already throwing their hat into the identifier ring.

In France, more than 20 publishers have banded together to challenge the “duopoly” of Facebook and Google, while Germany’s Verimi data platform initiative includes heavyweights Axel Springer, Lufthansa, Deutsche Bank and Allianz.

But it is hard to see how these publisher-driven models are anything more than walled gardens that will find it hard to scale beyond their members.

MNOs hold a wealth of first-party data

Mobile operators are uniquely placed to offer an alternative to the ad-tech giants as they have an abundance of deterministic first-party data that is verified with the customer.

More than three-quarters (77 percent) of U.S. citizens now own a smartphone – which are consistently switched on and always to-hand – providing a wealth of granular data relating to location and context, alongside more traditional demographic and behavioural information, all linked back to a persistent device ID.

Verizon’s acquisition of AOL and Yahoo, and the creation of Oath, is a signal of the potential that some MNOs see in the combination of identifiers and data attributes.

By making use of this in-depth, real-time data, brands can be far more creative with their advertising campaigns, reaching the right audience at the right moment with insightful, relevant and personalized messaging that builds enduring consumer relationships.

Challenges of data privacy and control

But making use of this mobile data to offer targeted advertising is not without its challenges, and there are two key obstacles for MNOs to overcome, the first of which is privacy.

While brands and advertisers increasingly understand the power and value of data, so do consumers, and the call for personal information to be protected grows ever louder.

High-profile data breaches – such as the recent Equifax scandal, which exposed the data of up to 143 million U.S. consumers – dramatically illustrate the need for data protection measures, and new privacy laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will have a global impact on data monetization practices.

The second issue faced by MNOs is one of control.

To achieve the scale necessary for effective monetization, their data must be combined with information from other providers and released to advertisers via the open ecosystem. But in taking this path, MNOs risk losing control of their data and diluting its value.

Dynamic de-identification is the answer

To capitalize on the valuable information they hold, without jeopardizing customer privacy, falling foul of data laws or losing control of their data, MNOs need ad-tech solutions that help them make the most of their persistent identifiers.

One possible solution is dynamic de-identification, which takes persistent IDs and converts them into non-persistent tokenized IDs.

Unlike persistent, dynamically changing identifiers make it impossible to identify the data subject, called “unlinkability.” They also allow proportional use of data where only the level of data attributes necessary for a specific task is revealed.

When MNO data is transformed into hyper-accurate verified profiles that are linked to tokenized IDs, it can be used for accurate targeting across multiple channels and devices without the raw customer data attached to a persistent ID ever leaving the MNO’s secure network environment.

As the data cannot be linked to individuals, its use remains compliant with data regulations, and is likely to be more acceptable to customers, providing the process is clearly outlined in conversations with them.

The need for detailed consumer profiles to inform relevant personalized advertising experiences continues to grow – especially now that Apple is effectively making the cookie obsolete – and MNOs are ideally placed to fulfil that need.

By joining forces with ad-tech vendors and moving away from persistent IDs, MNOs could create a mobile identity ecosystem to rival the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook, while remaining compliant with privacy laws, building consumer trust and retaining control of their valuable raw data.

Source: luxurydaily.com; 13 Oct 2017

As Voice Has Its Moment, Amazon, Google and Apple Are Giving Brands a Way Into the Conversation

Few of their devices’ skills or apps are branded, but that’s changing

For decades, listening to ‘the voice of the customer’ has been the Holy Grail for marketers. Now, thanks to technology, they can do it millions of times each day.

According to Google and Bing, one in four searches is conducted by talking, not typing, a figure comScore predicts will reach 50 percent by 2020. That same year Echo alone will account for $7 billion in voice transactions—or vcommerce—per investment firm Mizuho Bank.

Voice is having its moment. People are talking, devices are listening and brands are attempting to insert themselves into the conversation, using Amazon Alexa voice skills and Google Home apps.

With a few choice phrases, consumers can order an Uber or Domino’s pizza on either device. Echo fans can also ask Patrón to help them make a margarita, consult Tide on how to remove stubborn stains, or get Campbell’s or Nestlé to serve up dinner recipes, among other skills.

Currently, only a small percentage of Alexa’s 25,000 voice skills are branded (Amazon won’t reveal how many). You’ll find even fewer in Google’s few hundred voice apps.

But that’s changing. Over the next few years, brand voices are about to get a lot louder.

Shots in the dark

Admittedly, many of those 25,000-odd voice apps are gimmicky—good for getting attention but not much else, noted Layne Harris, head of innovation technology for digital marketing agency 360i. But forward-thinking brands are embracing the technology now, he added, making voice skills a key element of their marketing strategy. Just last week, 360i launched a new practice solely focused on Amazon to help brands navigate the world of voice marketing.

When Patrón launched its voice skill in July 2016, it was part of a broader marketing initiative called the Cocktail Lab, involving 50 bartenders around the globe crafting new tequila-infused drinks, said Adrian Parker, vp of marketing for Patrón Spirits. (The distiller also just debuted an augmented reality app called the Patrón Experience for Apple’s iOS 11.)

Some 350,000 consumers have participated in the Cocktail Lab, said Parker, with more than 10 percent coming via the Alexa Skill. Since launching the lab, traffic to Patrón’s website has increased by 43 percent, thanks in part to Alexa users who spend more time on site and download more recipes.

“Voice was the first platform that allowed us to take what would traditionally be a face-to-face experience in a bar and make that virtually accessible,” Parker said. “Alexa is not only giving us the capability to engage with customers on their terms, it’s also preparing us for the voice-led future.”

Utility is key, said Greg Hedges, vp of emerging experiences at Rain, a digital consultancy that helped create Alexa apps for Campbell’s and Tide. The voice skill can’t merely be memorable; it must also be useful.

“The skills that see the most engagement are not just advertising,” he explained. “They take a step further towards connecting with consumers. They give people a reason to come back, because consumers know they can get the answers they’re looking for.”

For brands like Patrón and Campbell’s, getting consumers to drink more tequila and consume more chicken soup isn’t the only goal, said Charles Golvin, a research director for Gartner.

“They’re also trying to establish themselves as the voice of authority or curator across the broader product category that they serve,” he said. “It’s not just about selling Patrón tequila, it’s about being your mixologist expert. It’s not about selling Campbell’s soup, it’s about being your epicurean guide.”

A focus group of one

With the emergence of Alexa touchscreen devices like Echo Show and the new Echo Spot, brands also need to prepare for a voice+ world where results can be seen as well as heard, said Jonathan Patrizio, head of technical advisory at Mobiquity, a digital agency that developed Nestlé’s GoodNes recipe skill.

Using GoodNes on the Echo Show, home chefs can not only hear step-by-step instructions on how to make Baked Pesto Chicken or Korean Beef Bulgogi, but also see them displayed alongside images. Recipe users can also view the images via a GoodNes visual guide on their laptop’s or tablet’s browser.

“It’s a much more frictionless and natural way of interacting,” Patrizio said. “And if a brand can understand how to play in that domain, they’ve gained a great advantage over their competitors.”

But perhaps the most valuable thing brands glean from voice skills is data. Smart brands are building analytics into their skills and using the data to help drive new products and revenue streams.

“You can learn a lot from the things customers say,” said Hedges. “If Tide learns someone is asking about a specific stain and fabric combination, and it’s not one they’ve encountered before, maybe a new product comes out of that. With voice, it’s almost like a focus group of one.”

A key reason for building a voice skill is to gather data on customer usage and intent, said Patrizio.

“We built analytics into the GoodNes skill, and this lets Nestlé monitor Skill usage in aggregate since the developer doesn’t have access to the actual spoken recording,” he said. “For example, ‘Alexa, ask GoodNes to browse recipes’ is mapped to an intent, and we can track how many people used that intent, or how many times a single user requested this specific intent.”

Analytics can also reveal if the skill is working as the brand hoped it would. At this early stage, that’s not always the case.

Adam Marchick, CEO and co-founder of analytics company VoiceLabs, says that only 30 to 50 percent of conversational interactions are successful.

“It’s like we’re in year two of building web pages,” noted Marchick. “But right now, just giving brands conversational understanding—where they can actually see different voice paths and what’s working and what’s not—is a big step forward.”

The conversation is just beginning

Brands have been forced to react to similar technological upheavals before—notably with the shift to web and then to mobile. This time, though, they’re being more deliberate about it, said Joel Evans, co-founder and vp, digital transformation at Mobiquity.

“In the dot-com days websites were more like glorified brochures. We saw something similar happen when companies started doing mobile apps—they were just a check-off item,” he said. “Thankfully we’re not seeing that in the skills universe. Brands have realized it’s got to be the right experience when it actually gets out there.”

The next few years will see a huge acceleration of the technologies driving computer-human interaction—like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, chatbots and augmented reality. The voice apps we hear (and sometimes see) today may be nothing like the ones we encounter tomorrow. Smart brands are preparing for that now.

“Right now we’re creating the horse and carriage of voice technology,” said Patrón’s Parker. “Give it another 18 to 24 months, and we’ll be building Maseratis.”

Source: adweek.com; 10 Oct 2017

‘Arrogance’ around brand purpose making consumers distrust ads

Almost 70% of consumers don’t trust advertising and 42% distrust brands, seeing them as part of the establishment and therefore ‘remote, unreachable, abstract and self-serving’, according to a new study.

Consumers are increasingly cynical of brands and advertising, with ‘big business’ scandals and “arrogance” around brand purpose to blame, according to a study by Trinity Mirror.

The research, done in collaboration with Ipsos Connect, looked at consumers’ trust in advertising. It was done using a three-stage methodology, including a week-long in depth “online community”, three-hour workshops and face-to-face interviews with 1,000 people.

The results are not good news for advertisers; the study concludes consumers trust “almost nothing”. While almost half of consumers (42%) distrust brands, 69% distrust advertising.

Meanwhile, 37% of consumers trust brands less than they used to compared to only 7% who trust brands more than they used to. Some 43% of respondents trust advertising less than they used to, compared to only 8% who trust it more than before.

A big part of the problem, according to Trinity Mirror, is the “arrogance” of brands adopting an ill-fitting purpose, leading to increased cynicism among consumers. The research says 58% of adults don’t trust a brand until they have seen ‘real world proof’ that it has kept its promises.

“There can be huge exaggeration around purpose for some brands, to the point it is incredibly far-fetched,” Zoe Harris, group marketing director at Trinity Mirror, tells Marketing Week.

“It started off with a few brands having a genuine purpose, but it’s now gone to such an extent where it’s a one-off ad campaign or we see it on the side of packaging. It’s ridiculous.”

Harris adds brands are now often seen as part of ‘the establishment’ or “part of a small elite”. The research shows that the establishment is generally considered to be “remote, unreachable, abstract and self-serving”.

Headlines around bad behaviour such as tax evasion have also negatively affected perceptions of the ad industry, making consumers believe that advertising “only serves big business” with an expectation to “lie and manipulate to make profit”.

“The fact brands are seen as part of the establishment definitely surprised us. This impacts us all, whether you’re guilty of [bad behaviour] or not,” she added. “Brands have underlying consumer cynicism as a starting point. And if brands haven’t lived up to that purpose, then we all get lumped together and tarred with the same brush.”

Bad digital behaviour

Digital is also to blame for the decline in trust. Due to the relative newness of the advertising channel, brands have fallen into “budget brand” behaviours that they wouldn’t implement on other more traditional channels such as aggressive retargeting. Some 40% of consumers associate brands with being ‘pushy’ and 57% of adults agree that brands should be more careful where they place their advertising.

This is backed up by other research, which found that social media is the least trusted media channel, with 63% of consumers claiming they would respond more positively to a social media ad if it appeared on a more traditional advertising channel.

So how can advertisers help build trust? Harris believes it’s about brands demonstrating that they “really believe” in what they say they stand for.

She concludes: “It’s important to remember that we’re all lumped together and seen as out of touch, which is why brands need to think about how they can connect with people in their day to day lives and whether their proof points are actually resonating. Is your message actually getting across?”

Source: marketingweek.com; 29 Jun 2017

India’s Mobile Ad Spending to Grow 85% This Year

A growing demand for smartphones will fuel mobile ad expenditures

Traditional media still takes the majority of ad spend in India, but mobile platforms are becoming increasingly popular with advertisers. This year, mobile ad spending in India is expected to increase by 85.0%, which will help boost overall digital ad spend to $1.21 billion, according to eMarketer’s latest media ad spend forecast.

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Further double-digit growth for mobile is predicted over the next few years; by 2021, mobile will account for just under 62.0% of digital ad spending’s $2.80 billion.

The growing demand for smartphones—which are becoming more affordable in India—coupled with strong social network usage has led advertisers to increase their ad budgets on mobile alongside traditional media options. In 2017, smartphones will make up 36.6% of all mobile phone users; come 2021, this share will rise to 47.4%, eMarketer estimates.

Additionally, mobile social networking has also been booming in popularity in India. This year, it is expected to rise 24.3% to reach more than a quarter (26.8%) of all mobile phone users and three-quarters (74.9%) of social network users.

Despite this, traditional media still continues to hold its own in India, with TV taking the majority of ad budgets. eMarketer forecasts that TV will take $3.13 billion of media ad dollars in 2017, equating to 39.3% of media ad spend.

“While television continues to be the most popular advertising medium, digital is the fastest growing, with ad spending recording double-digit growth rates up to 2021,” said Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

“Driven by increasing mobile internet penetration, falling data prices and the availability of low-cost handsets, mobile will be a major contributor to the growth of digital advertising in the years to come as marketers embrace this channel to reach a new generation of young and digitally savvy consumers,” she said.

Source: emarketer.com; 5 Oct 2017

On Twitter, optimise for engagement, not output

In the Engagement Meter column, Unmetric, a social-media intelligence firm focused on brands, presents trends in social media and recent top-performing brand posts from around APAC. This edition looks specifically at trends, content and hashtags on Twitter.

This edition’s insight

1,507% more interactions on Twitter in 2016 when compared to 2013.

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In a recent study on the American Auto industry, even though the amount of content published by auto companies on Twitter fell to levels seen in 2013, the number of interactions on each tweet has grown significantly. This growth has been primarily driven by more ‘Likes’ (formerly known as favourites) on the content and, to a lesser degree, more retweets. This means even with lesser content, brands are able to get more interaction. This might be a good opportunity for companies to recalibrate efforts and optimize for better engagement.

Top Tweets (Sept 1 through 24)

1. Acer Japan
Engagement – 1,000*

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2. Vivo Malaysia
Engagement – 1,000

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3. Garnier Philippines
Engagement – 1,000

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4. KFC Malaysia
Engagement – 1,000

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5. AIS Thailand
Engagement – 1,000

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Top hashtags (Sept 1 through 24)

1. Oppo India
Hashtag: #oppof3
Number of User Tweets – 15,495

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2. Audi India
Hashtag: #AudiQuattroCup
Number of User Tweets – 10,645

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3. Bajaj Allianz India
Hashtag: #knowyourinsurance
Number of User Tweets – 5,800

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4. Godrej India
Hashtag: #WorldOzoneDay
Number of User Tweets – 5,048

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5. ShaadiDotCom
Hashtag: #realpeoplerealstories
Number of User Tweets – 5,033

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* Unmetric’s Engagement score rates each piece of content from 0 to 1000 depending on the amount of user interactions, which allows easy comparison of content regardless of the number of fans or followers a brand has.

Source: campaignasia.com; 3 Oct 2017