Share of Voice Online vs Share of Time

 

 Has the rise of digital technology had an impact on your business, and your life?  Has it given you more time or eaten it away?

For many of us the day is now a 24-hour operation, no longer the 8.30am – 6pm days of old. My Withings watch reliably informs me every morning that I have clocked less and less sleep. My phone beeps and lists for me all the updates and communications activity across multiple channels for numerous brands since my head hit the pillow 6 hours before. And so the day begins.

Marketers are undoubtedly working significantly longer hours as technology advances, perversely. In many businesses marketers are required to be ‘on’ a lot more, with real-time messaging and communications, as the battle for the share of voice online heightens. As technology provides greater flexibility, and in many cases far greater accessibility to brands, and the teams behind the brands, demand on content and time has dramatically risen.

In the ‘good old days’ when annual brand and media plans were crafted, aligned and signed off, everything was rather more scheduled and prescribed.  A TV ad would air on a known day with pre determined frequency and channel list to a well research audience profile. A product line would launch after 18 months of hard toil. A brand team would leave the office each evening knowing that they could switch off, socialise and return the following day to the office with a certain degree of predictability in regards to work tasks.  (Unless Asda has decided today is the day they are going to slash the price of blades in their razor category with a national advertising campaign causing anarchy across the UK retailers, and you are sitting in the Gillette office at the other end of the buyers’ phone.  Eek.  Trust me, it wasn’t a day that was predicted!)

Today social media influencers are becoming a go-to option for generating consumer trust and credibility.  Move over Superbowl advertisers, peer to peer brand ambassadors such as Zoella are storming ahead.  In the beauty markets content creators have been widely employed for a number of years, ahead of most other industries.  Indeed over the coming years I predict that brands will start moving significant spend to social media influencers. Unlike offices, social media does not close. It never sleeps.

As I watch influencers’ profiles shift on a daily basis to ever increasing followers, and new posts and opinions updating every second, it is a beast that needs careful control.

For the newbies the race for the largest number of followers is well and truly on. Like all channels though I question whether reach via quantity of followers (most especially referring to empty paid for followers) should ever be overlooked for quality and credibility of influencer.  For the brands I associate, I most definitely choose depth of relevance and experience ahead of popularity to ensure a long-term audience growth.

So back to that old subject of work-life balance, even writing it seems so old now.  Work becomes your life. For many of the marketers I know, their lives have never been more fulfilled, especially the most entrepreneurial marketers. Social media content creators open up unlimited possibilities, provoke debate, inspire people to dream more, learn more, make change happen, create movement, entice action and shape minds.

I actually don’t mind losing a little sleep for that.

Award Winning Real Shaving Company

 

There are lots of smiles in the office this morning as we have just received the Bronze Award in the Best New Male Face Product at the 14th Pure Beauty Awards in London.

The Awards celebrate innovation and creativity within the beauty industry and rightly recognise the most exciting and efficacious products (and as you can imagine it is a long old list!) launched within the past year.

These Awards are voted by Pure Beauty’s readers and retail store staff. Many thanks to everyone who voted for The Real Shaving Company as your favourite product and brand!

www.realshaving.com

Are shoppers buying your brand?

Brand budgets are shifting.  In the age of our economic uncertainty, big brands are diverting old school advertising spend to instore spend, either as a price promotion, on instore collaterial, or cleverly over investing in product packaging development.

Aisles are filled now with so much point of sale merchandising that brands are having to scream louder than ever at the shopper at the critical decision making time – and will it be your brand’s product that makes it into the shopping trolley?

The “last three feet” of the purchase decision process has just got more competitive.  The retail store has become the most critical new advertising medium.

So is your brand getting noticed in store? 

Speaking from experience (after launching product after product for Gillette, Revlon, Alberto Culver, amongst others) here’s the problem.  Many new products simply lose their way when they reach the dizzy heights of being brought by the buyer of a national store.  In some categories new products simply are invisible, because shoppers are so intrenched in their buying behaviour, they simple do not consider new market entrants as the purchase decision for these items is made long before entering the store.  Have a think about it – when you shop for ketchup, do you buy the same brand, or same own label brand time after time?  If a new brand of ketchup hit the shelf, would you notice?

All new products are tested with consumers, in a huge manner of ways, before they are launched into the marketplace.  BUT, so many new products are tested prior to launch without the competitor context, or against other new market entrants, launching at the same range review.  Brand Managers, how often have you tested new products, and the results were outstanding in test marketing (mainly isolating conditions), but then the product disasterously failed to break through the noise and clutter when placed in the real-world, on a real shelf, in a real store, with real shoppers!

Most products, when you are working on them, look amazing.  Well at least they do to you.  All the packaging will be on equity, the branding will pop out, the colours will be those from the brand guidelines, the layout will match that of the brand packaging hierarch.  You are delighted.  Then, you do a store check and see your new product in the supermarket or store for the first time.  And that’s the real test.  Are you still delighted? Are shoppers noticing your product?  Does the EPOS match your BASES prediction?  Is your product stealing share from your competitors or is it another product that will make its gloomy journey out of the line up via the bottom shelf?

Capturing attention, and luring new shoppers to your brand is simply not easy.  You could read 100 text books, prepare the most fantastic marketing strategy plans, have the smartest teaser campaigns, huge media budget, great trade buy-in and huge pipefill orders.  But in the current market place, no matter how powerful your brand, how compelling your product promise is, the most important part of your marketing is to ensure you create packaging that has strong visual shelf impact, both in the use of design and colour, but also in the structural aspect.

Whilst at Procter and Gamble, I had to run all my new products through Eye Tracking, to see what shoppers actually see, and what they miss when shopping.  And shoppers miss at least 1/3 of all of the products on the shelf.  The most noticeable products are those on the shelf at eye level.  If your product has slipped down on a shelf below waist height it will be harder for shoppers to even consider it.  Have a look when you are next in store, very few shoppers bother to crouch down and have a jolly good look at the small boxes of skincare creams on the bottom shelf.  Nor will they get on tip toes and check out the razor blades on the top shelf.  Top or bottom shelves are simply less visible to shoppers, which contributes to their declining in sales potential.  Placement on these shelves is one step nearer to being delisted.

When you are next in store do this little exercise.  Go and shop in an area you know well, let’s say the hair care section.  Stand still and see what happens.  If you are a typical shopper you will visually scan the shelf at between shoulder and eye level.  And then naturally you will gravitate toward the right.  If nothing appealing is located there, then you will look to the left of centre.  Therefore, always negotiate placement of your products on a planogram to the adjacent right to the brand leader.  This will certainly help your chances of success.

What’s your product’s story?

A busy Mum (for arguments sake!) has less than 10 seconds to be persuaded at the shelf to pick up a product and place it in her shopping basket.  All brand managers live and breath a new product’s features, benefits, equity pyramids and so on.  But does the shopper, in such a passing hurry, understand a product’s unique point of difference? Does the product grab the shoppers attention at shelf?  And does the shopper get the product’s DNA?  Both of these need to occur, otherwise the alternative will be an automatic default to the usual product purchase.

The best example I can share with you for powerful shelf blocking, that pops out from the shelf,  screams “prestiege”, and makes you want to immediately buy, is from Moet.

It is easy actually for products to win with a bunch of 8 women in an unmarked room for a focus group, or look appealing when presenting to a trade buyer, but the real test is on the shelf.   Be really concerned if your brand team is focusing more attention on your TV commercial – which won’t be viewed – than on your “shelf commercial.”  What is your product saying to shoppers, from the shelf, in store, at that “moment of truth?”

Lucy Goaman

MarketingAndPrClinic

Charlotte’s Beauty Festival

Whilst Glastonbury Festival is getting ready to go into full swing, another festival is taking the world by storm!!  Can you remember when you last saw a beauty brand launch?  And launch with huge razzmatazz?  The infamous Charlotte Tilbury has her own Beauty Festival in Selfridges this week, as a teaser, ahead of her line “Charlotte Tilbury” launching in September.

A luxe line.  A different line.  A line created by an expert in the trade.  Someone who has worked on nearly every famous face.  A lady who knows how to be different.  For example, when the world is used to Nail Bars, Charlotte introduces Eye Bars.

Team Tilbury will be on hand every day this week, in Selfridges, from 10am – 10pm (except 5.30-8pm) to offer free eye looks to anyone who comes to the event.  There are 5 signature looks to choose from:

The Feline Flick (a la Kate Moss)

A Chocolate Smoky Eye (think Sophia Loren)

A Pop of Colour (my inspiration is Jerry Hall and Studio 54)

A Rock ‘n’ Kohl legend eye (think Rihanna in V magazine)

Or a Disco Glamour (channel the sexiness and sophistication of Paris Vogue)

After being made over, you can have your photo added to the wall of fame.  And one lucky winner on the fame wall will be chosen to model in Charlotte’s next You Tube make over tutorial.

 Every day there is a different style of event, and for something quite quirky, on Thursday there is going to be free lipstick readings with psychics in residence, The Psychic Sisters. Who knew that your lipstick print could tell you so much about your psyche and your future..?

Charlotte has a great collection of celeb friends to help support her new brand launch, many will be popping up during the week at Selfridges.

I am loving her new make up bag, endorsed by a few friends!!  All the proceeds from the bag are going to Kids Company.

 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing this brand grow and I am sure it will become a marketing benchmark for many other beauty brands.

http://www.charlottetilbury.com/

Lucy Goaman

Does Lloyds have an Olympic Legacy?

One month ago I was enjoying watching the Paralympics rowing at Eton Dorney.  The fabulous sportsmen and women, the sunshine, the bongoCam, the crowds, the omnipresent sponsors, and the #DorneyRoar!

One month on I find myself in the queue of my local Lloyds branch on Bideford High Street, in Devon.

 

 

The queue took a little time, so I had a good look around the branch.  There were 6 counters, 2 members of staff.  There was a new deposit machine. There were paying in slips.  Pens.  A couple of desk areas, semi private where you could discuss your finances with an advisor.  But to me, there was something missing. Something big and important missing.  Had Lloyds forgotten the Olympics and the promise to “Inspire a Generation” and to work in legacies at numerous levels?  There was nothing.  Nothing at all which reflected on the summer of celebrations, which began with the torch relay from Lloyds “For the Journey” campaign.   Was the journey over now Coldplay have left the stage?

The Olympics provided a summer of opportunities for the brands which were intrinsically linked via their sponsorship packages.  They were bound by rules and guidelines.  Now the Olympics are over surely the sponsor brands have a duty to drive the legacy? So come on Lloyds, when I go into my branch, I want to be reminded of the competitive spirit and excitement of the Games.  I want you as a bank to stand apart. I want to know I am in Lloyds, rather than NatWest.  I want to be able to read about the 7.8 million young people from more than 19,600 schools who have taken part in Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week, and the 4.3 million young people you have helped try out Olympic and Paralympics sports. I want to know what’s next.  How your brand is looking beyond London 2012? I am all ears. I am in your queue. Update me, entertain me with all your post Olympic news. Make me feel like I was back in Eton, admidst the #DorneyRoar!

This was also a strong reminder to me that all brands need to talk to their customers at all interfaces, even the very old fashioned ones, such as queues!  And communicate from a position of competitive advantage, and what better platform for a brand, than the afterglow of an outstanding Olympics.

 

Lucy Goaman

 

 

The Top Three

Take a look at these three brands – a beloved retailer, the world’s most valuable brand, and a brand that is so inseparable from it’s founder.

They all now have something in common.  They have been named  as the top three brands that gain most admiration from marketeers, from the recent research by GCUK (Grupo Consultores UK).  These three brand have leapfrogged over rivals such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nike, Tesco and P&G.

Criag Inglis (Marketing Director, John Lewis) summed it up susinctly, “Marketeers, like consumers, get excited when brands innovate, deliver on their brand promises and engage on an emotional level.”

I think John Lewis may have reached the top for a number of reasons.  The Company’s “partnership model” of its 81,000 staff, is one facet of this business that sets it apart in the market place, and ensures that company clearly is in touch with it’s consumer voice. But probably the biggest influencer was the brand’s Christmas 2011 advertising – you know the one – “For gifts you can’t wait to give”  - following a little boy impatiently counting down to Christmas, not to receive presents, but to give them.  What a charming ad, cleverly talking to all parents.  It made John Lewis both accessible and asrpirational in regards to it’s positioning. The ad really stood out amongst the usual M&S, Iceland and Debenham’s offerings, and delivered, quite simply, the most impactful, memorable Christmas ad.

Admiration and congratulations to John Lewis for this new achievement – a lot of pressure now on the creatives to deliver another sensational Christmas Ad!

 

Lucy Goaman

 

 

 

 

Bold Marketing

Just wanted to clock in! All fine here at the Marketing and PR Clinic, just been a busy few months.. sorry I have not been regularly blogging.

I have been spending my time with a wide range of businesses, mainly in Devon, from commercial agents, new product developers, charities, beauty brands, schools, and health and fitness businesses.

A similar theme amongst clients at the moment seems to be emerging. I am noticing an increased willingness to be bold and take risks with new product extensions, partnerships or simply in looking at new ways of doing business.

Often it is the marketing department that pushes decision makers into trying all things news, and now visionary thinking and willingness to take risks appears to becoming wider spread amongst businesses.

I am sure this is not just me noticing this shift, and I would really like to hear from others on whether they too are seeing businesses taking a more positive approach to taking risks, and decision makers beginning to enjoy being more bold in their marketing, to ensure their competitive advantage.

Is this the beginning of the end of austerity marketing?

 

Lucy Goaman

Latest Beauty Trends – March 2012

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Spring is here! Daffodils are in the garden, the sun is shining and Fashion week has hit New York, London and Milan

This month’s Istream Video and Report are now ready for you to view – go and check out the latest launches and trends on our updated website: www.informationstream.co.uk .

It was really hard to pick just a few highlights this month as the report is full of great innovative new products, here are just a few:

ckOne to launch its own Beauty brand in April this year containing over 130 skus.. one to look out for.

Astalift by Fujifilm is due out here in March.

SkinKiss tights – tights impregnated with self tan .

Fashion Week rundown from New York, London and Milan along with Pantones colour predictions for Aut/Win 2012/13

McCain launch bus stop signs that give off heat and scent to promote their new Jacket Potato range

Jennifer Lopez new scent JLo Glowing has a light up mechanism when the spray is engaged

This month we see additions to the brightening and lightening phenomenon that has filtered over from Asia;  Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Shiseido and Sisley all are launching or have already on the market a product in this category and this month Shu Uemura added a brightening cleanser to that mix.

Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen have been the two magic ingredients for youthful skin for a while now and we are seeing ever new ways of these two wonder ingredients being delivered.

This month sees the Collagen drink Collagen Gold selling over 2,000 units a week in Boots and chemists have found a new ingredient to boost the skin’s own production of Hyaluronic acid as opposed to applying it topically so watch out for this in future formulations.

Following the success of lip tattoos from Violent lips this month sees Eye tattoos emerging onto the market, the more mainstream with Eye Rock and the trend driven Phyllis Cohens range.

Face Lace which debuted at Londons Fashion Week. Its all here and much more, dive in now to find out everything you need to know to stay ahead of the game.

If you haven’t subscribed yet to Istream contact us now to get exclusive access to the monthly industry updates by calling + 00 44 (0) 7974431285 or contact lucy@informationstream.co.uk.

 

Over 200 sites live in 2 months!

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The team at White Label Greeting Cards (WLGC) are delighted with their first 2 months since launch.  In this short time we have 239 sites now already live! 

Some of the partners are recognised brands, whereby they have just plugged a WLGC personalised greeting card site within their website, talking about the new product offering to their already established audience. 

Other entrepreneurial partners have used the WLGC technology to create a brand new business.

We are delighted that 2 charities are now using the service, Devon Air Ambulance and Community Foster Care, and both are now creating news about their new online greeting card shops within their marketing campaigns, to all their fabulous supporters.

Great start.

For other charities wishing to create a new revenue stream, FREE of charge, please get in touch.

Lucy Goaman

lucy@whitelabelgreetingcards.com

www.whitelabelgreetingcards.com

07974 431285

Detox from head to toe

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Sshh…

I have been, on the quiet, testing Detox Foot Patches. And I am so grossed out about the results, that I have delayed posting this! And you will see why.

But I have chosen to share this with you, as I actually loved them!!

I have, like many in the beauty industry, tried bucket loads of products over the years. But this is one that was not on my radar, until I saw a box of Silver Detox Patches in a reduced bay at my local shop from £24.99 to £5.

I love a bargain, as much as I love trying out new products. And especially detox ones that do not require me to drink watered down cider vinegar or a litre of green tea everyday.

I read the box before I began, and was informed that Silver Detox is recommended by the Japanese Associaton of Preventive medicine for Adult Disease. A good start.

There are four interesting ingredients in this product.

1) The lead ingredient in the product is the Agaricus mushroom from Brazil – this meant nothing to me. Further exploring lead me to discover that this is actually a very special mushroom, rich in polysaccharide compounds, which assist in boosting the immune system.

2) The wood vinegar is from Eucalyptus, Bamboo & Oak tree sap. The dried sap from these trees is believed to absorb toxins through the skin and has detoxing and sterilising properties. In the product it provides great absorbing power and helps absorb toxins released through the skin.

3) Tourmaline Origin improves circulation, relieves stress, increases mental alertness and strengthens the body’s immune system.

4) Beta Glucan is a natural compound that triggers an immune response in the body, which builds a better system of defence against viral, bacterial and parasitic invaders. It enhances macrophage activity ~ macrophages ingest bacteria and cell debris.

The theory is that the pads stimulate the nerve endings in the feet, draw out the toxins, and pass their cleansing powers into the body’s system.

All sounded like a good marketing, so I put the theory to the test.

First of all, I cleaned my feet, and did as I was told and applied the patches before going to bed. The patches look like extra large tea bags, which are them adhered to an equally oversized plaster! One patch is applied to the sole of each foot. I then wore a pair of socks to make sure that the patches did not come off overnight, which would have ruined my little experiment! With my box of 10 patches, I repeated this for five consecutive nights.

The patches before a night’s sleep

And, are you ready for this? The patches in the morning looked like this!

Now there is something hugely satisfying about seeing results. Usually in the beauty industry that is often along the lines of skin looking more glowing, dewey, less wrinkled.

But the results I was seeing morning after morning gave me a real thrill. I really felt that the product was working. I felt that it was giving me a damn good detox. I felt cleaner – which is an odd thing to feel, especially as I was waking up to absolutely disgusting looking pads on my feet! But it was very cleansing to know that the gunk was now on the pads and not in my body! And interestingly each morning the pads did get noticably slightly lighter in colour, which was making me believe that the level of toxins in my body was reducing.

I enjoyed using this product, and I am convinced that it really did work. I woke up very refreshed, and slept better than normal. I felt detoxed from head to toe!!

And I was 4 lbs lighter on the scales. One happy customer.