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Technology has fast become a critical enabler of marketing innovation.
Savvy marketers and their agencies are looking to the increasing number of technology startups to inspire and support the creative execution of their campaigns.
Earlier this month, prominent online publisher BuzzFeed denied accusations that it had deleted posts critical of its advertisers at the request of those advertisers.
However, an internal BuzzFeed investigation has determined that it did indeed succumb to advertiser pressure on several occasions.
Guardian Labs began in early 2014 with its aim to work with clients to create sponsored content opportunities.
This is a trend in publishing with BuzzFeed and The Telegraph (and more besides) experimenting with in-house content creation tailored for brands.
The Guardian is seeking to rise above some of the disquiet around native advertising (is it a case of the emperor's new clothes?) by simply creating transparent sponsored content to a great standard.
Anna Watkins, who heads up Guardian Labs, was speaking at the IAB's Content Conference and this is what I took from her talk.
For a full intro to native advertising see the new Econsultancy report, Native Advertising: What it means for brands and publishers.
Ashley Friedlein, Econsultancy CEO, kicked off 2014 by pointing to six trends of note in advertising.
These were real-time bidding, native advertising, video advertising, targeting, localised and geo-targeting, and mobile advertising.
Unilever is a company that continues to innovate in advertising. Let’s look at how.
Like takeaway food, online video can be consumed pretty much anywhere.
Engaging video, with its heritage in television programming and advertising, is eminently sharable through social media, and can be staggeringly successful, or altogether lacking in umami.
So, which brands are using video, and YouTube in particular, to great success? How have these brands approached the creative in shareable content, and who has yet to nail it?
There’s been some talk in the last weeks about FMCG companies investing in and building their corporate brands.
Research by media monitoring company Precise, published in March 2013 says that consumers are more likely to view FMCG companies favourably if they develop a recognisable corporate brand.
Now comes the news that Johnson & Johnson have unveiled a new corporate slogan, prompting Mark Ritson to write in Marketing Week last week in less than complimentary terms about various attempts at corporate brand building.
What all this proves is that the audience for corporate brands has extended beyond the traditional confines of city, press and internal staff to include consumers, and the principles of brand management are being applied.
In fact, both Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever place so much importance on their corporate brands that they use digital asset management systems to manage them.
In September 2012 the UK Payments Council released a report stating that in the year prior to May 2012, only 2.5% of consumers surveyed had switched bank.
Not just that, but 88% hadn’t even considered switching.
Not necessarily a surprising statistic, banking is a system with a lot of inertia on behalf of the customer and a lot of friction on behalf of the banks.
It's been a great year for innovation in mobile, with brands embracing new technologies to try and find different ways of engaging with consumers.
Location-based services, social tools and augmented reality apps have been among the most prominent trends, and there have also been some interesting developments in mobile payments and m-commerce.
To round-up some of the most impressive examples of mobile innovation from 2012 I asked several brands and agencies for their input.
With two thirds of adults now connected to at least one Social Media platform, its rise over the past few years has been staggering.
It’s hardly surprising therefore, that companies have followed consumers on to these social platforms in an attempt to engage with them and get noticed.
What is surprising however, is that some brands don’t seem to have put much thought into their social engagement strategy; they’re more about being social for social’s sake, rather than being social by design and really understanding what it is they want to achieve by connecting with existing and prospective customers via Social Media.
Facebook’s Marketing Conference stopped off in London yesterday afternoon following similar events in New York and Tokyo.
The focus at fMC was very much on how brands should be using the social network to create an identity and tell stories through engaging content, with global brands such as Unilever and L’Oreal giving insights into how social fits into their marketing strategies.
Facebook VP of business and marketing partnership David Fischer introduced three new products to European marketers during an opening keynote: reach generator, offers and premium ads, but this was more of a recap of what had already been announced at fMC New York.
When Apple launched its iAd mobile advertising offering, there was reason to be excited. After all, Steve Jobs was promising something revolutionary, and betting against him was not for the faint of heart.
Unsurprisingly, major brands lined up to try out iAds. Yes, the minimums were high, and Apple exerted far more control over the creative process than was typical, but if the ads were as cool as its devices, all would work out. Or so the thinking went.
As a general trend, brands have been allocating more and more money to digital advertising. Every year, budgets generally grow as brands become more and more comfortable with the internet and what it can offer.
But one brand, Unilever, isn't afraid to grow more quickly than most. According to AdAge, the company is doubling its investment in digital this year and isn't concerned about "getting ahead of consumers." In fact, that's precisely what it wants to do. As the company's CMO, Keith Weed, sees it, the consumer goods company's investment in digital is necessary for long-term growth.