tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/affiliate-marketing Latest Affiliate Marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-06-20T15:08:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69190 2017-06-20T15:08:00+01:00 2017-06-20T15:08:00+01:00 A complete guide to partnership marketing: Part two James Cristal <ul> <li>Licensing</li> <li>Loyalty</li> <li>Product placement</li> <li>Shared stores</li> <li>Sponsorship</li> </ul> <p>So, on with our list of the 10 types of partnership marketing...</p> <h3>6. Licensing</h3> <p>“Licensing is a business arrangement in which one company gives another company permission to manufacture its product using its brand image for an agreed payment or partnership.”</p> <p>There are two ways that a brand will choose to collaborate with another when it comes to licensing partnership marketing: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Sold</strong> - most brands that decide to license their brand choose to sell it to their partners for a given price. This provides them access to various assets (described below) to improve their product or service offering. </li> <li> <strong>Collaborative</strong> - some brands decide to get involved in the licensing partnership and actively collaborate with the partner. This has close associations with joint product partnerships where a company may utilise another's product and brand image to provide an exclusive unique offering.</li> </ol> <p>There are many ways a company who licenses another's brand can utilise it. After purchasing the right to use their brand they can work on the following:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Logo</strong> - the logo of another brand can be used within a company's own product line to enhance it. </li> <li> <strong>Brand image</strong> - the brand image itself can comprise not only the logo but the colours, font and tone of voice. </li> <li> <strong>Reputation</strong> - with the purchase of any brand comes with it its reputation; utilising this to a company's advantage in their new product offering. </li> <li> <strong>Culture</strong> - with a brand's reputation also comes its company culture. A company can utilise the ethics and company values this also brings. </li> <li> <strong>Design</strong> - the design assets that come with a brand can also be utilised within the firm’s products or services.</li> </ul> <p>The creation of a brand, one with a stand-out reputation, is extremely time consuming and costly. So for many organisations the quickest and simplest way is to purchase it. This is what licensing offers a company; tying in a global brand to the product hugely enhances it.</p> <p>A product can go from mediocre to a sales success very swiftly if the right brand is licensed and leveraged accordingly. Simply using the brands name for the product and attaching the logo to it, even if the product hasn’t changed at all from previous editions, can lead to a huge surge in sales. This is a type of Partnership that some may say is a sales technique rather than marketing, but it involves the use of branding which can affect the entire marketing proposition and how it is positioned. </p> <h3>7. Loyalty</h3> <p>"A retention marketing technique that offers consumers a reward in return for increased usage. A loyalty partnership enhances the typical model by offering consumers partner offers to encourage longevity and purchase frequency. "</p> <p>Loyalty partnership marketing comes in three specific types. All of which relate to how consumers are loyal to a brand: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Frequency</strong> - loyalty can be rewarded based on frequency of customer use; the more a product is bought or a service used the more rewards a consumer receives. A reward can be a partner brand discount; smart brands take this a step further by personalising, providing an offer in conjunction with a partner brand tailored to the consumer based on their spending patterns or personal profile.</li> <li> <strong>Volume</strong> - the alternative is to reward based on amount purchased; where the higher the number bought the larger the reward. Savvy brands provide varying degrees of reward to those that purchase larger amounts, often fully personalising the offer.</li> <li> <strong>Advocate</strong> - the third type is often described as advocacy; where a consumer is so loyal to a brand they will support it and promote it, with this a brand will offer extended rewards. It is a type of loyalty that focuses purely on rewarding those who shout about a brand and even have the power to influence others.</li> </ol> <p>A brand can encourage consumer loyalty in a number of ways. The following examples can be adjusted depending on consumer base segments:</p> <ul> <li>Loyalty club/scheme </li> <li>Loyalty cards/vouchers </li> <li>One-off rewards </li> <li>Free money, gifts, raffles </li> <li>Seasonal promotions </li> <li>Product extensions</li> </ul> <p>All of these offer the possibility for partner brand involvement, mainly by including their discounts or exclusive products within the loyalty program. As a technique it allows two brands to successfully align their proposition with each other utilising their similar databases to improve customer retention rates.</p> <p>This is a type of partnership marketing that has been tried and tested by a number of high profile brand names, which highlights it as one of the most effective types. A loyal collaboration can enhance the image of a brand, acquire a vast number of new customers who already contain the proven characteristics of being loyal, and increases the spend frequency and volume growth.</p> <h3>8. Product placement </h3> <p>"The subtle placement of a brand within a media channel. It is deemed a cross-over of sponsorship and advertising that works well in partnership with high grossing TV and Film productions." </p> <p>Product placement partnership marketing comes in three key types. These reflect the main ways in which products are placed within the media, a decision made through the coalition of brand and media channel: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Subtle placement</strong> - where the inclusion of the brand logo, a background shot of the product, or an elusive hint towards a products usage, is found within TV and film scenes. </li> <li> <strong>Direct advertising</strong> - aside from subtle placement there is a more direct approach. More obvious placement advertising within a media programme, such as a cookery show endorsing a product, is deemed direct.</li> <li> <strong>Public person sponsorship</strong> - there can be a fine line between product placement and sponsorship. Away from TV and film there is also the placement through the use of celebrity endorsements who are encouraged to wear the clothing or use a product. When a brand sends a celebrity free items they are seeking product placement, often through paparazzi photos, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67400-three-youtube-influencers-give-their-views-on-brand-partnerships/">social media</a> and usage in their daily lives.</li> </ol> <p>Once a brand has established a relationship with an agency acting on their behalf or in collaboration directly with a TV studio or film production company, placement can take the following forms: </p> <ul> <li>Logo within frame or scene</li> <li>Direct mention or usage</li> <li>Inclusion in plot</li> <li>Background placement</li> <li>Visible foreground placement</li> <li>Celebrity endorsement</li> </ul> <p>Even though it is currently one of the least used types of partnership marketing let's not take away its extremely innovative attributes. Although often subtle there are a number of smart ways in which to achieve exposure.</p> <p>When it comes to such niche forms of marketing as this there are always brands that perfect it better than others, larger brands in particular find they can leverage its qualities more so than smaller ones. Often the reason comes down to the network, celebrity or media in question, they only wish to work with such brands that will resonate with the audience; the Apple's, Facebook's and Pepsi's of this world.</p> <p>Although, saying this, smaller brands running product placement via celebrity endorsements often notice soars in sales and overnight recognition; a fashion brand that places their products in the hands of a well-known public figure is likely to see their popularity surge. </p> <h3>9. Shared stores</h3> <p>“Where a partner provides an area of agreed space within their own store for the other partner’s brand. The primary brand has rented out, provided or extended their retail outlet to integrate the secondary brand, for additional value to their consumers.”</p> <p>Shared-store partnerships are a growing phenomenon with some of the biggest names teaming up, but this isn’t just reserved for retail outlets, it too can be found online:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Offline</strong> - the most common type of shared-store partnership. Offline we refer to the physical world where petrol stations, retail outlets, supermarkets and coffee shops have all been found to merge stores. </li> <li> <strong>Online</strong> - a relatively new concept but one that is increasing in popularity. Online it is where both brands look to be associated alongside another by combining areas of their websites together through iFraming or creating dedicated sections.</li> </ol> <p>Shared-Store partnerships offline and online can be further broken down into various forms:</p> <p><strong>Offline</strong>: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Store within a store</strong> - the classic form of a shared-store partnership is to provide a section of the primary brand’s retail space for another brand – as shown in the example below with Cineworld and Starbucks. This adds value to the consumer base by offering an additional proposition to their shopping experience.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6899/pic3.jpg" alt="cineworld starbucks" width="588" height="272"> </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Permanent desk</strong> - this is where a primary brand provides a permanent desk for a partner brand. Department stores such as Selfridges or John Lewis often provide areas such this in their cosmetics section. </li> <li> <strong>Promotional stand</strong> - occasionally a store will offer some of their space as a promotional stand. This provides a partner brand with an exclusive area dedicated to their product often manned by the brand’s own personnel. </li> </ul> <p><strong>Online:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <strong>Dedicated tab or page</strong> - providing a specific tab or page for a partner brand within the primary brand's website. This provides a dedicated area for added-value. </li> <li> <strong>Members area</strong> - a members area provides exclusive material or content, this is therefore a popular area for partner brands to be featured.</li> <li> <strong>iFraming</strong> - displaying a partners webpage within your own website. iFraming acts as a window that shows a relevant section of their site. </li> </ul> <p>What’s hugely beneficial about this strategy, particularly offline, is that it places the partner brand physically in front of consumers entering a store. It's the ideal way to interact, touch and test a partner brand product. By being alongside one another this creates a powerful perception and by sharing retail space it minimises overall costs, attracts new consumers, and retains existing ones for longer. </p> <p>Saying this, it is not without its risks; for a primary brand it will have to sacrifice a portion of its store for another that they may find doesn’t resonate as strongly as they hoped. This may have negative connotations and in instances actually deter customers.</p> <h3>10. Sponsorship  </h3> <p>“The marketing tactic of placing a brand alongside a particular event, displaying itself as a partner or supporter, with the objective to increase brand recognition and reputation.”</p> <p>Sponsorship has been around since the dawn of marketing and one of the most successful ways to create a brand identity. There are various objectives to sponsorship and these lie under three key banners: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Awareness</strong> - aligning a product alongside an event for mass exposure is the most common type of Sponsorship. The aim is to have the largest possible reach of your brand to both existing and new consumers. </li> <li> <strong>Association</strong> - linking the product with a cause, person, or event to provide a brand association in the eyes of the consumer. Every time you think of that event you will tie that in with the sponsored brand too. </li> <li> <strong>Consumer understanding</strong> - sponsorship can link a brand proposition with an event so that it provides product education to the consumer. Some propositions are more complex than others so sponsorship is seen as an effective way to teach a consumer what the product can offer.</li> </ol> <p>Sponsorship comes in many shapes and sizes. Below are several varieties that are commonly found across many of the world's popular partnerships:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Sporting sponsorships</strong> - some of the most expensive yet effective forms of brand exposure. They can be found within every popular sport from team sponsorships, stadium names, board advertisements, and player endorsements.  </li> <li> <strong>Media sponsorship</strong> - any sponsorship found within TV, film and radio are all forms of media sponsorships; the sponsoring of a new television series is a great example. It is an effective tactic for mass brand awareness. </li> <li> <strong>Event sponsorship</strong> - the World Cup, Olympics, and charity events such as the London Marathon, are all examples of this. The Olympics was in such high demand for London 2012 that there were sponsors for nearly every possible association: drinks, supermarkets, and even an official furniture sponsor. </li> <li> <strong>Local sponsorship</strong> - a niche but highly effective form where local businesses look for exposure towards a specific market. Local farmers market, charity events and political conventions, all provide a brand the opportunity for exposure. </li> <li> <strong>Seal of approval</strong> - with foods, health products and luxury items such as holidays a seal of approval is a powerful tool. When a hotel or restaurant has the TripAdvisor certificate displayed it provides that seal of approval we know and trust. </li> </ul> <p>For decades global brands such as Coca Cola, McDonald's, Pepsi, O2, Nokia, Red Bull and British Airways all pour billions of marketing spend into sponsorships, and the reasons are plentiful. They increases brand reach, increase brand awareness, improves brand trust, change a brand's value proposition or image, improve product understanding and open up new global or local markets.</p> <p>The benefits are a clear justification for companies acting on sponsorship marketing, but for some marketers they like to stay clear due to several distinct drawbacks: </p> <p><strong>Difficult to track performance</strong> - other than the media value earned, noticing the increase in overall sales from a sponsorship campaign can be difficult. There is very little to tag a campaign and go by as often it is simply just a branded logo that’s displayed. The fact is the performance will never be as accurate tracked as some forms of digital marketing.</p> <p><strong>Difficult to quantify</strong> - can the costs be quantified accurately in comparison to the media value earned? Numbers can become vague in sponsorship; many feel the true value of new acquisition cannot confidently be associated with the sponsorship.</p> <p><strong>How to trigger sales and conversion?</strong> - At the end of the day brands must focus on conversion, but sponsorship offers no clear call to action. Brand recognition that isn’t purely quantifiable is the main advantage rather than direct sales.</p> <p>Despite this, sponsorship has been tried and tested by the most well know global brands out there, therefore it is, aside from the caveats, trusted and relied upon, making it a vital partnership marketing technique.</p> <h3>Consistent terminology</h3> <p>Alongside the 10 types of partnership marketing it’s important to also understand the terminology that goes alongside them. The subject currently suffers from a distinct lack of consistency when it comes to the terminology used. Upon billboards, online ads, and loyalty schemes, many of the terms detailed below have been used to illustrate a partnership between two brands. They are recognisable terms although ones that are not always entirely accurate.</p> <p>Here are a few definitions: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>In partnership with</strong> - the most popular phrase used to describe a partnership with another brand, literally says what it means; informing consumers that there is a collaboration occurring and that the partnership will benefit both primary and secondary brands as well as ultimately the consumer.</li> <li> <strong>Supported by</strong> - commonly found within charitable partnerships. Being supported by a partner brand refers to one brand assisting the other in the campaign. It portrays an element of comfort towards a consumer, showing the cause is backed by a reputable brand.</li> <li> <strong>Certified by</strong> - provides authenticity to the partnership. By stating that a brand certifies another delivers trust to the consumer that the offering is backed by the supporting brand.</li> <li> <strong>Incorporating</strong> - generally means 'together with' and relates to a primary brand including a secondary brands proposition within their own. If a major brand is incorporating with another it is referencing the fact that they are providing their services as an add-on or an extra. </li> <li> <strong>Powered by</strong> - often refers to the presence of a partner brand supplying their services to benefit another product. An example of this is the Nexus phone which is 'Powered by' Google. Such a partnership ultimately benefits the consumer with a far superior product utilising both technologies.</li> <li> <strong>In association with</strong> - most commonly used when both brands have an equal role to play in the partnership. The term association means that both brands have agreed on a mutual partnership offering.</li> </ul> <h3>The Future is ripe</h3> <p>With everything we have been discussing it makes sense to say that as digital and performance marketing expands so should partnership marketing. There is a direct correlation between increased communication and the growth of partnerships. </p> <p>As channels such social media continue to increase in popularity, everyone becomes more connected. Consumers talk to each other and new markets continue to open, in turn leading to increased competition as well as opportunity. With this being said, the need for collaboration will expand as brands fight to survive and capitalise. All in all the future is ripe for the taking, for brands using any of these 10 types of partnership marketing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69182 2017-06-20T14:07:00+01:00 2017-06-20T14:07:00+01:00 A complete guide to partnership marketing: Part one James Cristal <p>It is fair to say that partnership marketing has been simply swept under the marketing rug. Read any marketing text book and you will find chapters on digital, social, strategy and branding, and amongst these you will notice the odd reference to brand synergies between two companies. However, search online and you will find articles, agencies, and job adverts on partnership marketing all under an array of titles; joint marketing, co-marketing, and merchant marketing.</p> <p>There also thousands of global brands that participate, from Virgin to Google, Pepsi to O2, and Apple to American Express. It is becoming clear then that it’s an emerging subject, and I am sure you will agree it should now be acknowledged as one of the most important marketing techniques to materialise in recent times. </p> <p>Over the next decade or two we will see an even faster advancement in technology and greater connectivity but this inadvertently means an even higher rate of competition. Those businesses with common aims should stick together; they must collaborate and share resources. Brand sharing and benefiting from each other’s proposition will start to take more and more prominence. For those businesses that want to not only survive but thrive in the 21st century market, then partnership marketing is the answer.</p> <h3>So firstly, what actually is partnership marketing? </h3> <p>‘Partnership’ is now the more universally accepted term. It’s been defined multiple times and in many different guises, but in its simplest form it can be described as:</p> <p>"Where two or more brands collaborate via strategic marketing campaigns to help each other achieve their objectives. It is where a primary brand has the ideal product or service to compliment a secondary brand; utilising target audiences to improve their value proposition." </p> <h3>What are the 10 types? </h3> <p>These are the most common forms of Partnership Marketing practiced by small, medium and large businesses. While one model might be successful for one company it may not necessarily fit into the scope of another. Brands may decide to use just one or many of these types, or occasionally combining several to form a hybrid. The 10 types are not fixed; they are fluid and can be interchangeable depending on the partnership in question:</p> <ol> <li>Affiliation</li> <li>Content</li> <li>Distribution</li> <li>Charitable</li> <li>Joint products</li> <li>Licensing</li> <li>Loyalty</li> <li>Product placement</li> <li>Shared stores</li> <li>Sponsorship</li> </ol> <p>In this, part one, we'll cover the first five on the list. </p> <h3>1. Affiliation</h3> <p>“Affiliate marketing is a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66942-five-rewarding-performance-marketing-case-studies-from-brands/">performance marketing</a> technique where websites otherwise known as publishers will promote your product or service in return for a monetary reward.”</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67171-what-is-affiliate-marketing-why-do-you-need-it/">Affiliate Marketing</a> can be achieved by using any of the methods described below. Both utilise a primary partner, often referred to as an advertiser, and a secondary partner, often referred to as the affiliate or the publisher. These partners work in collaboration; in doing so the primary brand benefits from promotion of their products resulting in sales, the secondary benefiting from commissions earned per lead or sale.</p> <p>They are three ways brands can work with affiliates:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>In-House</strong> - when a primary brand is looking for a solution that provides them with the ability to upload all creative banners, allow an affiliate to select the type of campaign with relevant tracking links and display all results in one centralised location, they use an affiliate program.</li> <li> <strong>Networks</strong> - a third party where both advertiser and publisher register and utilise its services all through the network’s external portal. A major benefit to brands over an in-house solution is that it provides far greater reach for publishers to find relevant brands to promote, while the advertiser is immediately exposed to thousands of publisher sites rather than having to promote their own in-house programme. </li> <li> <strong>Agencies</strong> - a third option is to work directly with an agency which manages the portfolio of affiliates as well as the operations behind it such as banners and tracking links. An agency can also be a network, or they can manage your own in-house solution, ultimately they should support your requirements in this channel.</li> </ol> <p>Affiliates can promote an advertiser using numerous techniques. Depending on the type of website, unique selling point (USP), and target audience they will promote those with the highest conversion and those offering the greatest commission rates. Promotional formats include: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>banner ad</strong> - banner ads are one of the more common forms of exposure for a partner brand on a publisher site. Header (728x90) or Skyscraper (160x600) banners are most popular. </li> <li> <strong>text link</strong> - a simple hyperlink often found within an article. It is more subtle than a banner ad.</li> <li> <strong>dedicated article</strong> - a strong partnership between brands can lead to more unique forms of exposure. A dedicated article can engage a target audience and provide a more detailed product description than that of a text link or banner ad.</li> <li> <strong>promotional page</strong> - exposure of advertisers through specific areas of the publisher’s site devoted to promotional offers. Here promotional banner ads can be kept separate from the core content.</li> <li> <strong>newsletters</strong> - for those affiliates that require accounts to be created or email addresses to be captured newsletters are a strategic way for them to directly market affiliate offers. 6Groupon and 7Quidco for example are excellent at targeting their segmented database with the latest partner deals.</li> <li> <strong>comparison table</strong> - for aggregator sites such as Money.co.uk (below) and Confused.com the comparison table is a huge USP, adds value, and attracts customers over other affiliates. It allows them to rank advertisers by pricing, features and benefits to consumers.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6890/Picture1.png" alt="money.com" width="615"></p> <p><em>Money.co.uk comparison site</em></p> <p>Affiliate marketing is widely considered to be one of the purest forms of partnership marketing. It comes under the umbrella of performance marketing because it can be so accurately measured and the return on investment (ROI) precisely calculated. Affiliation is quantifiable and unlike some other marketing methods can always be proven.</p> <p>Affiliation refers to the practice of partner websites promoting your brand in return for commissions. An affiliate will be paid depending on the agreement that has been made with the advertiser. It's not always a complete sale, there are many models that pay based on the number of impressions, clicks, or leads. This doesn’t mean that an affiliate will always receive commissions on just one sale, the deal can be on multiples; CPM (cost per thousand impression), CPC (cost per click), CPA (cost per acquisition), revenue share (percentage of the revenue a sale generates), or a fixed fee per ad-spot. There are also amalgamations of these often referred to as hybrid deals. </p> <p>An affiliate can range from a successful newspaper brand to a small niche one-man-band website reviewing headphones. Both of these follow the same principle as they contain content, attract traffic, and publish ads. There are a number of affiliate variants out there; voucher sites such as Groupon, cashback sites such as TopCashback, or comparison Sites such as MoneySupermarket.com or Gocompare.</p> <p>Bringing this back to partnership marketing; when primary brands are looking for specific partners to promote their services, affiliation is seen as a very attractive option. It creates an alliance of brands in a very direct way towards a mutual target audience. LG for example, the popular TV manufacturer, will work closely with renowned TV review sites in order to drive sales. The review site will demonstrate the quality of the brand offering and effectively promote LG’s products to their database. </p> <h3>2. Content </h3> <p>“Content Marketing is the creation of relevant content that will be highly engaging to customers. Content partnerships are the development of such content in collaboration with a partner brand that is then shared or promoted to respective target audiences.”</p> <p>There are two main ways a brand can partake in content partnerships: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Co-creation</strong> - both brands collaborate to create the content. This could be industry trends, market research, product releases or thought-leadership papers. By writing the content together and referencing one another's products it will align both brands for mutual recognition. </li> <li> <strong>Link sharing</strong> - the primary brand creates the content but works in partnership with a secondary to promote it. Link sharing means linking to the partner’s content from their own site. This provides exposure, aligns both brands together, and advances SEO. </li> </ol> <p>Content partnerships can take various different formats, such as:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>white papers</strong> - presenting the latest industry research, advice, knowledge and trends using thought-leadership. </li> <li> <strong>articles</strong> - featuring the latest joint products, opinions or promotions. These can take the form of reviews, how-to guides or case-studies.  </li> <li> <strong>infographics</strong> - a visual representation of information or data. Extremely effective for the use of joint brand imagery amongst the content. </li> <li> <strong>videos &amp; podcasts</strong> - the joint creation of a video or spoken media. Utilising the likes of YouTube to engage with the target audience.  </li> </ul> <p>SEO is now such an important aspect of digital marketing that specialist agencies have arisen, dedicated jobs created, and millions spent. Success in search rankings can literally make or break a business, making it the 21st century's most talked about marketing topic.</p> <p>The evolution of websites has now reached the point where each page should ultimately evoke an action to convert viewers into paying customers. This means the greater numbers to a site the better chance of conversions and therefore revenues. This is the reason millions are spent climbing the ladder of Google’s rankings. </p> <p>Organic traffic via search engine optimisation is governed by a complex well-guarded algorithm made up of a huge number of variables, such as keyword usage, trusted inbound links and subject relevance. This means that your 'content is king' - how it is constructed, who likes it and how it is shared has direct influence on traffic, therefore conversions and ultimately sales.</p> <p>SEO is not the only means to achieving traffic; social media has a huge part to play too. Channels such as Facebook and Twitter can guide vast quantities of traffic to your site depending on what you have to say and your shared content. </p> <p>To ensure traffic remains high from both SEO and social the information that consumers receive must be fresh, relevant, and engaging. It also has to answer their questions, fulfil their needs and attract their attention. So this is where content partnership marketing comes in. </p> <p>The fact is, one brand can create appealing content, but by providing fresh material in conjunction with a partner suddenly makes it an entirely new proposition, one that is far more interesting, likeable and engaging. This will attract the attention of both customer bases and affiliated parties. All this means a much larger network that will interact and share it. From an SEO and social engagement perspective the benefits are vast. </p> <p>Let’s consider, too, the cost effectiveness of such a partnership; utilising each other's personnel, resources and industry knowledge to produce the content is of huge value to both. While the utilisation of one another’s digital channels and expertise will mean a lower end cost per acquired customer per content piece produced.</p> <h3>3. Distribution </h3> <p>"Where one partner agrees to cross-market or bundle another partner’s product or services into their own distribution channels to target the agreed customer base."</p> <p>There are two main types of distribution partnership marketing, each a slightly different way to distribute a partner’s product or service: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Bundling</strong> - including your partners offering as an in-box bundle or package insertion, such as giveaways in packaging, promotion within the product itself or online bundle for a purchase such as buy-one-get-one-free. </li> <li> <strong>Cross-marketing</strong> - achieving the joint marketing efforts of both products through a distribution channel. Rather than the inclusion of the product within the packaging, instead offering a marketing opportunity to a partner brand within the distribution.</li> </ol> <p>Online, offline and mobile all have their own distinct vaue in distribution of a partner brand in order to provide the most effective customer targeting. The more common forms include: </p> <ul> <li>In-store leaflets</li> <li>In-store coupons</li> <li>Magazine coupons</li> <li>In-store live demonstrations</li> <li>In-store TV demonstrations</li> <li>Email vouchers</li> <li>Mobile coupons</li> <li>QR codes</li> </ul> <p>This is widely considered one of the most widespread types of partnership marketing, and one that has been practiced for decades. The reason for its popularity is due to the physical nature of the collaboration. It can physically place a partner brand in the hands of the target audience and visually places the partner brands alongside each other.</p> <p>Both brands show a strong association and trust, and this resonates all the way to the customer, having a positive effect on loyalty and customer retention. Often the secondary brand will provide a primary brand an 'exclusive' offer or discount. This adds a huge advantage to sales potential.</p> <p>The act of distributing a partner’s brand within your own store and alongside your own products is one of the purest and most recognisable types of partnership marketing. </p> <h3>4. Charitable</h3> <p>"A primary brand sponsors or markets itself with a charitable organisation or cause. In turn they seek exposure and promotion via agreed marketing channels."</p> <p>Benefits can be very fruitful when working with a charitable cause. We have pin-pointed two main reasons why a primary brand would do partner with a charity:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Cultural influence</strong> - a brand can primarily work with a charitable brand to offer a moral contribution. This is part of company culture and CSR and often attributable to the attitudes of senior stakeholders.</li> <li> <strong>Brand leverage</strong> - some firms prefer to associate themselves due to the benefits it brings to their consumer and public reputation.</li> </ol> <p>Charitable partnerships can take a number of forms, with various ways in which a brand and charity can run such campaigns. These include exhibitions, public events, award shows, sponsorship, raffle contributions and news stories.</p> <p>As today’s customer is more industry aware and savvy with their purchasing decisions, with abundant comparison and review sites at their fingertips, a brand that upholds a strong public reputation is increasingly standing out from the crowd. Associating your brand to a charitable cause is therefore fast becoming the main method to securing such a status. </p> <p>Innocent Smoothies for example, one of the most reputable drinks companies in the UK, stressing the importance of fair-trade production, also associate themselves with a number of charities via their Innocent Foundation. Firms such as this that can leverage a Charitable Partnership for marketing purposes will see their public reputation and brand image vastly enhanced.</p> <h3>5. Joint products </h3> <p>“When two companies agree to create a new product or alter an existing product in order to provide additional value to the customer. Often the product is an amalgamation of both products aiming at mutual target audiences.”  </p> <p>For brands partaking in joint product partnerships there are many factors to consider. Bearing in mind the huge impact on internal product departments, they are presented with three main collaboration choices:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Powered by</strong> - a partner brand supplying their services to benefit a new or existing product. Often software providers will provide their technologies for a product. Mobile phones powered by a technology provider such as Google or Microsoft is a good example.</li> <li> <strong>White label</strong> - many successful technologies also offer white label solutions. This means selling off their services or leasing their technology for a partner brand. The partner brand then utilises it under its own brand name.</li> <li> <strong>Product merger</strong> - a merger is where both brands have decided to amalgamate their products together. This too comes in various formats, from full to partial mergers depending on the product line.  </li> </ol> <p>These alliances can be very interesting for an organisation's product portfolio, the result is a fresh line of innovative product solutions. With the breakthrough of digital technologies over the past decade we are now seeing a far greater increase in such partnerships. There are four specific forms that have emerged:</p> <p><strong>New Product Launch</strong> - two firms may decide to launch a brand new product, one that amalgamates both brands under an exciting new concept. Both companies leverage each other's brand image, reputation, resources, and market reach – as shown in the example below with Apple and Nike who combined to create the 'The Nike &amp; iPod Sports Kit'. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6892/pic2.jpg" alt="nike ipod" width="577" height="454"></p> <p><strong>Brand leveraging</strong> - rather than a full product merger often just the branding is joined. With such product partnerships it is about utilising the partners design and packaging. </p> <p><strong>New markets</strong> - by partnering products together a popular firm in the US seeking new customers from Europe might collaborate with a successful European brand to enter this new market, and with this the joint product might have to adapt to the new market.</p> <p><strong>Sharing costs</strong> - occasionally a product partnership will purely be a cost-saving exercise. This is achieved with the sharing of resources and expertise; this in turn reduces cost of production and marketing.</p> <p>The main consideration with these kind of partnerships is that they are a product and marketing initiative involving the buy-in from both departments. Any alterations to a product would have to be planned for; Sales departments briefed on alterations, with Marketing prepared for go-to-market campaigns.</p> <p>An effective go-to-market strategy will require a distinct value proposition. The unique selling point of the joint product must be communicated to highlight these new product features and their benefits to a consumer. Branding is also important, getting this right will ensure that the primary brand's look and feel is displayed not only through the packaging but also via all advertising channels effectively.</p> <p>It is fair to say that this is probably the most innovative type of partnership marketing but one that does not come without its complications. If the product misses the mark and the value proposition fails to resonate with the target audience it would certainly be deemed a very expensive failure.</p> <p><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69190-a-complete-guide-to-partnership-marketing-part-two/">Read part two</a> of this article, covering:</em></p> <ul> <li>Licensing</li> <li>Loyalty</li> <li>Product placement</li> <li>Shared stores</li> <li>Sponsorship</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69126 2017-06-06T15:45:00+01:00 2017-06-06T15:45:00+01:00 Why did Amazon's online video shopping channel fail? Patricio Robles <p><a href="http://pagesix.com/2017/05/29/jeff-bezos-live-television-stint-canceled/">On May 26</a>, the online retail giant "abruptly" told staffers that the show – which was hosted by former MTV-er Lyndsey Rodrigues, ABC news correspondent Rachel Smith and reality TV star Frankie Grande – was being canceled.</p> <h3>So what happened?</h3> <p>Amazon posted a message on the Style Code Live Facebook Page telling fans that "all good things must come to an end" and promising that "there is more to come." But it has not revealed any further information about its decision or details like viewership.</p> <p>While most of the Style Code Live social media accounts have been deleted, it appears that the show had accumulated some 69,000 followers on Instagram, 42,000 likes on Facebook and 18,000 followers on Twitter. Interestingly, the show's YouTube channel remains and reveals that the company had generated little activity and engagement on one of the most popular platforms for style and beauty content.</p> <h3>A failed experiment?</h3> <p>Amazon's prowess in using data to inform business decisions is no secret and thus if one was to speculate about the cause of Style Code Live's cancellation one would have to conclude that the most likely reason for it was that the show was not generating sufficient business to make the investment worthwhile.</p> <p>Producing a live broadcast five days a week was likely a costly undertaking, and during its run Style Code featured celebrity guests like Sarah Jessica Parker, Meghan Trainor, Meghan Markle, Nicole Richie, Kourtney Kardashian, Kelly Osbourne and Ariel Winter. Ostensibly, Amazon compensated them for their appearances on the show.</p> <h3>All about influencers?</h3> <p>Celebrity and new media influencers looked to be a prominent part of the Style Code Live value proposition, but it's not clear that Amazon's program was actually able to take advantage of their influence.</p> <p>While the aforementioned Style Code Live social media accounts had tens of thousands of followers, that's a drop in the bucket compared to many of the celebrities that appeared on the show. For instance, Kourtney Kardashian has over 57m followers on Instagram, and Sarah Jessica Parker has over 3.5m.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2792/stylecode3.jpg" alt="" width="311" height="264"></p> <p>If one assumes that the activity on Style Code Live's social media accounts were indicative of the show's actual viewership, it would appear fairly likely that audience numbers were extremely modest and thus nowhere near high enough to move the needle for Amazon, which generated more than $135bn in revenue last year.</p> <p>As far as bringing the home shopping channel into the 21st century, consider that QVC generates more than $8bn in sales every year. Clearly, if Style Code Live showed any promise of being the digital QVC for millennials, Amazon wouldn't have shuttered it. </p> <p>So if Amazon's plan was to pair original content with a hefty dose of influencer appearances to sell fashion products, it fell short. But that doesn't mean Amazon is giving up on influencers. To the contrary, the company is now trying to tap them through alternative means: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68961-amazon-tries-its-hand-at-influencer-affiliate-marketing">a special affiliate program</a> that allows influencers to curate their own collections of products on Amazon, which they can promote to their fans.</p> <p>Will that be a more effective and less costly approach? Time will tell.</p> <p><em>For more on influencers, check out these Econsultancy reports:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/"><em>Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/"><em>The Voice of the Influencer</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-05-30T12:55:00+01:00 2017-05-30T12:55:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to two sector-specific reports, B2B and Healthcare &amp; Pharma) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69026 2017-05-03T10:00:38+01:00 2017-05-03T10:00:38+01:00 Why online publishers are launching wedding verticals Nikki Gilliland <p>Now it appears publishers want a slice of the cake too. Many more are launching wedding-related content to engage users, with some even expanding into the world of commerce to increase revenue. </p> <p>Here’s just a few examples, as well the reasons why it’s proving to be a profitable move.</p> <h3>Cosmopolitan</h3> <p>According to data, 10% of all engaged Americans have visited Cosmo.com. Up until recently, Cosmo has consistently written about the topic, choosing to ramp up activity ahead of and during the summer months when readers are most likely to attend events.</p> <p>After seeing an increase in traffic to this bridal content, the publisher decided to launch it as an official vertical all year round, giving ‘Weddings’ a dedicated category on the main site alongside ‘Style’, ‘Beauty’, ‘Love’ and ‘Video’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5616/Cosmo_weddings.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="330"></p> <p>For Cosmo, the aim is to meet the obvious demand for wedding content, as well as draw in readers who would otherwise turn to standalone wedding publications like Brides. </p> <p>To ensure it doesn't alienate anyone who <em>isn't </em>getting married, the new vertical will offer a range of wedding-related content, including articles about bachelorette parties, as part of a wider <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68384-how-cosmopolitan-reinvented-itself-became-the-number-one-women-s-magazine-in-the-uk/" target="_blank">strategy to reach a millennial audience</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5615/Cosmo_insta.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="483"></p> <h3>InStyle</h3> <p>Last year, InStyle expanded its online presence from just fashion to include the verticals of home, entertaining and, you guessed it – weddings. It was partly done to help engage a wider demographic (which is naturally interested in a more varied subject matter), but also to increase the potential for advertising revenue.</p> <p>InStyle readers reportedly purchase an average of seven items based solely on ads. That’s more than any other competitor, even the likes of Vogue which famously includes a hefty amount of advertising. Adding weddings into the mix is only likely to increase this spend, especially when you consider the fact that InStyle has the highest number of readers with an annual household income of more than $100,000.</p> <p>With the average American wedding <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/02/03/wedding-cost-spending-usa-average/" target="_blank">said to cost $35,329</a>, this type of content is bound to appeal to InStyle’s more affluent demographic. What’s more, it aligns with the publication’s decision to become more of a luxury lifestyle title rather than a straightforward fashion mag.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5617/InStyle_weddings.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="707"></p> <h3>The Knot</h3> <p>While the aforementioned publishers use wedding content to increase readership and ad revenue, rival bridal site The Knot has ventured deeper into the world of commerce.</p> <p>In 2015, it acquired event marketplace Gigmasters in order to allow users to search and book venues, photographers, planners, hairdressers and more. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5618/The_Knot.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="519"></p> <p>By fusing content with commerce in this way, its aim is to reach users at every stage of the wedding process. From providing initial inspiration to help with finding a photographer and inviting guests – even a honeymoon when the wedding is over – the idea is that there’s no need for users to seek help or advice anywhere else.</p> <p>With its own retail component, The Knot also allows users to directly shop the items featured in its print and online magazine.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You'll love these little white dresses from <a href="https://twitter.com/Macys">@Macys</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ad?src=hash">#ad</a> <a href="https://t.co/7iVweMaZdD">https://t.co/7iVweMaZdD</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bcy2LB4Q6b">pic.twitter.com/Bcy2LB4Q6b</a></p> — The Knot (@theknot) <a href="https://twitter.com/theknot/status/855053727257985024">April 20, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Brides</h3> <p>Another publisher that has dipped its toes (or should that be fingers) into commerce is Brides – Conde Nast’s popular wedding title. Instead of an online marketplace on its own site however, it has partnered with a number of other retailers to launch products that have the Brides brand stamp of approval. </p> <p>These include a line of engagement rings called ‘In Love by Brides’ sold at Walmart, ‘Modern Bride Jewelry’ for JCPenney, plus a custom stationery line called ‘Brides Fine Wedding Papers’ sold in a number of US stores.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5619/In_Love_By_Brides.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="505"></p> <p>Using data to delve into the interests of readers, Brides discovered that a large proportion were interested in more affordable or budget-friendly weddings.</p> <p>By partnering with retailers like Walmart it has been able to deliver this, offering readers the chance to invest in more than just content.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68121-why-i-love-the-pool-and-its-refreshing-approach-to-publishing/" target="_blank">Why I love The Pool and its refreshing approach to publishing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67494-five-ways-the-new-york-times-is-innovating-its-publishing-model/" target="_blank">Five ways The New York Times is innovating its publishing model</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67312-are-publishers-in-a-losing-battle-with-content-distribution-platforms/" target="_blank">Are publishers in a losing battle with content distribution platforms?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68961 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 Amazon tries its hand at influencer affiliate marketing Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/31/amazon-quietly-launches-its-own-social-media-influencer-program-into-beta/">According to</a> TechCrunch's Sarah Perez, the program functions like the company's affiliate program in that participants are paid a commission for product sales that they drive. It is not known if the commission structure differs from Amazon's affiliate program.</p> <p>Unlike Amazon's affiliate program, which requires that affiliates link to Amazon products from their own websites, Amazon is offering influencers vanity URLs, such as <em>https://www.amazon.com/shop/whatsupmoms</em>, on which lists of products they curate are displayed. As Perez notes, "Basically, it's a more exclusive step up from Amazon Affiliate linking, and offers a better browsing experience."</p> <p>One of the early participants in the Amazon Influencer Program is WhatsUpMoms, which claims to be the top parenting network on YouTube. Its president and COO, Liane Mullin, says that the program was a natural fit. "We are constantly asked by our community for product recommendations and about the products used in our videos. Now that we have our own Amazon store it makes it much easier to have a curated collection all in one spot," she told TechCrunch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5232/amazoninfluencer.jpg" alt="" width="878" height="322"></p> <h3>The appeal of performance marketing for influencers</h3> <p>Amazon's desire to team up with influencers isn't at all surprising. After all, influential social media entities like WhatsUpMoms, which counts more than 1.5m subscribers to its YouTube channel, have the ability to promote products to broad and often loyal audiences. And there's <a href="http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-bloggers-20160809-snap-story.html">strong evidence that influencers <em>can </em>convert their followings into<em> </em>sales</a>.</p> <p>For that reason, it's reportedly not uncommon for brands to pay the most prominent of influencers – those with millions of subscribers on popular social platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat – well into the five figures, and in some cases even six figures, for each promotional post.</p> <p>Given the large sums being paid in the upper echelons of the market, brands tapping influencers to promote their wares will increasingly seek to justify the spend <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">by tracking ROI</a> and ensuring that their deals make financial sense. Performance marketing payment structures, which align compensation directly to customer acquisition or sales, could help them do just that in a very straightforward manner.</p> <h3>But will influencers embrace performance marketing?</h3> <p>For those earning thousands of dollars or more for sponsored posts, the prospect of giving up a guaranteed payment for a percentage of sales generated or a set fee for each customer acquisition might not be all that appealing. While some arrangements could theoretically offer significant upside, the truly influential influencers aren't likely to see the benefits of taking on increased risk unless the market dynamic changes completely and they are forced to.</p> <p>Instead, so long as their sway is growing and bringing with it negotiating leverage, expect to see more top influencers focus on long-term <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/16/loreal-on-why-other-brands-are-using-influencers-the-wrong-way/">partnerships</a> in which they might even work with brands to co-create product lines that they have a real ownership stake in. And expect to see the most ambitious influencers try to follow in the footsteps of social media stars like Michelle Phan, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2015/10/05/how-michelle-phan-built-a-500-million-company/">who has built</a> her own business empire on the back of her YouTube popularity.</p> <p>Of course, none of this means that the Amazon Influencer Program is destined to fail. But absent a bigger hook than an Amazon page on which influencers can curate lists of products that are sold on Amazon, it seems unlikely that the influencers with "large followings" Amazon is courting would have good reason to give their Amazon Influencer Program links top billing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68923 2017-03-21T14:18:07+00:00 2017-03-21T14:18:07+00:00 CAP issues fresh guidelines for influencer marketing: Will it make a difference? Nikki Gilliland <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4887/Born_Social.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="376"></p> <p>A lack of consumer understanding is not the only problem, of course. Confusion over how brands and influencers should label paid-for content remains a big issue. As a result, CAP (the Committee of Advertising Practice) has recently issued a <a href="https://www.asa.org.uk/advice-online/affiliate-marketing.html" target="_blank">fresh set of guidelines</a> to help social influencers and brands stick to the rules. </p> <p>Here’s a bit more on the story and how it could affect the world of influencer marketing in future.</p> <h3>Platform-specific rules</h3> <p>The new guidelines relate to affiliate marketing deals, whereby influencers are paid for the clicks they receive on sponsored content. </p> <p>CAP states that all ‘marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such’. In other words, brands and influencers should ensure that any paid-for content is clearly labelled as an advert.</p> <p>While this rule is not necessarily new, CAP has now emphasised that influencers should be more aware of the differences between platforms in order to recognise how to label sponsored content accordingly. </p> <p>For example, on platforms like Instagram where images are visible before text, the word ‘ad’ should be overlaid so that users are aware before they click through. Alternatively, where a vlog might include a minute or so of content related to affiliate products, this should be flagged (even if it doesn’t require the video to be labelled as an ad overall).</p> <p>Essentially, the new guidelines reinforce the notion that there is no blanket approach to labelling branded content, but that it is vital that consumers know when they are viewing ads – regardless of how fleeting or small the sponsored aspect might be.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4888/Sponsored_KK.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="558"></p> <h3>How is it being enforced?</h3> <p>While these guidelines might be useful for influencers who are unaware of the boundaries, there still seems to be a problem with ensuring they are followed. As platforms are yet to introduce any features that truly differentiate paid-for content from any other kind, bodies like the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) rely on the general public as well as fellow influencers to flag up unlabelled ads.</p> <p>On the other hand, cases appear to be slipping through the cracks due to the vague and somewhat inconsequential nature of what might happen if the rules are flouted.</p> <p>So far, there have only been a few instances of perpetrators being caught out, with one of the biggest examples being UK marketing agency, Social Chain. Despite being probed for failing to disclose advertising content, however, the repercussions were relatively minor, with the company merely being told to remove the content and to promise not to do it again.</p> <p>As well as vague consequences, influencers might choose to ignore the rules due to worries over platforms burying sponsored posts. In other words, regardless of the creative or authentic nature of the content as a whole, the ‘ad’ label could overshadow this and lead to the content being devalued.</p> <h3>Do consumers really care?</h3> <p>With the guidelines being put in place for the benefit of consumers, how does the public really feel about influencers working with brands?</p> <p>On one hand, <a href="http://www.bornsocial.co.uk/thesocialsurvey" target="_blank">Born Social’s survey</a> suggests that consumers look down on sponsored content, with 48.7% of people trusting a recommendation to a lesser extent if they know an influencer is being paid. However, a poll by Kantar Millward Brown suggests that, in contrast, teenagers are becoming more <a href="http://www.purecontent.com/blog/teens-in-uk-and-germany-more-receptive-to-branded-content/" target="_blank">receptive to brand content</a>. What’s more, it states that 35% of 35-49 year olds in the UK also feel positive towards content relating to products, services and other brand info.</p> <p>While these findings might sound contradictory, there is one common thread – that transparency is key.</p> <p>Regardless of how a person might feel about brand content in general, deliberately hiding or failing to disclose it can only do more harm than good. As a result – with consumer trust on the line – it is vital for both brands and influencers to implement the new guidelines in order to retain it.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68230-two-different-paths-to-influencer-marketing-which-is-best-for-you/" target="_blank">Two different paths to influencer marketing: Which is best for you?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Four key trends within the world of influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/" target="_blank">Is micro-influencer marketing viable?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68633 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 How Britain's favourite brands are attracting consumers this Christmas James Collins <p>Our recent research revealed that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68590-10-dazzling-digital-marketing-stats-from-this-week/" target="_blank">Marks &amp; Spencer is the UK’s favourite Christmas shop</a>. Of the 2,000 consumers we surveyed, 28% said they will spend the most on gifts at M&amp;S this month, with Boots, John Lewis, Next and House of Fraser making up the rest of the top five.</p> <p>Attracting Christmas shoppers pays off for these brands, and not just in the short term. Our survey also revealed that 84% of UK shoppers plan to carry on spending in their chosen stores after the Christmas season has ended.</p> <h3>The modern consumer journey</h3> <p>The top five brands are ones which UK shoppers have known and loved for a long time. Although the stores aren’t new, their methods of attracting customers have changed dramatically since the stores were founded.</p> <p>These changes have been driven by the transformation of consumer behaviour. According to research by Webloyalty &amp; Conlumino, the average consumer typically used around two touchpoints during their path to purchase in the year 2000. By 2015, this had increased to around five.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2364/christmas-shoppers-on-smartphone.jpg" alt="Christmas shoppers on smartphone" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>Shoppers are interacting with more touchpoints across more marketing channels and devices than ever before.</p> <p>But which of these is having the biggest impact on consumer choice, and how are Britain’s favourite brands making the most of it?</p> <h3>The famous Christmas TV ad campaign</h3> <p>Despite the big budgets and hype, our research found that only 27% of people make a purchase based on brands’ TV adverts alone.</p> <p>This may seem a small percentage in return for the huge investment in TV ads, but no channel performs in a silo. As multi-device ownership increases – according to the IAB’s 2015 Full Year Digital Adspend Results, there are an average of 8.3 connected devices per home – the ways to reach consumers increase too.</p> <p>For a TV advert to be most effective, it must be part of a multichannel campaign delivering consistent messaging across channels and devices. </p> <p>John Lewis – whose Christmas campaign is often the most talked about – is taking this multichannel approach seriously, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68512-john-lewis-combines-tv-ad-with-snapchat-lens-and-email/">combining both on and offline experiences</a>.</p> <p>Buster the Boxer soft toys and picture books are on sale, and the brand has partnered with Snapchat to produce a custom filter, created bespoke Twitter stickers, and offered an Oculus Rift VR experience in the Oxford Street flagship store. </p> <p>The brand’s creative multichannel approach pays off. Speaking before the release of this year’s campaign, John Lewis’ head of marketing, Rachel Swift, said that the Christmas TV ad campaign is the store’s most profitable return on investment. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sr6lr_VRsEo?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Advice from friends and family</h3> <p>Our survey found that 31% of people listen to advice from friends and family about where to purchase Christmas gifts from.</p> <p>Social media is the modern equivalent of word of mouth. Today’s brands understand the importance of using social media as part of a multichannel campaign.</p> <p>For example, M&amp;S has ‘Mrs Claus’, the star of its TV ad, taking over its Twitter account, has created the hashtag #lovemrsclaus, and has even designed its own Mrs Claus emoji.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A delightful morning full of giving (and receiving) awaits. Stay tuned... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LoveMrsClaus?src=hash">#LoveMrsClaus</a> <a href="https://t.co/au6wzme7AC">pic.twitter.com/au6wzme7AC</a></p> — M&amp;S (@marksandspencer) <a href="https://twitter.com/marksandspencer/status/806770300905848833">December 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Waggener Edstrom, from 4–20 November 2016, M&amp;S clocked up 43,376 mentions across social media, second only to John Lewis (which had a huge 203,199).</p> <p>Again the scale of the social buzz surrounding these big campaigns helps hammer home the importance of creating a campaign that is active across multiple channels.</p> <h3>Browsing a retailer’s own website</h3> <p>Our survey results also showed that 33% of shoppers browse a brand’s own website to help them decide where to buy gifts. So, it’s essential to make sure people can navigate around your site easily.</p> <p>Next’s online Christmas store is a prime example of so many retail websites at this time of year – there’s an obvious Christmas section in the main navigation, ‘gifts for…’ category pages, Secret Santa guides, the list goes on. It’s easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for in whatever way that suits them.</p> <p>But this on-site experience is only beneficial if people are actually visiting your website in the first place. Attracting relevant traffic isn’t just about the short term tactics, like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68573-seven-examples-of-black-friday-email-marketing-from-retailers/">the barrage of Black Friday emails</a> we experienced last month.</p> <p>Campaigns that focus on the long term, like partnerships with relevant blogs and online magazines, can help you attract more of your target customers over a longer period of time. </p> <p>The tricky thing is measuring the impact of campaigns like this. If a customer reads your Christmas gift guide on their favourite fashion blog and then visits your website a few days later, last-click measurement won’t acknowledge the contribution of the content campaign. </p> <p>Brands, including some of those in our top five, are moving towards attributed measurement to help them understand the value of marketing channels that appear earlier in the user journey.</p> <p>House of Fraser, for example, saw an 83% rise in the number of affiliate touchpoints awarded commission when it moved away from the last-click model.</p> <p>This view of the full user journey allowed House of Fraser to recognise the touchpoints that were driving customers to its website on a longer term basis.</p> <h3>Saving money with vouchers and loyalty schemes</h3> <p>Finally, we found that 44% of consumers are encouraged to buy from a store if they know they can use a voucher code, and 23% are persuaded by the chance to build up loyalty points.</p> <p>Boots is a great example of a store that uses vouchers and loyalty points well. You can quickly find offers on voucher and cashback sites, the brand’s Advantage Card is extremely popular, and its 3-for-2 offers at Christmas practically fill the store.</p> <p>Typically, online vouchers are associated with short-term gains at the last click – arguably perfect for the Christmas push. But it’s important to understand the incremental value that vouchers offer.</p> <p>As our survey shows, they can prompt shoppers to choose one brand over another. Vouchers can also add value across the whole user journey: We found a 22% uplift in revenue from voucher sites when taking earlier touchpoints into account, rather than just last click.</p> <p>So, we’ve seen that the modern consumer journey is complex. Christmas shoppers are influenced by lots of different touchpoints – there’s no one channel that trumps them all. The UK stores that win the Christmas retail battle are the ones that target their audience across all the relevant channels available to them.</p> <p>The brands that truly win at this time of the year, however, are the ones that understand the importance of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">lifetime value</a>. Attracting customers and encouraging them to buy Christmas gifts is only the first step.</p> <p>Retailers that succeed are those that use their data cleverly to help them make the most of the 84% of Christmas shoppers who intend to shop at their chosen store again – and attract as many of the remaining 26% as possible.</p> <p>Having a rounded understanding of the user journey, and the many touchpoints that users encounter both pre- and post-purchase, allows you to test and discover what messages to use – and when – to encourage more customers to return again and again.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-10-27T10:15:00+01:00 2016-10-27T10:15:00+01:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/">Search Laboratory</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising </li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68102 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 Why there should be more plaudits for digital audits Chris Bishop <p>Those at the top of organisations don’t feel they have the strategic sweep to justify the time and effort required to commission them.</p> <p>Audits are viewed at times as a little “too tactical” or only done once every blue moon by agencies aiming to impress for your business, only to then collect dust on top of Econsultancy buyers guides print outs or even your old New Media Age magazines (<strong>Ed</strong>: We let this lie, but only to show we have a sense of humour).</p> <p>For the in-house Head of Ecommerce, requesting a digital audit might sound dangerously like a turkey voting for Christmas. </p> <h3>Are we selling audits wrongly?</h3> <p>Or is it the slightly cheesy marketing of website or marketing auditors themselves that is putting people off?</p> <p>All that tired ‘digital health check’ stuff might be the kind of foot in the door tactic that make brands feel suspicious of then giving access to their precious AdWords account, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67171-what-is-affiliate-marketing-why-do-you-need-it/">affiliate network</a> or analytics suite.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7503/healthcheck.jpeg" alt="health check" width="275" height="183"></p> <h3>How important are digital audits anyway?</h3> <p>In reality, though, digital audits are absolutely vital. And third party objective auditing ensures that you’re not marking your own home work or ignoring long term problems.</p> <p>Proper auditing, UX testing and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67473-seven-conversion-rate-optimization-trends-to-take-advantage-of-in-2016/">CRO analysis</a> means you can elongate the lifetime and effectiveness of your website and digital media activity, in a way that can be done on any budget.</p> <p>Your digital real estate is often an expensive investment - you’ve got to maintain it properly to get results.</p> <h3>Regular servicing is vital</h3> <p>Think of that shiny new website you’ve just spent months developing as a new car you’ve just acquired.</p> <p>To start off with, it’s the envy of everyone who sees it. After-sales support is pretty good and you can see years of trouble free motoring ahead of you. Before you know it, though, your warranty is up and you’re on your own.</p> <p>As the car ages, small problems become big problems. It performs less effectively. You’re paying for petrol, but it’s becoming less and less economical to run. There are so many things going wrong with it you don’t know where to start. Eventually the car's value is so diminished you might as well scrap it and buy a new one.</p> <p>It’s the same with websites and digital marketing campaigns. They can’t be left to look after themselves – and even the mechanic themselves might need some fine tuning or training themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7504/service-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="car service" width="380"></p> <h3>What a digital audit can do for you </h3> <p>Audits can show you how to balance your budget more effectively through action and prioritisation. They can identify common issues like plateaus in activity and drop offs in acquisition; all the elements that reduce profitability. </p> <h3>The Lessons of the Audit</h3> <p>Constantly learn, constantly improve, constantly trade! A timely and constructive audit will help you:</p> <ul> <li>Keep up to date with the latest channel trends - Google changes, new publishers in affiliate, new platform or techniques for social. </li> <li>Use competitor analysis to keep your enemies close! It’s crucial to analyse and understand market share/spend and its consequences for your brand. </li> <li>Help you (re)define your goals.</li> <li>Confirm your objectives or KPIs so you can measure success.</li> <li>Understand new opportunities.</li> <li>Benchmark improvements or conversely measure areas of decline.</li> <li>Ensure corporate compliance – its best practice to have someone external “rubber stamp” your activity.</li> <li>Encourage serendipity – the uncovering of that nugget of information that transforms your understanding and makes the commercial difference.</li> </ul> <h3>Should you take the plunge?</h3> <p>Regular and skilled digital auditing is a detailed and never ending task.  It can transform the effectiveness of your digital advertising, website and budget.  </p> <p>Is it sexy? It’s showing your website a lot of love and attention. It’s optimizing and maximizing your marketing profitability and performance. Sounds pretty sexy to me.</p> <p><em>More on auditing:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68031-answering-the-key-question-of-content-auditing-where-do-i-start/">Answering the key question of content auditing - where do I start?</a></li> </ul>