Monthly Archives August 2013

How to avoid the recent pitfalls of promotional marketing and ‘giveaways’

This article by marketing journalist Maeve Hosea first appeared in Marketing Week on 22 August 2013

Colgate-GiveawayFancy a free electric toothbrush? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Colgate’s giveaway promotion at London’s Waterloo station last month, where people could swap their old electric toothbrush for a free ProClinical model worth £169.99, ended in chaos. Hundreds of people swamped the stand, which lead to Network Rail forcing the company to shut down the promotion.

Quick to capitalise on the blunder, rival Philips launched an advertising campaign with the cheeky strapline ‘The best things in life aren’t free’...
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New Marketing Manifesto – ‘Convergence with Divergence’

US soap adWhen the global economy flags, do Americans buy less soap?

And when the global economy picks up, do South Africans drink more tea?

And do British consumers purge themselves on guilty pleasures like chocolate when they see a rise in the value of real estate?

These may sound like Trivial Pursuit questions but in fact were part of a heavy weight econometric study conducted by Mintel and the Economist Intelligence Unit earlier this year that looked at household spending trends across five emerging markets – China, India, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey – and contrasted this with consumer expenditure trends in the US and UK.

Key findings:

  • Though some consumer tastes are conve...
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“You have part of my attention. You have the minimum amount.”

the-social-networkThat line came from the Hollywood movie The Social Network and gave credence to the view that the old interruption model of brand communication doesn’t work anymore.

And by that I mean advertising.

Check the stats. The average consumer is exposed to a minimum of 3,500 marketing messages in a day and 99% of these ads fail to have any impact.

It’s marketing overload and marketing clutter. Consumers’ brains are now programmed to screen out – not screen in – messages. It’s a nightmare if you still continue to cling to ‘high decibel’ marketing techniques.

Old style media owners got fat by selling mass audiences to advertisers...

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Companies need to pay the Gender Dividend or face the wrath of High Heeled Warriors!

Southasian-women-consumerIn the latest NBCUniversal study (July 2013) on the female pay-television audience, the global entertainment network shed light on what Southeast Asian women look for in a brand or a service.

The psychographic research dubbed as “High Heeled Warriors” discovered that Asian women aged 20 to 44 are complex, and that a careful segmentation of this market bracket is crucial for a marketing campaign to succeed.

“You need to really know who this woman is. If you want to send a message, you need to know what she wants,” says Christine Fellowes, Universal Networks International’s managing director for Asia Pacific.

The media company surveyed over 3,000 female subscribers...

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The “Third Wave of Marketing” has arrived!

popeye5The over 50s currently account for 80% of the wealth of the UK – some £300 billion and spending by households including someone over the age of 65 is £109 billion. These figures will only get bigger as the shift towards an ageing population gathers pace.

Today there are 10.3m people in the UK aged over 65, by 2020 that figure will be 12.5m and on current projections that will have increased to 16m by 2030.

Within that group, older segments are the fastest growing and by 2050 it is estimated that there will be more than a quarter of a million centenarians in the UK.

But this growth isn’t confined to the UK.

For example, in the US, the number of people over 50 will have t...

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What sport teaches marketers in how to improve competitive performance

Usain-Bolt-001One of the buzzwords of 2013 has got to be “big data.” I was recently in a boardroom meeting where talk of leveraging “big data” was a popular favourite around the table.

This made me smile. Over the last 20 years I’ve been involved in understanding how sport and entertainment can be used as a powerful brand communication and marketing platform. Many organisations and businesses have a lot to learn from sports rights owners who’ve been exploiting data for gain competitive advantage for many years.

Whether its athletics, soccer, F1, swimming, tennis, basketball or baseball, “big data” has been at the heart of developing a winning strategy in this industry.

It s...

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Global spending power has shifted. But have marketers woken up to these new realities?


To understand why it’s so critical that women play a key role in building—and rebuilding—economies around the world it’s important to consider the rise of talent as a dominant business issue.

In the digital economy, human capital replaces natural resources as the basis for growth. The businesses and countries that will lead in this century will be the ones that are best able to harness the innovation and creativity of their people. Countries like India, China and Brazil stand to potentially make some of the biggest advances here.

Women are undoubtedly a growing force in the global talent pool...

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Peering into the mind of a Culturematic

batmanI’m gonna put my cards on the table and declare unashamedly I’m a massive fan of American culture! As a kid growing up in a small town in Essex on the edge of London, my escapism from the boredom of living on a council estate was through the black and white TV set in the corner of our living room!

It was here that I started to develop a taste for everything American – from the brilliantly funny Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as the Flintstones and Top Cat; the wacky ‘60s series starring Adam West as Batman with Burt Ward as Robin; the surreal and wonderful world of Captain James T Kirk and Spock in the original 70s series of Star Trek and then onto the remarkable Lou Gra...

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Recent case of a juror that ended up on the wrong side of the law with a custodial sentence for contempt of court for accessing social media during a trial

JuryThere’s a principle in law that applies around the world. And it is that everyone is entitled to a fair trial.

Start messing with that and you could end up in deep trouble as 29-year old Joseph Beard recently found out to his cost.

Beard was called to serve as a juror in Kingston Crown Court in Surrey but hadn’t counted on appearing in the dock himself before Sir John Thomas of the Queen’s Bench Division at the Royal Courts of Justice and ended up with a criminal record in the process.

But that’s exactly what happened.

Beard was in the fifth week of a criminal trial estimated to take six weeks...

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US-based James Bruno, SVP International at cloud computing giant Vocus shares his thoughts about the future of marketing

AK: What marketing trends have you seen on both sides of the Atlantic?

JB: If you’d asked me this question 25 years ago when I was working in the UK in the pharmaceutical industry, I would’ve said there was a distinct cultural approach to how we marketed products in the US versus the UK.

Fast forward 25 years and it’s amazing to see the cultural divide has basically evaporated which I would attribute to globalisation of the economy and I don’t think you can avoid the impact of the internet has had on markets and competition.

I think it’s interesting to note that the changes in marketing we’ve witnessed over the last five years have trumped the changes that have taken...

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