Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Greggs secret ingredient to building a stronger brand…

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Greggs Bakery Marketing Strategy - Marketing CommunicationsGreggs the baker is a fantastic example of how effective communication between businesses and consumers can be achieved through the use of social media sites such as Facebook, and this has been the height of discussion in marketing news this week.  According to Marketing Week the brands CEO, Ken McMeikan started at Greggs in 2008 and wrote to the 20,000 customers that the business had on file to ask what they thought of the brand.  The response was surprisingly high with 11,000 responses in total! So what has changed for Greggs beyond the famous sausage roll retailer in the last four years…?

McMeikan now prefers to receive feedback via Facebook, checking the Greggs page four to six times a day.  The report shows how feedback from consumers has gained results.   Suggestions for changes have been addressed, and in many situations implemented, and a new range of food has been developed in-house, using Greggs’ own bakeries.

The new range reflects the feedback and suggestions left through Facebook which is great PR for Greggs.  This means consumers can see that the brand is taking their opinions seriously and are in turn prepared to trial new products and methods for delivering the products, whether this is to sit down in store or tapping into the coffee market.   Does their new marketing activity stop at Facebook though…?

Introducing the new Greggs App…!  This free phone device will allow customers to access product menus, nutritional information, and includes a flashy GPS shop finder that will assist customers in finding their nearest Greggs.  This is yet another move forward that promotes the brand as one that is evolving to meet the ever changing demands of the consumer; this new app will certainly put them on the coffee shop map along with major chains such as Starbucks and Costa.

For a full report on Greggs comprehensive marketing strategy click here

Customers can also view meal deals, discounts and useful information.


Looks like brands are abandoning traditional marketing methods…

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Sakata - Social Media Marketing

Sakata - Social Media Marketing

PepsiCo’s rice cracker brand, Sakata, is launching a marketing campaign using social media as the sole marketing channel for communicating this new healthy food product to consumers in the UK.  Some may say this is a risky approach for this product and a far cry from the traditional campaigns launched in the US and other countries around the globe.  So why has the UK been chosen as the test drive for this method to marketing…?

According to Marketing Week the brand hopes to leverage its presence on Facebook and Twitter through a competition where the public have to suggest the pronunciation of its name, as it looks to drive awareness among young health-conscious women.  So why the strategy to build a dedicated following among females between certain ages in the UK, are men not healthy too?

The Japanese brand has had proven success in Australia as the countries no 1 selling cracker!  The product comes in four delicious flavours; Sour Cream & Chive, Cheddar, Classic Barbecue and Plain, and is gluten free containing nine calories or less per cracker compared to competitor brands…Clearly this brand appeals to a wide audience, and maybe beyond females aged between 18 and 44!

Will the Facebook competition and Twitter exposure be enough to promote this brands healthy option cracker to the UK public to become Britain’s no 1 choice in cracker…? What are your thoughts?


Competing ecosystems; Apple, Google or Facebook…?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Google MusicIt’s all about sharing music, right…? – Search giant Google has signed content deals with more than 20 music labels, including EMI, Universal and Sony Music Entertainment.  According to Marketing Week Google’s music library will be more than extensive, with over 13 million songs available.  Integrated with Google+, this service offers users the ability to share songs (FULL SONGS!) with friends, without the need to purchase.   But how similar is this to the Spotify and Facebook partnership though…?

Google initially launched Music Beta in May 2011, due to licensing agreements; consumers were blocked from sharing songs with friends.  This has since been revised, and Google+ has been forced to address the fundamental principles and guidelines relating to providing music through social media platforms.  Will this initial launch leave a black mark on the search engine’s reputation, and have an impact on the new services success…?

There has been concerns raised as to the extent to which this differs from existing providers.  According to the Telegraph, Google said that users will be able to store up to 20,000 songs and, unlike Apple’s service which costs $25, it’s free! –The questions raised here are irrelevant, the point is that people who are using Google+ will try out this new music feature, and potential customers will undoubtedly be drawn in.  The question will be as to whether this works in the long term; only time will tell.  Currently available in the US, it will be interesting to see whether this makes it across to the UK, before iTunes brings out their latest revolutionary product!

Let us know your thoughts…?


Looking to change the face of marketing in promoting the brand…!

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Neuromarketing - Marketing CommunicationsThe consumer now receives messages from all directions, for example, social media, phone and e-mail, all of which are fighting for attention. In turn, this has implications on how consumers view brands and what is important to them in terms of the information being received.  Marketing Week have recently released an interesting article that delves into the current state of marketing, what medias are being utilized, and to what degree they currently impact on the consumer. Looking at the brain and how it processes information the report emphasizes one method of effective marketing and that is neuromarketing

Microsoft has looked at how consumers engage with different media such as TV, PC and mobile devices. TV was likened to an old, reliable and entertaining friend, the PC like an older sibling and the mobile device a new lover.  Given that Microsoft conducted the study and is promoting neuromarketing as a way to engage with the consumer on a personal level and create a tool that enables interaction between seller and buyer on their hand held device, this is not entirely surprising.

BT’s Millard states: “Companies are using social media as broadcast media, but it’s actually about engagement. The challenge is that if a customer wants to talk to you, you have to find the person with the right skills to engage back, and that might exist somewhere beyond the marketing department. So it’s important to start thinking about how you break the boundaries between back office and front office, marketing and PR.

This statement is an idyllic situation for the marketer and one that at some point they will hopefully achieve, however in reality there are so many hurdles to overcome before getting to this point, perhaps this is more of a one off campaign as opposed to the culture in the long term strategy of a particular brand.  As Millard rightly states there is merit to investing in social media as a form of engagement and relating to the consumer in a social environment, however marketers need to ask themselves to what extent they push this and should they be selective in the content that they are posting through this media channel?  – Targeting is the fundamental point here, the consumer will listen when messages are relevant and interesting, target the right people and you can’t go wrong really!

If resources were on tap what would you as the marketer do…?  An interesting viewpoint from Martin Lindstrom, neuromarketing expert to finish on “The role of the marketer will be obsolete really soon. I predict that it will not be about marketers running online communication, instead it will be in the hands of psychologists and data miners.” –Food for thought perhaps…?

FMCG’s increase online spending…

Friday, October 14th, 2011
Online Marketing Spend

Online Marketing Spend Rises

The latest statistics on advertising spend show that in the first half of 2011 there was increase in spending by 27% compared to the second half of 2010.  FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods) companies have been investing more on video and social media which has impacted hugely on the overall growth of spending this year.  According to Marketing Week this does not include mobile ad spending, of which we are all well aware is growing at a rapid rate.   Does this mean that online advertising is replacing TV for many of these brands…?

Matthew Cullum, Heinz Soup marketing controller, encourages the use of social media reinforcing the message that consumers want to engage with his brands through channels they are becoming more and more familiar with…

Essentially online and new media channels are becoming the ‘norm’ for a lot of consumers!

Cullum states in his report,

…Our use of these channels doesn’t replace TV but it is a great compliment to it because it allows the consumer to spread the word and they engage more than they would with traditional channels such as TV or Radio”.

It is fair to say that as long as companies are integrating their marketing campaigns, which is apparent in all FMCG’s, there is no reason why this cannot work.

Although there are concerns with regards to social networks having limited potential for brands, we should consider that as long as campaigns are comprehensive and that traditional methods of marketing are pursued then brands cannot really lose!

What are your thoughts on brands spending more on online advertising…?


Social Networking Is Good For The Heart!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

British Heart Foundation Social NetworkingThe possibilities for charities sharing information and engaging supporters through social media are endless! According to a recent report from Marketing Week The British Heart Foundation (BHF) hopes to utilize the free-to-use online community to help people affected by heart disease share experiences, advice and ideas.  This is fantastic news for obvious reasons but also for the social media rep…finally we see that this form of media can really change the face of how charities communicate with their supporters for the better, and also massively increase brand exposure, as that what it is all about.

Roberto Kusabbi, communities and social media executive at the BHF, expresses how the making of this new community has been going over the last two years and how it is now ready to be developed and will certainly go from strength to strength.  In the past the charity has used social networking sites, for example following the London to Brighton bike ride last year, which had proven success  in capturing a real buzz around the event and the volume of supporters who shared their experiences.  It is clear that the BHF has not created this community overnight but has invested time and resources over a long period to create a platform that can be developed.  This is a good example of how brands should consider investment into social media when looking at their marketing budget.

Great news for the market now in that Joe public can use their existing social platforms e.g Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to get the latest advice and share experiences without concerning themselves with where this information is coming from and how it is being used.  The social media era will hopefully promote more awareness with charities like the British Heart Foundation and encourage people to get more involved in not only raising money and taking part in events, but sharing experiences, whether they be good or bad and generally making people more aware.  It will be interesting to see if the hard core marathons and sports events of a similar intensity will receive more applicants as a result!

Is Social Media Now Seen As Mainstream Marketing?

Friday, June 17th, 2011

According to a recent study on the digital economy 90% of marketers that took part indicated that social media is a key part of their marketing activity and emphasized the importance of integrating this into their marketing mix.  We have seen previous reports in 2010 whereby more companies are exploring this area as part of their digital marketing strategy; however it now appears that the majority of marketers consider this to be a mainstream option.  How are marketers going about social media given the fact that it is a long term investment and not just a single campaign that may only run for a short period…?

The simple answer is that it depends on the size of the organization and more obviously it depends on the nature of the industry and what weighting should be awarded to social media.   The market analysis, referred to above, revealed that social media was taking a lot of resource with more than 6 hours a week on social media through the most popular networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  It seems that larger companies are investing more time and resources to social media whilst small or medium size enterprises (SME’s) are less likely to have the knowledge and resources available to them.

Volvo Case Study - Marketing Communications Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach demonstrates how larger corporations are extending beyond the traditional marketing communications (please refer to page 447 for an interesting case study on Volvo).

Marketing Week reports that 41% of UK businesses are using social networking sites.  Social Media may not be mainstream as of yet for many businesses, however there is evidence that social networking activity is on the rise and certainly the majority of businesses are looking to explore more of this activity in order to remain competitive and ultimately attract new customers. Are companies therefore adopting more innovative marketing strategies in order to remain competitive…YES!

Cadbury’s – TV Programs….Online….Olympics!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Cadbury Spots V Stripes - Marketing Communication Blog

The Cadbury’s brand have done it again…In order to push the Spots V Stripes product the brand have partnered with ITV and ITV2 programmes to be launched this autumn.  The shows will be based on the Minute to Win It program that was launched by NBC in the US last year and the format is in production in 30 countries.

Cadbury’s initial launch of the Spots v Stripes product was in support of its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. According to a recent report from Marketing Week, the strategy was and is to encourage people to become involved in playing games. This branding is seen everywhere and has been a huge investment for Cadbury involving a substantial lead time running up to the Olympics.  Take a look at the launch advert from back in August 2010, almost two years prior to the Games, launching the Spots V Stripes idea with different competitive fish!

The wider gaming format of Minute to Win It will be rolled out at Cadbury Spots v Stripes events.  Hopefully the timing of the ITV game program will tie in nicely with the lead up to the Olympics and therefore give Cadbury the exposure it needs to ensure sales continue long after the events of 2012.   Cadbury currently have a strong association with the Olympics, on the website it is listed as a worldwide partner, alongside MacDonald’s and Coca Cola…ironic given the nature of the event!

Will bespoke albums help revive the music industry?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

There has been an ongoing battle in the music industry with illegal downloads.  The music industry has to envolve to encourage users to buy music.

The latest attempt to encourage users to buy albums has come from Kaiser Chiefs.  Their new album ‘The Future is Medieval’ has been released (3rd June) and is available online only for a limited period of time.

Using the bands Website fans can select ten of their favourite tunes (from a selection of 20) to make their own bespoke version (with choice of artwork) of the new Kaiser Chiefs album ‘The Future is Medieval’.   Users purchase and download their bespoke album for £7.50.

Fans get their own webpage with their personalised album and are encouraged to promote their bespoke album via social media channels (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). For every bespoke album the fan sells they will receive £1 through a personalised transactional website.

Kaiser Chiefs have also partnered with the Alzheimer’s Society who created their own version of the album and the band will donate all profits from this album to the Alzheimer’s Society.

In the launch statement the band explained that the intention was to ‘revitalise and subvert the industry standard’. Fans can hear/download the record at the same time as the media and critics which hopefully helps to improve the experience and bring extra excitement to the fans.

Will this new idea be enough to help revive the music industry and combat the illegal downloads or could it be just a good marketing stunt?  People like to interact with brands, and social media is one of the most popular ways to do this, so this campaign could tick all the boxes!

Facebook ‘Social Media’ or ‘Social Commerce’?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

In the context of social media, social commerce is defined as ‘e-commerce transactions’, this gives brands the opportunity to sell products and services through online social networking sites.  Is this a good idea and does this work for some industries and not so much for others…? This is questionable for music store HVM as they launch their Facebook Store.

Should social media and in particular, social networking sites be used as a selling platform?  A recent Marketing Week article expresses concern about using Facebook as a form of social commerce rather than using the networking site for what it was meant for, networking conversations around products.  With applications such as blogs, micro-blogs, social networking and media-sharing, there is too much happening under one heading – social media!  As a result of this there are concerns that HMV are wasting their time and distracting from where their real problems are.

It is important to remember that HMV have been very cautious when launching their Facebook Store…according to a research study the brand is currently redirecting consumers to the website to purchase products so they can view the music they are passionate about on Facebook initially.   HMV are testing the water before completely committing to Facebook as an online shop.  Does this work for some industries and not for others, will this work for academic publishing for example?

The Burger King Facebook viral campaignfeatured in Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach, is an example of what brands, in the past, are using Facebook for, media attention! Maybe this is as far as social media investment should go for many brands (see chapter 13, page 355 for case study).