Australian Paper goes Digital to close the Recycling Loop

Australian Paper - Campaign image - May2016Recently I finished working on an exciting digital campaign for Australian Paper promoting their new range of Reflex 100% Recycled paper. The challenge was to educate the general public about the benefits of  closing the paper recycling loop. Australians are great recyclers, with 68% of people recycling office paper, but only 20% buy recycled paper back.

For this awareness campaign we developed an integrated digital approach utilising Facebook, LinkedIn, EDM, Google Display, videos (GIFs) and campaign website. We managed all aspects of the campaign, from developing the creative concept and strategy, video production, technical development and ad management. The 2 new characters Wayne and Lexie helped us communicate the serious message in an entertaining way which the target market could relate to. Lexie and Wayne will be used throughout the year to promote the closing the paper recycling loop message.

For more information on the campaign it was featured in Campaign Brief and Stationery News.


What I’ve learned in 3 months using Snapchat

Back in February I wrote an article about Snapchat, I had been using it for 3 weeks and was pretty excited by the platform. The excitement surrounding Snapchat reminded me of the buzz Twitter was getting 8 years ago when I was living in New York. Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr were all getting started and Twitter was winning the battle. We all know what happened in the following years.

Three months later I’m still using Snapchat, and are excited by the new advertising features which really opens up the platform to advertisers.
A quick recap, Snapchat is a mobile App that allows images and videos to be sent. The messages last between 3 and 10 seconds, and then it disappears. Points are earned for every message sent and received, and there are trophies for rewards. To enhance snaps, you can add funny filters and text to images and videos. These filters are one of the reasons why the platform is so addictive. I got hooked using the filters and was actively sharing photos and videos with my wife’s friends, who in turn shared content with their friends. Before long the whole group was using it.
Snapchat figures are impressive for a platform that has been going for about 4 years. Snapchat has 200+ million users, 100 million are active daily users with Australia having 2 million active users. More than 60% of US 13 to 34 year olds Smartphone owners are Snapchatters. Users spend on average 30 minutes a day on it. Snapchat is dominating video with 10 billion videos watched daily. To put it in perspective, Facebook has the same number of video views, but are 10x times larger!
Why do people love the platform? Snapchat is giving users a platform to creatively express themselves to the world. We can share content (our own) with friends, celebrities and people located anywhere in the world (very similar to how Twitter was used to connect with people from anywhere, Facebook was more of a closed environment). And we control the frequency of interaction. Snapchat is the perfect platform to be continually sharing Snaps from our busy lives. The Snaps are a reflection of how we are feeling in the moment.
Interesting to note, all content on Snapchat is viewed vertically, which means it gets maximum eyeball attention on mobile. Studies have found that mobile users were not turning their phones when viewing content, resulting in landscape content been underutilised. This could be one of the reasons why Facebook has recently launched Canvas ads, to take advantage of the full vertical space.
So how do the brands get involved in the platform? Like with everything, there’s the organic way and the paid option. The organic way is to create stories on a brand’s profile. This does not mean replicating Facebook and Instagram content calendars onto Snapchat. The content should be quite separate and unique. Snapchat content is a lot rawer and does not require the same high creative production. However, it still requires some planning otherwise a brand’s profile will be full of random images and videos. The brands doing it well are telling a story, checkout NitroCircus for inspiration. But building an active community is quite labour intensive due to the content disappearing after 24 hours, so you have to be continually creating new stories.
Snapchat’s paid options allow brands to get involved without having to invest as much manpower, but there are still considerable costs to advertise on the platform. In Australia we’ve had limited access to advertising options, but this has changed recently.
One of the first paid options introduced by Snapchat was the ‘Discovery’ brand channel, which is a place where brands can publish curated content. This option has been only open to a small number of brands with very deep pockets (in the US prices started from $750k per day, apparently it’s now around $50k).  In Australia some brands using Discovery channels have included Fox Sports,, BuzzFeed and MTV.
Another option for brands to participate in is the ‘Live Story’ section, which occupies prime realestate just below the Discovery section. It’s a combination of user generated, branded and Snapchat curated content from live events from around the world, it’s a bit like a modern day documentary. A lot of the content is from behind the scenes at fashion shows, music and film awards and sport (the NBA finals has been featured a lot).
To get a sense of how big Snapchat is, America’s ABC recently broadcasted the American Music Awards, it got 3 million TV viewers aged 13-34, while a Snapchat Live Story about the event drew 11.5 million. Advertisers will be climbing over themselves to be featured next year.
Snapchat also features Live Stories from cities around the world, yesterday Reykjavik was featured. Not sure if there’s an option for cities to nominate themselves. Snapchat’s team based in LA and NYC sift through thousands of Snaps to curate the content and mix in their own content (with people on the ground at events), and add in ads (brand stories). To create ‘brand stories’, prices start from a very reasonable $20 for every 1,000 views. Yesterday I saw a 5 second Hungry Jacks ad video.
Quickly becoming a popular option for brands to participate on Snapchat is sponsored ‘on demand’ Geo-filters. Users can add branded graphics to selfie photos and videos based on Geo-locations. We’ve had community driven filters in Australia (e.g. Melbourne) but recently we got access to ‘on demand’ filters. McDonalds was one of the first to use the filter on a national scale. Recently in the office we created a filter for an event, we geo-fenced it to our building for about an hour, and it costed about $5USD (very reasonable). Thoughts of hijacking events spring to mind, so it will be interesting to see how Snapchat manages this going forward.
The last 3 months have certainly been fun using and discovering more about Snapchat. If you want to learn more, I’ll be co-running a Snapchat workshop this Thursday afternoon. We’ll be Facebook Live streaming the workshop, so like our Facebook page to watch it.

Watch out – Gen Xers are on Snapchat

Username: Jimmy-Coleman

It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve started playing around with Snapchat and there’s no going back!  Move over Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is the new kid on the block.

As a Gen X-er, I was keen to understand what all the fuss was about with the platform that has captured the imagination of the Millennials. Also, how can brands use it as a marketing tool.

Snapchat is a mobile App that allows images and videos to be sent to users. The catch is the message last between 3 and 10 seconds, and then it disappears. For every message sent and received, you receive points, and there are trophies for rewards.

To enhance snaps (videos and images) a bunch of very funny filters and emojis can be added. These filters are one of the reasons why the platform is so addictive. Updated daily, they encourage users to keep checking back.

The platform is all about capturing and sharing moments.  Why send a plain text message when you can communicate via an image or video (a picture is worth a thousand words). While we all use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and SMS for instant communication, Snapchat has turbocharged this form of communication by adding a game element to it.  It’s all about sending creative Snapchat messages, very similar to memes. Snapchat also gives an insight into a user’s daily life, as videos and images can be uploaded to a profile in the form of a story, which lasts up to 24 hours. Uploads are stitched together to make a story.

While it’s been a great tool for having fun with friends and spying on celebs, but how can brands play in the space?  From my research, it’s only recently that Snapchat has opened up the platform to advertisers. There looks to be 3 ways brands can get involved. The first is the discovery section where publishers / brands can upload highlights from the day in the form of videos, images and GIFs. The next is sponsoring a filter; Samsung recently used a filter in Melbourne. The third way is creating stories on a brand’s profile, the organic way.

From a reporting perspective, things are pretty limited. You can understand how many views and screenshots content has been received, but there’s no way to benchmark performance with other brands.

It’s very early days for me with Snapchat, but early indicators show it’s a fun platform to use. I’m looking forward to exploring it more from a business perspective. Don’t forget to follow me!   

Facebook Advertising Overview

People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with a Facebook logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014. Facebook Inc warned on Tuesday of a dramatic increase in spending in 2015 and projected a slowdown in revenue growth this quarter, slicing a tenth off its market value. Facebook shares fell 7.7 percent in premarket trading the day after the social network announced an increase in spending in 2015 and projected a slowdown in revenue growth this quarter.   REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINABUSINESS LOGO - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY LOGO TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

This year I joined Toastmasters and have recently finished my second speech. Toastmasters has helped me improve my listening and speaking skills.  I’m particularly enjoying the challenge of table topics, where you have to speak unprepared for 2 minutes.

I’m sharing my last speech, which was on Facebook advertising. My wife gave me the idea to do the speech on Facebook advertising.  We recently got married and had an amazing honeymoon in Europe. The other day on Facebook she saw an advertisement for a pregnancy tester kit. Naturally she was shocked and surprised, why is Facebook showing me these ads. I will explain how Facebook is getting this data later in the article.

First some background stats on Facebook. As most of us probably already know, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with 1.5 billion users and 13 million in Australia. Ten million Australians are active on Facebook every day, spending about 1 hour per day on it. Food is the most talked about and shared topic, followed by family and pets.

Facebook was listed on the US stock exchange back in 2012 and was valued at $100 billion. The shares started at $38 per share. Today the company is valued at $245 billion and its shares sit around $1.10. In the last quarter, Facebook made $4.3 billion from advertising in the US. The online advertising space is valued at $600 billion in the US. To marketers, Facebook now positions itself as a media company, no longer a Social Media platform.

A couple of years ago when a brand made a post on Facebook there was a good chance people would see the content organically. While this strategy was great for brands and for Facebook while they were growing their user base, it wasn’t making Facebook any money. Over the years, Facebook tweaked their algorithm so less and less content was shown organically. As a result brands would have to pay for their content to be seen. Facebook had become like any other media channel, like radio and TV. Due to the massive audience, it’s hard for advertisers to ignore the platform.

For years, advertisers have been able to target ads on Facebook based on a broad range of demographic and interest-based category, including gender, age, family status, location, employment, interests and hobbies. Users have given this information to Facebook in various forms.

The big shift came recently when Facebook partnered with offline data providers, including Quantium (Everyday Rewards cards). Facebook can now get information based on our offline habits and interests, including shopping and financial information. This new option called Partner Categories has meant Facebook can now overlay data from their own targeting combined with shopping and financial information. The list of targeting options has increased dramatically, marketers can now reach people who have got a new home loan, purchased overseas holidays, bought dog food and recently married (my wife fell into this category) the list goes on and on.

Partner Categories is now included standard in Facebook’s Ad Manager and Power Editor. In addition to Partner Categories, advertisers can upload Custom Audiences (email and phone databases, opted in to receive information from your brand) and target lists with advertising. There is also the option to use Look-A-Like audience targeting to reach people similar to your email database lists.

Facebook’s advertising options have evolved and are now very sophisticated. The key to Facebook’s continued success is ensuring people keep using the platform. Facebook will continue to tweak their advertising options but will need to be careful with the number (frequency) of ads shown. So expect to see more targeted ads in your news feed!

Euro 2015

IMG_4943Yes it’s been a while between blog posts! But this time I have a good excuse, I got married and spent my honeymoon in Europe!

Europe in summer doesn’t get any better, especially when Melbourne had its coldest winter in 20 years.  I was last in Europe 10 years ago so was looking forward to seeing the sights again. Also I was keen to see if Europe had embraced the 21st century (digital world). On the flight over we decided on our hashtag for the trip, check Instagram #booseuro2015 for our photos. For the next 5 weeks we relied on Airbnb, TripAdvisor and free Wi-Fi.

Compared to Australia, Europe is very old and a lot busier. With 8 million people and over 2,000 years of history, London is still the place to be. Regardless of the night, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square were pumping. Granted it’s the Theatre and party capital of Europe and it was in the middle of summer, but there was people around all hours of the day and night.

In London I was hoping to see some cutting edge digital activity, such as interactive advertising on bins and billboards at Oxford Circus, and/or Beacons in the department stores (the department stores were all about the customer experience). But the most exciting digital experience we got was free Wi-Fi and using phones in the Tube. We were lucky enough to go to an Arsenal game, but again there was no digital connection with fans. The ground did have Wi-Fi, but we couldn’t connect.IMG_1388

On our trip we passed through France, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Czech and Germany. After London, Berlin felt the most digitally connected. It must due to their strong arts and bar/ cafe scene, and a young population. We used social media a lot at the start of our trip to hunt out Melbourne styled cafes, which there were no shortage of in London, Paris and Berlin. A lot of businesses (the smart ones) were using Instagram, Facebook, TripAdvisor and blogs (my wife would find them!) to attract tourists.
The most digital it got on our trip was at Singapore Airport, which had a digital wall, where you uploaded photos to a 360 degree screen.

This trip got me thinking, what are we doing for our tourists? I don’t expect very much. I know we’re trying to rollout free Wi-Fi in the city. So, Daniel Andrews (Victoria’s Premier) if you’re reading this, let’s chat as I have plenty of ideas.


Facebook F8 Conference

F8I can’t believe it’s been 4 months since my last blog post! Where has the time gone!? Last time I was writing about Christmas Ads and now it’s Easter! This year, I’ve been involved in Creme Egg’s Facebook campaign, so have been in the Easter spirit for a while now!

What caught my eye last week was Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference. The big news from the event was the focus on opening up Facebook Messenger to businesses. With 600 million active users of Messenger, Facebook is keen to give businesses the opportunity to interact directly with customers.

Users will have the opportunity to receive rich information from businesses, including tracking shipping, and purchase information and live chat (one-to-one communication).

In the future, Facebook users will have the option of getting receipts for goods purchased online sent directly to Messenger, bypassing email. In the same thread shipping orders will also be tracked.

Live chat will make it easier for brands to resolve issues. Chatting with consumers via the newsfeed is not always possible, especially for sensitive / private conversations.

Building Apps for Messenger is another way businesses can increase their reach. Currently there are over 20 Apps you can download, from sending GIFS to  Memes. JibJabI downloaded JibJab, the App Zuckerberg featured at the Conference and had a lot of fun sending GIFS to my partner. I can see many opportunities for brands to develop Apps to engage with fans, for example a Mercedes-Benz ‘Road Trip’ planner, which lets users send driving itineraries to friends, or a McDonalds ‘Meal Selector’, where users can send what they want for dinner.

You can also send money to friends using Messenger, so there’s no end to the capabilities of the App!

From a marketing perspective the advancements to Messenger are very exciting!

Wishing you a safe and relaxing Easter!

Tis the season to celebrate with Christmas commercials

With Christmas just a few sleeps away the retailers are in overdrive with activity. I was just in the city, and things seemed pretty crazy!

Now that our TV viewing habits have changed, we are relying more and more on getting our news and entertainment from Facebook’s newsfeed, including commercials.

Tis season I’ve only noticed a couple of standout Christmas commercials. The first being John Lewis’s ‘Monty The Penguin’ ad, which has had over 21 million views on YouTube.  By the looks of it, the ‘Monty’ campaign has been very successful with books, Apps, live interactive sites, dedicated Twitter account, plush toy and adopt a Penguin in conjunction with WWF.

I’m sure everyone has heard and seen this year’s edition of the dancing elves from OfficeMax, the campaign has nearly 1 billion downloads (over many years)!

Every year retailer Myer in Australia has the Christmas windows in the capital cities, which draw massive crowds.  This year’s TV commercial ‘Find Wonderful at Myer’ is a throwback to our youth when everything was wonderful.

Coca-Cola’s Make Someone Happy TV advert shows people doing random acts of kindness.

Wishing you a Safe and Merry Christmas!

What influence does Advertising and Packaging have on Brand Loyalty?

Everyday we’re exposed to thousands of branded messages. As a result, we subconsciously lean towards brands based on trust and emotional feelings.

Brand loyalty is a sensible buyer strategy. Consumers become loyal / build preferences to brands through repeat purchase. It’s less risky and more convenient for consumers to pick a brand they know and trust. Why spend time agonising over another brand when you’re already familiar with one.

Coke vs PepsiOver the years there have been many tests to prove that branding can distort preferences. A popular example is a Coke vs Pepsi taste test. When blindfolded the majority of consumers cannot taste the difference between the 2 brands, but when the blindfolds come off memories are triggered causing people to have a preference with people leaning towards Coke.

In another test (Robinson 2007) McDonalds food was given to kids (yes great idea especially with the issues with kid obesity), one item had the McDonalds packaging and the other not. Kids automatically preferred the branded food as a superior taste. Another important take-away from the test was the more television sets in a child’s house the more likely they would select the branded option.

In these 2 examples all the effort marketers put into adverting and packaging pays-off with users expressing brand loyalty.

Price can affect loyalty, especially with FMCG products, which is a low involvement purchase decision. Breakfast cereals, yoghurts and deodorants which are bought more frequently are continuously on sale in attempt to woo buyers away. Brand loyalty for these brands is between 15 – 30%. However, after the sales finish, most shoppers return to their preferred brand.

In another example, car brands have a higher loyalty rate of around 50%. The higher rate is partly due to the fact that on average we only buy 2 new cars in our lifetime. Over half of buyers buy the same car make as they previously owned, hence why car manufactures have cars to suit all stages in our life.

There’s no doubting advertising and packaging plays an important role in influencing our brand loyalty.  To what degree consumers become loyal or lazy (convenience) does depend if it’s a low or high level buying decision.

For more insights checkout Chapter 7 of ‘How Brands Grow’.

What’s the Point of Social Customer Care?

It’s been a busy couple of months since my last blog post! I’ve moved house, done a mini renovation, work got crazy, had an engagement party and the soccer season started!

I also had some interesting social media interactions with some leading Australian companies that left me questioning the point of using social media for customer service.

Social Customer Care has been a popular catch phrase used by marketers recently. In theory it should help resolve customer queries via social media in a timely manner.

However there is a gap between traditional customer service and the dynamic nature of social media. Traditionally customer queries were dealt with behind the scenes, but now they’re visible for all to see. Giving a standard politician response (dodging answering the question) to a customer query on social media is not going to cut it anymore. Users want answers!

Another challenge is the speed. Social media happens 24/7, and users expect answers instantaneously, which can be challenging to manage. As a result, businesses have had to extend their hours of operations.

Staying anonymous or hiding behind online personas makes it very hard for companies to know who they’re dealing with. This is a tough one, but no different to someone calling up a radio station with a secret agenda.

What got me frustrated recently was how 2 large companies (check my Twitter feed for the interactions) dealt with my social media queries. In both situations they couldn’t resolve my query and wanted me to call them. With the bank, I had already spent 20 minutes on hold and gave up. I asked them to call me! The same happened with my telco interaction, I had to either call or use the live chat, which we used the night before and got nowhere.

I understand there are privacy concerns, with companies calling, but if we’re sending private messages via Facebook or Twitter, how is that any different from sending an email with our phone number?!

Kudos to companies who respond quickly to customer queries on social media, acknowledging is the first step in addressing the problem. But if you can’t do anything, it leaves the customer frustrated and the issue is still not resolved.

To make Social Customer Care really work, a re-think of how businesses use it is required. Get it right, and companies can save money with customer service departments and ultimately the customer is happy!


Marketers have Light buyers in their sights

We’ve all heard the saying 80% of sales come from the top 20% of brand (heavy) buyers (Pareto’s law). It turns out this thought process is flawed, with studies showing light buyers have a bigger impact on sales. And it gets worse in competitive product categories like FMCG, the 20% of heavy buyers are only responsible for 35% of sales.

How Brands Grow - Bryon Sharp

How Brands Grow – Bryon Sharp

Light buyers are shoppers who purchase a product on average once a year. Heavy buyers are loyal and purchase products frequently. They respond to advertising and are active during promotion periods. But it can be challenging to increase the purchase frequency of the heaviest buyers as they’re already at capacity.

I’m reading Professor Bryon Sharp’s book from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute on ‘How Brands Grow’.  The book is challenging a lot of the things I learnt at university!

Research from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute recommends marketers focus on increasing the buying frequencies of light or non buyers. The reason for the focus is that a lot of brands are actually made up of mainly light buyers, who switch and become heavy buyers, and vice versa.  As a result we see many brands running promotions, creating occasions and or extending their product range in attempt to increase the buying habits of light buyers.

Professor Gerald Goodhardt’s 20:30:50 law challenges Pareto’s law, he states that the market is made up 50% of light buyers who are responsible for 20% of purchases, while the 20% of heaviest buyers are responsible for 50% of purchases. I feel these figures are closer to reality than Pareto’s law.

Reaching all buyers, especially light buyers are vital for growth. While heavy buyers must not be ignored, the real opportunity lies with the light and non buyers.

As I work my way through the book I will share other marketing theories/ insights.