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I’ve just come out of great session at Google HQ down-under. I’ve been one of the lucky few to see the first study in Australia around the effectiveness of pre-roll and their impact on lowering CPAs.  And I’m not talking CPA as in Cost Per Action, I’m talking the holy grail of Cost Per Acquisition; real buyable things, people who’ve been actively influenced to go and purchase items, expressly because they’ve seen an ad on youtube in the last 30 days.

The study has been conducted in the US a number of times, and we’ve seen broad benchmarks of 5-25% increased probability to purchase after seeing a pre-roll. Interestingly the Australian results are starting to show even higher results of 25-30%^.  As this is the first study, it is impossible for us to conclude higher de-facto effectiveness of pre-rolls in Australia.  But, at the very least we can confirm a positive impact on the consumer journey – another clear win for video!

We also saw that a greater frequency than one proved to be more effective (naturally! who listens the first time around anyway?). But we are yet to see where that tipping point of diminishing returns is; it will be interesting to see if it follows the golden rule of 3 we see across TV.

Speaking of TV, we know that digital is not a silo. We know it amplifies the effect of more tradition medias of  television, print, direct mail, and word of mouth.^^ We also know that the consumer journey is no longer a linear path, but more of a flight map.  Where people jump back and forth between different sources before landing on a purchase decision.  The question is, which sources can we effectively influence?  And, what is the most effective Read More

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It seems that every day we get told that there is a digital revolution afoot, and in the advertising industry, the nature of this revolution certainly changes depending on who is trying to sell what to you.

The advertising-hive-mind is now making noise around the idea of bring back one:one value, through fancy digital tools.  So I thought it was time to wriggle free from the shackles of cynicism and take a big-picture look into what ‘value’ revolution might actually be going on in the consumer landscape and the product shifts that may need to accompany it.

Basing this exploration on leading business thinkers, seemed to be a good idea for getting broader perspectives; so I’ve explored a key concept from the erudite Shoshanna Zuboff around how we can create value for consumers in our contemporary space.

The thoughts in the below presentation are based on applying her notes on a broader economic topic to our digital consumer context.

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This intended as a bit of a memes 101, originally written for a senior management man who wasn’t quite sure what all the fuss was about.  So this little article was born, because everyone deserves to understand our little meme friends.

A meme can be any idea that gains popularity, and it’s a slightly different take on what the traditional marketing guys may label as “buzz” or “hype” as it’s (usually) user-generated content that acts in a dialogue with the complex inter-textual network of a peer group or hyperlocal community. The most visible “memes” usually take form of appropriated images with captions: perhaps it’s to make a pithy comment on issues, express pet annoyances or just done for a laugh… some are quite layered and clever, others are not. There is not one main source for image memes. Anyone who has something (or nothing) to say can make one. And anything can become a “mainstream” meme.

image: meme - High Expectations Asian Father

High Expectations Asian Father

Most memes don’t explain themselves very well — you have to know how to read them, and you most likely have to look at several examples before you “get” the joke or the internal language. However, memes are increasingly entering mainstream dialogues and take many forms. Christina Xu and Christian Twang started ROFLCon in 2008, a deep dive conference into internet culture. They’re unofficially considered by many to be the official internet-meme mum and dad, the ones who started it all.  But, that’s the beauty of memes, they can’t really be owned by anyone.  They are live beasts that constantly evolve and by their nature are uncontrollable and roam free…. Read More

So a few weeks later I’ve managed to change jobs, book a wedding venue and reopen the Nike Case study series. With exams starting next week, I’m hoping for a prolific next 5 days with lots of writing and thinking and not much TV, couch or Fiancé (or as I like to call it, the Devil’s trinity of procrastination) I’ve managed to wrangle a week of study time between jobs and have dutifully set myself up in a suburban library, as far away from the Devil’s trinity as possible. So without further ado…

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When we’re looking at Nike’s developments over the past decade, innovation and consumer influence over the marketing mix and key product developments have changed dramatically. As Yoo et.al. (2009) point out, digital technology has radically reduced the communication cost for remote collaboration and coordination. While this has implications for all global companies, and how their international supply chains operate, it also changes the ball game for how consumers can interact with the company and what innovations are possible.

Stefan Olander, the company’s director of digital content notes, ‘‘In the past, the product was the end point of the consumer experience. Now it is the starting point.’’ The digital space has opened up infinite avenues for both continuous and dynamically continuous innovation, propelled by both consumer and the brand. A great example of Nike engaging in this space is the Nike + innovation.

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Nike is a fascinating company that has grabbed digital and non-traditional marketing strategy by its fragmented golly wobbles and given it a damn good shake.

So, in honour of my approaching exams (which may or may not be using Nike as a case study), we’re going all Consumer Behaviour on Nike’s digital strategy.  How has Nike successfully leveraged off the tenants of consumer behaviour?  What digital wins and fails can we take out of its story to date? And can I manage to cover all 11 core consumer behaviour topics before my exam on the 12th of June?  Only time will tell… (I’ll be trying to cover off: segmentation, consumer motivation,  personality and self-concept, perception and emotion, learning and memory, attitude formation and change, culture, social influences, diffusion of innovation, situation influences, consumer decision making.  Well, wish me luck.)

image credit: Wieden+Kennedy, London

We all love a company with a humble physical beginning that’s conquered hurdles to be roaring digital success, and Nike has that Hollywood-esque cliché down in spades.  Its first retail outlets were a 1960’s car boot and Phil Knight’s Dad’s basement; today it is the world’s leading sports apparel company.  In the 2011 fiscal year, its sales reached $20.6 billion[i] a full 30% bigger than its closest rival Adidas[ii].  Its digital mojo is huge, with its $100 million plus campaigns using online as the first (and arguably primary) touch point.  As Cendrowski notes “What’s all the more impressive is that Nike shouldn’t be good at this…biggest is rarely the best in the brand game, where niche players routinely run circles around lumbering giants, especially in the new digital world.”[iii]

To put it bluntly, Nike’s digital arse is a global mofo.  Once upon a time, the biggest audience Nike could reach on any one day was 200 million Super Bowl viewers, at absolute maximum, once a year.  Now, across all its digital touch points, it can hit that number any day of the year.  This digital, global audience is very valuable as 58% of Nike’s sales come from the (non-USA) international market[iv].  With such a culturally vast audience, understandings of local-level and global level segments are essential to keeping Nike on top of its game.

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