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Marketing

Mood, monotony and motivation: The keys to brand success

Team Lewis has launched its latest trends guide in partnership with market research firm GWI, looking into how today’s multi-moment audience is evolving and the changes the pandemic has brought about in today’s marketing multiverse.

Markets covered in the report include Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, UK and US. 

With a rise in screen time and device ownership, unrestrained social media usage and growing concerns surrounding privacy, today’s audiences have an increased desire to impact the world around them. These shifts point to three key themes covered in the report – ending monotony to avoid marketing immunity, understanding how mood can impact an audience, and tapping into key motivators to foster more meaningful connections.  

Key findings include: 

Screen time 

o        Screen time continues to grow in most countries, with the exception of Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the US   

o        Hong Kongers & Malaysians prefer to spend more time on their mobile devices compared to PCs, laptops and tablets

Device ownership 

o        Globally, audiences own at least three devices   

o        Malaysians on average own fewer than three devices but spend the most time on the internet globally. The US, UK, Germany and Italy are above the global average when it comes to device ownership.

Social Media usage 

o        APAC countries use an average of four platforms daily  

o        Western Europe has the lowest usage, with fewer than three platforms daily

Attitudes towards privacy 

o        Globally, the top concern amongst consumers is how companies use their personal data online (39%) followed by a preference to maintain anonymity online (34%)

Today’s marketing landscape 

o        Leading channels 

  • The website is still king – 56% visited a brand’s website in the last month   
  • Newsletters are still effective – 26% read an email or newsletter from a brand  

o        Expectations of consumers 

  • Global consumers unanimously want brands to be reliable, authentic and innovative 

o        The rise of Audio 

  • In the last three years, there has been an increase in consumption of music streaming services and podcasts 
  • Australia & Singapore are seeing the most growth in music streaming and podcast listenership YOY  

o        Scepticism with social media 

  • Only 23% of consumers globally think social media is good for society 
  • Malaysians are the most positive about social media, with 40% seeing it as a force for good 

“It’s no longer as simple as getting in front of your audience with a single message as many times as possible,” said Simon Billington, Executive Creative Director at TEAM LEWIS. “Consumer expectations of a brand’s interaction with them is clear. They want unique, attention-grabbing creativity delivered in a personalised way. The complexity of message and the vehicle the message is delivered in is paramount to success.” 

Download the Marketing in 2022: Multi-Moment Audience report here.

Marketing departments ‘rely on outdated data and analytics practices’

The majority of marketing departments still rely on outdated practices when it comes to marketing data and analytics, according to a new report.

Of the almost two-thirds of marketers surveyed by Adverity who believe their company is analytically mature, some 77% have yet to achieve a single unified view of their marketing performance while 68% still depend on spreadsheets for reporting.

At the same time, although 61% of marketing departments see developing predictive analytics as a key strategic aim in 2022, more than a third of those still struggle with manual data integration and some 48% say they do not trust the accuracy of their marketing data.

Conducted by Sirkin Research, the report surveyed almost 1,000 marketers and data analysts from around the world about their current data capabilities and aspirations for 2022.  Alongside businesses’ aspirations for predictive analytics, the research also revealed a worrying disconnect between analysts and marketers when it comes to understanding what their business’s current capabilities are.

For example, 60% of marketing data analysts say their organization already has the capacity to run predictive models, and yet only 42% of marketers agree. Similarly, although the majority (59%) of analysts say their company has a centralized data warehouse, only 43% of marketers say that’s the case.

“While the confidence of marketing departments in their analytical capabilities is commendable, that so many businesses are actually still struggling with the basics tells a very different story,” said Adverity CMO, Harriet Durnford-Smith.

Jeff Sirkin, CEO of Sirkin Research, added: “Yet, it’s the marketers who are actually the ones who should be utilizing those capabilities to make decisions and determine where budget is spent. If they don’t know what their company’s current capabilities are, this not only hinders their effectiveness, it is also a waste of money for the business. As such, bridging this divide should be a top priority for CMOs in 2022.”

The new research comes on the heels of Adverity’s “Marketing Analytics State of Play 2022: Challenges and Priorities” research report, which outlined the pain points facing modern marketers and data analysts–most notably, a lack of trust in the data. This new report builds out further how marketers can reflect on the challenges that they currently face and helps to identify solutions that will provide guidance for how to prioritize modernization in 2022.

UniFida launches CO2 Counter for ‘greener’ marketing

UniFida has launched a CO2 counter in the UK that enables companies to gauge the environmental impact of their marketing campaigns.

The new CO2 Counter supports ‘greener’ marketing, where companies focus on the sustainability of their marketing activities. It calculates the amount of CO2 (carbon dioxide) released while setting up a campaign via any marketing channel and reports on the amount used once a campaign has been completed

Big companies will soon be legally required to commit to, and report on, sustainable business models, but the onus of responsibility will rest with all companies spending significant amounts on marketing communications, both online and offline.

Julian Berry, Director, UniFida said: “Given the increased global focus on carbon offsetting, especially following the COP26 conference, there is increased demand for sustainable marketing. With UK marketing activities expected to have released around 350 million tonnes of carbon in 2021, the CO2 Counter is an essential online tool. It enables companies to measure the environmental impact of their marketing activities across online and offline channels.”

UniFida says there are two areas of the marketing process where the CO2 Counter can bring benefits:

  • Before launching a campaign, the counter can show how much carbon will be produced, giving marketers the opportunity to offset or plan a different approach
  • With historic marketing activities, marketers can evaluate each campaign and channel’s performance and how much carbon has been released for what benefit. This can help steer future ‘greener’ marketing initiatives.

Marketers can access the CO2 Counter online and, for example, use it prior to catalogue production, inputting the number of pages, size, print colours, paper type and quantities. Or for an email campaign, they can input the number of recipients and whether the email has a video attached. Carbon usage is then calculated and the results displayed.

The CO2 Counter – a cloud-based technology– has been developed by Trinity P3 in Australia and is being distributed in the UK by UniFida. Trinity P3 has used a large number of data sources to develop the counter, with much of its work reviewed by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

5 ways marketers can optimise their lead generation activities  

Lead generation is one of the key pillars of a successful business, yet many still report wasting time on ‘bad leads’ that never convert.  For marketers working for small and medium sized enterprises in particular, it’s often a familiar story: how can efforts be optimised to ensure a limited budget goes the distance?  

Christelle Fraysse, CMO of cloud-based CRM vendor Workbooks, reveals five strategies to help marketers boost the outcomes and ROI of their lead generation activities… 

  1. Become data-obsessed

As marketers, we have access to a lot of data. But too much data will only lead to more questions than answers. Becoming data-obsessed is not about collecting as much information as possible, it’s about collecting the right, high-quality information to serve your purpose – to better engage your audience, for example.   

The first step towards optimising lead generation activities is to therefore consider what data is being collected and why. There should be two main focuses when collecting data: demographic and behavioural.  

Demographic data is important to truly understand the ideal customer profile for your business. This could include what the organisation looks like, the size of the business, the industry it operates in, where it is located, and the people within it (your core personas, job roles, seniority levels, interests, and whatever you feel is relevant for better targeting and segmentation). 

Behavioural information is also key and this includes what your prospects and customers are doing, how they are engaging with you and your content, what channels they are using, and what topics are resonating with them.  

The combination of both demographic and behavioural information becomes extremely powerful. It can be used to take personalisation to the next level, and it allows tailoring of communication during the qualification process and beyond to ensure relevant and timely outreach.  

  1. Grade and score your leads

Not all leads are created equal. Does a lead sit within your target audience and is it right for the business? Is this contact ready to engage with sales or is it too early? The quality of the lead may not always be good enough and this is often the main source of tension between sales and marketing departments. The sales team may feel leads are lacking in quality, while the marketing team say leads are not being qualified or followed up on in an effective, timely manner. Lead scoring and grading can address this and add value. 

First, sales and marketing teams must work together on the rules and principles that help to define a ‘good lead’ and ensure time is being spent targeting those of most value to the business. A lead must be graded directly against what your business’s ideal customer profile looks like. Upon collecting data, it is easier to make a direct comparison of the two and ensure a focus for both sales and marketing teams on those closest to the ideal profile.  

The second element is to score leads on behavioural information. If a prospect views a blog, it shows some engagement. However, if they also visit the pricing page, this demonstrates greater intent and higher scoring, and – if attending webinars – even higher points can be awarded, as it shows commitment. 

Grading leads creates opportunities to nurture them in a bid to upgrade their status. Score them and get them to engage until sales-ready, approaching them differently to those who have shown more interest and intent.  

  1. Work collaboratively with a common language

The relationship between the sales and marketing departments is often not the easiest to manage. The reality is that without a solid understanding between sales and marketing, the ability to generate quality leads is vastly limited. Is there a common understanding and agreement around what constitutes a sales qualified lead, a marketing qualified lead, and an opportunity entering your pipeline?  

Both marketing and sales teams must work on building this relationship by having regular meetings to ensure there is a shared agreement on goals and approach, and that a consistent language is used across departments. Without agreed definitions or consistent management of leads through the sales funnel, the business will be held back. The two departments must not simply co-exist. When collaborative working processes are introduced properly, that is when value will truly be created and the quality of leads will increase. 

  1. Track everything

As a marketer, you should track everything you do. In a number of organisations, marketing is still perceived as a cost and it’s essential to shift this perception and become known as a revenue generator in your business. Often, marketing budgets are in the firing line when cuts occur, but once you track and demonstrate value it allows the marketing team to be seen as an equal contributor. This will result in more trust and, potentially, access to a larger budget for future activities.   

The whole prospect and customer engagement process should be monitored and tracked, from the first click on the website, to the sales funnel, and the final closure. Visibility of when a deal closed and where marketing contributed to initiate or further the engagement and move the opportunity along the sales funnel, demonstrates value to your organisation and changes perceptions. This can help to fuel better relationships across departments and improve sales figures as teams work together.  

  1. Test, test, test!

The importance of testing should not be underestimated – refining your activities will maximise their value. For example, using AB testing on email layouts to see the impact on click-through rates can help to optimise the best email format, subject headers, and sender information. The same for landing pages on your website. Again, this comes back to data collection. The more data you collect and the more this is analysed, the better the return on marketing activities. 

Unlock value with CRM 

Access to high-quality data and insight is needed for marketers to optimise lead generation activities, whether you are a larger organisation or an SME. At the heart of this is a robust CRM platform.   

According to a survey by Workbooks, the main driver for a CRM initiative for 52 per cent of companies was to better manage data and gain insights. Yet many businesses are still failing to use the technology properly to unlock its true value, with only 47% of CMOs having a framework for data collection 

With the right CRM, it’s possible to optimise and transform marketing campaigns, segmenting and targeting them to the individual needs of a high-value list of prospects based on relevant, real-time data.  

Using shared tools across the business ensures a single view of the truth, a consistent process and the most efficient customer journey. Graded and scored leads and targets worked on collaboratively with the sales team increases the chance of closing the deal.  

For marketers, the ability to demonstrate true value throughout the engagement process through to the sale is vital to progressing as a revenue generator. CRM may be an investment, but the right solution will offer complete sales and marketingintegration to transform lead generation activities and ensure the recognition you, as a marketer, deserve. 

Market research in 2022: What to expect

Following a year of disruption in 2020, the seeds sown by the pandemic began to grow in 2021. Brands have recognized the need to understand constantly changing consumer behavior and sentiment, which has brought technology-driven market research and automation to the forefront.

So, what does 2022 have in store for the market research industry? What lessons can be learned from 2021, and how can these create real opportunities for consumer insights moving forward? Frederic-Charles Petit, CEO at Toluna, a tech company operating in the market research space, explains what next year will bring to the sector, including specific industry developments that will be key to progress…

Adaptation to a multi-dimensional society and individual

A key trend we’ll see in 2022 is how market research keeps pace with innovation alongside a rapidly changing, multi-dimensional society. Research will need to address the diversity in populations to truly embody being not only nationally representative, as the term is historically defined, but to capture the diversity of the ubiquitous consumer. Hyper-segmentation will become vital as research must move from simply defining key attributes of a person—such as age, social class, wealth, gender and the like—to create insights that are uniquely relevant to a consumer as an individual. Research needs to follow the complexity of society and consumer behavior so that it can deliver the information brands need to make key decisions in how they market their products and services.

Technology, driven by innovation in artificial intelligence, can capture this complexity—and market research organizations must harness this power to deliver truly agile, responsive insights about consumers that enable brands to remain relevant to their customers. That’s why, at Toluna, we’re boosting our investment in technology—which has always been at the forefront of our research platform—by 40% next year. We want to enhance our capability to continue capture the complexity of a multi-dimensional society, at scale, on demand, and in real-time to provide detailed, specific insight to brands on their consumers. We look forward to working with our clients to write this new chapter for market research.

Acceleration in the democratization of research to build and execute truly consumer-centric strategies

As we create superior ways to curate detailed and complex research on consumers, the industry must focus its efforts on the democratization of research. There’s a common misperception in that many think the democratization of research means the simplification of insights. This is not the case. When we say democratization of research, we mean making detailed data available in a simplified manner and in a seamless way to any business or any brand.

2022 will be the year to truly drive democratization because the technology is there to enable it. In the 21st century, you do not need to be a research expert to do this. The most junior members of an organization’s marketing team should be informed by easily available research that they can interact with, respecting the integrity of methodology, but at scale—and this is what we’ll see come to fruition next year. We’re currently in a situation where the everyday consumer has access to more data than, for example, a brand manager. They can simply go onto Google or ask their friends for their opinion online on whether they agree with something or what their favorite movie or outfit is. Why? Because there’s still this notion that research, in the B2B market, is for experts.

We’ve witnessed a democratization of consumer opinion and user-generated content online, but this has yet to be replicated in the business world. In 2022, as research continues to be technology-driven against the backdrop of constantly changing consumer sentiment, the industry must democratize research within the enterprise, giving marketing and brand teams the ability to access automated research at scale that can inform key decisions.

The multifaceted consumer – how market research must respond

Today’s consumer is complex and multidimensional. Real and relevant insights are no longer solely about a person’s geographic location, job role, or opinions on societal changes. It’s about understanding that a consumer can have several different “individualities.” For example, a person can be passionate about sustainable living. They might grow their own food, re-use plastic, and drive a Tesla, while, at the same time, enjoy holidaying in Barbados—which involves traveling thousands of miles via plane, one of the world’s biggest polluters.

As we move into 2022, the question becomes, ‘how can we reflect these different and complex facets of the consumer in research?’ The industry must focus on how we can give organizations the ability to capture three, four, or even five dimensions of the same individual or group of individuals. This is especially important as we move into the next generation internet—a 3D sequel to the internet called the Metaverse which has the potential to revolutionize the way we shop and the way brands market their products. How does a research company do that? It’s about delivering hyper-segmentation, hyper-personalization, at scale, and in real-time to enable brands to deeply understand and empathize with their consumer to deliver products they truly want.

 Looking ahead

There’s no doubt about it, the industry is set for profound transformation in the next year. Powered by automation and technological innovation, we’ll see market research companies change from simply asking questions to listening and participating in conversations, analyzing vast amounts of data at scale. Market research will become the medium of choice for brands to understand what their consumers are thinking, how they’re feeling, to predict their actions, and to co-create truly consumer-centric strategies with them. It won’t be just about collating data through surveys or other means but via live and continuous interaction through technologies that enable relevant and real-time consumer insights. Research must be technology-led, platform-led, and embed the intelligence of the researcher in technology through automation.

The Great Resignation: What’s causing burnout and how can CMOs take action?

By Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity

The Great Resignation is continuing to gain momentum with a raft of employees exiting the workplace. Nearly  41% of the global workforce are now considering switching jobs within the year and the marketing industry is amongst those leading the charge. A recent MarketerHire study concluded that an astonishing 60% of marketers felt compelled to change their job in 2021. With an exodus of top talent leaving, it has left not only a bitter taste but has also reduced morale, and caused plummeting productivity levels within most companies. This hasn’t been helped by the steadily increasing workloads too. It’s not all lost though, there are ways to bounce back… 

Work Smarter, Not Harder

With such drastic numbers of vacancies, the Great Resignation is leaving those who stay in their roles hurt and burnt out. Other factors piling on the pressure and creating the perfect storm for marketers include reduced budgets and cost-cutting, and increased market uncertainty – and that’s not even half of it! Yet it’s not the time to despair. When we can no longer work harder, we must work smarter.

As a society, we are on the edge of commercial space exploration and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. Yet, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) still rely on gut feel to promote these 21st-century innovations as they are still relying on outdated marketing practices that prevent them from proving that their campaigns are working. All while facing unprecedented market and consumer behaviour changes spurred by the pandemic with increased homeworking and ongoing travel restrictions doing little other than dampening creativity.

New Adverity research shows 38% are not able to measure their campaigns’ Return on Investment (ROI). The findings speak to a worrying state of play, showing that large numbers of CMOs are flying blind when it comes to planning and delivering their campaigns – as they face the pressure of demonstrating the ROI.

As marketing spend continues to climb back to pre-pandemic levels, the ability to demonstrate the value of multi-million-dollar campaigns, especially around high spend fixtures in the retail calendar like Black Friday and the run-up to Christmas. The inability of marketers to demonstrate the value of campaign budgets to the business may not only hurt their ability to secure future budgets but could also impact the perception of their performance by the wider business. Coronavirus accelerated digital-first behaviours virtually overnight giving rise to new customer service expectations and the demand for increased personalisation at every level. Opportunity knocks for the savvy marketer who understands how target audiences are digesting and interacting with campaigns. This approach will be vital in working out if the campaign’s really delivering the umph needed.

Becoming Data-Driven 

34% of CMOs don’t trust their marketing data. A number that rises to 41% among their data analyst colleagues—posing a new challenge for the C-suite charged with driving marketing results. This divide in trust only gets bigger the more senior you go, which should cause significant alarm for any business trying to make informed, strategic decisions and make trust the centrepiece of company culture.

One of the most likely causes of the distrust in marketing data and the number one challenge cited by both marketers and data analysts (42%) is the time being wasted on manually wrangling data. At the C-level, this jumps to 54%.

Modern marketing can’t afford to wait three weeks for someone to sift through a spreadsheet. By manually wrangling data, businesses not only open themselves up to human error and inefficiency but also commit themselves to a reactive strategy. Playing catch-up and firefighting doesn’t allow businesses to up their brand innovation and brand confidence game. Those who cannot keep up with the evolution or aren’t willing to embrace the new ways of working will ultimately be left behind. Moving away from manually wrangling data is the first step to becoming a data-driven business.

This trust divide between colleagues and time-wasted on data wrangling culminates to create the perfect storm of challenges confronting marketers. Is it any wonder then that the CMO tenure is now the shortest in history at barely over 25 months while that of CEOs continues to rise? Could this lack of reliable marketing data lead to the CMOs’ diminishing influence in the boardroom, or the ability to have the ear of the CEO/CFO whilst unable to prove marketing effectiveness?

Packing a Greater Punch in 2022

In 2022, companies will need to develop new strategies in order to analyse their marketing campaigns so they can react effectively to new trends. Finding ways to get to grips with the pain points of the Great Resignation and ways to reinspire and re-engage marketeers is going to be essential for progress.

Efficient and detailed reporting is a key target for any company in the new year. Adverity’s research shows that respondents who already have strong campaign reporting are three times more likely to be strong at audience-building and targeting and delivering personalized content and customer experiences.

Quality campaign reporting methods help to increase customer satisfaction and those who have it are also three times more likely to re-invest in its vis-a-vis businesses that said they still need to improve. The divide between those who are garnering greater insights from their reports and those who are not is only widening.

For data analysts, the work needs to avoid overwhelming them with the always-on ‘urgent’ manual and, ultimately, soul-destroying data wrangling. This shows that navigating the Great Resignation is a top priority in 2022.

Modern day marketers are now more data savvy than ever before and they want to use the latest tools that are vibrant and exciting, and not work on laborious, outdated systems. Marketeers are always aspiring for perfection and continue to make consumers the centerpiece of their company’s universe. Making sure data analysts and marketers can show the value of what they are doing for their work is key and they need to be provided with the correct tools to do so. Making sure the marketing data is under control is a first step to rebuilding marketing teams in the new normal.

The new research is available in full here: https://www.adverity.com/marketing-analytics-state-of-play-2022-challenges-priorities 

SEOs and digital PRs know their worth and are asking for a 10%-20% uplift in salary

With marketing spend roaring back to pre-pandemic levels, there’s a lot of hiring happening right now. We’re seeing headcounts go beyond levels of pre-pandemic hiring, as there’s such demand for new talent. Post-COVID, most brands are shifting budget to their online channels. Demand is increasing, but there’s not enough resources to go around. Specialist SEO provider, Blue Array, discusses the resourcing challenges in digital marketing and search…

In quarter one of 2021, PwC reported that digital advertising spend had surged 49% as marketers’ confidence returned, with a £10.5 billion spent. And, further to this, it was announced in September that UK job vacancies had hit a record breaking 1 million, as payrolls bounced back to pre-COVID levels. In August alone, The Office of National Statistics stated that the number of payroll employees increased by 241,000 to 29.1 million.

Since COVID-19, the recruitment landscape has shifted to a candidate-led market. Digital marketing and search professionals are demanding better working standards. They’ve weathered the storm of COVID and have tackled many curveballs in the last 18 months, and they now know their worth.

Stacey Tylisczuk, PPC, SEO and Digital Marketing Recruiter, said: “Since the summer of 2020, the demand for SEO and digital PR hasn’t stopped. Before COVID, we found that there was greater demand within paid media (PPC and paid social) than SEO, but after the ‘paid taps’ were turned off at the start of the pandemic to save marketing budgets, there’s been an interesting switch with SEO roles dominating the digital market. In part, I believe this is because as an industry we’re seeing the value of consistent and continual investment into owned media.

Since mid-2020, the amount of SEO and digital PR roles have more than doubled. 2021 continues to be a candidate-led market and I am almost certain we’ll see this continue throughout 2022. Historically, SEO roles were lower paid than PPC, but SEO salaries have definitely risen since the switch. SEOs and digital PRs know their worth and are typically asking for a 10%-20% uplift from what we were seeing across the industry in 2019. With remote working, there’s a lot of London businesses mopping up talent in the north and south west too, which is also driving salaries up. In terms of poaching and headhunting, talented individuals are receiving in the region of 15-20 messages per week from recruiters. Knowing that they’re in demand and can get a bump in salary is definitely making people think twice about their current roles and salaries.”

Simon Schnieders, Founder at Blue Array, said: “Every agency owner is going through the COVID resourcing hangover right now. There’s lots of people who were furloughed, then brought back. They’ve endured COVID and it’s then led to itchy feet to get a better package, work-life balance, or role. Poaching has always been a thing, but it’s much more prevalent at the moment. Candidates are looking for companies with strong values, who look after their staff, and can offer development and progression.”

So, what can you do to tackle the resourcing crisis head on? Whether it’s investing in apprenticeships or adapting working standards to retain current staff and attract new talent, you need to take a long hard look at your resourcing to be in a good recruitment position in 2022. Swanky office? Candidates don’t care. What they really want to know is what the company culture is like. Agencies need to show how they can improve their employees’ lives – from private healthcare and menstrual days to flexible working and enhanced maternity pay. It’s clear that employers will need to work just as hard on hiring, as they do with new business and sales.

Get your 2022 agency resourcing on track with Blue Array’s 10 top things to adopt for next year:

  • Adopt a fully optional flexible working environment. Employees need to have the option to work in both an office and at home.
  • Review and benchmark industry salaries to keep a competitive edge.
  • Avoid employee burnout by employing in advance and monitoring their workload on a regular basis.
  • Kickstart your employer brand to compete against your competitors.
  • Create a compelling brand narrative that will inspire the most talented jobseekers to accept that first interview and fall in love with your brand.
  • Perfect your remote recruitment process.
  • Offer the most coveted perk – flexibility.
  • Build a pool of reliable and engaged freelancers.
  • Ensure you provide ongoing training and opportunities for talent to grow.
  • Adopt an ABR mindset (always be recruiting).

Valid proof of consent: What marketers need to know

By OneTrust

Data, trust, and compliance are three big focus areas for marketers. In terms of consent, obtaining it from your audience is critical to executing marketing activities in a privacy-centric way – and so is proving you’ve obtained that consent.

Consent matters not only for staying compliant with global privacy regulations, including the GDPR, but also for establishing a relationship of trust between your brand and your customer base. As your organization begins to initiate a stronger relationship of trust with the end user, it’s important to build a marketing-consented database and be able to centralize consent details such as what the end user consented to, what they were told upon consent, etc. Empowering your organization to be an industry leader in customer trust and compliance means that you must address one key issue: valid consent.

What is Valid Consent?

Valid consent addresses the call for proof of consent across multiple regulations (e.g. GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, etc.). Obtaining valid proof of consent is key in enabling your organization to acquire and use marketing data ethically. It also allows you to provide tangible evidence to your customer base when necessary. Many organizations today have consent stored as a simple yes or no flag with a timestamp in their CRM or marketing automation tool, which is not considered fully compliant. Multiple regulations provide guidance on keeping valid proof of consent, but you will need to at the very least track the following:

  • Who consented and when they consented
  • What they were told at the time of consent
  • How they consented

Many marketers rely on a simple checkbox and a yes/no answer for consent. However, to properly demonstrate consent, you need records that include:

  • The name of the individual or another identifier (e.g. online user, name, session ID)
  • Dated documents or online records that include a timestamp
  • A master copy of the document or data capture form Version and copy of any privacy policy or notice shown at the time
  • Offline: a copy of the relevant documentation
  • Online: should include data submitted and a link to the relevant form version of the captured data

To learn what marketing activities require consent and what regulations apply, download this free infographic from OneTrust Consent and Preferences.

23% more emails sent on Black Friday 2021

23% more emails were sent by ActiveCampaign’s 150,000 customers on Black Friday this year compared to 2020.

Key findings for analysis of it’s own data found:-

  • Friday was the biggest day for emails to be sent with 486m sent in 2021. That’s up 23% on last year’s figures of 393m
  • Brands increased their daily email sends leading up to Friday
  • Customers placed the most orders on Friday with over 290,000 orders placed on that day alone
  • Customers also abandoned more carts from last year. With abandoned carts in 2020 containing over $10 million in revenue compared with over $16 million in 2021.
  • Friday was also the day that saw the greatest abandoned cart efficacy by revenue. ActiveCampaign customers were able to recover 16% of abandoned cart revenue on Friday alone in 2021. This is up from just 7% in 2020 and 4% in 2019.

While Friday is still the biggest day of the week for ecommerce, there is a huge missed opportunity for ecommerce brands to continue the momentum on Saturday.

Friday to Saturday saw a big decrease (-85%) in email sends. Brands sent just 262,000 emails on Saturday, 85% less than they sent on Friday.

Customers left $76.4M in revenue in abandoned carts in 2021, but ActiveCampaign customers were able to recover $10.4M, 14% of that revenue. This is double the % of Abandoned Rev that was recovered 2021 v. 2020, and that’s up from just $1.2M recovered revenue in 2019.

The data is based on the email sends of 150k ActiveCampaign users and on the ecommerce integrations that their customers used during the week of Black Friday (Sunday through Saturday).

Why marketers need to think ‘Human to Human’ rather than ‘Brand to Consumer’

2020 & 2021: the years where digital kept us connected – not just internationally, but at regional and even very local levels. For many businesses, digital was the saviour, ensuring business could continue – even grow.

Yet, while it may have initially seemed important for retailers to digitise their brand strategy, ploughing efforts into everything from social media to website tools, so the brand would translate in a completely digital world, the fact is that people have realised more than ever the value of human interaction. How easy has it been, therefore, to remain truly connected to the people your brand speaks to?

A brand is not just what you do through your marketing tactics. It’s a feeling it stirs, an experience it creates, and a story it tells. While there are many amazing things brands can do in the digital world, to be a real success, brands need the human element to sit at the heart of their digital brand strategy, as Neelam Kharay, Chief of Staff – GTM, Acoustic, explores…

The new marketing playbook

It’s safe to say that 2020 was a year like no other, and 2021 certainly has not reverted back to the ‘old normal’. In fact, the age of COVID-19 has upended the marketing playbook, challenging conceived truths and redefining the rules. Whilst digital strategies were accelerated across all industries during the start of the pandemic as a matter of business survival, customer expectations have changed. Forget the slick digital journey and the ability to deliver exactly what a consumer wants, when they want it – that is now a given. Instead, customers expect their relationship to matter to you; and they expect your brand to stand for great values they can resonate with.

While delivering on these experiences requires organisations to place technology and data at the core of their marketing delivery, to sharpen their decision-making and drive greater relevance in their customer interactions to build stronger, more relevant connections, they also require something more. They require the ability to engender trust – and that, in itself demands authenticity, integrity, and humanity.

So how do brands become human?

Building human engagement 

We must remember that our target consumers are not just defined by demographics or psychographics — they’re defined by their intent, and by countless other indiscernible or unquantifiable factors. In essence, our prospective customers — just like us — are more than what meets the eye. Brands must ensure they’re both representative, and fully aware and understanding, of the most important issues and key drivers influencing all consumers’ behaviours.

By building teams that are as diverse as your customers, and by ‘stepping into the shoes’ of your customers as often as possible, brands can help account for their many perspectives and needs, bringing a more authentic voice to all marketing communications and content.

Indeed, authenticity is critical when it comes to forming connections between brands and consumers. With 86% of consumers reporting that authenticity is a deciding factor when determining which brands to support, the more authentic you are in your communications, the greater the sense of transparency and trust you will engender with them, which will lead to loyalty.

C-suite agenda

During the pandemic, marketing was elevated within the C-suite as the voice of the consumer. Without understanding the zeitgeist of the marketplace, in good times and bad, the C-suite cannot adjust to the threats and opportunities at hand and successfully navigate the future.

One of the new ‘rules’ of post-COVID marketing is, therefore, C-level engagement. In order to be authentic in your communications as a marketer, you need a deep understanding of who your brand is: what its values are; what its tone and voice are; who its key customers are – all of which are of paramount importance to other functional leaders.

From there, you can craft authentic communications that accurately reflect your brand personality while uncovering the pain points of your target audience. Everything from style to word choice to the visual elements you include are part of what gives a brand personality, and should be carefully crafted and honed in order to connect with your target customer(s). Moreover, developing a personality that responds to how customers are feeling and acting in the moment, and is authentically reflective of that across every touchpoint a customer has with your brand, is key to developing trust.

Consider, for example, how a company like Bombas has made improving the lives of people facing housing insecurity a key element of its brand ethos and product strategy, or how Old Navy has made all clothing styles accessible to people of all shapes and sizes with no change in price. During the pandemic, the British Heart Foundation also demonstrated empathy by offering COVID-secure collection of donations normally dropped off at collection points, for those who perhaps didn’t want to, or couldn’t, leave their homes. These are brand personalities with an authentic vision and a clarity of purpose behind them to which consumers can align their own values.

Conclusion

Ultimately, becoming ‘more human’ starts with being human and therefore having a point of view; a tone; a look and feel. In essence, in today’s climate, marketers need to think ‘human-to-human’ instead of ‘brand-to-consumer’.