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Why understanding customers’ delivery personas is key to e-commerce excellence

Consumer online shopping behaviour has changed for good – and retailers need to take note. While ecommerce demand overall has increased, consumers are now far more sophisticated, demanding and have different expectations from their delivery experience.

Indeed, when it comes to what constitutes a good experience, one size does not fit all. Expectations vary greatly, influenced by product value and age group – and they extend across the entire buying experience, from purchase through delivery to unboxing and returns.

Fulfilment, delivery capability and performance are a critical part of the brand experience and under greater consumer scrutiny than ever before. Retailers need to address fast emerging delivery personas, embrace millennials’ concerns regarding the environment and at the same time the over 55s’ desire for convenience.

Retailers are aware of the impact on delivery performance created by driver shortages, but how many are considering the long-term implications for brand value and future customer loyalty, questions Andrew Tavener, Head of Fleet Marketing, EMEA, Descartes…

Avoid Complacency – Delivery is not Satisfactory

With ecommerce now a fundamental driver of overall retail sales, it is vital to identify and address any issues or concerns that may prevent consumer purchase. In January ’22, Descartes commissioned research to understand consumers’ online purchasing across Europe and North America to understand how the quality of the experience affects consumer perception.

Retailers should be extremely concerned to discover that negative delivery factors were cited by one in five respondents, with three in four citing at least one delivery problem in the prior three month period. The primary complaint was that deliveries were not environmentally friendly (20%), deliveries were not reliable (19%), bad delivery experience (19%) and dissatisfaction with the delivery experience (16%). The younger generation, in particular, is far more concerned about the environmental impact of deliveries – cited by 26% of 18 to 24 year olds, compared to 11% of those aged over 65.

So what is going wrong? Why are retailer delivery models failing to meet expectations and satisfy customers? It is impossible to ignore the combination of dramatically increased delivery volumes and shortage of drivers across all modes of transport. The pandemic caused more people to buy online, while at the same time chasing drivers from the transportation industry, leaving retailers scrambling to find ways to get their goods to consumers and do it with consistently high service.

Yet while delivery options become ever more challenging for retailers, customer expectations of the experience continue to rise. The more online purchases consumers make, the more chance they have of being exposed to the full gamut of delivery experience. And there is no doubt that some companies are really pushing the boundaries of the entire online experience, from a beautiful presentation that provides an exciting unboxing moment, through great tracking, with continuous, accurate updates, and simple returns processes. These companies have raised the bar – and set new consumer expectations.

Challenge Conventional Thinking – Understand Delivery Personas

Innovative thinking is required to safeguard profitability. Common thinking is that all consumers want their goods delivered as quickly as possible. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some consumers are happy to have all their orders delivered on a certain day if it helps the environment – which may also be the lowest cost option if that is a brand value the retailer wants to emphasise. Others may be happier paying extra for a specific time slot delivery; this is particularly the case for the over 55s, for whom the convenience of home delivery is a significant factor – and they may have the financial capital to afford the extra cost. This is why it is critical to understand the delivery personas of their customer base.

Indeed, there is one factor that could derail the continued growth of online sales – consumer perception about the environmental impact of home delivery. Almost a quarter (24%) of all consumers will think twice about ordering groceries online due to the environmental impact, and 20% restaurant food.

Overall, 65% of consumers will consider the environment when making an order. However, this rises to 85% of those aged 18-24, and 75% of 25 to 34 year olds, demonstrating very clearly the expectations of younger individuals.

In addition, customers are open to new ways of receiving goods. Almost two thirds (64%) are interested in combining orders into a single delivery at the end of the week (rising to 70% of 18-24s); while 63% would be interested in combining all their orders over a period for a single delivery when there are multiple deliveries in their area. Almost a half (48%) would pay for faster delivery (57% in urban areas) and 45% would be prepared to pay for a more convenient time (55% in urban areas), providing retailers with a chance to use delivery as an incremental revenue stream, significantly reducing or, in some cases, offsetting the high cost of home delivery.

For retailers, consumers’ growing green expectations are not just one more pressure in an already challenging market – this is a real opportunity. Many retailers have sustainability strategies – but how well is that message shared with customers? Does it incorporate the delivery model? Is that embedded into the routine ecommerce offer?

Conclusion 

Overall, ecommerce and home delivery is a positive story, but with clear warnings for retailers. Complacency with current home delivery performance is not an option for success. Yes, home delivery is an expensive proposition, but with the right strategies and superior execution it is a competitive differentiator and revenue generator for retailers – even for the most mundane products. The ability to understand the delivery personas of customers and tailor delivery options to meet them is the key to a happier customer and better top and bottom line.

The delivery capacity crunch, combined with increased complexity and concern over environmental impact, means retailers must rethink their delivery strategies. This requires a unifying technology strategy that helps to ensure consistent execution and delivery visibility for the customer. Retailers should consider this as an opportunity to engage consumers, while simultaneously helping the environment and reducing the cost of home delivery.

95% of businesses fear recession, will likely cut marketing budgets

As central banks around the globe ramp up interest rates in a bid to curb inflation, many businesses fear an oncoming recession. But as they look to protect themselves from the worst effects of a potential recession, it’s clear that many haven’t learned from the past and will cut sales and marketing budgets.

Those are the headline findings from the latest International Business Barometer report from Sapio Research. Titled, “Wave 6: Preparing for a Recession?”, the report shows that some 95% of businesses around the globe are concerned about a potential recession.

Those concerns, however, aren’t equally spread. In the US, 45% of businesses are highly concerned about a recession, compared with just 11% in Germany.

Just over a fifth of businesses (22%), meanwhile, are already being affected by the current economic uncertainty. Again, these effects aren’t equally spread. Japan and the US are faring worse, with 28% of businesses in those countries already feeling the pinch. Globally, the percentage of affected companies is expected to rise to 42% by the end of the year.

The research also shows, however, that the responses to any recession are likely to be as misguided as they’ve been in the past.

“While many companies say that their top mitigation strategy will be ramping up sales and marketing activities, most are still likely to bite the hand that feeds them,” said Jane Hales, Managing Partner, Sapio Research. “The highest proportion of potential redundancies are set to be made in crucial areas such as sales and communications.”

Additionally, half of businesses anticipate cutting discretionary marketing spend (such as PR, events, advertising, and sponsorship) over the next 12 months. At present, just six percent of companies are cutting marketing budgets.

With the world’s advertising leaders currently gathered in Cannes for the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, that’s hardly likely to come as welcome news. Nor is the fact that many business leaders question the effectiveness of advertising as an influencing channel.

“Globally, social media and paid social media are significantly more valued marketing channels for driving retention and drive growth than advertising, particularly in the US,” said Hales. “The UK is the only country that values the two channels equally.”

At least some business leaders, however, view any potential recession as an opportunity. In the US, for example, some 37% plan to use it to and the promise of more captive audiences as an opportunity and plan to increase their marketing spend.

This may ultimately be the better approach.

“Companies that cut their marketing budgets due to recession not only make it harder to retain customers but also to bring back new and existing customers once economic growth returns,” Hales concludes. “They also leave themselves more vulnerable in the event of a PR crisis that puts the organisation at risk, something that 41% of US organisations experienced post-COVID-19. It would be a shame if they chose to forgo the lessons learned during the pandemic and put themselves at risk again.”

The report will be released online 1 July 2022 and will be available for download here https://sapioresearch.com/international-business-barometer#

Have Brits forgotten what it means to be truly happy? And what does it mean for brands?

People want brands to make them smile and laugh, but business leaders fear using humour in customer interactions according to a new research report from Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) and Gretchen Rubin, five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster.

The Happiness Report includes insights from more than 12,000 consumers and business leaders across 14 countries and found that people are searching for new experiences to make them smile and laugh and will reward brands that embrace humour with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases, and walk away from those that don’t.

For the UK specifically, the research found that nearly half of Brits (49%) have not felt true happiness in two years. Similarly to others around the world, 88% are looking for new experiences to make them laugh and smile – in fact, Brits are prioritising experiences (61%) compared to the global average of 53% to try and make themselves happy.

For brands looking to interact with UK citizens there is a similar story to that globally, with 90% of people in the UK wanting a brand to be funny. However, the key difference is that Brits seem far less likely to cancel a brand (31%) compared to those globally (45%), which is echoed by UK business leaders who are 21% less likely to be scared of using humour in customer interactions than their global counterparts.

People are searching for happiness in new ways and are willing to pay a premium 

It has been more than two years since many people last felt true happiness and they are searching for ways to be happy again, no matter the cost.

  • 45 percent of people have not felt true happiness for more than two years and 25 percent don’t know, or have forgotten, what it means to feel truly happy.
  • 88 percent are looking for new experiences to make them smile and laugh. People are prioritising health (80 percent), personal connections (79 percent), and experiences (53 percent) to gain happiness.
  • More than half (53 percent) wish money could buy happiness, with 78 percent willing to pay a premium for true happiness.
  • 89 percent attempted to find happiness in online shopping during the pandemic and while 47 percent said that receiving packages made them happy, 12 percent struggled to remember the purchases they had made online.

Advertising, marketing, sales, and customer service interactions need to change 

People want brands to make them smile and laugh, but business leaders admit their brands rarely use humour to engage with customers.

  • 78 percent of people believe brands can do more to deliver happiness to their customers and 91 percent said they preferred brands to be funny; this number increased among Gen Z (94 percent) and Millennials (94 percent).
  • 90 percent are more likely to remember ads that are funny, yet business leaders said that only 20 percent of their brands’ offline ads (TV, billboards) and 18 percent of their online ads actively use humour.
  • 77 percent of people are more likely to buy from a salesperson that is funny, yet only 16 percent of business leaders said that their brands use humour to sell.
  • 75 percent of people would follow a brand if it’s funny on its social media channels, yet only 15 percent of business leaders said their brand is humorous on social.
  • 69 percent of people would open an email from a brand if the subject line were funnier, yet only 24 percent of business leaders said they actively use humour in email marketing campaigns.
  • 68 percent would prefer to engage with a chatbot/digital assistant that is funny, yet only 27 percent of business leaders said their brands actively incorporate humour into bot communications.

Smiles and laughter pay dividends, but business leaders are afraid to joke around 

People will reward brands that embrace humour with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases and will walk away from those that don’t.

  • 48 percent of people don’t believe they have a relationship with a brand unless it makes them smile or laugh and 41 percent would walk away from a brand if it didn’t make them laugh or smile regularly.
  • If a brand uses humour, people are more likely to buy from the brand again (80 percent), recommend the brand to family and friends (80 percent), choose the brand over the competition (72 percent), and spend more with a brand (63 percent).
  • 89 percent of business leaders see the opportunity to use humour to enhance the customer experience and believe that their brand can do more to make customers laugh or smile.
  • 95 percent of business leaders fear using humour in customer interactions.
  • 85 percent of business leaders state that they do not have the data insights or tools to successfully deliver humour. Business leaders would be more confident using humour when engaging with customers if they had better customer visibility (55 percent) and access to advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (32 percent).

“We’ve all been through some very tough years, and around the world, we’re short on happiness. We’re starved for experiences that make us smile and laugh, and brands can help,” said Gretchen Rubin, five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster. “For brands aiming to contribute to the happiness of their target audience, the process starts with data and knowing your customers. Only then can you bring the appropriate mix of humour, personality, and brand experience that will drive loyalty and brand advocacy.”

“The customer experience continues to evolve, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing: Making the customer happy,” said Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president and general manager, Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX). “There are many different factors that go into creating happy customers and in this research, we decided to examine humour as it is one of the most nuanced. As the results show, most business leaders want to make consumers laugh more and understand it’s a critical part of establishing a true relationship. To be successful, brands need to put data at the heart of their customer experience strategy.”

Learn more about this global report here.

Shockingly Good: The 5 most controversial marketing campaigns according to social media

 As women’s health brand Elvie recently ‘broke the internet’ with their provocative 2022 campaign normalising women’s incontinence in sport, print marketing and branding experts Solopress have investigated the top 5 campaigns of the last decade that stirred up the social sphere…

 Key Findings:

  • 94% of those surveyed by Always agree that their #LikeAGirl campaign encouraged girls to be more confident and 70% of women and 60% of men claimed that the video changed their perception of the phrase ‘like a girl’.
  • #LikeAGirl received over 1100 earned-media placements and 4.4 billion impressions in the first three months of launching the campaign with its positive sentiment reaching 96%.
  • Gillette’s #TheBestAManCanBe campaign earned 3 million views on YouTube, 203k retweets and 513.3k likes on Twitter and was received positively overall. It encouraged 65% more purchase intent.
  • Elvie’s Leaks Happen campaign stirred up conversations around the world regarding incontinence in women, with content attached to #LeaksHappen receiving 2.9 million views on TikTok.
  • Searches for ‘Elvie Trainer review’ have increased by 60% and searches for ‘Elvie Curve’ (two of the brand’s key products) have increased by 70% according to Google Trends since the campaign’s launch.
  • Weetabix’s Beanz on Bix campaign instantly blew up on social media, gaining 36.3k retweets, 68.8k quoted tweets and over 130k likes on Twitter.
  • KFC pursued print advertising with their ‘FCK’ advert which resulted in 700 press articles and TV discussions, reaching a combined audience of 797 million globally.

The world of marketing has graced us with countless unforgettable (albeit controversial) campaigns over the past decade spanning a range of industries, from fast food to male grooming and women’s health.

Recently, women’s health brand Elvie sparked a wide online response with their March 2022 billboard campaign. The unique out-of-home advert depicted a woman squatting and lifting weights complete with liquid to portray urination and raise awareness of women’s incontinence.

But which ‘controversial’ marketing campaigns broke through the noise and caught the public’s attention the most within the 2000s and how many garnered business success as a result?

Print marketing and branding experts Solopress have analysed the top 5 most controversial marketing campaigns according to social media to reveal which campaigns leveraged shock value to their advantage.

The 5 Most Controversial Marketing Campaigns of the Decade

  1. Always #LikeAGirl
  • 70million views on YouTube
  • 5million views on TikTok
  • 10,62 likes on Twitter
  • 814 retweets on Twitter
  1. Gillette #TheBestMenCanBe
  • 4million views on YouTube (via Guardian News)
  • 203k retweets on Twitter
  • 3k quoted tweets on Twitter
  • 3k likes on Twitter
  • 11,752 likes on Instagram
  • 1k likes on Facebook
  1. Elvie Leaks Happen
  • 3million views on TikTok
  • 9k views on YouTube
  1. Weetabix, Beanz on Bix
  • 3k retweets on Twitter
  • 8k quoted tweets on Twitter
  • 130k likes on Twitter
  • 1,839 likes on Instagram
  1. KFC FCK
  • Reached a global audience of 797 million
  • 814 likes on Twitter
  • 428 retweets on Twitter
  • 114 quoted tweets on Twitter
  • 700 press articles and TV discussions
  1. Always #LikeAGirl – 2015

Feminine hygiene brand Always’ unforgettable campaign #LikeAGirl managed to successfully subvert gender stereotypes and redefine what it means to do something ‘like a girl’.

With the aim of reconnecting with their young consumer base (16-24-year-olds) to ensure brand loyalty, Always’ short video advert depicts a casting call with young women, men, boys and girls being asked to pretend to run, fight and throw like a girl.

Whist women, men and boys chose to act out stereotypes and mock the way in which women would do these things, pre-pubescent girls provided a powerful response in that they pretended to complete these actions with pride and confidence.

The insight resonated with Always’ viewership, with 94% agreeing that the campaign has encouraged girls to be more confident and 70% of women and 60% of men claiming that the video changed their perception of the phrase ‘like a girl’.

Always received over 1100 earned-media placements and 4.4 billion impressions in the first three months of launching the now renowned campaign.

They did this by taking a derogatory phrase that supports the negative, misguided representation of women ‘not being good enough’ and making it a symbol of female empowerment via social media with the hashtag #LikeAGirl.

Positive sentiment also reached 96% within three months, purchase intent increased by more than 50% among the target audience and 177,000 #LikeAGirl tweets were posted including tweets from celebrities such as Gloria Steinem and George Takei as a result of the thought-provoking advert.

In terms of social reach and engagement, the initial video advert garnered over 70million views on YouTube and 8.7k views on Facebook, making it to Solopress’ top spot in the best controversial campaigns list.

This unique campaign, including a YouTube video advert, paid Facebook and Twitter posts, paid reach, and influencer outreach, demonstrates the benefit of harnessing brand values to encourage positive social change and ultimately helping specific audiences to feel both seen and supported.

#LikeAGirl still has relevancy today despite being released in 2015, with posts connected to the hashtag receiving 20.5million views on TikTok.

  1. Gillette #TheBestMenCanBe – 2019

Another provocative hashtag-led campaign that got thousands on social media talking was Gillette’s 2019 campaign #TheBestMenCanBe.

The video-based social media campaign was created in the wake of #MeToo and aimed to challenge traditional male stereotypes and encourage positive behaviour.

It disregarded the brand’s shaving products and instead addressed themes of toxic masculinity, misogyny and sexual harassment.

Gillette’s video showed various situations involving boys and men, from men making derogatory comments toward women to young boys fighting each other, intending to encourage others to make better choices.

The divisive advert sparked serious debate with some viewers applauding the brand’s stance on this social issue and others viewing the ad as an attack on men.

Among the negative responses was a tweet from Piers Morgan accusing the brand of virtue-signalling “I’ve used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity”.

Other responses saw the campaign as a catalyst for positive change with one Twitter user writing “Thank you, Gillette, for standing out and keeping the conversation going” and another stating “I don’t even use Gillette but I may start using it after this…great job, great message, great delivery.”

Although opinions were divided on the campaign, which immediately went viral and now has 3 million views on YouTube, overall, it seems that feedback was positive encouraging 65% more purchase intent.

The original post gained 203k retweets, 76.3k quoted tweets and a staggering 513.3k likes on Twitter, revealing how powerful brand campaigns that tackle social issues can be.

However, given the backlash received around a razor company attempting to virtue-signal, it’s important for brands to consider whether they have the authority to make comments in these areas and whether the end goal of the campaign justifies the means.

  1. Elvie – Leaks Happen 2022

Following the brand’s TikTok video of a woman squatting with weights and accidentally peeing being flagged by the platform as ‘graphic’, women’s health brand Elvie launched a 20ft ‘peeing’ billboard to confront the taboo of urinary incontinence and clap back at social media censorship around the widespread issue.

The brand found that 84% of women experience incontinence in the UK and 1 in 3 experience the issue globally which led to them encouraging women to speak out about the issue.

Featuring the Elvie Trainer product, the #LeaksHappen campaign showed a 28-year old mum of two, Megan Burns experiencing a leak whilst working out, represented by real water coming from the London-based billboard.

The brand aimed to empower and enable women to ‘achieve everything their bodies are capable of’.

Since the launch of the campaign, the brand’s behind the scenes video of installing the billboard has received 1.9k views and content attached to #LeaksHappen has received 3million views on TikTok.

In terms of marketing, the widespread discussion on the topic of urinary incontinence indicates success.

When it comes to business success, the efforts of the campaign proved to be hugely valuable with search popularity for ‘Elvie Trainer review’ increasing by 60% since the billboard’s launch according to Google Trends and search popularity for ‘Elvie Curve’, another product in the Elvie range, increasing by 70%.

This innovative, head-turning billboard and social media campaign is an excellent example of a brand creating a purpose-led campaign centred on an important women’s health issue relevant to their brand values and product offering.

The campaign utilised shock value to its advantage, thus creating a relevant, timely and impactful message that led to increased brand visibility.

The campaign also demonstrated the power of utilising physical branding such as out of home advertising in 2022 to make a powerful statement and bring your brand to the forefront.

  1. Weetabix Beanz on Bix – 2021

The infamous Weetabix Beanz on Bix campaign that achieved ‘meme’ status won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

The campaign unfolded with a viral image of a breakfast like no other; Weetabix covered in Heinz Baked Beans, much to the horror of social media users everywhere.

Playing on the typical ‘food inspo’ style of Weetabix posts but with a controversial twist, the social media campaign garnered a phenomenal response with an onslaught of other brands responding on Twitter.

Ford declared “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” with an image of beans all over the boot of a car.

Specsavers, who in typical fashion brought more humour to the Twittersphere by stating “If you can’t beat them, join them” accompanied by an image of two pairs of glasses covered in beans.

The saga continued with the NHS commenting “This tweet should come with a health warning” in response to the Weetabix image, indicating the widespread impact of the tongue in cheek campaign.

Weetabix’s original post on Twitter instantly blew up during what was a difficult time for many dealing with the repercussions of Covid-19, gaining 36.3k retweets, 68.8k quoted tweets and over 130k likes.

Additionally, the Instagram post of the questionable image gained 1,839 likes, demonstrating the level of engagement a simple creative campaign such as this can achieve.

The timeliness of the campaign was another factor that no doubt contributed to its success.

It came out six weeks into a national lockdown where audiences were looking for humour and comfort, emphasising the importance of appropriate timing when it comes to controversial campaigns.

  1. KFC FCK – 2018

This iconic print campaign from KFC covered a full-page ad in multiple news publications including Metro and The Sun in an attempt to apologise for their chicken shortage in February 2018 and mitigate damage to the brand.

The ad shows an empty chicken bucket with FCK replacing the KFC branding on the front, much to the appreciation of many social media users who loved the strategic humour.

The advert included an apology for the fact that hundreds of stores had to close throughout the UK as a result of issues with their new chicken supplier DHL.

Brandwatch data also revealed that on 21 February alone there were 53,000 mentions of KFC running out of chicken, associated with hashtags such as “#ChickenCrisis” and “#KFCCrisis”.

YouGov’s BrandIndex also revealed that KFC’s ‘buzz score’ measuring positive and negative sentiments dropped by20 points to -24.

However, the brand managed to avoid long term impacts, with purchase consideration metrics unchanged by the debacle.

KFC chose to pursue print advertising as they believed that this utilises higher trust metrics than social media.

The advert resulted in 700 press articles and TV discussions, reaching a combined audience of 797 million globally.

Within three months, 219 million social media users were also exposed to the branded image with the witty anagram, thus the campaign had achieved a reach of over one billion from its single print ad, leveraging only ‘humility, humour and honesty’.

In fact, the tweeted advert encouraged 428 retweets, 114 quoted tweets and gained 814 likes.

The recovery of the brand during the crisis was evident in the brand impression score among consumers dropping from 57 to 49 in the first few days and then increasing to 51 according to YouGov’s BrandIndex findings.

This simple yet effective ad is a prime example of a brand being proactive in the face of a PR disaster by responding in a very ‘human’ way, which ultimately prevented further damage to the brand’s reputation.

Assessing Controversial Marketing Success

As we know, marketing success is measured in different ways using a variety of metrics depending on a brand’s objectives.

Sometimes, in the case of KFC, success looks like mitigating severe brand damage..

Sometimes it can be an impactful campaign video reaching viral status, sparking meaningful discussions and improving a brand’s visibility like the case of Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign.

Solopress’ list highlights some crucial rules to achieving success with controversial campaigns however, such as ensuring the time is right and the tone is appropriate to avoid the advert causing a social media storm or falling on deaf ears.

Also noteworthy is the continued value of print media when it comes to getting a dialogue going, as we see in the Elvie billboard and light-hearted KFC print advert, which successfully used physical print alongside hashtags to drive social media conversation.

REVEALED: The most popular digital jobs in Europe by country

Are you a digital nomad wanting to visit another country, or an employee looking for a digital role? With the great resignation continuing into 2022, now is the time to think about a career change or a change of scenery – with new research showing which roles are most in demand.

The number of digital jobs has exploded in the past decade, with more than 3.3 million search results for ‘digital jobs Europe’ generated on Google in less than a second. In addition to this, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark topped the list of digitalization in 2020. In other words, employees are spoilt for choice.

Taking it upon themselves to find the most popular digital jobs per country, VoiceNation can reveal the countries where you are most likely to find an abundance of certain digital roles, from Web Developing and UX designers, to Digital PR Experts and Content Writers.

The most popular digital jobs based on the number of hiring ads online in every country are:

  • Germany – Project Management
  • France – SEO Specialist
  • Ireland – Project Management
  • UK – SEO Specialist
  • Belgium – IT
  • Greece – Social Media
  • Sweden – AI Engineering
  • Poland – Project Management
  • Italy – Social Media
  • Spain – Online Customer Service

Are you a creative thinker wanting a career in Social Media and are thinking about moving abroad? Italy and Greece are the countries with most social media roles available. There, you can both work and enjoy the sun.

If you are an SEO Specialist looking for the best places to work, the UK or France might be the countries for you. Out of all the digital roles available, there were most SEO Specialist roles available there. For aspiring project managers, look no further than Germany, the job beating SEO, I.T and Web Development.

Sweden turns out to be a hotspot for people looking for a role within AI Engineering. If you’re looking to soak in the sun while working, you don’t need to look far. Spain and Portugal are two of the best places to look for an online customer service role, with this digital job beating Web Development and SEO as the digital role companies are hiring the most for.

OPINION: Creating a trusted source of news

The pressure on media outlets to rapidly get good quality footage to support global news stories has never been greater. Understaffed news rooms are rushing to beat the competition – not just the vast number of global online, print, radio and television media but also the factories dedicated to creating fake news stories that are propagated through social media.

As trusted organisations, NGOs play a vital role in providing a news hungry global audience with fast access to verifiable footage. The challenges, however, are significant. Every day of the year, video content taken in the field, often at great risk, must be available within minutes in a ‘media ready’ format to support hard pushed journalists. It must be vetted to ensure the messaging is neutral and individual identify is safeguarded. It must be secure and continuously accessible to subscribers despite constant and escalating attacks from cyber criminals. And it must be trackable to provide the NGO with information to support funding and enable continuous improvement of the media content strategy. 

Guy Parry-Williams, Managing Director, Imedia8, explains why NGOs that embrace a better, faster, more secure and trackable way to manage the end to end content production and management process will play an ever more significant role in turning the tide on fake news, reinforcing their credentials and boosting awareness in the process…

News Confusion

The concept of ‘news’ has become tarnished and confused over the past few years. Fear and panic fuelled by the global pandemic, the war in Ukraine as well as global financial meltdown have escalated demand for immediate information. The problem is that immediacy now takes precedence over accuracy in far too many cases.

A news hungry audience is never without a device, but individuals lack discrimination – indeed many people struggle to distinguish fact from fiction. As Ofcom researchreveals, every minute sees 500 hours of content uploaded to YouTube, 5,000 videos viewed on TikTok and 695,000 stories shared on Instagram and more than a third of internet users are unaware that online content might be false or biased. With highly organised factories dedicated to creating fake news, backed up by video footage,  it has never been more important for trusted organisations to step up and provide a global audience with trusted information.

With media outlets operating on far smaller staff numbers than in the past, journalists need support.  NGOs such as the Red Cross and United Nations, play a valuable role in capturing and sharing video footage of their activity in the field – from war zones to natural disasters. Ensuring this content is ‘journalist ready’ makes all the difference. By providing not just the video but the full edited story, with transcripts, an NGO will reinforce its credential as not just a trusted source but also a ‘go to’ destination for the media.

Time Pressure

High quality mobile phones and ever increasing cellular coverage have transformed accessibility, enabling NGO staff on the ground to capture video content and reducing the need for dedicated camera crews. Getting this footage from staff on the ground back to HQ and into the right format to be shared with media outlets can take days, however. Given the immediacy of the news agenda, such delays will often mean the opportunity has been lost.

But there are no shortcuts – this is often highly sensitive information. NGOs must ensure the messaging is neutral, especially during conflict where it is vital to avoid any political affiliation. It must also remain anonymous: it is essential that individuals, including those who work for the NGO, are not exposed to any risk as a result of the coverage.

This is hugely challenging. The process is far more demanding than simply uploading to a video content platform. Content needs to be verified to confirm messaging and avoid any referenceable names. It needs to be presented to the media in a way that is immediately usable: including the presentation of a lightweight preview, as well as associated photos, graphics, infographics and story content.  Plus, it needs to be watermarked to enable the NGO to track the take up and usage of each piece of content across the world. Only then can it be uploaded to a site, and the global media outlet subscribers informed the latest content is available.

Feedback Loop

Achieving this in a timely fashion is tough for any individual organisation without round the clock staff. What happens if the story breaks on a weekend or Bank Holiday, over a religious festival or during the August holiday escape? Miss a deadline and the story will never get picked up; take a short cut, and the essential neutrality of the content could be compromised.

With the right, managed service approach every aspect of this process can be achieved in as little as 20 minutes, ensuring the NGO maximises the value of time sensitive information. It is, however, also important to time the content upload to maximise global exposure. Using intelligent planning to ensure the content timing reflects the likely audience and country/ continent specific news cycles will increase the uptake by media outlets. In addition, reports based on continual monitoring of content usage can provide vital insight to NGOs to inform the video content strategy.

Tracking subscriptions demonstrates who is watching and when, highlighting any news outlets that have looked at but failed to use the content. This information will help NGOs to understand the evolving news landscape and timescales, including the way media outlets want to consume content, providing a complete feedback loop and enabling a continual evolution of the content strategy.

Conclusion

Video content also plays a vital role in supporting future activity. With governments and high value donors facing escalating demands for support and the challenges of an inflationary economy, funding activity is key. For most NGOs there is a direct link between the amount of footage achieved across global news stations and income – content usage reports give NGOs with important evidence about both on the ground activity and the role played in improving awareness and understanding among the general public.

Plus, of course, some of this footage will have long term value. With an archive of footage stretching back over years, NGOs provide academics as well as media outlets with access to a valuable, deep resource.

Indeed, with a light touch subscription model, anyone in the world can access this resource, improving the quality of verified information in the public domain. And that is key: with a trackable archive of carefully curated, verified video content, an NGO can maximise public awareness and understanding while also leading the fight against the fake news factories.

5 ways your brand is forbidden from celebrating the Platinum Jubilee

With The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations fast approaching, brands all over Britain are racing to get a slice of the royal pie.

But playing into current Royal Family events in your products and marketing is a dangerous game – one which several well-known brands have fallen foul of in the past.

Print marketing experts Solopress break down the five regulations you’ll need to watch out for as a company when referencing Her Majesty’s 70-year reign…

  • Don’t mention the Royals in your marketing

In celebration of the Jubilee occasion, The Queen has approved a temporary relaxation of the usual stringent rules regarding mentioning the Royals on memorabilia. Platinum Jubilee souvenirs are now allowed to use photographs of the Royals provided they meet copyright requirements and comply with official Royal regulations.

However, strict rules remain when discussing the Royals in other scenarios such as marketing materials. Members of the Royal Family should not be shown or made reference to in marketing communications without their prior permission, which you are unlikely to receive except in special cases such as “where the event or place is of outstanding importance or a national event or there is a close Royal association” (gov.uk). Ryanair’s press ad featuring a photograph of Prince Charles with the headline “Prince’s secret revealed!” was taken down by the ASA for not seeking permission to use the photograph of Prince Charles in the campaign – despite the photos being taken at a public event.

The Advertising Standards Authority acknowledges that there may be certain cases where incidental references may be permissible, for example reference to a book about the Royals. Meanwhile, many companies have successfully utilised the Royal Family in their marketing through indirect references, such as this Warburton’s advert upon the birth of Prince George which avoided direct mentions of the Royals.

  • Don’t imply Royal endorsement – directly or indirectly

If you do make mention of the Royal Family, make sure you stray on the side of caution, as associating your brand products or event with Royal approval could lead to action being taken. Irish property developer Hagan Homes were forced to remove adverts featuring Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with the tagline “fit for part-time royalty” due to the implication of endorsement and for failing to gain permission to use photographs of the couple.

  • Rules for using Royal Arms and Emblems

The use of Royal Arms and Devices is permitted for souvenirs related to the jubilee event, providing they are in good taste, free from any form of advertisement and carry no implication of Royal Custom or Approval. These items must also be permanent in nature, i.e. made from a “semi-destructible material”, and must be “specially made for the occasion”.

Outside of these circumstances, however, the Royal Arms and Emblems are not to be used “in connection with any trade or business”, as outlined by the Trade Marks Act 1994. The Royal Family’s official guidelines state that this also includes emblems “which are so similar as to be calculated to deceive” – meaning you can’t create emblems which may be confused with the Royal Arms, the Royal Crown and other official devices. This applies regardless of context and includes satirical settings and non-marketing communications used by brands.

The sole exception to this rule is if “the permission of the Member of the Royal Family concerned has been obtained”; however, even if you become a Royal Warrant holder, a strict ruleset exists which prohibits the use of the Royal Warrant imagery on banners and adverts on buses, taxis and trains, regulates where and how often Royal Arms can appear on packaging and products and prevents holders from using the warrant in a way which connotates use by the Royal Family.

  • Make sure your products or advertising won’t misinform

Whilst the selling of souvenir and memorabilia products is not prohibited providing they adhere to the above rules, it’s important to be clear that these products are not official memorabilia. Implying that products are approved by Royals or connected to the Royal Family, even in a comedic context, is strictly prohibited.

It’s also important to remember that advertising for these products must not mislead or be viewed as inaccurate. An advert for a doll of the Duke of Cambridge promising an “authentic likeness of the handsome Prince on his wedding day” was banned by the ASA when it was found that the advert for the doll differed from the product sold, with the ASA commenting that “the face of the doll differed from that advertised in being slimmer and painted in a more vibrant, and less realistic, way.”

  • Using the terms “Platinum Jubilee”, “Royal” and “Queen Elizabeth II”

Royal Guidance has been released on using royal-related terms during the event. Although the name “Platinum Jubilee” may be used freely for events, projects and buildings relating to the occasion, approval must be applied for when referencing terms such as “Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee”, “The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee”, “Royal” or “Queen Elizabeth II” for all communications, even for small community events. Approval requests should be directed to royalnames@cabinetoffice.gov.uk in England and Northern Ireland, protocolandhonours@gov.scot in Scotland and brandingqueries@gov.wales in Wales.

Well-known British brands have already begun working the Platinum Jubilee into their product lineup in ways which adhere to the restrictions on royal titles, with Heinz recently releasing limited-edition versions of their products labelled “HM Sauce” and “Salad Queen”, cleverly avoiding the list of terms made off-bounds by the Royal Family whilst still managing to celebrate the Jubilee.

Glen Eckett, Head of Marketing at Solopress, said: “It’s an exciting time for businesses around the country as we approach this summer’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations – although strict requirements around commemorating the occasion are still in place, The Queen has temporarily eased some of the usual restrictions, opening up exciting new opportunities for business and community endeavours nationwide.”

Building a cybersecurity strategy for marketers

By Radmila Blazheska, CMO, SecurityHQ and  Eleanor Barlow, Content Manager, SecurityHQ

Marketing teams often work with sensitive data, be it customer or contact data, in your CRM, WordPress site, payment details, and much more. Chief Marketing Officers (CMO’s), Head of Marketing, and Marketing Directors are accountable for data, how it is used, stored, and shared within their marketing teams.

Since GDPR was enforced, most marketeers also hold Data Officer roles, or are very interlinked with these roles, and form the connection between data, IT, and marketing departments. Which is why it is crucial for marketing teams to know how marketing tools are used, stored, and processed, so that if a data breach were to take place, accountability is made clear and next steps are known by all parties.

Three elements that marketing teams need to be especially prepared for are brand theft, supply chain attack/third party vulnerability, and data security weaknesses.

1.      Fight Against Brand Theft

Brand theft covers situations whereby any company/user, applies your company information, such as brand name, emails, domains, and elements like that, without permission/agreement. Copyright infringement included. Large companies are often targeted by phishing campaigns and there are also lots of fake social media accounts out there, right now, using y our brand. Which is why, if there is data that has already been stolen or breached, companies need to know about this, to know exactly what has been accessed, so that an action plan can be made.

Marketing teams need to be prepared if a breach is made, as most of the communication will fall onto the marketing team anyway. In turn, marketing teams need to know how to respond to a breach, how to communicate with customers following a breach, how to communicate with the public, with government enforcement, and more. On top of large fines, some brands never recover. Timing is everything, and bad PR can crush companies.

Marketing team individuals are also often targeted as they can easily be spoofed over an email or phone call. Identities of team members can be at risk, which is why Threat & Risk Intelligenceshould be used as a tool to view, monitor, prioritise and analyse all digital elements of your organisation. This includes internet, applications, systems, cloud, and hardware, to help detect and prevent attacks. By using this service, you will be alerted on any infringement both on the open and dark web.

2.      Know How to Spot Supply Chain Attack

An element impacting marketing teams, across the globe, are third party compromises and supply chain attacks. Every time there is a data breach of a third-party provider or data aggregator, there is also a data breach of all their users and partners. In response, a zero-trust model should always be implemented when working with a third party. But this is why it is very important that the marketing tools used by the marketing teams are secured.

Most marketers work with WordPress, or similar sites. If their site is attacked, how would they know? If they do not have the training, how would they know what to look for to stop an attack in the first place? When a data breach happens, there is also the question of how to communicate this to the customer base. Companies must legally declare a breach, but not all of them declare it to their customers, and if their data is misused then they are liable to pay substantial fines.

In effect, while basic training is usually presented to every employee, in every company, there is not much education for marketers on a more granular level. There should be more cyber training and awareness for teams, and marketing should work very closely with their IT Teams, data teams, and security teams, to ensure that the brand is protected, and marketing tools are armed against attack.

3.      Data Storage & Regulations

With GDPR, there is a fine-tuned process with regards to data storage, and how data is processed. There are also different legalities with regards to data, depending on geolocation. For instance, the EU has strict regulations, and now that the UK has left the EU, there are different regulations in place depending on where the data is coming from.

In addition, there are new regulations regarding cookies, which cannot be automatically stored anymore. This effects digital marketing and advertising, and marketers need to know how to deal with this sensitive information now that laws and regulations have changed.

How Marketing Teams Can Move Forward

In every company, in any industry, marketing teams should have access to Threat & Risk Intelligence (TRI) and they should have more advanced and regular cyber awareness training.

On top of this, security teams should have in place Vulnerability Management to view and act on all vulnerabilities across all your digital platforms. As well as Endpoint Protection, to safeguard both personal and business devices as teams work remotely.

The accountability and liability of data storage should be ingrained in marketing roles. Because, sometimes, our greatest threats are ourselves. Therefore, Cyber Marketing Awareness and training is a must for all marketers, and marketing teams should work with (and alongside) IT and data teams, to make sure that all their data and marketing tools are protected against cyber threats.

Junior marketers ‘driving customer experience innovation’

Junior marketers are playing a leading role in driving innovation, with 50% saying that trying out new techniques and ideas to improve customer experiences is a major part of their day-to-day activities.

That’s according to Optimizely’s Culture of Experimentation report, based on a survey of 200 UK in-house marketing executives, assistants and managers, which also highlights that 50% of marketing assistants are directly responsible for improving the customer experience, compared to 42% of marketers at management level.

The report reveals junior team members are being entrusted with driving innovation and change to improve customer satisfaction, with only 14% saying they don’t have the freedom to try new things and 24% that their opinion isn’t valued by senior team members.

Commenting on the findings, Kirsten Allegri Williams, CMO of Optimizely, said: “It’s very encouraging to see that so many junior marketers in the UK are being inspired to challenge established marketing practices. Experimentation is integral to the customer experience, so introducing this mindset and challenging the status quo can significantly impact how brands interact with their audiences in a positive way.

“Junior marketers are the ones who are likely to shape the future of UK marketing. Bringing this experimentation practice will absolutely help to advance their careers, along with their enthusiasm and a fresh thinking. It’s vital that senior team members embrace this and drive collaboration at all levels, making everyone feel heard so new data-based changes are implemented wherever possible.”

The B2B alternative to influencer marketing

Jamie Barlow, managing director of Hyped Marketing, discusses the effectiveness of influencer marketing…

If you’ve ever taken out a traditional print or TV ad, you’ll know how pricey they can be.

Unfortunately, ramped up costs don’t always equal effectiveness. And traditional ads don’t always offer the best return on investment. As such, many businesses are turning to influencer marketing.

But what is influencer marketing exactly?

On a basic level, it’s a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements from “influencers”, who are viewed as experts in their field. Think of it a little bit like PR. Only, instead of getting exposure from publications, you’re getting it through individuals and their social channels.

Why is influencer marketing effective?

Influencer marketing works because of one crucial thing: trust. Think about it — how much do you trust messages from a business compared to those from your friends or colleagues? Or reviews on a company website compared to those from other customers on Google?

Over time, influencers have built up a loyal following of people, who hang on their every word, actively engage with them and trust that the recommendations they make are genuine. So, if you can get these individuals to spread your message, you’ll massively boost persuasiveness.

Plus, since influencers operate independently and create their own content, they are in control of how they portray your message (within reason). This promotes authenticity and can help you reach a specific target audience.

The rise of B2B influencer marketing

When it comes to influencer marketing, there’s no denying that B2B companies were late to the game. While B2C brands were establishing relationships with influencers, the B2B world was only just discovering social media.

Even now, the likes of Instagram and YouTube are dominated by bikini-clad influencers pushing the latest superfood products to consumers. (Hey, we only said they were viewed as experts — not that they necessarily are!)

But the reality is, influencer marketing is far more important for B2B than B2C. After all, the average purchase prices in B2B completely dwarf those in B2C. People are also less likely to gamble on purchasing B2B products and services as they would with consumer goods. So, word-of-mouth and influencer marketing are essential to drive leads and sales.

How to get into influencer marketing

First and foremost, you need to forget all about going after those big influencer names. They’re out of reach (and way out of budget for SMEs). Plus, people are starting to see through these mega-influencers.

Nothing compromises credibility faster than a tone-deaf endorsement from a high-profile influencer, who everyone knows was paid thousands for a single social post. Instead, you need to be exploring a more niche influencer marketing strategy — looking at respected speakers, authors, podcasters and commentators in your industry.

For one, a micro-influencer will also be a lot easier on your marketing budget. Secondly, even though these micro-influencers have much smaller audiences, their followers will invariably be far more engaged and switched on to what they have to say. Together, this means your cost per post engagement will be much lower.

It’s also worth pointing out that you’ve probably got a whole bunch of potential influencers sitting right next to you — your employees or colleagues! Collectively, your employees and co-workers will have far more connections than your company and appear much more authentic. So, you should never underestimate the value of employee advocacy and influence.

Encouraging employees to share relevant industry and company-related content is a great way to engage this often-overlooked resource. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for sharing though-led articles and company posts via employees. In fact, employee re-shares of company-posted content often have more than double the click-through rate of the original post!

And a final piece of advice — don’t expect to see results overnight. B2B purchases involve multiple decision-makers, meaning it will often take much longer for the impact of influencer marketing to reach all these people.