On the 7th June myself and colleague Ryan Roodt travelled 195 miles from Leeds, down to the big smoke, to take part in Google’s much anticipated mobile advertising bootcamp. To avoid the early morning rush and to make sure we were well rested before the event, we both decided to catch the train the night before. Unbeknown to me, Ryan was a colossal snorer, so despite the numerous pints we consumed that night, I struggled to get my 8 hours in!
But on to the event!
With AdWords soon to be rolling out individual device bid adjustments in the coming months, it was an exciting day to be a part of (well… for us digital geeks out there anyway!). As all of you PPC-ers will already be aware, it has been a growing challenge to really capitalise on consumers increasing usage of mobile, when bids are restrained to a limited desktop multiplier.
However, during the recent Google Performance Summit in San Francisco, Google announced a simple way we’ll be able to combat this issue – by allowing advertisers to set individual bid adjustments for all three devices (desktop, tablet and mobile). The same principle will apply to this new bidding system, in that, you’ll have one preferred device which you’ll be able to set a default/base bid for, but then the option to set % bid adjustments for the other two. For more information on the Google performance summit please refer to one of my fellow PPC’ers recent blog.
So obviously we needed to be fully trained up on everything mobile and make sure we were ready for when the changes went ahead – hence our excitement to be a part of it!
Below is a summary of how the day panned out:
|Mobile Bootcamp Agenda|
|09:00||Registration & Breakfast|
|09:30||Understanding The Value To Sell Mobile: A Mobile Overview|
|10:30||Developing A Mobile Strategy For Success|
|11:45||Reports & Attribution Modelling|
|12:30||Advertising Mobile Apps|
|14:00||Mobile Exam Preparation|
|15:30||Mobile Certification Exam|
Needless to say the whole day was extremely beneficial and Google shared some really useful information about the impact mobile has on a customer’s journey – from initial interaction with a Google ad to when they actually decide to take action. Here at We Are Boutique we shape our entire digital strategy around the customer journey, appreciating that each journey will be different, depending on the product or service a business sells.
So you can imagine how we felt when some of the below statistics were projected on screen…
A few facts and figures from the day:
The importance mobile has and will continue to have when the new changes kick in is staggering – particularly for first click/assisted conversions. This is backed up by another interesting statistic from Google, who said that 93% of people who researched on a mobile go on to make a purchase – 45% on desktop and 17% on mobile. You’d probably expect more consumers to purchase on a mobile (especially with more and more businesses having mobile-optimised sites), but unfortunately we just have to accept that it might take consumers a little longer to break habit. But the key question here is ‘would they have taken action without the initial mobile interaction?’ I don’t think so.
The below graphs were taken from Google’s customer barometer tool again, to give us some further insight in to how consumers behaviour online has been changing YoY to lead to this new change:
Overall a really interesting day to be a part of and one that We Are Boutique have been talking about ever since. It is clear that since technology has become more advanced over the years, it has allowed consumers/advertisers to use multiple devices to help aid in the decision making process. And now with this new change getting rolled out, it will help advertisers further harness the power of mobile and tablet, and thus have more of an influence on the customer’s journey.
And we’ll be ready!
The roots of the Slow Movement are said to have been planted around 200 years ago, with the philosophy taking typically slow steps towards sprouting legs in the 1980s, with activists advocating a slower pace of living.
This cultural shift began with political activist Carlo Petrini in 1986, who protested against the fast food chain, McDonald’s, opening a new restaurant in the idyllic Piazza di Spagna in Rome. This saw the birth of the Slow Food Movement, which overtime has developed into a subculture, advocating all things snail-paced, and endeavouring to change the way in which society tackles the modern ultra-fast age.
Ever since the Industrial Revolution, everything has been increasing in speed and convenience, with the majority of this stealth speediness benefiting our lives exponentially and leading to remarkable technological advances – however there is a big chunk of, in some opinions, less-necessary advances which have swept in in the last decade or so, such as the ‘death of the written word’, replaced by the humble emoji and technology including fridges that automatically order milk when you’re running low. Slow Movement author, Carl Hororé, asks, ‘Have we reached the point of trying to accelerate the unacceleratable?’. The Slow Movement endeavours to be the antidote to this immediate and disposable culture we have inadvertently arrived in.
The Slow Movement has crept into all facets of modern culture, with the moderate mantra resulting in ‘Slow’ products – the World Institute of Slowness (yes, that’s a real thing) have developed products for elongated enjoyment, including Slow Coffee, Slow Chocolate and even Slow Beer, each product is produced taking the ‘scenic route’, so to speak, ensuring quality over quantity, which is at the heart of the philosophy.
TV programmers have identified the consumer’s desire for a change in pace, with programming recently aired by the BBC including a canal boat journeying its way down the Kent and Avon canal, over a two hour, commentary-less stint, along with another programme featuring an hour of bird song, followed by 30 minutes of a man making a glass jug.
The philosophy of Slow has fed into modern marketing, with Slow Marketing strategies identified from brands including Kit Kat, with their ‘Free NO Wifi zone’ as respite to constant communication, Audi’s ‘Slowest car we’ve ever built’ and Häagen-Dazs’ 12-minute piece of footage, featuring ice cream reaching the perfect temperature once being removed from the freezer. Good things come to those who wait!
Most recently we’ve seen Ronseal deploy Slow strategy, taking over a 3-minute ad break on Channel 4 with footage of a man painting a fence – literally encouraging viewers to watch paint dry. If 3 minutes weren’t enough, an extended 11-and-a-half-minute version is available on YouTube, which has currently been viewed by 12,800 very busy individuals… (join them here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RcxeK59E6Q)
Waitrose brought a cow in on the action (or lack of) – with their most recent TV ad showcasing live farm footage, filmed by a cow with a GoPro strapped to its head – “Cow Cam”. Waitrose’s Slow campaign also featured live footage from their farms on YouTube, showing bees buzzing around a hive…
As consumers, we’re so used to brands using their advertising to shout at us, with overly direct messaging, encouraging us to ‘BUY NOW’. With transparent ploys ‘SALE ENDS MONDAY’, the consumer can be forgiven for disengaging with the messaging. Even some of the cleverer, content-led advertising campaigns can get it wrong with poor execution, and an over-zealous frequency count. Subtlety is key, no one needs to hear James Martin preaching about cauliflower couscous 57 times in one week. With a plethora of predictable ads, Slow Marketing is a breath of fresh air and, quite literally changes the pace of advertising, creating enormous stand-out, without shouting.
This sentiment was echoed by Red Bull marketing director, Huib Van Bockel, who describes modern marketing as “like Tinder”, focusing on the immediate and disposable, and not taking the time to slow things down and think about the long game.
Of course, Slow Marketing won’t work for all brands, with inappropriate attempts likely to fall flat. And there is certainly an expiry date on this strategy, as brands hop on this accelerating ‘Slow’ trend, ad breaks will become saturated with silence and the novelty will quickly wear off. However, for those few brands which are truly aligned with the values of slowness, and lead the pack in changing the pace, Slow Marketing could prove fruitful.
I think this is the third time I’m writing this. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m kinda new here, and I’ve never written a company blog post before, so perhaps understandably I’ve had some difficulties getting this in the neighbourhood of acceptability. It’s only as I write this (hopefully) final version, that I realised that I am relearning the same old lessons. Vital lessons for anyone, but especially those of you interested in, or working in, marketing or PR.
Firstly, I tried writing a piece that was essentially a mea culpa. I wanted to show people that accepting failure, both personal and professional, is an essential character trait to develop in SEO and media. It can be difficult to swallow your pride and say “I got this wrong, I may well get other things wrong in the future.”
It can be especially hard telling your colleagues, and harder still to tell your clients. But if you can do this, then begin working together on a fix, you’ll develop trust far quicker than if you gloss over it all. You might think you’ve gotten away with it, but people know when you’re evading the question, and when analytics data gets involved there’s no place to hide.
Be honest and own your mistakes. You’ll learn how to avoid doing the same in the future, how to react to unforeseen outcomes. You’ll become a better marketer, and a better colleague.
This blog post is, in part, me saying I got this wrong. I mainly got this wrong because I failed to remember my second point, which is as old as the hills, and yet so many people fall at this hurdle.
Remember your audience, your objectives, and your medium. I tried to be clever and write something that was, to me, intellectually gratifying and cringe-inducingly punny. I was, on reflection, writing for myself, but why? I’m not my target audience: I already know the content of the blog post, I’m not going to learn anything from reading or writing that.
Sometimes the good ideas are actually terrible. Take a moment away from everything you do and think about that before you convince yourself that you’ve nailed it.
The blog is where we can show people our human side. Why the Boutique team are fundamentally great people who care about what they do, and do it well. The fact that we’re good at our jobs comes through in the quality of our output and of our service.
So here I am now, writing for myself, but just as a reminder. This time I’m writing for you as well, so you can learn from my mistake. Sometimes we all get things wrong. Sometimes, I get things wrong. But if you analyse your processes, your rationale, and your results, you can turn every mistake into an opportunity.
That’s how we can all think and do better.
Many cliché’s, common phrases and stereotypes are largely based on an exaggerated truth.
So in this instance I’m going to ditch the wanky modern buzzwords and stick to a phrase my Grandma would frequently say to me. She’s from the North East so try to read it with that accent in mind.
Usually in reference to some new jeans or clothing, “Eeeee, well I never. Are those back in fashion? Everything comes back around!”
I only want to concentrate on the last part – ‘Everything comes back around’.
With so many tools available to the modern marketer you’d be forgiven for thinking pure brand marketing could be a thing of the past. Every pound of budget is boiled, mashed, passed through a fine sieve and then thrown into a customer’s face as often as possible.
I’m often exasperated by how regularly brands find a way of interrupting my day only to shout at me. I work for a communications agency; god knows how normal civilians feel.
I’m not suggesting advertising is on its way out, or that we should stop finding new ways to reach consumers, it just seems like we aren’t thinking about quality anymore. Perpetual sales cycles and shouty messaging have diluted the marketing landscape so much that people will begin to seek out sanctuary.
Don’t forget that the advances in technology are also allowing people to ignore advertising, how often do you actually watch live TV? A recent piece of research showed that 60% of the TV 25-35 year olds watch is pre-recorded or VOD programming, which makes it pretty easy to avoid the ads.
We’re so focused on DR, so focused on continually weighing the pig, we often forget to feed it properly.
Working in sales is a similar story; technology and free access to data changed the way we do things. Hearing my dad talk about how he used to do business used to surprise me. He worked with people he knew well, who liked him and would always put in a good word. He almost entirely brought in new business through referral; I occasionally go back home for a round of golf and it’s safe to say he keeps good company, firm handshakes all round…
Up until recently I’d always worked in environments where you were charged with gluing the phone to your ear and bashing your way through a long list of bought data. I’d then occasionally take a break from the cold calling to send out some mass spam.
Any sales professional worth their salt will now tell you this approach doesn’t work anymore.
We have to look inwards and identify what we’re good at and who could actually benefit from our skills. Taking the time to approach the right people in the right way is so much more compelling than saying ‘do you want to buy some stuff’. We need to put our efforts into fostering meaningful relationships, something that takes equal measures of effort and time.
It seems that Grandma may have been right after all… everything does come back around.