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  • Success with social media

    The power of social media is driving rapid change to the advertising and marketing community. New product or service offerings and specialist online marketing divisions are some of the trends to emerge. Social media marketing is not just about using Facebook and Twitter but also encompassing blogs and forums and a company’s own website. It can also include LinkedIn, for recruitment campaigns; and Foursquare (location-based network) or Pinterest (online pin board) for a restaurant launch. However, what sets social media apart is that it puts power into the hands of consumers, which creates fresh challenges for the advertiser. “Messages are no longer one way. Conversations can happen between brands and their consumers,” said Natalie Blakemore, online...

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    Real Groovy man takes stake in Consortium

    Real Groovy man takes stake in Consortium

    Ralph Brayham, formerly Director of Home at Telecom and Director of Yahoo!Xtra, has become a 50% shareholder and Director in local marketing services company Consortium. Paul Shale, previously the sole shareholder at Consortium says Ralph brings more than 20 years of corporate experience – a rare asset in New Zealand advertising agencies. "Consortium has been designing expert marketing campaigns since 2003 and I have drawn on the expertise of many creative and talented people in that time. However, the addition of someone with Ralph's business acumen is unmatched in the marketing communications industry and gives Consortium an additional and unique set of skills that we can focus on client needs," says Shale. Ralph's senior executive experience spans across...

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Success with social media

The power of social media is driving rapid change to the advertising and marketing community.

New product or service offerings and specialist online marketing divisions are some of the trends to emerge. Social media marketing is not just about using Facebook and Twitter but also encompassing blogs and forums and a company’s own website.

It can also include LinkedIn, for recruitment campaigns; and Foursquare (location-based network) or Pinterest (online pin board) for a restaurant launch.

However, what sets social media apart is that it puts power into the hands of consumers, which creates fresh challenges for the advertiser.

“Messages are no longer one way. Conversations can happen between brands and their consumers,” said Natalie Blakemore, online marketing consulant at e2Digital, which is part of the Harvey Cameron agency.

“If used correctly, this is an incredibly powerful tool in terms of gathering feedback, nurturing sales leads and developing brand advocates.”

Harri Owen, head of digital & content at DraftFCB, said social media revolves around real people and doesn’t feature a “dictatorial marketing message for everyone.”

Anna St George, director of Lassoo Media, said this even allows consumers to influence and advocate the brand. Thus, agencies must determine how important social media is and decide whether to use it as a key component of a campaign or just part of it.

The online community needs respect and firms must learn how to engage with them. But such vital feedback can give organisations a competitive edge if firms listen to it, Ms St George said.

However, Ralph Brayham, who recently took a share of the Consortium marketing agency, said that despite its newness and value, social media should not be treated as some strange and niche speciality.

“Businesses should constantly be asking the traditional questions they ask of any campaign, “given the goals of the campaign.” These questions include the right time to use it, the right mix between social and other channels, the certainty it will attract attention and the likelihood it will change consumer behaviour.

Already, agencies in New Zealand are using social media in campaigns.

Lassoo Media used Facebook, Twitter, blogs and You Tube in its Sleepyhead Sleep Better campaign. This led 5000 consumers to sign on to a database and communicate with the company.

Such two-way conversations created consumer advocates who received beds and blogged their experiences on Facebook and appeared in TV commercials.

E2 Digital developed a Facebook site for GoughCAT, the New Zealand distributor for Caterpillar machinery, to promote the brand among enthusiasts.

“The GoughCAT community is taking on a life of its own, building at a steady pace with fans who are engaging with the brand by sharing photos and commenting and liking posts. In terms of business goals, the page is assisting the company with recruitment and generation of sales leads,” Ms Blakemore said.

Social media is also affecting the agencies. Consortium is “a full service agency” where social media is just part of a campaign. Thus, other more traditional marketing skills are also needed.

Draft FCB has its own digital and social media department, integrated into the wider agency. “No digital or social media campaign should happen in a silo. Having worked all over the world in digital, mobile, social media and media, I bring a long history of testing and utilising digital effectively and holistically,” Ms Owen said.

For Lassoo, social media is simply an extension of its business.And at E2 Digital, social media forms part of its online specialisation.

Social media presents fresh demands too. Auckland International Airport chief executive Simon Moutter said social media means agencies must now do more than deliver creative ideas.

“They need to approach clients with a keen understanding of business drivers, strategy and the impact that creative execution will have on business performance,” he said.

Ogilvy’s Top Tips

Organisations need to use social media to boost their PR and marketing, Brian Giesen, Australasian head of Social@Ogilvy, says.

At a meeting in Auckland last week, the Sydney-based American, who has also advised the US government on such matters, presented a raft of tips, based on personal experience.

Ogilvy in Australia used a listening device called Radian6, which noted on Wednesdays people would talk online more about needing a Coke. Coke then boosted its Wednesday adverts to much greater success.

Microsoft similarly monitored message boards and came across a developer who hated Internet Explorer 8 because he had trouble with it. Microsoft contacted the man, fixed his problem, and he began praising Microsoft. Microsoft soon helped 1000 people this way and positive sentiment about it rose 24%.

The US government was unpopular with a group of bloggers known as the “flubies,” who talked about influenza issues. Its Heath and Human Services Department created a blog to discuss these issues and invited a “flubie” to join the blog. The conversation led the “flubies” and others to improve their opinion of government.

Using photos and images helps the sharing of stories, Mr Giesen said. In Australia, Kimberley-Clark will use the photo-sharing website Pinterest to promote environmental sustainability as well as Cottonelle toilet roll.

Companies must also know what “normal” is while they listen, so they know when there is a crisis. Crises must be responded to within 24 hours, including at weekends, as afterward people have made their minds up.

LG Australia recently recalled fridges and publicised information on You Tube and by using Twitter, something which actually boosted its reputation.

Companies must also be upfront and use chief-level executives and get their apologies right first time, otherwise crises will be extended, Mr Giesen said.

Reputations are also built on search, since search is the leading reason people go online. Thus, the top 10 results in Google are as important as a website.

“Add a digital chapter to your crisis communication plan, set up a listening post and track issues. Get buy-in on the importance of social media,” he advised.

Facebook helps GrabOne grabs custom

Daily deals website GrabOne has used Facebook to grab a huge customer base, claiming its community recommendations also boost sales.

Launched in 2010, the website aimed to use social media to develop a fanbase who would be motivated to buy.

Initially, GrabOne ran several Reach Blocks, buying advertising space on major websites as well as Facebook to reach its target audience.

A social media specialist was recruited to nurture this community and respond quickly to their issues. This included letting the community create the company mascot Gimme.

Adverts then promoted the daily deals both on Facebook and online, targeted at specific consumer demographics.

“Facebook is our third largest referral channel in terms of revenue. We were able to amass a following very quickly through these Facebook ads,” said Campbell Brown, marketing director of GrabOne New Zealand.

By working with its “community,” GrabOne said this has fostered an intrinsic loyalty, with the community recommending deals to friends and family. Since people trust their peers more than marketers, such word of mouth has a conversion rate 52% higher than other channels.

GrabOne New Zealand claims to be the leading daily deals site in New Zealand, helped by 134,000 “likes” on its Facebook page.

“Because we have attached social media as a fundamental part of our business rather than an afterthought, we have attracted,” Mr Brown told NBR.


Consortium Q&A with Darren Greenwood

What are social media campaigns? Is it just a matter of using facebook and twitter or is there more to it? How do they differ from traditional marketing campaigns? Why is this and how important are they compared to the traditional? Is their importance growing and why?

Most would define social media campaigns as those that utilise online applications like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, and would define 'traditional' campaigns as those focused on broadcast media – TV, print, outdoor, radio. Social media campaigns are those that encourage interactive engagement – usually conversation or contribution.

Social is a powerful engagement tool and most campaigns now have some social element in them. As such we believe that social media should no longer be treated as new, strange and a niche speciality. Instead businesses should constantly be asking the traditional questions they ask of any channel:

"Given the goals of the campaign:

  1. a) When is the right time to use this channel?
  2. b) What is the right mix between this and other channels?
  3. c) What certainty do we have that we will attract the eyeballs desired?
  4. d) What is the likelihood that the messages will convert into the consumer behavior we desire?"

Social media’s real impact is not found in the technical detail but in the shift of power that has resulted – and not just in marketing. Social media has removed the ability of corporates and governments to dictate, to monologue. Mainstream media reporting of social media commentary has given individuals a powerful, real time and less-edited voice.

In doing so, social media steps into the traditional realm of qualitative research, NPD and media making brand evolution more discursive, driven more by unprompted feedback – an iterative exchange of ideas.

Whilst traditional channels remain powerful as a means of broadcasting messages, one of the most important uses of social channels is to listen. However the realisation of this seems to be a missing with many businesses who continue to try to broadcast communicate via social channels and remain less willing to invest time or resource listening and reflecting on what their consumers are trying to tell them.

What does ‘driving business competitiveness through social media intelligence’ mean ?

It's about making social media monitoring and analytics relevant to business.

There are a number of tools that isolate and measure social media chat about specific issues and brands. The issue is how to take a general conversation and turn it into a business gain. Computer programs can't do this – yet.

Once again, this is not new, it's bringing traditional strategies of monitoring and analytics to social media. By taking a deep look at who is listening to your messages, as well as who is talking about you, it is possible to discover who and where the key influencers sit that can make the most positive and negative difference to your business. Such insights can inform specific tactical programmes. Interestingly, when you put social media into context as one channel that should always be considered, this can sound pretty traditional – pay attention to what people are saying about you, work out what it means for your business, develop the best course of action, and act.

What examples can you give of successful social media campaigns, either run by yourself or others? Why were they successful?

We personally like the Old Spice campaign because it was driven by a great creative idea, which was then amplified by social media. It didn't forget that creativity, humour and likeability was the core of the campaign and the reason people engaged with it. Social media then took the campaign to the next level by allowing viewers to ask questions of the Old Spice guy which were then quickly turned into new ads. It succeeded because sales doubled, no mean feat for a global brand. And that is the only real measure of success. It also got 236 million views and 1.5 million fans, and when your ad gets used in a Puss in Boots trailer, you know you've had genuine social impact.

Highlights for us would include our work for 42 Below and competitions like Win a Russian Bride. Also, pretty much everything we’ve done for Murder Burger, but especially the A4 staff ad taped in a window that went viral from a mobile phone shot, and the Treaty of Waitangi Day blanket trade-in. We also love our video content strategy for AUT University, social media NPD project for Fosters, and youth issue strategy for Save the Children. Like everyone we've got more in the pipeline now than previously with one especially exciting project in mainstream media. Success in all these depended on the individual KPIs of the projects.

What can marketers/ agencies/ companies do to make such social media campaigns successful?

Marketers should treat social media campaigns with the same rigour, planning and analysis that they do traditional or other digital campaigns. Social media channels may seem free to use, but marketers should not throw limited communications into the social web and then walk away. The best social campaigns have as much invested in them as traditional campaigns.

Beyond that:

  • •It's all about business results. Everything should be about short term goals that help the brand move closer to its long term transformational goal.
  • •Be fast, as close to real time and live as possible. This is a real challenge for corporate brands.
  • •Resource properly, you will be rewarded for knowledgeable and immediate interactions as your topics trend. This takes skilled and dedicated resource. You can’t just chuck content out into the wild and expect it to do a good job for your brand.
  • •Quantity AND quality. Get prepared to be able to respond fast with lots of content, make sure it’s considered and on message.
  • •It's not just about Facebook or You Tube. Be everywhere you can and use networks.
  • •Negative can work.

How can we measure this success?

Social media success should be measured exactly the same way that traditional media is analyzed:

  • -define a tight problem statement or strategy
  • -put a plan in place that includes key messages, creative options, channels
  • -define critical success factors and KPIs
  • -run the campaign
  • -do post campaign analysis on achievement of strategy, critical success factors and KPIs

Our point is always that having a variety of different technologies at your disposal doesn't change what you're trying to achieve. And success is always about whether you have achieved what you set out to achieve, not about what you did or how you did it.

What impact does social media have on agencies? Why did you decide to set up as a social media specialist? Does it mean you can compete well with more general agencies, or do you lack the full service skills? What is your point of difference and how do you compete? How is business?

We would not say that Consortium has social media specialists any more than we would say we have newsprint specialists. In today’s market we need to be highly competent over a very wide range of channels and be able to talk to our clients about which channels will best deliver their specific KPIs – sometimes it will include social, sometimes not – the point is that social will rarely stand on its own and will much more often be part of an integrated campaign.

In this Consortium is a full service agency, but we like to think that we approach the market in a different way that works well for clients. We think business first, and ideas second. Of course the output from our team is great ideas executed brilliantly, but because we think like a business, and have partners with exceptional commercial experience, we believe we are better at interpreting, and delivering on our clients strategies. And business is very very good!

Is social media best for stand alone campaigns or as part of a wider campaign? Please can you give examples?

All campaigns are best with multiple layers and a customer journey that enables the desired behaviour.

Anything else to say on the issue of social media? What else do agencies or businesses in general need to know about it?

At the end of the day social media is simply another communications channel and should not be thought of as any more or less important than more traditional communications channels. It is however very different in how it needs to be executed, the main driver of difference is that by its nature it's a two-way channel and the immediacy, and volume of communications from consumers is like nothing that has gone before it.

Businesses can use social media as a very powerful channel to communicate, and to listen, but they must approach social media with the same level of consideration, planning and resourcing as they would any other media.

Real Groovy man takes stake in Consortium

Real Groovy man takes stake in Consortium

Ralph Brayham, formerly Director of Home at Telecom and Director of Yahoo!Xtra, has become a 50% shareholder and Director in local marketing services company Consortium.

Paul Shale, previously the sole shareholder at Consortium says Ralph brings more than 20 years of corporate experience – a rare asset in New Zealand advertising agencies.

"Consortium has been designing expert marketing campaigns since 2003 and I have drawn on the expertise of many creative and talented people in that time. However, the addition of someone with Ralph's business acumen is unmatched in the marketing communications industry and gives Consortium an additional and unique set of skills that we can focus on client needs," says Shale.

Ralph's senior executive experience spans across energy, IT, telecommunications, transportation, finance and entertainment and will place Consortium in a very different part of the client value chain than other agencies in NZ. He’s also a 1/3rd shareholder in Real Groovy Records.

Ralph says he believes this move will redefine the typical agency from an ideas and creative lead business, to a strategic business where the ideas and creative are derived from a deep understanding of the client's key business objectives and market strategy.

"I believe the combination of Consortium's proven creative ability with business consulting experience will mean top commercial results for our clients."

Kevin Kenrick, incoming TVNZ CEO, says marketing is too important to leave just to the marketers, and the best performing marketing directors tend to be the ones who optimise the balance between the 'science' of business and the 'art' of marketing.

"Likewise the best performing marketing service providers will be the ones who intimately understand their client's business strategy as well as generate compelling creative ideas," says Kenrick.

Simon Moutter, CEO, Auckland International Airport and Consortium client observed that over the last 10 years, businesses have become increasingly focused on the efficacy of their marketing investment.

"It used to be enough to interpret a brief in terms of high quality creative and good ideas. Today it's different, particularly with the rise of social media, and the impact of social media on traditional above the line media channels, means that today’s creative agency needs to be much more than they used to be. They need to approach clients with a keen understanding of business drivers, strategy and the impact that creative execution will have on business performance,” says Moutter.

Vivien Bridgewater, General Manager, University Relations for AUT University has been a client of Consortium’s for 9 years.

“Consortium has been central to our sustained success as New Zealand’s fastest growing University. They have continually delivered more than just ads and I think this evolution represents further evidence of the business beliefs that lie at the core of their brand. We wish them all the best and look forward to working with Consortium 2.0.”

“It’s a new era for Consortium” says Shale. “With the move to our new premises and a range of other exciting changes underway, we’re ready to take on some great new challenges.“

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