Metrics that matter.

It has been said that “Technology will never replace a great story, but can enhance it by allowing marketers to plan, curate and distribute more effectively” (Yogel, 2015).

So that being the case, to deliver a truly effective content piece a balance between creative and science needs to be struck.

Creative content / socialmediatoday.com

Creative content / socialmediatoday.com

Perhaps you’ve been in this situation before. Much creative effort is poured into a new content piece which aligns perfectly to your content strategy. The title is catchy and carefully curated imagery works beautifully with crafted copy.

But launch day comes and goes. The piece generates some leads with a good level of traffic, but in the end, it’s no better than the one that was posted a month ago.

It’s easy to just accept that outcome and stick with what you know because it feels that there is no benefit in going the extra mile. But look at the bigger picture.

“Without art, your brand’s marketing has no meaning and without science, it has no direction” (Hess, 2015).

It has been scientifically proven (by “real” scientists, not just marketers) that people are more likely to retain information when they have an emotional response to it (Hess, 2015). While creative content may not always impact short term results, over the long term it is necessary to truly connect with users on a human level. Considering a set of meaningful behavioural, marketing and memory metrics as part of the creative effort will provide a more tangible insight into how users are responding to it.

Analysing data / shutterstock.com

Analysing data / shutterstock.com

The word ‘meaningful’ is a critical factor in this context. Collecting appropriate data is one of the core elements of measuring marketing effectiveness, but data is nothing but numbers unless it is analysed meaningfully (Banasiewicz, 2013).

Behaviour metrics can help describe what people do. Marketing metrics help determine the effectiveness of the marketing promotion and memory metrics help understand user’s affinity towards the brand such as awareness, attitude and sentiment. And a mix of these can be used to paint a meaningful picture of how users consume a brand’s content.

Page view counts

This is a good measure of popularity and indicates whether your content succeeded, especially in comparison with other pages. If the aim is to build an audience and measure popularity, it’s relevant. But if a specific audience being targeted, the number of people viewing the content is less important than whether the right people are (Charlton, 2016).

Time on page

Like page view counts, time on page is another behaviour metric that can demonstrate how the content is being consumed in the manner it was planned. If people take the time to read it, that suggests it worked well and that the topic was interesting. Understanding why users aren’t sticking around can help craft better content to increase engagement metrics.

Social shares

Social shares / Blog.hubspot.com

Social shares / Blog.hubspot.com

The volume and velocity of content shares such as email forwards, tweets, likes, Linkedin shares, and the like, provides insight into how valuable the content is to the audience.

Brand reputation and awareness

How the content is shaping the user’s opinion of the brand can be determined through social monitoring tools and surveys. Outcomes can show whether the content is promoting the brand in a way that the user is recalling it and being left with a favourable impression.

Return on Investment

Did the content help build awareness of the brand or increased sales – whatever the end state behaviour was expected to be? Comparing the fiscal outcome to the cost of actually producing the content is one way to determine whether the effort is making financial sense and may deliver a long-term return.

Blog.oxforddictionaries.com

Blog.oxforddictionaries.com

Rather than focusing on metrics that can measure business outcomes, sometimes vanity, or “feel good”, metrics, such as Facebook ‘likes’, are used to justify marketing spend (Marketo, 2011). Does knowing why so many people hit the like button explain what users are looking for? Perhaps not.

But as meaningless as vanity metric can be, catching an extra few Facebook likes along the way can’t hurt.

 

REFERENCES

Yoegel, R (2015) ‘Brand Storytelling and Technology’ eBook, Cero.com, viewed 8 June 2016 <http://view.ceros.com/ceros-marketing/brand-storytelling-technology/p/>

Banasiewicz, A (2013) ‘Marketing database analytics: Transforming data for competitive advantage.’ Taylor and Francis, 6 August, page 80-84.

Marketo (2011) ‘The definitive Guide to Marketing Mertrics and Analysis’ eBook, Marketo, viewed 9 June <http://www.surrey.ac.uk/Training/documents/definitive-guide-to-marketing-metrics-marketing-analytics.pdf>

Charlton G (2016) ‘25 useful metrics for content marketing success’ Search Engine Watch, 4 February, viewed 8 June <https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/04/25-metrics-to-measure-your-content-marketing-efforts/>

Hess B (2015) ‘The ROI of creative: Art & Science in Marketing’ Ceros, 19 November, viewed 12 June <https://www.ceros.com/blog/the-roi-of-creative-art-science-in-marketing/>

Advertisements

Rebuilding Lego in time for Christmas.

On average there are 86 pieces of Lego for every person on earth (Lego, 2016).

That’s 612 750 000 000 pieces of Lego. Seriously.

Half of which I sometimes think is on my 4 year olds bedroom floor.

And that’s the way many people instinctively see Lego. As a children’s toy.

With the world’s children spending 5 billion hours a year playing with Lego bricks (National Geographic, 2015), they are not wrong. But at one point, the company’s eyes were wide shut on who their customers really were.

Knowing the Customer.

Girl playing with lego / theguardian.co.uk

Girl playing with lego / theguardian.co.uk

For over seventy years Lego has been a household name, however for a long time they took a single lens on their customer; that is, they did not talk, accept ideas or suggestions and continued creating products based on what they believed their consumers wanted (ONeil, 2010). This undesirable approach to organizational culture and behavior, which can contribute to IMC implementation failures (Otus et al, p 133), put the company in a precarious situation.

Faced with bankruptcy in 2004, Lego could no longer ignore the Retailers pleas to take another look at the changing market. Yes, children still loved Lego, but the company had missed a clear differentiator for the brand – it’s the only product on the market that actually grows up with the child without changing its form.

Refreshed marketing goals.

It took a decade, but with some renewed focus on the customer, Troy Taylor, Lego Australia Marketing Director, coins the company’s Christmas 2015 campaign as a “more integrated push” to “create more family traditions around building” (Micallef, 2015).

With the Brand in maturity, awareness has already permeated the market and customers had set attitudes (Iacobucci, p147). As such driving brand awareness was not a primary goal, customers needed to re-connect to Lego and change their attitude and ultimately change behaviour toward the product. Iacobucci suggests that in this context a cognitive advertising approach would not work – they already knew they could buy Lego, they just needed to be persuaded to change what they are buying it for (p147).

This understanding about how children and adults were using Lego, combined with a marketing effort to “get bricks in hands”, ultimately led to an emotional approach to advertising to get families back to building together (Micallef, 2015).

And what better time is there is Christmas to launch a campaign that aims to create new family rituals.

Making all customer touchpoints work together.                           

Cleverly, before Lego launched their mass Television campaign, they ran a social media promotion for families to submit their own Lego Tree Topper, of which the winners would appear in the Commercial. This approach immediately encouraged optimal behavior, and ingeniously drove word of mouth not only about the promotion, but for new uses of the product. In this context, Word of Mouth can be very rewarding because it brings in new customers – and new customers are hard to find. (Iacobucci, p173)

While TV had provided immediate reach to the campaign, Iacobucci suggests that a true IMC approach “is about integrating a brand message across any media, not just traditional advertising outlets” (p165), so complimentary mediums were needed to amplify the message.

The installation of a 10 metre tall Lego Christmas Tree was supported by an integrated campaign that ignited #LegoXmas through social media, public relations, activations and You Tube. A story was built in these channels using interesting and engaging content that culminated in the crowd pleasing tree reveal in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

A power not to be reckoned with.

Once LEGO realised that understanding their target market was critical within an integrated marketing communications plan, the Company rebuilt to become one of FORBES Most Powerful Brands in 2015 (Durkin, 2015).

So if the brand is here to stay, remind me again how to avoid stepping on all those little blocks on my 4 year olds bedroom floor?

 

 

REFERENCES

Lego (2016) Lego Facts Lego Education website, retrieved 14 May 2016 <https://education.lego.com/en-au/about-us/lego-education-worldwide/lego-facts>

National Geographic (2015) Lego Facts National Geographic 2 August, retrieved 14 May 2016 <http://www.natgeotv.com.au/history/lego-facts.aspx>

ONeil M. (2010) Then & Now: How Fans changed the face of Legos marketing strategy Social Times, 9 June, retrieved 14 May 2016 <http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/how-fans-changed-the-face-of-legos-marketing-strategy/15645>

M Otus & G Nilasy (2015) Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC): Why does it fail? An analysis of practitioner mental models exposes barriers of IMC Implementation Journal of Advertising Research, 1 June, pp132-145

Micallef R (2015) Lego builds on strategy; brings giant christmas tree to Melbourne AdNews, 20 November, retrieved 14 May 2016 <http://www.adnews.com.au/news/lego-builds-on-strategy-brings-giant-christmas-tree-to-melbourne&gt;

Iacobucci D. (2014) Marketing Management (MM4) South-Western, Cenage Learning, Mason USA, 4th Edition, p145-181.

Durkin P (2015) Lego: brink of bankruptcy to 2015s Most Powerful Brand Financial Review, October 12, retrieved 14 May 2016 <http://www.afr.com/leadership/lego-brink-of-bankruptcy-to-2015s-most-powerful-brand-20151006-gk2bf3>

The dawn of the Kmart addict.

I heard recently that Westfarmers are rebranding their floundering Target stores under the Kmart brand.

And watch as #karget is born.

This breaks house of brands, Westfarmers, well-worn strategy of keeping their retail brands separate and actively competing with each other (Low, 2016).

For six years both brands have tried to differentiate themselves in a fiercely competitive retail market, but it seems Kmart is to have the last laugh (Hatch, 2015).

From a crumbling business verging on collapse five years ago (Harper, 2015), Kmart knew that to successfully sell products and cement long-terms loyalty, it had to reinvigorate its brand story and approach to product quality and customer service.

Guy Russo, Kmart Managing Director

Guy Russo, Kmart Managing Director /AFR.com.au

Guy Russo, Kmart Managing Director, inherited a miss-guided business model, with too many products and a confusing price structure and turned the brand into a ‘profitable purveyor of cut-price chic’ (Harper, 2015).

So before an overhauled brand campaign was launched work was done in back of house.

Kmart moved away from in-store sales and reduced the number of suppliers, resulting in a dramatic drop of product lines from 50 000 to around 12 000. The immense savings now allows Kmart to keep prices low 365 days of the year.

Improving instore experience.

Kmart sits in the middle of the goods to services continuum (Iacobucci, 2014:69), where the company offers a mix of goods and services making the instore experience integral to satisfying customer expectations.

Within a tightly fought competitor set, service was a key differentiator for the Brand. Physical evidence are those things that are apparent to a customer used to judge the quality of the service (Smith & Saker, 1992) so it was critical is was managed well.

Kmart Rundle Mall Store

Kmart Rundle Mall Store / glamadelaide.com.au

When Russo took charge there was an immediate insistence on clean stores (Harper, 2015). The shop fit-outs were ageing and store layouts were confusing and unappealing. He set about making massive changes to stores, and as a result, a bold new store layout was launched that divides the store by rooms in the home rather than by categories. The approach is unique in the retail sector and is said to be “more intuitive, easy to navigate, and encourages some serious impulse buying” (Harper 2015).

New cut-price-chic product range.

Kmart Rebranded Product Catalogue

Kmart Rebranded Product Catalogue / kmart.com.au

A shift in product offer was also identified as a key factor to enhancing customer satisfaction.

Driven by a top down approach (Iaobucci, 2014:91), the company saw the need for change when brand tracking showed that customers loved shopping the brand, but they were reluctant to tell others that they shopped there (Burrowes, 2013).

With a focus on “suburban street style” and a more streamlined “back to basics” product range (Burrowes, 2013), Kmart’s own store brand was introduced to replace many of the big brands.

Brand association overhaul.

The distinctive in-store physical space, new product range, along with the everyday low price strategy was gloriously launched to the market with a heavy marketing spend.

The heritage of the logo brought with it a high level of customer awareness, so it remained unchanged while the brand associations were evolved to enhance loyalty.

Marketing and advertising campaigns moved the brand away from targeting everyone, to speak specifically to mothers and the brand personality ignited through simplified TV spots featuring just a handful of products and a catchy pop song to draw attention to the low price strategy.

Social media has also been incredibly effective for the brand. “Kmart hacks” (Burrowes, 2013) and DIY home styling ideas trend often from content generated by women to share with like-minded Kmart fans.

The result has been the dawn of an authentic online community, shifting customer expectations of quality, and ultimately establishing Kmart as an aspirational brand.

Mr Goyder, Westfarmers Managing Director, said Kmart had won market share from “a broad range of competitors, not just Target” (Low, 2016) and he is convinced the two brands could grow at the same time.

I suppose time will tell. Long live #karget.

 

REFERENCES

Burrowes T (2013) ‘Making Kmart Irresistable’ Mumbrella, 10 September, viewed 20 May https://mumbrella.com.au/making-kmart-irresistible-177408

Harper J (2015) ‘Kmart chief Guy Russo is a man for all seasons’ Herald Sun, 24 December, viewed 10 May <http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/kmart-chief-guy-russo-is-a-man-for-all-seasons/story-fni0dcne-1226789086424>

Hatch P. (2016)’Target and Kmart merger will lose sales to Big W, Westfarmers warned’ Sydney Morning Herald, 20 April, viewed 10 May http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/target-and-kmart-merger-will-lose-sales-to-big-w-wesfarmers-warned-20160419-go9stk.html#ixzz49fEA8aTi

Iacobucci D. (2014) ‘Marketing Management (MM4)’, South-Western, Cenage Learning, Mason USA, 4th Edition, p26-64.

Low C (2016) ‘Karget will lead to smaller Target and bigger Kmart’ Sydney Morning Herald , 21 April, viewed 14 May http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/karget-will-lead-to-smaller-target-and-bigger-kmart-20160421-gobrlg.html#ixzz49fDpJeUw

Rubio N, Villasenor N & Oubina J (2015) ‘Consumer identification with store brands: differences between consumers according to their brand loyalty’, Business Research Quarterly, April-June, Vol, 18 Issue 2, p11-126.

Smith, G, Saker, J, 1992, “Developing Marketing Strategy in the Not-for-Profit Sector’, Library Management, vol. 13.4, no. 6.

Why have chicken, when you can Plucka Duck?

Australian fast food goliath KFC recently launched a new brand ad that included no chicken, and a duck.

Plucka Duck, no less.

Why would KFC make a sudden break with ads of delicious buckets of chicken and put to air a brave 30sec advertisement starring a Duck best known from 80s variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday?

KFC have obviously been on a journey with their strategic approach to market segmentation, targeting and brand positioning.

Segmenting the market.

In a recent interview with KFC Chief Marketing Officer Nikki Lawson, Canning (2016) reported that the journey started 4 years ago, prompted by the KFC Global President’s realisation that it was ‘time to shake up what the brand stood for’.

While this mandate from the top was perhaps great permission for KFC Marketing to take a managerial approach to segmentation, why shake things up when Australian households were spending nearly a third of their weekly household food budget on dining out and fast foods (Cancer Council, 2013 p4) and the brand remained in a strong market leading position? (Reid, 2014)

Because after a customer needs assessment, it was clear that KFC customers were voting with their feet.

Research showed that smaller fast-food chicken competitors Nando’s and Oporto were stealing market share. In particular Nando’s who reported not only an increase in total visits, but also an increase in visitation frequency (Smith, 2013). Nando’s had been making a play for the young adult market, and they were starting to listen.

nandos-print-grandfinal

But while Smith (2013) reported that 63% of Australians aged 14 and older had visited a KFC at least once in their lives, the fast-food consumer segment was changing.

For the past five years there has been an overhaul in attitudes towards fast food, with consumers becoming savvier about food content and placing more effort into choosing healthier options (IBISWorld, 2016). The rise of competitor brands like Nando’s and Oporto were fulfilling these new consumer needs.

KFC’s Nikki Lawson could have easily played down these threats of invading competitors and changing consumer attitudes as she knew that KFC was “never going to be the first option for people going on a diet”. But while she also knew that her customers loved the food, “they did not want always want to admit it.” (Canning, 2016)

Validating the target market.

kfc-family-dinnertable

The family dinner table is an important customer segment.

Statistics at the time indicated that the young adult fast-food consumer segment remained strong in growth; however the same research suggested that KFC needed to reconsider how they attract new customers (Smith, 2013). Further, one look at the current product menu demonstrates that the family dinner table is also a profitable customer segment for the company.

So while young adults and families continued to be viable target markets, KFCs tailored strategy to customise a range of products to meet the needs of multiple customer segments should, in principle, thrive. But what beyond the product was left for these customers to connect to? It seems to me that KFC Management was right and the brand vision did need a shake-up.

Repositioning to reconnect.

The challenge was to find a relevant brand position that would enable a creative platform to appeal these differing segments, and find a connection with new ones at the same time.

KFC Advertising, 1954

KFC Advertising, 1954

History is a clear differentiator for KFC against their chicken competitors. To know the future, KFC looked to the past to remember what the brand stood for in the first place (Canning, 2016).

Focusing on being true, original and authentic, along with resurrecting the brand’s original tagline Finger Lickin’ Good from the 1950s, this ad is helping shift the brand positioning from being purely functional to being much more playful and reflective.

It’s clever. In a world where fast food is considered not so clever, the ad has used a mash up of pop icons and music to reconnect KFC with old and new audiences and not a piece of chicken was needed.

Megan Bata, Womaninmarketing, Student ID 216065543

References

Canning, S 2016, ‘KFC launches stories about self acceptance as it changes the way consumers see the brand, Mumbrella, 30 March, retrieved 1 April 2016 <http://mumbrella.com.au/kfc-launches-stories-self-acceptance-changes-way-consumers-see-brand-355867#more-355867>.

Reid, W 2014, ‘Which Fast Food Chain is winning the hunger games?’ Roy Morgan, 20 March, retrieved 5 April 2016 <http://www.roymorgan.com.au/findings/5492-which-fast-food-chain-winning-hunger-games-201403200044>

Cancer Council NSW 2013, ‘Fast Food: Exposing The Truth’, retrieved 2 April 2016, <http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Fast-Food-Exposing-the-Truth-22-February-2013.pdf>

Smith, G 2013, ‘The big chook fight: Nando’s and Oporto vs KFC and Red Rooster’, Roy Morgan, 12 August, retrieved 4 April 2016, <http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/big-chook-fight-201308120531>

The Sphere Agency 2015, Nando’s tactical print advertising, The Sphere Agency, retrieved 9 April 2016 <http://www.thesphereagency.com.au/portfolio-item/nandos-topical-ads/>

IBISWorld 2016, ‘Fast Food Services in Australia: Market Research Report’, (Report No. H4512), retrieved 6 April 2016 <http://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry/default.aspx?indid=2005>

KFC 1954, Retail shop advertising, retrieved 9 April 2016 <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/73676143874301611/>