Archive of: February, 2017

  • Everton FC agree a media partnership with The Open

    A partnership first

    BZ Marketing Chester, Everton FC, The Open

    The innovative partnership is a first between a Premier League club and The Open and will see the two deliver exclusive content to fans in the run up to the 146th staging of the tournament at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club this July.

    The collaboration will allow Everton FC to take advantage of the marketing platform which the The Open golf championship offers, and tap into the popularity of golf amongst Everton fans. As part of the tie-up, the historic Claret Jug trophy tour will stop by Everton’s training ground, USM Finch Farm this month and Goodison Park later in the season. The partnership is welcomed by all of us at BZ Marketing as it is an innovative concept and we all love our football, our golf and a good Claret!

    BZ Marketing Chester, Everton FC, The Open Cap

    The North West is home to England’s Golf Coast and there are plenty of Evertonians who are keen golf fans. The media partnership will present Everton fans with the opportunity to get closer to one of the world’s greatest sporting events taking place on Merseyside. There is some exclusive content planned with Everton’s coaching staff and players as well as golfers and working alongside The Open will activate another Everton first. One of the main marketing activations around the partnership will be an exclusive Everton coloured Open Championship cap which fans will receive when purchasing a ticket between Tuesday 21 February and midnight on Tuesday 28 February when they use the online promotion code: 146thOpenEve.

    The R&A, organisers of The Open look forward to working with Everton to help generate excitement for the Championship when it returns to Royal Birkdale for the tenth time, where Henrik Stenson will defend his title.

    In addition to the partnership, Everton recently secured a £75m commercial deal through a new shirt sponsorship agreement and the naming rights deal for the club’s training ground. The shirt sponsor has yet to be confirmed, however at the last Everton general meeting the club’s CEO, Robert Elstone, told shareholders they were expecting a 300% increase in the value of their shirt sponsors which will be announced very soon.

  • 5 Marketing Predictions for the next 5 years

    #PART 1/5: Omnichannel data connects offline to online

    BZ Marketing-5 marketing predictions-part 1

    Regardless of organisational size or speciality, E-commerce retailers will continue to see the blurring of the lines between what an in store experience feels like, compared to its online counterpart. An offline consumer experience in a high street store involves physically visiting the store, browsing shelves, examining items or produce and trying things on. Then in order to pay for their items, consumers have to queue up and pay at a checkout operated by an employee or opt for a self serve check out, bag up all their purchases and move on to the next shop and repeat the process – Maybe more so for women! But when you analyse the whole process which doesn’t even include travelling to the store and trying to finding a carpark space it’s extremely cumbersome and doesn’t make inventory sense. It requires significant stocks, it’s time consuming and often frustrating for consumers.

    The offline and online experience will start to merge together in the near future. Consumers will go into a store, browse, touch, feel and weigh products, but the ordering will be handled by a roaming data associate which will execute the online purchase and deliver it to your door. Stores will no longer have a massive inventory, they’ll just have displays with sizing and colour options that consumers can browse, touch, select and order.

    Now that all on or offline marketing channels dictate the content, marketers have moved away from marketing the same products along different channels. The challenge we currently face is that in terms of responsiveness and buying strategy, consumers behave very differently according to the channel and it’s fitting all that into a multi-step communication framework. This is why conversations about Big Data have focused on data from different sources and channels with the purpose of discovering more about customers and lost opportunities. When combining data from different off and online channels, marketers need to have clear aims and objectives and must make a conscious decision to put the customer at the very centre of the equation in every circumstance, no matter what the offline, online channel.

    Many e-commerce retailers have multi-channel marketing efforts, but recently, more of those organisations have been trying to work across those channels more effectively and enable commerce to happen efficiently and measurably, independent of the channel itself, whether offline or online.

  • A colossal dragon set to fly in to Wrexham


    BZ Marketing-Dragonfest-Wrexham-1

    To celebrate Wales Year of Legends 2017 on Saturday 1 April, an enormous Dragon sculpture will descend on Wrexham Museum’s forecourt.

    The impressive Dragon will be keeping watch throughout the day whilst visitors to Wrexham Museum will be able to greet the Dragon Keeper, take a ride on Hemlock and experience flying a dragon, sample their own Dragon Pie and partake in a Dragon Egg Hunt.

    BZ Marketing-Dragonfest-Wrexham-Hemlock with nia

    Ahead of the Dragon’s arrival, throughout February and March, dragon hunters will have the chance to win prizes by finding a rare ‘Golden Dragon Ticket’ hidden in special Dragonfest chocolate bars. The bars are on sale in various outlets across the county, and those lucky enough to find the tickets will be in with a chance to win some fantastic prizes, from Surf Snowdonia, £200 Shopping Vouchers and a VIP day at Bangor on Dee races.

    The breathtaking display will coincide with ‘Dragonfest’, a celebration of all things linked with the Welsh Dragon. And having worked with Wrexham Council on the Open Church Network which took 2nd prize for ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ at the British Tourism Awards, BZ were commissioned to design the Dragonfest logo, the packaging and all the marketing collateral to promote the event. Although we haven’t had the pleasure of sampling any of the chocolate bars, here’s a little taster of the campaign.

    BZ Marketing-Dragonfest-Wrexham logo

    BZ Marketing-DragonFest-Wrexham-Chocolate Bar-Golden Ticket

    BZ Marketing-DragonFest-Wrexham-Poster

  • How long do agencies have to wait to get paid?

    Creative agencies wait on average 86 days to get paid!

    Advertising Agency Chester Calendar

    Despite increasing calls for the world’s biggest brands to treat suppliers fairly, delays in paying agencies is at an all-time high.

    Media finance company FastPay delved into 31,529 client invoice payments from 2,392 different companies between January 2013 and August of 2016. It discovered that marketing agencies are now waiting on average 86 days to get paid by their clients and 7.01% of invoices are paid after 120 days!

    By contrast, Google and Facebook have a strict 30 day payment term.

    The average value of these invoices is £25,000 which has shone a brighter light on the ongoing issues facing independent and start-up agencies that are forced to absorb the costs.

    For startup agencies, their early cash flow stage means that although great cudos, they can’t and are reluctant to run the risk of working for well known brands. For example, take a digital marketing agency that launched a campaign for Pantene, one of P&G’s brands who have 90 day payment terms. Whilst the agency will be impacted by the finacial squeeze, P&G’s credit default risk is virtually nil, making the investment a safe bet.

    This is not a new issue for those of us in the advertising and marketing sector, we’re actually celebrating 30 years in it, but in 2015, global drinks company, AB InBev was slated for demanding ridiculously long payment terms from agencies. And the maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois was discovered to be paying agencies after four months, although it claimed all terms were set in “mutual agreement” with suppliers. Heinz was also reported to have a similar payment structure.

    Despite repeated calls from trade bodies for large companies to stop abusing their suppliers and change their payment terms, little progress has been made. It comes down to the fact that there is too great a financial reward for big organisations, meaning they can effectively use small suppliers as a source of cheap cash. These long payment terms are effectively an interest free short term money lending arrangement. Except these large organisations are impacting on the smaller suppliers to accept these terms.

    Multinational companies often maintain that their long payment terms are result of them not being able to process PO’s, invoices and payments in a more timely manner, which is indicative of just how poor their finance department and function really is. But such practices are attracting greater attention from regulators, including those at the European Union, who have enacted legislation to protect SMEs from unfair payment terms.

    This issue is raised because of concerns that holding their client to account will damage the relationship and possibly lead to the termination of the agreement on the basis that there are many other agencies and suppliers willing to accept these terms for the revenue no matter how long they have to wait.

    The irony is that the marketers working for these companies are often embarrassed about the payment terms when raised by their agencies, but appear powerless to do anything about it as the decision to implement this unfair practice sits with the CFOP and not the budget holder.

  • What will continue to occur in digital marketing?

    63 ways online marketing will NOT change in 2017

    Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

    Countless marketers will write clickbait articles listing all the ways marketing is destined to change this year. The majority will be unoriginal, redundant and uninteresting.

    So what grandiose delusions will continue to occur in the digital marketing world in 2017?

    1. A digital marketer with no qualifications in marketing will unknowingly take a traditional marketing practice and apply it to the internet, invent a new name for it, and then proclaim that “marketing has changed”.

    2. People will say “native advertising” when they mean “advertorial.”

    3. Internet marketers will focus on direct-response campaigns and their associated metrics and ignore the other 90% of marketing.

    4. Online marketers will unknowingly refer to “marketing communications” as “content marketing.”

    5. Everyone will confuse “public relations” and “publicity”.

    6. People will say “influencer marketing” when they mean “influencer relations”.

    7. People will call themselves influencers and will therefore not be real influencers.

    8. Few will debate whether they need a product marketing or brand marketing strategy – and even fewer will know what that even means.

    9. Everyone will think that unreliable, self-reported metrics from for-profit social media networks mean something.

    10. Those social media networks will not allow any third party to audit their numbers.

    11. No brands of physical-world products will be built over social media.

    12. Digital marketers will vastly overestimate the value of social media channels.

    13. Marketers will continue to use those social media networks.

    14. Too many SEOs will think they can still wave a magic wand to make search engine rankings go up.

    15. The SEO industry will refuse to admit that the best and greatest number of backlinks come simply as natural byproducts of ongoing publicity campaigns and getting people to talk about you online.

    16. People will say “social media marketing” even though it makes as much sense as “telephone marketing”.

    17. Marketers will pretend that “growth hacking” is somehow different from “product marketing”.

    18. The online advertising industry will assume that reaching targeted, perfect individuals delivers a better ROI than reaching a broader demographic even though there is no proof that the assumption is correct.

    19. Digital marketers will tell bosses and clients that one “impression” refers to one person seeing an online advertisement one time.

    20. More than a few ad networks, media buyers and fraudulent publishers will steal more money from advertisers and legitimate publishers through online advertising fraud.

    21. Creativity will result in the best marketing campaigns, but digital marketers will still think first about analytics, engagement rates, conversion rates and search engine rankings.

    22. Creative people will deliver more value than any automated, AI, or machine learning marketing software.

    23. Online marketers will refer to “junk mail” and “e-mail spam” as “drip marketing”.

    24. Marketers will think that the rest of the world is just like them and shares their likes, tastes and media usage.

    25. Every marketer will be sure that “TV is dying” when the opposite will remain true.

    26. Online marketers will remain convinced that normal, everyday people want to “engage” and have a “relationship” with brands such as their dish soap, toilet paper and mustard.

    27. More articles will have headlines in this clichéd formula: [number] [unnecessarily strong adjective] [noun] to [action].

    28. Everyone will think that so-called “inbound marketing” is a distinct marketing process while getting people to a website or a physical store is largely the same thing.

    29. No one will realise that the first part of so-called “inbound marketing” is still just creating marketing collateral and then pushing it out to the world over search engines and communications channels such as social media.

    30. Everyone will think that “inbound marketing” and “outbound marketing” are real things.

    31. Marketers will be surprisingly susceptible to getting hooked by businesses that market to marketers.

    32. People will take a free, quick online course to learn so-called “marketing” rather than read a Marketing text book.

    33. Digital marketers will focus on tactics and ignore strategy.

    34. Digital marketers will not know the difference between tactics and strategy.

    35. Digital marketers will always assume that digital channels are the first and best channels to use because their jobs depend on it.

    36. People will invent inane terms in this format: “[random noun] marketing”

    37. Online marketers will think “social media” is a marketing activity rather than a collection of marketing channels.

    38. Digital marketers will jump to thinking about how they can use a particular online marketing channel without thinking whether they should use that channel.

    39. Speakers and columnists will repeat inaccurate and blatantly wrong assumptions from the online marketing industry’s echo chamber.

    40. People will accept all of these statements as true because they are being said or written by a person whose name they recognise.

    41. Someone will proclaim that “advertising is dead” even though ad budgets continue to increase every year and everyone sees advertising everywhere that we go.

    42. Marketers will contort the English language to avoid saying the word “advertisement” whenever they produce advertisements because “advertising” is supposed to be dead.

    43. Someone will take an existing marketing practice and create a new buzzword for it to sell books, get speaking opportunities and obtain more clients.

    44. The world will tolerate offline advertising but hate online advertising.

    45. Online ad blocking will increase in popularity.

    46. Everyone will think that Google Analytics and other analytical platforms are accurate even though no data is passed whenever a browser blocks the tracking code.

    47. Google Analytics will tell you the source of website traffic but not the cause of that traffic, further making its value to marketers extremely dubious.

    48. Online marketers will think that everyone fits into a neat and tidy sales funnel.

    49. Digital marketers will forget that a lot of things that are useful or important cannot be measured or quantified.

    50. Marketers will constantly use the word “content” even though it means nothing precise or useful and whose definition is merely that which fills a void.

    51. People will think that “content” itself is a strategy while marketing collateral is actually produced and transmitted within the context of an overall marketing communications strategy.

    52. Marketers will constantly flood the Internet with infinite amounts of rubbish as there are no longer any physical limiting factors in publishing such as the word count of a newspaper column or the length of a TV commercial.

    53. Digital marketers will publish something just to publish something even though they or their companies have nothing new, original or insightful to say. People will preach that quality beats quantity but will continue to do the opposite.

    54. People will think that the ability to publish a WordPress blog and Facebook post turns one into a “marketer”.

    55. Publications will blur the distinction between editorial and advertising to stop their massive losses in advertising revenue.

    56. Those publications will successfully spin it by saying that they are “reinventing journalism” and “partnering with informative voices.”

    57. Writers will put numbers at the beginning of headlines because people are provoked to click, read and share.

    58. Digital marketers will dismiss marketing terminologies and longstanding marketing best practices simply because they are “old” – as if that were a logical argument.

    59. Online marketers will refuse to define online marketing terms precisely and therefore not realise that they are merely doing traditional marketing practices over new sets of channels called the Internet and mobile.

    60. The internet and mobile will merely allow for a greater variety in the formats of marketing collateral.

    61. Virtual reality and augmented reality will also be new sets of communications channels over which traditional marketing practices will be executed.

    62. Technologies and communications channels will change, but overall marketing processes will not.

    63. Marketing will pretty much stay the same – just as it has every single year.

    This exact list could be republished in one year and it would still be relevant to 2018.

  • Adidas launches swimwear made from recycled ocean plastic debris

    From the Oceans, for the Oceans

    Adidas Advert

    As part of it’s on going partnership with conservation group Parley for the Oceans, Adidas has launched a new swim range made from recycled ocean plastic.

    Made from up-cycled ocean plastic and used fishing nets and converted into technical yarn fibres, the SS17 Parley swimwear collection launches two distinct designs: a wave print that reflects the source of the fabric, and a Parley inspired graphic. It builds on Adidas’ earlier projects with Parley which saw the release of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid’s home kits made entirely from up-cycled marine plastic debris.

    Adidas Parley Women's Swim Wear

    From the first ripple of the idea through to the transformation of ocean debris into performance fabric, the Parley swim collection represents Adidas’ dedication to consistently deliver swim products that protect the waters in which we perform. As one of the world’s leading sportswear brands, Adidas see it as their responsibility to be the guardians of the sports spaces and this range is testament to the part they can play to safeguard the oceans for future generations.

    Adidas Parley Men's Swim Wear

    Adidas has been one of the leading brands in reducing its environmental footprint by developing and implementing sustainable fabrics into its products including footwear, clothing and swimwear. Currently 50% of all its swim wear is made from recycled material and 76% of its pool collection incorporates recycled polyamide. And as part of its eco-innovation mission with Parley, Adidas has vowed to create a minimum of one million pairs of shoes made from ocean plastic by the end of 2017.

    The film is based on a true story of French Olympic swimmer Coralie Balmy, who’s home island of Martinique is under threat from Ocean pollution. With a Master’s Degree in Ocean Biology, when Coralie isn’t swimming she works in a marine clinic to educate others on the devastating effect man made pollution has on our eco systems.

    Coralie Balmy

    Founded in 2013 by Cyrill Gutsch, Parley for the Oceans raises awareness for oceans while collaborating with brands to prevent further destruction.

  • The impact of Artificial Intelligence

    Can creativity be automated?


    AI will light a fire under advertising, but creativity will remain the spark.

    Should humans be concerned about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Stephen Hawking thinks so. But it will always be the power of the human mind that will generate the real creative breakthroughs in the future, not computers. After all we humans invented the computer, right?

    The public have become aware of AI since the release of films such as Transcendence and Ex Machina which explore the implications of this technology. And big technology companies like Google and Microsoft have invested heavily in it.

    This month saw the launch of an AI bus stop ad that changes what imagery and messaging it shows people depending on their behaviour. This is one of the first times traditional advertising has ventured into the world of AI.

    Creative Automation Documentary
    Watch the full documentary

    We have been observing this technology from a distance, and although we’re fully aware of the massive impact it will have on the wider world, we’re unsure sure as to how it will affect our business.

    Brands know only 50% of their advertising really works, but they can’t identify which 50%, which has been one of our industry’s biggest challenges. In an attempt to improve things and get them right we constantly analys what we created previously. We may know a bus shelter ad either works or it doesn’t, and it’s failure or success is difficult to understand. Was it because of the campaign concept itself, the art direction, the headline and copy, the brand assets, or a mass of other factors?

    In the digital world, this problem has been partly tackled by A/B testing, whereby you pump out two iterations into the world and observe which one was the most successful at the end the campaign. From where we were it is a vast improvement, but it still looks into the past and still requires human interpretation.

    AI has a massive opportunity to leapfrog this approach and take advertising into a whole new phase. By incorporating AI into our ads, we will be able to iterate and evolve in real time without the need for human interpretation, giving brand owners the ability to continually optimise their ads whilst they are still live. It will be the biggest step change in the way we work since the birth of the internet. But we strongly believe that it will not mark the death of creativity in our industry.

    There are plenty of examples of computer generated art that many would class as “creative”, but almost all of these fall under “combinatorial creativity”. Combinatorial creativity is an unpredictable combination of ideas that can be achieved by mashing lots of things together until you end up with something. But the problem with this approach is that you’re always taking a range of things you have learned in the past and mashing them together to find new combinations. Although this method is good for iteration and improvement, you’re always going to be limited to what you’ve input. Combinatorial creativity isn’t true creativity as our industry defines it.

    Creativity in advertising is about breaking boundaries and solving a problem in an entirely new way, and to achieve true creative breakthrough you need to look beyond what we already know and see the world in a new way. It requires new inputs and forward facing assumptions that AI is unable to make.

    AI will transform our world. It will change our ways of working, automate aspects of what we do and offer clients more measurability. However, despite the huge potential, AI will never replace the creative spark that leads to creative breakthrough.

    Computers can do combinatorial creativity and Artificial Intelligence can look in to the past and improve, but the human mind can originate and change the future. So we creatives can rest assured, our jobs are safe….. for now!

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