Archive of: April, 2017

  • The rise of digital & video content - Part 3

    3. More content = more freelancers?

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Content Marketing

    Creating quality content faster is one thing, but there are other industry challenges both agencies and brands are tackling too. It has been predicted that 50% of the workforce will be freelance by 2020.

    Creative freelancers enjoy the freedom of working on projects that give them a sense of involvement and creative freedom as well as lining their bank accounts. There is a massive freelance trend at the moment and specialism is happening at scale. But freelancers need to be extremely well networked in order to ensure a continual flow of the right projects that tick their creative boxes. It is important for agencies to partner with freelancers who can deliver high quality production value when a specialist skill is required like AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) so agencies can adapt quickly and make use of all the insights in whatever channel they’re operating in. Obviously having all these specialist skill sets in-house would be the best way forward.

  • The rise of digital & video content - Part 2

    2. The problem of scale and getting a production mindset

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Scaling-Production Mindset

    Despite the fact that agencies are adapting to create quality content, scaling it still remains a challenge. And you can’t simply rely on content strategies that have proved successful in the past or treat the uptake of digital as business as usual.

    This could possibly be due to brands losing sight of their objectives in the process of creating the story. Constantly coming up with really creative and interesting content and delivering it quickly is starting to become a bit of struggle for some people. A quick analogy would be like trying to produce a three hour block busting movie and tell the whole story in 45 seconds. Brands need to determine what is the most important, their own agenda or the consumer in terms of what they want or find interesting?

    The demands on production companies to make quality films in short time frames are increasing with scalability being a real issue. In the past projects that took months to create with large production teams and budgets are required to be turned around faster without compromising on quality.

    It is hard to have a big production mindset when clients want content ever faster. But maybe we have ourselves are to blame for allowing our clients to push increasingly harder for faster quality content at reduced costs. We don’t have “concept” and “production” keys on our keyboards that we just press and out pops an amazing idea. Maybe we should turn the tables and ask our clients to plan further ahead and deliver their briefs and marketing strategies in shorter time frames so we have more time on creativity?

  • Digital Archaeologist unearths designers of the early web

    64 Bits – The webs lost past

    BZ-Marketing Chester-64 Bits Video

    Jim Boulton, self-proclaimed digital archaeologist is on a mission to preserve the earliest designs of the web. At his latest exhibition at London’s Here East, he has brought together a collection of digital artworks and early websites to make visitors remember those who were vital in molding the worldwide web that we know and use today.

    Taking its names from a processor type, 64 Bits features 32 “bits” of artwork and 32 websites from the early web. It showcases design work such as the first emoticons, the Dancing Baby and the symbol-painted ASCII portraits alongside the less iconic, but no less important sites such as the first ever web page, Pizza Hut’s first transactional site and Archie, the first search engine.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-64 Bits Exhibition

    64 Bits was designed in homage to the web designers who have dropped out of the public memory, whether that be through time, indifference or the web’s imperfect archiving structure.

    The Internet Archive Wayback Machine started archiving sites at the end of 1996, but the first website appeared in 1991, so the first five years of the web have just not been archived or documented very well.

    A lot of the entrepreneurs who exploited the web have been recognised, but the creatives that helped shape it and helped create the culture have largely gone unknown.

    The exhibits can also offer inspiration to today’s creatives today as well, in the form of the web pioneers’ approach to design.

    There were no rules in the mid-90s, there was no best practice, so you were literally defining web design for the first time. As a result, a lot of the websites were experimental. There was a lot more exploration involved and the web felt more like a space you had to explore rather than just a way of getting to a product or information as quickly as possible.

    Usability, accessibility and best practise obviously all have their place, but we’ve lost a little bit of the fun and discoverability that was so important in the early days.

    One lesson that we can take from this is command save, and back up your files on a regular basis.

    64 Bits at Here East, Stratford ends today so try and get there if you can. Tickets are free!!!

  • The rise of digital & video content - Part 1

    With new digital technology platforms constantly emerging, brands and agencies have to reach even higher to meet consumer expectations. In the past, agencies had months to produce amazing TV commercials. Today agencies have to produce multiple functions much, much faster often with limited resources and budgets.

    All these expectations for faster, quality content is driven by an increase in new platforms, but more so the consumers’ hunger for visual content. Many consumers are attracted to brands that deliver visual content and humour in their advertising campaigns. Streaming live video, influenced by Facebook Live is going to have a massive impact in the way brands and agencies create real time video content to engage with their audiences, which adds more pressure on the production process.

    So how can brands and agencies cope with all these new demands for content?

    1. More agile and multi-tasking – Adapting to consumers demand for video

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Mult-Tasking

    Brands still need to create quality video without detriment to quality or they run the risk of ad-blocking. But acting faster can sometimes create new problems and it is predicted that by the end of 2017, approximately 30% of British web users will be using ad blockers.

    There is a big shift towards short, fast snacking video content and we agencies need to become more flexible and have the right processes in place to cope with demand. In an already highly pressurised and fast turnaround industry, we all need to review how we’re operationally set up in order to respond to even faster turnaround content often on a reduced budget.

    Agencies need multi-talented production teams and a clear production process. Of course every brand wants to tell its own story through technological platforms and we’ve spotted the opportunity, built up content, and are hiring content strategists. But the most important thing is to monitor what is happening and how the audience is reacting in order to gain maximum reach.

  • Can marketing make a difference in just 7 weeks?

    The General Election Battle

    BZ-Marketing Chester-General Election-Brexit-Digital Marketing

    Yesterday (18th April), Prime Minister Theresa May called a surprise General Election on the 8th June 2017. With such a short period of time to execute a seamless marketing campaign, have the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats learnt anything from previous elections?

    A General Election held less than two-months after being called is one of the shortest notice periods in history. The fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 sets the interval between general elections at five years, so the next election isn’t really due until 2020.

    Despite the shock announcement, the battle lines for the ensuing marketing campaigns have already been drawn. Obviously Brexit is going to take centre stage over the next 7 weeks, but this election won’t be won on facts and policies, but on convincing voters who they should trust to lead them going forward.

    It will be a very different kind of election to those we’ve seen before. It’s going to be about who do you trust, Jeremy Corbin or Theresa May and how big the Conservative majority will be?

    The obvious tactic for the Conservatives is to convince voters that they are the only party capable of steering the country through Brexit and the next ten years. The vote was necessary as May prepared to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU, discussions which were being undermined by divisions in Westminster. What the prime minister is promising after June 8, should she remain in power is “certainty” and “stability”.

    May’s credibility as the leader to achieve this has been shaped fiercely over the past year under the guidance of Katie Perrior, Director of Communications. And unlike her “glitzy” predecessors, Tony Blair and David Cameron, she has styled herself as “Britain’s first consciously uncool prime minster” and leveraging that to her electoral advantage.

    May repeatedly asserted a vote for her was a vote to “get the job done,” and it will be a choice between strong and stable leadership, or a weak and unstable coalition government.

    The Liberal Democrats set out their stall last month ahead of local elections when they declared that they were the party for the 48% who voted Remain and consequently have emerged as the party with the clearest proposition heading into the general election. After the election date was set the Lib Dem’s swiftly proclaimed that a vote in their favour was a vote to stop a hard Brexit and their focus will be to convince voters of their ability to pull the plug on negotiations altogether.

    And then there’s Mr Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party who are still split on the decision to leave the EU despite Mr Corbyn forcing the party to vote for Article 50. Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has apparently failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and cuts to schools and the NHS.

    Tight deadlines mean digital media could win budgets

    With just a mere 50 days until the vote, ad campaign strategies are being planned hastily and due to the tight turnaround, digital will emerge as the channel of choice for time-poor planners.

    In the 2015 General Election, the Conservatives spent £1.2m of their £15.6m marketing budget on Facebook campaigns, while Labour allocated just over £16K from their £12m budget. Google commanded just over £300,000 from the Conservatives which included YouTube in-stream advertising, compared to Labour’s rather minuscule £371.54. The reason that digital will probably take the lead in terms of campaigning is more to do with timing and planning as it’s easier, more flexible with a quicker turnaround time.

    Given the strong words the government had for Google on advertising appearing next to extremist content, it remains to be seen how quick the respective parties will be to invest online. With Facebook being criticised for assisting the spread of fake news during the US Presidential Election, this is the perfect time to prove it can be a reliable source of political coverage. This is probably the first election in the UK to take place in ‘post-filter bubble world’ and after Brexit and Trump people are aware of fake news and the way platform’s algorithms work.

    Forgotten Youth

    Whilst Brexit will be top of everyone’s agenda along with persuading voters in the “Remain” and “Leave” camps there is a portion of the UK’s electorate that once again is at risk of being forgotten.

    The younger generation aged between 18-24, have been reluctant to turn out to elections in their masses, which is the standard trend of recent general elections. Turnout among young people has dropped from over 60% in the early 90’s to an average of 40% over the 2001, 2005 and 2010 General Elections. The potential for a lack of digital communication in this election given its short timeframe goes hand in hand with us missing a portion of younger voters yet again. If the parties don’t engage in a meaningful debate with young people using the right channels we could see the lowest ever youth turnout for an election on record.

    In the current political climate, many young people feel increasingly isolated from and disillusioned with the system and how it communicates. The main political parties are not prioritising their needs or listening to their demands, and politicians aren’t communicating with them in a way they understand. If any lessons have been learnt from previous elections, one vital one must be that ensuring this large influential part of the population is heard and engaged with through digital and social media channels to avoid leaving youth voters out in the cold.

  • Why do people abandon their online shopping carts?

    Check it out

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Online Shopping Cart

    So how many people actually abandon their shopping carts? On average the cart abandonment rate for the last quarter of 2016 was 76.8%

    For every 100 people who visit your website, 74 of them will abandon before hitting the buy button. To understand why, we need real customer data using abandonment surveys from actual abandoners. Then we can understand why people are abandoning shopping carts and not making that all important purchase.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Shopping Cart Abandonment

    34% abandoned were either researching or just browsing
    23% abandoned due to shipping costs and delivery times.
    18% abandoned because of the price and or wanted a comparison
    15% abandoned to make their purchase a retail outlet
    6% had an issue with payment or there was a lack of payment options
    4% abandoned due to a lost connection or technical issue

    Shopping cart abandonment across sectors

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Shopping Cart-abandonment-by sector

    Remarketing stats quarterly highlights – Email, on-site and SMS

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Quarterly highlights

    So at what point in the process are people abandoning?

    53% abandon when they see the total cost
    26% abandon when their personal details are requested
    21% abandon when their payment details are asked for

    But all is not lost!

    The amount of abandoners that would consider returning to continue with their purchase was 87%.

  • Digital and video content creation for today

    10 Top Tips

    BZ-Marketing Chester-Video Production

    Because of all the new changes which are driven by the major platforms in the market, agencies need to tap into a wide range of resources, such as specialist skills and freelancers, but they also need to think about how they will respond. What can agencies do to ensure a smoother transition in this new digital age?

    BZ-Marketing Chester-1
    Keep it fresh
    Adopt a questioning mind-set to address your current production process. Regularly audit processes, suppliers and the quality of content production. Consider what your priorities are; speed and efficiency or profit and quality?

    BZ-Marketing Chester-2
    Respond to shifting demand
    Stay plugged in to emerging production trends and video requirements. Consider the appetite for live content and the fact that 85% of videos on Facebook are played with the volume off.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-3
    Be price transparent
    There is a need to be transparent on price as one video can cost 400% more than another, and charge every director, producer and creative out at a fair open price.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-4
    Budget v frequency – Think about it
    Volume, production and brand needs have shifted from creating one award winning ad towards creating 5 – 10 assets utilising the same budget that can be used all year round.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-5
    Avoid the price war
    Ignore production companies and teams that pitch in with the lowest prices as the quality of your content will be affected.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-6
    Be more agile
    Regularly question the capabilities, skills and pricing of your in-house department, trusted network and production partner.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-7
    Avoid in-house battles
    Brands and agencies have started to build in-house production facilities which can have its advantages, but the real threat comes from everyone agreeing that the quality of the content is just right.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-8
    Embrace a flexible workforce
    The production industry and agencies are shifting more and more towards a freelance workforce. If client demands suddenly switch make sure your team can switch with them and respond accordingly. Agencies and brands need to think about how they can re-order their organisation, re-invent processes and nurture a more fluid workforce.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-9
    Build trust
    Companies like Uber have brought trust to the forefront when making decisions. Jumping into the back of a strangers car was once an alien concept, but it has now become part of everyday life. The creative world might be a little different, but the same principals and adoption of new technologies still apply.

    BZ-Marketing Chester-10
    Keep it local and save money
    Working remotely is more suited to illustrators, copywriters and editors, but there is a growing trend to hire locally. Not only does this leverage local knowledge but it also saves time and money.

  • 5 Marketing predictions for the next 5 Years

    #PART 5/5: Machines deliver on personalisation


    Relevancy has a tremendous impact on consumers, and although not a new concept, retailers have pursued personalisation for decades. In the past, shop owners memorised customers’ families, birthdays and preferred products and if a regular customer hadn’t enough money for a particular purchase the shop owner would more than likely have said “It’s okay, pay me next time”. E-commerce marketers or retail aren’t trying to reduce personalisation, but with the explosion of new marketing channels, massive data counts, detailed consumer records, and a million and one variations on what a personalised experience means to each individual customer, human driven personalisation really doesn’t scale.

    Marketers have now moved into a world of neural networks, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as these technologies deliver on the promise of personalised campaigns. Marketers use these technologies to select content, offers, discounts, choose channels, and optimise the best time to communicate with customers.

    AI and machine learning will be more commonplace throughout the e-commerce industry especially as it relates to marketing and personalisation. E-commerce companies rely on the ability to personalise the customer journey and create memorable experiences that keep their customers returning. Wherever possible they will reduce overheads enabling them to sell their products at a more competitive rate and a higher profit margin. AI and machine learning will play a major role in retail marketing, allowing marketers to create highly personalised real-time experiences whilst removing the costs of manual data mining.

    This new technology has literally exploded in popularity overnight and is already being used across many industries throughout the world. E-commerce organisations will benefit from AI and machine learning by automating manual data processes and it will allow them to take personalisation to the next level. Machine learning algorithms can collect data and personalised experiences for each unique visitor based on their behaviours in near-real time, eliminating the requirement for static profiles based on outdated or grouped data sets.

    In the coming years, AI and machine learning will become much more prevalent across the e-commerce industry. But before introducing machine learning and AI in to your organisation you must have a strategy in place and clearly identified goals, without them machine learning can just become a cog inside of a big machine.


    With the many changes occurring across e-commerce and retail, marketers need to constantly evaluate new channels and adapt to new ways of engaging with their audiences. They must keep consumers engaged across multiple channels, or risk losing them.

    Todays consumers expect brands to treat them like unique individuals with evolving preferences. Digitally transformed channels are growing in number and complexity and consumer expectations are increasing at a faster rate than ever before, and the next several years will be a transformative period for e-commerce and and every single retailer.

    So how are you preparing for the forthcoming marketing shift over the next five years?

  • Why Crabbies are not chasing sponsorship again.

    The Grand National 2017

    BZ Marketing-Chester-The Grand National

    Crabbies, the alcoholic ginger beer, owned by Halewood Wines & Spirits who sponsored the three day Aintree festival for three years ended its relationship with the Jockey Club in 2016. Stewart Hainsworth, CEO who helped take Halewood from a £9.5m loss in 2015 to a pre-tax profit of £1.7m last year announced that horse racing was not in the brand’s future.

    The Aintree Festival is a big event, but it’s only over three days. Crabbies had a lot of coverage, which was great for growing brand awareness, but good marketing is about repetition and constantly reinforcing your brand messages to consumers or potential consumers. A showcase event like The Grand National is a lot of money to spend on just three days. When looking at allocating your marketing spend you have to think about your ROI.

    BZ Marketing-Chester-The Grand National-Crabbies-Sponsors

    Halewood decided not to renew its sponsorship after widely publicised losses, but now that it’s back in profit the firm’s preferred sporting partner is rugby. Crabbies is now the ‘Official Ginger Beer of Welsh Rugby’, with exclusive supply rights at five stadiums, and it boasts a similar deal with Scottish Rugby. The brand also sponsors the St Helens away kit. In terms of better targeted spend for Crabbies, rugby is a better fit as it offers almost year-round advertising opportunities.

    Halewood Wines and Spirits, which also manufactures Lambrini and Liverpool Gin, has long had a connection with the Aintree event and was founded by the late John Halewood, who owned 2004 Grand National winner Amberleigh House.

    BZ Marketing-Chester-The Grand National-Amberleigh House

    The first sponsors of the Grand National were Seagram from 1984 – 1991 and coincidently a horse named Seagram won the race in 1991. Martell, then a subsidiary of Seagram took over sponsorship for an initial seven years from 1992 in a deal worth £4 million. In 2005 John Smith’s became the main sponsors of the Grand National and many of the other races at the three day Aintree meeting, and in August 2013 Crabbies took over. This years sponsors are healthcare diagnostics giant Randox, who agreed a multi-million-pound deal with the Jockey Club Racecourses to sponsor the Grand National Festival for the next five years.

    BZ Marketing-Chester-The Grand National 2017-New Sponsors-Randox

    So who is your money on for the next sponsor? But more importantly what horse is your money on?

    The 2017 Randox Grand National runners and odds

    1. The Last Samurai – 14/1 2. More of That – 12/1 3. Perfect Candidate – 50/1 4. Saphir Du Rheu – 16/1 5. Shantou Flyer – 66/1 6. Roi Des Francs – 50/1 7. Wonderful Charm – 33/1 8. Wounded Warrior – 66/1 9. Blaklion – 14/1 10. Drop Out Joe – 33/1 11. Tenor Nivernais – 33/1 12. Le Mercurey – 33/1 13. Cause of Causes – 12/1 14. Regal Encore – 50/1 15. The Young Master – 20/1 16. Definitely Red – 10/1 17. Double Shuffle – 33/1 18. Houblon Des Obeaux – 40/1 19. Pleasant Company – 16/1 20. Ucello Conti – 16/1 21. Vieux Lion Rouge – 10/1 22. Ballynagour – 66/1 23. Highland Lodge – 25/1 24. O’Faolains Boy – 66/1 * 25.* One For Arthur – 14/1 26. Bishops Road – 66/1 27. Lord Windermere – 50/1 28. Saint Are – 40/1 29. Vicente – 25/1 30. Just A Par – 40/1 31. Measure Of My Dreams – 50/1 32. Raz De Maree – 33/1 33. Stellar Notion – 50/1 34. Cocktails At Dawn – 80/1 35. Pendra – 33/1 36. Rouge Angel – 33/1 37. Gas Line Boy – 66/1 38. Good To Know – 66/1 39. Thunder And Roses – 40/1 40. La Vaticane – 100/1

  • 5 Marketing predictions for the next 5 Years

    #PART 4/5: Email moves from a traffic channel to transactions

    BZ Marketing - Email Transactions

    Many have predicted the death of email since the advent of social media, RSS feeds and MMS, but they’ve all been proven wrong, and the channel continues to grow in volume as well as in its many uses.

    Email will become one of the largest transaction channels on earth, moving far beyond being a traffic channel and it’s still growing. In the near future, retailers will be able to send email directly to their customers and have them conduct transactions inside the email. Imagine a world where emails have an embedded Buy Now button? Google has already developed Pony Express that will allow consumers to pay bills directly inside emails, and other methods of conducting business upon receipt of an email will soon follow.

    Email is still growing because it’s our “Digital Identifier”. Twitter recently developed Twilert which is a search tool that sends you email alerts of the most important tweets. From hashtags and tweets that contain URLs, to keywords mentioned by verified users, Twilert listens and takes a snapshot of everything in realtime. Even social media giants like Facebook and LinkedIn won’t move away from email notifications because they know that it’s the communication channel that binds everything together and keeps their users coming back.

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