The Latest News From The World Of Marketing
Generate UK’s Marketing News round up for September & October 2018.
The marketing industry is ever-changing and can be hard to keep up with, so we have put together our favourite recent snippets that have grabbed our attention from across the industry, to help you understand the latest trends, updates and technologies.
From hyper-personalisation to ditching your desk, read our rundown of the latest marketing news to ensure you are ahead of the crowd. It’s safe to say, the marketing world has been eventful in the last few weeks.
Can You Build Brand Loyalty In The Age Of ‘Hyper Personalisation’?
Marketing Tech News have released an article at the beginning of October outlining how consumers hold power over brands, and this is only increasing as the ability to personalise EVERYTHING also increases. The main reason for this is that social media allows everyone and anyone to scrutinise or share great experiences to an increasingly growing audience.
The challenge for businesses is to stay competitive with pricing, hold user attention, deliver quickly and stay relevant to the ever changing consumer. Long gone are the days for emails on your birthday and your name in a subject line, now real-time customer automation is expected as standard.
It has been proven that consumers are staying loyal when brands supply them with offers and discounts. However, brands fall down in maximising the return from this loyalty because of bad data! Businesses are increasingly using AI and computer vision analysis to find out every detail of a consumer in order to find their specific likes and dislikes. For example: location, photos and browser history.
Does Abandoning Your Desk Increase Influence?
In Thomas Barta’s latest article for Marketing Week he describes marketing as a ‘contact sport’. Most marketers spend a significant proportion of their time sat at a desk, and not face-to-face with those outside of their department. You cannot make a change happen from the comfort of your desk. The opposite can also have a negative effect too, working from home for job flexibility doesn’t help either.
Working in the right places for the right amount of time is what drives the most successful marketing campaigns. When you are face-to-face in front of customers and colleagues to influence their behaviour is where the magic happens.
Many businesses have ripped out desks and replaced with lines of desks to ‘reduce egg-laying hens’, encouraging employees to work from a range of environments that are specific to the activity tasked.
How To Use Direct Mail In The Modern Marketing Mix
Despite the rise in smart phone sales and the decrease of mail sent each year, direct mail marketing gets a higher response rate than it did more than a decade ago. In AMA’s latest article, Neil O’Keefe suggests that marketers should test as many aspects of their campaign as possible, including frequency, number of pages and types of mail they’re sending to discover what brings the best ROI.
The biggest challenge for direct mail is the measurement of its success, although you can use personalised URLs and codes, there is no guarantee customers will use these. The only way to discover what works the best is to test as many aspects as possible, with a baseline to compare from.
Even if direct mail stagnates, O’Keefe believes that it will remain an important part of the marketing mix. With the best results said to have come from omni-channel campaigns, portraying the same message across emails and re-targeted adverts too.
So maybe direct mail isn’t dying out, just becoming a good accompaniment to your other campaigns.
Hootsuite Integrates Google Ads
Hootsuite has penned a deal with Google that will integrate Google Ads directly into Hootsuite’s platform and AdEspresso, which is Hootsuite’s digital ad platform. This will help you manage your online ads across Facebook, Instagram and also Google all on one platform.
This new integration has awarded Hootsuite with an official “Google Premier Partner Badge”, making it a leading social media management solution. It is also the first time search and social advertising campaign have been combined, helping customers to manage their online advertisements, budgets and compare results across multiple platforms better, allowing you to create the best performing adverts.
“We’re excited to be working with Google in this integration. They are the market leader in search and in global online advertising, helping businesses worldwide drive increased return on their investment,” said Penny Wilson, CMO of Hootsuite.
Removal Of Twitter ‘Moments’ On Mobile
With Twitters recent transition from a social network to a newsroom, we may find that user needs from brands will change. They are removing their ‘Moments’ platform as of 23rd October, after people found the experience confusing. Twitter Support have explained that when people don’t use their features often, they remove them so they can focus on building new products that we will love!
Twitter Moments will still be available on desktop however.
Twitter is currently a useful B2B platform – especially to connect directly to customers – and brand interactions will definitely see a change in the future. We will look forwards to the next new Twitter feature to enhance our experience further.
If you want to keep up with the latest marketing trends, don’t hesitate to contact Generate UK. We’d love to hear about your business and how we can transform your marketing into something to be proud of, browse our digital marketing services here.
The John Lewis Brand:
People love that they know what they are getting with John Lewis, they know they will receive high quality products and excellent customer service. From one small Victorian store on Oxford Street, the retailer has grown to over 50 John Lewis stores, more than 300 Waitrose supermarkets across the UK and a huge 83,000+ permanent staff.
Recently, there has been a well-publicised change to their branding, much to people’s apprehension. We have outlined the facts, journey and thought process John Lewis may have gone through to make these changes, so you can decide what you really think of their new branding and values. Before we can discuss why these changes have happened, we need to look at the history of the brand to explore how they have got to where they are today.
History of the John Lewis Brand
‘Value, Assortment, Service and Honesty’. These were the main principles that the first store was based upon and that have been carried through the business ever since, with the current values sitting at ‘Value, Integrity and Vision’, matching perfectly to their moto ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’.
Traditionally, John Lewis has appealed strongly to the middle and upper class shoppers, however, the introduction of their ‘Value’ and ‘Essential’ ranges has allowed an expansion to a broader market.
Back in 1937, John Lewis launched their own brand merchandise, called ‘Jonell(e)’. John Lewis were the first department store group in the UK to have their own brand of products, however this ended in 2001 when the ‘Jonell(e)’ name was replaced by the ‘John Lewis’ name.
Until now, when we think of John Lewis we think quality, friendly, reliable and Christmas! Along with mulled wine, mince pies, stockings and wreaths, the John Lewis ads are awaited each year, with Moz the Monster, Monty the Penguin and Buster the Boxer being just a few of the fictional characters that have pulled on our festive heart strings.
From day one, John Lewis have always looked after their staff, rewarding them for their efforts, sharing their profits and continuing to build upon their skills, this is because all permanent staff members are partners in their business. This in turn ensures that their team have a great work ethic and want to nurture and treat each customer the way they wish to be treated themselves.
John Lewis has remained not only an esteemed brand, but a desirable organisation to work for. In March 2018 they topped the list of best UK retailers to work for – beating Lush, IKEA, Marks & Spencer and Clarks!
A Move to John Lewis & Partners
Combined with strategic changes in other areas of the business, John Lewis has now incorporated a rebrand that sees a change in name to ‘John Lewis & Partners’ and ‘Waitrose & Partners’ – this is a way of showing customers and prospects that John Lewis’ employees are at the heart of their business, enabling them to offer more personalised experiences for customers. The new rebrand also synergises and brings together the John Lewis and Waitrose brands, as previously, the two companies have remained relatively separate. This integration aims to create a single creative platform for both brands, in theory, decreasing overall spend on expenditure like advertising.
The new name change comes with a new logo, this is made up of the brand name with a lines in a variety of widths to the left in either green for Waitrose or black for John Lewis. Some would say that the old ‘Jonell(e)’ logo resembles the new rebrand of John Lewis, featuring the barcode style lines, coming away from the main logo.
The first of their new campaigns has been launched; the John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners television and cinema advert showcase their rebrand, performed to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, with the main focus to communicate their more personal approach.
The ‘when you’re part of it, you put your heart into it’ strapline of the advert stands for John Lewis & Partners appreciating their staff members, the various stories and skills that they offer, proving that when employees feel valued, great things can happen.
Along with this TV and cinema advert, a print campaign and social media adverts that feature the hashtag of #wearepartners will run too. Both John Lewis and Waitrose websites have been updated, lorries are being reprinted, carrier bags, uniforms, trolleys and internal signs have been updated with new logos and branding. This is the largest marketing campaign John Lewis have ever carried out. The overall campaign is great at highlighting the John Lewis way of life, shedding life on the partners that jointly own the business and how it ensures that they go the extra mile for customers each day.
Why Have They Changed?
In March 2018 John Lewis vowed to reinvest in their shopping and customer experience, create new innovative online and offline experiences, along with a faster pace, due to their 22% decline in profit compared to the previous year. This decision was made because of a restrained customer demand, political uncertainty and general inflation in the British economy. The decrease in profit is largely due to their hard to keep up with ‘never knowingly undersold’ pledge. Other retailers are having to discount heavily due to the economic crisis and increase in e-commerce like Amazon, in turn resulting in a decrease to staff bonus and overall employment rate at John Lewis as their profits too were falling. Recently we have seen it hit House of Fraser and Debenhams the hardest.
Sometimes the best marketing is all about honesty, less about the products and services on offer and profit margin, and more about the people that make it all happen at all levels of the business – store staff, call centres, office members, delivery drivers, manufacturers, suppliers and customers. However, recently since going live with the new rebrand and campaigns John Lewis have announced a 99% drop in profit for the first half of 2018. This is due to the increase in e-commerce websites and decrease to economic activity which is meaning retailers, including John Lewis are having to discount products.
John Lewis has recently said that they plan to save up to £500 million a year in the next three years, this is to invest in products and service innovation, with hope to in turn rebuild their profitability as a business. Along with also trying to seek cost savings of up to £500 million to balance out their finances. With their partners (staff) continuing to be at the heart, they will conduct a review of their pension scheme to give partners better benefits of working with John Lewis & Partners. Along with a pension scheme, they will be investing in their partners’ skills and product knowledge, with extra training and courses that will in turn deliver improved customer service. Overall John Lewis will focus on unique, innovative products, personal service and new services to offer.
However, we are now coming up to John Lewis’ seasonal busy period, it will be interesting to see the numbers after their typically successful Christmas period in comparison to previous festive seasons.
In the coming months, labels from their own brand products will be updated, with the plan for all products, services and marketing material materials to be totally rebranded over within five years.
Both the John Lewis and Waitrose brands are making more efforts to join together as one synergising brand, loyalty is one common ground both businesses hold. In the next few months, they will be rolling out their combined loyalty schemes, at first a trial being sent to 600,000 customers. This loyalty scheme will be one single card that offers the same benefits that both cards previously held, just reiterating the connection between John Lewis and Waitrose.
Each year, we wait in anticipation for the John Lewis Christmas advert to be aired before, so we can really get into the spirit, and this year will be no different. This year it has been reported that Sir Elton John will be hired at a huge cost of £5m to record a custom rendition of his famous ‘Your Song’ at Pinewood Studios in London.
The new rebrand has not completely changed the company’s core values, the key messages are still quality products and excellent customer service across the John Lewis and Waitrose brands due to their staff member being partners within the brands.
Looking to Reposition your Organisation’s Brand?
Contact Generate UK to achieve the full potential of your brand. From a simple refresh to a complete re-work. We have worked with some amazing brands helping them develop their brand through research, strategy, ongoing brand consultancy, visual design to implementation.
How and Why It Has Changed?
Generate UK Shortlisted for National Digital Awards Thanks To Innovative Feedback Ferret Animation
Feedback Ferret use text analytics to transform customer feedback comments into actionable insights. Due to the unique nature of their business, they were finding it challenging to communicate their core services in a succinct way, without using thick paragraphs of text that both website visitors and prospects can be hesitant to read. Feedback Ferret recognised the need to create an asset that succinctly summarised their work and turned to Generate UK for a solution.
We stepped up to the challenge and delivered a project we are incredibly proud of. Keeping the objective to educate and inform in mind, Generate UK produced a 60 second animation explainer to give a thorough, concise and engaging overview of the services that Feedback Ferret provide. Who better to explain feedback analysis than ferret scientists!? The characters we created for the animation fit Feedback Ferret’s branding perfectly that they have now been implemented throughout their website and other branded assets.
Alongside the animation itself, we provided two scripts and two voice overs, in order to cater to both Feedback Ferret’s UK and US markets. Take a look:
Lawrence Jones, CEO of headline sponsor UKFast, said: “The DEAs are an incredible opportunity to celebrate the best in digital talent from up and down the UK. This year’s finalists have all shown a clear appreciation of challenges faced in business and how to solve them using digital innovation, meeting the everyday needs of their customers by evolving new solutions and approaches. That’s what the DEAs are all about.”
Generate UK are extremely pleased and proud to have shaken off strong competition from the hundreds of businesses that entered. Here’s to hoping that the thirteenth Digital Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony won’t be unlucky for us!
Visit https://www.digital-entrepreneur.co.uk/ for a full list of finalists or for details or take a look at our Feedback Ferret case study.
A Guide To Animation Explainers
The key is to keep it short and engaging, while still conveying the right information. No matter what you’re explaining, an animation explainer should leave your viewers with a clear understanding of what you do, how you can help and a desire to take the next step.
How Much Do Animation Explainers Cost?
When we set out to produce an animation explainer, what is it that we want in terms of a result?
We want a focused asset that clearly engages the viewer, it looks and sounds great, it does the job we initially intended, it’s in line with the brand and it’s as futureproofed as possible. Most importantly, we want it to solve our business challenges with floods of people getting in touch to buy our products/services.
These are some fairly high expectations, so it’s integral that a lot of time, energy and effort is invested to make this happen, this invariably comes with a price tag. You could always go on Fiverr and get a 60-second “explainer” for about £30, but as we both know, that’s not a comparable product and your end result will be a million miles from your objectives and expectations.
We would always suggest, as a benchmark, your basic to complex animation explainer would typically cost you £8K to £15K, based on a quality production company doing a quality job. This would translate to around 8 days’ pre-production/3 days’ post (at the lower end) and 16 days’ pre-production/4 days’ post (at the upper end). The best work is created in the planning phase, and so the more time and budget that’s allocated for pre-production, the better the end result.
I have to be honest, I was warned off adding this section by one of my colleagues. They said “including prices instantly makes people try to compare on price”, when the importance always relates to a comparison on results. However we understand the importance of expectations, so I decided to add this in for your benefit.
Although prices vary greatly from company to company, the risks are the same as they have always been (CHEAP – FAST – GOOD) the importance is to find a team that fits your brand and can deliver on budget, time, and to a standard that exceeds your initial expectation.
How Do You Guarantee A Successful Animation?
Success can come in many forms, a problem solved such as streamlining the lengthy procedure explaining your business services or lots of new enquiries as a result of tooled up sales executive. The area of success I’d like to cover off considers the actual final deliverable and the structure it adopts.
I’m not going to put the world to rights on good vs bad animation and to be honest, it’s all subjective…right? Wrong… it’s a case of finding the right team to help you realise your expectation, whilst investing time in the right areas.
From experience, the success of any creative asset is as a result of time and energy spent in the front end (Pre-Production) phase of the project.
As mentioned previously, the success comes in the work and thought that happens up front, before you start talking about format, style and movement. With this approach the structure, format, voiceover all pull together in the build as if following a Lego manual.
From experience there are many different formulas to a successful explainer animation. Once all of the content is stripped back, the structure in most cases can appear to be the same universally. Here is an example of a successful structure we have implemented:
Set the scene with industry/service problems and issues, to create viewer empathy.
Create aspiration of ‘What if…’ there was a way that these problems could be solved.
Introduce the brand as the solution and how it can help including a call to action
How Long Does It Take?
I keep barking on about the importance of investing time, but how much time? Typically an animation explainer can take around three months, scoping to completion. With that said, we’ve completed some projects in just over a month and some extremely complex ones in around 5 months. It all really boils down to the level of collaboration, close working relationship and speed of feedback to delivery.
The Final Thoughts…
After all those well invested hours of meetings, feedback on scripts, artwork and animations you have achieved what you set out to with a short, clear, engaging and powerful marketing tool.
Give animation the time it deserves.
Invest well, with realistic time expectations.
A successful animation can have significantly positive business impacts.
Find a well-established and hungry production house: wink… wink…
So if you’ve got a something that needs explaining, why don’t you drop us a line on 01635 887730
go back to animation or click to read our case study
Generate UK on : Computer Generated Photorealism
The advantages of these new technologies are endless. The ability to enhance, amend or remove products form large group shots and reproduce high quality pictures in seconds prior to large runs on busy print run schedules is priceless.
Architects are using photorealism along with real sell their buildings using virtual reality and this carries time walk throughs to help over to the increasing popularity of photorealism in gaming.
75% of the IKEA catalogue utilises photorealistic interior imagery.
Games such as Grand Theft Auto 5, Far Cry Primal and Tomb Raider are allowing Games to out sell movies in terms or raw box office ticket sales.
Combining photorealism with cartoon animation in recent years has created a brand new style in movie production. Mixing large eyed playful characters with the realistic skin, hair and clothing material and textures, offering the audience a stimulating and more enriched viewing experience.
Achieving Photorealistic CGI requires these 4 main building blocks:
Matching the scale and proportions of real world objects.
Adhering to the realism of forms in the real world; for example their structure, shape and anatomy.
Creating realistic materials which offer accurate representations of materials in the real world. Many factors must be considered including roughness, reflectivity, translucency, texture and surface imperfection to highlight a few.
Lighting that matches the colour direction and intensity of light in the real world. It’s always important to consider the direction and intensity of the different lighting sources and to ensure the correct colour of the light.
To reproduce the imperfections produced by real life cameras including depth of field, motion blur and light distortion such as glares and flares.
As a full service marketing agency, Generate UK feature 3D graphics as part of the design skill set. Photorealistic graphics have been used to accompany campaigns in the form of static assets, room interior shots and short animation explainer videos.
If you would like more information on this service or if you are interested in finding out how we can provide 3D graphics to support your business needs, please get in touch.
New Generation of Web Animation in 2016
The most common use of animation is to subtly (or not so subtly) guide the visitors behaviour:
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If you keep an eye out, you can see this sort of animation everywhere on the internet. The best examples are the hardest to notice, they fade into the background, gently prompting you to find your way to the shopping basket, or the enquiry form. The worst offenders spiral across the page, interrupting your browsing and vigorously encouraging you to visit the site of an advertiser.
However animations can also be used to tell a story, or set a mood for your page, not just as part of your interface. Unlike the previous generation of Flash animations, which required their own frame within a page, modern animated graphics fit effortlessly into the normal flow of a webpage. The same tools used to animate the buttons above can be used to animate individual parts of static picture in order to breathe life into them.
Pixels vs Vectors
Pixel graphics store a fixed grid of colours, they can be scaled down, but cannot be scaled up without pixelation. Any image captured by a camera uses this type of file, as do images produced by tools such as Adobe Photoshop. Once created, a pixel graphic can be cropped, distorted or scaled – but the contents of the image itself cannot be changed.
Vector graphics store a set of instructions that your computer follows to draw the image, the easiest way to imagine this is with an etch-a-sketch. To draw a square you would need to travel 5cm right, 5cm down, 5cm left and 5cm up. If you wanted to draw a bigger square, you would only need to increase the distance that you travel to produce a larger shape. Vector graphics work like a gigantic, multi-layered etch-a-sketch – and the values for each path can be changed on the fly.
Creating an animation
We have created an original animation to demonstrate our creative process at GenerateUK. SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphic) animation requires both design and development skills – a well executed animation will fall flat if the quality of the original graphic is unimpressive, and likewise, an ill-assembled animation can ruin a high quality illustration.
The first step is for the designer to create the image using Adobe Illustrator, which he passes to the developer as a storyboard:
Using this storyboard, the developer creates an SVG file and a set of animation instructions for each shape that needs to change state. Some shapes require a colour change, others need to move or fade. Depending on the complexity of the animation, this process can take minutes or hours.
Animation in use
The recently launched Yellowfoot website showcases some of our original animation work – a series of simple icons that unfold as you scroll through a page.
Or check out /u/j0be‘s animation of BB8 from the recent Star Wars movie:
See the Pen BB-8 entirely in HTML / CSS by j0be (@j0be) on CodePen.