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Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Another week and another example of poor marketing governance

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News | No Comments

Aldi provides us with the latest example of a social media failure, with its fill in the blank exercise posted onto Twitter.

Aldi - not thinking about the context of their social media content

Aldi – not thinking about the context of their social media content

While the resulting media coverage joked that ‘Aldi’s social media intern is about to get fired’, the joke should be the way social media is not seen as a communications tool and therefore part of the marketing mix.

Over the course of 2015 there was no shortage social media failures. In April we saw Woolworths‘ poorly planned attempt to associate itself with Anzac Day, followed by the Victorian Taxi Association not only misspelling Remembrance Day, but also failing to consider the ramifications of asking Twitter users their thoughts on the taxi industry.

These are all examples of where marketing governance has failed. The ability to publish externally viewable content has become disconnected from campaign planning and strategy, causing mistakes that can result in reputational damage.

Yet, these mistakes are not new. Had Woolworths, Aldi, the Victorian Taxi Association and many others, actually undertaken research, they would have seen the 2012 example of #McDStories, whereby McDonald’s asked Twitter users for their stories about the McDonald’s experience. The campaign lasted for just two hours until it was realised that asking about the McDonald’s experience via social media was not a good conversation topic.

Commentary through the McDStories campaign - back in 2012

Commentary through the McDStories campaign – back in 2012

 

Social media needs to be seen for what it is, a communications tool that is part of the marketing mix. Unfortunately, this is likely to re-occur until sound marketing governance is developed. Marketing needs the processes, procedures and policies to determine the optimal scope of authority in the marketing mix to prevent mistakes that never should have occurred in the first instance.

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

Ask the wrong questions, get the wrong answers – Exploring the YourTaxis Campaign

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, News | 2 Comments

It is unfortunately for too common for businesses to ask the wrong questions when seeking marketing support. This perpetuates the ineffective tactics led approach to marketing, which ultimately diminishes returns due to a lack of consistency with the desired strategic direction.

We often see this when a business is seeking website modifications, social media content or a branding refresh. There is the assumption that these isolated tactics will result in business growth, rather than the question being ‘how do we ensure consistency across the marketing experience and throughout each stage of the customer journey’.

Social media in itself will not foster customer loyalty or engagement if the customer base is not receptive to this medium. Similarly, a website will not result in new business if the processes behind the site are cumbersome or unwieldy.

Often there is need to dig beyond tactics to discover the broader marketing questions that need to be answered. Specifically, there the need to consider how each tactic should reinforce the customer journey to culminate in an experience that fosters outcomes.

We saw this earlier this year with Woolworths failing to consider the ramifications of its Fresh in Our Memories Campaign, and more recently with @YourTaxis, a social media campaign that failed in its attempt to shift public perceptions of the taxi industry.

Woolworths asking the wrong questions: The Fresh in Our Memories Campaign

Woolworths asking the wrong questions: The Fresh in Our Memories Campaign

While Woolworths should have had the resources, foresight and capability to think through the ramifications. The client of the YourTaxis campaign was a not-for-profit membership organisation that would have limited resources and failed to ask the right questions.

The Taxi industry, which has traditionally had few direct competitors, is now under significant pressure from Uber, despite the ride sharing service being somewhat legally ambiguous under current Victorian legislation. The Taxi Industry has responded by been undertaking advocacy efforts to review Uber given current legislation.

Uber has significant strengths in social media and strong online loyalty, aspects that are not shared by the taxi industry. A tactics based approach resulted in the YourTaxis campaign simply replicating what had worked for Uber, despite the high element of risk. The campaign failed on any discernible metric, with Twitter users complaining about Taxis and many complementing Uber within the same Tweet.

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

Asking the wrong question: The Taxi Industry receives feedback via Twitter

The question that should have been asked was ‘how do we improve the perception of taxis to assist in influencing the political debate?’ Had this question been asked, a social media campaign focused on soliciting public views would have never been considered.

A strategic marketing approach would have asked the right questions: focusing on all elements rather than just promotions

A strategic marketing approach would have asked the right questions: focusing on all elements of the marketing mix rather than just promotions

Answering the right question would resulted in a substantially different campaign:

  • There would be a focus on service delivery, highlighting improvements, such as driver training and standards, as well as streamlining the complaints process.
  • Promotional campaigns would have focused on the role of taxis as a form of transport to an audience of State MPs and other decision makers, rather than end users.
  • A public component could have been explored through the hopes and aspirations of taxi drivers, with the aim of building personal rapport with the sector.

Answering the right question would have resulted in a campaign focused on the entire marketing mix, with stakeholders including passengers and policy makers. Alignment between each element in the marketing mix, particularly the service, processes and people elements would have enhanced the industry’s standing.

A strategic approach to marketing ensures the right questions are being asked, so you can reach the right answers. Unfortunately in this case, the wrong question was asked twice, with a second campaign on Remembrance Day resulting in further criticism through social media.

Asking the wrong question twice: The YourTaxis Tweet on remembrance Day

Asking the wrong question twice: The YourTaxis Tweet on Remembrance (not Rememberance) Day

The end result is an industry that now has a harder time influencing debate and decision makers, as well as a not-for-profit membership based association that most likely has diminished standing with its members. It is a shame when time, money and reputation is thrown away simply because the wrong questions were asked.

PS We attempted to reach out to the Agency that initiated the YourTaxis campaign to explore their perspective. We received no response.

Measuring Marketing Performance – Don’t confuse inputs for outputs

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Last time we explored the customer journey, returning to the decision making process, as a potential customer begins at a pre-purchase phase prior to a purchase and then post-purchase considerations. We also explored the customer experience, to ensure that the term returns to its core definition within the marketing mix.

Both of these concepts demonstrate the need for consistency, as well as multiple contact points to reach customers and influence decisions. As a result, there is a need for a holistic view of marketing, since running disparate tactics will result in diminished outcomes. Furthermore, undertaking a holistic approach enables a greater degree of confidence in decisions and the ability to measure overall impact.

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation in regard to the measurement of marketing performance. Firstly, offline content, such as product factsheets, print media, radio and TV can be measured and should be evaluated to understand overall performance. Secondly, many digital metrics, such as website visitations, social media interaction are in fact inputs rather than outputs.

Far too often, we see marketing managers that report on website visitations, Facebook likes or Twitter followers, without providing metrics that consider the end outcomes, namely conversions into customers or repeat purchases. The key is to use these inputs and map the contact points that are required across the customer journey to achieve the end result, such as a purchase or repeat purchase. Similarly, the customer will have differing forms of interaction with a business, beyond promotions, such as a direct interaction with staff, or a visitation into a store. Each of these aspects form part of the journey and need to be measured, as an adverse experience across any of these areas can deter purchase intent.

Begin by assessing the channels that you use to raise overall awareness and then consider the next steps that a customer takes once there is general awareness. Is your prospective customer visiting a website and then following up through email or phone, or do they undertake further research, prior to returning? Is the first point of contact a broadcast medium or referral, rather than a website?

Pre purchase purchase post purchase

Each of these components form an input into the end goal, so consider overall reach, followed by identifying customers that have taken a subsequent step along the next contact point. Benchmark and evaluate these results so you can make informed decisions on the rate of marketing return and the effects of any modifications. As a result you can identify the relevancy of website visitors, whether event participation is reaching the target audiences and overall number of contact points and timing required to achieve purchase intent.

Russel Howcroft on the Power of TV

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

This morning the Australian Marketing Institute held an exclusive session held an exclusive session at the Channel Ten studios, featuring Russel Howcroft who discussed the role of ‘traditional media’ in a digital world.

The role of marketing is to use the right tools across the marketing mix to achieve business outcomes. The traditional forms of communications, through TV, radio and print, remain just as valid today, even with the introduction of digital tools. Multiple communication tools are often required to create action, so there is a need to identify how best to reach and motivate your target markets.

At Network Ten

At Network Ten

No mainstream digital disrupter, such as Twitter, Facebook or Google, has been able to achieve its market presence without the use of traditional media. Rather than seeing digital as distinct to traditional, marketers need to view these tools as the means to achieve business goals.

The original call to action

When a lack of strategy creates trouble – Woolworth’s Fresh in our Memories Campaign

By | Advice for Businesses, News | 3 Comments

With ANZAC day just over a week away, Woolworth’s has found itself in an uncomfortable predicament. In an attempt to commemorate the upcoming centenary of ANZAC day, Woolworth’s commissioned Carrspace, an experiential marketing agency to create a campaign that would capture the ANZAC spirt and align it with the Woolworth’s brand.

What was delivered was a flawed concept that the Internet captured and transformed into a meme. The concept provided by Carrspace was a website that enabled users to upload images of their loved ones who have fought in wars, with stylised watermarked text that read “Least we forget ANZAC 1915-2015 Fresh In Our Memories Woolworths”. Users had the option of uploading any image they desired and then sharing via social media accounts.

The original call to action

The original call to action

This was the problem. It did not take long for users to start uploading other imagery, often associated with memes such as Grumpy Cat and the Fresh Price of Bell Air.

 

A meme version featuring Grumpy Cat

A meme version featuring Grumpy Cat

A meme version featuring the Fresh Prince of Bell-Air

A meme version featuring the Fresh Prince of Bell-Air

While Woolworths is currently reeling from the reputational damaged caused by this campaign, the agency Carrspace has also found itself in the spotlight with memes directly making fun of the agency and its lack of strategic direction.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

This campaign is yet another example of where a lack of strategy created poor outcomes. There were no discernible metrics and no effective assessment of the perception that would be created through attaching the Woolworths tagline to Anzac memories.

With the right strategy, marketing can be measured. Had Carrspace taken a strategic approach, it would have been able to assess the risks of the campaign and determine if it was viable. Carrspace is an experiential marketing agency that delivers campaigns to its clients through creative tactics. It is not a provider of strategic marketing services. This is a clear example of a campaign that appeared to have no discernible outcome, yet has caused potential risk to both the agency and the client.

Ultimately #freshinourmemories is an example of a retailer utilising an agency that focuses on tactics before thinking about the strategy and their strategic direction. Unfortunately such outcomes tarnish the wider perception of marketing and once again erode the fact that a sound marketing methodology would have fully understood the potential risks around such a campaign.

TweetChat – #StartupChat Melbourne Silicon Beach vs LA

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

As sponsors of Melbourne Silicon Beach, we participated in a TweetChat involving Melbourne’s StartUp community and LA.  The conversation explored the role of StartUps in both locations and the key challenges faced by these communities. TweetChats provide an opportunity to converse over Twitter, discussing topics and connecting people who may otherwise never have interacted. Given that the concept of StartUps in Australia is relatively new, there is the potential for collaboration with the establish LA StartUp Community to share knowledge and build capacity.

The TweetChat pitted Melbourne against LA to see who could generate the most conversation. Despite Melbourne Silicon Beach being relatively new to #StartUpChat, we’re pleased to say that we beat LA in the first round!