MediAvataar's News Desk
WARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, has today released its Effective Content Strategy Report 2018, outlining key content marketing themes from the world's most effective campaigns.
Drawn from the winners of the Effective Content Strategy category of this year's international WARC Awards, a global search for next-generation marketing effectiveness, the report identifies common themes from branded editorial-style content that can demonstrate a business outcome.
WARC's Lucy Aitken, Managing Editor, Case Studies, says: "Despite the stumbling blocks in encouraging advertisers to experiment with new content formats and try something that perhaps doesn't look like advertising of old, there is a palpable enthusiasm for content.
"Content is starting to take a more central role in communications strategies that recognise its strengths and its power to connect."
Following WARC's analysis of the metadata of the entries, together with an entrants' survey and contributions from the eminent judging panel chaired by John Dokes, Global Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager, AccuWeather New York, four key themes have been identified around Effective Content Strategy:
Humour as an effective content strategy
Emotion and humour were the creative strategies of nearly a third (32%) of shortlisted papers in the Effective Content Strategy category at this year's WARC Awards.
The Grand Prix winner, Coca-Cola's Hijacking the African Cup by FP7/CAIRO, showed how emotion and humour could successfully engage audiences, as did Whiskas' Kitten Kollege by AMVBBDO and Malaysian telco Maxis' 4G Films by Ensemble Worldwide and Initiative Malaysia.
Jury member Lennie Stern, Head of Creative and Entertainment Strategies, BETC Paris says: "Creating emotion is what brands have to do today. Make them laugh and you'll encourage them to share new cultural references."
Content must scale up to reach its full potential
In a survey by WARC asking entrants into the Effective Content Strategy category whether their clients will be investing in more branded content in the future, 89% agreed that they would. Given that brands are committing more to the benefits of content, budgets need to grow to ensure that it can be consistent over time and deliver on marketing objectives.
Judge Nick Kendall, Founding Partner, Broken, Electric Glue and The Garage Soho, comments: "Scaling, and scaling hard behind proven success, is the new business practice. Now content is growing up and finding 'the power of ideas'. So let's make sure we have 'the power of media' to drive them."
Content that creates a point of difference
Telcos, particularly those in the MENA region, where countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia boast some of the highest smartphone penetration in the world, are increasingly dependent on content marketing to help differentiate in a highly commoditised sector.
There are lessons here for marketers in sectors such as financial services where differentiation remains one of the biggest challenges.
Daniel Shepherd, Director, Digital Planning, PHD UAE, says: "Showing is better than telling to get into consumers' hands and hearts. In a sea of sameness, littered by the debris of countless boastful claims, content makes impressive waves and ripples that last."
Content that engages new audiences
Nearly half (44%) of entrants surveyed by WARC cited new customer acquisition as a key objective of their content marketing. And many winning campaigns successfully reached new audiences.
U.S. dating app Hinge by the STUDIO repositioned itself as a relationship app through an animated film, inviting people to Escape the Dating Apocalypse and doubled its user base. Meanwhile, Emirates NBD's Dear Younger Me by Momentum Egypt increased youth acquisitions through branded content that engaged emotionally with Egypt's under-25s.
Jury member Aliya Hasan, Head of Strategy, Vizeum Australia, comments: "Content can provide an accessible platform for new audiences to experience brands that might have been previously unfamiliar. It can often be more trusted and disarming than traditional advertising.
"Put simply, content done well, does well. It can truly be a powerful weapon in a marketer's arsenal when wielded skillfully."
There is no place for bullying on Instagram. If people see that kind of hurtful behavior on our platform, they can report it, and we remove any content that violates our guidelines. But online bullying is complex, and we know we have more work to do to further limit bullying and spread kindness on Instagram.
That’s why we’re announcing our latest tools to help combat bullying, including a new way to identify and report bullying in photos. We’re also introducing a camera effect to help spread kindness in Stories. As the new Head of Instagram, I’m proud to build on our commitment to making Instagram a kind and safe community for everyone.
Detecting Bullying in Photos
While the majority of photos shared on Instagram are positive and bring people joy, occasionally a photo is shared that is unkind or unwelcome. We are now using machine learning technology to proactively detect bullying in photos and their captions and send them to our Community Operations team to review.
This change will help us identify and remove significantly more bullying — and it’s a crucial next step since many people who experience or observe bullying don’t report it. It will also help us protect our youngest community members since teens experience higher rates of bullying online than others. This new technology has begun to roll out and will continue to in the coming weeks.
A few months ago, we introduced a bullying comment filter to proactively detect and hide bullying comments from Feed, Explore and Profile. We’re now adding this filter to comments on live videos to ensure that Live remains a safe and fun place to authentically connect with your friends and interests. This is now globally available for all live videos.
Kindness Camera Effect
While stopping bullies is important, we must also do more to celebrate and inspire kindness on Instagram. Together with New York Times best-selling teen author, dancer and actor, Maddie Ziegler, we’re launching a kindness camera effect to spread positivity. Maddie has been speaking out against online bullying since she started experiencing it and is one of many people in our community that uses Instagram to promote positivity.
If you follow Maddie, you will have the camera effect automatically. Swipe to open the camera, tap the face icon at the bottom and choose the new camera effect. In selfie mode, hearts will fill the screen — and you’ll be encouraged to tag a friend you want to support. Your friend will receive a notification that you mentioned them in your story. They can share it to their own story or use the camera effect to spread kindness to someone else. If you switch to the rear camera, you’ll see an overlay of kind comments in many languages. If you aren’t a follower of Maddie but you see someone else with the effect, tap “try it” to add it to your camera.
In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month in the US, the upcoming Anti-Bullying Week in the UK and anti-bullying efforts around the world, we are pleased to announce these new ways to combat bullying on our platform.
There’s more work to do, and we will continue to do our part to protect the community so that you can safely be yourself on Instagram.
Written by Adam Mosseri,Head of Instagram
New Skills Are Required to Lead an Agile Marketing Organization Today
Marketing leaders must adopt new skills, rooted in more modern collaborative leadership styles, in order to successfully lead an agile team today, according to Gartner, Inc. To help overcome this challenge, Gartner has identified seven practices for CMOs and other marketing leaders to adopt and evolve their agile leadership skills.
“The agile approach is still new for even the most seasoned CMOs,” said Elizabeth Shaw, research director at Gartner. “Traditional leadership practices are not going to drive the change needed to survive today. To shift to agile methods, the modern CMO must have the ability to awaken, harness and develop trust and commitment from their organization. This means having the right balance of hard skills and soft skills.”
According to Gartner, CMOs must lead by example by embracing, exercising and communicating the following seven practices:
1. Develop Trust: Trust goes a long way in promoting a collaborative environment for agile teams to thrive. It’s an ongoing effort that, if nurtured and maintained, will help to break down barriers and encourage collaborative problem solving. CMOs must be responsible for fostering the development of trust between team members, themselves and peers.
2. Create and Share Vision: CMOs must craft an authentic and clear vision to sell into the organization to drive change. Equally important, employees’ roles and goals should be clearly defined to support that vision. The best vision work is done collaboratively with peers, executives and partners to identify all opportunities and threats. It should be viewed as a living organ, vital to the body of the organization — one that is constantly nurtured and updated to keep the organization moving forward.
3. Hone Soft Skills: Lead with empathy, creativity and compassion. In today’s ever-evolving environment, these skills are critical for being an effective CMO. The ability to explain a person’s point of view and motivation is key to eliminating biases, making better decisions and motivating team members. This requires sincerity and authenticity.
4. Be a Student Leader and Share Authority: The best leaders are also students — constantly open, eager and without preconceptions when exploring something new. CMOs must learn to share leadership authority with modern oversight.
5. Constantly Calibrate: Running an agile marketing organization means the CMO must be engaged and aware at all times. This means constantly evaluating the big picture and the details. Agile marketing requires disciplined and defined work styles and realistic goal orientation and capability-based contribution. CMOs going agile need to optimize and calibrate projects and resources with available data and analytics, while also investing in digital infrastructure that supports agile and collaborative teams.
6. Build a Culture of Collaboration: Constant and open communication is the blood flow that keeps this living organ alive. CMOs must stimulate and coach each person individually and the team collectively — ensuring all voices are heard and considered. Collaboration is more than just “working together.” It means sourcing ideas, evaluating approaches and discussing among team members how they will share work.
7. Reward Individual and Team Outcomes: CMOs must reward team members, individually, and the team collectively for the work done toward the achievement of business outcomes. This is one of the most delicate endeavors for leaders, as each person has different reward and recognition expectations. Great leaders make sure they customize the type of recognition they provide to each member of their team.
You are all ready with what looks like a winning digital strategy a category shaping roadmap. But what if you were told that this could be grossly irrelevant, or even counter productive? Or if it was doing the brand nothing more than just garnering a few shiny superficial brownie points?
How does on look at a brand’s New-Age strategy for short and long term both, with the same lens and build a framework that fits in with the big goals?
First let’s check and tick what we have been saying over the last few years:
• We said, it’s all about creating great experiences and measuring the right outcomes
• We also said, for Organisations to get digitally mature, its about acquiring the right talent and the right digital technologies.
• We pounded ourselves with enough reasons to become agile.
• And lastly many of our discussions suggested having a more focused, consumer-centric collaborative culture going forward.
All that was fine, still is.
But navigating the complexity and the unpredictability that we have been mandated with, as we address our respective strategies, both for the brand and the organization is a tough ask. Strategizing in the digital world makes us think differently. New digital technologies make us reimagine our approach providing newer ways to connect with our consumers, employees and other stakeholders. Secondly it is making us think of long term platforms and view the competitive landscape differently.
Thirdly, it wants us to define our own unique goals of transformation.
We agree its not just a shiny layer on top, its the hard working engine that runs below, connected to several other important moving parts of the Organisation. When the transformation agenda and business goals align, they automatically start to imply a strong ‘consumer experience driven approach’ at its very foundation. This becomes the core. And then subsequently when we start building experiences, all these three, almost magically - the transformational focus, the business angle and the consumer experience obsession - start to look compelling. Its almost surreal as they collectively converge to become inseparable blocks of our brand’s future-proof framework.
While this continues, on the ground level there is constant need for fine-tuning, regular probing and fresh discoveries to be made:
1. As consumers flow from once channel to the other this new behaviour needs to be studied as a unified one. They aren’t moving in a straight line, are asking new questions, sometimes not knowing what to ask and posing new challenges.
2. Competition is changing its form and format, originating from unknown places. Its a lot about collaboration leading to small players with an ecosystem approach rise fast.
3. The approach to building experiences and useful solutions and not getting caught with a campaign approach, is becoming a big differentiator. Imagine having to create 50 different pieces of communication for 50 different ideas around new experiences some of them from real time insights.
4. We need to continue to be curious and ask probing questions. "what’s emotion on social media? what’s the role of nostalgia?”
5. Finally, measurement of performance and success criterion have changed. In this big-business-strategy-transformational-picture, initially don’t put everything under the ROI filter. Be a bit less rigid on rules, have some fun, experiment, maybe fail, learn and move along.
Secondly, regular metrics, client researched information or cliched focus groups won’t help. Going inside the consumer’s mind, living with them and valuing their subtle granular needs is key. Broaden the world of insights and start thinking of new insights coming from usage, media, market, future, search, purchase and all that.
Strategizing in a digital world, is a journey, a journey that’s more about Digital Readiness or Digital Transformation. Its not a tag that you seek to acquire. Its about reaching a state where you can claim to have an innovation-centric culture and a future-driven mind-set. At this point you start behaving like a digitally transformed Organisation which is the beginning of a continuous state of evolution and the constant fine-tuning you need to do, to get the Engine and all the moving parts working towards efficiency.
Eventually all your solutions - whether in the shape of consumer facing campaigns, or that Insta-moment or the products or platform ideas should go through this rigour and your organization will start behaving like one with the ability to drive a culture of change.
Digital strategy or Digital transformation, whatever you wish to call, will then infiltrate into all parts, because it spans the whole Organisation.
Written by Rajeev Sharma, Founder, Awrizon - a performance driven Digital Consultancy.
Broadcasters are increasingly using the mobile phone as a device to engage with their viewers, while they are watching television.
They are changing TV consumption from a ‘lean back’ to a ‘lean forward’ experience. Several cases have shown that interactivity increases time spent on linear television, as well as builds program loyalty. As broadcasters benefit from that, they can also use interactivity to build their viewer databases, which can be monetized with advertisers and be a means to demonstrate the power of the medium.
Mini Gupta, Partner, Media and Entertainment, EY India says “Brand collaboration through quizzes, puzzles, and many more methods is possible through second screen interactivity which helps TV broadcasters connect with the new generation of the digital consumers”. In addition, it provides an opportunity for brands to directly connect with television audiences in a non-intrusive manner.
Rahul Shah, Associate Partner – Media and Entertainment, EY India says “With more than 300 million smartphones present in India and the high response from second screen apps, interactivity presents broadcasters with an opportunity to provide advertisers with a TV plus digital offering and enable transaction opportunities with their customers.”
Second screen interactivity will not only help broadcasters understand their viewers better through the additional data that could be collected, but also help keep viewers more engaged helping drive the ratings for shows. Broadcasters and other content owners are expected to partner with tech / telco companies to create some ‘never seen before’ experiences for their viewers. If used wisely, second screen has the power to create its very own loyal viewers who can continue to engage even after the end of a show. It is no longer a just cost element but it has the potential to generate revenue and cut marketing costs by building a proactive engagement and gamification platform.