Cadillac Shadows.

Following a series of successful digital and social campaigns in 2016, Cadillac tasked us with the development of a bold new campaign for the Cadillac Escalade that would not only be memorable, but also serve to drive consideration among the automaker’s conquest audience for the marquee model and deep cultural cache.

To drive earned conversion and help consumers to associate Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” brand platform with the Escalade, Rokkan created a social campaign featuring daring imagery to illustrate the Escalade’s power and style while encouraging viewers to “Cast a bold shadow.”

Centered around four unique cinemagraphs titled ”King of a Different Jungle,” “Force of Nature,” “Every Road a Stage,” and “The Undisputed Champ,” respectively, the campaign ran on Cadillac’s various social channels using organic and paid placements on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Snapchat.

Outperforming all expectations, the campaign assets were also used in reporting for Cadillac’s broader brand success story.

The post Cadillac Shadows. appeared first on Rokkan.

ROA: The Most Important Marketing Metric in 2017

Cashier provides ROA, the most important marketing metric

We’ve been discussing the importance of meeting customer demands for context and personalization in 2017. So far, we have established that we need to think beyond one-to-one marketing and focus on the small data to succeed in this Age of ‘Me,’.

The next area all marketing leaders must critically examine this year is content. Analyst Rebecca Lieb recently said,Context will be the foundation of the next phase of content marketing.” I agree, and context can be achieved by matching small data with small messaging.

Match Small Data with Small Messaging

We are living in an attention-based economy. There is real value to getting some of my attention, so you, as a marketer, better provide me something relevant and valuable in return.

This places a whole different obligation on marketing. Marketing itself has to impart value in the interaction separate from whether or not the consumer actually does business with you. This is a very challenging thought as a marketer. Once—and only once—you have shared value with the prospective customer, you can then start engaging in dialog about doing business with you. The point of content should always be first to inform, then dialog, then sell.

We call this providing return on attention (ROA) for the consumer. It’s the most important marketing metric, and it can only be achieved by matching the small data you’ve gathered to small messaging. Contextual interactions are achieved by understanding who your customer is in the moment (through the small data) and matching the exact right message to her needs in the right moment—or at least as close as we can get (small messaging).

Measuring Content with ROA

The success of our content therefore needs to be measured by return on attention (ROA). There are two sides to measuring ROA. The first is having an understanding of whether or not your content actually provided some value for those that interfaced with it. Second, did getting their attention get you a better, faster buyer? While it’s simply arrogant to think we can change a buyer’s individual journey to purchase, we can make the buyer journey more effective, remove obstacles, and accelerate the buyer down the path to purchase.

This is really new. We’re currently grappling with how to quantify and measure ROA, and it’s something we’ll continue to explore in 2017.

For more insight on ROA, check out this article by John Hagel on Then make sure to read the last post in my 2017 recommendations series next week: Make the Move from Manual to Automatic with AI.

The Livity Enterprise Programme is here!

Youth event

Entrepreneurs’ Collective

The Entrepreneurs’ Collective is a thriving community for future CEOs to connect and collaborate.

It is open to young entrepreneurs, aged 16-25, who are starting or have started a business and who want to meet other like-minded people whilst getting more targeted support for their business.

Join the collective and get the latest news about our bi-monthly events and workshops, hosted by Google, ASOS, Facebook and more.

The collective is open to entrepreneurs in any sector.

Entrepreneurs in Residence

We’ll also hand pick 20 entrepreneurs who will be further supported by Livity to establish and grow their business through accessing the following for free:

Office space – Use the Livity office as a workspace from as well as for meetings and events.
Mentoring – 3 months mentoring from the Livity team to help with your personal and business development
Skills – Book time with our experts in finance, design, strategy and more, to produce tangible outcomes that take your business to the next level
Corporate contacts – Get access to Livity’s black book of industry contacts, clients, brands, etc

To apply for this opportunity, fill out this form and if you get through to the next stage, you will be invited to come and pitch your business in front of a panel.

Dates for your diary
● Deadline for submitting your proposal – Sunday 29th January 2017
● Finalists Pitch to Livity – Monday 6th Feb 5pm – 8pm
● Final 20 notified Friday 10th Feb

Fill out this form to apply

The post The Livity Enterprise Programme is here! appeared first on Livity.

Giving Technology a Familiar Face

Illustration of humanoid technology.

If there was one lesson to take away from CES 2017, it’s that soon all your technology will talk to you (according to the exhibitors, anyway). Many of the connected devices on display — from ovens, to baby monitors and vehicles — boasted built-in AI personal assistants. In Fast Company, Meg Miller asks if the physical design of these gadgets is taking on more human-like qualities to ease us into this world of talking technology:

“Everything about them—their silhouettes, movements, and conversational tone—is meant to relieve some of the friction that people may feel introducing this level of technology into their houses.”

A prime example is Toyota’s Concept-i car, which is “Less of a machine. More of a pal”. The kawaii cuteness of its exterior matches the cheery personality of its on-board virtual assistant ‘Yui’. The vehicle was designed according to Disney’s ‘12 Principles’ to seem lifelike —  it even has LED eyelashes over its headlights.

Making new technology feel familiar is not a new trick, whether it’s giving a calendar app a leather-like texture or putting horses heads on motor cars. Moving Brands’ UX Design Director Mia Chuang explains:

“It’s much easier to stretch beyond one’s comfort zone in baby steps, rather than asking us to adapt our behaviour completely. If these technologies respond with familiar cues – at least initially – learning to work with virtual assistants becomes far less intimidating.

Something similar happened when cars were unleashed into cities when horse-drawn carriages were the norm. Learning to ‘drive cars’ required a huge behaviour shift and they scared horses into causing accidents. One left-field (and unused) suggestion was called Horsey Horseless, which installed a horse’s head on a car’s body.”

Words by Jed Carter, Illustration by Minji Sung.

This originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20170111.

Subscribe to Moving World Wednesday here.

The post Giving Technology a Familiar Face appeared first on Moving Brands – an independent, global creative company.

How to Boost Both Awareness and Conversions with Facebook

boost conversions with facebook in digital funnel

How big of a role should Facebook play in your organization’s digital funnel and overall conversion process? Bigger than you might think.

I’ve spoken with a lot of marketers who think Facebook isn’t the right place to get in front of their target audiences. The assumption: spending money on Facebook ads won’t translate into conversions.

While that used to be the case, it isn’t anymore. In fact, Facebook has introduced some powerful tools that let you target people by job titles, company revenue and other variables. Both B2B and B2C marketers can leverage these tools to drill down and reach their most relevant audience segments.

Lookalike audiences (LALs) is one example of how Facebook allows you to do just that. Simply upload your customer list, and Facebook will analyze it to determine key characteristics, behaviors, demographics, etc. Based on the findings, you can develop personas and target people who are likely to be interested in your offer because they share similar attributes with your existing customers. We’ve found LALs to be a very effective way to get in front of just the right audiences.

Where Facebook Sits in the Funnel

Now let’s consider where Facebook should be situated within your digital funnel.

Facebook works wonders at the top of the funnel, where the focus is on exposure. It’s great for introducing your brand or product/service, with the goal of increasing awareness among your target audiences. Some of these users will translate into conversions right away (either through avenues like Facebook lead ads or by visiting your website). It should also be noted that Facebook has excellent retargeting options (custom audiences and website custom audiences) that we use liberally for both great direct response and for re-engaging past customers with upsells, renewals, etc.

What about the rest of those users? Well, they’re still going to keep your brand in mind. And later on, when they have an intention to buy, some of them will head to Google or Bing to search for what you have to offer.

Coordination with Paid Search

This is where a smart paid-search strategy will pay dividends. You need to buy highly relevant keywords so that people who can’t remember the name of your company, product or service will still see your ad on the search engine results page. That means bidding not only on your brand terms, but also on keywords related to your product or service.

By leveraging Facebook in tandem with paid search, you’ll ensure more of the right people know your brand — and are converted into customers.

For more on this topic, check out our free whitepaper, 3Q Digital’s Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising.

Great Marketers Will Focus on Small Data for Success This Year

small data about your prospects paints a clearer picture

We’ve established that this is the year of the consumer. We’re living in The Age of ‘Me’, and that means that as marketers, we really need to understand who our customers and our prospects are—and we need to use that to speak to them contextually.

I started off my 2017 recommendations series by explaining that—rather than interacting contextually—marketing has been neglecting to seek out and react to our consumers’ cues as they provide them (like my experience with the online retailer and the shoes). The first step to remedying this is thinking beyond one-to-one marketing to one-to-one in the moment marketing. The next piece of the puzzle is looking at the small data for a better picture of your consumer, at a particular point in time.

It’s the Small Data that Matters; Stop Counting Everything

You don’t need to have a ton of information on me to understand what’s driving me. You need the right piece of information about me at a moment in time.

Robert McNamara was the Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War. He espoused the notion that for any problem, you should define objectives, make a plan and measure your success. In order to determine whether or not we were successful in the war, he measured what he had available to him: bodies. He concluded that, because we were killing more people than we were losing, we must be winning. Clearly, that was not the case.

In marketing, our vision is often clouded by the same mistake: measuring what is easy or readily available to measure at the expense of what is useful to measure. We rely on clicks, store visits and other single data points that don’t really tell us what is happening in any given situation. And we collect a whole bunch of this information. Another CMO I know likes to say, “I’m looking for a needle in a haystack, and you people keep throwing hay on top of it.” We count everything we can count, but we are counting things that don’t matter—or we don’t understand the information we have.

Instead of looking at all of the data that’s readily available and possible to collect, we need to look at the real indications that we have a ready buyer. It’s our job to determine what an interested buyer looks like—and if there are some data points in that description that we can’t easily get to, it’s our job to figure out how to get them. This often means breaking down walls inside the organization to share information at a human level rather than at a channel or interaction level. It can also mean bringing in third party enhancing data that help you understand who the buyer is.

Once we know what this buyer looks like, we can build algorithms to help us identify more buyers and a content engine that allows us to match the exact right message to the right person in the right moment—or at least as close as we can get.

For more insight on small data, see Martin Lindstrom’s article on

The Next Step is Content: Small Messaging to Match Small Data

The importance of that message and the content it’s contained in is the third thing we must rethink as marketers this year. Check it out in my next post next week.

How to create a marketing plan

How to create a marketing plan


We create different types of marketing plans for a wide variety of clients, from start-up businesses and SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) all the way up to blue chip organisations. Our clients operate within both the private and the not-for-profit sectors, and within a wide variety of industry sectors and sales channels, including both the B2B and B2C marketplaces (as well as more complicated distribution and sales channels). Every marketing plan we create for our clients is bespoke in size, structure and form. Some clients require a marketing plan for a specific industry sector they are wishing to enter, or for a new product or service they are planning to launch, rather than for the business as a whole. For the purposes of illustration, the process outlined below assumes we are delivering a full business-wide marketing plan for an SME company employing up to 50 people, with an annual revenue of less than about £5 million. It is important to remember that the essence of a marketing plan is always created by the people working within the business. The role of a marketing agency (such as Abacus Marketing) is to enable a successful outcome, by ensuring that the directors, management and staff are all involved every step of the way and during every relevant stage in the process.

business review

Business review

We take a close look at our client’s business plan and their sales forecasts, as well as by analysing historical performance and future trends. We always speak with company directors or senior management on a one-to-one basis first of all, to ascertain their views and opinions as to how successfully they feel the business is performing at this moment in time, how well they feel it has performed over the past few years, and what they believe the business needs to do to perform well in the future. Very often, we will encounter a situation where there is some degree of misalignment as to the preferred direction of travel that they individually feel that the business needs to head in. This first stage in the process therefore ensures that any incongruences are identified and a mutually acceptable agreement reached before we proceed too far down the wrong path. Typical examples of issues we see on a regular basis include disagreement on: whether traditional revenue streams are still profitable enough to warrant continued effort; whether the company should be looking to develop new services/products and/or to move into new market sectors; and whether there is a need to look at pricing, overhead and distribution. This organisational assessment can in itself create huge benefits for our clients, by creating much greater clarity amongst senior stakeholders. Often, a third party such as Abacus can get to the heart of a matter more quickly and less painfully than an internal review is able to do. For smaller businesses and start-up enterprises, we also offer a full business plan service, including full financial modelling, including sales forecasts and cash flow modelling.

Employee feedback

We interview all staff on a one-to-one basis, though this is of course dependent upon the numbers of people involved, and the geographical location of the office network. This stage enables us to establish how well employees understand the business in terms of the business plan, the company’s financial performance, the corporate brand proposition, the quality of the products and services it offers, the importance of customer service, staff morale, and so on. Apart from providing very helpful information that will assist with the creation of a high-quality marketing plan, a secondary benefit of actively involving staff in this process is that that they are likely to feel that they as individuals, plus their opinions and views, are greatly valued by the organisation – which is of course the way it should be. This process also provides them with a reasonably safe and unthreatening environment in which they may feel comfortable to share any grievances or concerns that they might otherwise have kept to themselves, but that it would be useful for the company to know about. Once we have established individual views, we will then often ask staff to complete an anonymous online questionnaire, the purpose of which will be to further clarify any issues raised during these first two stages.

Market research

Market research

We analyse the company’s competitors. Normally, the client will provide us with a list of competitors whom they are aware of, a list which we will add to from our own online research. We will then review these websites during a facilitated workshop session attended by a mix of directors, management and staff. This is an extremely efficient way to objectively evaluate competitor websites, and to identify the campaigns, tactics and strategies that are being used by the competition. It can provide a rich source of ideas, which our client can emulate or improve upon. We follow this workshop up with a technical survey of competitor websites, which enables us to identify keywords they are using for search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes. We also review their social media profiles/hashtags to better understand their social tactics, strategies and campaigns for building audiences and developing relationships. Finally, we use various tools to investigate the investment by competitors in digital advertising activities such as Google AdWords Pay Per Click (PPC), network advertising and remarketing.

Customer profiling

We strive to better understand the messages that competitors use to promote their products and services to prospective customers. It also enables us to efficiently establish the profile of the potential customers they are targeting. We look at three key elements – demographic traits, rational needs and emotional drivers – which enables us to articulate key messages that are likely to resonate with the target market. It is absolutely crucial to try and understand better who one’s consumer audience is, by modelling various features, traits and characteristics. The ability to put oneself in the shoes of a prospect so that one can understand their needs and wants is the hallmark of a successful business.

brand proposition

Brand proposition

The purpose of a brand strategy is to create a framework that explains the essence of the company’s character in terms of its values, views, virtues and vision. Having a formal brand proposition in place enables the delivery of a consistent experience to prospects and customers at every single touchpoint. We consider three key areas during this process – product quality, customer service and thought leadership. The outcomes from this process include positioning statements, USPs and other points of difference, key customer messages and a customer service charter. We also look at CSR as part of the brand proposition, as corporate social responsibility should reflect the personality of the business. Once we have looked at the strategic side of things, we then look at the creative side – although this does not form a formal part of the plan, it is perhaps worth mentioning quickly. We always create three sets of design concept visuals and work in close partnership with our clients to develop the design until we map out a corporate identity that will subsequently be applied to the full suite of sales and marketing communications collateral required by the client. This is also the basis for the brand guidelines we will also create.

Marketing communications

We identify the sales and marketing communications materials that are required by the business to present itself in a professional and credible way to internal and external stakeholders, including suspect, prospect and actual customers. This collateral will include company website, corporate presentation, brochure, folder, case studies, corporate video, stationery, leaflets, signage, uniforms, badges, vehicle livery, exhibition stands, posters, and so on. Again, although the creation of these elements falls outside the remit of the plan, it is worth mentioning briefly that the designs are taken from the corporate identity agreed during the creative brand proposition process outlined above. This will enable us to create a brand guidelines document in due course.

Sales pipeline

We require an efficient sales pipeline framework in place, with all employees clear on the internal processes that need to be followed to ensure that the management team is supplied with the information they need on a regular and consistent basis to run the business. We will look at the frequency and structure of sales meetings and we will assess the quality of the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, to ensure that the sales pipeline is working as efficiently as possible. It is our view that all employees need to think of themselves as having an essential role to play in the sales pipeline process, to ensure that a consistent brand experience is achieved at every single customer touchpoint.

Lead Generation

Lead generation

We need to determine the best mix of lead generation activities – and the budget that will be required – to fill up the funnel of the sales pipeline. Most of our work these days falls within the digital marketing arena, simply because digital marketing media are likely to deliver the most efficient returns on investment in most circumstances for SMEs in particular. Paid digital activities (which deliver immediate results) include pay per click advertising on Google AdWords, network marketing, affiliate advertising, remarketing and social media advertising and promotion. Unpaid digital activities (which deliver better quality longer term results) include social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing (such as blogs, newsletters, white papers, video tutorials, webinars and presentations) and email marketing. Where we deliver lead generation activities for our client, we always identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide detailed monthly reporting and ongoing support as an inclusive part of our service delivery, to ensure that we are constantly searching for ways to improve results on an ongoing basis, rather than ever resting on our laurels. In terms of traditional marketing, we also look at the potential benefits of PR, guerrilla marketing and live events (exhibitions and conferences), as well as advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing – as there will sometimes be occasions when these approaches will yield better returns than the digital space is able to do.

Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value

It costs a great deal more to find a new customer than to retain an existing one. This is why it is essential to look at ways to maximise the lifetime value of a customer. This can include enticing them to repeat a purchase of the same product or service, and/or to incentivise them to purchase additional products and services offered by the company. We also need to look at ways to encourage customers to provide positive feedback, testimonials and case studies – as lifetime value means third party sales too. Therefore, we always look at “word of mouth” strategies that encourage customers to recommend the client’s products and services to unknown suspects. Marketing automation software can be an efficient way to deliver significantly greater value from existing customers.

Internal engagement

The final but often forgotten stage in the process is to identify ways to motivate and inspire staff to promote the business as effectively as possible on a consistent and ongoing basis, once the marketing plan has been successfully deployed. We look at communication, education, recognition and rewards to applaud and encourage effort and achievement. Ultimately, employees are the face of the company in the eyes of prospects, customers and partners. It is important to ensure therefore that every member of staff understands that they are brand ambassadors and that their behaviour at every customer touchpoint will impact to some degree either directly or indirectly upon the financial success of the business.


We hope you have found the process outlined above helpful in understanding the various stages we go through when developing marketing plans for our clients, and that you can imagine how this process might enable you to create a highly effective marketing plan for your own business. It is also worth reminding ourselves that creating a plan is one thing but that successfully delivering it is quite another. It is therefore essential to put together an implementation plan to ensure that key tasks are assigned to specific individuals with clear responsibilities, and a detailed timescale of deliverables is in place, to ensure that the plan is delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible.