Give your ideas legs.

Walking meetings come with more than just health benefits.

 

There is a growing trend to get healthy and spend time away from desks, screens and all the distractions of modern day working life but are there benefits, beyond the obvious, to be had from walking meetings?

Yesterday, ironically whilst I was sat in a meeting, I was introduced to the concept of walking meetings. Not something I’d ever heard of before, but something which caught my attention and motivated me to do a bit of research.

It is already a trendy topic among modern business leaders. Steve Jobs was apparently known for having walking meetings with his employees and the likes of Barack Obama and Richard Branson are also known to be big fans of the “walk and talk” philosophy.

In principle, it does what it says on the tin, it’s a meeting you have whilst you walk, but it was the associated benefits of this simple yet seemingly effective approach to meetings which sparked my interest.

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

In her TEDTalk ‘Got a meeting? Take a walk’, Nilofer Merchant likened sitting to “the smoking of our generation.” We are all aware that smoking is bad for us – indeed that it may dramatically shorten our lives, but the health risks of inactivity means a sedentary lifestyle or “sitting disease” as it’s now been coined by the scientific community is now one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide. According to the British Psychological Society the average office worker spends an astonishing 5.41 hours per day chained to their desk, so it’s no surprise that 64% of us are overweight.

Of course, there are obvious health benefits to be had from walking meetings. It’s not rocket science, and we all know we should move more and sit less, but despite that, one in three adults worldwide fails to do the recommended 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week. There have been attempts in recent years to increase movement in the office workforce. The introduction of standing desks for example, are a step in the right direction; and the advent of wearable tech now allows for comfortable and easy-to-wear devices that help nudge us throughout the day to spend less time sitting. But they don’t give our mind and body the stimulation we get from fresh air and moving our bodies. As the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1889) wrote, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”.

Research carried out by Harvard Business Review found that people who participate in walking meetings are 5.25% more likely to report being creative in their jobs than those who do not. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that walking meetings can also lead to more honest exchanges with employees and are more productive than traditional sit-down meetings. Dr Ted Eytan, supports this evidence by explaining that our brains are more relaxed during walks due to the release of certain chemicals. This aids executive function, which governs how we focus on tasks and deal with unforeseen events, among other things.

Of course, not all meetings are suitable for walking meetings but if you’re unsure where to start it seems the best walking meetings are the ones where colleagues are conferring on decisions or exploring possible solutions. The $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp for example, occurred after Jan Koum, one of the co-founders had several walking meetings with the Facebook CEO according to Bloomberg.

So, the next time you’re planning a meeting I urge you to consider some of the benefits to be had from a walking meeting, here are 7 from Peter Economy:

  1. Walking meetings are more creative: Researchers at Stanford University found that the creative output of people increases by an average of 60 percent when they are walking. Indoor walks were found to be just as effective for boosting creativity as outdoor walks.
  2. Walking meetings are better for you: According to Nilofer Merchant, “sitting is the smoking of our generation.” Walking meetings get you out of your chair, they get you moving, and–if you take them outside of our building–they get you some much needed fresh air and sunlight.
  3. Walking meetings tear down walls between management and workers: Says Western Union CEO, Hikmet Ersek–a big fan of walking meetings–“People become much more relaxed, and they talk from their hearts if you go for a walk with them. And they get to the point they want to make much more quickly.”
  4. Walking meetings improve energy and engagement: The Wellness & Prevention group of Johnson & Johnson has been doing research on the advantages of walking meetings. According to VP Jack Groppel, “In the studies that we did, after 90 days of doing [walking meetings], people felt increased amounts of energy, they felt increased focus, they felt improved engagement.”
  5. Walking meetings are better for communication: Assuming you avoid distractions by leaving your smartphone in your pocket or purse where it belongs, walking meetings are much more natural and focused on the topics at hand. According to neuroscientist, Andrew Tate, the increased blood flow to your brain “…helps you express those ideas more fluently and helps you communicate with coworkers.”
  6. Walking meetings outdoors make employees happier: Scientists at the UK’s University of Essex found that the mood and sense of well-being of people is boosted significantly with as little as 5 minutes of outdoor exercise.
  7. Walking meetings could save your life: According to researchers, just 30 minutes of walking each day can lead to a dramatic reduction in the risk of dementia, breast and colon cancer, and heart disease. If that’s not reason enough for taking your meetings for a walk, then I don’t know what is.

In conclusion, it’s probably appropriate for me to say I should “walk the talk” as it were, and show my commitment to the cause. Whilst I don’t think it’s possible or practical to commit to walking meetings by default, I most certainly will be trading some of my meetings for walking meetings to get those creative juices flowing.

Haribo goes international

It is with some excitement that we are seeing our Kid’s Voices campaign for Haribo go international.

We are now working directly with Haribo in the US, Sweden and Denmark.

And we’ve acted as production consultants in Holland, France and Spain, working with Haribo’s existing agencies in those markets.

Check out our first work for the US here, with more to come.

Elevating Campaigns via Amazon Marketing Services

Post by Leo Martinez, Media Manager

By leveraging Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), brands can elevate their campaign performance. Here is a four-step guide on how to achieve efficiency and increased performance through AMS:

(1) Determine goals

KPIs

Determine which performance metrics are most important the campaign’s performance. For example, if the main priority is to drive revenue as efficiently as possible, then ROAS would be worth optimizing towards as it allows marketers to quickly analyze the ratio between sales and spend. Marketers should also set realistic expectations based on the competitive landscape as this could affect portfolio results.

Hero SKUs

What are the priority products that should be advertised as much as possible?

Priority Keywords

Which keywords must “win” at all times? These keywords will likely receive a healthier portion of the budget as bids will need to be pushed aggressively.

Budget

Does the budget provide support to accomplish all AMS goals? If not, marketers should assess goal prioritization to ensure the most important targets are met.

(2) Audit current campaigns

Once KPIs are set, it’s important to audit the current campaign structure to understand what gaps need to be filled.

Account Structure

Does the account have a clear and organized campaign structure? AMS does not have ad groups so it is important that the campaigns have a clear keyword distinction.

Keywords

Analyze the keywords of the campaigns to determine if they are housed in the appropriate places and if it’s necessary to continue bidding on them. It might be helpful to download keyword reports when assessing keywords so you could compare performance to the brand’s KPIs.

Headline Campaign Ads

Do the Headline Search Campaigns follow best practices (i.e. does the ad provide a strong call-to-action, does it follow the capitalization guidelines, does the ad have three product images to the right of the ad copy, etc.)? Marketers should consider refreshing the headline ad copy if the CTR is below 1%.

Headline Landing Page

Is the headline driving users to the brand page or a custom landing page? It’s important to determine which landing page makes most sense based on advertising goals.

Sponsored Product SKU Eligibility

Compile a list of all the SKUs the brand wishes to promote, and check their availability as ineligible SKUs might cause a shift in strategy.

Marketers can also check for a product’s eligibility status by typing in the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) within the Sponsored Product campaign creation window. Note that the advertiser cannot make an ineligible SKU become eligible as the financial threshold is determined by Amazon.

(3) Filling in the campaign gaps / Restructuring the accounts

Build on top of past successes and choose a campaign structure that best fits the brand’s goals.

Keyword expansion

If necessary, expand the current keyword set to ensure campaigns are capturing all relevant queries. For marketers that have an Amazon support team, it would be worth reaching out to a representative for assistance as they can help put the expansion list together.

Outline desired account structure

Amazon does not have ad groups so it’s very easy to accumulate a large number of campaigns, making it a challenge to optimize.

Determine campaign naming convention

Choosing a uniform campaign naming convention that can easily describe the keyword set is advantageous for reporting and optimization purposes. It’s important to note that a campaign’s name cannot be changed after it is launched. It is not recommended to use the default Amazon campaign name.

Determine Headline landing pages

Through Headline Campaigns, marketers have the choice to drive users to the brand page or a custom landing page. The two serve different purposes:

  • Brand page: Provides the user with the full selection of the brand’s product offering and allows the brand to customize widgets by product lines. This allows for an immersive brand experience for the user.
  • Custom landing page: Delivers a customized user experience based on the campaign’s objectives. These landing pages showcase a select listing of products rather than the whole product portfolio. This methodology could be useful when measuring performance following a product launch – particularly when the advertiser is only interested in knowing how a specific keyword set performed against certain products.

(4) Compare Results

The campaigns have launched and there is a couple of weeks’ worth of performance. Now it’s time to analyze results.

Pre and post-restructure

Amazon’s user interface does not have custom time frames which poses a challenge to toggle through data. The campaign reports provide campaign-to-date data on all campaigns launched for the account. Pull the reports and create a pivot table to facilitate the filtering of data. Keep in mind, Amazon has an attribution data lag so the results may not populate in real-time.

Allow the campaigns time to gain traction

Allow your campaigns to gain traction for several days before making significant optimizations. The attribution lag causes a delay in the reported data. Marketers should be aware of severe red flags before the low performance takes an enormous hit on the overall results.

Optimize accordingly

Establish optimization guidelines and a cadence to monitor keyword performance. Use the reporting features within each ad unit to help guide the bidding strategy. Never underestimate the power of optimizations!

To learn more about Amazon Marketing Services, contact Performics today.

In Their Own Words: Kim O’Brien

image

Has data ever
called to you? No? It did for Director of Marketing and Analytics Kim O’Brien
and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone with as much passion for data
analytics as her. Kim has been with us for just under a year, but is no
stranger to the Publicis family, having started out at DigitasLBi. She is now
thriving as a leader in our London office, driving her teams with an innovative
spirit and a true open-door policy. Originally
a Boston-native, Kim has been living in London with her husband and their young
son for almost ten years. I sat down with her to gain insight into her impressive
career and get her take on life in the industry.

Why
did you chose a career in digital analytics?

I
started my career in database marketing operations, designing email and direct
mail marketing programmes with a focus on how to structure and process  data. I found I really enjoyed working with
data but I quickly realised there was more value in understanding what the data
was saying than to simply preparing it for a campaign. I honestly feel that it called
to me! As I progressed through my career ‘digital’ happened, which made data
more readily available and a lot easier to use to tell a story, which is my favourite
part. Using data to tell a story that influences decisions is an amazing
feeling.

What
made you want to join SapientRazorfish?

SapientNitro,
now SapientRazorfish, was an agency I’d heard a lot about. What really stood
out to me was the consulting aspect, which meant I could truly partner with
brands to deliver value through data. Today I work exclusively with one client
so I’m able to understand the drivers of the business and the challenges that
come with a business that operates at a significant scale across multiple
brands and countries. When I combine that with my experience and the expertise in
areas including data strategy, digital marketing and CRM, I feel I can almost immediately
see the impact of the recommendations that are being made.

Which
one of our company values resonates most with you?

Creativity,
even though that probably sounds a bit strange coming from a data person!
Everyone I work with, including the clients are open to new ways of working,
being creative in the way in which we use data to solve problems, and also
exploring the possibilities and value that data provides. Whether or not it’s
creative in the traditional sense, I feel our team is creative every single day
and it’s super exciting to see our ideas come to life!

What
has been the most rewarding experience in your career so far?

I
really enjoy managing people and I’ve been lucky enough to have had some truly
amazing people to both lead and learn from. One of the most rewarding experiences
for me is to see someone I’ve hired as a junior analyst grow and develop their
own unique skillset. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching someone be
successful using the lessons that I’ve taught them or we’ve learned together.

What
makes you stay here?

One
of the things that drew me here was the flexibility with where and how we work.
I am a working mother and was seeking a job that allowed me to play a role in
my son’s life. At SapientRazorfish everyone is open to collaborating in a way
that makes sense for the people on the team. Being able to support working parents
through initiatives like the Career Returns Programme is so inspiring. There is
so much effort that goes into making sure the people who work here are able to
balance their work and life commitments.  

What challenges
have you faced working in this industry?

The
challenges I face are likely similar to what many women face regardless of
industry. Just getting a seat at the table is one of the biggest challenges. As
a woman in technology with focus on data—both male-dominated fields—sometimes
it’s difficult to be taken seriously and make my voice heard. I think a lot of
women struggle with this. The way I deal with it is to try to find ways to add
value to my team, my clients and our organization as a whole so people can see
I’m not just a woman but I have a voice and I have value to offer. And it certainly
helps that I’m not shy.

How
can we encourage more women to get involved in digital?

Events
and mentoring are so important. Providing women, especially those who are just
starting out in their careers, access to strong, successful women to help
support and guide them. The mentoring, the encouragement, the support, really pushing
young women to be future stars is key. Encouraging them to be vocal in
conversations and meetings and helping them figure out how to calm those nerves
and just go for it!

Do
you have a favourite piece of career advice?

Jump
in feet first. Accept a challenge even if you don’t know exactly how to do it
and figure it out as you go. This is good advice for women especially, because
opportunities don’t always come our way so when they do, seize the day! If
something interesting or challenging, or something you’re passionate about comes
along, even if it extends beyond your comfort zone, seize the opportunity – don’t
let your own insecurities get in the way of going for it.

By Elyce Falzon, Senior Associate, Hiring

Why is copywriting good for business…?

Why is copywriting good for business…?

It is probably a truism to state that a significant percentage of companies cut corners when it comes to writing copy for their website and their other sales and marketing materials – e.g. company brochures, product leaflets and corporate presentations – not to mention their direct marketing and advertising campaigns. The reason why is obvious enough. Everyone can write, right? Then why spend extra money investing in someone else to do it for you? You can save all that time, money and effort by doing it all internally.

The trouble is, however, that although we can all write, we cannot all write well. Writing good copy is a skill. It requires an innate ability to step into the shoes of the reader in order to understand their emotional and rational drivers. It requires an appreciation of the psychological factors that underpin both explicit messages and implicit meaning to persuade a reader to believe in your brand. It requires an excellent command of the English language, so that sentences are written and structured in such a way as to make it easy for the reader to understand the context of what is being said. It demands an absolute understanding of how business works in general, the ability to learn quickly about a particular organisation and the products and services that it sells, and an in-depth familiarity with both the sales and the marketing functions.

Another important consideration to bear in mind is corporate branding. Now, you might think that your logo is your brand, but that’s like saying your skin is your body. It’s not. It’s just the visual exterior for all the different elements that have to be put in place behind the scenes to create a specific personality and character for your business. Virgin is an excellent example of a company with a really strong brand proposition – one of the reasons behind this is the amount of effort they put into making sure they write in such a way as to consistently express core values associated with their brand, such as ‘providing heartfelt service’ and ‘being delightfully surprising, red hot and straight up’.

Thinking about the importance of good copy content from the point of view of digital marketing strategy, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are constantly tightening up their algorithms, shifting the focus onto the provision of high quality readable content relevant for specific keywords – it is now a double-edged attempt to find the right balance between robot and person, and this is a real skill in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO). If appearing in natural search results is one of the core aims of your digital marketing strategy (and it probably should be for most organisations), this means that the quality of your copywriting will make or break the efficacy of your efforts.

How do I make my copy stand out from the crowd?

Good copy is engaging to the target audience. It’s as simple as that. Therefore, consideration must always be given to demographics to make sure that the tone of voice you adopt is appropriate to your customers’ profiles. Do you know who you are selling to? Many larger companies invest a great deal of time and effort in defining their customer segments, and there is no reason why the same approach should not be taken by every business, regardless of its size.

Good copy reflects the brand proposition. In an ideal world, content should always be consistent in the way that it is written, and this consistency should apply across all sales and marketing materials, and all advertising and direct marketing campaigns too. One should have the sense that one is reading different chapters from the same book. Therefore, it stands to reason that one should have clear guidelines in place that define a framework within which all copy is written. This does not mean that the same copywriter should be employed to write all your materials – but it does make sense for the same team to be involved, if at all possible. The end result will warrant it.

More than anything, good copy is an art form. Some people can play a musical instrument or paint technically well, but that does not mean that they have the natural flair to do so, nor a passion that comes straight from the heart. Good copy is highly readable, and creating it is the fundamental aim of a good copywriter. There are also tools you can use to measure the quality of the ‘ease of readability’ of your copy content, such as the Flesch-Kincaid test, but these add little value in most instances to the process, in our opinion.

How should I brief a copywriter?

A good brief really can make the difference between the success and failure of your copywriting project. Begin by introducing your organisation. Add a description of your products and services and give your copywriter plenty of literature to read. Invite them in to your office so that they get a feel for the atmosphere, and make time for them to chat with the key people. Share your business plan with them too – once they’ve signed an NDA, of course. Tell them about your customers, give them a copy of your brand guidelines, and explain the features and benefits you wish them to talk about. Outline any company USPs and core propositions you might have.

Provide them with a list of relevant competitors too. One of the best ways to pick up good copywriting ideas is to check out the competition by reviewing their websites. This will enable you to better understand how they market themselves, and their products and services, to potential customers. You can also conduct a technical audit to identify their primary keywords, which you can then use to populate your content, where it is appropriate to do so.

There are lots of other things to consider too, of course. Outline what needs to be produced. Agree word counts to aim for, and establish a timing plan and deadlines.
Finally, you should always agree on an appropriate call-to-action.

What makes a good copywriter?

One of the primary qualities to look for in a copywriter is their ability to quickly become an expert in what you do as a business. Much like a journalist, this entails research, planning and interviewing skills. A good copywriter is an innately curious and passionate creative, who likes to ask lots of awkward questions with gusto and enthusiasm. As previously mentioned, a good copywriter also has to be a sales and marketing professional. Finally, a good copywriter should be passionate about your brand – and knowledgeable about all the facets that make up a brand – its values, vision, views and virtues.

The best writers will question and challenge your brief in a direct but tactful way. If a copywriter doesn’t do so, this may be a sign that you have engaged a ‘yes’ man. This might be good for your ego, but it probably won’t be good for your business…

Next steps

We hope that you have find this article helpful in opening your eyes to the benefits of investing in good copywriting. Hiring a specialist copywriter to write for your business is likely to give you an edge in a more and more content-focused digital marketing environment. However, it is tricky to do so – we urge you to use a series of tests before you make a final decision. If you would like to find out more about any aspect of copywriting, please email Stephen Brown, our head of strategy, at stephen@abacusmarketing.co.uk, and he will be delighted to assist you.

[INFOGRAPHIC] A Closer Look At Eye Tracking

By Kristen Montana

The process of eye tracking is undoubtedly complex, but the concept itself is fairly simple: movements of the eyes and their measurements are used to infer various analyses.

Eye trackers can either be remote (screen-based or on a desk top) or mobile (head-mounted).

If you’re wondering how it actually works, near-infrared light is directed toward the pupil and this causes visible reflections in the cornea which a high resolution camera is able to pick up on.

Confused? Don’t be. Leave the tech to the tech people.


WHY SHOULD MARKETERS CARE?

The data that eye tracking provides can reveal insights such as:

  • Why do some products engage would-be customers more than others?
  • Will a product gain attention and then traction when placed in the market?
  • What features consistently engage potential customers?

UX designers in marketing can benefit too. With biometric sensors, data can also measure emotional and cognitive responses, which can drastically improve the user experience. Marketing, among a multitude of other fields, can learn a lot from eye tracking, a continually evolving industry.

Scroll down to learn more about eye tracking with an infographic provided by iMotions, a biometric research platform that simplifies human behavior research through smarter software.


iMotions eye tracking infographic


Since 2005, iMotions has developed a software platform that lets researchers integrate best-in-class biosensors, eye tracking, facial expression analysis, EEG, GSR, EMG, ECG and Surveys in one unified software platform. To learn more about eye tracking, download their 26-page guide right now, free of charge.

The post [INFOGRAPHIC] A Closer Look At Eye Tracking appeared first on Wilde Agency.

Inside Knowledge: This Weeks Latest Industry News

Each week the Savvy Insight Team draws together the latest industry news, interesting facts and marketing intelligence from around the world and pieces it into one article. Simply click on the highlighted source to read the full article. Please note: To …
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