SAG-AFTRA pickets ad agency BBH Los Angeles for ditching union contract

The actors’ union has been on strike against the ad agency since September 20.

Hundreds of actors and supporters picketed outside ad agency BBH Los Angeles’s West Hollywood offices yesterday, bringing the strike the union has held since September 20 to the agency’s Melrose Avenue front door. At issue is the agency’s withdrawal from the union agreement after two decades, citing cost and an evolving media landscape.

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New client: Good Life

Good Life turns virtuous veg into seriously tasty veggie food. Rather than mimicking meat, their healthy and flavourful food lets veg do their thing while helping their consumers feel their best – because balance is what a Good Life’s all about.

Our work

Goodlife has appointed us as their brand development agency where we have refined their proposition to be all about Feel Good Food, developing their proposition, positioning and communication plan as well as creating their tone of voice. Among other branding projects, we’re also working with them on their packaging and other literature.

Ali Reilly, Marketing Manager of Good Life, says:

“Good Life are thrilled to be working with Together to encourage more consumers to start eating delicious vegetarian and vegan meals. The rise of flexitarianism or VNATS (Vegetarians Now & Then) has been so prominent recently and the market growth has been astronomical. Over 14% or ‘1 in 7 adults* now say they are interested in limiting or reducing their consumption of meat or poultry in the future’ and we’re here to help them do that.”

What’s next?

Stay tuned. We’ll soon be launching the new packaging into Good Life’s retailers. In the meantime, you can learn more about Good Life here.

*[Mintel]

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The Search Engine Evolution: How Changing Habits are Turning Search into a Sales Center

Post by Maximilian Schichan, Biddable Strategy Associate Director

As e-commerce accelerates and consumer habits change, search engines are fast becoming shopping marketplaces in their own right. Retailers dominate results and are now favored in search results.

It’s time to re-evaluate your search strategy.

E-commerce continues to grow at an accelerated rate.

The rise of mobile-based shopping and the cementing of large scale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday has meant that online retail on e-commerce platforms has increased year over year in the past decade. In the last two years, the margin of increase has amplified even further.

Online as a % of all UK Retail Sales 2008-2017

Online still accounts for less than a sixth of all retail sales in the UK, meaning there is still plenty of room for growth.

By 2023, online sales are predicted to grow even further, to an estimated share of around 26% of all UK retail sales (Source: Mintel, Online Retailing UK, July 2018). There may be an ultimate ceiling for e-commerce, but we are far from it.

Huge sectors such as the Electronics industry have already seen the majority of spending migrate to online channels, while others like Grocery remain in a relative sense of infancy in terms of online development.

The Search Engine Page Results have changed drastically in the past four years:

There has been a seismic shift in the way we use search engines. No longer is the search engine a place primarily for information – it has become a marketplace in its own right.

It has become more and more important for e-retailers to achieve an integrated approach to advertising across both paid and organic search, as well as shopping listings (PLA).

In a study compiled by collecting data on Google SERP using Publicis’ search engine monitoring technology, we looked at a landscape view of websites appearing against TV related keywords in the UK on Google desktop and mobile listings.

The analysis was conducted across PPC, SEO and PLA formats and the data was taken over a month period (May-July) in 2018. Data from the same period in 2014 was pulled to serve as a comparison.

What was evident was that the shopping listings (PLAs) have become increasingly prominent. In 2014, they accounted for less than 5% of ad coverage on the SERP. Today that figure is nearly 25%.

Average coverage across listings on SERP 2014 v 2018

The conventional purchase intent funnel is being challenged by retailers’ activity and increasing presence on the Google SERP

Traditionally, the assumption is that retailers will focus their search investment and optimisations on the latter stages of the conventional purchase funnel – as there is said to be a higher level of purchase intent here.

Retailers are beginning support the notion that searches in the primary stages of the purchase intent funnel ultimately can, and do, lead to purchases.

Taking a similar approach to the analysis we conducted on the differences between the SERP in 2014 against 2018, we used ‘running shoes’ related search terms and monitored paid and organic listings; we split these keywords by purchase intent funnel, and monitored websites appearing against them.

The results in the ‘purchase’ end were as we expected, with retailers accounting for 95% of PPC and SEO coverage against these keywords. What we noticed, however, was that for ‘awareness’ search terms across PPC and SEO, retailers account for 60% of overall coverage on the SERP.

% of overall SERP coverage per type of website for awareness keywords

Retailers are expanding their presence on the SERP across all three listing types: Paid and organic search, and shopping listings 

The search landscape in 2018 includes more retailers than ever before and merchants are present across all three listing types on the results page.

The fact that they are ranking organically against these search terms indicates that Google’s search results relevancy algorithm is in favour of retailers occupying these positions.

As expected, for shopping ads, retailers account for 86% of listing coverage. The remaining 14% represents brands.

For paid search listings, retailers make up 57% of all advertiser coverage for TV awareness keywords, while brands account for 42%.

For organic search, retailers account for 45% of all coverage at the awareness stage of the purchase intent funnel. Brands make up 7%, while reviews/comparison sites provide the remaining 48%.

This analysis underlines the emerging dominance of retailers on the SERP. Google is beginning to prioritise retailers on SEO listings, and retailers are bidding aggressively on PPC listings.

Conclusion

While there are several conclusions that may be made from these data, it is important to put these findings into context. Results may vary across different verticals and studies.

The Strategy and Consultancy team at Performics is able to produce similar analyses, providing an in-depth study of the search space, and explore a brand’s position on the SERP as well as within retailer’s pages. This, in turn, will help inform the strategy and media buying.

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Micro-Influencers & Social Media

If 2017 was the year of the influencer, where does that leave us now?

The third annual Launchmetrics State of Influencer Marketing Report at the end of last year was clear: 88 per cent of industry professionals found influencer marketing strategies to effectively raise brand and product awareness. But the world of influencer marketing isn’t all big names and six-figure follower counts: firms have a choice between macro and micro-influencers, and they may be overlooking the power of the latter.

If macro-influencers are characterised as individuals with follower counts between 10,000 and 1,000,000, micro-influencers tend to start out at the 1,000 mark. On both levels, influencers are able to cultivate connections and trust with their audience; partner with an influencer, and you expect to partner with an engaged audience with often specific tastes and needs.

Indeed, influencer marketing is hardly synonymous with celebrity endorsement. There are often overlaps when it comes to big brands like Pepsi and Nike, yes, but for small and midsize businesses, a celebrity endorsement is not just out of reach- it is also likely to be completely unnecessary. Enter the micro-influencers.

Take, for example, the case of an e-commerce website selling women’s fashion, makeup and footwear. With a generous marketing budget, the team seeks out a celebrity for a $50,000 Instagram post about the website’s wares in the hopes that it brings in a host of new customers. The targeted celebrity has tens of millions of followers, so why not?

The reality, however, is not so simple: 90 percent of the celebrity’s fans follow her on instagram for reasons not related to product suggestions. Worse still, a recent study has shown that the number of followers is typically inversely proportional to engagement as far as social media is concerned. The e-commerce marketing team has wasted its money.

Enter micro-influencers: not your typical celebrities or public figures, these users tend to specialize in a particular subject or interest, and have built a following based on their niche. They may have fewer followers than, say, a Kardashian, but their following is hyper-engaged.

A post costing between $100 to $1000 might only reach 3,000 followers, but you can reasonably expect the vast majority of this following to take a micro-influencers’ endorsement seriously. Some, if not most, micro-influencers are happy to partner with their favourite brands in exchange for free products and a shout-out. The micro-world is your oyster.

Brand giant Unilever is just one firm taking notice of the value of micro partnerships, with a tribe of micro-influencers coming out in force in the summer as part of a campaign to market its margarine brand Stork. With 21 accounts selected via grassroots sourcing, users posted images of the product to their own Instagram accounts; 436,000 followers saw the images over five weeks, at a cost per engagement a mere 21 cents.

For context, 40 cents per engagement is typically considered good value. Indeed, the rise of micro-influencers cannot be ignored, and marketing teams looking to make their budgets work smarter would be wise to think small in the coming year.

The post Micro-Influencers & Social Media appeared first on 5W PR News and Updates, NY Public Relations Agency Blog.

Snapchat Partners with Amazon to Launch Visual Search: Implications for Competitors, Social Commerce and Brands

Post by Mara Greenwald, Media Director

On Monday, Sept. 24, Snapchat announced a new visual search product in partnership with Amazon. The product allows a user to hold up their Snapchat camera, point at a physical product or barcode, then press and hold on the camera screen. Once the item or barcode is recognized, an Amazon card appears onscreen, giving the user the ability to shop that or similar products.

Implications for the Competitive Landscape

The new product, combined with the scale of Amazon, offers Snapchat the ability to compete with both Instagram and Pinterest in the evolving social commerce landscape.

The announcement comes just a few days after the unveiling of Shopping in Instagram Stories, another commerce tool set to change how consumers find products.

Instagram Stories is the fastest growing product in Facebook history, and now boasts twice the number of daily users as Snapchat. Launching Shopping in Stories is no doubt another huge competitive advantage Instagram has in the social commerce space. However, it’s possible that the power of Amazon, combined with visual search, a product Instagram does not (yet) have, could allow Snapchat to not only compete, but pose a threat in the space. Pinterest, on the other hand, has had their Lens tool since February 2017. While Pinterest captures search and intent natively in the platform, Snapchat has the advantage of being a user- based platform. The Pinterest Lens feature can only be accessed after the user goes to the main screen in the app, Snapchat opens immediately to the camera. This could be a huge competitive advantage for Snapchat.

Implications for Amazon

There’s a big benefit to Amazon here, as well. Amazon has tried to launch social networks or standalone apps in the past, but none have been able to compete with the social giants of the world. Launching a standalone visual search tool would be both challenging to build and to market. Creating a new user-experience in an existing or standalone app tends to fail. Snapchat already has a strong, active daily user-base taking photos of everyone and everything. The app naturally opens to the camera, meaning there is a seamless process between seeing a product and Snapping it.

It’s a win for Amazon.

Implications for Social Commerce

We are already starting to see consumers convert in new and evolving places. Instagram Stories, previously considered an awareness or consideration channel, has been driving significant revenue for Performics’ clients. Retail traffic from social networks grew 146% in Q2 2017, compared with 45% in search and 7% in display. According to a 2017 ViSenze Commerce Report, 31.8% of respondents report Facebook has influenced them to make a purchase decision, compared to 16.4% Pinterest, 12.5% Instagram and only 1.7% Snapchat. While Snapchat has been growing their store capabilities and proving successful selling out exclusive, limited edition products, it hasn’t become a large player in the commerce space yet. Partnering with Amazon could open up significant growth for Snapchat.

Challenges

Snapchat is facing significant challenges. eMarketer just lowered their annual ad revenue projection to $662.1 million (from $1.03 billion initially projected). When Snapchat rolled out its programmatic ad platform last year, it got more agencies to run media in the platform, but also resulted in lower ad prices overall. After the redesign earlier this year, Snapchat lost 3 million users. In order for this feature to be successful, Snapchat will also have to solve for user growth and continue to expand with older demographics. This is where Amazon can prove a powerful ally – a solution to drive usage externally.

Implications for Brands

We often see technology advance at a more rapid pace than the consumer behavior. When launching new tools like chatbots and voice skills, the primary challenge brands face is getting consumers to actually use the technology. Messaging apps and voice assistants aren’t going to inherently push out a feature, and neither have paid search capabilities to help guide consumers to find them. We can learn a lot from this space and apply it to this visual search tool. Brands with a strong Amazon presence and visually recognizable products will have to promote this feature to get their audience aware and using it. Snap Ads and Commercials in Discover can help drive this awareness and initial usage.

For retailers with younger audiences and strong online shopping behaviors, this could pose a significant competitive advantage for Amazon. Snapchat’s visual search tool can also make showrooming even easier – turning physical retail environments into seamless opportunities Snap favorite products, browse and ultimately purchase on Amazon.

To learn more, contact Performics today.

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