New Media Matters
Published at the end of last month the Bellwether Report, the comprehensive quarterly survey of marketing budgets, saw a continued upward revision.
However, it was internet-related spend that noticed the biggest difference, reaching a new high in the last quarter of the year, with the survey recording an estimated allocation of 3.5 per cent of all marketing budgets towards the medium.
Furthermore, while the proportion of all companies not using the internet for marketing remained at just below one in four, the number of companies allocating over 10 per cent of spend to the internet has risen to a new survey high of 10.5 per cent.
Over one in four companies reported an upward revision to budgets in the last quarter of 2004, with only 3 per cent reporting a decline. But it was the rate of increase signalled for internet-related spend that exceeded that of all other types of marketing covered by the Report.
Only the public sector reported a downward revision to current online budgets. All other sectors reported an increase (except industrial, which reported no change).
The chairman of the IPA’s Digital Marketing Group, John Owen, said of the improvements: “Digital marketing’s effectiveness has created a momentum that continues to gather pace. More clients than ever before are investing upwards of 10 per cent in the medium. Over a fifth are now investing upwards of 5 per cent. And the medium now commands a 3.5 per cent share of the total marketing pie.”
With this in mind, The Drum asked a selection of Scotland’s top new media agencies to give an example of the work that they have been doing for clients, showing exactly what it is that they are finding increasingly attractive about online marketing.
CASE STUDY 01
REALISE – ONLINE ADVERTISING HELPS DRIVE 3 FOLD INCREASE IN FUND PERFORMANCE
Investec Asset Management is an international, specialist investment manager, providing a range of portfolio management services and products to institutional and individual investors worldwide. After the bear market of recent years, Investec set out to engage the IFA community, but with limited resources it was not always possible to do this face to face.
Realise was asked to create online banner advertising on a quarterly basis that would stimulate the UK IFA audience, while improving the awareness of Investec’s offering, brand and products.
The creative starting point for Realise was Investec’s brand guidelines. The ads needed to reflect Investec’s key values of integrity, creativity and straight talking. Realise used the company’s zebra, reflecting its South African origins, making it the “hero” in each banner ad. Building around this, the copy had to work hard, in limited space, to deliver a message that was succinct and strong enough to motivate the IFA audience to act, while expanding the IFA’s knowledge of Investec products.
Careful media placement was essential to ensure effective targeting and the media strategy was refined on a quarterly basis.
Different formats for the banners were also used to great effect – from transitionals, to pop-unders, MPUs and rollovers. By Q4, hungrier for even greater success, Investec created further interest by offering up the incentive to win a Landrover Freelander within the banner adverts. Creatively the challenge increased as the message had now taken a promotional slant as the car would have to feature alongside the zebra.
Throughout 2004 the online work also had to complement the offline marketing activity – trade press ads, trade show participation, IFA seminars and a 48-sheet poster campaign at London City Airport.
By November 2004 Investec had established itself as the leading fund manager in the IMA Cautious Managed Funds sector. £1 in every £3 invested by IFA’s on behalf of their clients’ was invested in one of Investec’s Managed Funds.
With a total media spend of £105,000 across the year, Investec created more than 50,000 click-throughs and an average click-through rate of 1.65 per cent. The click-through rate rose as high as 8.97 per cent – hugely impressive when the industry would normally regard 0.5–1.0 per cent as a result.
Within the Cautious Managed Fund, assets under management rose nearly three-fold from £135million in January 2004 to nearly £365million, in December. That year the Fund became the second best selling fund on Co-funds and the fifth best selling fund (across the entire industry) on Fidelity’s Funds network. Much of the credit for this success was attributed to Realise’s innovative and aggressive online advertising.
Steve Newman, for Investec, worked closely with Realise on the project. He said: “I find online marketing to be one of the most transparent marketing tools, where it’s easy to measure the return on your investment. Today an average of 30 per cent of each individual campaign budget goes online. We see many organisations burn lots of cash online and we want to avoid that; we do things very deliberately and the results speak for themselves.”
CASE STUDY 03
Wheel – online marketing should be a corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become somewhat of a buzzword within the industry, however if creatively and imaginatively executed, it does represent a unique and cost effective opportunity for corporations to market themselves, while providing invaluable resources and information to a public that would otherwise be suspicious or apathetic towards their marketing message.
Offline marketing messages are difficult to measure, mailers are perceived to be an intrusion and will generally end up in the bin before being read, alienating the very audience they are trying to reach. This can also be said of some online advertising (banners, pop-ups overlays, superstitials and interstitials among them), which can be evidenced in the proliferation of ad and pop-up blockers now on the market. Viral marketing by its very nature relies on other people to find it suitable to pass on to their friends and colleagues, and can prove to be a very cost effective medium in delivering a message.
By providing a service, whatever that service may be, if it is of value to its audience, then the message becomes much easier to deliver to what is actively going to be a receptive audience, while also delivering on your organisation’s CSR.
Scottish Water previously spent hundreds of thousands of pounds attempting to educate a public audience that takes its water for granted; how to save, care for and value the water resources they deliver, clean and redeliver. This was largely handled offline, purely in mailers and through schools using printed worksheets and lesson guides etc.
Create a website and supporting materials that would support a collection of marketing messages delivered to both teachers pupils and parents through the Scottish curriculum on Environmental Studies by teaching primary school children about the water cycle while clearly demonstrating Scottish Waters’ central involvement in the delivery of our water supply, aiding in delivering on its CSR in informing the general public about their water supplies.
Our real challenge was taking complex information on the processes involved in getting water to and from the general public and the environment then marrying this to the curricular requirements while making it fun, accessible and targeted to school pupils, teachers and parents.
Build on pupils’ experience and learning. Relate to events and facets of their everyday lives. How? Create a core micro ecosystem, ‘the Island’, and a collection of fun characters that would not only allow us to expand and reduce the very diverse content requirements for the three primary school-groups, but also allow us to clearly demonstrate every aspect of the water cycle from the natural water cycle, the treatment works, pipe networks to the houses and the environment that surround them. All this while creating an edutainment experience that targets kids of this gaming generation, but also one that does not patronise what is generally a mature audience in terms of interactive expectations.
Ã¯ Raised awareness across all audience sectors.
Ã¯ 80 per cent penetration – primary school P4–P5.
Ã¯ Very positive association with Learning Teaching Scotland.
Ã¯ Building of direct links with LTS, pupils, teachers and parents.
Ã¯ Learning experience that will change their future CSR delivery methods.
Ã¯ CiB award - Best Online Business Communication 2005.
CASE STUDY 04
Lightershade – Eventful Edinburgh
Eventful Edinburgh is an online marketing campaign to promote Edinburgh as Europe’s Events Capital. It is funded by City of Edinburgh Council and VisitScotland, and managed by Edinburgh and Lothians Tourist Board. The aim of the Eventful Edinburgh campaign is to exploit the city’s annual calendar of international festivals and events and to increase sales of city breaks and general hotel occupancy in Edinburgh. The target market for the campaign is young professionals – under 40s in UK, Ireland and Germany.
At the centre of the campaign is the website www.eventful-edinburgh.com, hosted by virtual character Eventful Ed, which is designed to bring together the various elements of the Eventful Edinburgh product and make it easy for the customer to plan a visit. Lightershade were chosen to design and build the website and have amended and improved the site over the past two years. The 2005 version of the site is currently under construction.
Since its launch in January 2003 the site has attracted an average of 400 new users a day. The site traffic statistics for 2003 bettered targets and expectations – some 88,731 unique visitors accessing the website in the first nine months. Specifically targeted HTML email campaigns in March and June resulted in huge jumps in site traffic – with 29,484 visitors in March alone.
The website was upgraded in 2004 to reflect customer usage and feedback during the first year in operation. New features were added to build upon the initial success of the campaign – specifically an online events diary allowing members to login and plan their trip. A German language version of the site was also built – www.eventful-edinburgh.de – targeting the area around Cologne, from where direct flights are available to Edinburgh. Regular promotional email campaigns again boosted site visits, and has resulted in a database of over 7,000 registered users.
Targets for 2005 are to grow this online database to 10,000 individuals and to create an additional 15,000 person nights for Edinburgh city breaks.
Recently the Edinburgh Evening News ran a story supporting the success of the Eventful Edinburgh campaign, as new statistic revealed that the city’s tourism industry enjoyed its best ever year in 2004. Hotel occupancy rates, a specific focus of Eventful Edinburgh, reached a record breaking 77 per cent despite a rise of over 25 per cent in hotel room availability. ELTB chief executive, Jack Munro, said the occupancy levels in Edinburgh were now superior to any other city in the UK, except for London.
Lightershade are delighted at the success of the Eventful Edinburgh campaign and the huge part the website and associated online marketing campaigns have played. Ed has even been the subject of a question asked on The Weakest Link.