Friday briefing 11/11

The marketing team gives us a roundup of this week's hot topics


Brian Grassie. Mark Oliver. Laura Shields

This week, we couldn't not mention the John Lewis Christmas advert, the US presidential election, together with a bit of insight and the latest update to Facebook's commercial offering. Here's the latest news from the world of marketing!

John Lewis turn to (a) Dog For Their Christmas Marketing Campaign

Pushing the Presidential Election into the shadow this week we have the Grand Unveiling of the new Christmas ad from John Lewis. Some will say that the Big Reveal has lost some of it's impact after last year's 'sadvertising' Man On The Moon allegory, There is no doubt that John Lewis and their rivals invest heavily in the production of their Christmas Creative, with TV ads being billed as 'blockbuster'. Rumour has it that the budget for this year's effort was circa £6m.

It centres around Buster The Boxer, and by all accounts it seems John Lewis are looking to move on from the melancholy. We won't spoil it for you, if you haven't seen it. Check it out here. Or check your newsfeed, it's probable that Buster is already bouncing around there in all his CGI glory. 

Predictably you can already purchase soft toy versions of the animals from the ad, directly from John Lewis, and Buster already has his own book! Oh and you'll also be able to buy the crucial trampoline!  All pretty standard fare, although it's a merchandising tie in that would have been a tough sell with The Man On The Moon from last year (Joannie from Dog Marketing Team was particularly creeped out by the campaign).

Getting more interactive, John Lewis have also launched a Snapchat Lens to transform you into Buster The Boxer. Another indication that this year's campaign is lightening things up and looking to appeal to a younger audience. It's through Social that John Lewis are really looking to succeed. At the time of writing (16.25pm 10th Nov) #BusterTheBoxer has amassed 65,562 mentions.

Pastiche and Parody will inevitably follow in the days and weeks to come, however the campaign will likely have enough mileage and momentum to deliver the boost in sales John Lewis is looking for. Cuddly toys and Snapchat a nice new take on Pester Power. 

Brian Grassie, PPC Manager


Under the bonnet of Christmas Campaigns: The importance of data

The unveil of the John Lewis Ad brings into focus that we’re arriving at a key time of year for many industries, but for retail in particular. Of course marketing is a major consideration, but online retailers should ensure they get everything in place from a data analytics standpoint first. This means ensuring all your marketing channels are tracking web clicks correctly, and that these clicks are identifiable in your analytics solution. Can you state with complete confidence the channels that are contributing to business success?

Often when we take on a new client, we see issues with analytics causing incorrect data reporting. More and more organisations are waking up to the fact that effective data analysis can help improve user experience on their website, and, crucially, underpin effective marketing.

A massive part of marketing is of course understanding what works well and what doesn’t, without fully accurate data you run the risk of making incorrect judgements on campaign activity, which then has implications on where you spend your budget in future. I’m sure I don’t need to stress that you need to know your customer, what methods they use to find your site, their interests, their on-site behaviour…etc etc.

My advice – schedule in an analytics health check now, and reap the rewards later.

Mark Oliver, Insights & Analytics Manager


Facebook Introduces “Sponsored Messages”

The newest version of Facebook Messenger has introduced sponsored messaging, allowing businesses to target users via the Messenger app.

Using this new advertising feature, sponsored messages can be highly targeted and in-context. Allowing customer re-engagement. This new ad type can be used by businesses to send updates to a specific segment of your audience or send information about sales and promotions. Absolut Vodka have already tested the new feature in America. Users were offered a free Absolut drink in their area if they chatted to the company’s bot on Messenger. Following on from this promotion, Absolut can now later target the engaged users in the future with future promotions, new products, updates and tips on how best to drink your vodka!

As for now, sponsored messages can only reach users who have previously interacted with a business’ chat bot. By interacted, we mean engaging with ‘Click to Message’ buttons or subscribing to business updates. This may counteract arguments that Facebook is too “spammy” and complaints regarding unsolicited advertising on users’ newsfeeds.

Laura Shields, Media Co-ordinator


The US Election in Search

Following Trump's surprising victory in the US this week, Google has pulled together search data on how users utilised search during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. This collated information includes top questions searched for, a state by state drill down on the most searched for issues and trend maps which illustrate the popularity of specific search queries.

Search data is not an indication of voter intent; merely of curiosity in a candidate or election subject. However the data gathered does suggest that in the week leading up to the election, there was a spike in the national search interest in Donald Trump. The Google data on the US Election can be found here.

On results night, when it became clear that Donald Trump was on track to become the 45th President of the United States, searches related to moving to Canada saw a steep spike. These included a variety of search queries like “I want to move to Canada” and “Move to Canada.” The majority of these queries were from Democratic states that had voted for Hillary Clinton. Other search queries that saw a huge rise on Tuesday night were "how to impeach a president", "how to move to England" and "how to move to Sweden".

Joannie McLellan, Search Marketing Executive


What a week it's been for the world -  #BustertheBoxer and Donald Trump becoming President Elect. As ever, if you have any comments or questions on any of the marketing stories this week, feel free to tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!