Flip your media plan to understand what the hell you're doing

There was this guy who taught us tennis once and he was really good at hitting backhands. Will Starling is his name and he’s all about backhands. 

His theory is that a backhand is a more natural stroke than a forehand, (that’s if you hit the big bottom to top Roger Federer single hander and not the Agassi lycra bike pants in my shorts double hander)  it’s just habit that everyone walks on to a tennis court and hits forehands. Over time, you will get better at forehands just because you’ve hit more of them. My backhand is way better than my forehand because Will Starling used to make us hit backhands first and hit lots of them. 

When you think about or sketch up a media plan you probably do the same thing: TV, print, radio, outdoor….oh and then some digital. Over the years, you’ve probably got used to thinking and working this way so it’s not surprising that you feel more comfortable and proficient working with this type of plan. 

Trad media is the forehand of the media plan and digital is the backhand that everyone walks around and thinks they aren’t good at. 

The way to get better is to start with ‘digital’ and get more experience and practice. Split the generic ‘digital’ out a bit more and it will make more sense to you. For example if you look at the research below you can see they have split out online, search, directories and general advertising (online display, email marketing, integrated site content and online video). 

Of the main segments of the online advertising sector - online classifieds, search, directories, and general advertising (online display, email marketing, integrated site content and online video), search advertising grew 23% in 2013, online general advertising 12%, online classifieds 11% and online directories just 4%. Harpur adds, "From 2013 to 2018, the search market is expected to continue to outperform the other three major segments (online classifieds, online general and online directories), growing at a CAGR of 16%, its proportion of the total online search and directories market increasing from 83% in 2013 to 91% in 2018."

The fastest growing segments in the Australian online advertising market are mobile and online video and both segments are expected to outperform the market significantly over the next five years. Mobile advertising grew very strongly in 2013, driven by high consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets, as well as growing media agency acceptance of mobile channels. It is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 39% between 2013 and 2018 and video advertising is forecast to grow at 31%. By that time advertising served on tablets is predicted to account for 70% of overall mobile advertising expenditure, whilst adverts served on smartphones are predicted to account for 30%.Frost & Sullivan's report, The Australian Online Advertising Market: Year End Review and Market Outlook,

Marketers often have different agencies (or a combination of in-house and agency) working on different parts so you get four or five schedules and never see the complete picture with everything integrated. For your own understanding, pull the numbers out and put them into one spreadsheet so you can see the total activity and spend at a media mix level. Yes- media mix is still important. 

Christmas activity stops on 3 Dec uh oh

Just chunky big numbers, you don’t need all the placements and everything. If you think you don't have time for that just think about how much time you spent making sure the Christmas Creative was 'Christmassy' enough. Exactly. 

You’ll also notice you have overlap. The social media agency is serving display ads on Facebook that isn’t in your online display budget. The Creative you are using on taste.com.au can also be used on Twitter and Facebook. Why are you getting two versions developed? The more you fiddle around with your numbers you’ll start to find better ways of doing things and get more confident to ask questions and not just say yes to all the agency recommendations. Ban yourself from Creative fluffing around and editing and focus on the media and what it’s doing. 

More backhands and less forehands and you'll find digital a lot easier and more natural for you. 

Asia Pacific average page load times mobile versus broadband

Akamai have added some situational performance metrics in their latest state of the internet report. 

What’s the situation? 
Countries with super fast broadband like Hong Kong have high -what Akamai have called- mobile penalty. A mobile page takes 2.9x longer to load than a page on broadband. 

Figure 41: Average Page Load Times Based on Real User Monitoring

If you stop and think about it, it would be easy to think Hong Kong =fast internet so we can use lots of HD video and we only have to worry about low bandwidth for places like Vietnam. Then you look at Vietnam and see it has the same mobile penalty as South Korea, a traditionally fast internet type place and realise that the gap between broadband and mobile is the thing and not just the total speed. 

So if you are designing for the sophisticated Samsung Galaxy Y Hello Kitty BFF Smartphone business user in Hong Kong, it would be more like Vietnam and less like South Korea in terms of mobile page load, even though the broadband speeds are really different. I think it just really shows too the limitation of of thinking regionally as there are big differences between say Malaysia and Philippines in this data even though they are close together geographically and both very fond of all things Hello Kitty.

Akamai State of the internet

Hoodies up it's time for marketing tag management 101

Lots of little hoodie wearers are going to be visiting your marketing teams talking about ‘tagging’ so it’s probably a good idea to give yourself a crash course first so you don’t get confused panda about the whole thing. 

It's just really seeing 'did the customer come this way?'
Measurement and attribution has always been a pain with both online and offline conversions so companies want you to ‘tag’ up your sites so we can all see what’s going on and what paths customers are taking and where referrals have come from and that sort of thing. 

Web page tagging is a lot like graffiti tagging. Companies use their third party tag’ to show that users have visited somewhere. So companies like Facebook and Google want you to put their tags on your pages so they can show that customers visited your pages on their customer journey. Metrics and research providers like Kissmetrics and Nielsen also use tagging technology to measure who is doing what on a page. A tag is a snippet of code that goes in the html in the page.

"We have nerds that do that, I’m just the marketing person. I think we have all that anyway"

Tagging for mobile

Yes and this where it starts to get interesting and you do need to know this for yourself. You might have heard this week about Facebook launching something called Atlas for ad serving. When you think Atlas think mobile and think mobile video —those auto play videos that are turning up on your Facebook iPhone app.Central to Atlas are Facebook custom audiences. You create a Facebook custom audience by putting a ‘tag’ Facebook Custom audience pixel, on all  your pages. The current FBX ad serving stuff is limited to desktop inventory only. Custom Audiences from Your Website allows targeting across browsers, overlaying of Facebook data, access to mobile inventory, and usage of all Facebook ad units, all of which are not available on FBX. It's the thing that gets read and messed about with in Atlas so they want you to put it on all your things. You can read more about it here

Ok but what about if you don’t really use Facebook, why is this important?

The end game is to connect company data with Facebook data with customer data. The uses are wider than Facebook and the model is one being explored by lots of advertising companies so the more you understand it the better. 

For example, if you go to the supermarket and use a loyalty card, the supermarket has point of sale scan data linked to your personal data on the loyalty card. Using Atlas, the shopper’s data can be imported from a big enterprise database like Oracle and analysed to create highly targeted audiences back into Facebook and, ultimately across online and offline ad networks. Cookies aren't that great on mobile and advertisers want to get to user-level rather than session level measurement so you can imagine with mobile phones, getting down to an individual with a lot more context like geo-location becomes possible. 

WOAH. Yes woah and that’s why you need to try and understand as much of this as possible. 

Step 1 I would suggest is make sure Google Tag Manager (there are other tag managers but this one is free and there is a lot of info around on it to learn from) is managed from client side for your brand and that you can access it. Don’t let the tag management sit with an agency or outside your company if at all possible because you need the agility to manage your own tags.  Google Tag manager means that you can change the tags on your sites without having to get developer resource. Tags such as Facebook Custom audience pixel and Google analytics tracking sit inside the tag manager. Get Google Tag Manager installed and then your team manages it. If you don’t know how then start to learn, it’s really important. 

That is the end of my blog post. 


If the technical stuff is scaring you and you like the investor strategy stuff then maybe start with this recent interview with early Facebook investor Peter Thiel who just happened to write a book with the partner person for Facebook talking about Atlas Shrugged weird magic-nomics which basically says that there was Microsoft and they missed mobile and Google are good at search stuff but Facebook is good at mobile stuff (shhh don’t mention android) and that there is a massive global ad industry and Facebook is all over it so you should invest. 

Then Marc Benioff tweeted that he’s all about Facebook and Atlas and Salesforce exacttarget are doing some partner stuff with the partner person who wrote the book with Peter Thiel and so it’s donkey kong o’clock but we love competition but monopoly is also good and hey, it’s all about the customers SMILEY FACE :))))

Useful resources for getting unstuck on your social media campaigns

It always amazes me the that people working in marketing and communications industries have such a blind spot about asking the technology vendors how to best use their products. I was working on an FMCG Facebook campaign for an agency in Sydney the other day and we weren’t sure about the best way to consolidate pages that had been run by various agencies and marketing teams over the years.

We got a bit stuck about what you could and couldn’t do so I asked for their Facebook account manager’s contact to get an answer. 

“Um. We don’t have one. There was this guy that called once but…why would you call Facebook?”

“Can you call Facebook? It’s just a sales office I don’t think they help you”

In Australia and New Zealand we have got very used to being self sufficient and not having any product support but remember that things have changed and many companies have had their hands forced into putting boots on the ground in market including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Often the resource is targeted at accounts over a certain spend or certain verticals they’re targeting but in the least, you should be going for their resources and guides to get you unstuck as a first point of call. 

Sometimes it’s just to get a download of the latest resources and examples. I find 20 minutes with an account manager can give me an idea of what campaigns they are benchmarking off, what their latest tools are and any metrics we might want to pay more attention to. 

Use their resources and guides as much as possible and don’t be weird about ‘they just try and sell us ads’. Of course they do, and aren’t you in business too? Learn from them, get some logins for their client resources, ask about latest tools and best practices -it’s their product and it beats everyone sitting around stuck. 

Useful resources
Facebook Media http://media.fb.com/

LinkedIn Sales Navigator http://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/training.html

Twitter for Business https://business.twitter.com/

Google mobile playbook http://www.themobileplaybook.com/en-us/

Social media campaign benchmarking by country http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/australia

YouTube advertising guide http://www.youtube.com/yt/advertise/

What do US retail real-time shopping trends mean for Australia and New Zealand retailers?

As we come into the final week's trading before Christmas, here are some quick stats from IBM on their busiest trading day-Cyber Monday. FMCG and grocery retail dollar revenues for Australia and New Zealand should hit annual peaks in-store this weekend with Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 still key foot traffic days. It's important to keep your mobile and social activity working as shoppers browse for hot deals before making a store destination choice.  Focus on getting your content to display fast with clear calls to action- especially on mobile. Work your media plan on social and web accounts to keep interactions friendly and useful- everyone is stressed, lost, and bombarded with competitor activity so be Santa's Little Helper online for your customers. 

Here's what happened in the US:

Online sales grew significantly, increasing by 20.6% over 2012 as Cyber Monday continues to be the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Mobile and social highlights from Cyber Monday 2013:

  • iOS vs. Android: On average, iOS users spent $120.29 per order, compared to $106.70 per order for Android. iOS traffic reached 22.4 percent of all online traffic, compared to 9.1 percent for Android. iOS sales reached 14.5 percent of all online sales, compared to 2.6 percent for Android.
  • The Social Influence – Facebook vs. Pinterest: On average, holiday shoppers referred from Facebook spent 6 percent more per order than shoppers referred from Pinterest. Facebook average order value was $97.81 versus Pinterest average order value which was $92.40. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at a rate 38 percent higher than Pinterest, perhaps indicating stronger confidence in network recommendations.
  • Mobile Shopping Soars: Mobile traffic grew to 31.7 percent of all online traffic, increasing by 45 percent over 2012. Mobile sales were also strong, exceeding 17 percent of total online sales, an increase of 55.4 percent year-over-year. 
  • Smartphones Browse, Tablets Buy: Smartphones drove 19.7 percent of all online traffic compared to tablets at 11.5 percent, making it the browsing device of choice. When it comes to making the sale, tablets drove 11.7 percent of all online sales, more than double that of smartphones, which accounted for 5.5 percent. On average, tablet users spent $126.30 per order compared to smartphone users who spent $106.49.
  • Online Sales Set New Record: Cyber Monday online sales grew by 20.6 percent over 2012. Average order value was $128.77, down 1 percent year-over-year.

 IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark  

Related: How well did Facebook ads perform on Black Friday, Cyber Monday?

How do marketers actually campaign in real-time?

So we talked a little bit last time about centralised marketing models and how we can start to break down ‘digital’ and ‘non-digital’ marketing approaches. Remember that good marketing thinking is still at the centre, we just have new technologies now to reach customers more effectively. But what do we actually do? How do we start working in this way? Let’s walk through a real-time campaign using a classic marketing tool: coupons. 

Do you remember Susan? Susan is a new employee we featured in Panda Weekly. Here's a selfie from her trip to China last year. 

Customer: Susan Bamboo Corp-Thursday 8am Sydney
Susan is a busy working panda in Australia. She gets up in the morning and checks her email on her iPhone. She then catches the train to work and checks her Pandabook on mobile and reads some news on Weibo. Susan speaks English and Mandarin Chinese. 

At work, she is mainly on desktop and keeps a few social tabs open to listen to music on Pandaora and see what’s happening on Pandabook. She checks her email throughout the day on both mobile and desktop. Susan was meant to go to the gym tonight and do Body Jam but she needs to buy some Christmas presents so she is going to the shopping centre after work. Susan received an email from Target that there is 30% off children’s toys and she heard from her friend Julian at work there is free gift wrapping at the shopping centre until 10pm. Susan and Julian are going to catch the bus to the shopping centre after work, have some dinner and do some shopping. 

Now let’s say you are the marketing person for a coffee retailer called CoffeeWorks. 

Business objective: CoffeeWorks
-It’s Christmas and you have a number of coffee shops in shopping centres throughout the region 
-The Asia Pacific marketing hub for CoffeeWorks is in Singapore and they service Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia
-All of the other retailers and the centre management are running promotions and foot traffic is up
-There are a number of food and coffee places in the shopping centres and we want to make sure that customers come to CoffeeWorks 
-Sales projections show that the next two weeks are going to be busy and we want to take share off Starbucks

CoffeeWorks HQ Singapore Thursday 9am (12pm Sydney)
Marketing have prepared a weekly promotional content calendar shared across the region but it’s not strong enough. Point of sale data is showing store sales are down and store operations are seeing heavy promotional activity from their competitor Starbucks. You need to get some deals in the market ASAP to convert the Christmas foot traffic into sales. You don’t have time or budget to go to an agency and prepare additional Christmas materials so you will need to work with what you have and get smarter on the promotional mechanics. The deal will need to work on mobile and be redeemed via mobile instore as marketing don’t have time to print and ship items to store level. 

The CoffeeWorks PandaBook page admin panel is showing a post that had high engagement at 11.4% compared to the average 3.35%

It’s a simple, BOGOF coupon (buy one, get one free) that was made for a store opening in Singapore but it can be easily modified on Adobe Photoshop to work for Australia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. One of the marketing team does the copy change-outs for the regions while the head of marketing gets the deal approved by store operations on the company internal messaging tool: Jammer. Some of the store ops team think it isn’t ‘Christmassy’ enough and want something that looks more like Starbucks. The marketing manager explains that you don’t have time and not to worry too much about the artwork. The deal mechanic is solid and customers will be drawn by a ‘free coffee’ headline on the promotional messaging. The deal will need to go at midday in Singapore to get the late night shopping in Australia. 

CoffeeWorks notify the other regions that the BOGOF deal is coming and they schedule posts across email, PandaBook,Tumblr, Twitter and their company blog. The same coupon artwork from the Singapore store opening will feature in the posts and the offer is optimised to the channels. Coffeeworks doesn't robo-post across channels because they understand that different channels have different customers and apps work differently- the Twitter version will be 140 characters with the attached coupon whereas the Tumblr version will have more copy. Country markets modify the channels to their languages and local audiences. CoffeeWorks are testing mobile push notifications and will also be running the deal to their own company mobile phone numbers to test some new software -it’s not ready for customers yet. The Malaysia marketing person has noticed that head office forgot to do a Malay language version for Malaysia but they can do that later- the priority is Australia as they don't want to miss a trading day. 

Customer Susan Bamboo Corp- Thursday 3pm Sydney

At 3pm, Susan checks her PandaBook tab and sees that her friend Ling Ling has shared a free coffee voucher from a new coffee chain called CoffeeWorks. She Googles their business listing and sees they have a store on level two of the shopping centre she is going to after work. Susan ‘likes’ CoffeeWorks and reshares the post to her followers. She screenshots the voucher and shares it on her internal work Jammer account so Julian and her other colleagues can use it too.  

Customer Susan Shopping Centre-Thursday 6pm Sydney

At 6pm, Susan and Julian catch the bus to the shopping centre. They want to beat the crowds so decide to get their free coffee first and redeem the mobile voucher in store. The Coffeeworks store employee doesn’t know about the offer so Susan shows him the Pandabook update on her iPhone and he checks it against his company Jammer account. Susan and Julian get their free coffee and CoffeeWorks get their customer to transact. Susan checks into CoffeeWorks on Pandabook, tags Julian and uploads a photo of her ‘free’ coffee saying that it’s 'great coffee' and that she’s Christmas shopping and it gets 20 likes. 

What can we learn from the CoffeeWorks campaign?

1.Marketing showed leadership and didn't panic when sales disagreed with the creative or when the Malaysian language version wasn't ready on time. They could cover the main activity through centralised systems to achieve scale, and then deal with the exceptions

2.Marketing saw their scheduled activity wasn't strong enough and changed their plan based on store data

3.CoffeeWorks used solid retail marketing concepts (coupons and BOGOF) and modified them using new tools and channels (Pandabook, mobile)

4.Timing is everything and they had the agility to meet a three-hour deadline using existing marketing assets that were optimised for local markets

5.Marketing understood their data and their customer type and knew that a strong, simple offer, delivered in the right context would appeal and increase the probability that fans and followers would transact into sales from pandas like Susan

6.Internal communications on Jammer enabled online and offline activities to work together so that store level employees closest to the customer were kept informed and Susan could redeem her coupon

7.Susan shared the offer through her personal channels because it was a strong offer and it was easy to redeem through a simple coupon, not because of fancy Christmas creative. CoffeeWorks had a generous offer and Susan responded by happily promoting the company. 

Global versus local Facebook pages: Starbucks APAC

Architecting global social media activity can be challenging and people inevitably want to know if they should split out account activity by local markets. 

I'm just looking through an APAC report on Starbucks Facebook page performance and thought this slide really summarises what the main issue is. 

-Local content, when done well and supported in market, receives higher engagement. 

-The more customised the content, the more work required from marketing. Benefits of scale may be lost. 

-If the pages aren't resourced and properly managed, it can lead to customer service issues

The balance needs to exist between marketing messaging and customer care. Both need to work together. Too much customer care messaging and the pages can become dry and lose engagement. Audiences don't grow and the Facebook walls look negative. Remember: it's the attention economy so you need energetic, audience building content and mechanics running. Deals, free giveaways, fun photos of people and live events. The customer care messages don't have to be answered straight away (within 24 hours is a general guideline), but customers do need to be acknowledged. 

Virtual team models with multiple users on enterprise publishing tools ensure coverage of markets and scale objectives are met. In this example, Starbucks Philippines has a large fan base of 1,540,058 users (Sept 23-Oct 23 2013) and is struggling to manage social care. Starbucks Vietnam is achieving the highest page growth numbers (9.5%) but is unable to achieve a 60% response rate to questions. Perhaps Australia and Singapore can assist during the growth period and peak seasonal times? More resourcing and/or efficient processes to work at that scale are needed. Where is the most efficient place to serve information from for time zones, language requirements and market objectives?Can we provide frequently asked question information in a centralised place such as forums so we don't have to answer so many one-to-one questions? Can analytics reporting happen in a central hub so that all the markets are receiving standard data and insight for regional and global reporting? Can images be stored centrally and customised for local activity? 

New marketing software products make it a lot easier to work virtually so now, you don't all have to be in the same office or even in the same country and the social care components work a lot more seamlessly. 

Data: SocialBakers Starbucks in Asia Pacific Region

The State of Social Business: Make it Scale

Top social media sites in Southeast Asia 2013

After Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr are the most popular. YouTube ranked as the top Entertainment website in each of the Southeast Asian markets. More than 40 percent of global internet users are now based in Asia Pacific with an audience of 644 million. Southeast Asian markets account for approximately 10 percent of the Asia Pacific internet population.With 16.1 million monthly internet users, Vietnam now has the largest online population in Southeast Asia.


Social Media Statistics Australia – September 2013
Twitter's Top 5 Accounts Are All In Japan

Twitter Australia Breakfast

A few pics from #twitterbrekky this morning.

Mike Brown from Twitter International Growth said that "Australia is a priority market for Twitter".

The event focused on sports and real-time fan engagement and featured rugby star Wendell Sailor and Omid Ashtari from Twitter Sports and Entertainment.

Top aussie tweeters: Scott Dooley @scottdools, Shaynna Blaze @ShaynnaBlaze, Wendell Sailor @RealBigDell, Francis Leach @SaintFrankly. Host Sean Callanan @SportsGeek

I'll write up some more of my thoughts later when I'm not on an iphone but here are some photos from the Sydney Cricket Ground event this morning.


What does the Twitter IPO mean for Australia and New Zealand media?