Coca-Cola Partners With Snapchat in U.K. Holiday Effort

Coca-Cola is putting Coke Zero as the star in its U.K. holiday campaign “Holidays are Coming,” a new direction for the effort which is usually focused on the classic product.

The effort includes a partnership with Snapchat and LadBible, a move to reach a younger demographic.

The campaign includes a Snapchat lens that explores how “Holidays are Coming” became so iconic. The lens features branded content from hip publisher LADbible.

The brand is also running its first-ever on-pack promotion at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball, which will be supported through a social media effort.

In addition, the beverage maker has created a new limited-edition cinnamon flavor Coke Zero. Coca-Cola has made the Oxford Circus Underground station in London “cinnamon-scented” to get consumers to experience the flavor first hand.

Einstein Says: Send Smart!

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Last week, David blogged about our upcoming webinar with Zeta Global during which we’ll be digging into our 2018 consumer survey data and highlighting buying patterns, attitudes, and behaviors. It’s going to be an excellent session – we’ll go deep and wide – but I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a single data point that all marketers need to be mindful of, especially during the holidays: message frequency.

Many consumers do not appreciate the increased volumes of irrelevant email they receive over the holidays, especially as more consumers engage with their email predominantly through their mobile device. Over half the consumers we surveyed reported that they received messages from brands at too fast a cadence and 36% said that the messages they received were not relevant and thus irritating. Twenty-three percent reported that messages they received on their phones weren’t formatted optimally for the small screen, which is surprising to me and concerning, to say the least.

Tune in next week to get the full picture and our take, but until then, send smart: manage your message cadence carefully and ensure the content you share is engaging and driving positive customer experiences – this holiday more users are going to be on devices and reaching for wallets after they’ve reached for their phone.

Specialized Services: Email Marketing Agencies are Crushing It

MQ15_coverOver the past several weeks, we at TRG have been deep in the weeds researching our soon to be published 2018 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide, and this year’s participants include some of the absolute best and brightest in the space. Agencies in the guide this year include BrightWave, DEG, Inbox Marketer, Trendline Interactive, and Yes Marketing.

Our process includes detailed questionaries completed by each agency, ninety-minute demos during which agencies present their best work, and reference calls with a handful of clients which yield valuable customer satisfaction data. We are still working to synthesize and analyze the data, but what we’ve seen to date has been extremely impressive.

This year we invited agencies to show us their best stuff while maintaining a focus on three primary themes: strategy, data, and analysis/measurement. Like the competitors currently battling it out on the field for the pennant, these agencies have been going deep. The research will highlight how these agencies are driving home runs for their clients in the form of serious business value and positive customer experiences.

The research will be available for our Research Subscribers and direct purchase. Vendor profiles will be in the next issue of The Marketer Quarterly.

McDonald’s Rewards Student Pranksters

 

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McDonald’s will feature two University of Houston students in upcoming ads, after their fake ad campaign went viral.

Filipino-American students Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toledo felt that McDonald’s ads hanging in their local Pearland, TX location weren’t diverse enough, so they made their own. The two purchased a McDonald’s uniform at a thrift store, photographed themselves in the uniform, and made a poster.

With the help of friends, the kids snuck the poster into the location and hung it up on a blank wall. They then photographed themselves in front of the fake ad and it went viral. “I noticed there was a blank wall at mcdonald’s so i decided to make this fake poster of me and my friend. It’s now been 51 days since i hung it up,” Maravilla tweeted on September 2nd.

The media production student’s tweet went wild and caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres who hosted the students on her show this week. DeGeneres surprised Maravilla and Toledo, giving them each a $25,000 check from McDonald’s and revealed that the brand plans to use them in future ads.

McDonald’s took down the poster, but plans to add more diverse posters to the store soon. The company tweeted, “You guys earned this dream.”

Marketers can learn a lot of lessons from these kids. First of all, remember to include diversity in your messaging so that all customers feel welcome when patronizing your businesses. Secondly, in the era of social media, consumers can change the conversation around your brand. In this case, the change had a sense of humor and the brand was able to capitalize on the prank. But 51 days is a long time for a DIY message to be live without a company being aware.

And who is hiring these kids? Their creativity, sense of risk and ability to point out an ad’s flaws are core skills to being a great marketer.

Kicking Off The Conference Season

13719563_10154600766338322_8207156853734719452_oIndustry analysts attend a lot of conferences. We participate in a wide range of industry events, vendor events, and trade shows of all sorts. Sometimes the travel and long days are rough, but the tradeoff is exposure to new technology and access to the people who built and use it, which is highly valuable no matter what business you’re in. As I work with David to plan our 2019 event schedule, here are a few upcoming conferences that are on our radar and may be worth considering for you.

  • Dreamforce – September 25-28 – If you haven’t already booked your hotel room for this year’s Dreamforce, you’ll likely be staying in Sacremento. The city of San Francisco will be overrun next week for the largest vendor event of its kind; if you’ve never been, you should consider it for next year.
  • Email Spotlight – October 10 – Hosted by BrightWave, this single evening event coming up in Atlanta will feature 15+ leading email vendors and is sure to be excellent [David will be participating].
  • Email Insider Summit – December 9-12 – Produced by MediaPost and hosted at the beautiful Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah, this is a great place to connect [and re-connect] with many of the top minds in the space; always plenty of cocktail and chairlift time.
  • Email Evolution Conference – April 24 – 26 – David and I have been attending and participating in EEC since its inception and it has always been an excellent event. This year will be the first in Savannah.
  • EiQ – March 14 – Billed as ‘The Intelligent Email Gathering,” David and I have been in attendance and participated in previous years and the conference has been excellent. Certainly worth considering if you’re near Atlanta or hungry for great content.

I’ll be checking back in with a more complete list as we plan our schedules and you can always check our events page for up to date info on where we’ll be.

 

Trendline + Inbox Pros

For TRG BlogExciting news crossed the wire this morning with the announcement that Trendline Interactive has acquired Inbox Pros.  Trendline has been featured in every email agency buyer’s guide we have published and has always impressed us with the quality, depth, and breadth of the services they offer. We also have great respect for Chris Arrendale and the team at Inbox Pros who have a proven track record and a stellar reputation.

This move adds top shelf deliverability, privacy, and compliance services to the Trendline Interactive menu, making them that much more attractive to enterprise marketers looking for a comprehensive services solution.

Enterprise marketers today need to be strategic about deliverability, privacy, and compliance, as they juggle data between programs, systems, and countries, and having these types of services integrated with their agency team, could make a lot of sense for many. We’ve also noted that delivery rates have been trending down over the past several years, and have advised senders to allocate more resources towards deliverability data and services.

We’re looking forward to talking more about this partnership in our 2018 Email Agency Buyer’s Guide which will be publishing in Q4.

 

Sensei in Adobe Campaign

Adobe Summit 2018 - Day 1

David and I have been writing a lot over the past year about the ways in which artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping marketers more easily drive more positive customer experiences at scale, and we’re bullish on many of the vendors that are enabling.

Yesterday Adobe announced several innovations in Adobe Campaign that caught my eye; not all are in production with clients yet, but several of the capabilities leverage Sensei and illustrate how AI can help drive efficiency and efficacy for marketers.

Yesterday’s announcements included: AI-based send time optimization, Sensei driven segmentation based on predicted customer engagement, and new dynamic reporting capabilities that leverage the Adobe Analytics’ Analysis Workspace. Additional updates include multilingual push notification functionality, a new drag-and-drop email creation tool, and increased throughput and delivery in Adobe Campaign.

Check out the Adobe news here, and stay tuned for much more on AI to come from TRG in 2018.