Brands + Start Ups, Blurred Lines and Tracking Ecommerce Performance

Best of Mike – Newsletter

With the first quarter of the year now behind us, it’s a great opportunity to take a look at our marketing bucket list and see if we can cross anything off yet. Certainly for me, reflecting on company culture and what makes it tick was an important part of the past three months.

The education season is kicking off, with Mike teaching Digital Strategy this week, and I’m tackling Digital Analytics next week if you’re interested in joining me.

It’s full steam ahead in the lead up to Easter and the ANZAC Day holiday – are you taking advantage of the super holiday week? Be good, and be good at it!

Should brands be working directly with start ups?

In a bid to access innovative thinking early, big brands are trying to lure start ups into partnerships for marketing purposes, and get early access to new and exciting technologies to use for their brands. Unilever has just finished up its Go Global Start up hunt, selecting 7 winners and paying out £100,000 to each and offering mentorship support in exchange for creating digital marketing campaigns. Mondelez, the Kraft Foods spin-off that owns Oreos, Trident and Ritz crackers, just delivered 8 start up projects in 90 days, each with a brand commiting $250,000 to the project.  Mondelez like the idea so much they’ve announced the death of the Agency of Record. Apparently the programme could be coming to Australia soon. In the UK, an accelerator called “The Bakery” has been set up by BMW, Stella Artois and Panasonic to name a few, and is linking with start ups and agencies to fund and steer new technologies. In Australia, it tends to be the agencies that bring the start ups to brands, so it’ll be interesting to see if this model changes. We’ve worked with a range of start ups, both directly and to introduce them to our clients, and whilst there can be risk involved, it can also provide a interesting cultural and mindset change for both parties.

The growth of online / offline integration

The line between online and offline grows increasingly blurry with mobile devices, and the marketing world is starting to fill up with integrated options. iBeacons, NFC, and now in London, recycling bins are now tracking you so they can sell you things. Google is partnering with Ray-Ban and Oakley to make Google Glass look like something you may actually want to wear – can they overcome the “Glasshole” challenge and avoid being stigmatised like Bluetooth headsets?  The Internet of Things just keeps getting bigger, as this great infographic shows. 

Content Marketing For the Win (FTW)

As people start to better understand content marketing, we see plenty of interesting examples. Sponsorship leverage is a prime space, but this slightly off-the-wall (or should that be off the boat!) example from Hugo Boss pushes the envelope a little. Clearly it’s worthy of sharing (came up in my Facebook feed first). And with the feel good “First Kiss” turning out to be an ad, we’re all slightly wary of content. Is “two legged dog” just a feel good story, a promo for Panda Paws Rescue, or even a GoPro sponsorship? You decide…

User served up Medium

As a married man, my use of apps like Tinder is non-existent, but it’s spawning an interesting direction in usability and mobile design.  What easier way to search than to flick through a deck of cards, making snap judgements along the way? And to prove that the medium can be the message, if you’re not aware of Medium the site, it’s worth a look. Curated content, ad-free and just a better class of reading material all round.

Measuring the right stuff

Attribution, measurement and metrics have never been more important. We’ve got one of our team onsite 3 days a week helping a client understand their customer journeys via the numbers, and are heavily involved in everything from business cases through to setting up dashboards. A couple of interesting articles from both ends of the spectrum – FastCompany getting into how to track ecommerce performance in Google Analytics, and some interesting thinking from an Evangelist at Google about owned and rented metrics.

Bits and Pieces

  • We’ve got the Olympics, the Para-Olymics, and in 2016,  we’re going to have the Bionic Olympics, for bionic athletes, avatars controlled by a brain interface and competitors wearing prosthetic limbs and exo-skeletons.
  • Is Instagram a good platform for business? The folks at Smart Company think so.
  • How to sell short travel breaks? In Denmark, a country with a falling birthrate, are running a competition to win 3 years of baby gear if you can prove you fell pregnant on holiday… novel concept.
  • Test your designer geekiness – can you judge to the exact pixel width?
Mike Zeederberg
Mike Zeederberg
Mike Zeederberg is the Managing Director and joint owner of Zuni and oversees the development and delivery of most client strategic work.

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