Weekly Roundup #96 – Digital Marketing In 2018

We are back with our first digital marketing round up of 2018! If you missed the last round up of 2017 – where we covered H2H marketing, how the travel and hospitality sector are using CX to improve sales, and how to make your brand more ‘human’. Once you’re caught up, read on for the latest news on…


£1.94 Sales for Every £1 Spent on Online Advertising

2017 video marketing

A year-long research project has shown that every £1 spend on display ads sees an average return on that investment of £1.94 in sales in supermarkets (rising to £3.83 for some brands). Suggesting that online ads do have a profound effect on customer spending and behaviour.

The research project worked with Unilever, Nestle and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to test the effect that online display ads had on the sales of popular household brands such as: Nescafe, Haagen Dazs, Persil, PG Tips, Magnum, Surf, Maille, Tropicana and Aquafresh. The adverts were tracked on a variety of popular desktop and mobile sites, including The Guardian, Yahoo!, eBay, Gumtree, AutoTrader and the MailOnline.

IAB’s chief digital officer, Tim Elkington, noted that,

“The calibre and range of the brands involved in the project gives marketers a reassuring guide as to what their investment in digital will pay back.”

One of the additional findings from the project relates to the the ‘halo effect’, which describes the effect that store-branded adverts – ie. having the supermarket’s logo on the advert – has on sales. Each of the ads that were being researched carried a Sainsbury’s logo, and the IAB estimates that these co-branded ads are 21% as effective at increasing sales at other supermarkets as they are at the store in question.


How-To Create the Best Video Content for your Company

YouTube Advertising Tools

Video content is what brands should be looking to in order to create effective marketing – particularly as 43% of consumers want more video, and 52% of marketers believe that video content has the best ROI when compared to other forms of communication.

To create great video content for your brand, you must first determining the objectives you have for the video, and understand your target audience. A video can create awareness of your brand, in which case, you should make a brand film, a short documentary or a how-to video that has a strong storytelling element. If the aim for your video is to drive potential customers to consider your product, or to make a purchase then the content should be tailored to this – create videos that explain your product, have customer testimonials/experiences, FAQ’s, or that function as an instructional video.

For all video content, it is vital to keep it short and concise, as 2-minute videos get the most engagement (and 20% of viewers stop viewing after just 10 seconds).

The focus of your video on what would most appeal to your target audience – address their needs, wants and desires. It is important to make sure that the video explains the value that you’re providing your audience, make this the focus of your video rather than focussing on the sale.

Video content has to be visually appealing – there are millions of videos available, so create something that is stylish and fun whilst also being informative. Experiment with animation and interactive videos – consider the following creative formats: whiteboard videos, screencast, motion graphics, cartoon videos and live action.

Once you have created a video for your brand, you must then decide where to place it. There are many options including your own website, Facebook or Twitter, as well as YouTube. After the video is live, make sure to monitor and analyse its performance – track the CTR, number of views, engagement rate, the feedback and comments as well as the number of likes and shares, as this will be the best indicator as to whether the video has been a success.


What the Future Holds for eCommerce

Econsultancy conducted a seminar with a large number of eCommerce managers to find out what their concerns are for the coming year. Here are the results!

The Growth of the Marketplace

With the growth of eCommerce, brands must choose between developing their own website, or putting their efforts into growing a presence in marketplaces, such as Amazon. The roundtable meeting indicated that most brands are doing both – however some pointed out that it was an ‘unhappy marriage’ as the brands need distribution, and the marketplaces need products.

However, eCommerce managers felt that there was a block between the brands and the marketplaces, as the marketplaces make it difficult for brands to get the statistics that they need in order to make improvements.

Cost to Serve

eCommerce managers noted that it is difficult to work out their ‘cost to serve’ which is the amount that is spend to keep their eCommerce operations running. Most managers admitted that it is complicated to work out how their eCommerce spend compares to their in-store costs.

Business owners also do not know how their costs compare with the marketplaces, making it difficult to price delivery costs and to determine the minimum basket size for free delivery.

Creating a Channel Strategy

The coming year will see eCommerce managers having to decide how to use digital channels effectively. Some prefer to use channels to drive awareness, whilst others prefer for channels to drive traffic to their site – however, all agreed that influencers would be an important element of their digital strategies.

Online to Offline

Creating a seamless customer experience from online to offline will be a focus for many brands in 2018, as well as putting resources into working out how media spend can be attributed to in-store purchases.


Many brands are looking to get management support for their eCommerce work. There are different ways to incentivise the management to get on board, however everyone agreed that management must be on the same page as for an eCommerce strategy to be a success.

The Rise – and Fall? – of the Influencer

influencer marketing

Influencer marketing became a billion-dollar industry in 2017, and is set to be worth $2.38bm by 2019. So whilst the numbers look good, there are rumours that the bubble could burst. As more and more companies look to invest in influencer marketing, we take a look to see if it is a safe bet…

Influencer marketing is based on authenticity and trust – like a great recommendation from a trusted friend. However, there is reason to believe that the trust is disappearing thanks to forced and purely commercial partnerships. There have been several notable failures, with big celebrities such as Naomi Campbell having clearly copied and pasted copy from the brand into their posts.

Influencers frequently fail to make clear when a post is sponsored or it there has been brand involvement, which leads to a lack of trust in the consumer, as well as issues with the FTC or ASA. Additionally, ‘Instapods’ enhance the number of followers or likes that a person has, in order to get noticed by brands – however, for the brand, investing in an influencer like this will see little return on investment, as they have a much smaller influence than it seems.

Even though companies are willing to pay fees of over £100,000 for a single post, 86% of marketers admit that they aren’t sure how influencer fees are calculated. Many companies are not accurately working out the ROI on influencers, making it difficult to measure success. Some are hailing the advent of the ‘advocate’ rather than the influencer, as an advocate would be anyone who has experienced a brand or product – no matter the size of their audience.

Even if the advocate doesn’t displace the influencer, it is another viable option for marketers to use in their quest to get close to their audience.


Looking Forward: Predictions in Marketing for 2018

Personalisation and Artificial Intelligence were two of the buzzwords in marketing in 2017 – so we take a look ahead, to predict the biggest trends in marketing for the year to come…

Emotional Intelligence in AI

Emotional Intelligence is the next step for AI. Technology with emotional intelligence will be able to interpret the mood, context and emotion behind a request or statement. The chatbot Xiaoice holds EQ that is able to detect bullying language, and can enforce a ‘time out’ to the author. Emotional intelligence is big news for marketers as the technology will be able to read the mood and emotions of the consumers, and will be able to more accurately respond with products, brand and advertisers.


Personalisation is set to go one step further too, into trying to understand the ‘true intention’ behind every search, purchase and action. Technology such as search and AI are embedded across each of the service and platforms that we use, and the information will be collected and interpreted to deliver offers, products and experiences that preempt our every need.

Voice Search

Voice search rapidly expanded in 2017, and 2018 will see this evolve further as companies begin to ‘think voice search’. Companies are expected to develop their online assets with more semantically and concisely labelled content that will function much like keywords in traditional search.


With increasingly sophisticated AI systems, chatbots can be expected to become more sophisticated too. Becoming more ‘human-like’ and, therefore, more useful to the consumer. 2017 saw many companies adopt the chatbot, however, it still has a robotic element that should be ironed out in the coming year – resulting in more conversationally eloquent bots that can predict and assist in ways that drive consumers along the buying process.


We push these out weekly. Subscribe to keep updated.


Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.