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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Understanding People & Consumption: 10 Global Mega Trends to Watch

Coming to the end of another academic year we are pushed to go through some mentally challenging yet very relevant and interesting topics. As marketers we need to understand what is happening around us and need to up to date with the trends that will impact our careers on a global scale. 

Today the Marketing industry is drastically different to what it was a decade ago. We now live in a rapidly evolving technological age defined not only by constant change but by true paradigm shift where consumers have become producers, the concept of innovation is the “default” and data, which enables us to layer multiple data sets to come up with a more dynamic and comprehensive picture of consumers has become more important than ever. 

With this being said what is the future of marketing? What are some of the future trends that will impact the work we do and how we operate? How can we use an ever increasingly complex consumer landscape to understand behaviours and consumption?

To understand these questions it is important to see what has happened on a global scale in relation to both the past and also what will happen in the foreseeable future. Social tensions will impact how we live, how we feel about the future and will further provide us marketers, brand and services with an opportunity to help Australians improve their lifestyle

Ipsos Australia and New Zealand has recently released a list of the top 10 mega trends that they believe will shape the world’s future. 

1. Dynamic populations – which represent both opportunities and threats to society. For example, two thirds of the global middle class will live in Asia by 2030 creating significant opportunity for Australian brands and services to tap into this growing, affluent market. Understanding these consumers will be crucial to tap into the vast wealth that is being created.

2. Growing opportunity and growing inequality – while some of us are becoming wealthier others are becoming poorer. A class divide is becoming increasingly apparent in Australia for the first time. We are witnessing growing inequality in Australia especially through housing affordability in our largest cities creating a generation of have-nots who will struggle to enjoy the same lifestyle as their parents.

3. Megacities: urban superpowers or human disasters – people are flocking to our largest cities, creating more pressure on infrastructure, housing and jobs, while also representing social challenges. Travel times are increasing creating potential future productivity concerns for our nation. Sydney is about to embark on an infrastructure boom, but will it be enough?

4. Increasing connectedness and decreasing privacy – we’re spending more time online and buying more while we’re there but many of us worry about who – government or business – can track our ‘digital footprint’ (what we search for, what content we consume, what we say and to whom and what we buy) – and how long that footprint will live online.

5. Healthier and sicker – life expectancy is increasing every year and creating new industries and services across Australia. While people are living longer and trying to live healthier lifestyles, levels of obesity are climbing and our environment is getting sicker – but will it be enough to force us to change our habits?

6. Rise of individual choice and decline of the mass market – we have unrivalled choice and it’s growing faster than ever before. The proliferation of international brands opening in Australia gives us greater choice and lower prices. Some Australian icons are now struggling.

7. Rise of the individual and decline of social cohesion – the rise of ‘me-culture’ vs concern and responsibility for the collective ‘us’ is set to continue. Meanwhile on the personal front, significant social changes are underway reinventing the very concept of the ‘average family’. Many families are headed by single parents, while single households are growing quickly and fewer people are getting married (and later).

8. Cultural convergence and increasing extremism – how well are Australians coming together? Sydney is the most multicultural city in the world and a great example of brands/services/foods where you can buy almost anything. However, like many other countries, we are also witnessing increasing social tension around immigration and the threat of home grown extremism.

9. Always on and off the grid – being ‘always on’ is driving some to ‘go off the grid’ for relief, relaxation and a chance to reconnect with the present moment and seek a greater work/life balance. Social consciousness continues to grow in importance. Companies that have a powerful social conscience are seen as compelling organisations to be part of. Flexible working environments will grow quickly over the next 10 years.

10. Public opinion as a revolutionary force – social media has heralded the role of mass social activism or ‘clicktivism’ where global social movements can appear overnight via the click of the ‘like’ button on Facebook. Protests are on the rise again with the public demanding to be more involved to express a point of view to impact decisions.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Pret A Manger dares to be different this Christmas

The UK’s fastest growing coffee chain Pret A Manger has caused quite a stir this week with news that they will donate their entire Christmas digital marketing budget to charity.

In the weeks leading to Christmas campaigns usually go in to overdrive to capture increased consumer spending. This year will be no different for Pret, but with another focus in mind. Shunning the traditional Christmas campaign-spending spree, the company have instead opted to dedicate there marketing channels and digital media spend to five separate charities. The charities form part of the Pret Foundation Trust and will also receive 50p from each sandwich sold in store over the holiday period.

The campaign officially kicked off last Monday where a store in London’s Broadwick Street was decorated as a giant Christmas present. Customers were encouraged to break through the Christmas wrappings to receive the free festive turkey and stuffing sandwiches inside.

To raise awareness of Pret’s Foundation, the company launched a campaign called ‘A little Thank You’ on both its website and social media. This features news about the charities along with pictures and videos of the trusts' work in the community. The group director of Pret said “We’re delighted to donate our marketing channels and media, both physical and digital, to the Pret Foundation Trust and the charities we work with. It’s our way of saying ‘a little thank you’”.

Back in April I wrote about Pret’s unusual approach to marketing, giving away free coffee to customers at the discretion of the staff. Although unusual, it was a great way to build customer loyalty in the ultra competitive coffee market. I think this is another classic example of ‘being noticeably different’. Using a non-traditional approach to advertising will win the support of customers. Rather than being bombarded with sales messages in the festive period, the company will use its money to increase awareness of important issues. More than two million customers will see the charity logos on coffee cups and in store advertising.

By taking this bold decision, Pret is helping to raise the profile of its charity partners and alleviate poverty by directly tackling the issue of homelessness. This is a great move to continue building good will among its community of customers, while raising an anticipated £1.6 million pounds for charity.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Top 20 decision-making biases and heuristics: Part II

In part II we continue our countdown of the twenty most common decision making biases and heuristics.

11. Loss aversion

We kick off with experience of loss aversion, which has been tied to the endowment effect, sunk cost trap and even the status quo bias. The pain of losing is felt stronger relative to the pleasure of gaining. How much you ask? Almost twice as much! This makes people twice as likely to take risks to avoid losses.

12. Prospect theory
The behavioural model of Prospect theory is a central component of loss aversion. The prospect theory model shows how people make decisions between choices that involve risk or uncertainty. The “S” shaped graph is steeper for losses than for gains, which supports the theory of loss aversion.


13. Gamblers fallacy

Past results do not represent future outcomes. The gamblers fallacy occurs when a person assumes a run of results one-way means that the other result is more likely. If you flip a coin ten times in a row landing on heads every time, it does not mean the next flip will be any more likely to result in it landing on tails. Similarly, a sports team who looses a number of games in a row is no more likely to win the next game based on the justification that they are ‘due a win’.

14. Peak-end rule

The two moments which are most memorable to people are the peak and the end. This has huge implications on marketing, particularly in the way that a product or service is evaluated.

15. Halo effect

The halo effect bias results in a person perceiving the qualities in one thing relating to the perceived qualities of another. The halo effect is frequently present in advertising where a company associates itself with another to receive its positive benefits.


16. Herd behaviour

When people or groups of people end up doing what others are doing, this is usually a result of herd behaviour. This mentality is particularly prevalent in the finance industry where stock market bubbles appear due to investors following each others' behaviours.

17. Hindsight bias

Have you ever watched a movie with a friend who exclaims at the end, ‘I knew it all along!’. Everything is easier in hindsight. This bias can distort judgments about the probability that an event will occur because the outcome of the event is perceived as predictable.

18. Habit

Many decisions we make are often as a result of habit. These patterns of behaviour build over time in specific situations. The repetition builds associative learning with triggers than cue typical responses.

19. Optimism bias

On the whole, people are much more likely to overestimate the probability of a positive event occurring and underestimate the probability of a negative event. This is often associated with the term ‘rose coloured glasses’.


20. Representativeness heuristic

Representativeness is a general heuristic where by a person judges the probability that characteristic A belongs to group B by judging the degree to which A represents B. This assumption is largely based on stereotyping when judging how one thing represents another. The representativeness heuristic is highly prevalent where detailed scenarios can serve to mislead people in to error. 

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 6 November 2015

Top 20 decision-making biases and heuristics: Part I

In this special two-part blog I am going to be counting down the top twenty biases and heuristics which impact decision-making. As marketers we make decisions every single day. From our decision to get out of bed in the morning to investing in a new promotional idea, we are constantly making decisions.

Of course, some decisions are more important than others, but decision-making often involves both conscious and unconscious thoughts. All humans are flawed when it comes to making decisions. Most decisions are subject to biases or are made using heuristics, essentially rules of thumb to make quick estimate answers. Heuristics are by no means systematic, but provide a practical solution to meet an immediate goal.

Increasing our understanding of biases and heuristics improves our ability to identify and minimise those that are a liability to decision-making. So with no further ado, its time to start the countdown!


1. Status quo bias

People generally prefer things to stay the same and look for decisions that involve the least amount of change. The status quo bias explains why statistically people are likely to favour a default option when overwhelmed with a number of choices.

2. Choice overload

Choice overload often gives us decision fatigue, which makes us more susceptible to heuristics and biases. Giving customers too many choices can result in unhappiness, as it often results in discomfort. For example, ordering food from a take away menu with too many items can result in choosing the same food as last time.

3. Endowment affect

The endowment affect is closely linked to the status quo bias. Once something is owned its value becomes much higher in value to the owner. Overvaluing a good that we own can explain why so many people find it hard to part with an item once they have established ownership of it.

4. Sunk cost trap

Have you ever ordered too much food at a restaurant and then over eaten to get your moneys worth? If so, you would likely have encountered the sunk cost trap. This is when we consider already invested resources when making decisions. Rather than only considering the future costs and benefits, we often consider the resources already invested.


5. Cognitive dissonance

Dissonance is a painful experience resulting from a lack of harmony. Cognitive dissonance therefore occurs when a person hold two thoughts which are psychologically inconsistent. Contradicting thoughts can result in irrational and biased decision-making due to the tension, which motivates people to seek harmony. High commitment purchases such as houses, cars or expensive vacations may result in high levels of cognitive dissonance. It is important to consider the impact of post purchase dissonance on customer satisfaction when marketing and selling products.

6. Overconfidence

Overconfidence is one of the most prevalent biases in decision-making. As humans we like to create an illusion of control and overestimate the extent to which we can achieve certain outcomes. Overconfidence stems from exaggerating the amount to which you can control an outcome.

7. Over precision

Fuelled by overconfidence, we tend to be over precise in our judgments. This is particularly prevalent when we are making decisions that are outside of our areas of expertise. Allowing more margin for error can help to remedy the over precision bias, particularly in times of uncertainty.

8. Anchoring

The anchoring bias is the tendency to be unconsciously influenced by irrelevant numbers when making decisions. The anchor can be set internally from our own perceptions or externally from an outside source. The implications of anchoring on marketing can be substantial! For example, if you were to place a promotional sign limiting customers in a supermarket to ten cans of soup each, the external anchor would likely result in customers purchasing more cans than they had originally intended.

9. Confirmation bias
Confirmation bias is the tendency to focus on information that supports our beliefs rather than seeking information that contradicts it. One of the best ways to avoid confirmation bias is to deliberately seek out opposing viewpoints when making important decisions.

10. Availability heuristic

People will often make decisions based on the availability of information that comes to mind. If an event or outcome is easy to imagine, it is much more likely to impact decision-making. On the contrary, events that are difficult to imagine may also reduce the likelihood of the event occurring. A vivid experience can also alter a person’s perception and thus decision-making.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

“Coke come alive” – The campaign that takes innovation to a new level

Imagine having a drink that’s packaging changes with the temperature as you drink it. Pretty cool right. Well, we all know Coca-Cola is infamous for their innovative marketing campaigns, and with their newest “Coke come alive” campaign said to launch this summer, you will most certainly NOT be disappointed!

At the beginning of this month, Coca-Cola South Pacific announced the launch of a new summer campaign featuring packaging which will change colour based on the drink’s temperature. This design, based on temperature control, is a first for Coke and will further feature on most of their packaging sizes including the 250ml cans and the 390ml, 600ml, 1L, and 1.25L bottles and frozen cups. The image recognition technology that will be used will also be able to recognise ‘Come Alive’ colour packs across other Coke products: Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke Life.

Some might be thinking how does it work? The “Coke come alive” campaign will see the drink packaging change colour when the drink reaches “optimal temperature for enjoyment”. This new marketing ploy will hopefully aim at introducing new consumers to the drink with particular focus of the younger market and also aim at engaging existing consumers who are loyal to the Coke brand.

In the process of providing cross-channel content to its consumers via social media, Coke has brought in help from teenage celebrities and key-teen influences in attracting a younger demographic.

“Coke come alive” will be part of a multi-million dollar integrated campaign that will push and evolve the "Color your summer" campaign. It will include image recognition technology where consumers are able to take an image of their drinks when it changes colors to win unique experiences, content and event access.

As we know, a successful campaign must continually innovate and integrate a range of mediums to ensure it effectively gets its brand message out to its consumers. To further drive its summer campaign, Coke will strategically implement outdoor advertising in locations deemed as “youth hot spots”, as well as point-of-sale merchandising in stores nation wide.

Group marketing manager, Dianne Everett says, “We are thrilled to launch the next exciting phase of the Coke Come Alive campaign. We believe it will provide a platform which will excite people about this iconic brand over summer”. I personally cannot wait to go out and buy one of these super cool coke bottles during summer.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Trick or treat: A marketers guide to Halloween

My favourite day of the year is almost here! Happy HALLOWEEN! 

A recent survey found that 25% of all Australians plan on celebrating Halloween this year. This number is steadily growing year-on-year but is still relatively small when compared to the 64% of Americans who celebrate the festive holiday by spending an estimated $6.9 billion annually. With its growing significance in the minds of the consumers, many companies are looking for novel ways to tie in to the festival with playfully spooky advertising. 
Earlier this week, Coca-Cola South Pacific announced the launch of its new campaign ‘Tastes Like’ Halloween. Through an integrated marketing campaign the brand will look to target both mums and teenagers. The brand manager for Fanta, Ramona Spiteri, said, "The 'Tastes Like' Halloween campaign is a direct reaction to the increasing popularity of Halloween celebrations in Australia and its role in driving significant growth across products in the Fanta portfolio in recent years.”


Over in the UK, Burger King has released its infamous “black burger” just in time for Halloween.  However, this won’t be the same as the Japanese version of the burger, which comes with black cheese made from bamboo charcoal and sauce coloured with squid ink. Instead it will feature traditional whopper fillings but with an unusually dark sesame seed bun. Burger Kings director of marketing, Matthew Bresnahan, said, ‘'We love creating new and innovative experiences for our guests and we felt that Halloween was the perfect occasion to satisfy this demand!'


Perhaps my favourite Halloween themed campaign came last year from Oreo. In the Oreo Laboratorium they cooked up the idea of the spooky cookie creatures called ‘nomsters’.
Each day the cookie manufacturer created new videos using stop-motion technology and invited fans around the globe to suggest new names for their creations. I think this is a really great example of how to successfully engage your social media community through Twitter and Facebook to become more involved with the product.


The award for the most frightening marketing campaign goes to the website, who dared customers to stay at some of its most haunted properties during the scariest week of the year. In 2013, the hotel booking website picked its most haunted hotels and created scary movie style posters for each with accompanying horror stories for its “stay if you dare” campaign. The pick of the bunch was for The Stanley Hotel, which is best known for its role in the Stephen King novel “The Shining”. They also featured the historic Gettysburg Hotel, whose resident Civil War ghost nurse Rachel is said to walk the hallways at night waking residents.


Robert Brunning
Current student in the
Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 23 October 2015

Woolies new priced-based marketing campaign

To reinforce its $500 million dollar investment into lower grocery prices, Woolworths has launched a new price-based marketing campaign. The new campaign, "Always at Woolworths", will substitute the previous Cheap Cheap campaign. The integrated marketing campaign is said to run on a range of media, including print, online, television and radio, highlighting the everyday value in Woolworth’s supermarkets rather than one-off discounts.


As a result of the new campaign, analysts have been impelled to question whether “Woolworths' new supermarkets team, led by Brad Banducci and Dave Chambers, is shifting towards an everyday-low-value pricing (EDLP) strategy rather than a high-low pricing model in an attempt to win back the trust of consumers.”

Based on other media releases, Woolworths is said to further invest more than $500 million dollars in reducing grocery prices in the aim of "neutralising" Coles and "containing" Aldi. So far the retail giant has invested more than $200 million into reducing prices this year, and claims its prices are now as cheap, if not slightly cheaper, than a similar basket of groceries at Coles.

Aimed at launching its new price position, the campaign called ‘’ The Always at Woolworths” was put together by Advertising agency Leo Burnett.

The Woolworths spokesman stated that the retail giant will always call out its value offer to their customers, and the new 'low prices, always' campaign does just that". The campaign reinforces to customers that with the hundreds of products for sale, prices can be expected to stay the same low price – week-in, week-out.

In August of this year, Woolworths’ food group managing director said that we would see their marketing strategy evolve and their key themes of “fresh food and cheaper prices” would remain the same, however the messages portrayed would become more cohesive. Some analysts are of the belief that the $200 million dollar price investment Woolworths has spent has not gained traction with consumers as of yet and is likely to have had little impact on same-store sales in the September quarter.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

It’s time to go ‘Back to the Future’!

At precisely 4:29pm on October 21st 2015, Dr. Emmett Brown, Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker will arrive in Hill Valley. Of course, if you have watched the legendary time travelling film when it was released back in 1985, you would already know that this Wednesday we can finally celebrate ‘Back to the Future’ week!

The popular sequel in the movie franchise made many bold predictions on how life would look in future of 2015. Unfortunately hoverboards are not yet commonplace and flying cars are still some way away. However, this week of celebration has thrown up some unique marketing opportunities for companies featured in the movie.

On Wednesday Pepsi will be releasing the “Pepsi Perfect” soda drunk by the time traveller Marty in the second instalment of the films franchise. The unique Pepsi bottle designed to look exactly like the one ordered in the futuristic Hill Valley cafe. The marketing director for PepsiCo, Lou Arbetter said, "Pepsi fans asked and we heard them loud and clear, the 'Back to the Future' trilogy was as big a moment in pop culture history then as it is now, 30 years later."


One of the biggest stars of the movie was unquestionably the futuristic Nike self-lacing sneakers. These were worn by Marty as he tried to blend in with the ultramodern hi-tech dress code of 2015. Nike confirmed that they would finally be producing the famous “power laces” with patents filed for the technology back in 2008. Tinker Hatfield who designed the original sneakers for the movie confirmed that the shoes would be available to purchase by the end of the year.


In a famous scene of ‘Back to the Future II’, Marty McFly is swallowed by a gigantic holographic image of the shark Jaws. This was to promote the movie ‘Jaws 19’ and celebrate the future of 3D films which are now commonplace. Earlier this week, Universal Studios Entertainment released a trailer for a fictitious ‘Jaws 19’ movie. While in reality no actual film will be made, I think this is fantastic marketing and a great way of connecting with fans of the franchise.
Although Toyota only played a very small part in the blockbuster movie they managed to find an interesting way to tie-in to the film’s anniversary. Backed by the creative of Droga5 and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, Toyota created an integrated marketing campaign centred on the Hydrogen Fuel Cell for its new car ‘The Mirai’. This played off the Mr Fusion generator from the movie that allows the DeLorean time machine to generate the 1.21 gigawats to travel through the space-time continuum.

To build excitement for the new car launch Toyota reunited the film’s actors, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, for a short video hyping the car’s upcoming release. This was supported by a launch event in California where influential car reviewers and bloggers were invited using special 80’s style wristwatches. For many weeks Toyota has been releasing subtle teasers on its microsite, slowly revealing their tie-in to the BTTF franchise.

As a huge fan of the ‘Back to the Future’ films, it has been great to see so much creative marketing around a 30 year old movie.  I only hope for more surprises as we near the anniversary date, even if it’s not a Mattel hoverboard.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the 
Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 15 October 2015

You got it! Pepsi is launching smartphones in china


In today’s world where we have an absurd number of unusual corporate branding decisions, Pepsi Co. has announced plans to launch smartphones as part of a bold new marketing strategy in hopes to attract more customers.

The notorious food giant has established that it will not be manufacturing the phones; it will instead license its brand for use on a new smartphone available only in China to market Pepsi gear. Targeting the growing Chinese middle class, the Pepsi will market products such as apparel, accessories, soda and food.

Pepsi spokesman stated, "Technology is a key cultural pillar at the heart of consumer interaction. Pepsi has no plans to get into the mobile phone manufacturing business, but we are committed to engaging with consumers in innovative ways to grow our brand."

Tech blogger Mobipicker states that the new smartphone, powered by Google’s android operating system, will be called Pepsi P1 and will more than likely be manufactured by China-based, Shenzhen Technology Co.


The phone will feature:
• Camera
• 16 gigabytes of storage
• It will retail for $205

Comparing Pepsi’s smartphones to giant retailer Apple, Apple has done exceptionally well selling iPhones in China’s booming smartphone market, where more than 500 million people access the Internet through a mobile device.

It could be argued, however, that Pepsi’s brand along with a price lower than the competition they might be able to reach a higher volume of consumers. It wouldn't be expected for this product this to hit the US or Europe, but don't be surprised if Coca-Cola follows suit.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Marketing Campaign: Melanoma Likes Me

Oh boy, what a wonderful long sunny weekend!

As the temperatures sizzled and the beaches packed, I couldn’t but help think about one of the best marketing campaigns of the year. Aussies love the sun, and love telling friends about it on social media. But every time we do, we make a new friend, _melenoma.

Melanoma is a skin cancer that kills 1500 Australians each year and is the most lethal cancer in 15-30 year olds. Melanoma Likes Me was created by Melanoma Patients Australia as a digital advertising campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of prolonged dangerous exposure to the sun.

The first step of the campaign was to create an online persona for Melanoma to communicate with the target audience. Using a unique algorithm, the _melenoma page was able to search for and respond to popular hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. Words such as #beach #sunbake and #poolside were targeted, along with geo-located images such as @bondi.

Users who uploaded a photo would receive an unexpected 'like' from _melanoma with unique tailored messages from their new ‘friend’. These were sent right at the moment which mattered the most, as the audience were exposed to the sun.

Source: Ellen Fromm Youtube

The single-minded proposition for the campaign was to educate and raise awareness at the point of exhibiting unsafe sun behaviour. What was so clever about this campaign is the way it was able to connect through the use of technology to young Australians spending time out in the sun. More than 2 million people have already received a message from _melanoma, resulting in a 1371% increase in unique visits to the Skincheck mobile website.

The campaign, developed by George Patterson Y&R, has since been recognised with multiple awards at the Cannes Lions 2015 festival. What I think is so special about its delivery is the ability to effectively target the audience in real time. Advertising is as much about getting attention as it is about changing behaviour. The personalised messages serve as a reminder to always use sunscreen or put on a hat to protect yourself from sun damage. 


So next time you share a photo on social media with an associated hashtag, you may too receive a message from _melenoma.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Mobile Marketing for the Oldies

When you think of marketing to “Older People” what comes to mind? Is it images of retired couples sitting back in a rocking chair? Is it couples that still have a so-called “brick” as a mobile telephone? Make no mistake here; these misconceptions in marketing for the elderly should be cleared up straight away.

In today’s ever-evolving technological world, brands and companies tend to overlook the over-65 demographic, perceiving them as not being tech savvy enough. Many also believe that older audiences are not prepared to switch brands, and therefore aim for younger audiences, hoping to win them as lifetime clients.

While this might have had relevance a few years ago, today’s reality is drastically different. People 65 and over now live longer, and are much more active and involved in the online world. Smart phones, social media, and online communities! You name it and they’re there. It is quite astounding to think that the elderly represent the fastest growing group of social media users, and are using it for the exact same purposes as other age groups.

With this being said, here are a few tips we as marketers can use when appealing to seniors particularly when it comes to mobile marketing.

Keep it Simple Stupid! The infamous KISS rule should be kept in the back of each advertiser and marketer’s mind when creating captivating mobile campaigns that target the 65+ age group. Even though they represent the fastest growing group when it comes to social media and new mobile devices, it can be argued that they are equally as influenced by ads that are much more simple when it comes to both text and image.

Based on research, when it comes to the text, use relatable language. It would make no sense to use colloquial and hip phrases seen on platforms such as “the LAD bible” because most of the time they have no idea what you are saying. It is important to ensure you are putting forth educational facts that will aid your consumers to make an informed decision about your product or service. Then we have image! Like our teachers used to tell us, a picture is worth a thousand words. Ensure that when creating your campaign you use simpler images. You will find that they are more visually appealing to those aged 65 years and older to make a stronger impact.

Congratulations! You have passed the first level of marketing to seniors. However, be careful as it is not over just yet. Once you have influenced your 65-year-old consumer to download your app there is another major focal point that you must get right if you want success. This focal point is the sign up/ set up. Generally once an app is downloaded, the user must enter a few of his or her personal details. If this sign up process requires too many steps, you’re bounds to lose users right away.

Keep in mind, those that are 65 years and older certainly did not grow up with technology as a fundamental part of daily life. So, taking this into consideration, many of the actions that feel natural to us “younger people”, require them to think twice. To solve the problem, lets make life easier for them! When designing an app, make sure to strip back the la-di-da fluff, simplify any in-app processes, enlarge small buttons and text, and explain each time you request personal information why you need it and how it’s going to improve their experience.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 28 September 2015

Ambush marketing: A threat or an opportunity?

Ambush marketing is a strategy in which advertisers “ambush” or take over an event to gain exposure for an advertising purpose. The unauthorised use of an event for marketing publicity it not a new phenomenon. The first recognised example of ambush marketing came shortly after VISA was made an official sponsor of the 1984 Summer Olympic games over its rival American Express. The phrase "ambush marketing" was first coined by the head of marketing at American Express, who proclaimed his company “Have not only the right, but an obligation to shareholders to take advantage of such events”. For the very first time, laws on being the “official” sponsors of the event were starting to be enforced.


By becoming an official sponsor or partner of an event you are paying for the privilege to associate yourself with that brand. That may be through the use of certain words, phrases or logos intended to raise your company's profile. Even though ambush marketing is a legally dubious practice, this has not stopped many organisations throughout the years from using this tactic to gain notable publicity. The Wimbledon Championships have long been protective over their classy and traditional five star brand image. They have long standing advertising deals with high status brands such as watchmaker Rolex and Champaign producer Lanson as official sponsors. The official water sponsors for the tournament are Evian, who feature their products regularly alongside the athletes. However, this has not stopped rival companies from handing out free bottles of water to spectators entering centre court in an effort to be noticed. In 2009 Pringles handed out 24,000 free tubes of its snack carrying the logo “these are not tennis balls”. The stunt gained widespread praise in the media for being innovative but drew criticism from the events organisers. 

In fact, ambush marketing has become such a problem at Wimbledon that the events organisers released a statement this year that they would take a “firm stance” on any ambush marketing. This includes refusing entry to any spectator they believe may be associated with ambush marketing and taking away branded items such as hats, rain capes, umbrellas, sun creams, radios and water bottles.
Ambush marketing can however be highly creative and has produced some very memorable publicity for major brands. The 1996 Summer Olympic games where held in Atlanta saw the then 100m champion Linford Christie defending his title as fastest man in the world. The official sponsor for the athlete’s footwear was Reebok who secured exclusive promotion rights. At a press conference before the race the champion appeared wearing contact lenses showing the Puma logo. This was later shown on the front covers of newspapers around the world, gaining great exposure for the Puma brand.

Perhaps one of the most notable examples of ambush marketing came in the World Cup 2010 when 36 women dressed in orange were ejected from a game between Holland and Denmark. Wearing short dresses and the national colours of the Netherlands the women drew lots of attention from fans in the stadium along with the cameras capturing the event. The stunt had been organised by the Dutch brewery company Bavaria to gain free publicity on a global stage. Shortly after the incident two of the event organisers were arrested with FIFA pressing for legal action to be taken against the brewery for breaching the Merchandise Marks Act.


Ambush marketing appears to be a growing threat that continues to undermine the development of commercial sponsorship. It presents both an opportunity and threat for companies seeking publicity at major events.  However, ambush marketing raises both legal and ethical issues that must not be ignored. While there is certainly a responsibility for marketers to “do the right thing” there must also be counter measures and strategies to deter this behavior.

Even with stricter laws in place, the prospect of having your brand attached to a major cultural event, even in an unofficial way, may be too much for many companies to resist.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Instagram is developing, but what does it mean for brands?

Instagram is updating and building upon its platform with new innovative developments, such as the integration of the Instagram API (Application Programming Interface).

Representing one of the fastest growing major mobile properties, Instagram is home to an engaged and authentic community with more than 300 million users. To further put this giant powerhouse in perspective, the mobile app shares on average 70 million photos per day and gives out 2.5 billion likes.

More importantly, the avid 13-24 year old users feel as though instagram has provided them with a platform to help define who they are through a 640px squared photo - pretty amazing if you ask me! Instagram as it stands allows their users to be visually creative, to find inspiration and to share snippets of their life, perspective and ways they look at the world.

On a more business-oriented level, Instagram poses an innovative opportunity for social advertisers to grow their brand. If you think about it, users on a global scale can engage with brands of their liking on a daily basis by following them, looking at new content uploaded, liking photos, sharing, commenting and visiting its website. In particular, we are seeing retail fashion, travel and automotive sectors rushing to get in front of the millions of users. The so called APIwill allow such sectors a further means to cross-channel and cross-publish content that is directly aimed at their target audience.

A prime example being high-fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, demonstrates just how influential Instagram actually is in building relationships with both existing customers and reaching new audiences that are interested in luxury brands. The instagram API test allowed Net-a-Porter to target very specific European audiences within 24 hours of their corresponding event. In return, the brand was able to drive awareness which resulted in Net-a-porter being able share outstanding fashion content with its customers quicker, easier and better.

With the API release, any company that is doing branding will be able to easily create, test, and optimise their direct response advertising campaigns on Instagram. Another few things that the API will be able to do include:
  • Search tags
  • Incorporate photos on websites
  • View photos from specific locations in real time
  • View popular and trending photos
  • •Print photos from dvents and tags instantly
  • Create compelling campaigns
  • Market venues, events, brands and businesses
  • Create event live feeds
Advertising campaigns on the Instagram platform have proved to be highly effective and can easily be managed alongside Facebook and Twitter. By doing this, advertisers are able to obtain some valuable information including performance, insights and management efficiencies. By leveraging the full capabilities of Facebook’s powerful advertising infrastructure on Instagram, brands can drive impact at scale across both platforms.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

4 Easy Steps to Succeed Using Online Advertising

Advertising online is, nowadays, the ideal, most efficient way of driving traffic to your website and/or business. It instantly extends your reach significantly and gives you greater transparency at a reduced cost in contrast to the more traditional methods of advertising (television, radio, papers etc.). Nevertheless, a successful campaign is one that is a good balance, and knowing what you’re doing exactly is key.

So what is it that makes people click on ads?

This being one of the most frequently asked questions in the digital marketing space, ought to be answered for once. All too often, people opt to advertising online without having a clue about what is it that actually makes people click on ads? Is it the flashy colours? Is it the animation? Is it the statements that push too hard?


Read on for a more comprehensive insight on what to do in order to get more customers through your online advertisements:
  1. Know your customers - An advertising campaign must be directed toward your niche market. Creating generic ads that do not speak the language or grab the attention of your potential customers is a common mistake. You must always make sure you know the kind of customers you want to attract, and ensure that your ads speak to them on a personal level; for that is what convinces the customers that you are their best bet.
  2. Be interactive – Nothing attracts customers more than when they are shown concern on a personal level. And so, one of the many advantages of Internet advertising is that it allows you to get instant feedback from the public on your product, marketing strategies etc. Giving your customers the chance to fill out an online feedback form can be a great way for you to analyse what the public thinks of your company AND your product. Also, you may even create Internet advertising promotions that will encourage people to provide their email addresses to sign up for contests or receiving newsletters. Then, you can use those emails to make the public aware of future products.
  3. Pay attention to the colours – Yes, cliché as that may sound, the colour matters. Colours and colour combinations send different messages. The colour signals can be used to send stronger messages online. However, this part is tricky; you should use colours in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right reason. For instance, if you are selling bouncy jump houses- where your audience is kids — you don’t want to use a black website – you’d rather go for vibrant, fun colours like orange, yellow, reds etc. While on the other hand, if you’re selling office chairs, you’d opt for the colour silver or black, or even a combination of the two. Its kind of simple if you get hang of it and are able to imagine yourself in the audience’s.
  4. Call to action – This part oftentimes is the most prominent on the advertisement, and so, it is vital that your call to action has an impact on the customer. An effective call to action clearly tells the customers what they should do. They should include active words that encourage users to take an action, for example: Call, Buy, Register, Subscribe.
 Additionally, create a sense of urgency with words that can be used alongside phrases such as:
  • Offer expires June 22nd!
  • Order now and receive a free gift!
Furthermore, the positioning of call to action is important - Ideally it should be placed high on the page and in the central column.

Regardless of how wonderful or in-demand your products and/or services are, your business will not be successful unless your websites and pages generate enough traffic of targeted customers. And so, online advertising must be done bearing all the previously mentioned points in mind.

Good luck!

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 21 September 2015

7 tips to increase customer online engagement

It’s not like conventional ways to deal with, advertising where you particularly target prospects with direct reaction offers, engagement promoting permits your crowd and potential clients to associate with you and shape how they might want to speak with you. Engagement promoting starts when an intrigued individual makes a move to start an association with you.

Engagement implies somebody is keen on listening to you, and you must connect with that individual so as to accomplish your business target while satisfying his or her advantage. As a business element you will execute engagement advertising to drive your intrigued gathering of people towards business destinations:

Here are the 7 simple tips to increase customer online engagement:
  1. Develop an engagement method: To be effective, you must set up an unmistakable arrangement and methodology for your engagement advertising. Your arrangement will need to incorporate how you will contact your audience members and how you will have the capacity to react and collaborate with your drew in members. This can be done through emails and social media.
  2. Integrate with your promoting blend: All parts of your advertising correspondences blend ought to incorporate an 'invitation to take action' for engagement from just asking for remarks or postings at your websites or discussions to empowering audits on your items and administrations.
  3. Focus on substance and relationship: Focus on significant and intriguing substance as the way to connect. Focus on building honest relationship with your customers by focusing on their needs and wants and full filling them with your available resources. 
  4. Promote memberships: Use consent based systems to empower memberships with upgraded web forms. 
  5. Invite audience to collaborate with your Blog / Fans Page: Establish a society and excitement for engagement by urging your audience to contribute with remarks, recommendations and even as visitor essayists to expand the perspectives and assets accessible to your associated group.
  6. Conduct overviews and surveys: Run incessant studies to offer chances to start engagement while gaining from and about your listening group. Utilize a studies or web surveys to begin the dialog that is pertinent to the person.
  7. Engage with informal communication: If you have not knew about Face Book, Instagram or Twitter that are behind the interpersonal interaction marvels, you should not squander any additional time, go straight to these locales and see how these destinations that are catching actually a large number of individuals who are effectively captivating on these destinations consistently. These locales work in light of the fact that long range interpersonal communication groups need to share and need to realize what their friend network and relatives are doing. Discover how you can influence the engagement and sharing of your substance utilizing these interpersonal organizations.
Keep in mind, once you have an intrigued group drawing in with you, verify you keep the lines of correspondence going, learn and alter your technique to guarantee your engagement advertising will conveyance main concern results to your business by expanding your client base.

There are around 14,000,000 internet users in Australia. Most of them are using social media; about 2,791,300 users are on twitter and 120,000 users on Myspace. About 5million Australians watch videos on Facebook and they are online all day so these sites are good place to engage your customers.

Good Luck!

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 18 September 2015

Apple 1984: The ad that changed everything!

For many years Apple have been known as an innovative company that broke boundaries.  It was not until this weeks class in integrated marketing communications that I learn just how innovative Apple had been in its advertising.  To tell this story we must first take a trip back in time to January of 1984. The Super Bowl XVIII was in its third quarter when something truly amazing occurred on the screen. But this did not happen on the sporting field, it happened during the advertising break, which would later become one of the most coveted and expensive slots for marketing.

The advert is set in an industrial grey landscape with what appears to soldiers marching through a tunnel. A “Big Brother” like voice speaks to his army of drones who continue to march forward. Out of the grey background comes an athlete dressed in uniform with bright red shorts and a white top carrying a sledgehammer. The athlete played by Anya Major runs through the crowds of grey drones into a large auditorium. As the Big Brother is finishing his speech and proclaims ‘We shall prevail!’ the athlete hurls the hammer through the screen. A bright white light projects from the broken screen with a voice over and text reading “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you'll see why 1984 won't be like Nineteen Eighty-Four”.

The ad was directed by Ridley Scott, who five years earlier had risen to prominence with the hit movie Alien. Much like the movie the 1984 ad was ground-breaking in so many ways. The rumoured cost of the ad was $650k, which at the time was unheard off.  The then Apple account manager Fred Goldberg tested the ad using a market research company before airing it in the Superbowl slot. The testing results where very disappointing, with even the Apple board of directors claiming to dislike the advert. But this did not deter Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak who were confident of its success.

So how did this become one of the most iconic adverts of all time? There are a few factors which led to this adverts success. Apple was the first company to produce something truly outrageous in advertising during the Super Bowl. The advertisement demanded attention and had amazing production quality for the time. More importantly it was more than just an ad, it was a minute and a half story. It closely mirrored the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four which had been very popular at the time. The “Big Brother” character of the ad represented IBM and their dominance in the personal computer market.

Image Source:

IBM represented conformity and rules where the Macintosh represented revolution and freedom. The Macintosh was the first personal computer with a graphical user interface that was relatively affordable and easy to use.

The 1984 advertisement helped to position Apple as the innovative company that many of us know and love today. The ad has long since had an impact not just on Apple, but the world of advertising as a whole.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Philips and its integrated marketing campaign

I know, I know! I have been MIA over the last week. Sorry if you all have been missing my posts, no sarcasm intended. I have just finished another intensive, yet amazing subject called “Integrated Marketing Communications” run by Dr Kathryn Charlton.

The number of late nights and group brainstorming sessions that took place was countless, but boy did we have fun! Besides the potato business cards, cupcakes and role play, we were able to walk away with a huge amount of valuable information that will most definitely come in handy down the track. As the subject was based around creating an integrated marketing campaign, I thought it would only be appropriate to post an article that reflected this topic.

Royal Philips of the Netherlands has launched an integrated marketing campaign in Australia promoting its current brand positioning and refreshed brand identity, “Innovation and you”. The change in message better reflects the brand's mission that aims at improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation. 

The central point of this campaign revolves around the brand’s new visual storytelling platform ‘Innovation and You’. This platform features a plethora of the latest Philips innovations, showcasing real-life stories from around the world behind each innovation. Philip’s campaign was designed in collaboration with Guardian Labs Australia that are the commercial content division of Guardian Australia.

Spanning across a four-month period, a number of episodes will air that revolve around the themes of a healthier, brighter future. These episodes will aim at inspiring Australian audiences, by demonstrating how innovation is advancing healthcare and personal wellbeing. It will further show how innovation is transforming the way people experience lighting in both public spaces and at home.

 “Our commitment is to deliver innovation that matters to people, by transforming healthcare access and delivery through partnerships, improving people’s health and wellbeing and making the world more sustainable through our lighting solutions,” says Kevin Barrow, Managing Director of Philips Australia and New Zealand.

Embedded in Philips belief is the idea that innovation is only meaningful “IF” it can bring forth change to the lives of others. The following campaign that will evolve over the next few months will focus on innovating in areas that allow people to be healthier, live well and enjoy life.

The campaign will be supported by more digital, social and PR activations containing a multitude of mediums such as rich video content, articles and interactive visualisations that showcase the individual experiences of patients, providers, caregivers, consumers and businesses alike about what Philips’ solutions meant for them in the most meaningful moments of care and how it has enriched their world being better connected.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Marketing to Generation Z

Who exactly is Generation Z you ask? Up until a few weeks ago I didn’t know they existed either! The world has just got to grips with the term “Millennial” when along came Generation Y to supersede them.  Now we have an even younger category of consumers with a new buzzword to define them.

Although loosely defined, Generation Z are generally considered to have been born between mid-1990s to the early to mid 2000s. This puts the oldest of the generation in their mid twenties with the youngest in their early teenage years. But what really define this group are the characteristics that set them apart from their predecessors.

Generation Z are the most connected generation to have ever existed.  They are also the most highly educated to boot. The generation have become early adopters of new products and strong brand advocates. They are influential, particularly on social media and where they are leaders of popular culture. That being said, Generation Z lack brand loyalty with products attributes being more important than the brand itself. They are considered to be minimalists but will spend time seeking our products and services that are unique.

This new generation were born into a global financial crisis, threats of terrorism and a changing climate. They are living in a period of significant change and are expected to lead change going forward. Where Generation Y were considered to be passive, Generation Z are considered to be more active, progressive and even more socially conscious. They are ambitious and eager to make a positive impact on the world around them.


They have also grown up in a generation of Facebook, YouTube and Google, which makes them tech savvy digital natives. Social media is a fantastic way to connect with this audience through campaigns that are both honest and transparent. Successful brands will need to show they care about this generation by fully understanding their needs to garner their attention. This means connecting via multiple platforms in new and creative ways.

The brands that are able to express their personality in interesting and fun ways will be the most likely to catch the attention of Generation Z. Particularly brands that are able to get behind the social causes that really matter to this generation.  This has to be more than just on a superficial level to make deep and meaningful connections with these consumers with messages that break through the clutter.

It is important to take notice of this new generation of consumers who account for approximately 2 billion people globally. The key challenge for marketers is to find meaningful ways to connect with this generation who are considered more complex and cynical than previous generations.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Want to evolve your marketing? Social media is your answer.

A few years ago the job of social media was primarily given to the intern or dedicated to a single person in a business with very few resources supporting its functions. Today the Concept of social has matured and exponentially grown into an integral and utmost fundamental part of a brands marketing mix.
The evolution of communications marketing can be demonstrated by the use of social posts. Due to the complexity of todays social channels and posts it can be said that it is not longer good enough to draft a Facebook post or share an Instagram photo. Social Content has drastically matured over the years and is now generally the result of a businesses creative, editorial or digital team.

Whether or not we admit it, these departments play a huge part in creating the captivating content that you see across multiple social media platforms. In order to ensure this captivating content remains innovative and cut throat all teams must collaborate seamlessly, when they are unable to do so it becomes highly obvious.

For businesses and brands that feel disheartened or overwhelmed by the whole “social media situation” here are a few tips you can use to evolve your social practice. Firstly it is important to understand that the social channels and platforms a business chooses to advertise through can hold large amounts of data and insights. In order to market a brand/service successfully we must thoroughly understand our consumers, what makes them tick along with their behavioral patterns. All this data gathered from social media could be leveraged and used to add in an extra dimension to the traditional data sources generally used.
Another tangent businesses could potentially take is evolving their brand towards becoming a so-called publishing platform. Even though the concept of social media has been around for a while it is still a fairly new marketing tool. With the demand and increase in newer technologies the ability to learn about using social media becomes rather difficult as there are new platforms and channels introduced all the time.

In the early days social media was about ownership, establishment, and both operating and globalizing channels. In todays crazy world where the concept of time is but a mere memory of the past, the world of social media has shifted and is now about coordinating multiple channels with third parties and campaigns with a focus on quality over quantity.

Evolving your social practice might take the form of acting like a bridge between both creative and editorial. We are all aware that social media has expanded and is continuing to expand into content marketing. With this being said it also continues to require the innovation of creative together with the media savvy of editorial. In A nutshell, with a future that is rapidly evolving brands must start, continue and maintain seamless communication across all departments of the marketing mix to ensure innovation, success and collaboration.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 17 August 2015

My journey to the Master of Marketing

Having just begun my second semester at the University of Sydney Business School, I have started to reflect on my time spent enrolled in the Master of Marketing. Taking my very first class a little over six months ago, I already feel like I have acquired lifetime of learning!

But to really tell this story, I need to start at the beginning. My journey actually began whilst backpacking in Australia in 2003 when I first visited the University of Sydney campus. Although I did not know it for certain at the time, I always thought that one day I would study at this famous and prestigious University. Eleven years later, I was awarded with a Business Leader Postgraduate Scholarship from the Business School, which helped turn that dream into a reality.

Source: Hun Jung Photography
In February of this year I handed in my notice at work, sold my car and moved my life to the other side of the planet. Looking back now, I can see it was the best decision I have ever made. What made the program stand out to me was the opportunity to learn from marketers in industry who are at the next level, and to see how they operate within their organisations. Taking this knowledge, I could then actually implement those skills, tools and insights in my future career as a brand manager.

What attracted me to studying marketing at the University of Sydney Business School is the real life application of theory you learn in the classroom, applied to real businesses. As part of the marketing consultancy project, I am currently working with the youth hostelling association YHA. This has given me a fantastic opportunity to work with a real world company to help add value to their business practices using the frameworks and tools learnt during my studies.

I really enjoy the diversity of my fellow colleagues studying the Master of Marketing. My classmates come from Australia, India, New Zealand, China, Italy, Korea, Germany, Bulgaria, Indonesia and the Maldives to name but a few! With such great diversity, you get really interesting insights into marketing practice in different cultures. My favourite experience on the program so far was breaking the service model of a well-known Australian fast food chain by ordering items that were not on their menu. It was very funny, but also taught me about the importance of service quality in relation to marketing practices.

Source: Hun Jung Photography

The uniqueness of the program is not just the diversity of the cohort, but also the diversity of the curriculum in the program. My first semester consisted of four very distinctive modules, Internal Marketing, Evaluating Marketing Performance, Contemporary Consumer Insights and Marketing in a Global Economy. During the winter break I began my intensive Marketing Consultancy Project module. For the second semester I am enrolled for Decision-Making and Research, Regulatory Environment and Ethics, Integrated Marketing Communications and Innovative Marketing Strategies.

Each module I have studied has helped me to add to my overall understanding of the discipline of Marketing, and added another tool to my growing inventory of knowledge that will help my career continue to flourish.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School