Category: Marketing

Parsley Box Hits the Big Screen

Using the extensive experience in DRTV within Move Fresh we helped the Parsley Box team on making their very first TV ad

Take a look

Update from Parsley Box

We launched our latest brand Parsley Box around 8 weeks ago.  In this age of digital media and engagement we have seen a lack of digital channels that work for this demographic but have rejoiced in moving back into traditional media (print, direct mail, catalogues!).

Today most digital media talks about response rate, click through rate and conversion rate – all skills that have been prevalent in traditional direct response for many years before it was taken over by digital.

Having recruited more than 1,000 customers in this short period we are using old mechanics like the catalogue to engage in the same way that we use email in many of our other brands.

The majority of our orders are taken on the telephone and we are hearing great stories from our customers that we plan to use in future media.

Finally, TV is going to play a part – and next week we plan to shoot our first TV ad for Parsley Box.

While recipe box companies pile into competitive areas hankering after the aloof millennial we are sticky to the knitting and using direct marketing techniques to broaden our customer base.

Stay tuned for our latest advert once it’s complete in the next few weeks

Digital first?

There are an enormous number of marketing job adverts that say the prospective employee should have a “digital first” outlook.

This is something we disagree with quite strongly. The approach should be “cost per customer acquired first” which may well result in the choice of a digital channel but that is a completely different thing from starting with a prejudiced view that the digital channel will work best.

Nowadays the main digital advertising channels are based on Generalised Second Price auctions. In an ordinary auction (called an English auction) a product will be sold to the highest bidder at the price they bid. In a GSP auction, the first place will go to the highest bidder who will pay the price of the second bidder and so on. (Bids are adjusted by Google based on Click Thru Rates as of course the highest bidder may not receive clicks and will therefore not have to pay for their bid.)

The good news is that the GSP is sightly less prone to the Winner’s Curse than the English Auction (as we need more than one bidder to get their bid wrong). But it is still the case that the number of participants in the auction will tend to increase the price per customer acquired.

At Move Fresh we have found that many of the PPC auctions have now increased so much in cost that we are much better buying more conventional media (such as inserts).

The point is that we are not a digital first marketing company: we are an acquisition first company. We are completely agnostic on media. We think “digital first” is as dangerous as suggesting that a company should focus purely on traditional marketing.

It’s what works.

Shakespeare on Copywriting

I am very pleased to be spending much of my time now teaching copywriting and marketing to our very talented team.

How does one write copy for Google Adwords or for the other e-commerce channels we use?

Looking back over the course I’ve been teaching I’ve realised that the vast majority of it has been quotes from William Shakespeare, followed by William Blake.

There have been questions about why e-commerce marketing which started in 1995 has been almost entirely covered in my course by Shakespeare (1564) and Blake (1757). Am I not at least more than two centuries out of date?

The answer of course is that human beings haven’t changed that much. And indeed some of the course has even gone back to the Ancient Greek Rhetoric.

If you understand anaphora, anthimeria, archaism, assonance, asyndeton, brachylogy, chiasmus, diacope, epanalepsis, epimone, epistrophe, hyperbaton, hyperbole, irony, malapropism, metaphor, metonymy, onomatopoeia, paradox, paralepsis, polysyndeton, simile, syllepsis, synecdoche, tautology and zeugma as well as Shakespeare and Blake then you are well on your way to writing a great Google AdWord advert even if you are 200 hundred years after the masters.

5 Vital Brand Attributes

One of our advisors has five things he believes a brand has got to get right in order to succeed:

  1. Show expertise – In the old days the only space available to show expertise was on the label which was limited to put it mildly. But customers now expect content (on web, apps and in print) that shows that a brand knows what it’s talking about.
  2. Personalisation – The day of the mass market brand has gone. Consumers now expect something unique for them such as Tails, Moonpig or Diet Chef with our unique recommendations and 360,000 combinations available for the diet.
  3. Trust – This is particularly important in food where the industry has generally got quite a bad reputation. Innocent would be a great example of a brand who have worked for deep levels of trust. Trust is of course earned over years but can be lost overnight.
  4. Care – This is quite a deep one covering production of the product, impact on the environment and the community and of course care of the customer.
  5. Innovation – It would be fair to say that the food industry has not got innovation deep in its DNA. Even heritage brands needs to innovate while preserving their provenance.

Investment in the future

Although this is quite a heavy hitting title, many businesses say this but few actually believe it. Investment in the future sometimes is quite short term.

Building great brands takes a long time and investment sometimes takes years if not decades to recoup.

By building a balanced portfolio of brands that are at different lifecycles we can use the associated cash flows to invest in the future and for the long term. We are long term shareholders and our focus is to be measured in decades not quarters.

Marketing investment is frequently curtailed if immediate payback is not available (on your first order for example) but being able to take a longer term view allows you to really benefit from the long term value that customers see in a great product.

We see marketing as an investment – not a cost – and just like buying companies that require investment for growth – we want to ensure that marketing is measured as an investment. We are very analytical but don’t only listen to the numbers, we take multiple data points to measure our marketing investment.

A typical by-product of believing marketing is an investment is that we know that not every activity that we carry out will work, but we are relaxed as long as the majority work!

Professionalism in Marketing

The founder of modern consumer research was George Gallup who set up the eponymous Gallup in 1935. One of his early studies for advertisers showed that when a consumer is reading a magazine, headlines in BLOCK CAPITALS are read less often than headlines in Title Case. With identical adverts, simply changing the font of the headline would increase readership of the whole advert.

David Ogilvy, one of the founders of modern advertising, makes this point in Ogilvy on Advertising which was published in 1983.

In 1963 Margaret Calvert along with Jock Kinneir were given the task of redesigning British roadsigns to make them easier to read for road safety. Of course part of her work was moving from block capital to title case, in the process becoming the first person to earn an OBE for services to typography.

The Americans finally caught up and in 2010, New York began the $27.5 million process of changing their signs from capitals to lower case for safety.

In short, there was been nearly a century of research that has constantly shown that Title Case is more effective than BLOCK CAPITALS for headlines and this research has been widely covered in the media and in the literature (if you Google you will find many more articles I could have mentioned). Why then do most adverts still use block capitals?

It’s a very good question to which I’m not sure I have a complete answer. I do think a big part of it is that marketing is simply not perceived as being a serious profession. Recently I came across a company where the Chairman’s son had been given a vital marketing role despite having no experience in the subject. It would be hard to imagine this happening in accountancy or law. We really do need similar standards being demanded for marketing as for the other professions.

Experience Counts

Here’s a couple of classic Kwik-Fit ads:

I love both these adverts and the other 20 or so.

First of all they have great standout and even inspired a spoof.

It’s also immediately obvious from the start through to the end exactly what the advert is actually for. Surprisingly most adverts avoid making it clear who client is.

Every advert is also very focused on a USP (boring I know!). The first ad focuses on why you should trust them and the second ad shows the range of people who trust Kwik-Fit (a classic “that’s me ad”).

Jim Downie was at Hall’s Advertising when we came up with “You can’t get better than a Kwik-Fit fitter” and he visibly squirmed as I told him how much I admired these adverts but I actually think they are complete genius and earned Tom Farmer many millions of pounds. I can’t wait to see what Jim does for me.

It also reminds me of some of the arguments I have had with marketing consultants. Their view was that hiring very experienced creative directors who were older was a huge mistake and that instead we should be focusing on the new talent. I think this is completely wrong.

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