Festival of Marketing 2016: The top takeaways from L’Oreal, Amnesty and Digital Spy

On day two at the Festival L’Oreal offered advice on how to pay influencers and Amnesty International shared some examples of marketing on small budget

Tier your influencer spending for maximum impact

Hugh Pile, CMO for Western Europe at L’Oreal, offered an in-depth look at how the beauty brand structures its influencer marketing strategy. The company has put bloggers and social media stars at the heart of its campaigns and last month announced the launch of a ‘beauty squad’ of influencers who will create content on an ongoing basis.

Pile revealed that L’Oreal tiers the influencers that it works with according to gold, silver and bronze categories. The gold group represents the bloggers with the biggest online followings and the people that L’Oreal plans to spend the most money with for the biggest campaigns.

Read More: L’Oréal on why other brands are using influencers the wrong way

The bronze group are those influencers with fewer followers or those who are in the early days of growing their beauty blog. L’Oreal seeks to build relationships with these people in anticipation that they may wield more influence in future. This may simply involve sending these people free product samples or engaging them in conversations on social media. L’Oreal uses influencer marketing tool Traackr to organise these different tiers and target the influencers it feels best fit with its brands and campaigns.

“[This strategy] allows you to flex your spend to ensure you deliver more for less through the right people,” said Pile.

Pool brand resources for shoestring marketing

During a panel discussion on shoestring marketing, Amnesty International campaign manager Tom Davies explained how the charity achieved success with one of its marketing campaigns using a budget of just £15,000. The work included creating a spoof advert to highlight that London’s ExCel centre is the site of an annual arms fair that it claims sells “illegal torture equipment”.

The campaign was covered by multiple news outlets such as The Guardian and BuzzFeed and reached over 3 million people on Facebook, achieving 100,000 clickthroughs. In addition, the public response to the campaign prompted the Government to write to Amnesty stating that it would work to close loopholes around the sale of torture equipment.

Davies argued that Amnesty was only able to achieve such results on a small budget because all departments within the charity pulled together to support it. This included using Amnesty staff to spread the message on the streets of London in the lead-up to the arms fair.

“We made a decision to pull together a lot of physical resources in the organisation to put behind this campaign,” said Davies. “I as a campaign manager could call on people in our digital, press and advocacy teams to support me, and it had a fantastic result.”

Make it about inclusion, not diversity

Diversity is a big buzz word in the industry at the moment yet Scott Knox, who was speaking at the Festival of Marketing as the founder of PrideAM but also leads the MAA, said he is yet to see any real changes happening.

“I am bored with tokenism. Bored with the pledging and pamphlet pushing going on around this issue. What we need is real change. Consumers are going to demand it. It needs to happen.”

Scott Knox, founder, PrideAM

Yet he believes diversity is still undervalued. He said the MAA did a recent straw poll of its members’ views of the organisation. It found that while the organisation is well known for its work on diversity, the value that is attributed to that was ranked just one or two out of five.

Speaking on the same panel, Dr Christine Bailey who has previously headed up Cisco’s ‘connected women’ initiative said this is surprising given that there are “plenty of stats” showing that diversity is good for business. And she highlighted that while 75% of CEOs have gender diversity in their priority list according to a recent McKinsey study, it is one of up to 10 strategic priorities and that there is a “big difference between what people say and the reality”.

Read More: Marketing’s diversity issue

That is the key issue, said Know, who believes too many companies are focus on quotas or pledges and not on ultimately tackling the issue – which he highlighted goes beyond gender or ethnicity and also includes factors such as age, disability and sexuality. What he wants to see is an industry tackling the idea of inclusion so that the debate becomes less about opening doors to true equality in the workplace.

“Diversity is too shallow at the moment. It needs to be done but it is not enough. I want to see people able to be their true authentic selves in the worldplace regardless of their background. It is about getting the best out of people so they flourish,” he said.

Advertisers should choose truth over clickbait

Choosing content that is authentic and engaging is far more rewarding for advertisers than sensationalised clickbait, argued editor-in-chief of Digital Spy Julian Linley.

“I could absolutely double my page views overnight by writing more sensational content, but what we would see if we did that would be a halving of our engagement.”

Julian Linley, editor-in-chief, Digital Spy

“It’s complicated because currently advertisers reward numbers, not engagement. Page views are valued more than the depth of engagement. That’s the opposite of the way that it should be because you can easily engage millions of people with click-bait content, but it’s really hard to then make people stay there for any length of time,” Lindley added.

The entertainment news site attracts 15 million unique users every month and engagement times of up to nine minutes per article precisely because readers consider it a trusted news source, stated Lindley, who urged brands to appreciate that the truth is what really resonates with people.

“I think about the way I feel when I consume that [sensationalised] content and I don’t feel very good about myself afterwards. I’m not sure I want my consumer to feel that way about my brand and as an advertiser I’m not sure I’d want my brand to sit alongside that content,” he said.

While on a programmatic advertising basis sensational content works because it generates more page views, meaning a greater number of programmatic ads are served, Linley advised brands to look long term.

“But I would prefer to see advertisers taking a risk and spending more money on engagement than necessarily page views because people believe the content they consume as they’re spending more time with it.”

Coding can be creative

By making coding more attractive to young girls with programmes such as ‘Girls That Code’, the tech industry is attracting more women, but there is much work still to be done. Roberta Lucca, part of the BBC series ‘Girls That Code, said that it had shocked her during the series that some of the participants, young women aged 17-18, had not realised how technology could help their creativity.

“It shocked me that they didn’t realise how much technology could help them be creative. They thought creativity was fashion or art, not using creativity to make something new,” Lucca commented.

The panel said that though coding will change the way the workforce is structured, women working in corporate is an area that still needs addressing. Tyche Leadership Consulting’s Nikki Watkins believes this is something that can be helped by millennials and the fact that they want the same things as women.

Watkins said: “Women want the same things millennials do. They want collaboration, they want to be included in the creation, they want to have life, not work-life balance, they want to have purpose and values met at work.”

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