5 things that mattered this week

From the UK going Pokémon Go crazy to Adidas unveiling further details of its three-pillar marketing strategy, it has been a busy week in the world of marketing. We have curated the five things you need to know.

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go is set to become a game changer for marketers

Unless you have been living under a rock, it will have been difficult to escape Pokémon Go. Despite the mobile game being available only for a couple of weeks in the US and a few days in the UK, it already has around 21 million daily active users in the States, surpassing Candy Crush’s peak audience of 20 million users.

Besides offering brand opportunities in the form of ‘sponsored locations’, Netbooster’s head of UK operations Jens Nielsen believes Pokémon Go will quickly become a key channel for marketers as it solves one of marketing’s biggest conundrums.

“With almost two-thirds of Pokémon Go players in the 18 to 24 ‘millennial’ market, brands should embrace the opportunity this presents to target a market that typically tends to reject direct advertising,” he says.

Mark Ritson says Tesco’s ‘fake farms’ are a headache for its own-label strategy

Mark_Ritson_head_scratching_full_bodyTesco did not have the best week. Armed with consumer research, the National Farmers Union has asked Trading Standards to investigate Tesco over brands named after fictional farms, on the grounds that consumers believe they are exclusively UK-sourced. Out of nearly 1,800 people who believe Tesco’s new farm labels are sourced from the UK, 60% say they would feel misled if that were not true. Only some of the products are sourced in this country.

Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson believes this investigation might prove harmful to Tesco, because the one part of the farm brand strategy that was working for the retailer was the use of international sourcing to get prices down to Aldi-beating levels.

“They now face the conundrum of either switching to UK sourcing and losing their price parity with Aldi, or continuing to stock their fake farms with international supplies and face a growing tide of negative PR about deliberately confusing British shoppers,” he says.

Adidas reveals details of three-pillar strategy to reclaim lost ground


Adidas first introduced its three-pillar marketing strategy in March last year, but revealed further details earlier this week.

The German sports giant told investors 50% of its sales will be through “speed-enabled” products by 2020, meaning that it will seek to move faster to replenish the stock of seasonal best-sellers – such as Kanye West’s Yeezy line, which has at times struggled to meet huge consumer demand.

Adidas also pledged to build a wider collaborative network with famous athletes, creatives, consumers and other partners as it aims to “help shape the future of sport and sports culture”.

“Our portfolio of creative influencers and innovative partners such as Kanye West, Stella McCartney, Disney, Parley for the Oceans, Red Bull Media House, BASF and Google offers incredible opportunities for us to leverage our brands, showcase our creative potential and inspire consumers more than any other sports company,” says James Carnes, VP of brand strategy creation.

Unilever pushes to become a consumer services brand with Dollar Shave Club deal

Unilever has bought subscription shaving service Dollar Shave Club

On the face of it, $1bn (£760m) seems like large sum for a business yet to make a profit. Unilever does not seem worried, however, as it bought online-only subscription service Dollar Shave Club for that exact amount earlier this week.

Looking into the company’s strategy, it makes sense. By moving from selling individual products through a third-party retailer to selling direct to consumers, Unilever can build longer-term relationships and ensure more loyal customers and more secure revenues.

“Unilever isn’t alone in being a consumer product brand that would like to see if it could be a consumer services brand, which has a lot of benefits,” says Nick Liddell, director of consulting at branding agency The Clearing.

“You’re building more direct relationships, you don’t have to go through those pesky retailers anymore and you can cross-sell loads of your products and bundle them. You’re not just selling shaving, but personal care.”

Mondelēz CMO Dana Anderson believes marketers ‘must stop crying into their beer’ and embrace change


Mondelēz’s CMO Dana Anderson describes herself as an optimist and a strategist, characteristics she believes marketers today must possess if they are to tackle the increased pressure and changing challenges facing the industry.

Anderson is no stranger to navigating change. Since she joined Mondelēz after the Kraft spin-off in 2012, the company has made a number of alterations to the way it does business. In 2014, it reorganised its budget around a zero-based model – meaning marketers have to justify spend on all new brand activity rather than budgets being based on the previous year’s outlay. Then earlier this year, Mondelēz launched a new media model with a goal of up to 10% of its global media investments breaking even or turning a profit by 2020.

“That’s the context in which you can either choose to be overwhelmed and angry, or you can see it as an incredible opportunity to do new things,” Anderson says.



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