5 things you need to know this week

Instagram turned five, Morrisons stopped price matching with the discounters and Tesco reported its latest financial results with a “commitment” to invest in marketing.

Instagram new logo

1. Instagram turned five

It is five years since Instagram founder Kevin Systrom uploaded pictures of his dog and a taco truck to a social networking site that would become the by-word of hipster photos. But amid the filtered images of people’s dinners and the latest sunset a marketing phenomenon has been going on.

Brands have swarmed to Instgram – attracted by its millennial audience and the ability to show off some of their personality. It appears to be a multi-billion dollar ad business in the making.

To get there, however, Instagram needs to start shouting about its benefit to brands. From a slow and cautious approach, it now needs to convince brands to spend their budgets on the site. That will require more data, more analytics and highlighting more reasons why marketers should invest.

2. Morrisons will no longer price match the discounters


Morrisons launched its loyalty scheme, Match & More, with much fanfare a year ago. Then CEO Dalton Philips described it as an industry first as it price matched with the discounters, offering points when there was a difference.

Fast forward to now and the scheme has been unceremoniously dropped. New boss David Potts had signalled his intention to review the scheme earlier with the outcome being that customers were looking for something “simpler”.

So now customers will simply receive five points every time they spend £1, with 5,000 points getting them a £5 voucher. Extra points can also be accrued by buying petrol or items on special promotion. Having tried to shake up loyalty, Morrisons seems to have decided that the good old points for pounds is the best route after all.

3. Google joined the ad blocking debate

google AMP 2

This week saw the launch of Google’s new accelerated mobile pages initiative, or AMP. Sold as a way for publishers to speed up load times for their webs pages on mobile in order to attract more viewers, there was a big call for marketers to get involved to help decide what the future of mobile advertising should look like.

The rallying cry centred around the idea that while advertising is critical to the future of the internet, it hasn’t been putting user experience first. Some advertising slows down load time, interrupts reading and generally drives users away.

That, claimed people from the Guardian and Google, is part of the reason why consumers are using ad blockers. So advertisers – what do you want the future of mobile advertising to look like? Google is awaiting your input.

4. Starbucks appointed its first CTO


Not content with launching mobile ordering, loyalty apps and mobile payments Starbucks has now appointed its first CTO. The coffee shop chain has made no secret of its focus on digital tech – seeing it as a more important investment than digital advertising because of its ability to improve the customer experience.

Gerri Martin-Flickinger will fill the role, reporting into COO Kevin Johnson.

As Johnson says: “As we continue to shape our global technology agenda at Starbucks, we needed leadership talent with deep experience in cloud, big data analytics, mobile and security to take us to the next level.”

5. Tesco promises marketing spend

Tesco says it remains committed to marketing. Its rise in the 1980s was widely attributed to campaigns such as 'Dotty'.
Tesco says it remains committed to marketing. Its rise in the 1980s was widely attributed to campaigns such as ‘Dotty’.

A mixed bag from Tesco this week. Profitability almost halved but like for like sales declines slowed. Customers are coming back, claimed CEO Dave Lewis, due to its focus on price and service.

What will be key is how Tesco starts communicating those changes. The supermarket has been very quiet on the marketing front of late but rumours suggest a campaign will be out in time for Halloween. Tesco has already been caught filming its Christmas ad – though to feature Ruth Jones of Gavin & Stacey fame – in Newmarket in Cambridge.

While CEO Dave Lewis wasn’t giving much away, he did reaffirm Tesco’s commitment to marketing, saying it would shout when it had something to shout about.

“Our in-store experience is improving and when that happens above the line can then add an awful lot to our brand. We are very committed to above the line but only when we have something meaningful to say.”

  • Got your tickets for the Festival of Marketing yet? There’s still time! For further details including how to book visit www.festivalofmarketing.com



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