Facebook face-off

The simplification of Facebook’s rules on running promotions is welcome, but opens the door to two serious risks. First, the lower cost of entry could lead to a proliferation of promotions run by people who lack experience, undermining consumer trust. Second, the ability to enter a promotion or vote via the Facebook ‘like’ mechanism will enable opportunists to take advantage of the weakness of this system as an entry control mechanism. 

‘Likes’ can be readily bought on the internet and, unless appropriate care is taken, voting activities will be subject to fraud and manipulation, while prize draws relying on entry via submission of a comment or a message will find themselves getting spammed. 

Strong caution, solid terms and conditions and planning is needed to minimise the risk. 

Jeremy Stern, managing director, PromoVeritas

Sales ditch

The Secret Marketer was correct that obtaining a sale at any cost has become an epidemic. Salespeople have become devoid of selling skills needed for today’s markets, to the extent that most could not sell you a lifebuoy if you were drowning.

Marketers must share the blame for this, too often obsessed with having a price-competitive offer when promoting their brand.

I have spent many hours attempting to get marketers to grasp that you should find any way possible to add value and make your product more expensive, and, second, it is the job of the marketer to make the salesperson redundant. 

It will never happen because, as The Secret Marketer implies, marketing just isn’t good enough.

Mike Ganley, owner, Sales & Marketing Improvements

Supermarket sweep

I was unsurprised by the research that showed supermarkets are the most trusted retail sector .They have made a phenomenal effort to put the customer at the heart of the business, and customer content strategies have played a key part. 

Four of the top five consumer magazines are now produced by supermarkets. Moreover, of the 100 most trusted UK brands, 78 provide their customers with content. For retailers struggling with trust, a content strategy is clearly something they must investigate, not only to bolster trust but also to generate revenue through third-party advertising and boost incremental sales. 

With a third of people now driven to make a purchase as a result of reading a brand’s content, can retailers afford not to invest?

Ed Owen, managing director, Result Customer Communications

Game of two halves 

As the Premier League season gets under way, Carlsberg is proud to have agreed a partnership with the league as its official beer.

The Premier League is the world’s most successful league, watched in 212 countries and reaching 804 million homes. It delivers what fans want on a regular basis: quality entertainment, a competitive league and an emotional roller coaster across 380 games.

Our stated intention is to make Carlsberg a truly global brand. Partnering with the Premier League provides us with the necessary scale to reach our target consumers around the world, who tend to be passionate about football. It’s a partnership between a global beer and a global phenomenon.

Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen, president and chief executive, Carlsberg

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Nokia and Microsoft: a smart or futile deal?

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Perhaps it wasn’t the most surprising acquisition in the history of big brand mergers and acquisitions, but it’s still one of the most notable. On Monday, Microsoft acquired Nokia’s devices business for €3.7bn (£3.12bn). It will also pay an additional €1.65bn for the right to license patents from the Finnish telecommunications company.

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