Recommended reading: Tangoing tigers and streaming subscriptions

Marketing Week reviews the latest books and blogs for marketers.

Books

How to Tango with a Tiger: A marketer’s guide to working with creative communications agencies

By Sarah Ritchie

New Zealand author Sarah Ritchie’s weighty new book (580 pages) is an informative manual mapping out pretty much everything around a marketer’s relationship with an agency.

Building successful partnerships is key to creative effectiveness, but actually achieving that is often far easier said than done. Ritchie spoke to over 1,100 leading figures in marketing, the creative industries and agency sector to build up a cross-section of voices and opinions from 30 different countries.

Two hundred topics are unpicked and analysed, all centered around finding a partner who you can bounce ideas off and really drive creativity.

And then the really neat trick is enjoying an extended relationship with said partner. Ritchie’s entertaining and thought-provoking tome will provide you with more than a few pointers.

Why is every streaming service using the same pricing model?

By Rafi Mohammed

With Disney Plus, HBO Max, BritBox and Apple TV all now offering us seemingly endless opportunities to binge on entertainment, this timely Harvard Business Review blog piece makes a convincing case for streaming services to change their blanket pricing policies.

As consumers, we’re spoilt for choice, but few of us will want to watch everything on offer. So, instead of the current all-or-nothing model, Mohammed recommends a metered system, whereby users pay for the amount of usage, measured by the number of times people log on. This approach would be one way of solving the streamers’ issues around password-sharing.

There are other options too, but the overriding message to the new wave of streamers is this – if you really want us to subscribe, get creative.

READ MORE: Why Is Every Streaming Service Using the Same Pricing Model?

Influencers: The not so wild, wild west

By Lili Meng

Love them or hate them, influencers seem to be sticking around and remain a big part of many brands’ marketing activities.

Some are now even happy enough to allow a trusted influencer to take control of content creation, with brands basically sponsoring an influencer to produce a campaign around their products.

Finding the right influencer fit is obviously key to creating authentic content, but once you’ve got a relationship up-and-running it is important to quickly fine-tune and develop your approach as part of the overall social marketing strategy.

Lili Meng’s post gives a handy overview of Gartner’s recent Social Platforms and Influencers 2019 report, looking at how brands are carrying out vetting and selection processes when it comes to working with influencers.

Brand management and keeping on message remain key concerns but, as Meng suggests, linking up with an influencer who shows some genuine zest for a product can very quickly pay dividends.

READ MORE: Influencers: The Not So Wild, Wild West 

What will Amazon deliver this Christmas?

By Aaron Cheris, Darrell Rigby and Suzanne Tager

Amazon hasn’t had everything its own way in 2019, but the company is still expected to post a 20% increase in global revenue during the final quarter. Even so, the holiday season will be a crucial time for the online retailer as the competition is gunning for a share of the annual Amazon Christmas bonanza.

One fascinating key trend this report picks out is Amazon’s winning habit of announcing a shrewd bit of PR just as the fourth quarter gets underway.

Last year that was announcing a minimum wage increase for all employees and the announcement of its locations for regional HQs.

Stronger competition may yet put a dampener on Amazon’s holiday plans though, with customer loyalty slipping amid negative coverage on social.

Retailers looking to capitalise on any anti-Amazon sentiment are strongly advised to focus on the wow factor, customer experience, analytics and innovation.

READ MORE: What Will Amazon Deliver This Christmas?

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