Archive for the ‘Marketing communications’ Category

Focus your efforts on the right social networks

February 15, 2011

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg … where should you be focusing your social networking marketing efforts?

Below is a very useful infographic from the KISSMetrics marketing blog that breaks down a few of the top social networking sites by gender, income, age and education level demographics.

Companies and individuals are still spreading themselves too thin acorss many of the key social networking sites in the fear that they might be ‘missing out’. The stats in this fine infographic confirm that there are differences (some more subtle than others) between the social networks and marketing efforts must be tailored accordingly. Otherwise you could be wasting your time, money – and the opportunity to hit your target more effectively.

Social Media By Demographic - Kiss Metrics Marketing Blog


Good marketing + great content = success

January 25, 2011

I recently watched ‘The King’s Speech’ at my local independent cinema and walked away feeling very happy. The film was wonderful! It was brilliantly performed, very well directed and beautifully shot, capturing the atmosphere and the feel of England in the 1920’s & 30’s perfectly.

But I can’t help but feel that without the promotional backing from its makers the film might not have gained the same success it is currently finding during the early part of the awards season. ‘The King’s Speech’ is an exceptionally accomplished film, and yet it is not your conventional ‘Hollywood blockbuster’. I’ve seen many other British, indie-inspired films struggle – particularly in the multiplexes – when they’ve gone head-to-head with big name, star-driven US movies. But ‘The Kings Speech’ has proved to be a big hit – both in Britain and abroad.

First of all, it’s worth briefly looking at some of the tactics the studios used to promote ‘The King’s Speech’:


I first heard positive murmurings about ‘The King’s Speech’ back in the autumn as the film was gaining plaudits at film festivals both in the UK and overseas. The film continued to gain a lot of exposure on movie podcasts, television and in the press over the last few months with positive word-of-mouth being fully exploited. A lot of buzz was generated as a result of Colin Firth’s excellent performance as well as the story behind the film itself (the writer of the original stage play suffered a stammer).


As with all modern movie posters nowadays,  the poster wasn’t particularly imaginative but got the main points across – clear photos of the lead actors, strapline and clear typography. The absence of critical endorsements was slightly puzzling as a British historical drama isn’t a money-making guarantee (in comparison to aliens or slap-stick comedy, for example).


There wasn’t a great deal of online promotion. The film’s official website is pretty basic and there wasn’t an official Facebook or Twitter presence to promote the movie. Instead, ‘The King’s Speech’ was promoted through the studio’s page and feeds.


Although not particularly inventive, the film’s trailers demonstrated both the funny and serious aspects of the film and clearly showcases the wonderful performances from all the lead actors. The trailer does its job – sums up the best parts of the movie and builds anticipation on the back of the positive word-of-mouth that has already been generated.

Overall, the marketing campaign for ‘The King’s Speech’ was solid, if unremarkable. However, the campaign successfully raised awareness and made great use of the positive word-of-mouth that followed the film’s earlier showings at film festivals.  Even so, the marketers job was made a lot easier because the product was so good. Marketing is key, and without it the film would have surely floundered. But ‘The King’s Speech’ would not have been the success story it currently is without being a truly great film. Regardless of the promotion and the amount of ‘noise’ created, without great content the attention will only last so long. Good marketing builds interest – but you need a great product to really make it count in the long-term.

This can be applied to anything – blog posts, magazines, theatre or sport. If the content isn’t up to scratch, you’ll be found wanting. You can only blag it for so long!

I would like to say ‘thank you’ to Chris Thilk, who’s blog post on ‘The King’s Speech’ provided inspiration and information for my blog post.

Quality through and through

November 18, 2010

I really like the advertising that John Lewis produce. The messages they communicate are always very clear and the promotions are delivered with genuine quality and style.

The stand-out advert from John Lewis at present is a one minute television spot for Christmas 2010. The overall message of the ad is ‘For those that care about showing others they care‘, and the commercial cinematically  illustrates a number of gift-giving scenarios in wintry settings  behind a soundtrack from Ellie Goulding covering Elton John’s ‘Your Song‘.

John Lewis have got form when it comes to producing memorable television ads with distinct soundtracks. Christmas 2009 featured an acoustic cover of Guns n Roses’ ‘Sweet Child ‘O Mine’ by Taken by Trees. Whilst earlier this year, John Lewis made headlines in both the business and mainstream press with their ages of a woman commercial, featuring a cover of Billy Joel’s ‘Always a Woman’ by Fyfe Dangerfield. The music in John Lewis’ ads seem to be very well selected and compliment the nature and feel of the advertisements.

But it’s not just the music and content of the ads that work so well. And it’s not just television advertising from John Lewis that hits the right notes. The advertising is just one element of the marketing mix that John Lewis is employing so well in order to communicate the company’s overall marketing strategy. Whilst each TV ad conveys it’s own specific message, these are backed up by magazine and press advertising as well as a great website. John Lewis’ marketing communications portfolio demonstrates real quality and style so that customers know exactly what they’re getting from John Lewis: service, price – and quality. The staff (or partners) at John Lewis are all very well trained, the products they sell are of good quality  and the atmosphere within the stores is always clean and professional.

In a time of economic uncertainty businesses need to be clear and decisive in terms of their marketing strategies. John Lewis have always been about quality and by communicating this so effectively in their promotional activity – and backing it up with quality service and products in the stores – clearly shows that John Lewis know exactly where they want to be going and where they want to be positioned in the customer’s mind.