fbpx

Branding Corona: How brands win during crises

Winners are made in crises. And this does not mean that marketers should collectively take cover. Last month we gave you an update on how the Marketing industry is influenced by Coronavirus. One month later, for some brands, advertising and especially branding corona is now more important than ever. This is because the pandemic is changing the framework conditions for brand claims, product USPs and new customer potential, in some cases dramatically. And in this new marketing landscape there could also be winners – if they seize their opportunities. This is why we listed 5 impactful examples of advertisers from different industries showing up during the coronavirus pandemic in recent weeks.

Guinnes: Comforting Customers

The Guinness Brewery has shown the way in the USA.  In a spot for St. Patricks Day, it addresses its fans who are mourning the missed celebrations this year. Although this is unlikely to change much in terms of lost sales, it does a lot for the credibility and popularity of the Irish brand.

Ford branding corona: The Helper in Need

Ford accepts that they can hardly expect new customers to be in a shopping mood at the moment and are helping their existing customers who have bought a model on credit with generously calculated credit offers. On the one hand, this serves to secure sales that have already been made. After all, manufacturers would have little benefit if their buyers had to return the models they bought and associate a negative memory with the brand. But it turns a rather stressful brand touchpoint – the credit business – into an opportunity for a positive brand message. The lender becomes a helper in need, who does not ignore acute emergencies but helps to solve them.

Ikea: Being relatable

Due to the lack of leisure time alternatives, many people will take a closer look at their own four walls and will have more time for improvements and embellishments. This offers opportunities for all brands that provide the ingredients to beautify the home environment. Whether it’s furniture and decoration, gardening supplies or spring cleaning supplies.  Ikea took the opportunity to create a connection to the customer by using a young mum and her chaotic everyday life at home as the theme for their advertising campaign. Many people can identify with her and IKEA ultimately expands their brand recognition. 

McDonalds branding corona: Addressing concerns

To tackle specifically the heightened fears of customers about protecting their health, McDonald’s Philippines outlined new steps they are taking, such as the temperature checks needed before and after shifts for employees. By video, president and CEO Kenneth Yang assured customers, “We will not hesitate to cancel any customer activity or even temporarily shut down any of our restaurants.”

Trigema: Actions speak louder than words

branding corona trigema actions speak louder than words

The German clothing manufacturer Trigema has partially switched its production to mouth and nose protection masks due to the Corona pandemic. Trigema produces around 125,000 such masks per week. This company demonstrates simply but effectively how brand sympathy can increase in times of crisis – even without expensive advertising videos.

Take-away: branding corona

Yes, it is possible to effectively advertise during Coronavirus! The uncertainty of the future is understandable. Nonetheless, this too shall pass. It is important to stay focused on the long-term and not shy away from new growth opportunities. Branding works best long-term. Cutting budget spends too much when not necessary could negatively impact the brand when the pandemic is over. It´s time to think countercyclical!

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Albert Einstein

If you have difficulties finding the right marketing strategy for your brand during Coronavirus, get in touch with us here.

Crash Course: Cookies and how they help in marketing

You have clicked away the notifications countless times – the banner, which usually appears at the bottom of a web page and tells you that cookies are used on that platform. Often you don’t even read the message anymore, you just click it away.

There are many types of cookies, but the most interesting and controversial ones are third party cookies. Third party cookies collect a lot of useful information from users for advertisers, including:

  • Dwell time
  • Number of page visits
  • Movement of the user via links

The totality of this information provides a good picture of the user’s interests, as it is possible to track not only what the user is interested in within a domain, but across several domains. Third party cookies thus allow the creation of extensive user profiles so that advertisers can deliver exactly the right advertisements.

To give a rough idea of how much websites rely on third party cookie data, Digiday selected some of the biggest U.K. publishers and checked how many third-party cookies they use on their website:

But what are cookies anyway and how do they help in digital marketing? 

What are cookies? What are they used for?

Cookies are basically small text files that are stored on your device as soon as you visit a website. They record information about your visit to the site – they ensure that your shopping basket is saved on Amazon, even if you have closed the tab in the meantime. Or that you stay logged in to Facebook and don’t have to re-enter your data every time you visit.

Therefore Cookies are like little info notepads for websites and are stored as files locally on the computer. These notepads remain stored for different lengths of time – they have an expiry date. Some cookies are deleted after a few hours, days or weeks. But there are also cookies that have no expiry date at all and are stored until the user deletes them.

How do Cookies help in Digital Marketing?

Cookies provide the necessary context in order to determine which content is particularly appealing to your target group. They are therefore particularly valuable for marketers. Even if visitors do not interact directly with your site (by filling out a form), cookies still provide data that is useful for collecting performance metrics. If a visitor fills out a form and does not delete the cookies that were collected before registration, the individual visitor history of search behaviour before and after registration is fully available. These cookies therefore help you learn more about the interests of your target groups. This in turn enables you to better tailor your initiatives to the needs of your customers. Especially when it comes to targeting your prospects and visitors on third party websites, tracking through cookies is highly relevant. It enables you to show the most engaged and warm audience the highest frequency of ads of specific retargeting ads, often used in programmatic advertising on the third party sites directly.

So how does Programmatic Advertising actually work?

How do I use Cookies legally?

Cookies are indispensable for web analysis and marketing efforts. They collect information that allows you to get to know your users better and help you to draw conclusions about user behaviour. This valuable data opens up many different possibilities for you. For example, you can make the right optimizations to your website, adapt the structure of your website and your products to user needs, increase user loyalty, expand your target group and deliver personalized content. With these measures, you can increase your conversions.

However, caution is advised when using tracking cookies. In order to protect your users’ personal data in accordance with the DSGVO, you require your users’ consent to the use of tracking methods. Therefore, if you set this type of cookie to collect, process and store corresponding analytics data, you need the consent of your users.

There must be an opt-out function on your website so that users have the opportunity to decide whether they allow tracking tools. However, it is advisable to use a Consent Manager, as you will then receive the active consent of your users for tracking and you can be sure that you act completely in accordance with data protection laws.

Cookie Take-away

Cookies do not always taste good – the recipe must be right!

In summary, cookies are useful and important. They facilitate and simplify browsing through the web. But you should not blindly accept all cookies. You have to know which cookies are useful and which ones reveal too much data. As a user, you should also take care of your own privacy. Be aware of which data you want to disclose about yourself in order to have a better user experience. On the part of the website operators and marketers, data protection should be observed. You should use Cookies cleanly and offer a corresponding transparency. Data protection does not exclude web analysis and personalisation. You just have to link the topics together in a smart and transparent way.

If you want to know more about website optimization and conversion, contact us here

TikTok Marketing 101: A Guide for Beginners

A Chinese owned app is on the rise: With more than half a billion downloads worldwide, the video platform has gained much attention and popularity- especially from teenagers. So, what is TikTok all about and how could companies benefit from its features?

TikTok, in China also known as Douyin, is a Chinese owned video portal for lip synchronization of music videos and countless other short videos of all kinds. It also acts as a social network. The app emerged from the short video platform Musical.ly. TikTok’s parent company, Beijing Bytedance Technology, bought Mucical.ly in November 2017 for around 800 million US-Dollar and integrated this platform including its 100 million users into their new App in August 2018. TikTok was born.

In the meantime TikTok has evolved into the fastest growing mobile app in the world. With an estimated 45.8 million downloads TikTok has also been the most frequently downloaded iPhone app in the first quarter of 2018. With this large number of downloads the lip synching app outpaced market-leading competitors like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook. 

What’s the fuss all about?

On TikTok users can see other users music clips, they can film and edit short videos themselves and they can add special effects and filters to their clips (just like on Instagram and Snapchat). After merging with the app Musical.ly, they also put a bigger emphasis on entertainment, comedy and vlogs. This way the app is competing with big video platforms like YouTube or vimeo.

In order to see the videos users are not required to sign up, unless they want to film clips themselves, follow other users and interact with them.

To help with recording your own clip, TikTok has integrated a complete tool that is very easy to use. Most of the videos only last up to 15 seconds and have a big emphasis on the underlaid sound. The homepage shows the most popular videos and you can “swipe through” them- just like on Instagram. Different hashtags and so called internet challenges facilitate searching for and following your favourite interpreters and clips. 

Digital Marketing on TikTok

Since the official minimum age is 13 years and the majority of users are under the age of 23, TikTok offers great potential to target younger audience profiles. Not too many companies seem to be active on TikTok although the user base and intensity of use is enormous. The fast-moving content and the special editing of TikTok’s short videos seduce you to stay on the app for hours. You always want to see what’s next.

What is crucial for marketing efforts on TikTok is, above all, dealing with the platform itself and the target group in order to adjust one’s content to their interests and needs. Since TikTok is a very fast-moving platform and the selection of content is very large, companies have to react very quickly. Keyword here: real-time-marketing.

A branded TikTok account can especially pay off for companies whose products or services are relevant  for a young target group. Consumer electronics, products from the fitness and food industry as well as beauty and fashion sector are in line with the current trend.

Cooperating with influencers on TikTok can also be very useful. The fashion brand Guess for example was one of the first Western companies to start a sponsored TikTok Challenge under the hashtag #InMyDenim. In the end, an incredible 30 million videos were posted under this hashtag, proving the campaign to be massive context.

In this context, increasing brand awareness also means increasing sales for the company. As the popularity of a brand is particularly important in the purchase decision-making process among young consumers.

But what about data privacy on TikTok? 

Well, unfortunately there is a snag! This Chinese owned company raised concerns about surveillance of TikTok’s young user base. In the past, Musical.ly has had privacy issues because the app illegally collected personal information from children. As a result, TikTok got a fine and has been actively working on brand safety ever since. Explicit videos and comments are still a problem on the platform. Also, the content in hashtag challenges linked to a brand is very hard to monitor.

It’s also important to keep in mind that in general TikTok is growing and gaining attention, but the user base in DACH countries is rather small at the moment. Over here, teenagers still tend to use other social networks.

But as the saying goes: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Thinking about including TikTok into your marketing mix? Get in touch with us now! We’re happy to advise you whether advertising on TikTok would be an option for your company.

Meet our CEO

Welcome to Blackmilk Media, where originality, transparency and creativity thrives.

Within our office, representation reigns supreme. We have a team that comes from all walks of life, with work backgrounds ranging from Quantitative Research to PR, Politics to Music. This vast array of experience means that we never run out of original, fresh ideas. But don’t take our word for it, have a read for yourself. To celebrate the launch of Blackmilk, each week we will feature a profile on a member of the team.

This week, I’m talking to Maximilian Seeburg, co-founder and CEO of Blackmilk Media:

Good morning Max, how are you doing?

All good thank you – yourself?

Very well actually, thanks. I’d like to ask you a few questions so that our readers can get to know you a little more, how does that sound?

That sounds good to me; let’s get started!

Brilliant, first question: how and why was Blackmilk Media set up?

Well, both my business partner and I had experience within the digital advertising industry, and realised that there was a gap in the market for more transparency towards advertisers. We also noticed that the way in which technology was used (anti ad-fraud mechanisms and real-time data, rather the lack of!) with agencies just wasn’t up to scratch, so with these gaps in the market, we established Blackmilk Media to properly address them.

We also saw companies, especially in the new economy, move their media-buying in-house, including their programmatic buying. Thus, we decided to add a consultative dimension to Blackmilk Media, where we would help companies navigate their way through the implementation and onboarding of mar-tech infrastructures across their organisations.

What do you hope to achieve with Blackmilk?

Within Europe, we plan to continue our focus on transparency and technology. In other areas such as South America and the Middle East, where there is a market emerging, we plan to place ourselves at the forefront of these markets, practising our ethos in these previously untapped regions. We’ve already started to do this by opening our Mumbai office in February!

What plans do you have for the company in 2018?

We have a lot of exciting expansion plans in place this year – as I mentioned, we have opened our office in India already. We will have a strong presence in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and various European cities.

We’ll also be investing heavily in our own proprietary technologies, to ensure that we continue to provide the best service for our clients.

And the 5 year plan for Blackmilk Media?

That we’ll be the market leaders in all emerging regions, such as South/Central America and South/Southeast Asia, as well as the aforementioned South America and the Middle East. We want our technology to make a huge impact in these areas by disrupting the pre-existing markets. Closer to home we want to have a significant footprint in Europe, in addition to the above continents!

I understand that you were in the financial sector for a long time – what made you want to make the jump to digital marketing and advertising?

Yes, both my business partner and I come from the finance world, working in investment banking and venture capital. However what I felt was missing from that sector was a sense of creativity, which of course is a little difficult to find in that field!

We then learned through colleagues, friends and our own research that marketing as a sector was moving in a direction that was increasingly more programmatic-based, especially within the last ten years. Programmatic bears many similarities with the stock market, with Google’s Ad Exchange modelled on the Stock Exchange. This which was very interesting to me, because it was a way in which the financial system, of which I had much experience, and creativity, which I craved, could work perfectly in tandem with each other.

Thanks very much for that! One last question – it’s a favourite of mine – how would your friends describe you in three words?

Hmm, that’s a difficult one! The feedback I get is that people often say I am very organised, that they feel comfortable around me, however I’ve been also told that I can be impatient from time to time.