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The inside scoop: November

The inside scoop: November

In this November edition we will explore:

  • The 5 As to digital transformation
  • How global fashion brands get it wrong in China
  • Five trends that will shape travel next year
  • What is worrying Brits
  • Why supermarkets would be smart to invest in beauty
  • Five things Generation Z creators want brands to do more of on social


Digital Transformation

worm's eye-view photography of ceiling

98% of advertisers don’t know the full potential of data driven marketing. Google research found only 1 in 3 brand experiences are seen by consumers as being really useful. Advertisers who have already adopted data driven marketing strategies are reaping the rewards: up to 30% savings on costs and 20% growth in income. However, only 2% of advertisers are taking full advantage of the opportunity.

Audience: Identifying and engaging the right people - A brand that understands its audience is more likely to capture their attention. Compile your offline & online customer data to get a unified view.

Assets: Offering the best possible CX - Produce relevant, context-sensitive ads using audience insights and channel knowledge.

Access: Maximising the reach of you - Reach your potential customers wherever they are on the path to purchase.

Attribution: Measuring the value of each point of contact - Customers engage with marketing on several devices & channels before buying, rendering last-click models of attribution unfit for purpose.

Automation: Simplifying operations & improving performance - Provides consistent & personalised CXs.

TAKEAWAY: Audience, Assets, Access, Attribution & Automation: make the 5 As your new mantra. Develop an approach around each to become a digital transformation champion, delivering enriched customer experiences and improved business performance.


Fashion in China

woman in pink dress standing in front of lake near temples

Low-cost clothing is huge in China, but international mass market brands have read it wrong. What they missed is that mass-market fashion in China has not followed the traditional Western-consumer model. Nearly all the value-end of the market in China is now found online. Young Chinese consumers are less brand conscious than assumed. They are used to choosing on looks alone. Traditionally from small sellers selling nameless, brand-less clothes at wholesale clothing markets. These simply migrated online around a decade ago with the rise of Taobao, Alibaba’s huge C2C e-commerce platform.

Now they form “Taobao villages” – groups of sellers that site themselves and deal directly with consumers.

China’s post-90s generation wants affordable clothes they like, not necessarily fashionable brands. Quite different, then, from the luxury end of the market, where there is a huge premium on a “Made in Europe” label.

Zak Dychtwald, founder of Young China Group and author of “Young China”, says “I don’t think this young generation [of Chinese] likes foreign stuff for foreign stuff’s sake, and I think the older generation undoubtedly did.”

TAKEAWAY: China’s post-90s generation wants affordable clothes they like, not necessarily fashionable brands.


Experiential Travel

pile of pasta

Culinary travel will continue to rise, largely thanks to Instagram: Social media - particularly Instagram - has helped food and drink experiences gain exposure.

“Insiders” will help travellers live like locals: Websites featuring locals who provide off-the-beaten-path recommendations & share personal stories will continue to be a popular way to engage.

Technology will continue to open new doors to travellers: With a try-before-you-buy approach, virtual tours using these technologies can make far-flung or negatively perceived destinations less intimidating.

Pop culture will help boost destinations: For example Girls Trip spurred a new wave of women’s group travel to New Orleans. There’s also been an increase in travel and culinary Netflix series’, including Somebody Feed Phil that inspire people to go to culinary experiences.

Business & leisure travel will blend even further: >70 % of travellers who combine business & leisure travel said there are destinations they’ve visited or will visit in the future for business that they would like to extend for leisure travel.

TAKEAWAY: Adventurers will continue to hunt for truly local and authentic experiences, whether that’s the best food truck in Portland, the hidden beaches of Madagascar, or textile weaving classes in Peru.


Brits Worries

In her speech at the CBI annual conference today, Theresa May will push ahead with her unpopular draft Brexit agreement and is expected to focus on the importance of immigration to the public, arguing that her deal will give control back to the UK.

According to The Guardian, May will claim that: "Getting back full control of our borders is an issue of great importance to the British people”. While immigration was indeed a key issue during the Brexit referendum debate, a recent survey from Ipsos suggests that the PM might be overestimating the extent to which it is at the front of people's minds.

When asked to choose their top three worries, 25 percent of 1,000 respondents in the UK included 'immigration control', making it only the fifth most common answer. being fretted over by a larger share of people is healthcare (38 percent), crime and violence (32 percent), poverty (32 percent) and terrorism (26 percent).

Maintaining social programmes (17%) and moral decline (17%) were lower down on the scale of subjects Brit’s are worried about.

TAKEAWAY: Healthcare is the biggest fret for Brits.


Supermarket Beauty

woman with black mascara

In 2017, UK consumers spent an estimated £5.1 billion on beauty products & it is expected to rise by 17.2% in the next 5 years. In contrast, the personal care market is set to expand 1.6% & continues to suffer from the downward pressure on prices, as consumers seek value for money when buying everyday toiletries like haircare & bath products. Meanwhile, new product trends & product innovation, alongside a continued appetite for prestige products, is boosting growth in the beauty sector.

The polarised performance of these sectors means that the beauty market is far more attractive to UK retailers.

As result, a greater focus on beauty represents an unmissable opportunity for supermarkets who look to reduce their reliance on an under performing personal care category. Research shows that after low prices, brand selection is the most important factor to UK consumers when deciding where to shop for beauty & personal care products.

In recent years, there has been a shift towards experiential in-store beauty environments. If the supermarkets are to truly compete in the beauty sector, they will need to match the kind of experience that these stores are offering.

TAKEAWAY: If the supermarkets are to truly compete in the beauty sector, they will need to match the kind of experiential in-store beauty environment experience that these stores are offering.


Generation Z

man in black shirt and gray pants jumping

Put us to work Gen Z can tell instantly who is behind a campaign & won’t be fooled by appropriated memes or stolen vernacular from brands attempting to pass as relevant. Majority highlighted the importance of putting less emphasis on years of experience when hiring, instead calling for young people to be given a seat at the table.

Buy into us, not our numbers They unanimously highlighted that the most successful content is created when brands loosen the reigns a little and give creators permission to have fun with their brand and trust that they know how to engage the audience.

Don’t be fooled by ‘best practice’ “I won’t just watch a 6-second video – I’ll watch a 30 minute compilation of 6 second videos.” It’s often assumed that shorter is better, but ultimately Gen Z want to be entertained.

Positive vibes only Disengaged to the constant bad news narrative taking over social feeds – from political division & environmental timebombs to bleak predictions about future prosperity.

Just be honest “We want you to be really real and authentic.” Gen Z are extremely intuitive in knowing when they are being targeted; reacting better to good storytelling rather than anything deceptive or fake.

TAKEAWAY: The themes of honesty and integrity came up time and time again. It’s all about focusing on what matters rather than what measures. It’s crucial that brands leverage Gen Z voices in the creative planning process.