Poor Business Reviews? It Could Be Your Demise

Following massive privacy lapses, including 14 million Facebook users’ privacy settings switched to public and the subsequent undesirable media attention; Facebook is determined to bounce back into our good books.

Facebook continues to try and improve the user experience and brand transparency, and part of its most recent push includes improving the experiences of those who use Facebook to purchase goods and services. 

As users, brand transparency is imperative in erecting trust and loyalty. To tackle this issue, Facebook is introducing the ‘recent ad activity’ tool for users. This tool will allow users to view all of the recent advertisements they have interacted with in the past period, and pass on feedback. These ads can be reviewed and/or saved for later by the user. 

Consumer feedback will then determine how the businesses ads will run in the future. Facebook has announced that any brand with a large number of negative ad reviews will be subject to investigation and potentially banned. This is in an effort to protect users from fraudulent businesses and fake advertisements. 

However, Facebook is not just immediately sending businesses with negative reviews to the chopping block. Rather, a grace period will be introduced, granted by Facebook and marketing guidance provided to help alleviate the brands' situation.

Additionally, with an ever-growing increase in fake news and negative reviews, businesses will be protected from these so-called ‘trolls’. Facebook will monitor reviews and investigate any that appear to be based on a vendetta or not appropriate to the situation. On these grounds, Facebook will determine whether the review should be deleted from the record. 

What do we think about the introduction of ‘review ad activity’? 

With this new tool introduction, some brands may be expectedly anxious; however, it’s not bad news for advertisers. Companies that produce high-quality advertisements that lead to quality click conversions are likely to be rewarded through positive feedback from consumers. Low-quality advertisers will be weeded out allowing more space for your business to shine through. 

This tool also brings importance to experienced marketing agencies. Knowing the ‘tricks of the trade’ will aid in lowering novice mistakes and enable businesses to reap the rewards of this new function. Outsourcing digital marketing has never been more beneficial for small companies. 

Yellow Social Media Report 2018

Yellow Pages recently released the ‘Yellow Social Media Report 2018’. The report contains the results of research that commenced in 2011 surveying Australian consumers and businesses on how social media channels are being used. 

1,500 people were selected to complete the survey online, differing from previous years where phone surveys were conducted with 800 Australians. 

So, what did it reveal?

The most common device is a smartphone.

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Social media is accessed more than 5 times a day for most Australians. First thing in the morning and in the evening are the most frequently accessed times for social media. 

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Facebook still remains the number 1 most used social networking site across all demographics. 

From the data you can see that Instagram is particularly strong amongst the 18-39-year-old demographic, however, declines significantly in the 40-65+ years old demographic. YouTube is also performing exceptionally well, despite boycotts and billion-dollar lawsuits. 
 

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Smartphones prevail as the device most used to access social media. Laptop computers rank second but are significantly less popular.  

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The main reason Australian’s use social media is to connect with their friends and family (85%). However, people still see the value in following brand and businesses (females more than males), being the 6th most popular reason people use social media. Australians also use social media for research, before they purchase products or services they’re interested in. 

The data shows that discounts and giveaways are the top reasons Australians are following brands. 

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Lastly, the majority of respondents said that they’re not happy to receive ads on social networks. However, people are more likely to trust brands if they find the content engaging and relevant. 

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For brands and businesses, the Yellow Social Media Report 2018 provides some great insights into how you can better your social media marketing. Are you mobile friendly? Are you prioritising Instagram when in fact your target demographic are majority Facebook users? Most importantly, is your content engaging and relevant? 

It's important to get your social media marketing right, and these insightful reports are a great way to put you on the right track. Social media is ever-growing; users grew by 121 million between Q2 2017 and Q3 2017, that equates to a new social media user every 15 seconds. Essentially - your target audience is going to be on social media, and you want them to notice you. 

If you'd like help with your social media marketing, send us a message! We'd love to help. 

 

Collaborative Marketing's Breakdown On Data

How well do you know your data? It’s an important and timely question. To date, there is no standardised measure of data quality. Instead, scaling across devices accuracy and efficacy are the most desirable measures of success, but if you dig deeper and start to ask questions, it can be much more difficult to define what quality data is. 

As consumers of information, content, and products, we are in a constant state of data transmission. As marketers, we draw on locations, interests, friendship networks and personal details via login. 

But… Do you understand your data? More importantly, is your data clean? No idea? Well, here’s our breakdown on data. 

There are generally two methods of data construction. Data that comes from a single source – for example, data from a transaction, loyalty or credit applications. This data has the potential to be highly accurate and is often termed people-based marketing. When someone figuratively hands you their information, you’ve struck oil, they want your marketing and you want to give it to them. 

However, the scale can be an issue depending on your segment size, the number of ad units available, and inventory requirements. Thus, the need for scale and the second variety of paid data, this is where ‘third party’ data comes in. 

Third party data is often constructed from multiple sources. Data signals are collected, categorised and aggregated into an audience segmentation model. Examples of data signals include website interactions, mobile device location, online surveys of ad clicks. Regency and frequency of ones browsing behaviours is the most common method of qualifying intent to purchase. It can, however, be difficult to assess the data’s provenance. More often than not, the third party will not disclose the contents of its warehouse. Remember! Identity unlocks customer data. 

Subsequently, the past 18 months have seen industry place a significant focus on quality assurance for digital inventory (ad impressions). Is your ad deemed viewable by an independent third party? Is it a human or a robot? Is it appearing on the website you think you are buying? All have made a valuable contribution to marketing effectiveness. 

In 2018 we need to continue to build on this by increasing our focus on quality assurance for paid data. Data can be tricky, and understanding it can be even trickier…. Make sure your data is clean! And, if you need a hand, just drop us a line. 

Collaborative Marketing Teammates: Meet Jen!

Meet Jen! 

Jen’s been a valuable team member of Collaborative Marketing for two years now. Jen completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology / Creative Industries Majoring in Interactive and Visual Design at QUT before joining the Collaborative Marketing team in 2016! 

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Jen, we decided to sit her down and ask the hard questions. We also wanted to know what Jen’s industry predictions are for the new financial year and the remainder of 2018.

1.    What’s your role at Collaborative Marketing?

My official title is ‘Account Executive’ but I’m often referred to as the ‘Jack of all Trades’. I laisse with clients to get campaigns off the ground and am also Collaborative Marketing’s IT department, in-house graphic designer, social media guru, among many other things.

2.    What do you like to do in your spare time?

I really enjoy being active on my weekends, getting outdoors or trying new activities. You’ll generally find me with sand between my toes and sun on my face, or at home trying to pick up a new skill.

3.    What’s your most used emoji? 

✨is my most frequently used emoji – I’m all about spreading sparkles and happiness. 

4.    What was the last song you listened to?

4th Dimension (feat. Louis Prima) – Kids see Ghosts. Can’t decide if I like this, or the Ye album better 🤔

5.    Which work colleague do you think has the best dance moves?

Oh, definitely Alana – if she’s feeling sore in the morning it’s generally because she’s been busting out big dance moves 🕺🏻

6.    Which work colleague is always first to suggest getting a drink?

I’d say me. I’m all about the celebrations. Friday afternoon? Drink. Birthday? Drink. Made it to 12 pm Monday? Drink. 

7.    Do you have any bad habits?

Forgetting to make lunch and buying food 3/5 days of the week – oops! 

8.    If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?

I would be my Dad to keep my gratitude in check. I’d love to try and see how I’d manage running two businesses, spend time with family, and still have the energy to catch 2 am soccer matches. 

9.    What’s something we don’t know about you?

I love creepy crawlies - I used to have a pet tarantula named Selena. To get work experience in high school I volunteered in the physiology department at UQ looking after cockroaches for a research paper. 

10.    What do you love about working at Collaborative Marketing?

My favourite thing about Collaborative Marketing, apart from the culture, is my freedom to use as many of my diverse skills as possible. I think I would go crazy if I did the same task all day every day so having the ability to work on different projects every day is such a treat. 

11.    What are your industry predictions for 2018?

I think that there will be some serious shake-ups in how social media is used as we become more aware of how it affects our lives. Kudos to Facebook for taking the first step in reducing the meaningless-clutter of the newsfeed, but I think more people are going to make the decision to go offline in the second half of the year. We need to start thinking about how to make content as meaningful and engaging more than ever. 

 

 

Introducing the CollabBoard!

If you haven’t heard the news, our brand new CollabBoards have just dropped! They’re the perfect accessory for your office offering a stylish, chic and modern way of planning. We’re so in love with ours, we decided, why not share them with everyone else!

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We don’t need to tell you that they look great, but here’s our top 3 ways the CollabBoard can really improve your office, and your business. 

1.    It’s Crunch Time

We’ve just hit the mid-year mark and with the EOFY upon us, come July, businesses will be making changes, naturally. It’s time to asses, re-assess and make those necessary changes.

No matter what you want to achieve in the new financial year, having the perfect wall planner will help you achieve even the biggest goals. Our physical environments really play a huge role in our mood and productivity. 

If you want to achieve greatness, you have to be willing to ask questions and step outside your comfort zone. Motivating tools like writing down your quarterly goals on our CollabBoard will inspire you to dream big and put an action plan in place. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

2.    Refresh Your Workspace

A new financial year calls for a refreshed workspace. The CollabBoard’s chic design offers luxury to your business space, it’s whiteboard frame offers practicality, and its features offer structure. The CollabBoard will help you approach each day with boundless energy and positivity. Set priorities and find balance. 

Even better, customize the CollabBoard’s colours to meet your brand style. It’ll give your office space that much needed new-financial-year-inspiration. 

3.    Get Creative, Get Inspired & Get Organised

Your CollabBoard wall planner should reflect your creativity. Add illustrations, text, pictures, themes, borders, whatever you want! It’s whiteboard, rub it off and start again. Get creative with your CollabBoard. 

It’s not always business. Use your wall planner as a scheduling tool, make the most of the space, write down your business party plans, Christmas parties, employee birthdays, it’s your planner, do what you want with it.

Lastly, your wall planner will be your best friend if you check it regularly. Be sure to write down events and dates as soon as you find out about them. Set aside time at the end of each week to recap your achievements as well as plan for the month ahead. 

Never miss an appointment, deadline or budget with the CollabBoard wall planner.

www.collabboards.com.au

 

 

Meet Our Newest Collaborative Marketing Team Member: Lachy

Introducing our newest Collaborative Marketing team member, Lachlan! 

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Lachy completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Majoring in Marketing at QUT before joining the Collaborative Marketing team.

We sat down with Lachy to put a personality to the face. We also wanted to know what Lachlan’s industry predictions are for the remainder of 2018.

1. What’s your role at Collaborative Marketing?

I’m the Digital Co-ordinator at Collaborative.

2. What was your first job?

I don’t even know if this counts as a real “job”, but I use to garden for a lady when I was living in Seattle. I got paid $10 an hour, and she would make me lunch. Lunch goes a long way when you’re a student…

3. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m really into boxing. I like anything sporty, golf & soccer. I also like to hang out with friends and eat unhealthy food.

4. Who has the messiest desk at work?

Alana & Finn!

5. Who brings the best lunches to work?

Definitely Shea.

6. Who brings the worst lunches to work?

Haha depends who you ask… but I think everyone else would probably say me.

7. Do you have any bad habits?

I have a fidget spinner at work, I’d say playing with that thing is a bad habit.

8. If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?

Hmm… maybe David Attenborough. Or, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr.

9. What’s something we don’t know about you?

I’m really into clothes/fashion. I love Dior and I love Comme Des Garçons. If only I had the money…

10. What do you love about working at Collaborative Marketing?

Our team and the work we do. Even though it sounds very cliché, our team is like a family - and that extends to our clients as well. We love to see our client’s businesses flourish and the hard work we do help them achieve success. Alana, Shea, Jen & myself, we all have the same work ethic, drive, and sense of humour.

11. What are your industry predictions for 2018?

After the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the subsequent government intervention, privacy, and data collection have been thrust into mainstream attention. Companies collecting and storing your data has always been a thing, people are only now aware of it, and they don’t like it.
Despite this, companies are only going to continue to collect as much consumer data as possible. In early 2017, the average Australian household contained almost fourteen different internet-connected devices. I think that in 2018 companies will start to incorporate data derived from internet connected devices. The data on offer from these is invaluable, it’s information in real-time, and the technology is there to empower unprecedented customer personalization and engagement. For example, if you wear a Fitbit, you can guarantee that it’s storing data for company use.

If you have any questions for Lachy, feel free to drop him a line.
lachlan@collaborativemarketing.com.au

 

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the mum’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day! 

I’m sure you all know our own co-founder and director, Shea Morrison. Well, she’s the ultimate Mother. Shea manages two businesses (maybe more, we can never keep up), family and a social life. 

Those who don’t know Shea, she enjoyed a fruitful career in media, including working for radio giants like Nova & Southern Cross Austereo. But, eventually, she took that leap of faith and journeyed down the path far less travelled - entrepreneurship. Subsequently, Collaborative Marketing was established! 

We decided to chat with Shea and find out what being a Mother has taught her, and how it has helped her career.

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Being a mother has taught me a lot, most of these I won’t bore you with… but the one piece of advice that really stands out for me is to just trust your ‘gut’ and rely on your own intuition. We get so caught up in our days/weeks, we become so BUSY and stressed, and often this clouds our judgement. Like everyone else around me I have to make hundreds of decisions every day, whether I’m at home or in the office, and I find that when I can block out all the mind chatter and focus on my intuition, it’s normally right!

To all the mum’s out there, for all you do and all you are, we thank you. Again, Happy Mother’s Day from the Collaborative Marketing team. 

Shea Morrison's top 5 podcasts for YOU and YOUR business

In our last blog, we spoke about the eruption of podcasts and its transition from an outcast to a rising star. 

We spoke about the rise in interest towards podcasts from brands due to its increasing availability of data, growing listenership, more vehicles with on-demand audio and the proliferation of audio assistance devices. 

Following this, we decided to ask entrepeneur, business owner and full-time mum, Shea Morrison, what shows she's listening to. 

Here’s Shea Morrison’s top 5 podcasts to help you and your business.

1.    The Mind Your Business Podcast

At the intersection of entrepreneurship and spirituality, The Mind Your Business Podcast untangles the misconception that hustle and hard work are all it takes to be successful. 

2.    Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes is an NYT bestselling author, lifestyle entrepreneur, former pro athlete and world record holder in football. The goal of the School of Greatness is to share inspiring stories from the most brilliant business minds, world-class athletes and influential celebrities on the planet to help you find out what makes great people great.

3.    Your Creative Start

Helping creatives get started and become known for their something. 

4.    Girlboss Radio

On each episode of the Girlboss Radio, Sophia Amoruso interviews boundary-pushing women who've made their mark—eschewing polite conversation and extracting solid advice from the lessons they've learned along the way.

5.    Mums with Hustle 

Helping mums create thriving businesses with heart.

Give these a listen and let us know what you thought! They might even help spark your next big idea. 

 

 

Are podcasts the next big thing for your brand?

The past 12 months have seen a serious shift in the way people view the podcast landscape. It’s developed from a somewhat unfashionable medium into serious business. Media companies including - Nine, News Corp, Pedestrian, Southern Cross Austereo and Nova are all tossing their hats in the ring, chasing the next red-hot medium and the potential ad dollars it promises. 

In fact, Southern Cross Austereo’s, Grant Blackley, states “podcasts are on the same trajectory as SVODs. We’ve seen an explosion in consumers appetite for video on-demand with Netflix and Stan, and people are hungry for personalised audio they can listen to, how and when it suits them”. 

The last 12 months have marked an unprecedented level of acquisitions, deals, analytics and launches, as increasing interest from consumers has turned the podcast into a very sought-after medium. 

Mamamia is one of the biggest-grown podcast networks in Australia, racking up nearly 40 million downloads across its multiple shows in 2017 – that’s a growth of more than 306% year-on-year. 

29% of Australians have listened to podcasts and that figure only continues to rise – so too, the marketing opportunities that the medium presents. But why are podcasts so popular? 

It’s inherent accessibility. 

The opportunity cost of seeing the podcast playground explode - the landscape is becoming more saturated and entangled, simply taking the approach of recording and hoping for the best may not be enough. With so much competition in the market, your podcast isn’t going to be well-produced, it will struggle. 

On the other hand, the rise in interest towards podcasts from brands comes down to its increasing availability of podcast data, growing listenership, more vehicles with on-demand audio and the proliferation of audio assistance devices. The arrival of voice-activated devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa is also expected to further accelerate the explosion in podcasting and more broadly, audio-on-demand in 2018. 

Stay tuned - the podcast landscape is one to watch. 

Collective Hub calls it quits

Collective Hub bites the dust… Yet another print publication turns its last page. Founder of the Collective Hub, Lisa Messenger, stated that money did play a part in her decision to terminate the company’s print publication. 

Familiarly, Fairfax in 2017 also experienced troubled waters, disbanding a number of Sydney suburban mastheads - closing 6 titles, from 16 to 10.

Is this the beginning of the end for print publications? Many people to a fro, suggesting that print publications are still alive and kicking, but announcements like these – the closing of a magazine dubbed “the Vanity Fair of business magazines” must be a tough pill to swallow. 

Messenger delivered a heartfelt letter to her 2.4 million subscribers last week, expressing that “in life, nothing stays the same”; “we pivot, we evolve, we grow, we learn. This is truly the magic of entrepreneurship”. A shock too many, we’re sure, the message wasn’t accredited a beautiful picture, rather a raw stripped back and bare open letter – a symbol for the coffin encapsulating Collective Hub’s print publication. 

Whilst attributing a number of reasons for the closure, Messenger did acknowledge that a lack of advertising spends contributed significantly. Humbly accepting full responsibility, Messenger mediated that the popular publication was perhaps creating a product that not enough advertisers, partners or sponsors actually wanted to invest in anymore. But, has it just become progressively too hard for print publications to attract that kind of money anyway?

It seems like a matter of simple economics – demand and supply. The demand for advertising space in print publications is drying up, meanwhile digital media space and paid social media marketing are reaping all the rewards. So much so, digital media now accounts for 52% of ad spend in Australia, forecasted to grow a further 10% in 2018. That’s right, we’re officially past the tipping point. 

It’s a sad sight to see, especially since print media offers value incomparable to digital media. Print publications are stimulating, tangible, credible and eternal – being able to flick through pages and feel the weight of a magazine, it just isn’t the same with your finger on a mouse. 

Nevertheless, without serious changes, print publications are expected to take on more and more water whilst advertisers abandon ship. All the research, insights and predictions suggest digital advertising spend is only going to increase; subsequently, more of our favourite print publications will throw in the towel. 

So, today we celebrate everything Lisa Messenger and the Collective Hub team achieved, but “sometimes, you have to break something you love to remake it. Sometimes, everybody needs to stop and ask themselves – is this my greatest calling going forward? Or, is there a bolder, braver, smarter way to fulfill my purpose? 

Alana Kelly's 3 top tips for implementing radio into your marketing strategy

Last week in a blog we spoke about how recent evidence had suggested advertisers overvalue online marketing and paid social, whilst heavily undervaluing traditional media platforms like radio. 

The results were very interesting, to say the least, however not totally surprising. So, we thought we’d ask someone who's somewhat of an expert in radio, including a repertoire of working for giants such as Nova 106.9, how to make the most of radio. Introducing, Co-founder and Director of Collaborative Marketing, Alana Kelly.  

“Radio has been and will continue to be a significant media channel for businesses to utilise as an advertising platform. Radio offers clients flexibility and adaptability whilst also resulting in excellent connectivity and engagement with listeners. Whether you’re in the brand building stage, or an established business looking to drive sales, these are my 3 top tips for successfully implementing radio into your media strategy”.

1.     Do Your Homework

If you’re planning on buying radio space in a metro region, ensure you use the most recent survey data to determine which station is right for you. Surveys are conducted every 6 weeks, or so, (8 per year) by an independent company who determine the listenership of various demographics across the numerous stations. Commercial Radio Australia houses this information, here http://www.radioalive.com.au/Surveys. Commercial Radio Australia house significant research and insights that can help guide you on your radio marketing voyage. Comparatively, if you’re planning on buying regional radio space, great data isn’t readily available…however, it’s advantage? It is cheap, cheap, cheap.  

2.    Look At All Your Options

One of the best things about radio is that you’re not confined to a 30-second schedule of spots and dots. You can get creative, and each station has its own team dedicated to devising ideas and solutions for promotions, sponsorships, and integration with talent. So, before you launch into a 30-second ad campaign, ask your representative if they have any bright ideas or suggestions around integrated activity… you might be able to ride on their coat tails!

3.    See Beyond The Radio Wave

Radio stations are more than just a frequency bleeding through your stereo. They are multifaceted media powerhouses with exceptional broadcast and digital and social offerings that can be utilised to reach your customers in new and exciting ways. Data is power, and radio stations have HUGE databases available at their disposal. Not to mention social media followers in the hundreds of thousands! Use your resources and ask your rep to think up some cost-effective ways of harnessing these amazing assets. 

Are you thinking about investing in radio? We’re here to help. Drop us a line or send us an email with any questions that you may have. 

Is your business overvaluing online marketing and undervaluing traditional media?

The hype around online marketing and specifically online video continues to grow. However, are agencies and advertisers heavily overvaluing the effectiveness of online marketing and undervaluing traditional media such as radio, newspapers, and magazines? 

According to Ebiquity UK, it’s a yes. Ebiquity UK measured advertiser and agency perceptions against actual performance from more than 4,500 campaigns and industry research. Here’s the rundown. 

The research considered the five most important media attributes for growing a brand in the longer term, including – targeting the right people in the right place at the right time; increasing campaign ROI; triggering a positive emotional response; increasing brand salience, and maximising campaign reach. 

What did the evidence conclude? At the top, TV, and radio. TV was the best performing medium, followed by radio, newspapers, magazines and out of home. Online display was the weakest performer.

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Even more surprisingly, the evidence demonstrates that radio is the most flexible medium as it can be used to target audiences by geography, demographics, context, time of day, the day of week and, to a more limited extend, addressable for listeners on connected devices. 

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The evidence demonstrates a clear disconnect between the scale of investment in online media and the value it delivers. The media landscape has undergone a serious shift over the last decade with latest data from the Advertising Association and WaRC showing that online media accounted for an unprecedented 51% of advertising spend in 2016. And this is only expected to grow.

So, is it safe to say advertisers undervalue traditional media, especially radio, and overrate the value of online video and paid social?

We also think yes. However… Ebiquity UK, an independent marketing analytics specialist, conducted this study for their paying client Radiocentre – the industry body for commercial radio. So, is it really a surprise Radio performed so well, and online video and display -  traditional media’s biggest adversary - performed so poorly? We’ll let you decide. 

Nevertheless, we think the study sheds some much-needed light on the traditional media versus digital media landscape. Too many brands, business and marketing agencies believe online marketing is the be all and end all, but there will always be a place for traditional media to help grow your business. Have a read through the case study yourself and let us know your thoughts. 

 

Collaborative Marketing celebrates International Women's Day

This week we're celebrating all things women, and as an agency that is majority female, we know the power, poise, and brilliance that they possess.   

Meet Collaborative Marketing's 3 kick-ass women and what they've learned and love about being female!

The Goodnight Co. & Collaborative Marketing Co-Founder and Director, Shea Morrison:

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I've celebrated many International Women's Days throughout my career, but this year is particularly special. I get to celebrate the occasion with my 2-female business partners and celebrate the growth of our businesses. The journey hasn't lacked disappointment, failure or setbacks, but what else can you expect? I've treasured every amazing opportunity for learning, development and celebrating great achievements. Working in a corporate environment for the first chapter of my career cemented the building blocks necessary to build onwards to the path less travelled, entrepreneurship. I've worked with other fabulous and inspiring females, but nothing compares to the feeling of satisfaction and gratitude I have for the women who helped shape and grow my businesses. I've found many wonderful women who have influenced my views on work and life. What they've helped me appreciate is happiness. It's a personal choice - only YOU can accept it or not. 

Collaborative Marketing Director, Alana Kelly:

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I try and live the most balanced life I can. Women weren't created to churn and burn like men do - to get up every day and do the same thing and work hard till they collapse in a pile, only to then get up the next day and do it all over again. Shea and I started Collaborative Marketing with this in mind, aware that women need balance, creativity, connection and rest (Oh, we even have a bed in our office!) in order to be inspired and grow and be great leaders. The world is really waking up to this movement around the feminine and it's got nothing to do with burning bras and everything to do with harnessing the essence of this energy… it's a very powerful thing. I consider myself a strong woman. I've done the hard yards in the corporate world and starting and running my own business is no walk in the park, but I choose to live a balanced life with friends and family at the core.

Collaborative Marketing Account Executive, Jennifer Trinh:

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I'm a firm believer that gender shouldn't be the single determining factor in one's ability to succeed in anything in life - this extends from career to sport, to creativity and all facets of life. I was lucky enough to start my career with a business that has such a female-positive environment and take inspiration from strong, forward-thinking women. While I strive for an equal playing field I do enjoy getting in touch with my feminine side - give me high heels, lipstick, and cocktails any day of the week! Shoes and fruity drinks aren't the only things that make me a woman though - being female gives me the opportunity to challenge gender stereotypes and prove that women can achieve anything men can (and even do it a little better 😉). I hope other women share this view and we can all become our own Beyoncé's (who run the world?!)

Collaborative Marketing is all about empowering women! We love investing in and inspiring women to be the best they can be, and most of all, to be happy. So, on behalf of our 3 compelling women - and our 1 invigorated male - Happy International Women's Day everybody!

Amazon: Hot or not?

Amazon's arrival in Australia was one of the most hyped events in 2017. However, what was originally termed a "retail revolution", quickly fizzled into an underwhelming "non-event"

In 2015, Amazon was dubbed one of the four horsemen of the digital apocalypse, alongside Facebook, Google and Apple. Further, in 2017 Amazon overtook Google as the world's most valuable brand. According to the annual Brand Finance Global 5000, Amazon is now valued at US$150 billion. 

That marks a massive 42% leap in a year for the company where net sales hit US$177.9 billion. Its net income was US$3 billion. 

So, how does such an unstoppable force like Amazon underwhelm so spectacularly? 

After months of frenzied anticipation, Amazon launched. Australian users logged on to the e-commerce giant's local site to access the much-hyped bargains - only to find prices were more or less the same as local retailers. 

Subsequently, Amazon was immediately dubbed a flop. Journalists and editors caught wind and Australian retailers blew a sigh of relief as they wiped the sweat from their brows - Amazon was no longer deemed 'competition'. 

So, is Amazon a total bust? Here's what we think. 

While consumers may be perplexed, for now, Australian businesses run the risk of allowing the decidedly underwhelming debut from Amazon to lure them into a false sense of security. Like in Europe and the US, Amazon WILL become a dominant force in Australia. 

The question is when not if. 

Amazon's Australian Marketplace became its fastest growing in the world and had surpassed 5000 retailers just 42 days after launch. Further, web traffic to Amazon.com.au surged 80% in December as 3.8 million shoppers visited, according to Nielsen. 

Amazon is much more than a retailer, it is a data mining machine. Traditional retailers are struggling to transform to the digital age, and that's apparent in the Australian market. Where Australian retailers are focused on physical or online, Amazon is blending the two together to create a consumer experience like never before. 

Amazon US launched its automated 'Go' stores, which allow consumers to buy items without lining up to pay at a checkout. It uses technology to identify the shopper as they enter the store and recognises items they pick up, so they can walk out the door without the traditional checkout process. If trials succeed in the US, we can expect to see its arrival in Australia in the future. 

Here's our fleeting tip - Amazon is not just simply a retailer. It's a force to be reckoned with. Smart brands will get on board NOW and will reap the rewards when inevitable growth surges. Take first mover advantage, get aboard the Amazon bandwagon. It's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of when. 

P.s. Amazon also offers marketing services similar to paid search, but more intent based and shopping search related. That's where we come in. If you want to know more, just drop us a line!

Hot off the press! ACCC investigation continues

Last year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched an inquiry into technology giants, including Facebook and Google's role in spreading fake news stories and diverting advertising away from traditional media. 

Now, there's more. 

Australia's competition watchdog has released an issues paper that frames its probe into the impact digital media platforms are having on the advertising market and journalism. 

In Australia, Google provides 95% of digital search services, Facebook is estimated to have 15 million monthly users and both companies account for 40% of advertising revenue, including three-quarters of online advertising revenue. 

The inquiry will consider how digital media platforms impact choice, the quality of media consumed, and their impact on the competition and supply of advertising services. 

Unlike traditional advertising channels, digital platforms offer advertisers significant precision in targeting consumers with specific interests or purchasing patterns. 

Consequently, advertising has become streamlined and more efficient despite there being only a few platforms with the scale and data access to offer such services. A key issue for competitors in the supply of advertising services is understanding the alternatives available to their market. 

The watchdog's inquiry is therefore particularly important for media companies who believe the tech giants benefit through clever journalism, an easy ride with little regulation and paying minimal corporate tax.

The ACCC's issues paper provides clarity over the scope of its inquiry and key dates for commentary, allowing proponents and opponents time to lobby for the scope to be narrowed or broadened.

What do we think? Whilst the inquiry is well and truly needed, is it enough to stop the tsunami that is digital media? We don't think so. Just like the Senate's inquiry into public interest journalism, it will be ruled as insufficient evidence. Either way, it's hot off the press! And, we're watching very closely. What do you think? 

Our quick Facebook and Instagram advertising tips

We bring you Collaborative Marketing's quick tips to make the most of Facebook and Instagram advertising. Let's go!

Facebook:


1.    Campaign Spending Limit

ALWAYS set a campaign spending limit to ensure you don't go over the total media budget. Ad sets spend budget independently of each other, so if you miscalculate your ad set budgets, you could go over the total budget. And, if you're spending your client's money, this probably won't go down well….

2.    Reduce Workload By 'Duplicating Ad Sets'

Before you add in your additional audiences, set up one ad set with the full set of ads you're wanting to test. Once you're happy with the creative, you can then duplicate at the ad set level and all your hard work on the ads will be copied over to the new ad set. Remember - time is money!

3.    Optimising Ad Sets

The goal - find the audience that is delivering the cheapest cost per action. How? Set up multiple ad sets within one campaign. Keep ALL settings the same (including budget) except for the audience targeting. Make sure all creative within each ad set is the same, that way you're comparing apples to apples. Set the campaign live and wait 24 hours. Check back in and review the cheapest cost per action. Switch off any expensive ad sets and relocate the un-used budget from the disabled ad sets to the better performing ad sets. Keep an eye on your frequency. If it's too high (above 2.5 - 3), you'll start to irritate users.  

4.    Video Is King

A video is given preferential treatment in the news feed. It's also the cheapest way to reach and engage with Facebook users if done well. You also have the ability to retarget people who have watched your videos, with a follow-up message. Videos are an obvious choice, in fact, 75% of all mobile data will be video by 2020. Video is king!

Instagram quicker tips:

What matters:

-    Always add a caption. A strong or weak caption can make or break an image. 
-    Hashtag away, but avoid generic like bait (e.g. #instadaily)
-    Work to a style guide
-    Consistent content
-    Videos

What doesn't matter:

-    Being overly polished on Instagram stories. 
-    Length of the caption - however, sometimes things are better left short and sweet. 

Those are this week's quick Facebook and Instagram advertising tips. Try them out and let us know how you went. 

Google Increases User Controls

Good news for brands, businesses and publishers alike. Google’s increased user controls allowing people to mute more ads in more places is now in play. You may be asking yourself, how is this good news? Well, we’ll tell you.

First introduced in 2012, Google’s “Mute This Ad”, gave people options to remove unwanted ads from specific advertisers on Google Search, Maps, Youtube, and Gmail, when signed in to a Google Account. This feature has now been updated in two significant ways.

Firstly, Google’s updates mean the tool will now recognise feedback on any device signed in to a Google Account, meaning if you mute an ad on your smartphone, it will also be muted on your laptop.

And secondly, “Mute This Ad” will begin appearing in more places as Google expands control to work across more apps and websites that partner with Google to show ads.

As advertising has become more intrusive in recent years, hundreds of millions of web users have installed ad-blocking software to ward of full-page pop-ups, blaring video pitches that start automatically and large ads with unstoppable countdown clocks that obscure the content you actually want to see. 

In fact, according to PageFair’s 2017 adblock report, 11% of the global internet population is blocking ads on the web and adblock usage grew 30% globally in 2016. The data also noted that adblock users prefer standard display ads and that 615 million devices now use adblock.

Google has finally done something about this problem. The company updated its browser, Google Chrome so that it bans irksome and unwanted ads by default on mobile devices and desktop computers.

It’s not a universal ad-blocker, but a filter. It will affect only those websites that allow four types of desktop ads and eight types of mobile ads that violate the standards established by a group called the Coalition For Better Ads, of which Google and Facebook are members.

So, what do we think?

Google’s updates actually seem quite advertiser-friendly, they adhere to industry standards that are currently being hashed out, and they do not discriminate if the ad was placed by Google’s ad exchanges or another competing service. By the looks of it, Google’s update will not only make Chrome better for you but will also improve the web for everyone.

However…. Google did not get where they are today by running a business that simply serves the needs of others. We suspect that with the Chrome update, Google is betting that ridding the web of especially intrusive ads will render it more hospitable to advertising in general – and more profitable for advertisers and Google itself. Sneaky, sneaky.

It could also be because Google faced billion-dollar lawsuits and ad boycotts in 2017…..

Nevertheless, don’t simply read “Google ad-blocker updates” and think your business is doomed, we think it’ll actually benefit brands and business who publish quality content. And, let us know your thoughts! What do you think about Google’s updates?