In the land of Burberry, Rolls Royce, Harrods and other iconic luxury brands, how are marketers reaching their audiences online? According to a recent study, not so differently than we’re doing it on this side of the pond. The biggest difference? They’re investing a lot more heavily in mobile than we are.
IMedia UK and Martini Media partnered on the survey to determine where marketers in Great Britain are investing their budgets. Nearly half the marketers surveyed represented a product or service geared to high net-worth audiences.
Among the many findings, it was discovered that study participants plan to increase their investments in video by 40% and in rich media by 36%. Luxury marketers were investing twice as much as mass market brands on these media, both of which deliver interactivity and can be leveraged to tell brand stories in ways that excite and engage.
Telling brand stories was a clear theme within the survey results. Considering how important it is for brand marketers – particularly those representing luxury brands – to deliver stories that “surprise” and “delight,” this isn’t shocking. Respondents clearly believe that the sight, sound and motion of online video are valuable marketing tools. In fact, 66% of marketers surveyed consider online video as effective as television for building brand awareness, and more than three-quarters of the respondents believe it’s an efficient way to build brand favorability. This year alone, 65% of those surveyed will use some form of online video; 30% will experiment with it, and 35% will actually shift budget from TV to online video.
While Ann Handley has requested an industry-wide moratorium on the phrase “content is king,” content marketing seems to maintain its royal status both here and abroad, if those video stats are any indication. 60% of UK marketers noted they were placing their own or another publisher’s content in within their ad units. EConsultancy recently found that a full 91% of client-side marketers rely on content marketing, with 90% convinced it will be even more important in the year ahead. The increasing ease of creating and publishing digital video, combined with the healthy growth of social networks certainly contributes to the growing popularity of content marketing. Audiences are getting larger and more accessible every day, even as engaging content becomes easier and more affordable to produce.
Keep Calm and Invest in Mobile
UK marketers are bullish overall about digital. Seventy-five percent of marketers surveyed believe high impact ads, incorporating video, social and other content, can breakthrough as much as TV and print. These ads can also run across device – and 70% of marketers surveyed are leveraging cross-platform campaigns that can be run across screens.
Cross-screen compatibility is even more important in the UK, where audiences seem to have spared their shoulders the agony of toting laptops home for the last decade. They’ve instead gone straight from the desktop to the tablet, as evidenced by the Brits’ highest-in-the-world adoption rate of the portable device. This is perhaps the biggest difference between our two countries as the industry matures. With mobile advertising growing 148% YOY in Britain, UK marketers appear to be heading into a mobile-first strategy, something the U.S. is not quite ready to consider.
Will Pay for Audience
Like U.S. advertisers, Brits are willing to pay a premium to reach that perfect consumer. So say 65% of the respondents who agree it’s worth paying premium CPMs for specific sites to ensure they reach their audience. They won’t just rely on hunches and intuition, however. A full 89% will leverage data and targeting to reach target audiences across sites. Context factors in, too: When it comes to selecting the sites on which their digital campaigns will run, context (defined as adjacency to premium or highly relevant content) and the ability to single out a target audience were ranked most important when selecting media for ad buys.
Also note that 70% of respondents were willing to pay the same or higher to reach their audience online vs. offline.
Forrester believes that our tea-drinking contemporaries, who generally have display budgets of €1 million or more, will lead innovation in brand marketing. (Let’s face it – they’ve had better television commercials than us for decades!) And with their emphasis on mobile, that may be true – but I don’t the U.S. will be too far behind.