What marketers can learn from Wendy's Vs Burger King, Dunkin Vs Starbucks and General Motors Vs Ford

Coke Vs. Pepsi, Wendy’s Vs. Burger King, Mac Vs. PC… What do these things have in common? They are examples of some intense rivalries between powerful brands. As long as advertising has existed, companies have engaged in fierce competition with one another, and they haven’t shied away from calling one another out. There are examples of this in print advertising, and television and radio commercials. Today, the fight has been taken to social media where brands are duking it out on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Keep reading to take a look at some of the most intensive advertising wars over the past decade or so, and get some insights into what marketing professionals can learn these intense rivalries.

Lessons to learn from Start-up failure

This week we are releasing our new growth hacking guide and have a bit of a growth hacking and start-up theme across the blog. Although we focus on the marketing side of start-ups pretty exclusively, it interesting to look at why start-ups fail, and see how this fits in with marketing issues.

A study by Quartz looked at 87 bootstrapped (that's Californian for growing without venture capital funding) start-ups which failed, to find out what caused their eventual downfall. Only 2 explicitly blamed poor marketing, which isn't a huge amount, although is above pricing issues, legal challenges or burn out, which are no small matter. If you're running a start-up or work for one it's a great chart to spur thinking and maybe even do a bit of soul-searching to think about where your weaknesses are and how you can avoid the most common traps.

Showing the variation in the decision process within different international markets

Luxury brands are on an upwards trajectory, with a recent McKinsey report showing that online sales are expected to double in the next 5 years – from the 6% to 12% in 2020, before tripling in 2025 to 18%. It's easy to see that the world of digital is currently, and will continue to impact the luxury goods market.

McKinsey discussed the impact of Digital on the Luxury goods market and unearthed some interesting data about how the buying process differs between different countries. When intending to make a luxury purchase, we automatically default to thinking about pre-selected brands, of which 75% of the purchases will come from. Once deciding upon the brands, customers will have multiple touchpoints, or interactions, with brands before making the final decision to purchase.

Customers want good customer service, and don't like being passed between channels

On average, customers interact with four different channels when seeking customer service related enquiries from a business. The types of channels they use or expect to be able to use when contacting a business is changing too. Any marketer worth their salt knows that word of mouth and online reviews are some of the most critical channels for any business, and customer service is key to getting good results. Delivering good customer service now requires a presence across a range of channels, but in a way that allows them to be mutually supportive and helpful, rather than working at cross purposes. This isn't just a 'nice to have', it really is a must, given 97% of people say that customer service is important to their choice of brand. That's according to a study by Microsoft, which asked 4,000 people across the…

Are you really getting the most value from your landing page?

While businesses often focus on getting the word out to consumers, they often fail to give the same attention to setting up the best trail of breadcrumbs. Landing pages are key to conversion, and if your snappy email sends people to a confusing or bland landing page, good luck getting anyone to answer your call to action.

To create a better landing page and improve your conversion rates, you must understand the challenges in front of you, recognize your areas of weakness, and implement a data-based strategy to overcome your flaws.

Common Landing Page Mistakes

The modern Internet user has an attention span of about eight seconds. If your page requires too much focus from your site’s visitors, you’ll struggle to convince them to do anything but close the page and go elsewhere. For every second your page takes to load, say goodbye…

Diversify your brand narrative with a multi-platform marketing campaign strategy

“The attention economy is not growing,” asserts CRM Essentials’ co-founder, Brent Leary, and many marketing strategists would agree. In today’s fast-paced mobile world, it’s become increasingly difficult to make an impression with traditional marketing techniques, as ever-more sophisticated methods - incorporating multiple formats and publishing platforms - take hold and make their presence felt.

This is known as nonlinear marketing, and in this article we’ll explore how and why the use of such abstract strategies can be so successful, and how you can start to incorporate nonlinear into your narrative.

The value of video

Cisco has predicted that 80% of all Internet traffic will be video content by 2019, revealing a growing trend for smartphone streaming that has put advertisers the world over on hot alert. There are many other reasons to embrace video marketing, and I’ve gone to the trouble of collating…

Unsurprisingly, Facebook leads the way with 1.6 billion active users. But who follows?

As a business, it makes obvious sense to be aware of the potential of different media to reach your audience. Of course, this is the same for more traditional forms of marketing, from broadcast and print, right through to  digital.

Since the turn of the century, digital marketers have looked towards social media as an increasingly necessary part of their marketing strategies, with varying success. So understanding the popularity of social media is essential.

But what does popular mean? We could take registered users, but many of these could be bots or inactive users, so it's important to note, that when I'm discussing the term "Popular" I'm referring to the number of active users rather than all users or even the overall satisfaction ratings.

Most popular social networks based on global active users - April 2016

Social media strategy and planning essentials series

The social media landscape is constantly evolving. New networks rise to prominence (e.g. Snapchat), new technology increases user participation and real-time content (e.g. Periscope) and existing networks enhance their platform and product (e.g. Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram launching ‘buy’ buttons). Organic reach is also shrinking as the leading networks ramp up their paid channels to monetise platform investment.

If the first era of social was engagement, the new era is acquisition and conversion. Social commerce is growing much faster than retail ecommerce, although it’s early days. The top 500 retailers earned $3.3bn from social commerce in 2014, up 26%. Many retailers I work with are seeing social driving bigger % increases in retail traffic than any other channel.

Techniques to improve your results from your LinkedIn Ads

Marketers using LinkedIn’s Advertising Campaign manager often achieve poor results when testing the Ad platform for engagement and impact. Below are 3 reasons and possible solutions why marketers often fail with LinkedIn advertising:

1) Understanding LinkedIn’s context and the intent of users

The purpose behind LinkedIn is to provide an environment which “connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful’ Where marketers very often fail on LinkedIn Ads is pushing out solutions and products expecting similar clicks and conversions to that of Google Adwords where users are actively searching for product information with a high intent to purchase.

Fundamentally, this is because on LinkedIn you are often reaching customers at a difference stage in the buying cycle where users are making professional…

Examples of the latest trends in creating desktop and mobile digital experiences

In this article I'm going to review the trends in digital experience design that we've seen so far in 2016. As a designer and developer, I’ve written about such trends before, but this is the first year where I have started to notice the more significant changes I'll describe first.

In the web design/digital experience development community, there has often been separation between the way a website looks and the way a website works. This has generally resulted in differences of opinion between designers and developers. In recent years we have started to see this change, but for the first time we are seeing less of a divide with designers now paying serious attention to functionality and not just to form and design.

1. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence will have a big impact on the way designers…

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Internet advertising?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments