Room 101: Marketing Edition

In the true spirit of Christmas (bah humbug), we thought we’d vent about the things in the world of marketing that really pee us off, and banish them for all eternity to Room 101: Marketing Edition.

Don’t agree with the points raised, or think we’ve missed something from Room 101: Marketing Edition? Let us know by tweeting us @kanukadigital.

Intrusive cookie consent pop-ups

Since GDPR came into play in May 2018, almost every website you visit has an array of pop-ups, notifications, drop-downs and prompts to gain user content related to cookies.

Cookie consent pop up in Room 101 Marketing Edition

Whilst the intentions behind GDPR were good – giving users better control over how their data is used by websites and how their online behaviour is tracked – the actual implementation is seemingly flawed.

Anecdotally, most of us click that ‘OK’ button and provide consent without paying much attention to the privacy policy or cookie notice.

For users, this represents a toss up between exchanging their data in return for accessing a website’s material as most of these pop-ups and notifications conceal the actual content.

For website owners this approach can’t possibly be the best way. They spend ages making a website user friendly, responsive and quick only for a giant pop-up to ruin your site’s first impression from the off.

It would be so much better for webmasters to consider the UX of these consent pop-ups so that webmasters get the consent they need, only for the data they require, and that users can get a better on-site experience without being bombarded or turned away.

However, if it’s almost a given that consent will be provided without considering the terms of the privacy notice then what’s the point in the whole process? Should users just set their opt-in/out preferences at browser level and the websites comply?

To confuse matters even more, when the ePrivacy Directive comes into effect in the coming months, webmasters will have to ensure they’re jumping hoops again to comply.

Chris Munroe, Digital Account Manager

Bad remarketing

Remarketing is one of the best ways to close sales that didn’t happen, yet I see so many bad examples of remarketing ads on a daily basis.

Facebook remarketing graphic
Photo credit: AdEspresso

Some poor examples of remarketing campaigns are from advertisers who don’t put an impression cap on their ads, meaning the ad could show endlessly. Even if you keep ignoring it by not clicking on it, this can be very frustrating, particularly if the ads are a brand-led generic message that is only targeted to you because you’ve visited the site once.

A study by AdEspresso shows that the more an ad is shown, the less likely you are to click on it. Luckily there are features in Google and Facebook where you can set rules to stop the ads showing after a certain number of times, meaning you can bypass the risk of ad fatigue.

Another example of bad remarketing campaigns are the ones that go on forever, even post-conversion. It’s very easy to add a field to your remarketing campaign that excludes customers who have made a purchase, so there is no excuse for this shoddy marketing behaviour! Why not try post-conversion remarketing? It’s a great opportunity to upsell, cross-sell etc.

Good remarketing campaigns target users at a specific point in their customer journey such as viewing a product page or abandoning their basket at the checkout. So, instead of targeting every website visitor in the last 30 days, advertisers should use specific URLs to narrow down audiences that are more likely to convert.

Amy Lyle, Digital Account Executive

Impersonal marketing

What I’d really like to see is a continued push towards making marketing more personal. You may have already heard of if the term ‘Conversational Marketing’ – which essentially means a way to start real-time conversations with buyers/customers.

It’s an antidote to a fundamental problem in today’s marketing; the way we’ve been taught to market and sell no longer really matches how buyers buy things.

If we look at a typical B2B buying process, I think for the most part it’s cold, impersonal and much more laborious for than it needs to be. This graphic sums it up nicely.

If you think about where most of our conversations happen when not talking to someone face-to-face, then it’s via instant messaging services like WhatsApp, Messenger or even good fashioned SMS. That’s because it’s fast, easy, and actually feels like a conversation.

This is backed up by a recent survey which showed that 90% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with businesses (and the majority prefer it over email). And before you start thinking “great, I can start pushing out all my marketing campaigns” remember that it’s a two-way street, people want to be able to reply and engage in a conversation.

It’s time for businesses to stop forcing people to jump through endless hoops before a helpful conversation can take place. Instead of forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait days for a response, we should start seeing more conversational marketing tools like targeted messaging and intelligent chatbots to engage with people when they’re on a company website.

Making it easier for people to engage with businesses will help convert more of the right leads faster. Which means happier customers and a happier company.

Yes, Conversational Marketing maybe another buzzword but the sentiment behind it is bang on. Let’s make business feel personal again.

Joe Turner, Digital Marketing Manager

‘Fast’ SEO results

Most of the impact on a website generated by search engine optimisation can be slow to fruition. This isn’t days or weeks that I’m talking about, but months and even years.

Fast SEO results aren’t good, and good SEO results aren’t fast. Period.

SEO on Google, fighting for quick wins
Photo credit: Search Engine Journal

This can lead to frustration from clients too as they want to see sharp rises in their traffic, keyword ranking positions or revenue over such a short period of time.

The reality is SEO is slow.

Some of our long term clients do understand this and can see that positive results over time are slow and gradual.

Lee Bagley-Bramwell, SEO Specialist

Fake CSR initiatives

Greenwashing, also called “green sheen,” is a form of marketing spin in which green PR, green values or green marketing is deceptively used to persuade the public an organisation’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.

Poor Corporate Social Responsibility Room 101 Marketing Edition
Photo credit: The Giving Machine

CSR is not about doing projects that allow a business to look and feel good for the sake of coverage. This handiwork, theorised by poor marketers, is simply overused by businesses determined to deodorise the social misbehavior of their companies through high-profile campaigns.

For years, Volkswagen made claims that its diesel engines emitted less pollution, less greenhouse gasses, and burned “cleaner” than petrol vehicles. The german manufacturer promoted its supposedly “clean” cars through a high-profile marketing campaign that included Super Bowl ads, online social media campaigns, and print advertising, targeting “environmentally-conscious” consumers. Until it was leaked that vehicles were built with “defeat devices” so that the cars would mask the true emissions output and pass vehicle emission tests. Naughty.

CSR should not be an afterthought of a business, but built into the very core of its values. You see, consumers can smell fake CSR efforts from a mile off. They seem forced. Shoddy. The connection, loose.

Kiyoteru Tsutsui, a sociologist from the University of Michigan said,

Companies in the developed world may respond to civil society and investors’ pressure to take social responsibility more seriously by adopting CSR frameworks, but only to appease their critics and without any attention to actual changes in their practices.

In short, poor CSR efforts are used by corporations to ‘keep up appearances’.

Consumers demand authenticity and look at traditional CSR communications skeptically. What was once an asset to the corporation is quickly becoming a casualty of an uncertain and complex world.

I’m throwing fake CSR initiatives into Room 101 to force brands and businesses to make genuine efforts to support causes that actually mean something to them, their employees and their customers. Who’s with me?

Oh, and FYI, the idea that corporations should refrain from things like dumping toxic chemicals into the environment or forcing children to work in sweatshops is NOT good CSR, but basic business ethics.

*mic drop*

Callie O’Grady, Digital Account Executive

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