The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Diet Coke

I am not exaggerating when I say: the NMPi office is fueled by Diet Coke. In fact, the Marketing team alone is probably responsible for a quarter of all Diet Coke consumption in the company.

We know Diet Coke. We love Diet Coke.

So, imagine our disappointment at the latest ad campaign, “Because I Can”, from Coca-Cola. It got me to thinking: what’s happened to Coke’s advertising strategy? Off the top of my head, their ads have always been effective: instantly recognisable and fairly entertaining. Was I wrong?

It seemed like the perfect opportunity for another in our G|B|U series; so settle in, grab your favourite beverage, and get ready for a history lesson.

The Good

There is little in this world that I love more than a good Christmas ad and, being roughly 120 years old, Coca-Cola has had a lot of time to get it right. It’s no surprise, then, that one of Coke’s best adverts is their Christmassy iteration of 1995, an ad that is as old as I am.

For many, the mere sound of this advert marks the start of Christmas; it’s an ad that is synonymous with both Coke and the holiday season. This is a masterclass in brand awareness: you know instinctively from the first note that this is the Coke advert. It even uses a painting of a Santa that has been around since the 1930s. Talk about brand continuity.

Another great campaign that I should mention is the “Share a Coke” campaign. While I never found a bottle with my name on it (but if you want to send me one, I’d happily accept), this was perhaps their strongest commercial effort. “Share a Coke” was originally launched in Australia in 2012 before being rolled out across the world until 2014 and featured over one thousand names gracing Coke bottles. The campaign became a viral phenomenon: 235,000 tweets on the #ShareACoke hashtag, proposals and 25 million new Facebook followers all demonstrating it’s remarkable success. Plus, it was a sweet message: share a coke with your friends.

There are many others that I had remembered fondly, and watching them back I still think they’re great. The Happiness Factory, Heist, the Polar Bears, all ads that I can still remember even though they haven’t been on the air in about 10 years.

Once upon a time, Coke’s advertising had heart.

The Bad

Speaking of Christmas, it is a well-established fact that brands jump on holidays and days of celebration. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Royal Weddings: if they spot a chance to make more money, you can bet they’ll be making an ad about it. And, for the most part, that’s okay. The consumer understands. They might roll their eyes a little, but they’ll accept it.

There are some things, however, that should be left well enough alone. Perhaps the landmark ruling allowing Saudi Arabian women to drive?

Eyes certainly rolled when Coke released a new ad in Saudi Arabia in 2018 which featured a man teaching his daughter to drive. She’s shaky at first, but that’s all fixed by a sip of Coke and they drive off into the desert. It’s a tricky one: some applaud Coca-Cola for their inclusivity, but many find the ad tasteless and I have to agree. This was a clear attempt at capitalisation, and an unnecessary one at that.


It’s not the only time that Coca-Cola has been called out for being culturally insensitive. In 2015, a Christmas ad for the Mexican market showed young, attractive, white people appearing in a Mexican town with Coke and a Christmas tree to the awe of the town’s residents. This perpetuated a stereotype of the “white saviour”, with indigenous people appearing subordinate. The tone-deaf ad was quickly pulled after substantial backlash.

The Ugly

Unfortunately, sales have been down year on year, with the Sugar Tax posing an even bigger threat to regular Coke. One of the reasons for the slump is the recent bad press Diet Coke’s artificial sweeteners have been receiving.

According to Susan E. Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences and a behavioural neuroscientist, “Findings from a variety of studies show that routine consumption of diet sodas, even one per day, can be connected to higher likelihood of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure, in addition to contributing to weight gain.” 

And with younger generations becoming much more health-conscious, you can bet Diet Coke is taking a hit.

In order to beat its bad rep, Coca-Cola needed a new campaign focused on the younger generations to get them drinking Diet Coke again. The outcome, “Because I Can”, goes so far towards the vanilla that it is bland, boring, and works to offend an entire generation.

There are a number of different iterations of this ad: the SuperBowl spot featuring Gillian Jacobs, the British version with the same script but an English actress, individual ones for different flavours, and a Spanish one that appears on their Puerto Rico YouTube channel. None of them are good. (Well, the Spanish one might be but my language skills are lacking).


Each one is a snapshot into this stereotyped idea of a millennial. Everyone uses the word super. Buzzwords like “athleisure” and “yurt” are dropped left and right. The only way I could be more annoyed is if they told me it was better than avocado toast. We don’t all love avocado toast.

On top of this, the message of “Life is Short, Have a Diet Coke” is incredibly patronising. In essence, Coke is encouraging its consumers to not care about their health, so long as it makes them happy. An ad full of generalisations and yet they gloss over the one that is most likely to cost them sales.

The sheer amount of negative comments on these videos, the op-eds in marketing publications, and even the frustration I felt that led me to do a special edition of G|B|U are enough to show that this was a really bad move.

If Coca-Cola can teach us one thing it’s that you aren’t immune to bad marketing choices, no matter how well ingrained your brand is in the public consciousness. It may have been easier in the days before political correctness, and the youth may well be a bunch of easily offended snowflakes, but they’re who’s buying your products now.

Is your Google Analytics GDPR-compliant?

It’s now been 6 months since GDPR came into effect, and the initial panic appears to have settled. However, it’s not over yet! It turns out GDPR isn’t a problem you can solve overnight, and then tick it off your to-do list.

In the past few months, we’ve seen some businesses struggle with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) being captured within their Google Analytics. And so, here’s a short how-to guide, for ensuring you aren’t picking up that pesky personal data along with all your valuable customer insights.

How can GDPR be breached in Google Analytics?

In Google Analytics, there are some obvious ways GDPR can be breached, for instance:

  • Collecting customer information via form fills, for instance postcode or address
  • Having an on-site privacy policy that doesn’t match your data retention settings in GA
  • Loading data in via Data Import which includes customer PII
  • Capturing PII-related custom dimensions that aren’t using hashed or salted encryption.

Most of these areas will have been assessed by any pre-GDPR audits that took place across data-collecting platforms, as a breach of GDPR through these means are pretty obvious (if you haven’t had a GDPR audit, get in touch with us here). Despite that, there are still a few ways that Google Analytics can mistakenly collect PII data if you’re not careful. The are two ways we see PII breaches in GA:

  1. Page URL’s. The basic Universal Analytics tag collects the URL of every page viewed, and passes this unfiltered through to Google Analytics. Occasionally PII can make it’s way into a URL, particularly during redirects from an email service provider.
  2. Search Terms. Users seem to love accidentally searching for their own email addresses, and of course, this ends up straight in your Search Terms report.

To identify whether you are collecting PII data through either of the above, navigate to the relevant report (For Page URL: Site Content > All Pages, for Search Terms: Site Search > Search Terms) and search the @ character in the in-report search function. This will show up all instances of email collection in the time period you have selected.

I’ve found some PII in my GA reports – how do I fix this?

If that’s the case, do not fear. There are a few ways the issue can be eliminated.

There is PII data showing in my All Pages report

Issue: URL captured contains ‘customer_email’ as the query parameter which is included for reporting

Report: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

How to Find: Search the @ character in the in-report search function

Solution:

> If you use GTM

This is the preferred solution, as it ensures no PII data is passed from the URL from the outset.

You need to create a Custom JavaScript variable in GTM, which will perform a PII check in each URL collected. If the URL contains an email address, you can replace the email address with a word or phrase such as null, or undefined.

In the example code below, we have chosen to replace the email address with the word ‘redacted’. The variable, in bold, can be replaced with whichever URL variable you have set up.

function () {
  var pagePath = {{Page Path}};
  var query = location.search.substr(1);
  var em = /^(([^<>()[\]\\.,;:\s@\"]+(\.[^<>()[\]\\.,;:\s@\"]+)*)|(\".+\"))@((\[[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\])|(([a-zA-Z\-0-9]+\.)+[a-zA-Z]{2,}))$/;
  var r = '';
  var result = [];

  if (query) {
    query.split("&").forEach(function(part) {
      var item = part.split("=");
      var qStr = item[0];
      var dCo = decodeURIComponent(item[1]);
      var ma = em.test(dCo);
      var s;
      if (ma) {
        s = qStr +"=REDACTED ";
      } else {
        s = qStr + "=" + dCo;
      }
      result.push(s);
    });

    var r = pagePath + '?' + query.replace(query,result.join('&'));
  } else {
    var r = pagePath;
  }
  return r;
}

Then you need to update your Universal Analytics tag to include the Custom JavaScript variable in the ‘Page’ field, as shown in the below screenshot:  

> If you want to make the change in Google Analytics itself

If you don’t use GTM, the PII issue can be solved via the GA View Settings in the Admin section. Within the View Settings, include the relevant query parameter in the ‘Exclude URL Query Parameters’ box for instance customer_email, or whichever the term is which precedes the PII data in your URL.

> If your Universal Analytics tag is hard-coded on-site

If your tagging is hard-coded on-site, you can add the below line of code to your Universal Analytics script to amend the URL’s before sending data to GA for reporting. The ‘new page value’ is where an altered page path is sent to GA, which will be coded by your site developers. The new line of code should be fired on all pages on the site along with your hard-coded GA script.

ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘new page value’);

Your updated hard-coded script on the site should look something like the following:

<!-- Google Analytics -->
<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

ga('create', 'UA-XXXXX-Y', 'auto');
ga('send', 'pageview');
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘new page value’);
</script>
<!-- End Google Analytics -->

There is PII data showing in my Search Terms report

Issue: Users perform a search on site using their email address (it happens more than you think!)

Report: Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms

How to Find: Search the @ character in the in-report search function

Solution:

The solution to this is much like the approach identified in section 1 (‘there is PII data showing in my All Pages report’) however, the change CAN’T be made within Google Analytics itself, using the option of excluding URL query parameters, as this will remove all on-site search tracking.

The same GTM solution can be used, as detailed already, with the same results. The hard-coded option can be used, however your on-site developers will need to ensure that the ‘new page value’ which is passed to Google Analytics only excludes search queries where an email address is present, otherwise all on-site search tracking will be excluded from reporting.

Summary

PII data can be found in Google Analytics, typically passed from URL’s, Page Titles and Search Terms. However, these instances can be prevented easily enough using the above tips! The best option is implementing fixes in GTM, as it means PII is excluded from the very start of the data collection journey, but there are also options in GA or through hardcoding that are available. 

If you need any help with the above, or are concerned about GDPR compliance in your Google Analytics, give us a shout.

Best Practice: Product Launches

The launch of a  major product can often be a make or break moment for any company. Whether it’s the launch of an updated version of an existing product, or a brand new product or service altogether, launches can significantly alter a business’ competitive landscape.

Over the years, we have supported a number of brands with product launches, from new over-the-counter medicine, tickets to major new shows and releases of the latest high-end trainers and technology. In order to help you get the most out of your next launch, we have compiled our top tips for creating a successful paid search strategy.

Plan Ahead

Before your product is even on the shelves, you can hit the ground running with a “pre-order” campaign designed to raise awareness and help build up your audience lists. Send this early traffic to a dedicated pre-order landing page to find out more information.

For your launch campaign, keyword planning will be crucial in determining your success. Remember that users might not be searching for the exact product if it’s brand new, so you’ll want to think about other search terms that would be relevant. Generally, focus on brand match keywords for your initial launch to pick up new search terms.

In terms of audiences, be sure to leverage traffic from your pre-launch and early ads in order to engage them at a later date with more personalised messaging. Other audiences that are worth targeting are users who have visited pages related to similar products or those who have purchased a previous version in the past. Past purchasers are more likely to be brand loyal and will already be interested in the latest product.

Be mindful of any other above-the-line activity from the manufacturer or brand, as you can often sync this up with your digital advertising to great effect. For example, if a TV ad is running then you can set up scripts to sync your search activity with the TV times.

Understand the Competition

Competitors can be a great resource when planning your product launch. Review their ad copy and landing pages to see how you stack up. For example, if all of your competitors are offering the product at a particular price point, then where possible you should match this price.

As many will know, your work doesn’t stop once you’ve set your campaigns live. Competitor monitoring tools such as Google’s Auction Insights for search can be used to assess how the market has changed and who the largest players are in the market.

Be Reactive

If you’ve forecasted a large uplift in search volume before the launch, monitor your bids throughout the day to ensure that your ads remain in competitive positions. Search Ads 360 allows you to set up a bid strategy to maintain high positions for new keywords. Given that the majority of searches now take place on mobile and the screen size is a lot smaller, resulting in fewer ad placements, it’s even more important to ensure your bid multipliers will keep you in the top positions.

In the following weeks, you will need to continually monitor and optimise keyword bids and bid multipliers to ensure continued efficiency and stabilised performance. If you notice significant trends between devices or locations, it may be worth splitting out campaigns to have a greater control over your bids.

Find out how we ran a product launch that saw 49% of sales come from new customers in our Fitbit Blaze case study.  

NMPi AU Crowned “Best Digital Agency” at NORA Awards

We are delighted to be able to say that NMPi AU took home the gold last night at the NORA 2018 Excellence Awards, winning “Best Digital Agency” in the evening’s proceedings.

These awards recognise the best of the best in Solution Providers for the retail industry of Australia. Most importantly, these awards are voted on by the retail industry itself. This win demonstrates our experience and expertise across retail, and that this has translated into real results for our clients.

A big thank you to all the retailers and clients who took the time to vote for us, and a huge congratulations to our amazing team. This award recognises the phenomenal work they’ve been doing to drive performance for our clients and partners.

Check out all of the winners from the evening at Noraawards.com.au.

A Story About Facebook Stories

Like every good story, this one begins once upon a time, last summer to be precise, when, a social media giant went through one of the biggest one-day losses in US corporate history. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, was reported to have lost more than £11.5bn in one day.

What was the reason behind his recent loss of fortune – or at least a small portion of it? Well that my friends, is a new chapter in the Facebook tale.

Reacting to a surge in popularity of short, visually-engaging formats, Facebook began rolling out Stories to its users and advertisers.

Facebook has restricted its newsfeed ads and has switched their focus to the new Stories format. While the format doesn’t currently bring in as much revenue as its more established counterpart, the bet is surely worth taking if the last five years are anything to go on.

What’s the Stories?

It all began back in 2013. Snapchat, an app with a camera at its heart, designed a tool which allowed its users to create a narrative from a collection of images and short videos. Named Stories, the format was unique in that posts would only have a lifespan of 24 hours. Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, said: “we learned that creativity can be suppressed by the fear of permanence, but also empowered through ephemerality.”

With point-and-shoot now more accessible than ever, the environment was ripe for Snapchat users to neglect the use of text. Instead, what they saw could be captured, edited and shared, creating a makeshift story for all of their friends to see.

Enter, Instagram Stories

Now, this wouldn’t be a story if it didn’t contain a bit of foreshadowing.

In August 2016, Facebook-owned Instagram had a problem: their product had become too high-end. In fact, many users felt the bar was set too high, and that their everyday pictures were not worthy of being posted to their feed.

So Instagram took a drastic step, copying their competitors to introduce Stories.

The new format was placed at the top of the app, inviting users to post to an audience made up of their existing social network. Now boasting 400 million daily users, the radical implementation has produced an engaged audience and now offers an effective way to speak to customers.

With this platform, though, it is more important than ever to adapt to the environment, a lesson learned quickly by The Guardian. Initially, their posts were tv-quality videos with high set up costs and did not generate the engagement they would have liked. They later adopted a form of native advertising, using short-video explainers and static graphics on news topics – fun content which is easy to make. By adapting to their surroundings, the news outlet has seen their Instagram account grow from 860,000 to one million followers over the last four months.

The Climax of the Story – Facebook Stories

To go forward you must go back, an ethos certainly practised by Facebook as of late. As the Newsfeed begins to reach its limit, the tech giant has planted the seed for the latest addition to paid-social advertising.

A change to the Newsfeed’s algorithm earlier in the year means that brands struggle to reach users organically and instead must rely on sponsored content in order to reach users on the platform. This is all part of Facebook’s desire to make the feed a place of “meaningful interactions” and consequently a shift away from newsfeed-focused advertising.

Introducing a new character to the tale, Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer of Facebook recently announced that “the Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.” A prediction with stats to support it, the consulting firm Block Party stated: “since early 2016 Stories creation and its consumption is up 842%.”

The Plot Thickens

On the brink of a visual communication era and a filling newsfeed, Facebook is shifting users towards Stories despite them monetising at “materially lower” rates than the Newsfeed, Brian Nowak of Morgan Stanley states. He believes that Facebook “will now need to increase its execution around stories engagement and ad innovation.”

With the introduction of Spotify and GoPro on Facebook Stories through third-party app integration, the foundations are set for our vertical protagonist. Perfect for brand-building exercises, the price to advertise through Stories is currently lower than to advertise on the Newsfeed.

And they all lived happily ever after

Perhaps the story is missing a Liam Neeson, David vs Goliath or even a frog-kissing princess, but the potential of Stories means there’s always a chance of a sequel.

A high degree of its success can be attributed to the short lifespan, giving users the freedom to post how they wish without the worry of an old post being quoted against them if they were to become Prime Minister (you never know). Once the feature was introduced to Instagram and the engagement it produced could be analysed, it was only a matter of time before Zuckerberg adopted and monetised Stories on the biggest of all social media platforms.

With ads at the heart of Facebook’s growth, Stories will allow them to create an environment which both elicits the greatest possible connection and allows their revenue model to flourish. Even if it does temporarily mean losing some loose change.

The end.

NMPi Shortlisted at The Drum Agency Business Awards

More good news for NMPi following our win earlier this week at the IPMAs, as yesterday The Drum Agency Business Awards announced their shortlist. These awards focus on agencies as a whole – rewarding exceptional work from back office teams and overall business performance. We are very proud that we have been shortlisted in both the Business Expansion and Digital Agency of the Year categories.

The last 12 months have been incredibly exciting at NMPi. We’ve brought on a slew of incredible clients, finished a year of international expansion by opening 2 offices in the US, and strengthened our proposition with 2 acquisitions. With MediaPact, we’ve solidified our Paid Social expertise, and with Joystick we’ve grown our proposition to include creative solutions. Our team also worked tirelessly to develop our own Comparison Shopping Service solution which, combined with our award-winning Google Shopping strategy, drives phenomenal performance for our clients.

NMPi has gone from strength to strength throughout 2018, and we’re looking forward to seeing where we can go in the future. For now, though, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the 27th of November and another addition to the cabinet.

NMPi Scores at the International Performance Marketing Awards

We have a new addition to the trophy cabinet this morning after another great night at the International Performance Marketing Awards. NMPi took home a new win and received 3 highly commended in these hugely competitive awards.

We hit the back of the net with Fanatics, winning in the Best Use of Data category for our bidding strategy that leveraged the power of in-game moments. Working together with CJ Affiliate, the use of data was well automated and efficient in boosting online sales targets for Fanatics football clientele.

Our work with Liverpool FC earned us recognition in both the Best Use of Data category and the Best Use of Programmatic category. Our final highly commended was in the Best Paid Search Campaign for our work with Harvey Nichols.

We are hugely proud of our continued success this year, from the acquisition of creative specialists Joystick to the launch of our CSS to our winning streak at awards ceremonies over the last 12 months. We’re incredibly proud of the innovation of the NMPi team and look forward to what this will bring in the months to come.

NMPi on the Shortlist at UK Search Awards

We are delighted to announce that we have received another set of nominations, this time in the UK Search Awards. These awards, celebrate the expertise, talent and achievements of the search industry, focusing on SEO, PPC and content marketing in the UK.

This time, we’ve been nominated in the Best Use of Seach – Retail category for our work with Harvey Nichols, and in the Best Local Campaign and the Best PPC categories for our work with East Midlands Trains.

We’ll have to wait until November 29th to find out if we’ll be taking hold the gold, but until then you can find out more about our work with East Midlands Trains here, and Harvey Nichols here.

The Battle for Stories Ad Supremacy

Despite a growing user base and significant backing from Facebook, the Stories ad format has yet to be wholeheartedly embraced by the digital marketing community. Facebook has even taken to advertising Stories placements across the web to drum up interest.

Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram have been leading the charge on this new type of ad format. While Facebook Stories remain a fairly new advertising proposition and Snapchat struggles to win over advertisers around the world, Instagram Stories are currently the go-to for many companies, even if they haven’t been universally adopted.

Despite widespread hesitation to adopt this format, some retailers are keen to jump on the opportunity. We recently ran a large, full-funnel campaign for one of our clients across the different Stories platforms. This allowed us to test the benefits of each one, to find out how you can maximise performance with Stories ads.

Snapchat: the Originator

The originator of Stories, Snapchat, is the first to come to mind when thinking about this particular format. However, having previously been plagued with conversion tracking issues, many advertisers have lost faith in the platform as a home for paid social. While projected to earn £104.8M this year, the channel has only generated £68.4M – a solid 34.7% below target.

With that being said, there has been a big push to improve the advertising offering over the past few months, making us think the time was ripe for a retest.

The biggest selling point for Snapchat is its price, coming in 4 times lower than our Instagram activity. This meant that our budgets went even further, allowing us to reach even more of Snapchat’s highly sought after youth audience.

Ultimately,  we do have concerns about the quality of traffic, having seen a higher bounce rate than Facebook or Instagram. While it’s great to reach a wide audience, it’s even more important to have high-quality traffic.

Instagram: the Innovator

Instagram is the most widely used way to advertise with Stories content, and its innovative formats pave the way for the industry.

We were able to test new features for our campaign including, the Stories carousel and Facebook’s video editor; which allows you to create videos from existing images. At the time of writing, these opportunities were not available on any other platform.

Despite forecasting strong performance, we saw the weakest engagement from the Instagram campaigns. The higher cost of media, likely caused by increased competition, and lower CTR resulted in the highest cost per conversion across all of our tests. However, this could be the result of doing the majority of our testing within this platform.

With this in mind, Instagram remains the easiest to use with the most opportunity to test new features and ideas. Most recently, a Shopping feature has been released for organic Stories, which means if it’s successful it’s likely to become available as a paid format.

Facebook: the Newbie

Facebook Stories are the new kids on the block, only recently launching as a paid advertising format. Sadly, this becomes fairly apparent when you come to build a campaign. The innovation present on Instagram hasn’t crossed streams onto Facebook just yet, and so we were limited to single images. Also, at the moment you can’t just target Facebook Stories, you have to include Instagram as well. This means that you don’t have anywhere near as much control over your budget – we only saw 11% of our budget going into our Facebook Stories ad placement, despite having a 34% lower cost per visit. This is likely due to a lack of inventory available on this platform.

Facebook certainly has promise with a cheaper price and similar CTR to Instagram. Unfortunately, the current reduced inventory does hinder performance, and a lack of budget control will certainly put some off. This is one for the early adopters to play around with before the inevitable rise in CPMs as more businesses get on board.

NMPi: the Decider

Each of the different platforms inevitably has their strengths and so if you aren’t currently making use of them, you definitely should be. However, it is important that advertisers treat Stories, as well a mobile in general, with the respect they deserve. Content specifically designed for Stories will achieve greater performance, and the more holistic the viewing experience for the user, the more engagement you will see.

Your mobile site is just as important as the content you produce; the battle isn’t won once you’ve made the user swipe up. If your mobile site is a chore to navigate with a long load time the users will click off.

However, as is to be expected with such new platforms they don’t come without their problems. You cannot run Facebook Stories ads without also running ads on Instagram Stories, which makes it difficult to recommend the platform on its own. While Snapchat drives high volumes of traffic, there was a high bounce rate to match and so wasn’t the best option for our ads.

On the other hand, while we saw our weakest engagement on Instagram, it’s still our platform of choice. It is the most sophisticated option, which continues to roll out new features to further differentiate its offering, and we believe that the low engagement rate was mostly down to our high level of experimentation throughout this campaign. Further, the traffic we attracted on Instagram was of a higher quality than from Snapchat. So, if you’re trying to decide which of the three to trial first, make it Instagram.

With that said, keep your eyes on this space. It seems inevitable that they will continue to grow and expand their solutions, not to mention improve any current shortcomings.   

A Day in the Life: Lucy Smith

We let one of our Senior Account Executives – Lucy Smith – loose with our Instagram account and asked her to give us a look a what a Day in the Life looks like for her. She was more than happy to oblige.  

8.45 – An earlier start than usual, but worth it to set up for our annual Macmillan Coffee Morning. This is my third year organising the event and it’s really nice to be able to do activities like this outside of my day-to-day.

In perhaps the office’s best effort to date, I had almost a full patisserie’s worth of treats to choose from for breakfast. Nothing like a bit of sugar to get you going in the morning!

Having a lot of European clients means that they’ve had an extra hour in the office before I’ve even arrived – so responding to their emails is the first order of the day. The next task is to check the performance of the day before and make any optimisations to bids or budgets that need to be made. Some accounts are more reactive than others so it’s important that we keep on top of performance and how we are pacing against our targets.

11.00 – On Tuesday mornings, I have a weekly catch up with my team. Between us, we work on accounts in 8 different countries so we need to make sure everyone is supported in terms of workload and is kept up to date on performance and any upcoming changes.  It’s also a great chance for us to discuss projects outside our client base that can contribute to the business as a whole.

12.00 – Time for another cake! The trick to avoiding a sugar crash is to just replace the calories as you burn them off. My next job was to storyboard a deck for a quarterly strategic review. These happen (you guessed it!) every 3 months and are an opportunity for us to look back at performance before looking ahead to our strategy for the next quarter. We present our ideas to our clients and work with them to put together a roadmap that incorporates their business goals with our view of success for the accounts.

15.00 – After reports go out on Mondays, clients often have questions and updates for the week ahead. That means Tuesdays and Wednesdays are busy with client calls. Today I had a catch up with clients based in Switzerland and Italy to talk through last week’s numbers and review any actions or updates there might be from both sides. After the call, any actions get added to a Google Sheet so everyone has access and can update as required.

16.30 – The main event of the day – the drawing of the raffle prizes! Thanks to the generosity of our clients, partners and some local businesses we had a great selection – from theatre tickets to Japanese snacks and restaurant vouchers.

17.00 – As the day winds down and people cannot physically ingest any more sugar, it’s time to count up our donations. Thanks to the amazing generosity of everyone in the office, we raised just over £1,000 for Macmillan! The atmosphere in the office has been amazing (again, this might be a side effect of the sugar), and we’ve been able to support a great charity that provides essential support to those diagnosed with cancer.