Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

The Love Island Effect – Fast Fame & Fast Fashion

September 22, 2022

It’s been one month since we last ran to the couch at 9pm to hear, for the last time this summer, “Previously… on Love Island”. 

For eight weeks of summer, Love Island almost has a chokehold over the nation. Those out for a Sunday drink calling it a night at 8.30pm, those holidaying abroad praying that their wifi is strong enough for Virgin Media player.

An average of 204,000 viewers tuned in across Ireland each night to see how the contestants were getting on, and who they were getting with. For those eight weeks, the reality TV show basically took over our social lives and had us hooked to our screens.

Each season, while romances, friendships and tensions build inside the villa, we watch the contestants’ social media followings build on the outside, particularly on Instagram. The rise to fame is fast, as fast fashion brands scramble to secure their newest brand ambassadors, fighting for the ‘best’ with their top competitors. 

Take Molly-Mae Hague – the most successful contestant ever on the show. Molly-Mae was slowly breaking her way into the world of influencer marketing before ever appearing on or being associated with Love Island, regularly posting on Instagram and sharing to her YouTube channel. She entered the Spanish villa with approximately 170,000 followers. Coming not in first, but in second place on series 5 of the show, there were countless fast fashion brands lining up left, right and centre to sign her up.

She was the first UK influencer that Starbucks had ever paid to post content for them. She exited the villa, to sign a deal with fast-fashion retailer, PrettyLittleThing (PLT), as a brand ambassador. Fast forward three years, she is now their Creative Director – she now has a whopping 6.4 Million Instagram followers, making her the most successful Love Island contestant to date. 

Fast forward to this year. Gemma Owen, daughter of famous English football player, Michael Owen – remember that goal in the 1998 World Cup? Well, Gemma has now almost surpassed her fathers fame, at least with this generation. Gemma entered the villa with 79.5k followers and has now hit the 2 Million mark. Following in the footsteps of Molly-Mae, she has just last week signed an ambassador deal with PrettyLittleThing. 

Ekin-Su, the queen of this summer’s Love Island who did a 180 on the show and won the nations hearts, has quickly jumped to a whopping 3 Million followers, proving she is most deserving of that title. She has signed (supposedly) the biggest deal in Love Island history, with fast-fashion brand, Oh Polly, worth £1 Million. 

It has to be questioned whether Love Island has become the gate-way to fashion deals, as opposed to a path to ‘finding love’? 

Molly-Mae has previously admitted on her YouTube channel that she went on Love Island as a career move and did not think she’d find love, only to meet Tommy (queue the “awwww”). But was this a one-off?

Can Ekin-Su and Gemma maintain their Love Island romances? Deep down, do they really care once they have their brand deals? It is early days for them but time will tell – if love fails, they have fame and fast-fashion…

And as for brands, they all love a good influencer!

Mary

Mary O’Mahony is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Marketing and Graphic Design agency operating from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Influencer Marketing, a clever campaign tactic

September 21, 2022

Love them or hate them, influencers prove time and time again that they can be of huge benefit to businesses of all types. From global brands, national titles, charities, community organisations and local small businesses.

Influencer marketing is a tactic that we use frequently at Fuzion. The results we get for clients are very strong, and can range from improving brand awareness, reaching very specific audiences, driving traffic to a website and increasing sales.

This relatively new form of marketing can be an extremely cost effective way to reach target audiences. For example, we support a lot of our clients with product drops to a targeted list of influencers whose content and following are in line with the brand in question. The cost incurred to the business is the design and content of the packs and courier charges, while the return on investment is significantly high with influencers typically showing their audience(followers) the gift they have received and tagging the brands account in their posts.

A recent example of a successful product drop for Fuzion was our work with Hi-Spirits brand, Southern Comfort and their festival themed pack, which was packed full of all the essentials for any festival and included a sampling of their new ready to drink flavoured cans, a branded mini speaker and portable charger and this came packaged in a very handy, attractive cooler bag. We are sure that there was lots of envy at Electric Picnic this year against those lucky few who had these goodies!

This campaign was hugely effective in raising awareness about Southern Comfort’s new product to its target audience, while at the same time creating excitement about the brand.

It is important to note that engaging with the right influencers is just one of the tactics that we would use as part of a marketing and PR campaign for clients, carefully combined and coordinated with other tactics, all designed to work together to reach their target audiences, and as we say at Fuzion, to #WinHappy!

Heather

Heather Lordan is part of the marketing and PR team of Fuzion Communications who work from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Google wants its AI to take over your marketing

August 3, 2022

For anyone who is running any Google Ad campaigns you will probably have seen the big shift in Google behaviour over the last couple of years.

Basically, they are encouraging you the customer, the marketer to get out of the way and let their AI take over!!

We’ll allocate your budget for you..

We’ll choose the copy for your adverts..

We’ll come review what you are doing, make recommendations for change and then to make life easy, we will even implement them automatically!

All of this is “cloaked” in a “your campaign results will improve

This was the message I received today for one client campaign:

Unlock your account’s full potential
Opt in to automatically apply recommendations to help you reach your goals by applying the right recommendations at the right time.

We’re here to help you reach more of your marketing objectives
Our Google Ads team understands the dedication it takes for businesses like yours to succeed. That’s why you can automatically apply recommendations – which makes sure that you’ll never miss an opportunity to reach potential customers by regularly applying tailored recommendations to your account.

They understand the “dedication” it takes for businesses like yours to succeed – really??!!

and…that’s why you can automatically apply recommendations….I love the logic!!!!

Press “yes” at your peril, because before you know it, you won’t know whether you are coming or going, your adverts will be applied randomly and the only certain thing will be the amount you are spending, and certainly not how you are spending it.

Our advice is

  • understand your objectives
  • understand how each of the Google features work
  • carefully apply these, in full knowledge of what you are doing and why
  • stay in total control of your messages and budgets
  • review your results carefully and adjust campaigns accordingly

Along with your SEO work, Google Ads are a brilliant, powerful way to generate excellent leads for your business, but please please stay in control.

We don’t want to hand even more control to Mr. Google!

If you need us to help you, you know where we are…

Greg

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications and he heads up the digital department, providing web optimisation and Google Ads services to clients.

Back to Branding

March 14, 2022

To gain a deeper understanding of branding, consider your emerging identity – your adolescent brand.

You may not have realised it when you were younger, but we all had a brand!

Back then, your brand was developed by pushing your personal boundaries of fashion and music, ethics, morality, and friendships, as well as objectives and ambitions for the future.

Thinking about your youthful brand is important because it allows you to merge the numerous pieces that came together to form your identity – the image you had of yourself, and the image others had of you. It’s a riddle — and it’s crucial.

People create opinions of one another. It’s difficult to avoid it. As a result, people developed opinions about me. To those folks, those perceptions were my brand.

The way I interacted with them, the clothing I wore, the music I listened to, my principles and opinions, as well as what they expected of me, all became part of my brand.

Some people knew me well, while others didn’t, yet my brand was built by first impressions.

Others would create my brand for me, if I didn’t invest in clothes, music, and culture. And in today’s environment, social media, blogs, and online presence are just as much part of defining an adolescent brand.

My adolescent brand was more about face-to-face encounters, behaviours, ethos, attitude, outlook, what I did or didn’t do, and my values. These fundamentals are vital to the development of a brand.

At different times, different people perceived me in different ways.

As a result, for various people, I needed to have a distinct brand perspective. There would have been many similarities, but there would have been some differences as well.

Parents, for example, might have seen me differently from my friends in several respects. For instance, if I talked to my Mum in the same tone of voice as I talked to my friends, there would have been a serious communication breakdown!

It’s exciting to imagine how your brand will touch so many different sorts of individuals. It isn’t about deception or claiming to be someone else to please people or to fit in. That doesn’t go as planned.

No one is able to deceive a huge group of people for very long. When it comes to your brand, it’s all about being yourself.

Growing up is a lot like piecing together your business or organisation’s identity jigsaw, but from a different, more mature perspective, and just as when I was younger, the best way to get to the truth is to ask the most basic questions.

Who are you?

Neill

Neill MacCann is a senior graphic designer with Fuzion Communications who provide a full suite of print and digital graphic design services from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Digital Marketing Trends and the things that never change!

March 6, 2022

I sat down with Alma Brosnan (Head of Social Media with Fuzion) recently for an episode of the Win Happy podcast to discuss some of the latest trends with social media and digital marketing and the different things that anyone in business should be looking out for this year.

We had a really great conversation, and whether you are someone operating in a B2B (Business to consumer or community) or a B2B (Business to Business) sector the conversation is well worth a listen.

Click here for the podcast or look for it where you listen to your podcasts or on Spotify.

While things keep on changing and evolving and you always need to be alert to these changes, the one thing that never changes is that vital never ending job you need to do to have a successful business or organisation:

You need to keep on telling your story to your target audiences, wherever they are and whether they are looking or listening it is your job to reach them.

So, absolutely …watch those trends, know and understand where and how to reach your audience today and tomorrow but always:

  • Know your story and what is special about it
  • Know your target audience(s) and how your story resonates with them
  • Make sure that when your audience come looking that you convey that story quickly and accurately
  • Have a plan that proactively tells your story all of the time

And as I say on the Win Happy podcast….Thanks for listening!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Stout talk and “target audiences”

November 14, 2021

I do love my pint of stout and as someone who has worked for Guinness and for a subsidiary of Heineken, who produce both Murphy’s and Beamish in Cork I think I am in a position to chat about it!

During lockdown I think enjoying a creamy point of stout in a pub with friends was quite possibly the thing that I missed most of all and was most grateful when we were able to return to our favourite local.

Where I live in Ballincollig in Cork I am blessed to have the White Horse Bar, Restaurant and Music Venue just down the road from me and a little further away, and on a tricky narrow road we have a wonderful “old man” pub called the Inniscarra Bar.

To stay Covid extra safe Kay, the very lovely proprietor of the Inniscarra Bar tried her very best to keep serving outdoors as long as possible complete with a little canopy and an outside fire, and even outdoors the regulars quickly had their regular seats, just as they would have had inside.

On one particular Thursday night I slipped down there with my fantastic neighbour, Brian for a couple of pints and we sat on a bench outside,

I asked for my pint of choice ‘Murphys’ to be advised against it by Kay who warned that it wasn’t pouring too well and I would be better off with either a Guinness or a Beamish. Two of the regulars overheard our conversation and remarked that the demise of Murphy’s was a sad state of affairs as it was always known as a “Murphy’s House”.

For me, it’s crazy that this could happen in any pub in Cork, but I wasn’t surprised as I hadn’t noticed any activity around this brand in quite a while.

A few days later while doing my grocery shopping in Dunnes Stores I noticed Murphy’s Stout cans on the shelf with new horrible (at least to me) purple and pink branding.

What in the name of god are they doing with that fantastic brand” I thought to myself and I wondered what the logic was behind this garish change.

That weekend I was chatting with my soon to be son in law, Mark and the conversation turned towards the new Murphy’s can. It turns out it wasn’t just me felt this way and this young man also hated the new branding – the beauty of the old brand is that it carried weight and some class and was confident, self assured and rooted in tradition, but this?!

Our first world problems!

A few days later while in town getting my hair chopped I happened to bump into an old buddy of mine who works for Heineken in Cork. I hadn’t seen him for an age so we had a great chat and before he left I had the opportunity of asking him what the hell was going on with Murphy’s!

I told him about the Inniscarra Bar experience and gave him my feedback about the new branding on the cans and after a while he turned around to me and said..

Ah….you are not our target audience!

That put me right in my place and we finished up our conversation and on my way home I reflected on what he had said to me and the sad fact that I was now 56 and thought yes, I was probably no longer the target audience, possibly no one’s target audience!

I thought some more and it started to bother me.

While you might make changes to your brand to appeal to a “new” audience, maybe you should first consider the fools who actually do ask for it and figure out what they like about it, as there might just be some valuable nuggets worth holding onto and the build from these.

Target audience my arse…!

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Wine, emails and kind gestures

October 27, 2021

When the government pulled the plug on our supermarkets in the middle of Covid (if things weren’t miserable enough) from “multi-buy” offers on alcohol and including them in their “loyalty points” or “€10 off 50” deals, it was time to change my drinking habits!

The change of habit wasn’t drinking any less but it was a change as to where I was now going to purchase my wine!!

So instead of typically buying my six bottles as I was doing with my grocery shopping, I had now moved to purchasing a case of 12 from one of the online suppliers!!

The little piece of magic in this whole e-commerce transaction was a timely email (they send them approximately once per fortnight) from the wine supplier with the latest “20% off Italian wine” or “New wines from Portugal” teaser message, which would prompt me to click, click, click, start browsing and then selecting, then to checkout, credit card details please, confirm transaction and presto!

As we have all been working from home getting a case of wine dropped to the front door isn’t an issue as there is always someone here to take it in. Add to that the convenience and the joy of opening a case and seeing what you did actually order.

From the wine suppliers point of view their simple email was a powerful piece of marketing / promotion – their email hits my inbox in the middle of my busy days and it nudges me gently to consider stocking up and despite being really really busy I invariably get diverted for 5 minutes to quickly place the order (in truth it isprobably quicker than browsing the aisles in the wine section of the supermarket and there is extra information about each wine available to me).

Nudge, buy, nudge buy, nudge buy…

This company were emailing me for years BUT it was only when the supermarket scenario changed that they became relevant to me.

The whole process was very effective and efficient and on some days the mixed cases of wine would actually be delivered on the day I placed the order.

I was happily doing this for months and when the 5km restriction lifted I was looking forward to placing an order for some extra special wine as we were about to take a week’s break at beautiful Sheep’s Head in West Cork.

Just to be sure I rang the company the morning before we were due to head off to ask if the delivery would be with us before 2pm the following day – I wanted to be sure we had wine on time and also to be sure it wasn’t sitting outside the front door for a week!

I’m sorry but we can’t guarantee delivery before 48 hours” I was told by the voice that answered..

That’s ok, but I know your deliveries are really prompt. I order from you the whole time, can you at least check with someone?”

Em, no there is nothing I can do, that is our policy” (that response always sets me off…)

Can you please check at least?” …. “No, sorry, that is our policy“.

I was really disappointed and made a mental note to try to find an alternative supplier when we came back from our week’s holiday.

Despite this decision of mine the compelling, well timed emails kept coming every two weeks and I kept ordering until one day when I was making a brief visit to the office I popped into my favourite wine store in town and was delighted to chat to the friendly staff there and asked them to make a special recommendation for a meal that night.

As they were wrapping my purchases I apologised to them for not being in there for a while and explained that I had been working from home during lockdown and resorted to online ordering.

They politely informed me that they did online deliveries, something I never realised but I was surprised as I was sure that I was on some database of theirs.

I told them about the “trick” about the fortnightly e-newsletter that their competitor was employing to great effect and their response to me blew me away..

We don’t like to sell or force ourselves on anyone

Ah come on guys, are you for real? Have you any idea what you are missing out on. Of course it’s selling, but it is also informing and prompting and all part of their service

Eventually they considered what I was saying and said they would mention it to the franchise owner.

Because I really like them (and they do have great wines!) the next time I needed a wine top-up I looked for their website and ordered my case from them and not the other crew.

The order was delivered swiftly and the next time I ordered I was pleasantly surprised to see an extra bottle that I hadn’t ordered come with the delivery as a gift with a special note of thanks from the owner for giving them the business.

To wrap up my “wine story” I have continued to order wine from my favourite wine store, they still don’t send out e-newsletters with offers, news or suggestions which I would really appreciate but I am really happy to give them the business because they are nice and they do appreciate the business.

The biggest irony of all is that when the e-newsletter comes in from their competitor I use their well timed email as a prompt to order from them!

As for the competitor, their regular customer has disappeared and they will never know why unless they spot this change of trend and ask the question…

Mrs “sorry there is nothing I can do” sent me and my business on my way.

The e-commerce lessons we learn from this story:

  • Get online
  • Make sure your customers know about the service
  • Get an e-mail database going and use it tactically and frequently
  • Make it easy for people to sign up
  • Be efficient at processing orders
  • Look at patterns of ordering and try to figure out why when it changes
  • Build a relationship with the customer just like you do in person
  • and remember….there is always something you can do!!

Who is for red?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Ray-ban Stories and some Social Media updates

September 27, 2021

Can you believe we’re nearly at the end of September already?

This year has flown by especially with all the changes social media companies have made so far! Twitter introduced Fleets (their “Stories” knock off) and took it away just as fast, Instagram have decided they’re no longer an image sharing platform and TikTok continues to grow as fast as ever.

Instagram has given us a cheat sheet into how Reels work… Except there’s no real tips in there!

Mainly just keep creating content and engaging with other Creators and Reels. The most interesting titbit from it was if you watch a Reel and then go to the audio page to create a Reel based on that audio, they’ll reward you by pushing it out to a larger audience. However, in that instance you’d need to be ready to go straight away and not create pre-prepared content so it really depends on how comfortable you are with your social media strategy!

In more Reel(s) news (you can really tell they’re desperate to get people using it instead of TikTok!), they are currently testing a “Stories Montage” where users will be able to convert their Instagram Stories into a Reel… An interesting move considering they don’t want users sharing content from their feed to Stories and now they’re encouraging sharing from Stories to Reels? Bit of an odd one!

Twitter is starting to put a bit of effort into business/professional accounts with new “Professional Profiles”. It’s still at the invite stage so not available to everyone yet but once it is, it will enable businesses/brands to showcase more business information in a dedicated, additional profile space in the app. As you can see from the image below, it adds new display elements to your Twitter account, including a business location listing (which people can tap on to open in Google Maps), hours of operation and contact info, all in a new space beneath your main profile. Is this their attempt to move a step closer to a Facebook business page?

LinkedIn continues to see record-high levels of engagement, and are now trying to capitalise on that as best they can. They now have finally introduced Articles for company pages, making it much easier for businesses to now share blog content within the platform and to boost their engagement through users reading the “blog” and staying on LinkedIn. I’m looking forward to see how company pages make use of this new option!

And last but not least… Facebook are at it again!

Following Google and Snapchat, they’ve now introduced their own Facebook glasses. However, taking an interesting twist on it, they’re working on these with Ray Ban so the official name for these smart glasses is actually Ray Ban Stories.

Maybe because from a branding perspective, having Facebook as the leading name on it would lead to people getting worried about privacy as well as not being very cool! They have come out to say that the content will not be automatically uploaded to Facebook, the user will have the option to edit and choose what they want to post to either Facebook or Instagram. But with Facebook, who knows how any of the information recorded will actually be used to advertise and target users. I will say, as someone who genuinely loved her Snapchat glasses… I really want a pair of these, they look so much trendier!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.

E-Newsletter : Don’t leave your brand behind

June 17, 2021

I received an email newsletter from a really fantastic brand this week that featured special offers, new products, deal bundles and suggestions for Father’s Day gifts.

Visually it was executed well as I have come to expect from the brand, with superb photography that showcased the quality product range perfectly, clearly placing it the very “premium” category, which it most certainly is in.

However, there was one huge, but very simple thing missing from the e-newsletter.

They left a big part of their brand behind, and in the “click of an email campaign” they managed to relegate who they were to a lower league and they became another commodity retailer.

Even though they have my name there was no personalised “Hi Greg” and there was no attempt anywhere to start the communication with a friendly on brand message, nor any attempt to briefly update me on the recent exciting developments (things relevant to the reader) in their business.

The view might be that people have no time for any of that when they are online and it should be “BOOM” lets get straight down to business, but the crazy thing is that this company is the total opposite of this – they pride themselves on customer service and the relationship with their customers, and in person there is no one better but for some reason on this occasion they left so much of what makes them special outside the door!

The big lesson in this ….don’t leave who you are outside the door just because it is an online e-commerce transaction.

Greg

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service PR and Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork

Social Media Updates and Trends

March 22, 2021

It’s been a busy year for social media platforms so far!

From sea shanties taking over TikTok to newish platform Clubhouse gaining traction and our great friend Trump getting banned from every social media platform – remember that? It feels like forever ago!.

Social media is still as prevalent as ever and necessary for businesses to help build their online presence and we can help keep you focused and up to date!

We offer training to help create focused social media strategies and plans and then specific, bespoke training on the relevant social media platforms for individuals or teams to execute that strategy.

(Click here to learn more)

Facebook just can’t help getting into hot water these days… Their most recent foray into angering everyone has been to ban Australian news publishers from the platform after a disagreement with the government there about some new commercial and payment rules they were introducing.

They have finally come to an agreement or compromise depending on how you’d like to look at it with the Australian government including 4 amendments to their new Media Buying Code which should give Facebook more time to negotiate with the separate media publishers in Australia. It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses and affects worldwide news publishers – one to keep an eye on!

Remember the panic in January when WhatsApp announced they would be changing their terms of service and everyone started downloading Telegram and Signal? They’re currently launching their second attempt to update their terms and conditions but this time making everything much clearer to avoid any backlash. This change in no way affects personal accounts, it is only meant to make business to consumer conversations easier and they’ll be adding the below banners in the app to ensure their customers of this.

Instagram are continuing to try and make Reels popular within the app. Their newest move is to limit the reach of people repurposing their TikTok content to encourage creators to use the Reels software to create their content. However the TikTok sharers have figured out ways around this by removing the watermark… It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses. I personally find that the content on Reels is about two weeks behind a popular TikTok trend, so if Instagram can use this new content creation effort to force users to create original content, it might start making the platform more engaging!

In other Instagram news, they have just announced that they’ll be expanding the amount of people who can participate in a “live” stream calling it “live rooms”. Now the person hosting can add up to the three more guests to contribute to the stream, which could be very useful for businesses looking to engage with their followers and their online community. An idea could be to host a “live” with three other accounts that could give valuable insights to your followers and through this your Instagram account can build itself as a leading voice within your community.

For more information click here

Are you sick of every platform jumping on the “Stories” bandwagon?

Well, it looks like they’re here to stay so get used to seeing Fleets, LinkedIn Stories and soon Story Pins will be coming to Pinterest!

Do you use Tweetdeck to monitor Twitter and schedule your Tweets? There’s a rumour that they’re looking into charging for this very useful tool so just keep an eye on our social media for an update on this because it’s the one tool I can’t do without!

To stay informed of any social media updates, keep an eye on our @FuzionComms and @AlmaBrosnan Twitter accounts, as we’ll be sharing any new information. You might also tune into our latest Win Happy social media episode with me, Ciara Jordan, our Head of Communications and Greg Canty (the vocal one, who you all know!) where we discuss these trends and censorship online.

Until next time..

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.


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