11th January 2020
Zero based budgeting
We believe that it’s all about making a compelling case for your next spend with a great marketing agency. Subtle huh? So rather than brief us based on what you have left in the pot, build the plan from level zero. We can help you with the early stages of the thinking and then you can figure out where you want to take your brand and what you need to get there. We have a bunch of super simple briefs which ask useful questions to help distill it all down. Feel free to drop us a line if you’d like to sound us out. We like a good puzzle and make great TEA.
Everyone loves a meeting where all parties are enthusiastically saying “yes we can” to everything. That feeling when we’re all incredibly aligned and the project is speeding along smoothly. So good. But to get there, there will be moments when we at TEA might gently question things. It’s not about disrupting the project and making things awkward, but more about checking in on the assumptions that have been made. Does the strategy fit the objectives and is the plan 100% tickety boo and on point? So yes we will occasionally, say “no, not yet” to get to arrive at the right destination.
X – Rated
Now that got your attention! Pushing the boundaries of taste and decency can create a wave of admiration, deliver a punchy message and create huge stand out, but go cautiously on playing that card. That casual swearing to sound more youth or post watershed cuts of your TV ad can wear thin and polarise existing and new consumers. Certain times of year, like Xmas or The Holidays don’t need reinventing with louder, brasher, more edgy versions. Mainstream consumers actually love the warm fluffies of nostalgia, indulgence and kindness. Turn that on its head and it can backfire. Kaboom.
Websites sounds so nineties, right? While social networks are clearly important to reach new consumers, collecting primary data from the mothership is still vital. You are then in charge of your one to on relationship and not slave to an algorithm. Spend time figuring out what the reason for your web presence should be. Is it for selling products, promoting services or simply entertaining and informing? Then the next big question is what to build it on? Then what is this SEO business, how much video do I need, how much to invest for a minimum viable product? What is your customer journey? How are they getting to you and what pages do you want them to see first? Then the next question is how do you future proof it? Websites can be costly and by the time you have suited and booted it, the next generation of technology is out. Be mindful of changes and make sure you’re thinking ahead. It can feel like jogging through a minefield blindfolded. The good news is that we’re here to shine a light. But not directly in your eyes
Another business buzzword often used in loads of different ways is Value. We like to think of value in three ways; business value, consumer value and cultural value. Business value: long and short-term growth, greater efficiency and enhanced productivity. Consumer value: attitudes and behaviours that effect brand choice, frequency and loyalty. Finally cultural value: shared beliefs that create a favourable environment in which to operate and influence. At TEA we can help you figure out where you can create value and which levers to pull to deliver the optimum value for your next marketing move. Valuable stuff.
Woof. We love an underdog from Brewdog beers to Under Armour and our musoe pals at Traxsource. The more your target audience identifies with the underdog’s story the more powerful that brand can be. They are usually loud and opinionated with a good heart.They aim to polarise pushing the consumer to make a decision between choosing the vibrant and out their underdog or muted and sensible leader. We also get that it’s a big world out there and not every culture sees the underdog as a wondrous beast to cheer on for example in Northern India it’s all about extrovert status and success. Whatever your Challenger Brand mascot wear it with pride, want to take our challenger brand quiz? Find out more here!
Milk no sugar please. UK Tea company Tetely commissioned research from Nottingham Trent University to understand tea drinking habits. They discovered there are over 24 million different methods to make a cup of tea. Those differences are there but nuanced, and we enjoy these kind of subtle details. So while TEA is a neat acronym, and us marketeers love an acronym, the idea that something so everyday can become so personal to you is fascinating. We’re always on the look out for interesting insights around habit forming behaviours to ensure the marketing we do is actually made for humans, tea drinkers or not.
According to our mates at Global Web Index, we typically spend 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every day. If you’re in the 16-24 year old age group then it peaks at 3 hours. Love it or loathe it, social media is part of our daily diet and designed to be highly addictive. A bit like sugar. At TEA, we are up close and personal with all the overnight algorithm changes to ensure the content we produce for our clients and communities we speak to, continue to see the posts that have become part of their own habitual consumption. Amazonia’s healthy eating inspiration is a stunning example.
Your brand won’t be around for long if it doesn’t have a real, authentic human aspect to how it presents itself. That doesn’t mean you have to lose the glamour of your well constructed image or apply a friendly tone to all your communications, it simply means be straight with what you’re offering your consumer and they will return the favour with trust. Radical transparency has its place and isn’t really that radical anymore. The pretenders will be outed.Take greenwashing as example, you can burn your plastic coated organic cotton brand in one spectacular, petrochemical flash. Keep it real.
The dictionary definition is an adjective which describes a noun as “having or characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects”. Black sheep, red heads, double jointedness, double yolkers, 4 leaf clovers, wonky British teeth, we love a quirk. Really though it’s more than that. It’s about trying out many perspectives when solving problems, spotting the negative space, seeing the surprises, finding the funnies and sharing all the feels. It’s about embracing diversity through the people we work with and the ideas we champion. Long live the quirk.
We put people first. Whether it’s staff, clients, their customers or our community – we put people before profit. Why? Because we believe that having purpose, creates a unified tribe and company culture that in the end results in profit. We want to work with a super engaged team not those who are coasting or clock watching. We make time for that 4pm meditation, a quick round of uno or fetch with the office dog. We encourage input and welcome ideas across the team and we’re never siloed. It’s how we roll and we like it like that.
Warning, we are about to geek out. Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance. “Source code” is the part of software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a “program” or “application”—works. Programmers who have access to a computer program’s source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly. Why do we need to know this? Simply because you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your next digital product, check out the off the shelf solutions first.
We love this old adage, never underestimate the power of new. It’s not just about shouting about new inventions, new takes on established ideas, it can also be about reframing your brand story or highlighting a new way your product or service is being used. Breathing new life into old stuff aka vintage, recycling to create new materials and showing old movies to a new audience or remixing tracks to reach a new generation of music fans are just some of the ways to create newness.
Owned, earned, bought media, however you define it is fascinating space. It’s estimated that we’re exposed to around 5,000 ads a day which means over 1.8m ads a year. No wonder digital detox and ad blocking has become natural defence mechanisms. According to the IAB, who have been tracking ad blocking for the past 4 years, Ad blocking levels have been relatively stable for the past three years – 22.6% of GB Online Adults claim to currently be blocking ads. So really it’s done to agencies like TEA to provide a better advertising experience and remind people about the value exchange.
Sometimes people get this networking super machine confused with Facebook and start adding puppy photos and birthdays snaps but not at TEA. We get it. We use it along with 660M (and counting) active professionals. There are ad packages to target them by job title, function, industry, and more. Check out the LinkedIn Success Hub for the latest insights. The Watercooler is particularly interesting, every month they take a deeper look into the articles that are receiving the most engagement — comments, shares, and likes. Useful inspo!
We understand that knowledge is power. Here at TEA we’re all about leveraging the best minds and industry thinking to deliver inspiring work. Talking of minds, we are all about growth mindsets and continuous learning within the TEAm and with our clients. We are always looking to improve and always open to fresh approaches. If we don’t have the answers we will figure it out or phone a friend. Emotional intelligence is highly prized and happily a skill to be honed. We value your EQ more than your IQ as marketing is essentially understanding people and put them front and centre of everything you do.
Marketing has a special reputation for jargon. How we bang on about essence, distilling, take-outs and slip into the fast and confusing CPI, CPT, CPM, CTA and CRMs. You’d think we’re back in class with Bunsen burners, petri dishes and the periodic table. However the reality is some of the lingo is there to help clearly articulate this arts meets science world and the other stuff like ideation, smarketing (WTF) and funnels just make us queasy. So while we may add a little bit of marketing chat for spice, we’ll promise to mainly, stick to plain English.
From micro-influencers ruling the niches to global Kardashian phenomena, influencers have carved out a tidy income and a relatively new industry. When it comes to selecting the right influencer for your brand, take great care to find ambassadors who are genuine, there are many fakes in the market. They need to wholly align with your brand values and don’t charge silly money. Tracking the effectiveness of influencer marketing can also be a murky business, so ensure you are joining up the different data sets and measuring as best you can. Remember you need to amplify your influencer campaign through paid spend. It’s the ultimate digital ecosystem!
Not to be confused with the kind of cyber attack that crashes your laptop and empties your bank account. We are talking about those delicious shortcuts, or digital tricks you never knew about. Look out for easy peasy hacks from us at TEA throughout the year. Here’s an Insta taster for you. For FREE. Insta Stories can carry hashtags. You can do it two ways, firstly creating a hashtag sticker and changing the text. Or use the text tool and the # symbol to type out the hashtag the same way you would on a photo or video post. You can shrink your hashtags or even hide them behind an emoji, sticker, or GIF. Natch.
We’re not talking about the epic Cadbury’s ad with guerilla on drums, playing away to Genesis type of marketing. This genre of marketing has actually been around since the 80s. It’s about taking the consumer by surprise and making a big impression about the brand. This in turn creates buzz about the featured product or service. Done well, it’s brilliantly memorable and shareable. These campaign tread a fine line, often asking for forgiveness than permission. They are super attention grabbing and daring without landing the marketing team to jail or creating swathes of negative publicity. And definitely not tested on animals.
Feel good brands
From Tony’s Chocolonely to Lush and Headspace. Brands which do good make us feel good. We can learn a lot from those on a mission to improve the world and empower consumers to make smart choices and live their best lives. Let’s not forget the music. Music has an incredible power to motivate, change moods and be a vehicle for self expression amongst all demographics (not just the youth). We’re super proud to work with globally recognised labels, artists and festivals, telling their stories and engaging with their fans. Thank you for the [feel good] music.
We only work with brands who share our values. Ethical marketing is our thing, it drives us to deliver the best possible work because we know it comes from the best possible place. It’s more than a fad or a trend, it’s part of our DNA. Environmental issues came to the fore in 2019, with plastic bottles and Greta Thunberg on every feed, and quite rightly. As the bigger, less agile brands accelerate their response to this trend focussing on packaging and the supply chain, we can help champion other big social issues like gender pay gaps, modern slavery and mental health.
It’s more than colouring in you know. It’s form, function, expression, individuality, symbolism. It communicates so much in one visual hit. It can be 2D, 3D, motion, product, UX or UI. Great designers understand the need to think about what it is that the customer wants, and what will pique their interest. They put themselves in the consumers’ shoes and can empathise. We have a few of these colourful birds at TEA. They create the visual dimension to a compelling brand story and can breathe life into the most complex of briefs. Life is better with design.
Having a strong sense of social purpose is essential, moving on from the triple bottom line and in a world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complex and ambiguous) consumers expect it. When it comes to marketing, Carolyn Tate has a neat definition: “Conscious Marketing is all about promoting your offering with honesty, transparency and congruency with messages of joy, hope, love and humanity”
Ultimately your business will be sustainable and profitable because your product or service and your message will make the world a better place. However, brands will need more than purpose to ‘take a stand’ successfully, actions speak louder than headlines. Let’s not forget being conscious has to be sincere, it’s not about greenwashing, it’s about really sincerely making a difference.
Ideas and how we tell the stories are everything. This is how we influence behaviour and ultimately build brands. Why do you want to build brands? To avoid commoditising your product or service and only competing on price. Creating a compelling brand narrative is one way to differentiate and can be a handy strategy when media budgets are modest. Telling and showing your story in a joined up and consistent way will, over time, pay back. The catch though is that there’s no magic formula for brand building over activation. What we do know is that brand equity for brands who just focus on activation and short term sales don’t stick around for long.
Keeping up with the developments in Martech really keeps us on our toes. Marketing automation has the potential to revolutionise the more complex multichannel customer communications. It’s efficient, it’s smart and can provide a more personalized experience for customers. There’s a difference between ESPs, Marketing automation and CRM. But let’s not get too hung up on the semantics around the definitions of automation and think what tech out there can do a better job than my humans? In choosing the ideal marketing automation set-up, check out purchasing services from different vendors and combine them as an alternative to an all-in-one or cloud solution.