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Tesco – who, what, when, where, why?

28 Jul

By Tim McKane


Tesco is in the news again. Sales are falling, they are being hit by the arrival of Lidl and Aldi. The ‘big box’ out of towns stores which can be over 100,000 square feet are already out of date in the digital age, as more and more people go online to search and buy a wider range of goods. (Remember how short a time it is since people were saying that they would not buy on line?)

There are numerous changes in the market that will be impacting on Tesco. But I think that it is an old marketing element that has caused a lot of their problems.


Brands need clarity. People need to know that a brand will deliver a solution. The core value of Tesco when it was moving with a head of steam to become the largest retailer in the country by some way, was that they were the best value grocery stores with a great range at the best prices.

But that has changed. A visit to the store in Knocknagoney, recently refurbished tells us all we need to know.

Walk in the front door and you are met with all sorts of new in store shops. A phone shop. A beauty and pharmacy area. Clothes. Toys. Kitchen equipment. Electrical goods. Books. Videos.

But I want a loaf of bread.

And for that I have to walk to the very back of the store. So guess what. I am not going to drop into Tesco unless we need a number of items. I do drop into Tesco, and I wander around looking and browsing the wide range of goods, but how many TVs do I need?

The mind of the consumer is the life blood of a brand, and that is where Tesco need to fight the fight. Lidl and Aldi are delivering groceries at low prices. Simple.

If I were managing Tesco Knocknagoney, I would be thinking about putting the groceries at the front of the store. People are not stupid. They know that they are being sold to, but the main reason for going to Tesco is to buy food, not other goods, so don’t try to sell them first. Yes the margins are better, but if you start to lose your core brand values, it can be a real struggle to get them back.

Offline or online – it is still essential to stay true to your brand – and that is where Tesco have lost their way.


A Simple Guide to Twitter Advertising

22 Jul

By Viki McAdoo

Facebook has become the social media advertising king in recent times but Twitter has started to challenge it in some pretty interesting ways. I’m going to give you a quick crash course in how to get your mind around Twitter advertising.

Twitter Advertising Blog

Set up your credit card details and you’ll get £25 free advertising credit from the powers that be at Twitter!

There are a couple of options for campaign types on Twitter, I’ll explain them below.

Twitter Advertising 2

Promoted Tweets are…

Like regular Tweets but they get a little boost. They come up in Twitter feeds like normal Tweets but have a little “promoted” symbol below them. Of course they can still be retweeted, replied to and favourited. They will reach more people and are great to encourage click-throughs to your websites or can promote events your business has coming up, plus a lot more.

photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc
Twitter Advertising Promoted Tweet

Promoted Accounts are…

Suggested Twitter accounts that users may be interested in but do not follow yet. You’ll spot them under the “who to follow” suggestions. They are great for reaching potential followers who have a real interest or affiliation with your brand. Promoted accounts are about seeing the bigger picture – rather than just aiming for numbers of followers it is about gaining followers who will drive leads and purchases further down the line.

Twitter Advertising Promoted Account

App instalments & engagements are…

Tweets which focus on promoting either the download of apps or the engagement of users through their apps. They offer users the chance to download the app if they do not already have it, or open it if they have already downloaded it. These are great for targeting people who already have an interest in similar apps and are likely to download your app.

Promoted App

Once you have selected what type of ad is going to produce the best results for your aims fill in the relevant details like campaign name and you start and end dates. If you choose to do an app instalment campaign there are a few extras you’ll need like the app ID which would will get here:

App ID Twitter Advertising

At this stage you will also have to choose between App downloads OR App engagements. For a lot of companies app downloads may seem like the obvious choice but it all depends on what stage you app is in its product life cycle. Promoting it to users that have already struck up a relationship with your brand can be a great way to reignite fresh interest and increase active app users.


Targeting on Twitter is a little different to the targeting you may do for other digital marketing methods. There are four choices for targeting on Twitter:

  • Keywords
  • Interests and followers
  • Television
  • Tailored

Not every option is available for each type of advertising but I’ll give you an overview.


It is always important to select your location carefully. For each campaign I would set the location to Northern Ireland, rather than waste impressions on people who are outside the target area.

Watch out for this each time you are setting up a new campaign.

Twitter Location Setting

If I was a Garden Centre and I was trying to advertise on Twitter, this is how I could use each of the methods…

Targeting using keywords

This is basically using keywords on interests, topics people Tweet about or topics people engage with to grasp and audience that will have an interest in your product. So for my florist I would use:

  • Flowers
  • Gardening
  • Garden
  • BBQ
  • Lawn

To find out more about Broad matches and Phrase matches click here and learn about match types.

Targeting using interests and followers

It is beneficial to target users on their specific interests but to target followers takes a little thought. Before delving into this it is worth researching competitors on Twitter as well as people of public interest in the area you are targeting. For my Garden Centre in Newtownards I would target the following:

Twitter Targeting using followers

The box on the right hand side give lots of useful information about how the targeting will affect your campaign.

#TopTip make sure you put as @ sign and the exact user name of the account you want to use.

By then adding in an interest category can broaden your reach…

Twitter Targeting Followers and Interests

Targeting using television

Targeting using television can be a great way to reach emerged used who are already interested in your topic but it is also a clever way to think outside the box (excuse the pun) and think about users other interests that may not be directly linked to your product. I have used a mixture of gardening TV shows, a TV personality and soaps to reach potential new customers in the area.

Twitter TV Targeting Advertising

Targeting using tailored audiences

Tailored audiences can be used to reach audiences by outlining potential and existing clients. You can base these lists on web browsing behaviour – such as people who have visited the barbeque section of the Garden Centre site, – email address or Twitter IDs – all which may already be managed in a CRM system.

The further customisation of your campaign can be done in a couple of ways, these are outlined below:

  • Customize where Promoted Tweets appear (users timelines or search results). This will depend on
  • Limit targeting to specific devices (iPad, iPhone, Android etc.) This is useful when promoting App instalments for specific devices and impressions are not wasted.
  • Limit targeting my gender
  • Limit targeting by language
  • Limit targeting by excluding list audiences (using email or Twitter ID lists)


Twitter offers you a couple of budgeting options

Twitter Advertising Budgets

It is always good to put in a total budget even though it is optional. This help keep campaigns within budgets and is more manageable. Daily budgets are required and by setting them alongside a total budget you can calculate the possible length of your campaign.


Standard: Your ad will be shown as evenly as possible throughout the day

Accelerated: Ads are shown as often as possible from 00:00 onwards. This is very rarely a useful pacing technique unless your aim is simply brand awareness.


For Promoted Tweets and Accounts you will also need to select the Tweet you want to promote. Doing this manually ensure you are promoting the message you want to and are creating a campaign all based around the same promotion. You can also do it automatically for Promoted Tweets. This lets Twitter promote up to five of your best recent Tweets with the highest engagements. However this doesn’t mean you will get the best results or the message across that you want.

The key to setting up a successful Twitter campaign is clearly outlining your aims before you start and then working out which targeting method will get the best results for you. This can take a while at the start but advertising on Twitter is a great method for reaching potential clients who have already expressed an interest in either your type of product or the general area you work in.





A simple guide to yesterday’s AdWords changes.

23 Apr

By Jonny Cameron

Make more changes with less risk, across more devices and channels. Yesterday Google announced up and coming changes to Adwords (Announced 22/04/2014). Here’s what you need to know.

The Google team have summarised the reasoning behind the changes as follows: “ads are now most effective when they connect people with the information, content and places that matter most to them.” In other words, it’s time to make campaigns more flexible.

Apps are the future (in case you didn’t know)

They have therefore taken the initiative over competitors like Bing and dived head first into the app market. The downloading of apps is only going to grow and Google are attempting to improve the targeting. You’ll soon be able to target users based on the types of app they have previously  downloaded. e.g. want to promote a wedding venue? target those that have downloaded bridal magazines, wedding dress apps and the myriad of other things people look for when organising a wedding.  Even more exciting will be the ability to re-engage with people that have previously downloaded your app. We’ve all done it, you download farmyard noises app or the retro games app, only to leave it unused and clogging up your phone’s memory. suggests that 80% of all downloaded apps are only used once. Soon you’ll be able to create ads that direct users to apps they have already installed. Remind them why they installed it in the first place and warrant the time and money you invested in creating the thing!

What else is happening?

You may or may not have dabbled with paid-for third party management tools when managing your Adwords account. Well it looks like these will soon become largely superfluous. New changes include:

  • Make bulk changes, including settings like geography, time and bids.
  • Automate bidding to maximise conversions – allow Google to amend bids based on settings that have historically converted more.
  • Better reporting – no more slicing, dicing, copying and pasting (or forking out for management software). You’ll be able to easily download charts, graphs and my favourite of them all… the pie chart!

Jumping on the Breaking Bad bandwagon

It could be the effects of Breaking Bad (you know how they set up a meth lab) or it could just be a coincidence, but Google are rolling out “your very own lab” allowing you to experiment with bid changes, new keywords, different campaign settings, special bids for times and locations, different kinds of ad formats, and more.

Find out more about paid search advertising here

Why your social media community probably hates you

15 Apr

By Jonny Cameron

It’s time re-evaluate what you’re using social media for and to understand what your social media community really thinks of you.

angry man


Likes, followers and engagements; the simplistic trilogy for measuring success, used by myopic social media managers and accepted as valid digital marketing goals by businesses who don’t know any better.

These are often known as “vanity metrics”, especially when compared to the value gained from time and money invested in other digital marketing channels.

Our experience suggests that if you aren’t an ecommerce business, the chances of you selling via Facebook are far reduced compared to investing time and money in organic and paid search engine marketing. So why bother adding likes to your Facebook page and followers to your Twitter account with all the gay abandon of a digital marketer who’s travelled to the future from the year 2007?

What’s the value of “liking” something?

Have a look at have summarised it nicely “Because you don’t ‘like’ everything”. It’s difficult to gauge sentiment by looking at the way in which your posts have been interacted with. There’s a danger of taking every @mention on Twitter as an endorsement. There’s also a trend on Twitter of responding to people to thank them for following you. It’s all very well reporting on 50 @ mentions over the past month, when 48 of them have been from accounts thanking you for following them. If these matter to you then just follow as many people as possible and you’ll have loads of @ mentions.

More useful is to measure the number of @replies or retweets as a sign of social amplification.
Lumping all mentions and all interactions into one analysis gives you no indication of affinity, which means you’re getting no real feedback on what people think of you.

Measuring sentiment

If you can find out the type of posts that your fans like then you can give them more. Think of a Facebook strategy that will increase engagement, getting your content in front of more people, more often and that will then help you to achieve your digital marketing goals. These don’t always have to be selling directly, but they should certainly be more than merely increasing the number of Facebook likes you have. Social media monitoring sites like attempt to give you a breakdown of the sentient surrounding a specific theme in terms of the positive or negative language used by your the community. You’ll need to go beyond this and measure specific interactions. How many mentions, retweets and shares were positive? How many customer interactions had positive outcomes? Can you compare this to the value and cost of a positive customer interaction on other channels, e.g. a call centre?

Measuring other things

And it’s not all about sentiment. What are you using social media for, really? The option is there to save yourself money by using it as a customer service tool. Set a realistic time for which you are able to respond to people, demonstrate the ability to deal adequately with any complaints and turn any negatives into positives.

Ok, so your social media community may not hate you, but it really is time to look beyond the numbers!

Facebook verses Pinterest: Who will help you sell more?

7 Apr

By Dee Jardine

Pinterest like many social networking sites is all about personal expression.  However, unlike other social networking sites less than 20% of Pinterest’s images contain faces. Users share images of things they love with their friends, including products they would like to own or that reflect their personality. For certain brands Pinterest has huge potential for sharing images of their products to inspire users to purchase. Here’s why Pinterest is so powerful.


We are hearing more and more often how the impact of Facebook for brands is diminishing, with edge rank scaling down the audience who see your posts, and little interaction from those that do. Pinterest is the place to be for engagement, with levels on Pinterest are at an all-time high. Around  80% of Pins are re-pinned from elsewhere on the site.

There’s no need to target, those pinning your images will help do this for you.  Over half of users connect with other users with similar interests and follow their “Boards”.  If an image of your product is pinned you can get this image in front of a large audience who are actively engaged in your type of product – as they’ve already chose to follow the Boards your image has been pinned on.

pinterest boards

User intent

Around 58% of Pinterest users claim they would follow a brand on Pinterest to provide inspiration for future purchases, and roughly 29% pin images in order to come back to come back to them later.  Countless boards have been created on the app from everything from home inspiration to wedding and honeymoon planning, fitness motivation to personal style and beauty. Users on Pinterest aren’t on the site to share photos from their weekend, network or catch up on the latest gossip like the majority of vast social media sites, they enjoy and choose to browse for product ideas.

Around 75% of Pinterest traffic comes from mobile apps

Pinterest users in the UK are growing significantly, between 2012 and 2013 unique users from within the UK grew by two and a half times.  The majority of these users are choosing to access the site from their phone.  With the number of sales from mobile devices increasing year on year businesses on Pinterest have a lot to gain.  Pinterest posts can be linked back to your company website.  Create the right landing pages for each post.   When users click through to your website ensure purchasing is as easy as possible for your customers, by taking them straight to the product they’ve pinned.

Secret Boards

Due to the popularity of Secret Boards earlier this year Pinterest made the number of secret boards a user can create unlimited.  Secret Boards hold further potential for brands to increase their sales.  Users can pin gift ideas in secret to come back to when they are ready to purchase, or pin surprise event plans or ideas for their wedding that they don’t want to make public until the day.

You can use secret boards in many ways to help your business.  You can use it to collaborate with members of your team for an event you’re planning or project you are working on.  You can even pin competitor’s posts in private for your own research.


Google maps is changing, here’s what you need to know

31 Mar

By Andrew Thompson

As Google continues to streamline the search process the opportunities are growing for small businesses to increase their market.

Google maps now allow full interaction allowing the user to “click anywhere and the map will focus on that location, showing you helpful things like related places and the best ways to get there”.  Turning the old substitute for a sat nav into a “tailored map” with ability to highlight things that are important to the consumer, encouraging them to spend their money on things they enjoy.

Embed from Getty Images

You are in a town you don’t know visiting a friend. You feel like a coffee, but since the area is unknown to you, you haven’t got the slightest idea of where to look, and might even be too embarrassed to ask someone.  With the new Google maps (providing the local company’s Google places is optimised) all the parched caffeine craving individual has to do is type in the search bar “coffee” and the location, for coffee shops in that area to arise which they can eliminate at their leisure.

From the consumers point of view they have had their request satisfied – they have essentially got what they wanted, when they wanted it. From the businesses perspective, they have increased their sales by a particular number in which would most likely not have happened otherwise.

With both locals and internationals using the application in a particular area, it will allow for the flow of money which is injected into local businesses and communities to increase. These local businesses then give back to the community in the form of wages, taxes and the purchase of supplies.

These may only increase daily units of sales by a small margin compared to what they would usually get, BUT if you multiply these extra sales by the amount of days commerce a year – it doesn’t take long before they start adding up.


Ho Ho Ho – Christmas goes Digital

26 Nov

This Christmas is seeing digital marketing come of age. That is not to say that the big retailers are not using the traditional tools for communicating their messages, after all Christmas revolves around tradition, but digital is now mainstream too.

Marks and Spenser is a tradition, an institution, part of the British culture, more than a store. When they decided to launch their Christmas campaign where did they start? Outdoor, TV, Radio, Press? No. They launched their fairy tale ad through social media channels to be viewed on laptops, tablets and mobiles. They pushed out teasers through Instagram and the ad was shown on Facebook and YouTube (over 800,000 views on YT to date, nearly 1.5 million likes on FB) while they also updated their mobile app, all before putting the ad on television (See the ad here Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, the retailer’s executive director of marketing and business development told Marketing Week:

“Brands are all about interaction and conversation and the role of digital at large is to create conversations. Social media gives us a voice to our consumers, letting us engage with them through the journey.”

They are not alone. John Lewis ( has got over 7 million, yes 7,000,000 views on YouTube. All those people have chosen to watch an ad. Think about how much more valuable those views are than the TV audience.  Next, Argos and many others are now using content marketing as a core part of their activity, pushing more information out to inform and persuade people to shop with them.

Using technology, brands are encouraging sharing on social sites, thereby getting their customers to do some marketing for them. The M&S customer is often an advocate as well, and has an emotional brand attachment that makes them want to share with their friends.

The social channels make the investment in the production of the ads much more justifiable. Spending a few million on making the films can be set against the number of people that see it on television but also through the social channels. A share has huge value as it is a third party endorsement, friends saying “Hey – Look at this – I really like it!”

As shopping itself diversifies, the marketing is chasing hard to keep up with the customer, being where they are, not where they used to be. If I have one quibble it is the ads themselves. They are derivative, with echoes of Harry Potter, Disney and others running through them. The media channels are advancing, but the creative needs to rise to the challenge too.