Blaze places WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
Two steps ahead.

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Blaze Advertising’s knowledge and deep expertise in Employer Branding has been recognised once again with an award win for their EVP, recruitment strategy, and brand development work with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. The agency has had long standing success in delivering outstanding and award-winning Employer Branding work for some of the most well known brands in Australia, from big financial sector names to every day consumer brands.

The Employer Brand and Recruitment campaign “2 steps ahead” created for multinational engineering, design and professional services firm WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff won the “Best Recruitment Campaign” category of the prestigious Australian HR Awards 2016.

With a concept that reinforces WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s performance-driven and agile nature, the “2 steps ahead” idea promotes the firm’s visionary attitude – in a way that leaves competitors behind. Taking this strong leadership statement, the ‘two steps ahead’ idea was also a great fit visually – as the WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff logo already contains 2 steps in side-on perspective in their corporate logo.

Using real employees from the organisation’s 6 core business areas for the campaign, the company’s personnel were photographed in various stages of movement, showcasing the forward thinking and the “2 steps ahead” mentality that the company promotes from within. The integrated campaign included print, social and digital elements for maximum impact.

Siobhan Savage, Talent Acquisition Executive at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff said combining the firm’s in-house expertise with Blaze’s creative energy has resulted in a winning campaign. ‘As a business we were clear this campaign had to serve three purposes – to support us to recruit progressive, high-performing applicants, to reinforce our brand and to positively influence our workplace culture. Blaze worked closely with us to meet all these objectives and to top it off, we are now finalists in a national industry award. Our area of expertise is highly competitive, so it’s vital to stay front of mind with both graduate and experience hire candidates. The strategic thinking and creativity of this campaign has given our organisation a real point of difference in the market – and we’re seeing excellent results in terms of quality candidate applications. The campaign has also been very effective at not just making those wanting to join us more aware of what our organisation achieves in terms of an incredible scope of projects across Australia and New Zealand, it’s also allowed our own people to share in the pride of what we do. ‘2 Steps Ahead’ has really provided a rallying point for our business culture, as well as our people.”

The Millennial paradox: A generation uncovered

Millennial Generation Paradox

Millennial Paradox:  A Generation Uncovered.

It is a great irony that millennials are the biggest and most talked-about generation ever, yet they are also the most misunderstood.1 They represent over a quarter of the global population and will dominate world politics and culture for decades to come.2 Despite this, most analyses that attempt to define them are contradictory, counterintuitive, or downright confusing. And yet, any brand wanting to secure its future knows it must capture the millennial imagination.

So instead of talking about millennials, we let them talk to each other, and we listened in. Using an innovative sharing-based tool, we conducted extensive research into how people of this generation relate to brands. We established an online research community, and for three weeks we interacted daily with 142 millennial participants between the ages of 18 and 34. Located in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and China, these participants were given a series of social activities designed to reveal how they felt about their favourite brands. Their responses were then compared with secondary research and proprietary data from our BrandAsset® Valuator, the world’s largest database of information on consumer brand perception. The project uncovered why millennials are so hard to define: The millennial world is one of numerous paradoxes.3 Here are the eight you should know about.

1. I love you, I hate you

Millennials have mixed feelings about their favourite brands. Although they are loyal and have better brand knowledge than other generations, they also display considerable antipathy toward the brands they know best. In fact, five of their 20 most loved brands also feature in their 20 most hated list—including Apple, Nike, and Microsoft.4 One research participant said that although she considered McDonald’s “evil” in terms of its impact on the health of Americans, it was her go-to brand whenever she wanted to treat herself. Brands wanting to make use of this paradox need to, as one participant put it, “cut the bullshit” and be as truthful as possible. One example of a brand that does honesty well is Domino’s Pizza. With locations around the world, changing its brand perception—and the ingredients of its core pizza offering—was a major challenge. Domino’s launched “the pizza apology,” an entire ad campaign dedicated to the blunt admission that its pizza was bad, and apologised to consumers for making them eat it. Domino’s then reconceived its pizza and let consumers know that drastic changes had been made, leading to an 11.9 percent increase in revenues and a 130 percent increase in stock price in the year following the campaign.5 Consumers appreciated Domino’s transparency and were willing to give the brand another chance because of its honesty and accessibility.

The Millennial Paradox Industry News Blaze Advertising August 2016

The Millennial Paradox:  An example of a brand that does honesty well is Domino’s Pizza.

2. Self-indulgent sharers

Millennials have popularised the sharing economy. They love Airbnb, Zipcar, and Uber. They don’t define themselves by ownership but by access and are careful with their money. Except, that is, when they aren’t. Many of our research participants agreed with the statement “When I do go shopping I spend much more than I thought I would.” And Nielsen data confirmed this was the case. Even though they have fewer resources, millennials actually shop as frequently and spend more per trip than the baby boomer generation ($54 per shopping basket compared with $46).6  The lesson here is that brands should not solely focus on responsibility and sharing. If your brand can help millennials live virtuously, do it, but helping them let their hair down, treat themselves, and have fun will be appreciated too, sometimes even more so.

3. Tech with benefits

Millennials are a tech-savvy generation, with 17- to 25-year-olds checking their phones an average of 123 times a day.7 As such, high technological standards are a requirement, not a differentiator. This demographic expects products and services to run well; the backend technology is of little interest beyond function. That’s why tech brands that play the pure innovation card are less successful in terms of differentiation, relevance, and esteem than brands that connect with customers in a more human way.8 Brands should be careful not to hide behind technology and should recognise that it is an enabler of brand building rather than the primary focus. Spotify, the streaming music platform, is a great example. Its brand is about community, fun, and possibilities. It excels functionally, but its primary focus is emotional resonance. For instance, this past year, Coachella festival-goers could create customised playlists via the Coachella microsite on Spotify.com, including music from the artists who were scheduled to perform at the event. The technology behind the capability was irrelevant—what stayed with users was how their festival experience was enhanced as a result.9

The millennial paradox: A generation uncovered Industry News Blaze Advertisng

The millennial paradox: Brands need to recognise that it is an enabler of brand building rather than the primary focus. Spotify, the streaming music platform, is a great example.

4. From virtual to reality

Millennials are digital natives. They buy, learn, and connect online. They live their lives online. But we discovered that they now increasingly crave real-life interactions. Google reported that “Near Me” searches doubled in the last year, and Amazon recently opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle to target consumers looking for an in-person experience.10 This highlights the fact that offline is the new online: Although millennials rely on digital, it doesn’t excite them. It’s the offline experiences that really get them talking and interacting.

<img class="wp-image-3983 size-full" src="http://blazeadvertising.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/5_FINAL_WTEXT cheap priligy 60 mg.jpg” alt=”5_FINAL_WTEXT” width=”759″ height=”420″ srcset=”http://blazeadvertising.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/5_FINAL_WTEXT.jpg 759w, http://blazeadvertising.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/5_FINAL_WTEXT-300×166.jpg 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 759px) 100vw, 759px” />

The millennial paradox:  Amazon recently opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle

5. Nostalgic futurists

Millennials are focused on change, progress, and innovation, and they demand that brands bring this into their lives to help shape the future. But millennials also have their own, unexpected sense of nostalgia, whether it’s about the first online game they played or the first beauty product they were given. Smart brands are not afraid to use this insight. Bud Light’s Coin campaign created a real-life Pac-Man maze not only to make the digital world real, but also to tap into an old-school sense of joy and nostalgia.11 We also see this with Instagram—many of the most used filters are those that turn today’s photos into visions of the past.12

6. Democratise and personalise

Another important paradox is that millennials love democratic, inclusive brands that are accessible to everyone, but they also want to feel special. One participant in our study noted, “I want everything to be accessible to everyone, but when it is for me, I want it customised and unique.” This paradox is understood well by brands like Ikea and Burberry. As a retailer of affordable furniture, Ikea knows the value of democratiaation. But with new offerings like its YouTube customiaation app, users can receive a tailored experience—the app pulls in data from a user’s Facebook page to design the perfect room, just for them. Burberry does something similar with its seasonal poncho offerings: Not only are they more reasonably priced than Burberry’s standard line, the ponchos come monogrammed with a customer’s own initials, making them both democratic and personaliaed, and the sort of product that appeals strongly to millennials.

Burberry-Prorsum-Womenswear-Autumn_Winter-2014-Show-Final_001

7. The cynical optimists

Millennials are optimistic about the impact brands can have on the future. They tend to be impressed by companies like Innocent, which donates 10 percent of profits to organisations helping reduce global hunger.13 That said, millennials are also fantastically cynical. The digital world is transparent, and millennials are able to look behind every statement made by a brand. The message to brands here is to promise only what you can; if you can’t make the world a better place, then don’t say you will. Instead, focus on what you do—and celebrate it. Pet food brand Pedigree’s campaign We’re for Dogs is a great, successful example of this approach. Adweek summed up the campaign perfectly: “Some people are for the whales. Some are for the trees. Pedigree is for dogs, because ‘Dogs rule.’”14

8. That’s nice, but what’s in it for me?

Millennials maintain relationships on social networking channels, but they aren’t tripping over themselves to become fans or followers of brands in this way. That is, unless of course there is something in it for them. More than 50 percent said they would share information if they were to receive something from a brand in return, such as vouchers or discounts. This is more than twice the number any other generation would agree to.15 So brands need to be sure
to demonstrate that they add value before asking for data, input, or collaboration. For example, health insurance provider John Hancock lowers premiums for consumers who allow it access to their Fitbit and mobile data, while auto insurers like State Farm, Progressive, and Allstate offer drivers hundreds of dollars of discounts in exchange for real-time data about how their customers are driving.

The millennial paradox: A generation uncovered Industry News Blaze Advertising

The millennial paradox: A generation uncovered

Go further

To appeal to millennials, we strongly believe that brands need to be aware of and willing to act on these eight paradoxes. But it doesn’t stop there. As the most diverse generation ever—and one that is constantly changing—millennials should not be considered a homogenous audience. There are striking similarities within this demographic in all the countries we researched, but there are also inconsistencies driven by the eight paradoxes we uncovered. By redefining the millennial audience as a nuanced group with myriad, often contradictory opinions and expectations, brands can more successfully resonate with distinct groups of millennials.

To truly connect with this audience, brand managers should consider the following to fine-tune their activities:

  • Navigation: Make a clear distinction between the consistencies you can build on and the paradoxes you have to navigate. Understanding what makes individuals in your target audience similar to one another is just as important as understanding what makes them unique, and your brand strategy should take both aspects into account.
  • Data: Relentlessly analyze the customer data you collect to understand the unique drivers of your customers’ behavior, and then find interesting ways to make your brand more attractive and useful to them. Knowing what drives your millennial consumers and what they desire enables you to be more relevant and indispensible to their lives.
  • Communities: Seek out and engage communities of interest that exist within the millennial audience. As with any target group, you’ll find foodies, pet lovers, tech geeks, and sports fanatics, among others, whom you can address in distinct, customized ways.
  • Situations: Ruthlessly exploit your brand’s situational equity—that is, when and why it’s useful in a particular instance—and optimize your brand to capitalize on key moments when consumers interact with you.

Only by grasping these four directives will brands be agile enough to meet the ever-changing demands of this paradoxical generation, today and tomorrow.

Download the full, printable article.

  1. Richard Fry, “Millennials overtake baby boomers as America’s largest generation,” Pew Research Center (25 April 2016).
  2. United States Census Bureau, “Millennials outnumber baby boomers and are far more diverse, Census Bureau reports,” United States Department of Commerce (25 June 2015).
  3. The Agility Paradox, Landor.com (4 November 2015).
  4. Who do millennials trust?”, Ypulse (24 March 2014).
  5. Tiffany Le and Tom Pashut, “Domino’s, the turnaround,” Econ.UCLA.edu (2011).
  6. Millennials—breaking the myths,” The Nielsen Company (February 2014).
  7. Elizabeth Wilner, “Breathe in, check iPhone, breathe out,” Kantar (22 September 2015).
  8. BrandAsset Valuator Database (2014, 2011).
  9. Megan Horst Hatch, “Spotify’s playlists help music fans find new bands at Coachella,” Axs.com (2015).
  10. Ayush Agarwal, “Delivering the right information in your ads,” Google: Inside AdWords (21 May 2015).
  11. Dennis Scimeca, “Bud Light’s Pac-Man Super Bowl ad is a live-action maze,” The Daily Dot (23 January 2015).
  12. Staff writers, “Study: The most popular Instagram filters from around the world,” Canva (10 February 2016).
  13. Innocent Drinks, Innocent.co.uk (2016).
  14. Pedigree ‘We’re for dogs,’” Adweek (19 December 2007).
  15. Alex Reed, “Study by the Center for the Digital Future shows that millennials care less about online privacy,” University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (30 April 2013).

First seen: Landor.com

FAST FACTS: GEN Z BY NUMBERS

GEN Z BY THE NUMBERS GENERATION Z DEMOGRAPHIC
GEN Z FAST FACTS BLAZE ADVERTISING

GEN Z BY THE NUMBERS

16 Fast Facts on Generation Z: By The Numbers click this site.

1. Consumers 19 and younger prefer social networks like Snapchat, Secret, and Whisper, and a quarter of 13- to 17-year-olds have left Facebook this year.

2. By 2020 Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers.

3. Gen Z are adept researchers. They know how to self-educate and find information. Thirty-three percent watch lessons online, 20% read textbooks on tablets, and 32% work with classmates online.

4. More than a quarter of America’s population currently belongs to Gen Z, and with each birth (361,00 babies born in the U.S. every day) the segment is growing.

5. Gen Z receives $16.90 per week in allowance, which translates to $44 billion a year.

6. Whereas Millennials use three screens on average, Gen Zers use five: a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPod/iPad.

7. The average Gen Zer has the attention span of about eight seconds. They have grown up at a time when they’re being served media and messaging from all angles, and have adapted to quickly sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information.

8. Gen Z shares the entrepreneurial spirit of Millennial innovators: About 72% of current high-schoolers want to own their own businesses, and 76% hope they can turn their hobbies into full-time jobs.

9. Gen Zers are do-gooders; they want to make a differnce in the world. Sixty percent want their jobs to impact the world, 26% of 16- to 19-year-olds currently volunteer, and 76% are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet.

10. Fifty-eight percent of Gen Zs are either somewhat or very worried about the future.

11. Gen Zers influence $600 billion of family spending.

12. Seventy-nine percent of Generation Z consumers display symptoms of emotional distress when kept away from their personal electronic devices.

13. Fifty-five percent of those 18 years of age and younger would rather buy clothes online, and 53% would rather buy books and electronics online.

14. Forty-two percent of Gen Zers follow their parents influence, compared to just 36% of Millennials.

15. Generation Z consumers spend 7.6 hours per day on average socialising with friends and family.

Read more at: http://scl.io/la6odnt8#gs.VSVZ=9Q

What Will You Buy Tomorrow?

Increases in data and processing power have opened up the potential of predictive marketing analytics for mapping future consumer behaviour, says James Northway of MEC Global Solutions. He outlines the opportunities and challenges of agent based modelling.

MEC PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS MARKETING

NEWS ARTICLE: WHAT WILL YOU BUY TOMORROW?

There is a constant race being run in marketing analytics. In lane one, there is data. As we all know, as each year passes more and more data is created that can be used to describe consumers, touch-points, journeys and decisions. In addition, more data is being merged, fused and connected to amplify this effect. Additionally, the ability to process this data continues to become faster and the costs continue to fall priligy australia.

In lane two is complexity. Marketing executions are far more complex, involving ever more touchpoints across more platforms. Consumer choice continues to grow. Prices change in real time. Life is getting more complicated.

If complexity rises faster than our ability to understand it, our ability to create effective marketing and advertising is actually going to go backwards. Could it be true that we had a better understanding of how marketing worked in the 80s than we do now? It’s a bit more complicated than that.

I believe that we have become better at understanding how certain parts or silos of marketing work, and therefore have been able to exploit these successfully in isolation. For example building, adjusting and flexing the content and user experience on a website is now a finely tuned operation. The same goes for adjusting pricing to optimise profit and erode consumer surplus, or driving demand into websites, call centres or stores through search ( both paid and organic ).

In fact, all three of these examples are so well understood that the model can almost be completely run using only intelligent software. However when you consider the whole marketing effort, or equally look at things through the eyes of the consumer, how everything works together ( or not ), remains difficult to understand, let alone ‘optimise’. To address this challenge, the marketing analytics industry has started to look at mathematical simulations and, in particular, agent based modelling. Mathematically and statistically speaking, this isn’t a new area. But the increases in data and processing power have started to open this up as a viable avenue to explore within marketing.

Agent based modelling has a number of features that make this a really interesting, and quite different, approach to the challenge. Agent based models work ‘bottom up’, rather than ‘top down’ – in plain English this means that instead of working with weekly chunks of data such as sales or exposures, we are working with individual people ( although often scaled up, so one agent in a simulation might represent a thousand consumers ). This moves us away from averages and allows us to take advantage of the growth of data. Instead of treating all consumers the same and working to average effects, all consumers can be different, and the data we work with, can be specific to them.

Because agent based models also integrate probabilities, you rarely get the same result from a simulation twice. While this might initially sound terrifying or just wrong, it’s actually a far more accurate reflection of reality, and also a more useful one.

At MEC, we have been working with agent based simulations over the last two years. In the process, we’ve developed a tool, MEC Velocity, that runs simulated effects of our clients marketing, predicting consumer behaviour and brand interaction into the future. One of the big advantages we have found is that we are able to work with different groups of consumers ( audiences ) within a single model. This enables us to see how different types of consumers react and to build different activation plans accordingly.

Another strength is that by their very nature simulations are time based. We are not only modelling the outcome, but we are working out when changes happen, how long they last for, and when they end. In some categories, it can take months and years for the effects of marketing plans to work through and deliver improvements in sales. This opens a completely new window in thinking about return on investment ( when is the return? ) and testing different plans to deliver shorter or longer term effects.

Furthermore, agent based simulations lend themselves incredibly well to visualizing the models, and this helps to get clients and stakeholders engaged, and to some extent to unravel the mathematics and rules that drive them.

The biggest challenge, however, is still creating confidence with clients in using a relatively new approach and, linked to this, the validation of the simulations. But the nuance of thinking about simulations and likelihood, rather than a fixed forecast, is an important one. Of course no one can predict the future, but visualizing how it might play out, and how that could be different as we change our assumptions or marketing plans, is incredibly powerful.

Right now predictive marketing is probably the most promising approach in the race to keep growing our clients’ business in a competitive marketplace.

James Northway is head of analytics and insight at MEC Global Solutions and EMEA

Original post: 24th March 2016 on Research Live / MECGLOBAL