How can creative workshops improve and innovate businesses?

In this fast paced world it is important for businesses both big and small to stay on top of new developments, but also to challenge and adapt to changing market conditions.  R&D creative workshops are a good way to keep your business relevant and ahead of the competition.

Why is it important for businesses to improve?

In order to survive, businesses must innovate. Technological advancements have ensured that the speed of change has accelerated and being complacent will leave you behind. For example, Nokia phones dominated the market for fourteen years between 1998 and 2012. There was little progression with their design because there was nothing else on the market that could compete. It’s legendary heavy brick build, long lasting battery and notorious game of snake is what now makes the Nokia phone a vintage staple for the 00’s collector. But then Apple revolutionised telecommunication in 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world. Seeing Nokia’s mistake, Apple were quick to release multiple iterations of the original device yearly keeping them at the top of the market.

What do we improve?

Here at Brightblue we run regular R&D workshops that consist of the whole team collaborating to review ideas and create new concepts to improve our work both internally and externally. This stimulates creativity in an uplifting environment and has produced some of our most innovative concepts to date. For example, improving internal efficiency was a vital workshop for us last year as it helped us to speed up menial tasks, such as data manipulation, allowing us more time to focus on the more important tasks like presentation writing and delivery.

Another important outcome from our workshops is our new Real Time Modelling product.  Traditional Market Mix Modelling (MMM) requires a three month wait once a campaign has aired to get to a campaign/event  ROI,  we were able to shorten this to just a week. In addition to this, we also came up with the idea of Dynamic Attribution which fuses MMM and attribution modelling together, and allows our clients to allocate budgets across offline and online channels. As you can see, these workshops ensure a continuous track of forward thinking ideas, which motivates us to improve internally so that we can grow externally, and help grow our clients.

How can our clients benefit from this?

Our team have orchestrated multiple successful workshops for our clients. They have encouraged them to look at their business from a different angle, allowing them to understand their own data better. This leads to clearer key objectives and priority areas for analysis.

Our most recent session was an econometrics training workshop where the need for clean data was identified. Members of the client team, both junior and senior, were shown how we use their data, and how we build a model with it, making it clear that correct and clean data is paramount for the model to work.

The next few months will see us working on how to expand our current position and how to save time in the workplace. But most importantly, making sure we are on the right track to delivering a continually better product for our clients.

What makes TV and digital adverts so effective?

While TV advertising remains a staple fixture due to reliability and constant delivery of performance, digital advertising has changed the game somewhat in the last twenty years. In fact, Forbes recently reported that internet advertising has surpassed TV in the U.S. This is due to an increase in responsive ads, video ads, native advertising and Facebook expanding their advertising revenue by 62% in 2016.

Advertisements are designed to emotionally connect with their target audience. It influences the consumer to buy the product. Which is why brands are likely to achieve better results from a multi-platform campaign rather than taking an all eggs in one basket approach. However this means that buying ad space can be aggressively competitive and so there is little room for mediocrity.

In 2015, digital ad blocking increased globally by 42% with approximately 90% of TV viewers skipping ads on DVR. This is further championed by a mere 8% of people who pay attention to online ads, 16% for radio ads and 14% for billboards.

How do brands entice their audience with TV advertising?

  1. Personality: Customers who feel a connection to the personality of a brand are more likely to be receptive of the message delivered. An example of this is the Haribo Starmix Advert in 2016 in which adults on a train platform appear to talk as children. It’s focus is to bring out the inner child in us all with previous adverts such as ‘Boardroom and ‘Cinema’ with the same theme doing equally as well.
  2. Taglines: A strong tagline reinforces brand ideas and encourages their audience to connect with the message. An example of this is Kit Kat’s own Have a break, have a Kit Kat. Go on. I meant it.
  3. Characters: Characters can go a long way, especially unforgettable personas that have a strong association with the brand. One of the most obvious examples of this is the meerkat otherwise known as, Alexander Orlov, from the Compare the Meerkat  advert which is a play on words on The character became a staple feature in their 2009 advert, in fact it became so popular that it even became a toy. Simples!
  4. Audio: Without music, life would be a mistake! Or so the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, liked to say. Music is just as important as the visuals in an advertising campaign. This is especially the case in the No Place Like Home advert by British Gas where the illustrations are complemented by the melodic background music to ease the consumer into the environment it has created with it’s visuals.

How does this differ with digital advertising?

Digital advertising focuses on capturing consumer attention, in fact Forbes reports that, ‘it now takes people on average about eight or nine seconds to find the result they want.’ Which means competition is fierce. So how do brands use digital advertising to instigate a consumer reaction, and fast?

  1. Headlines: Attention grabbing headlines should be thought provoking and concise. They should leave the consumer wanting more. A great example of this is Pinterest: Create Your Own Outcome.
  2. Well-written Ad Copy: If the headline and visuals have been effective enough to pull the consumer in, well written ad copy will keep the consumer interested. It should be easy to read, compelling and relevant. But this can be difficult to achieve, especially when 80% of users never make it past the headline.
  3. Call to Action: The final piece to the puzzle is what seals the deal. A call to action is defined as the instigator for an immediate response. Sometimes it can be as simple as a ‘Sign Up For More Info’ or similarly to Netflix, ‘Join Free For A Month!’ Now, how can you say no to that? It’s free!

Best results are achieved when campaigns are distributed amongst various platforms

The most effective adverts are those that live through the times with the same impact as that in which they were first released. Take the De Beers, A Diamond is Forever, for example. Founder, Cecil Rhodes, monopolised the diamond market in the twentieth century by limiting the sale of diamonds which simultaneously increased their value and the desire for people to buy. The message was clear, diamonds were rare and everybody wanted one! The De Beers company created this unbreakable concept of the diamond so well that it still continues to influence the market in present day. Although diamonds can be chipped, discoloured or incinerated which we know are certainly not forever, consumers are still swayed by the everlasting impact of the diamond.

For maximum results we always suggest that campaigns are distributed amongst various platforms across digital and TV. Measuring the campaign impact on multiple channels is what makes our econometric skills crucial because it allows for a clearer read on measurements. As well as this, having the sums to spend generously is also an advantage.

However it will never be as effective as creating an advert in which the message is so powerful that it sometimes overrides reason. Diamonds may not be forever and overpriced, but they sure do look nice.

Staying on top of ever more complex data

It is no news that businesses are being flooded with ever increasing amounts of data from multiple sources. The task of extracting, processing and investigating ever more complex data structures can cause difficulties for businesses, both in terms of speed of reporting and insight, but also how frequent they can get to the insight. Consequently, valuable data is often not used to its full potential.

This is where someone who understands the importance of simplicity and relevancy of data comes into action – to be able to manage that data and clean actionable insights from it. A lot of the work we do at Brightblue consists of gathering and merging data from various sources, cleaning it and then transforming it into an easily readable format for our clients.

This process in itself holds a lot of value for our clients. We find that simply feeding internal and external data in an easily digestible way back to our clients often leads to interesting discussions and insights. However, we also find that simply presenting charts and tables in the form of a PowerPoint deck can be limiting to this process. One chart often leads to a whole range of new questions, which are not easily answered during the meeting, as they require a further dive into the data.

This can cost valuable time or lead to some questions simply not being investigated at all.

Dashboards automate our services

This is why we are focusing on combining traditional presentations with dashboards as a new form of presentation. The combination allows us to follow a logical story whilst staying flexible enough to quickly drill down on unanticipated questions in front of our clients. Moreover, we can make the dashboards available to our clients for further interrogation after the initial presentation.

Another key advantage to the dashboard is that, once it has been put into place, it can be easily updated. Various sources of data are online and can be directly accessed through an Application Processing Interface (API) connection. On top of this, other sources can be updated semi-automatically from scheduled reports or File Transfer Protocol (FTP) connections.

The key benefit of this is that it allows for more frequent reporting of monthly or weekly data and modelling updates. It also means that there is a faster turnaround enabling us to get a precise read on activities days after they have happened rather than months which is often the case for traditional modelling.

The next big thing

Whilst this type of reporting is increasingly common practice, we at Brightblue are combining the reporting power of dashboards with the intellect of advanced predictive modelling and analytics. We not only offer real-time reporting but also real-time analytics. In order for this to work, we set up live dashboards that connect with our models which, in turn, link up to automated reports and API connections. This means that our clients can track how their key business metrics are moving but also it allows them to understand why in a faster, and frequent method.

What cycle does a TV brand campaign go through?

The television became a tool of communication in the 1950’s where it was the primary medium of influencing public opinion. But since then, it has changed significantly. The last ten years has seen it expand to Smart TVs and digital television where the only requirement necessary is a simple wifi connection. In fact, according to TV Licensing the amount of households with television licenses increases yearly with 95% of the British public already owning a licensed TV. Despite the new wave of technology, the TV still remains the most substantial form of marketing.

Campaign cycles convey descriptive results for FMCG businesses 

Each creative takes time to bed in, consumers become accustomed to the new campaign and begin to identify the creative with the brand. Afterwards, the creative enters a new stage called the peak. This is where it will have the most impact for the brand. But the peak eventually begins to decline into the wear out stage where the consumer is no longer interested in the new creative thus ultimately decreasing sales.

Which is why it is so important for FMCG businesses to know how long the creative will bed in to achieve the maximum impact. Some adverts such as the John Lewis Christmas Advert refresh their creative annually to limit such effects. However, brands such as Coke replay the same creative every christmas and rely on creative campaign cycles for results.

Brands need to know when a creative refresh is necessary, this issue lies with the consumer. It can take a while for consumers to recognise a creative and fully ingest it over time, once ingested the creative reaches its maximum impact. Eventually they become accustomed to the campaign and no longer react to it signalling that it is time for a refresh.

For businesses this depicts that the initial ROI from a new creative will inevitably be lower than future bursts once the campaign has had time to bed in. Should all things being equal increase the future bursts as well as the ROI will decrease. We have found that by working with FMCG businesses results vary depending on the product and platform.

Blockchain technology will change digital advertising

Blockchain technology is a digital decentralised ledger that records and safely stores transactions – think of a really secure database. Originally it was created to support Bitcoin where all transactions are recorded however, it has since found a new path in the digital advertising world. Essentially it is this technology that underpins cryptocurrencies which can be applied to ad transactions, thus allowing large amounts of data to be transmitted securely.

In fact, providing it becomes globally successful in the future, it will change the way marketers buy media online. This is because it makes purchases cheaper and much more transparent, all the while offering more security. Equally, this will also allow for a production of better quality data that leads to more accurate analysis on online media.

How can blockchain technology provide accurate data?

This new system is sure to improve online advertising in various ways. For example it reduces fraudulent advertising because it allows a shared access pool of data which improves ad targeting. It also offers users the opportunity to exchange their data for content access, offering an open window into the market. AdLeger will be the first blockchain consortium to focus on ad tech launches and although this is still in the early development stages the potential for such a tool proves enticing.

However, there are also some disadvantages to blockchain technology. As it is still in its infancy stage, the speed of transactions are slow and due to the instant nature of ad bidding it means that the technology still needs further improvements. Additionally, the concept of blockchain technology has yet to be accepted. However, Comcast, the world’s largest TV broadcasting company, is expected to go live with their blockchain platform in 2018. In fact, Mindshare – a global media agency – have also partnered up with Zilliqa which are a prominent blockchain platform in the Asia-Pacific. This means that companies specialising in this field may choose to expand should this platform prove successful.

Blockchain technology is especially valuable to Brightblue because it allows for more accurate analysis of ROI. It means we can see exactly what we are spending money on and where – an issue that many marketers will agree is time wasting. This could mean hitting all the right platform targets effectively and securing successful results with accurate feedback, enabling us to have better data for modelling.

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