November 06, 2020
Welcome to another weekly news update on THE RADCAST! In this episode, host Ryan Alford and news co-host Reiley Clark, dissect this week's marketing news. Check out the topics below!
In this week's episode, Ryan and Reiley break down...
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It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?
You are listening to the latest Radcast news update. Here are Ryan and Reiley.
Ryan Alford [00:00:28] Hey guys, what's up? Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast News. I'm joined by the lovely Reiley Clark. So what's up, Reiley?
Reiley Clark [00:00:41] Oh, nothing much. Just hanging out. It's been a good week. Election week has been a lot, but it's been a good week. Apart from that, we have a lot of upcoming fun stuff. And I'm excited because we're starting a new thing on the Radcast Ad Gab. And that's something that you and Josh Hill, our in-house digital media manager, are talking about really tactical advertising, things getting nitty-gritty into just, again, just the technical aspects of advertising.
Ryan Alford [00:01:13] I love that. It's like a blend. We have the podcast and we have guests on. And it always has a marketing spin to it no matter what. But it's somewhat informational on the person and their background and maybe what they're doing in marketing but isn't always applicable or tactical. And then we have the news segments where we're kind of bringing the latest news like we are today. This feels like filling in the gap of tactical stuff that can kind of play off of it. And, who doesn't want to gab a little?
Reiley Clark [00:01:46] I know. And it's fun. Like you guys have fun with it. So it's Wednesdays in the afternoon, around 2: 30ish, when I will go live. I'm not going to bank that we hit the live button every Wednesday. But that will be a weekly thing. And I'm looking forward to more of those with you and Josh. So that will be exciting. And then on Tuesday, we have another upcoming episode that will be released again at noon. And that is with James Gregson, the digital creative director at Lego. And that was so cool to have him on. He was excellent. That was a really good conversation with you guys.
Ryan Alford [00:02:32] It was really neat to hear. We have a lot of big brands on. We've been spoiled with our guests but to have a creative director directly from Lego, we may or may not have spilt details on Lego Movie three. You'll have to listen to find out if said details came out. But hearing his perspective just across marketing, but across, how they build content, how they think about content for their social media channels, his perspective on leadership, and a lot of other things. So it's always interesting. I think no matter if you work for a small, medium, or large business, to hear the perspective of a brand giant like Lego and how they're doing it, some of their struggles, some of the realities of marketing for them. And so James was great. We had a great discussion and I'm excited for everyone to hear that episode.
Reiley Clark [00:03:25] For sure. The conversation is really good. And I liked how he brought up being a storyteller as well. I thought that was something that Matt Arden also said, which I felt was a kind of similar kind of career niche so to speak. But I like the storytelling aspect. And I think he does very well at it.
Ryan Alford [00:03:45] And ironically, Nash was playing with his Legos the night before. They're all over the floor. I joked with James about tripping over them or feeling them in my feet. My wife doesn't think I ever look down when I'm walking, which is partially true. I had one stuck in my foot this morning getting out of the house. So it's a good thing. But I love Legos, but not for me - getting the kids away from digital devices and building and using their brains for things more than how they can defeat some new game or something, which I don't mind a little up to. But it just seems like an escape from all the digital platforms and YouTube and everything else that they get into.
Reiley Clark [00:04:35] I know growing up, those were big for my brother and me, really big. A huge part of our relationship.
Ryan Alford 3 [00:04:40] G.I. Joe Transformers like other imagination things. But yeah. And I thought I might have had my Lego moment, but I just don't remember as much as our kids have.
Reiley Clark [00:04:52] Alright. Yeah, no, but that's happening. And then as far as locally, we're having our Gvl Hustle pop up on Thursday, next Thursday. That's the 12th from ten to three here. So if you're in the Greenville area, make sure you come by the comradery and we will have a pop-up. We'll have some vendors. We have a food truck. So it's going to be a good time. So we already have your lunch covered, basically is what we're saying. So make sure you come by. That'll be super fun.
Ryan Alford [00:05:20] Yeah this is our expression of the design and different things for the company. It is also a way for us to test both retail and e-commerce initiatives for clients because we have our sub-brand. More exciting news on that. I don't want to give that away just yet, but we're having a bigger, even broader release with our merchandising brand that'll be coming up. But this is a great way for our team to have hands-on. It's not like I think we're very vested in our client business, but this gives us the live real world, almost like a lab for testing designs, e-commerce, seeing what works, what drives engagement
Reiley Clark [00:06:03] You can tinker with things and figure out exactly what you want.
Ryan Alford [00:06:05] And we can play with that more. We're doing client business. We're kind of doing the X knows what works. And so having this lab to kind of explore different things or maybe try things, because it's our brand. I think it just makes us better marketers for sure. So here's Riley with the news.
Here is the Radcast news.
Reiley Clark [00:06:34] OK, so the spirits company Brown-Forman unveiled a relaunch of its cheers to the host website; this offers food and drink recipes along with other entertaining ideas. And I think the bigger idea, as we all understand from a Covid world, is to bring the party inside. How can you host a better party? What are the better things to make your interior design more aesthetically pleasing for a party atmosphere? What were your opinions on that? I think this is a cool concept.
Ryan Alford [00:07:05] I think this is brilliant on multiple levels. One, it's very timely with Covid, but it's not a negative Covid. It's more leaning into the positive aspects of the closeness of the home. But what it's doing is empowering people rather than the negative side of it. So cheers to the host dot com. It's a total like brand content play for Brown-Forman spirits. So they make Jack Daniel's, Woodford Reserve, Corbel champagne, or champagne-like object. It's sparkling wine. But anyway, it's brilliant for them because it's less about, "Hey, buy our products and buy our wine and buy our liquor and our spirits" and it tastes great and all that. It's about the customer. It's about the end-user, the host, and people, empowering them and giving them ways to be better hosts. It's a brilliant spin because it's timely and makes total sense from a content play for them. love any time a brand can take a natural pivot into something that empowers their consumer without being overly overtly sales. But it builds in perfectly because they become the better hosts. After all, they give them these recipes, tell them music, and have integrations with Uber-like, "hey you drank at my party, need to get a Uber home"? There are a lot of integrations on the site. And then the payoff is you make all these drinks, you do all these things. You use our product to make them. I love it.
Reiley Clark [00:08:46] Bringing in the Pinterest board. I'm a big Pinterest user, so I love that part. I think that's awesome.
Ryan Alford [00:08:52] And so thumbs-ups on this. And I know they had some agency help. So, I love this!
Reiley Clark [00:09:01] Another news today. Starbucks has launched a new holiday campaign, which limits in-person contact. So they're trying to target people to use their mobile app more. They're pushing that. And that would say, the new spin on this kind of advertising. I mean, Starbucks has always pushed people to use their mobile apps. You get your Starbucks rewards or whatever. But I think this is like a bigger push to use contactless solely. Here's my phone. I ordered, scan what you need to, go on with your day, and have your nice cup of coffee.
Ryan Alford [00:09:41] Another brilliant one: you're playing into the reality of Covid in the pandemic and then you're spinning it into a positive and the convenience for the customer. And it's brilliant because their tagline is, Festive as a tap away. Download the app today. So you're driving apps, app downloads. You're getting more people to order ahead of time so you're getting more perceived or you know ahead of time how to prepare the drinks. You are preparing your store better because you don't have people waiting in line, so it's convenient for them, convenient for your store employees. Then you're driving brand, which is playing into the overall experience you get when you go to a Starbucks. If you can get people pre-ordering, they know what to expect. They show up; they come to the drive-through. It's already made. And so, there are so many things that benefit both Starbucks and the customer while also playing into the mindset of contactless and everything else. Again another brilliant campaign.
Reiley Clark [00:10:49] I agree. Similar to that, Etsy is targeting a lot of different sites. Etsy has always been a really interesting, almost eclectic platform to get interesting products, whether it's a cool vintage-looking peacock chair or their face masks and that kind of thing. But I think their CMO is talking about how they're trying to get the power of a meaningful gift. And it's not that this isn't to bash on Amazon at all, but it's like you're not getting that cheaper quality, just immediate return. It's more thoughtful; it's more thought-provoking. Whenever I go on Etsy, it asks, "who are you shopping for"? And then it breaks down already, offering super interesting things. And you feel like they're coming from an ethical source or if it's vegan or good for the environment or whatever it is. I think they push that well. And, you can't beat that.
Ryan Alford [00:11:59] There are a lot of insights here. Their sales were up in the third quarter, 160 per cent roughly, so people have been feeding into this. It's e-commerce, too, so it's on the up like every other e-commerce brand and/or portal or platform. And there's indeed so much stuff that's not quality. And I think people struggle with wanting to give a quality, meaningful gift and customers or receivers of the gift wanting something. I think this fills a really good gap, especially now. I think everybody is just trying to be more thoughtful and it falls into that for me also, you'll see Etsy upped their advertising to 150 per cent. So I like companies that see a sales increase and lean into it with more marketing. Yes, that sounds so self-serving as an ad agency, but it's true, like lean into that growth and spend and an increase. Let's pour gas on the fire. And so you're going to see those thoughtful stories. I know they're doing a big social push, a television push. So you're going to see that. It's still small, and I think they did four to five hundred million in revenue, and I know it sounds huge. Compared to Amazon. But it's a different total niche or platform. I don't know that Amazon is shaking in their boots yet, but I like that the CMO was just talking about some of the campaign elements and some of the ways that they're kind of leaning into that notion of thoughtfulness in the gift-giving. I also like it because, ultimately, it empowers small businesses. If you think about everyone on Etsy or 90 per cent of it, it's small individual crafters or retailers. And so, a great opportunity to leverage that growth. First, it makes sense without having to build your platform to a certain point. And we encourage our clients to do that because you own the customer relationship more directly. But what a great avenue to take advantage of for smaller businesses.
Reiley Clark [00:14:17] If you are a smaller business and you're not necessarily on Etsy, or necessarily doing something with Etsy like where your products are at. What is something they can take away from this for their spin on making something more meaningful? Black Friday is coming up; Cyber Monday is coming up too. I think people still have a reasonable amount of time, more or less, to get something meaningful together. What would be something that a small business can take away from this, bring into your store, whether that's on your website or your brick and mortar for people to do curbside? How do you keep that significant aspect still there, especially this holiday season?
Ryan Alford [00:15:05] I use one-word customization. So, no matter who you are or what you're doing, small, medium business, if you give people a way to customize the experience or the gift or the purchase. I almost think of this. We dabble in some print-on-demand type scenarios where we'll take and personalize certain things from a merchandise perspective. And so anywhere that you can add customization and personalization into it, even if you're not Etsy natural. But I think that's where my mind goes for how small businesses take advantage of it. And I still am bringing it back even to the previous article with Starbucks. I've been leaning into this for local small businesses. You can do anything to provide that concierge, just Heider experience, knowing the Covid situation, making it easy and frictionless for people to shop with you either online or offline.
Reiley Clark [00:16:04] That makes sense. And then our last bit of news is just breaking down some social media platform things going on. So LinkedIn engagement has seen a huge increase in the third quarter of this year. 722 million users. Facebook bringing more shopping platforms, making the system a lot easier. Snapchat creating more tools that way, leveraging the tools they have, using the camera more, you're able to scan products, especially for food products. You can get the nutrition information, find other things about the product, and see what they're about. I think this is a really good use of just the tools that are already on our phones and our devices and then still bringing in customer engagement and just people engagement, especially Snapchat. I mean, that's so cool.
Ryan Alford [00:17:09] I am going to start where you started with LinkedIn. LinkedIn Engagement has gone through the roof with people staying home, getting more engaged with the platform, more people posting, and more people commenting. You've seen the growth there. I think it's somewhere around 31 per cent year over year of sessions on the platform, which doesn't surprise me. You've got more people on their ad revenues is up 16 per cent. Doesn't surprise me. I'm going to love LinkedIn and hate on them simultaneously, a little bit having to use their ad platform. It needs to improve. It needs to get better. It's better than it was, but it's still a little wonky. And so LinkedIn, let's just keep improving the ad platform. Facebook is the best in class, and that has been doing it longer. But I'd like to see their ad platform continue to evolve and grow. It's still a wonderful place when you can directly target the customer or the decision-maker that you need for B2B, especially when you need to target HR managers and you don't want to have to waste your advertising on LinkedIn, you go right at the specific target of who you need more even directly than you can on the consumer. You still book it in the audience unless you're doing one-to-one marketing. LinkedIn is still amazing for the ability to go one-to-one with the decision-maker that you need. So the ad platform needs to improve, but I will say that there's a ton more engagement on the platform. It's gotten pretty crowded. I've even noticed that some of my stuff's engagement has gone down. I don't know what the algorithm is like. So I think there are just more people and more volume. And so the only negative with that, I see a lot of people kind of juice in the system like they do these overly dramatic posts like everybody's posting like reposts of videos of something emotional. And so they get all this engagement. It's purely a play for engagement. I'm not sure what the end game is. The only thing that's kind of driving me crazy, but again, lots of opportunities there. A great place to be sharing. Your content is moving more towards the middle. You have B2B, and you get consumers, Instagram, Facebook, and those platforms. LinkedIn is coming more towards the middle because you see more content. Before, it would just be pure business sales or talking about business. You're seeing more people talk about their personal lives. And I think that's the merit of people being home and everything like that. So you're seeing a little bit of that intersection of, yes, "I'm a business person doing business things". But the humanity of my life and the things that are going on, you're seeing a convergence of that content, which is cool. I don't know where the happy medium and all that is. You want to keep it as a business platform.
Reiley Clark [00:19:50] Well, that's what I was about to ask. At what point do you feel like those videos are triggering the emotional… thing? Like at what point is that probably not a LinkedIn thing versus it could be appropriate for LinkedIn because there are tons of social media platforms. And so it's not that you shouldn't post one thing on this and nothing on this platform, but when does it become overbearing in the sense of, well, this is also supposed to be a business networking kind of ordeal?
Ryan Alford [00:20:19] I don't know. We're getting close to it already. They're trying to be non-transparent, but it's transparent that it's just a play for clicks, likes, and vanity metrics. But I don't know what that is. But I do think I like that it's becoming more human as a platform and less robotic. So back to another trend that talked about democratisation of content, people were more comfortable sharing content and less polished and produced. I love that. But at the same time, I don't need to watch you eat Fruity Pebbles and just get ready to crush today's business. I don't know where the happy medium comes in. And then, the social shopping we've talked about a lot, the proliferation of that, the marriage, -- there's been demand there for brands to want that have been doing it and wanting to do it. But small to medium business has been more painful because the platforms haven't caught up. So I think everything that's transitioning there is positive. I think live streaming with your products is interesting from a small business point of view. That's going to be huge. Anything else for this week?
Reiley Clark 2 [00:22:23] No, that's it.
Ryan Alford [00:22:27] So I hope everyone has been enjoying the episodes; you know where to find us. Also, do us a favour, Like, Share, spread the news, Subscribe and give us some good reviews. That's it for this week, and we'll see you next time.