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2022 Award winners spotlight: Pandemic, Data & Analytics and Advertising Campaigns, and Most Effective Tech Platform

David Murphy

We continue our round-up of the winning entries in the 2022 Effective Digital Marketing Awards with a look at the winners of the Most Effective Pandemic Campaign, Data & Analytics Campaign, Advertising Campaign, and Most Effective Tech Platform...

Most Effective Pandemic Campaign 
Clarins UK and Hootsuite – How a Retail Experience Leader Went Digital
For a cosmetics and skincare brand like Clarins, which had traditionally relied heavily on in-store consultations with its expert advisors to drive sales, lockdown was potentially not just bad but disastrous, for its business. So when it was forced to close its stores, it had to think, and act, fast.

Working with Hootsuite, it planned to deliver engaging content and customer experiences via social media. Using Hootsuite’s social listening partner, Brandwatch, Clarins reviewed and analysed customer conversations related to the brand and realised that its previously planned communications were no longer relevant. During lockdown, interest in makeup faded rapidly as people went back to basics for their skincare needs. Data gathered via Brandwatch also revealed that customers were using lockdown as a fresh opportunity for self-care.

The digital media team realised they needed to create a completely new content pipeline that reflected what was happening in the world, and provide guidance and support to customers online, rather than in store.

The team determined that they needed to create social media content that would promote skincare products and regimens tailored at combating the effects of stress. The content focused on trending topics, using Clarins’ own beauty consultants. It also created ‘Clarins & Me’, an online video consultation system replicating the in-store experience. And it launched a social ad campaign to drive traffic to the content. With a limited budget to play with, the team called on Clarins UK beauty coach Rebecca Jones and quickly settled on a low-cost approach tailor-made for social media: Rebecca would share her expertise with customers by posting new videos daily, from her own bedroom, via Instagram Stories.

She demonstrated DIY skincare rituals designed to address the different sensitivities that consumers were finding in their skin. Clarins also reached out to staff across the organisation to share testimonials of the one Clarins product they couldn’t live without. Holloway’s team then used these to build stories on social media. Other initiatives included ‘Self-Care Sundays’, in which beauty therapist, Lucy, demonstrated how to conduct DIY spa treatments using Clarins products on Instagram Live.

The results of Clarins’ new social content and ads strategies were immediate and positive. Rebecca Jones’ Instagram stories saw story completion rates jump from a previous average of 20 per cent to an impressive 75 per cent – the highest the team had seen on social channels. The social stories based on Clarins’ staff testimonials achieved similarly high completion rates, averaging 70-80 per cent.

The Clarins & Me consultation service secured more than 450 bookings in the first month alone. Soon after launching Clarins & Me, the team noticed that the service was resonating with customers, with average order volume from consultations much higher than from customers browsing and shopping on the Clarins website. By quickly putting ad spend behind the consultations and investing in people discovering the service, Clarins was able to further amplify the effectiveness of the campaign.

Upending its existing strategy amid the sudden changes caused by COVID-19 wasn’t easy, but Clarins made it work. By listening to customers, adapting quickly, and shifting its tactics, the company was able to build and grow new revenue streams online despite store closures. The success of its strategy has enabled the digital media team to prove just how important and cost-effective social media is to the business, and to encourage increased future investment in social from the wider business.

As one judge summed up: “Great use of research, consumer listening, trends, insights and then they came up with a brilliant content plan to create engagement for brand users and lovers.”

Most Effective Data & Analytics Campaign 
Boundless and Trueology – Boundless Membership Relaunch
Boundless (formerly CSMA) is a membership organization for people who currently or previously worked in the public sector and civil service. In 2021, membership was declining membership as annual acquisition was outweighed by the loss of existing members. So Boundless asked Trueology to look at the current and potential new membership benefits; identify offer preference and attitudinal variations between existing and potential new audience groups, to optimize proposition design, targeting and messaging; and investigate price elasticity and establish the optimum price to achieve membership growth in volume and income value, whilst maintaining retention levels.

Data science and research were used to measure and interpret consumer preference, benefit attractiveness and price elasticity to create an interactive product configurator tool, to design the optimal product.

The output provided insight into the estimated impact of each membership scenario on acquisition and retention rates for each segment and tenure group. Revenues for each segment were also predicted, by measuring the yearly costs of running the membership to Boundless against expected yearly growth. Trueology collaborated closely with Boundless to define audiences, agree which potential attributes to test as well and explore price points that aligned with business plans. It then used attitudinal segmentation to ensure a product launch with communications finely attuned to customer decision making through the purchase journey.

The board agreed a product suite and price increase to attract more users from younger personas. Price was not perceived as a deterrent to purchasing Boundless membership, rather respondents prioritised their interest in the offer. The conjoint analysis allowed Boundless to boldly raise their membership price by £3 (over 10 per cent) for both prospective and existing members. This project and the data-based approach was the key reason that the recommendations were delivered with confidence and enacted so quickly.

The new product was successfully launched in late 2021, with results immediately exceeding targets leading to a reverse in historic membership churn. Since introducing and communicating the new membership benefits, the average weekly new member recruitment rate is over three times what was being achieved previously. Between January 2021 and January 2022, the total number of new members increased by 371 per cent compared to the previous 12 months. The retention rate has also increased by 2 per cent, which provides an early sign that the new benefits and approach is maintaining a high retention rate, with the likelihood of increasing it.

All in all, a well thought-out and successful campaign.

Most Effective Advertising Campaign   
Tiso and QueryClick – Helping Tiso Reach New Heights in Retail
For this campaign, QueryClick was tasked with creating a digital marketing strategy to support digital growth, and the return to in-store shopping post-lockdown, for outdoor clothing and equipment specialist Tiso, in order to increase revenue and maintain ROAS.

There had previously been an over reliance on branded search, but with a strong SEO presence and no competitors in the Google Ads Search auction, QueryClick decided to phase this activity to allocate spend to other areas. It also began to look further up the funnel at users in the consideration phase of their journey. It began to scale up non-branded search ads utilizing Dynamic Search Ads, which use on page content instead of keywords. And to support stores, it launched Google Local campaigns.

On Meta Ads, it developed a campaign structure focused on demand generation and prospecting new clients using categories interests. To promote foot traffic in underperforming stores, it launched launched geotargeted reach ads promoting in-store offers with Meta’s integrated map feature, where the user gets directions without leaving the platform.The next step was building awareness, via campaigns across YouTube and Meta Ads.

To react to seasonality, QueryClick split campaigns by categories such as camping, bikes and clothing. It used smart shopping for higher-priced items, such as bikes, to allow it to take advantage of the retargeting and display elements of smart shopping.

QueryClick’s work delivered outstanding results, include a 111 per cent increase in traffic; a 210 per cent increase in revenues, a 51 per cent increase in average order value, and a 31 per cent increase in ROAS.

The brand awareness activity on YouTube had over 600,000 impressions, with 100,000 users watching the videos. Meta Ads saw an 189 per cent uplift in impressions year-on-year, and a 68 per cent uplift in engagements. Overall, the campaign increased digital revenue by 88 per cent year-on-year, while maintaining ROAS and growing new users by 53 per cent.

Most Effective Tech Platform  
MarketMuse – MarketMuse Premium
MarketMuse is an AI-powered content strategy platform enabling marketers to craft high-quality content that audiences love and search engines reward. The company’s mission is to automate and accelerate content creation. The MarketMuse Premium platform provides data that helps content teams make informed decisions about what content to create, what content to update, and how to do it. Its automated content inventory and audit solution measures content quality and authority across the customer’s domain. The platform enables content teams to research, organize, and prioritize their best content opportunities faster than ever.

One of the features of the platform is a patented topic-modelling technology that helps identify opportunities for content clusters, prioritizing topics to include based on ROI and potential success. It takes the topic and analyzes tens of thousands of related web pages to identify important subtopics, questions to answer, and personas to address so the user can produce content that ranks.

In addition, MarketMuse Content Briefs provide writers the structure, related topics, questions to answer, and linking suggestions they need to write content with minimal guidance.

ManyChat used MarketMuse to assist with over 277,000 conversions, increase the number of keywords in the first position on Google by 266 per cent year-on-year, and reduce the time taken  to create content briefs from two to three hours to 20 minutes.

Stick Shift Driving Academy use the platform to increase traffic by 72 per cent and inbound calls by 120 per cent over a period of six months. And Monday.com increased blog traffic by 1,570 per cent in three months. By hiring strong writers, building a process to make them self-sufficient, and using MarketMuse’s AI to handle as much of the heavy lifting as possible, it succeeded in hitting its goal of publishing 100 pieces of content per month.

MarketMuse Premium is a very savvy bit of tech, and a worthy winner of the Most Effective Tech Platform Award.

That concludes our round up of this year's Award winners. If you'd like to check out the Awards Ceremony, you can see a recording of it here.