As temperatures in London soared to a balmy 27 degrees Celsius (57 on the Tube) all those involved in setting up last Wednesday’s Research Best Practice group feared people would stay away to enjoy the first taste of summer 2018. Our concerns were misplaced. The revolving door barely came to rest as our attendees traded the warm evening haze for the cool air-conditioned halls of Hotwire PR HQ. Our guests were treated to chilled refreshments and nibbles by the ever gracious PRCA team as our speakers readied themselves to present. As the curtain went up we had a packed house consisting of the UK’s biggest brands, agencies and media.
The person they had all come to see was Sarah Burns the Founder of Prizeology – ‘experts in the art and science of prize promotions’. Sarah is an industry leader in promotional marketing, CAP code best practice and promotional regulations. She helps brands, agencies and businesses of all sizes create effective and compliant promotions on-line, on-pack, for in-store activation, or on social media, in fact across any platform. She is committed to improving standards of best practice and compliance within the marketing industry. She has been a board director at The Institute of Promotional Marketing, is currently a SCAMbassador for National Trading Standards Scams team, and is on the steering committee for the Fraud Women’s Network.
Sarah presented findings from the recent Prizeology research, designed and conducted in partnership with Vitreous World, looking at how influencer marketing effects the public and their perception of brands. Findings of the study received wide spread coverage in the industry media including The Drum, Campaign, PR Week, Econsultancy, Infuencer Update, Marketing Communications News and Marketing Week. (Image below)
In the opening slides Sarah reviewed the social media landscape, how it has changed since its inception and what effects it has had within the promotional marketing landscape. Touching on the current codes, ethical best practice legislation and highlighting what resources are available to help guide stakeholders looking to harness influencer channels in the right way.
Indeed influencer marketing it seems is nothing new. Sarah provided some humorous examples from years gone by – I was struck in particular by a Steamroller endorsed by the 1940’s actress Doris Day. Focus then turned to the modern era with a light hearted look at the world famous Kardashian family and their presence as Influencers. I was fascinated to know that Kim is understood to receive in the region of $500k for each product that she endorses. Nice work if you can get it!
Turning the tables on our guests we tested the audience’s knowledge via an interactive poll which consisted of questions taken from the Prizeology research. I have provided below the questions and results from the audience verses the results from the research conducted with Nationally Representative sample of 2,000 UK Consumers, for your review:
True or False: ‘Influencers do not have to state that they have been paid to talk about a product’
Audience: 33% incorrectly thought this was true
UK Consumers: 39% incorrectly thought this was true
True or False: ‘Influencer marketing is not regulated’
Audience: 59% incorrectly thought this was false
UK Consumers: 71% incorrectly thought this was false
True or False: ‘Influencers must adhere to the CAP code (UK code of non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing)’
Audience: 24% incorrectly thought this was false
UK Consumers: 48% incorrectly thought this was false
True or False: ‘If Influencers use #ad they have been paid to promote the product’
Audience: 44% incorrectly thought this was false
UK Consumers: 59% incorrectly thought this was false
True or False: ‘Influencers should disclose if they receive a commission from sales that come as a result of their blog post/vlog/tweet – Influencers do have to disclose this’
Audience: 25% incorrectly thought this was true
UK Consumers: 39% incorrectly thought this was true
True or False: ‘It is unlawful not to disclose if a post has been paid for by a brand’
Audience: 40% incorrectly said this was false
UK Consumers: 54% incorrectly said this was false
The results suggest that consumers are in great need of more transparency and the brands involved require more guidance to ensure campaigns are compliant with ethical best practice. Although not a free service, any clients who hesitate based on the financial cost of engaging a compliance expert should carefully consider the costs (both to reputation and revenue) incurred for non-compliance. In the final slides we reviewed social media posts to give examples of paid and unpaid promotions. It was again evident that further clarification is needed, this included engaging Infuencers via gifting and the use of #hashtags.
The session prompted many questions from the audience. After the Q&A session many of the guests engaged with Sarah and the Vitreous World team to schedule follow ups. If you require more information on this topic please feel free to download the Prizeology Whitepaper by clicking here.
Whether your needs are research or promotional marketing related you can expect market leading advice from these champions of best practice. Sarah and the Vitreous World team would be happy to provide sessions for you, at your location, upon on request. Contact details provided below:
Sarah Burns – firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Agnew – email@example.com
Thanks for reading,
Vitreous World – Managing Director
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