John Lewis, Asos, share of search: Everything that matters this morning – Marketing Week

Posted by on Oct 13, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on John Lewis, Asos, share of search: Everything that matters this morning – Marketing Week

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Good morning and welcome to Marketing Week’s round-up of the news that matters in the marketing world today.
Marketers and agencies are “on different planets” with the two sides often polarised on crafting briefs resulting in over a third of budgets wasted, according to a survey led by The BetterBriefs Project.
The survey was carried out in collaboration with Flood + Partners surveying over 1,700 marketers and agency staff from over 70 countries.
It found marketers (80%) think they write good briefs, and only 10% of creative agencies agree. Over three-quarters of marketers (78%) think the briefs they write provide clear strategic direction, with only 5% of creative agencies agreeing.
Marketers (83%) say briefs they write contain clear and concise language, but only 7% of agencies agree.
Both sides do agree it’s a challenge to produce good creative work without a good marketing brief, according to 89% of marketers and 86% of agencies.
Despite the value and importance of briefs almost all marketers (90%) and agencies (92%) agree the brief is the most valuable but most neglected tools have to create good work.
Respondents estimate 33% of marketing budgets go to waste due to poor briefs and misdirected work. Marketers (69%) and agencies (73%) agree debriefs happen too often leading to loss of time, money and fuelling frustration.
Janet Hull OBE, IPA director of marketing strategy and executive director IPA EffWorks says: “How can you say what you mean if you don’t mean what you say? Which is precisely the issue that this thorough research brings to the fore: you can’t produce good work without a good evidence-based brief with realistic outcomes and sensible budgets. They are the building block of the client/agency relationship and the campaign outcome.
“A bad brief result in wasted time, money and patience all round. But let’s turn a negative into a positive here. Now we know the extent of the problem, we are also presented with an opportunity to improve the briefing process and reclaim the third of the marketing budget lost to bad briefs – which is why we will be adding this to the list of our EffWorks R&D priorities for 2022.”
Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson says the about 90% of marketers never develop a marketing strategy or “enjoy a single strategic moment in their whole career”.

Shares in US tech giants Apple has dropped 1.2% on reports the manufacturer could slash production in its latest flagship the iPhone 13, due to the ongoing computer chip shortage.
According to Bloomberg, the iPhone maker was expected to make 90 million smartphones in the last quarter of 2021, but the vendor has reportedly told partners it can only produce 10 million.
Chip manufacturer partners Broadcom and Texas Instruments are reportedly struggling to supply enough chips to Apple and saw their shares down by 1%.
Apple launched the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max in September.
READ MORE: Apple shares drop on iPhone 13 production fears
Amazon UK warehouseLaw firm Leigh Day which won a worker’s rights case on behalf of Uber drivers is now launching action against Amazon for its delivery drivers.
Leigh Day states drivers should be given the same rights as official employees even if they are hired by third parties. Currently, Amazon delivery drivers are classed as self-employed and are not entitled to minimum wage or holiday pay from the ecommerce giant.
The law firm is launching legal action on behalf of two drivers and is garnering support from others to join the case. At least three thousand drivers could be owed more than £100m in compensation, says Leigh Day. It is arguing Amazon holds control over how drivers work and how they fit in the business, meaning they should have more rights.
An example is drivers are given compulsory time targets to meet deliveries.
Amazon has said it is committed to ensuring drivers were fairly paid by the delivery companies they work with.
Leigh Day employment solicitor Kate Robinson says: “It appears that Amazon is short-changing drivers making deliveries on their behalf. This is disgraceful behaviour from a company that makes billions of pounds a year.
“Drivers delivering for Amazon have to work set shifts and book time off, yet Amazon claim they are self-employed.”
READ MORE: Amazon drivers look to sue for compensation over rights
Accor has launched a Pan-European campaign and podcast to champion the “heart and soul” of hospitality, in a bid to energise the hard-hit sector.
The ‘Heart of Hospitality’ campaign includes an independent microsite to share inspiring stories of lives and moments in hospitality, give voice to the people of the sector.
The podcast will be hosted by Accor Northern Europe CEO Duncan O’Rourke and will cover topics such as women in hospitality, the future of the sector, and luxury travel.
“Heart is what our industry is built on,” says O’Rourke. “We are a people business, that’s all that matters in our sector; people – our people, our partners and our guests. Every hospitality venue is built on the heart and soul that passionate, creative and hardworking people put into it every day.
“Every person, guest or talent, that steps foot into a hotel or hospitality venue is seeking an experience, an emotional connection to a person or moment. That’s why our sector is so important and why it’s been so missed in the last 18 months. It’s a sector that cares deeply every day. Hospitality matters because it has heart.”
Restaurant chain Wagamama is launching a new campaign to commemorate the brand making 50% of its menu plant-based.
Wagamama is giving plant-based dishes an equal share of menu space with the launch of more plant-based choices this month.
Marking the occasion is the launch of a film based on the Japanese film genre ‘Kaiju’ which is popularised in the west by Godzilla.
The new film centres around a giant rubber dinosaur called Vegemama which is on a mission to “right our wrongs and help heal our planet.” She does this by destroying a city and blowing up an oil rig to stop more damage to the planet.
But the film pans to a man eating ramen outside a Wagamama branch informing the monster eating pants is a powerful way to save Earth. Vegamama considers this for a moment, before shrugging and losing interest in destroying humanity.
The campaign will run on TV, cinema, online and social and will be supported by OOH executions later in the year.
Share of search has been found to represent 83% of a brand’s market share, according to a study led by Vizer Consulting’s James Hankins for the IPA’s new share of search think tank.
The research, which was carried out across a range of sectors, countries and languages, shows the ratio between share of search and share of market does vary by category and market, though.
The findings build on the work carried out Adam&EveDDB group head of effectiveness, Les Binet, and Hankins last year, which touted the new metric as an accurate proxy for market share, with the potential to predict future growth.
Share of search is based on Google Trends search data and is defined by the number of searches a brand receives divided by the searches for all brands within a competitor set over a six to 12 month rolling period.
The latest research, which will be presented by Hankins at the IPA’s EffWorks Global conference today, also shows the metric is dynamic, so when share of search changes, so too does share of market.
Furthermore, when a brand spends more than its market share and increases its share of voice, its share of search increases, although more analysis is needed to understand category and brand dynamics.
Meanwhile, mass reach media such as TV has been found to have a greater impact on share of search compared to more targeted channels. When communication is terminated, however, purchase frequency declines, but strong brands are in a better position to bounce back, although not to previous levels.
Hankins says: “These findings come from a fairly new research group. By bringing together a wide range of practitioners from the industry and aggregating the applications and insights, we hope to help the industry foster best practice and identify potential avenues for further research, this is only the beginning.”
The results are based on 30 case studies representing 12 categories across seven countries, and refer to correlations not causal relationships. The IPA hopes the findings provide answers for smaller brands wanting to deploy share of search and for companies that sell more than one product or service.
Janet Hull, IPA director of marketing strategy and executive director of IPA EffWorks, adds: “The new IPA share of search think tank has been providing robust evidence and case studies from both sides of the Atlantic to amplify industry knowledge and interest in this dynamic metric.
“Share of search continues to enliven vigorous and enthusiastic debate among academics, strategists and analysts alike. Use cases suggest considerable interest in the predictive and competitive potential for investment decision-making. We look forward to fuelling the debate.”
Ritson described share of search as a “simple and elegant alternative” to share of voice last year when the study was first released.
“A gaggle of marketers have been talking for a while now about the fascinating concept of ‘share of search’. And, as you think more about that concept, the idea becomes all the more alluring,” he said.
John Lewis has launched a campaign to raise awareness of its home insurance offer as it looks to quadruple the size of its financial services business.
The 60-second ad looks to highlight the flexibility and price of its new home insurance product. It shows a young boy dressed up in his mother’s clothes, shoes and make-up creating an unintentional trail of destruction as he goes and ends with the line ‘Let Life Happen’.
The ad by Adam&EveDDB kicked off on ITV last night and will also feature on YouTube, streaming services and social media channels, as well as appearing on digital screens outside Waitrose stores.
Claire Pointon, customer director for John Lewis, says: “We wanted to inject joy, freedom and humour into this campaign. The story we landed on fulfils this, with the idea that when you have John Lewis’s home insurance with the option of accidental damage cover, you don’t need to worry anymore, you can just ‘let life happen’.
As part of its five-year business transformation plan outlined last year, John Lewis Partnership committed to spending £100m to quadruple the size of its financial services business by offering new products and services across savings and insurance.
The ad highlights John Lewis’s new flexible home insurance offer and first ever investment products.
Asos’s share price dropped by more than 10% yesterday after it revealed CEO Nick Beighton had stepped down and warned that profits would be hit by increased costs and disruption to its supply chain.
The online fashion brand’s share price dropped by as much as 17% after the news was revealed yesterday.
Outgoing chairman Adam Crozier, who is leading the management shake-up, said a “fresh pair of eyes” was needed to help the business, which has lost almost half its value this year.
Asos has been severely impacted by the supply chain issues currently impacting the retail sector. It blamed its worsening outlook on the difficulties of moving stock around the world as a result of the pandemic and Brexit.
READ MORE: Asos CEO to Leave as Online Retailer Warns Profit Will Decline
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of global marketers have adapted their creative as a result of the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements, according to a study by Shutterstock.
In the UK specifically, 62% of marketers say these movements impacted their content decisions over the past 12 months.
A similar number (65%) of marketers agree racial and ethnic diversity is an important factor when targeting consumers, however 44% believe it can be difficult to visually reflect their brand with racial and ethnic diversity.
More than a third (34%) of global marketers and 36% of UK marketers believe accurately representing the world we live in is the most important objective for content used in marketing campaigns. Although a similar number (33%) say brand purpose is most important.
The study also shows Brexit has negatively impacted UK marketers’ ability to create diverse content. Nearly half (48%) of UK marketers think it has become harder to hire diverse creative talent because of Brexit. As a result, 48% of marketers are concerned leaving the EU has impacted the diversity of their marketing campaigns. Conversely, just 14% say they are unconcerned.
Meanwhile, although many businesses now have a head of diversity and inclusion, just 31% are involved in all marketing decisions, while 14% have no involvement in marketing at all.
The study is based on the views of 2,700 marketers from the UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain and USA.
The founder and boss of retailer French Connection is set to leave the business as it begins to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Stephen Marks, who founded the business in 1972, says it is “an appropriate time” for him to step down as it is in a better position than it was pre-Covid.
While French Connection’s revenue for the six months to 31 July 2021 was down 21.2% to £40.2m, its underlying loss was £0.9m compared to the £3.6m loss in registered in 2019.
“We achieved a stronger trading performance following the re-opening of stores in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the post-lockdown periods of 2020 and have additionally seen the benefit of the closure of several non-contributing stores over the last 18 months,” he says.
READ MORE: French Connection boss steps down as group recovers from Covid
Asos plans to increase marketing spend in international territories over the next financial year, as it aims to become a £7bn business within the next three to four years.
In its full-year results to 31 August, the online fashion retailer recorded sales growth of 22%, with “exceptional” growth of 36% in the UK, as well as “strong” growth in the US at 21%. Sales in the EU grew 15%, while the rest of the world grew 6%.
The brand also grew its active customer base to 26.4 million, helping to drive an adjusted profit before tax of £126.3m, up 30% on the previous year.
The retailer saw particularly strong growth in its face and body offering as it continues to expand into the category, as sales grew 49%. Face and body alone is now a £150m business.
Meanwhile, the integration of the Topshop brands since acquiring them from Arcadia earlier this year has continued to progress well, with sustained triple digital sales growth. In the US, Asos has established a partnership with bricks-and-mortar retailer Nordstrom to help drive growth of the Topshop brands, with Asos brands to be sold in select stores from the first half of 2022.
Over the year, the brand increased marketing costs as a percentage of sales by 140 base points to 5.1%, as it invested into digital marketing and social media engagement to drive awareness and support the launch of the Topshop brands.
Despite industry-wide supply chain pressures and elevated freight and Brexit-related duty costs, Asos says it will invest to capture long-term growth next year, driving an approximately 1% increase in marketing as a percentage of sales. As a result, the retailer expects profit in the range of £110m to £140m, which could mark a decline on this year’s level.
Full-year sales growth over the next financial year is expected to be in the range of 10 to 15%. Asos claims to have a clear plan in place to deliver £7bn of annual revenue within the next three to four years.
“Asos has delivered another strong performance, with continued growth in customer numbers driving further increases in sales and profits,” says Mat Dunn, chief operating officer and CFO.
“Looking ahead, while our performance in the next 12 months is likely to be constrained by demand volatility and global supply chain and cost pressures, we are confident in our ability to capture the sizeable opportunities ahead. In the last two years, we have transformed Asos with investment in infrastructure and the customer offer; we have generated strong revenue growth and free cash flow and improved structural profitability. But we know there is more to do.”
Dunn now leads the Asos business on a day-to-day basis, as Nick Beighton has stepped down as CEO. A search for a replacement CEO is underway, led by new chair Ian Dyson.
The CEO of Kraft Heinz has warned consumers to anticipate higher food prices from now on, as the food giant puts up prices across several countries.
The producer of Heinz baked beans and tomato ketchup has increased prices on more than half of its products in the US, with Miguel Patricio telling the BBC that inflationary pressures are mounting across other countries as well. In the UK, the lack of lorry drivers is adding to the rising costs.
Patricio said consumers will need to get used to higher food prices as the world’s population rises and businesses struggle to find enough land to grow food on – though farming technology may help in future.
However, he added that not all cost increases should be passed on to consumers, as firms should absorb some of the cost themselves.
Soaring food costs drove a record jump in price rises in August this year, with the Consumer Prices Index showing the increase in living costs hit 3.2% over the previous 12 months.
In June the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation found global food prices had risen at their fastest monthly rate in over a decade, as the cost of ingredients such as cereals of oils surged.
The pandemic saw many countries struggle to produce the same level of raw materials, from crops to vegetable oils, and the supply of these products has been unable to keep up with returning demand as economies have reopened. This, combined with higher wages and energy prices, has led to higher prices for consumers.
READ MORE: Kraft Heinz says people must get used to higher food prices
To celebrate 20 years of its Extra Special product line and capitalise on consumer demand for premium food at home, Asda is opening a pop-up fine dining restaurant in London where every dish served is a ready meal from the range.
Opening on 21 October, the restaurant will boast an eight-course tasting menu plus wine, with each dish plated and presented by Asda’s innovation chef Andrew Johnston and his team. The experience will be free of charge for the 100 diners to win a spot.
“We have spent the last 20 years sourcing the very best ingredients and products for our Extra Special range. The range is constantly changing to meet our customer needs, but quality is always at the very heart of it,” says Asda’s vice-president of own brand, Sam Dickson.
“Premium ready meals are becoming increasingly popular as the pandemic brought with it the trend to treat ourselves at home, and we’re immensely proud of our Extra Special range of ‘meals for tonight’.”
The UK arm of fast-food giant Burger King is reportedly preparing to float on the London Stock Exchange for around £600m next year.
According to the Sunday Times, the restaurant’s owner is in talks with bankers from Investec and Numis, and is close to appointing one as advisor.
Private equity firm Bridgepoint owns the UK division of Burger King, having reached an agreement with Restaurant Brands International (RBI) in 2018 to become the master franchisee of the brand across the country for 20 years. The deal gave the firm exclusive rights to the brand and control over the brand’s proposition.
Bridgepoint simultaneously acquired Caspian UK Group, one of the UK’s largest Burger King franchisees with 74 restaurants. Overall, the firm operates around 530 sites in the UK, the majority owned by franchisees.
Burger King UK reported sales of £117m in 2020, up £16m on 2019 despite the impact of the pandemic.
Earlier this year a Sky report claimed Bridgepoint is looking to sell the UK operation of Burger King next year. According to the Times the possibility of a sale is still open and could be worth between £500m and £600m.
READ MORE: Burger King UK cooks up £600m float
Cinch has unveiled a new brand platform to position the online car marketplace as the only place to purchase a car with complete trust and confidence, with a new banner: ‘Don’t just nail it, Cinch it’.
To launch the new strategy, the brand has worked with agency VCCP London on three television adverts, the first of which premiered over the weekend with premium spots during the England vs Andorra World Cup qualifier match, Celebrity Catchphrase, and new drama Angela Black.
The 30-second spot, ‘Meal’, features celebrity brand ambassador Rylan Clark alongside TV chef Gino D’Acampo. An “ambitious” transmission schedule will continue across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky over the coming months, with supporting activity across TV, radio, social and display.
Cinch claims to be the fastest growing online car marketplace, generating annualised sales of over 70,000 vehicles despite launching only a year ago.
“Purchasing a car is a big decision. With our new creative platform ‘Don’t just nail it, Cinch it’ it was important that we delivered the true personality and experience of cinch, providing certainty that online car buying really can be an easy way to make your next car purchase,” says senior marketing director Amy Townsend.
“We want to show Britain’s car buyers they can be confident cinch understands what they need from their car and the experience of buying it. We’ve collaborated closely [with VCCP] to bring to market outstanding new creative and we are excited to unveil to the nation even more brilliant and charming moments of cinching it in the year to come.”
As the Better Briefs Project will reveal this week, 90% of marketers fail to brief agencies effectively, and their failures begin with a total lack of strategy.
Online is not “the enemy” of marketing effectiveness, says econometrician Dr Grace Kite, as analysis reveals the optimum budget split for UK brands is 55% offline, 45% online.
The brand’s search volume index almost always sits between 20 and 30 points above the search volume of the property market as a whole.
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The fact consumers are no longer “wrapped around the monoculture of television” presents a real problem for advertisers, according to Diageo’s global marketing effectiveness director Kiel Peterson, who believes personalisation backed by data will be key.
Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here
Research led by James Hankins for the IPA’s share of search think tank also shows the metric is dynamic, so when share of search changes, so too does share of market.
From elevating marketing’s influence and how to do more with less, to the psychology of consumers and brand strategy excellence, there are many reasons to attend the Festival of Marketing: The Year Ahead next week.
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