Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Criteo, The Digital Marketing Institute, LinkedIn and more

A global study of more than 1000 brands, agencies, retailers and publishers conducted by Criteo, the commerce media company, has revealed 83% of publishers are curious to tap retail media ad spend by embedding products on their web pages, opening up more inventory opportunities for offsite campaigns. With so many platforms and providers working across the retail media ecosystem, ‘The Great Defrag: how commerce media will unite advertising in 2024’ brought together perspectives from all players and all regions into one cohesive story of how to advance retail media to the next level. Among the key findings, an overwhelming proportion of agencies (93%), brands (88%) and retailers (89%) said retail media has had a strong or positive impact on their bottom line in 2023. In fact, 79% of advertisers agreed retail media spend is more effective in terms of sales than any other channel. The data also illustrates how retail media has evolved beyond purely sponsored product ads. Overall, 85% of brands and agencies agreed the ability of retail media to drive upper-funnel brand awareness is growing stronger.

The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), the global standard in Digital Marketing Certification, has launched its first Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Digital Marketing course, following overwhelming demand from marketers. The decision to launch the course comes following DMI’s latest Membership Survey in 2023, which found AI to be the top skill members are looking to develop over the next 12 months. The course will bridge the AI knowledge gap for marketers of all levels, from junior all the way through to CMO level. Through a combination of hands-on practical lessons, toolkits and real-world examples, students will learn how to leverage AI technologies to gain key insights and refine campaigns. Today’s top marketers are seizing the opportunity to harness the AI revolution. This course will support those in the profession to realise their full potential by providing them with the resources and skills they need to adopt AI technologies in the workplace. The course is designed to develop, enhance and optimise digital marketing activities, help students to understand and implement AI data-driven marketing, and get to grips with key AI tools like ChatGPT and Stability AI for research. Learners will also be equipped to use AI tools to assist with content development, data-driven decision-making, creative design and more. 

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, has launched a new brand campaign in the UK aimed at Gen Z professionals – the fastest growing audience on LinkedIn – to help them grow their careers at a time when the world of work is changing quickly and they don’t know where to start. LinkedIn’s research finds that while 86% of Gen Z professionals in the UK are open to new job opportunities this year, they’re also the least confident of all generations when it comes to navigating their professional lives or asking for help. To help young professionals jumpstart their careers, LinkedIn’s new brand campaign spotlights the platform’s tools, community, and insights of 1 billion members that can guide young professionals and arm them with the right skills. Created by LinkedIn’s in-house creative team in collaboration with renowned commercial and music video director, Terence Neale, the film uses a surreal storytelling technique that aims to heighten humorous and relatable moments at work. In the ad we see the protagonist, a Gen Z professional, looking confused in a meeting as he hears everyone speak gibberish, much like the workplace jargon you encounter when you start a new job. On his phone, he seeks out LinkedIn’s Collaborative Articles feature that allows professionals to tap into expert voices and diverse perspectives on a wide range of professional topics. As he learns from the “How can I understand new work topics?” article, his confidence grows and he starts to get more comfortable in his new work environment. The film ends with the endline, “Making work make sense. LinkedIn knows how.” In addition to the TV spot, LinkedIn has partnered with creative agency, VCCP to create a live activation, a ‘LinkedIn Know-How To Go’ coffee truck with a twist and a social learning campaign on LinkedIn, TikTok, and Meta to make career advice more enjoyable. The coffee truck will have a special menu with items named after corporate jargon – such as ‘Blueberry Sky Thinking Muffin’ and ‘Chime-in Chai Latte’ – and young professionals can get these items for free if they can guess what the names mean. Career experts will be on hand to offer useful advice to professionals, tailored to whatever career stage they are in.

Odeeo, the in-game audio advertiser has released data on exactly when mobile gamers are tuned into their favourite games, giving advertisers valuable insights on the best times to reach players. Weekday mornings, for example, are a particularly strong peak-time, before mobile gamers get into their day, and the number of unique gamers rises by 5% at weekends. Examining more than 75 million ad impressions in the UK, these insights show when mobile gamers are tapping into their mobile devices for gameplay, helping brands and publishers better understand when to reach this market segment and bid for ad positions.

At CRN’s inaugural Sustainability in Tech Awards last week, judges highly commended Umbraco digital agency partners for educating their peers and the open-source community on sustainable web design practices that will help to collectively reduce website energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Winners were announced at the inaugural CRN Sustainability in Tech Summit at BAFTA, London, at which speakers from the IT channel shared practical advice and strategies that organisations can apply to reduce their carbon emissions. As the largest open-source .Net CMS provider in the world, Umbraco has recognised that it has an opportunity and a responsibility to share best practices for sustainable web design with its highly-engaged open-source community and its thriving network of 1,500 digital agency partners. In a CMS industry first, Umbraco established a Sustainability Team in March 2023. It is actively working with its digital agency partners to influence changes in web design that will measurably reduce the environmental impact of websites and digital services built on the Umbraco platform.The Umbraco Sustainability team includes technical and business leaders from six digital agencies, supported by two Umbraco HQ employees. UK digital agencies on the team include platinum partners: Tangent, Nexer Digital, CTI Digital, and Great State; gold partner, TPX Impact; and Dutch digital agency, Perplex Digital. The team has published best practices for infrastructure, backend and frontend developers and content editors, to empower them to build more sustainable websites and digital services.

Nest Commerce has announced two new client wins in female fashion as it continues its rapid growth. Award winning female fashion brand Saint + Sofia has appointed Nest to lead on a creative and full-funnel performance strategy across Meta, Google and Pinterest. Nest has also won sustainable fashion brand Damson Madder to also run a creative and full-funnel cross channel performance strategy. Both were managing advertising in house prior to working with Nest. Nest Commerce is a full-funnel performance, brand and creative agency that powers marketing for online retailers. Their clients include ME+EM, Reiss, Hims, Decathlon and Crew Clothing. The announcement comes as Nest has seen significant global growth over the past 12 months, seeing revenues increase by more than 50% year on year following a series of new client wins. 

Optimizely, the digital experience platform (DXP) provider, has announced that a new product integration with Writer, the enterprise-focused generative AI platform, is now live. The integration comes after the official partnership announcement in October and equips the Optimizely Content Marketing Platform (CMP) with first-of-its-kind AI capabilities that enable joint customers to harness the power of industry-specific LLMs to develop content that is relevant, compliant, and consistent with their existing brand tone and voice, and highly tailored to industry audiences – further simplifying the entire content marketing lifecycle. Writer’s integration into Optimizely One marks another milestone in the DXP provider’s commitment to investing in its own AI future, while still offering customers cutting-edge solutions in the moment. The integration will leverage the Palmyra, the Writer-built family of large language models, to enhance AI-powered content generation capabilities and chat features across Optimizely applications. 

Climb24, a festival of innovation, industry and investment, will return to Leeds on June 5th – 6th, 2024. Building on the success of Climb23, which brought together more than 1,500 delegates, 220 speakers and 150 active investors from across the world, Climb24 will showcase industry-leading innovation and provide investment-ready businesses with opportunities to make meaningful connections beyond their existing networks. The event will feature keynotes, interactive workshops and panel discussions covering some of the latest trends and challenges for companies at all stages of their growth. Featuring globally renowned speakers across the two days, and dedicated stages covering SaaS, CleanTech, AI and HealthTech, Climb24 will cover everything from securing talent, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and impact investment, to founder burnout and mental health awareness.

Publicis Groupe EMEA has announced the launch of an advanced B2B offering for clients across the region, Publicis Pro. Publicis Pro brings together the expertise of Octopus Group, the agency Publicis Groupe UK acquired three years ago, with the strength and depth of the Groupe. Its offering will span strategy, creative, influence and commerce and bring together a core team of 60 people in the UK with access to 400 B2B specialists from across the global network, with a particular focus on the UK, Germany and France. The B2B market has experienced rapid change in recent years to become more global and connected than ever before. The launch of Publicis Pro will enable Publicis Groupe to better connect international business audiences with new data and marketing services, accelerating growth for its global B2B and B2B2C clients and becoming a new centre of excellence across the EMEA region.

Zapped’s Valentine’s Day hoax saw over 200 junior staff try to order a free sample of aphrodisiac coffee for their colleagues. Zapped is the new B2B AI tool that combines automation with human judgment. It got 219 leads for a brand-new, fake brand by turning cold leads into warm connections. As part of a marketing campaign, Zapped invented Swallow, a fake coffee brand that specialises in aphrodisiac coffees. After defining the target audience and ideal client leads, the lead gen tool used its software to reach 2000 junior marketers, putting itself and the product in front of the intended audience. The email was written and sent from Elsa Wedget, an anagram for ‘we get leads’. This email encouraged junior marketers to gift a free sample of Swallow Coffee, a drink designed to be a conversation starter, a mood lifter and the perfect product for sharing, to one of their colleagues in the office in time for Valentine’s Day. Two hundred nineteen junior marketers opened the email and tried to order their free sample in just a week, showing how effective Zapped is at turning cold outreach into warm connections. Staff who clicked the link in the email were directed to Swallow’s website, where they could receive their free sample. After clicking the ‘Order Free Sample’ button, the junior marketers were presented with a pop-up message explaining they had been ‘Zapped’. Established this year, Zapped’s AI-driven approach turns cold outreach into warm connections, offering a game-changing solution for startups and industry giants alike. This AI tool works by inputting your ideal client into the software. Zapped will then find 1000s of similar people and write and send emails on your behalf to ensure your message lands. When you get responses to these emails, you can either accept or reject the lead and from this, Zapped will continue to get smarter and learn more about the type of leads you want.