Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Imagination, Hootsuite, Zappi and many more

Major League Baseball (MLB) London Series, Trafalgar Square Takeover, a three-day baseball extravaganza, is coming to London this weekend. MLB London Series: Trafalgar Square Takeover will see the iconic landmark transformed into the ultimate festival of baseball between June 23-25 to celebrate MLB returning to the UK, as St. Louis Cardinals take on Chicago Cubs in a 2-game series at London Stadium. MLB London Series: Trafalgar Square Takeover will be an opportunity for fans to experience MLB in the centre of the capital with baseball activities, ballpark food, MLB merchandise and a full programme of entertainment including live screening of MLB World Tour: London Series 2023 presented by Capital One. Imagination has once again partnered with MLB on this celebration of baseball, creatively responsible for curating and crafting the fan festival experience. At the heart of the experience sits Home Run Derby X The Cage, a brand new immersive digital baseball experience. The Cage will give visitors a chance to hit home runs in Trafalgar Square in a dimension-defying new baseball game that blends real life and virtual gameplay using the latest ball tracking technology. Located within an epic cage structure, players hit physical baseballs which are digitally visualised across the iconic London skyline, reaching Nelson’s column and beyond.

To mark World Productivity Day, Hootsuite is launching a free, AI-powered social-first caption generation tool, as well as a dedicated video campaign to showcase how seriously easy AI tools can be. In combination with the company’s recently-released social media content generator, OwlyWriter AI, this ensures marketers can keep up with daily social content needs efficiently. Social marketers constantly struggle with a lack of ideas and readily-available content to post on social media. Addressing this challenge, Hootsuite has invested into AI capabilities to enable a simpler, stress-free content creation process. Rather than replacing human creativity – which is vital for brands looking to stand out in the sea of sameness on social – Hootsuite’s free AI caption generator will help users generate content that is both relevant and adjustable. It can be used for Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, and is openly-accessible to all social marketers. The new tool is modelled on the OwlyWriter AI tool, which has already seen huge success with Hootsuite’s customers since its launch in April 2023. In fact, 25 percent of users were able to create a new post and publish or schedule it in under five minutes, and over 75 percent of content generated by OwlyWriter AI ended up being published or scheduled. What’s more, as Hootsuite’s new video demonstrates, OwlyWriter AI is seriously easy to use. 

Zappi, the market research platform for consumer-centric ad and product development, has released its first annual State of Creative Effectiveness report. The report was developed from Zappi data on more than 2,300 ads from B2C brands and nearly one million U.S. consumers between 2019 and 2023. It examines advertising’s effectiveness through the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent period of rising inflation, and now offers a mid-year update for 2023. Zappi found that creative effectiveness in 2023 has rebounded from a disappointing 2022, and is set to outperform pre-pandemic advertising, according to its consumer testing.

Benefit Cosmetics UK  has put customers at the centre of its first heart-filled loyalty program, Benefit Loves, by creating a customer centric app to help enhance the Benefit brand experience and build on a mobile-first approach to engagement. Benefit Loves is a free to join reward programme where members can earn “hearts” with rewards for a variety of actions such as shopping at Benefit boutiques or making online purchases. They will also earn rewards for non-transactional actions such as opening the app, referring a friend, or booking a beauty service. In exchange for hearts, bespoke rewards are available including free products, mini treatments, and beauty masterclasses, as well as access to VIP events, exclusive previews, and early access to sales. Benefit Loves is built with customers in mind, making shopping accessible for all and providing an easily on-the-go treatment booking system. Customers get a bespoke and completely personalised experience so they can select the beauty products they are interested in and have the chance to enter regular competitions and win prizes. The programme has launched to Benefit’s online customers and instore at the 6 Benefit-owned UK stores, with plans to potentially extend the scheme in the future.

Frontify, a brand management platform, has announced its acquisition of real-time image and video processing service, TwicPics — for an undisclosed sum — which will be integrated into the Frontify platform. TwicPics, a cloud-based solution with a strong track record of serving brands like L’Oreal, Celine, and Yves Rocher, specializes in optimizing page load times and simplifying image processing. The business was founded in 2019 by three former developers, Florent Bourgeois, Julian Aubourg, and Xavier Baldacci, at the Station F incubator in Paris and was joined by Marc-Henri Spiess. Frontify’s acquisition of TwicPics creates a seamless brand asset management experience, merging asset delivery services and a leading Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform. The strategic move meets market demand for holistic brand management, providing integrated and centralized solutions to enhance brand efficiency while providing an exceptional user experience for brand-builders. Frontify has made a significant move to enhance capabilities and, through the acquisition of TwicPics, aims to become the one-stop shop for brand management, all while catering to the evolving needs of modern businesses by streamlining workflows and reducing accumulating software costs.

With 38% of marketers feeling they pay too much for email marketing, SALESmanago, the Customer Engagement Platform, has announced the launch of its free ChatGPT-powered email marketing. The company surveyed 250 senior marketers across the UK, Poland, Germany and Spain to determine attitudes towards email marketing. The survey revealed that 60% feel email marketing solutions are important to their eCommerce marketing strategy. However, only 39% have seen a positive return on investment in an email marketing solution for their business. Greg Blazewicz, CEO at SALESmanago, commented: “Email Marketing and Marketing Automation is the preferred software for omnichannel marketing campaigns, but too many marketers are paying too much for tools that should be free. We live in an age where marketers need to truly understand their customers to make an impact. And, to do this, they need powerful tools like Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). Smaller but fundamental tools such as email marketing should be a marketer’s right, as these tools empower marketing teams with more budget allocation and time to spearhead successful campaigns and company growth.” As part of SALESmanago’s offering, users will benefit from a 10,000 subscriber limit and 10,000 monthly email distributions. Marketers will also receive access to email marketing ChatGPT capabilities, email conversion tools, and SALESmanago’s mobile-first designer.

A new report published by McKinsey & CompanyThe economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier, finds that generative AI could add between $2.6 trillion and $4.4 trillion worth of annual productivity globally. It analyzes 63 new use cases across 16 business functions that could deliver those returns, which are comparable to the UK 2021 GDP of $3.1 trillion. McKinsey estimates that, excluding the effects of generative AI, artificial intelligence, and analytics use cases could deliver $11 trillion to $17.7 trillion in value to the global economy annually. Adding generative AI to these use cases could increase that amount by 15 percent to 40 percent.  

Manchester-based fintech Zuto has announced plans to hire 150 new team members across its contact centre, following another strong year of growth. Positions are available to graduate and experienced sales executives and sales managers, with basic salary starting at £26k, increasing to £30k plus uncapped commission. Top performers earn in excess of £55k a year. As a people-first company, Zuto prides itself on making employee wellbeing of utmost importance to employees. It has won several workplace awards for its focus on career progression and employee wellbeing. 

Independent research conducted by CensusWide for Menlo Security, Inc. (Menlo Security), a specialist in cloud security, has revealed that one in three UK consumers believe that over half of all advertisements on websites or social media sites are generated by AI (artificial intelligence). Menlo Security is warning of an increase in ‘malvertising’, a form of highly evasive threat where malware is embedded into online or social media ads – due to the rise in convincing fake ads created by AI tools like ChatGPT and image generators, like Midjourney and DALLE. The research also highlights that many are unaware of the risks of clicking on fake, and therefore potentially malicious, advertisements.

Metia Group, the global B2B marketing agency has launched B2B Directions, a ready to interrogate, always-on data store of over 8.32 million digital conversations among B2B audiences, decision-makers and influencers dating back to 2018. The B2B Directions data store gathers conversations from a variety of decision-makers, key roles and influencers in 13 different vertical sectors, including Government, Education, Retail, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Entertainment. Industry specific keywords and jargon can be applied to derive deep insight by vertical sector. The big themes the data store is exploring, include: business leadership, innovation and resilience as well as strategic topics such as productivity, the future of work, security, AI, diversity and sustainability. 

Efficio, the world’s largest procurement and supply chain consultancy, has launched this year’s edition of The Source, a digital magazine showcasing insights and expertise in procurement and supply chain management. Over the past three years, the global economy and supply chains have faced significant disruptions, forcing business leaders to rethink both how they run their businesses and with whom they conduct business. In response to this, Efficio has launched its 10th issue of The Source to help the C-Suite tackle current procurement and supply chain challenges. The 2023 edition of The Source offers valuable content, designed to bolster strategic decision-makers to ensure they are well-informed about the most recent industry trends and optimal practices in procurement and supply chain.