Photospire HQ Has Moved Home

The Photospire team has been expanding over recent months and we have outgrown our home in Victoria.

A big thanks to the Truestart family for all their help and hospitality while we shared their space.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve relocated Photospire’s HQ to Borough. The team have been settling into their new office and sampling the tasty lunch options in the area.

Please feel free to get in touch if you’re in the area.

Our new office address is:

6-8 Cole Street, London, SE1 4YH

 


Takeaways From Shoptalk Europe

Shoptalk’s first European event in Copenhagen has just come to an end and the Photospire team have had a busy few days sharing our vision for the future of retail while refuelling on some very tasty Danish cuisine.

Shoptalk covers innovation in retail and ecommerce. It focuses on the evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy in an age of digital disruption.  Shoptalk Europe brings together major retailers with ecommerce fledglings, tech Goliaths, early stage startups and investors.  The result is a focus on the big issues within retail which led to more constructive conversations.

As we travel back to our London HQ here are some of the learnings we’re bringing with us.

Direct to consumer is hot right now

Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin gave some interesting insights into the continued drive towards “direct to consumer”.  He stressed the need to “learn as much about the customer as you possibly can”. The more you know about your customer the more you can tailor your product and services, create an amazing experience and deliver it directly to the customer.

Collaboration is becoming strategic

Collaboration between retailers and tech companies of all sizes was a major theme that a number of speakers focused on.  Collaborating with companies that are fully focused on solving specific problems allows retailers to get the right product to the right customer while wrapping the whole process with an amazing experience.  Some friends of Photospire’s who were at Shoptalk and are great examples of collaborators that can help retailers are; Hullabalook for visual product search, Presence Orb for in-store WiFi analytics and ZigZag for returns processing.

Online and offline are blurring together

Amazon Prime reminded the audience that today’s consumer is busy and wants convenience.  Alibaba elaborated that consumers don’t see a difference between ordering online or instore. They’ll do whatever is most convenient at that moment in time.  The increasing blurring of boundaries between online and offline adds to the challenges for those tasked with building loyalty.


Scaling Creative – a discussion with Joe Morley from Facebook

Photospire were in Germany this week for dmexco and we were delighted for our co-founder and COO Dave O’Meara to join Joe Morley (Director, Facebook & Instagram Partnerships, EMEA) and two other Facebook Marketing Partners (Vidsy and Genero) on stage to discuss creative at scale.

In front of an auditorium of 200 people the panel shared a number of key insights related to creative at scale.

What is the biggest challenge for marketers in a mobile first video environment?

  • Attention has shifted to the small screen but the attention span has shrunk.
  • Mobile is changing customer expectations; they are consuming more video content than ever before but still expect it to be fresh and relevant like the content in their newsfeed.
  • The main challenge that results from this is how to create relevant ad content to meet the massive demand.

How do you define the term ‘scaled creative’?

  • The ability to create the right story for the right audience at the right time.
  • Storytelling is changing, Facebook and the power of their audience data is making the scale part possible.
  • Scaled creative is about not sacrificing the quality because of the quantity.

Do you feel there’s a conflict between technology and creativity?

  • Technology doesn’t replace creativity, it enhances creativity and provides new mediums of expression. Some examples of this in other fields are the evolution of cinema and TV, the electric guitar and photography as an art form.
  • As great creative people see how tech can enable them to tell better stories they will seize the opportunity – and we are seeing this already.
  • The most engaging content of the future will be created through collaboration between creatives, data and technology.

What’s the one thing you’d like the audience to take away today?

  • They key message is that technology is an enabler – it should not be seen as an obstacle to creativity but as something that can enhance it.

Unbound – The Power of Live Video

Last week we were at Unbound Festival – a technology festival where “brands, corporate executives and investors come together to meet with Europe’s most disruptive start-ups to forge partnerships and explore new opportunities”.

Photospire was selected to be part of Unbound 50 – one of 50 high potential startups exhibiting across the two days.

The biggest theme across the talks at Unbound was live video – many of the headline

business leaders spoke about the major investment social platforms have been making in enabling and empowering live video and how live video is going to affect their brand.

As Facebook Marketing Partners, we’ve been very aware of the bets Facebook has been making on live video and we’ve also put a lot of our own resources into ensuring the Photospire platform can effectively deliver in-the-moment video ads.

Using Photospire, it’s now possible to serve in-the-moment video ads on all the major social platforms. These in-the-moment video ads automatically update depending on dynamic factors such as weather, sports results or news updates. Just like live-streamed content, in-the-moment video ads offer unparalleled opportunities to make content increasingly relevant and engaging.

And it works – the results from our campaigns with large brands have proved the incredible effectiveness of in-the-moment video; especially when combined with audience-relevant factors such as location to run campaigns which, for example, drive footfall to different locations depending on weather changes or sports results.

It’s great to see so many industry leaders putting so much energy into live content and we will continue to focus on helping brands seize these new opportunities.


Facebook F8 – Key features that have got the Photospire team excited

Facebook’s annual developer conference is taking place this week and some of the announcements have got us excited. Below are some new features that are going to change the user experience and greatly enhance the social giant's offering.

Augmented reality

Facebook have declared that the camera is the most important part of your phone.

Of course, its already key to sharing photos and videos with friends but the new augmented reality tools will enhance reality when viewing life through the camera. You will be able to place virtual objects and messages into the real world and add more information and detail to your pictures.

Facebook wants you to share photos of your run with your pace and time superimposed over the top and leave your reviews on the windows of restaurants. Pieces of art that can only be viewed through your phone will, in Zuckerbergs own words “have people standing around looking at blank walls”.

Camera Frames and Masks

The new camera effects platform will allow users to enhance their photos along the same lines as Snapchat but with more features.

The new ‘Frame Studio’ is an online creative editor that allows developers to make frames for pictures and images taken with the Facebook camera. In addition they are launching the ‘AR Studio’ to help content creators make their own masks, filters, animated frames and effects. These enhancements will respond to the environment, movement and interactions in live videos..

Messenger Bot Enhancements

Facebook is launching Facebook Messenger Platform 2.0 that uses even more artificial intelligence to connect users with businesses and visa versa.

For example, mentioning on a chat that you want to see a film will trigger messenger’s virtual assistant ‘M’ who will list the times and cinema locations in your area and then help everyone buy their tickets. Facebook want you to use messenger not only as a place to chat with friends but somewhere to organise your social life and more, differentiating it from What’s App.

These are just a few key developments that have come out of F8 so far, we can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeve.


How retailers are engaging customers with digital displays

Retailers have long known that to keep up with their customers’ demands they need to offer an exciting and innovative experience to in-store visits. Today’s shopper wants a more engaged, personal experience when they shop in store and have come to expect the same resources that they have available when shopping online. Oracle’s 2015 Consumer Research report found that 76% of respondents wanted retailers to invest in new technologies that specifically engage customer experience, with 54% saying that converged commerce is key to this.

In answer to this demand digital displays have come to the forefront in helping retailers bring the online and in-store shopping experience together, allowing consumers to interact and connect with brands whilst enriching their shopping experience.

One of the great advantages to in store digital displays is the ease in which they can personalise and add value to a shoppers visit. They can either be controlled by staff on site for a more relevant, customised experience or externally to offer consistency and increase brand loyalty.

Here are some brands that are using this technology to really stand out from the crowd and offer their customers a new approach to how they shop in-store:

Audi City

An early adopter of digital displays, Audi have rolled out digital showrooms in cities such as London and Berlin. This innovative format uses state of the art technology that enables visitors to experience every possible combination of the Audi range in one place. The London dealership has four ‘powerwalls’ – floor to ceiling screens that display the customers chosen car after identifying the model, colour, engine and other specification from touch screen tables. They can then spin the car around, peer inside, open the doors and trunk and even watch it drive off, complete with authentic engine noises.

Argos

Argos have opened their first tranche of new digital concept stores. The shops use digital technology to make the customer experience more interactive.  Customers can use tablets in store to browse products (where once was the catalogue) and the mounted screens welcome the customer, showcase the staff on duty and display new products and promotions. The company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds can also be directed to screens, which provides additional content for customers to read while they wait.

The technology displays current pricing and uses live, local stock data to decide which products get promoted. In addition, each store is linked to the local weather station, which enables Argos to promote weather related products on-screen as appropriate.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren successfully integrates engaging graphics within their store displays. They recently showcased an energetic and engaging Polo Sport display in the window of Macy’s New York and at their flagship store on Fifth Avenue. Using props, mannequins and graphic content they grabbed shoppers attention in an energised and theatrical way. The digital displays ran a video loop with fast-paced edits, featuring athletes wearing the apparel that the mannequins were sporting in action poses.

Burberry

A lot has already been written about Burberry???s flagship Regent’s Street store and it continues to be one of the most innovative shops in the world. The concept has been taken from their web user-experience and applied to the in-store retail space to create a bricks and mortar version of the website. Concentrating on the digital display aspect, customers are greeted by a huge digital screen (the largest of its type worldwide) giving the sensation of physically landing on the home page.

The most highly innovate concept is the stores mirrors that transform into digital screens. A chip hidden inside each product triggers RFID (radio-frequency identification) enabled mirrors on the shop floor and in changing rooms to transform into digital screens, displaying product information and inspiration.

The beauty of digital displays is that they enable brands to impress with fast moving content that can be updated at the press of a button. Used well they can bridge that elusive gap between on-line and in-store shopping and the overall result should be designed to enhance the store experience and assist customers in all aspects of the buying journey.


Facebook Video Advertising – 5 Things Brands Need to Know

We all know by now that Facebook advertising is big business and brands are really starting to embrace the opportunity to reach out to customers through social platforms. Video has proven to be the most engaging form of content and its popularity is breaking through the stratosphere. In July this year alone 16 million videos were uploaded to Facebook directly generating over 232 billion views for around 3.5 million different creators (Tubular Insights).
So how do brands make the most of video on Facebook?

Campaign Goals

Firstly you need to nail down your campaign goal whether that be to raise brand awareness.
drive sales or promote a service or product. Once this has been established you need to decide what success looks like to you and how you will measure it (for example with click through rates, number of views etc)

Target audience

The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can really target your audience and get an insight into behavioural patterns and demographics. The more you understand your audience the more you can target your content and really engage them. You can access information such as what pages people like who also like your page, what device they use to browse, their purchase behaviour and interests as well as location. In addition you can target people who share your current customers demographics and behavioural traits.

Creative Development

The key to advertising success is to connect with your audience. You need to engage your audience with the right message at the right time. Customers engage with personal moments and enjoy being part of the conversation, its important to spark interest and not give the hard sell.   Consistent visuals are also key to really emphasise your brands identity. Facebook suggest that adverts should be 80% visual and a max of 20% text. Its a ratio that works.

Timing

After analysing millions of videos, Wistia data showed that on average, people watch more
than 80% of a video shorter than 30 seconds. Its clear that the message needs to be concise and simple. You have to get through to your audience in the first 5 seconds if you want them to watch the entire video. The frequency is also important, its not about video overload its very much quality over quantity. For a series of adverts its important to keep consistent but offer fresh content each time.

Personalisation

To reach out to different segments you need to customise your videos to each target audience. There is no point posting a generic video for everybody. When you are targeting new or potential customers you need videos that build brand awareness and are informative, however existing customers may prefer to see new products and offers. You can take this one step further by personalising by location, demographics and interests to really offer a personalised experience to your audience.
Photospire is a personalised video platform that enables brands to tell their story in the most engaging way across all digital channels. For Facebook brands can use our technology to create multiple custom audiences and target them with the content that is relevant to them. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.

The Countdown to Christmas

Christmas is upon us and unless you have been living under a rock for the last month or so you will by now be familiar with the Christmas messages from the big brands.
John Lewis have unleashed their bouncing Boxer, Marks and Spencer have sprinkled a touch of sparkle over Mrs Christmas and Sainsbury’s have given time-strapped Dad the gift of family time this festive period. Just three of a huge sackful of brand campaigns designed to delight and inspire shoppers.
Executed correctly, inspiring shoppers is just what Christmas can do - and it's often essential for the success of the brand to increase sales at this time of year. In fact, according to Retail Research sales generated during this period represent more than 20% of total retail sales for the year. The consumers appetite is there and people are more receptive to Christmas marketing but it is imperative not to become part of the barrage of communications that get lost in the crowd, especially when email marketing alone increases by 25% at this time of year (MarketingTech).
The key to keeping consumers engaged is to intuitively update your message to theirchanging needs, taking the stress of out present shopping and making it as easy as possible for them. Here are some examples of how to make the most out of your festive content and keep your customers inspired:

Early bird offers

Once you have pressed the button on your Christmas marketing message its time to tailor it to those early bird shoppers who like to have Christmas wrapped up by the beginning of December. One of the key dates for this is Black Friday and you can let your customers know in advance your top deals, time frames for discounts and special loyalty offers.

In-store events

There are lots of events planned in the run up to Christmas and its the perfect opportunity to draw your customers in from the cold, enticing them with complimentary in store services and goodies. Invite them to their nearest store through their preferred marketing channels whether that’s email, social or post.

Last minute solutions

For all those early birds there are the same amount of people who wait until the last minute to blitz their gift list. Offer gift suggestions based on their purchases last year along with customer reviews and make sure they know your express delivery services, last ordering dates and gift wrap options.
Christmas is a lifecycle in itself and those brands that reach out at every stage of the Festive shoppers journey with relevant, intuitive content will reap the rewards.

Personalised Marketing – Getting it Right

Personalisation helps to reduce the noise around your marketing message and allows that message to evolve and develop based on your customer interactions and behaviour.

Achieving this is becoming more and more important in digital marketing, using personalisation to create a focussed marketing message and call to action is what makes it highly effective.

Executed correctly, personalisation can succeed in getting the right communications to the right people at the right time. Companies that can do this on an individual basis rather than mass market are seeing excellent results. However, there are certain things to consider before embarking on this type of marketing to make it a success:

Real-time

Every email that you send to a customer needs to be relevant and timely. Email is still the most effective form of digital marketing, but its value can be weakened by sending endless generic emails. Identify customer segments and send them personalised dynamic emails that are tailored to the time and location the emails are opened.

Know your Audience

As well as demographic analysis, location and behaviour, tap into your customers purchase and browsing history to really target your message. Insight needs to be gathered not just online, but across all customer touch points to ensure you have rounded view of each individual. As well as listening to customers to understand what they like, what is ignored is just as important. It’s about putting the right product and information in front of the right customer.

The Devil is in the Detail

Mistakes often happen when assumptions are made based on data that is incorrect or incomplete leading to a bad experience. Personalisation relies on data and technology working together, but still requires monitoring to make sure that the message reflects the brand and consumers they are targeting. Personalised marketing can be executed at scale but the right systems need to be in place to maintain accuracy and relevance.

Beware of overkill

Companies should be mindful of how they use their customers’ data when communicating with them. Personalisation is a highly effective tool in building customer engagement, however if you are too intrusive you run the risk of invading a person’s privacy and this will have a damaging impact. Only communicate with them when you have something relevant to say.

According to Econsultancy research, 74% of marketers report that personalisation increases customer engagement and 84% report it directly impacts customer retention and loyalty.  Whichever way you look at it personalisation is here to stay and represents an exciting new way of thinking for marketeers and brands.


Photospire showcases its platform at Millennial 20/20

The Photospire team are heading to Millennial 20/20 today to showcase their personalised video technology platform to some of the worlds biggest brands and retailers.

The Millennial 20/20 Summit in London brings together over 3,000 brands, retailers, start-ups and corporates to focus on the future of business from the perspective of the digital savvy consumer. The summit shines a light on the innovation, disruption and technology that is required to meet today’s complex and ever-evolving consumer.

Photospire will be based in the Accenture World of ME which brings to life the consumer experience and store of the near future in an immersive environment. Visitors can explore how to capture the heart and loyalty of the Millennial through products and services that will influence the retail and consumer landscape.

CEO Ger O’Meara is looking forward to promoting how Photospire meets the needs of todays consumer: “Millennials have really upped the anti in terms of what they expect as consumers. With a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips they want relevant content that is personal and intuitive to their needs. Photospire’s platform allows brands to create short data driven videos that are tailored to each individual, and tells the brands story in the most engaging way.”

Photospire changes the way that Millennials consume content by giving brands the power to communicate through personalised, engaging video.