Something for the weekend

Electric vehicle manufacturing, luxury brands opening up hotels, the ECB Cricket World Cup campaign and more! Read on to find out what the Starcount team has been discussing. We hope you enjoy and have a lovely weekend.

Public EV charge points outnumber petrol stations in the UK

The number of public charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK has surpassed the number of petrol stations for the first time. The public and private sectors are now investing heavily in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient charging points to support the growing electric fleet. The UK’s EV market grew by a record-breaking 19% in 2018. Ultra-low emission vehicles are expected to make up more than half of global car sales by 2040, despite the fact that petrol and diesel currently still account for more than 99% of global sales.

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Starcount’s Chief Product Officer Rowena Humby comments on the market from a customer perspective and asks “where is the communication of all this new technology and infrastructure?”

Rowena – “Although forecasted for success, Electric Vehicles haven’t been selling at the trajectory the market expected. Why? It’s nothing to do with consumers understanding the benefits to the environment – but the barriers of concern are around the reality of owning an EV. Market research has shown the biggest hindrances for consumers are concerns around the driving range and finding EV charging points. The increased number of charging points is a huge step forward in terms of addressing this fundamental block for consumers…”

With Starcount’s Observatory, our pioneering data science platform, our team are analysing a consumer panel of 1.3 billion people to get a detailed view of EV customer mindsets in the UK. Starcount’s study will quantify the size of the potential audience using social data and analyse the EV market from a consumer perspective. We will provide insight into the challenges that the industry is facing (from manufacturing to consumer perceptions) and the true consumer perceptions behind the purchase of EV’s.

Stay tuned – we will be able to share more information soon.

Why brands like LVMH, Taco Bell and West Elm are opening hotels

In an effort to become more of a lifestyle-brand for customers, many luxury brands are moving into the hospitality space. Why would they do this? The hotel creates an environment that puts the product into the hands of the customer, encouraging them to try it, often for an extended period of time, before committing to a purchase. A hotel environment takes these opportunities to new levels, it enables brands to measure customer activity in a number of settings, affords the ultimate ethnographic study of its customers and is the perfect way to understand how your customers live their lives.

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Solutions and Programmes Director, John Hargest describes the importance of data science in delivering a customer experience of this kind – “Using hotels as retail space and a way to promote brands is not a new concept. Opening a hotel is a fantastic way for brands to present customers with a lifestyle that embodies their core values, style and beliefs. Empowering guests to ‘live the brand’ from one night to a more permanent basis, in the case of luxury branded residencies. But this all comes at a cost and risks poor reviews if their guests’ experience does not live up to their expectations of the brand. Applying data science, brands can tap into the emotional loyalty of the customer and identify other brands their customers love, taking the guesswork out of potential tie-ins.”

Exclusive: IKEA to revamp app as store strategy shifts

IKEA is responding to the rise of e-commerce by launching a new app where customers can visualize how their homes could be furnished with IKEA products. The app creates a virtual representation of the room by inputting dimensions and choosing from different tastes and life stages. IKEA has also been trialling city-centre store formats with a narrower range in an effort to learn more about the desires of its customers. Furniture companies are increasingly adopting immersive brand experience and enhanced customer offerings. Made.com is another example who launched a new interior design service, which uses artificial intelligence to recommend products and 3D technology to show what the furnished room will look like.

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Senior Client Analyst, Aaron Lapworth likens IKEA’S brand developments to the surge of convenience in Grocery Retail  – “IKEA is joining the trend of convenience, making it easier for the customer to interact with the brand. We’ve seen it before in Grocery with the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s creating their Express/Local formats to cater for a refined mission. IKEA is following suit with creating a new app and urban stores that offer convenience and are much smaller and only cater to a design experience, something they can do with limited space.”

English cricket seeks to engage young fans

In advance of the ICC Cricket World Cup, the England & Wales Cricket Boards (ECB) has revealed details of its “Express Yourself” marketing campaign. The campaign aims to be ‘authentic’, engaging young audiences and building a connection with the team. The campaign explores the diversity of the team and the player’s personalities. PR firm Freud Communications will pair influencers with individual team members to highlight their off-field hobbies hoping to bring to life the team’s journey, philosophy and culture.

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Client Development Manager, James Lamburn comments on the advert as typical of modern campaigns and highlights the importance of proper customer understanding when delivering messages of this kind – “This is a great example of an organisation trying to branch out an entice a new type of consumer/fan. The ECB are making good use of the World Cup as a timely stage to appeal to millennials and gen-Z natives. On first look, this campaign ticks a lot of boxes, using influencers such as drone racing pros will no doubt gain airtime with 16-24 year-olds, but how many of those will pay lip service to Cricket we will have to wait and see. This isn’t the first time a sports organisation have tried something different to engage younger audiences, the European Tour (golf) have been on a very successful crusade to create viral YouTube videos over the last year or so and the response has been huge. Perhaps the ECB are trying something similar?”

Internet to swallow majority of global media spend by 2020

Internet ad formats are set to account for over half of all media spend worldwide by next year if the current trajectory is maintained. In eight major markets, this is already the case with the balance tipping in favour of internet ads in 2016 in the UK. The second wave of internet growth has been driven by social media and advertising delivered on mobile devices. Mobile phones have grown to near ubiquity across the world, these data have allowed the proliferation of programmatic ad trading which has underpinned the internet’s dizzying growth.

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After delivering a fantastic tutorial on the Programmatic ecosystem at Starcount this week, Head of Sales, Karan Singh explains what he is expecting from the industry as this growth continues – “As people continue to spend more time online, consuming news, shopping or finding love, digital media will continue to surge in prevalence. Within digital, there’s a huge focus on targeting and using data to get this right. I’d love to see this translated into a focus on dynamic and more personalised communication as well. The addition of rich media formats allows marketers to be much more creative and find ways to engage with consumers in a way that catches their attention.”

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