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Brands increase marketing spend; Google updates you need to know; The best ads from England’s Euro win; Dates for your content next week

Here’s this week’s Digital Discovery. Everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing.

This week includes examples of how the bigger brands are investing heavily in marketing this year despite the economic fears of inflation. We review the latest updates and information for Google search. Ads of the week focus on how brands reacted brilliantly to the lionesses Euro 2022 win. Finally, we look ahead to the social media days coming up next week.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn.

Ok, let’s dive into this week’s update…

Brands increase marketing spend

Amidst economic fears, many brands have increased marketing spend.

The value of marketing continues to shine bright through the economic darkness for the biggest brands.

This is great to see.

Airbnb ‘very happy’ with brand spend as bookings hit record high

Dave Stephenson, CFO, claimed the business is “very happy” with its approach to brand spend, as it plans a “modest increase” in overall marketing investment for the second half of the year.

Stephenson said the company is currently “investing fully” in marketing and intends to expand the countries where this investment is being made.

Almost 104 million bookings were made between April and June, a record high. Q2 revenue hit $2.1bn (£1.7bn), growing 58% year on year.

The company has shifted its marketing strategy from being “dependent” on search engine marketing to being more brand-driven. Stephenson claims 90% of Airbnb’s traffic is either direct or unpaid.

“I think this brand strategy, frankly, it’s more of a product marketing strategy that we have to market the features and capabilities that we have in Airbnb what makes us different. That has been a huge strength for us,” Stephenson added.

Airbnb is expecting to generate the highest quarterly revenue in its history in the third quarter, of between $2.78bn (£2.28bn) and $2.88bn (£2.36bn).

Domino’s to focus marketing on price as investment increases

Domino’s plans to increase marketing investment by around 45% in the second half of 2022.

In contrast to Airbnb, the marketing spend will shift focus away from their brand building ‘Domin-Oh-Hoo-Hoo’ campaign to “accelerating spend”.

CEO Dominic Paul said: “Our value proposition is strong and our message will be amplified in the second half with a significant increase of our marketing activity.”

In the last few weeks it has also started trialling an ‘£8, £10, £12’ offer, which Paul said has performed “well above” expectations so far.

Domino’s will now be “accelerating media spend” in the second half as it focuses on “sharpening our message and ensuring we offer customers compelling value”.

Q4 will be the “biggest of the year” in terms of marketing spend, with the men’s FIFA World Cup on the agenda.

Earlier this year, Domino’s launched a trial with Just Eat in 136 stores, which Paul said is showing “encouraging early signs”. The brand plans to extend the trial to around a third of its stores across the UK and Ireland.

The company also announced that more than 90% of Domino’s sales are now digital, with the app accounting for 43.9% of system sales.

Domino’s now has 5.3 million active app customers, an increase of 5% over the last six months.

Just Eat raises marketing spend by another £100m

Just Eat has increased marketing investment by another 40% in the first half of 2022.

The group claims to have made “significant progress” towards profitability.

The spend was primarily due to the business combination with Grubhub, however, the company also increased investment in its brand over the period.

It would have been hard to miss the launch of its Katy Perry campaign ‘Did somebody say’ to drive top-of-mind awareness and engagement, as well as its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League and Women’s Euros.

CEO Jitse Groen said Just Eat would continue to focus on marketing efficiency moving forward.

Groen said “After a period of exceptional growth, Just Eat is now two times larger than it was pre-pandemic. Whilst this growth required significant investment, we have continued to focus on executing our strategy to build and operate highly profitable food delivery businesses”

Adidas hails DTC strength as marketing investment rises 8%

Adidas continued to prioritise marketing spend on the launch of new products. In Q2 the brand increased spend on marketing and ‘point-of-sale expenses’ by 7.6% to €663m (£554m).

Sales rose 10.2% in the three months to 30 June to €5.6bn (£4.7bn).

Oatly increases marketing spend by £5m

Dairy alternative brand Oatly increased its marketing spend by $6.2 million (£5m) in the second quarter of this year.

The company has seen a sales growth of 22% in Q2. However, while revenue has increased, the company’s Q2 losses reached $72m (£59m), increasing from $59.1m (£48.6m) last year.

Cazoo to slash brand to one-third of marketing spend by 2023

Online car retailer Cazoo saw marketing spend increase to £45m in H1 2022, up from £29m in 2021.

CFO Stephen Morana, said spend was still weighted towards brand over the period.

Cazoo plans to “reverse” its brand and performance marketing balance by 2023, increasing performance to two-thirds of spend while brand investment drops back.

Ads of the week

We witnessed a great achievement by the women’s England team last weekend as the ladies officially brought home football. Laying down a great challenge for the men to deliver in the world cup later this year.

Brands reacted brilliantly to the victory. Here’s some of the best:

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Marcus Rashford and Dave showcase resilience in Beats Fit Pro ad

Lovely heart-warming ad from McDonald’s for their new loyalty program.

Heart stopping radio campaign from British Heart Foundation

A series of radio ads were brought to an abrupt and heart-stopping halt on Monday 1 August by the sound of a flatlining heart monitor

Heart FM radio network and Global Original podcasts listeners were surprised by the unexpected sound of a beeping heart monitor that eventually flatlines – the shocking but familiar long tone a monitor makes when alerting medical staff to a someone’s heartbeat stopping.

The heart monitor sound interrupted ads from well-known brands including, Sainsbury’s, On the Beach, heycar, Admiral Insurance, Dunelm, Cazoo and Check-a-Trade.

What an impactful campaign.

Google updates you need to know

In the past week Google has launched new features and advice for business owners, digital marketers, SEOs and SEMS to take advantage of…

For online store owners, Google has shared six tips for eCommerce search

For experienced professionals in eCommerce, there’s nothing surprising in the video, but it’s always worth checking that your store is still optimising these six key areas:

  1. Review your title links
  2. Include high quality images
  3. Share rich product data
  4. Share price drop data
  5. Identify products you sell
  6. Create a Business Profile

Google adds Asian-owned attribute to business profiles

On Google’s business profiles you can add attributes to your listing to give your customers more information about the demographics of the business.

Examples are family-led (which is no longer available), veteran-led, women-led, black-owned, Latino-owned and recently Google added the LGBTQ+ attribute in business profiles.

Google has now added the Asian-owned attribute to business profiles.

Personally, I’m not a fan of this type of labelling for businesses. I was shocked when I first saw some of the options appear a few years ago. In my opinion, this is too political and it’s better that a business focuses on being known for quality products and services.

I think it’s also a rabbit hole, there’s always going to be a group left out. Better to leave business owners to just state this type of information in their descriptions if they desire.

Google is testing three local service ads instead of two, in search results

Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ads Liaison, confirms the test saying the aim is to increase consumer confidence in Local Service Ads.

However, the experiment has drawn more attention to the spam issue that currently surrounds the ads.

Spam issues include ads for fake businesses, profiles with fake reviews and profiles that have been deactivated.

This is a huge issue for Google which has a primary objective of serving users the best possible information search experience.

Google recommends replacing on-page HTTP links with HTTPS

Fairly obvious right?

The recommendation refers to link on-page, rather than the even more obvious concept of having a secure SSL website.

The logic is that http links will often redirect to their https replacement. This redirect is another jump in the user journey and will affect loading speed.

Google releases simple, centralized tag solution

Google has just announced the Google tag.

This is an upgrade and rebrand of the existing global site tag. The idea is that the new tag will be simpler with less code and will adopt new features.

Users, like me, who currently use Google Tag Manager instead of the global site tag do not need to do anything.

Other stories of interest this week

YouTube Shorts Algorithm Explained In Q&A Format

Read more

Microsoft announces Automotive Ads, Audience Network expansion, and more

Read more

Linkedin tests new human curated discover feed

Read more

Facebook to end live shopping on october 1

Read more

Meta is expanding NFT support on Instagram to 100 countries

Read more

Purplebricks CEO blames ‘poor’ marketing effectiveness for £42m loss – OUCH!

Read more

Next notes ‘sharp reversal’ of lockdown trends as online growth slows

Read more

Commercial radio beats BBC for summer listening as Global claims 25.3 million weekly reach

Read more

UK Parliament ditches TikTok account days after launch

Read more

Global TV media costs increase 31.2%

Read more

Key content dates for your social media next week

  • 8th August: International Cat Day
  • 9th August: Book Lovers Day
  • 10th August: World Lion Day, International Update Your Bio Day, National Lazy Day
  • 11th August: Son & Daughter Day, National Bakewell Tart Day
  • 12th August: The Glorious Twelfth, International Youth Day, World Elephant Day
  • 13th August: International Left Handers Day, National Prosecco Day
  • 14th August: Falklands Day

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful.

Please follow me and subscribe to my Digital Discovery newsletter. I’ll be posting each week about the digital marketing stories that matter.

See you next week.


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