This is not a shock to read; COVID-19 did a number on all of us

This is not a shock to read; COVID-19 did a number on all of us – but have you ever sat back to reflect on what it taught you? Both personally and professionally?

The pandemic has changed how and where we work, learn, shop and play — and even where we live.

So many different challenges have emerged. So many positives have unfolded. Almost overnight, school lessons and doctors’ appointments were online. Yoga classes, concerts and weddings were streamed via Zoom. There was a big rise in the number of people using dating apps. All of which raised the question: how do we move forward and respond from an operational and communication perspective? That’s actually not a question. Brands are no longer in control, the power has been handed over to the consumer. Their (our) worlds have changed, they (we) are smarter than ever because it’s been a fight for survival in the most uncertain times of our era. Some are living their best life. Others, their most challenging. As a brand; how can you accommodate both situations. Do consumers resent brands spending big? Yes. Do they care about you? No. It’s all about relevance and meeting their needs. Not your bottom line.

It opens up an amazing and exciting opportunity for brands today. You have the opportunity to embrace the changes put upon us and the innovations we’ve seen emerge. Some scare us, some give us butterflies, all of them are largely unexplored and/or uncertain. But that’s ok.

With an innovation mindset, brands that relied on long-established behaviour patterns for exposure need to look at ways to become more visible. Relevance, transparency and determination are essential to reaching, communicating and delivering a new generation of experiences. Brands that fully understand that will be most successful at achieving visibility.


What does this mean? We need to be brave, take risks and be measurable. A new way of thinking. I guess we ask the question to marketers today – what will you change? Internal operations? Decade old practises? Your ability to react regardless of outcome? Your brand relevance today, not tomorrow? Future proofing for what tomorrow may look like against all odds?

We can help. Get in touch.

The Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO) has today released the industry’s first set of working practices to support brands, agencies and creators.

It’s been a pleasure to work as a member of the Guiding Council with leaders in the industry to create AIMCO Australian Influencer Marketing Council and release the first industry code of practice for the influencer marketing category here in Australia.

AIMCO was established in late 2019 to drive trust, accountability and transparency in the growing sector of Australian influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing continues to grow both globally and locally, driving brand awareness and advocacy, as well as reaching new audiences. It is one of the marketing channels that did not experience a significant decline in activity even in the COVID-19 shutdown period when marketing spend in many channels experienced sharp reductions.

However, the industry recognises that for this channel to mature into a position of greater trust and continued growth, transparency is pivotal. The World Federation of Advertisers states that: “Spend will rise where influencers meet critical standards on transparency, credibility and quality of followers”.

AANA CEO, John Broome commented: “Advertisers are keen to support responsible social influencer marketing. This new code of conduct will help build trust in online advertising through transparency and disclosure. It’s an important step forward for the industry.”

The Influencer Marketing Code of Practice is AIMCO’s first major initiative and has been developed collaboratively with input from more than 50 companies including founding member companies that represent all sides of the influencer marketplace. AIMCO membership includes industry sell and buy side, measurement and also legal representation.

The Code clearly articulates the areas of responsibility and proposed requirements for all involved in the influencer marketing ecosystem. The Code spans influencer vetting, advertising disclosure, and contractual considerations including content rights usage and reporting metrics.

The Influencer Marketing Code of Practice has been specifically designed for Australia, but with global considerations, to extend confidence in influencer marketing by establishing a common language and providing clear guidance. The Influencer Marketing Code of Practice will evolve as the influencer marketing landscape continues to develop.

The AIMCO Guiding Council, comprised of 17 organisations from within the founding members of AIMCO, have elected Detch Singh, Founder & CEO, Hypetap to serve as inaugural Chair with Patrick Whitnall, Head of Content and Sport, Publicis Media and Karan White, Business Director, Pod Legal as Deputies.

AIMCO Chair, Detch Singh, Founder & CEO Hypetap commented: “It has been incredible to see the enthusiasm with which the industry has come together for this initiative. Influencer marketing is now widely recognised as a powerful channel, but we have lacked a common language or voice as an industry. AIMCO will be working hard to execute an agenda of strengthening confidence in the category for marketers, creators and the general public.”

The AIMCO Guiding Council will move forward to establish industry working groups to address continued areas of focus. AIMCO invites additional companies to join its members to participate in the working groups to improve the industry for all.

AIMCO members include: Allegiant Media/Tagger Media, Apex Sports Marketing, CHE Proximity, Co-maker, Day Management, DVM Law, Hello Social, Hyland, Hypetap, JOOC’D part of Bamboo Marketing, MediaCom, OMD Create, PHD Media, Pod Legal, Publicis Media, Q-83, Reprise Digital, Social Law Co, Social Soup, The Lifestyle Suite, TotallyAwesome, TRIBE, Vamp, Wavemaker, We Are Social and WOM Network/Mouths of Mums.

The Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) has launched AIMCO and has partnered with the industry to develop the Australian Influencer Marketing Code of Practice. The immediate intent is to focus on the significant adoption of these best practices and further developments will include widespread education and Industry training, continuous improvement and the implementation of accountability frameworks.


It’s one thing to get your product into store. But is your product at the risk of being sold?

If you have no idea what Shopper Marketing is, you’re not alone.

Shopper marketing focuses on influencing the shopper during and at the point of purchase. It’s an insight-led approach to a customer’s plan to shop and their in-store experience in a way that builds brand and drives consumption and growth. In other words, using data to create tailored retail strategies and creative ways to communicate with shoppers to help brands sell more stuff.

It’s one thing to get your product into the store. But is your product at the risk of being sold?

You’ve probably seen multiple shopper marketing promotions without thinking twice about it. It’s an opportunity to talk to the shopper, Hungry? Thirsty? Pick-me-up! Buy-me-now! Try-me-free! The right messaging can make-or-break a promotion. If you’ve consumed a product sample, cooked an on-pack recipe, switched brands due to an offer or purchased a product for a chance to win, you’ve engaged with shopper marketing.

Is your product on-shelf to begin with? Is your product at the risk of being sold? However, it’s not only what you do in-store, it involves an approach to pre-store, in-store, post-store, and digital engagement during the customer’s path to purchase, their journey.

Many businesses need all-sorts of marketing help to increase growth. That’s where we fit. We help brands combine shopper, promotions, in-store activation, social, content and influencer marketing to help you stand out. We thrive on the challenges of working on the agency side, which often means thinking quickly and creatively with one eye on the clock, another on the budget and another on what is possible and legal.

Pioneering promotional marketing. Delivering on beautifully crafted brand promises. Inspiring ongoing shopping behaviour.

Shopper Marketing is key to connecting with customer’s and ultimately driving sales for your brand. If you haven’t started thinking about your shopper approach, we’re a great place to start.

Shopper incentives – the art and science

For a while there, clients would ask why we wanted to structure a promotion in a certain way. We’d wave our arms around and talk about the magic and the mystery of how promotions work. The art and science.

Cash is King, we’d always say. Three major prizewinners, a must!

That all got blown to pieces when IMI International started to publish their PromoTrack. It’s very good. It has become a guiding light for many agencies and clients and gives us the confidence to recommend more and better ideas. While the guts of it remain unchanged with some basic rules. Instant wins are good and keep everything simple and give away stuff that people want. We also get new news every time it is published and the latest version (2019) is no different.

The highlights from the most recent report can be partly explained by an evolving consumer attitude – everyone likes promotions more than they used to. And of course, our media consumption has changed – we find out about promotions and engage with them through different media.

The concept of brands offering added value in some form or another as a promotion – whether it is winning the holiday of a lifetime or receiving a free set of steak knives seems to be very much back on the agenda for consumers.

In fact, consumers are actively searching out promotions. We are back on the agenda! People love ’em! And of course, Bamboo is exceptionally good at them…. albeit that wasn’t part of the research!

A budget can go a very long way – don’t spend the whole thing on gifts and prizes – gold, frankincense and myrrh. A well-structured incentive needs to encourage a behaviour and you want to do that for the smallest cost. Why give your consumer a $300 cashback when a $200 cashback will do the same trick.

Cashbacks are often used as a competitive response and it is believed that brands have to match each other. If the competition is offering a $300 cashback, then you must too. This is so evident in the electrical appliance sector. It comes at a cost but the loss of market share that comes from not matching the competition has proved to be so great that you have to be in it and take the smaller hit.

Kellogg’s, many moons ago, used to put little gifts in every pack. Research then threw up the finding that putting a free gift in every 3rd pack of cereal (1 in 3 wins) would have exactly the same outcome from a sale and a consumer engagement perspective. And in practice it was true. It takes a brave marketer to take that risk, but the consumer and retailer remained happy and the promotional premium budget was hacked down to a third of what it was!

So, save your spend by giving away all that is needed to give you a creative hook and an incentive that will drive a sale and then spend the rest of your budget telling everyone about the incentive, amplifying. If we can’t tell anyone about the activity, then it probably isn’t worth undertaking. Luckily social media makes it easier to amplify activities cost effectively.

Long live the incentive – that little something extra!

Source Citation: PromoTrack™

90% of consumers say a gift with purchase increases brand loyalty

Effective promotions developed through the right-consumer insight are a great way for a brand to maximise sales opportunities whilst maintaining loyalty and market value.


  • Consumers are most likely to participate in a promotion if it is simple, relevant, and compelling
  • Consumers are most drawn to promotions that offer higher tangible value, with intrinsic offerings
  • Promotions should drive not only volume, but also brand loyalty
  • Consumers are more loyal to retailers who make an authentic effort to connect with their customers through the right value-add


  • Strengthens brand awareness and drives sales
  • Encourages consumers to switch to your brand
  • Provides instant gratification for your consumers
  • Allows you to maintain price points and value
  • Effective in moving excess stock or mature products
  • Gifts can be physical or digital offers
  • Allows you to collect valuable consumer insight and data


  • Right-consumer insight and strategy
  • Right-retail creative and path to purchase
  • Full campaign planning and set-up
  • Design and build of promotional microsite and CRM
  • Claim handling and validation
  • Email communications and SMS notifications
  • Sourcing, warehouse storage and distribution of gifts
  • Always-on client reporting system which allows you to measure campaign performance
  • Always-on consumer visibility which allows end users to track progress of claims


Consumers still love promotions! They form an additive part of the value equation and can so often be the tie-breaker between your product and the competition.

Source Citation: Harris Insights & Analytics and PromoTrack™

Has your brand joined the 93% of marketers who use influencers yet?

How is Influencer Content Is Used?

Influencer content is being utilised in every channel imaginable. 68.8% of brands already leverage it on their websites, social campaigns, emails, print advertisements. 21.3% say they plan to do so in the future.

Popular uses for influencer content include:

  • Testimonials
  • Print Advertisements
  • In-store Displays
  • Digital and Banner Ads
  • Building a Content Library
  • Press Releases
  • Email Marketing
  • Live Presentations
  • Social Media
  • Profile Pages
  • Websites and Landing Pages
  • App Store Listings

90.1% of brands either are or plan to repurpose influencer content across different marketing channels.

Where to start? Getting from A to B.

Define your objectives: What are you trying to accomplish with influencer marketing? Do you want exposure, brand awareness, feedback, or direct sales? Brands who begin with well-defined objectives are far more successful. Anything in your plan that doesn’t support these objectives probably doesn’t belong.

Find the right influencers: The right influencers can make all the difference both in quality of content and time invested. Influencers are professionals and those who are a good brand fit and have a great work ethic will create more authentic content.

Cultivate long-term relationships: Influencers require a relationship and like all relationships, they take time. After you’ve executed a few campaigns and both parties have learned about each other, successive engagements will take incrementally less work. Long-term influencers will better understand your guidelines, what performs best, and know how to navigate success.

Use micro-influencers: The data is incontrovertible: micro-influencers achieve higher engagement for a lower CPE. They do take more work, however, which is why influencer platforms offers a great advantage.

Leverage a platform: Influencer platforms automate the difficult portions of discovery, vetting, negotiation, content creation, payments, and analytics, and free marketers up to treat influencer marketing as a standalone channel rather than a full-time role. The more you invest in your strategy, both in preparation and tools, the more output you’ll see in terms of content and ROI.

Source Citation: State of the industry influencer report 2019