The Media & Branding committee was delighted to receive an invitation from our partner, GroupM, to visit their office and see what the company is all about. Hannah, the Chief Visual Marketeer, and I, the Chief Digital Marketeer, took a trip to the company’s office at Amsteldijk and had the pleasure of chatting with Anne Smit, the company’s recruiter. 

Before diving into the nitty gritty, let’s talk location! The office is situated alongside the Amstel river; lavished with modern decor and amenities such as a fully-stocked cafeteria, a coffee bar (serving mouth-watering brownies), and an exclusive sky bar on the 9th floor, it more so resembles a resort than a corporate building.

The building itself serves as a hub for all of WPP’s subsidiaries. WPP is a creative transformation company. It develops transformative ideas and outcomes for its clients by integrating services encompassing communications, experience, commerce, and technology. WPP serves as the parent company for GroupM’s media agencies (i.e., Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker) and Greenhouse, its brand and performance agency. WPP’s main goal is to maximize the performance of media communication agencies on behalf of their clients and stakeholders. They operate as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sport marketing, finance, and proprietary tool development.

GroupM is the leading global media investment management company operating within WPP. It’s a young, dynamic, and ambitious company where thousands of (young) professionals work for clients in leading market positions. These clients include  giants such as Unilever, KPN, and ING.

Surrounded by great coffee, 360 panoramic views, and sunlight (on that particular day at least), GroupM’s magic happens on the 6th floor of the building. As a leader in the field of advertising – responsible for one in three ads globally – GroupM deals with a range of advertising aspects. These include: content creation, data analytics, strategy implementation, and brand safety assurance. To say the company is a Jack of all trades would be an understatement.

With such an outstanding impact in their field – and renowned clients such as IKEA and Netflix – it’s no surprise that fresh graduates flock to the company for employment opportunities. When asked about the qualities GroupM looks for in potential employees, Anne went on to explain that “in terms of soft skills, you really have to be informal and social … these would be very useful for the Friday drinks. But if we look at hard skills, I’d say being analytical and ambitious are key. Patience is important as well, because if you start in a position, you’d really have to be an expert in that position before you advance onto the next tier. Being able to manage projects is crucial as well, as there’s a lot of coordination involved. Yet, if I were to choose just one very important quality, I’d say it’s being analytical.” 

While some of those qualities can be inferred from one’s CV, the interview process reveals a lot about a potential employee’s ‘fit’ in the company. GroupM oftentimes conducts a series of interviews for potential candidates, thus leading to confident, unanimous decisions amongst employers. Anne gave us more details about the staged interviewing process. “Most of the time, the first interview will be conducted by a recruiter and the hiring manager. Sometimes, the hiring manager’s interview is separate from the recruiter’s interview. After this, a final interview is conducted with two senior employees.” The interviewing process, however, differs for more executive roles, wherein additional steps are required for job candidates. Fortunately for us students, we don’t have to worry about that (yet). “For the media executive role, for example, there’s a case study that is to be completed after the two rounds of interviews,” says Anne, “this would test things such as a person’s numerical skills and other such ways of thinking.”

If you are – or want to be – immersed in the ever-changing field of advertising and media, it’s essential that you continuously upskill and enhance your current abilities. Thankfully, GroupM has got their employees covered. We continued our conversation with Anne by talking about the educational opportunities GroupM has to offer. “We have GroupM University, which provides both digital and face-to-face trainings. These trainings can be both within an employee’s field of expertise, but also outside it. For example, one could receive training about content even though they’d normally work in analytics. Every employee, both new and established, can choose to be part of these trainings. That is, of course, if they’re able to manage their time well.” she chuckled. And so did we. We bonded; time really is a luxury for both students and employees.

Speaking about shared experiences, it isn’t just employees that can benefit from all that GroupM has to offer. Us students can also dip our toes into the company’s pool of success. GroupM often hosts inhouse days, allowing sneak-peeks into what potential colleagues do on a day-to-day basis. On the 14th of February, they’ll be hosting an inhouse day exclusively for MAA members (yes, you heard that right: exclusively!). This inhouse day will kickoff with an introduction about WPP’s and GroupM’s scope, followed by a series of presentations from WPP’s partners and Kantar Media (a research organization within the WPP building). A Q&A session will then ensue, where all curiosities about (working for) GroupM can be satisfied. Eventually, the lucky attendees will put their thinkingcaps on and work to solve and present a business case project, which will yield a final winner. The evening will then culminate with well-deserved networking drinks.

So far, we’ve discussed GroupM’s work persona, but there’s more to the company than meets the eye. Their fun side is just as salient. It’s not all about hard work and continual upskilling at GroupM. Quite the contrary, actually. The saying “work hard, play hard” is just as pertinent as ever in this case. The perks of being a part of this corporation are plenty; from weekly rooftop boxing sessions to Friday drinks, the company understands the importance of fostering a sense of unity amongst its employees. The parent company, WPP, upholds the same values. WIRED is an organization powered by WPP that focuses on creating networking events and activities for young professionals across all of WPP’s agencies and Kantar Media. Such events include winter parties, intercompany galas, drinks, and training sessions. Opportunities for networking – in a lighthearted and informal way – are endless within GroupM and WPP. 

Convinced? Mesmerized? In awe? So are we! If you’re interested in GroupM, join their in-house day on the 14th of February! To be part of their creative family or get to know more about them, check out their current available positions on Jobvite here, or visit their website!

By Derya Yildirim & Hannah Radtke

The exponential rise of the internet is posing a new set of challenges for today’s marketeers. For starters, present-day consumers are more well-informed than ever before. The vast amount of online resources have granted them access to all the ins and outs of a business; a business’ ethics, processes, and revenues, are now only a couple of keyboard taps away. As such, consumers are quick to point out inconsistencies between brands and their inaccurate or surface-level marketing ploys. 

Additionally, consumers are reported to have a diminished attention span – both in the individual and collective sense – compared to previous years.  This is the result of the rise of social media and short form content, which have also made consumers increasingly selective on what they place their focus on. So how do marketers go about these obstacles? What is the key to engagement?

 

Targeting consumers’ emotions. 

Marketeers are acutely aware of the power of emotions, and more importantly, their ability to bypass the conscious mind. While the definition of ‘emotion’ has still not been solidified, emotions are generally proposed to exist on a negative-to-positive spectrum encompassing six universal facets: happiness, anger, disgust, sadness, fear, and surprise. These emotions are theorised to have evolved due to their adaptive functions, which subsequently aid to our survival. For example, happiness is deemed beneficial as a reinforcing mechanism, and anger is a tool useful in improving an individual’s bargaining position. Emotions are thus key to driving behaviour and cueing action – and that is their inherent power.

It is indeed our emotions that guide most of our (ir)rational decisions. Scientific research has revealed that we feel before we think. This internal process applies to all situations; the purchasing one being no exception. As Mitchell Harper, the CEO and Founder of InsaneGrowth, claims: “People buy with emotion first and logic second.” There’s an abundance of proof evidentiating the importance of emotions and their ability to override logic in a marketing situation. Think of the yearly emotional journeyCoca-Cola takes its consumers through: from its running theme of festive happiness during the winter period, to the advertising of joy and fun throughout the summertime. Coca-Cola focuses on promoting its fizzy drink not for its taste, but rather for the shared feeling of belonging fostered amongst its consumers. These reoccurring associations define the brand, giving it the stature it upholds today.

 

Another brilliant example of emotional marketing done right is Always’ 2014 #LikeAGirl campaign, a campaign which earned the company multiple awards at Cannes and even an Emmy! The reason behind the campaign’s success was the brand’s ability to turn a phrase with negative connotations into one eliciting positive feelings. Again, as in the Coca Cola case, they weren’t advertising a product, but rather an idea – one encouraging social engagement and a sense of unity amongst women. In this case, an advertisement advocating for social issues panned out successfully.

 

However, not all companies who promoted a need for social change were successful. The power of emotional adverts is also made apparent through cases where ads evoked strong, negative emotional responses – resulting in irreversible backlash. This was the case with Gillette, whose 2019 advert on toxic masculinity sparked controversy. While some consumers praised the brand for raising awareness of social issues, others viewed the brand’s input to be insulting. In spite of some positive feedback, this campaign ultimately resulted in Gillette incurring a reported loss of $8 billion. It is thus of crucial important to consider emotions – and their resulting effects – in marketing campaigns.

Emotion-driven engagement isn’t limited to short-term marketing campaigns; it is just as  useful for maintaining long-term brand loyalty. A recent 2019 study by Deloitte revealed that consumers’ rational considerations with regards to a brand can either make or break the bond with that brand. These consumer considerations, which include aspects such as pricing and quality, are only put forefront in the beginning and ending stages of the brand relationship. If these aspects remain consistent, the ingredients to an ongoing relationship with consumers are based on emotions, trust, and shared values. As such, although a relationship may begin due to rational considerations, emotions are the engine driving everything in between.

To conclude, emotions are an important consideration for marketeers strategising for both short- and long-term endeavours. If done effectively, and with the right target audience in mind, such methods can snowball social engagement and enrich the relationship between a brand and consumer. Yet, as in any relationship between two people, it is important to consider the subject matters discussed, and how they mesh (or clash) with today’s sociopolitically tremulous climate.

The chat bot technology is rising and becoming a preferred customer interface. Chat bots are personal assistants designed to simulate conversation (text or voice-based) with human users over the Internet. They have been around for quite a while now, but the quality is becoming better and better through natural language processing and big data analytics. They can answer your question, help you to get things done and do suggestions. Chats bots are also great for interactive customer service because they are accessible 27/4.

Apple Siri

One of the most known examples is Apple Siri. Things you can ask Apple Siri are for instance: ‘how is the weather tomorrow?’, ‘can you wake me up at 7 AM tomorrow?’ but also ‘what is the best sushi place in town?’ Imagine you are an owner of a great restaurant; of course, you want Apple Siri to mention it.

Only Sending an Emoij to Receive Relevant Information

In the travel industry chat bots are already quite popular. Companies like KLM, Booking.com, Cheapflights and Skyscanner are using chat bots on a daily basis. One of the most progressive examples is Dutch airline KLM.

KLM uses the chat bot technology as a new kind of service towards their customers, and has built a code on KLM.com that makes it possible to show a personalised Messenger plugin. If you use the plugin then things like your boarding pass and flight status updates will be sent to you directly via Messenger. It has never been so easy to find your information, and be up to date!

But that is not it, KLM offers also offers services during your holiday.  Imagine that you look for a bike rental; you only have to send a bike emoij and your current location and KLM instantly replies with the best address. Check it out here!

Chat with Miss Piggy on Facebook Messenger!

Recently The Muppets promoted their show on ABC via a so-called celebrity chat bot promotion. It was possible to chat via Facebook Messenger with Miss Piggy and ask her anything! Miss Piggy is definitely a chat bot with character. The people behind The Muppets Show came up with 6 000 possible reactions in de style of Miss Piggy and it was a success: some chat session took over 30 minutes!  

There are many ways that consumers and companies are using chat bot; as this technology continues to develop it is creating new and innovative ways to simplify and improve efficiencies in our lives. The technology has proven advantageous for everyone from everyday iphones users, to promoters of television shows. Keeping an eye on technology, such as the chat bot, is critical if companies and consumers are going to keep up with our growing markets!

Written by Leonie Douma