Tech-tonic shifts in digital marketing

Kudos this week to The Iconic; an emerging fashion brand that’s using a variety of digital marketing tactics, both online and offline, to establish themselves as an ecommerce powerhouse.

I’ve no idea whether there’s an agency behind some of their recent and ongoing campaign work or whether it’s all handled in house but, regardless, I love great work and I tip my hat to whomever is responsible.

I started seeing ads for The Iconic around Feb-March this year on The Age online plus a bunch of other websites – their display activity has been far reaching, and pretty well targeted using a combination of Doubleclick display and Google Remarketing.

In addition they’re also doing a lot of user analysis with Clicktale.

High-end stuff! They must have a reasonably big budget and I wish they were my client.

Then on a recent Virgin flight I was flicking through the in-flight magazine checking the articles but also scanning over the ads. Just on a side note, it never ceases to amaze how few advertisers utilise QR codes in their magazine advertisements, even in an in-flight mag when, obviously, without an internet connection, you’d think there’s not much point in using one. Mind you, the magazine is free to take from the aircraft, so why wouldn’t you?


So then I asked one of the cabin crew how many copies of the Virgin Australia Voyeur magazine were taken from each flight and she said it was very few, if any. Interesting.

I get it that print ads are mainly brand-building exercises, but so many of the ads in the mag had calls to action to visit a website or call a phone number. It made me wonder how many people would remember to do so and how much impact the ads themselves have at all.

Anyway, back to The Iconic.

My colleagues and I were super-impressed with their magazine ad. It had a big emphasis on Brand and their web address, with a snazzy little tear-out ‘boarding pass’ with a $25 discount on everything in their entire range. All you have to do is scan their QR code.

So if you don’t want to take the whole magazine with you, you can take advantage of the offer quite easily.

The Iconic are not the only ones doing big stuff digitally. There are other brands establishing themselves within the Australian market through just Google AdWords. I heard a story recently about a major hotel aggregator who over the last few years has moved into the Australian online marketplace to take on the likes of Wotif, Last Minute and so on.

The aggregator is spending an eye watering amount of money on just paid search and, year on year, has doubled their investment in Google Ads to the point where the last two years in a row they’ve invested nine-figure amounts (Yes. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars per year) into paid advertising online through Google.

Forget telly, radio, print, even search engine optimisation! They wouldn’t have doubled their PPC spend year on year on that amount of cash if it wasn’t working for them (you’d hope).

No wonder Fairfax and the free to air TV stations are in so much trouble when budgets of that magnitude are hitting Google’s coffers. Being a little sentimental though; I really am going to miss the home delivered morning newspaper!

There are some tectonic shifts in advertising at the moment which have happened much faster than even I would have thought possible just a few short years ago.

I think we’re seriously close to the point where you either get on board or you get left behind.

Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.


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