Unlocking CX at Scale

Unlocking CX at Scale

Everybody can think of a great customer experience they’ve had.

Maybe it was that time your mechanic talked you through the details of what he did to your car during a service and surprised you with a free detail, or perhaps it was when that online retailer made it super easy to sort a complicated return.

Dreaming up stand-out customer experiences is the easy part. Designing them to work at scale is what trips a lot of businesses up – and unfortunately, stops many from actually delivering them. That’s a real shame, especially considering customers are willing to pay up to 16% more for great customer service, and 32% will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.

I work through this particular challenge with clients all the time – how can we create competitive customer experiences, but ensure they work across all of our locations, meet the needs of various client groups, and last over the long term… and are something we can actually build now? How do we ensure we’re not part of the 60% of marketers who believe they’re at a competitive disadvantage because of their CX?

I truly believe there’s a creative solution to every CX challenge. Here are a few simple concepts that have allowed us to overcome some of these hurdles to design and build great experiences for our clients (and their customers).


Remove the room for human error

Many of the world’s great customer experiences depend on fantastic, customer-focused staff who just *know* how to make a customer’s day. Unfortunately, we cannot yet clone these exceptional individuals, and there are as many poor customer service reps as there are great ones.

That’s why removing the room for human error by automating as many processes as possible is a great way to start improving a customer experience. Whether this is your onboarding programme (can you switch from an in-person handover to a series of videos, delivered to the

customer’s platform of choice?) or your booking process (can you automate reminders and follow ups?), automation both gives you control and allows you to scale.

Plus, more and more of your competition are already getting started. A Gartner survey found that 68% of CMOs intended to increase spending on marketing technology (martech) from 2020 to 2021.

At krunch.co, we work with a number of marketing automation platforms that allow us to design complex automated experiences, driven by (and personalised with!) data.

However, automation does rely on a certain standard of data, data hygiene, and technical capability, which leads me to my next point…


Your MVP is your MVP

What? That’s right – when you are just starting out designing a great customer experience at scale, your minimum viable product (MVP) will be your most valuable player in the process.

After dreaming up a beautiful automated experience that delivers everything a customer could dream of and more, it can be disappointing to feel like you’re stripping back some of the best bits and only delivering the bare minimum.

But guess what? Something is better than nothing. If you’ve been letting customers slip through the cracks in a particular area of your business, having a minimum viable product built and running is going to make a world of difference to them and also to your bottom line.

Once you have this MVP up and running, you can test and learn, and then gradually layer on your awesome ideas – think advanced segmentation, AI-powered video, a VIP experience – onto a much more solid foundation.


Make it work for you first

Personalised content, dynamic product suggestions, seasonal giveaways… it’s all possible, and it’s all awesome. But this is the part where most marketers get overwhelmed with all the potential – and the amount of work it would take to get their systems and teams to back up their big dreams.

So my advice is – yes, design an incredible customer-first experience, but make sure it works for your business, too. If you don’t have a team that’s capable of fulfilling a seasonal prize, don’t promise that. If your data can’t be segmented by interests, save that feature for phase 2.

This goes back to my point on the power of MVPs. Just remember, the best customer experience is the one that you can actually support and deliver.

What has your experience been trying to improve (and/or digitise) your business’s customer experience? Are you getting held back by insurmountable technical or data limitations, or is it just your way of thinking about it?

Why aren’t you on TikTok yet?

Whether you’ve been with TikTok since the beginning, or perhaps only discovered it during lockdown last March when your teenage children forced you into a family video, one thing is for certain – it’s no longer just a fringe platform.

Undoubtedly aided by the boredom of lockdowns around the world in 2020, TikTok is now closing in on one billion average monthly users – quickly catching up with the likes of Instagram and WeChat (1.2 billion), though still a ways behind Facebook and YouTube (2.7 billion and 2.3 billion respectively).

In fact, TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2020 – in Australia alone, its user base grew 52% in the first half of the year. Here in New Zealand, our reps tell us it’s got 1.3 million monthly users, each spending an average of 85 minutes a day on the platform – that’s 15 more minutes per day than Netflix.

What’s more, 30% of New Zealand’s TikTok audience can only be found on TikTok – they don’t have accounts on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or other popular social networking sites.

It’s clear that TikTok is here to stay – so how does it work, and how can brands leverage it to connect with their audiences?

Why is TikTok so explosive?

Powered by super-smart AI, TikTok’s “For You” page reflects each user’s individual preferences, serving them hyper-relevant, new content, right when they open the app.

The algorithm takes a combination of user interactions (that is, what you like, who you follow and any content you create), how long you spend watching certain videos, as well as your selected country, language, device type and more to select the perfect content to serve you.

It’s the discovery aspect, as well as the “perfect for me” content recommendations of this feed that make the app just so addictive. For content creators, there’s also the enticing potential of going viral – based on the “For You” algorithm, even users with little or no following can go viral, as long as their content is good enough (that is, gets mass levels of engagement when first posted).


TikTok – not just for teens

While Generation Z does make up a large portion of TikTok’s user base, it would be missing a huge point to say its only purpose is sharing fun videos.

Plus, it’s important to remember that many members of Generation Z are no longer kids. The oldest of the generation are currently 24 years old – a prime target audience for a large number of brands.

In New Zealand, 44% of TikTok users are 18-24, and an additional 22% are 25-34. The TikTok audience here in NZ is 61% female and 39% male.



New Zealand TikTok Audience


Age 18-24 Age 25-34
44% 22%


Female Male
61% 39%


Media companies are among those with the largest TikTok followings – sports media outlets like ESPN have the highest average followers, followed closely by TV and streaming services like Netflix. Other brands like Redbull, Xbox, Disney Parks and Starbucks also rate highly by followership.

[TOP 10 TIKTOK ACCOUNTS (by followers)]
[TOP 10 TIKTOK ACCOUNTS (by followers)]

Flighthouse – 27.6m

Overtime – 15m

ESPN – 13.8m

Barstool Sports – 13m

Netflix – 12.4m

NBA – 12.3m

Guinness World Records – 11.3m

WWE – 10.2m

Nickelodeon – 10.1m

America’s Funniest Home Videos – 8.4m


How can brands leverage TikTok?

Now, obviously these are brands with massive social media presences to begin with, not to mention mammoth production budgets. Your brand may not become the next big TikTok sensation – but you can position yourself alongside these behemoths and leverage their following.

How? Advertising on TikTok. There are several ad units you can (and should) try to reach the Gen Z and Millennial market in particular.

  • In-Feed Ads. Much like a vertical video on Instagram Stories, this is a video that plays to relevant audiences between organic videos. This will appear when users are watching content in their AI-powered “For You” feed, and they can interact with it through likes, shares, comments and more.
  • TopView Ads. These vertical video ads are placed on TikTok’s most premium real estate, the top of the “For You” page when first opening the app – guaranteeing high impressions and reach.
  • Brand Takeover Ads. These ads are shorter than those above, available as 3-second static images or 3-5 second videos, comparable to a YouTube bumper video. They’re entirely clickable to internal and external landing pages, and unmissable – they appear when a user first opens TikTok and boast 100% share of voice for the first day they’re featured. There is no surrounding content such as the like, share and comment buttons – instead, the video completely takes over the screen.
  • Branded Hashtag Challenge. Tap into the viral, user-generated content nature of TikTok with a compelling and exciting campaign hashtag that your audience will be excited to share and engage with. TikTok’s Clean&Clear case study showcases this option well.
  • Branded Effects. As with Instagram stickers, Snapchat filters and more, you can get your audience engaging with your brand and sharing it far and wide with branded special effects that users can add to their own content and share.

Interestingly, internal krunch.co research suggests that new users (having not spent much time on the app), don’t get served ads straight away – perhaps a clever mechanism of the app to create the most relevant ad experience for users.

This delay would allow TikTok to create the most personalised ad experience possible – only advertising to users once it has a full enough set of interest data on the user to ensure the ads are relevant, interesting and not a turn off from the app altogether.


TikTok advertising best practices

Ready to start advertising on TikTok? Make sure you follow these content best practices to ensure you get the best performance possible.


  • The shorter the better. Most TikTok ad formats allow video of up to a minute long, but this audience, raised on the short formats of Vine and Musical.ly, prefers fast-paced content, no longer than 15 seconds.
  • Front-load the excitement. In the ever-scrolling format of TikTok, your video (organic or In-Feed Ad) will be scrolled right past if it doesn’t draw the user in from the very beginning.
  • Make it look natural. Use in-app fonts, colours, video and sound effects so your content fits into the natural flow of video content being consumed. Ensure your content is designed so that TikTok’s native text overlays (music, caption, like buttons etc) are not covering the creative (especially important for In-Feed Ads).
  • Don’t forget the text. That is, captions and hashtags. #foryoupage or #fyp is a popular one aiming to land content in the “For You” page, but any trending or descriptive hashtags will help your ads get more reach. Captions may entice users to watch until the end, or add to the message of your video.
  • Follow the trends. Stay across TikTok trends and respond to them with your ads. But beware – they change quickly!


So – why isn’t your brand on TikTok yet?

iOS 14 for marketers – what’s happening?

Last year, Apple announced a new iOS update was coming and now the time is here. iOS 14 has launched and, due to a swathe of new privacy changes, many marketers are in a panic as to what to do about it.

So what’s happening, and what should you be doing?

An overview of iOS 14 for marketers

In late 2020, iOS 14 launched to Apple users around the globe. For most people this update was business as usual – a few stylistic changes, adjustments to key features, etc. But it’s caused considerable stir in the world of digital advertising.*

Among a number of privacy requirements, one of Apple’s new rules is that all apps in the App Store show its new App Tracking Transparency prompt, asking users to allow or disallow tracking. But as we know, a degree of data tracking is vital for good marketing practice, such as enhancing the user experience with personalisation and optimisation. So does this mean advertising is doomed? Not quite, but let’s get into the big news.

*Due to a backlash from advertisers, at time of writing the privacy part of the update has been delayed but is still expected in early 2021.


Apple vs. Facebook

The update has started a bit of a war between Facebook and Apple.

Facebook does not agree with Apple’s approach or solution, as the social media giant has made clear. However, it has no choice but to show the prompt and make changes to its platform otherwise it will be blocked from the App Store. But once the update goes live, advertisers running campaigns that optimise, target or report on web events on any ad tool will be impacted by limitations on data sharing.


Assessing the impact: Web events

The iOS 14 update will lead to less tracking of people on mobile, impacting Pixel and everything associated with it. Mobile network publishers will bear the brunt of this hit, as the placement may become less effective.

One of the new rules Facebook is implementing as a result of the update is a limitation on web events and custom conversions per domain – specifically, you may now have a maximum of just eight events per domain. No matter the size of business, you’re only allowed to track eight events, and if a customer completes more than one, Facebook will only report the event that you’ve marked as a higher priority.

While small businesses may get away without noticing this change, global brands with multiple agencies working on a single domain will likely have a problem – they’re going to need to agree on what those eight custom conversions are and how best to use them. Any brand with multiple ongoing campaigns may have an issue deciding.


Assessing the impact: Reporting

Facebook will no longer be able to support 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows. Also, delivery and action breakdowns will not be supported for offsite conversion events. This includes demographic breakdowns such as age, gender, and region.

This decreased window could impact how we forecast. Without good quarterly data to call upon, marketers might not be able to forecast as accurately as before, leading to a drop in efficiency. Those organisations with long purchase lead times (i.e. car manufacturers) may see an even more severe impact, as 28 days is simply not enough time to follow a buyer’s complete journey.


Assessing the impact: Android

Will Android follow suit? There’s been no official word yet but we believe a similar Android change is on the horizon for the end of 2021. However, even businesses targeting Android users will be affected by Facebook’s changes because they are universal to the platform.


So what can you do to prepare?

First, take a moment.

We got through Google’s early search algorithm updates. We got through the GDPR. It will take some changes, but we’ll get through iOS 14.

For advertisers, it’s time to take the hint – expand to new channels. Facebook and Google have been the two giants of digital advertising for years, but putting all of your eggs in one basket almost never works out in the end and this is just a reminder. There are many other digital advertising opportunities out there to seize, and as more and more apps hit the marketplace those opportunities will only continue to grow.

This is your time to explore other channels, experiment, and see what results you can get. Yes, other apps will be affected by the same iOS 14 update, but their changes may not be so severe for your organisation, or there may be other opportunities within them that you can take advantage of (organic content, user-generated content, to name a couple).

For now, be ready. This is just the start. The future will only bring more changes to the world of social media and data. If we can get through this, we can get through anything. Be creative, be open minded, and above all, be agile.


Read next:Don’t be afraid of these social media platforms

How to spring clean your customer data

Spring is in the air.

Yes, the turn of the seasons may lack the same significance as other annual events (EOFY or Christmas), but it’s a fantastic opportunity for marketers to revisit their customer data ahead of the impending end-of-year business rush, and any major summer campaigns or initiatives on the calendar.

So, what steps can an organisation take to spring clean its data?


1. Check for contact errors

First, run a search to check for duplicate contacts hiding in the CRM. Customers will likely find it spammy to receive marketing emails more than once.

  • Key tip: Don’t delete contacts haphazardly. First check that duplicate entries aren’t updated versions of an old entry (as opposed to mere copies). Sales data such as purchase history can also be used to check for which contact entry is the most active.

Once duplicates have been removed, organisations can then move on to inactive contacts and junk emails. If a contact doesn’t engage with marketing materials, consider purging it from the list. An email verification campaign will help sift through entries and pinpoint fake details and customers who simply don’t want to be on your mailing list any longer.

  • Key tip: A simple reactivation email campaign can be a powerful thing before beginning big marketing activity. By simply asking users to “update your details to learn about exciting new developments”, you get assurance that the database you’re left with is engaged, so you can better benchmark your results.
You can throw away unengaged contacts, or try to re-engage them in future.
You can throw away unengaged contacts, or try to re-engage them in future.


2. Ensure all your segments are still accurate

Segmentation is a powerful tool, enabling a marketer to directly pinpoint key demographics, personality traits, purchase histories and so on in order to maximise the effectiveness of campaigns.

But much like everything else in the data world, segments should not be a set-and-forget strategy. There must be a process in place to review all customer segmentation (and associated information, such as customer personas) on a regular basis to ensure that they remain up to date with the evolving business. Of course, now is the perfect time to review your segments.

  • Key tip: A data spring clean is also an opportunity to review marketing goals and ensure that all automation and data-based campaigning is aligned to the business objectives.


3. Tidy up your remaining information

By following the above steps, the only data left should be unique and relevant. However, that doesn’t mean the spring clean is over.

A lack of data uniformity can cause inefficiencies in the marketing process. Indeed, when data isn’t uniform, it becomes harder to use – if one contact is listed as being from “AKL” but another from “North Shore”, you can’t include them as easily in a mailer sent out to “Auckland” customers despite both contacts residing in the city.

Uniform data is more efficient to use.
Uniform data is more efficient to use.

Marketers would be wise to go through their remaining contact lists and check for uniformity. Dates, phone numbers, locations, postcodes – whatever data is applicable, it should exist within a set format so that it’s easier to automate and there’s less risk of forgetting key contacts because of something as simple as, say, a misspelled word.


4. Run a hygiene campaign

Thankfully, marketers do not necessarily have to go through this process alone.

Hygiene campaigns use email and/or social media to invite users to update their email preferences, check their contact details, add missing information, or get them to self-select a segment. While this process does not mean the other three steps we’ve discussed are unnecessary (for example, misspellings may still occur) it can save a considerable amount of time when used in conjunction with the other steps – and could be a fun way to have customers engage with their own data, for example by offering an incentive

  • Key tip: It may not hurt to back up all contacts at this stage, given the time and effort that has now gone in to improving the quality of the database.

Unified marketing data will be key to driving growth in APAC

Salesforce has recently released its APAC Marketing Intelligence Report, summarising results from a 2020 survey of over 1,000 marketers across Asia Pacific. Here are my key outtakes and reflections from a New Zealand perspective.

The pressure is on in a new business landscape

Marketing roles are faced with some big demands:

1. Accountability for return on marketing investment.
This delivers to the short-term growth of the business. As many as 91% of marketers agree that marketing has a major role to play in driving revenue, according to the report. The majority of marketers surveyed also indicated that they are prioritising marketing efficiency and improving ROI.

2. Help drive exceptional customer experience.
This delivers to the long-term growth of the business through brand equity, loyalty and customer centric values.

The promise of data-driven marketing has been a long time coming, but in my experience, most marketers are still challenged by a lack of unified reporting and real-time insight.

There is a balance to be struck between short- and long-term growth. The study finds that within APAC, there is a particular focus on metrics that help drive lifetime value, including customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention.

However, short-term growth is still a focus. One agency director surveyed put it neatly: “the ultimate challenge is demonstrating results in the short-term and setting up at the same time for those longer term results… there is constant pressure to be delivering results, every quarter.”

When asked about measuring success in delivering against their goals, 45% of the marketers surveyed rated their performance as poor or fair.


Challenges to growth trace back to data

Inefficient use of budget and difficulty in identifying how to correct this is a key challenge.

Many marketers in the survey reported a lack of a unified view of performance, and 40% reported they are unable to get real-time insights from their data.



Cross-channel data integration is elusive for many marketers. This is in part due to lack of alignment across teams on how to measure and report the meaningful metrics. Consequently, 64% of marketers are spending a week or more each month solely on harmonising data.

According to the Salesforce study, the main contributing factors to this lack of unified reporting are:

  • Data accuracy
  • Ability to connect and unify data from multiple sources
  • Data accessibility
  • Creating consistent KPIs and taxonomy across sources
  • Employee resources and skill set

From a local perspective, I think these are all absolutely on the money. I’d go further to say the root cause of the top four is also in the list – skills shortage. So I might not put them in the same order.


Addressing the challenges head on

There are some really good Business Intelligence (BI) platforms available that can solve for most of these challenges with relative ease. The following are what I’d look for:

Choose a BI solution well suited to marketing data

Your BI solution should have off-the-shelf connections for a wide range of digital marketing platforms, for example Google Search, Google Display Network, LinkedIn, Youtube and Facebook Ads. Look also for a platform that easily accommodates data from web analytics, CRM, email and social platforms. Data from common platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads in some cases can be automatically mapped to a preconfigured and well thought out data model, making ingesting all your marketing data into one system quick and relatively easy.

Plan for your reporting needs

Once you have feeds set up, you’ll want to design the way data is processed so that your data is correctly classified and linked across data sources. This will allow you to understand comparative campaign performance across channels. You’ll also want to be able to identify performance trends and outliers across the whole customer journey. You want to be able to link up similar fields like campaign name and device, or any other dimension that is meaningful to your business, to get a holistic view of what’s working and what’s not. This may be difficult to do inside the walled gardens of the bigger advertising providers, so this is where your BI platform can shine. There will likely be multiple methods available to link and categorise data to provide a unified view across all sources, from which you can compare and filter data by the dimensions that are meaningful to you. Planning ahead for your reporting needs ensures the right methods are applied and the outcome is what you expect.


No data scientists required

With a bit of planning and with all the data in one place, categorised and visualised in a meaningful way, leveraging it should no longer be a painful and time consuming exercise, it should now be a pleasure. With the right BI platform, it can even look great, with customised branding and imagery implemented in literally just a few clicks, your dashboards become not only a valuable resource for you, they can also be beautiful and user friendly. You’ll want them on the wall for all to see.

Good luck! And if you need any help, well, you know where to find krunch.co.

Four quickfire questions to optimise your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategy

Customers around the world are readying their credit cards for this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales frenzy. Indeed, the titular Friday of the annual late-November extravaganza has now become New Zealand’s biggest sales day of the year – surpassing even Boxing Day. In 2019, Paymark found that $253m was rung through the tills on Black Friday of that year, dwarfng the $150m spent on 26th December.

Further, a survey by Finder revealed that over half of Kiwis (53 per cent) will take to the shops on Black Friday (both physical and online) if the ofers on display are enticing enough.


The most important Black Friday ever?

This year, we can expect BFCM to be both bigger and more competitive than ever. As New Zealand gradually emerges from lockdown, the opportunity to catch up via BFCM – and then Christmas – is wide open. The competition for customers’ cash is going to be ferocious. So, it’s imperative that brands are doing all they can to get ROI from their marketing eforts.

Here are a few questions to consider to really get your BFCM marketing campaign humming and set up for even greater success.


Question #1: Is it simple?

Garish signs, fashing pop-ups and hot deals any which way the consumer looks; the window of opportunity you have to capture your customers’ attention on Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be measured only in nanoseconds.

Keep away from elaborate, wordy eDMs or ads with mountains of information to digest. Get to the point quickly and with little fuss – you can bet your time-strapped customers will appreciate it.


Question #2: Is it personal?

Deals matter for BFCM. However, you can also use personalisation and segmentation to supercharge your digital approach and therefore have less reliance on the perfect ofer.

With a record of your customers’ previous purchases and/or product preferences, you can serve them personalised ofers on the products they love and need. Indeed, an enormous 91 per cent of customers have stated that they are more likely to shop with brands that serve them relevant, personalised ofers and recommendations, according to Accenture.

By segmenting your marketing and advertising, and tailoring your messaging to certain demographics rather than settling for a blunt scattergun approach, you’ll give yourself a much better chance of converting those leads into tangible sales.


Question #3: Is it multi-channel?

Email, SMS, social, display and traditional media are all great on their own, but they’re even better when they’re integrated and working together.

Additionally, there are some added benefts to trying something new. Look at text messaging, for example. A study by Connect Mogul found that 90 per cent of text messages are read within three minutes of arrival, and the open rate of SMSs stands at a staggering 98 per cent. Keeping in touch with your customers via text opens up another personal path to them, rather than sending an email that could be left unread for weeks on end.

Social media advertising continues its unparalleled soar in popularity – indeed, insights by Sprout Social revealed that social media advertising is used by a huge 83 per cent of marketers. What’s more, only search engine marketing was found to be more successful in comparison to social advertising.

Our advice? Make sure you’re choosing the right platforms for your audience, and integrating them into one cohesive strategy to get the most out of them.


Question #4: Got a plan for after?

Your knockout eDMs have been written and designed. Ofers have been personalised and targeted to your ideal customers. What next? It’s not just a case of sitting back and waiting for the dollars to roll in.

BFCM sales are a great way to attract new leads, and how you treat them in their frst few interactions with you will determine whether they become loyal customers long-term. Research from PwC indicated that customers could spend up to 16 per cent more if they experience great customer service. At the other end of the scale, one in three people would drop a former favourite brand after a single bad experience – so it pays to get this right, fguratively and literally.

At minimum, make sure your customer journeys include a simple ‘thank you’ email after purchase, perhaps with a personalised note or survey that will help ensure repeat business. Maybe you’d like to ofer incentives in return for feedback – feedback that will help you fne-tune your strategy for next year’s BFCM sales.


Final thoughts

As Christmas falls roughly a month after the BFCM sales, consumers are seeing the four-day bonanza as the best opportunity to get the festive shopping completed, delivered and wrapped well before the big man in the red and white suit arrives.

With the end of lockdown restrictions edging tantalisingly into view, make sure you’re well placed to make the most of this golden opportunity.

Don’t be afraid of these social media platforms

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn regularly take the top spots for most popular social media platforms for marketing, but for an organisation to restrict itself solely to these platforms could be a mistake – after all, if an audience likes to spend time elsewhere and other businesses haven’t clicked, this presents a significant marketing opportunity. In this era of overwhelming competition and market saturation, joining a new social media platform could be a smart way to build new levels of customer engagement. But what are the platforms to consider?

1. Reddit

Reddit is built from a network of communities for every culture, subculture and topic known to man, spanning memes to serious business discussions. It is also the fifth-most visited website in New Zealand. Users submit discussion points and content, which other users then up or downvote to either boost or hamstring that post’s visibility.

Reddit top tips

  1. Do NOT just spam content. Reddit users are extremely protective of their communities and fiercely dislike spam, self-promotion and marketing.
  2. Actively participate. Join discussions, pose questions, offer advice and share content other than your own. Only self-promote very occasionally.
  3. Build your karma. Karma, a combined total of all a user’s upvotes minus their downvotes, tells Reddit users how active someone is as a poster. Some communities won’t allow users with low karma to make posts.

Bonus tip: Reddit has a built-in advertising platform to promote posts to specific communities and users. However, analysis from the likes of HubSpot and Experiment 27 showed that gaining results this way is harder than posting organically – something to consider when scoping out future budgets.


2. TikTok

TikTok is a fast-growing app that enables users to make short videos with music, filters and other features. With 500 million users worldwide, it saw a user base growth of 70% from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019. Importantly, it’s highly popular with young people – 41% of its users are aged between 16 and 24.

TikTok top tips

  1. Create fun, down-to-earth content. Marketers don’t have to be whacky to be on TikTok, and they don’t have to make memes (although they can if that fits their brand). The app is a place for normal people to express themselves, whether that’s telling jokes, dancing and singing, or casually talking to the camera.
  2. Work with influencers. As with any social platform, TikTok has its homegrown celebrities who can be leveraged to increase the reach and engagement of a particular message. TikTok influencers can be found by searching people’s bios, or using tools such as this one. Need inspiration? HubSpot put together a list of TikTok case studies from seven major brands.



Twitch is a highly popular live-streaming platform and app owned by Amazon. It boasts millions of users, with over 880 million hours total watched in December 2019 alone. It used to be primarily a platform for video game streamers, but now it hosts talk shows, live music, arts and crafts, and much more. Twitch is about community first and foremost; building a relationship between streamers and their audience,
making live chat a key component of the platform.

Twitch top tips

  1. Build your own community. Typical marketing content doesn’t have a place here. Any business that wishes to stream on the platform should strive to create engaging, entertaining or interesting content, streamed on a regular schedule, with the primary aim of building and engaging a following.
  2. Leverage someone else’s. Sponsorship is common on Twitch. Streamers are allowed to promote brands that sponsor them, and there are even tools to include ad breaks in the middle of streams (want your ads on Twitch? You’ll need to check out the app’s specifications page and then contact them via email).
  3. Advertise! Twitch has native, display, and video ad units available similar to streaming services like TVNZ On Demand. As always, consider your audience and create or choose suitable content for the platform.

Closing thoughts

Despite each of these platforms boasting millions of views, there are few marketers here compared to major apps such as Facebook or Instagram. This is a clear opportunity for the right brands to get involved in these relatively untouched communities, building an engaged following and boosting their reach to new heights.

Additional Sources

COVID-19 changed content: Marketers must change too

Users are consuming digital content more than ever before
Users are consuming digital content more than ever before

Here’s the question of the day: How has your marketing strategy evolved since the onset of COVID-19?

It’s clear now that, at least for the foreseeable future, we’re living in a different world. For marketers, that means adapting to new trends and potentially letting reliable old strategies fall by the wayside to try out new opportunities that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.

So how have consumer habits changed, and what can we learn from it all?

COVID-19 has reshaped content

People have easy access to content. And due to the pandemic, there is now a considerable amount more eyeballs on online newsfeeds and a whole lot less on the outside world. In fact, 72% of respondents
surveyed by Digital Commerce 360 said their social media consumption went up during COVID-19.

But it’s not just the number of eyeballs. People have more time to pay attention to detail, and actually, really experience this digital world. While so many users around the world and to a lesser degree herein New Zealand are staying home and staying safe, there is a great demand for fresh, new, and exciting content that can be consumed readily on-at-home devices.

With that, companies are turning to social media, thinking it’s the magic wand to increase their audience.
That’s not necessarily untrue, but because a lot of organizations are doing the same thing – trying to capture attention – there’s a real sea of content out there. That means strong competition.

So what to do?
Read more: “5 marketing strategy lessons we learned from the year of COVID-19”

Looking to the US entertainment industry

The US entertainment industry shows us a perfect example of how to move with the times. I’ve noticed that many big American corporations are upping their game on social in new and inventive ways. Production studios have noticed an opportunity to shift how people see their brand, altering their entire business model; instead of the traditional cinema release with red carpet premieres, which people can’t attend, studios are investing heavily in delivering content directly to their audience and connecting with them on a more personal level.

And how are they involving social media?

I was really invested in what Disney could bring to the table. They’re a world-class brand with big tent pole properties like Star Wars and Marvel, so it’s been interesting to watch them shift their marketing strategy from the classic billboards or TV spots to their social accounts. And not just by reposting TV commercials to social media, but using the platforms for what they do best – build relationships.

  • Example: For their big 2021 release, “WandaVision”, Disney held a virtual premiere event online that anyone could attend, with a live chat available for people to talk about the premiere as it happened. Additionally, instead of focusing solely on seeking interviews with traditional big-name TV channels, the cast of “WandaVision” spoke to a host of independent YouTube creators as well. This made the Marvel community really feel included in the release of the show, and therefore more excited to watch it.

For Disney on social media, it’s less about marketing and advertising content and more about using these platforms as an extension of their in-app storytelling. They’re catering to their fan base and building strategies around involving their audience, generating excitement and chatter. It’s interesting to witness because they are allowing their audience to be in on something that, in the past, would be inaccessible (e.g. red carpet premieres). But with, say, an entirely virtual release, they can host a virtual event and have the audience take part in that. It’s a little bit more personal, the marketing element feels more connected.

And how are they involving social media?

I think the one thing we can take away from these big international executions is that marketers need to start thinking more boldly, more creatively with their digital content – especially on social media. Rather than looking at social platforms as a way to advertise the brand or a product, capitalise on its nature as a way to communicate to an audience. Get them involved, get them engaging – pose questions in social media posts, host events with live chats, run AMAs (‘ask me anything’) to start conversations, hold competitions and offer tutorials to encourage users to generate their own content. Investing in a creative strategy that will make your brand stand out from the sea of noise is key for people to actually stop and look at your content

Examples of content to try
There’s been a definite increase in the number of big brands doing live streams. They’re a way to communicate directly with users through the comfort of their home, but they’re also live so presenters can take questions and actually talk one-to-one with viewers. Brands can position their staff as real people, humanising their content by putting a face to the name. Live streams could be a way to publish FAQs, or offer advice on a particular subject. They can be AMAs as popularised by Reddit, tutorials (as popularised by Twitch Creative), product launches, panel discussions, webinars – you name it.


  • Old Spice: Old Spice took advantage of Twitch live chat to run a unique campaign where they sent a man into the woods for three days, where he would do whatever the chat told him to. It was a curious parody of the Twitch phenomenon “Twitch Plays Pokemon” (which at the time was going viral), and another great way for Old Spice to highlight its quirky, fun brand.
  • Marvel Entertainment: Marvel hosted artists Ken Lashley and Sean Damien Hill on its YouTube channel to teach people how to draw in a fun, interactive live stream.
  • Dormakaba: This one is an example of a much smaller brand using the same platforms for the same purpose. Dormakaba wanted to launch a new smart door lock system and turned to a YouTube Livestream to host a premiere of the product, including information on its system and even an interview with a customer.

Final thoughts

Don’t be afraid to do something big. Make your next marketing campaign an event. Eventing content can add to the excitement, generate build up which in turns generates chatter – which, for your brand, is free word-of-mouth advertising.

But even if you go a different route than live streams and events, the key to remember today is to be bold – stand out, be human, and talk with your audience (not to them). There’s a lot of competition out there, but with the right campaign, you can cut through the noise and reach, potentially, a bigger audience than ever before.
Read next: “Don’t be afraid of these social media platforms”

Final thoughts

Interview audio
Redd’s outline