MRM catches up with Drew Townley, chief executive of social creative agency Kairos Media on balancing social and old-school media, why having even a small social media presence matters and how not to use Love Islanders for influencer marketing
- What does Kairos do and how do you define being a ‘social-first’ creative agency?
Kairos Media is one of the fastest growing social, creative agencies in the UK and we’ve bagged awards to prove it.
We only operate in the social world. It’s a pretty broad term to be totally honest but it means that anything we do reaches a client’s target audience using social media in some capacity.
- Is it true that young people are moving away from ‘traditional media’ and towards other platforms?
It’s something that’s been happening for years and only now are people really starting to get their heads around it. Less than 40% of esports fans watch TV on a weekly basis (2018 – Nielsen), even less on radio.
Twitch (the biggest streaming platform in the world) and YouTube have a larger audience than Netflix, HBO and ESPN combined. Many web users are using ad blockers, even on digital-first content. You need to reach them in a new way and that’s where we come in.
- You and your team often plan viral marketing stunts for clients, such as the KFC Console. Why do you do these, and do they work?
It honestly depends on what your goals are.
To get mass pick up, shift the dial from a brand perspective and sentiment side – then yes absolutely.
To drive hard sales with a one-off activation, less so – consistency is key when looking to drive purchases and stunts don’t really offer that.
- You often use ‘influencer marketing’. Why do you think influencer marketing works, and can firms in the financial services space see any value in such an avenue?
To my earlier point, you have to be smart about how to talk to a younger audience now. Young people are extremely savvy when it comes to marketing and messaging, so you need to do it in an authentic way (apologies for the buzzwords).
Influencers, when chosen correctly, offer that – an authentic way to talk to a specific audience that trusts said influencer. If you get that right the results will follow.
Financial services companies are already taking advantage of influencer marketing (IM). One of our clients, Chip, is an example of this. They are using influencers as advocates that genuinely use the product, see the benefits and then educate their audience.
That’s a really strong narrative to offer. You can’t follow a journey anywhere else like you can with IM and content is the key to showcasing to an audience.
- What are some good and bad examples of influencer marketing?
Beauty brands have done IM right for a long time now. What they’ve done in the last few years is bring the talent on board as ‘consultants’ or genuine equity holders in new product ranges.
This has really taken it to the next level and has meant the connection between brand and the influencer’s audience is stronger than ever. This in turn, has increased sales and meant loyalty to brands is consistent way past just the product range in question.
As for bad examples, anything with Love Island talent (probably a slightly harsh generalisation). It seems to be a running theme to get that talent to do anything and everything with zero regard for the fit of product and audience of an influencer.
One-off posts of random products with no real relation to a lifestyle/fashion focused Gen Z audience is a recipe for disaster and gives IM a bad name.
It’s slightly off topic, but also any IM that doesn’t disclose correctly that it’s a sponsored post is an example of bad IM. We see them every day and it’s a showcase of how far the industry still needs to go before it’s matured.
Unsurprisingly the agencies doing this are usually the ones that stick the next greatest automatic potato peeler in a Love Islander’s hand for all of Instagram to see.
- If you could give brands three key tips on improving their marketing strategies going forward, what would they be?
- Be braver. You’re not going to move the needle doing what you’ve done for the last 10 years. The media landscape moves fast these days and you’ve got to move faster
- Get on social. Even the smallest investment with a smart paid strategy will give you a real ROI.
- Balance is key. If your audience is a wide demographic age wise, utilise social but also make sure you’re getting the mainstream media coverage you need. We’re not on a ‘bash mainstream media’ crusade, hitting both sides is essential.
- What is the one column or website that you read every day?
Mine are very marketing heavy: The Drum, Campaign Live, and some more focused esports articles on Esports Insider or Decerto.
- What would you do if you received a windfall of £10,000?
I’d lump it on 3x Rolls Royce Granites shares or split it between Draft Kings, Flutter and Entain shares. Their expansion into the US is in its infancy but guaranteed to happen.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, do not necessarily reflect those of MRM Communications and should not be construed as financial advice.