Viva La Vegan!

*Sleazy, manipulative, pushy, scams and profits.* At the vegan Summerfest Conference 2013 in Pennsylvania the audience were asked to shout out the first thing that came to mind when they thought of marketing. A chorus of negative noise. Barely 10% of the room had anything positive to say. Looks like we’ve got some ‘marketing’ respositioning work pending...

Even as someone with a background in this subject I have sympathy with the disenfranchised. We’ve suffered years of meat and dairy mis-information from industry and faced relentless ‘strawman’ questions about protein and how our bones aren’t breaking without drinking cows’ milk. In addition to this, doctors here in the UK at least are given just a few hours nutrition training from their 5 years at medical school, and often add their respectable validation to this false information. Themselves, falling for the marketing messages propogated throughout our culture.  Effective marketing has the ability to warp even the most educated minds.

However. You can also put marketing research to good use by applying relevant findings to your blog, website or business.  So I’d like to save you some time and provide you with a high speed dash through findings from some of the latest research and hottest topics in marketing. With the hope that you’ll be able to reignite your vegan marketing MOJO and share the message of veganism like a MOFO.

Google wants YOUR grin - From 11th November 2013 Google will use a photo of your face to endorse products or services you have previously reviewed or interacted with in the past. A product for sale may appear with your photo saying, ‘John likes this’ on your friends social feed. You may wish to protect your reputation! If you have concerns about your private life mixing with your work, you can opt out here:  

Google analytics goes universal - with Google now tracking web traffic visitors rather than visits. The ‘per visit’ approach is being overtaken by visitors each being assigned a unique ID with Google tracking multiple visits, browsers and devices as well as offline CRM activity, for example a subsequent purchase call to call centre. Consider setting up ‘Universal Analytics’. 

Youtube goes animal crazy - 2013 saw some huge traffic numbers fly through this communication channel. According to Nielsen it received more than 1 billion unique visitors every month. In 2013, animals featured in 3 of the most watched advertising videos in the UK. We’ve not quite secured any vegan entries at this level, however, never underestimate the power of animal lovers. Although the number 1 video involved dancing babies in the Evian water advert, just behind in 2nd place was the John Lewis Christmas ad set in a winter’s forest with a variety of frolicking animated animals, followed by Three Mobile’s pony dance in 3rd place which featured moonwalking ponies set to Fleetwood Mac. Be more dog from O2 turned a cat into a dog and became the 5th most watched advert of the year. Click to watch these videos:

Christmas forest:

Be more dog:

The pony dance:

Oh so easy Email - the latest research may encourage you to rearrange your working week. Rentention Science tracked a huge 100 million online transactions and 20 million user profiles and concluded that 65% of people read their email in the afternoon and evening while promotional offers sent on either a Tuesday or a Friday achieve the highest conversion rates. (28% & 26% respectively.) Which days of the week should you sleep in and relax? Pretty much the whole weekend!  Only 3% of emails sent on Saturday converted to sales and 6% on Sundays. Items sold with free shipping are twice as effective as those sold with special reduced price offers. While 89% of subscription email newsletters converted to sale during the first 14 days of the subscription period, so make them count! Although this isn’t vegan specific data, it’s worth tracking conversions with your email list.

For maximum exposure, make your emails responsive so they automatically resize to a device! 49% of emails are opened on a smart phone. 75% of U.S smartphone owners regularly use email on their device and are ‘highly likely’ to delete an email that doesn’t render correctly on a mobile device. Adobe Digital Index March 2013. This trend is set to continue... According to a recent study, by 2017, 87% of internet device sales are predicted to be smartphones and tables. (Sept. 2013 IDC)

Trend those Social Networks - in 2013 Google+ became the number two social networking site in terms of active users. ‘Selfie’ won the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. While digital ‘view and swipe’ shopping became huge, even for men, with dating APPs exploding onto the mobile market.

Instagram is on it - 150 million users are now sharing 16 billion photos DAILY! It’s not to be ignored. (Buffer, Savel Harris Oct. 2013)

Fancy Facebook - consider spending on Facebook adverts. A recent study of 1 billion ad impressions, showed that Facebook news feed adverts have a 21 times higher click through rate than standard web retargeting ads. (ADROLL)

LinkedIn love-fest - it was the only social channel with 62% positive approval rankings in terms of effectiveness from over 1000 respondents. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ all received less than 30% approval ratings each. (B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends North-America.)

Twitter mania - the highest click through rates are currently between 8-10am and 4-6pm, so considering experimenting with scheduled tweets. (Bit Rebels)  In countries with multiple time zones such as the USA/Australia - select the time to suit your target audience, for example 80% of Americans live on eastern or central time. (

Pinterest girl power - the latest research shows that women still constitute 80% of Pinterest users, with 50% being parents. (WordPress Hosting SEO). Perfect for female friendly activity.

Storytelling shhh - You’ve hit gold. According to a study by Eloqua and Kapost, content marketing produces three times more leads than traditional marketing per dollar. Think blog posts, e-mails, eBooks, newsletters, videos, podcasts and social media.

SEO sizzle - it’s complex, but exploring communication channels could make your online world more visible. Searchmetrics found in a 2013 study of 300,000 URLs that the websites appearing at the top of Google search results have high social signals, such as shares, tweets and likes. The most important social activity is now Google +1s which propel your website up Google’s rankings.

Guest post termination - ironically, for my guest blogger conclusion, it seems it could be all over soon! The Head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts says, ‘Guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.’

And on that marketing bombshell, I’ll leave you.

DSC09722_copyKaren White MCIM is a vegan Chartered Marketeer from England. She runs an innovative vegan-centred group for animal lovers with co-creation at its core. Join us here:

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