Telecoms network O2 is to team up with Cedar to develop the next phase of the brand's in-store customer content. In what could be one of the biggest content marketing deals of the year the pair are to launch a new magazine in March that will focus on customer needs and the benefits of mobile living.
It will cover everything from new trends in smartphones to the latest music and offers from Priority Moments and will be available both digitally and in print.
The agency will also deliver a multimedia content journey across digital channels.
‘We're absolutely delighted,' says Hannah Saunders, Cedar's New Business Director. ‘Content is a real differentiator in this sector, so this is an amazing opportunity to challenge the status quo and create a fresh offering that's genuinely focused on the customer.'
Read more here.
Another key CMA member, CPL, also has some good news. It has been appointed as a creative partner by the Market Research Society (MRS), in a move that will see it developing a number of print and digital content initiatives on behalf of the major international membership body.
The Cambridge based company will be working with the MRS team to produce content that will be distributed across both print and digital channels.
Mike Sewell, managing director said: 'This is a great opportunity to work for an organisation that is at the heart of the vibrant and fast-changing market research industry.'
CPL specialises in print and digital content for membership bodies, businesses and charities.
There's more here.
John Brown has partnered with PruHealth and PruProtect to launch a new health and well-being magazine Vitality. The first issue is available now and features Olympic star and runner-up Sports Personality of the Year Jessica Ennis, who also happens to be the new Vitality Ambassador.
The magazine features 10 New Year Resolutions and is crammed with useful, well-researched advice and tips to help readers keep them.
"I think the Vitality programme is absolutely brilliant," says Jessica. "We all love to be rewarded for our hard work to get healthy and Vitality has so many ways to reward people. Everything I feel I stand for is echoed in the values of Vitality and I hope I can make people see that achieving your personal health goals is really a matter of planning the journey and sticking with it."
Andrew Hirsch, CEO of John Brown added: "We are delighted to be working with PruHealth on their Vitality offering in the UK. This expands on our work for Discovery in South Africa."
Marketing Week has an interesting story which suggests that marketers are facing a skills gap when it comes to producing high quality content.
Speaking at an event hosted by the British Interactive Media Association on 21 February, social media experts from Twitter, cloud and web hosting brand Rackspace and marketing agency AKQA addressed how marketers need to invest more in defining their content strategies to connect with consumers, rather than just assigning members of the existing team who might be not be best placed to produce it.
A report from the Content Marketing Association and OnePoll published in June 2012 found content marketing accounts for 21% of marketing spend. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of those quizzed believe they will increase or maintain their content marketing budgets in 2013.
But there is clearly a skills gap and John Webb, Rackspace international cloud marketing director and former Rockstar Games marketer, among others have suggested that companies need to use journalists who have had real experience in content marketing journalism.
At Wallblog there is an interesting post about how sports can teach marketers about the power of content. It cites Ian Wright's hit Absolute Radio Saturday show, ‘Rock ‘n' Roll Football,' as a good example of a programme that boasts a passionate fan base that triggers dialogue.' It suggest that brands could learn a lot from the way sports broadcasters harness and direct the passion of their consumer.
There's more here.
Econsultancy notes that Instagram, which was acquired recently by Facebook, is still attracting new customers and exciting brands. New data from Simply Measured shows that 59% of the Interbrand 100 now use Instagram. This is up from 54% in November.
The reports also notes that brand activity is on the rise, with 41% of brands now posting at least one photo per week, up from only 34% last quarter. Engagement is also growing. Overall consumer engagement with top brands increased by 35% quarter over quarter. The average brand photo received over 4,800 engagements (likes, comments, Tweets, and Facebook shares).
Finally, the number of brands with 100,000+ followers increased from eight to 10, led by MTV, Starbucks and Nike. 26% of brands now have over 10,000 followers, up from just 20% the previous quarter.
Econsultancy also has a warning for brands who invest heavily in mobile apps. It notes that more than a quarter (27%) of luxury brands have launched mobile apps then subsequently failed to update them or fix bugs, according to research from L2. The research company looked at 238 apps released by 100 brands over the past five years in the sectors of fashion, beauty, hospitality, retail, watches and jewellery. Apparently fashion brands were the most likely to release an app and never update it, as 40% of their apps fell into this category.
Both stories are here.