Inspiration for Marketers – with podcasts, AI, innovation and product placement opportunities
Here’s useful news for marketers on innovation, business models and digital media:
Podcast popularity continues to rise
Audioboom gained £1.5 million investment in February 2019, to source new shows and stars (Lawson, 2019). At present popular podcasts are about Films, Football and Formula One, along with Comedy, Wellness and Crime/Thrillers. Want to know more on podcasts, check out Ofcom 2018 statistics here for who listens, when and why. Great resource from the BBC Academy on making podcasts too.
British AI firms lead Europe in VC fundraising
British AI firms raised $1.3bn for 82 venture capital fundraisings in 2018, compared to 70 deals in 2017, (Dealroom for Tech Nation, cited by Boland 2019). In comparison, German firms raised $300mn and French businesses raised $400mn.
It is anticipated that 7 million jobs will be created in the UK by 2037 for AI, yet filling vacancies is a key challenge. Around a third of leading specialists have moved to Silicon Valley from top UK Universities for six figure starting salaries. The UK government and companies are funding Masters places to fill the gap and boost graduate numbers.
Innovation: Need a new kitchen? Rent one from Ikea
Ikea are ramping up their business model to introduce new furnishing solutions, including leasing for office furniture. Trials are starting in Switzerland for furniture to be leased. Ikea is seeking to explore scalable subscription services. Furniture can be leased, then swopped for something else, with repairs/refurbishment before lending to new clients (Milne 2019).
Other innovations Ikea are exploring include smaller stores, pop-up shops for specific rooms types (eg kitchens) and exploring online sales and home delivery.
Why are they doing this? Changing customer habits and exploring ways to extend the lifecycle of products. Whilst the current model will remain ie selling goods and self-assembly at home, Ikea is adapting to market needs and considering B2B markets.
Sweetgreen start-up now worth an estimated £1bn (£780mn)
A trio of students created a new business when they couldn’t find healthy and affordable food while at University in Washington DC. Sweetgreen restaurants specialise in bowls of salads, with fresh ingredients sourced direct from farmers (Williams, 2019). They have a focus on high sustainability and animal safety. Initially only expecting to run one restaurant, the founders have 90 branches, with 20 more planned in 2019. Great case study on passion and purpose here.
Hotel Chocolat in growth with Velvetiser
At £99.99, the hot chocolate machine, that is the Velvetiser, has been a runaway success for Hotel Chocolat (Onita, 2019), with revenue and profits increasing. Available online only at present, the innovation took the company by surprise and follows a partnership with Dualit. Described as Barista-grade hot chocolate, with reviewers eulogising about the hot chocolate machine. This may be tempting for some with Easter on the horizon.
CIPD and Adecco report rising wages, whilst Hays highlight roles on hold
Recruitment challenges are impacting on a rise in wages as employers find it harder to find talent. In a joint survey between the CIPD and Adecco, 1,254 employers shared their concerns (Partington 2019).
Recruiter Hays’ CEO, Alistair Cox has highlighted that whilst the UK’s relationship with EU is uncertain, private sector recruitment is flat. Organisations are reluctant to finalise decisions until they know more about the final agreement.
Product placement and 007
With filming due to start on 6 April 2019 for allegedly Daniel Craig’s last Bond film, Shatterhand, it led us to consider which brands will be used for product placement. There will be the obvious Qs but an opportunity to highlight UK innovations….