Time’s Up and MeToo Campaign

Original content was published via LinkedIn:

Launched at the red carpet events the Time’s Up movement is gradually moving it audiences towards discussing further the issues of gender inequality, abuse of power and sexual harassment in workplaces and industries. It is not about awareness anymore but about taking actions, hearing stories of others and supporting victims.

From the  Time’s Up campaign example we see that social media campaigns are leading to more than just slacktivist behaviour. Society and audiences are listening and acting on information; they express empathy and they learn to be cautious. In the past two years my research colleague @FreyaSamuelson-Cramp and I have been looking into issues around outcomes achieved by social media marketing when it comes to promoting and engaging audiences and society with social causes, i.e. child abuse, poverty, immigration etc. Over the course of these two years we conducted empirical research into slacktivist behaviour and of course we have interpreted and followed through results achieved by famous social marketing campaigns such as IceBucketChallenge and KONY2012. In most of these cases we have seen amazing results in terms of awareness. Our study does show that slacktivists are engaging with the online social marketing campaign due to participatory and solidarity culture of social media. Psychological and emotional motives are strongly utilised by most social marketing campaigns, hence, they do achieve number of likes, shares and reshares – activity metrics of social media engagement. However, most of these campaigns, just like any social media content, are eventually lost in timelines of content, forgotten and dusted. What is different about Time’s Up? Below are some headings that I believe make Time’s Up a truly successful and different social media campaign.


Time’s Up movement created from the #MeToo campaign brings to light stories of sexual harassment in workplaces, entertainment industry and overall gender inequality issues where males are abusing own rights and power to undermine, disrespect and take advantage of women. The story of Men Power, and gender inequality (or should I say, Women Powerlessness) is documented in fairytales such as Cinderella (only prince can make cinderella a princess), Red Riding Hood (only the hunter could save the poor girl and her granny) is accompanying young children, leading up to embedded into upbringing differences in girls and boys. Today, however, stories are changing with Elsa relying on her sister to rule her land and Moana being the only person to save her people and in fact give back a demigod abilities to ‘powerful’ Mawi. And quite frankly these stories are not about battle of powers but the partnership of genders. #MeToo campaign, in light of these new stories, is not about females or males but about a suffer that abuse of power creates. This story united people, families, celebrities and their fans. Solidarity, community and emotions are three components that were critical stimuli to make #MeToo campaign a relatable story.

Integrated Marketing Communications

Time’s Up movement is a continuous campaign that is reactive and carefully planned at the same time. However, its success is hugely depends on utilising omni-channel communication with events marketing at the heart. Major entertainment events such as Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Grammys are platform to talk to all people across the world using celebrities are transmitters of the message. This time, however, victims themselves play a role in communicating their messages and having a community of supporters by their side. The show embeds solidarity and partnership – this makes a positive attitude and support unavoidable. Watch my favourite speech by Janelle Monáe during Grammys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjqFGS5CwFA

Powerful, is not it? So, I can watch this speech over and over and share, reshare and comment because of social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc. TV channels, magazine covers, bloggers, any social media user have now shared their opinions and created own content to demonstrate solidarity and support. Bundle of channels and, hence, webs of conversations enable the Time’s Up to bring in financially and capabilities viable and critical partners (i.e. volunteer lawyers) together to help victims of sexual harassment and deliver a justice. Content and ubiquitous conversation enable victims to feel supported and speak out without feeling ashamed and hope to be supported.

It is not ends on communication and promotion only, we see changes in products and services – the whole marketing industry is reacting to #MeToo story with wearable gadgets being introduced to help victims in the incidents of attacks.

Overall, it is because of one single story and consistent and coherent multichannel transmission of the story, Time’s up, through crowdfunding vis-a-vis likes and shares, is building an army of supporters and people who truly can make difference to victims’ lives and build in policies and regulations, and change attitudes.

Audience Journey Mapping

Time’s up through awareness and move to interest and education is now slowly taking its audiences to stage of action and meaningdul engagement. This campaign is not about one reaction but Time’s Up aims to achieve a gradual combination of emotional and behavioural changes. With the global events at heart, the campaign is bringing in to spotlight the Story. However, behind the scene it enables others to conduct further research and form own opinion vis-a-vis social media conversations and follow-up media coverage. Now, gradually we see key stakeholders being involved in making visible and actionable changes that are to affect all of us via policies and cultural value shifts. This is what drastically differentiates Time’s Up from other social marketing campaigns. Here we see gradual journey, that all of us within the audience, conduct: from Awareness stage to Interest, Desire and now Action. Integrated marketing communications and careful mapping of audiences’ behavioural journey enables that conversion of slacktivists into activists.

Social Media Listening

Social media listening is important part of a marketing research. It is mostly used in pre-campaign phases to shape story and make it relevant, current (or timely), choose channels and personas. However, in my article about Universities marketing I did write that social media listening needs to be everyday job of today’s T-shaped marketers: social media listening is not just about research but it is part of content development and social media storytelling – sensing when to release next chapter of your story, who to be the hero of your chapter. Time’s Up is doing this quite well and quite frankly it is not channel or event related. For instance after Golden Globes, Grammys and BAFTA events could easily shift attention to different phase of audience journey (as per above). However, Time’s Up did listen and learnt that audience was not ready yet and education (interest, desire) phase was to be prolonged.

Persona Engagement, not Development, Approach!

Although the campaign is aimed at everyone, there is a key persona for the Time’s Up – a victim (past, present and future) of sexual harassment. This persona is not narrowly described by her/his social media networks and other touchpoints, demographic and lifestyle profiling; this persona is defined by his/her journey in relation to the Story (as per above). This is quite different to other nonprofit or for profit marketing campaigns. Time’s Up is becoming a gradual part of its personas’ journeys, hence the campaign is underpinned by engagement approach. For instance, we see now gradual changes in attitudes that make victims of sexual harassment to be open about their stories. Next, Time’s Up is aiming to build a strong and leading to actual results support ecosystem that will enable victims to ‘break the silence’ and come forward. Future personas or these to be educated, and hence not to ever be victims, are part of the journey through education and learning and reassurance that this topic is no longer a taboo subject.

We are still to observe and learn about the Time’s Up campaign. However, one thing is clear about this social marketing campaign, it places key characters at the heart of its story, listens to conversations and evaluates readiness of audiences to proceed to the next phases of customer journey. It clearly uses a nonconformist – slacktivist – activist conversion as a foundation for its phased but continuous communication.

by Dr Elvira Bolat


New GDPR is on the way to transform business ethical and data management practices 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new digital privacy regulation being introduced on the 25th May, 2018. It standardizes a wide range of different privacy legislation’s across the EU into one central set of regulations that will protect users in all member states.

Three basic elements for marketers to understand are:

  1. Data Permission
  2. Data Access
  3. Data Focus.


Read further at https://www.superoffice.com/blog/gdpr-marketing/

Kenya’s new IMC plans for boosting tourism

Article sources from: New China

“Kenya plans to double its income from tourism in the medium term when it starts implementing the new marketing plan, potentially returning tourism as a top foreign exchange earner, an official said late Thursday.

Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, said the new plan, to be implemented starting March, will involve mobilizing more money for marketing of tourism products across the world as well as maintaining the growth of domestic tourism.

“Our new marketing plan will be like no other. It will embrace disruptions like information technology, the Uber and innovation to meet the needs of the millennials,” Balala told Xinhua in an interview.

“Digital marketing is a priority for us. Our research shows that 72 percent of the visitors last year first went to check for their preferred destination on the internet,” said Balala.

“Our selling points are the beaches and the wildlife. We want to enhance these products,” said Balala.

He said Maasai Mara remains a premium magnet for Kenya safari tourism, saying the government is working with local officials to ensure no further development of structures takes place in the park, which is likely to affect the ecosystem of the wildlife.

“Recently, together with the County Government of Narok, we demolished some structures which had been built in the Mara. We shall continue to ensure that Mara remains the gem of our tourism,” said Balala.

He also said investments in tourism projects like hotels is part of the masterplan. He said the government is encouraged by the growth of globally graded hotels, some of which have set up out of Nairobi.

Also highlighted is the tourism infrastructure, including the Standard Gauge Railway.

Balala said the railway has been a catalyst for grown of domestic tourism as the locals are now able to access Mombasa beaches at a cheaper cost and in an efficient, comfortable manner.

Another important infrastructure project in planning is the Likoni Cable Cars project, which will enable people to cross the Likoni channels that connect South Coast with North Coast in the tourist city of Mombasa, according to Kenya Ferry Services (KFS).

Bakari Gowa, the Managing Director of KFS, said the construction will start soon and should be completed by 2020.”

Finding your persona is like finding your life partner …

Read my latest post for the Linkedin where I do emphasise why in era of complex connections marketing strategy, tactics and communications should be focused around relationships with a persona. Key to that are emotions:

Of course maintaining relationships with one customer can be risky and requires substantial investments. Back in 2006 Hunt and his co-authors wrote that key to relationship marketing is to commit resources as well as create new resources within the relationships. In 2018 the Services Industries journal published article wrote that affective commitment, in other words attachment to a brand, organisation or product, is the most important factor for customer engagement. No both of these statements make think of a persona – business relationships as a marriage. Would you agree?


Read the post further via Linkedin.

Welcome, welcome to our 4th cohort on this unit …

I am so excited to welcome you all to this year’s Digital (Interactive) Marketing unit. Since its start the unit has dramatically evolved and I am extremely delighted to finally accredit the unit by the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing meaning everyone on eligible programme and after studying on certain including this unit can sit the IDM exam on 6th June and get their IDM Certificate in Digital Marketing.

This professional qualification will definitely boost your career and help you to get that extra WOW factor that will secure you that ever dreamed of job.

This year we are continuing with using IDM Student Competition as part of assessment. This proved to be quite challenging but therefore educational and beneficial for these who are to start their placement. This year the client is Royal Mail and the campaign focuses on b2b marketing. This is particularly exciting as most of students end up working in or/and for b2b organisations. However in marketing education we mostly talk about b2c. Hence I am sure this gap will be minimised in this academic year’s teaching.

Enjoy your Sunday and get ready to learn serious digital marketing content, tools and skills.



Trump’s campaign: SOSTAC in action

I came across this fab post on IDM blog by PR Smith F IDM

Please see direct text from the blog and original via IDM blog (although you will be required to be member to access it).

“Many are still wondering how Donald Trump became president of the United States Of America, despite himself? Here’s an analysis, using SOSTAC® Planning Framework to explore some of Trump’s plan and to give some insights into his subsequent successful campaign. Comments are most welcome. Situation analysis (where are you now) , Objectives (where are you going?), Strategy (how do you get there?), Tactics (the details of strategy), Action (how do you ensure excellent execution) and Control (how do you know you are getting there – what will you measure?). I will use these to categorise various aspect of the Trump campaign but please remember this is just an outline not an in-dept detailed analysis.

                                       PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning Framework
Situation AnalysisCustomer Analysis: Who – are Trump’s potential voters?

Trump focused on “left-behind” voters, specifically white working-class men (and women). He initially gambled on targeting one powerful voting bloc, (some pollsters thought this would alienate too many people) suggests Harvard’s professor Stephen Greyse (Fottrell 2016).   Clinton’s target audience was far broader, reaching out to the middle-class and “left-out” voters and black and Latino ‘left-out’ voters (many of whom had not yet a slice of the American pie). A month before the elections Trump had 57k transactors (contributors) of whom 68% were male and 32% were female, compared to Clinton who had 914k transactors of whom 36% were male and 64%  were female. Far more variables were eventually used to segment the market into dozens of target segments. In fact, a small English company who had also worked on the Brexit ‘Leave’ campaign for UKIP, worked for Trump and divided the US population into 32 personality types, and focused on just 17 states (see part 3).

Why – do Trump’s potential voters vote (what are their needs)?

Many people wanted change. Many others were frustrated and maybe even angry about their lives. Some have fears rather than hope. Is it possible that Trump’s upbeat’ #MakeAmericaGreatAgain or #MAGA hashtag played into the unconscious fears that if you don’t vote for Trump, America will get worse ie whatever is bad about America will become far worse? See the word-cloud graphics (in the final, ‘Control’ section) which demonstrates how Trump repeated these messages.

What the elite missed was the sources of the anger & resentment that has lead to the populist upheavals in the US & Britain & many other parts of the world (Harvard’s Professor Michael Sandel 2017).

Why were voters angry? What the elite missed was the sources of the anger & resentment that has lead to the populist upheavals in the US & Britain & many other parts of the world. (They) assumed it’s anger against immigration and trade and at the heart of that is jobs. But it’s also about even bigger things., about the loss of community, disempowerment, & social esteem (a sense that the work that ordinary people do is no longer honoured & recognised (& rewarded).’ Sandel 2017)

How – do Trump’s potential voters decide (how do they process information)?

Shorter attention spans. Research from Harvard revealed that attention spans for the first ever telivised political debate between JFK and Nixon back in 1960, was only 42 seconds (the maximum time to get a serious political message across). This fell to just 5 seconds in 2008 and even less since in 2012. There are many other variables involved here also, but, short attention spans is significant and perhaps gives a clue why Britain voted marginally for Brexit (short anti-EU messages had far more impact than long economic pro EU messages). 

Major Market Trend – A Gap In The Market

We live in a post truth-era. ‘Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying’ says the  Economist magazine (2016). The worrying phrase ‘post-truth’ was even named Word Of The Year by Oxford Dictionaries (Flood 2016). Defined by the dictionary as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. The spike in usage, it said, is “in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States”.

This is compounded by the moral vacuum which opens the gates for extremist politicians. Here is Harvard Professor Michael Sandel’s chilling observation: “… in the face of pluralism  and for the sake of toleration … to insist on a non-judgemental, value-free politics .. that creates a moral vacuum , a void, that will invariably will be filled  by narrow, intolerant moralisms.” Sandel (2017)
Competitor Analysis

During the Republican nomination race, Trump saw a right wing gap and went for it. He also analysed the political establishment through the eyes of disenchanted voters. Trump became the Republican candidate for the presidential election. Next he analysed his opposition, the Democrats, Hilary Clinton. When he found a perceived weakness that resonated with his voters (see the Control section in part 2) he went for it. President Obama had unprecedented success in targeting, organizing and motivating voters,we imagine Trump’s team studied this blog post How Obama Became America’s First Black President to understand his competitor’s strategy and tactics.

This photo of Obama’s Chair from behind, in the Oval office, This image went viral during the 2008 campaign with the caption: ‘This seat is taken’

This image went viral during the 2008 campaign with the caption: ‘This seat is taken’

Current Performance

With the election just a month away, donations raised by October 2016: Clinton had $298m from 914,000 transactors (donors) and Trump had just $50.1m from 57,000 donors (Cortana et al).

Opinion polls favoured Clinton.


Originally to win the Republican Nomination and then, win the presidential election (after that we just don’t know).

Old Strategy

Trump initially raised his own profile by making headline-grabbing statements, often by calling in to television shows, supplemented by a rally once or twice a week to provide the appearance of a traditional campaign (Bertoni 2016).

New Strategy

Trump’s crystal clear positioning as the ‘controversial (non-establishment) ordinary guy’  was supported by data driven highly targeted tailored messages on facebook & twitter to “left-behind”  white working-class men (and women), combined with sentiment manipulation, machine learning, constant beta culture and almost instant reactions to audience mood swings.

Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, took over the campaign created this new strategy and, amongst other things,  set up a secret data operation-like a Silicon Valley startup. ‘Kushner eventually tipped the states that swung the election. And he did so in manner that will change the way future elections will be won and lost.’ (Bertoni 2016).


Trump positioned himself as a non-establishment guy. An ‘outsider’ – a ‘non-political establishment guy’.   He simultaneously positioned Clinton as an establishment person. An ‘insider’ (a politician linked to Obama’s policies) (Kanski 2016). Trump played the confrontational card which helped him to establish authenticity amongst frustrated voters. So he became a ‘controversial (non-establishment) ordinary guy’.

Meanwhile, Trump positioned Clinton as an untrustworthy ‘insider’ and threatened to take her to court after the election. Clinton’s authenticity was challenged by high-lighting the fact that ‘she seemed to say one thing in her speeches and another behind the scenes, illustrated in her emails leaked by Wikileaks and “basket of deplorables” comments (Kanski 2016). The CIA revelations days before the vote appeared to attack Clinton’s authenticity. Or was all this information fed by the Russians? There’s definitely a movie in this story.

‘controversial (non-establishment) ordinary guy’    v     untrustworthy ‘insider’ establishment lady
Was it like this?

a perceptual map showing trump positioned as a non-establishment reasonably trustworthy guy and Clinton as an establishment lady and untrustworthy
a possible perceptual map
Apart from Clinton’s followers, one wonders whether the average American could relate to Clinton as easily as they could to Trump (or Obama in the previous two elections).

The ‘Ordinary (non-establishment) Guy’ Created Authenticity

While Trump followers believed Trump had authenticity as he, rightly or wrongly, ‘says it like it is’.  The difference in authenticity, according to Kanski, was simply that ‘People can relate to bankruptcies, to locker room talk, to tough talk on terrorism, and that was difference. Whilst Trump might be a billionaire, but he’s been bankrupt, uses locker-room talk i.e. his life experiences somehow seemed to resonate more with the average undecided voter.’

Trump stayed focused on the “left-behind” voters, specifically white working-class men (and women). As mentioned earlier, this was deemed risky (targeting one powerful voting bloc).  Clinton’s target audience, on the other hand, was far broader, reaching out to the middle-class and black and Latino ‘left-out’ voters (many of whom had not yet a slice of the American pie). Trump’s relentless use of data continually sharpened his targeting of those battleground states (the ‘swing states’, that over recent elections have gone both ways). They are the key to winning the election. In recent elections Florida and Ohio (3rd and 7th largest states, with 29 and 18 electoral votes respectively) have been swinging back and forth between the parties.

Data-driven Decision Making

Within three weeks, in a nondescript building outside San Antonio, Kushner had built what would become a 100-person data hub designed to make more informed decisions which leveraged the magic marketing formula (see part 2):

  • messages (topics of speeches)
  • targeting
  • travelling / rally locations
  • fundraising

Kushner built a custom geo-location tool that plotted the location density of about 20 voter types over a live Google Maps interface.”

Want to make sense of Snapchat? Read the Economist…

Recently published article on the Economist explains well how the most popular among 18-24 messaging app does work:

“Snapchat is best known as an app used by teenagers to send pictures, or “snaps”, that self-destruct a few seconds after being seen. Unlike on Facebook its users do not leave behind a digital trail of embarrassing pictures. But in the past two years it has added several other features, including a chat function, filters that overlay graphics on photos, a “stories” function that allows users to document their days and, not least, a place for media companies (including The Economist) to publish journalism and entertainment content. Yet finding all these features can be a challenge.

Fortunately, Snap’s IPO prospectus contains a detailed guide to using the app, complete with diagrams (see picture). “Making a snap is simple,” according to the prospectus. “Users either tap the camera button to take a photo, or hold the camera button to record a video up to ten seconds long. Immediately after a snap has been created on the camera screen, the preview screen displays the photo or video snap for the user to review and edit using our creative tools.”


Snapchat as explained by the Economist

Read further at: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/03/economist-explains-0?cid1=cust/ddnew/n/n/n/2017032n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/UK/email

Competition #2 ‘#psebu17’: Digital content creation

Hi All,

Now it is a time to get involved as the Prize is worth it!

You are to engage in creation of digital content and the topic is close to your hearts and minds – Placement Search Experience.

Before you compete, you have to sign up to a Buzzfeed community account (http://www.buzzfeed.com/). You can use your Gmail, Facebook or Twitter or other email you wish. Fill in your profile details with as much info as you are comfortable with.

Competition task: Publish Buzzfeed blog post!

Buzzfeed blog post topic: Your content and headline must be linked to experience of looking for and/or securing placement. This could include any related topic including university pressures, student experience, future career aspirations, success, loss etc.

Deadline: You must publish Buzzfeed blog post by 7pm on Monday 6th March and share it on Twitter using #psebu17 or email link to blog post to Dr Elvira Bolat at ebolat@bournemouth.ac.uk  by 9pm on Tuesday 7th March.

Format: Your content can be any length, any combination of text, image, infographic, video, etc. You must use at least one form of media in addition to text. You can choose between making an article, list, quiz, poll, or checklist.

There is a prize: 2 adult tickets for Splashdown Waterparks, Tower Park, Poole.

Competition criteria: To be eligible to win the prize you need to generate at least 30 likes on Buzzfeed. Eligible post that will generate the most likes on Buzzfeed by Wednesday 15 March 12am will be selected as the Winner.

Terms and conditions apply – see below for the details.

Terms and Conditions – #psebu17

By entering the #psebu17 competition you are agreeing to these competition rules:

The DIM Placement Search Experience competition is being run by Dr Elvira Bolat (unit leader for the Digital Interactive Marketing unit) from Wednesday 1 March 12am to Wednesday 15 March 12am 2017.

To enter you must be over the age of 18 years and you must be BA (Hons) Business Studies student at Bournemouth University enrolled on Digital Interactive Marketing optional unit in 2017.

We hold the right to reject any entry which we feel does not meet the criteria or rules of the competition, or which we feel is derogatory, immoral or inappropriate.

You must have the appropriate permissions of all individuals within the original images (if applicable) to use and upload the images. Images should not have any other logos or branding imprinted on them, and must not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party. NOTE!!!! Plagiarism and referencing are major concerns for this competition. Your content/post must be a new contribution, either through aggregation of multiple content sources or unique content creation. It is critical that you acknowledge original content where applicable.

The competition will close at 12am on Wednesday 15 March 2017. Late entries (posts published after 7pm on Monday 6 March) will not be accepted. The entries will be judged based on Buzzfeed analytics registered on 12am Wednesday 15 March 2017. The winner will be announced at the Lecture 7.1 on Thursday 16th March 2017.

Vote for Best BU Research Photo

I usually do not use this space for self-promotional content but would love for you to access BU Research Photography Competition Album for this year:

BU Research Photography Competition 2017

Do vote from Monday for two of my photos (if you like them, of course :-))

Thank you for support!


Probabilistic approach to customer journey mapping

Ok, I already stated in the first lecture that a last-click cost-per-acquisition (CPA) model is outdated and not working in times when customers are using multiple devices. New approach to mapping customer journey and using it as a tool not only to research and predict but get the sales number growing is a Probabilistic approach.

What is that? You take “anonymous data points such as device type, location and operating system and use algorithms to suggest matches between devices that are likely to be owned by the same person”. 

Obviously, it will be ideal to use a deterministic approach: using “first-party data from websites consumers, sign it into in order to create links between devices, enabling the user to be definitively identified as the same person (albeit anonymously) across different screens.”

Read Marketing Week’s post further for understand Shop Direct’s approach as well as all nuances behind the probabilistic approach: https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/02/18/how-to-connect-customer-journeys-from-research-to-purchase/

Cross-device tracking in numbers

  • 89% of agency employees agree that ‘Not being able to track cross-device campaigns is holding back the growth of mobile’ (Source: IAB Mobile Agency Snapshot Study, 2015)
  • The average UK consumer shifts their attention between their smartphones, tablets and laptops 21 times in one hour (Source: OMD UK Future of Britain, 2014)
  • 50% of ecommerce transactions worldwide involve a cross-device purchase journey
  • 44% of US users who use multiple devices in the path to purchase convert via smartphone. This compares to 46% via desktop and 43% via tablet
  • 46% of UK ecommerce transactions come from mobile 

(Source: Criteo Q3 2015 State of Mobile Commerce Report)

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