Blog : strategy

Planning, managing and celebrating #TheMoment with Glasgow 2018

Planning, managing and celebrating #TheMoment with Glasgow 2018

After 11 days of incredible sporting action, the inaugural multi-sport European Championships drew to a close on Sunday evening. Titles were won and lost, world records smashed, and we were right in the thick of it.

Stripe’s work on Glasgow 2018 started way back in February last year. Our first task after being appointed as the Championships’ digital agency was to set out a unique strategy to reach sports fans, families and the local community in the run up to the Championships, to generate awareness and help people understand what this new event was all about. With a focus on organic and paid social we set this strategy in motion, engaging these audiences and encouraging them to help us bring #themoment to life, starting with the first of our key milestones: 500 days to go.

In the 500 days that followed we delivered some amazing work: created thousands of assets; planned and published posts across Glasgow 2018 profiles; produced films for online and TV; launched the official mascot Bonnie the Seal; recruited volunteers; live streamed with athletes and ambassadors; ran over 200 hundred social ad campaigns; measured and reported on all digital activity; and a whole lot more besides.

With Glasgow 2018 marking the first time that the six featured sports have come together to hold their European Championships, we needed to constantly analyse, evaluate and evolve our approach. Established multi-sport events like the Olympics or Commonwealth Games and recent single sport events here in the UK like London 2017 offered insight into what can work to engage sports fans and non-fans alike, but a new format presented new challenges.

We knew that the awareness and understanding piece of our work was going to be a much bigger challenge than that faced by other events and we weighted our strategic focus accordingly. This meant conducting a detailed research piece at the outset, really digging in to the conversation about other events, Glasgow as a host city, and the individual sports. We profiled our domestic and international audiences, segmenting our tactics for each based on all our findings to help us tailor both organic and paid social activity.

We also developed a bespoke measurement framework specifically for Glasgow 2018 that allowed us to evaluate activity in terms of not only the awareness and engagement benefits, but also hard metrics such as sales for ticketing campaigns. By combining in-built social platform insights, website analytics including UTM tracking, social listening tools, custom attribution modelling and enhanced ad reporting thanks to employment of the Facebook pixel, we’ve been able to accurately measure everything we’ve done and consistently deliver results.

Throughout the journey to the Championships, our priority was balancing of great creative with great insight: delivering brilliant ideas and content that really resonates whilst ensuring we were able to measure the value of what we do and provide genuinely useful insight that helped the combined Glasgow 2018 and Stripe team push things forward. As the Championships themselves kicked off two weeks ago, our day to day activity changed but not the way we worked.

On the 1st August we changed gear and moved to near round-the-clock measurement and monitoring of conversation surrounding the Championships, seven days a week. For twelve days we tracked key conversations, influencers, opportunities and issues. We watched Adam Peaty break another world record and set Twitter alight, we shared the home crowd’s disappointment when Ross Murdoch just missed out on a medal by the narrowest of margins, and we celebrated when Laura Kenny’s comeback led to a well-earned gold (and a mention from Elton John).

The Stripe team was responsible for gathering data and insight on all online discussion in real time and delivering reports at regular intervals each day, as well as spotting and working up reactive content and creative opportunities to maximise impact during the Championships.

Now that the event is over, all that’s left is to reflect on an amazing 18 months of preparation and hard work that resulted in one heck of a payoff. We’re still pulling together our wrap up report of everything that’s happened since that first milestone campaign, but we already know for sure it’s going to point to a hugely successful event and we’re so proud we got to be a part of it.

GLASGOW 2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS AS DIGITAL AGENCY

GLASGOW 2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS AS DIGITAL AGENCY

We are delighted to officially announce today that Stripe Communications has been appointed as digital agency to Glasgow 2018, the inaugural multi-sport European Championships event.

Our brief is to deliver digital and social strategy, campaign ideation, content creation and implementation of paid and organic digital activity across all social and web channels over the next 18 months.  The team will focus on 13 key event milestones such as volunteer recruitment, the mascot launch and the European Championships event itself.

Taking advantage of the strong legacy created by the 2014 Commonwealth Games and keeping sport at the heart of communities across Glasgow and Scotland, this new event will elevate the status of European Champions and attract a potential television audience of up to 1.03 billion across the continent, with a wider audience expected via digital platforms.

Darcie Tanner, Stripe Digital Director, said: “This is a unique opportunity to continue the legacy of the Commonwealth Games and deliver innovative campaign activity across platforms and channels, and we’re excited to start delivering.”

Stripe was awarded the six figure account in February and work began immediately.

The European Championships will take place in multiple venues across Glasgow, such as the Emirates Arena, Gleneagles and a planned new BMX track at Knightswood Park, hosting 3,000 athletes participating in six events over 11 days.

A new Stripe force in London

A new Stripe force in London

It’s official… We’re excited to announce the opening of our new London office and the appointment of Chris Stevenson as our London MD.

Chris joins us from Emanate and over his career has worked with some of the most respected agencies and exciting brands to deliver PR, digital and communications strategies for clients across consumer tech, entertainment, FMCG and sports. He brings his expertise and innovative thinking to lead the business and nurture and grow our reputation in London.

But that’s not all we’ve been up to, as we continue to develop our strategic, creative and digital offering. We’re excited to announce that we have three further new senior players to add to our team.

Anna Russell, former General Manager, Brand Marketing at Audi of America has joined us as Director of Strategy. Anna will be expanding Stripe’s strategic and creative services and continuing the digital evolution of the agency.

Lesley Morton was part of the original start-up team at Stripe and returns as Head of Brand Entertainment. For the last four years she has been working on global brand campaigns and brings communication specialisms across music, arts, film & TV from her previous role as head of the Music & Entertainment team at CSM Sport & Entertainment.

And last but not least, we announce Hilary Joiner as our new Creative Director. With 20 years’ experience in both traditional and digital arenas, Hilary will be responsible for developing and delivering Stripe’s creative capabilities and ensuring that great ideas continue to be a part of our DNA.

We’re kicking off 2016 as we mean to go on. It’s our tenth year and we’re as ambitious now as we’ve ever been. The demand from our clients for integrated communications continues to grow and at Stripe we’re committed to innovating and differentiating our business.

Watch this space…

Love, Emojis and Heroes – What’s Rockin’ 2016

Love, Emojis and Heroes – What’s Rockin’ 2016

2016 is the year of the consumer. Through all platforms, across all trends, the customer is claiming back their mind and their body and is in full control of their media space. So adapt or die.

Digital comes of age. It’s still the media juggernaut, but this year we’re digging deeper into the analytical matrix.

The consumption of digital content is through apps and is fully mobile. Our desire for portability and our rejection of always digesting information in real time is set to continue, so we must continually maximize content to match and strive to work out where, how and when.

What’s new this year is the way we’re evaluating our digital data and its impact on strategy, which aims to make social more viable and valuable. Businesses want ROI and so ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ aren’t enough. Although they demonstrate awareness, in 2016 we’re looking for love.

Creative virility is super for vanity, but advocacy now reigns supreme. Excellent consumer experience converts consumers to brand activists and thus maximises social connectivity. The focus is on follow through, so perpetuating the circle of client happiness and truth. Even our beloved emojis, (now used more than not) are to be scrutinized for the data they can yield. (Insert happy face with wrinkles, drinking a nice Riesling).

Content will see a further move away from static to video. Interactivity will keep your customers clicking in the appropriate direction. Understanding the right degree of personalization and making content relevant is crucial too. Know your platforms, be ready to pounce on the new. But the big technological trend that will impact content is virtual reality, already popping up on Facebook and YouTube with the emergence of 360 Video.

It’s an Olympic year, so sport and our pursuit of a healthy lifestyle are on the podium. Keep up with the gurus and influencers in this spectrum; the frontrunners will be worth their weight in gold. And let’s not forget there’s an American election in November so corporate and financial businesses should be on high alert with their spin on this.

Creativity, our stalwart, is always about the story leading the customer through the media jungle, entertaining and delighting them on the way and delivering them a happy ending. A campaign with a conscience is a seasonal vogue, but if there’s one thing that’s always in style, it’s an honest to goodness, strategically grounded, fantastic idea.

Our affection of all things seventies has been turbo boosted into the stratosphere with the sad death of David Bowie. As music is fashion and fashion is music and Bowie’s creative brilliance is the embodiment of both, never has he been so culturally pertinent. See his genius penetrate through both artistic mediums and long may it continue.

And that’s it, health and prosperity (with a bit of strategy, innovation, creativity and integration) for 2016 from Stripe HQ.

Stripe expands digital skill set

Stripe expands digital skill set

To strengthen our integrated communications offering we’re excited to announce some new players that have joined the team.

Stripe has appointed a Digital Strategist, Designer and Digital Account Manager to further enhance the digital experience for our clients across all sectors and specialisms. Reporting into Digital Director, Darcie Tanner, the new roles are a strong mix of adding both new digital expertise to the mix, as well as increasing the skill set within the current team.

Emily Puddephatt joins Stripe as our Digital Strategist. Emily was previously at DigitasLBi/Lost Boys, bringing five years’ experience working on award-winning cross-digital projects, ranging from community management, influencer outreach and social operations through to full social and integrated strategy for clients such as Nissan, Interactive Investor, SAB Miller, BBC Worldwide and UGG Australia.

Hannah Murray joins Stripe as a Digital Account Manager, also from DigitasLBi where she spent three years working across the search (SEO) side of the business, with a focus on social search campaigns for UK and international clients such as Danone, Europcar and award-winning work for Premier Inn.

Rachel Patrick, designer (with digital design expertise), joins the team after working in the Digital Directorate of The Scottish Government, prior to which she worked agency side and has experience working with IRN-BRU, The Royal Mail, Glasgow 2014 and Nandos.

Our digitally integrated accounts have more than doubled in the last 12 months and there is no doubt in what direction the market is going. These new appointments allow us to continue to exceed client expectations and deliver a strong, creatively driven approach that builds upon and broadens our capabilities in today’s increasingly competitive and connected world.

Stripe’s expertise in digital has been recognised most recently with shortlistings in the Social Buzz Awards and UK Social Media Communications Awards and our addition to The Drum’s Digital Census.

You can see a full list of the Stripe crew on our Stripe People page.

Understanding data part 2: Appearance

Understanding data part 2: Appearance

Following on from the post last month on understanding data acquisition, this post is going to address the fact that there is so much data out there – how do you know what you should be looking at, what good data looks like and which bits are genuinely useful. You are probably thinking this already, and you’re are right to do so. What constitutes good data depends on your objectives. For some it will be high numbers in social sharing or comments, for others it may be traffic to a specific web page or time spent on site.

What is good data?

It’s any data that allows you to better understand and deliver quality, contextual content to users.

What could this look like?
Data sample points that help you to understand your consumers/users wants, dislikes and behaviours:

Data Points
Social sharing (top left), Newsletter A/B testing (top right), Traffic referral source (bottom left), device source bottom middle), Visitor demographics – gender (bottom right)

Additional data-points to consider:

  • Time on site
  • Un-opened newsletters
  • Platform performance
  • Unfollows/unlikes

Too many look for high numbers across the board – particularly when using these figures to address KPIs. The issue here is that to achieve success in a certain space, to hit a certain objective, may mean that you have to sacrifice increasing figures in another area – and that’s okay. It’s important to set clear objectives and KPIs to reach those. Don’t just measure for measurements sake and cause strain to increase everything at once.

When looking at how people use your platforms or channels, for example, people may engage more with a post on Twitter than Facebook, even though the content was the same/similar, it’s key to take the learnings into account to ensure that you are delivering the right content types, topics and formats that the audience want to engage with.

The article you see shares for above (top left of image) shows that 2x more people were likely to share the post on Twitter than Facebook, particularly in the first 24 hours of the post being live.

Looking at the those figures (first 24 hours live) one might claim that the article was something people would associate themselves with and share out, so they must believe in/agree with the article, however it’s not something they want to share with their closer knit circle (Facebook) and not with their pure business circle (LinkedIn) which sits at zero. At the time, that may be a logical assumption, however when the same article was looked at a couple weeks later (see the sharing figures below), you’ll notice that Facebook has increased slightly and Twitter stayed relatively the same, however LinkedIn increased significantly, suggesting that the article might actually resonate even further with the more professional side of readers interests.

The key takeaway: Don’t look at your data to pull insights until you absolutely have to. Ensure you’ve given plenty of time for consumers to behave naturally with how and when they prefer to engage with your content.

But Twitter went so high, so fast, what’s up with that?
My hypothesis with 98% of the Twitter shares happening in the first 24 hours is that many people saw the article heading and shared/tweeted/retweeted without actually reading. They may have saved it to a read it later type app, however many people don’t actually take the time to read full articles anymore, and often take the risk of sharing any content that they think sounds like them from the title (yes, this can be dangerous, but that’s another post!).

Key takeaway: make sure when reviewing if your content is successful, don’t look purely at social shares alone. Make sure you overlay this information with data such as time spent on the page and bounce rates.

There is so much more that goes into understanding what good data is for you and how to use it to ensure it’s useful for your needs. In the next piece, we’ll look at the application of data and how to make it work for your needs.

Understanding data part 1: Acquisition

Understanding data part 1: Acquisition

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. This data is big data.

Whether you’re a small organisation, independent or part of a large organisation, you are not only creating some of that data, but you will be acquiring and probably own a bit as well.

Recently I spoke at MagFest2015 (read our summary of the day) on the use of data in publishing and over the next month I’ll be sharing aspects of the presentation on the Stripe blog. The three areas covered are:

  • Acquisition – ways to collect and collate your data
  • Appearance – what different types of data look like and which bits are useful
  • Application – how to use the data ongoing

Acquisition
The amount of data can be paralysing for many, knowing what you want to acquire and how to go about acquiring it is hard – and believe it or not, for many people, the next question is “Why should I bother?” The benefits can be vast – data can:

  • Provide feedback that you don’t get directly from users via support channels (people always talk about things they don’t like or that are broken – but don’t often talk about things that are working well!)
  • Raise questions that you may not have considered about how people use your content/channels
  • Enable you to create the content wanted by your audience, as opposed to what you think they want
  • Overlay with any target audience data for granular targeting and ad placements
  • Give you the insight to apply a strategic approach to your short and long-term planning

Ultimately, all of the above helps to deliver a stronger return on investment.

Reeling it in – some sources to begin gathering data:

Be proactive – there are ways you can go and search for data not directly through your channels, utilising tools and sites (free and paid) such as:

There are several reasons that keep people from taking advantage of the data, such as knowing what’s useful, set-up, implementation, understanding what the data means, pulling useful insights, resource and time. There’s the excuses out of the way and it’s never too later to a) get started or b) get it set up so that you are tracking and reporting properly. As the saying goes, we never have time to do it right, but we always have time to do it over.

Remember that just because you didn’t do it from day one or haven’t been tracking doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start (and if you want some help, don’t hesitate to get in touch!)