Good morning and welcome to Marketing Week’s round-up of the news that matters in the marketing world today.
Hotel Chocolat trading update boasts strong revenue growth
Hotel Chocolat Group has posted a 60% increase in revenue for the eight-week period that includes both Mother’s Day and the Easter weekend.
Despite physical retail locations being closed under lockdown (the period in question ended on 25 April), the Group’s performance is 19% higher than the most recent comparable pre-Covid trading period in 2019.
The growth was driven principally by digital sales and subscription products. The Group’s board now expects trading for the full year ending 27 June 2021 to be comfortably ahead of expectations and will be repaying the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) funding received from the UK Government this financial year.
“In the past year, we have added over 1 million customers to our database, an increase of 47%,” says Hotel Chocolat co-founder and CEO Angus Thirlwell.
“It feels great to have our physical locations back open again and we have a strong pipeline of exciting new products to launch over the summer. I’m pleased we are able to look forward to further growth and significant investment this year with strong job creation, particularly in our UK chocolate making and supply teams.”
Huawei’s global podcast aims to ‘cut through political noise’
Tech and telecoms brand Huawei has launched ‘The Tech Podcast’ to offer listeners first-hand perspectives, debates and forecasts from academics, policy makers, inventors and entrepreneurs.
The first episode, set to air today, features guests Karen Bradley MP and entrepreneur and philanthropist Sherry Coutu discussing the technical opportunities and challenges involved in rebooting the economy.
“Our new podcast will help listeners cut through the political noise and give a platform to real technology experts in this space,” says Huawei UK director of communications Paul Harrison.
He says Huawei has a “formidable research and development mindset”, so believes it is “well placed at the centre of tech discussions today”.
The podcast is produced in collaboration with UK podcast studio Fresh Air Productions and will be available on Spotify, iTunes and other podcast platforms.
Sky Media pilots Shoppable Ads with Sky Mobile
A Sky Media pilot for its Shoppable Ads proposition with Sky Mobile focuses on addressable television ads that will feature a unique QR code that will direct viewers to a brand’s website.
With QR codes now commonplace after their widespread use by the NHS during the pandemic, coupled with the increased usage of so-called m-commerce (‘m’ for mobile), Sky claims its Shoppable Ads concept will deliver a smooth and simple pathway from television screen to a brand’s homepage.
The proposition is fully measurable using Sky’s household viewing data and measurement capabilities, with research showing that Sky-subscribing households are 30% more likely to buy a product online after watching a television advert.
“As the pace of m-commerce innovation quickens, we’re able to leverage dual screening behaviours to capture attention and supercharge immediate, measurable response,” says Sky Media’s director of products and advertising innovation Dan Cohen.
“At Sky Media, we’re pleased to be leading the industry in this space as the only broadcaster that is able to link sales directly with our viewing data.”
Sky Media’s in-house creative team has overseen the layout, colour scheme, positioning, size and screen time for the QR code’s URL, tailored to fit with individual brands’ requirements.
The pilot scheme will continue for the remainder of this month, ending on 3 June.
Dogecoin value drops after Elon Musk calls it ‘a hustle’
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk was responsible for a 36% drop in the price for dogecoin over the weekend after his guest appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Taking part in a sketch with cast member Michael Che, Musk cheerily described the cryptocurrency as “a hustle”.
The comment came just a couple of days after he tweeted “Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!”
The dogecoin price duly dipped to $0.416 on the crypto exchange Binance, down from $0.65 before the show.
READ MORE: Dogecoin tumbles after Elon Musk calls it a ‘hustle’ on ‘SNL’ show
Retailers’ carbon emissions fall by almost 50%
British Retail Consortium (BRC) research shows a 49% drop in carbon emissions from leading retailers since 2005, far beyond an initial target of 25%.
There were also notable drops in carbon emissions in stores and store deliveries, 46% and 84% respectively (when controlled for growth).
It’s also been confirmed that the steering group of the BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap, with 70 retailers pledging to help the UK retail industry and its supply chain reach Net Zero by 2040, will be chaired by Co-op Group CEO Steve Murrells.
The steering group also includes executives from Sainsbury’s, Iceland, Ikea, Mountain Warehouse, Dunelm and Feelunique and is supported by partnerships with Crown Estate, DP World, Google, IBM and PwC.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to have halved greenhouse gases from our stores and lorries in little over a decade,” says the BRC’s head of sustainability Peter Andrews.
“However, we recognise we can do much more by helping drive decarbonisation across our supply chains and supporting our customers, the British public, to live lower carbon lifestyles through the products they buy.
“Our Climate Action Roadmap sets out our path to net zero operations and supply chains by 2040.”