Join us! We want a million new members in 2017

In 2017 we want to recruit 1 million new members to our Co-op. That’s a million more people who can join us in making a difference to causes in local communities.  

Picking up where we left off

We made big changes last year. Our return to a brand identity rooted in the Co-op’s history meant we went back to being Co-op’. We also went back to putting our members and their communities at the heart of everything we do. Since we launched the new Membership in September, our members have already earned around £16m for them and £3m for local causes. We update the figures each week on our Membership Data page.

Nothing made up

If you become a Co-op member you get 5% back on anything you spend on Co-op branded products as well as 1% to put towards a cause in your local community. In 2017 we’ll be spreading the word so more people know about the difference that choosing Co-op can make and more people will want to join us. To achieve this we’re changing the way we’re communicating with our members and potential new members.

‘Nothing made up’ is one of our communication principles and that means we show real people in real communities who can benefit from becoming a Co-op member. It made sense then to make the people who keep the local causes going in communities the stars of the show.

A young man in a wheelchair playing basketball in a sports hall.

We also wanted to strip back the gloss of advertising and make something unembellished and emotive and show people being completely natural in front of the camera. We were thrilled to work with director Shane Meadows who does all those things superbly. He also shares our values.  

Real people. Real communities. Real causes

So Shane has created a series of short films that show some of the 4266 causes (at last count) that are being supported every day by Co-op members. You can see the films on our Youtube channel.

Here’s the director’s cut which will be shown in cinemas across the UK from 20 January.  

This is just the start. 2017 marks a new way of advertising our Co-op. We offer value with values and we’re going to shout about it.

You can keep an eye on our progress towards the 1 million new members on the Co-op Membership Data page.

Join us. Sign up to become a member.

Helen Carroll
Head of Brand

Google Bootcamp

First I should probably introduce myself; I’m Paul Morris, Head of Digital & Social Media at the Co-op.

This week I got on a train to the big smoke for the 1st CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Digital Bootcamp hosted by Google. It involved circa 80 CMO’s from brands including Premier Foods, Lush Cosmetics, Bower Publishing, Weetabix & Vision Express.

I spoke on a panel in the afternoon session but first there were speakers from Wharton Business School, Boston Consulting Group, the Internet Advertising Bureau, eConsultancy and of course Google themselves.

And on that note here are my top 5 take out’s from the morning session:

advertising has changed

1/ The personal nature of mobile demands a different marketing mind set. Optimising for reciprocity is where it’s at.

2/ Big data is the wrong way of looking at it. We want better data. We should not be afraid of smart data compression and retiring data when it gets old.

3/ I really liked Eric Bradlow, Wharton School of Business, customer value model that expanded upon  ‘Recency. Frequency. Monetary value’ and added in ‘Clumpiness’ (how clustered are the purchase events). For more information visit his paper on the subject

4/ Google reinforced the need for a content marketing model online and promoted their YouTube ‘Hero, Hub, Help’ schematic; something we have been adapting for a while.

5/ Eric Schmidt’s (executive chairman of Alphabet) 70:20:10 Model was promoted as broad model for digital advertising and it’s something I think many companies could benefit from:

70% of time spent on what you know works
20% of time spent on what you think works
10% on experimentation

Moving on to the panel itself…

Google CMO digital panel
(I’m the chap on the right)

The 3 man panel included myself, Patrick Venning (Marketing Director for Pernod Ricard) and the chair being Eric Bradlow (Professor from Wharton School of Business).

It was an interesting discussion that focused on Digital ‘Quick Wins & Big Bets for 2016’.

After setting the scene with how Digital is used in our businesses we moved on to our biggest marketing challenges. We all felt a key challenge was an age old one; that of channel attribution and understanding the true impact of your marketing budget. At the Co-op we use some sophisticated multi click attribution and online/offline econometric modelling, however these models are certainly not infallible and I know many other organisations have the same challenge.

After a few more questions I got to my favourite part of the session; where I got to poke the excellent moderator with a pointy stick!

Eric asked the question of what did I used to believe was true and was no longer the case.

I replied that everything I heard in his earlier lecture on Big data I was starting to question.

Queue an awkward silence from the assembled CMO’s.

I explained that whilst I thought “Data was the new oil” and is hugely important to any marketer we needed to ensure that we did not optimise out “romance” or storytelling. If everything in marketing was quantifiable, automated, and predictable then you can have little fun with mystery, friction, and the beauty of the unexpected! Luckily Eric saw the point I (well actually I have blatantly stolen this view from Tim Liberecht’s book on ‘The Business Romantic’) was trying to make and of course correctly pointed out all that better data is what you built great storytelling and brands upon. I consider that argument a draw 😉

If you like my musings then please keep an eye on this blog or visit my personal blog; and I’m @searchmuse on Twitter.