The secret to productivity at PFM – we reveal our favourite productivity apps!

Productivity and effective time management is key to staying focussed, making the most of the hours in the day and checking off your to-do list. Time is valuable, especially when working from home where we are surrounded by seemingly endless distractions – from the snack cupboard to the dog barking at the neighbour through the window.

At PFM, we pride ourselves on dedicating our time to producing high quality work for our clients. Our team have shared the productivity tools they find most helpful when it comes to getting the most out of their working hours. They may even help you find your new favourite to help you get the most out of your day!

 

Ben (Creative Lead)

As a member of the creative team, I am always on the lookout for resources which help me find that happy balance between time management and creative inspiration. That’s why I stand by Noisli as my favourite productivity tool. Noisli is a digital space which allows me to create the perfect sound environment that enhances my creativity and focus. Building my perfect sound environment allows me to quickly get into the ‘zone’, reduce stress and block out those distracting noises.

 

 

Zoe (Junior Account Manager)

When it comes to maintaining productivity when completing longer tasks and projects, I swear by the Pomodoro technique. If you haven’t heard of it, this technique breaks work up into 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks in between. This method helps me maintain focus and productivity for 25 minutes and use those 5 minutes in between to move around, grab a cuppa, and come back refreshed and ready to tackle another 25 minutes of focus. My favourite tool for this is the Focus To-Do app which combines the Pomodoro technique with task management so you can clearly organise your to-do list and build lasting habits!

 

 

 

Matt (Paid Ads Director)

In terms of time management, my Google calendar is a reliable tool in helping me stay organised as it allows me to plan my to-do list around client and internal team meetings. I am able to easily share my calendar with others, set reminders and even sync it with my phone to streamline my organisational processes. When it comes to task management, Trello has been an unwavering favourite of mine for a few years now. It’s a free, easy to use, collaborative and visual tool which allows me to organise my to-do list and ensure I effectively manage my daily priorities.

 

Daniella (Head of Agency)

When it comes to organising my daily list of tasks and maintaining my productivity throughout the day, I value the integrated workspace app Notion. The platform allows you to organise your to-do list like never before, as Notion allows you to personalise and bring clarity to your to-do list through minimalist design and streamlined templates. A close second on my list has to be Flora, the productivity app based on virtual gardening. We can all relate to how distracting our smartphones can be – with notifications popping up every few minutes from the plethora of apps that (somehow?) ended up on my phone, it’s hard not to get distracted. Flora is the one app which actually rewards you for putting your phone down – through virtual tree planting. It’s a great concept which helps you stay focussed on your tasks and helps you build positive habits.

 

 

 

Freya (Creative Content Writer)

If you haven’t already, you need to introduce the mindfulness and meditation app Headspace into your daily routine. For me, being my most productive self involves taking on tasks one step at a time and giving myself room to pause and clear my head between tasks. This is where Headspace is an amazing tool. Not only does the app make mindfulness and meditation both simple and accessible, it gives you the tools to train your mind and address the fundamentals of increasing your focus to get more done in less time. If you really want to make the most out of the hours in the day, I’d definitely recommend giving it a go. My personal favourite productivity meditations on the app are the focus and creativity meditations.

 

Paul (Junior Designer)

At PFM, we use Monday.com for daily task management, account management and communication. Monday.com has transformed remote working for me and that is why I put it at the top of my list of productivity tools. It allows me to clearly visualise and plan out my week, easily communicate with the rest of the team and keep focussed and accountable on each and every one of my tasks. It has also significantly reduced the number of emails that pile up on my inbox each day, which is definitely a bonus!

 

 

Angus (Midweight Account Manager)

Despite the seemingly endless productivity tools available, I have a firm favourite when it comes to concentration and getting in the ‘zone’ and that is Spotify. As an app which many of us already use on a daily basis, over the past few years I have used the service to create a personalised playlist which includes tracks that improve my mood, reduce stress and help me focus. A much-loved artist of mine, which I recommend to you all, has to be Kid Cudi and his neo-psychedelia which always helps me concentrate. Spotify have their own selection of pre-built playlists which are tailored to helping listeners focus. I recommend their Lo-Fi Beats playlist as a great starting point, but it’s always fun to experiment with different tracks and figure out what works best for you.

 

 

Breaking the Rules – The Brands with the Most Complained About Adverts

Advertisements are always evolving and pushing the boundaries to try and get their message across, whether that’s on TV, in print, or across the many digital platforms that are at our fingertips these days.

But sometimes, things go a little too far, whether that’s an advert that’s in poor taste, culturally insensitive, or just misleading and factually incorrect.

And if anybody wants to complain about an ad, they head to the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency). But which brands have fallen foul of the ASA the most often?

To find out, we’ve analysed the last five years of ASA rulings (note that not all of these rulings were necessarily upheld by the authority).

Most Complained About Brands

  1. Roofoods Ltd (Deliveroo)

Complaints – 323

Rulings – 3

The brand which drew the most complaints across the last five years was Roofoods (better known as Deliveroo), with 323 complaints across three different rulings. The most notable ad which people weren’t happy about was their ‘magic bag’ TV advert. The ad saw a woman collecting a Mary Poppins-style bag containing meals from numerous different restaurants, which, as anyone who has ordered from Deliveroo before will know, isn’t actually possible on the app.

 

  1. Amazon Europe Core Sarl

Complaints – 299

Rulings – 8

In second place was Amazon Europe, with the majority of the 299 complaints relating to the one-day delivery service offered as part of Amazon Prime. Customers complained that their packages didn’t arrive within a day, with a significant number of Prime items not being available for the next-day delivery.

 

  1. Omega Pharma Ltd

Complaints – 222

Rulings – 4

The brand in third place might not be as recognisable as Deliveroo or Amazon, but they still clocked up a hefty number of complaints over the last five years. Omega Pharma saw 222 complaints, which related to promoting an unhealthy body image, particularly amongst young girls, as well as using actors under the age of 18 to do so.

How Many ASA Complaints Are Upheld?

We analysed a total of 1,935 complaints made to the ASA over the last five years or so – of which, the vast majority were upheld to some degree.

1,379 rulings were fully upheld, as well as a further 136 which were partially upheld, meaning over three-quarters of the complaints were dealt with in some way, while it was deemed that no further action was necessary in the case of 420 rulings.

 

The Most Commonly Complained About Topics

The topic which drew the most complaints from the public was food, drink and supplements, with 757 complaints across 92 rulings. This included the misleading Deliveroo advert mentioned earlier, as well as an advert for Philadelphia which suggested that men were incapable of caring for children and a KFC poster which landed them in hot water for using the word ‘cluck’ in place of an expletive.

Other topics which were commonly complained about include ads relating to health conditions (676) and holidays, travel and motoring (554).

The Most Commonly Complained About Media

While we increasingly consume media through the internet, it seems that the adverts which rile people the most are still on TV, with just over 40% of rulings applying to TV ads.

Some of the most complained about TV ads included Deliveroo’s ‘magic bag’ ad (300 complaints), a Photobox advert which the RSPCA complained was harmful to a dog featured in the ad (a ruling which wasn’t upheld), and a Department for Education ad which it was claimed misrepresented how much you could earn by training as a teacher.

Following TV, the most complained about ads featured on brands websites (1,698 complaints) and social media (576 complaints).

 

Methodology

All data was sourced from the ASA, analysing each ruling from December 9th 2015 to December 12th 2020.

Note that not all rulings listed were necessarily upheld and that when analysing the most complained about topics and forms of media, the topic and/or media weren’t always noted in the ruling.

 

The Favourite Christmas Adverts of 2020 (so far…)

Spoiler alert – it’s not John Lewis…

It’s not Christmas if we haven’t seen the Coca Cola truck, people aren’t going crazy over a carrot called Kevin and everyone hasn’t patiently waited for the most anticipated festive advert of all time… John Lewis.

 

However, we can reveal John Lewis’ ad is not the nation’s favourite this year.

We’ve delved into YouTube and social media data of various Christmas adverts to reveal the top 10 Christmas ads of 2020 so far…

 

 Rank Brand YouTube Views YouTube Likes Likes on Twitter Post Overall Score
1 Disney 1.9M 52K 104.8K 7.77
2 Coca Cola 3.3M 41K N/A 6.56
3 Aldi 7.3M 21K 4.8K 5.34
4 John Lewis 3.4M 21K 32.7K 4.52
5 McDonalds 970K N/A 36.6K 3.15
6 Sainsbury’s 1.5M 7.2K 39.4K 3.13
7 Amazon 588K 10K 2.5K 1.86
8 Lidl 146K 927 8.2K 1.31
9 Morrisons 100K 494 2.1K 1.09
10 Argos 98K 944 582 1.09

 

Disney tops the chart with over 1.9 million views on YouTube, over 52,000 likes on YouTube and over 104,000 likes on Twitter resulted in an overall score of 7.77. 

Coca Cola’s advert comes in at second with over 3.3 million views on YouTube and over 41,000 likes.

Interestingly, Aldi comes in at number three with a score of 5.34 – beating the ‘big four’ by receiving the most YouTube views currently at a whopping 7.3 million.

 

John Lewis, arguably the most anticipated ad of the festive season, currently sits at number four with a normalised score of 3.64 – behind Aldi, Coca Cola and Disney.

Which Christmas advert is your favourite this year?

 

Methodology

We analysed each advert on YouTube views, YouTube likes and the number of likes on the Twitter post announcing the advert, giving each movie a normalised score out of ten for each factor. We then took an average score across all 3 factors for our final score.

Figures were correct from the 18th November 2020.

 

 

The Real Housewives of Instagram

For nearly 15 years, we’ve been following the Real Housewives of the world as they have dished up drama, scandals and glamour on our TV screens. As one of the most iconic reality TV shows, the Real Housewives franchise is a great guilty pleasure to sink yourself into.

However, which housewives from the various series are pulling in the most cash from their Instagram accounts? From Beverly Hills to Cheshire, we’ve looked at the social following of each of the Real Housewives to reveal who are the richest real housewives of Instagram.

The Housewives Making The Most From Their Insta’ Posts

Known as the most dramatic instalment of the Real Housewives franchise, the Real Housewives of Atlanta stars appear in seven of the top ten spots, making them the most lucrative housewives of all of the series.

So who took the top three spots for the most cash made from Instagram posts? Check out below!

1.   Kandi Burruss

Region: Atlanta

Instagram Followers: 8.2 Million

Estimated Instagram Earnings Per Post: $27,243 / £21,030

Taking the top spot for the highest earner on Instagram, Kandi Burruss can earn $27,243 / £21,030 for each post she creates for her 8.2 million followers. Appearing on 12 series of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kandi has provided fans with a lot of drama over the years.

 

2.   Porsha Williams

Region: Atlanta

Instagram Followers: 5.9 Million

Estimated Instagram Earnings Per Post: $19,808 / £15,291

Coming in second is fellow Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams. Boasting a respectable 5.9 million Instagram followers, the American TV personality is set to make  $19,808 / £15,291 from her social media profile.

 

3.   Eva Marcille

Region: Atlanta

Instagram Followers: 4.2 Million

Estimated Instagram Earnings Per Post: $13,938 / £10,759

Despite only appearing in three seasons of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Eva Marcille takes the 3rd spot on our list. Eva can bring in $13,938 / £10,759 per post of her flashy lifestyle to her 4.2 million followers.

 

The Top 50 Real Housewives of Insta

Despite only appearing in one season, the Real Housewives of Miami star Larsa Pippen made quite an impression on her series. Since being on the show she has amassed 2 million Instagram followers, meaning she could earn $6,689/£5,163 per post.

In comparison to our US counterparts, the Real Housewives of Cheshire who represents the UK branch of the franchise don’t rank as highly. Coming in at place 50, Tanya Bardsley is the highest British earner, raking in $2,620/£2,023 per post to her 527,000 followers.

It seems that not all Housewives will find their fortune on Instagram however. A number of wives from various different series, including Cindy Barshop (New York City), Tammy Knickerbocker (Orange County) and Dina Manzo (New Jersey), may have a few thousand followers but will not make anything from their posts.

Check out the full table below to see if your favourite Real Housewive appears on our list!

Why Digital Marketing is more important than ever in a global pandemic

It is becoming harder and harder for businesses to avoid the shift that marketing approaches have taken from traditional to digital. Digital marketing breaks the boundaries of traditional marketing as it enables businesses to reach significantly wider audiences in a highly cost-effective and measurable way. Consider the addition of a global pandemic and the need for businesses to adopt a digital marketing strategy is crucial.

Now more than ever, your customers are online.

The concept of a ‘new normal’ has led us to rely on technology more than ever as it enables us to communicate with friends and family, be entertained, keep up to date on current events and simply browse in order to keep ourselves occupied. This year, social media platforms saw a significant increase in engagement. The mobile network provider EE reported a 45% increase in data usage for communication services and online browsing between February and May 2020. By June, Facebook reported that 100 million more users had joined their network, with the fastest growing demographic being those aged 65+. On top of this, many businesses have built solutions to social distancing measures by building apps for customers to place orders when in a restaurant or bar. The continued use of these methods is further encouraging consumers to engage with their smartphones, therefore, leading to more engaged users. 

Social media marketing is key to building and maintaining relationships with your consumers in 2020.

If this isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of digital marketing in 2020, consider the benefits it brings to your business – benefits which have only become more prominent through a global pandemic. Digital allows brands to actively engage with their consumers and maintain a high level of customer service, without the need for physical interaction. Digital presents new and creative outlets for brands to engage with consumers through a pandemic, for example through creative content, online events or live streams. Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there which allows you to have complete control of who you target, how much you spend and the message you communicate. Let’s not forget that the average price for Facebook ads decreased by 6% in 2019 while ad impressions increased by 37%! 

With the acceptance of a ‘new normal’ and the prediction that consumer behaviour will continue on the same trajectory (even post pandemic) it is important that businesses embrace digital as an opportunity for their brand to align with consumer behaviour in 2020 and implement a strategy for success. 

Ready to implement a successful digital marketing strategy for your business? We are here to help

 

 

The Real Winners of The Great British Bake Off

There’s much more to winning the Great British Bake Off than just a cake stand, some flowers and the prestige of baking glory. Since becoming one of the nation’s favourite programmes after its launch in 2010, winning a series of the show is just the icing on the cake. As this year’s series gets off to a flying start, drawing over 10.8 million viewers in its first week, the bakers are beginning to build a personal brand that could be cooked to perfection by the series’ end. 

 

Although GBBO may be much sweeter evening viewing than other reality TV counterparts, the show has become a career launching platform which offers contestants the chance to craft lucrative careers from scratch. 

 

A famous example of Bake Off success is series 6 winner Nadiya Hussain. After her successful stint on the Bake Off, Nadiya has gone on to present numerous cookery shows for the BBC, signed publishing contracts covering baking to fiction, and made it to Debrett’s list of the 500 most influential people in Britain. Nadiya’s success probably isn’t news to you. With an Instagram boasting 627K followers, she’s become a household name.

 

It’s not only winners, however, who benefit from taking on the Bake Off. Bakers who charm the nation often succeed without winning the coveted Bake Off cake stand. Contestants such as Ruby Tandoh, Kim-Joy and Liam Charles have all gone on to enjoy success after competing on the show. All three have written columns for the Guardian and published their own baking books, with Liam also presenting his own programme Liam Bakes on Channel 4 in 2018. 

 

It just goes to show that the proof is in the pudding. Although the official Bake Off prize may seem initially underwhelming, the much loved show gives its contestants a platform to build their brand, show off their bakes and begin a piping hot career that’s fresh out the oven. 

 

Two episodes in, it’s all to play for. This year at PFM, we’ll be following this batch of bakers to see who comes out on top on social. Our social scoreboard will show how competitors are performing online by tracking who’s gaining the most Instagram followers throughout the series. 

 

Although Pantomime Producer Lottie Bedlow (@lottiegotcake) currently leads the pack, having gained almost 7000 followers since appearing on the show, we’re waiting to see who ends up on top. We’ve already seen upside-down cakes knocked to the floor this year, and there could always be another #BinGate

 

Have you picked your favourite baker yet? Whatever happens, get ready to see a lot more of our digital winners after the competition has ended.