Latest Posts

Has the Ice Bucket Challenge reached its tipping point?

ice bucket challenge by Anthony Quintano:FlickrFrom Dolly Parton, George W Bush and Oprah to this ‘cute’ two-year-old, everyone is doing it: unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past fortnight, your news feed is probably as full as ours with the now infamous Ice Bucket Challenge.

Not since #nomakeupselfie has a viral charity campaign gone so crazy. Almost by accident, as of 27 August, The ALS Association has received $94.3m in donations (compared with $2.7m in the same period last year).

Yet among all this success, there have been vocal criticisms.

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World’s first-ever 3D print petition comes up trumps for elephants

World’s first-ever 3D print petition comes up trumps for elephantsHow do you get your charity noticed in a space already overflowing with e-petitions and direct mail? You could build a life-sized 3D printed elephant, which is how World Animal Protection (previously known as WSPA) has creatively chosen to get its message across as part of a campaign urging holidaymakers to boycott elephant rides and shows.

The work has been set up raise awareness about the pain, stress and suffering inflicted on elephants used in the tourism industry.

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Fashion, social media and the key to brand engagement

burberry London Fashion Week catwalkWhile social media certainly has its place as part of an overall marketing strategy, fashion brands need to look beyond the medium’s ability to simply drive short-term sales. Social media has proved itself to be a very powerful tool in some circumstances, but when it comes to clearing clothes rails its effect on our immediate purchasing decisions may be less powerful than commonly assumed, while its real potential remains overlooked.

Of course, popular brands will continue to clock up followers and endorsements on social media – ASOS is particularly good at this – but many of these individuals will be looking for opinions, reviews or customer service, rather than opportunities to make purchases. As such, a social media strategy designed purely to drive sales is going to deliver relatively poor ROI. Assessing the commercial value of a ‘fan’ on social media has long vexed digital strategists. How can you measure the value of different types of consumers – is a dedicated follower of fashion worth more or less than a fan of a specific brand? Read More »

3 steps to creating awesome in-app and push messaging content

In app push messagingIf content is king and mobile is the way of the future, then there’s no better place to invest your content marketing time than in creating app messaging. Why apps? Because, the inherent goal of apps is to help someone complete a task, and with their broad accessibility, apps have become the preferred channel that provides the best, easiest solution possible.

Keeping this in mind, successful app marketing requires content that is compelling, concise, helpful and targeted within the right context. Here are three steps to take – plus examples of great content, designs and offers – to create awesome push and in-app messaging campaigns. Read More »

Imogen Heap and the art of creative failure

Imogen HeapSinger Imogen Heap’s gig at the Roundhouse last Sunday night should be a lesson to us all in creative exploration of a digital world. It taught me two things: how to explore technology creatively, and how to fail with dignity.

The gig marked the culmination of Reverb – a four-day festival of electronic, experimental music that Heap curated, with a heavy dose of technology on the side. Read More »

Infographic: The rise of the feed

With mobile traffic growing seven times quicker than desktop growth, up to 30.2 million uniques in 2014 (according to Ofcom), the role of the *feed* has become core to people’s everyday content consumption.

Sharethrough has put together an infographic to give context to the *rise of the feed*, digging into the history of the feed from Digg’s front page format in 2004, through Twitter and Facebook’s focus on the feed from 2006 onwards, punctuated throughout by the adoption of the smartphone.

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Are brands ready for the Millennials?

Girls texting millenialsIn its recent communications market report Ofcom has proven that the millennium generation of 14 and 15-year-olds are the most technology-savvy in the UK. Their exposure and awareness to digital media and brand communication across all tech devices is going to equal if not surpass that of the current adult generation, which today is estimated at a staggering eight hours 41 minutes.

These teens are the consumers of the future. They will have high expectations of brands when it comes to digital brand engagement. They have grown up with broadband and digital communications at their fingertips. They are already accustomed to instantaneous service and will expect brands in the future to serve to their preferences across all technologies, wherever they maybe.

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The blurred lines of native ads

Facebook satireFacebook recently started labelling stories from The Onion as ‘satire’ to help its more gullible readers recognise a joke when it’s coming at them. (Apparently headlines like ‘Meerkats have dark, sinister side’ can be open to serious interpretation). But how clearly labelled should brand stories be online, particularly native advertising pieces placed by brands to look uncannily similar to main editorial content?

In comparison with the traditional way of monetising online content – the display banner – native advertising is undoubtedly more preferable. It makes for a richer overall experience when a brand looks to craft its message into an interesting story, rather than just shouting at the audience from the sidelines. Read More »

The three dimensions of customer loyalty

cubes by Brian Yap FlickrAs performance marketers have known for decades, loyalty marketing, the act of increasing customer value by focusing efforts on your existing customers, can be a powerful driver of company growth. Research conducted by Bain & Co has shown that retailers with a loyalty programme are 88% more profitable, on average, than competitors without one.

However there is also evidence to suggest that, whilst loyalty marketing represents a massive opportunity, few companies are actually realising it. Forrester research shows that nearly two thirds of loyalty progammes for retailers are ineffective, and Aberdeen Group research shows that 74% of retailers report ‘partial to no tangible improvements’ from their loyalty programmes.

So what does this tell us? Is time up for loyalty marketing? Should marketers be focusing their attentions on other types of marketing? The answer is far from it – it seems that companies aren’t making the most of the potential because of poor execution.

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Pornstars have great customer service

Vanessa LakeThis salacious title all stemmed from a conversation I had with an old client, now friend over a drink after work one evening. We were in an uber trendy spot in the trendiest part of East London. The girls had chunks missing out of their hair, the gents beards were groomed to the perfect length and everyone was rocking the Nordic wardrobe.

We inevitably found ourselves commenting on our surroundings and the actors and actresses on this stage. This bubble, within a bubble. It was not good enough anymore to be in East London, you had to be at the epicentre. These characters were hyper-real, you could study them for hours. They were visually fascinating. We wondered of their lives online and spoke of the trend of Instagram superstars, the people with tens, if not hundreds of followers. Within moments I was going to hear of someone that would become the epicenter of my bubble.

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