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Putting a topspin on your marketing strategy: How brands are using war rooms to maximise brand impact

Despite being the early days of the tournament, the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage has already drawn a peak audience of more than four million. This combined with the numbers of people streaming live, watching on big public screens across the country and checking online for highlights, presents a potentially huge captive audience that brands can’t afford to ignore.

Responding in real time to events can have a significant impact on brand communities, driving often unprecedented levels of engagement. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by creating a ‘war room’.

Go behind the scenes of Ikea HQ in VR tour

unnamed (1)The Swedish furniture retailer is giving its Family loyalty scheme members the chance to see inside its headquarters from the comfort of their own homes in a new virtual reality tour experience.

The personalised online video, created by digital and direct marketing agency Lida, begins with a look at the streets of the local town Älmhult so that members can immerse themselves in the culture.

Wake up and smell the content

story booksNo matter how much consumers make it known that they are sick and tired of being marketed and sold to in the traditional way, particularly online, brands still don’t seem to be getting the message. The past seven days have thrown up yet more evidence that it’s time to switch to more authentic and insightful ways of engagement to really gain cut through in an increasing cut-throat and competitive global marketplace – adding value through targeted, relevant content, particular video, rather than still trying to sell people to death.

The fact that eight out of ten Britons think brands should be telling stories, yet a similar proportion couldn’t give a memorable example when asked tells it’s own story. And it goes something like this: once upon a time marketers jumped on the storytelling bandwagon, because they realised it was a great way to not only engage with a marketing-weary audience, but also act as a way to generate uniqueness and standout in a crowed market. Unfortunately, not many seem to be doing it very well.

We live in a data-driven era, but don’t forget about your DNA

WEB_Data_shopping_fashionDigital commerce is changing. You only have to look at websites a few years ago and compare them to how they look now to see how fast things change. Just half a decade ago websites were visually brand heavy and colourful.

Fast forward to 2015 and brands have been left with minimal design with much less brand identity, but a fully enhanced experience and the best technological functionality. But what is it that has driven these changes? The answer is simple – deeper customer insight and data, data, data.

This year’s Drapers Digital event attracted the who’s who of digital fashion and focused on discussing the e-commerce issues within the industry. The Fashion Means Business Panel, hosted by Bloomberg and promoted by the University of the Arts London, gathered top names from Amazon, Coca-Cola and fashion designer and entrepreneur Anya Hindmarch, to explore the impact of ‘fashion’ on the future of business, commerce and the prosperity of the UK.

The Daily Poke: Can I kick it? Yes, you can

Can I kick it 1With the launch of its new summer campaign, Sprite is literally spreading the word. As a tribute to hip-hop’s greatest artists, the brand is releasing a series of limited edition cans featuring lyrics from the legends of the genre. (Nice spot Rosy T)

Infographic: Why small companies are turning to marketing automation

Manual MethodsThis infographic from Software Advice coincides with the company’s latest edition of its annual Marketing Automation Trend Report. The 2015 figures revealed that that 98% of prospective small business buyers were looking to adopt marketing automation software for the first time, of which 37% came from the notoriously “slow to adopt” real estate industry.

Only 2% of buyers Software Advice spoke with already had a marketing automation system in place, with 61% of buyers using some type of software to manage marketing operations.

Buy now buttons: What they mean for brands

WEB_buy_now_buttonsTwitter and Facebook have been testing buy buttons for over a year now and both Pinterest and Instagram announced that they would be launching buy buttons soon. However, the most significant news in this space was Google recently announcing that they plan to add a ‘buy’ button to its Shopping Ads.

Google buy now button

Speaking at a recent conference in California, Google’s chief business officer, Omid Kordestani, announced that this will allow purchases to be made without leaving the Google results page. According to Kordestani, Google wants to “reduce friction” which it believes is one of the reasons why 90% of purchases are made offline.

Interacting isn’t engaging: Why we need to start applying dating theory to social media

It may be 2015, but – as with so many elements of marketing – there is still significant confusion around the difference between interaction and engagement. The reason for that confusion is simple; most marketers don’t want to admit to not knowing the difference so never get to the heart of the issue.

Interaction and engagement are phrases that have been thrown around in every single conversation since the term social media was coined – they are some of the basics, things that everyone feels they should understand. However, because of the lack of clarity on the difference between them, they have been used and abused to the point that they have merged into one buzz term, losing any real significance or place in a strategy discussion.

The resulting confusion is part of the reason why social media gurus/wizards/assassins exist to sell their ‘expertise’. It is also a key reason why brands still aren’t clear on the real value of social media to them and where it should sit in their marketing strategy.

Embracing new tools: how to increase the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns

WEB_email_sendIntegrating new tools and technologies into a business’ digital marketing strategy is not only crucial to staying ahead of competitors, but is also key for keeping customers consistently engaged. And there’s a whole host of things digital marketers can do to refresh their campaigns.

One of the useful tools we use in our digital marketing mix, and see the most return on, is email marketing. Here’s an overview of some of the ways that we adopt new tools into our email marketing strategy.

Integrate new technologies

According to the Direct Marketing Association, 66% of people that receive an email-marketing message make a purchase or engage with the brand – this is miles ahead of other tactics like direct mail and social media. Because it’s such an effective digital marketing tool, new technologies are constantly being produced to make email marketing even better.

Do the words ‘digital transformation’ make you feel challenged/optimistic/excited?

That sounds about right, according to a new study published by Adobe. The Digital Roadblock Report 2015 highlighted that UK marketers are feeling equally challenged (49%), optimistic (47%) and excited (46%) about digital transformation within the industry.

A total of 451 UK marketers revealed that with the upsurge of the Internet of Things and wearable devices, new technologies are driving this change (61%) and contributing heavily to consumer expectations on how brands communicate with them.