Posts Categorized: Digital marketing

Talk like the Egyptians? The rise of the emoji

HieroglyphicsSo “Face, with Tears of Joy” is the first image to be anointed Word of The Year. Is the rise of the emojis now complete, or does this represent another step towards a world where all of our communications are wholly or mostly, image based?

Not everyone is enamored with this news. This article from The Guardian, back in May, has been given renewed relevance given last weeks award.

“So it’s official. We are evolving backwards. Emoji, the visual system of communication that is incredibly popular online, is Britain’s fastest-growing language according to Professor Vyv Evans, a linguist at Bangor University. […] ‘As a visual language emoji has already far eclipsed hieroglyphics, its ancient Egyptian precursor which took centuries to develop,’ says Evans.

“There are harsh limits on what you can say with pictures. The written word is infinitely more adaptable. That’s why Greece rather than Egypt leapt forward and why Shakespeare was more articulate than the Aztecs.”

This is a rather extreme view. How many of us are able to craft the type of content or communications, created by Shakespeare? Read more on Talk like the Egyptians? The rise of the emoji…

Social media in 2016: It’s all about the customer

Twitter buy now buttonIt’s that time of year again, when we dust off the crystal ball and look to the future. 2015 has been an eventful year for social, but will it continue to exist as we know it or will it lose its power and influence over people? What will social really look like in 2016?

The dynamics won’t change – new start-ups will emerge, the obsession with millennials will persist and I’m afraid the selfie culture is here to stay. But there are three key themes around simplicity and user experience that I believe will ultimately determine who the winners are in the new year. Read more on Social media in 2016: It’s all about the customer…

3 ways to get your mobile ads holiday ready

mobile in store wallThis holiday season will be dominated by mobile. As consumers continue to spend more of their time on mobile devices, the importance of capturing their attention when they’re on the go becomes increasingly important.

A recent report from comScore found that 60% of a consumer’s time spent online is through a mobile device, but these mobile sessions average just 70.8 seconds. With just micro-moments to capture and maintain consumer attention, marketers are under more pressure than ever to optimize their mobile strategies.

After years of analyzing millions of data points from countless retailers, we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to help retailers nail their mobile ad strategy this holiday season. Read more on 3 ways to get your mobile ads holiday ready…

Amazon and Argos poised to win the Christmas shopping search battle

Amazon packagesFor major UK high-street and online ecommerce retail, search is an invaluable channel for the Christmas period. By year end, total online retail sales for 2015 are expected to exceed £116bn (representing 12% YoY growth from 2014 figures). Fuelled by such remarkable growth, search has naturally become the most significant channel for consumers as they undergo their seasonal purchase journeys.

Brands who perform poorly in organic search are often forced to invest heavily in paid media and advertising to make up for shortfalls in visitor and sales volumes.

With so much at stake, we wanted to understand what the landscape might look like this Christmas, and see which retailers are positioning themselves to be most visible and visited website by consumers during the festive period.

By analysing the most popular phrases used by UK shoppers searching for this year’s ‘must have’ Christmas gifts via Google (looking at 26 October data), we discovered that Amazon and Argos currently have the largest share of search in the run up to the holiday retail period. Read more on Amazon and Argos poised to win the Christmas shopping search battle…

Is age standing in the way of engagement? Why marketers should be embracing Instagram

InstagramThe marketing world isn’t keeping up with the pace of change in social media, or at least that’s what the usage stats for platforms like Instagram would lead you to believe. In an industry that prides itself on embracing new media, there are blind spots appearing. Why? I’d suggest it’s because of the personal preferences of marketing professionals.

Instagram has 300 million monthly users, which is a relatively small number compared to the billions using Facebook. According to Fortune, while 82% of big brands across the globe have taken to Twitter and 80% have a Facebook presence, only 23% use Instagram. This is despite the fact that Instagram offers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter, with an average 4.2% of followers interacting directly with the brand.

Just over half of 18-29-year-old global internet users have an Instagram account and they have been shown to spend, on average, over 21 minutes a day on the app. Around 50% check their feeds at least once a day, while 32% check several times a day. That’s an incredibly engaged audience. So why are we ignoring it?

The IPA’s most recent Census showed that the average age in media, advertising and marketing communications agencies is 33. If we compare this to the user demographics of Facebook and Instagram, we see a link. While 73% of 33-49-year-old internet users have a Facebook account, only 25% use Instagram. Could marketers be ignoring Instagram because they simply don’t use it themselves? Read more on Is age standing in the way of engagement? Why marketers should be embracing Instagram…

Pitches: Why eBay has introduced a new way to reach parents

Parent“Millennials,” “baby boomers,” “Gen X/Y/Z” – advertisers use a huge number of labels to describe the needs, wants and interests of different demographics. But what’s in a name? And does a label really help us connect with an audience?

The industry is now recognising that to truly engage consumers we need to move beyond reductive demographic targeting, but all too often brands still resort to pigeonholing consumers by age or gender.

With more insights than ever at our fingertips, brands should be able to go beyond stereotypes. However, as an industry we’re still not where we should be when it comes to using this insight to be relevant and effective.

The adblockalypse is a good case in point when it comes to the issue of relevancy. Consumers have the right and the ability to opt out of irrelevant content, and time and again we see that poor targeting actually damages a brand’s relationship with its audience.

At eBay, we have long focussed on using observed behavioural insight to drive accurate targeting. Recently, we have taken this a step further, by developing Advanced Targeting, which uses behavioural and contextual insights from eBay’s 18 million UK users to segment shopper groups that would usually be targeted as a whole. Read more on Pitches: Why eBay has introduced a new way to reach parents…

It’s not just Singles’ Day: Check out this global e-commerce calendar

Russia celebrates Cyber Monday in JanuaryThe media has been buzzing with the phenomenal sales achieved on China’s Singles’ Day. Alibaba reported sales of $1bn (US) in the first eight minutes alone and a total of $14.3bn over 24 hours. But Singles’ Day is not just an opportunity for Alibaba, 27,000 brands participated in the event, many of them from outside China.

With 302 million consumers buying cross-border in 2014 and that figure expected to continue to rise, understanding how major events are celebrated in individual countries is important to planning a successful global e-commerce strategy. Read more on It’s not just Singles’ Day: Check out this global e-commerce calendar…

A new lease of life for Google+?

googleplusandroidwebiosIt’s fair to say that Google+, once lauded by Google as the most important social network of them all, has not lived up to its potential. However, the US-based tech giant isn’t giving up on the platform and it is finally getting some TLC.

On Tuesday, it began the rollout of a completely redesigned Google+, one that will focus on the Communities and Collections functions of the platform – much like that of Pinterest.

Launched back in 2011, Google+ technically has over 2 billion users today – a somewhat bloated fact, based on the premise that everyone with a Google account automatically gets their own page on the social network. Recent statistics would even suggest that as much of 90% of users have never actually posted anything on the platform.

This move is not that unexpected as back in the summer, Google VP Bradley Horowitz outlined the role that Google+ would play as a social layer for other Google products. Read more on A new lease of life for Google+?…

DIY life: how people are ditching the manuals for digital know-how

How To videos screenshotAmong the VCRs, cassette tapes and other curiosities that litter my parents’ drawers and cupboards, there is one item’s passing into obsolescence that I will not mourn: the instruction manual. Its days are numbered. Now, we have new ways to find what we want, when we want it.

YouTube is now the second most-used search engine on the internet, an Ipsos study, commissioned by Google, of 1,000 people found. 59% of young adults use it as the first port of call to find out how to do something new. In fact, 83% of under 35s say they could find an instructional video on absolutely anything they want to learn.

Among the most desired skills they say they would search for: cooking instructions (23%), how to fix a product (29%), how to install a product (24%) and makeup tutorials (20%). But why do we seek instructions online when nearly every product we buy comes with an instruction book? Read more on DIY life: how people are ditching the manuals for digital know-how…

Pitches: A solution to ad blocking

FramestrAdvertising is the life blood of a free and open internet. It has helped break down barriers to information that was once only accessible to the developed world and has helped fund and foster unique apps that billions of people use on a daily basis. However, ad-blocking has gone mainstream and has become a serious threat to continued development of the internet and its applications.

Browsing the web without ads is not just nice, it’s liberating. No popups stealing your screen. No accidental clicks taking you away to a non-relevant site. No auto-playing video ads making the page load as slowly as if it were being dialed up through America Online circa 1999.

Check out this image circulating on Reddit, titled When you accidentally turn off adblock.

Online advertising has become so invasive that consumers are taking matters into their own hands. Over 198 million consumers agree by actively employing ad blocking software, and that number is growing at 41% annually.

What can be done? Read more on Pitches: A solution to ad blocking…