‘Project Dragonfly’: Google's rumoured censor-friendly launch in China

It’s common knowledge that Google, as present as it is in our daily lives, does not enjoy the same ubiquity in China, and hasn’t done for eight years.

Leaked meeting minutes from the corporation, however, suggest that could be about to change.

Codenamed ‘Project Dragonfly’, the search giant is allegedly in the midst of a bid to launch in China in an iteration that would play ball with Beijing’s hardline censorship policies.

According to a transcript from a meeting led by...

By Mark Jones, 10 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Best Practice, Organic Search, Search Marketing.

Google+ finally ‘sunsetted’ for consumers following data privacy breach

Not quite the dignified end we would have expected for Google’s long-ailing social network, Google+ is finally being closed down following a software breach that left hundreds of thousands of users’ private data exposed.

Up to 500K users were allegedly affected by a software bug in the Google+ API, which meant data that people had believed to be private was made accessible to third parties.

According to an internal memo at Google published by the Wall Street Journal, the search giant had been...

By Mark Jones, 09 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Five ways to ensure data capture strategies don’t ruin your CX

The wave of GDPR panic that overwhelmed many digital marketers at the start of the year, has been cited as the reason why UX – and therefore the resulting customer experience (CX) – seems to have gone out of the window for many brands. For others, it is the hunger for leads that has made it almost impossible to navigate some websites without encountering a wall of data capture forms that prevent any action whatsoever.

By Adam Oldfield, 08 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing.

Five ways to spot a marketing trend that will last

Historically trends have been set and followed by public opinion and perception - the, ‘I want one of those’ movements - all driven by a the boom in mass communications from the early origins of the TV and radio, right through to our devices today. A nostalgic look back at old pictures or images is usually enough to make us a cringe just a little. As opinions change, so do trends. And vice versa. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of movement that rarely operates at one speed and is almost...

By Luca Morena, 05 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Branding, Campaigns.

IAB Tech Lab tests blockchain-based protocol for personal data privacy

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Tech Lab has announced a blockchain-based protocol that allows companies to track consent users’ personal data.

PrivacyChain, which has been released for public comment and a handful of early pilots, seeks to hand consumers control over the personal information provided to companies using the technology.

If those users choose to opt in, their data will be made available to retailers, and the advertising agencies, publishing partners and exchanges that...

By Mark Jones, 04 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Data-driven marketing.

How to master a marketing communications audit

You spend valuable time and money crafting your marketing messages, but do you really know what your company is saying? Sometimes the message you think you’re sending isn’t always the one that’s being received. It's important to occasionally take a step back and conduct an in-depth audit of your customer communications plan — particularly where loyalty is concerned — to ensure you’re sending out a cohesive message that upholds your brand...

By Sandra Gudat, 01 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Content Marketing, Customer Experience.

With consumer trust at an all-time low - it's time for the digital industry to fight back

You don’t need statistics or sentiment analysis to tell you that the trust consumers have in digital advertising has reached a significant low. They can however put the scale of the issue into context. The lack of confidence in digital ads is well reflected in the rate at which ad blocking has grown over the last few years, so much so that eMarketer expects that a third of all...

By Damien Bennett, 19 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Customer Experience.

#DMWF Europe: How are we really handling GDPR?

Like it or not, consumers are waking up to their right to privacy online. The implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was a catalyst compounded by the high-profile case of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

But four months into GDPR and marketers are still struggling with complex, often ambiguous, guidelines. At the same time, a new wave of uncertainty looms over markets outside of Europe, with the United States and Brazil beginning to weigh up similar measures.

It’s no surprise,...

By Mark Jones, 19 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Data-driven marketing.

Two-thirds of people don’t know difference between Google paid and organic search results

Nearly two-thirds (60%) of consumers don’t know the difference between paid and organic search results on Google, according to a new study by Varn.

The UK marketing agency approached over 1,000 internet users with the simple question; “Do you know which links on the Google search results page are paid adverts?”

A whole 59.7% of people surveyed claimed to be unaware of the differences between the two types of Google listings, implying that the majority of consumers believe...

By Mark Jones, 06 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Organic Search, Paid Search.

Complaints to the ICO have doubled since GDPR came into effect

Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, data breach complaints to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) have “more than doubled”.

That’s according to findings by the law firm EMW, which found that 6,281 complaints were lodged between the GDPR’s May 25 implementation this year and July 3. That represented a 160% rise on the 2,417...

By Mark Jones, 05 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Data-driven marketing.

What can we learn from Australia's digital marketing skills shortage?

I’m an English-born Australian who loves both his new country and his industry, digital marketing, an industry I’ve been wedded to since leaving university twenty years ago. When I first arrived in Australia, I quickly learned that digital marketing was propped up by imports, mostly ‘POMs’ like myself with little focus on nurturing local talent.

At the time it wasn’t an issue for the industry and there were...

By Gary Nissim, 03 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice.

'Your PC is being hacked': Google cracks down on fraudulent tech support ads

Google has begun restricting ads that offer third-party tech support in a bid to “maintain a healthy advertising ecosystem”.

Those ads refer to the pop-ups that most of us disregard, telling us that our PCs have been hacked or infected and that we must seek immediate support to protect our systems.

Less tech-savvy users can be duped into calling the fake support numbers, often presented as companies such as Microsoft or Apple, where technicians will talk them into paying extortionate repair or...

By Mark Jones, 03 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Best Practice.

Keep a step ahead: embrace new social media platforms for influencer marketing

It’s fair to say we’ve evolved significantly from our 18th century ancestors, in every possible area of our lives, but when it comes to influencer marketing…? Well it turns out Wedgewood and the Royals were playing our game long before social media came into the fore. 

Luckily, we’ve amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge about how to make...

By Mark Bassett, 24 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

UK CEOs facing 'unrealistic expectations' from digital transformation ROI

Chief executives in the UK face “unrealistic expectations” in demonstrating tangible return from digital transformation projects, according to research by professional services firm KPMG.

A survey of 150 CEOs from leading British businesses found that the majority (72%) are frustrated by pressure at board-level to prove return on investment (ROI) from multi-year digital transformation projects, which can include the integration of technologies such as cloud services, artificial intelligence and...

By Mark Jones, 22 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Best Practice.

CMA probe to ‘name and shame’ celebrities in breach of influencer guidelines

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun an investigation into whether celebrities and influencers on social media are making paid promotions sufficiently clear.

Guidelines enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) require influencers, who can have millions of followers, to clearly disclose commissioned or incentivised posts with tags such as ‘#ad’ or ‘#sponsored’. As part of the investigation, the CMA has contacted a large number of influencers -...

By Mark Jones, 17 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

Young marketers in UK favour high salaries over 'meaningful' startups

As school leavers in the UK receive their A-level results, new research has found that the next generation of marketers prioritise job security over working for ‘cutting-edge’ brands.

A survey by CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) found that 41% of 17-19 year olds who have left school in the last six months are indeed interested in a career in marketing.

However, nearly two-thirds (64%) favoured working in a...

By Mark Jones, 16 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice.

Can martech really influence wider business processes?

Despite the mounting pressures being placed on marketers to do – and achieve – more, budgets are still being stretched to their limits. Investment in marketing tech is no exception, which means the business case for comms platforms and apps needs to be strong.

Previous articles have covered topics such as budgeting for marketing automation software and even

Three solutions to the 'nonsensical' ad viewability standard

In 2014, I wrote a piece calling out our industry for its pretty feeble definition of ‘viewable’. Little did I know I’d be saying the same things four years later. 

But the fact is, very little has changed. The Media Rating Council’s standard still stands: a digital advert is classed as ‘viewable’ if half of it is in vision for one second or more. Run that by anyone outside media-land and they’d laugh in your face.

I actually have sympathy for the Media...

By Daniel Shaw, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Campaigns, Programmatic.