Facebook is bringing augmented reality ads to the news feed

With a limited supply of inventory available to advertisers in its news feed, Facebook seems to be trying out slightly more novel ways of ensuring brands are getting the best bang for their buck.  

Limited to its US users at launch, a new augmented reality (AR) feature will enable customers to virtually try on items “in just one click” from certain ads, including fashion accessories and cosmetics, as well as...

By Mark Jones, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

The core pillars of technical international SEO

Thinking of marketing to customers in another country, or who speak another language? Even if you’re familiar with SEO (search engine optimisation) in your domestic market, international SEO opens up some new issues you may not have considered.

This article offers an overview of the technical aspects of SEO you’ll need to handle for effective international online marketing. There’s a lot to think about and research when establishing an international web presence.

Decide whether to market to a country...

By Annie Pagano, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Organic Search, Search Marketing.

Why empowered marketers will own the customer experience by 2020

By 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake both price and product as a key brand differentiator. A 280-character Twitter post, Instagram snap or Facebook update from a disgruntled consumer can destroy a brand’s long-built reputation and performance in an instant, so brands must deliver a consistent, connected, competitive customer experience. Those businesses that get this right are rewarded: 68% of UK consumers in a

By Andy Berry, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing, Personalised Marketing.

Google rolls out rack of machine learning ad tools

Just a week after announcing a wide-scale rebrand of its ad products, Google yesterday (July 10) launched a suite of new ad tools boxed together using its machine-learning tech capabilities.

The updates were announced in a blog post by Jerry Dischler, the ad tech giant’s vice president of product management, who said the tools came as growing consumer demand for “helpful and...

By Mark Jones, 11 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

MediaMath seals $225m financing for AI ad tech and tactical mergers

MediaMath, a long-time pioneer in programmatic advertising, has announced $225m (£170m) in new financing, courtesy of Searchlight Capital Partners.

The windfall brings the ad tech company’s total funding to over $607m (£458m), according to Crunchbase.

Delivered in two tranches, this will provide the “strategic growth capital” needed to accelerate the expansion of its DSP (demand side platform) - which allows brands to buy ads using automated systems - and DMP (data management...

By Mark Jones, 11 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Mergers and acquisitions, Programmatic.

7 secrets for managing tech-driven change

Digital transformation is a crucial consideration for many SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in their business strategies. 

With technologies emerging at a fast pace and business models continuing to evolve, new revenue streams and opportunities for previously technophobic companies are now becoming a reality.

For SMEs, digital transformation is seen more as a business transformation as it is not just about technology, but also people, including staff, customers and stakeholders.

Research by 

By Paul Whitelam, 11 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Customer Experience, E-Commerce.

When AI misses the mark: The unlikely casualties of Facebook’s political ad filter

Following its time in the public petri dish over Cambridge Analytica and implications that Russia-backed content on its platform had an influential effect on the US election results, you can’t blame Facebook for being a tad overcautious.

As part of its recently rolled-out political ad policies which requires all political advertisements to undergo verification and feature listed details of the buyer, the social network employs an artificial intelligence (AI) system to identify politically-fuelled ads...

By Mark Jones, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

UK’s most martech-driven SME exporters most optimistic about Brexit

With an increasingly uncertain Brexit emerging, UK SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) exporters with a “progressive” and data-driven mindset are most confident about future business success.

A study by marketing agency Croud on 100 leaders of exporting SMEs, including companies such as UNiDAYS, Monty Bojangles and Kit for Kids, looked to shed light on the biggest challenges and opportunities smaller companies expect to face in the run-up to, and after, Brexit.

With all businesses in the...

By Mark Jones, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Commerce, Data-driven marketing, E-Commerce.

Is artificial intelligence in need of a rebrand?

When we think of cutting-edge technology, it’s usually in a positive context. New technologies are exciting, futuristic and belong in Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. So why has artificial intelligence (AI) gained such a bad reputation?

Jaywing Intelligence recently conducted research into Twitter conversations about AI - exploring whether the negative media content around ‘robots stealing our jobs’ was fake news. It found that data scientists are principally concerned with the...

By Alex Craven, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Content Marketing.

Alibaba develops AI tool capable of writing 20,000 lines of ad copy per second

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has developed an AI tool (artificial intelligence) capable of producing 20,000 lines of content per second.

Created as part of Alibaba’s digital marketing unit Alimama, the tool aims to reduce the heavy and arduous workload of producing copy for product listings by retailers, working by scraping “millions” of existing human writing samples from the company’s e-commerce platforms which it interprets using deep-learning models and natural language...

By Mark Jones, 09 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Content Marketing, E-Commerce.

Google to scuttle its AdWords and DoubleClick brands after two decades

Some two decades after launching, Google’s AdWords and DoubleClick brands are about to be sunsetted and rolled in under one of three simple banners.

The search engine says its aim is to streamline its ad products, better representing the solutions it offers and intentions for growth, as well as making it easier for brands to select the tools needed for campaigns.

Google Adwords will become Google Ads

Having launched in 2000 allowing local businesses to buy text ads within its SERPs (search engine...

By Mark Jones, 06 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

Channel 4 gets in on AI action with contextual TV ads

UK broadcaster Channel 4’s progressive approach to content is seeping through to its ad strategy.

While publicly-owned and touting a successful on-demand digital arm, the television company still relies on good old TV advertising for a large part of its revenue. However, gains from ad spend, which makes up about 93% of its total revenue, dipped around £40m last year as a result of a TV ad market decline of 3%.

To offset this,...

DMA Email Benchmark 2018: Clicks driven by relevance, opens driven by interest

Yesterday (July 5), the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) published its annual Email Benchmarking Report.

Analysing the performance of over 23 billion emails over the course of 2017, results showed that email has yet to be unseated as digital marketers’ top-performing channel.

At 97.5%, delivery rates remained extremely high - that figure represents just a slight dip year on year - although this does equate to over 500 million emails missing the target.

On the other hand, open rates have seen a 0.5%...

By Mark Jones, 05 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing, E-Commerce, Email marketing.

Google & Facebook are still beating small ad techs on consumer data trust

Despite the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a new study has revealed that consumers are much more likely to entrust their personally identifiable information (PII) to Facebook and Google than smaller ad tech firms.

Based on a study using replica websites featuring various opt-in request types on over 1,200 adults, the findings from Smartpipe and PSB Research found that consumers were more likely to opt-in to their data being used by big names.

In every scenario, the ‘duopoly’ came out on top, gaining...

By Mark Jones, 05 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Data-driven marketing, Personalised Marketing.

How to keep up in the era of digital progression

Technological innovation has transformed the way we work, play, interact, and behave.

Consider this: in 1995, there were 16 million internet users worldwide; today that figure tops four billion. Mass web adoption has driven improvements from healthcare to financial services, but along with this innovation has come higher expectations among consumers for personalised communications, products, and services.

For some marketers, digital disruption has moved too quickly. Alongside...

By Vanessa Tadier, 05 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Data-driven marketing.

Google’s delayed entry into GDPR consortium puts ad-funded sites at risk

Google has delayed its entry into a consortium of ad tech companies, hampering the group’s efforts to comply with the new European law for data privacy.

The information was reported to Reuters by sources involved in the programme.

The search giant’s decision to join in August will have left some firms that use its advertising services, particularly “unwitting owners” of ad-funded websites and apps, exposed to fines.

Hundreds of ad tech companies came together to build consent...

What does Amazon’s ‘Alexa For Hospitality’ mean for marketers?

The voice technology revolution is not just occurring within the home. Hotels, restaurants and the wider hospitality industry are rapidly adopting new tools and solutions to keep pace with the demands of modern consumers.  

The Best Western hotel chain, for instance, is expanding its partnership with Watson Ads on a series of artificial intelligence-powered interactive ad units that...

By Jon Buss, 04 July 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising Technology, Organic Search, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

IPG to acquire data-driven marketing firm Acxiom for $2.3 billion

Interpublic Group (IPG) has confirmed the acquisition of the data-driven marketing arm of Acxiom Corporation in a deal worth $2.3 billion (£1.7 billion).

The cash deal for the Acxiom Marketing Solutions (AMS) unit has been “approved unanimously” by both company’s boards of directors.

With the transaction expected to complete by the end of the year, AMS will become part of the IPG’s media agency network MediaBrands, while the acquisition will not include Acxiom Corporation’s

How to enhance your UX design with micro interactions: A guide

User experience (UX) is the most important part of any app. If a user finds an app difficult to use then it doesn’t matter how well it’s built or how good it looks – they won’t use it.

There are many areas within user experience, but the one we will focus on is micro interactions, which closely link to motion design and to the user interface (UI). Micro interactions are sometimes overlooked or viewed as a ‘nice to have’, however more and more people are seeing the benefits...

By Sarah Preston, 02 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Customer Experience, Mobile Marketing.

Delving into a brand’s social ecosystem: AI and the refinement of data

It was only eleven years ago - in 2007 - that I set up the first social media agency in the UK. It seems inconceivable now to look back at a mere decade and see how drastically the social media landscape has shifted since then. We have gone from ‘innovative and cool new thing’ to the very foundation of marketing strategies.

Whilst the advent of social media has profoundly disrupted how marketers operate, everything from blogging to influencers and Wikipedia have seemingly had their day. Ours has...

By Joel Davis, 02 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Data-driven marketing, Social Media Marketing.