‘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.

Customer retention: How relevance trumps loyalty

Most loyalty programs fail to make the mark as they lack value proposition. According to a recent study, 71% of consumers claim loyalty incentive programs don’t make them loyal. That happens because brands fail to adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape.

That’s why the next generation of consumers is more interested in relevance. It will be the...

By Manish Dudharejia, 09 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Branding, Customer Experience.

Demographics are so pre-GDPR, but that doesn't mean the end of contextual advertising

The unthinkable has happened. The Cambridge Analytica scandal has culminated in Facebook being slapped with a fine to the tune of £500k – the maximum possible under the pre-GDPR Data Protection Act. For Zuck the mighty tech deity, the chickens have truly come home to roost. Or have they? Zuckerberg probably made more than that in the time it has taken to read this sentence…

But should GDPR...

By Emma Lacey, 09 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Data-driven marketing, Personalised Marketing.

How much of your ‘working media’ is actually working?

The “working media” debate, i.e. what percentage of advertiser programmatic budgets get spent on pure media (and what this percentage should be), has been raging for some time now.

It’s a contentious topic, fueled by a historic lack of transparency, but one that, I feel, has a simple solution:

1.   Work with partners who can give you full transparency of the programmatic value...

By Joey Henderson, 08 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Attribution, Programmatic.

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.

EBay accuses Amazon of poaching third-party sellers for its Marketplace

In a clash of the e-commerce titans, online auction platform eBay has accused Amazon of poaching sellers through its internal messaging system.

Calling the alleged scheme “unlawful” in a statement, the platform has issued a cease and desist letter and cautioned that it would take “appropriate steps” to protect itself from the activity.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, eBay began to take action after discovering that more than 50 Amazon sales representatives had sent...

By Mark Jones, 04 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Commerce, E-Commerce.

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 build brand loyalty in the age of 'hyper personalisation'

Consumers have more power over brands than ever before. Social media gives them the ability to openly scrutinise or share their great experiences directly with a mass audience, while online shopping means brands are in an ongoing battle to cut prices, hold user attention, deliver products quickly and ultimately stay relevant to keep consumers loyal.

Consumers also expect a lot more from brands. We’ve become accustomed to recommendations from companies like Amazon, who have changed consumer expectations...

By Ofri Ben Porat, 03 October 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Customer Experience, E-Commerce, Personalised Marketing.

Lack of tech skills could hamper $11.5 in global industry growth, finds Accenture

Today’s education and training systems are not keeping up with the current demand for skills and the emergence of new technologies, and the result is a widening skills gap that threatens to hamper $11.5T in global growth.

That’s according to an analysis by the global management and professional services firm Accenture, which concludes that new approaches to learning are desperately needed if businesses are to achieve the growth...

By Mark Jones, 03 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Data-driven marketing.

How close are you to a fully personalised customer experience?

Personalisation is a necessary component of customer experience in today’s environment. Providing individualised experiences promises to drive sales and increase loyalty by making each customer feel as if the brand knows them and can anticipate their needs.

Yet many companies still struggle to get this right. What can you do to ensure that your...

By Evanna Kearins, 02 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing, Personalised Marketing.

Facebook has been rumbled using 2FA phone numbers for ad targeting

As if Facebook needed another mountain in user trust to climb this year, evidence has now emerged of it using phone numbers provided for security purposes to target unsuspecting users with ads.

The activity was uncovered by researchers from Northeastern University and Princeton, along with the tech publisher Gizmodo, following controlled trials where an ad was successfully targeted using phone numbers that had been provided for account security and, in one case, had never been explicitly provided to the...

By Mark Jones, 01 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Data-driven marketing, Social Media 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.

E-commerce sites focused on returns visits ‘thundering ahead’ of competitors

Getting a customer to your site once is a small feat, but if you want to survive in today’s crowded world of e-commerce, return visits should be your top priority.

A global study of 250m e-commerce websites and €500m (£444m) in online revenue by Wolfgang Digital demonstrates the importance of this in a market where conversion rates stand at a razor-thin average of just 1.8%.

The headline is high return visits lead to higher...

By Mark Jones, 28 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Commerce, Customer Experience, E-Commerce.

Wake up call for retailers: My car realised I’d moved, but Amazon didn’t

I recently moved into a new home and in a two-month stretch spent a significant amount of money on Amazon.com buying numerous furnishings, decorator items and appliances.

It struck me that despite being a loyal customer and Prime member, Amazon never figured out I was moving nor suggested any items or services I might consider for my new home. I wasn’t offered any...

The rise of the commuter-shopper: driving digital commerce in surprising environments

Thanks to the hyper-connected, ‘always on’ world in which we now live, the opportunity for brands to drive commerce is literally everywhere. As with other areas of our lives, connected mobile devices have changed the way we think about buying things; when it comes to shopping, we’re no longer bound by ‘restrictions’ such as location and time of day.

Last week, Instagram announced that it will be...

By Ian Reynolds, 27 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, E-Commerce, M-Commerce, Mobile Marketing.

Forget AR: Visual search will be the hottest e-commerce tech among millennials

It’s been a big week for visual search.

In a partnership with Amazon, Snapchat announced it was testing a new tool allowing users to take a photo of a product or barcode and, if recognised, launch an Amazon product page to learn more and (hopefully) make a purchase.

On 20th birthday week, meanwhile, Google announced the integration of its AI-driven Lens into...

By Mark Jones, 27 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, E-Commerce, M-Commerce, Search Marketing.

Google rolls out custom viewability metrics for display & video advertisers

63% of UK display ads were considered “viewable” in the first half of the year according to a study this week by Integral Ad Science. That was considered an “all-time high”, and it means that nearly three-fifths of ad units were in view for one continuous second - or two seconds if we’re talking video.

The findings were based on a widely-used industry standard set by the Media Rating Council...

By Mark Jones, 26 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Campaigns, Video & Audio Marketing.

Why brands are going wild for Amazon advertising

It’s pretty clear that Amazon is on a monumental roll. The company’s growth is staggering, showing a 39% year over year increase in net sales, a 12x jump in earnings per share (EPS), and over 100m Prime subscribers globally in Q2 2018. There simply isn’t another e-commerce company with the same market presence and influence over the customer journey.

A hub for lower-funnel customer demand

By Brian Finnerty, 26 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Commerce, E-Commerce.