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.

Why ‘the customer is always right’ is more applicable than ever in today’s data-driven business

“The customer is always right” is a popular phrase with interesting origins. While there is no conclusive evidence of when the quote first came to exist, most credit its early popularisation to Chicago retailer Marshall Field. More importantly, though, is that the phrase is an abbreviated version of the original, which stated “right or wrong, the customer is always right.”

Only three words longer, the full quote adds some needed context – that the customer can of course be wrong....

How many marketers truly understand the customer journey – and if not, how can you quickly?

It may be a popular buzz-phrase but how many marketers have really got their heads around the role – and components – of a savvy customer journey, and what’s the answer to getting up and running if they’re a little behind?

‘Customer experience’ (CX) is without a doubt the most important phrase for anyone responsible for an organisation's service levels. And in the world of marketing, the phrase 'customer journey' should be just as pivotal.

A mechanism to ensure...

By Andy McCaul, 29 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: CRM, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing.

Why design-driven companies cut through to customers

Twenty years ago Joseph Pine and James Gilmore welcomed us all to the “Experience Economy” in the Harvard Business Review (HBR). They claimed that ‘services’ alone were not enough to satisfy experience-hungry consumers, and that “staging experiences” would generate more value. Although the examples they used were more physical experiences (aka Niketown) than digital experiences, they had rightly identified a pivotal moment in history.

One month after the HBR article was...

By Adrian Gans, 26 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Customer Experience, Publishing.

The HTTPS deadline and what it means for your website

2018, the year of deadlines. Or, more specifically, the year of internet security deadlines. It turns out that the EU isn’t the only entity setting deadlines for us to up our online security game. Now, Google is throwing its weight around too. 

Google has slowly been encouraging stronger security practices over the past few years. Earlier this year, Google announced a deadline for websites to upgrade from HTTP to HTTPS. That deadline is almost upon us: July 2018.

But what’s the difference...

By Howard Williams, 26 June 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Publishing, Search Marketing.

AT&T snaps up AppNexus in billion-dollar ad tech bid

US telecoms firm AT&T has bought ad tech giant AppNexus in a deal expected to be worth in excess of $1bn (£753m).

While the value of the transaction hasn’t been disclosed by the two companies, Wall Street Journal expected a possible deal could reach $1.6bn (£1.2bn). The announcement follows just a week after AT&T’s $85bn (£64bn) acquisition of Time Warner.

As reported by Marketing Tech...

By Mark Jones, 25 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Mergers and acquisitions, Programmatic.

YouTube tweaks monetisation model in response to ‘adpocalypse’

Social video sharing platform YouTube is rolling out a “channel membership” paid subscription option to its top creators, following criticism that its latest ad policies make it hard for publishers to earn money.

In a model already employed by competitors such as Twitch and Patreon, the platform will let publishers with more than 100,000 fans charge $4.99 a month for access to exclusive content, while those with over 10,000 followers will be able to host live-streamed “premieres” and...

Adobe adds batch of new marketing tech & analytics features

Adobe has announced a suite of updates to its cloud marketing stack, including attribution improvements and the ability to hyper-personalise ads for marketers in the travel sector.

The software company launched Attribution IQ at Cannes Lions earlier this week, an update to its Analytics Cloud that will offer marketers a 10 different models for measuring the effect of their marketing campaigns.

In a blog post, Adobe Analytics’ senior...

AT&T eyes programmatic giant AppNexus for $1.6bn

US telco AT&T is reportedly in talks to snap up ad tech firm AppNexus for a possible $1.6bn (£1.2bn), according to Wall Street Journal, in a move that would equip it with firepower enough to take on the likes of Facebook and Google in the advertising space.

The news emerges just a week after AT&T’s $85bn (£64bn) acquisition of Time Warner, while a bid for the New York programmatic specialist would likely be backed by the complete buyout of Otter Media, a video streaming company...

Norwegian CMS startup Sanity wants to kick content creation out of the 90s

As a digital marketer, you’ve more than likely to have had a run-in with a content management system (CMS). If you’re lucky, you might even get to use one every day.

Whether it’s Wordpress, SilverStripe, Drupal or Django, tucked away in the backend, it’s easy to take these painfully functional workhorses for granted, but one Scandinavian startup thinks the status quo is well overdue for an overhaul.  

Sanity is the product of Norwegian digital agency Bengler and co-founders...

By Mark Jones, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Content Marketing, Mobile Marketing.

Connecting head and heart: The new anatomy of advertising personalisation

Personalisation in the advertising industry probably began 60 years ago when Lester Wunderman first invented the idea of direct mail and the concept of targeting messaging to individual consumers.

It took the rest of the industry a few years to catch up but catch up it did and so began half century of mailboxes piled high with “personal offers” addressed to you, or similar(ish) to you, or someone who lived in your house three moves ago.

While it was understood that the more personalised the...

By Kieron McCann, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, E-Commerce, Personalised Marketing.

Oath brings virtual reality ads to the programmatic marketplace

Verizon’s media powerhouse Oath, the umbrella for companies including AOL and Yahoo!, has brought VR (virtual reality) to programmatic ad buying.

While not quite transporting audiences to virtual new worlds, and perhaps better described as ‘extended reality’ (XR), Oath’s new ad experiences allow brands to layer on rich and immersive content to product ads, adding an extra layer of detail and dimension. 

Companies already experimenting with the format include LG, Three, Chevrolet...

By Mark Jones, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Programmatic.

IBM & MediaOcean’s blockchain pilot to combat ‘ad-tech tax’ for major brands

IBM’s digital agency network IBM iX has coupled up with ad-world software provider MediaOcean to pilot a blockchain network, in efforts to clear up the murky media supply chain and hack away at “ad tech tax”.

The network, which is set to trial with media deals for top-flite brands including Unilever, Kimberly-Clark Corp, Pfizer, Kellogg and IBM Watson, is aimed at improving transparency, combating...

By Mark Jones, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Programmatic.

Four in 10 social media users have deleted accounts over privacy fears, finds Edelman

In response to the results of a survey by Edelman, which found a glaring loss of trust in social media platforms across the globe, the firm’s CEO has commented that “people are scared”.

Revealed at Cannes Lions yesterday (June 19), a study by the PR firm on over 9,000 consumers found that 70% thought it was up to advertisers to pressure social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, into more effectively addressing false information and offensive content.

Speaking to CNBC, the...

By Mark Jones, 19 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Data-driven marketing, Social Media Marketing.

How to facilitate the return of storytelling in advertising

Storytelling in advertising is nothing new. From the eighties’ Nescafe Gold Blend commercials featuring the romance of Tony and Sharon, to the noughties’ BT family ads that followed the domestic trials of Adam and Jane, the most memorable TV campaigns took years to build characters that audiences could relate to and care about.

But the art of storytelling is disappearing. Creators of TV ads such as the John Lewis Always a Woman, and more recently the

By Andrew Buckman, 19 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Content Marketing.

Mobile advertising to win third of global budgets by 2020

Mobile advertising is on track to account for 30.5% of global spend by 2020 to total $187bn (£142bn), according to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, published yesterday (June 19).

That figure is more than double the $88bn spend predicted on desktop advertising and just $5bn shy of television. By 2021, however, mobile advertising is expected to “comfortably” overtake TV.

This cosmic rise is a direct result of consumers switching out the desktop for the anywhere-anytime...

By Mark Jones, 19 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Mobile Marketing, Publishing.

Unilever’s top marketer says influencer fraud requires ‘urgent action’

As we’ve seen within the last year, the big-spending FMCG giants have demonstrated some hefty lobbying power when it comes to holding the digital marketing industry to account. This time, they’re getting tough on influencer marketing.

At Cannes Lions today (June 18), Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said that the growing influencer marketing industry was at a pivotal stage and that its members must take “urgent action” in order to rebuild...

By Mark Jones, 18 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Branding, E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Why 2018 is the year of less waste and more measurability in marketing campaigns

At the end of the 19th century, department store owner and marketing pioneer, John Wanamaker, famously said “half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted.” It’s a phrase that has been repeated throughout history and over a century later, marketers are still losing significant amounts of money on unsuccessful campaigns.

In fact, marketers believe that nearly

By Simon Baptist, 18 June 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Branding, Campaigns, Data-driven marketing, Mobile Marketing.

Bing ups its search marketing game with LiveRamp integration

We’ve already given you five reasons why Bing shouldn’t be ignored for search marketing, and its latest integration with LiveRamp provides a sixth.

The underappreciated Microsoft search engine, which actually owns close to a fifth of the global search market, has introduced the data onboarder’s identity resolution provider IdentityLink. And while that may not mean much, in simple terms it...

By Mark Jones, 15 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

The new retail frontier: Next level personalisation

The best retailers will embrace new digital tools that make it easier to personalise every encounter from that first moment of inspiration to finally taking action. In spite of this, it’s surprising to see that almost two-thirds (62%) of UK marketers say they do not incorporate personalisation into their campaigns, according to a recent State of Digital Commerce report from Episerver.  

Whether you work for an eCommerce brand, mass retailer, or the next great direct-to-consumer business, we can all...

By Amy Vener, 15 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Campaigns, Data-driven marketing, Personalised Marketing.