Facebook’s study may help their experience, but it also breaches their ethics

In case you missed it over the weekend, Facebook has admitted to conducting a psychological experiment of 689,000 of its users to assess how they reacted to manipulating their news feeds.

The study, in partnership with Cornell University and the University of Columbia, attempted to assess if “exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviours.”

The experiment, which took place in 2012, has understandably caused distress and outrage,...

By James Bourne, 30 June 2014, 0 comments.

As Google+ turns three, is it time to wave the white flag?

June 28 2014 marks three years since Google+ was launched. It represents an interesting tipping point in the history of the social network, for whom mass adoption has often been difficult to come by.

Despite having only a quarter of the userbase of Facebook, 359 million active users compared to 1.28 billion is still a hefty number. But there’s another issue at stake.

At Google I/O earlier this week, during the two and a half hour keynote conference there was mention of various new announcements and...

By James Bourne, 27 June 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

BuzzFeed denies collecting personal data from users

BuzzFeed is collecting far more data about its readership than the majority of other news sites, a blogger has claimed.

According to ecommerce expert Dan Barker, writing on his blog, alongside the out-of-the-box analytics Google provides, BuzzFeed has actively decided it requires more information on users, thus classified as ‘Custom Var’.

So far this only covers such mundane information such as whether the user links BuzzFeed to Facebook and whether email updates...

By James Bourne, 25 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media Marketing.

Footballers need to stop appearing in adverts...but brands are partly to blame too

Sitting at home last night, about to watch the World Cup coverage, the advertising break before kick-off in the Brazil-Cameroon game had two adverts in a row featuring England players. First up was Daniel Sturridge’s Subway promo, and after that was an advert for Head & Shoulders starring goalkeeper Joe Hart.

As a digital marketing reporter, it was interesting to see how brands had utilised the World Cup in their latest campaigns. As a football fan having just seen England get knocked out of the...

By James Bourne, 24 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Campaigns.

Ensure you make your Facebook ads relevant as real estate is scarce, StitcherAds warns

Facebook has caused outrage, controversy and no little discussion about its gradual move towards brands paying for real estate on news feeds.

Given the average number of likes per UK and US Facebook user is heading north of 50, as research from Socialbakers last year showed, it’s a simple question of mathematics; if each brand is pushing regular content as they should, users aren’t going to see everything.

Naturally it’s even more pertinent on mobile. So what should brands do?

Declan Kennedy...

By James Bourne, 20 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Campaigns.

The social media sentiment at the World Cup gathers pace

As more than 40% of tweets sent in the evening relate to television according to Twitter statistics, and given kick off times in the World Cup are between 5pm and 2am for UK viewers, it’s no surprise that the biggest football tournament on the planet is getting some serious buzz on the micro-blogging network.

So much so that Twitter itself has issued a series of stats pre-tournament; specifically, nine in 10 UK Twitter...

By James Bourne, 16 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Programmatic, Social Media Marketing.

Which football clubs are top of the league in social and responsive design?

With the FIFA World Cup just two days away, new research from Brand Perfect has revealed that Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona are among the best football clubs in social media and website optimisation.

The research, which analysed the top football leagues in Brazil, England, Germany and Spain, found that only 18% of the clubs examined had online presences to work responsively across both smartphones and tablets, with 36% having separate mobile domains.

In England, only Arsenal and Sunderland had...

By James Bourne, 10 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Social Media Marketing.

Quip CEO Bret Taylor: I continue to be “awe-inspired” by Mark Zuckerberg

Bret Taylor, the CEO of collaborative document app Quip, says that Facebook’s continued aggressive pursuit of mobile is a “smart move” and that he continues to be “awe-inspired” by Mark Zuckerberg even after leaving the post of CTO in June 2012.

Taylor, who admitted that during his three year tenure Facebook’s transition to mobile had been “awkward”, explained why he thought tech companies who didn’t move to mobile would go the same way of firms who failed...

By James Bourne, 06 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Publishing.

SendGrid aims to get marketers and developers singing off same page with new release #AppsWorld

“Our goal is to ship the world’s wanted mail, not the world’s spam.” So claims Scott Williamson, director of product management at cloud-based email template provider SendGrid.

This goal is something the Colorado-based company takes very seriously, to the extent that they will “absolutely fire” customers who don’t follow email sending best practice.

Good sending habits, according to SendGrid, includes dropping non-responsive respondents, understanding the path of...

By James Bourne, 05 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Email marketing.

Mercedes-Benz suffers ad impression scare

German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has hit the headlines after reports emerged that the majority of hits on its latest advertising campaign were provided by robots rather than human beings.

According to the Financial Times, in a sample of 365,000 ad impressions from agency Rocket Fuel, UK-based ad fraud investigator Telemetry found that 57% of impressions were viewed by automated computer programs.

Mercedes said that the overall number was nearer 6% throughout the whole campaign, and had been remunerated...

By James Bourne, 28 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Campaigns.

Latest research reveals how Western brands still face issues in emerging markets

Despite big brands being predominantly recognised in emerging markets, only half of consumers are planning to spend with these brands – and Amazon is far behind the competition.

That’s the key takeaway from a survey by mobile marketing provider Upstream, who found that Amazon was recognised by significantly fewer customers who also wanted to spend less with the retail giant.

The most recognised brand in emerging markets Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Vietnam, according to the...

By James Bourne, 27 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns.

Salesforce: Why you can’t create a culture of brand advocacy overnight

Dan Rogers, VP EMEA marketing at Salesforce.com, sits down at a press table in the ExCeL. “Well, today was just about the highlight of my career,” he begins.

Looking at the Salesforce1 World Tour, with the announcement of a UK data centre and the renaming of the Heron Tower to the Salesforce Tower, it’s easy to see why. “Hearing that we have huge customer momentum and growth, and the growth of the partner ecosystem, is just amazing,” Rogers explains.

“As a marketer,...

By James Bourne, 23 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns, Publishing.

Twilio: The ‘age of the customer’ emphasises why brands need APIs

The issue of why brands should have APIs is not a new one, with articles as far back as 2011 espousing this notion. For Twilio, a provider of cloud-based APIs and a leader in the market, it’s about what CMO Lynda Smith calls “building great customer experiences.”

“What we’ve started to see as we looked across the customer base that we have, and all the interesting ways that we’re using communications, it’s...

By James Bourne, 21 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Campaigns, Publishing.

Google overtakes Apple as most valuable brand, according to report

Google is now the world’s most valuable brand having toppled Apple off its perch, according to the latest report from Millward Brown.

The two companies swapped places in the 2014 iteration, with Apple finishing second well ahead of IBM in third. Microsoft (#4) and McDonald’s (#5) completed the top five.

The report, now in its ninth year, collects results based on 150,000 interviews with consumers worldwide. And despite the competitive nature of the top 100 chart, the report found that brand values...

By James Bourne, 21 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Search Marketing.

Royal Navy sets sail with e3 to deliver new responsive site

The Royal Navy has launched a new responsive website for both desktop and mobile, aiming to tell the story of the organisation and resonate with all, from “16 [to] 60, potential recruit [to] government official.”

The site was designed and launched by digital agency e3, who spent a week on board HMS Sutherland in an attempt to capture a deep understanding of the Navy’s challenges.

“Obviously most people have heard of the Royal Navy, but when it comes to understanding what our purpose...

By James Bourne, 20 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns.

Sitel exec offers insights as to how brands can maximise World Cup fever

With the World Cup fast approaching, plenty of campaigns will be launched to try and shoehorn a reference to football’s biggest extravaganza in an attempt to get more views.

Most of these, naturally, will be irrelevant from companies who should know better. Yet Guy Tweedale, SVP EMEA sales at outsourcing customer care provider Sitel, has come up with a list of tips for brands to achieve better customer satisfaction during the four week tournament.

Brands need to put mobile at centre stage, according to...

By James Bourne, 16 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns.

Global retailers lambasted for ‘immature’ social media efforts

The vast majority of global retailers aren’t doing enough when it comes to converting social media and marketing into sales, according to a report from social commerce provider Buyapowa.

The report ranked 100 retailers and found that Tesco came out on top in terms of its social maturity, ahead of Falabella, Nordstrom, Lowe’s and JCPenney. Notable companies which didn’t place as well include Walmart (#10), Amazon (#15), IKEA (#37) and Apple (#54).

Each retailer was ranked based on how many...

By James Bourne, 14 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Social Media Marketing.

Pets at Home utilises crowdsourcing for poignant ad campaign

This is one of MarketingTech’s favourite campaigns so far this year. Pet food supplies provider Pets at Home has used real interactions between pets and their owners for a new video campaign, which was debuted over the weekend.

Under the hashtag #mypetmoments, users were invited to send in their best, brightest and cutest videos starring their pets, with the usual dog and cat vids supplanted by proud owners of rabbits, hamsters, and even a duck.

According to Krow, the agency which put the campaign together, the...

By James Bourne, 13 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Publishing, Video & Audio Marketing.

Mobile is main priority for marketers in 2014, research finds

Research conducted by mobile analytics firm Netbiscuits and Brand Republic has revealed that seven in 10 marketers use mobile and see it as ‘integral’ to their multichannel branding.

The report, entitled ‘Getting Mobile Right: Using Analytics to Create Insight-Driven, Personalised Experiences’, showed that even though the majority of marketers were using mobile, a smaller number had specific goals from mobile.

Just over half (51.97%) of the 5000 respondents across 10 countries said...

By James Bourne, 12 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing.

Adpoints unleashes mobile offering, aims for TV by end of year

Ad incentivisation provider Adpoints, best known for its partnership with Nectar, has launched a mobile version of its product, meaning customers can now get Nectar points by viewing adverts on their smartphones or tablets.

The move comes amidst a huge growth in mobile advertising revenues in the UK, with recent figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) confirming mobile ad spend had broken the £1bn mark in 2013, from £529m in 2012, now accounting 16% of overall digital ad spend.

Adpoints...

By James Bourne, 08 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising.