Nine in 10 SMEs don’t have a mobile-friendly site, research shows

Here’s a potentially worrying research statistic: 91% of websites for small and medium businesses are not accessible through mobile devices.

The top line result of the UK survey, from website platform provider BaseKit, may not come as much of a surprise given the company’s business.

Yet the result is still a worry, especially given the prevalence of mobile in retail operations from the consumer’s perspective.

The research also found that less than one in five (18%) of the 510 SMES surveyed...

By James Bourne, 06 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns.

New Dulux ad campaign imagines a world without colour

This is a novel twist on an established brand: the latest advert from paint shop Dulux takes a sideways glance at prohibition and imagines a world without colour.

If the advert’s plot of a love story is the epitome of predictability, the cinematic production, from London-based agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, practically shimmers.

The advert features a hashtag, #changeyourstory, with the official @duluxuk page taking an active response to those who have taken an interest:

We’re glad you enjoyed our ad

By James Bourne, 03 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Campaigns.

Apple most desired mobile brand in emerging markets, research finds

The latest research, this time from mobile marketing provider Upstream, has revealed that Apple is the most liked brand in the developing world, even though Android phones are more accessible to use.

The research, compiled in the report ‘The Next Mobile Frontier’, polled over 4500 consumers in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam – three BRIC countries and one MINT country – and found that 32% of respondents wanted iDevices most, followed by Samsung (29%) and Nokia...

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

Cat craziness proves direct mail campaigns aren’t dead yet

Put this down as MarketingTech’s favourite campaign of the year so far.

For a company which sells cat litter in bulk, your audience are cat owners, right?  

Yet Toronto-based Bulk Cat Litter Warehouse went one step further – and directly targeted cats with their latest direct mail campaign.

How? By spraying catnip over the mail.

The campaign was put together by Vancouver agency Rethink Canada with 13 cats used as test cases – Mona, Bella, Ommie, Jojo, Paul, Linus, Malo, Taika, Riley,...

By James Bourne, 21 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Campaigns.

Facebook buys WhatsApp: The experts’ verdicts

Last night Facebook announced its intention to buy messaging provider WhatsApp for a deal totalling $19bn (£11.4bn), becoming the social network’s costliest acquisition to date.

The deal comprises an original $16bn, one quarter of which is cash and the remainder in Facebook shares, alongside another $3bn in restricted stock units granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees.

With over 450 million WhatsApp users globally, 70% of which are active on any given day, as well as one million new...

By James Bourne, 20 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Mergers and acquisitions, Social Media Marketing.

Could social predict the winners of the Brit Awards?

The Brit Awards, held at the O2 Arena in London last night, is one of the biggest nights in the British music calendar. With millions watching the drama unfold on TV, the role of social in determining the winners and losers is unparalleled today.

For the first time there was one award which was determined by social vote only – the Best British Video award. Yet research from digital advertising provider RadiumOne shows how social conversations in the lead up to the show predicted some of the winners on...

By James Bourne, 20 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media Marketing.

Adbrain launches beta platform after seed funding round

Real-time advertising platform Adbrain has launched a private beta platform for its programmatic ad buying solution, nine months after nailing $1.5m in seed funding.

The platform, which enables programmatic mobile audience buying, has garnered support from ad companies M&C Saatchi Mobile, Fetch and Somo, as well as agencies Annalect and The Exchange Lab.

Adbrain claims its solution is unique because it enables buyers to layer first, second and third party data for “hyper-efficient real-time mobile...

By James Bourne, 19 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Automation, Campaigns.

Four in five UK shoppers wouldn’t consider using Bitcoin, survey finds

Over half of UK shoppers are aware of Bitcoin, yet only 5% have actually made transactions with the virtual currency, according to survey results from communications agency Clarity.

57% of the over 2000 online shoppers surveyed had heard of Bitcoin to be precise, with awareness numbers higher among men (69%) than women (45%), according to the research.

Not surprisingly figures for actual use favoured men too, with 7% compared to 2%; these figures included the whole gamut of virtual currencies, from Bitcoin to...

By James Bourne, 17 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Campaigns.

The best Valentine’s Day marketing stories [infographic]

If there’s one thing more predictable on Valentine’s Day than a man buying flowers from a petrol station, it’s brands putting together romance-related research. MarketingTech finds the best Valentine’s Day stories

According to research from Rakuten Marketing, the recession is hitting lovers in the pocket. The average basket size on Valentine’s Day decreased by 20% in the UK in 2013, compared to the year before.

Similarly, it will come as no surprise that most people leave their...

By James Bourne, 14 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns.

Guinness World Records announces new brand campaign award

Guinness World Records is partnering with C Squared Networks’ Festival of Media to deliver a new award category to honour the best record-breaking branding campaign.

The gong, a category within the Festival of Media Awards and sponsored by Guinness World Records, is first being rolled out in Asia Pacific, with nominated entries including the highest altitude wedding, the largest group of smartphones, and the most people playing a board game at the same time.

Alistair Richards, Guinness World Records...

By James Bourne, 14 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns.

Three in five iPhone users have “blind loyalty” to Apple brand, poll finds

Once you get an iPhone, you don’t go back. That’s the result of a UK survey from SIM Only Contracts, which found that 59% of respondents wouldn’t consider another phone when upgrading.

This “blind loyalty” comes from two sources: inertia and impressiveness. More than three quarters (78%) of those polled admitted they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone now”, whilst a further half (52%) said they were “really impressed” with their...

By James Bourne, 11 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Campaigns.

Startup replaces advertising space with doge in Guardian

Regular readers of The Guardian may have been surprised to spot a doge meme on page 27 of today’s edition instead of a conventional advert.

Now it’s been revealed that UK startup DueDil had placed the doge there – because it couldn’t think of a better way to spend the £50,000 prize won in a Guardian Small Business Network competition.

Formed in 2011, DueDil is a startup which claims to be the largest source of private company information in the UK and Ireland.

The company wrote...

By James Bourne, 07 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Campaigns.

Where now for Twitter following yesterday’s earnings call?

Twitter has reported a $645m (£396m) net loss having only gone public three months ago. But is this symptomatic of a greater issue, or should the shareholders not be worried?

The news that Twitter had reported a loss of $645m was taken two ways by the media and analysts: it was to be expected, and it showed that while Twitter was starting to make money, the user numbers weren’t going the same way.

This is an interesting issue, given there was concern over the fact Twitter had not made a profit in...

By James Bourne, 06 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns.

Happy 10th birthday Facebook – but where do we go from here?

On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, alongside Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, Andrew McCollum and Eduardo Saverin, launched thefacebook.com while he was still a Harvard student. 10 years and billions of users later, the company celebrates a decade of being one of the most disruptive tech companies in recent memory.

But if you believe all you read, the Menlo Park firm’s meteoric rise has hit a couple of craters in the past year.

Their IPO was a disaster, teenagers don’t think it’s cool and...

By James Bourne, 04 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media Marketing.

Candy Crush Saga most popular app in 2013, according to App Annie

The latest app trends report from analytics provider App Annie has revealed good news for the UK industry; Candy Crush Saga was the most popular app by number of downloads in 2013.

The app, from developer house King, beat off competition from other perennial gaming app powerhouses, including Subway Surfers (2nd), Temple Run 2 (3rd), and Angry Birds (6th).

Yet when it came to revenue, Candy Crush Saga finished second behind GungHo Online’s Puzzle & Dragons. The best money-making app outside of gaming...

By James Bourne, 30 January 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns.

Google’s Matt Cutts warns of the death of SEO guest blogging

It’s finished, stick a fork in it: Google’s Matt Cutts has officially proclaimed the death of guest blogging for SEO.

In a blog post from yesterday, the head of Google’s webspam team has confirmed what a lot of people already suspected; accepting guest blogs with paid for dofollow links will more likely harm your brand than help it.

“This is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space,” Cutts ruefully states.

It’s worth noting...

By James Bourne, 21 January 2014, 3 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Content Marketing, Organic Search.

Over half of Facebook users “not concerned” about privacy

Research conducted by LoveMyVouchers.co.uk has revealed that more than 50% of Facebook users were “not at all concerned” or “not very concerned” about Facebook privacy.

The research, which examined responses from over 1000 subscribers to the voucher code site, found that over a quarter (26%) of those polled admitted to being “fairly” concerned about privacy on Facebook, whilst nearly seven in 10 (67%) believed that Facebook’s privacy settings were either ‘not at...

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

Twitter VP product Michael Sippey moves on from company

Twitter vice president of product Michael Sippey has announced he is to leave the micro-blogging firm in order to move into a more advisory capacity.

In an email that went around to staff – which was posted on his personal blog – Sippey cited a desire to move on based around his career and passion working at startups, adding: “I hear this Internet thing has legs.”

“As we head into 2014, I’ve had a chance to reflect on what’s important to me and what I...

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

Why high street retailers continue to lose out to digital [infographic]

Research from user experience design agency Foolproof has revealed increasing prevalence for the ‘showrooming’ trend, meaning high street retailers continue to lose out to digital competitors.

The survey showed that more than one in four UK shoppers indulged in showrooming – checking the price of a product in a bricks-and-mortar store and using their phones to compare with rival outlets – with a third of these going on to purchase from another brand.

Yet more than half of these...

By James Bourne, 17 January 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns.

BBC iPlayer again tops UK BrandIndex chart, Amazon number one in US

The BBC iPlayer is again the most popular UK brand according to YouGov’s BrandIndex annual rankings, with the BBC online site also making an appearance in the top 10.

The research and survey firm decided on its results after conducting 3.5 million interviews over the course of the year – or 3,700 per day.

And iPlayer has come up trumps in the UK for the second year running, with John Lewis and Samsung sharing the silver medal position.

Samsung’s consumer perception is huge, if this research...

By James Bourne, 15 January 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Campaigns, Publishing.