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The week in martech: Oracle’s tech stack, image tracking & overhyped blockchain

Welcome to The Week in Martech, a new column in which we round up some of the most interesting developments from the world of marketing technology over the past week.

This week, cloud-based software platform Oracle wants its clients to know that its tech stack is not a 7-Eleven (but it’s happy to help them make a chocolate cake), and the blockchain hype in advertising is starting to lose momentum.

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The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week

We’re mid-way through the month, and bringing you even more statistical goodness to see you right on through.

This week’s roundup includes news about Amazon’s ad business, global email placement, holiday shopping habits, and more. Don’t forget to swing by the Internet Statistics Compendium too.

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Marks & Spencer’s call centre decision is a textbook case of playing to AI’s strengths

Yesterday the news broke that retailer Marks & Spencer will be deploying artificial intelligence in its call centres in a bid to modernise its infrastructure and handle a greater volume of incoming calls.

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eu sandcastle

Brexit has shown the power of segmentation & targeting in the age of Facebook

Before Facebook arrived, the ability to target very specific segments was incredibly difficult.

For example, if you had wanted to target all mums with a two-year-old child in the UK, you would be looking at some daytime TV, weekly magazines, and outdoor in specific nappy valleys.

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A review of Sweaty Betty’s new mobile-optimised site

Sweaty Betty first started in 1998, at a time when sportswear for women was a rather niche category within retail.

Now, athleisure has grown to a two billion-dollar industry, with brands of all kinds launching their own sportswear ranges.

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WPP's Connie Chan: Brand leaders should "adopt brand challenger strategies"

On Friday, August 17th, in Singapore, Econsultancy is hosting an afternoon event which will feature talks by some of the top marketing talent in the region.

We're calling the event 'Digital Divas' as, unlike our other events, this one will feature fresh insights exclusively from women in senior marketing positions. For those in Singapore, you can book your spot here.

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How weather-based bidding can help travel brands increase bookings

The effect of weather on purchasing decisions can be significant, especially in the travel sector, where travel companies see sales for overseas holidays soar when the weather here in the UK is poor.

Reacting to these changes in supply and demand in real time is key to maximising profitability and ensuring visibility in high conversion periods.

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microsoft zo

AI is the future of customer interaction – but it probably won't be Microsoft's Zo

The vast majority of interactive AIs (chatbots, conversational interfaces etcetera) operate on the principle of conversation trees – making them functional but uninspiring to interact with.

In most cases, the programmer defines questions and a list of possible responses that the AI can return – in a similar way that Alexa Skills and Google Home Actions are built. 

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A hand holds up a smartphone, with a health app open on the screen that tracks Activity, Mindfulness, Nutrition and Sleep.

AXA PPP’s Head of Digital on the challenge of creating a trusted health tech brand

From fitness trackers that monitor our heart rate and physical activity, to smartphone apps that assess our quality of sleep or help us keep tabs on our mental health, more and more of us are using technology to store and track health data.

The existence of this type of technology is an important step towards giving consumers more control over their own health and wellbeing, and in many cases dramatically improving their quality of life.

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Marketing science expert Astha Kalbag: "I don't think marketers should fall in the trap of 'proving' ROI"

'Digital Divas 2018' is an Econsultancy Asia-Pacific event being held in Singapore on Friday, August 17th and will feature the thought leadership of women in marketing.

For those who are able to attend, please click here to book your spot. For those who cannot attend, or are interested in finding out a bit more about it, Econsultancy has conducted short interviews with each speaker to find out their thoughts on the marketing landscape and their views on how senior marketers can progress in their careers.

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video ad amazon

Amazon is courting advertisers with video ads, external links

After years of speculation and predictions about Amazon's ability to become a digital advertising powerhouse, it's happening.

The online retail giant now has annual ad sales exceeding $2bn, and advertising is its fastest-growing segment. With over half of consumers starting their product searches on Amazon, there's every reason to believe that Amazon's ad revenue will continue to grow.

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lora stock

A day in the life of... director of social & content strategy at Campbell Ewald

Lora Stock is group director, social and content strategy at full-service agency Campbell Ewald.

Given that Stock says "social media ages in dog years", her typical day must have a lot packed in. Let's find out...

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