Author: Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein

I started out working in digital TV and multimedia production. I then worked at the Financial Times on arguably the first commercial application of Video on Demand (1996) before getting involved with as a Producer / Project Manager.

In 1997 I moved to digital communications agency Wheel as the third person in the then 'internet team'. I went through the dotcom boom, seeing Wheel grow from 30 people to 450 in just 3 years, and was involved in launching sites for M&S, Abbey National, IPC Magazines, Autoglass, Channel 5, AMP etc.

Following the dotcom crash (which saw Wheel shrink back to a more modest 90 or so staff) I left and spent a very pleasant sabbatical year writing my second book in the South of France. I then returned to the UK and from June 2002 I have been running Econsultancy full time.

“Traditional” Ad Networks vs. the Digital Agencies – the big debate

For years now the debate has rumbled on – should brands be choosing the ‘traditional’ ad networks to handle all their media planning and buying, with digital integrated in that, or do they need to go the digital specialists for their digital needs?

Again the debate has raged in the trade press recently. What are my thoughts…?

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Brands attempting “User Generated Content” – the good, the bad, and the ugly

With the rise of “Web 2.0” and “UGC” (User Generated Content) many brands are attempting to harness the power of UGC. But how well are they doing it? Which ones are getting right and which embarrassingly wrong?

Here are a few of my own thoughts on the winners and losers, but do suggest your own…


Blog and User Generated Content monitoring services

With the rise of user-generated content ('UGC') and blogging, there is a growing need to be able to monitor, engage with, and respond to what is being said about you, your brand, product or service online.

But what tools, products or services are out there to help you track, analyse and report on all this activity?


Why PR is so powerful for online marketing...

For a long time we at E-consultancy have been banging the drum of how powerful 'traditional' PR and Online PR are as forms of online marketing. Particularly in terms of driving search activity and natural search rankings.

So I was interested to read which terms were the most searched for on Google in 2006...


Kicking your Google addiction – how NOT to rely on Google paid search marketing

At a recent conference of big retailers in the US, Google paid search marketing was described as ‘crack cocaine’. Highly addictive, but dangerous and destructive in the long term, and something you should wean yourself off.

So what about the UK? Are site owners also wanting to kick their Google habit? And if so, how can they?


Being on BBC's Watchdog - how much traffic does prime time TV drive to your site?

Yesterday evening I appeared on BBC's prime time TV show Watchdog to talk about an eBay story. During the show they displayed our site's URL on screen.

So I was intrigued to see this morning how much traffic that might have created to our site...


The Search Debate: media agencies vs. search specialists?

A recent New Media Age cover story titled “Search agencies feel the heat as media agencies muscle in”, which outlines recent big account wins by media agencies (like Carat Digital, Diffiniti etc.) at the expense of specialist search agencies, has excited much debate.

So which is right? Why would you go with a media agency, or a search specialist? Is paid search just a media buy, or something more?


Web 2.0 – what are the metrics for successful ‘engagement’?

There has been a lot of talk recently about ‘engagement marketing’, particularly in relation to Web 2.0 and social media.

But what are the success metrics of engagement marketing online? How does one measure engagement?


Ways that highly-designed websites can still be accessible and search friendly

There continues to be a tension between web design that is “highly-designed” and web design that is accessible and search engine friendly. The former sites tend to be Flash only or rely heavily on DHTML.

So it is possible for a site to be beautiful but accessible?


Dr Martens launches new website – beautiful but flawed?

Dr Martens has launched a new website at through Saatchi Interactive. The site aims to increase engagement with customers using a range of multimedia interactions and ‘social’ elements, such as creating and sharing videos and music.

But it is all in Flash, you can’t buy shoes, and the registration doesn’t seem to work…


Bebo's ad model: letting users decide what ads they see

Bebo are overhauling their advertising model in order to let its users choose what types of ads they see. The idea has caused quite a stir in the press and publishing community.

Is this idea misguided? Or is this the future of advertising? 

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Email Marketing Metrics - the 3-2-1 rule of thumb

We are often asked what are benchmark results for email marketing in terms of open rates, click rates and subsequent buy / register rates.

To keep it easy I've developed the 3-2-1 rule of thumb.

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