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Author: Ben Davis

Ben Davis

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com or follow at @herrhuld.

reiss

Q&A: Jared Field on PPC strategy at REISS

It's pleasing to have so many upper case letters in a headline.

I sent some questions to Jared Field, PPC specialist at high street fashion retailer, REISS.

It's an interesting time for the retailer, with increased numbers of stores and successful expansion into the USA.

Here's what Jared had to say about life on the PPC shop floor.

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samaritan's radar

Samaritans Radar and four more charity social media campaigns

The Samaritans Radar is a wonderful case study for social media use by charities.

Not only is the technology simple and useful (sending you an email when someone in your Twitter network uses a potentially concerning phrase), the campaign is equally as important in raising the profile of the charity and reminding people of its cause.

Radar has been covered widely in the news, but I've included some screenshots of the campaign (which is lovely from a UX viewpoint) and added some other social media campaigns from charities that have also caught my eye.

With social media becoming so important for charities, both for scale and influence, we're set to see many more innovative campaigns across networks.

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tulip retail

Start Me Up! Tulip Retail: a store-associate tablet solution

Econsultancy has covered in-store technology fairly frequently.

From endless aisle and clientelling, to RFiD and iBeacons, to social and mobile integration.

Tulip Retail is a startup providing a tablet solution for store associates to bridge that gap in product knowledge and to tailor the experience to a customer.

We caught up with the team to find out how it's going.

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The Times membership

Four trends revealed by The Times membership pages

Not long ago I interviewed Beverley McIntyre, director of member services and support at News UK.

The extent to which a paywall has changed life at The Sun is quite remarkable. Last weekend, fingering Twitter, I saw that The Times and Sunday Times is offering a free iPad Mini to anyone taking out a premium subscription.

This intrigued me and I looked further at The Times member page, a more advanced product than The Sun when it comes to paywalls at News UK, having been in place for a while longer.

I saw a lot of features that I take to be trends in publishing strategy, customer support and web design.

Here they are...

2 comments
thalamus

Start Me Up! Thalamus: 'Yelp for advertising'

The advertising landscape is confusing, fragmented, brimming with new technology and not necessarily transparent.

That's partly the reason that Marketing Week and Econsultancy have launched a conference on the subject, Get With The Programmatic, in partnership with AppNexus.

It's also the reason Thalamus exists, a startup that aims to be the 'Yelp of advertising'. I caught up with founder and CEO, Garrett Gan.

0 comments
First FT email

What caused the daily digest email wars?

The Financial Times has launched a daily digest email called First FT.

I've noticed a retro trend for daily and weekly digest emails from publishers, with Quartz' version regularly cited by digital folk as the first thing they read in the morning.

Here's why email is enjoying a bit of a resurgence. I've included some examples of other publishers and their daily digests.

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dino chart

Nine online marketing statistics we've seen this week

Dinosaurs not included.

Here are the most interesting digital and marketing stats we've seen this week. This week's crop takes in budget supermarkets, YouTube, retargeting, McDonald's and, of course, social media.

As always, if you want more extensive research and up to date stats, see the Internet Statistics Compenium.

Let's go..

3 comments
hand

Five definitions of multichannel marketing (including obligachannel)

I'm currently undertaking a project where I ask people what multichannel marketing is.

Part of the time I wonder if it's a distraction or even a siren, beautiful but dangerous to pursue.

Many a company has been successful through conservatism or even through making bold decisions about how a customer can't engage with the company - think of GiffGaff choosing not to have a call centre but rely on online communities for support. Think of Primark refusing to sell online.

These are my definitions. They're ordered in increasing sophistication. Definition five represents the holy grail and I think we all know the very few companies we suspect have achieved some form of it (nada).

NB: The whole thing is complicated by the differences between comms and commerce, size of business, number of audiences, product or service sold and provided etc. But I thought I would nail my colours to the mast.

2 comments
oculus rift

Nine examples of interactive web content

Social media plays such an important role in publishing that sharable and fun interactive content is now the way to elevate a piece from 'buzzy' to 'viral'.

Buzzfeed and The Guardian have proved masterful at this (for different reasons) but there are plenty of other publishers and organisations getting in on the act.

Here's just a few of them..

2 comments
anthony daniels

The pros and cons of marketing automation

To some extent, the pros and cons of marketing automation are two sides of the same coin, similar to deciding whether to keep a boyfriend or girlfriend and writing 'decisive' in the 'for' column and 'controlling' in the 'against'.

There's definitely a feeling of 'how far can we take this' within marketing. What started out as triggered emails is fast turning into a conversation where machine learning pops up fairly often. Automation won't just be about doing the grunt work of comms, it will also be about spotting trends and creating content.

Whether this day will come and how soon is up for debate. For now, I thought I'd set out clearly the pros and cons of marketing automation.

Let's start with the bad news..

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terminator

When marketing automation goes wrong

Consumers love it when a company's mask slips. They jump on perceived proof that businesses are all in it to rip off the customer.

PR snafus such as Sainsbury's recent inside-outside poster are a good example of this phenomenon. Social media goes crazy.

In recent times, the move to enhanced service, partly stimulated by the commercial internet, means the mask has further to slip (but it still can). Companies aim to be transparent and friendly with customers on an increasing number of marketing and comms channels, but mistakes still occur.

Marketing automation is one area where brands must be vigilant, lest the wrong message be sent or the right message at the wrong time.

So, here's a roundup of some ways in which marketing automation can go wrong, in social, ecommerce, email and advertising.

11 comments
shooting star

18 companies with brilliant digital strategies

It occurred to me that amongst the Econsultancy blog team we certainly have our favourite companies as far as digital ambition and execution are concerned.

So I'm simply going to round up some companies that have done good things on this front and see if our readers get annoyed by any omissions or, indeed, inclusions.

So, here are 18 digital trailblazers. A lot of them are involved solely in ecommerce but not all of them.

N.B. I've deliberately excluded agencies and what I think of as tech companies, though that distinction is a little difficult to make in some areas.

5 comments