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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.

virgin media

Virgin Media: the paragon of brand storytelling?

The top 10 list of storytelling brands in the UK usually includes Apple, Cadbury, IKEA and Walkers.

But looking at the annual list from AESOP, it's Virgin Media that jumps out at me as a storytelling brand that breaks the mould.

Here I round up some of its activity that falls into my nebulous understanding of storytelling.

Let me know if you agree. 

8 comments
wheelie case

Great copy from The Natural History Museum: email edition

The Natural History Museum relaunched its online shop this summer in a blaze of incredible copywriting.

We featured it on the blog because it was so much fun it had to be shared. And now, here's the follow up post with some more highlights from its summer email campaign.

Fans of the word, great lizards and ecommerce, you're in for a blimmin' treat.

4 comments
voucher cloud

Eight more examples of geofencing you should know about

I've rounded up what I think are the most intriguing examples of geofencing.

The list includes retailers but also other sectors such as leisure and education.

Take a look, because this is an area that almost any company could surely find a compelling use case for.

5 comments
emperor

Native advertising: The emperor's new clothes?

Great native advertising cannot be automated.

To think about selling on a CPM basis and defining native advertising as simply a question of format, rather than content, is wrong.

The value of a native ad campaign resides in the quality of the content, therefore the engagement with the piece - and that's more than just a click, it's time on page and a share count (and potentially an associated action).

At the IAB Content Conference, I listened to a number of speakers with interesting angles on native advertising.

Here I'll share Nick Bradley's (Northern & Shell) healthily sceptical view of native, including (more positively) some examples of native advertising done well.

For a full intro to native advertising see the new Econsultancy report, Native Advertising: What it means for brands and publishers.

4 comments
the sun

How do five popular newspapers do mobile app subscriptions?

How do The Sun, The Times, The Guardian, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal manage subscriptions through their mobile news apps?

I've taken a tour through each, despite their slightly different paywall or subscription models. See which you think is finessed and which could do better.

For more information on publishing check out the publishing tag on the blog.

2 comments
blippar

Why the phrase 'augmented reality' should be retired

I’m going to nail my colours to the mast. I think augmented reality (AR) technology is already big and can be massive.

The only thing is, I don’t think its best use is in augmenting reality, per se.

Where AR apps have a big future is the creation of a ‘physical world domain’. That’s a phrase used by Ambarish Mitra, CEO of Blippar. It essentially means using objects as the physical keys to information or rewards online.

Blippar signed up with Pepsi and Coca Cola recently and this feels like a game changer. With QR codes failing to be implemented properly in many cases (with bad placement, instructions, URLs, or landing pages), the company could be well-placed to own the discovery and reward space.

FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) feels like a proving ground for this technology (and all reports of the number of scans are good, so far), with immense numbers of units providing marketing real estate to rival any other ‘channel’.

So why might it be so powerful as a tag or key, but not as augmenter?

7 comments
postify logo

Start Me Up! Postify: send real postcards from an app

Has it ever occurred to you that postcards are an experience that could be made quicker and easier by subsidising the process with advertising?

This is the concept behind the free postcard you can often pick up on holiday, branded with a visitor attraction or a local company, for example.

And it's also the concept behind Postify, making the sending process quick, virtual and free, with the recipient still receiving a physical postcard, with your own photos on the front.

I spoke to Chris Foster about the service.

0 comments
train ticket

Broken multichannel experiences: we’re all waiting for the fix

As a blogger, I have a responsibility not to get personal and not to write with righteous indignation.

However, I also have the pleasure of being able to write about experiences I have had that bear on digital marketing and ecommerce.

After my stag do this weekend, I lost my paper return train ticket from Devon to London and had to pay for a new one.

In my opinion this revealed a disjointed multichannel offering because lost paper tickets cannot be reissued, but mobile tickets effectively can be (by logging into an app on another mobile device).

So what can we learn?

7 comments
maersk

Big B2B content marketing: Maersk, Siemens and GE

Shipping and engineering are inherently cool.

I thought I'd take a quick scoot through the websites of General Electric, Siemens and Maersk and check out what sorts of content they provide to market.

It's by no means an exhaustive journey, but hopefully it will give you some links to check out and some inspiration for your own B2B content.

These behemoth sized B2B companies, in the case of Maersk, make great use of their heritage. For GE and Siemens, the task is more about appearing imaginative and innovative and almost appearing as synecdoche or at least flag bearer for particular industries, i.e. an indisputable authority.

Let's take a look.

0 comments
robot

The beginner's glossary of programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is complicated. There's no doubt about that.

This complexity explains why there is quite a lot of terminology involved, but it can seem quite opaque to the newbie.

Luckily, Econsultancy has a wonderful and thorough discussion and explanation of programmatic - Programmatic Marketing: Beyond RTB.

As a taster, I thought I'd throw some important terms into a glossary. It's just the basics, but I hope it helps.

1 comment
comcast logo

Is there anything at all we can take from that Comcast cancellation call?

Ryan Block called Comcast to cancel his service. An argumentative agent seemingly couldn’t believe this was happening and almost refused to comply.

Here’s the phone call. If you can listen to it all, do so. It feels like a sermon on how not to do customer service.

Plenty of people are writing about this. But is it anything more than a bad agent?

Here’s what I take from it.

4 comments
alastair campbell

Social media in an election year: what can we expect?

Politics and social media go hand in hand. There's even a social network with political consciousness an implicit demand of its users (Volkalize).

Social media is mature enough now that in America the senate is currently deciding on whether employers should have the right to demand disclosure of social network user names from its employees.

Essentially, we see our free social media activity as a right, as much as we do our vote.

With Alastair Campbell the opening speaker on day two of our Festival of Marketing, and British and American elections in 2015 and 2016 respectively, it seems appropriate to ask 'what can political parties expect from social media?'

0 comments