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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.

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Native advertising: will there be a reader revolt?

Search for native advertising on the Guardian and you'll likely find this article.

The irony is almost unbearable. As Doug Kessler pointed out at FODM 2014 (all credit goes to Doug), he didn't find the Guardian's point of view on native advertising. He found this article in a paid-for position.

What does this mean for publishing and advertising? Keep reading and you'll find my rules for succeeding with native advertising.

1 comment
LA

30 little things I love about the new Virgin America website

Virgin America's new website manages to turn booking a flight into a joyous process.

That tells you all you need to know about how good this website is.

Here I've picked out 30 good bits. I urge you, of course, to read this post, but go and check out the website yourself for some great design inspiration.

6 comments
deep linking

Start Me Up! URX: deep linking for mobile apps

Mobile and customer experience are perhaps the hottest topics in digital at the moment.

Deep linking allows a user to click a link on the mobile web and be served content from within a native app. John Milinovich is CEO of URX, a company providing deep linking technology.

We caught up with him to ask him a few questions about the project and its goals.

0 comments
tom cruise in minority report

48 quotes from the Future of Digital Marketing

What does the future hold for digital marketing, ecommerce and retail?

That's the question the speakers at Econsultancy's Future of Digital Marketing conference try to answer every year.

Here are 48 quotes from 2014's event, ranging from wearables to China, digital transformation to user interfaces, retail to the smart home.

3 comments
firefly button

Firefly: how exciting is this button?

'The Creator, if He exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles.' But will we, the consumers, fall in love with the Firefly?

Firefly is a feature of, and button on the side of, Amazon's new Fire smartphone.

Simply put, the feature turns the phone's camera into a visual recognition tool (barcodes, products and the like) and the Fire microphone into an audio recognition tool (think Shazam).

Let's mull over what this might mean.

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top 100

How is the agency model changing? Part two

2014's Top 100 Digital Agencies report has revealed some changes in the agency landscape.

I've been looking at changes to the agency model. In part one I looked at PepsiCo's Galaxy model, the trend for marketers and agencies influencing the wider business, and how clients are increasingly embedding agencies or in-housing skills.

In this final part, it's time to discuss the demand for speed and agility, data's influence and changing pricing models.

2 comments
global tweet heat map

12 beautiful World Cup 2014 data visualisations

There has been an incredible amount of social activity during the World Cup. 12.2m tweets were fired off during the opening game alone.

Add to this all the data inherent in the game itself, from the likely winners to squad make-up, and there are some nice data visualisation opportunities.

So here's a roundup of some World Cup data visualisations.

6 comments
top100

How is the agency model changing? Part one

Michael Nutley’s report for 2013’s Top 100 Digital Agencies began with the assertion that “now, more than ever, the only generalisation that you can make about the way marketers and agencies are working together is that there are no generalisations to be made”.

I’d go further in 2014 (see the latest Top 100 agencies report)  and say that in many areas of marketing, client methodology is as varied as it has ever been, media volume is higher than ever and technology is eliciting tension in traditional agency models.

At the same time, customer expectation is soaring and transparency, or at least value, is increasingly the elephant in the room.

The aim for agencies is, of course, to provide value, but the continued digital transformation of clients is also making it harder for the agency to provide the right support.

Maturing marketing channels are increasingly integrated, dictating a converged media strategy. This is often better served by in-house expertise or by the embedding of specialist agencies. Project work, too, is on the increase.

“Change is constant” is one favoured aphorism of the marketing analyst. For agencies, if anything, the rate of change is constant, too.

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auctioneer

Programmatic mobile: what trends does it reveal?

Programmatic advertising has been around since 2009. On mobile though, it's only recently started to take off

Penetration and performance of the smartphone has increased and programmatic buying companies have seen the opportunity. Whilst Facebook and Google are taking most of the mobile advertising dollar, programmatic is certainly on the rise as it seeks to deliver quality and quantity.

Talking with RTB.com's Mike Miller, it struck me that the factors making for the success of programmatic mobile are those we see as trends across marketing. So what are these trends?

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paid apps

The rise of freemium apps

The freemium model is in the ascendancy when it comes to apps.

Paid apps peaked in 2013 according to Jon Reynolds, CEO of SwiftKey. SwiftKey provides an app bringing smart prediction technology to your mobile keyboard and, indeed, has itself gone down the freemium route.

The app used to cost $4 and was consistently in the paid charts, now it's free to download, with in-app purchases available.

So, what are the reasons for and consequences of the rise of freemium apps?

1 comment
mobile phone

The four Ps of mobile

How best to explain the power of mobile in 2014? What factors make for a successful mobile start-up?

Here are the four Ps of mobile.

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minimalist

Five influencers of clean and simple web design in publishing

Designing usable and enjoyable experiences for people online, across devices, is defining business change.

It's no surprise then that some of the most visited posts on the Econsultancy blog concern web design.

Chris Lake has traditionally written about web design trends for the year, with eight of his 18 trends for 2014 pointing towards minimalist design.

These were flat UI, mobile first, minimalist navigation, monochrome and hypercolour (perhaps summed up as high contrast), cards and tiles, bigger images and fixed position content.

I wanted to write a simple post highlighting key examples of clean and simple web design from publishing.

2 comments