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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.

FIFA World Cup 2014

World Cup 2014: what should we expect from brands?

The World Cup, along with the Olympics, comes by once every four years and is therefore a good assay of changing media habits and technology.

Twitter users have doubled since the last World Cup in 2010. Live TV streaming is available from all the main broadcasters and the user experience of laptop and tablet TV-streaming continues to improve.

Mobile has been the main driver of social media consumption and increasing demand for real-time content. Additionally, user generated content is easier than ever to gather, as new devices and new users become more adept and involved online.

So, what should marketers expect to come out of Brazil and World Cup 2014? In this post I’m going to take a look at some of the brands involved so far and their efforts, as well as looking at lessons that can be drawn from the London Olympics in 2012.

3 comments
stars and stripes

US digital marketing statistics we've enjoyed this week

This week's US digital marketing statistics features the world's biggest brands and, neatly enough, detail on brand fatigue worldwide.

There's also stats on consumer preferences in customer service, Twitter use by digital marketers and what the World Cup could mean for retailers.

For more digital marketing stats, check out the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.

2 comments
facebook like

A guide to the new power of Facebook advertising

A friend of mine with a new app-fronted business was recently waxing lyrical about Facebook advertising.

He told me it was great value for money when targeting users with a call-to-action to download his app, especially when users are in a specific location on their mobiles.

I've also heard lots of people talking about the power of targeting audiences on Facebook, either from a standing start or by uploading your own data and spreading out from there.

Due to the fact that it's still difficult to track users across different devices, Facebook's advertising is gaining prominence. The network is accessed on mobile by the overwhelming majority of its subscribers.

In this post I thought I'd give a brief overview of ad formats and targeting, as well as some insight into where the platform is going and how to succeed.

3 comments
steve carrell in the office

Senior level employees have greater digital knowledge: stats

So, you think your manager is an idiot? Looks like you're wrong, as senior level employees have better digital knowledge than their juniors.

That’s according to preliminary averaged results from the Econsultancy Digital Skills Index, designed to test digital knowledge across marketing.

It seems that senior level digital employees can put their money where their mouths are as they scored higher than mid-level respondents, who in turn scored higher than junior respondents.

The average scores for each level of seniority were 67% for juniors, 72% for mid-levels and 74% for senior respondents.

The assessment will remain live and continue to hoover up data, so take the test if you’d like to benchmark your skills against those of your peers.

In this post I’ll reveal a few findings from the assessments so far and discuss them in light of the skills of the modern marketer (incidentally, the title of a new Econsultancy report in our Digital Transformation series).

0 comments
tangerine

Email marketing segmentation: dead man walking?

It seems like the staple diet of a digital marketing blogger is to declare something dead, or not dead, or cleverly D.E.A.D.

Only this week, our David Moth wrote a piece on email marketing’s rude health (email is not dead). 

I think the reason we’re obsessed with the death of marketing technology is because, despite the pace of change in digital, there are many age-old marketing principles that remain absolute. 

Relevance, timeliness, perhaps more broadly the four, five or seven Ps – these will ever remain in the marketing canon. 

And, of course, no matter how sophisticated technology becomes, there will still exist businesses that don’t get the marketing mix right. 

However, despite all this, I am interested in areas of marketing that might undergo automation and sophistication to the point where they require little work. 

What I foresee is the perfection of certain disciplines (e.g. marketing automation) throwing light on new priorities, such as a renewed interest in conversion rate optimisation or data cleanliness.

With marketing as a department more powerful than ever, why would the amount of work decrease? Surely we’re sticking our elbows out, and our oars into every part of the org? 

So, what about email segmentation? Will there be a time when it’s no longer a core skill, something to be done actively by marketers? Will technology take care of it for us?

4 comments
le coq tennis

Six of the best image-led ecommerce sites

Not everybody loves a hero image or a carousel. But imagery is a continuing trend in ecommerce.

Whilst brands don't want to compromise load times, the increasing uptake of tablets and their use for shopping means that images can help a site stand out.

A browsing experience is a lot more fun, and arguably realistic, with some big imagery thrown in.

Here are six websites that hit those retina-popping notes of colour on their homepages and beyond.

3 comments

What are the best social media marketing campaigns of all time?

What are the best social media marketing campaigns of all time?

First of all, let me justify the use of the phrase ‘of all time’ by looking at Facebook specifically.

Facebook was available at Harvard in winter 2004 and then over time was extended to some other schools and institutions. In September 2006, anybody could join.

I was considered a late adopter at my university in the UK when I finally joined in early 2007. In late 2007, Facebook had 100,000 business pages.

Ten years on from The Facebook’s foundation (and remember MySpace launched earlier, in August 2003), we’re looking at a form of media that is truly mature.

In the last ten years Facebook has gone from this…

8 comments
smartphone

14 features of great mobile commerce design

What makes for a lovely experience on a mobile commerce site?

Mobile is undergoing big change and still in the area of design testing and optimisation.

Companies, although finally on board with the idea of the smartphone as assisting sales and driving footfall in store, are of course trying to increase conversion and checkout on the mobile itself.

1 comment
your name here

A guide to personalised advertising online

Hello Brian. There are many ways an online ad can be personalised and targeted.

In this introduction to personalised ads online, I thought I'd order the information by marketing channel, rather than by types of targeting.

Ads can be targeted to behaviour, demographic, time and audience. Most people think of personalisation as a little more tailored than, say, device type, and more about personal information that a company has about you, be it name and age, or browsing and purchase behaviour.

Personalisation, despite implying one-to-one interaction, is often a more sophisticated automated and rules-based take on traditional segmentation of a database and delivery of a marketing message.

It can be based on information you have given to a company or on information inferred or collected with tags, or matched up with third-party data.

With marketing technology becoming more sophisticated and at the same time arguably easier to use, personalisation is an area set for prominence in marketing over the next couple of years.

CRM software allows companies to tailor web experiences to different segments of users and this redefines the purpose of a previously static web page or marketing message.

In this post though, I'm concentrating on advertising online and how it is personalised. Away we go!

0 comments
stars and stripes

The best US digital marketing statistics of the week

A mobile and email festival this week in the US, with stats on devices, retargeting, content consumption and even some TV thrown in.

There's also some titbits on webrooming and ecommerce, including a beautiful infographic.

For more digital marketing stats, check out the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.

Without further ado, let's get into the stats.

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buzzfeed

The BuzzFeed way: examples of shareable native advertising

BuzzFeed is successful in anyone’s book when it comes to creating content their audience wants to consume wherever they are and then share with their friends.

I listened to Will Hayward, VP Europe, BuzzFeed, at the Adobe Summit EMEA 2014. He was talking about how traditional display advertising is still inefficient and how new methods of social distribution of native content are worki.ng for BuzzFeed.

Here I’ve attempted to sum up some of Will’s thoughts.

0 comments
courbet's desperate man

Content marketing, social media and the artist: can brands be the new patrons?

The imaginero (maker of images) has always found it tricky to make a living.

Even painters we now regard as masters died without fortune and sometimes in poverty. Painting was a trade. It paid as such.

Of course, when means for mass reproduction came along, artists or their gallerists could distribute works that would meet public approval and this made some very rich. But even then, many of the best suffered a lifetime of penury if their works didn’t conform to the tastes of their time.

Fast forward and the emergence of the commercial internet has meant artists can promote themselves. The din is greater than ever and it’s hard for artists to get heard.

However, commerce, the internet, increase in media consumption and social media specifically make for greater demand than ever for visual design. As web design gets both more commonplace and more sophisticated, companies seek to differentiate themselves with better branding, advertising and content marketing.

And perhaps brands are getting serious about patronising new artists?

Whatever time an artist lives in, patronage has always been the surest way to security. Whether of the King of Spain or Charles Saatchi or Debenhams.

Yep, Debenhams.

1 comment