Author: Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher was the Deputy Editor at Econsultancy. He runs pop culture site Methods Unsound and you can hound him on Twitter @Christophe_Rock.

12 insanely beautiful travel and leisure websites

I don’t know about you but I’m getting sick of the bitter wind that’s barreling its way down the streets of my adopted city with all the lip-chafing might of a hard-skinned rhino.

It’s definitely time to escape, even if it’s just a psychological one rather than a physical one. After all, temperature’s just a state of mind, right? Right?


Thorntons vs. Hotel Chocolat: user experience comparison

“Come with me, and you'll be, in a world of pure imagination...”

I have to stop there as I don’t want Paramount Pictures or the estate of Roald Dahl to sue us.

Instead I’ll pepper the content of this article with only the very subtlest of references to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate in the hope that nobody notices.


How mouth-watering is Krispy Kreme’s social media strategy?

I asked the same question of Dunkin' Donuts last year, and frankly it was an easy one to answer.

Dunkin’ Donuts has been doing excellent work since it landed on social six years ago, with great personal interaction on Twitter, mouth-watering video content on Vine and dangerously tempting images posted on Instagram.


Four takeaways from our B2B marketing report: The Pursuit of Standard Operating Innovation

The connection between revenue growth and innovation is a powerful one.

Marketing executives report that 30% of their revenue and 26% of their revenue growth in 2014 is attributed to innovation initiatives. 

If B2B organisations are to survive in the face of industry disruption, their rate of learning, innovation, and performance improvement must match or exceed that of their competitors.


Marketing Budgets 2015: digital investment continues to grow [infographic]

77% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets, the highest rate since our Marketing Budgets survey began, and up from 71% last year.

This stat is taken from our Marketing Budgets 2015 Report, published in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud. 


14 best branded Instagram videos from February 2015

Welcome to our monthly round-up of the best branded Instagram videos from the last four weeks.

As I said at the top of this month’s Vine round-up, it being February you  can probably expect the usual mixture of Valentine, pancake and Oscar related mirth.

You’ll also get to enjoy some cool polar bear action too.

Anyway, it probably just took you longer to read that introduction than it will to watch all these videos, so let’s get on with the show.


10 best things on the internet: celebrating net neutrality edition

What a week that was, huh? I don’t know about you but the internet had a very busy week.

For a start the net neutrality policy was passed on Thursday. If you're not already aware, this is a set of rules that basically ensures that no government or corporation can control free and open access to the Internet.

So that’s a good thing. A great thing. A tremendous thing even. And how did we celebrate this momentous occasion?


11 enthralling stats from around the digital world

Stat me up!

If you stat me up I’ll never stop! Well actually I’ll stop after 11 statistics, being as it’s getting close to lunch and I need to go to the post office, but still… there’ll be enough here to keep you going for a short while.

Welcome to our weekly round-up of the most fascinating internet marketing stats from around the digital world, and slightly beyond.


Seven reasons why retailers should have an app (and six why they shouldn’t)

An experiment in trying to combat my own deep-seated prejudices.

If you saw me in the street and said “hey Christopher Ratcliff, noted ecommerce and digital marketing expert, I run a successful retail website and was thinking of building a mobile app. Is this a good idea or a bad idea?” I would reply with the following…

“Well this fake moustache and cowboy hat disguise is clearly not working, but your flattery has touched me greatly and as soon as you’ve let go of my arm I shall answer your question right away.”


20 best branded Vines from February 2015

Welcome to our monthly round-up of the best branded Vines from the last four weeks.

It being February you can expect the usual mixture of Valentine, pancake and Oscar related mirth, along with the odd abominable snowman and terrible joke thrown in for good measure.

It’s an eclectic mix, so pop your headphones on and try your best to concentrate for all of two minutes. Here are the best Vines of February 2015.


17 visualisation tools to make your data beautiful

You don’t need to be a seasoned data scientist or have a degree in graphic design in order to create incredible data visualisations.

It has become a lot simpler to mine your data and interpret your insights in an engaging, attractive, and most importantly easy to understand way.

This is a list of various different free and premium tools and platforms available which will allow you to communicate data in a variety of different formats, from interactive charts, to infographics, to maps, to word clouds.


How well do online opticians focus on user experience?

There are two things you should know about me: Number one - I wear glasses. Number two - I love it when traditionally difficult-to-use services in the offline world are digitally transformed.

There are probably some more things too, but none of them appropriate to this post.

Recently I went through the rigmarole of booking an eye test and ordering contact lenses through a high street retailer. 

I realised that during all of the telephone calls and repeated visits to my not-quite-so-local branch, that most of this experience could be carried out much more conveniently online.