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Posts tagged with Innovation

Amazon and the age of personalised marketing

Anyone who has shopped online, read a news article online, or is engaged in social media has interacted with recommendation systems in some form or another.  

The one that immediately comes to mind is Amazon, the juggernaut online retailer and the largest internet company in the US.

The ‘response to buying suggestions’ that Amazon offers its customers is said to generate an additional 10% to 30% in revenue for the business.

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Online price personalisation: should we be worried?

With fears about price personalisation growing in recent times, even Harry Enfield’s creations, Stan and Pam Herbert, may think twice about showing off their wealth! 

Personalisation is something that has been heralded by businesses and customers alike.

It has mainly been associated with online activity such as personalised content on a website, cross selling suggestions (think Amazon), bespoke emails such “Here’s what’s new from your favourite brands” (mrporter.com), I can list many more examples. 

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Time is money: how you can make the most of yours

How time tracking can improve productivity and morale

Time tracking is a fact of agency life. You do some work, you record your time. This is logical because you’re charging by the hour: tot up the hours done at the end of the month and you can send an invoice.

But time tracking is something that in-house marketers seem to have never got on with. Surely the only point of doing it is for management to monitor how long your tea breaks take?

If they introduce time tracking, what will the next step be? Rationing of biscuits? A maximum number of loo breaks? 

This idea misses something very important: for some activities tracking time is the only way of measuring and improving return on investment.

And at the end of the day, that’s what your boss (and his boss) care about.

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Tools

A mini-guide to evaluating new digital marketing tools

Last week, as the world’s media dissected the details of the Apple Watch and iPhone 6, I spent an inspiring day mentoring at Seedcamp Week London, where some of Europe’s most promising new startups are immersed into the Seedcamp system of networks, learning, and capital raising. 

The 28 startups taking part were getting ready to shake up a variety of sectors, from music, retail and design to healthcare, property and more.

I didn’t get to meet them all but I did spend time with two that are creating new digital marketing tools which piqued my interest.

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How to help your digital marketing strategy to succeed

Earlier this year I wrote about how to start formulating a digital marketing strategy.

Getting the strategy right is of course paramount. But even when the strategy is right, if it’s not understood, supported, and turned into action then it’s barely more than an academic exercise.

Ella Fitzgerald was on the money when she sang "tain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it… that’s what gets results".

Here are some actions to take when creating your digital marketing strategy that will also help to build the foundation for its success.

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If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.

Building innovation into project management

If your organisation is going to do any sort of substantive innovation, it needs to take on risk. That needs a different style of project management.

Why do you do projects?

For most organisations, the answer is usually something to do with change. “We need to add new features to our product. We need to improve the user experience in our online shop. We need to upgrade the technology running our site”.

That’s kind of odd, when you think about it.

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How can Pharma organize for agility in the digital age?

As pharma and healthcare companies embrace the need for digital transformation, how can they ensure that they are set up for success?

I was recently invited to speak at a Brand Innovation Summit in Princeton NJ. Senior representatives from a number of large Pharma and healthcare companies attended the session co-hosted by Hale Advisors and eXL Pharma.  

Attendees were looking for answers to key questions such as: “what makes a company nimble and able to embrace digital transformation?” and “What types of organizational structures are best for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies looking to build digital marketing capabilities?” 

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Vacuum Mugs

Four ways brands can make early adoption easier and less painful

A recent trip to Japan got me thinking about the disadvantages of being an 'early adopter' of new products and technology, and how brands should encourage and reward those of us who get in ahead of the crowds.

Japanese technology shops are particularly fun, with blaring advertisements and garish coloured banners everywhere. 

In one, I found ‘easy to drink from’ vacuum mugs in a wide range of colours with a variety of sophisticated caps and drinking spouts. 

The humble black screw top I had bought in the UK was completely upstaged by these colourful, feature packed newcomers.

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How are finance brands helping customers to bank safely?

The reality today is that we, as consumers, have more and more digital engagements requiring different security elements, hence simplicity is key.

Banking is one entity that we all see as fundamental and need access to.

Through this article, I will highlight what banks are doing to help customers to manage their finances safely, the direction that digital banking security will take in the future and how security fits into a wider context. 

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21 examples of user experience innovation in ecommerce

I’ve been keeping a close eye on innovation in the ecommerce sector for more than a decade now, and it seems to me that we're living in exciting times. We have hit some kind of purple patch. 

Why is this? Well, ecommerce has massively matured. It's big business. Digital teams are smarter, and more agile. Sexy new tech such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery allows for sublime user experiences. 

As such I wanted to raise a toast to innovation by highlighting a bunch of - hopefully inspiring - examples to you.

But first, a massive caveat: I would severely and mercilessly beat a few of these sites with a big best practice stick. There are product pages with missing information. There are search boxes with tiny fonts. There are usability issues galore.

Secondly, for ecommerce sites, it is all about the data. If you’re not constantly testing, measuring and refining, then you aren’t doing it right. What works for one brand might not work so well for another. 

All of that aside, the ecommerce teams that take chances and push the boundaries of are to be applauded. Guidelines are precisely that: guidelines. Rules are there to be broken. And innovation is always to be encouraged, even when it doesn’t work out.

So let's take a look at some ecommerce websites (and one mobile app) that are trying new things, and that are noteworthy for their approach to the user experience. Click on the screenshots to check them out for yourself, and do let me know what you think.

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Spritz

How a new technology could turbocharge content marketing

Anyone near the world of content marketing understands the importance of writing. Well-chosen words strung together with care are the heart of any modern SEO strategy.

Current and topical writing in blog posts help businesses become relevant for current and prospective customers. 

If you are one of those people, you probably also understand one other hard truth: A lot of the stuff we write doesn't really get read. People are busy, and it's hard to pay attention to a whole blog post and certainly a whole book with everything else clamoring for attention.

But what if a reader could read, and totally comprehend, a 300-word post in 30 seconds? Before that truck commercial is over, the whole blog is read.

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London Native advertising

Why London is poised to lead the way with native advertising

With native advertising the buzz phrase among marketers for 2014, London is poised to lead the way in innovation in what is one of the most creative digital ad formats to emerge in recent years. 

In November AirBnB co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk claimed that London was ‘stuck in a Silicon Valley Roundabout’ and held back by its failure to produce a ‘billion dollar’ online business. 

Many in London found the comments annoying. Phil Cooper, a digital veteran who launched the UK’s first video ad network and was until last year European MD of Brightroll, was one of them. 

Cooper, who launched his latest digital venture six months ago, London based accommodation platform Kippsy.com, a competitor of AirBnB in the London market, believes that what London does best is innovation; taking an established model, technology or platform and turning it on its head. 

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