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Blog

Standard Life's Sharon Shaw on strategy and planning

Developing a new digital strategy can be a daunting experience, especially considering the lack of case studies and benchmarks out there.

We spoke to Sharon Shaw, e-commerce manager at Standard Life, and Avenue A/Razorfish's Adrian Gans about their experiences of strategy creation, including budgets, KPIs, incentives and structures. 

Standard Life portal

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MySpace founder 'fibbed about age'

Tom Anderson, the co-founder and public face of MySpace, has been rumbled for lying about his age in his profile – he’s apparently four years older than he claims.

But besides showing how far he was prepared to go to appear in touch with MySpace's yoof audience, and being pretty embarrassing, is this a big deal?

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Let's put the issue of sale duplication to bed

In an industry founded on the ability to deliver marketing that is highly targeted, controllable and measurable, why are we still grappling with issues of sales duplication?

Speaking with one site owner, he estimates duplication of sales is over 30%. Isn't it time we put this issue to bed?

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Web broadcast firm Skinkers nets funding

Skinkers, the online alert technology provider, has bagged $16m (£8m) in a second round of funding led by Acacia Capital Partners.

The company provides news alert services for the London Stock Exchange, CNN, the BBC and others, and recently announced the launch of LiveStation, a P2P live broadcast application.

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NBC/Fox video site Hulu launches in private beta

NBC and Fox's joint online video venture Hulu has launched today. The site will only be available to a few thousand beta testers initially, but its content will be rolled out to Hulu's distribution partners.

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Retailers look to catalogues for online sales boost

More and more retailers are turning to the humble catalogue to help drive their web businesses, according to stats from e-commerce association Shop.org.

The data (via AdAge) shows catalogues are moving up firms’ to-do lists and are increasingly being judged by the ‘flick-to-click’ sales they manage to generate.

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US e-commerce grows 23% in Q3

The US retail e-commerce market is continuing to grow rapidly, with spending up 23% in Q3 to $23.8bn (£11.6bn).  

Figures from comScore estimate that US e-commerce spending in the first nine months of the year totalled $143bn (£69.6bn) and will reach the $200bn mark for the year.

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Littlewoods hit by latest discount mishap

Littlewoods has become the latest retailer to fall foul of a runaway online voucher campaign.

The home shopping brand, which had distributed a £25-off discount code to “a small group of specific customers”, ended up having to recall cash from thousands of bargain-hunters when the promotion went viral.

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Email ROI still impressive, but falling

Figures released by the US Direct Marketing Association show email marketing is still delivering impressive ROI despite falls over the past two years.

According to the data, marketers will have spent around $500m (£244m) on email marketing to drive $23bn (£11.2bn) in sales by the end of 2007. That equates to $48.56 (£23.60) for every dollar spent.

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High profile sites hit by PageRank fall

A number of popular blogs and news sites have seen a sudden drop in their Google PageRank scores, with speculation suggesting that they are being punished by Google for paid linking.

The drops have hit blogs like Engadget and Search Engine Guide, as well as news sites including Forbes.com and the Washington Post.

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WPP buys another digital agency

WPP Group has acquired Blast Radius, an interactive agency based in Canada, for an undisclosed sum. 

Blast Radius, which employs 400 staff with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Amsterdam and London, has experience in building ad campaigns for social networks. It will be aligned with WPP's Wunderman network. 

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Facebook gets into bed with Microsoft

Microsoft has bought a 1.6% stake in Facebook for $240m - a deal that values the yet-to-be-profitable online hangout at $15bn and will not provide great reading for the founders of YouTube and MySpace.

The move will see an expansion of Microsoft’s existing ad partnership with the social networking site, through which it sells banner ads in the US.

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