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Glasses Direct's Phil Gates on promoting an etail start-up

Disruptive e-commerce start-up Glasses Direct recently bagged £3m in funding to continue its assault on high street opticians, ramp up its staff and expand internationally. 

Here, we ask new marketing director Phil Gates about how it got on the map... 

GlassesDirect.co.uk homepage

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The democratisation of news media - another Web 2.0 myth

The Web 2.0 community has been a potent purveyor of myth . One of the myths that Web 2.0's most ardent kool aid drinkers have promoted is that the world of news media has been democratised.

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If SEO's a hygiene factor, why are so many sites dirty?

Many in the SEO world joke that if an agency or consultant starts talking about title or meta tags to potential clients, they should be ignored as this sort of thing is now considered very basic and suggests that the SEO doesn't know what they're talking about.

But looking at the websites of some pretty major brands, it's clear that for many people, SEO 101 is still pretty advanced.

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Firms still ignoring customers' emails

Transversal has come out with another report showing the dire performance of many UK firms when responding to customers’ emails.

In its third annual Multi-channel Customer Service Study, released this week, the company tested 100 leading organisations by sending them routine questions by email.

Less than half (46%) answered those questions “adequately” and the average time they took to respond was almost two days (46 hours).

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Madwords: the trouble with Google Adwords on mobile

Thomson Financial believes Google will generate an astonishing $21.31 billion in mobile advertising revenues in 2009. I don’t. Moreover, I think Google is going to have a hard time migrating Adwords to mobile.

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Is net tracking a big problem?

The web is buzzing today after Sir Tim Berners-Lee rejected net tracking and voiced concerns about privacy and data sharing.

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Basket Abandonment - we have to focus on How, not Why

More and more the concept of basket abandonment is mentioned as a method for increasing conversion - be it baskets in retail, quotes in insurance, bookings in travel or registrations in gambling.

Indeed, I am beginning to feel like it has been around forever. The real question for me is how to go from talking about it to actually producing the goods and enjoying the results.

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Don't forget the late-adopters

First-adopters are a coveted bunch. Many, if not most, internet startups hope to reach the first-adopters that will use their services and evangelise about them before anyone else will.

But what about the "late-adopters" who don't jump head first into every new internet phenomenon and who prefer to stick with the products and services they've come to know and trust?

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The last mile - a rant about delivery

Call me old fashioned if you will, but I still believe in the premise that when a customer places an order online, they should receive their goods within the timeframe highlighted by the retailer. Or better still, they should actually receive their order at all!

How about really stretching it and offering the customer the opportunity to choose a convenient delivery method and time?

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Site review: Halfords.com

Halfords recently launched a reserve online, collect in-store service so we had a look its website from a user experience perspective.

Halfords homepage

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Just how much of the customer journey will Google own?

Google's stated mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

The genius of this statement is that it sounds quite innocuous, indeed philanthropic, despite its obvious grand ambition, but actually allows pretty much anything within its scope.

It is interesting to see just how much of the online customer journey (from search, to research, to purchase) Google is taking hold of. Will we all end up as "wholesalers" to Google's customers?

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Can offline marketing and advertising help you save money in digital marketing?

We know that offline marketing and advertising drives demand that can be captured, and monetised, online. The correlation between TV advertising and paid search performance, for example, has been much discussed; and direct mail, or catalogues, drive online sales.

But do you know of any examples where the cost of offline marketing or advertising has been more than offset by the savings in the online marketing?

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