This post is by Sam Smith, Head of UX at Potato .
If campaign planning were a party (and when is it not?), you could say that User Experience (UX) specialists are the Cinderellas at the ball. Their expertise may not always be at the top of marketers' campaign checklists, but considered UX and well-crafted design input can nevertheless prove transformative to the success of a digital marketing project. At Potato we design and build complex webapps for a range of clients, including Google, with diverse user-bases to consider for each one. UX has frequently been at the heart of those builds' successes.
UX designers come from a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise, including such diverse specialisms as interface and interaction design, data visualisation, information design or writing micro-copy. This depth of knowledge is essential when you consider the many components that comprise a good user experience. For instance, if an app offers the user many services, good UX will ensure that those options are obvious, simple to understand, and that they will do what the user expects. These types of relatively subtle executional points are crucial to creating user engagement with your brand that can spell the difference between retaining users and creating advocates, or turning your audience off the brand altogether.
This post is by Rhys John, digital marketing executive at Thomas Design.
With higher and higher percentages of the population viewing websites and other forms of media on tablets, phones or netbooks, responsive web design is becoming more of a norm for businesses with an online presence. Making it difficult for customers to view your website on different devices could be more costly than you might anticipate – with design costs far less than the potential loss of business.
Here are the three main reasons to get a responsively designed website:
This post is by Mobbie Nazir, chief strategy officer at We Are Social.
I recently had the pleasure of being one of the judges for the second ever Warc Prize for Social Strategy, whose winners were announced earlier this morning. The award is focused on recognising social ideas that drive business results and, as such, is a fantastic showcase of best practice within the marketing industry.
It was clear from looking at the 32-strong shortlist just how much social communications have evolved and continue to do so. We're seeing more longer term, strategic use of social to build brands, or create a meaningful role for brands in people's lives. We saw the most effective brands and organisations shift their mindset from focusing on social platforms, to using social insights to create integrated ideas that people naturally want to share, talk about, and get involved with. And, from the more mature, large-scale efforts to the clever, low budget activations – all were working towards delivering real business value, not just likes and shares.
With a decline in active users, Facebook has turned its attention to other areas such as video, messaging and offering internet access to impoverished countries.
This post is by Robbie Edge, social media manager at MEC.
Facebook has been the giant of social media for some time and while that shows no immediate sign of changing, a decline in active users of the site has prompted it to pursue several new avenues.
One of those is video, a content type traditionally viewed as an under performer on the platform in comparison with imagery, but one that is increasingly becoming a core part of Facebook's ad strategy. Currently, Facebook video is reported to get roughly three billion views a day, 65% of which originate from mobile devices, with 53% driven by sharing. While three billion is a big number, YouTube was gaining 4 billion views each day back in 2012, so Facebook still has a way to go if it really wants to become more of a threat. The platform has, however, experienced an increase in video output from its top brands, celebrities and media companies after some big changes made in 2014 – such as newsfeed autoplay as well as deeper analytics. More content marketers have begun uploading video directly to Facebook, particularly for small- to medium-sized enterprises who posted twice the number of videos directly to Facebook in 2014 than they did in 2013.
This post is by Angela Canin, Senior Manager Development and Editor Research World at ESOMAR.
In researching this theme for the ESOMAR Summer Academy Seminar (1-4 June in Amsterdam) it's become apparent just how complex audiences have become. The implications for all stakeholders is immense and the shift in how, when, where and what to communicate has shifted completely in under a decade.
According to Ansgar Hoelscher, VP marketing intelligence & innovation at Beiersdorf "The old broadcasting paradigm is over. We have to establish a one-to-one connection with consumers and engage in dialogue. That means having something interesting and relevant for the other person – and that's not always the product itself. Relevant content is the name of the game. Relevant means interesting, exciting and useful for the consumer. It's the only way to have good one-to-one dialogue."
Recently, I've been looking at some prominent trends in marketing. I've explored the power of partnerships and the increasing use of 'occasion marketing' strategies. This week I turn my attention to the world of media and note the rise of ambient.
But what exactly is ambient media? One definition offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing points out that ambient was originally known as ‘fringe media’, but now it consists of “communications platforms that surround us in everyday life - from petrol pump advertising to advertising projected onto buildings to advertising on theatre tickets, cricket pitches or even pay slips”.
Despite the wintery weather afflicting parts of America - or, perhaps, to escape from it - Warc's US reporting team has been back on the conference trail in recent weeks.
One event seeking to cut across some major reoccurring themes we've been hearing about - such as evolving research techniques, big data, the changing face of media and emerging technology - is The Big Rethink, being convened by The Economist and taking place on March 5th in New York City.
It will not surprise readers of The Economist magazine to learn that the conference, based in large part around the rise of "the entrepreneurial CMO", combines a thought-provoking agenda - addressing topics such as neglected global trends, shifting organisational structures and the Internet of Things - with insights from numerous industry heavyweights.
One of my predictions for 2015 was that it would be the year that content about content marketing would surpass all other forms of content.
I stand by that and am doing my part to make it true with this very article. But if you look at the Google Search Trends, 2013 was the growth year, and 2014 and 2015 (according to Google's projections) will be a plateau of interest in content marketing.
This suggests that the idea has achieved some kind of maturity. That content marketing has become a thing. Newsrooms have been set up, processes developed, editorial staff from our ailing media brethren poached and repurposed. All of which means it's time to begin to challenge it, like all conventions.
Content became the current solution célèbre to the great fragmentation problem.
This post is by Sarah Villegas, Exterion Media's Head of Marketing and Business Development.
The potential for Digital Out of Home advertising (DOOH) is huge and there is unanimous agreement across the industry that its adoption is at a tipping point. Nearly a quarter of Outdoor spend is now digital1. The total inventory of DOOH sites in the UK is set to grow more than 40 percent between now and 2020, according to Kinetic Worldwide. The same study says that, while digital already accounts for around 22 percent of the outdoor market's annual £1bn sales, by 2020 that proportion will rise to 35 percent. In fact, one in every three pounds in OOH will be on digital in 2015 according to Posterscope.
Why? Because digital is no longer just a luminescent board attached to a landmark. The outdoor world is getting smarter and more engaging. Forbes journalist Glen Martin sums it up neatly: "the urban environment is evolving rapidly, and a model is emerging that is more efficient, more functional, more – connected."
The two celebrity-based programmes still attract high viewing figures but what do their fans think their characteristics are? Jo Coombes of MEC finds out.
In September 2014, viewers welcomed back the 12th series of Strictly Come Dancing. The show, airing on BBC 1 sees 15 celebrities paired up with professional dance partners to learn a variety of Ballroom or Latin techniques. The Halloween episode pulled in 9.7 million viewers, a 43.9% share between 6.30pm and 8.15pm on Saturday, beating The X-Factor's Halloween ratings by 2.3 million viewers.
Another long-running celebrity-based show which remains to be successful in terms of attracting and engaging a wide viewer base is I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! The contestants for the eagerly awaited 14th Series of the ITV hit programme, airing in November 2014 have recently been announced. The show, presented by Geordie duo Ant & Dec finds a group of 12 celebrities forced to live together in a jungle environment for a few weeks, with no luxuries or contact with the outside world. They are given a range of tasks, ‘bushtucker trials' to earn food for camp. The opening episode of the 2013 series attracted a peak audience of nearly 13 million and an average of 12 million viewers.