UX: The missing ingredient
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.
Switch 'nice to have' for 'unthinkable not to have'
Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, OgilvyOne London
I once met someone from an IT company who had been present at several advertising pitches. By and large he was impressed. In countless ways - the pitch theatre, the audio-visual displays, the presentation skills - he had found what the agencies did extraordinarily impressive; much more exotic and polished than anything he had seen before.
"But," he went on, "every agency made the same terrible mistake."
Time to be less human
Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter
Craig Mod is a product designer (best known for his work on Flipboard) and one of my heroes. Recently, I rediscovered a brilliant article he wrote a few years ago called 'Subcompact Publishing'. It's a rather wonderful rant about the stupidity of digital magazines.
He poses a simple question: physical magazines and books are simple to use. So why are most digital magazines and books so complicated that you need a set of instructions? Why do they take forever to download? Why are they full of motion graphics and video that get in the way of the experience rather than enhancing it?
The 'new normal'
Edward Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China
There's a lot of talk about the 'new normal' in China. And with the slowdown now percolating every corner of Chinese life, one is left with a palpable sense that, from consumers, the 'new normal' calls for 'more value'.
There was a time, several years ago amid the double-digit growth era, when the deep frugality of Chineseness almost gave way to financial flippancy. People were so confident of the future that the cost of things was rendered not unimportant, but less relevant. When everything is going up, what matters is what it will be worth, not what it costs now.
Twitch, social media and brands
Twitch.tv dominates the esports streaming services in the West. Its unique audience allows brands to target hard-to-reach young, high-income, tech-savvy males.
This post is by Robbie Edge, Social Insights Manager at MEC.
Windows of opportunity: How Konrad Lorenz's Nobel winning work can be applied to advertising
Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Evidence, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Advertising has benefited significantly from the application of Daniel Kahneman's research into behavioural economics. However, Kahneman is not the only Nobel Laureate that advertising should look to for inspiration. Konrad Lorenz's work, for which he was awarded the Noble Prize in 1973, deserves more attention than it currently receives as it has direct relevance to marketing.
In Lorenz's most famous experiment he split a batch of Greylag geese eggs into two. One set, the control, was raised by their mother while the experimental set was exposed to no-one else but Lorenz. The goslings in the experimental set became deeply attached to Lorenz; to all intents and purpose he became their mother figure. They followed him wherever he went and mimicked his behaviour. When, after a few days, they were introduced to their mother they showed no sign of recognition.
Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB
The recent death of 92-year-old Olive Cooke, Britain's oldest British Legion charity poppy seller, highlighted a dark side of our business we rarely confront. Following allegations that Mrs Cooke was 'hounded to death' by charities begging for money, the press has raged about unscrupulous fundraisers, with the British Prime Minister promising tough action to protect the vulnerable.
Regardless of the actual circumstances surrounding Mrs Cooke's tragic death, public hostility to some companies' more strident activity is clearly very real. Everyone has a favourite story about annoying fundraising techniques. Mumsnet has over 6,000 threads devoted to them. According to the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), complaints about fundraising have increased by 55% over the past two years alone.