In the recent past we’ve heard plenty about the importance of 'creating a consistent customer experience across multiple channels'.
While that phrase is horrendously buzz-wordy, it’s still undeniably important.
Multiscreen, multi-device customers check and compare prices in store, buy online and talk about their purchases via social media, so making sure each touchpoint effectively serves the user is essential.
But... what happens if a customer only wants to use one channel?
Do you want to find out how your marketing peers are planning on spending their budgets in 2014?
Are you curious about which channels, disciplines and technology platforms that companies are prioritising?
Then complete the Econsultancy/Responsys Marketing Budgets Survey 2014, and in return you’ll receive a free copy of the report in advance of the official publication.
The 2013 version of the Marketing Budgets Report, published back in February, gave some brilliant insights into the different channels that marketers would be investing in over the following 12 months.
For example it found that 54% of companies surveyed intended to increase their overall marketing investment in 2013 (up from 45% in 2012), while 71% reported increases for their digital budgets this year (up from 68%).
Amazon has yet again come out on top in a customer satisfaction survey, proving that is remains the company to beat when it comes to ecommerce.
And as if to underline just how successful Amazon is at creating an excellent customer experience, it actually came joint first and second in the Foresee study thanks to its .com and .co.uk domains.
It’s not all good news for the ecommerce giant however, as Amazon.co.uk actually saw a two-point decline compared to last year, down from 86 to 84.
John Lewis came third in the study with 79, followed by Apple on 78 and M&S on 77. Unsurprisingly Ryanair came bottom of the pile with just 60 points.
It was a great year for ecommerce and all signs point to an even bigger, even better year come January 1. What’s on the docket? Plenty.
Building on the success of the last 12 months, 2014 will likely signal a comprehensive integration of mobile with traditional brick-and-mortar along with a boom in gamification, personalization and more comprehensive and accessible methods to test and track.
It’s time to raise a glass to what’s going to be a game-changing year.
'The Information' makes a case for smaller publishers adopting a paywall.
This is just a brief companion to an article I wrote yesterday entitled do publishers' paywalls kill sociability?, in which I asked a few questions around the subject of online publications asking readers to pay for content which they have traditionally enjoyed for free.
As this focussed mainly on larger newspapers, at the end of the post I suggested that I would follow up the article with a focus on smaller, start-up publishers and whether a paywall might be suitable for them or not.
This recent example was brought to my attention and I feel it makes for an interesting case-study.
During the run-up to Christmas, which companies are bidding on paid search terms for the most popular products, and which have the most effective landing pages?
I took a look at paid search in my beginner’s guide what is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? last month, and since then I’ve been a lot more attuned to this method of search engine marketing.
However I've also realised that PPC ads are for nothing, and a complete waste of searcher's time and an advertiser’s money, if conversion isn’t happening.
Referral traffic from eBay to Argos increased by almost a third between October and November, thanks in part to a new click-and-collect partnership between the two retailers.
In September eBay signed a deal that enabled its customers to collect purchases from Argos’ UK stores, giving the online retailer a permanent foothold on the high street.
Argos currently achieves around 25% of its overall traffic from referrals, of which eBay now accounts for 11%. This equated to more than 600,000 visits in November.
If one of the things we’ve learnt so far within digital marketing is that becoming more social is a key ways to succeed, does the installing of a paywall on newspaper run websites effectively mean ‘killing’ their shareability?
The most topical example of this is The Sun’s recent introduction of its subscription service. Named Sun+, this has attracted 117,000 subscribers to its £2 a week service in approximately three months.
With The Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times all having already installed paywalls at various points in their online existences, with varying degrees of success, has this made a difference to how their material is shared?
Do they even care? If they are making enough money from subscribers, then perhaps the volume of traffic is unimportant to them.
Within your own social circles, will followers of your channel be annoyed that you’re posting a link to something they need to pay for? This obviously introduces a whole new argument about the value of content, and whether it should be free or otherwise.
Our editor-in-chief Graham Charlton (pictured above) took an in-depth look at The Telegraph's metered paywall in his article earlier in the year, so let’s take a look at the other newspaper paywalls and attempt to shed some light on the questions raised.
The idea of being helpful, of providing content and resources to prospective and current customers that may not have anything to do with your organization, is a new and radical concept for many marketers.
"You mean you want me to publish content that doesn't sell my product?" The idea is simple: give people want they want and eventually they consider you a trusted resource.
But is being helpful enough? Is helpfulness really useful? Or are marketers spinning their wheels creating content that, even though it's helpful, no one really wants?
Although being helpful is something marketers should strive towards as a way to foster engagement, useful should be the end-goal: giving people content they need to solve their problems, when they need it, and in the specific format they want.
Topshop is the top UK retailer for tablet user experience, according to the latest research by QUISMA, in which 10 top UK retailers were compared in terms of their tablet sites.
Topshop, Adidas and Nike provide the easiest to use websites for tablet users, whereas Zara and H&M performed poorly when it came to helping consumers navigate their sites.
Shall we blindly take QUISMA's word for it? Nah. Where's the fun in that?
Let’s have a look at some of the individual sites ourselves to see if we agree...