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?
Because it can’t all be sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and Google Hummingbirds.
We at Econsultancy consider ourselves as promoters of best practice. ‘Achieve Digital Excellence’ reads our brand new strapline in the big red dot up there, and with this modus operandi we carry a great responsibility.
The responsibility of wading through the darkest digital waters (confusing and potentially dangerous metaphor alert) and remaining constantly poised to spear the very best of the internet. We do so in order to bring you the most considered insight, through research, practice, good old fashioned investigation and occasionally asking Twitter for help.
Of course for every tasty salmon we catch, we also have a net-full of bottom feeding suction eels too. We don’t really know what to do with them and they’re piling up around the floor of the boat.
So let us unburden our unpleasant haul upon you, with this round-up of the worst things to happen to the internet in 2013:
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%).
Google just can't stop fidddling with its search results. When it's not making major algorithm changes, there's the numerous tweaks to presentation of results.
But are these changes benefitting end users? Or should it just stop messing about so much?
The answer seems to be a bit of both. Google does have to keep people using its search engoine, and providing the best user experience is how it can do that.
On the other hand, blurring the line between ads and organic results is not good UX, but about increasing revenues...
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.
Facebook and other social networks are re-organising how consumers experience the web, centring it on their personal connections and activities.
This is blurring the lines between branded content, paid advertising, and consumer conversations.
Marketers therefore need to integrate owned, paid and earned social media strategies.
In the same way that Beyonce flung out her fifth album unexpectedly last week, Google UK has just fired its 2013 zeitgeist list into my inbox without so much as a word of warning.
Although it has almost no impact or relevance for ecommerce and digital marketing it still gives a fascinating look into what have been the most popular topics of the past 12 months, and as such I have no qualms about publishing it here on the Econsultancy blog.
Last year it turned out that people in the UK couldn’t get enough of Gangnam Style, Gary Barlow and Kate Middleton, but nobody cares about those guys anymore.
So what have proven to be the most searched terms in 2013? Here’s a run down of the most popular queries, as well as those that shone brightly for a short period of time and therefore make it onto Google's 'trending' lists...
As always, there was lots of comment-worthy developments in the world of digital marketing this year.
Here's my summation of 2013 in quotes, from changes at Google, to acquisitions and mergers, and developments across social networks.
Got other quotes worthy of inclusion? Do leave them in the comments section below.
Here is my 'expert' opinion are the best Vines created by brands in 2013.
Although seeing as Vine has only existed for approximately 11 months, here are the best branded examples from the entire existence of the service. That sounds far more impressive.
What makes a good branded Vine? Well, I'm glad you asked...
As we're fast approaching the end of the year it's time to round up some of the most interesting stats from Econsultancy's Q4 reports.
In the past few months we've published surveys on customer experience, mobile marketing, and conversion rate optimisation, as well as best practice reports on marketing automation and digital transformation.
To find out more tasty insights from our 2013 reports, check out my round ups of stats from Q1, Q2 and Q3.
And to really indulge yourself in a statistical feast, download our Internet Statistics Compendium...