The customer service industry was created by mistake.
It’s been effectively outsourced by many companies (intent only on cost containment) for the past decades, and since the advent of the consumer internet has often been woefully ill-suited to meeting customer needs.
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.
Let’s face it, in 2013 Gov.uk has featured in the forefront of many people’s minds as a flag bearer for great design and digital change. Continuing this trend, Thursday last week saw Gov.uk release the next section of its alpha style guide.
If you don’t have a style guide, or you have a fusty old copy in a shared folder no longer in use, or even worse, just a printed copy in a folder, well now is the time to update it and watch standards soar.
This style guide (part of GDS's seven wider design principles) is still being optimised but now includes sections on ‘writing for Gov.uk’, ‘writing for the web’, ‘style points for various content types’ and a ‘transactions style guide’.
It's interesting that Gov.uk realises the style of the guide itself is important. Continuous work on improving navigation and keeping content up to date is as important for the style guide as for the wider site.
If information and guidance isn’t up to date, or the guide is not easily engaged with, errors carried forward will persist.
Let’s take a look at the new style guide and see why it stands out, as well as what you can appropriate for your own organisation’s style guide. I hope you'll agree with me, that when a style guide is done well, it's actually a lot of fun to use, with more prescriptive advice on grammar reading as dead pan as a Stewart Lee gag.
Welcome to Econsultancy's anti-format. This is a fun and perhaps unnecessary respite from our best practice research and blog posts.
The big news this week is that Econsultancy's tech team has incorporated a gif retriever into our CMS. This means we will never need cash again.
Enjoy what we've enjoyed this week and please share with your family.
What do customers want in a multichannel experience and how will technology help deliver it in 2014?
Customers don’t always know what it is they want, but by looking at current habits, themes will undoubtedly emerge.
Walker Sands has recently surveyed 1,000 US consumers on the future of retail. The results are interesting and give some pointers to retailers hoping to stay on consumer trend for buying habits.
Here are the best bits:
Out of home (OOH) creative is great fun. The most creative minds come up with some great ads for OOH and the internet is full of wonderful examples.
I thought I’d bring you some of the latest, many of which I’ve found via Posterscope’s Twitter feed, which I recommend highly.
Enjoy these in all their boldness. You’ve really no excuse for not creating great copy and great concepts when this is your competition.
Online video has always felt to me like one of those technologies where brands have varied massively in their commitment to innovate.
That was kind of understandable until the last couple of years, as YouTube and video streaming (NetFlix, NOW TV,4OD etc) are now so pervasive.
With brands committing to more online video advertising, it’s obvious the technology will be maturing. In effect, what’s possible on your website should now be possible in an online video ad.
As web viewers aren’t captive in the same way live TV viewers are (even they can go and make a cup of tea), advertisers have to get cuter at delivering changing and tailored ad content that is essentially fun or useful enough to be voluntarily engaged with. A tall order?
Well let’s look at what can be achieved? Here are a few examples, mostly taken from Innovid, who I chatted to last week.
In this post, bear with me and you’ll get a couple of case studies and some best practice from brands using TV and promoted tweet tie-ups.
Before I give you the fun stuff, I want to say that best practice is all that matters. Ignore all the stats about engagement and sales uplift.
I don’t usually advocate ignoring stats, but as B2B marketing and service industries now pervade major cities of the developed world, we are awash with stats. And stats that claim to explain general concepts, such as generic increase in purchase intent after viewing a promoted tweet that references TV, are not helpful to you.
Yes, these stats succinctly explain the perceived benefits of advertising on Twitter, but like all data, it’s only that which directly pertains to your company that is of use.
There’s no point examining averaged trends when what you’re interested in is your business. Being blinded by amazing engagement stats will mean you don’t think properly about your campaigns. The last thing you want to do is drip out a poorly conceived set of promoted tweets and have faith they will deliver ROI.
The success of your marketing and advertising is dependent entirely upon detail; detail that’s way more granular than simply what channels you decide to advertise in.
Harper Collins and its business development team are a great example of how publishers are adapting to the business of content, not simply bound sheaves of pulped wood.
In an indicator of how service-based the UK economy has become, Harper Collins now sums up its business as following:
"We create bespoke content based on products and campaigns for our clients."
"We work with content, not just books, across print, digital, mobile and more."
"Our editorial expertise, content and creativity enable clients to communicate brand identity and values."
One of the areas of the publishing house where this is most evident is Harper Collins Children’s Books. I decided to find out more about its business model.
We love brands, right? We marvel at the most successful, and feel genuine sorrow for previously loved brands that disappear.
The life of any company founded today is shortening as time goes on. Brands have disappeared, and will continue to do so, for many different reasons.
A company can seriously jeopardise its future by taking its eye off the ball for less than a year. Agile methodology is becoming more and more important, as power is wrested away from old-school, bean-counting management.
This post presents some lost brands, some soon to be lost, and asks the question ‘why exactly?’