Hurricane Sandy highlighted the fact that brands still struggle with social marketing, as retailers fell over themselves to try and use the disaster to sell more clothes.
The immediacy of social media makes it the perfect way for brands to expose themselves to ridicule by sending out a kneejerk tweet without thinking through the consequences.
But not all of the examples on this list are errant tweets – indeed some obviously had a great deal of thought behind them, which probably makes the ensuing fall out far worse.
So without further ado, here’s the top 10 social media fails of 2012 so far...
Over the past couple of years, QR codes have cropped up everywhere from billboards to ketchup bottles.
They became the must-have gimmick for marketers, even when they didn’t actually offer consumers any relevant or useful content.
In recent months frivolous uses of QR codes seems to be less prevalent as marketers have realised that people don’t scan them in huge numbers, if at all.
But that doesn’t mean that QR codes are useless. We previously reported studies which show that 19% of UK consumers have scanned a QR code, with 3.3m people doing it in Q2 alone. We’ve also found several examples of QR campaigns that worked well.
So if you’re considering using a QR code in your new ad campaign, here are eight tips that you should consider before you do...
Last month I reviewed Asda’s new photo website which the retailer claimed was “the easiest and most convenient to use in the United Kingdom”.
It sells a range of personalised products including canvases, pet beds, mugs and stationery.
I found a number of fairly obvious usability issues that rather undermined Asda’s bold design claims, and in fairness the retailer was quick to respond to my points in the comments section.
Asda’s photo team said to check back at the end of the month to see the final version of the site, so I thought I’d have a look and see if any of my comments have been taken onboard.
Almost a quarter of the top 100 UK businesses fail to provide an email address to non-customers, according to a new report from Eptica.
The 2012 Eptica UK Multichannel Customer Experience Study analysed the responses of 100 organisations via the web, email and social media channels, replicating research conducted in 2011.
In many cases results have deteriorated since 2011 – more than a quarter (28%) of companies performed worse this year despite being asked exactly the same questions through the same channels.
And the situation appears to be particularly bad for email customer service. As the penetration of smartphones increases email is becoming a more important method of communication.
Producing content that consumers want to share is the holy grail for video marketers, as not only is it an endorsement of your ad but it means that person’s friends are also likely to view the video.
And within the automotive industry, nobody produces shareable content quite like Volkswagen.
A new report from Unruly found that the German carmaker accounted for a quarter of all automotive video shares from June 2011 to June 2012, followed by Kia (21.6%) and Chevrolet (15.3%).
The data, which is sourced from the Viral Video Chart of 12,867 autos videos, also shows that VW’s Super Bowl ad The Force is the most shared ad of all time, with more than 5.5m shares and 62.5m views.
Nobody likes a slow website, so it’s extremely important that businesses keep page loading times to a minimum.
You can read the precise stats in our post about site speed case studies, tips and tools for improving your conversion rate, but essentially if you run a slow website you’ll start to lose both traffic and sales.
To draw attention to this issue, we’ve previously evaluated the top UK retailers using Google’s site speed tool, as well as several UK newspapers.
So it only seemed fair that we also look at what Google thinks of the top 10 US retailers. And this time I also tested each of the sites using WebPageTest’s load speed tool.
Last week the Guardian released several new upgrades for its already excellent Android app.
The Guardian said that the focus has been on bringing the app up to the higher standards that you find in modern Android app and to offer users a “better, more consistent user experience.”
I already use The Guardian’s app on a daily basis and find it a joy to use. In contrast, I also use Sky Sports News’ app every day but find the user experience to be quite poor.
As such, I thought I’d take a look at the new updates to The Guardian’s app and compare it to the UX of the Sky Sports News offering.
Comet’s imminent fall into administration has once again highlighted the precarious position that many high street retailers find themselves in thanks to a flagging economy and a general consumer shift towards e-commerce.
The news is perhaps more surprising as, unlike many of its competitors, Comet had begun to alter its business model and integrate digital and mobile technology in-store as part of its multichannel strategy.
However analysts suggest it was too little too late, as successive owners had failed to see the benefits of e-commerce in a competitive market and the company also saw revenue from its audio visual products fall away as consumers moved to combined platforms on smartphones and tablets.
So Comet’s demise shouldn’t be seen as evidence that multichannel retailing can’t work on the high street.
In fact data from House of Fraser shows that the use of digital technologies in-store can improve both sales and the customer experience.
Here are six of the best infographics we've seen this week.
This time the topics include how email impacts our professional and personal lives, mobile gaming language, 24 hours in the Google economy and the anatomy of a marketing executive.
Here's a round up of some of the most interesting digital marketing stats we've seen this week.
Stats include mobile email, Heinz's Facebook product launch, email customer service, US Christmas shopping trends and consumers' indifference to cookies..
For more digital stats, see our comprehensive Internet Statistics Compendium.