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.
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.
Christmas shopping can be a painful experience, particularly when you find yourself in a busy shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon facing huge crowds and massive queues.
So it probably comes as no surprise to hear that levels of satisfaction with online shopping improve slightly during the festive season, while the opposite is true for the in-store experience.
A survey by eDigitalResearch found that a quarter (25%) of shoppers feel that online shopping experiences improve at Christmas, while 42% of respondents stated that their overall in-store experience deteriorated at this time of year.
Improved satisfaction is mainly down to the lack of queues (53%), but price (51%) and the range of products available online (51%) are also seen as key benefits of ecommerce.
Companies that sell their services based on a subscription model have a difficult task on their hands when it comes to designing a simple but persuasive pricing page.
It’s something we’ve tinkered with a great deal here at Econsultancy as the only way to find the most effective balance is by testing different elements and combinations.
To see if there are any best practices or common design elements when creating subscription pages, I visited the sites of four different SaaS (software as a service) vendors.
For many SaaS companies, it’s actually impossible to find out a pricing model without getting in contact with them first.
2013 has seen plenty of changes to paid search, mainly driven by Google. For a brand in a competitive market like insurance, little tweaks here and there matter.
Changes include the addition of Google's own comparison products to the SERPs, meaning less visibility for organic results, enhanced campaigns, and changes to the style of PPC ads.
I've been asking Heledd Jones, head of search marketing at Confused.com (and an Econsultancy guest blogger), about the challenges presented by these changes, and her thoughts on how PPC will evolve in the next year.
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...
Over the last four months, Google has been ramping up its publicity of a more aggressive target for mobile site performance: sub one second page load times.
Enforcement of this aspiration comes from Google's usual source: algorithmic rewards for sites achieving this goal. You just need to look at how industry commentary has exploded around site speed issues over the last couple of years to see the impact this strategy has had.
I fully expect to see this industry focus switch to mobile-specific commentary through 2014.
Let's take a look at the evidence, and the SEO opportunity...
Consumers’ digital experiences, including banking, are becoming more and more visual. Within the retail banking sector much is still to be done.
Most importantly banks should not judge Personal Finance Management (PFM) tools as isolated investments: rather a piece of the puzzle to build a great overall digital customer experience.
In this article I will talk about how PFM has developed within retail banking (from a customer perspective) over the years, how we see things evolving and what banks can learn from new players.