Charles Hudson is an expert on all things social gaming related, producing technology conferences focused on the intersection of gaming and social media, including the Virtual Goods Summit and the Social Gaming Summit. He's also currently working on a series of research reports on the virtual goods market, published at Inside Virtual Goods.
Prior to this, Charles was involved with various social gaming companies and start-ups, including Serious Business, a leading producer of social games for the social web (acquired by Zynga earlier this year) and Gaia Online, a leading online hangout for teens and young adults.
I interviewed Charles to find out more about social gaming, including the challenges and opportunities for businesses, and why marketers should be engaging with consumers on this channel.
Last week, Econsultancy published a new report in association with digital consultancy Blue Latitude, The Impact of Digital Beyond Sales and Marketing: How Digital is Transforming Organisations. The report examines the impact of digital across the business and, consequently, how companies are managing organisational change as a result of changing trends in technology and customer behaviour.
It is absolutely crucial for all business functions to understand this rapidly evolving environment, and with that in mind, this post summarises and explores the impact of digital channels across a range of business functions.
Affiliate marketing is thriving, with the sector expected to drive an estimated £4.62 billion in online retail sales during 2010 in the UK alone, according to Econsultancy's annual buyer's guide published last week.
It is important for publishers, merchants, networks and agencies alike to continue to innovate to add value to the customer journey and drive further growth in the sector. This post explores some of the latest trends in the industry covered in the report.
Earlier this month, social media darlings around the internet were singing the praises of Old Spice, with Mashable claiming that the now infamous campaign was the "future of marketing" and that the agency involved, Wieden + Kennedy, had set a "standard marketing experts will admire and follow in the years to come."
Now, various marketing blogs and online news sources are reporting that sales have "fallen by 7%." But, with barely a week gone since Mr Old Spice conversed with "everyone" on YouTube, is it simply too early to predict ROI from the campaign?
Looking at the numbers, it seems the original analysis of the drop in sales may be flawed, given that it's somewhat premature to announce a verdict about the campaign's success or indeed, failure at this stage.
Last week, in a deal that sounded too-good-to-be true, group-buying website Groupola was offering the new iPhone 4 for a mere £99, sim-free. Users had to simply register interest on the Groupola website, where they would then be emailed a link to buy the new must-have iPhone on Friday.
With such a tempting deal on offer, on Friday morning, the Groupola website faced major meltdown, and that's essentially what happened.
A Groupola spokesman said 5m unique users tried to access the site between 9am and 9.30am. That number seems incredibly far-fetched to us but obviously the website fell apart as a result of the demand.
With thousands (if not millions) of users unable to access the site, it's unsurprising that a wave of angry consumers took to social media channels to voice their outrage on Twitter and Facebook.
The process was mismanaged from start to finish, resulting in a PR fiasco for the company. So what could Groupola have done to avoid such an unmitigated disaster?
How often do you Google your own name? And how often do you Google the names of potential employees before opting to hire them? In these data-driven times, it is important to recognise that personal information is becoming much more accessible and can impact you both postively and negatively.
In his new book, iCrossing's Antony Mayfield addresses how to manage personal online reputation effectively. We recently caught up with Antony at the launch of Me and My Web Shadow to find out more.
More than ever, it's crucially important for brands to be timely, relevant and engaging. In the first truly digital UK general election, we've already seen that the main political parties could do a lot more to improve their websites and online campaigns. But what about companies?
Here are some examples of brands who have jumped on the election bandwagon, by launching topically-themed marketing campaigns and products.
Over the past few months, Twitter has been used as an effective campaign tool to expose the corporate misdemeanors of many large companies, including Trafigura, H&M, and KFC.
Paperchase is the latest recipient of a growing internet fire-storm, facing criticism over claims that the stationery giant allegedly plagiarised the artwork of a British, independent artist, decorating notebooks, tote bags and albums, and making them available for sale around the UK.
It's clear that the world has changed. There is simply nowhere for companies to hide: do something wrong or embarrassing, and internet users will respond rapidly to expose the corporate scandal in a matter of minutes.
With businesses still struggling under the weight of the difficult economic environment, the importance of understanding the drivers of profitability has never been greater. More than ever, it's crucial for companies to get the most from their web properties and digital marketing investment, and to measure effectively.
This is where investing in a good web analytics solution can help, and as Econsultancy's new edition of its Web Analytics Buyer's Guide shows, it's encouraging to see that the sector continues to grow, in spite of continued pressure on budgets.
Lesley Eccles is Co-founder and Marketing Director of Hubdub.com, an online news prediction contest that allows users to win virtual dollars by correctly forecasting the outcome of real news stories. Recently, Hubdub Ltd expanded their web properties by launching FanDuel.com, a site where participants can make real money by playing and winning at fantasy sports games.
At bigmouthmedia's recent Social Media Summit, Lesley talked about some of the challenges associated with marketing through social media, as well as the potential opportunities for start-ups operating in this space.
As Econsultancy's recently published Social Media and Online PR Report (produced in association with bigmouthmedia) shows, smaller companies are more likely to get involved in social media, as they face fewer barriers to experimenting with new channels and are inherently more flexible.
As a start-up, social media plays a pivotal role in Hubdub's marketing efforts. I caught up with Lesley post-event to find out more about Hubdub Ltd, and the challenges facing SMEs and start-ups in this difficult economic climate.