Author: Ben Davis

Ben Davis

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com or follow at @herrhuld.

Who is digital on London's Regent Street?

This morning I was on London’s Regent Street, so I thought I’d promenade up and down (from Oxford Circus, South to Piccadilly Circus) and check which of the mega brands here acknowledge their digital presence in window displays.

That's just the shop window, I didn't go into the store (incidently, West End stores have been slow to adopt in-store tech). In this instance I just wanted to see who pointed online from their front of store merchandising.

I was quite surprised. Some were good, and some were simple and clear. Others were token, and plenty didn’t mention online at all.  

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How to improve your company culture with 12 simple decisions

First of all, let me say, I will try my best to limit the BS in this post.

Secondly, why is company culture being featured on a digital marketing and ecommerce blog?

The answer is simply because the biggest challenges to the majority of companies (aside from continuing economic stress) are:

  1. Moving to the cloud.
  2. Advertising/marketing/selling in a multichannel 'userverse' (maybe a bit of BS there).

One and two are enmeshed, of course. They both pose questions for any company’s technology and culture.

Last question before we go on to discuss seemingly simple decisions (on the face of it) is ‘what qualifies me to give this advice?’ I have never run a business, let alone a multinational.

The simple answer is because I’ve been looking at lots of feedback from our Econsultancy user survey in which box 33 asked ‘Please tell us whether there is a particular digital-related challenge your organisation is facing’.

Our users left a lot of valuable feedback, and much of it about their culture.

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I CAN HAZ ENGAGEMENT?

The complete guide to creating compelling marketing tweets

I like to think I've seen a lot of tweets, enough to know a good one when I see it.

So often, I am completely exasperated looking at the dadaist sludge that dribbles out of corporate and brand Twitter accounts. So I've decided to do something about it and write this complete guide to writing interesting tweets.

It's somewhat subjective, but I've given at least 60 tweets here to illustrate my various points. I'll define interesting as something funny/persuasive/compelling/thought-provoking/informative etc - pretty much any tweet that can draw the user's attention.

There is a lot of 'don't' as well as a lot of 'do', and of course, knowing your brand and your audience is key to interesting your followers.

Hopefully there'll be some scenarios you recognise in here, and some reminders.

Please leave your pet hates and great loves in the comments below.

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chipotle logo

All PR is good! Chipotle’s tasty Q3 follows controversial scarecrow video

Chipotle’s recent financial results have revealed a successful third quarter of 2013 as compared to the third quarter of 2012, with revenue increased 18.0% to $826.9 million.

With the notorious scarecrow ad (and downloadable song and game and all round worthy cause) released on September 12th, it’s conceivable that the last three weeks have played a part in the strong financial performance.

The scarecrow video was released solely online, and has been viewed 7m times on YouTube. There’s a nice responsive microsite for the ad and game, too. ‘As an incentive for players to complete the game, Chipotle is providing food rewards redeemable at any of its U.S., Canada and UK locations.’ 

Never has a scarecrow started such debate. You can watch the ad below, and the delicious Funny Or Die parody. 

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Ada halloween character

A halloween of spookily augmented reality at Asda

When I was a kid, riding trolleys down supermarket aisles and giving my twin brother beats in public were the symptoms of my boredom at the local Tesco or Asda.

That was before ‘retail-tainment’ involved the smartphone or tablet.

The supermarket is the perfect crucible for 'retail-tainment'. Outside of big cities, supermarkets are captive markets, often entailing a long visit with the family, and competing with rival stores on a weekly basis.

Winning the battle to keep kids obedient or event interested in store would be a boon for any supermarket chain.

At the moment, there are supermarkets such as Asda that are synonymous with family, but none that have mastered retailtainment. More apps and in-store challenges with rewards will provide an effective antidote to the rogue use of toys by children that then abandon them in the bakery aisle.

Asda is using Zappar to offer kids the chance to be greeted by Sir Spook in 400 of its stores. Combined with some physical events, pumpkin carving and the like, they're aiming to be the family supermarket at Halloween.

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Earth

How do we bring the next billion people online?

This was the question framing the first talks at #Wired13 on Friday. There’s no question of the change the internet can affect for the developing world, but what hurdles are there before more wide scale adoption?

Speakers from three massively innovative companies, two producing hardware and one an operating system, gave their views on the democratization of technology, and indeed knowledge itself.

I’ll give a brief overview of each talk, to explain three different aspects to the challenge of putting the next 1bn online.

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epidemic sound

Start Me Up! A profile of Epidemic Sound: curing music license madness

Using any music in one’s work is often a headache if one is unsure of the ins and outs of licensing.

Epidemic Sound aims to simplify the process with its users paying one fee to access a whole bunch of music to use in their work.

We caught up with CEO, Oscar Höglund to ask him more about the service.

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nokia referral marketing

Referral marketing: how Nokia sends brand traffic to retail partners

You're a big brand but you don't sell from your website, so what can you do about it? 

Nokia is using its website, Facebook, email and even paid ads to push its brand traffic towards its retail partners.

Rob Durkin, Co-Founder and Head of Innovation at FusePump, spoke at this year's JUMP with Jonathan Lewis-Jones from Nokia, about how they've turned brand traffic into sales, despite not selling direct.

Below I’ll give some details of Nokia’s work, but first some general comments from Rob on the place for referral marketing.

Presentations from this year's Festival of Marketing are available to Econsultancy subscribers. You can access the JUMP presentations here.

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wine for cats

13 excellent interweb things we've enjoyed this week

Hello again, readers, and welcome back to the fetid atmosphere of Planet Procrastinate.

What you are reading is our ultimately useless round-up of the week's memes and cool-things. Just click on the things to explore them in more detail.

Please share and comment: it's the only way I belong.

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10 actual uses of big data

First off, what is it?

Well don’t let anyone tell you it’s down to sample size, or about measuring everything. It’s about combining datasets (sometimes ‘dirty’ ones), contrasting them in different ways, and doing it as quick as possible.

Sometimes this necessitates great computing power, but not always. You can read more about such technology as Hadoop and GreenPlum in this nice little article).

Datasets are multiplying as we measure lots more than we used to. This means our thinking has to broaden – no longer is ‘what can we do with our database of email addresses?’ the question, rather ‘what data can we look at to give us the best idea possible of a customer’s stage in the buying cycle and what they’ll be receptive to next?’

The definition of big data isn’t really important and one can get hung up on it. Much better to look at ‘new’ uses of data.

So, here’s some examples of new and possibly ‘big’ data use both online and off-.

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LINE

LINE: what can you learn from the mobile content hub you've never heard of?

The numbers are compelling: 7bn messages sent between 230m users of its messaging app, 200m downloads of its games, 10m Indian users in three months as well as tens of millions in Spain, South America, Indonesia and beyond.

LINE is a large content hub, and once you’ve downloaded the messaging app, you’re hooked into a network that gives away a lot of fun stuff for free, and ties everything together with a very strong brand.

So what is LINE doing that’s significant, and how will it begin to affect other brands on mobile?

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moovly

Start Me Up! A profile of Moovly, for easy animated videos

We'd all like to produce videos that convey our complicated product or brand but don't cost the Earth. Without a background in rich media, it's time consuming to create a animated video or shoot and edit your own footage.

Moovly aims to make this easier and allows the easy creation of simple animated videos. I spoke to the team to find out more about the service.

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