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.

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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avatar movie

Creative heresy? Using data in Hollywood to ensure box office success

Epagogix is a company that analyses scripts in an attempt to forecast US box office performance or TV audience size.

On the back of this script analysis, the company recommends box-office-increasing enhancements.

Nick Meaney of Epagogix was speaking to the audience at PUNCH, the Festival of Marketing’s creative-focused event in the East end of London.

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autotrader

Autotrader on integrating SEO, PPC and social

Organic search is pretty vital for any business, PPC ads are increasingly clicked on by a higher proportion of searchers, and with Google Hummingbird, social is likely to become more important for long tail search results.

Anthony Robinson, Head of SEO at Razsor, Auto Trader’s search and web design arm, talked us through how these three disciplines should be seen in the round.

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ford retail group

Ford Retail Group: bringing customer experience into the boardroom

At JUMP, part of the Festival of Marketing, Celia Pronto, Head of Marketing and Ecommerce at Ford Retail Group, spoke about bringing customer experience (CX) into the boardroom.

I’ve summarised what she had to say about this large and changing sector. For anyone high up the marketing chain, looking to change the way their company does business (with direct links to revenue!), this is salient and bang up to date.

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mobile home cloggs

Cloggs responsive redesign: mega gallery

With 2013 the first year tablet shipments are expected to exceed that of PCs and also a year in which smartphone penetration reaches 64% in the US (Nielsen), responsive design is rightly this year’s hot topic.

Despite this, it seems a lot of big brands are playing catch up, with new research from Venda showing just one of the UK’s top 50 most visited retail sites (Curry’s) currently hosts a responsive website.

A quarter of websites analysed don’t have a mobile optimised site, and many retailers host their mobile site under a different URL structure to their existing website, which could be negatively impacting their SEO and affecting their efforts with analytics. 

As comScore estimates a third of all UK page views now come from smartphones and tablets, delivering a slick customer experience across all devices has become a massive competitive advantage for retailers.

To that end, I've been looking at the new responsive Cloggs website. 

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