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.

Q&A: Minter Dial on the sales organization of the future

Minter Dial is co-author of a new report published by Econsultancy entitled The Sales Organization of the Future.

The report, which is free to registered Econsultancy users, explores how product-oriented companies need to evolve into value-added services organizations to meet the changing expectations of customers in a business environment which is fundamentally changing. 

I asked Minter some questions about the report and the imperative for business change.  

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Why I like the new Timeout.com: a high watermark for listings

Over the past decade, it’s plain to see the change in what users term ‘good’ websites. Often, websites of the past were not intuitive; a certain nous or understanding of their flaws was needed to extract information swiftly.

Now good websites are built with our gentlest sensibilities in mind. The beauty of a listings site like Timeout is that getting the architecture right, and the aesthetics, and every fillip of design, is directly linked to monetisation.

Here are a few of what I deem to be Timeout’s objectives, with some little snapshots of how they’ve been achieved.

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Micro-copywriting: the good, the bad and the cheesy pictures

Words are the most important tool marketers and ad men have. To prove it, I’ll show you a picture.

The chart beneath the Bee Gees shows that 60% of people prefer a ‘print experience’ to something ‘whizzy’, on a tablet app.

Obviously, 'print-like' doesn't just mean words, it also refers to typography and, to some extent, pictures. However, in this post I'll be focusing on copywriting, on an achingly small scale.

I'll be highlighting titbits of copy that are done well, in keeping with a company's brand, and make a web experience enjoyable, as well as some that aren't so good.

In the spirit of new media, I’m calling this ‘micro-copy’. And, to the dismay of the A/B testers, I’ll posit that some of my examples are qualitatively ‘better’ than others.

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Q&A: Chris Ramsbottom, Mobile Product Manager at BSkyB

Mobile, Product Managers, and the changing ‘landscape’ for journalism and broadcasting are all ‘so hot right now’, and topics we discuss a fair bit at Econ towers.

Chris Ramsbottom is a Mobile Product Manager at BSkyB, so I thought I’d ask him some questions, and get some views straight from the horse’s mouth.

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Content and curation are changing integrated digital marketing

This is a quick post with some key takeaways from one of Econsultancy’s smaller conferences, Digital Shorts.

The theme of the day was content marketing, a hot topic and a phrase that ‘isn’t as well defined in the U.K. as it is in the U.S.’ according to Econsultancy guest blogger Kevin Gibbons, UK MD of BlueGlass.

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10 things you can do to make me love your emails

To all keyholders of the company spam cannon, before causing immense collateral damage by firing off emails that don't fit with the lovely idea of your brand, follow these ten pointers and, with me at least, you'll be guaranteed a pair of eyes.

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Social media fast food fight: McDonalds vs KFC

Writing his memoir, ‘Goodbye To All That’, Robert Graves reminded himself that ‘people like reading about food and drink’; so I’ve decided to write about burgers and fried chicken, alongside social media (always adds flavour).

I want to investigate the idea that most people see BIG corporate Twitter accounts as some kind of barefaced shill, only followed by the devout.

I looked at KFC and McDonald’s tweets from October 2012, to see how they do it. This is by no means an exhaustive audit, nor is it scientific. I also add that I’m a pescetarian of six weeks, and following these feeds has been somewhat of a coping mechanism.

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A love letter to Tate.org.uk

I started writing this post intending to look at some big-hitting art gallery websites and pick out best practice.

The aim was to turn you content marketers green by showing you websites for juicy organisations whose very ethos has always been content, form, learning, information, and which are now trying to adapt and evolve to make some money, too (outside of entry fees and patronage).

You can see this as the exact reversal of, for example, a marketing agency, which stereotypically has always been trying to sell through its website and is now getting its collective head around the idea of information, learning and content as the very top of the sales funnel.

So, I’ll give honourable mention to a couple of big galleries, and then move on to the meat of the post, which has been hijacked by my enthusiasm for Tate.org.uk, a website mottled with the sublime.

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Video content: learning from the amateurs (specifically, Benton)

This probably seems like 'newsjacking'. It might be. I'll try to get to bottom of what makes ‘Benton’ so shareable. (For the record, I know it's actually 'Fenton').

People in the digital industry are obsessed with memes because they spend all their days on the internet.

And it’s obviously clear that the recreation of this level of ‘sharability’ is the holy grail for brands, who find it difficult to convince the customer to suspend their disbelief when being sold to.

Some sources point to a shared piece of content being three times more likely to be viewed than a ‘paid’ piece. Below I attempt a cod analysis of ‘Benton’, to find out what makes him so sharable, along with some famous examples of adverts and video content that apply the same principles.

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Know your audience: lessons learnt from the newsjack

Content-driven everything is pretty much the marketing mantra. More than that, it's the rationale for anything we do online (depending on how we define content), and it's a pretty banal observation.

If something isn't content-driven, then what is it? Fluff-driven? Waste-of-time-driven? Tricky-dicky-driven? I'd go as far as to say 'content-driven online marketing' is some sort of mega-tautology.

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