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.

Amazon Collections: 12 questions raised by the 'new Pinterest'

Amazon has recently begun testing its new built-in Pinterest imitator, Collections.

The service went live earlier this month and it looks nice and simple. Some are surprised Amazon has so brazenly taken on a competitor, but it certainly feels like a good addition to the well-established Wishlist and 'You might like' features.

Will this new personal aspect add some needed character to Amazon's marketplace? Will Pinterest be unaffected? I take a look at the new feature and ask some questions.

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Augmented reality annuals

Pedigree teams with Zappar for augmented reality children's annuals

We all loved The Beano, or Bunty, or The Bash Street Kids, or Girl’s Own, or Jackie, or Diana. We all loved them.

Now the annual has evolved, with Zappar and Pedigree books working together. Sonic the Hedgehog, Angry Birds, and others (admittedly not Desperate Dan) will have 20% of their pages embedded with content that can be seen through the Zappar app.

The content will include extended character profiles, extra stories and activities such as colouring, mazes, puzzles and a ‘make your own poster’ feature.

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sharing

The sharing economy: 40+ peer-to-peer start-ups

Peer-to-peer services are starting to mess things up for real.

Which industries are next to be disrupted by the sharing economy? Will we cease to ‘own stuff’?

Whether you’ve only just heard about Airbnb, or are actively sharing your pride and joy via RelayRides, this is a disruptive business model that is expanding every quarter.

As Rachel Botsman eloquently puts it, many are learning to

  • Trust in strangers.
  • Value access over ownership.
  • Value experiences over owning stuff.

If you want hard numbers, Forbes magazine has estimated total revenues across the sharing and P2P companies could reach $3.5bn by 2014, with growth exceeding 25%.

So, here’s a decent sized list of companies focused on collaborative consumption, along with some warning shots, or notes of opposition from more traditional quarters. Once you’ve scrolled to the bottom, you’ll realise just how many of these companies there are.

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burger

Six delicious YouTube channels from food brands (and two yucky ones)

Like takeaway food, online video can be consumed pretty much anywhere.

Engaging video, with its heritage in television programming and advertising, is eminently sharable through social media, and can be staggeringly successful, or altogether lacking in umami.

So, which brands are using video, and YouTube in particular, to great success? How have these brands approached the creative in shareable content, and who has yet to nail it?

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12 social customer service tips for beginners

Social customer service gets more interesting by the day. Increasingly, customers demand it, and brands can benefit from answering questions publicly.

Our Social Times recently published some reflections on social media monitoring for customer service. I've taken some of the tips from Ronan Gillen, Community and Social CS Manager at eBay, and listed them below for your convenience.

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Asia: how are companies approaching digital change?

At Econsultancy Singapore, we recently had a good old discussion about the change necessitated by new digital technologies.

I thought I’d allow you to stick your finger into the prevailing winds of this discussion, by listing some of the take-homes.

To keep you interested, at the close I’ve added a couple of brands that seem to be agile and are moving with the marketing times, embodying many of the 12 pillars of the Modern Marketing Manifesto.

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Crowdsauce #1: Batman, bunnies and bees

Hello all readers and welcome to our new thing, 'Crowdsauce'.

No doubt this shabby pun is in use in many places on the internet, but here it denotes a round-up post, potentially replacing our weekly infographic, where we can relax and share some fun or interesting stuff (caveat: mostly pointless).

The categories will likely differ each week. Let’s go…

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Censorship or surveillance: which keywords are flagged in China?

What do censorship and surveillance programmes look for? What can this tell us about internet usage in China?

Can we contrast with the perceived surveillance state of the West? What are the implications for a company in the Chinese market?

Unsurprisingly, there are lots of questions still to be answered about the state of the internet in China.

First Monday has this month published a very interesting paper, presenting an analysis of data from a year and a half tracking the censorship and surveillance keyword lists of two instant messaging (IM) programs used in China.

I thought it would be useful to sum up what Crandall et al. found, so you don’t have to read the whole thing. Although this study looks at IM clients, there are certainly findings that can be extrapolated across public services, such as Baidu and Sina Weibo.

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Six examples of brilliant marketing creative to enjoy with your coffee

Here on the Econsultancy blog, we’re going to start teasing you with details of the week-long siren of excellence and japes that is the Festival of Marketing (8-10th October in London).

One of the many components of the Festival is PUNCH, the event where marketing meets the new creative. To quote our website, ‘in today’s increasingly saturated media landscape, creative power matters more than ever’.

So, to celebrate this event, and to give you something pretty to look at while you let your mind wander, I’ve listed some of my favourites in the world of creative in marketing.

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Three inspiring B2B marketing case studies

We get lots of request for examples of good B2B marketing, so here's a trio for you and all your family. 

For this post, I've been taking a look back at our shortlisted B2B entries from The Digitals awards, which were handed out last month.

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10 interesting digital marketing statistics we’ve seen this week

This week there's, of course, the royal baby's impact on web traffic, some Facebook ad commentary, following their Q2 results, and some global ad spend data from Nielsen.

Feast on these, and try not to speak with your mouth full.

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Starbucks email

10 things I love about your emails (and related arts)

I love emails with clear creative and natty features. I did a post about my love. Now here’s another post.

As a Brucie bonus I’ve included many links to related arts. Get creative and maybe you, too, can yank some love from my inbox.

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