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.

Self help

Customer service: the move to ‘help yourself’

In this post I’ll be looking at the growing importance of self-service. I'll look at some brands that do it well, and some that don't, and offer advice as to what self-service entails.

Research recently carried out by Zendesk indicates that over 50% of customers want self-service and 67% prefer self-service to speaking to someone.

Combine this with the fact that self-service is cheaper than web chat, which itself is significantly cheaper than a running a call centre, and it's definitely a trend we'll see continue online.

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Interactly

Start Me Up! A profile of Interactly

Interviewing is a pain, as is leaving your desk to go ask questions of someone to ensure a personable real-life reply.

Interactly offers the ability to pose questions and harvest video answers recorded by your interlocutors on their webcams.

We spoke to CEO and founder, Rogier Trimpe, to ask him about this time-saving product.

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What we learned from trying Google Glass

Here at Econsultancy we try to write about Google Glass when we can, because we know it’s of great interest to marketers, and indeed the rest of humanity.

On Friday some of Econsultancy’s Content team tried Google Glass at Somo’s incredible gadget room in its London HQ, where they develop new tech uses for clients (thanks, Somo).

It was fun, but also revealing, so I thought I’d share some of what we saw and felt.

For the complete run down on Glass functions, you can visit Google’s help centre.

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Google's new paid and organic report: An expert view

Google yesterday released a new paid and organic report in AdWords to 'help you better understand how people searching on Google are connecting with your business'.

According to the Big G, the new report is 'the first to let you see and compare your performance for a query when you have either an ad, an organic listing, or both appearing on the search results page'.

Here’s a pic of what the report looks like..

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More brilliant marketing creative to enjoy with your coffee

I wrote this post on examples of marketing creative recently. Since it was popular, here’s some more brilliant marketing creative to enjoy with your coffee. Mmmm…drink it in.

If any of you are in London in October, check out our event, Punch, where marketing meets the new creative (part of the Festival of Marketing).

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14 awesome interweb things that have amused us this week

Welcome to you all! This week in the Econsultancy content team, we've been laughing at precisely 14 things.

This week's round up includes porcupines, groin gifs, and an excellent Slideshare from Twitter's Bruce Daisley. 

They are listed below for your mutual amusement.

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Suarez

Mega fun with YouTube Trends

During YouTube’s Geek Week, I saw this article announcing Batman as the superhero most popular on YouTube.

This appealed to me. I like lists and graphs, I like Batman, and I like YouTube. So I thought I’d write a throw away post and try to delight you with some other YouTube rankings and trends.

You’re welcome.

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singtel logo

Company culture: what can we learn from SingTel, Asia's leading telco?

How many big organisations are actually good places to work? How many are changing their organisational structure and creating an ethos of transparency?

SingTel seems to be one of the companies undergoing big changes whilst trying to maintain a distinctive company culture (distinctive in being amenable to the workforce). I've been secreting myself in far corners of its website, and digging up interesting truffles of culture.

In plain English, here's some great PR from SingTel's site about company culture and digitally led change. It is to be admired by all of you currently undergoing a change in business structure, strategy, or even identity.

NB. This post might seem like a big advert for SingTel. But, I'd simply like you to show you the messaging on SingTel Group's corporate and recruitment pages, and explain why I think this sort of thinking is quietly revolutionary.

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Is there a crisis in meaningful measurement?

We all have an intuition as to the relevant merits or otherwise of 'the impression'. If a blog post on Econsultancy gets 5,000+ views, I know it's been relatively popular with our audience, considering we get around 1m views a month.

A lot of page views is generally a broad indicator of quality, at least on this blog. Quality could be defined as great entertainment, or helpful best practice.

Quality doesn't necessarily dictate time spent on page, a great post can still be quick to digest. Nor does quality dictate a low bounce rate, especially as we get lots of views from social referral (of course, if time on page was 30 seconds, and bounce rate 96%, there would be mighty cause for concern).

If a post doesn't get many views, but I receive some good comments from learned readers, I'll generally be happy, and hope the post will bring in more traffic over time.

What am I trying to get at here? Well, measurement is a science and an art. There are trends that cannot be repudiated, as well as intuition that must be followed.

There are many ways to skin a cat, but the worst thing you can do is skin the cat without explaining why the cat was flayed in such a way.

In this post I'm going to look at a possible crisis in some areas of measurement and market research. Please add your comments below.

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G+ SoundCloud

A noisy newcomer: SoundCloud now embeds in Google Plus

Google+ continues to enrich its offering with embedded SoundCloud widgets now enabled. Here at Econsultancy, and across the web, many predict that G+ will gradually become more and more prominent.

Google+ Sign-In integration was launched on SoundCloud in May, and a week or so ago, embedding was brought to G+. All you need to do is share any SoundCloud URL to your Google+ circles and the widget will appear, automatically in the post.

It will be interesting to see if any brands start hosting audio in this way. Seems a quick and easy way to direct consumers to a stash of audio content, fairly seamlessly from G+.

Let's see how it looks, and examine some reasons for G+'s growth.

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Start Me Up! A profile of Addvocate, optimising employee social media

We know the benefits of enabling all employees to use social media. Sales, service and just seeming human becomes a lot easier. Giving employees this freedom is easy in some organisations, generally small ones with a well-trained staff.

There are, however, inherent risks. If an employee goes rogue and damages your brand, it can be difficult to react quickly and avert loss of sales or sentiment.

It can also be difficult to easily track the impact of your employees' activity, and provide them with the best content to spread.

Addvocate is a platform designed to get rid of this tension, by offering guidance, daily messages and alerts, as well as analytics and optimisation.

We spoke to CEO and Founder Marcus Nelson…

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Gatwick Airport’s responsive website has landed, and it’s pretty sexy

We were alerted to the Gatwick Airport website redesign by Matt Wilkinson, Senior Ecommerce Manager at Gatwick, in the comments on this responsive design round-up.

With responsive design riding a tidal wave of popularity and common sense, I can’t think of a sector better suited than air travel.

We’ve all been travelling to an airport, needing to check flight times, terminals, parking arrangements, delays etc. We know airport websites have this info, but we aren’t confident in navigating an old desktop site from our phones. Well, it seems Gatwick have smashed it out the park on this one.

This post isn’t going to go into too much detail about why the site is great. I’ll just post some annotated pictures of it, and encourage you to try it out for yourself.

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