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What is travel?
Airbnb is certainly trying to define it, with the message that inclusion and community make for memorable experiences. We shouldn't stand for standard, the homogeneity of a hotel chain.
The internet in general is encouraging a fightback again corporate globalisation (though perhaps these are simply our death throes?), with everything from homespun craft available through Etsy and crowdsourced cycle routes on Strava.
I watched John Kearns perform recently (a storytelling comic that won the Edinburgh Comedy Award) and he had one line designed to show how much he wanted to return to a more personal world.
He spoke about seeing tourists in the more garish areas of London promoted by guidebooks, such as Picadilly Circus, and how he wanted to talk to each of them and tell them about the really niche and beautiful parts of London, often tucked in neighbourhoods that tourists never make it to.
I'm getting to the point here. lastminute.com has produced a lovely piece of content designed to show parts of London that only the discerning have discovered*. It's called 100 Things in London and it's a nice bit of content marketing.
Let's take a look and I'll attempt to point out why it should go well.
Ecommerce continues to grow, increasing by around 10%, 2013 to 2014.
Part of this growth is due to the continuing emergence of APAC, specifically China. This has created what PayPal calls 'new spice routes' with countries trading cross-border when it comes to ecommerce.
I've done a bit of a literature review to bring myself up to speed on how international ecommerce is changing. I hope you find it informative.
A great customer experience is defined by its relevance and timely availability to the customer.
I've been reading Jay Baer's treaty on the topic (Winning Hearts in Real-Time), the first in a series extravagantly titled 'Masters of CX'.
What sticks out is the importance of mobile. Indeed, Econsultancy's Skills of the Modern Marketer report, compiled from interviews and an online survey, shows respondents to value CX and mobile as the most important broad and hard skills respectively (incidentally, if you fancy assessing your own digital skills, try sitting our Digital Skills Index test).
I thought I'd highlight some of Jay's thoughts on what makes great CX and include a few examples. Let us know what you think.
Once upon a time, the success of an article was judged by how interesting it was to read.
Of course, front page splashes, naked girls and free giveaways had an impact on print sales, but so, too, did regular columnists of quality and serialised work.
Essentially, serving your audience was thought to be important and publications often had agendas that went some way to determining their output.
I think this is still the case with print media, but one can't ignore the fact that print is receding. As it does, news and media online is to some extent being depoliticised as social media allows any publisher to reach an extended audience. Reaching large audiences is important for driving up the cost of advertising inventory.
Don't get me wrong, the sophistication of the internet is a good thing. It's no longer acceptable or, more pertinently, advantageous to massively keyword-stuff your editorial or add the terms 'porn' and 'XXX' to your title tags.
Ad technology, too, is getting better at allowing advertisers to understand revenue associated with campaigns across platforms. But the fact remains that many believe advertising needs to break away from the religion of the impression.
If it continues, it's going to become increasingly difficult to find subcultures. Parody and the parodied will be indistinguishable.
So, what can stop clickbait?
How many three to four year olds own a tablet?
Read on to find out, along with other stats on party political conference buzz, digital ad spend, B2B procurement habits and much more.
For more online marketing statistical insight, download the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.
I've written about car manufacturers' websites before and found most to be lacklustre.
They sort of do the job but are confusing and don't look particularly elegant (see the German and Japanese big three). Volkswagen, however, has a great website - I've previously picked out its homepage for its simple messaging.
I thought I'd highlight five more features on Volkswagen's website that other car manufacturers would do well to emulate. Here goes...
Digital transformation is a bit of a headache to read or write about.
That’s because discussion of organisational change often strays into the abstract, which, as anyone who has ever looked at twenty Kandinskys in a row can attest, is pretty boring.
That’s why I find Shell really interesting. At a recent event at the IAB, Shell’s global media manager spoke about the transformation of the company, but he did so in refreshingly simple terms.
Americo Sanchez Silva outlined some things Shell has done in digital recently that it hasn’t done before. This encouraged me to think of digital transformation as a war of attrition.
You need to know where your company can improve and then go ahead and do it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still understand that discussions about management, processes, skills, the board, culture etc. are all important, especially for such a large multinational company under one brand as Shell. However, sometimes it’s good to look at the wood, as well as the trees.
Video is the best marketing tool for inspiring trust and the smartphone is the device to achieve intimacy with the consumer.
Finally, social is the environment in which brands encounter the consumer.
These were the assertions of Russell Zack of Kaltura, speaking at a recent IAB event on digital transformation.
Here are some more tidbits from his presentation including two examples of brands that are doing video and mobile well right now.
With programmatic advertising rising ever higher up the marketer's agenda, I thought I'd assemble some quotes from various industry figures.
As much as anything, this is to help me on my journey to better understand the ad network world now that machine learning is upon us and the industry.
What does programmatic mean for ROI, fraud, video ads, native, brand advertising etc?
To continue your education (alongside mine), why not attend 'Get with the programmatic', Econsultancy and Marketing Week's new conference on the topic, 4th December in London.
From baseball to Facebook (or rather its alternative, Ello), what's not to like in this week's internet stats roundup.
Other highlights include some data on programmatic, customer experience and customer data.
For more internet marketing charts and stats, download the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium.
Econsultancy and Marketing Week have launched a conference all about programmatic advertising.
NB: The next installment of ‘Get with the programmatic’ will take place on 29 September in London.
Let’s set the tone by discussing why brands must understand this technology (obvious spoiler alert: to be successful when purchasing ad inventory).
But let’s also have a look at some of the terminology and the dynamics between publishers, advertisers, ad networks, tech platforms and agencies.
Ello is being billed as the ad-free Facebook, but cynicism abounds online.
Many have highlighted how social networks have reneged on their philosophies in the past (in the eyes of their users) and Ello's terms and conditions don't exactly rule out ads.
I'm not sure yet what I think about Ello (I'm waiting for my invite request to be approved) and I realise the headline of this blog is like one of those spicily titled but ultimately bland editorials in marketing publications.
However, I thought I'd do a little run down of what Ello is, its USPs and where other social networks have held the same ground and ultimately decamped from it.