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The Festival of Marketing is approaching, there's not long left to buy tickets, just enough time to check out this awesome list detailing why we need you to be there.
Where else can you listen to Tulisa, Facebook and The Government Digital Service? Where else can you meet Grandmaster Flash and Alastair Campbell? Where else can you improve your digital strategy and drink champagne?
Check out the Festival website and read on for more.
It's pleasing to have so many upper case letters in a headline.
It's an interesting time for the retailer, with increased numbers of stores and successful expansion into the USA.
Here's what Jared had to say about life on the PPC shop floor.
The Samaritans Radar is a wonderful case study for social media use by charities.
Not only is the technology simple and useful (sending you an email when someone in your Twitter network uses a potentially concerning phrase), the campaign is equally as important in raising the profile of the charity and reminding people of its cause.
Radar has been covered widely in the news, but I've included some screenshots of the campaign (which is lovely from a UX viewpoint) and added some other social media campaigns from charities that have also caught my eye.
With social media becoming so important for charities, both for scale and influence, we're set to see many more innovative campaigns across networks.
Econsultancy has covered in-store technology fairly frequently.
Tulip Retail is a startup providing a tablet solution for store associates to bridge that gap in product knowledge and to tailor the experience to a customer.
We caught up with the team to find out how it's going.
Not long ago I interviewed Beverley McIntyre, director of member services and support at News UK.
The extent to which a paywall has changed life at The Sun is quite remarkable. Last weekend, fingering Twitter, I saw that The Times and Sunday Times is offering a free iPad Mini to anyone taking out a premium subscription.
This intrigued me and I looked further at The Times member page, a more advanced product than The Sun when it comes to paywalls at News UK, having been in place for a while longer.
I saw a lot of features that I take to be trends in publishing strategy, customer support and web design.
Here they are...
The advertising landscape is confusing, fragmented, brimming with new technology and not necessarily transparent.
That's partly the reason that Marketing Week and Econsultancy have launched a conference on the subject, Get With The Programmatic, in partnership with AppNexus.
It's also the reason Thalamus exists, a startup that aims to be the 'Yelp of advertising'. I caught up with founder and CEO, Garrett Gan.
The Financial Times has launched a daily digest email called First FT.
I've noticed a retro trend for daily and weekly digest emails from publishers, with Quartz' version regularly cited by digital folk as the first thing they read in the morning.
Here's why email is enjoying a bit of a resurgence. I've included some examples of other publishers and their daily digests.
Dinosaurs not included.
Here are the most interesting digital and marketing stats we've seen this week. This week's crop takes in budget supermarkets, YouTube, retargeting, McDonald's and, of course, social media.
As always, if you want more extensive research and up to date stats, see the Internet Statistics Compenium.
I'm currently undertaking a project where I ask people what multichannel marketing is.
Part of the time I wonder if it's a distraction or even a siren, beautiful but dangerous to pursue.
Many a company has been successful through conservatism or even through making bold decisions about how a customer can't engage with the company - think of GiffGaff choosing not to have a call centre but rely on online communities for support. Think of Primark refusing to sell online.
These are my definitions. They're ordered in increasing sophistication. Definition five represents the holy grail and I think we all know the very few companies we suspect have achieved some form of it (nada).
NB: The whole thing is complicated by the differences between comms and commerce, size of business, number of audiences, product or service sold and provided etc. But I thought I would nail my colours to the mast.
Social media plays such an important role in publishing that sharable and fun interactive content is now the way to elevate a piece from 'buzzy' to 'viral'.
Buzzfeed and The Guardian have proved masterful at this (for different reasons) but there are plenty of other publishers and organisations getting in on the act.
Here's just a few of them..
To some extent, the pros and cons of marketing automation are two sides of the same coin, similar to deciding whether to keep a boyfriend or girlfriend and writing 'decisive' in the 'for' column and 'controlling' in the 'against'.
There's definitely a feeling of 'how far can we take this' within marketing. What started out as triggered emails is fast turning into a conversation where machine learning pops up fairly often. Automation won't just be about doing the grunt work of comms, it will also be about spotting trends and creating content.
Whether this day will come and how soon is up for debate. For now, I thought I'd set out clearly the pros and cons of marketing automation.
Let's start with the bad news..
Consumers love it when a company's mask slips. They jump on perceived proof that businesses are all in it to rip off the customer.
PR snafus such as Sainsbury's recent inside-outside poster are a good example of this phenomenon. Social media goes crazy.
In recent times, the move to enhanced service, partly stimulated by the commercial internet, means the mask has further to slip (but it still can). Companies aim to be transparent and friendly with customers on an increasing number of marketing and comms channels, but mistakes still occur.
Marketing automation is one area where brands must be vigilant, lest the wrong message be sent or the right message at the wrong time.
So, here's a roundup of some ways in which marketing automation can go wrong, in social, ecommerce, email and advertising.