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Author: Ben Davis

Ben Davis

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com or follow at @herrhuld.

foyles logo

Can bookshops like Foyles benefit from digital in-store?

The legendary Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London recently shuffled along the street once more and re-opened with a bang.

It's an amazing store with clean lines and ordered stock, a world away from images of a rather cluttered 1930s Foyles such as this one.

I headed in to check out the in-store experience and to assess whether bookshops can benefit from digital in-store (leaving the e-book argument in the long grass).

Chiefly, I tested Foyles' free wi-fi, which features an inventory search and mapping tool.

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hadrian's wall

What I’ve learnt from writing 333 blog posts on Econsultancy

333 is a good number. It was the year Constantine withdrew from Britain and ceased work on Hadrian’s Wall.

It’s also the number of Econsultancy blog posts I’ve written (this is post 334). So, I too have ceased work to share some things I’ve learned on the way.

I hope they are fun to read but also useful reminders.

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three squirrels nuts

China: from WeChat mcommerce to experiential nuts

It's hard to get one's head around China. The scale and the speed are vast and fast.

So, I thought I'd round up some companies doing interesting things online in China, just to give a snapshot of marketing in the country.

Full credit where it's due, these are all taken from Barney Loehnis' presentation (he's head of digital in APAC for Ogilvy & Mather) at the Future of Digital Marketing 2014.

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her, movie poster

What the future holds (through the lens of Google I/O)

Google I/O revealed a host of interesting developments.

Here I attempt to stick my finger in the air and determine what they could mean for us as people in the long term.

Feel free to agree or disagree.

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colin farrell with internet fridge in total recall

If you could know one thing about your customers, what would it be?

This question - what would you like to know about your customers? - is the simple challenge from Andrew Warren-Payne as he takes to the stage and bemoans previous hype around the tweeting fridge.

By the way, that header image is Colin Farrell in the 2012 reboot of Total Recall, reading a lovely message on his 'screen fridge'.

Andrew's point is that the internet of things is not about smart fridges (you would still run out of toilet roll, unless you kept it in the fridge) or a kettle you can turn on with your smartphone. The IoT is more a forthcoming reality for expanding data collection and communication, allowing brands to find out more about customers and how they interact with products and services.

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Viagra alternative advertorial

Native advertising: will there be a reader revolt?

Search for native advertising on the Guardian and you'll likely find this article.

The irony is almost unbearable. As Doug Kessler pointed out at FODM 2014 (all credit goes to Doug), he didn't find the Guardian's point of view on native advertising. He found this article in a paid-for position.

What does this mean for publishing and advertising? Keep reading and you'll find my rules for succeeding with native advertising.

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LA

30 little things I love about the new Virgin America website

Virgin America's new website manages to turn booking a flight into a joyous process.

That tells you all you need to know about how good this website is.

Here I've picked out 30 good bits. I urge you, of course, to read this post, but go and check out the website yourself for some great design inspiration.

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deep linking

Start Me Up! URX: deep linking for mobile apps

Mobile and customer experience are perhaps the hottest topics in digital at the moment.

Deep linking allows a user to click a link on the mobile web and be served content from within a native app. John Milinovich is CEO of URX, a company providing deep linking technology.

We caught up with him to ask him a few questions about the project and its goals.

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tom cruise in minority report

48 quotes from the Future of Digital Marketing

What does the future hold for digital marketing, ecommerce and retail?

That's the question the speakers at Econsultancy's Future of Digital Marketing conference try to answer every year.

Here are 48 quotes from 2014's event, ranging from wearables to China, digital transformation to user interfaces, retail to the smart home.

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firefly button

Firefly: how exciting is this button?

'The Creator, if He exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles.' But will we, the consumers, fall in love with the Firefly?

Firefly is a feature of, and button on the side of, Amazon's new Fire smartphone.

Simply put, the feature turns the phone's camera into a visual recognition tool (barcodes, products and the like) and the Fire microphone into an audio recognition tool (think Shazam).

Let's mull over what this might mean.

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top 100

How is the agency model changing? Part two

2014's Top 100 Digital Agencies report has revealed some changes in the agency landscape.

I've been looking at changes to the agency model. In part one I looked at PepsiCo's Galaxy model, the trend for marketers and agencies influencing the wider business, and how clients are increasingly embedding agencies or in-housing skills.

In this final part, it's time to discuss the demand for speed and agility, data's influence and changing pricing models.

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global tweet heat map

12 beautiful World Cup 2014 data visualisations

There has been an incredible amount of social activity during the World Cup. 12.2m tweets were fired off during the opening game alone.

Add to this all the data inherent in the game itself, from the likely winners to squad make-up, and there are some nice data visualisation opportunities.

So here's a roundup of some World Cup data visualisations.

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