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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.

mticketing

Mobile ticketing for buses: why generational relevancy matters

Customer experience is about relevancy.

Many providers of services are finding that generational relevancy is a new factor they need to consider and one that likely requires a good deal of investment.

It's not prudent to avoid investment and hope that being a second or third mover will keep your digitally-demanding customers just sweet enough.

The fact is, if you improve the customer experience without even changing the service you provide, customers will be happier. They'll think they're getting more for their money and they are.

I'll give an example. First UK Bus introduced mobile ticketing in spring 2014. There's an mticket app on which tickets can be bought, stored and activated. For those of you not in the regions of the UK, these buses were often cash only (smart cards, similar to London's Oyster, are yet to be rolled out).

Here's why this mticketing works and why more companies should be moving sooner.

4 comments
toolkit

The SME content creation toolkit for images, video and text

I've kept this list simple and it's a fairly accurate idea of what I use day-to-day.

I didn't use any of these tools when I started working on the Econsultancy blog. I'm still not an advanced content creator but I do have some small tricks up my sleeve.

Take a look at this list of tools to aid you in your image, video and text travails.

Enjoy!

1 comment

iPad app review: Manchester City's digital ambition is clear to see

Manchester City is at the forefront of digital in the footballing world.

We've written about MCFC a lot and found there are plenty of clubs that are way behind. That's understandable, given the gulf in finances between some teams.

What City does very well in this new iPad app is to create an experience that's about football (duh!) and content and is enjoyable to use. It befits the sport and should please the fan.

Plenty of rival apps don't allow you to watch highlights (without paying) and don't put enough effort into editorial, preferring to concentrate on monetisation.

Let's take a closer look at the City App.

1 comment
door closer

15 delicious UX micro-interactions or 'clunks' from iPhone apps

The clunk is nothing to do with being clunky.

A clunk is, as defined by Ashley Friedlein, a door clunk, a design detail within the user experience that lends a user satisfaction. It could be called a micro-interaction. The clunk is feedback, it's often skeuomorphic.

I had fun using the few apps on my iPhone 4S to find some features that embody the clunk. Some of them are pretty simple but see what you think and please add your own.

NB: I'm aware that my header image is a door closer (designed to avoid the clunk).

0 comments
100 things in London

lastminute.com hits the content sweet spot

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.

3 comments
globe

What's happening in cross-border ecommerce?

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.

1 comment
cx

What do we mean by a 'great customer experience'?

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.

2 comments

Ironically, five things that could stop clickbait

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?

1 comment
chart

10 online marketing stats we've seen this week

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.

0 comments
volkswagen website

Five simple website features that make Volkswagen stand out

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...

4 comments
shell logo

Digital transformation: a war of attrition at Shell

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.

0 comments
philips bluetube

TheCHIVE and Philips: why mobile and video works

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.

0 comments