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In my opinion, virtual reality is set to become the content marketing trend for 2017.
Many of the tech giants are making a play to dominate this space. Today Sony has launched its Playstation VR, which is compatible with the existing 40m PS4s already in use.
Social media is radically challenging the landscape of TV.
From programs to adverts, the very nature of it is being forced to change (and at a rapid pace) by the increased use of social media.
A new, socially active and discerning audience wants more interaction, more power to influence and new ways to engage whilst watching the show(s) they love.
Producers ignoring these viewers do so at their peril, as an army of younger consumers are switching to YouTube as their preferred way to get their visual entertainment.
The old skool top-down approach to programming and scheduling is being turned on its head as older TV execs are being held to account by a new type of audience.
Here are just some of the ways social is forcing TV to change forever.
Mobile first is not a luxury but a necessity if your ecommerce business is to keep pace with the rapid growth in mobile use.
One in five people in the world own a smartphone and one in 17 own a tablet, according to BI Intelligence.
Revenues from mobile sales in Europe and the US continue to grow dramatically too. In the last four years they are up from 2.2% in 2010 and predicted to grow to 23% by the end of 2014, meaning transactions made on the go will be worth $101bn.
Research from Intelligent Positioning showed that mobile and tablet traffic is also set to overtake that from the desktop this summer.
Last year mobile traffic increased from 23% to 37% whilst desktop’s share dropped from 77% to 63% in the same year.
It found that over a third of all traffic is now coming from a handheld mobile or tablet device.
For some industries like travel, beauty and fashion, the advent of social media has been a marketing match made in heaven.
Brands have cashed in on the narcissistic post and boast culture we now live in, offering endless competitions to win 'money can’t buy' prizes in exchange for likes, shares or tweets on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
For others the relationship with social media has been less harmonious or practically non-existent.
Sectors such as finance and insurance have been slow to dip their toe into what they perceive to be piranha infested waters.
Thinking ‘dabbling’ in social media is equitable to customer service suicide.
For the healthcare industry the debate about whether social media is ethical or relevant has been rumbling for some time. Should it be used by healthcare professionals? And if so, to what extent?
If content is king, then social is definitely queen. With a fast growing digital society that loves to post and boast, social media has become a fundamental tool in a content marketer’s kit.
And for the travel marketers, social has been a gift. Done well, a great campaign can far outreach any traditional marketing activity in terms of audience and influence.
Social, no longer seen as a bolt-on channel, has become an integral part of travel marketing, from PR, reputation management to customer engagement. And in many ways, it's also the voice of the brand.
Virgin Atlantic’s director of brand & customer experience, Reuben Arnold says: 'Social media helps us demonstrate our personality and what we’re about'.
The CoolBrands Awards were announced this week and it's no surprise to see American tech giant, Apple, in poll position as the 'coolest of the cool' brand.
The annual initiative, by CoolBrands (part of Superbrands UK Ltd), identifies the hippest brands loved by Britons. This year it has revealed some obvious choices within its top 20 list: Nike (4th), Glastonbury (5th), Twitter (8th) as well as many high-end luxury brands such as Aston Martin (2nd), Rolex (3rd) and Chanel (13th).
While it’s great to see such brands prospering in these times of economic austerity I am particularly interested in the smaller niche brands that have made the cut this year.
No disrespect to the brand giants. They do a great job, but on big marketing budgets. What I love to see is how the smaller companies are making the grade.
Online personalization has been blighted by the stigma that it’s something we’d all love to achieve but it’s out of the reach for the middle market.
In fact, a recent Econsultancy survey that found that 94% of companies sampled agreed personalization “is critical to current and future success” but they didn’t know where to start or how to approach it.
But the tables are turning and this is all about to change. Companies that have started to use new and accessible personalization technologies have seen up to a 300% increase in conversions.
Unlike traditional 'top of the funnel' personalization models which rely on past behaviour data to personalize the online and email marketing experience, new cloud-based technologies use real-time behaviour analytics to adapt content and engage users whilst they’re on-site.
This means the messages and communication can change depending on if the user is at lead or at the referral stage.
Even luxury brands are having trouble moving with the times. What is certain is that the static brochure style website featuring a photoshoped image of an infinity pool is dead.
Luxury hotels, like every industry, are having to be more imaginative and rethink their marketing strategy.
The first rule in content marketing is that content needs a purpose: to stimulate, engage, convert and build a buzz around a brand. It’s got to be useful, visible, desirable, engaging and provide a platform to position the hotel as a socially-connected brand.
Why is content so powerful? It’s is the modern day convergence of PR, social, SEO and good old-fashioned storytelling.
At the recent Neolane & Celerity co-hosted breakfast seminar Ashley Friedlein spelt out what agile marketing is and how it’s going to change us all.
In his introduction he said we’ll all be talking about 'real time', 'agile', 'on demand', 'automation', 'speeding up' and 'event triggered' in the months and years ahead.
What was clear from all the presentations at the event was that personalisation, real-time, agile marketing practices will become the norm.
According to Neolane’s recent survey, 19% of marketers are currently personalising their websites in real-time. But Neolane predicts that this figure will jump by 3X to 59% by the end of 2014.
Even the Google Now android app has forseen this as our future too. In its latest ad it claims we’ll be able to access information that is relevant to us right now.
Based on predictive algorithms it claims to be “one step ahead” – suggesting new routes to work if traffic is heavy and recommending places to eat where you are, even telling you the best things on the menu.
Loyalty schemes are big business. You only have to look at Tesco’s Clubcard, Boots Advantage and Nectar points to see how effective they are at drawing consumers in and creating brand loyalty on the high street.
But looking around the globe traditional loyalty models are being taken on by the mobile revolution. Brands using their mobile channel to target engaged consumers and deliver smarter, personalised deals are giving traditional routes a run for their money.
Fiddling about with coupons and cut-out offers at the till will soon be a thing of the past. Brands that have harnessed marketing to mobile, enhanced by mobile payment solutions, will smooth the way when it comes to redeeming offers at the point of paying.
Putting the customer at the heart of your organisation’s strategy has long been the elixir to business success. It seems obvious, doesn’t it, especially as we’ve had CRM systems in place for more than 10 years now?
However, at a recent event in London hosted by Celerity, data & CRM specialists, big players sat around the table and agreed it was still an aspiration and ever elusive goal for many.
It was recognised that CRM systems that combined digital, mobile and social data alongside traditional touch-points were outstripping those that didn’t.
Names such as Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks and first direct were obvious brands to cite that have cracked the customer service game thanks to their combined approach.
Mobile is changing our behaviour. And the message from a recent mobile marketing event, hosted by ORM London was, adapt to this change or be left behind.
The headline figures: who owns a smartphone (currently 54% of the UK), tablet (21% of the UK) and what they do on these devices (28% surf the net) changes from week to week. The latest in this rapid stream of stats is that more smartphone devices are being activated everyday worldwide than babies being born.
Mobile usage is big and it’s set to be even bigger. Twitter's latest report highlights how smartphone and tablet users are the most engaged consumers. Mobile users are 96% more likely to follow 11 or more brands and 58% more likely to recall seeing an ad on Twitter.
Google even predicts in three years mobile will overtake desktop as the most common way to go online – making mobile marketing more important.