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20 senior execs from a wide range of industries as diverse as broadcast television, pharmaceutical, publishing and financial services gathered in New York last November as Econsultancy hosted another Digital Transformation roundtable.
Ever since IBM's seminal 2011 study 'From Stretched to Strengthened – Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study', CMOs have been reporting a concern that they are underprepared for digital - shorthand for changes in consumer behavior, an explosion in the volume of data, the proliferation of channels and device choices and the effects of social media.
According to a recent Econsultancy study, only 23% of the Fortune 500 could consider themselves to be in any way whatsoever shielded from the effects of digital.
It was suggested that those who might fall into that category are generally companies that dig things out of the ground and process them, but perhaps even they will see soon their industry disrupted by digital technologies.
Everyone who attended on the day agreed that true Digital Transformation is a heavy lift and there is often a greatly delayed gratification from the process.
Nearly all of the organizations represented at the roundtable had experienced significant disruption to their business models from digital.
The attendees told us afterwards that the most valuable part of the day was hearing from their peers in other businesses, learning what had worked for them, what hadn't and how they had overcome the challenges they faced.
Four keys rose to the top of the discussion...
Each year I try to give my personal thoughts on what will be interesting and important in the world of digital marketing and ecommerce for the year ahead.
These are somewhere between trends and predictions. They are based largely on the many conversations I have with industry influencers and practitioners.
Following are just a selection of 10 trends that I've chosen to highlight. However, there is free report to download and share which is over 40 pages long and covers all of my trends and predictions for 2014 across the 10 core digital topics that Econsultancy cover.
Site redesign is an inevitable, cyclical part of online business.
It can have thrilling pay offs, and sometimes it’s just plain necessary.
It’s certainly a high-pressure time if you’re an SEO, as site redesigns pose risks as great as their rewards.
The last decade has shown that few industries or entities are immune to disruption, or fully understand how best to grow as digital changes the playing field.
Threats to the status quo exist at every level of business, but marketing has evolved faster and more dramatically than other parts of the enterprise because it is outward facing, and has to interact with and understand customers on many levels.
This has led to an increasing capacity for flexibility within marketing, largely because it is the only part of the business in a position to respond to the vacuum created as the realities of selling in the digital age pull away from the outdated beliefs most companies have about their fundamental relationship with their customers and markets.
This is why 90% of companies responding to the new Econsultancy/Sparks Grove report, The Reinvention of B2B Marketing, believe that marketing can contribute more to their enterprise.
B2B marketing has long been under-represented, not to mention B2B ecommerce.
But with the entry of Amazon Supply and Google Shopping for Suppliers to the market, B2B ecommerce is quietly catching up.
So much so that forecasts suggest that the B2B ecommerce market will be double the size of B2C by 2013.
This is a real wake up call for B2B companies that have not considered selling their products online.
Monday next week I'm to appear on a webinar panel talking about journalist relationships. You can sign up for it here if you’ve always wondered whether I talk in dulcet tones or a high pitch falsetto.
However I wanted to write a piece of my own, partly to draw attention to the upcoming webinar hosted by Vocus (let’s not veil the truth) and partly to add an Econsultancy staff blogger’s opinion to the debate.
So what are the best ways for PRs to engage with Econsultancy's writers? I’m going to start with some entertaining flippancy that nevertheless holds more than a grain of truth and then move on to some best practice for PRs.
A lot of these are dos and not don’ts, but to fit the commandment theme I’ve had to use a few double negatives. Forgive me.
User-centred design (UCD) is widely regarded as the best way to design a great user experience (UX), with most UX professionals following the international standard ISO 9241 part 210.
As project leader for this standard, I realised that some of the principles which underlie UCD can be applied to whole organisations, so I am pleased to be project leader (with Tomas Berns from Sweden) for a new ISO standard which aims to make businesses as a whole more human centred.
To encourage interest in the new standard, we have drafted an executive summary which can be downloaded and freely distributed and would welcome input from Econsultancy readers.
This new standard aims to engage the ‘hearts and minds’ of executive board level people by explicitly presenting how eight main principles of UCD can apply to organisations.
In this post I look at these eight principles and link them back to user experience with examples (good or bad) on the web.
It was a great year for ecommerce and all signs point to an even bigger, even better year come January 1. What’s on the docket? Plenty.
Building on the success of the last 12 months, 2014 will likely signal a comprehensive integration of mobile with traditional brick-and-mortar along with a boom in gamification, personalization and more comprehensive and accessible methods to test and track.
It’s time to raise a glass to what’s going to be a game-changing year.
If one of the things we’ve learnt so far within digital marketing is that becoming more social is a key ways to succeed, does the installing of a paywall on newspaper run websites effectively mean ‘killing’ their shareability?
The most topical example of this is The Sun’s recent introduction of its subscription service. Named Sun+, this has attracted 117,000 subscribers to its £2 a week service in approximately three months.
With The Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times all having already installed paywalls at various points in their online existences, with varying degrees of success, has this made a difference to how their material is shared?
Do they even care? If they are making enough money from subscribers, then perhaps the volume of traffic is unimportant to them.
Within your own social circles, will followers of your channel be annoyed that you’re posting a link to something they need to pay for? This obviously introduces a whole new argument about the value of content, and whether it should be free or otherwise.
Our editor-in-chief Graham Charlton (pictured above) took an in-depth look at The Telegraph's metered paywall in his article earlier in the year, so let’s take a look at the other newspaper paywalls and attempt to shed some light on the questions raised.
The idea of being helpful, of providing content and resources to prospective and current customers that may not have anything to do with your organization, is a new and radical concept for many marketers.
"You mean you want me to publish content that doesn't sell my product?" The idea is simple: give people want they want and eventually they consider you a trusted resource.
But is being helpful enough? Is helpfulness really useful? Or are marketers spinning their wheels creating content that, even though it's helpful, no one really wants?
Although being helpful is something marketers should strive towards as a way to foster engagement, useful should be the end-goal: giving people content they need to solve their problems, when they need it, and in the specific format they want.
Social media monitoring can be used to perform various tasks in the advancement of your own brand. Generating leads, finding influencers and identifying key sites are just a few that could be mentioned.
However, what is often overlooked is how these tools can be used to analyze competitors. By keeping track of your competition you can become the leader in your chosen area of expertise.
This article is aimed at explaining the methods that can be put in place to track competitors through social media monitoring (smm) and what benefits this could have for your company.