How to promote your brand using social media

In the last few years social news sites have become an extremely effective marketing tool with the ability to drive a huge amount of traffic to your website.

Although the numbers using these websites are relatively small in global terms (, the largest, has just under 2m users) the audiences comprise thousands of early adopters and key influencers who have the power to seriously affect your brand.


Q&A: PayOffline's Steve Berry on etail and trust

With 18% of internet users still thinking it's too risky to shop on the web (source: GetSafeOnline), it’s clear that there's a big opportunity out there if etailers can persuade these wily refuseniks that e-commerce is safe.

One thing that might help them is PayOffline - a system launched in August last year that enables consumers to shop online but pay for their goods at one of 17,000 physical locations around the UK.


Microsoft plans contextual trolley ad system

Microsoft is set to bring contextual advertising to supermarket trolleys through a partnership with retail IT group Mediacart.

The two companies say they will begin testing a system that displays targeted multimedia ads and incentives on cart-mounted screens later this year.

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Reputation management & monitoring - key tactics

The subject of reputation management has changed somewhat with the advent of blogs and social media, but the core concept remains the same - making sure that positive press about your brand gets as much coverage as possible while negative press is buried.

The most straightforward method of measuring brand reactions is to check the Google search results. A good example is how domain registrar 123 Reg has trouble with its search results.


More great website optimisation tips from Future Now

It is vitally important for etailers to constantly monitor their websites, looking for ways to improve the user experience, with the aim of increasing conversion rates.

With this in mind, the good folks at Future Now have just released a white paper (registration required) with some useful optimisation tips for website owners.


Usability problems with National Express

I've just been trying to book train tickets via National Express' new booking site, and have experienced a number of major customer experience / usability issues.

National Express rail tickets


RIP last click wins?

Is it time to say farewell to the old model of assigning all the value to the last click? Many marketers want the ability to measure customers' paths to purchase and understand the influences of each channel on a sale.

It would be a dream to accurately measure the impact of your TV ad on generating uplift in an outdoor campaign, driving interest in your press ad, which subsequently delivers a sale.

But can this now be achieved online?


Lies, damn lies and averages

Beware of 'averages' - sometimes they hide more truth than they reveal.


What Bill Gates should have said during his CES keynote

Microsoft’s Xbox Live may have surpassed the 10m user milestone but this is no time for ebullient press releases from the Redmond-based giant. Since Christmas, playing Xbox Live online has been nothing short of a nightmare.

Microsoft has totally failed to manage user expectations, to accommodate new Xbox users, and to cater for the spikes that were bound to appear over the holiday period. It’s a pity, since the Xbox Live experience, when it works, is nothing short of sensational, and should get better and better.


Five bad web advertising techniques

Despite a number of surveys that have shown exactly what web users think of pop-ups and other intrusive advertising techniques, advertisers and publishers persist in using these ads.

For instance, The Times, Guardian, and Telegraph all allow either pop-ups or overlays on their websites, which can have a negative impact on the user experience. It's amazing that we still see so much of this sort of thing, in 2008.


Sending speeds: are they important?

The send speeds of ESPs are increasingly being looked at as a key selling point. Being able to pump out over a million emails per month is regarded as a benefit by many clients.

Most major UK-based ESPs are able to provide these speeds, often through a partnership with companies such as Strongmail or Port25 Solutions.

But is this important?


New Ad Serving Buyer's Guide published

E-consultancy has just published a 2008 version of our Buyer’s Guide for ad serving solutions - an area of the industry that has rarely been out of the headlines recently and seems likely to stay at the centre of things this year.

The guide features detailed profiles of 10 ad serving vendors, as well as a rundown of the trends that have reshaped the market in recent months.