As of June 2013, iTunes achieved 575m registered users and it’s adding 500,000 new accounts every day.
There is no denying the power and ubiquity of Apple’s digital music service, after all it has transformed the way that everyone on the planet consumes music.
It’s by no means a flawless experience however...
The Axel Springer group is pretty big, it’s active in 44 countries and generated revenue of €3.3bn in 2012.
13,650 people are employed across the group, which includes more than 230 publications such as Bild, but also companies such as Zanox (which includes Affiliate Window).
But despite its size, Axel Springer is using startups and a new culture to drive digital change and growth across the group.
This has been a big step and is a trend we’re seeing in many industries – see John Lewis’ recent announcement of JLabs, a call for entrepreneurs with a £100,000 investment to the best new startup.
At Digital Media Strategies 2014, Springer Electronic Media CTO Ulrich Schmitz talked to us about developing a digital portfolio.
How does one develop new business models in the light of digital? What is the best way to foster innovation and entrepreneurship? And when does one integrate digital investments or indeed keep them separate.
Last year I watched a panel debate on the following question: “Is it content, or is it an advertisement?” The panelists went round and round in circles for an hour, and there was no conclusion. My own thinking is along the lines of “it doesn’t really matter, and it’s probably both.”
I happen to think that we have entered a new golden age for advertising. The very best ads are conceived as shareable content experiences, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.
Unfortunately most TV and radio ads are still utterly intolerable, but I feel that the bar has been raised in recent years, driven by YouTube, social media, audience participation, and aspirations to be more creative. The best ads are anchored around compelling content. Execution, as with most things, is paramount. Combine the two and you might have a big hit on your hands.
There is a flipside: a lousy idea executed brilliantly is still a lousy idea. If the content is underwhelming then you will have to pay to gain reach. So much for earned media. If you are paying a small fortune to seed your content then you’re very much in the realms of paid media. I call this ‘the shareability gap’, and I believe that brands should invest in creativity, not media.
If a brand has paid for the content, then it pretty much wants you to buy something, or at the very least like it a little bit more, but that doesn’t mean that the content has to suck.
Here are some non-sucky content marketing campaigns that I’ve seen recently. I’ve taken quite a broad brush approach here with regards to formats: there are ads, pop-up installations, photographic collections, blogs, and helpful guides. I like the ideas and the execution. Have a look and do let me know what you think...
Real-time marketing is one of the most important digital and ecommerce trends in 2014, with many businesses seeking to make their marketing teams more agile in the way that they deal with consumers.
But what are perceived to be the main business benefits of real-time marketing?
A new report from Econsultancy and Monetate asked both client-side and agency respondents to answer this very question, with a better customer experience proving to be the most popular answer (84% company vs. 82% agency).
Around three-quarters of respondents cited improved conversion rates as a key benefit (72% vs. 74%) making it the second most-popular answer.
Over the past week, I have received a couple of pieces of email marketing that just didn’t read very well and it got me thinking about copywriting, and how vital it is to be done correctly.
Now please don’t take this the wrong way. There was nothing exactly wrong with this particular email's copy per-se, nothing that I could put my finger on exactly.
But they just didn’t read very well and to be honest, that made me doubt the credibility of the business, let alone the marketing campaign.
I do realize that I may be quite unique in these instances, as many people who are not interested in the industry, or indeed writing, may not notice.
To be honest, I blame my hatred of terrible spelling and grammar on Facebook and other social media platforms, where I am forced to look at it every day. It’s a shame.
However, I thought I would share my thoughts on the blog just in case anyone else agrees. And by ‘my’ thoughts, I mean some great tips taken from our Email Marketing Best Practice Guide, which has just been released today.
Is achieving integration of print and digital publishing the pursuit of the Holy Grail? Well, it certainly sounds nice listening to a publisher talk about burgeoning digital revenues in multiple channels, alongside beautiful print products.
Verdens Gang is a Norwegian newspaper with a daily circulation of more than 200,000, in a population of 5m. Across print and digital, 1.8m people use VG daily.
At Digital Media Strategies 2014, editor-in-chief and CEO of VG Torry Pedersen gave the lowdown on how they integrated print and digital effectively, along with how they monetised smartphone and tablet content.
Culture is the key, as is so often the case in disrupted industries where big brands have to adapt and are competing with pure-plays that have started on the right foot.
Torry used the analogy of Haile Gebreselassie vs. Usain Bolt to describe print and digital. They both run but they run in very different ways and they shouldn’t have the same training regimen. The same can be said of magazine-style high quality print products compared with the fast-moving multimedia world of online news. The two teams can’t necessarily work together.
That’s why from 2000 until 2011, everything at VG was separate for print and online, from ads to editorial. In 2011 the two were joined back together once again.
The same thing happened with mobile and desktop, the two had separate ad sales and technical teams from 2010 until 2014 (though the same content team). Now ad sales and techies across desktop and mobile are integrated.
So what are the challenges that VG has overcome and how is it moving forward?
Everyone knows that cart abandonment is a universal fact for all ecommerce retailers, with 70% of consumers abandoning before a sale.
It’s a big problem and I wanted to see how well the UK’s top ecommerce brands carry out cart recovery.
They all do it really well, right?
What is growth hacking? If you haven’t heard of it, growth hacking is a marketing technique that uses analysis and creativity to sell products and gain exposure.
It differs from traditional marketing by focusing on social metrics and other digital channels to analyze user behavior and deploy innovative or low-cost alternatives to traditional demand-generation and campaign-based marketing.
Perhaps the most famous example of growth hacking was Hotmail. By employing a signature on every out-bound email that said, “Sent from Hotmail. Get your free Hotmail email today!”
Hotmail was able to drive incredible growth numbers in a very short amount of time.
In February 2011 the first Panda Google algorithm update affected search results and changed the way SEO professionals and webmasters needed to think about optimizing websites.
The goal of Google Panda was to lower the rank of 'low-quality' websites that had thin content and increase rankings of higher quality and more authoritative websites. It was the beginning of the end of 'SEO content'.
Since then, and after more than a dozen updates to the Google Panda algorithm, websites have exponentially had to improve the quality of their content. There are various ways people speculate Google deems a website quality including the depth of the content, engagement metrics on pages, social sharing and the quality of websites linking.
This is the fifth in a series of posts discussing how to set up and run a WordPress blog from a relatively experienced expert, which will feature many helpful and hopefully relevant tangents.
In the first article I discussed the first few steps involving sign-up, the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and your social media presence.
Then I looked at writing your first post using the WordPress content management system (CMS), in which I gave some helpful writing advice for first-time bloggers, and later I delved into the WordPress dashboard and its diverse world of widgets.
Last week I took an in-depth look the art of customising your existing WordPress template, either by using the free options available or with the Custom Designs upgrade.
Throughout the article, I used the same template as an example for guidance on customisation. However there are many other templates available to WordPress.com users, all of which can be customised in the same ways as the above link describes.
Here I’ll be recommending the best of those out-of-the-box templates to make your blog stand out from the crowd. The first 10 highlighted are fully responsive, meaning they will adapt to any screen size the site is viewed on.