Not a dull year, was it? Well, perhaps a little, with the thorny and seemingly subjective issue of how to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation dominating debate until the spring.

Beyond GDPR, there’s been Brexit, and Facebook’s misdemeanours (with a thread drawn through all three). And in the more enjoyable world of brand creative, Nike’s bold campaigns have stood out.

“But what has been most popular on the Econsultancy blog?” ask the cacophonous masses.

These 25 blog posts are our most read of 2018, in reverse order of course, for a little ceremony…

25. Ten retailers who got PPC right on Black Friday (and six who didn’t)

Sarah Barker, head of biddable media strategy at Stickeyes, takes a no-nonsense look at paid search over Black Friday. Find out why Skechers, Lacoste and Mont Blanc failed to make the most of the opportunity, unlike All Saints, Dorothy Perkins and Nasty Gal.

skechers black friday

24. Five ways ecommerce is being revolutionized right now

From improving ecommerce search to chatbots and international markets, Manish Dudharejia of E2M Solutions puts his finger on five key trends in 2018 ecommerce.

23. How Lush is raising the bar for in-store experience

Lush was one of those brands that divided the public and the marketing fraternity with its #Spycops campaign in 2018. Mark Ritson may have called this ‘a new low for brand purpose‘, but there’s no doubt that Lush stands out on the high street, whatever you think about brands trying to make the world a better place.

Econsultancy writer Nikki Gilliland goes in store to find out how Lush is providing a great retail experience.

22. What marketers need to know about WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business launched in January 2018. Patricio Robles brought marketers the lowdown.

whatsapp for business

21. The future of ecommerce according to Mary Meeker

Who wants to click through Meeker’s 294 PowerPoint slides when Econsultancy’s deputy editor Rebecca Sentance can bring you a digest of the ecommerce section?

In Sentance’s words, this section “paints a fascinating picture of the trends that are likely to define the future of online retail: social media, personalisation, and subscriptions.”

20. GDPR: The funniest tweets we’ve seen this month

As we were all driven round the bend by GDPR, it seems there was an appetite for some privacy-based humour. It says a lot about the impact of the GDPR that there were jokes flying around on Twitter.

Rebecca Sentance rounds up the funniest.

19. Four great B2B company Instagram accounts & why they work so well

Instagram flourished in 2018 as the appetite for visual and ephemeral content boomed and influencers snapped up more media budget.

Econsultancy’s social media manager Sean Cole looks at B2B companies that are savvy users of Instagram.

18. Top 100 Digital Agencies 2018: The state of the industry

Econsultancy research manager Donna-Marie Bohan guides us through 10 of the biggest findings from one of our flagship pieces of research, the Top 100 Digital Agencies report.

agency fee income top 10 vs rest 2018

17. Why Nike’s ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’ ad campaign is so powerful

Before Nike was face with a legal challenge over its use of ‘LDNR’ for this ad campaign, Nikki Gilliland broke down exactly why the brand’s paean to London was so brilliant.

I’m sure you can still find the ad somewhere on the internet, but you can also read our take on it to refresh your memory.

16. What is customer experience? How can it be measured? And who should own it?

More from Gilliland as she takes a step back and asks the simple questions that many seasoned marketers are afraid to ask themselves about customer experience.

15. The GDPR claims its first victims

Our readers must have been baying for blood, as they flocked to read Patricio Robles’ account of US companies who shuttered some of their European activity ahead of the GDPR deadline.

Take a look back at the first victims of the General Data Protection Regulation.

gdpr explosion

14. All the GDPR resources marketers need, in one place

With so much advice flying around, we tried to bring together useful resources for marketers grappling with the GDPR back in February 2018.

13. GDPR and email marketing: Everything’s gonna be all right

It’s those four letters again, but this time perked up no end by star Econsultancy contributor Parry Malm, founder and CEO of Phrasee.

Malm earmarks the GDPR as a good thing for email marketers and draws an intriguing analogy involving a pair of underpants. Told you he would perk things up a bit.

underwear contract

12. Four ways the blockchain could be applied to digital advertising

We like to think we’re above bowing to hype on the Econsultancy blog, nevertheless if there’s one thing more annoying than blockchain, it’s the lack of transparency in adtech. Patricio Robles looks at how one can solve the other.

11. Five pure-play ecommerce brands who boosted sales on Instagram

Marketers at Missguided must scoff when they hear their peers talk about how difficult it is to prove the ROI of social media.

Instagram is undoubtedly a key sales generator for plenty of fast fashion and beauty brands – Nikki Gilliland rounds up five of them.

10. How Zara is using in-store tech to improve its frustrating shopper experience

To many people, Zara is synonymous with a bit of a bunfight in-store. But earlier this year Zara stepped up experiments with self-checkouts, click and collect, AR, and fitting room tech.

9. How the GDPR will affect lead generation: Talking points for marketers

Yep, GDPR again. This time it’s all about lead gen – read more here.

8. How digital helped Domino’s overtake Pizza Hut

What a story! The underdog becomes the top dog, through digital innovation and relentlessly consistent brand marketing. Patricio Robles takes us back to the start.

7. Why Nike’s refreshed product pages improve CX (& beat Adidas)

When Nike’s product pages got a lick of paint earlier this year, we predictably compared them to those of Adidas. There’s plenty for ecommerce bods to drool over, including excellent product video.

nike-product-page

6. Ashley Friedlein’s marketing and digital trends for 2018

It’s a perennial favourite: Econsultancy’s founder gives us his erudite take on what is about to unfold over the year ahead. Friedlein goes into plenty of detail, including what he doesn’t expect to be big news anytime soon for marketers.

5. What is a customer data platform? How is it different from a DMP or CRM?

Save yourself a sly Google and read this article from Jordie van Rijn of Email Monday.

4. The six types of marketing org structure

Here’s a sneak peek at Econsultancy’s excellent Guide to the Modern Marketing Model and Organisational Structures. Is your team product focused, channel focused, or does it look like one of the other three models identified in our research?

For any of the visuals, you’ll have to check out the report itself, but there’s plenty here to mull over before you do.

3. Seven of the best charity marketing campaigns from 2017

An excellent charity-focused listicle from Nikki Gilliland. What more needs to be said?

2. The genius of Spotify Wrapped, the only marketing campaign I add to my calendar

Rebecca Sentance admitted her love for Spotify’s data-powered festive campaign. Despite being published at the end of November, this article came from behind to take the #2 spot on this list, thanks in large part to its popularity with our search audience (some of whom were probably just looking for their playlists).

Still, it’s an excellent read about one of the best campaigns of the year.

1. GDPR: 15 (good & bad) examples of repermissioning emails & campaigns

It had to be, didn’t it? GDPR takes the top spot, as we ran the rule over 15 emails sent out as part of repermissioning campaigns by email marketers.

In hindsight, it may be that too many marketers sent these campaigns in fear of non-compliance, and are now dealing with a subsequent decline in engagement. At the time, though, our readers were devouring everything GDPR – no doubt wondering what approach to take themselves.

Well, there’s only one thing left to say in 2018 – roll on e-privacy! (Brexit permitting).

Start your 2019…

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