Research Library

All our reports on every topic in one handy place, covering the core elements of marketing best practice, trends and insights

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Best Practice Guide Pack Shot

Econsultancy Best Practice Guides

Econsultancy’s Best Practice Guides are extensive how-to reports authored by and featuring industry specialists from brands, agencies and technology companies.

Advertising Best Practice Guides

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Online Video Best Practice Guide

This report looks at how brands can identify clear objectives, fine-tune audience profiles and plan their distribution strategies, getting to grips with the numerous different platforms on offer. Some of the key technical aspects needed to commission video and work with specialist partners are also covered.

A Marketer’s Guide to Price Comparison Websites

1. Introduction Over the last two decades a swathe of price comparison websites (PCW) have emerged, offering consumers a one-stop-shop for comparing the prices of a product or service. PCWs act as vertical search engines, aggregating product listings from multiple retailers. PCWs such as uSwitch, Confused.com, MoneySuperMarket and GoCompare are an important part of the marketing […]

Getting to Grips with Digital Advertising Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Digital advertising has grown to become the largest advertising medium in the UK, and is expected to represent 50% of total advertising spend across the world as early as 2019.[1] Thanks to people spending more time than ever online, the uniquely low barriers to entry and the wealth of data that digital advertising […]

Optimising Programmatic Campaigns

1. Introduction This report is aimed at providing guidance on setting up and running a highly effective programmatic campaign in the present climate. It is intended as an informational tool for advertisers who run their ads programmatically, as an audit guide for agencies that deliver the programmatic activity and as a best practice manual for […]

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Demystifying Blockchain: Guidelines for Marketers

1.  Introduction Powerful technological forces are impacting the marketing profession and the companies and industries where marketers work. Econsultancy identifies, analyses and writes about many of these forces; ubiquitous connectivity[1], artificial intelligence[2] and the Internet of Things[3] to name a few. The same technologies are also enabling new and agile innovators to launch digitally enabled […]

B2B Best Practice Guides

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B2B Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This guide has been written to complement Econsultancy’s Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide, Social Media Platforms Overview, Social Media Platforms Trends Report and Social Selling Best Practice Guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide a framework for developing a B2B social media strategy, as well as a summary of the […]

B2B Social Selling Strategy Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Social media has grown exponentially. In January 2020, there were 3.80 billion social media users, with this number increasing by more than 9% (with 321 million new users) since January 2019.[1] But the term is misleading: social media has become as important for business as it has for social interaction, reflecting the changing […]

B2B Content Marketing Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction ‘Content shock’[1] is real: the volume of B2B (and B2C) content is now outweighing our human capacity to consume it. However, content marketing can still present an immense opportunity for B2B businesses. When executed effectively, it can be a powerful engagement tool for fostering loyalty, lead generation and sales, and for conveying the […]

Overcoming B2B Digital Marketing Challenges Best Practice Guide

Introduction Digitisation is rapidly changing B2B businesses and it is crucial that companies transform and respond to these challenges. According to McKinsey,[1] “Turning your company into a top quartile B2B digital player can increase revenue by 3.5%.” Econsultancy’s Digital Outlook report for 2019 explains that the next five years will be challenging for B2B marketers. […]

Content Best Practice Guides

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Content Strategy Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This report is designed to provide marketers with practical and essential guidance into all aspects of content strategy. The role of content within marketing and digital marketing practice has never been more important than it is now, but it remains an area of constantly changing practice, with evolving dynamics around technology, content production […]

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Ratings and Reviews Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Customer centricity is at the heart of any successful business today. Digital has empowered consumers in numerous ways, giving them greater choice and convenience when they shop, but also offering a platform for them to share their views at the touch of a button. There are a host of platforms enabling consumers to […]

Storytelling for Marketers

Storytelling for Marketers

1. Introduction 1.1 Executive summary This report identifies best practice approaches, techniques, challenges and opportunities around storytelling in the context of marketing. It explores how marketers perceive the importance of storytelling to the practice of marketing and the best practice application of storytelling principles to support marketing objectives and activity. The following topics are covered […]

Customer Experience Best Practice Guides

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Social CX and Customer Service Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction The rise in both the number and popularity of social media channels in recent years has fuelled a parallel increase in customer expectations. The ‘always on’ nature of social media, coupled with its public forum nature, means consumers and audiences – in B2C and B2B spaces alike – expect to be able to […]

Customer Retention Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Customer retention refers to the ability of an organisation to retain the same customer over a period of time. Companies that enjoy high levels of retention benefit from more reliable revenue streams and a high degree of brand equity. Although there is a strong business rationale for focusing on customer retention, many marketers […]

Customer Journey Mapping Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of customer journey mapping. It provides a simple starting point for anyone yet to map out their customer journeys. It is also a reference for those for whom the process is underway. This guide draws insights from those who have developed complex journeys […]

A Marketer’s Guide to Augmented Reality (AR)

1. Introduction Augmented reality (AR) is quickly becoming one of the most interesting technologies in the digital space. Although often overshadowed by virtual reality (VR), AR is expected to take the lion’s share of the market. According to one estimate, the AR market will be worth $70bn to $75bn by 2023 while VR will account […]

Customer Data Platforms Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Organising large amounts of customer data is becoming a huge challenge for marketers who want a ‘360 degree view’ of their customers. Customer data platforms (CDPs) offer a way for organisations to bring together disparate customer data into one place, to allow for the easy sharing of this information with other systems. This […]

Gamification Marketing Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction In a July 2018 survey by Reflect Digital, 58% of consumers said that online ads and marketing have little or no influence on their buying behaviour, while 27% said they were somewhat influenced. Only 5% said they were extremely influenced. Brands need to continue to find new ways to not only be heard […]

Consumer Neuroscience and Digital Marketing

1. Introduction 1.1. Executive summary Billions are being spent on digital marketing each year[1] and the availability of digital analytics is better than ever. Although these tools are hugely beneficial to brands, they empower digital marketers to understand the ‘what’ much more than the ‘why.’ With a heavy focus on machine-optimised performance marketing, many new […]

Experiential Marketing Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This guide has been written to help senior marketers better understand the opportunities offered by experiential marketing, outlining when and how the discipline can add value. Its purpose is to help brands plan and execute experiential marketing activities and to be mindful of the challenges involved. New studies show that we are continuing […]

Data and Analytics Best Practice Guides

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The Fundamentals of Marketing Measurement and Analytics

1. Introduction At the heart of all marketing measurement and analytics is data. The significance of data and its relationship with business success has become a key theme of seemingly every commentary, report or conference over the past few years. Becoming ‘data driven’ – using data to make smarter, quicker decisions and just understand more […]

Measuring Digital Marketing Effectiveness Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction In recent years, there have been industry changes in two major areas, technical and regulatory, which have both made an impact on the way marketers can, and should, measure digital marketing effectiveness. Technical industry changes Apple, Google and Mozilla, which each own very popular web browsers, have implemented technical changes to the way […]

Segmentations and Personas Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Marketers have always sought to find the most relevant buyers for their products. In the 1950s, this concept took a step forward when Wendell Smith published an award-winning article in the Journal of Marketing on product differentiation and market segmentation.[1] This article put segmentations on the map for marketers, and soon market segmentations […]

Digital Transformation and the Role of Data

1. Introduction The modern marketer’s dilemma “After several years of long Christmas lists to Santa, this year my girls could not think of anything they wanted. It dawned on me; my kids are not seeing marketing encouraging them to want things. My job and the jobs of future global marketers are getting more challenging. We […]

Getting to Grips with Market Research and Insight Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Getting to Grips with Market Research and Insight is a best practice guide for marketers. The report identifies the most common marketing and business problems that research can help solve and provides a practical introduction to the main research tools, techniques and methodologies that can drive faster and better customer-centric decision-making. 1.1. Report […]

Harnessing the Power of Personalisation Best Practice Guide

Harnessing the Power of Personalisation Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Personalisation is all about delivering greater relevance to customers and providing a richer experience by serving the right message on the right channel at the right time. Companies that harness the power of personalisation and offer experiences tailored to each consumer’s specific needs will find their customers are more likely to continue their […]

A Guide to Digital Marketing Tools

1. Introduction In response to the exponential growth in marketing technology solutions available over the past few years (Figure 1), this report aims to provide a practical overview of 60 popular and peer-recommended tools in four main categories. Figure 1: Number of martech solutions globally Source: Chiefmartech.com Chiefmartech’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic 2018 lists more […]

Digital Transformation Best Practice Guides

Effective Leadership in the Digital Age

1. Introduction The question of how leadership is changing in a digitally empowered world is a consistent theme in subscriber feedback and the digital transformation work that Econsultancy does with clients. 2015 saw the publication of Econsultancy’s initial research and report into Effective Leadership in the Digital Age, which was designed to provide insight into […]

Change Management for Marketers

Change Management for Marketers Best Practice Guide

1.  Introduction This report is designed to provide marketers with practical guidance and advice on how best to manage change in the context of rapidly shifting technology, consumer behaviour and market dynamics. It is written for senior and mid-level marketers who want to understand how to navigate change within their own teams or the most […]

Embracing Technology and Innovation in Digital Marketing – Pharma and Healthcare

1. Introduction When compared with other sectors, such as financial services, retail and travel, pharma and healthcare has been relatively slow in its digital transformation journey. However, in recent years, organisations in the sector have made impressive strides when it comes to using digital to improve the customer experience. This is due to a convergence […]

Ecommerce Best Practice Guides

Achieving Omnichannel Excellence

1. Introduction This guide has been written to help the retail sector’s heads of customer experience, CCOs, CMOs, senior marketers, heads of digital and CIOs to move along the omnichannel journey towards omnichannel excellence. Its purpose is to give brands an understanding of the current retail landscape, which key challenges they need to address and […]

Ecommerce: Third-Party Marketplaces for Retailers

Ecommerce: Third-Party Marketplaces for Retailers

1. Introduction In the space of 20 years, Amazon has grown into a $200bn company[1], selling everything from books to health foods. It is now the fifth largest retailer in the UK according to Verdict, beaten only by four supermarkets.[2] It is estimated to have accounted for a third of all UK spend online in […]

Visual Search: A Guide for Marketers

Visual Search: A Guide for Marketers

1. Executive Summary This report will look at the history of visual search, how different companies are using it, and explain how marketers can take advantage of visual search and other tools that make use of machine vision. It will also cover the following: The benefits of visual search in ecommerce In a commercial context, […]

Email and eCRM Best Practice Guides

Email Marketing Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction 1.1 About this report Econsultancy’s series of Best Practice Guides have been created for modern marketing professionals who typically work in marketing or ecommerce roles. Given the ongoing significance of email, this guide will be relevant to CEOs to understand the business case for email, as well as anyone working in a marketing […]

Marketing Automation Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction 1.1. Executive summary This report seeks to provide marketers who are considering the use of marketing automation with a simple guide to what it is, how to plan for and implement it, what success looks like and what the future of the industry may hold. This guide hopes to be useful to a […]

Mobile Best Practice Guides

Mobile Marketing Best Practice Guide

Mobile Marketing Best Practice Guide

1. Foreword Before the launch of the iPhone in 2007, and for some years after that, ‘mobile’ was perceived as a standalone channel, deserving a dedicated strategy, budget and team. Now that ‘mobile’ has become infused into every aspect of digital marketing, no longer considered as a distinct channel, do marketers still need a standalone […]

People and Skills Best Practice Guides

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Building a Digital Culture

1. Introduction Digital technologies have brought significant shifts in customer behaviour and competitive dynamics. This, in combination with the greater levels of unpredictability in customer, societal and market contexts as a result of the pandemic, mean that many businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. Thriving in this new environment requires an organisational culture that is both […]

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The Fundamentals of Modern Marketing Mindset

1. Introduction Econsultancy has been investigating the topic of marketing knowledge and skills for more than 20 years. In that time, we have conducted multiple research studies and interviewed thousands of marketing leaders and practitioners about the human capabilities required for success. One thing that has become clear is that some of the most important requirements for […]

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Effective Remote Working for Marketers Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, an increasing number of organisations is ordering their workforces to work from home for the foreseeable future, meaning many businesses and teams are facing new and unprecedented challenges. Econsultancy has created this Best Practice Guide to provide marketers with the essential techniques to empower successful and powerful remote […]

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Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Econsultancy has been conducting research into digital marketing resourcing and structures for almost 10 years. This report is the fourth iteration of this research and represents a major update on the 2015 Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide. There have been some fundamental shifts in approaches to resourcing since then […]

Modern Marketing Job Descriptions

1. Introduction Modern marketing requires new skills for the digital age. As new technologies and channels have emerged and digital transformation has become a priority for organisations across all locations, sizes and industries, the demand for expertise in the likes of data, analytics, customer experience, content and personalisation has increased. With this demand often outstripping […]

Developing Future Strategy: Long-Term Thinking for Marketers

1. Introduction We live in times of ‘agile’, ‘fail fast’, ‘beta testing’ and ‘lean startups’. The doubling of computer processing power every two years, as predicted by Moore’s law, has delivered exponentially increasing computational abilities. Vast data sets are now available to marketers, enabling them to respond to customer demands in real time or even […]

How Marketers Learn

1. Introduction Rapid changes in customer behaviour and digital markets have forced many organisations to rethink the structure of their marketing teams. They want to take advantage of new tools and build the capabilities and tools that are available to the modern marketer. In response to these changes, Econsultancy conducts ongoing research to identify a […]

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Skills of the Modern Marketer

1. Foreword When I ask senior marketers to tell me what marketing framework they are most familiar with, they often suggest the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion). This model was first published in 1960 by American marketing professor Edmund Jerome McCarthy in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. This was in an era of […]

Search Marketing Best Practice Guides

SEO Best Practice: Technical SEO

1. Introduction Technical SEO can mean the difference between a website ranking well or not ranking at all. Technical SEO skills have become increasingly important because search engines such as Google factor site performance into their algorithms, especially given the growth of mobile. Each technical, design and content decision will affect technical SEO. However, technical […]

SEO Best Practice: On-Page Optimisation

1. Introduction In order to rank well for keywords, especially competitive ones, a page needs to be well optimised. From the title tag through to the content, on-page optimisation may improve ranking through focusing content and ensuring the signals sent to search engines are as clear as possible. There are other ranking factors, including links, […]

SEO Best Practice: Algorithm Updates

1. Introduction Google and Bing are not static search engines – constant improvements and changes are happening on their platforms on a daily basis. As some of these changes significantly impact the search results, they are reported in updates, sometimes unverified but often acknowledged by the search engine. The single word names of these changes, […]

SEO Best Practice: Changes in SEO

1. Introduction The following report summarises the key changes in search since 2016. Changes to SEO have come thick and fast since then, and show no sign of slowing. One thing that has not changed since the last iteration of this report is Google’s dominance over the English speaking and European markets, and so this […]

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Google Shopping (Paid Search) Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Shopping campaigns operate on the same cost-per-click (CPC) model as their Search ad counterparts. The main difference between the ad types is that Shopping ads provide an image and price of each product, making these results highly appealing to consumers. In recent years, Google Shopping has continued to experience sustained growth and is […]

Setting Up Paid Search Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction A considerable amount of work should be assigned to the effective set up of paid search campaigns. Detailed keyword research and a well thought out account structure in place make ongoing optimisation, testing and analysis much more straightforward. Over the course of 2019, there were a number of developments across the paid search […]

Video Advertising (Paid Search)

1. Introduction Video advertising can be an effective, eye-catching medium for building brand awareness when done properly. As more video content is consumed online, it makes sense that brands will want to follow suit with rich media video adverts promoting their brands. Unlike text ads in traditional paid search, video ads open up a whole […]

International and Multilingual Paid Search Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This report explores some of the worldwide opportunities for expansion across a range of territories and languages, before moving on to some of the practical considerations that must be kept in mind when planning to launch a PPC campaign in a new market. Although it is relatively straightforward to target new countries in […]

Marketing Campaign Integration Strategy (Paid Search)

1. Introduction A sound knowledge of how marketing channels are operated and optimised is vital for success in paid search. The level of dependency on paid search as a channel fluctuates from industry to industry and business to business. The most successful campaigns understand where paid search fits in the wider picture and how to […]

Planning and Strategy for Paid Search

1. Introduction Paid search has many different channels with a high degree of customisation. Before advertisers set their accounts up and start to structure their campaigns, it is essential that there is a proper plan and strategy in place. This is regardless of whether advertisers are working with an agency or managing the whole process […]

Paid Search Optimisation Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction The majority of a paid search practitioner’s time will be spent analysing and optimising performance of ads and campaigns. In a dynamic industry, where new features are constantly being released and the competitive marketplace changes daily, an efficient and robust optimisation strategy will help advertisers stay ahead of the curve and maintain relevance […]

Strategy Best Practice Guides

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Optimising Marketing Spend Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Whether marketers are leading a startup, working in a sector where margins are thin or budgets are traditionally tight, or if a brand or business has had its budget revised or downgraded, they can apply the principles and strategies for managing limited budgets, which have a degree of universality. During the Covid-19 pandemic, […]

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Product Strategy and Marketing Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction The objective of this report is to provide marketers with a practical guide to the essential principles, processes and practices surrounding the increasingly critical areas of product strategy and marketing. Digital has facilitated a growing proportion of business models to pivot towards direct-to-consumer propositions, and an ever-growing number of products to become services, […]

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Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This guide has been written to complement Econsultancy’s Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide, Social Media Platforms Overview, Social Media Platforms Trends Report, B2B Social Media Best Practice Guide and Social Selling Best Practice Guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide a framework for developing a social media strategy, as well […]

Learning from a Crisis Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction The global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact, affecting almost every aspect of daily life. Measures taken to slow the spread of the virus around the world have brought with them remarkable economic losses. The full economic impact of the crisis is at this stage unknown, but projections of the cost […]

Social Media Best Practice Guides

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Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This guide has been written to complement Econsultancy’s Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide, Social Media Platforms Overview, Social Media Platforms Trends Report, B2B Social Media Best Practice Guide and Social Selling Best Practice Guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide a framework for developing a social media strategy, as well […]

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Social Media Platforms Overview Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This guide has been written to complement Econsultancy’s Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide, Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide, Social Media Platforms Trends Report, B2B Social Media Best Practice Guide and Paid Search Best Practice Guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of some of the world’s major […]

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B2B Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction This guide has been written to complement Econsultancy’s Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide, Social Media Platforms Overview, Social Media Platforms Trends Report and Social Selling Best Practice Guide. The purpose of this guide is to provide a framework for developing a B2B social media strategy, as well as a summary of the […]

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Social CX and Customer Service Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction The rise in both the number and popularity of social media channels in recent years has fuelled a parallel increase in customer expectations. The ‘always on’ nature of social media, coupled with its public forum nature, means consumers and audiences – in B2C and B2B spaces alike – expect to be able to […]

B2B Social Selling Strategy Best Practice Guide

1. Introduction Social media has grown exponentially. In January 2020, there were 3.80 billion social media users, with this number increasing by more than 9% (with 321 million new users) since January 2019.[1] But the term is misleading: social media has become as important for business as it has for social interaction, reflecting the changing […]

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Econsultancy's Trends Reports

Econsultancy’s Trends Reports are based on in-depth surveys of senior marketers and digital professionals, and cover topics from customer experience to digital transformation.

Digital Shift

Digital Transformation Monthly

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Digital Transformation Monthly – May 2021

1. Introduction Each month, Econsultancy’s Digital Transformation Monthly report highlights the most important transformation stories arising from sectors from retail and grocery to beauty, travel and finance. This month brings tales of Bed Bath & Beyond’s soaring digital sales thanks to an accelerated omnichannel strategy, while The Hut Group has enjoyed significant revenue growth from the […]

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Digital Transformation Monthly – April 2021

1. Introduction Each month, Econsultancy’s Digital Transformation Monthly report highlights the most important transformation stories arising from sectors including retail and grocery, healthcare, travel, and finance. In April, as the UK and much of the rest of the globe prepares itself for the easing of lockdown restrictions, we take a look at how retailers including […]

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Digital Transformation Monthly – March 2021

1. Introduction For retailers, the continued shift to online shopping is driving the development of new products and technological innovation. This edition of Digital Transformation Monthly covers just two prime examples; Nestlé’s expansion of its ecommerce portfolio through the acquisition of SimplyCook, and Gap’s investment in a new $140m distribution centre to aid online fulfilment. […]

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Digital Transformation Monthly – August 2020

1. Introduction Almost four-fifths of businesses (79%) saw digital transformation budgets grow as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than a quarter (26%) saying that their budgets grew “dramatically”. This is a finding from a survey of 2,569 global enterprise leaders recently published by Twilio[1] – and it neatly demonstrates the catalytic […]

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Digital Transformation Monthly – June 2020

1. Introduction Welcome to the June edition of our Digital Transformation Monthly report. At the time of writing, here in the UK, more than 10 weeks on from the introduction of lockdown measures, the ‘new normal’ is starting to feel… well, normal. We’re seeing a cautious relaxation of some lockdown restrictions, including offices requiring their […]