Dell

Five brands using crowdsourcing for product and marketing ideas

During a recent discussion about a colleague’s obsession with Lego I was informed of the toymaker’s forays into crowdsourcing new product ideas.

This isn’t a particularly new tactic and I’ve flagged up examples of crowdsourcing in the past, but it’s a topic that’s worth revisiting as more brands get on board.

So in order to inspire your own campaigns or product development, here are five other brands using crowdsourcing…

The New York Times begins native advertising. Will it work?

The New York Times revealed a brand new website on 8 January 2014, replete with responsive design and native advertising.

As I mentioned in my article from earlier this week, native design: 12 examples of good and bad practice, it seems that with The New York Times adoption of sponsored content, 2014 will bring this marketing trend to larger, more mainstream publishing sites

Dell is the first company to take advantage of The New York Times new advertising model, with a six-figure, three month long deal. The deal also includes display ads as well as sponsored content.

Here’s a look at the current New York Times homepage.

Six brands that have been busy experimenting with Google Hangouts

We’ve been keen exponents of Google Hangouts for some time here at Econsultancy as they’re a great way of sharing content and promoting our brand.

In recent weeks we’ve hosted several Hangouts as part of our preparations for Integrated Marketing Week which has helped us to identify and iron out a few bugs with the system.

Our head of social Matt Owen has become something of an expert on Hangouts as a result and yesterday blogged his tips for hosting a successful event.

Currently I feel that Hangouts are one of the few reasons for bothering with G+ as user interaction with brand updates is generally extremely low.

And on the same theme, here are six examples of other brands that have been experimenting with Google Hangouts…

Six examples of B2B companies that shine on Twitter

I recently blogged about consumer brands that had come up with successful Twitter strategies, highlighting ASOS and Nike among others as companies that knew what they were doing with social.

Many commenters mentioned that it would be useful to see a similar post focusing on B2B examples and I was obviously happy to oblige. 

Twitter is a difficult medium for B2B companies as it’s all too easy to simply view the platform as a broadcast medium and churn out dull corporate messages.

But here are six examples of businesses that have managed to buck the trend and create interesting or useful Twitter feeds…

Companies struggle to use social for marketing and customer service: report

With countless consumers around the world using social media, it’s no surprise that companies have flocked to services like Facebook and Twitter.

In many cases, companies are using these services to market to consumers, but in the past couple of years, a growing number of them have started using social as a customer service channel too.

Dell’s ‘mystery’ discounts. Good idea or a guaranteed way to annoy customers?

We’re coming towards the end of sale season, but businesses are still sending out emails to tempt customers into making a purchase.

Normally the retailer is specific about the amount of money off each product, however recently we’ve noticed that some businesses are sending emails with ‘mystery’ discount coupons, which basically means you don’t know how much the discount is for.

Yesterday Dell sent one of these emails, which attempts to lure you in with the offer a discount that could be anything from 10% to 50%. The problem is you only find out what the discount is once you get to the checkout.

The mysterious coupon is presumably supposed to make the customer so curious that they can’t help but click on the call-to-action on the off chance they are rewarded a half price laptop, but personally I find it to be an incredibly annoying offer.