The latest news on big data,
analytics, and social media

  • Three Marketing Principles Guaranteed to Bring Your Company Success

    Marketers have always faced a constant battle to keep up with, and overcome the challenges presented by, new technology. Marketing tactics have been changed, adapted and modified for a plethora of developments in technology – shopping by mobile phones and the development of smart TVs being just two in recent times.

    But the very basic foundations of marketing continue to be of the utmost importance in any marketing strategy. If a marketer can’t get these right, they needn’t bother mastering the latest gadgets at all.

    Do your homework

    This sounds simple, but the amount of marketing plans that are a bit of a wildcard – i.e., the marketers have no idea if they’ll work or not – is way too many. If you or your clients are going to spend money on marketing, it needs to be effective. Putting the hours in to do the research, and planning a strategy, is absolutely crucial in any marketing activity – and this will never change.

    Build trust

    One of the challenges that modern technology brings is the different ways of communicating, both with clients and customers. While the way of talking to people might need to be adapted, the basic idea that you need to build up trust in your brand will not. If you’re not honest, consumers will soon take their money elsewhere.

    People are people

    Connecting to people as individuals is absolutely critical for any business. Because people are individuals – not just a number in your ‘target audience’. Building a rapport with a customer or prospective customer can make the difference between success and failure, and this is the same whether it’s on the shop floor or when conducting market research.

    People have a choice when it comes to where they spend their money, and the chances are that if they don’t like you, they won’t spend it with you.

    There are numerous reasons why consumers fall out with big brands and multinationals, but it doesn’t matter who you’re representing or who you’re working for – if you don’t follow the three basic marketing principles above, no amount of new tech will help you.


    Source: MM Identity Lab


  • Brands That Exhibit Social Media Excellence

    Brands who make the most of social media

    Feeling a bit lacking in inspiration for your twitter feed? Here are a few brands who’ve really got the knack of exploiting the marketing potential of the social media boom.

    Northern character

    It’s hard to imagine what there could be to tweet about the Glasgow Subway, a simple transport system with a circular route and trains due at regular intervals. Perhaps that’s what inspired its marketers to be so creative – making a point of engaging users in chat and imbuing the brand with Glaswegian personality. Interspersing tweets about service levels with snippets of trivia and suggestions of things to do around the city, successful campaigns include a treasure hunt around real-life Glasgow.

    Scottish craft brewers with attitude, BrewDog are getting as much attention for their punky, characterful web presence as they do for their beers. Their friendly, drink-obsessed tweets are just a part of the appeal. They used social media to create a fully collaborative beer, #mashtag, handing every decision over to democratic online vote.

    The art of the possible

    Rather than just post photos of colour ranges and pen styles, Sharpie have created a fun, intensely share-able Instagram feed of Sharpie drawings, and everyday items decorated using the pens. Nothing white is safe, from sunglasses frames to electrical plugs to kettles. They focus on involving teenagers, inspiring them to create and share with the product.

    Sony Electronics have also embraced the visual, making the most of Pinterest and its vast appeal for female users. Their posts use creative angles to get people interested in the brand. One clever board shows pets craving their gadgets, another offers crafty ideas for customising or covering your electronic kit.

    The common denominator is involvement – each has created its own online community making users feel included.



    Source: Social Media Today

  • How to Create a Killer Social Media Strategy

    Producing an Excellent Social Media Strategy

    If you’re going to make the most of social media, you’re going to need a robust strategy. Prior planning is essential if you’re going to portray your brand in the right way, and that means making decisions upon the types of content you’re going to post, which social media platforms you’re going to use and the tone that you’re going to adopt. The importance of quality content cannot be understated, and if you’re going to be competing for the attentions of your audience with the various other businesses, famous figures, friends and family members that will be posting, it needs to be as interesting and useful as possible.

    Be Visual

    Identifying and targeting your audience is essential if the right people are to be reached. You’ll need to identify the age, geographical location and interests of your audience if you are to find them. You’ll need to post content that will appeal to them and speak in their language. It’s also worth remembering that audiences are now demanding more than simple text-based posts and are expecting visual based content. This means that you must upload photos and videos that will appeal to your chosen target audience. You should also decide upon how often you wish to post. Post too much and you risk irritating them, but don’t post frequently enough and they may forget about you.

    Perfecting Your Technique

    It’s also worth paying attention to the fact that just because someone doesn’t like, share or comment upon your posts, this doesn’t mean that they are not being enjoyed. Many people find content to be informative and engaging without engaging with it – and if you remember to post backlinks to your site regularly, you should find people heading there and making conversions. It can take a while to cement the perfect social media strategy but the end result can be worth the extra effort.


  • An Introduction to Integrated Marketing and SEO: How It Works and Why It Matters

    Understanding SEO and Integrated Marketing

    Any business that operates online simply must have a workable web marketing strategy in place, but it can be somewhat difficult to adapt your techniques to align them with the changes that are constantly being made to the search engines. Life was much easier a few years ago for those looking to optimise their web pages for Google and the like, but as the main search engines have become more and more sophisticated, the need for fresh, interesting and engaging content has become greater and greater.

    You can no longer afford to be cynical and rely on strategically-placed keywords and nothing else if the required rankings are to become a reality. There’s a long list of factors to consider and implement, from branding, PR, responsive design, international considerations and more which means that securing the best search engine rankings can seem like something of a full-time job. Because successful SEO can require an expert knowledge in the field, many website owners do ask for outside help with their search optimisation, leaving them to go about their business safe in the knowledge that search marketing is being handled professionally on their behalf.  Nonetheless, if you do have the time, skills and resources it remains possible to do your own SEO in-house.

    A Unified Voice

    More and more influential figures are talking about what is branded ‘integrated marketing’. This involves taking a number of marketing channels and unifying them. This requires employing the same tone across your web marketing and any other brand engagement activities you might pursue, giving off a feel of real coherency whilst exploiting every avenue available to you. Each of these strategies can come to compliment and reinforce each other and ensuring that your message hits home.

    It’s now estimated that companies spend around 2.5% of their annual revenue on digital marketing and that digital marketing spend represents around a quarter of what is invested in all marketing activities. Paid search has brought excellent results to many companies, but only around 9% of companies have said that they would put search marketing in their top 3 most successful marketing tools. This means that those working in SEO are arguably challenged with making companies see the potential of their work, encouraging them to invest more in their services and skills whilst enabling them to see that without search marketing assistance, an integrated marketing campaign may not be as successful as one would hope.

    SEO and PR

    Meanwhile, it could be argued that those working in SEO should widen their skills range to promote a better understanding of cross-promotion. There are many transferable skills that can be offered by those working in SEO that should be able to be utilised fully in other fields such as PR – and a better understanding of PR should of course lead to better implementation of SEO too. By liaising with others in the marketing field, relationships can become more robust and those all-important backlinks can be generated too.

    Writing on, Stephanie Chang spoke in great detail about the integrated marketing and the relationship between SEO and PR, with particular reference to startups and crowdfunding as well as with regards to bigger, more-established organisations and services. For example, in a crowdfunding project, it’s important that the actual site that is showcasing the project is optimised for SEO too as well as the funding page as that is the place where products might be sold once funding is complete. The site will need to feature at the top of the search engine results pages when the relevant terms are types in – alternatively crowdfunding can take place on the main website, though this isn’t known to be a tried and trusted alternative to the main funding sites. With so many crossovers between PR and SEO, it’s no surprise to see that the two areas should complement one another so much.

    Market On and Offline

    Of course, a marketing mix of both offline and online activity should not be neglected, and printed media can and regularly does lead to customers heading to the web to find out more about a product, service or organisation. It is also important to reach the small amount of people for whom the internet does not play a huge rule in their lives, and ignoring them can be highly detrimental to your marketing efforts. As long as the printed media is around, there’ll always be people who prefer the experience of consuming newspapers and magazines over tablets and smartphones, and there is not much to be gained by failing to reach them.

    Great content becomes more and more important with each passing day and it is interesting and imagination-capturing blogs, articles, images and videos that can enable a company to transcend its competitors. Also, the more content is liked and shared, the higher it can appear on search engine rankings, whilst enabling you to convince consumers that you really are passionate about the field that you work within. This helps build brand engagement and permits you to create long-lasting and prosperous relations with the public – demonstrating once again the robust overlap of PR and SEO.

    Collaborate Harmoniously

    Getting integrated marketing right can be a long process, and many mistakes can be made before the right results are reaped. What seems certain though is that companies and even not-for-profit services can hardly rely on one simple channel to gain exposure, nurture loyalty and increase exposure levels. As Chang states, a unified collaborative effort is always required to exploit all the channels available whilst maintaining a coherent voice, and consistency really is key. A unified vision can work wonders for a brand’s identity, allowing the public to see what makes a service stand out from the rest and display a company’s values in the best light possible. It’s essential that everyone working on a marketing campaign has an in-depth understanding of what a company is trying to achieve and a unified idea of how to achieve it, and when SEO staff can successfully become the voice of a company, it’s clear to see why their work is needed.



  • Enhance Your Analytics Strategy with an Effective Plan


    It’s essential that today’s companies make as much use and sense of the data that they are presented with if they are to market themselves effectively online. Analysing data can lead to a better customer experience, a stronger reputation and ultimately more sales and traffic. A recent survey by Alteryx and AbsolutData concluded that customer analytics data was regularly unstructured however, making it nigh on impossible for companies to get the most out of it. The resulting report, branded Predicting Customer Behavior with Analytics outlined three separate challenges that companies must face and overcome if they are to take full advantage of customer data.

    What Should You Do With Data?

    Companies all around the world can find it tough to access the information that they require to make better business decision and improve customer engagement. However, even those that do may face a battle when distributing the right data to the right people with the right expertise needed to outline plans based upon it. A report from McKinsey entitled Big Data: What’s Your Plan suggested that the first step towards turning customer data into prosperity was to outline a coherent and effective plan. It underlined the need for companies to consider how data analytics, resources and staff can be used together to bring results to the table, suggesting that companies should identify robust strategies to determine the way that different types of data should be dealt with – and how data will be collected, analysed and shared.

    Improve Through Analytics

    Customer analytics may be essential, but without a strategy to determine how analytics might be used, it can only go so far. However, with the right strategies in place, the customer experience can be heightened and business success can result. It’s also worth remembering that the ability to look backwards enables business to move forward.