Every year, I find myself dusting off the tuxedo, praying that I am still going to be able to squeeze into it, despite the fact that I know the last time was uncomfortable and I have done nothing about it since. The reason for this annual homage to penguins is thanks to the industry awards season, where the leading agencies get together to slap each other on the back for the outstanding work that had been carried out over the last twelve months. [More]
This Christmas saw a surge in ownership of tablet computers in the UK. Some 12 million adults now currently own a tablet, and reports suggest that a further 7% intend to buy one before March 2013.
YouGov are reporting that the increase in adoption has been thanks to the release of new competitively priced tablets, such as the Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy. Of the tablets received as gifts over Christmas, the Kindle Fire accounted for 35% of purchases with the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy following on 24% and 12% respectively. [More]
We are only just two weeks into the New Year, and already it seems that the market is sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Last week saw the closure of camera retailer Jessops and last night news broke of HMV going into administration. [More]
So Christmas is here, 24th December 2012, the excitement is building in the homes of Millions as children start to become filled with anticipation as to what Santa is going to bring. Parents (and husbands alike) are rushing around to get the final bits and pieces that they have inevitably forgotten. But, the one thing pulling this all together is the bond of blood and love... Christmas always has been, and in my opinion always should be, a family time. [More]
To quote Frank Sinatra, “And so, the end is near, and now we face, our final curtain.”, or so the Mayan apocalyptists would have you believe. I am glad to say that it hasn’t struck that chord with us at EAOM but it has got me thinking about that Sinatra song and how relevant the content of the song is to everyday life and how poignant a song it is, should the Mayans actually be right about today. [More]
So it’s that time of year again, the dodgy jumpers are being dusted off, choirs are getting ready for their most attended event of the year and the inevitable cold snap is starting to set in. It can only mean one thing, Christmas is nearly upon us.
Looking back at when I was a teenager I used to love the hustle and bustle of the high street and the excitement and melee that came hand in hand with the town’s population descending on the same area at once, or so it seemed. However, as time has gone on and as the internet has developed, that excitement has turned to frustration and the melee is no longer fun, more an unnecessary evil associated with the pre-Yule build up.
I, like so many consumers have become lazy in the convenience and solace of my own home. This coming Monday (2nd) forecast suggest that online customers will spend some £10,000 per second online, giving an estimated gross total of £465m via 115m visits to eCommerce websites, a rise by 33% on 2011! Customers are expected to peak between 9am and 9pm, which in web terms must be considered as being a huge trend.
Seemingly the positive trend in economic growth is also set to be mirrored in online consumer spending with an estimated 6.8 million transactions due to take place online on Monday alone, which represents a 21% growth year on year.
There are some things that I think the new millennium has spoiled in terms of tradition, engagement and participation, but, in this case I am happy to see the changes made in Christmas shopping. If you give me the option now of being hot and cold, wet and dry, frustrated and lumbered up dashing between store front to store front or being tucked up in the warmth with a brew, Soccer Saturday and the dog cuddled in whilst I shop online for my wife’s presents then there really is only ever going to be one winner.
So today is ‘Black Friday’, a relatively new concept to these shores, which as with most things these days it seems, is another craze which we have inherited from our American cousins. Whilst it is not fully adopted over here yet, Black Friday is certainly starting to filter through to our retailers both online and offline. Black Friday originated in the States as being the name given to day following Thanksgiving Day which also marked the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season.As with the Boxing Day sales in the UK, retailers are seen to open extremely early and offer excellent promotional sales which are often for 24 hours only as a way to encourage customer engagement. Primarily the adopters in the market are U.S. based, but there is becoming a wider acceptance amongst UK retailers also. Today, for example, Amazon and Apple are leading the way with promotional savings, which according to reports will go a long way towards generate an estimate £200m worth of online sales across UK websites. But, like America, reports also suggest that the craze is due to have a positive impact on high street retail as well, with footfall expected to increase significantly as consumers hunt out the bargains. What I have found interesting though is the low adoption rate of Black Friday by our client base, and also by other retailers of similar size/industry. Research shows that the promotional day is likely to be here to stay in the UK, especially given our desire to adopt “Americanization’s.” Working in the online world though, this can only be positive step for increasing sales, traffic and revenue.
As a Digital Marketing Agency, you may be led to believe that EAOM focus purely on all things digital, be that web design, SEO, PPC, email or social media marketing. However, there are certainly more strings to our bow than that.
One key area we are very passionate about is the development of brands. Not just a logo for a website, genuine brands to work in offline and online channels. We are getting more and more work for brand development and offline marketing materials, to work in conjunction with websites that we are developing, so we thought that it would be good to share the knowledge of how we go about developing our brands.
Each project starts with a fact finding session (normally over a day), to allow us to really get under the skin of the client, their business operation, who they are targeting, what the culture of the business is and how they want to position themselves. At the end of the day you can’t sell a brand if you don’t understand the brand.
We then begin work on getting that ‘thing’ on to paper. This involves coming up with various different treatments, from the icon (mark), to the fonts that go with the logo and different colour pallets.
Our work then translates in to the use of supplementary fonts, colours, images, and tone language used in text and on the page. It is often this element that can really help to develop a brand, and can often be overlooked when considering how you want to position your business.
If you want to find out how EAOM can help develop your company’s brand then call us now on 01772 331830 or fill out our contact form.
Developing a Content Strategy for Start Up BusinessesLaunching your own business is an exciting time; long nights mulling over business plans, developing your brand and tweaking it to the nth degree, and prospect of being part of the start of something big.In theory there is nothing to stop you making a large impact with your new business. You may have a genuinely life-changing proposition, but success ultimately relies on getting the attention of people likely to benefit from your site, and hopefully compelling them to spread the word far and wide.Arguably, therefore, one of the most important considerations for your website must be content. Developing a content strategy for start-ups differs massively from an established organisation. You don’t have legacy content to consider revising or retiring, you don’t have multiple layers of management to deal with to make decisions, you don’t have reams of data to trawl through and analyse, and you don’t have time to be sat around in meeting rooms discussing how a content feature might impact your PR activities.Here are 7 tips to get you on your way1. Have Conviction in Your MessageThis isn’t a time to be timid or apologetic. If you don’t have faith in your business, nobody else will give you the time of day. Communicate factual benefits that you’ve identified, researched, tested and verified, not ones that you’ve plucked out of thin air. Use these messages to create a memorable message that you can relate to in subsequent communications. 2. Develop a Tagline and Use ItOnly use a tagline if it is going to genuinely add benefit to the brand, product or service. The overall mission of your business should be neatly wrapped up in a concise statement to re-emphasise people’s perception of your business.
You may chose to add this, in conjunction with a relevant search friendly term, within your meta data to help aid the natural search.3. Be SMART with Social MediaSocial Media is undoubtedly a brilliant tool to engage with your customer base. However, as with any other marketing channel you need to be SMART (specific, measured achievable, realistic, timely). You are likely to have performed the obligatory social sweep, setting up Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube accounts to sit alongside your blog. This isn’t necessarily the best strategy. Make sure that the social media channels are relevant. If you are B2B then the likes of facebook may not necessarily be the best channel for you, similarly with Twitter and B2C.Social Media Channels take time to build, and even more time to manage.
Snapping up the usernames early on is a must, but you don’t necessarily have to use and publicise the platforms just because you own them; focus on one area in particular to begin with, then expand as you learn about your audience and discover what resonates with them. 4. Make Your Content ScalableMany start-ups create masses of content from the get-go. Invariably, things quickly tail off as other business priorities, development needs or marketing ventures take precedence, meaning the river of content becomes a trickle.
A sustainable and scalable approach to content takes into account the dedicated resources required for creation, and puts emphasis on continued learning of what works and what doesn’t.
There are also benefits to be had from an SEO point of view by maintaining fresh content on a regular basis on the site. 5. Create Content to Re-Engage Users
Try to develop something that is going to re-engage your users on a regular basis. This doesn’t need to be anything too fancy, but if you can produce something of use, value or interest at manageable intervals, you’ll start to develop real affinity with your customers. Whether it’s a weekly quiz or a quarterly ‘state of the industry’ infographic, build it, brand it and persist with it.6. Plan, Plan, PlanDuring your launch period you’ll hopefully be very busy; managing your inventory, fulfilling orders, supporting other marketing channels and inevitably ironing out the bugs in your website. This shouldn’t stop you consistently creating good content though during this period.
A good idea whilst you are in the start up phase of your business is to create a 12 month content plan and develop as much additional content, based on your research and marketing plan as possible. This can be linked to blogs, emails and additional website content (possibly for services that you are launching later in the year).
Plan in advance and get ahead of the game! 7. Share The WorkloadWe have a policy here where we try to encourage every member of the team to write a blog once a month on the basis that it really helps to generate fresh content with a different perspective on each article.
Why not try the same in your business? Each member of staff has a unique story to tell, and giving them an outlet is good practice. Make content development everybody’s responsibility as part of their job spec, with the necessary quality checks in place of course.
The Cookie Law is a new EU Directive that comes into play on the 26th May 2012 that requires websites to obtain consent from visitors to store or retrieve any information on a computer or any other web connected device, like an iPad, tablet or mobile phone.
The EU claim that the law has been designed to “protect online privacy, by making consumers aware of how information about them is collected by websites, and enable them to choose whether or not they want to allow it to take place.”
What is the Cookie Law
Cookies are used in many different ways on the web and the vast majority of them beneficial to visitors. However, the powers that be in Brussels are not comfortable about this happening without gaining the users permission first.
What it Means for You
Therefore you will almost certainly need to make changes to it to comply with the law.
What To Do and When
For the 26th May 2012, companies are expected to be compliant, or working towards being compliant, with the guidelines.
If the site is not complaint, or showing signs of being compliant, you run the risk of enforcement action, which can include a fine of up to half a million pounds for a serious breach.
What You Should Do
The ICO have produced guidance for website owners who want to become compliant. They have written a long document about it, but to summarise:
• Audit your site
• Find out what cookies you have.
• Find out what these cookies are used for, and which ones you need to get consent for (there are some exemptions)
• Work out how to get consent from your visitors to set cookies on their internet device.
What’s The Downside
Whilst we understand the legalities of this legislation, it has left us, along with many of our peers within the digital marketing and ecommerce industries, somewhat concerned about the knock on effects that it may have on business. Are people going to start leaving sites if they are presented with multiple pop ups? (This post on David Naylor's blog takes the cookie law to the extreme letter of the law: . You can see how users would be turned off by this). Are people going to reject key cookies which make the sites function properly without really knowing what they are turning off? What are the implications of Google Analytics tracking not functioning on websites? How is this going to be policed?
Personally, I feel that this legislation could potentially become a nightmare for the industry, if heavily policed. We have come up with a solution for our clients which we believe will make us compliant under the legislation.
However, I also feel that whilst people’s interaction with online channels need to be protected, this is not the correct way to go about it. My views are shared by these guys at www.nocookielaw.com. Whilst we accept that we have to become complaint, we don’t have to like it Cookie Law Video