All posts by Dave Chaffey

Dave is editor of many of the 7 Step to Success guides on Smart Insights. He is a bestselling author, consultant and speaker who enjoys sharing tips, tools and techniques on all things digital, but especially those most influential in driving awareness, leads and sales. That's SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, Site Design and Analytics! You can connect with Dave through any of these social networks to receive his latest insights or to ask a question: LinkedIn - Google+ - Twitter - Facebook. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

How Spotify built a $5 billion business with more than 50 million subscribers

Spotify is a streaming music service originally developed in 2006 in Sweden and launching in 2008. Spotify Ltd. now operates as the parent company in London while Spotify AB manages research and development in Stockholm. This case study about the online music subscription service illustrates how different elements of the mix can be varied online. It also highlights success factors for developing an online marketing strategy. We've included it on Smart Insights for readers of Dave Chaffey's books before the next edition is publishes - it replaces an earlier case study In early 2015, Spotify was valued at more than $5 billion. Investments in the growth of the company have been $1/2 billion in seven rounds of funding from 17 investors. It is currently rumoured to be about to…

New consumer insights showing the importance of search in different sectors

When I'm asked by people who are starting new businesses where they should focus their online marketing, search marketing is usually near the top of the recommendation. Of course it depends on the level of consumer intent or demand for the new service, i.e. how many people are searching for products and services. The importance of search marketing today is shown by our new infographic created by JBH Marketing. It shows the importance of search drawing on the latest data from SimilarWeb on the level of consumer demand through searching and including practical advice and analysis from some of the top places to learn about search like Moz, Search Engine Land and Searchmetrics. So, I hope you agree that the infographic presents a compelling case for investing more…

New research from 300 online retailers shows the impact of different types of personalized product recommendations on conversion rates and other Ecommerce KPIs

We're all familiar with the Amazon personalized product recommendations after many years of seeing and responding to them, but since this well-known whitepaper from the Amazon team explaining the thinking behind the 'collaborative filtering' aka Product recommendations on Amazon [PDF], it's rare for Amazon to share the impact of product recommendations on their results. Recent research on Personalized Product recommendations from Barilliance sheds light on the impact of personalized recommendations based on an analysis of results from their clients. Barilliance analyzed revenue source data from over 300 eCommerce sites worldwide which use the Barilliance product recommendation engine. Here are some of the main learnings from the research which highlight the potential gains from implementing personalized product recommendations. Hopefully some of these results are useful for benchmarking the relative importance of personalized recommendations with your site: Percentage…

What is Digital Transformation and what can hamper it?

This new infographic summaries a new report from Infomentum exploring barriers and steps to digital transformation. It starts with a definition of digital transformation, which although by Brian Solis, isn't as dynamic as you might expect. It also doesn't get to the main success factors which, for me, are people, process and tools in that order.  Here's the definition James Carson and I cooked up in our Digital transformation toolkit: "Digital Transformation: A staged programme of business improvements to People, Process and Tools tools used for integrated digital marketing to maximize the potential business contribution of digital technology and media". The infographic goes on to explore the barriers and how to overcome them but keeping them straightforward for a CEO. Possibly too simple, but the second part of the infographic does highlight the success factors and reason for change. …

Will this be Google's biggest algorithm update of the year so far?

Importance: [rating=4] Recommended link: Google’s official announcement - ‘An update on Doorway pages’ Wow, this seems a strange one! It feels like back to the 1990s when Doorway pages were a common SEO technique to get ranked in Altavista which was popular before Google even launched. When Google launched in 1998, their push to create more relevant results soon saw them outlaw Doorway pages and issue webmasters guidance to avoid them. So a definite sense of Déjà vu for me and many other search marketers I’m sure! I’ve rated this alert as 4 out of 5 since although this webspam penalty is clearly aimed at targeting SEO spammers, there is always the risk of false positives from companies who are looking to practice ethical SEO. Google has issued a warning on their Webmasters Tools blog and updated their definition of doorway pages,…

Facebook to remove deactivated accounts from Page Like counts

Importance: [rating=2] Recommended link: Facebook blog announcement We aim to only alert members to the biggest changes happening on the main digital marketing platforms. This one is relatively small, but we thought we’d do a brief alert since you should keep an eye out to see how big the drop is and you may be asked by colleagues or clients, so will have an answer ready for when they ask?

What marketers need to know about this change

1. Your Facebook likes will fall by a small amount Facebook explains: “Page admins should expect to see a small dip in their number of Page likes as a result of this update. It’s important to remember, though, that these removed likes represent people who were already inactive on Facebook”. 2. Why will Likes Fall? Facebook will remove deactivated and…

How we got to #2 most popular inbound marketing blog in the UK. Sharing what works for our blog, the mistakes we've made and what could work for yours

Hubspot have just launched a new Inbound marketing ranking tool: InboundRank . It enables you to submit the URL of your marketing blog, and generate a ranking for your blog based on several parameters including inbound traffic, domain authority and average social shares. As you'd expect, Hubspot are doing the content marketing thing and have compiled a post sharing some of the secrets of the Top 10. This is based on my response to them. I wanted to go into a bit more detail on our blog on what seems to have worked for us, the pitfalls we tried to avoid and what could work for you. We're chuffed that SmartInsights.com is currently number 2 on the…

March 2015: The latest figures on the popularity of social sign-on

We first created this alert at the time of the introduction of Google+ social sign-in in February 2013 and have since charted the growth in its popularity. The first reports showing the relative popularity of social sign-in from 2014 are now available from Janrain and Gigya, two of the main platforms for managing social sign-in. The Janrain social sign-in trends data to the start of Q1 2015 shows that Google is increasing in popularity and is now nearly greater than Facebook. Their post also has a breakdown for different sectors - the figures differ for retail vs publishing for example, Facebook is still dominant except within B2B where Google+ now exceed Facebook. …

From SMART to SMARTER marketing objectives

When identifying specific marketing objectives to support your long-term goals, it is common practice to apply the widely used SMART mnemonic. You will know that SMART is used to assess the suitability of objectives set to drive different strategies or the improvement of the full range of business processes. One of the main reasons that we called our site and service SMART Insights is because we wanted to help marketers succeed through using a more structured approach to planning to give more realistic targets they could be more confident of achieving. Using SMART objectives and then measuring them through properly customised analytics reports is a big part of how we hope to help too. With SMART objectives documented in Plans linking objectives to strategies and KPIs everyone is sure exactly what the target is, progress towards it can be quickly and regularly reviewed, for example…

Dynamic Product ads bring product retargeting to Facebook

Importance: [rating=4] For Retailers looking to retarget their audience on Facebook Recommended link: Facebook announcement of Dynamic Product ads Facebook announced Product Ads this week. Here's an example to show why they're dynamic:   In their post announcing product ads, they explain:

“Product ads, a solution designed to help businesses promote multiple products or their entire product catalog, across all the devices their customers use. With product ads, businesses can showcase more products and people on Facebook can discover more relevant products”.

So this ad option extends Custom Audiences which can already be used for targeting to reference individual products. While it’s of most interest to retailers and all of Facebooks ads show this, it does look as if manufacturers or brands could use the service too. Given the popularity of Google's PLAs this is likely…
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