2015 marketing trends lists: Big, safe but dangerous - Don’t let lists limit your thinking!

We’re nearing the end of the 2015 prediction window, where there is the annual glut of big, vague and safe lists of trends we love to read and share. We seem obsessed with lists.

But think of the problem with these lists... Each and every year lists appear to generalise, distort and delete, so by definition they remove what’s relevant to you. They create edges that don’t exist, and so they remove the real value. They can’t help but do that. Any list is written from ‘their’ start point, how likely is that directly applicable by you? So who wants to read generic trend beliefs? Is it adding to the conversation or layering on more noise or jargon? A list will be most often written to match the agenda, PR objectives, knowledge and experience of the writer/seller. Worse,…

Recommendations on the top tips, techniques and tools to reach content marketing excellence in 2015

2014 has certainly been a busy year for content marketing and something that wasn’t a surprise given the research and buzz evident at the start of the year which showed that content marketing was the highest rated marketing priority for marketers. The more recent 2015 marketing trends poll on Smart Insights showed that content marketing is still the top marketing priority for 2015. But as the year has gone on, what have we really learnt about content marketing and the lessons we need to follow in order to execute this particular area of digital marketing effectively? In this post I’ve grouped together some key content marketing themes from 2014 and links to recommended best practice articles and resources from Smart Insights and other sites. Key areas of focus

Understanding content marketing

Before embarking on content marketing for your business, it's…

It’s Christmas Ad Season – but what emotions are leading brands playing on?

Yep, it’s that time of year again, that time when in true festive style we all become a little child-like, eagerly awaiting this year’s fresh batch of Christmas ads to see what beauties lie in store for us.  You know it’s true don’t you?  These Christmas themed ads give us a warm, cosy feeling inside, making us feel a whole range of different emotions right across the spectrum… happiness, nostalgia, thankfulness, warmth, protective, loving…..the list goes on. However, despite watching and experiencing some of the above mentioned emotions, the question that we never stop to consider is simply, why do we react in this way? What, precisely, is it that makes us feel the way we feel when watching these ads, and what is it that makes us want to watch Christmas ads, when we quickly skip over any…

The latest Ecommerce facts about shopper behaviour to inform retail strategies in 2015

We enjoyed the interesting + useful Ecommerce factoids and commentaries from digital agency Blueleaf. So we got in touch to share the learnings contained. If you would like to see the remainder of the series, you can sign-up to Gossip. Enjoy, please Tweet the facts you fancy and Merry Christmas!

Day 1 - Christmas commerce fact for 8th December:

Shoppers spend 30% more per order, when free shipping is included. Source: Wharton

UX Director Chris Jones explains, 'Take a long, hard look at your shipping costs. Could you trial free shipping to see if there’s an uplift in sales that would more than cover the cost? Do you at least offer free shipping over a certain basket amount? It’s something that customers feel very strongly about, especially on high…

Examples of developing your brand in 2015 by building your Digital Knowledge Centre

SEO technology provider, Searchmetrics, recently released a white paper: SEO Rank Correlations and Ranking Factors 2014 – Google U.S., evaluating factors impacting organic search results and an analysis of search engine algorithms. This post highlights some of the findings for organisations SEO brand strategy. I have condensed the 83 page document into some of the key factors brands need to be aware of. The searchmetrics report provides some good news for brands. Whether an established player or an emerging start-up, brands need to wake up to the opportunities the ever changing search landscape offers. There has been a fundamental shift in the types of brands monopolising the search landscape along with the rapid growth in content marketing, the brands winning this game are the brands that have re-defined their…

Or PEST, PESTEL, STEEPLE, SLEPT or DEEPLIST if you prefer...

PESTLE is one of a well known series of acronyms used in business and marketing planning which summarises how to review the broader forces sometimes known as 'macro-environment' which shape a business:

Environment Factors affecting a business - Source: Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick - Digital Marketing, Strategy, Implementation and Practice We rate PEST or PESTLE analysis as one of the top 20 marketing models which we feature in our digital marketing models guide. In this article we will explain how to complete a PESTLE analysis covering each of the parts using an example of applying the analysis. Recommended Guide: Essential Marketing Models In our free, illustrated guide to 16 classic planning models diagrams we explain what…

Retail store techniques to meet shopper expectations

What are consumers expecting from experiences created by retailers in the UK and USA, and how are retailers satisfying their needs for the ultimate sale?  Consumers in the UK and those across the pond are looking for the best offers, a rewarding in-store experience and a high level of customer, which is what we would expect. It's interesting though that the differences are around stock/production information; 52% of American consumers feel let down compared to 28% in the UK. So what should retailers be offering their consumers, if it's not already in place? The research highlights tactics such as consistency of prices across channels to reinforce trust and displaying real-time information. The full In-store retail report can be accessed from Displaydata. For more on creating in-store digital retail experiences see this post on …

A case study of a  Black Friday retail campaign

I awoke on the last Friday of November to find that people were being arrested in supermarkets  across the UK and stampedes were breaking out over flat screen TVs. On checking my emails I was inundated an avalanche of offers in relation to that American import which, like Halloween, is suddenly huge over here in the UK too: Black Friday. With the Argos, Currys, Tesco and Boots' websites all experiencing outages due to weight of demand, the British public appears to have got over its aversion to this American celebratory holiday of all things consumer. I run a niche ecommerce business that has a big US subscriber base, and based on previous Thanksgiving weekends it was clear that we needed to have a planned approach to the "holiday" season. As the day drew nearer we had customers emailing asking what we had planned as offers…

Where to focus to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition

It isn’t always about embracing the newest, shiniest techniques. Instead, the fundamentals of consistency, reliability and credibility are often more important to make an impact with customers. Customers may often cite innovation as one of the must haves, but it’s rarely at the top of the list. In B2B, they want continuity and risk mitigation. That's why web searches, supplier websites, and email remain the primary information sources for the modern business buyer. These are the tools that allow customers to seek out products and services, to learn about the companies that provide them and to ensure they are regularly updated on them. In our recent "Six ways to turbocharge your B2B marketing" webinar - now available on demand - we discussed six ways to ensure you are at the forefront of your B2B customer's mind. For those of you too busy…

Examples showing the value of social proof in boosting email subscriptions

If you’ve ever watched sitcoms, you probably have a good idea what 'canned laughter' is - it’s a track of 'people laughing played in the background' every time there is something funny on the screen. This way TV producers can alter our perception of a particular scene as its perceived to be funnier. It’s not a secret trick psychologists have been silent about, but one of behavioural patterns we all follow intuitively. It’s called social proof, and it can throw a whole new light on your email marketing operations. Social proof is a phenomenon occurring when people undergo a process of decision-making. Our brains are programmed to automatically follow other people’s behaviour. Once we notice a large group of individuals have made certain decisions, it is very likely that we will perceive…

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