A Google+ account will no longer be required to use other Google services, as Google announces a shift to focus ‘SPS’ products [#SmartInsights alert]

Importance: [rating=2] Recommended source: Official Google blog Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing announced via a Google+ update yesterday, that Google has essentially decided to reverse the policy that it embarked on in 2013. Back then Google was trying to use Google+ to tie together all of its services, and thus forced users of Google services like YouTube to have Google+ accounts to be able to use the service - you'll remember how popular that was . Horowitz is quite open that Google now considers this a mistake. In his post he admits ‘we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink. So over the next few months, we’re going to be making some important changes.’ …

The thinking behind our new summary of the latest, most critical developments in digital marketing

You'll know that Digital marketing develops fast. Really fast. So, it can be really difficult keeping up-to-date on the latest developments from the marketing platforms like Google and the social networks. Businesses and marketers who are agile can take advantage of testing the latest tools, techniques and insights to get an edge on their more laggardly competitors. Given the rate of change, when we launched Smart Insights, one of our key aims was to help advise marketers on the digital marketing techniques that are most relevant to their personal and business success or, if you prefer, to help prevent you drowning in content. Some updates are critical and will massively affect marketing outcomes, others are interesting to know but unlikely to greatly affect your…

Use these 3 tools and 4 techniques to save time keeping up with digital marketing developments

Three years ago (my how time flies) Dave Chaffey wrote about taming the social media fire hose. With 278,000 tweets sent every minute and 41,000 posts being put on Facebook every second we realised that even when you just narrowed that down to content about Digital marketing it was still a never-ending hurricane of content, advise and views. How do you make sense of it all? For social media we advised using tools like Hootsuite, which bring channels together and allow for easier social media listening. All well and good for social, but what about the general vast amount of digital marketing advice posted every day? How do we digest it and take actionable steps from it? We are always pondering this problem so it was interesting to see this post from one of our LinkedIn group…

How technology and creativity come together in programmatic advertising to maximize potential

To reach the modern consumer, companies must embrace ideas such as: programmatic advertising advertising for multiple screens personalization  Consumers today have become increasingly adept at ignoring advertising they feel is no longer a utility, but an irritation. While the always-on phenomenon has become a popular buzz-phrase, in reality the cognitive load placed on consumers as a result of the on demand economy has been significant. Not only are consumers filtering out irrelevant advertising, but poor ad placements are also harming brands and their reputations. According to the 2013 Online Personal Experience study conducted by Janrain, nearly 3/4 of U.S. consumers report feeling annoyed when they see adverts and content that does not match their needs or interests. Econsultancy also reported that over half of UK internet users have a desire for more relevant ads. For marketers, successfully managing this shift in consumer attitudes towards advertising…

Agility is the key to staying at the cutting edge of a changing industry

We live in a world full of ever-evolving technology. Marketers don’t have the luxury of relying on a single technique for very long. Things change quickly, from new products to innovative technology to customer expectations. The days of keeping the same marketing techniques for years are over. It’s a new era for businesses across all industries, and you must adapt quickly to survive the shifting ecosystem. That’s where agile marketing comes into play.

What is Agile Digital Marketing?

The definition of agile digital marketing is notoriously hard to pin down, but Jim Ewel of AgileMarketing.net this definition: Agile Marketing is an approach to marketing that takes its inspiration from Agile Development and that values Responding to change over following a plan Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns Testing and data over opinions and conventions Numerous small experiments over a few large bets Individuals and interactions over target markets Collaboration…

Data-driven marketing: How to tackle the tricky topic of trust

Thanks to a convergence of tools and technologies, marketers today have unprecedented access to consumer data. This has opened up a world of new opportunities for marketers, who are now better able to identify the consumers who are interested in their products and also establish what their preferences are in terms of how they are engaged. Marketers have never been more capable of delivering the right message at the right time. However, while basic data such as the browsing history and past purchases are easy to obtain, rich data such as a person’s interests cannot be collected without cooperation from the consumer. And while customers were historically fairly liberal about the sharing of their personal data, there has been a noticeable changing of attitudes in recent years. This affects the data-customer-relationship. 'The important thing to remember…

While you may have thorough buyer personas sketched out for your customers, there may be one piece of the puzzle that you’re missing: behavioural psychology.

Behavioural psychology often dictates how people make choices, whether it’s what to order at a restaurant or whether to subscribe to a company’s email newsletter. Within your digital channels, you can incorporate certain principles of behavioural psychology into your strategy in order to keep your marketing customer-centered, engaging, and conversion-driven. This will help turn your website visitors into conversions.

Anchoring

This is a principle of behavioural psychology that guides people towards context clues when making decisions. Oftentimes, your audience is unsure about how much time or money they should spend on a certain product or service, and when that’s the case, they turn to context clues to help them decide and usually settle on a middle ground. Incorporate anchoring into your digital marketing strategy by adding an “extreme”…

Customer reviews and social content are powerful decision-making tools so why make consumers search for them elsewhere?

The rise in holiday and hotel research conducted online, and the popularity of social media, presents an opportunity for the hotel industry. Word-of-mouth communication has a positive influence on brand awareness, brand attitude change, purchase intentions, product evaluations and consumer expectations. TripAdvisor’s 2015 TripBarometer report found that 90% of consumers rely on ratings of accommodation on a review site. This was the second most important factor impacting booking decisions behind price. Also 85% of consumers also rely on photos and videos online. To take advantage of this trend, hotels should use electronic word-of-mouth and user-generated content to supplement their primary marketing communication messages. Many of the large travel and tourism brands have adopted user generated content. Taking a quick look at the big three UK online travel agents, Booking.com, Expedia and Hotel.com, all of them…

It's worth reviewing your rankings since this is the first update for 10 months

Importance: [rating=5] For SEO managers Recommended link: Google Panda 4.2 Is Here - Search Engine Land  We're rating this alert 5 since Google hasn't updated Panda for over 10 months and previous updates have had a huge impact on many businesses. Google says its latest algorithm change, is being rolled out, but slowly and it will affect 2 to 3% of search queries. There is limited info on it directly from Google - they have just given the word to @RustyBrick. This is called Google Panda 4.2, and is Google’s first change to its ‘Panda’ algorithm for 10 months. The previous algorithm change; Panda 4.1 was a significant update. It aimed to identify low quality ‘thin’ content better so it could be downgraded in favour of…

Lolcats to London Fashion Week: social engagement with AwesomeWall

I (Marie) worked with the team from We Make Awesome Sh a few weeks ago for an outdoor music event. Whilst I was working on social media, the Awesome Sh team were busy building the “AwesomeWall”. So much more than a bunch of hashtagged word-based tweets, the wall surfaced images from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were uploaded and hashtagged throughout the event. To my mind this marks another step change in tools for live user engagement for brands. I asked the team to do us a little guest blog about the story behind the technology:

It all started with a Lolcats hack

AwesomeWall was born from the internet’s love of cats. It started as a quick hack from the We Make Awesome Sh (WMAS) team back in 2011. Seizing on tech opportunities as they offer themselves up, right after the release of the Instagram API, they built …
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