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12 months in Digital Marketing

A personal End of Year Review of Digital Marketing

You cannot escape the end of year reviews for pretty much everything at this time of year. You’ve got your best songs of the year, the best programmes, sports personality of the year (Andy Murray = best sports personality really?!!), best film….like we said, everything!

I am not complaining though, because here at MMT Digital we enjoy a good end of year review as much as anyone which is why I have decided to do one of my own.

A 12 months summary of my world of technology, web design and build, and marketing

Below is a summary of some of the most interesting subjects in the world of technology,web design & build and marketing that have caught my attention in the last 12 months…

January – March

  • Give me a slice of Rasberry Pi

As this is the season of eating a ridiculous amount of food it seems only fitting that I start off by discussing a Raspberry Pi. However, as I am sure you are aware, this Raspberry Pi is unfortunately not edible.

RasberryPI

On January 29th it was announced that Google would fund the Raspberry Pi Foundation to deliver 15,000 Raspberry Pi microcomputers to UK schools in the hope that the free devices will inspire children to take up coding. A noble quest I am sure you agree!

Of course our developers had a play to see what they could do with a Raspberry Pi…

  • Google’s First Laptop

The Chromebook Pixel was launched early on in the year. It was a touch screen laptop that was trying to get users to do everything via Google and not touch any 3rd party product such as Microsoft Office!

chromepixellaptop

Along with their Chromebook, Google are trying to dominate the lower and top end of the market. However, although the success of the Chromebook has been widespread, largely due to the very reasonable price, at the time of writing sales figures for the Pixel have been unobtainable.

April – June

  • Flat Web Design vs Skeuomorphism

When I wrote about the war between Flat Web Design and Skeuomorphism in April, little did I know what was around the corner….iOS 7!

There are pros and cons for both design approaches but we believe that common sense needs to come into play. If skeuomorphism is needed slightly to make things easier for the user then do it (certain Google mobile apps such as Google maps), if it just looks tacky, e.g. the now defunct iCal, then don’t! The same applies to flat web design.

Skeuomorphism

It’s a shame that Apple received so much criticism for adopting the common sense approach when they released iOS 7.

  • A website that predicts the future…(sorry lottery numbers not included)

If you have been to any trade shows this year such as Internet World, the Festival of Marketing or J.Boye Philadelphia and J.Boye Aarhus you may have seen our CTO, James Cannings, discussing the merits of content-centric responsive web design

zombiegoldfish

We champion this approach as it ensures that your website will look and work perfectly on all existing devices as well as those that haven’t even been invented yet!

  • Sprint and Scrum without breaking a sweat

It would not be an exaggeration to say that adopting the Agile Manifesto has revolutionised how we approach projects. We started using Agile a couple of years but we have only really started to shout about it this year.

scrumssprints

There are so many benefits to using Agile as your preferred project management strategy but in a nut shell it helps you release to market with maximum speed at minimum cost.

The agency and client become one team with everyone striving for the same goals. This close bond comes a result of daily communication and complete transparency. The days of an agency coming back after 6 months with something that you didn’t ever want are over!

  • Why did we say that Barney (yep, the Barney!) was a CXM genius?

Back in June, when we were actually having a decent Summer for what seemed like the first time in a decade, CXM (Customer Experience Management) had become one of the most discussed topics in marketing.

barney

The process of ensuring that every customer touch point is consistently excellent seems like an obvious strategy. However, I think we have all experienced scenarios where this has not been the case….obnoxious sales assistant?....In Britian?....Surely not!

The Barney comparison came about when a member of the MMT Digital team was watching an episode (with his 3 year old cousin he assures us!) and he had to endure the nails down the chalkboard singing of the 10ft tall purple dinosaur. Barney was singing a song called 'You’re special' and described how 'you’re the only one like you'.

This is essentially what you should remember when implementing a strong CXM strategy; make everyone feel special and unique!

July – September

  • Your parents were wrong! Playing computer games wasn't a waste of time!

This was the message I was sending out in autumn as gamification started to be widely recognised as a brilliant technique for driving desired consumer behaviour.

gamification

Gamification strategies can be as simple (loyalty points for certain behaviours) or as complicated (Nike’s Fuel Missions) as you wish.

By providing an incentive you are subtly encouraging repeat purchase, customer loyalty, brand ambassadorship and many more desired results.

I took gamification a step further and showed how it can be applied to your staff. Even the most menial of tasks e.g. data entry can become interesting!

  • Adobe released AEM 5.6 or CQ 5.6 to traditionalists

There is no doubting that Adobe's AEM 5.6 is a very impressive CMS platform. With its preview facility Sidekick showing what a site will look like on different devices, and its touch optimised interface making it easy to use on mobile and tablet, there are lots to marvel at.

adobeexperiencemanager

It has not escaped criticism though. Most content editors are not from a technical background and unlikely to ever be very technical. This is makes perfect sense as it is not their job to be technical. Therefore, there have been complaints that Adobe AEM 5.6 is too complicated to use for the average content editor who is likely to be from the marketing department.

At MMT Digital we believe that leaving the client with a CMS that they are comfortable with should be at the top of the priority list for all web development agencies. For example, Kentico CMS, which we have used for many projects, is simple to use and thus provides content editors the confidence they need to manage and be creative with their respected website.

  • Why were we talking about an erotic French film?

Native advertising has seen a rapid rise in 2013. This is the tactic of disguising advertising as just part of the content you expect to see in a particular environment. This marketing tactic has come in for criticism due to its perceived trickery at the consumer’s expense.

There has been plenty of discussion over what does and what doesn’t constitute as native advertising which is where the French link comes into play.

nativeadvertising

'You know it when you see it' is the famous Potter Stewart quote from the Jacobelis vs Ohiocourt case (1964) in which the French film 'The Lovers (Les Amants)', that the state of Ohio deemed too obscene, was at the centre of. As the definition of native advertising continues to evolve this quote is incredibly fitting.

October – December

  • Apparently Apple released a new iPhone this year

Well, as I am sure you know, they actually released two but we only have the 5s in the office.

iphone

In October, I gave it a bit of a review praising the aesthetics (shock….Apple make a good looking product!) the camera, the A7 chip and finger print recognition. However, in terms of an upgrade from the iPhone 5 it was a slight disappointment.

  • Parallax websites

I will be writing a more detailed blog post for SmartInsights about parallax websites in the near future but for now you will have to make do with reading about some parallax sites that I love!

It is the web design technique of using CSS to make different layers on the web page move at different rates. When a user scrolls down a page they will be presented with content, such as photos, videos, text etc coming in from different angles and not just all moving down the screen together.

The National Geographic website used for the Killing Kennedy TV programme is a brilliant example.

parallaxwebsites

Although it has been used for websites since 2011 (its origins are actually from the 2D gaming world) expect to see a lot of it in 2014!

  • Jetpack Santa

It was the news the gaming world had been waiting for. No, not the launch of the PS4, nor the Xbox One, it was the release of what some are calling 'the greatest game based on Santa having a jetpack delivering presents to orphans released on 2nd December 2013'….high praise indeed!

JetPack_Santa

In just 7 nights of hacking a group of MMT Digital employees built Jetpack Santa for a bit of festive fun for your office. It’s not quite Grand Theft Auto 5 but it is fun and addictive…and there are evil elves! I hope that you enjoy playing it!

Have a great Christmas & New Year!

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