Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sartorial Videos To Inspire

I'm a big fan of Mr. Porter..from their website, to their emails, to their products.

I've now become a big fan of the video content they produce. Check out this video they use to help inspire what we should be wearing by showing the trends in Florence, Italy.

Why is video important? Well video and photos are a sure way of driving engagement. Take a look at this infographic from MBOOTH

VisualStorytellingInfographic resized 600

But in the case of Mr. Porter, selling fashion, it makes complete sense to inspire by suing real people in video  rather than stills or models wearing the clothes.

Anyway, I'm off to sort my wardrobe out!

Check out more Mr Porter videos on their YouTube Channel

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Track Your Letter With QR Postage Stamps ?

Perhaps old news to citizens of Croatia, but as far back as 2011 the Croatian Postal Service started putting QR codes and a numeric tracking code to their stamps


You can then check to see how far your letter has travelled by entering the code on line

and check out its exciting journey on their interactive map

I'm not quite sure at what point the sender scans the QR code..after all, they have put the letter in the post box?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Thinking Global, Acting Local

Nothing new there.

The term has been around for decades now. Whether it be the different blend of Coke in Mexico to the US; the way Nescafe instant coffee tastes different in France than the UK, the fact that The Big Mac is replaced with the Chicken Maharaja Mac in India

In fact, in 2012, MacDonalds announced(1) that with the fact that 40% of Indians being vegetarians, they would also be setting up vegetarian outlets there as well

Of course, this Thinking Global and Acting Local ( sometimes shortened to being Glocal), also applies to advertising

A Ford Focus is launched like this in the UK

But like this in Italy

A Starbucks looks different in York to one in Tokyo


So why on earth do some global Brands think Social should be any different?

If you are one of those brands, then here are 9 reasons why you should focus your Facebook activity locally

(1) MacDonalds to beef up in India with meatless menu

Monday, 21 January 2013

Feedback On Your Emails

There are a number of ways we can improve the content we send out to our newsletter subscribers.

We can
  1. send out surveys
  2. ask for feedback at the point of unsubscribe
  3. analyse our metrics around open, clicks and link analysis
Or we can simply add the option in every single email for subscribers to improve the relevancy of the content.

An ASOS email that dropped into my inbox this morning did just that, with a  link towards the bottom of the email

This led me to a simple survey that asked
 questions to relevancy both in terms of 
content and frequency

And as this was achieved using a Survey Monkey form, it was no doubt cheap and easy to set up!

No excuses not to ask for feedback now!!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Getting High On Customer Reviews..Literally

Amazon has this positive review somewhere on its site.

''Based on the strong recommendations of a number of reviewers on the Amazon site, I recently took a bottle of 2011 Barrettine to a dinner party to which I and my wife had been invited. Handing the bottle proudly to our hostess with the obligatory box of Neuhaus chocolates, I was disappointed to see her somewhat frosty reaction. Assuming this was a judgment on the small size of the bottle, I assured her that Barrettine's had not yet acceded to the popular demands for a full 75cl bottle and that the smaller volume of the bottle should be in no way be seen as detracting from its overall quality. When I later heard the sound of her crying behind the kitchen door, I assumed that this was the result of some disappointment at the over-cooking of the salmon, but in a later email from my hosts I have since been informed that a bottle of Barrettine's is not universally appreciated at such occasions.

I mention this story simply to help other readers avoid such a social 'faux pas' themselves, and in future I will certainly test out my hosts' attitudes with some indirect questions about Barrettine's at the point of invitation. Still, in the context of a wider milieu of cultural mediocrity, I say 'hats off' to Barrettine's for a product that can still excite such strong passions and debate.''

But what is the reviewer, amongst many other's, reviewing? A fine Claret? A Single Malt Whiskey?

Wrong...nothing less than a bottle of methylated spirits

You really do need to check out the rest of the reviews..much better than hotel and restaurant reviews that have been left by the owners themselves! A Ramada hotel being exposed here

Friday, 18 January 2013

We All Want Our Video To Go Viral


Well not necessarily because of the views its getting but because we've put something out there that people want to share.

Many branded videos for example get views just because of the marketing budget put behind it . So it's not surprising when content like this from Nike gets over 4 million views and counting

But in reality viral means that the content has been shared, usually via Facebook or Twitter so it was great to see from this Joinvan infographic that the most shared piece of video in 2012 was the Kony2012 piece

Now of course the star of 2012 was of course Psy's Gangnam Style video with over 1 billion views and its amazing the varitaion and copycats it has spawned.

But what makes a video go viral?

Well, according to Hubspot, key considerations include

- keep it short
- having a strong brand persona
- get the 'Is it real?' question asked
- Make it funny

The full list can be seen here

And if you dare go to the bottom of this post, you may even see my own Gangnam Style take.

Woods and Mcllroy beware !

You can always get your Gangnam Style at JibJab.com

15 Mobile Marketing Websites You Must Read- Infographic

Tuesday, 15 January 2013 No More

This is such a depressing holding page

But slightly ironic in the fact that one of the reasons for the decline of this famous brand is the competition from online sales via Amazon and to name but 2.

And what do the administrators do? Switch off

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Luggage Tags Travel Ads

Expedia's agency have come up with a brilliant use for airport luggage destination tags

What do your tags say about you?

See more here

Trying Too Hard To Be Personal

Do I really appreciate warm wishes from your family Mr Lauren?

To be honest, I've never met them

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Digitisation of History

Iconic black and white photograph of Lincoln showing his head and shoulders.

I loved this example of how the British Library is preserving and making history accessible

For example by clicking here , you can see a digital copy of the Proclamation of Emancipation with Mr Abraham Lincoln's signature at the bottom of course

Happy Birthday.. But If It's Not, Even Happier Un-Birthday

Thank you YO! Sushi for my birthday gift

But if it's not your birthday

Maybe next year I will change my birth date...or perhaps they can give me something extra?

Still..I did quite like the graphics

40% Jan Sale voucher

Monday, 7 January 2013

Santa Is Officially On Holiday

Well, according to the Google Santa Tracker anyway

Nice holding page

Starbucks Brighten My Sunday / Monday

With more and more people reading their emails on a Sunday, what better time for Starbucks to send me this email about their Monday Tall Latte offer

The link to their website 'history's greatest Mondays ' gave me access to this neat video

Open rates are pretty good on Sundays according to this chart from MailerMailer

The email arrived in my inbox in the evening at around 6pm. With over 60% of emails being read between 6pm and 12noon, they are certainly increasing their chances of getting it read.

But of course this is all going to vary depending on your business model and your audience. These stats are always a nice pointer but as in the words of Oscar Wilde

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”

Don't be like everyone else..everyone else isn't you!

As the offer runs for the next 3 Mondays, it will be interesting to see if they follow up over the next couple of weeks

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Tailoring Your News

DriveThru is a neat app being developed by Knight Lab to give you the news you want in the amount of time you have available.

So whether you're waiting for a bus or sitting on it, you can fill your time with news packaged into the right size.

Knight Lab is a team of technologists, journalists, designers and educators working to advance news media innovation through exploration and experimentation

See more their projects and ideas here

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Keeping Your Eyes Wide Open CRM

CRM is not just implementing expensive software, although a quick Google search of CRM will bring up a whole host of expensive CRM platforms ranging from to Oracle to Alterian etc. I have worked previously with an organisation who spent close to £1m on a software solution, but then realised they didn't have the marketers needed to get the best from the platform.

This is a typical example of CRM project coming out of an IT Strategy rather than a Customer Strategy. Many companies fall into this trap and implement CRM 'technologies' to aid in their quest for a 'single customer view', but Gartner suggests that over 55% of these projects fail

So what is CRM?

Ultimately it is about getting close to the customer and gaining engagement at all the possible touchpoints where a consumer comes across the brand. These touchpoints happen during the various phases of the Purchase Lifecycle from Awareness, through to Consideration, Purchase, Ownership and Repurchase.

Engagement is really about having the right conversation...and the right conversation is all about the right Content at the Right Time, delivered by the most appropriate vehicle. Now of course good software allows you hold all this content and can be used to deliver it via the right channel at a time when the consumer is the most receptive, but it needs a Customer Strategy behind it to be most effective.

Strategy is a combination of Logic and Interpretation. Computers can follow rules, but only people can interpret value, based on sound judgement and experience. The data might tell me that refining the segmentation and using the most responsive creative has somehow reduced my ROI, but gut instinct will tell me that something else has played a part in this spurious outcome, whether that be timing or something else happening in the market.

CRM isn't run by the MI department but by the Marketing Department. The MI will tell you that you shouldn't contact lapsed customers, because well...they're lapsed. Marketing judgment presents the notion that there might be a reason as to why they are lapsed..maybe that particular segment don't buy your product as regularly as others so it might be worth pursuing them in a different way.

CRM software gives the impression that Lights Out Marketing ( everything is automated and doesn't need anyone about) is the Nirvana we all seek. 

But personally, I think its better to get into CRM with  my eyes wide open and the lights full on

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


Let me start with the question ' Do Loyalty schemes bring in customers?'

Want the simple answer?. Well, the simple answer is yes, but probably not on their own. In markets where there is little to choose from in terms of product differentiation and where there are no dominant brands whose name on their own makes things taste better, loyalty schemes can sometimes influence the customer's choice. And when we remember the conventional wisdom that it is far cheaper to keep an existing customer than to secure new ones, loyalty is even more important.

Driving loyalty is seen as the main way of retaining an organisation's valuable customers. This does not mean treating them well to the detriment of the remaining customers but actually means - treating all customers better - but treating the most valuable customers even better!!

But in the loyalty crazy environment of today, the ease with which customers switch from scheme to scheme is highlighted by the number of loyalty cards available and the variety held by individuals. Research shows that the big supermarkets have a loyalty card swipe attached to over 80% of sales. So despite some of the cynicism that revolves around what really can be redeemed from a consumers point of view, we do make use of these schemes. But a 1% discount can easily be matched or beaten by a competitor. I do not use my local Tesco because of my Clubcard, but because its the closest supermarket. Loyalty doesn't register when the petrol light on my dashboard lights up. 

So how do we really keep customers loyal?

Well, what does being loyal customer  mean? Is it being a regular customer? Or is that just as a result of habit? Is it one who gives us a large part of their weekly spend? In the latter, what happens if they become aware of the competition, or more importantly if the competition become aware of them?! Surely a loyal customer is one who stays with us despite the attentions of the competition or at least tells us that they are considering moving. Now we are talking of a scenario where we have relationship with that customer.

So what is a relationship?

One thing that it is not, is a one way bombardment of direct mail, telephone calls, emails, special offers on unrelated products or services. How we define the relationship and subsequently manage it can be based on how we establish and nurture relationships in our own personal lives. Relationships have a set of ground rules:

- There would seem to be the need for some empathy between the parties. An appreciation and understanding of each others needs.

- An understanding that what you show each other is what is inside, there are no secret agendas or requirements. To aid this, a certain amount of transparency is required. You want to speak to them, they need to be able to speak to you

- An acceptance of how the relationship may evolve. People change their minds, or their needs change. Real choices are made in relationships every day

- Relationships are made all the better if there are pleasant surprises or unexpected rewards every now and again.

 - Some old fashioned good manners are required.

Remember always that in relationship marketing it should be what you can do FOR the customer as opposed to the shorter term view of what you can do TO the customer!

Many organisations rely on the fact that they have a Relationship Marketing Manager or similarly described individual to ensure that all this happens. This does seem like a strange title as most people in an organisation have more contact with the customer than this individual! What we have recognised is that from the customer's perspective every contact they have with the organisation forms part of the relationship they have with it. This implies that customers and staff need to be involved in defining what the relationship means to them. Relationship marketing is not an add on, therefore, but is core to the communication strategy of an organisation.

This relationship does not have to rely on giveaways. The next credit card will give away more freebies......but will it match your interest rate offer? The loyalty bit of a relationship has a number of key factors influencing it. They are a distillation of the good old marketing mix ( Product, Price, People, Processes, Place, Promotion and Service) given to us at 'Marketing School'.

We define them simply as the quality of the

- service provided
- product offered
- dialogue shared

This is simply a recognition that quality, customer service and marketing activities need to be brought together. Relationship marketing and customer loyalty cannot be treated as separate entities. They form part of of the same ladder which gets individuals from Prospect to Advocate.

Sending me vouchers though email is good. Recognising me when I make my dinner reservation is better. Remembering my favourite drink when I sit down is brilliant!

So remember, although Bruce Forsyth was right in saying that ''Points make Prizes'' - it's more important to remember the philosophy of Bananarama, ''It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it. It ain't what you say, it's the way that you say it''