How I was able to get a job in a digital marketing publications firm

Well. I’d love to tell you, but that would be giving it away to the competition. Don’t you agree?

Unfortunately I don’t have the same time as I used to, so my blog has been a bit ignored. Sorry blog. However, as I am now working for a London based company called Econsultancy, you can follow my blogging there! (How exciting). Everything we write is digitally based and you may find some interesting bits of information. Also, everything is based off research so it must be good!

Website: http://econsultancy.com/

My blogs: http://econsultancy.com/blog/authors/ornaith-killen-2

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OrnaithK

I am hoping to get back to my own blogging soon, but am just working on settling into my new role before I do.

See you soon I hope!  

Pret a Manger Wants Happy Employees — And That’s OK

Crazy that people are writing about this, especially the HBR, when service with a smile is part of the industry culture.

Traditional vs Digital

I have found that the most searched terms used to find my blog center around traditional and digital marketing. It would seem that there isn’t clarity between the two and I would like to address that, but in very simple terms. However, instead of separating the two, I’d like to address them together.

In the rush to drive ‘Likes’ and Tweets, it is easy to forget that the term “digital marketing” did not even exist 10-15 years ago. Often, traditional tactics are overlooked in favour of the online approach, even though traditional is still an effective way to motivate desired behaviors among consumers.

I do feel the need to point out at this stage that my knowledge on traditional marketing is substandard. My undergraduate degree in business included traditional marketing modules, but my Masters degree was solely based on the digital marketing world. However lacking my knowledge base may be, I see the continuing need to integrate the two methods and differentiate brands by offering seductive solutions to consumers across all channels. The most effective marketing strategies are those that incorporate both traditional and digital elements into a combined package that can get the attention of the consumer.

As a result, general conversation needs to be shifted to focus on how the two channels work together, as well as how marketers can leverage the best both channels have to offer.

Digital has emerged in recent years as a cost-effective way to drive marketing results. However, traditional methods can help amplify and take campaigns to the next level. The combination of the two give marketers an opportunity to engage consumers holistically. Traditional marketing presents a highly effective way to reach a broad consumer audience, whereas digital marketing can be used to create a relationship with the consumer that has depth and relevancy. Marketers should use the wider reach traditional marketing channels present to generate broad awareness and drive consumers to the digital experience.

Traditional marketing is also a very effective way to target customer audiences based on demographic information like location or age, as well as interests and lifestyle. Digital can take that one step further as it enables marketers to instantly customize the experience and communication in real time. Personalized messages on social channels like Facebook give marketers the ability to target consumers based on the information they share.

Essentially, a brand needs to work out how the channels will work for them and why. Both methods can be used effectively together without an ‘either or’ situation. The key thing for marketers is the knowledge that they can use this to their advantage to plan effectively.

 

 

Social Media Monitoring

In the advertising world, it is a well-known fact that consumer’s value opinions expressed directly to them from a trusted source above all others. Marketers spend billions on elaborate advertising campaigns every year, but as consumers become overwhelmed with product choices tune out the ever-growing barrage of traditional marketing, word of mouth cuts through the noise quickly and effectively. The rise in social media in the last few years has added to digital footprint growth and contributed to the creation of a vast amount of digital data available to companies. Word of mouth is now voiced through social media as it acts as a marketing channel to solve business issues, such as receiving product feedback and providing social customer service. When this feedback is used in the right way it can positively affect brand reputation but without social performance measurements, brands are lacking the data analysis to create effective social media campaigns.

It is simply not enough anymore for companies to occasionally monitor their individual social media accounts, but they must go beyond that. If a company or brand is not directly mentioned, it is becoming a requirement for them to hear what the consumer is saying and engage, regardless of the forum. As online communities continually grow in size, number and character, all of the social web must be monitored to ensure contact with consumers is responded to and engaged with. Modern social media technologies offer communication paths that enable an individual to consume, produce, and redistribute content. As such, social media offer two important options. First, they greatly enrich traditional customer and firm interaction. Secondly, they enable the firm and customers to monitor what other customers are saying about a brand.

Social media monitoring (SMM) is a term coined to describe the systematic observation and analysis of content online, found through social media forums such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The aim of SMM is to gain a quick overview or insight into topics and opinions in the social web which are brand related. It differs to single social media analyses, or those that are conducted at regular intervals, as social media monitoring is carried out continuously. SMM is used in brand management, as it ensures the company is part of the conversation all of the time.

An Econsultancy report recently revealed that 38% of companies will be increasing their investment into SMM services in 2013. This statistic highlights the strength of the industry and the potential growth that it has. There are many different vendors available on today’s market, specialising in social CRM and social customer service respectively. The commonality characteristics between each these companies is that they all aim to make social media marketing easier to manage for brands. By enabling activities such as monitoring, conversation management and data collection across multiple social channels through one platform, they can do just that.

It will be interesting to see in the coming months which companies will begin to take part in monitoring as it begins to become a wider social media activity.

Cayova – A New Phenomenon in Social Media Security?

Cayova Logo

Cayova Logo

Beta Testing

The Beta site for Cayova.com went live on 29th April 2013. They describe themselves as a ‘revolutionary’ new platform, connecting users through social media. Cayova is a Facebook-style social network with two powerful privacy-related features. With one download, Cayova members can block ads as well as advertising networks trying to gather information about their online searches. Cayova also allows members to set up multiple profiles — for relatives, work colleagues, friends and “the public,” for instance — and control which groups see which posts.

Cayova believe in user empowerment; the right to privacy and the right to capture value.  The user can choose what’s private and what’s public, or if they want to communicate in an open space or a private hub. It is also possible to make money from online activity. It’s all about choice. Cayova see themselves as a new way to engage with friends, a new way to share, and a new way to have private conversations with a selected few or a great many. Or indeed as a new way to capture your value.

Cayova Security

Cayova Security

I decided to take part in this beta testing solely for the security ‘perks’ that Cayova claim to have over other social networking sites. I have been getting more and more unsatisfied with Facebook as time has gone on, as they keep changing their settings. In the past few months on Facebook I had changed all of my settings so that no one could search for me unless they were friends with me, see my photos, posts, and no one could tag me or post anything on my wall without my approval. Just in the last few weeks I have noticed that I am not getting notifications anymore for tags or posts, that Facebook have changed yet again, and I haven’t been told. As I become more educated in digital marketing and social media, I have come to appreciate the value of privacy and don’t want this to be an issue. I don’t want to delete my Facebook either, as I keep in touch with many friends that I met on my travels this way. So as a result, I wanted to try out Cayova and see what a secure social network is like.

Competing against Facebook is going to require an enormous investment as 67% of online American adults are Facebook users, compared with 20% who use LinkedIn and 16% who use Twitter. However, due to recent reports shown that teenagers “have waning enthusiasm” for Facebook, and that social-networks are increasingly seen as a burden, may give Cayova a fighting chance. A number of reasons cited for the decreased enthusiasm in Facebook including an increasing number of adults on the site, the annoyance of friends sharing inane details, and the stress associated with managing an online reputation while keeping up with online drama. More teenagers were also turning towards Twitter. Although attracting a far smaller crowd than Facebook, the micro blogging service increased its teenage user-base from 16 per cent in 2011 to 24 per cent in 2013.

I received a great value in studying Cayova, as it has educated me towards the importance of privacy in social networking. People have personas online, sometimes many different ones, and it is important to portray that though a social network. Consumers want different groups of people to see then in different lights, and this is a perfect network for allowing certain information for friends, work colleagues, or family.  I would certainly like to see the social network get launched officially and how far it goes. I think I will continue using it just to see. This network is perfect if you only wish to use one social network. Coming from the hospitality industry where hardly anyone uses LinkedIn meant that I had to stay in touch with them over Facebook, including MDs and CEOs. However, Cayova is the network site to combat that, as I don’t wish to stay in touch with these people on a professional level anymore due to changing industry, just a personal one.

I had heard of Cayova through a close friend who was trying to win them for a business contract. I had a look on the site and after signing up, my initial thoughts were that the colour is similar to Vine and the layout is similar to Google+. The similar characteristics for the layout are the simplicity and the icons, as seen in the screen grabs below.

Cayova Profile

Cayova Profile

With Cayova, it is possible to have several different profiles for the different groups of friends. From their prospective, a user can have a school profile, a work profile, a public profile as well as a personal profile. From my perspective, however, it appears that ‘trolling’ will now become easier as the person will not have to log out of one account and log back in, all of their fake profiles will be under the one log in. It seems quite unsafe to do this, as a user can then have many different identities, and therefore is a possibility for easier trolling.

Cayova Fake Profile

Cayova Fake Profile

As part of the experience, I took part in a ‘Feedback Hub’, a community specially created by Cayova to acquire and monitor feedback on their social network. After monitoring and interacting in this hub myself, I realised that there is only really one person giving feedback to Cayova, and in turn being interacted with the company themselves. The company are, however, excellent at keeping track of the comments and suggestions and are continuously changing the system to keep up with the suggestions.

Market Me

Cayova has a Market Me section that wants users to stop giving away data for free. Cayova is all about privacy. The first page to the Market Me section brings up a box, explaining that Cayova helps to get its members profit from their personal data. After opting into personal advertising on the site, a user can earn up to 50% of the ad’s earnings. A bonus scheme is also in place where members are rewarded for taking part in the ‘Market Me’ activities.

To begin this process, the user must install a box in the web browser to block trackers from third party companies. This extension stops third parties from installing cookies or tracking technologies from tracking the users browsing, and essentially from selling details without consent. Cayova have Terms and Conditions for participating on the network, including staying active.

After a small period of time the Cayova box has been busy as I browse. I typically wouldn’t vary in the sites that I visit, with them whittled down to social media, news, entertainment and academic. The only sites that vary are the academic ones, as I research whatever topic I am studying at the time.

Cayova Tracking Monitoring

Cayova Tracking Monitoring

It appears that Google Analytics is the worst offender, tracking me over 1057 in a matter of weeks. With the Google trackers combined, they account for over 32% of my tracking. The Facebook tracking should be higher, but I deactivated my account half way through this study.

A technology called ‘The Rapid Information Overlay Technology’ (RIOT) has been developed to track people though social networking sites. This software uses location data embedded in photographs and other Internet postings to track users’ movements and personal activities. Repeated “check-ins” or postings on social media sites leave a trail of location data that enables RIOT to build up a detailed daily itinerary for the people it is tracking. RIOT shows the frequency of check-ins and postings from particular locations organized as pie and bar charts. It is currently a “proof of concept” design that they are working on with industry, national labs and commercial partners to help turn massive amounts of data into usable information to help rapidly changing security needs. The innovative privacy features of the software enables the sharing and analysis of data without personally identifiable information, like social security numbers or bank account information, being disclosed.

Ads

Cayova ask if the user would like to participate in seeing ads, and allows the user to decide what types they see, and how many a day. Strangely, the ads do not show up on the side of the screen like they do on other sites. There is a special tab for Advertisements that the user can go into and watch the ads as they please. This is quite a unique concept, as usually the user is bombarded with information on other sites such as Facebook and Google.

According to Cayova’s terms of use, the company gives a user half of any payments it receives for ads “targeted at you or for access to your content and data,” minus sales taxes and transaction costs, such as bank fees. Users then have the option of donating that money to charity, receiving a check or deducting that amount from their mobile phone bill.

Cayova Ad Earnings

Cayova Ad Earnings

In 2012 in America alone, people spent $170 billion on direct marketing of both the physical and electronic varieties. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. However, if the ad arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. For online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%. That means about $165 billion was spent not on drumming up business, but on annoying people, creating landfill and cluttering spam filters. However, this information comes as a surprise seeing as how targeted online marketing can be. Cayova, with their optional ads, seem to have the right idea, although it remains to be seen how their theories pan out.

However, Cayova’s ads section will now have to compete with Twitter’s new expansion, who are expanding their year-old Twitter Cards program giving marketers a new way to directly obtain interested business leads via the social media service. The new Lead Generation Card is squarely aimed at business tweeters, allowing marketers to embed a card within a standard Twitter message, generally promising some sort of promotional offer. When readers expand the tweet by clicking on the embedded link, they’re prompted to send their information to you, using the contact details from the user’s Twitter account.

Overall, I’d like to see where Cayova goes with the final version of their network. They have some interesting areas that differentiate them from other social networks, and it would be good to see where they take them. I think at the moment they need to perfect their website and build up their users, but it is questionable on whether they will get far or not.

Use Video to your Advantage

The use of video is changing the way ecommerce retailers engage with consumers.
New video companies are attempting to revolutionise the way businesses connect with producers of high quality video content.

I took part in a video workshop recently, given by a new start-up called VideoScamp. I participated in filming and used a professional camera for the first time. In addition, I had access to editing tools that I’ve never used, nor heard of before, and that is certainly an advantage to me now. If I was to do the process again, I would put more planning into the video – more than the few hours that we had.

Advantages of Video

Using videos as part of a business can have many advantageous for a company, that shouldn’t be dismissed. For example, videos can help with the search engine optimisation of a website. By having videos and articles with the same keywords the value of the video is that the website may rank higher organically. In addition, several long-tail keywords with videos can be targeted to scale rankings even further. Online businesses should look at it as a serious option for improving the quality of their websites.

Social media has a huge impact on the sharing of videos by allowing users to share popular links. Having a video on major sites such as Facebook and Twitter drastically increases the chances of exposure, as users are more likely to share an interesting video than an article. Videos enhance the public’s impression of the organization’s products or services, put a human face on the organization, and ultimately build the brand. The creation of organization videos may be the most powerful methods of creating a strong mental impression of the organization in the public’s mind, and social media has a strong relationship with the impact they can make together.

Alleviating doubts through video reviews may increase the chances of increased sales. Take, for example, a website that reviews cameras and includes the webmaster’s affiliate links at the end of each review may bring the users to the review. For a physical product such as a camera, a video review can show things to the visitor that simply cannot be conveyed effectively through text. In these cases, a video is a far more effective tool to increase the chance of conversions, and subsequently helping the company make money online.

The recent automation of video creation means that production is seamless and almost completely automated. By limiting the need for human intervention in video production, today’s video creation technology has given the confidence to a lot of webmasters to use video on their websites. And since video offers high ROI, it’s an obvious choice for improving online brands. Video marketing is highly beneficial for improving brand recognition and customer retention.

Among others, video can create a personalised experience for the customer. By guiding visitors to different sections of a website using video can make the whole experience similar to visiting an actual store. Videos put a face on the merchant and make the users more comfortable doing business with them. Using intelligent data mining, many websites are now providing personalized video experiences that are catered specifically to the individual customer’s buying habits and in many cases reference past purchases.

Case Study – Asos

As part of ASOS’s 2012 Christmas campaign, the company incorporated clickable, interactive videos to buy items, also known as ‘shoppable videos’. The videos starred three famous women in fashion which highlighted the brand’s Christmas products. The campaign, created in-house with content product partner Future Collective, let consumers use interactive TV to switch channels and explore different outfits. ASOS used the line ‘Watch her videos, shop her style, and listen to her jamz to get ready for your Best Night Ever’, and encouraged viewers to ‘Pin’ their favourite outfits to Pinterest.

As a digital brand, ASOS videos are a key part of the engaging customer experience. They are efficient, creative and flexible and help deliver shareable, shoppable content. The secret of content marketing is to connect to the lives and passions of the target audience and not just to see the world through the eyes of the brand, which is natural and inevitable for most if not all in-house content teams.

ASOS use their YouTube channel to promote their shoppable videos since their campaign last Christmas. They use specific bands and celebrities to promote their core values and encourage consumers to buy.

ASOS’s Year-on-year sales jumped 24% in the UK for the three months ending 30 November 2012, with total. ASOS is in the process of an aggressive international expansion with total retail sales increasing 30% to £166m for the three months ending 30 November 2012. It also claims to have increased its customers by 35% to 5.4 million in the same period. The retailer has achieved a 57% growth in US sales, 42% growth in the rest of the world and 15% growth in the EU during the period.

Successes

As seen from the ASOS case study, successes and failures in video marketing are easy to measure when it comes to a spike in sales. However, if that doesn’t occur it doesn’t mean that the video wasn’t successful. For example, the virility of the video promotes the brand through reach. It is extremely difficult to measure the returns created by an online video. More money can be spent on determining success than actually producing the video. However, there are a number of metrics that can be used to determine the success of a video.

The number of views of a video depicts the amount of times it has been opened. This doesn’t automatically mean that the video was watched through till the end, but will let you know that at least the thumbnail and title are attractive enough to get a click from potential viewers. The click-through-rate (CTR) ties in with that, as if a video received 4000 views but only 1000 of those viewers clicked on the link to your site, then your CTR is 25% and you need more engaging videos that get more traffic to your website.

Product videos are a great way to improve conversion rates online as they reassure the customer by helping them make an informed purchase decision. However, conversions of a video are significantly more difficult to measure, depending on their call to action. Whether they bought products, signed up for newsletters or registered an account on a website, conveniently placed links will help them follow through. ROI is a more measurable asset, as it is the amount of money made as a result of the video. The ROI measure helps assess the real value derived from the viral web videos.

Audience engagement measures if the viewers are engaged throughout the whole video or if they leave, where exactly do they drop off in the video. This gives video marketers an idea of how sticky the video really is. It is important to use the right tools such as YouTube Insights, Google Analytics or other video analytics and monitoring tools let you scrutinize all the aspects of online videos. These are used to find out number of plays, time viewed, traffic sources to build a successful viral marketing campaign.

Now try and make your mind up to see if you want to use video or not!

Ornaith

(Sources for the stats given upon request)

Portfolio Woes

So college us almost over (yipee!). Only another 4 months to go – not so bad. Two semesters of class down, countless assignments submitted. Only two portfolios left to hand in before I begin my final project of the summer, my practicum. Once June 10th arrives, I no longer see the MSc as a threat. I see it as defeated. It’s plain sailing from there until September. But until then, I need to overcome my fear of portfolios.

Most people in my year have one portfolio – 4 themes, 10 parts to each theme, with an additional 5 essays to write ‘overall’. that’s maximum 45 essays, 1,500 words each (roughly), approximately 67,500 words. To give us stuff to write on, all year the class has been attending conferences, taking exams, teaching old people, as each ‘part’ requires a task. My tasks have varied from a homework club with disadvantaged children to learning Chinese. The variety is supposed to grow me as a person, and I suppose help me get a job after this. I’m sure we will see about that.

In addition to that one, a few of us have another portfolio to complete, a Digital one. This one isn’t so large. 8 tasks, an additional ‘overall’ essay, 1,500 words each. Roughly 13,500 words. Not so bad compared to the other one, but infinitely more stressful as this is the one I really care about, as it is the one to help me get a job.

In total, between now and June 10th, I’ve 54 essays to submit, with 81,000 words. To put that into perspective – for my undergraduate degree, I wrote a Thesis worth 10 credits, 10,000 words. These two portfolios are only worth roughly 13 credits together. Actually, it’s horrendous when I think of it this way so I may have to go off and cry now.

The Scream

The Scream

Literally, cannot wait for June!

Ornaith

– Life Blogging