Five reasons why data is more important than ever for digital marketers

Here’s my latest blog on eConsultancy:

As a planner, data has always been the bread and butter of my professional career. Since the rise of planning teams in advertising agencies during the 70s, it has been our job to really get to know the consumers we are looking to reach, to get under their skin and understand what makes them tick.

We focus on collecting as much useful data as possible that can then be used alongside considered insight and observation to create more targeted campaigns that hit the nail on the head. Continue reading


Improving your web copy and in-turn your conversion rates [intro]…

Changing your approach to writing can often lead to a double-figure increase in conversion rates….

In my line of work I routinely run large-scale landing page optimisation tests to improve conversion rates for clients. One of the most common components to test is the sales copy of the page. It’s evident that changing the approach to writing can often lead to a double-digit increase in conversion rates – regardless of the product or service being promoted.

So what has been the core take-out of these landing page tests? It’s not about persuasive copywriting, or powerful wording to use in the headline: often the core issue with writing for the web lies at a much more fundamental level. There is something of a chasm between how much we care about our sales copy, and how much visitors online do. Yet again I tell you it’s about getting the right message to the right audience through the right media. Continue reading

Planning: at the heart of every great online development

Everyone seems to want, understandably, to hit the ground running when starting a new web project and get things out there in the public domain as quickly as possible. However, with a wee bit of planning work up-front you can reap greater dividends in the long run. So let’s look at how intelligently applying some planning protocol to your digital developments can help save time and money, and make a much greater impact on your audience. Continue reading

When you’re set on a goal, don’t forget about the journey

My day at Jump’13 got off to a great start with an inspiring presentation from our friend, Andrew Hood of Lynchpin on Tag Mismanagement. Reading between the lines of what Andrew had to say set me thinking about some of the key challenges we face today in marketing, and mistakes that are all to easy to make.

Continue reading

Let thought leadership be just that.

Here’s my latest post on eConsultancy:

The importance of thought leadership in marketing and PR is certainly nothing new. But I’m constantly amazed how many brands get it totally wrong!

In an increasingly digitally driven world, thought leadership continues to be an excellent way to reach out to key decision makers, but it’s not as easy as you might think.

The truth is that developing good thought leadership is hard. Why? Because to make it work you have to go beyond simply relaying intelligent anecdotes, you have to stop selling to your audience and convey the expertise that you have or that resides in your organisation.

You have to build industry thought leaders. However, if done correctly, thought leadership is one of the best ways of engaging with your audience. It gets them talking with you on topics they feel passionate about, bringing a multitude of other benefits.

So what’s the secret? Continue reading

The ‘big idea’ is no big deal

My latest blog on eConsultancy:

In the not too distant past, creative agencies coined the term ‘the big idea’ as the Holy Grail solution to a client brief.

There’s no question that great creative concepts are worth their weight in gold, partly due to tighter than ever budgets. And I’ve worked with agencies over the years where fantastic amounts of resource were focused on coming up with the next big idea.

Recently, I sat down with our Creative Director at Realise, Don Smith, who was previously employed by the legendary HHCL, and he guided me through the various reasons why, in his opinion, there really is no such thing as a big idea, only good ideas. Continue reading

Five simple steps to building trust online

here’s my latest blog post on eConsultancy:

As a brand, you can’t survive online these days if your customers don’t trust you. Fact. If they don’t trust you, they will never buy from you, and you will ultimately fail. It’s that simple.

And it’s especially true for brands that are selling high-ticket items and also when consumers are buying something they might consider a luxury.

A holiday is a good example; it’s a major purchase for most of us not just because it is expensive but also because it’s the one purchase we all look forward to every year!

So, when I read this week that TripAdvisor has removed the slogan ‘reviews you can trust’ from its website and replaced it with ‘reviews from our community’, I was keen to find out more.  Continue reading

Why Brands should steer clear of NOTW

Okay, so this isn’t as clear-cut as it may seem: in the past few days negativity towards The News of The World (NOTW) has escalated to such a level that it’s now being reported in some quarters that the paper may not even survive. Even other UK papers from the News International stable are calling open season on NOTW and it’s key ‘personalities’ – past and present. Continue reading