Monthly Archives

April 2016

Marketing & technology

The month in Marketing & Technology: April 2016

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This month we take a look at the big stories from the worlds of marketing, technology and marketing technology (a minor distinction, but a distinction all the same).

Cold call firms now have to display number, rules government

In a move that will be welcomed by households across the UK, companies that cold call customers will now have to display their phone numbers, according to new government regulations. In a bid to crack down on nuisance calls, the Department for Culture Media and Sport announced the new measures earlier this month. The amendment to the existing legislation will force firms registered in the UK to display their phone numbers, even if the call centres are based overseas. The news will be a relief to many UK citizens, who have come up with a range of interesting and original ways to make cold callers regret ever picking up the phone.
Marketing & technology

‘Sweaty billboard’ aims to tackle Zika in Brazil

Marketing agencies in Brazil were lauded this month for their bid to create a billboard that attracts and kills mosquitos. The billboards, which emit a combination of lactic acid solution and carbon dioxide (found in human breath), are intended to attract mosquitos that may be carrying Zika, a virus that can cause birth defects like microcephaly (a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development) in babies. The billboards have been praised for providing a novel solution to a serious issue in South America right now, although critics have pointed out they may result in more mosquitos gathering in populated areas.
Marketing & technology

Taco Bell steps into the AI arena with ‘TacoBot’

First, it was Watson for IBM, then Go for Google followed by Tay for Microsoft (although they would probably rather forget about that episode), but now there’s a new AI bot in town, and this one is dedicated to the noble cause of helping you get your taco. That’s right, the signature fast food chain Taco Bell has moved into the illustrious world of AI with the introduction of a Slack bot capable of taking orders and providing the occasional riposte to drunken diners. Developed alongside Taco Bell’s agency Deutsch, the ‘TacoBot’ has been described as ” your own personal Taco Bell butler,” something you probably never realised you needed.
Marketing & technology

Topshop start-up program seeks fashionable tech pitches

High street fashion retailer Topshop this month announced a new initiative to find the next (or should that be first?) big thing in wearable technology. The four-week event will allow fashion and tech startups to come and pitch their designs to the start-up program, Top Pitch. Despite a growing demand for technology-integrated fashion items, nobody as of yet has offered up a garment any right-minded individual would choose to wear in public. A spokeswoman for L Marks, Topshop’s partner for Top Pitch explained, “So far, wearable tech has remained more tech than wearable, which is why we want to discover more wearable technology that could be transformed into something fashionable.”
Marketing & technology

Big Data in business

Why are some marketing professionals still ignoring big data?

Analytics, Ecommerce, Feature, Industry, Technology | No Comments

We’ve entered a new era in business. Digital marketing and ecommerce are rapidly becoming the new norm, with Digital commerce transactions predicted to climb to US$8 trillion by 2020. As the internet becomes the central platform for marketing, buying and selling products and services, the very concept of consumer insight is changing. With the growth of online sales comes a wealth of opportunities for businesses looking to understand their audience better. And that’s where big data comes in.

Big data is exactly what it sounds like (millions of bytes of information regarding human behaviour when online), but the name doesn’t come close to conveying its real value to the modern business. By studying large sets of data relating to how specific audiences interact with their content, businesses can pinpoint exactly what works, and what doesn’t for their brand. By quantifying audience engagement and providing insights into consumer behaviour previously only available through (often unreliable) consumer surveys, big data has revolutionised the marketing process. The business insights garnered through big data are huge, so why have companies been so slow to take advantage of these new opportunities?

Instinct over analysis is always a gamble

Despite the growth in big data, marketing professionals still rely too heavily on intuition and blanket distribution to get their message out there.  Whilst it’s vital a business doesn’t forget it’s USP, it’s also important to consider the metrics behind each figure before proceeding. Analytics tools track customer activity like bounce rate, the number of clicks and time spent on site, and generate reports based on the findings, removing a huge element of the guesswork from marketing. With Google Analytics, businesses can break down which aspects of their content works, as well as provide an insight into how to improve future output with ecommerce and conversion reporting. Businesses can find the right formula for their specific audience through studying a visitors demographics, interests, language, and location, as well as what devices and operating systems they use.

“Businesses can find the right formula for their specific audience”

Data distrust is natural, but rarely justified

Many companies distrust the information provided by big data, preferring instead to rely on intuition and business knowledge. These are the veteran marketers, dedicated to the kind of time-consuming audience research no longer applicable to the pervasive digital mass-market. They argue that big data might be able to tell you what people are doing, but it’s through intensive research that you find out why. Whereas the data can reveal a site’s click-through conversion rate is 6%, marketers need to use business acumen, API know-how, and common sense to understand why it isn’t higher. Whilst these skills are essential to anyone looking to grow their brand online, they just can’t take into account the changing attitudes of consumers to the same degree afforded by the addition of cold hard data. 

Improvisation is not the enemy

Campaigns have to be tailored to a specific audience. Taking an unbending approach to marketing never yields the best results, so it’s vital companies employ some business acumen when seeking to study their data. The issue for many marketing professionals today is the perceived rigidity of web analytics tools. But with web tools like Google Analytics, businesses can tailor their metrics to only show the data relevant to them. Analytics is a fantastic marketing tool, but it’s down to the marketers themselves to decide to what extent the data should influence the overall business strategy. Every business needs its own unique style. Basing every decision on data alone is a surefire way to leave a site cold, clinical and unloved, but to ignore it completely is to doom it to a life of internet obscurity.

“It’s down to the marketers themselves to decide to what extent the data should influence the overall business strategy”

Always check your process

Although big data has proven itself as an indispensable marketing tool, new opportunities will always throw up new potential pitfalls, and it’s important to understand a tool’s shortcomings in order to avoid them. The problems with big data arise when businesses fail to interpret the numbers properly or begin to view their clients in terms of numbers, rather than as people. Writing in Data-Informed magazine, CEO of software company YouEye Malcolm Stewart argues “The downside of this data obsession is that companies end up optimizing for where people click, instead of their actual experience.”

Stay on top of your data

It’s also natural to get overwhelmed with so much quantitative data available, but in order to effectively implement strategies based on site analytics, a business must first understand what they are seeing. This involves combining the human, qualitative approach to modern business and a firm grasp of digital design with clearly considered and accurately interpreted data. It’s a tricky task, but for those willing to put in the time to find the right formula, the rewards can be colossal.

Placing all your faith in the numbers will rarely let you down, but businesses would do well to remember it’s not the silver bullet to all their marketing woes; they still need to interpret the data correctly and implement strategies effectively. Business is about understanding your client, and the big data being pulled in across the web every day can be your ticket to real insights, but don’t let the figures hold you back from making original marketing decisions. There are some things even analytics can’t teach, and it’s in those moments that good old fashioned business instinct is your greatest weapon. Likewise, charging in with gut feeling alone will only see a business so far. The growth of ecommerce and digital transactions has changed business forever, but it’s only through integrating the fundamentals of yesterday with the tools of today that we can hope to ensure a fertile business environment tomorrow.

Content marketing

5 content marketing tips to boost your ecommerce strategy

Business, Ecommerce, Marketing, Technology | No Comments

Like it or not, ecommerce is here to stay. There’s no denying that buying online is increasingly becoming the go-to for goods and services, and that’s why it’s important companies large or small embrace the opportunities it provides now. As digital retail transforms the market, one aspect too often neglected in the hunt for new consumers is the physical content behind the products. If you can’t pull in your audience with some original content, your chances of converting clicks to sales are next to nill. That’s why we at Clemmie have drawn together the top five tips to nail your content marketing and invigorate your ecommerce strategy.

Tailor your content to local audiences

It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up business with a staff of five or a 500-strong team with offices around the world, your content has to take into account the different vernaculars of your prospective customers. This is particularly true when you’re providing a service to specific regions. Cutting and pasting direct content or rough translations just won’t cut it when it comes to marketing your brand effectively.

Take a look at the different dialects in each of your target regions and tailor your content to ensure it hits the right keywords. By studying local vernacular and utilising Google Analytics, you can gain a real insight into what people are searching for in different areas and begin to build up an accurate keyword profile for each region. By introducing regionally-specialised content, studies have found you can dramatically drive up your CTR (click-through-rate) and boost your on-site conversion rate.

Content marketing must keep up with the times

When creating your marketing content, it’s important to see it as a static process. Your content won’t stay relevant forever, and businesses that don’t regularly update could end up languishing in the back pages of search results forever. Keep your content marketing content fresh and adapt to changes in the market to maintain a regular flow of new visitors. It’s also important to keep an eye on major events, both on a large and small scale.

Major holidays can either be a major boost to your ecommerce campaign or a dry spell that costs you dearly depending on your marketing content. For an extra boost, use Google Analytics’ Event Tracking app to track your site’s key performance times and build your content around this data. Content built around major local, national and international events can pull in extra visitors when tastefully constructed.

Engage customers around elements important to them

When creating your ecommerce strategy, it’s vital consumers don’t just see you as a distributor; they have to see how your service or product fits with their lifestyle. Engaging with your customers on a real, human level is one of the biggest challenges any company can face, but there are several steps you can take to bring your business down to earth. Google Adwords gives you insights into what a client is searching for, and what they do after they’ve clicked on your ad.

Create customer profiles to understand exactly the kind of visitor you’re looking to pull to your site, then tailor your content around their most likely search words and phrases. In order to engage potential customers, you have to know more than just their browsing habits. What do they like to do offline? Where do they shop, eat and socialise? Only by crafting content to fit your customer’s personal lifestyle can you engage with them on a personal level and show how your business can meet their needs.

Keep it consistent and suitable

What may seem like one of the most obvious tips to your content marketing strategy is also often one of the most overlooked. Maintaining a consistent (and appropriate) tone in your writing style can be more challenging than you think, especially when you have a range of products or services on offer. If your brand image is that of a fun, free-thinking company, keep the text light, avoid jargon and make sure you hit this tone throughout your content.

Visitors to your site will switch off and click elsewhere if your content comes across as too disparate in tone. This doesn’t mean drawing up a template for each section and rigidly adhering to it at all times, but consistency is key to any marketing campaign. That means going through your content with a fine-toothed comb on both your site and across your social media channels.

Encourage participation and interaction

Content marketing isn’t just a one-way street. Making your customers feel valued is one of the best ways to show the human side to your brand. Competitions, surveys and votes to choose new content for the site can make a customer feel more than just a number in the queue and pull in new visitors in the process. When it comes to encouraging interaction with the site, it’s important you maintain a regular and consistent campaign right up until and after the results have been announced.

Offering a prize to one or more lucky contestants can further boost interaction levels whilst increasing customer loyalty to your brand. If you can maintain your competition across numerous social platforms, you can bring new visitors to the site and generate buzz around selected products or services. Choosing the right time-frame and incentive is vital to the success of your campaign. Too short a timeframe and you won’t have time to build a real buzz around your event, but too long and your audience will lose interest. Powerful calls to action really can inspire consumers, so make sure your content is emotive and succinct.

Land your first post-grad interview

How an InSite will help you land your first post-grad interview

Analytics, Employment, Marketing, Technology | No Comments

Finding your first job out of university can be a gruelling experience. Putting together your CV is just the start in a process that can take weeks, months and even years to get right. Deciding which experience to exclude and which to emphasise, what material works and just how you can reach out to potential employers can leave you exasperated and unmotivated, but it doesn’t have to be. Clemmie creates a totally customisable CV from whatever material you choose to upload in the form of a unique personalised website. This website (known as an InSite) is then sent on to your prospective employer. As soon as your site is accessed, Clemmie feeds back data regarding exactly how your employers have responded to your CV. With a Clemmie InSite, you can reach out to and engage with prospective employers. Here are just a few reasons why now is the time to get a leg up on the competition with your own personalised website.

  1. Make a lasting impression
    Posting a new job can be an almighty headache for employers. They can receive hundreds of applicants for just one role, meaning they have to sift through thousands of personal statements, references, personal statements and more. Depending on when you submit your CV, you could be significantly limiting your chances of getting a fair assessment. So why not stand out from the competition with a personalised site designed exclusively for prospective employers? With a personalised CV InSite, you can showcase your best skills and give your experience the platform it deserves whilst offering a genuine alternative to the paint-by-numbers layout of a traditional CV. The simple but effective layout of an InSite allows prospective employers to assess your application from a fresh perspective, demonstrating your originality while giving them a welcome break from the standard CV format.
  2. Make sure your CV reaches the right people
    As soon as your CV InSite has been opened, Clemmie sends you a real-time break-down of how employers are interacting with your site. Not only does this help alleviate the stress of not knowing if your CV has even been received by the intended person, it also gives you a detailed insight into how they’re reacting. Rid yourself of applicant angst waiting by the telephone for a phone call that may never come. If nobody opens your CV, even though you know they’ve received it, the likelihood is your application would have been unsuccessful. The major advantage to the Clemmie InSite method is you save valuable time and effort on pursuing the opportunity with follow-up calls and emails.
  3. Truly understand employers
    Knowing what an employer is looking for can be one of the most challenging aspects of a job hunt. Job listings can be deliberately vague, particularly when the person advertising the role is trying to cover as many bases as possible in the advertisement. With the intelligent analytics of a Clemmie InSite, you can gauge exactly what an employer is looking for without having to hack their emails or bug their office. After creating your own personalised site, simply mail it along to your potential employer with a cover letter and wait for the real-time data in your inbox.
  4. Shine a spotlight on your CV’s shortcomings
    Identify where your CV needs the most improvement through Clemmie’s comprehensive analytics. Break down your CV into individual sections and qualify their appeal through real-time engagement scores. With the simple and clean analytics of Google, you can grasp exactly which sections need the most development and constantly improve your output for future applications. With the traditional CV, the only way to discover your applications weak points was a follow-up phone call or email. With Clemmie’s intelligent analytics, you can quantify your success and failures.
  5. Tailor your InSite with ease for each new application
    Applying for your first job can be a depressing time. Being rejected, or, worse yet, ignored, can take a serious toll on your self-esteem and demotivate you to carry on the search. The amount of work that goes into customising each cover letter and CV for your applications can be equally draining, but it doesn’t have to be this way. A Clemmie InSite can be easily customised for each new opportunity. All you need to do is contact the Clemmie team with your latest job prospect and provide some basic details. Then Clemmie’s committed team of marketing experts do the rest before sending it back for your approval. With a Clemmie InSite CV, you can showcase your abilities in style to hundreds of potential employers a week, and all for just 4.99€  per InSite!
challenges facing the Global construction industry

5 of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry of tomorrow

Construction, Feature, Industry, Technology | No Comments

It’s the dawn of a new era in the construction industry. Despite the significant setbacks of the past few years, the industry has reported strong continual growth in almost every market. During the global recession at the turn of the decade, construction was one of the worst hit sectors in the Western world. From the economic downturn emerged a new, streamlined construction industry, more socially, environmentally and financially aware than ever. Construction may be well on the path to recovery, but the industry will always face its share of adversity, particularly as markets shift, technology develops and priorities change. Here are six of the biggest challenges facing the global construction industry in the coming years.

The economy

Following the recession, the market’s newly established buoyancy will entail rising costs and a demand for new investment. Even with an increase in initiatives for new talent and rising employment rates, construction in Western countries still lags behind most other sectors. Contractors have highlighted the effect of the recession on clients; now decidedly more cost savvy and typically prone to search out multiple estimates instead of settling. This is great for the client and encourages competition, but also forces firms to drive down their costs in order to remain competitive. The economic uncertainty of the past year has also fed fears of another dip in the market, which could undo much of the work the industry has done to claw its way back to profitability.
The biggest challenges facing the global construction industry

Sustainability

The industry’s biggest issues are often a reflection of the big talking points in society. In construction, the effect of the built environment on the surrounding natural habitat, and a buildings long-term relevance are finally taking centre stage. But sustainability is about more than just the impact urban developments have on the natural world. It also requires ensuring developments continue to function well into the future, allowing the next generation, and even generations after, to enjoy the structures we create today. With cities like Dubai vying for the title of the most sustainable green economy in the world by 2021, sustainability is fast becoming big business.
Design technologies like BIM are helping further integrate efficiency-planning into the construction process whilst enabling developers to showcase a design’s ecological properties before any foundations are even laid. Government initiatives designed to give prominence to sustainable developments are also encouraging developers and industry experts to incorporate sustainable elements into the design and construction process, but the coming years will see these priorities solidify and become an integral part every new development.
The biggest challnges facing the global construction industry

Efficient integration of technology

As any industry develops, new technologies will arise designed to streamline processes and increase productivity. In the construction and architecture sectors, these technologies can cater to anything from internal company processes to the design stage to on-site construction. The issue arises when new technologies clash with traditional methods and industry veterans are reticent to embrace the potential dividends these technologies have to offer. By slowly and intelligently integrating new technological features into daily practices, the transition between traditional and new technology can be seamless, causing minimum disruption to projects.
Each successive wave of technology brings with it an inevitable level of resistance from industry veterans unwilling, or unsure how, to adapt. People are naturally averse to change until they can appreciate its practical application saves time and effort. It’s the management’s responsibility to enable employees to see the benefits in switching to a new technology. But the need for efficient integration of technology affects more than just the studios making the transition. Those firms unable to evolve with the technology will inevitably be left behind, potentially causing valuable skills and knowledge to be lost to the entire industry forever.
The biggest challenges facing the global construction industry

Depletion of skills & labour

Despite the importance of adapting to the new opportunities presented by technological advances, it’s essential we don’t forget the human skills that are still so vital to the industry. New technologies come with their own unique set of challenges as well as advantages, and when technology fails, human ingenuity and hard graft can be the only thing standing between a completed project and significant delays. The construction industry has embraced new technology with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but losing the human crafts that preceded these technologies would be a major loss to the industry. Even as the means by which buildings are designed, mapped and constructed develop, the beating heart of the industry has remained with the workforce. Companies, clients and the industry as a whole would do well to remember this.
Construction contractors have regularly cited finding skilled labourers as one of the most significant challenges facing the construction industry today. Despite significant growth, the industry has access to almost 20% fewer workers than in pre-recession 2008. Partly a result of the severe layoffs witnessed during the recession, this statistic also points to the growing number of young talent seeking employment in less labour-intensive, and more stable, markets.
The biggest challneges facing the global construction industry

Investing in new talent

Undoubtedly one of the biggest issues facing the industry in the coming years is the need to encourage and invest in new talent. In the UK, government ministers have taken to calling on major firms to encourage more young people to consider going into construction. According to a report released late last year by the Policy Exchange, the industry will require 20% more staff within the next five years to meet the country’s construction needs. Whilst the rapid rate of urbanisation in developing countries, particularly in Africa, has given a huge boost to the industry, the challenge of attracting skilled new workers has been felt across the world. It’s not just traditional roles that require an injection of fresh labour. As new technology spurs on the creation of new roles within the industry, it’s vital initiatives are put in place to ensure there is a workforce to fill these new roles. Studies have found that new construction and design technologies can spark an initial boost in personnel, particularly when they’re the subject of significant media attention. But major firms and national governments must continue to encourage the development and distribution of new skills, ensuring a consistently dynamic, efficient and, above all, effective workforce.
2 for designers

The construction industry continues to recover from the global financial crisis of the past decade, but it still faces an uphill battle against a myriad of social, political, environmental and economic challenges. It’s only by embracing change now and preparing to tackle the obstacles on the horizon that construction can hope to keep pace with our rapidly changing world.