Disruption marketing

5 things your startup needs to focus on above disruption marketing

Feature, Marketing, Startup | No Comments

Of all the industries thriving under the tech revolution, marketing seems to be the most prone to embracing new buzzwords. This wouldn’t be such a problem but marketers seem predisposed to overusing and oversimplifying these words to suit their own ends. Of all the buzzwords currently floating around the martech atmosphere right now, none are as trite and tired as ‘disruption marketing’.

Although technically a business model, not a marketing approach, disruption marketing has been held up as the secret ingredient to rapid business success. Startups everywhere are proudly proclaiming themselves as the next big disruption to the status quo, despite not really understanding the criteria for something to be ‘disruptive’. In fact, any company can be disruptive. Being truly disruptive requires more than just an innovative idea. It involves applying the same fundamentals of business used by others, in a more dynamic way.

What is disruptive marketing?

In the interest of clarification, let’s lay out exactly what disruptive marketing is. The standard definition can be traced back to ‘disruptive innovation’, a term put forward by Clay Christensen, the author of ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma.’ In it, Christensen explains ‘disruptive innovation’ is the process by which large, established companies are caught out by small, agile startups.

Often these startups will be described as “operating on a different wavelength” because they have eschewed traditional working practices in favour of a more unorthodox approach. The problem today is, too many startups equate the unconventional with successful market disruption. So instead, we’ve compiled a list of five things your startup should aim to do that will, in turn, give you a disruptive edge over the competition.

Disruption marketing

Understand your customer

This sounds like an obvious requirement, and it is. Companies far and wide, however, are failing to respond to this most pressing need. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large tech startup based in Silicon Valley or a small delivery startup in Sydney, you have to have a clear image of your client and their needs. Ask yourself, what could you offer that would tempt them away from your competitors?

Communicate with your customers regularly. If you don’t maintain contact with your customer, you can’t truly understand them, making it harder to evolve your model around their needs.

Every technology is disruptive in some way, and to produce anything other than an exact replica is to disrupt in some sense. By endeavouring to understand your client-base better, you can begin to spot the pitfalls of others and act on them. Uber was based on the age-old idea that people need hired-transport, but it eschewed the unpredictability of hailing a cab, allowed drivers to use their own cars and side-stepped the decreasing relevance of physical currency. In doing so, they disrupted the market while building on the same principals of previous public transport models.

disruption marketing

Refine your process

Disruptive marketing is misleading for a number of reasons, not least because it leads CEO’s to think they have to create a new technology, model or approach from scratch. Companies like Uber and AirBnB were based on age-old concepts. The only real ‘disruptive element’ was in the way they took an established concept and simplified it. They didn’t reinvent the wheel, they refined it for a new generation.

Ensuring the UI for your software is accessible and clean will keep clients coming back for more, while a simple sign up and implementation process will streamline the sales funnel between lead and customer. No company starts out with the perfect process. Business models have to be optimised according to the consumer, the cultural environment and other, ever-changing factors.

That’s why it’s essential to keep your model fluid.  Trial different marketing approaches, technologies and channels to see which work best for your brand. Experiment with measurable goals, incorporating data-harvesting tools to gain quantifiable results – measuring success rates is always easier when you quantify them. You may never find the perfect formula, but that shouldn’t stop you from striving to improve your model.

Marketing your startup

Adapt your model

As Jill Lepore explained in an article for the New Yorker “Disruption…despite its futurism, is atavistic. It’s a theory of history founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence.” Disruption is an inevitable part of business, and, on a grander scale, society, and to try to wilfully harness it is to ignore the obvious – you can’t own evolution. You can only hope to spot the surge and ride the wave.

Our mobile phones, the internet and, before that, TV and cinema, were all disrupters. They changed the way we eat, sleep, socialise and entertain ourselves, but they were the result of thousands, even millions of minds coming together to advance existing technologies.

As W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne pointed out in their 2005 book Blue Ocean Strategy, existing firms already have an advantage in disruption. Because they have already gained a foothold in the market, they are better seated to identify and exploit ‘blue oceans’ – markets new to both customers and competitors.

Reinvent your startup business model

Find your niche

What do you offer that nobody else can? Identifying your USP is the closest you’ll get to consciously developing a disruptive marketing strategy, but it’s nothing new. Every business strives to stand out and convey why it’s the optimum choice for consumers.

To really make a mark on an industry you must identify your USP and justify its presence in the market by tackling the shortcomings of your competitors. Responding to market demand and anticipating market demand are very different. If your marketing processes are largely reactionary, responding to client needs when they arise, how can you expect to get ahead of the competition?

Tools like Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner provide insights into industry hot topics, but they can also point to upcoming market trends. Track keywords that you feel are most relevant to your company and try to spot recurring themes. Keywords like ‘inbound marketing’, ‘eCommerce’ and ‘custom marketing platform’ have only recently become popular searchable terms, but they could point to the next big thing. Use these as a means of guiding where you position your startup in the market, and how you reach out to new leads.

How to disrupt innovation in business

Maintain a strong social presence

Use the right channels, make sure your content is relevant for your audience. Your social content has to give clients valuable information whilst cultivating a consistent brand message. Of course, disruptive marketing stems from the unexpected. Be willing to step outside of the boundaries and apply a unique approach, but first, you must understand the boundaries.

Draw up a profile of your customer base and build your content around what you know appeals to them. This refers not just to the subject of the content, but the language with which it’s written, the images you use and the times you choose to communicate your message. Your social presence is the first port of call for many prospective leads, so it’s vital you establish your corporate character here, and ensure it’s consistent across all channels.

Disruption marketing through social media

By all means, study the business behaviours of other startups – after all, marketing and business are ever-changing concepts that could always do with being further refined. But trying to emulate the success of other companies by replicating their process will never result in the same triumph. As Abby Ross said in a recent Forbes article, “we need to empower, not disrupt.” To be truly innovative, you must first understand the tried and tested methods of operating and improve upon them. Quirky business practices might disrupt an industry, but it takes real business acumen to change an industry forever.


How to ensure your content marketing hasn’t lost its impact

Content, Feature, Marketing | No Comments

From Benjamin Franklin’s first published annual ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack’ way back in 1732, to the first Michelin guide in 1900 to the modern day company blog, content marketing has fulfilled a pivotal role in a brand’s marketing campaigns.

The central idea of content marketing is not only to advertise to customers but to reciprocate their interest in your brand by providing information in their quest for information. Content marketing is nothing new, but since the proliferation of the internet, brands have been handed the keys to an altogether different beast. Today, around 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced every day, according to a study by LinkedIn.

Today, marketers have access to a vehicle that allows their brands to reach out to consumers around the world, and content marketing is the key to forging a reputation as a leader in their respective field.

Use the right channels, the right way

But with this newfound exposure comes a myriad of challenges. Getting your content in front of the right people today can be more demanding than creating the content, largely because almost every company now has its own content marketing team. Being noticed in the crowd requires a detailed understanding of the best channels to transmit content for your specific brand, a good grasp of the most effective times to share, and a keen eye for the best influencers to help get your message out.

With the explosion in specialist ‘content creation’ sites, being heard above the din is no easy task. That’s why you have to think carefully about every stage of the process before generating content. This in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. The early years of the internet resembled a digital wild west, where any content was deemed worthy of publication and the basic rules of writing were eschewed in the pursuit of clicks. Today, the clickbait industry is (unfortunately) stronger than ever, but audiences expect more from branded content.

Consistency is crucial

Consistent content requires an extensive knowledge of your own brand’s core ethos. To guarantee your audience comes back for more, refer to your core values before posting anything. This is particularly important when you’re devising your new social and outreach campaigns.

Consider what the end goal of your post is, how many new leads you hope to generate and what would make you stop and click if you were in need of the services your company offers. There are some great guides out there to developing your social campaigns while staying true to your brand message.

Alongside this, always keep your audience profile snapshot in mind when generating and disseminating content. Creating an audience snapshot is no easy feat, but it’s a fantastic resource for giving your marketing a strong focus and a genuine consistency.

It’s not just in content development that you need to maintain consistency, however. People like knowing when and where great content is going to be available, so try to find the best time to post for your audience, then stick to it! Maintaining a regular pattern of posting breeds familiarity and increases the chances of readers engaging with your brand.

Involve your audience

Content marketing has been through some dramatic changes lately, but the most significant developments have been in interactivity. Marketing is no longer a one-way channel. Today, it’s a bustling two-way street, where audience feedback can encompass anything from video testimonial to an open-forum discussion with the brand.

Social media has given a microphone to the audience, and the whole world can hear the Q&A session. This is a double-edged sword for companies. Encouraging synergy between consumer and brand can lead to a huge increase in the number of people talking about your brand, but it’s up to you to make sure it’s positive chatter.

Writing for your audience doesn’t have to be an explicit statement of what your company does. Creating compelling content on a subject related to your company, known as brand adjacency, can be a great way to generate buzz. If the content is of enough interest, your audience will debate, discuss and share it with like-minded individuals you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach. Not only does this give extra legs to your content, it establishes your brand as a thought leader in the field.

Tailor content to your audience’s needs

This means considering everything about your consumer’s browsing habits. What are the key issues in the industry today? Which social media channels does your audience use most? What vernacular do they use when searching? All of these considerations should play an integral role in deciding the kind of content you create, and when you make it available.

Great content should entice your audience not just to read on, but to read more about your company. Creating content that you know will fulfil a specific need for your industry massively increases the odds of it being shared between other thought leaders. There are hundreds of resources available online to give you a better understanding of the questions being asked in your industry.

Search sector-specific forums and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own. Likewise, Q&A sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers provide a treasure trove of insights into the topics dominating your industry. When you know the questions being asked, you can begin to formulate the answers people want to hear.

Corporate responsibility is big business

Content marketing is designed to catch public attention, but it’s also vital to mapping a brand’s corporate ethos. The latter has become increasingly relevant as audiences come to see brands as an extension of themselves.

Brands that identify their corporate values through their content can cultivate a lasting connection with their audience providing the content aligns with their personal beliefs. This doesn’t mean shouting every minor act of altruism from the rooftops, but if your company is doing some good in the community or abroad, it’s good marketing practice to let the world know. If your company is working with a charity, this provides even more in the way of inter-brand promotion opportunity. By coordinating the charity’s content marketing with your own, you ensure mutual benefits for both.

This is one of the few areas of content marketing that hasn’t been diluted by the growth in content marketers, as corporate responsibility becomes ever more intertwined with company identity. In fact, companies can now become champions of causes through their content, bringing an issue to the attention of their demographic while positioning themselves as a compassionate brand consumers are proud to be associated with.

Go beyond the blog

Content marketing covers a huge range of media and can encompass anything from a short supporting video to a podcast to a whitepaper in a respected publication. Who could forget the Lego movie, the first ever full-length studio film that also doubles as an exercise in content marketing? OK, so we’re not suggesting you opt for the full studio production, but content marketing doesn’t have to be limited to your own domain.

In fact, there are hundreds of non-conventional methods to get your brand noticed outside of your own website. Posting informed comments on other people’s posts, when not overtly ‘ad-oriented’, can point other readers to your own content. Likewise, answering questions through the aforementioned Quora can prove your credentials before a reader even knows about your company.

Including a link in your profile or occasionally alluding to your company in your answers (providing it’s relevant to the question) can raise your company’s profile while establishing a credible bond of trust between you and the audience.

In conclusion…

Content marketing is changing rapidly, but this shouldn’t be daunting. It means more opportunities for innovative content delivery are becoming available every day. 70% of B2B marketers created more content in 2015 than they did the year previous to that, and the first half of 2016 saw this number rise significantly again. There’s more competition for those top search results than ever before, but the payoffs are bigger in turn.

It’s never been more important to ensure your content is having the biggest impact possible. By staying abreast of all the latest technology, understanding your industry,and being willing to think outside the box, you can increase that impact and make a real difference to the future of your company.


Does every company need a full-time data scientist?

Analytics, Employment, Feature, Marketing | One Comment

Only a decade ago, if you had told an SME they needed a full-time data scientist to guide their marketing team, you would likely have been laughed out the building. But today, data scientists are venerated as a pivotal cog in company operations. According to’s chief economist Dr Tara Sinclair, the number of job postings for data scientist grew 57% for the first quarter this year compared to the same quarter last year, while searches for data scientist grew 73.5% for the same period.

Despite the profession’s relative infancy, I’ve worked with companies who genuinely believed a data scientist could alleviate all their commercial woes, and it’s easy to see why. It stands to reason that a company capable of understanding audience behaviour will thrive. But would every business benefit from a data scientist? It sounds like a cliche, but each business is unique, and it’s imperative C-suite professionals consider the company’s needs before investing in a full-time data scientist. Through working with a range of companies in a variety of industries, I’ve drawn up some questions to help guide your data science policy.

It sounds like a cliche, but each business is unique, and it’s imperative C-suite professionals consider the company’s needs before investing in a full-time data scientist. Through working with a range of companies in a variety of industries, I’ve drawn up some questions to help guide your data science policy.

Could the role be divided between your current team?

Writing in the Birst company blog, Chairman Brad Peters explained the data science conundrum by asking which would you rather have at your company: “The world’s greatest data scientist working alone in a corner lab… or data that will make all of the employees of your company one percent more productive?” The answer, of course, is the latter and points to a recurring issue found in businesses across industries.

Rather than turning to the latest trend to identify areas of improvement in their content, businesses should strive to integrate the increasing amount of data into their overall marketing strategy through regular team sessions and measurable trial cycles. By allocating individual metrics to relevant members of your team, you can give them quantified goals without the need to invest in a full-time data scientist.

I’ve seen companies hire data scientists without once considering how much business awareness they have or how much they really understand the company, and it rarely ends with either party optimising their talents.

How much data does your company need?

It’s up to you to study your current business output and consider your future content marketing strategy to decipher exactly what your marketing is missing. To many B2C’s, marketing attribution is essential to informing future marketing strategy, but not all businesses require this level of tracking. For many B2B’s today, the client-base can be made up of just a handful of key industry leaders.

Most mainstream analytics packages offer a huge array of metrics, when in truth, specific industries will often need just two or three at the most. Studying the metrics behind the people visiting your site every month can guide your overall marketing strategy, but there’s no way of knowing what impact it’s having on the people who will most impact your business. Remember, it’s not how many people you engage with your content, but who.

Even for those who want to study the browsing habits of large groups visiting their sites, a full-time data scientist might not be necessary. Consider hiring a data science consultant and have them lay out the groundwork for your upcoming campaigns. If the wealth of data is too much to handle, then you can begin to consider employing a data scientist in a more permanent role.

Does your website fulfil every requirement for your marketing strategy?

For years now, online marketers have based their business around their official website. Of course, that’s hardly surprising when you consider how much technology has altered business over the last decade. Your website is undoubtedly more versatile, unique and interactive than a TV or print ad, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to meet all your business needs. A 2015 B2B Web Usability Report by Komarketing found that once on a company’s homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company’s products/services relevant to them.

In the age of personalisation, targeted marketing is quickly replacing the one size fits all approach. Visitors to your webpage don’t want to trawl through reams of information to find the content relevant to them, and the information gleaned from their interaction with your website isn’t always going to be relevant to your marketing strategy.

Clemmie creates personalised microsites for businesses looking to engage with C-suite professionals on an individual level. These microsites can be populated with content from your official website, but have been tailored to provide only the information relevant to the client in question. As a result, the analytics Clemmie feeds back reflect only how the key individual has engaged with their marketing material. This approach is becoming increasingly popular among B2B organisations as they look to optimise content and limit data fields to the metrics relevant to their particular needs.

Can your data analysis be automated?

The rise of automation is already placing doubts on the future viability of a full-time data scientist. Data science is still undeniably valuable to many companies marketing campaigns, but parallel to this we’ve seen a huge rise in the power of automation and AI.

While the few models currently in place using AI to turn data into actionable observations are woefully simplistic, it is more than likely that AI will be capable of handling complex regression models and providing real insights to inform your marketing in the future. Why should this matter now, you ask? Data automation is becoming ever more entangled with AI, and in turn, deep learning is evolving to become more adept at providing answers to the big questions data throws up.

Before hiring a full-time data scientist, consider just how much data you need to process, and explore all your options for automation. You could find that the analytics that matters most to you can be captured and analysed without employing a data scientist in a permanent role.


There can be little doubt that the growth in data-harvesting and the subsequent explosion in data professionals has benefitted businesses around the world. But rather than pointing to a future where every company has their own in-house data scientist, this is an opportunity to consider exactly what your company needs according to its core functions.

‘Data scientist’ may be “the sexiest job in the world” right now, but the hype won’t last forever. Companies will come to see that data isn’t the answer to all their marketing woes, let’s just hope it’s a realisation that comes sooner rather than later.

Marketing & advertising technology

The Month in Marketing & Advertising: June 2016

Advertising, Feature, Marketing | No Comments

This month we take a look at the big stories from the worlds of marketing and advertising, two industries often filled with vacuous, self-serving shameless promotion, but occasionally buoyed by the flash of genius courtesy of an inspired original concept.

IBM launches AI-powered Watson ads

In a bid to harness the power of machine learning in all its terrifying apocalypse-inducing glory, IBM this month announced the launch of “cognitive ads”. That’s right, in an industry first,  IBM’s The Weather Company has claimed the future of advertising is here, and it lies in AI ads. The move marks the first consumer use of IBM Watson technology in advertising, but it could well become the norm for marketers as they form strategies around feedback gained from machine learning. The Weather Company initially plans to trial the technology in partnership with  Campbell Soup, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare. Customers viewing a Watson Ad will be able to ask via voice or text about the product or offering. The customers will receive accurate responses thanks to Watson’s machine learning and natural language capabilities. For anyone worried Watson’s cognitive learning ads could go the way of Microsoft’s Tay, Weather Company global head of sales Jeremy Steinberg assured people that Watson creates a library of material, from which the AI-bot assembles the “curated answer.” For the sake of IBM and Watson, we hope the library of material is regularly vetted.

Marketing & advertising technology

Unilever drops gender stereotypes from its ads

In a move that has been praised by gender rights groups and the industry as a whole, Unilever has vowed to drop all sexist stereotypes from its advertising. The news comes after a two-year study found just 2% of the company’s ads show intelligent women. Unilever, which owns brands including Knorr, Dove and everyone’s (least) favourite yeast-based snack, Marmite, announced the changes following a global ad-study into gender roles in the company’s ads. The company spends €8B a year advertising more than 400 brands. The announcement was confirmed at the Cannes Lions festival in France last week. The study made for difficult reading, including finding that women were represented in an authoritative role in just 3% of ads, while 40% of the women surveyed said that they do not identify at all with the women they see in advertising. It’s a progressive step for the industry as a whole, and Unilever’s standing as the second-biggest advertiser in the world will hopefully inspire other firms to follow suit.

Marketing & advertising technology

Mark Zuckerberg’s eccentric security quirk

This month Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg inadvertently revealed he tapes over the speaker and camera on his laptop and set the tech world into a long-overdue debate about home security. After being photographed holding a cut-out Instagram frame in celebration of the apps 500 million user milestone, eagle-eyed followers noted some interesting additions to his Macbook. The multi-millionaire millennial puts tape over his webcam and speaker to avoid conversations and images being picked up by opportunist hackers looking to get some dirt on the 32-year-old entrepreneur. The discovery sparked discussions on hardware security between major heads of state, tech specialists and even the lowly man on the street. In case you’re wondering, yes, you should tape up your webcam and mic when not using them. The NSA files leaked a few years back revealed hacking people’s laptops is not above the security agency, and several cyber security experts have advised people to do everything they can to limit hackers access to their private lives. Whether you think it’s a little extreme comes down to what you do in front of your webcam, but the reality is, taking a few extra precautions never hurt anyone, even if it does make you look a little paranoid.

Marketing & advertising technology

Everyone is jumping on the Euro Cup train

Even with some premature exits from the competition (not to mention some not so premature exits), the Euro 2016 tournament in France has proven a level playing field for new talent, both on and off the pitch. The tournament has led to some truly inspired advertising so far, with big names like Coca-Cola, Mars and others opting for the “Come on England!” approach in the UK. The flaw with opting for this approach perhaps should have prompted calls for a backup campaign, but so far it seems like most brands hadn’t anticipated the highly likely scenario of England crashing out early. Budweiser was picked up on social media for a billboard spotted following England’s departure from the competition. ‘50 YEARS OF HURT IS THIRSTY WORK’ may have sounded like a great line during discussions in Budweiser’s marketing department several months back, but when seen after England have already been knocked out, it takes on a slightly derisory tone. Coupled with the billboards location in an Asda car park in Coryton, Cardiff, the ad takes on an even more sardonic tone. A far more inspired approach to marketing came courtesy of that most unlikely of sources; the Iceland supermarket chain. Prior to the game between the England vs Iceland game, the frozen foods specialists had encouraged some friendly competition between the two countries by rebranding its stores:

The store Tweeted throughout the game itself, at several points reminding followers that it was in fact just a supermarket, and did not represent the tiny island nation of Iceland. With the final whistle signalling an end to England’s Euro Cup hopes, Iceland the store tried to stay magnanimous in victory (well, it’s namesake’s victory, anyway):

Brexit marks a change in fortunes for UK businesses

After several months of fierce campaigning, Britain voted to leave the EU. Ignoring the political and economic implications of the vote, Brexit has already begun to impact on the country’s thriving marketing and advertising industries. Even before the vote, the uncertainty caused by the EU referendum was beginning to influence the markets. For ITV, this uncertainty led to the broadcaster lowering its ad revenue forecast in the first half of 2016. Likewise, ITV rivals Channel 4 blamed the slowdown in advertising spend on the referendum. Jonathan Allen, director of sales of Channel 4, told Campaign “About a quarter of it [fall in ad revenue] is Brexit.” The reason behind the fall was the level of uncertainty the referendum created. Advertisers are wary of investing too heavily when they’re not sure what’s around the corner. The slowdown looked set to lift as soon as the vote came in. However, with the political environment still precariously ambiguous, advertisers have been wary of investing too heavily, which places more emphasis on maintaining current brand policies and shifting market focus even further towards the digital landscape. The truth of the matter is, nobody can be certain what effect leaving the European Union will have on the advertising and marketing industries. One thing is for certain, however, is that the vote gives the UK and the EU, a whole new set of opportunities and obstacles. It’s  up to the industries to ensure they’re ready to tackle both.

Marketing & advertising technology

Digital portfolio for graphic designers

5 reasons why the digital portfolio is essential for graphic design graduates

Analytics, Employment, Feature, Graphic Design | No Comments

With competition in the art industries growing more intense every day, more graduates are turning to resourceful and original ways to market their skills. With the average employment rate for graphic designers expected to increase by 7% in the next decade (and an anticipated 16% decline in the employment of graphic designers in previously reliable industries like newspapers, periodicals, and directory assistance books) competition is only going to increase.

After all the time, effort and individual thought you’ve invested in your designs, you want to showcase them through the most original platform available. That’s why more designers are taking their portfolios online. A platform that allows you to consistently edit your portfolio and study its reception from major industry professionals gives you the power to make more informed decisions, helping you land that elusive first graduate job with your dream design agency. Here at Clemmie, we’ve discussed before why the digital portfolio is quickly becoming the platform for modern designers. The digital portfolio presents its own unique set of challenges for graphic designers, but the potential rewards can be huge.

Be heard above the noise

In the highly competitive graphic design industry, you have to take any opportunity you can to stand out from the crowd. More designers are turning to a digital portfolio to get their work on the desks of design agencies, but there is still an abundance of ways to give your designs an original platform. A digital portfolio provides an opportunity to challenge the traditional print, post and pray method of applying for your first graduate job, but it also encourages employers to engage with your designs on a more intricate level. For those looking to earn a living from freelance work alone (with around 25% of all graphic designers self-employed), having the right portfolio is even more essential to ensure a regular income.

Keep it contemporary

Imagine; rather than endlessly printing updated portfolios custom made for a particular opportunity, you could instead create a new fully customised portfolio in a matter of minutes. This ensures you don’t go ahead and send out a resume with old designs simply because you printed too many and want to get your money’s worth (we’ve all been there). Instead, you can select the latest and greatest projects according to the opportunity in hand. In the competitive world of graphic design, an outdated design can mean the difference between being called up for that elusive interview or passed over for someone who kept their material up-to-date.

Lower the costs

The traditional paper portfolio is an outdated concept. As developments in technology enable people to work remotely, the geographic scope for employment opportunities has expanded. In turn, graphic designers are looking further afield to find their ideal role. In doing so, however, you also need to be prepared to send your portfolios further. This means getting your designs into the hands of employers requires more time, effort and, perhaps crucially, money. With a digital portfolio, you can send illustrations around the world with no added cost while demonstrating your versatility with new technologies, a vital skill for the modern designer. The money saved on not printing expensive portfolios and paying for postage costs can be channelled into continuing to hunt for employment and honing your skills for future opportunities.

Notifications on the go

Perhaps one of the most frustrating elements of applying for a graphic design role is the waiting period that follows sending off your portfolio. Creating a digital portfolio through Clemmie, however, allows you to send the best designs digitally to a range of organisations safe in the knowledge that you will receive a notification when it’s opened, coupled with a detailed breakdown of exactly how an organisation has interacted with your materials. The analytics Clemmie provides detail exactly which projects stood out, which illustrations grabbed their attention, and which designs were so good they just had to share them, allowing you to focus your attention on developing the best digital portfolio and creating new designs based on what you know design agencies want.

Be your own employment agency

Not only does a digital portfolio from Clemmie give you a better understanding of how to develop a stronger CV for the future, it also enables you to craft the best material for an interview based on what elements most appealed to an employer. This is essential for a designer looking to put their best foot forward and go into an interview confident they can make the right impression first time. By studying the analytics provided by a Clemmie portfolio, you can begin to tailor material for subsequent interactions with a potential employer according to what they responded to positively. With quantified data, you can categorise and prioritise employment opportunities based on which prospective employers expressed the most interest. Designs can be prioritised and you can enter an interview confident you are arriving with your best material.

As more and more employers turn to data in the hunt for the ideal employee, it stands to reason that you should too. Graphic design requires not only a keen eye for appealing visuals, it also requires a willingness to embrace new technology as and when it becomes available. What better place to start proving both these attributes than in your portfolio?

Cloud storage for startups

Why working remotely in the Cloud is the best way to grow your startup

Cloud computing, Feature, Startup, Technology | No Comments

Technology; can’t live with it, can’t live without it, amiright? Our dependence on technology is at peak levels, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if you’ve recently launched, or are considering launching, your own startup, the growth of digital technology will likely be the backbone of your fledgeling business. In the US, startups generated around $50bn in revenue last year, with that number increasing year on year.

As the internet bridges geographic divides and smashes cultural boundaries, the concepts of modern business are undergoing a rapid transformation. For startups, it means the company office is now no longer a physical space, but a digital centre around which the best staff in the world can work. With the aid of the Cloud, there really is no limit to the size and scale a new company can achieve.

Enable a remote workforce

It’s now possible to run a company with no two colleagues living in the same country. Running your startup remotely in the Cloud can also help you establish a sustainable business without the immediate access to cash enjoyed by established companies. In fact, by creating a business that functions in this way, you can enjoy a number of advantages over traditional businesses. Because everything is based in the Cloud, you don’t have to hire staff based on their geographic proximity. Instead, you can hire the best people for your startup from all across the world. This method has the added bonus of enticing fresh talent with the promise of being able to work without having to relocate, and without the dated notion of being tied to an office.

Cloud storage for startups

Stay on track, wherever you are

With the chance to work remotely comes the potential for a more unfettered flow of ideas. New ideas are the cornerstones for keeping any business fresh, and the absence of office politics can allow new concepts to thrive. For exactly the same reason the internet can be a pit of acrimony and mass generalisations, it can also be a great place for new ideas. The perceived anonymity of sharing your thoughts from a keyboard can give people the confidence to pitch ideas they would be too afraid to shout out in the boardroom.

Using the Cloud in conjunction with a messaging platform like Slack or the newly announced Google Spaces can create a digital office, boardroom, and watercooler, meaning staff can openly discuss new concepts without the fear of being shouted down and derided.

Make the time difference work for you

At first, having your team spread across the globe can seem like a daunting prospect, but it can also play to your advantage. With good organisation and a diverse workforce, a startup with staff based around the globe can truly thrive. Say for example your marketing team is based in Europe while your engineers are based out in East Asia. In just 24 hours, your marketing team can come up with a solid implementation plan for your new campaign, then your engineers in Asia can put it into action while the Western world sleeps.

With a startup, aspects of the business will inevitably involve a trial and error approach, so draw up a timetable that takes these time differences into account and see what works best for you.

Cloud storage for startups

Never lose material again

Technology has given us all sorts of marvels, but it’s also given us a whole new set of headaches. Perhaps the most infuriating feature of the modern computer is its ability to turn off, shut down or completely fail at the moment you need it most. Anyone who has been racing a deadline only to see their entire workload disappear down the digital plughole can tell you how exasperating this is, but the Cloud can make lost work a frustration of the past.

Used to be that when a computer broke down and the work stored on it hadn’t been backed up, you had little chance of ever seeing it again. But by keeping all your startup work on the Cloud, you can access your material from anywhere in the world, on any device. This also means that even if you can’t gain access to your account, a trusted colleague can keep your business on track until you’re back in the game.

Save money on office space

When first developing your startup, you could be forgiven for neglecting to consider just where the business will be based. After all, plenty of startups have grown out of countless nights working away at a laptop in living rooms, bedrooms, cafes and even garages. But as your business grows, so will your workforce. Most people would look to find a space when they’ve found their feet and have regular revenue coming in, but even this can have a dramatic effect on your business model.

Working in the Cloud means you can run a successful business without ever having to buy office space, as your colleagues can be based anywhere in the world. If you feel a communal workspace would be beneficial, you can still choose to rent. With all work stored in the Cloud, however, you’re free to create an office according to how your staff works best. An office using the Cloud for their central storage system can create a space that encourages creativity and challenges the restricting notion of individual desk space.

Cloud storage for startups

Communicate and share material intelligently

Startups rely on a number of factors to really take off, but one of the key attributes has to be great communication. That’s why it’s so important the platform by which you communicate is reliable, simple and consistent. By using a software suite like Google Apps, you can share documents in real-time and ensure everyone works from the same page.

The Cloud gives workers the opportunity to collaborate in real-time on the same document rather than through the inefficient email attachment method. Collaborating through the traditional email method leads to a myriad of problems; documents can be lost, old copies mistaken for the latest version and endless email chains can suck the life from otherwise healthy projects.

AI in marketing

What does AI mean for the future of digital marketing?

AI, Feature, Marketing, Technology | No Comments

If you believe the blogs, magazine features and tabloid news stories, AI is a revelation, and it’s going to change everything. From op-eds predicting an end to humanity at the hands of superior intelligence to scientists feverishly discussing the future of medical care, AI is on everyone’s lips. Reporting on AI tends to largely focus on the worst case scenarios, but AI can also change our lives for the better and revolutionise the way we interact with technology, the world, and even each other.

The ways in which we perceive the world around us is already shifting as technology develops. A recent study from Stanford and Cambridge Universities claimed that a computer can know more about its human owner than their friends and family. Artificial Intelligence was used to analyse 10 Facebook ‘Likes’, which then enabled the AI to to predict and study a participant’s personality. Even Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has got in on the AI action with his pledge to create an AI assistant.

This is just the start, with Machine to Machine (M2M) and Machine to Consumer (M2C) interactions on the rise every day. In marketing, AI will touch on every aspect of the profession, from the means by which campaigns are conceived, run and measured to the very definition of marketing itself.

Taking the guesswork out of marketing

AI can be more focused on delivering ads to people, with less guesswork. EMarketer predicted that some 55% of all digital advertising dollars will be driven by programmatic initiatives in 2015 as machine learning takes precedence over human analysis. The figure is predicted to rise to 63% by next year, which represents $20 billion in programmatic ad buys.

With AI, marketers will be able to understand consumers on an intricate level. The entire experience will be tailored to the recipient to ensure every ad is relevant, a far cry from the days of blanket coverage and disruptive marketing techniques. Just like billboards on roadsides, pre-AI ads relied on a disruptive advertising strategy, designed to distract and conquer.

Unfortunately, these efforts translated to little more than guesses about what consumers may want to buy based on the few details the company could glean from their IP address. This approach to advertising, however, failed to understand the context of individuated customer searches, an issue AI overcomes through ‘intelligent learning’.

AI in marketing

Creating connections & developing a dialogue

Thanks to AI, marketing will no longer be a one-sided conversation. George John, writing in The Drum, explains “Currently, with the possible exception of social media, marketing is a one-way channel. As AI technology improves and evolves it will progress beyond selecting the right message and design (crafted by humans) to deliver to the right person, over the right channel, at the most opportune time, to actually having a two-way conversation in real-time.”

AI won’t just personalise content, it will allow consumers to provide instant feedback, ask questions about products and take advantage of special offers through interaction with the AI. AI has already progressed to the point where it can tailor customer interactions through increasingly sophisticated language processors and visual perception tools

Personalised advertising becomes truly personal

When it comes to programmatic ad buying, the current process is largely dependent on a machine’s ability to make decisions. Variables like location, previous search history and search text syntax are taken into account when selecting the ad, but these are still largely impersonal generic ads. With AI, ads can be personalised to a far greater degree and instantly delivered to users based on a qualified profile shot of their entire browsing history.

AI can ‘learn’ to avoid users who have never interacted with a specific type of advertisement. Each time a similar campaign is run it will know who is likely to engage and who isn’t, only targeting the most relevant users. Of course, the technology behind this kind of ultra-personalisation is still being refined, but so far all signs point to a new era in personalised marketing.

AI in marketing

Websites become easier for everyone

With AI ensuring ads are now precisely targeted, user engagement will improve, saving brands significant advertising revenue while ensuring higher conversion rates and eCPMs. This is good news for the firms placing the ads, the sites hosting them and the user viewing the site.

Because firms are earning more revenue through fewer ad placements, sites can trim the number of ads to only those which are relevant to that particular user. Not only will this improve the onsite experience for users, but it will increase the likelihood of people engaging with the advertising they do see.

Human input takes a back seat

Companies are now employing big data analysts and data scientists in marketing departments to uncover insights to drive business decisions, but the introduction of AI will eventually transform the very role of humans in marketing. CMO’s (Chief Marketing Officers) at several tech-savvy firms are already witnessing the influence of AI on daily operations. The difference being that, whilst today the role of CMO’s is to create and source content that increases brand visibility and continues to generate revenue, AI will tackle several of these responsibilities.

No longer will CMO’s have to adjust media campaigns according to new trend progressions. AI’s ability to adapt to changes in real-time means the implementation of marketing campaigns will require less and less human interaction.

AI doesn’t have to be all-controlling, however. Some companies are already using it to provide updates to changing market trends which can then be taken into account by a CMO and applied at their own discretion for subsequent campaigns.

The more artificial intelligence is used the more efficient it becomes, meaning it will be able to adapt to, and even anticipate, new trends as they happen. Instead, marketers will be tasked with establishing guidelines for the AI to ensure interactions with consumers remain within the appropriate brand context.

AI in digital marketing

Working hours could become a thing of the past

With most mobile traffic occurring over the weekend, when marketers are out the office, artificial intelligence comes into its own as an optimisation tool. AI optimises campaigns in real-time, taking the manual labour aspect away from the marketing team who can then concentrate on other, more subjective aspects of the marketing campaign. A study by analytics firm IHS and video inventory management platform SpotXBy found that by 2020 more than half of all digital video advertising revenue in Europe will be programmatic.

A whole host of new roles will become fundamental to the continued marketing strategies of companies around the world. Working hours themselves will become less restrictive, with AI doing much of the work a human would have to do outside of work time. For instance, most mobile traffic occurs over the weekend, but for most companies, this is the time when workers will be at home. AI can track interactions, schedule updates and optimise content according to what people are searching for, regardless of when or what time or where the search is made.

Embracing the increase and development of AI is crucial to future marketing efforts. Despite all the scare stories, AI is a human creation that can be harnessed in a multitude of ways. When used intelligently and responsibly, AI can enrich our lives in a multitude of ways. By leaving the most mundane, time-consuming and logic-driven tasks to AI, we free ourselves up to think more creatively, to focus our time and effort on more subjective matters and, if we’re lucky, come up with the world’s next big innovation.

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.

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


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.


5 ways web analytics can improve your business output

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Of all the business innovations spawned by the internet, it’s hard to choose one as the most significant. Everything, from our spending habits to the way we learn about the world, is influenced by the presence or lack of an internet connection. Online commerce sites like Amazon changed the way we shop and online payments systems like Paypal changed the way we pay. Likewise, web analytics changed the way business functions forever. Companies no longer have to rely on lead feedback and unreliable representative surveys to understand how their business is perceived. The advent of web analytics allowed companies to see exactly what most interests prospective leads and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t. But web analytics feature a host of applications specifically designed to help companies improve their business output. 

Discover more about your audience 

The biggest asset of analytics tools lie in their ability to monitor site engagement and feed data back to the site owner. The way in which you interpret the statistics provided, however, can dramatically affect your understanding of lead behaviour. Web analytics represent more than just an opportunity to target audiences more effectively. When interpreted correctly, web analytics can help you form a snapshot of not just what your audience looks for, but what kind of person they are too. For example, if you find a high number of site views originate from links on social media, you can begin to focus your advertising more heavily through social media platforms. Likewise, some web analytics services offer geographical tracking to see where the majority of your visitors are located, enabling your firm to prioritise appropriate areas.

Web Analytics for business

Gain an insight into your user’s onsite behaviour

Web analytics give an insight into which of your pages are the most popular, what content they respond to, how many people responded to calls to action and much more. This allows you to tailor your future output according to what you know works, including ad campaigns, sales pitches and optimised site content. You can also update previous web pages to bring them more into line with your most popular pages, ensuring a more consistent traffic flow across the site. A bounce refers to a page where a lead visited but took no further action before leaving the site. By studying bounce rates, you can look at where leads lose interest or become lost and rectify any navigation issues these pages may have.

Web analytics for business

Forecast industry trends

Web analytics can offer more than just an insight into the mind of your site visitors. The statistics they provide can also help you predict trends in your industry based on numerous quantifiable factors. Elements such as the access point for your traffic, what keywords are bringing people to your page and which areas of your site receive the highest number of hits can all indicate a new direction for the industry, giving your firm the jump on the competition that could mean the difference between 100 and 1000 customers. Similarly, your analytics can give you an indicator of the vernacular that users are most likely to respond to at that point in time, albeit following some pretty detailed analysis of your current output, or when paired with an SEO tool like Google AdWords.

Web Analytics for business

Set quantifiable targets with measurable improvement 

Analytics are all about quantifying data patterns and drawing conclusions from the statistics provided. By studying where your content is underperforming, you can begin to set perceptible targets and watch as your numbers improve. Studies have shown that people push themselves as hard as a target dictates they should. With quantifiable data fed directly back to your firm, you can begin to optimise your marketing content for specific areas of the site with numerical objectives. Analytics can help you organise ‘stat-raise’ campaigns, where you target specific areas of your site and set a hit rate target to be achieved within a set time-frame.

Numbers And Finance

Use microsites to engage with individual clients

By using microsites to produce personalised marketing content, you can gain new levels of lead qualification with individual clients. With a breakdown of a client’s engagement, microsites can provide regular updates on the site’s performance using Google’s clean but detailed analytics. Microsites have an added value in that they enable you to compare different marketing material sent to different clients in a quantified, measurable setting. 

Web Analytics for business