Friday, December 18, 2015

Order an Uber from Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger's transition into a platform similar to WeChat continues with their new test that is allowing some people in the US to order an Uber directly from inside Messenger.

Introducing Transportation on Messenger from Facebook on Vimeo.

You don't even need to have the Uber app!

More here

Thursday, December 17, 2015

10 Trends for 2016

Carat Global has been producing trend reports for over 5 years, looking at new technologies that will become more important and relevant to clients.

The trends for 2016 are all growing in importance, and will all have implications for clients.

This year’s trends involve two big themes:

The rise of closed, competing ecosystems

The development of artificial intelligence and actionable measurement

I hope that you find the presentation useful and informative!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Krispy Kreme's Video Barcode

As part of Krispy Kreme's #dayofthedozens promotion (happening on 12th December), shoppers can get a dozen free donuts when they buy a dozen, by letting counter staff scan this barcode on their phones - made from an online video

Even though it's a video the pouring graze stays pretty static, so that it can be scanned at the till.

More here

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Book Review - Profit From Science by George Danner

People in the marketing industry quite often talk about 'the science' of what they do, but often if you start to dig and investigate a lot of 'the science' falls apart (sample sizes, method and so on).

George Danner's excellent book Profit from Science, published by Palgrave Macmillan addresses this by clearly showing how you can apply scientific method to modern business problems, for example through methods like data analytics, and remote collaboration.

It a very interesting and readable book and very inspiring for people wanting to become more disciplined and analytical in their work.

Danner starts by outlining the steps of scientific method - Observation, Research, Hypothesis, Prediction, Experimentation, Conclusion, and then shows how to match different techniques to the different problems.

Working on the principle that ‘data is the fuel for any scientific investigation’ (which I would heartily endorse), he looks at how to acquire data, and what to do with different sorts of data, and establishing a workflow for problem solving

This might sound dry (it's not) but the book then goes beyond the analytical techniques and looks at how you deliver your results to the best effect, including visualisation & the design of presentation materials, and also looks at such vital skills as how to be a good client and cultural resistance to the results of research (aka objection handling).

Finally, he looks at the sorts of things we should expect to be using in method and analysis in the future, including Siri, Nest, Watson, and Virtual reality and concludes that ‘It’s a great time to be alive’

It's all well set out and logically ordered, and while I'd recommend reading from start to finish, clear summaries at end of each chapter mean that you can dip back into it easily too.

This is a great addition to any media or business book shelf - you can buy it from Amazon here or download a sample chapter here

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Advertising to people with ad blockers

It is, of course, possible to target people who use ad blockers, as the Belgian agency Boondoggle has just shown.

For a while publishers have been putting 'please don't use an ad blocker' notices on their sites - for example this The Guardian's

Boondoggle persuaded 3 publishers of media new sites in Belgium to put a text recruitment ad for them on the site in the same way when it detected a visitor who was using an ad blocker.

The ad appeals to creatives who use ad blocker to come to work with them to create digital campaigns that are useful not annoying!

More here in the video

+ more details here

Monday, December 07, 2015

Ad blockers & explaining politely

Here is some interesting research from Nieman Lab - They asked a number of publishers about their experience with ad blocking on mobile and desktop, including two who are currently blocking content to people using ad blockers.

City AM, the UK free business newspaper, blocks content to anyone arriving on Firefox who uses an ad blocker.  As you can see from the screengrab, they explain politely and clearly why they are doing it:

"We are having trouble showing you adverts on this page, which may be a result of ad blocker software being installed on your device.

As City A.M. relies on advertising to fund its journalism, please disable any ad blockers from running on, then reload the page to see the rest of this content. More info here."

According to Nieman Lab:

"In the first month or so since City A.M. began showing users the message, the percentage of readers using adblockers on Firefox has dropped by a third, Ashplant said. And about one-quarter of users who see the adblocking message actually turn it off or whitelist.

City A.M. also hasn’t seen a noticeable change in its bounce rate because of the new message, Ashplant said. He reads that to mean that people who decide not to turn off their adblockers likely wouldn’t have stayed on the site beyond reading that one article.

“It almost feels like the people who feel that it’s worth having that value exchange, and it’s worth turning the adblocker off — because they do want to see the content and they do perceive that City A.M. has got content that’s worth turning the adblocker off for — they’re inclined to spend longer on the site,” he explained. “It’s almost as if they’ve made a conscious decision that it’s worth doing it, and then they go on to explore the site and click on more than one page.”"

It seems to me that if you have good, distinctive content, and an educated and considerate readership this is a good step to take.

Be very clear about why you're doing it, and be polite, but firm.

I hear a lot about how people understand the value exchange in free content that is paid by ads (you look at the ads to get the free content), but in music for example there was a very long established and explicit value exchange (you pay money to buy a recording) that eroded very quickly.
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