Sunday, 30 September 2012

All corporate screw-ups are social

#FAIL: The 50 Greatest Social Media Screw-Ups

#FAIL is available for Kindle readers on Amazon UK and Amazon. For iBooks readers, you can find #Fail here. And where else? Nook is also available. And then there’s paperback available on Lulu too.

All corporate screw-ups are social. Don’t believe us? Pop onto Twitter and type in the word “#Fail” or search the word “boycott” on Facebook. Up pops the names of many of the world’s largest brands, and the latest consumer grievances and organized pressure campaigns against them.

Our new SMI book – #FAIL: The 50 Greatest Social Media Screw-Ups and How to Avoid Being the Next One chronicles another kind of digital pioneer, those brands that have made iconic, early stumbles in social media that have resulted in consequences well beyond a loss of a few “friends” or “followers.”

From a lock-picking geek’s take-down of Kryptonite in 2004 to Carnival Corp’s tin-eared response to the Costa Concordia tragedy in January, 2012, the blunders chronicled here cost companies millions, bruised well-honed corporate reputations and sunk careers. There are plenty of mistakes to learn from here – or at least chuckle at in disbelief.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Pluralis is taking a 99 Designs-style approach to solving a fairly specific problem — improving the conversion rate on landing pages

A startup called Pluralis is taking a 99 Designs-style approach to solving a fairly specific problem — improving the conversion rate on landing pages. Normally, if a business has a landing page that it thinks could be driving more user registrations (or purchases, or whatever they’re aiming for), then it has to devote time and resources on a redesign that may or may not actually improve things. With Pluralis, businesses can crowdsource the problem, challenging “creative optimizers” (a category that includes copywriters, designers, and marketers) to compete to create the best page. To do that, businesses first post a contest offering different payments depending on how much their conversion rates are improved. (For example, it could offer $1,000 for 15 percent improvement, $2,000 for 30 percent, and so on.) Then the creative optimizers who have been enlisted by Pluralis can take their stab at doing better, using the company’s tools to page elements including the text, images, and headers. Once the submission phase is over, businesses choose the revisions that they like the best, and they A/B test those submissions live on the site. In order to win, a design has to perform better than all of the other submissions, as well as the existing page. In other words, businesses should end up with the landing page that’s proven to be the best. And if nothing is actually better than what they have already, they don’t have to pay anything. Pluralis just opened the service to the public, but it has been beta testing the program with help desk company SysAid, ad company Jottix Media, and others, with an average of 17 to 27 percent improvement in conversion rates. The company has raised $1 million in seed funding from Thetime and Cyhawk Ventures. via

Friday, 28 September 2012

If we asked you for one piece of advice for retailers looking to improve their logistics, what would it be? / Internet Retailing 2012

In today’s preview of our annual conference, Internet Retailing 2012 (IR 2012), to be held in London on October 9, we have the latest in a series of interviews with speakers at the conference. Today Walter Blackwood, director of group logistics at Mothercare, is in the hot seat.

Walter Blackwood’s presentation, Moving from the virtual world into a physical delivery, will be in stream three of Internet Retailing 2012 on October 9. His presentation starts at 11.20am.

Internet Retailing: If we asked you for one piece of advice for retailers looking to improve their logistics, what would it be?

Walter Blackwood, director of group logistics, Mothercare: I think the critical element is to define and then be able to support a clear customer proposition right through all the elements of the supply chain. I think retailers who try to give too broad a proposition struggle to deliver it. But if you are clear about what you’re trying to do then you can align your business. So if you say that my proposition is ‘I’ll have it to you in the next six hours,’ then all the elements from delivery and warehousing to after sales support have to support that.

The critical challenge is to make promises that you can effectively support and do so economically. When direct sales were 5% of people’s turnover then if it cost a bit extra to deliver it then people didn’t notice so much. But once it’s 25% or your biggest single channel to the customer then understanding the economics of supporting that proposition and doing it effectively is critical. If you don’t do that you end up losing your shirt.

IR: You moved to Mothercare after 15 years in business to consumer logistics, where your experience includes developing networks including Parcelnet (now Hermes), HDNL (now Yodel) and most recently Collect+, where you were managing director. How does your previous experience in logistics help you in this job?

WB: I think it’s frightened the carriers to death because I know more about their businesses than they did – and that’s always a good place to be. But I think the key issue is that I understand the importance of the partnership arrangement. You can’t buy customer-critical services as a commodity. You have to work with those people supplying the warehousing or delivery and ensure their plans are aligned with those of the retailer. Then you get a successful outcome. It’s been good to bring the other perspective to that. The learning curve – asking the right questions, defining the proposition correctly, making sure our information, forecast, all the elements of our requirements are properly reflected in responses from suppliers. That means we’ve moved through the development process much more quickly than we probably would have otherwise.

IR: Have you made big changes since you’ve been at Mothercare?

WB: We’ve changed carrier because we needed to improve the quality of service to the customer and to make sure we had a clear and developing proposition to meet our customers’ requirements more effectively. We’ve done a great deal of work to make sure that the fulfillment operations are properly aligned. There’s a big difference between a multiple channel and a multichannel retailer – we’re having to bring those together more effectively into the same space, to work together to make the customer experience more effective. I think we’ve made a lot of changes in starting to build that proposition for the future.

IR: How will retail logistics develop in the future?

WB: It will be much more driven by the customer. If you go back into retail logistics 20 years ago, the logistics process was entirely invisible to the customer. They didn’t know what t-shirts or beans should be on the shelf. They didn’t know where the warehouses were, how many trucks were being used, how efficient or effective the operation was and they didn’t care. Their perception of the retailer was what they saw on the shelf. If there should have been a whole load of t-shirts there that weren’t, they didn’t know that.

In a multichannel environment, the new retail logistics world, the supply chain is very, very visible to the customer and they expect it to work. They expect it to be local to their home or to be available to reserve. That means all their internal processes that used to be driven by cost and efficiency rather than effectiveness now have to work to meet the customer promise in a much more open way than they ever did. That means customers are driving change in the chain – and when it doesn’t work they notice and say that isn’t good enough. They’re starting to recognise those retailers who are actually responding to that and changing their supply chains and retail logistics accordingly.

IR: What practical difference will that make for retailers?

WB: It will make it more complex because you’re not dealing in palletloads any more. The retail supply chain works very differently from a home delivery proposition. If you go back to before the internet, mail order was a very different channel and had different processes from the local retail chain in terms of the way the warehouse was laid out and transport was organised.

Now every major chain has to combine both of those elements. That means that the picking, packing and returns, all the elements that went into old direct mail order business are now reflected in the requirements of a retail environment that would normally have had nothing to do with that. Now we need to merge those together and recognise that the customer in this multichannel or omnichannel world is looking at both of those channels at the same time. They don’t see the difference. There’s been lots said about the customer who looks online and buys in the shop, or looks in the shop and buys online, or the other way round – it all merges into a view of the retail organisation and the retail process has to change to meet that requirement.

IR: Is it the case that once you’ve merged the logistics involved in different channels, then in the future if you add on another channel it won’t make much difference?

WB: The problem is that we don’t know – that’s the great joy of the modern era. Things change very, very quickly. We have people who created separate direct delivery businesses, separate retail operations within their businesses, with a retail warehouse and a direct warehouse because they were seen as different channels. But now they are merging again. Now you’ve got this whole process where click and collect is the biggest growth in the multichannel environment. Direct warehouse now has to get into the store. It was built originally so the store and direct were something different. But the customer doesn’t see it that way. They say: ‘On Monday I might have something delivered direct to my home and on Saturday I might just pick it up when I go shopping.’ They expect the process to work – but then the retail warehouse hasn’t been configured to pick singles and the singles warehouse hasn’t been configured to deliver to the store. You have to move the stock to the right place but if all your customers come and reserve your stock and strip out the toy of the month, then you’ve used all the store stock and customers walking into the shop find it isn’t there any more.

The channels have to respond quickly to that and make sure its continually in stock – and that’s a different kind of game. That’s the fun bit – it’s why it’s an interesting challenge. It’s very different from the days of invisible supply chains – it’s very different.

Walter Blackwood’s presentation, Moving from the virtual world into a physical delivery, will be in stream three of Internet Retailing 2012 on October 9. His presentation starts at 11.20am

Cafédirect has rebranded its entire range of tea, coffee and cocoa packaging to drive consumer demand


Cafédirect UNVEILS £1m REBRAND

New advertising, packaging, logo and website reinforce

premium taste and quality cues

Cafédirect, one of the UK’s fastest growing coffee brands*, has rebranded its entire range of tea, coffee and cocoa packaging to drive consumer demand. In addition, all digital channels and POS have been completely redesigned to bring the new look to life.

The rebrand is being supported by a major advertising campaign launching on 1 October 2012 and continues to the end of the year. It is expected to reach up to 7 million consumers micro targeted through the use of innovative new digital advertising technology. A 30 second film will feature across online video platforms, the Guardian food and drink network and Facebook.

The new campaign and brand line – ‘Made the Small Way’ – conveys the Cafédirect point of difference, sourcing directly from smallholder tea, coffee and cocoa growers whose care and attention leads to the award-winning taste. By building true partnerships and investing profits back into grower businesses (over 50% to date) Cafédirect creates a more sustainable future for all. A new range of stylish, contemporary POS will be available for foodservice outlets to appeal to premium consumers.

Matt Lord, Foodservice Development Manager at Cafédirect, says:  “Whilst the recession has been driving people to cut back on bigger ticket items such as overseas holidays, they have refused to trade down their little luxuries, the simple pleasures in life, like a great cup of coffee.

There’s a big opportunity to highlight a quality offering, maximising consumer interest in provenance and demand for sustainable sourcing. We are so proud of our new branding and excited to bring this to market with our foodservice customers.”

Sales of Cafédirect coffee (Roast & Ground and Freeze Dried) have grown +20% in the last 52 weeks.*

Touch2View to provide a range of Giant iTabs - Giant Interactive Tablets - for the dock10 launch event at MediaCityUK

dock10 Officially Launches

dock10 have now produced more than 700 shows for Channel 4, Sky 1 and BBC. So, for them to commission Touch2View to provide a range of Giant iTabs - Giant Interactive Tablets - for their launch event at MediaCityUK was a valued endorsement of this new innovation in interactive digital display.

A pair of stylish 23" digital concierge models were used to show the brand new 'dock10' web page alongside live twitter feeds on the night. A large 55" touchscreen proved a real attention grabber by allowing guests to play 'Angry Birds' with all the fun and enjoyment normally associated with playing this game on one of today's smart phones or tablets - but on a Giant scale.


Upcoming Shows Featuring The Giant iTab:


Touch2View, 59A Allfarthing Lane, London SW18 2AR
Tel: +44(0)7810 893911 | |

Thursday, 27 September 2012

How to test the power of mobile couponing for free

Shopitize : FMCG’s can test the power of mobile couponing for free / Exclusive couponing offer

by Will Corry on September 27, 2012 in Apps, Apps & Software, Best advertising story, Events & Awards, FaceBook, Gadgets, Google, iPhone, Lead story, LinkedIn, Metrics, Mobile, Mobile Marketing, Pinterest, Retail, Retail News, Small Business, Twitter, Websites

Shopping innovator Shopitize ( is poised to shake up the retail industry with the launch of an exclusive couponing offer in early October.

For the first time in UK shopping, FMCGs will be able to switch to mobile couponing instead of paper-based couponing with no financial risk and truly understand the sheer power of this emerging business channel.

FMCG’s wishing to discuss joining the Shopitize mobile couponing service should call Shopitize’s business manager Richard Lee on 07946 394 812, email

At a stroke, FMCGs have the opportunity to improve their knowledge of how people shop and take full advantage of mobile couponing deals. They’ll be able to scrap paper-based couponing, engage directly with shoppers’ who are known to buy their brands, reward them for their continued loyalty, and cut wastage out of on-pack, in-store promotions.

The new service is a limited time offer to FMCGs in the UK to turn their existing paper and online printed coupons into mobile coupons for free.

These coupons can be complemented by additional unique offers.

Test mobile coupons

During this limited time offer, Shopitize covers all marketing and tech costs, so all FMCGs need do is set the maximum number of redemptions and cover that cost. Any offers that are not redeemed will not cost brands a penny. In return, FMCGs get an exclusive opportunity to test mobile coupons for free over a 6-8 week period with a representative group of 1,000+ UK smartphone users. Shopitize will supply participating brands with a campaign insights report free of charge at the end of the campaign.

“Shopitize’s mobile couponing service addresses the urgent need for non-POS, cost-efficient, non-paper coupon delivery and clearance,” says Irina Pafomova, Shopitize’s co-founder

. “No other channel enables FMCGs to test market new products so quickly, measure the effectiveness of a campaign in such a short timeframe, or incentivise repeat purchases.”

FMCG’s wishing to discuss joining the Shopitize mobile couponing service should call Shopitize’s business manager Richard Lee on 07946 394 812, email

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

How to use online ads in a more strategic way to brand build / &

How to use online ads in a more strategic way to brand build / &

by Will Corry on September 27, 2012 in Apps & Software, Film, Gamification, Lead story, Mobile, Music, Rock 'n Roll, TV, Websites

James Bond: 50 Years Of Movie Posters

Leading online men’s media group, IGN Entertainment UK, has appointed in a move that will enable it to deliver highly measurable brand-building online advertising campaigns to its UK clients.

Using’s unique targeting and measurement technology, IGN’s market-leading men’s lifestyle site, will be able to offer its advertisers the opportunity to increase brand awareness, affinity or purchase intention amongst their target audience, and deliver outstanding, measurable results. They will be able to do this by enriching users’ surfing behaviour with vigorous market research.’s technology recognises the branding potential of online media; to use online ads in a more strategic way to brand build, rather than always focusing on more tactical conversion. With increased audience fragmentation across all media it is innovative technology in the digital world which is set to see the online advertising route become the most important media in delivering highly targeted brand advertising. Publishers all over Europe as well as advertisers such as Unilever, L’Oréal, or Philips acknowledge this as online becomes set to take a greater share of offline brand advertising spend in a move which will see this industry quickly mature.

IGN Entertainment will evaluate the performance of’s targeting solution on – before considering expansion to its market-leading games and entertainment site,

Adam Hopkinson, UK Commercial Director, IGN Entertainment, comments: “We are excited about working with as their technology has a proven track record in delivering online brand building campaigns for clients across Europe.  Thanks to this partnership we are able to unlock increased value for our clients,  further segmenting our audience and targeting them accordingly.”

Ben Humphry,’s Managing Director for UK and Ireland, adds: “We are very pleased to work with such an exciting brand in the UK market.

Our brand-led ad technology offers a key advantage when compared with traditional response only focused online ad solutions, which IGN has recognised. We are looking forward to working closely with them to deliver strong and highly measurable online brand-building campaigns for their advertisers.”

Want to get noticed? Tell a story that’s authentic, relevant and gets results. Find out about the ’12 articles, case studies, success stories plan’ from theMarketingblog. Think BIG – act fast call Will Corry today 01784 434 412 for a chinwag about connecting with your prospects.

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Learn how Facebook’s Open Graph facilitates and reinforces the importance of fostering consumer-to-consumer sharing

‘AllFacebook Marketing Conference’ November 19 in London : Diagnosing your Facebook Marketing Performance

by Will Corry on September 24, 2012 in Events, Events & Awards, FaceBook, Lead story, London & South East, Small Business, Social Media, Startups, View from the top

  • Facebook Marketing Conference set for November 19 in London
  • Explore the impact of the Open Graph
  • Learn how Facebook’s Open Graph facilitates and reinforces the importance of fostering consumer-to-consumer sharing. Projjol Banerjea will discuss how marketers can benefit from these fresh opportunities.

More information and registration is available on the AllFacebook Marketing Conference site , with reduced pricing in effect prior to October 20, 2012.

It’s simple enough for a business to create a Facebook page but all too often there can be a subsequent lack of focus on what targeting and creative combinations are growing the follower base and delivering real revenue-generating results. Accordingly, the AllFacebook Marketing Conference will provide proven solutions for building brands and engaging prospective customers.

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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Mobile Marketing Live: Interview with M&C Saatchi's James Hilton |

In the run up to Mobile Marketing Live, we've been interviewing a range of the speakers and exhibitors.
Today it's the turn of M&C Saatchi Mobile founder and CEO James Hilton, who talks to us about his presentation at Mobile Marketing Live, why some brands are still scared of mobile, and the thorny issue of click fraud.
You can listen to the interview below, or download it as a podcast by clicking here.
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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Think BIG - act fast!


12+ more articles guaranteed to be loaded into - and the price is right too!

Create more new and repeat business for your client with dramatically increased social media exposure

Please could you bring this new ‘12 story exposure plan’ from theMarketingblog to the attention of your client. It will give them at least twelve guaranteed articles with an end objective of producing quality solid results for their team to convert into business.  

Here’s how it works. Do you want to get increased coverage for them across the social media sectors and regular exposure in
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Monday, 3 September 2012

The Marketing Blog who will be partnering with a4uexpo London as media partners

Introducing the latest Media Partner for a4uexpo London… This was posted on: 030912, by beccy

Welcome to The Marketing Blog who will be partnering with a4uexpo London as media partners. a4uexpo London is only 6 weeks away! Hosted at the Hilton London Metropole on the 16th -17th October and set to be our biggest and best to date! The Marketing Blog has been bringing readers in depth news, exhibitor profiles and speaker details about B2B conferences in the UK for over seven years.
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