New Leeds Postcards shop launched

Been helping these people to build their social currency have a look at the Leeds Postcards shop

New Leeds Postcards shop launched Yesterday saw the launch of the Leeds Postcards online store. The shop contains all your favourite cards and will in the future be bringing you exciting new products, so watch this space. In the meantime rush over there and have a look we would love to say hello. Leeds Postcards shop … Read More

via Leeds Postcards

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Bletchley Park – a moment in time perfectly preserved

Encryption Wheel at Bletchley Park, originally uploaded by juic3boy.

I recently went on a visit to Bletchley Park after a new business meeting in Milton Keynes.

Now, I’ve read a lot about Enigma, Turing et al, probably the best being Neil Stephensons Cryptonomicon. The prequel to his Baroque Trilogy – a fanatstic read.

There’s some obvious things to be said about Bletchley Park – it’s lack of funding and the scandalous treatment of Alan Turing, all of which seem to be taking a turn for the better.

But what really struck me is that Bletchley Park captures a moment in time that is pivotal in the develpoment of the modern world.

Nowhere can the link between the world of cogs and gears and the world of switches and tansistors be so clearly visualised.

I still spend a lot of time in my role trying to de-mistify computers – removing fear, suspicion and a luddite desire to simply not understand.

Why? – because I firmly believe that at the heart of ‘doing good digital’ is a deep understanding of how it all works….and this combined with an understanding of how people work,  delivers digital excelence.

It’s impossible to come up with innovation without a combination of both.

So, I found Bletchley Park moving and enlightening, but the best thing is – go now, before it gets corporatised and sanitised. See the piles of cogs and wires and oil stains, smell the wartime dust, feel the draughts coming through the pre-fab walls. And be amazed at what was achieved in this place and how, without knowing it, a small army of people changed the world.

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The Rules of Online Strategy

everyone is anonymous 

everything is live 

everything is open – all the time 

everything is interactive  

everything is extendable 

nothing exists in isolation – realtive position is hard to control 

it is always evolving 

it is everything – it is nothing (but a set of tools) 

50% escapist, 50% more real than ever 

the old world has no special power 

the internet has a long memory 

as soon as you have worked out the rules – all the rules will change

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Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is about to go through a seismic shift where the boundaries between media and content are blurring rapidly.

An excellent example of the principle can be seen here:

Rollover the banner ad on the RHS of the page. 
This banner removes the need for 3 clicks on the equivalent website?!

This principle raises significant questions of how we should approach banner and web design…in fact all of our work

This is a trend that won’t go away – and is happening in it’s most basic form with Google’s enhanced listings. 
E.g. for a business listing on Google – you can now see phone number and map straight away on Google– these are two of the biggest reasons why people visit company websites.
Also the placement of site search and main menu items on Google listings removes the need for many homepages.
This phenomenon is shaking the very heart of conventional Internet Marketing strategies – it challenges the traditional boundaries between creative and media agencies…but ultimately delivers the consumer a much more intuitive and less painful experience.

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landing page design

Oh the irony.

The landing page for this book:

Can be found here:

http://www.sherpastore.com/product.php?ID=363

Just try and find the call to action 🙂

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customer journey – online strategy model

Online strategy models are by definition always in development…and they always have been.  Fourteen years ago, online strategy models were about persuading clients (and other agencies) that there was any role for digital activity.

Today they are more about finding the correct role for digital as part of integrated communications strategies.  And the easiest ones, where activity is entirely online and strategies can be neatly wrapped up into a tight multi-channel ROI based model.

Successful online strategy starts with putting the consumer at the centre of the model, and the understanding that consumers spend their lives zig-zagging between the real and virtual worlds:

A critical insight is that online is not a media channel in the conventional sense.  Indeed it is virtually impossible to plan digital communications as part of an integrated campaign if you see online as merely an alternative channel – it is much better viewed as a parallel world.

The next stage in developing online stratgey is to unravel the customer journey and define the key stages in a consumers thought process in relation to your brand, product or service:

It is helpful to view the customer journey as two independent cycles which often break down into:

  • Considering joining
  • Considering Leaving

This can describe the process of buying into a brand, buying from a specific retailer, becoming a fan and many other actions:

And finally identifying initial media choices:

The challenge then is to refine and detail this to produce a tactical plan modelled around ROI and/or brand metrics – more to follow…

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online effectiveness meets online PR

I just came back from speaking at and sitting through the IAB engage conference in Manchester.

Microsoft IE gaff

Highlights included a senior guy from Microsoft Advertising failing to understand the meaning of ‘IE8’, apparently ‘that’s a different department’….fair enough (not)

IAB online effectiveness

There was a great presentation from the IAB about the effectiveness of online and TV working in tandem. Not ground breaking as it mirrors the findings of the old Unilever Dove case study – but great to have some UK data to show my clients.  My only scepticism about this, is that whilst being great research – it’s a million miles away from making it into traditional offline media planning models, and the monthly TV vs Digital debate I seem to have.  The challenge of forcing the reappraisal of planning models it appears still needs to be fought by the digital agencies.

Online PR

At swamp we’re about to launch our formalised online PR offer together with our colleagues in Brahm PR.  It’s going to be good harnessing the power of a well established and excellent PR team with our knowledge and experience in digital… but it is weird – we’ve being doing online PR in digital for years we just never called it that before 🙂

Anyway, there was a great presentation from Immediate Future about the online PR campaign they did for Sony Bravia.  It was very niche focusing on the management of the release of the 3rd Bravia ad (the one with all the bunnies.  Basically they manage to head off the advertising blogerati from giving it a panning and suppress an underground revolt from fans of the fantastic Kozyndan.   Job well done, but did it sell any more TV’s?

Still it’s made me appreciate the Kozyndan bunny poster I have hanging in my studio even more 🙂

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