If iCrossing were a character from The Lord of the Rings, it would be Aragorn. This was the claim of Chief Strategy Officer Mark Iremonger at the Client Summit 2013.
Iremonger drew comparisons between our agency and “the wise peacemaker who marshals resources” to illustrate the point that search marketing must integrate with a brand’s traditional reach channels to utilise the SEO potential that exists in all online engagement moments.
“Historically an SEO agency may have existed outside of a brand’s circle of trust, acting as either a Saruman – powerful but unethical, Frodo – relentless and resourceful, or Golem – where the ends would be used to justify the means,” he described. “Now SEO has been invited into the circle of trust and for the future we’re looking at an even more aligned partner model.”
Dave Coplin, the UK’s self-titled Chief Envisioning Officer for Bing, believes we should strive to make people’s professional experiences of technology as fulfilling as they can be in their personal lives.
Speaking at the iCrossing Client Summit 2013, Coplin held that we’ve reached a “plateau of mediocrity” in the enterprise world – a state which can block creativity.
“There are some wonderful things happening in the consumer world that can inform how we work in our professional lives. Many people have a better computer at home than the one that they’re provided with at work and the fact that some companies are still forbidding staff access to social media channels indicates that they don’t understand how the flow of information through such connectivity works to empower people and organisations.”
Google’s Mark Howe added a new word to the vocabulary of online marketers at the iCrossing 2013 client summit.
‘Frazzing’, explained Howe – Managing Director of Agency Operations in North & Central Europe – is a term coined by psychologists to describe the way consumers “frantically and ineffectively multitask” when coping with numerous screens and a proliferation of information. And how we plan media and advertising to match this behaviour is key to our effectiveness as online marketers.
With 75% UK smartphone penetration predicted for the end of 2013 and one in four of us now a three-screener, our attention is more divided than it ever has been. But Howe sees in this complex connectivity an exciting opportunity that allows marketing to move from measures of awareness to those of real relationships and accountability.
Forrester’s Luca Paderni urged digital marketers to dissolve traditional channel-based silos and instead build strategy around reach, depth and relationships at the iCrossing Client Summit 2013.
Drawing on over 10 years of international marketing and strategy experience, Research Director Paderni’s current work centres on upcoming trends in media and advertising that lead to increasing fragmentation.
The traditional marketing model of attention, interest, desire and action, he argued, presents major limitations when faced with today’s perpetually connected customers. Little surprise given that it dates back over 100 years to 1904.
The SEO industry is most definitely undergoing a heightened level of change at the moment. iCrossing has been taking steps towards expanding its strategies beyond merely traditional SEO tactics for quite some time now. These tactics, if done properly, have the potential to be extremely valuable for increasing a client’s search visibility, but in order to stay ahead of the game, we need to be constantly evolving.
Our focus now is shifting from a link-building approach to a relationship-building one, away from simply sending out emails and instead inviting influential bloggers to networking events; having face-to-face conversations about what stories matter both to them and, most importantly, the client. But how do you go about doing this whilst keeping in line with the client’s overall business objectives?
We are now living in a time where dual screening, watching TV whilst using your smart phone or tablet, is the norm. I‘ve been doing this for some time and quite often watch television with both my tablet and smartphone (not sure what they call that, tri-screening perhaps?). If you want to see the power of dual screening, tune into a popular TV programme like Take Me Out or Come Dine with Me and follow the conversations around the programme’s official hashtag. You will be amazed.
A couple of days ago Twitter announced a major new update in their offering to brands and advertisers. As of this week, brands can target promoted tweets based on keywords in users’ tweets and the tweets they interact with. Twitter introduced promoted tweets in April 2010 to let brands reach users based on their interests, who they follow and other parameters such as location and gender. The new keyword targeting option is the logical next step.
A key fact is that users won’t be seeing more ads than before, they should simply be seeing more relevant ads. In general I don’t want my social feeds interrupted by advertising, but if it’s going to happen I’d rather the ads at least be relevant and problem solving. For instance, I tweet that there’s nowhere in Brighton to get a decent cup of tea and later spot a promoted tweet from Small Batch about their loose leaf pots. This kind of targeting should improve the user experience on Twitter and help brands reach the right people.
When I signed in to my instant messenger this morning I had several orange flashing windows indicating I had new messages. I won’t lie, it did make me feel important but these messages were not sociable greetings. Instead, they were links to an affiliate blog, with titles that made me stare for longer than necessary. The first one I came across, Google Affiliate Network to Close, explained that Google has decided to end its foray into the Affiliate Network business. To be honest, until this was posted on Affiliates4u an hour later, I thought that this was a very badly delayed April Fool’s joke.
Why I was surprised
Initially, I was shocked. Google have a very expansive list of affiliate clients in the States and they were looking to expand quite aggressively in the UK over the next few years. They had also made key acquisitions of flagship partners to help them draw more clients in.
I have often been asked by clients for my view of the Google Affiliate Network and my response has always been that “they are still a little way off on their offering, especially their user interface,” but I believed that they would sort this out in the next couple of years and establish themselves as genuine competition for the already established networks in the UK.
I recently read, with great interest, of the legal battle between Sweden and Google around the country’s wish to formally insert the word ‘ungoogleable’, or ‘ogooglebar’, into the Swedish language. The definition that was offered around this new submission to the Swedish lexicon was ‘something that cannot be found on any search engine’. Google’s response was around its trade mark; surely the definition should be ‘something that cannot be found on Google’? For me however, I translated the actions in an entirely different way, struck with horror at the personal revelation – something can’t be found on Google!?
I am, I hate to say, one of ‘those people’ who, at times, can be seen to run for my Google safety blanket and dive into my handbag for my beloved phone to settle a factoid discussion – the height of the Scottish lock in the 2013 6 nations? Did Larsson live to see the publication of his first book? The capital of Hungary? You get the picture. I am not proud of it but I am of the generation where instant access to a vast wealth of information has been readily, and easily, available. To consider something ‘ungoogleable’ – preposterous!
But it exists! And some people do it on purpose! *Queue gasp!*
Lately there has been a lot of talk about mobile optimised websites. Mobile usage is on the rise. A recent audit of our own clients showed an average growth rate in mobile traffic share of 125.6% from 2011 to 2012, with retail representing the largest growth. We also found markedly lower conversion rates on mobile compared to desktop and tablet, this is partially due to default user behaviour on mobile devices, but it also shows a clear opportunity for site owners who are committed to improving mobile optimisation and engagement.
There are many benefits to having a mobile optimised website, not only will it improve the customer experience, ultimately improving key metrics like conversion rate and cross device traffic but ignoring mobile optimisation can have a negative impact on search rankings.
There is one debate that many are still struggling with – responsive design or standalone mobile site?
- Connect – iCrossing U.K.
- Conecta2 – iCrossing LATAM & Spain
- Greatfinds – iCrossing U.S.
- Talblick – iCrossing Germany
- The Content Lab
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Other Blogs We Recommend
- Core Audience
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- Media Monkey
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- Search Engine Land
- The Content Lab
- The Facebook Blog
- The Official Google Blog
- Twitter Blog
- Wired Sussex
- WSJ Digits