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Jul. 02, 2015 | by Rob Quattromini The difference between making an impression and buying one

Last week I was incredibly fortunate to obtain a golden ticket for the Young Media Academy at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The notion of sun, sand and buckets of rosé to fuel a week of inspiration was enough to entice me, but the sheer hysteria around the event was something that I didn’t expect. The academy itself was a week of intense learning, sharing and networking that allowed me to dive head first into the world of media alongside some of my global peers.

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On the Sunday we arrived it was the calm before the storm as the academy commenced the following day. After disembarking from the taxi, which emanated jazz reminiscent of a Bond movie, I was keen to explore what the festival had in store. Strolling along the Promenade de la Croisette I was in awe at the transformation of a tranquil city in the south of France to a living and breathing hub of marketing creativity. From Google beach to Facebook beach, to pool parties and sponsored drinks receptions in swanky hotels; everywhere you looked there was an agency exhibiting their marketing prowess in the creative jungle. Each was as enticing and inspiring as the next. Eventually I found a quiet spot to sift through the piles of leaflets, schedules and articles for the upcoming events in order to prepare myself for the week to come.

On Monday the academy started. I arrived promptly for 9am with the nervousness evocative of the first day of school, but the group were incredibly friendly and keen to learn. The course was introduced by dean and iCrossing CEO Nick Brien who has a tremendous passion and dedication to the industry. The academy tutor, Jane Melvin, whose impressive experience included being CMO of Starbucks and McDonald’s, then introduced Jane Francisco, the Chief Editor of Good Housekeeping magazine (GHK). Underpinning all of the speakers and discussions was a case study for us to create a business and marketing plan for GHK.

Once we were split into groups we took every opportunity we had (which wasn’t often) to work on a presentation that we were to pitch to a panel of judges. This activity was put on the back burner regularly as we were whisked away to immense arenas to hear inspirational speakers from Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel to Pharrell Williams.
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Jun. 26, 2015 | by Tamasin Handley A day in the life of: Isabell Muelke, Digital Promotions Analyst

This series of blog posts will show the variation of roles we have at iCrossing and will give an insight into what happens on a daily basis including commuting journeys, social activities, lunch time food spots as well as the best and most challenging aspects of the job.

What’s it really like to work in the world of digital marketing? We asked Isabell Muelke, a Digital Promotions Analyst based in London.

Isabell_MuelkeBackground – what did you do before iCrossing?

Before I came to iCrossing I studied a Master’s Degree in Marketing and PR at the University of Westminster – that was after doing my undergraduate degree in International Business in Munich. Having grown up in a small town in West Germany I decided that after graduating I wanted to continue enjoying the excitement and diversity of London. My studies had prepared me well for a career in Marketing and, having developed an interest in media and technology, my preference was to work in digital. I was also keen to start my career in an agency as I wanted to have exposure to many different clients. All of these aspirations led me to apply for the role of Apprentice Analyst at iCrossing and, after progressing in this role, I chose to become a Digital Promotions Analyst.
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Jun. 25, 2015 | by oliver.hughes Mountains, bike rides & rocking horses: The iX Ben Nevis Challenge

Last weekend myself, Sian Leaker and Tamasin Handley went on a little adventure to Scotland to complete the Ben Nevis Challenge. The event is ‘an exciting team challenge set in the stunning Scottish Highlands. Teams of four are challenged to climb Ben Nevis, cycle 25 miles (on road) and canoe Loch Lochy.’

The great news is we finished – it took us 12 and a half hours to do so, but we did eventually make it. It was very very hard work, and in retrospect, some training for this kind of thing is essential.

If you’re interested in the specifics of the trip, here is a rough overview of what we got up to.

It started off so well – snacks & excitement around our overnight coach travel up to Glasgow. Unfortunately the accommodation was less luxurious than we had envisaged and we got very little sleep on the way up:
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Jun. 01, 2015 | by Dominic Parker Top 5 analytics debugging tools

Dominic Parker, Web Analytics Strategist

When implementing or amending analytics tags, it’s always best practice to test that the tags behave as you expected them to.

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Furthermore, if you suspect the data reported in your analytics platform(s) is inaccurate, and you’ve ruled out any issues with traffic acquisition, it’s likely to be an issue with a tag behaving unexpectedly which could be due to a host of reasons.

This is when we would use web analytics debugging tools to pinpoint where the data discrepancies are occurring, what is causing them, and ultimately what action to take to fix the issue(s).

It’s also good to have some context, such as development sprint timelines, to see any correlation between analytics data and website updates.

There are many tools, addons and plugins currently out there, but here are the top 5 that I use to help me diagnose the majority of common issues:


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May. 27, 2015 | by jo-ann.fortune Socialbakers Engage 2015 Digest

Jo-ann Fortune, Creative Planner

We social media types have notoriously short attention spans – it comes with the constantly changing territ…

If you suffer with the same affliction, but just have to know the buzz from Socialbakers’ Engage speakers, cut straight to the chase via the links below.

1. Strategy & planning
2. Creativity & content
3. Customer Service
4. New platforms
5. Reporting

Or ignore all your digital distractions for just five minutes and read a whole article. It’s the new thing.

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May. 26, 2015 | by James Allen Mobile friendly: How strong was the impact?

A recap of my previous post

Last time I wrote about whether I felt that the “Mobile Friendly” update would impact tablet devices. I came to the conclusion that tablet results and tablet rankings were separated out from ‘mobile’ (phone) results. I decided this based on the power of tablet devices, the size of their screens and also their generally higher bandwidth capacity. Since tablets are often used in the home with no sim card, they usually share desktop broadband speeds via home Wi-Fi setups, rather than using mobile signal data speeds (up to 4G).

My initial predictions were supported by a recent post on Search Engine Roundtable here. Now that we know exactly which types of devices and device-specific query spaces were impacted, we can begin to see some of the brands and sites which were affected most as a result of this update.

Who was affected by mobile friendly: The data

It’s still early days, but since 26th March 2015 (prior to the Mobile Friendly update) I have been collecting ranking and basic visibility data. The data itself concerns a few well known US and UK high-street brands (or otherwise well-known institutions):

American Airlines (aa.com)
ASDA (asda.com)
Boots the Chemist (boots.com)
Dell Computing (dell.com)
Jhu.edu (Johns Hopkins University)
Primark (primark.com)

All of the above sites showed issues when they were run through Google’s Mobile Friendly assessment tool.
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May. 14, 2015 | by Bill Connolly Unconscious Branding: Why emotion should drive content development

contentmarketingconference“Roughly 95% of decision making is unconscious.” This was one of many interesting insights from Douglas reason, largely drives consumer behavior. While the concept was not entirely new to me (it is similar to the premise of Malcolm Gladwell’s famed book Blink) I had never considered emotion in the context of a content marketing program.Van Praet’s keynote (best-selling author of the book Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing) at the Content Marketing Conference in Las Vegas. In his talk, Van Praet focused on how emotion, not reason, largely drives consumer behavior. While the concept was not entirely new to me (it is similar to the premise of Malcolm Gladwell’s famed book Blink) I had never considered emotion in the context of a content marketing program.
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May. 13, 2015 | by Nancy LLoyd Is data killing creativity?

This question keeps rearing its head in the industry as changes come about in tech and advertising.

Advertising has always been intrinsically linked with technology; it is an ever evolving medium, with the advances in technology being a key driver in the changes we see. As the mediums with which we can communicate change, so must the advertising formats used upon them. The two have always evolved alongside each other, which is what we need to see continuing as we move into this data led style of advertising.

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May. 12, 2015 | by Isabell Muelke How to work with bloggers in Germany

As a German Digital Promotions Analyst working at iCrossing, I regularly work with bloggers in Germany. I wanted to share some interesting differences that I have discovered between how German bloggers operate compared with bloggers in the UK.

One of the most significant differences is that a lot of German blogs belong to larger media corporations like the BAUER and Bertelsmann Media Groups and are often simply the online media channels of well-known lifestyle magazines and other German newspapers. A good example of this is Wunderweib, which is a food and health blog belonging to the Bauer Media Group. While we have a lot of these in the UK too, the UK blogosphere extends way beyond them, in a way that the German one doesn’t. To work with these kinds of blogs, you need to contact the PR and Media departments of the corporation rather than directly contacting the writer. This can be quite time consuming and it can also be hard to get noticed as they usually get a lot of requests from brands and agencies. Your approach will be viewed more as a PR pitch than a blogger collaboration and as you can imagine, any content placed on the blog has to be agreed by the corporation before it’s posted.


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May. 01, 2015 | by Rosie Vero Generation Digital – Apprentice Showcase

Last week we held the Generation Digital Apprentice Showcase at our Brighton offices alongside the event organisers Creative Process and Coast to Capital LEP. The event was supporting digital growth through utilising new, local talent. The British weather held out so it was a great excuse for local business owners and apprentices alike to chat on the iCrossing terrace and to promote the benefits and importance of digital apprenticeships in the UK.

We heard from our CEO, Paul Doleman about just how quickly the world is changing due to the nature of digital. Paul discussed one of his roles at home as translator between his digital native children and his wife; his ability to explain who YouTube sensation Zoella is owed purely to his career in the digital industry.

‘We need young people to unleash the potential of a quickly changing world’.
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