Tag Archives: Digital Marketing

Unlocking The Potential Of Multi-screening

multiscreening trends fastwebmediaNowadays, people tend to manage their lives through various screens like smartphones, tablets and laptops. These behavioural changes open the doors to new opportunities in digital advertising, because each of these “new” distractions provides an opportunity for additional and engaging connections that were never possible when consumption involved just one screen.


TV and online activity

TV content drives a huge amount of multi-screening activity.  From texting to tweeting, gaming to gossiping, activity tends to be driven by three things: researching content, sharing with online friends and participating with TV content and ads.

Let’s dig in into some of the examples that show how TV content affects online activity. Advertisements during the Super Bowl tends to trigger online searches for the advertised brands immediately, within one minute, with smaller effects persisting up to an hour after the ad’s broadcast time. So here marketers have an opportunity to catch TV viewers that are using other devices while watching TV through a PPC ad or through an extremely well designed mobile website. Such online search is obviously important to the brands that sell primarily online, but it also matters to offline retailers, as it allows interested consumers to learn more about an advertised product before visiting the store.

Another brilliant relationship between TV content and products mentioned is that it also affects the other products in the brand’s portfolio. A study by Ebiquity found that, on average, 38% of TV’s total sales effect was felt by products not directly advertised creating a ‘halo effect’ across a brand’s entire portfolio. So, if a beauty brand advertises a shampoo product on TV, the campaign is likely to boost sales of its other products, such as body spray or moisturiser. If a bank advertises a mortgage product, its home insurance and current accounts will benefit as well.


When is the best time to take this opportunity and capture the audience?

Razorfish recently explored the relationship between television advertising and consumers’ online behaviour.  The study found that a quarter of multi-screen users go online immediately after seeing a TV commercial. 26% go directly to an advertiser’s website and 25% conduct an online search based on the television commercial they have just seen. Television also enhances the performance of other media used within the marketing mix.

This seems to be a perfect space for TV content producers and advertisers alike to boost brand awareness, sales and website traffic through multi-screening. We have been investigating multi-screening trends for a number of years now, and our study back in 2013 analysed the success of Twitter hashtags used across TV advertisements, providing tips for running a successful multi-screening ad campaign for other brands. The findings at the time revealed that the placement of a second screening cue is very important in an ad, as it determines how successful the prompt will be amongst viewers. But let’s take these trends and push the limits even further. By implementing simple calls to action within TV content like hashtags for social media which advertisers have been implementing a lot more, marketers are only scratching the surface. By making TV consumption and second screening experience via other devices easier and more streamlined through targeted online activity, marketers will win even more passionate participants and consumers. This participation could be increased at the moments when consumers tend to multi task and start browsing through other devices like mobile phones while watching TV.

The top five categories that attract multitaskers are:

  1. Reality
  2. News
  3. Comedy
  4. Sports
  5. Food

These top results are interesting, but not extremely surprising as the content through these categories is easy to consume. The results further down the list showed that drama beat genres like talk shows, music videos, how-to and others. This means that intense and gripping content like drama or action/adventure categories are still embraced by distracted consumers that are seeking more content online while watching TV.

Is multi-screening the future?

Multi-screening is the path forward for advertising. The frequency and centrality of mobile devices in consumers’ lives opens the door for a perfect marketing space if brands can optimise communication across devices and integrate the brand within the content that audiences are consuming. Smartphones are best used for calls-to-action like polls or sharing opinions via social media.  Laptops are best for detailed digging into TV content, search, and lower funnel behaviours, like product research and purchase. Tablets are best suited for extensions of the TV experience with additional video content, like behind-the-scenes video.

Here are a few of the examples that showcase what kind of TV content has an effect on a variety of brands:


  • Analysis that we undertook for our client Bravissimo showed that website traffic to its website doubled whenever the brand was mentioned on ITV’s “This Morning”.


  • We saw an increase in website visits and ticket sales for bands and artists for our client The Ticket Factory whenever they promote a tour in an interview on “The One Show”.


Second screening through smartphones and other devices will continue to broaden the TV viewing experience beyond the living room in the near future. How will your business take advantage of this window of opportunity? Let us know in the comments below.


Do you want to unlock the potential of multi-screening? If you’re looking for support, why not contact our team of marketing experts to see how we can help?  Get in touch via our website or via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, we’d love to hear from you! 

If you found this article interesting, why not take a look at our post about personalised content, simply click on the image below:


EasyJet’s App, Kit Kat’s rebrand and Domino’s emoji order service

This week in Digital Bytes: EasyJet launches its Mobile Host app that guides passengers through the airport via Google Maps, ‘YouTube break’ replaces the Kit Kat logo on limited edition wrappers, and Domino’s launches an emoji pizza ordering service.

EasyJet launches Mobile Host iOS app to guide passengers

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

EasyJet has launched the Mobile Host app, which guides passengers through the airport process (click to Tweet). EasyJet already has a mobile app that has many significant features. Beyond storing electronic boarding passes, the app lets you manage bookings, track flights and even check in using a photo of your passport.

The app tells travellers via their smartphone where to drop off their baggage, which gate to board their flight from and, upon arrival, which conveyor belt to pick up their bags from.

Once it sees you’ve arrived, a push notification will tell you where to dump your bag, and direct you there using indoor maps courtesy of Google. If you’re just taking carry-on, then it’ll point you towards the departures area instead, and once through security, you don’t need to keep checking the information screens, since it’ll let you know when your gate opens and how to get there.

After the flight, Mobile Host will notify the travellers and tell them what baggage carousel they need to head to.

For now the app will use live data collected from London Gatwick Airport’s database to present passengers with flight itinerary information and maps of the airport using Google Maps’ indoor plans.

Kit Kat rebranded as ’YouTube Break’

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

‘YouTube break’ replaced the Kit Kat logo on over 600,000 limited edition wrappers. (click to Tweet) This forms one of 72 different types of “breaks” that feature on more than 400 limited edition designs across two and four finger variants as well as Chunky bars.

Fans can also use Google’s Voice Search feature. Those who speak “YouTube my break” into their phones will be served a Kit Kat video as well as the top four trending YouTube videos anytime, anywhere worldwide.

Lisa May, Head of Kit Kat at Nestlé UK and Ireland, explained it would use the data collected from the campaign to help attain a better understanding of how people consume video content.

“The way people take their breaks today is very different to how they took them in the past”, she continued. “We want consumers to know that Kit Kat is still the perfect accompaniment for their break, however they want to have it. YouTube is an extremely common platform that consumers use to have a break. We want to ensure Kit Kat remains relevant and is present where our consumers are.”


Domino’s lets customers order pizza through emoji

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

Domino’s is introducing a service in the US through which you can make an order by a simple tweet that includes a pizza slice emoji (click to Tweet) to the chain’s Twitter handle.

Regular Domino’s customers will not even have to type in their pizza choice once they have entered their ‘easy pizza’ preference on their Domino’s Pizza Profile, which is linked to their Twitter account. To take advantage of the new service, pizza-seekers will need to have set up both an online Domino’s Pizza Profile and an Easy Order pizza choice.

The Domino’s app already makes it as simple as a few taps to order a preferred pizza or repeat a previous order, and sending a tweet with an emoji is probably about as easy as it gets. Domino’s is planning to launch it in other counties, including the UK, as well.

Patrick Doyle, Domino’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s the epitome of convenience. We’ve got this down to a five-second exchange.’’

Domino’s is embracing technology, launching many innovations including being able to order pizza through an Xbox gaming console; allowing people to use their smartwatch to order.

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#HolidaySpam and Oculus Rift Roadshow

This week in Digital Bytes: CNN and McLaren ink their content and branding partnership, Three extends its #HolidaySpam campaign, and The Army launches its latest campaign with an Oculus Rift roadshow.

CNN and McLaren ink content and branding partnership

Source from Flickr

CNN International and McLaren Technology Group have struck a multi-year partnership, which includes the production of a number of programmes to air across the CNN network. (click to tweet)

The news network will act as the new McLaren-Honda partner for the 2015 Formula 1 season, with CNN’s branding set to appear on the front-wing endplates of the new car, which will be unveiled in an online launch on 29 January.

Rani Raad, Chief Commercial officer at CNN International, said: “The added exposure CNN International will gain through our association with McLaren is part of an expansive consumer engagement initiative to capitalise on the power of our brand and consolidate our position as the world’s biggest international news brand.

“The additional business, broadcasting and cross-marketing opportunities made possible by this multi-year deal will forge a close relationship between two companies on the world stage. In CNN International’s 30th anniversary year, I will be incredibly proud to see the CNN brand on the new McLaren-Honda car when it lines up on the starting grid in Melbourne.”

Three extends #HolidaySpam campaign

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

Three has launched the latest ad in its #HolidaySpam series, showcasing the mobile operator’s feature that allows customers to use their phones abroad at no extra cost. (click to tweet)

The 60-second ad shows three Welshmen regaling the viewer with tales of surfing in Byron Bay, Australia.

The first in the series featured an apology to those receiving holiday snaps and Tweets from friends and family in sunny places.

As with the previous ad, this new work warns the viewer to expect plenty more snaps from Three customers abroad.

Tom Malleschitz, Director of Marketing at Three, said: “Our campaign is inspired by a genuine insight into people’s behaviour while they’re on holiday. ‘’

“We’ve tapped into this and created an ad that prepares the UK for the onslaught of holiday spam generated by Three customers using their phones abroad at no extra cost.’’

Army launches latest campaign with Oculus Rift roadshow

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

The Army will be taking an Oculus Rift roadshow around the country (click to tweet)  so people can see what life is like in the Army Reserve as part of its “more than meets the eye” series.

The TV ad features slow motion shots of soldiers at work, firing weapons, in a fast-moving boat, repairing equipment underwater and, finally, jumping into a jungle pool.

Neil Godber, Head of Planning at JWT, said: “This activity encapsulates what’s unique about the Army Reserve. It gives motivated people the chance to experience the adventure, challenge and camaraderie of Army life within their current career and home life.”

The campaign is supported by video-on-demand, radio, digital outdoor, social media and digital display, and a roadshow featuring 360-degree 3D Oculus Rift presentations.

Major General Chris Tickell, Director General of Army Recruiting and Training, said: “People feel their jobs are lacking a challenge, excitement, the opportunity to travel and a decent salary – all of which are available at a world-class standard with the Army Reserve, which this campaign aims to showcase.”

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5 Reasons to Use Outbrain in 2015

small-blog-imageIf you haven’t heard of Outbrain yet, here’s what you need to know. Outbrain is a “content discovery platform”, partnering with publishers in over 55 countries. It’s a relatively cheap way to promote content, whether it sits on a blog or within a website. The headline of the article (and sometimes image) appears in the “you may also like” section of news sites. Users pay on a cost-per-click basis, not impressions, therefore it’s relatively easy to see if a headline has generated a lot of views but no clicks.

How it works

When setting a campaign live, place a maximum daily budget, cost per click, and select which countries to target. There is no functionality to add keywords as in PPC, but Outbrain does allow you to add different headline variations. It’s important to ensure there is UTM tracking on each headline so you can clearly analyse which one drove the most traffic using Google Analytics.

We used Outbrain for the first time late last year and want to share with you the 5 reasons we recommend using this platform as part of your content marketing campaign in 2015. So here goes:

1) Amplify content

We used Outbrain for the first time to promote our own blog post about Tumblr to see if it would increase its visibility.

outbrain-blog post imageOur first trial of Outbrain went swimmingly and resulted in some great stats. The campaign generated:

  • 199 clicks
  • 773,166 impressions

This was all for just £54! We wanted to find out the impact Outbrain had and therefore looked at our analytics. From analysing the data, looking at the traffic report for Sept 3 – Sept 10 and comparing against 8 days prior, we saw the following increase:

  • 37.19% increase in Sessions
  • 44.63% increase in users
  • 53.72% increase in new users
  • 16.05% increase in referral traffic
  • Outbrain referral channel sent 195 clicks
  • 20,700% increase in traffic to the landing page we promoted!

We didn’t keep the campaign running long enough to have a conclusion on the titles that worked the best and if having an image increased CTR. However, we did have a 0.05% CTR for the Titles “5 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Tumblr” and “5 Things You Never Knew About Tumblr”. The original title “Tumblr: Aren’t you missing an ‘e’?” only had a CTR of 0.03%.

2) Promote a blog

Launching a blog takes a lot of work, not just building and designing the site, but generating ideas and writing content. Posts need to be unique and original and most of all, attract the readers’ attention. However, it can be difficult to drive lots of traffic as soon as the site goes live, so one way to promote a new blog is to use Outbrain to push out key blog posts. One of our clients launched a blog just before the holiday season; therefore we used Outbrain to ensure the blog posts were being promoted and traffic driven to the blog.

The Outbrain campaign ran for five days in total and we spent a maximum of £100, splitting our budget to £20 per day. We saw some great results!

  • 294 clicks
  • 248,681 impressions
  • CTR =12%
  • CPC = 34p a click

Outbrain has a minimum budget of £10 per day, but we set ours to £20 for this campaign. It was a very efficient and cost effective way of driving traffic to the blog.

3) Drive More Engaged Traffic

As shown in the previous example, promoting content via Outbrain is one way to drive more traffic to the site. In the case of some of our clients, the visitors who came to the site via Outbrain were more engaged. They spent longer on the site than the average. These users also viewed more pages, per session. When we ran Outbrain promoting the Fast Web Media blog post, we saw a 44.63% increase in users. If we split the total amount spent on Outbrain by the number of extra visitors we drove to the blog, it works out to be 25 pence per visitor, which is very economical indeed!

4) Attract new users

Outbrain helps promote content to new users and to new channels for a fraction of the cost it would be to place an advert on some of these sites. Some of the news and publisher sites that showed our clients’ content include PC Advisor, TechGeekBox, Android Authority, Venture Beat, The Guardian, Sport Network, UK Yahoo News, ESPN, CNN, Fox News, and Bauer Media. When we ran Outbrain promoting the Fast Web Media blog post, we saw a 53.72% increase in new users because these visitors were coming from these publishing sites and media sites who may not be aware of the Fast Web Media blog.

5) Test headlines

Headlines are an important element in content marketing; if the non-marketers in the team are not convinced of this, Outbrain will clearly show the importance of spending time to create a unique, clear, and attention-grabbing headline.

Neil Patel stated that 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy and when we ran Outbrain for one of our campaigns, this theory was proven correct.  Sometimes when uploading your blog post to Outbrain, it will set an alternative title for you. When working with our client, we found this alternative headline generated all the clicks for the designated article.

Use negative words and numbers in your headline, for example “Amazon loses 50% of its Online Sales”. We found the negative headlines performed better than the positive ones. Creative writers may want to come up with a title that is long and ambiguous, however, we found these headlines generated just impressions and not clicks. When we changed the headline, the shorter and clearer headlines with adjectives like ‘essential’, ‘incredible’, and ‘unique’, generated clicks.


Outbrain is a great platform to use with clients who have a blog or have content on their site that needs more visibility. It is a cheap and efficient way to promote content and generate clicks, thereby showing clients a clear ROI. In this way it is a step towards clearly showing the impact content has on a website (for those clients that may not be 100% on board with content marketing).

It is also a great tool to use to test out different headlines. Many people in marketing are aware of the significance of headlines with their articles, but sometimes it can be difficult to persuade others of its importance, especially those coming from a more traditional press background. A good way to see which headline performs the best is to allow the campaign to run for 2 – 3 days and analyse the results. If the campaign has not generated any clicks, it shows people may not be interested in the article and the headline may need to be amended.


What about you? Have you used Outbrain to amplify your content marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re looking for other ways to amplify your content marketing strategy, why not try Reddit? Read our case study, simply click on the image below


Retailers embrace the Christmas season

This week in Digital Bytes: Game furthers its ‘Game Season’ Christmas campaign by releasing its own computer game, British Airways’ ‘Thank-you’ social media campaign for Christmas is underway and Currys PC World creates a social Christmas campaign starring Nick Christmas.

Game launches ‘Christmas Shopper Simulator’

christmas gamesGame has furthered its ‘Game Season’ Christmas campaign by releasing its own computer game. (click to Tweet)

The ‘Christmas Shopper Simulator’ is a tongue-in-cheek, chaotic adventure game in which players take on the role of a Christmas shopper, exploring stores such as Amazombie.com and Heads-R-Us, where they can buy gifts, throw gifts, ride escalators and knock over anything that isn’t nailed down in a timed mission to find and buy presents.

Fred Prego, Game Insight and Marketing Director, commented: “Our customers love gaming of all kinds. This is our way to reward them. A fun, light-hearted simulator which lets you enjoy Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own armchair.”

The release is supported by a Twitch partnership, including a 30-second trailer and pre-roll videos, as well as live gameplay streaming. Daily game challenges have been included in order to fuel conversation. ‘Christmas Shopper Simulator’ is available to download from the Game website with limited edition copies hidden in selected high street stores, those who find a copy will win exclusive prizes in store.

British Airways’ ‘Thank-you’ social media campaign for Christmas

british airways christmas campaignBritish Airways has created a campaign with a ‘thank-you’ message to passengers this Christmas (click to tweet) by way of a two-way conversation on social media in which the airline will express its gratitude to customers for choosing their services.

Incorporating a 70-second video clip, the campaign features images sent in by travellers and will be distributed across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google + as well as the airliner’s in-flight entertainment system.

Abigail Comber, British Airways’ Head of Global Marketing, said: “Our customers are some of the world’s greatest travellers and explorers, and featuring them at the heart of this campaign is just our way of saying a really big thank-you for sharing those experiences with us this year.

Currys PC World creates social Christmas campaign starring Nick Christmas

santaNick Christmas, Chief Executive of Santa Tech Inc, is the star of Currys PC World’s social Christmas campaign. (click to Tweet)

Created with 1000heads, the series of short films sees Nick Christmas use technology and magic to hunt down the perfect solutions for three struggling gift givers.

Bridget Meiring, Social Media Marketing manager at Currys PC World, commented: “We’re really excited to introduce our social communities to Tech Santa. This campaign embodies our We Start With You philosophy, demonstrating the importance we place on getting to know our customers in order to help them make the right product choices.

Aaron Garside, Account Director at 1000heads, added: “The films are an unusual and offbeat take on the traditional story of Santa, without straying from its core ideals. Word of mouth is a significant driver of purchase decisions in this industry and we believe that these powerful yet light hearted films have the potential to reach new audiences and customers. ‘’

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FWM’s Top 10 Digital Trends for 2015 #9: Attribution Solution

trend-9-attribution-solution-fastwebmedia-smallNumber 9 in our Top 10 Digital Trends for 2015 is all about attribution; the process of assigning value to various touch-points along a consumer’s purchase journey. We recently published a blog post about attribution modelling, which only highlights how much we believe in this process.

While there are many basic models of attribution that can be applied to a business, the eventual end goal should be to undertake in-depth analysis of how consumers interact with a website, and create a custom tailored model. This, we believe, will have the most prominent level of uptake in 2015.

Custom attribution should take an in depth look at the various elements that influence a consumer’s buying process, and develop a weighting system to accurately attribute what led to the purchase decision. Truly advanced models could potentially drill down to identify influencers of end purchase value, and optimise these marketing efforts to increase sales value and volume.


Source: Bloom Worldwide

There are three main elements to consider when defining a custom attribution model; time, channel, and position.

Time, as per the Time Decay model in our previous blog post, is an important element to consider as, depending on the industry and internal processes, the actual length of time the consumer buying process lasts can vary widely. As such, it’s important to analyse the optimal length of time for consumers to make a purchase decision, and include this information in your weighting.

Different channels can be used to achieve different ends. For example, display advertising may be used to encourage enquiries about high value products e.g. Cars, while search advertising is used to encourage sales of low value items e.g. Car Mats. In each case there is a definite value to be assigned to each channel.

Position is crucial. Many of the basic attribution models focus on assigning a high value to only the first or last visits to a website. The infographic above shows examples of situations when this may be useful, however, understanding how position and the order of visits to your website from various touch points influences a consumer’s decision to purchase is critical for online marketers.

Using the above three elements, savvy marketers can develop a custom weighting system, identify the optimal placement of channels within the consumer buying process, and an optimal time frame within which consumers should be converted. The result: marketers will better understand their audience, and optimise future marketing efforts to increase ROI.

Attribution modelling is a complex, but lucrative process, and is being increasingly adopted by marketers. However, many still retain the basic models of measurement as preferable to the investment and analysis required to develop custom models. As we enter 2015, we can already see many articles and case studies on the success and benefits of customised models, and with the continuous introduction of methods to integrate both cross-device tracking and offline touch points through new technology, we predict that uptake of such custom models by early adopters will increase throughout 2015, with the eventual reality forcing late adopters to innovate in order to survive.


Wondering what is the next trend for 2015? Click below to find out more:


Thomas Cook and KLM take over digital

This week in Digital Bytes: Thomas Cook is adopting a real-time content marketing strategy, Costa Coffee creates a festive children’s book to support Save the Children, and KLM collaborates with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for the heart-warming ‘Cover Greetings’ campaign.

Thomas Cook moving to real-time content marketing strategy

thomas cook airlinesThomas Cook is on track to adopt a real-time content marketing strategy (click to tweet), despite the “significant challenges” that the move will bring according to Jamie Queen, Marketing and E-commerce Director at the travel brand.

Queen revealed that as Thomas Cook continued to syphon more budget into content marketing and programmatic to better understand and target its consumers, it was likely to begin doing so in real-time.

He said Thomas Cook was using spend on content marketing it would historically have spent on brochure production and print. The travel company is also creating less advertising and outdoor advertising, instead favouring content and spending “quite a lot of money” pushing those creative assets out.

“If you are a brand and you have access to data and understand your audience well enough to target and use that data, programmatic enables you to target that spend much more sensibly into those digital platforms.”

Queen continued to reveal that Thomas Cook was “slicing and dicing” its consumer base into more segments because it had the data as a result of programmatic to do that.

Costa Coffee creates festive children’s book to support Save the Children

costa coffe christmasCosta Coffee has created a Christmas-themed children’s book in support of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. (click to tweet)

Authored by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Vicki Gausden, ‘The Best Christmas Jumper’ features Costa’s Christmas cup characters – Santa, Snowman, Reindeer and Elf – and aims to spread cheer whilst supporting disadvantaged children this Christmas.

Caroline Harris, Marketing director at Costa UK Retail, said the coffee chain was “really excited to be able to sell this heart-warming storybook in our stores this festive season” and that it hoped the book would be the “bedtime story that makes a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives this Christmas”.

Save the Children’s Corporate Partnerships Director, Douglas Rouse added that the charity was “delighted” to be benefiting from the book and that the great story not only celebrates Christmas Jumper Day but is “raising money for our work in the UK”. Bright, the story’s author described the book as “the gift which keeps on giving”.

“By buying it you’ll not only be giving once – but a thousand times over, by supporting the work of Save the Children,” she said. “So don your best festive jumper, dig out some pennies and take this festive five’s adventure home today.”

KLM Surprises Passengers with Personal Messages on their Headrests 

airlinesThe airline collaborated with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for the heart-warming Cover Greetings campaign (click to tweet).

Having said their goodbyes at the departure gate, passengers on a recent KLM flight were amazed to board the plane and find that their headrests were adorned with messages from their loved ones. The airline had secretly asked friends and family to write and draw pictures for the passengers in felt tip pen, and just before the flight, an attendant had placed each of these on the correct seat of the aircraft.

KLM filmed the passengers’ delight at finding their personalised headrests on board. This is the latest in a series of initiatives that show KLM understands travelling is an emotional journey as well as a physical one. For example, the airline’s Wannagives service lets friends and family of passengers send gifts and personal notes which the crew surprise them with during the flight.

On Christmas, people can send free gifts to passengers and on Valentine’s Day, secret admirers can ask the cabin crew to give free chocolate to their heart’s desire. Last year the airline invited flyers to print personalised travel maps with crowd-sourced tips from friends, and the brand even has a special Lost and Found team at Amsterdam Airport dedicated to reuniting people with their missing items.


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Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Sofa Sunday 2014: The Trends



The shopping marathon has already taken over as Christmas is just around the corner.  For marketers, especially those that work in the retail sector, Christmas is a vital time of the year, as consumers are feeling spendy and retailers need to serve their needs and wants at the right place and at the right time.

You might be asking, when is the best time to serve consumer demand? Your best bet is Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Source from Experian


Black Friday is the name given to the last Friday in November that has become one of the busiest retail days of the year. Black Friday originated in the US but in the past few years it has increased in popularity across our side of the Atlantic. Last year in the final week of November, one out of every 550 searches in the UK concerned Black Friday and in-store sales were booming in the UK in stores like Asda.  This year, according to Kantar UK poll below,  26% of shoppers will be looking online, compared to just 5% that are intending to head to the shops. 

Source from Kantar UK
Source from Kantar UK


Also, one interesting piece of research by Nielsen highlights that more men are expected to shop in-store this coming Black Friday (28 November) while most consumers are expected to hold off and shop on Cyber Monday this year, which shows a shift in consumer shopping habits.

Cyber Monday refers to the Monday after Black Friday. Last year UK consumers logged over 115 million visits to retail websites – a 9% increase from 2012. This time last year we suggested a few tips and tricks that you could use for your business to take advantage of these days, but this time we would like to take a look at some innovative Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing approaches we’ve seen that might inspire you when it comes to your festive marketing activities.  One thing to remember, although this may just seem like a topical festive themed post, the lessons here are applicable all year round. So let’s get started:

1.  Craft Lifecycle Emails

net a porterLifecycle emails build a road between your products and those consumers that are interested in your brand. Bombarding customers with Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals on the day won’t get you far as the emails might get deleted on the spot. Instead, start building consumer trust weeks or even months before the date.  Before writing the email, make sure you’re not only clear on the action it will be triggering, but the benefit the user will gain by taking that action. Too often, companies write from a self-centred perspective that commands the user, rather than entices them.  Instead of instructing, try luring the customer to your site.

So when it comes to Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals look at your customers’ behaviour, what products they put in their basket but never bought, what people are buying in bulk, could you offer personalised deals in you emails? A great example that illustrates how you can build relationship with the customer by showcasing what is trending is this Net-a- Porter email. Sure, it’s obviously a way to generate sales, but its focus is on little snippets of useful, educational information, as opposed to last minute deals and discounts.

2. Offer Shopping Ease

Over the last few years, people have started feeling confident that they can leave their online shopping until quite late in December and retailers will still be able to deliver gifts before Christmas. With some retailers guaranteeing delivery of orders placed as late as 23rd December, consumers have much less pressure than in previous years to get their online orders in early.  This offers a convenient approach to online shopping as consumers are not under pressure to buy and are aware about their options.  For retailers this means a few things: (1) they have to be alert during the whole festive season, (2) it’s more difficult to stand out as the larger brands will have time and budget for large scale Christmas campaigns. However, on the positive side there are plenty of opportunities to improve the shopping experience:

  • blackfridaysmallbagExclusive deals – Make deals available to your CRM lists, followers and fans. Put those special offers right in their email messages and Facebook feeds. Don’t forget the exclusive offers in-store as well. Asda became the first major retailer to offer in-store only discounts on Black Friday last year. It said the reaction to the promotion was “phenomenal” and this was demonstrated in the extraordinary sales figures. It sold a month’s worth of televisions in 45 minutes, 16,000 tablets in an hour, and 60% of its entire Black Friday stock was cleared out in two hours!
  • Reward the users that engage with your brand on social. Give your brand’s customers a chance to win it before they buy it in a simple giveaway. They are buying these products and services anyway, so incentivize them to enter your sweepstakes for a chance to win that item instead.
  • Shoppers have the freedom to shop when it suits them, and this is reflected in the continued spikes of online activity, which businesseses fully expect to continue in the run up to Christmas. So be ready, be mobile! Mobile traffic grew to 39.7 percent of all online traffic on Black Friday 2013, up 34% year on year. So offer the best on the go shopping experience. Great shopping via mobile devices or tablets plays a significant role on 30th November during “Sofa Sunday”. Jon Owen, Retail Director at Shop Direct, Owner of brands such as co.uk and Littlewoods, said: “Sofa Sunday is when they browse from home. It’s a moment for online retailers to take back share from stores.’’ It’s important to remember that as technology has made it easier for consumers to shop on the go, new shopping trends emerge which reflect the flexibility of consumers being able to shop, where, when and how they want.

3. Tie in with Social

A lot of brands have had success in the past with social campaigns around the holidays. For example, last year, popular retailer Topshop conducted a successful social campaign. Its holiday campaign, “Dear Topshop”, ran across all the brand’s platforms and provided personalised holiday gift guides for every type of recipient via the popular social media site, Pinterest.

This created a perfect personalised platform that encourages buying. Another great example of a simple but effective campaign is when Amazon partnered with Twitter to allow shoppers to add items to their online wish lists by replying to tweets with the hashtag #AmazonWishList.

Although this may just seem like a topical festive themed post, the lessons here are applicable all year round. The Black Friday and Cyber Monday marathon is not to be missed by retailers and there is a lot to learn in the process.


What are your favourite festive campaigns?  What would you add to our list of tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments section below or by tweeting @fastwebmedia.

Personalised Uber Journey With Spotify

This week in Digital Bytes:  Uber teams with Spotify to offer a personalised car journey experience, Waitrose spreads the joy of festive baking in #BakeItForward campaign and  Snapchat partners with Square to allow users to send money to friends with Snapcash.

Uber teams with Spotify to offer personalised experience

spotify and uberUber has partnered with music streaming site Spotify to give users the ability to choose the music played during their taxi journey (click to tweet), as the ride-sharing app looks to differentiate its offer in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

In the near future, Uber customers who have a premium account with Spotify will be able to link their playlists to the Uber app and select the music they want to hear when they get in a taxi. CEO Travis Kalanick said the new partnership will mark the first time Uber has been able to offer its users a personalised experience.

For Spotify,  founder and CEO Daniel Ek said the partnership will allow the music site to kick of ambitions to own the in-car experience and build on its success at home and on the go.

“With Spotify there are really three main places that people listen to music. It’s in their home, on the go and in their car. So far Spotify has done a great job in the home, and on the go with our mobile apps and laptop apps, but one of the big things for us is how do we get into the car? And how do we, given that people’s average commute time is 30 minutes to an hour, get in to that space and allow people to play their music?”

Rather than create an integrated dashboard experience for car owners, Ek decided that Spotify needed to look at the “next generation of transportation systems” of on-demand cars and called Uber the “perfect fit”.

Waitrose spreads joy of festive baking in #BakeItForward campaign

waitrose bake it christmasWaitrose is encouraging the public to make sweet treats for their loved ones in social campaign #BakeItForward. (click to tweet)

The campaign looks to extend Waitrose’s Christmas ad of a girl baking gingerbread biscuits for a school fete. Running across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the campaign invites people to share their sweet treats on social and, using the #BakeItForward tag, encourage friends to come up with their own cakes or biscuits.

Julie Randall, Manager of Social Strategy and Communications at Waitrose, said: “Giving to others is really important at this time of the year, we hope our customers and online communities are encouraged to get into the kitchen and make their own Christmas goodies to share with friends and family.” The social and online content will be supported in-store through POS and recipe cards as well as eCRM and recipes on the Waitrose website.

Snapchat partners with Square to allow users to send money to friends with Snapcash

snapcat money sending serviceSnapchat has launched a service, Snapcash, which allows users to send money directly to friends through the app. (click to tweet)

The Snapchat team worked with Square, a system which allows users to send or ask for money, to create the new service.

“The product you’re seeing today is fast, fun, and incredibly simple. After you enter your debit card, it’s securely stored by Square, who will swiftly process your payment and send cash directly to your friend’s bank account. Just swipe into chat, type the dollar sign, an amount (e.g. $11.25), and hit the green button.”

The company admitted that “security is essential” in an app such as this, and that it had been working with Square to make sure this was up to scratch.


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Oculus Rift App and Qantas Focus on Stories

This week in Digital Bytes:  The Who creates virtual reality app for Oculus Rift,  Qantas Airlines’ ‘Feels Like Home’ campaign is launched and Vodafone celebrates ‘local heroes’ in its biggest ever Christmas ad.

The Who creates virtual reality app for Oculus Rift

oculus rift the whoLegendary Rock band, The Who have announced plans for a virtual reality app with  Oculus Rift (click to tweet) which will launch in 2015 with a limited demonstration for the Oculus developer community before Christmas.

The app is a result of partnership between The Who, their management company Trinifold Management, label Universal Music and developer Immersive, tying in with a new compilation album and tour to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. The mobile and tablet app also takes the form of a 3D world, dotted with imagery from The Who’s career, as well as rare photographs from Roger Daltrey’s archives; and music courtesy of fans’ own iTunes collections, or streaming services Spotify, Deezer or Rdio.

“We’ve kept it quite tight around The Who Hits 50 album, but the idea is to expand and use the technology to unlock different experiences as the tour evolves”. Michael Fenna, Creative and Production Director at Immersive said.

The mobile app is free – although there could be future in-app purchases – but it is believed that the company will charge for the Oculus Rift app.

Qantas Airlines ‘Feels Like Home’ campaign

airplainQantas Airlines has sought to tell the ‘real’ stories of five passengers and their journey home to Australia in its latest campaign, Feels Like Home (click to tweet).

Covering TV, cinema, print, outdoor and online, the airline said the campaign was designed to “celebrate the unique place Qantas has in the lives of many Australians”.

“For almost 100 years Qantas has been bringing Australians from all around the world home to the people and places they love,” explained Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce.

A girl coming home from visiting extended family in from Los Angeles, a mother living in Hong Kong bringing her new baby home to meet its grandparents for the first time and a miner returning from work in Pilbara are among the stories told in the campaign.

Vodafone celebrates ‘local heroes’ in biggest ever Christmas ad

christmas campaignVodafone features hospital staff, chefs, farmers and its employees around the country singing along to ‘Let it Go’ from ‘Frozen’, the Disney film, in its biggest Christmas ad  (click to tweet).

Despite having to work over the festive period, the “local heroes” are shown to be full of Christmas cheer and bursting into song, as they watch the film on their device.

Rupert Williams, the Managing Director at RKCR/Y&R, said: “We wanted to bring to life the joy of being able to watch Sky films and TV shows wherever you are this Christmas on Vodafone 4G.

“Singing along to Let it Go from the film Frozen does that in spades. The team that worked on the ad may never be able to get the tune out of their heads though.” Daryl Fielding, the director of brand marketing and communications at Vodafone, said: “Like many people across Britain, joining in with the Let it Go anthem inspires them and lifts their spirits.”

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