Tag Archives: tech development

Digital Bytes: Asos tops holiday season sales

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news. This week, our post focuses on Asos’ successful application of e-commerce innovation during the Christmas period, Cadbury’s campaign switch to TV advertising and a #CES2014 recap.

Asos tops holiday season sales

Asos posted a big jump in sales over Christmas and says its commitment to e-commerce innovation helped to attract consumers increasingly heading online to buy clothes. Sales for the four months to the end of December were up 38 per cent to £335.7m. In the UK, its biggest market, sales increased 37 per cent to £133.7m, while sales growth was particularly strong in Europe, up 69 per cent.
Active customers, described as those that have made a purchase in the past year, rose 41 per cent to 7.9m. Asos CEO Nick Robertson credits “significant improvements” to its customer experience for the sales boost. These include better delivery options, additional payment methods and the rollout of its premier service, which offers perks such as exclusive access to sales and unlimited next-day delivery. Asos offers features such as “Follow My Parcel”, which lets customers track their purchases in real-time.
It has also upped its marketing investment in recent months to support rapid growth, focusing in particular on digital, including pay per click and affiliate marketing, as well as country-specific campaigns. Plus Asos is using social media to engage with customers, recently launching a new site that gives fans behind-the-scenes access, as well as the opportunity to enter competitions and attend exclusive events.
Liz Faulkner, retail consultant at Conlumino, says: “As widely predicted, this set of results will brand Asos as one of the winners of last year’s festive trading.
Asos’ strong performance highlights the growing importance of e-commerce to retailers. Retailers with well-developed multi-channel services ,including Next and John Lewis, posted impressive sales rises while retailers with a weak online presence, such as Morrisons and Debenhams, struggled.

Cadbury’s ditches ‘Joyville’ campaign but commits to TV advertising

TV will always play a part of the mix in Cadbury’s campaigns, according to Matthew Williams, the marketing activation director at Mondelez International, speaking ahead of a £7.5 million push behind Dairy Milk. In the latest creative, Cadbury has ditched its ‘Joyville’ campaign in favour of a light-hearted portrayal of a man who is prompted to lip-sync along to “on hold” music by the “joy” that eating Cadbury Dairy Milk brings him. The ad campaign, created by Fallon London, launches on Saturday 18 January with a 60-second TV spot. A 90-second version of the ad will air in cinemas and there will also be a 30-second film on TV.
Williams said: “For a mass market brand like ours, Cadbury, to put it in context, is bought by 60 to 70 per cent of the population and, across the whole year, on average more than 20 times. With a brand with that kind of scale, TV is always going to play a part of the mix. ‘’There is a lot of discussion about whether TV is dead, but it’s still a very good way to reach a large number of people with an engaging message. With a brand the size and scale of Cadbury Dairy Milk, TV was always going to be a key part of our plans.”

#CES2014 presents revolutionary ideas

The key word for this year: evolution, not transformation. This year, CES was more about making what we’ve seen in previous years real and accessible, and less about ground breaking new announcements.
With the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, gaming is set to take another leap in the next few years as wearable tech integrates with these systems to create experiences that are more immersive and powerful than any movie or TV show.
3D printing is inching closer to the mainstream, but it’s not quite there yet, and for now remains in the experimental/early adopter stage. However, by 2015 or 2016 this trend will almost certainly move its way into the main takeaway section.
Most importantly, the show reminds marketers that they need to watch the evolution of these technologies to know how to be ready when the revolution ultimately comes.

Digital Bytes: Online shopping dominates

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, a third of people do their shopping online, Manchester gets interactive outdoor ads and Twitter launch a video promotion tool…

A third of people do their shopping online

Over a third of people do most of their shopping online, according to new research. The study, which has been undertaked by Broadband Choices, found that 36 per cent of the 2,000 people surveyed do the bulk of their shopping on the internet, with 32 per cent still doing it on the high street. “It is no surprise to see online shopping becoming the favoured method for so many consumers,” Dominic Baliszewski of Broadband Choices said. “Broadband has revolutionised the way we browse and buy goods and services and the best deals these days are usually found online… While the British high street will always be an integral part of the shopping experience, we expect to see a continued increase in the amount of money spent online during 2013, and continued variation in the devices used for these purchases.”

Interactive digital touchscreens launched in Manchester

Twenty new interactive digital touchscreens will be unveiled at locations around Manchester as part of MediaCo Outdoor’s CityLive scheme. The initiative will be rolled out over the coming months and be in full operation by autumn, with a total of 2.3 million adutls expected to be reached by the campaign. “The CityLive network is another example of Manchester’s ambition to become one of the world’s leading digital cities,” Sir Richard Leese of Manchester City Council said. “These interactive screens are intelligent tools on our streets which, as well as carrying advertising, will enhance the experience of people in the city centre by providing useful, real-time information. Visitors will be able to find their way around using touch screen maps, for instance and communications about events in the city can be tailored and updated based on who’s around and what’s happening. Visitors will even be able to check the latest news and weather forecasts.” The touchscreens will feature built-in near-field communication capability (NFC) and facial recognition software.

Hashtags, bad spelling dominate Twitter

One in every four hundred words typed into Twitter begins with a hashtag, new research has found. Social media monitoring company Brandwatch studied the microblogging site across a period of three months and discovered, along with the high useage of hashtags, that one in every 179 English words in spelt incorrectly, with the most common error being a missing apostrophe. “Whether through deliberate misuse or ignorance, it is clear that the nature of Twitter and its strict character limit continues to encourage a higher rate of unofficial English,” said Brandwatch’s Joel Windels. “But rather than bemoaning the loss of the language, shouldn’t we instead be recognising this for what it is – a natural evolution? Last year the Oxford English Dictionary added well over 1,000 new words and meanings, including web-speak words ‘lolz’ and ‘tweeps.’ Changes to language are nothing new, but this research highlights just how much of an influence social media is having on how we communicate.” The study also found that women are more likely to elongate words (such as ‘soooo’), while men shorten phrases (‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’).

Twitter launches video promotion tool

Twitter has launched a new video content promotion tool called Twitter Amplify. The tool will allow companies to promote shot clips, which will either be preceded or followed by a brief video advert. “We think these types of two-screen sponsorships are a win-win-win,” Twitter’s Glenn Brown said on the company’s blog. “Users receive spectacular, timely content that rounds out their TV experience or reminds them to tune in.” Twitter has already announced a handful of launch partners including Clear Channel, VEVO, VICE and BBC America.


FWM Digital Bytes: Apple’s top dollar

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, Apple’s named the most valuable brand in the world and Yahoo seals their acquisition of blogging platform Tumblr…

Apple’s top dollar on brands list

Apple remains the most valuable brand in the world, according to the latest Brand Z list. 2013’s 100 Most Valuable Global Brands countdown is the eighth the company has created, and finds Apple valued at $185,071m and second placed Google at $113,669m, putting the search giant ahead of IBM, who fell a place down to third with a valuation of $112,536m. “Reputation has never been more important as buyers expect brands to operate in accordance with higher ideals and greater responsibility,” said Eileen Campbell from Millward Brown, who helped compile the report. “The best brands understand and appreciate more than just what people buy. Instead, they seek to understand and deliver what people buy into. So aligning your brand’s values with those of your customers isn’t just about doing good; it’s about good business.” The top five is rounded out by McDonalds ($90,256m) and Coca-Cole ($78,415m). The full report can be seen here…

Yahoo seal Tumblr acquisition

Yahoo believe their recent acquisition of Tumblr will have a significant influence on their revenue in 2014. The internet giant completed a $1.1bn deal for the blogging site earlier this week, with chief executive Marissa Mayer calling the venture a “unique opportunity”. Yahoo are hoping that the purchase will not only increase revenue, but also bring more users to their various tools and products, and encourage users to associate Tumblr’s reputation for creativity with Yahoo. “Tumblr is redefining creative expression online,” Mayer said. “On many levels, Tumblr and Yahoo couldn’t be more different, but, at the same time, they couldn’t be more complementary. Yahoo is the internet’s original media network. Tumblr is the internet’s fastest-growing media frenzy. Both companies are homes for brands – established and emerging. And, fundamentally, Tumblr and Yahoo are both all about users, design, and finding surprise and inspiration amidst the everyday.” Mayer added that while Yahoo will be cautious in their approach to monetising Tumblr, she insisted that any attempts would be “meaningful and add to the user experience.”

Twitter surpasses Facebook with teens

Twitter is overtaking Facebook as the preferred social media destination of American teenagers, according to a new study. Teens have cited oversharing from friends and an influx of adults as the primary reasons for leaving Facebook. “The key is that there are fewer adults, fewer parents and just simply less complexity,” said Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Research Center, one of the study’s authors. “They still have their Facebook profiles, but they spend less time on them and move to places like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.” Uptake of Facebook among teens has slowed over the last two years, according to the report, while use of Twitter has doubled, from 12 per cent in 2011 to 26 per cent.

Record TV from your Twitter feed

TV viewers in Brazil will soon be able to record their favourite shows via Twitter, thanks to a new innovation from SKY. When a subscriber to the company’s HD service registers their Twitter name on the Sky site, it is linked to their subscriber number. They will then be able to record via the social network by retweeting @skybrasil and including the hashtag #SKYREC. “This service gives new significance to the Twitter brand by facilitating action in the customer’s life,” Fred Saldanha, creative vice president at AgênciaClick Isobar who helped develop the idea, said. “By using #SKYREC customers don’t have to go to the programme, the programme goes to them. It’s a simple, innovative idea that is extremely relevant to the customer.” A video promoting the service can be seen here…


Digital Bytes: Tablet/mobile commerce rises again

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, mobile and tablet shopping rises again, users take to social media to complain about businesses and Sir Alex Ferguson sparks a Twitter storm…

Mobile/tablet shopping on rise

Shopping on mobile and tablet devices is on the rise again, according to data collected by Rakuten LinkShare. The company has found that 22 per cent of clicks and 17 per cent of transactions orginated from mobile/tablet devices in the first quarter of the year, with the beauty and fashion sectors spearheading the growth. Rakuten’s Mark Haviland said that the figures prove how effective tablets in particular are for sparking sales. “While browsing on smartphones is now commonplace, it’s the superior user experience on tablets, such as the larger screen size, that encourages consumers to make a purchase,” Haviland explained. “Our data reveals that as retailers optimise their sites for tablets, they have a great opportunity to increase sales through the affiliate channel by working closely with their CPA network to ensure they are actively targeting tablet users with the right content and responsive design to deliver a smooth buying experience.”

Poor customer service costs businesses

Poor customer service is causing businesses to lose £12bn a year, with complaints via social media contributing a greater portion of that sum than ever before. NewVoiceMedia surveyed over 2,000 UK adults in March and found half are put off by poor customer service, and 92 per cent have switched their service at least once in the last year. The survey also discovered that complaints on social media have increased, with 14 per cent of respondants saying they would complain via social media if they were unhappy with the service they recieved. “Customers have a stronger influence on a business’s success than ever before and it’s surprising how many organisations still aren’t getting it right,” said NewVoiceMedia’s Jonathan Gale. “Customer experience is a key differentiator. By doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful.”

Google and Amazon named most influential

Google and Amazon are the most influential brands in the UK, according to Ipsos Mori‘s new report. Microsoft take third place in the company’s Top 100 Most Influential brands survey, with the BBC in fourth and eBay in fifth. “Tailoring products and services to how people live their lives and even changing their behaviours by identifying their needs are the reasons why these brands have reached the top ten,” said Ipsos Mori’s Gareth Jones. “It doesn’t have to be significant changes and you don’t even have to be a technology brand, but using technology in small ways such as to allow shopping online and picking up in-store – that is the kind of things that can change how consumers behave.” Apple feature in sixth, while Facebook are in seventh. Marks and Spencers, Royal Mail and Visa complete the top ten.

Ferguson dominates social media

Finally, Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement as manager of Manchester United sparked off a social media storm that saw over 6 million mentions on Twitter within 24 hours. The frenzy of activity reached its peak 20 minutes after the story broke, with 16,000 tweets per minute being sent about the Scot. As a point of comparison, the appointment of the new Pope earlier this year attracted 7 million tweets within a day, while Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012 attracted over 31 million tweets.

Digital Bytes: Tablets and TV news

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, Twitter and TV news, suspicions around new gTLDs and The Telegraph’s new paywall…

Tablets and TV news

Almost half of 25 to 34 year olds still use television as their primary source of news, but turn to the internet to find further information, according to a new survey. Conducted by BBC World News and BBC.com, in conjunction with InSites Consulting, the research also found that 83 per cent of the 3,600 people surveyed use their tablet device while watching TV. “Avid news consumers are hungry for information wherever they are and expect to stay in touch on all the devices they now own,” said Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News Ltd. “There’s been speculation for years that mainstream uptake of smartphones, laptops and tablets will have a negative impact on television viewing, but this study has found that the four devices actually work well together, resulting in greater overall consumption rather than having a cannibalising effect.” The survey also found that 43 per cent of tablet owners watch more TV news than they did five years ago.

Users suspicious of new domains

Three quarters of UK adults would feel safer visiting traditional web addresses rather than those that could be created after the introduction of the new generic Top-Level Domains. The new gTLDs will allow brands to customise their URLs, making sites such as www.store.addidas and www.tv.amazon a possibility. However, the advantages of increased brand identity may be outweighed by the potential loss of trust, according to research conducted by Afilias Limited. “The advent of new TLDs coming over the months ahead will result in major changes to the Internet,” said Afilias CMO Roland LaPlante. “Some of the world’s best-known companies will roll out a dot Brand extension, but our research shows consumers are unaware that these changes are coming and would avoid the new gTLDs due to their unfamiliarity. However, the new gTLDs offer consumers great benefits, such as reducing the risk of purchasing counterfeit goods online. Our research demonstrates that businesses need to seriously consider the ways that they will integrate the new gTLDs into their online strategies and how they will educate consumers about their benefits.”

Video traffic on the rise

Traffic to video sites now accounts for five per cent of all online usage, according to new research conducted by Experian Hitwise. The company found that UK internet users spent a total of 323 million hours watching videos in February 2013 alone, which represents an increase of 100 million hours compared to the same period in 2012. “Although the primary source of video is still entertainment, more brands are taking advantage of this medium and using it to drive traffic to their web pages,” Experian’s James Murray said. “Our data shows that nine per cent of video downstream traffic is going directly to retail sites. As online video continues to evolve as a marketing channel, it is starting to have a greater impact on online traffic in the retail, travel and finance industries. Brands would benefit from incorporating video as a core part of their digital strategy, driving awareness traffic to their sites and helping to generate further sales.”

Telegraph goes behind a paywall

The Telegraph has announced that it will erect a paywall on its website. Users can pay £1.99 a month for web and smartphone access, or £9.99 a month for full web, smartphone and tablet access. “Since The Daily Telegraph’s creation in 1855, our newspaper has aimed to bring readers Britain’s finest journalism,” a statement from the newspaper reads. “We were the first national UK newspaper to go online in 1994 and our commitment to bringing you the best writers has not changed. A record global audience, exceeding 60 million a month, is enjoying our award-winning website. The Daily Telegraph continues to have more subscribers than any British national newspaper. We are proud of that fact, and we want to reward our loyal subscribers. So from today, we will be extending our successful international web subscription model to UK readers.” Reports also suggest that The Sun will soon be behind a paywall.

Digital Bytes: Happy Birthday to Twitter

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, Twitter turns seven, bloggers turn nasty and a man wants to turn an advertising board back into a face…

Twitter turns seven years old

“Just setting up my twttr,” read the first ever Tweet, on March 21st 2006, sent by co-founder @jack. Now there are more than 200 million active users, sending 400 million tweets each day. It’s changed the lives of people all across the globe and has certainly changed the way that celebrities, politicians and sportspeople interact with members of the public. A good example came this week when Ipswich Town fan @blutris89 sent a good luck message to defender Tyrone Mings that read ‘good luck today, wish i was there to watch, hopfully 3 points #skint’. He was no doubt astonished an hour later when Mings responded by asking him if he could get to the ground and then said ‘left u 2 tickets under the name tris monk. Shouldn’t miss a game cos u can’t afford it #ITFC’. All in all, a great use of the 7-year-old technology, even if Mings is probably up to his digital neck in tweets from #skint Ipswich Town fans before every game now.

Do digital advertisers really know that much about you?

One of the main fears of many internet users is how much information about them is being collected by websites and used by advertisers to tailor what gets promoted to them in the future. However, a new survey suggests that what information is being collected isn’t actually accurate enough to be useful. The survey, by a data-collection company called Enliken, involved 116 people and 9,000 data points from tracking companies. It revealed that Yahoo, for example, had collected data that was almost 50% incorrect, while Google’s data was 20% incorrect. Of course, the survey did has its own motive, as Enliken’s job is to try and encourage intenet users to actively tell them what they are interested in, and it suits their purposes to paint the tracking alternative as being less efficient. But it’s clear that this is an issue that will only get more controversial as technologies allow firms to gather more and more information about us to use for their own purposes.

Don’t mess with bloggers!

Dealing with the press isn’t as straightforward as it used to be, with PR staff having to take into account that there may be bloggers out there who are as influential in their field as a traditional journalist, if not more so. Working out how to sort out your press allocation for an even can be a minefield of dealing with bloggers of varying levels of professionalism, but the Conscious Capitalism conference in San Francisco found themselves under fire for trying to ensure that any bloggers getting free entry would pay for it with actual content. In their T&Cs, any writers not from ‘bona fide’ media organisations are told that they need to submit one blog post before the event and one after it, both about ‘some aspect of the CC 2013 event’. Unfortunately, the bloggers weren’t very happy with this, so an exec from Conscious Capitalism had to apologise: “We’re truly sorry for any offense that you may have felt and assure you that we welcome you to Conscious Capitalism as a non-paying member of the media, regardless of what you write (or don’t write) before or after the event.”They won’t be doing that again…

Human Billboard has a few regrets

Without advertising revenue, there wouldn’t be much to see or do on the internet, so users continue to have to get used to increasingly intrusive ads on sites like Facebook and YouTube, but sometimes they can be even more intrusive than that. Just ask Hostgator Dotcom, a Alaskan man formerly known as Billy Gibby, who has spent the last few years earning himself money by getting tattoos for websites on his body, as well as changing his name back in 2010. Unfortunately, he’s now regretting the idea, particularly the side of it that led to him getting adult website urls tattooed on his face. It earned him around $50,000, but he’s now desperate for just $4,000 to get rid of them. He blames the whole thing on his bipolar disorder, but because his appearance is stopping him getting jobs, he will have to get even more tattoos on his body to pay for the 18 procedures that he needs. There’s certainly a moral in there about being careful who you let advertise on your space. Or face.

FWM’s Cup QR overflows for Carling at Isle of Wight

Fast Web Media helped Carling take their brilliantly refreshing lager to the Isle of Wight festival by devising and creating a QR code-based promotion for the company.

300,000 cups at the festival featured the QR code and once scanned it directed users to an age-gated Carling mobile page where they could input their data.

Winners received a mobile voucher which they could redeem at the Carling Refresh Rooms in exchange for a free luxury shower.

The promotion proved a huge success and it helped Carling reinforce their association with the festival.

Fast Web Media recently helped Carling launch their new summer lager, Carling Zest, by developing a YouTube and smartphone app.

FWM build Carling Zest app

Fast Web Media has helped build a new online and smartphone app to launch Carling’s new drink, Carling Zest.

Zest is a summer drink that is infused with a hint of lime, and Carling wanted to celebrate its launch by offering users the chance to create their own sound of summer.

Liaising with other agencies, we developed a YouTube and mobile app that features a soundboard comprised of several classic summer sounds. These include the sound of a man playing football, partygoers enjoying a BBQ and people relaxing at the beach.

Users can then blend these soundclips together to make their own unique summer mix that can be recorded and entered into a competition. The best mixes – as judged by DJs Jaguar Skills, DJ Food and DJ Yoda – will win tickets to V Festival.

The 2.8% abv citrus-flavoured summer-rollout went on sale in the off-trade and in the on-trade in bottles in March. It will be available in independent UK pubs and restaurants until the end of September.

FWM developers win at Facebook event

Fast Web Media developers Dave Carlson and Terry McNicholls were given an award for their use of Facebook’s Open Graph technology at a Hack Day event held in London on Monday (March 5th).

The day was set up by Facebook to help developers get hands-on experience of Open Graph, and as part of the activities attendees were invited to build examples of social apps and games that could be created on the site.

Dave and Terry made a mobile version of the Goossens Wonen en Slapen site, one of our clients, using responsive design to scale for different devices.

They used Open Graph to create a system that would post user actions onto their Facebook timeline, meaning that when a user rated, reviewed or recommended a product, related messages would appear.

These actions would then get aggregated onto the user’s timeline, as seen recently from the  Spotify or Guardian apps.

At the end of the day, the best apps were recognised with awards, and Dave and Terry won the ‘Best Mobile Open Graph App’ prize.

More information on the Hack Day can be seen on Facebook.

FWM All Over The Blue Moon

FWM’s technical development team has been busy building new web and mobile sites for the Blue Moon Brewing Company’s ‘Artfully Crafted’ campaign.

The North American Craft Beer, which is a Molson Coors UK brand, is offering consumers a free half pint, available from 125 pubs across London, Greater London and Brighton. Having launched on June 13th, the campaign will run until August and consumers can redeem the offer by texting BLUE MOON and a unique location number available on outdoor advertising to a dedicated number. This will generate a mobile voucher that can be downloaded onto a smartphone and redeemed in one of the participating venues.

Fast Web Media has helped Blue Moon accommodate consumers without smartphones by building a website that allows internet users to redeem their half pint online. They simply have to enter their details into the site, and they will receive their half pint voucher through the post. Following the first phase of the campaign, Blue Moon will kick-off a series of some 100 ‘Artfully Crafted’ events that will take place in pubs and bars across London. Beginning on July 1st, these will include: interactive screen painting, urban cross stitching and life drawing.

For more information, please visit the Blue Moon website.

To find out more about Fast Web Media’s technical development services, visit the services pages on our website, or simply get in touch!