“However, in exceptional situations, where there is a strong public interest and often time constraints, such as a major news story like the recent Norway attacks or rioting in England, we may use a photo before we’ve cleared it. We don’t make this decision lightly – a senior editor has to judge that there is indeed a strong public interest in making a photo available to a wide audience,” Hamilton said.
Armadillo has been commissioned to build the new Bad Taste Bears e-commerce website. Bad Taste Bears is one of the UK’s most successful collectable figurine ranges, with a massive collectors’ base and worldwide distribution. Kirsty McGregor of Odd Co Ltd, the team behind the hugely successful Bad Taste Bears figurine range said “We felt the time was right to update the site and pretty much wanted to go for something completely different. Our site is very important both to promote us to a general market and also because it’s home to our Members’ Forum where collectors share experiences, organise meetings and keep in touch with all that’s going on the world of the Bad Taste Bears.”
Kevin Robson, Armadillo Client Services Manager said, “We’re thrilled to have to the chance to work with Odd Co Ltd. They have an excellent, quirky business and clarity of vision along with a real sense of fun. The site we’re building has a lot of functionality, with e-commerce alongside membership services and the OddCo Ltd. team were also really keen to have content management control. The design is something we’ve spent a lot of time on to make the site attractive to new customers and current members. It’s not a transition form the current website, more of a departure but there’s a need to be sensitive to a lot of different opinions. At Armadillo, we offer a depth of support to clients that allows them control of their site backed-up with friendly advice and training should they ever need it.” The Bad Taste Bears site will be live in November 2011.
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Get ready for Twitter ads on your smartphone. Today Twitter announced the inclusion of Promoted Tweets in its native iPhone and Android apps.Currently, iPhone and Android users only see Promoted Trends and Promoted Tweets in the searchfunction of Twitter’s official app. And Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts have long been part of Twitter’s mobile browser display as well. Today’s announcement now brings those Promoted features to the main feeds of the official Twitter apps for iPhone and Android.Before jumping on Twitter to share your hatred of Twitter ads — ironic, no? — consider the following. First, initially the ads (i.e., the Promoted Tweets) will be from companies you’re already following. So, if you follow Virgin Air, you could see an ad for discounted airfares.Second, the ads will only show up in the official Twitter app for each platform. So, if you use Tweetbot, Tweetdeck or any other third-party Twitter client, you won’t see these ads.Third, the ads will show up in your timeline just like a regular tweet, and will drop down into oblivion as the people you follow post status updates. And if you don’t like an ad, you can swipe to remove it. Twitter says it only wants to serve ads that are relevant to your interests.Finally, nothing is free. Twitter has two options in its path toward monetization: serve ads or charge a subscription fee. Twitter has become an important communication tool. It would be disappointing to see it disappear because it couldn’t pay the bills.
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Think your three-second page loads are “just fine”? Think again.
According to engineers at Google, even the blink of an eye — which takes around 400 milliseconds — is too long.That’s the word from the New York Times, which makes an unusual foray into the world of web development with its article “For Impatient Web Users, an Eye Blink Is Just Too Long to Wait.”Some web developers may remember the days of the two-second rule (and no, not the one that applies to dropping food on the floor). The established wisdom —well-tested at the time by usability experts like Jakob Nielsen and others — was that after two seconds the number of users willing to wait for your page to load dropped off significantly.That rule still holds, it’s just the amount of time that’s changed. Nowadays the Times’ claims users drop off after a mere 400 milliseconds, and a difference in page load time of just 250 milliseconds is enough to convey a distinct advantage over your competitors.Read More »
Your online brand tells customers who you are, what you do, and how you do it. Whether you’re a small business, internet start-up, or a large corporation, online brand building is crucial in an era where the internet is many customers first point of contact with a business. Your online brand also gives you a key point to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
1. Know Your Customer. Defining your target audience is the first step in being able to connect with them. You may need to segment your audience in able to speak to them more personally.
2. Establish Your Presence. Focus on clearly stating what you do. The internet is full of searchers with short attention spans, and if a visitor can’t determine what you do and of what benefit that is to them, you’ll likely lose them before you get a chance to win them over. While businesses frequently lead with their name (who they are), focus instead on what you do. Instead of ‘Daily Grind Coffee Shop’ try something like ‘Fine roasted organic fair-trade coffee beans for coffee lovers with a conscience.’
3. Give Your Brand a Voice. Having a brand spokesperson will allow customers to connect to your brand. Customers respond to brands who are conversational more than corporate.
4. Always Be Consistent. Creating an online brand requires consistency across your messages and online presences. With the explosion of social media, brands now have many points of contact with their customers. Be sure that wherever you interact with customers, your message and image remain the same.
5. Determine the Channels You’ll Use. One goal in online brand building is to be constantly in front of your customers wherever they are, such that when they become ready to make a buying decision you’re the first company they think of. People buy from people they know and like. Balance your branding across as many channels as make sense based on your customers’ presence there, and your ability to deliver quality content and a consistent message.
6. Plan How You’ll Integrate Social Media into Your Branding. Social media gives you an opportunity to interact with your customers in the places they’re spending time. It also gives you an opportunity to put a personal face on your brand. Decide where you’ll interact, which tools you’ll use, and who will be the voice of the company?
Also recognize that this is not an opportunity to be overly promotional, as that behaviour is not tolerated well in the social media circles. Instead, take the opportunity to interact with your customers. If you would like to find out how we can help you further feel free to contact berry Burgess on: 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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Armadillo is completing work on a new brand and website for EnergySwitch Ltd. EnergySwitch is part of a group of companies aimed at helping consumers save money on their household bills. This new site helps people to find the lowest possible prices for energy and show that there are ways to reduce fuel bills. It’s a free service that anyone can access and get advice to help save their energy and money. Armadillo’s Client Services Director, Rachel Burgess commented, “We had to produce an informative and authoritative site with a friendly and engaging tone that allows people to easily access the information they need. There’s a lot of confusion around energy costs and switching suppliers, many consumers don’t know what real savings will be and this site helps to cut through those issues in a straightforward way.”
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As challenging as the competitive field of search engine optimisation (SEO) is, it might seem as if a large spend on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing is the answer. Organic SEO has its own costs, in education and time, or in hiring an expert. Possibly PPC would offer a better return? While the best strategy for many businesses is to do both, ultimately the answer to our question of the better value comes down to costs per click (CPC) and conversion percentages once a visitor arrives at the site. Some conventional wisdom has stated that PPC works better for business-to-business offerings, while organic SEO works better for business-to-consumer offerings. While this may have held some truth in the past, one thing is now clear… paid search traffic is on a continuing decline.Read More »
In general, the game is to express your message within the scope of 140 characters. You can choose to tweet using the customize Twitter site or you could resort to using the various Twitter desktops. Until now the majority of people engaging in Twitter were more interested in followers. Don’t follow too many people at once, as they can drown your brands message. Take time when choosing who you want to follow, are these people you would like to talk to. If you can create a targeted community of followers who will retweet your message to their community then you are hitting your market place. Its not about volume its about quality. Don’t send spam tweets and remember be courteous, there is no need to be rude about someone on twitter you’ll get blocked.
Facebook is very much a different creature from Twitter. You don’t post one line sentences in Facebook and expect your message to be amplified, people on Facebook are more concerned about genuine relationship.
A recent report confirms that people are spending more time using Facebook than Google. This alone gives them the upper hand in advertising, and the “Like button” holds great promise, though not yet realized, in changing the marketing landscape in providing ads that we actually care about.The 55-65 female age group is the fasting growing community on Facebook.
LinkedIn caters to the professionals. When you use this Social Media, you have to put on a different hat. If you want your brand taken seriously, forget about small talks and gossips. Leave the informalities to Facebook. Engage your audience in a professional manner
If you would like more information about a social marketing strategies please contact email@example.com or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
Apple: Probably few remember the original Apple logo, which featured Sir Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with the inscription ‘“Newton … A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought … Alone.” Thankfully, within a year, Jobs was introduced to Rob Janoff, a young designer based in Palo Alto, California who was assigned to help market the clunky Apple II, a far cry from today’s sleek MacBook. “For inspiration, the first thing I did was go to the supermarket, buy a bag of apples and slice them up,” recalled Janoff in an interview with Sync Magazine. “I just stared at the wedges for hours.” Eventually, Janoff created the polychromatic Apple logo which survived until 1998.Read More »
1. An average person sees 625 messages per day.
2. Yahoo collects around 10 Terabytes of data on its customers each day, which is roughly as much as Tesco collect from their Club Card customers in a year.
3. A recent survey showed surprisingly 44% of Twitter users were happy to be alerted about special offers and new products. 48% had responded to an advert they had received and most startlingly of all 44% had actually referred a product alert onto a friend.
4. 90% of adults use mobile phones, 73% use the internet and 89% watch digital television.
5. In a survey of the top 26 UK retailers, it was found that every £1 spent on online advertising yielded £3.44, a fantastic ROI. Television advertising yielded £2.15 per £1 spent.
6. Over 750 million photos were uploaded to Facebook over the New Year
7. There are 55 million tweets per day, approx 640 tweets per second
8. 10pm -11pm is the most active hour on Twitter
9. The average person spends 15 minutes on YouTube a day
10. The average time browsing via a mobile device is nearly 3 hours a day
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Planning Your Mobile Strategy
In planning your mobile strategy, you’ll want to consider:
1. How will you deliver your mobile experience? Will you create a mobile-optimised version of your website, or offer an application for customers through application marketplaces for smartphones?
2. Will you offer the full functionality of your website, or focus on the critical elements for mobile commerce? Here are some considerations based on the feedback from current mobile users: UK users prefer to access the mobile internet using a browser rather than an application (70% for mobile versus 55% for application), according to a study by Orange.
3. Speed is more important than full-featured functionality. Faster m-commerce sites have better response rates when compared to more full-featured, but slower, sites. Users want a rich experience, but not at the sacrifice of speed.
If you would like to find out how we can help you contact us on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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What’s on your marketing plan for 2012? Most businesses have an idea of how important eMarketing (also called internet marketing) is, but many either don’t have a clear strategy or a concrete plan. Putting the time in to plan for activities that can produce results now will yield results for the year to come.
Before diving into the possibilities for your eMarketing plan, let’s briefly touch on marketing plans in general. Not having a written marketing plan, regardless of the size of your business, is a plan to fail. Marketing plans must act as both a plan for the months to come (I prefer a 12 month plan) and a business intelligence tool to report on what’s worked, to what degree, and what should be changed.
Plans should include a healthy mix of marketing strategies that you know to work from past efforts and new strategies you are testing. They should list the pertinent details like:Read More »
Everyone knows Hollywood, so how can we get to a point where a Hollywood blockbuster making less than half the profit of the latest games releases? The answer as ever is about the money. New games retail at between £45 and £50, yet the game will inevitably cost less to produce than the latest film. These production costs can still be in excess of £100 million but that is small change when your unit price is £50 and you sell 6.5 million copies on release day in the UK and US alone. That’s a 350% ROI on release day alone.
So why does this happen? Well it all revolves around the human desire to win. These high grossing games have detailed competitive multiplayer modes, each with it’s own idiosyncrasies that require hours of practise from the player to perfect. This means that even if a game drops in price from £50 to £20 after 3 months, the vast majority of players will still pay that £50 release day price tag just to get those few extra weeks practise. Thus ensuring they can get to their potential as quickly as possible and keep on winning.
Unfortunately, it is a trait that the film industry has no answer to. With the increasing number of plots being taken from the story lines of the latest ‘great read’. People are more than prepared to wait for prices to come down or take advantage of offers when going to see a film. They already know the story line so there is no desire to find everything out on day one. Waiting a few days ‘til Wednesday just to get 2 for 1 seems much more logical than paying double the price to see a film with a plot you already know.
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Why would a business want to get involved with Facebook? For starters, they have over 500 million active users, with 50% of them logging in daily. Their users spend 700 billion minutes per month on the site, and they share 30 billion pieces of content per month. Chances are, your customers are on Facebook, and if you aren’t then you may be missing out on a great opportunity to connect with customers and build your brand. Also, pages (unlike profiles and groups) are indexed by the search engines, and the search engines love Facebook. It is the epitome of fresh content they look for.
Pages vs. Profiles
The first concept you need to understand is the difference between pages and profiles on Facebook.
A profile is for a person, and businesses cannot have profiles.
A page can be for a business (or a band, product, or about anything else).
Facebook also has groups, which can be set up by anybody for any purpose. These are nice if you want to restrict access, but are limited in functionality.
So to start creating a page, you’ll first need a profile. This could be an administrative contact or anybody in the company, but be sure the company doesn’t lose control of the page if the person with the profile leaves. The profile really doesn’t need to be used or filled out with every detail, it really acts as a user account which is necessary to set up pages.
Create Your Page
Once your profile is set up, you can create a page by going to Advertising -> Pages -> Create a Page or by using this link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Choose your category and make sure to fill out the form completely.
Set Up Your Page
Your page can be set up to operate much like any other web page, and can be enhanced with;
• Content you create elsewhere on the web (like feeds of RSS or Twitter)
• Custom FBML, Facebook Markup Language (patterned after HTML for websites)
• Facebook Applications – many useful and many distracting apps allow custom functionality, but don’t go crazy and keep your goals for the page in mind
You may want to focus as much on cleaning up the clutter around the page as adding to it. Then decide if you intend for the page to be an online representation of your business and way to contact you, a place to share content with your customers, or even a lead generation source (by embedding a ‘squeeze page’ in your page to collect emails).
Grab Your Username
The last step in setting up your page is to grab a custom URL for your page. Facebook will give you a URL for your page that looks like http://www.facebook.com/yourusername/. Get yours by going to: http://www.facebook.com/username/
If you would like to find out how we can help you contact us on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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Nearly 16,000 searches are conducted in the UK every minute, which is a huge opportunity to attract customers, who are already interested in your products or services, to your website. A recent Google study revealed that 88% of UK searches use Google, and only 7% of users go on to the third page of results. This highlights the importance of achieving the highest search engine placements possible. If your business has achieved the number one ranking on page one, 100% of your potential customers will find you, but if you are on page 3 only 7% of your potential customers will find you, dramatically decreasing your exposure.
Armadillo Creative offer dedicated SEO solutions which will help your business achieve the desired ranking and increase your site traffic and hopefully business.
If you would like to find out how we can help you contact us on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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Mobile phones in general, and smartphones in particular, have a place in our pockets, purses and bags, wherever we go. Consumers have never before been so attached to a device that allows us to reach them wherever they go. While we leave behind our television, computer, newspapers and magazines, our phone almost never leaves our side.With the portability of phones and technologies like geolocation and high-speed mobile internet, our phones are uniquely positioned to be our primary data device. Mobile commerce is just a natural extension, and now the ability and convenience to shop anywhere has arrived. In addition to convenience being an oft cited reason for using m-commerce, other interesting observations by the IAB of m-commerce behaviour include:
• Average m-commerce spend is high, with an average transaction of £12.20.
• Mobile customers are spontaneous, with 31% reporting that their purpose was spontaneous or impulsive.
• 35% of mobile users that reported having not yet used m-commerce were simply unable because of limitations with their equipment. This number will decrease rapidly, as technology improves by the day. The IAB’s Alex Kozloff goes on to appeal to businesses: “Whilst m-commerce is on the radar for many retailers, our research highlights the need for more urgency in terms of developing a mobile presence and ensuring the user experience is as smooth and secure as possible. Almost half of mobile users are making purchases, and of those who don’t, half again are certain they will in the future, so investment in a solid mobile retail presence is essential.”This echoes the findings by other industry experts that businesses are not moving fast enough to meet the demands of mobile consumers. This leaves huge opportunities to businesses willing to invest in their mobile presence.
If you would like to find out how we can help you contact us on: 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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1. Formed in 2004, Flickr now hosts more than 4.1 billion user images.
2. 51% of journalists read blogs for story ideas.
3. 77% of the online shoppers read consumer product reviews and ratings before purchasing a product.
4. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
5. Time spent on blogs and other social media sites increased 210 percent year-over-year, and the average time spent per person increased 143 percent.
6. 88% of people in the world are aware of Facebook
7. 57% of people talk to people more online than they do in real life
8. 47% of youngsters said they find out about the news through Facebook
9. There are more women users than men on Facebook
10.47% of mobile users browse networking sites
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Mobile App or Mobile Website? Which to choose? Here is a comprehensive guide to the pros and cons of both routes. Many times clients ask us for an “App” when in fact all they need is a mobile website, and vice versa. Many clients don’t know the difference.A Mobile App is a piece of software built specifically to run on a particular device – whether that be an iPhone, Android, Blackberry etc where as a Mobile website is a standard website formatted to display on mobile device web browsers. These mobile websites tend to be cut down versions of the “desktop” website.Whilst these two approached used to be very different, the advances in mobile and web technologies in the past 2 years has allowed mobile websites to look and function much more like a mobile app, without the need to download and install software on your mobile device.
Who is your target audience?
When choosing between a mobile app and a mobile website you need to consider your audience and whether you want to target a niche or the mass market. If you wish to reach a wider audience then a mobile website would be better as it allows a larger user base to access the content as it’s available through any mobile device with a web browser. If you prefer to target a niche user base on a particular device and operating system then a mobile app is the way to go.Read More »
Identifying Keyword Opportunities
A keyword is a word included in a web page which matches a term entered into a search tool like Google by a searcher like your customer. Based on this simple definition, your goal as a business is to have relevant content which contains keyword phrases matching your customer’s search. It sounds simple enough, but there are 2 common pitfalls:
1. Focusing on keyword phrases which are too broad. While a broad phrase like ‘estate agent’ gets a lot of traffic, it also has enormous competition for the top spots. With over 29 million results, your chances of reaching the first results page are slim.
2. Focusing on keyword phrases which are too specific. While you could, in contrast to the example above, optimise for ‘Newcastle UK estate agent,’ hyper-targeting your customers, you’d soon experience disappointment as there is no measurable search traffic for that phrase.
So, on one side is a phrase so popular you are unlikely to rank high enough to be seen. On the other is a phrase with no competition, which occurs because nobody is searching for it. The secret lies in the “sweet spot,” a balance of searchers actually searching and competition reasonable enough to get results. So how do you identify these keyword opportunities?Read More »
As part of the Fish Quay Business Hub and with support from North Tyneside Council, Armadillo is working on a campaign to promote the North Shields Fish Quay. The work involves a range of digital and offline media to highlight the historic Quay both as an area for tourism and as a desirable business location. A website design and build that was launched in December http://www.thefishquay.com/ includes a variety of media such as original and archive photography, video clips, stories, property downloads and desktop calendars. The site has a huge range of content that details the rich history of the Fish Quay alongside spotlighting the modern, working Quay and its new business opportunities.Read More »
Armadillo was appointed to create the web and brand identity for Caddy Charger, a revolutionary rechargeable battery unit for motorised golf caddies. The new technology has been developed in conjunction with Newcastle University and was launched into the market in December. Armadillo created a brand identity for Caddy Charger, as well as developing packaging, an e-commerce website, product labeling and national advertising. The work communicates the innovative and unique qualities of the product, along with its great value.Caddy Charger MD, David Bainbridge said of his decision to work with Armadillo “I’m delighted to have Caddy Charger’s launch in the hands of such an enthusiastic and skilled team. Armadillo get what we’re about and I’ve been really impressed with the way they work and the suggestions they’ve made to get us to market.”Read More »
As challenging as the competitive field of search engine optimisation (SEO) is, it might seem as if a large spend on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing is the answer. Organic SEO has its own costs, in education and time, or in hiring an expert. Possibly PPC would offer a better return?
While the best strategy for many businesses is to do both, ultimately the answer to our question of the better value comes down to costs per click (CPC) and conversion percentages once a visitor arrives at the site.
Some conventional wisdom has stated that PPC works better for business-to-business offerings, while organic SEO works better for business-to-consumer offerings. While this may have held some truth in the past, one thing is now clear… paid search traffic is on a continuing decline.
As none of the inner data from search engines is public, SEO experts have long been left to cobble together estimates using leaked data and market intelligence.
A few years ago, estimates were that roughly 30% of clicks went to paid listings, leaving 70% for organic. Part of the reason for this was that the public wasn’t crystal clear on the difference between paid and organic results. By 2008 this number had dropped to closer to 11%, and in 2009 dropped 26% more to 7.25% (Source: Experian Hitwise). This means that organic results are receiving almost 93% of all clicks.Read More »
Armadillo is completing work on a new brand and website for EnergySwitch Ltd.EnergySwitch is part of a group of companies aimed at helping consumers save money on their household bills.This new site helps people to find the lowest possible prices for energy and show that there are ways to reduce fuel bills. It’s a free service that anyone can access and get advice to help save their energy and money. Armadillo’s Client Services Director, Rachel Burgess commented, “We had to produce an informative and authoritative site with a friendly and engaging tone that allows people to easily access the information they need. There’s a lot of confusion around energy costs and switching suppliers, many consumers don’t know what real savings will be and this site helps to cut through those issues in a straightforward way.”The new site will launch in January 2012.
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1. Use multiple ad types. Give customers the opportunity to engage with your business both on Facebook and on your website. Create some ads promoting your Facebook Page to grow your fan base and drive traffic from other ads to your external website.
2. Be direct. Facebook users engage with the site differently than on other online sites. Speak to your customers using direct and concise language. Don’t use marketing jargon if you don’t have to, and be authentic. Avoid superlatives or exaggerated claims.
3. Keep your ads fresh. If your audience sees the same ad over and over again, they will be less inclined to interact with your ad. Revise your ad creative every few days by swapping old images for new ones or changing your ad title. Incentivize the users to click.Read More »
So will anything be new for 2012? For many 2011 was a tough year for businesses. In the North East alone we saw many established design agencies unfortunately disappear. We also saw the meteoric influx of small cottage web design businesses that were created through the need of young designers to find forms of employment and income. Two words have been carved on my forehead all year by everyone wanting a competitive quote – ‘Best Value’. Best Value means nothing when the wheels come off your Cheap as Chips Best Value e-commerce website. The words – Monkey and Peanuts come straight to mind.
It’s funny when I left mainstream advertising after 25 years with my brand and advertising experience tucked up in my suitcase 7 years ago to follow the digital brick road, I couldn’t sell a website to anyone! Google hadn’t become God yet, Newspapers were still being delivered, Print was still had a colourful existence and people still used the telephone to have a meaningful conversation with anyone. Now technology dictates the way we do business. With the fast moving technological advancement also comes the gremlins. It’s a constant hamster wheel of continual constant learning and development. After 35 years as a Creative Director I wish I had all the answers but I haven’t as new questions are being raised even as I think.
So what’s new for 2012? I’ve been banging the Mobile website drum for well over a year now and wheels are now clicking in that growth area. Apps or Mobile? Each has it’s value both have their needs this year. The demise of the Business Funding in July was the death knell of a number of agencies that lived at that level. After 5 months off without any fund addiction to anyone, the good news is the Business & Enterprise Group has secured 2 years funding for North East businesses. This will certainly help businesses in the area – but will also bring out the fund chasing fraternity.
Mobile browsing on phones and tablets will only increase and continue to be a focus point. Rumours abound of a Google paid subscriptions for information. Website will need to be more user friendly in 2012 than ever before, with more and more people demanding UX design (User Experience) if you do not have something built and designed for your users, you are going to lose out. One thing is for sure – Digital will dominate the marketing landscape at a consumer and business level. To prosper, businesses in the North East must realign their brand and marketing requirement to embrace the needs and desires of the customer or client – only that way will 2012 by a Happy Year.
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In an age where products and services are being bought more than they’re being sold, some experts claim that brand is no longer relevant. Their position is that your brand is equal parts the quality of your product or service and the way you treat your customers.
While those things are important, your brand image (especially in the absence of selling) becomes a way to sell. Most importantly, your brand image becomes a way to differentiate your product or service from all your competitors.
The power of your brand increases as your focus narrows.
Your brand must not try to appeal to everybody, but to be the BEST at one specific thing. You can’t tell customers that you are the best at everything, or they simply won’t believe you. Harley-Davidson has an incredible brand when it comes to motorcycles, but when they tried to extend their brand with Harley-Davidson brand wine coolers (a true story), they only confused customers and diluted the power of their brand. The fastest path to killing a brand is to put its name on everything.
Brands need advertising to survive.
Once a brand is created, it needs to be nurtured with consistent doses of advertising. This is the only way to maintain a brand over time.
Your brand needs to be synonymous with a word in the customer’s mind.
You want your brand to be the first thing that pops in the mind of your prospective customer’s mind. Just like when people think ‘overnight’ they think FedEx, or when they think ‘copies’ they think Xerox, you want to own a word for your customers.
Authority is the key to credibility.
While there are many ways to become an authority in your market, one of the best is to be the leader. People assume that the best seller is the most popular for a reason, and they use this knowledge as a shortcut to selecting a product or service.
Brands are more important than companies.
We often forget that customers buy brands, not companies. Your brand name should always be your focus, not your company name.
Remember always that brands are not built overnight. If they are cultured over time, they will pay dividends for years to come.
If you wish to discuss brand image and your business in more depth contactIBerry Burgess on 0191 257 8380 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.armadillo-creative.com:
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Marketing and sales are two of the most important division of any organisation. Product cannot be sold unless people are aware of the value they would receive by using them. Traditional sales and marketing was always a major part of any business.
Internet has changed lots of things today. When it was introduced it was very expensive but today every office has it. Usage of daily activities online is a part of every business. Infact, many small offices today work on a laptop. Email marketing or e-marketing is popularly known and used by many companies to market their product or service.
Email marketing can reduce your sales cycle.
Important points to remember while email marketing:
1. It is very effective way of marketing as it reduces the unnecessary cost of telephone or helps in avoiding meeting the wrong people who are not interested in the product. You need to make a professional write up which will attract the customers. Catchy headings with the correct images can help attracting potential customers.
2. You need to get data for the targeted segment. If you are selling computers then your targeted customers could be either a big organization or a household where people are computer literates. However, the write-ups should be different for both the groups. Big organizations need a professional write up. For households you need to add a personal touch.
3, Follow up is very important after sending these kinds of mails. Either you send follow up mails or call. There are chances that the interested candidate will send you a return mail, which then can be converted into an enquiry or order. Trying sales in other cities becomes easy through email marketing. You need to carefully study the business strategy of your competitor and then plan your Email content. There are many advantages of email marketing to reduce your sales cycle. You need to use it for your benefit and to reduce expenses on your sales team.
If you would like to find out how we can help you reduce your sales cycle through email marketing contact Vaughan Di Mascio at Armadillo on: 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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Armadillo is delighted to be working with the Business Enterprise Group on a new funding initiative from the European Regional Development Fund. The Investment for Growth Programme has the aim of helping businesses improve performance, retain staff and/or create new jobs.Up to 40% funding can be available for projects of a maximum of £20,000 value. Eligible projects areas include: business and financial planning, strategic marketing consultancy, design consultancy and product development consultancy.Kevin Robson, Armadillo’s Client Services Manager said, “We hope that this new investment opportunity will allow North East businesses to develop exciting B2B projects and take advantage of some expertise that will make a real difference to their performance.” You can find out more about the fund which launched late December 2011, and if your business is eligible, by contacting Business and Enterprise Group on 0191 426 6408 or email email@example.com
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Websites may have to apply for certification as “licensed sites” to appear high up the Google rankings, if a new treaty between rights holders and search engines comes into force. Under the code, Google and other search engines, such as Yahoo! and Bing, would stop allowing illegal sites to advertise.
Under the voluntary code of practice, seen by The Daily Telegraph, search engines will automatically rank pirate websites lower than official ones and give priority to those that were certified under a “recognised scheme”.Music companies, the Premier League, film and television producers, publishers and other businesses whose existence depends on intellectual property drew up the code based on a series of “Chatham House” round table discussions with search engines, hosted by Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, and culture minister Ed Vaizey.
Under the code, Google and other search engines, such as Yahoo! and Bing, would stop allowing illegal sites to advertise and would step up their efforts in delisting pirate websites as soon as they are flagged by legitimate rights holders. The code has no legal teeth at this stage but, if search engines do not sign up and adhere to it, or negotiate something similar, the Government is expected to resort to new legislation instead.The search engines have yet to respond to the proposal.
In the past they have opposed taking pre-emptive action against pirate sites. The proliferation of illegal sites means that the threat to rights holders is worsening.According to research by the Publisher’s Association, Google searches for the 50 best-selling books in one week in March returned an average of four illegal links in the top 10 listings. The previous year that figure was closer to two.
story: daily telegraph
2011 saw large advancements in technology, which gave us an insight into what the future of digital marketing will be like. The arrival of tablets such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy tab have prised people away from their laptops, and the number of smart phones and smart phones users have rocketed.
Mobile Internet speeds are going to improve dramatically over the next couple of years. In 2011, service providers in the US will be offering 4G devices to operate on 4G (Fourth Generation Wireless). 4G is expected to quickly overtake the current 3G service and become the most mobile internet solution.
3G services currently have a maximum download speed of around 1.5 MBPS. When it is launched, 4G will operate at between 2 MBPS and 12MBPS. And web standards experts believe 4G has the capacity to operate at as much as 100 MBPS in the next few years, 100 MBPS is double the speed of the fastest fibre optic broadband offered in the UK.
4G will therefore revolutionise mobile internet. It will be used for smart phones, tablets and USB dongles, with the possibility of integration within laptops and netbooks. Download speeds will be unbelievably fast, improving user experience dramatically. How will your business cope?Read More »
We’ve all played it, whether on a new laptop, at work, or on our latest smartphone just because it’s free, but how many of us actually know how to play it? Beyond clicking randomly at little grey squares and getting that small buzz of satisfaction when an area erupts under your cursor, most of us have no idea why we inevitably end up blown across our computer screen. The question really isn’t ‘why this happens’, but more ‘for what reason do I not know why this happens’. The answer lies with the poor user experience and the less than helpful information supplied in today’s consumerist society.
I am using Minesweeper as a case study here because it embodies a fundamental flaw with user experience across the poor end of the web today. So much is focused on utilizing base site standards simply due to them being universal across the web. There is nothing wrong with doing something a little different to stand out, and still having the courage to explain to the user how it works. You won’t scare them off just because your site says “Slide through our portfolio and hover over to find out more”. This sort of instruction takes a short enough amount of time to divulge that it retains interest, but still allows the user to experience something new and feel they are learning from you straight away.
In the case of Minesweeper we could embody this type of information in one simple tip displayed to the user whenever they open the game: “Every number tells you how many mines are in the adjacent 8 squares”. I’m sure there are wordsmiths that could portray this in a nicer fashion but it serves the intended purpose. Not only does the user now have a better understanding of the intricacies of this simple yet rewarding game, they have also learned something that equates to the avoidance of that common office room conversation:
“I’m playing minesweeper”
“I’m rubbish at that game, I must be really unlucky”
Imagine what could be achieved with the standard of today’s websites if people were prepared to try something a little different and trust the universal human thirst to learn something new.
If you would like to find out how we can help you contact us on: 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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We thought it would be nice to include a few shots from the recent Mussel Club Expo at Newcastle Falcons. Rather than taking along the trusty banner stand and a pile of leaflets we thought it was a good idea to invite Darth Vader and his friend (Malcolm) the Stormtrooper. The expo went well, we met new people, and everyone seemed to enjoy our efforts.
As you can see from the photo below, Malcolm had a great time but was exhausted by the end of the day!
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Mobile commerce comes of age
Mobile commerce is by no means a new phenomenon, but has been around for the last decade. Until recently, however, mCommerce for many was more a concept than an actual reality. It’s something that has grown rapidly over the last few years, with its influence increasing exponentially in the global consumer marketplace. This growth has been highlighted by an ever-increasing amount of research looking at the development of the mobile market, showing a genuine and tangible growth that no one can ignore. Gartner, for example, has found that 428 million mobile communication devices were sold worldwide in the first quarter of 2011 while, according to IDC, this same timeframe saw the global mobile phone market grow by 19.8%. Today there are roughly 4.6 billion mobile users, many of whom are purchasing goods via this medium.
Mobile commerce isn’t just growing, it’s also developing in its nature. Smartphone technology has taken off rapidly, putting the power of the PC in most peoples’ pockets. According to IDC, the global smartphone market is on pace to grow 55% in 2011, and it is predicted that global tablet shipments will increase from 16.1 million units in 2010 to 147.2 million units in 2015 (Infinite Research). What’s more, comprehensive 3G and the proliferation of quality wi-fi is improving the user experience – providing better connectivity than ever before. The result is a golden opportunity: businesses and brands can tap into a new audience that has grown up with mobile technology and has a day-to-day dependency on it.
However, for businesses and brands looking to harness this opportunity effectively there are issues within mCommerce that must be overcome. Consumers have not yet become accustomed to brands entering the very personal environment that is their mobile phones. Employing the wrong mobile marketing strategy can be very costly to a brand’s reputation in a tough market where consumers rarely allow second chances. mCommerce has nuisances of its own and companies will be required to think differently to any activities conducted around the transactions of purely physical goods.
One of the other obvious challenges is that most websites do not yet translate well to mobile phones – with many users experiencing compatibility problems and poor levels of service and satisfaction, resulting in their custom being taken elsewhere. As companies gradually acclimatise and work to rectify this, they should seek out those platforms, already in existence, that can optimise mobile content and tailor it according to the specific device of each consumer.
Another issue is privacy. A company’s failure to understand the importance of offering an “opt in” option, where the customer grants permission for a business to obtain and utilise their transaction and locational information, will carry repercussions. New privacy legislation in the EU and US could result in companies that have not actively requested permission from the user having to opt consumers out of existing applications they have subscribed to and start from scratch (targeting these consumers to opt in again), which could prove to be very costly.
To overcome these issues organisations need to understand the ethical and legal concerns of interacting with users on their personal devices, as customers will gravitate to those brands and businesses they can trust. Integrity, security and clarity have to be central to a company’s ethos, combined with intelligent, targeted marketing strategies and the right technology to build services and applications better and quicker. If the right strategy is taken, there’s no reason why businesses and brands should not harness the growing consumer base increasingly moving its attention towards mobile devices.Read More »
A pioneering class of computerised contact lenses could soon grant their wearers a social media overlay over their day to day world after they were successfully trialled on rabbits.
Ditching cumbersome smartphones and tablets wearers can simply read text messages and catch up on Facebook updates by opening their eyes.
Dubbbed ‘info-vision’ the system incorporates Wi-Fi enabled lenses via a circular antenna wrapped around the circumference of the lens whilst tiny LED lights embedded in the lens relay information.
Its developer, professor Babak Parviz of the University of Washington, said: “We have got a rudimentary display with one dot. If you had several dots, you could maybe create arrows, to give people directions.”
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Keep St James’ Park as St James’ Park.
Vote Now to send the Newcastle Board a message before we end up playing in Red and White stripes!
We have created a simple Yes or No voting system to gather opinion
Please click HERE to cast your vote.Read More »
Latest client into the growing Armadillo digital roster is Epicurus who provides catering services, catering equipment hire, licensed mobile event bars and event management in Newcastle upon Tyne and the North East of England. Epicurus MD and Exec Chef, Chris Reay felt it was time to have the Epicurus site rebuilt. “Our site needs to reflect who we are, it’s the first contact a lot of potential customers have with us and it has to do us justice. That’s why we started this work with Armadillo. The site they’re building for us is a fresh, clean design with simple navigation to our full range of services, menu choices and staff pages.”
Epicurus is unique in the North East, offering all services in-house. The company has been trading for 13 years with staffing levels rising from 1 to 100, including five full time chefs, a full time event manager, event assistants, admin staff, kitchen porters, drivers and a brigade of waiting, bar staff and freelance chefs..”
Armadillo Client Services Director, Vaughan Di Mascio said “Epicurus are offer a comprehensive range of services and their web presence wasn’t really showing them in a true light. They’re very friendly but completely professional, dependable and with truly exceptional offerings in a variety of market sectors. We’re building them a site that, amongst other things, highlights each area of business speciality alongside some fun stuff and a secure area for staff. We’ll also be handling the Search Engine Optimisation to make sure the site gets seen. One of the freelance photographers we work with is will provide some reportage-style shots of Epicurus staff to help illustrate the site.”
The Epicurus site will go live in November 2011.Read More »
Armadillo has just completed an e-commerce, content-managed website, vehicle wraps, exterior and shop display work for Flame Heating Spares Ltd. Flame is a new business on the Team Valley Trading Estate, covering domestic, commercial and industrial markets for plumbing and heating spares.
Although a new company, the Flame team has over 45 years experience in the trade and are confident that their wealth of knowledge and customer-centered approach will serve them well. Open to the public and trade, the company offers trade accounts that can be easily set-up online. Flame stocks most leading manufacturer’s brands of plumbing and heating equipment and their website offers a full listing with pictures and product codes for easy searches and ordering online.
Flame Heating Spares’ Managing Director John Savage said “We needed a website that would work for public and trade customers, handle accounts, make sales and promote the business in what’s a very competitive environment. The site features special offers, advice and represents our focus on customer service really well. We’re extremely pleased with the work Armadillo has done for us, the website, shop and van are all looking great and they’ve been an excellent team to work with.”
Armadillo Digital Manager, Matt Wade said, “The Flame website is a bespoke build that centers around the ability to search and choose from thousands of available products. We’ve made it as easy as possible for people to find the part they need with industry-standard codes and pictures of products where available. There’s a content management system so Flame can make regular updates and keep their offers and pricing ahead of the game. We integrated a news section and blog as well as linking social media sites to allow Flame to keep people up to date with developments.”
Visit the site here: www.flameheatingspares.comRead More »
Armadillo has appointed Ian Dawson in the position of designer from from Leeds University. Ian said: “I wanted to work in the Newcastle area because it’s such a vibrant and energetic place. I’d heard great things from friends who study here and have always thoroughly enjoyed my visits to the area. There’s always something to see and do.
Ian is from the village of Nafferton in East Yorkshire where he studied through to Sixth Form, including an A-Level in Graphic Design. After gaining his entry requirements, he enrolled at the University of Leeds on their Graphic and Communication Design degree. He also played football for semi-professional team, Bridlington Town AFC.
Armadillo MD Berry Burgess is delighted with Ian’s first month in the Agency. “We’re keen to try and help young designers and developers wherever we can. Ian will be working on a variety of design work from print to digital, producing pages for web builds, brand identity ads, posters and campaigns.”
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“What’s the purpose of my website – is it to please me and my employees or to serve our audience, generate more leads and convert them to customers?” If you have a website for aesthetic reasons, or simply to have a web presence, then it’s all fair and well but I would hope that most of you will subscribe to a more pragmatic proposition.
via John Hornell @TheDrumRead More »
Despite what you might think, it’s not just a case of simply resizing your existing website and fitting it onto a mobile screen. The whole way in which a user interacts with mobile media, from the way in which they browse to the type of information they are looking for, varies massively when using a handheld device.
Mobile websites connect with your target audience, extend your brand reach, integrate with your marketing campaigns and can themselves generate additional advertising revenue. They can provide users with news headlines, multimedia downloads, and much more.
We custom build sites to compliment your existing website and provide your audience an additional touchpoint for your product.
If you wish to discuss creating a mobile friendly site contact us on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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Customers accessing the QR codes for the five products – dessert apples, pears, onions, Maris Piper potatoes and baking potatoes – will be directed to a mobilised website featuring information about the Group’s growers, recipes, nutritional information.
Anyone without smartphones will have the option to text a short code to receive the URL via text, for example text ‘APPLES’ to 83118.
Helen Bridgett, The Co-operative Food head of strategy, insight and planning, said: “Consumers have a growing appetite for knowledge on all things food related and this was an opportunity to provide them with an easy way to access this information.
“Customers want to know what they are buying, where it’s from and how it got here, as well as the health benefits and what they can do with it in the kitchen. QR codes present an opportunity to raise awareness and inform customers about the foods we sell.”Read More »
Domino’s Pizza, one of the world’s most popular pizza chains, continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of establishing an online presence and developing mobile applications after the company announced its biggest day ever for online sales last Saturday, taking over £1 million in orders, with 13% of them made via mobile devices.
That means that on October 8, Domino’s saw £130,000 in orders made via its iPhone, iPad and Android applications but also its mobile website – and that’s just in the UK.
In January, we reported that the company’s iPhone application had helped process over £1 million of orders after its launch in September, a period of around three months. At the time, sales made via its website or iPhone app accounted for 35.8% of UK deliveries, an increase of around 8% from 2009.
The company launched an Android application in May, following with the release of an iPad app in August.
Domino’s chief executive, Chris Moore puts the company’s sales into perspective:
“When we launched online ordering just over a decade ago, it was a huge investment, but one that has continued to pay off, year on year. To put this achievement in context, 12 years ago we took £100,000 in online sales in a year, by 2000 we were taking £1m in a year and now we are taking £1m in a day.”
To go from making £1 million in sales via mobile in three months to the same amount in one day is nothing short of staggering. The company has demonstrated that mobile commerce is something worth investing time and money into, to make it easier for customers to order and pay for their food, wherever they are.
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Is developing a mobile marketing strategy worth the time, effort and investment for companies? Does mobile live up to the hype? How much impact can a killer app make?The Drum caught up with leading agencies in the world of app development and mobile strategy, posing a series of questions to discover just what it is that’s got people talking, and why developing such a strategy might not be just prudent – but actually essential for the future of your brand. Would you say it is now essential that businesses develop their own mobile marketing strategy?
Richard Carter, Digital Director, Bolser
Absolutely, mobile marketing has been around for quite a while and is continuing to see massive growth. We started using SMS marketing over 5 years ago for our clients and the recent development of apps and mobile web is just a continuation of this. No two businesses are alike, nor are customers. The sooner you start developing a strategy, the sooner you can begin to learn what works for customers. It lets you gain intelligence and means you’re able to develop and adapt your mobile approach. The days where businesses build an app because they simply wanted one or just to raise brand awareness are long gone, the app stores are just too overcrowded. Now an app needs to provide real value to customers and be of ongoing use otherwise it’s a waste of time and money.
Gemma Oversby, Head of Business Development, Storm ID
Mobile adoption is happening at such a furious pace that many, many businesses (and other organisations) will be caught with their trousers down. Do nothing and business owners will find their existing online offering increasingly inadequate; their marketing campaigns increasingly ineffective; and eventually the value of their brand and services eroded.If you are a business owner reading this and wondering whether you should think about a mobile marketing strategy ‘at some point’ please stop reading, have a stern chat to yourself in a private room, get yourself a mobile marketing strategy and start executing it!
The B2B Market Snapshot survey found that 40% of respondents plan to use online video as a tool to increase brand awareness this year.
Chris Probert, IAB’s project manager, said: “The IAB’s B2B Market Snapshot for 2011 shows us that the B2B sector is continuing its shift online with nearly two-thirds of respondents reporting increased digital marketing budgets.
“As 9 in 10 also confirmed to us they are using digital to strengthen their brands online, our B2B council has released an online video toolkit to help B2B marketers get the most out of the channel. With 90% of internet traffic expected to be taken up by online video in 2013, now is the opportune time for B2B marketers to embrace video content within their digital marketing strategies.”
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The Bank of England is to introduce a new £50 banknote on November 2, featuring a design that pairs up the inventor James Watt with entrepreneur Matthew Boulton on the reverse.
It is the first note to incorporate two men together and the first to be signed by Chris Salmon, the Bank’s new chief cashier.
In the background an image of Watt’s Whitbread Steam engine is displayed alongside a depiction of Boulton’s Soho Manufactory.
The Houblon note will eventually be withdrawn. The Bank will announce a withdrawal date in due course.
The design has seldom changed since it was first introduced in 1725. A white £50 was in use for more than 200 years until 1943.
There are currently more than 210 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £10.5bn. That is 84% higher than 7 years ago.
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Figures for New Look’s m-commerce site, launched this April, have been released, showing an increase in revenue of over 45%.
The m-commerce site, was created to reduce the user journey from enquiry to product to check-out, developing a ‘One Click’ purchase option for registered users. Non registered shoppers are also able to browse the site and make one-off purchases.
Matt Cockett, commercial director, said: “The past twelve months have seen mCommerce move to being a central strategy for all major retailers. We are particularly proud of the design and build for New Look as it perfectly demonstrates how far we can push the possibilities of the mobile internet, transactions, and social media and also work with the native device features, like mapping and location, to deliver an amazing user experience and deep user engagement.”
The figures released today also showed that year on year there has been an increase in mobile sales of over 500%, plus an increase in site visits by over 800%.
Dom McBrien, multi-channel director at New Look, said: “We’ve seen some incredible results since going live with our mobile internet site in April, totally exceeding initial KPI’s. Plus we have more plans in place over the coming months to ensure we are providing an outstanding multi-channel customer experience.
“We’ve utilised the latest technology to create a feature-rich mobile shopping experience that offers our customers an easy and convenient way to shop whenever they choose. Features such as the fast ‘One Click’ purchasing and engaging browse, zoom and view functionality deliver a seamless and rewarding user experience, which since launch has seen the mobile conversion rate double.”
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The company pipped computer giant Apple to the top spot for a second year running, according to the annual CoolBrands survey. The carmaker shot to fame due to its association with James Bond films, first appearing in Goldfinger in 1964.
The league tables are based on the opinions of marketing experts, business people, and thousands of consumers. The survey found that women were just as impressed with technology brands as men, with 47% voting Apple their most popular tech brand while 44% voted for BlackBerry.
But women also voted for shoe label Jimmy Choo and Dom Perignon champagne. The only cool cultural venue in the top 20 was London’s Tate Modern gallery, coming in at number 19.
Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, said: “Cool is subjective and personal. But being identified as a Cool Brand by the British public and a panel of influential opinion formers implies it is a brand that most Brits wish to own.
“Votes are based on a wide criteria of factors but these brands are clearly delivering cool in the eyes of consumers and influencers alike,” he said.
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I’ve always hated the notion of ratings based on five stars. It makes no sense. Sure, something that sucks is “1 star” and something awesome is “5 stars”, but what determines a “2 star” rating? What about a “4 stars”? It’s totally arbitrary. Why not just say something is “bad”, “okay”, “good”, or “great”? Or better yet, why not say nothing unless something is great? That’s the basic idea behind Stamped, a new startup currently in stealth mode.
The startup has deep Google ties — 2 of the 3 co-founders are ex-Google, while 4 of the 7 total team members are — but it’s iPhone-only for now. They’re taking the Instagram-approach to launching in that regard. And they’re taking cues from Instagram in another key regard: simplicity.
“It can be hard to figure out what a 3-star rating from 70 strangers means. We want to introduce simplicity back into the system by reducing it all down to one question: does it deserve your friend’s stamp of approval?,” co-founders and CEO Robby Stein says. ”Every decision we’ve made has been designed to make the act of stamping as fast and simple as possible,” he continues.
“We’re obsessively focused on building a social platform designed for quality over quantity. There is so much value in discovering great things through your friends and too much noise on current platforms to do it easily. We want to change that.”
When it launches, Stamped will be entering an already-crowded space around mobile-based ratings. This reminds me of Instagram launching a year ago just as a plethora of mobile photo startups were launching. Simplicity and speed won the day. Stamped is hoping it plays out the same way for them.
Stein notes that he’s been obsessing over this idea for a few years, but started on it in earnest in April when he left Google (where he worked on Gmail and more recently, Ad Exchange). ”I saw that people loved to talk about the things they liked best over coffee, emails, texts, or even massive Google spreadsheets (I swear my friend has one). I noticed this is information people are naturally drawn to sharing, so I started with building a prototype that made this easier and more efficient,” he says.
There are a few other unique layers to the app, to avoid what the team calls “data diarrhea”. More on that when the app is ready to launch.
Look for Stamped to launch in the next few weeks. For now, you can sign up to learn more on their site.
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Great article by Jason Fried about Creativity, published in Inc Magazine recently. Enjoy.
Creativity can come out of nowhere. The trick is to sense it—and ride it to the end.A few weeks ago, I was on fire. I was working on some designs for a prototype of a new software product, and the ideas were flowing as they hadn’t in months. Every day, I felt as if I were accomplishing two or three days’ worth of work. I was in the zone, and it felt fantastic.
It lasted about three weeks. And then I found myself back at my old pace. Instead of being superproductive, I was sort-of productive. Some days, I felt as if I barely accomplished anything.
So what was wrong? Nothing at all.I believe it’s perfectly fine to spend some of your time, maybe even a lot of your time, not firing on all cylinders. Just like full employment isn’t necessarily good for an economy, full capacity isn’t always great for your mind.This will be anathema to the multitudes who worship at the altars of Motivation and its close relation, Productivity. Indeed, when I meet with ambitious young entrepreneurs, I am invariably asked, “How can I get more done in fewer hours? What can I do to jump-start my creativity? How can I keep my edge?”
Here are the three answers I can offer:Read More »
It was a great night at Irvins on Tuesday at the North Tyneside Business Forum network event opened by the Mayor of North Tyneside Linda Arkley. Over a hundred businesses turned up to the night and were treat to a powerful insight into networking by North East network queen Caroline Theobald from the Bridge Club. The event highlighted the new website designed by Armadillo Creative for the North Tyneside Business Forum, which was built to encourage online communication and interaction between registered members.
(pic: Berry Burgess, Armadillo Creative & Caroline Theobald, Bridge Club)Read More »
Too few retailers have a solid mobile presence today, however, 41% plan to have a transactional mobile site or application in place within the next year, according to the results from a new research partnership between the Association for Interactive Media and Entertainment (AIME), the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG). The study found that while mobile commerce is still very much at the consideration stage, the majority of retailers surveyed expect mobile commerce to be part of their main strategy within the next 12 months.eDigital Research, commissioned by AIME, the IAB and the IMRG surveyed 140 marketing professionals from the retail, advertising and mobile service provider sectors in the UK to understand attitudes, behaviours and perceived challenges to mobile commerce. Over half (59%) of the senior-level representatives from UK retail brands that took part expected their mobile revenues to increase over the next 12 months, and 94% saw it as a real opportunity for their business.The research highlighted the need for retailers to move faster to keep with the consumers already seeking out retail websites via their mobile phones. Each month in the UK, a staggering 4.2 million consumers are visiting retailers’ websites using the mobile internet (GSMA and comScore, 2010).Read More »
Today is the age of the Internet. The Internet revolution has taken the world by storm. The number of business opportunities on the net is mind boggling. Millions of people are successfully making money online just with ideas and concepts. Of course, there are some who are highly successful and others who are not so fortunate. The competition is stiff and therefore you need a potent and powerful idea of how to go about online business in order to stand out. Succeeding in network marketing is definitely possible if you know exactly how to go about it. Network marketing is the ideal and genuine answer for anyone who is looking to earn extra income from homeRead More »
Twitter is a powerful platform for websites to share their content, and drive traffic and engagement. However, people have struggled to accurately measure the amount of traffic Twitter is sending to their websites, in part because web analytics software hasn’t evolved as quickly as online sharing and social signals.
Twitter announced ‘Twitter Web Analytics’ – a tool that helps website owners understand how much traffic they receive from Twitter and the effectiveness of Twitter integrations on their sites.
The Analytics dashboard sports four navigation tabs – Traffic, Tweets, Tweet Button, Content. While the ‘Traffic’ tab mirrors all the tweets that mention the content of the website against the number of clicks they’ve got, the ‘tweets’ apart from the above information also includes tweets sent using the ‘Tweet Button’. The ‘Tweet Button’ tab gives the user an idea of the number of clicks the tweet option on the site gets, and the ‘Content’ tab lists down all the popular content.
The service will begin this week for a small pilot group and will expand to all Web site owners in the next few weeks.
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IT’S becoming more and more likely that your TV’s going to be asked to do more work in future. While everyone used to be happy with just pictures, sound and a “red button” that launched a page in more time than it took to bake a cake, we’re now demanding the ability to download on-demand video, access services such as LoveFilm and connect to the internet for a variety of other services.“On-demand video has taken off a lot recently”, said Matt Wade, the digital manager of North Shields creative agency Armadillo.“It takes TV down a slightly different route, where people are using them for things that would previously require them to boot up their computer.”The trend toward “Smart TV” has already seen Apple enter the fray with the Apple TV service, while Google TV is coming to the UK early next year. LG, Philips and Sharp have already agreed on common specifications for their TV apps, as TV makers look to establish a market similar to that of smartphones. According to DisplaySearch, more than a quarter of flat panel TVs shipped this year will be connectable to the internet, with that figure expected to rise to 47% by 2015. Armadillo already has experience of working on this platform, thanks to its link-up with Gateshead’s downloadable workout company HealthClubTV. HeathClubTV’s Chris Cooke brought in Armadillo to help with the platform, which allows users to store videos on an account which can be accessed from a variety of devices. And when the company signed a deal to allow the service to be available on Samsung Smart TVs, Armadillo set about creating the pre-installed app to allow this to happen.Read More »
While social media gets much of the attention of the media, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to engage your customer base. It has low costs and high ROI when done correctly, and offers one of the best opportunities to build a relationship.Unfortunately, when many business owners think of email marketing, they immediately think of blasting spam and the multitudes of marketing messages clogging our inbox. When done correctly, email marketing instead becomes part of a larger effort to engage and build a relationship with a customer while moving them through the sales process. Regular communication from you keeps you relevant and part of the conversation.
Building Your List
Customers will often not buy at first contact, so it becomes crucial to capture their contact information and their permission for you to keep in touch. Often the customer will need an incentive to give up their email address, and this can be anything that engages, informs, or entertains (and preferably furthers your sale).Also, with such a proliferation of spam, you’re going to want to follow all applicable regulations for collecting emails, and follow best practices such as getting a double opt-in (the customer signs up, but then must click a link in a confirmation email to complete the opt-in).Read More »
Yes geeks, the day has arrived, apparently Nike decided to launch what may be said to be one of the most anticipated accessories for all the nerds and geeks around the world… NIKE MAG! They are a replicate of the original pair of Nike Air Mag’s Marty McFly wore in the Back To The Future movie, including the LED lights! This is a chance for you to own a piece of history, you will also be helping because all net proceeds from the auction sales of the 2011 Nike Mag, go directly to “The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson´s Research”. The Nike Mag is limited to 150 pairs, during 10 days they will be auctioned on ebay, good luck!Read More »
Online advocacy is becoming more complicated with each passing day. People are using a huge variety of communication channels. Apart from basic channels like emails, use of online social networks, instant messaging and SMS via cell phones is commonly used for advertising and promoting businesses these days.There are plenty of online communities who are indulged in advocacy. Advocacy can be of many types. However, brand advocacy through online communities has really increased in the past few years. Online communities inform people and educate them about the brand before asking them to join the community. Advocacy organisations try and spread as much awareness as they can about the concerned brand. They use all the digital channels possible for this task. The awareness is usually spread in the form of an article or even through a video.Read More »
Armadillo has been appointed by Caddy Charger to create the web and brand identity for the launch of a revolutionary new product. Caddy Charger is a rechargeable battery unit for motorised golf trolleys which allows you to recharge your battery in your car without draining your vehicle battery and also when your engine isn’t running. The new technology has been developed in conjunction with Newcastle University and will be launched into the European market later this year.
Armadillo are creating a brand identity for Caddy Charger, along with its parent company Yanussi, as well as developing packaging, a sales brochure and e-commerce website, amongst launch material and associated advertising. The work will communicate the innovative and unique qualities of the product, along with its great value.
Caddy Charger MD, David Bainbridge said of his decision to work with Armadillo “I’m delighted to have Caddy Charger’s launch in the hands of such an enthusiastic and skilled team. Armadillo get what we’re about and I’ve been really impressed with the way the team work and the suggestions they’ve made to get us to market.”
Armadillo’s Managing Director, Berry Burgess was equally positive in saying “It’s excellent that a locally-developed product with genuine worldwide appeal is about to hit the marketplace. Armadillo feel that we can add a lot to the project, both in terms of design and build of the brand and web and also the high impact marketing campaign that’s required to get any new item off the ground successfully.Read More »
While visiting the Barbour shop in South Shields last week notice this. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the clothing line in the “International” range dedicated to motorcycling, Barbour launched a limited edition named Barbour Steve McQueen. Throughout his life, actor Steve McQueen lived and raced with his inseparable Barbour jacket. The Steve McQueen Barbour Collection presents a unique range of jackets, shirts, t-shirts and knitwear inspired by photos of the late actor.Read More »
Looks like consumers have already ditched the scissors. New research shows that digital coupons are outpacing newspaper printed coupons 10 to 1. And, they’re being used by over 46 millions in the USA . The top category of coupons used for online purchases? Women’s shoes and apparel of course.Restaurant chains are the most popular type of coupons and vouchers printed or downloaded via the internet (57 per cent), followed by supermarket food shopping (29%). Days out also featured heavily in people’s responses, including theme parks and the cinema. However, mobile coupons are still in their infancy, with three per cent of mobile-owning households having downloaded a coupon or voucher from a mobile phone in the last 12 months.Twenty-two per cent of consumers yet to do so said they would be ‘willing’ or ‘very willing’ to download a mobile coupon. Most of the coupons and vouchers downloaded from a mobile phone were for the cinema (47%) closely followed by restaurant chains (40 %) and supermarket shopping (18 %).Read More »
Nothing like being social, and you can very easily using these free sets of vector icons.
This set includes 18 high-quality social icons in vector format. This icon pack is created by Oindrila Mukherjee and is only available here on Vectortuts+. Download this set of free vector icons today.Read More »
There are MANY different ways to improve a website, but based on sheer percentage improvement measured against time to implement, here are 5 improvements you could make in an hour or less:
1. Make sure every page on your website has a call to action. Effective calls to action are valuable, easy to use, prominent, and action oriented. If you use a ‘Submit’ button, ditch the text and replace it by finishing this sentence “I want to…” As an example, ‘Save 15% on Vitamins.’
2. Include your address and phone number on every page. This will help with local SEO, and many customers want to contact you by phone. Don’t hide this key information. You can even include it in your title, which will make it appear in search results.Read More »
In an age where products and services are being bought more than they’re being sold, some experts claim that brand is no longer relevant. Their position is that your brand is equal parts the quality of your product or service and the way you treat your customers.While those things are important, your brand image (especially in the absence of selling) becomes a way to sell. Most importantly, your brand image becomes a way to differentiate your product or service from all your competitors.
The power of your brand increases as your focus narrows.
Your brand must not try to appeal to everybody, but to be the BEST at one specific thing. You can’t tell customers that you are the best at everything, or they simply won’t believe you. Harley-Davidson has an incredible brand when it comes to motorcycles, but when they tried to extend their brand with Harley-Davidson brand wine coolers (a true story), they only confused customers and diluted the power of their brand. The fastest path to killing a brand is to put its name on everything.Read More »
The research and development departments of North American Honda unveiled three concept bikes that show that the VT 1300 range can be used as a basis for Americans to create new custom bikes. The “Slammer” is sleek and incorporates a fully adjustable suspension, with in a fork-mounted front fairing which carries the same sharp lines as the stock tank, plus navigation system NAV/Multimedia sound system with 500 watts. The 2011 Honda Stateline Slammer Bagger Concept was designed by Erik Dunshee. Stuff to drool over!
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Social entrepreneurship requires you to make a lot of marketing effort in order to generate demand and improve awareness just as any other venture. In order to market a social organization, you often require innovation and creativity as standard marketing techniques are not very effective. Constraints faced by social non-profit organizations include manpower and money. Social entrepreneurship ventures usually are extremely tight on their budget, as their entire operations depend on donations. Especially for marketing purposes, which are considered to be an unnecessary overhead expense, the fund that can be allocated is very limited. It is often also very difficult to find any data with the market research firms related to your niche.Read More »
1. Don’t gaze down. Never look away from your audience. In the outside world you may multitask and look at your Blackberry while ordering a latte, but never lose eye contact with those who have come to hear you speak. Eye contact helps you connect to people and enhance feelings of trustworthiness and likeability.
2. Don’t clasp your hands. Fidgeting with your hands is distracting. Don’t clap, knuckle crunch, or cuticle pick. Unless you are pointing to something in your presentation or making a big movement, keep your hands by your side.
3. Don’t dance. When you use your arms, gesture from the shoulder—not your elbow—to avoid looking like you are doing the chicken dance.Read More »
Wouldn´t it be great if your ideas began as sketches on paper, and automatically became vector graphics?. Inkling is a Wacom pen that has a small receiver device that you attach to any paper or sketchbook, together they capture every stroke of your work of art. You can then convert your design to digital via USB, it then becomes a vector drawing! you can now edit your drawing in any image editing software, how awesome is that?Read More »
Who said the famous clown unicycle would never become a product of cutting-edge technology? The Ryno is an electric vehicle and has a special balancing system, which does not let the driver fall. According to Ryno Motors, it is also something quite safe to use. Still in testing phase, the bike reaches a maximum of 25mph and will run for 50miles on one battery charge. Awesome.Read More »
Your brand lets people know who you are and what you do, but the way we interact with brands in changing in the face of social media. Social media makes it impossible to pass off a mediocre product with even the best marketing efforts. People are connected to each other worldwide, and they’re talking. They’re discussing, tweeting, and reviewing. In the beginning, branding was used by marketers looking to differentiate relatively similar commodity products. By linking our emotions to products through marketing, brands were born. We had feelings about brands and connections to them, and it caused us to buy one product over another. But then along came the internet, and with it the ability to connect with the consumer masses. Suddenly we gained the ability to review and rate not just products, but businesses as well. And we’ve learned to rely on the experiences of others as social proof.Read More »
‘Networking in Action’ is the key theme of a business event aimed at the business community of North Tyneside to be held on Tuesday 13th September 6.pm at Irvins Brasserie.Hosted by the North Tyneside Business Forum, the event will explore how networking can improve and increase the potential of any size of business. ‘Networking in Action’ runs from 6pm – 9pm and is free to attend for any North Tyneside-based businesses.
The key speaker Caroline Theobald is one of the region’s most high profile networking advocates and she will be discussing her ongoing work with the Bridge Club, her past work with the Entrepreneurs Forum and how members can gain more from the opportunities the Forum presents to its members.
After only one year in existence the North Tyneside Business Forum has evolved into a major force in the borough for support and mentoring for local business of all sizes.
As part of its ongoing mission they have developed an innovative website which incorporates services such as inter-trading, discussion platforms and mentoring, all of which are free to access for Forum Members. The new website will become the hub of the forums activities; it will act as an arena for all businesses to have a voice in the borough, offering advice sharing, information and opinions driven by business for businesses.
Berry Burgess is a Member of the Business Forum and his company Armadillo Creative has been instrumental in setting up the new website. Berry said, “Business success depends on having vibrant networks and becoming known across the business community. This is the first opportunity ever for companies based in North Tyneside to get their heads together to create a living, dynamic and supportive business community. While much of this can be carried out online through the Forum’s new website, it’s always nice to get together to meet on a more social basis, so I’m looking forward to the Networking Event to make even more useful contacts”
To register to attend this event please visit http://www.northtynesidebusinessforum.co.uk/events/view/?id=1Read More »
Armadillo have picked up numerous account gains last month including Flame Heating. Based on the Team Valley in Gateshead, Flame Heating Spares Ltd is a one-stop-shop for all plumbing and heating supplies. Open to the public and trade, they carry a wide range of commercial, domestic and industrial spares from leading manufacturers. The account will include web, digital media, brand, livery, shop and exterior signage.
John Savage, Flame’s Managing Director said “Business is going really well and we’re delighted with the work we’ve done with Armadillo. Alongside some great signage, the new website and social media that’s being developed will give us the support we need to move things to the next level.”
Armadillo’s Client Services Director, Vaughan Di Mascio agreed, “Working with Flame is a pleasure, they have a really enthusiastic approach and I’m sure they’ll do very well. They have tens of thousands of products that we’ll be allowing easy search of on the E-commerce website. Both trade and retail options will be available on the site alongside a blog, news features and social networking links
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North Shields based creative agency Armadillo, is developing an application to be preinstalled on Samsung Smart TVs. HealthClubTV is a web-based exercise business that promises to let you ‘take the gym with you, providing you with instant, easy access to all your essential workouts, anytime, anywhere.’ The Application development will bring the essential elements of this service direct to Samsung Smart TV users across Europe, utilising the latest tv and App technologies.
The development process involves a great deal of liaison with Samsung to meet their specification and to adapt the current HealthClubTV operation to this new, evolving platform. The App is being designed to give Samsung users the best user experience possible as they engage with HealthClubTV for the first time. Matt Wade, Armadillo’s Digital Manager said “There are lots of Apps on the Samsung platform and it’s a rapidly developing area; it’s crucial that the HealthClubTV App stands out in the crowd and meets the essential functionality that Samsung Customers expect.”
HealthClubTV’s Managing Director, Chris Cooke commented, “This is a critical stage of development for HealthClubTV. We’re negotiating a lot of new contracts and have some very exciting developments in the pipeline. Getting the Samsung App up and running, within budget and on schedule is an important first step and Armadillo have got it spot on.”
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Whipping Post ”Arizona Arena Guitar Case” looks straight out of a western movie. This cool case is 100% Full Grain Leather and Hand sewn with marine grade threading, it features 1″ of high density foam padding and a strap that can be used as a backpack or shoulder strap.
With all the numerous ways of reading and learning available to the internet savvy businessman, Twitter seems like the perfect place to get a quick injection of information. What would you consider better; a 100 page ebook or a 140 character tweet, I know what’s easier for me when I’m sat waiting to go into a meeting or for that secretary to come back with my coffee.
Below we have compiled a list of some of the best blogs and Twitter accounts for any businessman. If you have the time, read a blog, if you don’t, Twitter it is.
QuickSprout – Twitter: @NeilPatel
Named one of the top influencers on the web by the Wall Street Journal. Neil Patel uses his blog and Twitter account to divulge his experience and views on all things business.
Containing in-depth interviews from some of the biggest business names out there, Andrew Warner’s ‘Mixergy’ is a collaboration of his business experiences and the views of some of the most well know business names going today,Read More »
JQuery is an open source framework allowing anyone to develop and share plugins they have created. This has caused the plugin marketplace to become a wash with underdeveloped buggy plugins. Our aim here was to find some of the best jQuery plugins lesser known to designers and website managers.
Below is a list we have compiled for 10 of the best jQuery plugins you should really know about but probably don’t.Read More »
A Brand is the face of the company and is an intangible asset. Stronger brands are responsible for the growth of company which result in higher total returns to shareholders. Companies can earn higher returns by developing their brand power and focusing on expanding and enhancing their brand promise .Branding strategies need to be aligned in a manner that it results in overall brand effectiveness along with providing profitability to the company and shareholders. Integrated strategies that aim at enhancing the brand power along with delivering brand promise and customer satisfaction are necessary in order to enhance profitability and maximise revenue.Read More »
OK, we all know that in the ideal world we would want to see our business at the top of page one in Google. The reality is anywhere on the first page is a success, unless of course you have an Ad words campaign going on. Search Engine ranking is vital to any SME’s looking to attract new customers, As we all know, if a business doesn’t appear on the first three pages of search results, the chances of customers actually finding you are remote.
You can have a well designed website, but if it is not optimized to show up on search engine results, it won’t really matter. SEO makes it so that the content on your site is constructed in such a way that search engines can easily discern what is relevant on it and thus index it properly and make it show up on relevant searches. Here is the first and most important step you get started on that climb up the first page. The dreaded…. keyword
So what’s a keyword? Well keywords and phrases strategically placed and crafted into your website can significantly boost your ratings in search engine results. Search engines look primarily at the first paragraph when conducting a search, so it’s a very good idea to include the main keyword in the first paragraph of an article or content page. Adding keywords to the site’s content is a must. By strategically placing and weaving keywords throughout your content, the search engine spidering process will recognise these words and index your site accordingly. Keyword density is that ratio of keywords to copy on the page; search engines are looking for keyword density of between 2% and 5%. It is just as important to understand that here should be no over-stuffing of keywords in a web page. Repeating of keywords too often in a page can artificially boost your search engine rankings as well as cause attempt to spammingRead More »
According to a report by Manchester-based Tecmark, mobile web traffic in the UK is growing at an astonishing rate. The report (available for download as a PDF: Mobile and UK Web Traffic) was based on data analysis of a number of websites in various areas, and it included “between 1.5 million and 2.3 million web visits”. When the team first carried out this kind of analysis in late 2009, it found 0.02 per cent of UK traffic was from mobile devices; as of July 2011, mobile traffic accounted for 12.59 per cent.
The report breaks down traffic by platform and, in the case of iOS, by device. The findings show Android and iPad traffic slowly growing, BlackBerry in decline and iPhone traffic — perhaps surprisingly, given media claims that Android smartphones are giving Apple’s device a serious kicking — sharply rising since October 2010.
Tecmark predicts that mobile traffic will be up to 15 per cent by 2012, and it also notes that iOS devices already account for nearly ten per cent of UK web traffic, with the iPhone alone taking a 7.3 per cent share. Of course, the report only covers a subsection of sites in the UK and every site’s traffic is unique; but mobile devices aren’t going anywhere, and Tecmark’s report is another reminder for web designers and developers to decide on a mobile strategy if they haven’t already.
via .net Magazine
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1. Don’t gaze down. Never look away from your audience. In the outside world you may multitask and look at your Blackberry while ordering a latte, but never lose eye contact with those who have come to hear you speak. Eye contact helps you connect to people and enhance feelings of trustworthiness and likeability.
2. Don’t clasp your hands. Fidgeting with your hands is distracting. Don’t clap, knuckle crunch, or cuticle pick. Unless you are pointing to something in your presentation or making a big movement, keep your hands by your side.
3. Don’t dance. When you use your arms, gesture from the shoulder—not your elbow—to avoid looking like you are doing the chicken dance.Read More »
Forget paper, ebooks are the thing of the future . Sure, you might have to give away your email address for a few of these, but they’re all so worth it!
Your lunch hour can drag on a bit when your usual blogs are full of the latest Twitter trends and ‘How Google Plus is Reinventing Social Media’. Ebooks are a great way to gain some originality and get some perspective on the business advice you get form the internet. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best business based ebooks with aim of providing you with an insight where your company is missing out.
- Rich Schefren – The attention Age Doctrine Part 2
- Dave Navarro – 7 Steps to Networking Your Way to A-Listers Fast
- Jonathan Fields – The Firefly Manifesto
- Chris Guillebeau – A Brief Guide to World Domination
- Jonathan Mead – The Zero Hour Workweek
- Seth Godin – 7 Ways to Reinvent Yourself
- Michael Martine – How to Start a Business Blog
- Daniel Scocco – Make Money Blogging
Here are some facts and figures of interest to Internet marketers:
Twitter has 105,779,710 (just under 106 million) users
Twitter is growing by 300,000 users per day
Twitter gets 180 million unique visitors per day
75 % of Twitter’s traffic is outside Twitter.com i.e. one out of four Twitter users accesses Twitter via a third party Twitter client
Twitter users post 55 million tweets per day
73% of marketers plan on increasing their Twitter activity this year (SocialMediaExaminer).
60% of all tweets come from third-party apps
It is estimated that some 13% of all tweets originate from the TweetDeck.
Twitter earned $45 Million in ad revenue in 2010.
Twitter’s search engine gets 600 million search queries per day and are expected to rise to 1 billion per day by May 2010Read More »
The BBC will use pictures published on social network sites without rights holders’ consent “where there is a strong public interest” and if there are time constraints on a major story, the corporation has said.BBC social media editor Chris Hamilton outlined the policy after a BBC staff member expressed the wrong views on the use of copyrighted works in response to a viewer complaint. The complaint detailed concerns at the way the BBC credited pictures as being “from Twitter” and said the BBC should “give proper credit to photographers”.”In terms of permission and attribution, we make every effort to contact people who’ve taken photos we want to use in our coverage and ask for their permission before doing so,” Hamilton said in a BBC blog.
The use of mobile has risen significantly the past few years, so why not have everything you need on the go? Here’s our list of 25 handy business-related iPhone apps (in no particular order).
A quick and easy replacement for the traditional written mileage counter, this tool also allows you to calculate your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Handy for small business owners and anyone else who needs to report mileage.
2. Budget Tracker
This tool allows you to set a budget, then enter your expenditures into your iPhone to track how close you are to spending it all.
3. 43 Actions
The ultimate action list, this app allows you to organize actions, add new ones via email or Twitter, check off finished actions, get agendas emailed to you on a regular basis, and more.
A list of countries is available for you to instantly calculate VAT in a variety of countries. Handy for the frequent business traveler.
Keep an eye on a variety of exchange rates, each equipped with a calculator that goes between your currency and the foreign one.
6. Attendance Countdown
Tracks your working hours easily and quickly. Tap on the time to specify your arrival. The app counts down how many working hours you have left, and allows you to email times for your own records or for your boss.
7. Feed Reader
This RSS feed reader comes equipped with autoscrolling to make getting your daily information fix easily and quickly.
Counts down to a date and time; for example, a birthday. Specify a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual countdown message. When the time comes, an alert goes off. Syncs with Google Calendar.
Allows you to view webcams of your choice directly on your iPhone. Handy for traffic and weather info.
Instant customer information on Salesforce.com’s mobile platform. What more could you ask for?Read More »
According to the Daily Mail research shows that One in four young people are ‘bored’ with social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter, according to researchers. Some 24 per cent of 18 to 29-year-olds admit to using social media increasingly less than when they first signed up, while 31 per cent said the fun of social media is wearing off. But a survey by technology research firm Gartner also found that 37 per cent of respondents claim to be using social networks more.
Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, said: ‘The trend shows some social media fatigue among early adopters, and the fact that 31 per cent of younger consumers indicated that they were getting bored with their social network is a situation that social media providers should monitor, as they will need to innovate and diversify to keep consumer attention.’Gartner surveyed 6,295 people, between the ages of 13 and 74, in 11 developed and developing countries in December 2010 and January 2011.
source: Daily MailRead More »
Last night Channel 4 ‘s Concrete Circus brought together the world’s hottest names in urban sports with viral film-makers and Mike Christie, the director of extreme sport documentary Jump London, to capture unique portraits of the urban sports scene. Absolutely spellbinding stuff culminating in 4 short films. My favourite was Industrial Revolutions by Stu Thompson featuring the amazing skills of Danny Macaskill.Read More »
Here at Armadillo we’ve been playing with QR codes for a while now. They’ve actually been around since the 1990′s, but they are now becoming more recognisable, more common if you like.
What are they?
A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR readers, smartphones and, to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL or other data.
Most smartphones now have ‘downloadable apps’ to enable the code to be read by pointing the phone at the code. Once the code is read, you will be taken directly to the content.
They can be used for a wide variety reasons, but essentially they are being used to encourage customers to interact with a specific product, brand or service.
The ‘traditional’ media seem to have embraced them recently, they have become common place on things like:
• Shop windows
• Direct mail
• Product labels
• Business cards
QR codes are becoming more recognisable, more common, and awareness is certain to grow. We’ve produced an example below. Give it a try, you might like it.Read More »
What marketing tool can’t small businesses live without? Here’s a hint: It’s not Facebook (or any other recent innovation). It’s old-fashioned word of mouth, according to a new report.
Half of respondents in a survey by insurance provider Hiscox said word of mouth was a “must.” More than half of the 304 businesses polled said they used social media, but just 12 percent called it a must-have even though, as eMarketer points out, the goal of most social media marketing is to create word-of-mouth. Fourteen percent of small businesses admitted they didn’t know enough about social media to use it effectively.
The bigger the company, the more likely it was to use social media for business. While 53 percent of businesses with one to 249 employees had adopted social media, 62 percent of businesses with 50 to 249 employees were using it.The most effective medium: Facebook, cited by 28 percent of respondents. It was followed by LinkedIn (18 percent), company blogging (8 percent), and YouTube (6 percent).
A separate report last month showed that Facebook, the most visited site on the Internet, is also among the most hated. And according to Inside Facebook, more than five percent of users, or some six million people, abandoned the site in May.
The Hiscox survey didn’t mention Twitter, which according to research last year is just as well known as Facebook, and may be even more helpful for marketing. More than half of Twitter users surveyed said they follow brands on the platform, and this group is three times more likely to follow a brand on Twitter than they are to follow a brand on Facebook or any other social network. When asked “Do you follow/friend any brands or companies on social networks” 51 percent said they follow on Twitter, compared to just 16 percent on other social networks.
Source: http://www.inc.com/news/articles/201108/small-businesses-dont-consider-social-media-crucial.htmlRead More »
THE EVOLUTION OF NOW is our latest follow up venture to our popular animated video ‘An Ever Changing World’ that had over 57,000 views on YouTube. It’s a story about the development of technology and online marketing, and it’s effects on social perception of the ‘digital age’, looking at the technological and social changes that have happened in recent years. The way each change affects the way we interact with each other and the world in which we live. Take a few minutes to watch it, we hope you like it. ( Oh, and turn the volume up!)
If you would like a digital video for corporate or viral use, contact Armadillo Creative on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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Today, it is very common to say, – “Things have become extremely easy with the advent of technology. Technology is actually growing at a tremendous rate today. This has made it possible to find out any information in minutes.” “Google” is a major component founded during this growth of technology. It was developed as a ‘search engine’, as a part of the research project of their PhD curriculum by two students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, in the year 1996. This has now grown to form one of the biggest companies, “Google INC.”.The website was named as ‘google’, as a result of the mistake in spelling the word ‘googol’, which means the number ‘1’ followed by hundred zeros. This number signifies the amount of the data this search engine was estimated to handle.Read More »
One of the most powerful and potent methods of making money online is affiliate marketing. By choosing the right product marketed by a merchant who is reputed for paying commissions on time and providing good support for affiliates, you can be sure of earning a six figure income in no time. Affiliate marketing is all about selling another’s product essentially by sending visitors who visit your site to theirs. If the prospect makes a sale, then the merchant gives you a percentage of sale value as your commission.
Click bank is the largest affiliate marketing site in the world. This site offers you various options to choose from as an affiliate. CPC or Cost per Click is where you get paid if your visitor just clicks on the advertisement of the merchant.
Here are a few affiliate marketing tips that can ensure good business and commissions –
- Website – Your website is the one of the most important tools that can bring you business. Ensure you create a powerful and attractive site that has the potential to hold the visitor’s attention.
- Product – Identify products to sell that can be categorized under essentials and not luxury. Use compulsive language to bring prospects to your sales page and make them wanting to buy the product immediately.
- Informative Articles – Articles well researched and written are most important if you want to develop the trust of prospective customers. Conduct a comprehensive research on the right keywords related to your product and write a number of engaging articles around them. You can post articles on free article submissions sites such as Ezine.
- Paid Advertising – Google Adwords allows you to bid for keywords that you think will be popular with your potential customers. This paid advertising option is very useful and may actually help attracting a lot of prospects and lead to sales.
Affiliate marketing is a business that does not require a lot of investment. You just learn how to sell other’s products effectively to earn handsome commissions from the merchants.
If you would like to know more about affiliate marketing contact Berry Burgess on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
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Tennis elbow, writer’s block and even athlete’s foot are problems than can cause considerable discomfort and more than a little embarrassment. Adding to the list of potential health hazards, the widespread use of hand-held devices at work has spawned a new condition.”BlackBerry thumb’’ is the name given to a repetitive strain injury caused by overusing mobile phones to send emails and texts.The condition is so common that one law firm believes employers can expect a series of lawsuits from staff claiming compensation. Karen Jackson, a co-founder of the solicitors Roberts Jackson, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, said: “If no one knows about the risks involved, they won’t sue, but more and more people are becoming aware of health hazards in the workplace.”BlackBerry thumb’ is the overuse of a mobile phone for work purposes and we envisage potential work in this area as more people are using their handsets when they’re on the move, which is leading to repetitive strain injury.
Great stuff courtesy of the Telegraph.
You must have noticed that almost 60% of search results take you to blogs and the other 40%t goes to social networking sites. Therefore, common sense says that these are two of the most potent areas which have to be made use of to market your website online. To establish your brand in this competitive world among millions of brands and products online is a challenging task. It is vital identifying and making use of powerful Internet marketing techniques. You can use social media marketing mediums like squidoo and hubpages and also through article submission and blogs in prominent directories. Companies offering social media marketing services make sure that they interact in various social media platforms like facebook, Flickr,Twitter and LinkedIn, effectively to enhance social media presence for your business.Read More »
North Tyneside Business Forum has appointed Armadillo to build their new website. The site is aimed at local business users and carries a lot of free, helpful news and advice. The site also includes an interactive Members’ Forum, also free to use. The new site is highly professional in tone and appearance, making good use of highlight colour and dynamic monotone imagery. It includes sections for events and news alongside an extensive resources library.
Kevin Robson, Armadillo’s Client Services Manager said, “This is a web design and development project for North Tyneside Council. Being a North Tyneside business ourselves, it was encouraging to win a competitive tender and be involved in something that’s designed to help businesses throughout the area. Local businesses will have the opportunity to visit the new site and browse lots of useful resources and advice. There’s also an opportunity to join the Members’ Forum to discuss any specific issues and get feedback direct from other members.”
Sandra Wilson, North Tyneside Business Forum Manager said, “We were very happy to award the work to Armadillo and they’ve met the brief brilliantly; we’re delighted with the results and I’m confident that the new site will help us engage with the local business community exactly as we’d hoped.”
Visit the site: www.northtynesidebusinessforum.co.uk
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Emotional branding is the relationship between the consumers and the brand which would primarily revolve around the key interest or the passion of the consumer. This type of branding can be done effectively by not only understanding the product or its features but from an in-depth understanding of the behavior of the consumer who use that brand. Focus here is given on the likes and dislikes of the consumer, their needs and concerns along with their other interests and hopes. Emotional branding is helpful in developing an experience for the client that can fulfill his main interest. However, at the initial stages this cannot be linked to the sales or revenue generated. If the consumer’s interest is taken care of then the brand would automatically create a strong bond with its user. This can help in increasing specific areas of brand value.Read More »
Super-fans think they know everything about their favorite stars. They don’t know the half of it. Now they do. Here are facts about your favorite celebs you never knew: and you should be glad.
Today’s Subject: Will Smith
1. Even he finds his kids annoying.
2. His parents were actually very understanding.
3. His butler is DJ Jazzy Jeff.
4. Takes daily applesauce baths.
5. Turns the beat around. Loves to hear percussion.
6. Brings a bag of scallops on long car rides.
7. Wears a toupee.
8. Collects plastic milk tabs.
9. His favorite TV show was Little House on the Prairie. Kidding. It’s Hot In Cleveland.
10. Kisses himself in the mirror every night before bed.
11. Is still in love with his husband Jada after all these years.
12. Has never burped.
13. Ghostwrote the book “How To Cook Everything.”
14. Wants to remake the movie Annie with his daughter Willow as the star. You know, cause the world has been clamoring for it.
15. Hates the “N” word. Nipples.
16. Really hates the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air theme.
17. Sleeps in the bathtub.
18. Eats 11 apples a day.
19. Is really, really sorry for “Getting Jiggy With it.”
20. Wears construction paper underwear.
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Did you know that nearly 16,000 searches are conducted in the UK every minute? Which is a huge opportunity to attract customers, who are already interested in your products or services, to your website. A recent Google study revealed that 88% of UK searches use Google, and only 7% of users go on to the third page of results. This highlights the importance of achieving the highest search engine placements possible. If your business has achieved the number one ranking on page one, 100% of your potential customers will find you, but if you are on page 3 only 7% of your potential customers will find you, dramatically decreasing your exposure.Read More »
About a month ago, talk began to surface that Twitter would soon begin to roll out ads (that is, their Promoted Tweets) in user timelines. The truth is that they’ve been talking about this possibility for a while. And they’ve even tested it with third party partners like Hootsuite. But today comes the true test. Twitter will start placing them on Twitter.com.
To be clear, the sponsored Tweets will only appear in your timeline if you already follow the account that has paid for the spot. If that’s the case, a single Promoted Tweet will appear at (or near) the top of your main timeline when you log in to twitter.com for the first time in any given day. As you get new Tweets, these Promoted Tweets will be pushed down just like regular Tweets. But if you refresh the page, the ad will appear at the top of the timeline again, is our understanding.
These ads will also be clearly marked as “Promoted” with an orange arrow icon below the tweet (this is the way Promoted Tweets and Trends are currently shown on the sidebar or in search). And it will say the full company name of the company that is doing the promotion (just in case their Twitter handle isn’t perfectly clear). These Tweets can also be dismissed from your timeline with one click.Read More »
Here’s where you want a marketer and copywriter on your team. Web copy is marketing, and to ignore that is at your peril. Read through your content as you go through this list:
1. Show me I’m in the right place IMMEDIATELY. Try this test… have someone unfamiliar with your website pull it up and give them 3 seconds to tell you what it’s about. Can they do it? If not, fix it. Web searchers have very short attention spans, and a common marketing flaw is a page that isn’t clear about its purpose
2. Make it all about ME, not about YOU. Visitors will immediately ask themselves “What’s in it for me?” If that isn’t clear, change it.Read More »
Everywhere I go, I hear the two sides of Groupon. I hear friends talking excitedly about the Groupon deals they recently bought, while I hear business owners struggling with whether or not it is a good thing for their business.But even more importantly, I think we are experiencing a new phenomenon in shopping with group sites setting standards for what a good discount is. No longer is 25% a good discount. Group buying deals start at 50% and can go as deep as 70 or 80%.Read More »
As part of this push, it plans to expand Asda Direct, which sells non-food items such as furniture, toys and its George clothing range, to include music,video and games.
The retailer is seeking digital agency support to revamp its online properties and devise a fresh mobile strategy.
Asda’s sole venture into mobile commerce to date is a price-checker iPhone app; it is yet to roll out a transactional app. Rival Tesco has had a transactional app since August 2010.
Asda is also set to boost its marketing team with the addition of a head of user experience, to oversee its ecommerce properties, and a digital marketing manager, to drive its online homes and leisure business.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are witren, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Human Brain Is Too Efficient.Read More »
It may be the world’s most popular social network but thus far Facebook has no official presence on the world’s most popular iPad app.That could be about to change however after technology site TechCrunch reported that one of its bloggershad unearthed code for just such n app hidden inside the iPhone app. Mg Siegler said: “Yes, it’s real, and it’s spectacular… And yes, it really is right there within the code…For the past couple hours, I’ve been using Facebook’s iPad app. Well, I should qualify this. I can’t be sure if this is the version they’ll actually ship, but based on everything I’ve seen, I’m going to assume it’s at least very close to the version they’re going to ship.“In particular, the navigation system is great. Unlike the iPhone app…the Facebook iPad app uses a left-side menu system that can be accessed by the touch of a button or the flick of the iPad screen,” says Siegler. “The app also makes great use of the pop-overs (overlay menus) found in other iPad apps. When you flip the iPad horizontally, the list of your online friends appears and you can chat with them as you do other things on Facebook. The photo-viewer aspect looks great — similar to the iPad’s own native Photos app. Places exists with a nice big map to show you all your friends around you.
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The over 50′s ‘Baby Boomers’ spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Boomers spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Younger boomers (ages 47 to 55) spent an average of 39.3 hours online per month in 2010, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Older boomers (ages 56 to 65) averaged only slightly less, at 36.5 hours. A lot of that time was spent shopping—and buying. Boomers lives are going in many different directions, as empty-nesters, step-parents, grandparents and caregivers. For all of these roles, the internet and digital media are absolutely essential. eMarketer estimates 78.2% of this cohort is online, nearly 60 million adults. Even as their numbers decline, that penetration rate will remain high through 2015. And they control more than $2 trillion in annual spending.
Figures released earlier this year show that one in four of the 39 million people using the internet in the UK are aged over 50. We will see more websites catering for this demographic and brands in this marketplace will be starting to invest more in digital. According to UKOM/Nielsen, older age groups are more likely to visit Twitter than younger age groups. Nielsen has also pointed out that Facebook growth, despite reports earlier this month that its numbers had started to fall, was being driven by the over-50s. Since 2009, the number of 50 to 64 year-olds visiting the site has grown 84%.
Over 50s are more likely to start using social networking sites on their mobiles than their younger counterparts this year, according to new research. Around 400,000 British adults over 50 use social networking sites on the move, a 52% increase on last year, while the number of mobile social networkers under 30 rose by 48%.Over 50s who access blogs, social networking or content sharing sites on their mobiles are also around three times more likely to earn £50,000 or more than other adult mobile-owners. They are also 45% more likely to be educated to degree level.Read More »
Recent figures from a UK mobile phone retailer have found that Apple is losing out to its Android competitors in the smartphone market. The top three most searched handsets in the UK come from competitors HTC (Wildfire, Desire and Desire HD) while the Apple iPhone 4 only came in sixth.
Google’s Android will command nearly half of the worldwide smartphone operating system Market by 2012, according to research. Worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million units in 2011, a 57.7% increase from 2010, according to Gartner. By this time Android will become the most popular operating system worldwide, with 49% of the smartphone market.Sales of OS-powered devices will account for 26% of all mobile handset device sales in 2011, and are expected to exceed one billion by 2015, when they will account for 47% of the total mobile device market.Read More »
The recent recession smacked many businesses in the face and forced them to change lot of ways to they do business. No fat or wastage, lean and keen were the ways forward. Then a new buzz term emerged from the chaos. Best Value…
What is Best Value? Best Value to many it seems, is getting everything they want plus more, as cheap as chips. So began the website wars…
Building and designing websites isn’t easy or cheap; you are paying for the skill and knowledge of companies and individuals who know their trade – but that comes at a price as with most items of quality. It amazes me that there are so many people and companies building websites in the North East. Anyone seemingly can build you a website – or at least tell you that they can! But very few have genuine credentials and the reputation to do this and this is what really bugs me.
Chartered accountants have the CARB as their regulatory body, dentist have the British Dental Association, likewise do many professional organisations like builders, architects, financial advisors etc. But website build can be done by anyone. There is no regulatory body to assess competence or efficiency or to be accredited to. Would you let your neighbour build you a house extension? If the web build falls to bits where does Best Value come into the equation then? Your most important business tool comes under the remit of Best Value like toilet roll and stationery, now that’s just asking for trouble.Read More »
A new suitcase has gone on sale which should ensure you can get across the airport fast enough that you never miss another flight… because it’s got a built-in micro scooter.The bizarre baggage – which consists of a 26 litre capacity case and lean-and-steer scooter – is being marketed at frequent business flyers and people making short commutes to work. Makers claim the hard-shell Samsonite case and micro scooter ensure you arrive at your destination in time and unruffled and add it’s classed as carry-on luggage and can be stowed in an over-head locker.For more relaxed occasions — and those where you don’t want to look like a fool — the Micro Luggage case can be used as a regular wheeled case.Read More »
Retailers are apparently failing to properly utilise their data as they adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach with their email marketing, research has revealed, with only Amazon found to follow up with a tailored post purchase email.
According to research carried out by dotMailer, the majority of retailers in the UK are reducing the accuracy of their communications, with 87% failing to post-sale targeted email marketing.
As a result retail brands are adopting a general approach and are likely to experience lower conversion rates the company has claimed. Meanwhile, the Hitting the Mark report has also found that retailers such as Republic and Amazon are able to achieve a better rate of return on investment through using the marketing channel through using it correctly.
69% of emails were found to have no presonalisation at all, while 87% of messages sent after a purchase, were found to be no different from emails to cold prospects.
The study also found that retailers were apparently making no attempt to cross-sell, up-sell or repeat purchase based on online consumer behaviour, while 13% of emails were customised based on the gender of the recipient.
Only Amazon was found to follow up an online purchase with an email marketing message tailored to that purchase.
Despite this, 93% of retailers use trigger emails following purchase, while 67% kept online purchasers informed of their order’s progress through email.
Tink Taylor, managing director at dotMailer, commented: “By their nature, online sellers should have access to customer data that can allow them to dramatically increase the relevancy and impact of their email marketing communications with customers. In this tough economic climate, marketers who are not actively collecting and using that data to create targeted email messages that drive related sales are really missing a trick.”
[via the Drum]Read More »
The athletes are actively encouraged to “take part in social media and to post, blog and tweet their experiences,” the guidelines from the Olympic Committee (AOC) say, as long as it’s not for commercial purposes.
There’s a couple other stipulations, too: tweeters must steer away from curse or vulgar words, use “first-person, diary-type formats,” and they shouldn’t report on events in the manner of journalists. On the other hand, “accredited media may freely utilise social media platforms for bona fide reporting
As far as photos go, anyone who takes one is welcome to upload it to social media site, but is not permitted to sell it or distribute it in other ways. During the last Olympics, held in Beijing in 2008, uploading photos taken at venues was prohibited.
Broadcasting audio or video taken inside the venues will stay prohibited in the 2012 London Olympics. Breaching the guidelines could mean getting banned from the competition.
Read the entire document here.
[via Reuters]Read More »
Apps will continue to extend their reach across devices and onto the desktop. With over seven billion downloads of apps from Apple’s app store, there’s no doubt that these handy little applications have caught on. In 2011 they will continue to grow in popularity as smart phones proliferate and apps move beyond the mobile. Apple has launched an app store for its Macs, making it even easier for users to spend money through their iTunes accounts and add games and utilities to their already crowded desktops.
Google Chrome’s web store also makes apps available for users of its browser, providing an even greater degree of personalisation. The ease with which we have taken to the convenience of apps is taking faltering steps towards our computer screens – expect these baby steps to become a full-on charge before too long as brands vie for position on our desktop Apps are breaking away from the mobile onto the desktop and, interestingly, beyond that even. The automotive industry is starting to link apps to the dashboard, incorporating app controls into the steering wheel – at this stage it’s generally music apps – offering the driver the same control over his music as he has outside the car. Nissan has launched its Carwings app for its new electric Leaf model, which allows users to check charge levels and driving range as well as turn on the climate control, all from an iPhone. This linking of apps to hardware that isn’t a phone or a laptop will develop in 2011 as our expectations of choice and control extend to every part of our lives.Read More »
Council workers sparked anger when erecting a 6ft steel fence through the middle of a football goal! Contractors put up the £6,000 barrier across the pitch and under the crossbar in Heworth, York.One parent said: “The fence cutting through the goalpost looks ridiculous and the first thing you think when you see it is that it’s a joke or somebody must have had a bad day at the office. ”It’s difficult to see why it’s been done that way and I hope it’s sorted out soon because it must be a disappointment for the children who use it.Heworth Without Parish Council, which is responsible for the play area, says an urgent request has been made to correct the mistake, made during planned £37,000 improvements to the play area. Dave Meigh, City of York Council’s head of parks and open spaces, said: “We recognise that failure to relocate the goalposts is a real own goal and we have asked the contractors to resolve the issue as a matter of urgency. ”We can only apologise for the error.”But footie-mad Steve Barber, 29, added: “It’s one way to defend the goals I suppose.” I luuuuuuuuuuv inept Council workers with half a brain cell!!!
Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3650423/Councils-footie-pitch-fence-own-goal.html
Geeks, lurking in technology forums arguing over which gaming console is the superior one in the current market and how the sales of the newly released games have been going. These people, these human beings are called “Geeks” they spend most of their time in school at the computer room. But why are they called Geeks, does it have anything to do with Greeks? No not at all, since the 15th century, geek or geck was used to describe a low-life fool. In carnival slang, someone who bites off the head animals such chickens or snakes. At the very start of the computer era and all the technological stuff. But through the evolution of computer technology, celebrating their geek status, skilled computer operators have managed to change the meaning of this word which described the low life fools.Read More »
Everyone will be looking out for Google’s next move into social media to claim back some of Facebook’s market share – but half a billion users are not going to move easily. Google has been quietly testing a few different applications this year, with Wave and Buzz, which haven’t been successful. In 2011 the company will look to consolidate what they have learned into one engaging system and judging by the functionality, this could be Google TV. At the same time, Facebook has launched its Messages service to converge online communications and continues to improve its user experience and functionality. It wouldn’t surprise us if Facebook announced a move into internet TV in 2011.Read More »
Two-fifths of UK companies (41%) are using social networks to win new business, according to a study.
The number of companies in the UK using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to attract new customers has risen by eight percentage points in the last year, claims office solutions company Regus.
Businesses in the UK are now devoting a third of their marketing budgets to social network campaigns. About half of all businesses in the UK and globally actively encourage employees to join online professional networks such as LinkedIn, according to the study.
Globally, the number of businesses recruiting customers via social networks has increased 7%, with 52% of companies worldwide using the channel to engage with their audiences.
The findings were based on a survey of more than 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countires, including 4,000 respondents in the UK.
This story first appeared on marketingweek.co.uk
If you would like to know more about Social Media marketing, or want to develop your current marketing strategy contact us on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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Google seems to be preparing the launch of Google Offers, the search giant’s Groupon competitor, sources at Mashable revealed. A confidential fact sheet from Google says: “Google Offers is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email,” the fact sheet says.
Google Offers looks and operates much like Groupon or LivingSocial. Users receive an e-mail with a local deal of the day. They then have the opportunity to buy that deal within a specific time limit. From what Mashable tells, Google Offers will be powered by Google Checkout. And will also include Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Google Buzz and e-mail sharing options. Google is actively reaching out to businesses now to get them on board with Offers. It even apparently has a writing team in place to craft the write-up for offers.
Google famously tried to buy Groupon for $6 billion just a few months ago in order to bolster its local advertising business. Groupon rejected the offer though and is instead preparing for a $15 billion IPO.The search giant clearly isn’t giving this market up without a fight, though. With its vast reach, huge resources and brand recognition, it could prove to be a powerful player in the space.Read More »
Earlier in the year we learned that our animated video ‘An Ever Changing World’ had reached over 27,000 views on YouTube. So yesterday it came as a big surprise when we were told it had reached over 50,000 views!
Created and animated by Armadillo Creative Director Lee Skinner it demonstrates and highlights the technological advancement of modern media. When the agency has the luxury of another 2 weeks gap, and not building websites left right and centre – we may even tackle another venture!
To see the video, click here “AN EVER CHANGING WORLD”
If you would like a digital video for corporate or viral use, contact Armadillo Creative on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
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With the ever increasing number of mobile phone users having smart phones, ensuring your website is mobile compatible and can be viewed correctly on mobile is essential. If your website is not mobile compatible (and there is software available to make sure it is) you can easily rectify it, but if you decide not to, it could prove very costly in the long run as your customers gradually stray away from their desktops and onto their smart phones. Apps are anticipated to increase in popularity and functionality. Apps are in development, which have simplified payment gateways, meaning products and services will be able to be bought and paid for via apps. Maybe your business could create an app?
We will see huge growth in location based services, some experts argue this could revolutionise marketing. Location based services will basically harness GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies, which are integrated into most smart phones, and use them for a variety of purposes. One option is specific mobile marketing via SMS, potential customers may be sent a text message or a promotion directly to their mobile phone when they approach a shop, encouraging them to visit. It could also be used to send a thank you text message once a customer leaves a shop, with possibly an offer or discount code to encourage them to come back again. SMS marketing is very effective, mainly because the read rate of text messages is 96%!!!
Location based services also have another potential benefit, it will be possible for phones to have a function built in, that prevents you from texting whilst driving. This works very simply, once movement is detected (possibly 6-8mph in case you’re a brisk walker) the text function is deactivated therefore preventing drivers from texting and encouraging them to do what they should be doing and keep their eyes on the road. Mobile will present numerous opportunities for your business to take advantage of, and most could potentially transform your business! Your business better mobilise, or you’ll get left behind!Read More »
A fix? Never! We concoct conspiracy theories in order to excuse our twisted fascination with Simon Cowell’s talentless contest. This is such a great article from Marina Hyde at the Guardian I had to copy and paste it Some great writing and creativity here. Bill Bryson will be laughing too!
Roll up! Roll up! Take your seats for the hotly-denied Britain’s Got Talent conspiracy theory, in which an anonymous blogger claims Simon Cowell has fixed tonight’s final so it’s won by some tween singer – a tween Cowell has in fact had on his books for the past two years. Not since the alleged Islamist plot to target The X Factor has it been possible to give quite such a toss, and I’m thrilled to learn that lawyers for Cowell have attended a west London police station. Unfortunately, they reported the alleged crime of malicious communications, as opposed to the theft of an entire generation’s neurons.
If you can judge a society by its imagined enemies as well as its real ones, then I can’t help feeling Britain’s Got Problems. The point about being plugged into the Matrix was that it allowed humans to believe they were at the peak of their civilisation. On that model, Britain is plugged into a conspiracy in which the apogee of human cultural achievement consists of a merely adequate pre-pubescent singer, a keyboard-bashing granny, and a couple of performing dogs. Take the red pill,Keanu! Whatever the truth is, it couldn’t possibly be crapper than this.
Once again, we are obliged to confront the smallness of this septic isle. Not for us the suggestion that Pearl Harbour was secretly allowed to happen, or that alien remains are stored in a government facility. For us, it is the suggestion that a couple of talentless chihuahuas are going to be done out of their rightful victory by a kid with six months of disappointing record sales in him before his voice breaks.
Many of you will prefer to wait until Oliver Stone immortalises the tale on film, but for those in need of a recap, the facts are these: this week, someone claiming to be “a Sony music executive” posted detailed claims that Cowell had fixed Britain’s Got Talent – claims that spread round the internet like wildfire. That the story was arrant cobblers was obvious from the first paragraph, in which the notional executive claimed the business “has left me increasingly uncomfortable about the integrity of Britain’s Got Talent”. The what, love? The “integrity of Britain’s Got Talent”? I can’t imagine a more ludicrous concept, short of “the corporate social responsibility of Spectre“.Read More »
In the brochure, it looks every inch the £3.6million luxury mansion described.
What the estate agent fails to mention is the great big gasworks next door. It is also flanked by a scrapyard and a row of drab terrace houses.
And on the other side of the main road right outside the front door, opposite the bus stop, sit a Ford garage and a Premier Inn.Read More »
Marketing and sales are two of the most important division of any organization. Product cannot be sold unless people are aware of the value they would receive by using them. Traditional sales and marketing was always a major part of any business. Internet has changed lots of things today. When it was introduced it was very expensive but today every office has it. Usage of daily activities online is a part of every business. Infact, many small offices today work on a laptop. Email marketing or e-marketing is popularly known and used by many companies to market their product or service. Here are some important points to remember while email marketing:Read More »
It is estimated that by the end of 2011, 1.8 billion people worldwide will own a mobile device. In the UK, 7.7 million consumers would rather shop on their mobile devices to save time and money. Despite these figures, only a handful of the large retail brands are ready with mobile shopping sites. Many brands are just beginning to think about their mobile communication strategy and asking “Do we need a site or an app?”, “Is our site supported on mobile browsers?” or “Is our site optimised for mobile search?”Read More »
From today, ‘BMW Direct‘ will be selling parts and accessories, such as brake discs and car care products, which would have previously only been available to purchase from BMW dealerships.
BMW will also be selling merchandise from the store.
Carl Sanderson, general manager of aftersales development at BMW, said: “We recognise that there are customers who wish to buy BMW products but do not necessarily want to travel to a BMW dealer to make a purchase. As such we see eBay as the perfect solution for them.
“By embracing this modern retailing approach, we believe we can engage with and satisfy a number of additional customers through what is a new retail channel for BMW,” he said.
Motoring has become a major focus for eBay and in September last year it launched a Motoring Services Hub, which offers car-related products and deals from partners including Confused.com and Warrantywise.
According to eBay, motor parts and accessories is one of the most popular categories among its 96 million worldwide users.
It receives over 600,000 searches for BMW every month, according to Angus McCarey, UK retail director of eBay.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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Owners of M-badged BMWs can now monitor, analyze and store all those numbers that BMW drivers love. Using an iPhone’s accelerometer, the app captures data such as fastest quarter-mile or highest speed through a curve, all in real time. The app can be customized to suit personal driving styles and also features “skins.”
The BMW M Power Meter presents you with the hard facts. Using integrated movement sensors it records the following performance data of your journeys in real time:
- Speed (mph / km/h)
- Forward acceleration (Forward g)
- Lateral acceleration (Lateral g)
- Travel time for a specified distance (e.g. 100 m)
- Acceleration to a specific speed (e.g. 0–100 km/h)
We like this. Its available free of charge from the Apple App Store.Read More »
Who said you can’t get anything for nothing? Armadillo are offering new clients the opportunity to take advantage of 3 months FREE E-Mail Marketing during May.
Email marketing sits second only to organic search engine optimisation as the most successful, cost-effective and flexible digital marketing technique. It has the highest rates of conversion (when done correctly) and you’ll see exact return on investment (ROI) figures.
Sign up for a 3 month campaign and we’ll give you another 3 months absolutely free – and you don’t have to pay anything until August!*
We’ll run an E-mailer campaign for you for 6 months for only £1,485 +VAT. Campaign includes design, copywriting, build, dispatch and response monitoring from your database. We will give you an account to edit your data list(s) and access reports from your E-mailers at any time; providing stats on: Opens, locations, click throughs, and much more. All our campaigns are fully integrated with detailed analytics software.
Click here for full details.
* subject to terms & conditions
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Google has won another small victory in the long and documented battle between Android and Apple operating systems.
For the first time, Android phones are the most coveted smartphones among U.S. mobile consumers, according to a survey Nielsen released Tuesday.
In a series of monthly surveys between January 2011 and March 2011, 31% of consumers who were planning on getting a new smartphone indicated that Android was their preferred OS, compared to 30% who preferred the iPhone.
The same surveys in July and September 2010 showed that 26% of these consumers wanted an Android phone while 33% wanted an iPhone.
Comparisons like these aren’t perfect. Android’s OS runs on multiple devices made by non-Google manufacturers, while iOS runs exclusively on Apple devices. Comparing the two pits one manufacturer’s products against a basket of other manufacturers’ collective products.
But Android’s increasing presence on smartphone wish lists does suggest increasing competition for Apple’s iPhone in the future, as do current trends in market share.
In a Nielsen survey conducted in March, 37% of U.S. mobile phone owners indicated that they owned Android devices, compared to 27% who said they owned iPhones. When respondents were narrowed down to consumers who had purchased their phones in the previous six months, however, Android’s share increased to 50% and Apple’s share decreased to 25%. (RIM experienced an even more drastic decrease of 7%.)
Via @SarahFKesslerRead More »
The number of consumers searching for retail information on mobiles more than trebled in the first quarter of the year, according to the first Online Retail Monitor from Google and The British Retail Consortium.
Mobile retail search traffic, including from smartphones and tablets, increased 181% in the first three months of the year compared to the same period last year and accounted for 11% of all retail searches. Total retail search volumes increased 29% during the period.
Growth was driven by multi-channel retailers, which recorded a 42% increase in searches compared with online-only retailers, which reported a 19% rise, demonstrating the value of a multi-channel offer.
The report also found international searches for UK retailers increased 27%, which points to the growing demand for UK retailers to offer international operations and the growing opportunity for UK retailers to expand internationally.
Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said, “Online is the fastest growing part of retailing. We need to better understand that development and what’s driving it. Despite any short-term effects from weakening consumer confidence, what stands out here is the fundamental strength of the growth of online retailing.
“A 29% increase in retail searches in a year is a huge increase in potential shoppers,” he added. “The rise of mobile use to one in ten searches sends a valuable message to any forward-thinking retailer that doesn’t yet have an m-commerce platform.”
The report measures the growth of online retail searches by counting the retail-related search terms consumers put into Google. The searches are then categorised and ranked to compare the performance of pure-play and multichannel retailers.
Peter Fitzgerald, retail director at Google, said the ORM is a “big step in understanding online consumer behaviour” across retail categories and has been designed to provide retailers with insights on the changing digital marketplace to develop growth strategies.
The top 10 retail search terms for the three months were:
- Fancy dress
- iPod Touch
- Amazon Kindle
- iPod Nano
This story first appeared on marketingweek.co.uk
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After beating Barcelona 1-0 to win the Copa del Rey – the Spanish equivalent of the FA cup – it was all looking great for Real Madrid… then this happened.
Taking the silverware on a celebratory open-topped bus tour of the capital, players including Ronaldo, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos were doing the usual waving of scarfs to cheering fans.But as Ramos held the trophy aloft at the front of the bus – in a bid to get fans cheering even more – the butter-fingered defender somehow lost his grip and it fell.Because the driver didn’t see it fall, he promptly drove over the famous cup as on-lookers gasped in disbelief and emergency services ran to see if they could help.
While police and security officials were seen picking up pieces of the squashed trophy, it’s not been confirmed how much damage was caused… though next year team could be competing for the Plate del Rey.
Loved this poor Photoshopped pic in the Daily Mail depicting Union Jacks hang on Regent Street in London today as the capital prepares for the wedding this Friday.
While the nation, it’s journalist and the press gets all patriotic, perhaps the Photoshop guys at the Mail or EPA could get the Union Jacks hanging the right way round and not upside down.
If the white stripes are over the red stripes as shown in the picture then the flag is right side up.
If the white stripes are under the red stripes then the flag is upside-down.
I’m sure it would be nice to get it right for some of the 55 Zillion Billion watching this on TV.The caption dos say “Flags: Union Jacks hang on Regent Street in London today as the capital prepares for the wedding this Friday’.
Looks like dodgy PhotoShop……….. The Daily Mail should check their images and sources before publishing so called ‘real’ pixs!
If it’s not dodgey PhotoShop then someone has a lot of work to do before Friday!
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Armadillo is inviting 6 businesses to participate in its free Digital Boardroom workshops. During May we’ll work together to investigate and solve our online challenges. Each Boardroom will have 6 businesses invited alongside a team from Armadillo. There’ll be no hard sell in the Boardroom and our intention is that everyone will leave with ideas and information that they can put to work in their business right away. The meetings are highly interactive, we intend for them to be fun and constructive and require your full involvement. You’ll have an opportunity to network over an energising breakfast. Timings are strictly 8am to 10am but all are welcome to stay longer for a chat and a coffee afterwards.
You’ll be asked to complete a short questionnaire about your business prior to the event and we will perform a quick evaluation to integrate your needs or particular business issue into the Boardroom agenda.
What we may discuss:
Making digital content work: An examination of strategy – what are you trying to achieve with your content, how do you optimise it?
Online advertising: Examples of effective digital campaigns plus insights on how this can apply to your business.
Mobile for 2011: Does your website reach people effectively through mobile platforms?
Venue: Armadillo Creative Boardroom
Date: Tues 17th May, Tues 24th May, Tues 31st May 2011
Time: 8.00am – 10.00am
Capacity: Limited to 6 people per Boardroom per session
Places are strictly limited and we aim to have individual, non-competitive businesses around the Digital Boardroom for confidential discussion and assessment. To register your interest in the attending one of the 3 Digital Boardroom sessions, contact: Kevin Robson at Armadillo Creative on 0191 257 8380
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Is your online presence achieving its objectives? Do you turn of all forms of digital communication to your advantage? Would you like a FREE DIGITAL APPRAISAL?
The Free Armadillo Digital HealthCheck looks at all aspects of your business’ online activity. It takes an in-depth look at your website design, structure, content and performance, your social media presence, how you are using other sources of media (such as blogs) to enhance your communication strategy, your performance against competitors and how you are ranked internationally.
In order to grow your business online, increase your profits and ensure that you are providing the best possible service to your existing and potential customers, this HealthCheck is an important tool at your disposal.
What is the Digital HealthCheck?
We will review and evaluate your current digital presence and produce a simple report with our findings. Some areas covered are:
If your website meets all current required web standards.
If your website is underperforming?
If your website is DDA Compliant and accessible?
If your website is achieving its objectives?
If the media content is optimised for web usage?
How relevant your website is to your target audience?
Performing a Keyword Analysis to determine optimised content.
Determining how prominently your site appears in leading search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN.
Determining if your website make effective use of relevant technology.
Checking your website work across all web browsers?
Analyse your websites overall success compare with your key business competitors?
Review your use of relevant Social Media in line with your digital communication strategy?
Reviewing your use of other forms of digital communication such as blogs and mailing lists?
Reviewing if you should need to investigate mobile platforms such as mobile web, m.commerce or Apps or viral.
Determining the best methods for digital integration such as web, emarketing, social marketing.
Optimising and improving the effectiveness of your digital marketing is vital in order to grow your business online, increase your profits and ensure that you are providing the best possible service to your existing and potential customers. A Digital HealthCheck is an important tool at your disposal.
We keep the whole process simple from start to finish. Once the review is complete, we’ll give you a simple report with our findings, provide help and advice and make recommendations for any improvements. Best of all it doesn’t cost a penny… only 30 minutes of your time!
The Free Digital HealthCheck is only available during May and on a strictly limited basis as part of our ArMAYdillo Madness.
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The NY Times recently reported what regular users of Twitter already know. Follower counts are an indicator of influence but not a very good one. And yes, followers can be and are gamed frequently with the assistance of shady web services. Here are a few more critical Twitter influence indicators:
Being included on lists gives us two clues. 1. Being included on thousands or more signals that you are visible. 2. The categories people use to classify you tells you something about the topics you have influence in: This is known as “topical influence” and it’s really what counts in influence.
These tell you something about how willing people are to amplify your messages and help them spread. A retweet essentially says “this is something I want my network to see”. It’s Twitter’s version of viral loops.
These signal how much others want to talk to you or intentionally tag you, and also serves as an indicator for how willing you are to engage and tag others. Less replies signals less social interactions and more broadcast.
4. FOLLOWER RATIO
Generally, if a user on Twitter follows a disproportionate amount of users than follow them, it signals their desire to accumulate followers. Not always, but often. A 50/50 ratio translates to someone following back anyone who follows them, which includes spammers. Twitter users who follow significantly less than are followed indicate some selection process.
5. TWEET VOLUME
This simply indicates how prolific a user is. Those with high volumes who retain high levels of engagement, list counts, retweets, and a healthy ratio are likely providing some type of value. High volume Twitter accounts with suspect ratios, low engagement, etc may have a high noise to signal ratio
Getting favorited frequently does mean something, though because Twitter users leverage Favorites so differently, it’s nearly impossible to discern exactly what, other than you triggered a behavior (the action to Favorite) for some reason.
7. QUALITY OF CONNECTIONS
The most difficult to quantify and probably THE most important indicator is the quality and RELEVANCE of who follows you on Twitter and who you follow back. Targeting the right audience and earning their attention (and Trust) is ultimately the best (and softest metric).
Follower counts (and ratios) are an indicator, but only one of several and one of the easiest to game.
*Originally posted by Social Fresh
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“It seemed clear to us that when targeting youth for STD prevention, we had to use technology to support and advance our efforts,” Philadelphia Department of Health Program Manager Melinda Salmon said in a statement.
Philadelphia is teaming up with iCondom, a company whose signature app helps locate condoms in a number of cities, including New York, Paris and Washington, D.C.. “ICondom Philly will make finding these free condom distribution sites much easier for youth, and ensure that anyone that needs a condom, can get one,” Salmon said.The first iCondom app launched back in June 2010, according to company founder Morgane Danielou.
“The idea came about because so many of my friends were having funny stories about not being to find condoms at night in Paris,” Danielou said in an e-mail interview. “I checked if an app did not exist and indeed there was not any so I thought that it would be useful for a lot of people.”
Initially, Danielou thought the program would be most useful in Europe, particularly in countries where it is hard to find places to get condoms at night, when many shops are closed. However, Danielou said the company then learned that many American cities have their own condom distribution programs and saw a new market for the app.
The app debuted in the U.S. last Dec. 1–World AIDS Day. An Android app is also planned, Danielou said. Danielou also designed iCondom to tap into the power of crowdsourcing so that, regardless of their location, people can add and rate their own favorite spot for picking up some protection. Thus far, there have been submissions from places as varied as Brazil and Australia, as well as throughout Europe and North America.
“The launch of iCondom Philly clearly demonstrates that iCondom could become an integral part of all youth prevention programs for safe sex,” Danielou said.
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Ford is to bring its tongue-in-cheek US online campaign to the UK, featuring the Doug the Ford “spokespuppet” who discusses the benefits of Ford’s new Focus 2012 model.
Filmed in a mock-documentary style, the series of online videos, created by Team Detroit, Ford’s retained agency in the US, has been made in collaboration with Paul Feig, the director of British comedy hit ‘The Office’ and Rob Cohen, a writer for ‘The Simpsons’.
Ford has been uploading new videos of the outspoken puppet chatting about the benefits of the car with its driver to a dedicated YouTube channel for the past month. It has also been seeding the videos on Facebook and Twitter.
According to a Ford spokesperson, the first video featuring Doug thwarting a robbery, which was unbranded, received one million views across the social media platforms globally.
Ford has since launched two unbranded videos and seven videos featuring the Focus.
It is now considering UK-specific videos, which could feature the characters driving the 2012 Focus driving through iconic British scenes, such as Westminster.
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I had to investigate what the agency was laughing at this morning and was amazed to see them falling over themselves watching one of the new CSL commercials online.
Apart from a poor concept of a male sales guy massaging another man’s head, feet and body. It had the most inappropriate visual funny end frame with the CSL sales guy climbing on the customer’s rear, massaging his back and saying “I’m going to go deep now!” complete with groans and grunts! Did nobody at CSL think this endframe was a bit ‘odd’? Bit of a bum steer from the creative guys – unless the company is targeting an new demographic. I look forward to seeing this on Tarrants TV Ad bloopers shortly.
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Amazon is facing a lawsuit from Apple over its use of the name ‘Appstore’ for its mobile software developer programme, which operates in a similar manner to Apple’s own App Store, only with the former store featuring downloadable applications for the Android operating system. Apple claims the name Appstore is deliberately similar to its own App Store, which offers apps exclusively for iOS mobile products.Read More »
IBM is testing smartphone technology that can predict traffic jams and warn commuters before they ever take to the road, something it promises “will ultimately help drivers around the world.”
IBM is one of several companies exploring how to use the computing power of smartphones to make our commutes less hellish. There’s tremendous incentive to do so, because the average American spent 34 hours sitting in traffic in 2009 — and paid $808 for the privilege.Smartphones are a logical way to help us manage traffic because so many people have them. Mobile Millennium already combines data from a smartphone app and traditional traffic sensors to provide real-time monitoring of traffic conditions. Waze offers a smartphone app that does much the same thing.
But IBM is taking the tech one step further by creating personalized forecasts that predict what users’ commutes might look like even before they leave home.The heart of the system is a learning and predictive-analytics tool developed by IBM Research. The Traffic Prediction Tool, now being tested in the San Francisco Bay Area, analyzes real-time traffic data and commuter habits to identify any problems that might tie them up.
GPS data from participants’ smartphones identifies their typical commute time and route. That info is combined with data from existing traffic sensors in roads, toll booths, bridges and intersections. The Traffic Prediction Tool creates personalized predictions of when and where someone might run into gridlock, then alerts them by e-mail or text while there’s still time to chose an alternate route.
“The idea is to learn a traveler’s habits, then run it on the predictive model to see what traffic they can expect,” John Day, head of IBM’s Smarter Traveler program, told Agence France-Presse. “The objective was to make it much more personal and provide it to them just before they were about to leave.”
IBM says the predictive nature of its system makes it better than anything else on the road because, despite advances in GPS navigation, real-time traffic alerts and the like, updates on traffic conditions and alternative routes usually reach commuters after they’re stuck in traffic.
“Unlike existing traffic-alert solutions, we’re helping take the guesswork out of commuting,” said Stefan Nusser of IBM Almaden Services Research. “By actively capturing and analyzing the massive amount of data already being collected, we’re blending the automated learning of travel routes with state-of-the-art traffic prediction of those routes, to give travelers timely information that can help them make decisions about the best way to get to their destination.”
Looking further down the road, IBM hopes to incorporate transit information, so commuters could decide whether it might be smarter to hop on the bus or the train.
full story by Chuck Squatriglia from http:/www.wired.com IBM App Predicts How Your Commute Will Go
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Love the fact that Haynes Publishing, the producers of the iconic Haynes Owner’s Workshop Manuals, has released a manual for the NASA space shuttle.The manual has been released to jointly mark the 30th anniversary of the shuttle’s first mission and to mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic first space flight.The manual has been written by Dr David Baker, who worked with NASA for over 25 years on the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programmes between 1965 and 1990. It includes the full story of the Shuttle, its design, construction and operation, supported by more than 250 photographs, technical diagrams and explanations. If anyone knows of someone who is repairing a Space Shuttle in the back garden, tell them about the manual. It will help them enormously.
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has published a social media guide for its members including a list of 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media.
Here are the first two Do’s.
1. Engage in conversation - Interacting with an audience through various social media channels can be the fun part of building a brand online! Regularly contributing to relevant conversations is key to creating a strong dialogue with stakeholders.
2. Ensure a brand is consistent across networks and platforms - If practitioners confuse their audience, they will lose their audience. Ensure various social media profiles give off a similar ‘vibe’. Keeping the style and tone of voice consistent will help an audience identify and engage with a brand.
You can read the CIPR guide in full here
If you would like to know more about Social Media marketing contact us on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
Google is now incorporating social media items into its search engine results. Based on relevance, social results – including links shared on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and other sites – will now appear amongst the organic results that appear when you search on Google. In order to view social search results, you’ll need a Google account and be signed into that account when performing your search. The more social media sites and social media friends you’ve linked to in your Google account, the more comprehensive your social search results will be.In addition to displaying social search results, Google will also show annotations about those results. These are only visible you, and only when you’re signed into your Google account. It’s not clear whether any links you or your friends have shared or mentioned on Facebook will show up in Google’s results. Maybe not, since most Facebook users keep their Facebook conversations private and Google will only be able to index and display ‘public’ items.
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The share of the US search market commanded by Bing-powered search engines has exceeded 30% for the first time since Microsoft forged its search alliance with Yahoo.
According to Experian Hitwise, combined Bing and Yahoo traffic in February equated to 30.01% of total search share, a 5% rise from 28.48% in January. Both search engines grew individually. Bing was up from a 13.49% to 14.32% share, while Yahoo was up from 14.99% to 15.69%. In contrast, Google slipped from 66.69% to 64.42%, although it still commands double the market share of its rivals.
Bing and Yahoo joined forces in July 2009 to compete more effectively against Google, with the deal seeing Bing power Yahoo’s search engine.
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I’m very pleased that Kate and Wills are going to tie the knot and I’ll be sending them a card in the post soon. My staff are understandably over the moon having a day off to either watch the wedding or go to Alton Towers. My only concern is that in the current economy who is picking up the bill for all this extra days holiday – and how will industry and business make up for a lost days production and revenue? Many employers believe that small businesses in particular would suffer because of lost sales, while many feel that some companies would effectively be shut down for the 11-day period because many staff would take the three-day week as annual leave. The CBI has calculated previously that such breaks COST the economy £6 BILLION in lost productivity and overtime payments. On the good side retail analysts estimated that the benefit to the British economy could be as much as £6 million. But since I’m in the service sector I guess I wont be seeing any of this in my sales figures. On the other hands with the wedding expected to claw back up to £1 billion in extra tourist revenues and sales of memorabilia, I’m kind of hoping that I and many other business will be getting a cheque from some of that pot of money from someone. As an small agency with 12 staff it will cost me about £6,000 in lost income, staff salary and clawback time for the missing day. Now I may not be a financial guru but if I quickly work out the maths – £6 Billion loss + £1 Billion gain in Candy floss,picture mugs and tins of biscuit + £6 million benefits = Big Bloody LOSS!!!! If David Cameron or the Queen would like to contact me with full details of how I get my cheque for lost revenue back and how to help boost the failing British economy after taking yet another hit, he can contact me on 0191 257 8380 email Berry .
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From a layman’s point of view marketing communication is simply messages that are being conveyed to the targeted section via a media. It involves all the strategies, tactics and action plan that we deploy to convey the message regardless of the media we use. The marketing strategy that one draws up to target the consumer is what makes a successful marketing communication.
In any firm the primary goal of the marketing manager is to create awareness of the product or service he intends to sell. An in depth research on understanding your target audience would go a long way in ensuring that you are on the right track You need to know what the consumer wants and how your product is unique from that of the competitor. Once this is determined, you can start creating awareness of your brands by advertisements on TV, Magazines, Newspapers, presentations and trade shows. The next step would be to budget your campaign. A good marketing communication plan usually follows a simple procedure described in the books as SOSTAC which when expanded means situation analysis which makes you analyse your place in the market now, next is objectives where you need to determine where you want to go from there, then strategy where you plan how to get there, followed by action where your plan starts working and then comes control where you monitor, review the plan to reach the target.
The web is a great source to advertise apart from media like TV, news papers and magazines. You can use blogs and even social web sites are putting up advertisements. Malls and places of social gatherings are another way to sell your brand depending on your consumers.
When you have reached a breakeven point with the target audience you can say that you have indeed made a good marketing communication. If not don’t worry you can always regroup and reform your marketing strategy as long as costs don’t get prohibitive.
If you would like to know more about marketing communications contact Berry Burgess on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
At just 17 months, Groupon was valued at $1.35 billion, making it the fastest growing company in business history. Forget Google, Groupon has surpassed them for the sheer amount of size the company has acquired in such a short time. Only a few years old, Groupon might be worth $6 billion. Sure, YouTube hit a $1 billion valuation slightly faster than Groupon, but the video sharing website wasn’t profitable when it did. Since Groupon has refused Google’s takeover offer, many are beginning to speculate that the company may be planning on an IPO in 2011. If that’s the case, it’s likely that given the name recognition Groupon has, the initial public offering could be richly valued. It’s Groupon’s world right now, and the rest of us are just living in it.Read More »
Twitter has been tweeting a number of growth figures. They shed some light on how people are using it. No surprise that much of the growth is coming via mobile and Android is playing a big part of that.
Twitter saw a 104% growth in monthly app users from Android phones. Strong growth from the Apple’s iPad too. There is also news on Twitter search, which is apparently three times faster than before. I wonder if the people using Twitter on the iPad are actually using it to tweet or to monitor?
The latest stats follow the news that Twitter was relaunching its homepage confirming it as a media firm as much as anything else.
Twitter highlights by tweet from @twitterglobalpr
1. Been playing with numbers. Big Q1 for Twitter… 41% increase in Tweets per day. 38% increase in Tweets per day in US.
2. There was a 52% increase in monthly Twitter account signups from December to March — with 57% increase in the US.
3. Mobile growth on Twitter was big. There was a 50% increase in monthly unique mobile signups.
4. Q1 increase in Twitter app monthly users – 104% Android, 72% iPad, 55% iPhone, 51% Blackberry
5. Oh and – not a Q1 stat – but noticed that we’re now at 155 million Tweets per day, up from 55 million at this time last year.
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Armadillo has just completed development of a mobile website for ScS, the national sofa retail superstore. The new site, produced in 3 stages, currently includes a store finder that allows users to discover the location of their nearest ScS outlet via ‘current location’ or ‘postcode’. The intention of the mobile site is to further drive on and offline sales but Armadillo Director Rachel Burgess was keen to point out some other benefits. “Organisations can stand out from the competition if their website looks good on a mobile phone… if it doesn’t, visitors won’t be looking at their products for very long!” Just the fact that you have a mobile site makes a positive statement about how your company views and incorporates technology. SEO is given a boost too as Google and other search engines are very mobile friendly. “People always have their phones with them and that accessibility is great news for any business with the mobile technology to take advantage.”
Berry Burgess, Armadillo Managing Director commented, “Armadillo have had an ongoing relationship with ScS since we formed in 2005. In 2010 we were tasked with developing a new e-commerce site, designed to increase traffic and revenue through usability and SEO. Since that site has been live, there has been a dramatic increase in usage and sales some of which came through mobiles. ScS found that very encouraging and decided to respond with a bespoke mobile service”.The ScS mobile site has been built to work across all mobile devices and enhanced features will be released through stages 2 and 3 of the site later in 2011.Read More »
Armadillo have been appointed to redevelop and rebuild a new website for MultiVits – the online brand and trading name for Pharma Nord, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of preventive dietary supplements and herbal remedies. Armadillo built the original MultiVits e-commerce website in 2008 initially to give the brand an online presence. Pharma Nord have realised the potential benefit of online activity and decided to redevelop the site to give greater usability, increase SEO and further develop the e-commerce side of things.
Rachel Burgess, Armadillo Client Services Director said, “the MultiVits website is now an important marketing and customer contact platform. Pharma Nord want to make as good us of this as possible so we’re delighted to be working with them again on these new developments.The project includes full SEO integration into the build, which is now a staple commodity and feature of all Armadillo website builds”.
Pharma Nord have been making and supplying Pharmaceutical grade dietary supplements for over 27 years. They are recognised in 45 countries, making them one of the largest manufacturers of supplements in Northern Europe.Armadillo will added new functionality to the MultiVits Content Management System that allows Pharma Nord to update and control their content and products. The site also has the scope for Pharma Nord staff to contact customers, either individually or in specific customer groups, with updates and offers.Read More »
Armadillo have designed a brand logo, and website for The Guitar Shop in Newcastle. The Guitar Shop in central Newcastle is run by musician Brian Younger a veteran established North East musician. Berry Burgess commented: “Anyone who comes into Armadillo will not fail to notice my collection of vintage guitars in the boardroom, So I was delighted to eventually get an account that is so close to my heart and love! The Guitar Shop is unique as one of the few McIlroy and Lowden main dealers in the UK’”. The new website will launch in late AprilRead More »
Armadillo digital creative agency is delighted to announce the appointment of Kevin Robson as Client Service Manager. Kevin, originally from Wallsend, studied graphic design in Newcastle and joins Armadillo direct from Codeworks, the centre for digital innovation where he was Account Manager.
Armadillo Managing Director Berry Burgess said “Kevin brings with him a wealth of digital and high quality, brand project management experience. He’s got a proven range of creative communication skills and will add more depth to the expanding skill base here at Armadillo. He’s initially working on strategies to best deliver our package of service offerings.” Previously, Kevin was at Schawk UK, focused on brand image management for FMCG and Pharmaceutical clients. During his four years there he managed the GlaxoSmithKline account.
Kevin commented “My new role at Armadillo will allow me to focus on specialisms in branding, Apps and digital work whilst developing relationships between the agency and new clients. It’s a busy and fast-moving environment and I’m very happy to be part of such an experienced, friendly and hardworking team.”Read More »
The first step of building a good brand is creating a brand roadmap. A brand roadmap is a unique document that serves as a standard for everyone in the company to follow in order to ensure brand consistency. A brand roadmap can help achieve the creation of a brand that is consistent, unique, and trustworthy and will not be swayed by the prevailing opinions of individuals or groups. It is customized and unique to each company. The brand roadmap can help bridge the gap between the internal and external identities of the company. The internal identity reflects the company’s core values and belief systems. The external identity is defined by the company’s relationship with everyone who comes in contact with it. When the internal and external identities are consistent is when the brand is truly strong. Discrepancies in both these identities result in a weak brand. These discrepancies arise when the company’s mission statements and core values are created by one group of people and the brand message and personality are created by another group of people.
Here are a few questions to keep in your mind when you want to focus on the potential core values.
1. Which values are crucial to your company? So crucial that if they were not there the company will exist no more?
2. Which values are consistently adhered by your company that can help you face all the obstacles?
3. Does the word passionate strike your mind when you think about a value and apply it to your company?
4. What is the core value this culture value?
If you would like to know more about creating a cohesive brand contact Berry Burgess on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
A cobra that is missing from a New York zoo now has a Twitter account.The @BronxZoosCobra account says the reptile is “not at the Bronx Zoo” and is “an Egyptian cobra out on the town.” The tweets include stops at Ray’s Pizza and Rockefeller Plaza, the snake considering taking in a Broadway show and a comment at Charlie Sheen where the snake says “know what’s better than tiger’s blood? Cobra venom.”The snake also hits up Wall Street and the diner used in the TV show Seinfeld.”Holding very still in the snake exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. This is gonna be hilarious,” one tweet reads.The adolescent Egyption cobra went missing Friday afternoon from the reptile exhibit at the Bronx Zoo. The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the zoo, said the Reptile House will remain closed until the snake is found, but it is fairly certain the snake is still within the building.Read More »
17 million people in Britain own a smartphone, but many of us are reserving judgement on tabletsPeople in Britain are among the most eager consumers of social media on mobile devices, but are lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to their interest in tablets, according to new research.Britain is the highest ranked Western country in TNS’s Mobile Life 2011 report when it comes to using social networks on mobile, with over 11 million people logging in while on the move. The research claims that 16 percent of Brits access social networks every day from their mobile, and almost half of those that do not are interested in doing so.“Mobile technology is transforming the lives of Britons at an unprecedented pace,” said Stephen Yap, group director at TNS Technology. “With social networking emerging as a killer application, mobile content and applications have never been more important. Handset makers and operators take note: it’s no longer just about the device or the network, but rather what people are doing and downloading.”Read More »
Armadillo have been appointed to develop and launch the revolutionary Thin Air brand in the UK. Armadillo have been tasked with a complete brand development across E-Commerce web, E-Marketing,print and various brand collateral. Thin Air is the only 100% natural bottle air and is imported under license from the high altitude regions of Peru and the Andes region. Thin Air therapy or Intermittent Hypoxic Training (IHT) is a natural way of increasing vitality or fitness. Short periods of oxygen deprivation can actually increase fitness levels and endurance. Professional athletes have long known about the benefits of training in the thin air of the Andes or the Alps. The Thin Air product is the logical conclusion of this practice – mountain air, without the need for a mountain.
Berry Burgess Managing Director of Armadillo said: “It’s an amazing product, as there is less oxygen in Thin Air the body adapts to become more efficient. Heart muscle beats harder and so becomes stronger. You breathe more deeply, increasing lung capacity. New capillaries grow to get the limited supply of oxygen to tissues. All these changes mean that when you return to sea-level, the oxygen levels you are normally adapted to breathe take you further. Thin Air is destined to revolutionise the Athletic training market and is 100% fully approved by the IOC.”
The brand will only be available online, and will launch in early July 2011.Read More »
She is the Navy’s former flagship, a symbol of Britain’s proud maritime history. But after sailing the world’s seas for a quarter of a century, the HMS Ark Royal is suffering an undignified end – being put up for sale on an eBay-style auction website and possibly becoming scrap metal. Potential buyers with several million pounds can snap up the aircraft carrier from the Ministry of Defence website. Bidders have until 10am on June 13 to put their tenders forward for the ship. No minimum price is given but the MoD is hoping to raise at least £2million.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370864/Buyer-collect-Ark-Royal-posted-sale-auction-website.html#ixzz1HzlkIHZgRead More »
1. An average person sees 625 messages per day.
2. Yahoo collects around 10 Terabytes of data on its customers each day, which is roughly as much as Tesco collect from their Club Card customers in a year.
3. A recent survey showed surprisingly 44% of Twitter users were happy to be alerted about special offers and new products.
4. 48% had responded to an advert they had received and most startlingly of all 44% had actually referred a product alert onto a friend.
5. 90% of adults use mobile phones,
6. 73% use the internet and 89% watch digital television.
7. In a survey of the top 26 UK retailers, it was found that every £1 spent on online advertising yielded £3.44, a fantastic ROI.
8. Television advertising yielded £2.15 per £1 spent
9. Approx 1 in every 13 people on Earth use Facebook
10. Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ was viewed nearly 186 million time on YouTube
As the number of mobile users has increased by 182 per cent in the last year, Twitter has announced some official stats to celebrate the fifth anniversary of development work starting on the micro-blogging service. Users are now tweeting more than one billion times a week. In the last year, the number of daily tweets has risen from 50 million to 140 million, with 177 million sent on 11 March this year alone. On average, 460,000 new Twitter accounts are created every day, while the number of people accessing Twitter from their phones is up 182% year-on-year. Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that 40% of all tweets were posted from mobile phones. Cross-reference that with the new figures, and it’s likely that there are now more than 400 million mobile tweets every week. In January this year, there were 200 million registered users of Twitter, which judging by the new figures, means that there are around 227 million now.Read More »
A former Welsh mayor became the first Briton to be ordered to pay libel damages over a Twitter entry after a political rival sued him in the high court. Colin Elsbury, a former mayor in the south Wales town of Caerphilly had tweeted ahead of a council election that his independent challenger Eddie Talbot had been “forcibly removed” from a polling station by police before realising that it was a case of mistaken identity, The Times newspaper said.
Although Elsbury later tried to correct the tweet, Talbot took him to court in the Welsh capital Cardiff where a judge on Friday handed down a fine of £3,000 and ordered him to pay costs of around £50,000 as well as apologise publicly to Talbot on his Twitter feed.
“This was a genuine case of mistaken identity which I have acknowledged,” Elsbury, a member of the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru party, said after the verdict.”This case will no doubt act as a warning to people, including politicians, to be extremely careful when using Twitter and other social media such as blogs.”Talbot’s lawyer also warned that the ruling could open the floodgates to similar libel claims, in line with the United States where they have become known as “Twibels”. ”It is the first case that I have heard of in Britain but no doubt that there will be more when people realise they can sue for Twitter libel.”Read More »
Computer scientists in Germany have invented a car that can be steered by the power of thought.Using commercially available sensors to measure brain waves, staff at the AutoNOMOS innovation labs of Freie Universität in Berlin were able to distinguish the bioelectrical wave patterns for control commands such as “left,” “right,” “accelerate” or “brake” in a test subject. They then found a way to connect the sensors to a vehicle so it could be controlled by them. Test drives took place on the site of the former Tempelhof Airport. What happens if you have a wobbler and get a bit of road rage in your mind?Read More »
An Australian schoolgirl had to cancel her 16th birthday party after her Facebook invitation went viral and close to 200,000 people said they would turn up at her house, reports said Tuesday.The Sydney girl had wanted her schoolmates to attend, and the post – which included her address – said they could bring friends if they let her know, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported. ”(It’s an) open house party as long as it doesn’t get out of hand,” she wrote, adding that she had not had time to invite everyone individually.
But within 24 hours more than 20,000 people had replied to the public event to say they were attending and by Tuesday almost 200,000 potential partygoers had reportedly accepted the invitation.The girl’s father, who asked not to be named, said his daughter had invited “a few friends” over Facebook but had initially been unaware of the settings required to stop strangers from viewing the information. ”She was just anxious about whether anyone would show up to her birthday,” he said.
Police said it appeared the girl’s original post had been reposted by an “unknown person” and this had gone viral, as they warned of the dangers of advertising parties on social networking sites.”The father has given us an undertaking that he will have the Facebook page removed and the party will definitely not be going on,” police Inspector Terry Dalton told ABC Radio. “There will be no party at that address.”The only thing that anybody who turns up on that street will be met by will be some police vehicles patrolling the area.”Read More »
Following these top 20 SEO tips will give you the advantage over most of your online competition and may even get you onto that sought after 1st page: Here are 20 top killer tips to help you try to get that elusive top spot:
1. Do proper keyword research get as much input as possible from colleagues, competitor sites, focus groups or random strangers. The idea is to get inside your potential site visitors’ heads and find out what they would type into a search box to find your site-pages.
2. Page Titles Each page on your site should have a unique page title, with a consistent structure along the lines of: “Main page Keyword – call to action – site/brand name” – all within 66 characters.
4. Page Headlines H1 tags – Each page should have ‘one’ unique page headline, that contains a main relevant keyword, you can then use H2 and H3 tags multiple times for sub-headers containing other relevant terms.
5. Use Alt and Title elements – Search engines still mainly view your website in terms of text, so make sure that any non-text items like images, video, flash etc. have proper text descriptions in the Alt or Title elements. These should primarily be descriptive, but can also contain key phrases.Read More »
A bizarre hotel with walls made from bits of ‘tourism junk’ has opened in Madrid… and it’s not as rubbish as you might think.The ‘Save the Beach Hotel’ is the creation of German artist Ha Schult and is constructed from rubbish found on beaches and bought at European flea markets.Dubbed the ‘Garbage Hotel’ it’s designed to be a physical eco-statement about the massive amount of waste generated by mass tourism and consists of five rooms.Walls are made from items including bottles, waste plastics, books and rubber tyres… which still sounds better than some of the hotels I’ve stayed in.Read More »
Sage is set to launch a new tool for marketers that give them a better understanding of their customer base and drive customer loyalty. CRM v7.1 will include social media integration and mobile access that will aim to create new levels of customer insight by giving marketers 24-hour access to business-critical information. With Twitter and LinkedIn integration, real-time synchronisation with MS Exchange and mobile deployment on iPhone and blackberry devices, Sage CRM v7.1 will also offer users flexible access to customer and prospect data, contacts and communications to enhance the customer experience and drive customer loyalty. The new e-marketing tool will also enable marketers to execute e-marketing campaigns and measure results without leaving the CRM system to automatically analyse effectiveness.Read More »
Iran has objected to the logo for the 2012 London Olympics, claiming it is racist because it resembles the word `Zion.” Bahram Afsharzadeh, head of Iran’s National Olympic Committee, says Iran sent a formal letter to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge to criticize the emblem. The letter claims the 2012 logo spells out `Zion,” a biblical term which is widely recognised to refer to the city of Jerusalem. The letter urges other Muslim nations to oppose the “racist logo.”The IOC said: “The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else.” We all know the logo is bad, but I didn’t think it would alienate half the world!Read More »
Cash-strapped Japanese tourists who can’t afford to visit Europe themselves, have started sending their cuddly toys there on holiday instead, it’s been claimed. Bosses at ‘Barcelona Toy Travel’ say they’ve been inundated with requests from Japan to take soft toys on sight-seeing tours of the Spanish city. The firm charges £60 to show a teddybear around Barcelona on a six-day trip and supplies owners with a selection of photos showing their beloved bear in front of various monuments. A postcard is also sent back to the owner, followed by the well-travelled soft toy… which won’t stop going on about Gaudi architecture. Don’t you just hate pretentious teddy bears.Read More »
Until a couple of years ago there were not that many people who were acquainted with the end of the world 2012 prophecy that was put forward by many scholars who studied the end of the Mayan long calendar. This Long Count calendar has lasted for five thousand one hundred and twenty five years, and although the end of the calendar leads to many different interpretations, one of the most popular is the belief that at the end of this cycle the world (or humanity’s existence) will come to an abrupt end on December 21 2012. Is the world going to end in 2012?
In order to fully understand the 2012 end of the world predications, then you should first understand the calendar that is at the center of this controversy. The current cycle, or baktun, of this calendar began on August 13th, 3114 B.C. This marked the end of the last period and the beginning of the current one. The baktun that we are currently living in is the thirteenth, and the end of this cycle is one that has been considered to have a large level of importance to the Mayan people, which is why so many people have come to the conclusion that this cycle’s end is one that will mean the end of the world as we know it.
While there is no definite proclamation of how the end of the world 2012 predictions will happen, those who have studied this calendar claim that the long calendar was created in order to correspond with a long term astronomical prediction by the Mayan people. This has led some to believe that this end of the world scenario will play out in a manner that has something to do with something from beyond this world. While this correlation to something that is going on in outer space is not a definite thing, for some it comes from a basic understanding of Mayan culture and their unique understanding of astronomical phenomena and planetary alignments.
So…….no point in doing the Christmas shopping then!Read More »
A poll conducted by Yougov and Deloitte for the Edinburgh International Television Festival has revealed the telly habits of the nation, and they don’t make pretty viewing for advertisers. A whopping 86% of respondents happily admitted to skipping through advertising on their digital recorders, a medium which is assuming increased importance for the broadcast market.
Timeshifted shows have contributed to a marked boost in the quantity of programming the average Briton consumes but this hasn’t translated into more eyeballs on the ads, a slide the poll suggests can only be countered by pursuing shorter ad breaks, shorter ads and more memorable campaigns.Read More »
Cornish food manufacturers have won a nine-year battle to win special protection for their most famous snack, banning any products made in Devon, Wales or the rest of Britain from being called Cornish pasties.
From now on, only products made in Britain’s most south-westerly county will be allowed to be called Cornish pasties. As well as this geographical restriction, products that include carrots and which are crimped on the top – rather than the correct Cornish style of on the side – will be banned from claiming to be the real article. The ruling, issued by the European Union, puts it in a select group of products including Champagne and Parma Ham, as well as 42 British specialities such Kentish Ale, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Arbroath Smokies and Cornish clotted cream.Read More »
Online advertisements will have to be decent and truthful even for company claims on their own websites from March 2011. Effective 1 March 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will extend its powers to regulating companies who advertise on the Internet including social networking platforms. The ASA is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media. It works to ensure ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful by applying the Advertising Codes.
The authority will monitor both advertisements and claims on a company’s website which could be interpreted as marketing. Until now, the ASA’s monitoring role used to be restricted to traditional advertising in billboards, newspapers and television. The new role of the ASA is intended to give powers to internet users who will be able to make official objections about any indecent or misleading information they find online even on Facebook and Twitter.
Matt Wilson, of the ASA told the BBC, “The principle that ads have to be legal, decent, honest and truthful is now going to extend to companies claims on their own websites.”The ASA, which has spent a year preparing for the reform, is going to hire about 10% more staff to prepare for the extra complaints it expects.Read More »
Found this great little post by Mindy Selinger that I thought I would share:
Here are some of the blunders many make in the networking arena. In every activity there are people who will stretch the boundaries of polite behavior…and may be clueless as to how they are coming across to others.Ask a group of people ‘What is Networking?” and most people will say it’s about building relationships. Someone commented on a LinkedIn discussion where everyone agreed that the most important component of networking was “it’s not about you, it’s about them”. Fine, but does that reflect the reality of most of your networking event encounters?Read More »
Quick and simple 2 minute SEO slideshow on how to make the Google spiders and bots happy.Read More »
An IBM Media Study has significant relevance to small-to mid-size ad agencies.
“Digital Savvy Consumer Emerging Quicker Than Expected; Media Companies Struggle to Keep Pace With New Demands”
The study titled “Beyond Advertising: Choosing a Strategic Path to the Digital Consumer” was developed by IBM Global Business Services’ Media and Entertainment practice and the IBM Institute for Business Value. This was an extensive survey of 2,800 consumers across six countries plus interviews with advertising industry professionals. Some important “take-aways” from the study:Read More »
Cadbury has generated £2-3 in sales for every £1 spent on digital advertising, found the first comprehensive trial to track the impact of online advertising on offline sales.Read More »
We had a discussion in the Creative department aboout what was the best film trilogy ever – the best collective 3 films…
We posted this to our followers on Twitter and Facebook and DesignForum and here are some of the choices.
Daniel Tindal Back to the future all the way!
Michael Cafferkey got to be Godfather despite III
Glen Wheeler ohhh thats a hard one. I’d go for Die Hard Trilogy…however there was a 4th and it was awesome!…there is also Mad Max…that was freaking great.
Graeme Hogg Toy Story is the sure winner…quality everytimeRead More »
What’s on your marketing plan for 2011? Most businesses have an idea of how important E-marketing (also called internet marketing) is, but many either don’t have a clear strategy or a concrete plan. Putting the time in to plan for activities that can produce results now will yield results for the year to come.
Before diving into the possibilities for your E-marketing plan, let’s briefly touch on marketing plans in general. Not having a written marketing plan, regardless of the size of your business, is a plan to fail. Marketing plans must act as both a plan for the months to come (I prefer a 12 month plan) and a business intelligence tool to report on what’s worked, to what degree, and what should be changed.Read More »
An Israeli woman in her 60′s was stopped on a return flight from London at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport with a total of 44 Apple iPhones hidden in her stockings under her clothes. The culprit was caught when put through a body scanner by suspicious security staff who had noticed her unusual gait in the airport. Putting 44 iPhones in your stockings would make walking pretty difficult.Read More »
Great programme series on the BBC last night,giving a glimpse of the sublime style and glamour of the Art Deco. Incredible images and social connections from Busby Berkeley, fanciful flappers, Hitler, Spitfires and luxury steamliners with fascinating social history insights. Last night’s programme focused on architecture and design and notably ‘Streamlining” – an offshoot of Art Deco and increasingly evident through the 1930s in buildings, furniture, planes, trains and automobiles,and eventually applied to the human body itself. The theory went that the eugenics movement, founded in Britain but embraced most wholeheartedly in the United States, and essentially adopted as a creed by the Nazis, represented an attempt to streamline humanity. It was provocative stuff, connecting Busby Berkeley to Adolf Hitler. And apparently the perfect product of 1930s streamlining was the Spitfire, although by the time the Spitfire enjoyed its finest hour, Art Deco was discredited as a decadent, failing architecture. The concept and introduction of Eugenics on a Saturday night in front of the TV with my glass of wine was both disturbing, interesting, thought provoking and idealistic. This immensely influential ideology is still with us today. In fact, some would argue that it is stronger today than ever. The eugenic ideology heavily influenced industrial design in the 30′s and introduced the relationship between the aesthetic design known as “streamlining”. It did however produced some beautiful design work from irons, cars, trains, building. Great TV on a Saturday night ( for a change) If you missed it, catch up here.Read More »
Amazon.com’s Kindle ebooks have apparently started outselling paperbacks, having already surpassed hardcovers.Amazon sold 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperbacks moved through its online storefront. However, Amazon remains reluctant to share any hard numbers related to the sales of Kindle e-readers, aside from the totally unsurprising note that “millions” of third-generation Kindle devices sold in the fourth quarter.
According to research firm Gartner they estimates that e-reader sales will increase 68.3 percent in 2011, to more than 11 million units. Amazon has defiantly kept the Kindle grayscale, betting that most customers will want a device exclusively for reading in addition to their other gizmos. However, it faces yet another competitor in Google, which in December launched its own eBooks storefront with some 3 million titles. Google’s eBooks software allows users to read titles on a variety of devices, including the Sony Reader, Apple iPad and even—at least for those ebooks without digital rights management—the Kindle.Read More »
You must have noticed that almost 60% of search results take you to blogs and the other 40% goes to social networking sites. Therefore, common sense says that these are two of the most potent areas which have to be made use of to market your website online. To establish your brand in this competitive world among millions of brands and products online is a challenging task. It is vital identifying and making use of powerful Internet marketing techniques. You can use social media marketing mediums like Squidoo and Hubpages and also through article submission and blogs in prominent directories.
If you’re unsure about taking that first committed step by yourself, there are numerous expert companies offering social media marketing services make sure that they interact in various social media platforms like Facebook, Flickr,Twitter and LinkedIn, effectively to enhance social media presence for your business.Read More »
Armadillo Creative today announced the appointment of Rachel Burgess as a member of the Board of Directors. Rachel has been an integral part of the team for over 5 years since it’s original inception. The appointment to the Board is in recognition of her outstanding contribution and efforts as Client Services Director during that time.
Commenting on the appointment, Berry Burgess, Managing Director of Armadillo Creative, said: “Rachel’s success and skills in the client service fields and business development areas has seen her being extremely well liked and respected by all the clients she has worked with. Her management and handling of accounts has been invaluable and I am delighted that she is now a full board member to join us driving the company forward.”
Rachel commented on her appointment: “I am delighted to move up to board level and to take a more proactive role to the agency’s continued development and progress. It is a very active and busy time for the Armadillo and we are expanding at a measured controlled pace and I am excited at my role and involvement in this.
Berry Burgess concluded: “2011 has all the signs of being a significant year for the agency. We have recently acquired many new business gains over the last month that show great promise for our continued development. I am sure Rachel as always, will be instrumental and central to the current and future progress of Armadillo.”Read More »
The brand is the blueprint of your customer experience design that would flavor the conversation about you and align with your advertising and other promotional activities. Your brand will ideally portray the strength and position of your marketing framework.Brand is considered to be your marketing cornerstone. In other words, your brand is the truth and it will tell about you. Brands are not considered to be concrete. They are the feelings, thoughts and psychological relationship between a customer and a business. It is the foundation of all your marketing activities.Read More »
A US firm has announced plans to launch an odd range of marijuana-spiked soft drinks guaranteed to give you a buzz. Makers says the drinks, which include a cola, a Dr Pepper–like, a lemonade and a orange flavoured one, will go on sale in February for $10 to $15 each.Because they contain 35 to 65 milligrams of THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – they will only be available in medical-marijuana dispensaries.The drinks are said to only have a “mild marijuana taste”… and go great with a special sort of chocolate brownie.Read More »
Armadillo has just completed an digital animated movie for ModusLink Global Solutions. ModusLink are world leaders in the design and execution of multiple channel supply chain management and e-business solutions for the world’s leading technology and consumer brands. The presentation, delivered to one of their world-leading clients in Japan, explained the significance of technology and advancements in IT and online developments.
Armadillo Client Services Director, Vaughan Di Mascio commented, “The movie itself was a simple enough project for us. We created interesting animations to bring ModusLink’s presentation information to life. There were some issues to iron out about formatting and playback for various platforms and regions of the world. Both PAL and NTSC versions were made available as downloads, along with zip and DVD formats of the original .mov and avi files.”The work had a strict deadline, with delivery required for the client’s Japan presentation in the week commencing January 31st.Read More »
Armadillo have been appointed by new consumer freight-forwarding business, FlyMy to create the brand and develop an e-commerce website. The FlyMy brand reflects 4 distinct offerings from the company, flymygolfclubs, flymysnowboard, flymyskibag and the more general flymythings will all be brand divisions, accessible through the main domain of flymy.co.uk.
FlyMy’s CEO Colin Gilmour said; “I was impressed by Armadillo enthusiasm and knowledge in the key areas of developing the FlyMy brand across the digital areas of website build and SEO. Of all the agencies we spoke too, they gave us the greatest confidence in delivering a strong digital product with a thorough knowledge of how to develop the brand presence moving forward.Read More »
Armadillo have been appointed to implement a full rebrand and web build project for NewcastleGateshead based law firm, Cinnamon Property Lawyers. Cinnamon is a specialist, fixed-cost conveyancing firm that takes pride in the quality of its service and enviable reputation for being friendly and easy to work with.
Cinnamon Associate Director, Vikki Todd explained “We feel that our brand and website don’t really do our service justice. We pitch ourselves to a competitive, national market and have a lot of creative solutions to offer. We make excellent use of technology and communication methods and want to reflect our fresh and dynamic approach in print and online. We’re excited to see what Armadillo propose for our new brand ideas.”Read More »
Not content with Dress down Fridays, Armadillo’s Client Service Director Rachel Burgess ( the one with the tache) and Creative Director Lee Skinner (…the one with the other tache!) took to wearing moustaches on Fridays. We hope to introduce Wooden Leg Wednesdays shortly.Read More »
A crocodile at a Ukrainian aquarium has apparently become sick after swallowing a mobile phone that a visitor accidentally dropped into its enclosure. The BBC reports that 14-year-old Gena has been refusing to eat since the incident and is lacking energy. Rimma Golovko had stretched out her arm to take a photograph of the reptile when her phone slipped. “This should have been a very dramatic shot, but things didn’t work out,” she said. Workers didn’t believe the accident had occurred until the woman’s phone began to ring while inside the crocodile.The animal may need to operated on after refusing to eat live quail injected with a laxative. Golovko says that she would like her SIM card back as it contains all her contacts.Read More »
No matter what line of business you are in, marketing is essential. And whether you have a marketing department or the marketing department is you, putting these pointers into practice should greatly improve your performance.
- Make sure your products or services are distinguishable from your competitors’
- Monitor your competitors’ marketing activities, and change your own as appropriate.
- Have a marketing plan – and follow it!
- Aim to provide a regular stream of new customers
- Respond quickly to customer complaints, investigate the causes and fix the problems
- When you lose a customer, contact them and find out why
- Uncover customers’ needs. Find out what they really want from your business
- Keep advertising expenditure within industry norms. Over-advertising smacks of desperation, under-advertise and no-one knows who you are
- Search for new markets for your products or services
- Keep your existing customers aware of all you can offer
- Actively look at new products or services
- Keep your sales forecasts and statistics up to date and distribute them to appropriate employees
- Make sure that staff who come into contact with your customers or clients have high morale and present a positive image of your company and its products and services.
- Use your remuneration structure to motivate and reward sales people
- Invest in sales-focussed training for your non-marketers (show them how they can have an impact on sales)
- Evaluate the performance of your sales team and provide training where needed
A woman returned a Jack Russell to the pound two days after she rescued it because the pooch “did not match her curtains”. The unnamed woman cruelly dumped the Jack Russell called Harvey back in the dog pound in Lower Halstow. Barry Shuttleworth,42, who runs the Jasmil Kennels and Cattery where Harvey was dumped, said he was stunned by the woman’s “ridiculous reason” for returning the dog. “In one instance, we had a woman come to see us a number of times, who loved a little Jack Russell we had called Harvey. It was perfect for her, and she took it home.” he said. “But she brought it back two days later, saying it clashed with her curtains and that’s why she didn’t want it.” Needless to say it wasn’t my wife – she would have taken the curtains up to dog pound to co-ordinate everything first!Read More »
A company has launched a special souvenir condom to celebrate the royal wedding. Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction have introduced the Royal Wedding Collector’s Edition to commemorate the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. They are sold in packs of three with a picture of couple on the front and are described as “combining the strength of a prince with the yielding sensitivity of a princess-to-be”. If you want a sexy Royal souvenir then you better come and get it!Read More »
Brand is a word too commonly referred to by advertisers and marketing people alike, but what does it actually mean? How can you get it? And most importantly; how will it benefit your business? A brand is not your logo or your tagline, those are important tools you use to express your brand, but that is Mechanical Branding – but not the brand itself. Brands exist in the hearts, minds of the consumer. Nowhere else.
A brand is a unified, singular understanding of what your organisation or company is about and how it’s unique from the audiences’ points of view. In English – it’s why a potential client or employee would choose you over your competitor. What makes you stand out from the rest? What’s it like to do business with you?
A brand is you standing up, hand on heart and making a promise. And then keeping that promise. In a nutshell a brand is nothing but a promise of consistency delivered through communication channels.
Good branding is a familiar face in the crowd. The main benefit of branding is that customers are much more likely to remember your business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep your company image in the mind of your potential customers. If your business sells products that are often bought on impulse, a customer recognising your brand could mean the difference between no-sale and a sale. Even if the customer was not aware that you sell a particular product, if they trust your brand, they are likely to trust you with unfamiliar products. If a customer is happy with your products or services, a brand helps to build customer loyalty across your business.
If you would like to know more about understanding Brand contact Berry Burgess on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
A carrier pigeon which was being used to smuggle drugs into a prison in Colombia has been captured by police. Officers say the bird was apprehended as it tried to fly into a prison in Bucaramanga carrying a package of marijuana and cocaine. However, it was only discovered because the bird-brains crooks behind the plan had overloaded the bird with drugs to the point that it could no longer fly. Police say the messenger pigeon was found trying to fly over prison fences but couldn’t manage it because of the excess weight of the 45g package tied to its back. The pigeon was sentenced and is now a bona fide ‘jailbird’Read More »
Many owners and managers achieve stability and focus in their businesses by establishing set work patterns and rigid procedures. While this approach might help to achieve a degree of consistency, there is also a danger that it will conceal recurring errors and oversights. Sometimes predictable routines canstifle innovation and prevent you from identifying unrealised profit opportunities.
Bill Marriott of Marriott International saw a fine line between consistency and complacency, and so he developed a twelve-point programme to help business owners and managers stay on their toes:
- Continually challenge your team to do better. No matter how successful they are, a winning team will always be able to find room for improvement.
- Take good care of your employees and they will take good care of your customers. That way your customers will keep coming back.
- Celebrate your people’s success, not your own. Drawing attention to your own successes evokes only cynicism in others, whereas acknowledgement and praise of others’ successes evoke a wish to do even better.
- Know what you are good at and mind those competencies for all you are worth. Also know your weaknesses and engage others with complementary skills to work alongside you.
- Do it and do it now. Err on the side of action. Many a good profit improvement idea dies at the hands of prevarication.
- Communicate. Listen to your customers, associates, and competitors. We each have two ears and one mouth, and should use them in the same proportion.
- See and be seen. Get out of your office, walk around, make yourself visible and accessible. You are far more likely spot potential problems and pick up fresh ideas if you walk the boards on a regular basis.
- Success is in the details. The art of successful management is being able to pay attention to detail without losing the big picture.
- It is more important to hire people with the right qualities than with specific experience. Experience is rarely replicable, but portable skills can be applied to any situation.
- Customer needs vary, but their preference for quality never does. If you always strive to exceed your customer’s expectations, they will keep coming back for more.
- Eliminate the cause of a mistake. Don’t just clean it up. Errors have a habit of repeating themselves if you don’t eliminate their causes.
- View every problem as an opportunity to grow. This is essential to for a forward-thinking business.
It is important for all businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to be properly prepared for difficult times.
You need to plan on two levels: in the short-term, you must ensure that you have the resources and flexibility to manage short-term fluctuations. Now might not be the best time to expand or to hire additional staff. But in the long-term, you need to focus on being in a position of strength when the economy improves again.Read More »
ITV has revealed that it will be trying to diversify its advertising options by moving away from TV ad breaks to focus on online campaigns. ITV has already taken steps to increase its online presence through a deal with Sony, which allows on-demand content from ITV to be shown on Playstation 3s. Last August, it was revealed that the company’s net advertising revenue had increased by 18 per cent in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.Online video has seen considerable growth in recent years. The IAB’s bi-annual adspend figures carried out in assocation with PwC show that video has experienced a five-fold growth in two years, or 82% year on year.Read More »
A classical musician had her 300-year-old £1.2 million Stradivarius violin stolen when she stopped at a London sandwich store.It’s understood Korean violinist Min-Jin Kym was grabbing a bite to eat at a Pret A Manger cafe outside Euston station when her prized instrument was pinched. Police say it was only as she tucked into her food that the 32-year-old musician noticed her black, rectangular violin case had been taken. Given it contained a 1696 Antonio Stradivarius violin worth £1.2m and a Peccatte bow valued at £62,000 — it made her sandwich one of the most expensive ever.Read More »
Many people think that in today’s marketplace there really are really only two methods of marketing online - Push or Pull Marketing. So what is Push & Pull?
Push Marketing is simple, it’s is that type of marketing where you push your message out to your audience. Pull on the other hand is the type of marketing where you place ads or messages you hope will pull people to your website. In some cases you think you have no choice and push marketing is the only way you can reach your audience. But often, you do have an alternative, and that alternative is to practice “pull marketing.”Read More »
There are four pillars for Emotional Branding, these are Relationship, Imagination, Sensorial experiences and Vision.
Emotional Branding is the relationship between the consumers and the brand which would primarily revolve around the key interest or the passion of the consumer. This type of branding can be done effectively by not only understanding the product or its features but from an in-depth understanding of the behavior of the consumer who use that brand. Focus here is given on the likes and dislikes of the consumer, their needs and concerns along with their other interests and hopes.
Emotional branding is helpful in developing an experience for the client that can fulfill his main interest. However, at the initial stages this cannot be linked to the sales or revenue generated. If the consumer’s interest is taken care of then the brand would automatically create a strong bond with its user. This can help in increasing specific areas of brand value.
Emotional branding provides the methodology for creating a connect between the brand and the consumers in a emotionally profound manner. The focus here is given on the most compelling character of the human behavior which is the “desire”. A brand can tap into the aspiration drives which underlie human motivation.
Emotional branding focuses on the idea of fashioning a dialog with your clients and others who view all your branded marketing materials. It is normal for clients to expect brands to know them intimately and personally. They also expect brands to understand their unique needs, aspirations and values. Emotional branding will thus help you in understanding how your clients would feel when they look or interact with your brand.
If you would like discuss emotional branding further contact: Berry Burgess at Armadillo Creative on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
Interesting article from the Daily Mail regarding Smartphone technology advancement – with one swipe of an iPhone or Smartphone you’ll be able to pay for your shopping.It is being promoted as the beginning of the end for high street shopping with a plastic card.
Technology that will allow people to make purchases by swiping their mobile phone across a till scanner is to be rolled out from this summer. Consumers will be able to buy a cinema ticket, a sandwich or cup of coffee without the need for a card or cash. Barclaycard and the UK’s biggest mobile phone network, Everything Everywhere, which includes Orange and T-mobile, have signed a partnership to bring the system to 40,000 tills. The two claim it will be the the biggest revolution in payments since credit cards were introduced in this country more than 40 years ago.Read More »
Some people believe that only business start-ups need funding and that only large companies need business plans. But the truth is that every business needs a ‘blueprint’ – not just for the benefit of potential investors, but so that the people who work in the business can have a clear idea of its direction, and can commit to a plan. A good business plan serves various functions, but it must have a practical structure. Here are five essential ingredients:Read More »
Every new business pitch should do three things: Inform, Educate and Entertain.
BusinessWeek.com columnist Carmine Gallo reveals the techniques that have turned Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, into one of the world’s corporate presenters. Here are his 10 Ways to Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way:
Plan your presentation with pen and paper.
- Begin by storyboarding your presentation. Steve Jobs will initially spend his preparation time brainstorming, sketching and whiteboarding before he creating his presentation. All of the elements of the story that he wants to tell are thought through, elements are planned and collected before any slides are created.
- Create a single sentence description for every service/idea.Concise enough to fit in a 140-character Twitter post. An example, for the introduction of the MacBook Air in January, 2008, Jobs said that is it simply, “The world’s thinnest notebook.”
- Create a villain that allows the audience to rally around the hero—you and your product/service. A “villain” doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct competitor. It can be a problem in need of a solution.
- Focus on benefits. Your audience only care about how your service will improve their lives. Make the connection for your prospective clients. Don’t make them make that mental leap leaving them to figure it out for themselves.
- Stick to the rule of three for presentations. Almost every Jobs presentation is divided into three parts. You might have twenty points to make about your service, but your audience is only capable of retaining three or four points in short term memory. Give them too many points and they’ll forget everything you’ve said.
- Sell dreams, not your services. Steve Jobs doesn’tsell computers. He sells the promise of a better world. When Jobs introduced the iPod in 2001, he said, “In our own small way we’re going to make the world a better place.” Where most people see the iPod as a music player, Jobs sees it as tool to enrich people’s lives.
- Create visual slides. There are no bullet points in Steve Jobs presentations. Instead he relies on photographs and images. When Steve Jobs unveiled the Macbook Air, Apple’s ultra-thin notebook computer, he showed a slide of the computer fitting inside a manila inter-office envelope. Keep the presentation that simple.
- Make numbers meaningful. Jobs always puts large numbers into a context that’s relevant to his audience. The bigger the number, the more important it is to find analogies or comparisons that make the data relevant to your audience.
- Use plain English. Jobs’s language is remarkably simple. He rarely, if ever, will use the jargon that clouds most presentations—terms like “best of breed” or “synergy.” His language is simple, clear and direct.
- Practice, practice, practice. Steve Jobs spends hours rehearsing every facet of his presentation. Every slide is written like a piece of poetry, every presentation staged like a theatrical experience. Yes, Steve Jobs makes a presentation look effortless but that polish comes after hours and hours of grueling practice.
For long, internet searching and browsing to novices meant logging into Internet Explorer or Mozilla, and hammering away at the keyboard for Google. Google could be credited as, if not the earliest, then definitely the most user-friendly search engine created. Before long, Google expanded it’s territories from being merely a search engine, to other multifarious horizons like email, online commerce, instant chat services etc.
For some, this shift came across as a shift in priorities, as they felt the necessary properties of primarily a search engine was not being fulfilled. A new wave of search engines came up to rival the almost global domination of Google, usually referred to by industry insiders as the proverbial ‘Google slayers’. The ‘Bing’, to put very simply, is one such search engine that claims to be better and more efficient that it’s competition in providing all necessary online searching, browsing and data indexing facilities.Read More »
In an ever changing world what should business be aware of in the coming year? Here area my 5 to keep an eye on.
1. Social Networking Increasingly Popular with Older Users
If your marketing demographic includes those over the age of 50, you may want to look at how you could reach them through social media channels. Research shows that of internet users over age 50:
• From 2009 to 2010 social networking by those age 50-64 grew by 88% (25% to 47%)
• From 2009 to 2010 social networking by those age 65+ doubled (13% to 26%)
This growth is significant compared to younger age groups, who use social networking more, but only saw growth of 13% from 2009 to 2010.
Of particular note is growth in the use of status update tools like Twitter to share and follow updates.
2. The Importance of Being Likeable (At least on Facebook)
Growing your fan base on Facebook Pages will continue to be extremely important, as the size of the user base is staggering, with 500 million users and 50% of users checking Facebook daily.
Adding to your fans will depend on:
• Regularly adding valuable content
• Engaging your fans through commenting
• Offering fan-only content
The last point is especially important, as Facebook users need a reason to like you. Exclusive content is a proven strategy.
3. Continuing Growth in Geolocation for eMarketers
Geolocation-enhanced services like Foursquare have proven very popular with users, as they work to serve relevant local content. Savvy eMarketers can use the technology to offer up special offers or coupons for local businesses. Other services include:
• Facebook Places
4. m-Commerce Grows as Internet-Enabled Devices Gain Rapid Adoption
The mobile web is increasingly gaining traction as internet-enabled devices are everywhere and users are increasingly using their devices for m-commerce. Spending is expected to exceed £72 billion in the next four years.The UK leads the world in smartphone adoption, and this means an accelerated path for consumer acceptance.The big challenge lies in businesses not keeping pace with consumer demands for fast, easy applications that display well on mobile devices.
5. Real-Time Web Now Makes Timely Content Easy to Distribute
The real-time web allows users to get content as soon as it’s published. Tools like Twitter and Facebook can publish in real-time with status updates. Real-time search like Google realtime allows searchers to find up-to-the-second results from social media tools, articles and blog posts.
Real-time search is used today by marketers to find targeted prospects, but going forward we’ll see advancements such as real-time ecommerce begin to gain traction.
If you would like discuss 2011 eMarketing trends further contact:Berry Burgess at Armadillo Creative on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
This is the big question that everyone has been trying to fathom out since we first discovered the ‘send’ button. A lot depends on your target audience, your message and your offer or message. Also is it Business or Consumer – each has different habit and responses.
As a rule of thumb the best days for business emails is Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. Your audience is generally out of the office on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday’s – it’s back to work time and it’s too early in the working week for business solicitations as there is a lot of the weeks work to plan. On Friday, most people are concentrating on finishing and tying up loose ends. If someone starts something on a Friday, it may be forgotten over the weekend.
So, what’s the best time? A lot depends on who you are sending too but here are some loose guidelines:
The Black Hole: 10.00pm to 9.00am – this is the worst time to send emails.
The Happy Hour: 9.0 am to 10.00am – this is considered to be good time for Consumer, but not for Businesses first thing on a Monday morning as they are cleaning out the inbox and are in a deleting frenzy.
Do Not Disturb: 10.00am to 12.00 noon – consumers are choosing to concentrate and focus on work after a slowish start.
The Lunchtime Lounge: 12.00 to 2.00p.m – Consumers are unlikely to open emails in ‘Me Time’ and prefer to concentrate on YouTube. Magazine formats, sports and general surfing and shopping.
The Kill Zone: 2pm to 3.00pm – After a lazy lunch period it’s heads down straight back into work with a vengence. This is a good time to respond to business oriented emails.
The Change Time: 3.00pm to 5.00pm – Job related frustration and apathy kicks in and consumers start considering personal situations. This is a good time for financial services, property and anything that may enrich and change the low that they are in.
The Late Workers: 5.00pm to 7.00 pm – This is a good time when business people have time to absorb B2B promotions and offers. For the consumer it’s holidays.
The Soft Zone: 7.00 pm to 10.00pm – Consumers are more likely to respond to consumer driven promotions in their own time and at home. Shopping and clothes and health club promotions are perform well in this time.
In a nutshell? Target Businesses early in the day and Consumers later in the day.
If you wish to discuss e-marketing in more depth contact: Berry Burgess at Armadillo Creative on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
You may well have prepared a business plan some years ago to present to your bank manager. If you revisit that plan now, you will probably be surprised by how little relationship the position of your business now bears to that predicted in the plan. The reality is that most business plans fail. Here are some of the 6 traps to avoid:
1. A dead document
A business plan that is created for a purpose and then discarded will always become obsolete quickly. Making your business plan a living document is essential if you don’t want the whole process to be a failure. Only a regularly reviewed and updated plan can be the spur to look critically at your business on a recurring basis.
Here are some top free SEO tips that can be helpful to you if you are looking to enhance your web presence.
It is important that the search engine is aware about the basic idea and content of your page. Hence, in order to make the search engine aware you need to insert the keyword in the title tag as well. Once you insert the keyword in your title tag your document would have a good chance of appearing in the top few of the search engine.
1. Make sure that you use the same keyword in the title tag as well as in the content.
2. One of the most basic things that you need to do is select a keyword which is relevant to the issue or topic of your document. If you are writing or promoting a product than it is wise to have the product name as your keyword.
3. You need to also be careful of the fact that you don’t end up using the same keyword for all the documents or pages on your website. Incase you use the same keyword than the search engine would assume that all your pages are the same.
4. Make sure you don’t link to any of the unfriendly neighborhoods.
5. You should always avoid the use of doorway passages. Doorway passages are designed in such a manner that they only suit robots. Search engines give first preference to human friendly pages and hence you should not use doorway passages.
6. Make sure that you submit your document to the search engines and avoid getting it done by the submission server.
Use these tips and see how your document stands among the top list of the search engines.Read More »
Branding, is like an iceberg- it exists mostly below the surface. The visible brand messaging accounts for what we see above sea level. The invisible brand – the company culture, the customer experience – adds the mass below the surface.
Your company doesn’t have to be the size of Coca-Cola or Mercedes to have a brand. In fact, every business has one. And by building yours into a strong one it can become one of your most valuable assets. Branding is a simple representation of who you, your company or your product are. One of the key fundamental steps to begin this process is to implement some honest self-analysis to discover your brand truth. The results of this establishes your unique brand identity if you are true to yourself. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin came back from the moon, the first thing they were greeted by was a huge neon sign that said ‘Welcome to Earth – home of Coca-Cola. That is how powerful a brand can be.Read More »
Mobile Commerce spending is set to exceed over £72 Billion in 2011, also known as m-commerce, it is a subset of E-commerce where shopping is done via mobile phone. If your business isn’t considering m-commerce currently, consider the facts:
• M-commerce is reaching critical mass, with spending to reach $119 billion USD in the next four years, according to analysts at ABI Research.
• Japan is currently the largest market for m-commerce, but US markets have grown from $396 billion USD in 2008 to $1.2 billion USD in 2009, and European markets are expected to outpace the US by the end of 2010.
• The UK leads the world in smartphone adoption (the technology that powers m-commerce), with the adoption rate jumping an astounding 70% to more than 11 million subscribers just from January 2009 to January 2010, according to a recent comScore study.
• With only 2.1% of the UK’s population using m-commerce currently, the potential for growth is enormous.
Royal Mail is honouring the work of puppeteer Gerry Anderson with a new set of special ‘motion stamps’ issued today.
Anderson created the characters from cult TV programmes such as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Stingray. The stamps were created by GBH with a process that fused film-making, editing and post production techniques with graphic design,” say GBH. ”Sequences were meticulously trialled from the original master 35mm print at ITV, and the final frames were carefully selected, exported to HD quality, digitally re-mastered and then re-edited back into an all-new 36 frames sequence, for use in the complex micro-lenticular process.”
The lenticular stamps are joined by a Royal Mail Special Stamp Issue of six landscape stamps featuring all of Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation TV shows from the 1960s: Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90
Whatever you do, put the franking machine away buy some stamps this month!!!Read More »
Due to an ever increasing digital workload we are delighted to welcome Ian Sidaway to Armadillo as Digital Designer. Ian has many years experience designing a variety of online work including complex E-commerce websites. Ian is a seasoned designer with nearly ten years experience working in digital media. He has extensive experience in web design, particularly e-commerce systems and online software development and has a particular interest in the user experience of web design, and aims for clarity and consistency in all his projects. Outside of the Crayons studio Ian is a Batman and Star Wars fanatic, a horror movie buff and an obvious Apple fanboy, and can often be seen on-stage playing guitar in his band. Don’t let the beard and tattoos put you off, he’s actually a very nice lad…Read More »
Businesses and their conduction have undergone tremendous changes in the modern world. Having a business no more depicts an office and chairs and computers anymore. It can be a virtual one without any physical presence but it has to definitely have to create a niche for itself in the digital age.
SEO web design is the essence for making your company presence felt. It is just not about having a web site, but having a website that is relevant enough to attract search engines to keep you at the top rankings.
Any professional web design company or website designers always strive to provide website design services that are SEO compliant and user friendly. They use appropriate HTML coding, target keywords, Meta tags, relevant content, use ALT tags, proper link building which also helps in bringing more traffic.Read More »
Good presentation skills are an important business asset, yet all too often speakers fail to represent themselves, or their subject, to full advantage.The art of a good presentation is not the confined to the naturally outgoing – indeed, it involves a number of skills which need to be learned. Follow these pointers to help make the experience of giving a presentation more successful – and enjoyable.
• Get to the point. Decide on the key points you need to make in the course of the presentation
• Put your spin on it. Highlight what is interesting, unusual or important about your subject matter, in order to engage your audience and make an impact
• Assume nothing. Don’t make your audience fill in the gaps. Important background information should be outlined, even if only briefly
• Clarity is everything. Try to see the presentation from your audience’s perspective. Are your points clear, and does your presentation have a logical flow?
Having a vision for your business is one of the absolute fundamentals. Your vision will inform every strategic decision you make.
Ask yourself: where is the business going and what is its purpose? A mission statement allows you to define and articulate the purpose and aims of your organisation, giving staff a focus and direction, and allowing you to assess over time whether your objectives are being met. Here are the four steps for a successful statement:
We were more than surprised when we found out this morning that our animated video ‘The Changing World’ has reached over 27,000 views on YouTube.
Created and animated by Armadillo Creative Director Lee Skinner it demonstrates and highlights the technological advancement of modern media. When the agency has the luxury of another 2 weeks gap, and not building websites left right and centre – we may even tackle another venture!
To see the video, click here “AN EVER CHANGING WORLD”
If you would like a digital video for corporate or viral use, contact Berry Burgess or Rachel Burgess on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.comRead More »
Whether we are buying a house, planning a merger, discussing wages, meeting the bank manager, or fighting over the remote control, we all negotiate on a daily basis. So naturally, we’d all like to be good at negotiating and we’d all like to be able to ‘get our own way’ most of the time. However, negotiation is a two-way process and it is worth bearing in mind this observation about human nature: if you want an agreement or compromise to be sustainable, people must leave the meeting room feeling satisfied that they have really agreed something, not that they’ve been bulldozed into submission. Here are some pointers towards successful negotiation:Read More »
Armadillo has a busy run into the Christmas with a complete revamped and rebuild of the E-commerce website for national furniture retailer ScS ready for a Boxing Day launch. Incorporating many new features and fully SEO driven it was a considerable task for the digital team at the agency, but the results were certainly worth it, with very good Christmas online sales recorded.
The new site is more strealimed and functional with a better user experience. The web build was completed at a fairly eventful time when we had freakish impassable snow and our Head of Digital Rob Curry became a proud father for the first time.Read More »
The 46 stages of Twitter- funny post that’s been doing the rounds.
1. Hear the word Twitter. Scoff.
2. Hear it again from someone else. Scoff again.
3. Hear about famous celebrity who is apparently “On Twitter.” Scoff, but make mental note to check it out.
4. Log into Facebook to comfort self.
5. Sign up for Twitter.
6. Give up because it seems dumb.
7. Loudly criticize others on Twitter.
Do you see your business as an island unto itself or as a vital link in a chain? If you want to maximise your profits, it is often necessary to take a wider view…Whatever the nature of your business, the chances are that you are part of at least one supply chain that delivers products or services to the end customer or client. Looked at in this way, all the other businesses in that chain, from origination through to final delivery, are effectively your trading partners. Everyone adds value
Each one of you has a vested interest in the performance of all the others because the supply chain is effectively a value chain in which each participant adds value at each stage of the process for which they are responsible. This way of viewing your business points up the interdependence of all the businesses in any chain of which you are a part. In a nutshell, any value added at any stage in the process is inherited by all the business further down the line; and any waste, redundancy, excessive cost, or reduced value is also passed on in a similar way. Collaborate with your trading partnersRead More »
Armadillo Creative have been appointed by Ewan Bramley to implement a full rebrand including the digital development of website, e-marketing and SEO. Ewan Bramley is one of North Tyneside’s leading dental practioners, he clinic is launching a new website to better promote their wide service offering and promise of delivering the opportunity for everyone to enjoy excellent dental health.Read More »
After a very busy and succesful year we decided to treat ourselves at Christmas by a spot of rebranding including brand, website, blog and a new marketing and business strategy. We had to say goodbye to our ‘blood in from a stone’ concept which everybody loved, but we have a nice smiley face of Rachel which may cheer some people up. With a fresher content rich strategy under the Knowledge Bank brand, we hope that our tweets and informative blog posts may be of use to the North East business community. We’ve also got sone great content from some our partners RMT Accountants and Nicola Cook of Aurora Training. Who said you didn’t get anything for nothing? In the current digital age we all have to be a current as possible and embrace new ideas and technology. Our new brand look was designed around instant simplicity of information that could be easily digested by clients across all media, from website to print. We have also built a trial mobile version of the website – if you log onto www.armadillo-creative.com from a mobile handset, it automatically redirects you to the simpler M site.Read More »
Mobile websites and m.commerce will surely see growth during 2011. Within the past few years, it has now become common place to have some sort of internet access on mobile phones. Whether it be for satellite navigation, simple email processing, or full access to the web, this new technology is clearly here to stay. Most of the mainstream, popular websites have already made the transition to mobile, as well as some smaller personal websites.
An AOP study from July this year suggests that, compared with the European stats from comScore, more UK mobile users are accessing the internet.
- Mobile internet retail sales could double in the next three years. By 2013 mobile internet sales could reach as much as £275m, 4% of online retail spending, up from £123m currently.
- 11.5% of UK shoppers are using their mobiles to research before shopping and 38% to research while they‘re actually out shopping. An expected 119% rise in the number of people using mobile commerce will help sales to grow.
- 7.1 million Britains now access the internet through their mobile
- 24% of UK mobile users have a smart phone
- Each month in the UK, 4.2 million consumers visit retailers’ websites using the mobile internet (GSMA & Comscore, 2010)
So how does this affect you? As someone whom may only have a small personal website or run a large organisation selling products or services, you could be missing out on potential visitors to your website by neglecting this media type. According to research done for Toyota, it was apparent that adding mobile to your online campaign provides more than 40% lift on branding alone. Can you really afford to miss out?
With the increase in e-commerce websites the adaptation of the online site to a m.commerce will be key to online business growth in 2011.
If you would like to know more about m.commerce or mobile websites contact Berry Burgess on 0191 257 8380 or visit www.armadillo-creative.com
In light of the pile of uncollected piles of rubbish that local councils are having trouble collecting, here is a nice ad from BBDO in Auckland, Australia. They turned the ordinary rubbish bag into a bushy hedge, which formed garden beds when placed curbside. The “Beautify your City” campaign was created to make Auckland a more beautiful city.
Agency: Colenso BBDO, Auckland, New Zealand Executive Creative Director: Nick Worthington. Creative Director: Levi Slavin Art Director: Kia Heinnen .Copywriter: Zoe HawkinsRead More »
Subject lines have a massive impact on the open rates of email campaigns and can influence response metrics. It can be for many subscribers the only piece of information that she or he has to make a decision to open your email or not.
Your subject lines therefore need to be enticing and unique as you are potentially up against thousands of email marketing campaigns for attention in the inbox.
Your subject line is potentially as important as the email itself and should be given due time and attention. Below are some simple tips to always keep in mind when composing your own subject lines.Read More »
What will 2011 bring us? Here are my predictions
1. Mike Ashley finally sells Newcastle United for an undisclosed sum to an undisclosed MP, who purchased the Toon on expenses.
2. British Researchers conclude that after a 5 year long £20m study of traffic congestion, the problem is always caused by the car in front
3. Simon Cowell will get knighted for his services to TV audience ratings and his contribution to the nations economy
4. Rumours circulate on the web about the discovery of 3 Romanian refugees living in Connie Huqs hair.Read More »
Armadillo have been commissioned to design, build and host a new online blinds superstore, Contour Blinds Direct. Contour Blinds is a family-run business established in 1995 and recognised as one of the North East’s leading suppliers of window blinds and awnings. Contour is extending business to create a new and significant online presence. The site will integrate a number of overseas supplier systems to deliver a huge catalogue.Read More »
Over the Christmas we’ve treat ourselves to a bit of a brand overhaul, new brand identity, new blog, website and marketing strategy etc. As we were cleaning out the design attic we thought we’d just showcase some brand identity that we’ve done. Most of these were done to implement the website that went with it. We love Brand Identity.Read More »
The Internet no longer remains a “new” technology there are still many business owners who are averse to the idea of having a business website either because they are not comfortable with the new medium or they simply deem it unnecessary – we say that you are missing a big opportunity by not having a website. A presence on the World Wide Web is of enormous benefit to most businesses and organisations. A well designed web site will allow you to convey information to your target audience in a manner and at a speed not possible in any other medium.
Although the web cannot be a complete replacement for traditional media it is very effective for advertising, information provision, and customer support. The key is to think of the World Wide Web as an opportunity to enhance the service you currently provide for your customers and a chance to use business automation to speed up information transfer and improve staff efficiency.
Having a business website immediately propels your visibility and reach to a higher level. All of a sudden you are accessible to your customers and clients 24/7. Both old and new customers find you approachable and progressive. When people hear about an organisation the first thing many of them will do will be to look on the Internet to see if they can find your website. If you do not have one they may perceive you to be less credible and may not believe you are a ‘real’ business. Even worse they may stumble across your competitors and forget all about you. Here are the main benefits why everyone needs a website:Read More »
Many owners and managers achieve stability and focus in their businesses by establishing set work patterns and rigid procedures. While this approach might help to achieve a degree of consistency, there is also a danger that it will conceal recurring errors and oversights. Sometimes predictable routines can stifle innovation and prevent you from identifying unrealised profit opportunities.
Bill Marriott of Marriott International saw a fine line between consistency and complacency, and so he developed a Twelve-point programme to help business owners and managers stay on their toes:Read More »
We are so snowed under with work at the minute ( no pun intended) that we need another experienced hand to help us move some of all the new business that is coming in faster than we can move it.
We are looking for a self motivated driven experienced PHP Developer that can deliver, manage and help build great looking websites and e-marketing solutions to a diverse range of clients. This is a great opportunity for someone to take the next step looking for a new challenge in a creatively led environment.
The ideal person will have a at least 3-5 years experience within a digital environment and must be highly motivated with personal drive and great team & people skills. Must be comfortable client facing, and also have the ability to both project manage, and help design and build a variety of websites. You must also have a strong knowledge base of current industry technical aspects of site build and have good verbal and written communication skills.