It’s that time again. I’ve collected a bunch of marketing fact-lets and oddments together, none of which really deserve a full post but all of which are interesting and relevant enough to mention.
Obviously, keywords fly right out of the window for posts like this. But variety is the spice of readers’ life and there’s no way I’m going to restrict my subject matter just for site optimisation purposes. If I think my audience will find it interesting, I’ll talk about it. Which is what Google wants site owners to do.
Random marketing related soundbites
Festival of Marketing’s fascinating focus
I’m not going to the 2013 Festival of Marketing, splendid as it sounds. But I was fascinated to take a tour of their Modern Marketing Manifesto, which delivers clues about what the world of marketing is focusing on right now. And it’s good to know that my take on where marketing is headed isn’t the least bit off-piste.
As an advocate of the marketing theory of Likeonomics and afficionado of direct marketing, I was chuffed to see the manifesto mentioning stuff like integration, personalisation (‘marketing to one person at a time’), brand (‘learn the new transparency and authenticity’) and character (‘integrity wins’). Nice one.
Take a look at your Twitter stream and you’ll see loads of folk tweeting as regular as clockwork. How do they do that? They’re probably pre-setting Tweets to go out to a prescribed timetable, spreading their visibility throughout the day and sometimes the night too, depending on their geographical reach.
I prefer to Tweet whenever I’m inspired to say something. Some days I honestly don’t have a thing to say, or I’m too busy. When I’m on there I re-Tweet things I like, reply to a few people and favourite the particularly good stuff. Then I bugger off again. All of which means I tend to Tweet in clumps.
There are advantages and disadvantages. On the down side, I don’t have a consistent presence. But I’m not convinced consistency is particularly important in a Twitter context anyway. On the up side, at least my Twitter activity looks more ‘natural’ than the drip-feed stuff, simply because it is natural.
Google has a monopoly in Britain, with more than 90% market penetration. But a growing number of people I know are making inroads into Bing, exasperated by the restrictions Google places on their ability to hit page one of the search result or even get anywhere near. I love Google, don’t get me wrong, but a monopoly is never a good thing. So viva la revolution.
Once upon a time…
If, like me, you’ve ever wondered about the history of computer technology, here’s a potted version courtesy of last week’s New Scientist magazine which, in my opinion, reliably delivers more fascination per column inch than any publication on the planet.
- 1837 – Charles Babbage designed his mechanical ‘Analytical Engine’, with rotating gears, but died before he could build it
- 1936 – Alan Turing took an electronic turn and developed the Bombe, combining moving parts with electronic circuits in an effort to decode Nazi messages
- 1946 – The US army turned to vacuum tubes with its Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, containing more than 17,000 tubes
- 1954 – Bell Labs took the baton with their silicon transistor, the first of its kind and the invention that led to the creation of the Intel 4004 processor, finally released in 1971
- 1998 – A team at Delft University created the first practical carbon nanotube transistor, which eventually led to the first carbon nanotube computer, recently featured in New Scientist
- 2013 – Watch this space as clever eggheads design transistors using laser light, DNA molecules and even odder materials in an effort to drive the next computer revolution
Glow Worm direct mail fail
A few years ago our boiler went awol and we were left without heat, in freezing January, for eight days. Nightmare. So these days we get it serviced regularly. This year Glow Worm, the manufacturer of our boiler, sent a special offer for an annual service and safety inspection provided by Homeserve. The letter was fine, if a bit dull. And the price was good. So I called to make an appointment.
Imagine my disappointment when my call went unanswered for twenty rings before being transferred to an answerphone. Damn. I tried three more times, at different times of day, but nobody answered. So I found a local chap instead, via word of mouth recommendation.
Then I remembered. A couple of years ago I took out a boiler insurance policy including a free annual service, also through Homeserve. Almost a year after I took it out, I had to call them to ask about the free annual service they’d promised but completely forgotten about. Hm. It doesn’t exactly inspire faith and trust. Having been burned twice, I shall steer well clear of Homeserve in future.
Thanks to Edward Snowden for highlighting weak computer security
The fewer secrets there are, the less disgraceful behaviour governments and the military can get away with. So thanks to Edward Snowden for pointing out that the internet is full of holes. We now know that spy agencies here and abroad have forced technology suppliers to introduce ‘back doors’ into the systems we all use online. As a result some built-in computer security measures have been deliberately weakened, probably through nefarious practices like dicking around with encryption algorithms.
At the same time, the German newspaper Der Spiegel recently claimed the NSA has the capability to hack into US citizens’ iPhones, Android phones and Blackberries to check people’s contacts, notes and SMS messages. Outrageous.
Smartphones? Bah, humbug. Here comes the smartwatch
Rather than buy a smartphone, which won’t make any difference to my life, I’m waiting for Google Glass, which is more my kind of ‘out-there’ technology. But hang on a sec’… it looks like smartwatches might beat Glass to it. And they’re already on the market. How cool is that, and much more difficult to lose than a phone.
The rise of multi-sensory marketing
Just when you thought it was safe to poke your head above the parapet, the rise in multi-sensory marketing is being brought into play to persuade consumers to buy more stuff. As its name suggests, multi-sensory marketing manipulates more than one sense, sometimes all five at once. At the moment most marketing is aural, visual or both. Now it appears no sense will be left unturned as marketers also bring smell, touch and taste to the party.
Here we go again: as an ex-marketer I’m thrilled. As a punter, I’m horrified!