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Don’t trick your customers this Halloween, treat them with spooktastic content

By Katharine Biggs, Content and Marketing Manager at parcelLab

When I read that notonthehighstreet.com searches for Halloween are up 889% and already features in its top five search terms, I had to stop and think for a second: it’s still only just September, right? And we’re talking about 2020 – the year when Covid-19 turned the retail world upside down and left many bricks and mortar stores with no other option but to shut their doors for good. And then of course there is the long-term economic impact which last month saw the UK declared officially in a recession for the first time in 11 years. 

As summer draws to a close, I’m sure many of us find ourselves in this position every year, asking ‘Where has this year gone?’ But this has been a year like no other and now we find ourselves with 79* days left until Black Friday and 107* days left until Christmas for brands and retailers to navigate what the “new normal” will look like, adapt and prepare for what is traditionally the ‘peakiest’ season in the retail calendar. 

But Halloween is usually a slightly different story. Generally, this high level of searching and buying activity isn’t expected until October but still with 52* days to go until Halloween, it seems that consumers are already planning out their frightful activities. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise; for three-months, families were confined to their homes and staying in has become the new going out. So if you can’t go out trick-or-treating under social distancing rules, what better way for families to celebrate than in their own haunted house? 

According to Leanne Osbourne, Commercial Director at notonthehighstreet: “Customer searches for Halloween products such as unique food and drink, partyware, decorations, games & activities and clothing/accessories traditionally increase around mid-September, but this year searches began in early August as customers are planning further ahead for special occasions and celebrating key dates in the diary with loved ones at home.”

Yet the almost 900% increase that notonthehighstreet has reported wouldn’t usually be expected until the week before Halloween itself. 

Where are shoppers turning for inspiration? The digital screen in their home or pocket, of course. Great news for ecommerce, multi- and omni-channel retailers! Well, yes. But only if you are making the most of this opportunity by maximising value for your customers, and that includes after they have checked out. The post-purchase phase of the customer journey, where customers are tracking their delivery via email and text updates, is a prime time to put all your Halloween marketing efforts to good use. 

With open rates as high as 75% – significantly higher than the standard marketing emails that brands and retailers might put out – these email updates are a great opportunity to engage your customer and offer them something of value – which, in the spirit of Halloween, could be anything from how-to video tutorials, decoration inspiration, candy treats or ghoulish recipe ideas and other themed content that shows you, as a brand or retailer, care about your customer beyond the sale. That’s the foundation of long-term brand loyalty right there. As well as letting them know how, when and who will be delivering their items, it’s an opportunity to up- and cross-sell complementary products that will add to their Halloween festivities and ensure that they don’t go looking elsewhere for it. 

It’s all about communication. Create an open dialogue through this channel with your customers and give them an exceptional customer experience. Show them that you’ve got this covered and they’ll be coming back for more, well after the fake cobwebs have been dusted from the party – in prime time for the peak season to come. 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Digital Insights: Tips to prepare for the Golden Quarter

By twentysix

The peak retail period of October to December (aka The Golden Quarter) isn’t far away and this year it’s going to be an interesting one. Following the “lockdown” disruption, 2020’s peak is going to be a vital sales opportunity for many retailers.

But how can marketers plan ahead when a global pandemic has turned everything upside down? How are consumers going to behave? Will they be in buying mode? Or will the impact of lockdown dampen demand as we’ve seen earlier in the year? Will there be a second wave and what will this mean?

Much of this depends on the course of the virus and as a digital agency, twentysix, we’re not going to attempt to predict that! But amongst the uncertainty, there are things we can still rely on: Christmas is still Christmas; people will still want to buy; and there will be pent up demand and a hunger for deals – all of which will open opportunities for your brand.

With lockdown accelerating online behaviours there is one thing that is certain; digital is going to be an enormous part of the mix for all advertisers. You need to make sure you have the right mix of channels with a solid foundation in search, affiliates and user experience to capture demand, alongside upper funnel activity such as display and social to help create it. But it’s not just about having the channels in place: success will also be about building the agility to adapt to conditions as they unfold – a must in this uncertain environment.

So whether it’s scenario planning, solidifying your technology and tracking foundations, assessing your SEO trajectory, or reviewing your website to ensure your UX is up to scratch, now is the time to start getting ready.

Download twentysix’s guide to the Golden Quarter to unlock 6 key principles to help you create competitive advantage, along with tips from the agency’s digital channel specialists to help you prepare for the most significant quarter of trading we’ll experience for some time.

Download the full guide here

5 steps to optimising conversion rates with customer journey timelines

Over the last few months, as consumer behaviour naturally changed and evolved throughout lockdown and beyond, like many of our customers, you may have seen a massive rise in the volume of visits to your website.

In order to help you convert more opportunities and capitalise on increased traffic, Go Inspire Group have created our 5-step guide to getting more conversions. 

Step 1: Cluster all interactions into Customer Journey Timelines

Disparate visits from thousands of users should be clustered into customer journey timelines that group all interactions a known, or unknown individual makes with your website, across all channels, in one place.

This displays something more closely related to the customer’s actual purchase journey behaviour, as well as highlighting how different channels and campaigns are working together to drive traffic to your website. 

Step 2: Identify Individuals

Identifying whether an individual is a known customer, unknown repeat visitor or phantom visitor can inform your decision whether to deliver personalised messages through CRM activity, to invest in targeted acquisition remarketing and paid search, or to suppress your marketing from individuals unlikely to convert. 

Step 3: Segment your visitors based on engagement

Segmenting visitors to your website based on engagement, value bands and channel preference empowers you to develop bespoke marketing campaigns for Retention and Acquisition.

Overlaying your existing customer segmentation from Single Customer View and CRM data can allow you to build a rich picture of your customers and join the dots between your online and offline worlds. 

Step 4: Filter out the noise

Picture yourself walking past a store of any kind with motion sensors on their entrance doors. If you trigger the doors but do not enter the store – should you be classed as a meaningful visit? 

No, you are what we consider to be a ‘phantom’.

The reality is, around 98% of visitors to your website are probably phantom visitors – who land, bounce and then never return. 

Removing phantoms delivers significant benefits across your digital marketing for example:

  • improve quality scores by removing those who will never convert from your remarketing selections
  • get an accurate read of how acquisition campaigns are performing by only including meaningful visits
  • supress existing customers from acquisition campaigns to avoid wasted spend

By first removing the phantoms to ‘filter out the noise’, only then you can begin to understand your website’s true performance.

Step 5: Optimise marketing spend

By completing steps 1-4, you can begin to truly understand the true cost and profitability of all journeys, to know which channels are working well and which need further optimisation.

You can now focus on retaining the right customers by creating a marketing strategy that moves customers into the most profitable bands, applying your understanding of customer engagement, channel preference and stage in journey to tailor messages to an individual customer’s need.

What results can you expect to see from this approach?

This approach to optimisation typically delivers the following results:

  • 13%-16% saving on digital marketing spend
  • 14% increase in conversion from Abandoned Baskets remarketing 
  • Saving of 1-2p per click on social and paid search with improved quality scores
  • 2-5% more emails landed in inboxes with improved sender reputation
  • Save 10% on social, dm and display ad by selecting most engaged customers for campaigns

How can you achieve all the above?

Simply email info@goinspire.co.uk discover how Digital Playback can solve your attribution headache and optimise your conversion rates.

Digital Playback is our unique attribution platform, that enables you to optimise your conversion rates and marketing spend by clustering every interaction an individual makes, across all channels and devices, in one journey.

Check out our webinar

Nick Greatrex, Digital Director at Go Inspire Insight, shares his thoughts on improving conversion by solving the digital marketing attribution headache, check out the webinar here [17min to view].

The Evolution of the Chief Marketing Officer

By Yogesh Shah, CEO of iResearch Services

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has changed dramatically in the last few years. What started as a role primarily based on market research, advertising and brand management, quickly evolved into a role focused on customer experience and data analytics, with key emphasis on supporting other members of the C-Suite to define the purpose of the business by providing insight into what the customer needs, rather than what the business assumes it should sell. Whilst many of these elements remain the same, the role of the CMO has now become far more complex.

Changes to content consumption, consumer and organisational behaviour, the rise of social media and worldwide disruptions such as Covid-19 have meant that many marketing strategies have been given a makeover, creating new priorities and responsibilities for CMOs as a result. 

As a valuable part of the C-Suite, the importance of the CMO role is not up for debate. Establishing a brand identity and a clear space in the market will always remain a priority, but where should CMOs now start as they navigate the new landscape?

Traditional vs digital media 

Change is all around us, but it isn’t just a result of this year’s events. One of the biggest drivers of this change is the shift in the use of media. The world has rapidly moved from the use of traditional media to have a heavy focus on digital; a change which has now become a permanent part of media and content consumption.

In the U.S. alone, digital ad spend has climbed up to $151 billion in 2020, significantly more than the combined $107 billion that traditional marketing has garnered. These figures are even more impressive when considering that in 1999, digital ads only had a $4.79 billion cap while the traditional market enjoyed as much as $94 billion at the time.

Bringing it back to the changes we’ve seen this year, CMOs are also now contending with audiences that have less, or no, commuting time and therefore have longer to consume content in different formats; will we see the rise of longer-form, data-driven content consumption? User-generated content has also become extremely prominent in many marketing and content strategies; turning to the end-user to show first hand the benefits or applications of the product or service in real-time.

With more changes undoubtedly on the horizon, traditional marketing should not be discarded. After all, many consumers claim that they have a longer-lasting impression of TV ads than they do with digital ads. The CMO therefore needs to be ready to adapt, with an open mind towards bringing back the methods of the past to meet consumer needs.

Data-driven campaigns 

The need for advanced research has also greatly changed the role of the CMO. In the past, CMOs have needed to rely purely on gut feeling, however the maturity of the market has shown that data is needed to back up these gut feelings for guaranteed success.

Furthermore, advances in technology such as big data and artificial intelligence have made their way onto the CMO’s evolving list of responsibilities. With a data-centric approach, CMOs can use the large volumes of analytics to their advantage and identify actionable patterns, trends and behaviours to use within their content and campaigns. By forecasting trends and building strategies based on concrete insights, CMOs are now able to create the next best campaign that not only resonates with the intended audience, but that creates a need the consumer might not have even been aware they had.

Taking this one step further, CMOs can integrate this data into their campaigns themselves. For a B2B audience, a CMO can create compelling, data-driven thought leadership content to demonstrate how much they understand their audience, building a relationship as a result. Acknowledging that decision-makers may still be working from home with no morning commute and therefore more time to read an industry-led report, could well be a winning strategy for CMOs to implement as businesses continue to navigate through these unprecedented times.

The future of the CMO

Research shows that 88% of organisations agree that the role of the CMO has changed in the past two years alone. These organisations also believe that the role of the CMO will continue to change.

No matter how you look at it, the CMO of today is not what you used to know. And, as the introduction of new technology continues to accelerate and ‘digital’ becomes the norm, the role of the CMO won’t stop evolving any time soon.

The CMO position is set to become even more varied than it is now, with different responsibilities and job role requirements that will make the position unique to each organisation, depending on what other roles they have within both their C-Suite and the rest of the marketing team. For example, if an organisation has a CDO, Chief Data Officer, then data analytics, reporting and strategy might not be part of the CMO’s role; but if there isn’t a CDO, then the CMO will likely be responsible for data as well as other aspects within the wider marketing strategy too.

Regardless of differing responsibilities, organisations will require CMOs to apply insight to their strategies to ensure they address wider business challenges. As a result, CMOs will no longer work in isolation but will be part of the organisation’s vision of growth and market leadership. Working in harmony with other members of the C-Suite and their own team, CMOs will be – and are – instrumental in bridging the gap between customer data and the strategy that needs to be executed as a result of that data. However, with so many responsibilities, the CMO will need a strong and structured team around them to provide support.

It’s time for CMOs to embrace the ‘new normal’, consider how they can use new – or traditional – methods to reach their new audience and to remember that data is key: both to reach their target audience and within the campaign itself.

How to dominate Google with featured snippets

Heard of featured snippets but not sure what they are or how they can help you climb the search results? Selesti‘s quick guide will tell you exactly what featured snippets are and how you can use them to dominate the search results!

What are featured snippets?

The idea behind featured snippets is to provide a short, simple answer to a user’s search. The text is pulled from pages within Google’s index, and they often appear as paragraphs, tables or a bulleted list.

More importantly, featured snippets typically appear at the top of Google search results, even if the site from which the text was taken ranks on page 2 of the SERPs.

This means you can use them to rank at the top of listings even for some of the most competitive terms.

How To Win At Featured Snippets

There are certain things you can do to improve your chances of ranking for a featured snippet. 

Keyword research

Use your own knowledge about your industry as well as common keyword research tools, such as SEMRush and Google’s Keyword Planner to get an idea of the interest in your chosen topics.

It’s worth noting that you have a higher chance of getting a featured snippet for more niche topics: over 85% of snippets appear for queries with a volume of 100 or less a month.

Understand Your Audience

It’s important to understand the intent of your audience whilst searching if you’re going to get a featured snippet. One way of understanding what questions users are commonly asking is the “people also ask” section, which sometimes appears alongside the search results in Google.

You can also ask your staff what questions they hear from customers. This can be an effective way of identifying previously unthought-of queries, as well as helping your existing customers!

Structure your post better than your competitors 

Ensuring your content is well structured can make the difference between appearing for a featured snippet or not. Most content that ranks well for featured snippets tends to be driven from question-based content. Indeed, 41% of all questions searched on Google have featured snippets and this is only likely to increase.

You can also use something called “snippet bait” to increase your chances that your content will be chosen for a snippet.

Snippet bait is typically a section at the start of a post that is specially designed to appear in a featured snippet. For paragraph snippets this may be a short (40-60 word) paragraph that quickly summarises the response to a query in a straightforward, simple fashion, You can then go into further detail later into the post. 

Making the most of featured snippets

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to dominate the top of the search engines, even if you’re not ranking on the first page. 

If you’d like some help to supercharge your position in the search results, get in touch with one of our experts today.

WEBINAR: Convert more opportunities with Digital Playback and the AlwaysOn Marketing Machine

Through a combination of enhanced attribution, optimised marketing and spend timely communications triggered by any predetermined event in a customer journey, the Go Inspire Group are successfully enabling brands to convert more opportunities at speed, on the road to recovery.

Nick Greatrex, Digital Director at Go Inspire Insight, shares his thoughts on improving conversion by solving the digital marketing attribution headache, check out the webinar here [17min to view].

Solving the Attribution and Conversion Rate Headache:

Digital Playback identifies browsers as individuals, linking the online and offline interactions that an individual customer or potential customer makes with your business, across all channels, in one journey. It optimises your conversion rates and marketing spend, showing you when to act, when to pull back, and which customer groups to focus on.

Some of our success stories:

  • 13% saved on digital marketing spend
  • 14% higher profit from Abandoned Baskets by using Direct Mail triggered by browsing data  
  • Improved social, email and paid search quality score, saving 1-2p per click and 2-5% more emails landing in inboxes
  • Budget saved on social, direct mail and display ad by selecting most engaged customers
  • Average customer saving of £17k per month

The AlwaysOn Marketing Machine:

Users can now capitalise on the increased engagement and standout direct mail enjoys over other channels – without compromising on timeliness. 

This is because Go Inspire’s AlwaysOn Marketing Machine direct mail manufacturing technology has evolved to the point where it’s possible to achieve a realistic price point for standard format pre-templated mailings for volumes as small as one record. Clients are sending cost-effective mail, that goes from ‘trigger’ to letterbox, in as little as 48 hours.

Some scenarios utilising this approach are:

  • Loyal customer starting to lapse
  • Overdue account
  • Repeat website visits
  • Item added to online basket
  • Contract nearing expiration
  • Annual statement & reminders 

Some of our success stories:

  • 14% higher profit from Abandoned Baskets
  • Inbound calls to contact centre have reduced by 9%.
  • Letter costs and processing costs of sending out new credit agreements have reduced from 10% to 3%.
  • 40% Postage saving
  • Annual production saving of c£270K from associated information design services

If you’d like to find out more information about how you can benefit from improved conversion rates and an agile ‘AlwaysOn’ Marketing Communication, click here or email info@goinspire.co.uk

Enhancing the mobile shopping experience (and improving conversion)

The B2C Retail Benchmark Report from Episerver predicts mobile share of traffic will exceed 60% during peak shopping events. However, the report shows mobile conversion rates are still trailing behind desktop. So, why do so many retailers and brands see this gap between their mobile traffic and sales?

In a guide produced by UX and CRO specialists from digital marketing agency twentysix, we look at common user experience issues when it comes to mobile, unveil opportunities to optimise customer behaviour and influence motivation, as well as discuss the importance of understanding your customers to take the guesswork out of your experience design.

Here are 5 tips to improve your mobile shopping experience, and ultimately, improve your conversion rates.

  1. Make your checkout as seamless as possible: Data shows us that mobile shoppers are often lost at checkout and users find filling in forms more difficult on mobile. Consider offering guest checkout options and efficient payment methods, such as Apple Pay.
  2. Reassure your mobile customers: Design for reassurance and transparency in mind to motivate shoppers. At every step, ask yourself the questions your customers might have e.g. what will they charge me for delivery?
  3. Be relevant: Avoid customers thinking your website and products are not relevant to them by displaying your main product categories on your homepage in an easy-to-scan form. On mobile screens, a clear value proposition, simple product category cards and text links attract attention.
  4. Be recognisable: The mere-exposure effect shows when things feel familiar, they are more appealing. Make sure your search and communications strategies are aligned with your website, using consistent messaging throughout the entire customer journey.
  5. Be personal: We’re more likely to respond to messaging and products that feel tailored to us. Use Customer Journey Mapping to understand your customers and where they are in their journey so that you can deliver timely, relevant content. 

It’s important to understand your customers as well as these wider trends. Consider gaining customer feedback and implementing research and testing to help you improve your customer journey and enhance your sales.

Download the full guide from twentysix here.

How to succeed with marketing in a post-pandemic world

The last few months have been tough for businesses; logistical struggles and diminished customer purchase power have seen businesses of all sizes, and across a majority of sectors, feel the financial pinch. In these types of situations, many businesses turn to cut backs in marketing budgets in order to alleviate financial strain, but it’s often great digital marketing strategy which can help to deliver an upturn in business during difficult periods. 

Here Chris Attewell, CEO of leading digital agency Search Laboratory, argues why now is not the time to step back on marketing activity and offers expert advice for businesses looking to achieve success in a post-pandemic world through cohesive digital strategy… 

  1. Know when to press ‘Go’

With things seemingly much more normal in day to day life, a mistake brands need to avoid making right now is to switch their marketing activity on. Despite shops, restaurants and even offices opening back up, the customer journey in many sectors is still far from ‘normal’.

Knowing when to resume activity can be the difference between making and losing money. Too soon, budget is used with little results; too late, and you miss out on the initial flurry. 

Monitoring search impressions via Google Search Console is the quickest way to gauge when your industry is beginning to pick up, as it indicates rising interest in your products. However, as you can expect impressions to fluctuate daily, comparing the average number of daily impressions of the last three days compared to the last ten and twenty-one days will show if there is an upwards trend. 

2. Segment your pixel audiences and CRM lists

The pandemic has resulted in a lengthened sales cycle, meaning consumers are spending more time in the research phase and delaying purchasing. If you were tracking users who engaged with your website before or during the pandemic, use this time to segment them and know what messages you want them to see ready for when the market picks back up.

As lookalike and similar audiences are based on recent data, these lists may be skewed due to a different sales cycle during the pandemic. Instead, segment your pixel audiences or CRM lists to create user groups before and during lockdown and test the difference to identify different audience groups; you can then tailor the messages shown to each group for better performance.

3. Build an online local presence

Although travel restrictions within the UK have been lifted, many consumers are choosing to stay closer to home when it comes to eating out, shopping and undergoing leisure activities. For businesses where customers are required to go instore to complete their purchase, consider narrowing down the geo-targeting for paid campaigns to avoid wasting budget, and use this time to build a strong local SEO presence. Creating or updating your Google My Business listing(s) and getting listed in important local directories can help to boost your online presence for location-based searches, helping to drive more footfall as restrictions ease.

4. Create ‘soft’ conversions

While many businesses are already be seeing an uplift in web traffic and sales already, a return to pre-pandemic levels of sales may be slow. Adjust your expectations and set ‘soft’ conversions based on the current needs of your audience. Doing this allows you to measure success in a climate where customers are not buying as much or as often, and means you can still capture valuable data to inform your digital strategy. Consider how you can provide genuinely useful and engaging content that matches the needs of your customers and can be used to capture data and soft conversions – such as downloadable guides or webinars.

5. Optimise for long-term results 

The immediate future is uncertain, so use this time to focus on improving your long-term success. Ensuring your website is SEO ready now will help to drive organic traffic in the long run. Review your website architecture and speed, and current content and identify where and how you can improve technical elements of the site, and where you can improve or create content to make the site more relevant for your audience’s search queries and needs.

6. Fine tune your Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is a valuable tool which can be used to understand who your customers are, how they are finding you, and what they want from your business. Now is a great time to set up Google Analytics, if you haven’t already, to track customer behaviour and use these insights to develop an effective marketing strategy. Review the metrics you track – do they correlate to your current business goals? Ensure tagging and tracking is set up so you have access to all the data required to make informed business decisions moving forward. 

7. Join up your offline and online data 

Tying up online behaviour (how a user interacts with your business online) with offline behaviour (such ringing up a sales person, attending an event, shopping in-store) helps you to see how your online marketing activity leads to new customer acquisition and vice versa – insights which will help to shape an effective marketing strategy. If you have a CRM system, link it up with Google Analytics so you can track how users behave across the full user journey. Whatever the unique behaviours of your customers are, finding and measuring highly engaged users that have a higher rate of conversion is a relevant way of measuring successful sessions if sales are lower than they usually would be.

For more help with your marketing, download our whitepaper: https://www.searchlaboratory.com/downloads/kick-starting-your-marketing-in-a-post-pandemic-world-whitepaper/

Will marketing become a remote working profession after COVID-19?

If you’ve enjoyed working from home these past few months, you might be in luck: remote working could be here to stay. Chris Stappard, Managing Director of Edward Reed Recruitment, explains why flexible and remote working could become the norm for marketing professionals after the pandemic has passed...

At the start of 2020, flexible working was viewed by many as a perk or a privilege — something that an employee might work their way up to after a few months or even years at a company. But then the COVID-19 outbreak hit, and all that changed overnight as businesses and agencies across the country were forced to start working from home full-time. 

Now, even though the lockdown is beginning to ease, most people are still working from their kitchen tables and home studies, and many marketing professionals haven’t set foot in an office building for over three months. With the government continuing to advise that those that can work from home, should work from home, it looks as though most businesses will be working remotely until at least the late autumn. 

But what will happen when the danger has passed, or a vaccine is found? I think there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that flexible and remote working may become the new normal for a lot of professions — including marketing. Here, I’ll take a look at just some of the reasons that the industry might embrace remote working. 

Employees have enjoyed working remotely 

There’s plenty of evidence to show that workers in most professions prefer remote working, but it’s especially popular with those in the marketing sector. Over 90% of marketing professionals say they prefer to have some say over how and where they work, according to a survey from Marketing Week. 

Employees cite all sorts of reasons for preferring remote and flexible working, including skipping the commute, being able to plan their working day around childcare and other personal commitments, and having a better work/life balance. It’s clear that this can be a much better way to work for employees and, as a result, they may be much more likely to petition their employers for this to continue after the lockdown is over. 

Flexible and remote working may help with recruitment 

Now that employees have enjoyed a taste of flexible working, I think it’s safe to assume that it may become a higher priority for workers when job hunting. And that means, if employers want to be ahead of the competition in the race for the best talent, they’ll need to build flexibility and remote working into new roles. If staff start to see this as the bare minimum, rather than a perk, employers will need to start offering it as standard if they want to find the best hires. 

It’s not just about offering an attractive workplace culture to prospective hires, though: it could make recruitment easier for employers, too. If staff can work remotely for some or all of the working week, then staff won’t need to live within commuting distance, removing the need for lengthy commutes or relocation. This would greatly broaden the talent pool employers have access to and allow companies to recruit staff at a national rather than local level. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is something that employers are keen to capitalise on after the lockdown has eased.

It can help cut costs and increase profit margins

Over the past few months, we’ve seen that it’s possible for businesses and agencies to operate efficiently while working from home. It just goes to show that remote working can be a productive and effective way to work, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to result in decreased output or a loss of profit. As a result, I expect that many businesses will be wondering whether it’s really necessary to spend a sizeable chunk of revenue on an office space anymore. This is especially relevant when you consider that the lockdown has been a tough trading period for a lot of businesses, so any opportunity to cut costs will look very appealing. 

In future, I think that marketing companies may make the switch to working remotely for most or part of the week, allowing employers to downsize their premises and save money. It may even become the norm for businesses to hire meeting space on an ad hoc basis for client meetings, removing the need for a private office space of any kind. 

Tools and software are improving all the time 

Remote working wouldn’t be possible without the internet and, these days, employers have more tech and tools at their disposal to maximise productivity during home working than ever before. Software like Skype, Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams can facilitate meetings and collaboration between employees, and monitoring software can also be used to ensure that staff are using their time productively. 

The availability and affordability of these technologies means that businesses of almost any size can make the shift to home working with minimum fuss and expense. And, as employers have seen just how effective tech can be, I expect that they may be more willing to consider allowing staff to work remotely full-time.

Whether you’ve loved or hated working from home through the pandemic, I think we can all admit that things are unlikely to go back to the way they were before the lockdown any time soon. And, with many businesses starting to wake up to the benefits of remote and flexible working, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before this becomes the norm in the marketing world.  

Advanced TV: No longer a mystery with VDX.tv’s latest white paper

By VDX.tv

We believe in the power of video to deliver full and seamless experiences across all screens. That’s why in March 2020, Exponential launched new division VDX.tv – precisely to focus on tailormade video-driven experiences that captivate, compel and convert consumers on whichever device they are on.

VDX.tv enables brands to connect with their audiences in meaningful ways by providing bespoke video units and data to target only the most relevant audiences across all screens, from mobile, desktop and even OTT (Over-the-top).

OTT is a form of Advanced TV (a catchall term for any television content beyond linear television) that is on everyone’s lips but also one very new for many marketers. For those who are still uncertain about how to best leverage the benefits of Advanced TV, we set out to arm marketers with the knowledge to advertise across all screens with confidence.  

Our guide, entitled “Advanced Learning, How Advanced TV Can Drive Brand Results”, provides a detailed explanation of what Advanced TV is in all its forms, why it is important to consider and how it can help brands generate results. It also includes basic definitions of terminology used in a multi-screen world, data and examples of usage levels of OTT devices across European markets. 

Additionally, we’ve included eight reasons why Advanced TV should matter to brands and advertisers. These eight points cover: the growth of OTT service subscribers (already increased in the UK, with four in ten viewers claiming that online video services are their primary means of watching television and film), the impact of video, the ability to personalise and segment messages thanks to the use of data, the importance of offering an omnichannel experience across all devices, and lastly, the ability to drive results.

The Advanced TV guide can be downloaded here.