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WHITE PAPER: Outsourcing Partnerships vs Service Providers

Webmart explores the differences between a partnership and service provider relationship, and how this can impact the result that marketing teams desire. The difference between a partnership or service provider can drastically impact the way a brands personality comes across in the end result. 

The following guide discusses an approach to finding and selecting the right outsource provider for you and your brand. And how a two-way, transparent approach can help build a long standing and productive partnership.

Plus, ways to ask the right questions to find a suitable partner for your brand. A partner becomes the extension of a marketing department that can offer advice and collaborate to get the most out of what is needed, so it is vital to find the right one.  

In addition, Webmart discusses how technology can help maximise the human, by automating processes that do not add any value whether they are done by a computer or a human. By using technology, this frees up a human’s time to focus on creativity, which will help boost performance further. 

To view the guide, click here, or get in contact with Webmart to discuss partnership opportunities on 01869 321 321 or enquires@webmartuk.com.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Woven brand engagement agency

By Hollie Denby, Head of Sales & Marketing, Woven

Successful branding? It’s about consistency.

As a brand agency with over 20 years’ experience, we know that every interaction with your brand is an opportunity to win a customer. Or lose one.

Businesses understand this when it comes to meetings or phone calls with existing or prospective customers. But they often drop the ball when they translate their brand into the online world.

A brand’s online experience matters as much as its offline one. A business that sells a great product and that has great people can still be undone by a poorly optimised website. It can still be hampered by unengaging email campaigns and a bone-dry social media presence. And it can still fall down due to lacklustre design and forgettable messaging.

Your online brand is a many-sided thing – a blog, a website, an Instagram feed, a banner ad, an automated chatbot. But however it manifests, it must always convey who you are: your values, your identity, and the benefit you bring to the world. 

This is what we do at Woven. We make sure you’re always at your best by putting who you truly are into everything you do. So that no matter how someone interacts with your brand – whether it’s offline or online – you know they’re getting the best possible version of yourself.

Because in a world where brands strive to be everywhere – online, on social media, in print and out of home – it’s never been more important for your voice to be interesting, different and – yes – consistent.

Find your consistent voice at woven.agency.

Google Analytics Segments Vs Filters

By Ben Johnston – Head of SEO & Data Analytics – ESV Digital

Learn the difference between Google Analytics segments and filters, what they are, how they work and when you would use each of them...

One of the most common questions I’m asked about Google Analytics is the difference between a segment and a filter and the main use case of each of them. I’m often asked why you would ever use a filter when a segment does the same job and vice versa.

In today’s post, I’m going to briefly run you through what segments and filters are, how they work and the reasons for using each of them.

WHAT IS A GOOGLE ANALYTICS SEGMENT?

A segment in Google Analytics lets you view your metrics based upon specific criteria, for example only organic or paid traffic. They allow you to change your data on the fly and you use the whole of the Google Analytics interface just focusing on that data and, crucially, they do not change your data the way a filter does.

A segment can be applied retroactively, so you can see how your organic performance was last year and so on, and you can also create your own segments based on certain specific conditions. You can even share those custom segments with other Google Analytics users.

You can apply a segment to your Google Analytics like so:

Click the Add Segment button and you’ll see the list of pre-configured ones. As you can see, there’s a lot to play with and with the ability to import new segments from the Google Analytics gallery and create your own, there’s plenty of flexibility there to investigate your data from a variety of perspectives.

Segments are great and an essential part of your Google Analytics arsenal, but they’re not without their weaknesses.

Weaknesses Of Segments

As handy as it is being able to alter your data on the fly, there is inherently some lost functionality compared to filters. Firstly, there is less flexibility in what you can do with a segment than a filter – you cannot exclude a specific IP address or series of IP addresses with a segment, for example.

They also have a habit of triggering sampling within Google Analytics, where the data shown in a report is less than 100% accurate. If your dataset is small, you should be OK, but segments do bring this on much sooner.

WHAT IS A GOOGLE ANALYTICS FILTER?

A filter is applied to a Google Analytics view and permanently changes the way that the data is collected for that view, rather than changing the way it’s reported on the fly. Unlike a segment, a filter will not change your data retroactively.

Filters offer a great deal more functionality than segments – as well as just replicating the capacities of segments, which would be prudent if you have a high amount of traffic, you can also make sweeping changes to the way your data is collected, processed and reported. You can use a filter to rewrite the URLs in your page reports, for example, or to double-check the hostname or simply to exclude a section of traffic which you know is not relevant (your own team, for example, or bots). You can also unleash the power of regular expressions to really take control of your data.

Filters are a far more powerful solution than segments, but they don’t offer the same flexibility. You would use a filter for a specific task within a reporting view (excluding your own office’s traffic, for example), rather than using it to check the performance of a specific metric in most cases.

Weaknesses Of Filters

With the power of filters comes responsibility in their use. They permanently change the data in a view from the moment they’re applied to the moment you remove it. There’s no going back. They also can’t be applied retroactively in the same way a segment can. It’s this permanence, plus the additional Google Analytics knowledge required to set up a filter that is the key weakness of them.

In line with best practice, you should always have a completely unfiltered “All Website Data” view, to ensure data continuity and to use for checking that your data is coming through properly. You should then have other filtered views depending on the kind of requirements your site has.

At the very least, we suggest having the All Website Data view and a view which filters out your own IP address and the IP address of any partner agencies/ other offices etc, although we would typically go much deeper than this with a Google Analytics setup.

WHEN TO USE SEGMENTS & FILTERS

A segment is the best way to isolate a certain metric, channel or device in your reporting view and apply that to your historic data. If you want to see how many people have come to your site over the last three years from Facebook on their tablets, a segment is the way to go.

If you need to permanently change the way your data is collected, such as excluding your IP address, removing bots, or rewriting your URLs so that they’re easier to read in reports, you’ll be looking for a filter.

The key thing to understand about filters vs segments is that there is really no “vs” at all. They’re different tools for different tasks and a good setup uses them together. For most reports, you’ll be relying on segments to isolate and highlight different metrics, but to ensure that your data is as clean as it can be, you’re going to need filters to be involved.

Unsure of how well your Google Analytics setup stands up to best practice? Get in touch with ESV Digital and let us see what we can do to help. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

WHITE PAPER: Direct mail for e-commerce brands in a digital world

By Webmart

The argument over whether digital marketing or direct mail is the most effective to engage customers is widely contested. There is a variety of research that suggests that one is better than the other. However, at Webmart, we believe that the channels should be used together to complement one another to get the most out of the marketing mix, increase brand awareness and boost performance. 

You will, no doubt, invest a lot of time, effort, and money into optimising your digital presence as an e-commerce brand. After all, your business is online, it makes sense to invest in ensuring your online presence is as strong as it can be, but achieving cut through can be challenging! With the support of mail, the value of your brand awareness can be enhanced and cut through can be increased. Direct mail can be incredibly effective in increasing the brand value and growing an online presence. 

With the ever-changing environment in these uncertain times, the digital market is becoming more saturated as digital use goes through the roof. Which is great news for e-commerce brands, but the cut through rate to get the reader’s attention is even harder to grab. 75% of people that have used digital for the first time have suggested that they will continue to use it when things get back to “normal” (McKinsey Digital, 2020). Which means that there is an even greater opportunity to encourage new prospects and customers onto e-commerce sites. 

To help with this, many brands are utilising traditional channels like direct mail to achieve that cut through and improve the performance of their digital campaigns. For example, mail recipients spend an average of 31% longer engaging with the brand’s social media content and remember the online content for longer by an average of 44% (MarketReach/Neuro-Insight, 2018).

Download Webmart’s whitepaper to understand how direct mail can help to increase your ROI on campaigns, and how we use the levers approach to make sure that best practice is achieved to enhance direct mail campaigns for e-commerce brands.  

Priorities for marketers amid a global pandemic

By David McGeough, Director of International Marketing, Wrike

Around the world, businesses are adapting their strategies to reflect the COVID-19 era. For some this means pivoting to a blanket e-commerce approach; for others it has meant creating completely new content hubs and microsites.

Whatever the changes may be, relevancy has never been so important. Your audiences want to know exactly how you are responding to the current challenges and how you will come out the other side.

Now, more than ever, marketing departments are being tested. Previous plans must be replaced, budgets must be cut, and teams must try to maintain the same level of productivity while working remotely.

Stay connected, keep collaborating

Most workforces have now been logging on from home for around nine weeks. During this time, we’ve all had a chance to adapt to our new working routine, finding alternative ways to stay connected with our colleagues.

This has quickly brought to light the importance of collaboration, and how much we take for granted being in close proximity to team members. No longer able to ask someone a question at their desk or get campaign updates in daily face-to-face meetings, we’re relying on technology to bridge the gap. Regardless of where employees are based, marketing teams need to be able to quickly and easily see the status of a task, know the latest developments, and have full visibility of crucial deadlines.

Not only do these tools and platforms need to boost collaboration, they also need to bring every aspect of a campaign or activity under one umbrella. This means should external agencies, freelancers or third-party suppliers be involved, everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect.

With technologies such as work management platforms helping businesses maintain productivity away from the office, many organisations will continue their remote working policies in the future.

A spotlight on ROI

As the pandemic continues to transform the economy, many businesses are experiencing a severe decline in revenue. Inevitably, this has had a knock-on effect internally, with multiple departments taking a hit.

Despite marketing playing a key role in promoting products and services, as well as ensuring the right audiences are being targeted, it’s unsurprising that the vast majority of teams are having to work with reduced budgets. While we’ve seen the same happen as a response to previous recessions – including those in both the 1990s and late 2000s – it has led to certain campaigns being put on hold or cancelled altogether.

It has also resulted in an urgent focus on performance, with a need to understand exactly what activity is having the most impact, and what can no longer afford to be a priority. Marketing teams are using this time to analyse every tactic and platform being used to uncover the return on investment they are getting.

Under close watch, marketers will be forced to transform the way they work in order to find their feet. This will mean getting creative, working with what they already have, and injecting innovation into every activity. This approach won’t just be critical for the current climate, but for those that want to thrive when the economy begins to rebuild.

Preparing for the new normal

While it’s easy to be consumed by the negative impact of the ongoing crisis, this period provides a unique chance for marketing teams to deploy different tactics and learn new skillsets. Employees that usually focus on events, for example, can transfer and develop their skills for digital webinars or conferences. As a result, teams will be better set-up to deal with the changes we are set to see post-pandemic.

If teams are willing to properly analyse the results of their campaign audits under new budget restrictions, they will end up with insights that improve their strategies both now, and in the future. New tactics, tools and ways of working will be replaced by more efficient, streamline and effective methods, without teams having to lose out on the collaboration that is fundamental to marketing success.

Taking a step back could turn out to be extremely positive for innovation. Despite recruitment being on hold, it’s very likely that we will see an increased demand for certain skillsets, such as digital media. The teams that are willing to adapt are the ones that will come out on top, having used this time to rethink product offerings, key audiences and technologies.

Short-term, KPIs and priorities for marketing departments will continue to fluctuate as businesses become more cautious with their money. The longer-term impact will likely be different; however, it is still too early to say how. COVID-19 has forced every marketing team, on a global scale, to consider how they spend and invest their money. Those that have been able to streamline and readjust to the new normal will find it easier as we begin to come out of this.

The growing demand for marketing software and tech

By Leadforensics

As B2B marketers evolve to working in an entirely digital space, the need for innovative, reliable marketing technology to support their business strategy has never been clearer.   

In the current climate, B2B organizations are adapting to an entirely online approach. With no face-to-face meetings or events and their teams working remotely, software plays a crucial part in securing the best marketing results. With so many technologies available — and so many channels, strategies and teams it can support — there’s no excuse to dismiss the importance of investing in the right software. 

To get the most out of the software you opt to use, it’s crucial to include it in your business strategy from the outset. This way, you can check your budget, and assess whether or not you have the resources in place to fully understand, manage and properly utilize the tool. Set clear objectives, and ensure the tech you implement is making your life easier, not more difficult. Select tools that integrate with each other seamlessly, provide a simple and intuitive user experience, and have an easy and supportive onboarding process.

Lead Forensics is an innovative reverse IP tracking software that helps transform the lead generation process for B2B organizations. It works by tracking your business website and, by utilizing a global leading database of business IP addresses, identifying the business your website visitors are coming from. Users receive real-time notifications, contact details of key decision-makers and detailed user journeys. This way, they can reach out to the right person, from the right organization, at exactly the right time. Whether it’s a first-time visitor, a pipeline prospect or an existing customer, users are provided with the insight they need to conduct the ultimate follow-up. 

To find out more about the power of reverse IP tracking software, and how to secure marketing results in a remote working environment, download the B2B marketing managers’ guide to remote working success. From the benefits and challenges of working remotely and boosting motivation, to managing teams and embracing tech — discover everything you need to know. 

How is image recognition software transforming the customer experience?

Across the world, the image recognition market is expected to reach $38.9 billion by 2021. Clearly, this technology is growing in use and demand — but why? 

Many industries differ with regard to how they use new tech products, and the same applies to image recognition software. From improving the customer experience to streamlining operational procedures, Precision Printing — a specialist personalised wallpaper — explores how the software works and why it could enhance business…

What is image recognition technology?

Essentially, this technology is designed to retrieve, process, examine, and interpret pictures, photos and high-dimensional data. It takes this from the ‘real world’ and produces useful information in multiple formats. This could be anything from uploading a photo of a group of friends to Facebook that automatically tags each person to their accounts, to taking a digital fingerprint scan in order to determine a person’s identity. 

Partly because 80% of the content online is visual, image recognition technology is rapidly growing and is becoming more and more adept at mimicking human vision and understanding. 

How is it transforming customer engagement and business processes? 

Generally, image recognition software is benefitting industries across the board. Many companies now have a digital presence, whether on social media or via an online store. A major advantage of this technology is that it can offer real-time insights into consumer behaviour — but not only your consumers. Visual analytics will allow you to monitor the consumer behaviour of your competitors, which will allow you to address their concerns within your own campaigns and potentially attract them to your brand instead.

Keeping an eye on your online competitors is essential — but tricky. With image recognition software, you can now find similar content to what your brand is putting out on social media and track down social mentions of your company — no more manual, time-consuming searches. Not only will this help you monitor the competition in your industry, but it will also allow you to be more responsive to marketing opportunities that would otherwise have been missed and pick up on trends that may be flying under the radar. 

Many brands are opting to launch apps — not a surprise considering that it’s predicted that global gross app revenue will hit $102 billion by 2020. Clearly, there is money to be made and customers to be won with apps, but how does image recognition assist? This technology can help brands boost engagement levels with their consumers, letting them extend beyond the standard boundaries of online and offline and making the app more immersive. As a result, promotional material and discount offers should be able to pack a greater punch and potentially offer a greater ROI. 

How image recognition affects individual industries 

This technology offers opportunities for all brands and sector — but which in particular are already seeing benefits? 

Fashion

Image recognition promises to play a major role in the fashion industry. Firstly, a consumer, when leafing through a magazine, can use image recognition software on their mobile devices to scan a product they’re interested in and land straight onto its product page or relevant online marketing content, which could increase the chances of a conversion. Similarly, consumers can upload images of clothes they like and shop online for similar or complementary products — streamlining the shopping experience. 

From a brand perspective, image recognition makes picking up on trends much easier and quicker — due to the rapid evolution of trends in this sector, this could prove invaluable. 

Automotive 

The automotive industry is also benefitting from image recognition technology. Self-driving vehicles are an emerging market and they’re being developed with the assistance of image recognition. To ensure that self-driving cars are safe, they need to be able to detect hazards immediately and make informed decisions regarding their next action to avoid causalities. That’s where image recognition comes in. With this technology, self-drive car sensors will be able to spot dangers on the road in the same way as a human motorist does, reacting in a way that should avoid crashes and accidents. 

Although we’re still a while away from having motorways full of self-driving vehicles, image recognition is certainly already playing a part in the automotive industry and will help some brands in the sector capitalise on a trend that may be huge in the future. 

Healthcare 

Image recognition software is also a useful tool for healthcare professionals. The technology is currently being used to help process the huge numbers of medical images that need verifying and checking in the sector. As a result, doctors can diagnose conditions and diseases at faster rates and with great accuracy, meaning less stress for the patient and easing the pressure on the doctor when it comes to arranging the best course of action.   

Image recognition is a growing technology that looks set to benefit companies on many levels. Are you clued up on how it can help your business in 2018? 

Sources: 

https://mobgen.com/image-recognition-can-beneficial-company/

https://www.upwork.com/hiring/data/how-image-recognition-works/

https://www.itproportal.com/features/a-guide-to-ai-image-recognition/

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Free Google Shopping Ads: How Ecommerce Brands Can Maximise This Opportunity

By Geoff Roy, SEO Director at Leapfrog Internet Marketing

In a surprise move, Google have made Google Shopping Ads free in the US from the end of April 2020. And this should be in the UK by the end of the year, probably before the build up to Black Friday and Christmas.

So if you’re a marketer with an ecommerce website, what does this mean for you? And what further action do you need to take to leverage on this opportunity?

Paid Product Listing Ads

If you are running paid Product Listing Ads (PLAs), you’re 95% ready for this already. You’ve already set up your product feed via the Google Merchant Center. Just double check you’ve opted in to the “Surfaces across Google” program. So when Google flick the switch in the UK, your free PLAs will run alongside your current paid PLAs.

Mixture of Paid and Free in Google Shopping

There’s plenty of speculation how this will play out and display in the Google Shopping area. It’s likely paid PLAs will feature above free PLAs. Free PLAs may only be visible higher up for less competitive and or particularly niche product searches. And how the free vs paid listings display will dictate what strategies to then apply.

How to Plan for FrEE Google Shopping Ads

So what can you do now to make sure you will be one of the first to have free listings in Google Shopping?

  1. Make All Products Available – make sure all of your product range is accessible in Google Merchant Center. You may have tuned your inventory for PLAs to those that give the best Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), and deindexed the rest of your stock. Don’t undo this fine tuning, but just make sure all of your products are there – it’s the more niche and less searched for that might really fly more with free ads.
  2. Fine Tune – revisit your less popular and niche products and optimise them properly for longer tail keyword searches. Think size, colour, brand, and product category used in various combinations. e.g. size 16 white Gorsenia briefs – potential customers search in weird and wonderful ways ! In the past, it may not have been worth it as they didn’t feature in Google Shopping; that’s no longer the case.
  3. Prepare for the Unexpected – no one knows how this new hybrid shopping space of free and paid PLAs will play out. But once it does, keep an eye on what is getting listed, learn from that, and apply to other products you feel could get visibility as a free product ad.

If you’re scratching your head wondering why the heck Google is doing this, check out our article Are They Mad? 3 Reasons Why Google Has Changed to Free Google Shopping Ads. Hint: Amazon might be the biggest reason !

Plugging a £12 billion Coronavirus Revenue Gap: Optimising Sales through harmonisation of on and offline media

According to econsultancy, the UK retail industry could see a loss of approximately £12bn in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, a Go Inspire Group study showed that retailers already missed out on approximately £18bn in revenue every year, through online basket abandonment. 

The research breaks down the opportunity for possible revenue across 13 key retail verticals and identified:

  • how bridging the offline and online worlds presents a huge opportunity for recouping ‘lost’ revenue
  • that combining digitally printed direct mail that is personalised and reflects the online experience, with email abandoned basket reactivation campaigns, more than doubled conversions +(113%).
  • the best time to send physical, mail reminders was within a week of the customer abandoning their basket.
  • how the technology to combine many, small, daily volumes into one, high-volume mailing is allowing retailers to quickly send a handful of letters each day, so they reach the customer promptly, but at an affordable cost. 

You can download the research in full here or check out Go Inspire’s blog for more tips and advice on converting more abandoned baskets. 

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: New Perspective Digital Print & Creative

As a digital print business with global clients our aim before Covid-19, now and certainly after, is two-fold. Firstly, prioritising the well-being and safety of our staff. Secondly, providing a consistently high-level of service and exceptional print to our clients. Of course, it’s not exactly business as usual, but it is still business.

Similar to other SMEs we have implemented the necessary government measures to ensure our two priorities are maintained. While other print companies are struggling to meet consumer demand, we have had no issues and continue to stick to our client guarantees.

So, if you’re looking for business cards, greetings card, booklets, books, calendars, stationery, posters and everything printable in-between then why not take a look at our website or call our Print team.

In recent months we have expanded to include design and creative services such as, Logo design, Artwork design and Proof-reading.

With New Perspective Digital Print & Creative you can cut out the middle man and get your design and print work done in one place. We offer 3 free pdf amendments to all our clients who print with us.

If you want to see for yourself what we can do, why not ask us for a free sample pack or colour match? We’re here, and we’re ready to help.

www.newperspective.co.uk