Digital Strategy 2011

Digital Strategy 2011 This is a guest post by Tim Aldiss from his blog: aldissandmore.com ————————————————————————- The start of a new year heralds a series of articles about predictions for digital trends 1, 2, 3 for the year ahead, but instead I thought I would summarise where I believe we are after the year gone by. It’s all too easy to start by thinking by platform. For example the last 5 years at least has always been heralded as the year of mobile, and it certainly looks like this year will be the year of the tablet, but it is of course important to think platform-agnostically! It’s also easy to start by thinking about channel. Has online stolen more budget from offline, has paid media spend been nibbled away by social media investment, etc, but again here it is important to think across channels, on & offline and ‘through the line’. I believe that the most obvious trend for 2010 has been the shift towards thinking about the end results – the outcome & the user experience – and how greater understanding of this can help not only all of your marketing activity but also your business as a whole. Every business gets to a stage where it realises how important expenditure on research is. That level of awareness is added to by a mix of worry that the research may in some way not be accurate or relevant depending on the methods used. Well it is now more possible than ever to research end users, and in almost real time, to get low cost information that is ready to use. Take a look at the success metrics around Direct Line Insurance’s ‘ideas lab‘ as an example . For me this shift to the focus on the user experience is a revelation as it also reflects my decision to move out of a direct role in marketing and back into web development where, working with Cubeworks, I now have a great opportunity to align my 10 years experience in SEO with Cubeworks core strength in User Experience Design. For years Search Engine Optimisation has been the mother of channel-based strategies. It’s always been proven as the most cost effective path to new and returning customers. To an extent it still is, but the problem with search is that it is still dominated by Google, and by an algorithm that has for a long time been showing...
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Google Ad Planner and stories from numbers

Google Ad Planner and stories from numbers Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Analytics Evangelist, always says your homepage is not a golden door through which all your visitors will pass. And he’s right. Search engines have flipped the funnel. Every page that drives traffic is a landing page. But just because Google ignores your homepage doesn’t mean you can’t optimize the performance of your lower level pages. In his latest post Avinash talks about media planning and display marketing from a stories and numbers point of view. In “Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian & Telling Stories With Data” Avinash demonstrates how the free tools that are available today, such as Google Insights for Search, and Adplanner, provide a great (free) way to help much more accurately target your media, and in turn save you a lot of money. This is particularly so when compared to offline or traditional media. Avinash also gives some interesting insights into how and where Google gets it’s data: Ad Planner [does not use] Google Analytics data globally. It has an option where you can opt in your GA data if you want (but you have to go through a minorly painful process to do it – and only you as a site owner can do that). I am going to go out on a limb and say that 99.9999% of the sites in the Ad Planner don’t have GA implemented on their sites. It is not hard for you to check. Search for cnn.com in the Ad Planner or hp.com or your mom’s / friend’s site. You’ll see data. But if you use WASP or do a quick View Source you’ll see none of them actually use GA. If you want to learn where the Ad Planner gets its data here is the faq: http://www.google.com/support/adplanner/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=15016 Google Ad Planner is surely a revolutionary free tool, but as Avinash hints, it’s the ay the data is interrogated and used that counts. Here at ThinkSearch our analytics experts have many years experience seeing ‘The Matrix’ in data strands. Talk to us about how we can help you utilise these free cutting edge tools to your great...
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