London's black cab drivers brought the centre of the city to a standstill yesterday in a protest over the metering capabilities offered by Google-backed Uber. Regardless of how legal action against the app fares, the only chance for black cab drivers to prosper is to embrace digital fully and use it to highlight the far superior service they offer over a guy in a Nissan Cherry with a crumpled A to Z.
Getting instant feedback from customers makes a huge amount of sense. The success of new items can be gauged instantly, and issues with existing products and services can be highlighted. Trouble is, if you throw around the word "real-time" it sounds like you're either going to make strategic decisions, on the fly, or you're just throwing in a buzzword. Leave real-time to the machines -- and let it make us human better informed and quicker, but don't pretend it makes marketing instant.
Charities are now officially twice as likely to be complained about for their use of direct mail as any other sector. We all know why. They don't check permissions, and they don't manage marketing preferences properly. Even worse, they rely on spamming doormats with negative messages that spread no joy -- which offer no thanks but just attempt to make the public feel terrible that they're not giving more.
Facebook has gone on the record again to counter criticism from brands with the same old argument about how making companies pay to reach their fan base is better all around because it protects from spam. I've gone on at Facebook for quite some time now, so here are the five questions I would love the social network to answer. Namely -- you expect users to set privacy levels, so why not trust them to set brand engagement levels too? Ultimately, why not admit this is all about monetising mobile?
Millions upon millions of impressions have left free online newspapers with two outcomes: great readership figures and disappointing losses. The gap must be made up somehow, but display isn't up to the job. Enter stage right -- native content. Brands will become increasingly prominent in our media mix as newspapers choose between a branded all-you-can-eat buffet or top-notch dining experience for paying guests.
Could the most modern iBeacon mobile shopping technology come to the rescue of that most old-fashioned of British sites -- the high street? The Regent Street scheme will be fascinating, not just for the discounts it will offer for luxury items but also in the way it could prompt shoppers to view the street as a single destination and a viable alternative to the mall. If it can achieve this, the ramifications for the struggling high street could be massive.
The value of online video advertising is set to double over the next four years, according to PwC. That's the good news. The bad news is that there's no universally agreed upon metric for measuring engagement and there's not even a viewability metric agreed upon by the IAB. This must be sorted out as soon as possible if brands -- which appear to want to invest in video -- are to be assured it's money well spent with a clearly measurable ROI.
Digital out-of-home has promised much -- but as far as I can tell, it offers consumers nothing more than a switch from ink dots to pixels. Where's the innovation? Where's the connection of systems that targets the right offer for that very moment? Where' the dynamic pricing, where's the clever use of social to allow brand ambassadors to share their experience? Digital isn't just about better planning and buying. It's about complete focus on the customer.
As the John Lewis fine for spam shows, it's not okay to assume someone who doesn't say "no" to you is actually saying "yes." It's a huge issue because "explicit opt-in" is coming soon through EU legislation and the onus will be on brands to actively seek a "yes" tick to further marketing. Marketing is set for a huge shakeup -- and so, with fines being handed out, it's a good idea to ring the changes now.