The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Welcome to the weekend! As we prepare to dive into holiday-shopping season, we’ve collected a few of our favorite digital marketing articles from the past week. If you missed them, check them out below!

Why It’s So Hard for Brands to Get Noticed on Amazon

With regard to Amazon, brands have a lot of questions. What entices shoppers to click on which search result? How do certain brands appear to consumers on the site? What is the likelihood of shoppers to view products beyond the first search results page? Our study provides insight.

How to Shift Your Marketing from Traditional to Inbound in 7 Steps

Letting go of outdated marketing methods can be difficult for some. This piece will convince you why it’s time to move on and give you advice on how to go about making the switch. Learn more here.

Deliver an Excellent Customer Experience Using Big Data

“Big data” gets a lot of buzz, but do you know how to effectively use it? Learn several strategies to apply big data in order to improve your brand and customer experience.

18 Highly Effective Examples of Social Proof in Ecommerce

Consumer opinions often weigh heavily on buyer decisions. Your brand would be smart to take advantage of this influence. Here are a few difference ways that you can use social proof in your ecommerce.

4 Things to Focus On for Black Friday with Your Digital Marketing Plan

Black Friday has grown and transformed over the years. For many, the experience is less about going to brick and mortar stores than it is shopping online. This piece explains how you can best promote your brand and adapt to consumer buying trends this year.

November 23rd 2014 News, Social Media

Sunday Series: Traffic Accelerates for Tesla

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Image from: Tesla / Shutterstock

The Vehicles category saw a strong increase in traffic in October, and traffic for one site in particular nearly doubled m-o-m. That site was, website for automaker Tesla. The lift coincided with a press event on October 9 in Los Angeles. During the event, Tesla revealed new features added to their Model S sedan, and “unveiled the D,” a new version of the Model S with “dual motors.”

Since the event, reservations for Teslas have surged. The new releases claim’s the D has an impressive top speed of 155 mph and can travel up to 275 miles on a single charge. Moreover, ongoing discussion of a potential Tesla acquisition by Apple likely contributes to the site’s upward-trending traffic.


The site saw close to 1.2 million unique visitors in October (up from under 600,000 in September) and “Tesla Model S” became a top search referral term. Unsurprisingly, “car guys” dominated the site’s demographics, with males making up 68.2% of visitors. As an electric, and therefore “greener” option for transportation, the brand may be appealing to the younger generation with the coveted 18-34 age range accounting for nearly half of all traffic to Of course, 18-34 year-olds in general are often some of the most intense “car guys.”

The question becomes whether that level of traffic can be sustained. Probably not, but it is still a positive sign for this innovative and emerging brand. Next up is their Model X cross-over, so we’ll look for a similar jump in site traffic when that model arrives.

Fast Movers: Vehicles

November 17th 2014 News

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Happy Saturday! In this edition of the Weekly Compete Pulse we’ve featured some of our favorite articles from the past week on digital marketing. Learn about SEO, ecommerce, paid search, and more below.

6 Predictions About The State of Digital Marketing In 2015

Digital marketing develops every year, and to be successful in the industry you need to keep an eye out for changing trends. This article features six key predictions about Digital Marketing in 2015. Check it out to stay ahead of the curve.

Do Social Signals Drive SEO?

Social media and SEO go hand-in-hand. Right? Does that mean that social media improves your rankings? There’s a lot of conflicting opinions. This article will help you understand.

Paid Search Trends 2015: Top PPC Predictions From 18 Experts

How should you go about paid search in 2015? To learn how PPC will change from what you’ve come to understand about it in 2014, take a look at this article. Learn from 18 experts in the field to make your paid search campaigns the best yet.

3 Ways You’re Losing Money From Your Mobile E-Commerce

Are your online shopping carts getting abandoned by consumers? You’re in good company. To learn why your ecommerce website may be struggling, take a look at this article.

The Importance of User Experience for Digital Marketing: 5 Key Tips

With user experience growing as a popular feature in digital marketing, you would be smart to understand how it could benefit your brand. To learn how user experience fits within the context of your marketing plan, take a look at this article.

November 16th 2014 Mobile, News, SEO, Social Media

Microsoft Advertising UK launch breakthrough, immersive in-shop experience with @JohnLewisRetail for Christmas campaign

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As you will have seen from Owen Sagness’s blog ‘Collaboration between Microsoft and John Lewis sees ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’ come to life’ in our latest venture, the Microsoft’s creative technologists (including myself), worked with John Lewis, Adam and Eve and Manning Gottlieb OMD to create Monty’s Magical Toy Machine, a breakthrough, immersive in-shop experience in the John Lewis flagship store on Oxford Street in London, bringing the iconic John Lewis Christmas campaign to life by enabling toys to come alive using a Kinect 2-enabled 3D interactive.

I wanted to give you a little more context on the project and share the immersive experience in all its glory. 

The iconic John Lewis Christmas advertising campaigns are a sure-fire signal that the festive period is most definitely on its way – but their success each year leave very big boots to be filled. Who could forget the Snowman’s epic journey two years ago, or the boy who couldn’t wait for Christmas to give his parents a gift?

As such, we could not have been more excited when we heard that Microsoft Advertising UK would be working with John Lewis this year. It meant that we had the opportunity to really exercise our imaginations thinking up ideas to create something magical to embody this year’s screen story of the unique bond between a child and a toy.

We knew what our goal was from the start: we wanted to give people goose bumps.  We wanted to take the fantasy and make it real, so we needed to be pioneering. Approach these challenges required a tailor-made solution that would play to our strengths; innovative technology; understanding of digital channels; new media; and custom content. We’re certainly not shy of diving into the unknown, or combining a smorgasbord of technologies to bring out the best in our partners’ campaigns in unique ways.

The core idea of the ad is toys coming to life – a staple of children’s fiction, from The Nutcracker to Toy Story - and we wanted to bring the magic of the screen to the British high street. We wanted to make it personal, and more importantly make it real.

I’d heard about a woman who made toys from children’s drawings of their favourite monster and I thought, why not turn that idea on its head and use technology to make a kid’s favourite toy dance, just as they always imagined?

The process of creating the technology involved a period of experimentation and a variety of different stages – from scanning a real toy with Kinect technology, to mapping it to create a surface representation (mesh), then adding in texture and colour.  We then brought in an expert in photogrammetry who created perfect 3D images for us to work with. The process was similar to how bullet time is created in the movies, perhaps most famously inThe Matrix. We used a similar camera array to capture a 3D object in space, and then built a rig in the office to animate the image, effectively bringing to life a digital replica of a toy. 


The 25-strong team completed the entire project in two months. While fine tuning of the project, we managed to cut down the time it took between taking 3D scans of the toy to it ‘waking up’ on the screen from 12 minutes (too long for any eager child or parent to wait,) to a mere 130 seconds. We then read, choreographed and performed (yes, really!) a series of dance routines for the toy using a combination of Kinect technology and motion capture libraries.


The real beauty of the installation is that children can bring their own Christmas toys to the John Lewis store. They entrust their toy to the scanner and within a matter of seconds, see an image of their toy fast asleep on the big screen. Kinect technology is triggered by the child pointing or waving at the screen, resulting in the toy’s awakening; they start to dance, as do the children in most cases! Once both child and toy have danced their hearts out, they have an opportunity to take a selfie together to capture the moment for posterity. We hope this live interaction will bring a bit of Christmas magic to children – and bring out the inner child in adults, too. 

It was emotional when we handed the project over to John Lewis partners in store to take forward – we’ve all worked so hard and put so much into Monty’s Magical Toy Machine, so it was a pretty big moment. Plus, it’s the first time Microsoft Advertising has combined an interactive physical build with a digital advertising campaign.


Arthur Tindsley, Creative Technologist, Microsoft UK. 

November 11th 2014 News, Technology

October Data is Now Live – JibJab, CW TV, and NBA Scared Up a Lot of Extra Traffic

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halloween pumpkins

Image from: Halloween Pumpkins / Shutterstock

October data is now live and available in Compete PRO! Topping the Monthly Fast Movers list for October, managed to grow and impressive 298% month over month (MoM). Analyzing the data in Compete PRO, we can see that looking at trends from previous years, always starts a steady traffic ascent in October beginning with Halloween season, and continuing through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays where they typically see their largest spike in traffic in December. Emphasizing how important social sharing is to JibJab, October was no exception, with over 40% of’s referral traffic coming from social networking sites. Interestingly, after Facebook, YouTube and Myspace are the two biggest social sites sending traffic to While JibJab returns the favor by sending significant traffic to Facebook, YouTube, and other social sites like Twitter, Myspace is only the #73 receiver of traffic from with 0.09% share.

Unlike, always sees their biggest traffic in October when the Fall TV Schedule starts. This year was no exception as new shows, The Flash and Jane the Virgin, gave the network a boost in Internet traffic. Flash-related keywords drove nearly 6% of’s search referrals, and Jane-related keywords accounted for another 2.3%. While unique visitors were down a bit year over year (YoY), it seems that users in October 2014 were more engaged than ever before with average stay on the site an impressive eight minutes and forty seven seconds, a 28.75% improvement over September. It’s interesting to see in the top 10 outgoing sites from The CW’s relatively new, digital-only network’s share of outgoing traffic increased 53.74% MoM in October.

Monthly Fast Movers October 2014

One of the most interesting Yearly Fast Movers is The popular daily fantasy sports site has seen massive rapid growth over the last few months, 3,769% in unique visitors YoY. We’ve got a more in-depth look at daily fantasy sites coming up on the blog soon, so stay tuned for that.

Yearly Fast Movers October 2014

If you need early access to the latest month’s data and you’re not a Compete PRO user, start your Compete PRO subscription today to get early data and more!

November 9th 2014 News

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Welcome to the weekend and this week’s edition of the Weekly Compete Pulse! Take a look at some of our favorite articles from the past week featuring SEO, social media, and digital marketing below.

Why Visitors Leave Websites (Infographic)

Getting people to your site is only step one in attaining conversions, and all too often sites lose potential customers along the way. There are multiple reasons why visitors might be leaving your site before making a purchase. Learn about the most common ones here.

SEO Audits – What Are They and Why Should You Use Them?

Your brand probably has an SEO strategy, but when was the last time you comprehensively went over your SEO to make sure it was working to its full potential? Learn how to implement an SEO audit here.

3 Trends in Digital Marketing Creative

When it comes to creative marketing, you need to engage your customers. Take a look at this piece to learn how other brands have successfully developed conversations with their customers though their appealing marketing.

How to Measure the ROI of Your Social Media Campaigns

How do you measure the ROI on your social media presence? Hint: it’s not in dollars and cents. To learn about the full worth of your social media campaigns, read more here.

Why Your Traffic Is Spiking But Conversions Won’t Budge

If you’re only monitoring traffic, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Ultimately, your focus should be on conversions, and those two metrics don’t always align. Take a look at this piece to learn potential reasons that you traffic may be strong while your conversions may be struggling.

November 9th 2014 News, SEO, Social Media

Collaboration between Microsoft and John Lewis sees ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’ come to life

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Today marks the launch of our media-first store installation in John Lewis Oxford Street, the latest stage of our exciting advertising partnership. Over the past few months, teams at Microsoft Advertising, John Lewis Innovation Team, Adam and Eve and Manning Gottlieb OMD have worked together to bring this year’s highly anticipated John Lewis Christmas advert to life through Monty’s Magical Toy Machine in store.

As of today, children are able to bring their favourite toys into the flagship London store and have it scanned using innovative Microsoft Kinect 2 enabled photogrammetry technology. Following this process, the child will then see it transform on screen as a moving, life-like 3D image, which they can dance, play and interact with – an unforgettable experience for the whole family, allowing adults to witness the magic of Christmas through the eyes of their children.

This is a particularly proud moment for the team who jumped at the chance to develop an industry-leading proposition that puts this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert into the hands of its consumers in a creative and innovative way. This truly unique campaign has enabled us to leverage creative skills from across the Microsoft Advertising team, whilst expanding the possibilities of consumer engagement across our technology.

For years, the brand’s Christmas television advert has won the hearts of people all over Britain. This year, John Lewis has stepped up its game; and we’re thrilled to be part of such an exciting roll out. Being able to co-exist with amazing partners across this industry-leading campaign has enabled us to unlock the true potential of this project and engage with consumers in such an interactive way.

Here is just some of the coverage we have received: 

The Telegraph ‘John-Lewis-Christmas-advert-bringing-Monty-the-penguin-to-life’

Daily Mail, ‘Another John Lewis ad to melt hearts: Store hopes bond between a boy and a penguin will capture public’s imagination’

Business Insider ‘The New John Lewis Christmas Ad Is Here — And It Tells The Cute Tale Of A Boy And His Penguin Friend’

Retail Week ‘In pictures: John Lewis Christmas ad – CGI penguins, John Lennon and Google Cardboard’

The Drum ‘John Lewis and Microsoft unite to create tech-driven in-store experience around Christmas ad campaign with ‘Monty’s Magical Toy Machine’’

Marketing ‘How John Lewis plans to use tech to bring its Christmas ad campaign to life’

Brand Republic ‘How John Lewis plans to use tech to bring its Christmas ad  campaign to life with Monty’s Den’  


Owen Sagness, GM, Microsoft Advertising & Online UK

November 7th 2014 News

Microsoft’s Marketing Totally Backfired When CNN Used Its Devices as iPad Stands

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 had a bad election night on CNN when the on-air talent used the device to prop up their iPads. Microsoft was a CNN partner as the results poured in, but any positive marketing spin thoroughly backfired, with the tablet relegated to a kickstand for its biggest rival.

The journalists calling election results mostly tapped away on their personal iPads while the Surface Pro gadgets sat idly by, Gizmodo noted. Microsoft was tied into election night coverage by powering some of the action through the Bing search engine and Internet Explorer. The Surface Pros were used to feed information from CNN's "Magic Wall" to the journalists.

The Surface Pro is a hybrid device that is part tablet, part laptop, but it has had a tough time gaining market share. Still, Microsoft said last month that sales doubled to $900 million for the quarter. The iPad raked in $5.3 billion during that same time.

Microsoft has made some bold marketing moves with the Surface, so it's scratched and fought for every sale. The device is the official tablet on the sidelines of NFL games, thanks to a reported $400 million marketing deal. It's also the official tablet of the zombie apocalypse. And it's been blatantly product-placed in too many shows to count, with varying degrees of success.

Here is just a sampling of the Surface Pro's TV cameos:

November 6th 2014 ipad, Marketing, microsoft, Mobile, News, Technology

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Happy Halloweekend! Failed digital marketing strategies can be scary, lucky for you these articles are here to help. Take a look at our favorite articles from the past week below.

Three Things Every Retailer Needs to Know About Search Marketing

Clickthrough rate is just one metric that you need to keep track of in order to understand search. Learn which others are important and what else you need to learn in order to better understand your consumers here.

Getting Mobile Wrong Has Real Consequences For Sales, Brand

If you aren’t yet #gettingmobileright, you could be doing even more damage to your brand than you think. New data shows that mobile consumers are increasingly likely to turn to your competitors’ sites if they experienced usability-related frustrations on your mobile site. Read more here.

Lead Generation Metrics – Here’s How the Top Performers Do It

It’s often hard to compare B2B stats, but there certainly are champions in each industry. Learn which metrics you need to keep track of in order to stack up to them in this article.

How to Use Google Analytics Behavior Reports to Optimize Your Content

Do you know how to assess the performance of your content on your website? If you’re not using Google Analytics Behavior, you’re missing out on valuable intel. This article will teach you how to use the tool to optimize your content.

Big Data: Best Practices for Success

Are you using big data to your advantage? It can be incredibly helpful when done correctly, but without a well thought-out plan it can be daunting. Learn how to be successful in your big data project here.

November 2nd 2014 B2B, Mobile, News, sem, SEO

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With October drawing to a close, we bring you the final Weekly Compete Pulse of the month! Here are five of our favorite articles from the past week. If you missed them, here’s your chance to get caught up on the world of digital marketing!

Online Retailers Positioned To Take Bite Out Of Pet Sales

Things are a-changing in the pet care industry. With the comparatively low cost of entering the ecommerce stratosphere, physical stores are battling some serious competition. Online-only stores are taking off within the industry and have seen strong traffic growth. Read more on the Millward Brown Digital study here.

Five Ways to Maximize ROI in the Consumer-First World

In this consumer-centric would, brands are constantly developing more and more advertisements. With so much competition for ad space, how can your brand’s message break through? Here are five adjustments you need to make to your strategy in order to improve your ROI.

Social Marketing 2015: The Key to ROI Will Come from Within

Despite the extraordinary popularity of social media within contemporary marketing teams, many marketers aren’t sure how to prove the ROI of their strategies. Many operate based on faith, but there are significant metrics that you need to measure. Learn what industry experts say about starting the process of measuring ROI here.

It’s Time to Shape the Next Generation of Mobile Display Ads

How we package our content and advertising has developed over time. It’s a process, and finding the optimal way to advertise on mobile is the one you should be engaged in right now. This piece by Digiday shows you how to speed it along.

5 Key SEO Changes That Your Business Needs to Implement Right Now

SEO is very much alive. In fact, it’s thriving. As it continues to develop, you need to be aware of its multiple moving parts. Learn the five changes that you need to make in order to keep up with modern SEO here.

October 26th 2014 Mobile, News, SEO, Social Media