The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Our favorite articles from this week focused on bringing you crucial information about your digital marketing strategy. If you missed them, take a look at these must-reads featuring resources, updates, and warnings that you absolutely need to know.

Essential Twitter Marketing Resources: A Complete Guide

Twitter has the ability to be a staple of your digital marketing strategy—but only if used correctly. This article by Social Media Examiner provides you with resources that teach you to network, market, and advertise in 140 or fewer characters. Learn how to maximize your tweeting potential and best manage your accounts here.

10 Things You Should Not Ignore In Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Whenever the founding date of your brand, today’s calendar reads 2014, and your marketing strategy needs to reflect that. Digital marketing no longer counts for extra credit, so if you still regard SEO, mobile apps, and analytics to be anything less than essential, that thinking needs to go the way of the mood ring and festive vest. This article by Jeff Bullas takes you through 10 elements of digital marketing that are absolutely necessary for your brand’s success.

The 10 Most Important Paid Search Developments So Far In 2014

Paid search is constantly updating– are you informed of the latest changes to Google AdWords and Bing Ads? No? Fear not. This concise article by Search Engine Land catches you up on everything you need to know about the changes made during the first half of 2014. Educate yourself  here.

10 Shocking Facts About Content Marketing Today

You’re probably already familiar with the concept of content marketing. It’s reputable, convenient, and super popular, but these statistics still may surprise you. Take a look at this article by Search Engine Watch to understand the full scope of its influence on your brand and community.

Changing the Channel: Why Programmatic Isn’t Ready to Deliver What Brand Marketers Want

Programmatic is among the most contemporary developments in the digital world. The concept has much allure for digital marketers, offering improved efficiency while expanding reach, but Ari Brandt argues that use of the technology may be premature. Learn about the potential concerns brand marketers have for this emerging technology here.

July 13th 2014 Analytics, News, SEO, Social Media

Digg Relaunches As “Digg Deeper” To Give You Personalized News Alerts

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What should you read or watch today? Digg is hoping to help you answer that question with a new launch of an old service, Renamed Digg Deeper, the tool uses signals from the people you follow on social media to surface the most interesting and important news of the day. It’s not a…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

July 12th 2014 News

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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This Fourth of July weekend brings you some of our favorite articles from the web, on topics like social analytics and rising digital trends. You’ll certainly learn a lot from these pieces, so read on and find out more!

Understand Google Analytics Metrics for Social Analytics

With great content comes great responsibility… to maintain corresponding social accounts, at least!  But how do you keep track of your progress, or the impact your social media presence has on your content? Through analytics, of course – and Google Analytics has metrics to help you sort out your social media. Read this article from Business 2 Community to see how metrics from Google Analytics can give you better insights into your social performance.

Digital Transformation and the High Performance Enterprise

Change is inevitable, and change will be primarily digital. So how might large organizations see these effects? ZDNet looks at a variety of research conducted by MIT, Accenture, Oxford Economics, and PwC to track different aspects of this transformation. The informative charts and explanations help you see how the digital transformation trend can potentially yield real business benefits – so learn more here.

3 Social Media Rules Most Entrepreneurs Don’t Follow

Social media, perhaps the most direct and rapid touchpoint between you and your customer, is becoming increasingly delicate for that reason. There are important things you must do besides publishing brand content – you have to manage your engagement well (or risk social media blunders)! These three tips from Entrepreneur Magazine explore a variety of ways to refine your touch with your audience and to satisfy social-media-savvy clientele. Read more at their website!

10 Brands that Brilliantly Differentiated Themselves from the Competition

A company’s brand is (almost) everything. A strong brand should be the core of a company’s identity – but following up with digital superiority is paramount. Hubspot outlines 10 different brands from a wide variety of industries to show you examples of companies that totally nail their brand + digital strategy, so head on over to take a look at those who are getting digital right! Here’s a hint: a lot of bonus points go to websites with clean and effective UX.

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Another week has gone by and we can now officially say it’s summer! Enjoy these top-favorited articles from our feeds from a selection of pieces on the future of marketing and the potential within the digital marketing sphere.

Putting Programmatic in Context

This article from MediaPost highlights a potential missing piece as the industry moves full speed toward programmatic audience-based buying –our recent study look at how publishers can evaluate and grow their brand. The topic du jour is how programmatic ad buying isn’t always optimized based on place or context – and gives some considerations on how to improve. The research looked at 44 sites in 5 industry categories, then gave each a “Brand Score” based on select criteria. Want to learn more? Read more in the article here or check out our upcoming webinar on July 9!

The Internet of Things: Unlocking the Marketing Potential

The Guardian’s Media Network brings us an interesting piece on the Internet of Things — and its implications for the marketing world. More devices connected to the grid certainly means more information. The news giant, then, explores how marketers might work with the great potential in this new field. With speculations and examples, this article lets you see just how marketing could play a part. Read more here! 

Pinterest Launches First Paid Ads with Kraft, Gap, and Others

Ads on social media networks are no new concept — but it’s always big news when a social site begins selling ads. Pinterest, the image-focused lifestyle network, is said to be taking a ‘consultative approach’ to their ad sales. With plenty of space in the food or retail/fashion sectors, it’ll be interesting to see how Pinterest’s advertising develops and how companies make the most of it. Read more at AdAge!

The New Science of Marketing

Bloomberg Businessweek brings us an intriguing piece on the new marketing process, specifically in reference to the mass of data marketers have at their fingertips. Big Data has certainly changed the marketing and information dynamic, but that doesn’t mean marketing strategy is less important than the data it works with! The playing field and the game are simply newer and even more digitized. The five points in the article explain the ways that new marketing works as a science — learn more here! 

Why a Milk Bottle Can Be a Powerful Marketing Tool

This article from AdAge explores the psychological connection the consumers make with milk. Yes, milk. Taking a look at the usage of a bottle of milk in a variety of advertisements (from companies ranging from the food industry to more ‘unrelated’ industries), Al Ries questions whether there’s a real power in having milk in your marketing. It’s a rather interesting read, so check it out here!


June 29th 2014 Marketing, News

Google to Offer Domain Registration

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domainsThe domain registrar industry is about to crack wide open, with new evidence that Google is moving into the domain registration market.

The move confirms rumors that Google is serious about selling domains – rumors that began when the Internet giant made DNS changes to in late March, after having owned the domain for several years. Domaining is a thriving industry, growing every year, as evidenced by GoDaddy’s latest IPO announcement.

Google Domains is currently in invitation-only BETA release, but on appearance, will be a fully-fledged domain registration service on public launch, with all the customizable domain features of large registrars.

I’ve requested my invitation to participate and will review the service here on the blog as soon as I can. Watch this space!

June 26th 2014 Google, News

‘Mesh’ Your Messaging: How H&M Can Get Digital Right

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HM Storefront

Image from: H&M / Shutterstock

There are a number of ways that a company can work towards getting their holistic digital strategy right. Impactful emails, a well-designed website, guerrilla hashtag campaigns, affiliate marketing, et cetera. But mixing together a blend of actions isn’t always enough – and there’s always room for improvement.

First, let’s go over what H&M does brilliantly:

  • For one, their email marketing is killer. Clean images, effective HTML, and catchy titles (as well as coupon codes galore) help drive the fashion-forward to their stores in droves after each new offer.
  • Another is their collaboration with Wrapp, a mobile coupon and gift card wallet that allows you to sometimes send friends extra savings – but more on Wrapp later!
  • H&M features high-profile celebrities, like Miranda Kerr, David Beckham, and Beyonce in their television ads – that bit’s not quite as digital, but still effective.
  • The retailer also masters fast fashion, or rapid trend-following upkeep of their stock.

But what about that third point – their TV strategy? It’s a solid one, to say the least. H&M’s ads tend to be minimalist, highlighting their clothing with catchy music and very little text. Featuring popular celebrities also catches your attention without having to scream for it.

Still — H&M’s current marketing strategy may have many strengths and merits for today, but the future of digital consumption is moving fast. There’s always room for improvement — so let’s explore what that might mean for a retail giant like H&M.

Multitasking Strategy

This space for improvement is in “meshing,” as explored by our 2014 AdReaction research on multiscreen usage. We introduced a number of new words into the marketing dictionary: shifting (non-simultaneous use of multiple screens), stacking (using a second screen while watching TV for unrelated media use), and meshing (using a second screen to complement and engage with television content).

Applying Consumer Behavior

Now, let’s say a consumer sees one of the retailer’s Beyonce/summer 2014 ads on TV and promptly turns to their second device to look up the product (this is meshing).

Beyonce Meshing

The keywords “hm beyonce bikini” immediately yield a link to H&M’s swimwear ecommerce page, but none that efficiently get to the exact item featured in the ad. Another point of concern is that H&M’s 1st-place position on the first SERP (search engine ranking page) comes organically, but direct links to the actual featured product lead to sponsored links from external retailer eBay.

“Shop the look” content isn’t new by any means – but the fact that it exists means that there’s a great space for companies to take ownership of the way their products are found online — as opposed to letting other retailers take up that real estate.

Of course, it makes sense to lead potential customers to the overall swimwear page as opposed to one item. The point of shopping is to acquire more objects.

But if H&M ramped up their meshing strategy by, say, using vanity URLs to lead customers to the exact outfit or collection Beyonce dons in a specific advertisement, they’d potentially get their consumers to their clothing much faster. A mobile-optimized landing page or website section for such requests would be an ideal place for digital multitaskers to immediately grab their tablets or smartphones and add the articles to their carts. Better yet, an investment in streamlining targeted search engine ads with their television ads would help them take control over their corner of the market.

Getting Digital Right

All of this isn’t to say that H&M is lacking in their marketing strategy. On the contrary — the company really does get digital right and consistently delivers powerful content in constantly updated media.

But for all companies looking to develop their digital techniques, behavioral information will become paramount. Understanding the three types of digital behavior is the first step in preparing the advertising experience for the future, and early action creates the potential for a company’s marketing to soar above the competition.

See the AdReaction 2014 study here, or check out behavioral website data from a panel of 2 million US users at!

June 26th 2014 Analytics, Marketing, News

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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This week’s round-up of interesting and popular digital marketing articles centers around two themes: progress & adaptation, and ROI. Learn more about the spaces in which digital marketing can grow, then about how ROI can be bolstered with different strategies!

There’s No “I Didn’t Sign Up for This” in Digital Marketing

Digital is an ever-evolving part of marketing – and like anything else in life, we’re forced to adapt. It may not be fun, and it will come unexpectedly, but all marketers face a time when they need to accept the changing times and run with it. This article from MarketingLand observes this dynamic within the digital marketing industry – and argues that our best bet is to step up to the plate, acquire new skills, and fully embrace the changes that come our way. It’s a great piece – check it out here!

Marketing Automation Still “Crossing the Chasm”

Those in the tech/digital fields likely have some sort of interaction with marketing automation programs. It’s second nature – it’s digital! But even with over 70 players in marketing automation, the field actually has yet to cross the chasm and truly penetrate the larger consumer market. Despite all the hype over the latest offerings, the overall market doesn’t harness the power of marketing automation. Read more about how this hyper-growing category can reach more at VentureBeat!

How Twitter’s New Website Remarketing Can Boost Your PR ROI

ROI is the real concern of marketers everywhere – but even more challenging is measuring that of the top of the funnel. So how do you increase the ROI of your PR campaigns? Shift Communications tells us that it’s through Twitter’s new website remarketing. Marketers need to take as many consumers through the funnel as they can, but that can be hard if a landing page gets many clicks but not many signups. Remarketing helps them double back and contact people who dropped by – helping to increase middle-of-the-funnel action. Read more at Shift’s Communications’ blog!

8 Social Media Advertising Tips to Boost Your ROI

It’s another ROI article this week, this time from Forbes. Social media is a hot topic in marketing circles because it seems so easy – but actually requires careful strategy, paid campaigns, and an in-sync team. How do you use social media (top of the funnel) to boost your ROI? Read this article – it gives you 8 careful tips on improving your social strategy that will best benefit your organization. It’s well-written and simple, but the learning opportunity is great.

June 22nd 2014 News

Movie-Going Decline: Challenge or Opportunity for Theaters?

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Movie Theater

Image from: Movie Theater / Shutterstock

Movie theaters and online ticketing sites have been forced to find creative ways to reach and convert consumers online. Why? Well, for the overall American population, going out to the movies has dropped lower and lower on the priority list.  We’re trading nights out at the movies for nights in on the couch.

According to The Motion Picture Association of America’s 2013 Theatrical Market Statistics Report (TMSR), movie going declined for most every age group in 2013. The TMSR revealed that moviegoers aged 18-24 fell from 8.7 to 7.2 million, ages 12-17 dropped from 6.3 to 5.5 million, and the 25-39 age group slipped from 9.9 million to 8.2 million. The truth is the majority of Americans are trading nights out at the theater for nights in on the couch at home. According to a Harris poll released in January, 57% of Americans said they would rather stay at home to see a movie. According to the same poll, two thirds of Americans admitted going to the movies less frequently than they did a few years ago.  The act of going to the movies has always offered a unique experience- the huge screen, dark room and comfortable seats. However, with the increasing sales of large flat screen TV’s that produce theater-quality sound, getting that “theater experience” at home is becoming more common.  Combine all of that with the easily accessible “On Demand” features and a growing Netflix subscription rate andthe decline in movie going becomes clearer.

Compete PRO further proves that movie theater websites, along with third party online ticketing sites, have volatile numbers over the years; sites like have been experiencing strong inconsistencies in terms of traffic and engagement.

Fandango UVs may 12 may 14

This widespread industry decline has spurred a lot of theater and ticketing sites to add more content to their domains — rather than just movie tickets—with the hope that engaging content will lead to conversions. For example, in recent news, Fandango signed a deal to acquire Movieclips- a network of short film clips, trailers, and original video productions to add to the content of their site.  According to a recent article on The Wall Street Journal, the hope is that this expansion of product offerings creates a “destination” for movie fans rather than a means to secure seats.  Fandango isn’t the only site working to provide unique content; its competitor launched a weekly online video series starring YouTube personality Taryn Southern.  The series started in late 2013, titled “Movie Therapy,” aims to comically help moviegoers decide which film they should go see. believes the creation of dynamic content will provide more reasons for film fans to visit and be inclined to purchase.

While the decline in movie going is causing a problem for theaters, it’s also testing their creativity for finding ways to engage and convert consumers on site. People expect media content to be more and more interactive—creating experiences that can’t be mimicked on a tablet or even in a home theater. Movies like Avatar and Gravity had huge success because of the unique experience they created for the movie-goer. The future of the movie theater will continue to present its challenges and it’s critical to view any obstacles as opportunities to better website content – in hopes of turning every visitor into one of two things: 1) a loyal fan or 2) a converted customer.

June 20th 2014 News

Microsoft Mobile Devices in the hands of the creative community at #CannesLions #SwitchtoLumia

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New Nokia Lumia 930’s arrival in Europe is imminent! The Nokia Lumia 930 will be commercially available in Europe in July! 

So, what does the Lumia 930 bring to the creative party?

The Lumia 930 boasts a 5-inch full HD 1080p display (441 ppi), readable in broad daylight at the train station, or over al fresco lunch with a client down the French Rivera.

Whilst this technical speak may not mean something to you, the high quality image capabilities of the phone demonstrates the rich potential for creativity on mobile. The Lumia 930′s impressive imaging credentials include a 20-megapixel PureView camera with Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization, and four microphones for recording high-definition audio. Creative Studio 6 also brings a range of new features to the phone, including dual capture so that you can rotate, straighten and change the aspect ratio of any image after you’ve shot it, without losing any quality.

Imagine you’re witnessing the launch of your latest creative campaign, or watching you favorite musician in a once in a lifetime setting; Nokia Rich Recording on the Lumia 930 will be your perfect companion for re-living the unforgettable moments.  Windows Phone 8.1 software also means that you have access to the full suite of Microsoft Office products, so sharing your experiences has never been so easy.  The battery also charges itself with the built-in wireless feature, so you can stay connected as long as you choose.

What do Microsoft Mobile Devices bring to the biggest creative party of all?

If you go down to the Cannes Lions Exhibition on Level -1 of the Palais des Festivals, you will be able, for the first time ever at Cannes, to see the top shortlisted creative campaigns up for the Direct, Promo & Activation, Media, PR, Design, Product Design and Mobile Lions categories of the Cannes Awards on a Nokia Lumia 1520 (as well as a Microsoft Surface) – a fully interactive digital experience.

Following this, as you wander out of the Palais, you will come across a Microsoft space on the Parvis where the Microsoft Digital Artist is at work.  He can take your picture on a Nokia Lumia and then work his magic with Microsoft Cloud, Office 365 and Windows to create truly unique selfies of you to share on social media.  And if you do take part, you could be one of those who takes home your own brand new Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM phone!

And if that wasn’t enough, if you visit the Microsoft Beach Club you can see Windows Phones galore and share your Candid Cannes selfie.  If you are a press delegate you might have already played with the Windows Phone devices in the Press Centre but if you bump into one of our team as you are strolling down the Croisette, you can then put your thoughts around #InformedCreativity down on Microsoft Paint, have your picture taken with a Nokia Lumia and share your personal wisdom too. 

And what am I personally contributing to this wondrous fiesta of creativity that is Cannes Lions?

Well, I am taking part in a Forum entitled “Talenthouse : The New Patrons” on Thursday 19th at 1.15pm alongside Maya Bagle, Cofounder and MD of Talenthouse and Charlie Patterson, Designer at Harrimansteel.  We are going to be discussing how, in a world where content is so freely distributed and millennials don’t expect to pay for it, an aspiring artist, designer, musician, photographer or filmmaker can hope to make a living. Could brands fund the free distribution of creative content to the consumer? And if so, does this new model also provide a new native advertising vehicle where brands are woven into content, word-of-mouth, story-telling and social sharing that positions them positively as empowering creativity? Are the worlds of advertising blurring and where do the possibilities lead us to?      

I look forward to seeing you there. 


Craig Hepburn, Social and Digital Media Director, EMEA, Microsoft mobile devices

June 17th 2014 News

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This week’s favorite stories from our corner of the Twitterverse focused on Big Data, influencers, and internet privacy. It’s an interesting set you won’t want to miss!

Positioning Yourself as an Expert in Digital Marketing

The digital marketing landscape is only getting bigger – and more competitive. How do you make sure your voice is heard? You need to establish yourself as a leader and expert. Social Media Today offers some simple tips for you to start positioning yourself competitively, as well as a few reasons to convince you that you should. Start improving your reputation after reading the article here.

The Biggest Hadoop and Big Data Influencers on Social Media

Big Data makes for big discussions. Who are the most impressive thought leaders in the field? Read up on Social Media Today’s compilation of Big Data organizations’ top influencers from groups like SAP, Hadoop, Qubole, Forbes, and more. You may find some inspiring people to add to your followees! Here’s the link – now go join the conversations!

The Future of Big Data: Prescriptive Analytics Changes the Game

Big Data’s been incredibly important to our increasingly digital world. Predictive analytics has existed in conjunction to the concept. But what about the future? Big Data doesn’t appear to be leaving, but the techniques we use to harness it will inevitably change. Read this article to see how prescriptive analytics will change the way we think about digital.

Top 10 Privacy Considerations for Digital Marketing Campaigns

Is your company overlooking the intricate layers of digital legalities? Digital campaigns are all-too dependent on collecting consumers’ information, a process which is wrought with legal implications. Make sure you don’t leave dangerous loopholes open by reading up on these 10 things-to-know!

June 15th 2014 Analytics, Marketing, News, Social Media