The Weekly Compete Pulse

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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

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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In this edition of the Weekly Compete Pulse, we’ve featured a few of our favorite email marketing, content marketing, and overall digital marketing articles. If you missed any of them on our feeds this week, take a look at them below!

What Really Makes a Digital Ad ‘Premium?’

Advertising Age is reestablishing their definition of “premium” ads within the confines of context and content. To educate yourself on their take on the term, and to learn their three things that advertisers need to consider in order to optimize their premium ads, check out the article.

Email Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: Weighing Your Business Priorities

Most digital marketing strategies include a focus on both email and social, but where should you be directing the bulk of your efforts? This piece from Business2Community shows you the quantitative and qualitative value of each practice and gives you the information you need to prioritize accordingly.

What Growth Hacking Means for the Content Marketer

If you’re not familiar with the term “growth hacking,” this article will catch you up to speed and teach you to apply it to your content marketing strategy. Check out this piece to figure out if you fit the “content hacker” description, and if you don’t, whether your team could benefit from acquiring one.

Content, Mobile, Personalization – Digital Marketing Predictions for 2015

This comprehensive infographic provides some helpful predictions for how marketing will continue to develop in 2015. Check it out to see which trends you should get a jump on and which behaviors you should resist in the coming year.

How to Boost Your Email Marketing With Triggered Messages

If you aren’t incorporating triggered messages into your email marketing, you’re likely missing out on prime opportunities for conversions. Learn how to increase your ROI with these tips on how to work triggered emails into your strategy here.

October 19th 2014 News, Social Media

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Happy Columbus Day Weekend! In honor of the holiday, we hope you’ll explore some of our favorite articles from the past week. Here are the top five digital marketing articles from our feeds.

The 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2015

It’s predicted that digital marketing will continue to thrive in 2015. This article by Innovation Enterprise discusses how the industry is likely to transform in the coming year. Learn what will remain relevant and what will become vital in 2015 here.

10 Tips For Creating Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is crucial for any business, but getting started can seem daunting. This article takes you through the steps of developing a comprehensive social media strategy. Check it out here.

Longer Stories Draw More Attention, but with diminishing returns

Longer posts have been said to be the most optimal for your brand, but this article by Digiday provides an alternate perspective. Learn the pros and cons of the various blog lengths here.

Here’s What 8 Digital Execs Predict for Mobile in 2015

Mobile commerce and content is only going to grow in 2015. Read what eight digital executives predict about mobile strategy and technology and how mobile will continue to impact our day-to-day lives in this piece by AdWeek.

Forbes Tweaks Native Ad Program for Greater Scale

Forbes is adapting to new content demands from consumers. Learn about the changes they’re making to transform their site by allowing brands more flexibility in their content here.

October 12th 2014 News, Social Media

September Data is Now Live – Fall Sports, Celebrities, and More

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Image from: NFL / Shutterstock

With the end of the official first month of the fall season, we’ve got September 2014 data live and available in Compete PRO. Diving right into September’s fast movers, several sports-related websites saw significant MoM growth., a daily fantasy sports model, grew 1169% in unique visitors in September, up 1806% this year. With multiple “fantasy football” related terms making their way into the site’s top search referrals, we can attribute the site’s sudden growth to the start of the regular NFL season., a site that saw its peak 2014 visitors in June during the World Cup, saw a reemergence of strong traffic in September with unique visitors up 168%. also experienced strong MoM growth last month in line with the popularity of fall athletics. Multiple search referrals for the site reference the NFL with several others pertaining to the Little League World Series.

In line with August’s trend, academic sites continued to see strong traffic growth in September. With unique visitors up 93% last month, fell just short of 2013’s numbers. The start of collegiate classes has led to a dramatic increase in unique visitors to other educational sites, such as Up 83% in September, this site’s true success falls within the 18-24 age group who, while only accounting for 15% of US internet users, make up close to 40% of’s user demographics.

As a result of the notorious celebrity photo hack that received national attention at the start of September,, the message-board site on which the photos were first leaked, saw a dramatic increase in September traffic. With nearly all of the top search referrals referencing celebrity photos, saw a MoM increase of unique visitors of nearly 900%, up almost 1200% in 2014.

September Fast Movers

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!

October 8th 2014 News

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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This edition of the Weekly Compete Pulse features a few of our favorite digital marketing articles from our feeds this week. If you missed them, take a look at our recap below.

Betty Crocker Stirs Up Engagement with Refreshed Cooking App

Betty Crocker is looking to serve a younger demographic, and in doing so they’ve been #GettingDigitalRight. The brand has revamped their app for Apple products, including thousands of recipes that appeal to more dietary restrictions and preferences. Take a look the steps that Betty Crocker has taken to whet the millennial pallet here.

7 Deadly Web Design Sins Many Startup Entrepreneurs Commit

For many entrepreneurs who are just getting started, developing a successful website can be a trial and error process. From innocent oversights to unsuccessful attempts, web design sins are all too common. Take a look at this list of the top seven mistakes.

4 Ways Quality Content Improves SEO Rankings

Often, marketers think of SEO and content as two separate components of an overall marketing strategy without considering how the two elements are related. This survey indicates that quality content directly improves your SEO. Learn how to make your content more attractive for consumers and for search engines.

8 Content Campaigns That Have Rocked 2014 (Thus Far)

Sponsored content may not be what first comes to mind when we think of excellent content, but it has all the potential. This article by Ad Week displays eight brands that successfully executed native or branded content campaigns. Check out the winning creations here.

How to Rule Local Results in SEO [Infographic]

It’s no secret that consumers increasingly rely on the internet to make purchase decisions. In order to stay ahead of the curve, your brand needs to maintain prominence in local search results. This infographic by Optical provides you with simple tricks and techniques to improve your local SEO.

October 5th 2014 News, SEO

Exciting new advertising partners unveiled as MSN goes live in the UK

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Today marks general availability of MSN, an all new platform that combines the engagement of an app with the reach of the web. Designed from the ground up for a mobile, cloud first world, it is built to enable users to do more, know more and personalise their experience, regardless of the device they are using.

To celebrate the launch of MSN in the UK, Microsoft has announced a number of new advertising partners, including Sony, Nissan and The Potato Council.

With an existing audience of more than 17.1 million people in the UK (425 million across 55 global markets), and a host of new industry first multi-screen advertising possibilities, MSN is providing brands with the opportunity to reach users in multiple mind-sets across Microsoft’s many platforms, seamlessly telling their stories via the screens and devices consumers love. The Custom Header, for example, is a brand new format and the largest rich media unit Microsoft has ever created offering advertisers an amazing canvas to share messages and drive awareness and engagement. Buying is simple too, including the use IAB standard units available on previous versions of MSN.

Consumer electronics giant Sony’s campaign commences with a Home Page Take Over (HPTO) that drives awareness of the new Xperia Z3 smartphone on its official UK launch day Taking advantage of MSN’s improved reach and increased engagement, Sony is running the campaign across the platform, including the first custom header, allowing it to achieve mass reach across multiple devices in one day.

Building on its existing relationship for Microsoft – Nissan is the exclusive launch partner of the new MSN Cars and will 100 per cent own the channel for two weeks (Wednesday 1st October to Wednesday 14th October). The campaign will centre around the Japanese automotive manufacturer’s promotion of its electric car, the Nissan Leaf.

Similar to the Nissan campaign, today also sees The Potato Council launch its sponsorship of the Food and Drink channel – a campaign set to run for two weeks. Other brands in the launch line-up of advertisers include Lexus and 02, who are both working with our Ad Solutions team on branded original content that will feature across the news and cars channels, plus Tetley Tea, Virgin Holidays, Citroën, McDonald’s, Co-op and many more.

New MSN combines premium content from the world’s leading media outlets with personal productivity tools that help users do more. What’s more, personalisation and continuity have been prioritised to ensure a seamless cross-device experience. As a result, we know that consumers and advertisers alike will love the new MSN. Try new MSN today to see how it can help you do more, wherever you are, and whatever device you are using.

You can also read some of the media coverage about the new MSN and about our advertisers


Owen Sagness, General Manager, Advertising & Online, Microsoft UK

October 1st 2014 News

The Weekly Compete Pulse

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Welcome to the weekend! This edition of The Weekly Compete Pulse features five of the most popular digital marketing articles from our feeds this week.

The Top 10 Questions Every Brand Must Answer To Grow In 2015

With 2015 around the corner, brands need to ensure they have their priorities in line. Make certain that your brand can answer these top questions for short and long term success.

Mythbusters: Digital Media’s Biggest Misconceptions

In this piece by Digiday, digital media pioneers and thought leaders respond to the question “What’s something everyone believes about digital media that’s actually wrong?” Take a look at what each of them had to say here.

5 Ways Listening to Community Data Can Expand Your Content Marketing Strategy

Discussions of content marketing rarely include mention of the data that supports content strategies. Take a look at this article by Copy Blogger to learn five ways to use community data to improve your content strategy.

Are You Tracking the Right Metrics on Social Media?

Social media is a part of your business, so your primary focus should be conversions. This article by Steamfeed will provide you with the appropriate metrics for you to keep an eye on. Check it out here.

Marketing in 2014: David Meerman Scott & Brian Halligan on What’s Changed

This video interview features a best-selling author and the HubSpot CEO as they discuss the changes in marketing in 2014. Learn which mistakes to avoid and where to invest your time and money here.

September 27th 2014 News, Social Media

#EatAdWaffle Illustrated

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Slang, jargon, waffle – whatever you want to call it, colloquial language is rife throughout the advertising industry. While its use can be very effective at communicating meaning amongst like-minded people, the terms used by advertisers are occasionally so obscure they even confound their peers in the business!

To help address this situation, we launched the #EatAdWaffle campaign, an effort to crowd source all of the good, bad and crazy words and phrases to infiltrate the advertising lexicon. We asked the social community to post suggestions – a request that generated in excess of 200 entries – before selecting the ten we believe best represent the jargon experienced across the industry every day.

Part of the campaign saw these ten examples converted into graphics in an attempt to simplify and make sense of ‘ad waffle’ that I want to share with you today:

#EatAdWaffle: But is it hashtagable?

#EatAdWaffle: Can you have a think about the art of the possible?

#EatAdWaffle: We need to start from the ground up on this one

#EatAdWaffle: Shareable, snackable, sticky content


#EatAdWaffle: Aim for a media first

#EatAdWaffle: Gamification

#EatAdWaffle: We need to make it more mocial!

#EatAdWaffle: Hopefully we find a cookie-cutter solution in our post campaign deep dive

#EatAdWaffle: Guarendeavour to deliver that

Drop by again next week for an update on all the key insights to come out of the #EatAdWaffle breakfast events held earlier this month.


Leena Shah,
Communications Marketing Manager, Microsoft

September 19th 2014 Marketing, News, Social Media

Panic bars save lives, says Qualified Hardware

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In the summer of 1883, a traveling variety show made a stop at Victoria Hall in Sunderland, England. Near the end of the show, the entertainers announced to the more than 1,000 children in attendance that upon exiting the Hall, they would be met with a prize.

Anxious to get their hands on whatever gift awaited, hundreds of children rushed down a staircase toward the door. What they didn’t know was that the door would not allow for their safe passage. Having been opened inward and bolted to the floor, the door was designed to limit the flow of patrons. As the story goes, the gap between the door and the frame was only wide enough to allow one child to make it through at a time.

But the hundreds of eager children didn’t know that, and continued to rush down toward the exit. With nowhere to go, the children at the front of the line were crushed and suffocated. When all was said and done, 183 children lost their lives.

Out of this tragedy, the panic bar was born.

The panic bar, also known as a crash bar, is an unlocking mechanism – usually spring-loaded metal bar – that when pushed, quickly unlatches the lock and allows the door to swing wide open. After the Victoria Hall tragedy, the town decided that doors must open quickly and easily in situations like that, and began fitting public locations with panic bars.

“It is interesting to know that the force of six or seven people pushing in the same direction can generate up to 1,000 lbs of force. Human stampedes can happen out of nowhere so having panic bars in place reduces the risk of tragedy, at least within buildings,” says Kevin Klein, E-Commerce Sales Manager for Qualified Hardware, a supplier of high quality door and lock hardware.

Despite Sunderland’s decision to make panic bars a requirement, the idea didn’t catch on across the pond until two decades later.

In 1903, more than 600 people died at the Iroquois Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. During a performance of the popular musical Mr. Bluebeard, a light shorted out and lit a curtain on fire. As patrons flocked to the exits, many were confronted with unfamiliar locks. Others found themselves trying to open windows that only appeared to be exit doors. Some show-goers were trampled, some were crushed, and others died of smoke inhalation. The Iroquois Theatre Fire remains the most-deadly single building fire in the history of the United States.

This tragedy is what spurred the installation of panic bars across the U.S. These devices has been building code requirements ever since.

“Tragedies like the Iroquois Theater Fire and the Victorian Hall Disaster were devastating. We’re so lucky today to have systems in place to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. And human stampedes still happen. There was a really horrible incident in Cambodia at a Water Festival in 2010 and 465 people died. The most important thing is to learn from these events and put systems in place to make the world safer,” says Klein.

“There are organizations like the International Code Council that are committed to standardizing building codes to build a safer world. Panic bars are a part of that code. With proper preparation, tragedy can be avoided.”

In public buildings, panic bars are a no-brainer. They allow people to quickly exit and avoid being caught up in the logjam that occurs when too many people are clamoring toward an exit that simply can’t accommodate the flow. As Qualified Hardware’s Klein says, human stampedes can happen out of nowhere, and panic bars have and will continue to save lives.

September 19th 2014 News

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Welcome to the weekend, and your weekly edition of the Weekly Compete Pulse! Take a look at some of our favorite articles from the past week below.

ALS Ice Bucket Raises $110M In Donations, Marketers Take Note

As discussed in our recent blog post, traffic to skyrocketed and demographics shifted drastically as a result of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. This article by MediaPost discusses the exciting data via Millward Brown Digital. Take a look at the analysis here.

4 Reasons Why CEOs Need to Care About Digital Marketing

According to MDG, some CEOs tend to have a less than favorable attitude toward marketers. This article makes a strong pitch for why they should adjust that thinking. Check out their discussion of the key reasons that digital marketing is deserving of your CEO’s focus here.


A lot more goes into rebranding than coming up with a new name. This article from Tom Fishburne discusses an innovative concept: consumers dictate the direction of the brand. Take a look at their discussion of the rebranding process, what’s successful, and what tends to flop, here.

4 Branding Challenges for the NFL

Football season is finally upon us! Controversies surrounding teams and individual players may actually help the professional football industry. Take a look at Digiday’s discussion of the problems that the NFL continues to face and how they may actually help the organization generate more interest.

7 Tips for Perfecting Your Digital Marketing Program

Feeding digital marketers’ constant need to update their strategies and adjust for industry changes, this helpful article by Click Z provides timeless tips to perfect your digital marketing strategy. Learn how to evaluate and improve upon your techniques here.

September 14th 2014 News