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Only Monzo can help retailers like Marks and Spencer be digital innovators

Image Copyright : Great Yarmouth Mercury

The headlines and even a TV documentary this past week have suggested that Marks and Spencer are in an irreversible decline. Will they go the same way as BHS, Comet, Phones4u and so many more?

As the Telegraph’s Jeremy Warner writes HERE ” M&S’s problems are entirely self-inflicted – a dowdy, out-of-date clothing range, a stores format that looks like something out of Communist Russia, lousy IT and logistics, and an online presence that is way behind the curve. The world has changed; M&S has failed to change with it.’ That’s a bit harsh in my view especially in light of the many other retailers who are in considerably deeper trouble. Marks and Spencer’s greatest strength ‘A store on every high street’ has become the exact opposite.

More widely as Sky News’s Adam Boulton succinctly points out HERE the death of the High Street is nigh!

Of course, M&S is just one of many retailers dealing with rapid change in shopping habits and technology.

It strikes me that the ‘wind direction’ has suddenly changed or to mix metaphors we have reached the tipping point. Yet retailers have responded with a remarkably timid approach more ‘managed decline’ than bold change.

As McKinsey say HERE ‘As digital technology erodes profit and revenue growth, why aren’t companies responding with bold strategies?

Marks and Spencer have an excellent CEO but he is an insider. Maybe that’s not such a good thing when the tectonic plates are shifting.

In Banking its social disruptors like Monzo ( an App that’s become a Bank and through Social Proof has grown to 600.000 mainly millennial customers in 3 years) that are achieving real growth maybe that’s the issue here.

To really make the leap they need I think M&S need to be a Social and Digital Disruptorand make a much-reduced estate of stores into showrooms experiences and social spaces.

Maybe M&S need to appoint Tom Blomfield (Monzo’s CEO) as a non-Exec Director! Of course, I’d be happy to help too and even though I’d be cheap by comparison Tom would add so much more value.

Richard Dawson

This article can also be found on LinkedIn HERE

Well which was it ? GDPR or the new Facebook Algorithm ?

So last time I asked the questions ‘GDPR OR THE NEW FACEBOOK ALGORITHM- WHICH WILL IMPACT DIGITAL MARKETING THE MOST ?

I think that on balance its GDPR  whilst the big news feed changes Facebook announced in January ( seems so long ago now doesn’t it !) do put an increasing emphasis on great content and engagement with your community ( not engagement bait) and of course, ads GDPR has a wider significance.

GDPR of course impacts on the management of all data across all platforms online and offline. Its significance from a digital marketing point of view is as a catalyst for a new more open honest and transparent relationship with your customers and prospects.

Thankfully it should see the beginning of the end for Spam of all kinds. Content-driven inbound marketing will become yet more important across all channels, not just Facebook.

What do you think?

James McClymont

Images Credits ( www.superoffice.com/blog/gdpr/ and Owen Video

GDPR or the new Facebook Algorithm- Which will impact Digital Marketing the most ?

Have to admit I have been struggling to write my next blog and have two posts nearing completion one on the big news feed changes Facebook announced in January the other the pending some would say looming GDPR Data Protection changes.

I can’t decide which is more important and profound in its effect but I will !!

What do you think?

 

Images Credits ( www.superoffice.com/blog/gdpr/  and  Owen Video

 

Things to watch in 2018

There are so many things to watch out for in 2018 and no doubt there will be several developments in digital marketing and more widely in tech that we wont expect! But here are a few things to watch out for:

Will GDPR and blockchain live up to their hype in 2018? see HERE   

How embracing a product manager mindset will help you improve 2018 SEO KPIs  HERE

Email marketing success factors in 2018 HERE 

Three key success factors for marketers  in 2018 HERE

Six Key Internet Of Things (IoT) Trends To Watch For In 2018 HERE

Microsoft in 2018: 5 big things to watch out for HERE

 

 

#OpenBanking is set to revolutionise the way we manage our finances

SunTec
Thanks to SunTec Group for the infographic

As a passionate Monzo user (I bore my friends rigid about it ) I’m  increasingly struck by the trend to Open Banking  -not just technically speaking but by its massive social capital. I think its another of those disruptive technology moments. For older greyer people like me, it has some parallels with the telephone banking revolution of the 1990s spearheaded by First Direct. I suspect it spells much deeper change for the banks though.

Lots more details on  Open Banking can be found HERE 

ARE BUSINESS CARDS STILL RELEVANT ?

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In this digital age of many of us swap contact details on Social Media like LinkedIn and by Email. It’s instant and you can import them easily into your Marketing/CRM software.Is there still a place for using Business Cards in your business dealings?

The answer is yes just as we said in our item on using handwritten communication (HERE) some more old fashioned methods of marketing can add some formality and novelty to your digital strategy.

So here’s why Business Cards still work?

1. Swapping contact information digitally is impersonal.Networking is about making genuine connections. Sending contact information via text or email on the spot is convenient but it is also extremely impersonal. Engaging in eye contact and actual conversation is how real relationships begin.People buy from people.Giving a business card helps people remember your encounter.
2. They are the most effective direct marketing tools.Email marketing, search engine optimization, and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t as effective as an in-person meeting sealed with a handshake along with a business card exchange.
3. A business card is the first impression of your brand.When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, don’t you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression? A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.
4. Creative business cards get shared — spreading the word about your brand.A business card is a physical object that a potential prospect leaves the encounter with. Your brand stays with them. If you hand over a creative business card that makes a great impression that person is likely to show it to other people — putting you and your brand in front of additional prospects.
5. Business cards show you are prepared.Have you ever had someone write his or her contact information on a cocktail napkin and hand it over to you? How about someone that had a mobile phone with a dead battery? It isn’t the most professional approach.

We are always looking to differentiate ourselves from the competition so here is a great way to do this?

For a free consultation on Digital Marketing or for more information Contact Us for more details.

10 ways to make sure LinkedIn doesn’t compromise your Cyber Security !

Image by http://cybersec.buzz/
Image by http://cybersec.buzz/

LinkedIn is a personal networking tool favoured and trusted by many employees

It provides a ‘shop window’ for individuals to the world and allows people to connect to colleagues past, present and future. Its one of the largest global recruitment platforms.

However that visibility can also create security issues for you personally and your employer/business. LinkedIn is a favoured site for cyber criminals and can provide them with valuable information to:

Create targeted phishing attacks – using your contacts or role description for deception

Identify core projects, budgets and opportunities – valuable data in the wrong hands

Steal your identity – by cloning your details

So here’s 10 ways to maximise your online security when using LInkedIn :

  1. Don’t use your work email address as your LinkedIn ID. Using your work email address can attract cyber criminals looking to attack your work email systems. Cyber criminals can steal lists of employees by their emails and use them to attack the organisation
  2. Change your LinkedIn password regularly and make sure you set a reasonably complex password (9 characters including a capital letter and a symbol at least !)
  3. Question whether contacts are genuine. Make sure that the contacts you connect with are people you know or are legitimate. Hackers use fake LinkedIn profiles to connect with you and steal your information
  4. Don’t advertise your levels of financial authority .If you let the cyber criminals know this, they may target you and be able to use this information to defraud your business or for financial gain.
  5. Don’t rely on privacy settings. Although there are privacy settings you can change, any LinkedIn user will be able to view the majority, if not all of your profile.
  6. See your profile though the eyes of a cyber criminal – are you giving away anything that could make you a target?
  7. Don’t disclose your location details.Too much information on your physical location allows criminals to better target you and your colleagues. It could also lead to direct physical contact.
  8. Consider using 2-step verification.Can reduce the risk of cyber criminals hacking into your account
  9. Consider the publishing of qualifications/ university attendance. Its good for your personal brand and for prospective employees to see this on your profiles, although consider this extra information is useful for cyber criminals to build a profile on you that may be used for impersonation.
  10. Consider the use of your photo.If you are in a high risk role, you might consider removing your photo, although we appreciate for many this may be an unnecessary step. Photos can help cyber criminals to physically identify you, create false social media accounts in your name or help people validate other online information. Photos can even be used in fake ID cards.

For more information or help using LinkedIn safely and effectively please Contact Us for more details.