Archive for the ‘ Vivienne MacLaren ’ Category

Perfect Storm join Storm ID!

We have some exciting news at Perfect Storm for a Tuesday! Some of you may or may not be aware of the fact that Storm ID (leading full service digital agency) had a shareholding in PS. Well after a very successful financial year for Perfect Storm and some even more successful projects, many of them joint projects with the guys at Storm, we have decided to become a fully fledged brand spanking new division of Storm ID!

We still have the same great staff working across search (paid and natural), social media, media planning and buying, affiliates, lead generation, eCRM, strategy and creative, we are now just part of a much bigger team! The new digital marketing team has been set up alongside the existing specialist divisions within Storm ID – business, creative and technical.

So, same great service, same faces but we now have a whole new set of colleagues who are all pretty much gurus in what they do, which means we have some great expertise to draw on when we need it. We have also worked with Storm on many joint projects over the past couple of years and so it feels like a very natural progression for PS. And since the start of January, we have already been working away on new projects and clients as Storm ID so all is good!

We will continue to work from our West End of Glasgow office in Haugh Road but will now be also working in Storm HQ at the Corn Exchange in Leith for part of the week.

So, business as usual, just a slightly different name and a whole new set of digital colleagues!


Macsween Haggis in the news!

Our lovely client at Macsween Haggis have been in the news lots over the past few days (oh, Happy Burns day today!). Have a look:

And it seems that all those haggis lovers out there are desperate to get their hands on a free pack of delicious Macsween 1 minute haggis. We’ve had over 1,000 entries now! So get entering if you’ve not done already.

And if you’re not already following Macsween on twitter – do it today!

The importance of online driving offline

Online is obviously one of the most important channels of our lifetime and it is a channel in which I have worked for just about most of my career. Online is fab – it is completely transparent – you know who is doing what, when, and how much it costs. That’s why I love it – all of it! Every single online channel is just exiciting and interesting – if we do it this way, will our audience respond? Let’s change it and see if they respond more. How did we generate best response the last time? What did we learn? It’s a constant test and learn ethos that we apply to everything.

Recent stats from IAB tell us that just about every channel is on the decline, apart from online (and mobile):
* Online adspend in H1 2009 reached £1,752.1m
* Spending on internet advertising grew by 4.6% (on a like for like basis) when compared with H1 2008
* Online’s share has grown to 23.5% for H1 2009, 18.7% for H1 2007
This make online the UK’s single biggest advertising medium.

So, we know online is an ever expanding treasure trove of ways to interact and generate business, but what about offline?
For some of our clients, online also plays a big role in generating offline actions – such as brochure requests (though online download is preferred, some just like to flick through a brochure with a nice cuppa), call back requests etc.

We track all offline actions that are generated from online. How do we do this? Clients that have call centre teams also usually have access to many inbound telephone numbers to which campaign codes can be attributed. Now this has been the case for years and the first major client I implemented this additional tracking for was way back in 2003. Nowadays it’s just as important.

PPC, online ad placement, emails – can all have dynamic numbers associated. What that means is this – say you are in Google and you search for a specific product, you then are presented with a list of paid and natural results. If we are doing our job correctly, we should see some ‘double hitting’ – i.e. good PPC listing and a good SEO listing. So, you click on the paid listing (PPC), you click through to our client site and find out more about the product you were interested in.

It’s a bit of an investment for you so rather than sign up online at this point, you’d like to chat about the options available. You look around the site and see at the top of the page a local call or a freephone number. Great, I’ll give them a call you say. So when you make that call, the number is logged on the reporting system as being generated from Google. When the lead or hopefully sale is made, it is attributed to Google PPC spend and overall cost per sale from search spend. If you had clicked through from Bing, Yahoo, a site we were running content and ads on, an email, voucher code – wherever you happened to come to the site from – likelihood is, we’d have applied a dynamic number to it. So when you click, the number changes so we know where you came from online, even if the sale or action is completed offline. Easy to set up and the data we get from it is vital to the refinement of the ongoing activity.
We have also found that reducing PPC spend or other activity, can really impact on leads and sales being generated offline. So even if there is a seasonal trend expected where online sales dip, don’t just pull back on spend, as this can really effect offline activity too if you are clever enough to have it tied to your online activity in the first place that is!

If you are interested in any of what I’ve said, get in touch or indeed let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

IAB Engage 2009 – lots of debate!

IAB Engage 2009Perfect Storm have been members of the IAB since 2007 and we benefit greatly from this – white papers, events, latest stats, training guidelines and also a great way of seeing what others in our industry are doing online for clients. The title of this year’s event was ‘Keep Fit. Be Healthy’ – and unbelievably, Mr Motivator was on hand to give us some advice on how to be healthy in a digital marketing perspective!

Press panel at IAB 2009The speakers were impressive, and I have to say I learned a lot from most of them – not all, most!
We had Jeff Levick from AOL (head of global advertising and strategy), Charlie Leadbeater who is a strategic advisor and really is a ‘wizard of the web’, Louise Ainsworth (MD of EMEA and Nielsen Online), Shaun Gregory (MD O2 Media), Daniel Rosen (head of AKQA mobile), Mark Lund of COI, Chris Brittin head of Google UK, and of course great speakers from IAB including Kieron Matthews and Guy Phillipson. Did I mention the amazing Mr Stephen Fry? What a way to end the event and what a truly lovely, entertaining and intelligent guy he is.

One area in which there was a lot of debate was around the role of press and online – we had reps from MailOnline, NY Times, Bauer Media, Independent – what came across was interesting, but all sung from the same hymn sheet – relevance and quality of online content is key. Can Rupert Murdoch really remove his news from Google? Who knows, but all agree that some form of pay per view on news will eventually be something that most press titles look at.

The launch of UKOM was a really interesting development – this was announced last month by IAB. Louise Ainsworth of Nielsen and Guy Phillipson of IAB explained more about it yesterday.

In September this year, UKOM appointed Nielsen as its official partner “to deliver an industry-agreed online audience planning system, which will allow advertisers and their agencies to plan online campaigns targeting specific audiences, using an industry-approved system, just as they do with traditional media.”

Radio, press, tv etc all have their own planning tools and now online will have its own in the form of UKOM. It was explained that the system will launch early 2010 with a panel of 35k selected to be as representative of the UK population as possible. Profiles will cover age (from 2+), region/geo demographics, social grade, income, occupation, and what the panelists are in the market for e.g. houses, cars and other products.

It will be interesting to see how this will help us as an agency who regularly plan online campaigns for clients.

Stephen Fry at IAB Engage 2009Stephen Fry was simply superb – who knew he knew so much about online and also the origins of the internet! He is one switched on guy who now has nearly 1 million Twitter followers and who also explained a bit about why he nearly committed ‘Twittercide’ a few weeks ago! He hasn’t read a newspaper in over 10 years and gets his news from BBC, CNN etc which is interesting – again mostly online sources of news. He also sees himself not as a performer these days, but as a content provider!

Stephen Fry at IAB Engage 2009

I could go on all day about the conference, and will add other learnings over the next few days.