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!

Inner Beauty….Yeah right!!!

Who said inner beauty counts? There is not such a thing according to American based social networking   They recently dropped 5,000 members from their site, deeming them as “having let themselves go” over the festive period.   The site prides itself on being exclusively for the beautiful community and founder Robert Hintze stated “letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which was founded”

In the competitive world of online, this was a genius move from Hintz, his controversial comments and statements, succeeded in making the 5th most visited website within social networking and increased its traffic 50 fold in the first week in January, see chart below.

This is a classic example of how controversial PR can benefit your company or organisation. Controversial issues will always create an online stir and the viral effect can be phenomenal, as was the case with

Julie Ferguson, Organic Search

Google to withdraw from China?

Google has announced that it may cease operating its site due to a highly sophisticated cyber attack originating in the country. Google

The attack on Google was directed towards the Gmail accounts of known Chinese Human Rights Activists.   Perpetrators were only able to access limited information including, initiation of the account and email subject matters, no email content was accessed.  This co-ordinated attack also led to the discovery of other phishing scams and malware being placed on the users of Gmail accounts in US, China and Europe, which again targeted “advocates of human rights in China” has been subject to severe censorship enforced by the Chinese Government, working closely with censorship officials; Google has established a strong position within the Chinese search engine market; however this move will have major Google shareholders concerned, with substantial revenues at stake.

So how will this impact Google and other search engines?

The Search Engine Market in China is worth around $1 billion dollars, with Google predicted to make $600 million 2010. currently sits number 2 in China behind Chinese search engine Baidu, which forms the closest relationship with Chinese Government around areas of censorship.

The Chinese search engine market is competitive and is subject to strict censorship laws; however the financial gains if successful are substantial. The decision from the world’s biggest search engine to withdraw will inevitably cause other search engines to revaluate their position.   This is a bold move by Google; however, will they follow through? Or is an attempt to get the Chinese Government to form a stronger alliance with the world’s number 1 search engine. Watch this space……

Julie Ferguson, Organic Search

Haggis all around!

Look out for lovely Macsween online ads starting in January 2010.  We will add some on here to give you a sneaky peak befor they go live.

We just love working with the World’s best haggis! If you’ve not already tasted the new 1 minute haggis – get on the site and you could win yourself a week’s supply. Check out the recipes on there too.  We’ve just updated the pages with some new content so lots to see.

Haggis instead of turkey on Christmas day – now there’s a thought………

Macween 1 minute haggis

Storm Ideas and Twibbon pick up top econsultancy award

Twibbon wins top econsultancy innovation prizeCongrats to the very clever bods at Storm Ideas, part of  the Storm ID family.

They managed to scoop one of the top innovation prizes at the econsultancy awards, winning the ‘Innovation in Social Media’ gong!

Fantastic! Twibbon is the easiest and most impactful way to promote causes on Twitter and so far over 819,000 have used Twibbons to show support, including many celeb! Nearly 25,000 different causes have been created to date.

So get on there now!

More about the awards @econsultancy

Edinburgh Festivals tops the 2009 ‘fastest rising’ search league table

There was an interesting article on the Daily Mail website today. It lists the fastest rising search topics on Google across the UK during 2009,  breaking them down by country. As part of our comprehensive digital marketing activity for Festivals Edinburgh, we are conducted a fully integrated paid search campaign. It’s gratifying to see that Edinburgh Festival was one of the most searched for terms in Scotland in 2009.  Although why  ‘Pistonheads’ was one of the second most searched for terms in Scotland is perhaps more of a mystery!

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!