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Annette is at #winwithoutpitching today with @Bristol_Media and @blairenns, will be an interesting afternoon, posted 7 days ago

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November 2011

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QR Codes....will they last through 2012?

QR Codes....will they last through 2012?

QR codes have been in use over the last few years, but are they a passing trend or do they have ability to become a marketing tool for the next decade?

It still remains to be seen the effectiveness of a QR code campaign. Recently it feels like marketers are adopting a policy of ‘stick a QR code on it’. A recent Econsultancy survey conducted online using TolunaQuick found that only 31% of UK consumers knew what QR codes were or what they are for, and just 19% had scanned one on their mobiles. I also recently saw a billboard advert on the side of a building with a large QR code 100 metres from the ground – not exactly an ideal place for someone to scan it.

I have however seen some really intuitive uses of QR codes in the news recently. eBay have set up a pop up virtual shop in London where you scan a QR code to make an instant purchase, Dominoes have been using QR codes on their menus for a while now to both incentivise and also push users to their mobile apps and sites.

The news this week that John Lewis has set up a virtual shop in Brighton. All of the retailer's ‘top 30 things to buy for Christmas’ are included in a window display at a branch of Waitrose. This is to promote the ‘click and collect' option John Lewis is currently offering. I’d imagine that if this uptake of major brands and retailers continues, QR codes will continue to be used. It could be the marketing tool that bridges the gap between traditional shopping and eCommerce. Who knows it could be the future of retailing – smaller shops which carry no stock and only display QR codes??

Created on Tuesday November 29 2011 09:52 AM

Tags: pr qrcodes marketing smartphones

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New girl, new start (and a nice new coat)

Two weeks in. So far so good. Quite enjoying the 'park-in-Clifton-and-walk-to-work-in-trainers' routine. Finding it weird to be in the minority as regards tea drinking (I do, most don't) - feel like some kind of caffeine-addicted loon. Learning new things and sharing some too. Getting to grips with (great) new systems and discovering we do some really clever, creative and inspiring work here at Focus.

Hands are dirty with reporting, results and analytics. Eyes are full of Clifton Triangle and all it's lunchtime temptations. Ears are listening to everyone's conversations and starting to make sense of 'how things are done here'. Already proud of our work and wanting to tell everyone how great we are!

After 12 years in my previous agency, it's been a big move - but a really positive one. I'm excited to be part of such an ambitious team. And Kirsty - let's keep these boys in check! Thanks guys.

Oh, and this is a nice bit of fun:

Annette Ryske

Created on Thursday November 24 2011 01:46 PM


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What is Digital Strategy and how does it work?

What is Digital Strategy and how does it work?

Digital strategy is something which every company should be considering, but what is a digital strategy and how do you go about developing one?  

According to Wikipedia a digital strategy is……'the process of specifying an organisation's vision, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits digital investments and efforts provide to the organisation.'

At Focus we have worked on a large number of digital strategies for our clients as well as our own. If we had to explain a digital strategy to a client we would say that it is the initial and ongoing development of processes that will achieve set goals and aims using digital technologies and channels.

We’ve put together our thoughts on the process involved in developing a digital strategy.

The initial thoughts that need to take place when developing a digital strategy is reviewing your current processes and procedures, digital channels currently utilised and results of these activities over a period. Of course you may not currently be undertaking any at the moment. 

Once you looked at how you’ve done things – it’s now time to look ahead. Working out a list of goals that you aim to achieve is key part to the process of developing a digital strategy. This may include some of your current business objectives.

It’s then all about understanding how to achieve these objectives, is it through SEO, social media, development of your website? Once you’ve understood what is it you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it – it’s about the process and procedures to achieve your desired objectives. Another key element to remember is measurement – you’ll want to measure your return on investment.

Once you’ve spent time implementing these ideas into practice you’ll need to continually evaluate the results and ensure you evolve your strategy over time – we here at Focus love the phrase ‘continuous improvement’. It a methodology which is extremely important in the world of digital. 

Created on Tuesday November 22 2011 12:56 PM

Tags: website web-development seo social-networking focus digital digitalmarketing

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How, What and When to Blog?

How, What and When to Blog?

At Focus we love to blog and we’re sometimes asked by clients how often should they be blogging on their site, what should they be blogging about and how long should the blog post be?

We don’t think that there are any hard and fast rules for the above but all are genuine questions that should be asked by website administrators.

First thing would be to identify your goals of blogging in order to develop a clear strategy. Why are you blogging? it to provide information, content or SEO?

Best practice decitates that you should try to blog as often as possible, we would say once a week is a minimum, but it’s important to make sure the content is relevant to your audience, current affairs and time of the year. Don’t blog for the sake of it – make sure you have a point to each post and ensure it will engage your audience.

Blog posts can be any length but we would suggest something short and snappy if your posting something more general (a few paragraphs) and a bit longer if you trying to enforce a point, provide information or engage your audience.

One other key point we would say is spread the load between employees – one person only has so many ideas and it can be a great to get different writing styles and opinion into your blog posts. 

Created on Monday November 14 2011 03:41 PM

Tags: website blog

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Google+ Pages - a shift in social networking?

Google+ Pages - a shift in social networking?

Google+ has announced today that companies and brands can create a presence on the social network from the search giants – following a similar style to Facebook pages.

They have five categories:

  • Local Business or Place
  • Product or Brand
  • Company, Institution or Organization
  • Arts, Entertainment or Sports
  • Other

Over 40m have already signed up to Google+, and in articles this morning it has been mooted that a shift in social networking could occur with this new change….but why?

Well, the new features will allow users to recommend brands by using the +1 button, add companies to their circles so they can be kept updated with news and chat via its multi-person video tool Hangouts (something we’ve used for internal meetings and think i).

It’s also noted that this new development could be a way of attracting celebrities and journalists away from Twitter – this is mainly due to the additional features Google+ could offer with its integration in search, gmail, news etc. If there was a major shift the 40m+ users would surely skyrocket.

We’re going to take a look at the opportunities that a business page would offer not only us but also our clients – so look out for our advice on setting up a page! 

Created on Tuesday November 08 2011 11:51 AM

Tags: google +1 social-media

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5 ways to market your website on social media

5 ways to market your website on social media

We decided to put together a few simple ways to market your web site on social media sites, so take a look below at some of the easy ways to drive more traffic to your site. 

1. Online Events - hold unique online events such as 12 or 24-hour Tweet-a-thons. Encouraging followers to include links and #hashtags in all their tweets. Targets can also be set, such as aiming to reach a certain number of new followers, or the 100th person to place an order on a unique link gets their order for free.

2. Affiliate Social Network - get links with other companies to use their own Facebook and Twitter accounts to help promote your business and you return the favour.

3. Web Chats – set up live web chats or webinars through social media sites, this is a good method for providing advice or showing off a particular product / service.

4. YouTube Campaigns - set up your own YouTube channel and integrate an effective YouTube campaign into your overall promotional strategy. Make it easier for customers to share video content across their own social media networks. 

5. Vouchers / Coupons - everyone loves a voucher or coupon so promote a product or service with a voucher or coupon for social media followers. This provides a reason for people to ‘like’ your Facebook or ‘follow’ you on Twitter.

For more advice feel free to call us to arrange a meeting on how we can help your digital strategy.


Created on Wednesday November 02 2011 04:32 PM

Tags: social facebook youtube digitalmarketing

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