There's no doubt that Blue Planet II contained incredibly powerful content. But one wonders what made the message resonate so powerfully, and, more importantly, what has made it translate into real behavioral change?
- Autumn 2019 Issue, Posted Oct 29, 2019
At the beginning of April, I was pleased to read that scientific publisher Springer Nature had produced what it claimed was the first machine-generated academic book.
- Summer 2019 Issue, Posted Jul 30, 2019
At the end of 2017, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming, research suggested that U.K. small businesses had spent an average of 600 hours each preparing for it.
- Autumn 2018 Issue, Posted Nov 22, 2018
The EU Copyright Directive, as it's known, is expected to pass into law when it comes to a final vote in January. It will remake the balance of power in copyright law in the European Union.
- Posted Oct 09, 2018
Like any sports tournament, the World Cup has launched a host of technology innovation, the most hotly debated is the first deployment of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) designed to correct "clear and obvious" refereeing errors.
- Posted Jul 05, 2018
Any marketing campaign worth its salt needs to carefully optimize its visual content. Brands want an image that will attract the attention of potential customers and that will make their product or service stand out from the crowd. But more than that, brands want to select images that generate the right kind of emotional response, keying into the appropriate brand values. It's no good advertising the latest running shoes with images that make the viewer feel restful and relaxed.
- Spring 2018 Issue, Posted May 03, 2018
It goes against all received wisdom to withdraw completely from social media channels, like Wetherspoon's, or to increase friction for digital consumers like NRK. It seems certain, however, that as social media face increased scrutiny, more brands and content owners will start to swim against the tide.
- Posted Apr 24, 2018
New EU rules on content portability came into force on April 1.
- Posted Apr 03, 2018
Few things seem more quintessentially English than the Wimbledon tennis championship. Run since 1877 by the All England Lawn Tennis Club, it insists that players still play in all-white outfits and refers to the competitors as ladies and gentlemen. But its traditional trappings have frequently been accompanied by a focus on technological innovation.
All things Scandinavian are having a moment here in the U.K. Hardly a marketing campaign goes by without somehow shoehorning in the Danish concept of hygge, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)." It's a remarkably versatile marketing concept.
Not long ago, I went to a gig at London's Eventim Apollo—the iconic music venue famed for hosting David Bowie's farewell appearance as Ziggy Stardust. But I wasn't there to see a singer or a band. I was there to see DanTDM—the YouTube star and darling of the tween demographic—who was on the final leg of his first live tour.
Content strategists may be wise to consider some uncomfortable questions about the role of social media during the referendum campaign. According to a survey conducted just before the nation went to the polls, 26% of people used social networks to share and receive information about the referendum in the run-up to polling day; 24% said that social media helped enhance their understanding of the issues connected with the referendum.
In many ways, of course, motivated fans who passionately engage with content are highly desirable, generating buzz and invaluable word-of-mouth. The danger is that, in the hands of an engaged fan, content can spiral out of control. There is a fine line-some would say no line at all-between passionate sharing and piracy, as well as between brand-enhancing homage and brand-damaging fan fiction or comedy mashups.
Did you know that One Direction star Harry Styles is the happiest celebrity on Twitter? I have to confess that was news to me too. Data scientists at the semantics analytics firm Adoreboard used the text analysis methodology Toneapi ?to detect and interpret emotions in tweets from 100 celebrities, highlighting feelings such as joy, anger, surprise, trust, and annoyance. It found that Styles was the most chipper during an 8-month period.
- April 2016 Issue, Posted May 03, 2016
Fast-forward to the 2015 London Fashion Week and it certainly looked as if the industry had more than caught up, with wearable technology leading the way. British designer Henry Holland collaborated with Visa Europe to kit out VIPs attending his House of Holland show with wearable payment technology in the form of a ring. The rings, designed by Holland, included integrated near field communication (NFC) payment technology, enabling the lucky few to purchase items directly from the catwalk.
- December 2015 Issue, Posted Dec 22, 2015
Despite this popularity, the BBC's model has come under increasing attack, particularly from the traditional news media. Speaking on TV, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne called the BBC's website "imperial" and voiced concerns about the BBC's potential to crowd out the online operations of traditional newspapers.
- October 2015 Issue, Posted Oct 06, 2015
But the concept of "Europe" is so frequently bandied about that it bears closer scrutiny. In an age when companies and brands are promoting themselves globally, it's a significant issue. Is there such a thing as "Europe?" Of course, European countries are united by many ?cultural norms and practices. At the same time, there are clear, practical distinctions that challenge cross-European campaigns. Content that works in one national market will not necessarily have the same impact in a different country.
- May 2015 Issue, Posted May 05, 2015
I was once fortunate enough to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong while on a business trip. Checking in after a 13-hour flight from London, I was too tired to fully appreciate the stunning, tree-filled atrium; the amazing view from my room; or the impeccable service as a procession of hotel employees appeared unbidden, bringing tea, fruit, and hot towels. I haven't had the good fortune to revisit that particular haven of luxury again, but I was interested to learn that, starting in spring 2015, all 85 Shangri-La hotels and resorts will no longer provide guests with complimentary print newspapers. Instead, the hotels will offer online access to more than 2,000 local, regional, and international publications from 100 countries in 60 languages, which can be downloaded to guests' own devices, via an app that is available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows.
- December 2014 Issue, Posted Dec 23, 2014
Data scientist and master storyteller are two of the U.K.'s "Hottest Jobs in Marketing," recently identified by Marketing Week. These two careers seem like polar opposites-one generating business insight through an extreme focus on data analytics and the other winning customers' attention through the creative engagement of emotions, interests, and desires. But they are both trying to make sense of a deluge of customer interactions, while translating the internet-enabled fire hose into memorable, meaningful experiences-one customer at a time.
- October 2014 Issue, Posted Oct 07, 2014
I love browsing in independent bookstores, and close to my home on the south coast of England is an outstanding example. The Hayling Island Bookshop is run by Marie Telford. She is also a member of the advisory panel for the U.K.'s Independent Booksellers Forum, regularly meeting other independent booksellers to share experiences and ideas. She recently found herself being lauded for her possible "quote of the year" when she was asked by The Bookseller for her predictions for 2014. Her forecast? Independent bookshops "will invest in small, roof-mounted, surface-to-air missile defence systems to defend themselves from passing airborne book delivery drones."
- May 2014 Issue, Posted May 06, 2014
In my December 2012 column, I discussed the importance of real world/virtual world connections and the way in which digital sales of Fifty Shades of Grey had seeded and driven massive print sales. Fast-forward 12 months, and charity shops in the U.K. are grappling with a glut of donated unwanted copies of Fifty Shades, which cannot be recycled and which no one wants to buy.
- December 2013 Issue, Posted Dec 24, 2013
One of my side interests is archeology. I live close to the site of a Roman villa that boasts some incredibly well-preserved, and beautifully detailed, mosaics. I haven't been lucky enough to discover any artifacts myself, but I'm fascinated by the thought of similar riches hiding just inches beneath the soil in my garden.
- November 2013 Issue, Posted Nov 12, 2013
I could spend hours looking at images of couture gowns, fashion shows, and the latest luxe shoes and handbags. Since an "It" bag can easily set you back $12,000, and there's a months-long waiting list, I'm unlikely to ever own one of these items. But the world of high fashion is fascinating. Fascinating, too, is fashion's evolving digital engagement. From a slow start, it now brings together the worlds of publishing, content marketing, and ecommerce in interesting and disruptive ways.
I've been rereading Katharine Graham's autobiography Personal History, which describes her role as publisher of The Washington Post in the 1970s when that paper played such a momentous role in national affairs. It's a fascinating book that I haven't dipped into for at least 5 years, and I've been forcefully struck by how very much has changed, and how quickly, in the world of publishing. In many ways the newspaper world of the 1960s and 1970s (and even the 1940s and 1950s) that Graham describes doesn't differ that much from the one I remember when I first worked in publishing in the early 1990s: display and classified ad-driven, with clear and well-defended roles for journalists based on decades of independent thinking and reporting, and plenty of distance between the business and editorial sides of the paper.
- April 2013 Issue, Posted Apr 16, 2013
Even the most die-hard digital aficionado surely can't help but have a sneaky regard for the hard men of the 19th and 20th centuries arts and letters, such as van Gogh, Hemingway, and Picasso-who were all, allegedly, users of Moleskine notebooks with their iconic waxy black covers and elastic closures. It's been well-documented, however, that this impressive heritage is, in fact, marketing chutzpah, since the Moleskine brand was only invented (by an Italian company) in 1997.
- December 2012 Issue, Posted Dec 18, 2012
Publishing and education group Pearson, PLC announced in August that it has launched a higher education college in the U.K. As of September 2012, Pearson College offers business degrees to a small "pioneer" intake of 40 students, becoming the first FTSE 100 company directly delivering undergraduate degrees in the U.K. A larger intake of students will embark on their studies in September 2013.
- November 2012 Issue, Posted Nov 20, 2012
In a generally dismal climate for European newspapers, British newspaper circulations are among the most disheartening. To the casual observer, therefore, it might have come as a surprise to read at the beginning of 2012 that MailOnline, the digital version of the U.K.'s midmarket tabloid the Daily Mail, had become the world's most read newspaper website.
Any survey of the epublishing scene in Europe should of course highlight the headline success stories that showcase innovation, risk taking, and deep-level customer engagement across a range of market sectors. Among the winners is the Financial Times, which achieved 1 million registrants for its native web app just 5 months after launch; it is also reported to get 20% of page views and 15% of new subscriptions from mobile and tablet devices.
- April 2012 Issue, Posted Apr 19, 2012
It's been a busy year for U.K. media. It started off with the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Wedding, moved to the embarrassing unravelling of News Corp. over a phone-hacking scandal, and ended with the devastating riots, which started in North London and then inspired copycat lawlessness in cities across the country for a few alarming days in August. When you look at it all written out like that, it's a wonder we survived at all!
- December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 20, 2011