Category Archives: Internet Marketing

The middle: Where Nissan thinks IT and marketing should meet

Nissan’s European CIO discussed how uniting marketing and IT is crucial for brands who want to thrive as the gap between physical and digital continues to close.

There’s a Japanese process called Hoshin Kanri, also known as policy deployment, which ensures that a company’s strategic goals drive progress and action at every level. Another one, Kaizen – the Japanese word for “improvement” – refers to things that improve functions at every level.

As a Japanese company, Nissan considers these principles to be part of its heritage. In other words, “innovation” doesn’t just apply to the people who build the cars.

“Embracing innovation is in our culture; it’s an expectation of every employee,” said Stephen Kneebone, chief information officer at Nissan Europe, at Shift London, adding that it’s especially important as technology has moved to “center stage.”


“In terms of technology, we’ve gone from a craftsmanship cottage industry to something more industrialized with an overriding focus on cost,” he continued. “Now we’re in the digitalization phase, where technology is touching our cost more directly. Digital is business, business is digital. That’s it.”

Seven years ago, people would visit a dealership several times before buying a car. Now, they may go once, instead engaging with Nissan digitally.

As physical and digital meet in the middle, Kneebone mentioned two different vehicular traits, which he compared to a samurai and a ninja. The former is centered on predictability: safety, accuracy, reliability. The ninja is more exploratory, which encompasses agility, speed and a less rigid approach to doing things.



“At the end of the day, we need to embrace both of these characteristics. It just so happens that what’s described on one side fits with people who might be in IT, while the right describes people in marketing,” said Kneebone.

“The challenge in front of us is to harness all of it, to have people in marketing and tech and systems. If we don’t address that, we’ll have a vacuum in the middle,” he added.

Similarly, it’s important to avoid a vacuum in the middle of what’s good for the customer and what’s good for the brand. As society started shifted toward being more environmentally-conscious, Nissan invested heavily in electric vehicles and battery technology about a decade ago.

Another trend car brands have to be mindful is younger consumers shying away from car ownership. Kneebone could see people moving toward the idea of a “mobility market,” wherein consumers want to use cars, but not actually buy them.


Interestingly, this point was nearly identical to one made by Rich Strader, the director of emerging IT at Ford. Big auto brands see the writing on the wall, and know they have to keep up or risk being left behind.

It comes back to a cultural divide, but within a company and the way it relates to its customers. And for Nissan, it comes back to uniting the samurai and the ninja.

“We have the opportunity to use people from the extreme right and use that as a catalyst to perhaps get people from the far left to come to the middle,” said Kneebone. “If we separate and divide, I think we’ll lose a huge opportunity. That’s a dangerous road to be going on.”

Strategies – ClickZ

Eight creative tips for effective video advertising

Video advertising is a growing type of digital advertising and it can be very effective for brands, especially when applying the appropriate creative strategies.

Digital video is becoming more popular every year, both in desktop and mobile, and advertisers enjoy the increasing need for video consumption by producing more video content for their audience.

Yahoo has partnered with Nielsen & Hunter Qualitative to survey 14,000 consumers and analyse their viewing habits in native video advertising, from the devices to the formats they prefer, in order to help brands create more appealing video ads.

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There are many useful conclusions to draw from the survey and here are the eight creative tips that brands need to consider before creating the next video ad:

1. Use large and clear logos

Logos tend to be small in mobile video ads, but it has been observed that larger logos help to reinforce familiarity with the brand and most importantly, increase affinity conversion, especially for younger viewers. Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 14.45.18

A large logo may increase familiarity with a brand by 24%, compared smaller logo, while it can increase the chances that people will recommend a brand by 33% (56% for millennials).

Tip: don’t be afraid to include a larger logo in your mobile video ad. Smaller logos may be lost in the device’s small screen, so make sure your branding is clear and memorable.

Eight creative tips for effective video advertising

Image Source

2. Include a CTA

Every video ad should include a call-to-action, whether it’s a simple hashtag, a URL, or a button. This increases brand recommendation and purchase intent, proving that a CTA may serve many different goals.

Eight creative tips for effective video advertising

For example, when an ad displays a hashtag along with the campaign, users are instantly considering a social post along with the particular hashtag.

On the other hand, a campaign without a hashtag (or any other CTA) can lead to a dead end for users’, as it doesn’t make it clear what action viewers are expected to take. 

Tip: even the simplest CTA is better than no CTA at all. Set your goals and pick the best call-to-action for them.

3. Introduce the brand anytime

Many brands are examining the best time to incorporate the brand mention in the video ad, but it seems that the timing does not impact the effect of the ad.

Mentions in the beginning, middle, or end of the video are of equal importance.

Whether it’s a visual or a verbal brand mention, brand recall, brand familiarity, but also purchase intent remain the same despite the time that the brand is introduced to the consumers.

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Tip: make sure your brand is introduced appropriately to your consumers during the video ad, but don’t worry about the exact second that you do so. Consumers care about relevance, but not about the timing of the brand mention.

4. Different ad tones serve different goals

Every tone serves a different goal in video advertising and brands adjust the tone depending on their audience and their expectations.

For example, funny ads are way more effective in helping consumers familiarise with the brand, while informational ads seem to be slightly more effective when trying to increase purchase intent. Dramatic ad tones are way more useful while increasing the brand’s affinity conversion, as they clearly beat other popular ad tones.Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 16.18.53

This is a very useful observation for brands, as it allows them to experiment with different tones, until they understand their audience to deliver the right message for the right goal.

Tip: don’t be afraid to experiment with different tones, as every ad tone leads to a different goal. Make sure you test the ads first until you’re aware of your consumers’ preferences.

5. Optimise ads for screen alignment

It is important to optimise video ads depending on the screen’s alignment, as this significantly contributes to the success of the ad, whether measured by brand affinity, or purchase intent.

Vertical ads seem to be on the rise, and Snapchat certainly contributed to this trend, although traditional horizontal landscape videos seem to be very efficient. Although these stats may change during the next years, brands can rest assured for now that they can use both types of video ads, provided that they always optimise the alignment of the screen.

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Tip: test the screen’s alignment to ensure that you maximise the chances of creating an efficient ad

6. Traditional ad lengths for pre-roll

There’s no need to ignore the traditional ad lengths of 15 to 30 seconds, as they seem to be the most successful for any set goal, whether it’s brand recall, brand affinity conversion, purchase intent conversion and brand recommendation lift.

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Tip: five seconds may not be enough for ad recall, or purchase intent conversation, but an ad of 15 up to 30 seconds seem to be ideal for consumers, provided that it stays interesting and relevant.

7. 15-second native video ads are more effective

When looking for the optimal length of an ad, the clear winner is the ad of approximately 15 seconds, serving as an ideal preference between a short and a long ad.

In fact, it is more effective than any other length when it comes to the purchase intent, which is among the most common goals for a video ad. Thus, brands are starting to create more ads of around 15 seconds, with the specific length reminding us of Instagram’s length restrictions, justifying the popularity of the particular length.

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Tip: experiment with video ads of around 15 seconds and try to be concise, interesting and engaging. 15 seconds may be enough to convince the consumers to purchase a product.

8. Don’t be afraid of auto-start

Not every consumer likes auto-playing ads, but according to Yahoo’s survey video ads with auto-start seem to perform better in aided recall, brand familiarity and affinity.

Auto-start may be annoying and disruptive for some consumers, with millennials having less patience, but it’s the relevance of the ad that ultimately determines whether it will maintain consumers’ genuine interest.

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Tip: create auto-start ads, but aim for an engaging ad that is fully aligned with the consumers’ interests and expectations of your brand.


Mobile video ads offer great potential for brands and these creative tips may offer a useful guidance. Every brand should be willing to experiment with new types, formats, lengths for its ads, as it has been proved that not all consumers share the same habits and it may take a while until a campaign is efficient.

Investment in video advertising will only grow over the next years, so it might be a good idea for a brand to experiment as early as possible, in order to ensure its advertising strategy is up-to-date, according to the consumers’ needs.Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 17.36.06

Strategies – ClickZ

Why the wealth management sector is ripe for disruption

Email is one of the few (and sometimes only) digital assets wealth management businesses are offering their high net worth clients, leaving the industry exposed to disruption from fintech startups, a report from PwC has found.

PwC interviewed wealth relationship managers, CEOs and fintech innovators, and drew on insights from 1,000 high net worth individuals (HNWI) in Europe, North America and Asia. It found only a quarter of wealth managers offer digital channels beyond email, contradicting the expectations of their clients.

This is most evident in the Asia Pacific region where 62% of HNWI in APAC want their wealth manager to have a strong digital offering, compared to the global average of 55%.

PwC_Wealth managers and digital experience_600

Globally, more than 40% of respondents go online to review their portfolios or the markets. More than one in three are already using online services for portfolio management. Across APAC 77% of HNWIs already use online/mobile banking, compared to the global average of 69%.

The report notes: “Players in the wealth management sector seem oblivious to their technology shortcomings: some firms rate themselves as digitally sophisticated, when the only service offered to clients is a website.”

giphy_wolf of wall street

Antoinette Hoon, private banking advisory services partner at PwC Hong Kong, says ignoring this state of affairs is not an option. “If firms do not respond now, they simply will not survive in the medium to long term,” she says.

PwC advises wealth management firms to:

  • Accelerate efforts to adopt a comprehensive digital infrastructure that integrates every aspect of their activities and corporate culture, from the back office to how they service clients and market to new prospects
  • Harness the potential of digital to realize greater efficiencies, manage costs and advance their core client proposition by drawing on a much wider range of available data
  • Be willing to partner strategically with fintech innovators to deliver technological solutions at the speed the market expects

Other findings include:

Globally, two-thirds of wealth relationship managers do not consider robo-advisors a threat to their business and believe their clients do not want digital functionality. However, the PwC survey finds 77% of clients in the APAC region rank ‘investment performance’ as most important versus globally, 62%. ‘Rapport with advisor’ is valued much less across APAC at 41% (compared to 50% globally).

“With a client-base that feels only weak affiliation to its chosen providers, the sector is now acutely vulnerable to digital innovation from fintech incomers, including robo-advice services, which may be able to offer a broader range of products and services,” says Hoon.

PwC’s Hong Kong office has seen a number of local wealth management players begin to make better use of technology and analytics to increase client experience and account penetration. However, it finds much of the broader industry remains in its infancy in the adoption of digital technology.

“In an increasingly complex world where the investment office may, for example, have to evaluate more than 200 different investment products for a client, and where clients are also aware of what automated technology can do in the investment advisory space, technology will be vital to keep the job both do-able and scalable for a growing audience,” says Hoon.

“HNWIs in Asia Pacific are more at ease with technology as compared to their global counterparts. Firms that embrace and seize the digital opportunity now are in a powerful position to deliver propositions of real and sustainable future value which combine the very best of technological and human capital,” she says.

Strategies – ClickZ

Conversion Rate Optimization Tips

Conversion Rate Optimization

The goal of most marketing is to get people to take action, or to convert. Here are some tips on how to craft your marketing messages to accomplish that goal.

Conversion Rate Optimization: Scent Trail or Primrose Path?

Conversion rate optimization is the practice of managing pay-per-click ads, landing pages, and websites to increase sales, leads, or other desired actions from visitors. The key to success comes in using techniques that lead visitors down an information “scent trail,” not unlike that of a hunting dog following the scent of its prey. If the scent is sufficiently strong, visitors will continue down the path. If it is weak, they will start over until they find what they’re looking…
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Start Making Money With an Online Business in 3 Steps


It’s really not that difficult. But it does require doing the right things. Follow these three steps to start making money online.

3 Steps to Quickly Start Making Money With an Online Business

While 99 percent of the population is going to work every day, trading their time for money… there’s a special group of “in the know” people who are waking up to a world of financial potential that most people don’t know is possible. There’s a simple blueprint for making money with an online business. Here’s a quick tip to…
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All About Google Analytics Attribution Models

Analytics Attribution

Most people don’t buy on the first click. Understanding attribution is helpful in your marketing efforts. Here’s how Google Analytics can help.

Understanding Google Analytics Attribution Models

Does everyone who comes to your site complete the sale on the first visit? Look at the Google Analytics Path Length report in the Multi-Channel Funnels report. Is “1” the only path length shown? If your answered “no” to either of these questions, then you need to know about Google Analytics attribution models. An attribution model is a set of rules that defines how credit for sales and other conversion goals get attributed to each interaction during the buying process. You can…
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How to Improve Local SEO


If you have a local business, you have an advantage in SEO over national or international businesses. But you must keep your content fresh and make sure there are no technical errors in your HTML.

4 Content Ideas to Improve Local SEO

Local SEO isn’t just about optimizing your business website any longer. It’s about maintaining a healthy presence online within the community and engaging with your customers and prospects through your site and on social media. One of the newer search engine ranking factors that I predicted will become more popular this year is “overall visitor engagement,” particularly through social media. In fact, Google admitted that, in 2009, it embarked on a 10-year plan to integrate…
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6 Website Design Trends to Use in 2016

Web Design

If you design websites, you should be aware of these trends for 2016.

6 Web Design Trends for 2016

Web design trends are never static but change constantly. Here are six new trends that you can expect to see in 2016. Many websites have utilized rotating banners over the past few years as a way to provide imagery, movement, and content on a home page while not overwhelming users with too much material on their first view. It is becoming more apparent, however, that people don’t notice the banners and will, consequently, skip the content. Studies show that a phenomenon known as…
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Try These 5 Steps to Get Higher Conversion Rates


Most online marketers struggle to get their website visitors to take action. Here are some strategies to try. And check out the videos below for more Internet marketing tips.

5 Steps to Higher Website Conversion Rates

Your website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who actually make a purchase. Increasing that rate can boost your sales dramatically, even without spending extra money to draw more traffic to your site. Here is a five-step process for improving your website conversion rate. It is nearly impossible to make good decisions without hard facts. Therefore, the first step is to collect and organize the data you need to decide what is currently working for you and what you need to change.
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How to Create Dashboard Overviews with Google Analytics

Google Analytics

CC BY-SA by vrypan

Google Analytics captures a wealth of information about visitors to your website. It can sometimes be overwhelming to sift through all of the data. Fortunately, Dashboards makes things simpler.

Google Analytics: How to Create Dashboard Overviews

Dashboards provide an efficient way to review your Google Analytics data. By combining relevant data into a dashboard, you can quickly and easily make determinations about your website’s performance. There are so many options for dashboards that you may want to create several, tailored to different aspects of your site traffic. You can build specific dashboards for employees by focus area or construct a more high-level dashboard for executives. For example, you can set up separate…
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