Digital Communication Landscape

This is my final post into Dominique’s DIY Diary and provides me with the opportunity to reflect on what I have learnt during the course of the past six weeks. The topics that have been discussed are; the behaviour of individuals and groups in digitally-mediated environments, website design, offline media, architecture of a webpage, online culture and the social networking phenomenon.

During the summer of 2013 I worked for a company who designed and developed websites, this is when i first discovered my passion for digital marketing. Website design in respect of its suitability for purpose and audience is absolutely essential when designing any website. Websites need to function well and be easy to navigate. they must portray the brand image and meet customer expectations. it is also integral that websites follow the legislations required by the The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). This legislation ensures that websites are accessible to blind and disabled users. Trenton Moss provides more information in his blog post “Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) & web accessibility”.

It is also very important to consider SEO when designing a website; “SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users” (Third Door Media, 2014).

The Social Media Phenomenon is something that has hit us all by suprise. Although a huge success, social media does of course have its downfalls. Marketing Vox (2014) says that ad agencies are getting very frustrated that “brand posts reach a smaller percentage of their page’s followers on Facebook, meaning organic reach for the standard brand post is down” (McDermott, 2014).

Online videos such as YouTube are seeing an ever increasing amount of pop-up ads; “rising to an average of nine per long-form item. This is less than half of what must be suffered while watching television, but 86 percent more than the same period last year” (Marketing Vox 2014). “The growing digital ad economy is being driven by a proliferation of mobile devices, improved measurement of ad effectiveness and increased digital production and distribution”, Knopper (2014) says.

Trendpedia is a blog search engine, it finds trends in social media by searching online and finding the articles that talk about your topics. It will then organize these articles in a trendline that shows the popularity of the topic over time. Neil Bradley (2011) writes “Software trawls consumer generated media (blogs, facebook etc.) continuously and inspects this information using text analysis programs (like NVivo etc) and then sells information to companies about how they are perceived – negative or positive”.

References

adbalance, Online Overtakes TV For First Time As Most Popular UK Ad Medium | AdBalance – ad network reviews and comparisons. Available at: http://www.adbalance.com/online-overtakes-tv-for-first-time-as-most-popular-uk-ad-medium/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Anon, News | Radio Times. Available at: http://www.radiotimes.com/topic/radio/5739 [Accessed March 6, 2014].

B&Q, B&Q. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/bandq [Accessed March 6, 2014a].

B&Q, B&Q (BandQ) on Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/BandQ [Accessed March 6, 2014b].

B&Q, bandq – YouTube. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/bandq [Accessed March 6, 2014c].

Bradley, N., 2011. Metricman Blog: Social Media Monitoring. Available at: http://metricman.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/social-media-monitoring.html [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Corrigan, J., Jason Corrigan (JCorriganSEO) on Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/JCorriganSEO [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Corrigan, J., 2013. Set Up Your Offline Media To Maximize Your Online Exposure. Available at: http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/set-up-your-offline-media-to-maximize-your-online-exposure/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

DDA, The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) | nidirect. Available at: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/the-disability-discrimination-act-dda [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Dowell, B., 2014. Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw manages to stem audience decline with latest Rajar figures. Available at: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-02-06/latest-listening-figures-good-news-for-radio-lovers-and-nick-grimshaw [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Fish, D., Why should you have a mobile friendly website? – Studioworks. Available at: http://studioworks.co.uk/blog/why-should-you-have-a-mobile-friendly-website/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Forbes, The State Of Mobile Marketing: It’s The Best Of Times And The Worst Of Times – Forbes | Mobile Marketing & Technology. Available at: http://mobilemarketingandtechnology.com/2014/02/28/the-state-of-mobile-marketing-its-the-best-of-times-and-the-worst-of-times-forbes/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Godin, S., Seth’s Blog: Permission Marketing. Available at: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/01/permission-mark.html [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Grudin, J., Digitally Mediated Interaction: Technology and the Urge System, Microsoft Research.

Grudin, J., 1998. Jonathan Grudin. Jonathan Grudin. Available at: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/jgrudin/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Homebase, Homebase. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/homebase [Accessed March 6, 2014a].

Homebase, Homebase (Homebase_uk) on Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/Homebase_uk [Accessed March 6, 2014b].

Homebase, homebaseuk – YouTube. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/homebaseuk [Accessed March 6, 2014c].

IPA, The Long and the Short of It. Available at: http://www.ipa.co.uk/Framework/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=9225 [Accessed March 6, 2014].

MarketingVox, 2014. Facebook Not Making Friends Among Agencies | More Ads Showing Up on Videos | Google Asks Publishers to Report Scraping – MarketingVOX. Available at: http://www.marketingvox.com/facebook-not-making-friends-among-agencies-more-ads-showing-up-on-videos-google-asks-publishers-to-report-scraping-052306/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Mathews, J., 2010. UK Evolution of Digital Media Survey Points to Consumer Rejection of Subscription Services? | THE MUSiC VOiD. Available at: http://www.themusicvoid.com/2010/05/uk-evolution-of-digital-media-survey-points-to-consumer-rejection-of-subscription-services/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

McDermott, J., 2014. Facebook is not making friends on Madison Avenue | Digiday. Available at: http://digiday.com/platforms/facebook-agencies/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Microsoft, Microsoft UK | Devices and Services. Available at: http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/default.aspx [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Microsoft, 2010. What is Digital Media? Available at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/what-is-digital-media-2.aspx [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Moss, T., 2014. Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) & web accessibility. Available at: http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/uk-website-legal-requirements.shtml [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Next Communications, Inc., Next Communications, Inc. Available at: http://www.nextcommunications.com/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

ScrewFix, Screwfix.com – Power Tools, Electrical, Plumbing Supplies & more. Available at: http://www.screwfix.com/jsp/container.jsp [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Shinal, J., 2014. Boom! As mobile video ads explode, Hollywood cashes in. Available at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/shinal/2014/02/27/mobile-video-ad-sales-boom/5843135/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Third Door Media, 2014. What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization? Available at: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo [Accessed March 6, 2014].

Trednpedia, b Influential. Available at: http://binfluential.tumblr.com/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

TV Licensing, 2014. TV Licensing – Report reveals latest UK TV watching trends. Available at: http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/media-centre/news/report-reveals-latest-uk-tv-watching-trends-NEWS35/ [Accessed March 6, 2014].

The Social Networking Phenomenon

Microsoft (2010) provide the following definition of digital media: “Digital media refers to audio, video, and photo content that has been encoded (digitally compressed). Encoding content involves converting audio and video input into a digital media file such as a Windows Media file. After digital media is encoded, it can be easily manipulated, distributed, and rendered (played) by computers, and is easily transmitted over computer networks”.

 

UK Evolution of Digital Media Survey Points to Consumer Rejection of Subscription Services?

A survey undertaken by HP illustrates that when it comes to the progression from physical to digital ownership of media, the UK population are far from being ‘Space Age’.

evolution

An article published by forbes desribes “The State Of Mobile Marketing: It’s The Best Of Times And The Worst Of Times”.  Although gazillions of people across the planet own a smart phone, only 6% of websites are digitally optimised.

Seth Godin (2008) describes permission marketing as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them”.

 

Online Culture

The media mix is a combination of advertising channels such as TV and radio that are employed when implementing the promotional objectives of a marketing plan or campaign. The roles of television and radio have evolved over time and their roles have changed. TV and radio advertising has grown massively both in the UK and worldwide. TV Licensing conducted research in 2010 on the UK average viewing figures. they discovered that UK residents watch more than 30 hours a week, or over four hours a day. The RadioTimes found that “Radio listening in Britain is at its highest level since records began in 1999, with 48.38 million people listening each week”.

‘Advertising effectiveness: the long and short of it’ was researched and written for the IPA. They concluded with the following chart:

tv_best_biz

 

AdBalance state that “Online Overtakes TV For First Time As Most Popular UK Ad Medium”

online-advertising-growth

Architecture of a webpage

Branding pathways utilise digital media such as blogs, fora, RSS feeds, aggregators and a practical understanding of the architecture of a web page.

The main components of offline branding are; conventional print, radio and television branding. Billboards, coupons and vouchers.Companies may wish to look at the 4Ps (product, place, price, and promotion) also known as the communication mix, when deciding on a marketing technique. In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Richard Ettenson, Eduardo Conrado, and Jonathan Knowles (January 2013) state that “it’s time to retool the 4 P’s of marketing for today’s B2B reality” as they provide product-focused strategies. In a five-year study they found that “It leads their marketing and sales teams to stress product technology and quality even though these are no longer differentiators but are simply the cost of entry. It under emphasizes the need to build a robust case for the superior value of their solutions. And it distracts them from leveraging their advantage as a trusted source of diagnostics, advice, and problem solving”. They suggest that the 4Ps are still relevant, but they need to be adapted for today’s B2B market.

 

Online-Offline-Marketing

next communications inc (2014) state the following: “Offline branding tactics, such as print ads, brochures and direct mail, create baseline brand recognition, build brand trust and differentiate your brand from the millions of others on the Web. Research shows print is still the top method for user engagement, and more than any other tactic influences web searches and direct website visits. Without offline branding to establish awareness, credibility and preference among your customers and prospects, your brand is lost in cyberspace”.

Offline Media

Offline media is any form of media that is not on the World Wide Web. Examples of this can be TV, radio and print media. Jason Corrigan (2013) talks about the need to utilise your offline media to emphasise and redirect to online media. “In order for brands to maximize their search interest, traffic and sales opportunities, SEO’s need to look at the entire marketing wheel in order to understand how each media outlet interacts with each other”. In modern marketing the role of offline media is to promote a company’s online media. Corrigan (2013) suggests that companies should set up their advertising to drive offline consumers to a branded site. Benefits of this are:

  • Increase traffic
  • Propel online search interest
  • Excellent link acquisition
  • Enhance keyword authority

Corrigan (2013) also suggests that companies should create radio ads to drive brand awareness and immediate action as “listeners are known to react immediately to what they hear on the radio including going to a website or making a direct purchase”.

It is then vital that companies make their offline and online media work together, engaging customers and increasing sales.

Assessing Website Design

Our second week of the Digital Communications module we have been given the task of assessing a website. We are required to asses the current website design in respect of its suitability of purpose and audience with relation to:

  • Navigation – site complexity, Usability
  • Credibility – Brand Image, Customer Expectations, Levels of interaction, Site Content, Web Accessibility

I have decided to asses the ScrewFix website. In a previous blog post I made suggestions towards the advantages of having a responsive website. ScrewFix have decided not to use a responsive website but have created a separate mobile site for when you are visiting it on your smart-phone.

“To design an effective website, there are various design parameters that must be taken into consideration simultaneously” (Cebi, 2011).