Consumers not impressed by the personal touch


We’ve all heard about the importance of knowing your customer, but new research shows perhaps you can know them too well – and maybe they’re actually not that into it.

A study by YouGov found that only 7% of UK consumers are interested in messages that relate to their personal details, such as their birthday. I put this theory to the GIANTs, and found that they were equally unimpressed by these personalised communications. The words “annoying”, “forced”, and “ugh go away you creeps” were thrown around – as I said, unimpressed. Check out some more of the stats on Net Imperative.

However, that changes a little when you include personalised offers. 45% of UK consumers are prepared to engage with a retail brand that uses personalised offers in their digital marketing. The distinction from the GIANTs was around whether or not they want what’s on offer. “If it was something I wanted to buy, I’d be pleased with an offer,” said Laura, while Lizzi agreed – although she added: “I think you often expect there to be a catch, too.”

So, is it all a bit fake? “I would prefer it to just be normal email, which isn’t personalised to me, because it’s not pretending to do/be something other than what it is – email marketing,” explains Ben C.

How do you feel about it? I know I’m a fan of a good birthday freebie (I’m looking at you, Pizza Express).


Vero: good, bad or ugly?


This week saw a new social media app, Vero, rocket to the top of the App Store. Praised by many as the app with no ads and no pesky algorithms dictating your News Feed, and slated by those concerned by the fees, data protection and the CEO’s potentially sketchy background, it’s dividing online users.

We ran a poll on Twitter, which found that the initial prognosis wasn’t too positive:

Our social media hero, Ben Hawkes, says we should look to the future when considering new apps like Vero. “Even if the app fizzles out in a few months, the very fact of its sudden popularity shows that the big players need to tread very carefully when it comes to choosing pushy algorithms and paid ads over genuine user experience,” he said.


Social media firms need to step up their stance on cyber-bullying


The impact of social media on young people has been a hot topic for years, and it only seems to intensify. Now, 83% of young people think it’s time for social media companies to do more to help.

In a poll of 1,089 11 to 25-year-olds, almost half had experienced bullying online, and many felt that there was a lack of consequences for those engaging in this threatening behaviour.  

“The reaction from adults is just delete your account to stop the bullying, but that’s taking something away from that young person’s life for something that’s not their fault,” said one of the survey respondents.

Sleeping Giant Media’s CEO, Luke Quilter, has a lot to say on the impact technology has on the public. “I love technology, but I am also very aware of the negative implications of it,” he explains. “Early research shows that it has a significant impact on people’s mental health, particularly the younger generation – who are more vulnerable to its influence. As a parent of a 1 and 3 year old, I am already thinking about how to ensure that my children can benefit from the positives that technology can bring, but also that they see it as one part of their life, not something that consumes it.”  Find out more about the story from BBC News.


Google launches tools allowing you to compare mobile performance with rivals


At the Mobile World Congress in Spain, Google launched two mobile commerce tools designed to improve the way businesses interact with customers on mobile.

The Speed Scorecard tool allows businesses to measure the speed of their mobile site against top brands, giving an idea of where you sit against the competition. The Impact Calculator will let you work out how much more money you could generate if your mobile site was faster.

Google also released a study on the top mobile sites in retail, travel and finance. Etsy, and were the three ‘mobile masters’ in their industries, based on the strength of their mobile site. Find out more from Net Imperative.


BRIT Awards makes a splash online


Whether you watch for the performances or just like to lust over the red carpet looks, the BRIT Awards are a success year after year. Now, it seems like that success is taking a digital turn.

The 2018 awards featured the most comprehensive social coverage in the history of the BRITs, with live streaming across YouTube, Facebook,, Instagram, and Twitter. More than 1.5 million people streamed the broadcast live or via video on demand, while the two-hour Facebook Red Carpet Live stream reached 6.1m over three days. Find out more about the digital campaign at Music Week. Even Justin Timberlake got involved with the Instagram coverage:



The same positive story can’t be said for TV – where viewership dropped by 900,000 viewers on last year. Are we going to see the end of TV coverage, in favour of live streaming online? Have a read of our latest blog on what it takes to go live with video on social media to see if you should be jumping on the trend.


Google reveals stats around controversial ‘right to be forgotten’ requests


Back in 2014, the EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling was introduced, which meant that individuals could request that Google de-listed search results that referenced them. This could be to hide associations with negative behaviours or to stop people finding awkward social media skeletons.

Google has now said that it has received around 2.4 million takedown requests, yet has only executed 43% of these. 85% of the requests come from private individuals, particularly politicians and celebrities; these two groups have requested over 75,000 websites be de-listed.

Find out more about the ruling from The Drum. They experienced it themselves when they were notified that a 2008 story on Alistair Sim leaving his role as managing director of Love Creative following an assault conviction, would no longer appear in search results. “In order to accurately report the business is it important that our readers are given access to the whole story around big names and agencies, not just the things they want them to read,” said Stephen Lepitak, editor of The Drum.