Monthly Archives: March 2013

Brand News World – The Rise of Brand Journalism

To say that the newspaper industry is undergoing enormous change would be somewhat of an understatement, but the decline of traditional print media brings new online opportunities. The US Economic Report of the President shows that online publishing was actually the third fastest-growing industry between 2007 and 2011. With news being one of the things people like to share opinions on, newspapers and magazines started publishing free content online and added Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to encourage their online readers to share and comment on articles. Sites like The Huffington Post or Gizmodo, driven by connected content and participation, now get millions of visitors every month, attracted by their combination of news, aggregated content and blogs. The Huffington Post already gets more traffic than The Washington Post or L.A. Times sites, getting closer to

And we have another kid on the block: brand journalism, named as one of the top digital trends for 2013. Read more on Brand News World – The Rise of Brand Journalism…

Mark Earls is a Dunce

Do you know where the word Dunce comes from?  I do – because I come from the same place.  It’s the name of my home village in the Scottish Borders and was also the birthplace of a philosopher called John Dunse Scotus (John, the Scot, from Dunse).

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Marketing for God and Angels

The 18th century political activist Thomas Paine wrote that “Reputation is what men and women think of us.  Character is what God and Angels know of us.”

I like this distinction.

Traditionally, marketers have spent more time and money on the former: the focus has been on cultivating good appearances rather than doing good deeds.  But in the digital era, the notion of Character becomes more important.  Because while people aren’t quite omniscient yet, they are increasingly clued up about the companies that lie behind the communications.

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Post-script to SXSW: geeks really are taking over the world and we’re all the better for it

I’m home now from SXSW and able to reflect on some of the bigger themes that came out of it. There was hard evidence that the “internet of things” is becoming a reality – from Google’s experiments with self-driving cars, a pair of talking shoes and the rise and rise of 3D printing. Software is the future of hardware. And it’s really only just begun.
Related to that is the theme of wearable technology. The Google Glass demo (which I am gutted to have missed) got a lot of buzz. Indeed, according to Mashable, it was the highlight of this year’s conference ( Read more on Post-script to SXSW: geeks really are taking over the world and we’re all the better for it…

Beyond dual screening: how to bake in viewer participation

A few advertisers have tried Shazam, we’ve witnessed an exceptional Mercedes campaign (, we’ve got excited about Zeebox…but the potential of dual screening is being realised better and more consistently in the US. The evidence is staring me in the face at a session at SXSW in which two US networks are sharing their work in this area.
In the UK, our broadcasters, like our advertisers, have only scratched the surface so far. While shows like X Factor and I’m A Celebrity give viewers a vote, they don’t acknowledge the viewers’ voice within the show itself. All those tweets and Facebook posts are ignored on air. It’s almost as if the programme makers don’t know what to do with them. Read more on Beyond dual screening: how to bake in viewer participation…

Death to PowerPoint

The FT carried an interesting article the other day, about how the French IT services firm Atos has banned internal email and is turning its sights on PowerPoint next. Read more on Death to PowerPoint…

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Fantasy cars, 3D printing, robots and Google Glass

If you gave Henry ford the Internet in 1909 he probably would have made cars differently. Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors, certainly believes this as demonstrated in probably the most-inspiring session that I’ve seen at SXSW yet.

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SXSW: Weekend Inspirations

Friday morning I caught a session called Is Mobile Really a branding vehicle? featuring Dennis Maloney, VP of Multi-media Marketing at Dominos, Rich Lesperance, Head of Digital Wallet / Emerging Media at Walgreens and Tim Reis, Head of Mobile & Social Solutions at Google.

They had one key statement to make: mobile drives real sales.

Look at American pharmacy chain Walgreens – they have 8,000 stores and 40% of their customers use their mobile app in-store to redeem vouchers, fill prescriptions and more. Better yet, Walgreens estimates these mobile-using customers are six times more valuable than their average customer.
The other big stat came from Dominos — 33% of all Dominos sales come from digital, and 30% of these sales come from mobile devices. That’s a lot of Americans ordering pizzas from their iPhones and Androids.

Later on, I listened to reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian tell his Tale of US Entrepreneurship Beyond Silicon Valley. The passionate team, regaling us with their tales of travelling the States looking for the best tech start-ups. And did they ever find them. The team introduced us to Boosted Boards, makers of the lightest motor-vehicle on the planet and Cubelets, pretty-much adult LEGO that build robots. 
However, the single most-inspiring was Elon Musk’s keynote on Saturday. This man is incredible – he made his fortune founding Paypal and then, instead of sitting around spending his cash like other successful tech entrepreneurs,  set out to tackle the world’s biggest problems, founding TeslaSolarCity and Space X.
All of us from Jam were dead impressed by his ambition to get humanity to Mars. He was even more impressed that, during his keynote, the SpaceX founder volunteered himself to take part in a Mars mission – providing he knew that he’d be able to get there safely.

“I want to die on Mars,” Musk said during his keynote. “Just not on impact.”

That is solid leadership if I’ve ever seen it. 

Alex Miller is Founder and CEO of JamFollow him on Twitter for the latest on what’s happening at SXSW. 

Read more on SXSW: Weekend Inspirations…

Re-targeting needs re-thinking

I was moseying down the High Street this morning.  As I walked, I glanced in a florist’s window and then continued on my way.

After a few paces, a sales assistant popped out of said retailer and shouted after me: “Can I help you?!”

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The future and other small things: SXSW gets macro

I’ve spent the first couple of days at SXSW diving into some fairly micro topics. It’s been a wee bit hit and miss, as you’d expect, but fascinating nonetheless. Today, though, I’ve gone macro: Al Gore on “The Future”; Elon Musk on space travel, solar energy and the bid to save humanity; and perhaps most inspiring of all, Chinese-American entrepreneur Ping Fu on life under Mao and how her incredible personal story has made her into such a strong and successful innovator. Only at SXSW. Read more on The future and other small things: SXSW gets macro…

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