Mark Higginson

Manifesto
How people's attention flows on the web

The web is a social artifact.
Here is a selected collection of related items:

 

22 June 2015

Most of their customers preferred to add the salespeople on WeChat directly rather than follow the official store account.

Pictures of Chinese People Scanning QR Codes

I haven't seen enough research to know if this is a cultural peculiarity. Certainly the approach of Western brands is wedded to a broadcast model, unless specifically dealing with customer service issues where an individual representing the business may identify themselves.

This model, of following 'official' profiles is the antithesis of social media. It gets little to no response yet is relentlessly pursued due to marketers' obsession with control of messaging. Rather than seeing their role as one of enabling and supporting customer facing personnel, or even being customer facing themselves, marketers continue trying to fit new media into existing hierarchical structures.

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21 June 2015

Your definitive guide to the biggest UK digital agencies

Top 100 Digital Agencies Report 2015

Marketing being marketing the brazen hubris of the industry comes as no surprise. This is exemplified by Econsultancy's guide to the 'top' digital agencies. The rankings are arranged by the amount these agencies have managed to bill their clients. What this measures is what has worked for the agency, not their clients.

The commentary accompanying the report states:

"... the average fee income has increased by 25%".

Presumably with a commensurately larger multiplier in the sales of the businesses for whom these agencies produced work?

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07 May 2015

Viewership dropped an average of 30 percent to 50 percent since then, according to two people who’ve seen the traffic data.

Drop in Discover Traffic Poses Questions for Snapchat

I said back in February:

"I don't think Snapchat's users will have any long-term interest in the new 'Discover' feature. It's more brand marketing fantasyland stuff."

Snapchat Discover

Compare this to the breathless reception from other quarters:

"Snapchat Discover is huge. I can tell you secondhand that the numbers, at least for the initial launch period, were enormous. We’re talking millions of views per day, per publisher."

Snapchat Discover could be the biggest thing in news since Twitter

Less than three months later it seems 'Discover' is failing to perform:

"Snapchat's curated selection of news stories called Discover is reportedly in trouble, with traffic dropping significantly since its debut back in January."

Snapchat adds sharing tools to its news discovery portal

Let's ask the users:

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19 February 2015

There is no way these huge companies can provide the same intimate level of customer service that I can, especially since I don’t have that many customers.

How 1-man band Jerry Shen makes most of buyout by Yahoo

This article epitomises why I don't 'get' Yahoo.

Jerry Shen, who developed a fantasy sports app, cites the fact he responds immediately to customer enquiries as what differentiates him in the marketplace. That's how he wins recommendations.

"Large competitors like Yahoo and the NFL soon launched their own mobile fantasy sports apps, and Shen tried to think of ways he could differentiate his product. His solution: charm customers with great customer service, responding to any complaints within five minutes."

Yahoo has likely paid a lot of money to accquire his business. Jerry's apps are gone.

"He became a director of engineering at the tech giant, managing a team...."

Hell of an expensive way to recruit someone. Perhaps Jerry is much more talented than anyone else at creating these fantasy sports games so this will give Yahoo competitive advantage. But that isn't how the article portrays Jerry's success. It doesn't sound like Jerry will be doing customer service or that facet is part of Yahoo's plan.

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16 February 2015

Part of Snapchat's success comes from its gradual shift from simply facilitating social interactions between friends to staking out new ground as a media platform.

How Snapchat Is Taking Over Everything

As this article provides no verifiable data to support its claim I'm going to speculate wildly too: I don't think Snapchat's users will have any long-term interest in the new 'Discover' feature. It's more brand marketing fantasyland stuff.

"There's something about Snapchat that feels particularly intimate. Maybe it's the... knowledge that the video you're watching will disappear into the ether once it times out."

I'm not sure how 'intimacy' equates with advertising effectiveness. Snapchat's core feature is actually disadvantageous in the context of the web. Perhaps this awakens a nostalgic appeal in traditional advertising circles. Social platforms are generally ephemeral but at least there is the prospect of a link to a persistent item elsewhere on the web. In rare cases these become super-valuable as they accrue authority over time. The notion of creating content specifically for Snapchat's users that simply vanishes will no doubt appeal to agencies but has very limited value. It's a different thing entirely.

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