I posted a few years ago that Facebook would become the “operating system of the Internet” and it has. I should have bought those shares!

The tools are out there now that make it easy and affordable to deploy and monitor marketing campaigns across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ … sites that already have the attention and engagement of our target audiences.

So why go to the trouble and expense of designing a web site and attracting people to it when they are all living somewhere else online, increasingly on the move using the apps provided by those sites.

We’re about to launch a branded campaign for a client that will live entirely in socialmedialand. No website, no email marketing, no search marketing. But blogs, competitions, messages, videos, images, comments, posts and more, across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you were hunting elephants in the jungle and knew that they all congregated every day, at about 4pm at the water hole in the clearing, would you continue to struggle through the undergrowth to try and locate them at 10 in the morning? Of course not.


Multichannel innovation: 15 brilliant examples from 2011: “

This Wednesday I’ll be attending JUMP, our annual event dedicated to multichannel business. I’m inherently biased but the programme is truly fantastic.I expect to discover lots of new ideas and approaches to help improve the joined-up customer experience.

As it’s been a year since the last JUMP Ithought I’d collate and share a few recent examples of innovative multichannel thinking. Some of these are real success stories.There are plenty of others that I know I’ve missed out, some of which I’m looking forward to hearing more about on Wednesday.

There are only a dozen or so places left at JUMP, which has a capacity of around 1,500 people, so it will be a sell out. You should book your ticket now if you want to come along. Hope to see you there.

NET-A-PORTER’s Window Shop

The fashion etailer created a pop-up store window that allowed shoppers to use iPads and smartphones to bring the products to life.

Carlsberg’s biker gang prank

When I first watched this video it had less than 400 views. A few weeks later and with more than 5m views Carlsberg has proved that a clever idea is the key to viral success.

Tesco Korea’s virtual store

Probably the world’s best implementation of QR codes so far. Tesco Homeplus figured out a way of gaining market share without the need for expensive new stores, while at the same time helping time-poor commuters to do their shopping more efficiently. Brilliant.

Bing’s Jay-Z ‘Decoded’ campaign

An epic location-based marketing campaign / game, with suitable amounts of bling thrown in. Jay-Z added 1m Facebook fans and Microsoft reported that the average player engagement was 11 minutes per visit.

Marks & Spencer’s multichannel strategy

Few major retailers are as committed to multichannel as M&S, which has a three-year plan to develop its multichannel operations. In that time it will develop a new website and open a new distribution centre. It is already doing very well. It’s m-commerce website has generated more than 59,000 orders. Its ‘M&S TV’ strategy has resulted in the creation of 900+ videos (7m views and 900,000 clicks on the ‘buy’ button). It has touch screen ordering in some of its stores. It uses social media channels to provide service to customers. We’re watching M&S closely…

Pizza Express iPhone app with codes and bill payment

Last year Pizza Express refused to accept a voucher I had been sent to my email, which I presented via my phone. Thankfully it now trusts smartphones and has created a very goodapp, which includes voucher codes, a restaurant finder tool, and the ability to pay via PayPal.

Debenhams’ iPhone & Android apps

The first high street retailer in the UK to launch a barcode scanner as part of its app, which generated £1m in sales within five months of being launched on the iPhone platform. Last month it announced that it was now ‘fully mobile’ with new app launches on the Android and Nokia platforms, in addition to a mobile website.

Radisson Edwardian QR codes

The hotel chain added QR codes to its menus so that diners could scan it to watch the chef preparing meals. A simple way of improving the customer experience.

Domino’s killer app strategy

The pizza chain has generated more than £10m in sales since launching its iPhone app at the beginning of 2011. We can’t wait to hear what the iPad version is doing for its business.

Westfield’s ‘tweet mirror’

Produced by Nedap Retail, the tweet mirror allows shoppers to try on clothes, take a picture, and then tweet it to their network for feedback. The offline retail experience of the future is going to be interactive, feel-good, and joined-up.

John Lewis’ ‘At Home’ stores

The retailer is opening smaller stores with kiosks, allowing it to extend its reach and the range of products available in these new stores. Its Croydon ‘At Home’ store has the highest percentage of Click & Collect orders of any of its branches. Read more about its ‘At Home’ strategy here.

Heineken’s ‘StarPlayer’ football app

Another beverage brand that continues to impress is Heineken, which has released a number of multichannel campaigns over the past year. One of the standouts is its StarPlayer app, which allowed football fans to play a real-time game alongside a Champions League match, via mobile or desktop.

Ariel ‘Fashion Shoot’

A superb game involving industrial robots, ketchup, chocolate, jam and white designer garments. Players could log into the Facebook page to control the robot and make an unholy mess, winning the (cleaned) garments in the process.

Mercedes insane 4D augmented reality presentation

If you’re looking to make an impression and if budget isn’t too much of a big deal then, well, this…

Argos TV launches to take on QVC

Argos has been well ahead of the multichannel curve, reporting last year that multichannel sales accounted for 43% of its revenue.

This summer it revealed that it is to launch Argos TV via Sky, which by my reckoning gives it a sales presence across every major channel. I’m quite sure that more retailers will follow its lead into TV, particularly with connected TV on the horizon.

(Via Econsultancy.)

I gave a presentation in May 2010 on “Search and Social Marketing” at the International Travel Insurance Conference in Brighton.

The powerpoint presentation is available here.

The International Travel Insurance Journal ( covered the event and my presentation:

Mark Walmsley

Mark Walmsley speaking at ITIC

Mark’s presentation centered on how companies can use digital marketing, either through SEO or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, to increase their revenues.

The SEO can take place either on a page through the use of meta tags; through a website using keyword strategies, or offsite- i.e., inbound links to a company’s website from Facebook. Mark then moved on to more advanced SEO, which includes the use of videos and images on websites, as well as sales channels, all of which can contribute to appearing higher up the Google rankings following a general search.

Companies should be as open to Google as possible, continued Mark, putting plenty of information on their pages before a user is required to log in. A case study was presented to delegates that showed that after Columbus Direct used a more appropriate keyword strategy, the company’s sales volumes increased by 32 per cent in this channel.

PPC advertising has been shown to have a quicker effect on a company’s sales volume through adverts placed at the top of Google’s web pages after a search. Again, a case study was shown of the efficacy of such an approach, using Columbus Direct.

Mark then moved on to brand bidding and brand hijacking – brand bidding ‘describes the use of brands as keywords in PPC campaigns by affiliates, competitors, retailers, auction platforms and price comparison sites’, while brand hijacking ‘describes the use of brand owners’ exact ad copy in their PPC campaigns’. Hijacking is a problem, as Google’s policy on trademark infringement can only be investigated in certain countries leaving many countries to use such tactics. Mark offered delegates a few tricks of the trade for brand bidding, including geo-targeting or the addition of spaces in brand names.

For more information about the combined use of search and social, contact me at or on 020 7422 5502.

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