How do you improve conversions on a mobile? Boutique Digital Digs into the effect of the multiscreen consumer…

June 20th, 2013 by Simon Bollon


Google has introduced mobile targeting as a default element to ‘enhanced campaigns’ and some ecommerce sites (and sites like ours, too) are being increasingly designed with responsive layouts in mind. This ensures that users on mobile phones with full browsers (as well as tablets) see the best the site can offer given the viewing screen in front of them.

But already getting the right content in front of an audience regardless of screen size is a bit old hat and smaller device users are already expecting this as the norm.

The interesting thing is that these same users who make up the numbers that populate the ‘early-adopters’ data and ‘smartphone penetration’ percentages are also making up another set of statistics – the falling percentages of conversions happening on the go.  IBM claimed that 25% of visits to ecommerce sites are from mobiles, though this segment only represents 15% of transactions (thanks to econsultancy for the stats).

I Love My Smart Phone…

So we all love our phones. And we all use them a lot. And we use them in the buying process. But, we don’t use them to actually buy. In fact, we’ll go right to the end of a conversion funnel on one device before jumping ship at the crucial moment and starting again at home on our desktop, having researched thoroughly on the commute or throughout the day. This, our friends at Google claim, accounts for 85% of web shopping, where we start on one device and invariably finish on another.

We’re buying your product – stop complaining!

So the user is still converting, but jumping from device to device, which is something we marketers don’t like very much. And that’s because it’s nigh on impossible to follow someone from a mobile onto his or her desktop when they get home. “We’ve build you a lovely mobile friendly responsive website experience – the least you could do is use it to give us a tangible figure to attribute an ROI to!” But that would be too easy…

One account to rule them all…

The real solution to this is to get your customers to use and engage with your site on their mobile whilst they’re logged into an account onsite regardless of device. Which means you can keep a much closer eye on their behaviour across any and all devices…

There are loads of leading companies doing this admirably, and of course the mighty Amazon seem to effectively lead the way, incorporated with their hugely effective (and dangerous) one-click button which is just as easy to buy with on a smart phone (especially with fat fingers) as anywhere.

It’s the reserve of the bigger ecommerce players at present, but we don’t think it’s going to be long before this becomes the norm in terms of ecommerce in a multiscreen multidevice environment.

One account, tailored to the individual, is a beautiful thing…

When a business gets to the point above of providing a great solution to multidevice logins, there is a sudden explosion in user data that is associated with that one account, and can drive super-personalised messages across all sorts of channels, maximizing the ability to get conversion levels up and to cross sell relevant products and services in an informed manner. This can extend to eCRM and remarketing, as well as more traditional offline channels – Think tailored DM…

Suddenly it’s so much more than tracking consumers across multiple devices…

And so it should be, digital marketing is not a silo-based affair, and every action has a knock on effect and opportunity to improve other activities and chances to maximise that sale or basket value.

Some consumers don’t want to shop on their phone, and this is where so many businesses fall over. Don’t make the mistake of forcing your potential customers to do something they are uncomfortable with. They simply won’t. Sales figures will be appalling, and marketing directors will be unhappy. Instead, study, embrace and understand their behaviour, and build strategies to work to these strengths, and you’ll be in a far better position to succeed.

With our mobile example, it may well be the case that British consumers simply don’t like the act of purchasing on their mobile, perhaps due to 3/4G connectivity issues and inability to complete forms as easily as on a desktop. In which case work round these and either ensure that measures of success on mobile are attributed further up the conversion funnel, or alternatively make efforts to understand, address and alleviate those concerns before writing off you mobile strategy. One thing is for sure though – we love our smart phones and they’re going to be around for a good long while – so embrace them sooner rather than later!

Jones joins the Boutique family

June 17th, 2013 by Simon Bollon


We are proud to announce the appointment of Elliot Jones as Head of Digital.

His appointment ties in with the launch of Boutique Digital, a specialist digital division. Specialising in digital, mobile media and strategy across search, display, public relations and social, Boutique Digital will ensure a fully integrated approach to communications is offered across the Boutique client roster as well as working with pure play digital clients

Elliot joins as a partner and a shareholder in the digital division and ensures we can continue to live out the promise of a partner managing every account. Elliot joining the family is a coup for the business and he complements the passion, entrepreneurialism and knowledge associated with the agency

His experience is exceptional and his knowledge of the digital landscape is unrivalled. This appointment will ensure we truly compete at the highest level and enables us to continue our rapid growth

I’m very excited about the future with Boutique. Applying the strategic approach developed working in the big agencies and marrying this with the flexible, hands-on, service focused approach of the agency will add real value to client’s campaigns. Our ambition is to be recognised as the leading independent agency outside of London and the business is certainly moving in the right direction. It’s refreshing to work in an entrepreneurial agency

Elliot has previously worked at Carat North, Mediacom and Brilliant Media where he held various titles across search and digital.

Branding the London Underground? Surely not…

June 13th, 2013 by Simon Bollon


Firstly, I’m going to steer clear of the obvious puns here. We can all think of some hideous examples of naming opportunities that would frankly repel any normal member of society.

The thing is, even the best branded ideas (Oxford Landing Circus was given serious consideration some time ago) leave me feeling overly protective and patriotic. Its the London Underground for Gods sake! The most iconic of transport systems in the most iconic of capital cities and that is something which simply can’t carry a commercial value….?

If we look at the commercial value of the opportunity, TFL have suggested they will not create brand tie-ins with anyone ‘waving a cheque book’ and the brand associations would be carefully considered. This does raise some hope but the estimated value is only £140m. Only, he says!? Granted, £140m is a significant value but in the big scheme of things that won’t eat into the passenger costs too much. We estimate that’s a little over one years price freeze…which in the long term means price increases slightly below inflation!? Hardly the wow factor some might expect.

Moving away from the commercial elements, the idea of renaming the stations opens up the mind to the commercial opportunities that lie everywhere else in the country and specifically the transport system. This could the open of floodgates we just don’t want commercially driven brand managers to get their mucky hands on. Asda motorway could replace the M1 with a more twisting and turning road ensuring we pass the finest stores Asda has to offer. Manchester Piccadilly could be the Etihad station. I’m sure half of Manchester would love it…whilst the other half, well they’d probably avoid using the station ever again.

Granted, I’m being extreme but you get the idea. Rather, you get the bad idea!

On a more serious level there seems to be so many other avenues that TFL can go down to increase revenues in a sympathetic and thoughtful manner, adding value to a brand and the commuter. They still have a long way to go rolling out digital platforms for example. 48 sheet cross platform interactive screens (essentially TV’s) are few and far between unlike other underground networks around the world. With these platforms, the increased ad revenue would be significant. Well thought out, brand associations, possibly including the leveraging of the station name may certainly have a place but until we hit the economic pits of Greece I for one cherish the heritage and natural association we have of the London Underground. So, please no Wonga Central or Emirates Circle.

That cheeky Schmidt

June 4th, 2013 by Simon Bollon


I hope Thinkbox will excuse me for pinching their slide but on the basis I am supporting their thinking I suspect they’ll let it slide!

Eric Schmidt (he of Google fame) recently stated, rather cheekily, that Youtube had ‘displaced’ TV in the British household.

One thing we are committed to as an agency is dispelling the myths around meida consumption, the death of everything other than digital and we spend a lot of time talking to clients about the relevance of new channels and how they integrate with current communication plans.

Eric Schmidt’s comments are typical of a pure digital thinker. Yes, youtube (and many other platforms, Netflix to name just one great recent success) are building reach of ‘video’ content and we as an agency (and in turn our clients) need to be mindful of this fact but the language used is not representative of reality.

The chart, based on official joint industry figures from BARB and UKOM, compares the total monthly reach and time spent in the UK watching TV, using ‘the internet’ as a whole (including watching TV online), and using some of the key internet-based media that receive the most attention in the marketing industry. Here it is:

The topline figure to be concerned with is that for every minute a user spends on youtube, they spend nearly an hour watching linear TV.

This is not to denigrate youtube, it is purely to point out the context in which in needs to be considered. In truth, it enhances the strengths of using an agency who can offer a truly media neutral integrated strategy. Youtbue is not a ‘threat’ to TV, it is a complimentary media that allows advertisers to build reach and engagement.

Of course this kind of statement isn’t rare. The doomsdayers will have us believe that soon nobody will be watching TV (but it remains the best performing media for reach and frequency) or buying newspapers (over 8m copies are still sold everyday); neither of which are true. Sure, both will see some decline (press still hasnt hit its trough) but they still have a role and we still see significant results from both in integrated or stand alone media campaigns. The focus for clients and agencies is how best to produce integrated campaigns that are effective…..that rule hasn’t changed since the first advert was created.