Nathan’s Social Takeover Roundup

January 30th, 2017 by Nathan Fletcher


So that’s it, my first social takeover is over after a hectic but exciting week at the We Are Boutique house. Here’s a quick roundup of what we got up to this week alongside some digital knowledge bombs for good measure.

Digital Meetings A-Plenty

At the beginning of every week, the digital gang catch up to talk strategy and action. Collaboration is key to the progress we make each week, so it’s always useful to circulate ideas and share our love for digital!

Did someone say ‘nerds’? No?

Anyway, here we are discussing our clients’ accounts earlier in the week – I promise there was no posing involved in the taking of this photo…

digi meeting 24


Tom’s Boutique-versary

In other news, Tom celebrated his 3-year Boutique-versary this week, so congrats to him. Since he joined way before my time here, he’s won us many-a-pitch and grown his beard out to become even more of a likeness to Henry VIII. Here he is looking after my ‘Quality Score Cowboy’ outfit whilst I was out of the office. Talk about a power pose…

Tom dressed as a cowboy


A Belated Christmas Present

And finally on Friday, the Boutique boys and ladies were treated to paintballing and spa trips by boss man Bollon – something kindly arranged as part of our Christmas celebrations!

The girls had a relaxing time at Rudding Park Spa, whilst us boys got battered and bruised firing paintballs at each other. We didn’t get too competitive, honest…


Digital Knowledge Bombs

Google Tests Local Inventory Ads

As reported in The Drum, Google has upped its local retail game in Google SERPs, as it is now testing local inventory ads on mobile devices. Rather than just showing local business details for relevant search terms, Google is now testing ads that show specific products available in your local proximity.

I wrote in a blog a few weeks back that digital marketing and local retail is converging, especially on mobile, and this seems to emphasise that point. As users continue to use mobile devices to influence their purchasing decisions on-the-go, this update by Google could be huge in terms of combining search marketing and local retail for good. It certainly seems to be a step in the right direction in terms of using search marketing to drive footfall to stores, which is likely to change the way local retail businesses use Google search in the future.

Google business

*via The Drum*


Google’s 2016 ‘Bad Ads’

This week Google released its annual ‘Bad Ads’ report, detailing how many ads it took down in 2016 and the reasons behind their disapprovals.

Surprisingly, Google flagged up a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click” violations, which is 6 times more than in 2015. I expected there to be a great deal of ads disapproved throughout the year, but this statistic surprised me, I must say. The usual culprits – ads for illegal products, misleading ads, profiting from poor sites etc., all cropped up in Google’s report, but it was the ‘bad ads on mobile’ issue that interested me the most.

It’s become widely known that Google rolled out a mobile-first index in 2016, whereby it crawls mobile websites BEFORE its desktop counterpart – a huge shift in search marketing that has impacted both PPC and SEO. Therefore, it’s interesting that Google is penalising search marketers for bad ads on mobile, as the shift towards a mobile-first narrative in digital marketing seems to be in full flow.

You can read Google’s report here.

Note: 1.7 billion ads in total were removed in 2016!


Anyway, thanks for having me. The social takeover is now in Simon’s capable hands. So long, guys!

Tom’s Social Takeover Roundup

January 23rd, 2017 by Thomas Selby


Here is my roundup of the last working week. It was a real rollercoaster…

Monday 16th was Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. I can’t really agree though as it was also ‘Appreciate a Dragon’ day and let’s be honest, dragons are awesome.

We took advantage of the dragon theme, giving our fellow Boutiquers the chance to channel their artistic juices and compete for a coveted prize in a dragon draw off.

Charley reigned supreme with a sterling reproduction of the dragon from Shrek:

sketch of a dragon

She was clearly chuffed with her prize…

charley holding a photo frame

Our friends at ITV came in to show us what will have the nation on the edge of its sofa in 2017. Warning: Spoilers!

ITV programming session

The Boutique Darts Championship got off to a flying start, although some of our brickwork might disagree! (No pointing fingers, Charley!)

darts board

On Wednesday at 3:25 PM we saw a world-first as Channel 4 broadcast a live operation from inside the human body. This took place during a 90 second ad break to raise awareness for bowel cancer.

And finally, we capped the week off with National Popcorn day (any excuse for some carbs in Jan!)

Tyrrell's popcorn

All in all a crazy week  at Boutique towers… Time for me to sign off and pass the reigns over to our resident Quality Score Cowboy, Nathan Fletcher!

Selby out!

Say Hello to Helen!

January 16th, 2017 by Sarah Bartlett

Helen portrait photo in black and white

The new year has brought a new face to Boutique… Say hello to our new receptionist and admin extraordinaire, Helen!

Since we moved into our new and larger home in Saw Mill Yard with a multitude of meeting rooms and ever-increasing bodies to manage, it was only a matter of time before we welcomed a new Boutique bod to help organise the troops.

Helen will be the first face you see when you enter Boutique HQ (apart from Malcolm the guard dog), and will be taking control of a whole host of Boutiqueness. Helen has been supporting businesses in one way or another for more than 10 years, so knows a thing or two about structure and processes.

Aside from her Harrison Ford obsession, Helen loves her four-legged pals Buddy and Muffin – and isn’t one to shy away from long countryside walks to keep them entertained! Helen’s love of organisation extends well beyond the office walls, with a proud addiction to stationery keeping her in check.

So, don’t be shy – give us a call and have a chat with Helen! She also makes a mean cappuccino…

This week’s Boutique-Up

January 13th, 2017 by Louise Trent


We’ve reached the end of my social takeover week so here’s a bit of a roundup of this week’s goings on with a splash of industry news.

Boutique goes blindfolded

boutique do a blindfolded team building task

Simon kicked the week off with a teambuilding exercise where we had to solve a puzzle whilst blindfolded. Having received a selection of shapes and being told what colour they were, we needed to establish which pieces and which colours were missing. Apparently the aim is to see how we approach new tasks and communicate with each other. Either that or an excuse for Simon to watch and laugh!

N.B. Our team won! ;)


Exciting news guys; our breakout room now has a dartboard. Let the games begin…

dartboard in the boutique office

Ready for our close up

Jim the photographer came to the office to take some more shots of our new pad and they look pretty darn good! Expect to see these dotted around our documents and social feeds.

collage of new office photos


Industry standouts

Facebook begins testing mid-roll advertising

Facebook has released news this week that it is going to start testing ‘mid-roll’ ad formats, which means that advertisers will be able to insert ads into videos that people have been watching for at least 20 seconds. This is a new opportunity for Facebook and its publishers to make extra revenue from advertisers. Facebook publishers include the likes of The Guardian, National Geographic and Buzzfeed.

It will be interesting to see whether this new format works as, after 20 seconds, it’s likely that consumers will be rather engaged with the content they’re watching and these ads may prove to be an annoyance. Watch this space…


Instagram introduces ads to Stories

Instagram has also just released the inclusion of ads within the recently added Stories feature. Instagram Stories was only released in August 2016, but has already received 150 million users per day.

There are already around 30 advertisers testing this new feature including Asos, Nike and Airbnb, with ads initially being measurable by the ad’s reach. Over the next few months, it’s expected this will be extended to measure by site visits and other metrics.


Over-targeted marketing

Liquor-producing French brand, Pernod Ricard released a statement this week that it will be reshaping its luxury ‘mindset’ for future marketing campaigns.

CRM director at Pernod Ricard told The Drum that they were going to move to target “consumers of luxury” rather than “luxury customers” and went on to say, “Initially we said we are looking at ultra-high net worth individuals or super wealthy billionaires, which is great but they are very difficult to find and they are not necessarily faithful,” he said. “But what we do know is that many of us are not just luxury consumers but consumers of luxury… even if it’s just once a year for a special birthday or anniversary or even every Saturday night on a romantic date for example. We find those consumers everywhere.”

This new tactic means a shift towards a focus on people’s interests and passion points as opposed to their demographic, creating a story about the brand and linking to memorable experiences rather than product-focused advertisement.

2017 predictions – from live video to avocados & everything in between

January 6th, 2017 by Sarah Bartlett

avocado print

2016 seems like an absolute lifetime ago, doesn’t it? As we ease back into work life and leave our duvets, box sets and mulled wine behind, here’s a look at some initial 2017 predictions…

Live video

We’ve seen Instagram video take off towards the end of 2016 as it takes on Snapchat – and don’t forget that time The LAD Bible live streamed a melting snowman… So, what’s in store for 2017? Digi folk are predicting huge things for live video and customer engagement in 2017, especially as we try to come up with new and innovative ways to engage with younger generations who demand instant, authentic and unedited content. Brands needn’t shy away from the rawness of live video – consumers are looking to engage with ‘real’ brands – let’s embrace it!

Collaborations and use of influencers

The use (and unfortunate abuse) of influencers has been hot topic in the industry in 2016, but brands are now looking to influencers to tell their story for them, as gaining cut-through becomes more difficult in an increasingly saturated market. Brands are looking for influencers who can effectively engage with their target market as consumers get savvier to sales tactics, with an ability to react in real time to consumer feelings and musings in the digital space.

The unstoppable avocado

I can’t lie to you – I bloody love avocado. My best friend bought me an avocado-print makeup bag for Christmas and I’m NOT sorry. I don’t care if that makes me annoying or ‘so 2016’ – avocados are delicious AND nutritious. I’m all over it. So much so that I was upset someone in Amsterdam opened an avo-only café before I did…

I’m predicting that the reign of the avocado will only grow stronger in 2017. Bring it on.

Do the roar for Tiger Nuts

Have you heard? With 2017 already set to be a year of health crazes and HIIT phases, the new health food (vegan, raw, paleo, you get the idea) is the tiger nut – there’s even a company dedicated to them, and a mention on ITV’s recent Save Money Lose Weight with nutritionist Ian Marber confirms it. It’s actually not even a nut, but a small root vegetable that originates from the Mediterranean and Africa, promising a wealth of health benefits including weight control, good digestion and gut health.

Turn off the lights on Hygge?

I recently read that it’s time to shut the book on Hygge; a new Scandinavian trend is in town. ‘Lagom’, originating from Sweden, translates to ‘just the right amount’ and basically means ‘striking the perfect work/play balance’. What do you think? I’m all about striking a balance but can’t deny a love for cosying up with blankets and lighting a few candles during a thunderstorm… Maybe we create a Laggye? Or Hyggom? Thoughts on a postcard…

For bants…

It’s been a year since this absolute wally graced our screens with a one-way ticket to Sore Loserville…

Campaigns that have caught my eye so far…

There have been a couple of campaigns that have resonated with me already this year. Firstly, it’s no secret Maltesers nailed their marketing in 2016, but they’ve already kicked off 2017 by unveiling a braille bus poster as they continue their focus on disability and inclusivity. The poster is part of its ‘look on the light side’ campaign, with model Maltesers, spelling out in braille, the story of a blind woman waiting for a bus and accidentally boarding a fire engine.

I may be late to the party with this one (and forgive me for bringing up the C word) BUT this Christmas ad from Audi Spain needs to be shared far and wide. Feast your eyes on this act of gender stereotype sabotage, and just in time for Epiphany (or Día de los Reyes Magos, if you’re clued up in Spanish!).

P.S. I hope SeaWorld finally dies a death in 2017. Don’t even get me started. #RIPTilikum

Barts x