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The Power of Social for Sports Brands

For any professional sports club, having lots of fans is always a good thing, but having lots of fans who also engage with the club itself is even more valuable. And in today’s world, the best way to get involved with the club you love  is most definitely via social media.

Sports fans are dedicated, vocal and emotional and most importantly tribal – they want to share. For sports teams and leagues looking to boost business, social media is a game-changer, delivering unprecedented, real-time engagement with this legion of fans eager for interaction.

Arsenal Football Club have proved remarkably successful in maintaining multiple touch-points with their domestic and international fan base and are working hard to ensure they adapt successfully to the emergence of new channels. Driving customer engagement is key to its success.

Getting to grips with consumers’ emotional connection to the brand is essential to being able to use technology to market a brand. Studies show that we make over 200 decisions each day about food alone and that most of these decisions are actually made unconsciously rather than rationally. This means there’s a clear need for brands to connect emotionally with consumers in order to play a part in their purchase decision making process.

The Club has dominated social media for some time, although in February Manchester United finally took the lead in a long fought battle for greatest  number of Twitter followers (with only a few hundred between the leaders and over 500,000 differences before number three, Chelsea). With mobile rapidly becoming the device of choice, especially with the under 24s a strong presence on social media is vital to keep fan engagement high.

Arsenal FC @Arsenal is massive online, with over 7 million followers on Twitter (during a recent match their account was sending a Tweet a minute) and they have 5.6 million followers on Instagram.  They regularly publish behind the scenes images, as well as match day snaps. And provide useful and interesting video content to their followers. They have a weekly podcast, the team and the individual players are online and on Facebook the Club has 35 million likes. That’s to say nothing of the legion of bloggers who interact with the Club, fans and each other.

And in football, it matters that you get it right. Arsene Wenger recently warned about the dangers of disgruntled fans saying, “”Before your opinion was a bit more isolated. Today straight away it becomes a stream of people who think the same way and they become a force. Maybe that’s the reason, I don’t know.”

But social media is about bringing fans closer to the club and what’s happening. While it’s also a driver for CRM to help funnel people onto its own platforms and essentially commercialise them for advertising, the goal is to keep the Club in its fans hearts.

And the growing interconnectedness of globalised communications means a huge new opportunity. Worldwide Arsenal boasts 124 officially recognised supporters’ clubs in more than 62 countries, with another 20 countries currently in the process of submitting applications, and catering to the global fanbase is another important part of Arsenal’s social strategy.


Arsenal, the Football club and the company, have impressively taken the world of social media, racking up one of the biggest online followings in the world of Sport.
I was watching the match on Sunday and checking the number and the quality of the social interactions. Arsenal FC @Arsenal is massive online, with over 7 million followers on Twitter, during a match they sent a tweet a minute while on Instagram they have 5.6 million followers. And, unsurprisingly given the last minute victory last Sunday, Snapchat went crazy! Facebook, which has more than 35 million likes for the team page, was a fabulous place to share the glory, celebrate past victorie and of course, a weekly podcast.
The first team play along as well, posting on the team account and interacting with fans. Their post are funny, meaningful and even manage to style it out when the news isn’t great.
What a team. And we all love it, we do!! Those of us who follow what’s happening on social media know that Arsenal dominates in the space. There’s a reason for its huge impact – there’s the team account, individual accounts and more, with the girls team at 150K followers @arsenalladies and the @juniorgunners coming rapidly up the ranks.
There is also a lot of activity on the Arsenal blog, where the Gunners share news, gossip and anything else that matters to the fans.
What’s amazing is the total understanding of the social media marketing world: the team behind the scenes must be really strong, with knowley and expertise, but most of all with passion.
So I’m really looking forward to hearing from Mic Conetta, Head of CRM at Arsenal Football Club, speaker at our Mixing Digital luxurious dinner at Maze.

For more info and to register click here.

Opsh! They did it..

logo opsh




I had the privilege, as communication manager for the Ecommerce Club to meet a few members of the OPSH team, Jennie in Dublin, a guest at one of our Ecommerce Club working lunch. We discuss most of all about Instagram and fashion bloggers, and if it is relevant or not to grow your business. Last week I meet Justine in Glasgow, she was one of our speakers and she gave us a wide overview about her business and emarketplaces.

They are young, full of enthusiasm and fashionable. But this does not make them less prepared or less ambitious.

It was amazing to discover the reality of OPSH as a marketplace, born and bred in Dublin like the 3 protagonists of this story, something of a fairytale.

I’d like to quote directly from their website:
“We aim to be a one-stop-shop for women just like us – fashion fans with real jobs and real salaries, girls who know they want to look their best but might not have a superstar-sized Hollywood budget to make that dream come true.”

OPSH is an aggregation platform for women to shop online across multiple retailers with a single universal shopping cart.The numbers are impressive, in 2015 OPSH gained 120k users. These girls are in every newspaper in Ireland, from The Sunday Independent to The Irish Times, U magazine, Image, Le Cool and The Gloss. The McGinn sisters were awarded an Excellence in Digital Marketing Award from the Irish Internet Association, their adventure started in 2009 with a popular fashion blog that developed into this new retail marketplace

This is a great uplifting story for any entrepreneur: if you work hard, use your creativity and all the tools available, your idea will become your reality.

Why should we care about twitter #debates?







There has been a lot of speculation recently about Twitter, and which company might be looking to purchase it following its recent poor share performance.

There is probably no more powerful source of real-time information and free speech (for better or worse) but that doesn’t mean that its easy to make money from.

There’s an increasing amount of discussion about twitter #debates. Is this something that we really need? One of the key questions is whether or not this is simply another tech-app that afficiandos enjoy, or is it a potentially revolutionary tool for connecting people and building a wider dialogue on key issues?

Of course the opportunity for wider conversation is of critical interest today, with intense coverage of the Presidential debates allowing citizens to have their say in an immediate way. More importantly, it’s not one room in a local area but a platform that extends far beyond geographical limitations.

This real time information underpins a completely different relationship between politicians and citizens. Google has even jumped on the bandwagon, offering live updates and information cards as part of a deal with Fox News.

Twitter is understood to be considering expansion of the maximum size of a tweet to as much as 10,000 characters, and the service also has its own card-style expanded tweets that can include excerpts from blog posts, as well as photos and videos. But Google’s new feature involves far more real estate than Twitter can currently offer.

The search giant is also adding some other features for the debate including real-time information from Google Trends showing which candidate is being searched for the most. And Google will be embedding poll questions in its search results as well, the results of which will be covered by Fox News after the debate is over.

But even though Google can offer more real estate, does it offer a better form of interaction? It seems clear that there is a shift in political engagement to a more interactive and immediate involvement. We do business on twitter, we discuss racism issues and gossip about the latest celebrity mishap.

The question is whether anything can move beyond the screen. Is this real? We discuss in  more detail, but miles away from each other and always at the risk of attracting trolls? Are we looking only for a validation of our personal opinion or are we actually aiming for a debate and to learn?

The truth is that maybe we don’t yet know, and only by engaging more closely can we find a way through and see if it does make a difference. Next week we’re going to be exploring whether we can help our members communicate better with each other on topics that matter to them. In the #eclubdebate @EcommClub, we’re trying to prepare a topic and handle millions of gigabytes of information. Join us on Tuesday 9th at noon and let’s see if this is an evolution, a revolution or just another step in the journey towards growing our business.

incuBeta and DQ&A Media Group create R1.5 billion digital merger

incuBeta Group and DQ&A Media Group announce their merger, offering clients enhanced services and access to new markets.

The merged company has over 400 full-time staff, with 13 offices worldwide, implementing DoubleClick ad-tech solutions and running digital marketing campaigns across 100 countries. Both groups have large Cape Town offices, with incuBeta companies operational in the UK, Australia, Singapore, China and Kenya. DQ&A Media Group brands are active in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the USA. The combined companies specialise in programmatic media, search and web analytics – delivering measurable results for top-tier clients.

“We have created one of the world’s largest, independent, international groups of digital agencies,” says Rick van Boekel, CEO of DQ&A Media Group. “From a geographical, services and products perspective, we are 100% complementary.”

incuBeta Group CEO, Alan Lipschitz, is equally positive about the opportunities the merger presents.

He explains, “The evolving digital market requires companies that understand the technology, are data leaders, and who can give clients a performance-driven solution that results from an integrated approach to search, display and other digital services. There is now increased depth of talent in our combined teams, with real world innovation and numerous thought leaders in our space.”

“We are delighted to see two valued partners, DQ&A Media Group and incuBeta Holdings, come together. The merger offers a global solution that continues to ensure that consumer messaging is more relevant than ever,” says Frank Einecke, Managing Director Media Buying Solutions EMEA at DoubleClick by Google.

Operationally, the merger presents additional opportunities for incuBeta and DQ&A’s country offices, with management and operations teams able to expand in search, display and other specialised services.

“This is a shot-in-the-arm for the South African digital media industry,” says incuBeta Group Executive, Jonathan Gluckman. “Further proof that we have the skillsets, expertise and track record to not only compete internationally with confidence but, also, win and keep business from the biggest global brands.”

incuBeta is the holding company of NMP (formerly Net Media Planet), Clicks2Customers and Interface, and is highly regarded for its expertise in search engine marketing and optimisation, analytics and full digital services.

In the merger with DQ&A, specialists in digital display marketing, programmatic media buying and technology services, the merged entity becomes a significant digital solutions player.

Future plans include further strategic acquisitions, adding key services and opening markets to the group’s global client base.

For more information please visit and

The Digital Marketing Show

The Digital Marketing Show returns to the Excel Campus, London on the 18th and 19th November.

Now in its third year, the Show continues to build on its reputation as an unmissable event for marketing professionals eager to keep their finger on the digital pulse and stay ahead of the competition.

The importance of digital marketing

More than a buzz-phrase, digital marketing is present for all to see in today’s multi-screen, multi-platform society. For managers, a clear digital strategy is integral to evolving an online personality that draws as many businesses as possible into the conversation about your brand.

But a high number of marketers are still failing to capitalise on the very effective marketing methods involved. If many firms are aware of the need to embrace digital marketing, far fewer understand the term and know how to implement a key strategy to best effect.

Surround yourself with the right people

At the Digital Marketing Show you’ll meet industry specialists who can point you in the right direction according to your requirements and experience. Across two days the show attracts a senior audience of decision makers and budget holders who know what considerations businesses need to be making when putting together a cohesive digital marketing strategy.

Also in attendance will be marketing professionals who have a clear vision of what the future may hold across all digital marketing disciplines. You’ll find out the questions you need to be asking to reach the advice and resources you need for your business going forward.

The Digital Marketing Show brings experts shoulder-to-shoulder with to marketers who are newer to the scene, creating a collaborative dynamic in which everyone feels able to express themselves. Visitors are guaranteed to find answers, inspiration and a whole host of fresh ideas.

But don’t take our word for it…

Below are just a few of the messages tweeted by visitors to the Digital Marketing Show.

  • @Futurform: Brilliant day at the #DigitalMarketingShow yesterday! Great to see such a good turnout! @DMSLDN
  • Allie @zegirrl: I had a great time yesterday – interesting talks & people, fun all round! #DigitalMarketingShow #ecommerce
  • @bespoke4business: Intriguing day out at the #DigitalMarketingShow lots of new ideas and potential integrations
  • iPageDesigner: Interesting meets & seminars at the #DigitalMarketingShow London yesterday. More tactics and ideas to work.
  • Sally Louise Day @sallybows: ACE time at the #DigitalMarketingShow today with @greenshoulders, feeling inspired & motivated to get more digital!

Featuring speakers from Google UK, ITV, Yahoo, Forbes Media, Ministry of Sound, and Dominos, the Digital Marketing Show is THE place to get up to speed with the digital marketing tools and trends that will ensure your business is digitally competitive in 2016 and beyond.

You can book your FREE ticket by visiting

Net Media Planet Brand Relaunch sees the Debut of a New Name and Logo

On the 1st of October 2015, award-winning digital agency Net Media Planet announced the change of their company name to NMP and unveiled a new contemporary look and feel to its brand. This rejuvenated brand and visual identity will better align with the company’s values, and represent the high quality, innovative work produced by their team. Along with their rejuvenated brand, a feature of the relaunch is a new company website,

“The brand relaunch goes far beyond a name and logo change. We really wanted our brand identity to reflect who we are as a business as we grow and develop within the digital industry,” stated NMP Operations Director, Joe Comotto. “We continue to stand behind our company values: dare to lead, help others succeed, exceed expectations and earn trust, and now those values are truly represented not only within the work we do for our clients but throughout all of our communications.”

About NMP 

NMP are an award-winning digital marketing agency with over 10 years of experience in delivering global campaigns with granular localised targeting. Their heritage is rooted in paid search performance marketing allowing NMP to apply their knowledge and experience to the campaigns they run across all their marketing solutions including paid search, display, paid social and the DoubleClick Channel Partners programme.
Having worked across a wide range of industries including fashion, retail, financial and gaming, NMP offers rich data and insights for their clients. Their impressive list of clients includes Microsoft, Superdrug, Chain Reaction Cycles and Monsoon Accessorize. Their holistic approach to digital advertising combines innovative technology and a talented team of data driven analysts, helping ambitious brands grow by unlocking opportunities and aligning channels to realise their true value.nmp-logo-dot-alternative

Five Standout Strategies for the Holidays

The key to a successful holiday season is a well thought out plan, but even the best laid plans can fall short in our world of surmounting competition, endless choices, multiple avenues for purchase and inundated consumers. Differentiate your business this holiday season by marrying proven personalization strategies with innovative new technologies and stand apart from the rest when competition is at its fiercest.

Download our 2015 holiday guide for five standout strategies:

  • 2015_holiday_guide_page_imageCurate Holiday Product Recommendation Strategies
  • Tailor the Entire Experience
  • Simplify Seasonal Product Discovery
  • Create Seamless Cross Channel Experiences
  • Don’t be Afraid to Innovate

10 Kidpreneurs to Inspire You


Have you ever wished that you could break the space-time continuum and deliver wisdom from the future to your teenage self? What life lessons, learned the hard way, would you impart? Here’s what I wish I’d known 10 years ago:

1. You’ll never have this much time. Use it wisely!
While a typical full-time work week is 40 hours (unless you’re Tim Ferriss), the truth is many of us are working multiple jobs, or taking work home with us (it’s currently 10:25 PM, for the record). 8 hours of sleep is a luxury. I long for the days of spare periods, a 3:30 PM quittin’ time, and free summers. You have more time in your preteens than you think.

LeiLei started designing jewelry at the age of 13. Three years latr, her hobby became the foundation for her business. For LeiLei, investing time in her business was rewarding because it was based in a passion.

“I was 16 when I started. When I was in high school, balancing everything was pretty easy. When I got to college, I treated it as if it were any other part time job or work study. I set aside a few hours each week and fulfill orders. This got a lot harder around finals and holiday shopping season. I would try to multitask by studying and making jewelry at the same time. I work on the more time consuming aspects (new products, photography, website design etc) during breaks.” – LeiLei

2. Take advantage of free resources – your school has a wealth of them.

Here’s a dose of reality: after high school, your education is going to cost you. Actually, so is everything else. This is your free ride, son. You’re bound to pay more for pretty much everything from bus passes to entertainment. Many schools are beginning to address the need for practical business skills, offering elective classes as part of the curriculum. Labs, studios and tech equipment are also at your disposal.

We first discovered Sydney when she became one of the youngest competitors in the Shopify Build A Business Competition. Along with her sister Toni, she founded Poketti with skills she’d learned in a 7th grade entrepreneurship class. Sydney honed business skills before her freshman year in high school, and continues to sell her invention – animal pillows with pockets for holding cell phones or tooth fairy treasures – in her Shopify store.

Bonus lesson: the girls responded to my email while in line for a ride at Disneyland – a reminder that it’s important to take time to just be a kid.

“The key to making the most of the many opportunities Poketti gives us is to be prepared, optimistic, and confident in ourselves and our business. – Sydney and Toni

3. Use your built-in audience to your advantage.

You will never in your adult life, have such a captive audience at your disposal. Classmates become the best springboard for testing a product, and a school’s built-in network makes powerful word-of-mouth marketing easy.

Inspired by Lucja’s enthusiasm for selling charms to her friends at school, family-run Clicks Charms began as a jewellery business, but evolved into a direct sales platform for kids, aimed at teaching them valuable business skills.

“Knowing how to start and run a business is very empowering and gives kids the tools to be successful, responsible and engaged adults. Almost any kid business can be successful with passion, a great attitude, organization, and discipline.” – Andrea, Stepmom

4. Make mistakes. The fall is much harder when you have a mortgage.

Starting a business at any age involves risk, especially when your family’s livelihood is dependent on it. Strike now while your expenses are low, and the roof over your head is guaranteed by someone else’s income.

Nick and brother Justin snubbed healthy treats as much as any kid, but their mom managed to instill good eating habits anyway. The duo started their own business when they discovered the immune-boosting benefits of bone broth – a food that also improves joint health, but was seemingly impossible to find.

“When starting any kind of business there is a lot you don’t know, and the only way to accelerate your learning curve is by trying many things. Trying and failing isn’t something to avoid. Fail fast and learn faster.“ – Nick

5. Get an education – life skills are student-debt-free.

Snagging my first job out of college was entirely attributed to my extra-curricular work through the student union. While it wasn’t my own business, it provided an opportunity to learn about business and government – skills not taught in art school. Don’t get me wrong: formal education has immense value, but it won’t make you an adult. “I think having your kids work on a business is a great opportunity for creating discussions about business (profit/loss, risk/reward, etc.),” says Doug Tetzner, whose kidpreneur sons run a business on Shopify.

Tucker Schreiber is a Doogie Howser for the millennial set. His name may be a familiar to some readers, as he’s a regular content contributor on this blog. While he’s no longer a kid, it’s the experience he gleaned from his entrepreneurial childhood that landed him a seat two desks over from mine. He had several businesses under his belt before he could grow a sparse teenage moustache. In his posts, he’s speaking in first-person, doling out advice based on his own experience. You can’t buy street smarts.

“Being able to prove that you’ve been through the ups and downs of building a business and making money on your own is incredibly valuable, and in some cases more important than a piece of paper from college that says you went to school for 4 years.” – Tucker

6. Leverage your parents’ grownup status.

You’re young. Your energy is boundless, and so are the possibilities. You can do anything, right? That is, in most cases, with the approval of your parents. As a minor, starting a business can be a bit tricky from a legal standpoint. In many places, you’re not old enough to enter into a legally-binding agreement, or hold a credit card in your own name. In Canada and the US, minors (under 18 in most cases) cannot sign contracts. But your parents can, on your behalf. (The US Small Business Administration advises that parents seek the counsel of an accountant and attorney.)

Memphis-based Moziah started his handcrafted bowtie company when he was only 9. Since then, the dapper kidpreneur has made a deal on Shark Tank, and continues to run a successful ecommerce store on Shopify. With the help of his mom, of course. She’s an employee of the business, as is his grandmother.

His advice for other young people? “Figure out what you like doing then find out how you can make money doing it, then just let your passion drive your business”.

7. Do what you love – spin a hobby into a business.

Hobbies are naturally ideal business ideas for the kidpreneur crowd. And frankly, for anyone. Turn a love of animals into a local dog-walking business, or an affinity for sewing into an online apparel shop. Learn business and life skills while doing what you already do in your spare time. Earning extra money for tuition is gravy.

Super-kid Maya holds more titles than Holyfield. She’s a philanthropist, designer, activist and inspirational speaker who can code, write and draw, too. Moreover, she’s the CEO of Maya’s Idea’s, a business she started at 8 years old. She ships her own eco-friendly designs worldwide, and even caught the eye of Entrepreneur magazine. Maya’s Ideas was born out of the founder’s passion for technology and the environment.

How do budding entrepreneurs get their start, according to Maya? “First of all, it’s important to know what your ideas are. Start an idea book, a journal where you can write down all of your ideas for your business. Whether it be a small thought that crosses your mind or the next big idea it’s important to have it written down. Even if it doesn’t seem important it may be very useful in the future.”

8. Give back.

Keep your good karma levels high. “Philanthropist” and “mentor” are mighty impressive words to add to your college application or LinkedIn profile. Donate a portion of profits to a great cause, or use what you’ve learned as a kidpreneur to help empower fellow young people.

Stargaze Jewelry was a bright light in this year’s Build A Business Competition. Esma started a company inspired by her love of sparkly things, and built it through her influential Instagram account. Along with other young entrepreneurs, she also launched Ivory Ella – an ecommerce business donating 10% of net profits to Save The Elephants.

What advice does she give to other aspiring young entrepreneurs? “There will be some obstacles trying to stop you, people doubting you, but as long as you continue to do what you started and love, you will always get far and it will all be worth it at the end.” – Esma

9. Know you’re worth it.

Look around at your competitors. What are they charging for the same product or service? If what you’re offering is of comparable value, price it accordingly. Have a parent or mentor assist you with pricing, or consult online resources.

Carson ran several kidpreneur businesses from his home computer, and uses many of his self-taught skills in his current role at Shopify.

“At first I felt guilty taking money from people for doing something I loved doing. It took a long time to realize that they value the work I was doing more than the money they were parting with” – Carson

10. Think bigger.

Raise your hand if your first job involved processed meats. Think outside of the boxed frozen patties, and consider the alternatives: do you have an amazing idea for a product to sell? Could you offer a valuable service in your neighbourhood?

In a recent article, Shop Jeen head honcho, Erin Yogasundram told New York Magazine that she scoped out internship salaries and realized she could do better. She founded Shop Jeen from her college dorm room three years ago, using the profits from reselling a generously marked-up Céline bag via an online marketplace. Her first foray into entrepreneurship, however, started at age 11, when she flipped autographs from MTV guest artists, making an average of $500 per week.

“I ask myself, ‘What would (WWE’s) Vince McMahon do?’ He’s had to lay people off, he’s had to deal with lawsuits from performers. He has 600 employees, 100 independent contractors, and has to put on five different live events a week. If he can handle all that, I can handle this.” – Erin, via The Cut

Our kidpreneur consultants had the right mix of gumption, passion, and support to build successful businesses while prepping for exams and senior prom. Time travel aside, it may be too late for me.
But there’s still time, young buck – get inspired by your peers and put your kid power to work!!

Average UK Consumer Spends Around £6,000 Online

Tryzens, the retail systems integrator and managed service provider, prides itself on its knowledge of the eCommerce industry and are always on the lookout to deepen this expertise. That’s why they’re thrilled to begin to share their findings from a recent study into the consumer marketplace and consumer preferences.

The first part of the research –UK Online Shopping Consumer Preferences– is now published and available online. The project itself is one of the first major undertakings of its time, exploring the choices, preferences and behaviours of 1,000 UK consumers based on gender, income and region.

The report has thrown up some interesting findings about modern consumers. For instance, the average UK online consumer spends around £559 per month online – adding up to around £6,000 per year. However, men are actually spending more than women online on average, at £686 per month versus £475.

The research also found some surprising facts about how little the amount that we earn affects what we buy online. When looking at the level of spend online by income, Tryzens found that lower earners (those on £10-15,000) are spending up to 40 per cent of gross income online, which reduces to around 14 per cent in the £60-100,000 income group.

Commenting on the findings, Tryzens’ CEO, Andy Burton, said: “The UK is a clear leader in the field of enabling transition from traditional in-store and catalogue based sales to online shopping. This has been fuelled by a strong economy, a large population in a relatively small geographic area, and a renowned capability for innovation and invention.”

“We are clearly working in a time of dynamic transition to a new level of convenience for consumers. Consumer expectations are increasing and confidence in online experience is driving growth in online shopping online, where people now assume to be able to access goods how, when and where they want; when international boundaries are more about culture and tax than trade restrictions, and the content of ‘global’ becomes the new norm for sourcing the right product at the right price.”

Welcome to Generation Consumer!

Download a copy of the research results at