Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Paid, Owned and Earned - blurring boundaries

I recently put some thoughts together for a client on the blurring boundaries between paid, owned and earned media. Take a look at the presentation below on my initial thoughts on this (note: this isn't meant to be comprehensive, as some of this is client-specific)Paid Owned & Earned : The blurring boundaries
View more PowerPoint from Hayden

This theme has also been mentioned by Rebecca Lieb from Altimeter Research, who has given some more specific examples of how the boandaries between these three different media classifications are now very blurred.

To me its clear that both clients and their agencies must eventually integrate all three of these media to get the maximum return on investment (of resource / time and money).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Companies and the services layers

I recently received a report from McKinsey [link] that covered the topic of the 'corporate software layer'. This wasn't just another publication talking about application development standards, it referred to a metaphorical layer of services that surrounds the core 'hardware' processes and functions of an organisation. This software layer is an all-encompassing wrapper that the author described as including APIs, digital customer touchpoints and even Social Media.

Coincidentally I was chatting with someone in the Digital industry only a few days ago (thanks Wyndham) about how the use of web-based services can allow a company to incrementally develop its inner and external functions to remain agile & responsive to changes. I explained that via a Service Orientated Approach (SOA), a company could continually evolve its client-facing functionality (internal and external clients), wrap legacy functions and get the most from its digital agencies... by getting them to utilise any existing services.
We also questioned why digital agencies never seemed to develop work for clients using their own suite of web services to quickly deliver more intelligent work for their clients, but that's another topic for this blog sometime).

Anyhow.... Having thought about this some more, I do think there's the opportunity to not only merge the two topics mentioned above, but to then represent this in a similar (but perhaps more complex) way than McKinsey have done.

Here's what I mean:

1. McKinsey (perhaps in an effort to de-techie their report) haven't mentioned SOA and it's obvious benefit.

2. The 'software layer' is a little too catch-all for me.

3. Their diagram doesn't explain the big difference between the more technical machine-to-machine interfaces and the softer services that involve human interaction.

I guess what I'm saying here is that there might not be just one layer around the business, but possibly several service layers..... And the diagram needs to reflect this.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

EU Privacy Directive - my recommendations

In my earlier post, I covered my understanding of the EU Privacy Directive and what the current situation was with this legislation in the UK.

At the end of this post I raised the question of what you can do. So here's some recommended steps you can take to compliance:

  •  If you have an ecommerce site, immediately update your transaction Terms and Conditions.
  • Carry out an audit of all 1st and 3rd Party cookies and other tracking technologies used across the sites. Then assess whether they are still required
  • Clearly and accurately communicate to visitors about your cookie policy and what tracking is used.
  • Develop a solution that requests consent if it is not already obtained. This consent needs to be obtained before any other actions are carried out on the site.   Note: Consent can only be gained by positive action (e.g. the user doing something. The user NOT doing something is not consent.
  • Also check with your SEO company to see if any solution proposed affects your rankings (e.g. is seen as a blocker, cloaking, etc.?)
I would also strongly recommend that you speak with your legal representative or in-house counsel to ensure that you know your legal responsibilities when the legislation comes into force on the 26th May 2012.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

EU Privacy Directive - Fact vs Fiction

There's been a lot of discussion in the last few months on the new EU Privacy legislation, so I thought I'd write-up my current understand of the situation.

The UK government has given websites until May 26th 2012 tocomply with the EU Privacy Directive. As of 26th May 2011 it has already becomelaw across a number of countries in the EU.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has the power tofine website owners up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the law. But he hasstated he will take a ‘practical and proportionate’ approach to enforcement ofthis legislation where organisations are making efforts to comply.

The Directive requires consent for storage or access toinformation stored on a subscriber or users terminal equipment. In other words…
obtaining consent for cookies and similar technologies. For example this could include: Local Shared Objects, commonly referred to as “Flash Cookies”, web beacons or bugs (including transparent or clear gifs).

The only valid exception is cookies which are ‘strictly necessary’ for a service requested by the user. However the ICO has stated thatwebsite analytics are not strictly necessary. They are also aware that obtaining consent from users may affect website owners’ ability to track users. In fact, when an opt-in message was placed on the ICO's own site, they saw visits (from opt-in users only) drop considerably. However, this will not stop them responding to complaints from visitors or carrying out their own investigations.

So what can you do?

(I'll hope to cover than in a subsequent post)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Social Media Espionage

I'm surprised (and a little humoured if I'm honest) to read that some of the most senior members of Western military have been compromised by their Facebook activity.

It seems that by posing as a top NATO chief, spies have managed to 'friend' other Military / Defence officials and obtain their personal details as a result. So although they thought they had become genuine online friends with Nato's Supreme Allied Commander, they've more than likely handed over their family and friend information to Chinese agents.

It isn't just corporates that are being brandjacked via social media now. It is clear that the security services are targets. And just like companies that eventually adopt social media rather than avoid it, Nato has now advised its senior people to set up & own their own social network pages to hopefully prevent a repeat of this embarrassing issue.