By , Consultant
On the 26th May, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) gained the ability to take legal action against any sites found noncompliant with the EU ‘cookie law’.
To help you try and stay current with cookie law events and requirements, here are three steps to put you on the right track.
1. Audit your site and associated systems
The first step is to review your web properties and any data capture or relationship management systems integrated with them, so you know what you’re dealing with. Having an accurate picture of your digital landscape is essential to allow you to make decisions for further compliance.
As well as looking at your own systems, if you’ve given space on your pages to third parties like social networks, external video hosting or advertising then ultimately you are responsible for disclosing to your visitors that their data may be captured on your pages by these suppliers (even if it’s only a disclaimer, as with the Guardian’s stance on third-party ads).
In referring to the EU Privacy Directive as ‘the cookie law’, it’s easy to overlook the fact that it also covers confidentiality of information, treatment of traffic data, and using contact details for marketing purposes (spam) as well as cookies. Privacy statements have been required to disclose similar information for years, but with growing focus on online privacy now could be a good time to review your compliance in all these areas.
By Adrian Porter, Head of Strategic Research
For reasons that will become apparent I found myself today looking for the origins of the phrase that forms the title of this blog. As is often the case I was distracted by an apparently unrelated news article, this time on the Boy Genius Report (BGR) website.
The item concerned the unveiling of Microsoft’s new tablet device and was titled ‘Microsoft Surface tablet is sincerest form of flattery for Apple’. I was intrigued.
The article quoted Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White writing in a note to investors:
“If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the compliments from Microsoft poured down like a torrential storm on Apple last night. At the same time, this event indicates to us that Microsoft is still searching for its own identity in the post-PC era, something that has come naturally for Apple with the rise of the mobile internet.”
Of course the question that everyone is asking is whether the Surface is a serious contender for the space that Apple has dominated in recent years. White’s assessment was quite blunt when he said; “we found little in yesterday’s presentation that would convince us that a consumer would prefer Surface over an iPad”. (more…)
By , Head of Strategic Research
In my previous blog I described some approaches to getting buy-in from the top to ensure a digital vision is at the heart of your organisation’s future. I promised to describe an approach to producing a digital strategy which would underpin such a vision and the steps that should be taken to ensure that it delivers value to both your members and your organisation, so here it is.
But before I start it is worth noting that although the end game is for you and your organisation to understand the big picture and develop a roadmap for the evolution of your organisation’s digital presence over the next 2-4 years, this doesn’t mean that you cannot start small. Pick off strategically aligned work streams and activities that deliver immediate value to your members, in short ‘think big, start small’ but always have the bigger picture in mind.
So here are the steps. The order in which they are performed might change, and indeed if done properly you may find that your organisation’s business objectives might need to be reviewed and adjusted at key stages of the process. However, they are always the place to start.
1. Review and update organisational business objectives
Circumstances might have changed since the last time your organisation did this. You may have had a groundswell of members coming from Asia, or attrition rates may have increased due to prevailing economic conditions or bad press, so be sure to update them. If you are not in a position to do this yourself ensure that they are clarified to you by senior stakeholders.
2. Conduct or review research (only if it is recent) into members’ needs and online usage
Analyse members’ online behaviour using analytics and user testing. Your objective here is to build up a contemporary picture of how your members are using your digital landscape. You need to understand what devices and technologies they are using to engage with you, what is working, and what isn’t, what is popular and what isn’t. You may also wish at this point to create personas that describe around 5 of your key audiences as typical individuals, their motivations, needs and aspirations. This married with your understanding of their online requirements will help you to understand how you can improve your offer to them.
By , Consultant
After weeks (read: one afternoon the week before last) of training, four of us from Precedent Edinburgh donned our Lycra and went down to Melrose in the Scottish Borders to take part in the 90km, 4 Abbeys Cycle Challenge – on tandems.
Raring to go
Organised annually by Tesco Bank, the event takes in a route that passes by four of the Borders most famous abbeys: Kelso, Jedburgh, Melrose and Dryburgh in order to raise funds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.
With many structural changes, mergers and service changes within the NHS, it can be a challenge to communicate these successfully to your audiences. However digital can be the perfect way to not only keep your audiences informed about these changes but also help them to embrace new ways of delivering services.
We’ve recently been working with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Barts Health NHS Trust to help them with their digital communications following their mergers. Together we’ve learnt some important lessons and would like to share some tips with you.
1. Make practical information easy to find
No matter how important a new brand, partnership, department or building is to your organisation, your service users’ priorities will still be access to information about practical services and care. Ensure they can quickly find this without having to figure out your internal restructuring to do so.
This practical approach can also be extended to GPs and referral information. This can be as simple as providing downloadable referral forms.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (shown below) do a great job of providing clear practical information aimed at different audiences.
2. Provide reassurance
With the news full of headlines about NHS cuts, bear in mind you are talking to a suspicious audience who now more than ever need reassurance they are getting top quality care. Show them how delivering familiar services in new ways, for example through integrated teams or at home can actually be a better experience for them. Consider using video to explain new services; having staff or even patients explain changes will help you instil trust in your users.
By , Consultant
There has been much debate about Facebook’s timeline with an equal following of lovers and haters. Regardless, it looks set to stay, at least for a while. With many marketers still finding their feet, we’ve put together a short hit list to help you make the most the timeline’s features quickly and easily.
What does your cover image say about you?
The new cover image provides an opportunity to make an impact in an instant. Think about what you want to say about your brand and how you want to engage with your audience.
Below, the Ted cover shows a packed event instantly telling the user what they do, whilst Oxfam demonstrate the positive impact they are having with a photo of happy, smiley children.
Take note to adhere to Facebook’s brand guidelines which stipulate that the cover image cannot include prices, offers, calls to action or contact information.
By , Head of Strategic Research
After our recent membership seminar, I was asked by a number of people if we have any techniques for getting senior stakeholders to take digital seriously and release budget for digital projects.
The answer is yes, and of course the easiest way to secure buy-in and get cross-organisational support is to employ an agency like us to cut through internal structures and politics in a stakeholder engagement exercise that delivers a digital roadmap for the future. However, getting to the point of commissioning work like this is often too fraught with internal obstacles. I can say though that having worked with many very complex and multi-faceted organisations, it is evident that there are similarities between them which can be used as catalysts for change.
Where to start?
A digital vision needs to be owned by the whole organisation, which means it has to have buy-in from the top. However, as we all know it is often difficult to get the idea of a cohesive and holistic digital strategy across to those who are likely to release the budget to produce it. This is to say that unless your CEO is a digital evangelist, you will have to prove the benefits of digital first in order to get the idea of a digital future on the agenda.
By Harry Rees
With graduation only three months away, and the final hurdle fast approaching, I felt my placement at Precedent could be my most important one to date. Previously I had been mentored by Ed Richards (senior designer, Precedent Cardiff) for a live brief at Cardiff Met. Within that short space of regular one hour discussions, I always took away something positive and a fresh perspective. Hungry for more, I was keen to reunite with my former mentor.
The two weeks I spent at Precedent where highly enjoyable and memorable. Not only did I learn so much about the industry I’m passionate about, but essentially what makes it so great.. and that’s the people!
Precedent’s friendly, welcoming vibe allowed me to slip right in and feel at home. They allowed me to explore creative avenues, ideas and thoughts in a number of discussions and presentations.
By , Senior User Experience Consultant
Google’s gross annual revenue from mobile advertising is over US$2.5 billion per year*.
eBay expects mobile customers to buy and sell $8 billion of merchandise in 2012*.
PayPal expects to see $7 billion in mobile payment volume in 2012*.
Mobile is big business. Digital experiences that are locked in to where you are and what you’re doing, that emphasise convenience and cater for people on the move (and sat on the sofa) are making the most of mobile technologies and context-based services. Gesture and voice based interactions have introduced a new way of interacting with the web, driving innovation and influencing customer behaviours and expectations. (more…)
director at the IET, entertained and enlightened attendees at our membership seminar last week. Here Adrian Porter tells you what you missed at our first membership seminar.
Attendees at Thursday’s seminar to launch our new sector report, Membership organisations: big challenges, digital answers? were both captivated and entertained by Michelle’s account of how the Institution of Engineering and Technology is embracing the digital world.
In her role as Membership and Professional Development Director at the IET since 2006, Michelle has overseen a real life digital implementation journey that has its roots in the IET’s strategic vision and objectives for the 21st century.
Michelle started her talk by revealing a visualisation of the IET’s strategy, a remarkably concise and instantly understandable diagram that rather impressively represents the consolidation of a ’72 slide deck’!
Despite not being one of our clients, and with us not knowing exactly what Michelle was going to say in her presentation, the resonance between the approach adopted by the IET to their digital development and the recommendations contained in our report was quite deafening. Michelle showed us how consideration of the IET’s strategic priorities combined with an understanding of her members’ life stage engagement with the IET has manifested itself in an innovation roadmap which directly translates into a series of digital initiatives.