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Jen Mudd
Lives in Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
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Jen Mudd

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Can you spare five minutes to share some knowledge?
If you’re an expert in Learning & Development, HR, Talent or Procurement we want to hear from you.
Click on the link below and take our short survey regarding budget, content, needs and culture in the Learning and Development industry. http://lnkd.in/dSWFw42
Web survey powered by Research.net, your feedback is greatly appreciated!
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Google are on stage at #brightonSEO yet the conversion is going on over on Twitter....
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Jen Mudd

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All ready for the #social talk at #brightonseo
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A little bit of something light hearted for Friday afternoon that all with cats will relate to! http://bit.ly/14eqhsA
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How do you judge the value of a well-designed brand?
Just last week it was suggested that CEO’s had lost faith in their agency’s ability to drive business results and that marketers were unable to adequately report ROI.  In keeping with this theme, a new article this week suggests that perhaps splitting Marketing and Design could be the answer. 

According to the article, design firms have been frustrated for the best part of a decade because the focus has been all about business results and the bottom line. Yet brand owners now say they want to see an increased respect for the craft as they find the most effective brands are those created to meet customer needs, not industry needs. 

I certainly agree that all brands should focus on a well thought out and relevant design that will appeal to their target market. However I would argue that if in designing products specific to the needs of customers that this should, if they've got it right, increase uptake in their products, which in turn can be linked to return on investment. 

Design is just one element of marketing where it is hard to monitor ROI – think about the enormous amount that is spent on Print/Outdoor/Radio/TV advertising where directly linking spend with uptake is near on impossible without using specific URLs, QR Codes, References etc. Yet advertising remains in the marketing fold because for a truly integrated strategy all elements of marketing need to sit together, of which brand and design are integral.

I can't help but feel that in breaking Marketing and Design up, this will potentially lose focus and insight, so you may have a strong and creative design but it will be off point and not relevant to the needs of customers. 

I would instead argue that rather than splitting Marketing and Design up, perhaps there needs to be more understanding as to what great design will do for your brand. 

Article is attached - but as Marketers/Consumers/Business owners, what are your thoughts? Comment below - I'm interested to hear other's opinions.
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Has the QR Code fad worn off?

I believe the answer is both yes… and no. Confused?

When QR Codes first hit the streets marketing departments all over the world got into a tizz, plastering QR codes on everything from business cards, billboard ads, in magazines, even on things we eat. Everyone in the marketing world was so impressed with this new-fangled technology very few put any real thought into their content and meaningfulness to the customer.

I heard of too many QR Codes failing to inspire potential customers and some even frustrate them. QR Codes that simply take you to a company’s corporate website are disappointing enough for a customer but when said site isn’t even WAP enabled then all you’ve done is annoy them (and wasted their time). Not a great marketing start.

Location also became an issue when companies started placing them in areas where the user has no reception, making the codes unreadable, or in places where it would be too dangerous to start fumbling about with your phone to capture the image – like advertising boards on the side of the motorway.

Due to a lack of real understanding and a sense of ‘rushing the job’ to keep up with everyone else, something that could have been a real additional marketing tool I feel has became somewhat of a joke. And when discussing QR codes with my colleagues, it seems the consensus that if you’re determined to use them, then marketers need to re-address the point of QR codes and what benefit their code will bring to the customer. Using codes as access to discount codes on products, or secret additional content are fantastic marketing concepts and are more creative ways to incorporate QR Codes into marketing campaigns.

Even though QR Codes have someone what stalled in the marketing world, in other areas they are taking the lead. With so many companies now providing e-tickets, whether it be airlines, concerts, theatres etc, QR Codes have become the new paperless ticket. So much so that Apple developed  ‘passbook’ on the new iPhone to store all your QR Code tickets in one place. I even pay for my morning Chai Tea Latte (with extra Chai) with my Starbucks QR code on my iPhone...

Bottom line? It appears that QR codes are increasingly used for smartphone ticketing and other purposes, but so far I've seen that they’ve been largely ineffective as advertising tools.

I would however be very keen to hear what other people think about them as a marketing tool and whether you've had any great success fro them. If you are able to comment, please do below. 
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Hello fellow G+ers, I wonder if anyone can tell me whether there is a way to automatically mute the big old pictures that are making my stream look like a photo album? I've never pressed "J" so many times!

I know I could amend my stream view and change my circles around a bit, but all I'd like to do is minimise the photos - not remove all content from my stream and so far, I can't find a way.

G+ is my little haven of intelligence and interest. It's a place to seek out new information. Somewhere to converse with those who have something to say. Somewhere I can sit back and watch a debate unfold. I get all the crazy cat photos I need from my Facebook news-feed.

Perhaps those over at good old Google should take a look at the "Which Social Network Should You Use -- and When?" infographic from +Mashable (link below) and realise that Facebook is for sharing the nice silly photos and G+ is for insight and then give us a way to opt in or out of the big pictures on the stream....

However I am also a realist so - if anyone has a fix, please do let me know. I'm worried I may have to change my name to En Mudd as my "J" button might burn out soon.

Thanks.
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Colin Lucas-Mudd's profile photoJen Mudd's profile photo
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Ahhh - I knew you would have an answer +Colin Lucas-Mudd :)

I'm already doing a bit of circle management and nurturing but I'll certainly check out the Chrome extensions and see if that can help.

Thanks.
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Grammar Counts on Social Media. Who Woulda Thunk?
A report from Disruptive Communications in the UK shows typos, grammar faux paus & text speak is a turn off for many in social media. Worryingly however it shows that the younger generation, who are growing up in the world of gr8's and brb's don't seem to mind bad grammar. Perhaps businesses should be more accountable and ensure we are setting the right example for our younger generations and hopefully we'll soon start to see the back of cringeworthy updates by major brands as they realise that to be 'human' you can just speak normally! #Marketing #SocialMedia 
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Off to BrightonSEO tomorrow. If anyone here is going to be there let me know! 
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Coca-cola takes responsibility and ends up with a banned ad!
I'm really surprised that the new full-fat Coke ad has been banned from the UK. The ad, which sees an attempt to help consumers understand the effect of their food and drink choices has been banned by the ASA after ruling the advert misleading. 

Having viewed the ad I'd say it's perfectly clear as it informs consumers to think before they consume through making the right choice depending on your lifestyle and activity level.

This is surely something that should be welcomed...not shunned.

Perhaps I'm seeing it differently to the 10 people that complained...

What do you think? 
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If they want to be responsible, they should discourage children from drinking their products. 
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Content Marketing - strategic & valuable insight or wasted waffle?
I frequently discuss the pros and cons of content marketing with clients. "Always ensure its valuable" I find myself saying.  "Make sure it's engaging" is another. Yet in today's world where there is such easy access to a vast amount of content how do we tell the strategic and valuable insight apart from the wasted waffle?

Personally, I have my favourite news and content sites that I trust to provide value to my ever increasing need for knowledge. And I believe trust is really the key - because let's face it, you can't believe everything you read!

Trust works both ways - as a content provider you need to ensure that your insight and content is trusted by your network so that it is viewed, liked, shared, re-tweeted and so on. 

However is it enough to just send content out into the digital sphere? This is a conversation I have had many times and it is surprising how many people think that once they've written a great blog or article they can just post it online and forget about it. Yet surely this is just the start of its journey, just as the article referenced states.
 
Creating good, valuable and engaging content takes time. Creating a strong, strategic digital journey for it to go on takes even more time. Monitoring its effectiveness is really time-consuming depending on how many channels you use to post. So it is easy to see why many believe, or rather tell themselves, that the buck stops once posted. 

What are your thoughts? Do you have a content marketing plan in place? Or do you, like many believe time is better spent actively selling rather trying to fool your network into believing you’re not really selling to them through a nicely constructed article all about your business area. 

Anyone who has the ability and time to comment, please do – I’m keen to hear other’s views. 
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With the world at our fingertips, why are we retreating into our local communities and what does this mean for the future of online marketing?

When Arthur C Clarke predicted that satellites would one day “bring the accumulated knowledge of the world to your fingertips” in 1970 I wonder whether he knew just how right he would be?

In a matter of decades we have moved from this simple prediction to Tim Berners-Lee giving birth to the WorldWideWeb to Mark Zuckerberg bringing us all closer together while iOS and Android helped realise Clarke’s vision.

I am a big advocate for mobile browsing and the use of the WWW to bring me closer to the world. With family and friends living in faraway countries, it is lovely to be able to stay so connected while on the move through apps like FaceTime, Skype, G+, Facebook and so on. In fact, very recently I was on Brighton beach in the UK, surfing Safari, looking for a Body Attack Class in San Diego to send my brother to during a Facebook debate through my iPhone about who’s gym class was more ‘hard-core!’ To me that is what the beauty of our interconnected lives are all about - bringing us all closer together. 

So I was fairly surprised when I when came across a statistic from a 2012 Google Engage Event which states that 40% of all mobile searches have local intent and if you marry this with the prediction that by 2013 mobile browsing will surpass desktop, it would appear that with the world at our finger tips, it’s our local community we typically want to connect with more. 

So why is it then that through all the digital developments over the years to bring the corners of the world closer and more accessible, that we are withdrawing into our local communities?

One theory that pops to mind is that as a generation we travel far more now than we used to which puts us in foreign cities that we aren’t generally au fait with. This would give the need to search for a local eatery or taxi company through our smartphones as we have the internet right there at our fingertips. No more dialling 118-118.

Perhaps one could assume that people are no longer relying on the normal takeaway menus for dinner inspiration and simply clicking onto their mobile browser, viewing the menu and subsequently ordering some food or maybe simply finding out what’s on at the local cinema…although surely they’d have the Cinema’s App (or is that just me?!)

So I decided to put this into practice and look back through my 10 most recent search results on my iPhone and as you can see, it paints a picture far away from Google’s statistic:

1. Sunset wallpaper – a friend took a picture of himself and uploaded it to my home and lock screen. I wanted my pretty sunset back
2. Chinese chicken brain starts ticking what song is this? - It was Barenaked Ladies “One Week”
3. Radio 1 – Chris Moyles wasn’t on my radio that morning and I wanted to know if he’d already left without telling me
4. iPhone 4, people can’t hear me – yes I was plagued with that fault…
5. Beady Eye – I saw Oasis on TV but was told they were no longer Oasis
6. Boccia – I had no idea this was a sport but it was in the Olympics and I wanted to know what it was
7. GS Stats Counter – the other half and I were discussing whether Android or iOS were more popular
8. What sound does a Llama make? - Surely this is at the forefront of everyone's minds
9. The Triangle Burgess Hill – booking onto a BodyAttack class at my local gym
10. Who makes the yellow shoes the London 2012 athletes are wearing – It was Nike and they cost £180

Perhaps I’m out of the ordinary however as far as I can see only one of my most recent searches on my iPhone have had local intent so why are Google suggesting this figure should be 40%? 

At the end of the day, Google certainly know a thing or two about what we search for online and if they’ve been able to focus on mobile browsing and conclude that 40% of searches are done with local intent it certainly pulls into question whether companies are targeting their digital marketing resources in the right places. 

It makes me wonder whether national brands should give marketing ownership to local branches.  Could we be looking at the end of national ad campaigns? Is there precedence for us to focus on growth of brand loyalty in your local community rather than overall brand presence? Should marketing be made more personal? 

One thing is for sure, a lot has changed over the years in terms of the tools available to market your company with the digital explosion and I have no doubt that there are far more changes to come and many more questions that will be raised. To keep up to date with the latest changes I suppose I will now be advising clients to put a bit of weight behind this ‘local theory’ in their marketing strategies and see what happens. 

I’m interested to hear any thoughts, comments or ideas from anyone who is able to contribute. 
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Have them in circles
225 people
hady kandil's profile photo
Dad Davis's profile photo
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Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
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Marketing supremo by day, musician by night & charity fundraiser extraordinaire. All views expressed are my own.
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