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Signalyard
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Signalyard: Marketing to cyclists, runners, skiers and sailors. A specialist marketing agency delivering passion-centric marketing for sports and other brands.
Signalyard: Marketing to cyclists, runners, skiers and sailors. A specialist marketing agency delivering passion-centric marketing for sports and other brands.

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Responsive design is the biggest change to website design for years. If you’re not aware of what it is, it’s a way of making a site look right on a whole range of devices – from iPhones to desktops – so it’s easy to read and navigate without panning and scrolling. As the number of consumer devices and types continues to proliferate, responsive design is increasingly the only way to build coherent experiences online.
It’s about time we had the same change to core marketing thinking. Just like older website design approaches meant sites had to be reworked for different browsers, so dominant marketing approaches are still all about pushing a single, identical message out through very different channels. From the brand marketing department’s perspective, that looks like consistency. But from the consumer’s perspective, that can all too easily look like a rigid, linear, fixed pattern of communication that can’t deal dynamically with feedback or take on board change.
For the full story and images, visit http://www.signalyard.com/responsive-marketing-time-to-get-agile-marketers/
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Are you an ad agency or what?
An aggressive sort of question. But one that Signalyard faces frequently. And to be fair, it’s not a bad question. What does an ad agency do nowadays?
The good ones provide a level of technical expertise that can be hard to replicate in-house. They know the consumer and understand ways to engage them. They know how to measure the effectiveness of campaigns.
But can they really know the consumer better than the brand does? Are they providing the most appropriate technical skills or merely the ones they have on hand?
“The days when agencies could expect multiple $100 million-plus, agency-of-record accounts to go up for grabs each year are now barely visible in the rear-view mirror.” So starts an article in Advertising Age earlier this year.
For the full story and images, please visit http://www.signalyard.com/are-you-an-ad-agency-or-what/
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“We are a nation of lazy porkers”, I was reminded on switching on the radio this morning, which is leading to an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes in ever younger people. As a society we are addicted to sugar. And it’s getting worse.
Well not me, I thought smugly. Me and my cycling, running, skiing friends are about as far away from “lazy porkers” as you can get.  But does that mean that we don’t have a sugar problem?
When I leave the house to go for a longer ride on Sunday morning I will have stuffed my jersey with three energy bars, as well as a banana. I’ll have an isotonic drink with me.  Between them I have just counted not far short of 30 teaspoons of sugar.
Of course I’m convinced I am burning it all off again in a 100-mile hilly ride. I am no porker, I think to myself. I have the lean frame of a road cyclist.
Read the full story at http://www.signalyard.com/is-that-six-sugars-or-eight-in-your-training-cup/
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The line between devising a new product (or service) and marketing it has become increasingly fuzzy in recent years. Nowhere is that more apparent than in digital products and services, where what the customer gets is downloadable, shareable, promoted through discussions and social media. But even in tangible products, marketing needs to feature earlier and earlier in the development cycle for success to follow. And I go back to the classic definition of marketing here – devising a product (or service) that meets a consumer need, telling the consumer about it, how they can access it and at what price.
The lean start-up movement caught the essence of this brilliantly, describing how start-up companies increasingly needed to adopt test-and-learn approaches to stay very close to consumer demand, not just at the start of their ideas process but month after month, year after year, as their company evolved. Entrepreneurs increasingly came to see the old approach – have a brilliant idea and stay true to it come what may – as leaden-footed and less likely to lead to success. Agility, co-creation, design thinking and test-and-learn became the hallmarks of the new approach.
Full story and images: http://www.signalyard.com/marketing-running/
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Speed of reaction is becoming as important for sports brands as it is for athletes. Running brands and other sports marketers have been amongst the leaders in a ‘real-time marketing’ trend over the past three years for brands to act more like newsrooms.

Gatorade was one of the first. Their Mission Control Center was set up to monitor and react to fast-changing social media sentiment: “Whenever people are talking, clicking, typing about our brand, mission control is there to listen, to create a dialogue, track analytics of websites, campaigns and social media…”

Now Adidas UK is running towards real-time marketing by putting responsive social media teams on standby to react within minutes of key sporting moments. Their ‘moments of celebration and acknowledgment’ strategy sets out to bring in-house and agency staff together to create tactical campaigns around sports fans’ conversations.
Full story and images: http://www.signalyard.com/marketing-is-the-new-news/
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Signalyard was set up for a post 30-second marketing world. 30 seconds is of course the generic time span for a TV-ad. For most, a “post 30-second world” means that TV advertising, designed to interrupt your linear viewing and force you to watch it before your programme resumed, is no longer relevant.
But here’s a perspective from creative ad guru Trevor Beattie that says it’s the 30-second duration that is no longer relevant, not just the delivery mechanism of an interruptive TV ad. He argues we not only have to accept the falling attention span of modern media consumers, but actually embrace impatience:
Full story and images - http://www.signalyard.com/tapas-comms/
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Innovation in Cycling Business - Part 2
Let’s face it. Plenty of us cyclists love a new piece of kit. It seems half the people I ride with start most sentences with “have you see the new …”.
So I shouldn’t be surprised when my post last week about Cycling Innovation got quite a few responses talking about other favourite improvements on bike accessories. Here’s an update on some more cool stuff to spend your money on:
The Blaze bike light, from Britain, featured in my last post. Well cool new bike lights are clearly hot to work on at the moment. Revolights, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, have come up with a brilliant idea – two narrow rings of 12 LEDs clipped directly onto each side of the wheel, white LEDs on the front wheel and red at the back (picture above). A small, fork-mounted magnet and an integrated accelerometer provide speed and orientation data to the rings. So only LEDs on the part of the ring facing forward (at the front) or backwards (at the back) actually light up.
This gives the lights the appearance of a pair of brackets that stay in the same position even as the bike moves forwards. The idea is both to ensure 360deg visibility of the bike, but also for the front light to cast a better light onto the road ahead by being closer to the road itself than handlebar-mounted lights.
Full story and images - http://www.signalyard.com/new-new-kit-for-cyclists/
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Innovation in Cycling Business - Part 1
Kickstarter was the original crowd-funding platform. It brought consumers, funding and publicity to thousands of tech projects in its early days. So it’s hardly surprising that some brilliant (and some pretty left-field) cycling innovations are now finding their way onto the market thanks to the spotlight and funding Kickstarter has brought to creative new ideas.
Top of my list of Kickstarter cycling favourites is a London start-up, Full Windsor, and the beautifully-named The Nutter. Like all good innovation, they’ve taken something complex (the toolset you need with you on the bike) and made it simple, awesomely simple. With over three weeks still to go on their fund-raising, they’ve already raised more than £23,000 on Kickstarter (against a target of £8,000).
The Nutter manages to squeeze a multi-tool, spanner, and tyre lever (and even found room for a bottle opener) into a small pouch, made partly of recycled inner tube, which will fit under the saddle. Beautifully designed, well thought through.
Another favourite of mine is the Blaze bike light.
Full story and images - http://www.signalyard.com/cycling-innovation/
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