marketing communications

Have you ever paid a chunk of your marketing budget to a Search Engine Optimisation expert?

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Image of Google Algorithm Updates which include Panda, Hummingbird and Penguin.
Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird…Google will never stop improving it search.

If you have – and it has paid off for you, then well done to you. And stay with them.

I say this because me – and I countless others I speak with – have paid for such services only to be let down.

In fact over the last couple of days I have been commenting on an interesting LinkedIn thread about this very subject.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are probably many brilliant SEO experts working today.

But it is also a market awash with scoundrels trying to make a quick buck by plying their ‘magic’.

Then – after the inevitable Google algorithm change – they tell you everything you have been paying them to do is now wrong and it will cost you more money to change your strategy.

So this article, which I read today on, made me smile.

I think this case is in the USA.

But you know the old saying “When America sneezes, the UK catches a cold”


Law Firm Sues SEO Company for Using ‘Spammy’ Methods

An SEO firm is supposedly being sued by their law firm clients as a result of building link farms that do not adhere to Google’s guidelines, trying to cheat the system that Google are insistent on monitoring of late.

With the client disgraced by the dishonest service they have received, the SEO firm, The Rainmaker Institute, is to face up to the online marketing offences they are accused of.

In the technological age in which we live it is vital for every business to have an online presence. The only way in which companies can survive in this day and age is with a healthy Google ranking for all relevant keyword searches.

Where companies are now employing their own in-house content marketers and SEO specialists many are still turning to outside SEO firms to handle this sector of their business.

This law firm, Seikaly & Stewart, is based in Michigan and trusted their SEO firm to support them with the online side of business, a company incorporation so important to their success.

With the law firm feeling cheated by the unlawful service they have received, the matter will be settled in court.

Forcing doubtful links is just not the way to achieve a successful online marketing campaign with Google wanting to see the value and legitimacy of your site before supporting it.

The SEO company reportedly created 6,720 links with the majority of them considered “worthless”. Only a mere 188 of the links, or 2.8 per cent, were of use, illustrating the lack of credible knowledge this particular SEO company employed.

Google are cottoning on to such practices, rolling out the Penguin and Panda algorithms specifically designed to spot untrustworthy links and badly written content.

If you have an opinion on this matter leave your comments below.


I hope you never have to go to such extremes with your service providers, SEO or others.

Just keep your eye peeled for snake oil salesman.

There are a lot of them around in cyber space!

Read the original article here:


George Orwell was right when he said “truth is always stranger than fiction”. And this poster advert proves it.

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If you work in advertising or marketing communications you probably work tirelessly. After all, it’s bloody hard work trying to create and deliver messages that achieve sales results.

And make no mistake about it, making people buy things is the ultimate objective of advertising.

If you don’t believe me, here’s what Raymond Rubicam once said of advertising: “the only purpose of advertising is to sell. It has no other function worth mentioning.”

And given that Raymond Rubicam was an advertising pioneer who many people consider to be the father of modern advertising, his opinion will do for me.

Anyway, back to you and your job.

When you are creating your messages you’ll spend countless hours choosing the right photographs or illustrations, writing attention grabbing headlines, interesting body copy and probably a big fat call to action.

Then you place your advertisement.

And if you don’t have control over exactly where or what your advertisement appears next to, your message can be seriously misconstrued like this:


You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

Unless, of course, it is a PR stunt. Although if it is, I don’t really know who benefits.

Would you dare put your logo here?

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As a marketing professional you’ll be looking to get your advertisement or branding in places that give you maximum exposure. Places that give your message a high ‘opportunity to see’.

And, it goes without saying, in front of the eyeballs that are relevant to whatever you are selling.

So, would you put your logo or advert on an emergency vehicle?

The reason I ask is the Nottinghamshire Police Force has just announced it is considering selling advertising space on its cars.

Aside the obvious – and crass – advertising for personal injury claims, which could also be extended to having personal injury adverts on the ceiling of ambulances, what opportunities do you think this offers?

And would you advertise on emergency vehicles?

PS: I’ve just of another stinking example. Ambulances could have L’Oréal’s ‘Because you’re worth it tag statement’.

I’ve created lots of press adverts, outdoor and direct mail, but this is my first cinema effort. And I’m pretty happy with it too.

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It will be played before every feature film shown during Summer Nights, a fantastic cinema initiative by Derby Quad which brings classic and contemporary films together with fabulous locations throughout Derbyshire. All presented on a giant screens.

Flint Bishop is the headline sponsor of Summer Nights and as part of a wider promotional mix we get to show an advertisement before each film. And I decided the best way forward was to capture the essence of the festival whilst communicating the Flint Bishop brand delicately.

So I shied away from ‘over killing’ our credentials and services as, to be honest, I think this would just irritate people and give a negative, rather than positive, feeling.

I’m pretty happy with the results and a big thank you to Phil Higgins, the Digital Producer at Derby based independent design studio Katapult.

I’d love to know what you think?

Is advertising a dirty word for the online community?

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I was reading an article recently and, according to the Advertising Bureau’s annual report,  Facebook saw its year-on-year display advertising rocket by 27.5% in 2010. This now means that Facebook accounts for almost 25% of the UKs online advertising revenues which stand at £4b. Research in advertising trends now shows that £1 in every £4 spent on marketing and advertising by British companies is spent online.

After reading the article online, I continued down the page (as I always do, but by now should know better) to read the various comments posted in response. I was amazed by the rancour aimed at people who had ever dare click on an advertisement – and also the level of superiority of those who had resisted the advertisers best attempts at luring them in.

There were literally 100’s of posts from the ‘morally superior’ describing people that click on ads as morons.

Here’s the thing. I am not defending online advertising as I often find it irritating and, as a fairly heavy internet user, don’t recall clicking on an adertisement to further my interest in any product or service.  As a marketer I have not invested much in online advertising as campaign ROMI has been achieved by using other elements of my communications mix – although I wouldn’t rule it out as in the words of Richard V Benson “There are only two rules in direct marketing. Rule 1: test everything. Rule 2: Refer to Rule 1″ A maxim that should be applied to both the message and medium in my opinion.

However I don’t view the people clicking on advertisements any lower in class, social standing or brain power than me. However I do hold the view that people making such derogatory comments are pompous twats – who spell their anti-commercial/capatalist revolutions with a very small r.

The thing that really irritates me with this smug bunch is that they don’t seem to appreciate that 100s of online services, including Facebook, are paid for by ‘dirty advertisers’.  I would be very interested to see just how high their morale ground is, and deep their pockets are, should Facebook and others start charging say, £300 a year, for the privilege of having an advertisement free service!