Worthwhile Lite ™ – Mixed bag edition…

Hello hello

This week is a bit of a lighter version of worthwhile links. Less commentary from me, but the same quality of links to things I’ve come across this past month that I think you may find valuable in some or other way..

Let’s do this…!

scott (@thescott)




Top of the list is Chris Messina’s most excellent post on Lessons from the PC video game industry. Two (of many) great paragraphs:

“What the PC game industry figured out is that in a world of abundant media, users have endless choices; instead of fighting for scarcity, fight for attention. Maximize user engagement and money will — with enough experiments — inevitably follow.”

“The internet renders business models focused on scarcity and litigation obsolete. But, as the PC gaming market shows, it also unlocks lucrative new business models, and lets creators connect with consumers in new and exciting ways.”


How does a hundred year old technology company continually evolve to meet the needs of a market that evolves even faster? How are they moving into the uncertain, user-centred future? IBM’s Design-Centered Strategy to Set Free the Squares.


If you’re in Africa, and you’re looking for references to benchmark your brand against, look east, not west: Report: India Set To Overtake U.S. To Become World’s Second Largest Internet Market


If you’re thinking about push notifications as a comms channel, “Notifications — The good, the bad and the irrelevant” is very much a worthwhile read.


#BrandedContent: What’s next for Coke’s branded content site, ‘Journey’


What Twitter marketers can learn from JetBlue, Emirates and Royal Dutch Airlines



VR VR VR EVERYWHERE! The Hunger Games – Virtual Reality Experience


The most shared ads of 2015.

The winner: Android ‘Friends Furever’


And to close, South Park really does know how to tap into cultural truisms: It’s not a news story!?


SEO: Successful, Earned ,Organic – But what does our SEO team really do?

SEO actually stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”, although the words used above could also easily be used to describe any SEO campaign. With Quirk’s SEO centre of excellence recently bringing home the bacon (and by bacon, we mean awards) from the Assegai Awards, we figured you might want to find out more about what it is that they actually do. Read on, curious mind.

“OK Google, are my fries made from powder?”

We’ve all heard the weird and wacky questions asked about McDonald’s food: are there really potatoes in that chocolate milkshake, and could fries genuinely be made with powder? McDonald’s came to us with the challenge of addressing this with customers and we answered them with the “Know Our Food” “OK Google” voice search campaign.

The campaign aimed to start conversations with customers, and to educate them on how their food is REALLY made, despite what rumours they may have heard. The success of the campaign may come as a surprise to some who are unfamiliar with voice search technology. With the campaign winning a Silver award in the SEO and PPC category at the Assegai Awards 2015 (no gold was awarded in this category), the campaign has truly proven its worth beyond doubt.

Our own CEO, Mr Rob Stokes, had this to say about the above campaigns: “Innovation is the lifeblood of Quirk and key to the success of our clients marketing efforts. Digital lead communication is the future and we are excited to be forging that path on a global level.”

Learn more about the campaign:

Another of the huge tasks our amazing SEO team recently tackled is the relaunch of the Makro site.

With over 40 000 different products and 100s of thousands of individual URL’s, we always knew this would be a challenging task.. but never one that we couldn’t take! This campaign resulted in a Bronze award at the Assegai Awards 2015, proving our SEO team truly is at the top of their game.

Read more here on how they tackled this mammoth of a task.

Viva SEO, viva!

Reporting is a Waste of Time!

There is a conversation that frequently comes up between clients and agencies, and it goes a little something like this:

Client: The reporting is just not cutting it, I want insights and recommendations. What worked, what should we be doing more or less of? This report tells me what I already know. <sighs>
Agency: I hear you, we will add more insights. <scrambles and shouts at digital specialist>

The reality (especially for paid media and seo) is that the agency spends endless hours logging into different campaign management platforms, selecting date ranges, running reports, downloading, cutting and sticking into excel.  Then it’s on to the task of actually making it look nice, maybe with some nice fonts or colours. This entire process happens on a myriad or platforms EVERY month, MONTH after MONTH.

The tragedy is that 90% of the reporting time is procedural, repetitive data crunching, and this is why the balance looks something like this.

90% Cut, Stick & Format
8%   Add Summary
*2% Insight or Recommendation

*only if it jumps out of the data

This pattern is without doubt having a massive impact on the effectiveness of most digital campaigns. Frankly, it drives the campaign managers into a sleepy non-productive state.

So this is what it should be like:

5%   Press Button (Data Automation)
40% Summary / Analysis
55% Insights & Recommendations

Social Report

The market is awash with people talking about data visualisation tools such as Qlik or Tableau. In fact, many clients have expensive licenses for such applications. How many of these clients are actually using them though is an entirely different matter.
The demo and sales patter for such data visualisation tools makes it all look so easy. Just click here, import there, apply style sheet and bingo! an amazing looking tool in minutes. The reality is that you need some data and scripting skills to make most of your data automation and visualisation tools. These skills are in short supply. That is why many clients have tools that cost money that are not actually being used.

So what’s the point here?
Make sure your agency has data analytics skills, and ensure they don’t spend hours every month compiling reports with no insights. You are right to demand insights and recommendations.

My point is that the only way to make reporting a meaningful exercise is to ensure that it is majority automated. Use simple tools & methods and scripts to sort and tidy, create API links to reporting tools, then spend all the time on analysing and extracting: what worked, what did not work, and how do we use this information going forward?

Ask the tough question: What 3 things should we change this month, what happened to the 3 things we changed last month?

The above question will transform your reporting insights.

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