GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation

February 21, 2017 / Comment, Infographic /

Four years in the making, the General Data Protection Regulation was adopted by the EU in May 2016 and it comes into force on 25th May 2018.

For a while, it wasn’t clear what the impact of Brexit would be, but now we know – according to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect its implementation.

It focuses on the processing of personal data and makes both the controller and data processor more accountable, by asking them to actively demonstrate good data processing practice. This infographic sets out the new rules that support lawfulness of data processing.

Note – as part of the new legislation, any company with EU clients needs to comply and whilst an existing UK fine for data breach reporting is capped at £500k, this new regulation carries fines of €10m or 2 percent of global turnover (whichever is the highest). This condition is not available to processing carried out by public authorities in the performance of their tasks.

To find out more and to keep abreast of new guidelines, visit the ICO website

Data processing legislation

The new lawfulness of data processing


Google Dos and Don’ts – our content checklist infographic

February 23, 2016 / Infographic, Resources /

Another recent update in the midst of a website review prompted us to create this checklist infographic, which we thought we’d share.

Since 2012 Google has been telling us to concentrate on two key things: user experience and high quality content. It seems obvious that if you want a high performing website (not just one that ranks well in search engines), you should ensure that you deliver high quality information that is valued by your readers.

To achieve this you need to develop robust insight in order to define your audience(s) needs, wants and interests. You need to analyse the customer journey to match your user experience to it as closely as possible, providing relevant and unique content along the way. From this flows your content plan.

There are no short cuts (despite what some spammy SEO companies may promise)…short cuts will inevitably fail. And if a job’s worth doing…..

Content marketing checklist

Content marketing checklist

So, if you aren’t already planning in this way, make 2016 your year to create an insight-driven, robust, realistic plan for long-term success.



Upshot Marketing signs up to Radiocentre Trustmark

October 22, 2015 / Comment /

Upshot Marketing has signed up to the Radiocentre Trustmark to demonstrate our commitment to best practice. The Trustmark reassures listeners that they can trust the advertising messages they hear on commercial radio.

In practice, this means we will ensure that ‘special category’ radio ads are approved by the Radiocentre Clearance team. Special category for Upshot includes radio ads we produce on behalf of our clients about medical or health products or treatments; food products; environmental claims; matters of public controversy, including politics and charitable causes.

Radiocentre is the commercial radio industry’s trade body. They provide UK commercial radio with a collective voice on issues that affect the way that radio stations operate, as well as ensuring that advertising messages on commercial radio stations comply with the necessary content rules and standards laid out in the BCAP Code of Broadcast Advertising and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

What makes for a good behaviour change programme?

October 6, 2015 / Infographic, Resources /

We create this infographic recently for an NHS client who commissioned Upshot Marketing to investigate local drivers to increasing A&E attendance among those with a low clinical need. We carried out face-to-face and telephone research with GP surgeries and hospitals to identify messaging and service developments that could help divert these patients to a more appropriate service.

It’s not just about GP availability we found. But more about tackling a complex range of factors – both national and local.

According to the National Social Marketing Centre (2011) the most successful behavioural change and social marketing programmes use at least two of the four elements. For these A&E projects, our research uncovered actionable ideas in all four strands.

Email campaign achieves 23% click-to-open rate and 17.6% shift in perceived value

October 17, 2014 / Case study /

Earlier this year, we worked with the sector skills council for adult social care: Skills for Care, to raise the profile and status of the NMDS-SC (National Minimum Data Set for Social Care) among employers who can benefit from its use.

The social care sector ranges from large national organisations to small single establishments, so a segmented approach was critical to the success of this campaign. We looked at company size as well as current and historic use of the dataset to determine content. A pre-campaign survey also captured vital insights.

Having analysed the data, we developed a campaign plan and a social media strategy that would work with the campaign and in the future for this service. We then created video case studies, animations, written publications, website and social media content and produced an email marketing campaign, which achieved a 25% click-to-open rate against benchmarks of 8.81% (B2B services) and 12.43%( health). The employer benchmarking survey conducted pre and post campaign demonstrated a 17.6% shift in perceived value.

1. Content was geared to user behaviour and segments changed according to the topic across each of the three email campaigns. Further tailoring of content online enabled companies of different sizes to view information relevant to them.

2. We made hyperlinks and actions as clear as possible: by underlining all hyperlinks, adding a ‘play’ button to all videos and using a PDF icon for PDF downloads.

3. A clear call to action on the emails produced a far higher click through rate.

“We have been pushed to really think about our marketing, segmentation and materials. Upshot really got to grips with us and what we needed very quickly, which has allowed us to really take control of our marketing.

We have a learnt a lot about ourselves and our customers, what works and what doesn’t. Thanks to their work, we have been given a year’s worth of direction and that’s such good value for money.”

Elizabeth Edgar, Marketing Officer, Skills for Care

Social media use in a B2B context

July 8, 2014 / Resources /
B2B social media use

We’d like to share some recent insight we gathered as part of a website project.

We know facebook and Twitter lead on social media take up in most countries from a general consumer perspective, but what about B2B? Forrester research among business people paints a very different picture:

Social media platforms used for business

Social media platforms used primarily for business

Source: Forrester Research, Inc (2013) Base: 382 US and European business decision makers at companies +100 employees 

LinkedIn dominates business use, whether you look at business use alone, or business and personal use combined. And facebook – always in the lead with Twitter in a consumer context – diminishes in importance.

To put these figures into context, the highest ranking information source for business people (81%) is independent (non-brand) communities or forums. So if you’re writing content for social media, consider the news angle too and offer it up to news site distribution sites.

B2B social media use

Social media use: business and personal combined

Source: Forrester Research, Inc (2013) Base: 382 US and European business decision makers at companies +100 employees 

Also worth considering is how platforms are growing. We couldn’t find growth statistics for the above four in one place. So the growth graphic below features latest figures taken from Search Engine Journal (UK and US statistics for facebook, Twitter and Google+) and Statista (Global internet users aged 16-64, excluding China) for LinkedIn.

If anyone has current statistics from one source for all four, please share it with us!

Social media growth statistics

Social media growth statistics

It’s early days for Google+ but it looks set to succeed, whilst Twitter continues to fly.

According to globalwebindex, Google+ (launched 2011) now has as many active users worldwide as YouTube (launched 2005) and Twitter (launched 2006).

We hope you found this useful. Please share your thoughts.


What’s your brand IQ?

May 7, 2014 / Comment, Resources /
Hi performing brand attributes

A report just out from TNS looks at what makes a brand irresistible. It calculates brand IQ by looking at the functional, emotional and social connections that brands make with consumers, plotted against brand usage, by category.

The sweet spot, according to this research, is an IQ of over 70 and the brand attributes displayed by these few high performing brands (an IQ of 80 delivers twice the performance of a brand with an IQ of 50) are defined in detail in the report.

Whilst it focuses on retail brands (and for some reason describes the brand attributes as apps) there are certainly recognisable attributes that are a worthy reminder for all brands, including those in the B2B space.

These attributes include:

  • Differentiation
  • Credible expertise
  • Momentum
  • Emotive meaning
  • Brand consistency
  • Brand connections
  • Integration across all touchpoints (cited by Top B2B brand IBM in their annual global marketing survey as the single most important necessity for marketers in 2014)
  • Brand unity across products and markets

The item that caught my eye the most is the graph showing how they plotted brand use against IQ. In the true spirit of “a picture is worth 1,000 words” it demonstrates how few companies manage to consistently pursue excellence across their key brand components. It reminded me of the recent Business Boomers programme on BBC2 (in conjunction with the open University) on Amazon leader’s mantra “start with the customer and work backwards” and it’s well worth a watch if you missed it.

Read the report and let me know your thoughts.

How to measure your email marketing

April 7, 2014 / Resources /

Content marketing remains a hot topic and with email marketing increasingly linked to the provision of useful content – and the mainstay of many outbound campaigns, particularly in B2B – it’s useful to consider metrics that focus on the content of your email marketing.

Email response rates are usually based on the following:

  • Deliverability (% successfully delivered) – this is a good indicator of your data quality.
  • Open rate (% opens/successfully delivered) – this is more an indicator of the relevance of your subject heading and first few words. It also reflects the relevancy of your brand to your recipients. The open rate can vary from around 16-34% in the UK, depending on which sector you’re marketing to.
  • Click-through (% clicks/successfully delivered) – is a good generic response rate that can vary from around 1.5% to 11% again, depending on sector.
  • Conversion (how many do what you are asking) is a great benchmark of overall campaign success and should be a metric established at the very outset of your campaign planning.
  • Unsubscribes is a good indicator of both data quality, perceived brand value (or rather the value of your communications) and relevancy.

Given that Upshot Marketing is a UK company – based in Sussex and the digital hub that is Brighton – the guideline figures quoted above are for the UK. But if you want to see more detail or figures from the US, Europe or Asia-Pacific you can find out more from a recent Smart Insights post that is really informative.

The figure that we like the most though is click-to-open rate, which measures the relevancy and context of an email – of the recipients who opened the email, how many clicked? This gem of a statistic (around 12% for B2B email marketing) reveals how useful the content was judged to be in an instant.

From this point, you will of course analyse your landing pages using Google Analytics, to measure action taken from this point. And these learnings can inform your next campaign, which will hopefully deliver better results.


Marketing Perspectives just out

April 3, 2014 / Resources /

Good to see the Marketing Week/SAS Marketing Perspectives white paper out this week.

Events websites and email have come out on top again in terms of spend allocation and confidence in the medium.

Interesting to see a new table this year which shows the skills required for 21st century marketing. Top three are web analytics, customer analytics and campaign management.

Content marketing was cited as the most important of all, which reflects the need for top notch web and customer analytics.

See the paper for yourself on Marketing Week’s knowledgebank.


PPC campaign hits 14.4% conversion rate in 2.5 weeks

March 10, 2014 / Case study /

Our PPC campaign for the very beautiful Surface Design Show achieved a 14.4% conversion rate.

SDS_336x280_E SDS_336x280_F SDS_336x280_G SDS_336x280_D

The 2.5 week campaign utilised Adwords search, Adwords display and LinkedIn.

Ongoing refinement resulted in a clickthru rate improving from 1.3% at launch to 5.3% two weeks later.