Content marketing in UK and Europe: mind the Gap!

eye-large_thumb.gif

There has been questions in certain European countries with regard to how widespread the adoption of contact marketing on the continent could have been (cf. this piece on my French blog, translated into English by the Google robot). Although undeniable progress has been made in the past few years over here in that respect, and though we may even consider content marketing to be a staple of marketing and especially B2B marketing, it is debatable that the adoption of content marketing in certain European countries is ubiquitous and fully understood.

Considering that, in France for instance, 70% of small businesses websites are never updated (source: Marketing PME’s Serge Henri Saint Michel), we can surmise that there is definitely room for improvement.

I found the following survey from the content marketing Institute which shows the huge gap between what we witness in Europe and what is happening in the United Kingdom. The vast majority of UK B2B companies, either large or small, have all embraced content marketing (95% of the B2B companies having responded to the survey have, even though the sample is very small but varied).

Mind the Gap!

Let us make that point clear: the sample is very small, and we have to remain cautious; but at least one feels that there is a major trend and one more European divide in the making. Whereas, on the continent, I am still battling with certain people about the fact that white papers, for instance, are useful devices (I still hear stuff like “White papers serve no purpose!”), in the United Kingdom, this kind of tactics has been embraced fully and totally incorporated within marketing thinking.

Besides, it is only subcontracted by 55% of the sample. There is one more caveat beyond the size of that survey sample though, and it’s that most interviewees are not always satisfied with the results: approximately half of them rate the results of content marketing as average. One assumption would be that competition on content marketing is very harsh in Britain, and the English-speaking world in general, and that doing things differently in English is a lot more exacting than with other, less represented languages on the Internet.

Obviously, in order to stand out from the crowd, A lot of thinking has to be put into your content beforehand . There is a paradox that the areas where people think that whitepapers aren’t any good, are in fact those where it is a lot easier to produce and promote them than it is in Britain, where adoption is broad but competition is fierce. I can predict that a lot will happen in the B2B arena in the near future, at least on the continental side of the Channel.

UK payment fraud: the devil is in your details! #capuk

harrisonStephen Harrison (photo), Chief Executive , Nation Fraud Authority (NFA) delivered a presentation on June 28 regarding the importance of fraud in advanced payment methods in the UK at the marketforce future of cards & payments conference:

the National Fraud Authority was set up by a response to fraud by the UK Government in 2006 in order to understand fraud risks and develop partnerships to counter it. the NFA is part of the Home Office. The idea is to get a better handle on the reasons and the extent of fraud. NFA came with the annual fraud indicator indicator in 2012. Here are some of the metrics taken out of the report:

  • £73 billion fraud loss
  • £20.3 in the public sector
  • £6.1 for individuals
  • £45.5 in the private sector

fraud

“We are also talking of personal tragedies with people who have lost their life’s savings” Harrison added, “it’s not just an economical problem”. Focusing on the private sector (£45.5 billion). Payment frauds had impacted 71% of victims. The not for profit sector has lost £1.1 billion only and 43% of respondents had been victims.

Online banking fraud remains quite low and falling though. Plastic card fraud is by far the biggest, a little below £350 m in 2011 falling slightly from 2010 (see picure above). “It’s not always the case that the Banks are refunding individuals and there are cases in which there is a huge impact on individual users” Harrison said. Yet, whether it’s due to complacency or lack of education (or both), many consumers aren’t really protected from fraud.

how to make consumers part of the solution?

“It’s about changing behaviours” Harrison said, and the NFA is trying to work with the private sector. The “Devil’s in your details” campaign funded jointly with telecom operators. Here are 2 examples taken from the NFA Youtube channel.

phone payment
online payment

NFA didn’t have the budget for a TV commercial and using the Internet and Youtube was cost effective: “it cost only £0.068 per person who saw the add” Stephen Harrison said.

After Stephen Harrison’s presentation, there was a panel with Karen Tyler, Head of Fraud at Santander and Debbie Strickland, function leader, Cooperative financial services. Here are some of my notes during that panel:

  • social engineering is one of the essence in fraud, with fraudsters using existing technologies and even traditional means of communications to steal money from individuals
  • Santander is worries about the way that things are happening
  • Debbie Strickland confirms  that there is an increasing issue about new modes of payment and education is the solution.
  • Mobile payments is clearly seen as the future threat even though in terms of amounts, mobile isn’t really on the radar yet.
  • A lot of people have gotten used to the tokens, Karen Tyler said, but there are also concerns as to how this will be used by consumers with the new forms of payment and mostly mobile-based.

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (10/10)

chrysalis

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (10/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

This is the final post in this series. Use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

session synopsis

no slides

  • I have to apologise for having no slides for this presentation. I tried to figure out a reason why I should add some but couldn’t go beyond the need to show some nice pictures, I don’t believe that what I have to say – mostly derived from my day to day experience in these few years that I have worked – is worth being plonked into PowerPoint slides, it doesn’t add any value and besides, by refusing to show slides and pictures, I’m certain that I’ll get all your attention,
  • “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur” George W. Bush is reported to have said to Prime Minister Tony Blair during a discussion about the French economy. Although this is mostly hearsay and not proven that George W Bush actually said that, this Bushism has being recycled a great deal of times on the Internet and beyond. But I am here to guarantee that this isn’t true; the word exists and we even have another word, intrapreneur, derived from the first, which describes those people who attempt new things in large organisations, implement change, move things forward; relentlessly …
  • I am such an intrapreneur and I like it. Maybe this is because I dreamed of being and entrepreneur and haven’t had the opportunity as yet. Regardless, change is part of my business life, I love to change things, have always done, will always do. I believe it must be like a second nature. I can’t help it even though sometimes I think it would be a lot safer and more straightforward for me if I chose to let things be.
    • Intrapreneurs love to bridge the gap between thinkers, researchers, developers and those who run everyday business operations.
    • Intrapreneurs are doers, they like getting things done, they like it when the rubber meets the road…
    • I am like that too
  • Scott [note: one of the organisers and the co-founder of Like Minds] decided that I should make confessions about this need to launch new projects, push new boundaries, and implement new things for the large companies which I have worked for or with.
    • Yet, the word “confessions” – if I believe the Cambridge dictionary – means that one has done certain things wrong, committed a crime or a sin, and I’m not quite sure about that choice of words
    • Granted, many a time being an intrapreneur means that one fights against established rules, battle against resistance, overcome obstacles
    • But intrapreneurs aren’t trouble-makers, because true intrapreneurs always act for the common good.
  • I believe that the reason why I’m talking to you about this today is coming from an initial discussion at the Like Minds Summit at Bovey Castle in March 2010 with a few alumni, including our much regretted friend Trey Pennington, to whom I would like to dedicate this presentation
  • our subject was “how to implement social media in enterprises” and I soon realised that my experience was shedding a different light on that topic because I am an insider, I did this for years on end, and whether it be with social media or any other thing doesn’t make a difference at all.
  • It’s more difficult to change things if you are in a big organisation. Setting up a blog for a small organisation is a no brainer. You just go to wordpress.com and set up your space in a matter of minutes … you cannot do it exactly like that if you are the legal representative of a large company, mostly when it has gone public! It’s more complex, there are rules to comply with and obstacles to overcome. It’s easier to stay from the outside and just issue recommendations. I know, because I too worked as a consultant for many years … and yet it is also very frustrating because a consultant who issues recommendations is seldom the one who is commissioned to implement the change!
lessons learned
  • So here is my confession, that is to say a few lessons which I learned while implementing change and are my guiding rules for intrapreneurship. For each of these lessons I will give you an example, if time allows.

This is the final post in this series, which was posted starting from the end. Use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (9/10)

chrysalis

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (9/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 1: change begins with a prayer 

  • … the serenity prayer to be precise; which I first noticed in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, when Billy Pilgrim has this sign posted above his desk in his office stating:“God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    if I believe it’s been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous too … 

Anecdote: implementing the Sale Force Automation system at Unisys at the beginning of 1992 with my new boss who told me “ok for you to get the job, but don’t change anything about the method”. So I didn’t, let the project fail, then proposed a new method, and succeeded in less than 4 months in implementing a new system throughout Europe. I didn’t choose to change what I couldn’t change, I just proposed the right solution at the right time, i.e. when and only when my boss realised that the old method wasn’t the right one. Besides, I didn’t have to criticise it, all I had to do was to put things right.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]

my 9 top tips for implementing change – #likeminds (8/10)

chrysalis

my Like Minds keynote on intrapreneurship (8/10)

On the 19th of October 2011, in Exeter in Devon, I delivered a keynote at Like minds. It is entitled “confessions of an intrapreneur”. There are 9 of these anecdotes and tips, which are all used to describe my preferred approach to change management. I have decided to publish the script of my presentation in this blog, starting from lesson number 9 and going backwards to lesson number 1 and then the introduction.

Stay tuned and use the following URL shortener [http://bit.ly/likemindsyag] in order to collect the entirety of the blog post

lesson no. 2: think big and start small

  • one of the commonest mistakes is to try and change the whole world in one go… too fast, too big, too early
  • most people hate change, despite all the talk about innovation, letting sleeping dogs lie is reassuring, and change creates – in most people – anxiety, the fear that things may longer be as they were, the risk for them to become out of touch, to be left on the side, to be taken out of their own comfort zone and into the red (the zone in which people think that they are no longer in control, that they are losing touch, becoming incompetent and eventually … will be made redundant, even with no real reason)
  • hence change has to be implemented step by step, starting little and getting bigger, in order for people to reassure themselves that they can be part of that change and not be threatened by it!

Anecdote: I am in the process of overhauling the orange.com website but our ambition goes way beyond that. What we aim at is the establishment of a group-wide governance which will give more leeway to all our entities/countries while ensuring better consistency and maximising our Web IT spend. Although it’s a no-brainer, it would be stupid to start with the biggest websites, so we are slowly but surely adding small websites to our platform, therefore showing that our new Website factory is not a threat but a tool for all to benefit from.

[Chrysalis photo, Some rights reserved by Odd_dog]