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Clarissa Sajbl

Clarissa Sajbl
Though Clarissa is originally from Austria – a country full of the Alps and greenness – she nonetheless knew London was going to be in her destiny! She completed her under and postgraduate degrees in Business & Marketing in London and followed this with roles within various sectors, before joining the marketing team at Linkdex.

The Rise Of The Global Sharing Economy

sharing economy brandsMost people agree that the sharing economy will fundamentally change our lives and some of our industries. The success of the sharing economy has touched off a struggle over its meaning. Some want to interpret it as a sign of a brighter future, whilst others perceive it as a start of a revolution.

Car-sharing has become serious competition to the classic car ownership model. According to Nielsen ‘smart companies will harness the advantage of sharing services into their own products and services. Car manufacturers such as Volkswagen and General Motors have invested in car sharing apps; the idea being, the more you get a ride in their cars, the more likely you’ll be to buy one in the future.’

Airbnb an internet based system used by people looking for a place to stay in a city they plan to visit, ran into trouble with authorities; it was still unclear how people who rented out their private living space should be taxed and whether they were subject to hotel tax law in New York, for example. The necessary regulatory framework isn’t yet completely defined, but Airbnb’s millions of users show there is enormous demand for such a service. According to Chris Morley group managing director of Nielsen UK and Ireland stated that Forbes estimated that $3.5 billion went directly into people’s wallet last year alone via the sharing economy.

What Jeremy Rifkin called the ‘Age Of Access’ more than 10 years ago has become reality in many areas of life.

People who share goods require less of them on the whole, thus they solve ecological problems and create a new type of solidarity – communal living – and therefore a better and more co-operative life. The sharing economy, perceived in this way, is society’s salvation from the evils of consumerism and competitiveness.

The Current State Of The Global Sharing Economy 

Nielsen has conducted a ‘Global Survey of Share Communities’ which polled more than 30,000 internet respondents across 60 countries to identify participation around the world.

  • 78% of Asia-Pacific respondents are willing to share their own goods, whilst 81% are likely to rent from others
  • 70% of Latin American respondents are willing to share their own goods, whilst 73% are likely to rent from others
  • 68 % of Middle East/Africa respondents are willing to share their own goods, whilst 71% are likely to rent from others

It is interesting to note that behaviour amongst European and North American respondents differed slightly:

  • 54% of European respondents are willing to share their goods, whilst 44% are likely to rent from others
  • 52% of North American respondents are willing to share their goods, whilst 43% are likely to rent from others

‘While the internet still has limited reach in many parts of the world, the comparatively high willingness of online consumers in developing regions to participate in the share communities demonstrates how the web can quickly become part of the culture. Online consumers in developing markets often represent a younger more affluent demographic than the general population, which can contribute to greater eagerness and enthusiasm’ – Nielsen

In the sharing economy it’s not about becoming a better person. The platforms are used because they save money and users can meet other people. Car sharing for instance contributes directly to an efficient use of our roads and highways infrastructure. In light of the heavy traffic on many of our streets and the fact that there are only 1.5 people on average per car, this is urgently necessary.

In addition, the sharing economy conveys experiences that go beyond the pure economic rationality. A person gets to meet strangers and they both talk with one another. It is increasingly rare that people start a conversation and get to know each other’s lifestyles and opinions without a goal or purpose. These exchanges simply bring a little piece of humanity into an increasingly anonymous and lonely world full of people on the go.

David Harling on Google Authorship In 2014 [Video]

Earlier on this year we’ve hosted our ‘ionSearch Finance’ Think Tank in partnership with BlueClaw and MoneySuperMarket bringing together leading online marketing experts from the personal finance sector. Our speakers came from various backgrounds such as off-site analytics, research, SEO, social media and content marketing exclusively offering unique and actionable insights from their day-to-day operations.

David Harling formerly ‘Head of SEO’ for Publicis Groupe’s  digital agency Razorfish and now ‘Head of Organic Performance’ at MoneySupermarket (TravelSupermarket, MoneySavingExpert) is accountable for all functions across the SEO, content and social media teams. Due to his recent professional career move David had to learn from first hand that working with in-house teams differs greatly from working agency-side.

According to David: ‘the most limiting challenge from an agency point of view is that global brands often don’t have the capability to create content neither the budget. In-house on the other hand allows you to really dedicate your time to being accountable for your online visibility, managing numerous data points through a holistic approach involving all teams’.

Authorship, Influence & Google

Even-though Authorship has been around for a long time most agencies and brands are still not getting it right, or worse are not paying enough attention to it. It’s not about tagging content – but your identity and influence on your customers. The majority of digital marketers believe that they are delivering Authorship whilst in reality they actually stop at the tagging stage – clearly not fulfilling its holistic purpose and being perceived as just being a snippet of code that is simply added onto your website.

Now in 2014 Google uses Author Rank as a ranking factor determining what content should rank within SERPs, identifying high quality content associated with an authoritative, real person. In 2014 MoneySuperMarket’s overall goal is to create visibility for engaging content to further nurture, establish and grow its active online community.

To get on the pulse even a brand like MoneySuperMarket had to take a step back and ask themselves:

  • How equipped are we as a marketing team to really deliver Authorship at scale?
  • How can we produce real time content to drive shares, +1’s and comments?
  • What process do we need to implement to monitor our weekly content production process?

The MoneySuperMarket Approach To Author Rank


At MoneySuperMarket Author Rank is perceived as a pre-requisite for their marketing team and its operations – connecting various data points, assessing the impact of their actions and each team member’s ability to be an authoritative author within a certain space.

To leverage this approach you need to focus on the most important Author Rank signals identified here:

  • Engagement statistics of +1 shares per post (what content gets +1’s and shares?)
  • Posting frequency (a realistic balance of resources and discipline to determine how much content you are actually able to produce and what to prioritize)
  • Comments per post (reviewing who reviews your content)
  • Authority of websites the author is connected to

Empowering Your Digital Marketing Team

Corporate environments often pose various limitations for its employees social media activities, simply to decelerate any potential public backlashes, however the foundation of social media as a medium is to have a human voice and opinion – which at most times is prohibited within a corporate environment. More often than not employees are restricted to use mediums such as Twitter and Facebook – even though they sit on the digital team.

Restricting your marketing team will only put employees and the organization as a whole at a disadvantage since you’re missing out on an incredibly fruitful opportunity.

You can watch David Harling’s full Think Tank presentation below:

If you would like to gain more insights from our other Think Tank speakers you can access all of the talks below:

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Andrew Girdwood On The Future of ‘SEO For Brands’ In 2014 [Video]

At our ‘SEO for Brands’ in 2014 Think Tank we conducted a short interview with Andrew Girdwood. He is currently Media Innovations Director at DigitasLBi where he is on the bleeding edge of technology for marketing, always on the outlook for the next innovation.

How would you define SEO in 2014?

‘Modern SEO means the convergence of content marketing, social media, analytics, tech, PR, and events with publishers, as well as the actual page rankings and results. One day I might be helping bloggers understand the difference between online editorial and advertorial, and another I might be working with a large brand on the development of their website. There are loads of different plates in the SEO world. The most accurate definition is publisher since it’s our job to use content to engage your audience and make money. In terms of SEO this means generating links, social signals, awareness, traffic, which essentially is a publishing strategy.’

What were the big changes in your SEO plans from 2013 to 2014?

‘The changes were minor because the rules have been set for quiet some time now. I think the main thing is that we need to teach ourselves more as well as having to be stricter with clients. Brands seem to be aware of this since they are talking ‘content marketing’ but it must not be a consideration because we have to do it now.’

In a perfect world how should SEO be budgeted for? 

‘Ideally the money would come from brands which embrace it and have infinite money. In a slightly less perfect world it should be seen as a necessity because if you don’t do SEO you can be so easily hit by negative SEO by getting backlinks which will have a negative impact on your site. You need to worry about ‘can SEO drive incremental traffic’. You now need to do SEO in some shape or form. SEO should have a flexible budget: with a pot of cash right at the start – letting the agency or in-house team spend that as they want throughout the year in spits and spurts. If you are confident that your SEO strategy is structured in the way that you can see the results you can easily work out if it’s profitable or not. And if it’s profitable – pay.’

What’s the difference between brands that dominate their sector for organic search and those that don’t dominate and are catching up? And what brands are currently doing the best work?

‘It’s the ‘pure play’ digital brands’ that are dominating, they are nothing if they don’t get digital marketing right. Until they became famous they had no brand strength. Whereas the hybrids and big brands are not doing SEO as well. It’s not important to them. Brands from affiliate origin are only being paid based on success. So if you want to pick a brand that is doing really well in SEO you’d pick those brands that demonstrate that they are a hero.’

You can watch Andrew’s full Think Tank presentation below:

SEO has changed more in 2013 than in any other year. Are you a CMO, Marketing Director, Marketing Strategist or SEO working with brands and want to learn:

  • What are the brands that are set-up to increase visibility and ROI doing?
  • What can brands that are off the pace learn from those that are winning?

Our speakers are from some of the most prominent brands and agencies in the world. Our videos share great insights from Mark Williams (iCrossing), Joe Lewis (iProspect), Edward Cowell (MediaCom), David Harvey (Razorfish) and Matt Roberts (Linkdex).

The exclusive Think Tank videos offer expert insights from agencies and in-house teams servicing the world’s largest brands, as well as from brands themselves, about what SEO means to them in 2014.

Watch All The Videos Here

A CMO Focused Cannes Lions 2014

Cannes Lion 2014 blog post

Today marks the beginning of the 61st Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity on the French Riviera running from the 15th-21st of June 2014. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is considered the largest gathering of worldwide advertising professionals, designers, digital innovators and marketers.

Every year in June, around 11,000 registered delegates from 90 countries visit the Festival celebrating the best of creativity in brand communication, discuss industry issues and network with one another.

The annual event will once again embrace and celebrate the most innovative and creative communications initiatives carried out by agencies, brands and individuals.

Becoming CMO Focused

Increasingly, the event organizers have staged content appealing to creative as well as those who manage creativity such as CMOs alike. 2014 marks the second CMO Accelerator program lead by no one else than P&G’s own CMO Jim Stengel whereas other cutting edge session experts include the likes of Droga5 and Wieden & Kennedy educating participating CMOs about inspiring and leading work and initiatives. The specialized CMO sessions will look at ‘how Cannes Lions winners work differently to drive growth compared to its other counter parts’ offering unique industry insights.

To see the full programme of what Cannes Lions 2014 has in store for you see the agenda here.

The event’s highlight will without a doubt be the annual debate which this year is hosted by Sir Martin Sorrell (CEO WPP), Dick Costello (CEO of Twitter) and Philippe Dauman (president of Viacom).

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China’s Alibaba Launches US Marketplace

Clarissa ImageAlibaba China’s biggest online retailer is launching its first online marketplace in the US named, in an attempt to expand its operations outside of China. The latest move comes ahead of Alibaba’s IPO which is expected to be the biggest by any technology company to date. China’s internet market has grown rapidly, becoming the world’s largest with more than 600 million internet users. The eCommerce giant’s total value of goods sold last year exceeded that of Amazon and eBay combined – generating revenues of $6.5 billion or £3.8 billion in the 9 months to the end of December 2013, with a net profit of $2.9 billion.

The portal will initially be open to customers by invitation only. According to its VP Mike Effle ‘We want the shops to represent the diversity of Main Street. Some shops are high-end boutiques and some are more vintage’. Its vendors are hopeful since they have been struggling with the ability to reach a larger audience therefore hopes are high that will provide a far wider audience reach due to its market expertise and marketing power.

Having said that though, analysts from Forrester have their doubts since it will be tough for Alibaba to enter the already saturated US online shopping sector requiring high marketing expenses to rise above the clutter.

Hopes are high, but only time will tell if Alibaba can live up to expectations.

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