Gone Phishing

By Kelly Gerrish

Every day thousands of phishing emails are sent to unsuspecting victims all over the world. We’ve all seen them – while some are so over the top they are obvious fakes, some can be a little more convincing. So how can you spot a phishing email from a legitimate message? These five tips will help you keep hold of your hard earned cash.

1. Poor spelling
Emails sent on behalf of large corporations are usually checked, rechecked and checked again for spelling and grammar. If a message is full of poor grammar, spelling mistakes and bad English, it probably isn’t from who it claims to be. It’s also worth noting that making this mistake in your own email marketing will put your campaign at risk. Check, check and check again.

2. Personal information
No matter how official an email may look, alarm bells should ring if it asks for personal information. Why would your bank need your account number? Similarly, a reputable company would never contact you asking for your credit card details, password or security information.
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3. You didn’t initiate the action
You get an email saying you’ve won the lottery. Congratulations! Except you never bought a lottery ticket. If you get a message saying you’ve won a competition you didn’t enter you can bet that message is a scam.

4. Seems too good to be true
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know making big promises, it’s likely to be a scam. Why would great uncle Albert from Nigeria who you’ve never heard of leave you three million dollars?

5. Check any embedded URLs
The URL in a phishing message will usually look perfectly valid at first glance. But scratch under the surface and things aren’t always what they seem. Hover your mouse over the URL to see the actual hyperlink behind it. If they don’t match, the message is probably fake.

There’s no hard and fast rule to spotting a phishing message. The best advice would be if something doesn’t feel right, follow your instincts. Don’t click on any links, don’t reply and never send personal information or money.

The Future of Marketing

By Kelly Gerrish

In our line of business, we work on a lot of email campaigns. Crafting the perfect subject line, carefully selecting the right words to get the message across, before tying it all together in a visual package that really sells. Lots of careful thought goes into every marketing email that drops into your inbox, so it really surprised me last week to hear from my 14 year old niece that most of her friends don’t even HAVE email. In fact, ‘they just have Facebook.’  It really got me thinking.

Growing up in today’s socially immersive world, it’s perhaps not a big surprise that most teenagers don’t need to consider using email until they’re in work. As marketers we need to think about how to engage with this next generation of consumers. Not using email is just the tip of the iceberg when you consider how to market to the next generation. We’re going to need to get smarter. We’ll need to give consumers a reason to choose us over other brands, a reason to connect with us emotionally. And we need to seamlessly integrate into the places they hang out, whether that’s a physical place or an online community.

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The whole landscape is changing. Future success won’t be determined by the size of marketing budgets. Tomorrow’s winners will be the ones who think outside the box.

What does the future hold for marketing? How do you think future generations will interact with brands?

Socially Devoted to You

By Kelly Gerrish

Customers want to interact with the brands they love. More and more of us are taking to social media to engage with brands on a daily basis, be it likes, follows, shares, comments or questions. The numbers don’t lie – customers asked nearly 9 million questions on Facebook and Twitter in 2014 alone. It seems the more focused a brand is on social customer care, the more interactions they receive. But what does this mean for modern day brands?

Creating an online brand experience is an opportunity to engage and interact with customers on a personal level, speaking WITH instead of TO them. These relationships can evolve into strong brand advocates to share your message, service and products. This word of mouth advertising is the best form of marketing your brand can hope for. Every customer is connected to the conversation and has their own voice.

The constant availability of social media means we use it to raise our voice until we’re heard. Post a Facebook comment or send a tweet and often the response is instant or within 24 hours. Compare that with sending an email to a customer service team. It’s easy to ignore an email but ignore a public comment and the world sees it. Social media means customers can share their experiences with the whole world, so it pays to make their experience with you a positive one. Pay attention to them, understand their pain points and give them viable solutions.

As the volume of online comments grows, so too will the demand for ever improving social customer care. Brands can either choose to stick their heads in the sand on these very public spaces, or they can interact with their customers and try to manage the social conversations happening around their brand.

Orrb: A Whole New World

By Kelly Gerrish

With all the distractions of modern life, it’s hard to think straight. We’re constantly under pressure from work and all the other daily complications, and often we forget to sit still and take a deep breath.

Need to get away? Step into the Orrb, a hi-tech bubble that lets employees relax in a world of their own.
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Designed to provide a calming refuge for stressed office workers, the pod allows users time for themselves away from the challenges of the workplace. The air is filtered to maximise oxygen levels and the sound cancelling system blocks out the office noise. Individuals can choose from a selection of 10, 20 or 30 minute routines to relax, learn, test or boost.

Many large companies are now paying special attention to their workers’ physical health and fitness but not much is said of mental health. Marketed as a ‘corporate wellness facility’ or a ‘mind gym’, Orrb offers a physical escape full of content designed to bring about relaxation and mindfulness – and, hopefully, increase productivity.

But will the Orrb appeal to employees? Taking some time out of your day, even for 10 minutes, is vital in business. Would you be enthusiastically jumping in and embracing the personal space, or would you rather do your relaxation at home?