Archive for January, 2013

Five examples of UK charities using Vine

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Vine has taken the social media marketing world by storm and there was immediately a flurry of brands using the 6 second video platform to great effect. It seems the UK charity sector is filled with eager digital marketers too as some of the UK’s leading charities took up the 6 second challenge and created some great videos of their own. Here are five of our favourite examples.

Asthma UK

There will be celebrations in the offices of Asthma UK when they eventually find a cure for the respiratory disease. As a long-time sufferer myself, I’ll want a party hat too!

Dogs Trust

If there is one thing the Dogs Trust know how to do well it is how to make people say “aww” to pictures of cute animals. Once again, mission accomplished! Everybody say “aww”.

Practical Action

One way of promoting an upcoming fundraising event is to show it off in 6 seconds. This nice little montage promotes a forthcoming night ride around London, Nightrider 2013.

Diabetes UK

A simple yet effective way of a healthcare charity using Vine is to share the symptoms of the disease. That’s exactly what Diabetes UK has done as they raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes symptoms. Simple but potentially lifesaving.

Merlin UK

Finally a charity that is very much in the consciousness of the Katapult team. Merlin UK have used Vine to promote their Plumpy Nut challenge, an event three of the Katapult team (including me!) are taking part in next month.

Please sponsor us and help us reach our target.

By Martin Broadhurst

Customer experience: The antidote to 3P*?

Friday, January 18th, 2013


*pound shops, payday loans & pies

The future of the high street

So, what now for Britain’s high streets? The demise of yet another high profile retailer is another portent for the future of shopping on our shores. Is there life for consumers in our towns and cities beyond the prevalent ‘3P’ offer of pound shops, payday loans and pies? The City wouldn’t appear to think so, with many masters of the universe putting their money where their mouth is in willing the high street to fail.

The Queen of Shops says…

The Portas Review made a set of clear recommendations designed to revive fortunes but mentioned little about customer experience. Was this underplayed? Surely brands big and small need a shot in the arm in the form of a reminder that there is much work to do here, if high street shopping is not to capitulate completely to the omnipotence of the online alternative? Ironic really when you consider how much brands invest in user experience as part of their digital development. And it rings true. When was the last time you had what could honestly be described as a ‘customer experience’ in Comet, Jessops, Blockbuster, HMV et al?

“What can we do better?”

So as not to labour the point, high street brands could start by taking a long hard look at their online counterparts and asking themselves the question “What can we do better?”. Not just a bit better. Not just much better. There’s no option but to be jaw-droppingly better, better on a level that stirs the loins, better that wakes people from a website induced slumber and makes them say “I want to go there”. Brand, service, convenience, environment, integration with digital channels…hey, even our old friend price has a role to play. And let’s not take it for granted that just because a. n. other brand has a presence on the high street, that customers are just going to walk in out of the goodness of their hearts. This is about finding prospective customers, engaging them, keeping them interested, converting them and retaining them.

As it stands, 3P (You read it here first) looks to be shaping our high streets. Let’s hope brands (I’ll say it again, big and small) have the sense to think about customer experience in leading the fight back.

By Neil Perrott

Image credit: Flickr, Bettysnake

Introducing Martin the Third, our Digital Marketing Manager

Thursday, January 17th, 2013


We’re pleased to welcome another new face into the Katapult fold…Martin Broadhurst, the newest member of our digital team. Sharing the same name as two of the team, this means that a quarter of people who work at Katapult are now called Martin.

Martin joins us as Digital Marketing Manager from a specialist social media marketing company which he co-founded. His role includes implementing inbound marketing campaigns, focussing specifically on content development, driving traffic and converting leads.

Along with his passionate support of Derby County FC, Martin also has an unhealthy obsession with watching mixed martial arts and likes to think he’s a bit of a funny man.

To help you get to know Martin better, we asked him a few questions:

Q: What sort of projects are you most looking forward to getting your teeth into?
A: “Online ones obviously. I’m particularly looking forward to getting some more measurable campaigns up and running.”

Q: Who or what is your digital inspiration?
A: Phil Higgins. Or Google.

Q: If you weren’t so passionate about digital marketing, what else would you want to do?
A: “Fight in a cage. No, I take that back, I’d get my ass handed to me. I’ve always wanted to be a stand up comic actually”

Me: “but you’re not funny enough?”
Martin: “yeah quite simply”

Q: What is the last film you laughed out loud at?
A: “The Candidate with Will Ferrell on the plane on the way back from India. Everyone was asleep and I was guffawing.”

Q: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
*Sighs, as if there are many, before saying something rude and getting told off.*
A: “Staying up until 5am and watching sweaty men fight in cages” (the fact we all know this already suggests he doesn’t feel that guilty about his guilty pleasure)

Q: What’s your idea of a great night out?
A: “Derby beating Forest, followed by a trip to a real ale pub, some pork based snacks: pork pies, sausage rolls, pork scratchings, piccalilli…” (he continues for a while on the food related theme) “and a group of friends up to 8 in size, an open fire and maybe some whisky – ideally wintery outside – and then a taxi home to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship (On reminding him that 3 of his answers are now fighting related, he responds “and even then, that’s not quite enough.”)

Q: What in your opinion is the greatest invention of all time?
A: “The microchip. It revolutionised the way everything works.”

Martin has already hit the ground running but if you haven’t been introduced yet and would like to give him a friendly welcome, you can do so at

Twitter tracks Academy Awards chat with interactive Oscar index

Thursday, January 17th, 2013


The biggest event in the movie industry calendar may still be six weeks away but Twitter are doing their bit to generate some buzz for the 85th Academy Awards coming up on February 24th.

Movie fans can track the discussions taking place on Twitter surrounding every nominee in the Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director categories via the Twitter Oscars Index.

Twitter said

“The Twitter Oscars® Index measures how Twitter Users are referring to Academy Award® Nominees relative to the overall conversation on Twitter on any given day. For example, if a nominee has an Index of 80, comments about that nominee are more positive than roughly 80% of all the other terms on Twitter. This display of sentiment is used to track the Oscar® race through the public conversation around the nominees, adding an extra dimension to the dialog around the Academy Awards®.”

Features like this are a great marketing tool for Twitter to show power of data mining on the service. What events would you like to see Twitter tracking? Let us know in the comments section below.

By Martin Broadhurst

Facebook Graph Search: Twitter Responses

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The best place to be when a significant event is unfolding, whether that be the Hudson plane crash or a Facebook product launch, is Twitter. The real-time stream of updates provide an immediate handle on how the world interprets the event.


And this is what the world thought about Facebook’s Graph Search announcement…

BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones was immediately underwhelmed

But he soon changed his tune


An Introduction to Facebook Graph Search

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The social network that everyone loves to hate last night let the world see what they are building: Facebook Graph Search. Watch the video below to see graph search in action.

Search has long been an object of derision when it came to Facebook’s offer. In the simplest terms, it sucked. Whether you were trying to search for an app for your Facebook Page, a friend of a friend or a old post on your timeline, Facebook consistently managed to deliver poor results or provide absolutely no such method at all.

LinkedIn Reaches 200m Member Milestone

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

The world’s largest professional network just got even bigger as LinkedIn announced they now have 200m members “with representation in more than 200 countries and territories.”

Linkedin is currently in the process of revamping profile pages so that users have more control over how their information is displayed, as well as other new features and functionality.

Have a look at the infographic for more insight in to the LinkedIn membership.

Email Marketing Advice For 2013

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Believe it or not, people want to hear from you. They want to know what you have to offer. They want to know how you can benefit their business by saving them money, increasing sales or helping to achieve business goals. They want to know, in short, what’s in it for them.

To make your marketing emails stand out you’ll need a strong subject explaining what is contained within but you’ll also need to make your content invaluable.

Here are three rules you should follow to get the most out of your business email marketing:

Keep it short, simple and to the point

As great as your company’s story is, your prospective customers don’t care – this isn’t a fly-on-the-wall documentary, after all. Your prospective customers care about one thing and one thing only: themselves.

That’s why you need to make sure your business email marketing copy is short, simple and to the point … and all about your prospective customers. You need to tell them in the subject line what they can gain by opening your email. You need to tell them what they have to gain by clicking on your email. You need to make it clear that by not opening your email, they will be missing out.

And you need to do it in as few words as possible. (more…)

Rebrands 2012: The good, the bad and the ugly

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Rebranding is never a simple task; everyone wants to entice new business whilst retaining their existing customers. The best rebrands can convey an organisation’s redefined proposition and the worst can destroy reputations.

As such, I’ve picked three of my favourite rebrands of the last year and highlighted some that perhaps controversially, i’m not too fond of.

The Best Rebrands of 2012

1. CooperVision


CooperVision, one of the world’s largest contact lens manufacturers, stepped away from cold and literal representations of water to unveil  ‘a refreshing perspective’ as their revised brand promise, using bold watercolours in their marketing materials to convey this. Whilst the whole ‘sight is more than just about seeing’ connotations may seem obvious, they are also effective (and won the organisation a 2012 Rebrand 100 Award).

Free Download: Adobe Creative Suite 2

Monday, January 7th, 2013

UPDATE: There appears to be some confusion about whether this is an intentional release by Adobe or not. It seems the download link is not working for some people which suggests this may have been pulled by Adobe.

UPDATE 2: Forbes have confirmed that Adobe are not giving away free copies of CS2. You should only download and use the serial number listed by Adobe if you already have a license to use CS2.


It seems Adobe are in a giving mood following the holiday season. As of today you can download Creative Suite 2 for PC and Mac which includes Photoshop CS2, Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0, Creative Suite 2, GoLive CS2, Illustrator CS2, InCopy CS2, InDesign CS2, and more. The only requirement is that you have a registered Adobe account which is free and takes a minute to complete.

This in a 2005 release so there will be some compatibility issues with modern operating systems and some outdated features but this release will be welcomed by many people across the world with older computers.

Download Adobe CS2 now