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Impact - A Blog by INM

Archive for '2012'

    Understanding the New EU Cookie Law

    Chocolate Chip Cookie

    In late May, the European Union (EU) implemented a new law that requires UK-based websites to warn visitors if they use cookies on their sites. Cookies are used for many purposes, including storing information in shopping carts, delivering targeted advertising, remembering logins and other credentials, and for remembering preferences like text size or color schemes.

    In essence, cookie technology helps organizations collect profile and preference information that allows them to deliver the personalized and more targeted experiences that consumers are expecting today. More than 60 percent of tracking data today is powered by cookie technology. While there are other technologies that allow for data collection and tracking, cookies are an easy option that many technologies still leverage.

    Contrary to the reactionary coverage it has generated, this law does not state that cookies cannot be used; it only states that visitors must be informed of their use and must provide “consent”. For many organizations it is the definition of consent that is still fuzzy. Just a few days before the legislation compliance deadline, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) updated its guidance on the law to allow for implied consent. This means that if the website or application discloses the use of cookies and the visitor continues with its use, the user’s consent is implied.

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    Do you need a Responsive Site, Mobile Site or App?

    Desktop, Tablet, Smartphone connected

    There’s no denying the impact that mobile has today on a business. A recent study by IDC predicts that mobile devices will outnumber laptops and desktops combined by 2015, and Forrester Research has stated that by 2014 mobile will influence more than 50% of retail transactions. Even with these figures, the majority of Canadian businesses don’t have a clear strategy of how they’ll address mobile.

    Essentially there are three options for going mobile, you can make your current website optimized for mobile by implementing a responsive design, you can build a dedicated mobile website or you can create and deploy mobile applications.

    The first option for businesses to consider is implementing a responsive design. This involves optimizing your website to work on a wide range of devices by designing it on a fluid grid. The site reformats to fit the size of the browser window. We have a great eGuide on this topic that you can download for more information. If your site was built using modern web standards, making it responsive is not a huge investment. It allows for your site to reach any user, on any device with a design that’s optimized for that size screen. Implementing a responsive design requires some careful planning but most sites only really need three core designs (a desktop, tablet and mobile phone version) and transition behaviors. A well-designed responsive site will save you the time and effort of having to maintain separate websites for every device you want to target.

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    CMO's Unprepared for Data Explosion

    3D graphs and pie chart

    In recent weeks there’s been much buzz about the role of metrics in today’s increasingly complex marketing world. With high consumer expectations and an explosion in engagement devices and channels, marketers today are faced with a sprawling matrix of disconnected figures to make sense of. Sure, some tools today provide a more consolidated view of figures, but still 71% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) feel unprepared for the data explosion they face.

    After sitting through several sessions at the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit last month, it became clear to me that there are two distinct camps in marketing. There are those that get it and have intricate systems in place to measure and act on the intelligence provided by multi-channel metrics, and those that view metrics as a check-box item on their list of requirements – something they know they need but they really don’t know how to leverage effectively.

    Collecting metrics today means going beyond tracking the transaction and the business objectives. Solutions like Google Analytics do a good job in gathering and consolidating metrics to track conversions and aggregate data. However this is just the first step for success.

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    iPhone App for SOSgarde Now Available

    sosgarde-iPhone-app

    Earlier this week we rolled out a new iPhone app that we built for SOSgarde, a popular website that connects parents with local babysitters, nannies, senior caregivers and pet sitters. We’ve had an ongoing partnership with Montreal-based SOSgarde (also known as SOSsitter across Canada) for several months now. We originally approached Paulina Podgorska, the company’s founder, about extending her services to the mobile space. Our plan was to build an app that would broaden the reach of her two sites to mobile parents. This would provide parents with on-the-go access to sitters directly from their iPhone.

    We worked closely with Paulina to understand her users and how they leverage her sites. Designing a gesture-based mobile app involves different challenges such as dealing with limited on-screen real estate, and subtle considerations of context and ergonomics. In order to provide mobile users with the simple and efficient experience they expect from their handheld device, we storyboarded all interactions and came up with a progression of screens that allows users to contact a sitter in three steps. In order to make the interface easy to scan, we used appropriate icons and pulled only the essential info from the site. We integrated the standard phone and email features so parents could connect with sitters directly from within the application.

    The French version of the application, SOSgarde, officially rolled out this week. The English version, SOSsitter, will be released shortly.

    Do you have a mobile project that we can help with? If so, contact us.