Archive for the ‘Digital Strategy’ Category

Small companies recognising huge impact of online content

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Small companies are investing 40% of their total marketing budgets on website content, blogs, social media, video, e-newsletters and webinars, according to a new survey conducted by Junta42.

It’s not something that surprises us - and it shouldn’t really surprise you, so rife is the talk of blogging, social media and so forth - but it’s nice to see in writing, as it were.

What it says to us, and really it’s as plain on the nose on Gérard Depardieu’s face, is that, day-by-day, people in the commercial world are recognising that ordinary consumers value online content. In fact, they expect it. And it had better be good.

The great thing is, though, that small businesses with far less in the way of marketing and advertising cash than blue chips can level the playing field with online marketing. If small companies have the desire to create quality content, their online impact can be equal to that of larger businesses and competition.

So… the questions you have to ask yourself as someone running a small business and not enough time in the day are 1. Do I, or does someone within my small and very busy team, really have time to be creating arresting online content such as blogs, news stories and Twitter posts? 2.  Does the talent to create excellent content actually exist in-house? 3. Is there someone out there with a real understanding of my business that can create this content for my business at an affordable price?

We at Intune can’t necessarily answer the first 2 questions for you (though we can take an educated guess in response to each and answer 1. Probably not 2. Maybe, but haven’t you or the person you’ve identified got enough to do already?), but we can definitely answer number 3: Intune’s team not only consists of web developers, designers and sales professionals, but also of social media experts and copywriters that specialise in creating fantastic online content for companies whose future success they really care about - and they do it for a price that won’t make your toes curl.

So, if you want to make the most of the marketing and PR opportunities that exist online, give Intune a call on 01423 864 987 and ask to speak to Rory ffoulkes today, or email him at

Our Jess becomes a fully accredited Business Link trainer!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

It’s the news we’ve been all been waiting for here at Intune: co-owner Jessica Kemp has been granted the status of fully accredited Business Link trainer, meaning audiences of business people across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK will be able to hear her talk passionately about her very favourite subject - that is, how businesses large and small can go about getting the very best out of the internet.

The first event Jess will be holding is called ‘Stay in tune with… Intune Media!’ and will be taking place at Park Inn, York on Tuesday 15th June, from 6.30pm - 9.30pm. You should attend. Really you should. Why? Well…

1. Er, it’s free

2. Jess isn’t your ordinary presenter: don’t let all that effervescence and eccentricity fool you: she’s sharp as needle, has her finger right on the pulse of everything to do with online marketing and is also a highly experienced lecturer, having lectured at Newcastle Uni

3. She’s got the interests of your business at heart: she’ll be explaining the importance of a keen eye for cost-effective marketing opportunities and demonstrating  why it’s so vital that companies of all sizes (from each and every sector) explore new and emerging marketing techniques and tools

4. Online marketing is well and truly here, and here to stay, so it therefore pays to be aware of which emerging technologies and channels can take you to the next level, for the least amount of spend and in the shortest possible time. Jess is in ‘the know’. Ridiculously so

5. The event is designed to inspire those looking to set up or further develop a business who want to know the most effective online and social media solutions that not only attract more customers, but that will also support a growing business through an upturn in the economy. That’s YOU

6. Jess isn’t one of those presenters that skips over important details just so that she can get to the end of presentation and jump in her car. The girl/woman/lass/non-gender-specific person loves questions and will answer them to their fullest

7. England haven’t got a World Cup match on 15th June, and the cakewalk that Brazil have against North Korea that night really won’t be worth watching

8. Like everyone at Intune, Jess wants to help you make money online

There’s a already a great buzz surrounding Jess’s debut Business Link event and, ongoing, the talks she gives are likely to be some of the most popular in the Business Link event calendar, so get yourself booked in at or on 08456 048 048 - you won’t regret it!

Social Media and Online Reputation Management. Are you managing the spread?

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Traditional PR is a still a useful method of communicating business story ideas to journalists. I’ve seen online PR truly come of age in 2009.

Business owners, marketing managers and individuals tasked with creating, communicating, managing and distributing company messages, news and offers, will increasingly become concerned with online reputation management in 2010, or so says the BBC in its broadcast this morning. The story did not go into great depth as to methods of how you can regularly manage your reputation online, apart from telling people they can ‘un-tagg’ themselves from Facebook images… but threw the anecdote out there to provoke thought, reaction and bloggers, just tucking into coffee and toast.

The story struck me as relevant to what I do day in day out. Sure, we like to build websites at intune, but we like to do so much more.

Since we seem to be running a web design, web development, search engine optimisation and online PR company, I’ve been advising clients for some time as to how to look their best online. How to take what is successful offline and transform it into an online identity, positive marketing and sales instigating conduit. Whether they have an existing website or a new online proposition; the internet, an environment which is a public and often permanent record of company and individuals is difficult to manage, but shouldn’t be overlooked when consumers, clients and business partners increasingly refer to reviews and testimonials on a myriad of article distribution, business and social networking sites before making informed choices.

People like to deal with people they like, companies they trust and purchase products and services that will bring value. That has never changed. What is noticeable however is the blurred boundary between entry and exit points of consumer research. TV commercials mention websites and websites reference offline publications. A user’s journey to the purchase can be provoked by any number of decisions in a multichannel advertising society.

The targeted keywords we counsel a new intune client on regarding searching engine marketing, are also important when considering managing communication with the media.

There is no longer much you can do to stop the viral spread of stories, negative or otherwise online. Gone are the days where stories can be pulled. There are sites, methods and tools online where we can regularly check to some degree where we are ‘tagged’ or reviewed, the keyword phrases associated with the review and either ‘un-tagg’ ourselves or write counter statements to set records straight.

Search engine optimisation companies are often focused on ‘back-linking’ to raise a website profile at the expense of making a business owner aware of other avenues to increased positive online exposure and sales. SEO companies are too often constrained with the mammoth task of carving out, managing and enhancing an identity online when competing on price. There is no reason however why a company cannot be made aware at least briefly in business break out session ‘in-house’ of online communication management, the benefits, the pitfalls and new online tools as they emerge. We can at least suggest putting some time aside as part of our SEO service level agreements?

When we receive a new client, as part of a needs analysis we assess all aspects of their online offering. It seems the best way to offer value added advice, training, web support and online business development.

We think it important to inform business owners on the nature and trends of the current ‘participatory web’ in their market and how their customers are creating, consuming, re-purposing and sharing information on preferred suppliers in their business area. In doing so we can illustrate that the online market is no longer about having control over your message or brand and increasingly about the importance of participating in the dialogue. Not fully understanding social media communities can result in brand damage rather than audience engagement. By providing in-house understanding we provide the business with the means by which to recognise their position and make an informed decision on their commitment to their online business development.

Experience leads us to believe there is no substitute for human contact whether it’s in person or via telephone and in the end technology only facilitates the unique selling points of a business or business owner in SME’s. Pr is about persuasion, but consumers are creatures of habit who appreciate transparency and honesty. We have never been in a better position with the online tools at hand to communicate with our audiences and with a pro active marketing and communications plan for the year we can set realistic, deliverable and measurable expectations, providing investment in the long-term viability of your business online.

Do you have a company voice online? Do you know what people are saying about your company, products and services online? Do you know how to manage your company’s online reputation in 2010? Would you like to learn? Give us a call and we’d be happy to assess, support and help you develop your business online.

We’re a great believer in transferable skills and provide online leadership and management training as well as all of the support you would expect from a full service web agency, so that you and your company can be in the very best position to grow in 2010.

About Intune

First there was traditional marketing and for a while it ruled, then came along digital marketing and it disrupted everything and got all the attention and now a powerful new marketing is emerging from the integration of online and offline channels, technologies and disciplines. Cutting edge development, insight, strategy and innovation are at the heart of intune, ushering in a new level of business performance from their base at GSPK Knaresborough Technology Park. Intune help their clients seize the high ground, position themselves within a multichannel era and generate significant new business with integrated solutions. Additional bespoke training and mentoring is provided alongside web design, development, marketing and hosting support to help clients take the lead in their field, analyse, optimise, socialise, engage and capitalise on their markets.

it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you use it…some recent observations on digital marketing

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

How agile is your marketing? How fast can you respond to online trends and drive your business forward whilst sustaining your market share, developing new revenue streams and improving your long term profit? Yes, there’s a bar up there and the serious strategists amongst us are setting it wayyyyy up high, but there’s a good reason. There’s a lot at stake here.
In the current climate and an increasingly competitive online environment, there is little time for weighty approval processes and the sign off of every piece of external communication before it goes live. Competitors are dangerously agile and it’s a no brainer that the web rewards people who are nimble and adaptable.
Technology is changing consumer behaviours and the perception of value. Whilst this is the main driving force behind creating new technology and opportunities (which we’re all for by the way), we are witnessing products and services increasingly lacking tangible value, whereby they are a commodity that simply competes on price alone. When a business model is commoditized, it is forced to sell on quantity to scale the business. We’ve never been fearful of competition, but while competitiveness is good for most industries, excessive competition or lack of competition is resulting in business’ having to change their model at short notice.
A good web proposition doesn’t stay under wraps for long and there are opportunities, short lived as they are, for business owners to interact with potential clients with compelling communications if they can only realise, partner with the right people (hint hint) and act.

With social media topping the most popular digital marketing tactics of 2009, there are many challenges and opportunities for business owners. As well as understanding the tools themselves, one of the largest challenges and opportunities is the idea of being agile, a quality that defines brands and individuals who have leveraged the web to become industry leaders.

Intune Media utilise agile web development and marketing techniques. Let us guide you, inform you, teach you, to harness your strengths online so you’re not pipped past the post by the competition. Contact for a free no obligation consultation.

launch of a ‘revolutionary’ social media analysis tool

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

The web is a wash with articles about social media; what is it, where it is and how it can be leveraged as a business tool. With all and sunndry jumping on the band wagon, I get the impression it’s all getting abit confusing for general business owners….here’s something worth reading - a rather telling post from B2B Marketing news which hints at what will come to pass with social marketing. To Gandalf for you? well here’s the whole no nonsense article for your contemplation. When you’ve read it, give us a call and we’ll explain what it means for you and your business:

Autonomy Corporation has announced the launch of a ‘revolutionary’ social media analysis tool which will allow companies to listen to the most important online conversations.

The web content management firm claim the new software ‘Autonomy Interwoven’ uses an Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to automatically listen to social media content and analyse the dialogue.

Its creators claim it will be the first such tool to understand human sentiment, enabling marketers to act instantly.

An Autonomy spokesperson explained how the system “provides proven clustering, pattern matching techniques, and probabilistic modelling that treats words as symbols of meaning rather than simple data points, yielding a more contextual set of data for marketers to act upon.”

“The Web Content Management solution also provides powerful capabilities for engaging customers in a dialogue and enables marketers to instantly act upon the meaning and insights gathered by IDOL, to deliver compelling, targeted offers.”

Autonomy suggest that traditional keyword spotting solutions fail to truly understand specific meanings in user-generated content, as language is often more conversational and rife with slang and emotional undertones.

The company has used the same meaning based computing technology that is used by the world’s largest corporations and government institutions to create the system.

“In the past few years marketers have struggled to keep pace with the radical shifts taking place in the buyer landscape,” says Anthony Bettencourt, CEO of Autonomy Interwoven. “Social networks which by nature are dynamic, unstructured forms of information do not fit neatly into traditional, database driven analytics systems.” [Cited from B2B Marketing]

What does this mean for you? regardless of whether you are a techy, a marketeer or a business owner, information like this is gold dust in understanding where the next opportunities are to be had for differentiating yourself within an increasingly complex and competitive online market. One of our many strengths at Intune is in understanding the web from a business solutions standpoint and in helping our clients understand and capitalise on new and emerging relevant technologies and ideas. Contact for a no-obligatory business consultation.

Intune Media. The intelligent, business focused, dedicated and forward thinking web partner for your business needs now and in the future.

ecommerce website terms and conditions - are you savvy?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

When we sit down with a client looking to take their first step on line, I’m often asked about website terms and conditions. In an effort to provide our blog readers with everything they might need to know, here is a rather good digest of the necessaries, provided by a trusted specialist Jane Lambert:

Every website requires at least two sets of terms -

(1) website access terms; and
(2) a privacy statement.

If goods or services are to be acquired or supplied on-line the client will also require terms and conditions of procurement or supply. If access to certain parts of the site is restricted to registered users, the client will also need registration terms. I refer to these collectively as “e-commerce terms”.

Website Access Terms
A website is essentially a computer program that generates sounds and images on to a user’s screen when processed by the user’s browser. Like all programs the source code for a website is a literary work pursuant to s. 3 (1) (b) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. So long as it has not been copied slavishly from an antecedent website copyright subsists in the code pursuant to s.1 (1) (a). In order to process the code, a browser has to reproduce it and reproduction of a copyright work is unlawful without the licence of the copyright owner. The owner can impose conditions for such licence and these conditions are my website access terms.

For a typical website I usually draft the following the following provisions:

(1) Licence Clause This usually goes something like:
“(1) Access to this website requires the reproduction of copyright material which can be done lawfully only with the licence of ABC Ltd. a private company incorporated with limited liability in England and Wales under the provisions of the Companies Acts 1985 – 2006 having its registered office at Wuthering Heights, Haworth, West Yorkshire BD99 0AZ (”ABC”).
(2) ABC grants such licence only on the following terms.
(3) If you do not accept these terms you may not visit this site and must leave immediately”.
(2) Acknowledgement: Visitors are asked to acknowledge such things as
• the site is only an information resource and does not contain professional advice;
• any and all intellectual property belongs to the site owner; and
• they are subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.
(3) Intellectual Property: Visitors are required to promise not to download copy or make use of that material otherwise than for their personal and private use without the owner’s prior written consent.

(4) Disclaimers: I usually disclaim liability for consequential damages and economic loss and third parties’ acts or omissions.

(5) Variations: I reserve the right to amend these terms upon reasonable notice.

(6) Severance: Should any of these terms be void or unenforceable they are deemed to have never formed part of this agreement but the remaining terms continue to have full force and effect.

(7) Forbearance: Forbearance in enforcing a term on one occasion shall not affect the right to enforce it in future.

(8) Choice of Law: Disputes and differences are to be determined in accordance with English law.

Privacy Statement
Collection and use of personal data are regulated in the UK by the Data Protection Act 1998 and similar legislation in many other countries. Such legislation is broadly consistent with Guidelines on Transborder Data Flow that have been adopted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. To facilitate compliance with those guidelines the OECD has developed a very useful Privacy Statement Generator.

A privacy statement covers such things as:
• who owns and controls the website
• the purpose of the website
• the data that are to be collected
• the use to which such data will be put
• whether cookies are to be collected
• whether it is necessary to register as a user, and
• whether the data holder has notified his use of personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998.
There should also be a statement that the privacy statement is to be read with the website access terms.

E-Commerce Terms
Unless the site owner is prepared to litigate anywhere in the world (including especially the USA) and has sufficient insurance or other resources in place to do so, there should be a clear statement that the owner will do business through the site only with residents of the UK. In International Shoe Co v Washington 326 US 310 the US Supreme Court established the principle that he who enjoys the protection of a state in order to carry on business there has to accept the burdens of being present in that state such as accepting the jurisdiction of its courts. What constitutes presence has been discussed in many subsequent cases but a distinction appears to have been drawn between “active” websites which solicit and transact business within a state and “passive” sites which merely supply information. If a site owner does intend to do business outside the UK he or she is urged to have separate sites for each country and to take comprehensive legal advice from a lawyer practising in the jurisdiction concerned before doing so.

It is important to remember what terms and conditions can and cannot do. They cannot be used to disclaim or exclude all liability. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 disallows the exclusion or limitation of liability for death or personal injury by means of a disclaimer or contract term and permits such the exclusion or limitation of liability for other kinds of loss only in so far as the term meets the requirements of reasonableness. I often liken exclusion clauses to the keep of a medieval castle. Best practice is the curtain wall or moat which keeps most intruders away. Insurance provides the second defence for the occasional slip up or bad luck. And terms and conditions manage risks that cannot be insured against.

Because terms and conditions have to mesh with best practice and the available insurance cover which differ from industry to industry and client to client it would be unhelpful to offer here an all purposes precedent. Each set of terms has to be crafted individually for the client and that takes me time and costs the client some money - but it is nearly always money well spent. All that I will say is that my terms make clear:
• when a contract is made and on what terms
• when it is performed
• when payment is due
• the precise consequences of non-payment
• the terms upon which a contract can be terminated
• the precise consequences of termination
• how notice is to be served and notification given
• how disputes are to be resolved, and
• which law is to apply.
In addition to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and other consumer protection legislation websites have to take account of The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (as amended) which are known as “the distance selling regulations” and The Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 or “e-commerce regulations”. The distance selling regulations require suppliers to provide customers with their terms and conditions in writing, written confirmation of their orders, full information on cancellation and complaints and delivery of the goods within 30 days. The e-commerce regulations require the supplier’s name, address and contact details, his or her VAT number, professional body and other information to appear on the website.

How much does a set of website terms and conditions cost?
We advise our clients that his task requires a lot of thought and work. Effective terms and conditions cannot be cobbled together from a precedent book. We advise a budget of around £1,000 for all the sets of terms and conditions that the average client needs.

Choose Intune Media for your ecommerce website. We will make sure that you are expertly guided through the full ecommerce project lifecycle and if you should need further business development advice, we have trusted partners at hand to provide additional services and support, all under the intune umbrella. Contact us with your requirements.

Free tools for measuring online marketing effectiveness

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Whever we come across a good tool, i make it my mission to post some info and links for your convenience. Here’s a good post from @dharmesh regarding measuring your twitter success.

How Does Twitter Grader Calculate Twitter Rankings? i.e When you tweet, what kind of an impact does it have?

If one were to look at data for a given user available in twitter, what kinds of things would one look at to determine whether that user had power, reach and authority? Also, when looking at these various factors, it’s helpful to think about each of these in the “all other things being equal, what’s better” context. Otherwise, it’s easy to get caught up into non-productive arguments on why a certain factor is or isn’t important, because there are so many cases that “prove” that it doesn’t matter. Let me explain. One of the factors that goes into measuring your Twitter Grade is the number of followers you have. Many of you will argue that the number of followers is completely irrelevant because it’s so easy to game. There are automated tools to do nothing but acquire followers by following a bunch of people. That’s true. It is easy to spike up your follower count. However, I would counter with this: If we were looking at two different twitter users, all other things being equal (and I do mean all other things), the one with more followers is likely more powerful and deserves a higher twitter grade. Of course, all other things are usually not equal and that’s why the Twitter Grade is interesting.

So, let’s go into the factors. Note: These are NOT in order of priority or weight (and they’re not all weighted equally — not by a long shot).

Algorithm Factors

1. Number of Followers: More followers leads to a higher Twitter Grade (all other things being equal). Yes, I agree that it’s easy to game this number, but we are looking at measuring reach and I did say all other things being equal.

2. Power of Followers: If you have people with a high Twitter Grade following you, it counts more than those with a low Twitter Grade following you. It’s a bit recursive, and we don’t get carried away with it, but it helps.

2. Updates: More updates generally leads to a higher grade — within reason. This does not mean you should be tweeting like a manic squirrel cranked up on caffeine and sugar. It won’t help either your Twitter Grade or your overall happiness in life.

3. Update Recency: Users that are more current (i.e. time elapsed since last tweet is low) generally get higher grades.

4. Follower/Following Ratio: The higher the ratio, the better. However, the weight of this particular factor decreases as the user accrues points for other factors (so, once a user gets to a high level of followers or a high level of engagement, the Follower/Following ratio counts less).

5. Engagement: The more a given user’s tweets are being retweeted, the more times the user is being referenced or cited, the higher the twitter grade. Further, the value of the engagement is higher based on who is being engaged. If a user with a very high Twitter Grade retweets, it counts more than if a spammy account with a very low grade retweets.

The Grade Calculation: So, those are the factors that go into the calculation of a score. This score is then used to compare a user against all other users that also have a score. The grade is calculated as the approximate percentage of other users that have an equal or lower score. So, a Twitter Grade of 80 means that about 80% of the other users got a lower score. At the time this article is being written, over 2.1 million users have been graded.

The Ranking: The absolute ranking is exactly what it sounds like. Based on all other users scored, what’s your “position” in that list. A ranking of 5,000 means that only 4,999 other people had a higher score than you (at that point in time).

Elite List: The elite list is simply an ordered list of the top users (based on ranking) at a given point in time. This list is updated several times a day. We also maintain lists of the top ranking users based on a narrower set of users (like those in a specific geography, those that match a specific keyword, etc.).

You might like to check out for further info. A family of tools that helps measure all that matters in inbound marketing. Learn more about some of their tools and how they work on the blog.
  • Free SEO tool that measures the marketing effectiveness of a website. Website Grader has graded over 1,000,000 sites and won numerous awards.
  • Evaluates your press release and provides a marketing effectiveness score. Helps you get the most of your investment in press releases by ensuring that you optimize for both humans and search engines.
  • Twitter is all the rage with tens of thousands of new users joining every day. Twitter Grader is probably the most popular online tool for measuring the power, authority and reach of a Twitter user. How do you stack up on Twitter?
  • Did you know that there are over 200 million active users on Facebook? Or, that thousands of businesses are setting up Facebook pages to help reach their potential customers? Facebook Grader helps you measure the power and reach of your Facebook user account or business page.
  • Check your content for use of gobbledygook words
  • Evaluates your personality. All you need to do is specify your first and last name. Personality grader will then analyze your personality and give you a customized report.

When you’re done browsing, give us a call so we can help you formulate and action your business’ digital strategy into the next decade and beyond. You can also follow intunemedia on twitter, if you are so inclined ;-)

do you have a cost-effective strategy to increase your business profits?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Doing business in the UK is expensive. Organisations of every size are feeling the squeeze on profitability.

Making sure you don’t waste money by paying more than you need to for your essential business overheads is the quickest and most direct way to mitigate this and put profit back onto your bottom line. However, unless you have in-house specialists, a strategy and systems, how can you achieve this without diverting existing resources away from your core business and adding to the overall cost of your overheads?

The answer is to work with an Intune Media strategic partner to bring independent advice, unparalleled market knowledge and specialist expertise into your organisation as an additional management resource. Should you require systems implementation or development, the Intune team are at hand to take down your requirements and meet your long term goals.

Contact Intune for systems and advice to keep track and improve your long term business profitability.

new intune media site launched

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

We’ve just launched the new site, hope you like it. We plan to put in lots of hard work over the next few months to add to the blog, including articles on web development, marketing, web design, social media and maybe even one or 2 exciting new site launches.

Our strategy is to build intune into a fast-growing multi-platform full service agency by seeking out new developing markets and creating new business models based on eye-catching design, high quality content and cutting edge development.

Like what you see? Interested in a strategic relationship with intune, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to discuss your proposals.

site launch announcement. Carpe World Coaching International.

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

The Intune team is pleased to announce the launch of A new website dedicated to providing the most significant developments in business NLP.

Carpe Diem or seize the day, is about getting the very best from your business day in the most effective time-conscious way.

Possibly the most powerful coaching process ever devised, Carpe Diem is the culmination of over two decades of experience working with success-focused individuals in over twenty-two different countries.

We believe in always placing our client partners first and ensure that their experience with us is positive, purposeful and profitable.

Carpe World Coaching International offers a Signature Coaching Programme based on 7 and 16-minute telephone sessions with online support using audio , video and text rapide.

The original ‘Carpe Diem’ process not only supports workshops (we will work with other training and coaching providers), but also provides a complete coaching process for any kind of personal project or business development.

Intune Media. Helping our clients make a difference which is measurable. Contact to find out how we can help your business.

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