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A journey to creating customer-focused content

Communion Architects website communionarchitects.com

When Alex Coppock from Communion Architects first approached us in 2012, he was keen to explore ways to improve search engine rankings and bring more visitors to his website. Since then, his website has remained in top two organic keyword positions and website traffic has grown 10x.

Alex has always taken a very thoughtful approach to his website and I invited him to write an article reflecting on his journey with his website. What follows are his thoughts on how he has changed the way projects are featured on his website over the years from a simple way to showcase the buildings Communion has worked on to something that has a much wider purpose. To my mind, the shift beautifully reflects Communion’s generous, people-focused spirit and its mission statement – working closely with people to deliver exceptional projects that transform spaces and change lives.

I’ll let Alex tell the story from here…

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The day I learnt what arbitrage means

An fun insight into the insane business model of big tech and pizza delivery by Ranjan Roy

‘If someone could pay Doordash $16 a pizza, and Doordash would pay his restaurant $24 a pizza, then he should clearly just order pizzas himself via Doordash, all day long. You’d net a clean $8 profit per pizza.’

The business model of companies like Doordash, Uber and originally Facebook to dominate at all costs, seems crazy to me. I understand the logic but cannot help feel it is not sustainable, ethical or profitable for most people unless you are either the winner (Facebook has clearly won in the social space) or an investor as part of your spread bet. And even then it’s still not ethical. If you win, you win big but for most people, they lose.

Ranjan also mentions ZIRP (Zero-Interest-Rate Policy) and links out to another fascinating article on the topic. If I understand it correctly, it’s about risk and how risky ventures are more attractive when other rates of return are low. Given the extremely low-interest rates at the moment I expect we might see even more risk.

Why it’s not profitable to use dark patterns

Paul Boag writing for Smashing magazine on How To Convince Others Not To Use Dark Patterns

‘Brands always used to be able to get away with manipulation because consumers were mostly unaware of being manipulated. Even if they did realize(sic), the choice was limited, and so there was very little they could do. That is no longer true. The web has changed that.

We need to help management realize the fact that consumers have changed. That in every consumer’s pocket is instant access to every other company on the planet that offers the same thing as you. It is so easy to find your competitors and so simple to swap that one small annoyance is enough to make people switch.’

Dark patterns are tricks to make people do things they don’t mean to do. You’ve probably come across them on an airline website when booking seats or paying extra for insurance. Find out more about what they look like here.

While these tricks seem like a clever way to up-sell, here’s an example Paul cites as a reason why dark patterns are not as profitable as they might seem.

‘Sure enough, the sales of filters skyrocketed, and the e-commerce team was pleased because they were one step closer to meeting their targets.

Unfortunately what they were not aware of was what was happening elsewhere in the company.

The marketing team who ran the companies social media channels found themselves having to spend time addressing complaints on Twitter and Facebook.

The customer support team received an increase in calls asking for refunds or complaining. Each call was costing the company £3.21, more than the profit margin on the filters.’

Interview: Wild Fizz Kombucha with Gina Geoghegan

Listen on Apple Podcasts app Listen on Apple Podcasts app Listen on Sticher Listen on TuneIn

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Ben met Gina during a demonstration of how to make a fermented tea called Kombucha, at a small food fair run by River Cottage down in Axminster. He was fascinated by the process of this magical gut reviving drink but also in her passion and clarity of the presentation.

Ben caught up with Gina a few of weeks later to find out about her company Wild Fizz and how she got started. Gina’s story and openness on her business are well worth listening to.

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The Kitchens and Puppy Swarms Interview

I’ve worked with the Sustainable Kitchens team in Bristol for over 2 years now but I wanted to step back and get some perspective from Nicky Spear, head of development and dare I say head of “getting things done”, on how they are developing internal processes to keep up with their fantastic growth.

Find Nicky and the team @itWoodwork or visit sustainablekitchens.co.uk.

Recorded at the Curio lounge in Stroud (I recommend the mid-week breakfast). Crying courtesy of SK co-owner Sam’s baby Eli.

Print Strategy and the Bacon Sandwich Interview

After receiving an intriguing promotional book called “I didn’t know they could do that” from Print Strategy I wanted to find out how well it’s been working for them so got in touch with MD Rob Newton1. We also talked about the future of print and how it’s beneficial to modern marketing.

Follow Print Strategy on Twitter @printstrategy or visit their website printstrategy.eu.

Print strategy book2

1. This is my first Skype interview, I’ve love to hear what you think of it on Twitter @BenKinnaird.

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