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Leading high street retailer Debenham’s takes the One Platform route

The Hydra team is delighted to be working closely with leading UK high street retailer Debenhams as it embarks on implementing Hydra's One Platform.  It has already enabled Debenhams to uncover an additional 16 million potential searches it can now target. The One Platform will ensure this high street retailer can target areas to leverage greatest success, identify and target problems efficiently and rapidly boost its search rank performance.

Read the case study to learn more.

 

Posted by Becky Hayward at 16:00
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HSBC selects Hydra's The One Platform

We are very excited to announce that HSBC have selected Hydra to assist in its next phase of Search Marketing activity. Working closely with both Greenlight, (the agency that manages various elements of HSBC's search activity) and the bank itself, the Hydra team has deployed The One Platform enabling HSBC to discover ways to increase the effectiveness of its Search Marketing activity.

Our visualisation tools provide a 30,000 ft view of the sphere of opportunity which can then be drilled down into in order to assess trends and new opportunities at a keyword level.

Read the case study to find out more.

Posted by Becky Hayward at 11:00
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Optimising the Buying Cycle

A consistent presence across all digital channels that helps to sway a prospect's decision in their favour is something that online marketers aspire to achieve. However, budget constraints and fierce competition combine, creating an obstacle that is difficult to overcome.

Help is now at hand! By understanding the stages of the buying cycle, the channels that are more suitable and the phrases most commonly used for each of these stages and chan­nel combinations, online marketers can now easily determine the most suitable cross-channel spend and tactics to help them achieve their goals.

Achieve greater ROI

At Hydra, we have developed a solution for this challenge. Using the science of algorithms and predictive analysis, the One platform aggregates data from Natural Search, Paid Search and Social Media, meaning users can now better optimise the buying cycle and achieve greater ROI.  

Our new White Paper "Optimising the Buying Cycle" discusses the various elements of the buying cycle and how approaching them in a planned way can increase search related revenue, significantly.

Posted by Ruth Zohrer at 11:30
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The One-O-One Series

The One-O-One is a series of dedicated posts addressing how integration can help innovate on existing optimisation methods across Natural Search, Paid Search and Social Media and improve overall campaign success.  As such, we will be parsing through some of the key topics involving strategy development, campaign planning and implementation, and performance analysis and reporting.

 

Why does the One-O-One exist?

Because digital marketing disciplines have been developed in silo and so have its best practises.  As we move to a more collaborative environment where channel integration offers competitive advantage to marketers willing to take that step, the arsenal of best practise guidelines must reflect this new approach.  In the One-O-One we will highlight how traditional channel-specific methodologies can be adapted to successfully work hand-in-hand with an integrated approach and help maximise the return from overall digital marketing investment. 

 

What does the One-O-One cover?

It generally covers methods currently applied by marketers at the planning, implementation and review phases of a campaign but with a twist.  This twist essentially explains how current best practises and methods can be modified or supplemented to incorporate insight from other channels to refine its outputs and improve their effectiveness.  Our aim is to consider the main pain points of digital marketers today and propose solutions to either eradicate them altogether or at the very least make them less painful. 

 

When is the One-O-One published?

It is published on a monthly basis as a planned series to give us enough time to prepare insights of quality and value.  However, as it is often the case, new topics of interest emerging in the media or requests from our readers may trigger additional posts that would increase the frequency of publishing to fortnightly.  Any topic suggestions or requests for comment can be emailed through our Contact Us form (just ensure to put One-O-One in the subject).

 

Who is responsible for the One-O-One?

Though all posts are reviewed by Hydra as a team, the main point person for this section of the blog is our Senior Solutions Consultant, Ruth.  To find out more about her and other members of our team, you can visit the Meet the Team section and put a face to the name. 

Posted by Ruth Zohrer at 12:00
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Introducing the One Platform

Hydra is the culmination of many years of best practice in the Search Marketing and Social Media space. It takes all combinations of words and phrases your customers are likely to use and then gives you tools to push marketing directly back into the channels you need to be in to get customers to engage with you. Hydra is all about bringing channels together into one place and talking to your customers in the language they use to discuss your area of business. We call our technology "The One Platform."

For years we have seen Natural, Paid Search and Social Media treated separately by both client and agency alike, often seeing one company with an SEO agency and a PPC function working completely in isolation.

Times are changing however, the growth of Social Media as a proportion of online marketing spend and the need to see a clearer and more refined ROI from investments is driving a more collaborative approach to such activities. This is natural and makes sense as customers don't silo their activities into such buckets, they, "go to Google" or "have a look on Bing" or "post a status on Facebook to get friends opinions."

There is a commonality between all of this, "the words" and "phrases" they use in these discussions. We call this "Phrase Marketing."

So what is Phrase Marketing?

Phrase Marketing is the next evolution in online marketing. As we naturally gravitate to a more collaborative environment, sharing keywords and phrases across teams, learning about how customers discuss our products and services, it's essential we enable greater creativity and productivity across the organization and leverage the expertise of our agencies. The One Platform from Hydra IS Phrase Marketing.

Taking word and phrase feeds from ANY location, be it, SEO keyword lists, PPC Campaigns, Inventory of stock or Page content and querying that against Social Media to see the sentiment, or leverage phrases customers use in discussing your products and services, enables Hydra customers to build more specific, targeted keyword and phrase lists to take to the channels. Essentially our WordBank becomes the ultimate authority on what is being used today in your business, how well it is doing, what new opportunities exist, and how we could improve and beat our competitors.

This is why The One Platform has been created, because the task of amassing, and analysing the opportunities that exist is vast and is not manageable in real terms without enormous teams of people to deliver the outputs.

Need for Technology

Technology has revolutionized the life of the Online Marketer over time. You can now buy a tool to:

  • Help SEO work better
  • Manage PPC Campaigns
  • Optimise Social Media

However, inherently this approach of point solutions further silo's and disaggregates the best practice in your organization. In a recent survey we conducted 72% of respondents that don't share keywords and phrase across teams, didn't feel they were "on trend" when it comes keywords and phrases used today.

We view this as a big problem, and one that shouldn't exist. All we are talking about is bringing these technologies together on top of a database to manage and create a more targeted list of phrases your customers use. So we put our money where our mouth is and built it.

Other inherent issues of scalability of campaigns are even a struggle with some of the point solutions in the market, where you are hamstrung on your creativity by being restricted to the number of words and phrases your tool will let you manage. This makes no sense to us; technology should empower scale and creativity by driving more depth with greater focus by letting the processors do the hard work. So we have decided to let the tool do the work, and you can manage as many keywords as you want.

Enterprise class

Technology at this level is different, it needs to scale, it needs to automate processes and should be able to scale to allow as many users as possible to improve the work they are doing.

We've worked with a variety of Cloud platforms to work out what will work best for our customers, and we are delighted to say we have found a robust Cloud environment that allows us to scale to levels not experienced previously. This massively parallel computing allows us to deploy complex algorithmic logic into our systems, but still return results on a real time basis.

We are also conscious that technology without expertise is pointless. So with a fully integrated training programme, and vertical specific deployments, designed to increase your speed of ROI, we believe we can show you results of using our technology very rapidly. 

But what of those companies who are using an agency today? The depth of expertise and knowledge in your agency will by its very nature always be hard to replicate internally, even if you are lucky enough to have a rock star digital specialist, they will often be brow beaten under a pile of Excel spreadsheets. Technology at an Enterprise level should:

Remove the monotonous but tedious tasks that a machine can do faster:

  • Take the VAST tasks that a human simply cannot do, and automate it
  • Apply logic and process to calculations that a human cannot do en masse.

When all of this is deployed, it means you and your agency become more efficient, with less time and money burnt on the mundane, and more time and money spent on the innovative.

 

Posted by Martyn Jobber at 09:00
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