Thunder Thursday:IKEA experiments with time travel

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Categories: Thunder Thursday

IKEA has decided to experiment with the concept of time travel for their latest digital campaign. You may be wondering how they do this, well the answer is that they enlisted the help of Justin Tranz (hypnotist) who hypnotized a young couple into believing that they were in the future. In order to make the experiment feel real for the couple being hypnotized, they bought in a couple of actors who pretended to be their future family members. Guided by the hypnotist, the couple began to experience a peak into a few iconic moments of their future.

The release of this new campaign is in support of their latest catalogue that is centered around the theme “Where the Everyday Begins & Ends”. “In the new IKEA catalogue you can find solutions for every episode in life”, says Johan Wickmark, Global Catalogue Manager.

IKEA have also released interviews with the couple and Justin Tranz.

Speed up your company research with Cerebro

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Categories: Innovation

Last week for Work Wednesday we spoke about our quick website audit tool and we’re going to stick to the topic of useful applications. This week it’s about snooping!

A new Google Chrome extension called Cerebro has surfaced on the Internet and is attracting a fair bit of attention already. Cerebro provides you with more information about a company when you visit their website. So in other words, when you visit a company website, Cerebro will load a sidebar on the website and include information about the company such as a brief description, key people and the founding date.

The extension is very new still and we ran into a few of problems (it doesn’t work on all websites, it feels a little interruptive and there doesn’t seem to be a quick way to turn it off), but on a number of websites it did extract some good information about the company. Here are some screenshots of various company profiles with the Cerebro sidebar enabled:

The person behind the extension says that in future he wants to include estimated budget, services used and Salesforce integration. The sky is the limit with this sort of thing really and we’re looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Ask the professionals

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Categories: Thought

There are a lot of hugely talented people on this planet and sometimes they offer up their time to answer burning questions that we all have. Recently several well known business owners and industry professionals have been asked some great questions and they’ve dedicated themselves to answering them accordingly. Below you’ll meet several great people along with their answers to some interesting questions.

David Meerman Scott (Twitter)

David Meerman Scott is an American online marketing strategist, and author of several books on marketing, most notably The New Rules of Marketing and PR with over 250,000 copies in print in more than 25 languages.


What do you see as the biggest shift in sales and marketing that’s most likely to happen in the next 10 years? And what can we as marketing professionals do about it?


Most sales organizations are built and run as if it were still 1989. The sales model is broken.

From 2004 through 2014 it has been a decade of the rise of Inbound Marketing. Now, from today through 2024 will be the rise of Inbound Sales.

Early in my career, I worked as a sales representative at a Wall Street economic consultancy. Back then the salesperson had the information and therefore the power in the relationship.

If the buyers wanted information about how the product worked, they needed to come to me. If they wanted to negotiate a discount, they had to come through me. If they wanted to speak to a customer to learn about their experience with my company, they had to come through me. If they wanted to talk to the founder of the company, they had to come through me. I was involved from the very beginning of the relationship, and most of the leverage was with me, the sales rep.

But now, because of the wealth of information on the web, the salesperson no longer controls the relationship. Now, the buyers can check you out themselves. They can find your customers and read their blog accounts about what you do. They can reach the founders directly via Twitter and LinkedIn. Buyers actively go around salespeople until the last possible moment and then come into negotiations armed with lots and lots of information. Now its the buyers who have the leverage.

Sales needs to change in order to be successful in this new world.

I wrote about this in my newest book titled The New Rules of Sales and Service: How to Use Agile Selling, Real-Time Customer Engagement, Big Data, Content, and Storytelling to Grow Your Business which releases in three weeks!


Avinash Kaushik (Twitter)

Avinash Kaushik is an Indian entrepreneur, author and public speaker. In his writing and speaking Kaushik has championed the principle of aggregation of marginal gains, and encouraged the pursuit of simplifying perceived complexity in the field of data analytics.


#1) Google claims to have transparency as a core value and as part of their mission statement, yet they have been becoming more and more opaque, particularly around their core business (removing the search API years ago, removing keyword data for organic search referrals while keeping it for paid, removing the social connections page showing how Google knows about and uses social data for your account, taking actions against those who aggregate paid search data and attempt to write about it, etc). How does Google reconcile their values with their actions? I know Larry & Sergey still allow employees to ask them questions every Friday – have people asked about this conflict? Have they given answers?

#2) What else, outside of your current role, is on your professional bucket list?

#3) I’ve always been hesitant/afraid of sharing politically charged content on my professional social channels, yet it’s something you’re obviously very comfortable and open with. I’m curious – has it ever gotten you into trouble? Would you recommend that open approach to others?


1.Remember I’m not involved in setting policy at Google. For anything. Let me make this observation. I think people don’t have all the data that they might need when they go out and attack Google or Apple or Microsoft or SEOmoz. People on the outside have some data (including some that the company being attacked might not have). People inside these companies have that data, and a bit more (including insights into strategic direction/choices being made that might be a few years out).

In this tricky situation I personally believe that Google walks the tightrope really well. It is perhaps more transparent than most companies. As its business has grown it can and can’t say some things (tight rope). I believe that it lives its values well.

I personally wish there was even more transparency on a couple things here and there. When I bring it up and get the context as to why that is not the case, in almost all the cases (except two) I’m satisfied that it was the right decision.

Google, like every company on the planet, gets things wrong. Often there is a course correction, sometimes there is a public reversal, always the wounds are licked and lessons learned for the future. I cannot stress how good Google is at that last part.

On the last part: At TGIT the answers are provided, 99.995% of the time!

2. In one of the comments above I mentioned the non-profits, that would be it.

3. Oh, no. Not comfortable. It is not easy.

I’m in a little different situation than you, I don’t have to shoulder an entire company’s business. I have Market Motive. I have my personal engagements and my personal platform. But it is nothing like being the CEO of SEOmoz.

At some point a couple of years ago I realized that I had a platform and to not use it 1% of the time to talk about issues I deeply care about is a mistake. Staying quite because people won’t read my books or slam me on social media or hire me is silly. So I use my platform to go off message and talk from my heart. I talk about gay rights (I deeply care about equality). I talk about the sometimes poor choices US foreign policy makes. I talk about solving for the society and not just self.

I’ve decided that I’m only going to live once. Might as well be myself.

(But remember I care a lot less about my business than so many can afford do so this might not be the right choice for everyone.)


Will Critchlow (Twitter)

Will Critchlow founded Distilled with Duncan in 2005. Since then, he has consulted with some of the world’s largest organisations and most famous websites, spoken at most major industry events and regularly appeared in local and national press.


What are some of the “culture hacks” you have at Distilled? Small things you do as a company that are unconventional — but effective.


A weekly email round-up (I got this from Rand). We’re still (just) managing this to be all hands but it’s creaking and groaning. A short summary of the most significant thing from your week.

Weekly all-hands meetings (short presentation and Q&A) – shamelessly stolen from Google and not very unconventional.

“Happiness budget” – everyone gets £750 ($1,200) / year to spend on anything that will make them happier / more productive at work. Many use it like a “stuff budget” (headphones, bigger monitor etc) but it’s also been used for all kinds of things including things that have positive externalities like wall stickers for the office.

Distilled-athon – getting the whole company together every ~18 months (we’ve only run one so far but we’re planning the next) – this is a pretty big deal for a bootstrapped company like ours.

Beer o’clock – Friday ends with beers in the office

We ran a “dragons den” (shark tank in the US) at our last distilledathon which let people pitch for how to spend £5k ($8k) on improving distilled. The winning pitch was to give everyone kindles with some curated books on them. All new joiners now get kindles on their first day.

We try to have fun with target-setting – we’ve bought new coffee machines, done a whisky tasting and taken people on holidays for hitting targets.


Dharmesh Shah (Twitter)

Dharmesh Shah is co-founder and CTO of HubSpot. In addition to co-authoring Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs, and Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage, and Delight Customers Online, Dharmesh founded and writes for, a top-ranking startup blog with over 350,000 members in its online community. Dharmesh holds a BS in Computer Science from UAB and an MS in the Management of Technology from MIT.


What you think about the impact of FB search over Google, will fb be adding results from bing into Graph search? will this reduce the Google share in search market. The future of FB search seems to be getting user the best local result & if they succeed in this then Google will be taking the punch.


Over two years ago, I’ve been predicting that Facebook would eventually get into the search business. They have a *different* dataset to work with than Google has. Whereas Google primarily crawls/indexes the web and builds a link graph, Facebook has data on people, their likes — and their interactions.

A few thoughts:

1. Facebook’s dataset is much more efficient to build. Most of the data is collected within FB’s own infrastructure and can be processed in real-time. That’s an advantage.

2. For certain classes of searches, I think the data that FB has might yield better results. An example would be people-based services. Like “interior designer in Boston”. It’s possible that when searching for a professional, knowledge of who your friends are, what companies they have engaged/liked is more relevant than Google’s approach of analyzing websites/pages and their authority.

Having said all that, I think FB is still in the very, very early stages. It’s unlikely that they’re going to put a significant dent into the Google search market share in the next couple of years. But, they definitely have the financial incentive to do it. If they can figure out how to capitalize on user intent and intersect it with their data, it’s a massive opportunity for them.

Oh, and that model is actually a lot easier to succeed with than the ads model they have now.


Alexis Ohanian (Twitter)

Alexis Ohanian is an Armenian-American internet entrepreneur, activist and investor based in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, best known for co-founding the social news website reddit, helping launch travel search website Hipmunk, and starting social enterprise Breadpig. He is a partner at Y Combinator.


What advice do you have for folks in the early stages of building a user-base or community (like we have on The early months are tough, because you’re often starting from a dead-stop. Any tips for marketing something in the early stages?


Hustle! Use your product every day and be as helpful and amazing as possible.

I get asked this all the time, so I wrote an e-book about it. Starting reddit was a lot harder in 05 because there was no such thing as social media. Today you have so many platforms for pushing out great content. Show off the best stuff your communities generate. You all know a thing or two about inbound marketing ;) do what buzzfeed/huffpo/gawker/everyone does when they repackage reddit content and do it yourself for inbound content!

From a product standpoint, early on karma and leaderboards were the primary incentives for people to submit content, but that was 9 years ago and things have changed quiet a bit. understand the motivations for people to become influential in your community from creating good content and reward them through software.

Trending Tuesday: The EFF Causes A Stir

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Categories: Trending Tuesday

Trending Tuesday is here again which means it is time to take a look at what is trending on the World Wide Web. This past week has been quite a busy one with the EFF causing a stir in Parliament asking Zuma to pay back the money. Their chant resulted in the #PayBackTheMoney trend on Twitter, people used this hashtag to discuss why the President hasn’t paid back the money and demanding that he do so.

It seems that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is still a popular topic on social media and that many South African are now taking part in this phenomenally popular trend.

 Top Twitter Trends:

Top Google Trends:

In order to brighten up your day here is a remix of the EFF in Parliament by dj Low

Meme Monday: I’m The Captain Now

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Categories: Meme Monday


Friday Findings: Easter Eggs and Amplification

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Categories: Findings Friday

It’s rather crazy to think that we’re a week away from September, that means that we’ll be heading into Spring shortly – truth be told, we do love our weather here in Cape Town. But before we get side tracked with thoughts of lounging on a beach, it’s the end of the week and time to look at another instalment of Friday Findings.

In light of it being Friday, let’s look at something fun first. People love easter eggs (an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in a work such as a computer program, video game, movie, book, or crossword) and this week a lot of places have published about Google’s easter eggs that work with query refinements. What this means is that you can actually send your friend a link to a search results, but with an easter egg, check this out: click here. Here’s another one. Enjoy!

If you’re someone who writes great content but struggles to get your content in front of many people then you’re going to thank us for sharing this post with you that covers 16 explosive content promotion strategies.

Another awesome discovery from this week was Browser Stack - Test your website for cross browser compatibility on real browsers. Here a brief video to introduce you to the awesome service:

For the Instagram fans, there’s some good news from Instagram: Instagram have announced a new suite of business tools for brands on Instagram. iMod Digital has an Instagram account and we’re excited about this announcement.

Some other big announcements and news related matters in the Inbound Marketing world:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thunder Thursday: Wearable Technology Reveals Emotional Data

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Categories: Thunder Thursday

Saatchi & Saatchi make the audience their experiment at this years NDS (New Directors Showcase) in London. For those of you who don’t know the NDS takes place at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, it is a showcase of some of the most exciting and upcoming new directorial talent. The NDS allows for many new directors to make their name on a world stage.

This year Saatchi & Saatchi decided to give their audience a world first experience and allowed their audience to ‘Feel the Real. In order to provide their audience with a unique experience, Saatchi & Saatchi handed out over 2000 wristbands to their spectators. These wristbands then captured each audience members emotional response as the show went on. The showcase featured a variety of stimulating and diverse short video clips from Tatia Pilieva -First Kiss to Alvise Avati – Beans in order to ascertain the different levels of emotional experience from the audience as the show went on.

The data that was collected from the wristbands and was then visualized and projected onto two screens that were placed on either side of the main screen. The wristbands also incorporated a LED light that would change colour as an audience members emotional state changed. The wristband went from blue to green to orange and then to red & magenta, with magenta being the highest state of arousal.


The data reveled that :

  • 98% of users were stimulated by the work they saw on the NDS reel.
  • 83% of users experienced relatively high levels of arousal.
  • 65% of users were highly aroused at some point.

Wristband colour ratio:

  • Percentage of time in Green 21.62
  • Percentage in Orange 5.439
  • Percentage in Red 2.219
  • Percentage in Magenta 0.947

Feel the Real

It is interesting to note that 85% of the audience were aroused at the same time and that Tatia Pilieva’s ‘First Kiss’ consistently maintained a medium to high arousal level, which was shared by most of the audience.

The ‘Feel the Real’ experience just proves how possible it is to capture people’s emotional reactions and then to store that reaction as data.

Our Quick Audit Tool

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Categories: New Projects

Have you ever wanted to know some quick technical aspects about your website and not had a clue where to start? Yep, this is actually quite a common problem that we get asked about, so we decided to take a stab at providing a very basic tool that could potentially give you a very quick glance at some technical aspects of your website.

SEO Quick Audit Tool


The tool focuses on providing a quick look at some fundamental SEO aspects of a website audit. Obviously, to compile a comprehensive audit takes a number of years of experience and skill, but this tool is simply there to help you identify if you have some of the fundamental aspects of SEO implemented on your site.

If none of that makes any sense to you, give us a shout and we can perform a comprehensive SEO audit on your site to help you ensure that you get the most from your website.

*Please note that this tool is not intended to replace any SEO services that are being performed on your website, and it is always best left to the professionals to make changes or tweaks to your website.*

Trending Tuesday: The Ice Bucket Challenge

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Categories: Trending Tuesday

The ALSA Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice bucket challenge is the latest trend that is going around the internet at the moment. The challenge requires you to either dump a bucket of ice on your head or to donate $100 to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association in the United States. As of Monday the Ice Bucket Challenge has helped raise the ALSA $13 million. The challenge went viral thanks to Pete Frates, former Boston College baseball player, who nominated his fellow Boston athletes to take part. Pete Frates was seen as the next Red Sox star until his career was unfortunately cut short by the disease. Pete’s story is truly inspiring, it is a story of courage and optimism that will long be remembered. This widely popular challenge has sparked the attention of many celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Mark Zuckerburg, Martha Stewart, Bill GatesRobert Downey Jr. and ofcourse Chris Prat, who decides to add his own spin on the #IceBucketChallenge.

It is fantastic to see people using social media to do some good.

A collection of the best Ice Bucket challenges


Top 5 Twitter trends

Top Google Trends

Google Trends 19 August

Although the Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t quite trending in South Africa yet I am sure sooner or later this viral trend will hit us and when it does we are going to have a lot of cold and wet people.

Meme Monday: The Internet Loves Kim Jong-un

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Categories: Meme Monday

For some reason, Kim Jong-un was visiting a factory in North Korea when this photo was taken. Of course the internet latched onto the photo of the Supreme Leader and just couldn’t resist an opportunity to have a little fun. Enjoy!


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