Monthly Archive:October 2016

What is a Digital Footprint?

How long have you been on the internet?  Just think about it for a second.

Think about the very first email address you created. Did you use Netscape Navigator? Did you visit AskJeeves?

Move on from there for  moment. The moment you had your first internet chat. Did you use MSN? Yahoo? Remember that dreary grey window with your first excitement of what we call emoticons today?

Don’t laugh. Stick with me here.

Move on from that. The first profile you created. MySpace?  Facebook? Then you started to use Skype. You bought your first item online. You then signed up to internet banking – and today, you can’t actually remember the last time you physically stepped foot in your bank?

We do everything online. We buy, we sell, we share, we talk, we commit, we break up, we learn, we offend, we fall in love.  All of this contributes to our digital footprints.

So, let’s break it down a little. If you have at least 1 of these, then you have a digital footprint. If you have most of these, then your digital footprint is, I’m afraid to say, huge.

  • email addresses
  • online social profiles
  • online shopping accounts, whether you’ve signed in “As a guest” or whether you’ve created a regular shopping profile
  • online bank accounts
  • newsletters that you’ve signed up to in the past.
  • newsletters that have taken your data and sold it to other businesses who now spam you
  • an online blog you created.
  • a guest blog you submitted for someone under a profile you created
  • your mobile phone (yup. If you use IOS, Android or Windows, you would have no doubt created a profile which magically connects to the cloud, and sends things, as backups, to outerspace. And, if you’re like many I know, you may have forgotten your original account and re-created profiles, several times over. Can you remember what each of them are?)
  • If you’re a business-owner, you most probably created your business, and listed it with Companies House
  • Do you friends tag you on social media? Yes? They’re adding to your digital footprints without you even realising it.
  • On your social profiles, are all your profiles marked as private or is there information that is visible to the public? If you’re not sure how to answer that, then, I’m afraid, you’re in the greatest online reality show there is.
  • When your friends tag you in a photo – do you check to see whether that photo is set to only be viewed by friends, or is that photo set to be viewed by the public? If you’re not sure how to answer that, then we have our answer.
  • When you tweet – do you add locations to your tweets, telling the world exactly where you are or where you’ve been?

And every now and then, sometimes more often then we like to admit, we hear of internet security issues, or profile impersonation. In fact, an entire reality tv series developed on the basis of profile impersonation. That’s how real things have become.

So. What happens when you get yourself into a situation and you need to become forgotten? And Quickly?

Just how easy is it to become obscure. To delete your digital footprint. To become incognito for a while.

Not that easy.

We recently received a request for something that was quite different from what we usually do. Where we’ve been asked so often to create, broadcast, amplify a digital footprint, this particular request was 100% contradictory to that. We were asked to help someone escape.

And we did. With effort. But we did.

Over the course of the next few blogs, we’re going to share some security tips to help you safeguard your digital footprint.

But right now, why not change your passwords?  It’s about time.


The (he)art of the Catalogue (part 2)

In a follow up blog post – we’re still talking about the Art of Catalogue shopping and advertising.

In a previous post – I wrote about how I probably would not have purchased the item I had, if I’d seen the catalogue before my purchase. It catered to a very specific group of people (read: age).

This blog is slightly different.

This blog will expose the driving impulsion when getting your retail marketing absolutely spot-on.

I’m a fan of the Joe Browns clothing range. It’s casual and country, but still slightly edgy enough to carry off without the fear of bumping into someone else wearing exactly the same thing.

But what happened to me this week was something that has never happened before.

Because of online purchasing, I have, as many others, become the recipient of copious amount of printed advertising material in the forms of catalogues, catalogues of catalogues, special offer flyers and reminders of end of season madness. That’s retail. That’s why we, as a nation, spent £32.5 billion annually on clothes and shoes in 2011. (Check out more shocking retail stats from 2011 here). That’s why retail marketing is big business.

I digress.

I received my usual Joe Browns catalogue in through the front door this week. It lay on the counter, next to the recycling bin (as, admittedly, most of these do) and while stir-frying some water chestnuts, I decided to pick it up and have a page through. I stopped myself on page 7.

20161006_165734As if compelled by some supernatural power, I turned the stove off. Walked over to my computer. And purchased. The Entire Outfit.  Not because I couldn’t stop myself. Not because it was what I always did.  Nope. Something far more simpler than that.

I did that because:

a) They “knew” my style

b). They didn’t try to exclude me with fancy words

c). They didn’t try to include me with fancy words either.

They simply knew my style.

Yes, you may say that there’s a willing participant within me that first took the step to purchase from that brand in the first place – but it goes much further than that.

I’ve always been a person who shops around – I like to wear the unusual – and that means that you have to find it.  But what Joe Browns and Simply Be does is to remind you of the style you first loved, remind you of the offers they have, make it perfectly attainable – so that it’s easy to simply go online, find the product code, add to your basket, plug in a great offer code, and pay.

And that’s why the catalogue is anything but dead.

Well played, Joe Browns. Well played.

The (he)art of the Catalogue (part 1)

I’m an online girl. You’ve probably noticed that about me.

But within the past week, I’ve been caught out twice by Operation Catalogue.  And, ashamedly, I do admit that my admiration for what was presented, translated into a compulsivity to own.

Introduction…. the catalogue.

Having worked predominantly in the online world for so many years, with print advertising playing a marginal part of the greater marketing mix, one would often fall victim to conversations where the general overtone is around Print Being Dead. “But NOBODY buys from catalogues anymore. That’s so… .my mom!”

I have to pause there, for a second, sir.

The Art of the Catalogue is not dead. It’s just positioned.

I was most intrigued recently when I purchased an italian drape-dress (or so they describe it. It is lovely, really – in fact, so lovely, that I purchased the same, in black) – and to my surprise, while munching on some grapes, I was paging through the catalogue that came with the delivered parcel. The rest of the clothing in the catalogue were pretty straight-forward. Not something that I would instinctively HAVE to have. But what did catch my eye was the final page.

And ironically enough, it wasn’t the imagery. It was the words.

It read:


Us girls have a desire to constantly buy new clothes because we somehow never have anything to wear…


Don’t stress, relax, just get browsing and let your worries slip away, are so bang up to date on the latest trends just for you!  (etc etc)




Now. I pride myself in being pretty current. Perhaps a little street… Being in Marketing you have to be adaptable. You work with varying audiences, ages, genders, cultures.

But this was something I hadn’t had the privilege of witnessing before.

Yes – it probably wasn’t for me, and yes, it probably wasn’t entirely my gig, but the attempt to group me into a collective noun of young, beautiful, trendy women, was somewhat gratifying – regardless of whether I’d fit their Bangin’ Bardot collection.

However, had I seen this catalogue pre-purchase, I probably would have carried on browsing and not given my Italian Drape a second glance.  Now that I have seen it – I’m mildly satisfied that although I’m anything but a bae, I’m honoured to be able to subscribe to that collective noun.



Is your business REALLY online?

It still astounds me how many business individuals, supplying key business services, completely neglect to make their business visible online – in one shape or another.

Example: We are on the lookout for a man who can help us sort out our boiler. There’s a chap locally who comes highly recommended – but do you think I can find him? Do you think I can? heck.  Having to resort to near-stalking behaviour, sending him a message via his personal Facebook profile – I can only hope that he happens to notice that little notification that someone random wants to have a chat.

And he was not the first.

I’m not saying you need the latest, greatest website. I’m not saying you need to even spend thousands of pounds to make yourself visible. There are fantastic tools that will do the job just as easily – provided that you take 1 evening of your week and dedicate some time to creating an online profile where people will be able to find you.

Remember – think about who your client may be. In my case – I’m a professional person – who works most of my day, and when I have a second to think, I google to find someone, make a call, and it’s all sorted out.  Unless I’m not your typical customer in which case, I’m sure you’ll be absolutely fine with the homing pigeon, camel or reindeer.

Here are a few cheap / free ways for you to get yourself known online.

Facebook Page (FREE)

LinkedIn Page (FREE)

Google Plus (FREE) (FREE – unless you want additional chargeable fancy bits and bobs)

Websites (The creation may be free, but you’d need to pay something for the annual hosting)


The beauty of all of these is that if you do it right (ie: you spend time getting it updated, regularly) when someone searches for you on Google – they’ll find you.

And if you really don’t have the time to get this done – that’s where Fresh Brew Marketing comes in.

We can help get you set up and noticed.

Don’t waste another opportunity. Start today.