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New digital advertising platform aims to help businesses grow online

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Grace Osborne, Founder of Natural Grace London.
74% of small firms have increased their use of social media to promote their business online: Source: BT research

BT, the UK’s leading telecommunications and a network provider serving customers in 180 countries, has launched a new digital advertising platform to make it easier for businesses to run their own digital marketing campaigns, helping them to better promote their goods and services online.

BT’s Digital Marketing Hub aims to give businesses useful tools and support to create, publish and measure their digital advertising across Google, Facebook, and Instagram – all from a single platform.

With the majority of businesses moving online during the pandemic, a survey by Small Business Britain carried out in September 2021, in partnership with BT, found that 74 per cent of small firms have increased their use of social media to promote their business online. 43 per cent of those polled said they were using e-commerce more, while 30 per cent had increased their use of paid social media advertising.

However, while small businesses recognise the importance of using social media to reach more customers online, 40 per cent of the 5.9 million SMEs in the UK (2.4 million) aren’t using paid digital media advertising. This lack of adoption risks holding a significant proportion of the UK’s small firms back from growth as the economy looks to recover from Covid.

Developed with feedback from more than 1,500 businesses, BT’s Digital Marketing Hub has been designed to help those that often lack the time, resource, confidence, or skills to start or boost their own digital advertising campaigns. From sole traders and small businesses looking to take their first steps into digital advertising, to larger companies looking to optimise big-budget display, social or search campaigns, the Digital Marketing Hub provides an all-in-one solution.

Businesses can create ads and run multi-channel marketing campaigns while all the results feed into a single analytics dashboard. With artificial intelligence (AI) working in the background, businesses can get automatic recommendations around the best keywords, ad copy and media spends to include in their campaigns, helping secure maximum return on investment. To support small businesses without their own website, the Digital Marketing Hub also provides the option to create a bespoke webpage to direct potential customers to.

“As a track athlete with a passion for sustainability, founding my business enabled me to create high performance sportswear whilst tackling the pressing issue of ocean plastic. The BT Digital Marketing Hub really helps to streamline an essential part of the business. I can monitor and make changes to my online ads without having to move from one platform to another. It’s really simple to use and has given us invaluable insights.” – says Grace Osborne, Founder of Natural Grace London.

“This is a pivotal time for small businesses across the country, after a really tough couple of years. Small firms are the backbone of the UK economy, so it’s vital that they’re equipped with the digital tools and support they need to help their business reach new heights. They can reach a much bigger audience by using the power of digital advertising, but many lack the time, money, and confidence to do this effectively. Our new Digital Marketing Hub has been designed to give small businesses peace of mind that their online advertising campaigns are reaching the right customers, in the right place, at the right time.” – adds Chris Sims, BT’s MD for its SoHo (Single/Small Office, Home Office) unit.

Customers can register their interest to receive a call from one of BT’s dedicated team of digital marketing experts to help them choose the service level that’s right for their business and get their advertising up and running.

EuroNewsweek is a dynamic news platform featuring lifestyle, sustainability, successful stories, tech, leadership, creative marketing, business, and the unstoppable people behind them.

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Disneyland Paris renames theme park in $2 billion revamp

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Facade os Disney Paris with Disney's characters standing in front of it
The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

Disneyland Paris has unveiled a new name for Walt Disney Studios Park as part of the park’s US$2 billion transformation.

Walt Disney Studios Park will become Disney Adventure World when the new immersive area, World of Frozen, opens.

The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

“We’re changing the story of Walt Disney Studios Park, evolving from ‘how it’s done’ soundstages to celebratory theatres and adventures that come to life in immersive worlds,” said Tom Fitzgerald, chief storytelling executive at Walt Disney Imagineering and senior creative executive for Disneyland Paris.

“These fully realised adventure worlds will become the focus of the park’s new identity and appear as realms that guests discover as they navigate deeper within the park and are invited to participate in adventures inspired by our most beloved stories.”

As part of the rebrand, the park’s entrance is also being reimagined, with the current design replaced with ‘crafted décor that pays homage to historic movie theaters in Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole.’

“Embracing a transformation that involves the overhaul of more than 90 percent of Walt Disney Studios Park since its debut in 2002, we’re unveiling a fresh creative vision that has completely redefined our second gate,” said Natacha Rafalski, president of Disneyland Paris.

Previous investments in the property include World of Pixar, which opened at the park in 2021 and Avengers Campus (2022).

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EU economy forecast to grow 1.0% in 2024

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Expected economy growth is largely due to consumers spending more this year | Photo: Christiann Koepke

The Commission has published this week a new forecast for the European Union economy, with a more upbeat scenario for consumers. After a downturn in economic activity in 2023, inflation rates will continue to drop and the EU economy should gradually grow in 2024. This is largely driven by ‘consumers spending more, thanks to higher wages and more job opportunities,’ it is believed. 

Concretely, the EU economy should grow 1.0% in 2024. The euro area economy should reach 0.8% of growth. In 2025, GDP will grow even more. Meantime, EU inflation has fallen dramatically since it peaked in 2022. It is expected to wind down to 2.7% in 2024 and to 2.2% in 2025.  

The jobs market is also performing well. Despite the slowdown in activity, the EU economy created more than 2 million jobs in 2023. Activity and employment rates of people aged 20-64 hit new record highs in the last quarter of the year. In March 2024, the unemployment rate in the EU stood at a record low of 6.0%. 

Some challenges remain. For instance, investment growth is slowing since fewer new homes are being built, which affects various industries. As a result, it is expected that interest rates will drop more slowly than anticipated. 

The Commission publishes four economic forecasts throughout a given year, covering GDP and inflation data for all Member States, the EU and the euro area. 

In the UK the scenario is also looking positive, with the Office for National Statistics having recently confirmed that the UK unemployment rate for January to March 2024 (4.3%) is above estimates of a year ago (January to March 2023), and increased in the latest quarter. 

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Mango to strengthens its presence in the UK with 20 store openings

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Mango store facade at Oxford street, London
At the close of the 2023 financial year, Mango had 60 stores in the UK

Mango, one of Europe’s leading fashion groups, continues its expansion and brand consolidation plan in the UK with more than 20 store openings planned for 2024. Growth is focused on expanding its presence in London and Scotland, as well as the arrival for the first time in several cities in Northern Ireland and central and southern England.

“The UK is one of the priority markets for Mango’s international growth. The increased presence in London and our arrival this year in some cities where we have not been present until now will consolidate the Mango brand and help us to strengthen it internationally,” says Daniel López, Mango’s Director of Expansion and Franchising.

The company plans four store openings in London this year, in addition to last February’s opening of a store in the Windsor Yards shopping centre in the heart of historic Windsor, close to Windsor Castle

Mango will also increase its presence in Scotland with store openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and for the first time will reach cities in Northern Ireland, as well as central and southern England. 

The new Mango store will incorporate the New Med Mediterranean-inspired store concept, reflecting the spirit and freshness of the brand. Sustainability and architectural integration are the key to this new design that conceives the Mango store as a Mediterranean home with different spaces in which warm tones and neutral colours predominate, combined with traditional, handcrafted, sustainable and natural materials such as ceramics, tuff, wood, marble, esparto grass and leather.

 
Mango has been present in the UK since 1999. In 2021, the company strengthened its presence in the country with the opening of a new flagship store on Oxford Street in London and three other stores in Manchester, Edinburgh and Derby. 

Last year, Mango opened more than 10 stores, mainly in the south and centre of the country, in major cities such as Bristol, London, Manchester and Leeds. Key among them was the store opening in Westfield Stratford City, one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. In addition, the company arrived for the first time in Brighton with a 470 m2 store in the Churchill Square shopping centre.

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