What is Heartbleed?
Heartbleed is the name given to a security bug which affects a widely used piece of software called OpenSSL. Using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), websites can provide encrypted information to visitors, so the data transferred (including usernames, passwords, and session cookies) cannot be seen by others while it goes from your computer to the website.

Heartbleed exploits a built-in feature of OpenSSL called “heartbeat”. When your computer accesses a website, the website will respond back to let your computer know that it is active and listening for your requests; this is the heartbeat. This call and response is done by exchanging data – normally when your computer makes a request, the heartbeat will only send back the amount of data your computer sent. However, this is not the case for servers affected by the bug. A hacker is able to make a request to the server for data from the server’s memory up to 65 kilobytes.

The data that can be obtained by this request may contain data left behind from other parts of OpenSSL. As this data is just a raw memory dump, what’s stored in that extra memory space is completely random. As more computers access the server, the memory at the top is recycled. This means that previous requests may still reside in the memory block the hacker requests back from the server.

Should I be worried?
At the time that the bug was initially discovered, about 17% of the internet’s services were thought to be affected. Thankfully, as the OpenSSL software is Open Source, this bug was very quickly patched and all major service providers (Google, Amazon, etc.) as well as online banks and building societies have now updated their SSL certificates and OpenSSL library, so you should have nothing to worry about.

Big Wave Media’s clients and services are not affected by this bug.
All client websites and web services were (and are) unaffected by the Heartbleed bug. Clients do not need to take any action.

In general it is advisable to change any passwords for third party services though, particularly any confirmed as initially vulnerable (such as Google and Yahoo).

It is a good habit to change your passwords regularly. When doing so, follow these good security practices:

  • Don’t use the same password across multiple services
  • Select passwords with 10 or more characters
  • Use at least upper and lower case letters, in addition to numbers.
Posted in Blog, Devon, Digital, Google, News, Social Media, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring in our Steps

We’ve just recovered from a busy month here at Big Wave – gearing up for the challenges ahead and putting our charitable efforts into practice!

Graphic Designer, Joseba Altuna faced the challenging RockSolidRace on Saturday 15th March, whilst I braved the cold and early morning start on Sunday 23rd March and ran 10K, raising money for Age UK Exeter.

Thousands of people came from all over the country to take part in the popular RockSolidRace which boasts more obstacles per km than any other obstacle course event. Battling the cocktail of mud, sweat and nature’s finest hurdles for a gruelling 10K, Joseba and the rest of his team accomplished the course in 3hrs 19mins. By the looks of Joe, I think I got away lightly for my race!


I on the other hand, opted for the more gentle approach to a challenge! After a pre-race warm up courtesy of Fitness First, I fastened my MYZONE® belt and began the 10K race along with 800 other participants from Exeter’s Princesshay. It was a really forgiving route which meandered down through the River Exe valley finishing at Piazza Terricina at the Quay. Thankfully the rain held off and I crossed the finished line in an impressive 1hr 7mins (well at least my MYZONE® activity report tells me so!).

myzone activity reportme and josh

Team Big Wave is growing so expect a few more of these to come!
Go #TeamBigWave

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Creative Design, Devon, Digital, Facebook, Fitness, Health, Leisure, News, Social Media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Wave Media Creating Opportunities

We recently asked Laurence, our apprentice business administrator, to give us his thoughts on his experience at Big Wave Media so far:

My name is Laurence, Larry for short. I am currently employed as an apprentice business administrator to the accounts team. I started employment at Big Wave at the end of August in 2013.

My first impression from walking through the front door is that this was a very relaxed and organised working environment. It wasn’t long before I figured that my first impressions were pretty accurate. The office is full of characters and friendly faces. All the staff have been extremely helpful, especially with me being new to this environment.

The relaxed atmosphere is very much counterbalanced by an all-round work hard mentality which each and every staff member have. There is a lot of trust and respect between staff members, as everyone is confident that each member can perform their job to an extreme quality and efficiency. The team itself has a whole wealth of skills and values, ranging primarily from experience and knowledge to innovation and creative thinking.

The role itself varies from day to day, there is always something new to learn when working here. Working here has been a truly unique experience; I cannot compare the friendly atmosphere to anywhere else I have ever worked in the past. I have found that my time working here has refined my work related skills.

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Creative Design, Devon, Digital, Internship, PR, Social Media, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The marketing mix – Is Google god?

At the annual Quest conference (March) we talked about the traditional marketing mix (think radio, newspaper, TV) and this presentation picks up digital and looks at how Google has influence and tools in this arena.

There are a multitude of Google products that can compliment your marketing mix and we looked at a few of these.

The presentation title also opened a more philosophical debate about the presence, growth and depth of Google that we touch on towards the end.

View the slides below or view on slideshare here. You can also download a pdf of slides here

We’d love to know your thoughts on this (philosophically or marketing orientated!). Find us on twitter @bigwavemediaLinkedIN or (umm…) Google+

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Digital, Digital Marketing, Google, Search Engine Optimisation, Social, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Wave Media embarks on MYZONE® Challenges

Myzone BeltFuelled by easy methods of transport and a sedentary work life, obesity continues to grow as a worldwide epidemic. Recent UK Active research has shown that increasing the current levels of physical inactivity by just 1% over the next five years could save numerous lives and the UK economy £1.2 billion. Therefore, engaging in active behaviour is more important than ever before.

As it is well publicised, using technology to aid your workouts can generate motivation by taking the guess work out of your fitness routine – why count calories when it can be done for you? Our client MYZONE® aim to improve the quality of life, by providing an accurate heart rate monitoring system to reward effort during physical activity. MYZONE® Effort Points (MEPs) accumulate for every minute of physical activity that a user spends in the 5 effort zones based on personal maximum heart rate. In a nutshell, the higher the intensity, the higher the number of MEPs earned.

Continuing from our previous UK Active Summit blog, Big Wave Media have taken action to turn the tide of inactivity, and this time we have evolved from standing meetings! Setting weekly MYZONE® challenges on the Big Wave Media online account, allows us to track the office MEP count and create a leader board for some healthy office competition.

Since fastening our MYZONE® belts at the beginning of 2014, we have managed to achieve over 20,000 MEPs and burn over a remarkable 100,000 calories! Thanks to the social method, it is now a morning race to the wireless console to see who earned the most MEP’s overnight (secretly hoping to beat the impressive efforts of our office Roller Derby queen)!

However, MYZONE® isn’t just for corporate wellness, as health clubs across the globe connect with the game based feature. Utilising the tool in group exercises, unique, real-time MYZONE® stats are displayed on a large TV screen, acting as a personal trainer without any of the shouting. This high-tech design maximizes the potential of each member whilst increasing club engagement.

As the infectious monitoring system continues to grow in popularity, it sheds a new light on activity – exercise no longer seems like such a tedious, uphill battle. Using the innovative MYZONE® technology at Big Wave Media, we have nurtured behavioural change towards physical activity in the workforce. As our challenges advance, please keep track of our progress and achievements on Facebook and Twitter.

Our PR online health and fitness fact sheets reiterate the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and the positive effects exercise can have on an individual’s well being. As marketing specialists in the Leisure & Fitness industry, these can be a very useful advertising material when embarking on an active promotion. Please get in contact with us on 0845 643 2385 for more information about this service. For more information on how MYZONE® makes movement measurable, please visit their Facebook page.

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Devon, Digital, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Fitness, Gamification, Health, Leisure, Leisure industry, PR, Social, Social Media, Sports, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing to Every Audience

How to Target Your Leisure Campaign and Which Tools to Use

With a wide range of marketing methods available it can be difficult to choose which method is best to get your message across to the correct audience in a cost effective way. It is important to ensure that the sole focus is not always on new members and to have a strategy that communicates with current customers and any that you have lost along the way.

Carefully planning out your activity, dependent on the type of consumer can help create a consistently branded campaign across multiple levels to give an all-round marketing campaign. This requires you to create bespoke activity to your various consumers groups including:

  • Existing
  • New member prospects
  • Lapsed members

New Members / Prospects

Design and branding – Eye catching artwork that drives people with a strong call to action is important for any sales based campaign, don’t give too much information away and encourage people to call you, visit your website or interact via social media. Keep the message consistent and on brand across all channels.

Demographics – analyse your data to ensure you are targeting the correct demographics for both traditional and digital methods.

Distributions – carefully plan out any leaflet based distributions to ensure you are targeting the correct audience, and if you are inserting into a publication again ensure this publication matches the demographic profile you are aiming to attract to your specific offer.

Website- you have sparked an interest in your offer so one of the first places people will look is your website, this is your chance to really give people the detail they want, and if you have a promotion on make sure it is clearly visible.  Also the website is a perfect place to gather prospects through contact submission forms and competitions.  The majority of people now view websites on a phone or tablet so if your site is not mobile enabled it will be important to consider this in the future.

Facebook advertising – targeted pay per click (PPC) advertising via Facebook for example can help you reach a new audience that is not already engaging with your social media channels. This can be specifically targeted to geographic areas, age ranges, gender and personal interests to ensure your spend is used wisely.

Search engine advertising – advertise to people when they are at an intent stage in the customer journey by directly advertising using PPC. Utilising demographic information and specific key words to attract new interest and also stay ahead of the competition. Supplement your PPC with a check on the performance of your websites organic search engine results via an SEO review and plan.

Social media channels – Focus on the benefits of the experience that you offer rather than directly trying to sell. The engagement and content needs to be of interest and provide good social share options.  This could be via infographics and memes to the channels.  Don’t fall down by not engaging with your audience and if someone leaves a message or a question get back to them quickly with a positive response.  Make sure there is somewhere for people to leave their details so you can capture any prospects details.

e-marketing and SMS – while mainly used for current members,  retention and referral purposes using e-marketing and SMS can also be effective to contact ex members for new member drives. Using the data that you capture from your website, social media channels, on site and via the phone you can directly target these people with your offer to ensure they receive a personal message from you.

Direct mail – if the audience is correct then why not send a bespoke piece of marketing to your prospects list with a special offer, again this method is often used for current members and ex members but if you have a niche target and a select list of hot prospects a cost effective digital print run and postage will give the prospect a personalised message straight to the doormat.

External advertising  - plan in advance, again by reviewing your core areas you can then research the best options such as billboards, bus shelters, or even try and secure a space for your own banners in a busy area!  For a longer term investment why not consider securing your very own trailer for high impact banner advertising that can be moved to make the most of various different times and events!

Internal advertising – once you have gone to the effort of exposing your brand externally, don’t forget to carry this through internally as first impressions really do count, carrying on the strong message will strengthen your efforts and will also aid with referral from existing members.

Radio and newspaper – do they still work…. Traditional newspaper and radio advertising still has its place in the mix if you choose the correct approach. With the emergence of digital methods the newspapers and publications are more likely to offer special rates to get you advertising with them, where possible ensure that the publication also gives you some editorial to go alongside your advert.

Promotions – running a promotion with the newspapers, local publications and radio stations will also help to generate exposure and enable opportunities for data capture that can then be used for e-marketing or SMS purposes. These can also be promoted via your social media channels in order to cross reference your marketing methods. These are often all free to include if you are offering a worthwhile prize such as a free membership.

Important Audiences Never to be Missed as Part of Any Sales Campaign

Ex members

Whilst some members who leave are not likely to return there are others who have fallen by the wayside who are still hot leads that need to be included in any full marketing campaign. The tools to engage with this group are often cost effective and act as an extra boost from the awareness that has already been created for the new sales campaign.

E-campaigns – target your ex members with your latest offer and remind them what they are missing out on by highlighting not only the benefits of joining your centre but also of the benefits to them personally. If you run specific ex member campaigns then ensure the offer is shown strongly as a unique selling point (USP) but also an obvious call to action.

SMS – follow up the e-campaign with an SMS campaign to anyone who hasn’t read or opened the email to make sure your offer / message has been received.

Direct mail – give the ex-members the personal touch and show you still care about them by sending them a personalised piece of direct mail with a specific offer, whilst the artwork will be mainly generic you can personalise this to the individual.

Social Media – just because they are not members anymore doesn’t mean they will not follow your social media feeds, so ensure that you are posting engaging content that generates interest, it might just help to motivate the ex-member to come back and re-join.

Current members can form part of your sales team!

Most centres will have a clear communication pathway for existing members to support retention levels. It is important that you keep these members happy and also informed. This will help to motivate them but also make them more likely to refer your offering to friends and family. Everyone likes an offer!  Incentivise existing members with a strong referral programme.

Outside of the retention programme and points of contact that the members already receive there are still some marketing opportunities that can be targeted to current members as part of a new sales campaign. Your offer will have been seen externally and also internally and if there is a special offer it could leave existing members feeling they are missing out. Offering an incentive through a referral scheme will not only help to keep the existing member happy but also potentially boost your new membership sales. This referral offer also needs to be given to new members as soon as they join to carry on the momentum.

Internal marketing – your existing members will be used to seeing your standard materials and will be accustomed to it so the offer needs to stand out to them. Whilst keeping in-line with the campaign design make some subtle changes with strong messages aimed directly at existing users through a variety of ideas.  Try pop up displays in the gym / class areas and potentially leave messages in the lockers, the back of toilet doors and above urinals is always a winner too as it quite literally is a captive audience.

e-marketing - add to the existing member communication with the referral offer or add it to existing information such as the monthly member’s newsletter.

SMS – send the offer to any members who have not opened the e-campaign.

Direct mail – sending the members something that they can physically give to a friend or loved one should generate a good response, Campaigns such as 12 days of Christmas have been around forever but still work.  This can also be used in the form of a short free trial or bring a friend for free with a strong conversion offer, but ensure that the person giving the referral is also incentivised.

Social media – your existing members are likely to be engaging with you the most on a daily basis so don’t want to see sales messages all the time, keep the content engaging and motivating so that they keep checking and also increase the possibility of social sharing

Casual users

If you are open to non- members (more often known as casual or pay as you go users) they will also see your external and internal marketing. Some are happy to come along and continue to pay as they go and not commit to a membership. However you can still target these users with tailored messages that might make them take the leap to becoming a fully-fledged member.

Internal marketing – Tease the casuals users with thought provoking messages that makes them question whether they would be financially better off as a member. This can be via posters, pop up displays and any other point of sale items used within the centre.

e-marketing – Interrogate your database to see how often the casual users are coming, if you have a group that would benefit from becoming a member then send that group a unique message explaining the various benefits that they would receive by being a member.

SMS – again in the same way as the other groups send SMS messages to those who do not open the e-campaign.

Social media – use motivational messages on memes and infographics and highlight the importance of regular exercise and the benefits that this can be bring.

To Summarise:

  • Keep the branding consistent
  • Use your data to analyse your users and target your spend wisely using your demographic information
  • Send the correct messages to the correct audiences
  • Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and try new methods
  • Plan your activity carefully within an agreed budget
  • Set targets for the outcome of the promotion
  • Analyse the effectiveness of each method
  • And don’t forget… ensure your enquiry handling system is in place to capitalise on all inquiries

These tips are ideas on how to market to your target audience for not only a sales campaign but also your marketing strategy in general. If you would like more information on marketing and project management services we provide at Big Wave Media and how we can support you contact tomgozna@bigwavemedia.co.uk

Our team of account managers, marketing consultants and project managers can support with your every requirement and work alongside you to create striking and effective marketing campaigns.

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Business Development, Creative Design, Demographics, Digital, Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Facebook, Fitness, Graphic Design, Health, Leisure, Leisure industry, Mobile App, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Technology, PR, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media, Twitter, Web Development, Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to engage with your target audience over the festive period in 140 characters

Tweets are the building blocks of your communications and provide the power of saying more, with less. The right content and behaviour converts people into customers, and turns customers into advocates. However, with an average of over 500 million tweets sent each day, it is increasingly difficult to set your business apart from the competition. It also comes as no surprise that this heightens during the festive season, as the sea of promotions and giveaways picks up momentum.

It may seem tempting to immediately send an influx of tweets, bombarding your consumer’s Twitter feed, so they have no choice but to witness your campaigns. But before you get carried away, take one step back, and learn. Follow and observe businesses similar to yours and learn from their success stories, learn from the nature of tweets that create the most interaction, and finally, learn from their mistakes.

This blog provides four useful tips on how to overcome this problem and increase your Christmas engagement in a simple 140 characters!

1.       Find your voice

It’s vital to relay your personality through your Tweets, so all aspects of your business work together to tell a story. Due to the informal environment, users respond best to friendly and conversational tone of voice. This may seem obvious in order to create interaction, although all too often, businesses feel the need to portray a corporate appeal and are overly formal on Twitter.

The opportunity to humanize your brand is perfect for the Christmas period, as we all know that everyone is up for a bit of festive cheer! (Apart from all those Scrooges out there, of course). So, save 10 characters and add a Ho, Ho, Ho to the end of your tweet!

2.       Respond, react & retweet

Your followers represent some of your most loyal, interested customers, so invest time and treat them accordingly. Reply when people tweet about you, favourite and retweet positive tweets and address any critical tweets.

It’s likely that your account will become busier over the Christmas period with seasonal marketing campaigns and increased product interest. All of these actions will help you build stronger relationships with your followers.

3.       Tweet festive, shareable campaigns

People tend to retweet when they are entertained and inspired – so what better time than Christmas to create an entertaining Twitter campaign that inspires people to buy your product/service?

The characters on Twitter can be limiting so why not contain links, photos and videos to express your content in greater detail. There are endless promotions that can incorporate all these ideas, such as marketing the 12 Days of Christmas with a chance to win discounts and vouchers each day. When this is successfully achieved, your creative tweet has the potential to travel to many prospective customers.

4.       Take advantage of custom timetables

Twitter has recently introduced the feature of custom timelines. Organising a timeline with theme-specific tweets to share with your followers, will give your business the innovative edge. To put a festive spin on the timeline, why not gather a collection of tweets that refer to your Christmas campaign and build even more interest by sharing it with your followers. For example, John Lewis could create a custom timeline about their 2013 Christmas advert, showcasing what people are saying using the #BearandHare

These four tips are just the beginning on how to increase engagement with your target audience over the festive period. If you would like more information on the social media services we provide at Big Wave Media please contact simonbeer@bigwavemedia.co.uk

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Christmas, Digital, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gamification concept from Badminton England

This week an interesting project from Badminton England has caught our eye.

‘Battle Badminton’ is an innovative social initiative to drive participation in Badminton. The concept is aimed at badminton players and sports fans nationwide wishing to get involved and takes casual competition to the next level.

Battle Badminton lets users find new players (aged 18+) to play. Users can issue and accept challenges to ‘battle’ it out on court in singles or doubles matches with players deciding how, when and where to play. Players can set their own rules and scoring system, if both agree.

Battle Badminton players earn points each time they get on court. New local and national leaderboards mean players can rise through the Battle Badminton ranks. Users can also create their own leaderboards, amongst friends, in workplaces, universities, or sports teams.

There are 9 Battle Badminton ‘status’ levels to achieve.

There are 10,000 free places available on Battle Badminton and apparently sign up also includes free Club England Social annual membership (usually £5).  This provides insurance cover to play Battle Badminton matches and pay and play court time in leisure centres (but excludes club league, county competition or circuit tournament match play).

This is a great project that is introducing both ‘gamification’ and social aspects to get people up and active.

To sign up or take a look at the Battle Badminton site, visit:  www.badmintonengland.co.uk/battle

Posted in Badminton, Gamification, Leisure industry, Social, Social Media, Sports, Website | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Twitter Introduces Custom Timelines

Not long after its IPO, Twitter has announced a new ‘Custom Timeline’ feature to the social media site, allowing users to control how their Tweets are organised and delivered.

Currently only on TweetDeck, users can hand-pick tweets they want to include in their custom timeline. This could be anything from TV programme mentions, as The Voice US host Carson Daly recently completed, or a collection of the best songs which are currently trending, as Twitter Music illustrate. After all, you can customise as many timelines as you like, creating theme-specific groups. More interestingly, these public custom timelines can be viewed on Twitter, shared on your timeline and embedded on your website.

After a recent visit to the UK Active Summit, Big Wave Media are joining in the protest to tackle inactivity. So, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to combine the two and create a fitness inspiration timeline!

Below is our first custom timeline on Health & Fitness information and motivation, in an attempt to encourage Britain to get moving.

We believe this new Twitter feature holds plenty of creative potential, especially when introducing a new marketing campaign. If you would like more information on social media and the chance to integrate custom timelines into your online marketing promotion, please contact simonbeer@bigwavemedia.co.uk

Please find detailed information on how to create a custom timeline here.

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Creative Design, Digital, Digital Marketing, Fitness, Health, Leisure, News, PR, Social Media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Wave Media attend UK Active Summit 2013

Last week, our very own Tom Gozna, Director of Big Wave Media and Debbi Moore, Business Development Manager, attended this year’s sold out ukactive Summit. The event brought together over 400 key stakeholders including Government officials, local authorities and leisure centres in a bid to tackle inactivity and encourage Britain to get moving.

1 in 4 people in Britain are now deemed ‘physically inactive’ as they are failing to raise their heart rate for more than 30 consecutive minutes within a 28 day period. This high risk concern inevitably contributes to the increasing levels of obesity, as well as the vast medical costs that are associated with treating health problems.

In Fred Turok’s speech, Chairman of ukactive, he called for a national ambition to turn the tide of inactivity by getting Britain moving, highlighting that a 1% reduction in inactivity rates for five years would save £1.2bn.

As a marketing agency, Big Wave Media are fully aware of the difficulties of maintaining a healthy lifestyle when the nature of your work permits you to sit at a desk for the majority of the day. However, we are taking that 1% difference on board and making a change…to add to the joys of Monday morning, we were confronted with a standing meeting! Cue shocked faces and thoughts of terror for standing for the next 15 minutes. (Yes, there were also lots of jokes about next week’s Monday morning meeting taking place on a jog around the block).

However, in favour of the change or not, ukactive’s promotion of getting Britain moving is the future, so what are you doing to increase your activity?

The support ukactive is receiving – alongside its drive for making sure physical activity becomes normality for the country, will predictably result in a shift in the way businesses market to the inactive population. If you would like the opportunity to create an active awareness campaign this winter, please take a look at our exciting, new promotion package. We have also recently updated our PR online fact sheets, with insightful and revealing information about the effects of exercise on health and well being. As marketing specialists in the Leisure & Fitness industry, these can be a very useful advertising material when embarking on an active promotion. Please get in contact with us on 0845 643 2385 for more information about this service.

Please find ukactive Summit 2013 gallery here.

Posted in Advertising, Blog, Branding, Fitness, Health, Leisure, PR, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment