Recent Posts

Design, Proofing and Specification Tool

For the past few weeks we have been trialling a new online tool called Invision and have decided to switch our proofing processes to this tool. We find it very fast and responsive, as well as having some extra features that suit our needs. If you haven't yet used it on a project and would like a demo / run down on how it differs please feel free to contact us and we can book in a short tutorial. I'm sure you'll find it as easy to use as we do.

Social Business

Marketing a business in the social world is becoming more sophisticated now, with additional resources, mediums and outcomes. Facebook is one way but it's only the tip of the iceberg, combined with Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, Google+, Linkedin, eDMs and YouTube to name just the most common avenues, it's a strategy in its own right.

"91% of people have gone into a store because of an online experience" (Source: Marketing Land)

As a maturing component of the marketing mix, social media needs to join the holistic marketing strategy that drives brand perception and generates real figures on the bottom line. Businesses need to transition from 'online versus offline' to understand that you can't create these these powerful strategies in a vacuum, they need to marry up to deliver the best results.

  • Effective social media campaigns
  • Creating Trust
  • Accountability is key
  • Tying it all in with other strategies

Mobile Apps: Increasing Retail Customer Loyalty

Mobile app development is growing, as is mCommerce but most people are questioning what the best way is to drive a positive ROI on their investment. A growing number of retailers / restaurants / entertainment venues have found that their mobile apps are instrumental in converting customers to purchase from their store, either online or shopfront.

A mobile app has the advantage of marketing to a tangible person, not just an online persona like social media alone. An app user can generate brand loyalty and demonstrate an emotional investment in the brand if it’s done right.

“80% of iOS and Android usage is spent on apps, leaving only 20% on browser activities.” (Flurry Analytics Comscore)

  • Features of the online experience for conversion
  • The app as a marketing tool
  • Enhancements and upgrades
  • Real Case studies

mCommerce: IA and Usability

A report by OBI said that 72 percent of online retailers will embrace mCommerce in their 2012 business strategy. 24 percent said they would develop a mobile website and 21 percent said they would develop a mobile app.  (Dynamic Business)

Usability is a big part of mobile, the smaller the screen the more important the right UI becomes. When you are dealing with eCommerce planning, preparation and testing are key to a successful launch. Once you add mobile platforms to that mix, these things cannot be rushed and steps should not be skipped.

Designing an eCommerce or mCommerce site isn't easy, the proof is in the pudding. Even big brands with lots of research and design experience behind them, make costly mistakes. However it is a new industry that really is only just taking off, so lets learn from others before us and strive to make it better going forward.

  • Look and feel
  • Navigation
  • Functionality
  • Social commerce
  • Making a purchase

Responsive Emails: Direct Mobile Marketing

Email newsletters or eDMs are a common component of campaign work and digital strategies, but we still find a large percentage of them are not being designed responsively.

We wrote an article about responsive eDMs a couple of months ago and the feedback was overwhelming from agencies wanting to know more, so this is a follow up.

Lets start with some basic statistics, sourced from Mailchimp research on mobile email behaviour:

  • Around 40% of all email opens occur on mobile devices, compared with only 32% on web.
  • 69% of mobile users will delete emails without reading, if they are not optimised for their smartphone, another 18% will simply unsubscribe.
  • 75% of users will have a negative perception of the brand if they can’t view the email newsletter on their smartphone.

The effectiveness of an email campaign might well hinge on it's mobile responsiveness, with more and more people opening their mail on the phone. Here are some considerations when designing responsively. 

  • User behaviour
  • Designing the email
  • Consequences of not designing responsively

NFC: A Marketing Perspective

NFC technology, or Near Field Communication is not a new technology but the application of it is becoming more widespread in the finance, advertising and marketing industry, thanks mostly due to out of home devices like smart phones and tablets. This article is an introduction to the technology, how it works and how it can be used as part of a complete digital marketing strategy.

Global NFC m-payment transactions will be almost US$50 billion worldwide by 2014. 20 countries are expected to launch NFC services in the next 18 months. (Juniper Research - June 2011)

  • What is NFC
  • Smartphone technology
  • Difference between NFC and QR Codes
  • How can NFC be implemented into a Digital Strategy?
  • Mobile Wallets

Responsive Design: Email Newsletters

Most sites we develop now are responsive, a big contrast from only 12 months ago where most clients still hadn’t heard of the technology. It’s great to see the progression of technology responding to the market place and the demands that changing consumer behaviour has had on digital filtering through to the design and development process. However, now we move to the next step of responsive, the email newsletter.

It is estimated that over 20% of emails are now opened on a mobile device and with mobile trends going the way they are, that figure is likely to rise.

The issue is that viewing a normal email, particularly a well designed marketing newsletter on a phone can sometimes be a disappointing experience unless the newsletter can detect where it’s being read.

eDM campaigns are a frequently implemented form of marketing communication but there is a growing possibility that the message is not finding its audience if responsive criteria are not considered in the design and development phase.

  • What is responsive email design
  • Cell width considerations
  • Columns
  • Fonts
  • Don’t hide all images
  • Remove non-essential information
  • Design, development and testing

Digital Production

Hopefully you are in full swing for 2013 and digital work is ramping up. We've noticed quite a wide range of digital pitches this year which is nice, keeps us on our toes.

I'd personally like to reiterate that we are here not just for quotes but also to discuss ideas and creative concepts with. Feel free to call up and discuss ideas and we can go over technical options, limitations if there are any and maybe alternatives you haven't thought about. We have the expertise for small projects from eDM's right up to mobile applications and custom development.

Being a pure digital production company, we spend a lot of time researching changing technologies to stay abreast of new ways of delivering ideas and campaigns and we are more than happy to share these with you. We enjoy providing a holistic approach to our development and helping to ensure the most competitive and dynamic pitches are made every time.

We are also in the process of finishing off some interesting projects in the next couple of months, which we have been given permission to showcase which we are very excited about. In the meantime we look forward to your creative briefs!

Regards, Steven

Founder / Client Relations

mCommerce: Planning for User Behaviour

The retail world is undergoing a transformation, that is quickly responding to a change in consumer behaviour, led predominantly by the rise of mobile technologies.

A 2012 Australian Digital Study identified that 60% of online shoppers start their search with a mobile device using apps, Facebook and online ads as a trigger. (source Nielsen / PayPal study 2012).

92.9% of mobile developers surveyed by Appcelerator/IDC in 2012 predict that it is “likely to very likely” that in 2013 most retail companies will have enabled mobile commerce. Shoppers are already driving this transformation, as evidenced by 86.4% of developers predicting that it is “likely to very likely” that in 2013 most shoppers will look up a retailer’s site on their device while shopping in the store. (source: joint survey of 2,837 developers by Appcelerator / IDC, 2012)

A survey conducted on behalf of PayPal demonstrated that in 2010 $155 million was spent online using mCommerce and that figure is just set to explode. Consumers were gearing up to be ready two years ago, imagine how ready they are now. 

  • What’s my strategy
  • Comparing prices
  • Online review and feedback
  • The mobile app

mCommerce: The Evolution of Online Shopping

Australia’s love affair with the smart phone means that it’s only a matter of time before mobile transactions exceed desktop transactions.

In May 2012 Google’s research indicated that 59% of mobile shoppers made at least one mCommerce purchase a month, indicating that once they start, the experience leads to a continuation of this behaviour.

It’s not all about the purchase, it’s about the overall mobile commerce experience. Consumers are using their mobile to compare products, gather information, read product reviews, frequent forums, enter a competition, scan barcodes, make an enquiry or even a complaint. The mobile shop needs to cater for the type of user behaviour that is unique to online shopping, on the move.

  • Who is shopping online
  • Why do they frequent online shops
  • Integrated online marketing
  • Trends to look out for

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Article, Mobile /

The Changing Face of Digital

It’s 2013, a new year, new possibilities! We’re excited about all the new ideas, innovations and technologies that this year will expose us to but and we feel that 2013 is going to the year of digital development for a lot of agencies, who have not yet really delved into this area. We’re not even a few weeks into the year and the ideas and the innovation coming from agencies is inspiring!

Driven mostly by consumers and their love of being connected, the digital world has opened up a world of marketing, sales and public relations opportunities but it has also left a huge disconnect within the industry itself.

A 2012 study, documented in BRW found that 41% of Australian companies spend 25% or more of their budgets on digital marketing (BRW, Nov 2012).

Just like any advertising medium, digital is now an area of expertise in its own right. A medium that needs to be researched, implemented and measured against the overall marketing goals of a company. Digital has already proven it can propel and promote brands across a variety of demographics and be a very efficient way to educate, promote and sell a product or service.

Digital is a growing and rewarding marketing discipline but it needs to be approached with the same accountability and understanding as you would TV, radio or print. Marketers and their clients need to ensure that they are achieving solid ROI’s from their investment in a variety of digital mediums. This is where digital strategy comes into it’s own.

  • What is digital strategy
  • The role of the digital strategist
  • The skills gap
  • Disconnect between the advertising and web industry
  • Technical expertise
  • Traditional agency v digital agency

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Article /

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year from everyone here at Hambo. We hope you enjoyed your break and are looking forward to another great year!

Last year we talked a lot about mobile applications and responsive design as these are growing trends. These are still areas of growth but this year we are excited by some technologies we also see joining the trends list, including NFC and mCommerce. Next month's newsletter, will talk about mCommerce in more detail as it’s set to make waves in 2013.

We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that Hambo is technology agnostic and provides services in a wide range of technologies from mobile, application development including social media apps, frontend, eCommerce and several CMS’s including Wordpress, ExpressionEngine and Drupal. Our service focuses on finding the right solution for each project. So regardless of the platform or technology you would like to use, speak to us and there is a good chance we can help.

We look forward to working together in 2013!

Posted by Steven Hambleton / Hambo News /

Digital Trends for 2013

2012 saw a lot of existing technologies gain more traction, like smart phone applications and a boom in social media in the advertising and marketing medium. It’s fun to try and predict what the new year will bring and there are lots of eager forecasters out there, looking to track web trends in the new year. Based on our personal experiences from this year, here are the disciplines we see growing into 2013.

  • HTML5
  • NFC
  • Digital Wallets
  • Social Media
  • Mobile Apps
  • Augmented Reality
  • Responsive Design
  • SmartTV and Windows 8 apps
  • mCommerce

Christmas Break

Hambo will close down for a few days over Christmas Monday 24th of December through to Tuesday January 1st inclusive. We will be back into it full swing from Wednesday, January 2nd.

We would like to wish all of our clients a great Christmas holiday and a Happy New Year. We hope to be working on some new and exciting projects in 2013. We are ready to get right back into it as soon as you are.

We will be back in January discussing Digital Strategy and then in February we’ll release our next series of articles, this time focusing on Mobile Commerce, known as mCommerce. We look forward to keeping you informed on digital technologies in 2013.

Enjoy your holidays and if you have any questions, don’t forget to call or email us!

Santa image courtesy of 

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Hambo News /

Responsive Design

Responsive design is gaining traction and by 2013 a lot of new site builds will start to investigate a mobile first strategy with either responsive or a mobile specific site.
However like most things in the world of digital, things are moving fast and learning how to design responsively requires more time and focus from digital designers under heavy workloads.

If you need assistance transitioning to this exciting shift in website design, we can work with you to transition your existing wireframes/designs to a finished responsive delivery.
We can provide this as an ongoing or interim service until your design team feels confident they can handle this. We can also provide a guide on designing for responsive to get them started or help them mature their responsive design skills.

Send Steven or Nicole an email if you would like to discuss the options with us.

News from Hambo

Christmas is just around the corner and there are lots of campaigns, predominantly short term surfacing lately. Along with big projects, we are also equipped to handle campaign work for Facebook, micro-sites and eDMs. We look forward to working with you on your next project, no matter how big or small. We’re your agency digital partner, so you can deliver on time and on budget to your clients.

The services we offer are constantly evolving to meet the market, so here is a refreshed list of skills and services:

  • Social Media: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram
  • Web Development: HTML5/CSS/jQuery, Wordpress, ExpressionEngine, Drupal
  • PHP Development: Symphony 2, Yii & custom PHP
  • eCommerce: ExpressionEngine, Magento
  • Micro-sites and eDMs
  • Mobile Apps: Android and iOS (Phonegap and native code)
  • Mobile Web
  • Mobile Games
  • Windows and SmartTV apps
  • Digital Strategy
  • Digital Design

Posted by Steven Hambleton / Hambo News /

The Power of HTML5

58 % in Asia Pacific, 43% in the US and 39% of developers in Europe, Middle East and Africa are using HTML5 now.

HTML has always been important, it is the fundamental language of the web and has undergone several evolutions on it’s way to HTML5. Most non-technical people see it as the groundwork for basic functionality and not overly exciting, but HTML5 is more than just the window dressing.

Online media is diversifying and growing at an unprecedented way with mainstream adoption of interactive technologies. Front end code is more important than ever, with digital technologies now moving past the humble computer screen, XHTML and HTML predecessors are out of their depth.
The adoption rate is steadily climbing and it’s application becoming more diverse. Use of HTML5 is highest in the Asia Pacific region, but growing globally.

The web is also no longer just about websites, it’s about an interactive digital society that is maturing, growing and evolving; interaction is key. The industry, including Hambo is moving forward in front end development with HTML5. Our experienced front end team have been working with it for a while. While some might see if as just another evolution in front end code, it really is so much more, harnessing the power to develop interactive, cross browser, cross device websites and applications seamlessly.

  • Compatibility
  • Alternative to Adobe Flash
  • Interactivity & Apps
  • Caching
  • Audio and Video
  • Speed

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Article /

Mobile First Digital Strategy

The term Mobile First was coined by Luke Wroblewski and basically talks about how digital strategy should think mobile first in their design and concept phase. The concept has been supported by industry specialists such as Ethan Marcotte (Responsive Design Pioneer), who believe that the way of the future is the mobile / smartphone. So what does Mobile First mean to most strategy, design and branding agencies and why is it important?

Australia currently has one of the highest penetration rates in the world for smartphones, at 52% of our population. Interestingly just a year ago it was only 37%. In the US the penetration rate is at 44% and the UK is not far behind Australia at 51%. Data supports an upwards trend as it continues to grow at an exponential rate. By 2015 smartphone usage is tipped to exceed desktop usage.

  • What differentiates the mobile device from the web?
  • What does mobile first thinking mean?
  • Why are people logging onto their mobile device?
  • Responding to user behaviour

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Article, Mobile /

Your Feedback

Hopefully by now you’ve enjoyed reading a few of our articles, or even if you have just joined you have had the benefit of our archives. These articles are for you and your agency staff to help you pitch a digital strategy to your clients. As a digital company we love looking into the market forecasts and seeing what people are doing, thinking or predicting. We are always looking at new technologies, trends and industry news to report on and we’d like to take this opportunity to gain your feedback.

Are there any technologies or digital questions you’d like answered? If so we’d love to do the research for you and present it in a future article. Even if you enjoyed a previous article and would like more information or a follow up, we’d love to know.

Send me some suggestions and feedback at [email protected] and we’ll collate the information to make our newsletter as informative and relevant as we can. Enjoy the read!

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Hambo News /

Facebook Development

We’ve been getting more heavily involved in Facebook development over the past year as I imagine most creative industries have been. Most large and medium sized business have a Facebook app or connection and small businesses generally have a Facebook page. With a growing need to ensure we had the specialist knowledge to provide Facebook development resources to our clients we sought out an experienced Facebook developer who had considerable exposure to the different calibre of Facebook apps out there.

If you’ve not already had the pleasure of a conversation with him, we’d like to introduce our Lead Mobile App and Facebook Developer, João Ribeiro. João is a software engineer and application developer who is very familiar with Facebook and understands their rules and interface in regards to fangates, applications, websites and games. We are very lucky to have his expertise on board and are excited about future projects.

Posted by Steven Hambleton / Hambo News /

Facebook and Social Media Marketing

A US study found that by 2010, 86% of Generation Y was using Social Media applications, however what might surprise you is that 26% of over 65s are using it too! In 2007, 16% of companies were using social media to blog but by 2012 that figure rose to 43%.

Social media and mobile apps are gaining popularity across the globe. Marketing a business via these avenues can be lucrative and rewarding if done right. Depending on the desired audience, having some form of social media presence can be critical in achieving exposure.

Who needs to embrace Facebook?
What is a Facebook App?
The subtle approach
Influence on users
Campaigns, seasons and festivities
Types of Facebook Applications

Mobile Apps and Web

The demand for mobile web is growing and it seems that even from last year to this year, the number of companies trying to get into the mobile market has boomed. Still more are expected to secure mobile exposure and we have geared ourselves to prepare for the shift in development needs of our clients.

Posted by Steven Hambleton / Hambo News /

Magento eCommerce

We have developed several eCommerce solutions in ExpressionEngine (using CartThrob & Store) and Wordpress (using WooCommerce) which has resulted in some highly trafficked and successful solutions. However a lot of our clients are also asking for Magento services for their pure eCommerce and possibly mCommerce stores. We are also able to offer certified Magento development to clients for eCommerce specific projects that require a specialist system built for high volume orders, shipping and transactions. This includes mobile shopping sites.

If you are looking into eCommerce and are not sure which solution would suit you, or if you have a preference for Wordpress, ExpressionEngine or Magento please feel free to discuss your next project with us.

Agency Post Interview with Founder, Steven Hambleton

The Agency Post, a US based marketing and advertising agency publication interviewed Steven last month about Hambo Development. The Executive Editor, Jami Oetting sought out an interview with Steven after learning about Hambo’s unique position within the industry, to provide digital only solutions to creative agencies. This sparked interest because Jami believes that this is the direction the advertising and creative industry is taking and she was keen to speak to our company founder about why we chose this path, how our processes have evolved and what the future holds.

Jami is an advocate for specialisation within the creative / marketing / PR industry. By focussing on core skills and collaborating with other professionals, agencies can increase their value to clients. Trends show that a lot of agencies are choosing to employ virtual teams for efficiency, flexibility and cost effectiveness, to enhance their full service capabilities.

The article highlights our history, why we chose to evolve our strategy to agency only support and where we see the industry heading. We are passionate about what we do and strongly believe that collaboration, specialisation and technical expertise are fundamental building blocks to a successful creative agency.

Read the full interview with Steven Hambleton on The Agency Post.

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Hambo News /

Agency Mobile Strategy: Mobile Site vs Native Mobile App

There has been a lot of discussion as to the best way forward when thinking about designing and developing a dedicated mobile site. Do you choose a mobile site or a native mobile app?

Lets assume that the forecasts are right and that smartphone usage will exceed desktop computers by 2015. Just getting a mobile website isn’t necessarily the smartest move. The smartphone is a platform, the possibilities of how to leverage it are ever expanding. Responsive, mobile web, app, there are key differences, to do with the backend functionality, marketing, platforms, code, design considerations and of course cost. In this article we will discuss these in more detail. Most importantly you need to know what your objective is to choose the right option, at the right time.

  • Purpose
  • Compatibility
  • Accessibility
  • Longevity
  • Cost
  • Design considerations

Posted by / Article /

Agency Mobile Strategy: Mobile Web

The Australian market demonstrates the second highest percentage of (37%) adopters of smartphones in the world, second only to Singapore.

Everyday people pick up their mobiles, not just to make calls but to use online apps and surf the web. Going mobile isn’t just about a shift in platforms it’s a shift in consumer behaviour.

Responsive design can cater for information driven sites but as the interactivity requirements increase or become specialised you may need to make the next leap to a dedicated mobile site.

  • Why is mobile web growing?
  • What is mobile web?
  • Bandwidth
  • Screen size
  • User behaviour
  • Key points for mobile design

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Article /

ExpressionEngine Documentation Add-on

Introducing HelpEE, an ExpressionEngine documentation add-on that allows us to create docs modules for popular functions or add-ons that can be remotely updated if the site's add-ons are updated to meet any new functionality. New site specific documentation can also be created to explain how to administer specific sections of the site.

Responsive Design Plugin

We have been trialling a new plug-in this month on our own site to see if it helps to reduce the bandwidth used when downloading responsive designs onto mobile platforms. So far we are excited to announce it’s working really well and we are ready to offer this same opportunity to our clients.

Agency Mobile Strategy: Responsive Design

Mobile web use is on the increase, a growing trend and for good reason. A recent survey shows that Australian smartphone penetration sits at 52%, up 15% from 2011.

Recent figures suggest that more people will access mobile devices than desktops within a few years, possibly as soon as 2013. We are fast approaching the point at which a mobile strategy is obligatory for all new web projects and not just a ‘nice to have’ feature.

  • What is Responsive Web Design?
  • How does it differ from Mobile Web?
  • Who would benefit from Responsive Web Design over Mobile Web?
  • When do you need to consider a mobile site instead?
  • Is a mobile ready site really that important?
  • Development in ExpressionEngine
  • Learning more about Responsive Design

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Article /

Hambo’s new website launches

Our new website has finally launched! It’s been a labour of love, often stalled by work demands but never the less we were determined to get it launched before July. We made a new years resolution for 2012 to get the new website up and running before the middle of the year and we are proud to announce we did it!

Online Font Services

In the past web fonts have been somewhat limited, relying on technologies like Flash or more recently Javascript, to make their way to the mainstream. A well laid out design that supported an entire marketing and branding strategy in print or TV suddenly fell down on the web, when it had to rely on a default font like Arial.

Online font services have been changing the web typography scene since 2010 and are growing in popularity.

  • High quality fonts on websites
  • Legally display professional fonts
  • Accessibility
  • Growing trend

Posted by Nicole Hambleton / Article /