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For budget brands like Travelodge and Premier Inn, do business goals matter more than than good UX and customer experience? Or are they risking poor retention rates by failing to pay attention to the latter?
Last week I had to cancel a booking I'd made with Travelodge. On investigating my lack of refund today I discovered that, as I'd booked a 'saver rate' no refund was due, even though I'd cancelled within minutes of booking.
While the mistake was mine (I'd selected the wrong dates and only realised my mistake once I'd paid), it does leave a sour taste in the mouth and makes it less likely that I will use them in future.
I though I'd take a look at the booking process of Travelodge and competitor Premier Inn (both of which offer these non-refundable saver rates) to see how effectively the two companies convey this information to customers.
If you are going to offer non-refundable rooms, it seems the least you can do is make this abundantly clear to customers, so is this the case?
The perennial business problems of budget and resource availability are the main barriers to adopting or improving testing processes, according to a new survey by Adobe.
Just under half of respondents said that budget (45%) and lack of resources (42%) were “very challenging” problems when it came to testing, while “knowing how to test effectively” is the third most challenging area (37%).
But these results are unsurprising when compared with the report’s broader findings.
The data shows that a majority of companies (53%) spend less than 5% of their total marketing budgets on optimization activities, while a further 49% of respondents stated that testing is not a priority at their company.
Almost three-quarters of Australian companies are planning to increase digital spend this year, with digital marketing budgets expected to increase an average of 28%.
Search engine optimisation and email marketing for engagement/retention will be the top digital priorities, with 65% increasing investment in these areas.
Lead generation, video advertising, paid search and webinars/virtual events will also be a focus.
Digital advertising is thriving in the Asia-Pacific region, outshining North America and Europe in some categories, according to a new global benchmark report by DG MediaMind.
The Viewability: A New Lens for Engagement report compares the digital advertising behaviours from 47 countries around the world, analysing more than 600 billion display advertising impressions during last year.
The recent State of Digital in Australia 2013 report, produced by Econsultancy and Marketing Magazine, has revealed some interesting stats around the use of offline and online marketing channels and highlights which online channels marketers are planning to spend the big dollars on this year.
Notably, the report also shows how companies are planning to dedicate more of their budget and time towards digital.
Things aren’t looking great across the Asia-Pacific region in terms of digital marketing as new figures indicate that marketers in APAC may be lagging behind when it comes to ROI metrics, talent and digital strategies.
These findings come from a new report called Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard 2012, which was conducted by Adobe and the CMO Council.
The report was constructed from the results of an online survey that was taken by 295 senior marketers in Asia-Pacific, including marketers from Toyota, 20th Century Fox, Tupperware, Citi Group, Nokia and Yahoo.
The Avis Budget Group runs two of the largest brands in the car rental business. Between the two there are 120 million rental days from 10,000 locations. This accounts for 28 million transactions and seven billion in annual revenue.
John Peebles, VP of Marketing Strategy and Innovation, gave a little insight into how the company looks at attribution, branding and how it can respond to customers to drive conversion.
As part of his budget speech last night, George Osborne unveiled a film industry-style tax break that will help to encourage creative development in the animation and games industries.
Aardman Animations was highlighted as an example of British excellence – and Osborne said that the Government intends to keep ‘Wallace and Gromit’ exactly where they are.
The shifting digital economy is something I've written about in depth previously, with the main focus of my thoughts being the BRIC countries and other parts of Asia.
Recently, though, I'm seeing growing evidence pointing towards the fact that Australia should probably be given an equal amount of due care and attention as these other countries in the coming few years, by marketers both inside and outside the country.
Most of us will have experience of meeting people who are apathetic or downright resistant to digital. This is just a fact of life, but it can be problematic when that person is your boss.
In some companies I believe that generational change will be required before they’ll properly adapt to a multichannel world that includes lots of digital, mobile and social networking activity. Worryingly, I think some of the biggest, most established companies have serious issues in this area.
It needs to be explained that ‘digital’ does not mean ‘tech’. The internet is largely driven by people and the content they produce. That said, the detail is very important when it comes to optimising the customer experience. Digital is a key part of the overall experience and it requires investment and time. Unless the boss and all other stakeholders buy into the idea of doing it properly - and until they truly believe in it - you’re always going to be up against it.
Earlier today I gave some thought to the things you can do to persuade a boss with a Luddite mindset to embrace digital, rather than to fear it. I also asked the question to our Twitter followers: “What can you do to make the boss more digitally savvy?”
Below are a bunch of ideas that will help you to make the boss see the light. For it is very bright and shiny, and will not dim anytime soon.
[PS – I’m going to use the word ‘him’ rather than ‘him or her’ for 'boss' on general editorial principles, and not because I’m sexist]
Online marketing may be low-cost but it often isn't no-cost, and for a number of charity and hobbyist websites this is a problem.
The advice provided through sources like Econsultancy, or my own SEOptimise blog, offers help in maximising budgets and doing more for less. But what about organisations that don't have any budget to start with, what can they do?
At TechCrunch’s Geek ‘n Rolla event last week, I managed to have a quick chat with Leisa Reichelt from Disambiguity, following her great presentation about “Why you can’t NOT afford good user experience”.
Although the presentation was geared up towards digital start-ups, our conversation crossed over into the fact that usability is often overlooked by most small business with an online presence, usually due to a combination of a lack of understanding, time and resources.