tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/augmented-reality Latest Augmented reality content from Econsultancy 2017-01-17T10:00:01+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68706 2017-01-17T10:00:01+00:00 2017-01-17T10:00:01+00:00 Ashley Friedlein's marketing and digital trends for 2017 Ashley Friedlein <p>You can <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">read my 2016 post</a> to see whether I had any success in predicting the major trends from last year, and here are the trends that I think will have the biggest impact in 2017.</p> <h3>1. The F word </h3> <p>I believe the guiding star for marketing, and digital, for 2017 will be: Focus. </p> <p>In part, this is because the economic outlook is uncertain so there is less appetite for risk and instead a desire to focus on either fixing what is not working or doubling down on what is working and scaling that.</p> <p>Businesses want growth, brands want saliency in a cluttered landscape, but there is not the money to ‘throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks’ so focus has to be the answer. </p> <p>In part, it is also a reaction against the ever-increasing complexity and fragmentation within marketing. Both at the highest levels (What even is ‘marketing’ now? What is ‘digital’ really?) and at the tactical levels (Which new emerging platforms do we now also have to manage? Have we really nailed our responsive programmatic social video campaign? What are we doing about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/">dark social</a> and messaging?). </p> <p>Focus is an antidote to ambiguity and complexity. In part, I think shareholders and boards are starting to lose patience with marketing and digital strategy and execution which lacks focus.</p> <p>There are only so many times you can say “for us digital is like changing the engines on the plane whilst still flying!” or cunningly pass off what is really indecision, lack of competence or lack of operational clarity as “agile”. </p> <p>In 2017 prioritisation is the top priority. Focus on the focus. So I expect to see:</p> <ul> <li>Brand portfolios being rationalised. This started in 2016 but I expect to continue this year. Weaker brands will be killed off so energies can be focused on the strongest. </li> <li>As well as cutting some brands completely we will see more ‘zero-based branding’ thinking (cf. “<a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/01/26/why-unilever-is-right-to-adopt-zero-based-budgeting/">zero-based budgeting</a>” from 2016) where marketers revisit a brand's purpose, promise, positioning and audience. Again, to ensure clarity of focus. </li> <li>Agency/supplier relationships being rationalised. Again, in the name of focus, I expect to see brands favouring fewer, deeper, supplier relationships. This will be a challenge for mid-sized agencies. I believe it will favour the big consultancies and systems integrators over the agencies too.</li> <li>Media partners being rationalised. There will be less appetite for continual experimentation and fragmented efforts. Rather marketers will want to do better what is already shown to work. In the digital space this is good news for Google and Facebook in particular.  </li> </ul> <p>2017 will be more about refinement than reinvention for most marketers. More about consolidation, embedding and stratification than diversity and fragmentation. Time to get better at ‘operationalising’ marketing in a digital age.</p> <p>Take a cue from Google which has been busy cutting back projects to focus on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">artificial intelligence</a>. In 2017 your hardest decisions will be about what <em>not</em> to do. </p> <h3>2. Macro trends impacting marketing in 2017</h3> <p>Following are some broader trends that are shaping marketing, and digital, through 2017 and beyond. </p> <h4>2.1 The democratisation of AI (artificial intelligence)</h4> <p>AI is <em>the</em> hot technology trend. But a bit like ‘big data’ I do not see it as a thing in isolation. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/">AI will permeate all aspects of marketing</a> and beyond.</p> <p>From quite specific applications like AI-powered email subject line optimisation (like <a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a>) through smart devices and right up to Samsung-acquired <a href="http://viv.ai/">Viv</a> the ‘global brain’ and ‘intelligent interface to everything’.  </p> <p>AI is already powerful: <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/alphago-deepmind-google-wins-lee-sedol">Google’s Go-winning DeepMind technology</a>, Facebook’s <a href="https://research.fb.com/publications/deepface-closing-the-gap-to-human-level-performance-in-face-verification/">DeepFace</a> facial recognition is better than a human’s etc. But the exciting opportunity for us all is that AI is becoming democratised, becoming a utility, being made available as a service. </p> <p>In 2017 you should not ‘do AI’ but you should keep on top of how AI can help make smarter things that you are already doing and make sure your suppliers and vendors are using AI to improve their services to you. </p> <h4>2.2 Conversational interfaces</h4> <p>I could have gone with bots, chat, messaging, even the ‘conversation economy’. But let us focus on conversational interfaces for now.</p> <p>Messaging, bots and smart home devices, like Amazon’s Echo, are the main actors on the stage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">conversational UI</a>. This is an exciting area of development, possibly even a ‘<a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">paradigm shift</a>’? </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KkOCeAtKHIc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Conversational UIs can help remove friction in a process. Before long we will expect to say “Find me three of the best tents that sleep up to five people for under £300”, get a good answer, and then purchase, all by voice. Interfaces will have API access to marketplaces like eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon etc. </p> <p>From a brand point of view this conversational paradigm is also compelling. Perhaps we can have conversations like we used to with businesses and recapture some of the intimacy that technology to date has caused us to lose? Can conversational interfaces re-humanise technology? </p> <p>The big question for marketers and brands in 2017 is whether you choose to play directly in this space, by creating your own <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbot</a> for example, or whether you figure out how best to integrate in the ecosystem of much larger players, e.g. building a ‘skill’ for Amazon’s Alexa platform <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/help/insideguardian/2016/sep/28/introducing-the-guardian-skill-for-alexa">like the Guardian</a>. </p> <h4>2.3 Realtime</h4> <p>Building on the conversational paradigm, we should also expect experiences to become more realtime.</p> <p>Whether that is messaging, live customer service, live location tracking or live video streaming, we can see expectations rising for experiences that are ‘in the moment’. Just recently Google updated its “Popular times and visit duration” information for destinations to include realtime information on how busy the place is. </p> <p>In 2017 and beyond we need to look at how we can deliver <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/customer-experience/">customer experiences</a> that are realtime which is a challenge across technology, people and process. </p> <h4>2.4 Google/Facebook duopoly unchallenged</h4> <p>I cannot see how Google and Facebook will not continue to gain momentum. This will be aided by the focus and consolidation I described earlier.</p> <p>For many marketers who need to get good at a few things that they know have scale and can work, it is much easier to concentrate on a few platforms than many. </p> <p>Over 2017 it will be interesting to see how the video wars play out between Google (YouTube) and Facebook and also the degree to which brands work more directly with Google and Facebook which threatens to relegate the importance of the agency relationship. </p> <h4>2.5 Consultancies and systems integrators steal share from agencies</h4> <p>Speaking of agency relationships... I fear agencies may increasingly lose out to the big consultancies in winning large <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital and marketing transformation</a> work.</p> <p>Creativity and media planning/buying may hold out best against the consultancy attack but, as media becomes more programmatically driven, it is access to (increasingly backend) data and smart business logic that is required.</p> <p>And ‘digital transformation’ is a lot about change management, business strategy, data architecture, process, systems integration, cultural transformation etc. This is home turf to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68570-consultancies-are-buying-agencies-what-does-it-mean-for-marketing/">consultancies who have also been aggressively acquiring</a> or hiring agency talent.   </p> <h4>2.6 Identity management and authentication</h4> <p>We know devices are proliferating, we know we want to deliver personalised experiences across channels, we know multichannel marketing and (re)targeting can work if well executed and we know we want to measure ROI in a properly attributed way across channels. But we also know the sensitivities around data control and privacy.</p> <p>At the root of these challenges is how, and if at all, we can reliably identify who someone is. And even if we can, what the legal and perception challenges are around what we then do with that knowledge.</p> <p>This is another reason for the rise and rise of Google and Facebook who can address these challenges at scale and whose users are pretty much logged in all the time wherever they go online. Not a luxury most of us have.  </p> <h4>2.7 Talent</h4> <p>Yes, there is still a war for that.</p> <h3>3. Marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>And now the key trends in marketing. </p> <h4>3.1 Marketing transformation</h4> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68009-it-is-the-end-of-the-beginning-for-digital-but-is-it-the-beginning-of-the-end/">‘death of digital’ debate</a> rumbles on but certainly I have noticed brands talking not only about ‘digital transformation’ but also about ‘marketing transformation’.</p> <p>Usually the initial focus is a restructure of the marketing organisation, often with the (re)integration of digital marketing, and often with a new person at the top who is increasingly likely to be a CCO (Chief Customer Officer) rather than CMO. </p> <p><a href="http://theoystercatchers.com/">Oystercatchers</a> (a sister brand to Econsultancy and part of Centaur Media plc) note a trend towards clients bringing more marketing teams in house – maybe not permanently but building dream teams for specific tasks. </p> <p>Accompanying this internal transformation is a re-evaluation of supplier relationships, the likely outcome of which I address earlier, and zero-based budgeting has become more popular as another way to ‘reset the clock’. </p> <p>The area that I find most interesting is the idea of ‘marketing ops’: the operating system for marketing. This is one effective way of keeping focus but also dealing with complexity and delivering operational efficiency.</p> <p>Just as (enlightened) IT has ‘dev ops’ it makes absolute sense to me that marketing needs ‘marketing ops’. Marketing is adopting ‘agile’ from the world of technology (incorrectly in many cases, but still…) and could do well to adopt ‘ops’. </p> <p>If you want to get some insight into this emerging area of marketing I recommend you look at <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/MarTechConf/marketing-ops-is-a-philosophy-not-a-department-by-justin-dunham">this presentation on marketing ops by Justin Dunham</a> of Urban Airship.  </p> <h4>3.2 Customer experience still top of the agenda</h4> <p>Customer experience has been a hot topic for a few years now but it shows no sign of cooling in 2017. Every single piece of market research Econsultancy does into what topics marketers are prioritising, and indeed the equivalent data I have seen from other analysts, shows customer experience topping the charts. </p> <p>The drivers for this are partly just to meet customers’ rising expectations, i.e. improved experiences, particularly digital and multichannel ones, are something that you just have to do. Partly, of course, it is in an effort to improve ROI through better conversion and retention rates.  </p> <p>2017 will see more ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">customer journey mapping</a>’, more defining of personas and further efforts at personalisation. And, according to Econsultancy’s recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">Implementing a CX Strategy</a> research, it is the marketing function which is most likely to own CX within a business. Yet only 8% of companies view themselves as 'very advanced' in terms of customer experience maturity.</p> <p>Multichannel will remain a big focus for customer experience improvements. Amazon Go, which entirely automates the in-store experience using sensors and machine learning, shows what is possible when blending the digital and physical.</p> <p>Multichannel should not be about the distinction of physical and digital channels but about experience fulfilment: what works best for what experience and customer need.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NrmMk1Myrxc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>In 2017 we will move away from channel execution to thinking more about touchpoints and brand (“omni-brand” anyone?) experience.</p> <p>Rarely is there a single linear customer journey; more usually customer journeys are pretzel-shaped. </p> <h4>3.3 Data lakes and data ops</h4> <p>The move towards brands taking greater, first-party, control of their data as a strategic asset will continue. Expect to hear more about ‘data lakes’ in 2017 and dedicated ‘data/analytics ops’ teams comprising data scientists, engineers and analysts.</p> <p>The focus will be on getting better access to the data that is already available and smarter reuse of analytics assets like algorithms and models. Perhaps this year more marketers will finally be able to get a universal view of cross-channel performance.  </p> <p>In 2017 we will also start to recognise the need to use data to market to machines. We already know the value of structuring our data properly through schematic language to enhance how we appear in search results. But as personal assistants and IoT (internet of things) devices increasingly intermediate between our offerings and our customers we will need to learn how to ‘teach’ these machines with data.</p> <h4>3.4 Measurement scrutiny</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot happening in the area of measurement, performance and metrics: <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/08/30/mark-ritson-mcdonalds-zero-margin-omnicom-deal-sets-welcome-precedents-for-agency-contracts/">McDonald’s zero-margin Omnicom deal</a> setting a new precedent for agency contracts; <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas/">Facebook’s erroneous video metrics</a>; the <a href="http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/industry-initiative-media-transparency">ANA’s concerning report</a> into lack of transparency in media buying by agencies.</p> <p>As a result, there will be a lot of scrutiny from senior management around how marketing is being measured. Some may reach the nirvana promised by the aforementioned data lakes, assuming they can find the talent to realise them and harness their value, but for many this year’s focus will mean having fewer KPIs but being more rigorously held to account over those.</p> <p>Marketing attribution will still be challenging (less so for Google and Facebook): according to Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-state-of-marketing-attribution/">State of Marketing Attribution</a> research 76% of respondents are struggling to find the right staff to deal with attribution. </p> <h4>3.5 Rethinking segmentation and targeting</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot of debate around approaches to customer segmentation and targeting. How granular is too granular? Is ‘mass targeting’ the answer? How does programmatic work in the mix?</p> <p>In 2017 we need to focus on resolving this question. As ever, the answer will be ‘it depends’. It depends not just on your product and audience but on your business strategy e.g. if you are going after market share at any cost versus focusing on profits and margins. </p> <p>Approaches to targeting are interesting in as far as they expose the sometimes differing philosophies and approaches of ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ marketing. The former typically has a higher degree of planning and research up front and the segmentation and targeting models often built on more prescribed geo-demographic data attributes. </p> <p>Digital, meanwhile, espouses a ‘test and learn’ approach to validate hypotheses, starting small and scaling what works, and using technology and data to optimise for successful outcomes.</p> <p>For example, using programmatic advertising to optimise for sales using lookalike targeting which may not care what geo-demographic segment a prospect belongs to.</p> <p>Digital focuses on assessing potential customer value based on realtime, dynamic and contextual data variables which might include the weather right now, your precise location right now, what device you are using, what transport you are currently in, what you have just searched for, just clicked on etc.</p> <p>This year, as part of our marketing transformation (see earlier), we need to resolve these tensions between ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’. This will play out in organisational design but also in our processes, culture and capability development.  </p> <h3>4. Digital marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>There is an increasingly blurred line between ‘digital marketing’ and ‘marketing’ but the following trends focus on the digital elements of marketing.</p> <h4>4.1 Digital Transformation</h4> <p>Econsultancy’s recent research on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-marketing-reality/">The New Marketing Reality</a> with IBM highlights the many challenges facing digital marketing:</p> <ul> <li>fragmentation and complexity.</li> <li>challenges in understanding the customer journey.</li> <li>challenges with organisational and data silos.</li> <li>confusion around metrics and what good looks like.</li> <li>managing both generalist and specialist agencies and vendors at the same time.</li> <li>lack of capability in areas like data and customer experience.</li> <li>lack of clarity in strategy and leadership. </li> </ul> <p>There is nothing particularly new here and there will not be for 2017. The challenges in becoming a digitally adept and mature organisation are many and will take years to work through.</p> <p>2017 will continue to see a mix of initiatives which, on the one hand, deliberately create ‘elite’ digital units (McKinsey talk about ‘<a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/agile-marketing-a-step-by-step-guide">war-room teams</a>’) in an attempt to move at speed and, on the other hand, attempts to integrate and unify ‘digital’ and ‘traditional’ within a single marketing function. In practice most organisations will do both at the same time.</p> <p>Digital will also need better ‘ops’ (see the earlier section on marketing transformation), particularly in the area of data. Ops can help corral disjointed data and wrangle the complexity of channel silos.</p> <p>Digital will also be in the vanguard as organisations seek to become more agile and better at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68503-what-is-design-thinking/">design thinking</a>, customer experience optimisation and product management. </p> <p>Non-Executive Directors with digital expertise will stay in great demand. There will be more Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) but the rate of growth in this job title may have peaked. </p> <h4>4.2 Data and marketing automation</h4> <p>2016 was a big year for marketing automation. Martech outshone adtech. Companies like Oracle, Adobe and IBM went on a spending spree to acquire capabilities to bolster their martech offerings across areas including programmatic, personalisation, video and social.</p> <p>Last year also saw a lot of talk about using data to optimise marketing including customer insight, personalisation, automation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">conversion rate optimisation</a>, multichannel, and predictive analytics. </p> <p>2017 will primarily be about putting these things into action. For most, ‘marketing automation’ is, initially, just better <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>. Improved customer onboarding, retention or renewal sequences, more refined trigger-driven messaging, more personalisation, introducing lead scoring and lead nurturing.</p> <p>This practice is then extended into other channels as data becomes more joined up and the ‘direct marketing’ of email becomes joined to the ‘above the line’ of advertising with programmatic media. </p> <h4>4.3 Artificial intelligence </h4> <p>Earlier I noted that AI will permeate all areas of marketing so is not a discipline in itself. But it will be the digital experts within the marketing function who will be expected to take the lead in how AI is adopted by organisations.</p> <p>Indeed, Econsultancy researched our subscribers to ask who is responsible for defining the role of AI-powered marketing within their organisations and 61% stated it was the marketing function.</p> <p>The applications of AI in marketing for 2017 sit most obviously in the digital marketing disciplines: AI for content curation (e.g. smart recommendations); AI for customer service (particularly digital/social service); AI for content generation (e.g. email copy or video content); AI for sentiment analysis (e.g. social listening); AI for CRM (e.g. smarter loyalty or sales insights); AI for intelligent digital advertising optimisation; AI to power chatbots (e.g. for assistance in finding products or content). </p> <h4>4.4 Content marketing</h4> <p>As per <a href="http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp">Gartner’s Hype Cycle</a>, 2017 sees content marketing moving through the slope of enlightenment and entering its plateau of productivity. There will be more focus on understanding return on investment, more refined approaches based on learnings to date, more focus on scaling the things that are working, more clarity on roles and capabilities.  </p> <p><em>Gartner's Hype Cycle</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3103/Gartner_hype_cycle.png" alt="" width="589" height="411"></em></p> <p>Scott Brinker has an interesting view on what he terms the <a href="http://marketingland.com/4th-wave-content-marketing-marketing-apps-84108">4th Wave of Content Marketing</a> and I agree that 2017 will see more focus on interactive experiences beyond static content or even rich content like video.  </p> <p>Video, as a form of content, will still be an active area of experimentation during 2017: vertical video, shorter and longer form video, video captioning and optimisation for stream viewing, live streaming, social video ads etc. </p> <h4>4.5 Social</h4> <p>“Social” is a very broad term these days. Plenty of activity to expect in 2017 across social:</p> <p><strong>Social care</strong> – deeper integration of social channels into customer service and care.</p> <p><strong>Social CRM</strong> – similarly to customer care, social data and touchpoints will become more closely integrated with backend CRM systems. </p> <p><strong>Dark social and messaging</strong> – more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing/">brands running private social groups</a>, experiments with chatbots, greater usage of messaging as a medium both internally (e.g. Slack) and externally through integrations with Facebook Messenger or trials with WhatsApp groups and, for B2B, setting up messaging groups on LinkedIn. </p> <p><strong>Emerging platforms</strong> – social is at the forefront of experimentation with emerging platforms and formats. Last year it was Meerkat and Pinterest; this year I expect we will see more activity around Snap, Instagram and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> (even in the West). </p> <p><strong>Social answering</strong> – I have not yet come up with a name I am happy with for this... but essentially it is about listening for relevant conversations, or questions, taking place online and then participating and answering in order to drive awareness, traffic and search rankings.</p> <p>In B2B this might be answering, or commenting on, content posted to LinkedIn; if you were targeting developers you would do this but on Stack Overflow; Quora, among others, has become a much bigger driver of traffic so it is worth answering relevant questions there. </p> <p><strong>Social amplification</strong> – thankfully there is less talk of ‘going viral’ as relates to social. But 2017 should see efforts in understanding how to use social to distribute, augment and amplify content and messaging.</p> <p>There is a skillset to optimising this: the best practitioners know how to orchestrate social channels to maximise amplification. In its simplest form this is about choreographing how, and when, content is published. Enterprise social management software now allows for more sophisticated scheduling and provides the analytical insights to optimise it.  </p> <p><strong>Influencer marketing</strong> – this is not just about ‘social’, of course, but 2017 will see continued efforts to identify and understand who the ‘new influencers’ might be for your brand and then engage with them, socially, commercially and through PR. </p> <p><strong>Social media advertising</strong> – driven largely by the emerging platforms as well as increasing experimentation by more traditional media owners, 2017 will offer a whole range of new ad formats, experiences and commercial models for agencies and their clients to experiment with. </p> <h3>5. Hot topics but still not significant in marketing for 2017</h3> <p>Our own Econsultancy research says that marketers are excited about VR, AR and IoT for 2017.</p> <p>So perhaps I will get some criticism for having the temerity to suggest these are not likely to form a significant part of an average marketer’s job this year. Unless you work for GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) that is. </p> <p>My thoughts on some of these topics:</p> <p><strong>AR (augmented reality)</strong> – sure <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/">Pokémon Go was a great use of AR</a> but most of us are not gaming businesses. AR has many great applications but it still does not feel like it will go mainstream for marketers in 2017.</p> <p>That said, the iPhone 8 release this year could change that with ‘mixed reality’ getting a big boost. </p> <p><strong>VR (virtual reality)</strong> - there is huge hype and investment around VR including from GAFAM (I have added <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68442-microsoft-s-hololens-a-review-of-the-mixed-reality-headset/">Microsoft because of HoloLens</a>) so it should go large some time. But this year?</p> <p>The hardware requirements are still too onerous, the tech and apps too fragmented, the use cases mostly gaming or too niche, for most marketers to spend much time focusing on VR this year. As with AR, VR’s adoption could be turbocharged by the iPhone 8 release this year. </p> <p><strong>IoT (Internet of Things)</strong> – there are some fantastic examples of successful IoT services, a lot in B2B, and this will only grow. But I am less convinced there is an obvious opportunity for marketers yet.</p> <p>As more products and things become connected, however, there is a really interesting customer-product relationship marketing opportunity. We should see more early examples of that this year.  </p> <p><strong>Wearables</strong> – I am still not convinced there are enough use cases for most marketers to get excited about the wearables opportunity.</p> <p><strong>3D Printing</strong> – <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2014/08/14/3d-printing-whats-in-it-for-marketers/">I wrote about 3D printing</a> almost three years ago. The technology has improved, of course, but I’m still not clear how this is particularly relevant for marketers?</p> <p><strong>Blockchain</strong> – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68693-the-importance-of-the-blockchain-the-second-generation-of-the-internet/">important, exciting, disruptive</a>, but not clear to me how marketing can <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">leverage</a> this, unless perhaps for identity management and authentication.  </p> <p><strong>Beacons</strong> – still not doing it for me.</p> <p>But what do you think? Feel free to post any thoughts or links to your own digital/marketing trends and predictions for 2017. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68689 2017-01-11T10:07:00+00:00 2017-01-11T10:07:00+00:00 How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things Nikki Gilliland <p>With the recent launch of L’Oreal’s smart hairbrush, it is clear that the beauty industry is tapping into the internet of things (also known as IoT) and embracing connected devices.</p> <p>Offering the chance to create an enhanced and interactive user experience, could this technology be the next big thing to infiltrate the beauty world?</p> <p>Here’s a bit more on how brands are getting involved.</p> <h3>Development of augmented reality</h3> <p>Before we get onto connected devices, it’s worth noting that it’s not the first strand of new technology within the beauty industry. Augmented reality has also been a big trend, with the likes of Urban Decay creating their own AR apps to give consumers a chance to pre-test products.</p> <p>L’Oreal Paris is another successful example. Its AR-powered beauty app, Make Up Genius, turns iPhone screens into mirrors to over-lay make-up onto the user’s face.</p> <p>It might sound like a gimmick or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/" target="_blank">Pokemon Go-style</a> fad for beauty fans, but with over 11m downloads, the app has proven to be a great success.</p> <p>By giving users the ability to try and test products before they buy, it offers greater value for consumers, solving common problems like finding the right shade or type of foundation. What’s more, it also gives consumers the opportunity to get expert or professional advice, resulting in a far more personal and customised experience all-round.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2918/L_Oreal_Make_Up_Genius.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="367"></p> <p>Due to the app's popularity, it’s been suggested that Make Up Genius technology could soon be integrated into household devices like bathroom mirrors.</p> <p>This is where the internet of things comes into play, with the opportunity for beauty and healthcare brands to expand their presence into homes and everyday personal care routines.</p> <p>With the arrival of L’Oreal’s smart brush – this concept doesn’t sound too farfetched.</p> <h3>Connectivity to enhance customer experiences</h3> <p>By using sensory technology, L’Oreal’s smart brush aims to help consumers improve their haircare. It tells users about specific texture or moisture and alerts them when they are brushing too hard.</p> <p>Essentially, it is a connected device that is designed to give the user greater levels of control and expertise.</p> <p>With a price point of around $200, the brush (which is due to launch mid-2017) certainly doesn't come cheap. The question is – will consumers be willing to pay just as much for a beauty device as they would a smartphone?</p> <p>The beauty industry is clearly hoping that technology-minded consumers (and fans of luxury) will embrace it.</p> <p>Of course, let’s not forget that electronic-based beauty has been overtaking manual processes for years, with everything from electric toothbrushes to face cleansing devices becoming more popular. Consequently, integrating connectivity-based features is an obvious next step.</p> <p>As well as being electronically powered, devices like L’Oreal’s smart brush and Oral B’s connected toothbrush allow users to become well-informed – monitoring, tracking and measuring performance. It's not about necessity, but about making life easier.</p> <p>Plus, with beauty and skincare industries overlapping with health and well-being, we’re likely to see more connected devices geared around lifestyle habits and trends, ranging from sun exposure to even things like stress and pollution.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2919/Oral_B.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="400"></p> <h3>Benefits for brands</h3> <p>For brands, the ability to gain insight into customer behaviour is undoubtedly the biggest benefit of connected devices.</p> <p>IoT technology lets companies like L’Oreal track exactly what their customers are buying and, in turn, re-target them for future purchases.</p> <p>Instant feedback and opinion is also another valuable aspect, which is harder and slower to gather from online purchases. Meanwhile, IoT creates a much richer and more memorable experience for consumers, ultimately proving the value of their shared data. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This Year's Haircare Must-Have? The Smart Brush <a href="https://t.co/O8cfhkiA9n">https://t.co/O8cfhkiA9n</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishVogue">@BritishVogue</a> <a href="https://t.co/VcLlmGXOj9">pic.twitter.com/VcLlmGXOj9</a></p> — L'Oréal USA (@LOrealUSA) <a href="https://twitter.com/LOrealUSA/status/817093281729290240">January 5, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>With the prediction that <a href="http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2905717" target="_blank">25bn connected 'things' will be in use by 2020</a>, many industries are beginning to realise the potential of IoT. </p> <p>For the beauty industry, it presents the next opportunity to revolutionise the everyday routines of consumers, ramping up personalisation and increasing value.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67839-how-l-oreal-uses-personalisation-to-increase-brand-loyalty/" target="_blank">How L’Oreal uses personalisation to increase brand loyalty</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-the-internet-of-things/">A Marketer's Guide to the Internet of Things</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68612-how-the-internet-of-things-will-fundamentally-change-marketing/">How the Internet of Things will fundamentally change marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68686 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 10 stirring digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s dose includes news about the internet of things, TV ads, and entertainment sales.</p> <p>Don’t forget – you can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>Holiday shopping generates $91.7bn in online sales </h3> <p>Adobe has revealed the total number of online sales from the Christmas period.</p> <p>November 1st to December 31st generated $91.7bn in online sales - an 11% increase year-on-year.</p> <p>Mobile brought in $28.43bn in revenue, which is a 23% increase from 2015. Figures also show that mobile drove 50% of visits and 31% of purchases.</p> <p>While there was an increase in sales, shipping costs were down, going from an average of $2.60 in 2015 to $2.50 in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2866/Holiday_spend.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="411"></p> <h3>Older consumers prefer rational marketing</h3> <p>A new study by the Journal of Advertising Research has found that older consumers have a clear preference for rational rather than emotional ads.</p> <p>While 49.7% of audiences under 50 preferred a rational advertisement compared to 50.3% favouring an emotional ad, this was significantly increased among those over 50, with 63% preferring the rational example.</p> <p>Insight suggests that this should inform marketing activity, with logical and knowledge-based appeals being much more effective for prompting older consumers into action.</p> <h3>One in five digital leaders consider their organization digitally mature</h3> <p>Clearhead recently undertook a survey of 150 ecommerce executives, aiming to find out the state of digital maturity with organizations.</p> <p>The results showed that there is still a significant gap between the desire for personalization and the processes and capabilities necessary to execute it, with just one in five leaders considering their companies as ‘digitally mature’.</p> <p>What’s more, despite the obvious desire to be data-driven – with 81% of retailers having purchased or built the technology required for testing programs – just 17% of online retailers have a path to develop personalized experiences for customers.</p> <h3>36% of consumers unfamiliar with IoT</h3> <p>According to a new study by Yahoo, consumer understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) is below par, with many in the dark as to what the term actually means.</p> <p>Despite 70% of consumers currently owning a connected device, 36% still don’t know what IoT is. </p> <p>However, it appears many are keen to learn, with 41% of survey respondents interested in expanding their knowledge of the subject. </p> <p>The group with the highest level of understanding is teens and millennials, with video games and consoles the most popular connected device.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2867/IoT.JPG" alt="" width="493" height="407"></p> <h3>Increasing importance of customer service</h3> <p>Salesforce has released its latest <a href="http://salesforce.com/stateofservice" target="_blank">State of Service report</a>, delving into how service teams are responding to increasing customer demands.</p> <p>The most interesting stats from the research revolve around how collaboration within companies is key to delivering the best customer service. </p> <p>In fact, in a survey of more than 2,600 customer service professionals, 78% of respondents agreed that every employee is an agent of customer service. </p> <p>However, despite this level of recognition, there’s still room for improvement, with just 63% of service teams having a formal process in place to collaborate with sales.</p> <p>Alongside collaboration, service teams also recognise that a single 360-degree view of the customer can lead to greater productivity, with 79% agreeing that this helps to provide consistency and continuity in every customer interaction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2870/Customer_Service.JPG" alt="" width="596" height="474"></p> <h3>One third of consumers actively choose to buy sustainable goods</h3> <p>A new study by Unilever has discovered how sustainability affects the purchases of 20,000 adults across five different countries.</p> <p>The results found that 33% now actively choose to buy from brands considered to be sustainable, while 21% would be more likely to choose brands that clearly promote sustainability credentials on packaging and in marketing.</p> <p>Consequently, Unilever predicts that the sustainable goods market is worth an average of £817bn in untapped sales.</p> <h3>'Personal assistants' is the top marketing search of 2016</h3> <p>Microsoft’s Bing Ads has released the top marketing-related searches of 2016.</p> <p>Due to greater advances in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/" target="_blank">chatbots</a> and virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo, personal assistants and AI saw the biggest interest.</p> <p>The top five include:</p> <ol> <li>Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents</li> <li>Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality</li> <li>Search Marketing</li> <li>Artificial Intelligence </li> <li>Content Marketing</li> </ol> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2868/Bing_top_searches.jpg" alt="" width="537" height="268"></p> <h3>54% of consumers plan to buy a new smartphone this year</h3> <p>After a three-year low, an Accenture survey of 26,000 consumers has found that smartphone purchases are set to rise again this year.</p> <p>54% of the consumers surveyed said they plan to buy a smartphone in the next year - a figure up from 48% last year. </p> <p>Insight suggests that this demand is largely fuelled by better security, new functions and improved performance, with 51% of consumers planning to buy a new phone to access the newest and most innovative features and functions.</p> <p>Similarly, 45% of consumers cite inadequacy of their current device as motivation.</p> <p>While there is growing demand for smartphones, purchases of connected devices like smartwatches and fitness monitors are predicted to remain sluggish, mainly due to high prices and concerns about the privacy of personal data.</p> <h3>DFS dominates TV advertising over New Year</h3> <p>TVTY has analysed more than 80,000 TV spots from the Christmas and New Year period, revealing the brands that invested the most in the medium.</p> <p>Furniture company DFS came out on top with more than 1,200 spots over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. </p> <p>With a further 900 messages on New Year’s Eve and Day, the brand totalled 2,159 TV broadcasts.</p> <p>Other dominant brands over New Year included Confused.com and Thomas Cook, which both aimed to capitalise on consumer interest in holidays and finance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2869/TV_spots.jpg" alt="" width="226" height="467"></p> <h3>Digital entertainment overtaking physical sales</h3> <p>According to new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association, digital sales of games, music and video are now overtaking physical sales in the UK.</p> <p>74% of game sales are digital, and 57% of music revenues are derived from digital services like downloads or streaming.</p> <p>In total, digital revenues jumped 23% to £1,309.3m in 2016.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68647 2016-12-16T11:45:20+00:00 2016-12-16T11:45:20+00:00 10 smashing digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s roundup includes news about Instagram, online ads, IoT and much more. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for further insight.</p> <p>On we go...</p> <h3>Growing recognition of emerging technologies</h3> <p>New research from Adobe has delved into how brands are using emerging technologies such as AR, VR, and AI in their Christmas marketing.</p> <p>While it seems largely limited to big brands, emerging technologies are increasingly being used by marketers to help grab the attention of consumers. </p> <p>Consumers are now cottoning on to its potential, too, with 68% agreeing that it provides brands with a competitive edge. Likewise, 32% of consumers also agree that it helps to drive customer loyalty to a brand, and 55% believe that it is useful in attracting potential customers.</p> <p>Finally, one fifth of marketers also believe VR will be the biggest trend of Christmas campaigns next year.</p> <h3>Instagram reaches 600m monthly users</h3> <p>Instagram has announced that it now has over 600m monthly active users, with 100m having joined in the past six months.</p> <p>This also means that the platform has doubled in size in just two years, increasing from 300m in 2014.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today we’re proud to announce a community of more than 600 million. From all of us at Instagram, thank you. <a href="https://t.co/DqHwU0y2Lv">https://t.co/DqHwU0y2Lv</a> <a href="https://t.co/OUNyb08tNu">pic.twitter.com/OUNyb08tNu</a></p> — Instagram (@instagram) <a href="https://twitter.com/instagram/status/809398925417443328">December 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Pre-Christmas discounts reach a new record</h3> <p>UK consumers are witnessing record discounts in the run-up to Christmas, according to analysis from Deloitte.</p> <p>Discounts are currently averaging 43.3%, a figure that’s 1.5% deeper than last year, and discounts are also set to rise to 54% by Christmas Eve.</p> <p>The high level of discounting is said to be due to a number of factors, including a successful Black Friday period, unseasonably warm weather and favourable economic conditions for consumers. </p> <p>However, insight suggests that it is also an indication of nervousness from retailers, particularly in how increasing inflation will affect consumer confidence and spending. </p> <h3>Nearly half of online ads miss target audience</h3> <p>Online advertising is missing the mark, according to new research from Nielsen.</p> <p>In a study of more than 44,000 campaigns across 17 countries, only 53% of ad impressions served in the UK were viewed by people of the intended age and gender.</p> <p>The accuracy of ads also varies between sectors, with travel marketers being the most likely to reach their desired audience, closely followed by entertainment.</p> <p>Demographics also appear to be a tricky factor, with campaigns focusing on those aged 25-44 reaching the audience just 38% of the time. </p> <p>Older consumers are said to be a little easier to reach, with success 44% of the time in campaigns targeting 18-34 year olds and 58% for 35-64 year olds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2486/Nielsen.png" alt="" width="400" height="395"></p> <h3>23% of consumers have bought a fake product online</h3> <p>New research by MarkMonitor has revealed that nearly a quarter of all online consumers have been duped by counterfeiting, with 23% unwillingly ordering a fake item.</p> <p>Surveying the percentage of people that were duped, MarkMonitor found that 71% said the experience had a negative impact on their perception of the genuine brand, with 59% being extra cautious when interacting with the company in future.</p> <p>Likewise, 12% said they wouldn’t buy from that brand again, and 29% complained to the company that owned the brand. </p> <p>Lastly, a very polite 32% took no action upon discovering they were duped.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2489/Counterfeit.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="447"></p> <h3>Eurovision is TV’s most-tweeted about event in 2016</h3> <p>Kantar Media has revealed what got us talking on social media in 2016, with data on the most-tweeted about television shows in 2016.</p> <p>The most-tweets in a minute occurred when Adele won a Brit award in February, generating 16,832 tweets in 60 seconds.</p> <p>In terms of the top broadcasts, everyone went gaga for Eurovision, with the program resulting in 1.6m tweets and 246,000 unique authors overall.</p> <p>Entertainment has been the most-tweeted about genre, accounting for almost half of tweets sent. However, current affairs saw a significant increase, accounting for almost a quarter of TV related tweets. </p> <h3>Abandonment rates drop during Black Friday sales</h3> <p>Data from SaleCycle has shown that abandonment rates dropped on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, with shoppers keen to follow through with their bargain hunting.</p> <p>While abandonment rates for the rest of the year averaged out at 75%, they dropped to 67% on Black Friday and 70% on Cyber Monday. </p> <p>However, there was also a 312% increase in abandonment emails sent, due to the greater volume of traffic on retailer websites.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2487/Black_Friday_stats.JPG" alt="" width="440" height="315"></p> <h3>‘Fitness buffs’ 25% more likely to buy on mobile</h3> <p>Hitwise, a division of Connexity, has examined the shopping behaviour of consumers who typically purchase or visit websites for athletic apparel, fitness trackers or workout equipment.</p> <p>It has found that this demographic is strongly dependent on mobile, with 25% of fitness buffs more likely to purchase a product advertised on their mobile.</p> <p>Likewise, this group places a deep trust in social media reviews, being 95% more likely to pay attention to the opinions of other consumers and 94% more likely to follow their favourite brands or companies on social platforms.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2493/fitness_buffs.jpg" alt="" width="459" height="348"></p> <h3>34% of consumers say extended delivery dates would prompt purchase</h3> <p>With Christmas nearing ever closer, Astound Commerce’s latest report revealed how logistics factors will play a role in purchase decisions during the holidays.</p> <p>According to survey results, 35% of consumers say extended shipping dates would cause them to make a purchase from a particular retailer this Christmas. </p> <p>The option for in-store pick-up is also a big draw, with 34% also citing this factor.</p> <p>Lastly, the study also found that technology is of growing importance for consumers, with 81% saying that technology to help locate products in-store would be desirable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2490/Delivery.JPG" alt="" width="578" height="268"></p> <h3>A fifth of businesses to embrace the Internet of Things</h3> <p>Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to add <a href="http://www.sas.com/en_gb/news/press-releases/2016/february/bi-data-internet-of-things-economy.html" target="_blank">£322bn to the UK economy</a> from 2015 to 2020.</p> <p>Now, research from SAS has predicted that a fifth of businesses are planning to adopt IoT to address customer demand and drive overall engagement.</p> <p>In a study of 75 large European organisations, 36% of respondents said that IoT will have a positive impact on end-user experiences if fully embraced.</p> <p>What’s more, 29% believe it would drive them to produce higher quality hardware and services, and one in 10 cited concerns about losing market share as the biggest risk of not embracing IoT.</p> <p>Despite concerns over the time required for IoT implementation, 37% of organisations are said to be responding to these challenges - and to the persistent skills shortage - by collaborating with external technology vendors.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68631 2016-12-15T11:07:00+00:00 2016-12-15T11:07:00+00:00 What were the biggest mobile marketing trends of 2016? Nikki Gilliland <h3>Chatbots </h3> <h4><strong>Carl Uminski, co-founder &amp; COO at SOMO Agency</strong></h4> <p>In terms of mobile, we’ve definitely seen the domination of messenger services leading to the onset of hype around chatbots. </p> <h4><strong>Tim Fidgeon, trainer of Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/mobile-marketing/" target="_blank">Mobile Marketing</a> course</strong></h4> <p>The emergence of chatbots has undoubtedly been one of the biggest trends of this year, with the amount of startups working on bot-related activities leading to talk of “<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68532-the-case-for-chatbots-being-the-new-apps-notes-from-websummit2016/" target="_blank">bots being the new apps</a>”.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2376/chatbots.JPG" alt="" width="461" height="671"></p> <p><em>For more chat about bots:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care" target="_blank">What are chatbots and why should marketers care?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots/" target="_blank">Five pioneering examples of how brands are using chatbots</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68458-why-chatbots-are-an-important-opportunity-for-retailers" target="_blank">Why chatbots are an important opportunity for retailers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68532-the-case-for-chatbots-being-the-new-apps-notes-from-websummit2016/" target="_blank">The case for chatbots being the new apps</a></em></li> </ul> <h3>AR and VR</h3> <h4><strong>Carl Uminski, SOMO Agency:</strong></h4> <p>Mobile’s part in the VR story has been apparent. VR has come of age with high-end launches for Vive and Oculus, while mobile has democratised the VR and 360 experience through Cardboard, Daydream, and Gear VR.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/">Pokemon GO also resurrected AR</a> and context-based elements for gaming, reviving a technology that has been dormant for many years. </p> <h3>Improving UX</h3> <h4> <strong>Steffan Aquarone,</strong><strong> <a href="http://steffanaquarone.com/">entrepreneur</a> and author of Econsultancy’s guide on </strong><strong><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web/">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a></strong><strong>.</strong> </h4> <p>Successful products are entering the market and winning faster than ever before.</p> <p>It's partly down to the usual key ingredients - freedom from corporate restriction, incumbency and vested interests. But it's also because talented designers just seem to care more about the user experience, and are prepared to test their assumptions by talking to people rather than using PowerPoint presentations.</p> <p>It took me a while to get this, but it's the single biggest thing I've noticed define success in 2016.</p> <h4><strong>Josh Salvage, SEO manager at Jellyfish:</strong></h4> <p>The biggest mobile marketing trends this year have been around improving mobile UX, with speed being one of the most crucial elements.</p> <p>Google has heavily supported <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68490-google-s-accelerated-mobile-pages-12-pros-and-cons/">the Accelerated Mobile Pages project</a> - which currently supports news and recipe websites in search results.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2380/coding.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <h3>Mobile in-store</h3> <h4><strong>Carl Uminski, SOMO Agency:</strong></h4> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67418-what-is-location-based-advertising-why-is-it-the-next-big-thing/">Location-based marketing</a> and video have been two big trends in mobile this year, location adding another layer of contextual relevance and allowing for dynamic content to be pushed to users for personalisation.</p> <p>Video has taken off, with vertical video being driven by Snapchat and advertisers understanding the potential of short form, snackable video content to drive ROI on ad spend.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2378/snapchat_2.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="550"></p> <h3>Head spinning strategies</h3> <h4><strong>Martin Harrison, head of strategy at Huge</strong></h4> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">Ad blocking</a>, people hating mobile ads, the growth of video, having to make an app but having no real reason to make an app.</p> <p>I think the technology is moving so fast that marketers’ heads are spinning.</p> <p>I think we’re also reaching that point where having “mobile” in front of the word marketing is not helping anyone.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68630 2016-12-14T11:22:00+00:00 2016-12-14T11:22:00+00:00 Social media in 2017: What do the experts predict? Nikki Gilliland <p>We’ve asked some industry experts for their predictions on social media trends in 2017. The people offering up their opinions are:</p> <ul> <li>Kirsty Price, senior community manager at PSONA Social.</li> <li>Alice Reeves, associate director of social and outreach at Jellyfish.</li> <li>Jordan Stone, deputy head of strategy at We Are Social.</li> <li>Joanna Halton, head of client strategy at MyClever.</li> <li>Will Francis, founder of Vandal London.</li> <li>Michelle Goodall, social media consultant and tutor of Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr/" target="_blank">Social Media &amp; Online PR Training</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Lots more live video</h3> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price:</strong></h4> <p>Gary Vaynerchuk called it over a year ago and it’s becoming clearer by the day that TV’s biggest competitor is live video on social media platforms.</p> <p>2016 has been the year of development and experimentation, with the launch of Facebook Live and platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram releasing video capture and live streaming products in Q4.</p> <p>However, 2017 is likely to be the year that live video shifts from early adopter to mass market use. There’s so much room for innovation in the live video space and I’m really excited to see how brands will use this medium creatively in 2017. </p> <h4><strong>Alice Reeves:</strong></h4> <p>Live video is going to continue to grow as a way of interacting with your audience in real time.</p> <p>I think people are bored of seeing traditional, highly polished, carefully constructed marketing all the time. Live video allows a more genuine connection with brands. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNBCNews%2Fvideos%2F1562519697101388%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Micro-Influencers</h3> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price:</strong></h4> <p>On social media, attention is the currency and in 2017 everyone has the opportunity to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68608-could-l-oreal-s-beauty-squad-mark-a-shift-for-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">become an influencer.</a> Savvy brands are starting to realise that they can generate an impressive return on investment working in partnership with people with around 1,000 followers, not just people with celebrity status.</p> <p>Off the back of this, we’ll see more and more influencer matchmaking tools popping up and (hopefully) more sophisticated social media disclosure tools.</p> <p><em>(For more on this topic see: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/">Is micro-influencer marketing viable?</a>)</em></p> <h3>AI and VR</h3> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone:</strong></h4> <p>There’s a lot of talk about artificial intelligence, but we haven’t really seen much true AI as of yet - just clever parlour tricks. The real story is automation, which will have a greater impact on marketing, with all elements of the agency process becoming ripe for potential automation.</p> <p>IBM’s Watson used automation to create a movie trailer earlier this year - ultimately the work needed a human touch to bring all the elements together but the project had huge implications for the creative industries.</p> <p>I’d expect augmented reality to continue to develop - Pokemon Go and Snapchat were such huge successes in 2016 that developers would be mad not to find use for them in 2017.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gJEzuYynaiw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4><strong>Alice Reeves:</strong></h4> <p>The biggest trend for next year has got to be <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">virtual reality</a>. We saw the explosion of Pokémon Go this year and I can’t wait to see what’s going to be the next AR/VR craze.</p> <p>We’ve already got the first VR social network, vTime, and it’ll be interesting to see how this develops and what other contenders step into the market</p> <h4><strong>Joanna Halton:</strong></h4> <p>I also think that VR will start to reach a tipping point with consumers through the likes of Samsung headsets, Google Cardboard and Playstation VR.</p> <p>Live video and vertical video recording (not just horizontal video) are things that content creators and brand managers should begin to look at - if they aren’t already!</p> <h4><strong>Michelle Goodall:</strong></h4> <p>We'll see many more creative, transmedia campaigns incorporating AI and platforms like Facebook Messenger next year.</p> <p>One of my personal favourite integrated campaigns of 2016 was Channel 4's 'Human 2' fake product recall campaign. This example showcases the move towards AI and Bot integration in creative social media campaigns.</p> <p>Channel 4 ran print, TV and outdoor ads for Persona Synthetics, the fictional company recalling faulty synthetic humans or synths. All ads led to a website with a live chat function linked to Facebook Messenger, where the user has progressively creepy and realistic conversations with a malfunctioning synth.</p> <p>It's <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game">ARG</a> for the Facebook generation and a really brilliantly executed campaign to promote a second series to both existing and new viewers.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wvnrD3MHz4s?wmode=transparent" width="741" height="417"></iframe></p> <h3>Chatbots</h3> <h4><strong>Jordan Stone:</strong></h4> <p>Chatbots will show no sign of slowing down and with the launch of WhatsApp for business planned in 2017, I’d expect to see an explosion in the Instant Messaging Marketing world - perhaps even the opening of chatbot agencies.</p> <h4><strong>Will Francis:</strong></h4> <p>Automation of marketing triggers can be incredibly effective and efficient. With tools like Hubspot and Mailchimp making personalised lifecycle marketing (i.e. receiving communications based on your behaviour and your stage in the funnel) so cheap and easy, this will further extend into social in 2017.</p> <p>Expect more chatbots and intelligent communications through email and social from the brands you engage with.</p> <h3>Social being taken seriously</h3> <h4><strong>Joanna Halton:</strong></h4> <p>In 2017 I expect spend for social platforms to increase. This week has seen reports that digital will overtake linear TV spend and WPP reporting that Facebook is likely to be its second biggest supplier in 2017.</p> <p>It's all indicative of social being taken more seriously as a channel, with brand managers adopting large scale social inclusive campaigns and budgets that match.</p> <h4><strong>Kirsty Price: </strong></h4> <p>Social media marketing is such a fast-paced and ever-evolving industry and it’s so important to practice daily self-education and experimentation.</p> <p>That being said, I believe that we’re finally starting to see the ‘professionalisation’ of social media as a career with the release of certification programs from platforms and social media tools.</p> <p>As social media comes of age, it would be great to see more training and development opportunities arise that focus on both the theory and practice of social media, and how it fits into the overall marketing strategy. </p> <p><strong><em>On that note, make sure to check out Econsultancy’s range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/social/">social media training courses</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68504 2016-11-08T15:10:00+00:00 2016-11-08T15:10:00+00:00 Facebook's 10-year plan: Connectivity, artificial intelligence & VR Nikki Gilliland <p>These were the opening words of Mike Schroepfer, CTO of Facebook, in his kick-off talk at Web Summit in Lisbon.</p> <p>I was sat in the audience, pastei de nata in hand, ready to hear what he had to say.</p> <p>Here is a summary of his talk.</p> <h3>1. Connectivity</h3> <p>Facebook’s mission has always been to make the world a more open and connected place.</p> <p>However, when it comes to the next decade, this involves solving three important issues - the first of which is greater connectivity.</p> <p>Of course, in today’s technology-driven world, it is easy to forget that the internet is still a far flung notion for around 4.1bn people across the globe.</p> <p>Today Mike explained how Facebook will strive to bring these people into the conversation by implementing technology solutions that will work in all kinds of environments.</p> <p>Project Aquila is one example already underway. Designed to provide internet access in suburban areas, it involves setting up a linked network of solar-powered drones.</p> <p>Likewise, LiDAR technology – which involves identifying and connecting utility poles, aims to create connectivity in urban environments without the need for underground cables.</p> <p>Facebook fully admits that these initiatives are not without risk. It has already seen the failure of its first attempt at delivering a satellite to orbit - <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/1/12754614/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-explosion-video-watch" target="_blank">SpaceX Falcon 9 famously exploded</a> during a test launch earlier this year.</p> <p>However, with increased focus on improving machine intelligence, the company is unwavering in its mission to better connect the world with as little disruption to the environment as possible.</p> <h3>2. AI</h3> <p>With 2bn photos shared and 100m hours of video watched every day – Facebook's next challenge is build truly intelligent computer systems to interpret the vast swathes of data.</p> <p>We can already see the rapid pace of progress. Earlier this year, it launched assistive technology for visually impaired people, creating captions based on image recognition.</p> <p>Similarly, it has also found that problems which previously seemed impossible - such as intelligence systems being able to solve simple word puzzles - can in fact be done. </p> <p>One of Facebook's biggest advancements in AI technology is undoubtedly Style Transfer – a new camera feature that allows users to add filters to live video footage.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fzuck%2Fvideos%2F10103204449698911%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>Mike demonstrated how, just like a standard image filter, the technology can be overlaid on mobile phones in real time.</p> <p>In future, this progress with AI looks set to continue, with the main goal being machine intelligence deciphering complex text such as Wikipedia articles.</p> <h3>3. VR</h3> <p>Lastly, another area that has fascinated us for a long time. So why is 2016 the year <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">virtual reality</a> will truly take off?</p> <p>According to Mike, the increasingly fast pace at which technology has evolved means that the various components needed for VR have finally caught up. </p> <p>Now, a sense of immersion is truly possible.</p> <p>One of the greatest developments is how technology like Facebook’s VR headset, the Oculus Rift, gives users a sense of grounded presence - even when in a virtual world.</p> <p>For example, when users are asked to look down from the perspective of a skyscraper, most people will apparently stop and falter. This is despite the fact that, in reality, a few minutes beforehand they were looking down at their feet on the ground.</p> <p>Further to this sense of realism, Mike also cited Unicef as a powerful example of how VR can change people’s perspectives as well as behaviour.</p> <p>By using the technology to give an insight into what it is like inside a Syrian refugee camp, the truly immersive video resulted in double the rate of donations to the charity.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uslhlXyYJ-M?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>For Facebook, the aim is to make virtual reality more accessible as well as to roll it out on a grander scale - and its new standalone technology is the next step.</p> <p>Instead of being tied to a desktop or mobile, the new VR system is designed to need no external equipment. </p> <p>This means even deeper immersion, and in turn, the opportunity to use it in more creative ways.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>While greater connectivity, improved AI and virtual reality might sounds like three separate challenges, as Mike explained, each one has the same single goal – that of deep social connection over long distances.</p> <p>In other words, to be able to connect to the people you care about, even if they’re hundreds of miles away.</p> <p>So, while it is constantly adapting to new technology, it's clear that Facebook's core mission hasn't changed all that much.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68084 2016-07-15T12:01:00+01:00 2016-07-15T12:01:00+01:00 The week's news in digital (in five minutes) Ben Davis <h3>Amazon testing programmatic creative with video ads</h3> <p>Amazon has been testing personalised video ads, created automatically using graphics templates to combine imagery and text.</p> <p>Graeme Smith, MD of Amazon's software development centre in Edinburgh<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36773409"> told the BBC</a> "...potentially anywhere you can see a video is potentially somewhere you could consider running personalised video ads, right across the internet."</p> <p>Retargeting by retailers often involves <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67516-four-video-campaigns-that-used-dynamic-creative/">slideshow style dynamic content</a> - it will be interesting to see how sophisticated these Amazon video ads are in comparison.</p> <h3>Amazon Prime Day was big</h3> <p>Prime Day on 12th July, Amazon's second annual sales event designed as summer's answer to Black Friday, was the retailer's "biggest day ever", <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/20fb0de0-4906-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab.html#axzz4ESpNIBCk">reports the FT</a>.</p> <p>Global orders were up 60% on last year's Prime Day. No figures were given by Amazon, though Prime Day was declared its busiest day of the year.</p> <p>Sales included 90,000 TVs and more than 215,000 rice cookers. 2015's inaugural Prime Day, you might remember, was <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68058-has-amazon-prime-day-2016-made-up-for-2015-s-primedayfail/">a bit more of a mixed bag</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6939/prime_day_deals_tech.PNG" alt="prime day" width="615"></p> <h3>ASOS introduces one-hour delivery slot</h3> <p>DPD has helped ASOS offer a one-hour delivery slot. Nifty.</p> <p>With so many ecommerce businesses looking at same day delivery in the wake of Prime, this increased flexibility on a named day is another way to nail convenience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7145/DPD-Precise-Hour-Select.png" alt="one hour slot" width="200"> </p> <h3>Pokémon GO - where do we start?</h3> <p>This week has seen the augmented reality game take the press by storm.</p> <p>Daily checks are needed to understand number of downloads (7.5m in the US as of early this week) and the impact on Nintendo stock.</p> <p>On Thursday, the app was released in the UK (users no longer have to engineer a US workaround).</p> <p>Interesting developments include proposed advertising within the game, with brands able to sponsor PokeStops.</p> <p>There has been some criticism of the game, including the 'appearance' of Pokémon in inappropriate locations (e.g. Auschwitz), as well as its request to access all of a user's Google account data (since fixed).</p> <p><em>You might like:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/">Should Pokemon GO give marketers hope for augmented reality?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68060-what-brands-can-learn-from-nintendo-s-digital-transformation-and-pokemon-go/">What brands can learn from Nintendo's digital transformation and Pokemon GO</a></li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6955/pokemon_go-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="pokemon go" width="470" height="264"></p> <h3>Chatbots fail 'new Turing test'</h3> <p>The Winograd Schema Challenge is a new and tougher Turing test, which chatbots must ace to show they are capable of common sense understanding.</p> <p>Here's an example question from the test:</p> <p><strong>The trophy would not fit in the brown suitcase because it was too big (small). What was too big (small)?</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Answer 0: the trophy</strong></li> <li><strong>Answer 1: the suitcase</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601897/tougher-turing-test-exposes-chatbots-stupidity/?set=601902&amp;utm_source=MIT+TR+Newsletters&amp;utm_campaign=d3b0ca882f-The_Download_July_14_2016&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_997ed6f472-d3b0ca882f-153860737&amp;goal=0_997ed6f472-d3b0ca882f-153860737&amp;mc_cid=d3b0ca882f&amp;mc_eid=fea291110e">MIT Tech Review reports</a> that the programs entered into the challenge were only a little better than random at choosing the correct meaning of sentences.</p> <p>The best of the bunch scored 48%, with 45% possible at random. 90% accuracy is required to take home the $25k prize.</p> <p>It was notable that Google and Facebook didn't enter - perhaps there is still a little way to go?</p> <h3>Nissan launches semi-autonomous driving</h3> <p>Two weeks after a driver died in a crash <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68019-all-the-week-s-digital-news-in-five-minutes/">whilst his Tesla car was on autopilot</a>, Nissan has launched ProPILOT, a similar semi-autonomous function.</p> <p>Pushing a button on the steering wheel will keep a vehicle a fixed distance from the car in front, without any input from the driver.</p> <p>The driver is still required to have their hands on the wheel, and Nissan EVP Hideyuki Sakamoto <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nissan-selfdriving-idUSKCN0ZT0NC">told Reuters</a> "These functions are meant to support drivers, and are not meant as self-driving capabilities".</p> <p>ProPILOThits the market next month in the Nissan Serena minivan.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7142/148020_1_5.jpg" alt="PROPILOT" width="615"></p> <h3>Marie Claire to retail on the high street and online</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><a href="https://www.derwentlondon.com/news/article/tottenham-court-walks-flagship-store-for-new-beauty-and-wellness-brand">Marie Claire will open a beauty store</a> in London at Tottenham Court Walk.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The magazine has created a new brand, 'Fabled by Marie Claire', which will also sell online and deliver through Ocado.</p> <h3>Woz to headline Festival of Marketing</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Apple co-founder and inventor of the PC <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68057-steve-wozniak-co-founder-of-apple-to-headline-festival-of-marketing-2016/">Steve Wozniak will headline day one</a> of the Festival of Marketing in October in London. <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/buy-a-ticket?_ga=1.123039373.762110302.1450191097">See the site for tickets</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6957/Woz-Head-Shot-3.jpg" alt="woz" width="400"></p> <h3>EU continues to pursue Google over competition law</h3> <p>The EU Commission has launched a third anti-trust proceeding against Google.</p> <p>Critique of Google Shopping and Android is now followed by criticism of Google's third party site search product (Adsense for search), which doesn't allow ads from Google competitors. </p> <h3>Phrasee one of the first to receive VC funding post-Brexit</h3> <p>Finally, a bit of a shout out to Econsultancy blog favourite Parry Malm (see his <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/authors/parry-malm/">virally good articles about email here</a>).</p> <p><a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a>, Parry's startup <a href="https://phrasee.co/why-we-took-on-1m-in-phrasee-funding/">closed a £1m funding</a> round this week, one of the first to do so post-Brexit vote.</p> <p>As we wait to see the impact on Britain's tech and startup scene, this is some cause for optimism at least.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68059 2016-07-13T10:45:00+01:00 2016-07-13T10:45:00+01:00 Should Pokémon GO give marketers hope for augmented reality? Ben Davis <h3>Familiarity with the tech can only help so much</h3> <p>There's no doubt that so many smartphone users augmenting their reality with Pokémon makes it easier for brands to follow on with AR campaigns.</p> <p>AR is already becoming part of social media's visual vernacular and users are accustomed to pictures of reality that have been augmented (either with Pokémon or with Snapchat filters).</p> <p>However, familiarity can just as easily breed contempt, as was the case <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62397-qr-codes-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/">with QR codes</a> (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67545-10-practical-uses-for-qr-codes-in-china/">except in China</a>). Is it possible AR could fall into the same trap?</p> <p>Well, it is beset by some of the same problems, namely the need to be integrated into an app, rather than bundled with an operating system.</p> <p>For brands to succeed at scale, either an AR app such as Zappar or Blippar needs to gain popularity (Blippar has recently pivoted to visual search), a social app with a big user base needs to introduce the functionality, or new VR apps and devices need to become widespread enough to be the de facto home of AR.</p> <p>Otherwise, and for the time being, brands have to roll AR functionality into their own brand apps, creating a big hurdle for consumers who are reluctant to download an app to engage with mediocre content and sloppy UX.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pokemon?src=hash">#Pokemon</a> have been spotted among the plants and flowers in the USBG's National Garden. <a href="https://t.co/I3TEVH22xD">pic.twitter.com/I3TEVH22xD</a></p> — U.S. Capitol (@uscapitol) <a href="https://twitter.com/uscapitol/status/752890597866868736">July 12, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>The quality of the creative is obviously vital</h3> <p>This is the most important point and one which the reader may rightly assume is a bloody obvious one.</p> <p>The characters, the interactions, the storytelling, the competition - it all has to be compelling enough that users will engage <em>despite</em> the crappy UX.</p> <p>As my colleague <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68060-what-brands-can-learn-from-nintendo-s-digital-transformation-and-pokemon-go/">Bola points out</a>, brands need to create enormously fun characters or stories or, perhaps more easily, use particularly compelling incentives (big, money-can't-buy prizes).</p> <p>If brands think we want to download an app to scan uninspiring objects in order to download a snippet of a song, or see a hologram of a footballer, they are wrong.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Yeah we know Charizard is rare but don't let Officer Monello &amp; his new partner catch you! Don't <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CatchEmAll?src=hash">#CatchEmAll</a> &amp; drive! <a href="https://t.co/S0ipjYTDeY">pic.twitter.com/S0ipjYTDeY</a></p> — NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) <a href="https://twitter.com/NYPD19Pct/status/752530728588603392">July 11, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Perhaps AR triggers are a red herring</h3> <p>It's the feeling of discovery that has made Pokémon GO so compelling. This is what great gaming is all about - adventure and mastery.</p> <p>Pokémon GO has engendered this in the real world by making players walk around in order to incubate their eggs and explore their environment to find Pokémon.</p> <p>Adding this GPS element is inspired, though the phrase 'augmented reality' has hinted at it all along.</p> <p>Where brands may have concentrated on augmenting an out-of-home advert, a catalogue or an object, they now understand that nothing less than augmenting a neighbourhood will suffice.</p> <p>We don't want to point, hover and wait. We want to explore and find something unique.</p> <p>In fact, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65209-why-the-phrase-augmented-reality-should-be-retired/">very idea of a trigger</a> (a token or an object, such as that used by Zappar) may well be a red herring.</p> <p>Perhaps it interrupts the fantasy - only without triggers can there be a truly 'other' and limitless world of AR.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Blimey - Pokemon even invading my office. Will be trying to explain this to <a href="https://twitter.com/sophieraworth">@sophieraworth</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCNews">@BBCNews</a> at 1pm <a href="https://t.co/NqzPWJOuqW">pic.twitter.com/NqzPWJOuqW</a></p> — Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) <a href="https://twitter.com/ruskin147/status/752833907280711680">July 12, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Truly gamified interaction doesn't come cheap</h3> <p>Even if GPS can be used intelligently in a branded AR campaign or competition, there are other elements of Pokémon GO that are obviously too difficult to replicate - it's a very sophisticated game for all its flaws.</p> <p>It's simply too costly for a brand to do something on this scale. So, without this level of gamification, can an AR treasure hunt be as hugely successful?</p> <p>Probably not, but hypothetically, for fans taking part in a brand competition, an AR hunt could no doubt be used to generate much chatter and engagement.</p> <p>Rewards could be built in and activity measured, though it would be a costly and therefore risky undertaking.</p> <p>Some brands have already attempted more limited versions of this - notably <a href="http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/rei-rewards-consumers-with-augmented-reality-scavenger-hunt">REI combined AR</a> with 400 of its outdoor adverts in 2011, and some brands have worked with <a href="https://www.geocaching.com/brandedpromotions/">geocaching</a> to gamify engagement.</p> <p>Becks conducted the most high profile AR brand campaign to date, the <a href="http://www.motherlondon.com/creative/post/59">Green Box Project</a>, but this included triggers and was less about treasure hunting, more combining experiential with mobile.</p> <h3>Social media is still the priority</h3> <p>It's the social aspect of Pokémon GO that has captured the imagination of the press. People are out and about, meeting other players at landmarks and having real life conversations.</p> <p>This is the take-home message for brands. How can they work this kind of social interaction into their campaigns, online and off?</p> <p>Before social networks ramped up their ad solutions, brands tried to game social media and were often successful (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63221-six-awesome-examples-of-facebook-campaigns-by-ikea/">e.g. IKEA</a>).</p> <p>Have brands become lazy, dependent on paid social to spread the word, rather than trying to engender genuine interaction? Looking at a lot of paid creative, I would argue yes.</p> <h3>Safety is not a minor concern </h3> <p>Using the big wide world as a sandbox is tricky, as Pokémon GO has found out with players being lured by muggers or simply caught out late at night in a dodgy location.</p> <p>Others have had to get used to streams of players visiting their street when a Pokémon Gym appears in the vicinity. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Living in an old church means many things. Today it means my house is a Pokémon Go gym. This should be fascinating.</p> — Boon Sheridan (@boonerang) <a href="https://twitter.com/boonerang/status/751849519407595520">July 9, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>If a brand was to kick off a broad AR campaign, it would have to be wary of how such treasure hunting could put the public in danger.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>AR has been used for some practical purposes (e.g. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67729-10-creative-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-lowe-s/">the Lowe's Holoroom</a> for customising kitchens), for fun in-store games (e.g. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63623-a-halloween-of-spookily-augmented-reality-at-asda/">ASDA</a>), and in trigger-based brand campaigns (Zappar, Becks, REI).</p> <p>Though brands such as Becks can be credited for trying AR campaigns on a larger scale, surely the stage is set for another brand to try a triggerless, AR hunt, more in the vein of Pokémon GO.</p> <p>If a brand did this right, surely the engagement could be impressive.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68020 2016-07-06T15:01:15+01:00 2016-07-06T15:01:15+01:00 Mobile: A mindset, not just a handset Gina Roughan <p>This is not news: This is 2016, and brand marketers have read the UK mobile stats.</p> <p>But whether or not brands are embracing the full opportunity offered by mobile technology is another matter.</p> <p>Optimising your brand’s desktop presence for mobile is just the tip of the stylus.</p> <p>The use of ever-increasing mobile functionality in the creation of meaningful experiences for consumers as they go about their daily lives needs to be the ambition.</p> <h3>Inherent mobility</h3> <p>As a content director, I’m obsessed with the creation and delivery of brilliant branded content to target audiences – but even I can appreciate that context is key, and content for content’s sake is a waste of time.</p> <p>Sure, geo-targeted, weather-specific ice cream content based on my location in sunny Cornwall is more likely to send me to the Tesco freezer section than if I received a generic brand message in rainy Romford or windy Wiltshire. </p> <p>But with the technology now available to us, we should be aiming higher.</p> <p>Instead of sending a picture of a generic ice cream, why not send me content relating to something that your system tells me is definitely in stock, guide me there using Google Maps, then use an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">iBeacon</a> to confirm and reward my presence by delivering augmented reality content (like <a href="https://vimeo.com/120791649">this Coke effort</a>) or sending a discount barcode via Snapchat? </p> <p>It’s down to brands – not the hardware manufacturers – to leverage this technology and capitalise on it.</p> <p>The so-called disrupters, such as Uber, have done exactly that: Building their entire business around that embrace of mobility – the embrace of the fact that everyone has a connected computer with them pretty much 24/7 and sees it as a way of making their lives better. </p> <p>My point is that it shouldn’t just be about services; content creators should be thinking more about where they can use the inherent power of mobile devices to push the envelope when it comes to utility.</p> <p>There have been some brilliant examples in recent years of work on mobile that haven’t just been about producing innovative creative to surprise and delight, but to serve a purpose. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6644/dulux_app-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="265"></p> <h3>Painting by photos...</h3> <p>One of the most recent brand offerings to successfully embrace mobile utility is the colour matching app from Dulux.</p> <p>A practical and functional tie that plays on the brand’s perceived market expertise, the app allows users to take a photograph of colour with their phone’s camera, and have that colour matched to the appropriate paint.</p> <p>An alternative function allows you to ‘visualise’ different colours in different settings, i.e. interior vs. exterior.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6647/woolworths-1-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="311"> </p> <h3>Shopping smarter...</h3> <p>The Australian supermarket chain Woolworths is pioneering the use of iBeacon technology to enhance its customers’ <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66389-what-does-the-ideal-click-and-collect-service-look-like/">click and collect</a> experience.</p> <p>Instead of having to arrive at the store at an appointed time, or having to wait for their order to be pulled together, customers are asked to download an app.</p> <p>When they are within a set radius of the store a notification is sent to the picking systems, prompting staff to complete the order and have it ready to hand over to the customer when they arrive. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6649/eyecancer-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="326"></p> <h3>Literally saving lives...</h3> <p>It might not be based on innovative technology, but the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust’s Next Photo campaign was another excellent example of how to utilise the fact everyone now has a camera in their pocket.</p> <p>One of the quickest ways to detect retinoblastoma (eye cancer) in young children is to look at a flash photograph – a developing tumour will often reflect back as white.</p> <p>A series of four posters of children – with the retinas treated to reflect back white – were used to challenge passers-by to take out their phone and take a flash photo, thus spreading awareness of the condition and this easy method of early detection.</p> <p>That’s the kind of utility I’m talking about in terms of mobility.</p> <p>It’s about marketers finding ways of using the inherent capabilities of smart devices beyond delivering branded information. That, you can do with print, simple (non-innovative) display advertising or a website.</p> <p>But actually offering something that your customers find genuinely useful? That’s where mobile, and mobility, lead the way.</p>