tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/big-data Latest Big data content from Econsultancy 2017-08-17T10:00:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69338 2017-08-17T10:00:00+01:00 2017-08-17T10:00:00+01:00 Five companies using robots and AI to make a difference Nikki Gilliland <p>This is naturally a big concern - but there <em>is</em> a flip side. We’re all aware of how AI technology is changing the ways consumers interact with companies, by making processes faster, easier, and more streamlined than ever before. But more than this, artificial intelligence is starting to have a greater and positive impact on society as a whole.</p> <p>So, putting the aforementioned matters aside for a moment, here are five companies using AI intelligence to make a difference in consumers lives.</p> <h3>No Isolation</h3> <p>For children with a chronic or long-term illness, being unable to attend school doesn’t only mean missing out on vital education. It also means missing out on crucial social interaction, often leading to high levels of isolation and loneliness. </p> <p>A new startup company called No Isolation is aiming to transform the lives of children struggling with this issue with the world’s first ‘telepresence robot’.</p> <p>Essentially, the robot takes the place of the person in the classroom when they cannot attend. It allows them to listen as well as participate by controlling the system through an app while at home. If the child is feeling too poorly or sad to contribute – they can also turn on a blue light on the head of the robot to signify passive learning.</p> <p>While the technology itself is not revolutionary, it is revolutionising the lives of the children using it. By taking away feelings of social isolation, and helping to ease worries about going back to school after prolonged periods, it’s having a direct and positive impact on its target consumer. No Isolation is also working on a product to help senior citizens dealing with loneliness.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GfHBsmswe8s?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Microsoft</h3> <p>From a startup to one of the world’s biggest brands – Microsoft has invested heavily in AI in the past few years. ‘Seeing AI’ is one of the first examples to come to fruition – an app that uses artificial intelligence to help visually impaired people.</p> <p>The app uses an iPhone camera to tell people what’s happening around them, using neural networks to identify people, objects, and even the emotions of others via facial recognition.</p> <p>One of the most functional aspects is its ability to recognise US currency, something that is usually impossible for visually impaired people due to the fact that all bills are the same size and shape. Similarly useful, it helps identify everyday household objects by scanning barcodes, and recites text as soon as it appears in front of the camera.</p> <p>With further research in speech recognition, as well as the agricultural and healthcare industries – it is clear that Microsoft is intent on harnessing the power of AI for positive change.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bqeQByqf_f8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Darktrace</h3> <p>Cybercrime <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/06/22/cybersecurity-business-fights-back/" target="_blank">reportedly cost</a> the global economy an estimated $450bn in 2016. Now, a new wave of companies is aiming to fight back, with many using AI to identify and prevent digital attacks. </p> <p>Darktrace is one of the most valuable, having recently raised $75m in funding. By using machine learning technology to analyse network traffic and track threats, Darktrace is able to quickly identify anomalies. Moreover, it is able to do so without slowing down or disrupting normal operations.</p> <p>With organisations taking an average of 99 days in 2016 to realise they had been breached, this kind of AI technology can rapidly alter the speed at which attacks are quashed. Meanwhile, as an increasing number of cyber-attacks are now said to involve altering data rather than merely stealing it – AI can help to prevent potentially catastrophic outcomes. For example, in healthcare industries, where altering medical records can lead to the possible misdiagnoses of patients. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AI?src=hash">#AI</a> tech caught a malicious <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/insider?src=hash">#insider</a> trying to harvest user credentials - learn how in our Global Threat Report <a href="https://t.co/ZDAQQwt7fw">https://t.co/ZDAQQwt7fw</a> <a href="https://t.co/t1B8vQoeIn">pic.twitter.com/t1B8vQoeIn</a></p> — Darktrace (@Darktrace) <a href="https://twitter.com/Darktrace/status/892680454138187777">August 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Leka</h3> <p>New <a href="http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/9/393/eaag2882" target="_blank">research</a> from the University of North Carolina and Washington University has found that an AI can identify autistic children before they display overt behavioural symptoms. By training a machine learning algorithm on the behaviour and earlier MRI data of children with autism, scientists then built a model that predicted a number of other autism cases.</p> <p>The potential for early diagnosis is not the only way AI is having an impact. A new motion-sensitive robot named Leka has been developed to help children with autism spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome and other disabilities develop motor, cognitive and emotional skills.</p> <p>As children with autism struggle with interacting and communicating with others, Leka acts as an intermediary. While it is designed to display some human characteristics, such as facial expressions, it can be customised to adapt to the child’s individual needs for engagement and interaction. Alongside the direct benefits to the children, Leka is also having a huge impact of the lives of therapists, parents and care-givers – helping to reduce anxiety in both learning and day-to-day life.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/luN84iqllIA?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Babylon Health</h3> <p>Machine learning is changing the way the healthcare industry diagnoses and treats serious diseases like cancer and diabetes, with the technology being used to read CT scans and X-rays.</p> <p>In the UK, start up digital healthcare company Babylon Health is aiming to revolutionise the diagnoses of routine conditions, creating an AI doctor that takes the place of a GP.</p> <p>The app, which is currently being used by 800,000 people, allows patients to text their symptoms and receive advice from the AI. Babylon then advises whether or not medical care is needed, also providing the option of a video-consultation with a real doctor.</p> <p>Interestingly, the NHS is currently trialling the service in areas of London as an alternative to the 111 number, which offers free medical advice on the telephone. With the potential to offer cost savings, as well as free up time for busy GP’s – Babylon is being touted as a positive step for healthcare professionals. Meanwhile, with Babylon claiming that its technology can help cut diagnosis time by 50% - it’s also aiming to make the experience more positive and convenient for patients.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CMD6B8h6Pzg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68722-how-ai-will-impact-marketing-and-the-customer-experience">How AI will impact marketing and the customer experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69098-could-ai-revolutionize-high-street-retail-as-well-as-ecommerce/">Could AI revolutionize high street retail as well as ecommerce?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing">15 examples of artificial intelligence in marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69296 2017-07-28T14:34:27+01:00 2017-07-28T14:34:27+01:00 10 superb digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>On we go…</p> <h3>Only 25% of data is being used for real-time customer engagement</h3> <p>Despite 60% of UK organisations believing that real-time customer engagement can deliver a 10%-40% increase in revenue, those same organisations are collecting less than a third of relevant data on their customers.</p> <p>What’s more, just 25% of this dataset is being used in segmentation for real-time customer engagement.</p> <p>These stats come from SAS’s <a href="https://www.sas.com/en_gb/whitepapers/real-time-customer-experience-report.html" target="_blank">Age of Now</a> report, which also reveals how slow companies are to act. It says that only 16% of UK organisations can adjust their marketing communication in real-time based on customer behaviour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7888/SAS.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="327"></p> <h3>42% of customers more impatient due to reliance on technology</h3> <p>A new survey by Fetch and YouGov suggests UK consumers are increasingly looking to new technology for functional purposes, with 81% of millennials being more receptive than older generations to try new tech in order to improve the speed at which they do things.</p> <p>42% of UK consumers now say they are more impatient today than they were five years ago, mainly due to an over-reliance on technology to complete everyday life activities.</p> <p>When it comes to food, 61% of Brits are unwilling to wait 45 minutes or more for a takeaway they ordered online or using an app. Similarly, 22% of consumers say they are only willing to wait between 11-15mins for a taxi service.</p> <h3>CPC costs reach an all-time high</h3> <p>iProspect has just released its <a href="https://www.iprospect.com/en/us/insights/povs/paid-search-trends-2017-q2/" target="_blank">Q2 report</a>, which includes in-depth analysis of data from more than 1,800 AdWords accounts.</p> <p>It has revealed that CPC costs continued to rise in Q2, reaching their highest recorded levels since 2014. Despite this, iProspect found year-on-year impressions and clicks declined 16% and 27.5% respectively, as advertisers were forced to pay more per click while dealing with diminishing budgets.</p> <p>Elsewhere, it found mobile CPC to be on the rise, increasing 17% from Q1 to Q2 of this year and 52% year-on-year. Similarly, mobile click share increased 22% year-on-year. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7890/iProspect.JPG" alt="" width="743" height="547"></p> <h3>Over 60% of SMB’s attribute half or more of sales to Amazon</h3> <p>In a survey of 503 small- to mid-size retailers, NetElixir found that 60% of respondents attribute 50% or more of their ecommerce sales to Amazon. Interestingly, 26.6% are seeing a 50/50 split from their website vs. marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.</p> <p>In terms of the reasons why SMBs are choosing to sell on Amazon, 52% said that the potential for increased sales volume is the biggest benefit, 32.6% said increased brand exposure and 11.3% noted solid infrastructure. Conversely, 45% cited lower margins as the biggest downside.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What was the biggest benefit and downside of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Amazon?src=hash">#Amazon</a>? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/webinar?src=hash">#webinar</a> <a href="https://t.co/OhOnUZG67Z">pic.twitter.com/OhOnUZG67Z</a></p> — NetElixir (@NetElixir) <a href="https://twitter.com/NetElixir/status/890292060938543105">July 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>UK advertising spend grows 1.3% YoY in Q1 2017</h3> <p>WARC’s latest <a href="http://expenditurereport.warc.com/" target="_blank">Expenditure Report</a> has revealed that overall ad spend grew 1.3% to reach £5.318bn in Q1 2017. But despite being the 15th consecutive quarter of growth, it was actually the slowest rate seen in four years.</p> <p>This growth also occurred despite a 6.2% decline in total television advertising spend – TV’s first fall since 2009. However, it is forecast to recover next year with 2.5% growth in 2018.</p> <p>Meanwhile, online ad spend grew 10.1% year-on-year, and mobile growth was recorded at an impressive 36.2%.</p> <h3>Retailers wrongly assume that customers value speed over free shipping</h3> <p>According to a new report by <a href="http://www2.temando.com/l/86602/2017-07-10/4g564b" target="_blank">Temando</a>, 86% of UK shoppers prefer free delivery over fast delivery. However, the majority of retailers’ surveyed wrongly assume that customers place greater value on a fast shipping service.</p> <p>As a result of this misconception, many retailers are failing to respond to customer demands, with just 27% offering free standard shipping every day. Even worse, almost a quarter of retailers admit that that they don't use free shipping as a promotional tool.</p> <p>With 58% of shoppers stating that they’d shop more if free shipping was offered, many online retailers are still missing a trick.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7889/Tamando.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="439"></p> <h3>Usage of connected TV’s predicted to grow 10.1% in the US this year</h3> <p>Emarketer says that usage of connected TVs will continue to surge in 2017, with 168.1m Americans predicted to use an internet-connected television this year – up 10.1% on 2016.</p> <p>In terms of brands, it predicts that 38.9m Americans will use a Roku device at least once a month – 19.3% more than in 2016. Meanwhile, 36.9m will use a ChromeCast and 35.8m will use an Amazon Fire TV. Just 21.3m users are expected to use an Apple TV.</p> <h3>AI predicted to create over 2.5m jobs in the next 15 years</h3> <p>PwC has estimated that by 2030, 30% of British jobs will be lost to automation. On the back of this, <a href="https://joblift.co.uk/Press/artificial-intelligence-and-automation-potential-job-creation-will-fill-only-19-of-the-hole-left-by-robotic-job-replacement" target="_blank">Joblift</a> has further analysed the situation, comparing potential job creation with jobs lost.</p> <p>Research shows that 136,939 jobs dealing with AI and automation have been posted in the last 12 months, and jobs in this field have increased by an average of 0.06% each month.</p> <p>On this basis, calculations suggest that over the next 15 years, AI, automation and robotics will create 2,535,009 new jobs in total. However, by 2031, 13,375,363 jobs will be at risk from automation, meaning that newly created roles would be able to fill only 19% of the jobs lost.</p> <h3>John Lewis tops UK brand health rankings</h3> <p>John Lewis has ranked first in YouGov’s BrandIndex list of UK brand ‘health’. The ranking is based on consumer perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation and whether consumers would recommend the brand to others.</p> <p>BBC iPlayer comes in at number two on the list, followed by Sony and Marks &amp; Spencer. In contrast to these older, more heritage-based brands, the global list was topped by younger tech brands like Google, YouTube, and Facebook. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7892/Brand_health.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="291"></p> <h3>Cause-related ads generate more views &amp; engagement</h3> <p><a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/advertising-channels/video/cause-related-marketing-purpose-driven-ads/" target="_blank">Pixability</a> has revealed that the number of cause-related ads created by the top 100 global brands has increased four times over the past five years.</p> <p>Women’s empowerment accounted for 24% of these ads, making it the top featured issue. Meanwhile, 17% of ads were related to the topic of community aid and 14% were about sustainability.</p> <p>Pixability also found that the average number of views for cause-driven videos was almost 1m more than for those not related to a particular cause. The engagement rate was also 0.31% for cause-related ads compared to 0.29% for the rest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7891/Cause_related_ads.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="384"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69260 2017-07-21T09:39:19+01:00 2017-07-21T09:39:19+01:00 Four ways hotels and accommodation sites can increase direct bookings Nikki Gilliland <p>Along with <a href="http://www.newsroom.barclays.com/r/3493/uk_holidaymakers__booking_direct__through_hotel_websites" target="_blank">these findings</a>, other research also suggests that certain hotels are experiencing a surge in direct bookings. Take Premier Inn, for instance, whose website accounted for 87% of all its bookings in 2016. That said, at other hotel chains, like Hilton, direct bookings are far lower as they struggle to compete with aggregator sites.</p> <p>So, what can we learn from Premier Inn? And how can both UK and international hotels increase their direct bookings? Here’s just four factors that could make a difference.</p> <h3>Mobile optimisation</h3> <p>Google’s 2016 Travel Trends report suggests that 60% of searches for travel information come from mobile. Meanwhile, conversion rates have grown 88% on mobile travel sites. So in order to capture some of this search interest – and draw users away from online travel agencies – hotels need to ensure a good mobile UX across all channels and throughout every step of the journey.</p> <p>This doesn't only mean in terms of the immediate booking process, either. </p> <p>Interestingly, hotel apps and mobile bookings are said to lead to greater levels of satisfaction compared to the same technology delivered by a third party or OTA. A survey from J.D. Power found that guests who book through an online travel agency or a mobile app not directly associated with a hotel are more likely to experience a problem and be less satisfied with their stay overall.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7599/Mobile_check_in.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="486"></p> <p>This suggests that a mobile strategy is not only important for first-time direct bookings, but to increase the likelihood of <em>repeat</em> direct bookings – as well as long-term loyalty. Features like mobile tickets and check-in can be hugely beneficial for increasing satisfaction and keeping consumers coming back.</p> <h3>Perks and benefits</h3> <p>In order to sway people away from the perceived cheaper and more flexible options provided by travel agents and aggregator sites, hotels and self-accommodation companies must provide clear incentives.</p> <p>This usually comes in the form of discounts and offers for direct bookings – alongside even greater incentives for joining loyalty programmes. We’ve recently seen many large hotel chains heavily promote this as part of marketing campaigns, specifically Hilton and its ‘Stop Clicking Around’ ads.</p> <p>As well as highlighting the benefits of being an HHonors member, the campaign also points consumers towards other perks such as free WiFi and arrival gifts.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DsZkUAAAv5I?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>It is this added value that really sets direct bookings apart from OTAs. But interestingly, it appears to be smaller or independent hotels who are largely capitalising on this, using unique incentives to entice consumers to book direct.</p> <p>The small Hawaiian hotel chain, Aqua-Aston, offers a free $20 Starbucks gift card if guests book direct. Meanwhile, Hotel Amarano in California offers guests either a $25 credit to use at the hotel’s restaurants or to receive a room upgrade. These incentives are not particularly ground-breaking, but against a third-party site offering nothing much more than the standard cheapest tariff it's easy to see how it might improve conversions.</p> <p>That being said, incentives don’t always have to involve personal gain. Last year, the Omni Hotels group launched the ‘Say goodnight to hunger’ campaign, which saw the hotel donate to Feeding America for every stay booked directly through the brand’s website. Each donation would provide dinner for a family of four for an entire week.</p> <p>Not only did this clever strategy enable the hotel to increase the likelihood of direct bookings, but it also contributed to positive brand perception and a reputation as a company that cares about social good.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thank you for helping us make such an incredible impact in just one year. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SayGoodnightToHunger?src=hash">#SayGoodnightToHunger</a><a href="https://t.co/3Sqg5JdEiI">https://t.co/3Sqg5JdEiI</a> <a href="https://t.co/B2gXZaI9oL">pic.twitter.com/B2gXZaI9oL</a></p> — Omni Hotels (@OmniHotels) <a href="https://twitter.com/OmniHotels/status/877998060399321089">June 22, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Personalisation</h3> <p>One way hotels can enhance incentives is to add <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69207-how-six-travel-hospitality-brands-use-personalisation-to-enhance-the-customer-experience">personalisation</a>, or any elements that will help to build a direct relationship between the company and consumer. Again, this can be done through loyalty programs, such as HHonors members being able to share preferences in order to customise their hotel stay. However, when it comes to direct bookings, this type of personalisation is most effective early on in the customer journey.</p> <p>Data is a key enabler, of course, allowing hotels to track and monitor user behaviour. This means that if someone browses and abandons a site before booking, the hotel can re-target them with personalised and tailored messages. </p> <p>There is the argument that hotels should not dismiss OTAs entirely, as they can help to increase awareness and boost bookings (despite taking a commission). But often consumers tend to browse hotel websites in conjunction with OTAs. This perhaps means the focus should not always be on getting people to visit a site – but on keeping them there. Companies like HotelChamp use technology to do exactly this, using data to engage with potential guests and optimise sites accordingly. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Wondering what the advantages of direct bookings are compared to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OTAs?src=hash">#OTAs</a>? Read our latest blog! <a href="https://t.co/t40p02pQno">https://t.co/t40p02pQno</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bookdirect?src=hash">#bookdirect</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hotels?src=hash">#hotels</a></p> — Hotelchamp (@Hotelchamp_com) <a href="https://twitter.com/Hotelchamp_com/status/883324839808954373">July 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Human interaction</h3> <p>A final reason that consumers might be swayed towards direct bookings (both on and offline) is any kind of human interaction. Unlike OTAs, which usually involve communication via digital channels, hotels can benefit from reaching out to customers via the telephone.</p> <p>Telephone communication remains desirable in the US, where 8% of people prefer to book their holidays over the phone versus 4% of other global travellers. Similarly, 15% of US consumers prefer to do it in person compared to 11% elsewhere. </p> <p>Hoteliers can capitalise on this through online customer service channels, making features like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68898-seven-retailers-that-use-live-chat-to-improve-customer-service/">live chat</a> highly visible on homepages. Not only does it offer a one-to-one connection to hotels (which is often absent on OTAs) but it also helps to dispel any queries or concerns which may lead to abandonment.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64395-google-click-to-call-used-by-more-than-40-of-mobile-searchers">Click-to-call</a> functionality on mobile is also key, helping to convert customers in the moment of browsing. This is because, in such a competitive market, an immediate answer could potentially mean the difference between a direct or abandoned booking.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66551-how-hotel-websites-can-improve-the-booking-experience">How hotel websites can improve the booking experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65964-why-do-people-abandon-online-travel-bookings">Why do people abandon online travel bookings?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/65940-10-essential-features-for-travel-websites">10 essential features for travel websites</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69254 2017-07-20T09:44:00+01:00 2017-07-20T09:44:00+01:00 Four key digital challenges for IT leaders in 2017 Nikki Gilliland <p>Based on a sample of more than 500 IT leaders, here are a few key charts from the research, highlighting the biggest hurdles IT professionals currently face.  </p> <h3>1. Threat of security breaches</h3> <p>While technical skill is still a given, the role of senior executive within IT departments has evolved into something much broader, requiring a deeper understanding of business objectives. This also means creating a bridge between technology and other areas of the business such as HR, finance, and marketing. </p> <p>This focus on the wider customer experience has also led to the concept of the ‘chief integration officer’ – someone who is able to influence the overall strategic vision of a business. Following on from this, it is clear that the challenges faced by IT leaders are much more complex than they once were.</p> <p>Now, the threat of security breaches and cyber-attacks is cited as a key concern by 41% of respondents – higher than any other area.</p> <p>Perhaps unsurprisingly, executives at organisations with annual revenues exceeding £150m are more likely than their peers at smaller organisations to reference security as a major challenge.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7501/Security_attacks.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="535"></p> <h3>2. Finding the right mix of skills</h3> <p>Interestingly, it is larger organisations that cite lower levels of confidence in their digital skills mix, with just 58% agreeing that they are well-positioned in this area compared to 61% of smaller organisations. </p> <p>Similarly, European organisations seem less confident than their American and APAC counterparts. Talent availability is seen as more of a challenge than in other regions, with availability of individuals with the right mix of skills being cited as a top-three internal problem by more than 34% of European respondents.</p> <p>This is also the case when it comes to culture, with 61% of European respondents describing their company culture as "innovative, adaptable and undertaking a ‘fail fast’ approach". When compared with 68% of respondents saying the same for North America and 75% in APAC, it’s clear that Europe is still playing catch up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7504/Skills_and_culture.JPG" alt="" width="739" height="618"></p> <h3>3. Escaping silos</h3> <p>In terms of internal barriers, it appears the age-old problem of organisational structure remains the biggest. 42% of executives cited frustration with departmental silos and bureaucratic processes, while 41% expressed frustration over integrating legacy systems with new tools and technologies.</p> <p>This is even more the case for larger organisations in Europe, with 52% of European respondents citing bureaucracy as a top internal barrier.</p> <p>Interestingly, while support from senior management is less of a concern, a lack of shared vision relating to the meaning of digital transformation appears to be sustaining conflict. Again, this challenge is slightly more evident in Europe, tying in with the aforementioned struggles of skills and culture.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7506/Silos.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="541"></p> <h3>4. Keeping abreast of innovation</h3> <p>With IT executives now expected to help drive marketing strategy, keeping ahead of major technologies connected to innovation is another growing challenge – especially for larger organisations.</p> <p>46% of executives at larger companies are more inclined to feel pressure regarding tracking technology and innovation trends compared to 36% of smaller company peers. Interestingly, IT executives appear to be looking outside of their organisations to keep abreast of technological innovation. More than half of respondents say they exploit technology content sites and webcasts and webinars.</p> <p>Lastly, the challenge to keep on top of innovation also extends to finding talent, with increasing importance in striking a balance between traditional technical knowledge and softer skills such as communication, co-operation and strategic thinking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7508/Innovation.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="550"></p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the full <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-it/">2017 Digital Trends in IT Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69246 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 Why Adidas is moving into utility marketing with All Day fitness app Nikki Gilliland <p>Its MiCoach app (now Runtastic) aims to help improve users’ fitness performance, while its Adidas Confirmed app lets users know about exclusive product releases.</p> <p>Now, Adidas is taking a broader approach, combining different types of health and fitness tracking technology into a single app. 'All Day' – just launched in the US – is an all-encompassing version designed to help users ‘begin their journey to well-being’. </p> <p>But, is there a market for yet another sports-brand app? More to the point, how will Adidas benefit? </p> <h3>Technology to manage health, not just fitness</h3> <p>From the Nike+ Training Club app to MyFitnessPal and Fitbit, there are a tonne of similar apps on the market. Interestingly, Adidas’s All Day app does not appear to be a carbon copy of other brand examples, instead, focusing much more on health and well-being for women.</p> <p>While it is inspired by sport, the app is tailored around four distinct categories of movement, nutrition, mindset, and rest. This means if the user is not that interested in one category, such as exercise, they’ll still be able to gain value from others like food and sleep.</p> <p>Essentially, it’s an interesting example of utility marketing, with Adidas ensuring that it is there to meet the individuals needs at any time – without directly promoting its core products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GvQfVjpDTwM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Moving into the health industry could prove to be a shrewd move from Adidas. According to research, two-thirds of Americans <a href="http://www.itnonline.com/content/two-thirds-americans-favor-digital-personal-health-management" target="_blank">favour digital health management</a> over physical. Meanwhile, healthcare apps have seen a surge in interest, with a 16% increase in downloads during the past two years.</p> <p>Adidas is not the only brand to veer into this market. Under Armour’s Record app is also geared around general health verticals such as fitness, nutrition, and sleep – capitalising on its ability to track and help users throughout the entire day, not just during moments of exercise. </p> <h3>Using content to inspire</h3> <p>One way the Adidas All Day app differentiates itself from the competition is by going beyond performance tracking, also using content to inspire users. </p> <p>This part of the app is called ‘Discoveries’, with the current selection including recipes and healthy eating tips from food author, Candice Kumai, and a custom music playlist from DJ Nina Las Vegas. </p> <p>As well as capitalising on the authority of influencers, Adidas is focusing on high-quality content to tap into the general lifestyle interests of women. </p> <p>The aim here is to provide more than just utility. So while some people might use fitness apps for a while and then forget about them, or only think of using them in the moment of exercise, Adidas wants to provide the inspiration for maintaining and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7415/Adidas_All_Day_2.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="604"></p> <p>Furthermore, instead of focusing on hardcore or lengthy workout programs, it focuses on setting short term goals – where the length and category is chosen by the user.</p> <p>For example, if you’re interested in setting up a healthy eating plan, you can choose a select number of recipes to try – which the app will then remind you about and mark as complete as you go. The same goes for exercise plans and sleep aids. </p> <p>By breaking everything down into manageable chunks, the hope is that users might be more inclined to sustain usage over time.</p> <h3>Expanding digital presence</h3> <p>The app is not the only example of Adidas targeting a female audience or experimenting with other forms of utility marketing. In the UK, it launched a chatbot to let consumers find out information and book fitness classes in its East London studio. </p> <p>The chatbot received 2,000 sign ups with a 60% retention rate after the first week of launch, proving that online users often value practicality over pure entertainment.</p> <p>Adidas appears to be using both to promote the All Day app on social media, pulling in lifestyle-based content from its blog as well as promoting features such as the ability to set mini challenges.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Make every movement count.</p> <p>Take on challenges on the new All Day App: <a href="https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR">https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/adidasALLDAY?src=hash">#adidasALLDAY</a> <a href="https://t.co/haamf50fZc">pic.twitter.com/haamf50fZc</a></p> — ADIDAS NYC (@adidasNYC) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasNYC/status/883037976007024640">July 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>It’s also capitalising on influencer involvement, featuring popular lifestyle bloggers on its Instagram channel – another sign that it’s set on widening its target demographic rather than a niche, fitness-focused audience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7413/Adidas_insta.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <h3>Building brand affinity</h3> <p>The main benefit of utility marketing is that it helps to create brand affinity, with users potentially more likely to favour Adidas products when considering a purchase.</p> <p>While this naturally extends to Adidas sportswear and apparel, there’s also the question of whether Adidas will introduce a wearable tie-in.</p> <p>This has been the pattern for many sports brands up until now, starting with Nike+ and its Fuelband. Despite Nike going back to being a third-party app (now compatible with the Apple Watch), others have since entered the market, including Under Armour and its Healthbox wearable, and New Balance and its RunIQ smartwatch.</p> <p>As it stands, the new Adidas app can be paired with Apple’s Health Kit and Google Fit, and it looks like it won’t be long before a new official wearable is launched.</p> <p>It’s been reported that the device featured in the press photos for the All Day app is the all-new Adidas fitness tracker – thought to be called ‘Chameleon’. Said to be a rival for Fitbit, it will include a heart-rate sensor, as well as tie-ins with healthcare partners like Verily and American College of Sports Medicine. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7414/Chameleon.JPG" alt="" width="606" height="344"></p> <p>So, could Adidas take a share of the lucrative wearable market?</p> <p>Fitbit is currently the dominant player, with the brand seeing the most amount of downloads for its accompanying app. That being said, there has been rising concern over privacy rights, with many big wearable companies coming under fire for vague and convoluted T&amp;C’s. </p> <p>Alongside privacy concerns, one of the biggest reasons for wearable abandonment (a <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-third-of-wearable-devices-abandoned-by-consumers-gartner/" target="_blank">third of all owners</a> are reported to not wear their device) is said to be guilt or frustration for failing to reach their fitness goals. </p> <p>As less of a goal-setting app, and more of a lifestyle support, this is one area that Adidas might be able to capitalise on.</p> <p>By focusing more on flexibility rather than serious workouts, it could appeal to a wider demographic, as well as consumers already interested in its fashion-focused collections such as Adidas Originals.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69086-how-adidas-uses-digital-to-enable-powerful-experiences/" target="_blank">How Adidas uses digital to enable powerful experiences</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65598-nike-vs-adidas-which-provides-the-best-ecommerce-experience" target="_blank">Nike vs. Adidas: which provides the best ecommerce experience?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68785-how-adidas-originals-uses-social-media-to-drive-sales/" target="_blank">How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69173 2017-07-11T15:55:00+01:00 2017-07-11T15:55:00+01:00 Customer experience in Amazon's New York book store: Why not just buy it online? Charles Wade <p>Upon arrival customers are met by greeters (the first faces of Amazon, aside from CEO Jeff Bezos) who are both eager to help and distinctly Apple-esque, albeit dressed in checked shirts, jeans, and Converse – rather than seasonal t-shirts – giving more than a hint of the company’s Seattle roots.</p> <p> Whilst meandering through, it becomes apparent that all the usual categories exist: Fiction, Kids, Cooking; indeed, everything you might <em>expect</em> from a book store. Slightly depressingly, ‘Self-Improvement’ was the busiest of all...</p> <p>There is alchemy here though. Firstly, all the stocked editions have an amazon.com rating of four stars and above. Moreover, they have clearly been chosen based on what is popular in New York, utilising troves of data that the company has on the city's inhabitants. Perusing the travel section’s destinations brings this to life: London, Paris, Europe, Costa Rica, and the new darling of affluent Manhattanites, Cuba!</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I had time before a doctor's appointment in Columbus Circle, so I went to see New York's first Amazon Books store. It's interesting.... <a href="https://t.co/jyzwJhVBpU">pic.twitter.com/jyzwJhVBpU</a></p> — Kate (@librarian_kate) <a href="https://twitter.com/librarian_kate/status/872827409321611264">June 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>It is certainly Prime time, with calls to action <em>everywhere</em> highlighting the advantages of signing-up to the premium shipping and content service. Pricing is one such example: Prime members and Amazon device owners pay the same in-store as they would have had they bought the books from the website, whereas everyone else is charged the (typically more expensive) list price.</p> <p>Strangely, ancillary items – like water bottles and key-finding devices – have no prices shown; no stickers nor shelf placards. As such, the customer must scan them using either the Amazon app or in-store machines, or take them to a cashier. Either way, the process buys time and, importantly, takes them away from the shelf, building a connection and making it harder to simply put the product back.<br> </p> <p>One obvious concept, well-executed, is relaying customer feedback. One wall is adorned with ‘Books with more than 10,000 reviews’; then there are ‘Most popular’ titles such as <em>Fahrenheit 451</em>; or ‘91% of people rated this 5 stars’; alongside individual customer reviews. A chalk board behind the till-point allows the in-house team to highlight weekly bestsellers. </p> <p>As with iPads in the Apple Store, the Kindle is deployed as a reference tool for visitors to use to search for recommendations. Intriguingly, digital best-practice has been brought to life with a wall of ‘If you liked then you’ll love’, where popular titles are paired alongside each other. Again, it is likely that this has been driven by oodles of user behaviour but it was compelling – gorgeous covers combined with intrigue.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here's a peak at the first brick and mortar Amazon Bookstore, Columbus Circle, New York City. Far from our beloved 66 St B&amp;N, but I liked it <a href="https://t.co/k49GaTHS01">pic.twitter.com/k49GaTHS01</a></p> — (((Orchid))) (@OrchidNYC) <a href="https://twitter.com/OrchidNYC/status/872991098398027776">June 9, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Interestingly, there is no order and ship directly to home option. (Maybe that was a pastiche too far, with Bonobos still <em>the</em> player in that space.) As with most book shops magazines are also on show – think GQ, Cosmopolitan, Outdoor Magazine – along with Osprey backpacks and hiking equipment; coffee presses, and nick knacks tempt the customer throughout journey to the checkout. </p> <p>Moreover, the full gambit of Amazon products is on display, from the simple gift card, through to Kindles, Fire TV, and the Echo. A rolodex of cue cards is placed next to each device giving people ideas of what to ask Alexa, a considered touch that urges the customer to form a bond with ‘roboshop’.</p> <p>The Columbus Circle store is only 4,000-odd square feet, so not huge. The space on the right and left upon entry is soon swallowed by the central payment area and a funneled sensation is created at the back. Located in one of the city’s higher-end shopping malls it does not look out of place. Make no mistake, this made for a pleasant trip. </p> <p>No surprises and multiple titles that caught the eye (so predictable!). Yet, simultaneously it was so devoid of creativity; the devil may be in the detail, it certainly is not in the décor (the small wooden tables and leather-style chairs look like they might be related to Starbucks’ furniture.)</p> <p>What is more, following the visit one thing was hard to reconcile: why go here, rather than buying it on amazon.com?</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69219 2017-07-07T11:40:00+01:00 2017-07-07T11:40:00+01:00 Why fintech disruption isn't just about the technology Patricio Robles <p>In simplest terms, fintech is short for "financial technology" but ask different people what it really means and chances are you'll get different answers.</p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_technology">According to</a> Wikipedia, fintech "is an industry composed of companies that use new technology and innovation with available resources in order to compete in the marketplace of traditional financial institutions and intermediaries in the delivery of financial services."</p> <p>The Fintech Club at Wharton University <a href="https://medium.com/wharton-fintech/what-is-fintech-77d3d5a3e677">defines it</a> more simply as "an economic industry composed of companies that use technology to make financial systems more efficient."</p> <p>And Chris Skinner, chairman of the Financial Services Club, <a href="http://thefinanser.com/2015/01/ghgh.html/">posted on his blog</a> a definition he heard at a meeting: "fintech is the R&amp;D function of financial services in the digital age" that has "less to do with technology more to do with business model reinvention and customer-centric design."</p> <p>That might be the best definition of the three because as fintech's influence on the financial services industry grows, it's increasingly clear that fintech isn't just about technology. Rather, fintech is really a customer experience innovation movement that uses technology but isn't totally dependent on it.</p> <p>A good example of this can be seen in the lending space, which is one of the markets that has been most disrupted by fintech. On the technology side, firms are using new sources of data and underwriting models to analyze prospective borrowers and make lending decisions. In some cases, fintech lenders are using their technology to extend loans to individuals and businesses that wouldn't have been extended credit by old-school lenders. </p> <p>Many are also using their technology to make decisions much more quickly – sometimes near-instantaneously – eliminating the need for prospective borrowers to wait days or weeks for a lending decision.</p> <p>These advances in and of themselves can facilitate dramatic customer experience improvements, but they aren't simply related to behind-the-scenes technology.</p> <p>For instance, many fintech lenders have created user experiences that drastically simplify the loan application process. Instead of having to fill out a bunch of complex forms by hand, many upstart lenders offer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizard_(software)">wizard-based</a> online experiences that walk borrowers through the application process step-by-step.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7190/lendingclub.png" alt="" width="730" height="273"></p> <p>Many lenders even allow applicants to grant them access to their financial accounts so that they can automatically pull the data they need to make a decision, eliminating the need for applicants to gather a bunch of paperwork they might not have readily available and dramatically reducing the amount of time it takes to complete the loan application.</p> <p>Thanks to the combination of technology and thoughtful user experience, loan applications that could have taken days to complete before can now often be completed in minutes online.</p> <h3>A holistic concept of fintech</h3> <p>Put simply, financial services companies large and small, young and entrenched, would be wise to start thinking of fintech in broader, more holistic terms.</p> <p>Yes, there are markets within financial services for which the greatest fintech opportunities require significant technology innovation, but the biggest fintech success stories aren't just the result of technology innovation. Instead, they the product of technological innovation merged with customer experience innovation that delivers meaningful, superior experiences to consumers.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67919-five-fintech-start-ups-aiming-to-replace-traditional-banking/"><em>Five fintech start-ups aiming to replace traditional banking</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67202-what-s-the-future-for-big-banks-in-a-fintech-world/"><em>What's the future for big banks in a FinTech world?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69022-five-fintech-websites-with-crystal-clear-value-propositions/"><em>Five fintech websites with crystal clear value propositions</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69232 2017-07-06T11:41:00+01:00 2017-07-06T11:41:00+01:00 Marketers can rest easy, AI is not about to make them redundant Nikki Gilliland <p>Sounds pretty simple when you put it like that, right? </p> <p>Of course, actually getting to this point isn’t <em>quite</em> so easy. Neither is convincing businesses that artificial intelligence is actually worth investing in, especially considering it is nearing the dreaded “trough of disillusionment” on the infamous Gartner Hype Cycle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7299/Gartner_hype_cycle.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="476"></p> <p>Reflecting <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots">the various examples of brand chatbots</a> we’ve seen throughout the past year or so, the conversation at Supercharged ranged from the inspiring to the silly. Here’s a summary of the day’s biggest talking points, along with insight into how brands of all kinds are implementing artificial intelligence.</p> <h3>Rapid rate of change</h3> <p>While many people can get carried away with what artificial intelligence might look like far into the future, John Straw kicked off Supercharged with an inspiring talk about how the technology will evolve in the next couple of years.</p> <p>Right now, of course, it has its limitations, with most marketers creating augmented decision trees and calling it a chatbot. Then again, John reminded us of the prediction that bots will be in everyday use by 2020, also suggesting that the rapid rate at which the technology is evolving means the bots will look (and sound) far different to how they do now. In fact, he said that by mid-2018, the technology will have advanced so much that users won’t even realising they’re talking to a bot. </p> <p>As someone who has <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">reviewed quite a few (mediocre) examples</a> in the past year or so (not counting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69146-five-things-we-learned-from-launching-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot/" target="_blank">our own</a>, of course), I feel that John's prediction sounds rather optimistic. </p> <p>Then again, as John explained, just because we’re not seeing the technology in practice right now, does not mean it is not in existence. Take the healthcare sector, for instance, where new companies such as HealthTap and Babylon Health are looking to revolutionise the early stages of patient diagnosis. </p> <p>Instead of endlessly waiting on hold to speak to a human or Googling their aches and pains, patients can liaise with AI-powered doctors to speed up and streamline the process.</p> <p>As John said, the net benefit of this kind of technology is greater satisfaction, not just in the context of a doctor-patient scenario but in relation to all kinds of customer service. Instead of being passed from pillar to post and ending up “talking to a 19-year-old in a call centre”, people will be able to talk to a single entity to get the answer they want much faster. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Proud to be nestled among some of A.I.'s best. <a href="https://t.co/EtnEzSPCXR">https://t.co/EtnEzSPCXR</a> <a href="https://t.co/sNIOJIIVKv">pic.twitter.com/sNIOJIIVKv</a></p> — babylon (@babylonhealth) <a href="https://twitter.com/babylonhealth/status/880715572379611136">June 30, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>The benefits of NLP</h3> <p>A lot of brand chatbots involve scripts and decision trees to force users down a specific path. And while some can be frustratingly limited, others can work surprisingly well.</p> <p>Alex Miller from <a href="http://www.bytelondon.com/">Byte London</a> cited Adidas as a prime example, with the sports brand using a scripted chatbot to enable Facebook Messenger users to book a free session in an East London fitness studio. Users could interact with the bot to book times, get reminders, and find out location details. The results showed a 76% retention rate after 23 weeks, 1.1m interactions, and 46,000 fitness sessions organised in all. </p> <p>So, scripted bots can work well for events, but what about scenarios where users are more inclined to ask questions?</p> <p>JustEat is one brand that has successfully combined scripted technology with NLP (natural language processing), going on to create a chatbot that is both functional and entertaining.</p> <p>To do so, it put together a large collection of possible user queries, alongside a list of how the bot would answer in response.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7300/JustEat_chatbot.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="419"></p> <p>Of course, this still has its limitations. There’s only a certain amount of language it is programmed to recognise, however it's still a good example of a bot that goes beyond basic commands to inject personality and humour into the mix.  </p> <p>For JustEat, it meant that 40% of people who interacted with the bot went on to actually place an order online, as well as the brand seeing an average dwell time of 2mins 14secs.</p> <h3>Programming personality into AI</h3> <p>Speaking of personality... according to Nick Asbury, writer for Creative Review and one-half of agency <a href="http://asburyandasbury.com/about/">Asbury &amp; Asbury</a>, character remains a largely untapped area of artificial intelligence. </p> <p>This seems strange, he suggests, especially considering humans are instinctively drawn to any kind of inanimate object that appears to have a personality. Meanwhile, with most humans naturally inclined to choose text or email – even in the context of social relationships – why would we want to spend time having a conversation with Amazon's Alexa when we could skim-read textual information? </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This alarm clock is so confused <a href="https://t.co/j6bbHp98nh">pic.twitter.com/j6bbHp98nh</a></p> — Faces in Things (@FacesPics) <a href="https://twitter.com/FacesPics/status/878651935435485184">June 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Putting these negatives aside, the positive is that most people are also open to the idea of artificial intelligence taking on more human characteristics. As Nick explained, we’ve traditionally seen this in popular culture, with robots taking on all kinds of human traits in films ranging from Knight Rider to 2001: A Space Odyssey.</p> <p>Ultimately, this means that there is a huge amount of unexplored territory in terms of chatbot tone and personality. If ‘neutral’ or an Alexa-type chatbot is the middle of the spectrum, a large percentage of all brand communication does not tend to stray very far from this. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/asburyandasbury">@asburyandasbury</a> on giving AI personality: "Most chatbots are neutral, polite or helpful. Lots of unexplored traits" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/supercharged17?src=hash">#supercharged17</a> <a href="https://t.co/2e86Pt8aG6">pic.twitter.com/2e86Pt8aG6</a></p> — Econsultancy (@Econsultancy) <a href="https://twitter.com/Econsultancy/status/882184030388670469">July 4, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>So, instead of concentrating on just one aspect (either functionality or personality) Nick suggests that brands should explore different areas of the tonal map – even embrace sounding like a robot. </p> <p>Nick specifically mentioned Zhuck – an app that Asbury &amp; Asbury worked on in partnership with a Russian bank. Described as an ‘endearingly grumpy smart ass’, it was deliberately designed to be more interesting and engaging to use, with a character that set out to entertain as much as serve a functional purpose. </p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/128130687" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Fusing AI with human roles</h3> <p>Unsurprisingly, a lot of discussion at Supercharged revolved around the automation of jobs, and the natural backlash that has occurred because of it.</p> <p>So, from a marketer’s perspective, will we see AI disrupt specific areas such as content creation? And what about from a wider branding perspective – could we even see artificial intelligence informing brand straplines or mission statements?</p> <p>While companies such as <a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a> (which uses software to generate email subject lines) shows that artificial intelligence can beat humans in terms of scale and immediacy, it still feels like we’re a long way from bots replacing human creativity.</p> <p>Jukedeck is a company that uses artificial intelligence to compose music that’s suited to individual needs and contexts. Patrick Stobbs, the company’s co-founder, gave some interesting insight into this idea. When asked whether or not this kind of technology creates <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble">a filter bubble</a>, he argued that – in contrast – it actually gives creative people the tools to improve and enhance their craft.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjukedeck%2Fposts%2F784081638422118&amp;width=500" width="500" height="476"></iframe></p> <p>Other brands at Supercharged spoke about how they are using artificial intelligence to streamline services, as well as to upskill and aid traditional roles rather than automate them out. </p> <p>Nicola Millard from BT suggested that most jobs are made up of an intricate series of tasks, regardless of seniority level or industry. As a result, instead of the ‘automation will take our jobs’ scenario coming true – the reality might be more like 60% of jobs having about 30% of their roles automated in the next 10 years.</p> <p>In relation to companies like BT that currently rely on people for customer service, Nicola emphasised that it will not be a battle between bots and agents, but rather a partnership that combines the (very different strengths) of the two. </p> <p>IntelligentX Brewing Company is another brand that cited this belief, insisting that its own product – a beer brewed by AI – requires human involvement throughout the entire manufacturing process. Instead of automating out the human elements, people work in conjunction with the AI (in terms of testing, assessing and providing feedback on AI-produced recipes) to create the very best result.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Found my way to the <a href="https://twitter.com/IntelligentX_ai">@IntelligentX_ai</a> beer tasting at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/smlates?src=hash">#smlates</a>! Beer that evolves with consumer feedback. <a href="https://t.co/NkIHPVbvih">pic.twitter.com/NkIHPVbvih</a></p> — Michelle Reeve (@michelleareeve) <a href="https://twitter.com/michelleareeve/status/771058383566860288">August 31, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Dealing with data issues</h3> <p>The final panel talk of the day centred around how data and artificial intelligence can fuel personalisation and brand loyalty. But when does AI cross the line from cool to creepy? Moreover, with the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69119-gdpr-needn-t-be-a-bombshell-for-customer-focused-marketers" target="_blank">GDPR deadline rapidly approaching</a>, will greater regulation impact automated processes such as customer profiling and segmentation?</p> <p>While this is not as relevant in cases whereby automation doesn’t have a significant or legal impact, it still reflects the dangers of using customer data to such an extent that it feels like a violation of privacy.  </p> <p>For brands like ASOS, artificial intelligence certainly underpins targeting strategies, with AI processes impacting what products to show which customers and when. However, even ASOS realises that data should be used with caution, agreeing that <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-incredible-story-of-how-target-exposed-a-teen-girls-pregnancy-2012-2?IR=T">Target’s recent fail</a> proves some lines should not be crossed. The retail brand sent coupons for baby items to a teenager (and her unsuspecting father), having determined from data tracking that she was pregnant.</p> <p>While other brands like ShopDirect show that using artificial intelligence in this way can generate results – i.e. to identify and retarget a customer who might have run out of lipstick – it’s clear that there’s a long way to go before basic human judgement becomes redundant. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68770-an-introduction-to-ai-and-customer-service/" target="_blank">An introduction to AI and customer service</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69112-what-s-the-difference-between-ai-powered-personalisation-and-more-basic-segmentation/" target="_blank">What's the difference between AI-powered personalisation and more basic segmentation?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing" target="_blank">15 examples of artificial intelligence in marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69151 2017-06-06T11:15:00+01:00 2017-06-06T11:15:00+01:00 A day in the life of... senior data scientist at ASOS Ben Davis <p>You can <a href="https://twitter.com/b_p_chamberlain">follow him on Twitter here</a>. And if you want to see him speak about his work, he's talking at Econsultancy and Marketing Weeek's AI-focused event <a href="https://goo.gl/ZnKWPP">Supercharged</a> on July 4th.</p> <h3> <em>Econsultancy</em>: Please describe your job.</h3> <p><em>Ben Chamberlain</em>: I am a senior data scientist at ASOS, where I lead the customer understanding team. We build systems that generate customer intelligence from proprietary data.</p> <p>We work with a load of teams inside ASOS to help put everything that we know about our customers into making better products.</p> <h3> <em>E: </em>Whereabouts do you sit in your organisation?</h3> <p><em>BC:</em> At ASOS, data science is part of Digital Product and I report to Andy Berks, our Digital Product Director.</p> <h3> <em>E: </em>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p><em>BC:</em> There are three classes of skills that data scientists need to have. People have different strengths and weaknesses, but everyone needs to have at least some knowledge in each area.</p> <p>The first is the ability to get things done quickly and effectively with a computer. This might be downloading and testing some new software, fixing a broken program or getting two databases to communicate.</p> <p>The second skill is statistics / machine learning. While a PhD in stats is not a requirement for the job, it is necessary to understand the fundamentals well. Machine learning is unusual because very bad algorithms can often look very good when they are not tested properly. Of course, they don’t work when put into production, but often a lot of money has been spent before you realise. This is what data scientists call the ‘danger zone’.</p> <p>The final skill is business knowledge. This includes things like knowing which <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">problems data science can help with</a> and which to avoid and choosing the appropriate amount of resource to allocate to projects.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/6601/econsultancy_headshot-blog-flyer.jpeg" alt="ben chamberlain" width="470" height="627"></p> <p><em>Ben Chamberlain, senior data scientist at ASOS</em></p> <h3> <em>E: </em>Tell us about a typical working day…</h3> <p><em>BC:</em> My typical day is a nice blend of research, writing code and discussions with stakeholders. As scientists, we have to stay in touch with the latest ideas, so the team spend a good amount of time at the whiteboard talking through new research.</p> <p>I usually have a couple of meetings with the engineering teams and business executives to work on experiments that we would like to run, as well as writing a fair bit of code. There’s also the occasional special ASOS surprise thrown in. Today, for instance, our new tech bar is opening, so the whole office is finishing at three and we have a DJ to help us celebrate.</p> <p>Another good example is last week, Duncan Little, one of our scientists, traded modelling data for modelling clothes and went into the studio to shoot our new ASOS Lookbook. </p> <h3> <em>E: </em>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p><em>BC:</em> ASOS is a great place to work. It’s young, energetic and still growing 20-25% year on year. There are only a handful of businesses with global HQs in London that have huge customer bases and great data. This means that as data scientists we work on the company’s most important problems and our work has global reach. The great employee discount keeps my girlfriend happy too.</p> <p>It’s hard to think of things that really suck, but if you pushed me, I’d say that there are no gyms nearby. They recently made all ASOS internal gym classes free, but trying to get a spot before work is like trying to get a ticket for Glastonbury – you sit refreshing your browser every ten seconds from 8:59 the previous day and it’s still a long shot. That said, we’re currently building a new ASOS gym area that should be ready next year. First world problems…</p> <h3> <em>E: </em>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p><em>BC:</em> Our goals are very much project based. We work with a lot of different teams within ASOS and they all have their own KPIs. The first project that I did at ASOS looked at how we could predict the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">customer lifetime value</a> and how we could use that information to improve shopping frequency and average basket value.</p> <p>Our most recent work looks at how customers engage with ASOS communications and how we can use this information to increase email open and click-through rates.</p> <h3> <em>E: </em>What are your favourite tools to help you get the job done?</h3> <p><em>BC:</em> I program a lot in Python. I use Jupyter notebooks for exploratory work and the Pycharm integrated development environment for larger software projects. Google recently open sourced a python library for deep learning called Tensorflow, which we have all found really helpful.</p> <p>Our production code uses Apache Spark, which is great for distributed processing when we need to churn through 10TB of web logs every day.</p> <h3> <em>E: </em>How did you get started in the digital industry? </h3> <p><em>BC:</em> I was working for QinetiQ, which is a British defence and security company, as a signal processing scientist. I didn’t really do any signal processing though and spent most of my time writing graphical user interfaces in C++, which nobody would do any more.</p> <p>I remember at that time reading a New Scientist article, which surveyed scientists and asked them which subject they would choose if they could change specialism. Artificial Intelligence won and shortly after that I met Simon Maskell, now professor Maskell, who was working on AI applications for intelligent systems. I begged him for a place on his team and started working with him on a form of customer understanding for the intelligence services.</p> <p>From there it was not such a long hop to ASOS. </p> <h3> <em>E: </em>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in AI?</h3> <p><em>BC:</em> AI, not for the first time, is really hyped right now. This won’t last and people drawn into the hype are likely to be disappointed. I would say, ask yourself if you have a real passion for this type of work. If you do, then there are now lots of great online resources to help people learn. Two that leap to mind are Geoff Hinton’s Coursera course and Nando De Freitas’ Oxford lecture series, which is available on YouTube.</p> <p>It is quite a competitive area and so doing things like entering Kaggle contests, writing open source projects or doing an internship can help differentiate you from other candidates when it comes to job applications.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on data science, read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68933-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-data-scientist-in-an-ai-company/">A Day in The Life of.. a data scientist in an AI company</a>.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>If you're looking for a new role in digital marketing, why not check out <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsutancy's jobs board</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69143 2017-06-02T12:33:26+01:00 2017-06-02T12:33:26+01:00 10 intriguing digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>71% of Brits think voice will be used in daily tasks in 10 years</h3> <p>According a consumer survey by Wiraya and YouGov, 71% of consumers think voice will be used for one or more daily tasks by 2027, while 26% of Brits already interact with day-to-day technology using voice activation.</p> <p>Helen Mirren was voted the voice people would most want to hear on automated calls, closely followed by Ewan McGregor, and then Tom Hardy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6516/Voice.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="421"></p> <h3>C-Suite executives rank customer experience as top priority</h3> <p>Calabrio has <a href="http://learn.calabrio.com/dl-customer-experience-era-intl/" target="_blank">released a report</a> that reveals customer experience is now a top priority for US and UK business executives – ranked above sales and revenue as a primary concern for 2017.</p> <p>52% of senior leaders now view customer experience as the most important way of differentiating their brand. Further findings suggest it’s not that easy, however, with the biggest obstacles being achieving a single customer view and integrating customer data.</p> <p>29% of C-Suite execs are still unsure of the number of devices customers are using to complete a purchase, and only one in three believe that customers are connecting with brands using more than two devices.</p> <h3>Only half of consumers know how to block ads on mobile</h3> <p>Despite more than 80% of the people surveyed owning a mobile device, just 15% of them block ads on their mobile devices, compared to 68% blocking ads on their laptops.</p> <p>This is according to a <a href="http://insight.globalwebindex.net/mobile-ad-blocking-2017" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex study</a>, which delved into the reasons why the US and EU are way behind Asia when it comes to the uptake of mobile ad blocking. </p> <p>Results show that users are unaware they can block ads on mobile devices, with just 48% of device owners currently aware of the possibility. It’s clear that many are still frustrated with online advertising, as one in three mobile users feel they see too many ads when browsing, and almost 50% have a desire to block all ads on their mobile devices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6510/mobile_ad_blocking.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="420"></p> <h3>70% of audiences want social media companies to tackle fake news</h3> <p>Research by the7stars has revealed that just 20% of UK news audiences feel confident that the news they are reading is real, and 70% want social media companies to take more responsibility for tackling fake news.</p> <p>In a survey of 1,000 Brits, 45% said that it’s difficult to understand what is fake news and what isn’t. Just 7% said they felt Facebook and Twitter are doing enough to protect them from fake news.</p> <p>Only 10% of respondents said they trust news shared by friends on social media, with 45% saying they would not trust a shared news article.</p> <h3>Champions League engages more fans on social than FA Cup</h3> <p>Ahead of this year’s Champions League Final, Adobe has revealed how fans have been engaging with football's biggest competitions on social media.</p> <p>Taking into account over 27.8m mentions of the Champions League and FA Cup, stats show that the Champions League has been dominating, garnering over 22m social mentions – an average of 2.4m mentions a month. </p> <p>In contrast, the FA Cup generated just over 5.8m social mentions during its tournament phase, with an average of almost 900,000 mentions a month.</p> <p>This appears to be due to the Champions League’s international presence, with 84% of mentions coming from outside of the UK, compared to 63% coming from abroad for the FA Cup.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLfinal?src=hash">#UCLfinal</a> Festival in Cardiff Bay:</p> <p>Sunshine ✅<br>Floating pitch ✅<br>Ultimate Champions Match ✅</p> <p>Details: <a href="https://t.co/WPHOv0QOZb">https://t.co/WPHOv0QOZb</a> <a href="https://t.co/OnycoUM95S">pic.twitter.com/OnycoUM95S</a></p> — Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChampionsLeague/status/870292999967842304">June 1, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Biggest UK mortgage companies are delivering poor online experience</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://dock9.com/latest/press-release-uk-mortgage-giants-failing-customers-online-says-research" target="_blank">new research</a> by Dock9, three of the UK’s biggest mortgage providers are ranked worst in terms of online customer experience.</p> <p>In a study of the best and worst online experiences for 19 major mortgage intermediaries, high street and specialist lenders – Santander, Nationwide, and Natwest finished bottom of the pile. Barclays, Lloyds, and TSB were ranked top.</p> <p>Overall, it found 53% of companies are failing to design websites fully suited to mobile and tablet devices. 65% are only partially or not responsive at all, meaning customers have a much longer journey than necessary. </p> <h3>72% of marketers fail GDPR consent test </h3> <p>A test conducted by <a href="https://uk.mailjet.com/blog/guide/gdpr-research-report/" target="_blank">Mailjet</a> found that 72% of UK marketers either cannot answer, or incorrectly list the necessary conditions to meet GDPR requirements for ‘opt-in’ consent.</p> <p>With less than a year to go, just 17% of respondents have taken all of the recommended steps towards GDPR compliance. The reason could be that many marketers wrongly believe that the fine for non-compliance is €5.2m, when it is in fact €20m, or 4% of their global revenue.</p> <p>This is not the only area of confusion - 64% also assume GDPR means they must ensure individuals are able to opt-out easily, while 32% of UK marketing professionals believe they will be able to automate processing of location data without ‘opt-in consent’.</p> <p>For a handy breakdown of the GDPR, head on over to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69119-gdpr-needn-t-be-a-bombshell-for-customer-focused-marketers/" target="_blank">Ben's article</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6511/GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="394"></p> <h3>90% of UK consumers have unsubscribed from retail communications in the past year</h3> <p>New research by Engage Hub has revealed that 90% of UK consumers have unsubscribed from communications from retailers in the past 12 months, with 46% saying it is due to an onslaught of messages from brands.</p> <p>In a survey of over 1,500 consumers, one third of respondents said they were unhappy with the frequency of offers or updates they receive. 24% say they receive something at least once a day, while 15% say they receive even more.</p> <p>Alongside the frequency of communication - irrelevancy is also a problem. 24% of respondents said they have unsubscribed from a retailer due the messages being highly irrelevant to them.</p> <h3>Stock in UK supermarkets declines 5.7%</h3> <p>A study by <a href="https://www.iriworldwide.com/en-GB/insights/Publications/Launching-a-new-product" target="_blank">IRIR</a> has found a 5.7% decline in the amount of products UK supermarkets are stocking in stores. From February 2016 to February 2017, there was an average of 930 fewer products available to shoppers in their local supermarket.</p> <p>During the same period, there was a decline of 8.4% in new branded items, with sales of new products also down by 6.5%. </p> <p>As well as fewer branded products being launched, supermarkets are also struggling to gain sufficient distribution, with only one in every seven new products achieving more than 75% distribution across the major UK supermarkets.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6509/distribution.JPG" alt="" width="738" height="388"></p> <h3>Budgets for experiential marketing predicted to rise</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.freeman.com/news/press-releases/new-research-from-freeman-and-ssi-confirms-brand-experiences-matter-to-marketers-and-theyre-willing-to-pay-for-them" target="_blank">Freeman</a>, one in three global marketers expect to allocate up to half of their budget to experiential marketing in the next three years. </p> <p>In a survey of over 1,000 CMOs in the US, Europe, and Asia, 59% of respondents agree that brand experiences have the ability to create stronger relationships with audiences. As a result, 51% say they plan to spend between a fifth and a half of their budget on experiential in the next three years.</p> <p>Currently, 42% of marketers in Asia are using sensory interaction as a means of creating personalised experiences, compared to 28% in the US and just 13% in Europe. 31% of Asian companies are using virtual reality, compared to just 7%-9% elsewhere.</p>