tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy Latest Content marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69113 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 Delivering data-driven content marketing for the travel industry Ray Jenkin <p dir="ltr">Paid media opportunities for content marketing are now truly scalable with programmatic delivery of content through existing ad formats and native placements. As marketers shift from talking at customers to speaking with them, the time is ripe to use data and content to add value to the consumer's purchase journey by finding them at the most relevant time and tailoring the content to them so it is informative and engaging.</p> <p dir="ltr">It is exciting to see the likes of <a href="http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/">Thomson</a> and <a href="https://contently.com/strategist/2015/11/05/were-a-media-company-now-inside-marriotts-incredible-money-making-content-studio/">Marriott</a> who are executing this across paid, owned and earned channels. This article will focus specifically on how brands can better activate their content utilising data across paid media channels. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">Understand your audience, then shape your content and targeting</h3> <p dir="ltr">With the abundance of data available from social and paid media channels, the opportunity to uncover strong insights about your audience, in near real time, has never been greater. By understanding the primary travel-led concerns and motivations of your audiences you can quickly develop and adjust content to address these concerns.</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to tackling your audience's questions effectively, you should also use this information to shape audience targeting strategies and paid media activation of that content, finding defining moments in the consumer journey and matching the most relevant content to these audience behaviours.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Data allows you to listen and act: don’t just broadcast</h3> <p dir="ltr">Balance the message you would like to share with the needs and wants of your audience. Travel brands run the risk of using the content channel as another broadcast tactic, pushing use of their app or overly touting their offers. Be cautious not to alienate your audience.</p> <p dir="ltr">Utilise the data-driven insights you uncover to create a balanced editorial strategy that weaves your key commercial messages with useful and valuable content that addresses consumer needs.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6375/thomson_blog.png" alt="" width="700" height="487"></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Thomson's blog</em></p> <h3 dir="ltr">Be relevant at all the stages of the consumer’s journey</h3> <p dir="ltr">Using data enables you to really match content with the consumer at pivotal touch points. Much like over-broadcasting, mismatching content at the wrong times will lead to consumers ignoring you.</p> <p dir="ltr">For example, if you are building out content that elevates travel inspiration be sure you can activate those audiences at that stage of their journey, by looking at some of the behavioural triggers such as browsing travel photos, writing travel blogs or search terms around broader travel-related terms.    </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, make sure the shape, structure and features of your content reflect the relevant point in the consumer’s journey. For example, consider travel inspiration as a period where consumers are looking for validation and affirmation of the travel desires. With that in mind is your content shareable? Is it rich in visual elements to capture the imagination? Paid media activation now allows for far more variety in content than in recent previous years so leverage these opportunities to make the content more relevant.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Go beyond where your audiences are to find what your audiences are doing</h3> <p dir="ltr">Naturally, context is a valuable part of your content strategy. Make sure you are aligning your paid content with relevant contextual environments such as travel comparison, OTA’s, and travel magazines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Granular data access for audience targeting can help you reach those relevant consumers at other pivotal touch points. For example those sharing content with friends and family on social channels, those searching with specific search terms or consumers browsing hard to reach travel inspiration environments can be identified through more sophisticated audience targeting solutions and also found programmatically in other non-travel environments where the opportunity to deliver them paid content is available.   </p> <h3 dir="ltr">Harness the power of the crowd</h3> <p dir="ltr">According to research undertaken by Edelman, 70% of global consumers say <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/">online consumer reviews</a> are the second-most trusted form of advertising, and Trip Barometer uncovered that 93% of travellers said their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/">User-generated content</a> can be powerful. Consider how this impacts both content production and also existing traditional paid media strategies. Look at how you can marry this content with audiences engaging with review-led content to create stronger resonance with your brand.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Go further than the written word - 66% of all travellers watch videos online when researching </h3> <p dir="ltr">The plethora of paid media options available programmatically has increased significantly in the last few months. Leverage these to get a range of content in front of relevant audiences.</p> <p dir="ltr">From video placements of various lengths and <a href="https://vimeo.com/155542137">f</a><a href="https://vimeo.com/155542137">ormats</a>, to <a href="https://flixel.com/cinemagraph/51r5jmmylwommtwzwt12/">cinemagraph native formats</a> to get engaging imagery in front of audiences, the possibilities to make the right content fit at the right stage have never been greater. With programmatic access to these formats now reaching meaningful scale, you can combine data and placement to truly get the most relevant content in front of the most relevant audiences.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><em>For more on this topic see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68871-how-travel-brands-are-capitalising-on-youtube-adventure-search-trend/"><em>How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/"><em>The impact of artificial intelligence on the travel industry</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69109 2017-05-24T14:10:53+01:00 2017-05-24T14:10:53+01:00 Why Visit Sweden and other tourism boards are teaming up with Airbnb Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why are tourism boards showing increased interest in the sharing economy? Here’s a bit of elaboration on the topic.</p> <h3>Increasing awareness rather than bookings</h3> <p>It’s unusual for tourism boards to endorse the sharing economy, with most being government-backed and therefore aligned to <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2017)595897" target="_blank">criticism that it can negatively affect</a> local communities and businesses. </p> <p>However, Visit Sweden’s partnership is based on building awareness rather than driving actual bookings. In fact, there are no additional listings for Swedish accommodation since the campaign launched. It is merely a marketing campaign that involves Airbnb posting fictional listings from nine areas of Sweden, including locations like the mountains of Sarek and Skuleskogen National Park.</p> <p>It is based on the 'Allemansrätten' principle, which is a protected law that says people are free to roam in nature. Essentially, it means anyone has the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land, apart from private gardens, near a private residence or on land under cultivation.</p> <p>The content is located on a separate microsite, which is mainly promoted on Visit Sweden's homepage and social media, also meaning there is little endorsement of the Airbnb product itself.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C6671CL5fFg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>I’ll scratch your back…</h3> <p>So what’s <em>actually</em> in it for Airbnb?</p> <p>Since the brand expanded into the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68749-why-online-travel-sites-are-focusing-on-tours-and-activities/" target="_blank">tours and activities</a> sector with last year's launch of Trips, it appears to be another way for the brand to market itself as a destination resource rather than a straightforward booking site. </p> <p>As the campaign is fundamentally based on travel ‘experiences’ rather than accommodation, it nicely aligns with this new area of focus.</p> <p>In a more general sense, Visit Sweden’s ethos also matches Airbnb’s branding, with the tagline of ‘belong anywhere’ echoing the ‘free to roam’ principle. Of course, while it's mostly designed to offer inspiration, the campaign does promote real accommodation (in the rest of Sweden) too, allowing users to click through, search, and book if they like.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sweden's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/freedomtoroam?src=hash">#freedomtoroam</a> lets you sleep under the stars, indulge in the fish from the lakes or camp on the beach - <a href="https://t.co/LI2GXZmgeI">https://t.co/LI2GXZmgeI</a> <a href="https://t.co/VZiqgbTQ1L">pic.twitter.com/VZiqgbTQ1L</a></p> — Visit Sweden US (@VisitSwedenUS) <a href="https://twitter.com/VisitSwedenUS/status/867002269233033216">May 23, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Attracting open-minded travellers</h3> <p>For Visit Sweden, which perhaps doesn't have a huge budget, the partnership is an opportunity to make use of Airbnb’s influence and indeed its large customer base. </p> <p>The country has a reputation for progressive and creative marketing campaigns. Its ‘Swedish Number’ campaign, which involved setting up a national phone number so that anyone could call up and talk to a random Swede, reportedly generated the equivalent of $147m in international media coverage.</p> <p>By promoting its country as free to stay in, Visit Sweden is clearly banking on creating on yet another PR splash, using Airbnb to increase reach and general visibility of the campaign.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6301/Swedish_number.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="489"></p> <h3>Educating local communities</h3> <p>The campaign is being described as a ‘first of its kind collaboration’ – and while it is in marketing terms - it’s not the first time a tourism board has partnered with Airbnb.</p> <p>The Anguilla Tourist Board recently partnered with the company to promote the Caribbean destination on a global level. It was described as a way for Airbnb to work with the Anguilla government to attract a greater number of visitors, as well as increase levels of employment on the island.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the brand has also partnered with city-based tourism boards, such as the San Francisco Travel Association. The main reason being the opportunity to expand tourism in lesser-known areas, shining a light on small businesses as well as promoting the experience of ‘living like a local’.</p> <p>As well as increasing its positive impact, these partnerships also reflect a desire to educate communities about the sharing economy, reducing any negative perception about brands like Airbnb and instead to capitalise on their growth. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body/" target="_blank">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68971-does-airbnb-stand-a-chance-in-china/" target="_blank">Does Airbnb stand a chance in China?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68225-10-examples-of-great-airbnb-marketing-creative/" target="_blank">10 examples of great Airbnb marketing creative</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69091 2017-05-17T14:19:02+01:00 2017-05-17T14:19:02+01:00 How Mr & Mrs Smith differentiates itself from digital competitors Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently heard Tamara Lohan, the CTO and co-founder of Mr &amp; Mrs Smith, speak at Abode Summit on the subject. Here are a few key points from her session.</p> <h3>Carefully curated hotels</h3> <p>Mr &amp; Mrs Smith originally began after a disastrous hotel stay, whereby Tamara and her then-boyfriend (now husband and business partner) were met with a decidedly different experience than the one they’d imagined. </p> <p>Realising that most travel agencies skip over what actually makes a holiday special - i.e. the little but memorable details – they set out to create a company which has the customer’s needs and desires in mind.</p> <p>With the core aim of inspiring people to travel to extraordinary places, it researches the best and most overlooked boutique hotels, which are often unique in terms of design and architecture. The company also values hotels that are environmentally-friendly or dedicated to local issues. Its selection of hotels in the Maldives is a clear example of this. With waste management becoming an increasing issue on the island, Mr &amp; Mrs Smith only chooses eco-friendly and sustainable hotels that aim to counteract the problem. </p> <p>Alongside this, one aspect that also sets Mr &amp; Mrs Smith apart is the fact that its hotels go through a rigorous testing and review process, with employees visiting each one to ensure it delivers a truly memorable experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6074/MR___MRS_Smith_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="568"></p> <h3>Creating loyalty</h3> <p>So, while its value proposition is clear, how does Mr &amp; Mrs Smith capture clicks – crucially even before customers turn to search? Instead of serving intent, the brand aims to create it by fostering loyalty.</p> <p>It differentiates itself from competitors like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68505-a-closer-look-at-booking-com-s-customer-focused-strategy/" target="_blank">Booking.com</a> and On The Beach by being a ‘travel club’ rather than an online booking platform. This idea builds on customer’s long-term interest in travel as well as their desire to forge relationships with like-minded people.</p> <p>While membership to Mr &amp; Mrs Smith only means booking through the website (there is no cost or fee to become a ‘member’), this idea aligns with the brand’s promise of offering something extra special. Booking with the brand means customers can enjoy perks such as being met with champagne on arrival, as well as exclusive offers and experiences throughout the year. </p> <p>Not only does this evoke a sense of exclusivity – making members feel recognised and inspired – but the included benefits mean consumers are much more likely to return again in future.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bye <a href="https://twitter.com/FoxhillManor">@FoxhillManor</a>, it's been epic! <a href="https://twitter.com/smithhotels">@smithhotels</a> <a href="https://t.co/tp1GTjGuwt">pic.twitter.com/tp1GTjGuwt</a></p> — Olivia von Halle (@OliviavonHalle) <a href="https://twitter.com/OliviavonHalle/status/819945671620968449">January 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Delivering unique content</h3> <p>‘Does everything have to be digital?’ was the title of Tamara’s talk. The answer is pretty obvious, of course, with Mr &amp; Mrs Smith typically partaking in both online and offline marketing activity to ensure it reaches customers in multiple ways.</p> <p>But while not everything has to be digital, it <em>does</em> have to be unique – which is a philosophy reflected in branded events like the ‘Smith Boutique Hotel Awards’. </p> <p>The annual awards ceremony honours the best hotels in the industry, with voters being made up of tastemakers, specialists and industry insiders. Unlike typically stuffy or corporate award ceremonies, it is consumer-facing, inviting customers and influencers to also attend. </p> <p>As well as forging one-to-one relationships with consumers, the awards are also a great way to create valuable content. Two weeks before this year's event, the company sent photographer Polly Brown on a whistle-stop tour of the winning hotels, documenting the results on both Instagram and a printed newspaper that was sent to a few select and loyal customers. </p> <p>Just like the travel experiences found in its hotels, it is special and meaningful touches like this that truly sets Mr &amp; Mrs Smith apart. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6075/Punch_Room.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="369"></p> <p><em><strong>Recent travel articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body/" target="_blank">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69018-how-airline-brands-are-improving-customer-experience-in-flight/" target="_blank">How airline brands are improving customer experience in-flight</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68989-three-ways-language-can-affect-conversion-rates-on-travel-sites/" target="_blank">Three ways language can affect conversion rates on travel sites</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69094 2017-05-17T10:36:26+01:00 2017-05-17T10:36:26+01:00 Five examples of brands using interactive video Nikki Gilliland <p>This is where interactive video comes in. Instead of a passive user experience, interactive video requires the person watching to take action – e.g. answer a question or make a decision – usually to inform how the rest of the video unfolds.</p> <p>There are many benefits, including longer viewing times, greater engagement, and even data capture.</p> <p>While the technology is certainly nothing new, there appears to have been a surge in brands experimenting with it lately. Here are a few examples and the reasons why it works.</p> <h3>Mended Little Hearts</h3> <p>Mended Little Hearts is a charity for children with congenital heart disease. Its recent campaign, ‘Give a Fuller Life’, uses interactive video to show how donating money can transform the lives of those affected.</p> <p>The animated video depicts a day in the life of 11-year-old Max, who we first see wandering along the street looking lost and lonely. Viewers are prompted to pledge a donation, which results in Max’s life becoming a little brighter each time. Gradually, the street becomes sunnier, and family, animals, and toys also start to appear. </p> <p>The video is simple but surprisingly emotive, effectively highlighting how a small act (which often involves just a few clicks online) can dramatically transform a child’s life.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/T88vbtCsuEw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Warner Bros.</h3> <p>Focus is a 2015 movie starring Will Smith as a veteran conman. Alongside the standard trailer Warner Bros. released an interactive video to promote the movie before it hit cinemas.</p> <p>It allows viewers to test their own skills as a con artist by making a series of decisions as they go. The potential 'marks' include an internet mogul, an investment banker, and an art dealer, with each one presenting a different challenge for participating viewers.</p> <p>While Focus turned out to be fairly predictable as a film, its interactive video is far more innovative. Combining gamification and movie marketing – it’s a great example of how to pique interest and engage consumers in the run up to a release.</p> <p><a href="http://www.raptmedia.com/customers/warner-bros-focus/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6108/Focus.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="444"></a></p> <h3>Deloitte</h3> <p>Most recruitment videos tend to be quite dry, however Deloitte chose a more light-hearted tack for its New Zealand graduate recruitment program.</p> <p>Filmed as a ‘day in the life’ of a Deloitte employee, the gamified video allows users to choose how they’d react to a number of different work-based scenarios. From telling a co-worker about spilt coffee on their jacket, to what to do if a printer breaks – each one highlights the various skills and attributes valued by the company.</p> <p>The result is a highly engaging and immersive video experience, which effectively educates viewers about Deloitte while simultaneously prompting them to think about whether they’d be a good fit. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EUw0vzyN9ZM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Honda</h3> <p>To promote its Civic Type R, Honda wanted to create a video that showcased another side of the typically reliable automotive brand.</p> <p>The result was an interactive, dual-narrative video that allowed viewers to switch between two storylines. The first involved a father picking up his daughter from school and taking her to a party. However, when viewers pressed the ‘R’ key on their keyboard or tablet, the other side of the story was revealed, with the father becoming an undercover cop by night. </p> <p>By controlling exactly how the video can be watched, the user experience immedately changes from a passive to an active one, becoming far more engaging as a result.</p> <p>What’s more, the video is also an example of how to engage a wider audience, with all kinds of people likely to enjoy it, regardless of whether they have an interest in the brand or product itself.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FU5CLg2LAmg?wmode=transparent" width="780" height="439"></iframe></p> <h3>Maybelline New York</h3> <p>While a lot of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67884-seven-ways-social-media-is-shaping-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">beauty-related videos</a> are more interactive than other industries (in that they offer tutorials or advice), Maybelline takes this one step further with its interactive tutorial video for Big Eyes Mascara.</p> <p>For the video, Maybelline teamed up with Kelly Framel, a popular fashion blogger, to create a tutorial of four different looks based around a single core product.  </p> <p>The video allows viewers to navigate different beauty tutorials, choosing the style and context of each one, such as ‘day’ or ‘night’ and ‘club tropicana’ and ‘rebel chic’. While the video isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it shows how interactive video can potentially be used to increase conversion. </p> <p>Unlike buying a car, for example, the nature of shopping for beauty products is much more instinctive and spontaneous, meaning that interactive video can prompt an immediate response from viewers. </p> <p><a href="https://www.raptmedia.com/customers/maybelline-new-york-engagement-conversions/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6109/Maybelline_video.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></a></p> <p><em><strong>Further reading: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67932-the-future-of-video-is-vertical-texted-emotional/" target="_blank">The future of video is vertical, texted &amp; emotional</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68640-why-live-video-was-the-biggest-social-trend-of-2016/" target="_blank">Why live video was the biggest social trend of 2016</a></em></li> </ul> <p><em><strong>For more, you can also check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/video-marketing-strategies" target="_blank">Video Marketing Strategy Training</a> course.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69086 2017-05-16T11:20:00+01:00 2017-05-16T11:20:00+01:00 How Adidas uses digital to enable powerful experiences Nikki Gilliland <p>This might sound like a rather lofty notion, but when it comes to a brand like Adidas – whose core belief is to inspire individuals to harness the power of sport – it’s slightly more believable. </p> <p>At Summit I also heard Adidas’s VP of digital strategy &amp; delivery, Joseph Godsey, speak about how the brand uses digital to enable powerful experiences. Here are a few key points from what he said.</p> <h3>Building relationships</h3> <p>For Adidas, digital is the best way to build direct relationships with consumers. To be successful, it must create an experience that is premium, connected, and personalised.</p> <p>So, what does this mean exactly? Premium is about inspiring love for the brand and a desire for the products. In other words, to create excitement and enthusiasm about sports, whether it’s on a small personal level – such as fitting in a spin class before work – or on a highly competitive or team-oriented basis, like professional football.</p> <p>Connected means taking all the touchpoints that a consumer can interact with and making it consistent. So much so that it does not matter where they started or where they finish, but that they always have a seamless experience. </p> <p>Lastly, personalised means connecting the consumer – taking into account their individual love of sports - with content that they want to hear about. By using data and customer insight, Adidas is able to deliver on its promise of this unified, multichannel and unique experience. </p> <h3>Engaging the ‘creator consumer’</h3> <p>According to Joseph, Adidas considers the customer as the starting point for everything it creates. Whether this involves focus groups or online reviews, customer feedback helps to inform and shape the entire brand.</p> <p>Joseph also went so far as to say that it views this person as the ‘creator consumer’. Essentially, this is someone who wants to be given the tools to co-create <em>with</em> the brand – to be able to tell their own stories and connect with others – rather than simply be sold to. </p> <p>So, who is this target consumer? Adidas considers digital natives – or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68554-how-retailers-are-targeting-generation-z/" target="_blank">Generation Z</a> – to be its embodiment. After all, by 2020, this demographic will make up 40% of the world’s population and have the buying power of two trillion dollars.</p> <p>With this generation typically viewing sport as intrinsic to culture – or as a mindset rather than an activity – a brand like Adidas has a real opportunity to connect with them in new and meaningful ways.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6036/IMG_0112.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="585"></p> <h3>Using technology to fuse online and offline</h3> <p>This aim is all well and good, of course. But how exactly does Adidas reach customers? Taking into account the fact there is no longer a linear customer journey, the brand aims to interact with people on a one-to-one level across all touchpoints – including mobile, social, and physical retail.</p> <p>It created Adidas Confirmed with this in mind – an app that allows customers to reserve products for pick-up in store. It also alerts them about new product launches and asks for feedback on purchases, allowing Adidas to create an experience that bridges the online and offline worlds. </p> <p>Another example is Glitch – a football boot with a changeable inner and outer shoe. It’s also the first product built with an entirely digital business model, only being available to buy through a dedicated app. As well as facilitating the mobile experience, it also offers a premium one – allowing consumers to talk to others, arrange a customised fitting session, or get same day shipping. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6037/Adidas_glitch.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="646"></p> <p>By creating memorable experiences such as this – while Adidas might not be able to make consumers actually participate in sport – it’s hard not to feel inspired enough to want to.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68785-how-adidas-originals-uses-social-media-to-drive-sales/">How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67859-adidas-creates-b2b-content-to-help-with-recruitment/">Adidas creates B2B content to help with recruitment</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68467-nike-vs-adidas-vs-under-armour-email-signup-welcome/">Nike vs. adidas vs. Under Armour: Email signup &amp; welcome</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69074 2017-05-10T12:30:00+01:00 2017-05-10T12:30:00+01:00 Will Instagram's mobile web app help Facebook slay Snapchat? Patricio Robles <p>And the rapid growth that makes Instagram look like Facebook circa 2009 to 2013 could accelerate even more now that Instagram has updated its mobile website, giving it a number of features that were previously only available in its iOS and Android mobile apps. The most important new feature added, photo sharing, will let users of the mobile web app post photos to Instagram.</p> <p>As TechCrunch's Josh Constine <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/08/instagram-mobile-web/">explained</a>, "Until now, users could could only browse, Like, follow, search, and see notifications on the stripped-down mobile web site and desktop site." But now they'll be able to post photos and browse a lightweight version of the Instagram Explore tab.</p> <p>The new functionality could be especially important in international markets where high-speed mobile internet is not widely available, making it more difficult for users to download and use the full Instagram app. Roughly 80% of Instagram's users are based outside of the U.S. and the company is clearly making an effort to better serve its international user base.</p> <h3>The latest shot at Snapchat?</h3> <p>Facebook's embrace of Instagram's international users, including those in developing markets, stands in stark contrast to the stance of Instagram's chief competitor, Snapchat.</p> <p>Snapchat recently came under fire after <a href="http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/snapchat-evan-spiegel-only-for-rich-people-anthony-pompliano-1202028526/">it was reported</a> that the company's twenty-something CEO, Evan Spiegel, had stated in 2015 that "This app is only for rich people...I don't want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain." The claim was made in a lawsuit involving a former Snapchat executive, who had apparently offered suggestions to improve the company's performance outside countries like the U.S.</p> <p>Snapchat has denied the report, but it's worth noting that while Instagram has a web app that is now growing its functional footprint, Snapchat still doesn't have a mobile website, so even if Snapchat CEO Spiegel isn't anti-"poor countries" as claimed, it doesn't appear that Snapchat is willing to go to the same lengths as Instagram is to court new users in places where a mobile web app would help its adoption.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7738/Screen_Shot_2016-08-04_at_14.42.36.png" alt="insta stories" width="591" height="347"></p> <p>Meanwhile, even though Facebook has been criticised by some observers for copying features from Snapchat, the tactic doesn't seem to be bothering users. For example, since launching its Snapchat Stories clone, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68142-instagram-stories-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/">Instagram Stories</a> has now surpassed 200m daily users, well above the 160m daily users Snapchat Stories reported in Q4 2016.</p> <p>For brands active on Instagram and Snapchat, the divergent strategies are worth noting for a couple of reasons.</p> <p>First, Instagram's willingness to offer a mobile web app and bring it closer to parity with the features of its native mobile apps could increasingly have an impact on the companies' respective growth rates. In the past year, Snapchat <a href="https://www.recode.net/2017/2/2/14492182/snapchat-user-growth-slowing-ipo">appears to have hit a growth plateau</a> and if it doesn't find a way to get its growth engine fired up again in a big way, it could find that it has permanently lost ground to Instagram, which has gained 100m users in the past four months alone.</p> <p>Second, for brands looking for a platform through which they can reach a global audience, it increasingly appears that Instagram is eating Snapchat's lunch. While Snapchat could argue that its smaller, first-world-dominated userbase is more valuable, as Facebook brings Facebook-like self-serve advertising to Instagram, Instagram's massive reach coupled with granular targeting could make it a much more versatile and attractive ad platform.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69058 2017-05-08T11:15:00+01:00 2017-05-08T11:15:00+01:00 How millennial entrepreneurs are disrupting retail and ecommerce Nikki Gilliland <p>Surprisingly, one time the term wasn’t bandied about was during a talk solely featuring this all-important demographic.</p> <p>With insight from three entrepreneurs in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, the discussion focused on how young people are effectively driving change in retail and ecommerce – as both consumers <em>and</em> entrepreneurs.</p> <p>So, how exactly are they changing the game? The panel included Tommy Williams, co-founder and CEO of All Shades Covered, Vivien Laszloffy, CEO of Áeron, and Freddy Macnamara, CEO of Cuvva. Here are a few key takeaways from the talk.</p> <h3>Innovation borne out of necessity</h3> <p>The panel began on the subject of motivation. When asked about the drive behind starting a new business, each speaker highlighted some form of frustration rather than any influence or inspiration from the existing market. And while the three companies are vastly different, this appeared to be a common theme.</p> <p>Cuvva is a pay-as-you-go insurance app aimed at infrequent drivers. Freddy, its CEO, explained how the company stemmed from the desire to drive his friend’s car – and the sheer annoyance at the lack of options out there for quick and easy cover.</p> <p>Similarly, All Shades Covered – co-founded by Tommy Williams – was borne out of the recognition that women of colour are incredibly underserved when it comes to hair and beauty products on the high street. Consequently, Tommy saw an opportunity to fill this gap, using ecommerce to fulfil the needs of consumers quickly and efficiently. </p> <p>As well as choosing to improve or bridge a gap on behalf of consumers, this drive perhaps also demonstrates their growing expectations, with a younger demographic demanding a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67322-not-offering-same-day-delivery-you-could-be-losing-customers/" target="_blank">superior customer experience</a> across the board.</p> <h3>It’s about more than influence</h3> <p>Alongside an avoidance of the term millennial, one thing that really stood out from the talk was a distinct lack of interest <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">in influencer marketing</a>. While it's not a strategy that's been sidelined completely, it appears to be less of a priority for the young entrepeneurs. Interestingly, during the session before, I’d heard Boohoo’s Chairman mention how it has been an integral part of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69044-five-reasons-behind-boohoo-s-97-increase-in-profits/" target="_blank">brand’s recent success</a>.</p> <p>So, why are millennials choosing another route?</p> <p>Perhaps it's a case of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68716-four-common-mistakes-brands-make-with-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">influencer overload</a>, but from an entrepreneurial perspective, it appears to be a simple case of other strategies generating better results.</p> <p>Vivien, the CEO of Budapest-based fashion retailer Áeron, spoke about the importance of working with women within the creative industry – but not just the standard blogger or model. Instead, people who fundamentally understand and appreciate the heritage of the brand are far more desirable, outweighing an influencer who might have a massive audience or even a reputation in the fashion industry. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5883/aeron.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <p>Meanwhile, Tommy says that his brand has seen far more success with offline and community-based marketing. He explained how tools like online video do not typically resonate with his core consumer in the same way as speaking and communicating directly, in the places where they live and work. While this strategy might be costly and much more time-consuming, it has resulted in much higher conversion rates for the company.</p> <p>This demonstrates the importance of understanding how both the brand and consumer can align to build a longer-term relationship, rather than jumping on digital trends merely to attract the masses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5884/Hair.JPG" alt="" width="621" height="714"></p> <h3>A point of difference</h3> <p>The final topic revolved around how new companies are able to compete with giants in the industry. Instead of striving to match them, however, the general consensus was that viewing big brands as competition can largely be a fruitless exercise.</p> <p>Instead, it was suggested that brands in their infancy should remember the importance of establishing a unique and valuable point of difference when it comes to the product itself. Freddy highlighted Cuvva’s recognition of the supply chain, i.e. the underwriters who offer the insurance cover to drivers. In contrast to larger comparison sites that tend to focus solely on raising awareness to general consumers - Cuvva is able to offer greater value all-round.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Big updates to <a href="https://twitter.com/cuvva">@cuvva</a> for sharing today:<br>✅ min age now 19 (17 for learners)<br>✅ business use included<br>✅ lower pricing<br>✅ insurance groups 1-50</p> — James Billingham (@billinghamj) <a href="https://twitter.com/billinghamj/status/825157088343121922">January 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The biggest takeaway from listening to millennials talk? If you've got enough common sense, age doesn't come into it.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67822-four-great-examples-of-marketing-to-millennials" target="_blank">Four great examples of marketing to millennials</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66805-millennials-and-mobile-what-marketers-need-to-know" target="_blank">Millennials and mobile: what marketers need to know</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68203-six-millennial-ux-lessons-from-insurance-brand-back-me-up" target="_blank">Six 'millennial UX' lessons from insurance brand Back Me Up</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/874 2017-05-05T08:54:52+01:00 2017-05-05T08:54:52+01:00 Content Marketing: Trends, Data and Best Practice <p>Econsultancy APAC's Trends Webinar for June looks at the latest trends, data and best practice within content marketing. This insight comes from Econsultancy's research, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-content-marketing/" target="_blank">The Future of Content Marketing</a>.</p> <p>This session will be hosted by<strong> Jeff</strong> <strong>Rajeck, Research Analyst, APAC at Econsultancy</strong>. There will be a 15 minute Q&amp;A session after the presentation.</p> <p><strong>FAQ:</strong></p> <p><strong>I'm not an Econsultancy subscriber, can I join?</strong></p> <p>Ans: You sure can. The sessions are complimentary for existing customers and new friends.</p> <p><strong>Will the session be recorded?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Yes! We record all of our webinars, and we'll send out a link to the recording the following week.</p> <p><strong>What if I register but can't make it?</strong></p> <p>Ans: It's all good. We'll send a follow-up with key takeaways and a link to the recording.</p> <p><strong>Can I ask questions?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Absolutely! This session is for you. Bring your questions and participate during Q&amp;A.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69038 2017-04-26T15:30:00+01:00 2017-04-26T15:30:00+01:00 Shea Moisture's customer backlash was caused by poor brand management, not bad advertising Patricio Robles <h4>The backstory</h4> <p>Shea Moisture was founded by Liberians Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis, who came to the US as refugees. They built a business reportedly valued at $700m by developing natural beauty products that cater to a market historically underserved by large beauty brands – women of color.</p> <p>But with outside investment from Bain Capital and skyrocketing consumer interest in natural beauty products, Shea Moisture's parent company Sundial Brands is betting that there is a bigger market for Shea Moisture's products.</p> <p>With that in mind, the company recently unveiled a 60-second ad developed by agency VaynerMedia as part of its #EverybodyGetsLove marketing campaign. The ad features a black woman, but it also features a blonde woman and two redheads. That did not sit well with some Shea Moisture customers who felt that the ad was a sign the company is moving away from the market segment that made it what it is today.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">SheaMoisture is CANCELLED <a href="https://t.co/T4Dru1JgAq">pic.twitter.com/T4Dru1JgAq</a></p> — NANA JIBRIL(@girlswithtoys) <a href="https://twitter.com/girlswithtoys/status/856563772223365122">April 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Black women have supported and gave free press to Shea Moisture for YEARS. And then they have a "hair hate" commercial with white women?</p> — no. (@DatGirl_ICEY) <a href="https://twitter.com/DatGirl_ICEY/status/856569496508747777">April 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>On Facebook, the company's Page has been inundated with more than 7,000 one-star reviews.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5738/shea.png" alt="" width="774" height="531"></p> <p>The backlash was fast and big enough that the company quickly pulled its ad and Richelieu Dennis, Shea Moisture's founder and the CEO of Sundial Brands, took to social media <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SheaMoisture/photos/a.108636299188014.8145.108628512522126/1495966387121658/">to apologize</a>. "Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up," he wrote. "Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate."</p> <p>He further stated, "While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way."</p> <h4>When marketing mistakes aren't marketing mistakes</h4> <p>While the media coverage of the backlash caused by Shea Moisture's ad largely focuses on the notion that the company made an advertising mistake, this is really a brand management mistake because the truth of the matter is that Shea Moisture is a company that was probably going to have a hard time extending its brand without alienating the customers in its core segment.</p> <p>Strong brands that focus on underserved market segments risk upsetting their customers when trying to expand beyond those segments or to "go mainstream" because the customers in those segments feel strongly about the brands. </p> <p>In Shea Moisture's case, the segment it built its brand serving – women of color – know Shea Moisture as a company that for years has focused on their needs when other beauty brands didn't. That gives them a stronger-than-usual level of perceived investment and ownership in the brand.</p> <p>This can be a powerful asset, and it's one of the reasons there are riches in niches. But with the wrong strategy, this asset can become a liability because loyal customers, when they feel slighted or abandoned, are more likely to speak out. Unfortunately for Shea Moisture, its parent company, Sundial Brands, appears to have made a major brand management faux pas that caused just that to happen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/shea-moisture-ad-falls-flat-after-backlash-n750421">According to</a> CEO Richelieu Dennis, the decision to extend Shea Moisture into new market segments was based on the notion that "we have to grow the business." He elaborated...</p> <blockquote> <p>Brands that didn't service women of color for decades are all of the sudden creating campaigns for them to go after that because of the growth they've seen come from us. The competition that we now see, puts businesses like ours at risk.</p> </blockquote> <p>But it's not clear to this author that trying to extend the Shea Moisture brand to market segments already dominated by the very newcomers he speaks of represents a wise growth strategy because this type of brand extension is very difficult and actually risks brand dilution.</p> <p>In my opinion, a better strategy would have been for Shea Moisture to double down on the market segment that it built its success on by playing to its strengths, which include brand loyalty and a reputation as a pioneer, rather than intentionally trying to bring the Shea Moisture brand to segments that are already saturated by bigger companies that are hoping to make inroads in Shea Moisture's segment.</p> <p>If Sundial Brands truly believed there are opportunities in other market segments, it should have explored launching one or more new brands for the effort. While doing that would not be without its own challenges – building a new brand is never easy or cheap – clearly the company did not fully grasp how risky the attempted extension of the Shea Moisture brand to new customer segments would be.</p> <p>Risking customer segments in which you have a strong position for new, competitive segments is usually not a pillar of sensible brand management. </p> <h4>It's too easy to blame advertising</h4> <p>At the end of the day, had Shea Moisture better managed its brand, it never would have produced a backlash-inducing ad in the first place.</p> <p>So while many are focusing on the company's ad, it's important for brands to remember that good advertising can't fix bad brand management, and advertising shouldn't be blamed for consumer backlash when poor brand management all but ensured that advertising couldn't be good in the first place.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69032 2017-04-26T11:09:00+01:00 2017-04-26T11:09:00+01:00 Lastminute.com partners with Spotify to target music-loving travellers Nikki Gilliland <p>The ‘Music Makes You Travel’ campaign is set to run from now until December – here’s a breakdown of what it involves.</p> <h4>Music linked to destinations</h4> <p><a href="http://www.lastminute.com/">Lastminute.com</a> has teamed up with Spotify to produce a series of interactive maps, playlists and podcasts – each one linked to 10 different destinations.</p> <p>The content can be found on a dedicated <a href="http://music.lastminute.com/?_ga=1.256337419.1462185020.1493024027" target="_blank">online hub</a>, with ads also running on both Lastminute.com’s main site and the Spotify platform. </p> <p>Each city is broken down by area, with playlists bringing to life the distinct sounds of each one. For instance, East London’s playlist includes songs by local artists like Dizzee Rascal and Katy B. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5667/Lastminute_maps.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="297"></p> <p>Meanwhile, the map highlights musical hotspots such as Rough Trade East – a popular record store in Shoreditch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5666/Rough_Trade.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="567"></p> <p>Alongside this, the campaign will include a series of podcasts, with each one featuring an international artist giving insight into the music scene of their home city.</p> <h4>Driving online conversions</h4> <p>Not only does the campaign tap into the way that music transports us to another place, but it emphasises how music accompanies us wherever we go. From listening to music on the plane to discovering live music venues on holiday, we engage with music in key moments of the travel journey.</p> <p>Due to its highly emotive nature, Lastminute.com is hoping that music will prompt Spotify users – those who are typically young and of an adventurous mindset - to browse and ultimately convert online. </p> <h4>Bringing brand audiences together</h4> <p>So, what’s in it for Spotify? </p> <p>According to data, a large percentage of lastminute.com consumers are also Spotify users, meaning the collaboration appears to be a win-win for both brands. </p> <p>The partnership will also see <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68077-why-lastminute-com-is-taking-control-of-its-ad-inventory/" target="_blank">The Travel People</a> – Lastminute’s ad sales group – run campaigns for Spotify across its network. Meanwhile, the company will also delve into first- and third-party data to offer insight for advertisers based on listener’s music tastes.</p> <p>Playlists relating to travel are hugely popular on the platform. We’ve already seen other travel brands such as Lonely Planet using Spotify in this way, creating travel-themed playlists to take listeners on a musical journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5668/Lonely_Planet.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="668"></p> <p>With Spotify now reaching 50m paying users, it presents a massive opportunity for brands to reach a highly active audience.</p> <h4>Offering personalisation and discovery</h4> <p>The size and scope of Spotify’s audience is not the only draw for lastminute.com. The opportunity to serve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67070-why-personalisation-is-the-key-to-gaining-customer-loyalty/" target="_blank">personalised</a> and interactive content to users is key, ramping up levels of brand engagement.</p> <p>Users can select what type of genres they are interested in to find related venues and events, with prompts to find out more on the destination’s main landing page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5665/Personalisation.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="616"></p> <p>Naturally, this also encourages activity of social, with the ability to embed and share playlists aligning with the campaign’s aim to reach a young and travel-hungry audience.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68626-three-reasons-to-appreciate-spotify-s-latest-data-driven-ad-campaign/" target="_blank">Three reasons to appreciate Spotify’s latest data-driven ad campaign</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/6180-five-tips-for-promoting-brands-on-spotify/" target="_blank">Five tips for promoting brands on Spotify</a></em></li> </ul>