tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/customer-experience Latest Customer Experience content from Econsultancy 2016-09-30T11:45:26+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68341 2016-09-30T11:45:26+01:00 2016-09-30T11:45:26+01:00 Reimagining customer loyalty: Why it's about more than just a store card Ben Pask <p>It comes as no surprise, as macro-economic forces drive customers to seek better value in some of the more considered purchases they make each day.</p> <p>However there are indications that the market for loyalty scheme membership, is reaching <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/money-saving-tips/11912823/Shoppers-waste-6bn-of-loyalty-reward-points.html">saturation</a>.</p> <p>How can it be the case that one person can amass 16 loyalty cards, and not redeem any points?</p> <p>Both halves of that sentence seem a little bonkers to me, but perhaps the way that the marketing industry imagines loyalty to be, isn’t solving the problem it’s trying to fix.</p> <p>Before going into detail on whether loyalty schemes work or not, it’s worth defining what we mean when we say loyalty.</p> <p>True loyalty considers two important elements: A positive attitude and repeat patronage towards a brand.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9587/Dick_and_Basu.png" alt="Dick and Basu on Loyalty" width="359" height="218"></p> <p>To understand how to create loyalty, we need to understand where it comes from.</p> <p>In a recent piece of research, it was identified that the drivers of customer loyalty are ‘brand likeability’, ‘delivering on brand promise’, ‘product quality’ and ‘ease of use’.</p> <p>Four in five customers <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/07/13/are-loyalty-schemes-broken/">identified these elements</a> as important in driving customer devotion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9586/Chart_-_drivers_of_customer_loyalty.png" alt="Drivers of customer loyalty" width="549" height="326"></p> <p>A good example of creating customer loyalty through these drivers <a href="https://erply.com/case-study-how-you-can-copy-nordstroms-secrets-to-massive-retail-success/">comes from Nordstrom</a>. The retailer is synonymous with excellent customer service.</p> <p>The culture of a customer-first approach to loyalty is apparent through the company's DNA - with all staff embodying the three core standards:</p> <ol> <li>Why the service is of value (why we’re doing this in the first place).</li> <li>The emotional response the customer should feel.</li> <li>The expected method for accomplishing the service in question.</li> </ol> <p>With these three standards in place, employees are empowered to create great customer experience, by any means possible.</p> <p>This helps achieve some of the main components that drive loyalty - ‘quality’, ‘ease of use’, ‘likeability’ and ‘delivering on brand promise’.</p> <p>Nordstrom is successful because every decision is about encouraging an emotional response from the customer, simply to make them feel good.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NTqBhdUnisI?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>This is a key differentiator compared to many of the traditional rewards programs we see today, with their points and discounts providing benefits that are easy to rationalise.</p> <p>By focusing on the emotional reaction and feeling of the customer Nordstrom makes loyalty a culture, not a route to market.</p> <p>There is a case for reimagining what loyalty means in categories that are associated with low involvement. Take Insurance as an example.</p> <p>David Moth’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68273-is-customer-loyalty-extinct-in-financial-services">assessment of the Insurance category</a> presented some anecdotal evidence of a category struggling to get to grips with market forces beyond their control, leading to the commoditization of service through price comparison sites and new apps on the market.</p> <p>In such categories, brands need to consider the value they create, as opposed to the value they offer.</p> <p>One powerful example of this comes in the form of Oscar, a health insurance provider in the US. Oscar promises its customer hassle free insurance with personalised tariffs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eBNEKu-dH3Q?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>By issuing out wearable tech Oscar incentivises healthy behaviours and adjusts the insurance premiums it offers to customers based on their behaviours.</p> <p>Oscar has gained a name for itself by focusing on the implicit drivers that create loyalty.</p> <p>As highlighted in a recent <a href="https://www.hioscar.com/">Econsultancy report</a>, one of the biggest barriers to CX success is a lack of understanding of the customer journey.</p> <p>To understand what loyalty means, brands need to go back to understanding their customers' needs (“what is most important to me”), motivations (“why is this important”), and finally behaviours (“what am I doing when…”).</p> <p>Again perhaps one of the pitfalls of the way loyalty is imagined in many marketing departments is the lack of psychographic and attitudinal data to augment behavioural data such as customer lifetime value, frequency of purchase, etc.</p> <p>Don’t get me wrong, loyalty schemes have their role and have proven to be effective for some brands.</p> <p>The problem with brand behaviour around loyalty schemes is that there is often an assumption that ‘doing a loyalty’ scheme will magically paper the cracks of a poor brand experience.</p> <p>This, coupled with the idea that many marketing departments attempt to copy-paste the approach of others, leads to market filled with ‘me too' propositions.</p> <p>To do loyalty right requires a customer-first culture that flows through the business, which requires more than a store card.</p> <p>As people, we are only limited by our own imaginations when we think about loyalty, and perhaps the industry needs to readdress what loyalty means to them.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68334 2016-09-29T15:04:38+01:00 2016-09-29T15:04:38+01:00 Wells Fargo scandal shows why banks are vulnerable to fintech startups Patricio Robles <p>While scandal in the banking sector is no surprise, particularly since the global financial crisis of 2008, many were surprised to find Wells Fargo at the center of one.</p> <p>After all, the bank is considered one of the more conservative of the major banks, and with its headquarters in San Francisco, it's over 2,500 miles away from Wall Street.</p> <h3>Not an isolated dynamic</h3> <p>Unfortunately, as CNN's Matt Egan <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/22/investing/wells-fargo-fake-accounts-banks/">has detailed</a>, the apparent motivations for the Wells Fargo scandal aren't unique to Wells Fargo.</p> <p>"Banks are under enormous margin pressure," chief of the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, Thomas Curry, told a Senate panel.</p> <p>And an anonymous banker told CNN's Eagan, "There is a blurred line between what's best for the customer and what's best for our sales goals."</p> <p>To achieve those sales goals, employees are incentivized to cross-sell customers on different products offered by their banks. </p> <p>The result, in Wells Fargo's case, was behavior that led to the largest fine in the history of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Additionally, Wells Fargo has agreed to change its sales practices.</p> <p>But while Wells Fargo is thus far the only institution known to have engaged in fraud, there are concerns other banks have been over-aggressively engaging in cross-selling, raising the specter of future scandals yet to be uncovered.</p> <h3>The fintech angle</h3> <p>While the importance of cross-selling has been amplified in today's challenging banking environment, which has seen record low interest rates and ever-increasing regulation, banks are finding it harder and harder to cross-sell because their leverage over customers has decreased significantly.</p> <p>Historically, banks forged strong relationships with their customers and were one-stop shops for many of their needs.</p> <p>An individual who had a personal deposit account with a particular bank would turn to that bank for personal and business loans, mortgages, etc.</p> <p>The internet, and the fintech revolution it fostered, has changed that.</p> <p><strong>Today, most financial services can be obtained unbundled.</strong> That makes it easier for consumers and businesses to shop around, and not surprisingly, the best providers aren't always the banks they have done business with for years.</p> <p>For example, many individuals have found that they can be approved for personal loans faster and at a lower cost by non-bank upstart online lenders than the banks where they've held their deposit accounts for years.</p> <p>For large banks like Wells Fargo, this is a major impediment to cross selling.</p> <p>After all, if it's easy for customers to find other providers that can offer better pricing and/or a better overall experience, there's little incentive for those customers to settle for less just for loyalty's sake.</p> <p>This makes the Wells Fargos of the world very vulnerable.</p> <h3>How can banks respond?</h3> <p>Obviously, the best way for large banks to address this issue isn't to engage in massive fraud.</p> <p>That will only exacerbate the reputational woes of the banking industry.</p> <p>Instead, if banks want to cross-sell more effectively, they need to ensure that the products and services they cross-sell are competitive in terms of pricing and overall customer experience.</p> <p>Of course, that's easier said than done, particularly given some of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68215-are-regulations-impeding-financial-services-innovation">challenges in recruiting digital talent</a>, but it's the only real solution.</p> <p>The good news is that banks that can improve their products and services, and develop innovative new ones, will not only be in a better position to cross-sell to their existing customers, but to use those products and services as a wedge to lure new customers who do business with other banks.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <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/68159-five-ways-fintech-upstarts-are-disrupting-established-financial-institutions/"><em>Five ways fintech upstarts are disrupting established financial institutions</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68345 2016-09-28T14:42:43+01:00 2016-09-28T14:42:43+01:00 Over half of consumers now turn to Amazon first for product search Patricio Robles <p>The biggest losers of Amazon's rise as a search destination are other search engines.</p> <p>BloomReach's study, which was based on a survey of 2,000 consumers over the Labor Day weekend, found that search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo, lost 28% of their market share for product searches to Amazon.</p> <p>A big reason for that is Amazon's wide selection, and its product-centric search capabilities, which the majority found superior to those offered by search engines.</p> <p>Interestingly, search engines fare better during the holiday season under certain circumstances.</p> <p>While Amazon is the first choice for search for 59% of consumers who are looking for a specific product as a gift, that number drops to 49% when consumers don't have a specific product in mind.</p> <p>Unfortunately for search engines, in this scenario, retailer sites see more consumers turning to them first than search engines do.</p> <h3>A big challenge for retailers</h3> <p>But that doesn't mean that all is well for retailers. Consumers turn to their sites first for product search just 16% of the time.</p> <p>That figure has decreased from 21% two years ago. And even when consumers end up on a retailer's website, 70% of the time they'll check out Amazon to compare prices. Only 40% of Amazon shoppers do the reverse.</p> <p>The biggest problem for retailers is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a>.</p> <p>Of those BloomReach surveyed, just over half stated that they felt Amazon provided the best overall site experience, and a third indicated this was the primary reason they favored Amazon.</p> <p>Less than a third said they've left Amazon for another retailer's site over poor experience, while 58% went to Amazon after having a bad experience at a retailer's site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9620/bloomreachstudy.png" alt="" width="731" height="260"></p> <p>The good news is that there are opportunities for retailers to compete more effectively against Amazon.</p> <p>For example, BloomReach found that only one in three consumers felt Amazon had superior personalization and product recommendations, and "41% said personalization would make them more likely to buy from a retailer over Amazon," so retailers clearly have the ability to establish an edge here.</p> <p>And while they might not necessarily be able to compete with Amazon on price or overall selection, by focusing on eliminating poor experiences and improving <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66658-24-best-practice-tips-for-ecommerce-site-search/">site search</a>, they could also decrease Amazon's appeal.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68314 2016-09-22T15:40:00+01:00 2016-09-22T15:40:00+01:00 Are organizations well-equipped for omnichannel marketing? Nikki Gilliland <p>As consumers constantly switch between channels and devices, many companies are struggling to provide the seamless experience they crave.</p> <p>That being said, progress is being made.</p> <p>Here are some key charts from the report, providing insight into how organizations are responding.</p> <h3>Mixed path to integration</h3> <p>The below chart includes a range of capabilities which contribute to an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67410-the-three-best-ways-to-win-at-omnichannel-in-2016/" target="_blank">effective omnichannel</a> marketing strategy. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9415/Figure_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="594"></p> <p>With the exception of content management and single customer view, fewer than a quarter of companies surveyed currently have these capabilities in place.</p> <p>However, the good news is that progress is being made, as the remainder of respondents are largely working towards achieving these capabilities.</p> <h3>Data remains the biggest challenge</h3> <p>One of the biggest barriers to integration is the management of data, with many companies using separate technologies to do the job.  </p> <p>In fact, there's been a distinct lack of progress on this matter over the past three years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9416/Figure_5_data.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="610"></p> <p>Now 51% of respondents have separate technologies for managing data across channels, a proportion that has remained fairly static since 2013.  </p> <p>As well as non-integrated tech systems, 31% of companies also cite organizational structure as a top three obstacle to integrated marketing activities.</p> <h3>Consistency is a key driver</h3> <p>In today’s path to purchase, customers expect the same level of service and attention to detail across all touchpoints.</p> <p>Without this, they are likely to grow frustrated and go elsewhere.</p> <p>As a result, most organizations are intent on delivering this consistency, with the main driver for implementing an omnichannel strategy being the desire to keep up with consumer expectations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9417/figure_9_consistency.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="591"></p> <p>It is interesting to note that just 4% of company respondents and 8% of agencies cite pressure from the board as a key driver. </p> <p>This could suggest a lack of interest from the top, which again goes back to an aforementioned barrier to integration.</p> <p>Without executive direction and support, it is challenging to create the company culture required to carry out an effective omnichannel strategy.</p> <h3>Marketers underestimating mobile</h3> <p>Despite 51% of marketers ranking mobile as a top-three priority area for their organization, many aren’t making the most of the opportunities it presents.</p> <p>Alongside a failure to map the mobile customer journey (with three in five respondents saying they lack the analysis skills to do so), it also appears best practice mobile strategies are falling by the wayside.</p> <p>The below chart indicates how companies are failing to implement essential mobile features like location-based messaging, mobile wallets and in-app advertising. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9446/Mobile_chart.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="539"></p> <p>All in all, the progress towards integration remains mixed, with a lack of consolidated data and analytical skills being the biggest roadblocks to overcome.</p> <p><em><strong>Econsultancy subscribers can <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-succeeding-in-the-omnichannel-age/">download the full report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-09-22T14:30:00+01:00 2016-09-22T14:30:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/833 2016-09-22T12:17:52+01:00 2016-09-22T12:17:52+01:00 Festival of Marketing <p>The Festival of Marketing is a unique experience where ambitious marketers can discover, learn, celebrate and shape the future together. As the largest global event dedicated to brand marketers, the Festival reflects the very nature of marketing – seamlessly blending inspiration and practical application.</p> <p>This is a place for professionals to experience everything they need to find success – the ideas, the connections and the practical skills. It is both inspiring and hands on learning. Marketing is creative, strategic and tactical and the Festival is built in this spirit.</p> <p>We do this through an expert conference programme boasting more leading marketing minds than anywhere else on the planet, along with workshops, training, awards and networking opportunities.</p> <p>Whether you’re attending the conference at the Festival, celebrating your successes at the Masters of Marketing awards or joining our partners at the Official Festival Fringe, you’re part of an experience like no other.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68254 2016-09-22T12:17:10+01:00 2016-09-22T12:17:10+01:00 The customer experience revolution requires advertising with purpose Ben Davis <p>Improving customer experience is not a novel concept, but it has become more important as digital technology has increased competitive pressure in almost every market.</p> <p><a href="https://medium.com/the-ready/the-operating-model-that-is-eating-the-world-d9a3b82a5885#.h1xun1l6r">Aaron Dignan, investor and writer, puts it</a> as follows:</p> <p>"As products and the means to create them have become digitized (often referred to as software eating the world), production capability has grown more accessible and portable.</p> <p>"And the acceleration of that trend (driven by Moore’s Law) means that every single day it gets easier for someone else to compete with your product or service, and to do it better, faster, and cheaper."</p> <p>To provide an illustrative example, online travel agents made it quicker and easier to book a holiday than sitting down with a real person.</p> <p>Then online travel agents continued to develop more sophisticated booking engines, websites and apps, offering information, personalisation, better pricing and so on (all enabled by advancements in digital technology).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9429/expedia.png" alt="" width="750" height="412"></p> <p>This trend for improving customer experience is dramatic enough to be a driver of new businesses all on its own.</p> <p><a href="https://medium.com/@todfrancis/what-did-billion-dollar-companies-look-like-at-the-series-a-e53ea8043a85#.ml99sxo3q">Tod Francis, MD at Shasta Ventures, states</a> “there are large companies to be built by offering new, innovative and superior customer experiences to large markets, regardless of how competitive the sector already is or how successful the founders have been before.”</p> <p>In other words, an Uber taxi travels no quicker than another private hire vehicle, but the experience wrapped around the journey is far superior.</p> <h3>So, where does advertising fit in?</h3> <p>In an interview with Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategist at Publicis Groupe, he addresses this new focus on experience.</p> <p>“People increasingly want access rather than ownership,” he says. “That changes the way you speak to people. It’s not one sale, you have to keep them happy. You need a continued good experience.”</p> <p>“As a result of that you need more investment in utility services and a superior product and less in advertising.”</p> <p>Does this mean advertising is diminishing in importance? Well, it is probably more accurate to say that in a world where any company can compete, <em>effective</em> advertising can be a differentiator.</p> <p>Crappy, uninspired advertising may somehow have been worth something 15 years ago - it was <em>airtime</em>, it was <em>eyeballs</em>. Not any more.</p> <p>As Rishad comments, “If you have a superior product and service and fantastic content and storytelling you can get it distributed. So spend more money on content, utility and services and less in messaging and media.”</p> <p>So the caveat is that advertising (and marketing as a whole) must be built on (or helping to build) a strong, meaningful and trustworthy brand.</p> <p>The festishisation of digital media over ‘traditional’ media, or the focus on the technology behind programmatic or the reach behind social, without meaningful metrics - these are all symptoms of an advertising industry that has at times lost its grip on reality.</p> <h3>Does your brand have a purpose?</h3> <p>Most companies have a mission statement. But you may find it difficult to recall your own.</p> <p>Pre-digital, in a less globalised world, businesses were better connected to their mission statements.</p> <p>Retailers may even have had their mission statement nailed to the wall to remind all customers and staff (I’ve seen <a href="https://www.kiehls.com/kiehls-gives">Kiehl’s do this</a> in recent times).</p> <p>This idea of a company purpose is about more than simply guiding impactful advertising.</p> <p>Back to Aaron Dignan’s Medium post, where he puts 'purpose' at the top of a hierarchy of five P’s that define a ‘responsive operating system’ - exhibited within responsive companies (such as those that define new customer experiences).</p> <p>As Dignan puts it, responsive operating systems are ‘manifest in a visionary (not commercial) Purpose that guides an agile (not linear) Process that enables People who make (not manage) Products built to evolve (not built to last) which become Platforms for the world (not just your company) to build upon.’</p> <p>These companies have often started this way from scratch, unencumbered by what Dignan characterises as ‘legacy processes that enforce bureaucracy, command-and-control structures, waterfall development, and risk management’.</p> <p>So, brand purpose sits at the top of every disruptor, governing the company as a whole, not just customer experience, storytelling and advertising.</p> <h3>The purposeful advertisers</h3> <p>So, who is doing this well?</p> <p>Who is, as a Fjord report describes it, combining ‘respect, trust, value and design as well as empathy and storytelling’?</p> <p>Well, the easy ones to pick out are the disruptors. Airbnb is the one that comes to my mind.</p> <p>Everything the peer-to-peer platform does is rooted in a belief in community, in the joy of experiencing a place through its people.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9430/airbnb.png" alt="" width="800" height="358"></p> <p>The brand is a lot more than a property listings company and this makes advertising much easier.</p> <p>Existing customers are so bought into the idea of meeting a local, and of using the Airbnb platform to help facilitate travel, that an advert that may seem inauthentic had it come from a hotelier, suddenly takes on deeper meaning.</p> <p>Advertising can in rare circumstances be powerful enough to create a brand, but mostly it should reflect the brand purpose already in place.</p> <p>That same Fjord report summarises this beautifully:</p> <p>‘Building or rebuilding this trust to the point where consumers believe organizations have their best interests at heart will require a long-term, concerted effort where marketing and PR are matched by real actions and a realignment of corporate priorities.’</p> <p>Unilever is one of the big corporates that has been walking the walk for some time.</p> <p>The CPG giant made waves recently stating it had ‘gone too narrow’, by spending too much on hyper-targeted advertising through Facebook.</p> <p>And indeed, Unilever has been concentrating on its various brand missions and overriding corporate purpose for a number of years.</p> <p>Domestos is helping millions of people access toilets, Persil has helped provide education for millions of children and Dove’s campaigns against the objectification of women are iconic.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68269-how-unilever-is-targeting-the-conscious-consumer/">Unilever as a whole has its Sustainable Living Plan</a>, which has been running for more than five years and focuses on sustainability to deliver faster growth and to lower costs, as well as reducing risk in the supply chain and increasing trust from consumers.</p> <h3>What does this mean for agencies?</h3> <p>Paraphrasing Tobaccowala, there will be less arbitrage and less arrogance.</p> <p>Agencies should not be just selling media, they should be sharing in client success by concentrating on meaningful advertising and marketing in the most appropriate medium (and tailored to that medium).</p> <p>The shape of things to come can perhaps be seen in the new Omnicom deal with McDonald’s. The group’s agencies will now be in charge of both creative and media, with all payment (above variable costs) being performance related.</p> <p>This means the group’s various specialists in different media will make it their duty to sell burgers, following the brand's mission, with any success having to be meticulously tracked.</p> <p>That’s just what you’d want a McDonald’s marketer to do, so why not their agency?</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68307 2016-09-21T02:00:00+01:00 2016-09-21T02:00:00+01:00 Three things marketers must do to deliver a brilliant omnichannel experience Jeff Rajeck <p>How can brands take advantage of this new omnichannel consumer behaviour?</p> <p>What are the steps toward providing a consistent customer experience both online and off?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy held a roundtable event, Understanding the Customer Journey: Optimising Engagement Levels for Greater Customer Acquisition &amp; Loyalty in Melbourne, Australia.</p> <p>Dozens of client-side marketers came to discuss the trends, best practices, and issues they are facing with customer experience.</p> <p>The roundtables were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/ibm-marketing-cloud">IBM Marketing Cloud</a>. Participants brought their own experiences, questions, and challenges to the table for open discussion.</p> <p>Below are suggestions from participants on the day for how marketers can improve their omnichannel experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9331/j1.JPG" alt="" width="550"></p> <h3>1) Identify data sources and break down silos</h3> <p>Attendees agreed that the challenge of delivering a high-quality omnichannel experience has changed in recent years.</p> <p>Previously companies were lacking the data they needed to fully track the customer journey. Now <strong>many feel that the data is there, but it is in 'data silos' and difficult to extract.</strong></p> <p>This problem appears to be universal. A <a href="https://www.capgemini-consulting.com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/cracking_the_data_conundrum-big_data_pov_13-1-15_v2.pdf">recent global survey of senior executives</a> by Capgemini consulting found that '<em>scattered data lie in silos across various teams</em>' was the most frequently listed challenge faced when implementing data solutions. </p> <p>Additionally, nearly eight in ten (79%) of organisations indicated that they '<em>have not completely integrated their data sources across the organisation</em>'.</p> <p>Marketers feel the same about their systems. According to a <a href="http://applications.teradata.com/DDM-Survey/welcome/.ashx">2015 survey</a> by Teradata, 80% of marketers report that '<em>silos within marketing prevent them from having a seamless view of the campaign and of the customer across channels</em>.'</p> <p>This is a problem. In order to measure effectiveness of omnichannel strategies, <strong>marketers need access to channel performance data.</strong></p> <p>The first step to omnichannel excellence then, according to participants, is to join industry pacesetters and break down the data silos in their organisations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9329/j2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2) Train up marketers so they can integrate systems</h3> <p>Participants also noted that marketers are frequently targeted these days by tech companies with data solutions.</p> <p>While many of the solutions are promising, implementing them exposes another hurdle to providing excellent omnichannel customer experiences.</p> <p>Namely,<strong> there is a knowledge gap between what marketers are familiar with today and what is necessary to map the customer journey.</strong></p> <p>One participant told a very familiar story. His former company had bought advanced analytics and marketing automation systems but, because of a skills gap, the systems were never integrated. As a result, the marketers now have all the data that they require, but they are not able to use it to improve the brand's omnichannel experience.</p> <p>The notion that marketing suffers from a skills gap has shown up in Econsultancy's recent research as well.</p> <p>In our report <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-marketing-technologists/">The Rise of Marketing Technologists</a>, the <em>'lack of internal resource to get maximum value from software</em>' was the most frequently-encountered barrier marketers faced when using marketing technology.</p> <p>Interestingly, agency respondents also felt '<em>lack of skills</em>' was a significant problem for their clients.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9330/2016-09-20_12_59_19-blank.pptx_-_PowerPoint.png" alt="" width="647" height="412"></p> <p>The roundtable agreed that the best solution was that <strong>management should ensure that the marketing team is trained up on new marketing systems before implementing them</strong>.</p> <p>This way, it is more likely that the systems will be integrated and used for improving the omnichannel experience.</p> <h3>3) Take a unified approach to offline and online marketing</h3> <p>One participant pointed out that in order to truly deliver an omnichannel experience marketers need to move away from ad hoc campaigns, both online and off.  </p> <p>That is, as another attendee put it, <strong>there is little point advertising to change perception of the brand on one medium and then not to be able to deliver that experience on the other</strong>.</p> <p>Instead, marketers should ensure that all campaigns work in a unified fashion, ensuring campaigns are carefully planned, tested, and measured toward a single, omnichannel goal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9332/j4.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p>Recent research indicates that a unified approach is worthwhile for other reasons as well.</p> <p>In a <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10696679.2015.1049681">2015 paper</a> in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, researchers asked hundreds of participants to choose a brand whose store they were familiar with, but not their website. Then they had them perform basic online tasks and measured their performance. </p> <p><strong>Brands with a similar offline and online experience were significantly easier for participants to use than those whose brand's experience was incongruous.</strong></p> <p>The researchers concluded:</p> <blockquote> <p>[Retail brand image] incongruity appears to cause a disruption in the effectiveness of navigation performance on flow, such that a website's effectiveness is reduced substantially, which can, in turn, affect downstream variables, such as website revisit intentions.</p> </blockquote> <p>So, coordinated offline and online marketing will not only ensure that marketing initiatives are working toward the same goals,<strong> a unified approach will also improve the digital customer experience as well.</strong></p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and especially our table moderators for the Joining Up Online and Offline Channels Data table, Richard O'Sullivan.</p> <p>We'd also like to thank our sponsor for the event, <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/ibm-marketing-cloud">IBM Marketing Cloud</a>, and we hope to see you all at future Melbourne Econsultancy events!</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9236/moderators.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68301 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 Instant messaging: An introduction to the future of communication Blake Cahill <p>For those of you that don’t know – I’ll assume you must have been trapped on a desert island for the past few years – instant messaging (IM) is a catch-all name for a range of different services that primarily provide users with the opportunity to engage in real-time communication.</p> <p>Typically led by text conversation, messengers often also provide a range of additional functionality that varies wildly from provider to provider.</p> <p>This additional functionality has, on some platforms, led to them being considered as full-blown social media networks, on a par with Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.</p> <p>In 2015, mobile phone messaging apps were used by 1.4bn consumers and eMarketer predicts that, by 2018, the number of chat app users worldwide will reach 2bn, representing 80% of smartphone users worldwide.</p> <p>In a nutshell, it’s only a matter of time before everyone and their granny, in practically every country on the planet, are using IM.</p> <h3>So who are the Big Players?</h3> <p><strong>WhatsApp</strong></p> <p>Owned by Zuckerbeg &amp; Co. and with over 1bn users, most of which are tech savvy millennials, WhatsApp is the clear front-runner in the IM community and the only truly global IM service with any significant uptake in all continents around the world.</p> <p>Offering text chat, voice recording, media sharing, group broadcasts and a robust network, you would surely bet your house on this IM giant being the one to pave the way for the future of IM [insert smiley face emoticon].</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/4627/whatsapp-facebook-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="whatsapp" width="300"></p> <p><strong>Facebook Messenger</strong></p> <p>Formed from the online chat function of the social network, Facebook Messenger has made real inroads in the EMEA and US regions with over 800m users.</p> <p>However it’s clear that with certain restrictions in places such as Asia, its move out of these two markets and into the APAC region will be a tough one to tackle. </p> <p><strong>WeChat</strong></p> <p>With 650m users, primarily in the APAC region, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> is, significantly, dominant in the Chinese market offering users the chance to chat in a ‘walkie talkie’ style conversation, as well as other typical features such as group chats and video calls.</p> <p>WeChat is also a social network and an extendable transactional platform. It gives its users the opportunity to shop, talk to brands, order taxis (its ‘Didi Dache’ service is essentially China’s Uber) and read the news.</p> <p>WeChat is also the only social platform 80% of Chinese millennials use every day.</p> <p><em>WePay</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1483/wepay.png" alt="wepay" width="615"></p> <p><strong>kik</strong></p> <p>With over 240m users, kik has its biggest presence in the US with an impressive 42% of US users being between 16-24 years old.</p> <p>It’s a promising start, however kik has seen very little uptake out of the US and it’s still dwarfed by the progress of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for the moment at least.</p> <p><strong>Others?</strong></p> <p>Though there are some exceptions to this global picture – KakaoTalk is the most popular chat app in South Korea, for example, while Line dominates in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan – there’s no doubt that it’s Facebook that’s winning the race so far.</p> <p>And before you say, “but what about Snapchat?!”, though this service is doing some serious business with teens in the UK and USA (over 40% use it), one a global level it’s still early days with only 7% market penetration.</p> <h3>The future of IM</h3> <p>With the landscape of IM changing and its scope reaching all aspects of the user's life, both personal and professional, it’s clear to see that IM offers real opportunities for businesses to get involved – but how will this play out? </p> <p>Firstly, IM is not a place to advertise, it’s a place for marketing. It gives us a powerful new space for brands to change the way consumers think about retail and customer service.</p> <p>The promise of IM is that if offers a near perfect form of personal, intimate, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">direct link between brands and customers</a>.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger has already started to make real inroads in expanding the capabilities of its own IM platform, recently announcing the introduction of so-called <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbots</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7478/kiksephora-blog-flyer.png" alt="sephora chatbot" width="300"></p> <p>Similar (but arguably less advanced AI) has been prevalent in WeChat and other channels previously, but inclusion in Facebook Messenger is likely to see increased quality of functionality.</p> <p>Chatbots will offer the ability for businesses to create bespoke responses based on natural language input. </p> <p>As the use and complexity of chatbots expand, users will find themselves being able to order goods simply by messaging the brand – as users of WeChat are already doing – receive tailored news updates based around your interest and even control connected smart devices.</p> <p>The future of commerce and customer service could well be a hybrid of IM as it steadily becomes our primary way to interact with companies, buy things, provide service and build loyalty.</p> <p>As the big players (and the many smaller innovators) continue to expand and develop the platforms’ potential, it’s safe to say we’re only at the beginning of what looks to be a long and interesting road.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68298 2016-09-19T03:30:00+01:00 2016-09-19T03:30:00+01:00 Five things marketers do to improve customer experience Jeff Rajeck <p>Of course, we are quite familiar with what the customer experience <em>leaders</em> are doing to satisfy and delight their customers:</p> <ul> <li>Amazon <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66534-three-lessons-all-retailers-can-learn-from-amazon/">provides lightning-fast delivery</a> at a reasonable cost</li> <li>LUSH delights customer by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67158-why-lush-is-the-undisputed-master-of-b-commerce/">being ultra-transparent about how its products are made</a>, and </li> <li>First direct (UK bank) has had a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65508-how-first-direct-handles-social-customer-service/">customer-focused service culture</a> since its inception</li> </ul> <p>But what about everyone else?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy held a roundtable event, Understanding the Customer Journey: Optimising Engagement Levels for Greater Customer Acquisition &amp; Loyalty in Melbourne, Australia.</p> <p>Dozens of client-side marketers came to discuss the trends, best practices, and issues they are facing when trying to improve customer experience (CX).</p> <p>The roundtables were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/ibm-marketing-cloud">IBM Marketing Cloud</a>. Participants brought their own experiences, questions, and challenges to the table for open discussion.</p> <p>Below are a few of things marketers do when trying to improve customer experience, and why they do them.</p> <h3>1) Update the company website </h3> <p>One participant said that the way their firm improves customer experience is through <strong>regularly updating the company's website.</strong></p> <p>Though this sounds like something best left to designers, marketers have an important role to play in the process, attendees reported.</p> <p>This is because the <strong>personal judgements of customers still rule in business, not the latest design trend or website widget</strong>.</p> <p>For a financial services firm, if the website is too slick then the company may lose the empathy and trust of their customers, critical characteristics to maintain.</p> <p>According to one participant, the 'secret sauce' is to have a site which has both the convenience of modern websites, but does not lose the emotional connection.</p> <p>So, not only should they ask for website updates, <strong>marketers should also be part of the website design process</strong> to make sure the new version actually improves CX.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9233/CX1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> <h3>2) Conduct research to understand who is <em>not</em> a customer </h3> <p>A lot of CX improvements focus on our customers. After all, we know them reasonably well and have the data to help guide our improvement efforts.</p> <p>One participant from the gaming industry noted that <strong>research on people who are not yet loyal customers may be equally effective for improving overall customer experience</strong>.</p> <p>That is, what do the people who browse our website, but never buy anything, think about their experience?</p> <p>Data on 'non-customers' is more difficult to obtain, but by offering simple data gathering tools, such as a Net Promoter Score button, can help. </p> <p>The key to improving CX in this area though, according to one attendee, is to gather both quantitative data (e.g. NPS) as well as qualitative. Once you are collecting and managing this data effectively, it is much easier to determine what about your offering gets customers 'into the buyer zone'.</p> <h3>3) Streamline the buying process </h3> <p>One participant, from an ecommerce firm, said that they improve customer experience by making it easier for the customer to buy.</p> <p>Though that sounds obvious - every ecommerce site wants it to be easier to buy - the way to do so is not so clear cut.</p> <p>This is because, as another delegate pointed out, <strong>companies have to adopt a customer centric point of view in order to truly make the customer journey easier.</strong> Very few, however, do so.</p> <p>Most companies, another added, simply make it easier for customers to find what they have to sell.  <strong>To improve CX, the company has to know what the customers want and make that easier to do.</strong></p> <p>It's a subtle difference, but very important for starting off a CX improvement programme in the right direction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9234/CX2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4) Get a single view of the customer</h3> <p>A topic which came up repeatedly on the day was about customer loyalty.  Specifically, what can marketers improve so that existing customers keep coming back for more?</p> <p>One interesting suggestion was that marketers should, first off, <strong>work tirelessly to achieve a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67741-20-of-marketers-have-created-an-actionable-single-customer-view/">single view of its customers</a></strong>. This means rounding up all the data you have in each channel and trying to link it to your customers so that you can understand them better.</p> <p>Then, try to dig deeper. See if you can piece together the customer journey and go further back to determine triggers and causation factors.</p> <p>It sounds complicated, but it needn't be. Simply <strong>knowing how a customer discovered your business or why they were in-market could be key to understanding how to keep them loyal</strong>.</p> <p>Sometimes, one marketer pointed out, you just have to ask.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9235/cx3.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>5) Standardise marketing processes </h3> <p>A delegate from a B2B firm noted that improving customer experience for B2B customers is significantly different from improving B2C CX.</p> <p>For B2B, it is not practical to deliver a brand message across a number of different channels to see which one works best. Instead, <strong>B2B marketers have to use the industry-standard channels which can include trade press, exhibitions, and distributors.</strong></p> <p>As a B2B marketer is always an arm's length from the shopper, <strong>standardising marketing material is essential to ensure that customers understood the brand before engaging</strong>.</p> <p>This involves designing a content library about what the company offers and ensuring that all materials point back to this library.  Doing so helps manage expectations and improves the experience as customers move along their buying journey.</p> <p>Also, B2B marketers need to understand that <strong>B2B customers are often far more technologically savvy than the business world in which they operate</strong>.</p> <p>While their firms may be technology laggards, B2B customers are heavily influenced by the CX delivered by the B2C companies that we all use.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and especially our table moderators for the Customer Experience Management - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practices table, Amrita Bhattacharyya, Director, Stellar Evolve.</p> <p>We'd also like to thank our sponsor for the event, <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/ibm-marketing-cloud">IBM Marketing Cloud</a>, and hope to see you all at future Melbourne Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9236/moderators.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p>