tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ecrm Latest CRM & loyalty programs content from Econsultancy 2016-05-27T12:40:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-05-27T12:40:00+01:00 2016-05-27T12:40:00+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:BlogPost/67794 2016-05-17T11:23:00+01:00 2016-05-17T11:23:00+01:00 Why use CRM data in programmatic media campaigns? Ben Davis <h3>The benefits of using CRM in programmatic</h3> <p>Programmatic advertising shows a particular banner or a video ad to a particular consumer. That's essentially its power.</p> <p>The consumer is recognised by a cookie which gives away their demographic, past behaviour, geography or device, and then the advertiser can serve whatever content they feel best suits.</p> <p>However, CRM or first-party data is often not integrated with programmatic media spend.</p> <p>This seems counterintuitive to the advertising layman (like me) because spend appears to be wasted.</p> <p>As consultant Mark Patron puts it:</p> <blockquote> <p>Currently, if you’re a big brand and you have 25% of the UK as customers, a quarter of the time you are talking to your customers and three-quarters of the time you’re not.</p> <p>It would make a big difference to be able to differentiate between the two, from a display advertising point of view.</p> </blockquote> <p>So, say I'm a customer of a broadband internet provider - it doesn't make much sense for that provider to show me ads that extol the virtues of its contracts.</p> <p>Yes, these ads might contribute to my renewal, but without the advertiser knowing who I am, it can't tailor the ad to my specific circumstances.</p> <p>Even if I do click through the ad, if CRM data isn't integrated with the campaign, I will be sent to a salesy page, rather than a 'welcome back' message.</p> <p>In fact, CRM data is often used in ad campaigns in the telco industry - check out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67606-how-o2-achieves-creativity-through-data/">this example from O2</a> (the photo below shows examples of some O2 creative on Facebook).</p> <p>The personalised ads achieved 49% lower cost per order (CPO). In the early upgrade segment the CPO reduced by a whopping 61%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2609/Screen_Shot_2016-03-03_at_13.07.57.png" alt="o2 programmatic creative" width="615"></p> <p>CRM data isn't just about online activity either. That's one of the advantages of using first-party data - you may be targeting customers that have never used your website.</p> <p>This could be retail customers with a loyalty card (think IKEA perhaps). If you know their email address, this can be used in social advertising or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66979-google-customer-match-what-does-it-mean-for-marketers/">Google's Customer Match</a>.</p> <p>Data management platforms (DMPs) can also match personal information with cookie pools.</p> <h3>The challenges of integrating CRM &amp; programmatic </h3> <h4><strong>You have to be in it for the long-haul</strong></h4> <p>Using first-party data means that an effective model has to be used for programmatic spend, one more akin to the lifecycle management that database marketers will use.</p> <p>To maximise lifetime value is often the goal, but this isn't something that can be determined with a quick test, plugging CRM data into a DMP and awaiting great results.</p> <p>Testing and learning here applies to multiple channels across an extended time frame.</p> <p>It's much more to take on than the fairly discrete methods of matching media to generic personas or behaviours.</p> <p>Rav Dhaliwal of AllSaints talks about the power of this long-term approach in the Econsultancy report:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s all about bidding for the right customer at the right time. How do I know that customer is worth making a bid on? That’s where CLV [customer lifetime value] comes in. It helps add intelligence to these decisions...</p> <p>Through deep integrations with our own first-party data sources, we now can micro-target customers based on numerous signals of user intent and propensity – the envy of many other brands’ display marketing programmes.</p> </blockquote> <h4><strong>The organisation might not be ready</strong></h4> <p>Where does CRM live in your organisation? Is it in marketing? Is it linked to media buy in any way?</p> <p>Separate teams and skills naturally lead to a reluctance or simple inertia when it comes to integrating CRM and media.</p> <p>Media buying can be alien to the CRM team.</p> <p>Nick Bonney, Head of Insight at Camelot, says organisational skills and approach can be the biggest hindrance:</p> <blockquote> <p>For all the talk about big data, the technology to some extent can be a bit of a red herring. And actually the people and the process, are as, if not more important, than the technology piece.</p> <p>You can have all the best toys in the box, but if your business isn’t working in a way that enables you to get the best data out of them, it’s still going to be a waste of money.</p> </blockquote> <h4><strong>Technology, as usual, holds everyone up </strong></h4> <p>A tech stack needs to be able to seamlessly move CRM data to a DMP and back again, by way of other software.</p> <p>If organisations are yet to pull data out of silos, that's a big job to begin with.</p> <h4><strong>Privacy worries?</strong></h4> <p>While first-party data will also be supplied anonymously, there's no doubt that privacy compliance (how can you legally use customer data?) is a concern.</p> <p>However, as the O2 example shows, those combining the power of CRM and programmatic media at scale are making big strides.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-role-of-crm-in-data-driven-advertising/">The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Marketing</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4102 2016-05-17T10:10:00+01:00 2016-05-17T10:10:00+01:00 The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Advertising <p>In today’s world of multichannel shopping, <strong>CRM increasingly means combining digital, mobile and social data together with data tracked or projected from traditional touchpoints</strong> - which is no mean feat.</p> <p>While some businesses claim they are doing a good job of joining up traditional offline data with online, the reality is that most are lacking the know-how and infrastructure to do this properly.</p> <p>The proliferation of data silos and fragmented team structures means that the goal of being able to identify individual customers to a granular level and target them with personalised content and experiences is, for many companies, as elusive as it’s ever been.</p> <p><strong>The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Advertising</strong> report, produced in partnership with <a title="Sociomantic Labs" href="https://www.sociomantic.com/"><strong>Sociomantic Labs</strong></a>, investigates the <strong>extent to which marketers are using CRM data to plan and optimise their marketing</strong>. It also looks to assess the current impact CRM is having upon email, display advertising, social advertising, websites and customer journeys in particular.</p> <p>The report features <strong>in-depth opinions from senior-level executives working within ecommerce, digital and marketing departments</strong>, from companies including AllSaints, Camelot, Natue.com, Occam, Reed.co.uk, Skipton Building Society, Sole Society, TalkTalk, UK grocery retailer and Patron Direct.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>Why is CRM important?</li> <li>Where does CRM sit within the organisation?</li> <li>What role does CRM play in cross-channel marketing?</li> <li>What types of CRM segmentation and personalisation are being used for online marketing?</li> <li>Which CRM technology and tools are businesses choosing to invest in?</li> <li>How is customer lifetime value (CLV) being measured?</li> <li>How does having a CLV strategy benefit CRM?</li> <li>What are the main challenges with CRM?</li> <li>What are the future trends and predictions for CRM?</li> </ul> <h2>Who should read this report?</h2> <p>This report is for anyone interested in CRM, in particular brand marketers who are just about to, or have already started using CRM as part of their data-driven advertising.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67802 2016-05-04T09:57:52+01:00 2016-05-04T09:57:52+01:00 Depending on social networks for your CRM? Time for a rethink Maddie Timms <p>How can the impact of future changes on mainstream social networks be minimised for customer engagement programmes?</p> <p>Instagram is not the first social platform to introduce an opaque algorithm for ordering posts.</p> <p>Facebook (estimated UK monthly active base of 30m users) introduced the controversial and now-defunct ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/7885-the-ultimate-guide-to-the-facebook-edgerank-algorithm/">Edgerank</a>’ newsfeed algorithm back in 2009, long before it acquired Instagram.</p> <p><em>An explainer video for Facebook's defunct Edgerank algorithm</em></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kI4YIYInou0?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Advertisers saw a significant drop in the viewability of organic posts. The percentage of fans reached plummeted to single figures in many cases.</p> <p>A ‘pay to reach’ model quickly became the only reliable way to get brand content to long nurtured bases of followers.</p> <p>This was the thin end of the throttling wedge, forcing brands to pay for visibility, but ultimately monetising the user base to boost investor returns. One commentator has recently dubbed Instagram’s announcement ‘reachpocalypse’.</p> <h3>What's the answer?</h3> <p>Social engagement is a long established tactic, used by marketers to boost overall consumer awareness as part of the marketing mix.</p> <p>However, the performance of these approaches can change overnight and brands are at the mercy of the social networks. You could end up paying more than you had bargained for.</p> <p>Of course social networks will continue to play a role <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">in CRM programmes</a>, but the overarching strategy should be to direct customers to owned domains such as websites and landing pages.</p> <p>Interestingly, it’s not possible to put a clickable URL within an Instagram post – only in the profile or in a paid advert.</p> <p>So <strong>what tactics should be (re)considered? </strong></p> <p>In my opinion brands should plan customer engagement comms with owned media at the heart – e.g. email – and use paid or organic social media to supplement.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">Email</a> (or even direct mail) contactability should be at the top of the list.</p> <p>What proportion of your customers are opted in for communications such as a regular newsletter? How does this vary by value segment, by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">lifetime value</a>, by product holding?</p> <p>What headroom is there for getting additional signups? What value exchange are you offering in return for the customer giving permission for you to contact them by email?</p> <p>This exchange could be promoted in Instagram or on other social networks to drive more signups from followers.</p> <p>Another option would be to get a data provider to append an email address where third-party permission is available and then seek to opt each person into your newsletter.</p> <p>However, in view of the upcoming changes to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67784-eu-data-laws-an-update-on-gdpr-privacy-shield/">EU Data Protection Laws</a>, this route will not get easier.</p> <p>Every successful CRM programme needs a dependable way of communicating with customers, whether they be current or lapsed.</p> <p>Is it time to look again at your coverage?</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67650 2016-03-22T15:35:48+00:00 2016-03-22T15:35:48+00:00 Why marketers must move from data to insight to action Kym Reynolds <h3>Real-time contextualisation is here</h3> <p>Your customers are engaging with your business across an increasing number of touchpoints – websites, social media, in-store, mobile and tablets.</p> <p>But regardless of how they engage, they expect a customised, personalised, and consistent experience. This expectation continues to be a challenge for businesses, which have to manipulate enormous amounts of data to try to understand how to effectively engage each individual.</p> <p>In this landscape, data needs to be collected and analysed in real-time, and any data needs to be instantly actionable, preferably in a predictive way.</p> <p>Without these capabilities, marketing messages are less compelling and response rates fall. Conversely, those brands that embrace real-time contextualization through powerful and flexible big data see huge uplifts in campaign responses.</p> <p>Marketers are now recognising the imperative of these omni-channel, contextualised communications with their prospects and customers.</p> <p><em>The omnichannel experience - Burberry was a pioneer of 'clientelling' in-store to build customer data.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/9928/burberry-regent-street-technology-store-0-blog-full.jpg" alt="burberry" width="615" height="408"></p> <h3>There's no excuse for generic experiences</h3> <p>The happy customer isn’t just a customer who wishes to purchase more, it’s a customer that is retained, upsold and – perhaps most importantly – the customer who becomes an advocate for your brand.</p> <p>Even so, how many times have you heard your peers and colleagues complain that they don’t have proper analytics capabilities, which means that they are limited in ROI view, optimisation and progressing the digital experience?</p> <p>Or that connecting all the activity and data across multiple channels and departments, and unifying them for monitoring measurement, evaluation and future marketing activity is challenging?</p> <p>And how about that disparate systems and data make it hard or impossible to personalise campaigns and gather, test and analyse customer data? </p> <p>In my mind those are pretty flimsy excuses. There are powerful customer and marketing analytics tools out there, and many will enable marketers to understand their customer’s behaviour not just by answering questions, but by asking ‘what can I do with this information?’</p> <h3>How well do you know your customers?</h3> <p>Can you answer the following questions?</p> <ul> <li> <p>Do you know how many people visited your stores, purchased, or left without buying?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how long it takes for a customer to make a return purchase, and then another?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know when a customer becomes inactive or lapsed?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know what your most loyal customers look like and how to find more of them?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to apply what you learn about your customers – what/ when/ where – and turn that into personalised conversations?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to monitor changes in consumer behaviour and act on this quickly?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to use affinity reports to not only determine ‘the knowns’, ie. people who buy this also buy that, but also ‘the unknowns’ – affinities which don’t conform to a set behavior but proffer new marketing opportunities, through those affinities, brand, product or otherwise?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to shadow customers to determine when the right time is to contact them – learning their propensity to buy? </p> </li> <li> <p>Do you know how to track trending behaviours, such as identifying ‘repeat refunders’ or repeat returners – for example customers that buy three items online and return two in-store?</p> </li> </ul> <p><em>Time-tested models such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64481-finding-your-best-customers-with-the-rfm-matrix">RFM</a> are all about actionable data.</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/5405/rfm_matrix_with_values-blog-full.png" alt="rfm matrix" width="615" height="653"></em></p> <h3>Marketers need to be able to act on data</h3> <p>Marketers need to be able to act on data not just pore over numbers in spreadsheets – there is a difference between a data question and a data driven insight with targeted call to action.</p> <p>In my mind, marketers need guidance about what is relevant - what are their customer indicators, what are their churn indictors - and how to action all of this in an automated fashion.</p> <p>Basic reporting, such as how many customers shopped online, how many abandoned a sale etc arguably add to the volume of data out there, but it just adds to the information that marketers struggle with.</p> <p>As a marketer, you should ask yourself the question – if for example you knew that 40% of customers who shopped in the last 3 months were new to your brand, and out of those, 10% have bought again and most within two weeks of their initial purchase – would that be a valuable insight?</p> <p>And if you could then use a tool that identifies all those new customers who have not repurchased by two weeks and automatically re-engage with them leveraging relevant content using your marketing cloud software, would that be beneficial to your business?</p> <p>If the answer is yes you need to consider using the technology that is out there, to help move you towards the ultimate goal of providing only relevant and timely content and marketing messages to each of your prospects and customers.</p> <p>Remember that building your marketing strategy on a solid customer data foundation will pay dividends for years to come.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67652 2016-03-21T00:06:00+00:00 2016-03-21T00:06:00+00:00 How Australia's marketers are cultivating loyalty and building advocacy Jeff Rajeck <p>This was one of the topics discussed at our recent roundtables in Sydney, sponsored by Epsilon.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3044/2-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <h3>How brands cultivate loyalty</h3> <p>Overall, participants were positive about cultivating loyalty through providing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-optimization">great customer experiences</a>.  And, in many cases, this loyalty can lead to customer advocacy. </p> <p>But, as participants noted, loyalty and advocacy are not the same thing. Loyalty, however, comes before advocacy so the discussions started by talking about how brands are encouraging more loyalty.</p> <h4>Start with your own employees</h4> <p>With many organizations, customer loyalty actually starts with employees. <strong> Engaged employees who are empowered to improve customer experience make customers happy faster</strong>, participants stated.</p> <p>One suggested that brands could use gamification techniques to encourage employees to think of ways to improve CX on a regular basis. Rewards and other incentives, they said, can help kick-start a new approach to improving CX.</p> <h4>Improve your digital CX</h4> <p>Another suggestion was that <strong>as organisations improve their customers' digital experience, customer loyalty will naturally follow.</strong></p> <p>Most people these days suffer from information overload and so brands need to simplify their engagement with customers. Brands, therefore, should provide only what is directly relevant to their customers' personal needs, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64165-email-frequency-how-much-is-too-much">at a frequency they desire</a>.</p> <h4>Predict customer needs</h4> <p>Then, once a brand has simplified its digital customer experiences, it should look at anticipating customer needs to present meaningful offers at just the right time.</p> <p>That way, customers will be connected with the brand regularly at a deeper, more personal level and will not be open to change simply because of cost.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3040/1-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <h3>Building advocacy</h3> <p>The discussion then turned to building customer advocacy.  That is, once a brand has established customer loyalty, how can it encourage its customers to spread its good qualities on social media?  How can a brand convert loyal customers to 'advocates'?</p> <h4>Search for passionate customers</h4> <p>Participants reported that finding passionate customers is key to identifying advocates.  <strong>Brands need to look for customers who are genuinely engaged with them in an authentic and personal way. </strong></p> <p>The best place to find passionate customers is on social media and, when spotted, be sure to reach out, make contact, and thank them for their contribution. Advocacy should follow shortly after.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3041/discover-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="250"></p> <h4>Build a customer-based community</h4> <p><strong>Passionate customers can then be drawn into a community which supports their passion</strong> and gives them the inside information they enjoy sharing with their peers.</p> <p>These communities may be on the brand's website, a customer-to-customer portal, or even at physical locations, if appropriate. Harley-Davidson is the best example of a brand which has done this well.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3042/hog-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="193"></p> <h4>Reel in social media detractors</h4> <p>Another suggestion for finding advocates was to look on social media for brand 'detractors'. These are people who may have had a bad experience with the brand and are sincerely discussing it with others.</p> <p>One participant noted that <strong>detractors can be 'reeled in' by offering to meet them face-to-face</strong>.  And then the loudest detractors, once satisfied, can become the greatest advocates.</p> <h4>What to avoid when building advocacy</h4> <p>First off, note that not all of your loyal customers are good candidates to be advocates. Some customers are 'just fine as-is', according to one participant, and they don't want to be disturbed.</p> <p>Also, there are others who are loyal to your brand because it is too hard to change. When trying to develop advocacy, it's important to identify that segment and, again, leave them alone.</p> <p>And there were mixed feelings about using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67474-what-motivates-influencers-money-of-course">paid influencers as advocates</a>.  Some participants felt that using them presented a risk of coming across as inauthentic and untrustworthy.  </p> <p>Other marketers said that they had a good experience with influencers found through a marketplace, <a href="http://www.tribegroup.co/">Tribe</a>. They felt that the influencers they worked with developed a genuine connection with their brand and were able to speak authentically about it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3043/tribe-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="181"></p> <h3>Summing it up</h3> <p>So, attendees agreed that most brands will have loyal customers who are passionate about your brand.  And <strong>loyal customers are often looking for an authentic, personalized, and community-based brand relationship</strong>.</p> <p>People who are looking for such things are the most likely to become advocates and <strong>brands should empower them to deliver the brand message</strong>.</p> <p>It is therefore, the table concluded, an exciting time for customers because <strong>brands are starting to reach out to passionate customers and communicate with them in a smarter, more personalized way.</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 our sponsor for the event, Epsilon.</p> <p>We would like to extend a special thanks to our moderator for the Cultivating Loyalty - When Experiences Develop Advocacy table, <strong>Sharon Melamed, Managing Director, Matchboard.</strong></p> <p>We truly appreciate all of the effort participants put into making this an instructive day for everyone and we hope to see you at future Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/2993/moderators-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="312"></p> <p><em>For more from the Sydney roundtables, read the first in this series,<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67648-customer-experience-building-the-business-case-best-practices-from-sydney/"> Customer experience: building the business case</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67568 2016-02-25T16:09:43+00:00 2016-02-25T16:09:43+00:00 Starbucks shows perils of loyalty program changes Patricio Robles <p>On Monday, Starbucks announced modifications to its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66946-starbucks-costa-caffe-nero-how-do-they-build-customer-loyalty">Starbucks Rewards</a> program.</p> <p>Previously, members earned points for their visits to Starbucks but in future the points they earn will be tied to the dollars they spend. This means that members who spend less will lose out.</p> <p>Naturally, many of those Starbucks Rewards members are not happy and they've taken to social media to voice their displeasure.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/Starbucks">@Starbucks</a>, your new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/starbucksrewards?src=hash">#starbucksrewards</a> is NOT about loyalty anymore, but gouging your loyal customers $62.50 for a free coffee. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoodBye?src=hash">#GoodBye</a></p> — Jeff Johnston (@jeff_a_johnston) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeff_a_johnston/status/702189442006515712">February 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Starbucks">@Starbucks</a>, I've been a loyal customer for years. And this new star program is how you reward me? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StarbucksRewards?src=hash">#StarbucksRewards</a></p> — Lara Miller (@laramiller29) <a href="https://twitter.com/laramiller29/status/702140465487998976">February 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Starbucks, "the new program reflects the #1 request we heard from members: more Stars awarded based on what you buy, no matter how often you visit." </p> <p>Given that Starbucks Rewards members who spend at least $6 per visit will benefit under the revised program – they can reach Gold status in 25 visits instead of 30 – it does stand to reason that some customers will like the changes, even if they aren't pleased enough to gloat about it on social media.</p> <p>This obviously leaves the spotlight on negative buzz.</p> <h3>Lessons from the skies</h3> <p>Starbucks isn't the first company to grapple with complaints over changes to a loyalty program.</p> <p>Airlines, for example, have come under fire for changes to their frequent flyer programs.</p> <p>Interestingly, many of them have made changes similar in nature to that made by Starbucks: tying rewards earned to dollars spent. </p> <p>For instance, United Airlines last year <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2015/02/17/united-airlines-is-changing-its-mileageplus-program-winners-and-losers/">overhauled</a> its frequent flyer program so that members are rewarded based on the amount of money they spend on fares, not the number of miles they travel on flights.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, that led to the type of criticism Starbucks is facing.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">16 co-workers who spend about $20,000 each, per year, on <a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> are going to start flying <a href="https://twitter.com/AmericanAir">@AmericanAir</a> because of MileagePlus changes <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/320k?src=hash">#320k</a></p> — Tony Maguire (@filmbizpro) <a href="https://twitter.com/filmbizpro/status/575297571721187328">March 10, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Of course, there's a lot of logic in tying rewards to dollars spent.</p> <p>But as numerous airlines and now Starbucks have seen, moving from a structure that rewards frequency of purchases to size of purchases is not easy because such a change almost always produces winners and losers.</p> <p>With this in mind,<strong> companies that are developing new loyalty programs need to be thoughtful about what behaviors they reward, recognizing that structural changes down the road can lead to customer backlashes.</strong></p> <p>Companies with existing loyalty programs obviously don't have the luxury of starting fresh, but they too should be thoughtful about how they make changes and how they unveil them.</p> <p>Here, data can be a very helpful tool.</p> <p>For example, loyalty program data can be used to model the impact of changes, allowing companies to ensure that the negative effects aren't too great.</p> <p>And it allows them to highlight the benefits of the changes (e.g. "only 5% of customers will earn fewer points" or "40% of customers will earn more points") so that any negative buzz can be placed in context.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67462 2016-02-01T11:19:27+00:00 2016-02-01T11:19:27+00:00 Why e-receipts are important for customers & retailers alike Georges Berzgal <p>Brands like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66107-three-award-winning-marketing-case-studies-from-the-digitals">Mothercare</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65759-how-selfridges-uses-digital-to-create-extraordinary-multichannel-experiences">Selfridges</a> and <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/high-street-stores-follow-apples-email-receipt-lead-8902761.html">Accessorize</a> also introduced the service in-store last year.</p> <p>I welcome the news as both a consumer and as a marketer, but far too many brands are still underestimating the opportunity that these digital receipts can offer.</p> <p>From the shopper’s point of view, physical receipts clutter up my wallet, are easily lost, are difficult to collate and generally feel like something from the past – my bank statements and my bills are all digital, so why not an in-store proof of purchase?</p> <p>In fact, <a href="http://www.bizreport.com/2015/11/e-receipts-under-used-as-additional-marketing-vehicle.html">recent research</a> found that 45% of UK shoppers would like an e-receipt when buying an item in-store.</p> <p>Frustratingly, 41% reported they ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ receive one.</p> <p>For brands and retailers, a move towards paperless receipts also closes the loop between the offline and online world – providing benefits to marketers and the business as a whole.</p> <p><em>An e-receipt example from Mothercare</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1241/mothercare_e-receipt.png" alt="" width="312" height="531"></p> <p>By offering digital receipts to customers, companies have a good reason to request an email address, as opposed to merely asking for it to send promotional emails.</p> <p>It’s also encouraging to note <a href="http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-news/nearly-half-of-uk-consumers-want-e-receipts/2870">how receptive UK consumers</a> are to receiving relevant marketing within e-receipts, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers open to additional marketing content in the digital receipt.</p> <p>The information most desired by UK consumers is notification of upcoming sales (40%), followed by promotions on related products (34%) and information about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65544-10-loyalty-building-strategies-for-customer-retention">loyalty programmes</a> (31%).</p> <p>This highlights the clear opportunity that e-receipts offer as a re-marketing channel for retailers to continue to engage these consumers they know are interested in the brand (as they just made a purchase!).</p> <p>We often hear that consumers are clamouring for a ‘seamless’ shopping experience that joins <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/multichannel-customer-intelligence">offline and online experiences</a>.</p> <p>This can add pressure on retailers to adapt their systems to track customers across all channels via complex technologies.</p> <p>The email address offers a unifying system through which you can identify your customer, whether they make a purchase in-store, online or on mobile.</p> <p>The added bonus that retailers have in using this new proof of purchase is that it also offers an opportunity to re-engage or encourage the customer to sign-up to additional content, more than justifying the initial investment required to set-up the system.</p> <p>All in all, e-receipts offer more than just a digital receipt. </p> <p><em>For more on e-receipts, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64758-how-in-store-tech-improves-customer-service-for-schuh/"><em>How in-store tech improves customer service for Schuh</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/67462-why-e-receipts-are-important-for-customers-and-retailers-alike/edit/Three%20award-winning%20marketing%20case%20studies%20from%20The%20Digitals"><em>Three award-winning marketing case studies from The Digitals</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67417 2016-01-18T10:30:00+00:00 2016-01-18T10:30:00+00:00 Pret's genius continues, makes the coffee lottery official Ben Davis <p>Pret has decided to make this policy official by giving out 120,000 free coffees in special 'make someone smile' sleeves.</p> <p>The brand has also ratcheted up the spirit of good will by allowing coffee winners to, in turn, pass on their special coffee sleeve to an unsuspecting member of the public who will themselves be entitled to a free coffee.</p> <p>It's a masterful strategic move that should ensure Pret's 2015 buzz continues into 2016.</p> <p>In a sector where loyalty is increasingly important yet many have been confused by the influx of technology (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64185-the-five-most-interesting-mobile-loyalty-apps/">consolidated loyalty apps</a>, QR codes etc.), Pret seems to understand that loyalty is about creating enjoyable and interesting interactions with the customer, not merely collecting tokens.</p> <p><em>A couple of tweets that adequately describe the cultural success of Pret's free coffee scheme to date.</em></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Has <a href="https://twitter.com/Pret">@Pret</a> stopped giving free coffee or have i got ugly?</p> — Lizzy Collier (@lizzycollier) <a href="https://twitter.com/lizzycollier/status/688434220155441153">January 16, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Got a free Pret coffee today. Have finally made it.</p> — Chemmie Squier (@chemsquier) <a href="https://twitter.com/chemsquier/status/686510665809440768">January 11, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p><em>Pret's new Make Someone Smile free-coffee sleeves.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0778/Pret_Make_Someone_Smile_coffee_sleeve.jpg" alt="pret coffee sleeve" width="400"></p> <h3>Pret's social success</h3> <p>Pret has had a lot of successful brand exposure through social media.</p> <p>In December we covered its annual Christmas sandwich promotion (here are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67164-five-reasons-i-love-pret-s-christmas-sandwich-social-media-campaign/">five reasons we liked it</a>), which cleverly mixed strong and simple promoted social posts, with teaser giveaways and a countdown.</p> <p>Already this year, <a href="http://www.pret.co.uk/en-gb/five-insights-for-business-success-in-the-us">a post from Pret CEO Clive Schlee</a>, detailing five insights from 15 years of Pret in America, has shown how the all-conquering sandwich shop is continuing to forge an open and friendly tone online as well as in store.</p> <p>Pret <a href="http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n01/paul-myerscough/short-cuts">has had some criticism</a> in the past for some of the protocol behind its famously warm customer service (some calling it 'emotional labour', others 'smiley culture') and the lack of a living wage (the business claims to be 'close' to the living wage once benefits are taken into account e.g. food).</p> <p>However, with Pret's consumate understanding of what its customers want, I can't see its success stalling any time yet.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/8829/image1__1_-blog-flyer.png" alt="pret countdown to christmas sandwich" width="300"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67397 2016-01-12T10:43:00+00:00 2016-01-12T10:43:00+00:00 Ashley Friedlein’s 10 digital marketing & ecommerce trends for 2016 Ashley Friedlein <p>There are a whole load of trends that will no doubt happen but seem to me so self-evident as not to be worth detailing.</p> <p>Among those: continued war for talent, increased focus on privacy and security, more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native ads</a>, more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">programmatic media buying</a>, ongoing culture challenges, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">ad blocking increases</a>, more social channels to master, more payment options, ongoing efforts to be agile, emphasis on the importance of personalisation and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/">customer experience</a>, omnichannel this and that, and, of course, fifty shades of data.</p> <p>There are also lots of exciting technology developments which no doubt will have a wider impact on marketing in the future but which do not make it into my list for the coming year.</p> <p>Among those: 3D printing, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">virtual/augmented reality</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-wearable-technology/">wearables</a>, nearables, internet of things, the blockchain.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0641/five_reasons.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="314"></p> <p>I am more immediately excited about what <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64743-predictive-analytics-machine-learning-and-the-future-of-personalization/">machine learning</a> and artificial intelligence can bring to marketing.   </p> <p>This is quite a long read, so to make it more digestible you can jump to the sections you’re most interested in using these links:</p> <ol> <li><a href="#Marchitecture">Marchitecture</a></li> <li><a href="#CRM">Funnel Wars: CRM strikes back</a></li> <li><a href="#Push">The return of push</a></li> <li><a href="#Digital/Physical">Digital/Physical: will it blend?</a></li> <li><a href="#Design">The ascendance of design</a></li> <li><a href="#DigitalTransformation">Digital Transformation: the teenage years</a></li> <li><a href="#Robobranding">Robobranding</a></li> <li><a href="#Mobile">It’s mobile, stupid</a></li> <li><a href="#Video">Video</a></li> <li><a href="#Content">Peak content</a></li> </ol> <p>Now, on with the show...</p> <h3>1. <a name="Marchitecture"></a>Marchitecture</h3> <p>Could this bastard lovechild of marketing and architecture become a buzzword for 2016?</p> <p>Even if not I would at least expect to hear much more talk about ‘martech’ and challenges around architecting your martech stack. Move over ad tech, martech has arrived. </p> <p>Why is this? </p> <p>In the preceding years we have been busy collecting data, buying technology, trying to integrate systems, launching new channels (particularly social and mobile) and trying to deliver increasingly personalised customer experiences against a background of increasing complexity and fragmentation.</p> <p>It is hard. It is a bit of a mess. We are worried the whole thing might fall over at some point.</p> <p>No-one is quite sure of all the triggers, rules, tags and automation in place. </p> <p>Some questions for you:</p> <ul> <li>Are you confident you have made the right decisions in your marketing technology ecosystem between buy, build, integrate or inter-operate? Are you sure whether a single marketing platform (‘cloud’) is better for your business than integrating best of breed point solutions? Do you consider the <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2015/01/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2015/">martech landscape</a> with a sense of calm?</li> <li>Are you happy with your data governance, data integrity, and confident in your marketing resource management with security, privacy and process issues nicely buttoned down?</li> <li>Do you have faith in the data taxonomies, metadata, models and schemas powering your digital content and marketing?</li> <li>Is it clear what marketing logic (rules, processes, triggers, events, automation etc.) drives all your various marketing touchpoints with your customers and what this means in terms of the customers’ actual experiences across devices and channels?</li> <li>Is your marketing stack clearly articulated? Here are <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2015/06/21-marketing-technology-stacks-shared-stackies-awards/">21 marketing stacks</a> for illustration. </li> </ul> <p>These are hard questions. But they are not going away and they will become more frequently asked in 2016. </p> <p>There is a <a href="https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/interviews/future_strategy_business_unit_strategy_philip_evans_rethinking_strategy_age_digital_disruption/">great interview with BCG’s Philip Evans</a> on ‘stacks’ and ‘architecture’ as business concepts. There are clear parallels with marketing. </p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shearing_layers">Shearing layers</a> was a concept coined by architect Frank Duffy, then elaborated by Stewart Brand in his book “How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built”, and refers to buildings as composed of several layers of change.</p> <p>This concept has already been adapted to tech system architecture by the likes of Gartner, but also makes a lot of sense as a framework for architecting marketing ecosystems that can deal with the level of change we are experiencing. </p> <p>There are even greater parallels between marketing and engineering as the worlds of digital, data, technology and marketing collide.</p> <p>We have no shortage of data but we now need to create rules and logic, a form of marketing middleware, to drive all forms of marketing automation. And this is essentially programming.</p> <p>Not just programmatic media but programmatic marketing more generally. </p> <p>Start-up marketers (aka ‘growth marketers’) are already used to the likes of <a href="https://ifttt.com/">IFTTT</a> and <a href="https://zapier.com/zapbook/#sort=popular&amp;filter=marketing">Zapier</a> to wire up their marketing tech. <a href="https://blog.newrelic.com/2015/03/23/devops-marketingops/">Marketing ops have a lot to learn from dev ops</a>.</p> <p>The rise in the strategic importance, and difficulty, of all this is why even strategy consultancies like <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/marketing_sales/how_digital_marketing_operations_can_transform_business">McKinsey are growing their marketing ops practice</a> and <a href="http://www.consultancy.uk/news/754/mckinsey-buys-digital-marketing-operations-firm-agiliti">why it bought Agiliti</a> just over a year ago.</p> <p>Expect more M&amp;A in the agency and consulting worlds around ‘marchitecture’.   </p> <h3>2. <a name="CRM"></a>Funnel Wars: CRM strikes back</h3> <p>Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more complex...</p> <p>In the graphic below on the left is a classic marketing funnel. In the middle, at the top, you can see the <a href="http://www.lumapartners.com/lumascapes/display-ad-tech-lumascape/">famous LUMAscape graphic</a> showing the complexity of the vendors in the display ad tech space. </p> <p>These typically cover the top half of the marketing funnel.</p> <p>In the middle, covering the bottom half of the funnel, is <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2015/01/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2015/">Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology landscape graphic</a> which is equally busy.</p> <p>To the right are the service businesses (agencies and consultancies) with a crude split showing the (mostly media) agencies servicing the top of the funnel and the SIs and consultancies servicing the bottom half.</p> <p>Agencies tend to talk about DMPs (Data Management Platforms) whilst the back end centres more around <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">CRM</a> (Customer Relationship Management) platforms. </p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0642/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_16.06.41.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0642/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_16.06.41.png" alt="" width="700"></a></p> <p>My observation, and trend, is not only how complex this all is and how it needs some brains to properly architect it all (see previous trend) but that these two “halves” of the funnel, historically quite distinct, are fast merging into a single view of the customer journey where there is data visibility, tracking and tech inter-operation throughout the funnel. </p> <p>The big resulting question is who should be in charge and which system, or what data, should drive the other?</p> <p>Do you dump your media agency and give it all to a management consultancy who is good with business/CRM data and can use programmatic platforms to drive the top of the funnel?</p> <p>Or do you open up your back office data to your media agency and target them on metrics like sales and margin rather than more traditional media metrics?</p> <p>This is the war that is raging in agency-consultancy land.</p> <p>WPP bought <a href="http://www.wpp.com/wpp/investor/financialnews/2012/jul/23/wpp-digital-acquires-majority-stake-in-acceleration/">Acceleration</a> and <a href="http://www.wpp.com/wpp/investor/financialnews/2015/nov/04/wpp-agrees-to-acquire-a-majority-stake-in-essence-the-leading-global-digital-agency/">Essence</a>, among others, to bolster its data-throughout-the-funnel capabilities (note <a href="http://adexchanger.com/agencies/groupms-gotlieb-media-needs-to-morph-from-the-top-of-the-funnel-to-the-transaction/">GroupM’s Gotlieb: ‘Media Needs To Morph From The Top Of The Funnel To The Transaction’</a>) whilst all the big consultancies (Accenture Digital, IBM Interactive Experience, Deloitte Digital, PWC Digital, McKinsey, BCG, Cap Gemini, Tata etc.) are rapidly encroaching on traditionally agency space. </p> <p>And in techland DMPs and CRMs are the front lines of the/martech tussle.</p> <p><a href="http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/2150812">Oracle’s acquisition of BlueKai</a>, a leading DMP, connecting it natively into its marketing cloud, is one example of the bottom of the funnel swallowing the top half.</p> <p>Expect more marketing cloud companies to assimilate DMP and CRM offerings this year.</p> <p><strong>So who will win these battles?</strong></p> <p>Obviously there is no simple answer. But certainly the once-so-sexy world of media and advertising at the top of the funnel is looking seriously threatened by its historically less glamorous below-the-line cousin. </p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE6fsyzgkFE">Argos’ case study in joining up real-time advertising through the customer funnel</a> is one of an increasing number of brands using CRM data to drive top-of-the-funnel advertising and media in real-time.</p> <p>The idea of ‘streaming CRM’ will become more commonplace: <a href="https://www.sociomantic.com/streaming-crm-travel/">read about streaming CRM in the context of travel here</a> and note Sociomantic is owned by dunnhumby, in turn owned by Tesco, both companies known much more for transactional data than media. </p> <p>Recent Marketing Week articles include “<a href="http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/11/09/how-crm-is-becoming-the-new-advertising/">How CRM is becoming the ‘new advertising</a>” and “<a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/08/28/why-cmos-are-shifting-their-focus-from-customer-acquisition-to-retention/">Why CMOs are shifting their focus from customer acquisition to retention</a>” backed with data and trends to support a view that the bottom of the funnel might usurp the top rather than the other way round. </p> <h3> <a name="Push"></a>3. The return of push</h3> <p>The early days of digital marketing were all about push marketing.</p> <p>Display advertising, of course, but email lists were a big thing. Lists you built yourself or lists you bought. And then hammered away at. </p> <p>Then we shifted to more of a pull paradigm. ‘Inbound marketing’ is very much pull not push.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training/">SEO</a> in its more mature form is pull, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">content marketing</a> is more pull than push, social likewise.</p> <p>But I think we are seeing a shift back towards more of a push architecture. In a small way this is just desperation around those who have spent money on content and mobile apps, find they are not getting much traction, so resort to more push advertising.</p> <p>But more fundamentally this about messaging, notifications and more context-aware services.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pPqliPzHYyc?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Already the notification screen is the primary interface for mobile. All the big players (Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon etc.) are rapidly developing services that are ‘smart’ and assistive.</p> <p>Whether the slew of personal assistant type applications (Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Facebook M etc.) or sensor-driven smart services (Amazon Dash, Google Nest etc.) or simply the sky-rocketing usage of messaging apps like WhatsApp and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65279-how-and-why-western-brands-are-experimenting-with-wechat/">WeChat</a> and the resulting ‘tings’ on our phone craving our attention. </p> <p>The evolution I believe we are in goes something like this:</p> <ul> <li>First we focus on joining up data and systems, then...</li> <li>We deliver experiences that are consistent, synced and responsive across devices/channels, then...</li> <li>We make them personalised, proactive and contextual.</li> </ul> <p>‘Context’ has a lot of possible dimensions: behaviour, location, the weather, what is happening in the world, the time of day, device, pretty much anything.</p> <p>Because of mobile, and the growth in location intelligence (iBeacons being just one example but the likes of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtBERi7Lf3c">Estimote</a> are doing interesting things), it is likely that user behaviour and location will be the most common forms of ‘context’ to be used in our marketing and customer experience thinking this year. </p> <p>The best articulation of this shift I have read is Fjord’s concept of ‘<a href="https://livingservices.fjordnet.com/">Living Services</a>’ where they not only talk about new interaction paradigms like gesture, voice and touch but how we need to consider how environments and context are changing more than how industry sectors are changing.</p> <p>We need to build aware platforms where the customer is the operating system we plug into.</p> <p>For example, <a href="http://pielot.org/pubs/Pielot2015-UbiComp-Boredom-Detection.pdf">this case study from Telefonica Research</a> shows how it is possible to tell how bored someone is from their mobile activity with an 83% accuracy rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0643/buzzfeed.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>In this test the bored participants were sent notifications recommending content on Buzzfeed and were much more likely to respond than the non-bored segment.</p> <p>So we are witnessing behaviour whereby a prod (i.e. push), mostly in the form of a notification, is required to get attention.</p> <p>But that interface (now mostly via the lock screen on your phone) is controlled by the mobile operating systems and who knows how they will choose to prioritise what the user gets and how those notifications will be prioritised in the future.</p> <p>And with predictive and assistive services it may be we will not expect to “go” to anything on our phones - it will come to us. </p> <p>The big question for us as marketers then is how on earth do we fit in? And how will we make sure our notifications are seen and heard amidst the torrent of others?</p> <p>As we re-enter an era of push, albeit ‘smart push’, we will need to re-learn the lessons from email marketing about permission, relevance, context and personalisation. </p> <h3> <a name="Digital/Physical"></a>4. Digital/Physical: will it blend?</h3> <p>The blending of digital and physical is not a new trend but it is one that will continue to be front of mind throughout 2016 and beyond. </p> <p>Last year we saw a lot of interesting developments from the big ‘digital’ players in the physical world: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67151-why-has-amazon-opened-a-physical-bookshop">Amazon opened a bookshop</a> and turned domestic appliances into a retail channel via its <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=10667898011&amp;sort=date-desc-rank&amp;lo=digital-text">Dash Buttons</a>; Google <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/03/11/google-opens-first-bricks-and-mortar-shop-in-the-uk/">opened its first store in London</a>. </p> <p>There was some impressive innovation around digital/physical from major brands too. Highlights for me included:</p> <ul> <li>Burberry lets passers-by <a href="http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/12/14/burberry-lets-passers-by-take-over-piccadilly-circus-screens-to-create-personalised-scarves/">take over Piccadilly Circus screen</a> to create personalised scarves.</li> <li> <a href="https://anyware.dominos.com/">Domino’s Anyware</a> service and rival <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/7/8743741/this-pizza-hut-box-turns-into-a-movie-projector">Pizza Hut’s box that turns into a movie projector</a>.</li> <li>The Starbucks Roastery App Experience (see video below)</li> <li>Carlsberg’s <a href="http://www.happybeerti.me/">#happybeertime</a> and its point of sale <a href="https://vimeo.com/111116389">Barbox platform</a>.</li> <li>Hive’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67383-five-digital-to-physical-social-campaigns-that-will-inspire-us-in-2016/">#tweettoheat Twitter-operated bus shelter</a>.</li> <li>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67393-how-women-s-aid-used-digital-ooh-ads-to-make-327m-people-stop-look/">Women’s Aid digital out-of-home campaign</a>.</li> </ul> <p>This year we will see further innovation, for example <a href="http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/11/13/outdoor-advertising-set-to-evolve-as-industry-rolls-out-automated-buying/">more programmatically driven digital out-of-home media</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PY_lBXCxldk?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Where it gets really interesting is when digital is used to create the physical. The opportunities around 3D printing are very exciting here of course.</p> <p>Eyewear business Warby Parker already provide a mobile app called Bookmark that allows customers to see a photo of themselves and buy the glasses, but <a href="https://redef.com/original/eyewear-with-empathy-warby-parkers-neil-blumenthal">CEO Neil Blumenthal envisages</a> "...that in the very near future you’ll be able to get your glasses prescription through your mobile device" and, who knows, perhaps you will be able to print them out at home too? </p> <p>From a brand point of view it is interesting to see how digital is seeking out further depth and substance through a physical connection and manifestation.</p> <p><a href="https://evernote.com/partner/moleskine/">Evernote has partnered with Moleskine</a> to create Evernote books for example.</p> <p>3M’s Post-it notes, quintessentially physical, were given a quasi-physical manifestation as <a href="http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/3m-makes-retargeted-banner-ads-less-annoying-turning-them-post-it-notes-165033">reborn retargeted banner ads</a>. </p> <h3>5. <a name="Design"></a>The ascendance of design</h3> <p>One of my three <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65990-three-digital-marketing-mega-trends-for-2015/">digital marketing mega trends for 2015</a> was the return of creativity and design. Then I focused on creativity.</p> <p>This year I want to highlight design. More specifically, digital product/service design. </p> <p>It is always helpful with trends to look at the jobs market and see which roles and expertise are most in demand.</p> <p>Great developers are still gold dust but in the last six months or so the question I keep hearing is ‘does anyone know a great (digital) designer’?</p> <p>That special person who not only gets the big idea, the brand, the look and feel, but can also do information architecture, gets UX and UI, appreciates the customer journey, obviously knows responsive inside out, is current with this morning’s latest trends in iOS vs Android transition effects, and is working on conversational interfaces in his/her spare time.</p> <p>And, like good childcare or a great plumber, if you do know this person you sure as hell are not giving their details to anyone else. </p> <p>Speaking to a few agency Creative Directors recently they admitted they were starting to feel out of touch with aspects of their craft.</p> <p>In particular, prototyping and app design/concepts. Talk to startups and product managers/designers and you will hear about <a href="https://www.sketchapp.com/">Sketch</a>, <a href="http://www.invisionapp.com/">Invision</a>, <a href="https://marvelapp.com/">Marvel</a> and the like.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0644/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_16.38.45.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>The corporate world is catching up. Indeed <a href="http://landing.adobe.com/en/na/products/creative-cloud/comet/229818-notifyme.html">Adobe’s imminent launch of Comet</a> must be its response to this need.</p> <p>Expect a lot of activity in this area, both tech, talent and techniques, over 2016. </p> <p>Also indicative of underlying trends is what is happening in mergers and acquisitions. Here are some headlines that tell a story around the ascendance of design:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/07/28/accenture-bulks-up-design-capabilities-with-fjord-expansion/">Accenture bulks up design capabilities with Fjord Expansion</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/05/consulting-giant-mckinsey-bought-top-design-firm/">Consulting giant McKinsey buys itself a top design firm</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://ventureburn.com/2014/11/deloitte-digital-scoops-ux-specialist-flow-interactive/">Agency acquisition frenzy: Now Deloitte snaps up UX agency</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e448e6da-44f9-11e5-b3b2-1672f710807b.html#axzz3wZQCq2pT">EY UK looks beyond audit with digital design purchase</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/press-releases/2013/pwc-completes-asset-acquisition.html">PwC completes asset acquisition of digital creative consultancy BGT</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://investors.cognizant.com/2014-10-07-Cognizant-Acquires-Cadient-Group-to-help-Clients-Drive-Business-Transformation-Through-Digital-Technologies">Cognizant acquires Cadient Group</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/wipro-to-acquire-designit-for-93-mn-115070900739_1.html">Wipro to acquire Danish firm Designit</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSnMKW7nG2la+1c8+MKW20140709">BCG Digital Ventures acquires S&amp;C, an award-winning strategic-design firm</a>.</li> <li>You get the idea...</li> </ul> <p>All the major consultancies, both management and strategy, as well as the systems integrators are investing considerably in design services.</p> <p>Indian outsourcing companies <a href="http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-09-09/news/66363558_1_design-capabilities-creative-skills-global-head">recognise they need to beef up their design credentials</a> and I expect we will see Chinese businesses buying their way into this space too.  </p> <p>Let us not forget that <a href="https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43523.wss">IBM Interactive Experience last year announced a $100m investment</a> to expand its interactive design business, acquiring talent and opening interactive experience labs and studios around the world.</p> <p>Indeed even in 2014 <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43813.wss">IBM Interactive Experience was named the largest global digital agency</a> by AdAge and in 2015 IBM IX came second only to Sapient in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/top-100-digital-agencies-2015/">Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies</a>. </p> <p>Perhaps the most interesting acquisition in this area was at the end of 2014 because it was a major financial services brand buying a leading product design consultancy: <a href="http://adaptivepath.org/ideas/adaptive-path-where-were-going-next/">Capital One acquired Adaptive Path</a>.</p> <p>In 2016 it would not be surprising to see more brands make design acquisitions or acqui-hires.</p> <p>At the very least expect to see design and product people become part of senior leadership teams e.g. <a href="http://diginomica.com/2015/10/22/the-co-op-digital-service-mike-bracken-hires-his-former-government-colleagues/">Mike Bracken’s hiring of his former Government Digital Services’ colleagues to The Co-Op Digital Service</a> includes a Digital Services Director and Group Design Director to help lead the Co-Op’s digital transformation.  </p> <p>Finally, whilst the big tech companies may have been focusing on data and digital marketing platforms and services to date, expect to see much more focus on design this year e.g. with Adobe’s launch of Comet and Google (behind <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65966-what-is-material-design-10-pioneering-examples/">Material Design</a> of course) set to further empower designers with <a href="https://www.google.com/webdesigner/">Google Web Designer</a>. </p> <h3>6. <a name="DigitalTransformation"></a>Digital Transformation: the teenage years</h3> <p>While Econsultancy cannot quite claim to have coined the term ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>’ (I would probably give that accolade to <a href="https://www.capgemini-consulting.com/digital-transformation">Cap Gemini</a>), we certainly helped popularise the term.</p> <p>My presentation on <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/econsultancy/digital-transformation-ashley-friedlein-ceo-econsultancy">Slideshare on Digital Transformation from 2013</a> attempted to define the term at the time.</p> <p>Certainly we have been researching, writing about, consulting on, and helping deliver digital transformation for longer than most. </p> <p>I describe digital transformation simply as the journey towards being a digital organisation where “digital” means two things: firstly, focusing on the customer experience irrespective of channel, and secondly, having a digital culture.</p> <p>I believe the seven defining characteristics of a digital culture are: </p> <ol> <li>Customer-centric</li> <li>Data-driven</li> <li>Makers &amp; Doers</li> <li>Transparent</li> <li>Collaborative</li> <li>Learning</li> <li>Agile</li> </ol> <p>As part of this transformation journey most organisations follow a similar evolution of organisational structure.</p> <p>Full details of this are given in Econsultancy’s recently updated <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-marketing-organisational-structures-and-resourcing-best-practice-guide/">Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide</a>. </p> <p>The graphic below outlines a typical five stage evolution towards true multi-channel customer-centricity. Each stage has a typical corresponding job title and organisational structure for digital. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0646/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_17.54.28.png" alt="" width="988" height="405"></p> <p>My observation for 2016 is that most businesses are somewhere between stages two and four. We are entering the teenage years for digital transformation.</p> <p>These are years of change, of experimentation, of pain, of growth, of tumult, of crises of self-identity, of commotion and instability. </p> <p>We have already seen in my trends two and five above how the agency and consultancy worlds are colliding and blurring.</p> <p>Apparently pretty much everyone these days offers ‘digital transformation’ services of some sort.</p> <p>On the client side we will continue to see re-organisations, new job titles like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66906-was-i-wrong-about-chief-digital-officers/">Chief Digital Officer</a> or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67031-chief-customer-officers-ccos-a-fad-or-the-future/">Chief Customer Officer</a>, new joint ventures, labs, innovation centres, start-up partnerships, accelerators and acquisitions in an attempt to kick start or accelerate their transformations. </p> <p>2015 saw a number of examples of <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/10/23/why-are-brands-taking-agencies-in-house/">brands buying, or investing in, digital agencies and talent: Jaguar created a joint venture with agency Spark 44</a> to manage its global communications; <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/10/21/why-coty-bought-social-content-agency-beamly/">Coty bought content agency Beamly</a>; Unilever has its Foundry; Visa set up Europe Collab; Barclays has its Accelerator; the list goes on. </p> <p>In the early years of digital transformation most businesses had digital in a silo.</p> <p>This created obvious problems so the broad consensus was that actually digital needed to be embedded throughout the core business.</p> <p>So the last years have seen efforts to ‘digitize’ the mothership and make digital part of the operating model and DNA of the whole business. It turns out this is not very easy either and has all sorts of challenges too: the biggest of which is a lack of speed. </p> <p>One possible approach to address this problem, promoted by McKinsey, is a <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/organizing_for_digital_acceleration_making_a_two_speed_it_operating_model_work">two-speed operating model for accelerating digital transformation</a>.</p> <p>Either this is somewhat of a bodge to avoid driving through difficult but necessary change, or it is a smart and realistic way to get where you want faster without dangerous levels of disruption.</p> <p>Whichever it is, expect to see more struggles, at varying speeds, with digital transformation this year. </p> <h3>7. <a name="Robobranding"></a>Robobranding</h3> <p>Trying to humanise technology is not new. You may remember Microsoft’s paperclip character.</p> <p>Around five to ten years ago there was also a fashion for putting characters on virtual agents which were typically for customer service and sat on top of an ‘intelligent FAQs’ database.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/1924.aspx">National Rail has Ask Lisa</a> and has done since 2007.</p> <p>With the progress in machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence), conversational interfaces, and a flurry of branded bots appearing this trend is back.</p> <p>The popularity of emojis, and digital stickers, also show the desire to embed more feeling and emotion into digital communications. </p> <p>In trend four above we saw how the world of pure digital is trying to connect more deeply through physical manifestations.</p> <p>Similarly, brands, particularly digital services, are now seeking to create more emotive connections by bringing personality to their technology. </p> <p>We are moving beyond robots that only deal in commands, interactions and transactions.</p> <p>Technology can detect our emotions (e.g. <a href="http://www.emotient.com/">Emotient</a>, or <a href="http://googlecloudplatform.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/Google-Cloud-Vision-API-changes-the-way-applications-understand-images.html">Google’s Cloud Vision API</a>), robots can detect how we feel (like <a href="https://www.aldebaran.com/en/a-robots/pepper/how-does-pepper-work">Pepper</a>) and any self-respecting cool piece of tech has a bot (e.g. <a href="https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/202026038-Slackbot-your-assistant-notepad-programmable-bot">Slackbot</a>) and, increasingly, extensible platforms to create your own bots, e.g. <a href="https://telegram.org/blog/bot-revolution">Telegram’s Bot Platform</a> or Slack’s Slash Commands.  </p> <p>Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, recently forecast that in 15 years’ time it will be possible to have an emotional relationship with computers.</p> <p>This was made real in the 2013 film “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her_(film)">Her</a>” portraying a man, Theodore Twombly, who falls in love with ‘Samantha,’ an artificially intelligent operating system.</p> <p>If this seems far-fetched I should point out that I have recently been interacting very naturally and successfully with “<a href="https://x.ai/">Amy Ingram</a>” an AI-powered personal assistant for scheduling meetings.</p> <p>Amy seems happy to work long hours and even replies at the weekend.   </p> <p>The mixing of human and machine is also evident in the many concierge services springing up. Among them <a href="https://pana.com/">Pana</a> (for travel), <a href="https://www.operator.com/">Operator</a> and <a href="http://www.gobutler.com/">GoButler</a>.</p> <p>Typically, these services work using part human, part machine learning. The interesting one to watch here of course is <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/08/facebook-launches-m-new-kind-virtual-assistant/">Facebook M</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0647/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_18.15.26.png" alt="" width="598" height="441"> </p> <p>Pure human assistance is very useful but not very scalable. Pure machine is very scalable but not always very useful. M’s challenge, and services like it, is to be both. </p> <p>What does this all mean for marketers? It creates all sorts of exciting opportunities to create more intelligent services and ones which, though digital, really resonate with the brand and have personality. </p> <p>In a few years I expect we will find it odd not to be able to message a brand and have a conversation which we will expect to be bot-powered to start with.</p> <p>Some of us may even prefer to interact with branded bots rather than humans. </p> <p>The challenge for us, as marketers, will be how to imbue these robobrands with the right brand sentience.</p> <p>It will mean <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">great copywriting</a> is once more highly prised and interfaces will become more verbal. Getting the right tone and the right attitude will be hard but those that do will win. </p> <h3>8. <a name="Mobile"></a>It’s mobile, stupid</h3> <p>We all know that the fabled ‘year of mobile’ was about a decade ago.</p> <p>In the last two years most of us have finally got round to mobile-optimising our websites and emails typically using responsive design. </p> <p>However, what slightly surprises me is that for many marketers I get the sense they think that means they have ticked the mobile box, mobile is covered, mobile is mostly ‘done’.</p> <p>Mobile (and the same is true of video and even social) tends not to appear on the hot topics or buzzwords list. </p> <p>Which is odd given we surely recognise that <a href="http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/10/28/presentation-mobile-is-eating-the-world">mobile is eating the world</a>?</p> <p>So I have put mobile in as a trend largely as a collective slap in the face to remind ourselves just how big a thing this still is.</p> <p>Remember:</p> <ul> <li>By most metrics mobile now IS the internet. And for most developing nations mobile is the internet. </li> <li>Last year we passed the point where there are <a href="http://searchengineland.com/its-official-google-says-more-searches-now-on-mobile-than-on-desktop-220369">more searches on mobile than deskto</a>p. </li> <li>For many businesses and customers things are not just mobile first, they are mobile only. Last year <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/consumer_and_retail/learning_from_south_koreas_mobile-retailing_boom">McKinsey published some fascinating research on mobile shoppers in South Korea</a>: among those who shopped on a mobile device, 13% did not shop in stores, and 53% did not shop online. </li> <li> <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/28/facebook-mobile-only-2/">More than half a billion people access Facebook solely from mobile</a> and sometime soon <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2015/11/04/47-of-facebooks-users-never-touch-the-service-on-desktop/">Facebook will become mostly a mobile experience</a> with the majority of video views and sharing already mobile-dominated. </li> <li> <a href="https://www.atombank.co.uk/">Atom Bank</a> will launch in the UK this year as a mobile-only bank. </li> <li> <a href="https://medium.com/@Mosaic_VC/messaging-and-notifications-the-new-platforms-ba85db74dd9#.aobryziua">Mobile messaging is HUGE</a> and growing massively. Not just in B2C but B2B – you may have noticed <a href="http://blog.linkedin.com/2015/09/01/new-messaging-experience-comes-to-linkedin-finally/">LinkedIn’s recent developments in messaging</a>? </li> <li>Messaging apps <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/messaging-apps-have-completely-overtaken-social-networks-to-become-the-dominant-platforms-on-phones-2015-4?r=US&amp;IR=T">have caught up to social networks in user numbers</a> and now dominate mobile</li> <li>Mobile commerce is <a href="http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/233979/file-61930032-pdf/Content/The-state-of-mobile-commerce-in-retail.pdf">predicted to grow to $31bn next year</a>, up from $3bn in 2010. </li> <li>Walmart reported that over 70% of the traffic to Walmart.com is now mobile and that mobile accounted for over half of its orders since Thanksgiving – double last year.</li> <li>Alibaba’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67212-10-eye-watering-stats-from-alibaba-s-singles-day-in-china/">Singles Day in China</a> saw 27m mobile transactions in the first hour. </li> <li>Get your mind blown by <a href="https://medium.com/@katie/product-insights-from-wechat-97c51695e159#.o4qch7iry">what WeChat can do</a> and read about <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/31c9ab26-77c5-11e5-a95a-27d368e1ddf7.html#axzz3wZQCq2pT">Facebook’s big bet on Facebook M</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Really we shouldn’t be asking ourselves what our mobile strategy is anymore. We should be wondering what our desktop strategy is given most of what our customers do is mobile? </p> <p>So if you think you are mostly done with mobile then think again.</p> <p>Some mobile questions that should be on your mind for 2016:</p> <ul> <li>How might our brand be present in the notifications stream? What is <a href="https://medium.com/@orarbel/notifications-the-good-the-bad-and-the-irrelevant-8bd373e8c86#.6bh0h5ycd">a good notifications experience</a> and how might we deliver <a href="https://blog.intercom.io/its-time-for-notifications-to-get-smart/">smarter notifications</a>?</li> <li>What could the trend towards conversational interfaces and bots mean for our brand?</li> <li>How do we capitalise on message and mobile-social commerce? </li> <li>What will the changes in mobile payment options (including Apple Pay roll out) mean for us? </li> <li>Following <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66387-google-s-mobile-friendly-algorithm-four-early-test-results/">Google’s “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update</a> last year what do we need to be doing in SEO for mobile this year? </li> <li>Now that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67006-google-pushing-hard-to-extend-influence-to-apps/">native apps are being indexed for search</a> what opportunities does that give us?</li> <li> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/age-old-question-app-v-mobile-web-jonathan-wall?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like">Shop Direct is reporting higher usage and higher conversion rates on its apps</a> than from mobile web customers. Have we got our app strategy right?</li> <li>And, of course, mobile display (including native ads and mobile programmatic), mobile video optimisation etc. etc.…. </li> </ul> <p>In short: for the foreseeable future every year should be the year of mobile.</p> <h3>9. <a name="Video"></a>Video</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hfj8f9y6sPI?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <h3>10. <a name="Content"></a>Peak content</h3> <p>Doug Kessler called this one three years ago with his seminal <a href="https://velocitypartners.com/resources/crap-the-single-biggest-threat-to-b2b-content-marketing/">Crap: the single biggest threat to B2B content marketing</a>. </p> <p>If we were to plot content marketing on <a href="http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp">Gartner’s hype cycle</a> then I fear 2016 sees us plunging from the peaks of inflated expectations towards the trough of content marketing disillusionment.</p> <p>Can marketing take any more contentification? Have we jumped the content shark? Can the world take any more wellness tips from insurance companies? </p> <p>Like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJZPzQESq_0">Mr Creosote</a> we are dangerously near tipping over the edge and just one more (wafer thin) piece of content could do it.</p> <p>Even Twitter can no longer contain the tsunami and its 140 word levee is about to be breached with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67378-five-reasons-twitter-s-character-limit-increase-is-a-terrible-idea/">up to 10,000 characters of content</a>. </p> <p>And all this with our phones set to ping and ting even more with a wave of notifications.</p> <p>Just as happened with social media a few years ago, 2016 will see lots of hand-wringing about the ‘ROI of content marketing’.</p> <p>We will learn to focus on value, quality and relevancy as very few can make volume, quantity and reach work.</p> <p>2016 will see us thinking more about what we stop doing in content rather than what we start doing. </p> <p>How to end a post on my 10 digital trends for 2016? By predicting the demise of the listicle perhaps? </p>