tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/facebook Latest Facebook content from Econsultancy 2017-11-13T15:00:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69569 2017-11-13T15:00:00+00:00 2017-11-13T15:00:00+00:00 Messaging platforms could even boost NPS – businesses should get on-board now Blake Cahill <p>With 1.2 billion people using the Messenger app today and a staggering 2 billion messages <a href="https://en-gb.facebook.com/business/products/messenger-for-business">sent between people and businesses each month</a>, this bet has well and truly paid off. </p> <p>And he wasn’t the only one. Tencent’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat">WeChat</a>, launched in 2011, was an early adopter of the integrated model, partnering with businesses and restaurants to provide users an extended offering before even the likes of Facebook. Although its user base isn’t as broad as the social media site or Whatsapp, in its native China it is expected to have a staggering <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/WeChat-Users-China-Will-Surpass-490-Million-This-Year/1016125">84.5% market capitalisation</a> on all mobile messaging apps this year. </p> <h3>The move to Messenger</h3> <p>As such a large proportion of communication traffic between businesses and consumers now plays out across messaging channels, companies need to recognise and act on the fact that today’s consumers often prefer to use messaging apps to get in touch with them.</p> <p>Research into our own consumer base here at Philips underscored this preference, revealing that our customers want their brand interactions with us to be low effort and humanised. These criteria are instantly met by messaging channels which are easy to use and enable a business to communicate in an empathetic, human manner with their customers.</p> <p>It therefore made complete business sense for us to incorporate messaging channels into our customer care strategy as such channels map directly into the needs of our customers; facilitating ease of conversation with our customer care team, all at the tap of a touch screen.</p> <h3>Impact of messenger channels on Net Promoter Scores</h3> <p>For businesses looking to satisfy their customer base and interact with them in the way they want, while achieving high Net Promoter Scores (NPS) at the same time, messaging channels are the way forward.</p> <p>Testament to this, we have seen that across markets, NPS scores are consistently high for consumers using instant messaging applications to communicate with us; in many cases higher than when using traditional channels like email. This stands to reason as messenger apps can be used from any device at any given moment, giving consumers the instantaneous, human interaction they are looking for.</p> <p>Messenger apps are, after all, the way that we interact with our friends and family, so it’s an easy and natural transition to use these as a means to communicate with businesses too.</p> <h3>Frictionless customer-to-business interaction</h3> <p>Despite all the best intentions, barriers to successful customer interaction remain, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Menus or difficulties finding relevant information on websites. To combat this, we found that messaging channels enable consistent, frictionless interactions.</p> <p>One benefit of is that customers can easily share photos or videos with our customer care agents – just like sharing photos with their friends. This enables our teams to best respond to questions in real-time, with increased accuracy.</p> <p>Additionally, by using messaging apps, conversations are digitally documented, meaning that consumers can leave a conversation and come back to it as they wish, without losing any of the information they previously shared with us.</p> <h3>Making the most of messenger: Things to keep in mind</h3> <p>Our experience to date has provided some valuable insights and lessons in addition to the obvious benefits. Firstly, we have seen that to truly derive value from instant messaging apps, you need to have a centrally aligned consumer care team. Put simply, it’s vital to work closely together with all marketing teams as many questions are the result of wider company activities such as product offers, or campaigns. If this doesn’t happen, you will be unable to respond as rapidly to inbound enquiries on new campaigns or products.</p> <p>We have also seen the importance of being ready for the volume of messages and inbound requests that opening a messaging channel permits. At Philips, instant messages now exceed the volume of inbound messages from some other channels, and this shift has happened very rapidly. Therefore, other businesses considering messaging apps need to be ready and have the resources in place to manage this new conversation flow.</p> <p>Recently, Nielsen found that <a href="https://messenger.fb.com/blog/messenger-highlights-from-f8-2017/">53% of people surveyed</a> stated that they are more likely to do business with an enterprise they can message, highlighting the importance of messenger apps like Facebook and WhatsApp to remain competitive in today’s digital age.</p> <p>For those businesses yet to launch a channel, the message from the Nielsen study comes across loud and clear. Get on board now and reap the rewards that interacting with your consumers via messenger affords or risk falling behind. </p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67697-does-the-rise-of-messaging-apps-mean-brands-need-a-bot-strategy/">Does the rise of messagign apps mean brands need a bot strategy?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68363-will-messaging-apps-be-the-next-walled-gardens/">Will messaging apps be the next walled gardens?</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69564 2017-11-03T16:30:00+00:00 2017-11-03T16:30:00+00:00 10 interesting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Now, let’s not dilly-dally.</p> <h3>Highest H1 on record for UK adspend</h3> <p>Warc’s <a href="http://expenditurereport.warc.com/FreeContent/AA-WARC-Q2-2017-Final.pdf" target="_blank">Expenditure Report</a> has revealed that UK adspend grew 3.7% to £10.8bn during the first six months of 2017, making it the largest H1 total on record.</p> <p>This news has also resulted in an upgraded forecast of 3.1% growth for 2017, which suggests annual spend in excess of £22bn. </p> <p>The report also revealed that 54% of all advertising spend in the first half of the year was generated by digital, with mobile growth of 36.1% being the main contributor to a wider 13% rise in internet spend during the quarter.</p> <h3>89% of viewers see brands that sponsor TV as trustworthy</h3> <p>According to research by <a href="http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/c4-reveals-results-of-biggest-ever-tv-sponsorship-effectiveness-study" target="_blank">Channel 4</a>, consumers typically believe TV sponsorship to be one of the most trustworthy signs within advertising.</p> <p>In a survey over 80,000 people, nine in 10 television viewers said they consider brands sponsoring programmes to be more trustworthy than those engaged in other forms of advertising. Meanwhile, three-quarters think sponsorship is a more expensive form of advertising, therefore leading 91% to perceive sponsoring brands as more premium.</p> <p>The survey also found 9% of viewers now expect this as part of the TV experience, while 80% say these kinds of ads act as a recognisable cue to watch.</p> <h3>Nearly half of marketers are sceptical about AI</h3> <p>A new report by <a href="https://www.resulticks.com/marketingflabtofab.html" target="_blank">Resulticks</a> has revealed that 47% of marketers think artificial intelligence is an overhyped buzzword, while a further 40% are sceptical about the technology.</p> <p>Interestingly, the reason the majority of marketers believe this is due to AI technology feeling more visionary than practical, with not enough concrete examples to show any different.</p> <p>The report also revealed that 42% of marketers have no plans to implement artificial intelligence, while some have already abandoned the concept altogether.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0181/AI.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="570"></p> <h3>80% of Christmas shoppers share gift ideas via ‘dark social’</h3> <p>New research from <a href="http://go.radiumone.com/christmas2017" target="_blank">RadiumOne</a> suggests that eight in 10 consumers share information about Christmas gifts via dark social channels like instant messaging apps and email.</p> <p>Its latest report states that 30% of consumers shared more content online over the Christmas period than usual, with 72% of this content being shared via dark channels. This is compared to just 22% of content shared on Facebook. </p> <p>In this sense, dark social is seen as a crucial signal of purchasing intent. RadiumOne found that out of the 50% of people who shared technology gift ideas and 33.3% who shared fashion gifts via dark social, one half and one third of people respectively went on to make purchases in these categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0180/RadiumOne.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="370"></p> <h3>Consumers trust premium publishers more than Facebook and Twitter</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171031005692/en/Sharethrough-Premium-Publishers-Trump-Facebook-Twitter-Trust" target="_blank">Qualtrics</a> survey has revealed that premium publishers rank far ahead of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter when it comes to trust and engagement.</p> <p>In a survey of over 500 UK consumers, 79% of respondents cited trust in the BBC, and 55% cited trust in The Times and The Guardian. Meanwhile, only 36% said they trust news content on Facebook and Twitter. </p> <p>This level of trust is reflected in engagement. Respondents were 48% more likely to actually read an article on The Guardian than on Facebook, with social media activity more geared towards scrolling through news headlines.  </p> <h3>Six in 10 retailers fear high cost of Brexit</h3> <p>Research from <a href="https://blog.rotageek.com/" target="_blank">Rotageek</a> suggests that retailers fear the knock-on effects of Brexit, specifically when it comes to pressure on workforces.</p> <p>65% of retailers say that having the right staff in the right place at the right time is already a struggle. Brexit looks set to increase this challenge, with 58% of British retailers believing it will negatively impact their access to labour. Similarly, 56% of retailers believe Brexit will put extra pressure on their workforces.</p> <p>In order to combat this, retailers suggest that digital staff scheduling could alleviate some of this pressure – 57% say it could increase staff happiness and 54% say it could make staff feel empowered.</p> <h3>Brits average Christmas spend set to rise 12.5%</h3> <p>Adobe’s Digital Insights report suggests that Brits will spend even more this Christmas than the last.</p> <p>A survey revealed that consumers will spend an average of £1,963 each during the festive period – an increase of 12.5% on 2016. This also means that Brits will outspend their European counterparts, with respondents in France anticipating a spend of €498, and German consumers expecting €565.</p> <p>It also appears an increasing number of Brits will be shopping via digital channels. UK consumers expect to spend 53% of their Christmas budget online, while 21% expect to spend more online than last year. Finally, 47% believe the ideal Christmas shopping experience would be entirely online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0182/christmas_shopping__2_.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>68% of digital managers think internal silos are harming CX</h3> <p>New research from Inviqa has revealed that organisations are failing to align business strategy and digital delivery, leading to customer experiences suffering as a result.</p> <p>The ‘<a href="https://inviqa.com/whitepaper/mind-digital-gap" target="_blank">Mind the Digital Gap</a>’ report says 68% of digital managers think internal structures negatively affect their organisation’s ability to deliver effective customer journeys, while 53% believe their organisations are failing to balance day-to-day business operations with investment in digital innovation.</p> <p>When it comes to the biggest obstacle to achieving a powerful customer experience, most digital managers cited a ‘lack of internal agreement on where to focus efforts and resource’. Similarly, the majority named the ‘time it takes to deliver digital initiatives’ as the biggest obstacle to achieving business goals.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0179/Silos.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="462"></p> <h3>Amazon is most trusted tech brand for US consumers</h3> <p>In a survey of over 1,500 US consumers, Amazon was named as the most-trusted tech brand - more than others including Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.</p> <p>What’s more, The Verge found Amazon to be the tech brand most likely to be recommended to friends and family, as well as the brand consumers would miss the most if it were to disappear. In contrast, Twitter was found to be the company that respondents would not recommend and miss the least.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the survey revealed that consumers trust Facebook less than Google, with trust also being the primary factor for individuals boycotting Facebook entirely.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0178/The_Verge.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="469"></p> <h3>Amazon’s advertising services grew 58% in Q3</h3> <p>In other Amazon news, its latest <a href="https://seekingalpha.com/article/4117120-amazon-com-amzn-q3-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single" target="_blank">quarterly figures</a> have revealed a revenue growth of 34% year on year. The company’s advertising services has contributed significantly to this, with ad revenue growing 58% to reach $1.12bn in Q3.</p> <p>While this is rather meagre compared to the likes of Facebook’s $9bn in Q2 ad sales, it certainly shows a promising rate of progress.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69554 2017-11-03T11:05:06+00:00 2017-11-03T11:05:06+00:00 A B2B lead gen case study: Which channels achieve the most qualified leads? Jack Ford <p>Best practice tips are heartily encouraged, but this is more about showing you what we did and the results we achieved.</p> <p>A few months ago I wrote my first <a href="http://www.salecycle.com/the-cart-abandonment-email-playbook/" target="_blank">marketing eBook</a> for SaleCycle (yay go me!) and launched an online lead generation campaign including paid social media and third-party publishers. The goal was to generate as many <strong>qualified</strong> leads as possible. </p> <p><em>N.B. I also used email, PPC and retargeting campaigns but wanted to focus this post on social media and third-party lead generation as these seemed the hardest to find numbers on.</em></p> <h3>The channels </h3> <ul> <li>Twitter (promoted tweet and lead generation card)</li> <li>Facebook (lead generation ad)</li> <li>LinkedIn (sponsored content)</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0066/1.LinkedIn_Playbook_Ad.png" alt="LinkedIn Sponsored Ad" width="566" height="479"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0067/2._Twitter_lead_gen_card.png" alt="Twitter Lead Generation" width="611" height="435"></p> <p>I used two separate third-party publishers to promote the eBook to their database, one primarily with US contacts and the other with a UK bias.</p> <h3>The other kit</h3> <p>For the landing pages for the eBook I used the excellent <a href="https://unbounce.com/" target="_blank">Unbounce</a> integrated with our marketing automation software <a href="https://www.pardot.com/" target="_blank">Pardot</a>.</p> <p>I tried to set myself some benchmarks for these activities in terms of total number of leads I could expect and cost per <strong>qualified</strong> lead. That turned out to be much harder than I’d originally bargained for (i.e. a Google search).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0068/3._Google_search.gif" alt="Google Search" width="786" height="354"></p> <p>Before you inundate me with links that show the cost per lead or cost per action of various lead gen activities (<a href="http://www.wordstream.com/blog" target="_blank">WordStream</a> have got some great posts on these) - note my emphasis on “<strong>qualified</strong>” lead.</p> <h3>The challenges of B2B</h3> <p>Working in B2B marketing often means that not everyone will be the perfect fit as a client, therefore not every lead is going to be qualified.</p> <p>To make sure our clients get the best possible service (not to mention results), we (SaleCycle) target enterprise brands looking to boost their online sales. So that means while we may appeal to smaller companies, it wouldn’t make business-sense for either of us to work together. (No hard feelings though).</p> <p>This is the first job I’ve had where we’ve had to pass potential customers on to someone else who can better meet their needs (or most commonly; budgets). It took a while to get used to, but when you see the numbers behind it all, it makes sense for us.</p> <p>For a first pass of qualifying marketing leads we use traffic estimators such as <a href="https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo" target="_blank">Alexa</a> and <a href="https://www.similarweb.com/" target="_blank">SimilarWeb</a>. Neither are 100% perfect so we throw in some common sense and brand “X factor” into the mix too.</p> <p>However this challenge came through in bucketfuls during my lead generation campaign for the eBook. Let’s look at some of the numbers...</p> <p><em>So as not to give away all the ingredients in SaleCycle’s “secret marketing sauce” these numbers are taken from the first $1,300 (or £1,000) spent in each channel. There’s no discernible increase or decrease in effectiveness for the spend after this, so these are pretty close to being representative numbers and percentages.</em></p> <h3>How much exposure did each channel provide? (per $1,300 spent)</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0069/4_Ad_views_and_ctr.jpg" alt="Ad Views and CTR" width="550" height="369"></p> <p>Twitter was able to provide the largest audience for our ads, with the (now discontinued) lead generation card giving the biggest reach - almost a hundred times bigger than the UK publisher. However this smaller and more targeted audience generates a much better click through rate than its competitors.</p> <p>This small audience was made up of people who had visited the publisher’s ecommerce topic pages in the last 30 days. This really matched with our target market and goes beyond the usual “60% of subscribers are client-side” demographics usually provided.</p> <p><em>For the lead generation ads on Twitter and Facebook I’ve not included a CTR as the action is in the ad not on a landing page.</em></p> <h3>What about the downloads?</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0071/6._Downloads.jpg" alt="Downloads" width="550" height="460"></p> <p>Okay, so this table is almost like "the upside down" from Stranger Things when you compare the ranking for views with the ranking for conversion rate. On the surface it looks rosy for the social media channels with lots of views and a good number of downloads. But something unseemly is going on with the conversion %. </p> <p>In comparison, the publishers are setting world records for conversion rates from their subscribers.</p> <p>But at the end of the day I’m looking for qualified leads so the social media channels still have the highest chance of providing these.</p> <h3>Where is the quality?</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0072/8._Leads.jpg" alt="Leads" width="550" height="369"></p> <p>Well that didn’t quite work out for the social behemoths did it? Really small numbers of qualified B2B leads coming via Twitter and Facebook despite a healthy number of downloads.</p> <p>For these social campaigns I employed the various types of targeting available such as look-a-like followers, followers of relevant accounts, locations, interests, custom audiences etc. It’s disappointing to see that this painstaking work didn’t reap more qualified leads to pass in to our nurture program and primed sales team.</p> <p>It’s certainly an area I need to dig into for my next campaign to understand how this can be improved. I think on reflection, the lead generation card was perhaps not an ideal activity for a B2B campaign targeting business email addresses. It relies on people using their work emails for the social accounts. Something I don’t do.</p> <h3>Where should the money be spent next time?</h3> <p>So after looking through those metrics it’s time to get fiscal...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0073/9._Cost_Per_Lead.jpg" alt="CPL" width="550" height="369"></p> <p>As I mentioned before, this data comes from the first $1,300 (£1,000) spent in each channel, nonetheless the results above are eye-opening.</p> <p>For us the CPL (cost per lead) is the metric we will focus on as a benchmark for future campaigns.</p> <p>I’ve included the cost per download as an email address is often enough for a lead generation campaign, regardless of whether it is a business or personal account. Unsurprisingly (for me at least) the Facebook and Twitter lead generation ads came out as the cheapest per download.</p> <p>However their CPL is so high it’s going to take a serious review of the ads and targeting before I put more money on these channels for a similar campaign. Lots of experts claim Facebook is the place to be for B2B. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0074/10._Google_Facebook_B2B.png" alt="Google FB B2B" width="700"></p> <p>It’s interesting to see that the publishers produced the most economical leads and shows that if you can pinpoint a publisher or two that have the interest of your target market they are a great source of qualified leads. Like any battle-hardened marketer, I did some haggling on their prices to get to something I was comfortable with; a mix of targeting and value for money.</p> <p>Despite being <em>the</em> business network I was fairly (and pleasantly) surprised about the performance of LinkedIn and feel there are more gains to be made there next time. I will be trying out the text ad option for my next campaign to see how the clicks and conversions compare to a sponsored update.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0075/11._LinkedIn_text_ad.png" alt="LinkedIn Text Ads" width="700"></p> <p>The next step of measurement will be for me to keep tracking the value of opportunities and closed deals influenced by these campaigns. It’s currently sitting at over $50,000 for these leads which gives a potential ROI of nearly 700% for the first year of the deals.</p> <p>I don’t have any benchmarks but those numbers make me smile!</p> <h3>What did I learn?</h3> <p>There’s a few quick takeaways that jumped out at me during the campaign that I think are worth sharing and may help other B2B marketers.</p> <h4>1. Be clear on what makes a qualified lead.</h4> <p>The results above show that the social media giants of Facebook and Twitter can easily provide downloads, but don’t appear to be great at targeting qualified B2B prospects.</p> <p>In comparison, the third-party publishers charge per download but some will offer a greater amount of targeting to ensure more of these downloads qualify as leads. The UK publisher used for this campaign provided a really targeted audience and that shows in the results.</p> <h4>2. Stay on top of the social media campaigns.</h4> <p>This one didn’t really hit home until after my campaigns had ended and I was pulling the results together. But it can’t be overstated how easy it is to change and optimize social media lead generation campaigns.</p> <p>I believe I could have generated more leads from these channels if I’d changed the targeting, budget and ads as I learnt more throughout the campaign.</p> <h4>3. Take the time to look at the numbers.</h4> <p>Again, this one only really became clear after the campaign while I was writing this post, but it’s the key one to help me learn for the next campaigns.</p> <p>Without taking the time to review the numbers and what they really boiled down to I could be ploughing my money into Facebook and Twitter; their cost per download is pretty decent and they gave me the biggest reach. But I would have missed the fact that the real gems were the third-party publishers and the opportunity to improve the LinkedIn numbers too.</p> <p>There’s rarely a quiet time to do this kind of analysis but I’m sure it’ll help improve my future campaigns.</p> <h3>What’s next?</h3> <p>I think most of you are more than ready to agree with my opening statement that this post isn’t a how-to or a best practice guide, but I’ve certainly learnt a lot to take into my next campaigns. </p> <p>My three main points to focus on next time will be:</p> <ul> <li>Social media targeting - how can I do it better?</li> <li>Landing pages - how can I increase qualified leads (and decrease the others) at this stage?</li> <li>Results - be more reactive to in-campaign results and trends. Do ads or channels need ditching and switching?</li> </ul> <p>The purpose of this post was to provide a set of numbers other B2B marketers can use to frame their results or help plan their campaigns with. I hope it helps my peers out there. Please let me know any thoughts and don’t be too quick to jump in to point out any glaring rookie-mistakes ;-)</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69396-three-ways-b2b-marketers-can-drive-more-traffic-to-their-sites/"><em>Three ways B2B marketers can drive more traffic to their sites</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69512-b2b-digital-transformation-key-trends-recommendations"><em>B2B Digital Transformation: key trends and recommendations</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69363-how-to-score-more-leads-with-the-b2b-messaging-equation/">How to score more leads with the B2B messaging equation</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69536 2017-10-30T10:00:00+00:00 2017-10-30T10:00:00+00:00 What does Snapchat's Spectacles debacle mean for the future of the company? Patricio Robles <p>The first test of Snap's hardware-focused mission came in the form of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68333-what-brands-need-to-know-about-snapchat-spectacles">Spectacles</a>, a pair of sunglasses equipped with a video camera that records clips, or Snaps, of up to 10 seconds.</p> <p>In development for more than a year, Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel first tested Spectacles while on a trip with his fiancee, and recounted, "It's one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it's another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I'd ever come to feeling like I was there again."</p> <p>With a design that seemed to appeal to Snap's young users and a price tag of just $130 – far lower than <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63292-what-we-learned-from-trying-google-glass/">Google Glass</a> – it appeared that Spectacles had a real shot at success. Long lines at the pop-up vending machines the company initially sold Spectacles through seemed to validate that notion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0019/snapchat_spectacles.png" alt="" width="750" height="428"></p> <p>But fast forward a year and Snap apparently has a huge Spectacles debacle.</p> <p>While Spiegel says that Spectacles sales, which totaled approximately 150,000, exceeded his company's expectations, <a href="https://qz.com/1109292/snapchat-snap-has-hundreds-of-thousands-of-pairs-of-unsold-spectacles/">reports suggest that</a> his company “now has hundreds of thousands of unsold units sitting in warehouses, either fully assembled or in parts” after it “badly overestimated demand” for the devices.</p> <p>What's more, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/less-than-half-of-snapchat-spectacles-owners-used-glasses-after-1-month-2017-10">according to Business Insider</a>, “Snap's internal data showed that well under half of Spectacles owners continued to use the camera-equipped sunglasses after just four weeks.”</p> <p>Ouch.</p> <h3>Bad news for marketers?</h3> <p>At the Vanity Fair's New Establishment conference earlier this month, Spiegel told attendees, “We're just sort of beginning to dabble in hardware," but with Snap <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/08/14/snaps-incredible-vanishing-pile-of-cash/">burning through the cash it raised in its IPO</a>, it's not clear how many chances the company will get to prove that its ambitions as a camera company aren't misplaced.</p> <p>While the reported Spectacles disappointment doesn't directly affect marketers who have flocked to Snap in recent years, the problem for marketers is that if Snap's hardware strategy is a flop, it could call into question the company's future.</p> <p>Afer all, with Snap having already surpassed Twitter, which was previously arguably the strongest competitor to Facebook in the social ad market, a weak and potentially fatally wounded Snap would not only leaving social media marketers more dependent on Facebook ads but strengthen the overall <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69381-the-google-facebook-duopoly-extends-to-mobile-apps-what-can-marketers-do">Facebook-Google duopoly</a> in online advertising.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69530 2017-10-24T09:39:53+01:00 2017-10-24T09:39:53+01:00 Facebook's latest News Feed experiment should concern brands Patricio Robles <p><a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/facebook-news-feed-test-two-separate-feeds-pages/">As detailed by AdWeek</a>, Facebook has confirmed that it's testing a second News Feed that could make it much more difficult for brands to reach users unless they're willing to pay up.</p> <p>Unlike the second News Feed that Facebook <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68966-is-a-second-facebook-news-feed-in-the-works-what-you-need-to-know">previously tested</a>, which displayed content from sources users haven’t Liked or followed, the latest test put content from Facebook Pages in a separate News Feed under an Explore Tab, with the primary News Feed being reserved exclusively for posts from friends.</p> <p>But there's an exception: the primary News Feed also displays ads and promoted posts.</p> <p>In other words, there's no organic News Feed reach under Facebook's test. Brands are effectively shut out from the main News Feed unless they are willing to pay. While their posts do have a home in a second News Feed, it's likely that this feed will attract anywhere near as much attention.</p> <p>According to a statement released by Facebook:</p> <blockquote> <p>With all of the possible stories in each person's feed, we always work to connect people with the posts they find most meaningful. People have told us that they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds. One as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family, and another is a dedicated space for posts from pages. To understand if people like these two different spaces, we will test a few things, such as how people engage with videos and other types of posts.</p> </blockquote> <h3>A big caveat, but a powerful reminder</h3> <p>The good news for brands is that Facebook's experiment is currently limited to the countries of Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka, and the company says it has no plans to roll out the change globally.</p> <p>But the test is also a reminder to brands of the leverage Facebook holds over them. With the flip of a switch, the social networking giant could literally upend their Facebook efforts and make it far more costly for them to reach even the users who follow them on the platform.</p> <p>Evidencing the negative impact of a second News Feed is the fact that already, <a href="https://medium.com/@filip_struharik/biggest-drop-in-organic-reach-weve-ever-seen-b2239323413">according to</a> Filip Struhárik, editor and social media manager at Slovakian newspaper Denník N, the top sixty Facebook Pages in Slovakia have seen their engagement drop four-fold since Facebook began its experiment.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9864/1-iemn_g8rsycjwzbprr4i4a-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="190"></p> <p><em>Engagement on the sixty largest Slovak media Facebook Pages in the wake of the company's News Feed test from CrowdTangle via Filip Struhárik.</em> </p> <p>Obviously, Facebook is not likely to make such drastic changes to the News Feed in core markets unless it has ample evidence that the changes won't have a negative impact, but the mere fact that Facebook is willing to experiment with a change like this in <em>any</em> market raises questions about just how far Facebook might eventually be willing to go.</p> <p>Facebook has been talking a lot about <a href="https://www.recode.net/2017/7/15/15973750/facebook-ads-everywhere-instagram-messenger-whatsapp">its ad load challenges</a> over the past year and it doesn't take much imagination to think the company was contemplating this when it conceived of its ongoing News Feed experiment.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69506 2017-10-13T17:06:59+01:00 2017-10-13T17:06:59+01:00 10 thrilling digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Let’s get down to businesss.</p> <h3>Facebook native videos generate 530% more comments than YouTube</h3> <p>Quintly’s <a href="http://press.quintly.com/159939-530-more-comments-on-facebook-native-videos" target="_blank">latest study</a> involves the analysis of 187,000 Facebook profiles and over 7.5m Facebook posts from January to July 2017.</p> <p>Alongside the discovery that 92% of these profiles used native video, it was found that Facebook native videos resulted in 530% more comments than YouTube videos.</p> <p>Cementing the power of the platform, Quintly also found a 477% higher average share rate for Facebook native videos, and a 168% higher average interaction rate compared to YouTube videos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9710/Quintly.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="704"></p> <h3>Majority of consumers think AI in marketing should be regulated</h3> <p>On the back of Blade Runner 2049’s release, a survey by Syzygy has revealed US and UK attitudes about artificial intelligence.</p> <p>It found that the majority of respondents think AI in marketing should be governed by a key principle from the movie – i.e. that it should be illegal for AI to hide its real identity and impersonate a human. 85% of Brits agree with this sentiment, as do 79% of Americans.</p> <p>The survey also found that 43% of Americans believe AI poses a threat to the long-term survival of humanity, while 17% feel anxious about the rise of the technology.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 92% of Brits believe there should be regulation with a legally-binding code of conduct, while 75% think brands should need explicit consent before using AI in their marketing.</p> <h3>Negative reviews rise in November and December due to delivery issues</h3> <p><a href="https://marketing.trustpilot.com/hubfs/Content%20Marketing/Consumer%20Behavior%20and%20Expectations:%20The%202017%20Holiday%20Season%20Report%20%5BUS%5D.pdf" target="_blank">Trustpilot</a> has analysed data from over a million online reviews left in November and December in both 2015 and 2016.</p> <p>Results show that delivery was the biggest cause of complaints. The most common two-word phrases in one-star reviews were “customer service,” “days later,” and “still waiting” during October to December 2016. The appearance of “delivery” in one-star reviews rose to more than 19% in December – a 13.27% increase since October.   </p> <p>Finally, there were more negative reviews left on 20th December than any other day of the year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9711/Trustpilot.JPG" alt="" width="662" height="612"></p> <h3>Conversion rates on desktop more than double that of mobile</h3> <p>A new study by <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qubit-tackles-product-discovery-on-mobile-with-industry-first-ai-powered-solution-2017-10-11" target="_blank">Qubit</a> has found that mobile commerce still lags behind desktop when it comes to discoverability, conversion, and revenue.</p> <p>In the analysis of data across 35 fashion and cosmetics brands since January of this year, it found traffic to each channel to be about the same – 45.87% on desktop and 44.7% on mobile. However, there are stark differences in other areas.</p> <p>Conversion rates on desktop were found to be 3.35%, while conversion rates on mobile were 1.61%. Similarly, revenue per visitor (RPV) is more than double on desktop – £6.10 vs. £2.66 on mobile.</p> <p>Lastly, the average number of products viewed per customer was also far higher on desktop – 17.99 on desktop and 13.65 on mobile.</p> <h3>Music improves the customer experience in-store</h3> <p>A study by <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171012005445/en/Mood-Media-Sacem-Study-Reveals-Virtues-Music" target="_blank">Mood Media and Sacem</a> suggests that music can improve the customer experience in-store, even in more ‘serious’ sectors such as banking.</p> <p>When measuring the difference music makes in locations where it was not previously used, it found that 70% of customers had a more positive perception of a business’s image when music was playing, and 65% agreed that music helped to differentiate the business from its competition.</p> <p>When sectors like banking and pharmacy were silent, only 33% of customers initially thought adding music would feel appropriate. However, 76% of customers agreed the music was a good addition once it was introduced.</p> <p>Interestingly, customers in banking felt more comfortable having confidential conversations when music was playing in the background.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9709/Mood_Media.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="561"></p> <h3>Global digital payments predicted to reach 726bn transactions by 2020</h3> <p>Capgemini’s <a href="https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.worldpaymentsreport.com%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cnikki.gilliland%40centaurmedia.com%7C835f7751d319493ccb0408d51089e78e%7Cfdd3bf0d1bfa49198a45f1a311d56753%7C0%7C0%7C636433106849505369&amp;sdata=dbsMKux7oiMO67NmPsmgskeBwudEEaA1xjYvM9ubbqs%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">World Payments Report</a> says that global digital payments volumes are predicted to increase by an average of 10.9% in the run up to 2020, reaching approximately 726bn transactions.</p> <p>This is said to be heavily influenced by retail customers, who are increasingly willing to use online and mobile channels to adopt next-generation payment methods.</p> <p>The report also revealed that by 2019, it is estimated that around 50% of transactions carried out using a credit or debit card will be made either online or via mobile.</p> <h3>Fewer marketers see CRO as ‘crucial’ to success</h3> <p>Econsultancy’s Conversion Rate Optimization Report, in association with RedEye, has revealed a dip in the perceived importance of CRO. </p> <p>In a survey of 800 marketers and ecommerce professionals, 38% of respondents said they still see it as ‘important’. However, just 50% now see it as ‘crucial’ – a decline from 55% in 2016. </p> <p>This percentage has fallen even further since 2013, when 59% of professionals cited CRO as ‘crucial’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9708/CRO.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="517"></p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/" target="_blank">full report here</a>.</strong></em></p> <h3>More consumers predicted to shop online this Black Friday</h3> <p>A survey by <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171011005249/en/Market-Track-Study-Give-Online-Retailers%21-Shoppers" target="_blank">Market Track</a> suggests that more consumers will choose to make online purchases this Black Friday, favouring digital commerce over traditional brick and mortar stores.</p> <p>Out of 1,000 people surveyed, 40% of respondents said they expect to shop in physical retail stores on Black Friday. Meanwhile, 30% said the same for Thanksgiving compared with 50% last year.</p> <p>In contrast, 80% said they are likely to purchases from Amazon this year – an increase of 6% from 2016. And while in-store shopping is likely to decline, Walmart came out on top as the top retail destination for the holiday season.</p> <h3>Snapchat is top social platform for US teens</h3> <p>Despite reports that Snapchat usage is declining among <a href="http://mediakix.com/2017/10/top-influencers-instagram-stories-vs-snapchat-study/#gs.otoiTsI" target="_blank">top influencers</a> (with a 33% decrease in usage over the past six months), <a href="http://www.piperjaffray.com/2col.aspx?id=287&amp;releaseid=2306037&amp;title=Survey+Says+Teens+Prefer+Food+over+Clothing%2c+Nike+is+Losing+Its+Heat+and+Streetwear+is+on+the+Rise" target="_blank">Piper Jaffray</a> suggests US teens still can’t get enough of the platform.</p> <p>In a survey of 6,100 US teenagers across 44 states, it found 47% of respondents cite Snapchat as their favourite social media platform – almost twice as many as those who prefer Instagram.</p> <p>Just 9% of teens said they favour Facebook, while 7% said Twitter, and just 1% said Pinterest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9712/Snapchat.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="563"></p> <h3>Interactive video ads boost viewing time by 49% </h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.magnaglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Tremor-IPG-Media-Trial.pdf" target="_blank">Magna</a>, interactive video ads result in a 47% increase in time spent watching compared to non-interactive ads. </p> <p>What’s more, when consumers interact with a 15-second ad, brands can reportedly triple their time spent with consumers. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69479 2017-10-09T14:30:00+01:00 2017-10-09T14:30:00+01:00 A beginner's guide to Facebook Custom Audiences Patricio Robles <p>Here's a look at the different Custom Audiences that Facebook allows marketers to create and some tips to get the most out of Custom Audiences.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Customer File</h3> <p>As the name suggests, a Custom Audience from your Customer File allows marketers to target their existing customers by uploading a list of its customers. This list typically contains unique customer contact information, such as an email address or phone number, but can also include other attributes, such as name, ZIP code, age and date of birth.</p> <p>With this information, Facebook attempts to identify customers who have Facebook accounts so that they can be targeted.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Website</h3> <p>Custom Audiences from your Website allow marketers to retarget Facebook ads to Facebook users who have visited and interacted with their websites. </p> <p>To start, the Facebook Pixel is added to a website, which allows Facebook to track users and match them to their Facebook accounts. To assist with matching, marketers have the option of configuring the Facebook Pixel to have access to information like the user's email address, where available.</p> <p>Once the Facebook Pixel is in place, marketers can create one or more Custom Audiences based on rules (and combinations of rules) that look at users' behavior on the website. For example, marketers can target users who have visited the website within the past X days, who have visited at a certain frequency or who visited specific pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9439/18761933_133200927235063_2653394198052470784_n.png" alt="" width="523" height="495"></p> <p>Marketers can also target users based on events that were tracked by the Facebook Pixel. For example, a Custom Audience could be built for users who added a product to cart, abandoned their cart or completed a purchase.</p> <p>Custom Audiences from your Website is one of the most powerful tools in the Facebook marketer's toolbox. Retailers frequently use it to retarget users who previously demonstrated interest in specific products. Real estate agents use it to retarget to users whose website behavior suggests they might be interested in a specific property. Professional sports teams use it to target previous ticket buyers. And so on and so forth.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Mobile App</h3> <p>Lots of companies have developed mobile apps, but mobile apps present numerous challenges for marketers. Specifically, acquiring app users can be a costly proposition and retention is notoriously difficult.</p> <p>To help marketers address these challenges, Facebook offers marketers the ability to retarget users of their mobile apps through Custom Audiences from your Mobile App. </p> <p>This functions a lot like Custom Audiences from your Website except that these Custom Audiences consist of users who have interacted with a marketer's native mobile app.</p> <p>Custom Audiences from your Mobile App takes advantage of Apple's IDFA (“identifier for advertisers”), Google's Android Advertising ID or Facebook's App User ID to match mobile app users to Facebook accounts.</p> <p>To help marketers create Custom Audiences that are meaningful, Facebook offers a set of standard app events that can be used to target users who have engaged with an app in a particular fashion. For example, standard app events offered to retailers include <em>Search</em>, <em>Add to Cart</em> and <em>Initiate Checkout</em>, while standard app events offered to game developers include <em>Completed Tutorial</em>, <em>Level Achieved</em> and <em>Achievement Unlocked</em>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9486/custom_audiences.png" alt="custom audiences" width="550"></p> <h3>Engagement Custom Audiences</h3> <p>While off-Facebook engagement is obviously important to many if not most marketers, many marketers are highly active on the world's largest social network and therefore might have reasons to target users based on how they interact with them on Facebook.</p> <p>To do that, Facebook offers Engagement Custom Audiences, which allows marketers to build Custom Audiences around on-Facebook interactions related to videos, lead forms, Pages, Canvases, events and Instagram business profile.</p> <p>Depending on the interaction type, Facebook offers marketers the ability to target users who have taken or haven't taken specific actions. For instance, when creating a Custom Audience for users who have interacted with a lead form, marketers can specify a specific lead form. They can also choose to specifically target users who interacted with it in the past X days and either submitted or didn't submit the form.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Store Visits</h3> <p>Facebook's latest Custom Audience offering could prove to be one of its most interesting for businesses that have physical locations.</p> <p>As the name suggests, Custom Audiences from your Store Visits allows marketers to create Custom Audiences consisting of Facebook users who visited one or more of their physical locations. </p> <p>Facebook appears to automatically identify users based on its ability to track their physical movements through the Facebook App. As MarketingLand <a href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-tests-targeting-ads-people-visited-brands-brick-mortar-stores-221585">notes</a>, this is “the same method that Facebook has employed when targeting ads to people near an advertiser’s chosen location and when estimating how many store visits were driven by a brand’s Facebook campaign.”</p> <p>If eventually rolled out widely, Custom Audiences from your Store Visits will give lots of businesses – from local mom-and-pop shops to large, national retailers – the ability to connect the online and offline worlds and reach out to the people who have engaged with them in the real world.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9487/custom_store_visits.jpg" alt="store visits custom audiences" width="600"></p> <h3>Custom Audience Tips and Tricks</h3> <p>While Custom Audiences in all their forms have great potential, there are a number of ways that marketers can maximize the value they get from creating Custom Audiences. These include the use of:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Lookalike Audiences.</strong> Perhaps the biggest bonus to using Custom Audiences is that Facebook can use them to create audiences of users who are similar to the Custom Audiences. This gives marketers the ability to target ads to users who might be more interested in their products and services.</li> <li> <strong>Household Audiences.</strong> In addition to Lookalike Audiences, Facebook also gives marketers the ability to target individuals who it determines are members of the same household as Custom Audience users. This feature, which was unveiled this year, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/facebook-will-soon-let-brands-target-ads-at-entire-families-or-specific-people-within-households/">is pitched</a> by Facebook as a means to “[influence] across the family.”</li> <li> <strong>Targeting.</strong> When creating an ad campaign for a Custom Audience, Facebook offers the ability to further target members of the Custom Audience based on characteristics such as location, age, gender and interests. While marketers should be wary of over-targeting, highly-segmented campaigns based on Custom Audiences can be very powerful when used wisely.</li> </ul> <p>There are also a number of potential gotchas marketers employing Custom Audiences should be aware of. </p> <p>One of the biggest is the potential for overlap when targeting ads to multiple Custom Audiences. Fortunately, Facebook offers an Audience Overlap Tool for determining how much overlap there is between multiple audiences. Armed with this knowledge, marketers can make adjustments to ensure their campaigns aren't being negatively impacted.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9440/13910710_1060868077338367_721590579_n.png" alt="" width="562" height="277"></p> <p>Another caveat, particularly for smaller businesses, is that it can be more difficult to achieve the best results when dealing with very small Custom Audiences. In this case, it's important for marketers using Custom Audiences from your Customer File to ensure that they're uploading refreshed customer files frequently as their customer numbers grow. </p> <p>It can often be advantageous for marketers working with smaller Custom Audiences to look at using Lookalike and Household Audiences.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on paid social media, subscribers can download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-social-media-advertising/">Paid Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4605 2017-09-26T14:23:00+01:00 2017-09-26T14:23:00+01:00 Social Quarterly: Q3 2017 <p>The <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> is a series of presentations by Econsultancy, which curate the latest trends, developments and statistics in social media. The reports focus on distilling the most recent data and trends, aiming to provide a guide to what's happening now in social media and what you should be keeping an eye on.</p> <p>Social media evolves rapidly, and the <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> provides an overview of the latest trends in the industry. It contains information which can be integrated into your own documents, allowing you to prepare a pitch or use internally at a moment's notice.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly examines the current social media landscape, trends and updates on various social platforms and considers what will happen next. Updated four times per year, it will help to quickly surface statistics and trends you can use and react to immediately.</p> <p><strong>This edition of Social Quarterly includes </strong>Facebook’s introduction of new fundraising tools, including the ‘Donate’ button, LinkedIn’s new ‘Audience Network’, a look at Instagram’s updates to Stories and Facebook’s new ‘Watch’ button, amongst other innovations.</p> <p>Bringing to life data from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/">Econsultancy blog</a>, the Social Quarterly is the best of social in an easy-to-digest format.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly will allow you to:</p> <ul> <li>Stay up to date with regular developments across multiple social media platforms.</li> <li>Present and pitch at short notice with clear and effective data.</li> <li>Pinpoint areas in which you want to find out more and use the linked Econsultancy resources and blog posts to do this.</li> <li>Spot potential ways your company could be using social media but is not currently.</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69410 2017-09-11T14:01:00+01:00 2017-09-11T14:01:00+01:00 Verizon wants customers to give up their data for targeted ads, and it's willing to pay Patricio Robles <p>As The Wall Street Journal <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizon-wants-to-build-an-advertising-juggernaut-it-needs-your-data-first-1504603801">detailed</a> on Monday, Verizon has launched a new program called <a href="https://www.verizonwireless.com/rewards/verizon-up/">Verizon Up</a> that offers users rewards like free music, Uber rides, sports gear, coffee and discounts on new phones. There are also "amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences and front-row tickets" to concerts, movies and sporting events.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8822/verizonupreward.png" alt="" width="517" height="368"></p> <p>Verizon boasts that "no points or levels [are] required" in its new rewards program. For every $300 spent on a Verizon Wireless monthly bill, customers receive one credit.</p> <p>Oh, and there's one more thing: to participate in Verizon Up, customers have to opt into Verizon Selects, a program that "uses information about your web browsing, app usage, device location, use of Verizon services and other information about you (such as your postal/email addresses, demographics, and interests) and shares information with Oath (formed by the combination of AOL and Yahoo)" to "personalize your experiences and make advertising you see more useful across the devices and services you use."</p> <p>In other words, to score rewards, Verizon customers have to allow Verizon to use the data it has about them to deliver targeted ads.</p> <h3>A new kind of truth in advertising?</h3> <p>Naturally, Verizon Up is going to have its critics, but the company believes it is actually being more transparent and honest with its customers than many other digital advertising players are with their users.</p> <p>Verizon's CMO, Diego Scotti, pointed to Google and Facebook, telling the Wall Street Journal, "Some of our competitors, they have exactly the same thing, it's just buried in the terms and conditions of the service. We are not hiding anything."</p> <p>It's not a bad point.</p> <p><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69381-the-google-facebook-duopoly-extends-to-mobile-apps-what-can-marketers-do">Google and Facebook</a> are under increasing scrutiny as their digital ad dominance grows. Both companies track users across the web and across devices. And in most cases, average users don't know when they're being tracked or how to control the data collected even when they have the ability to. In July, a judge in California dismissed a lawsuit against Facebook over its tracking of users even when logged out. Users don't have an expectation of privacy, the judge ruled.</p> <p>Google and Facebook, of course, offer a lot of value to users and the argument is that users allow these companies to collect data and advertise to them as payment for their otherwise free services. "If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer, you're the product" the saying goes.</p> <p>For years, some argued that users should be paid for their data as part of a so-called information market. As Vasant Dhar, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business has <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/18/technology/social/facebook-should-pay-you/index.html">argued</a>, Facebook in particular would benefit by being more transparent given the amount and type of data it collects. "If users aren't making a conscious choice about what happens with their data, they end up feeling violated," he stated.</p> <p>But despite years of this kind of talk, there has been literally no movement on the part of advertising giants to compensate their users for their data. Even though its rewards are tied to dollar spend, Verizon Up is arguably one of the first major programs in which a major company is seeking to get customers to voluntarily give up their data for advertising purposes by giving them something of value in return other than access to a free service.</p> <p>Will it work? And will Verizon refuse to take and use valuable data from customers who don't sign up for Verizon Up?</p> <p>How those questions are answered could very well determine if a different future is possible for the digital advertising market.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69408 2017-09-08T09:24:38+01:00 2017-09-08T09:24:38+01:00 Birchbox's UK Managing Director on content, personalisation & forays into physical retail Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently caught up with Savannah Sachs, who is Birchbox’s UK managing director, to gain more insight into this – plus her perspective on personalisation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing">influencers</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/customer-experience/">customer experience</a>. Here’s a run-down of our conversation.</p> <h3>Using content to shape the customer experience</h3> <p>I first asked whether Birchbox sees content as a key differentiator, and something that sets it apart from competitors. Savannah agreed, explaining exactly how this is the case in relation to the brand’s ‘try, learn, and buy’ business model. </p> <p>It all starts with the monthly subscription box, she said, with customers signing up and filling in a beauty profile that includes details such as skin and hair type, beauty concerns, and individual style. From this data, Birchbox is able to send customers five beauty samples every month. </p> <p>The customer experience doesn’t end there. This is where the ‘learn’ part comes in, as each box contains tips and tricks relating to the products inside. This then continues across all of Birchbox’s social and digital channels, allowing customers to tap into content related to the products they’re using in real-time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">How To: shape your brows with a brow pencil <a href="https://t.co/AkBr8rfNHu">https://t.co/AkBr8rfNHu</a> <a href="https://t.co/GvxDJ70zWt">pic.twitter.com/GvxDJ70zWt</a></p> — Birchbox (@BirchboxUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/BirchboxUK/status/877188062543065088">June 20, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Savannah explained that this is important because – while beauty is part of their life – customers are also likely to be busy and looking for more convenient ways to make beauty easy and fun. </p> <p>Finally, the ‘buy’ part of the business model is how the brand offers a really seamless path to purchase, with its relating ecommerce store offering an easy way for customers to buy full-sized items they might have tried in a box.</p> <blockquote> <p>We really see Birchbox as offering a 360-degree customer experience, with content being one of its core elements.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Creating personalisation that disappears</h3> <p>So where does personalisation come into play?</p> <p>Savannah explained how the beauty profile allows Birchbox to serve the most relevant content to individual customers. By stipulating what beauty products will suit them or that they’d like to try, Birchbox is able to tailor products and recommendations, also meaning each person will get a different box to their best friend, for instance.</p> <p>Alongside the benefit for customers, this also gives Birchbox’s brand partners a really powerful opportunity to target new customers.</p> <p>For example, Birchbox recently worked with Estee Lauder to specifically target a younger demographic in the UK. It sent products to customers between the ages of 24 and 34, as Estee Lauder particularly wanted to focus on millennials. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8809/estee_lauder.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="516"></p> <p>As well as introducing younger consumers to something they might not have considered before, the initiative was hugely beneficial for Estee Lauder, allowing it to align a new product launch and marketing strategy with a super-targeted demographic. </p> <p>Birchbox also takes a channel-by-channel approach to personalising content. For example, it recognises that Instagram Stories is more fun and playful, so it uses this channel to post raw, unedited, and spur-of-the-moment content. </p> <p>In contrast, it typically uses a more educational approach for its online blog, perhaps taking a deep-dive on a specific product. Essentially, it takes into account how long users spend on a particular channel as well as what they’re looking for from each.</p> <p>Another example of this is how Birchbox recently created a personalised email campaign focusing on skin type.</p> <p>Customers are able to pick a product in their beauty box each month – in July, it was offering the chance to pick between two different shades of a Benefit tint. In order to help customers choose the right shade for them, each email contained an image of a woman with a skin tone that matched the customer’s own, based on data from their beauty profile. From this, they could then easily see which product might look the best on them, without too much thought or deliberation.</p> <p>This is an example of what Birchbox calls ‘personalisation that disappears’.</p> <blockquote> <p>It is seamless, easy and feels right. It doesn’t require any work from the customer other than filling in their beauty profile – we then make use of that data throughout the customer journey.</p> </blockquote> <h3>The importance of user generated content</h3> <p>User-generated content is also critical for Birchbox. Savannah explained how the brand considers its subscribers to be its influencers, and a powerful way to help its growth. This is because Birchbox drives a good amount of acquisition organically, but also because word-of-mouth helps to make its paid acquisition activity much more efficient. </p> <p>In order to generate this type of content, the brand is focused on creating a monthly box experience that customers love and will want to share with friends on their social channels. In also means asking questions like ‘what’s going to make this month's box design super Instagrammable?’ or ‘why would a person feel proud to show this off?’</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8806/Birchbox_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="500"></p> <p>Next, it focuses on amplifying this organic word of mouth – and that’s typically been done via Facebook and Instagram, where the brand focuses the majority of its paid acquisition work. That being said, Birchbox is not entirely against using paid influencers to help attract new customers, doing so on a relatively small scale.</p> <p>Interestingly, Savannah said that the reason that it prefers user-generated content over paid influencers is all down to targeting. It aims to target a different kind of customer than other traditional beauty brands. </p> <p>Instead of the ‘beauty junkie’ – someone who is knowledgeable, trend-aware, and who follows all the top influencers – Birchbox is going after the ‘beauty majority’.</p> <p>This is because while the beauty junkie spends a lot of her disposable income on cosmetics, research indicates that she only makes up about 20% of women. In contrast, the more casual beauty consumer – who is willing to invest but needs help to figure out what’s right for her – makes up the rest. This consumer truly values having Birchbox as a sort of ‘beauty editor best friend’, to recommend and steer her in the right direction. </p> <blockquote> <p>In terms of appealing to this customer profile, Birchbox strives to be approachable, meaning it makes more sense to focus on the everyday woman rather than the expert influencer.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Translating the CX offline</h3> <p>Birchbox has a physical retail store in New York City, with imminent plans to open one in Paris. </p> <p>I asked Savannah how Birchbox is able to translate the customer experience into physical retail, especially considering that part of its USP is all about the convenience of delivery and laid-back discovery. In this sense, will customers seek out physical stores? </p> <p>Savannah assured me that, as a company which is about driving discovery and purchase online, Birchbox will always be digital-first. However, taking into consideration everything it has learned about its customer-base, it also realised that it has something quite unique to offer in terms of a bricks and mortar experience. </p> <p>The main innovation of its physical stores is that it does in fact mirror the online shopping experience. Its stores are merchandised by product type and category rather than brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8804/Birchbox_bricks_and_mortar.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="442"></p> <p>The reason being is that it does not believe the beauty majority has enough expertise to walk into a department store, with tens of thousands of products merchandised by brand, and know where to start. Instead, the beauty majority walks into a store and thinks ‘I’d love to get a new mascara’ or ‘I’ve never used a highlighter – where do I begin?’. </p> <p>It’s much easier to go to a shelf with all the mascaras side by side, to touch and try and compare. And albeit without the touch element, that’s exactly how customers navigate online shopping. </p> <blockquote> <p>An online customer will click into make-up, then eyes, then mascara – they would not typically navigate by brand. Our key innovation is bringing that online experience and navigation into the brick and mortar store – to make it easy for the customer to find the right product for them.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Channels of focus</h3> <p>I finished by asking Savannah where Birchbox’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content strategy</a> might be heading next. </p> <p>Interestingly, she cited Facebook Live as a big focus. The brand currently streams on the platform once a week, typically using a casual, Q&amp;A-style format to encourage interaction. Videos are always fronted by Birchbox employees to make it feel authentic and approachable. </p> <p>It’s clear the channel is proving successful. Birchbox now sees about 4x the engagement on Facebook Live than it does for other types of Facebook content. What’s more, its Facebook Live content is getting about 5x the views and engagement as it did a year ago.  </p> <p>A recent Facebook Live called ‘Three ways to mermaid’ generated 18,000 views, proving that there is an appetite for this kind of fun and lightweight content. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBirchboxUK%2Fvideos%2F1415131011870060%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Finally, mobile is also an incredibly important focus for Birchbox, with 65% of UK traffic coming from mobile devices. Savannah emphasised that everything the brand does from a content perspective has to be mobile-first. While cutting down on copy, making sure images are optimised, and limiting vertical scroll is not rocket science, these elements are vital to the customer experience.</p> <p>Similarly, in order to truly engage customers, the content needs to be relevant to where they’re going to view it, and that is increasingly on a smartphone. </p> <blockquote> <p>Something that’s core to our overall strategy, but specifically in terms of digital content and social, is making sure everything we do is optimised for mobile.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong> Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69016-why-beauty-brands-are-betting-on-augmented-reality">Why beauty brands are betting on augmented reality</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68689-how-the-beauty-industry-is-embracing-the-internet-of-things">How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67884-seven-ways-social-media-is-shaping-the-beauty-industry">Seven ways social media is shaping the beauty industry</a></em></li> </ul>