tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/messaging Latest Messaging content from Econsultancy 2016-02-22T14:51:25+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67551 2016-02-22T14:51:25+00:00 2016-02-22T14:51:25+00:00 Private messaging is social's next big ad frontier Patricio Robles <p><a href="http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/18/facebook-messenger-ads/">According to</a> a document obtained by TechCrunch, Facebook plans to bring ads to Messenger, its messaging app, in the second quarter of the year:</p> <blockquote> <p>The document...says businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who previously initiated a chat thread with that company. To prepare, the document recommends that businesses get consumers to start message threads with them now so they'll be able to send them ads when the feature launches.</p> <p>The document also notes that Facebook has quietly launched a URL short link fb.com/msg/ that instantly opens a chat thread with a business. Facebook confirmed the existence of the URL short link functionality. That seems to back up the validity of the leaked document.</p> </blockquote> <p>Those short links are already active and available to all Pages. According to TechCrunch's Josh Constine and Jon Russell, Facebook is already working with a number of brands, including Canadian telecom provider Rogers, to use the short links for customer service use cases.</p> <p>Interestingly, according to the document they obtained, "If businesses achieve a 90 percent response rate to messages within 24 hours over the past week, their Messenger handle will become searchable on Facebook."</p> <p>What isn't clear at this point is what Messenger ads will look like and what restrictions Facebook will place on their use beyond limiting ads to users they've interacted with previously.</p> <p>Ostensibly there will be some restrictions designed to ensure that overzealous businesses don't bombard users with unwanted ads. </p> <p><em>For more on this, read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67553-what-will-facebook-messenger-ads-mean-for-marketers/">What will Facebook Messenger ads mean for marketers?</a></em></p> <h3>Twitter joining the messaging wars?</h3> <p>While Facebook appears to be prepping to make Messenger more business-friendly, Twitter looks like it is preparing to make its service more messaging-oriented and business-friendly as well.</p> <p>On Thursday, in an effort to better support customer service use cases, Twitter <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/2016/making-customer-service-even-better-on-twitter">announced</a> that it has launched the ability to add deep links to tweets that initiate Direct Messages.</p> <p>To enable this feature, a business must update its privacy settings to allow Direct Messages from all users.</p> <p>After that, deep links can be added to tweets by adding a link with the format <em>https://twitter.com/messages/compose?recipient_id={numeric user ID}</em></p> <p>In addition, Twitter announced a new feature, Customer Feedback, that gives businesses the opportunity to poll users after a customer service interaction.</p> <p>Initially set to launch with select partners, Twitter hopes that Customer Feedback will help brands obtain quantitative data about these interactions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2122/NPSFeedbackhalf.gif" alt="" width="199" height="353"></p> <p>"Care teams have told us they love the open-ended feedback they get from people via Tweets and Direct Messages, but they also need the ability to survey customers in a structured way to better measure and improve their service experience," Twitter product manager Ian Cairns explained.</p> <blockquote> <p>With this feature, businesses will be able to use two industry standard question formats: Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).</p> </blockquote> <h3>How will users react?</h3> <p>While there is no disputing the fact that large numbers of consumers are using social channels for customer service, and are interacting with brands generally on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it's not clear that they'll welcome the growing commercialization of messaging experiences that are largely personal today.</p> <p>Facebook in particular could be courting a backlash by introducing ads to Messenger.</p> <p>WhatsApp founder Jan Koum, who joined Facebook's board of directors after <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67536-three-dark-social-channels-with-a-billion-active-users-how-to-use-them/">WhatsApp</a> was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn, previously voiced opposition to ads.</p> <p>So did Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who stated, "I don't personally think ads are the right way to monetize messaging" after his company bought WhatsApp.</p> <p>But with <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/01/heres-to-2016-with-messenger/">more than 800m</a> active users each month, it's going to be increasingly difficult for Facebook to ignore Messenger's ad monetization opportunities.</p> <p>Of course, if Facebook doesn't tread carefully as it explores these, and users revolt, it could make it more difficult for businesses to use Facebook to provide customer service.</p> <p>After all, if people become aware of the fact that their customer service interactions are what allow for ads to be delivered to them via Messenger later, they might avoid using Facebook for customer service altogether.</p> <p>Another possibility is that social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and their business users, will find ways to embed ads in messaging experiences in ways that don't turn users off.</p> <p>For inspiration, they might look to the East, where popular Chinese messenger apps <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat">like WeChat</a> are much advanced when it comes to monetization.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66952 2015-09-25T14:30:00+01:00 2015-09-25T14:30:00+01:00 How brands can build brilliant customer relationships Jen Todd Gray <p>Consumers have endless choices and only open their wallets for the brands they really love, ones they feel they can relate to, and ones they feel care about them. </p> <p>With this in mind, it’s important for marketers to start thinking less as big companies and more as friends of their customers.</p> <p>Formal language is long gone, ads are featuring 'normal people' and in-store employees are working with shoppers by name.</p> <p>This is a transition that consumers are welcoming, and we’re only continuing to see more brands jumping on board.</p> <p>The brand-consumer relationship is growing closer; in order to stand out, you better buddy up.</p> <h3><strong>Speak their language</strong></h3> <p>To relate to customers, it’s a wise idea to familiarize yourself with 'what the kids are sayin' and how they’re saying it.</p> <p>Recently, brands have been doing this in spades. IHOP’s “Pancakes on fleek” was the tweet heard round the world, cementing the brand’s reputation as charming, funny and relatable.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pancakes on fleek.</p> — IHOP (@IHOP) <a href="https://twitter.com/IHOP/status/524606157110120448">October 21, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p>Taco Bell’s Twitter operates similarly, engaging with consumers on any and all topics. What sets Taco Bell apart from how brands have operated on social historically is a willingness to interact on topics beyond just customer service (the norm for many other brands on the platform). Taco Bell tweets at you like your best friend would. </p> <p>Also, Chevy shook up how we view press releases earlier this year, when they issued a news release published entirely in emoji.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7314/_ChevyGoesEmoji.png" alt="" width="658" height="806"></p> <p>As a marketer, it’s understood that press releases won’t get your news in front of your customers, but with Chevy’s foray into emojis, not only did customers take notice of their new vehicle, but it put Chevy on the map as a fun, approachable brand.</p> <h3><strong>Showcase your customers</strong></h3> <p>Marketers realize that in order to appeal to customers, those customers have to be able to imagine themselves using your brand. It sounds simple, but the execution can be difficult.</p> <p>Instead, take a page from brands like Gap, Dove and Apple and put your customers front and center, spotlighting them in your marketing.</p> <p>Gap Casting Call allowed parents to submit photos of their children for a chance to have them included in Gap’s campaigns.</p> <p>Dove has been highly celebrated for eschewing typical models in its Real Beauty campaign and instead featuring everyday women with a variety of body types, a move that has solidified it as a beloved brand, celebrating its customers of all shapes and sizes.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XpaOjMXyJGk?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Another way to show your customer appreciation is to spotlight how customers engage with your brand. Apple replaced its usual ads with photos taken by everyday users on the iPhone. By highlighting users by name, consumers feel closer to the brand and appreciated for their talents.</p> <h3><strong>Have a hospitality mentality</strong></h3> <p>Many of the most elite hotels, resorts and restaurants are well known for the personal touches they impart on the customer experience.</p> <p>Greeting a guest by name without an introduction, remembering personal preferences and catering to special requests are all par for the course in the hospitality industry, and offer lessons for marketers of all brands.</p> <p>In order to win extra points and ultimately brand loyalty with your customers, it’s all about improvingthe experience you’re delivering.</p> <p>For instance, when shopping at retail stores, many brands have in-store associates introduce themselves and then refer to customers by name throughout the shopping process.</p> <p>Personal styling service StitchFix sends a personalized letter with each shipment, explaining why each piece in the package was selected specifically for you.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7315/Stitch-Fix.png" alt="" width="930" height="538"></p> <p>Online, algorithms like the ones Amazon has become famous for, offer suggestions for customers based on his or her prior purchases. These sorts of personal touches make consumers feel cared for individually, rather than just being one in a sea of other shoppers.</p> <p>We know that consumers expect more from the brands they know. They expect personality, attention, respect, and appreciation. With this in mind, brands will need to rise to the occasion to emerge on top.</p> <p>In fact, advancements in technology may be the key to truly drilling down on how to properly care for consumers.</p> <p>Imagine a world where we can offer unique greetings and product recommendations to each customer, both online and in-store automatically.</p> <p>While we wait for this to be the ultimate in delivering an uber-personalized experience, much is possible now through learning about your consumers through gathering their preferences and communicating to them through your app, iBeacons on location and personalized communications via wearables.</p> <p>It’s wise to look into your own marketing strategy and ensure you’re delivering on these customer experience expectations at every junction.</p> <p><em>You can learn even more about engaging customers on social at our two day <a href="http://ecly.co/1EmHi7L">Festival of Marketing</a> event in November. Book your ticket today and head to the Social stage to learn how to manage brand perception and reach new audiences.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66824 2015-08-19T09:20:00+01:00 2015-08-19T09:20:00+01:00 Key social media statistics from Ofcom's Communications Market Report James Ellis <p>Ofcom’s data shows the prevalence of social media in daily life, with 72% of adult internet users having a social media profile.</p> <p>As with other trends it becomes more pronounced the younger the audience: 93% of 16-24 year olds have at least one social media profile. </p> <p>Facebook remains by far the largest social media property in the UK, and has developed its ‘constellation’ of apps through its acquisitions of Whatsapp and Instagram, and the development of Facebook Messenger. </p> <p><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/wFQgonWDFGmB81Zs_KIF0hJV6WmCgk8X8awvrjj4sSQhbVV7aTWDzgBJD7y6gtEPaGZRBv5bOzqts42P6zr_ap48pkiWfsEImpL3WLSYm-9m_NBbmOfzopcJWuk0kS-ZQej-pgs" alt="" width="602px;" height="368px;"></p> <p>Young adults aged 16-24 have a more extensive breadth of use of social media and are adopting newer sites and services such as Twitter (40%), WhatsApp (37%), YouTube (32%), Instagram (35%), Snapchat (26%), Tumblr (8%) and Vine (4%).</p> <p>However, the majority (97%) of all adults aged 16+ with a social media profile say they use Facebook, and close to half (48%) of those with a profile say they have one only on Facebook.</p> <p>Facebook is also used most on a daily basis across all adults, with 20% of adults saying they use it more than 10 times a day. </p> <p>Aside from being the most popular social media site, Facebook is also used most intensively for any web property across all adults.</p> <h3>Frequency of use</h3> <p>In March 2015, UK visitors to Facebook’s services spent 51bnn minutes on them across desktop, laptop and mobile devices. In contrast, the multiplatform audience spent 34bn minutes on Google’s properties. </p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/27iB2XcRmgh2ujd4sU951-IbgwTT9Ud6cAlVAP_2BthvjD7lGCdcJSoJ7zN1NZrTqEaGF5BJnf72owPClrxFF6EaiTWmxpom0WHh-mIIrHiH0hQRcoUbc7HK0WXIe8UuZeahBD4" alt="" width="602px;" height="427px;"> </p> <p>The usage profile changes considerably with age.</p> <p>For a much younger audience of 12-15 year olds, Snapchat is the most intensively used social app, with nearly a quarter (24%) of the audience saying they use it more than 10 times a day.</p> <p>Facebook properties still feature very highly, with 50% of the audience saying they use it two or more times a day, and Instagram and Whatsapp being the third and fifth most used apps respectively.</p> <p><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Rzvuwi--qUNTo7kS5FTVkHwtyQLrlUCCcYcJ11Qgs6iK6l09rSNAf5RaP2rGdLGjUzVKpr_0QZr4h0hjVqDpwp554xycDFmYiA5QYJ5lkXjqtbzzzAPMws_xO8ILXB0A_HA0eDA" alt="" width="602px;" height="401px;"> </p> <h3>Twitter</h3> <p>Although Twitter does not feature highly for the youngest audience surveyed, it is popular with older audiences having the second biggest digital audience after Facebook, with 26% of the adult population having an account. </p> <p>This rises to two-fifths (40%) among younger adults aged 16-24. More than half of Twitter users (56%) use it daily, and one in 10 (11%) use it more than 10 times a day. </p> <p>Among the 40% of online adults who claim to use Twitter, the majority of them (90%) have created an account.</p> <p>Apart from retweeting, news is the topic that people are most likely to tweet about, with a third (33%) doing this. </p> <p>This is followed by complaints or frustrations, with a quarter (24%) tweeting about this.</p> <p>Younger people seem to be much more comfortable using Twitter, with 34% of 16-24 year olds using Twitter to voice complaints/frustrations.</p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8hH4aAbzJNpsX5H5M_mOLUjOVaCprTjLxhBnPyTOZNgWMtrTOQ_Pnw4yUUtux-H7IM0GTQOiNyRXAanhJUAInwwHn4nNtGmx7yN5GYUfySo3XHG8GH0GlLPGtDvKysVyaB-azgSv" alt="" width="602px;" height="385px;"></p> <h3>Hooked on social media</h3> <p>As with mobile, people have become ‘hooked’ on social, with one in five online adults (22%) indicating a rating of between 7 and 10 on a 10-point scale (where 1 equated to ‘I’m not at all hooked on social media’ up to 10 ‘I’m completely hooked on social media’).</p> <p>Dependency on social media is correlated to age, with two in five (41%) 16-24 year olds giving a 7-10 ‘hooked on’ rating, falling to 6% among over-55s.</p> <p><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/ZFh_2tvhpuyXh-65QdrBzABGJXzwhcZ1p4HTo1ij-Qy8UXTHpsDVqMqdLtcONNG18PXyXI_zNOzMVd7H0d2jmN-48O4s4zxSdBStBorc60IESBl6V4lWWroDMgpPHCSvvYSrOAI" alt="" width="602px;" height="419px;"></p> <p>The social media landscape has changed significantly since the early days of Facebook.</p> <p>This year’s Ofcom report shows that social is now practically synonymous with mobile, the three top downloaded apps in 2014 belong to Facebook, and the fourth was YouTube.</p> <p>With social replacing some traditional media behaviours, understanding social behaviour is crucial for marketers wanting to reach audiences.</p> <h3>For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           </h3> <p>Download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/?utm_source=Econ%20Blog%20&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=BLOGSTATS">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>, a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.</p> <p>It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66668 2015-07-16T16:05:00+01:00 2015-07-16T16:05:00+01:00 Four ecommerce tech trends to watch in 2015 Jen Todd Gray <p>Although it's one of the most important times for driving revenue, the holiday season is difficult for brands to set themselves apart from competitors and connect with customers in meaningful ways. </p> <p>Therefore it’s important for marketers to harness emerging technology to drive customer engagement.</p> <p>From receipt validation to building sharable content, brands have more tools at their disposal than ever before as they prep their strategies for the biggest spending season of the year.</p> <p>Let’s take a look at how brands can use current technology trends to help them rise above the noise during December.</p> <h3><strong>Integrated wishlists</strong></h3> <p>Brands are making it easier than ever for customers to share their favorite finds with loved ones with wishlist functionality integrated into their websites, apps and social channels.</p> <p>Capitalizing on the success of social networks like Pinterest, brands need to allow customers to seamlessly share desired wishlist items across Twitter, Facebook and email, taking the guess work out of holiday shopping and drawing more eyes on (and directly to) company offerings.</p> <p>Amazon recently made headlines with its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64793-amazonbasket-is-it-anything-more-than-a-gimmick">Twitter integration</a>, which allows consumers to tweet their favorite items with a designated hashtag to have the product added to their Amazon Wish List. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iAm6pa9hPKA?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="300"></iframe></p> <h3><strong>Receipt validation</strong></h3> <p>Just because a brand made the sale doesn’t mean they should stop there.</p> <p>Brands must create ways throughout the holiday season to reward customers for their continued loyalty. Receipt validation in particular has grown easier than ever thanks to mobile integration.</p> <p>Customers can simply scan or upload photos of receipts of recent purchases for the chance to win prizes, earn rewards and more. This not only delights shoppers, but allows marketers to track consumer trends. </p> <p>Last January, Clorox invited customers to enter a $1,000 monthly sweepstakes by submitting a receipt showing purchases of two Clorox products. Customers could also win additional entries for daily site visits to keep the excitement going past the sale.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5240/clorox_reciept.png" alt="" width="389" height="630"></p> <p>Validation campaigns like this heighten sales, provide opportunities to build CRM data, while using a 'chance-to-win' call-to-action to keeps brands top of mind.</p> <p>By inviting customers to submit receipts, brands are also presented with a plethora of customer data, allowing them to fine tune campaigns and product offerings.</p> <h3><strong>Apple Watch</strong></h3> <p>After much anticipation, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66342-the-apple-watch-bringing-marketers-closer-to-customers-than-ever-before">Apple Watch made its debut in April</a>, allowing marketers unprecedented connections to their customers.</p> <p>Since then scores of brands have jumped onboard, creating apps that engage with customers on a hyper-personal level.</p> <p>Recently, Degree deodorant launched its Sweat This, Not That app, <a href="http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/20297.html">a 30-day fitness challenge for Watch OS</a> that invites consumers to complete personalized workouts each day.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5241/fitness_app.jpg" alt="" width="420" height="525"></p> <p>Sporting goods brands can follow in Degree’s footsteps by prompting users to complete daily fitness routines in exchange for timely coupons and the chance to win a holiday shopping spree.</p> <h3><strong>Mobile countdowns and geolocation</strong></h3> <p>Mobile devices have given retailers accessibility to driving in-the-moment in store visits. Target’s Watch OS app allows users to build shopping lists on their Apple Watch and then guides them to items when in-store based on their current locations. A great idea to create themed holiday shopping lists and delight frazzled customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5242/target.png" alt="" width="400" height="680"></p> <p>Brands can also utilize geolocation features by creating mobile countdowns to major holidays.</p> <p>Invite customers to visit stores to receive exclusive timely deals. Each day, share a new mobile coupon while customers are in-store. They have to be there to receive it!</p> <p>Select random days to supplement the campaign with text-to-win initiatives with prizes presented in certain day parts. By using geolocation to reward in-store shoppers with coupons, brands can direct shoppers to sections that may not be hot while driving excitement about the holiday shopping season.</p> <p>By thinking strategically about how emerging trends can play a role in seasonal outreach, marketers can continue to bridge the gap between brand and consumer and ensure that the holiday season is as merry as can be.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66486 2015-06-01T10:00:00+01:00 2015-06-01T10:00:00+01:00 Stats: The growing and enduring appeal of messaging apps Luke Richards <p>The app-related stats which jumped out at me this month, however, concern those from the messaging category.</p> <p>Key services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and SnapChat are increasingly becoming household names, and I wanted to delve deeper into their growth and their ongoing appeal.</p> <h3><strong>Young people driving growth</strong></h3> <p><a title="Pew Internet Teenage Messaging App Use" href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/" target="_blank">Recent US-focused data from Pew Research Center</a> digs into the popularity of messaging apps among teenagers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3394/Mobile_northamericaapps_PewInternet_Apr_2015.png" alt="" width="318" height="746"></p> <p>Their research finds that 33% of teenage cell phone owners use messaging apps including WhatsApp and Kik. Girls are more likely to use them than boys (37% versus 29%) and those living in urban areas are more active in the category than suburban and rural dwellers.</p> <p>Additionally, <a title="ComScore Messaging Apps US" href="http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Market-Rankings/comScore-Reports-February-2015-US-Smartphone-Subscriber-Market-Share" target="_blank">recent data from comScore</a> highlights just how popular messaging apps are in the market overall. Facebook Messenger is the fifth most popular app in the country (reaching more than 51% of smartphone users) and Snapchat is the fifteenth most popular (reaching more than 19%).</p> <h3><strong>Messaging apps are connecting people in growth markets</strong></h3> <p>While messaging apps are clearly proving important to young people in the US, recent research from Ipsos and GlobalWebIndex looks at the popularity of these apps across the MENA and APAC regions respectively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3395/Mobile_MENAapps_Ipsos_March_2015.png" alt="" width="747" height="435"></p> <p><a title="Ipsos MENA Gareth Deree Presentation" href="http://www.slideshare.net/IpsosMENA/digital-media-forum-2015" target="_blank">Ipsos data presented by Gareth Deree in March 2015</a> looks at key apps as used By MENA smartphone users throughout an average day.</p> <p>WhatsApp clearly accounts for most daily app use, especially during the evening and late at night. Skype, texting apps and social media also see significant use throughout the day.</p> <p><a title="GlobalWebIndex APAC Messaging Apps" href="https://www.globalwebindex.net/products/chart_of_the_day/17th-november-2014-wechat-dominates-mobile-messaging-in-apac?utm_campaign=Chart+of+the+Day&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=14925676&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8NDNG-s5tnLt8I5fcenL830Wz09JPoSYGTNg4dUeXkbbDvRZISbvfG-CQx6GUqyVUbMKLe363zlNLK0ajn6Coc_KHIPAi_j6yRwylmzd3aF8dAywQ&amp;_hsmi=14925676" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex also looked at APAC messaging app popularity in late 2014</a>. WeChat leads the market reaching 39% of internet users, followed by Facebook Messenger at 16% with Skype and WhatsApp not far behind.</p> <h3><strong>Messaging apps lead other categories for retention</strong></h3> <p>While messaging apps may be leading the sector in the growth stakes, research from <a title="Flurry/Yahoo! Messaging App Retention" href="http://yahoodevelopers.tumblr.com/post/114492418503/messaging-apps-the-new-face-of-retail-banking" target="_blank">Flurry and Yahoo!</a> also looks at how the category is performing better than average when it comes to retention as well.</p> <p>On average, after an app has been installed for 12 months only 11% of users will open it again. For messaging apps this proportion of users is far higher at 62%, a rate the same as that seen at six months after download.</p> <p>Messaging apps perform much better than others even when looking at use within the same month an app has been downloaded. With retention rates peaking at 68%, and those of average apps only hitting 36%.</p> <h3><strong>The messaging app sub-category is a fascinating one</strong></h3> <p>The current data highlights that for an app type where the purpose at first seems very narrow, numerous services are offering an increasing degree of messaging diversity – whether that’s short video clips, or being more geared toward contacts in a specific social network.</p> <p>The growing mobile audience is truly embracing the range of messaging apps on offer, using respective services for different means, conversation types and different contact types.</p> <p>It will be exciting to see how the sector develops further and whether the big messaging names such as Facebook and Skype can hold their own against the WhatsApps and SnapChats of tomorrow.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65928 2015-01-21T15:00:00+00:00 2015-01-21T15:00:00+00:00 Five new mobile marketing strategies for 2015 Jeff Rajeck <h3>Even in 2015 mobile is a great, new opportunity</h3> <p>One of the first facts that Meri pointed out to us is that <strong>91% of smartphone owners have their device in arms' reach 24/7.</strong>  </p> <p>And though usage varies, it's really the first time that we, as marketers, are able to reach our customers on a 24/7 basis.</p> <p>What this means, though, is that we need to be prepared to handle our customers at all times. Shopping, product support, service issues, and plain ol' complaints need to be managed so that customers also see you as available when they want you as well.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7815/meri1.jpg" alt="" width="538" height="353"></p> <p>A growing part of marketing then requires for any gaps in service to be filled or managed appropriately. Mobile 'dead air' is simply not tolerated these days!</p> <h3>Finding new 'mobile habits' is key</h3> <p>And while you work on being more available, you also have to do more in order to get – and keep – their attention.</p> <p>One underutilized way of doing so, Meri reports, is to understand that 'being mobile' does not just mean being able to access information – but it also means <strong>a lot of new habits</strong>.  </p> <p>Habits that are only possible with an ever-present mobile device.</p> <p>These new habits are so important to marketers that Meri told us that <strong>'habits are the new viral'</strong>.  That is, if you can tap into your customers' new habits effectively, then you stand to enjoy the organic growth that comes from a viral campaign.</p> <h3>Example 1</h3> <p>As an example, Meri pointed out that consumers now take photos wherever they are – e.g. while shopping for clothes – and can post them on social media to get instant feedback from their networks.</p> <p>So, your job then is to discover how your customers are using their mobiles and<strong> integrate your products into these new habits.</strong></p> <p>Ikea has done this very well with its augmented reality home planner.</p> <p>With the Ikea app, customers can take a picture of a place in their house and virtually 'install' Ikea furniture there to see how it gels with the room.</p> <p>That certainly generates interest and lets the customer make a bee-line to the product when they visit the store.</p> <p>After doing it once, it is hard to think that one would ever just buy furniture again without at least trying it out. Voila – a new habit!</p> <p><strong>Watch:</strong> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDNzTasuYEw">Ikea's Augmented Reality Home Planner</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7819/ikeavirtualplanner.jpg" alt="" width="301" height="168"></p> <h3>Enhance your customers' mobile experiences</h3> <p>Besides new habits, there are also things that customers have always done, but suddenly with the features available on a smartphone you can enhance – and lodge yourself into - that experience.</p> <h3>Example 2</h3> <p>Though people took pictures of whiteboards and meeting Post-Its previously, 3M cleverly came up with a connection between this existing behavior and a popular app – Evernote.  </p> <p>To capitalize on its customers' familiarity with the popular notes storage app,<strong> 3M integrated the photo-taking of Post-Its with Evernote</strong> – and now Post-It snaps are analyzed for text, arranged by note colour, and then automatically saved in Evernote.</p> <p><strong>Watch:</strong> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHM0eI34l-M">3M Integrates with Evernote</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7818/3mevernote.jpg" alt="" width="315" height="160"></p> <h3>Self-expression is another very import part of mobile</h3> <p>A commonly-overlooked fact is that <strong>a mobile device is often a person's only 'personal' computer</strong>. Desktops are typically shared in a household and IT departments at work have made sure that we never feel too much at home on our office computer.</p> <p>So, to capitalize on this personal connection, marketers should devise a mobile strategy that helps consumers use their product as a way to express themselves.</p> <h3>Example 3</h3> <p>One company that has excelled at this in a surprising way is Coca-Cola. Its personalized Coke bottles and 'Share-a-Coke' selfie campaign have resulted in millions of photos of Coke products which would never have been taken without it.</p> <p><strong>Watch:</strong> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsLx0PgqjGo">Share-a-Coke-selfie</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7820/shareacokeselfie.jpg" alt="" width="275" height="183"></p> <h3>Mobile strategy should be localized</h3> <p>Another very important aspect - tied in with the habits - is that <strong>'mobile' means very different things in different countries.</strong></p> <p>And, because of this, we as marketers should know about and act on regional differences.</p> <p>For example, WhatsApp is almost required in Singapore to keep in touch with people, but in the US it is seen only as something people use when they are travelling abroad.  </p> <p>Chinese consumers are, again, different from both Americans and Singaporeans in many ways - including their mobile chat network, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65279-how-and-why-western-brands-are-experimenting-with-wechat/">WeChat</a>.</p> <h3>Example 4</h3> <p>Meri noted that Nike realized this and developed an amazing campaign for the platform where Chinese consumers could take a picture, send it via WeChat, and have a shoe made in the colors in the picture. Great engagement - and a very shareable experience.</p> <p><strong>Watch:</strong> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1qu2ZhHWIo">WeChat Nike shoe with a mobile pic.</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7814/nikewechat.jpg" alt="" width="225" height="225"></p> <h3>Research your strategy</h3> <p>Finally, Meri offered some encouraging words for weary marketers who don't know where to start. <strong>Just look at what other people are doing and get inspired from success stories.</strong></p> <p>She pointed out that there are some incredibly innovative uses of mobile devices out there and though some may fail - it's worth taking the risks to benefit from the first-mover advantage.</p> <p>Being innovative - even on a small scale - is much better than just doing a responsive site and saying that you are 'mobile'.</p> <h3>Trends in Mobile</h3> <p>So to wrap it up, we asked Meri what trends she saw in mobile that would become popular in 2015:</p> <ul> <li>A <strong>simpler app experience</strong> for consumers.  That is, instead of many apps, brands will combine apps into one central feature-full app.</li> <li> <strong>Increased personalization</strong> of mobile apps - so that customers can enjoy unique experiences with brands via apps.</li> <li>And finally, <strong><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-wearable-technology/">wearable technology</a>.</strong> It was noted that <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/wearable-technology-market-2013-5?IR=T&amp;">wearables are projected to be a $30bn-$50bn industry by 2018</a> - so we should certainly 'watch' out for new mobile devices to emerge this year.</li> </ul> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7821/applewatch.jpg" alt="" width="343" height="228"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65903 2014-12-15T12:02:19+00:00 2014-12-15T12:02:19+00:00 How Japan's Rakuten plans to become a global ecommerce giant David Moth <p>Mikitani, known as Mickey, detailed his strategy last week at Le Web in Paris.</p> <p>His ultimate aim is to position the Rakuten brand as the centre of his global empire with three business divisions built around it: ecommerce, finance, and digital.</p> <p>Rakuten bought Play.com for £25m in 2011 and is still in the process of switching it from a DVD and CD ecommerce store into a broader marketplace for third-party sellers.</p> <p>The site will be renamed as Rakuten.co.uk as part of a restructuring plan that will consolidate all of the company’s online marketplaces.</p> <p><em><strong>Play.com's new look</strong></em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7548/Screen_Shot_2014-12-15_at_11.09.45.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7548/screen_shot_2014-12-15_at_11.09.45-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="212"></a></p> <p>Mickey hopes it will be able to mirror the success of Rakuten’s Japanese marketplace, where he said it has a “huge marketshare.”</p> <p>A big proportion of the Japanese site’s traffic and sales (40%) come from smartphones, with mobile transactions set to grow above 50% in 2015.</p> <p>Mobile is seen as key to the company’s future global growth and Mickey aims to become “a major player in mobile services.”</p> <p>This is what spurred the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-17/rakuten-falls-on-900-million-deal-to-acquire-viber-message-app.html">acquisition of messaging app Viber</a> earlier this year for $900m. Investors and analysts were underwhelmed by the deal as they’d hoped Rakuten’s major overseas mergers and acquisitions were coming to an end. </p> <p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/leweb3/15371945663/in/set-72157649682111695"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/7546/mickey-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="312"></a></p> <p>But Mickey is confident that Viber’s potential for mobile gaming, digital content and commerce will enable him to grab a bigger share of the market from other players such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63588-line-what-can-you-learn-from-the-mobile-content-hub-you-ve-never-heard-of">Line</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65279-how-and-why-western-brands-are-experimenting-with-wechat/">WeChat</a>.</p> <p>He said:</p> <blockquote> <p>In my opinion, Viber has the best technology, clearest voice connections, video works very well, and we recently launched public chat. It’s the most secure messaging app in the world.</p> </blockquote> <p>Mickey emphasised that the quality of Viber’s voice chat service will be its major selling point in the future as users will want messaging apps with a combination of high quality text and voice communication.</p> <p>It currently has 250m monthly active users and is adding 600,000-700,000 users every day, but it will still be a big ask to overhaul WeChat and WhatsApp.</p> <h3>Company culture</h3> <p>As part of the Q&amp;A Mickey was asked why the new wave of Japanese tech companies have struggled to make an impact globally and whether Rakuten would be able to buck this trend.</p> <p>He suggested that one main difference in Rakuten’s favour was the decision taken four years ago to force all employees to communicate using English.</p> <p>Mickey described it as one of the most aggressive programmes in Japanese business history but said it had been a success.</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s a very sensitive and difficult issue, but the outcome was significant. 80% of the engineers we hire are not Japanese, so we’re very diverse and our excellence comes from our diversity.</p> </blockquote> <p>Having all employees communicate in the same language helps with integrating Rakuten’s foreign acquisitions into the company culture.</p> <p>It also enables the company to more easily adapt to the characteristics of each local market.</p> <p>Mickey said that if you need a translator to speak to someone “it’s almost impossible to become true friends or family.”</p> <p><em><strong>For more on Rakuten’s APAC competitors read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65047-tencent-and-wechat-35-facts-figures-on-the-chinese-tech-giant/">Tencent</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64830-alibaba-30-amazing-stats-on-china-s-ecommerce-giant">Alibaba</a>, or download the new <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/state-of-mobile-marketing-in-asia-pacific/">State of Mobile Marketing in Asia Pacific Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65549 2014-10-07T11:01:00+01:00 2014-10-07T11:01:00+01:00 Mothercare's mobile strategy: apps, iBeacons & content, but no RWD David Moth <h2>Interaction over transaction</h2> <p>Like all retailers, Mothercare has to consider how it can compete with Amazon online.</p> <p>Trying to compete on price will result in a race to the bottom and will ultimately drive Mothercare out of business. </p> <p>Singh said that in the past the company has relied too heavily on its reputation as a specialist retailer, and is now implementing a new strategy where the customer is at the heart of all business decisions. </p> <blockquote> <p>Our customers don’t just want to buy things. They want advice and product information. We haven’t got that right before, but mobile has given us opportunity to address that.</p> </blockquote> <p>Mothercare uses its mobile apps to provide useful content that pregnant women and mothers will want to interact with on a daily basis, even if they don’t end up buying anything.</p> <p><em><strong>Mothercare's desktop site</strong></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.mothercare.com/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/4672/screen_shot_2014-10-06_at_18.15.08-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="314"></a></p> <p>Though mobile conversions remain low compared to desktop, judging the channel’s success purely on sales overlooks its potential for creating valuable interactions with potential customers.</p> <blockquote> <p>If we can create great user experiences on mobile, the transactions will take care of themselves.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Content</h2> <p>Creating these valuable interactions relies on having engaging, useful content.</p> <p>For Mothercare this includes a range of features within the app, such as advice videos, quirky baby tunes, classical music (some people believe this is useful for pregnant women), and the ability to take pictures of their kids within the app.</p> <h2>iBeacons</h2> <p>As mentioned, Mothercare plans to begin trialling <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63478-ibeacons-what-are-they-and-why-should-marketers-care">iBeacons</a> in 2015.</p> <p>It’s in a strong position as it already has a popular range of apps, plus hundreds of stores in which to test the technology.</p> <p>One criticism occasionally levelled at iBeacons is that they are only used for discounting and coupons, but Singh said Mothercare will more likely go down the customer service route.</p> <p>This is similar to the approach adopted by some airlines and retailers, including Tesco.</p> <p>The grocery giant began a trial earlier this year in its Chelmsford store and has said that the technology won’t be used to push out marketing messages.</p> <p>Instead the iBeacons notify shoppers that their pre-ordered goods are waiting for them.</p> <p>Ultimately iBeacons could be a central feature in Tesco’s new beta MyStore app, helping customers to find specific items in-store.</p> <p><em><strong>Mothercare's mobile site</strong></em></p> <p>             <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/4680/mobile_site_2-blog-third.png" alt="" width="200" height="356">   <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/4681/mobile_site-blog-third.png" alt="" width="200" height="356"></p> <p>At Mothercare Singh said that he also hopes to use iBeacons to improve the in-store experience.</p> <p>Therefore the trials are likely to include the use of rich content (i.e. video), detailed product information, and advice on how to navigate round the store.</p> <p>Mothercare does a lot of in-store events, which is another area where iBeacons could be used to enhance the customer experience.</p> <h2>Privacy</h2> <p>The use of mobile apps and iBeacons brings with it a greater focus on privacy. </p> <p>Mothercare’s customers are understandably sensitive to privacy issues, and the company already gets comments from people who can’t understand why the company's apps need access to their photos and contacts.</p> <p>The use of location data will only add to these problems, but Singh believes these concerns can be overcome with a combination of the right messaging, prompt responses to customer comments, and a sensitive approach that doesn’t overwhelm people with new technology.</p> <h2>Responsive design</h2> <p>Mothercare has opted for a separate mobile site rather than using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64072-responsive-design-25-of-the-best-sites-from-2013">responsive design</a>.</p> <p>Singh explained that his team was cautious as it’s still a relatively new concept and it would be a huge job to retrofit the brand’s “super-complex sites.”</p> <p>Any decision on moving to responsive design would have to be taken in the context of improving the customer experience.</p> <blockquote> <p>We want a faster mobile site, richer photography, a better checkout, more video content. We’re trying to optimise our existing mobile site and improve the overall experience, rather than focusing on responsive design.</p> </blockquote> <p>That said, Mothercare did move its customer help site to responsive design, which Singh described as a “useful test.”</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65048 2014-07-01T04:00:00+01:00 2014-07-01T04:00:00+01:00 Postcards from Korea: Using mobile to boost the in-store experience Simon Hathaway <p>This was seen most clearly in the much-lauded <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/7700-eight-creative-uses-of-qr-codes#i.1td4ci03qjcngy">Tesco HomePlus virtual store in a Seoul subway</a> that became the benchmark of multichannel retail. Commuters were able to virtually shop for goods through a phone app and have the goods delivered to their homes. </p> <p>Tesco is not the only retailer to spot the possibilities for <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=econsultancyn%20mobile%20commerce&amp;safe=off">mobile commerce</a>. South Korea’s largest player, Emart, has used mobile as a way to expand its core business, improve the shopping experience and deepen its relationship with customers.</p> <p>When Emart launched its own Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) business, it wanted to offer customers cheaper mobile service, but also help shoppers find deals in its huge stores and make the in-store experience more fun.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qch3kNUF0fE?rel=0&amp;wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Emart initially looked to use WiFi as a way of interacting with customers, however testing soon proved that it lacked precision when spotting exact locations indoors, making indoor-navigation impossible. GPS has similar limitations. So Emart turned to VLC (Visual Light Communication).</p> <p>VLC utilises the LED lighting in the store to create an accurate in-door navigation system that smartphones respond to. Customers downloaded an app, settled their smartphone in a cradle on their shopping trolley and followed the directions. When they reached a promotional hotspot an electronic coupon displayed on their device.</p> <p>As shopping apps improve, retailers are starting to realign their loyalty, promotion and even payments through the mobile device. This in turn is driving the use of mobile as a primary device for purchasing.</p> <p>Research by the Korean Chambers of Commerce found a decreased ‘fall-out’ ratio of people who search product information using smartphones but purchase via computer or in-store.</p> <p>It fell from 70.5% in 2012 to 66.4% last year. Those who bought at offline shops after searching with smartphones also fell, from 38.5% to 29.0%.</p> <p>It is a trend that can only continue, and another reason why the eyes of the global retail industry are on Korea to see what it does next.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65047 2014-06-19T04:00:00+01:00 2014-06-19T04:00:00+01:00 Tencent and WeChat: 35+ facts & figures on the Chinese tech giant David Moth <h2>2013 revenue</h2> <p>Tencent’s gross revenue for 2013 reached 60.4bn yuan ($9.9bn), up 38% year-on-year.</p> <p>More importantly, its operating profit increased 24% year-on-year to 19.1bn yuan ($3.1bn).</p> <h2>Q1 2014 revenue</h2> <p>In Q1 2014 Tencent’s revenues showed their fastest growth in three years <a href="http://www.tencent.com/en-us/content/at/2014/attachments/20140514.pdf">reaching 18.4bn yuan ($2.95bn)</a>, up from 13.5bn yuan ($2.17bn) in Q1 2013.</p> <p>Non-GAAP operating profit increased 28% year-on-year to 6.47bn yuan ($1.04bn).</p> <p>‘Value-added services’ such as video games and virtual goods accounted for 78% of Q1 revenues at 14.4bn yuan ($2.3bn).</p> <p>Online games revenues grew 23% QoQ to 10.3bn ($1.65bn), thanks mainly to an increase in revenues from smartphone games integrated with WeChat and QQ.</p> <p>Social network revenues increased 16% QoQ to 4bn yuan ($640m), which was again largely due to mobile games.</p> <p>Online advertising revenues actually decreased 21% QoQ to 1.1bn ($180m) and represented only 6% of total revenues.</p> <p>Ecommerce transactions accounted for 14% of total revenue at 2.5bn yuan ($400m). This also decreased 24% QoQ.</p> <h2>Instant messaging mobile apps</h2> <p>Tencent owns China’s two most popular mobile IM apps in QQ and WeChat.</p> <p>In January 2014 QQ had 325m active users and WeChat had 295m, while the third most-popular app, Momo, had just 13m.</p> <p><em><strong>Active users of mobile IM apps in January 2014</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/9383/im_users-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="444"></p> <h2>WeChat</h2> <p>Tencent launched WeChat in 2011 and racked up more than 100m followers in 15 months.</p> <p>Alongside text, video and voice messaging, users in China can make mobile payments, browse ecommerce stores, play games, or book a taxi. It even offers access to an online investment fund.</p> <p>In Q1 2014 WeChat’s global user numbers grew 11.5% from the previous quarter to 396m.</p> <p>It earned $50m in revenue in Q4 2014, but Tencent has said that the focus is on growing its user base rather than monetization.</p> <p>The messaging app also has more than 100m overseas users and as of March this year it had been downloaded more than 100m times from Google Play. </p> <p><em><strong>How WeChat’s number of active monthly users has grown over time (<a href="http://www.statista.com/statistics/255778/number-of-active-wechat-messenger-accounts/">Statista</a>)</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/9379/wechat_user-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="348"></p> <h2>JD.com and WeChat</h2> <p>In March 2014 Tencent purchased a 15% stake in JD.com, China’s second-largest ecommerce company, for $215m.</p> <p>Tencent will acquire an additional 5% stake in JD.com after the company files for IPO.</p> <p>This deal is important as Tencent plans to integrate JD.com with WeChat, enabling its 300m users to buy a wide range of products from within the app.</p> <p>According to Business Insider, JD.com logged roughly $16bn in sales in 2013, more than 15% of which came via mobile apps.</p> <h2>Tencent QQ</h2> <p>QQ is an instant messaging software service which offers a variety of features, including online social games, music, shopping, microblogging, and voice chat.</p> <p>In Q1 2014 QQ had 848m active user accounts, an increase of 3% year-on-year.</p> <p>In April 2014 Tencent QQ’s peaking concurrent users (PCU refers to the total number of people using the resource within predefined period of time) reached 200m for the first time. 70% of these users were on mobile.</p> <p>This was double the PCU of 100m in March 2010, and a leap of some 20m on March 2014 when the figure stood at 180m.</p> <p>Mobile QQ’s number of monthly active users increased 52% year-on-year to 490m.</p> <p>The most popular activity on QQ is sending messages, followed by browsing Qzone and playing games.</p> <h2>Qzone</h2> <p>Created by Tencent in 2005, Qzone is a social network that allows users to write blogs, keep diaries, send photos and watch videos.</p> <p>Profiles can be customised to the user’s taste, which of course involves the purchase of virtual goods.</p> <p>Though registration is free, certain features can only be accessed if you pay a membership fee. The longer that users remain as paid members on Qzone, the more features they are able to access. </p> <p>They are then locked in, as if paid membership expires all the acquired features also expire.</p> <p>In Q1 Qzone had 644m monthly active users, an increase of 5% year-on-year. Monthly active mobile users reached 467m, representing a year-on-year increase of 44%. </p>