tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/messaging Latest Messaging content from Econsultancy 2018-06-11T12:02:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70074 2018-06-11T12:02:00+01:00 2018-06-11T12:02:00+01:00 The potential of AI therapy bots in mental health care Nikki Gilliland <p>Previously, there have been concerns about this type of service, largely to do with the safety of the tools (and bots dealing with such sensitive data).</p> <p>From a different perspective, there’s also the question of whether a chatbot UX can ever replicate the often nuanced interactions that take place between a patient and therapist – as well as the associated levels of empathy and trust.</p> <p>With this in mind, here’s more examples of companies using AI for mental health, plus a bit of insight into how chatbots can get it right...</p> <p><em>(N.B. If you're interested in how AI can be applied by businesses, check out the AI &amp; Innovation stage at <a href="https://www.festivalofmarketing.com/?utm_source=ECON&amp;utm_medium=Website&amp;utm_content=FOMECON&amp;utm_campaign=FOM18">the Festival of Marketing</a> in London, 10-11 October.)</em></p> <h3>Accessibility and removing stigmas</h3> <p>According to the mental health charity, Mind, <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/" target="_blank">one in four people</a> in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week. </p> <p>Meanwhile, despite the Government promising NHS mental health providers a larger budget, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/16/mental-health-still-losing-out-in-nhs-funding-report-finds" target="_blank">reports suggest</a> that these services are still losing out, having seen a 2.5% rise in 2016-17 (compared to the 6% seen by acute trusts).</p> <p>Naturally, the apparent rise of mental health issues plus a strained healthcare system means that many sufferers might avoid seeking help altogether. This can also be worsened if a person feels embarrassed or is worried about any associated stigma.</p> <p>This is where AI apps for mental health or ‘therapy bots’ come in. Designed to offer accessible, convenient and (often) free help, they aim to remove the aforementioned barriers to treatment.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Wysa. It's a virtual coach you can talk to 24 hours/day (free). You can still purchase another couch (not free). It's not robotic and has loads of exercises and you can create different sessions and go through them later. Really helpful, I highly recommend <a href="https://t.co/IvmNF0Ey6e">pic.twitter.com/IvmNF0Ey6e</a></p> — laura | 19 days (@HYPECHEOL) <a href="https://twitter.com/HYPECHEOL/status/1003299479682998272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 3, 2018</a> </blockquote> <h3>Not a therapy replacement</h3> <p>Woebot is one of the most popular therapy bots, mainly due to its scientific background. Created by scientists at Stanford University, it is based on cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, using a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and psychological expertise. Through this, it is able to recognise negative thought patterns and triggers, and encourage users to change them.</p> <p>Woebot states that it does not aim to take the place of a therapist. Rather, it is designed to be an ‘additional resource’ or a way of seeking help when there is no other available alternative. </p> <p>This message is key, emphasising that people should not solely rely on therapy bots, or use them for more serious or long-term issues. What it does mean, however, is that people can use these services in real moments of need. </p> <p>The ‘always on’ nature of social media also enables this, with bots being available to access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Similarly, these services are designed to naturally align with user behaviour, with many ‘checking in’ on Facebook Messenger much like a friend would. </p> <h3>The human touch</h3> <p>So, what about the actual interaction? Can it replicate a human-to-human experience? Does it matter if not?</p> <p>I recently gave a couple of therapy bots a go myself, and here’s what I came away with.</p> <h4>Woebot - transparency and humour</h4> <p>One thing I appreciated about Woebot was its transparency. It lets users know from the get-go that it is an automated service, also emphasising the fact that it should not be a replacement for therapy (and telling you what to do if you’re struggling on a more serious level). </p> <p>The fact that the bot overtly states that it is not human is definitely a positive. As well as instilling trust in users, this could also be more effective for encouraging people to open up as it eliminates the fear of judgement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5049/Woebot_5.JPG" alt="woebot transparency" width="750" height="286"></p> <p>Another thing I liked about Woebot is that it uses a highly conversational and at times funny tone of voice, which is designed to put people at ease. The combination of gentle humour and reassurance feels comforting, as does the fact that it checks in daily. The only negative is that this takes a while (it does not offer instant help). However, I imagine the longer you use it, the more beneficial it becomes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5048/Woebot_4.JPG" alt="Woebot humour" width="750" height="386"></p> <h4>Tess – can you repeat that please</h4> <p>While Woebot takes time to slowly learn behaviours, Tess – a chatbot from an AI startup X2 AI – jumps straight into conversation. Confusingly, I spoke to a bot called Sara, not Tess, though I shall refer to it as the latter as that's its brand name.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5051/Sara.JPG" alt="Tess therapy bot" width="750" height="488"></p> <p>I found a few early bugbears, such as the bot failing to understanding basic sentences (and repeating or contradicting itself as a result). </p> <p>This is one of the biggest problems still plaguing chatbots of all kinds, with the technology simply not sophisticated enough to catch on quickly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5050/Tess.JPG" alt="Tess therapy bot poor nlp" width="750" height="232"></p> <p>Perhaps if I’d have given Tess more of a chance, this would have improved. However, when it comes to people struggling with difficult emotions, this kind of miscommunication is likely to be all the more frustrating, perhaps leading to a higher risk of users abandoning the process (and perhaps feeling like they're back to square one).</p> <h3>What about privacy?</h3> <p>As well as improvements to NLP, there are other issues that therapy chatbots still face. A huge one is privacy, largely due to the fact that the majority of these bots live within Facebook Messenger – which is not protected by any medical data privacy laws. Essentially, this means that Facebook knows exactly who is using these services, and holds all information provided during the conversations. </p> <p>But, will privacy concerns stop people from signing up? It doesn’t look like it so far, with Woebot reportedly generating two million conversations per week since it launched.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Different things work for different folk but I can't shout enough about how much I love <a href="https://twitter.com/drwoebot?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@drwoebot</a> when things get really tough. It uses CBT methods on messenger on Android. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/anxiety?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#anxiety</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/mentalhealth?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#mentalhealth</a></p> — Francesca Harris (@FrancescaKH) <a href="https://twitter.com/FrancescaKH/status/1001038512001572864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 28, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>The success rate also sounds similarly positive. <a href="https://mental.jmir.org/2017/2/e19/" target="_blank">A study found</a> that a group using the bot for two weeks saw their symptoms of depression significantly reduced compared to the group that used the National Institute of Mental Health ebook, ‘Depression in College Students’.</p> <p>Of course, this is not the case for all chatbots, perhaps meaning that others - specifically those developed by technology experts (with little or no input from healthcare professionals) should still be met with a certain level of caution.</p> <p>However, with the NHS reportedly set to invest in AI in the next year, and seven mental health trusts taking part in the ‘Global Digital Exemplars’ scheme – perhaps it won’t be too long before AI starts to have an even greater impact on mental health care. For the time being, at least, therapy chatbots are certainly making mental health management more accessible.</p> <p><strong>Related articles:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69797-how-ai-is-transforming-healthcare" target="_blank">How AI is transforming healthcare</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69839-eight-things-your-chatbot-should-never-do" target="_blank">Eight things your chatbot should never do</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69964-marketers-beware-these-six-misconceptions-of-ai" target="_blank">Marketers, beware these six misconceptions of AI</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69946 2018-04-13T15:58:16+01:00 2018-04-13T15:58:16+01:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Facebook ad spend grows despite recent controversy</h3> <p><a href="http://www.4cinsights.com/StateofMedia/" target="_blank">New data</a> from 4C has revealed that Facebook saw a marked increase in ad spend this Q1, despite the recent Cambridge Analytics scandal. </p> <p>Following the news in March, Facebook ad spend increased 62% year-on-year.</p> <p>The travel and legal/financial verticals saw the greatest quarter-over-quarter increases of 129% and 32%, respectively. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to deliver ROI for advertisers, with an 18% quarterly decrease in cost per thousand impressions (CPM).</p> <p>Elsewhere, Snapchat saw a whopping 234% year-on-year increase in ad spend in the first quarter of 2018, largely due to its re-designed Discover page presenting even more opportunities for sponsored content.</p> <p><strong>More on Facebook:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69902-facebook-is-in-real-trouble-what-it-could-mean-for-marketers">Facebook is in real trouble: What it could mean for marketers</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69840-facebook-quietly-rolls-out-new-ad-placements-as-power-editor-merges-with-ads-manager">Facebook quietly rolls out new ad placements as Power Editor merges with Ads Manager</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69787-five-tips-for-a-successful-facebook-advertising-strategy">Five tips for a successful Facebook advertising strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-social-media-advertising">Paid Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide</a></li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3556/facebook.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <h3>71% of people think ads are becoming more intrusive</h3> <p>A recent survey by Kantar Millward Brown, <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/content/people-believe-ads-are-becoming-more-intrusive?ecid=NL1002">reported by eMarketer</a>, has found that the majority of people think ads are far more intrusive than they were three years ago. 71% of survey respondents uphold this opinion, with 74% also suggesting that they’re seeing more ads overall.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 79% of people say that adverts appear in more places, making it impossible to avoid advertising while online. </p> <p>Despite this, opinion towards ads isn’t <em>all</em> bad – 41% say that ads tell better stories than they used to, while 47% agree that ads fit together better across different formats. </p> <p>Naturally, this type of survey is not good news for advertisers, especially alongside the prediction (according to eMarketer) that three in 10 US internet users will use an an ad blocker this year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3576/Intrusive_ads_blog___twitter_size__1_.png" alt="intrusive ads 71% consumers think so" width="615" height="308"></p> <p><strong>Now read:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69326-google-to-start-warning-sites-about-bad-ad-experiences" target="_blank">Google to start warning sites about bad ad experiences</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69750-in-a-blow-to-marketers-google-will-let-users-opt-out-of-remarketing-ads" target="_blank">In a blow to marketers, Google will let users opt-out of remarketing ads</a></li> </ul> <h3>Text messaging declines YoY in the UK as chat apps take precedent</h3> <p><a href="https://www.reportlinker.com/data/series/H-u9khxCiJs" target="_blank">New data</a> from ReportLinker has revealed the changing habits of global mobile users. Overall, it suggests that people are paying less as we move towards free chat apps rather than traditional text messaging.</p> <p>In the UK, the average monthly household expenditure on mobile smartphone service has decreased nearly 3% this year, and is predicted to keep on getting lower to 2020. Meanwhile, text messaging has also declined as users make greater use of chat apps like WhatsApp.</p> <p>ReportLinker also suggests that traditional landlines could soon be extinct. In Australia in particular, this prediction could come true in just a couple of years. The number of people who will have a smartphone but no fixed telephone line is estimated to be well over 8.5 million by 2021. By that time, the number of smartphone owners in Australia is anticipated to be over 20 million, up from over 15 million in 2017. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3555/reportlinker.JPG" alt="" width="543" height="395"></p> <h3>Trustworthiness is the most impactful characteristic of celebrity endorsers</h3> <p>A recent study <a href="https://www.warc.com/content/article/jar/enhancing_brand_credibility_through_celebrity_endorsement_trustworthiness_trumps_attractiveness_and_expertise/117436" target="_blank">published by</a> JAR suggests that trustworthiness is the most important trait of celebrity endorsers, ranked more effective for boosting brand credibility over other factors like expertise or attractiveness.</p> <p>The study in question examined the impact of celebrity endorsers’ source characteristics - including trustworthiness, expertise, and attractiveness - on consumers’ brand attitude, brand credibility, and purchase intention. Overall, it found that trustworthiness was related to consumers’ positive associations with a brand (an airline, in the case of this study).</p> <p>This means marketers must demonstrate greater caution when partnering with celebrities, as the research also suggests that a lack of trustworthiness can be hugely detrimental to a brand’s reputation.</p> <p><strong>More on celebrity campaigns:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69846-celebrity-chefs-and-their-instagram-strategies-more-than-just-food-porn/" target="_blank">Celebrity chefs and their Instagram strategies – More than just food porn?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/" target="_blank">Why Iceland has replaced celebrities with micro-influencers</a></li> </ul> <h3>Travel industry sees 13% increase in search interest</h3> <p><a href="http://www.hitwise.com/gb/white-papers/peak-travel-report-2018/?bis_prd=1" target="_blank">New research</a> from Hitwise suggests UK holidaymakers are showing renewed enthusiasm when it comes to travel. </p> <p>From the analysis of the online behaviour of three million Brits, Hitwise found a 13% increase in searches related to the travel industry in the first two months of this year. In terms of specific brands, Travelodge saw a 36% increase in searches year-on-year, perhaps highlighting the positive impact of its new initiatives like SuperRoom.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the research also suggests an increased interest in luxury travel. There was a 16% rise in traffic to luxury operators and cruise operators in the first two months of 2018, while luxury travel provider Kuoni also reports that store appointments were up 171% during this time.</p> <p><strong>More on travel:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69384-seo-david-vs-goliath-how-travel-sector-minnows-can-overcome-their-big-brand-competitors">SEO David vs. Goliath: How travel sector minnows can overcome their big brand competitors</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69652-four-key-digital-trends-impacting-travel-and-hospitality-brands">Four key digital trends impacting travel and hospitality brands</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68871-how-travel-brands-are-capitalising-on-youtube-adventure-search-trend">How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend</a></li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3557/Hitwise.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="459"></p> <h3>Parents are the biggest adopters of voice-assisted devices</h3> <p>Publicis Media has <a href="http://www.adweek.com/agencies/parents-and-families-are-the-biggest-supporters-of-voice/" target="_blank">undertaken research</a> on smart speaker usage, involving the study of 70 voice assistant users in the US and UK.</p> <p>Overall, it found that parents and families are the keenest early adopters of smart speakers, largely due to the technology’s ability to streamline and enhance daily routines. </p> <p>Smart speakers also enable parents to help children learn, with the tech allowing users to easily search for queries (without disrupting their current activity).</p> <p>Despite this uptake, however, the research also revealed that parents aren’t too keen on changing how they use voice technology. The majority say they’re uninterested in discovering capabilities that they don’t already use, while they’re also reluctant to share personal information in exchange for deeper personalisation. </p> <p><strong>More on voice tech:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69724-how-will-voice-technology-change-consumer-behaviour">How will voice technology change consumer behaviour?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69610-what-do-voice-user-interfaces-mean-for-marketers-brands">What do voice user interfaces mean for marketers &amp; brands?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69473-what-paddy-power-learned-about-voice-interfaces-by-creating-an-alexa-skill" target="_blank">What Paddy Power learned about voice interfaces by creating an Alexa skill</a></li> </ul> <h3>Paralympics reaches 251 million people on social media</h3> <p>According to new data from IPC, the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games reached more people than Sochi 2014 and London 2012 Paralympics combined.</p> <p>During a 10 day period, IPC’s digital media channels reached 251 million people across multiple platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo - more than Sochi 2014 (which reached 66m) and London 2012 (which reached 94m). It also generated 17.4m video views - three times Sochi and London combined - and 650k engagements, up 67% on Sochi 2014.</p> <p>This looks to be due to IPC’s innovative use of technology and video, with social media teams posting real-time highlights of every race, match, and ceremony on YouTube.</p> <p><strong>For more on Social Media, subscribers can check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide" target="_blank">Best Practice Guide</a>.</strong></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aCICoyzPnbk?list=PL6CBAXPeBajm6gtohfO5-mapvjW00isMX&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69839 2018-03-02T10:16:24+00:00 2018-03-02T10:16:24+00:00 Eight things your chatbot should never do Nikki Gilliland <p>As someone who has reviewed quite a few in my time, I’ve noticed a regular pattern of frustrating niggles. So, with this in mind, here are eight things I think your chatbot should never do. Feel free to add your own to the list in the comments section.</p> <h3>1. Pretend to be human</h3> <p>While the whole point of chatbots is that they’re supposed to mimic human interaction, that’s not to say that they should pretend to <em>be</em> human. </p> <p>In a study by CEB, transparency was ranked as the <a href="https://www.cebglobal.com/sales-service/customer-service/reducing-uncertainty.html?cid=70134000001TrNm" target="_blank">number one most important factor</a> for consumers when it comes to brand service. This means that - regardless of whether you want your bot to sound like a real person - it should always make it clear that it is not.</p> <p>If a bot fails to disclose this, it could lead to users feeling like they’re being lied to, and a potentially disastrous lack of trust. </p> <p>This example from TFL lets users know the score from the get-go.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2582/TFL_TravelBot.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="503"></p> <h3>2. Lack focus</h3> <p>AI technology has huge potential, meaning that many brands get overly excited about what they might be able to achieve. However, this can lead to bots trying to do too many things at once, with an apparent lack of understanding about what the user might actually need.</p> <p>The technology’s limitations also play a big part, with many platforms having little or no natural language processing capabilities, and bots failing to understand basic user responses.</p> <p>In contrast to bots that lack focus, the best ones tend to narrow things down to one area and do it well. The Whole Foods chatbot, which gives you recipes from specific ingredients, is one particularly good example of this.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2583/Whole_Foods.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="504"></p> <h3>3. Carry on talking (when I’ve abandoned the conversation)</h3> <p>One of the most frustrating bot-related experiences is when you’ve left a chat, only to find the bot continues to bother you with follow-up messages. </p> <p>While this might sound like good practice in marketing terms – an ideal chance to bring users back into the conversation – it can be pretty annoying if you’ve already got what you need (or even more so if you haven’t).</p> <p>The key to not annoying users is to proceed with caution. Perhaps send one or a maximum of two messages after the initial conversation, but ensure that it offers something of real value and is not just an excuse to be disruptive.</p> <h3>4. Leave me hanging</h3> <p>We’ve all been through the experience of being left on hold on the telephone. And though chatbots are designed to make customer service easier, and take the strain off snowed-under staff, they can leave users just as frustrated. This is because many don’t have a system in place for a human to take over if the bot cannot solve a customer query.</p> <p>While some do point you in the right direction, i.e. provide a further contact telephone number – others will simply leave you hanging. Or worse, give you the same maddening response time and time again.</p> <p>Writing for <em><a href="https://gizmodo.com/facebook-messenger-chatbots-are-more-frustrating-than-h-1770732045" target="_blank">Gizmodo</a></em>, Darren Orf gives a frustrating example – 1-800-Flowers failed to provide him with a confirmation of his order, meaning he was left scratching his head as to whether or not it had gone through.</p> <h3>5. Repeatedly dodge the question</h3> <p>Another common characteristic of failed chatbots is when the technology tries to be too clever, and purposely dodges questions that it does not understand or can’t help with.</p> <p>It’s fine if a bot doesn’t have NLP (natural language processing) and can’t actually ‘chat’, but it should always convey that it doesn’t understand what you are saying and provide you with another option on how to move forward. </p> <p>If a bot is overly snarky or refuses to acknowledge what you are saying, it can lead to users feeling hugely frustrated and abandoning the technology altogether.</p> <h3>6. Create unrealistic expectations</h3> <p>In line with this, it’s been suggested that brands should <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68208-chatbots-are-they-better-without-the-chat" target="_blank">lose the ‘chat’</a> altogether, and simply call themselves ‘bots’. This is because a lot of users come into conversations with very high expectations, only to be disappointed when they’re met with what is essentially a set of multiple-choice questions.</p> <p>With Facebook’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus, even admitting that brands should be trying to build simple experiences that help the user achieve their goal (rather than complex conversations) – it's always better to set the bar low rather than aim too high.</p> <h3>7. Pigeonhole me</h3> <p>Most bots tend to use decision-trees to guide users to the answer they might want to find. This can be helpful in a lot of cases, especially in the absence of NLP. However, I’ve found that it can also lead to the bot making stereotypical and rather cliched presumptions about who it is talking to. </p> <p>Last year, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69627-battle-of-the-christmas-chatbots-why-m-s-beats-lego-asos" target="_blank">ASOS's Gift Finder</a> was particularly guilty of this, giving users a very limited set of categories to choose from. Instead of actually helping to narrow down the right gift for the right person, it turned out to provide even fewer options than I could have found from browsing the website.'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2584/ASOS_bot.JPG" alt="" width="595" height="576"></p> <h3>8. Ask me things you should already know</h3> <p>Chatbots are essentially designed to make the customer experience more convenient, meaning people don’t have to go through other channels. However, another bugbear is that they’re often created in a silo, with a lack of integration with the rest of the business.</p> <p>This means that chatbots can ask customers questions that they should already know the answer to. For example, when you’re dealing with a bank, airline, or ecommerce brand and have to reiterate your customer details or past purchases – even though the brand could already have access to this information. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69808-five-examples-of-charity-chatbots/" target="_blank">Five examples of charity chatbots</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69716-why-fashion-and-beauty-brands-are-still-betting-on-chatbots" target="_blank">Why fashion and beauty brands are still betting on chatbots</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69146-five-things-we-learned-from-launching-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot" target="_blank">Five things we learned from launching a Facebook Messenger chatbot</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69829 2018-02-27T12:54:00+00:00 2018-02-27T12:54:00+00:00 Only 4% of marketers are taking dark social seriously Nikki Gilliland <p>This phenomenon refers to any type of social sharing that can’t be tracked, or in other words, the activity that takes place in private messaging channels such as Messenger, WhatsApp, or Snapchat. </p> <p>But what does this changing behaviour mean for brands? Econsultancy’s second <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-dark-dark-social/" target="_blank">Marketing in the Dark</a> report, published in association with IBM Watson Marketing, delves into this question. Subscribers can download the report in full, but in the meantime, here’s a snippet of what you can expect.</p> <h3>Marketers are failing to take dark social seriously</h3> <p>The report comes from a survey of over 1,200 brand marketers. One of the biggest takeaways is that just 4% of respondents regard dark social as a top-three challenge.</p> <p>This is a small percentage to begin with, but is perhaps more surprising considering that the research also suggests the vast majority of consumer outbound sharing from company websites takes place via dark social.</p> <p>From this, it's clear that the majority of marketers are failing to take dark social seriously. Either that, or they’re unaware of the complexity and scale of the challenge itself.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2521/Dark_social.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="462"></p> <h3>Marketers need to mimic user behaviour</h3> <p>Another interesting stat from the report is that outperforming companies are around twice as likely as mainstream organisations to be using WhatsApp to engage in dialogue with consumers. </p> <p>This shows that, instead of tempting users away from dark social, the best tactic is to recognise and embrace it – and to optimise strategy accordingly.</p> <p>We’ve already seen a number of brands begin to use <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing" target="_blank">WhatsApp for marketing</a>. Naturally, marketers might face an uphill battle, mainly due to the fact that consumers are used to having natural, personal, and emotional conversations with people they know. However, with consumers <em>also</em> eager for communication about utility and customer service, the channel holds big potential for brands that are able to get it right.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2522/whatsapp_hellmans.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="549"></p> <p><em>(<a href="http://cubo.cc/whatscook/" target="_blank">WhatsCook by Hellmans</a>)</em></p> <h3>Is AI technology the way forward?</h3> <p>Chatbots are one way that brands have increased presence in dark social channels. It’s not a full-proof method, of course. Bots can do more harm than good if they fail to provide any real value to users.</p> <p>That being said, AI-driven technology can be one of the most cost-efficient ways to improve customer service. And when it comes to how consumers want to interact with brands in private channels, there’s a lot to learn from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/" target="_blank">the best examples</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/162458358" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Don't forget to download Econsultancy's second report in the Marketing in the Dark series, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-dark-dark-social/" target="_blank">Dark Social</a>, </strong></em><em><strong>in full.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69738 2018-01-19T10:58:25+00:00 2018-01-19T10:58:25+00:00 What marketers need to know about WhatsApp Business Patricio Robles <p>But Facebook has proven adept at monetizing not only its own social network, but another popular service it acquired for a ten-figure amount, Instagram, and the social media giant's efforts to turn WhatsApp into a revenue generator are becoming more apparent by the day.</p> <p>Case in point: WhatsApp yesterday <a href="https://blog.whatsapp.com/10000637/Introducing-the-WhatsApp-Business-App">announced</a> the launch of WhatsApp Business. Here's what marketers need to know about it.</p> <h3>It's an Android app</h3> <p>WhatsApp Business is an Android app designed for small businesses. Using the app, businesses can create and manage business profiles, which are like Facebook Pages for WhatsApp. These contain basic information about the business, such as a description, email address, physical address and website URL.</p> <p>The app also provides messaging tools that enable businesses to more easily communicate with their customers through WhatsApp. These tools include the ability to set up automated greeting and away messages, as well as to define quick replies for common requests.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1771/replies-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="350"></p> <h3>Using WhatsApp Business unlocks desktop functionality</h3> <p>Businesses that use WhatsApp Business won't need to use the Android app exclusively to send and receive messages. Instead, they'll be able to use a WhatsApp Business web application, making it possible for them to manage their WhatsApp presence from the desktop.</p> <h3>It's available in several countries to start but will be available globally soon</h3> <p>WhatsApp Business can be downloaded through the Google Play Store in the U.S., U.K., Mexico, Italy and Indonesia. WhatsApp says that the app will roll out globally “in the coming weeks.”</p> <h3>WhatsApp will provide analytics data</h3> <p>To help businesses better understand how their WhatsApp Business activities are working, WhatsApp will give them access to analytics data, such as the number of messages read. While it sounds like the analytics functionality will be fairly rudimentary to start, given Facebook's experience in this area on its core social network and Instagram, expect this to be one area it develops over time.</p> <h3>Business accounts will be designated as such</h3> <p>Businesses that set up profiles by using WhatsApp Business will have their profiles labeled as business profiles so that WhatsApp users who interact with those profiles understand they're interacting with a business. </p> <p>WhatsApp is also verifying some business profiles by confirming that the phone number on the account matches the phone number of the business. Verified businesses feature a label indicating that they've been verified.</p> <h3>Businesses can't communicate with all users</h3> <p>Businesses using WhatsApp Business won't be able to contact WhatsApp users at their leisure. Instead, users must opt in to receive communications from a business. This means that businesses wanting to put the messaging platform to good use will need to develop marketing and engagement strategies that promote such opt-in. </p> <h3>Paid features are likely coming</h3> <p>Last year, WhatsApp chief operating officer, Matt Idema, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-tees-up-whatsapp-to-make-money-1504609201">told the Wall Street Journal</a> that the company eventually plans to launch paid features for businesses. Idema did not reveal what those paid features might be but it's logical to assume that, at least initially, WhatsApp will target paid features to larger enterprises that are more likely to pay for such features.</p> <p>While WhatsApp Business is designed for small businesses, WhatsApp is also allowing larger companies like KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to interact with users by integrating their own applications into the WhatsApp platform directly.</p> <h3>So should businesses jump on the WhatsApp train?</h3> <p>WhatsApp is an incredibly attractive platform for businesses. With more than 1.3bn users, it's larger than Instagram, which Facebook has developed into one of the most popular social platforms for marketers. WhatsApp users are also incredibly engaged, sending more than 55bn messages each day.</p> <p>With usage like that, it's no surprise that <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing">some marketers are finding success using WhatsApp</a>. For instance, Morning Consult says that 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil that are on WhatsApp indicate that the messaging platform is helping them communicate with their customers and grow their businesses.</p> <p>Of course, WhatsApp is a messaging app, so it's not quite like Facebook and Instagram and shouldn't be treated the same way. It's also more popular in some countries than others, which will realistically influence just how successful any particular business will be on the platform.</p> <p>For instance, WhatsApp is far more popular in India than it is in the U.S. So the ability of businesses to gain from their use of WhatsApp Business will probably be based in part on the popularity of WhatsApp where they're located.</p> <p>While business use of messaging platforms in the U.S. and Europe isn't as robust as it is in, say, Asia, because of its size and Facebook backing, WhatsApp is a logical platform on which Western businesses can start experimenting with messaging and WhatsApp Business will make it easier for them to do that.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69716 2018-01-11T09:22:00+00:00 2018-01-11T09:22:00+00:00 Why fashion and beauty brands are still betting on chatbots Nikki Gilliland <p>So, is this investment in bots paying off, and if so – how come? Here’s more on why chatbots are proving a popular tactic for fashion and beauty brands.</p> <p><em>(N.B. If you're interested in marketing applications of AI, <a href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/supercharged">Econsultancy's Supercharged conference</a> takes place in London on May 1, 2018 and is chocked full of case studies and advice on how to build out your data science capability. Speakers come from Ikea, Danske Bank, Just Eat, Age UK, RBS and more)</em></p> <h3>Try before you buy</h3> <p>We’ve seen many brands launch chatbots in the hope that social media users will naturally want to interact and engage with them in one of their most frequently-used channels – i.e. Facebook. However, it’s clear that occupying this space is simply not enough, as many bots have failed to offer users anything of real value, or a reason to come back after an initial conversation. </p> <p>Take the Whole Foods bot, for example, which replies to emojis with recipe ideas. It's a bit of fun initially, perhaps, but is it enough to overtake regular search for serious recipe-seekers? Probably not.</p> <p>For fashion and beauty brands, chatbots can solve a much more tangible problem, and something that has always been a barrier for ecommerce. That is the issue of not being able to try a product before ordering it online. This is especially pertinent in the beauty industry, where matching to skin-tone and colour also comes into play. </p> <p>It is through the integration of <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69388-ar-is-on-the-brink-of-a-breakout-thanks-to-new-platforms-from-google-apple" target="_blank">AR</a> into chatbots that beauty brands are able to solve this, with bots able to help users find the right shade of lipstick or foundation based on a photo.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1590/estee_lauder_lip_artist_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="489"></p> <p>Estee Lauder’s lip artist chatbot is one decent example of this technology. By giving the option of a lip shade (and showing what it might look like in real life), the user is naturally prompted into making a purchase. This mirrors the in-store beauty experience, whereby trying out a product provides reassurance and instils desire.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1585/estee_lauder_lip_artist.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="540"></p> <h3>An online stylist</h3> <p>For fashion brands, the ability to ‘try before you buy’ is limited, with AR and clothing proving a much trickier combination. However, one way fashion and ecommerce brands can tap into consumer need is by offering personal styling tips and advice. This also means that brands can combine general customer service with personalised recommendations, which again aims to replicate what an in-store employee might provide.</p> <p>There are limitations to this of course, with success largely depending on how advanced or slick the technology is. The best examples tend to be those which – instead of offering users a general selection of products based on broad categories – help consumers to narrow down to one specific item.</p> <p>One example of this is the Levi’s Virtual Stylist, which asks users questions about size, preference of fit etc. in order to suggest the right pair of jeans.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1587/levis.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="537"></p> <p>Another benefit is that it uses True Fit technology, which is designed to increase the chances of retailers providing customers with the exact fit, which in turn helps to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68477-how-six-online-retailers-are-combatting-wrong-size-returns" target="_blank">reduce the likelihood of returns</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1586/Levi_s_true_fit.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="482"></p> <p>As well as providing helpful advice, the chatbot also effectively saves the user time, taking away the need to browse on the website or look around in-store. </p> <p>Does it matter that the bot is clearly a bot – i.e. that it does not sound like a human? If it offers something of real value, which the Levi’s example does, I don’t think users will linger over this disappointment for very long. </p> <h3>Better integration</h3> <p>One of the biggest barriers to chatbot success has been the fact that many consumers do not know they exist. Many brands have <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68805-are-brands-failing-to-properly-promote-their-new-chatbots" target="_blank">failed to promote their bots</a>, instead relying on users to stumble across them on Facebook or seek them out themselves.</p> <p>Recently, however, Facebook has launched a new plug-in which could help to combat this issue. It allows businesses to integrate Messenger into their own websites, allowing users to interact with the chatbot on mobile, desktop, and tablet devices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1589/Bodeaz_bot.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="388"></p> <p>In some ways, this negates why Messenger chatbots exist in the first place (with the idea that users spend most of their time in this channel), however it certainly means that bots will become less of an isolated medium, and users will become more aware of the service as they naturally browse on brand websites.</p> <p>Plus, it also means that users will be able to visit Messenger at a later date to re-read or continue the conversation. With regular live chat on brand websites, users are typically required to start over again if they click away or end the conversation. </p> <p>Lastly, Facebook has also taken steps to help users discover chatbots in its own platform, with the launch of a new ‘Discover’ tab within Messenger. By suggesting recommended brand chatbots, Facebook is clearly placing a renewed focus on the medium, hoping that users begin to look to bots for problem-solving rather than fun and entertainment. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1588/chatbot_discover.JPG" alt="" width="296" height="545"></p> <p>So, will other brands (other than fashion and beauty) start to invest as a result? Perhaps, but with aforementioned benefits of AR integration and personalisation – it’s clear why these industries in particular are still intent on reaching out to consumers in this way. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/" target="_blank">What makes a good chatbot UX?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69146-five-things-we-learned-from-launching-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot" target="_blank">Five things we learned from launching a Facebook Messenger chatbot</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69627 2017-12-04T09:30:00+00:00 2017-12-04T09:30:00+00:00 Battle of the Christmas chatbots: Why M&S beats Lego & ASOS Nikki Gilliland <p>The basic premise is nothing new – gift guides have been around on retail websites for years. However, they’re now moving into Facebook Messenger, allowing social users to engage and interact with brands and (theoretically) find the perfect gift.</p> <p>But are they actually any good? Here’s a run-down of three new Christmas bots for 2017, from ASOS, Lego, and M&amp;S.</p> <h3>ASOS’ Gift Assistant</h3> <p>With over 80,000 brands and tonnes of new products added to the site daily, shopping on ASOS can be an overwhelming experience. The new Gift Assistant bot is designed to combat this, asking users a series of questions in order to find the perfect gift for someone without spending hours fruitlessly browsing.</p> <p>The bot begins by asking who you are buying for, i.e. your family, best mate, or Secret Santa etc. It will then ask about budget and a few more general and seemingly random questions relating to the person’s character or interests. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0816/ASOS_1.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="565"></p> <p>For example, it asked me what the name of my boyfriend’s autobiography would be, before giving me five (frankly non-applicable) answers. Of course, I had to pick one, so I ended up choosing “I run this show” because, well, he likes to go on a run every three to twenty weeks... </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0817/ASOS_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="537"></p> <p>I soon realised that I wasn’t going to find the perfect gift for anyone, but I went through the motions anyway.</p> <p>The rest of the experience was equally unconvincing, with the bot largely steering me towards certain products rather than actually asking intelligent questions to inform creative recommendations.</p> <p>ASOS also seems guilty of stereotyping its audience here, boxing ‘millennials’ into number of predictable personality types. And while it could have come across as clever target marketing, the limited number of options means it just feels a bit lazy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0818/ASOS_3.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="578"></p> <p>The design is a little disappointing, too. The images are large and overbearing in the messenger interface, and even when you’ve stipulated a category like womenswear, for example, the returned suggestions might show something else.</p> <p>While ASOS is clearly going for a retro vibe with its use of emoji, some icons on desktop Messenger are confusing, such as these ones which attempt to highlight how my best friend might like to spend her Friday night.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0819/ASOS_icons.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="336"></p> <p>Overall, I would have expected better from ASOS. The product recommedations I got seemed quite random, and I could easily do a much better job of finding a gift by using the main site's filtering tools.</p> <h3>Ralph by Lego</h3> <p>Lego is another <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69592-examining-lego-s-social-success-and-how-it-boosts-roi">social brand</a> that is using chatbot technology to help narrow down the gift-buying process. I was slightly baffled when I heard this, because I can understand it from the perspective of a multi-category retailer like ASOS, but just how many Lego products are there to narrow down?</p> <p>After giving the chatbot a go, it became apparent that perhaps the point of Ralph is more to help customers speed up the buying process. This is because, instead of manually researching what products are suitable for what age ranges, etc, Ralph does the leg work for you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0820/Lego.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="533"></p> <p>The first question Ralph asked me was the age of the ‘builder’, plus whether they prefer to play with toys that create excitement, speed, are related to super-heroes etc. He also asked what kind of things the child likes to build, e.g. worlds and stories, wacky, or a ‘freestyle’ creation, before offering up a selection of four product recommendations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0821/Lego_3.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="572"></p> <p>I was slightly disappointed that the entire process centres around just these two questions. Surely Ralph could have delved a little deeper into the personalities of our young Lego-loving companions? </p> <p>That being said, it offers a basic but functional chatbot overall, helping users perhaps unfamiliar with the brand to decipher between the dizzying array of Lego sets and figurines, and importantly, to determine what products are suitable for a specific age range.</p> <p>One stand-out incentive is the inclusion of a free-shipping code at the beginning of the conversation, which cleverly prompts users to carry out their purchase through the bot.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0822/Lego_4.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="572"></p> <h3>M&amp;S Christmas Concierge</h3> <p>Earlier this year, Facebook admitted that it had seen a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68868-facebook-scales-back-on-chatbots-what-does-it-mean-for-brands" target="_blank">70% failure rate</a> of brand chatbots on its platform. As a result, it launched the Facebook Creative Shop Christmas Hackathon – a competition for innovative use of Messenger at Christmas. Grey London’s ‘M&amp;S Christmas Concierge’ was one of the shortlisted entries – a Messenger chatbot designed to help users plan the perfect festive period. </p> <p>Unlike the ASOS example, which solely focuses on gifts, the concierge helps users find presents, plan food, and receive decorating and cooking tips.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0823/M_S_1.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="582"></p> <p>So, does it do as promised?</p> <p>Right from the get-go, I was impressed with the amount of choice presented to me. Do I want food tips or other Christmas inspiration? Going for food first, I was asked a few cooking-related questions, such as whether I want to be a top-chef or go for canapes or classics. The bot then returned a menu suited to my tastes, e.g ‘relaxing on Christmas Eve’ before the option to see all products or order from the M&amp;S site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0825/M_S_5.JPG" alt=""></p> <p>The decision-process feels more natural here than on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/" target="_blank">other chatbot examples</a>, as there is no shoehorning users into specific (and often mis-judged) categories. You don't need to be either a novice or a top chef - there are suggestions to suit everyone. It also helps that if you’re given a menu or a tip that you don’t think is relevant, you can easily choose another or move on.</p> <p>One aspect I particularly like is the integration of video, which is not something I’ve often seen from chatbots before. When I asked for general Christmas tips, for instance, I was shown a video on how to create a festive wreath.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0826/M_S_7.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="567"></p> <p>Another good feature is that the concierge regularly reminds users to subscribe for the tips they are interested in, clearly hoping to open up regular communication with customers rather than offer a one-time only interaction. What’s more, it allows users to choose what time of day they’ll receive these messages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0827/M_S_6.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="568"></p> <p>All in all, the concierge feels much more customer-centric than other chatbots I've tried. Instead of pushing consumers down a purchase funnel, it is much more geared around providing inspiration, and increasing the amount of time people interact with the brand.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While Lego offers a slightly better chatbot experience than ASOS, I can’t help but think both might be in danger of falling into the 70% of failed Messenger bots. </p> <p>In contrast, with a focus on what users really want from this kind of brand interaction (rather than merely jumping on the bandwagon) M&amp;S has managed to create a far more engaging example. </p> <p>By widening it out to provide general Christmas inspiration, and also integrating video, it feels like a valuable and natural extension of the brand’s content strategy – not just a flimsy experiment. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69146-five-things-we-learned-from-launching-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot"><em>Five things we learned from launching a Facebook Messenger chatbot</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/"><em>What makes a good chatbot UX?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68934-how-chatbots-and-ai-might-impact-the-b2c-financial-services-industry/"><em>How chatbots and AI might impact the B2C financial services industry</em></a></li> </ul> 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/69580 2017-11-10T14:30:52+00:00 2017-11-10T14:30:52+00:00 10 fascinating digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>The roundup includes news about social media ads, ecommerce page speeds, Cyber Monday predictions and lots more. You can also check out the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for further facts and figures.</p> <h3>58% of marketers don’t see chatbots as a priority</h3> <p>According to a study by LiveWorld, marketers are failing to invest resources into chatbot and messaging app technology, with 58% saying that it isn’t a top priority.</p> <p>56% of marketers cited lack of expertise or bandwidth as a reason not to invest in chatbots, while 43% said a lack of strategy and 32% cited budget limitations.</p> <p>Despite the potential for improved customer service, the study also found a lack of enthusiasm for the tech in future. Only 40% of marketers expect their chatbot usage to increase, compared to 81% of marketers planning to increase their use of social media platforms.</p> <h3>63% of shoppers will buy from Amazon this Christmas</h3> <p>Astound Commerce’s <a href="https://astoundcommerce.com/us/holidays_us/" target="_blank">Holiday report</a> has revealed that seven in 10 consumers (of 2,000 surveyed in the US and Europe) plan to do at least a quarter of their Christmas shopping on Amazon this year, while more than 40% will make half of their purchases on the site.</p> <p>To highlight this level of consumer favour, over 50% of shoppers rank Amazon number one for the lowest prices, speed of shipping, and broad assortment, while less than 25% of consumers rank brands and large stores number one for the same categories.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the report suggests that a quality mobile app or web experience will cause four in 10 consumers to make a purchase from a retailer, highlighting the increasing growth of mobile commerce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0426/amazon__2_.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="432"></p> <h3>Personable language most effective for social media ads</h3> <p>In a study on the effectiveness of social media ads, Kantar Millward Brown has <a href="http://www.millwardbrown.com/global-navigation/news/press-releases/full-release/2017/11/09/social-media-drives-brand-impact-for-advertisers-new-analysis-reveals">found</a> that personable and natural language is key for driving long-term brand impact. </p> <p>Looking at data from Facebook and Instagram campaigns over the past two years, including 235 campaigns from 110 different brands, the study found that human language in social media ads generated greater levels of brand awareness and product awareness.</p> <p>In contrast, there was no real correlation found between the success of social media ads and other factors like format, creative, or industry category.</p> <h3>UK online retailers predicted to lose Black Friday sales due to poor page speeds</h3> <p><a href="http://www.visualsoft.co.uk/pdf/e-retail_performance_report_2017_UK.pdf">New research</a> from Visualsoft has revealed that the UK’s top retailers are unprepared for this year’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69534-ask-the-experts-black-friday-ecommerce-strategy/">Black Friday</a>, rating as ‘poor’ for a number of key performance metrics including page load speed.</p> <p>Analysis of leading retailers found that 54% suffer from ‘poor’ page speeds, currently taking over nine seconds to load. 32% were rated as ‘fair’, taking between six to eight seconds to load. </p> <p>Consequently, these retailers are predicted to lose out on key sales. ‘Poor’ retailers will lose 29% of all potential customers through site speed alone, while ‘fair’ retailers will lose about a quarter.</p> <p><em>(More: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69528-uk-black-friday-landing-pages-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/">UK Black Friday landing pages: The good, the bad &amp; the ugly</a>)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0424/Page_loading.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="336"></p> <h3>Over a third of millennials willing to buy a car online</h3> <p>A new Trustpilot survey has revealed that millennials are becoming more open to the idea of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69321-with-peugeot-now-selling-cars-online-how-is-retail-influencing-automotive/">buying a car online</a>, with 36% of 18 to 35 year olds saying they would be willing to do so (compared to 25% overall).</p> <p>In a survey of over 1,500 people, Trustpilot also found that 82% of millennials turn to the internet when researching cars. 80% also cite reviews as being a fairly influential source of information, while just 37% say the same for general social media. </p> <p>Lastly, with Amazon reported to be entering the car market, 56% of millennials say they would trust the retailer with such a big purchase, compared to 42% overall and just 31% for those aged 55 and over. </p> <h3>Confidence levels in European advertising recover</h3> <p>In the first half of 2017, business confidence in the European marketing and advertising sector sharply declined. However, according to the <a href="http://eaca.eu/news/european-advertising-business-confidence-shows-signs-recovery-third-quarter-2017/" target="_blank">European Advertising Business Climate Index</a>, this has since steadied.</p> <p>It has reported that business confidence in the ad industry increased from +2 in July 2017 to +3 in October 2017, following an initial fall of 16 points.</p> <p>Despite general improvement in Europe, confidence levels still remain negative for the UK, rising from -29 in Q2 of 2017 to -18 in Q3 of 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0421/confidence.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="381"></p> <h3>Half of Brits have been phishing victims more than once (but only 13% of Americans)</h3> <p>As Cyber Monday rapidly approaches, DomainTools <a href="https://blog.domaintools.com/2017/11/cyber-monday-deal-or-phishing-scam/">predicts</a> that US and UK consumers will once again fall foul to phishing scams.</p> <p>In a survey on consumer behaviour, 38% of US consumers and 20% of UK consumers admitted previously clicking on a link they thought was from a trusted brand, only to discover that it was in fact a scam. 53% of Brits say that this has happened to them more than once, while just 13% of Americans say the same.</p> <p>DomainTools also suggest that the most popular online retailers, including Amazon and Argos, are the most likely to be targeted.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0422/DomainTools.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="233"></p> <h3>80% of consumers share major milestones on social media</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/q4-2017/">new data</a> from Sprout Social, consumers are more likely to share major milestones on social media than in real life, with 80% saying that they regularly do so.</p> <p>In a survey of more than 1,200 US consumers, 66% of people said they post about holiday celebrations, 58% said the same for relationship milestones, while 47% said they'd also share difficult moments like the death of a loved one.</p> <p>Facebook by far remains the most popular for this, with 94% of consumers typically turning to the platform to share these moments. This is followed by Instagram and Twitter, with 39% and 27% of respondents saying they use these platforms for the same purpose.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0425/Sprout_Social.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="567"></p> <h3>75% of marketing leaders don’t understand changing consumers</h3> <p><a href="https://blogs.adobe.com/digitaleurope/files/2017/11/Adobe-Reinventing-Loyalty-The-New-Loyalty-Experience.pdf">A study</a> by Adobe and Goldsmiths has found that 75% of marketing leaders are failing to understand changing consumer behaviour, leading to a major impact on business performance. Meanwhile, the brands that are keeping up are said to be outperforming those using only traditional loyalty methods by as much as 14%. </p> <p>The study found that tailoring experiences to the needs and preferences of consumers is key to generating loyalty, with 61% of consumers citing this as a driver. However, despite 65% saying their companies target individual customer needs, just 32% say they use AI to enhance the customer experience, and just 58% make all their services available on mobile devices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0423/Adobe_CMO.JPG" alt="" width="602" height="483"></p> <h3>Growing distrust in technology suppliers</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://downloads.conduent.com/content/usa/en/report/2017-state-of-customer-experience-technology.pdf">new analysis</a> from Conduent Incorporated, technology suppliers are failing to satisfy customers, with 47% citing frustration over service.</p> <p>Despite 76% of customers providing personal data to their technology suppliers, 59% believe that brands do not know them – an increase of 16% from just two years ago. As a result, 8% of customers would be willing to change suppliers if their data was used more effectively, and 14% would be willing to change suppliers for better service.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69246 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 Why Adidas is moving into utility marketing with All Day fitness app Nikki Gilliland <p>Its MiCoach app (now Runtastic) aims to help improve users’ fitness performance, while its Adidas Confirmed app lets users know about exclusive product releases.</p> <p>Now, Adidas is taking a broader approach, combining different types of health and fitness tracking technology into a single app. 'All Day' – just launched in the US – is an all-encompassing version designed to help users ‘begin their journey to well-being’. </p> <p>But, is there a market for yet another sports-brand app? More to the point, how will Adidas benefit? </p> <h3>Technology to manage health, not just fitness</h3> <p>From the Nike+ Training Club app to MyFitnessPal and Fitbit, there are a tonne of similar apps on the market. Interestingly, Adidas’s All Day app does not appear to be a carbon copy of other brand examples, instead, focusing much more on health and well-being for women.</p> <p>While it is inspired by sport, the app is tailored around four distinct categories of movement, nutrition, mindset, and rest. This means if the user is not that interested in one category, such as exercise, they’ll still be able to gain value from others like food and sleep.</p> <p>Essentially, it’s an interesting example of utility marketing, with Adidas ensuring that it is there to meet the individuals needs at any time – without directly promoting its core products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GvQfVjpDTwM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Moving into the health industry could prove to be a shrewd move from Adidas. According to research, two-thirds of Americans <a href="http://www.itnonline.com/content/two-thirds-americans-favor-digital-personal-health-management" target="_blank">favour digital health management</a> over physical. Meanwhile, healthcare apps have seen a surge in interest, with a 16% increase in downloads during the past two years.</p> <p>Adidas is not the only brand to veer into this market. Under Armour’s Record app is also geared around general health verticals such as fitness, nutrition, and sleep – capitalising on its ability to track and help users throughout the entire day, not just during moments of exercise. </p> <h3>Using content to inspire</h3> <p>One way the Adidas All Day app differentiates itself from the competition is by going beyond performance tracking, also using content to inspire users. </p> <p>This part of the app is called ‘Discoveries’, with the current selection including recipes and healthy eating tips from food author, Candice Kumai, and a custom music playlist from DJ Nina Las Vegas. </p> <p>As well as capitalising on the authority of influencers, Adidas is focusing on high-quality content to tap into the general lifestyle interests of women. </p> <p>The aim here is to provide more than just utility. So while some people might use fitness apps for a while and then forget about them, or only think of using them in the moment of exercise, Adidas wants to provide the inspiration for maintaining and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7415/Adidas_All_Day_2.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="604"></p> <p>Furthermore, instead of focusing on hardcore or lengthy workout programs, it focuses on setting short term goals – where the length and category is chosen by the user.</p> <p>For example, if you’re interested in setting up a healthy eating plan, you can choose a select number of recipes to try – which the app will then remind you about and mark as complete as you go. The same goes for exercise plans and sleep aids. </p> <p>By breaking everything down into manageable chunks, the hope is that users might be more inclined to sustain usage over time.</p> <h3>Expanding digital presence</h3> <p>The app is not the only example of Adidas targeting a female audience or experimenting with other forms of utility marketing. In the UK, it launched a chatbot to let consumers find out information and book fitness classes in its East London studio. </p> <p>The chatbot received 2,000 sign ups with a 60% retention rate after the first week of launch, proving that online users often value practicality over pure entertainment.</p> <p>Adidas appears to be using both to promote the All Day app on social media, pulling in lifestyle-based content from its blog as well as promoting features such as the ability to set mini challenges.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Make every movement count.</p> <p>Take on challenges on the new All Day App: <a href="https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR">https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/adidasALLDAY?src=hash">#adidasALLDAY</a> <a href="https://t.co/haamf50fZc">pic.twitter.com/haamf50fZc</a></p> — ADIDAS NYC (@adidasNYC) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasNYC/status/883037976007024640">July 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>It’s also capitalising on influencer involvement, featuring popular lifestyle bloggers on its Instagram channel – another sign that it’s set on widening its target demographic rather than a niche, fitness-focused audience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7413/Adidas_insta.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <h3>Building brand affinity</h3> <p>The main benefit of utility marketing is that it helps to create brand affinity, with users potentially more likely to favour Adidas products when considering a purchase.</p> <p>While this naturally extends to Adidas sportswear and apparel, there’s also the question of whether Adidas will introduce a wearable tie-in.</p> <p>This has been the pattern for many sports brands up until now, starting with Nike+ and its Fuelband. Despite Nike going back to being a third-party app (now compatible with the Apple Watch), others have since entered the market, including Under Armour and its Healthbox wearable, and New Balance and its RunIQ smartwatch.</p> <p>As it stands, the new Adidas app can be paired with Apple’s Health Kit and Google Fit, and it looks like it won’t be long before a new official wearable is launched.</p> <p>It’s been reported that the device featured in the press photos for the All Day app is the all-new Adidas fitness tracker – thought to be called ‘Chameleon’. Said to be a rival for Fitbit, it will include a heart-rate sensor, as well as tie-ins with healthcare partners like Verily and American College of Sports Medicine. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7414/Chameleon.JPG" alt="" width="606" height="344"></p> <p>So, could Adidas take a share of the lucrative wearable market?</p> <p>Fitbit is currently the dominant player, with the brand seeing the most amount of downloads for its accompanying app. That being said, there has been rising concern over privacy rights, with many big wearable companies coming under fire for vague and convoluted T&amp;C’s. </p> <p>Alongside privacy concerns, one of the biggest reasons for wearable abandonment (a <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-third-of-wearable-devices-abandoned-by-consumers-gartner/" target="_blank">third of all owners</a> are reported to not wear their device) is said to be guilt or frustration for failing to reach their fitness goals. </p> <p>As less of a goal-setting app, and more of a lifestyle support, this is one area that Adidas might be able to capitalise on.</p> <p>By focusing more on flexibility rather than serious workouts, it could appeal to a wider demographic, as well as consumers already interested in its fashion-focused collections such as Adidas Originals.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69086-how-adidas-uses-digital-to-enable-powerful-experiences/" target="_blank">How Adidas uses digital to enable powerful experiences</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65598-nike-vs-adidas-which-provides-the-best-ecommerce-experience" target="_blank">Nike vs. Adidas: which provides the best ecommerce experience?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68785-how-adidas-originals-uses-social-media-to-drive-sales/" target="_blank">How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales</a></em></li> </ul>