tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/multichannel-marketing Latest Multichannel Marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-08-29T15:00:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69374 2017-08-29T15:00:00+01:00 2017-08-29T15:00:00+01:00 Star Wars uses AR experiential campaign to drive people in-store Patricio Robles <p>The Star Wars franchise is one of the most successful ever in the history of movies and today, the success of the franchise actually depends more on merchandise sales than ticket sales. Last year, Star Wars generated more than $5bn in merchandise sales and was the leading driver behind a 4.4% increase in total licensed merchandise sales, a now-$260bn a year business.</p> <p>It therefore goes without saying that a big part of the success of <em>Star Wars: The Last Jedi</em> will depend on merchandise sales. But with the retail industry fighting for life, Disney faces a new challenge: making sure Star Wars fans go to the store. After all, while merchandise will be available online, the company simply can't shun offline merchandise sales.</p> <p>So Disney has decided to take a page from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality">Pokémon Go</a> playbook in an effort to get Star Wars fans into stores where it hopes they will buy merchandise. The entertainment giant is adding an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67713-augmented-reality-vs-virtual-reality-where-should-brands-focus">augmented reality</a> treasure hunt to its Star Wars iOS and Android apps. As detailed in <a href="http://www.starwars.com/news/announcing-force-friday-iis-find-the-force-ar-event">an announcement</a> on the Star Wars website:</p> <blockquote> <p>From September 1-3, retailers around the world will invite fans to Find the Force by taking part in an AR treasure hunt. Here's how it works: first, download the Star Wars app, which is your one-stop-shop for all things Star Wars (those who already have the app will need to download the latest version). Then, visit any one of 20,000 participating retail locations to find a graphic that contains the Find the Force logo. When you scan the graphic using the Star Wars app, you'll reveal a character, who through AR, will appear in the room with you. </p> </blockquote> <p>In total, there are 15 characters and Star Wars fans are being encouraged to go to participating locations all three days of the treasure hunt as new characters will be unveiled each day. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y0DuA0ERkTA?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Retailers in 30 countries are participating in Find the Force. In the United States, participating retailers include Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, Best Buy and Kohl's. In the UK, retailers include Smyths, John Lewis and HMV.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, the Find the Force experience has been designed to be social media-friendly. The Star Wars app will allow users to take photos and record videos and then share them on social media using the hashtags #ForceFriday and #FindtheForce. Clearly, if Disney has its way, Find the Force will go viral and Star Wars fans won't be able to resist coming out of their houses and heading down to retail locations to get involved.</p> <h3>Not just a cool campaign, but a necessity?</h3> <p>On paper, Find the Force looks to be an innovative experiential marketing program that will test the longevity of the Pokémon Go concept, but it's also worth considering that it is also a demonstration of the fact that brands increasingly have no choice but to create bigger and bolder campaigns to capture attention, even for brand assets that have historically had a strong built-in fan base.</p> <p>This is particularly true when it comes to driving foot traffic, as the challenging retail market means that even Disney can't expect fans of one of its most popular franchises to go to stores and buy merchandise without a greater effort at engagement.</p> <p>As the New York Times' Brooks Barnes <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/24/business/media/to-get-people-in-stores-disney-offers-star-wars-treasure-hunt.html">observed</a>, "The effort illustrates what it now takes to generate excitement at traditional retail outlets, many of which have been struggling as online shopping continues to soar."</p> <p>The big question: will Find the Force actually work at driving foot traffic and will that foot traffic deliver merchandise sales?</p> <p>We will soon find out, but one thing is already abundantly clear: changing consumer shopping habits, particularly among Millennials and teenagers, have left even the most powerful brands without a formula to get consumers to go where they want them to go and they will increasingly have to look to new technologies like AR and trends like Pokémon Go for inspiration.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-08-25T11:33:00+01:00 2017-08-25T11:33:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to two sector-specific reports, B2B and Healthcare &amp; Pharma) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/896 2017-08-23T15:58:06+01:00 2017-08-23T15:58:06+01:00 Digital Therapy Live <p><strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong> is an event dedicated to providing a cure for your digital angst. It’s part of our <strong>Digital Therapy</strong> programme for 2017, a mixture of events and webcasts running throughout the year.</p> <p>We ran our first <strong>Digital Therapy Live </strong>in May and, as it was such a success, we have decided to run another event in November of 2017. </p> <p>November's<strong> Digital Therapy Live</strong> will explore topics of concern in the digital space, providing you with the opportunity to digitally destress and debunk digital mysteries, with our experts giving you sound advice on how to pursue your best digital future (without the angst).</p> <p>It’s designed to be a comfortable and confidential setting, so what’s said at <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong>, stays at <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong>. In this private forum, surrounded by your peers and our experts, you are free to rant, question, dispute, explore and immerse yourself in comprehensive digital discussion. </p> <p>This event is exclusive to Econsultancy users who are also senior client-side marketers.</p> <h4><strong>Roundtable topics</strong></h4> <p>At <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong> you’ll have the opportunity to participate in two roundtable discussions, each focusing on different digital pain points. Upon being allocated a space, you’ll have the chance to choose which discussion tables you would like to take part in the most. Topics on the day will delve into areas including:</p> <ul> <li>The end of the generation of traditional content: AI is here</li> <li>Why you are not getting the most out of your data</li> <li>Overemphasis on customer acquisition rather than retention</li> <li>Corporate inability to attract/retain digital talent</li> <li>The issue of keeping up with marketing technology</li> <li>Mobile progress</li> <li>Personalisation</li> <li>Testing and optimization</li> <li>Agile adoption</li> <li>Organisational design for 'digital'</li> <li>GDPR: How to prepare for the data privacy revolution</li> </ul> <p>We hope to ease your anxiety and eliminate your digital woes throughout the event; our roundtable discussions aim to help you negotiate the many digital difficulties presented to the modern marketer. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69353 2017-08-21T15:30:00+01:00 2017-08-21T15:30:00+01:00 Forget fake reviews: now you can buy fake customers Patricio Robles <p>As <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/08/16/see-the-hipsters-lined-up-outside-that-new-restaurant-this-app-pays-them-to-stand-there/">detailed by</a> The Washington Post's Peter Holley, Surkus, a two year-old startup founded by a former Groupon employee, has built an app that allows businesses to connect with and pay local individuals to come to their store or event. </p> <p>For instance, a new restaurant could pay Surkus to ensure that there's a line out the door when it hosts its opening. Or a nightclub could pay a couple dozen beautiful people to show up on a Friday night in hopes that it will lure in other club-goers. And so on and so forth.</p> <p>For individuals, the proposition is simple: "Go out. Have fun. Get paid." And its proposition for businesses is even more alluring: we'll guarantee people show up without the rigmarole and risk of marketing.</p> <p>As Stephen George, Surkus's founder and CEO explained, "[Businesses] hire promoters and marketers and PR agencies to connect, but it's a one-sided interaction that involves blasting out a message to get people engaged, but they don't necessarily know if that message is being received."</p> <p>Surkus says its "crowdcasting" model solves that problem and claims that "top brands, ad agencies, nightclubs, events [and] venues" have tapped its network, which now tops 150,000 members, to populate more than 4,000 gatherings.</p> <p>It offers businesses targeting capabilities based on an algorithm that looks at age, location, style, interests and Facebook Likes. Those selected who agree to show up check in to a location or event using the Surkus app. Geolocation is used to ensue that they stay as long as they're contracted to and Surkus keeps track of its members with a reputation score.</p> <p>Businesses pay anywhere between $5 and $100 per person to create a crowd, with the average price per person being between $25 and $40.</p> <h3>A legitimate shortcut, or a new form of snake oil?</h3> <p>Not surprisingly, not everybody is a fan of Surkus's crowdcasting model. The most obvious shortcoming: the vast majority of the people being paid to show up are only showing up because they're being paid, so the line out the door is nothing more than a fleeting illusion.</p> <p>"I understand the need for quick results and attendance and that sometimes brands need people lined up at their door," Kerry O'Grady, a professor at New York University's School of Professional Studies, told The Washington Post. "But what does that do? It's not going to do anything if they just want to get paid to party and have no attachment to the brand itself."</p> <p>Others take issue with the ethics of Surkus. </p> <p>According to The Washington Post, "During events, participants are asked to remain discreet about the origin of their invitations." In other words, those being paid to show up at a business through Surkus aren't supposed to disclose that they're being paid to show up.</p> <p>If the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67923-influencer-marketing-is-becoming-a-joke-what-can-brands-do-about-it">requires influencers to disclose when they're being paid</a> to post on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, why shouldn't the same transparency be required here?</p> <h3>So are there legitimate crowdcasting applications?</h3> <p>One could argue that Surkus's form of crowdcasting isn't all that different than, say, a restaurant offering free food or a hefty discount to lure people through its doors. But that argument doesn't appear so convincing. After all, even if a restaurant offers free food or significant discounts, it still has to convince individuals that the free or discounted food is worth showing up for and eating. </p> <p>In the opinion of this author, businesses large and small would be wise to think twice before paying to merely <em>look</em> successful for a few hours. Not only is it ethically dubious, it could be a dangerous crutch that can encourage businesses to abandon challenging but strategically crucial parts of the marketing process.</p> <p>For instance, if a business never learns what its true target market is and how it needs to position itself to appeal to that target market, how can it ever expect to thrive?</p> <p>All of this said, there <em>are</em> legitimate applications of crowdcasting. For example, a research firm used Surkus to find 750 people to watch a new movie in Los Angeles and New York. In practical terms, Surkus was used to build a focus group.</p> <p>When well-designed and well-constructed, focus groups can be incredibly valuable and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63566-10-interesting-internet-marketing-statistics-we-ve-seen-this-week/">they're arguably underutilized today</a>, so for businesses attracted to the concept of crowdcasting, it's worth considering that this might be where the real value exists.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69265 2017-07-20T17:43:59+01:00 2017-07-20T17:43:59+01:00 The evolving relationship between brand marketers and agencies [New research] Nikki Gilliland <p>Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/partners-in-transformation-what-brand-marketers-need-from-agencies/">Partners in Transformation report</a> in association with IBM delves into this topic, specifically looking at the areas agencies should be focusing on in future.</p> <p>Before we take a closer look at the research, note that the companies who took part in the study are split into ‘high performing’ and ‘mainstream’, with the former significantly exceeding their top 2016 business goals compared to others that are defined by a poor to average marketing performance.</p> <p>So, what do brands need from agencies in 2017 and beyond? Let’s get into it.</p> <h3>CX support for different stages of the journey</h3> <p>Improving customer experience remains at the heart of most brand growth strategies, however, agency input usually depends on where companies are in the process of implementation (and current levels of success).</p> <p>Our research shows that high performing companies are far more engaged with their agencies in areas related to customer service – 65% compared to 40% of mainstream companies. </p> <p>High performing companies also draw on different kinds of expertise, with 44% citing new and innovative ideas for improving CX as most important. In contrast, mainstream companies still in the early stages of development largely cite execution and implementation.</p> <p>This shows us that – while CX presents a massive opportunity for agencies of all sizes – it is vital to understand and recognise where brands are in the journey and to determine how they can move forward.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7612/CX.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="507"></p> <h3>Turning data into insight</h3> <p>90% of brands agree that knowing more about their customers is the key to improving CX. However, with an increasingly fractured customer journey – with people moving from one device to another and back again – it’s becoming all the more challenging for marketers.</p> <p>Intelligent use of data is the answer, with agencies able to play a vital role in more technical aspects of analysis. However, this doesn’t mean all companies are willing or well-prepared to heed agency advice.</p> <p>High performing companies are nearly 30% more likely to take advantage of their agencies’ ability to turn data into insight than the mainstream. </p> <p>This tells us that lower performing companies tend to get stuck in the cycle of collecting data but doing the minimum with it, whereas real success is generated from making sense of it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7613/Data.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="368"></p> <h3>Technology and training</h3> <p>Similar to the challenges presented by data, many brands struggle to take full advantage of the existing technology they have in place. As a result, agencies can offer value by stepping in and helping brands understand and execute technology-driven marketing.</p> <p>What’s more, agencies can also play a vital role in helping brands to stay on top of innovation, with 42% of high performing companies citing the importance of them ‘helping to source technology providers’.</p> <p>Meanwhile, agencies can help to foster long-term partnerships with brands by providing technology training. This emphasises the fact that value does not just lie in providing greater access to tech, but in helping brands gain a deep understanding of it themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7614/Technology.JPG" alt="" width="709" height="354"></p> <h3>Collaboration is key </h3> <p>Despite 92% of all companies saying that it’s important for agencies and internal teams to collaborate, levels of satisfaction are relatively low. </p> <p>Just 19% of mainstream companies say agencies’ collaboration with internal teams is ‘quite effective’, while just 13% say the same for collaboration between multiple agencies.</p> <p>In contrast, high performing companies are much more positive about the situation, citing close relationships, leadership, and regular reviews as the key to successful relationships. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7615/collaboration.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="369"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>In such a highly pressurised and competitive landscape, brands often need to turn to agencies in order to drive growth as well as expand their own internal capabilities and expertise.</p> <p>Perhaps the most important takeaway from the research is that there is no single or overarching strategy for success. </p> <p>Rather, the most successful agencies demonstrate the ability to adapt and hone relationships based on client-need, fostering communication, fast decision-making, and collaboration every step of the way.</p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the full report: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/partners-in-transformation-what-brand-marketers-need-from-agencies/">Partners in Transformation: What brand marketers need from agencies</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69205 2017-06-29T15:00:00+01:00 2017-06-29T15:00:00+01:00 The marketing (to) automation problem: How will IoT products sell their services to other devices? Duncan Shaw <p>Sharing data appropriately can give any device a missing piece of the puzzle, allowing it to provide a more personalised service. </p> <p>But devices in IoT ecosystems can share capabilities as well. Your refrigerator is quite limited in what it can do on its own but if it knows what is inside it, it can guess when food needs reordering. And if you link it to a shopping app then it can reorder items for you as well.</p> <p>The logic of getting data from external sources is easy to see because firms themselves are starting to share data more and more. But sharing capabilities is a bit trickier to understand. Think of IoT devices as a team of royal servants helping a queen (the user). A single servant can only do a small part of the job but together they ‘wait on the queen hand and foot’. </p> <p>IoT products are starting to join up their individually limited capabilities to help each user. And joined-up working needs information sharing – for devices as well as for firms.</p> <h3>But how can a refrigerator choose the right app to help it restock? </h3> <p>There’s a general problem for all IoT firms. In any given user’s personal situation how can a product be aware of which other products it can work together with to help that user? </p> <p>Right now, device manufactures are working with their normal business or supply chain partners to set up relationships between devices. For example, IoT cars are more likely to be set up to book their annual services with garages that are already affiliated to their brand, because there is already a relationship to build on. </p> <p>But most IoT products will not be aware of all the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69024-three-ways-the-internet-of-things-will-improve-business-efficiency-by-harnessing-big-data">potential data sources</a> and potential useful capabilities that they can draw on in any given situation. They will just know that their user has a problem. They will look around with their web connection to see what other devices can help them. Then they will evaluate the alternatives and make a purchase decision. </p> <p>Sounds familiar? Yes, it’s a conversion funnel for machines.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7162/nicolas-barbier-garreau-267667.jpg" alt="fridge" width="600" height="400"></p> <p><em>Could a fridge make purchase decisions? <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/rdplhEXsSL0">Image via Barbier Garreau</a></em></p> <h3>Conversion rate optimisation for IoT products</h3> <p>Conversion strategies for human customers are getting pretty sophisticated. But how do you drive device traffic into your IoT funnel using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69185-low-cost-iot-will-redefine-the-consumer-purchase-path/" target="_blank">M2M (machine-to-machine) communications</a>? There is no such thing as a Google Search for IoT devices. Although the IoT operating system <a href="https://developer.android.com/things/sdk/index.html" target="_blank">Android Things</a> and the communications platform <a href="https://developers.google.com/weave/" target="_blank">Weave</a> go some way.</p> <p>First, there’s the technical problem of context: how can a device understand our complex human world? This problem might be solved by looking at the customer journey. Devices don’t need to understand the whole human world, just the customer journey that their user is on. And many firms are thinking long and hard right now about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">mapping customer journeys</a>.</p> <p>Plus there’s the 'marketing (to) automation' problem – how do you spread awareness to toasters, drive them into your funnel and then increase the conversion rate? And how do you do it for toothbrushes, refrigerators, cars, phone apps? Or anything with a chip and an internet connection that could help the user of your product?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7163/things.jpg" alt="android things" width="600" height="280"></p> <p><em>A visualisation of Android Things, which "extends the core Android framework with additional APIs provided by the Things Support Library. These APIs allow apps to integrate with new types of hardware not found on mobile devices."</em></p> <h3>Use customer journey thinking</h3> <p>The most important thing for any IoT product is user experience (UX). And the best UX is produced by devices helping each other in communities that are centred on each individual user’s journey.</p> <p>So be clear about what sort of journey your user is on. Don’t just map touch points and small parts of customer journeys. You need to understand their broader life journeys to get the full context. </p> <p>If you understand the journeys that your users are on then you can specify to your product what data and capabilities it needs to look out for. The logic of the journey explains what outside help is needed. </p> <p>Customer-journey thinking also helps your product to market the idea of collaboration to other devices – or their product designers – because the purpose of partner devices is also to help the same user on the same journey. </p> <p>So, use customer-journey thinking to design your IoT product to work with any device that might be able to help your users along their journey.</p> <p><em><strong>More IoT fun:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67372-atmospheric-marketing-riding-the-tidal-wave-of-iot-data/">Atmospheric marketing - riding the tidal wave of IoT data</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67372-atmospheric-marketing-riding-the-tidal-wave-of-iot-data/">Why won't internet fridges go away?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69106 2017-05-24T13:37:52+01:00 2017-05-24T13:37:52+01:00 How to upgrade pharma brand planning for a multichannel world Gregg Fisher <h3><strong>The problem: Plans focused on product vs. customer engagement strategy</strong></h3> <p>The typical pharmaceutical brand plan does a good job of establishing a brand-centric strategy for the business.</p> <p>The precise elements vary but an average plan includes a brand situation analysis, including a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis">SWOT</a>, competitive analysis and issues summary. It includes the brand’s positioning, key messages, basic customer segmentation and targeting, strategic imperatives for each functional area, and key performance indicators. Finally, most plans include a section listing tactical initiatives, timing and budgeting information.   </p> <p>As illustrated below, what’s usually missing or sparsely covered is a customer engagement strategy section to provide a bridge between the brand strategy and tactics. Most brand plans typically jump straight from brand strategy information to information about discrete tactics in various categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6319/brand_strategy.png" alt="" width="750" height="242"></p> <h3><strong>The impact: Sub-optimal customer experiences</strong></h3> <p>Skipping the customer engagement strategy step typically results in negative symptoms that ultimately hinder the quality of the customer experience a brand delivers. You may recognize some of these symptoms in the table below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6320/customer_engagement_strategy.png" alt="" width="750" height="530"></p> <p>In the old days when brands interactions with physicians were unencumbered and limited to reps, medical meetings and journal ads, the need for a customer engagement strategy was less important. However, in today’s world of multiple customer groups, mounting access restrictions and numerous channels and content formats, customer engagement strategy has become an essential discipline for commercial leaders.  </p> <p>The annual brand planning process provides an excellent opportunity for brands to fully articulate the customer experience they will deliver to each customer group and how it will advance brand objectives and fulfill customer expectations. </p> <h3> <strong>The short-term solution: Customer engagement planning (at the brand-level)</strong> </h3> <p>To bridge the gap between brand strategy and effective experiences, we have worked with pharmaceutical commercial teams to embed a customer engagement-planning module into their standard brand planning process and calendar. As illustrated in the table below, the module includes elements that can be added on top of the traditional situation analysis and brand strategy pieces. These elements should be included for each discrete target customer group (e.g., physician, patient, nurse, IDN, etc).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6321/customer_engagement_planning.png" alt="" width="750" height="262"></p> <p>From a calendar point-of-view, the situation analysis steps should be completed or near complete before brand planning begins so the foundational knowledge is in place. Next, time should be allowed for customer engagement strategy work to occur before the final tactical plan and budget is in place. </p> <p>Additionally, time should be budgeted to allow discrete functions to work on integrating their customer engagement strategies into a cohesive solution that reflects how customers will experience the brand (vs. siloed functional plans).</p> <p>To make this happen, brand and medical leaders should assign accountability for discrete plans per customer group.</p> <h3><strong>The longer-term solution: Customer engagement planning (portfolio level and beyond)</strong></h3> <p>We have identified four levels of maturity related to customer-centric brand planning as illustrated in the figure below. The majority of Life Sciences companies are at level one, making the transition to level two, which as been described above. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6323/long_term_solution.png" alt="" width="750" height="297"></p> <p>A few organizations are making the shift from level two to level three, where companies start to become organized around customer groups and create plans that ensure a cohesive experience for common customers across a multi-product portfolio. These companies have created a customer engagement function to drive this outcome.</p> <p>Even fewer have advanced to level four to develop solutions for customer groups that span disease areas.  </p> <h3><strong>Concluding thoughts</strong></h3> <p>For the majority of companies at level one, the brand planning ritual offers a useful opportunity to start getting better at customer engagement strategy by embedding these processes alongside traditional brand planning activities. Taking this step will drive noticeable change in the quality of plans quite quickly. From there, senior leadership should think about how to tune the organization to take on a more sophisticated and encompassing approach to customer-centric planning.</p> <p>Finally, it’s worth remembering the annual planning process is a start but ultimately we should strive to manage customer experience as an ongoing, data-driven and and iterative process of improvement.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68851-six-ways-digital-is-changing-the-pharma-healthcare-industry/"><em>Six ways digital is changing the pharma &amp; healthcare industry</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68221-embracing-digital-transformation-in-the-pharma-and-healthcare-sectors/"><em>Embracing digital transformation in the Pharma and Healthcare sectors</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/pharma-trends-and-developments/">Healthcare and Pharma: Digital Trends and Developments April 2017</a><br></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69038 2017-04-26T15:30:00+01:00 2017-04-26T15:30:00+01:00 Shea Moisture's customer backlash was caused by poor brand management, not bad advertising Patricio Robles <h4>The backstory</h4> <p>Shea Moisture was founded by Liberians Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis, who came to the US as refugees. They built a business reportedly valued at $700m by developing natural beauty products that cater to a market historically underserved by large beauty brands – women of color.</p> <p>But with outside investment from Bain Capital and skyrocketing consumer interest in natural beauty products, Shea Moisture's parent company Sundial Brands is betting that there is a bigger market for Shea Moisture's products.</p> <p>With that in mind, the company recently unveiled a 60-second ad developed by agency VaynerMedia as part of its #EverybodyGetsLove marketing campaign. The ad features a black woman, but it also features a blonde woman and two redheads. That did not sit well with some Shea Moisture customers who felt that the ad was a sign the company is moving away from the market segment that made it what it is today.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">SheaMoisture is CANCELLED <a href="https://t.co/T4Dru1JgAq">pic.twitter.com/T4Dru1JgAq</a></p> — NANA JIBRIL(@girlswithtoys) <a href="https://twitter.com/girlswithtoys/status/856563772223365122">April 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Black women have supported and gave free press to Shea Moisture for YEARS. And then they have a "hair hate" commercial with white women?</p> — no. (@DatGirl_ICEY) <a href="https://twitter.com/DatGirl_ICEY/status/856569496508747777">April 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>On Facebook, the company's Page has been inundated with more than 7,000 one-star reviews.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5738/shea.png" alt="" width="774" height="531"></p> <p>The backlash was fast and big enough that the company quickly pulled its ad and Richelieu Dennis, Shea Moisture's founder and the CEO of Sundial Brands, took to social media <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SheaMoisture/photos/a.108636299188014.8145.108628512522126/1495966387121658/">to apologize</a>. "Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up," he wrote. "Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate."</p> <p>He further stated, "While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way."</p> <h4>When marketing mistakes aren't marketing mistakes</h4> <p>While the media coverage of the backlash caused by Shea Moisture's ad largely focuses on the notion that the company made an advertising mistake, this is really a brand management mistake because the truth of the matter is that Shea Moisture is a company that was probably going to have a hard time extending its brand without alienating the customers in its core segment.</p> <p>Strong brands that focus on underserved market segments risk upsetting their customers when trying to expand beyond those segments or to "go mainstream" because the customers in those segments feel strongly about the brands. </p> <p>In Shea Moisture's case, the segment it built its brand serving – women of color – know Shea Moisture as a company that for years has focused on their needs when other beauty brands didn't. That gives them a stronger-than-usual level of perceived investment and ownership in the brand.</p> <p>This can be a powerful asset, and it's one of the reasons there are riches in niches. But with the wrong strategy, this asset can become a liability because loyal customers, when they feel slighted or abandoned, are more likely to speak out. Unfortunately for Shea Moisture, its parent company, Sundial Brands, appears to have made a major brand management faux pas that caused just that to happen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/shea-moisture-ad-falls-flat-after-backlash-n750421">According to</a> CEO Richelieu Dennis, the decision to extend Shea Moisture into new market segments was based on the notion that "we have to grow the business." He elaborated...</p> <blockquote> <p>Brands that didn't service women of color for decades are all of the sudden creating campaigns for them to go after that because of the growth they've seen come from us. The competition that we now see, puts businesses like ours at risk.</p> </blockquote> <p>But it's not clear to this author that trying to extend the Shea Moisture brand to market segments already dominated by the very newcomers he speaks of represents a wise growth strategy because this type of brand extension is very difficult and actually risks brand dilution.</p> <p>In my opinion, a better strategy would have been for Shea Moisture to double down on the market segment that it built its success on by playing to its strengths, which include brand loyalty and a reputation as a pioneer, rather than intentionally trying to bring the Shea Moisture brand to segments that are already saturated by bigger companies that are hoping to make inroads in Shea Moisture's segment.</p> <p>If Sundial Brands truly believed there are opportunities in other market segments, it should have explored launching one or more new brands for the effort. While doing that would not be without its own challenges – building a new brand is never easy or cheap – clearly the company did not fully grasp how risky the attempted extension of the Shea Moisture brand to new customer segments would be.</p> <p>Risking customer segments in which you have a strong position for new, competitive segments is usually not a pillar of sensible brand management. </p> <h4>It's too easy to blame advertising</h4> <p>At the end of the day, had Shea Moisture better managed its brand, it never would have produced a backlash-inducing ad in the first place.</p> <p>So while many are focusing on the company's ad, it's important for brands to remember that good advertising can't fix bad brand management, and advertising shouldn't be blamed for consumer backlash when poor brand management all but ensured that advertising couldn't be good in the first place.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69009 2017-04-20T11:31:51+01:00 2017-04-20T11:31:51+01:00 Can Wells Fargo's new brand platform help it restore consumer trust? Patricio Robles <p>Wells Fargo recently revealed that new checking account openings have dropped by 43% year-on-year and new credit card applications have plunged by an even greater amount – 55%.</p> <p>According to some observers, dealing with the fallout from this scandal represents perhaps the biggest challenge the bank has faced since it was founded in 1852. Ironically, the scandal could have been avoided if the company had heeded the advice of its largest shareholder, Warren Buffett. The legendary investor famously once stated, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."</p> <p>Now faced with the task of rebuilding its reputation, Wells Fargo <a href="https://stories.wf.com/new-brand-platform-wells-fargo-building-better-company-every-day/">has unveiled</a> a new brand platform dubbed Building Better Every Day.</p> <p>According to Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo's CMO, "Our research clearly shows our customers are ready to hear a different message from us, and the 'Building Better Every Day' platform behind this advertising came directly from the research results. In addition to showing our customers how we are building a better bank – fixing things, and making them right – this effort is focused on how we are helping customers achieve their financial goals."</p> <p>The Building Better Every Day platform will rely on marketing across virtually all channels, including digital, television, print, radio and billboard. It aims to highlight how Wells Fargo is helping customers through "customer-centric" technological innovation, guidance and personalized service, security and community involvement.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WJGAO63-IKs?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Phil Wang, a marketing manager who was involved in the platform's development, says that the ads will focus a lot on interactions between Wells Fargo and its customers. "Team members are front and center in these spots, and portrayed as helping customers in a way that's in keeping with our vision and values."</p> <p>To hammer home the bank's commitment to the diverse communities it has a presence in, Wells Fargo is even creating ads for specific audiences in other languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.</p> <h4>All of this sounds like a textbook plan from a marketing perspective, but will Wells Fargo's new brand platform really heal the damage caused by its scandal?</h4> <p>There are reasons to be skeptical because not only was the scandal itself really, really ugly in nature, the timing couldn't have been worse for the banking behemoth.</p> <p>First, big banks are among consumers' least favorite institutions today thanks in large part to the financial crisis of 2008, which was widely blamed on out-of-control financial institutions. While Wells Fargo had the most pristine reputation of any big bank following the crisis, having emerged from the Great Recession largely unscathed, the unauthorized account scandal plays right into Wall Street critics' argument that big banks are out of control and simply can't be trusted. </p> <p>Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, banks find themselves under attack from fintech startups that are attempting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68159-five-ways-fintech-upstarts-are-disrupting-established-financial-institutions/">to disrupt</a> their business models. From consumer, business and mortgage lending to brokerage services and everything in between, many of the financial services that consumers used to obtain from the bank where they kept their checking and savings accounts are increasingly acquired through standalone non-bank service providers in an unbundled fashion. By some estimates, this <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68981-could-established-financial-services-firms-lose-a-quarter-of-their-revenue-to-fintechs/">could soon cost established financial institutions a quarter of their revenue</a>.</p> <p>In fact, that Wells Fargo employees were opening unauthorized accounts to meet aggressive sales quotas hints that it is increasingly difficult for banks to successfully cross-sell to their customers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68334-wells-fargo-scandal-shows-why-banks-are-vulnerable-to-fintech-startups/">in the age of unbundling</a>. </p> <p>Unfortunately for Wells Fargo, the damage caused by the actions of thousands of its employees probably won't be undone with a new brand platform and an aggressive and expensive marketing campaign. While it's not too soon for the bank to start employing marketing in an effort to re-engage consumers, ultimately Wells Fargo will probably have to accept that the old Buffett nugget of wisdom is pretty accurate.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68991 2017-04-19T01:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T01:00:00+01:00 Three reasons why brands should improve their cross-channel marketing Jeff Rajeck <p>When asked whether their organisations 'could effectively deliver cross-channel marketing', fewer than one in ten (6%) brand marketers indicated that they could to any great extent.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5420/a.png" alt="" width="800" height="570"></p> <p>Yet in the same report, marketers also stated that brands should endeavour to improve their cross-channel marketing and gave three good reasons why.</p> <h4>1) To increase conversions</h4> <p>Consistent, well-orchestrated messaging across channels is always worthwhile - doing so produces a better customer experience. Cross-channel marketing also, according to <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/omnichannel-consistency/">a recent Nielsen Norman Group report</a>, builds user confidence, sets correct expectations, and earns users' trust.</p> <p>While desirable, improving the customer experience is not an end unto itself, though. For a marketing campaign to be successful, it needs to help the business as well.</p> <p>When asked to rate the effect cross-channel marketing had on their business, more than three in four (77%) client side marketers indicated that cross-channel marketing has a 'major impact' on 'increasing conversions'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5421/1.png" alt="" width="638" height="474"></p> <p>Additionally, three in four (75%) use 'sales / revenue' figures to measure effectiveness indicating that their goals are in line with the business. That is, marketers use cross-channel marketing to increase conversions which, in turn, boosts top-line performance.</p> <p>One example of using cross-channel marketing to improve conversions is by retargeting website visitors with relevant advertising.  A consumer may see a product initially on the website but it takes a reminder via display advertising to turn the browser into a customer.</p> <h4>2) To enhance advocacy</h4> <p>Interestingly, survey respondents also indicated that they use cross-channel marketing for business objectives which are much more difficult to measure than revenue. Namely, more than half (57%) of company respondents indicated that cross-channel marketing has a major impact on 'enhancing advocacy' as well.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5422/2.png" alt="" width="626" height="477"></p> <p>While it is more difficult to directly associate advocacy to business growth, industry thought-leaders feel that advocacy may be equally, if not more, important to the business than conversions.</p> <p>According to management consultancy Bain &amp; Co, <a href="http://www.bain.com/consulting-services/customer-strategy-and-marketing/customer-loyalty.aspx">only one in nine companies achieve sustainable profitable growth</a> and successful companies have twice the level of customer advocacy as their competitors.  If cross-channel marketing can increase word-of-mouth exposure, then it is a powerful tool, indeed.</p> <p>Using cross-channel marketing to enhance advocacy may be as simple as including social media icons on a website or emails or be as sophisticated as asking happy customers to leave a review on a third-party, industry-specific site.</p> <h4>3) To improve customer retention</h4> <p>Acquiring new customers and having them advocate your product or services is great, but ideally brands would like each new customer to be a loyal, repeat customer.</p> <p>The reason for this is that, again <a href="http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/1590.html">according to Harvard Business Schoo</a>l, a "5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit". And, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexlawrence/2012/11/01/five-customer-retention-tips-for-entrepreneurs/#602fa51717b0">in another study</a>, Gartner found that "80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of existing customers."</p> <p>So, it was encouraging to see that more than half (54%) of marketers responding to our survey felt that cross-channel marketing has a 'major impact' on customer retention as well.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5423/3.png" alt="" width="646" height="481"></p> <p>Abandoned cart emails are perhaps the most common way brands use multiple channels to improve retention but many marketers also use custom audiences on Google and Facebook to advertise to their existing customer base through search and social advertising.</p> <h4>So...</h4> <p>Cross-channel marketing is not easy, yet brands who do it well will enjoy improved conversion rates, increased advocacy, and more customer retention.</p> <p>They will also be head and shoulders above their peers which is always a worthwhile, if difficult-to-measure, goal!</p>