tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/multichannel-marketing Latest Multichannel Marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-11-27T11:33:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-11-27T11:33:00+00:00 2017-11-27T11:33:00+00:00 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 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:TrainingDate/3308 2017-10-26T13:49:50+01:00 2017-10-26T13:49:50+01:00 Multichannel Marketing and the Customer Journey <p>Consumers don’t see “channels”. They only see brands to facilitate their needs in the moment. Yet despite this, businesses are often structured, resourced and budgeted around individual marketing channels, which can lead to a disconnect between consumers and brands….or even within businesses themselves.</p> <p><a name="h.c2ixnqwvr8bh"></a>This is no chalk and talk session. Using a case study throughout the day, this practical one-day course provides you with the strategic planning tools to take a compelling campaign proposition to market, with a multichannel marketing strategy that ensures you can deliver the right content, to the right person, through the blend of channels they prefer.</p> <p>Having mapped out the multichannel activation plan for your brand, you will then gain an understanding of the key measures and how to bring these together in a meaningful context.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69511 2017-10-25T00:01:00+01:00 2017-10-25T00:01:00+01:00 Working on omnichannel? Here are five things you need to know Jeff Rajeck <p>The reason omnichannel has remained out of reach for most marketers is that consumers seem to almost deliberately throw marketers 'off the scent' by failing to use coupons, forgetting to scan QR codes, and (most annoyingly of all) changing their internet-connected device between searching online and visiting the physical store.</p> <p>Seriously, though, it's pretty tough for those tasked with coming up with an omnichannel strategy as online-to-offline customer journeys are notoriously difficult to map and joining the relevant data is almost impossible.</p> <p>So, what is a marketer tasked with an omnichannel initiative to do?  To find out, Econsultancy recently invited dozens of client-side marketers to discuss omnichannel marketing. At the tables led by both Dean Salakas, Director at The Party People and Chris Jahnsen, Data &amp; Content Manager at Tourism Tropical North Queensland, marketers openly discussed their frustrations and occasional successes with one of marketing's most difficult concepts, omnichannel.</p> <p>Before we start, though, we'd like to let you know about some relevant training being held on November 8th in Singapore: Advanced Mastering Analytics. You can find out more and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/advanced-mastering-analytics-training-singapore/dates/3244/">book your spot here</a>.</p> <p>So what should someone who is working on an omnichannel strategy know?</p> <h3>1) There are many ways to get omnichannel data</h3> <p>First off, those working on an omnichannel projected listed a number of ways that marketers can get data which helps link online and offline customers: </p> <ul> <li>WiFi sign on</li> <li>Beacons</li> <li>Coupons / loyalty programmes</li> <li>Competitions</li> <li>Call centres</li> <li>Specialized landing pages</li> <li>Events </li> </ul> <p>Additionally, both <a href="https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6100636?hl=en">Google </a>and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/help/175683976191028">Facebook </a>offer 'store visit' conversions so that you can measure the effect of your digital ad on real-world behaviour.</p> <p>Finally, some more experienced omnichannel marketers said that third party data, such as from Quantium, was a good way to decipher the omnichannel customer journey but warned that third party data can be prohibitively expensive.</p> <p>All in all, marketers recommended that people who are just starting in omnichannel should do as much research as possible to find the data sources which most closely match their requirements.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9744/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2) But omnichannel marketing is really difficult if you don't own the point of sale</h3> <p>One of the main barriers to omnichannel success, according to participants, is that many brands do not own the point of sale and a 'no man's land' exists between marketing and the point of purchase.</p> <p>This barrier can be made even more complicated by the fact that retailers are often not incentivized to work with online stores with offline fulfilment. In many cases, attendees reported, offline retailers will rebook online purchases in order to get credit for the sale.</p> <p>The answer to this conundrum is straightforward but quite difficult for marketers to do. Omnichannel marketers must either own or develop a very close relationship with customers.</p> <p>Reason being that the more touchpoints the brand has to interact with its customers, the more likely that marketers will be able to map the online and offline customer journey.  </p> <h3>3) It's also hard to sell omnichannel to the business</h3> <p>Attendees pointed out that creating a business case for fusing online and offline data can be difficult to write up and even harder to get approved.  The issue is that for omnichannel marketing to make a difference you will need to be working with a sizable retailer, perhaps one with 100+ stores.</p> <p>In these cases, the stores could do great things with, say, beacons but the cost to implement and maintain the technology is also quite significant.</p> <p>One attendee suggested that the business case should be an innovation project with competitive advantage or strategic clarity being the tangible benefit. Marketers should, in these cases, avoid any direct links between the initiative and return on investment (ROI).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9746/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4) You can try to collaborate with data providers, but don't get your hopes up</h3> <p>Everyone agreed that omnichannel will work best once multiple companies are working on it together and sharing data between various touchpoints.</p> <p>Those with omnichannel experience, however, told fellow attendees not to get their hopes up. The reason is that touchpoint data such as shopping centre footfall, media exposure, and point of sale is very valuable and third parties prefer to monetize data themselves than be part of a broad solution.</p> <p>Also, sharing consumer data may raise both technical and legal issues and so, because most companies are risk averse, sharing omnichannel data is often relegated to the 'too hard' basket.</p> <p>The only way that data sharing is likely to happen, one participant noted, is when data sharing is included in initial contracts with partners.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9747/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>5) Don't worry - no one has 'nailed it' yet</h3> <p>Marketers on the day mused about using Amazon's approach of integrating video and AI to capture every move a consumer makes in the store. Participants admitted, though, that it would probably be at least 10 years before that technology was generally available, and that they had issues to overcome today.</p> <p>Everyone, therefore, agreed that they were in the same place with omnichannel. They were just starting to understand what was possible and starting to deploy tools such as Salesforce, Adobe, Crux, Hitwise, Clearbit, and Live Ramp.</p> <p>So, none of the delegates felt like they were far along their omnichannel journey. They all still had plenty of options to explore beforehand with their existing marketing programmes before they felt it was worth deploying more complicated or costly technology.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and especially our Omnichannel table hosts: Dean Salakas, Director, The Party People and Chris Jahnsen, Data &amp; Content Manager, Tourism Tropical North Queensland at Salmat.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9748/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69416 2017-10-13T11:27:00+01:00 2017-10-13T11:27:00+01:00 Mobile’s sorted, isn’t it? So why aren’t things getting better for many hotel chains? Martin Jordan <p>You won’t rank in Google, you won’t convert traffic and your brand will be slowly dying (at least online). Any traffic from mobile you do receive will be research traffic alone – and likely traffic with high bounce rates and low dwell time.</p> <p>Thankfully the UK market is mature, has always innovated and most brands will at least have a site that is adaptive or responsive to mobile. That said, there is still a lot of evolution required in the hotel web space that actually starts to exploit mobile as a device, rather than just as another browsing platform.</p> <p>Many brands are still staring down low conversion rates and lots of traffic that looks like “research” traffic due to poorly thought out mobile experiences or pseudo-mobile third-party book­ing engines that look like they’ve been there since the noughties.</p> <h3>Intelligent mobile</h3> <p>Today as we see many hotel brand sites pass the 50% mark for mobile traffic, the approach to developing mobile-friendly sites needs to come with a completely different approach to the user – one that is actually less about mobile and more about the user.</p> <p>At Equator, we refer to this as “Responsive Plus” – a site that not only adapts to the user’s device but thinks intelligently about the content it is going to show them by looking at where the user is, what time of day it is, whether they are logged in, whether they have a booking and whether they are in the middle of the booking process. A connected website such as this, with visibility of its location can tell you that User X is at your hotel, making use of their booked stay.</p> <p>Sounds straightforward enough when put like that, but it belies a greater problem in the hotel space, that of legacy, unconnected and inflexible systems. Here in the UK, we have a generally digitally mature hotel space, made up of medium and large-sized chains. The “mom and pop” operations that typify central Europe are far less prevalent here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9706/travelodge.png" alt="" width="700" height="336"></p> <p>This means that most of the brands here digitised their systems and processes some time ago, buying into comprehensive and complex Property Management Systems and investing in hardware and hosting for them to reside in.  And agencies like ours will have been tasked to build them sites, design a booking engine, get them online and eventually get them visible to mobile users too. All well and good, but this whole technology stack is now woefully dated and is slowly strangling the contemporary hotelier.</p> <p>The reason for this is that the PMS dominates the technology conversation. Everything the hotelier relies on flows from it: the booking engine, F&amp;B, payments, revenue management, channel management, upselling… and a heck of a lot more. If the hotelier wants to do something innovative with any part of their technology stack, the PMS gets in the way.</p> <p>Seen a cool new upselling tool? It needs to work with the PMS. Like to integrate with a smart AI-powered revenue management system? Needs to integrate with your PMS.</p> <p>Hoteliers all over keep having to answer the same question – “What PMS have you got and what version is it?”. Why? Because, invariably it’s legacy, not built on open principles and not designed for easy two-way engagement.</p> <p>So, why are they not tearing out these legacy systems and replacing them anew? Sadly, it’s not always that straightforward. There may be enough CapEx to replace the PMS itself, but many of the incumbent systems connected to it or slave to it will likely need replacing – or certainly overhauling. These systems too will have likely been built as slaves to the PMS and without modern open interoperability. And of course the website will need a new IBE to go with the new PMS too. It’s all expense and can seem like too much for the typical hotelier to bite down on.</p> <p>But perhaps it’s worth sitting down and doing the longer-term maths and building a business case with a 2-3 year viewpoint. Whilst neither the task nor the immediate costs are small, there are multitudinous benefits in the long term. That server-based PMS does not evolve and is likely a few versions old. It needs hosting, it needs patching and it eventually becomes unsupported. Except if you want to pay the supplier a <em>lot</em> of money on support and maintenance.</p> <p>New cloud based technologies are locked out or require prohibitively expensive “bridge” work to make them compatible with your PMS and all along the way. You find you’re missing out on huge revenue opportunities or finding your budget strangled by costs for any enhancement you want to make to it. When this technology is cloud based and open, it’s no longer your problem.</p> <h3>In the cloud </h3> <p>As more hotel systems become cloud driven, we are now witnessing a shift towards a more customer-centric view and away from obese legacy desktop and server-based systems.</p> <p>This new cloud-based approach is opening the hotel tech ecosystem to multiple new players such as Guestline, Hetras and Hotelogix, bringing new capabilities for hoteliers large and small.</p> <p>What used to be an expensive and cumbersome purchase can now be affordably bought from multiple vendors for a single property, as it is for a 100+ hotel chain.</p> <p>With open systems powered by customer data, machine learning and analytics capabilities, hoteliers can exercise their customer data with more flexibility than ever before.</p> <p>This brings a host of benefits:</p> <ul> <li>Smarter front-of-house, capable of personalising the customer experience.</li> <li>More intuitive web experience that tailors itself to the users’ preferences and behaviours, driven by the CRM database.</li> <li>Better marketing function that promotes less but ultimately drives more revenue and deeper loyalty.</li> <li>Unique and individual offerings through an enhanced on-premise experience in a world being commoditised by the OTA.</li> </ul> <p>We’re spending an increasing amount of our time intelligently connecting these systems and have written in more detail about them in our <a title="The hotel in the clouds" href="https://www.eqtr.com/uploads/SmartHotels.pdf">Smart Hotels paper.</a> Whilst technology standards like <a href="http://www.htng.org/">HTNG</a> go a long way to help ensure the interoperability of systems, the technological space in hotels moves very fast and every brand has their own unique needs.</p> <p>There is now huge potential to deliver new forms of service through automation and machine learning – achieved through the connectivity offered by contemporary systems. </p> <p>Examples include:</p> <ul> <li>Linking a hotel’s Wi-Fi system to their CRM platform to personalise the on-site internet experience and give loyal customers super speedy broadband.</li> <li>Developing the ability to reward loyalty without a complex and expensive loyalty scheme or the need to involve senior staff in approval of discounts or upgrades.</li> <li>Taking the typical lobby screen and allowing it to serve real-time offers based on actual availability, demand curves, current weather and more as well as pushing distressed inventory without effort.</li> </ul> <p>It’s this very path to innovation that has the potential to finally free the hotelier’s reliance on the OTA and bring their market share down more in alignment with the airline industry, where direct brand purchases still make up almost 60% of sales. And to suggest that the transition from desktop to mobile could throw this all into jeopardy is to tell just one side of the story. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9705/ryanair.png" alt="" width="700" height="331"></p> <p>With so many expert systems and technologies available at prices that no longer cripple, hoteliers are increasingly building a technology-driven hotel business. And as these systems are connected and made accessible, the opportunities to drive greater revenue, improve efficiencies, deliver better service and change the entire marketing proposition are tangible and excitingly achievable.</p> <p>Any fear of change needs to be swapped for the fear of being left behind. Technology continues to evolve ever faster. If you can’t keep up, find a technology partner who understands your world to help you stay ahead.</p> <p>In the future, when everybody’s lives are in the cloud, the savvy hotelier will be using tech to make their hotel feel like home. The in-room entertainment will be what the customer likes and their dietary requirements will be understood – all without adding mountains of cost or complexity. The future is not far away. But it starts with a <strong>more connected</strong> hotel world.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69414-four-big-digital-trends-impacting-travel-tourism-marketing"><em>Four big digital trends impacting travel &amp; tourism marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium"><em>Travel Internet Statistics Compendium</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> </ul> 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: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>