tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/multichannel Latest Multichannel content from Econsultancy 2017-08-11T14:16:13+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69331 2017-08-11T14:16:13+01:00 2017-08-11T14:16:13+01:00 10 stupendous digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Revenue from affiliate marketing increases 16% YoY</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><a href="http://info.conversantmedia.eu/download-the-cj-affiliate-holiday-report" target="_blank">CJ Affiliate</a> has revealed that revenue from affiliate marketing within global publishers and advertisers increased by 16% year-on-year in November/December 2016, with an average 4% increase in the number of orders.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The US market saw revenue growth of 16%, partly due to strong growth in overall basket value. The UK market experienced the strongest year-on-year growth in orders, with a 12% increase.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In the UK, Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw levels of shopping demand to rival the US, with growth in orders increasing by 76% on Cyber Monday. The fact that UK retailers prepared for the holiday season earlier than in other markets also resulted in a stronger start to sales.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8212/CJ_Affiliate.JPG" alt="" width="697" height="536"></p> <h3>Thursday at 4pm found to be the ideal time to send an email</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In order to find out the worst and best times to send emails, <a href="https://www.getresponse.com/resources/reports/email-marketing-benchmarks.html" target="_blank">GetResponse</a> has analysed almost 2bn emails in 126 countries and across 19 industries.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">It found Thursday to be the best day, with emails shared seeing a 23.13% open rate and a 3.52% click through rate – the highest of any day of the week. Interestingly, it noted that the most emails are currently sent on Wednesday.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">4pm is apparently the best time of day to send emails, as messages sent at this time drove an open rate of 25.13% and a click-through rate of 3.82% - higher than any other time.</p> <h3>20% of global commercial email fails to reach the inbox</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In other email-related news, Return Path’s <a href="https://returnpath.com/downloads/2017-deliverability-benchmark-report/?sfdc=70137000000EUhC" target="_blank">2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report</a> has revealed that 20% of all commercial email is still being diverted to spam folders or being blocked.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">While deliverability has improved slightly on last year’s global rate of 79%, it means that a significant amount is still missing the mark. </p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The US saw the lowest inbox placement of any country, with just 77% of messages reaching inboxes, while Canadian marketers achieved one of the highest inbox placement rates in this study, seeing an average of 90%.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Marketers in Europe generally exceeded the global inbox placement rate, with averages of 82% in France and Spain and 84% in the UK. </p> <h3>Half of firms avoid investing in new sales tech because of cost</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">A new study by <a href="https://files.sugarcrm.com/resources/analyst-reports/2017-SalesTech-Survey-Report.pdf" target="_blank">CITE Research</a> has found that 48% of businesses are putting off investing in technology for their sales teams because of concerns over cost.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">While 63% of UK companies still spend at least £1,200 on tech annually per sales employee – equipping them with technology like smart phones, laptops, CRM systems - 34% of respondents admit to being worried about the complexity of introducing new tech systems, and 20% are concerned about a lack of skills in using the tools.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Sixty three percent of firms are also worried about the cost and effort needed to keep systems up to date, while 69% are concerned about the need for training staff.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em>"Why are you not yet using new technologies for your sales team?"</em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8211/Why_aren_t_you_investing_in_tech.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="373"></em></p> <h3>Mobile traffic to ecommerce sites grows 23% YoY</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><a href="https://www.demandware.com/shopping-index/" target="_blank">Salesforce’s Q2 17 Shopping Index</a> has highlighted how mobile continues to be a disruptive force in ecommerce, with the news that the global mobile traffic share has jumped 23% year-on-year to reach 57%. </p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In the UK, mobile phones saw the biggest increase in buying intent (buyers as opposed to 'active shoppers') with a growth of 48% year-on-year. </p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Eight percent of UK mobile traffic was driven solely by social apps such as Snapchat and Instagram – which is more than any other country globally.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8214/Global_buying_intent.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="321"></p> <h3>Marketers are failing to keep up with offline consumer needs</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">A survey of 153 senior marketers by CMO Council found that just 16% believe they are responsive to consumer needs outside of the digital space. </p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Less than one in five participants say they can make rapid alterations to products, experiences, services, and packaging based on demands.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">However, insight suggests that this is due to the increasingly focus placed on the digital realm, where 43% of brands saying they can respond to customer feedback about marketing campaigns in less than 24 hours online. </p> <h3>Brits spend over a quarter of time online on Facebook and Google</h3> <p>Verto Analytics has revealed that Google and Facebook account for one of every three and a half minutes Brits spend online. </p> <p>Analysis shows that British adults spend a total of 42.7m days a month across Google channels – including search, YouTube and Gmail – which is the equivalent of 17% of total UK internet time. </p> <p>Meanwhile, around 11% of time (or 28.4 million days) is spent on Facebook-owned platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8210/Table_-_dominant_parent_co_s_by_time.PNG" alt="" width="511" height="534"></p> <h3>Brands are failing to reach women online</h3> <p>From analysis of 60,000 campaigns across 20 countries, <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/uk/en/insights/reports/2017/digital-ad-ratings-benchmarks-and-findings.html" target="_blank">Nielsen</a> has found that only half of UK online ad impressions targeting women actually reach them. </p> <p>In contrast, Nielsen noted a 62% success rate for campaigns targeting men. Just 22% of ad impressions reached women aged 18 to 34 compared with 33% reaching men of the same age.</p> <p>The overall hit rate for women in Europe is even lower than the UK, coming in at 46%. Just 45% of ad impressions reached women in Germany, and 49% in France.</p> <h3>Nine in 10 of Mum’s favourite sites offer poor mobile UX</h3> <p>There are nearly three million millennial mums in the UK, however new research by Equimedia has shown that many baby and parenting retailers are failing to deliver a positive mobile experience. This comes despite the fact that 94% of millennial mums are said to browse online primarily using their mobile.</p> <p>Equimedia found that 91% of the brand websites handpicked by mothers have poor mobile site speeds. What’s more, only two of the top brands listed in Babycentre’s recommended products list achieved a ‘good’ rating on mobile.</p> <p>With 40% of mums saying they would abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load – retailers are risking losing out on this valuable demographic.</p> <h3>Summer holidays sparks download surge on Amazon</h3> <p>School’s out for summer in Britain, which means many people are turning to Amazon to cure their August boredom.</p> <p>Hitwise has found that a massive 14.7m transactions took place on Amazon’s site last week – mirroring the number of transactions made during Prime Day. Meanwhile, there was a 13% increase in visits to Netflix.com from the weekend to Wednesday, and an 8% increase in visits to BBC’s iPlayer.</p> <p>Thankfully, it appears Brits aren’t just spending their summer glued to the telly – three of the top search terms across the whole of Amazon includes ‘books’ and ‘kindle books’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8213/Hitwise_Amazon.JPG" alt="" width="648" height="200"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69260 2017-07-21T09:39:19+01:00 2017-07-21T09:39:19+01:00 Four ways hotels and accommodation sites can increase direct bookings Nikki Gilliland <p>Along with <a href="http://www.newsroom.barclays.com/r/3493/uk_holidaymakers__booking_direct__through_hotel_websites" target="_blank">these findings</a>, other research also suggests that certain hotels are experiencing a surge in direct bookings. Take Premier Inn, for instance, whose website accounted for 87% of all its bookings in 2016. That said, at other hotel chains, like Hilton, direct bookings are far lower as they struggle to compete with aggregator sites.</p> <p>So, what can we learn from Premier Inn? And how can both UK and international hotels increase their direct bookings? Here’s just four factors that could make a difference.</p> <h3>Mobile optimisation</h3> <p>Google’s 2016 Travel Trends report suggests that 60% of searches for travel information come from mobile. Meanwhile, conversion rates have grown 88% on mobile travel sites. So in order to capture some of this search interest – and draw users away from online travel agencies – hotels need to ensure a good mobile UX across all channels and throughout every step of the journey.</p> <p>This doesn't only mean in terms of the immediate booking process, either. </p> <p>Interestingly, hotel apps and mobile bookings are said to lead to greater levels of satisfaction compared to the same technology delivered by a third party or OTA. A survey from J.D. Power found that guests who book through an online travel agency or a mobile app not directly associated with a hotel are more likely to experience a problem and be less satisfied with their stay overall.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7599/Mobile_check_in.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="486"></p> <p>This suggests that a mobile strategy is not only important for first-time direct bookings, but to increase the likelihood of <em>repeat</em> direct bookings – as well as long-term loyalty. Features like mobile tickets and check-in can be hugely beneficial for increasing satisfaction and keeping consumers coming back.</p> <h3>Perks and benefits</h3> <p>In order to sway people away from the perceived cheaper and more flexible options provided by travel agents and aggregator sites, hotels and self-accommodation companies must provide clear incentives.</p> <p>This usually comes in the form of discounts and offers for direct bookings – alongside even greater incentives for joining loyalty programmes. We’ve recently seen many large hotel chains heavily promote this as part of marketing campaigns, specifically Hilton and its ‘Stop Clicking Around’ ads.</p> <p>As well as highlighting the benefits of being an HHonors member, the campaign also points consumers towards other perks such as free WiFi and arrival gifts.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DsZkUAAAv5I?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>It is this added value that really sets direct bookings apart from OTAs. But interestingly, it appears to be smaller or independent hotels who are largely capitalising on this, using unique incentives to entice consumers to book direct.</p> <p>The small Hawaiian hotel chain, Aqua-Aston, offers a free $20 Starbucks gift card if guests book direct. Meanwhile, Hotel Amarano in California offers guests either a $25 credit to use at the hotel’s restaurants or to receive a room upgrade. These incentives are not particularly ground-breaking, but against a third-party site offering nothing much more than the standard cheapest tariff it's easy to see how it might improve conversions.</p> <p>That being said, incentives don’t always have to involve personal gain. Last year, the Omni Hotels group launched the ‘Say goodnight to hunger’ campaign, which saw the hotel donate to Feeding America for every stay booked directly through the brand’s website. Each donation would provide dinner for a family of four for an entire week.</p> <p>Not only did this clever strategy enable the hotel to increase the likelihood of direct bookings, but it also contributed to positive brand perception and a reputation as a company that cares about social good.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thank you for helping us make such an incredible impact in just one year. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SayGoodnightToHunger?src=hash">#SayGoodnightToHunger</a><a href="https://t.co/3Sqg5JdEiI">https://t.co/3Sqg5JdEiI</a> <a href="https://t.co/B2gXZaI9oL">pic.twitter.com/B2gXZaI9oL</a></p> — Omni Hotels (@OmniHotels) <a href="https://twitter.com/OmniHotels/status/877998060399321089">June 22, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Personalisation</h3> <p>One way hotels can enhance incentives is to add <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69207-how-six-travel-hospitality-brands-use-personalisation-to-enhance-the-customer-experience">personalisation</a>, or any elements that will help to build a direct relationship between the company and consumer. Again, this can be done through loyalty programs, such as HHonors members being able to share preferences in order to customise their hotel stay. However, when it comes to direct bookings, this type of personalisation is most effective early on in the customer journey.</p> <p>Data is a key enabler, of course, allowing hotels to track and monitor user behaviour. This means that if someone browses and abandons a site before booking, the hotel can re-target them with personalised and tailored messages. </p> <p>There is the argument that hotels should not dismiss OTAs entirely, as they can help to increase awareness and boost bookings (despite taking a commission). But often consumers tend to browse hotel websites in conjunction with OTAs. This perhaps means the focus should not always be on getting people to visit a site – but on keeping them there. Companies like HotelChamp use technology to do exactly this, using data to engage with potential guests and optimise sites accordingly. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Wondering what the advantages of direct bookings are compared to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OTAs?src=hash">#OTAs</a>? Read our latest blog! <a href="https://t.co/t40p02pQno">https://t.co/t40p02pQno</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bookdirect?src=hash">#bookdirect</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/hotels?src=hash">#hotels</a></p> — Hotelchamp (@Hotelchamp_com) <a href="https://twitter.com/Hotelchamp_com/status/883324839808954373">July 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Human interaction</h3> <p>A final reason that consumers might be swayed towards direct bookings (both on and offline) is any kind of human interaction. Unlike OTAs, which usually involve communication via digital channels, hotels can benefit from reaching out to customers via the telephone.</p> <p>Telephone communication remains desirable in the US, where 8% of people prefer to book their holidays over the phone versus 4% of other global travellers. Similarly, 15% of US consumers prefer to do it in person compared to 11% elsewhere. </p> <p>Hoteliers can capitalise on this through online customer service channels, making features like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68898-seven-retailers-that-use-live-chat-to-improve-customer-service/">live chat</a> highly visible on homepages. Not only does it offer a one-to-one connection to hotels (which is often absent on OTAs) but it also helps to dispel any queries or concerns which may lead to abandonment.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64395-google-click-to-call-used-by-more-than-40-of-mobile-searchers">Click-to-call</a> functionality on mobile is also key, helping to convert customers in the moment of browsing. This is because, in such a competitive market, an immediate answer could potentially mean the difference between a direct or abandoned booking.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66551-how-hotel-websites-can-improve-the-booking-experience">How hotel websites can improve the booking experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65964-why-do-people-abandon-online-travel-bookings">Why do people abandon online travel bookings?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/65940-10-essential-features-for-travel-websites">10 essential features for travel websites</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.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:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69257 2017-07-20T13:09:21+01:00 2017-07-20T13:09:21+01:00 What is utility marketing and why is it important? Nikki Gilliland <p>Take <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69246-why-adidas-is-moving-into-utility-marketing-with-all-day-fitness-app/" target="_blank">Adidas’s new fitness app</a>, for example, which aims to help women improve their general health and well-being – simultaneously selling the brand lifestyle rather than its products.</p> <p>This is what is known as utility marketing, or an example of brand utility. But, hold up. Isn’t that just another way to describe good <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a>, you ask?</p> <p>Sure, there is undoubtedly a crossover, but where most brand or digital marketing activity tends to focus on entertaining or interrupting consumers – brand utility is all about helping them.</p> <p>Let’s delve into the topic a little more, using some effective examples to explain the benefits.</p> <h3>Becoming part of consumers' lives</h3> <p>Instead of selling a product or a brand story, utility marketing turns the tables and taps into a specific consumer need. In a nutshell: it puts the consumer first. </p> <p>It also tends to be on-going, providing a service that can benefit consumers over time. The benefits are pretty obvious. Sporadic engagement tends to generate short-term results – e.g. from a one-off social post or an experiential campaign – but utility marketing helps brands become part of consumers' lives.</p> <p>Apps are a great way to do this, purely because if they catch on, usage turns into a habit rather than a conscious brand interaction. A lot of sports brands use apps as part of their marketing strategies, capitalising on the fact that sport is often a way of life – and that consumers might form long-term loyalty to a specific brand on this basis. </p> <p>The Nike+ Run Club app is an ideal example. It taps into the workout habits of users by tracking runs and setting fitness goals. This means that – regardless of whether or not the user is actually a loyal Nike consumer – the functional aspects of the app are likely to keep them coming back and perhaps even turn them into a customer over time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It doesn't get easier, you just get stronger. Stick to a plan. | <a href="https://t.co/DV7TAxaNmP">https://t.co/DV7TAxaNmP</a></p> — Nike+ Run Club (@NikeRunning) <a href="https://twitter.com/NikeRunning/status/831919374252593160">February 15, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Another sport-related case is Adidas Runbase, which transfers utility from a digital sense into real life. It is based on the idea that runners in Tokyo like to exercise before or after work but do not have a place to shower or leave their belongings. So, in order to fulfil this need, Adidas created a bespoke space near the subway for runners to shower and rent lockers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7555/runbase.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="498"></p> <p>Of course, the facility just so happens to include a space that sells branded apparel, but by offering an incredibly convenient service first and foremost, visitors are less likely to feel like it is a solely commercial enterprise.</p> <h3>Using AI to aid utility</h3> <p>Another form of utility marketing comes in the form chatbots or AI within messaging. There’s been a boom in the past year or so, but arguably the most successful examples have been those that focus on basic utility rather than personality or entertainment.</p> <p>The reason this is the case is that chatbots allow consumers to connect and engage with brands at their own convenience – using them to fulfil a specific service in the very moment they require it. </p> <p>In other words, consumers do not care whether or not they’re talking to a bot or not, as long as their needs are being met.</p> <p>Travel is one industry where chatbots <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">offer huge potential</a>, with many big brands using them to streamline customer service and provide direct communication with consumers. Both Skyscanner and Kayak’s chatbots allow users to search for flights simply by typing in a destination and selecting dates.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/" target="_blank">KLM’s chatbot</a> takes this utility one step further, sending all travel details like boarding passes to consumers via Facebook Messenger. It also uses this channel to update travellers about possible delays and lets users directly ask questions, such as how much baggage allowance they have or if they can change seats.</p> <p>While KLM’s example undoubtedly serves a functional purpose (in terms of offering information) the reason it is so effective is that it has a knock-on effect, making the actual experience of travelling less stressful and much more streamlined. This kind of utility is invaluable to consumers, as it solves problems in the moment and even prevents them ahead of time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7556/KLM.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="576"></p> <h3>Further examples</h3> <p>Chatbots and apps aside, there have been many other examples of brands using utility as a marketing tool. Here are just a few more that have caught my eye.</p> <h4>Listerine’s ‘Feel Every Smile’ app</h4> <p>Effective brand utility doesn’t necessarily mean a service has to be relevant to everyone – neither does it mean brands have to forgo creating a meaningful or emotional connection with consumers. </p> <p>In 2015, Listerine created an app to help blind or visually-impaired people know when others are smiling at them. Using facial recognition technology in conjunction with smartphone cameras, the app works by vibrating to indicate a smile.</p> <p>The related video is a nice example of content marketing in its own right – using emotive and moving storytelling to promote the brand – however, it also shows the extent to which the smile detector app brings real value to those who use it. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cA0hxCS0fKM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>IBM’s smarter cities</h4> <p>This example takes utility marketing offline. In 2013, IBM designed an offline ad campaign with a purpose, re-designing traditional billboards to have a secondary function.</p> <p>By adding curves at the top or bottom of billboards, the ads served as seats or shelter from rain. Similarly, by using them to form ramps for stairs, they became much more functional for people carrying suitcases or using bikes and skateboards. A simple but highly effective strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7557/IBM.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="549"></p> <h4>@HiltonSuggests</h4> <p>A lot of travel brands use their social media presence to offer helpful information to tourists. However, @HiltonSuggests is a nice example of a brand going above and beyond to do so, with Hilton creating a standalone Twitter account to answer queries about where to go and what to do in destinations around the world.</p> <p>The answers aren’t generic, either. Staff respond with follow-up questions to ensure that the answers are tailored to where they’re staying and their personal tastes and interests.</p> <p>The reason it works so well is that the Hilton brand is somewhat irrelevant to the service it provides. And yet, if someone has a positive experience on the back of a recommendation, it’s likely to create a meaningful connection long-term. It could be classed as basic community management, but again, there is definite crossover.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Recommendation? Family friendly (= good location, easy access with MTR, ...) Hotels in Hong Kong? / cc <a href="https://twitter.com/SwissInHKG">@SwissInHKG</a></p> — Klak (@KDKlak) <a href="https://twitter.com/KDKlak/status/886342392651149312">July 15, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Does it always work?</h3> <p>Like any strategy, utility marketing doesn’t always work – especially if the campaign appears disingenuous or a bit gimmicky. This tends to happen when brands base it around a specific product or launch, or when the problem they’re trying to solve isn’t <em>actually</em> much of an issue for consumers. </p> <p>One brand that is possibly guilty of this is Audi, with its ‘Start-Stop’ app. </p> <p>The app works by detecting which of your phone’s applications have been open the longest without being used, before alerting you to turn them off. It's miildly useful, perhaps, but in reality, it is just a way for the brand to promote its Audi ‘Start-Stop’ engine (which turns itself off when your car comes to a stand-still).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7558/audi.JPG" alt="" width="594" height="292"></p> <p>Other campaigns – such as Lucozade Energy recently giving tube riders a free journey along with a drink – could be viewed in the same way, coming off as a vehicle for product promotion rather than real customer value. Despite offering a one-off utility, Lucozade's campaign was really just a <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69156-14-brand-pr-stunts-that-successfully-created-a-splash" target="_blank">clever PR stunt</a>.</p> <p>In contrast – as the likes of Adidas and Listerine demonstrate – it's when consumers are able to (and cannot resist) using the service time and again that utility marketing is truly effective.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69241 2017-07-14T12:09:00+01:00 2017-07-14T12:09:00+01:00 Three reasons to admire Glossier: The best online beauty brand you've never heard of Charles Wade <p>The brainchild of reality TV semi-celebrity Emily Weiss, it is a spin-off from her popular blog ‘<a href="https://intothegloss.com/categories/the-top-shelf/">IntoTheGloss.com</a>’ (an editorial beauty site). Whilst Glossier’s trajectory from nowhere to darling of the cosmetics world has much to do with its sister site, the savvy CEO, and a tidal influencer strategy, it is in fact the fantastic customer journey – from online to on-skin – that keeps people coming back for more.  </p> <h3>Subjective Lines </h3> <p>This is a brand that knows its audience, nowhere is this more evident than email newsletters, which are often playful and quizzical, yet equally compelling.</p> <p>For example, on March 2016 a message was sent with the odd title “Re: Phase 2 Launch tomorrow”. Inside there was plain text, no images, and content – it appeared to be a professional exchange between the Head of Design and the Founder that had been mistakenly forwarded to customers.</p> <p>“Hey guys!” the former proclaims, “The new product pages and fonts go live in the AM. Watch out world, there’s a new serif in town.” Weiss fires back: “This is huge, guys. TOMORROW!!!” The ‘Unsubscribe’ option at the bottom revealed that it was indeed a mail-out. Essentially an exercise in ‘guerilla emarketing’, it gave the recipient the feeling that they were peeking behind the curtain, with tantalising language that generated anticipation. </p> <p>The brand has frequently returned to the theme of provocative subject lines, such as “ADULTS ONLY”, “whoops”, and “How to get Rich”. Sometimes the content is related – in the case of the latter it is about ‘rich moisturizer’ – whereas others are often more ambiguous. Another example from May 26 was titled “Are you leaving?”. Given the channel it had shades of an unsubscribe message, yet it was in fact about Glossier's travel pouch (for carrying items on the plane). It is borderline clickbait – but it works.</p> <p>Glossier has used GIFs; added instructional graphics to images; and even brought back an early 2000s favourite, downloadable ‘wallpapers’. What is remarkable is how the brand consistently finds new ways to excite its audience, belying the fact that the ecommerce store carries less than 30 products.</p> <h3>‘Sitegiest’</h3> <p>The inbox experience is extended unequivocally through to <a href="https://www.glossier.com/">the website</a>, which could act as a reference point in ecommerce. Although the templates that underpin the site are not revolutionary, the brand majors on strong imagery and equally compelling language, with quips such as “the best highlighter in the universe” expertly placed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7482/glossier_homepage.png" alt="" width="750" height="404"></p> <p>A common theme with this brand is the sense that it knows its customer; this translates throughout the user experience (UX). For example, the arrow cursor has been replaced by a series of emoji-style icons that are different from one piece of content to the next, utterly pointless but equally glorious.</p> <p>The product pages are impressive. Not only is the inventory shot luxuriously – often on models who are in fact employees – there is a full description, replete with awards won and application guidelines. Towards the bottom of the page images are used to further describe an item. For example, the highlight properties of ‘Haloscope’ make-up are cleverly presented by a simple motion: the wearer moves her hand from side to side, whereupon it shimmers in the light.</p> <p><a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/haloscope"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7483/haloscope_makeup.png" alt="" width="750" height="429"></a></p> <p>Glossier can also claim to have been consistently aware about how its products might look on different skin tones. Those items with more than one shade usually have multiple application guides featuring models with varying skin or lip colours. Another clever initiative is the ability to either add a single piece into the shopping bag or essentially subscribe by selecting ‘Deliver every’ one, two, or three months. Glossier has been brave with reviews too: a sample of the best and worst are positioned next to each other at the top of the section – all remaining responses are listed thereafter. (A customer can even sort results by date or highest / lowest rating.)</p> <p>The checkout is invitingly easy. Here too a neat touch, with a progress bar filling in front of the eyes to indicate how many more dollars are required to qualify for free shipping. Gamification of the purchase process is rarely a bad thing.</p> <p>However, the best is saved for mobile. Glossier has not bothered with an app, but, recognising the proliferation of smartphone usage amongst its audience, has designed an excellent m-commerce site. In fact, it basically is an app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7484/glossier_mobile.png" alt="" width="280" height="498">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7485/glossier_mobile_2.png" alt="" width="280" height="498"></p> <p>For example, simple navigation is anchored to the bottom of the page, rather than <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65511-hamburger-menus-for-mobile-navigation-do-they-work">via hamburger menu</a>. Product shots fit snuggly within an iPhone screen and automatically scroll, making life a little more convenient for the viewer. One slight error though might have been adding so many reviews to each page, forcing the user to scroll for quite some time before being shown related items.</p> <p>The checkout is – like its desktop counterpart – brilliant. As a further help, a promo box is presented as a prominent overlay, making it easy to enter the code.</p> <h3>Applying The Gloss</h3> <p>Whilst Glossier's comms and user experience are no doubt fantastic, it would be all in vain if the product was a letdown. Yet in many ways this is the strongest suit and ensures an exquisite end-to-end journey.</p> <p>First-off, the price-point is squarely in-line with the dominant player in the market, Sephora. For example, a $25 'Priming Moisturizer' is comparable to anything on its competitor’s site. Glossier definitely sits in the enticing ‘affordable, not cheap’ zone, thereby giving it enough of an aspirational quality, without costing “<a href="https://www.glossier.com/category/makeup">half a paycheck</a>”. Indeed, the Glossier <a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/glossier-sweatshirt">sweater</a> notwithstanding, no single item strays above the $40 mark.</p> <p>The product packaging is almost flawless. The typography is bold and robust, and the standalone ‘G’ logo has an almost gothic quality. Juxtaposed are the simple yet bright colour blocks, which look like a pantone – this is demonstrated ably in the <a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/cloud-paint">Cloud Paint</a>. The company has managed to produce an inventory that is feminine without being ‘girly’. Crucially, it is easy to imagine the items standing out inside a bathroom cabinet. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7486/Cloud_paint.png" alt="" width="700" height="470"></p> <p>This is essentially an online business (the exception being a Manhattan showroom), so parcel presentation is important, especially given that shipping, whilst free over $30, is otherwise not cheap and certainly slower than buying at a local shop.</p> <p>An order comes in a white box embossed with Glossier's single-letter logo. Under the lid there is are quotes like "Skin First. Make up second. Smile always.”, all conveying a personal touch. The merchandise is encased within a pink semi-transparent sleeve with bubble wrap. (Perfect for carrying on a flight with most products below the TSA liquid limit.)</p> <p>Inside might be stickers or notes, all to enhance the unboxing experience – again, a knowing nod to a distinctly millennial endeavor. Whilst sales and consumer feedback attest to the quality, should someone not like their purchase they can return it for free. However the brand urges you to give it someone else who might like it and still receive money back. Clearly, this is not altruistic, however it reaffirms a central pillar of thoughtfulness that runs across all customer touchpoints.</p> <h3>Finally...</h3> <p>There is much more to admire about the brand, such as its social media presence and ethics, yet it is these three aspects that stand-out. The path from email to enamel is considered, engaging, simple, and rewarding.</p> <p>And on July 12 Glossier <a href="https://intothegloss.com/2017/07/where-can-i-buy-glossier-canada-uk-france/?_ke=Y2hhcmxpZXdAYXNvcy5jb20%3D&amp;utm_campaign=canada&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=glossier&amp;utm_content=canada_prelaunch_quebecnocountry_071217">announced</a> that it will start to ship internationally. The formula is a winning one, so expect to see Glossier soon.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69246 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 2017-07-13T14:21:24+01:00 Why Adidas is moving into utility marketing with All Day fitness app Nikki Gilliland <p>Its MiCoach app (now Runtastic) aims to help improve users’ fitness performance, while its Adidas Confirmed app lets users know about exclusive product releases.</p> <p>Now, Adidas is taking a broader approach, combining different types of health and fitness tracking technology into a single app. 'All Day' – just launched in the US – is an all-encompassing version designed to help users ‘begin their journey to well-being’. </p> <p>But, is there a market for yet another sports-brand app? More to the point, how will Adidas benefit? </p> <h3>Technology to manage health, not just fitness</h3> <p>From the Nike+ Training Club app to MyFitnessPal and Fitbit, there are a tonne of similar apps on the market. Interestingly, Adidas’s All Day app does not appear to be a carbon copy of other brand examples, instead, focusing much more on health and well-being for women.</p> <p>While it is inspired by sport, the app is tailored around four distinct categories of movement, nutrition, mindset, and rest. This means if the user is not that interested in one category, such as exercise, they’ll still be able to gain value from others like food and sleep.</p> <p>Essentially, it’s an interesting example of utility marketing, with Adidas ensuring that it is there to meet the individuals needs at any time – without directly promoting its core products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GvQfVjpDTwM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Moving into the health industry could prove to be a shrewd move from Adidas. According to research, two-thirds of Americans <a href="http://www.itnonline.com/content/two-thirds-americans-favor-digital-personal-health-management" target="_blank">favour digital health management</a> over physical. Meanwhile, healthcare apps have seen a surge in interest, with a 16% increase in downloads during the past two years.</p> <p>Adidas is not the only brand to veer into this market. Under Armour’s Record app is also geared around general health verticals such as fitness, nutrition, and sleep – capitalising on its ability to track and help users throughout the entire day, not just during moments of exercise. </p> <h3>Using content to inspire</h3> <p>One way the Adidas All Day app differentiates itself from the competition is by going beyond performance tracking, also using content to inspire users. </p> <p>This part of the app is called ‘Discoveries’, with the current selection including recipes and healthy eating tips from food author, Candice Kumai, and a custom music playlist from DJ Nina Las Vegas. </p> <p>As well as capitalising on the authority of influencers, Adidas is focusing on high-quality content to tap into the general lifestyle interests of women. </p> <p>The aim here is to provide more than just utility. So while some people might use fitness apps for a while and then forget about them, or only think of using them in the moment of exercise, Adidas wants to provide the inspiration for maintaining and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7415/Adidas_All_Day_2.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="604"></p> <p>Furthermore, instead of focusing on hardcore or lengthy workout programs, it focuses on setting short term goals – where the length and category is chosen by the user.</p> <p>For example, if you’re interested in setting up a healthy eating plan, you can choose a select number of recipes to try – which the app will then remind you about and mark as complete as you go. The same goes for exercise plans and sleep aids. </p> <p>By breaking everything down into manageable chunks, the hope is that users might be more inclined to sustain usage over time.</p> <h3>Expanding digital presence</h3> <p>The app is not the only example of Adidas targeting a female audience or experimenting with other forms of utility marketing. In the UK, it launched a chatbot to let consumers find out information and book fitness classes in its East London studio. </p> <p>The chatbot received 2,000 sign ups with a 60% retention rate after the first week of launch, proving that online users often value practicality over pure entertainment.</p> <p>Adidas appears to be using both to promote the All Day app on social media, pulling in lifestyle-based content from its blog as well as promoting features such as the ability to set mini challenges.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Make every movement count.</p> <p>Take on challenges on the new All Day App: <a href="https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR">https://t.co/ZCnUASMOYR</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/adidasALLDAY?src=hash">#adidasALLDAY</a> <a href="https://t.co/haamf50fZc">pic.twitter.com/haamf50fZc</a></p> — ADIDAS NYC (@adidasNYC) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasNYC/status/883037976007024640">July 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>It’s also capitalising on influencer involvement, featuring popular lifestyle bloggers on its Instagram channel – another sign that it’s set on widening its target demographic rather than a niche, fitness-focused audience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7413/Adidas_insta.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <h3>Building brand affinity</h3> <p>The main benefit of utility marketing is that it helps to create brand affinity, with users potentially more likely to favour Adidas products when considering a purchase.</p> <p>While this naturally extends to Adidas sportswear and apparel, there’s also the question of whether Adidas will introduce a wearable tie-in.</p> <p>This has been the pattern for many sports brands up until now, starting with Nike+ and its Fuelband. Despite Nike going back to being a third-party app (now compatible with the Apple Watch), others have since entered the market, including Under Armour and its Healthbox wearable, and New Balance and its RunIQ smartwatch.</p> <p>As it stands, the new Adidas app can be paired with Apple’s Health Kit and Google Fit, and it looks like it won’t be long before a new official wearable is launched.</p> <p>It’s been reported that the device featured in the press photos for the All Day app is the all-new Adidas fitness tracker – thought to be called ‘Chameleon’. Said to be a rival for Fitbit, it will include a heart-rate sensor, as well as tie-ins with healthcare partners like Verily and American College of Sports Medicine. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7414/Chameleon.JPG" alt="" width="606" height="344"></p> <p>So, could Adidas take a share of the lucrative wearable market?</p> <p>Fitbit is currently the dominant player, with the brand seeing the most amount of downloads for its accompanying app. That being said, there has been rising concern over privacy rights, with many big wearable companies coming under fire for vague and convoluted T&amp;C’s. </p> <p>Alongside privacy concerns, one of the biggest reasons for wearable abandonment (a <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-third-of-wearable-devices-abandoned-by-consumers-gartner/" target="_blank">third of all owners</a> are reported to not wear their device) is said to be guilt or frustration for failing to reach their fitness goals. </p> <p>As less of a goal-setting app, and more of a lifestyle support, this is one area that Adidas might be able to capitalise on.</p> <p>By focusing more on flexibility rather than serious workouts, it could appeal to a wider demographic, as well as consumers already interested in its fashion-focused collections such as Adidas Originals.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69086-how-adidas-uses-digital-to-enable-powerful-experiences/" target="_blank">How Adidas uses digital to enable powerful experiences</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65598-nike-vs-adidas-which-provides-the-best-ecommerce-experience" target="_blank">Nike vs. Adidas: which provides the best ecommerce experience?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68785-how-adidas-originals-uses-social-media-to-drive-sales/" target="_blank">How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69244 2017-07-13T10:32:38+01:00 2017-07-13T10:32:38+01:00 Eight inspiring examples of shoppable digital content Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how can retailers capture consumers in the moment?</p> <p>Shoppable content is one effective strategy. This refers to any kind of content – including images, video or blogs – that offers customers a direct opportunity to buy within just a few clicks. The strategy helps to bridge the gap between browsing and buying, effectively engaging consumers and increasing conversion rates in the process.</p> <p>So, what does effective shoppable content look like? Here are just a few inspiring brand cases and the reasons why they work.</p> <h3>Diesel</h3> <p>Shoppable video can be a mixed bag. While the medium sounds great in theory – allowing consumers to click directly on the products they’re seeing on screen – it can actually be a rather jarring user experience, interrupting the video and taking viewers away mid-action.</p> <p>That being said, Diesel’s shoppable video – created as part of its #forsuccessfulliving campaign and in celebration of the brand’s 30th anniversary – is a pretty seamless example. </p> <p>Directed by Alexander Turvey, the short follows various Diesel models as they prepare for their first catwalk show. Calls-to-action appear at certain points throughout, which allows the viewer to save items or go directly to the Diesel store. As the video only involves music, with no real narrative or plot, this means that the experience of ‘in the moment’ shopping is less disruptive.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BKA4Zndgnja/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7407/Diesel.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, the video capitalises on the ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68305-runway-to-retail-how-fashion-brands-are-introducing-see-now-buy-now" target="_blank">see now buy now trend</a>’, selling exclusive items ahead of Diesel’s FW16 runway show in Tokyo to provide extra value for consumers.</p> <h3>Lazy Oaf</h3> <p>Instagram is now the top social media platform in terms of user engagement. Instead of just likes and comments, however, many brands want to transfer this engagement into direct purchases. </p> <p>While Instagram itself has been testing its new shopping features, retailers like Lazy Oaf have been busy finding their own ways to make the user experience more shoppable. It has created its own ‘Insta-shop’ – which lives on its main site, but is also linked to from its Instagram channel.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7397/Instashop.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="273"></p> <p>Essentially, it allows consumers to browse the Lazy Oaf Instagram feed (but on its own website) and means they can directly click on and buy any item they like. By hovering over each photo, users can instantly see whether an item is shoppable, also making it easy for consumers to buy multiple items in one go.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7396/Lazy_Oaf_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="442"></p> <h3>Made.com</h3> <p>Made.com’s Unboxed cleverly shows how to merge <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">user-generated</a> and shoppable content. Building on the idea that people want to see how furniture or homeware looks in real life before investing, it allows customers to upload photos of their Made.com purchases. </p> <p>Alongside this, it also includes links to available items in each photo, encouraging customers to take action instead of just inspiration. Users can even get in touch with the people who have uploaded photos in order to ask questions and hear honest reviews.</p> <p>While it's not the most seamless example of shoppable content (perhaps focusing the user's attention on reviews rather than clicking through to the products themselves) - it still helps to drive purchases in the long run.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7400/Made_Unboxed.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="588"></p> <h3>Net-A-Porter</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68219-four-things-brands-can-learn-about-content-marketing-from-net-a-porter" target="_blank">Net-A-Porter</a> is a retailer that truly understands the importance of shoppable content, using it to drive customer loyalty both on- and offline. Its print magazine, Porter, works in conjunction with a digital-version, allowing users to shop items directly from the page. By downloading the Net-A-Porter app and scanning the magazine, readers can find and buy items as they flip through.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7402/Porter.JPG" alt="" width="453" height="479"></p> <p>Net-A-Porter's weekly online publication, The Edit, uses the same formula, including handy links to all the items featured in the magazine.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7401/Net_A_Porter.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="556"></p> <p>Delivering instant gratification to consumers (and taking away the frustration of seeing something you like and not being able to find or buy it) – Net-A-Porter ensures that there is minimal friction between browsing and buying. </p> <h3>Tesco</h3> <p>It’s not only fashion or homeware retailers that benefit from shoppable content. Tesco is one supermarket that puts this at the heart of its digital strategy, using its ‘Real Food’ content hub to drive conversions online. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7404/Real_Food.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="429"></p> <p>The reason it works so well is because it makes buying multiple ingredients incredibly quick and easy. Instead of writing down and searching for individual items, users can be one click away from buying everything that’s needed for a recipe. What’s more, Tesco also prompts users in case they don’t have store cupboard items like olive oil or ketchup.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7403/Tesco.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="487"></p> <p>This example also demonstrates how FMCG brands can capitalise on faster purchase intent. Unlike fashion or retail brands – where the path to purchase involves much greater deliberation and comparison – people are much more likely to see and buy when it comes to food and drink.</p> <h3>Kate Spade</h3> <p>Kate Spade is one fashion retailer that has taken shoppable content to a whole new level, launching a series of ads designed to be watched and enjoyed like a TV show.</p> <p>Starring recognisable faces like Anna Kendrick, the #missadventure series is billed as a series ‘about interesting women leading interesting lives.’ Naturally, however, Kate Spade also hopes that people will be just as interested in the clothes and accessories they wear, allowing viewers to find and buy all the clothes featured.</p> <p>In order to avoid disruption to viewers, the brand collates all shoppable items into a list, which can be clicked on during or at the end of the video. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j8XCi71rwsg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>By truly immersing viewers into world of Kate Spade, the brand is able to increase the chances of them becoming paying customers.</p> <h3>One Kings Lane</h3> <p>Home décor brand, One Kings Lane, has generated effective results from its shoppable blog. However, that doesn’t mean it focuses on revenue over and above engagement. Instead, it focuses on creating high quality content and photography, providing customers with inspiration and value above everything else.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7405/One_Kings_Lane.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="486"></p> <p>One danger of shoppable content, especially in blog form, is that it can soon become outdated. Products will be sold out or limited, leaving content filled with old or broken links. In order to combat this, One Kings Lane <a href="https://adexchanger.com/ecommerce-2/one-kings-lane-uses-content-convert/">focuses on refreshing content regularly</a>, and ensuring that its shoppable content stays up to date.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tour the colorful and collected home of the founder of <a href="https://twitter.com/RollerRabbit">@RollerRabbit</a> → <a href="https://t.co/lGLHmOAZJ6">https://t.co/lGLHmOAZJ6</a> <a href="https://t.co/QuRyevrFKW">pic.twitter.com/QuRyevrFKW</a></p> — One Kings Lane (@onekingslane) <a href="https://twitter.com/onekingslane/status/876092396366422016">June 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Matches Fashion</h3> <p>Lastly, instead of using shoppable video to create film-like ads, Matches uses industry experts and behind-the-scenes insight to entice viewers to buy,</p> <p>Its ‘Digital Trunk Shows’ series involves a number of designers talking about the inspiration for and creation of their collections. Viewers can simply click on an item for it to be automatically added to their basket.</p> <p>This approach aims to use information and insight to offer real value to consumers, softly encouraging them to make purchases rather than blatantly selling.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v-fO50XoNNY?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67909-selfridges-unveils-ios-app-with-shoppable-instagram-feed-is-it-any-good/" target="_blank">Selfridges unveils iOS app with ‘shoppable’ Instagram feed: Is it any good?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66625-shoppable-video-the-missing-piece-of-your-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">Shoppable video: the missing piece of your marketing strategy?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68275-ted-baker-unveils-shoppable-video-google-voice-search-stunt-for-aw16-campaign"><em>Ted Baker unveils shoppable video &amp; Google voice search stunt for AW16 campaign</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69234 2017-07-11T12:00:00+01:00 2017-07-11T12:00:00+01:00 Six consumer brands with picture-perfect Pinterest strategies Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what makes an effective Pinterest strategy, and which brands are succeeding on the platform? Here’s just six examples.</p> <h3>1. Whole Foods – Communicating a lifestyle</h3> <p>Whole Foods was one of the first brands to truly understand the potential of a presence on Pinterest, capitalising on its highly visual nature early on. Since it first launched on the platform in 2011, it has gone on to attract more than 327,000 followers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7320/Whole_Foods_Market.JPG" alt="" width="655" height="576"></p> <p>Instead of treating the platform like an opportunity for sales (though this is obviously a bonus), it largely uses Pinterest to promote its brand values and communicate an identity – and this extends to far more than just food products. </p> <p>Of course, a hefty portion of pins are dedicated to recipes and food inspiration, however Whole Foods often re-pins content about sustainability, DIY, recycling, and seasonal events, too. It recognises that fans of Whole Foods aren’t just interested in what they’re eating, but a certain type of lifestyle.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7319/Save_the_pollinators.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="432"></p> <p>This means that whatever users are searching for, Whole Foods is able to engage with people based on broad range of interests as well as simultaneously promoting its own brand identity. </p> <h3>2. Burberry – Creating personalised content</h3> <p>There’s nothing all that personal about Pinterest at first glance. Most users are considered in terms of broad demographics or thought of in terms of search interest, and there’s less of a focus on conversation and comments than on other platforms. </p> <p>Burberry, however, wanted to engage with its audience on Pinterest on a more one-to-one level, creating a campaign that would forge a more meaningful connection. To raise awareness of its Cat Lashes Mascara, it asked users to fill out a simple questionnaire about their beauty habits. It then generated a personalised board of tips, product recommendations and make-up advice individually tailored around each person’s responses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7321/Burberry_personalisation.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="444"></p> <p>By creating custom content, Burberry not only managed to increase awareness of its new product launch, but it gave users a far more memorable brand interaction than merely pinning or viewing an ad. Since then, it has also repeated this kind of activity, launching a similar campaign that allowed pinners to create their own personal and branded gift idea boards during Christmas 2016.</p> <h3>3. The Travel Channel – Delivering what users want</h3> <p>Many people think of Pinterest as a place for fashion or food brands, but travel is also a popular category. Pinterest’s 2017 Travel Report states that there are over 3bn ideas relating to travel on the platform, with users searching for inspiration on everything from holiday essentials to how to organise trips for large groups.</p> <p>While a lot of brands use Pinterest to experiment with content, the Travel Channel has previously taken a more measured approach. It used its Facebook page to ask existing fans what they’d like to see on the platform, using these answers to inform the kind of content it posts. As well as being effective for cross-promotion – pointing Facebook fans in the direction of other channels – it also means that its content was more likely to resonate with users. </p> <p>The Travel Channel has also generated success by tapping into a younger, more adventurous audience. So, while its TV demographic might be a little older, it has managed to widen its appeal through Pinterest boards such as ‘Savvy Traveler’ and ‘Spring Fling’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7323/Spring_Fling.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="501"></p> <h3>4. LaurenConrad.com – Capturing a new audience</h3> <p>83% of Pinterest users are more likely to follow a brand rather than a notable celebrity, however, Lauren Conrad holds dual appeal. Drawing on her power as both an influencer and an established brand, LaurenConrad.com has used Pinterest to drive awareness among a specific demographic. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7325/Lauren_s_spring_board.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="501"></p> <p>LaurenConrad.com tailors its boards to a young, female audience, combining a wide range of both product-focused and lifestyle-related content.</p> <p>One of the most popular boards is ‘get fit’ – which involves a series of instructional pins on exercises and workout regimes, plus content from a more personal perspective (i.e. ‘5 things that changed when I started tracking macros in my diet’. And while this might sound super niche, it enables the brand to capitalise on Pinterest’s status as a search discovery tool, meaning it will appeal to users who might otherwise have no knowledge or affiliation with LaurenConrad.com.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7324/get_fit.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="504"></p> <p>The fact that LaurenConrad.com’s Instagram channel has 945,000 followers while its Pinterest has nearly 1.2m is certainly noteworthy – and perhaps proof that the latter platform is more about the content itself rather than who or what is behind the channel.</p> <h3>5. L’Oréal Paris – Driving purchase intent</h3> <p>Pinterest is largely used as part of social or content marketing strategies, yet L’Oréal Paris has veered into advertising territory with a number of paid-for campaigns. Initially starting with Promoted Pins, the brand then moved onto Pinterest’s Cinematic Pins to promote its new True Match Limi Glow highlighter, specifically to drive awareness and purchase intent in 18-25 year olds.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/f5h1vNhoDig?wmode=transparent" width="652" height="367"></iframe></p> <p>Involving a motion-based format that animates as users scroll, the cinematic pins allowed L’Oreal to integrate a tutorial element into the ads, demonstrating to users how the highlighter should be applied.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7326/L_Oreal.JPG" alt="" width="548" height="361"></p> <p>The results of the campaign proved that Cinematic Pins can prompt purchases, with 37% of users showing increased purchase intent after seeing the ad. What’s more, it also showed that Pinterest is becoming a key driver for retail, with users browsing the platform with the intent of discovering new products to buy, rather than browsing purely for entertainment purposes.</p> <h3>6. Penguin Random House – Curated content and collaborations </h3> <p>Lastly, Penguin Random House has carved out a real niche for itself on Pinterest, creating a vast and constantly updated pool of content to engage book lovers.</p> <p>It’s an easy (and perhaps rather lazy) tactic to do things like re-pinning motivational quotes, so it's refreshing to see Penguin work hard to curate interesting and inspiring boards based around a theme. Whether it’s ‘books that made us cry’ or ‘favourite books from our childhood’, it is skilled at honing in on specific topics to create engagement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7327/Penguin.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="467"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it also collaborates with others to flesh out and widen its Pinterest activity. Previously, it has partnered with the Happy Foodie – a site dedicated to cookery books – and Unbound Worlds, a site for literary science fiction. As well as widening its reach to niche audiences, this allows Penguin to encourage participation and user involvement. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7329/Book_clubs.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="341"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68765-why-brands-should-be-making-more-use-of-pinterest/">Why brands should be making more use of Pinterest</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69184-five-successful-brands-on-youtube-from-adidas-to-sarson-s-vinegar">Five successful brands on YouTube: From Adidas to Sarson's vinegar</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69114 2017-05-25T10:41:00+01:00 2017-05-25T10:41:00+01:00 How Subaru uses a data-driven marketing strategy to target customers Nikki Gilliland <p>Led by Iain Lovatt from BlueVenn, it was all about Subaru’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68822-where-is-data-driven-marketing-headed-in-2017/" target="_blank">data-driven marketing</a> strategy. More specifically, how the automotive brand uses data to create an emotive and personalised customer experience. Here are a few key takeaways.</p> <h3>Utilising actionable data </h3> <p>One of the main talking points of the whole conference was the importance of using all types of data. Or rather, not being limited to a certain kind. </p> <p>Hard data, such as gender or age demographic, is obviously helpful for gaining general insight into the consumer. Soft data, meanwhile - things like personal preference or opinion - is equally important for fleshing it out.</p> <p>While this is a good basis, actionable data is what ultimately helps to drive and inform real-time marketing. For Subaru, this type of data might involve how often a consumer is browsing the website or what type of car they’re looking at. </p> <p>By taking all this data into consideration (and from all sources), Subaru can build a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65425-what-is-the-single-customer-view-and-why-do-you-need-it/" target="_blank">single customer view</a>. This enables the brand to treat all consumers as individuals rather than large segments, meaning they are able to deliver more timely and relevant content based on real-time needs and desires.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Need a car that can go the distance? The average Subaru will clock up 200,000 miles in its lifetime. Find out more: <a href="https://t.co/wcT8TnyyvE">https://t.co/wcT8TnyyvE</a> <a href="https://t.co/9ZM1dW8Ppx">pic.twitter.com/9ZM1dW8Ppx</a></p> — Subaru UK (@subaruuk) <a href="https://twitter.com/subaruuk/status/864579942541131776">May 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Creating relevancy</h3> <p>So, how exactly does Subaru deliver this?</p> <p>One thing that has dramatically helped the brand has been its decision to centralise and combine both online and offline marketing data. </p> <p>Let’s take Tomas - an example Subaru customer that might have first been identified via online browsing behaviour. While using this data might help to inform <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69015-three-key-findings-from-the-2017-email-marketing-census/" target="_blank">relevant email targeting</a> – it also means that Tomas would be treated entirely differently if he were to visit an offline dealership. </p> <p>On the other hand, Tomas’s offline persona would not be taken into consideration online either.</p> <p>The solution for Subaru has been to create a unified customer-base that integrates dealership information with online data. This has enabled the company to tailor email newsletters based on exactly where the customer is in their journey, as well as monitor customer behaviour and satisfaction levels.</p> <p>Ultimately, marketing becomes all the more relevant as the customer further engages with the brand – regardless of the channel or how fragmented their path to purchase is.</p> <h3>Turning test drives into sales</h3> <p>Alongside general customer satisfaction, Subaru has seen a marked increase in conversion rates as a result of its multichannel data-driven strategy. The number of enquiries leading to test drives has risen by a factor of 3.2.</p> <p>With the experience of buying a car being highly based on both senses and emotion - involving everything from the sound of the engine to that new car smell – test drives are a hugely important factor.</p> <p>Of course, encouraging test drives is not enough. By using data insight to match consumers with the <em>right</em> car – one that suits their specific lifestyle, budget and needs – Subari has managed to increase the number of test drives leading to sales by a factor of 1.6.</p> <p>This shows that data-driven marketing is not only about attracting and engaging customers in the first place, but using data to deliver a more rounded and emotive experience across the board.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6351/Subaru_test_drive.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="346"></p> <h3>What does the future hold for the automotive industry?</h3> <p>Iain finished by asking what the future of the automotive industry might look like. From driverless cars to telematics, there’s no doubt that data will be at its core. </p> <p>Last year, the company partnered with IBM to explore the idea of a data analytics solution involving Subaru’s ‘EyeSight’ driver assistance system – a feature that uses stereo cameras to detect other vehicles and pedestrians. The end result could be the creation of a ‘connected car’ network that shares and communicates data between cars and control centres. </p> <p>Whether or not it actually comes to fruition, Subaru insists that – much like its use of data in marketing – technology will always be built around how it can truly benefit and enhance the customer experience.</p> <p><em>(Ad for the Subaru Impreza with EyeSight)</em></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pprehPwyCgU?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67877-how-automotive-brands-are-blurring-the-lines-between-digital-reality/">How automotive brands are blurring the lines between digital &amp; reality</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67700-what-can-automotive-brands-learn-from-the-tesla-website/">What can automotive brands learn from the Tesla website?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69053-how-maserati-uses-influencers-to-drive-its-instagram-strategy/">How Maserati uses influencers to drive its Instagram strategy</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69095 2017-05-18T14:10:00+01:00 2017-05-18T14:10:00+01:00 How Coca-Cola is using smartphone data to personalise in-store ads Nikki Gilliland <p>It’s not such a far-fetched notion. Recently, Coca-Cola started using Google technologies to target consumers in US grocery stores. So, how does it work exactly? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>Ads in grocery aisles</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing/" target="_blank">Digital out-of-home advertising</a> typically uses contextual data to display relevant ads, e.g. a Coke billboard that changes depending on the weather. Digital signs (such as those at bus stops or in buildings) also use data in this way.</p> <p>The problem for brands like Coca-Cola, however, is the high cost of these ads, combined with a lack of any real <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67070-why-personalisation-is-the-key-to-gaining-customer-loyalty/" target="_blank">personalisation</a> or targeting to individual consumers. This is where Google-integrated ‘endcaps’ come in – a term used to describe advertisements at the front of grocery store aisles. (Endcaps are fairly common in the US, but less so in the UK.) </p> <p>These endcaps serve ads to passing consumers based on their smartphone data, using a combination of Google’s DoubleClick and location-based technologies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6150/Endcaps.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="439"></p> <p>The data includes anything from your basic gender or age demographic to previous browsing history. So, an ad could change from Coke Zero to Glacéau Smartwater if it recognises a preference for healthier products, for instance.</p> <p>The aim is to connect and engage with consumers to drive sales of the brand in retail stores – however Coca-Cola has also suggested that it benefits other brands and products within the same category (in this case soft drinks). This sounds somewhat improbable, but moving on. </p> <h3>Creepy or enhanced customer experience?</h3> <p>The real question is: Will consumers will be happy to receive super targeted ads, or does this level of personalisation veer into creepy territory? This generally remains one of the biggest issues for marketers, with <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/14/privacy-and-information-sharing/" target="_blank">research from Pew</a> suggesting that consumers do not want to trade privacy for personalisation. </p> <p>It found that people are particularly negative about targeted ads if they are unaware of what is happening or do not provide outright consent. However, the study also found that consumers are more willing to accept data tracking if ads are highly relevant or beneficial, e.g. offering discounts or coupons.</p> <p>Fortunately, Coca-Cola’s endcaps also involve communicating wirelessly with devices to send tailored offers or coupons, also meaning people do not have to log-in or stand still. This could be one benefit, but it is unlikely to satisfy all consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6151/Google_tech_Coca_Cola.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="544"></p> <h3>Will it catch on?</h3> <p>While this example from Coke appears to be a first, it’s clear that tracking physical consumers is becoming a pressing concern for the retail industry as a whole. </p> <p>Online retailers can easily hone strategies based on metrics like click-throughs and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">basket abandonment rates</a> – so it’s understandable that offline retailers want to build a similar picture of consumer behaviour. </p> <p>Interestingly, a report by <a href="https://dxc.turtl.co/story/55ee93d8bbfd077f2d4e22ee" target="_blank">CSC</a> recently suggested that as many as 30% of retailers are now using facial-recognition technology to track customers in-store. By comparing certain facial characteristics with browsing or buying behaviour, retailers are able to predict intent and deliver relevant ads. Unsurprisingly, CSC also reports that 33% of consumers think the technology is intrusive, while 56% do not even know what it is.</p> <p>Whether consumers are creeped out or keen for this kind of in-store tech – with Coca-Cola set to roll out endcaps to thousands of US stores – we could be seeing much more of it in future.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/">What's now &amp; next for digital technology in retail stores?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67418-what-is-location-based-advertising-why-is-it-the-next-big-thing/" target="_blank">What is location-based advertising &amp; why is it the next big thing?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67038-11-ways-to-track-online-to-offline-conversions-and-vice-versa/" target="_blank">11 ways to track online to offline conversions (and vice versa)</a></em></li> </ul>