tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/performance-marketing Latest Performance marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-04-11T13:05:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68983 2017-04-11T13:05:00+01:00 2017-04-11T13:05:00+01:00 You're (still) not tracking CPA properly and here’s why Depesh Mandalia <p>Every business for decades has struggled with two common things: which channels to focus marketing spend on and how much return every dollar spent returns. This isn’t as simple a question as it may initially look.</p> <p>Marketing channels have evolved hugely since television, radio and print ads were key ways to reach a mainstream audience. Despite the advancement in tracking technology and ad platforms, the question of how best to utilise each marketing dollar remains a challenge, even for the most advanced marketing operations and platforms (despite what they tell you) and here’s why.</p> <h4>Scenario 1 - a customer sees an ad in a single channel and purchases there and then</h4> <p><strong>CPA challenge:</strong> ensuring there is tracking in place, which for digital is usually in the form of digital analytics and for offline is primarily in the form of promotion code.</p> <p>How often does this scenario occur? There will be a good percentage of your acquisitions that only ever see your one ad on one platform or through a single medium and decide to buy all within the same ‘session’. For clarity we define a session here as a stream of events all happening one after the other.</p> <p>For simplicity I'm focussing on a visit to a website as the journey to complete a transaction (as opposed to a shop visit or app download via an app store). So:</p> <ol> <li>Customer sees ad</li> <li>Customer clicks/responds to ad</li> <li>Customer visits website and adds item to cart</li> <li>Customer buys item</li> </ol> <p>In this scenario, the customer does this without a break to browse other sites or coming back later. For a business with limited brand and product awareness, it is less likely that someone will see an ad for the first time, click <em>and</em> buy in one go.</p> <p>Of course, we marketers would love to think our ads are spot on <em>and</em> the target audience have been reached in one hit <em>and</em> that audience is in the mindset to buy <em>and</em> they visit your website <em>and</em> buy without even thinking about other important things in their day like what's for dinner or the latest cat gif on Facebook.</p> <p>There are also factors around trust which affect consumer behaviour - trusting how legit the company and website is, whether the product quality can be trusted, whether the product price is going to be the best you can get etc.</p> <p>What kind of company has enough <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66013-brand-activation-and-its-role-in-driving-consumer-engagement-and-awareness/">brand awareness</a> and product range association that seeing a single ad will prompt you to both trust the business and purchase in one go? Amazon comes to mind as a company that can do this, as may other well established businesses, where the consumer is fully trusting of the brand and broadly aware of the product range. But how quickly do you need to increase sales? And how long have Amazon taken to establish themselves?</p> <p>Trusting that a company like Amazon aren't going to defraud you, are going to deliver your product, and are going to deliver a known quality - these are questions which for most people are answered on the Amazon site or through strong brand association. You, the smaller brand, simply can't match that.</p> <p>Chances are that if your data suggests that a given transaction occurred from the first ad the customer saw in the same session, there's something else at play. Let's look at scenario 2.</p> <h4>Scenario 2 - a customer sees an ad, doesn’t interact, but comes back later to buy from you via the website directly <em>or</em> via another marketing channel.</h4> <p><strong>CPA challenge:</strong> tracking the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-state-of-marketing-attribution/">attribution</a> of the source channel due to the lack of connection to the final conversion channel. </p> <p>This is a very common (if not the most common) scenario and essentially how brand-led campaigns make their mark by creating an uplift on trackable channels. In this scenario a customer will see an ad, for example on TV, outdoor display, a leaflet, print ad or even digitally such as Facebook or Youtube as follows:</p> <ol> <li>Customer sees ad</li> <li>Customer doesn’t interact with ad</li> <li>Customer visits website directly at a later time/date and adds item to cart</li> <li>Customer buys item. Ka-ching! </li> </ol> <p>If you’ve ever run or been involved in a brand campaign you’ll know what a struggle it can be to truly measure the impact of the campaign on bottom line numbers. As a performance marketer you’ll know how fluffy ‘brand awareness’ can seem as a metric.</p> <p>To fully measure brand impact requires many more tools such as a brand impact test which measures trackable channel performance with and without the brand campaign, baselining your organic/non-paid channels to measure uplift and things like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">paid search</a> brand keyword uplift in particular.</p> <p>That being said, not every 'brand campaign' is big budget, massive exposure stuff. Every supermarket carrier bag shows branding at play. Every time you read a newspaper with the logo facing outward branding is at play. Branding plays a big part in our everyday interactions with companies, whether we notice it or not. And as a marketer, the impact of brand awareness is often neglected when calculating the ROI of your dollar spend.</p> <p>If you’ve scaled a business, you’ll know the importance brand plays in creating the foundation for sustainable growth. Sustainable growth is that which doesn’t rely on any single marketing channel (eg Facebook ads) and has a good blend of non-paid acquisition acquisition channels.</p> <p>Scaling a business solely focussed on the hard metrics of spend, sales and CPA will hide the subliminal impact your marketing is having, like how <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html">Pavlov had his dogs salivating</a> at the sound of a bell, or how those that have dined there, have an instinctive, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201108/7-reasons-we-cant-turn-down-fast-food">uncontrollable reaction to seeing the Golden Arches</a> through the release of dopamine.</p> <p>Find me a direct response ad that can release dopamine better than a well placed brand campaign. Are you tracking the DU (Dopamine Uplift) of your marketing campaigns? Surely this will trim your CPA by a percentage or two, yet we're often having to make budgeting decisions based on the reaction of the rational brain when neuroscience studies confirm the unconscious, deep thinking part of your brain as being a key driver to decision making, including what and where we buy.</p> <p>The brand funnel is about creating awareness in defining your <a href="https://www.startwithwhy.com/LearnYourWhy.aspx">‘who’ and ‘why’</a> - who you are and who you are relevant is what creates meaning and connection to your target audience. Too often, businesses focus on what they do, completely bypassing the customer need. This is a typical sales-led approach to growth and not a customer-centric view.</p> <p>It is the channel CPA-centric view that drives marketers and businesses to focus heavily on what they do and this isn't what your target audience will primarily care about. Give them a reason to not just be interested, or to like you, but to love you as a brand and watch those CPAs fall. </p> <h4>Branding 101</h4> <p>Below is a good illustration of the brand journey and impact on your acquisition funnel - moving from a wide audience, some of which are not your target consumer, and funneling those that are toward your business.</p> <p>As a business, if your audience is everyone, then whilst your product may well cater for every single person you can market to, until you create relevance for that person you’ll struggle to help them determine how your product improves or complements their life. This is the role of brand marketing, to sift out non-consumers and attract potential consumers from a wide funnel of prospects.</p> <p>The ‘indifference’ stage noted in the diagram refers to the fact these people have no positive or negative opinion on the business.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5367/1.jpg" alt="brand funnel" width="400" height="295"> </p> <p><em>Via <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/demystifying-brand-funnel-sean-kelley">Sean Kelly on LinkedIn</a></em> </p> <p>The relevance of this user journey scenario is this: whilst you may measure and try to improve acquisitions that come through to the website or through brand searches, do you really know what the first interaction for that customer was? If not, then deciding where to place that next dollar is not going to be entirely fact or numeric based.</p> <p>As a Chief Marketing Officer your growth decisions need to rely on a variety of datasets to analyse impact, performance and future actions.  </p> <h4>Using multi-data points for indirect attribution analysis</h4> <p>An important and often used piece of attribution analysis is a question asked to customers after the point of purchase: "how did you hear about your us?".</p> <p>Don't underestimate the importance of this simple question. Although we have the ability online to track the channel from which a visitor landed on a website (eg search engine, facebook, youtube, affiliate etc through web analytics), this question gives us a valuable first-touch data-source for channels which we can’t track so well such as TV and print media.</p> <p>In the case of ecommerce companies, many rely on promotion codes in order to track the marketing source but in this scenario, where a customer has seen an ad in one source and purchased via another source, you’ve lost the originator marketing channel.</p> <p>For example if you distribute leaflets and a customer sees one, then goes online and purchases through an affiliate code, you have no concept of the performance of the leaflet and may make the incorrect decision to stop distribution of inserts due to low uptake. </p> <p>At toucanBox we use a post-transaction survey to ask customers how they heard about us at the point at which we are front of mind. The reason to have this in the checkout confirmation page and not in the confirmation email or later is because it would otherwise only serve to dilute the quality of response.</p> <p>The positive impact brand awareness has is best demonstrated when we look at TV advertising performance. We have a certain CPA target we are aiming for and use a promotion code on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMy9bFitXBM">the TV ad</a> to help us track customers coming directly via the TV ad. However, if we follow scenario 1 above and assume all customers that see the TV ad, will come <em>directly</em> to the website, our CPA looks quite astronomical and unprofitable. Decision? Let’s trash TV it clearly doesn’t work! Ah but if you add additional data points, it tells a very different story. </p> <p>If we look at just one of our many paid search keywords related to brand searches (see below), we see that there was a rise and fall of searches on that particular keyword when we ran TV advertising in February, denoted by the rise, peak and fall which correlates with TV spot timings. This gives as an additional attribution back to TV because the increase in paid search hits for this one keyword can be directly matched back.</p> <p>We analysed all brand keywords that we could track, alongside those people directly visiting the website and those coming through non-paid search and found similar patterns. The uplift in visits also correlates with an uplift in transactions confirming both volume and quality of TV impact for this keyword.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5374/2.png" alt="keyword uplift from tv" width="800">  </p> <p>Now if you tally up the additional sales TV brought in as the originator channel into the trackable channels (brand paid search, organic search and direct visits) the combined CPA comes in within target. The correct decision therefore based on this data is to continue with TV advertising. I may not know the complete, numerical positive impact TV has across all channels but I can be convinced with this data that it is worthwhile. </p> <p>Another data point we used was the post-transaction survey mentioned earlier. In response to ‘how did you hear about us’ we gave some relevant options such as TV, print, search etc. When analysing the data for the same period, the majority selected ‘TV’, which was of course great news but unsurprising.</p> <p>However where this was even more interesting was matching this back into Google Analytics as an event and analysing those that said they heard of toucanBox via TV and the final channel they converted on. Through this we also found TV impacted sign ups that came via Facebook ads, online partnerships and affiliates.</p> <p>Essentially we added a layer that analytics tools cannot yet add - where did they remember seeing or hearing about the brand first? This is important because we're looking for the trigger ad that prompted them to move from the indifferent stage to the like stage for the brand.</p> <p>TV for toucanBox had played an even bigger part in uplifting the entire marketing mix. Without the additional data points, a singular view of CPA and attribution would have led us to making the wrong decision and hindered growth. </p> <h4>No surprise, CPA tracking is still an issue </h4> <p>Despite this level of insight and understanding, can we answer how best to place every single marketing dollar?</p> <p>No we can’t, because the true CPA of every channel, considering what percentage of the customer journey each channel contributed, is a thing of data science beyond the scope of this article. You can search for and sift through <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=multi+channel+attribution">tens of thousands of articles</a> written on this subject in the last 5-10 years yet we’re still not able to 100% define a true CPA.</p> <p>The challenge is that typical tracking of budget and transactions, from channel to channel, device to device, across web analytics and crucially your customer database rarely match up. This occurs because of how each tracking system sees the view of a single transaction.</p> <p>If a customer visits the site from a Facebook ad, based on the attribution window you are looking at Facebook will record it as a transaction via Facebook, regardless of whether that person converts subsequently via another channel or not. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics register the last channel the customer came through and although GA offers a way of <a href="https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/multi-channel-attribution-modeling-good-bad-ugly-models/">viewing multi-channel attribution</a>, at best some marketers and analysts are still inexperienced with how to use it for budget decision making and at worst are not even aware it exists.</p> <p>GA will also often under report against what your customer database shows due to cookie/tracking issues and so as a marketer it is a constant struggle to optimise channels, marketing-mix and internal KPI reporting. The screengrab below is a typical view of what our customer journey might look like from first click to last. Quite the journey. And if last click was all we went on, we might ditch email or organic search from our marketing mix.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5375/3.png" alt="attribution" width="800"></p> <p>Whilst at toucanBox we are highly data-driven in our marketing analysis and decision making, we’re also in fast-growth stage and so require a balance between data accuracy and growth agility which often increase inversely. Making decisions on hard, measurable data points isn't enough to make a fully qualified decision to assigning the true CPA for a given campaign or a channel.</p> <h4>So after all of that, how exactly do you evaluate the return on your dollar spend? </h4> <p>The simple answer is through complex data modelling, tracking and attribution. Well no, actually the simpler answer is you don’t.</p> <p>Instead marketers will often take stock of a blended view of marketing in order to determine the success of a campaign. If tracking and accounting the return from every dollar is your priority (and there's no reason it shouldn't be) then you will need to have the time and resource available to create a system which at best, will get you close to answering this.</p> <p>However if you’re a fast-growth company looking to make the the next best decision to that, on how your marketing performance stacks up, then a combination of in-channel optimisation to get the best from your macro metrics such as cost per click (CPC) and clickthrough rate (CTR) on top of a blended view of marketing performance might just get your growth machine whirring that much faster.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68961 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 2017-04-06T14:07:52+01:00 Amazon tries its hand at influencer affiliate marketing Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/31/amazon-quietly-launches-its-own-social-media-influencer-program-into-beta/">According to</a> TechCrunch's Sarah Perez, the program functions like the company's affiliate program in that participants are paid a commission for product sales that they drive. It is not known if the commission structure differs from Amazon's affiliate program.</p> <p>Unlike Amazon's affiliate program, which requires that affiliates link to Amazon products from their own websites, Amazon is offering influencers vanity URLs, such as <em>https://www.amazon.com/shop/whatsupmoms</em>, on which lists of products they curate are displayed. As Perez notes, "Basically, it's a more exclusive step up from Amazon Affiliate linking, and offers a better browsing experience."</p> <p>One of the early participants in the Amazon Influencer Program is WhatsUpMoms, which claims to be the top parenting network on YouTube. Its president and COO, Liane Mullin, says that the program was a natural fit. "We are constantly asked by our community for product recommendations and about the products used in our videos. Now that we have our own Amazon store it makes it much easier to have a curated collection all in one spot," she told TechCrunch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5232/amazoninfluencer.jpg" alt="" width="878" height="322"></p> <h3>The appeal of performance marketing for influencers</h3> <p>Amazon's desire to team up with influencers isn't at all surprising. After all, influential social media entities like WhatsUpMoms, which counts more than 1.5m subscribers to its YouTube channel, have the ability to promote products to broad and often loyal audiences. And there's <a href="http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-bloggers-20160809-snap-story.html">strong evidence that influencers <em>can </em>convert their followings into<em> </em>sales</a>.</p> <p>For that reason, it's reportedly not uncommon for brands to pay the most prominent of influencers – those with millions of subscribers on popular social platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat – well into the five figures, and in some cases even six figures, for each promotional post.</p> <p>Given the large sums being paid in the upper echelons of the market, brands tapping influencers to promote their wares will increasingly seek to justify the spend <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">by tracking ROI</a> and ensuring that their deals make financial sense. Performance marketing payment structures, which align compensation directly to customer acquisition or sales, could help them do just that in a very straightforward manner.</p> <h3>But will influencers embrace performance marketing?</h3> <p>For those earning thousands of dollars or more for sponsored posts, the prospect of giving up a guaranteed payment for a percentage of sales generated or a set fee for each customer acquisition might not be all that appealing. While some arrangements could theoretically offer significant upside, the truly influential influencers aren't likely to see the benefits of taking on increased risk unless the market dynamic changes completely and they are forced to.</p> <p>Instead, so long as their sway is growing and bringing with it negotiating leverage, expect to see more top influencers focus on long-term <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/16/loreal-on-why-other-brands-are-using-influencers-the-wrong-way/">partnerships</a> in which they might even work with brands to co-create product lines that they have a real ownership stake in. And expect to see the most ambitious influencers try to follow in the footsteps of social media stars like Michelle Phan, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2015/10/05/how-michelle-phan-built-a-500-million-company/">who has built</a> her own business empire on the back of her YouTube popularity.</p> <p>Of course, none of this means that the Amazon Influencer Program is destined to fail. But absent a bigger hook than an Amazon page on which influencers can curate lists of products that are sold on Amazon, it seems unlikely that the influencers with "large followings" Amazon is courting would have good reason to give their Amazon Influencer Program links top billing.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68916 2017-03-30T15:15:00+01:00 2017-03-30T15:15:00+01:00 Is cost-per-offline-visit the future of mobile advertising? Patricio Robles <p>Location-based adtech firm xAd thinks so. xAd, which uses a proprietary platform to "[automate] geo-boundaries around key places and points of interest" and says it delivers ads to 500m users each month, recently <a href="http://www.xad.com/press-releases/xad-pushes-industry-forward-introducing-first-market-cost-per-visit-model-guaranteeing-offline-visits/">announced</a> a new pay-per-visit ad offering in the US that will allow advertisers to pay for ads only when they drive consumers through the doors of their stores.</p> <p>According to the company, "This new model represents a major shift in accountability from the buyer to partner solution, bringing improved transparency and accountability to the advertising industry.</p> <p>"With the advent of fake news and some of the industry's most plaguing questions surrounding 'the quality and efficacy of served impressions,' xAd's move toward a more advanced performance-based model takes the complexity out of having to navigate industry pitfalls like viewability and ad fraud."</p> <p>The pay-per-visit offering features third-party verification of visits through Placed, a location measurement firm, and xAd says that The Home Depot and Applebee's have signed on as launch partners. xAd isn't revealing how much advertisers will pay for each visit; its website states that pricing "varies by industry."</p> <h3>Is the location marketing era finally upon us?</h3> <p>Some, like UM Worldwide's US digital head Joshua Lowcock, thinks pay-per-visit could be as important a development as pay per click was. "The difference is, there are no accidental clicks when it comes to foot traffic. If a brand's focus is to drive store visits, you should be able to pay for those visits. Now you can align strategy directly to investment, creating an efficient, powerful buying model, one I believe can really cement location as a strategic must for marketers," he said.</p> <p>Indeed, location looks like it will soon be a strategic must for marketers as more and more companies decide to offer up the location technologies they've developed to marketers.</p> <p>For example, Foursquare, which now describes itself as a "technology company that uses location intelligence to build meaningful consumer experiences and business solutions," <a href="https://medium.com/foursquare-direct/on-announcing-foursquares-pilgrim-sdk-cb3f6ab9cfa8#.3wadm7oau">just announced</a> that it is opening up a software development kit that will allow developers to incorporate Pilgrim, its core technology platform behind its Places database, stop detection, and snap-to-place awareness, into their apps.</p> <p>And <a href="https://medium.com/foursquare-direct/introducing-foursquare-analytics-a-dynamic-foot-traffic-dashboard-for-brands-9ce60aa93b42#.acdd9c2r7">it's launching</a> Foursquare Analytics, a "dynamic foot traffic dashboard for brands" that is currently being used by brands including Taco Bell, TGI Fridays, H&amp;M, Lowe's and Equinox.</p> <p>The timing for a golden era of location marketing couldn't come soon enough for retailers with physical locations. Thanks in large part to changing consumer behavior driven by the Amazonification of commerce, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/03/22/retailers-closing-stores-sears-kmart-jcpenney-macys-mcsports-gandermountian/99492180/">a growing number of retailers</a> are downsizing and fighting for survival.</p> <p>While solutions like xAd Cost Per Visit and Foursquare Analytics alone won't save them, having better insights into consumer behavior, the ability to target consumers at the right place and time when they're on the go, and the option to pay for ads only when they drive visits to their stores could help give retailers that jump on the location marketing bandwagon quickly enough a fighting chance.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic, read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67418-what-is-location-based-advertising-why-is-it-the-next-big-thing/"><em>What is location-based advertising &amp; why is it the next big thing?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66171-six-useful-mobile-marketing-case-studies/"><em>Six useful mobile marketing case studies</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/864 2017-03-28T16:45:16+01:00 2017-03-28T16:45:16+01:00 Supercharged: Marketers and Machines <p>Ready to help you uncover all you need to know about AI and how it can transform the way your business works, we bring you… Supercharged: Marketers and Machines. A one day, one-stop-shop, giving you the ultimate snapshot of AI integration within the marketing industry. Hear from brands already implementing it, experts in the field and best of all try out some of the tech!</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68731 2017-01-26T15:15:00+00:00 2017-01-26T15:15:00+00:00 Your 2017 marketing plan should be defined by change and transformation Stephanie Miller <p>If you are placing all your hopes for digital transformation <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68356-what-is-an-innovation-lab-and-how-do-they-work/">into a 'lab'</a>, you are missing a huge opportunity to keep up with customers and their ever-evolving digital lifestyles and workplaces. </p> <p>Instead, invest in making adapting to change part of your culture. Every marketer needs to challenge the status quo as part of their regular job. Sequestering innovation into a separate group may be great for ideation, but it will never actually transform your business.</p> <p>Transformation requires the proverbial thousand points of light - every pair of hands, drawing new insights from data by asking different questions, and testing out new campaigns.</p> <p>This year, engage every marketer in the work of keeping ahead of customer need, and taking advantage of the right set of new platforms and digital tools. Not just marketers, actually, but also everyone in all those cross-functional teams on whom we rely so heavily to create great customer experience - from sales to customer service to IT.</p> <h3>People power</h3> <p>This time of year, lots of columnists predict what the future will hold - <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68706-ashley-friedlein-s-marketing-and-digital-trends-for-2017/" target="_blank">including our own Chairman</a> Ashley Friedlein who urges every marketing organization to adopt the "F" word (Focus). (Anyone who doubled down last year with <a href="https://blog.medium.com/renewing-mediums-focus-98f374a960be#.jsiaquiy2" target="_blank">advertising on Medium</a> can attest to the worth of this advice. What seemed like an obvious opportunity based on traditional rules of business, just isn't.)  </p> <p>Ashley also talks about the increasing attention on "marketing transformation", which refers to the internal marketing organization transformation which complements the customer-journey focused <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a> work that is already underway at so many Econsultancy clients.</p> <p>Scott Brinker, author of the popular ChiefMarTec blog <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2017/01/marketing-prediction-need-2017/" target="_blank">predicted</a> that change is the only trend you need to watch in 2017.</p> <p>People empowerment is just as important as the right technology, where he advises, "For people, you need to carve out time, resources, and executive enthusiasm for learning and experimentation. Having people take courses, attend conferences, join local meet-ups, and voraciously read (or listen to podcasts) is good. But the real learning happens when they’re encouraged to apply new ideas in their work, through silo-busting collaborations with their peers."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3417/iStock-528622704.jpg" alt="" width="724" height="483"></p> <p>No matter what your position on trend watching, there is one thing that is clear. Nothing will get done to meaningfully transform your business without people.</p> <p>And not just any people. People who are skilled in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/skills-of-the-modern-marketer/">modern marketing</a>, working collaboratively across functions with shared goals, in an organization that is structured to help them and the company succeed. People are inextricable from culture, process and strategy.</p> <p>It's a truth universally acknowledged that bottom-up ideas tend to be more practical and data-driven. Why not train your teams how to capture change and turn it into opportunity, while you give them the skills and tools they need to increase your digital marketing muscle?  </p> <p>Why not challenge marketers to talk to customers and solve their problems? Why not embrace change as a constant, and filter that "lab" mentality into every role? Really. Why not?</p> <p>It's a simple concept: Trust your teams to know their key audiences and to be committed to optimizing the customer experience. Help them master the concepts and foundational principles, show them what "good" looks like for your company, and teach them to how to evaluate new digital opportunities. </p> <p>The learning programs and ecosystem that you create to support your teams have to be as agile and open to change as the software you use. In the golden triangle of people, process and technology, transformation will only occur as fast as the slowest leg of the triangle allows. Don't isolate your people from their ability to innovate.</p> <p>What are your thoughts on transformation and change management in 2017 for marketing? We'd love to hear your challenges and what has worked for you already.</p> <p><em>If you’re planning a digital transformation project or want to find out more, visit Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation Hub</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68725 2017-01-23T15:05:47+00:00 2017-01-23T15:05:47+00:00 Pfizer lures consumers to text with Viagra discounts Patricio Robles <p>As FiercePharma's Beth Snyder Bulik <a href="http://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/text-to-save-drugs-pfizer-s-latest-vaigra-ad-includes-text-promotion-for-discounts">describes</a>, "The ad opens with the now-familiar woman in a dark blue dress who asks, 'Guys, want to save 50% on a yearlong supply of Viagra for ED?' A mobile phone close-up then takes over the screen with the promotion and text keyword 'VSAVE,' and she explains in voice-over how to get the discount."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3288/viagracommercial-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="264"></p> <p>Before receiving the discount code, consumers must reply to a text message that opts them in to receiving multiple text messages from Pfizer every month.</p> <p>The opt-in also gives Pfizer the ability to collect additional information, such as names, phone numbers and birthdates. Consumers who opt in can opt out at any time via text.</p> <p>Obviously, to use the discount, consumers must have a valid prescription for Viagra from their doctor.</p> <h3>A smart investment?</h3> <p>Text messaging-based marketing programs like Pfizer's are common in the consumer marketing world, but as Bulik notes, the Viagra campaign "seems to be a first for a pharma company." It might not be the last, however. Indeed, there are a number of reasons why similar campaigns could be smart investments for pharma companies in 2017.</p> <p>First, pharma companies' <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67747-pharma-marketers-should-use-storytelling-to-improve-the-industry-s-reputation/">reputational woes</a> are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68120-as-tv-ads-lose-their-sway-pharma-marketers-need-to-adapt/">reducing the sway of television ads</a>. While this will realistically require a multi-pronged response over the long term, an immediate tactic for making the most of television could be to develop campaigns that offer discounts in return for a meaningful exchange.</p> <p>Second, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67227-ban-on-consumer-ads-could-make-pharma-s-digital-shortcomings-more-costly/">the specter of a ban on direct-to-consumer ads</a>, it behooves pharma companies to find ways to develop channels through which they can communicate directly with patients who use their drugs.</p> <p>Text messaging programs that are built off of discount offers are an especially practical means to do this, especially in light of the fact that pharma-owned and operated web properties have much lower usage than non-pharma owned and operated web properties, limiting pharma companies' ability to drive engagement through their websites.</p> <p>Finally, given the proliferation of generic drugs, anything pharma companies can do to establish direct relationships with patients who use their drugs might prove valuable in the future.</p> <p>While Viagra won't come off-patent in the US for several more years, Pfizer has struck deals that will see generics hitting the market this year, so having the ability to communicate with patients currently using Viagra could help the drug maker maintain the market for the brand name product.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68706 2017-01-17T10:00:00+00:00 2017-01-17T10:00:00+00:00 Ashley Friedlein's marketing and digital trends for 2017 Ashley Friedlein <p>You can <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">read my 2016 post</a> to see whether I had any success in predicting the major trends from last year, and here are the trends that I think will have the biggest impact in 2017.</p> <h3>1. The F word </h3> <p>I believe the guiding star for marketing, and digital, for 2017 will be: Focus. </p> <p>In part, this is because the economic outlook is uncertain so there is less appetite for risk and instead a desire to focus on either fixing what is not working or doubling down on what is working and scaling that.</p> <p>Businesses want growth, brands want saliency in a cluttered landscape, but there is not the money to ‘throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks’ so focus has to be the answer. </p> <p>In part, it is also a reaction against the ever-increasing complexity and fragmentation within marketing. Both at the highest levels (What even is ‘marketing’ now? What is ‘digital’ really?) and at the tactical levels (Which new emerging platforms do we now also have to manage? Have we really nailed our responsive programmatic social video campaign? What are we doing about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/">dark social</a> and messaging?). </p> <p>Focus is an antidote to ambiguity and complexity. In part, I think shareholders and boards are starting to lose patience with marketing and digital strategy and execution which lacks focus.</p> <p>There are only so many times you can say “for us digital is like changing the engines on the plane whilst still flying!” or cunningly pass off what is really indecision, lack of competence or lack of operational clarity as “agile”. </p> <p>In 2017 prioritisation is the top priority. Focus on the focus. So I expect to see:</p> <ul> <li>Brand portfolios being rationalised. This started in 2016 but I expect to continue this year. Weaker brands will be killed off so energies can be focused on the strongest. </li> <li>As well as cutting some brands completely we will see more ‘zero-based branding’ thinking (cf. “<a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/01/26/why-unilever-is-right-to-adopt-zero-based-budgeting/">zero-based budgeting</a>” from 2016) where marketers revisit a brand's purpose, promise, positioning and audience. Again, to ensure clarity of focus. </li> <li>Agency/supplier relationships being rationalised. Again, in the name of focus, I expect to see brands favouring fewer, deeper, supplier relationships. This will be a challenge for mid-sized agencies. I believe it will favour the big consultancies and systems integrators over the agencies too.</li> <li>Media partners being rationalised. There will be less appetite for continual experimentation and fragmented efforts. Rather marketers will want to do better what is already shown to work. In the digital space this is good news for Google and Facebook in particular.  </li> </ul> <p>2017 will be more about refinement than reinvention for most marketers. More about consolidation, embedding and stratification than diversity and fragmentation. Time to get better at ‘operationalising’ marketing in a digital age.</p> <p>Take a cue from Google which has been busy cutting back projects to focus on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">artificial intelligence</a>. In 2017 your hardest decisions will be about what <em>not</em> to do. </p> <h3>2. Macro trends impacting marketing in 2017</h3> <p>Following are some broader trends that are shaping marketing, and digital, through 2017 and beyond. </p> <h4>2.1 The democratisation of AI (artificial intelligence)</h4> <p>AI is <em>the</em> hot technology trend. But a bit like ‘big data’ I do not see it as a thing in isolation. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/">AI will permeate all aspects of marketing</a> and beyond.</p> <p>From quite specific applications like AI-powered email subject line optimisation (like <a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a>) through smart devices and right up to Samsung-acquired <a href="http://viv.ai/">Viv</a> the ‘global brain’ and ‘intelligent interface to everything’.  </p> <p>AI is already powerful: <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/alphago-deepmind-google-wins-lee-sedol">Google’s Go-winning DeepMind technology</a>, Facebook’s <a href="https://research.fb.com/publications/deepface-closing-the-gap-to-human-level-performance-in-face-verification/">DeepFace</a> facial recognition is better than a human’s etc. But the exciting opportunity for us all is that AI is becoming democratised, becoming a utility, being made available as a service. </p> <p>In 2017 you should not ‘do AI’ but you should keep on top of how AI can help make smarter things that you are already doing and make sure your suppliers and vendors are using AI to improve their services to you. </p> <h4>2.2 Conversational interfaces</h4> <p>I could have gone with bots, chat, messaging, even the ‘conversation economy’. But let us focus on conversational interfaces for now.</p> <p>Messaging, bots and smart home devices, like Amazon’s Echo, are the main actors on the stage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">conversational UI</a>. This is an exciting area of development, possibly even a ‘<a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">paradigm shift</a>’? </p> <p>Conversational UIs can help remove friction in a process. Before long we will expect to say “Find me three of the best tents that sleep up to five people for under £300”, get a good answer, and then purchase, all by voice. Interfaces will have API access to marketplaces like eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon etc. </p> <p>From a brand point of view this conversational paradigm is also compelling. Perhaps we can have conversations like we used to with businesses and recapture some of the intimacy that technology to date has caused us to lose? Can conversational interfaces re-humanise technology? </p> <p>The big question for marketers and brands in 2017 is whether you choose to play directly in this space, by creating your own <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbot</a> for example, or whether you figure out how best to integrate in the ecosystem of much larger players, e.g. building a ‘skill’ for Amazon’s Alexa platform <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/help/insideguardian/2016/sep/28/introducing-the-guardian-skill-for-alexa">like the Guardian</a>. </p> <h4>2.3 Realtime</h4> <p>Building on the conversational paradigm, we should also expect experiences to become more realtime.</p> <p>Whether that is messaging, live customer service, live location tracking or live video streaming, we can see expectations rising for experiences that are ‘in the moment’. Just recently Google updated its “Popular times and visit duration” information for destinations to include realtime information on how busy the place is. </p> <p>In 2017 and beyond we need to look at how we can deliver <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/customer-experience/">customer experiences</a> that are realtime which is a challenge across technology, people and process. </p> <h4>2.4 Google/Facebook duopoly unchallenged</h4> <p>I cannot see how Google and Facebook will not continue to gain momentum. This will be aided by the focus and consolidation I described earlier.</p> <p>For many marketers who need to get good at a few things that they know have scale and can work, it is much easier to concentrate on a few platforms than many. </p> <p>Over 2017 it will be interesting to see how the video wars play out between Google (YouTube) and Facebook and also the degree to which brands work more directly with Google and Facebook which threatens to relegate the importance of the agency relationship. </p> <h4>2.5 Consultancies and systems integrators steal share from agencies</h4> <p>Speaking of agency relationships... I fear agencies may increasingly lose out to the big consultancies in winning large <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital and marketing transformation</a> work.</p> <p>Creativity and media planning/buying may hold out best against the consultancy attack but, as media becomes more programmatically driven, it is access to (increasingly backend) data and smart business logic that is required.</p> <p>And ‘digital transformation’ is a lot about change management, business strategy, data architecture, process, systems integration, cultural transformation etc. This is home turf to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68570-consultancies-are-buying-agencies-what-does-it-mean-for-marketing/">consultancies who have also been aggressively acquiring</a> or hiring agency talent.   </p> <h4>2.6 Identity management and authentication</h4> <p>We know devices are proliferating, we know we want to deliver personalised experiences across channels, we know multichannel marketing and (re)targeting can work if well executed and we know we want to measure ROI in a properly attributed way across channels. But we also know the sensitivities around data control and privacy.</p> <p>At the root of these challenges is how, and if at all, we can reliably identify who someone is. And even if we can, what the legal and perception challenges are around what we then do with that knowledge.</p> <p>This is another reason for the rise and rise of Google and Facebook who can address these challenges at scale and whose users are pretty much logged in all the time wherever they go online. Not a luxury most of us have.  </p> <h4>2.7 Talent</h4> <p>Yes, there is still a war for that.</p> <h3>3. Marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>And now the key trends in marketing. </p> <h4>3.1 Marketing transformation</h4> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68009-it-is-the-end-of-the-beginning-for-digital-but-is-it-the-beginning-of-the-end/">‘death of digital’ debate</a> rumbles on but certainly I have noticed brands talking not only about ‘digital transformation’ but also about ‘marketing transformation’.</p> <p>Usually the initial focus is a restructure of the marketing organisation, often with the (re)integration of digital marketing, and often with a new person at the top who is increasingly likely to be a CCO (Chief Customer Officer) rather than CMO. </p> <p><a href="http://theoystercatchers.com/">Oystercatchers</a> (a sister brand to Econsultancy and part of Centaur Media plc) note a trend towards clients bringing more marketing teams in house – maybe not permanently but building dream teams for specific tasks. </p> <p>Accompanying this internal transformation is a re-evaluation of supplier relationships, the likely outcome of which I address earlier, and zero-based budgeting has become more popular as another way to ‘reset the clock’. </p> <p>The area that I find most interesting is the idea of ‘marketing ops’: the operating system for marketing. This is one effective way of keeping focus but also dealing with complexity and delivering operational efficiency.</p> <p>Just as (enlightened) IT has ‘dev ops’ it makes absolute sense to me that marketing needs ‘marketing ops’. Marketing is adopting ‘agile’ from the world of technology (incorrectly in many cases, but still…) and could do well to adopt ‘ops’. </p> <p>If you want to get some insight into this emerging area of marketing I recommend you look at <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/MarTechConf/marketing-ops-is-a-philosophy-not-a-department-by-justin-dunham">this presentation on marketing ops by Justin Dunham</a> of Urban Airship.  </p> <h4>3.2 Customer experience still top of the agenda</h4> <p>Customer experience has been a hot topic for a few years now but it shows no sign of cooling in 2017. Every single piece of market research Econsultancy does into what topics marketers are prioritising, and indeed the equivalent data I have seen from other analysts, shows customer experience topping the charts. </p> <p>The drivers for this are partly just to meet customers’ rising expectations, i.e. improved experiences, particularly digital and multichannel ones, are something that you just have to do. Partly, of course, it is in an effort to improve ROI through better conversion and retention rates.  </p> <p>2017 will see more ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">customer journey mapping</a>’, more defining of personas and further efforts at personalisation. And, according to Econsultancy’s recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">Implementing a CX Strategy</a> research, it is the marketing function which is most likely to own CX within a business. Yet only 8% of companies view themselves as 'very advanced' in terms of customer experience maturity.</p> <p>Multichannel will remain a big focus for customer experience improvements. Amazon Go, which entirely automates the in-store experience using sensors and machine learning, shows what is possible when blending the digital and physical.</p> <p>Multichannel should not be about the distinction of physical and digital channels but about experience fulfilment: what works best for what experience and customer need.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NrmMk1Myrxc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>In 2017 we will move away from channel execution to thinking more about touchpoints and brand (“omni-brand” anyone?) experience.</p> <p>Rarely is there a single linear customer journey; more usually customer journeys are pretzel-shaped. </p> <h4>3.3 Data lakes and data ops</h4> <p>The move towards brands taking greater, first-party, control of their data as a strategic asset will continue. Expect to hear more about ‘data lakes’ in 2017 and dedicated ‘data/analytics ops’ teams comprising data scientists, engineers and analysts.</p> <p>The focus will be on getting better access to the data that is already available and smarter reuse of analytics assets like algorithms and models. Perhaps this year more marketers will finally be able to get a universal view of cross-channel performance.  </p> <p>In 2017 we will also start to recognise the need to use data to market to machines. We already know the value of structuring our data properly through schematic language to enhance how we appear in search results. But as personal assistants and IoT (internet of things) devices increasingly intermediate between our offerings and our customers we will need to learn how to ‘teach’ these machines with data.</p> <h4>3.4 Measurement scrutiny</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot happening in the area of measurement, performance and metrics: <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/08/30/mark-ritson-mcdonalds-zero-margin-omnicom-deal-sets-welcome-precedents-for-agency-contracts/">McDonald’s zero-margin Omnicom deal</a> setting a new precedent for agency contracts; <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas/">Facebook’s erroneous video metrics</a>; the <a href="http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/industry-initiative-media-transparency">ANA’s concerning report</a> into lack of transparency in media buying by agencies.</p> <p>As a result, there will be a lot of scrutiny from senior management around how marketing is being measured. Some may reach the nirvana promised by the aforementioned data lakes, assuming they can find the talent to realise them and harness their value, but for many this year’s focus will mean having fewer KPIs but being more rigorously held to account over those.</p> <p>Marketing attribution will still be challenging (less so for Google and Facebook): according to Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-state-of-marketing-attribution/">State of Marketing Attribution</a> research 76% of respondents are struggling to find the right staff to deal with attribution. </p> <h4>3.5 Rethinking segmentation and targeting</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot of debate around approaches to customer segmentation and targeting. How granular is too granular? Is ‘mass targeting’ the answer? How does programmatic work in the mix?</p> <p>In 2017 we need to focus on resolving this question. As ever, the answer will be ‘it depends’. It depends not just on your product and audience but on your business strategy e.g. if you are going after market share at any cost versus focusing on profits and margins. </p> <p>Approaches to targeting are interesting in as far as they expose the sometimes differing philosophies and approaches of ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ marketing. The former typically has a higher degree of planning and research up front and the segmentation and targeting models often built on more prescribed geo-demographic data attributes. </p> <p>Digital, meanwhile, espouses a ‘test and learn’ approach to validate hypotheses, starting small and scaling what works, and using technology and data to optimise for successful outcomes.</p> <p>For example, using programmatic advertising to optimise for sales using lookalike targeting which may not care what geo-demographic segment a prospect belongs to.</p> <p>Digital focuses on assessing potential customer value based on realtime, dynamic and contextual data variables which might include the weather right now, your precise location right now, what device you are using, what transport you are currently in, what you have just searched for, just clicked on etc.</p> <p>This year, as part of our marketing transformation (see earlier), we need to resolve these tensions between ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’. This will play out in organisational design but also in our processes, culture and capability development.  </p> <h3>4. Digital marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>There is an increasingly blurred line between ‘digital marketing’ and ‘marketing’ but the following trends focus on the digital elements of marketing.</p> <h4>4.1 Digital Transformation</h4> <p>Econsultancy’s recent research on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-marketing-reality/">The New Marketing Reality</a> with IBM highlights the many challenges facing digital marketing:</p> <ul> <li>fragmentation and complexity.</li> <li>challenges in understanding the customer journey.</li> <li>challenges with organisational and data silos.</li> <li>confusion around metrics and what good looks like.</li> <li>managing both generalist and specialist agencies and vendors at the same time.</li> <li>lack of capability in areas like data and customer experience.</li> <li>lack of clarity in strategy and leadership. </li> </ul> <p>There is nothing particularly new here and there will not be for 2017. The challenges in becoming a digitally adept and mature organisation are many and will take years to work through.</p> <p>2017 will continue to see a mix of initiatives which, on the one hand, deliberately create ‘elite’ digital units (McKinsey talk about ‘<a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/agile-marketing-a-step-by-step-guide">war-room teams</a>’) in an attempt to move at speed and, on the other hand, attempts to integrate and unify ‘digital’ and ‘traditional’ within a single marketing function. In practice most organisations will do both at the same time.</p> <p>Digital will also need better ‘ops’ (see the earlier section on marketing transformation), particularly in the area of data. Ops can help corral disjointed data and wrangle the complexity of channel silos.</p> <p>Digital will also be in the vanguard as organisations seek to become more agile and better at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68503-what-is-design-thinking/">design thinking</a>, customer experience optimisation and product management. </p> <p>Non-Executive Directors with digital expertise will stay in great demand. There will be more Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) but the rate of growth in this job title may have peaked. </p> <h4>4.2 Data and marketing automation</h4> <p>2016 was a big year for marketing automation. Martech outshone adtech. Companies like Oracle, Adobe and IBM went on a spending spree to acquire capabilities to bolster their martech offerings across areas including programmatic, personalisation, video and social.</p> <p>Last year also saw a lot of talk about using data to optimise marketing including customer insight, personalisation, automation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">conversion rate optimisation</a>, multichannel, and predictive analytics. </p> <p>2017 will primarily be about putting these things into action. For most, ‘marketing automation’ is, initially, just better <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>. Improved customer onboarding, retention or renewal sequences, more refined trigger-driven messaging, more personalisation, introducing lead scoring and lead nurturing.</p> <p>This practice is then extended into other channels as data becomes more joined up and the ‘direct marketing’ of email becomes joined to the ‘above the line’ of advertising with programmatic media. </p> <h4>4.3 Artificial intelligence </h4> <p>Earlier I noted that AI will permeate all areas of marketing so is not a discipline in itself. But it will be the digital experts within the marketing function who will be expected to take the lead in how AI is adopted by organisations.</p> <p>Indeed, Econsultancy researched our subscribers to ask who is responsible for defining the role of AI-powered marketing within their organisations and 61% stated it was the marketing function.</p> <p>The applications of AI in marketing for 2017 sit most obviously in the digital marketing disciplines: AI for content curation (e.g. smart recommendations); AI for customer service (particularly digital/social service); AI for content generation (e.g. email copy or video content); AI for sentiment analysis (e.g. social listening); AI for CRM (e.g. smarter loyalty or sales insights); AI for intelligent digital advertising optimisation; AI to power chatbots (e.g. for assistance in finding products or content). </p> <h4>4.4 Content marketing</h4> <p>As per <a href="http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp">Gartner’s Hype Cycle</a>, 2017 sees content marketing moving through the slope of enlightenment and entering its plateau of productivity. There will be more focus on understanding return on investment, more refined approaches based on learnings to date, more focus on scaling the things that are working, more clarity on roles and capabilities.  </p> <p><em>Gartner's Hype Cycle</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3103/Gartner_hype_cycle.png" alt="" width="589" height="411"></em></p> <p>Scott Brinker has an interesting view on what he terms the <a href="http://marketingland.com/4th-wave-content-marketing-marketing-apps-84108">4th Wave of Content Marketing</a> and I agree that 2017 will see more focus on interactive experiences beyond static content or even rich content like video.  </p> <p>Video, as a form of content, will still be an active area of experimentation during 2017: vertical video, shorter and longer form video, video captioning and optimisation for stream viewing, live streaming, social video ads etc. </p> <h4>4.5 Social</h4> <p>“Social” is a very broad term these days. Plenty of activity to expect in 2017 across social:</p> <p><strong>Social care</strong> – deeper integration of social channels into customer service and care.</p> <p><strong>Social CRM</strong> – similarly to customer care, social data and touchpoints will become more closely integrated with backend CRM systems. </p> <p><strong>Dark social and messaging</strong> – more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing/">brands running private social groups</a>, experiments with chatbots, greater usage of messaging as a medium both internally (e.g. Slack) and externally through integrations with Facebook Messenger or trials with WhatsApp groups and, for B2B, setting up messaging groups on LinkedIn. </p> <p><strong>Emerging platforms</strong> – social is at the forefront of experimentation with emerging platforms and formats. Last year it was Meerkat and Pinterest; this year I expect we will see more activity around Snap, Instagram and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> (even in the West). </p> <p><strong>Social answering</strong> – I have not yet come up with a name I am happy with for this... but essentially it is about listening for relevant conversations, or questions, taking place online and then participating and answering in order to drive awareness, traffic and search rankings.</p> <p>In B2B this might be answering, or commenting on, content posted to LinkedIn; if you were targeting developers you would do this but on Stack Overflow; Quora, among others, has become a much bigger driver of traffic so it is worth answering relevant questions there. </p> <p><strong>Social amplification</strong> – thankfully there is less talk of ‘going viral’ as relates to social. But 2017 should see efforts in understanding how to use social to distribute, augment and amplify content and messaging.</p> <p>There is a skillset to optimising this: the best practitioners know how to orchestrate social channels to maximise amplification. In its simplest form this is about choreographing how, and when, content is published. Enterprise social management software now allows for more sophisticated scheduling and provides the analytical insights to optimise it.  </p> <p><strong>Influencer marketing</strong> – this is not just about ‘social’, of course, but 2017 will see continued efforts to identify and understand who the ‘new influencers’ might be for your brand and then engage with them, socially, commercially and through PR. </p> <p><strong>Social media advertising</strong> – driven largely by the emerging platforms as well as increasing experimentation by more traditional media owners, 2017 will offer a whole range of new ad formats, experiences and commercial models for agencies and their clients to experiment with. </p> <h3>5. Hot topics but still not significant in marketing for 2017</h3> <p>Our own Econsultancy research says that marketers are excited about VR, AR and IoT for 2017.</p> <p>So perhaps I will get some criticism for having the temerity to suggest these are not likely to form a significant part of an average marketer’s job this year. Unless you work for GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) that is. </p> <p>My thoughts on some of these topics:</p> <p><strong>AR (augmented reality)</strong> – sure <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/">Pokémon Go was a great use of AR</a> but most of us are not gaming businesses. AR has many great applications but it still does not feel like it will go mainstream for marketers in 2017.</p> <p>That said, the iPhone 8 release this year could change that with ‘mixed reality’ getting a big boost. </p> <p><strong>VR (virtual reality)</strong> - there is huge hype and investment around VR including from GAFAM (I have added <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68442-microsoft-s-hololens-a-review-of-the-mixed-reality-headset/">Microsoft because of HoloLens</a>) so it should go large some time. But this year?</p> <p>The hardware requirements are still too onerous, the tech and apps too fragmented, the use cases mostly gaming or too niche, for most marketers to spend much time focusing on VR this year. As with AR, VR’s adoption could be turbocharged by the iPhone 8 release this year. </p> <p><strong>IoT (Internet of Things)</strong> – there are some fantastic examples of successful IoT services, a lot in B2B, and this will only grow. But I am less convinced there is an obvious opportunity for marketers yet.</p> <p>As more products and things become connected, however, there is a really interesting customer-product relationship marketing opportunity. We should see more early examples of that this year.  </p> <p><strong>Wearables</strong> – I am still not convinced there are enough use cases for most marketers to get excited about the wearables opportunity.</p> <p><strong>3D Printing</strong> – <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2014/08/14/3d-printing-whats-in-it-for-marketers/">I wrote about 3D printing</a> almost three years ago. The technology has improved, of course, but I’m still not clear how this is particularly relevant for marketers?</p> <p><strong>Blockchain</strong> – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68693-the-importance-of-the-blockchain-the-second-generation-of-the-internet/">important, exciting, disruptive</a>, but not clear to me how marketing can <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">leverage</a> this, unless perhaps for identity management and authentication.  </p> <p><strong>Beacons</strong> – still not doing it for me.</p> <p>But what do you think? Feel free to post any thoughts or links to your own digital/marketing trends and predictions for 2017. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68661 2016-12-23T00:01:00+00:00 2016-12-23T00:01:00+00:00 Five trends which will define data-driven marketing in 2017 Jeff Rajeck <p>Speaking to company marketers at a recent Digital Cream Singapore, though, it seems that others have a much different view of marketing data.</p> <p>Many attendees indicated that they are no longer just handing over their data to demonstrate return on investment (ROI), but they are instead using it to change the way their marketing team works.</p> <p>Below are five trends which roundtable participants felt will define data-driven marketing in the coming year.</p> <h3>1) Marketers will increasingly use data for decision making</h3> <p>One trend that most participants agreed on is that that data will be used more often to drive marketing decisions in 2017. Attendees said that data analysis was the best way to find the 'low-hanging fruit' which improves marketing performance.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measurement-and-analytics-report">A 2016 Econsultancy survey</a> of client-side marketers backs up this notion. In the study, marketers were asked to indicate what percentage of their data was useful for decision making and less than one in three (29%) indicated that very little (0-25%) of their data was useful.</p> <p>In the same survey, marketers also agreed overwhelmingly (84%) that analytics drives actionable recommendations which make a difference to their organisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2614/figure1.png" alt="" width="800" height="367"></p> <p>While optimistic in general, participants also felt that using data to help make marketing decisions also raises new issues.</p> <p>First off, many said that marketers are suffering from data overload. Each channel, every customer touchpoint, and each marketing system has its own data and participants felt that all the data was becoming overwhelming.</p> <p>One delegate mentioned that their customers use chat apps when purchasing and the marketing team found it difficult to use this data for attribution.</p> <p>Another problem with using data for decision making is that additional resources are required to make sense of the data. Companies with small or stretched marketing teams struggle to find the time to analyse the data to an extent where it offers useful insights.</p> <p>Also, while using data can make some decisions easier, data-based decisions can become politicized, too (see point 3 below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2619/2__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2) Agile marketing will become more popular</h3> <p>Interestingly, attendees said that the increased use of data in marketing will allow marketers to work in a more agile manner.</p> <p>Described in a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68373-what-is-agile-marketing-and-what-do-marketers-think-about-it/">previous article</a>, 'agile marketing' is essentially a working method which encourages individual efforts and frequent collaboration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9892/agile-wall-3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> <p>According to participants agile marketing is enabled by data because group decisions are guided by facts rather than 'the HIPPO' (Highest Paid Person's Opinion). As a result, marketers feel empowered to share details about their work and meetings become more productive. </p> <p>Those aiming to implement agile marketing will still face challenges, though. Companies with a conservative culture may find it hard to accept its unorthodox working methods.</p> <p>Additionally, for agile to work, marketers must be willing to put in extra hours to learn about how to run tests correctly and explain results in detail.</p> <p>Attendees who had already implemented agile marketing said that the results were encouraging. One reported that projects which used to take two to three months, now only took two to three weeks.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2620/4__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>3) Marketing attribution will still be difficult</h3> <p>While all attendees agreed that they would like to attribute conversions across channels, many feel that they are still some ways away from being able to do so.</p> <p>The first problem attendees highlighted was that the marketing attribution has become political at some organisations. This happens because channel budgets are often set according to how much revenue a channel provides. Channel managers, therefore, are motivated to 'talk up' the value of their channel even if the data does not support it.</p> <p>Another problem was the number of channels. Delegates reported that some of their customers hit 10 or more touchpoints before converting. Piecing together a customer journey of that length and attributing value to each step is a difficult, if not impossible, task.</p> <p>Finally, marketers said that even if the journey could be mapped and an attribution model agreed upon, not all of the data is available. New digital channels are popping up all of the time and many do not integrate with analytics systems (see <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68223-dark-social-it-s-worse-than-we-thought-in-asia-pacific/">Dark social: It's worse than we thought in Asia-Pacific</a>). To add to the problem, offline data is typically even more difficult to obtain than online.</p> <p>So, while marketing attribution will remain a goal of many companies, participants predicted that few will make as much progress toward marketing attribution in 2017 as they would like.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2618/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></strong></p> <h3>4) Marketers will personalise using data-driven customer insights</h3> <p>Personalisation is already in use at many organisations, but often this meant using segments to deliver content which resonates more with the target audience.</p> <p>In the coming year, attendees felt that personalisation initiatives will be expanded so that consumers will be delivered the 'next best piece of content' to help them make buying decisions.</p> <p>In order to do so, marketers must be able to use the 'data exhaust' of consumer behaviour and use that as a way to determine which content to deliver via email, web, and mobile.</p> <p>Some participants felt that there were issues with this approach to personalisation. Many organisations still suffer from 'data silos' where one department would not allow another to use its data.  This is particularly true between sales and marketing.</p> <p>Others said that their marketing technology stack was not yet up to the task to handle individual personalisation. According to a recent Econsultancy survey, this seems to be the case at many organisations as only 7% strongly agreed that their current data architecture is an 'enabler for personalisation'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2615/figure_20.png" alt="" width="800" height="478"></p> <h3>5) Media agencies will be held accountable for online advertising</h3> <p>Finally, attendees said that in 2017, client-side marketers will require that their agency partners provide more data about their online advertising.</p> <p>In the past, it seems that many marketing teams did not have the analytics capabilities to manage detailed data about ad performance. As a result, many agency reports contained only high-level figures.</p> <p>Now that client-side teams are becoming more data-driven, their expectations for both the quantity and the quality of the data will increase. Issues such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67531-fake-likes-clicks-followers-in-asia-what-you-can-do-about-them/">click fraud</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67366-three-display-advertising-issues-to-watch-in-2016/">viewability</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67334-disproving-the-myth-about-display-clicks-conversions/">view-through conversions</a> will become frequent topics of conversations between agencies and data-driven marketing teams.</p> <p>There are still hurdles though. First off, advertising data is complicated and it will take some time for agencies and marketing teams to 'get on the same page', according to one participant.</p> <p>Also, as mentioned above (point 3), even when ad data is understood it still may not help marketers allocate media spend by the effectiveness of the channel.</p> <p>Finally, agencies suffer from the same issue that marketing teams do - they simply do not have all the data. Many online conversions and purchases come through channel partners, such as marketplaces, which do not provide attribution data to their members.</p> <p>So, even with all of the view and click data at hand, marketers who use channel partners will still struggle to know which advertising platforms provide the most value to the business.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated at Digital Cream Singapore 2016 and our table moderator for Data-Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management - Frederick Tay, Associate Director, Marketing Operations, INSEAD.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2621/end__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68633 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 How Britain's favourite brands are attracting consumers this Christmas James Collins <p>Our recent research revealed that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68590-10-dazzling-digital-marketing-stats-from-this-week/" target="_blank">Marks &amp; Spencer is the UK’s favourite Christmas shop</a>. Of the 2,000 consumers we surveyed, 28% said they will spend the most on gifts at M&amp;S this month, with Boots, John Lewis, Next and House of Fraser making up the rest of the top five.</p> <p>Attracting Christmas shoppers pays off for these brands, and not just in the short term. Our survey also revealed that 84% of UK shoppers plan to carry on spending in their chosen stores after the Christmas season has ended.</p> <h3>The modern consumer journey</h3> <p>The top five brands are ones which UK shoppers have known and loved for a long time. Although the stores aren’t new, their methods of attracting customers have changed dramatically since the stores were founded.</p> <p>These changes have been driven by the transformation of consumer behaviour. According to research by Webloyalty &amp; Conlumino, the average consumer typically used around two touchpoints during their path to purchase in the year 2000. By 2015, this had increased to around five.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2364/christmas-shoppers-on-smartphone.jpg" alt="Christmas shoppers on smartphone" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>Shoppers are interacting with more touchpoints across more marketing channels and devices than ever before.</p> <p>But which of these is having the biggest impact on consumer choice, and how are Britain’s favourite brands making the most of it?</p> <h3>The famous Christmas TV ad campaign</h3> <p>Despite the big budgets and hype, our research found that only 27% of people make a purchase based on brands’ TV adverts alone.</p> <p>This may seem a small percentage in return for the huge investment in TV ads, but no channel performs in a silo. As multi-device ownership increases – according to the IAB’s 2015 Full Year Digital Adspend Results, there are an average of 8.3 connected devices per home – the ways to reach consumers increase too.</p> <p>For a TV advert to be most effective, it must be part of a multichannel campaign delivering consistent messaging across channels and devices. </p> <p>John Lewis – whose Christmas campaign is often the most talked about – is taking this multichannel approach seriously, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68512-john-lewis-combines-tv-ad-with-snapchat-lens-and-email/">combining both on and offline experiences</a>.</p> <p>Buster the Boxer soft toys and picture books are on sale, and the brand has partnered with Snapchat to produce a custom filter, created bespoke Twitter stickers, and offered an Oculus Rift VR experience in the Oxford Street flagship store. </p> <p>The brand’s creative multichannel approach pays off. Speaking before the release of this year’s campaign, John Lewis’ head of marketing, Rachel Swift, said that the Christmas TV ad campaign is the store’s most profitable return on investment. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sr6lr_VRsEo?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Advice from friends and family</h3> <p>Our survey found that 31% of people listen to advice from friends and family about where to purchase Christmas gifts from.</p> <p>Social media is the modern equivalent of word of mouth. Today’s brands understand the importance of using social media as part of a multichannel campaign.</p> <p>For example, M&amp;S has ‘Mrs Claus’, the star of its TV ad, taking over its Twitter account, has created the hashtag #lovemrsclaus, and has even designed its own Mrs Claus emoji.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A delightful morning full of giving (and receiving) awaits. Stay tuned... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LoveMrsClaus?src=hash">#LoveMrsClaus</a> <a href="https://t.co/au6wzme7AC">pic.twitter.com/au6wzme7AC</a></p> — M&amp;S (@marksandspencer) <a href="https://twitter.com/marksandspencer/status/806770300905848833">December 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Waggener Edstrom, from 4–20 November 2016, M&amp;S clocked up 43,376 mentions across social media, second only to John Lewis (which had a huge 203,199).</p> <p>Again the scale of the social buzz surrounding these big campaigns helps hammer home the importance of creating a campaign that is active across multiple channels.</p> <h3>Browsing a retailer’s own website</h3> <p>Our survey results also showed that 33% of shoppers browse a brand’s own website to help them decide where to buy gifts. So, it’s essential to make sure people can navigate around your site easily.</p> <p>Next’s online Christmas store is a prime example of so many retail websites at this time of year – there’s an obvious Christmas section in the main navigation, ‘gifts for…’ category pages, Secret Santa guides, the list goes on. It’s easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for in whatever way that suits them.</p> <p>But this on-site experience is only beneficial if people are actually visiting your website in the first place. Attracting relevant traffic isn’t just about the short term tactics, like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68573-seven-examples-of-black-friday-email-marketing-from-retailers/">the barrage of Black Friday emails</a> we experienced last month.</p> <p>Campaigns that focus on the long term, like partnerships with relevant blogs and online magazines, can help you attract more of your target customers over a longer period of time. </p> <p>The tricky thing is measuring the impact of campaigns like this. If a customer reads your Christmas gift guide on their favourite fashion blog and then visits your website a few days later, last-click measurement won’t acknowledge the contribution of the content campaign. </p> <p>Brands, including some of those in our top five, are moving towards attributed measurement to help them understand the value of marketing channels that appear earlier in the user journey.</p> <p>House of Fraser, for example, saw an 83% rise in the number of affiliate touchpoints awarded commission when it moved away from the last-click model.</p> <p>This view of the full user journey allowed House of Fraser to recognise the touchpoints that were driving customers to its website on a longer term basis.</p> <h3>Saving money with vouchers and loyalty schemes</h3> <p>Finally, we found that 44% of consumers are encouraged to buy from a store if they know they can use a voucher code, and 23% are persuaded by the chance to build up loyalty points.</p> <p>Boots is a great example of a store that uses vouchers and loyalty points well. You can quickly find offers on voucher and cashback sites, the brand’s Advantage Card is extremely popular, and its 3-for-2 offers at Christmas practically fill the store.</p> <p>Typically, online vouchers are associated with short-term gains at the last click – arguably perfect for the Christmas push. But it’s important to understand the incremental value that vouchers offer.</p> <p>As our survey shows, they can prompt shoppers to choose one brand over another. Vouchers can also add value across the whole user journey: We found a 22% uplift in revenue from voucher sites when taking earlier touchpoints into account, rather than just last click.</p> <p>So, we’ve seen that the modern consumer journey is complex. Christmas shoppers are influenced by lots of different touchpoints – there’s no one channel that trumps them all. The UK stores that win the Christmas retail battle are the ones that target their audience across all the relevant channels available to them.</p> <p>The brands that truly win at this time of the year, however, are the ones that understand the importance of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">lifetime value</a>. Attracting customers and encouraging them to buy Christmas gifts is only the first step.</p> <p>Retailers that succeed are those that use their data cleverly to help them make the most of the 84% of Christmas shoppers who intend to shop at their chosen store again – and attract as many of the remaining 26% as possible.</p> <p>Having a rounded understanding of the user journey, and the many touchpoints that users encounter both pre- and post-purchase, allows you to test and discover what messages to use – and when – to encourage more customers to return again and again.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68634 2016-12-13T01:00:00+00:00 2016-12-13T01:00:00+00:00 Three ways brands will use cognitive marketing Jeff Rajeck <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2367/machine_learning.png" alt="" width="800" height="365"></p> <p>These same forces are also being used in marketing. AI, or 'cognitive', marketing systems use industrial computing power, big data, and machine learning to improve marketing performance. </p> <p>While cognitive marketing has not yet been deployed to a great extent, it soon will be. According to IDC, <a href="https://martechtoday.com/now-entering-age-cognitive-marketing-169117">more than half of all companies will be using cognitive marketing by 2020</a>.</p> <p>So, what exactly is cognitive marketing and how will brands use it?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy, in association with <a href="https://www.ibm.com/watson/marketing/">IBM Watson Marketing</a>, recently held roundtable discussions in Delhi. There, senior client-side marketers discussed the impact of cognitive marketing on brand messaging and how they see the technology developing.  </p> <p>Below is a summary of the three main ways marketers on the day plan to use cognitive marketing.</p> <h3>1. Segment audiences in new ways</h3> <p>Segmenting audiences is a key part of providing relevant messaging to consumers. Participants noted that most marketers use demographics to segment their audience into groups with similar wants and needs.</p> <p>In contrast, cognitive marketing systems search massive data sets from a wide variety of sources, such as web analytics, social media, and purchasing behaviour, to find customer segments which exhibit similar behaviour.</p> <p>In some cases these segments may resemble traditional demographic groups, but in others <strong>cognitive marketing may find common behavioural characteristics among people who appear to be very different.</strong></p> <p>What this means for marketers, according to attendees, is that <strong>cognitive marketing will transform the customer list into a database where each member is connected to others in many different ways</strong>. The result is that one customer will be part of countless segments depending on their observed behaviour.</p> <p>So, a woman aged 34 would no longer be simply considered as 'female, 30-35' but, instead, she would be a 'fashion lover' who 'takes three months to buy', 'travels to Bangalore twice a week', and 'tends to open emails on Tuesday'. </p> <p>Without using cognitive marketing, one participant noted, these sorts of segments would be nearly impossible to build, manage, and use effectively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2368/delhi3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2. Personalise content</h3> <p>With these behavioural segments, marketers can use cognitive marketing systems to personalise content more effectively than ever before.</p> <p>After receiving core content, <strong>a cognitive marketing engine could redesign the messaging so that virtually every person saw something different</strong>. Participants envisioned that the system would use data from social media, browsing behaviour, and even sentiment from customer service communications to reformat content for an individual.</p> <p>Attendees offered a couple of reasons why brands will use this approach. First off, <strong>cognitive marketing would ensure that the brand message was delivered in the right way at the right time for each customer.</strong> Long-form, engaging content could be sent when you know a customer is at home and shorter, easy-to-consume messaging would appear when they are commuting, for example.</p> <p><strong>Personalisation would also ensure that brands avoid delivering irrelevant messages and risk being 'tuned out' by the customer.</strong> Put another way, one marketer said, 'you have five seconds to get their attention with something relevant, otherwise you are done'.</p> <p>Following the event, Antonia Edmunds, business leader at <a href="https://www.ibm.com/watson/marketing/">IBM Watson Marketing</a>, had a few more words to say on this topic:</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/M_VeJapDEsU?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Help customers make better decisions</h3> <p>Delivering a personalised message at the right time benefits the brand for the reasons mentioned above, but delegates noted that<strong> cognitive marketing will also help the customer make better decisions.</strong></p> <p>As cognitive marketing can make inferences using data from a wide variety of sources,<strong> it can also help brands identify customers who have a particular unstated need</strong>, said one attendee.  This will allow the brand to deliver personalised offers and guidance. </p> <p>For example, if someone is price sensitive at the moment, they could be told about a lower-priced product range. If they are time poor, the brand could let them know about a new convenience. And if they are in the middle of a major life event, say moving or getting married, the brand could offer to help them with the process.</p> <p>In this way, according to participants, <strong>cognitive marketing will help companies start conversations with consumers around topics which matter to them</strong> and not just around what the brand wants to say about itself.  </p> <p>This, in turn, will demonstrate that the brand anticipates a consumer's wants and needs and, ideally, make it easier for them to choose the brand above all others.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2369/delhi2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>A word of thanks...</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and our table leaders: </p> <ul> <li>Antonia Edmunds, Business Leader - IBM Watson Marketing.</li> <li>Gowri Arun, GBS Marketing Leader - IBM India/South Asia.</li> <li>Joseph Sundar, Business Development Executive, ISA/ASEAN - IBM Watson Marketing.</li> <li>Harsh Anand, CSP Leader - IBM Commerce. </li> </ul> <p>We hope to see you all at future Delhi Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2373/delhi4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p>