tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/personalisation Latest Personalisation content from Econsultancy 2017-02-22T14:09:14+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68810 2017-02-22T14:09:14+00:00 2017-02-22T14:09:14+00:00 Four ways AI is already being applied to sales and marketing Patricio Robles <p>Here are four examples.</p> <h3>Chorus.ai helps companies analyze their sales calls</h3> <p>While the phone call is an ancient phenomenon to many individuals, companies large and small still conduct a lot of their sales activity over the phone. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, tracking, analyzing and improving the performance of salespeople on phone calls is a much more challenging task than, say, tracking, analyzing and improving the performance of email sales.</p> <p>But a number of companies, including Marketo, AdRoll and Qualtrics, are using "conversation intelligence" company <a href="https://www.chorus.ai/">Chorus.ai's</a> platform to record sales calls, transcribe them and analyze the content using AI technology.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/4099/chorus_ai-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="189"></p> <p>Currently, that AI technology can identify key points in phone conversations, such as when a potential customer talks about features, reveals a pain point or mentions a competitor. This AI-based functionality can be used to develop market and customer insights, help develop best practices and scripts for sales teams and aid sales managers in mentoring individual members of their teams.</p> <p>In the future, Chorus.ai's AI tech could be used to display content to salespeople in real-time as a conversation is taking place. For example, if a customer raises an objection, Chorus.ai could surface content that a salesperson can use to address the objection.</p> <h3>Cosabella Lingerie uses AI to boost email revenue</h3> <p>Since high-end lingerie retailer Cosabella Lingerie adopted the Emarsys Marketing Cloud in October 2016, it has doubled its email subscriber base and <a href="https://www.emarsys.com/en/press-release/cosabellas-revenue-surges-60-percent-using-emarsys-ai-enabled-b2c-marketing-cloud/">grown email-driven revenue by over 60% compared to 2015</a>.</p> <p>Emarsys added an Artificial Intelligence Marketing (AIM) component late last year. It can be used to apply AI technology to a number of email marketing optimizations. Specifically, it offers automatic incentive management, "an AI-driven discount personalization layer that analyzes each recipient’s behavioral history to determine who should receive discounts, and for what amount," as well as send time optimization, which predicts when emails should be delivered to specific customers to maximize open rates and engagement.</p> <p>Because of the success of its email initiative, Cosabella says that, "The roll out of the Emarsys platform is the next big step in Cosabella’s move into AI integration during 2017."</p> <h3>IBM allows Watson to manage its programmatic ad buying</h3> <p>One of the most talked-about AI platforms is IBM's Watson. But rather than just pitching the software to its customers, the software giant is eating its own dog food, and one of the ways that it is applying Watson to its business is by allowing the AI to manage its programmatic buying of digital ads.</p> <p><a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/ibm-s-watson-programmatic-yielding-big-returns-ibm/304946/">According to</a> reports last year, IBM's use of Watson's AI tech led to an average cost-per-click decrease of 35% and as much as 71%. With IBM spending tens of millions of dollars a year on digital display ads, it's no surprise that the company was eager to make plans to have Watson manage all of its programmatic ad buying by the end of 2016.</p> <p>"Because of the volume and the dollars involved, trying to save those fractions of a dollar, or fractions of a cent, really matters to us," IBM's VP of marketing analytics, Ari Sheinkin, told AdAge.</p> <p>Watson's AI is capable of tracking and analyzing vast amounts of data – far more than any human ever could – and learning as it sees more campaign results, which means that despite its apparently already-satisfactory performance, IBM could find that the ROI from using Watson increases even more over time.</p> <h3>LeadGenius brings AI to B2B lead generation</h3> <p>As its name suggests, B2B SaaS startup LeadGenius is in the business of generating leads. Historically, lead generation has been a highly manual process involving human research and categorization, but LeadGenius applies AI to this process to significantly reduce the labor involved, saving customers like fraud prevention solutions provider Signifyd lots of time and money.</p> <p>John Livett, a sales manager for Signifyd, says that LeadGenius' tech saves him 15 hours each week, hours "that would have been spent trawling Google, LinkedIn, etc."</p> <p>The AI applied by LeadGenius to the lead generation problem helps the company identify individual businesses and determine how frequently their information should be retrieved based on an analysis of how long information is likely to be reliable; determine whether a company is "in-market" for a particular product or not; and identify buyer roles based on business titles.</p> <p>LeadGenius also applies AI to MailGenius, a salesperson-focused email client it created. MailGenius uses AI to craft email templates, track performance as responses come in and apply optimizations.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/3BYRspyKizEA5N" width="595" height="485"></iframe></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68830 2017-02-22T12:30:00+00:00 2017-02-22T12:30:00+00:00 Will Snapchat suffer from WhatsApp’s new ‘Status’ feature? Nikki Gilliland <p>It’s just announced the introduction of disappearing photos and videos into its messaging app, WhatsApp. Which, yes, is a feature that is pretty much identical to Snapchat Stories.</p> <p>So, what will this mean for users of both? And what about brands? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>What is the ‘Status’ feature?</h3> <p>WhatsApp has always provided users with the option of having a ‘status’. It’s the little phrase beside a person’s name that says ‘at work’, ‘busy’ or ‘at the gym’.</p> <p>In fact, the app was originally built around this very idea, i.e. that you could let your friends or family know what you were currently up to. As the app evolved, it became one of the most under-used and forgotten about elements.</p> <p>Now, ‘status’ is being reintroduced in a big way.</p> <p>The all-new feature will let users share photos, GIFs or videos overlaid with drawings, emojis or captions. This content will be end-to-end encrypted, meaning that no outside party will be able to view it, and it will last for 24 hours before disappearing entirely.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4096/whatsapp.JPG" alt="" width="250" height="493"></p> <h3>Will it change user behaviour?</h3> <p>While Instagram also introduced this feature last year, Instagram Stories did not necessarily make much of a difference or impact when it comes to how users behave on the platform.</p> <p>Instagram can largely be a passive user experience – you can simply use it to view other people’s content if you wish. On the other hand, WhatsApp has always been inherently active. To use it, you have to be engaged in chat, or else there’s not much point. With Status, WhatsApp users will now be able to do both.</p> <h3>Will brands get involved?</h3> <p>While some brands have already been using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing/" target="_blank">WhatsApp for marketing purposes</a> - mainly to enable faster and more direct customer service - the new feature could open up a whole new realm of advertising opportunities.</p> <p>Despite WhatsApp being against blatant brand advertising in the past, the opportunity to monetise could prove irresistible. There have been suggestions that it could start to insert full-screen ads in-between Statuses, following the example of both Snapchat and Instagram.</p> <p>Similarly, brands could also make use of custom-made filters or emojis, using this to create a less obtrusive presence <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/">within dark social</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4097/Whatsapp_2.JPG" alt="" width="250" height="492"></p> <h3>Will Snapchat suffer?</h3> <p>There’s no guarantee that the Status feature will even take off for WhatsApp, but with 1.2bn monthly users and 60bn messages being sent each day, I doubt it’s all that worried. After all, WhatsApp will not fundamentally change - it will retain its core messaging feature - but it will simultaneously be able to take (or attempt to take) a slice of Snapchat's pie.</p> <p>Snapchat, on the other hand, might be a little concerned. Especially considering that stats from its latest <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/02/slowchat/" target="_blank">IPO filing</a> showed that the platform’s growth slowed 82% after Instagram Stories launched. If a similar thing happens on the back of Status, it could further hinder the platform’s global growth and revenue opportunities.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68823 2017-02-21T11:56:38+00:00 2017-02-21T11:56:38+00:00 British Vogue launches Messenger chatbot for Fashion Week: Is it any good? Nikki Gilliland <p>But with a wealth of recent brand bots failing to ignite much excitement – will this be any different?</p> <p>Here are my thoughts.</p> <h3>How does it work?</h3> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68805-are-brands-failing-to-properly-promote-their-new-chatbots/" target="_blank">bot can be found</a> on the British Vogue Facebook page or direct via Facebook Messenger.</p> <p>It follows a fairly standard formula, requiring users to select their own personal preferences about the articles they want to receive. Once you start interacting with the service, it will ask questions to determine how often you would like updates, whether you want curated highlights or all stories coming from London Fashion Week.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4010/Vogue_chatbot.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="663"></p> <p>You can also choose to ask for updates relating to specific fashion designers, e.g. Topshop Unique or Tommy Hilfiger.</p> <p>Based on these preferences, it will then deliver articles (from the Vogue website) that you will ideally find the most interesting, direct to your Messenger inbox. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4011/Vogue_chatbot_2.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="643"></p> <h3>Smart or simplistic?</h3> <p>I recently mentioned how <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68800-pizza-express-launches-booking-chatbot-is-it-any-good/" target="_blank">Pizza Express’s Messenger bot</a> is more of a multiple-choice questionnaire rather than a proper chatbot. Sadly, British Vogue’s example is a similar sort of affair, merely asking you to choose from different options rather than actually partake in any chatting activity.</p> <p>The only real difference is that it can instantly send updates or stories from a specific designer if you type in their name.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4014/Vogue_chatbot_4.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="392"></p> <p>However, even this isn’t <em>that</em> smart.</p> <p>I deliberately miss-spelled a designer’s surname to test whether or not it would still understand. It didn’t – which shows how basic the technology currently is.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4012/Vogue_chatbot_5.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="623"></p> <h3>Publishers cutting through news feeds</h3> <p>That being said, there’s certainly something for fashion fans to enjoy here. With the fast-paced nature of London Fashion Week, the service is definitely a convenient way for people to stay on top of the latest runway news. </p> <p>Users are arguably less likely to passively scroll through their news feed in search of this type of content, meaning that click-through rates could be higher if sent directly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4013/Vogue_chatbot_3.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="513"></p> <p>This makes me think that bots like this will be more impactful when they are based around a timely or seasonal event.</p> <p>Despite British Vogue saying that the bot has the ability to evolve over time - which I assume means the service will continue even after Fashion Week has ended – will users continue to show as much interest? </p> <p>I could be wrong, but I doubt that fans are invested enough in specific designers to read every single update about them in future. Or indeed, whether there will be enough updates to even send once Fashion Week has finished.</p> <p>Likewise, there is also the danger of users getting annoyed or bored with daily updates, meaning that the bot could have a rather short shelf-life.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>While it’s good to see publishers experimenting with Messenger bot technology, it remains to be seen whether or not it’ll have any real impact.</p> <p>For daily readers of British Vogue, there’s definitely value in the direct and personalised interaction it offers. (Though you could also argue that email newsletters already deliver this). Similarly, it could further build on the current hype surrounding London Fashion Week. </p> <p>For general fashion fans or people less invested in the brand, the features need to be more impressive to both pique and sustain interest - especially if the aim is to tempt people away from their news feeds long-term.</p> <p><em>More chat about bots:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">What are chatbots and why should marketers care?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots/">Five pioneering examples of how brands are using chatbots</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68636-pizza-express-channel-4-and-tfl-three-examples-of-brand-chatbots/">Pizza Express, Channel 4 and TFL: Three examples of brand chatbots</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68824 2017-02-21T09:57:00+00:00 2017-02-21T09:57:00+00:00 10 examples of welcome emails of varying quality from online retailers Nikki Gilliland <p>Despite this, however, <a href="http://performancein.com/news/2017/01/27/why-email-still-king-and-how-be-better-it/" target="_blank">only 51% of the UK’s top ecommerce brands</a> are reportedly sending dedicated welcome emails. Similarly, just 26% use customer names in a first email, while 11% personalise their interactions further.</p> <p>With this in mind, I decided to take a look at how a few top retailers are faring on this front. While I wrote a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67872-email-newsletter-sign-ups-how-fashion-brands-welcome-new-subscribers/" target="_blank">similar article</a> last year, this time I will focus purely on the email content and incorporate non-fashion brands, too.</p> <p>Here are 10 examples, with insight on what they’re doing right (or wrong).</p> <h3>Topshop</h3> <p>First up, Topshop, which goes for an image-heavy hello.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4019/Topshop_1.JPG" alt="" width="470" height="839"></p> <p>While there doesn’t seem to be anything personal about the email at first, there is a prompt for customers to enter in their birthday.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4039/Topshop_2.JPG" alt="" width="470" height="226"></p> <p>Not only does this present an opportunity for Topshop to capture data, but it also gives an incentive for customers to click through to the site itself and (hopefully) have a bit of a browse.</p> <h3>Warehouse</h3> <p>Warehouse is another fashion retailer that opts for impactful imagery. However, it lets itself down a little by failing to offer any personal messaging or strong calls-to-action.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4021/Warehouse_1.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="621"></p> <p>That being said, it nicely highlights its USP – emphasising its delivery and return options and showcasing where customers can find the brand on social.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4045/Warehouse_2.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="572"></p> <h3>West Elm</h3> <p>The welcome email from furniture retailer, West Elm, is strong on many fronts.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4023/West_Elm_1.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="739"></p> <p>Not only does it showcase its various category ranges, but it also gives customers a special 10% discount just for signing up – a nice way to offer instant value and encourage a conversion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4024/West_Elm_2.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="625"></p> <p>This, alongside a personal tone and promotion of its social media and London store, means it's covering multiple bases in a single email.</p> <p>It could be argued that West Elm tries to pack too much in, but welcome emails achieve high open rates so it's worth testing which elements people are most receptive to.</p> <h3>Farfetch</h3> <p>I had high hopes for Farfetch’s welcome email, however it’s pretty lacklustre in both design and content.</p> <p>Choosing a ‘thank you’ message over a ‘welcome’ could mean users are less likely to browse there and then. For example, the brand could have also said ‘check out our offers’ rather than ‘you’ll now receive offers’ - a subtle change in tone but one that could make a big difference.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4040/Farfetch__1_.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="472"></p> <p>Lastly, I feel like the email could have done with an image or some sort of editorial content at the very least. It's interesting to note the very different designs chosen by Farfetch and West Elm.</p> <h3>Oasis</h3> <p>Despite the Oasis website offering a whole host of enjoyable features, its welcome email doesn’t quite reflect this.</p> <p>It’s still good – there’s a free delivery code included and prominent call-to-action to start shopping – however it lacks any real personalisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4026/Oasis.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="783"></p> <p>Similarly, while the design is subtle, I can’t help thinking that it could do with a few eye-catching photos, though that might detract from the CTA.</p> <h3>Jo Malone</h3> <p>This welcome message is designed to make each consumer feel special, using the ‘world of Jo Malone’ premise to promote a sense of email exclusivity. </p> <p>With the prompt to ‘discover more’ as well as the promise of a welcome gift, it is sure to drive customers on-site. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4027/Jo_Malone.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="861"></p> <p>I also like the fact that it highlights online perks like samples and the Jo Malone signature box – these are small but lovely features that are ideal for highlighting in a welcome email.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4028/Jo_Malone_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="883"></p> <h3>Lakeland</h3> <p>Unlike many of the aforementioned brands, homeware retailer Lakeland goes all out with its welcome message. Unfortunately, it could be a case of clutter over substance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4029/Lakeland_1.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="857"></p> <p>While a focus on trust and privacy might help to reassure customers, surely signing up to the newsletter means people are already happy to give away data? Likewise, addressing the customer by their surname comes off as too formal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4030/Lakeland_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="849"></p> <p>The second half of the email is a bit more appealing, however, nicely pointing the user to editorial content, social, and customer service.</p> <h3>Net-a-Porter</h3> <p>This example from Net-a-Porter is one of the best on the list, mainly because of a strong focus on personalisation.</p> <p>By prompting users to choose their favourite designers and create their own wish-lists, there is an immediate indication that future emails will be personally tailored to taste.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4031/Net-A-Porter.JPG" alt="" width="530" height="876"></p> <p>Similarly, the editorial-style design is pleasing on the eye, prompting users to check out the content <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68219-four-things-brands-can-learn-about-content-marketing-from-net-a-porter/" target="_blank">found elsewhere on the site</a>.</p> <h3>Marks and Spencer</h3> <p>M&amp;S delivers a subtle but effective first impression to email customers.</p> <p>I particularly like how it promotes the breadth of its products – and the ‘offers’ tab highlighted in red is bound to drive purchases.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4032/M_S.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="802"></p> <p>Likewise, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64943-12-excellent-ways-to-present-ecommerce-shipping-information/" target="_blank">delivery and returns information</a> helps to provide reassurance.</p> <h3>Whistles</h3> <p>Finally, we’re finishing off with Whistles and its highly impactful welcome.</p> <p>By labelling email customers as the Whistles ‘community’, there is an immediate sense of inclusivity, while the prompt to ‘shop new in’ highlights the fresh and regularly updated product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4033/Whistles_1.JPG" alt="" width="520" height="776"></p> <p>The brand also incorporates social right from the get-go, encouraging consumers to check out its various channels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4036/Whistles_2.JPG" alt="" width="520" height="785"></p> <p><strong><em>To learn more on this topic, check out Econsultancy’s range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/email-ecrm/">email marketing training courses</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68817 2017-02-16T14:59:16+00:00 2017-02-16T14:59:16+00:00 How brands are targeting business travellers Nikki Gilliland <p>According to a <a href="http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/booking.com_survey_reveals_top_causes_of_business_travel_stress" target="_blank">survey from Booking.com</a>, 93% of business travellers feel stressed at some point during their journey - unsurprising given the amount of logistics involved. From planning to managing expenses, and even without taking into account the actual work that needs to done, there’s a whole heap of hassle that goes along with corporate travel.</p> <p>For brands, this traveller presents a unique opportunity. </p> <p>Not only is there less need to dazzle and delight with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">inspirational marketing</a>, but thanks to the deep pockets of corporate companies, the budget can often be sizeable. Meanwhile, with a positive experience likely to result in repeat trips, business travel could prove to be a lucrative market.</p> <p>Here’s how a few brands are setting their sights on it.</p> <h3>Airbnb</h3> <p>The ‘Airbnb for business’ program launched in 2015, signalling the brand’s intent to capture interest from corporate travellers, all the while proving how popular alternative accommodation has become.</p> <p>The service allows companies to integrate their business travel itineraries, giving them a full run-down of where employees are staying and how much they’re spending. More recently, Airbnb has introduced a feature that allows employees to book on behalf of colleagues, making the service even more streamlined.</p> <p>Since it launched, the program has enjoyed a period of growth, however <a href="https://skift.com/2016/11/04/small-companies-have-embraced-airbnb-for-business-travel/" target="_blank">recent data</a> suggests that this could be slowing – mainly due to the companies choosing Airbnb spending as little as possible on short trips. Similarly, Airbnb for business is only seeing real success in cities where the hotel prices are notoriously high.</p> <p>Airbnb is naturally trying to combat this by promoting longer stays and group trips, even offering £40 in travel credit, in order to encourage higher spend.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3951/Airbnb.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="320"></p> <h3>Booking.com</h3> <p>With a reported one in five customers using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68505-a-closer-look-at-booking-com-s-customer-focused-strategy/" target="_blank">Booking.com</a> for business travel, it’s no surprise the brand decided to launch its own business travel platform.</p> <p>Designed to make the research and planning stage as easy as possible, it places a big focus on peer-to-peer reviews, sorting through the data to find accommodation that is ‘business traveller tested and approved’.  </p> <p>This customer-centric approach is continued across the board, and reflected in the online UX.</p> <p>After completing a simple registration, users can filter the search by ‘business interest’ like fitness centre or free cancellation. Arguably, the platform doesn't offer anything that much different to the main Booking.com platform, however the ability for company managers or administrators to coordinate plans for others is a key differentiator.</p> <p>Since its launch, there have been suggestions that the brand will expand its business offering into flights - though there's been no sign of this so far.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3952/Booking.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="364"></p> <h3>STA</h3> <p>With millennials forecast to make up half of the workforce by 2020, the stereotype of the middle-aged business traveller no longer applies.</p> <p>STA is tapping into this notion, launching a business travel brand to target young people with a desire to combine both business and pleasure.</p> <p>Alongside young people starting their own business, students travelling for internships or first jobs, it also targets people who want to tag on a holiday at the end of a work trip.</p> <p>With <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html" target="_blank">78% of millennials</a> choosing worthwhile experiences over possessions, it’s no surprise that this demand exists. It also bodes well for STA, with the move helping the brand to stay relevant to young people as they move into the workplace.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Need a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/visa?src=hash">#visa</a>?. We can help you find out if you need one! Speak to our experts to find out more businesstravel@statravel.co.uk <a href="https://t.co/sbH3xH0RzE">pic.twitter.com/sbH3xH0RzE</a></p> — STA Travel Business (@STABusiness) <a href="https://twitter.com/STABusiness/status/825335372343308289">January 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Marriot</h3> <p>STA isn’t the only travel brand to target business travellers with the promise of an experience.</p> <p>Marriot’s Renaissance Hotels brand recently launched a new campaign to do just that. Called ‘The Navigator’s Table’, the video series features TV chef Andrew Zimmern from “Bizarre Foods”, and involves chefs and entrepreneurs offering insight and opinions on regional dishes. </p> <p>Essentially, it is designed to appeal to the modern business traveller – someone who is curious, and who wants to get as much out of a business trip as possible.</p> <p>The frequency with which business travellers travel is largely the reason behind this marketing push. For a large hotel chain like Marriot, a single ‘authentic experience’ could result in multiple and repeat bookings in future – reason enough to pay them more attention.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7UUT15kQG1A?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68783 2017-02-07T14:22:55+00:00 2017-02-07T14:22:55+00:00 The pros and cons of personalised packaging for FMCG brands Nikki Gilliland <p>Since 2011, a number of other FMCG brands have embraced this trend, launching personalised (or customised) versions of products, usually with a pretty noticeable mark-up.</p> <p>But is this a marketing gimmick, or a strategy that can actually increase loyalty long-term? Let’s start with a few examples, and reasons why they often resonate.</p> <h4>Connecting with core consumers</h4> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63175-10-inspiring-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-coca-cola/" target="_blank">Coca-Cola</a>’s Share a Coke campaign was born out of the realisation that - while many viewed the brand as iconic - young people were failing to connect with it on a relatable level. </p> <p>Consequently, the campaign was created to directly communicate with this core demographic, with the personalisation element used to heighten its impact.</p> <p>But why is using someone’s name so powerful? Apparently, it’s one of the most effective ways to instil a sense of importance in another person, as well as create a long-lasting impression. Think of it like a brand’s version of a firm handshake.</p> <p>For brands aiming to create personal and one-to-one connection with audiences, it tends to be a simple but highly effective approach. With consumers supposedly taking an average of three to seven seconds to pick a drink from a supermarket shelf, using a name is an instantaneous way of catching attention and increase sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3702/Marmite.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="472"></p> <h4>Creating value</h4> <p>By turning an everyday item into something unique or customised, brands are also able to increase the value of their products – both figuratively and literally.</p> <p>One example of this is Heinz, which sold personalised cans of soup via its ‘Get Well Soon’ campaign for over twice the price of a regular item. </p> <p>With the added incentive of £1 per can sold also going to charity, consumers appeared to be more than willing to pay the extra, with more than 96,000 people logging into Facebook to find out more.</p> <p>This opt-in element is partly why the campaign worked so well. Instead of using the concept to drive its main television ads, Heinz aimed to create a trickle effect, with consumer interest being subtly piqued, before users would have to actively seek out the service on social.</p> <h4>Meets long-term needs</h4> <p>While personalisation can be used as a straight-forward sales tactic, it can also help brands understand consumer needs for the long-term and inform future engagement. Likewise, it can also be used to emphasise a brand’s values, particularly when it comes to community.</p> <p>Take Nutella, for example, whose personalisation campaign was built around the unique ways people already use the chocolate spread as an ingredient in meals and snacks. </p> <p>Featuring these as ‘Nutella stories’ on its website and social media, it manages to foster a sense of community and increase the chances of turning customers into brand advocates. </p> <h3>The problem with personalisation</h3> <p>There is the argument that personalised packaging isn’t actually personal – how can it be when there are millions of people around the world with the same first name? </p> <p>Similarly, there is the danger that charging over the odds for something so basic could actually put consumers off rather than draw them in. Ultimately, there must be a trade-off, with customers feeling like they are getting something of real value in return for their money (and data).</p> <p>If they don’t, brands run the risk of appearing outdated or blatantly chasing sales, simultaneously alienating consumers through overly friendly or personal messaging.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>While personalised packaging has proven to be a success for brands like Marmite and Coke, the concept certainly has its limitations. Perhaps the next step will be true personalisation in terms of tailored ingredients or recipes.</p> <p>We’ve already seen some experimentation with this concept. Kit-Kat’s pop-up chocolatory built on Coke’s naming trend with the added incentive of customised toppings and flavours. </p> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68400-the-kitkat-chocolatory-is-nestle-s-london-pop-up-store-any-good/" target="_blank">my own review</a> was that it was somewhat underwhelming – with the concept coming off as overhyped and overpriced – it is still an interesting example of how to take personalisation to the next level. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68778 2017-02-07T11:55:00+00:00 2017-02-07T11:55:00+00:00 Four ways travel & hospitality brands are targeting younger consumers Nikki Gilliland <p>Younger generations aren’t just looking for shareable experiences, of course, and with an increasing percentage of ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67327-six-ways-brands-can-relate-to-generation-z/" target="_blank">Generation Z</a>’ influencing travel decisions, millennials aren’t the only demographic worth engaging.</p> <p>As brands tap into a desire for authenticity, digital convenience and customisation, here are a few examples of how many are tailoring travel experiences to the young.</p> <h3>Utilising design and technology</h3> <p>While companies like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> have capitalised on millennial travel sensibilities - promoting a sense of local authenticity and flexibility – hotels are beginning to figure out how to do the same.</p> <p>Aloft, part of the Starwood group, is one example of this. Described as a hotel for ‘global travellers who love open spaces, open thinking and open expression’ – everything is designed to appeal to younger generations. </p> <p>Communal pool tables and live music encourage social interaction, while free Wi-Fi and keyless entry cater to a desire for seamless and sophisticated technology. </p> <p>In turn, this encourages visitors to take photographs of all their surroundings, with the hope that they will then post about it on social media.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Falofthotels%2Fvideos%2F10155043087562728%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Appealing to ‘experience-based’ interests</h3> <p>Hilton is another hotel chain that has been targeting younger people, partnering with Live Nation to run a series of live music events in various hotels in both the UK and US.</p> <p>Hilton@Play wasn’t just a marketing ploy, however, but an initiative to foster loyalty. The idea was that only HHonors members with 30,000 to 80,000 points could attend the concerts, creating an exclusive incentive specifically for regular guests.</p> <p>Featuring popular artists such as Jess Glynne and Nick Jonas, interest from a specific age-bracket was guaranteed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">RT if you streamed the Hilton@Play concert featuring <a href="https://twitter.com/nickjonas">@NickJonas</a> last night thru <a href="https://twitter.com/periscopeco">@Periscopeco</a>! <a href="http://t.co/y51en6tIky">http://t.co/y51en6tIky</a></p> — Hilton (@HiltonNewsroom) <a href="https://twitter.com/HiltonNewsroom/status/591310866081062912">April 23, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, the hotel chain also live-streamed the event on Periscope, ensuring that non-attendees would also be able to participate in the fun.</p> <h3>Working with social influencers</h3> <p>When it comes to picking a destination, both millennials and Generation Z are said to place greater trust in online peers rather than travel advertising.</p> <p>Consequently, brands are able to target potential travellers through collaboration with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">social influencers</a>.</p> <p>Just one example of this is Turkish Airlines’ campaign with 10 high-profile YouTubers. With a collective audience of over 40m – over 6m belonging to Casey Neistat alone – the brand was able to reach a large and highly engaged audience.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_5Q93Z8LAxA?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Similarly, Marriott’s chain of Moxy Hotels (which is a similar concept to the aforementioned Aloft) has also made use of influencers, creating an online series hosted by comedian Taryn Southern and featuring a number of influencers like Mamrie Hart.</p> <h3>Promoting travel as a lifestyle</h3> <p>Lastly, we can also see how travel companies are turning into lifestyle brands, using inspirational content to evoke concepts of exploration and adventure, and capitalising on interest from young travellers.</p> <p>Take Generator Hostels, for example, whose Instagram account is solely made up of location and experience-based imagery.</p> <p>There is not a photo of a bed or breakfast table in sight, meaning the company sells itself on the travelling experience above and beyond the actual product (i.e. a place to sleep).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3681/Generator_Hostels.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="649"></p> <p>In a twist on this trend, camera brand Leica recently began trying to capitalize on people’s taste for experiences by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68737-why-brands-are-increasingly-creating-experiences-adventures-to-woo-consumers/">launching a holiday adventure for photography enthusiasts</a>.</p> <p>The pricey adventure is limited to 15 participants, offering a chance to be guided around exotic locations by professional photographers. It seems everyone is trying to get in on the craze for unique adventures.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68772 2017-02-03T09:20:11+00:00 2017-02-03T09:20:11+00:00 Four key CX charts from our Digital Trends 2017 Report Nikki Gilliland <p>Customer experience is now the biggest priority for 63% of marketers, with 49% currently citing it as the most important of all. Of course, ‘customer experience’ is somewhat of an umbrella term, involving multiple areas of focus. </p> <p>With this in mind, here’s a bit of insight into how marketers are honing in on the customer experience, as well as a few key challenges they face. And for further insight, you can download the Adobe <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends">2017 Digital Trends Report</a>.</p> <h3>Greater focus on CX</h3> <p>First, why has customer experience overtaken data-driven marketing?</p> <p>On one hand, this could be because data is also considered as part of the customer experience, meaning that there is in fact just as much of a focus as before. </p> <p>Alternatively, last year’s concentration (and investment) in the area means it has naturally slipped down the list of pressing priorities.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3632/Figure_8.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="565"></p> <h3>Driving perceptions of value</h3> <p>Drilling down into what ‘customer experience’ actually means for marketers, we can see that there is a bigger focus on overall ‘value’ rather than individual customer touchpoints.</p> <p>This means that instead of one aspect, such as diligent customer service or next day delivery, the experience in itself is considered to be of over-arching importance.</p> <p>While 23% of companies place the highest emphasis on creating that valuable experience, it is a natural that other elements within this remit – such as personalisation and consistency – are also ranked highly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3633/Figure_9.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="600"></p> <h3>Importance of internal factors</h3> <p>The below chart supports the notion that data-analysis is part and parcel of the customer experience, with 96% of marketing executives saying it is fundamental to improving it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3634/Figure_10.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="561"></p> <p>Similarly, internal collaboration is also key, with 53% of client-side respondents agreeing that this is ‘very important’.</p> <p>Despite this notion, it is clear that organisational silos continue to be one of the biggest barriers to improving CX. Findings from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">Econsultancy’s CX Challenge Report</a> prove this, with companies that are highly advanced in customer experience sharing the responsibility across departments.</p> <h3>Striving for a design advantage</h3> <p>In this year's survey, culture and strategy were ranked as the most important elements for CX success, with UX design cited as the third most important driver to success.</p> <p>In actual fact, client-side marketers deemed UX design's importance in delivering customer experience success lower in 2017 than they did in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3636/Figure_13.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="581"></p> <p>Design impacts every part of the customer experience, meaning this perspective could prove to be a big limitation. Meanwhile, with 44% of respondents not having the processes and collaborative workflows to achieve a design advantage, this goes back to the problem of internal barriers getting in the way of success.</p> <p>Ultimately, with poor customer experience often relating to a lack of consistency across all channels – be it in terms of content, data insights <em>or</em> design – organisations need to start considering these elements in conjunction to faciliatate progress.</p> <p><em><strong>For further insight, you can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends">2017 Digital Trends Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68749 2017-02-01T14:21:00+00:00 2017-02-01T14:21:00+00:00 Why online travel sites are focusing on tours and activities Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a look at why (and how) brands have been incorporating the trend.</p> <h3>Demand for adventurous travel experiences</h3> <p>While hotels, hostels and flights have long been the bread and butter of many travel companies, the once side-lined tours and activities sector has recently seen a greater focus.</p> <p>Why? Well, it appears to be in recognition of the changing consumer mind-set, with travellers seeking out adventurous travel experiences and choosing to spend money on memorable moments rather than souvenirs.  </p> <p>TripAdvisor is one brand that has introduced bookable tours onto its site, recently redesigning its homepage to make this feature more visible and easier to use.</p> <p>The decision has apparently been a success. TripAdvisor reports that its non-hotel segment, comprising rentals, restaurants and attractions, grew <a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/2017/01/14/4-signs-tripadvisor-may-be-about-to-turn-the-corne.aspx" target="_blank">35% in the third quarter of 2016</a>, now making up 24% of its total revenue.</p> <p>Considering that TripAdvisor’s hotel segment declined 6% - it is clear that consumers are keen to use the platform for more than just reviews.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You don't want to miss THIS experience of a lifetime (Hint: bookable on TripAdvisor, it's great, a wall &amp; in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/China?src=hash">#China</a>) <a href="https://t.co/txeh7SHoc6">https://t.co/txeh7SHoc6</a></p> — TripAdvisor UK (@TripAdvisorUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/TripAdvisorUK/status/802110034448711680">November 25, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Desire for curated and personalised customer experience</h3> <p>It’s not just the travel mindset that’s changing. </p> <p>With the expectation for a seamless and convenient experience across all channels, it makes sense that consumers would prefer to use a single company for all travel requirements.</p> <p>Why would you book accommodation with Airbnb and use an aggregator like Kayak for flights, if you could do it all in one go? Brands are now recognising this opportunity, aiming to capture interest and deliver a curated and personalised experience across all key touchpoints.</p> <p>Indeed, it’s not just traditional tours and activities that sites are now introducing - many are expanding to include airport transfers, trains and even money exchange to provide this end-to-end experience.</p> <p>Naturally, there are still big barriers, and for consumers, a pressing issue remains being able to book tours and activities direct.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">For a look inside Day 1 of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AirbnbOpen?src=hash">#AirbnbOpen</a>, watch <a href="https://twitter.com/ednacz">@ednacz</a> on our Snapchat as she explores LA and the new world of trips. <a href="https://t.co/Dwv5nNI7y5">pic.twitter.com/Dwv5nNI7y5</a></p> — Airbnb UK (@Airbnb_uk) <a href="https://twitter.com/Airbnb_uk/status/799350352948531201">November 17, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>While some do include this feature - a large percentage of TripAdvisor’s tours are bookable, for instance - there are still challenges in providing consumers with relevant and up-to-date offerings, mainly due to the complex nature of syncing with ticket operators. </p> <h3>Capturing mobile moments</h3> <p>Despite the aforementioned issues, mobile innovation is beginning to bridge the gap. Airbnb Trips also allows consumers to book tours, restaurants and activities directly, delivering on both inspirational and functional elements. </p> <p>While Google's new travel guide app, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68688-four-key-features-to-appreciate-about-google-trips/" target="_blank">Google Trips</a>, does not have this feature - currently sending users to third-party sites to make reservations - it still aims to meet the consumer demand for contextual and in-the-moment discovery. </p> <p>Bookable or not – this is certainly a key priority for travellers. Research from <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/micro-moments-travel-customer-journey.html" target="_blank">Google found that 72% of travellers</a> using a smartphone look for the most relevant information, regardless of the travel company providing it. </p> <p>Consequently, it suggests that travel brands should create a ‘micro-moments’ strategy in order to meet customer demand across four key areas – dreaming, planning, booking and experiencing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3458/Google_Moments.JPG" alt="" width="462" height="554"></p> <p>As it stands, none of the big players currently offer this.</p> <p>However, with suggestion that Airbnb is currently in the process of developing a flight-booking tool, it might not be too far off.</p> <p><strong><em>Further reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-travel-and-hospitality-sector/"><em>Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sector</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67493-how-digital-can-revolutionise-the-customer-experience-in-travel-leisure/"><em>How digital can revolutionise the customer experience in travel &amp; leisure</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68604-why-ugc-is-the-future-of-social-media-in-travel-and-tourism-marketing/"><em>Why UGC is the future of social media in travel and tourism marketing</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68751 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 10 superb digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week we're covering news about cart abandonment, adspend, dodgy ads, and lots more. Don't forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for even further info.</p> <h3>76% of marketers see ad blocking as a positive</h3> <p>According to a survey by YouGov and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the majority of marketers believe that ad blocking will be a positive for the industry, encouraging better practice and greater levels of creativity.</p> <p>On the other hand, 38% of respondents believe that it could lead to a decline in online marketing.</p> <p>Other key stats from the research include the key areas of focus for the year ahead, with 42% of marketers citing personalisation, 37% citing data-driven marketing and 31% saying influencer marketing.</p> <h3>Emojis generate 17% more interaction on Instagram</h3> <p>A new study by Quintly has revealed that emojis result in 17% higher interaction when used on Instagram.</p> <p>From analysis of 22,000 profiles and 6.2m posts, those which included emojis were found to have a 2.07 interaction rate compared to 1.77 for those without.</p> <p>Other findings include the most popular emojis of 2016, with the most-used being the camera emoji, followed by the ‘OK’ hand signal and the pink hearts. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3441/Quintly.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="369"></p> <h3>43% of marketers still experimenting with influencer marketing</h3> <p>According to Altimeter’s Traackr report, 71% of marketers rate influencer marketing as a strategic or highly strategic area of marketing.</p> <p>However, 43% of those that agree are still experimenting with the practice, and 28% are only involving influencers at campaign level.</p> <p>The report also found the influencer budgets are still small compared to other areas of focus, but a shift in prioritisation means that 55% of marketers plan to spend more on influencers in 2017.</p> <h3>Trump’s inauguration generates 15m social media engagements</h3> <p>4C has revealed how social media users reacted to Donald Trump’s inauguration.</p> <p>The day’s event saw over 15m engagements across Facebook and Twitter, with the new President generating over 5m of them.</p> <p>Engagement peaked for the inauguration when the Obamas met the Trumps at the White House – a moment that’s now famous for Michelle Obama’s awkward reaction towards <em>that</em> Tiffany box.</p> <p>While the #inauguration hashtag generated 2.6m engagements on the day itself, the #womensmarch hashtag drew 7.3m engagements the day after.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3443/Trump.PNG" alt="" width="653" height="439"></p> <h3>Google removes 80m misleading ads in 2016</h3> <p>Google’s Bad Ads report has revealed that 80m bad ads were removed in 2016 for deceiving, misleading or shocking users with false information or clickbait headlines.</p> <p>Similarly, Google also took down 7m bad ads for intentionally trying to scam consumers or deliberately trying to trick its detection systems.</p> <p>In 2016, 1.7bn ads were removed overall, which is double the amount of ads removed the year previous.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3444/Google_Ads.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="339"></p> <h3>82% of customers over 55 feel undervalued</h3> <p>A new study by ICLP has found that customers over the age of 55 often feel overlooked, with 82% saying that retailers do not understand their needs.</p> <p>Consequently, 95% of over 55s would consider abandoning their favourite retailers in favour of others.</p> <p>ICLP’s survey also discovered what would make this demographic more loyal. The results found stronger reward programmes, communication and reliability to be the top three factors.</p> <h3>Adding touch to mobile ads increases engagement</h3> <p>In a study of 1,137 Android users, IPG Media Lab discovered that capitalising on consumer’s sense of touch during mobile video ads can produce a 50% uplift in brand favourability.</p> <p>While a standard video ad achieved happiness and excitement levels of 37% and 30% in consumers, video ads with touch-enabled elements resulted in rates of 44% and 38% respectively.</p> <p>This also resulted in a halo effect, with a 6% increase in positive brand perception overall.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3447/Touch.JPG" alt="" width="513" height="303"></p> <h3>Global cart abandonment rates up 2.4%</h3> <p>SalesCycle’s <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/post/remarketing-report-q4-2016/" target="_blank">Remarketing Report</a> details the latest global cart abandonment stats. It shows that global cart abandonment rates were 76.8% in Q4 2016, a figure up 2.4% on the previous quarter. </p> <p>In terms of industry, fashion cart abandonment remains the lowest at 67.4%. Meanwhile, utilities is the highest, with an abandonment rate of 84.4%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3446/Abandonment_rates.JPG" alt="" width="710" height="502"></p> <h3>58% of B2B buyers distrust vendor claims</h3> <p><a href="https://vendors.trustradius.com/b2b-buying-disconnect/" target="_blank">Research from TrustRadius</a> has found that tech vendors are failing to keep up with expectations, as nearly 60% of B2B buyers cite vendor-provided materials as the least trustworthy source.</p> <p>Despite many feeling sceptical over claims, buyers still acknowledge that vendors play a significant role in the purchasing process, with 62% saying they help answer questions, facilitate basic demos, and provide technical support.</p> <p>Additionally, the report found product demos and free trials to be the best and most trustworthy resources for buyers.</p> <h3>UK adspend increases following Brexit</h3> <p>According to the latest figures from the Advertising Association, UK adspend increased 4.2% in the quarter following Brexit.</p> <p>This news comes on the back of a Deloitte survey which found that 22% of advertising businesses have lost contracts since last June, and 62% believe the decision has negatively affected their business.</p> <p>On the other hand, the survey also found that 23% see Brexit as an opportunity for growth, and as a result, 8% plan to increase investment in the UK. </p>