tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2017-01-20T17:00:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-01-20T17:00:00+00:00 2017-01-20T17:00:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68726 2017-01-20T14:12:40+00:00 2017-01-20T14:12:40+00:00 All the digital news stories you missed this week Ben Davis <h3>Twitter Buy button finally dead</h3> <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/17/bye-buy-on-twitter/">According to Techcrunch</a>, the Twitter Buy button (available to partners with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify) is being withdrawn as the social network moves away from ecommerce.</p> <p>The 'Donate' functionality will remain. We discussed the reasons behind the failing Buy button <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67887-twitter-ditches-its-buy-button-puts-focus-on-retargeting/">back in March 2016,</a> but it seems time is finally up for the underperforming call to action.</p> <p><em>An example of the Twitter buy button</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7555/The_Martian_card_and_page.png" alt="twitter buy" width="600"></p> <h3>Netflix double Q4 estimate for new subscribers</h3> <p>Netflix added 7m subscribers in Q4, well above the 3.8m projected. 5m of these new subscribers were outside of the US, where half of its subscriber base resides.</p> <p>The streaming company is on target for 100m subscribers this year (currently 93.8m), with strong growth on the back of 1,000 hours of original content in 2017.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ft.com/content/8859f16e-ddcf-11e6-9d7c-be108f1c1dce">More from the FT</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3225/rick_and_morty.jpg" alt="rick and morty" width="615" height="264"></p> <h3>Vine has not withered</h3> <p>The Vine app has become Vine camera. The app is a stripped down version of its former self (no Soundboard, Snap-To-Beat or Featured Track audio functions) that simply posts resulting video directly to a Twitter account.</p> <p>Any videos under 6.5 seconds will automatically loop, just like the Vine videos of old ("gerrout me car!!").</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3226/Screen_Shot_2017-01-20_at_10.47.25.png" alt="vine camera" width="600" height="304"></p> <h3>Live partners expect the Facebook money to dry up</h3> <p><a href="http://www.recode.net/2017/1/17/14269406/facebook-live-video-deals-paid">Recode reports</a> that publishers currently being paid by Facebook to produce live video fear the partnerships (which include a reported $3m to BuzzFeed) will not be renewed.</p> <p>Facebook spent $50m in 2016 on the initiative but <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">Facebook Live</a> is less of a priority in 2017. It is expected that longer, premium video content will be incentivised. </p> <h3>Deliveroo invests in London global HQ</h3> <p>Deliveroo is adding 300 new hires to its existing 125 staff in London, which will become its global headquarters.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68508-the-four-goals-underpinning-deliveroo-s-growth-strategy/">Orders grew 650% in 2016</a>, when riders became a common sight on many city's roads. The company employs approximately 1,000 people worldwide.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1348/deliveroo.jpg" alt="deliveroo" width="470" height="280"></p> <h3>The Airbus flying car</h3> <p>Airbus Group will test a self-piloted flying car prototype by the end of 2017.</p> <p>The company's Urban Air Mobility division is exploring multiple concepts, with the 'flying car' earmarked as an app-led solution, where travellers can book a journey via their phones.</p> <p>"We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously," CEO Tom Enders <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-group-tech-idUSKBN1501DM">told Reuters</a>, also stating that the technology should be designed to be clean and not further pollute cities.</p> <h3>AI improves AI</h3> <p>The Google Brain AI research group has designed software that itself designed a machine learning system to benchmark yet another form of software for processing language.</p> <p>The results surpassed those from software designed by humans. This is a growing area of research, with OpenAI, MIT, DeepMind and others also designing similar systems.</p> <p><a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603381/ai-software-learns-to-make-ai-software/">More from MIT Tech review.</a></p> <h3>Alibaba sponsors the Olympic Games</h3> <p>Alibaba has paid a reported $800m to sponsor the Olympic Games until 2028. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-19/alibaba-will-put-its-technology-to-the-test-on-an-olympian-stage">More from Bloomberg</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3251/ali-blog-flyer.png" alt="alibaba" width="470" height="198"></p> <h3>Facebook partners with Station F, the world's biggest startup hub</h3> <p>Facebook is partnering with Station F, a startup generator in Paris which has 3,000 desks.</p> <p>Facebook will take 60 desks, hold weekly workshops, and work with 10 to 15 startups every year.</p> <p><a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/17/facebook-to-open-startup-garage-at-station-f-in-paris/">More from Techcrunch.</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3252/Screen_Shot_2017-01-20_at_13.24.26.png" alt="station f" width="615" height="310"></p> <h3>Zuckerberg in court for Oculus case</h3> <p>There's a suit going on with an Oculus Rift employee accused of stealing technology from a former employer.</p> <p>Mark Zuckerberg took to the stand earlier this week, with <a href="http://gizmodo.com/mark-zuckerberg-gets-testy-in-oculus-lawsuit-grilling-1791286111">Gizmodo reporting some of his 'sick burns'</a> (be prepared to be underwhelmed).</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68724 2017-01-20T11:27:00+00:00 2017-01-20T11:27:00+00:00 Marketers plan Facebook audits following metrics faux pas Patricio Robles <p>More disturbing for Facebook is the fact that two-thirds of those surveyed indicated that they're questioning their Facebook ad investments.</p> <p>Advertiser Perceptions says that, outside of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">Google paid search</a>, confidence in digital and social advertising platforms is well under 50% and, as it relates to Facebook, advertiser concerns may be largely due to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas">a string of revelations about inaccuracies</a> with the company's ad metrics.</p> <h3>Move fast and break things</h3> <p>While Facebook says that those faux pas - which resulted in a number of metrics being inaccurately reported, in some cases by substantial amounts - didn't impact billing for ads, a number of companies <a href="http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/293221/facebook-hit-with-new-lawsuit-over-inflated-video.html">have sued Facebook</a>, claiming that the errors influenced their decisions to invest in Facebook.</p> <p>Even if Facebook is successful in defending against the lawsuits, the company, which once popularized the mantra "move fast and break things," can ill afford to see an erosion of advertiser faith as younger competitors, namely Snapchat, more aggressively vie for social ad dollars. Even more importantly, if advertisers lose faith in Facebook, it could poison the entire market for social ads, driving advertisers to shift dollars to other digital channels.</p> <p>Indeed, Advertiser Perceptions says that among advertisers planning to up their spend with Facebook and Google, only 8% plan to up their spend with Facebook but not Google, while 36% plan to up their spend with Google but not Facebook.</p> <p>Of course, what's challenging and potentially problematic for Facebook isn't necessarily bad for advertisers. Few today doubt the viability of social ads but as social advertising reaches a greater level of maturity and advertisers have more significant experience and data behind their efforts, it is absolutely appropriate for them to start paying closer attention to and evaluating the efficacy of their campaigns.</p> <p>In many cases, independent audits are worthwhile, and as Facebook sees advertiser scrutiny increase, it might eventually be forced to relent and offer greater transparency, such as third-party tagging, which <a href="https://adexchanger.com/online-advertising/facebook-and-groupm-tussle-on-third-party-viewability-verification/">has to date been a source of tension</a> between the company and advertisers.</p> <p><em>To brush up your skills in this area, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/"><em>Social Media Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-paid-advertising/"><em>Social Media Paid Advertising Training</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68716 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 Four common mistakes brands make with influencer marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>As highlighted in Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer" target="_blank">Voice of the Influencer</a> report, there appears to be somewhat of a power struggle between brands and influencers, with the main challenges involving strategy and motivation.</p> <p>So, here’s a bit of insight into the biggest mistakes brands can make, and why it’s important to avoid them.</p> <h3>Choosing influence over authenticity</h3> <p>The natural instinct for brands is to choose an influencer with the largest audience. While this makes sense in theory – as in the bigger the influence, the greater the reach – it can also backfire.</p> <p>This is because real influence comes from a sense of authenticity. In other words, a person who is staying true to their own beliefs or values, and in turn, promoting a product that somehow reflects this.</p> <p>It’s recently been proven that micro influencers (those with 500 to 10,000 followers) generate greater engagement that those with a larger audience. So, just like you might be more inclined to trust the opinion of a friend rather than a celebrity, consumers are more likely to trust someone with a smaller reach but who is a respected authority on a particular topic.</p> <p>For brands, it’s important to get this balance right, choosing the person whose identity best fits the campaign rather than chasing who is the most popular. </p> <p><em>Read why Iceland has chosen to work with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/" target="_blank">micro influencers instead of celebrities</a>.</em></p> <h3>Over-branding</h3> <p>Despite 93% of influencers believing that they should be in charge the narrative of a campaign – brands often struggle to relinquish control.</p> <p>Historically, brands determine everything from the copy to the look and design of a campaign. However, with many influencers used to creating their own content, complex negotiation is required to determine exactly what will be said or how it will be done.</p> <p>The key appears to be compromise – especially when it comes to brand marketing messages. </p> <p>On a platform such as Instagram, for example, overly branded images can come across as unnatural and disruptive to the style of the feed. So, while it’s important for branded messages to be included, it’s also crucial that influencers incorporate them in a natural and subtle way.</p> <p>The below example strikes me as one that gets the balance right. </p> <p>Watch brand Daniel Wellington worked with a number of lifestyle influencers on Instagram. It chose selectively, however, only teaming up with bloggers whose feed already reflects the brand’s pared down aesthetic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3156/Daniel_Wellington.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <p>While a discount code was included to drive sales, the product itself was barely highlighted, being a small part of the overall image.</p> <h3>Campaign overkill</h3> <p>This leads us nicely onto the next common mistake, which is flooding users with multiple messages or posts relating to a campaign.</p> <p>Influencer marketing is built on the notion that the audience already exists – the brand is simply using the influencer as the vehicle to send the audience a message. </p> <p>Consequently, it is easy to alienate audiences (who are coming to a channel for a certain type of post) by bombarding them with brand slogans.</p> <p>This means that subtle campaigns, such as one-off posts, can be more effective. Alternatively, using multiple influencers in a campaign hosted on the brand's own marketing channels, such as Styld.by from Gap, uses storytelling elements rather than blatant advertising.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Step-by-step style with <a href="https://twitter.com/Judith_Hill">@Judith_Hill</a> in a look that easily transitions from day to night. <a href="https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw">https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw</a> <a href="https://t.co/XXjoVQsZQT">pic.twitter.com/XXjoVQsZQT</a></p> — Gap (@Gap) <a href="https://twitter.com/Gap/status/755507510568779778">July 19, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Focusing on the numbers</h3> <p>Lastly, with 75% of influencers citing frustration over reach and follower figures being of primary importance to brands, it again falls to marketers to change the perception of sponsorship deals.</p> <p>Like choosing influence over authenticity, brands can make the mistake of measuring success in terms of reach or sales following a campaign.</p> <p>Rather, factors like positive sentiment, increased awareness and online interaction can be equally important measures of success (for both brands and influencers alike).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PPChNyCwMEo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em>Dodi Clark, a YouTuber and musician, speaking about her brand-related troubles.</em></p> <p><strong><em>Further reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68230-two-different-paths-to-influencer-marketing-which-is-best-for-you/">Two different paths to influencer marketing: Which is best for you?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67555-the-three-biggest-challenges-in-influencer-marketing/"><em>The three biggest challenges in influencer marketing</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/">Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68706 2017-01-17T10:00:01+00:00 2017-01-17T10:00:01+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><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KkOCeAtKHIc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></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/68700 2017-01-16T10:12:00+00:00 2017-01-16T10:12:00+00:00 A day in the life of... marketing director at a social agency Ben Davis <p>As usual, if you're looking out for a new position in the industry, check out <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy's jobs board</a>.</p> <h3>Please describe your role, what do you do?</h3> <p>I am responsible for overseeing the newly-merged marketing and new business divisions of our organisation. Together we work to increase brand awareness and identify hot new business leads across the globe for Social Chain. </p> <p>The overarching aim of this year however is to build brand awareness around our New York office, and to continue to work with fresh and exciting consumer brands such as Boohoo, STA Travel and Apple Music. </p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>I sit as a director at Social Chain, working strategically across the company. We promote a non-hierarchical structure, and so whilst I will be involved in making key business decisions, equally I might be putting together our lovingly made client gift boxes or writing Christmas cards with the team.</p> <p>I report into Steven Bartlett, the co-founder and CEO of Social Chain.</p> <p><em>Lucy Clarke</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3018/Lucy_clarke.jpg" alt="lucy clarke" width="400"></p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day…</h3> <p>Believe me when I say no two days are the same. Today I have been to meet with the BBC at MediaCity in Salford for a catch up and then this afternoon I’m working on a top secret product offering (all will be revealed later in the year).</p> <p>Then later this week I am attending meetings in London with some big media names to speak about what we do here at Social Chain and to discuss the potential for future partnerships. </p> <p>My focus currently is to make sure the team are set up and ready with their 2017 strategies across their specialisms, such as PR, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-paid-advertising/">paid social</a> and digital.</p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>Where to even start? I absolutely love working with my team, they are all so creative, committed and just really great people.</p> <p>Our campaigns genuinely interest all of us, so it is always a pleasure to push them to our target markets. The feedback we get is amazing, knowing we're impacting SMEs through to huge brands is awesome. </p> <p>But pitching to a boardroom of people that haven't seen us before has to be one of my favourite jobs - watching peoples faces go from intrigue, to amusement, to sheer excitement about working with us is truly amazing. </p> <p>What sucks is where time goes, everyone here says Social Chain seems to swallow up time - one minute it's January, next minute we're closing the year. It's such a fast-paced agency that it is hard to stand still and take a minute to really relish our achievements!</p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p>We have lots of KPIs - some hard and some soft. The really key KPIs are leads generated and sales achieved. These are broken down further by specialism i.e. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">paid search</a>, SEO, leads from events etc. </p> <p>However for us it's all about generating top quality leads. Our style of marketing is exciting, fast paced and unafraid to challenge convention. Therefore the most effective partnerships are with clients that give us the creative space and freedom to push boundaries and break records.</p> <p>Luckily for us, our clients welcome our crazy ideas and are always willing to be the first to trial new platform updates across social media.</p> <p><em>Social Chain website</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.socialchain.com/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3019/Screen_Shot_2017-01-12_at_12.27.16.png" alt="social chain website" width="600" height="328"></a></p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <p>We use lots of different types of software to assist us on a variety of things. One key tool that we use is Salesforce, which helps us to ensure the sales and marketing teams work in perfect harmony.</p> <p>Another vitally important tool is Lead Forensics, which helps us identify and reach out to businesses that have visited and engaged with our website.</p> <p>Google Analytics has also been really fundamental in allowing us to measure the impact of our campaigns and the development of our new website and branding.</p> <p>As a company we use <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67489-slack-yammer-facebook-who-ll-win-the-collaboration-battle/">Workplace</a>, Facebook's enterprise solution. It is great for the whole company to share creative ideas, discuss any industry news or swap inspiration for our clients. It also allows for very open and transparent communication between the entire company.</p> <h3>How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>Honestly, I completely fell into it when I moved from a tiny town in Wiltshire, to Manchester. I started at a really small agency in Cheshire and learned the basics about digital marketing - focusing mainly on SEO and web design and development. </p> <p>I wanted to sink my teeth and be exposed to more blue-chip and consumer brands and so I then moved to a content marketing agency in the city centre and loved it. </p> <p>I was watching the Gadget Show when they did a segment on this social media agency, called Social Chain. I am the nosiest person I know, so naturally I set up a meeting with CEO Steve, and here we are.</p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h3> <p>I think ecommerce brands have a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on people regularly platform-hopping to follow them through their journey to conversion.  </p> <p>For example, I was looking at some shoes on Instagram but didn't end up purchasing them. Then when I later visited Facebook I was reminded of the shoes in an ad - this retargeting technique led to me converting and buying the shoes in the end.</p> <p>I think moving forward it is important for brands to not consider the website as the only place to convert. Instead, it is important to monopolise on where your audience is predominately spending their time and see how you can use the platform to convert these people.</p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?</h3> <p>The industry is moving so quickly and is so changeable, for this reason there really are no rules. So my advice would be make your own rules - be ready to flex and learn hard and fast.</p> <p>If you can come to terms with those things and learn to anticipate what's next, then you're on to a winner.</p> <p><strong><em>If you're interested in learning more about social media, check out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr/">Econsultancy's training courses</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68704 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 10 mind-boggling digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>You’ll find news on content marketing formats, abandonment emails, customer retention and social media. Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>72% of marketers value data analysis over social media skills</h3> <p>According to a new report by BlueVenn, 72% of marketers consider data analysis to be the most important skill to acquire in the next two years.</p> <p>From speaking to over 200 marketers in the US and UK, BlueVenn found that understanding customer data is considered far more vital than the likes of social media and web development, with just 65% and 31% of respondents citing these respectively.</p> <p>This appears to be an especially common view in larger businesses, where a lack of tools and access to technologies is the biggest barrier.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3043/BlueVenn.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="475"></p> <h3>Abandonment emails sent after one-hour boost conversion</h3> <p>New stats from SaleCycle show that the best time to reconnect with shoppers is one hour after they’ve abandoned their basket.</p> <p>From the conversion rates of 500 global brands, an average conversion of 6.33% was seen after one hour, compared with just 3.14% when sent before one hour and 3.41% one to two hours after.</p> <p>As well as timing, research also found that personalisation is a big factor in email success, with subject names that include the customer name seeing the highest open-rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3048/Email_time.JPG" alt="" width="314" height="522"></p> <h3>Two-thirds of UK consumers willing to use robots for banking</h3> <p>‘Robo-advisors’ is not a term we’ll be adopting any time soon, however, according to new research from Accenture more of us will be willing to accept the concept in future.</p> <p>Apparently, it refers to the robots used to offer financial or banking advice in place of real-life humans. And according to a survey of UK consumers, 68% are willing to use them.</p> <p>The reasons behind the demand for this type of technology is speed and convenience, with 40% citing this factor for using it. Lastly, 25% see the impartiality of robo-advice as a key attraction, with this figure rising to almost one third in those over 65.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3047/Robots.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="397"></p> <h3>Instagram Stories grows to 150m daily users</h3> <p>Despite initial reservations from users, Instagram Stories continues to grow, with the feature adding 50m more daily users since October.</p> <p>According to other recent stats, a third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories on Instagram result in a direct message. </p> <p>Lastly, 70% of video views are reportedly played with the sound on (though this does not include Live Stories).</p> <h3>Original data is the best-performing type of content marketing</h3> <p>A survey by Clutch has uncovered the types of content that marketers believe leads to greater success.</p> <p>17% of respondents said that infographics perform the best, while 18% cited research or original data – both trumped other formats like blog posts and video.</p> <p>In terms of promotion, 85% of content marketers cited paid distribution, such as social media, PPC and native ads as the most effective tactic, over-and-above organic efforts. This reflects the strategies of most marketing agencies, with 71% using paid distribution tactics most frequently.</p> <h3>Nearly 20% of online retailers lost out to rivals over Christmas</h3> <p>According to the latest JDA/Centiro report, many retailers failed to meet the growing consumer demand for convenience during the 2016 Christmas period.</p> <p>19% of online Christmas customers shopped at alternative retailers due to stock unavailability and delivery time constraints.</p> <p>While use of click-and-collect services has somewhat plateaued, it is mostly seen as a way of avoiding delivery charges, with 53% of consumers recently using it for this reason.</p> <p>The report also found that many people suffered problems with click and collect last Christmas, with long waiting times due to a lack of staff having a negative impact on the experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3045/Click_and_Collect.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="571"></p> <h3>Valentine’s Day presents big opportunity for retailers</h3> <p>With Black Friday and Christmas out of the way, many retailers are turning their attention towards the next big holiday.</p> <p>According to stats from Bing, Valentine’s Day presents a huge opportunity, after an estimated $19.7bn was spent last year (and an average of $146 per person).</p> <p>However, it’s not just humans that can expect a gift or two. $681m was reportedly spent on pets for Valentine’s Day last year, giving pet retailers a good reason to get on board in 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3046/Valentines_Day.jpg" alt="" width="483" height="229"></p> <h3>Instagram most important platform for marketers</h3> <p>In more Instagram-related stats, it’s been revealed as the platform marketers will invest the most in this year.</p> <p>Research from Greenlight shows that 70% will focus on Instagram, while 40% of marketers will invest in Twitter. </p> <p>Interestingly, older marketers are placing less importance on social platforms, with 50% of professionals who are over the age of 50 reporting no plans to invest in Instagram and 58% saying the same for Snapchat. </p> <h3>Generation Z bored by standard digital ads</h3> <p>According to a study by Kantar Millward Brown, generation Z (i.e. consumers aged between 16-19) have high expectations when it comes to digital advertising, preferring ads that allow them to interact or make a decision.</p> <p>When it comes to ads that prompt viewers to vote, generation Z reported a positivity score of 31%, compared to just 25% from generation Y. </p> <p>Generation Z were also found to actively dislike invasive ad formats like non-skippable pre-rolls. However, interruption appears to be a big bugbear for all age ranges, with the majority of people installing ad blockers due to this reason.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3044/AdReaction.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="399"></p> <h3>Customer retention is down 7% globally</h3> <p>From a global study of more than 24,000 consumers across nine industry sectors, Verint and IDC has found that customer retention dropped by 7% last year.</p> <p>Overall, this appears to be down to consumers who prefer using digital-based companies displaying less brand loyalty than those who engage with businesses on a human and one-to-one level.</p> <p>49% of digital customers have been with providers for more than three years compared with 57% who prefer to go in-store.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68678 2017-01-09T14:07:00+00:00 2017-01-09T14:07:00+00:00 The impact of artificial intelligence on the travel industry Nikki Gilliland <p>More specifically, the use of artificial intelligence in the travel industry. Why? Well, it’s already making waves. </p> <p>Providing travel brands the perfect opportunity to connect with consumers and enhance customer service - we’ve seen a number of businesses experimenting with the technology.</p> <p>Here’s how, along with a few of the most interesting examples to catch my eye.</p> <h3>Customer service</h3> <p>Customer service can make or break a hotel’s reputation. Consequently, AI’s ability to pre-empt and predict exactly what the customer needs and wants is one reason why hotels are cottoning on to the idea.</p> <p>Hilton is one of the most well-known examples, last year teaming up with IBM’s Watson to create Connie – a robot that provides help and information to hotel guests during their stay.</p> <p>Connie works by drawing on information from Wayblazer – a travel advice tool that also uses Watson – as well as human speech. Essentially, the more people talk to Connie, the more it will be able to interpret and analyse natural language.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jC0I08qt5VU?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>It’s certainly an original and innovative new concept for guests. The question is – will people be put off by speaking to a robot rather than a human?</p> <p>According to a <a href="http://press.travelzoo.com/robophiles--robophobes--britons-divided-over-use-of-robots-in-travel" target="_blank">recent study by Travelzoo</a>, this is becoming less of an issue as time goes on. From a survey of more than 6,000 travellers, it found that two thirds of respondents would be comfortable with robots being used in the travel industry.</p> <p>What’s more, 80% expect robots to play a part in many aspects of life by 2020.</p> <h3>Data analysis</h3> <p>Dorchester Collection is another hotel chain to make use of AI. However, instead of using it to provide a front-of-house service, it has adopted it to interpret and analyse customer behaviour in the form of raw data.</p> <p>Partnering with technology company, RicheyTX, Dorchester Collection has helped to develop an AI platform called Metis.</p> <p>Delving into swathes of customer feedback such as surveys and reviews (which would take an inordinate amount of time to manually find and analyse) it is able to measure performance and instantly discover what really matters to guests.</p> <p>For example, Metis helped Dorchester to discover that breakfast it not merely an expectation – but something guests place huge importance on. As a result, the hotels began to think about how they could enhance and personalise the breakfast experience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The first cup of the day is the best... <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDorchester">@TheDorchester</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Parcafe?src=hash">#Parcafe</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Coffee?src=hash">#Coffee</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheDorchester?src=hash">#TheDorchester</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DCMoments?src=hash">#DCMoments</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/London?src=hash">#London</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ParkLane?src=hash">#ParkLane</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LuxuryHotels?src=hash">#LuxuryHotels</a> <a href="https://t.co/FL505EmlaF">pic.twitter.com/FL505EmlaF</a></p> — Nathan Lewis (@_Nathan_Lewis_) <a href="https://twitter.com/_Nathan_Lewis_/status/803941091112288256">November 30, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>With 81% of people believing that robots would be better at handling data than humans, there is also a certain level of confidence in this area from consumers.</p> <h3>Direct messaging</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/" target="_blank">Chatbot technology</a> is another big strand of AI, and unsurprisingly, many travel brands have already launched their own versions in the past year or so.</p> <p>Skyscanner is just one example, creating a bot to help consumers find flights in Facebook Messenger. Users can also use it to request travel recommendations and random suggestions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2811/Skyscanner.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="528">  </p> <p>Unlike ecommerce or retail brands using chatbots, which can appear gimmicky, there is an argument that examples like Skyscanner are much more relevant and useful for everyday consumers.</p> <p>After all, with the arrival of many more travel search websites, consumers are being overwhelmed by choice – not necessarily helped by it. </p> <p>Consequently, a bot like Skyscanner is able to cut through the noise, connecting with consumers in their own time and in the social media spaces they most frequently visit.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2812/Skyscanner_2.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="523"></p> <h3>Future potential</h3> <p>So, we’ve already seen the travel industry capitalise on AI to a certain extent. But how will it evolve in the coming year?</p> <p>Here are a few suggestions:</p> <h4>Business travel</h4> <p>Undoubtedly, we’ll see many more brands using AI for data analysis as well as launching their own chatbots. There’s already been a <a href="https://skift.com/2016/10/11/expedia-plans-to-use-artificial-intelligence-for-customer-service/" target="_blank">suggestion that Expedia is next</a> in line, but it is reportedly set to focus on business travel rather than holidaymakers.</p> <p>Due to the greater need for structure and less of a desire for discovery, it certainly makes sense that artificial intelligence would be more suited to business travellers. </p> <p>Specifically, it could help to simplify the booking process for companies, as well as help eliminate discrepancies around employee expenses. </p> <p>With reducing costs and improving efficiency two of the biggest benefits, AI could start to infiltrate business travel even more so than leisure in the next 12 months.</p> <h4>Voice technology</h4> <p>Lastly, we can expect to see greater development in voice-activated technology.</p> <p>With voice-activated search, the experience of researching and booking travel has the potential to become quicker and easier than ever before. Similarly, as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68499-the-problem-with-voice-user-interfaces-like-amazon-alexa/">Amazon Echo</a> and Google Home start to become commonplace, more hotels could start to experiment with speech recognition to ramp up customer service.</p> <p>This means devices and bots (like the aforementioned Connie) could become the norm for brands in the travel industry.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/" target="_blank">15 examples of artificial intelligence in marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68466-could-ai-kill-off-the-conversion-optimisation-consultant/" target="_blank">Could AI kill off the conversion optimisation consultant?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68158-five-ways-artificial-intelligence-can-help-marketers-enhance-the-customer-experience/" target="_blank">Five ways Artificial Intelligence can help marketers enhance the customer experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68684 2017-01-06T11:34:00+00:00 2017-01-06T11:34:00+00:00 The best social media campaigns and stories from December 2016 Nikki Gilliland <h3>Paddy Power trolls Southern Rail</h3> <p>It’s been a miserable winter for Southern Rail commuters so far, but just before Christmas, those ol’ jokers at Paddy Power offered up a lifeline.</p> <p>It launched a ‘cancellation insurance’ bet – offering long-suffering passengers the chance to win money should Southern Rail mess up their journeys on Christmas Eve.</p> <p>Paddy Power took bets on Southern Rail’s 32 routes, with odds of five to one per line.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Stakes on a train! Read how we’re offering ‘cancellation insurance’ on Southern Rail trains tomorrow here <a href="https://t.co/rD9atVGXZO">https://t.co/rD9atVGXZO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YouBeauty?src=hash">#YouBeauty</a></p> — Paddy Power (@paddypower) <a href="https://twitter.com/paddypower/status/812244395089129472">December 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Budweiser gives revellers a free Uber</h3> <p>In a similarly travel-themed campaign, Budweiser teamed up with Uber to discourage drink driving on Christmas Eve.</p> <p>Throughout December, Uber had been giving free rides worth £15 to new customers. However, on the 24th, it opened up the offer to all users in order to prevent revellers from driving under the influence.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2841/Budweiser_Uber.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="379"></p> <h3>Spotify says good riddance to 2016</h3> <p>Spotify launched a data-driven campaign to say “Thanks 2016. It’s been weird”. I wrote about how the campaign cleverly makes use of listener data <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68626-three-reasons-to-appreciate-spotify-s-latest-data-driven-ad-campaign" target="_blank">in this article</a>. </p> <p>Meanwhile, it seems not everyone appreciated the brand’s attempt at humour. </p> <p>A photoshopped version of a billboard ad recently went viral, with the perpetrator evidently disgruntled at how the streaming service compensates musicians. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwearespectres%2Fposts%2F10154205420427844%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="630"></iframe></p> <h3>Instagram Stories introduces stickers</h3> <p>Instagram has introduced yet another new feature to Stories, this time in the form of stickers that display locations, time, weather conditions and emojis. </p> <p>Much like Snapchat geofilters, it is an attempt to make the feature much more fun and creative. As of yet, there’s been no word whether Instagram will introduce sponsored or branded stickers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2842/Instragram_Stickers.JPG" alt="" width="246" height="441"></p> <h3>Twitter launches 360-degree live video</h3> <p>In late December, Twitter launched a new live video feature, allowing users to stream live in full 360-degrees using Periscope technology. </p> <p>While only ‘select partners’ can currently broadcast live in 360-degrees, all users are able to watch, gaining greater insight into surroundings and exclusive views of behind-the-scenes.</p> <p>The first-ever 360-degree live video was from broadcaster Alex Pettitt, showcasing a Florida sunset.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">360 Sunset in Florida. First ever <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Periscope360?src=hash">#Periscope360</a> with <a href="https://twitter.com/brandee_anthony">@Brandee_Anthony</a> <a href="https://t.co/AZWbnnT15S">https://t.co/AZWbnnT15S</a></p> — Alex Pettitt (@Alexpettitt) <a href="https://twitter.com/Alexpettitt/status/814229532576124928">December 28, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>H&amp;M wins favour with Christmas ad</h3> <p>From John Lewis’s underwhelming attempt to Pret’s impressive effort – there were many festive ads to relish throughout December.</p> <p>Though rather late to the party, H&amp;M’s ‘Come Together’ ad was met with lots of approval online.</p> <p>Directed by Wes Anderson and starring Adrian Brody, the short film told the story of train passengers travelling home for the holiday period. </p> <p>Capturing storytelling elements – and a slice of Wes Anderson’s artistic magic – it was a December highlight. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VDinoNRC49c?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Burberry celebrates 160th anniversary with cinematic short</h3> <p>Burberry marked its 160th anniversary with an ad deliberately designed to feel like a movie trailer.</p> <p>Featuring clothes from the brand’s winter collection, the three-minute short is inspired by the brand’s founder, Thomas Burberry, and stars the likes of Sienna Miller and Domhnall Gleeson.</p> <p>Social media conversation was largely positive, with many calling for a sequel to the video or for the brand to release a full-length feature.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6D5IZtDCS5c?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Trump tweets his enemies</h3> <p>While Obama saw in the new year with a series of reflective tweets, Donald Trump took to the medium to offer up a less inspiring message.</p> <p>He wrote: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”</p> <p>With Trump continuously taking to Twitter to post his latest musings, it’s been suggested that the new President could be the platform’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/05/can-donald-trump-save-twitter" target="_blank">biggest marketing card</a> to date. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!</p> — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/815185071317676033">December 31, 2016</a> </blockquote> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68663 2017-01-06T10:45:00+00:00 2017-01-06T10:45:00+00:00 Why online publications are ditching comments sections for social Nikki Gilliland <p>Unsurprisingly, Vice isn’t the only platform to take this stance. Others like USA Today, the Verge and Recode have all chosen to remove their comments sections entirely.</p> <p>So, why have these sites had enough? And how will this affect online forums in future?</p> <p>Here’s a bit of insight into the story.</p> <h3>Removing the burden</h3> <p>For Vice and many other platforms, the burden of monitoring the comments section has overtaken any benefit. </p> <p>First introduced to drive interaction and collaboration from readers, many comments sections have veered away from organic conversation into sheer chaos. Back in 2012, the founder of Gawker Media, Nick Denton, stated that 80% of reader comments on his sites were either irrelevant or toxic.</p> <p>Since then the situation appears to have worsened, with many more publications switching off comments out of frustration over anti-social behaviour and harrassment of writers.</p> <p>On the other hand, there are those that persevere. The Times strictly monitors all comments, only allowing them to be published if they are on-topic and not abusive (although it says that moderation is still the ‘subjective’ responsibility of staff).</p> <p>Similarly, the<em> </em>Guardian – a publication that maintains that “in so many cases journalism is enriched by responses from its readers” - monitors comments based on a list of community guidelines.</p> <p>Interestingly, last year the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/12/the-dark-side-of-guardian-comments">Guardian undertook a study</a> to discover the extent of the abuse that occurs below the line. While it found that just 2% of overall comments are blocked (based on analysis on comments left since 2006), out of the most-abused writers, the majority were both women and/or black.</p> <p>It is clear that even on the strictest of sites, comments are not merely argumentative or irrelevant, but largely marred by bigotry. As a result, the Guardian concludes that, as anti-social behaviour is neither natural or inevitable, it is a cultural problem that we must collectively work to solve. </p> <p>So what can media organisations do to make online conversations constructive and more inclusive?</p> <h3>Making the switch to social</h3> <p>While publications like the Guardian are improving safeguards, as well as cutting down on the places where comments are open, others are using social media as an alternative. </p> <p>So what are the advantages of this shift?</p> <h4>A natural transition</h4> <p>Many publications are now finding that readers naturally choose to leave feedback on Facebook and Twitter rather than anywhere else, meaning that turning off the comments section has no real impact.</p> <p>With audiences already using these platforms to discuss topical events and current affairs, it also makes sense for brands to infiltrate these spaces where users are already active and engaged.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftheguardian%2Fposts%2F10154912671761323&amp;width=500" width="500" height="517"></iframe></p> <h4>Self-moderation</h4> <p>While Twitter has an ongoing problem with trolls, spaces like Facebook are more likely to be self-moderated by users, simply because they are commenting as their real selves.</p> <p>Unlike comments sections, where anonymous posts and pseudonyms are common practice, Facebook helps foster a sense of community - especially among loyal and regular readers.</p> <h4>Greater engagement</h4> <p>Publications that have turned off comments sections have reported seeing higher engagement on social media.</p> <p>This is mainly because users who might not go out of their way to leave a comment below the line feel more comfortable and inclined to do so on social - not to mention the fact that Facebook and Twitter are more aligned to mobile use. </p> <h4>Curated discussions</h4> <p>On social media, online publications are able to encourage the right kinds of discussion due to greater control over the medium.</p> <p>For example, if there is a particular article that has the potential to be inflammatory, it might not choose to promote it - or only post it on a platform that is suited to the conversation or audience.</p> <p>With dedicated teams already monitoring social media, it is also a matter of using resources in the right way. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FVICE%2Fposts%2F1515045995195320&amp;width=500" width="500" height="479"></iframe></p>