tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/strategy-operations Latest Strategy & Operations content from Econsultancy 2018-01-10T09:45:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69714 2018-01-10T09:45:00+00:00 2018-01-10T09:45:00+00:00 The five Ps of AI strategy for marketers Mark Patron <h3>Purpose</h3> <p>AI for what? How can AI help your organisation? What business problem are you trying to solve?</p> <p>AI is good at targeting ads, product recommendations, deciding if someone is likely to repay a loan, face and voice recognition, even driving cars. AI is not good at more profound thinking such as creativity and innovation.</p> <p>The economics of your business can help guide you to areas where AI can add value. Customer acquisition, conversion and retention are good places to start. Consider the whole customer journey. </p> <p>Anything that you can automate is a good candidate for AI. Gartner forecasts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human. That will require a lot of automation. AI can help with the necessary personalisation of targeting, content and customer journey. Optimising those three things in real-time is better suited to AI than a human being.</p> <p>Benchmark your competitors and similar industries for potential AI applications. One of the reasons AI is not more developed is that many organisations are yet to work out what they can do with AI. With AI answers are easy, it’s the questions that tend to be more difficult.</p> <h3>Predictive data </h3> <p>The increasing power of computers and the greater availability of digital data have fuelled the growth of AI.</p> <p>First ask yourself if you can access the data you need to fulfil what you want to achieve with AI? Ideally you want a single customer view. Data silos can be a challenge. Data integration tools such as tag management and APIs are improving things but we still have a long way to go. Data is often the largest part of an AI project. Two thirds of the work in data mining projects is typically data preparation.</p> <p>As with all things IT – rubbish in, rubbish out. Data quality is important. Data needs to be predictive. If you have lots of data variables, by the time you add the last variable it is less likely to add much value to the overall AI solution. The answer may have already been found with the previous data. Data gives diminishing returns, especially if it is all saying the same thing. For example, customer databases in the financial services industry normally contain lots of wealth indicators. Ideally you want different types of predictive data. </p> <p>Sustainable competitive advantage and barriers to entry tend to be data rather than AI related. Data is easier to protect than AI. Data is less easy to copy than an AI algorithm. You do not need to own all the data, just enough to put competitors off from copying you.</p> <h3>People </h3> <p>AI needs people to make it work. Similar to how digital started, develop a centre of excellence. Centralise your AI task team. Then over time integrate AI resources into the business units.</p> <p>Recruiting and retaining AI people is hard. Good analysts are like gold-dust. You want people who are good with numbers and analysis, communicate well and understand your business. Not an easy combination to find.</p> <p>Do you use internal or external personnel? It’s often best to pilot AI externally and over time bring proven AI value in-house. External resources may be more flexible and knowledgeable about the many different AI possibilities. Internal resources will work out cheaper and may be better at optimising your AI solutions in the long run.</p> <h3>Process</h3> <p>Building an AI capability is not a short term project. It is a long term process. Changing your organisation’s culture to embrace and leverage AI takes time. </p> <p>Initially keep it simple. Walk before you run. Start with quick wins to build corporate confidence. Things change so AI algorithms need to be regularly updated. You need an optimisation process to continually improve them.</p> <p>ROI is obviously important. The incremental improvement AI brings has to outweigh the total costs of implementing AI. That is why testing is vital. AI is ideally suited to digital businesses that have developed an agile, data driven, test and learn culture.  </p> <h3>Platform</h3> <p>Last but not least, which AI platform? I say last because the choice of platform should only come after the four Ps above. Don’t rush into the mistake many marketers make of buying the latest technology and then wondering why it has not fixed the problem. </p> <p>There are many AI platforms available from cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM to many new start-ups. Which of the numerous tools available is best for your organisation will become clear over time. And you do have time. AI is not built in a day. It’s much more important to grow a strong AI capability than finish a few quick and dirty AI projects.</p> <p>AI is poised to unlock incredible value for marketers. Define your goals, then test and optimise your AI processes. Develop talented people who can capitalise on AI. The next industrial revolution will come when enough smart people start asking the right questions about what AI can do.</p> <p><em><strong>More on AI strategy for marketers:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69151-a-day-in-the-life-of-senior-data-scientist-at-asos">A day in the life of... senior data scientist at ASOS</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/11/28/ben-davis-ai-hype/">AI is much hyped but often misunderstood</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69187-channel-4-on-the-future-of-tv-personalisation-gdpr">Channel 4 on the future of TV, personalisation &amp; GDPR</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4687 2018-01-08T11:10:00+00:00 2018-01-08T11:10:00+00:00 Marketing in the Dark: Dark Data <p>This first report in our <em>Marketing in the Dark</em> series, <strong>Dark Data</strong>, explores the extent to which companies are able to harness data for their marketing programmes, with a focus on what ‘leaders’ are doing compared to their ‘mainstream’ counterparts.</p> <p>The research, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with <a title="IBM Watson Marketing" href="https://www.ibm.com/customer-engagement/digital-marketing">IBM Watson Marketing</a>, is based on an extensive survey of more than 1,000 marketers.</p> <p>The key findings of the report are as follows:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>A strategic approach to data is crucial. </strong>More than half (55%) of responding companies are ‘beginning to develop a strategy’, and a further 16% say they ‘have just implemented a strategy’. In contrast, only 13% of research participants say they have a ‘comprehensive strategy’.</li> <li> <strong>The growing role of artificial or 'augmented' intelligence. </strong>Most leaders (57%) are likely ‘to include AI in (their) marketing strategy over the next 12-18 months’, almost double the equivalent percentage for mainstream companies (29%).</li> <li> <strong>Actioning customer insights. </strong>Sixty percent of companies surveyed this year profess to be either ‘excellent’ (11%) or ‘good’ (49%) at this, compared to only 46% of companies in 2016, when we asked the same question as part of <a title="The New Marketing Reality" href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-marketing-reality"><em>The New Marketing Reality</em></a> research.</li> <li> <strong>Leaders are using more data sources. </strong>There is a correlation between the number of first-party and third-party data sources analysed by a company, and their ability to exceed their marketing goals.</li> <li> <strong>Technology is failing companies trying to deal with CX complexity. </strong>The complexity of customer experience/number of touchpoints – cited as a top-three challenge by 46% of respondents – is regarded as the most significant technical challenge impeding companies trying to get a more joined-up view of customer journeys.</li> <li> <strong>The need to balance personalisation and data privacy. </strong>More than half (51%) of respondents say they are ‘advanced’ or ‘intermediate’ in their personalisation approach to known customers, compared to just over a third (37%) who claim this level of sophistication in their marketing to unidentified prospects.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-12-27T11:33:00+00:00 2017-12-27T11:33:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69667 2017-12-19T10:57:00+00:00 2017-12-19T10:57:00+00:00 A day in the life of... a HR director at an in-house agency Ben Davis <p><em>(As usual, a quick reminder </em><em>to check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs board</a> if you're looking for a new digital marketing role yourself.)</em> </p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><strong>Amina Folarin:</strong> I am the global HR director of OLIVER, a global in-house agency that plants teams of creatives within its clients’ offices to encourage collaboration and improve project efficiencies.</p> <p>My catch-phrase is ‘Empower the line’ – I believe firmly that HR is everyone’s responsibility and my job is about making sure our senior and middle management have the support, training and tools they need to lead happy, productive teams. I lead the People Function at OLIVER, overseeing learning and development, recruitment and employee engagement and communication. I act as the business’ people conscience in senior management team meetings to discuss the impact business decisions will have on our people. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF:</strong></em> I report into Sharon Whale, the CEO of OLIVER UK, and sit on OLIVER’s global exec committee and UK senior management team. I regularly meet with both teams to review and resolve any HR-related issues, including recruiting for new business and discussing the talent needed agency-wide. I’m seen as the managing director of people within the business, so it’s my job to bring employees into the conversation and make sure their needs are continually addressed.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF:</strong></em> Empathy, resilience and good commercial nous. You need to be amenable, have a big personality, understand how business works and what kinds of levers you can pull to drive profitability. This involves working with managers to ensure you hire the right people and provide employees with the training to help develop and nurture their skillset.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/1200/amina_folarin-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="amina foralin" width="350"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Tell us about a typical working day…</h4> <p><em><strong>AF:</strong></em> I’m going to echo many of my agency peers when I say, ‘no day is the same!’ The role really is so varied, and that’s one of the things I love most.</p> <p>But to give you a flavour, a day might be spent meeting with the senior team to help them develop plans to forecast the talent needed for a new biz win. I may then meet with my team to discuss the actions off the back of the meeting and plan out our next steps for recruitment. We ask that all of our employees complete regular employee engagement surveys, so I’ll probably spend some time reviewing the feedback and sharing this with the senior leadership team.</p> <p>Today is ‘new starter Friday’, an internal initiative we run to introduce new members of the team to the rest of the agency – the ice is usually broken over drinks!</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF: </strong></em>I’ve been in the role for 18 months and the hard work is really starting to pay off. The feedback we’re getting from employees has significantly improved over the past year – this is in no small part due to the efforts of the People team and the senior leaders who have really embraced the feedback from their teams. We’re placing employees’ wellbeing centre stage by not allowing issues to linger, the impact of which can be felt agency-wide.</p> <p>And what sucks? Simply not having enough hours in the day to get everything done!</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF: </strong></em>Businesses all too often turn to HR when employees lack direction or morale – or for disciplinarians! But as I’ve said, one of my goals is to empower OLIVER’s managers to oversee the development of their own teams. It’s no longer about passing the buck when things turn sour. In my view, HR professionals are consultants, and company directors need to be the ones to address the internal issues they face and fix them. We can facilitate and provide the best practice, but we cannot do it without the support of the business and strong leadership.</p> <p>We have many metrics to measure the success of that! These can range from ensuring all new starters have been on-boarded properly to KPIs measuring the performance of our managers. Currently, eight out of ten of our workforce rate their managers as being ‘exceptional’, which means our people are engaged and inspired by their mentors.</p> <h4> <em>E</em>: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF: </strong></em>Our monthly employee engagement survey is a personal favourite. It enables two-way feedback in real-time. The response we receive helps shape the conversations we’re having at a senior level and allows us to flag any internal issues before they flare up.</p> <h4>E: How did you get into HR, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF: </strong></em>My HR journey started in retail. After I graduated from university, I started working for fashion retailer All Saints and helped the company set up its Paris operation. I started out running the shop floor, but the part I enjoyed most was recruiting people and managing talent. I would scour the streets of Paris in search of hip and happening people to work for the brand and run the assessment centres. I realised I wanted to pursue this as a career, and ended up landing myself a HR role at Burberry in 2009.</p> <p>In terms of where I might go from here, I’d like to take on more of a client-focussed role. I’m an entrepreneurial individual and see myself eventually becoming the COO or MD of an agency.</p> <h4>E: Which companies do you admire when it comes to people management?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF: </strong></em>I really admire the companies that do more with tight budgets. Kathryn Austin, the chief people and marketing officer at Pizza Hut, really turned things around by adopting a people-first approach. It’s the belief that if you look after your people, they will look after the profits. John Lewis is another business I admire when it comes to HR. The business’ employee ownership scheme is a fantastic way to motivate and retain people, giving partners the opportunity to influence and oversee change within the business. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you have any advice for people who want to get into HR in agency land?</h4> <p><em><strong>AF: </strong></em>HR is HR, and the same principles apply across all businesses. For anyone considering getting into HR, I’d say focus on building skills around empathy and resilience. Also try and get as much experience as you can – internships, summer jobs, you name it. Think about the things you’re doing outside your degree, because that’s what’ll set you apart from the competition.</p> <p>And also, a message to hiring managers: be brave and give junior candidates a shot. Not everyone will have X amount of years’ worth of experience, but with the right raw material and a leap of faith, the rest’s down to training. After all, we all started somewhere!</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-hr-in-the-digital-age/">The Future of HR in the Digital Age</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/how-marketers-learn">How do marketers learn?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68707-how-does-the-biggest-company-you-ve-never-heard-of-recruit-digital-talent/">How does the biggest company you've never heard of recruit digital talent?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68487-how-can-companies-attract-and-retain-talent-in-the-digital-age/">How can companies attract and retain talent in the digital age?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68483-hiring-digital-talent-what-skills-characteristics-do-startups-value/">Hiring digital talent: What skills &amp; characteristics do startups value?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69678 2017-12-18T15:00:00+00:00 2017-12-18T15:00:00+00:00 Video: Ashley Friedlein explains Econsultancy's new Modern Marketing Model (M3) Ben Davis <blockquote> <p>The increase in new channels and technologies has dramatically changed the environment in which marketers operate. But the way in which marketing is taught, understood and operates has not really changed.</p> <p>This is not sustainable. We need a new unifying framework as a reference for what marketing has become.</p> <p>Alongside this need for a new framework, there are new requirements for marketing competencies and capabilities around domains of expertise like data and analytics, customer experience, content, multichannel, and personalisation, which are neither properly understood nor being met. This is acknowledged in the marketing industry but not reflected in any definitive model.</p> </blockquote> <p>You can explore and download the new model over on the <a href="https://m3.econsultancy.com/">M3 landing page</a>. But if you'd prefer to be talked through the model, below is a recording of our recent webinar in which Friedlein talks through the main talking points of M3.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/246973678" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69664 2017-12-12T17:30:00+00:00 2017-12-12T17:30:00+00:00 China: Why digital marketing is changing along with a millennial middle class Kestrel Lee <p>As millennials have grown up in a world with search, mobile devices and social media, these new consumers are driving demand for all types of new and innovative products, services, technology and content. Their numbers are staggering as the size of the millennial consumer base in China alone <a href="https://www.jwtintelligence.com/2013/09/meet-the-bric-millennials/">outnumbers the entire population of the United States</a>.</p> <p>After decades of brand and product advertising, most brands and products have little mystery or appeal to consumers, especially the Y-generation or millennials. They have little patience for exaggerated forms of advertising messaging, as they can find out the truth about a brand online via Google or via their friends.</p> <p>The sad truth is that such consumers trust search and friends not brands, because age-old advertising has drifted too much from brand and product reality.</p> <h3>Brand reality</h3> <p>To appeal to these consumers, brands and advertising professionals need to inject much more brand reality and emotional triggers, as well as considering media.</p> <p>According a <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/asia-pacific/meet_the_chinese_consumer_of_2020%20">2012 McKinsey study</a>, this new emerging millennial middle class are far more emotional in the way they spend and brands needs to refine their marketing strategies. Brands must shift their own marketing strategies to keep pace with them.</p> <p>Replacing a more cost-conscious frugal generation, McKinsey stated that this 400-million-strong mainstream consumer class is by far more self-indulgent, individualistic and will form 51% of the urban population in China by 2020.</p> <p>For them to consider a product, millennials have to first endorse the activities and beliefs of the brand, and they prefer brands with an emotional mission who give back to society. A June 2013 study by Telefonica in Spain revealed this consumer segment in China and the rest of the world remains most optimistic and supportive of brands and causes to better the world.</p> <h3>Advertising reality</h3> <p>Being real about what the brand is and what its product does is a given. Based on Daniel J. Edelman Group’s constantly updated <a href="http://www.edelman.com/insights/intellectual-property/8095-exchange/%20">8095 global millennial studies</a>, millennial consumers are heavily influenced by search, social and peer-created content about brands and products they prefer. They are also consuming such content on mobile most of the times, while imposing and influencing their brand preferences on their friends, families and even their elders at home or in the office.</p> <p>Thus a new advertising reality has emerged for brands wishing to target millennial consumers born from 1980s onwards in China. According to an Accenture’s 2017 <a href="https://www.accenture.com/ae-en/insight-redesigning-retail-next-generation%20">shopper study</a>, 70% of Chinese Millennials and Gen Z consumers prefer buying products directly via social media over other channels. The global average is 44%.</p> <p>These Chinese millennials experience online, mobile, social and outdoor advertising and content marketing on their mobile devices almost all at the same time. Chinese in their 20s and 30s <a href="http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1993787/taobao-looks-young-creativity-growth%20">are the driving force</a> behind ecommerce platforms like Taobao, while integrating it with the in-store shopping experience i.e. O2O or online to offline.</p> <p>This has created two types of shopping behavior in China.</p> <p>“Showrooming” is a millennial consumer trend where customers visit a store to check out what they want, then go online to find out more and buying the product via ecommerce.  There’s also “webrooming” where millennial customers read every available online source and ask all their friends before heading to a store to make a purchase.</p> <h3>Merging expertise</h3> <p>Such choice, convenience and easy access via mobile and internet shopping means that people can browse online even within stores, for price comparisons and for making purchase and delivery decisions.</p> <p>And that’s why marketers and agencies have to merge expertise and ideas for branding, retail marketing and social media engagement in order to survive in this new China consumer landscape. If not, they may soon reach their Kodak moment.</p> <p>If you are keen to know more about launching your brand in China via digital marketing and ecommerce, please check out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/in/Singapore">Econsultancy’s courses</a>, as well as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69578-what-western-brands-need-to-know-before-joining-china-s-massive-ecommerce-economy">my recent presentation</a> in Singapore on social commerce in China.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69640 2017-12-11T15:00:00+00:00 2017-12-11T15:00:00+00:00 Three benefits of making employees spend time in the trenches Patricio Robles <p>Lyft's move comes at a key time: the company has seen its fortunes rise as its chief competitor, Uber, dealt with <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68865-will-bad-pr-lead-uber-to-destruction">bad headline after bad headline in 2017</a>, denting its reputation with customers. But Lyft isn't the only company that is seeking to capitalize by requiring its employees to work on the front lines of the business.</p> <p>For example, Automattic, the company behind the popular WordPress open-source content management system, requires all of its new employees to start in customer support. Matt Mullenweg, Automattic's CEO, once explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>All new employees work with the dedicated support team before starting their primary job. Making everyone work in support forces everyone to take customers seriously, which we should since they pay our salaries. Despite my distaste for it, the idea of making all employees participate in support, regardless of their distaste, was fantastic.</p> </blockquote> <p>While requiring employees to serve time in the trenches has been most commonly seen at startups, companies of all shapes and sizes should consider the virtues of this approach. Here are potential benefits of it:</p> <h3>Employees gain empathy for customers, their colleagues and other key stakeholders.</h3> <p>More and more organizations are applying human-centered approaches to how they develop their products and services and operate their businesses. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68503-what-is-design-thinking/">Design thinking</a>, for instance, is increasingly popular.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68942-why-systems-and-empathy-is-the-future-for-agencies">Empathy</a>, for obvious reasons, is a foundational component of virtually all human-centered methodologies and requiring that all employees serve on the front lines of the business can be a highly effective way to help them develop empathy for customers, their coworkers and other key stakeholders who are either served by the business or impacted by it. After all, this makes a reality of the idea that you can't truly understand (and thus empathize with) another person until you've walked a mile in his or her shoes.</p> <h3>Employees gain insight into the business and its operations.</h3> <p>In many companies, especially those that have more than a handful of employees, it's very easy for employees to become isolated from the rest of the business and its operations. They come to work each day, perform a handful of specific functions and rarely have exposure to the parts of the business they don't touch.</p> <p>This can be detrimental for a variety of reasons. For instance, when employees don't have a good sense of how the functions they perform affect other employees – in other words, they can't see the forest for the trees – it can result in inefficiencies such as redundancy.</p> <h3>Employees have the opportunity to help improve the business.</h3> <p>Great ideas often come from unexpected places and in the context of a business, every employee has the potential to be source of great ideas. Unfortunately, many companies don't take full advantage of their employees' brain power.</p> <p>Putting all employees on the front lines can change that as it not only gives employees – many of whom will have fresh eyes – the opportunity to see the business from a different perspective but also invites them to think about their experience and contribute the ideas they generate through it.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/how-marketers-learn">How marketers learn</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/917 2017-12-09T06:58:38+00:00 2017-12-09T06:58:38+00:00 Digital Outlook 2018 <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;">The best digital marketers never stop learning, listening and looking ahead.</h3> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">With overwhelming responses at last year Digital Outlook's events (<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154296603034327" target="_blank">DO17</a> &amp; <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154626086294327" target="_blank">DO17 part 2</a>), we will kick-start the year with Digital Outlook 2018 in Singapore, where marketers and business leaders convene to find out about the outlook and trends shaking up our industry, and how we can leverage on these insights to accelerate our competitive advantage and business growth.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">There will be 6 keynotes and 2 panel discussions - all aiming to provide the audience with a 2018 outlook/prediction on spotting early trends that will help inspire, sharpen business plans and overall performance.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Spot early trends</strong> - Get the lowdown and their impact for the year</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Sharpen your plans</strong> - Filter the noise and spot what will change our industry next</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Be inspired</strong> - Be wowed by innovative work from thought leaders</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Make things happen</strong> - Leave full of ideas to implement into your organisation or business</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Heads up, eyes forward and get ready to find out what digital marketers should change today to plan for tomorrow and succeed later.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69643 2017-12-08T09:30:00+00:00 2017-12-08T09:30:00+00:00 Four key traits of ‘human’ brands Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how do brands stop sounding like businesses, and start showing some humanity? Here are a few characteristics brands should strive to display, along with a few examples.</p> <h3>Speak like a real person</h3> <p><a href="http://www.geomarketing.com/76-percent-of-consumers-have-used-voice-commands-on-digital-devices" target="_blank">One in three US consumers</a> are said to have used voice commands on their mobile phone or tablet. We’re certainly becoming used to these human-like interactions with brands, and communication only looks set to become more natural in future.</p> <p>But of course, not everyone has this technology at their disposal. Most brands rely on broadcast techniques to communicate to customers. And while websites, social media, and email marketing might be run by human beings, it’s still easy to revert to formal or unnatural language – especially if the service or <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69621-four-simple-tips-to-make-boring-copy-more-exciting" target="_blank">product is similarly boring</a>. </p> <p>Not only can this frustrate and alienate consumers, but this kind of copy is also just harder to read. This doesn’t mean brands should go overboard and do the opposite – <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67886-word-on-the-street-four-tips-for-using-slang-in-marketing" target="_blank">using slang</a> or emoji in marketing can be a tricky thing to master. Instead, the key is to create content that aligns with natural speech.</p> <p>Pret a Manger has been criticised for veering into overly-friendly copy, but there’s no denying that it sounds distinctly human. Instead of merely talking about its products, it often puts them in the context of everyday life, addressing the consumer directly so that it is ever easier to relate.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hands up if you’ve waited until December for your first Christmas Sandwich (we admire your willpower) <a href="https://t.co/kpGWfMARni">pic.twitter.com/kpGWfMARni</a></p> — Pret (@Pret) <a href="https://twitter.com/Pret/status/936550469467488258?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 1, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Another example of Pret's human tone of voice can be found on its customer service page, which encourages customers to ‘talk to Pret’ – something that you’d usually do to a friend and not a brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0937/Talk_to_Pret.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="494"></p> <h3>Be on hand to help</h3> <p>Customer service is an important way for brands to boost their reputation and increase loyalty. However, this is often one area where brands are guilty of being cold and decidedly ‘business-like’ - despite the preference for human interaction. According to Accenture, <a href="https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-digital-disconnect-customer-engagement" target="_blank">83% of US consumers</a> are said to prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels, with the majority being left frustrated over ‘human-less’ services.</p> <p>Customers don’t want to talk to humans <em>only</em> when problems arise either. One brand with an effective service strategy is Lush, which is well-know for being friendly and chatty to customers both in-store and on social. Naturally, the brand’s commitment to ethical and sustainability-related issues helps to further its reputation as a brand that cares, but without its level of care for the <em>customer </em>– I doubt this would ring so true.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Lush customer service is honestly something else. I've never come across more deliriously happy staff in my life.</p> — kharis. (@kharismg) <a href="https://twitter.com/kharismg/status/916770401186996226?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Consumers also wish for this kind of human help and support to be transferred to the digital space, such as an online shop assistant to offer product advice. This example from Truly Concierge shows the value it can bring, with an assistant on hand to narrow down gifts instead of leaving users to browse (and potentially abandon their journey).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0941/Truly.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="407"></p> <p>With resources often the biggest barrier to services like this, one answer is to look to artificial intelligence. But doesn’t this negate the ‘human’ aspect entirely?</p> <p>In theory, yes, but it also appears that brands who use artificial intelligence can generate greater levels of consumer trust – as long as there is transparency. In other words, a customer is far more likely to trust a brand (and carry on with an interaction) if they know upfront they’re talking to a bot rather than a human. What’s more, brands can further this by knowing when to step in and let a human take over.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0940/KLM.JPG" alt="" width="273" height="524"></p> <h3>Show your flaws</h3> <p>Most brands strive to create a brand identity – a key set of characteristics that help to differentiate them from others. However, not many brands allow margin for error, meaning flaws or weaknesses are never usually part of this identity. </p> <p>This is not necessarily a good thing, and not to go all 'Oprah Winfrey' on you – but surely flaws are what make us human in the first place? Consequently, brands that do display or admit fault can be more appealing to the rest of us mere mortals, because it makes them seem honest and authentic. </p> <p>Interestingly, it can also help to sell a product. One of the most well-known examples of this is Stella Artois’s tagline of “reassuringly expensive”, which simultaneously includes both positive and negative elements. But by brazenly admitting that it costs more than other beers, it naturally leads the consumer to assume it must be worth it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0942/Stella.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="316"></p> <p>Admitting fault is not always a deliberate marketing ploy. It can also be a necessity when a brand makes a mistake or inadvertently creates a backlash. In this instance, however, saying <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/66380-how-brands-can-say-sorry-like-they-mean-it" target="_blank">sorry like you mean it</a> can also help to boost a brand’s reputation rather than merely remedy it.</p> <p>In 2015, Airbnb published an apology letter in response to allegations that racial discrimination was taking place on its platform. Not only did it say sorry for being slow to take action, but it also followed it up with an investigation and a number of changes to combat the issue. In doing so, Airbnb showed it was capable of admitting fault – but also that it cares enough to try and turn it around. Since, it has continued to work on and update its policy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0938/Airbnb_1.JPG" alt="" width="450" height="528"></p> <h3>Tap into emotional data</h3> <p>We appear to be moving towards an automated world, with brands increasingly drawing on data to target and engage consumers. However, instead of focusing on demographics and other faceless data, brands are also tapping into so-called ‘emotional data’ to create stronger relationships.  </p> <p>This means tapping into the emotions of consumers to create relevant, engaging, and human experiences.</p> <p>Last year, eBay created the first-ever ‘emotion-powered’ pop-up, which used biometric sensors to monitor which items created the strongest emotional reaction in customers. Jaguar did a similar thing with its #FeelWimbledon campaign, which analysed the crowd’s mood and emotional response to the tennis.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">1/2 It’s your last chance to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FeelWimbledon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FeelWimbledon</a> - we’re giving away 2 No 1 Court tickets. Hit before 1pm to play the game <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JaguarResponse?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JaguarResponse</a> <a href="https://t.co/Z3leAsDy9g">pic.twitter.com/Z3leAsDy9g</a></p> — Jaguar UK (@JaguarUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/JaguarUK/status/885755767214678016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 14, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>These campaigns aren’t necessarily ground-breaking in terms of what they offer customers, however they both show how emotion can be used as a form of intelligence.</p> <p>With understanding a key part of what it means to be human, brands have a much greater chance of forging long-term relationships with customers if they are willing to show it.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69622-four-ways-brands-build-loyalty-engagement-without-using-points">Four ways brands build loyalty and engagement (without using points)</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/915 2017-12-04T04:11:51+00:00 2017-12-04T04:11:51+00:00 Digital Cream Singapore <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Exclusive to 80 senior client side marketers, <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Econsultancy's Digital Cream</strong> is one of the industry's landmark events for marketers to:</p> <ul style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">convene and network with like-minded peers from different industries</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">exchange experiences</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">compare benchmark efforts</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">explore the latest best practice</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">discuss strategies</li> <li style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">learn from others who face the same challenges with suppliers, technologies and techniques. </li> </ul> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">In a personal and confidential setting (It's Chatham House Rules so what's said at Digital Cream, stays at Digital Cream), the roundtable format is a quick and sure-fire way to find out what's worked and what hasn't, an invaluable opportunity to take time out and come back to the office full of ideas.</p> <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;">Roundtable Format</h3> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">There are 8 roundtable topics and each delegate chooses 3 table topics most relevant to you, each session lasting about an hour and fifteen minutes. Each roundtable is independently moderated and focuses on a particular topic discussing challenges or areas of interest nominated by the table's attendees in the time available. This level of input ensures you get the maximum out of your day.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Digital Cream has been devised by the analysts and editors at Econsultancy in consultation with the most senior digital buyers in the world and runs in London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Attendees pick three tables choices from the following full list of topics offered (extra topics will be removed at a later stage. If there is a topic you'd like to discuss which is not listed here, you can suggest it while registering):</strong> </p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">1. Agile Marketing - Develop a more responsive &amp; customer-centric approach</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">2. Content Marketing Strategy</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">3. Customer Experience Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">4. Data-Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">5. Digital Transformation - People, Process &amp; Technology</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">6. Ecommerce</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">7. Email Marketing - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practice</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">8. Integrated Search (PPC/SEO) - Trends, Challenges &amp; Best Practice</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">9. Joining Up Online &amp; Offline Channels and Data</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">10. Marketing Automation - Best Practice &amp; Implementation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">11. Mobile Marketing</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">12. Online Advertising - Retargeting, Exchanges &amp; Social Advertising</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">13. Real-Time Brand Marketing - Using Data &amp; Technology To Drive Brand Impact</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;">14. Social Media Measurement &amp; Optimisation</p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt;</strong> <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">View past Digital Cream event photos (source: facebook page)</strong><br></strong></p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><strong>Sydney:</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154912352109327" target="_blank">2017</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10153875617599327" target="_blank">2016</a>, <a style="font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153124439974327.1073741873.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">2015</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10152376029704327" target="_blank">2014</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10151725724774327" target="_blank">2013</a> | <strong>Singapore:</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10155069279939327" target="_blank">2017</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154046657279327" target="_blank">2016</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153214103704327.1073741876.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">2015</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10152487608199327" target="_blank">2014 (Nov)</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10152137747464327" target="_blank">2014 (May)</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10151817214799327" target="_blank">2013</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10151167137219327" target="_blank">2012</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10150363493464327" target="_blank">2011</a></p> <p style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-variant: inherit;"><a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152276242849327.1073741856.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Melbourne 2014</a>, <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152209218799327.1073741854.90732954326&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Hong Kong 2014</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10151742484614327" target="_blank">Shanghai 2013</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10151537967569327" target="_blank">Hong Kong 2013</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10151123484509327" target="_blank">Shanghai 2012</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10151118803064327" target="_blank">Australia 2012</a></p>