tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/strategy Latest Strategy content from Econsultancy 2017-07-24T11:31:24+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4551 2017-07-24T11:31:24+01:00 2017-07-24T11:31:24+01:00 Content Strategy Best Practice Guide <h2>Overview</h2> <p>The aim of this research was to identify best practice approaches, techniques, challenges and opportunities around digital content strategy.</p> <h2>Research methodology</h2> <p>The methodology involved two main phases:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Phase 1:</strong> Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.</li> <li> <strong>Phase 2:</strong> a series of in-depth interviews with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketing practitioners, Heads of Content, UX and Content Strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as financial services, media, public sector, NGO and FMCG.</li> </ul> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <p>This best practice guide:</p> <ul> <li>outlines some key definitions</li> <li>sets out a core process for content strategy in the digital age</li> <li>defines some key strategic models that enable the smart application of content in the service of achieving marketing objectives.</li> </ul> <p>Included in this report are the following:</p> <p><strong>The content strategy process</strong></p> <p>We define the importance of tying back to a solid strategic process that is aligned to answering the fundamental questions of strategy:</p> <ul> <li>Where are we now?</li> <li>Where do we want to get to?</li> <li>How do we get there?</li> <li>How do we know when we’ve got there?</li> </ul> <p>Our research has demonstrated this alignment to be critical to effective content strategy implementation.</p> <p><strong>Insight and persona generation</strong></p> <p>We discuss the key thinking and methodologies around successful persona generation, how brands are using personas to inform strategy and how relating content to a solid understanding of the customer journey through customer journey mapping can establish a firm foundation for success.</p> <p><strong>Aligning content with brand strategy</strong></p> <p>Defining a content marketing mission, and a key model for relating content to brand purpose and essence.</p> <p><strong>Distribution and format</strong></p> <p>We set out a key model for building an effective content ecosystem (borrowed from YouTube) – ‘Hero, Hub, Help’, look at an example brand that shows exemplary practice in this context, and consider the best ways of linking format selection with objective.</p> <p><strong>Optimisation culture</strong></p> <p>The practitioners interviewed for this report stressed the importance of developing a testing culture to ensure continuous, not just episodic, test and learn. When combined with a structured content calendar, this can bring both alignment and optimisation of resources and impact.</p> <p><strong>Content and technology</strong></p> <p>The marketing and content technology landscape is more complex than ever so how might practitioners best navigate through this complexity and make smart decisions about technology? Technology will play an ever-increasing role in the content marketing process and ecosystem, so how can marketers set themselves up for success?</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69251 2017-07-21T10:18:12+01:00 2017-07-21T10:18:12+01:00 How to position your brand to convince consumers to trade up or trade down Michael Sandstrom <p>Depending on whether your product is high importance (which typically requires more consideration and slow thinking) or low importance (in which a decision can be made spontaneously and through fast thinking), customers can be convinced to either trade up or down.</p> <p>For brands looking to steal or grow market share, this can be an incredibly useful tool. </p> <h3><strong>Teaching your customers to trade down</strong></h3> <p>For example, German low-price grocery chain Aldi has entered the UK market and managed the seemingly impossible, stealing significant market share of more established players such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco. In fact, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel, Aldi has now overtaken the Co-Op to become Britain's fifth largest supermarket by market share. </p> <p>The grocer has overcome its initial perception of being a German low-cost retailer, often bundled together with Lidl. It has achieved this by linking its brand with the promise of British quality foods for a cheaper price and in doing so, has attracted the British middle class, convincing them it’s perfectly acceptable to ‘trade down’.  </p> <h3><strong>Urging your customers to be selective, sometimes…</strong></h3> <p>In a recent campaign from Marks &amp; Spencer, the retailer urges people to say no to everything from "uncomfortable knickers" to "staying silent” and “yes” to what really matters. Based on the insight that people are overloaded with stress and inundated by choice, M&amp;S tells its viewers to seek out what is important in a world of abundance and "spend it well", which also happens to be the tagline of the campaign.</p> <p>This is positioning the brand as a better than average option for your shopping, urging its customers to trade up where it really matters. </p> <p><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hYbh7PbYq5g?wmode=transparent" width="425" height="350"></iframe></p> <h3><strong>Increasing your potential audience by branching out</strong></h3> <p>For the past couple of decades H&amp;M stores have been spreading across the globe. In recent years, the Swedish fast-fashion retailer has increased its number of stores by 10%-15% annually. Now however, the growth has started to taper off and H&amp;M has realised that it has started to reach the boundaries of its potential target audience. </p> <p>This has formed the basis of a new strategy to expand its portfolio into individual brands with separate concepts, covering almost the entire price spectrum from low-end to high-end clothing. One very successful example has been the launch of COS. With its focus on minimalist style and high quality, the brand enables the retailer to reach both those people who would never consider buying its products and get people who typically shops at H&amp;M to occasionally 'trade up’. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7459/Screen_Shot_2017-07-13_at_16.49.33.png" alt="H&amp;M Group" width="700" height="349"></p> <p>The reason why ‘trading up’ and trading down’ is so powerful is because of our inherent need to both reaffirm the choices we make as consumers and simultaneously get the approval of others.</p> <p>While ‘trading down’ might be done from a strictly financial necessity, the right communication can change the consumer’s perception and make it a positive and even desirable decision.</p> <p>At the same time, for consumers who most of the time look to their budgets, the right message can change their perception of a product and allow them to ‘trade up’ when it matters. At our agency, KHWS, we call this whole approach to changing a brand’s perception ‘Better than Average’ and it is one of the nine sales triggers that forms part of our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68176-brand-commerce-a-new-planning-model-for-marketers/">Brand Commerce planning model</a> to increase sales.</p> <p><em><strong>Read more about the Brand Commerce model:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68602-brand-commerce-navigating-through-online-customer-indecision/" target="_self">How to navigate through online indecision</a></li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68357-brand-commerce-what-is-your-brand-s-key-feature/" target="_self">How to use your brand’s ‘One Key Thing’ </a>(to stand apart from the competition)</li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68911-brand-commerce-pushing-the-value-of-your-brand-through-trial/" target="_self">How to use trials to build brand preference</a></li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69110-how-behavioural-science-can-alter-brand-perception-and-purchase-habits/">How 'Brand Budgeting’ can help reframe an entire brand</a><br> </li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69257 2017-07-20T13:09:21+01:00 2017-07-20T13:09:21+01:00 What is utility marketing and why is it important? Nikki Gilliland <p>Take <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69246-why-adidas-is-moving-into-utility-marketing-with-all-day-fitness-app/" target="_blank">Adidas’s new fitness app</a>, for example, which aims to help women improve their general health and well-being – simultaneously selling the brand lifestyle rather than its products.</p> <p>This is what is known as utility marketing, or an example of brand utility. But, hold up. Isn’t that just another way to describe good <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a>, you ask?</p> <p>Sure, there is undoubtedly a crossover, but where most brand or digital marketing activity tends to focus on entertaining or interrupting consumers – brand utility is all about helping them.</p> <p>Let’s delve into the topic a little more, using some effective examples to explain the benefits.</p> <h3>Becoming part of consumers' lives</h3> <p>Instead of selling a product or a brand story, utility marketing turns the tables and taps into a specific consumer need. In a nutshell: it puts the consumer first. </p> <p>It also tends to be on-going, providing a service that can benefit consumers over time. The benefits are pretty obvious. Sporadic engagement tends to generate short-term results – e.g. from a one-off social post or an experiential campaign – but utility marketing helps brands become part of consumers' lives.</p> <p>Apps are a great way to do this, purely because if they catch on, usage turns into a habit rather than a conscious brand interaction. A lot of sports brands use apps as part of their marketing strategies, capitalising on the fact that sport is often a way of life – and that consumers might form long-term loyalty to a specific brand on this basis. </p> <p>The Nike+ Run Club app is an ideal example. It taps into the workout habits of users by tracking runs and setting fitness goals. This means that – regardless of whether or not the user is actually a loyal Nike consumer – the functional aspects of the app are likely to keep them coming back and perhaps even turn them into a customer over time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It doesn't get easier, you just get stronger. Stick to a plan. | <a href="https://t.co/DV7TAxaNmP">https://t.co/DV7TAxaNmP</a></p> — Nike+ Run Club (@NikeRunning) <a href="https://twitter.com/NikeRunning/status/831919374252593160">February 15, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Another sport-related case is Adidas Runbase, which transfers utility from a digital sense into real life. It is based on the idea that runners in Tokyo like to exercise before or after work but do not have a place to shower or leave their belongings. So, in order to fulfil this need, Adidas created a bespoke space near the subway for runners to shower and rent lockers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7555/runbase.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="498"></p> <p>Of course, the facility just so happens to include a space that sells branded apparel, but by offering an incredibly convenient service first and foremost, visitors are less likely to feel like it is a solely commercial enterprise.</p> <h3>Using AI to aid utility</h3> <p>Another form of utility marketing comes in the form chatbots or AI within messaging. There’s been a boom in the past year or so, but arguably the most successful examples have been those that focus on basic utility rather than personality or entertainment.</p> <p>The reason this is the case is that chatbots allow consumers to connect and engage with brands at their own convenience – using them to fulfil a specific service in the very moment they require it. </p> <p>In other words, consumers do not care whether or not they’re talking to a bot or not, as long as their needs are being met.</p> <p>Travel is one industry where chatbots <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">offer huge potential</a>, with many big brands using them to streamline customer service and provide direct communication with consumers. Both Skyscanner and Kayak’s chatbots allow users to search for flights simply by typing in a destination and selecting dates.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/" target="_blank">KLM’s chatbot</a> takes this utility one step further, sending all travel details like boarding passes to consumers via Facebook Messenger. It also uses this channel to update travellers about possible delays and lets users directly ask questions, such as how much baggage allowance they have or if they can change seats.</p> <p>While KLM’s example undoubtedly serves a functional purpose (in terms of offering information) the reason it is so effective is that it has a knock-on effect, making the actual experience of travelling less stressful and much more streamlined. This kind of utility is invaluable to consumers, as it solves problems in the moment and even prevents them ahead of time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7556/KLM.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="576"></p> <h3>Further examples</h3> <p>Chatbots and apps aside, there have been many other examples of brands using utility as a marketing tool. Here are just a few more that have caught my eye.</p> <h4>Listerine’s ‘Feel Every Smile’ app</h4> <p>Effective brand utility doesn’t necessarily mean a service has to be relevant to everyone – neither does it mean brands have to forgo creating a meaningful or emotional connection with consumers. </p> <p>In 2015, Listerine created an app to help blind or visually-impaired people know when others are smiling at them. Using facial recognition technology in conjunction with smartphone cameras, the app works by vibrating to indicate a smile.</p> <p>The related video is a nice example of content marketing in its own right – using emotive and moving storytelling to promote the brand – however, it also shows the extent to which the smile detector app brings real value to those who use it. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cA0hxCS0fKM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>IBM’s smarter cities</h4> <p>This example takes utility marketing offline. In 2013, IBM designed an offline ad campaign with a purpose, re-designing traditional billboards to have a secondary function.</p> <p>By adding curves at the top or bottom of billboards, the ads served as seats or shelter from rain. Similarly, by using them to form ramps for stairs, they became much more functional for people carrying suitcases or using bikes and skateboards. A simple but highly effective strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7557/IBM.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="549"></p> <h4>@HiltonSuggests</h4> <p>A lot of travel brands use their social media presence to offer helpful information to tourists. However, @HiltonSuggests is a nice example of a brand going above and beyond to do so, with Hilton creating a standalone Twitter account to answer queries about where to go and what to do in destinations around the world.</p> <p>The answers aren’t generic, either. Staff respond with follow-up questions to ensure that the answers are tailored to where they’re staying and their personal tastes and interests.</p> <p>The reason it works so well is that the Hilton brand is somewhat irrelevant to the service it provides. And yet, if someone has a positive experience on the back of a recommendation, it’s likely to create a meaningful connection long-term. It could be classed as basic community management, but again, there is definite crossover.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Recommendation? Family friendly (= good location, easy access with MTR, ...) Hotels in Hong Kong? / cc <a href="https://twitter.com/SwissInHKG">@SwissInHKG</a></p> — Klak (@KDKlak) <a href="https://twitter.com/KDKlak/status/886342392651149312">July 15, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Does it always work?</h3> <p>Like any strategy, utility marketing doesn’t always work – especially if the campaign appears disingenuous or a bit gimmicky. This tends to happen when brands base it around a specific product or launch, or when the problem they’re trying to solve isn’t <em>actually</em> much of an issue for consumers. </p> <p>One brand that is possibly guilty of this is Audi, with its ‘Start-Stop’ app. </p> <p>The app works by detecting which of your phone’s applications have been open the longest without being used, before alerting you to turn them off. It's miildly useful, perhaps, but in reality, it is just a way for the brand to promote its Audi ‘Start-Stop’ engine (which turns itself off when your car comes to a stand-still).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7558/audi.JPG" alt="" width="594" height="292"></p> <p>Other campaigns – such as Lucozade Energy recently giving tube riders a free journey along with a drink – could be viewed in the same way, coming off as a vehicle for product promotion rather than real customer value. Despite offering a one-off utility, Lucozade's campaign was really just a <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69156-14-brand-pr-stunts-that-successfully-created-a-splash" target="_blank">clever PR stunt</a>.</p> <p>In contrast – as the likes of Adidas and Listerine demonstrate – it's when consumers are able to (and cannot resist) using the service time and again that utility marketing is truly effective.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69241 2017-07-14T12:09:00+01:00 2017-07-14T12:09:00+01:00 Three reasons to admire Glossier: The best online beauty brand you've never heard of Charles Wade <p>The brainchild of reality TV semi-celebrity Emily Weiss, it is a spin-off from her popular blog ‘<a href="https://intothegloss.com/categories/the-top-shelf/">IntoTheGloss.com</a>’ (an editorial beauty site). Whilst Glossier’s trajectory from nowhere to darling of the cosmetics world has much to do with its sister site, the savvy CEO, and a tidal influencer strategy, it is in fact the fantastic customer journey – from online to on-skin – that keeps people coming back for more.  </p> <h3>Subjective Lines </h3> <p>This is a brand that knows its audience, nowhere is this more evident than email newsletters, which are often playful and quizzical, yet equally compelling.</p> <p>For example, on March 2016 a message was sent with the odd title “Re: Phase 2 Launch tomorrow”. Inside there was plain text, no images, and content – it appeared to be a professional exchange between the Head of Design and the Founder that had been mistakenly forwarded to customers.</p> <p>“Hey guys!” the former proclaims, “The new product pages and fonts go live in the AM. Watch out world, there’s a new serif in town.” Weiss fires back: “This is huge, guys. TOMORROW!!!” The ‘Unsubscribe’ option at the bottom revealed that it was indeed a mail-out. Essentially an exercise in ‘guerilla emarketing’, it gave the recipient the feeling that they were peeking behind the curtain, with tantalising language that generated anticipation. </p> <p>The brand has frequently returned to the theme of provocative subject lines, such as “ADULTS ONLY”, “whoops”, and “How to get Rich”. Sometimes the content is related – in the case of the latter it is about ‘rich moisturizer’ – whereas others are often more ambiguous. Another example from May 26 was titled “Are you leaving?”. Given the channel it had shades of an unsubscribe message, yet it was in fact about Glossier's travel pouch (for carrying items on the plane). It is borderline clickbait – but it works.</p> <p>Glossier has used GIFs; added instructional graphics to images; and even brought back an early 2000s favourite, downloadable ‘wallpapers’. What is remarkable is how the brand consistently finds new ways to excite its audience, belying the fact that the ecommerce store carries less than 30 products.</p> <h3>‘Sitegiest’</h3> <p>The inbox experience is extended unequivocally through to <a href="https://www.glossier.com/">the website</a>, which could act as a reference point in ecommerce. Although the templates that underpin the site are not revolutionary, the brand majors on strong imagery and equally compelling language, with quips such as “the best highlighter in the universe” expertly placed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7482/glossier_homepage.png" alt="" width="750" height="404"></p> <p>A common theme with this brand is the sense that it knows its customer; this translates throughout the user experience (UX). For example, the arrow cursor has been replaced by a series of emoji-style icons that are different from one piece of content to the next, utterly pointless but equally glorious.</p> <p>The product pages are impressive. Not only is the inventory shot luxuriously – often on models who are in fact employees – there is a full description, replete with awards won and application guidelines. Towards the bottom of the page images are used to further describe an item. For example, the highlight properties of ‘Haloscope’ make-up are cleverly presented by a simple motion: the wearer moves her hand from side to side, whereupon it shimmers in the light.</p> <p><a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/haloscope"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7483/haloscope_makeup.png" alt="" width="750" height="429"></a></p> <p>Glossier can also claim to have been consistently aware about how its products might look on different skin tones. Those items with more than one shade usually have multiple application guides featuring models with varying skin or lip colours. Another clever initiative is the ability to either add a single piece into the shopping bag or essentially subscribe by selecting ‘Deliver every’ one, two, or three months. Glossier has been brave with reviews too: a sample of the best and worst are positioned next to each other at the top of the section – all remaining responses are listed thereafter. (A customer can even sort results by date or highest / lowest rating.)</p> <p>The checkout is invitingly easy. Here too a neat touch, with a progress bar filling in front of the eyes to indicate how many more dollars are required to qualify for free shipping. Gamification of the purchase process is rarely a bad thing.</p> <p>However, the best is saved for mobile. Glossier has not bothered with an app, but, recognising the proliferation of smartphone usage amongst its audience, has designed an excellent m-commerce site. In fact, it basically is an app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7484/glossier_mobile.png" alt="" width="280" height="498">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7485/glossier_mobile_2.png" alt="" width="280" height="498"></p> <p>For example, simple navigation is anchored to the bottom of the page, rather than <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65511-hamburger-menus-for-mobile-navigation-do-they-work">via hamburger menu</a>. Product shots fit snuggly within an iPhone screen and automatically scroll, making life a little more convenient for the viewer. One slight error though might have been adding so many reviews to each page, forcing the user to scroll for quite some time before being shown related items.</p> <p>The checkout is – like its desktop counterpart – brilliant. As a further help, a promo box is presented as a prominent overlay, making it easy to enter the code.</p> <h3>Applying The Gloss</h3> <p>Whilst Glossier's comms and user experience are no doubt fantastic, it would be all in vain if the product was a letdown. Yet in many ways this is the strongest suit and ensures an exquisite end-to-end journey.</p> <p>First-off, the price-point is squarely in-line with the dominant player in the market, Sephora. For example, a $25 'Priming Moisturizer' is comparable to anything on its competitor’s site. Glossier definitely sits in the enticing ‘affordable, not cheap’ zone, thereby giving it enough of an aspirational quality, without costing “<a href="https://www.glossier.com/category/makeup">half a paycheck</a>”. Indeed, the Glossier <a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/glossier-sweatshirt">sweater</a> notwithstanding, no single item strays above the $40 mark.</p> <p>The product packaging is almost flawless. The typography is bold and robust, and the standalone ‘G’ logo has an almost gothic quality. Juxtaposed are the simple yet bright colour blocks, which look like a pantone – this is demonstrated ably in the <a href="https://www.glossier.com/products/cloud-paint">Cloud Paint</a>. The company has managed to produce an inventory that is feminine without being ‘girly’. Crucially, it is easy to imagine the items standing out inside a bathroom cabinet. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7486/Cloud_paint.png" alt="" width="700" height="470"></p> <p>This is essentially an online business (the exception being a Manhattan showroom), so parcel presentation is important, especially given that shipping, whilst free over $30, is otherwise not cheap and certainly slower than buying at a local shop.</p> <p>An order comes in a white box embossed with Glossier's single-letter logo. Under the lid there is are quotes like "Skin First. Make up second. Smile always.”, all conveying a personal touch. The merchandise is encased within a pink semi-transparent sleeve with bubble wrap. (Perfect for carrying on a flight with most products below the TSA liquid limit.)</p> <p>Inside might be stickers or notes, all to enhance the unboxing experience – again, a knowing nod to a distinctly millennial endeavor. Whilst sales and consumer feedback attest to the quality, should someone not like their purchase they can return it for free. However the brand urges you to give it someone else who might like it and still receive money back. Clearly, this is not altruistic, however it reaffirms a central pillar of thoughtfulness that runs across all customer touchpoints.</p> <h3>Finally...</h3> <p>There is much more to admire about the brand, such as its social media presence and ethics, yet it is these three aspects that stand-out. The path from email to enamel is considered, engaging, simple, and rewarding.</p> <p>And on July 12 Glossier <a href="https://intothegloss.com/2017/07/where-can-i-buy-glossier-canada-uk-france/?_ke=Y2hhcmxpZXdAYXNvcy5jb20%3D&amp;utm_campaign=canada&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=glossier&amp;utm_content=canada_prelaunch_quebecnocountry_071217">announced</a> that it will start to ship internationally. The formula is a winning one, so expect to see Glossier soon.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69244 2017-07-13T10:32:38+01:00 2017-07-13T10:32:38+01:00 Eight inspiring examples of shoppable digital content Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how can retailers capture consumers in the moment?</p> <p>Shoppable content is one effective strategy. This refers to any kind of content – including images, video or blogs – that offers customers a direct opportunity to buy within just a few clicks. The strategy helps to bridge the gap between browsing and buying, effectively engaging consumers and increasing conversion rates in the process.</p> <p>So, what does effective shoppable content look like? Here are just a few inspiring brand cases and the reasons why they work.</p> <h3>Diesel</h3> <p>Shoppable video can be a mixed bag. While the medium sounds great in theory – allowing consumers to click directly on the products they’re seeing on screen – it can actually be a rather jarring user experience, interrupting the video and taking viewers away mid-action.</p> <p>That being said, Diesel’s shoppable video – created as part of its #forsuccessfulliving campaign and in celebration of the brand’s 30th anniversary – is a pretty seamless example. </p> <p>Directed by Alexander Turvey, the short follows various Diesel models as they prepare for their first catwalk show. Calls-to-action appear at certain points throughout, which allows the viewer to save items or go directly to the Diesel store. As the video only involves music, with no real narrative or plot, this means that the experience of ‘in the moment’ shopping is less disruptive.</p> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BKA4Zndgnja/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7407/Diesel.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, the video capitalises on the ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68305-runway-to-retail-how-fashion-brands-are-introducing-see-now-buy-now" target="_blank">see now buy now trend</a>’, selling exclusive items ahead of Diesel’s FW16 runway show in Tokyo to provide extra value for consumers.</p> <h3>Lazy Oaf</h3> <p>Instagram is now the top social media platform in terms of user engagement. Instead of just likes and comments, however, many brands want to transfer this engagement into direct purchases. </p> <p>While Instagram itself has been testing its new shopping features, retailers like Lazy Oaf have been busy finding their own ways to make the user experience more shoppable. It has created its own ‘Insta-shop’ – which lives on its main site, but is also linked to from its Instagram channel.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7397/Instashop.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="273"></p> <p>Essentially, it allows consumers to browse the Lazy Oaf Instagram feed (but on its own website) and means they can directly click on and buy any item they like. By hovering over each photo, users can instantly see whether an item is shoppable, also making it easy for consumers to buy multiple items in one go.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7396/Lazy_Oaf_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="442"></p> <h3>Made.com</h3> <p>Made.com’s Unboxed cleverly shows how to merge <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">user-generated</a> and shoppable content. Building on the idea that people want to see how furniture or homeware looks in real life before investing, it allows customers to upload photos of their Made.com purchases. </p> <p>Alongside this, it also includes links to available items in each photo, encouraging customers to take action instead of just inspiration. Users can even get in touch with the people who have uploaded photos in order to ask questions and hear honest reviews.</p> <p>While it's not the most seamless example of shoppable content (perhaps focusing the user's attention on reviews rather than clicking through to the products themselves) - it still helps to drive purchases in the long run.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7400/Made_Unboxed.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="588"></p> <h3>Net-A-Porter</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68219-four-things-brands-can-learn-about-content-marketing-from-net-a-porter" target="_blank">Net-A-Porter</a> is a retailer that truly understands the importance of shoppable content, using it to drive customer loyalty both on- and offline. Its print magazine, Porter, works in conjunction with a digital-version, allowing users to shop items directly from the page. By downloading the Net-A-Porter app and scanning the magazine, readers can find and buy items as they flip through.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7402/Porter.JPG" alt="" width="453" height="479"></p> <p>Net-A-Porter's weekly online publication, The Edit, uses the same formula, including handy links to all the items featured in the magazine.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7401/Net_A_Porter.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="556"></p> <p>Delivering instant gratification to consumers (and taking away the frustration of seeing something you like and not being able to find or buy it) – Net-A-Porter ensures that there is minimal friction between browsing and buying. </p> <h3>Tesco</h3> <p>It’s not only fashion or homeware retailers that benefit from shoppable content. Tesco is one supermarket that puts this at the heart of its digital strategy, using its ‘Real Food’ content hub to drive conversions online. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7404/Real_Food.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="429"></p> <p>The reason it works so well is because it makes buying multiple ingredients incredibly quick and easy. Instead of writing down and searching for individual items, users can be one click away from buying everything that’s needed for a recipe. What’s more, Tesco also prompts users in case they don’t have store cupboard items like olive oil or ketchup.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7403/Tesco.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="487"></p> <p>This example also demonstrates how FMCG brands can capitalise on faster purchase intent. Unlike fashion or retail brands – where the path to purchase involves much greater deliberation and comparison – people are much more likely to see and buy when it comes to food and drink.</p> <h3>Kate Spade</h3> <p>Kate Spade is one fashion retailer that has taken shoppable content to a whole new level, launching a series of ads designed to be watched and enjoyed like a TV show.</p> <p>Starring recognisable faces like Anna Kendrick, the #missadventure series is billed as a series ‘about interesting women leading interesting lives.’ Naturally, however, Kate Spade also hopes that people will be just as interested in the clothes and accessories they wear, allowing viewers to find and buy all the clothes featured.</p> <p>In order to avoid disruption to viewers, the brand collates all shoppable items into a list, which can be clicked on during or at the end of the video. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j8XCi71rwsg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>By truly immersing viewers into world of Kate Spade, the brand is able to increase the chances of them becoming paying customers.</p> <h3>One Kings Lane</h3> <p>Home décor brand, One Kings Lane, has generated effective results from its shoppable blog. However, that doesn’t mean it focuses on revenue over and above engagement. Instead, it focuses on creating high quality content and photography, providing customers with inspiration and value above everything else.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7405/One_Kings_Lane.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="486"></p> <p>One danger of shoppable content, especially in blog form, is that it can soon become outdated. Products will be sold out or limited, leaving content filled with old or broken links. In order to combat this, One Kings Lane <a href="https://adexchanger.com/ecommerce-2/one-kings-lane-uses-content-convert/">focuses on refreshing content regularly</a>, and ensuring that its shoppable content stays up to date.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tour the colorful and collected home of the founder of <a href="https://twitter.com/RollerRabbit">@RollerRabbit</a> → <a href="https://t.co/lGLHmOAZJ6">https://t.co/lGLHmOAZJ6</a> <a href="https://t.co/QuRyevrFKW">pic.twitter.com/QuRyevrFKW</a></p> — One Kings Lane (@onekingslane) <a href="https://twitter.com/onekingslane/status/876092396366422016">June 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Matches Fashion</h3> <p>Lastly, instead of using shoppable video to create film-like ads, Matches uses industry experts and behind-the-scenes insight to entice viewers to buy,</p> <p>Its ‘Digital Trunk Shows’ series involves a number of designers talking about the inspiration for and creation of their collections. Viewers can simply click on an item for it to be automatically added to their basket.</p> <p>This approach aims to use information and insight to offer real value to consumers, softly encouraging them to make purchases rather than blatantly selling.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v-fO50XoNNY?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67909-selfridges-unveils-ios-app-with-shoppable-instagram-feed-is-it-any-good/" target="_blank">Selfridges unveils iOS app with ‘shoppable’ Instagram feed: Is it any good?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66625-shoppable-video-the-missing-piece-of-your-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">Shoppable video: the missing piece of your marketing strategy?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68275-ted-baker-unveils-shoppable-video-google-voice-search-stunt-for-aw16-campaign"><em>Ted Baker unveils shoppable video &amp; Google voice search stunt for AW16 campaign</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69234 2017-07-11T12:00:00+01:00 2017-07-11T12:00:00+01:00 Six consumer brands with picture-perfect Pinterest strategies Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what makes an effective Pinterest strategy, and which brands are succeeding on the platform? Here’s just six examples.</p> <h3>1. Whole Foods – Communicating a lifestyle</h3> <p>Whole Foods was one of the first brands to truly understand the potential of a presence on Pinterest, capitalising on its highly visual nature early on. Since it first launched on the platform in 2011, it has gone on to attract more than 327,000 followers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7320/Whole_Foods_Market.JPG" alt="" width="655" height="576"></p> <p>Instead of treating the platform like an opportunity for sales (though this is obviously a bonus), it largely uses Pinterest to promote its brand values and communicate an identity – and this extends to far more than just food products. </p> <p>Of course, a hefty portion of pins are dedicated to recipes and food inspiration, however Whole Foods often re-pins content about sustainability, DIY, recycling, and seasonal events, too. It recognises that fans of Whole Foods aren’t just interested in what they’re eating, but a certain type of lifestyle.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7319/Save_the_pollinators.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="432"></p> <p>This means that whatever users are searching for, Whole Foods is able to engage with people based on broad range of interests as well as simultaneously promoting its own brand identity. </p> <h3>2. Burberry – Creating personalised content</h3> <p>There’s nothing all that personal about Pinterest at first glance. Most users are considered in terms of broad demographics or thought of in terms of search interest, and there’s less of a focus on conversation and comments than on other platforms. </p> <p>Burberry, however, wanted to engage with its audience on Pinterest on a more one-to-one level, creating a campaign that would forge a more meaningful connection. To raise awareness of its Cat Lashes Mascara, it asked users to fill out a simple questionnaire about their beauty habits. It then generated a personalised board of tips, product recommendations and make-up advice individually tailored around each person’s responses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7321/Burberry_personalisation.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="444"></p> <p>By creating custom content, Burberry not only managed to increase awareness of its new product launch, but it gave users a far more memorable brand interaction than merely pinning or viewing an ad. Since then, it has also repeated this kind of activity, launching a similar campaign that allowed pinners to create their own personal and branded gift idea boards during Christmas 2016.</p> <h3>3. The Travel Channel – Delivering what users want</h3> <p>Many people think of Pinterest as a place for fashion or food brands, but travel is also a popular category. Pinterest’s 2017 Travel Report states that there are over 3bn ideas relating to travel on the platform, with users searching for inspiration on everything from holiday essentials to how to organise trips for large groups.</p> <p>While a lot of brands use Pinterest to experiment with content, the Travel Channel has previously taken a more measured approach. It used its Facebook page to ask existing fans what they’d like to see on the platform, using these answers to inform the kind of content it posts. As well as being effective for cross-promotion – pointing Facebook fans in the direction of other channels – it also means that its content was more likely to resonate with users. </p> <p>The Travel Channel has also generated success by tapping into a younger, more adventurous audience. So, while its TV demographic might be a little older, it has managed to widen its appeal through Pinterest boards such as ‘Savvy Traveler’ and ‘Spring Fling’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7323/Spring_Fling.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="501"></p> <h3>4. LaurenConrad.com – Capturing a new audience</h3> <p>83% of Pinterest users are more likely to follow a brand rather than a notable celebrity, however, Lauren Conrad holds dual appeal. Drawing on her power as both an influencer and an established brand, LaurenConrad.com has used Pinterest to drive awareness among a specific demographic. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7325/Lauren_s_spring_board.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="501"></p> <p>LaurenConrad.com tailors its boards to a young, female audience, combining a wide range of both product-focused and lifestyle-related content.</p> <p>One of the most popular boards is ‘get fit’ – which involves a series of instructional pins on exercises and workout regimes, plus content from a more personal perspective (i.e. ‘5 things that changed when I started tracking macros in my diet’. And while this might sound super niche, it enables the brand to capitalise on Pinterest’s status as a search discovery tool, meaning it will appeal to users who might otherwise have no knowledge or affiliation with LaurenConrad.com.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7324/get_fit.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="504"></p> <p>The fact that LaurenConrad.com’s Instagram channel has 945,000 followers while its Pinterest has nearly 1.2m is certainly noteworthy – and perhaps proof that the latter platform is more about the content itself rather than who or what is behind the channel.</p> <h3>5. L’Oréal Paris – Driving purchase intent</h3> <p>Pinterest is largely used as part of social or content marketing strategies, yet L’Oréal Paris has veered into advertising territory with a number of paid-for campaigns. Initially starting with Promoted Pins, the brand then moved onto Pinterest’s Cinematic Pins to promote its new True Match Limi Glow highlighter, specifically to drive awareness and purchase intent in 18-25 year olds.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/f5h1vNhoDig?wmode=transparent" width="652" height="367"></iframe></p> <p>Involving a motion-based format that animates as users scroll, the cinematic pins allowed L’Oreal to integrate a tutorial element into the ads, demonstrating to users how the highlighter should be applied.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7326/L_Oreal.JPG" alt="" width="548" height="361"></p> <p>The results of the campaign proved that Cinematic Pins can prompt purchases, with 37% of users showing increased purchase intent after seeing the ad. What’s more, it also showed that Pinterest is becoming a key driver for retail, with users browsing the platform with the intent of discovering new products to buy, rather than browsing purely for entertainment purposes.</p> <h3>6. Penguin Random House – Curated content and collaborations </h3> <p>Lastly, Penguin Random House has carved out a real niche for itself on Pinterest, creating a vast and constantly updated pool of content to engage book lovers.</p> <p>It’s an easy (and perhaps rather lazy) tactic to do things like re-pinning motivational quotes, so it's refreshing to see Penguin work hard to curate interesting and inspiring boards based around a theme. Whether it’s ‘books that made us cry’ or ‘favourite books from our childhood’, it is skilled at honing in on specific topics to create engagement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7327/Penguin.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="467"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it also collaborates with others to flesh out and widen its Pinterest activity. Previously, it has partnered with the Happy Foodie – a site dedicated to cookery books – and Unbound Worlds, a site for literary science fiction. As well as widening its reach to niche audiences, this allows Penguin to encourage participation and user involvement. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7329/Book_clubs.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="341"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68765-why-brands-should-be-making-more-use-of-pinterest/">Why brands should be making more use of Pinterest</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69184-five-successful-brands-on-youtube-from-adidas-to-sarson-s-vinegar">Five successful brands on YouTube: From Adidas to Sarson's vinegar</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69229 2017-07-07T01:00:00+01:00 2017-07-07T01:00:00+01:00 How digital transformation can revolutionise marketing Jeff Rajeck <p>Econsultancy has written a lot about digital transformation over the past few years. Some of the topics we have covered in the blog recently include: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68185-four-different-approaches-to-digital-transformation-which-suits-your-needs">Four different approaches to digital transformation</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68667-five-things-to-include-in-your-digital-transformation-playbook/">What to include in your digital transformation playbook</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68657-seven-ways-marketers-can-jump-start-digital-transformation-in-2017">Seven ways marketers can jump-start digital transformation in 2017</a></li> </ul> <p> We have also offered numerous case studies, including: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67838-heathrow-airport-s-route-to-digital-transformation">Heathrow Airport</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68902-how-ge-is-using-co-creation-as-part-of-its-digital-transformation">General Electric</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69163-a-digital-transformation-case-study-the-met-office">Met Office</a></li> </ul> <p> And research papers for subscribers: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-securing-board-buy-in-best-practice-guide">Digital Transformation: Securing Board Buy-in Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-retail-sector">Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-agility-and-innovation-best-practice-guide">Digital Transformation: Agility and Innovation Best Practice Guide</a></li> </ul> <p> ...among others.</p> <p>Most of our material covers businesses as a whole and intends to inspire marketers to start or contribute to enterprise-wide digital transformation. Yet, there is a case to be made for looking at digital transformation from the perspective of our largest audience, marketers.</p> <p>At a recent Econsultancy event in Singapore, Digital Outlook 2017 Part 2 hosted by NTUC,<strong> Mutiny Asia founder Nick Fawbert</strong> did just that and offered insights about what digital transformation means for marketing and how it could potentially change how we do our jobs.</p> <h3>Digital transformation goals</h3> <p>According to Nick, the goal of digital transformation for marketing is a 'reduction in expenditure and an increase in customer retention and spend through the use of digital channels.'</p> <p>The way that these goals are hit, at a high level, is fairly straightforward. Digital transformation changes the business through digital content, business strategy, effective structures, talent development and industry engagement.</p> <p>In the trenches, though, digital transformation is not at all straightforward. It is an intensive exercise which requires commitment from everyone in the digital marketing supply chain including senior management, comms, content producers, data and analytics professionals, IT, and even HR.</p> <p>And while each of these departments will have their own challenges and wins,<strong> the biggest shift for marketers is that digital transformation changes the model at the heart of marketing strategy.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7285/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></strong></p> <h3>The potential of digital transformation for marketing</h3> <p>Before becoming fully digital, marketers tend to map their strategy toward 'the general consumer' or a target market.</p> <p>A marketing strategy, in this context, is intended to guide the consumer through the various stages of the buyer's journey. It raises awareness through broadcast channels, satisfies interest through content, builds desire through communicating value, and drives action through offers, for example.</p> <p>Following digital transformation, Nick argues, <strong>marketers should not only rethink the strategy but also the whole marketing model</strong>. That is, instead of planning to lead a general consumer through the buying funnel, marketers should now devise a strategy which aims to observe the behaviour of individuals through their unique customer journeys and react accordingly.</p> <p>And with their new strategy, <strong>marketers should identify the 'inflection points' which indicate a shift in the customer's needs</strong> or a change in their aspiration. Inflection points, Nick told attendees, show that marketing has successfully moved an individual from simply being aware, for example, into being interested or from understanding the value of the product to asking how they can sign up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7289/digital-transformation.png" alt="" width="800" height="489"></p> <p>Then, using inflection points and new digital technologies, marketers can react in real-time to the individual and deliver the ad, email, social media post, etc. which acknowledges the consumer's change in perspective and keeps them highly engaged.  </p> <p>For example, if a consumer clicks on an 'awareness' ad and then browses through product information, they should now be considered 'interested'. All future advertising, emails, and other interactions with them should focus on moving them further toward a desire or purchase.</p> <p>That is, using digital, <strong>marketers can now structure the conversation</strong> so that each individual is getting the additional information they need at each stage of the buyer's journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7286/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>How marketers can get started with digital transformation</h3> <p>Nick summarised the steps that an organisation has to take in order to carry out digitally transformed marketing strategies.</p> <h4>1) Driven by data</h4> <p>Data must be unified across divisions and ideally with external partners. With data in silos, it will be difficult to know exactly where consumers are in the buying process.</p> <h4>2) Powered by automation</h4> <p>In order to deliver the individualised marketing experience, marketers will need a high level of control over their channels. Only then will they be able to identify inflection points and ensure that what they are delivering satisfies customer needs at each stage.</p> <h4>3) Optimised by analytics</h4> <p>Finally, none of this works without being able to capture and analyse consumer behaviours across digital channels. Experiments, iterative changes, and gradual improvements all work toward an optimal customer-based marketing strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7287/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Final words</h3> <p>Nick then finished with some more general advice for the delegates.</p> <p>Marketers implementing digital transformation, he said, <strong>should take small steps toward the larger goal</strong>. They should reject 'waterfall' models which plan everything first, then execute, and then finally test. Instead, they should embrace more agile marketing which delivers changes in small chunks with condensed timelines.</p> <p>And, reminding attendees that digital transformation is ultimately about changing the whole business, marketers should ensure that they collaborate well with other departments.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank Nick Fawbert, founder of Mutiny Asia, for his presentation as well as the delegates who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7288/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69226 2017-07-06T10:43:30+01:00 2017-07-06T10:43:30+01:00 How Food52 successfully combines content and commerce Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how has it managed to create such dual success? Here’s an in-depth look into the publisher, and what others experimenting with commerce might be able to learn from it.</p> <h3>Fusing content and community</h3> <p>As former food editor of the New York Times, Food52’s CEO and co-founder, Amanda Hesser, undoubtedly knows a thing or two about food publishing. In 2009 she teamed up with freelance food writer and recipe tester, Merrill Stubbs, to create a food website aimed at 'home cooks'.</p> <p>More specifically, Food52 aims to reach an audience of home cooks who – alongside recipes – also care about food within a wider context, such as how it fits in with a modern lifestyle, its visual appeal, and how it makes people feel. </p> <p>In order to do this, instead of a straight-forward recipe hub or editorial website, Food52 uses a combination of professional articles and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">user-generated content</a>. So, alongside feature articles, you’ll also find regular submissions from its 1m registered contributors, and even a site ‘hotline’ for people to find answers to any burning food-related questions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7240/Food52_Hotline.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="423"></p> <p>It is the site’s highly-engaged community that first allowed Food52 to venture into commerce. When the site launched, it did so with the aim of crowdsourcing a cookbook based on user submissions. Since then, it has created a number of cookbooks in this way, with each one including a competition element (with recipes voted for by fellow readers). </p> <p>In doing so, it has been able to capitalise on the contributions of its enthusiastic audience, as well as foster a real sense of community online. Contests are a regular feature throughout the year, too, with users voting for various categories such as ‘best weeknight recipe’ and ‘best thanksgiving leftover recipe’. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7241/Recipe_contests.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="443"></p> <h3>A seamless experience</h3> <p>Alongside this sense of community, Food52’s dedication to creating a seamless user experience has enabled it to expand into ecommerce <em>without</em> alienating its audience. </p> <p>Instead of using content purely as a vehicle to drive sales it treats the two verticals equally. It aims to be the ultimate foodie destination, meaning that - whether the user’s aim is to find a lamb recipe or a carving knife – they will be able to find what they’re looking for somewhere on the site. </p> <p>Product recommendations (usually found at the bottom of recipes) feel natural rather than forced, with the publisher only selling items that fit in with the brand’s wider ethos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7242/Product_recommendations.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="677"></p> <p>Similarly, regardless of whether Food52 is promoting a product or a recipe, its priority is to always provide the user with inspiration – and high quality across the board. This stretches to the site’s signature photography and design, too. </p> <p>Both the content and commerce verticals are photographed in the Food52 studio, which ensures consistency in what the publisher calls the ‘Food52 aesthetic’. This usually means beautifully understated and minimalistic photography, often with a vintage-inspired edge.</p> <p>Together with design, Food52 uses storytelling elements to naturally integrate retail, as well as to create its own ‘point of view’. In doing so, it does not necessarily aim to compete with large competitors, but to provide extra value for consumers. Unlike the purely functional style of Amazon, for instance, Food52 uses emotive and immersive elements to draw in the audience.</p> <p>Each merchant selling on the site has their own page, including detail such as where they’re from and their motivations.</p> <p>With a third of all products sold being exclusive or one-off designs – Food52’s curated approach is certainly part of its appeal. By promoting the handcrafted nature of items and the small scale of merchants selling on the site, it feels far more 'artisan' than a big brand ecommerce site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7243/One_of_a_kind_products.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="500"></p> <p>This image is portrayed everywhere on the site – even extending to the FAQ page, where the first two questions focus on the publisher’s ‘food as lifestyle’ approach.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7244/FAQ.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="430"></p> <h3>Relevant and natural advertising</h3> <p>Food52’s online shop is not its only source of revenue – it also makes money through display advertising and sponsored content.</p> <p>However, it also treats this in the same way as it does shoppable items, ensuring that it is both relevant and valuable for users. Again, the publisher does this by putting as much of an emphasis on quality as it would its regular editorial features or recipes. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7245/Sponsored_content.JPG" alt="" width="640" height="459"></p> <p>There’s no obvious difference in quality between sponsored or non-sponsored content, which means that it could even pass by unnoticed. </p> <p>Food52’s CEO, Amanda Hesser, has previously said that the publisher decides whether or not it accepts a brand deal based on a single question – would it do it with or without an advertiser? If the answer is yes, then this clearly signifies a natural partnership, and one that the audience would want to hear about. So, even if brand involvement <em>is</em> obvious, Food52’s reputation for quality means that users are perhaps more than willing to accept it.</p> <h3>Strong social presence</h3> <p>Unsurprisingly, social media is another huge area of interest for advertisers, with sponsored content on Food52’s various channels often being part of the package. </p> <p>Food52 has partnered with a number of big brands including Annie’s Mac &amp; Cheese and Simply Organic Foods in the past. And just like branded content on the website, these social posts tend to be just as well received as regular ones, mainly due to the way they seamlessly blend in with the rest of the content on Food52’s channels.</p> <p>Instagram is one place where Food52 has particularly flourished – perhaps unsurprising considering that food is one of the most <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank">popular topics on the platform</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7246/Food52_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="418"></p> <p>That being said, other publishers show that the topic itself is not always enough. </p> <p>One of Food52’s biggest competitors, AllRecipes - which generates a huge amount of visitors on its main website - has a mere 280,000 followers on Instagram. Perhaps this can be put down to AllRecipes aiming to be a sort of social hub in its own right, however, it certainly highlights Food52’s success on the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7247/AllRecipes.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="435"></p> <p>The publisher experiments with various types of social media content, capitalising on user-generated posts as well as other mediums like video and livestreaming. Interaction with followers is also another key to social success, with Food52 encouraging comments and replying to questions across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffood52%2Fvideos%2F10154761571104016%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>Let’s not forget its use of Pinterest either – especially how Food52 has even incorporated similar features from the discovery site into its own. Users can ‘like’ products and recipes to add them to new or existing ‘Collections’. In turn, this data also allows the publisher to discover what readers are looking for and enjoying, which it uses to inform future content and commerce sales. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7248/Collections.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="490"></p> <p>Using a combination of beautiful design, quality content, and focus on delivering value for its community, Food52 is a great example of how to fuse two very different verticals.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66438-how-should-ecommerce-brands-be-using-content/" target="_blank">How should ecommerce brands be using content?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69026-why-online-publishers-are-launching-wedding-verticals/" target="_blank">Why online publishers are launching wedding verticals</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69058-how-millennial-entrepreneurs-are-disrupting-retail-and-ecommerce/" target="_blank"><em>How millennial entrepreneurs are disrupting retail and ecomm</em>erce</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69220 2017-06-30T12:00:00+01:00 2017-06-30T12:00:00+01:00 Who should own customer reviews in your organisation? Andy Favell <p>Larger retailers such as Shop Direct and Argos in the UK have already moved in this direction.</p> <h3>The importance of reviews </h3> <p>A study by the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London asked 18 subjects to give a star rating to 210 products based on an image and description on a retailer site. Then they were shown products with the consumer ratings and asked to rate again. The researchers also studied which part of the brain was used by reviewers (but this is way beyond the scope of this article... or author).</p> <p>The following image, taken from the <a href="http://www.jneurosci.org/content/37/25/6066" target="_blank">UCL paper</a>, shows the same product image of a pair of headphones, one has a summary description and the other is accompanied by a summary of reviewer ratings. Below that is the ratings the subjects gave when they gave their impression of the product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7188/reviews_ucl_study.png" alt="" width="615" height="247"></p> <p>Summarising the research <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170531143651.htm" target="_blank">Science Daily</a> (May 2017), reports:</p> <p>'After seeing the online reviews, participants' judgments were heavily influenced by the reviews and gave ratings that were in between their original rating and the average review score.</p> <p>'The number of reviewers also matters. The higher the number of ratings, the more closely the subjects would align their new rating with the average rating. The lower the number, then less closely the new rating would be aligned.</p> <p>'You don’t need to be a scientist to do some user testing or A/B testing along the same lines.'</p> <h3>A successful reviews/CGC program hinges on four things</h3> <ol> <li> <strong>Building a wealth of quality reviews</strong> and ratings across all products. This is partly down to facilitating native reviews (left by users of your site) or syndicating reviews from elsewhere.</li> <li> <strong>Tracking and analysing reviews</strong>, both across the company’s own sites and third party sites – for example, brands need to be aware of reviews and questions posted on retailers’ sites – and feeding back information to relevant departments, partners and suppliers.</li> <li> <strong>Responding to reviews</strong>, especially the negative ones, and answering questions, as quickly and professionally as possible.</li> <li>Facilitating and taking advantage of other types of <strong>user generated content</strong>, such as images and videos.</li> </ol> <h3>So what part of the business should take responsibility for reviews?</h3> <p>To answer this question it is important to understand the company’s motivation for the reviews and CGC program. Improving online sales is the obvious, and often the main reason, but it is rarely the only one.</p> <p>This is highlighted by the results of a Bazaarvoice survey of over 500 retailer and brand clients (the majority of them European) of its reviews network. It asked: what are the key value drivers your consumer-generated content program is expected to impact?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7187/reviews_impacts_bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="615" height="388"></p> <ul> <li> <strong>Online sales</strong> was the top motivation for CGC engagement highlighted by 83% of all respondents. Why? Better reviews and ratings sell more products.</li> <li> <strong>Website engagement</strong> is next with 66%. Why? Improved loyalty and customer experience.</li> <li> <strong>Search engine optimisation</strong> at 63%. Why? Reviews help SEO.</li> <li> <strong>Enhanced customer service</strong> at 49%. Why? Close monitoring of reviews means issues can be picked up early, e.g. highlighting need for product replacement; reduce calls to call centre.</li> <li> <strong>Product development</strong> at 35%. Why? Incorporating customer feedback into product design. According to different data from Bazaarvoice 14% of brand reviews and 8% of retailer reviews highlight product flaws.</li> <li> <strong>In-store sales</strong> at 31%. Why? The use of online reviews isn’t restricted to online sales.</li> <li> <strong>Reduced returns</strong> at 28%. Why? Peer reviews help customers make more informed choices.</li> </ul> <p>Digesting these results it's clear to see how many business departments at both retailers and brands would, or should, take an interest in reviews. There are considerations for customer service, customer experience, ecommerce, marketing, merchandising and more.</p> <p>So it’s not immediately clear who should take charge of reviews, whether responsibility should be shared, or whether there should be a cross-department reviews and CGC team.</p> <h3>Should retailers and brands put someone in charge of reviews?</h3> <p>We put this question to Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, VP marketing EMEA at Bazaarvoice who replies:</p> <blockquote> <p>Yes you should have someone responsible not just for reviews, but someone looking after your community and your CGC as a whole. This is community in the sense of interacting with customers via forums and reviews. It’s not social media as that tends to be a different department.</p> <p>Many companies that we work with have allocated individuals and teams from 1 to 2 individuals to larger teams running the program full time. Argos is a great example, with the team also working closely with brands to help drive volume around the products.</p> </blockquote> <p>A bit of cyberstalking on LinkedIn shows that the UK online/catalogue retailer Argos has two “Reviews and CGC managers”. It is unusual to find dedicated reviews/CGC roles like this among retailers. Unfortunately the company was unavailable for comment, at time of publication, so we’re unable to tell you more about these roles.</p> <p>Shop Direct, which runs the UK-focused online department stores Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, has a dedicated Reviews Analyst.</p> <p>Paul Hornby, head of ecommerce at Shop Direct, tells Econsultancy:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Shop Direct product reviews analyst looks after product reviews for our sites, along with other user generated content like questions and answers. They’re part of the Findability team, which includes product recommendations, search and navigation, and syndicated content.</p> <p>Product reviews help to increase conversion, so the reviews analyst’s ‘bread and butter’ is to increase the number and coverage of quality reviews across our sites.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Tracking, analysing and responding to reviews and questions</h3> <p>Inviting/encouraging customers to post ratings and reviews and ask questions is great but the systems need to be in place to ensure that the ratings and reviews are monitored and that questions and any negative reviews are answered swiftly.</p> <p>It is also imperative that such valuable feedback does not go to waste. Relevant departments from Customer Service to Merchandising to Product Development (at suppliers) need to be notified and when necessary to act upon the information.</p> <p>The Shop Direct reviews analyst shares responsibility for answering reviews with the merchandising team and insights are shared across teams.</p> <p>Paul Hornby continues:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Shop Direct buying and merchandising teams have been trained on our reporting and insights tool. They can monitor product reviews and respond when necessary, as well as identify product development opportunities, quality issues and fit insight, for example.</p> <p>When they give valuable feedback, our customers want us to respond. It lets them know we’re listening and acting on their views. And, when the reviews are negative, responding increases trust between us and the customer, and helps us manage their expectations.</p> </blockquote> <p>In the US, it isn’t common to find roles or teams dedicated to reviews and CGC either.</p> <p>We asked Keith Anderson SVP, strategy and insight, Profitero and the author of this useful <a href="https://www.profitero.com/2017/06/profitero-finds-strong-correlation-between-a-products-number-of-online-reviews-and-sales/" target="_blank">ratings and reviews report</a> (June 2017), if it is common for US companies to have dedicated reviews personnel. He said “Not really”.</p> <p>Among retailers, he explained, responsibility usually falls to Marketing or the brand team within Marketing. Sometimes it is merged with social media. Among suppliers/brands, it usually falls to brand managers to monitor overall performance (star rating, review count) and to customer service teams to respond to negative reviews.</p> <p>Anderson believes is important for retailers and brands to track and answer reviews.</p> <blockquote> <p>Reviews are increasingly influential. They're among the most trusted sources of information for shoppers and consumers; the "half-life" of a review or rating is much longer than more ephemeral social media like Facebook Likes or Twitter shares; and reviews are displayed at the point of sale, when decisions are made.</p> <p>Responding to negative reviews helps neutralize negative feedback on a micro level (people appreciate a personal response), but also reflects favourably on the brand in a macro sense – it signals that a brand is responsive and cares about customers.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>More on customer reviews: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them">Ecommerce consumer reviews: why you need them and how to use them</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67806-are-customer-reviews-becoming-less-important-to-local-businesses/">Are customer reviews becoming less important to local businesses?</a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69184 2017-06-22T13:59:10+01:00 2017-06-22T13:59:10+01:00 Five successful brands on YouTube: From Adidas to Sarson's vinegar Nikki Gilliland <p>Google recently recognised a number of brands who are using YouTube to<a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/collections/2017-winners-of-youtube-works-for-brands.html" target="_blank"> deliver exceptional results</a>. So, building on this, here’s a bit of a deep dive into some of those mentioned and more on why they’ve succeeded. </p> <h3>Sarson’s Vinegar</h3> <p>Sarson’s is certainly not the most recognisable brand, and neither is vinegar the most exciting product. In recognition of the public’s dwindling interest, the brand decided to launch a video marketing campaign to target a younger audience – with the aim of showing them that vinegar is not just something you put on your fish and chips.</p> <p>Looking at what younger people were searching for on YouTube in relation to the product, Sarson's found recipes, home cooking and ‘pickling’ in particular to be the biggest trends. On the back of this discovery, they decided to create a series of recipe videos to showcase how vinegar can be used in different ways, such as for sauerkraut, pickled beetroot, and even as an ingredient in cocktails.</p> <p>Sarson’s targeted users based on their demographic, as well as people searching for specific keywords. The brand served short-form content to these users initially, before delivering longer videos to anyone who engaged.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ic62hHcD_F4?list=PLjRELKmqLCAJl97luZvHSM11PezqM-7nj&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>The approach certainly worked - the campaign generated 4m views in 2016, and a growth of 541% on inbound website traffic compared to 2015. It not only succeeded in changing brand perceptions – showing the product in a new light to those already aware of it – but it also opened it up to a whole new audience, making younger people aware of the brand and its potential role in cooking.</p> <p>Since the initial campaign, Sarson’s has further built on this interest from food lovers with a series of recipes inspired by <a href="http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/">Great British Chefs</a>. By recognising a demand for content and delivering it, Sarson's has managed to successfully tap into a new audience and increase its digital presence.</p> <h3>Adidas </h3> <p>Adidas is a brand that has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68860-four-ways-nostalgia-can-help-to-boost-your-marketing-efforts/" target="_blank">tapping into nostalgia</a> and the transformative <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69086-how-adidas-uses-digital-to-enable-powerful-experiences/" target="_blank">power of sport</a> to deliver in both high-fashion and sporting arenas. </p> <p>As the official sponsor of the Champions League, Adidas Football wanted to build on the interest of football fans, turning their love of the game into love and long-term loyalty for the brand. Its target demographic was football-obsessed teens of around 14 to 20 years of age – those who typically use social channels like YouTube to consume media. </p> <p>But what type of content does this demographic desire?</p> <p>Adidas recognised that a lot of football content on traditional TV channels can be quite dry, usually involving serious analysis and commentary about upcoming or past games. In contrast to this, the brand decided to create Adidas ‘Gamedayplus’ - a series of fun and purely entertaining videos featuring big name football clubs and players. Examples include Suarez taking the ‘first touch challenge’ or David Silva testing his target practice. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S081lUbP4t0?list=PLfl6xCUNPx0pMXW-s8CuhXcMDvqWA6aSp&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>With an existing and highly active audience of young users already searching for football content, Adidas Football managed to draw in 315,000 new subscribers as a result of the campaign. The channel also saw a 65% increase in organic views, with users typically watching for longer without clicking away. </p> <p>By tapping into the ‘always on’ digital mind-set of young consumers, Adidas is a great example of how to deliver the type of content that’s perfectly suited to both the channel and its audience.</p> <h3>Tesco</h3> <p>While brands like Adidas use YouTube to target a specific demographic, others, like Tesco, use it to build trust and drive purchases across a large and varied audience.</p> <p>Tesco has traditionally focused on capturing consumer attention with seasonal campaigns, often centred around popular cultural events like Christmas and Halloween. However, with trust in the brand dwindling in recent years, transferring this strategy to YouTube has allowed Tesco to experiment with short form video content, aiming to deliver real value on the promise of ‘every little helps’.</p> <p>Its ‘Spookermarket’ series was the first example of this, involving a video that captured the reaction of customers as Tesco staff played out Halloween-related pranks. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yqWeuBJfxsQ?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>The video went on to become one of the top ten ads of 2015 - a result that also helped to spur on the rest of the campaign. Using its light-hearted nature to capture initial attention, Tesco then served more in-depth and helpful videos to users, including a jack-o-lantern tutorial and other Halloween-related ‘how-to’ content. This staggered approach ensured the campaign’s impact would be much bigger, with consistent content rolled out to reach consumers over time.</p> <p>One reason Tesco has been so successful on YouTube appears to be this considered approach - one that uses data to shape future marketing efforts. Taking into account the type of videos that customers engage with the most, it is able to create content on this basis, delivering value and a real reason for viewers to invest in the brand.</p> <p>With a 9% uplift in purchase intent from its YouTube TrueView Shoppable ads, it is clear that Tesco’s strategy is doing more than just build trust.</p> <h3>Halifax</h3> <p>Another brand that has used helpful content to drive brand awareness is Halifax bank. However, it has also used YouTube to help differentiate itself from competitors. </p> <p>With its series of short, simple and easy to understand ‘jargon buster’ videos, it aimed to deliver a campaign that was both large in scale and hugely valuable for customers, ultimately drawing them away from other banks.</p> <p>Halifax used YouTube’s TrueView platform - meaning ads would play in-stream or alongside related content - in order to gain mass reach. To build momentum, each video followed a distinct and recognisable formula. It involved a single question – such as ‘What’s a lump sum?’ and ‘What’s an ISA?’ – which was then explained in under 30 seconds using both visuals and audible commentary. </p> <p>Its simplicity was key. Nielsen analysis of the campaign found the videos scored 100% for the metric 'easy to understand' and generated a 31% uplift in brand consideration for those who were exposed to the campaign.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XHlKXKFNn9s?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>One reason I also like this example is that is clearly designed for YouTube. While a lot of brands are guilty of adapting or tweaking campaigns to a particular channel, the best results occur when videos or ads are first created with the medium in mind.</p> <p>In the case of Halifax, its short, snappy, and super simple explanations of confusing subjects are perfectly suited to viewer behaviour. It does not disrupt the user, and is both interesting and succinct enough to convey a memorable message. </p> <h3>EE </h3> <p>YouTube has become synonymous with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69161-micro-influencers-how-to-find-the-right-fit-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">social influencers</a>, and as a result, many brands have generated interest from influencer partnerships. EE is a brand that has used this approach on a massive scale, drawing on the combined reach of multiple influencers for a single campaign.</p> <p>The Wembley Cup 2016 was EE's second mini-football tournament involving YouTubers against former FIFA Legends, and culminating in a final at Wembley Stadium.</p> <p>So, why did it choose influencers and not mainstream celebrities? Like previous examples, it wanted to reach a specific demographic, with the aim of becoming the number one provider for a young age range. With this age bracket already highly engaged with influencers on YouTube, EE recognised the potential of creating a campaign that could capitalise on this existing interest.</p> <p>The results were impressive, with the series amassing 40m views and 1.5m watching the live final. In addition, 20,000 people filled the stadium to watch. What’s more, there was a 36% increase in brand search terms following the campaign, with EE succeeding in its aim of becoming the number one choice for young mobile users.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZrL1DTZoLW4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>With a focus on episodic content, EE is also a great example of how to reach an increasingly elusive audience. As young people turn away from TV and towards online media, the sheer amount of content out there means it is even harder for brands to create campaigns that resonate. For its 2016 series, EE deliberately involved the digital audience, allowing them to have a say in picking the team and choosing substitutions. </p> <p>Combined with episodic content, this meant EE was able to hook in viewers from the outset and create deeper levels of emotional engagement.</p> <h3>Ingredients for success</h3> <p>So, let’s recap on what we can learn from the aforementioned brand campaigns.</p> <p><strong>Drawing on data:</strong> Whether it’s using search data to inform targeting or using watch times to shape future strategy, it’s vital for brands to consider metrics when creating YouTube campaigns. Brands that do, like Tesco, are far more likely to succeed. Solutions like Google’s DoubleClick allow brands to delve below surface data (such as basic clicks) to gain a much more in-depth picture of how ads and videos impact user behaviour. </p> <p><strong>Finding a niche:</strong> One problem for brands on YouTube is saturation. Take recipes, for instance, where endless channels compete on the same subject matter. In this instance, it is important to create a point of difference based on the brand, finding out how to create content that people are really interested in. I mean, who knew pickling was so big?</p> <p><strong>Creating campaigns specifically for the channel:</strong> Like Halifax’s super short and concise finance videos, the best YouTube campaigns are specifically designed to cater to the digital audience. Taking into consideration the context of the user and what else they’re doing online at that moment, other than watching an ad, can be incredibly powerful.</p> <p><strong>Using episodic content:</strong> Lastly, the campaigns from Adidas and EE show how episodic content can build engagement and brand loyalty over time. Both brands have since gone on to repeat the same formula, with viewers clearly hooked and ready for more.</p>