tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/strategy Latest Strategy content from Econsultancy 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68301 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 Instant messaging: An introduction to the future of communication Blake Cahill <p>For those of you that don’t know – I’ll assume you must have been trapped on a desert island for the past few years – instant messaging (IM) is a catch-all name for a range of different services that primarily provide users with the opportunity to engage in real-time communication.</p> <p>Typically led by text conversation, messengers often also provide a range of additional functionality that varies wildly from provider to provider.</p> <p>This additional functionality has, on some platforms, led to them being considered as full-blown social media networks, on a par with Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.</p> <p>In 2015, mobile phone messaging apps were used by 1.4bn consumers and eMarketer predicts that, by 2018, the number of chat app users worldwide will reach 2bn, representing 80% of smartphone users worldwide.</p> <p>In a nutshell, it’s only a matter of time before everyone and their granny, in practically every country on the planet, are using IM.</p> <h3>So who are the Big Players?</h3> <p><strong>WhatsApp</strong></p> <p>Owned by Zuckerbeg &amp; Co. and with over 1bn users, most of which are tech savvy millennials, WhatsApp is the clear front-runner in the IM community and the only truly global IM service with any significant uptake in all continents around the world.</p> <p>Offering text chat, voice recording, media sharing, group broadcasts and a robust network, you would surely bet your house on this IM giant being the one to pave the way for the future of IM [insert smiley face emoticon].</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/4627/whatsapp-facebook-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="whatsapp" width="300"></p> <p><strong>Facebook Messenger</strong></p> <p>Formed from the online chat function of the social network, Facebook Messenger has made real inroads in the EMEA and US regions with over 800m users.</p> <p>However it’s clear that with certain restrictions in places such as Asia, its move out of these two markets and into the APAC region will be a tough one to tackle. </p> <p><strong>WeChat</strong></p> <p>With 650m users, primarily in the APAC region, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> is, significantly, dominant in the Chinese market offering users the chance to chat in a ‘walkie talkie’ style conversation, as well as other typical features such as group chats and video calls.</p> <p>WeChat is also a social network and an extendable transactional platform. It gives its users the opportunity to shop, talk to brands, order taxis (its ‘Didi Dache’ service is essentially China’s Uber) and read the news.</p> <p>WeChat is also the only social platform 80% of Chinese millennials use every day.</p> <p><em>WePay</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1483/wepay.png" alt="wepay" width="615"></p> <p><strong>kik</strong></p> <p>With over 240m users, kik has its biggest presence in the US with an impressive 42% of US users being between 16-24 years old.</p> <p>It’s a promising start, however kik has seen very little uptake out of the US and it’s still dwarfed by the progress of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for the moment at least.</p> <p><strong>Others?</strong></p> <p>Though there are some exceptions to this global picture – KakaoTalk is the most popular chat app in South Korea, for example, while Line dominates in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan – there’s no doubt that it’s Facebook that’s winning the race so far.</p> <p>And before you say, “but what about Snapchat?!”, though this service is doing some serious business with teens in the UK and USA (over 40% use it), one a global level it’s still early days with only 7% market penetration.</p> <h3>The future of IM</h3> <p>With the landscape of IM changing and its scope reaching all aspects of the user's life, both personal and professional, it’s clear to see that IM offers real opportunities for businesses to get involved – but how will this play out? </p> <p>Firstly, IM is not a place to advertise, it’s a place for marketing. It gives us a powerful new space for brands to change the way consumers think about retail and customer service.</p> <p>The promise of IM is that if offers a near perfect form of personal, intimate, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">direct link between brands and customers</a>.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger has already started to make real inroads in expanding the capabilities of its own IM platform, recently announcing the introduction of so-called <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbots</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7478/kiksephora-blog-flyer.png" alt="sephora chatbot" width="300"></p> <p>Similar (but arguably less advanced AI) has been prevalent in WeChat and other channels previously, but inclusion in Facebook Messenger is likely to see increased quality of functionality.</p> <p>Chatbots will offer the ability for businesses to create bespoke responses based on natural language input. </p> <p>As the use and complexity of chatbots expand, users will find themselves being able to order goods simply by messaging the brand – as users of WeChat are already doing – receive tailored news updates based around your interest and even control connected smart devices.</p> <p>The future of commerce and customer service could well be a hybrid of IM as it steadily becomes our primary way to interact with companies, buy things, provide service and build loyalty.</p> <p>As the big players (and the many smaller innovators) continue to expand and develop the platforms’ potential, it’s safe to say we’re only at the beginning of what looks to be a long and interesting road.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3077 2016-08-16T14:25:11+01:00 2016-08-16T14:25:11+01:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media <p>For your digital marketing to be effective you need to provide content that’s useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content. As users spend an increasing amount of time on a range of social media channels, brands need to understand where their users are most active and how they can interact and engage with them most effectively. </p> <p>All of this requires careful analysis and planning. The disciplines of content strategy provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant digital platforms.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4208 2016-07-29T15:00:00+01:00 2016-07-29T15:00:00+01:00 Trends and Priorities in the Media and Entertainment Sector <h2>Overview</h2> <p>This Trends and Priorities report, focused on the <strong>media and entertainment</strong> sectors, is produced by Econsultancy in association with <a href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a> and explores an industry caught between its past and future, with many having high aspirations but held back by culture and siloed budgets.</p> <p>The report, which is based on a survey of more than 200 senior-level marketers and executives in North America, discusses where the sector's digital trends are headed and the strategic priorities for media and entertainment companies as they attempt to stay ahead of the curve.</p> <p>The media and entertainment industry is responding to change with a set of interlocking strategic priorities focused around data, addressable audiences and technology partnerships. Throughout the trends report there are signs that media organizations are working to better understand their consumers and build the new capabilities to serve them.</p> <h2>You'll discover findings around:</h2> <ul> <li>What are media companies' top strategic priorities?</li> <li>How media companies are looking to partnerships to address emerging needs in addressable audience expansion.</li> <li>Are KPIs changing to accomodate the new priorities of media companies?</li> <li>How technology is a focus but media marketers struggle with selling it into the enterprise.</li> <li>Which technologies are media companies pursuing to improve their digital capabilities?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68078 2016-07-25T09:57:47+01:00 2016-07-25T09:57:47+01:00 Automated video: considerations for publishers and advertisers Patricio Robles <p>Consumers love video and advertisers can't get enough video ad inventory. As a result, publishers and media companies are increasingly doing whatever they can t<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67958-if-video-is-the-future-of-the-internet-here-s-what-brands-need-to-know">o embrace video</a>.</p> <p>Historically, video production has been a costly undertaking. After all, creating compelling, high-quality video is far more involved than creating compelling, high-quality written content or photography.</p> <p>To address the consumer and advertiser demand for video while at the same time avoiding breaking the bank, publishers have turned to technology that is capable of churning out video content in a highly-automated fashion.</p> <h3>Wochit and Wibbitz</h3> <p>As <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/11/business/media/as-online-video-surges-publishers-turn-to-automation.html?_r=0">detailed by</a> the New York Times, two companies, Wochit and Wibbitz, have come to take an early lead in the automated video production space.</p> <p>A wide range of publishers are making these companies' tools a big part of their online video strategies. One of those publishers is Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, which has newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Orlando Sentinel in its portfolio.</p> <p>Tronc chairman Michael W. Ferro Jr. told the New York Times' John Herrman that his company is currently producing a "couple hundred" videos each day, but sees that number increasingly substantially. "We think we need to be doing 2,000 videos a day," he said.</p> <p>Such volume is probably impossible without automated video, and as automated video becomes a bigger and bigger source of video on the web, here's what publishers and advertisers should keep in mind.</p> <h3>How it works</h3> <p>Automated video platforms like Wochit and Wibbitz analyze input text content (eg. for a news story) and identify images and video clips that are related, typically from stock and video photography services.</p> <p>Through partnerships, Wochit and Wibbitz offer human voice narration, but fully-automated computer-generated voice-overs can also be used.</p> <p>Wochit and Wibbitz can also automatically caption the videos they assemble, important for creating videos that are suited for social channels that have <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67442-how-to-create-facebook-video-ads-that-cater-for-silent-autoplay">silent autoplay</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7283/automatedvideo-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="265"></p> <p>For publishers that don't trust Wochit and Wibbitz to produce production-ready videos in a totally automated fashion, publishers have the flexibility to make their own edits and add their own content to videos before publishing. </p> <h3>Limitations</h3> <p>While adoption of automated video is growing significantly – major publishers that are clients of Wochit and Wibbitz include Hearst, Gannett, Time, CBS Interactive, Bonnier and The Huffington Post – automated video is not without its limitations. While consumers love video, they still have expectations around quality and it's hard to meet those expectations in a fully-automated fashion. </p> <p>According to USA Today's Chris Pirrone...</p> <blockquote> <p>The data came back very quickly that text-to-video alone, if you don't touch it, consumers can quickly recognize it is not a high-quality product.</p> </blockquote> <p>Even Wochit and Wibbitz agree: their tools are best used in conjunction with a human touch.</p> <p>But even with that human touch, publishers and advertisers need to recognize that the most compelling kinds of videos, which are emotional and tell powerful stories, are probably not going to come from an automated video platform any time soon.</p> <p>So video automation tools, while a potential contributor to the online video ecosystem, aren't a panacea and shouldn't be relied on too heavily.</p> <h3>Supply and demand</h3> <p>A bigger consideration for publishers and advertisers is the fact that automated video is going to change the supply and demand dynamics in the online video market.</p> <p>Since the beginning of the year, Wochit's clients have doubled the number of videos they're producing using the company's technology. That figure now stands at 30,000 videos a month.</p> <p>While consumers love video, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-habits-are-bad-news-for-digital-media-2016-7">attention is finite</a> and the growing number of videos will make it harder for publishers to stand out. At worst, video in some content categories could be completely commoditized to the point that it isn't a point of differentiation with consumers and prices for ads drops significantly.</p> <p>At the same time, if the rise of automated video comes at the expense of truly original video, demand for original video content, including longer-form content, could increase as it becomes less common, benefiting publishers that continue to invest in its production and making it more expensive for advertisers looking to market their wares through non-commoditized video content.</p> <h3>Risks</h3> <p>The limitations of automated video, combined with the possible supply and demand effects, mean that adoption of automated video on a larger scale presents risks for both publishers and advertisers.</p> <p>For publishers, too much reliance on automated video could backfire, reducing the quality of the video content portfolios. Eventually, that could threaten a publishers' brands and leave them with audiences and ad inventory that are less valuable.</p> <p>For this reason, publishers should be strategic about how much of the video content mix they create using automated video tools. Specifically, they should consider focusing their use of automated video on channels for which this kind of content might be better suited, such as social platforms, where silent autoplay means short, captioned video content is more acceptable.</p> <p>For advertisers, the risk is that the ad inventory created by automated video won't be as high in value, and might even become of limited value if publishers oversaturate the market.</p> <p>For this reason, advertisers should recognize that video ad inventory is not all the same and make sure that they're not paying a premium for inventory that is not premium.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68042 2016-07-07T15:04:02+01:00 2016-07-07T15:04:02+01:00 Snapchat’s user base is getting older: How should marketers respond? Patricio Robles <p>According to comScore data, in May 38% of US mobile users aged 25 to 35 and 14% of those older than 35 used Snapchat, a significant increase from 5% and 2%, respectively, three years ago.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6817/snapchat_reference.png" alt="" width="600" height="316"></p> <p>As <a href="http://www.wsj.com/article_email/snapchats-teen-fans-grumble-as-app-catches-on-with-their-folks-1467661872-lMyQjAxMTA2NzA3NDMwNDQ5Wj">noted by</a> the Wall Street Journal's Yoree Koh, "An aging demographic is inevitable for many apps that first catch fire with teens," but the <em>parents-are-joining-Snapchat</em> moment has not surprisingly been the subject of headlines like <em>Adults are invading Snapchat</em>.</p> <h3>Is Snapchat different?</h3> <p>At the moment, comScore's data doesn't indicate that Snapchat's popularity with younger users is waning.</p> <p>The number of US mobile users between the ages of 18 to 24 has hit 67.5%, up from 24% three years ago. ComScore doesn't provide data for users under 18.</p> <p>While it's conceivable that the growth in older users will eventually change the way Snapchat's youngest users view the service, other popular social networks like Facebook have "grown up" and still managed to remain dominant, suggesting that Snapchat's maturation probably isn't the beginning of its demise.</p> <p>And because of the way communication on Snapchat functions, Snapchat's young users could find that insulating themselves from the adults will be far easier than on other services, making it less likely they'll cut their Snapchat use significantly or abandon it altogether.</p> <h3>What marketers need to know</h3> <p>That would be good news for the growing number of marketers spending time and money trying to reach Snapchat's 150m-plus audience.</p> <p>But marketers do need to be aware of Snapchat's changing demographics for a couple of reasons.</p> <p>First, even if the risk of a young user exodus is small, changing demographics could prompt changes in behavior on Snapchat.</p> <p>For example, older users might exhibit different usage patterns than younger users, or younger users might alter how they use the app to deal with the "my mom is on here" phenomenon.</p> <p>Some of these behavioral changes could be of importance to marketers as they work to create effective Snapchat campaigns.</p> <p>Second, the growing number of older users on Snapchat could create new opportunities for brands.</p> <p>Rather than seeing Snapchat as a platform for reaching teenagers, marketers who recognize that the user base is diversifying may be able to target and reach multiple demographic groups on the service.</p> <p>This makes Snapchat an even more attractive and productive platform than it is today.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4182 2016-07-05T15:01:00+01:00 2016-07-05T15:01:00+01:00 The Future of Celebrity Marketing <p>The Future of Celebrity Marketing, a <strong>Celebrity Intelligence</strong> report produced in association with Econsultancy, considers how the rules of celebrity engagement are shifting. Thanks to the advent of social media and the subsequent rise of online influencers, a new generation of talent has emerged for traditional celebrities to compete with.</p> <p>The report looks at how the definition of celebrity is evolving, the challenges this creates, and the new ways in which brands and agencies are selecting and engaging celebrities to work with. Backed by independent online research, the findings demonstrate the impact social media is having on celebrity engagement and assess how the future market is shaping up.</p> <h2>Read to discover:</h2> <ul> <li>Global celebrity engagement practices.</li> <li>Expert opinions and findings from leading voices in the industry.</li> <li>Budgets and predicted growth.</li> <li>The impact of social media.</li> <li>Priorities and tactics.</li> <li>Current and future trends.</li> </ul> <h2>About Celebrity Intelligence</h2> <p><a href="https://www.celebrityintelligence.com/#/">Celebrity Intelligence</a> is the ultimate celebrity engagement tool. We are the industry's only tool providing celebrity contacts, in-depth celebrity profiles and intelligence, celebrity events information and a live Buzz Index of 'who's hot and who's not' all in one place.</p> <p>Covering film, TV, music, fashion, sport and more, we provide everything you need to know to make intelligent decisions about which celebrities to work with, when and why.</p> <p>To find out more about Celebrity Intelligence, or for more information about the report, please contact Centaur Marketing's Content Marketing Manager, Priyanka Mehra Dayal, at priyanka.mehra-dayal@centaurmedia.com. <br></p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67958 2016-06-22T09:56:00+01:00 2016-06-22T09:56:00+01:00 If video is the future of the internet, here's what brands need to know Patricio Robles <p>If it is, here's what brands need to know.</p> <h3>Video is changing the face of non-video services</h3> <p>One of the strongest pieces of evidence to support the notion that video is the future of the internet is the impact it's having on some of the most popular online services that, unlike YouTube, didn't start out with a video focus.</p> <p>For example, when Instagram, which rose to prominence as a social photo sharing app, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67684-instagram-s-new-60-second-video-limit-five-things-brands-need-to-know/">announced a new 60-second video limit</a> earlier this year, the company revealed that the time its users spend watching videos has increased by more than 40% in the past six months.</p> <p>There's no reason to believe that trend has stopped and, while it's still a popular photo sharing app, video is increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger part of the Instagram content mix.</p> <p>The impact of video is even more apparent when looking at Instagram's owner, Facebook.</p> <p>The world's largest social network is now one of the most popular platforms for sharing video, and <a href="http://thenextweb.com/opinion/2015/04/23/facebook-video-is-on-course-to-steal-youtubes-video-sharing-crown/">a real threat to YouTube</a>.</p> <p>But Facebook doesn't just have the potential to overtake YouTube; it could find that it is overtaken by video itself.</p> <p>Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's VP for EMEA, <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/15/facebook-may-be-all-video-in-5-years-vp-says.html">made headlines</a> recently at a conference in London when she predicted that the social network would "probably" be "all video" in the next five years.</p> <p>"If I was having a bet, it'd be video, video, video," she told the audience. Why? Video packs a lot of punch...</p> <blockquote> <p>The best way to tell stories in this world - where so much information is coming at us - actually is video. It commands so much information in a much quicker period so actually the trend helps us digest more of the information in a quicker way.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Video ads are big, but...</h3> <p>For brands looking to take advantage of mobile, video advertising is the low-hanging fruit.</p> <p>While digital video ads - at least the good ones - <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64222-good-digital-video-ads-aren-t-just-tv-spots-on-different-devices">aren't repurposed TV spots</a>, they're the easiest way for brands to dip their toes in the online video waters.</p> <p>But the formats most familiar to brand marketers, like pre-rolls, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63277-pre-roll-video-ads-is-it-any-wonder-why-we-hate-them">aren't exactly loved by consumers</a>, and there's that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65538-advertisers-spending-more-on-online-video-despite-viewability-concerns">darned issue of viewability</a>.</p> <p>So it's no surprise that many brands are going beyond video ads. For example, brands are creating original content for platforms <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63257-four-examples-of-brands-rocking-instagram-video">like Instagram</a>, including <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67562-could-shield-5-signal-a-new-wave-of-social-cinema">mini-series</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63073-eight-brands-that-have-run-video-contests-using-twitter-s-vine">encouraging consumers to create content as part of contests</a>.</p> <p>They're also working with influencers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/influencing-the-influencers-the-magic-of-co-created-content">to co-create content</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/6834-why-etailers-need-product-videos">using product videos to increase conversion rates and basket sizes</a>.</p> <p>In short, there are plenty of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/7397-the-10-types-of-online-video-that-brands-should-embrace-with-gusto">ways brands can embrace online video</a> and while some are associated with advertising, some of the most effective aren't.</p> <h3>Live video is not a fad</h3> <p>The biggest trend in online video recently has been live video.<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66225-is-meerkat-the-next-big-thing-in-social-media"><br></a></p> <p>Numerous brands <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66564-how-brands-can-use-periscope-and-meerkat">have embraced Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live">as well as Facebook Live</a>. Facebook <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push">is investing heavily in Live</a>, and it appears to be paying off.</p> <p>According to Facebook's Mendelsohn, Live has been "a bigger, faster phenomenon" than the company expected, and engagement on Live videos is "much higher," with Live videos receiving ten times as many comments as pre-recorded videos.<strong><br></strong></p> <p>While live video's rise is most evident on social platforms like Facebook, brands should keep in mind that live video isn't exclusive to these platforms, as evidenced by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67627-is-amazon-s-style-code-live-this-generation-s-answer-to-the-tv-shopping-channel">Amazon's Style Code Live</a>, a live 30-minute show the online retail giant produces and streams daily Monday through Friday.</p> <p>It features an interactive player that highlights products as they are featured in the show, giving viewers the ability to more easily purchase them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2790/stylecode2.jpg" alt="" width="621" height="106"></p> <h3>Mobile isn't a barrier</h3> <p>If there were reasons to be skeptical about video's potential, one of the biggest might have been concerns over mobile performance, as well as bandwidth and data utilisation.</p> <p>But advances in mobile technology and reduced data costs mean that widespread mobile usage isn't a permanent impediment to the growth of video on the internet.</p> <p>The statistics back this up: Facebook's Mendelsohn revealed that the company's users are watching an average of 100m hours of video every day on mobile devices.</p> <h3>Sound is optional</h3> <p>Video has traditionally been an audiovisual medium, but the internet is changing that.</p> <p>On Twitter and Facebook, videos autoplay without sound, challenging brands to find ways <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67442-how-to-create-facebook-video-ads-that-cater-for-silent-autoplay">to deliver video content that's compelling even without audio</a>. One of the more increasingly common techniques: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67932-the-future-of-video-is-vertical-texted-emotional">texted video</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5827/Screen_Shot_2016-06-08_at_14.26.36.png" alt="" width="615" height="344"></p> <h3>Video is for more than big brands</h3> <p>Content is king, and producing high-quality video content can require a royal budget. But costs <em>are</em> coming down and companies have more tools than ever to create video content without spending five, six or seven figures.</p> <p>For instance, there are plenty of services that offer stock video, and video platforms are increasingly aiming to make themselves accessible to even the smallest of companies.</p> <p>Just recently, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/youtube-introducing-new-ways-help-small-businesses-make-better-video-ads-171999">YouTube launched YouTube Director</a>, a free app that provides templates and editing tools, and is even offering businesses that spend as little as $150 on YouTube advertising the services of a filmmaker who will come to their location to film an ad spot.</p> <h3>New technologies will change the game</h3> <p>New technologies, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66587-10-ways-marketers-can-use-virtual-reality-right-now/">virtual reality</a>, are offering new opportunities for brands to create compelling original video content.</p> <p>Naturally, some of these technologies are expensive - pro VR cameras can cost tens of thousands of dollars - but some, like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67748-three-ways-marketers-can-benefit-from-the-drone-revolution">drones</a>, don't require mega-brand-sized budgets and they can still captivate.</p> <p>Drone-captured video, for instance, has been used to great effect by small businesses like Capt. Dave's Dolphin &amp; Whale Watching Safari, which has racked up millions of views on YouTube.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bo_f8mV5khg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>There are riches in niches</h3> <p>The internet, as compared to mediums like radio and television, is the most niche-friendly, and given the appeal of video content, it's not surprising that digital video is giving birth to and supporting lucrative niches. </p> <p>One of the best examples of this is Twitch. Launched in 2011, the video game-focused streaming service was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1bn.</p> <p>Last year, its users watched 459,000 years of video, and that number should only rise as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67921-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-esports">eSports continues to grow</a>.</p> <p>For brands, there are great opportunities to get involved in these niches through advertising, sponsorship and original content.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67978 2016-06-22T01:00:00+01:00 2016-06-22T01:00:00+01:00 Three ways digital marketers in Mumbai increase customer engagement Jeff Rajeck <p>That is, it's not just enough for customers to see an ad or get an email, brands want customers to do something. And do something measurable, as well.</p> <p>But how can marketers make this happen? What are the current tricks, tips, and trends for increasing customer engagement?</p> <h3>Increasing customer engagement</h3> <p>To find out, Eonsultancy held a series of Customer-Centricity Marketing roundtables in Mumbai, and dozens of client-side marketers came to discuss the trends, best practices, and issues they are facing.</p> <p>The roundtables were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor Epsilon, and participants brought their own experiences, questions, and challenges to the table for open discussion.</p> <p>Below is a summary of the main talking points that arose during the day on the topic of Increasing Engagement &amp; Measuring ROI.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6275/econ3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>It's all about data</h3> <p>Participants very quickly agreed that any discussions of how to increase engagement with consumers must start with one important element, the data.</p> <p>That is, in order for brands to engage customers in today's fragmented media environment, marketers must personalise the message to some extent using customer data.</p> <p>Attendees noted three best practices common in India for increasing engagement using data.</p> <h3>1. Segment based on demographic data</h3> <p>One delegate noted that all brands should have some idea of who it is they are targeting, and so there should be at least some demographic data available to personalise the brand messaging.</p> <p>For brands who have collected emails and mobile numbers, however, there is a much greater opportunity to use both demographic data and contact data to personalise further, another pointed out.</p> <p>Delegates agreed that in order for CRM data to be used most effectively, marketers should ask customers to provide relevant data and analyse purchasing data so that the brands can be more targeted with information and offers.  </p> <p>It is this level of targeting which drives engagement.</p> <p>One example of using data to increase engagement is for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>. CRM data, such as gender, can be used to design emails to appeal to the target market, as in this example from fashion ecommerce site Jabong.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6273/jabong.PNG" alt="" width="402" height="464"></p> <p>But one participant pointed out that marketers needn't stop there.</p> <p>Google, Facebook, and Twitter all offer a facility whereby marketers can upload their CRM email list and create custom audiences for advertising.  This means that AdWords, Google Display, Facebook, and Twitter ads can all be targeted based on the data which a company holds on its customers.</p> <h3>2. Segment based on behavioural data</h3> <p>Honing a brand message based on a customer's attributes is an effective way to increase engagement, but sometimes it is better to look at what a customer does rather than who they are.</p> <p>Many attendees said that their companies were now using customers' web browsing behavior to build audiences for both email marketing and advertising.</p> <p>Participants gave examples including using Facebook and Google Display for remarketing, which entails showing specific ads to people based on what pages they browsed on the website.</p> <p>Other attendees said that they send emails for shoppers who have abandoned their online shopping cart.  </p> <p>And one participant said that his company had great engagement from a simple 'we want you back' email sent to customers who had not visited the site in some time.</p> <p>Snapdeal, India's largest online marketplace, frequently uses behavioral data in its email campaigns.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.octane.in/casestudy/snapdeal.pdf">a case study</a>, when a customer visits a particular Product Display Page (PDP), they will then be sent an email with similar products and time-bound discounts to the ones on the PDP.</p> <p>The rise in engagement from using this simple technique has been quite notable: </p> <ul> <li>Open rates up from 6% to 20%.</li> <li>Click-throughs increased from 20% to 35%.</li> <li>And 2x as many conversions from these emails.</li> </ul> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6274/snapdeal-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="298"></p> <h3>3. Segment based on values</h3> <p>Delegates then discussed the most engaging strategy using data and the most difficult, segmenting based on customer values.</p> <p>Value-based segmenting requires a single view of the customer from multiple data sources including the CRM system, website data, purchase history, and third-party demographics.  </p> <p>With all of the data marketers can bring together, they then go through an exercise of identifying what each 'type' of customer cares about.  </p> <p>Messaging is then designed around what marketers believe will best capture the attention of each segment.</p> <p>Such an exercise will typically identify customer types such as 'spendthrift fashionistas', 'must have latest tech', or 'mothers in charge of household budget'.</p> <p>One participant pointed to the bank Standard Chartered as an example of a brand which uses value-based segmenting in India.</p> <p>Some ads are family-oriented...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6277/india-family-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="364"></p> <p>...others are focused on sports...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6278/india-athlete-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="235"></p> <p>...and finally there are those aimed to appeal to the indulgent.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6279/india-indulge-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="353"></p> <p>Though this may look to some like demographic-based targeting, marketers said that it is quite common these days to look much deeper than gender, age, and occupation to segment audiences.  </p> <p>And in doing so, participants claimed that they have achieved much higher engagement rates than from other sorts of targeting.</p> <p>Each of these segments, however, must be based on data, warned one delegate, or else brands risk creating messaging designed for no one.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and especially our table moderators: </p> <ul> <li>Muthukumar Sudarsanam, Regional Marketing Manager for India, MEA &amp; SEE at Lloyd's Register.</li> <li>Ashish Jain, AVP at Reliance Retail.</li> <li>Umesh Choori, VP Analytics at Reliance Jio. </li> </ul> <p>And our sponsor for the event, Epsilon, along with subject matter expert Jeff Evans, VP of Digital for APAC at Epsilon.</p> <p>Hope to see you all at future Mumbai Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6280/econ2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67858 2016-06-02T14:59:12+01:00 2016-06-02T14:59:12+01:00 Eight reasons why content strategy should be central to every marketer Blake Cahill <p>At the same time, consumers are no-longer passive armchair spectators.</p> <p>They are much more likely to be contributors and commentators on their own platforms and social media feeds.</p> <p>In many ways, consumers are leading the debate – whether via social media, web, video, podcast or blog – which makes it even more important that the content that brands develop is smart, targeted and relevant.</p> <h3>So what is content marketing?</h3> <p>According to the Content Marketing Institute, approximately nine out of 10 marketers today are using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64539-introducing-the-periodic-table-of-content-marketing/">content marketing</a> – regardless of company size or industry.</p> <p>Content marketing can be used to influence business decisions (b2b) or consumers (b2c) but either way, the techniques are the same and they’re not new.</p> <p>The father of content marketing is a little known (in his day) farmer called John Deere.</p> <p>He launched <a href="https://contently.com/strategist/2013/10/03/the-story-behind-the-furrow-2/">The Furrow</a> magazine back in 1895 in order to tell farmers how to be more profitable – and of course, sell his wares on the back of it.</p> <p>It helped catapult the John Deere tractor into a global brand and was the very first example of content marketing. Over a century later, and The Furrow is still going strong, available in 12 languages in more than 40 countries.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5617/john_deere_the_furrow.png" alt="" width="779" height="623"></p> <p>For a formal definition, the Content Marketing Association says content marketing is, “the discipline of creating quality branded editorial content across all media channels and platforms to deliver engaging relationships, consumer value and measurable success for brands.”</p> <p>Perhaps a less formal definition is to say that, unlike other lead generation strategies, content marketing gives something to readers, rather than asking them for something.</p> <p>The reason The Furrow worked is because it carried content that was useful. If there was a selling message in the content, it wasn’t obvious and it wasn’t the primary point of the exercise.</p> <h3>Why is it different to social media marketing?</h3> <p>There is also a distinct difference between social media marketing and content marketing.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2012/02/content-marketing-vs-social-media-marketing/">Content Marketing Institute</a>, in social media marketing, the center of gravity - the focus of the marketing activity - is located within the social networks themselves.</p> <p>When marketers operate social media campaigns, they are operating inside of Facebook, inside of Twitter, etc. As they produce content, they place it inside of those networks.</p> <p>In contrast, the center of gravity for content marketing is a brand website — whether it be a branded URL like AmericanExpress.com or a microsite for a brand’s specific product, like <a href="http://www.openforum.com/" target="_blank">Amex’s Open Forum</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5620/Amex_Open_Forum.png" alt="" width="700" height="423"></p> <p>Social networks are vital to the success of content marketing efforts, but instead, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are used primarily as a distributor of links back to the content on the brand’s website — not as containers of the content itself.</p> <p>Here are eight good reasons why a successful content marketing strategy is worth its weight in bitcoins:</p> <h4>1. It’s produced for a brand, by a brand</h4> <p>Traditional media advertising is increasingly losing its value. Users don’t like it, or trust the sales messages.</p> <p>By comparison, content marketing represents a form of word-of-mouth marketing, whereby users consume, engage and share your brand content.</p> <h4>2. Content marketing delivers quality lead generation</h4> <p>In general, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, <a href="http://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic">but costs 62% less</a>. </p> <p>Great content will attract high-value customers, and these customers will come back for more.</p> <h4>3. It builds bonds that last</h4> <p>Good content will work across any channel. Engagement is the key. <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2013/may/10/google-content-marketing-seo">Google</a> has also taken a strong preference to content marketing, rather than SEO, to rank search results.</p> <p>Content marketing forms a powerful, <a href="https://insights.newscred.com/the-top-32-most-influential-content-marketing-brands-of-2014/">long-lasting bond</a> with its target audience. Authentic content will position you as a brand leader in your own right.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5618/John_Deer_the_furrow_2.png" alt="" width="800" height="388"></p> <h4>4. It’s measurable and effective</h4> <p>All content platforms have a number of established methods for proving effectiveness. Despite the rise <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67083-is-native-advertising-sustainable/">in native advertising</a>, content marketing still seems to rule the digital world.</p> <p><a href="http://frac.tl/" target="_blank">Fractl</a> and <a href="https://moz.com/" target="_blank">Moz</a> used survey responses from more than 30 content marketing agencies and cost data from more than 600 digital publishers. They found that content marketing has a better overall return on investment.</p> <p>Great content marketing can also earn a company significant ‘earned media’, where you don’t have to pay for including branded content in magazines, for example.</p> <p>If it is shared across media channels, it potentially produces thousands of dollars of free brand exposure.</p> <h4>5. It performs a number of marketing tasks</h4> <p>Content marketing is a Jack-of-all-trades tool. It can help build awareness, loyalty, sales, engagement, cut-through, point of difference and much more.</p> <h4>6. It will influence consumer decision making</h4> <p>Content marketing allows you to influence decision makers well before they have made up their minds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5619/john_deere_the_furrow_3.png" alt="" width="776" height="619"></p> <h4>7. Consumers will love you</h4> <p>Content marketing helps to inform, inspire and entertain.</p> <p>Helping your current and potential customers first, without even thinking of pushing products, builds trust, word of mouth respect and high-quality, long term advocates.</p> <h4>8. It creates content for good</h4> <p>While there’s nothing inherently wrong with “feel good” content or even product-lead content, today’s culture views those traditional approaches as ultimately self-serving. </p> <p>Content with embedded social values that are deeply ingrained in the company culture (Uber’s recent fight against New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, for example) or that drive its business strategy, will be a differentiator in consumer decisions going forward.</p> <p>***</p> <p>Remember, while the content medium can be extremely powerful, context is all important; if you respect the platform, your audience and the agenda, then content marketing can really strike home with your target audience.</p> <p>So, the next time you are questioned on the cost effectiveness of content marketing, remember the story of John Deere, the humble Mid-Western farmer in the US who went on to forge a global business empire on the back of some very savvy tractor-tainment, and a world class product too!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67871 2016-05-25T14:20:32+01:00 2016-05-25T14:20:32+01:00 Five of the all-time best brand tie-ups, including Starbucks, O2 & Zoolander Ben Davis <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Anything for the team you say, <a href="https://twitter.com/WayneRooney">@WayneRooney</a>? Good luck! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/XMenApocalypse?src=hash">#XMenApocalypse</a> <a href="https://t.co/ym1XtMansq">https://t.co/ym1XtMansq</a></p> — Manchester United (@ManUtd) <a href="https://twitter.com/ManUtd/status/733613698644738048">May 20, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>1. Spotify and Starbucks</h3> <p>Doing research into brand tie-ups, I found Spotify popping up time and again. Its Starbucks deal was the one that struck me as cleverest.</p> <p>Starbucks promotes Spotify in its stores (incentivising customers to sign up to Spotify by offering Starbucks loyalty points). Meanwhile, Spotify includes Starbucks playlists on its music-streaming platform.</p> <p>As of January 2016 <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66997-starbucks-new-click-collect-app-is-it-any-good/">Starbucks Mobile App</a> customers could also discover music playing in store and save these Starbucks-curated songs.</p> <p>This makes perfect sense - Starbucks is synonymous with music (albeit the occasional limpid cover version), has enormous footfall and sports another shade of green branding.</p> <p>Other notable tie-ups for Spotify include Uber, which allows Spotify customers to listen to their personal playlists during their journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5221/Starbucks__Spotify_-_Discover_Music__2_.jpg" alt="starbucks and spotify" width="300"> </p> <h3>2. Zoolander 2 &amp; assorted</h3> <p>This (IMHO) is the holy grail of brand tie-ups - a film that creates such a successful pastiche of an industry that the very same industry is desperate to be involved with a sequel.</p> <p>Zoolander 2 tie-ups including a Blue Steel <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67257-15-reasons-your-brand-should-be-on-snapchat">Snapchat</a> filter and photoshoots with Vogue and Anna Wintour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5223/Screen_Shot_2016-05-23_at_09.50.54.png" alt="zoolander 2 snapchat" width="615" height="358"></p> <h3>3. The McWhopper</h3> <p>Though this never made it to an official tie-up, it represented a triumph for Burger King.</p> <p>The maker of the Whopper invited McDonald's to bury the hatchet and create a super burger, combining the best bits of the Big Mac and the Whopper.</p> <p>It was a PR stunt, yes, but by including a charitable element (proposing that proceeds go to Peace One Day) Burger King pitched the idea perfectly, creating buzz and a reputation as a fun brand that McDonald's failed to realise.</p> <p>As Patricio Robles <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66876-how-burger-king-beat-mcdonald-s-with-the-mcwhopper/">points out in an Econsultancy article</a>, McDonald's' failure to accept the proposal, whilst offering no idea of its own but vaguely affirming a commitment to the cause, led to ridicule on social media.</p> <p>Burger King benefitted from its rival's branding and reach and placed McDonald's firmly in the shade (though Patricio rightly states that McDonald's could have raised the stakes in some way).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/e01a4-ClcTs?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>4. O2 Academy</h3> <p>This is an eight-year-old deal now, and is so simple that some may call it old fashioned. However, music's power to infuse a brand with personality should not be underestimated.</p> <p>Though stadium sponsorship may not feel as progressive as championing new artists, it is surely more effective when it comes to sheer brand reach.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67606-how-o2-achieves-creativity-through-data">O2</a> paid Live Nation £22.5m to rebrand its Academy venues, complementing the telco's previous sponsorship of the Millennium Dome (now The O2).</p> <p>The brand's Priority Moments campaign also incorporates music, giving customers tickets to gigs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5227/o2.jpg" alt="o2 academy" width="615" height="410"></p> <h3>5. Warburtons and Stallone/Muppets</h3> <p>I've included Warburtons and its fairly straightforward celebrity TV commercials because the execution is so slick.</p> <p>Although many believe that celeb tie-ups for TV are uninspired, Warburtons surprised with its choice of Sly Stallone and The Muppets, stars that exist in a world apart from the Bolton bakery.</p> <p>It was this surprising juxtaposition that made the ads so successful and a reminder that it's horses for courses when it comes to advertising.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fam0qr-Z5uk?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p>