tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2017-09-25T13:51:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69441 2017-09-25T13:51:00+01:00 2017-09-25T13:51:00+01:00 Six cool things about Leicester City FC's new website Ben Davis <h4>Project background </h4> <p>Seven League began working with Leicester as the club's lead digital agency in December 2015. The agency conducted an audit and assessment of website platforms, CRM, analytics, content, and social media.</p> <p>Leicester, like many football clubs in the English leagues, were beset with legacy technology problems and were intent on migrating away from the generic Football League Interactive (FLi) platform. Ayers points out that though the old FLi platform was obviously no longer fit for purpose, "it’s a hard thing to do to make a centralised platform that works well for 70 clubs" of all different sizes and needs.</p> <p>Indeed, we've looked at other clubs before on the Econsultancy blog (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69332-how-premier-league-club-websites-are-changing-a-swansea-and-stoke-case-study">such as Swansea, Stoke and Middlesbrough</a>) who have also chosen to move away from the FLi solution, though it should be noted that the FLi launched a new platform this summer with many clubs choosing to stay in the modernised scheme.</p> <p>Leicester City decided to run a tender process for new website, new ecommerce platform, new ticketing platform, new CRM and business intelligence platform, and new POS system in the club shop.</p> <p>Ayers admits that it was particularly "difficult to change [so many] parts and sync development timelines" but that contracts were coming to an end at the same time and it was decided that getting these new systems in place would then allow the club to go on and hone its commercial digital strategy.</p> <p>The development took six months, from February to July 2017. You can check out a list of the vendors involved in the project at the bottom of this article.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9121/home.jpg" alt="lcfc home" width="615" height="318"></p> <p><em>The new LCFC homepage</em></p> <h3>Six cool things about the Leicester City FC website</h3> <h4>1. Single sign-on</h4> <p>Leicester is now in exalted company as Ayers says that "Across Europe, as far as I’m aware, it’s just Bayern Munich and Paris St. Germain that have the same level of single sign-on that Leicester have got now."</p> <p>Yep, Leicester City is the only Premier League club with website, tickets and ecommerce rolled into one account for the fan. That's great, but it's also quite revealing of the pace of digital transformation at most Premier League clubs.</p> <p>Single sign-on is a big plus for many reasons (UX, data, conversion), though Ayers admits that "you’re never going to get a fan saying 'wow, my single sign-on experience is so amazing'." It is, however, a big hygiene factor and "annoying to people if you don't have it", says Ayers.</p> <p>In order to create the single sign-on, ticketing history was maintained and migrated to the new accounts – fans simply had to enter their season ticket or membership number to link an old account to their new one.</p> <p>Purchase history was not carried across from the online shop, but Ayers laid out the rationale for that decision, saying "It was felt that because product ranges change very often and the data was somewhat messy, the likelihood of being able to do something useful with that data wasn’t that high compared to what we have with the new platform" and was very much secondary to ticket history.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9122/Screen_Shot_2017-09-25_at_12.08.56.png" alt="sso" width="500"></p> <p><em>One account to rule them all</em></p> <h4>2. Analytics is set up properly</h4> <p>In Ayers' words, "web analytics was not good across previous platforms."</p> <p>That's a bit of understatement, given that Ayers tells me "ticketing and retail were on the same platform, but ecommerce tracking wasn’t set up, so I could see how much revenue came in every day, but I couldn’t see [without looking at the sales reporting] whether that was tickets or retail items. Being able to unpick that figure was pretty hard, and you couldn’t get a lot of good intelligence from it."</p> <p>However, Ayers continues, "with the new platforms, we have Google Analytics profiles for each individual site (main, shop, ticketing). And there’s also a rolled-up profile where all the traffic from all those sites is merged into one profile where we de-dupe users."</p> <p>Ayers explains what he means by de-duping in analytics: "A common problem we see on lots of football club ticketing or ecommerce sites is that you look at referrer details to see what’s driving revenue but often what you’ll see is it's our own main website that’s driving revenue – that’s not useful information. I want to know where people came from before they hit our website [and then clicked on tickets or shop]."</p> <p>So, with the new solution "if a user arrives on the main site and then goes to the shop, the individual Google Analytics profiles count that as one session for the main site <em>and</em> one session for the shop, but in reality it’s just one user session, so we can track that, and the <em>real</em> numbers [in the rolled-up profile]."</p> <p>Again emphasising how dated the old FLI platform had become, Ayers says that "the mobile and desktop sites were literally different products. One analytics profile for mobile and one for desktop – trying to glue that data together was speculative."</p> <p>Thankfully, the Foxes are in a much better position now to understand their online success.</p> <h4>3. A clear incentive for paid membership</h4> <p>"One of the nice things that single sign-one has enabled," says Ayers, "is to tie the membership scheme in well and have a clear digital pathway from free digital members to paid members."</p> <p>Leicester's membership scheme is similar to other clubs in many ways – paid membership allows early access to tickets, and free membership allows people to watch video or listen to live audio commentary.</p> <p>But where Leicester has been smarter is linking the two via the online shop. Paid members get 5% of their shop spend back as rewards, season tickets earn 10%. Free members earn these rewards, too, but crucially they are only redeemable if you are a fully paid up member. "So there may become a point," Ayers points out, "if you’ve spent money in the shop over the season, where it becomes uneconomic not to pay for membership."</p> <p>What this means is that pathway for users may look something like this:</p> <ol> <li>Visit website and read some free content and browse the shop.</li> <li>Sign up as free member to watch video content.</li> <li>Purchase a strip in the club shop.</li> <li>Take incentive to pay for membership.</li> <li>Purchase tickets for a cup game.</li> </ol> <p>Unlocking this pathway is a big bonus of single sign-on, and no doubt Leicester will optimise these journeys and club marketing over time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9123/shop.jpg" alt="online shop lcfc" width="615" height="318"></p> <p><em>The online shop</em></p> <h4>4. Content teams are liberated </h4> <p>All the excellent content you see on the Leicester City website is produced by internal content teams, which were beefed up in the wake of Leicester's 2015/2016 title win.</p> <p>Ayers makes some interesting points about how a legacy platform with poor UX previously impacted the content team:</p> <p>"Previously, content teams produced a lot of video content that was behind the FLI subscription product, and because it was behind the paywall, the reach of the content was lower. Inevitably, [content teams] focused on the things where they got – social media, for example, which saw a huge uplift in the title-winning year. Putting content into subscription channels didn’t get as much reaction and job satisfaction can be affected."</p> <p>Though a lot of this content is still behind a free subscription on the new website, the platform now looks great, the team can present their work in a much more pleasing way using different long form articles or video formats, with much better functionality that you'd normally associate with a web publisher. Suddenly, Ayers says, "[content teams] take a lot more pride in the website."</p> <p>This means, Ayers continues, that "the quantity and quality of content has increased, with people trying new things." Regular live broadcasts are a notable new addition, with content that feels very much like that of a major broadcaster involving past players acting as pundits.</p> <p>There's a knock-on effect that this has around the club. Ayers cites the example of access to first team players: "Players have lots of commitments. It can be the case that players are less interested in club internal channels if they don't look great. Whereas now they are more likely to appreciate them. It's a win-win, the website benefits and the players benefit."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9124/video.jpg" alt="video content" width="615" height="318"></p> <p><em>Improved video content</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9125/Screen_Shot_2017-09-25_at_12.11.07.png" alt="broadcasting lcfc" width="615" height="289"></p> <p><em>Professional review programmes hosted by ex-players now tempt free registration</em></p> <h4>5. Mobile is converting</h4> <p>Some early stats for you now.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Old</strong> ecommerce store: 53% traffic was mobile, 20% of revenue was mobile</li> <li> <strong>New</strong> ecommerce store: 57% traffic is mobile, 38% of revenue is mobile</li> </ul> <p>Obviously, Ayers says, "this was expected, given the comparison of functionality between the old and new ecommerce sites."</p> <p>"Historically," Ayers adds, "football ecommerce sites have been an afterthought. For example, the old Leicester shop used to offer only one delivery method – next day courier at £6 – now it offers Royal Mail, too." This is what customers expect and will of course have a bearing on overall conversion.</p> <p>A site with good UX on mobile is vital for convincing customers to buy when in the moment on the smaller device.</p> <h4>6. Leicester will be able to capitalise on Blue Friday and Christmas</h4> <p>Success on the pitch has had a big impact online for Leicester City. Ayers tell me the club shot up close to the top six Premier League clubs for social media engagement and followers.</p> <p>And though he admits it "would have been nice to have the new website in place" during the title-winning season and the following Champions League campaign, Ayers says "they still did very well on Blue Friday," the club's version of Black Friday.</p> <p>The hope is that the new website will allow even more sales on these important holidays in 2017, as the functionality and resilience of the platform will help the club meet demand efficiently.  </p> <p><em>Seven League and Leicester City FC's list of vendors for the new website platforms:</em></p> <ul> <li><em>Pulselive built the LCFC.com site</em></li> <li><em>Digital Boutique built the ecommerce site</em></li> <li><em>TopTix built the ticketing and hospitality site</em></li> <li><em>Sports Alliance manage the data warehouse, CRM platform and business intelligence that comes from that</em></li> <li><em>PCS Technology provide the fanstore retail systems and stock control.</em></li> </ul> <p><strong><em>More on Premier League football:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69380-arsenal-vs-spurs-which-premier-league-club-offers-the-best-mobile-ux"><em>Arsenal vs. Tottenham: Which offers the best mobile UX?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/"><em>Digital Transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69414 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 2017-09-12T10:15:00+01:00 Four big digital trends impacting travel & tourism marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>But, how exactly are they doing it? Here’s a look at of some of the most interesting trends in online tourism marketing, and why certain destinations are leading the way.</p> <h3>Immersive video</h3> <p>In 2015, both Facebook and YouTube introduced 360-degree video, leading many tourism destinations to experiment with the medium. </p> <p>The benefits are obvious. If done well, 360-degree video enables viewers to immerse themselves in a destination as well as specific activities or events, generating much higher engagement than standard video. </p> <p><a href="https://skift.com/2017/01/17/5-charts-showing-the-untapped-potential-of-360-degree-video-in-travel-planning/" target="_blank">Research from Skift</a> backs this up, but also shows that getting people to actively watch 360-videos is still somewhat of a barrier. It found that while only 13% of users say they’ve interacted with a 360-degree video, 51% of those that have say they find them much more engaging.</p> <p>So which tourism brands have been getting involved? Here are a few of the best examples.</p> <h4>Philadelphia Virtual Tour</h4> <p>Visit Philadelphia allows viewers to jump into the sights and sounds of ‘Philly’ with a series of immersive videos of the city’s most recognisable spots.   </p> <p>Viewers can skate along the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, look around Elfreth’s Alley and experience what it’s like to be in the middle of Washington Square. With a full-screen format plus the option to use a VR headset, it offers a great way to get a glimpse of what’s it like to actually be there.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/virtual-tour/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8877/Welcome_to_Philly.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="398"></a></p> <h4>VisitLEX Horses</h4> <p>Lexington in Kentucky is known as ‘horse country’. The city’s tourism board, VisitLex, chose to hone in on this niche appeal this with its 360-degree video, Horses.</p> <p>The video immerses users inside the world of horses, allowing them to see a 360-degree view of race day, the animals being groomed, and the fields in which they roam. By focusing on this rather than the general location, VisitLex is able to target a much more specific audience. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4bx-RXegHus?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>British Columbia: Whistler Within</h4> <p>British Columbia uses action to drive its 360-degree video, Winter Within, showing viewers exactly what it’s like to ski in the area. In fact, by allowing viewers to navigate wherever they choose, it offers more of a view than the skiers themselves can enjoy.</p> <p>While 360-degree tour video might serve a more functional purpose, adventure videos can be effective for really ramping up excitement in the run-up to a trip.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VVRAB4eoPbk?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Slick UX and design</h3> <p>Last year, I wrote about five tourism websites <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust" target="_blank">guaranteed to give you wanderlust</a>, and one thing they all have in common is a particularly slick and engaging UX.  </p> <p>While most other types of travel-related websites rely on bookings, focusing on avoiding abandoned user journeys and so on, tourist board sites have the luxury to concentrate on beautifully designed and informative content. </p> <p>Tennessee Vacation grabs the user’s attention with highly visual and arresting imagery, designed to highlight different aspects of the state. It also helps different types of travellers navigate the site depending on what they’re interested in.</p> <p>While indoor and outdoor activities might appeal to families, Nashville’s nightlife is bound to appeal to younger travellers. </p> <p><a href="https://www.tnvacation.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8878/tennessee.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="343"></a></p> <p>Another example of great design is Visit Finland – specifically its animated map.</p> <p>Users are taken around the map as they scroll, with each section detailing information about key attractions within four regions. The map itself is deliberately cartoon-like, however I think this adds to its charm, with the main enjoyment stemming from the easy user experience and bright design.</p> <p><a href="http://www.visitfinland.com/destinations/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8879/VisitFinland.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="455"></a></p> <p>In the UK, Visit Cornwall also makes use of striking design, integrating site-wide video into its homepage.</p> <p>Showcasing the county’s beautiful coastal views, it effectively captures the user’s attention and shows off its unique appeal.</p> <p><a href="https://www.visitcornwall.com/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8880/visitcornwall.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="458"></a></p> <h3>Food tourism</h3> <p>Another element that tourism boards are increasingly focusing on is food. Gastronomy is a huge motivation for travellers around the world – the AAA found that an estimated 22m Americans will take a culinary-focused holiday in the next 12 months, while 75% feel that food is an integral part of their trip.</p> <p>It’s not just about recommending <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67785-why-restaurants-need-a-hyper-local-influencer-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">local restaurants</a> either. Content relating to tasting experiences, food markets, and regional produce can all be effective for engaging foodies – all the while helping to boost local businesses.</p> <p>Catalunya is one tourism board to have a dedicated food section on its website, where it features videos about the region’s famous cuisine and wine. As well as increasing engagement from people interested in food, this type of content also helps to promote the authenticity and unique identity of a place.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kXXsUlQgul8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>NYCGo also has an extensive focus on food, using a magazine style format to delve into the restaurants, food trends, and quirks that make its dining scene so famous.</p> <p>It also promotes food events happening in New York City, helping users to plan specific trips and events as well as gain inspiration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8881/NYCGO.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="677"></p> <h3>Instagram</h3> <p>It’s unsurprising that most tourism sites have a very strong presence on Instagram – it’s a trend that’s seen across the entire <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68815-becoming-an-influencer-notes-from-a-fledgling-travel-blogger/" target="_blank">travel industry</a>. However, it is a great way for tourism boards in particular to establish themselves as a standout brand, using the platform to increase visibility and awareness.</p> <p>Whereas Twitter or Facebook might create a more passive user experience, an increasing number of people are using Instagram to search for inspiration.</p> <p>Tourism boards are able to capitalise on this, delivering stunning and inspiring imagery based on destination-interest.</p> <h4>PureMichigan</h4> <p>PureMichigan has an impressive 516,000 followers on Instagram. Compared to VisitCalifornia’s 295,000 and NYCGO’s 212,000 – the US state is clearly doing something right.</p> <p>Most of its success appears to be down to a focus on user generated content, with the channel continuously posting and crediting imagery to others. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8883/puremichigan.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h4>Greenland</h4> <p>Greenland makes the most of its photogenic landscape, using Instagram to showcase everything from its epic icebergs to magnificent wildlife.</p> <p>It doesn’t only just focus on the imagery, however, with its captions providing users with informative insight into life on the island.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8882/Greenland.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="650"></p> <h4>VisitLondon</h4> <p>Finally, VisitLondon shows that you don’t always have to use Instagram to target international travellers.</p> <p>Posting imagery that celebrates all aspects of life in the capital, it is able to become a source of interest for locals as well as potential visitors.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8884/VisitLondon.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="574"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67996-what-travel-tourism-marketers-can-learn-from-discover-la/">What travel &amp; tourism marketers can learn from Discover LA</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69109-why-visit-sweden-and-other-tourism-boards-are-teaming-up-with-airbnb/">Why Visit Sweden and other tourism boards are teaming up with Airbnb</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3247 2017-09-08T11:13:37+01:00 2017-09-08T11:13:37+01:00 Mini Masters in Digital Marketing Online <p>If you want to accelerate your career to take a leadership role as a professional digital marketer then the Econsultancy Mini Masters in Digital Marketing is the course that will give you the practical and strategic skills to step up.</p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">Econsultancy’s Mini Masters is taught online with intensive, challenging, interactive modules taught by the very best in the business. Formalise your existing skills, and come away with the confidence that you really know your stuff – and how to prove it at the highest level. </p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"><strong>Book your place now! Next course dates are in April and October 2018.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3246 2017-09-08T11:02:07+01:00 2017-09-08T11:02:07+01:00 Mini Masters in Digital Marketing Online <p>If you want to accelerate your career to take a leadership role as a professional digital marketer then the Econsultancy Mini Masters in Digital Marketing is the course that will give you the practical and strategic skills to step up.</p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">Econsultancy’s Mini Masters is taught online with intensive, challenging, interactive modules taught by the very best in the business. Formalise your existing skills, and come away with the confidence that you really know your stuff – and how to prove it at the highest level. </p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"><strong>Book your place now! Next course dates are in April and October 2018.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69332 2017-09-01T08:44:30+01:00 2017-09-01T08:44:30+01:00 How Premier League club websites are changing: A Swansea and Stoke case study Ben Davis <p>I've been speaking to Hayden Evans, creative director at Reading Room, the agency that has recently redesigned and relaunched the websites of Stoke City, Swansea City and Middlesbrough. Let's find out what is changing for the better and how these redesigns were made possible.</p> <p><em>For more on digital in the Premier League, check out these other posts:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68828-after-years-of-apathy-football-clubs-are-embracing-digital-transformation"><em>After years of apathy, football clubs are embracing digital transformation</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/"><em>Digital transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy</em></a></li> </ul> <h3>Legacy technology was a pain in the metatarsal</h3> <p>Anyone familiar with football club websites will know that historically many have been tied in to a Football League Interactive contract, which meant they had their websites provided for them by the league, each of which was based on the same back-end system.</p> <p>Evans tells me that "The problem with [the Football League Interactive system] was that each club had very restrictive designs and publishing capability. The clubs all went into the same publishing queue, so you can imagine what that meant at 4.45pm on a Saturday. Some clubs wouldn’t get their content published for 20-25 minutes whilst it waited in the queue."</p> <p>That system meant that a Premier League club could be beholden to the content strategy of another club altogether - not ideal when you're trying to build a global football brand.</p> <h3>Clubs need to be able to create a visual brand</h3> <p>Each club that Reading Room worked with was very clear, according to Evans, about "being able to customise the design" of their website. They "don’t necessarily mind being on the same platform if it works well," he continued, "but what they don't want is a website on which their only design choice is to change the colours."</p> <p>The visual brand of big football clubs is increasingly important, with Evans pointing to when clubs change their crest as an example - such changes invariably provoke plenty of debate and feedback on social media.</p> <p>It's no different when it comes to the club's website design, as well as the content and the user experience. Fans are not slow in coming forward with their thoughts.</p> <p>So, with the goal (no pun intended) of providing Stoke, Swansea and Middlesbrough with much improved publishing capability and a customiseable design, Reading Room created Playmaker.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8430/swans2.jpg" alt="swansea city fc" width="615" height="340"> </p> <p><em>Swansea City FC website</em></p> <h3>Playmaker - a Drupal8 platform specifically for sports teams</h3> <p>Reading Room's Playmaker platform is based on a Drupal8 open-source backend.</p> <p>The agency worked with the three clubs to determine their workflows and build back-end systems that suit their needs (for live match centres, for example), but the platform does have some consistent functionality. There is integration with stream AMG, the stream partner that brings through live and on-demand content, for example. There is also integration with Opta, pulling in player and league stats.</p> <p>Evans gave the impression that Playmaker has been built to deliver the best of both worlds - customisable open-source infrastructure and best-practice functionality that will work for any club.</p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8427/stoke.jpg" alt="stoke website" width="615" height="342"></em></p> <p><em>Stoke City FC website</em></p> <h3>Designing both fan and club UX</h3> <p>Part of scoping out each website build was working with both club and fans to determine what great UX meant to each.</p> <p>For the clubs, as touched on earlier, Evans said this could mean "sitting down with content teams to understand their experiences watching a live match and updating the website." This might mean being able to "quickly update a system when someone scores, add in some commentary, maybe pull in and embed a Tweet or Instagram post. And be able to do that quickly."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8432/Screen_Shot_2017-08-21_at_17.14.27.png" alt="swansea live commentary" width="615" height="329"> </p> <p><em>The Swansea City FC website's live match commentary</em></p> <p>Similarly, the agency worked with each club to improve how the systems works when the club needs to announce a season ticket campaign or unveil a new signing, for example.</p> <p>Alongside this club-side UX, various fan groups were consulted - what social media do younger fans appreciate (can we incorporate player posts?), what stats do the fans want from the website, and so on.</p> <p>The presentation of stats is one area where, by working across multiple football club websites, Reading Room was able to zero in on an optimised UX that can be shared across clubs, meeting with fan approval and also providing the consistency that great data visualisations rely on. That means fans can sort through league tables and rich stats (who has the most assists from midfield, for example) using a throughly tested design.</p> <p>The agency, Evan says, was "upfront with the clubs, saying we’re going to keep this stats layout and style for all three of you because this is working and we’ve tested it, across devices. It's the same with upcoming fixtures, which will show form from last season's corresponding fixtures."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8431/stats.png" alt="player stats" width="615" height="352"> </p> <p><em>Player stats on the Middlesbrough website (Ben Gibson, if you're curious)</em></p> <h3>Designing for mobile <em>and</em> desktop</h3> <p>"We’re not prioritising mobile," said Evans, "the sites work on mobile and on desktop." </p> <p>"We didn’t want to go down that worn out path of ‘mobile first’ - we’re very aware of sites in both the football sector and others too where they have almost gone mobile only, it’s overly basic at the desktop level i.e. the same mobile view just expanded for the desktop."</p> <p>It's easy to understand what Evans is getting at here - the website with a simplistic homepage or a feed homepage, with a hidden navigation. This mobile-first design can sometimes feel limited on desktop. Fans want to check scores on their mobiles, but also dig into match reports and stats on desktop, or watch video here in the evening.</p> <p>You can see the advantages of this multi-device approach by looking at Swansea's site, which includes a mega-menu.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8428/SWAN_MEGA_MENU.gif" alt="Swansea mega menu" width="615"></p> <p><em>Swansea City mega-menu</em></p> <p>Evans tells me it’s only Swansea that have gone for the mega-menu, with each club trialling their own navigation methods - an example of the flexibility of the backend system.</p> <p>The platform also works in partnership with the various app providers that the three clubs use. Clubs can "enter the content once," says Evans, "and that same content gets pushed out to both the website and the app.</p> <h3>Early metrics point to a much improved experience</h3> <p>The early results are positive for the three websites, with lots of positive sentiment on social media and increased visits and browsing.</p> <p>Stoke City's website saw views up 118% year-on-year in the month after launch, with visit duration up 108% and page view per visit up 58%.</p> <h3>The roadmap to single sign-on</h3> <p>So what's next for football clubs who have succeeeded in creating visually appealling, functional and usable websites for publisher and fan?</p> <p>Well, for the three named clubs, single sign-on is the next goal, allowing fans to sign in once and be able to buy tickets, view content and add items to their basket in the shop. Currently, website, match tickets and the club shop necessitate separate accounts, and that doesn't represent a great customer experience.</p> <p>Reading Room has been working with all three clubs to ensure that single sign-on is implemented.</p> <h3>Accessiblity</h3> <p>A last word on accessibility, an oft-overlooked part of UX when writing articles like this, but a vital aspect for football clubs.</p> <p>Reading Room has been working with a blind fan of Middlesbrough FC to ensure that new features on the site work well with a screen reader. When a new website launches, it can be a disconcerting experience for visually impaired users and so Reading Room's development roadmap includes work to make sure they take this into account.</p> <p>We'll hopefully do a more detailed study on this accessbility work on the Econsultancy blog. Watch this space.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8425/boro.jpg" alt="boro website" width="615" height="342"></p> <p><em>Middlesbrough FC website</em></p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>Football clubs are finally undertaking work that is long overdue, providing the information fans want in an easy-to-use format. For a while now, fans have bemoaned the state of their club websites, but it looks like most are catching and delivering experiences that are not far behind what big media players can deliver.</p> <p>The leagues are evolving, too, with the Premier League rebranding and dropping its title sponsor, and the EFL putting its digital platform (Interactive) out to tender last year and also creating a consumer-facing video streaming product for the 2017-18 season.</p> <p>The first stage of digital transformation looks to be gently underway - the next is about offering the kind of seemless experience that can generate greater revenue through fan loyalty, ecommerce and media. Top players are getting in on the act, too, with their own digital ventures.</p> <p>It's clear there's much to look forward to, with platforms like Playmaker a great start.</p> <p><strong><em>Interested in learning more about usability and user training? <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-user-experience/">Book now for Econsultancy's upcoming training course</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69388 2017-08-31T15:00:00+01:00 2017-08-31T15:00:00+01:00 AR is on the brink of a breakout thanks to new platforms from Google & Apple Patricio Robles <p>ARCore is based on Google's Tango technology, which the search giant has been working on since 2014. Tango had a huge limitation, however, that was always realistically going to hinder its adoption: the Tango technology needed special hardware to work.</p> <p>Unlike Tango, ARCore doesn't require special hardware support, so apps developed using ARCore will work with all Android devices running Android version 7.0 Nougat and above. Google says it aims to have 100m Android devices that support ARCore by the time its preview of the platform ends.</p> <h3>So what does ARCore offer?</h3> <p>According to Google, ARCore's capabilities focus on three areas: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Motion tracking.</strong> A compelling AR experience demands that virtual objects remain placed where they're expected to be. ARCore uses a phone's camera and sensor data to track the position and orientation of the phone as it moves.</li> <li> <strong>Environmental understanding.</strong> As Google explained, "It's common for AR objects to be placed on a floor or a table. ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points it uses for motion tracking."</li> <li> <strong>Light estimation.</strong> To provide for a more realistic AR experience, ARCore is capable of tracking ambient light and allowing developers to shade their virtual objects so that they look more realistic.</li> </ul> <p>Combined, ARCore makes it possible for developers to create innovative AR experiences that are smooth, realistic and that function with a high level of performance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8625/ARCore_Tinman.gif" alt="" width="448" height="252"></p> <h3>A new battlefront in the war against Apple for mobile supremacy</h3> <p>ARCore is Google's answer to Apple's ARKit, which <a href="https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/06/ios-11-brings-new-features-to-iphone-and-ipad-this-fall/">was unveiled</a> in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Prominent tech investor Gene Munster <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/05/gene-munster-apple-arkit-most-revolutionary-thing-from-wwdc.html">called it</a> the most "revolutionary" announcement at the conference and it's not hard to understand why.</p> <p>Like Google's ARCore, ARKit enables developers to build advanced augmented reality applications that place virtual content "on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more."</p> <p>When announced, Apple boasted that ARKit offers developers the "latest computer vision technologies" and that once iOS 11 is rolled out it will have the "the biggest AR platform in the world" consisting of hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad devices.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, developers were eager to start building AR experiences based on ARKit and as TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/29/a-preview-of-the-first-wave-of-ar-apps-coming-to-iphones/">detailed</a>, major brands are among those embracing the platform. For example, IKEA, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63574-augmented-reality-the-ikea-catalogue-and-beyond">which is no stranger to AR</a>, in seven weeks used ARKit to build a new AR feature for its iOS catalog app. This feature will allow shoppers to visualize what items would look like in their homes.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qQZIzbuymrw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Publisher Touch Press took advantage of ARKit to build an AR experience around the popular children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Because it was designed for young children, Touch Press had to be thoughtful about how it allows users to control the interactivity. Panzarino explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Very Hungry Caterpillar's control methodology was based on focus. The act of pointing at an object and leaving your gaze on it caused the story to progress and actions to be taken (knocking fruit out of a tree for the caterpillar to munch on or encouraging it to go to sleep on a stump). Most of the other apps relied on something as simple as a single tap for most actions. I think this control-free or control-light paradigm will be widespread. It will require some rethinking for many apps being translated.</p> </blockquote> <p>Interestingly, while Google and Apple are obviously fighting for AR supremacy, Google clearly recognizes that the iOS ecosystem is important. In its AR announcement, the company stated "we think the Web will be a critical component of the future of AR." To that end, it plans to release prototype web browsers for developers that will enable them to create "AR-enhanced websites and run them on both Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit."</p> <h3>AR's breakout</h3> <p>Companies have been experimenting with AR for years and thanks to the breakout success of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality">Pokemon Go</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69374-star-wars-uses-ar-experiential-campaign-to-drive-people-in-store/">brands like Disney</a> are increasingly feeling comfortable enough to develop large campaigns around AR.</p> <p>With Google and Apple, the makers of the two most popular mobile operating systems, now offering AR platforms on which companies can build robust, high-performing AR apps for the masses, it seems safe to declare that it's no longer a matter of if AR will achieve mainstream ubiquity but when.</p> <p>In other words, thanks to ARCore and ARKit, it's likely that AR will be incorporated into apps across a wide variety of categories, not just games, within the next year. As such, brands would be wise to get ahead of the curve now and start taking AR seriously if they're not doing so already.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69380 2017-08-31T09:53:00+01:00 2017-08-31T09:53:00+01:00 Arsenal vs. Spurs: Which Premier League club offers the best mobile UX? David Moth <p>Since redesigning and replatforming <a href="https://arsenaldirect.arsenal.com/">their retail site</a> with SAP Hybris Commerce, the club has seen an 86% increase in mobile transactions, a 42% increase in sales, and a 57% reduction in page load time.</p> <p>The ability to checkout using Euros, US dollars, Australian dollars has contributed to a 48% increase in sales from outside the UK. A fine result indeed. To give an idea of the work that has been carried out, here are before and after images of the product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8577/Old_Arsenal_Direct_PDP.png" alt="" width="700" height="469"></p> <p><em>The old design</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8578/New_Arsenal_Direct_PDP.png" alt="" width="650" height="478"></em></p> <p><em>The new design</em></p> <p>The redesign included:</p> <ul> <li>Cleaner design with a focus on key products and imagery.</li> <li>Better visibility of key customer journeys; shop-by-player and shirt personalisation.</li> <li>Improved rendering of shirt personalisation.</li> <li>Improved shirt personalisation journey based on mobile first principles.</li> <li>Redesign of the checkout also based on mobile first design principles.</li> </ul> <p>It’s the last two points that I’ve chosen to focus on for this article, because the 86% increase in mobile transactions is quite impressive. To add an element of competition, I’ve compared Arsenal’s mobile journey versus that of my own club, the Hotspurs.</p> <p>Read on to find my totally unbiased appraisal. And for more on digital in the Premier League, checkout these other posts:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69332-how-premier-league-club-websites-are-changing-a-swansea-and-stoke-case-study/">How Premier League club websites are changing: A Swansea &amp; Stoke case study</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/">Digital transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68828-after-years-of-apathy-football-clubs-are-embracing-digital-transformation">After years of apathy, football clubs are embracing digital transformation</a></li> </ul> <h3>My Arsenal journey</h3> <p>The homepage has a hero image that aims to nudge people towards buying the new away kit. It features an indifferent Mesut Ozil, goal-shy Theo Walcott, and a third player who I don’t actually recognise. How can I resist clicking ‘Shop now’?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8561/Arsenal_1.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8563/Arsenal_product_listing.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>The product page is clearly designed to get people to personalise their shirts. One could very easily accuse Arsenal of employing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68973-13-examples-of-dark-patterns-in-ecommerce-checkouts">a dark UX pattern here</a>, pushing people towards the more expensive option.</p> <p>Adding a name and number to the shirt is very simple and the product image immediately reflects your choice. Not rocket science, but still all very quick and user-friendly thus far.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8564/Arsenal_4.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8565/Arsenal_5.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>One criticism would be that the shirt cost has jumped from £55 to £71 without warning. I would expect a personalised shirt to cost more, but the new price is shown below the 'Add sleeve patches' call-to-action, so users might miss the price increase if they don't scroll down past the CTA. A bit sneaky perhaps, and some users might abandon their purchase if they reach the checkout without noticing the price hike.</p> <p>And by the way, those sleeve patches are an extra £8.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8566/Arsenal_8.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8567/Arsenal_checkout.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"> </p> <p>As promised, the checkout is very simple to use and ticks <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65493-10-of-the-world-s-best-mobile-commerce-checkouts/">all the best practice boxes</a>. A progress bar lets me know it won’t take long to make the purchase and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65311-seven-important-ux-requirements-for-online-postcode-validation">the postcode lookup tool</a> simplifies the process of entering personal details. It even accepts Paypal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8562/Arsenal_checkout_2.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8568/Arsenal_checkout_3.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>Standard delivery is almost £5 though, which seems steep at a time when most retailers offer free delivery or click and collect options. In total my order comes to £83.95.  </p> <h3>The Arsenal result</h3> <p>Overall the mobile purchase journey for a personalised Arsenal shirt was extremely quick and easy. The path from product page to checkout completion was very slick and intuitive, with each screen only requiring a handful of interactions.</p> <p>You could argue that it would be better to condense the checkout onto a single screen, but I don’t think that matters too much as long as there’s a progress bar and each page is short and simple.</p> <h3>My Tottenham journey</h3> <p>I breathed a sigh of relief that Spurs have a mobile site – it would have been a crushing blow if we fell at the first hurdle. </p> <p>The hero image on the homepage promotes Champions League merchandise, an option that wasn’t available on the Arsenal site for some reason. It takes three clicks to get to the home shirt product page, which costs £60. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8569/Spurs_homepage.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8570/Spurs_product_page.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>I’m trying to be objective here, and I think that the product pages are pretty much on par with one another.</p> <p>Both have good product images, and while Spurs get bonus points <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them">for product reviews</a>, I prefer Arsenal’s use of buttons to choose the shirt size instead of a dropdown menu. And if we’re assuming that both clubs would prefer to nudge fans towards getting a personalised shirt, then Arsenal’s CTA is probably more effective. </p> <p>If a customer opts for a personalised Spurs shirt, the options are presented in a pop up rather than on a new screen. Though it’s a slightly different experience, the outcome is the same – you enter your name and number and the product image is updated accordingly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8571/Spurs_product_page_2.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8572/Spurs_personalisation.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>Spurs do offer some extra options though – you can choose between two fonts (Spurs Lettering or Premier League Lettering), though I’m not sure if that was reflected on the product image as I couldn’t tell any difference. And there’s also the extra option of Champions League badges, again an option that was missing from the Arsenal site.</p> <p>Spurs gain points here for being a bit more upfront about costs, but unfortunately our flaky nature now comes into play...</p> <p>You notice that heart icon at the bottom right of the personalisation screen? I clicked it, but as far as I can tell it didn’t do anything other than boot me back to the product page, deleting the shirt information I had just filled in.</p> <p>Also, if you click the blue 'Confirm’ button, the shirt is subtly added to your basket without any real warning. But you’re then left on the product page, where the price hasn’t been updated to reflect the personalised name and number. </p> <p>Worse still, the next logical step is to click the ‘Add to Bag’ button. But if you click ‘Add to Bag’ you then actually have two items in your basket. And at the checkout you can’t delete the items individually, you have to either buy both shirts or delete the entire order. I wasn’t actually planning to buy a shirt, and I still got frustrated at all this clicking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8574/Spurs_checkout_2.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8573/Spurs_checkout.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>Pleasingly, the checkout experience is very swift. It all sits on one page, with concertinas expanding out as you move through each phase.</p> <h3>The final result</h3> <p>While the checkouts are evenly matched, Arsenal win this little UX test as Tottenham have contrived to shoot themselves in the foot at the last minute (just like both our home games so far this season...).</p> <p>On the product page Spurs don’t make it clear that the personalised shirt has been added to the user’s shopping basket, nor does the product page reflect the updated cost. It leads to a lot of unnecessary confusion and frustration, which lets down an otherwise quick and simple purchase journey.</p> <p>In contrast Arsenal’s mobile user journey requires minimal thought or effort on the user’s behalf. My only criticism would be that the additional costs for personalising a shirt are not made clear, which could lead some fans to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11182-basket-abandonment-case-studies-and-tips-to-help-improve-your-conversion-rates">abandon their purchase</a>.</p> <p>Overall then, Arsenal win this user test. Does that make this the ecommerce version of St Totteringham’s Day?</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/mobile-user-experience-mobile-marketing/"><em>Mobile UX (User Experience) &amp; Marketing Training</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-08-25T11:33:00+01:00 2017-08-25T11:33:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to two sector-specific reports, B2B and Healthcare &amp; Pharma) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69363 2017-08-24T04:00:00+01:00 2017-08-24T04:00:00+01:00 How to score more leads with the B2B messaging equation Jeff Rajeck <p>Key points from his presentation are summarized below, but first we'd like to invite all B2B marketers in the APAC region to attend<strong> Econsultancy's Masterclass in Lead Generation</strong>, led by Bhattacharya, on the 19th and 20th of October in Singapore. You can find out more information and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/masterclass-in-lead-generation-singapore/dates/3132/">book your spot here</a>.</p> <p><strong>So what should B2B marketers do to improve lead generation on digital channels?</strong></p> <h3>1. Make sure your messaging is relevant</h3> <p>Research indicates that 80% of a purchase decision for B2B buyers is made before contacting sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8462/g1.png" alt="" width="800" height="265"></p> <p>What this means for B2B marketers is that messaging now plays a greater role in B2B lead generation than it ever has before.</p> <p>To highlight the factors of B2B messaging, Bhattacharya presented delegates with an equation:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8464/g2.png" alt="" width="800" height="141"></p> <p>The first point to take from this equation is that <strong>if you want your messaging to be effective you need to make it relevant.</strong> If relevance is effectively zero (i.e. not relevant), then you are providing your customers only friction and anxiety.</p> <p>So to improve your relevancy, and your lead generation, Bhattacharya said marketers must remember two key points about making their messaging relevant:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>You are not selling to a corporation, but to a person</strong> and your messaging must reflect this fact. Making your customer 'more human' by <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69322-what-are-customer-personas-and-why-are-they-so-important">drafting customer personas</a> can help a great deal.</li> <li> <strong>There is always more than one person involved in the B2B sales process</strong>, so consider all of those involved when crafting your messaging.</li> </ol> <p>Multiple personas, representing each person involved in the buying cycle, will help ensure that your messaging is relevant across the whole organisation you are targeting and improve your overall messaging effectiveness.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8470/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2. Map the customer journey</h3> <p>In order to improve the next part of the messaging effectiveness equation, the offer value and incentive, <strong>marketers must understand where the customer is on their journey.</strong> There is little point in offering a discount when the customer has not yet decided what they are going to buy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8473/5.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p>The traditional customer journey has four steps: awareness, interest, desire, and action (AIDA). Aligning messaging with these familiar stages makes marketing easier, but unfortunately <strong>the AIDA model rarely corresponds with the actual customer buying process.</strong></p> <p>As every B2B business has a dramatically different customer journey, Bhattacharya acknowledged it can be difficult to give general advice. He did, however, recommend that those who are just starting should have a look at two different models:</p> <ol> <li>The <a href="http://www.adaptivepath.org/ideas/the-anatomy-of-an-experience-map/">experience map</a>, which combines the guiding principles of the buyer, their buying stages, and how the buying experience appears to them along the way.</li> <li>The <a href="https://www.christenseninstitute.org/key-concepts/jobs-to-be-done/">Jobs To Be Done</a> framework, which looks at how each persona moves through the buying process so that marketing can find and eliminate any potential gaps.</li> </ol> <p>Using one of these frameworks or another which provides a more realistic model for the customer journey than AIDA will help marketers deliver the right offers and incentives at the right time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8466/1a.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>3. Reduce friction and anxiety </h3> <p>The final variables of the messaging effectiveness equation are friction and anxiety, and marketers should aim to reduce both.</p> <p>A simple way to remove friction, according to Bhattacharya, is to <strong>use everyday language, not 'gobbledygook'</strong>. This means purging your marketing materials of many of the buzzwords which plague modern business writing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8467/g3.png" alt="" width="800" height="168"></p> <p>Another way marketers can reduce friction is to <strong>ensure your marketing content covers subjects which matter to the customer, not just to the brand</strong>. A customer spends nearly all of their time thinking about their business, not your product, and so the overlap between what they are interested in and what you want to say is probably very small.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8469/g4.png" alt="" width="800" height="310"></p> <p>Finally, B2B marketers should <strong>avoid including any information requests which may cause either friction or anxiety.</strong></p> <p>As an example, Bhattacharya encouraged attendees to first review all requests for user information and remove redundant or useless fields so that potential customers will be more likely to fill them in.</p> <p>Additionally, marketers should also <strong>remove form fields which may cause anxiety, such as address and phone number</strong>. Unless you need to send something or the prospect has requested you contact them by post or by phone, then asking for these will only make them suspicious of your motives. Then it will be less likely that they offer any information at all, thereby reducing your B2B messaging effectiveness.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8471/g5.png" alt="" width="800" height="343"></p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>As corporate consumers now use 80% of the buying cycle to research a business before contacting sales, messaging is now one of the most important parts of B2B marketing.</p> <p>To make it more effective, marketers should follow the messaging effectiveness equation and audit their marketing materials and interactive parts of their site to make sure that they are providing relevant information for each part of the customer journey, and not causing friction or anxiety when gathering information.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/anolbhattacharya/?ppe=1">Anol Bhattacharya</a>, CEO at GetIT Comms and B2B marketing specialist, 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/0008/8472/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69345 2017-08-17T13:00:00+01:00 2017-08-17T13:00:00+01:00 An introduction to customer research (a 3,000-word guide) Nicholas Villani <p>Of course, when it comes to conducting customer interviews, sending out surveys and collating insights, method overrules madness. Employing some fundamental principles and ground rules will ensure that you are making the most of this opportunity, and not leading yourself or your customer astray.</p> <p>In this article we will explore: </p> <ul> <li><strong>1. Guerilla research</strong></li> <li><strong>2. Qualitative research</strong></li> <ul> <li>a. Customer research</li> <li>b. Focus group</li> <li>c. Ethnographic research</li> </ul> <li><strong>3. Quantitative research</strong></li> <ul> <li>a. Customer surveys</li> <li>b. Website/social data</li> <li>c. CRM data</li> </ul> </ul> <h3>1. What's this guerilla research thing all about?</h3> <p>Let’s get this one out of the way first. The principles of guerrilla research, originally adopted by <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69268-a-day-in-the-life-of-consumer-product-manager-at-trustpilot">product managers</a> and <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68842-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-user-interface-designer">UX designers</a>, have started to gain traction across other disciplines. This method encourages one to just get out, hit the pavement, and start asking questions. Of course, I love the agility of this principle, and the concept that it doesn’t require a massive budget or months of planning to really start finding out what your customer thinks, but it’s important to highlight that there are a few inherent risks.</p> <p>Firstly, in the process of conducting guerilla research, it’s still important to have some structure if you want to collect any data that is useful. Standardising questioning is key. If you change your set of questions between each interview, then you have no benchmark to measure against.</p> <p>Secondly, guerilla research is only effective if you target people who are in your core demographic, or if your value proposition is designed to be general enough to appeal to everyone. For example, asking Sue in accounts, who is in her mid 50’s, if a piece of video content you’ve created will appeal to Gen Z males is only going to provide opinion, and not actual insight.</p> <p>Lastly, ad hoc guerilla research can occasionally lead you astray. One person’s opinion in a coffee shop is not necessarily going to be indicative of your wider target market. Randomly approaching people without fully briefing them into the process can strongly influence the way they respond to questioning. For example, if you thrust a product or a campaign creative in front of someone random, there is a strong chance that rather than offering constructive feedback, they will ‘save face’, which can also lead to false insights.</p> <p>With all of this said, you can start guerilla research immediately if you choose to, and that can often be better than nothing. At the end of the day, if you are talking to real people, then you are on the right track.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8316/high_street.jpg" alt="street" width="615" height="439"></p> <p><em>Hit the pavement and start asking questions = Guerilla research </em></p> <h3>Qualitative or quantitative?</h3> <p>Broadly speaking when it comes to customer research it helps to ensure you try to collect both qualitative and quantitative data to paint a full picture. There are many ways to collect insights and my general guidance for those starting out is to firstly decide what you are trying to determine and then select the research methods that will best help you on that path.</p> <p>Don’t try to do everything. One method from each bucket is generally enough to give you the guidance you need, especially if you are just starting out.</p> <h3>2. Qualitative</h3> <p>There are several highly effective qualitative research techniques, which include customer interviews, focus groups and ethnographic research. All three of these can be highly effective in their own right, and the correct method depends on your time, budget and overall goals.</p> <h4>a. Customer research</h4> <p>Customer interviews are one of the quickest, yet most effective ways of generating insights. This is a chance to sit down with someone who is either not yet a customer, is currently a customer, or is no longer a customer of your business, and whilst they can seem relatively straight forward, there are some key factors to consider.</p> <p>Firstly, ensure you have a script. Informal questioning can be messy. Be clear about exactly what you want to know, and restrict your questioning to focus on that. It’s okay to dig deeper into something using 'but why?' methodology, but generally, try to keep your questioning on track. Specifically, if you intend to interview several customers, this consistency ensures that you are can compare responses.</p> <p>I typically get asked how many interviews one should conduct, and despite this being like asking how long a piece of string is, I’d suggest you stop asking when you know what the answer is going to be. Once you’ve detected a common trend, then you generally have enough information to make an informed decision.</p> <p>Secondly, and most importantly, the biggest risks with qualitative interviewing, and a downfall I’ve witnessed countless times, is the interviewer, sometimes inadvertently, leading the customer to validate decisions they’ve already made. It sounds obvious, but it’s surprisingly difficult to not show bias during qualitative interviews, particularly if you are close to the subject being discussed. For this reason, it can help to employ someone impartial to conduct the interviews, or vet your script with someone else prior to the interview and then make sure you don’t stray from it.</p> <p>Thirdly, when it comes to customer interviews, try to ensure you ask open questions. Anything that elicits a yes/no response is a waste of time for both you and the interviewee. Try to phrase your questions using pretexts of ‘What if’, ‘how’ and ‘why’. Below are some examples of good and bad questioning: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Bad</strong>: Do you like this campaign creative? <strong>Good</strong>: How does this campaign creative make you feel?</li> <li> <strong>Bad</strong>: How many times do you anticipate you would visit our website each week? <strong>Good</strong>: Describe your online behaviour and what would make you visit our website?</li> <li> <strong>Bad</strong>: Do you like using the product? <strong>Good</strong>: What types of product do you like to use?</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8320/dachshund-672780_1280.jpg" alt="dog on a lead" width="615" height="407"></p> <p><em>Leading questions are a no-no</em></p> <p>The final principles of qualitative interviewing techniques come down to common sense.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Respect the interviewees time</strong>. If you run out of time, end the interview.</li> <li> <strong>Try to conduct interviews face to face</strong> where possible, or at the minimum via video conference, so you can also observe body language.</li> <li> <strong>Use some form of predefined template</strong> to record and track your responses. A tool like Google Forms can be super useful, even if just for yourself to fill out the answers as you go, as it will collate multiple interviews into one spreadsheet automatically.</li> <li> <strong>Select interviewees who are representative</strong> of your core segment.</li> </ul> <h4>b. Focus groups</h4> <p>Conducting focus groups follows a similar principle to what’s outlined above, but again with several key considerations. As conducting a focus group is generally a significant investment in time and resource, it’s important to ensure effectiveness.</p> <p>The optimum focus group size in my experience is between 6-8 people. This ensures that they are manageable, yet also insightful. When selecting participants, try to choose those who are demographically different, but share an opinion about your product or service.</p> <p>Effective facilitation is critical when it comes to conducting a focus group, and a good facilitator is worth their weight in gold. It’s important to make sure that everyone has the chance to have their voice heard, but that you also keep to the agenda whilst drawing out real insights.</p> <p>Where possible, if conducting a focus group, I’d strongly recommend using gamification where possible. Asking participants to sort a series of cards into a perceived order, or sketch on a pad can often be far more effective than long winded conversations. Similar principles to one-to-one customer interviews also apply here:</p> <ul> <li>Keep to time</li> <li>Don’t use leading questions</li> <li>Try to illicit open responses</li> <li>Avoid introducing bias</li> </ul> <p>Lastly, it can be very useful to have a second facilitator in the room for a focus group, primarily to act as a scribe. Over the course of two hours you are likely to unearth a lot of information. Noting this down and categorising it appropriately as the session is underway is much more efficient.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8318/focus_groups.jpg" alt="focus group" width="500"></p> <p><em>Try to gamify focus groups</em></p> <h4>Ethnographic research</h4> <p>Ethnographic research, in many ways, is the quickest and fastest technique for qualitative research, as it involves just observing potential or existing customers from a distance. The most critical factor when conducting ethnographic research, is that you should not interfere with the participant at all, as to do so introduces bias. It’s also often better if you can conduct this research without the person knowing that their behaviour is being observed, but this is not always possible, or legal for that matter.</p> <p>Whether you are watching someone interact with your website, an app or even in a physical store, you want to ask the following questions:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Which path did they follow</strong> to get where they wanted to go, and what touchpoints did they interact with?</li> <li> <strong>Were there any specific pain points</strong> or barriers that slowed them down?</li> <li> <strong>Are there specific behavioral patterns</strong> that you can observe when watching repeated visits or interactions?</li> <li> <strong>Does the customer show any specific emotional response</strong> throughout the journey, or do they remain dissonant? </li> </ul> <p>After the observation session has taken place, a debrief interview can provide further insights, and the rules outlined earlier should once again be followed. Use questions such as ‘why did you do that?’ or ‘how did it make you feel?’, to really dig out valuable insights. Once again, when deciding how many observation sessions to conduct, you should run as many as it takes until you can detect a similar pattern or trend. </p> <h3>Quantitative </h3> <p>Quantitative research is much better suited to testing specific hypotheses or validating assumptions. There are several sources one can use to collect quantitative data, the most popular being customer surveys. Additionally, first party data sources such as owned websites, social pages and CRM systems can also be fantastic places to gather quantitative insights. Let’s discuss each.</p> <h4>Customer surveys </h4> <p>Often overused, rarely well thought-out, the customer survey is a tricky beast which requires careful planning and distribution to have any chance of being useful. There are a plethora of free and paid survey tools out there, so the first consideration is which platform to use. For basic surveys, I would suggest a tool like Google Forms will suffice. If you wish to perform more advanced data mining and analysis, or have complicated logic you need to integrate, then tools such as Survey Monkey or Survey Gizmo are worth investigating.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8319/g_forms.jpg" alt="google forms" width="615" height="314"></p> <p><em>Google Forms</em></p> <p>There are many ways to distribute a customer survey, whether you are emailing to a database, promoting through paid media, or even collecting responses in person (such as at a trade show), the survey should adhere to a few basic principles:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Less is more</strong> – No-one, I repeat, no-one, likes to wade their way through a 100-question survey. Only ask what you absolutely need to know.</li> <li> <strong>Use quantitative question types</strong>, like multiple choice, as much as possible. ‘Free text’ questions are difficult to collate and review.</li> <li>Making specific questions compulsory is fine, but again, avoid doing this for ‘free text’ questions, unless this information is critical.</li> <li> <strong>Clearly set expectations</strong> at the start of the survey. If you say it will take 5 minutes, then it should not take more than 5 minutes. Also ensure you include a progress tracker.</li> <li> <strong>Be explicit</strong> about how you will use participants' information. If you don’t need it, don’t collect it</li> <li>If sending the same survey out to several different groups of people, ensure you include an indicator so you can segment the data. Another alternative is to use time stamps, geolocation or unique URL’s that lead to the same survey link</li> <li> <strong>Incentives can skew results</strong>. If the incentive is too large, then people will just blindly click their way through the questions rather than actively participating</li> <li>If time and the platform permits, use logic to help make the whole survey as frictionless as quick as possible. There is nothing more infuriating than answering ‘no’ to one question to then be bombarded with another series of questions that are completely irrelevant</li> <li> <strong>Optimised the survey for mobile</strong> (ie - can you see all of the possible answers without needing to scroll)</li> </ul> <p>Aim for at least 100 responses to your survey, across your chosen segment. This will typically be enough to accurately represent the mean. As always, some careful planning and considerations before the survey is distributed can save you hours of work when crunching the data. </p> <h4>Website/social data</h4> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/google-analytics/">Google Analytics</a> is an incredibly powerful, free tool that is often overlooked by teams outside of marketing, particularly when it comes to better understanding your customers. There is no better quantitative source of data available other than customer traffic to and around your website. If you are also in the process of developing a mobile app, it’s well worth looking at Firebase, which will consolidate reporting into one dashboard.</p> <p>By setting up Google Analytics properly, you can analyze how the user navigates through the website, which is particularly valuable when optimising the customer journey. Furthermore, you can examine where traffic to the website is coming from, which is important when understanding the customer journey.</p> <p>In addition to your owned web properties and apps, it can often be extremely helpful to explore more generally what people are saying about your brand, product or category online. There is a plethora of free social listening tools which can help with this. Whilst this is often utilized to define content strategy, it is also a super useful process for product or campaign development.</p> <p>At it’s very simplest, Google Trends allows you to view real time, indexed search data on your chosen topics, which can be broken down over specific timescales and cordoned geographically. Other useful tools I've come across include Social Mention and Answer The Public which each offer a slightly different perspective, with some clever visualisation features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/1802/exercise_bacon-blog-full.png" alt="google trends" width="615" height="287"></p> <p><em>Google Trends</em></p> <h4>CRM data</h4> <p>Your <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68769-what-s-the-difference-between-crm-marketing-automation-and-dmps">CRM</a> or any sales data you collect is a fantastic resource for insights. It goes without saying that this will only be as robust as you make it, so investing time to ensure you have set up the CRM properly is vital. Ask yourself what data is worth collecting and what you will use it for. Looking for trends based on customer locations or temporal patterns could lead to some interesting insights, as could looking at commonality in the path to purchase or the behaviour of your most valuable customers. </p> <p>Using your CRM for customer research takes time and planning, but is well worth the effort. Often CRM systems are only accessed by the sales department, but they are an incredibly powerful tool for the rest of the organisation, particularly when it comes to getting a better understanding of your customers, their pain points and where you can potentially create additional value. </p> <p>Regardless of whether you are a small business, there are multitudes of benefits to having a CRM system in place, and a host of amazing cloud based solutions out there with reasonable pricing schemes. It's hard to go past Salesforce for overall functionality and flexibility, but if you are a small business using the Google suite of tools, then Prosperworks is well worth checking out.</p> <p>Keep in mind that your own customer data will help you segment and understand who is buying and using your products or services. It can also help you look for commonality between lapsed customers, which can be used to inform marketing or product decisions.</p> <h3>In conclusion</h3> <p>There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to conducting customer research but what I have outlined here are some of the basic principles that I have found useful. It's not exhaustive, so if you have any tips of your own, feel free to add them in the comments.</p> <p>The best advice I can give you is to use what you've got, but make sure you get out and talk to real customers. Assuming you know what they think is the biggest mistake a business can make.</p> <p>And lastly, remember that if you are setting out to conduct customer research it’s important that you find the absolute truth, not just try to validate what you already think.</p>