Karl Havard

About Karl Havard

Digital transformation: It’s not a destination

Here we are, in the second half of 2017 and ‘digital transformation‘, as an industry term and practice, is mainstream.

Virtually, all digital agencies and consultancies are offering services and solutions, of various flavours, under this digital transformation umbrella. Most now recognise that it’s much more than just a technological and business transformation; it also encompasses many human aspects including mindset, behaviours, beliefs and culture.

Low cost IoT will redefine the consumer purchase path

We’re on the edge of a new wave of connectivity.

One that promises to change the way people behave and buy; and in turn will force retailers and consumer goods companies to change the way they serve and interact with their customers. The ‘Innovators’ are already out there rapidly prototyping, testing, learning and changing their businesses to embrace it.

Why the ‘Hierarchy of Relevance’ is integral to effective real-time marketing

Even though it’s early January, this is not a 2014 predictions post. However, one trend that will continue to grow this year is that of consumer expectation associated with the sharing of their personal information.

The general public are becoming much more savvy around this data value exchange, and their expectations for what they get in return are increasing.

Relevance is key, and that means serving your customers and prospective customers with meaningful content that services a current need for them, and content which is served via a medium (or channel) that suits their behaviours. 

Knowing all the about ‘who’ on its own is no longer enough, it needs to be complimented by the ‘when’ and the combination of both is where real-time relevance can be provided.

There is a simple hierarchy model that can be applied to help ensure relevance can be delivered, and it would be good to hear your opinions on this in the comments section.

Has #Facebook just become #Twitter?

The hash has been around for a very long time, it’s always riding the zeitgeist, a trendy so and so. One small symbol has come to represent instant access to topics of interest, in the here and now.

Utilised by Twitter for years, Facebook have now introduced it. This is no small addition to Facebook. It actually has very significant consequences.

Is Facebook about to become Twitter? Will it steal Twitter’s real-time, instant access USP? And will it add a whole new dimension to its behavioural targeting capability? 

Why do most marketers have split personalities?

Do marketers suffer from schizophrenia? Do we unwittingly switch between being “normal people” to being blinkered marketers?

Do we lose sight of our own emotions and passions and turn into metric driven robots? And if we do, does this change in behaviour cloud our judgement when building marketing strategies for the organisations we work for? 

If you can relate to such behaviour, and find yourself, and others around you, showing some symptoms, then this post may be of interest.

It explores examples of such behaviour and provides some reasons why this conditions arises, and some suggestions on how to cure it.

Big data can mean big trouble if used with the wrong intent

We’re quite literally swimming in a sea of data. We have the ability to collect it from every consumer touch point we choose, whether it’s website activity, cookies, socialgraph information, direct marketing database, in-store or using other third party tools.

There is no shortage of data, but what does your business do with it all? Is your brand using big data to enrich people’s lives? Or is it just used for more “accurate” ad targeting? 

It probably depends on how your business is structured and where you sit, or how you employ your agencies. Do you consider the entire consumer journey, and understand how your product and services enhance the lives of existing customers?

Or are you only concerned and targeted on achieving high advertising click-through rates and low cost per clicks? 

There is a balance to be struck, and one of the biggest challenges facing brands and agencies today is to ensure they really do have the right intentions at heart. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of using all the insights derived from the various data sources to construct “relevant” marketing messages to interrupt people with the aim of persuading them to buy stuff.

This interruption, even if deemed relevant by the business, maybe unwelcome to the consumer and could tarnish your brand.

Read on, if you feel you, as a marketer, may be falling into such a trap. 

It’s time to put the customer back into the ‘customer journey’

The customer journey, the relationship and experience between people and brands, has been the subject of much theorising for some time.

There are a number of cognitive models, outlining the thought process people undertake; most of which are quite linear and logical. The vast majority of these stop at the point of purchase. This, by definition, cannot be “customer journeys”; isn’t a “customer” someone who has already purchased?

Then there are some, which go beyond purchase and introduce the concept of the “loyalty loop”. It is perceived that people will remain loyal if they have a great post purchase experience with the product, offering and brand interaction.

Which of course makes complete sense….as do all the descriptions and commentary based around these models. 

Unfortunately, they are all wrong…

Social Media: Knowing “why” is much more powerful than knowing “what”

Knowing what people have done is ok. Behavioural data, as interesting as it is, is a lagging indicator. It’s a bit like sitting in a car and looking out of the rear window…you can seen where you have been, but not where you’re going.

Apply this to an online/social web environment and analytics (onsite and buzz monitoring) provide us with the rear window perspective.

But what if you could find out why people behave in a certain way? What their objective is; how they associate their identity with brands, their own personal values etc. This would give you a much more powerful set of information, wouldn’t it?