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4 Billion voice queries came through Baidu’s DuerOS voice assistant in 2019

Baidu’s DuerOS, AI technology that turns any device with a speaker and microphone into a smart device, has seen 4 billion voice queries come through its voice assistant in 2019, SeekingAlpha has revealed.

The brand dominates the search industry in China, with recent results revealing it has nearly 190m daily active users (an increase of 25% year-on-year) across its various search platforms on mobile and desktop.

Baidu’s success in the competitive search market has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Having experienced record lows in share price last year, it has since appreciated by 50% in two months, whilst its ad revenue dropped by 9% year-on-year.

However, Baidu seems capable of holding its own against high-profile competitors such as Alibaba and Xiaomi, and even global counterparts like Google, whose share in the smart speaker market it overtook last year.Baidu DuerOS

Baidu has exited the smart speaker “price war”. Why is it so confident the tech is commercially viable?

Companies leading in CX are three times more likely than their peers to have significantly exceeded their business goals for 2019

According to Econsultancy and Adobe’s Experience Index: 2020 Digital Trends report, global companies leading in customer experience are three times more likely than their peers to have significantly exceeded their 2019 business goals.

Mainstream companies were more likely to miss or narrowly miss their business objectives than CX leaders were, however, the majority (78%) of mainstream companies were still able to meet or exceed their goals.

Adobe and Econsultancy's experience index

Data collected suggests that even if two competing companies are of similar size and offering similar products within the same sector, the amount of importance placed on CX within their marketing strategies matters considerably in order to reap financial rewards and customer loyalty.

The survey defines CX leaders as having “advanced customer experience management in place that’s aligned across strategy and technology”, and in order to remain leaders, companies must focus on developing and retaining talent in this area.

Just 28% of marketers identify data quality as a top priority

According to Nielsen’s 2019-2020 Annual Marketing Report, just 28% of global marketers identify data quality as a top priority. In a global survey of marketing campaign priorities, it ranked 4th – behind audience targeting (53%), ad creative (37%) and audience reach (31%).

This is despite the increased importance of accurate data in marketing, which can determine the soundness of marketing insight, and can influence future decision-making by extension. Therefore, it suggests that further educational resources are required to bring marketers up-to-date on the importance of data quality to successfully execute long-term marketing strategies.

The gaming industry is predicted to be worth $300bn by 2025, sparking opportunities for brands

Research from GlobalData predicts the gaming industry will be worth $300bn by 2025, opening up huge opportunities for brand activations in the sector.

In 2018, its worth was measured at $130bn, with further data from the report revealing gaming is currently experiencing a compound annual growth rate of 13% – and is showing no signs of slowing through the 2020s.

This growth, combined with increased diversification of the industry, has seen brands work more frequently alongside gaming influencers, as well as sponsoring popular video games. Examples include Fortnite influencer Tyler Blevins teaming up with Adidas and Mac Cosmetics launching a limited edition collection of lipsticks in collaboration with the mobile game Honor of Kings.

There is no doubt that, as the popularity and global worth of gaming continues to rise, brands will take advantage of its huge audience, seeing partnerships become ever more commonplace.gaming_or_gamification

90% of consumers hold brands responsible for taking care of the environment

As climate change becomes an increasingly important and prevalent global topic, more consumers are expecting brands to step up to the plate. Wunderman Thompson’s Future 100 2020 report claims that 90% of consumers now hold brands responsible for ‘taking care of the planet and its people’.

As a result, a growing number of brands are becoming highly focused on environmental impact in the long term, while in turn helping to drive customer loyalty. However, building consumer trust shouldn’t be the only incentive – a lack of proactivity in this matter could easily mean brands get left behind as the sustainable mindset becomes the norm.

Lizzie Willett, retail consultant at BJSS is quoted in the JWT report: “Consumers can see through [clever marketing campaigns]. It’s not just about marketing and advertising, it’s about your whole company ethos and how you really bring that through in your products.”

What are fashion retailers doing to combat environmental costs?

Only 20% of martech decision-makers believe their organisation is effective at winning new customers

A recent report from Bluecore and Forrester suggests that only 20% of US and European retail martech decision-makers believe their organisation is effective at winning new customers. This is despite labelling ‘winning new customers’ as a top marketing objective alongside ‘improving customer experience’.

Furthermore, half of those surveyed disclosed that they spend less than 30% pursuing their most pressing marketing objectives.

The data demonstrates the increased focus on customer-centric objectives in order to ride the current turbulence in the retail industry, and to align to growing customer expectations. However, it seems that too little time is spent working towards goals, bringing into question whether or not brands will be able to execute them in the long run.

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