tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/crm Latest CRM content from Econsultancy 2017-09-22T14:24:47+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69445 2017-09-22T14:24:47+01:00 2017-09-22T14:24:47+01:00 10 exciting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>On we go.</p> <h3>Media agencies are wasting two days a week on admin-based tasks</h3> <p>New research by 4C suggests that media agency professionals are wasting the equivalent of two days per week performing admin, instead of focusing on creative and strategic tasks.</p> <p>In a survey of over 200 professionals, 84% of respondents said that they feel concerned about the actual value their agency brings to brands, and whether they are truly offering them value for money. </p> <p>The execution of social campaigns appears to be driving this concern, with 36% of respondents admitting that switching between platforms to manage campaigns is the biggest annoyance of their job. Some reportedly spend 17 hours per week doing this. Frustratingly, 63% said they believe the amount of time spent working on social campaigns will only increase over the next few years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9105/4C.JPG" alt="" width="580" height="372"></p> <h3>Nearly a quarter of digital marketers don’t track marketing spend</h3> <p>According to research by Greenlight, digital marketers are suffering from a worrying level of uncertainty. </p> <p>It found that 36% of survey respondents don’t have confidence in their campaign targeting, while 18% don’t think their campaigns are reaching their desired audience at all.</p> <p>Alongside this, it appears marketers are also unsure about where their marketing spend is actually going. One in ten marketers are not even sure which channels are the most valuable for their campaigns, and 17% are yet to commit their budgets accordingly. Even worse, 23% are failing to track campaign spend whatsoever.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69432-restoration-hardware-bid-on-3-200-keywords-found-98-of-its-ppc-sales-came-from-just-22-brand-terms/">Here's a somewhat-related cautionary tale about PPC</a>.</p> <h3>25% of internet users use a VPN network</h3> <p>In a study of VPN (virtual private network) usage around the world, <a href="http://insight.globalwebindex.net/vpn-usage-around-the-world?utm_campaign=VPN%20Usage%20Around%20The%20World&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=56524113&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9BFGKHYG9SI5WGcZaWaiorCGsdLV-cu_4llCF9RLxP_1AsqA0w7CJEXzSRH64Kva36hetevTnlUgwRHdG7IcFeZCp-pRXbxikV71F-CczXZzlK0Nk&amp;_hsmi=56549588" target="_blank">GlobalWebIndex</a> has found that 25% of internet users have used a VPN in the past month, and that 42% of these use a VPN daily. </p> <p>When it comes to the motivation for doing so, 50% of people said that they use a VPN for better access to entertainment, 34% said better access to social networks or news services, and 31% said to maintain anonymity while browsing.</p> <p>The study also found VPN usage to be lower in North America and Europe, with the top markets being Indonesia, India, and Turkey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9107/VPN.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="323"></p> <h3>63% of consumers want biometric technology in-stores</h3> <p>Following on from the launch of the new iPhone, a report by <a href="http://www.worldpay.com/us/about/media-center/2017-09/shoppers-give-thumbs-up-to-in-store-biometrics" target="_blank">Worldpay</a> has revealed that consumers are growing increasingly demanding of new payment technology.</p> <p>In a survey of 2,500 consumers across the UK, 63% of respondents said they would like to be able to use a biometric scan to authorise payments in-store. 69% of consumers said they’d be open to using a finger to do so, while 24% said their face, and 33% said they’d be willing to use their eyes.</p> <p>Worldpay also found that consumers expect speed and convenience in other areas. Click-and-collect is highly in-demand, as are automated payments and bots - 65% of consumers said they’d rather pay a robot than waste time flagging down a waiter in a restaurant.</p> <h3>Mobile video ad spend jumps 142% in Q2</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://info.smaato.com/hubfs/Reports/Smaato_Global_Trends_in_Mobile_Advertising_Report_Q2_2017.pdf" target="_blank">Smaato</a>, spend on mobile video ads increased by 142% in Q2 2017, making it the fastest-growing mobile ad format.</p> <p>Rewarded video (full screen video ads that users can view in full in exchange for in-app rewards) was the fastest growing format, with spend increasing by 74%. In-app spending accounted for 94% of total mobile ad spending in Q2, compared with just 75% in 2016.</p> <p>Finally, full-screen interstitials were the most popular ad format among advertisers, accounting for almost two thirds of total mobile video ad spending in Q2.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9106/Smaato.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="392"></p> <h3>60% of 25 to 34-year olds find it easier to chat to brands via text</h3> <p>Mindshare’s <a href="http://www.mindshareworld.com/sites/default/files/FutureofRetailAW.pdf" target="_blank">UK retail trends</a> report has revealed the growing demand for instant and 24-hour customer service.</p> <p>Today, 60% of 25 to 34-year olds say that they find it easier to chat to brands via text message, online chat, or messenger apps. Meanwhile, 27% say they have used a chatbot in order to communicate with a brand.</p> <p>The report also found that consumer’s attitude to data is somewhat conflicted. Despite the demand for personalisation, with 56% of people saying that brands should be doing more with their data, 65% say they are still very selective about the companies they share it with.</p> <h3>Twice as many adults use the internet via a mobile than desktop</h3> <p><a href="http://www.vertoanalytics.com/10024-2/" target="_blank">Verto Analytics</a> has revealed that smartphones are now twice as popular than PC’s when it comes to accessing the internet.</p> <p>When tracking which devices 5,000 UK adults used to go online, it found that smartphones accounted for 57% of people, while traditional PCs accounted for 27%, and tablets for 16%.</p> <p>Smartphone usage was shown to peak during the morning, with this device accounting for 63% of the people online between 8am to 11am – three times as many people using a PC at that time. Meanwhile, desktop computers were found to have the largest audience share of 38% between the hours of 1am and 3am. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9109/Smartphone_PC.JPG" alt="" width="640" height="344"></p> <h3>Online retailers see unexpected growth in August</h3> <p>The latest <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/bulletins/retailsales/august2017#whats-the-story-in-online-sales" target="_blank">ONS</a> (Office for National Statistics) figures show that the average weekly UK online spend in August was £1.1bn - an increase of 15.6% compared with August 2016.</p> <p>This means that the amount spent online accounted for a total of 16.4% of all retail spending for the month, excluding automotive fuel. This figure is also up compared to 15% in August last year.</p> <p>Despite this year-on-year growth, Salmon has highlighted that shoppers have been predominantly spending on non-necessity and luxury goods and services, with the summer holidays and an increase in tourism contributing to this. As a result, Salmon predicts a dip in online spend as Autumn approaches.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9108/ONS.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="381"></p> <h3>Female influencers favour Instagram over Snapchat</h3> <p>Collective Bias has revealed that female <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers">influencers</a> are uninterested in Snapchat, with zero survey respondents saying that it is the most important channel to them. In contrast, 28.4% of influencers said that Instagram is invaluable.  </p> <p>Perhaps surprisingly, Pinterest came second in the survey, with 26.4% of respondents saying that they favoured the platform the most. </p> <p>Facebook and Twitter fared less well, but this is likely due to the less visual nature of the platforms as well as the subsequent lack of opportunity for sponsored, one-off posts.</p> <h3>Brits spend nearly eight hours per day consuming media</h3> <p>The <a href="http://ipa.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1f2c3c8034116a764afbdc0a5&amp;id=e6d608e522&amp;e=cf106b3443" target="_blank">IPA Touchpoints</a> report has revealed that adults are spending seven hours and 56 minutes a day consuming media – an increase of 9% from 2016 and 13% from 2005.</p> <p>This means that adults spend just over two hours a day media multi-tasking (which means watching TV or using a laptop or smartphone while doing other things) – or nearly a quarter of that time spent consuming media in total.</p> <p>In terms of medium, television or video remains the most popular, with adults viewing an average of four hours and 35 minutes per week. Meanwhile, out of home media accounts for three hours 28 minutes, and social networking or messaging accounts for two hours and 53 minutes.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69252 2017-07-14T14:04:40+01:00 2017-07-14T14:04:40+01:00 10 dazzling digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Three in four shoppers browse elsewhere before making Prime Day purchases</h3> <p>Research from <a href="http://blog.bazaarvoice.com/2017/07/10/brands-retailers-seize-amazon-prime-day/" target="_blank">BazaarVoice</a> suggests that Prime Day shopping extends beyond Amazon, with 76% of people visiting other online retailers before making a purchase. 46% of consumers are said to visit Walmart, while 40% check Target. </p> <p>BazaarVoice also found that consumers tend to browse other retailers depending on product categories. For example, more than half of shoppers researching electronics brands will also visit Best Buy, while 49% turn to Lowe’s for researching outdoor items like hammocks or barbeques.</p> <h3>33% of consumers say they will erase personal data as GDPR comes into effect</h3> <p>A new survey by SAS suggests that nearly half of consumers plan to utilise their new rights over personal data in May 2018.</p> <p>In a poll of over 2,000 UK adults, 33% said they plan to exercise their right to remove personal data from retailers, while 33% will also ask for their data to stop being used for marketing purposes.</p> <p>17% of people said they will challenge automated decisions, and 24% will access the data that retailers hold on them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7477/SAS_GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="298"></p> <h3>Prime Day is the biggest sales day of the year for Amazon so far</h3> <p>New data from Hitwise has revealed that there were 9.5m transactions processed on Amazon.com during Prime Day 2017 – making it the biggest sales day of the year so far. The day generated even more sales than last year, when Amazon processed 6.7m transactions.</p> <p>Altogether, Amazon.com accounted for 87% of all online transactions processed by the top 50 retailers on Prime Day – a day when one in every 10 visits to the site resulted in a purchase.</p> <h3>Companies experience digital performance problems once every five days</h3> <p>Research by <a href="https://www.dynatrace.com/digital-transformation-audit/" target="_blank">Dynatrace</a> suggests that organisations are encountering digital performance problems on average once every five days, with individuals across business and IT functions losing a quarter of their working lives fighting to address these problems.</p> <p>In a survey of 1,200 global IT and business professionals, 75% of respondents said they have low levels of confidence in their ability to resolve digital performance problems. 48% also stated these issues were directly hindering the success of digital transformation strategies in their organisations.</p> <p>Marketing professionals are said to lose 470 hours per year or nearly two hours every business day to addressing performance problems, while IT operations professionals lose 522 hours per year or over two hours every business day.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7475/Dynatrace.JPG" alt="" width="582" height="293"></p> <h3>Debit cards overtake cash payments in the UK</h3> <p>The latest <a href="https://brc.org.uk/news/2017/debit-cards-overtake-cash-to-become-number-one-payment-method-in-the-uk" target="_blank">Payments Survey</a> has revealed that debit card purchases have overtaken cash for the first time in the UK, with nearly £190bn being spent via this channel in 2016.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the share of cash transactions shrank 4.5% to account for 42.3%, leaving credit and charge cards to make up the remaining 11.4%. </p> <p>The use of contactless technology has contributed to the rise in card payments, with consumers increasingly using contactless to pay for smaller purchases. The average transaction value on cards declined from £30.53 in 2013 to £25.40 in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7474/Cash.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="513"></p> <h3>37% of online spend goes through Amazon</h3> <p>The success of this year’s Amazon Prime Day might be indication enough, but new research from <a href="https://info.salmon.com/amazon-king-of-jungle-research" target="_blank">Salmon</a> has also highlighted just how much the retailer dominates the ecommerce industry.</p> <p>In a survey of over 6,000 consumers across Europe and the US, Salmon found that 37% of all consumer spending goes through Amazon. This could rise, too, as 73% of consumers say they will increase their use of digital shopping channels in future.</p> <p>53% of survey respondents also said they would be more likely to buy through Prime than a retailer’s online store, while the majority of consumers feel that Amazon is ‘leading the way in digital retail’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7478/Salmon.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="435"></p> <h3>Fresh grocery searches on the rise</h3> <p>From analysis of over 100m online searches in Q2, Criteo has discovered that searches for online groceries increased by 108% during the period of April to June 2017.</p> <p>With consumers relying on faster and more flexible delivery options, buying fresh produce online is becoming all the more convenient. Consequently, searches for milk, eggs and cheese all increased in the second quarter. Online searches for milk increased by 92% from the first three months of the year.</p> <h3>More than 50% of travellers look for inspiration during the planning process</h3> <p>A <a href="https://info.advertising.expedia.com/multi-national-travel-trends-in-the-tourism-industry" target="_blank">new study</a> by Expedia Media Solutions has uncovered the motivations and behaviours of travel consumers across eight countries including China, Australia and the UK.</p> <p>In all eight countries, at least 50% of travellers say they are often undecided on a destination close to booking, with most looking for help and inspiration during the planning process. More than 65% say they are influenced by informative content from travel or tourism brands.</p> <p>That being said, the research also found differences in the kind of marketing people respond to. While ads featuring deals are most likely to influence Americans, Canadians and Australians, Chinese travellers are prompted by ads with appealing imagery and informative content. Both French and German travellers place equal value on appealing deals and imagery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7476/Expedia_Media_Solutions.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="363"> </p> <h3>Marketers struggling to localise content</h3> <p>According to research from the <a href="https://www.cmocouncil.org/authority-leadership/reports/328" target="_blank">CMO Council</a>, marketers are finding it difficult to localise content and tailor their output for individual media platforms.</p> <p>In a poll of 150 marketers, just 36.2% agreed they were performing well when it comes to translating creative strategies across all the necessary physical and digital touchpoints. Furthermore, just 32% believed they are succeeding in adapting branded content for different markets, audiences, and locations served by their companies around the world.</p> <p>47.7% of respondents stated that ‘localisation demands’ – e.g. language, cultural values and religion – were putting pressure on teams to deliver creative at scale. 43.9% also cited new digital formats and device types as a big challenge.</p> <h3>Emojis lose momentum as a marketing tactic</h3> <p>Research from 2016 showed that 95% of Brits were more likely to open an email if they contained emojis that juxtaposed the subject line. However, a new study by Mailjet suggests that emojis might be losing their effect.</p> <p>In a series of tests, Mailjet found open rates in the UK and the US rise by just 5% and 6% respectively when emojis accompanied the subject line.</p> <p>While the crying-with-laughter emoji was previously the most popular, Brits are now 33% less likely to open a message using the crying emoji than an email without it. The current overall best performer is the simple red heart emoji, being one of the few to generate a positive net result across all test regions with a 6% increase in open rate. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7479/emojis.jpg" alt="" width="540" height="540"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69034 2017-04-26T12:24:21+01:00 2017-04-26T12:24:21+01:00 Amazon launches 'Subscribe with Amazon' to help companies sell subscriptions Patricio Robles <p>The <a href="https://www.subscribewithamazon.com/">marketplace</a>, which is said to have been in development for the past year, was born out of Amazon's homegrown subscription initiatives. "Over the years, Amazon has gained extensive experience in the memberships and subscriptions space, innovating across programs like Prime and Kindle Unlimited," Lovina McMurchy, the GM of Subscribe with Amazon, <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170424005365/en/Amazon-Launches-Self-Service-Marketplace-Subscription-Providers">explained</a> in a press release. </p> <p>Vendors interested in selling through Subscribe with Amazon have access to self-service tools that allow them to create detail pages for their offerings. An API allows vendors to receive order data and updates from Amazon so that they can automate the management of subscriptions. As one would expect, Amazon is giving vendors the ability to sell subscriptions with different terms, such as monthly and annual, and also allows them to offer introductory pricing to new subscribers.</p> <p>Initial Subscribe with Amazon partners include Disney Story Central, The Wall Street Journal and Dropbox. Currently, Subscribe with Amazon is accepting applications from vendors that sell digital content, but it would not be surprising to see Amazon later extend it to subscription services that offer physical products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5680/subscribewithamazon.png" alt="" width="768" height="450"></p> <h4>Distribution, but at what cost?</h4> <p>Subscribe with Amazon's primary value proposition is that it offers subscription vendors a marketplace through which they can sell to Amazon's massive customer base. To help them sell, Amazon is even offering vendors the ability to create special promotions for Prime members, which are now estimated to number more than 65m.</p> <p>For example, one Subscribe with Amazon launch partner, Texture, offers a 50% discount to Prime members for the first six months of a subscription to its digital magazine service.</p> <p>In addition to helping vendors market their wares, Subscribe with Amazon could, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68792-amazon-payments-usage-grows-should-you-adopt-it/">like Pay with Amazon</a>, reduce purchase friction because it enables Amazon customers to purchase and manage subscriptions through their existing Amazon accounts, speeding the purchase process and reducing concerns about trust. Such concerns are often more pronounced in subscription purchases because charges are recurring. </p> <p>But despite the appealing aspects of Subscribe with Amazon, vendors will probably want to think carefully before they embrace Amazon's new offering.</p> <p>First, there's the issue of margin. Amazon takes a 30% cut of subscription revenue in the first year. That drops to 15% after the first year. While giving up 30% and then 15% might make sense for some vendors – it's in line with what other distribution channels charge – it might not make sense for others and vendors will want to do the math to determine the potential impact on the profitability of their business, especially if they consider that some Subscribe with Amazon subscriptions may displace some portion of subscriptions that would otherwise be sold direct.</p> <p>Second, there's the issue of data and customer ownership. While Amazon is giving vendors access to order data through an API, Subscribe with Amazon will obviously give the online retail giant the ability to collect significant data about its vendors. And it will own the relationships with customers who purchase using Subscribe with Amazon.</p> <p>Data and customer ownership is a thorny issue for vendors. After all, Amazon increasingly competes with companies that sell in its marketplaces. For example, it has launched its own private brands in categories ranging from apparel to electronics accessories. Some companies believe that Amazon <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67769-the-rise-of-amazon-s-private-labels-shows-the-perils-of-not-owning-your-data-customers">has used its vast trove of sales data to identify products that its private labels should sell</a>.</p> <p>Given that Amazon already operates a number of digital subscription services of its own, the company's actions in other markets make it clear subscription vendors will have no choice but to consider that Subscribe with Amazon could eventually help the retail giant at their expense.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68708 2017-01-19T02:00:00+00:00 2017-01-19T02:00:00+00:00 Three key marketing skills for 2017 Jeff Rajeck <p>Naturally, <strong>marketers want to focus on what will give them the most 'bang for their buck'</strong>, though. They need to know what technologies have improved recently or what techniques are producing great results elsewhere.</p> <p>In order to find out what these key skills are right now, we recently asked a number of industry experts to comment on<strong> what they see as the most important marketing technologies and techniques for the coming year</strong>.  </p> <p>Below is the answer from Janet Low, Vice President of Client Services in APAC at Epsilon International, followed by some comments on each of the skills she regards as key in 2017.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5yCH5BFkN74?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>1. CRM</h3> <p>The customer relationship management (CRM) system has been a part of marketing technology for many years.</p> <p>What Ms Low points out, though, is that<strong> the CRM can now provide business value across the whole customer lifecycle</strong>. This means that marketers should become more familiar with the CRM now as it is more than the system used only by the call centre.</p> <p>Marketers from a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67978-three-ways-digital-marketers-in-mumbai-increase-customer-engagement/">recent roundtable event in Mumba</a>i agreed with this notion. Attendees pointed out that CRM data can be used for:</p> <ul> <li>Improving targeting with email marketing.</li> <li>Building audiences with Facebook and Google.</li> <li>Segmenting customers using attributes such as purchase history and website behaviour, and not just age and gender.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6279/india-indulge-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="353"></p> <p>For those who have not yet tapped into the 'CRM goldmine', 2017 is a great time to start.</p> <h3>2. Applied analytics</h3> <p>Analytics have been a key component of a marketer's toolbox for at least a century, but their usefulness was limited due to the lack of high-quality data. Marketers now have sufficient data to be confident about conclusions drawn from analysis and so applied analytics is now becoming a greater part of their job.   </p> <p>Participants at an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67922-really-big-data-managing-customer-insights-in-china/">Econsultancy event in Shanghai</a> last year, came up with<strong> three ways in which they make decisions using analytics</strong>: </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Delivering customized content</strong> using data from customer profiles.</li> <li> <strong>Changing the frequency of messaging</strong> according to the success rates of email and ad campaigns.</li> <li> <strong>Updating brand creative</strong> based on the feedback they get from social media and customer reviews regarding how well consumers understand the brand.</li> </ol> <p> So, 2017 is the year for analytics to break out of the back room and become part of the front-line strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5696/4__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>3. Customer journey mapping</h3> <p>Analytics can also help marketers understand their customers better. Previously, a lot of assumptions had to be made about the customer journey, but now there is data showing which touchpoints consumers have hit along the way to becoming customers. </p> <p>In a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-maturity-in-australia-and-new-zealand/">recent survey</a>, however, marketers in Australia and New Zealand indicated that <strong>only half (50%) of companies in the region had at least an 'intermediate' understanding of the customer journey</strong> and only around a third had any budget allocated for improving the situation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4671/3.PNG" alt="" width="499" height="331"></p> <p>What this means is that<strong> marketers who take up the mantle and spend time on the customer journey are likely to benefit by pulling ahead of the competition</strong>.  Some benefits include more efficient media spend, improved customer metrics such as Net Promoter Score, decreased time-to-conversion, and greater customer retention.</p> <p>With so many good reasons to map the customer journey, it's surprising that more companies haven't done it already. And, as Econsultancy's Ben Davis says, mapping the customer journey <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">doesn't have to be difficult</a>.</p> <p>So while it still will not be possible for marketers to relearn everything in 2017, there are some key activities which industry experts and other marketers globally will be prioritising this year. To keep up, marketers need to reflect on these topics and ensure that their skills are up-to-date. </p> <p><em>To improve your own digital skills in 2017, check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/">global range of training courses</a>. </em></p> <p><em>Or to benchmark your knowledge against industry peers, complete our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67979 2016-06-23T14:27:54+01:00 2016-06-23T14:27:54+01:00 The five steps to an effective and repeatable sales process Shaun Haase <p dir="ltr">The most important thing to remember is to establish clearly defined goals early on to ensure that your sales team is on the same course of action as you.</p> <p dir="ltr">By developing and implementing a strategy that’s consistent across all of your customer segments and touchpoints, your sales team becomes a well-oiled machine that offers the same impeccable service and experience that is in line with your company’s bottom line.</p> <p dir="ltr">Here are five steps to help you get started:</p> <h3 dir="ltr">1. Segment your leads</h3> <p dir="ltr">Organizing your leads is the key to success. Business is done by people, and as such, there is enormous value in noting the unique attributes and preferences of each potential or existing customer.</p> <p dir="ltr">From the industry they’re in, to their communication preferences, remembering the specific needs of each lead helps establish your sales team as more personable, relatable and thoughtful.</p> <p dir="ltr">This level of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66576-why-make-it-personal-personalisation-vs-contextualisation/">personalization</a> can only be achieved by segmenting your customers, either based on their industry, opportunity or other variables.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6380/segment.jpg" alt="" width="545" height="362"></p> <p dir="ltr">Lead segmentation can also help reduce the number of emails sent, increase the open rate for each message and help your sales team gain valuable insight into what does and doesn’t work.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sales teams will be able to cater to customers in a more personalized way, which can lead to higher conversion rates because they feel like a person is reaching out to them, not Mailchimp.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">2. Start with the full cycle in mind</h3> <p dir="ltr">Initiate the sales cycle with communication that’s warm and inviting.</p> <p dir="ltr">The first point of communication should bring awareness of your product to the customer; it’s certainly not the time for a hard sell, though the time for this will surely come.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you jump too early, you’ll be putting yourself at risk of alienating the potential customer even before they’ve had a chance to learn about what you have to offer. </p> <p dir="ltr">Use the first touchpoint to get to know the customer. When you better understand their desires and pain points, you’ll be able to craft a relevant message that speaks to their exact needs.</p> <p dir="ltr">More importantly, see this first step as part of a larger story that’s weaved together through multiple touchpoints.</p> <p dir="ltr">What is the key message you want to convey to this customer? Be brief, to the point and think carefully about a messaging tactic that will resonate with your target audience. </p> <p dir="ltr">You may also encounter customers who are familiar with your product and have already shortlisted you as a viable solution. Don’t be too pushy but do try to feel customers out.</p> <p dir="ltr">Give every customer the opportunity to take action with a simple call-to-action that empowers them to move forward if so desired. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">3. Utilize feedback to refine your pitch</h3> <p dir="ltr">Customer feedback can dramatically enhance the effectiveness of your messaging and communications.</p> <p dir="ltr">By analyzing email open and response rates from previous campaigns along with a customer sentiment audit, you’ll be able to uncover valuable insights on customer interest or lack thereof.</p> <p dir="ltr">If the messaging you’re using is not hitting your engagement targets, take the time to evaluate the issue and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64116-a-b-testing-software-recommendations-from-four-ecommerce-experts/">try A/B testing</a> different variations of your core message.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6381/alphabet.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="472"></p> <p dir="ltr">You might even find that you need to expand your predefined customer segments to ensure that all customers are being ushered down the most effective sales path for them. </p> <p dir="ltr">Utilising existing feedback on your outreach is important when optimizing your sales strategy.</p> <p dir="ltr">You’ll quickly learn which types of messages and approaches work best on each group, and you’ll also be able to better identify which customer segments are proving to be the most valuable.</p> <p dir="ltr">By regularly monitoring and adjusting your communications, you’ll create a much more efficient and lucrative sales pipeline.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">4. Connect with your warmest leads</h3> <p dir="ltr">Once you get further along in your conversations, you’ll have a better sense of which leads are the most promising.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s now time to connect personally with each of your warmest leads. Offer to connect over a phone call or in person.</p> <p dir="ltr">By doing so, you’ll be able to directly address any potential questions/concerns while creating a deeper connection with each lead.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you’re lucky enough to generate many warm leads and haven’t done so already, you need to be <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">utilizing a CRM</a> to track and manage these relationships.</p> <p dir="ltr">A CRM becomes increasingly important as the sales process progresses so it’s best you implement one early on.</p> <p dir="ltr">The right CRM will ensure that you are maximizing the conversion potential of your warmest leads. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">5. Don’t be afraid to use incentives</h3> <p dir="ltr">Now that you’ve established rapport with potential customers, it’s time to close the deal. Start by sending a follow-up reminder with the key benefits and solutions of your product/service.</p> <p dir="ltr">At this point, your lead should have all pertinent information about your product/service so keep it short, simple and to the point.</p> <p dir="ltr">If they’re still on the fence, try presenting them with a limited-time promotion to give them an immediate incentive to convert right then and there.</p> <p dir="ltr">Rather than dwelling on the lost revenue from the promotion, consider the potential lifetime value that customers can provide.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p dir="ltr">Creating a scalable and repeatable sales process is a relatively straightforward endeavor but the true challenge is remembering to continually adapt your processes to the needs of your customers.</p> <p dir="ltr">When you have a clearly defined process in place, it becomes much easier to scale your sales team and keeps them focused on what they do best: close deals.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4102 2016-05-17T10:10:00+01:00 2016-05-17T10:10:00+01:00 The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Marketing <p>In today’s world of multichannel shopping, <strong>CRM increasingly means combining digital, mobile and social data together with data tracked or projected from traditional touchpoints</strong> - which is no mean feat.</p> <p>While some businesses claim they are doing a good job of joining up traditional offline data with online, the reality is that most are lacking the know-how and infrastructure to do this properly.</p> <p>The proliferation of data silos and fragmented team structures means that the goal of being able to identify individual customers to a granular level and target them with personalised content and experiences is, for many companies, as elusive as it’s ever been.</p> <p><strong>The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Marketing</strong> report, produced in partnership with <a title="Sociomantic Labs" href="https://www.sociomantic.com/"><strong>Sociomantic Labs</strong></a>, investigates the <strong>extent to which marketers are using CRM data to plan and optimise their marketing</strong>. It also looks to assess the current impact CRM is having upon email, display advertising, social advertising, websites and customer journeys in particular.</p> <p>The report features <strong>in-depth opinions from senior-level executives working within ecommerce, digital and marketing departments</strong>, from companies including AllSaints, Camelot, Natue.com, Occam, Reed.co.uk, Skipton Building Society, Sole Society, TalkTalk, UK grocery retailer and Patron Direct.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>Why is CRM important?</li> <li>Where does CRM sit within the organisation?</li> <li>What role does CRM play in cross-channel marketing?</li> <li>What types of CRM segmentation and personalisation are being used for online marketing?</li> <li>Which CRM technology and tools are businesses choosing to invest in?</li> <li>How is customer lifetime value (CLV) being measured?</li> <li>How does having a CLV strategy benefit CRM?</li> <li>What are the main challenges with CRM?</li> <li>What are the future trends and predictions for CRM?</li> </ul> <h2>Who should read this report?</h2> <p>This report is for anyone interested in CRM, in particular brand marketers who are just about to, or have already started using CRM as part of their data-driven advertising.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67839 2016-05-12T14:11:05+01:00 2016-05-12T14:11:05+01:00 How L’Oreal uses personalisation to increase brand loyalty Nikki Gilliland <p>I’ve just come from a session at the <a href="http://summit.adobe.com/emea/agenda/">Adobe Summit</a>, where L’Oréal stated that this lack of consumer awareness about its brands is not uncommon. </p> <p>Digital Manager Emmanuel Viennot also gleefully mentioned that it’s <em>not</em> in fact a negative.</p> <p>With global sales of €25.3bn, L’Oreal is a mammoth company. Yet from Garnier to Yves Saint Laurent, it has over 30 brands - and each of them has its own clear identity. </p> <p>One of the company’s greatest strengths is that it recognises this fact, and in turn, that each has its own unique kind of customer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4885/L_Oreal_Brands.PNG" alt="" width="723" height="327"></p> <p>So how does it target them?</p> <p>As Viennot explained, by focusing on data and delivering a customised and consistent experience across all channels.</p> <p>For brands looking to emulate this ‘customer-centric’ approach, here are the top three suggestions I came away with from today’s talk.</p> <h3><strong>1. Utilise real-time marketing</strong></h3> <p>The consumer is becoming more and more impatient. This means that alongside the expectation of a faultless service when buying a product, they now expect an instant solution when there is a problem.</p> <p>A great way for brands to enhance the customer journey at every stage is to implement timely customer care. </p> <p>Whether this is via social media, a website chat tool, or a messaging service like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">Whatsapp</a>, the key is delivering the right message at exactly the right moment.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4877/Email_Marketing.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="498"></p> <h3><strong>2. Deliver even greater personalisation</strong></h3> <p>Addressing the customer by name isn’t a new concept, and it’s certainly not the only way to deliver a personalised service.</p> <p>Both order-based and profile-based personalisation is becoming a fundamental part of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66803-16-genuinely-useful-email-marketing-tools/">email marketing</a> - and it is intrinsic to making the customer feel valued. </p> <p>According to L’Oreal, event-driven emails are the most successful.</p> <p>From focusing on past purchases to even predicting when a product might need to be replenished, recognising the life of the consumer is key.</p> <h3>3. Delve further with data</h3> <p>With an average of 24% of all emails going straight into the trash can, irrelevance is the biggest reason for poor click rates.</p> <p>Though brands now have access to immense amounts of data, it is still easy to use basic segmentation such as gender or age.</p> <p>Instead, focusing on more specific details like behaviour and product preferences is likely to lead to greater engagement. </p> <p>With geo-locational technology allowing brands to discover where customers are based, there is the potential for that first tip I mentioned, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67762-real-time-marketing-the-key-to-real-success/">real-time marketing</a>, to be used in bold new ways.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4879/L_Oreal_Ad.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="497"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67802 2016-05-04T09:57:52+01:00 2016-05-04T09:57:52+01:00 Depending on social networks for your CRM? Time for a rethink Maddie Timms <p>How can the impact of future changes on mainstream social networks be minimised for customer engagement programmes?</p> <p>Instagram is not the first social platform to introduce an opaque algorithm for ordering posts.</p> <p>Facebook (estimated UK monthly active base of 30m users) introduced the controversial and now-defunct ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/7885-the-ultimate-guide-to-the-facebook-edgerank-algorithm/">Edgerank</a>’ newsfeed algorithm back in 2009, long before it acquired Instagram.</p> <p><em>An explainer video for Facebook's defunct Edgerank algorithm</em></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kI4YIYInou0?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Advertisers saw a significant drop in the viewability of organic posts. The percentage of fans reached plummeted to single figures in many cases.</p> <p>A ‘pay to reach’ model quickly became the only reliable way to get brand content to long nurtured bases of followers.</p> <p>This was the thin end of the throttling wedge, forcing brands to pay for visibility, but ultimately monetising the user base to boost investor returns. One commentator has recently dubbed Instagram’s announcement ‘reachpocalypse’.</p> <h3>What's the answer?</h3> <p>Social engagement is a long established tactic, used by marketers to boost overall consumer awareness as part of the marketing mix.</p> <p>However, the performance of these approaches can change overnight and brands are at the mercy of the social networks. You could end up paying more than you had bargained for.</p> <p>Of course social networks will continue to play a role <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">in CRM programmes</a>, but the overarching strategy should be to direct customers to owned domains such as websites and landing pages.</p> <p>Interestingly, it’s not possible to put a clickable URL within an Instagram post – only in the profile or in a paid advert.</p> <p>So <strong>what tactics should be (re)considered? </strong></p> <p>In my opinion brands should plan customer engagement comms with owned media at the heart – e.g. email – and use paid or organic social media to supplement.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">Email</a> (or even direct mail) contactability should be at the top of the list.</p> <p>What proportion of your customers are opted in for communications such as a regular newsletter? How does this vary by value segment, by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">lifetime value</a>, by product holding?</p> <p>What headroom is there for getting additional signups? What value exchange are you offering in return for the customer giving permission for you to contact them by email?</p> <p>This exchange could be promoted in Instagram or on other social networks to drive more signups from followers.</p> <p>Another option would be to get a data provider to append an email address where third-party permission is available and then seek to opt each person into your newsletter.</p> <p>However, in view of the upcoming changes to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67784-eu-data-laws-an-update-on-gdpr-privacy-shield/">EU Data Protection Laws</a>, this route will not get easier.</p> <p>Every successful CRM programme needs a dependable way of communicating with customers, whether they be current or lapsed.</p> <p>Is it time to look again at your coverage?</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67397 2016-01-12T10:43:00+00:00 2016-01-12T10:43:00+00:00 Ashley Friedlein’s 10 digital marketing & ecommerce trends for 2016 Ashley Friedlein <p>There are a whole load of trends that will no doubt happen but seem to me so self-evident as not to be worth detailing.</p> <p>Among those: continued war for talent, increased focus on privacy and security, more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native ads</a>, more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">programmatic media buying</a>, ongoing culture challenges, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats/">ad blocking increases</a>, more social channels to master, more payment options, ongoing efforts to be agile, emphasis on the importance of personalisation and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/">customer experience</a>, omnichannel this and that, and, of course, fifty shades of data.</p> <p>There are also lots of exciting technology developments which no doubt will have a wider impact on marketing in the future but which do not make it into my list for the coming year.</p> <p>Among those: 3D printing, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">virtual/augmented reality</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-wearable-technology/">wearables</a>, nearables, internet of things, the blockchain.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0641/five_reasons.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="314"></p> <p>I am more immediately excited about what <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64743-predictive-analytics-machine-learning-and-the-future-of-personalization/">machine learning</a> and artificial intelligence can bring to marketing.   </p> <p>This is quite a long read, so to make it more digestible you can jump to the sections you’re most interested in using these links:</p> <ol> <li><a href="#Marchitecture">Marchitecture</a></li> <li><a href="#CRM">Funnel Wars: CRM strikes back</a></li> <li><a href="#Push">The return of push</a></li> <li><a href="#Digital/Physical">Digital/Physical: will it blend?</a></li> <li><a href="#Design">The ascendance of design</a></li> <li><a href="#DigitalTransformation">Digital Transformation: the teenage years</a></li> <li><a href="#Robobranding">Robobranding</a></li> <li><a href="#Mobile">It’s mobile, stupid</a></li> <li><a href="#Video">Video</a></li> <li><a href="#Content">Peak content</a></li> </ol> <p>Now, on with the show...</p> <h3>1. <a name="Marchitecture"></a>Marchitecture</h3> <p>Could this bastard lovechild of marketing and architecture become a buzzword for 2016?</p> <p>Even if not I would at least expect to hear much more talk about ‘martech’ and challenges around architecting your martech stack. Move over ad tech, martech has arrived. </p> <p>Why is this? </p> <p>In the preceding years we have been busy collecting data, buying technology, trying to integrate systems, launching new channels (particularly social and mobile) and trying to deliver increasingly personalised customer experiences against a background of increasing complexity and fragmentation.</p> <p>It is hard. It is a bit of a mess. We are worried the whole thing might fall over at some point.</p> <p>No-one is quite sure of all the triggers, rules, tags and automation in place. </p> <p>Some questions for you:</p> <ul> <li>Are you confident you have made the right decisions in your marketing technology ecosystem between buy, build, integrate or inter-operate? Are you sure whether a single marketing platform (‘cloud’) is better for your business than integrating best of breed point solutions? Do you consider the <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2015/01/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2015/">martech landscape</a> with a sense of calm?</li> <li>Are you happy with your data governance, data integrity, and confident in your marketing resource management with security, privacy and process issues nicely buttoned down?</li> <li>Do you have faith in the data taxonomies, metadata, models and schemas powering your digital content and marketing?</li> <li>Is it clear what marketing logic (rules, processes, triggers, events, automation etc.) drives all your various marketing touchpoints with your customers and what this means in terms of the customers’ actual experiences across devices and channels?</li> <li>Is your marketing stack clearly articulated? Here are <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2015/06/21-marketing-technology-stacks-shared-stackies-awards/">21 marketing stacks</a> for illustration. </li> </ul> <p>These are hard questions. But they are not going away and they will become more frequently asked in 2016. </p> <p>There is a <a href="https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/interviews/future_strategy_business_unit_strategy_philip_evans_rethinking_strategy_age_digital_disruption/">great interview with BCG’s Philip Evans</a> on ‘stacks’ and ‘architecture’ as business concepts. There are clear parallels with marketing. </p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shearing_layers">Shearing layers</a> was a concept coined by architect Frank Duffy, then elaborated by Stewart Brand in his book “How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built”, and refers to buildings as composed of several layers of change.</p> <p>This concept has already been adapted to tech system architecture by the likes of Gartner, but also makes a lot of sense as a framework for architecting marketing ecosystems that can deal with the level of change we are experiencing. </p> <p>There are even greater parallels between marketing and engineering as the worlds of digital, data, technology and marketing collide.</p> <p>We have no shortage of data but we now need to create rules and logic, a form of marketing middleware, to drive all forms of marketing automation. And this is essentially programming.</p> <p>Not just programmatic media but programmatic marketing more generally. </p> <p>Start-up marketers (aka ‘growth marketers’) are already used to the likes of <a href="https://ifttt.com/">IFTTT</a> and <a href="https://zapier.com/zapbook/#sort=popular&amp;filter=marketing">Zapier</a> to wire up their marketing tech. <a href="https://blog.newrelic.com/2015/03/23/devops-marketingops/">Marketing ops have a lot to learn from dev ops</a>.</p> <p>The rise in the strategic importance, and difficulty, of all this is why even strategy consultancies like <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/marketing_sales/how_digital_marketing_operations_can_transform_business">McKinsey are growing their marketing ops practice</a> and <a href="http://www.consultancy.uk/news/754/mckinsey-buys-digital-marketing-operations-firm-agiliti">why it bought Agiliti</a> just over a year ago.</p> <p>Expect more M&amp;A in the agency and consulting worlds around ‘marchitecture’.   </p> <h3>2. <a name="CRM"></a>Funnel Wars: CRM strikes back</h3> <p>Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more complex...</p> <p>In the graphic below on the left is a classic marketing funnel. In the middle, at the top, you can see the <a href="http://www.lumapartners.com/lumascapes/display-ad-tech-lumascape/">famous LUMAscape graphic</a> showing the complexity of the vendors in the display ad tech space. </p> <p>These typically cover the top half of the marketing funnel.</p> <p>In the middle, covering the bottom half of the funnel, is <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2015/01/marketing-technology-landscape-supergraphic-2015/">Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology landscape graphic</a> which is equally busy.</p> <p>To the right are the service businesses (agencies and consultancies) with a crude split showing the (mostly media) agencies servicing the top of the funnel and the SIs and consultancies servicing the bottom half.</p> <p>Agencies tend to talk about DMPs (Data Management Platforms) whilst the back end centres more around <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">CRM</a> (Customer Relationship Management) platforms. </p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0642/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_16.06.41.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0642/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_16.06.41.png" alt="" width="700"></a></p> <p>My observation, and trend, is not only how complex this all is and how it needs some brains to properly architect it all (see previous trend) but that these two “halves” of the funnel, historically quite distinct, are fast merging into a single view of the customer journey where there is data visibility, tracking and tech inter-operation throughout the funnel. </p> <p>The big resulting question is who should be in charge and which system, or what data, should drive the other?</p> <p>Do you dump your media agency and give it all to a management consultancy who is good with business/CRM data and can use programmatic platforms to drive the top of the funnel?</p> <p>Or do you open up your back office data to your media agency and target them on metrics like sales and margin rather than more traditional media metrics?</p> <p>This is the war that is raging in agency-consultancy land.</p> <p>WPP bought <a href="http://www.wpp.com/wpp/investor/financialnews/2012/jul/23/wpp-digital-acquires-majority-stake-in-acceleration/">Acceleration</a> and <a href="http://www.wpp.com/wpp/investor/financialnews/2015/nov/04/wpp-agrees-to-acquire-a-majority-stake-in-essence-the-leading-global-digital-agency/">Essence</a>, among others, to bolster its data-throughout-the-funnel capabilities (note <a href="http://adexchanger.com/agencies/groupms-gotlieb-media-needs-to-morph-from-the-top-of-the-funnel-to-the-transaction/">GroupM’s Gotlieb: ‘Media Needs To Morph From The Top Of The Funnel To The Transaction’</a>) whilst all the big consultancies (Accenture Digital, IBM Interactive Experience, Deloitte Digital, PWC Digital, McKinsey, BCG, Cap Gemini, Tata etc.) are rapidly encroaching on traditionally agency space. </p> <p>And in techland DMPs and CRMs are the front lines of the/martech tussle.</p> <p><a href="http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/2150812">Oracle’s acquisition of BlueKai</a>, a leading DMP, connecting it natively into its marketing cloud, is one example of the bottom of the funnel swallowing the top half.</p> <p>Expect more marketing cloud companies to assimilate DMP and CRM offerings this year.</p> <p><strong>So who will win these battles?</strong></p> <p>Obviously there is no simple answer. But certainly the once-so-sexy world of media and advertising at the top of the funnel is looking seriously threatened by its historically less glamorous below-the-line cousin. </p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE6fsyzgkFE">Argos’ case study in joining up real-time advertising through the customer funnel</a> is one of an increasing number of brands using CRM data to drive top-of-the-funnel advertising and media in real-time.</p> <p>The idea of ‘streaming CRM’ will become more commonplace: <a href="https://www.sociomantic.com/streaming-crm-travel/">read about streaming CRM in the context of travel here</a> and note Sociomantic is owned by dunnhumby, in turn owned by Tesco, both companies known much more for transactional data than media. </p> <p>Recent Marketing Week articles include “<a href="http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/11/09/how-crm-is-becoming-the-new-advertising/">How CRM is becoming the ‘new advertising</a>” and “<a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/08/28/why-cmos-are-shifting-their-focus-from-customer-acquisition-to-retention/">Why CMOs are shifting their focus from customer acquisition to retention</a>” backed with data and trends to support a view that the bottom of the funnel might usurp the top rather than the other way round. </p> <h3> <a name="Push"></a>3. The return of push</h3> <p>The early days of digital marketing were all about push marketing.</p> <p>Display advertising, of course, but email lists were a big thing. Lists you built yourself or lists you bought. And then hammered away at. </p> <p>Then we shifted to more of a pull paradigm. ‘Inbound marketing’ is very much pull not push.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training/">SEO</a> in its more mature form is pull, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">content marketing</a> is more pull than push, social likewise.</p> <p>But I think we are seeing a shift back towards more of a push architecture. In a small way this is just desperation around those who have spent money on content and mobile apps, find they are not getting much traction, so resort to more push advertising.</p> <p>But more fundamentally this about messaging, notifications and more context-aware services.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pPqliPzHYyc?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Already the notification screen is the primary interface for mobile. All the big players (Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon etc.) are rapidly developing services that are ‘smart’ and assistive.</p> <p>Whether the slew of personal assistant type applications (Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Facebook M etc.) or sensor-driven smart services (Amazon Dash, Google Nest etc.) or simply the sky-rocketing usage of messaging apps like WhatsApp and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65279-how-and-why-western-brands-are-experimenting-with-wechat/">WeChat</a> and the resulting ‘tings’ on our phone craving our attention. </p> <p>The evolution I believe we are in goes something like this:</p> <ul> <li>First we focus on joining up data and systems, then...</li> <li>We deliver experiences that are consistent, synced and responsive across devices/channels, then...</li> <li>We make them personalised, proactive and contextual.</li> </ul> <p>‘Context’ has a lot of possible dimensions: behaviour, location, the weather, what is happening in the world, the time of day, device, pretty much anything.</p> <p>Because of mobile, and the growth in location intelligence (iBeacons being just one example but the likes of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtBERi7Lf3c">Estimote</a> are doing interesting things), it is likely that user behaviour and location will be the most common forms of ‘context’ to be used in our marketing and customer experience thinking this year. </p> <p>The best articulation of this shift I have read is Fjord’s concept of ‘<a href="https://livingservices.fjordnet.com/">Living Services</a>’ where they not only talk about new interaction paradigms like gesture, voice and touch but how we need to consider how environments and context are changing more than how industry sectors are changing.</p> <p>We need to build aware platforms where the customer is the operating system we plug into.</p> <p>For example, <a href="http://pielot.org/pubs/Pielot2015-UbiComp-Boredom-Detection.pdf">this case study from Telefonica Research</a> shows how it is possible to tell how bored someone is from their mobile activity with an 83% accuracy rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0643/buzzfeed.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>In this test the bored participants were sent notifications recommending content on Buzzfeed and were much more likely to respond than the non-bored segment.</p> <p>So we are witnessing behaviour whereby a prod (i.e. push), mostly in the form of a notification, is required to get attention.</p> <p>But that interface (now mostly via the lock screen on your phone) is controlled by the mobile operating systems and who knows how they will choose to prioritise what the user gets and how those notifications will be prioritised in the future.</p> <p>And with predictive and assistive services it may be we will not expect to “go” to anything on our phones - it will come to us. </p> <p>The big question for us as marketers then is how on earth do we fit in? And how will we make sure our notifications are seen and heard amidst the torrent of others?</p> <p>As we re-enter an era of push, albeit ‘smart push’, we will need to re-learn the lessons from email marketing about permission, relevance, context and personalisation. </p> <h3> <a name="Digital/Physical"></a>4. Digital/Physical: will it blend?</h3> <p>The blending of digital and physical is not a new trend but it is one that will continue to be front of mind throughout 2016 and beyond. </p> <p>Last year we saw a lot of interesting developments from the big ‘digital’ players in the physical world: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67151-why-has-amazon-opened-a-physical-bookshop">Amazon opened a bookshop</a> and turned domestic appliances into a retail channel via its <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=10667898011&amp;sort=date-desc-rank&amp;lo=digital-text">Dash Buttons</a>; Google <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/03/11/google-opens-first-bricks-and-mortar-shop-in-the-uk/">opened its first store in London</a>. </p> <p>There was some impressive innovation around digital/physical from major brands too. Highlights for me included:</p> <ul> <li>Burberry lets passers-by <a href="http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/12/14/burberry-lets-passers-by-take-over-piccadilly-circus-screens-to-create-personalised-scarves/">take over Piccadilly Circus screen</a> to create personalised scarves.</li> <li> <a href="https://anyware.dominos.com/">Domino’s Anyware</a> service and rival <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/7/8743741/this-pizza-hut-box-turns-into-a-movie-projector">Pizza Hut’s box that turns into a movie projector</a>.</li> <li>The Starbucks Roastery App Experience (see video below)</li> <li>Carlsberg’s <a href="http://www.happybeerti.me/">#happybeertime</a> and its point of sale <a href="https://vimeo.com/111116389">Barbox platform</a>.</li> <li>Hive’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67383-five-digital-to-physical-social-campaigns-that-will-inspire-us-in-2016/">#tweettoheat Twitter-operated bus shelter</a>.</li> <li>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67393-how-women-s-aid-used-digital-ooh-ads-to-make-327m-people-stop-look/">Women’s Aid digital out-of-home campaign</a>.</li> </ul> <p>This year we will see further innovation, for example <a href="http://www.marketingweek.com/2015/11/13/outdoor-advertising-set-to-evolve-as-industry-rolls-out-automated-buying/">more programmatically driven digital out-of-home media</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PY_lBXCxldk?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Where it gets really interesting is when digital is used to create the physical. The opportunities around 3D printing are very exciting here of course.</p> <p>Eyewear business Warby Parker already provide a mobile app called Bookmark that allows customers to see a photo of themselves and buy the glasses, but <a href="https://redef.com/original/eyewear-with-empathy-warby-parkers-neil-blumenthal">CEO Neil Blumenthal envisages</a> "...that in the very near future you’ll be able to get your glasses prescription through your mobile device" and, who knows, perhaps you will be able to print them out at home too? </p> <p>From a brand point of view it is interesting to see how digital is seeking out further depth and substance through a physical connection and manifestation.</p> <p><a href="https://evernote.com/partner/moleskine/">Evernote has partnered with Moleskine</a> to create Evernote books for example.</p> <p>3M’s Post-it notes, quintessentially physical, were given a quasi-physical manifestation as <a href="http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/3m-makes-retargeted-banner-ads-less-annoying-turning-them-post-it-notes-165033">reborn retargeted banner ads</a>. </p> <h3>5. <a name="Design"></a>The ascendance of design</h3> <p>One of my three <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65990-three-digital-marketing-mega-trends-for-2015/">digital marketing mega trends for 2015</a> was the return of creativity and design. Then I focused on creativity.</p> <p>This year I want to highlight design. More specifically, digital product/service design. </p> <p>It is always helpful with trends to look at the jobs market and see which roles and expertise are most in demand.</p> <p>Great developers are still gold dust but in the last six months or so the question I keep hearing is ‘does anyone know a great (digital) designer’?</p> <p>That special person who not only gets the big idea, the brand, the look and feel, but can also do information architecture, gets UX and UI, appreciates the customer journey, obviously knows responsive inside out, is current with this morning’s latest trends in iOS vs Android transition effects, and is working on conversational interfaces in his/her spare time.</p> <p>And, like good childcare or a great plumber, if you do know this person you sure as hell are not giving their details to anyone else. </p> <p>Speaking to a few agency Creative Directors recently they admitted they were starting to feel out of touch with aspects of their craft.</p> <p>In particular, prototyping and app design/concepts. Talk to startups and product managers/designers and you will hear about <a href="https://www.sketchapp.com/">Sketch</a>, <a href="http://www.invisionapp.com/">Invision</a>, <a href="https://marvelapp.com/">Marvel</a> and the like.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0644/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_16.38.45.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>The corporate world is catching up. Indeed <a href="http://landing.adobe.com/en/na/products/creative-cloud/comet/229818-notifyme.html">Adobe’s imminent launch of Comet</a> must be its response to this need.</p> <p>Expect a lot of activity in this area, both tech, talent and techniques, over 2016. </p> <p>Also indicative of underlying trends is what is happening in mergers and acquisitions. Here are some headlines that tell a story around the ascendance of design:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/07/28/accenture-bulks-up-design-capabilities-with-fjord-expansion/">Accenture bulks up design capabilities with Fjord Expansion</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/05/consulting-giant-mckinsey-bought-top-design-firm/">Consulting giant McKinsey buys itself a top design firm</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://ventureburn.com/2014/11/deloitte-digital-scoops-ux-specialist-flow-interactive/">Agency acquisition frenzy: Now Deloitte snaps up UX agency</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e448e6da-44f9-11e5-b3b2-1672f710807b.html#axzz3wZQCq2pT">EY UK looks beyond audit with digital design purchase</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/press-releases/2013/pwc-completes-asset-acquisition.html">PwC completes asset acquisition of digital creative consultancy BGT</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://investors.cognizant.com/2014-10-07-Cognizant-Acquires-Cadient-Group-to-help-Clients-Drive-Business-Transformation-Through-Digital-Technologies">Cognizant acquires Cadient Group</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/wipro-to-acquire-designit-for-93-mn-115070900739_1.html">Wipro to acquire Danish firm Designit</a>.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSnMKW7nG2la+1c8+MKW20140709">BCG Digital Ventures acquires S&amp;C, an award-winning strategic-design firm</a>.</li> <li>You get the idea...</li> </ul> <p>All the major consultancies, both management and strategy, as well as the systems integrators are investing considerably in design services.</p> <p>Indian outsourcing companies <a href="http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-09-09/news/66363558_1_design-capabilities-creative-skills-global-head">recognise they need to beef up their design credentials</a> and I expect we will see Chinese businesses buying their way into this space too.  </p> <p>Let us not forget that <a href="https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43523.wss">IBM Interactive Experience last year announced a $100m investment</a> to expand its interactive design business, acquiring talent and opening interactive experience labs and studios around the world.</p> <p>Indeed even in 2014 <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43813.wss">IBM Interactive Experience was named the largest global digital agency</a> by AdAge and in 2015 IBM IX came second only to Sapient in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/top-100-digital-agencies-2015/">Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies</a>. </p> <p>Perhaps the most interesting acquisition in this area was at the end of 2014 because it was a major financial services brand buying a leading product design consultancy: <a href="http://adaptivepath.org/ideas/adaptive-path-where-were-going-next/">Capital One acquired Adaptive Path</a>.</p> <p>In 2016 it would not be surprising to see more brands make design acquisitions or acqui-hires.</p> <p>At the very least expect to see design and product people become part of senior leadership teams e.g. <a href="http://diginomica.com/2015/10/22/the-co-op-digital-service-mike-bracken-hires-his-former-government-colleagues/">Mike Bracken’s hiring of his former Government Digital Services’ colleagues to The Co-Op Digital Service</a> includes a Digital Services Director and Group Design Director to help lead the Co-Op’s digital transformation.  </p> <p>Finally, whilst the big tech companies may have been focusing on data and digital marketing platforms and services to date, expect to see much more focus on design this year e.g. with Adobe’s launch of Comet and Google (behind <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65966-what-is-material-design-10-pioneering-examples/">Material Design</a> of course) set to further empower designers with <a href="https://www.google.com/webdesigner/">Google Web Designer</a>. </p> <h3>6. <a name="DigitalTransformation"></a>Digital Transformation: the teenage years</h3> <p>While Econsultancy cannot quite claim to have coined the term ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>’ (I would probably give that accolade to <a href="https://www.capgemini-consulting.com/digital-transformation">Cap Gemini</a>), we certainly helped popularise the term.</p> <p>My presentation on <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/econsultancy/digital-transformation-ashley-friedlein-ceo-econsultancy">Slideshare on Digital Transformation from 2013</a> attempted to define the term at the time.</p> <p>Certainly we have been researching, writing about, consulting on, and helping deliver digital transformation for longer than most. </p> <p>I describe digital transformation simply as the journey towards being a digital organisation where “digital” means two things: firstly, focusing on the customer experience irrespective of channel, and secondly, having a digital culture.</p> <p>I believe the seven defining characteristics of a digital culture are: </p> <ol> <li>Customer-centric</li> <li>Data-driven</li> <li>Makers &amp; Doers</li> <li>Transparent</li> <li>Collaborative</li> <li>Learning</li> <li>Agile</li> </ol> <p>As part of this transformation journey most organisations follow a similar evolution of organisational structure.</p> <p>Full details of this are given in Econsultancy’s recently updated <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-marketing-organisational-structures-and-resourcing-best-practice-guide/">Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide</a>. </p> <p>The graphic below outlines a typical five stage evolution towards true multi-channel customer-centricity. Each stage has a typical corresponding job title and organisational structure for digital. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0646/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_17.54.28.png" alt="" width="988" height="405"></p> <p>My observation for 2016 is that most businesses are somewhere between stages two and four. We are entering the teenage years for digital transformation.</p> <p>These are years of change, of experimentation, of pain, of growth, of tumult, of crises of self-identity, of commotion and instability. </p> <p>We have already seen in my trends two and five above how the agency and consultancy worlds are colliding and blurring.</p> <p>Apparently pretty much everyone these days offers ‘digital transformation’ services of some sort.</p> <p>On the client side we will continue to see re-organisations, new job titles like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66906-was-i-wrong-about-chief-digital-officers/">Chief Digital Officer</a> or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67031-chief-customer-officers-ccos-a-fad-or-the-future/">Chief Customer Officer</a>, new joint ventures, labs, innovation centres, start-up partnerships, accelerators and acquisitions in an attempt to kick start or accelerate their transformations. </p> <p>2015 saw a number of examples of <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/10/23/why-are-brands-taking-agencies-in-house/">brands buying, or investing in, digital agencies and talent: Jaguar created a joint venture with agency Spark 44</a> to manage its global communications; <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/10/21/why-coty-bought-social-content-agency-beamly/">Coty bought content agency Beamly</a>; Unilever has its Foundry; Visa set up Europe Collab; Barclays has its Accelerator; the list goes on. </p> <p>In the early years of digital transformation most businesses had digital in a silo.</p> <p>This created obvious problems so the broad consensus was that actually digital needed to be embedded throughout the core business.</p> <p>So the last years have seen efforts to ‘digitize’ the mothership and make digital part of the operating model and DNA of the whole business. It turns out this is not very easy either and has all sorts of challenges too: the biggest of which is a lack of speed. </p> <p>One possible approach to address this problem, promoted by McKinsey, is a <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/organizing_for_digital_acceleration_making_a_two_speed_it_operating_model_work">two-speed operating model for accelerating digital transformation</a>.</p> <p>Either this is somewhat of a bodge to avoid driving through difficult but necessary change, or it is a smart and realistic way to get where you want faster without dangerous levels of disruption.</p> <p>Whichever it is, expect to see more struggles, at varying speeds, with digital transformation this year. </p> <h3>7. <a name="Robobranding"></a>Robobranding</h3> <p>Trying to humanise technology is not new. You may remember Microsoft’s paperclip character.</p> <p>Around five to ten years ago there was also a fashion for putting characters on virtual agents which were typically for customer service and sat on top of an ‘intelligent FAQs’ database.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/1924.aspx">National Rail has Ask Lisa</a> and has done since 2007.</p> <p>With the progress in machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence), conversational interfaces, and a flurry of branded bots appearing this trend is back.</p> <p>The popularity of emojis, and digital stickers, also show the desire to embed more feeling and emotion into digital communications. </p> <p>In trend four above we saw how the world of pure digital is trying to connect more deeply through physical manifestations.</p> <p>Similarly, brands, particularly digital services, are now seeking to create more emotive connections by bringing personality to their technology. </p> <p>We are moving beyond robots that only deal in commands, interactions and transactions.</p> <p>Technology can detect our emotions (e.g. <a href="http://www.emotient.com/">Emotient</a>, or <a href="http://googlecloudplatform.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/Google-Cloud-Vision-API-changes-the-way-applications-understand-images.html">Google’s Cloud Vision API</a>), robots can detect how we feel (like <a href="https://www.aldebaran.com/en/a-robots/pepper/how-does-pepper-work">Pepper</a>) and any self-respecting cool piece of tech has a bot (e.g. <a href="https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/202026038-Slackbot-your-assistant-notepad-programmable-bot">Slackbot</a>) and, increasingly, extensible platforms to create your own bots, e.g. <a href="https://telegram.org/blog/bot-revolution">Telegram’s Bot Platform</a> or Slack’s Slash Commands.  </p> <p>Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, recently forecast that in 15 years’ time it will be possible to have an emotional relationship with computers.</p> <p>This was made real in the 2013 film “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her_(film)">Her</a>” portraying a man, Theodore Twombly, who falls in love with ‘Samantha,’ an artificially intelligent operating system.</p> <p>If this seems far-fetched I should point out that I have recently been interacting very naturally and successfully with “<a href="https://x.ai/">Amy Ingram</a>” an AI-powered personal assistant for scheduling meetings.</p> <p>Amy seems happy to work long hours and even replies at the weekend.   </p> <p>The mixing of human and machine is also evident in the many concierge services springing up. Among them <a href="https://pana.com/">Pana</a> (for travel), <a href="https://www.operator.com/">Operator</a> and <a href="http://www.gobutler.com/">GoButler</a>.</p> <p>Typically, these services work using part human, part machine learning. The interesting one to watch here of course is <a href="http://www.wired.com/2015/08/facebook-launches-m-new-kind-virtual-assistant/">Facebook M</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0647/Screen_Shot_2016-01-11_at_18.15.26.png" alt="" width="598" height="441"> </p> <p>Pure human assistance is very useful but not very scalable. Pure machine is very scalable but not always very useful. M’s challenge, and services like it, is to be both. </p> <p>What does this all mean for marketers? It creates all sorts of exciting opportunities to create more intelligent services and ones which, though digital, really resonate with the brand and have personality. </p> <p>In a few years I expect we will find it odd not to be able to message a brand and have a conversation which we will expect to be bot-powered to start with.</p> <p>Some of us may even prefer to interact with branded bots rather than humans. </p> <p>The challenge for us, as marketers, will be how to imbue these robobrands with the right brand sentience.</p> <p>It will mean <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">great copywriting</a> is once more highly prised and interfaces will become more verbal. Getting the right tone and the right attitude will be hard but those that do will win. </p> <h3>8. <a name="Mobile"></a>It’s mobile, stupid</h3> <p>We all know that the fabled ‘year of mobile’ was about a decade ago.</p> <p>In the last two years most of us have finally got round to mobile-optimising our websites and emails typically using responsive design. </p> <p>However, what slightly surprises me is that for many marketers I get the sense they think that means they have ticked the mobile box, mobile is covered, mobile is mostly ‘done’.</p> <p>Mobile (and the same is true of video and even social) tends not to appear on the hot topics or buzzwords list. </p> <p>Which is odd given we surely recognise that <a href="http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/10/28/presentation-mobile-is-eating-the-world">mobile is eating the world</a>?</p> <p>So I have put mobile in as a trend largely as a collective slap in the face to remind ourselves just how big a thing this still is.</p> <p>Remember:</p> <ul> <li>By most metrics mobile now IS the internet. And for most developing nations mobile is the internet. </li> <li>Last year we passed the point where there are <a href="http://searchengineland.com/its-official-google-says-more-searches-now-on-mobile-than-on-desktop-220369">more searches on mobile than deskto</a>p. </li> <li>For many businesses and customers things are not just mobile first, they are mobile only. Last year <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/consumer_and_retail/learning_from_south_koreas_mobile-retailing_boom">McKinsey published some fascinating research on mobile shoppers in South Korea</a>: among those who shopped on a mobile device, 13% did not shop in stores, and 53% did not shop online. </li> <li> <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/28/facebook-mobile-only-2/">More than half a billion people access Facebook solely from mobile</a> and sometime soon <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2015/11/04/47-of-facebooks-users-never-touch-the-service-on-desktop/">Facebook will become mostly a mobile experience</a> with the majority of video views and sharing already mobile-dominated. </li> <li> <a href="https://www.atombank.co.uk/">Atom Bank</a> will launch in the UK this year as a mobile-only bank. </li> <li> <a href="https://medium.com/@Mosaic_VC/messaging-and-notifications-the-new-platforms-ba85db74dd9#.aobryziua">Mobile messaging is HUGE</a> and growing massively. Not just in B2C but B2B – you may have noticed <a href="http://blog.linkedin.com/2015/09/01/new-messaging-experience-comes-to-linkedin-finally/">LinkedIn’s recent developments in messaging</a>? </li> <li>Messaging apps <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/messaging-apps-have-completely-overtaken-social-networks-to-become-the-dominant-platforms-on-phones-2015-4?r=US&amp;IR=T">have caught up to social networks in user numbers</a> and now dominate mobile</li> <li>Mobile commerce is <a href="http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/233979/file-61930032-pdf/Content/The-state-of-mobile-commerce-in-retail.pdf">predicted to grow to $31bn next year</a>, up from $3bn in 2010. </li> <li>Walmart reported that over 70% of the traffic to Walmart.com is now mobile and that mobile accounted for over half of its orders since Thanksgiving – double last year.</li> <li>Alibaba’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67212-10-eye-watering-stats-from-alibaba-s-singles-day-in-china/">Singles Day in China</a> saw 27m mobile transactions in the first hour. </li> <li>Get your mind blown by <a href="https://medium.com/@katie/product-insights-from-wechat-97c51695e159#.o4qch7iry">what WeChat can do</a> and read about <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/31c9ab26-77c5-11e5-a95a-27d368e1ddf7.html#axzz3wZQCq2pT">Facebook’s big bet on Facebook M</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Really we shouldn’t be asking ourselves what our mobile strategy is anymore. We should be wondering what our desktop strategy is given most of what our customers do is mobile? </p> <p>So if you think you are mostly done with mobile then think again.</p> <p>Some mobile questions that should be on your mind for 2016:</p> <ul> <li>How might our brand be present in the notifications stream? What is <a href="https://medium.com/@orarbel/notifications-the-good-the-bad-and-the-irrelevant-8bd373e8c86#.6bh0h5ycd">a good notifications experience</a> and how might we deliver <a href="https://blog.intercom.io/its-time-for-notifications-to-get-smart/">smarter notifications</a>?</li> <li>What could the trend towards conversational interfaces and bots mean for our brand?</li> <li>How do we capitalise on message and mobile-social commerce? </li> <li>What will the changes in mobile payment options (including Apple Pay roll out) mean for us? </li> <li>Following <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66387-google-s-mobile-friendly-algorithm-four-early-test-results/">Google’s “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update</a> last year what do we need to be doing in SEO for mobile this year? </li> <li>Now that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67006-google-pushing-hard-to-extend-influence-to-apps/">native apps are being indexed for search</a> what opportunities does that give us?</li> <li> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/age-old-question-app-v-mobile-web-jonathan-wall?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like">Shop Direct is reporting higher usage and higher conversion rates on its apps</a> than from mobile web customers. Have we got our app strategy right?</li> <li>And, of course, mobile display (including native ads and mobile programmatic), mobile video optimisation etc. etc.…. </li> </ul> <p>In short: for the foreseeable future every year should be the year of mobile.</p> <h3>9. <a name="Video"></a>Video</h3> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hfj8f9y6sPI?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <h3>10. <a name="Content"></a>Peak content</h3> <p>Doug Kessler called this one three years ago with his seminal <a href="https://velocitypartners.com/resources/crap-the-single-biggest-threat-to-b2b-content-marketing/">Crap: the single biggest threat to B2B content marketing</a>. </p> <p>If we were to plot content marketing on <a href="http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp">Gartner’s hype cycle</a> then I fear 2016 sees us plunging from the peaks of inflated expectations towards the trough of content marketing disillusionment.</p> <p>Can marketing take any more contentification? Have we jumped the content shark? Can the world take any more wellness tips from insurance companies? </p> <p>Like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJZPzQESq_0">Mr Creosote</a> we are dangerously near tipping over the edge and just one more (wafer thin) piece of content could do it.</p> <p>Even Twitter can no longer contain the tsunami and its 140 word levee is about to be breached with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67378-five-reasons-twitter-s-character-limit-increase-is-a-terrible-idea/">up to 10,000 characters of content</a>. </p> <p>And all this with our phones set to ping and ting even more with a wave of notifications.</p> <p>Just as happened with social media a few years ago, 2016 will see lots of hand-wringing about the ‘ROI of content marketing’.</p> <p>We will learn to focus on value, quality and relevancy as very few can make volume, quantity and reach work.</p> <p>2016 will see us thinking more about what we stop doing in content rather than what we start doing. </p> <p>How to end a post on my 10 digital trends for 2016? By predicting the demise of the listicle perhaps? </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67343 2015-12-17T10:06:00+00:00 2015-12-17T10:06:00+00:00 Do new features make Facebook a viable customer service platform? Patricio Robles <p>One of the use cases Facebook is most focused on is customer service.</p> <p>While there's still skepticism about social media as a customer service channel, and some businesses have been reluctant to embrace it as such, the reality is that customers are using services like Facebook and Twitter to seek support from the companies they do business with.</p> <p>In an effort to better support customer service interactions, Facebook <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/news/new-tools-for-managing-communication-on-your-page">has added</a> a number of features to Pages, including...</p> <h3>Response time display</h3> <p>Earlier this year, Facebook began highlighting businesses that, on average, respond within five minutes of receiving a message through their Facebook Pages.</p> <p>Now, Pages will display average response times even if they don't meet that standard. To help businesses set expectations, they can also change what's displayed. </p> <p>"Average response times for Pages are calculated for each Page automatically and the response time shown on the Page defaults to their average response time, but admins can now control what response time shows publicly on their Page.</p> <p>So even if a Page typically responds to messages within an hour, they can can set their visible response time to within a day and set customer expectations accordingly," Facebook explained.</p> <p>In addition, businesses can configure an Away mode to let customers know that they are not currently available to respond to messages as quickly as usual, and can create Away Messages and Instant Replies, which function like email autoresponders.</p> <h3>A redesigned inbox</h3> <p>One of the biggest challenges companies face in using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67060-what-a-mexican-and-an-italian-taught-me-about-online-customer-service">social media for customer service</a> is that many of the tools they're given by social platforms were not designed with customer service in mind. Facebook is aiming to change that with a redesigned inbox that provides more context.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0070/12350970_1632165700376662_715458677_n.jpg" alt="" width="676" height="451"></p> <p>The redesigned inbox makes it easy for Page admins to view past messages from a particular user, and to quickly view basic profile information, like location, alongside the user's message. Additionally, Page admins can tag coversations add notes about users.</p> <p>According to Facebook, "These changes help Page admins keep up with messages faster and manage conversations more easily."</p> <h3>New comment tools</h3> <p>Because comments are also commonly used for customer service purposes, Facebook has created a new tool that businesses can use to monitor and respond to comments left on their Pages.</p> <p>Using the tool, Page admins can identify comments that need to be responded to, quickly view information about the user who posted the comment, and manage workflow, like marking comments as responded to.</p> <h3>So is Facebook now a viable customer service platform?</h3> <p>Clearly, Facebook is attempting to address the customer service interactions that are taking place on its platform.</p> <p>Its functionality may not do enough for some companies, particularly those that have invested heavily in their own customer service platforms, but with 50m business Pages, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64761-small-businesses-is-it-really-worth-being-social">many of them operated by small businesses</a>, Facebook's newest features arguably represent steps in the right direction.</p> <p>Of course, businesses will need to embrace these features, but the days of arguing that social platforms aren't suitable for customer service because they don't support customer service use cases very well are numbered.</p>