tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/customer-experience Latest Customer Experience content from Econsultancy 2016-10-27T16:33:42+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4287 2016-10-27T16:33:42+01:00 2016-10-27T16:33:42+01:00 B2B Digital Trends 2016 - 2017 <p>In the tradition of our last four annual reports on the digital landscape in B2B, the <strong>B2B Digital Trends 2016-2017</strong> report notes the continued importance of content marketing, along with the growing role of customer experience (CX) in the B2B space.</p> <p>As stated, B2B continues to lag behind B2C. Naturally, talented B2B marketers are looking to their B2C counterparts to inform the next move; inside is a description of these priorities, along with an overview of what has changed marketing-side in the time elapsed since last year's survey. Find out where B2C's priorities are, so that B2B might catch up and eventually, overtake.</p> <p>Further explore Econsultancy's B2B/B2C comparisons in personalization and customer experience, along with B2B's current and most pressing obstacles to customer centricity. </p> <p>As marketers in a highly disruptive age, it's no longer enough to anticipate the next step; take advantage of the insight provided by more than 1,000 professional respondents in the fast-changing world of digital B2B.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68445 2016-10-26T10:38:14+01:00 2016-10-26T10:38:14+01:00 Can Southampton FC break the hegemony of crap football websites? Ben Davis <p>On top of that, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62091-why-is-buying-premier-league-football-tickets-such-a-terrible-user-experience/">the average ticket buying experience is usually enough to make you tear your hair out</a>.</p> <p>Thankfully, over the last two or three years, most Premier League clubs have improved their websites, but there is still not much to get excited about.</p> <p><strong>Take West Ham United as an example.</strong> The club launched a new website in early 2015.</p> <p>Improvements were made but you can still see evidence of 'enter site' interstitials, alongside arguably too much display advertising (retargeting from retailers etc.), and a slightly confused homepage that includes, amongst other things, social media posts which are surely better consigned to their own channel.</p> <p><em>Interstitial when you arrive at West Ham's website</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0724/Screen_Shot_2016-10-25_at_11.32.22.png" alt="west ham website" width="615" height="358"> </p> <p>The usability of the site is also compromised by less than elegant UX and formatting (see below).</p> <p>I'm being a little picky, but the point is that Premier League websites have improved but still aren't great.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0741/IMG_3358.PNG" alt="west ham website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0740/IMG_3357.PNG" alt="west ham website" width="250"></p> <h3>Southampton FC</h3> <p>However, Southampton FC launched its new site earlier this month claiming it would rethink the fan-club relationship and be measured against world-leading brands, rather than simply other football clubs.</p> <p>So, does the site look promising? Here are some of the things I noticed.</p> <h4><strong>Newsfeed as homepage</strong></h4> <p>This is a sensible idea. Homepages are too often a confusing hodge podge of content blocks.</p> <p>Southampton's homepage defaults to 'Saints Live', the name Southampton gives to its newsfeed. For anything else, you can dive into the menu.</p> <p>Above the fold sits a carousel which shows the latest news story and a marketing message (when I visited this was discounted tickets for an upcoming cup game).</p> <p>It is slightly annoying that I can't swipe this carousel, but the transition does at least grab my attention.</p> <p>Below this carousel and still above the fold is key information (next match and league position), which is presented clearly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0729/IMG_3351.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0728/IMG_3352.PNG" alt="southampton website" width="250"></p> <p>From then on, you can scroll down through the newsfeed (ordered chronologically) and pick out a story or video that interests you.</p> <p>It's nice that stories can be closed easily, via a button at the top of the article, so the user doesn't have to navigate back to the newsfeed.</p> <p><em>Easy to open and close news items</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0727/IMG_3353.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250"></p> <p>Promotional blocks are interspersed throughout the newsfeed, but not so frequently as to annoy.</p> <p>Social posts from players are also featured in the newsfeed. I'm not sure they work particularly well, as the formatting is poor - for example, Instagram posts do not show any text or comments when previewed (see below).</p> <p>Users can click through these social posts and be taken to the player's Instagram post in-app, so this undoubtedly will bring followers to the squad, but it doesn't exactly provide edifying content on the site itself.</p> <p>Cross-channel content like this can work well, but too often the integration is a little clunky.</p> <p><em>Social content is poorly formatted</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0726/IMG_3354.PNG" alt="instagram" width="250"></p> <p>Elsewhere, nice details include 'related content' suggestions at the bottom of articles, which work well. </p> <p>And search, too, was competent.</p> <p><em>Suggested content and search</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0732/IMG_3355.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0731/IMG_3356.PNG" alt="search on southampton website" width="250"></p> <p>All in all, the newsfeed is exactly the sort of content football fans look for from publishers, and Southampton does well to make it so accessible and prominent.</p> <p>Simply put, give the fans what they want.</p> <h4>Registration for video is a good idea</h4> <p>The video content available is pretty good. Interviews, match replays, highlights etc. are presented appealingly within the newsfeed.</p> <p>To watch videos or listen to matchday commentary, users must register either using their email address or via social log-in.</p> <p>This is a nice way of capturing customer data.</p> <p>One small niggle - the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting">copywriting</a> here could be improved. 'Access digital content' doesn't mean much and takes the fun out of football.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0742/IMG_3359.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250"></p> <h4>Simplicity of UX</h4> <p>The menu is easy to use and pleasingly limited with five main options and no niggly submenus (see West Ham's site).</p> <p>Less visited webpages are tucked away in the 'more' tab, and this is a model of efficient information architecture.</p> <p>As one would expect, the site is mobile-friendly (using Google's testing tool), and its pages score pretty well (homepage at 70/100) when put through Google's Mobile Page Insights.</p> <p>There are also few distractions in the content itself (no display ads) and the design is simple enough to avoid niggles.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0743/IMG_3361.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0744/IMG_3360.PNG" alt="menu southampton fc" width="250"></p> <h4>Perhaps a lack of inventive content?</h4> <p>Southampton FC has more product development planned, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see some more sophisticated and interactive content on this platform.</p> <p>It feels like something that's missing at the moment.</p> <p>The newsfeed content is great, but without anything to appeal to younger demographics, does the site neglect the next generation?</p> <p>Below are two examples of fun content from Arsenal, the kind of interaction that Southampton should look to add if possible.</p> <p>This kind of content, albeit more expensive to produce, draws more traffic from social media and may be a valuable weapon for data collection.</p> <p><em>Identify former players and predict who will get 10 goals this season</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0745/IMG_3362.PNG" alt="arsenal fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0746/IMG_3364.PNG" alt="arsenal fc website" width="250"></em></p> <h4>Buying tickets</h4> <p>There are some nice touches to the ticket buying experiences. A user can set a favourite seat section which is selected each time they buy.</p> <p>There is a handy 'where should I sit?' prompt, which, although it loads a non-mobile-friendly PDF, is helpful if you don't know the stadium (e.g. which stands are family-friendly).</p> <p>Like pretty much all football club websites, I can only go so far down the ticket purchase journey before I have to register.</p> <p>This occurs pretty early on and I can't help but think these clubs are missing a trick.</p> <p>Allowing guest checkout surely wouldn't be such a bad thing? After all, I would still have to provide an email address and a billing address.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0747/IMG_3366.PNG" alt="southampton ticket buying" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0748/IMG_3367.PNG" alt="southampton ticket buying" width="250"></p> <p>Continuing with ecommerce, the club online shop isn't great. However, this is on a microsite and I suspect hasn't been updated in the revamp.</p> <p>I would expect the shop to be another point on the club's digital roadmap.</p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>I enjoyed using the Southampton FC site.</p> <p>Having moved from the Football League's limited website platform to this new design, the club will hope this site will serve the purpose for the next three years at least.</p> <p>By eschewing bells and whistles, sticking to a simple design that puts content first, the fans should be happy.</p> <p>Especially if Nathan Redmond and Charlie Austin keep scoring.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/839 2016-10-25T04:44:07+01:00 2016-10-25T04:44:07+01:00 Customer Experience Maturity in India <p>This webinar will highlight results from Econsultancy's Customer Experience Maturity in India report, produced in association with <strong><a href="https://www.epsilon.com/apac/home.html" target="_blank">Epsilon</a></strong>. The report explores the extent to which organisations from India deliver a consistent and relevant customer experience across all touchpoints; such as - benefits deriving from an understanding of the customer journey, customer experience technology, customer data and insight, measuring returns and etc.</p> <p>The webinar will highlight the key findings, recent trends and best practice, followed by a 15 minute Q&amp;A session with <strong>Jeff </strong>Rajeck<strong>, Research Analyst APAC at Econsultancy</strong>.</p> <h4>FAQ:</h4> <p><strong>I'm not an Econsultancy subscriber, can I join?<br></strong>Ans: You sure can. The sessions are complimentary for existing customers and new friends.</p> <p><strong>Will the session be recorded?<br></strong>Ans: Yes! We record all of our webinars, and we'll send out a link to the recording the following week.</p> <p><strong>What if I register but can't make it?<br></strong>Ans: It's all good. We'll send a follow-up with key takeaways and a link to the recording.</p> <p><strong>Can I ask questions?<br></strong>Ans: Absolutely! This session is for you. Bring your questions and participate during Q&amp;A.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68434 2016-10-21T10:26:33+01:00 2016-10-21T10:26:33+01:00 A day in the life of... the Managing Director at Cure & Simple Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what was the motivation behind starting such a company?</p> <p>Let’s find out, as we go through a day in the life of the Managing Director of <a href="https://www.cureandsimple.com/">Cure and Simple</a> – Charlie Pyper.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0522/Charlie_Cure___Simple.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="632"></p> <h3>Please describe your job: What do you do?</h3> <p>I am the MD of the business, and so essentially, the responsibility of all aspects of the company falls into my remit. </p> <p>As a small company I also have to focus on the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/digital-transformation-and-the-convergence-of-marketing-and-sales/">sales and marketing aspects</a> as well as the technology elements.</p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>I founded the company, so in a traditional sense I would have a role reporting into the Board and the other shareholders. </p> <p>However, it is safe to say we are not particularly traditional, and on a day-to-day basis I report into every person who works inside the business.</p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p>To take input from others on what the best direction for a particular task would be and to heed that advice. </p> <p>A deep understanding of the technology that underpins our services is also hugely important. </p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day?</h3> <p>Unfortunately, it all starts when I am in bed, checking from my phone how many new orders have come in overnight and any feedback we are getting from our social media channels. </p> <p>Luckily, the office is next to my home so getting in of a morning could not be easier.</p> <p>As we are constantly trying to grow, we usually have a new initiative on the go at any one time, so this will be coordinated with production, finance and sales. </p> <p>More often than not I cook lunch for everyone and am on standby afterwards to assist with any of the orders that are being processed.</p> <p>Our day usually ends after Royal Mail has been to collect the day’s orders, and that is usually a good time to catch up with Stephen Hargreaves, a partner who looks after the finance, as well as Craig Watson (our first employee) who looks after production and customer enquiries. </p> <p>That’s the day in a nutshell, but as long as my phone is with me, I’m never not thinking about the business.</p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>Where can I start? We make fantastic bacon; we send it in the post to thousands of customers throughout the UK. Customer feedback is what I love. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0588/cure_and_simple.png" alt="" width="815" height="412"></p> <p>However, it is also what sucks, like when a balls up happens - which unfortunately does happen from time to time. </p> <p>Something messing up or our end, or a mishap that gives our customers the hump, is a sure fire way to annoy me.  </p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p>Achieving profit without being an arse. Not to over trade - I got caught out big time a few years back and still feel the sense of shame in letting down a client.</p> <p>With regards to measuring success, there are lots of things I could point to - from customer feedback to number of refunds, or indeed our churn rate. </p> <p>However, the number one measurement is that we bring in more money a month through sales than goes out. </p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <p>MySQL Workbench is my number one tool for querying our databases - it saves a huge amount of time and money not having to pay someone else to do it for me. </p> <p>Google Analytics for all your standard web usage metrics.</p> <p>And it’s also safe to say that we probably would not have a business if Facebook and Twitter did not exist.</p> <p>People don’t exactly search for ‘Bacon by Post’ on Google.</p> <h3>How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>I got involved in streaming media back in the late nineties, essentially streaming event-based content on the internet, and this lead to building lots of web applications for the big tech companies. </p> <p>I always liked the subscription nature of software, so I just wanted to apply it to something a lot more tangible. </p> <p>The future - who knows! But putting our data to good work would be towards the top of the list.</p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h3> <p>Any brand that is trying to use the underlining technology of digital (IP) to disrupt an industry gets my thumbs up. </p> <p>Amazon is probably the top of my list. The Internet of Things is a massively exciting space.</p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?</h3> <p>The foundation of any career in digital should be a working knowledge of the tech that supports it.</p> <p>Know the difference between your API’s and KPI’s. Once you have that no one can pull the wool over your eyes. </p> <p>Finally, a quote from Facebook, and one which I firmly believe in - ‘Done is better than perfect’.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-10-20T16:10:00+01:00 2016-10-20T16:10:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68408 2016-10-20T15:01:00+01:00 2016-10-20T15:01:00+01:00 The five fundamentals of data-driven marketing Evan Dunn <p>81% of marketers are looking to <a href="http://www.zoominfo.com/business/mktg/ebooks/ebook-data-driven-benchmarks-for-success.pdf" target="_blank">increase budgets</a> for data-driven marketing, while 83% of marketers believe <a href="https://www.ana.net/content/show/id/37128">it's important to be able to make data-guided decisions</a>.</p> <p>That's nearly every marketer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/09/19/investment-data-driven-marketing-continues-rise-survey-notes" target="_blank">Over half</a> expect to see revenue growth as a result of data-driven marketing investments (only 7% expect a decrease), and 39% plan to increase spend on data-driven marketing initiatives.</p> <p>Despite the popularity of data-driven tactics and tech, there is a lot of confusion about the nature of marketing data, and the possible implications it can have for marketing decisions.</p> <p>Here are five ideas I’ve identified as fundamental to effective data-driven marketing.</p> <h4><strong>1. There are two types of marketing 'data': Contact information and performance metrics.</strong></h4> <p>It is strange how rarely this distinction is highlighted, despite how frequently marketers interact with both types of data.</p> <p>For example, “database marketing” refers exclusively to leveraging email lists to engage with customers.</p> <p>“Data management platform” (DMP) refers exclusively to leveraging a mix of IP addresses, emails and other contact information to deliver targeted advertising to customers across the web. </p> <p>Part of the reason I’m writing this article is because of how confused I was by so many of these terms.</p> <p>Databases can store many things, so why only point to use cases that involve emails? And DMP - such a broad, sweeping term for such a narrow use case.</p> <p>Understanding the difference between the two methods is critical to knowing how and when to use them.</p> <p>Many modern marketers are focused so heavily on contact-information-based use cases that they neglect the importance of measuring overall performance and tying it to revenue.</p> <h4><strong>2. Data-driven marketing based on contact information involves tracking individuals in order to get them to buy.</strong></h4> <p>It's sort of like helicopter parenting - helicopter advertising.</p> <p>Tracking individuals across digital media is becoming increasingly popular among marketers, in an attempt to make their marketing distinct among the hundreds of ads we each see every day.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0562/helicopter.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <p>“<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65212-what-is-marketing-automation-and-why-do-you-need-it/">Marketing automation</a>” is one of the earliest examples of this type of data-driven marketing, though people rarely classify it as such.</p> <p>Marketers use a MAP (Marketing Automation Platform - a technology class created by Marketo, much like Siebel Systems pioneered CRM) to track individuals through the funnel, usually in organic (email, website) touchpoints, but also in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-paid-advertising/">paid social</a> and display ads.</p> <p>Then the MAP distributes targeted content based on where a person is in the funnel, particularly what last action they took (such as downloading content).</p> <p>Another example is “Attribution” - a term which on the surface just refers to assigning various media, creative and audience segments with percentages of contribution to success.</p> <p>Attribution usually involves tracking individual customers across the web, based on interactions with digital media properties, both paid and owned.</p> <p>More advanced platforms can track whether display ads come into view on the visible portion of a person’s screen.</p> <p>Attribution sometimes leverages DMPs and TMS (Tag Management Software), along with proprietary analytics, to attribute conversions and sales to specific ads. </p> <p>Attribution is primarily focused on individual identification, but also relies on aggregate performance metrics to recommend adjustments in advertising tactics.</p> <p>Data-driven methods that rely on contact information benefit from high levels of detail, but suffer from scalability (you can’t track everyone).</p> <p>Personalization, customer experience optimization and other initiatives fall into this category.</p> <h4><strong>3. Data-driven marketing based on performance metrics involves analyzing investments in and returns from marketing initiatives, in order to better drive results.</strong></h4> <p>Performance marketing, quantitative marketing, media mix modeling - these practices involved rolled up streams of customer actions - i.e. performance metrics. </p> <ul> <li>“Performance marketing” is just a way of saying “marketing where you actually look at what works and what doesn’t in order to drive outcomes.”</li> <li>“Quantitative marketing” has historically referred to enterprise-grade initiatives that use statistics to optimize marketing outcomes based on investment (i.e. ad spend) and key performance indicators. </li> <li>“Media mix modeling” - or media mix allocation - is sometimes classed as a type of quantitative marketing. It involves analyzing which channels (TV, radio, display, etc.) have the greatest impact on conversions through probabilistic statistics (data science).</li> </ul> <p>Data-driven methods that rely on performance metrics benefit from the fact that every system produces some measure of reporting and thus are highly scalable, but sometimes more detail is needed.</p> <p>A focus on performance metrics also has a natural bias towards objectives.</p> <p>Customer data can be a black hole of possible activities, and many companies are stuck in the vortex of collecting, cleansing, weighing customer data.</p> <p>But performance data always tells a story relevant to your objective.</p> <h4><strong>4. There’s this thing called a “proxy” - it’s how you measure the intangibles.</strong></h4> <p>Some things are difficult to measure.</p> <p>For example, “Awareness” (which is an actual objective for many marketers) is really the sum of “how much time do people spend thinking about your brand/product/service?”</p> <p>Obviously, we can’t strap brain sensors to everyone (yet). Most marketers use focus groups and surveys to approximate awareness.</p> <p>Those may also be used to approximate “Brand Equity” - the amount people <em>like </em>and therefore demonstrate <em>purchase intent </em>towards a brand.</p> <p>The problem is, surveys of all kinds are riddled with <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Response_bias" target="_blank">response biases</a> - including the most subtle, such as <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-my-money/200807/familiarity-bias-part-i-what-is-it" target="_blank">familiarity bias</a> and <a href="http://heuristics.behaviouralfinance.net/availability/" target="_blank">availability bias</a>.</p> <p>Why not supplement these traditional approaches to awareness measurement with more comprehensive, scalable (and faster, less expensive) tactics?</p> <p>One increasingly popular method of measuring awareness via proxy is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67137-social-monitoring-listening-what-is-it-and-do-you-need-it/" target="_blank">social listening</a>.</p> <p>This technology category is actually not focused only on social media, but the ‘social web’ - all those publications, blogs, articles, comments, social networks, forums etc... essentially most of the Internet. </p> <p>“Best-in-class” estimates for the number of websites scanned by a social listening tool are usually around 100m or 200m websites.</p> <p>For reference, Twitter counts as one website.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digitally-transformed</a> enterprises use these tools to monitor the success of paid and earned media initiatives, as well as establish competitive benchmarks for brand awareness, based on the assumption that some number of people who are aware of a brand/product/campaign will talk about it.</p> <p>Other examples of proxies include NPS (Net Promoter Score) - a measure of the social equity a brand has with its customers.</p> <h4><strong>5. You can’t quantify poetry</strong></h4> <p>Marketing - getting people to invest time/attention/money in brands, products &amp; services - will always live partially in the poetic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0571/shakespeare.jpg" alt="" width="335" height="298"></p> <p>Connecting with customers inherently has one foot in the abstract, ethereal, creative - and one foot in the scientific, mathematic, quantifiable.</p> <p>After all, some of the best ideas are ones no one has thought of before.</p> <p>This is why Jay Baer proclaims that “<a href="http://www.convinceandconvert.com/digital-marketing/data-driven-marketing/" target="_blank">Data-Driven Marketing is a Bad Idea</a>” - all he’s really saying is that you can’t forsake the creative for the quantified, but the title he actually used is more sensational.</p> <h3><strong>We need a more holistic view of marketing data</strong></h3> <p>What marketers need is to broaden the scope of the way data is viewed, valued and used within their organization. </p> <p>Personalization and attribution have their place among the most academic of statistical approaches.</p> <p>And macro-performance measurement must concede the fact that, sometimes, the devil is in the details.</p> <p>Of utmost importance is the fact that no data is valuable unless it connects to critical objectives. For most marketers, this means awareness, brand equity and revenue.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-role-of-crm-in-data-driven-marketing/"><em>The Role of CRM in Data-Driven Marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/big-data-driven-marketing-how-to-get-it-right/"><em>Data-Driven Marketing Training</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68412 2016-10-18T13:23:06+01:00 2016-10-18T13:23:06+01:00 Traffic to hotel websites is declining: How should they respond? Patricio Robles <p>According to the study, monthly visits to sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway has surged by 70% over the past three years while direct traffic to hotel sites has decreased by 3.6%.</p> <p>While the latter might seem like a modest decline, consider this: Hitwise estimates that within the next 12 months, visits to residential rental sites will surpass direct visits to hotel sites. </p> <p>What's more, the Airbnbs of the world would appear to have potentially more favorable traffic profiles than their hotel site competitor.</p> <p>They are slightly less dependent on search engine traffic than hotel sites and they generate more than double and triple the traffic from social channels and email, respectively.</p> <p>Hitwise speculates that this "may be due to the fact that travelers seeking rentals may be emailing property links to friends" at a much higher clip, a behavior that is beneficial for rental sites for obvious reasons.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0428/image002.png" alt="" width="478" height="306"></p> <p>Not surprisingly, the rise of residential rental sites has not been kind to hotel aggregators like Booking.com and Hotels.com either.</p> <p>According to Hitwise, their traffic has declined by nearly 8% over the past three years.</p> <p>They are most dependent on search engine traffic, which when paid for can be very costly, and while they do receive more traffic from social channels and email than hotel sites, they don't outperform them by much in these two categories.</p> <h3>What should hotels and aggregators do?</h3> <p>While the continued rise of rental sites seems all but inevitable, hotels and aggregators can't sit on their hands.</p> <p>In an effort to ensure that they don't unnecessarily cede gains to rental sites, they should look at consumer behavior, which might explain in part why rental sites have been so successful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0427/image006.png" alt="" width="476" height="284"></p> <p>According to Hitwise, "females tend to dominate the booking of vacations" and they have very different preferences than males.</p> <p>For example, female vacationeers are far more interested in booking vacation experiences that differentiate them from their friends, visit a different location every time they travel, and book through a company they have never heard of. </p> <p>Rental sites arguably have greater appeal in these areas, but that doesn't mean hotels and aggregators can't compete.</p> <p>Here are a few actions they can take...</p> <h3>1. Segment and personalise better</h3> <p>The differences between the preferences of female and male vacationeers highlight the importance of segmentation and personalistion for hotels and hotel aggregators.</p> <p>While these companies do use segmentation and personalisation, this author hasn't seen much evidence of gender-based segmentation in email marketing campaigns from hotels and hotel aggregators despite the fact that their preferences are so divergent in key areas.</p> <h3>2. Focus on customer experience</h3> <p>Given the fact that overall vacation experience is so important today, particularly for women, hotels and hotel aggregators need to think beyond offering a place to stay.</p> <p>While they may not be able to offer the variety and some of the novelty of the rental sites, which have a unique portfolio of properties to offer due to the nature of their businesses, hotels still have opportunities to create <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb/">unique, personalised experiences</a> for their customers.</p> <h3>3. Revisit UX</h3> <p>The user experience of sites like Airbnb has been a big part of their success.</p> <p>While hotel and hotel aggregator sites will necessarily have some differences, there are a number of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65149-nine-user-experience-lessons-travel-sites-can-learn-from-airbnb/">UX lessons they can learn from sites like Airbnb</a>.</p> <h3>4. Take advantage of their strengths</h3> <p>Hotels and hotel aggregators still have the ability to appeal to vacationeers in ways that their rental site competitors don't currently.</p> <p>For example, many vacationeers are interested in vacation packages in which activites are included.</p> <p>Hotels and hotel aggregators are still far better positioned to offer these and they should take advantage of that while they can because it won't remain forever.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68414 2016-10-18T11:15:00+01:00 2016-10-18T11:15:00+01:00 MailShop: A review of The Daily Mail's revamped ecommerce site Nikki Gilliland <p>MailShop describes itself as a "sophisticated online shop", selling home, garden and lifestyle items from select number of retail partners.</p> <p>It is clearly targeted towards readers of The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.</p> <p>As a person who definitely doesn't fall into this bracket, I was simultaneously reluctant and intrigued to check it out.</p> <p>Here's what I thought.</p> <h3>First impressions &amp; features</h3> <p>My first impression of the site was that it looks quite basic, but with all the hallmarks of a modern ecommerce store, it is appealing enough.</p> <p>The offer of 20% off immediately grabs the attention and there is a wide range of categories to browse.</p> <p>Apart from the distinct logo at the very top of the page, there is nothing that particularly screams 'Daily Mail'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0244/MailShop_homepage.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="556"></p> <p>Further down the page, editorial-style imagery nicely points the user towards the various category pages.</p> <p>One thing that did catch my eye was the 'As Seen in Paper' logo.</p> <p>This is the first and only real indication of the newspaper tie-in, which is obviously designed to provide extra value and incentive for loyal readers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0245/MailShop_homepage_2.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="631"></p> <h3>Categories &amp; products</h3> <p>So, what exactly does MailShop sell?</p> <p>Now expanding its offering from 3,000 to 80,000 product lines, it has removed clothing and books, choosing to focus on just home and garden instead.</p> <p>In terms of the navigation, the drop-down menu is easy to use, and gives the user a good indication of the various products on offer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0246/Header_menu.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="533"></p> <p>The imagery on the category pages is simple but appealing.</p> <p>With its muted colour schemed and sleek design, it is obviously geared towards the Mail demographic - those who prefer John Lewis to George at Asda.</p> <p>The copy throughout is descriptive, if a little unoriginal.</p> <p>I mean, no one has ever said "brighten up your home" in relation to lighting before...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0247/Side_menu.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="482"></p> <p>As well as the standard categories, there is also the option to 'shop by room' - and here is where most of the existing editorial content can be found.</p> <p>The Mail has indicated that there will be more to come in future, and it is this which will ramp up the incentive for readers.</p> <p>So far, the content mainly revolves around buyer's guides.</p> <p>While the content is informative, the typography and mismatched structure of the page isn't very appealing to look at in my opinion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0292/Mail_buying_guides.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="848"></p> <p>Moving on, I was quite impressed by the product filter. </p> <p>It is very easy to narrow down searches, with options to filter by price, colour or designer, as well as sort by best selling or price.</p> <p><em>(You can read more on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68222-ecommerce-product-filters-best-practice-tips-for-a-great-ux/" target="_blank">best practice for product filters here</a>.)</em></p> <p>Having said that, despite being able to sort by 'rating', there was no futher information about this, nor any sign of customer reviews elsewhere.</p> <p>Also, there's no such word as 'artifical'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0248/Filter.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="544"></p> <h3>Product pages</h3> <p>The option to 'quick view' the products is a nice feature, especially considering that delivery prices and estimations vary from seller to seller.</p> <p>This means that instead of clicking through to products and abandoning them, users are more likely to carry on browsing on the category page.</p> <p>That said, how many people are going to pay £4.99 for delivery of a product that cost £1.95?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0251/QuickView.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="546"></p> <p>In terms of the product pages, they come off as a little uninspiring.</p> <p>For example, take this page for a 'muffin mug' compared to the same one on Lakeland's own website.</p> <p>MailShop has clearly just used the description from the original retailer, and overall the whole thing feels quite basic.</p> <p>A study we published last year showed <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66981-two-examples-of-how-google-penalised-resellers-for-duplicate-content/">how duplicated product descriptions can have negative SEO implications</a>, so this is something MailShop really needs to address.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0282/Muffin_in_a_Mug_MailShop.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="761"></p> <p>On the other hand, Lakeland includes more description, eye-catching reviews and ratings, a prominent 'add to basket' button as well as a large pop-out image.</p> <p>While the two might not look all that different at a first glance - these features are incredibly important for encouraging the user to buy.</p> <p><em>(For more on product pages, see: </em><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63161-31-things-i-need-to-see-on-your-ecommerce-product-page/">31 things I need to see on your ecommerce product page</a>.)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0283/Muffin_in_a_Mug_Lakeland.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="664"></p> <h3>Retailer profiles</h3> <p>Despite no sign of customer reviews or rating on the product pages, there is a rating system for brands.</p> <p>So far, it doesn't appear to be have been used, and I couldn't find an option or prompt, so presumably it's only open to customers post-purchase.</p> <p>With <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">customer reviews an important feature</a> for any ecommerce site, it is better than nothing, but it needs improvement and integration into the main site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0253/Seller_profile.PNG" alt="" width="690" height="604"></p> <h3>Location-based checkout</h3> <p>Lastly, I found one of the best features on MailShop to be the checkout process.</p> <p>It involves a one-page summary, detailing total cost up front, as well as an option to checkout as a guest.</p> <p>Later in the process, it also uses progress indicators - an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67421-ecommerce-checkout-progress-indicators-essential-not-optional/" target="_blank">essential feature for reassuring users</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0254/Checkout.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="490"></p> <p>The most impressive part is that there's no need to painstakingly enter in your address.</p> <p>All I had to do was enter in the beginnning before it was automatically detected.</p> <p>Offering impressive UX right at the very end - it is just a shame that the rest of the experience is a bit hit and miss.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0256/Location_feature.PNG" alt="" width="650" height="584"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>It slightly pains me to say it, but I was pleasantly surprised by MailShop.</p> <p>With a decent checkout and a wide range of brands on offer, there's a lot to satisfy consumers.</p> <p>On the other hand, with a lacklustre review system and lack of editorial content, there's still a lot to improve. </p> <p>My overall feeling is that it's difficult to see it as a standalone ecommerce site. Despite no real correlation to the Daily Mail apart from featured products, the main logo and design is still reminicent of the newspaper's website.</p> <p>This means that customers <em>are</em> likely to be loyal readers, and anyone else will be put off buying anything that might benefit the Daily Mail.</p> <p>But with the publisher aiming to gain valuable data about its audience, this also appears to be the whole point.</p> <p>Consequently, the site's success might depend on if the Mail can effectively target and engage with them.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:RoundtableEvent/831 2016-10-12T17:29:27+01:00 2016-10-12T17:29:27+01:00 Social Customer Service <p><strong>Exclusively available for Econsultancy Enterprise subscribers,</strong> this roundtable gives you the opportunity to meet with your peers and share knowledge, best practice, opportunities and challenges in particular areas of Social Customer Service.</p> <p style="vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">Attendance is limited to 14 - 16 attendees, with discussion chaired and facilitated by Econsultancy.</p> <p style="vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;"><strong>Agenda</strong></p> <p style="vertical-align: baseline; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">- What are the pros and cons of dealing with customer service via social media? To what extent are delegates already doing it?</p> <p>- How can marketers develop their capabilities in this area? What does/doesn’t work?</p> <p>- How can marketers establish the business case for social customer service?</p> <p>- What systems and processes are required for effective social customer service? Which team should it sit with?</p> <p>- KLM is scaling up its social customer service by using AI and chatbots. Is this the future of customer service? How can other companies emulate it?</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68375 2016-10-12T14:00:00+01:00 2016-10-12T14:00:00+01:00 Airbnb: How its customer experience is revolutionising the travel industry Paul Rouke <p>Despite the fact my family have booked our last seven holidays with Airbnb, I still think it is one of the internet’s best kept secrets.</p> <p>Here’s how Airbnb is shaping the future of the travel industry: </p> <h3>It's aspirational</h3> <p>Remember the saying, there is no place like home?</p> <p>The rise in popularity of boutique hotels proved that there was a growing segment of travellers who wanted a more varied choice of accommodation; an experience characterised with personalised touches and the chance to be immersed in the local culture.</p> <p>Essentially, Airbnb is a boutique hotel on steroids.</p> <p>With a homepage headline of “live there”, Airbnb offers the chance to stay in (sorry <em>live in</em>) aspirational, unique homes.</p> <p>The whole idea is that staying with Airbnb is more than just a holiday, you get to experience new places just like the locals do, which appeals to people who don't like to see themselves as normal tourists.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0215/airbnb_homepage.png" alt="" width="700" height="308"></p><p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0217/airbnb_your_home.png" alt="" width="700" height="311"></p> <p>Offering some really unique properties for rent, in some of the world’s most spectacular locations, you'd expect that when you first land on the Airbnb website your emotions will be stirred.  </p> <p>Whether it be excitement, amazement or belonging, Airbnb captures these emotions with carefully chosen imagery and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65499-20-gorgeous-examples-of-websites-with-video-backgrounds/">background videos</a>. </p> <p>Yes, there is the search facility layered on top, but first and foremost it has focused on connecting with visitors on a more personable level than any travel agency website I have been on.</p> <p>I was recently in one of my local travel agents to exchange some money.</p> <p>While scanning over the shelves of brochures, I couldn't help but wonder what the cover of an Airbnb holiday brochure would look like.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9899/brochures-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Brochures " width="470" height="352"></p> <h3>It's built on pure trust</h3> <p>The <em>only</em> part of the whole customer experience that Airbnb has full control over is the website.</p> <p>This means that the brand has to place complete trust and faith in the people from around the world who choose to rent their properties on the platform.</p> <p>It also requires the people renting out their houses to place trust in their guests (who they have never met before), not to mention the trust the holidaymaker or business traveller has to place in their host, with the hope that "what they see online, is what they get."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0218/airbnb_social_proof.png" alt="" width="700" height="326"></p> <p>As expected, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a> plays an integral role in building that trust.</p> <p>For people to spend money on their holiday, weekend getaway or business trip with no physical interaction and no “credible travel agent” behind the booking, requires great levels of transparency and confidence.</p> <p>Don’t forget, you are not getting an ATOL protected holiday through Airbnb. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9901/reviews.png" alt="" width="723" height="1076"> </p> <p>As you can see, Airbnb is definitely the best when it comes down to harnessing the power of <strong>genuine</strong> social proof. </p> <h3>It's price sensible </h3> <p>Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point.</p> <p>For all those millions of people with children who have to go on holiday in school holidays, Airbnb is perhaps the biggest secret they are waiting to discover. </p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0209/airbnb__prices.png" alt="" width="700" height="349"></p> <p>My family and I have booked our last seven family holidays through Airbnb, genuinely saving hundreds of pounds compared to what we would have paid booking through traditional channels.</p> <h3>It's personable</h3> <p>From the copy used on the website, through to contacting Airbnb, you always receive a very personable experience.</p> <p>Very often when you arrive at your property, hosts will leave a small welcome note or present to welcome you on your arrival.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9904/letter-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Note " width="470" height="352"> </p> <p>You may even get a welcome message on the chalkboard of your new home… </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9905/new-chalk-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Chalkboard note " width="470" height="352"> </p> <p>The biggest success that Airbnb delivers in this area is that 99% of the time you never actually interact in person with another human. <strong>Now that is a special user experience</strong>. </p> <h3>It's innovative</h3> <p>Airbnb isn't standing still. </p> <p>I love how the company is now harnessing its community of hosts around the world to provide unique and memorable experiences for travellers whilst staying at their property.</p> <p>This really helps Airbnb customers to ‘live like a local’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0210/airbnb_innovation.png" alt="" width="700" height="249"> </p> <h3>It's memorable</h3> <p>Whether a flat for a night, a castle for a week or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique and inspirational travel experiences.</p> <p>With property type search filters including Tipi, Earth House and Treehouse, you know you are on to something quite unique.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9907/properties.png" alt="" width="655" height="252"> </p> <p>For all us business travellers, Airbnb also provides us with unique opportunities at competitive prices.</p> <p>In 2015, myself and two colleagues spent five days in central Vancouver staying in a luxury penthouse apartment worth over £2m.</p> <p>The cost to us? £130 per person, per night.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0212/airbnb_apartment.png" alt="" width="700" height="379"> </p> <h3>It's responsive</h3> <p>As a brand, Airbnb can provide lessons in responsiveness to many larger, and more experienced businesses.</p> <p>In my seven family holidays through Airbnb, there was only one occasion where we were let down and when it became clear that we needed Airbnb to resolve our issue with our host, they got on to fixing the issues straight away.</p> <p>Airbnb recognised the opportunity to turn a potential brand detractor into a brand advocate, by simply being responsive and respectful.</p> <p>I, for one, gained increased levels of respect for their brand following this.</p> <p>How many brands are truly responsive and respectful to customers when they have a negative user experience?</p><p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9911/inbox-blog-flyer.png" alt="Messages " width="470" height="836"></p> <h3>It's beautiful</h3> <p>From the brand logo, through to the app the Airbnb design and user experience is quite simply <em>beautiful</em>.</p> <p>I will hold my hands up and say, the Airbnb digital experience played a significant role in a current re-thinking of one of our client’s online experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9910/beautiful-blog-flyer.png" alt="Beautiful " width="470" height="836"> </p> <h3>It's relevant</h3> <p>Small things throughout your stay show you how Airbnb is all about ensuring that customers truly enjoy their experience.</p> <p>For example, when arriving at your destination Airbnb offers helpful directions to your accomodation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9903/welcome-blog-flyer.png" alt="Welcome " width="470" height="836"> </p> <h3>It's human</h3> <p>In summary, Airbnb is human. Browse around and you see people like you and me who are a part of this unique, growing community. </p> <p>The people who are taking a different path to experience more memorable, unique and personable travel experiences than we have ever had before.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0213/airbnb_belong_anywhere.png" alt="" width="700" height="290"><br> <br><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0214/airbnb_recently_viewed.png" alt="" width="700" height="353"></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>To me, Airbnb is one of the most inspirational and progressive brands in the world, regardless of industry.</p> <p>This is mainly due to its forward thinking and absolute focus on the customer experience. </p> <p>The question is, will the Airbnb experience become the future of the travel industry?</p> <p>And what can travel agents do to start offering their current customers some of what Airbnb have made central to their overall customer experience? </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64849-could-travel-sites-like-airbnb-be-doing-more-with-their-content/"><em>Could travel sites like Airbnb be doing more with their content?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68225-10-examples-of-great-airbnb-marketing-creative/"><em>10 examples of great Airbnb marketing creative</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/"><em>Creating Superior Customer Experiences Training Course</em></a></li> </ul>