tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/data-analytics Latest Data & Analytics content from Econsultancy 2018-01-19T16:36:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4695 2018-01-19T16:36:00+00:00 2018-01-19T16:36:00+00:00 Opportunities and Challenges for Marketers in 2018 <p>The 2018 Opportunities and Challenges report, produced by Econsultancy, examines digital trends, opportunities and challenges shaping the approach of marketers.</p> <p>The report reflects the Research team’s thoughts on what should be on marketers’ radar and is based on our exposure to and knowledge of the industry. </p> <p>The report provides some high level thinking on:</p> <ul> <li>Customer Experience</li> <li>Trust, Transparency and Brand Safety</li> <li>Blockchain</li> <li>Data privacy and the GDPR</li> <li>Internet of Things / Wearables</li> <li>AI Use Cases for Marketing</li> <li>Visual and Voice Search</li> <li>Amazon</li> </ul> <p>Econsultancy is planning to follow up on these topics during 2018 and will publish in-depth reports about most of these topics. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69727 2018-01-17T12:26:00+00:00 2018-01-17T12:26:00+00:00 How retailers are using geofencing to improve in-store CX Nikki Gilliland <p>Geofencing doesn't always guarantee customer satisfaction, of course. Back in its infancy, the technology was criticised for potentially offering more annoyance than anything of real value to consumers. In order to succeed then, geofencing has to go beyond the norm and actually change the customer's experience for the better.</p> <p>So, what are retailers doing exactly, and what real value does it hold for consumers? Here’s more on the story plus a few brand examples.</p> <h3>Navigation and product search</h3> <p>Apps are no longer thought of as an isolated medium. Many brands now integrate this technology into the in-store experience to better fuse the online and offline worlds. For example, fitness retailer Under Armour allows shoppers to scan barcodes on products to find out additional information. </p> <p>Geofencing can be another valuable element of brand apps, further enhancing the experience of browsing and shopping in a physical location. </p> <p>Home Depot is one effective example, first rolled out in 2014. Its app automatically switches to an ‘in-store’ mode when a consumer enters, allowing them to gain additional features like the ‘product locator’ tool. By using location-based technology, the app automatically detects which store the user is in, giving them a map to specific products based on their exact position.</p> <p>Book store Foyles also uses a similar feature when customers enter its flagship London store, albeit a much less sophisticated version that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68560-five-compelling-reasons-to-offer-free-wi-fi-in-store" target="_blank">appears on the user’s browser</a> after the customer connects to in-store WiFi.</p> <p>However, both demonstrate the unexpected value geofencing can bring. While shoppers are unlikely to expect this type of technology, the help and added convenience can certainly enhance the customer experience (as well as make it less mundane) – which is also likely to stick in the mind of the consumer when they think about the brand in future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1681/Home_Depot_App.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="471"></p> <p><em>(Image via <a href="https://virtualrealitytimes.com/2017/03/31/the-home-depot-app-augmented-reality/" target="_blank">Virtual Reality Times</a>)</em></p> <h3>Greater convenience</h3> <p>Another way geofencing can enhance CX is to improve logistics, leading to greater convenience for both brands and consumers. </p> <p>In 2016, Mcdonalds started testing geofencing in its mobile app to optimise food preparation time. In order to avoid long wait-times and the potential for cold food, the app detects when a customer is getting closer. Staff are then alerted when they should start preparing the order, theoretically meaning the customer will arrive at the perfect time to receive it. </p> <p>Do customers really care enough about this feature for it to have any real impact on CX? It's hard to say, as the proportion of people ordering in advance at McDonalds might be quite slim to begin with. However, I can see how the added convenience might be beneficial.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1684/mcdonalds_app.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="505"></p> <p>Elsewhere, similar use of the technology can aid convenience in airports by providing information such as approximate walking times and shortest queues. For retailers, geofencing in airports can also lead to better targeting opportunities, with the ability to remind consumers about items or services they might need before travelling. </p> <h3>In-store gamification</h3> <p>Geofencing is most commonly used to offer consumers rewards to encourage purchases. App creator Shopkick also goes one step further by helping retailers to ramp up in-store offers, extending it to dressing rooms and other pre-purchase behaviour.</p> <p>For example, US retailer American Eagle gives customers so-called rewards to incentivise try-ons. To some extent, this turns the in-store experience into something of a game, with shoppers more likely to try on additional items in order to see what they might receive in return. As a result, this behaviour increases the likelihood of a purchase, as it forces customers to seriously consider items they might have otherwise left on the rail.</p> <p>Furthermore, this type of beacon-technology can also help brands to retarget customers at a later date. If a consumer tries on an item in an American Eagle store, the retailer can then use this data to send a related email or product offer, also helping to connect the dots between offline and online brand communication. Again, retailers need to be careful here that they are not simply nagging customers, but are targeting those who demonstrate real interest (and not just a one-off interaction).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1683/american_eagle.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="453"></p> <h3>Immediate customer feedback</h3> <p>Finally, geofencing can also be highly beneficial to retailers that are continuously striving to improve the customer experience. This is because the technology can be used to prompt shoppers to provide real-time feedback, with consumers also more likely to deliver it when it is fresh in their minds.</p> <p>There is the potential for annoyance again here, as shoppers could potentially be put off by being asked about their opinion or experience. That being said, it also shows greater interest from the brand, which could help to improve positive sentiment overall. The likelihood of this tactic working is also increased if the experience typically relies on good or fast customer service, such as in a restaurant or bank. </p> <p>All in all, this data can be highly valuable for CX-focused brands, even giving them a chance to turn around or address poor experience with a targeted apology or special offer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1685/customer_feedback.JPG" alt="" width="596" height="392"></p> <h3>Preventing geofencing becoming creepy</h3> <p>While the aforementioned benefits are likely to improve CX, that’s not to say that all customers are open to the idea of geofencing. Occasionally, this use of data can come across as creepy – even unfair if consumers have not knowingly given consent.  </p> <p>The key to this is to be entirely transparent.</p> <p>While geofencing automatically requires the consumer to permit their location data to be used by others (usually via an app), not all consumers will be aware that they have done so. As a result, it is vital for brands to fully state why and how they are using it in order to reassure users and convince them of the benefits (particularly where stricter data regulations apply, such as the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">GDPR</a>).</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69269-17-stats-that-show-why-cx-is-so-important">17 stats that show why CX is so important</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69286-five-innovators-of-the-in-store-customer-experience">Five innovators of the in-store customer experience</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69223-five-ways-retailers-are-helping-in-store-shoppers-using-digital-channels">Five ways retailers are helping in-store shoppers using digital channels</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69712 2018-01-10T12:00:00+00:00 2018-01-10T12:00:00+00:00 Four ways the blockchain could be applied to digital advertising Patricio Robles <p>One market in which blockchain tech is seen to have significant potential is the digital advertising industry. Here are four of the most interesting ways blockchain could be applied to digital advertising.</p> <h3>Data management</h3> <p>Data is the lifeblood of the digital advertising ecosystem. From measurement to targeting, players who acquire and put to good use data have a growing advantage over players who don't.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, some are looking at the ways blockchain tech can address issues and challenges related to data. </p> <p>Comcast, for instance, last year announced that it is developing a Blockchain Insights Platform “aimed at improving the efficiency of premium video advertising, resulting in better planning, targeting, execution and measurement across screens.”</p> <p>In a blog post, the cable giant <a href="https://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/comcasts-advanced-advertising-group-and-participants-announce-plans-for-blockchain-based-technology-platform-aimed-at-making-premium-video-advertising-more-efficient">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>One application of the Blockchain Insights Platform would be that advertisers and programmers could match data sets more effectively to build and execute media plans based on custom audience segments and more precisely and efficiently target across a nationwide footprint of pay-TV customers and streaming device users. Concurrently, programmers would be able to offer improved targeting precision across screens, increasing the value and quantity of monetized inventory. All participants would ultimately benefit from the resulting reporting and attribution metrics, and new potential revenue streams for participants could emerge for data insights they can generate for themselves and others.</p> </blockquote> <p>Privacy is a huge data management issue and this is one area where Comcast believes the blockchain has the greatest potential to shine. All of the data offered by participants in the Blockchain Insights Platform would remain in their own systems and the blockchain would let “participants in the platform ask questions of each other's data without having to access or take possession of anyone else's data.”</p> <h3>Targeting and engagement</h3> <p>Advertisers and the ad platforms they work with have for years invested heavily in finding methods and acquiring data aimed at enabling them to deliver the right message to the right user at the right time, resulting in action.</p> <p>Could the blockchain help them do this even more effectively? Some blockchain-based ad plays are betting it can. </p> <p>Take BitClave, for example. It <a href="https://medium.com/bitclave/a-blockchain-approach-to-targeted-advertising-27239dc83e5">envisions</a> a Consumer Activity Token that consumers earn by adding their data to the blockchain. When they perform searches through BitClave's decentralized search engine, businesses that want to reach them will have to compensate them.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZQlQv4zi6YI?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>As BitClave's founders see it, while internet giants do provide value through the free ad-supported services they offer, they shouldn't be the only ones who reap the financial rewards gained from data provided by users. “Our decentralized search engine helps you truly find what you're looking for and get compensated for your data, making third-party advertising networks unnecessary,” BitClave's website tells prospective users.</p> <p>China-based ATMChain, which describes itself as a “decentralized, digitized smart media platform”, is pursuing a similar approach under which users are compensated for viewing ads.</p> <p>It's important to note that both BitClave and ATMChain are works in progress and launched to the public via initial coin offerings (ICOs), which have become quite controversial due to fraud concerns. But while there's no guarantee that either project will even materialize, both do highlight how blockchain tech could serve as the foundation for new targeting and engagement models.</p> <h3>Fraud prevention</h3> <p>Ad fraud is a multi billion-dollar problem that is understandably one of the top concerns among advertisers. Unfortunately, stamping it out is difficult because the digital ad ecosystem has become more complex and opaque, especially in recent years as use of programmatic increased rapidly. </p> <p>The good news is that the industry is fighting back. Major ad vendors and publishers are getting behind the IAB standard <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69231-ads-txt-a-new-standard-for-fighting-inventory-spoofing-unauthorized-sellers-what-you-need-to-know">Ads.txt</a>, for instance. But Ads.txt isn't perfect. Already, some are trying to trick publishers into adding them to their Ads.txt files, and Ads.txt doesn't describe what type of inventory a particular seller is authorized to sell, opening up the possibility that a vendor could, for example, offer remnant display inventory for a publisher as premium video inventory.</p> <p>While one company, MetaX, has opted to bring Ads.txt to the blockchain with an offering it calls Ads.txt Plus, others are aiming to create even more robust verification offerings using blockchain. </p> <p>Take, for instance, adChain, “a set of interoperable open protocols built on the public Ethereum blockchain.” The first solution build on adChain is the adChain registry, “a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain that maintains and stores a record of publisher domain names accredited as non-fraudulent.” </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1572/adtoken.png" alt="" width="738" height="313"></p> <p>The accreditation is performed by holders of adToken, a blockchain token. The creators of adChain believe that the adChain registry will maintain a high level of integrity because these holders don't have a financial interest in the ad transactions themselves.</p> <h3>Media buying and selling</h3> <p>Perhaps the most intriguing application of blockchain tech to digital advertising is to use the blockchain to enable publishers and advertisers to buy and sell ads with fewer intermediaries, or even directly.</p> <p>One project that is aiming to make this application possible is called XCHNG. PaymentsSource's Charles Manning recently <a href="https://www.paymentssource.com/opinion/blockchain-can-take-the-bloat-out-of-ad-payments-risk-management">explained</a> how it is designed to work:</p> <blockquote> <p>Through the use of blockchain technology, buyers and sellers outline their terms in a smart contract. The smart contract can be subjected to additional layers of verification and enforcement by optional service providers on the network, such as the measurement provider, ratings provider, payment provider and arbitrator. </p> <p>The payment provider is responsible for releasing payments to publishers as contract terms are met. Additional incentives for payment providers include offering accelerated payment to publishers for a fee, which would in turn incentivize publishers to deliver.</p> </blockquote> <p>Needless to say, the idea that blockchain-based smart contracts could effectively automate every aspect of the delivery of ads and the payments for them is very appealing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1573/xchng-blockchain-workflow-stacked.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="537"></p> <p>But XCHNG and projects like it will all face a huge adoption challenge if and when they get off the ground. Put simply, the industry will have to embrace blockchain-based solutions en mass for them to be useful and there are plenty of players in the ecosystem, namely intermediaries, who largely don't have incentives to go along.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69704 2018-01-08T13:00:00+00:00 2018-01-08T13:00:00+00:00 Marketing in the Dark: How organisations are dealing with dark data Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how are organisations navigating this murky world? Here are some key charts taken from the report, with insight into what they might tell us.</p> <h3>A strategic approach to data</h3> <p>In order to gain a competitive edge, it is important for organisations to undertake a strategic approach to data. One way to initiate this is to appoint a CDO (chief digital officer) to join up multiple data sources and implement a culture of data-fuelled decision making.</p> <p>As it stands, it appears that the majority of mainstream companies are still in the early stages of developing a data strategy. Just 6% say they have a ‘well developed, comprehensive strategy in place’, with 16% saying they have only just implemented a strategy.</p> <p>For leading companies, the news is only slightly more promising. 10% say they currently have a comprehensive strategy, while 9% have a comprehensive strategy that is frequently reviewed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1482/strategic_approach.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="504"></p> <h3>Taking action on customer insights</h3> <p>When it comes to the ability to act on insights derived from data, research suggests that organisations are improving. </p> <p>While 46% of companies said they were ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in this area in 2016, this figure rose to 60% in 2017.</p> <p>In terms of the differences between mainstream and leading organisations, the latter are far more confident in their ability to harness customer data – almost three times as much in fact. This is good news for organisations intent on delivering personalised and targeted communication, as data can be used to better understand or predict customer needs and behaviour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1483/Actionable_insight.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="496"></p> <h3>Complexity remains a challenge</h3> <p>When asked about the biggest barriers to building a joined-up view of the customer journey, the overriding response (from nearly half of respondents) was the number of different touchpoints involved. </p> <p>Alongside this, unifying data sources and poorly integrated marketing technology were also cited as big issues, as organisations are clearly struggling to get to grips with today’s fragmented data-sets. </p> <p>Interestingly, dark social was only cited as a top-three barrier by 4% of companies, though insight suggests it might become a more pressing matter in the near future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1484/Complexity.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="557"></p> <h3>Managing different data-sources</h3> <p>In terms of the types of data most-used by organisations, first-party sources including Google Analytics and email data remain at the top.</p> <p>Interestingly, with a steeper drop in the usage of offline data by mainstream companies, we can determine that the ability (or rather inability) to integrate this into analysis is holding these organisations back.</p> <p>Similarly, with leaders more likely to be utilising the full range of third-party data sources - including demographic or behavioural data and social data – it is clear that the chances of success increase with the variety of data being used.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1485/data_sources.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="605"></p> <h3>Personalisation vs data privacy</h3> <p>Finally, how are organisations balancing the need to protect customer’s privacy while delivering personalisation? Seemingly a contradiction-in-terms – it’s unsurprisingly hard to get the balance right.</p> <p>Due to the impending GDPR deadline, it appears privacy is front of mind, with 80% of respondents ‘strongly’ agreeing that customer data must be protected and secured, and just 16% ‘somewhat’ agreeing.</p> <p>The good news is that companies do not have to jeopardise their compliance with data legislation in order to provide a relevant experience. This is because implicit data – i.e. location-based information and type of device and browser - can still provide marketers with actionable insight.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with the benefits of personalisation becoming clearer to consumers, it is up to brands to extract the most valuable data and deliver relevant results. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1486/privacy.JPG" alt="" width="671" height="582"></p> <p><em><strong>Download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-dark-dark-data/" target="_blank">Marketing in the Dark</a> report in association with IBM.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4687 2018-01-08T11:10:00+00:00 2018-01-08T11:10:00+00:00 Marketing in the Dark: Dark Data <p>This first report in our <em>Marketing in the Dark</em> series, <strong>Dark Data</strong>, explores the extent to which companies are able to harness data for their marketing programmes, with a focus on what ‘leaders’ are doing compared to their ‘mainstream’ counterparts.</p> <p>The research, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with <a title="IBM Watson Marketing" href="https://www.ibm.com/customer-engagement/digital-marketing">IBM Watson Marketing</a>, is based on an extensive survey of more than 1,000 marketers.</p> <p>The key findings of the report are as follows:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>A strategic approach to data is crucial. </strong>More than half (55%) of responding companies are ‘beginning to develop a strategy’, and a further 16% say they ‘have just implemented a strategy’. In contrast, only 13% of research participants say they have a ‘comprehensive strategy’.</li> <li> <strong>The growing role of artificial or 'augmented' intelligence. </strong>Most leaders (57%) are likely ‘to include AI in (their) marketing strategy over the next 12-18 months’, almost double the equivalent percentage for mainstream companies (29%).</li> <li> <strong>Actioning customer insights. </strong>Sixty percent of companies surveyed this year profess to be either ‘excellent’ (11%) or ‘good’ (49%) at this, compared to only 46% of companies in 2016, when we asked the same question as part of <a title="The New Marketing Reality" href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-marketing-reality"><em>The New Marketing Reality</em></a> research.</li> <li> <strong>Leaders are using more data sources. </strong>There is a correlation between the number of first-party and third-party data sources analysed by a company, and their ability to exceed their marketing goals.</li> <li> <strong>Technology is failing companies trying to deal with CX complexity. </strong>The complexity of customer experience/number of touchpoints – cited as a top-three challenge by 46% of respondents – is regarded as the most significant technical challenge impeding companies trying to get a more joined-up view of customer journeys.</li> <li> <strong>The need to balance personalisation and data privacy. </strong>More than half (51%) of respondents say they are ‘advanced’ or ‘intermediate’ in their personalisation approach to known customers, compared to just over a third (37%) who claim this level of sophistication in their marketing to unidentified prospects.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69690 2018-01-04T09:30:00+00:00 2018-01-04T09:30:00+00:00 What is cross-channel marketing and why do you need it? Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what are the benefits exactly? Here’s what you need to know.</p> <h3>What’s the difference between multi-channel and cross-channel?</h3> <p>Before we get into it, let’s think about what cross-channel marketing actually means, as it can often be confused with another common practice - multi-channel marketing. </p> <p>There are a key few differences. The first is that multi-channel means to have a presence on one or more channels – let’s say a website and a mobile app. On the other hand, cross-channel means to provide a seamless experience across a combination of several different channels.</p> <p>For example, perhaps a customer might browse on the web, before being targeted via an email that they read on their mobile device. In this sense, cross-channel takes the basic theory of multi-channel and elevates it to create an overriding and seamless brand experience – as opposed to a one-off or fractured brand message.</p> <p>So, what are the real benefits of a cross-channel approach?</p> <h3>Increasing engagement</h3> <p>Communicating with consumers on a single marketing channel might generate a certain level of success, but it also means that you are relying on a certain type of user behaviour. Checking your email when you wake up, for instance.</p> <p>In contrast, using multiple channels means you are able to reach consumers at different times of the day and also at different points of the purchasing cycle. For example, while an email might drive click-throughs, an email combined with a delayed push notification might be enough to remind a consumer to follow through on a purchase.</p> <p>Research suggests engagement levels are marginally increased with cross-channel messaging too. <a href="http://downloads.digitalmarketingdepot.com/BRZ_1712_CrosChaDif_landingpage.html?utm_source=sel&amp;utm_medium=newspost" target="_blank">Braze found</a> that when customers received outreach in two or more channels, levels of engagement were 166% higher than a single-channel rate and 642% higher than for customers who received no messages whatsoever.</p> <h3>Improving loyalty</h3> <p>As customers engage with a brand on a more regular basis, the chances of them becoming and ultimately staying loyal to that brand also increases. This is largely due to the consistency in messaging – one of the main features of cross-channel marketing.</p> <p>Unlike multi-channel, which treats each platform differently (and is therefore likely to be inconsistent in terms of tone of voice or the message it is sending) – cross-channel places all platforms under one umbrella. When it comes to ecommerce, for example, this level of consistency means that common pain points can be avoided, such as seeing a social media advert for a sale, only to find out that it has ended on the brand's website.</p> <p>Regardless of the environment they are in, a cross-channel approach ensures that customers will have the same experience across the board. In turn, this is likely to increase satisfaction and lead to repeat interactions and engagements.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1336/john_lewis.JPG" alt="" width="380" height="480"></p> <h3>Aligning with consumer behaviour</h3> <p><a href="http://www.mediaoceanuk.com/tags/cross-channel-buying" target="_blank">According to MediaOcean</a>, 53% of all UK adults now ‘media multi-task’ on a weekly basis, with the average user spending seven hours per day consuming media across multiple screens. This, combined with the growth in webrooming and showrooming (whereby consumers research on mobile before shopping in-store, or vice versa) proves that user behaviour is more fractured than ever before.</p> <p>As a result, one of the most effective forms of cross-channel marketing is when brands are able to create cohesion between online and offline behaviour – and even better when this is personalised.</p> <p>One good example of this is Under Armour, which allows users to find out product information by scanning barcodes via its app in-store. On the back of this data, it is then able to retarget customers based on browsing and purchasing behaviour, which also contributes to increased engagement and loyalty. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1335/under_armour.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="325"></p> <h3>Barriers to overcome</h3> <p>While an increasing number of brands are beginning to recognise the benefits of a cross-channel marketing strategy, there can still be big barriers when it comes to implementation. </p> <h4>Breaking down silos</h4> <p>One of the biggest obstacles can be existing siloes within organisations. A brand might have one team for email, another in charge of social media, and another dedicated to ecommerce or customer engagement – with each team focused on a different set of goals and outcomes. According to Experian, this is the case for <a target="_blank">58% of UK brands</a>. The solution is therefore to try to break down these siloes, and to establish a single set of KPIs that all teams work towards – only then can overall success be measured.  </p> <h4>Lack of single customer view</h4> <p>As a result of silos within organisations, siloed data can also occur. This means that it will then be impossible to achieve a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65425-what-is-the-single-customer-view-and-why-do-you-need-it" target="_blank">single customer view</a> - a vital step for delivering a consistent and personalised customer experience (often referred to as 'omnichannel'). Without a SCV, customers are likely to be met with a fractured (and differing) experience at various touchpoints, rather than a seamless one. </p> <h4>Limitations in technology</h4> <p>Finally, marketers might also struggle to achieve a single customer view due to a lack of technology – and/or the skills required to interpret and act on data. Problems can also occur when new channels come into the mix, meaning that fresh technology will need to be integrated and new processes learnt. </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68760-five-key-takeaways-from-our-cross-channel-marketing-in-australia-new-zealand-report/" target="_blank">Five key takeaways from our Cross-Channel Marketing in Australia &amp; New Zealand report</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68903-three-steps-to-a-consistent-cross-channel-customer-experience" target="_blank">Three steps to a consistent cross-channel customer experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69637 2017-12-13T12:00:00+00:00 2017-12-13T12:00:00+00:00 Data & analytics trends in 2018: What do the experts predict? Ben Davis <p>But before we get going, remember you can skill up with the following Econsultancy resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-fundamentals-of-marketing-measurement-and-analytics">The Fundamentals of Marketing Measurement and Analytics</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measurement-and-analytics-report">2017 Measurement and Analytics Report </a></li> </ul> <h3>Analytics for the masses</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/kieranks/">Kieran Kilbride-Singh</a>, head of marketing, Prodlytic:</strong></p> <p>Analytics is still a pain for the average internet user and analytics companies know this. The focus in 2017 has been on making it easier for people to access data and take action in less time. This will continue in 2018 with things like 'track everything' and visual recording of events/metrics (only a handful of companies offer this right now).</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.coastdigital.co.uk/">David Wharram</a>, commercial director, Coast Digital:</strong></p> <p>The introduction from Google of Data Studio set out with the ambition of making analytics data easier to interpret for users. We have seen many cases where it’s been possible to remove the need for custom dashboards – a time save and positive for any agency. This has allowed us to present strategic findings without getting into the weeds of showcasing how Google Analytics works and explaining its quirks.</p> <h3>Predictive analytics...</h3> <p><strong>Kieran Kilbride-Singh:<br></strong></p> <p>As machine learning marches on I predict <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/predictive-analytics-report">predictive analytics</a> making more of a splash for both product and marketing teams, too. Things like predicting customer churn so you can catch people before they churn or highlighting common behaviours between different users that makes them more likely to complete onboarding or become a power user.</p> <p>Analytics companies are also trying to provide more context to your data, helping you understand the why behind the what. For example, answering questions like "why do only a handful of people make it to the sign up page?" once the data shows only a handful of people did actually make it there. Long-term, this goes hand-in-hand with predictive analytics.</p> <p><strong>David Wharram:</strong></p> <p>As AI and machine learning become more sophisticated, the need for relevancy and personalised marketing communication will only increase. Channels like email will be left behind If organisations push messages in a world where customer behaviour is predicted and recipients inboxes are tailored to their needs and desires.</p> <p>To take a positive stance on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">GDPR</a>, from a data strategy perspective organisations should be getting data cleaned up, consented and well organised. Not only will this be necessary to be compliant, but it will help layer relevant data at each touchpoint in the user journey.  The new era of tidy, consented data forces us into best practice, and encourages engaging personally with users who want that approach.</p> <h3>...But beware 'AI' hype</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewhood/">Andrew Hood</a>, founder and MD, Lynchpin Analytics:</strong></p> <p>This year there has been an explosion in the noise around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Reading the marketing buzz, many might conclude that simply supplying more big data into a black box will lead to better outcomes and novel solutions. In truth, there is a lot of hype here, but as always smart applications of computer science and statistical techniques will help companies leverage data more effectively in 2018.</p> <h3>Integration means more than just systems</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/benbarrass/">Ben Barrass</a>, head of data and analytics, Centaur Media:</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">The proliferation of tools and the requirements and pressures specific to digital marketing have meant that marketers have long been able to ‘hack together’ processes and flows to match various tasks. This tends to also include the approaches of ‘agile’ and ‘mvp’ (minimum viable product). All of which are generally taken out of context and munged to fit a task that suits the marketer.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As we all now have part used, badly implemented, compromised systems, and with the increasing demands for quantifiable results from substantial digital investments, the role of the marketing technologist has never been so important.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">With the speed that an organization can transform to meet a digital challenge, it’s not about culling the rogue entities from the organization (either from marketing or from the technology) – as that would circle everyone right back to where we were before when we had to go to IT cap in hand for every tech implementation. It’s in fact, the opposite – fostering a strategy or approach that allows for entrepreneurialism within the system.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Establishing a strategy that goes outside of just the technology to focus on business requirements, talent, competencies, integration with processes not systems etc to concrete in the main business strategy, and make room to play and experiment – bringing the successes into the fold and not losing everything on the fails.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">By taking this approach and applying clear responsibilities and tasks, ‘hacking’, ‘agile’ and ‘mvp’ can actually become valuable to an organization.</p> <h3>The GDPR</h3> <p><strong>Andrew Hood:</strong></p> <p>GDPR will start to become a bigger reality in 2018, and as organisations navigate compliance there are both challenges and opportunities for analytics roadmaps as the urgent review of data models and strategies takes place. As well as the obvious impact on consent and data governance, questions around service design and how to effectively and ethically target customers are likely to come to the foreground.</p> <p><strong>David Wharram:</strong></p> <p>GDPR has a significant impact on tracking and targeting opportunities. Cookies are likely to be affected by GDPR (in particular those that have a User based ID). This will affect reporting, particularly with cross device attribution. Furthermore there will be an issue with user based targeting options for Paid media channels.  In May next year website owners will need to be open about the data they are storing on a user and the tools the site uses to capture information.  This could end up including options for users to opt in and out of how they are targeted, retargeted or reported on in paid media – a significant step change for all advertisers.</p> <p><strong>Kieran Kilbride-Singh:</strong></p> <p>Lots of companies - big and small - are worried and confused by the GDPR. Those that can offer GDPR compliancy with their analytics will probably do quite well in 2018.</p> <h3>Customer experience over campaign optimisation</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jiconsultingltd/">James Collins</a>, </strong><strong>SVP Global Product Strategy, Attribution – Rakuten Marketing:</strong></p> <p>In 2018, I hope more businesses will move on from just using attribution data for immediate performance reporting and campaign optimisation to also using it to improve the customer experience.</p> <p>Brands that are able to implement the infrastructure (across the business, not just in the marketing department) to effectively track, manage and effectively act upon their customer data are those that will succeed.</p> <p>Those brands who are able to take advantage of AI and machine learning to provide these personalised – and most importantly, relevant – messages at scale (across the many different devices consumers access) without losing the ‘human touch’ will be even more successful.</p> <h3>Prescriptive analytics and data viz</h3> <p><strong>Andrew Hood: </strong></p> <p>2018 will see more flourish across <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69319-analytics-approaches-every-marketer-should-know-4-prescriptive-analytics">prescriptive analytics</a> and visualisation of data as the need for data-driven decision making and sharing of insights increases. But in this vital area a lot of things don’t change: the need for a comprehensive analytics strategy that breaks down silos, makes insights transferrable across the business and impacts decision-making at all levels.</p> <h3>More than just data collection</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimboparker/">James Parker</a>, Global Head of Data and Planning, Jellyfish:</strong></p> <p>The biggest change we’ve seen in 2017 is that projects are no longer simply large data collection exercises. Analytics is now a critical medium for a business to achieve its targets, with more teams in an organisation now leaning on analytics data to improve their day-to-day roles.</p> <p>This has resulted in a large growth within analytics strategy, training and insight, essentially using the data to generate an outcome, for example, increase conversion rates through personalisation or increase return on ad spend through building more effective audiences. </p> <p><em><strong>What do you think, fellow marketers? Let us know in the comments.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/917 2017-12-09T06:58:38+00:00 2017-12-09T06:58:38+00:00 Digital Outlook 2018 <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;">The best digital marketers never stop learning, listening and looking ahead.</h3> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">With overwhelming responses at last year Digital Outlook's events (<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154296603034327" target="_blank">DO17</a> &amp; <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154626086294327" target="_blank">DO17 part 2</a>), we will kick-start the year with Digital Outlook 2018 in Singapore, where marketers and business leaders convene to find out about the outlook and trends shaking up our industry, and how we can leverage on these insights to accelerate our competitive advantage and business growth.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">There will be 6 keynotes and 2 panel discussions - all aiming to provide the audience with a 2018 outlook/prediction on spotting early trends that will help inspire, sharpen business plans and overall performance.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Spot early trends</strong> - Get the lowdown and their impact for the year</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Sharpen your plans</strong> - Filter the noise and spot what will change our industry next</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Be inspired</strong> - Be wowed by innovative work from thought leaders</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Make things happen</strong> - Leave full of ideas to implement into your organisation or business</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Heads up, eyes forward and get ready to find out what digital marketers should change today to plan for tomorrow and succeed later.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4669 2017-12-06T15:48:00+00:00 2017-12-06T15:48:00+00:00 Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sectors <p>The <strong>Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sectors</strong> report, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with <a href="http://www.adobe.com/uk/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a>, examines digital trends and evolving customer experience shaping the approach of digital marketers in the travel and hospitality sectors.</p> <p>The research is based on a Q3 2017 global survey of more than 600 senior digital marketing and ecommerce executives, with respondents from online travel agencies, transportation companies, hospitality organizations and restaurants. </p> <p>The report contrasts the four key sub-vertical respondents.</p> <h2>Key themes emerging from the research include:</h2> <ul> <li> <strong>Customer experience dominates </strong>the priorities of marketing executives in travel - it's rated even more highly than customer acquisition in a ranking of business priorities for the next year.</li> <li> <strong>Mobile experience/analytics </strong>is the top area of technology investment. Mobile sales are growing at breakneck pace, changing the marketing calculus for the next few years as executives scramble to figure out ways to translate the customer journey to an increasingly mobile experience.</li> <li> <strong>First-party data is underutilized</strong>, while more than half of all orgs are effective at collecting first party data, a much smaller share is taking full advantage of what it has to offer. Integration between third (and even second) and first-party data is a further challenge many companies encounter.</li> <li> <strong>Data security is a top concern </strong>for programmatic-buying organizations across verticals. Travel and hospitality organziations do a good job of collecting first-party data, but aren't optimizing its use in programmatic campaigns, often due to concern over how to keep used data secure.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69631 2017-12-06T14:30:00+00:00 2017-12-06T14:30:00+00:00 Four steps to optimizing customer experience using data & analytics Jeff Rajeck <p>Yet marketers are tasked with addressing both, and so many are wondering about how these two distinct disciplines can be brought together.</p> <p>To find out, we recently invited dozens of client-side marketers to roundtable discussions about how they optimize their customer experiences using data and analytics. Throughout the day, marketers offered their insights and our subject matter expert, Liz Sullivan, VP, Strategy &amp; Insight, APAC, Epsilon provided guidance and real-world examples.  The main points are summarized below.</p> <p>Before we start, we'd just like to let you know about related upcoming training in Singapore. On March 8th, 2018, Econsultancy will hold a <strong>Mastering Customer Experience (CX) Management</strong> course for those who are eager to learn how to create 'wow' customer experiences. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/mastering-customer-experience-cx-management/dates/3358/">Click here for more details and to book your spot</a>.</p> <p>So how can brands optimize their customer experience using data and analytics?</p> <h3>1) Gather data. Lots of it.</h3> <p>In the discussions, marketers spoke about their experiences of using data and analytics to improve their customer experience, yet not a single participant complained about having 'too much data'.</p> <p>The reason for this is that when trying to tackle a problem as complex as improving customer experience, marketers need as much data as they can get in order to discover what's happening during the customer journey. Data is also useful when trying to fix problems and measure whether or not the changes made a difference.</p> <p>CX principles play a role in this process as well, but as one attendee put it "data tells you how good your CX really is".</p> <p>Additionally, participants noted that in order to get data, management needs to be on board. Without top-level support, departments tend to silo data and frustrate CX improvement programmes.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0867/optimizing-customer-experience-analytics-1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></strong></p> <h3>2) Work really hard on your unhappy marketplace marriages</h3> <p>Nearly every brand has a third party between them and at least some of their customers. For B2B it may be distributors and for B2C it is marketplaces.</p> <p>Liz Sullivan, our subject matter expert, pointed out that this relationship typically resembles an 'unhappy marriage'. Brands and marketplaces usually have different goals and often argue, but they are indeed stuck with each other. Marketplaces need the consumer appeal of big brands and brands need the digital distribution.</p> <p>Their differences are most apparent when discussing what brands need most for optimizing the customer experience, customer data. Marketplaces understandably want to keep their data to themselves, yet brands need marketplace customer data in order to make product and merchandising decisions.</p> <p>Attendees on the day concluded that the best way to move forward was for brands and marketplaces to work harder on their relationships. Marketplaces should release some of their customer data to brands and brands should be more selective about what they ask from their marketplace partners.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0868/optimizing-customer-experience-analytics-2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>3) If you can't get data, make the data</h3> <p>Many marketers on the day described situations where the data they needed to optimize customer experience simply didn't exist. Whether its in-store metrics or tracking codes which fail to work cross-device, some crucial data regarding the customer journey always seems to be unavailable.</p> <p>The suggested solution here is that when marketers cannot get the data they need, they should be creative and find alternative data which will satisfy their requirements.</p> <p>Participants shared how they obtain customer data through focus groups, surveys, user experience (UX) workshops, and even by using mystery shoppers.  While not as accurate as clickstream data, offline data can usually help a great deal with customer experience improvement initiatives.</p> <p>Some brands will go so far as to set up consumer discussion groups in order to find out what customers care about beyond the buying journey.  Many FMCG companies have set up community pages for this very purpose.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0870/optimizing-customer-experience-analytics-3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4) Ditch ROI as a marketing goal</h3> <p>Finally, marketers said that one of the biggest impasses to optimizing customer experience using data and analytics is having to deliver marketing ROI.</p> <p>According to attendees, when marketers are busy proving ROI then the focus shifts from delivering value to the customer to trying to get value out of the customer. Increasing the click-through-rate (CTR) and reducing the cost-per-acquisition (CPA) become the only metrics that matter.</p> <p>Instead, participants suggested that marketers should work toward improving customer metrics, such as Net Promoter Score, if they are serious about improving customer experience.</p> <p>Doing so has the additional benefit of getting the whole organisation on the customer experience train, after which it is difficult to get off. Once management sees customer metrics ticking upwards, it's unlikely they will ever stop looking at them.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank our subject matter expert, Liz Sullivan, VP, Strategy &amp; Insight, APAC, Epsilon for providing guidance and real-world expertise throughout the day.</p> <p>We'd also like to thank the table's sponsor, Epsilon, and all of the marketers who attended Digital Cream Singapore 2017 and shared their valuable insights.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Econsultancy events!</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0871/optimizing-customer-experience-analytics-4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p><em><strong>More on CX and data and analytics:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/implementing-a-customer-experience-cx-strategy-best-practice-guide">Implementing a CX strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measurement-and-analytics-report">2017 Measurement and Analytics Report</a></li> </ul>