tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/digital-strategy Latest Digital Strategy content from Econsultancy 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68821 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 Big brands embrace crowdfunding for marketing purposes Patricio Robles <p>Case in point: Clorox's Soy Vay brand partnered with upstart Three Jerks Jerky and launched <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/threejerksjerky/three-jerks-filet-mignon-beef-jerky-new-teriyaki-f">a Kickstarter for Veri Veri Teriyaki</a>.</p> <p>As <a href="http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/clorox-kickstarter-fund-venture-startup/308014/">detailed by</a> AdAge, Clorox, with billions of dollars in annual sales, certainly didn't need capital. But it turned to Kickstarter for the exposure. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/4001/d0562c5265f2c533e23c5d28144667ce_original-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>"The Kickstarter thing just kind of naturally evolved, where we said it made sense as an awareness driver, as a way to build one-to-one connections with consumers in a way that's very important to us and, frankly, as a way to cut against the grain of typical product launches in CPG," said Adam Simons, who is head of emerging brands at Clorox.</p> <p>Clorox's emerging brands division, as the name suggests, seeks to develop emerging brands. It also helps some of Clorox's existing brands innovate and revitalize themselves.</p> <p>According to Simons, "one of the pillars of the [group's] strategy was trying to align our emerging brand with others in the marketplace," and that's where the partnership with Three Jerks Jerky, which had previously been seen on the popular television show, Shark Tank, came about.  </p> <p>One of the companies that Clorox's emerging brands group is helping is Soy Vay. It makes a teriyaki sauce that the founders of Three Jerks Jerky were particularly fond of, so when the opportunity to create a teriyaki-flavored beef jerky using Soy Vay's product presented itself, the founders jumped.</p> <h3>If it doesn't make dollars, it can still make sense for big brands</h3> <p>The Veri Veri Teriyaki Kickstarter closed last week, with 741 backers pledging $29,094, nearly triple the $10,000 goal of the project. That's obviously chump change for Clorox, but the exercise of launching a product directly to the public and doing so in an "entrepreneurial and scrappy" fashion was where the CPG mega-brand saw value.</p> <p>And it's not the only major brand that has found value in crowdfunding platforms despite the fact that the funding part isn't important.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4002/opal.jpg" alt="" width="838" height="249"></p> <ul> <li>FirstBuild, a subsidiary of General Electric, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/business/global-brands-taking-cue-from-tinkerers-explore-crowdfunding.html?_r=0">raised</a> nearly $2.8m on Indiegogo in 2015 to launch the Opal Nugget Ice Maker. </li> <li>Sony <a href="https://www.wareable.com/sony/sonys-e-paper-watch-was-the-fes-watch-all-along-534">crowdfunded</a> the launch of an e-paper watch on Makuake, a Japanese crowdfunding site.</li> <li>Queen Games, an established tabletop games publisher with hits already under its belt, turned to Kickstarter <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1016374822/everything-alhambra-big-box-special-edition-and-mo">to promote</a> its game Alhambra.</li> <li>And Grammy-winning R&amp;B girl group TLC <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1507621537/tlc-is-back-to-make-our-final-album-with-you">raised over $400,000</a> to fund their final album using Kickstarter.</li> </ul> <p>Beyond the marketing value of launching a new product or business line using a crowdfunding platform, brands increasingly use crowdfunding platforms to get market feedback and validation. That can be particularly helpful, especially when launching a new product in a new category.</p> <p>After all, it's easy for big brands to make assumptions about consumers and markets, but crowdfunding campaigns allow them to test new ideas and products with consumers directly, and on a small, less costly scale. </p> <p>In some cases, brands can even do this without the burdens of their brand names. Sony's Makuake campaign is the perfect example of this. When the electronics giant created its e-paper watch campaign on Makuake, it didn't initially reveal that it was associated with Sony.</p> <h3>There are risks, however</h3> <p>One of the biggest risks is that as established players increasingly use crowdfunding, they will negatively impact the way consumers view crowdfunding platforms. For many consumers, crowdfunding platforms are seen as hubs in which entrepreneurs and young companies can obtain the support they need, financial and otherwise, to make their dreams a reality. In many cases, they are the places to find the <em>next big thing</em> before it becomes big.</p> <p>If entrepreneurs and startups are eventually drowned out by established companies using these platforms as proving grounds, particularly for already-developed products, it could diminish interest in crowdfunding, eventually reducing the value of these platforms.</p> <p>Platforms like Kickstarter are aware of this threat. In fact, when world-famous director Spike Lee used Kickstarter to raise money, some complained that the campaign would hurt creators trying to make a name for themselves. Kickstarter <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/the-truth-about-spike-lee-and-kickstarter-0">responded</a>, stating that it believed Lee's campaign introduced many individuals to crowdfunding for the first time, likely expanding the pool of backers available to others. The company also reminded the world that the projects on its platform are "not charity."</p> <p>Nonetheless, brands should be thoughtful and selective in determining when and how to take advantage of crowdfunding, favoring experimental products and test partnerships like the Clorox-Three Jerks Jerky relationship over fully-baked products that they plan to launch and promote on a large scale anyway.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68793 2017-02-14T15:00:00+00:00 2017-02-14T15:00:00+00:00 Is the VR craze mostly hype? Patricio Robles <p>While there are many plausible arguments <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67375-five-reasons-vr-skeptics-are-missing-the-point/">that support the belief VR will have a bright future</a>, there's also growing evidence that VR's inevitable success isn't so inevitable.</p> <p>The most recent evidence: Facebook, which purchased VR headset maker Oculus for $2bn, is shuttering nearly half of its 500 Oculus pop-ups in Best Buy stores around the US. The apparent reason? Lackluster demand.</p> <p>While an Oculus spokesperson said the closures are due to "seasonal changes" and that the company is "prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets," multiple sources who worked as "Oculus Ambassadors" <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-closing-200-oculus-best-buy-pop-ups-poor-store-performance-2017-2?op=1">told Business Insider</a> that demand all but dried up following the holidays.</p> <p>According to Business Insider, sources stated "at most, they would sell a few Oculus headsets per week during the holiday season, and that foot traffic to their pop-ups decreased drastically after Christmas."</p> <p>One source stated, "There’d be some days where I wouldn’t give a demo at all because people didn’t want to."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3891/Oculus_Rift.png" alt="" width="800" height="420"></p> <p>It's understandable that sales of the Oculus Rift VR headset would be tepid – it is, after all, a $600 piece of equipment. But the reported lack of interest in free demos suggests that VR's mainstream appeal is nowhere near what one might assume it to be given the amount of attention lavished on VR by companies like Facebook, as well as the tech press.</p> <p><a href="http://fortune.com/2016/12/27/virtual-reality-vr-marketing-imax/">According to</a> SuperData Research, sales of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets in 2016 numbered in the hundreds of thousands, far less than the millions some predicted. There are probably a number of reasons for this, including the high cost of headsets, a lack of compelling content, and "virtual reality sickness," which often mimics the symptoms of motion sickness.</p> <p>Even many VR proponents acknowledge that the technology has a way to go before it will be in a position to deliver on its supposed mainstream potential.</p> <h3>Too much, too fast?</h3> <p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of VR's biggest believers, and plans to put his money where his mouth is by investing billions more in VR in the coming years. He <a href="http://www.roadtovr.com/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-10-year-vr-trajectory-oculus-earnings-call/">recently called</a> VR a "10-year thing" and stated that there was probably no ability to accelerate the technology and its adoption so that it becomes, say, a five-year thing.</p> <p>"It’s important to also recognize that this will grow slowly, like computers and mobile phones when they first arrived. So we’re committed to Oculus and virtual reality for the long term," he stated.</p> <p>Of course, it's worth considering that expectations for computers and mobile phones were initially quite low. In 1943, Thomas Watson, the president of IBM, stated, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." In 1977, Ken Olsen, the founder of DEC, stated, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."</p> <p>Expectations for VR, on the other hand, are exceedingly high despite the fact that even its staunchest promoters admit that the technology is nowhere near where they think it needs to be to penetrate the mainstream the way computers and mobile phones have.</p> <p>The risk: the promoters are wrong, and even if and when the technology is supposedly <em>good enough</em>, it won't find the consumer acceptance they thought it would.</p> <p>With that in mind, it's not so extreme to argue that, at least for the time being, the VR craze is indeed mostly hype. That the expectations are too far ahead of the reality.</p> <p>And that even if VR eventually lives up to those expectations a decade or more from now, most companies have little reason to prioritize their experiments and investments in VR given the abundance of opportunities that are far more accessible and likely to bear fruit in the near term.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68801 2017-02-13T15:08:38+00:00 2017-02-13T15:08:38+00:00 The WSJ ditches Google's ‘First Click Free’, falls back on stronger paywall Patricio Robles <p>First Click Free allows publishers to have their paywalled content fully indexed by Google. In exchange, publishers agree to allow the first article requested by a reader through a Google News referral to be accessed without a subscription.</p> <p>Under the First Click Free program, publishers are allowed to limit the number of articles that readers can access through Google referrals, but are required to allow users coming through Google to access a minimum of three free articles per day.</p> <p>According to Google, First Click Free is the company's "preferred solution" for publishers that operate a paywall since "it can benefit both our users and our publisher partners. It allows Googlebot to fully index your content, which can improve the likelihood of users visiting your site; and it allows users to view the article of interest while also encouraging them to subscribe."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3871/Wall_Street_Journal.png" alt="" width="800" height="447"></p> <p>But apparently, the WSJ found that First Click Free isn't the best solution for driving subscriptions and, as explained by Digiday's Lucia Moses, <a href="http://digiday.com/publishers/wall-street-journal-close-google-loophole-entirely/">will be abandoning First Click Free</a> in its entirety this week, shutting out some of its non-paying readers, who have used the company's First Click Free participation as a loophole to access WSJ articles for free.</p> <p>The WSJ initially switched off free access for 40% of its audience to test the impact on subscriber rates. It then switched off free access to four news sections entirely for two weeks, resulting in a whopping 86% jump in subscriptions. In the past three months of 2016, the WSJ saw a record jump in subscribers by 110,000 to 1.1m.</p> <p>As well as the impact of the US election, this increase is attributed to a stronger paywall and better messaging. Specifically, the WSJ says that its subscription calls-to-action place pricing information front and center and that it reiterates the ability of subscribers to cancel at any time.</p> <h3>Built to last?</h3> <p>But the WSJ's subscriber growth probably isn't simply the result of tightening up free access to its content. Special offers, such as a $12 for 12 weeks deal, probably helped the WSJ convince a number of users to subscribe when they otherwise wouldn't have paid the nearly $400 annual price for print and digital access.</p> <p>So it remains to be seen whether or not the WSJ's subscriber growth will be sustained, and how much it will be able to profit from subscribers who signed up for discounted access.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3873/Wall_Street_Journal_paywall.png" alt="" width="800" height="472"></p> <p>Of course, one might argue that while discounting has its risks, in the super-competitive environment publishers find themselves in today, it might be better to face retention challenges than acquisition challenges. After all, if the WSJ can acquire a new customer, even at a discount, it has already overcome perhaps its biggest hurdle: getting a consumer to pay for content.</p> <p>Convincing a subscriber to stick around and pay more, although difficult, might be an easier hurdle to overcome.</p> <h3>Monetization optimization</h3> <p>Unlike most publishers, the WSJ generates more of its revenue from subscriptions than it does advertising, but even so, the company is being strategic about how it seeks to monetize its content.</p> <p>"We had a paywall that's 20 years old and hadn’t really been changed," CMO Suzi Watford said. "We asked, how can we optimize it for subscription sales but continue to work for advertisers?”</p> <p>For example, because video content is capable of generating higher ad revenue, the WSJ is keeping its video content outside of the paywall. And while the 127-year-old publisher is ditching Google's First Click Free program, it isn't totally removing the ability for individuals to access paywalled content without paying.</p> <p>As a "membership benefit," articles shared through social media by WSJ subscribers will be accessible to non-subscribers free of charge.</p> <p>That obviously means that the WSJ's paywall will still have holes in it, but it would appear that the company is getting smarter about where it places those holes and who it allows through them.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68781 2017-02-08T10:55:00+00:00 2017-02-08T10:55:00+00:00 Five ways charities can encourage more online donations Matt Collins <p>So what’s the problem? Why are they lagging behind their corporate counterparts? </p> <p>One big reason is that when you complete your payment (donation) on a charity’s website, you get nothing physical in return. No pair of shoes, no concert tickets - just a thank you email for contributing to the cause. </p> <p>That’s a pretty tough product to shift.</p> <p>So, how do charities overcome this unique challenge of essentially asking for money for nothing? Here are five ways charities are tackling their unique ecommerce challenge.</p> <h3>1. Provide a ‘shopping list’</h3> <p>Most charities aren’t trying to compete with ecommerce platforms. They are totally open that the person making the contribution is mostly just getting satisfaction in return.</p> <p>Most provide a ‘shopping list’ of the sorts of things the user’s donation could pay for. The emotive imagery and copy helps an intangible contribution become more tangible, enabling the user to visualise the impact they are having, thereby increasing that satisfaction.</p> <p>For example, Shelter’s donation page updates the shopping list when the user moves the slider across different amounts:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3577/first_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Shelter donation image" width="470" height="230"></p> <h3>2. Use transactional email to magnify the impact </h3> <p>While ecommerce platforms mostly use email to simply confirm the order details, charities can use it to personalise the impact of the donation through user and service-centred stories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3580/thank_you_letter_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Letter example" width="470" height="246"></p> <p>The more organised digital teams will then put the donor into a more complex communications funnel that expands on the impact of their donation, cross sells to other ways to help or upsells to a regular donation. </p> <h3>3. Package the donation as a product</h3> <p>Instead of throwing your cash into the charity’s general pot, many charities (especially those working in international development) package it as a product.</p> <p>The most famous example of this is “Buy a goat” and “Buy a cow” made famous by Oxfam Unwrapped. Here, you make the donation on someone else’s behalf as a gift. The recipient then has the satisfaction of knowing they have paid for cow for a village in rural Africa.</p> <p>Their one-off gift has a long-term impact on the charity’s beneficiaries.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3578/second_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="watch image" width="470" height="256"></p> <h3>4. Open an online shop</h3> <p>Many of the larger charities also sell physical products via an online store, making their offering a more traditional ecommerce one. Often the products are branded merchandise, including t-shirts, keyrings, and mugs.</p> <p>Some charities also sell service-related products that deliver their mission. For example, Parkinson’s UK sell watches for those with visual impairments or pet bowls you don’t have to bend down to pick up. </p> <p>Physical products like these are both a source of income and a way for the charity to deliver upon its mission.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3579/third_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="watch image" width="470" height="319"></p> <h3>5. Focus on user experience</h3> <p>While many will look closely at the commission charged by different platforms for processing their donations, they are also looking at the user experience each provides.</p> <p>They know that a better UX is likely to mean more donations, and ultimately more money for their cause, with percentages becoming less important.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This graphic in Daily Mail on how much more JustGiving takes from charity donations than other donor websites is disturbing <a href="https://t.co/yQbnZNw3au">pic.twitter.com/yQbnZNw3au</a></p> — Robert Peston (@Peston) <a href="https://twitter.com/Peston/status/828894199764414465">February 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Conclusion...</h3> <p>Charities are starting to take on the challenges posed by the ecommerce sector. The depth and complexity of their digital strategies is increasing day by day.</p> <p>As well as deploying the above tactics, the bigger charities are investing in finding out more about who actually donates or purchases those products. The highest converting traffic sources, ads and keywords are a rich source of information. </p> <p>The best charities draw on this information to deploy donation page testing programmes that can increase conversion rates long term.</p> <p>These investments will lead to a bigger piece of the ecommerce pie, and ultimately work that will have a much bigger impact in the world than buying that pair of shoes on Amazon.</p> <p><em>Further reading:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66508-are-charities-failing-on-online-donations/"><em>Are charities failing on online donations?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67941-10-nudge-tastic-examples-of-persuasive-copywriting-from-charities/"><em>10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67451-the-smartest-experiential-charity-marketing-campaign-you-ll-see-this-year/"><em>The smartest experiential &amp; charity marketing campaign you'll see this year</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68779 2017-02-06T14:15:37+00:00 2017-02-06T14:15:37+00:00 How will Donald Trump's policies affect fintech? Patricio Robles <p>While preventing another major financial crisis is a sensible goal, Dodd-Frank has been a source of controversy. At more than 2,000 pages, Dodd-Frank is, as one might expect, incredibly complex, and since it became law, it has been blamed for a number of trends, ranging from a decline in community banks to a decline in business lending by banks.</p> <p>During his campaign, then-candidate Trump promised to do away with Dodd-Frank and his directive last week is the first step in delivering on that promise. While this will almost certainly be a complex process that takes time, it's not too early for companies in the financial sector to start evaluating how the elimination of Dodd-Frank could affect their businesses.</p> <p>Specifically, the eventual death of Dodd-Frank could have a significant impact on fintechs, which <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68159-five-ways-fintech-upstarts-are-disrupting-established-financial-institutions/">have been distrupting established financial services institutions</a>. Here's what it could mean for these financial service upstarts.</p> <h3>The good</h3> <p>Dodd-Frank created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has broad regulatory powers over a number of consumer finance markets. While the CFPB has been largely supportive of innovation in financial services, it has also taken action against fintechs.</p> <p>For example, it fined both startup payment provider Dwolla over its data security practices and subprime consumer lending startup LendUp for "failing to deliver the promised benefits of its products."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3699/donald_trump.jpg" alt="" width="726" height="482"></p> <p>To be sure, few would argue that fintechs shouldn't be regulated and held to the same standard as established financial institutions. But if given the choice, most fintechs (and their investors) would probably opt for less regulation instead of more regulation, so to the extent that the repeal of Dodd-Frank results in less regulation, players in the fintech market would probably welcome it.</p> <p>In addition to the possibility that fintechs will have to deal with less regulation, if big banks are relieved of many of the regulatory burdens that Dodd-Frank has imposed on them, it could conceivably encourage them to more aggressively acquire, invest in or partner with fintechs.</p> <p>Already, large banks <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68350-digital-transformation-in-a-b2b-giant-jp-morgan-ge/">like JP Morgan</a> have made an effort to work with startups as part of their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformations</a>, and they could get much closer to those startups if regulatory concerns diminish.</p> <h3>The bad</h3> <p>On the other hand, regulatory relief for big banks could put them in a better position to compete with fintechs. This effect could be particularly pronounced in the consumer and business lending markets, as Dodd-Frank has been blamed for significantly decreased bank lending. </p> <p>The void in the lending markets fueled the rise of non-bank lenders, which include <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68549-how-will-fintech-lenders-cope-with-an-economic-downturn/">online lenders</a>. If big banks aggressively re-enter the lending markets, the increased competition could make it much more difficult for fintech lenders to generate business.</p> <p>Other changes could harm a number of wealth management startups that have promoted the use of robo-advisors. President Trump wants to end the so-called fiduciary rule, which requires retirement account advisers to work in the best interests of their clients.</p> <p>Throwing out the fiduciary rule "will shrink the market for robo-investing" <a href="https://www.wired.com/2017/02/trumps-gifts-wall-street-threaten-retirees-robots/">according to</a> one industry executive, which explains why fintech startup Betterment went so far as to take out ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal with open letters urging Trump not to undo the rule.</p> <h3>The ugly</h3> <p>While reduced regulation would probably be welcomed by fintechs, there is one part of Dodd-Frank that many fintechs rely heavily on. <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/fintech-startups-want-to-save-one-key-page-of-dodd-frank-1486035001">Section 1033</a> of the bill essentially establishes that consumers have the right to their financial data.</p> <p>Using third-party platforms offered by companies like Yodlee, Intuit and Plaid, many fintech startups make it easy for their customers to connect to their bank and credit accounts to retrieve data. This is used for everything from spending analyses to underwriting of loans.</p> <p>If Section 1033 is eliminated, large financial institutions, namely banks, would conceivably have the ability to block third-parties from accessing data from customer accounts. If this happens, some fintechs could find it difficult to survive as they would no longer have a viable way to obtain the data they need from their customers' bank accounts in a quick, secure and automated fashion.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4388 2017-02-02T14:00:00+00:00 2017-02-02T14:00:00+00:00 Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends <p>The <strong>2017 Digital Trends</strong> report, based on the seventh annual trends survey conducted by Econsultancy and <strong><a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a></strong>, highlights the key digital trends, challenges and opportunities which marketers need to be aware of during 2017, covering topics ranging from customer experience and mobile to data-driven marketing and personalisation.</p> <p>The 2017 edition of this research also investigates how committed organisations are to digital transformation, which is intrinsically linked to creating a great customer experience.</p> <p>The report is based on a global survey of more than 14,000 marketers and ecommerce professionals carried out at the end of 2016.</p> <h3>The following sections are featured in the report:</h3> <ul> <li>The hard realities of digital transformation</li> <li>Looking back on 2016</li> <li>Priorities and budget plans for 2017</li> <li>Keeping up with customer expectations</li> <li>Building a digital culture</li> <li>Design-driven transformation</li> <li>Looking forward to the future</li> <li>Fit for the future: three key areas marketers should focus on</li> </ul> <h3> <strong>Findings</strong> include:</h3> <ul> <li>Over one fifth (22%) of client-side respondents ranked<strong> 'optimising the customer experience' </strong>as the single most exciting opportunity for the year ahead, slightly ahead of other areas such as 'creating compelling content for digital experiences' (16%) and 'data-driven marketing' (12%).</li> <li>The <strong>priorities</strong> that sit atop marketers’ lists are content marketing (29%), social media engagement (28%) and targeting and personalisation (25%).</li> <li> <strong>Design </strong>is considered the next level on the path to digital transformation, with 86% of survey respondents agreeing that design-driven companies outperform other businesses.</li> <li>While over four-fifths (82%) of survey respondents believe that <strong>creativity</strong> is highly valued within their organisations and around three-quarters (77%) are investing in design to differentiate their brand, just over two-fifths (44%) don’t think that they have the processes and collaborative workflows to achieve a design advantage.</li> <li>A key part of delivering differentiated customer experiences in the future will involve looking beyond mobile and focusing on <strong>the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)</strong>, channels which are regarded by survey respondents as exciting prospects over the coming years.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Econsultancy's Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings, sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a>, look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape. </strong><strong>You can access the other reports in this series <a title="Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing">here</a>.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68749 2017-02-01T14:21:00+00:00 2017-02-01T14:21:00+00:00 Why online travel sites are focusing on tours and activities Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a look at why (and how) brands have been incorporating the trend.</p> <h3>Demand for adventurous travel experiences</h3> <p>While hotels, hostels and flights have long been the bread and butter of many travel companies, the once side-lined tours and activities sector has recently seen a greater focus.</p> <p>Why? Well, it appears to be in recognition of the changing consumer mind-set, with travellers seeking out adventurous travel experiences and choosing to spend money on memorable moments rather than souvenirs.  </p> <p>TripAdvisor is one brand that has introduced bookable tours onto its site, recently redesigning its homepage to make this feature more visible and easier to use.</p> <p>The decision has apparently been a success. TripAdvisor reports that its non-hotel segment, comprising rentals, restaurants and attractions, grew <a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/2017/01/14/4-signs-tripadvisor-may-be-about-to-turn-the-corne.aspx" target="_blank">35% in the third quarter of 2016</a>, now making up 24% of its total revenue.</p> <p>Considering that TripAdvisor’s hotel segment declined 6% - it is clear that consumers are keen to use the platform for more than just reviews.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You don't want to miss THIS experience of a lifetime (Hint: bookable on TripAdvisor, it's great, a wall &amp; in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/China?src=hash">#China</a>) <a href="https://t.co/txeh7SHoc6">https://t.co/txeh7SHoc6</a></p> — TripAdvisor UK (@TripAdvisorUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/TripAdvisorUK/status/802110034448711680">November 25, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Desire for curated and personalised customer experience</h3> <p>It’s not just the travel mindset that’s changing. </p> <p>With the expectation for a seamless and convenient experience across all channels, it makes sense that consumers would prefer to use a single company for all travel requirements.</p> <p>Why would you book accommodation with Airbnb and use an aggregator like Kayak for flights, if you could do it all in one go? Brands are now recognising this opportunity, aiming to capture interest and deliver a curated and personalised experience across all key touchpoints.</p> <p>Indeed, it’s not just traditional tours and activities that sites are now introducing - many are expanding to include airport transfers, trains and even money exchange to provide this end-to-end experience.</p> <p>Naturally, there are still big barriers, and for consumers, a pressing issue remains being able to book tours and activities direct.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">For a look inside Day 1 of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AirbnbOpen?src=hash">#AirbnbOpen</a>, watch <a href="https://twitter.com/ednacz">@ednacz</a> on our Snapchat as she explores LA and the new world of trips. <a href="https://t.co/Dwv5nNI7y5">pic.twitter.com/Dwv5nNI7y5</a></p> — Airbnb UK (@Airbnb_uk) <a href="https://twitter.com/Airbnb_uk/status/799350352948531201">November 17, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>While some do include this feature - a large percentage of TripAdvisor’s tours are bookable, for instance - there are still challenges in providing consumers with relevant and up-to-date offerings, mainly due to the complex nature of syncing with ticket operators. </p> <h3>Capturing mobile moments</h3> <p>Despite the aforementioned issues, mobile innovation is beginning to bridge the gap. Airbnb Trips also allows consumers to book tours, restaurants and activities directly, delivering on both inspirational and functional elements. </p> <p>While Google's new travel guide app, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68688-four-key-features-to-appreciate-about-google-trips/" target="_blank">Google Trips</a>, does not have this feature - currently sending users to third-party sites to make reservations - it still aims to meet the consumer demand for contextual and in-the-moment discovery. </p> <p>Bookable or not – this is certainly a key priority for travellers. Research from <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/micro-moments-travel-customer-journey.html" target="_blank">Google found that 72% of travellers</a> using a smartphone look for the most relevant information, regardless of the travel company providing it. </p> <p>Consequently, it suggests that travel brands should create a ‘micro-moments’ strategy in order to meet customer demand across four key areas – dreaming, planning, booking and experiencing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3458/Google_Moments.JPG" alt="" width="462" height="554"></p> <p>As it stands, none of the big players currently offer this.</p> <p>However, with suggestion that Airbnb is currently in the process of developing a flight-booking tool, it might not be too far off.</p> <p><strong><em>Further reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-travel-and-hospitality-sector/"><em>Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sector</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67493-how-digital-can-revolutionise-the-customer-experience-in-travel-leisure/"><em>How digital can revolutionise the customer experience in travel &amp; leisure</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68604-why-ugc-is-the-future-of-social-media-in-travel-and-tourism-marketing/"><em>Why UGC is the future of social media in travel and tourism marketing</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68731 2017-01-26T15:15:00+00:00 2017-01-26T15:15:00+00:00 Your 2017 marketing plan should be defined by change and transformation Stephanie Miller <p>If you are placing all your hopes for digital transformation <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68356-what-is-an-innovation-lab-and-how-do-they-work/">into a 'lab'</a>, you are missing a huge opportunity to keep up with customers and their ever-evolving digital lifestyles and workplaces. </p> <p>Instead, invest in making adapting to change part of your culture. Every marketer needs to challenge the status quo as part of their regular job. Sequestering innovation into a separate group may be great for ideation, but it will never actually transform your business.</p> <p>Transformation requires the proverbial thousand points of light - every pair of hands, drawing new insights from data by asking different questions, and testing out new campaigns.</p> <p>This year, engage every marketer in the work of keeping ahead of customer need, and taking advantage of the right set of new platforms and digital tools. Not just marketers, actually, but also everyone in all those cross-functional teams on whom we rely so heavily to create great customer experience - from sales to customer service to IT.</p> <h3>People power</h3> <p>This time of year, lots of columnists predict what the future will hold - <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68706-ashley-friedlein-s-marketing-and-digital-trends-for-2017/" target="_blank">including our own Chairman</a> Ashley Friedlein who urges every marketing organization to adopt the "F" word (Focus). (Anyone who doubled down last year with <a href="https://blog.medium.com/renewing-mediums-focus-98f374a960be#.jsiaquiy2" target="_blank">advertising on Medium</a> can attest to the worth of this advice. What seemed like an obvious opportunity based on traditional rules of business, just isn't.)  </p> <p>Ashley also talks about the increasing attention on "marketing transformation", which refers to the internal marketing organization transformation which complements the customer-journey focused <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a> work that is already underway at so many Econsultancy clients.</p> <p>Scott Brinker, author of the popular ChiefMarTec blog <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2017/01/marketing-prediction-need-2017/" target="_blank">predicted</a> that change is the only trend you need to watch in 2017.</p> <p>People empowerment is just as important as the right technology, where he advises, "For people, you need to carve out time, resources, and executive enthusiasm for learning and experimentation. Having people take courses, attend conferences, join local meet-ups, and voraciously read (or listen to podcasts) is good. But the real learning happens when they’re encouraged to apply new ideas in their work, through silo-busting collaborations with their peers."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3417/iStock-528622704.jpg" alt="" width="724" height="483"></p> <p>No matter what your position on trend watching, there is one thing that is clear. Nothing will get done to meaningfully transform your business without people.</p> <p>And not just any people. People who are skilled in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/skills-of-the-modern-marketer/">modern marketing</a>, working collaboratively across functions with shared goals, in an organization that is structured to help them and the company succeed. People are inextricable from culture, process and strategy.</p> <p>It's a truth universally acknowledged that bottom-up ideas tend to be more practical and data-driven. Why not train your teams how to capture change and turn it into opportunity, while you give them the skills and tools they need to increase your digital marketing muscle?  </p> <p>Why not challenge marketers to talk to customers and solve their problems? Why not embrace change as a constant, and filter that "lab" mentality into every role? Really. Why not?</p> <p>It's a simple concept: Trust your teams to know their key audiences and to be committed to optimizing the customer experience. Help them master the concepts and foundational principles, show them what "good" looks like for your company, and teach them to how to evaluate new digital opportunities. </p> <p>The learning programs and ecosystem that you create to support your teams have to be as agile and open to change as the software you use. In the golden triangle of people, process and technology, transformation will only occur as fast as the slowest leg of the triangle allows. Don't isolate your people from their ability to innovate.</p> <p>What are your thoughts on transformation and change management in 2017 for marketing? We'd love to hear your challenges and what has worked for you already.</p> <p><em>If you’re planning a digital transformation project or want to find out more, visit Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation Hub</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68667 2017-01-11T02:55:00+00:00 2017-01-11T02:55:00+00:00 Five things to include in your digital transformation playbook Jeff Rajeck <p>To update Disney World to the digital age, CEO Bob Iger secured a $1bn budget from the board and introduced the MyMagic+ wristband with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips build in.  </p> <p>These wearables serve as the park admission ticket, queue-jumping FastPass, hotel room key, and even a wallet. Customer experience vastly improved and <strong>now over 90% of visitors rate the park as 'very good' or 'excellent'.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2672/disney.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="525"></strong></p> <p>Making the MyMagic+ wristband work, though, was an enormous digital transformation programme. Some of the many tasks required included:</p> <ul> <li>Updating DisneyWorld.com at a cost of $80m.</li> <li>Designing a custom RFID wristband, now used by more than 10m people per year.</li> <li>Installing 30m square feet of WiFi coverage in the park.</li> <li>Fitting 28,000 hotel room doors with RFID readers.</li> <li>Training 70,000 employees on how the new technology worked.</li> </ul> <p>The impact of this initiative - 90% favorable customer experience ratings - is impressive, but how did Disney make such an enormous effort happen? <strong>What steps did the digital team take from the initial idea to the realisation?</strong></p> <p>While we may never know what specifically was required to make this happen at Disney, we were able to talk to a number of brand marketers at Digital Cream Singapore about their digital transformation story.</p> <p>There, delegates told us about how their brands are updating their company's customer experience for the digital age. </p> <p>Below are an overview of the items that participants felt were most important for digital transformation and what should, ideally, be shared internally through a project document or playbook.</p> <h3>1) A north star</h3> <p>Attendees felt that for digital transformation to be successful, <strong>the digital team should know what they want to accomplish.</strong> That is, what does the digitally transformed organisation look like?</p> <p>While the answer to this broad question will be different for every company, participants provided some questions which they asked themselves while going through digital transformation:  </p> <ul> <li>Can we use our existing data resources to attract more business digitally?</li> <li>Is ecommerce only for the website, or can we offer an in-store digital purchasing experience?</li> <li>Is it possible for us to use customer data to personalise the delivery experience?</li> <li>Should we provide ongoing customer service with social media?</li> </ul> <p>The point of having this vision, or a 'north star' as one participant put it, is that <strong>the result of digital transformation should be company-wide adoption of digital technology and processes</strong>.</p> <p>For this to happen, marketers should be clear about what needs to be changed and how these changes will be made operational.  </p> <p>Just saying 'we will improve sales with big data' won't work, noted one participants.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2673/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2) The road map</h3> <p>Agreeing on a goal is a good start for a transformation process, but attendees said that <strong>organisations should also know how they are going to get there.</strong></p> <p>Many delegates who had been through digital transformation felt that<strong> a phased approach was best</strong>. Summarised by Neil Perkin in a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/festival-of-marketing-2015-digital-transformation-stage">recent presentation</a>, a multi-stage approach starts with digital resources dispersed throughout an organisation and then arranges them into digital 'centres of excellence'.  </p> <p>This allows companies with limited digital resources to start digital initiatives across the organisation via a single team.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2582/dt.png" alt="" width="800" height="405"></p> <p>Then, as transformation progresses, resources will be relocated throughout the organisation to support digital programmes on an ongoing basis. </p> <p>Participants warned that dispersing resources was difficult, though, as digital experts preferred to work in small digitally-savvy teams. Because of this, the roadmap should also include training existing staff during the transformation process.</p> <h3>3) Team members</h3> <p>Apart from whether the organisation will have centres of excellence or take another approach, delegates said that <strong>the digital transformation plan should be clear about who will be on the digital team.</strong></p> <p>Some organisations built teams with existing staff from IT, marketing, and the call centre while others hired people specifically for the digital transformation programme.</p> <p>For those who are hiring, <strong>attendees felt that it was important to make the team structure clear during the hiring process</strong> and to discuss the career paths for those who join.  </p> <p>Reason being that once the transformation is underway, hires with strong digital expertise will need to know whether they will be responsible for ongoing maintenance.  </p> <p>Letting them know whether they will or not sets correct expectations from the start and will help keep them on board and motivated.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2674/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4) Success metrics</h3> <p>In addition to having an overall goal for the digital transformation effort, <strong>the digital team should also have some everyday 'success metrics'.</strong></p> <p>These should be clear and achievable goals so that the team can see incremental progress toward the digital goal and regularly celebrate small wins.</p> <p>Some ideas for potential success metrics included the number of in-store digital sign-ups, an increase in revenue from digital, and a reduction in calls to the call centre.</p> <p>One attendee pointed out that<strong> each success metric should be tied to some digital team activity</strong> so that they can be certain of their role in the small win.</p> <p>For example, they should measure calls to the call centre before and after they rearrange the customer service web page so that they know that their efforts made a difference.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2675/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>5) 'Customer hygiene' factors</h3> <p>Finally, marketers channeled the Hippocratic Oath and said that <strong>a digital transformation project should first and foremost 'do no harm'.</strong></p> <p>To make that happen, they argued, <strong>the digital transformation plan needs to include 'customer hygiene' factors.</strong> These are things which may not necessarily make customers happy, but if they are not present, then customers will certainly be unhappy.</p> <p>Examples of customer hygiene factors include: </p> <ul> <li>Ease of purchase (online and offline)</li> <li>High availability of customer service</li> <li>Perks for customer loyalty</li> <li>Sensible customer care policies (returns, refunds, etc.)</li> </ul> <p>Attendees agreed that all digital initiatives should improve the existing customer experience at all touchpoints and avoid having 'increasing efficiency' as the main goal.</p> <p>Doing so could result in negative customer feedback for digital transformation initiatives and risk the support of the business for the programme.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and the moderator for the Digital Transformation: People, Process &amp; Technology table, <strong>Caitlin Nguyen, Global Lead for Digital &amp; CRM at Fonterra.</strong></p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2665/end.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68657 2016-12-22T00:01:00+00:00 2016-12-22T00:01:00+00:00 Seven ways marketers can jump-start digital transformation in 2017 Jeff Rajeck <p>Upon a closer look, however, it is clear that marketing has a strong role to play. The reason is that as customers become more digital, it is marketing's responsibility to keep up, even if the rest of the company is lagging.</p> <p>When marketers have a look at what digital transformation entails, though, it seems overwhelming.</p> <p>Management needs to be convinced, new technology has to be purchased, and the whole organisation needs to be restructured. How can marketing alone get this process started?</p> <p>At a recent Digital Cream roundtable discussion in Sydney, we asked marketers to come up with a few ideas on this topic. Below is a summary of seven ways marketers can get digital transformation started in the new year.</p> <h3>1) Take ownership</h3> <p>The first step to getting a digital transformation programme started is to take ownership of the process. This means becoming familiar with what digital transformation will mean to the company as well as understanding how other organisations have approached it.</p> <p>Econsultancy offers several resources to help those just starting out, but a good place to start is to review Neil Perkin's presentation <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/festival-of-marketing-2015-digital-transformation-stage">Organisational Resourcing and Digital Leadership</a> from the Festival of Marketing.</p> <p>In it you will find numerous charts and graphs which will both help clarify ideas about why digital transformation is important as well as collatoral for presenting this information to others.</p> <p>Here is an example of a chart from the deck which shows the stages many companies go through during a digital transformation programme.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2582/dt.png" alt="" width="800" height="405"></p> <h3>2) Work from the bottom up</h3> <p>Once marketing has a solid grasp of the task ahead, it is tempting to think that the next step must be a detailed presentation to a management committee to secure top-level buy-in.</p> <p>Not so, said participants. Instead, marketers should aim to convince a single executive of the benefits of digital transformation before attempting to address management as a whole.</p> <p>To do so, the marketing team should get support for a digital project from a single manager and then regularly share small success stories with them. Once they have a few successful digital initiatives, marketers will then have a good story for a wider audience.</p> <p>This soft and iterative approach, according to attendees, is much more effective than trying to get a committee to sign-off on a big idea at the start.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2584/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="584"></p> <h3>3) Make mistakes</h3> <p>Facebook famously told its developers to 'move fast and break things' meaning that failing and learning is preferred over a more conservative approach to change.</p> <p>Attendees felt that this was also an appropriate attitude for marketers who want to get digital transformation underway.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2583/fb.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>All agreed, however, that working with this attitude is not easy as most organisations reward success and discourage failure. What is required, then, is a shift in mindset so that risky projects, and the invetable failures, are celebrated instead.</p> <p>Participants acknowledged that such a change would not happen quickly throughout a company, but a marketing team looking to get digital transformation underway could be the first to start.</p> <h3>4) Get physical</h3> <p>Another interesting idea which came up during the discussion was that marketers should make their digital transformation programme as 'physical' as possible.</p> <p>That is, instead of only using digital collaboration tools for the initiative, marketers should hold visible meetings, have open brainstorming sections, and cover whiteboards with drawings and post-it notes.</p> <p>Other suggestions included putting up posters of key performance indicators (KPIs) and marketing goals to make it abundantly clear what the team was working on.</p> <p>The purpose of the spectacle is to draw attention to the changes that marketing was leading in hopes of attracting interest from other departments and management.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2585/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>5) Keep learning</h3> <p>All delegates agreed that digital transformation was first and foremost about people. If the people in the organisation are committed to change then digital transformation will most likely be successful.</p> <p>To make this happen, though, marketers need to be ready to educate others within the organisation. Without having digital expertise, one participant noted, this is unlikely to happen.</p> <p>So to encourage cross-departmental knowledge sharing, marketers need to keep learning about digital technology and how best to apply it to their business.</p> <p>One suggestion for doing so was to hold regular 'lunch and learn' sessions where team members presented to each other about their projects or other innovations.</p> <h3>6) Choose technology carefully</h3> <p>New technology is always necessary for digital transformation and, as mentioned previously, marketers must keep up with technology developments if they aim to start a digital transformation programme.</p> <p>One participant said that the problem they encountered during the transformation process was that their company had too much technology.</p> <p>With dozens of platforms in use, it was nearly impossible for the team to monitor the systems, much less suggest how other departments could use them.</p> <p>One suggestion was that marketers should first integrate the basics - web, email, and CRM - and then add new channels slowly and carefully. Doing so will allow marketers to concentrate on applying existing systems in ways which matter most to the business.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2586/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>7) Outsource when you can</h3> <p>Finally, participants indicated that no matter how big the marketing or digital transformation teams are, they will always have limited resources.</p> <p>Instead of overloading team members with the wide variety of technologies and digital services necessary for transformation, attendees felt it was best practice for the team to agree on what they could realistically achieve with the team members.</p> <p>For items outside the team's expertise, all agreed that finding the right partners was time well-spent.</p> <p>This can be particularly problematic when new channels, particularly video-based ones, are being considered as the time and resources necessary to produce high-quality material may end up being very time-consuming.  </p> <p>As one delegate noted, marketers trying to get digital transformation on the agenda at their company should invest their time in what they know best - the company's business and how to improve it digitally.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and especially our 'Digital Transformation - People, Process &amp; Technology' moderator, Mona Pradella, B2B Marketing Manager, YourTutor.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2587/end.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p>