tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/digital-strategy Latest Digital Strategy content from Econsultancy 2017-10-16T15:57:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69501 2017-10-16T15:57:00+01:00 2017-10-16T15:57:00+01:00 Pharma must use digital to meet the needs of decision makers: report Patricio Robles <p>According to <a href="http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Pharma-s-approach-to-market-access-facing-digital-disruption-study-finds-1003684625">the new Multichannel Payer Marketing study</a> released by DRG Digital Manhattan Research (DRG), pharmacy and therapeutics (P&amp;T) committee members are routinely spending as much as three hours a day or more consuming information delivered through digital channels, and four out of five say they prefer digital content to non-digital content.</p> <p>That preference for digital has a huge impact on the decisions P&amp;T committee members make, as DRG found that "P&amp;T committee members rate pharma apps and websites for payers and healthcare professionals as being as influential on their formulary decisions as in-person meetings with pharma representatives." Close to half (44%) "said they would use pharma digital resources more frequently if pharmas made it easier to find content dedicated to formulary decision makers."</p> <p>While pharma companies have historically relied heavily on reps and account managers, the DRG study suggests that digital content and resources are critical to these reps and managers' success. Over half (52%) of P&amp;T committee members surveyed indicated that digital content makes their meetings with pharma reps and account managers "more valuable." And even more (56%) wanted the ability to follow up through digital channels.</p> <p>All told, DRG found that "P&amp;T committee members rate pharma apps and websites for payers and healthcare professionals as being as influential on their formulary decisions as in-person meetings with pharma representatives...underscoring the importance of a more balanced approach to payer marketing."</p> <h3>The need for segmentation</h3> <p>Not surprisingly, DRG's study also revealed that pharma companies need to be thoughtful about what content and resources they develop because different types of payers have different needs. For instance, "two in three of those (65%) at Integrated Delivery Networks associated with health plans want to access trend reports for a disease area on pharma websites, while half of those from IDNs without a health plan are interested in accessing interactive budget modeling features from pharma online."</p> <p>Put simply, for pharma companies to be successful with digital outreach to decision makers, they need to segment their customers and develop the capability to determine what the specific needs of those segments are so that they can develop the digital resources that they will find valuable.</p> <h3>A collaborative spirit</h3> <p>Perhaps the most important finding in the DRG study was that, despite the fact that the pharma industry <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68248-facing-scrutiny-pharma-marketers-turn-to-unbranded-ads">has seen its reputational fortunes decline in recent years</a>, even among professionals, P&amp;T committee members are very interested in working with pharma companies "beyond the pill."</p> <p>Nearly three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed said they'd be open to working with pharma companies to develop patient-centered digital tools designed to reduce readmissions and two-thirds expressed a willingness to partner on the creation of digital tools designed to help patients adhere to their medication guidelines.</p> <p>In other words, pharma companies will increasingly find that they need to embrace the concept of pill-plus – pharma products bundled with solutions designed to ultimately boost their efficacy – to win over decision-makers.</p> <p>What's more, nearly half (47%) of P&amp;T committee members said they're interested in working with pharma companies to facilitate data collection using techniques like remote monitoring. Given that pharma is one of the industries in which data is perhaps one of the most valuable assets a company can have, it would behoove pharmas to take advantage of P&amp;T committtee members' collaborative spirit to forge partnerships that could pay dividends for years to come.</p> <h3>The digital imperative</h3> <p>DRG's study is yet another reminder of the digital imperative that pharma companies face. It reiterates the fact that literally every stakeholder that pharma companies need to meet the needs of, including <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68248-facing-scrutiny-pharma-marketers-turn-to-unbranded-ads">physicians</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68846-three-effective-ways-pharma-brands-have-used-facebook-for-marketing">consumers</a>, are increasingly turning to digital channels to meet their pharma information needs.</p> <p>So if pharma companies want to ensure that they have a role in the conversation, they will need to up their digital games.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68851-six-ways-digital-is-changing-the-pharma-healthcare-industry"><em>Six ways digital is changing the pharma &amp; healthcare industry</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68221-embracing-digital-transformation-in-the-pharma-and-healthcare-sectors"><em>Embracing digital transformation in the Pharma and Healthcare sectors</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69416 2017-10-13T11:27:00+01:00 2017-10-13T11:27:00+01:00 Mobile’s sorted, isn’t it? So why aren’t things getting better for many hotel chains? Martin Jordan <p>You won’t rank in Google, you won’t convert traffic and your brand will be slowly dying (at least online). Any traffic from mobile you do receive will be research traffic alone – and likely traffic with high bounce rates and low dwell time.</p> <p>Thankfully the UK market is mature, has always innovated and most brands will at least have a site that is adaptive or responsive to mobile. That said, there is still a lot of evolution required in the hotel web space that actually starts to exploit mobile as a device, rather than just as another browsing platform.</p> <p>Many brands are still staring down low conversion rates and lots of traffic that looks like “research” traffic due to poorly thought out mobile experiences or pseudo-mobile third-party book­ing engines that look like they’ve been there since the noughties.</p> <h3>Intelligent mobile</h3> <p>Today as we see many hotel brand sites pass the 50% mark for mobile traffic, the approach to developing mobile-friendly sites needs to come with a completely different approach to the user – one that is actually less about mobile and more about the user.</p> <p>At Equator, we refer to this as “Responsive Plus” – a site that not only adapts to the user’s device but thinks intelligently about the content it is going to show them by looking at where the user is, what time of day it is, whether they are logged in, whether they have a booking and whether they are in the middle of the booking process. A connected website such as this, with visibility of its location can tell you that User X is at your hotel, making use of their booked stay.</p> <p>Sounds straightforward enough when put like that, but it belies a greater problem in the hotel space, that of legacy, unconnected and inflexible systems. Here in the UK, we have a generally digitally mature hotel space, made up of medium and large-sized chains. The “mom and pop” operations that typify central Europe are far less prevalent here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9706/travelodge.png" alt="" width="700" height="336"></p> <p>This means that most of the brands here digitised their systems and processes some time ago, buying into comprehensive and complex Property Management Systems and investing in hardware and hosting for them to reside in.  And agencies like ours will have been tasked to build them sites, design a booking engine, get them online and eventually get them visible to mobile users too. All well and good, but this whole technology stack is now woefully dated and is slowly strangling the contemporary hotelier.</p> <p>The reason for this is that the PMS dominates the technology conversation. Everything the hotelier relies on flows from it: the booking engine, F&amp;B, payments, revenue management, channel management, upselling… and a heck of a lot more. If the hotelier wants to do something innovative with any part of their technology stack, the PMS gets in the way.</p> <p>Seen a cool new upselling tool? It needs to work with the PMS. Like to integrate with a smart AI-powered revenue management system? Needs to integrate with your PMS.</p> <p>Hoteliers all over keep having to answer the same question – “What PMS have you got and what version is it?”. Why? Because, invariably it’s legacy, not built on open principles and not designed for easy two-way engagement.</p> <p>So, why are they not tearing out these legacy systems and replacing them anew? Sadly, it’s not always that straightforward. There may be enough CapEx to replace the PMS itself, but many of the incumbent systems connected to it or slave to it will likely need replacing – or certainly overhauling. These systems too will have likely been built as slaves to the PMS and without modern open interoperability. And of course the website will need a new IBE to go with the new PMS too. It’s all expense and can seem like too much for the typical hotelier to bite down on.</p> <p>But perhaps it’s worth sitting down and doing the longer-term maths and building a business case with a 2-3 year viewpoint. Whilst neither the task nor the immediate costs are small, there are multitudinous benefits in the long term. That server-based PMS does not evolve and is likely a few versions old. It needs hosting, it needs patching and it eventually becomes unsupported. Except if you want to pay the supplier a <em>lot</em> of money on support and maintenance.</p> <p>New cloud based technologies are locked out or require prohibitively expensive “bridge” work to make them compatible with your PMS and all along the way. You find you’re missing out on huge revenue opportunities or finding your budget strangled by costs for any enhancement you want to make to it. When this technology is cloud based and open, it’s no longer your problem.</p> <h3>In the cloud </h3> <p>As more hotel systems become cloud driven, we are now witnessing a shift towards a more customer-centric view and away from obese legacy desktop and server-based systems.</p> <p>This new cloud-based approach is opening the hotel tech ecosystem to multiple new players such as Guestline, Hetras and Hotelogix, bringing new capabilities for hoteliers large and small.</p> <p>What used to be an expensive and cumbersome purchase can now be affordably bought from multiple vendors for a single property, as it is for a 100+ hotel chain.</p> <p>With open systems powered by customer data, machine learning and analytics capabilities, hoteliers can exercise their customer data with more flexibility than ever before.</p> <p>This brings a host of benefits:</p> <ul> <li>Smarter front-of-house, capable of personalising the customer experience.</li> <li>More intuitive web experience that tailors itself to the users’ preferences and behaviours, driven by the CRM database.</li> <li>Better marketing function that promotes less but ultimately drives more revenue and deeper loyalty.</li> <li>Unique and individual offerings through an enhanced on-premise experience in a world being commoditised by the OTA.</li> </ul> <p>We’re spending an increasing amount of our time intelligently connecting these systems and have written in more detail about them in our <a title="The hotel in the clouds" href="https://www.eqtr.com/uploads/SmartHotels.pdf">Smart Hotels paper.</a> Whilst technology standards like <a href="http://www.htng.org/">HTNG</a> go a long way to help ensure the interoperability of systems, the technological space in hotels moves very fast and every brand has their own unique needs.</p> <p>There is now huge potential to deliver new forms of service through automation and machine learning – achieved through the connectivity offered by contemporary systems. </p> <p>Examples include:</p> <ul> <li>Linking a hotel’s Wi-Fi system to their CRM platform to personalise the on-site internet experience and give loyal customers super speedy broadband.</li> <li>Developing the ability to reward loyalty without a complex and expensive loyalty scheme or the need to involve senior staff in approval of discounts or upgrades.</li> <li>Taking the typical lobby screen and allowing it to serve real-time offers based on actual availability, demand curves, current weather and more as well as pushing distressed inventory without effort.</li> </ul> <p>It’s this very path to innovation that has the potential to finally free the hotelier’s reliance on the OTA and bring their market share down more in alignment with the airline industry, where direct brand purchases still make up almost 60% of sales. And to suggest that the transition from desktop to mobile could throw this all into jeopardy is to tell just one side of the story. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9705/ryanair.png" alt="" width="700" height="331"></p> <p>With so many expert systems and technologies available at prices that no longer cripple, hoteliers are increasingly building a technology-driven hotel business. And as these systems are connected and made accessible, the opportunities to drive greater revenue, improve efficiencies, deliver better service and change the entire marketing proposition are tangible and excitingly achievable.</p> <p>Any fear of change needs to be swapped for the fear of being left behind. Technology continues to evolve ever faster. If you can’t keep up, find a technology partner who understands your world to help you stay ahead.</p> <p>In the future, when everybody’s lives are in the cloud, the savvy hotelier will be using tech to make their hotel feel like home. The in-room entertainment will be what the customer likes and their dietary requirements will be understood – all without adding mountains of cost or complexity. The future is not far away. But it starts with a <strong>more connected</strong> hotel world.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69414-four-big-digital-trends-impacting-travel-tourism-marketing"><em>Four big digital trends impacting travel &amp; tourism marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium"><em>Travel Internet Statistics Compendium</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69485 2017-10-12T01:00:00+01:00 2017-10-12T01:00:00+01:00 The single best way to improve your online advertising Jeff Rajeck <p>But at the heart of every conversation is the fundamental question, <strong>what is working now?</strong></p> <p>To get the latest update, Econsultancy recently invited dozens of client-side marketers to discuss online advertising at Digital Cream Sydney. Through roundtable discussions on the topic, attendees agreed that there was one key thing marketers should do to improve the effectiveness of their digital advertising.</p> <p>Before we go into it, though, we'd like to let you know about an upcoming course for marketers in South-East Asia. Econsultancy is offering <strong>Social Media and Online PR</strong> training for those in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr-singapore/dates/3133/">Singapore</a> (November 2nd and 3rd) and in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr-malaysia/dates/3140/">Malaysia</a> (November 28th and 29th). Click the links for more information and to book your spot.</p> <h3>It all comes down to...</h3> <p>After speaking with three roundtables of client-side marketers, our moderator for the discussions, Carolyn Tait, financial services marketer at AMP, concluded that the success of online marketing hinges on having a clear, written-down strategy. Without one, attendees agreed, it's difficult to have a meaningful discussion of tactics.</p> <p>The strategy does not have to be very detailed. In fact, <strong>it's best to fit your strategy on a single page.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9472/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p>What the strategy document should include is: </p> <ol> <li>Who you are targeting.</li> <li>The media you are using.</li> <li>The value of the customer, even if it's an educated guess.</li> </ol> <p>With this simple information, delegates concluded, <strong>you can work backward up the sales funnel from conversion to a target cost-per-click (CPC).</strong> That is, if the lifetime value of a new customer is $100 and you have a 1% conversion rate, then you should aim to spend no more than $1 per click ($100 * .01 = $1).  </p> <p>While this sounds straightforward, <strong>many attendees confessed that they were not yet operating at that level of commercial maturity.</strong> Having an online advertising strategy, therefore, should provide marketers with a significant competitive advantage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9473/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="550"></p> <h3>But wait, there's more</h3> <p>Besides driving sensible online advertising spending, though, having a written-down strategy has a number of additional benefits.</p> <h4>1) Retargeting</h4> <p>Around half of the participants were uncertain about the effectiveness of their retargeting programme, and there was little agreement as to what a 'good' CPC or retargeting conversion rate should be.</p> <p>Those with a well-defined strategy, however, were more likely to be confident of their efforts as they had thought deeper about how to retarget through the whole customer lifecycle. They also indicated that using retargeting as part of a broader digital strategy, particularly including telephone support, led to fewer gaps in their efforts to convert interested consumers.</p> <h4>2) Reporting</h4> <p>Having a strategy also helps with reporting, delegates reported. Rather than drowning in a deluge of data, <strong>having a marketing strategy helps identify key metrics worth tracking.</strong></p> <p>And, once the sales funnel was mapped, they could also identify the data they needed but didn't have and devise a plan to get it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9474/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h4>3) Stakeholder management</h4> <p>Finally, having a document which clearly stated the target audiences, the advertising platforms, and how using these brought in valuable customers means<strong> marketers can use their strategy to manage upwards more effectively.</strong></p> <p>Many attendees lamented that senior management often hijacked marketing budget and resources with a sudden, out-of-the-blue strategy such as "we need to be on Twitter" or "why aren't we on YouTube like our fiercest competitor".</p> <p>While most admitted that it was always difficult to manage such demands, having a strong strategy with a history of success helped marketers 'manage back' random requests and continue to devote their time and effort to more effective online advertising.</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 Online Advertising table moderator,  <strong>Carolyn Tait, financial services marketer at AMP.</strong></p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9329/3.jpg" alt=""></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4623 2017-10-11T10:00:00+01:00 2017-10-11T10:00:00+01:00 Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2017 <p>This is the ninth annual <strong>Conversion Rate Optimization Report</strong>, in association with <strong><a href="http://www.redeye.com/">RedEye</a></strong>.</p> <p>The research, based on an online survey of more than 800 digital marketers and ecommerce professionals, looks at the types of conversion strategies and tactics organizations are using, in addition to the tools and processes employed for improving conversion rates.</p> <p>As well as touching on the use and impact of personalization, the report explores different areas of best practice and identifies methods and techniques which are most valuable for improving conversion rates.</p> <p>The aim is to provide data and a framework to help companies invest their time and resources as effectively as possible by examining which methods and processes are most likely to yield results.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>Find out the types of conversions and measurements organizations are using and the best practices that shape them.</li> <li>Discover the most valuable methods used to improve conversion rates and the methods organizations will be using in the future.</li> <li>Understand how companies are using personalization as part of their CRO efforts and the effect this has on conversions.</li> <li>Benchmark your organization's approach to CRO using the Conversion Maturity Model, which has been updated for this year's report.</li> <li>The six key factors contributing to CRO success.</li> </ul> <h2><strong>Key findings</strong></h2> <ul> <li>Importance of CRO is widely acknowledged, fueled by a need for continued improvements.</li> <li>Complex testing continues to be the preserve of the few.</li> <li>Personalization challenges are preventing uptake.</li> <li>Responsibility for CRO is shared, requiring a structured approach.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69473 2017-10-06T09:02:00+01:00 2017-10-06T09:02:00+01:00 What Paddy Power learned about voice interfaces by creating an Alexa skill David Moth <p>Stephen has a rather enviable job at Paddy Power – he’s tasked with investigating new and emerging tech to evaluate its impact on the business. At the moment this includes things like AR, VR, voice assistants and blockchain.</p> <p>And because it’s all very cutting edge, ROI is less important than experimentation and the ability to make informed recommendations on future tech opportunities.</p> <h3>Horses for courses</h3> <p>Stephen explained that historically the company had always ‘designed for the transaction’, meaning the aim was to make it as easy as possible for people to place a bet by whichever method they chose, be it in a shop or on a screen.</p> <p>However after a failed attempt to create a transactional experience on the Apple Watch, Paddy Power realised that it needed to re-evaluate its approach to new tech and create experiences that were suitable for each different platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9374/Paddy_Power_apple_watch.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="452"></p> <p>Stephen said that when it comes to voice interfaces, brands need to consider use cases that take into account context around time, location, and who might also be around. Gambling is an inherently personal experience, and customers might not want Alexa to announce to their whole family that they just won £1,000.</p> <p>Furthermore, Amazon doesn’t currently allow skills that enable people to win real money.</p> <h3>Different skills</h3> <p>Stephen explained that there are two different types of Alexa skills – custom skills and flash briefing skills.</p> <p>Flash briefing skills are simple to create and just require some content for Alexa to read out to the user. For example, Paddy Power’s flash briefing is a 90-second news clip spoken by an Irishman.</p> <p>Custom skills require brands to jump through a few more sign off hoops with Amazon, but can include more complex functionality.</p> <p>Paddy Power’s custom skill trialled four different functions (including the flash briefing element):</p> <ul> <li>A daily 10-second gambling tip.</li> <li>The aforementioned 90-second news bulletin.</li> <li>Gambling results feed.</li> <li>Football and horse racing podcast.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9372/paddy_power_skill.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="436"></p> <h3>The launch</h3> <p>To create some buzz around the launch and encourage people to start using the skill, Paddy Power ran a PR campaign called ‘Future Fifty’. The company sent Alexa Dot devices and Paddy Power goodies to 50 prominent customers and journalists, prompting them to take part in a month-long trial of the custom skill.</p> <p>The idea was to track usage of the four functions and see which ones proved to be most popular. The Future Fifty participants were invited to join a WhatsApp group in case they had any questions about how to use the skill.</p> <p>User feedback included:</p> <ul> <li>Paddy’s Story was the most used feature.</li> <li>The Football Podcast was rated as the best feature.</li> <li>Alexa struggled to understand the names of different racetracks.</li> </ul> <p>And recommended improvements included:</p> <ul> <li>Add content for different sports.</li> <li>Live commentary for matches.</li> <li>Ability to check odds.</li> </ul> <p>Paddy Power was also able to identify clear differences in usage patterns between the custom skill and the flash briefing. The latter is clearly used as part of people’s morning routines.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9373/skill_times_of_day.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="439"></p> <h3>Key lessons</h3> <p>As is traditional, Stephen finished with some key takeaways:</p> <h4>1. Voice is hard. </h4> <p>People ask for things in different ways, there are literally thousands of variations for the same command. Working out how to understand all these commands and get users from A to B without causing delays or frustration is still a huge challenge.</p> <h4>2. Start with a flash briefing.</h4> <p>Brands can easily get started on Alexa by creating a flash briefing. It’s a great place to begin testing and learning with Alexa, all you need is content.</p> <h4>3. People wanted content over transactions.</h4> <p>The screen is still a vital part of any online transaction. People want to see what they are buying before making a purchase or placing a bet.</p> <p>It will be many years before people are willing to place all their trust in AI and voice interfaces.</p> <h4>4. Command &amp; control.</h4> <p>Most successful voice apps are functional. For example, Ikea wouldn’t have much success with an elaborate app that tried to recreate the whole catalogue, but it could quickly give updates on a customer’s order status.</p> <h4>5. Find your ‘raw chicken on your hands’ functionality. </h4> <p>Stephen explained that to be successful on Alexa, brands need to be useful. He cited an example of setting a timer while chopping raw chicken in the kitchen. “It’s 10x easier to do that by speaking to Alexa rather than washing your hands and setting a timer on your phone. Brands need to find their own ‘raw chicken’ moments where they make a task 10x easier via Alexa.”</p> <h3>What’s next?</h3> <p>Paddy Power is currently taking stock of user feedback and plans to roll out a new and improved Alexa skill in the new year.</p> <p>According to Stephen: “Voice is a huge opportunity and will be massive in the future. At the moment nobody has got close to what voice can be and will be, there’s lots of potential there and it’s absolutely a journey worth taking.”</p> <p>Ultimately he sees AI and voice interfaces being present in all of Paddy Power’s customer touchpoints, both online and offline, but that journey begins with trials on platforms like Alexa.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68786-amazon-alexa-brands-must-be-careful-before-rushing-in"><em>Amazon Alexa: Brands must be careful before rushing in</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68791-should-financial-services-brands-follow-capital-one-on-to-amazon-echo/"><em>Should financial services brands follow Capital One on to Amazon Echo?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68990-why-brands-should-be-bothered-about-voice-bots"><em>Why brands should be bothered about (voice)bots</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69470 2017-10-06T08:00:00+01:00 2017-10-06T08:00:00+01:00 Google ditches first click free, embraces paywalls Patricio Robles <p>One of the biggest problems first click free presented publishers with was the fact that consumers, especially those loath to pay money for subscriptions, often took advantage of the policy to circumvent paywalls. Many learned that after finding a paywalled article of interest through another channel, such as social media, Google Search and Google News could be used to access the article thanks to first click free.</p> <p>Eventually, the abuse of first click free factored into some publishers' decisions to abandon first click free and accept the consequences. For instance, the Wall Street Journal revealed that its Google Search traffic dropped by more than a third when it <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68801-the-wsj-ditches-google-s-first-click-free-falls-back-on-stronger-paywall">stopped adhering to the policy at the beginning of the year</a>.</p> <p>But after months of testing with the New York Times and Financial Times, Google decided to drop first click free in favor of a “flexible sampling” model that will allow premium publishers to select how many free articles are delivered through search results.</p> <p>In a blog post, Google <a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/10/enabling-more-high-quality-content.html">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>We found that while [first click free] is a reasonable sampling model, publishers are in a better position to determine what specific sampling strategy works best for them. Therefore, we are removing FCF as a requirement for Search, and we encourage publishers to experiment with different free sampling schemes, as long as they stay within the updated webmaster guidelines. We call this Flexible Sampling.</p> </blockquote> <p>Flexible sampling comes in two forms: metering, “which provides users with a quota of free articles to consume”, and lead-in, “which offers a portion of an article’s content without it being shown in full.”</p> <p>Google says that “lead-in clearly provides more utility and added value to users” because it “allows users a taste of how valuable the content may be.”</p> <p>But for publishers that prefer metering, Google is recommending monthly instead of daily metering and suggests they start with 10 free articles per month.</p> <h3>A case of be careful what you wish for?</h3> <p>While publishers are celebrating the end of first click free, Google's move is not completely altruistic. Long-term, Google's VP of News, Richard Gingras, <a href="https://www.blog.google/topics/journalism-news/driving-future-digital-subscriptions/">stated</a> that Google will create “a suite of products and services to help news publishers reach new audiences, drive subscriptions and grow revenue.”</p> <p>He added, “We are also looking at how we can simplify the purchase process and make it easy for Google users to get the full value of their subscriptions across Google’s platforms.”</p> <p>In other words, instead of letting publishers do what they want free of first click free, it would appear that Google intends to try to find a way to insert itself into their subscription businesses.</p> <p>This is interesting in light of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69150-google-contributor-what-you-need-to-know">Google Contributor</a>, an offering that allows users to pay to remove ads from the sites they visit.</p> <p>Of course, if Google can help publishers profit, many will likely err on the side of working with the search giant, but given that the publishing industry has previously expressed considerable concern about Google's power, expect some bumps in the road.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69465 2017-10-03T23:59:00+01:00 2017-10-03T23:59:00+01:00 Three problems marketers face with digital transformation (and three solutions) Jeff Rajeck <p>What is much harder to find, though, is information about the real issues marketers face when trying to launch digital transformation and how they have handled them.</p> <p>To find out more on this topic, Econsultancy recently invited dozens of marketers to discuss the topic at Digital Cream Sydney.</p> <p>Through roundtable discussions on Digital Transformation hosted by Damien Cummings, CEO of Peoplewave and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Econsultancy, marketers revealed three issues they often face with digital transformation and how they can be overcome.</p> <p>Before we go into these, though, we'd like to let you know about an upcoming course which we are holding in Singapore on 25th-27th October: Digital Leadership Bootcamp: Build a world class digital organization as you grow your career.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-leadership-bootcamp-build-a-world-class-digital-organization-as-your-grow-your-career-2/dates/3241/">Click here to find out more</a> and reserve your spot!</p> <h3>1) Defining digital transformation</h3> <h4>The problem</h4> <p>One of the first things mentioned by marketers on the day was that the term 'digital transformation' means many things, depending on who you ask.  </p> <p>To some, digital transformation is a product strategy and involves transforming an entire company.  To others, it is a marketing strategy which aims to move advertising and customer engagement from traditional to digital.</p> <p>Because of this lack of agreement on what digital transformation is, marketers felt that it was difficult to even start discussing a digital transformation project with potential stakeholders.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9326/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h4>The solution</h4> <p>Other delegates offered advice from their experience about this concern.</p> <p>First off, marketers should first form a clear definition of digital transformation in their own minds, before trying to get other departments on board.</p> <p>The way to do this, they added, was to self-educate on the topic.  </p> <p>One way marketers can learn about digital transformation is to attend conferences.  Dreamforce, The Festival of Marketing and Econsultancy's many events were all listed as ones which attendees found useful.</p> <p>Also, those who are interested in the cutting edge of digital transformation could visit a startup who is looking to transform your industry or even one of the many incubators which have sprung up over the past few years.</p> <p>Finally, they can read the aforementioned thought leadership documents or take advantage of the many resources Econsultancy provides on the subject such as: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69356-the-essential-first-step-toward-digital-transformation">Advice on how to get started</a></li> <li>Recent case studies (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67183-an-inspiring-digital-transformation-case-study-travelex">Travelex</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69163-a-digital-transformation-case-study-the-met-office">The Met Office</a>)</li> <li>Or one of the many <a href="https://econsultancy.com/search/?only=BestPractice&amp;q=digital%2Btransformation">best practice guides</a> </li> </ul> <h3>2) Devising a digital transformation strategy</h3> <h4>The problem</h4> <p>Once digital transformation is understood, marketers face the tasks of coming up with a strategy.</p> <p><strong>Most event attendees confessed that they did not have a digital transformation strateg</strong>y or, if they did, it wasn't one that was understood or adopted by the whole organisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9327/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h4>The solution</h4> <p>Marketers who had successfully written a digital transformation problem said that the most important thing to do is think clearly about what they are looking to change and trying to achieve.  They need to talk in the language of the company and avoid using terms people do not understand, like 'digital transformation' and 'agile'.</p> <p>Also, the strategy should include a 'big vision' of what success looks like so that the efforts both initially inspire people and keep them motivated for change over time.</p> <p>Finally, another delegate added, marketers can be the linchpin of launching a DT strategy, but they need to get 'C level' sponsorship in order for their approach to be adopted by other departments.  </p> <p>This may include reverse mentoring the CEO or encouraging top management to visit startups or companies who are ahead of local businesses, like those in Silicon Valley.</p> <h3>3) Engaging stakeholders on an ongoing basis</h3> <h4>The problem</h4> <p>While the 'big vision' was good to get digital transformation started, marketers said they found it difficult to keep colleagues engaged over time.</p> <p>Other delegates said that they faced other obstacles with stakeholders such as: </p> <ul> <li>Slow reaction to change management,</li> <li>Lack of agreement on objectives, and</li> <li>Low or no budget for digital transformation initiatives.</li> </ul> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9328/4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="550"></p> <h4>The solution</h4> <p>Nearly everyone who had tried digital transformation had found it difficult to engage stakeholders and other departments. </p> <p>One attendee suggested that marketers should avoid talking too much about digital transformation itself and instead talk about the problems their colleagues and stakeholders face and how they could be solved digitally.</p> <p>Such an approach could involve regular education sessions such as: </p> <ul> <li>Digital days with training sessions and digital tool try-out sessions</li> <li>Holding company-wide events with technology providers and agency</li> <li>Monthly events with speakers who had led digital transformation or a digitally-focused startup </li> </ul> <p>Finally, delegates spoke about getting the structure right in order to keep the organisational momentum going.</p> <p>One suggested that setting up an innovation unit with a 2-3 year lifespan really helped keeping initiatives alive. Others advised avoiding outsourcing digital transformation to agency partners and instead using them for faster execution.</p> <p>And finally, the delegates all agreed that the trend is for companies to in-house digital transformation resources, so the future looks bright for those who can upskill on digital transformation and get a programme started at their organisation.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the moderators and marketers who participated on the day and especially our Digital Transformation table moderator,  Damien Cummings, CEO of Peoplewave and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Econsultancy.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9329/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69457 2017-09-29T09:52:00+01:00 2017-09-29T09:52:00+01:00 Can big banks catch up to Venmo with P2P payments app Zelle? Patricio Robles <p>One such market is payments, and specifically, peer-to-peer payments.</p> <p>In 2009, two university students created Venmo, a person-to-person (P2P) payments solution, because they found settling a small debt to each other was more troublesome than it seemed it should have been. Since then, the Venmo app has taken off and is so popular with millennials that in the US the word “Venmo” is a verb. Splitting a bill and need your friend to settle her portion? “Venmo me.”</p> <p>In 2012, payments company Braintree acquired Venmo for approximately $26m, and a year later, Venmo found a home at PayPal when the digital payments giant purchased Braintree in an $800m deal.</p> <p>Today, Venmo processes tens of billions of dollars worth of payments per year and is still growing like a weed. In fact, in the second quarter of the year, it processed $8bn in payments, a more than 100% increase year-over-year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9238/6203227491_b5a155b95b_o-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="470"></p> <p>As Econsultancy contributor Charles Wade <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68853-financial-institutions-need-to-act-fast-to-avoid-being-outflanked-by-tech-giants">observed</a>, “Companies like Venmo...are outflanking traditional players by combining genuinely useful capabilities, like splitting payments across a group, with zeitgeist features such as transaction history in a social media-style feed, replete with comments.”</p> <p>For obvious reasons, established players can no longer ignore upstarts like Venmo and thus, they've been busy developing their own alternatives.</p> <p>The establishment's “Venmo-killer” is called Zelle and <a href="https://www.zellepay.com/">it's finally here</a>. More than 30 banks, including Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, as well as a number of large credit unions, are on board with Zelle.</p> <h3>So how does it stack up?</h3> <p>Zelle serves largely the same purpose as Venmo but it adds a few twists. These include:</p> <ul> <li>Many of the banks that are participating in the Zelle network have integrated Zelle into their own banking apps. While a standalone app is also available, having its functionality accessible through banks' existing apps could theoretically help drive adoption and usage.</li> <li>Payments sent between Zelle users “typically occur in minutes” as opposed to one business day or more with Venmo.</li> <li>Sending and receiving payments in Zelle is free. The same is true with Venmo except in cases where the source of funds is a credit card.</li> <li>When sending payments through a banking app that has integrated Zelle, users can select the source of funds. For example, it's possible to send a payment with a checking or savings account. Venmo doesn't offer this functionality.</li> <li>Adding a debit card to Zelle's standalone app is easier than with Venmo as a routing number isn't required.</li> <li>Unlike Venmo, Zelle isn't as focused on social features.</li> </ul> <h4>The big question: will any of Zelle's potential advantages over Venmo help it achieve success now that Venmo has already reached verb-level popularity?</h4> <p>It's hard to say. Despite the fact that Zelle has some advantages over Venmo thanks to its banking backers, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68517-what-is-zelle-and-why-haven-t-you-heard-of-it">a lot will depend on how well it's marketed</a>. Even if Zelle takes an aggressive stance and decides to highlight Venmo's flaws, the millennial userbase of Venmo might not care. As Econsultancy research analyst Arliss Coates noted, “even without millennial antipathy to the banking sector, the 18-40 year old market is notoriously tough to win over.”</p> <p>With this in mind, it's interesting that Zelle isn't prioritizing winning over Venmo's core userbase. “When we talk about Zelle, it's about a target market that ranges from 18 to 54,” Jeremiah Glodoveza, VP of communications at Early Warning, the company that operates Zelle, explained. </p> <p>According to Glodoveza, that's why certain features, like social sharing, aren't a part of Zelle. “What we're really optimizing is for an ubiquitous experience,” he stated.</p> <p>Time will tell whether this strategy can work and the outcome will reveal a lot about entrenched financial institutions' ability to catch up to the upstarts that have been disrupting them.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-financial-services-sector-2016"><em>Digital Transformation in the Financial Services Sector</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-financial-services-and-insurance"><em>Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/903 2017-09-28T05:11:59+01:00 2017-09-28T05:11:59+01:00 Digital Marketing in Fashion Sector <p>This webinar will highlight results from Econsultancy report, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-face-of-luxury-maintaining-exclusivity-in-the-world-of-social-influence" target="_blank">The New Face of Luxury: Maintaining exclusivity in the world of social influence</a>.</p> <p>The live session will be hosted by <strong>Jeff Rajeck, Research Analyst, APAC at Econsultancy</strong>.</p> <h4>Webinar done in collaboration with:      <a href="https://www.ntuc.org.sg/uassociate/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9214/u_associate__integration_endorsement__logo-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="290" height="89"></a> </h4> <h4> </h4> <p><strong>FAQ:</strong></p> <p><strong>I'm not an Econsultancy subscriber, can I join?</strong></p> <p>Ans: You sure can. The sessions are complimentary for existing customers and new friends.</p> <p><strong>Will the session be recorded?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Yes! We record all of our webinars, and we'll send out a link to the recording the following week.</p> <p><strong>What if I register but can't make it?</strong></p> <p>Ans: It's all good. We'll send a follow-up with key takeaways and a link to the recording.</p> <p><strong>Can I ask questions?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Absolutely! This session is for you. Bring your questions and participate during Q&amp;A.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4604 2017-09-26T14:50:00+01:00 2017-09-26T14:50:00+01:00 Paid Social Media Advertising <p>Econsultancy's <strong>Paid Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide</strong> provides an overview of the major social media channels and the most pressing considerations for marketers looking to generate the most value from social media advertising.</p> <p>The guide provides a <strong>summary of the main self-serve advertising options</strong> on these channels, and outlines some of the premium options available to marketers when <strong>developing a strategic approach to social media marketing</strong> and communications.</p> <p>It has been written to complement Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide">Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-platforms-overview">Social Media Platforms Overview</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide">Paid Search Best Practice Guide</a>.</p> <h2>Topics covered</h2> <p>The report covers the following topics:</p> <ul> <li>Paid Social Media Advertising Basics</li> <li>Planning and Strategy for Paid Social Media</li> <li>Ad Creative and Copy Strategy</li> <li>Platform Strategy</li> <li>Managing Paid Social Media Advertising</li> <li>Tools</li> <li>Optimisation</li> <li>Managing Data</li> <li>Additional Challenges</li> <li>Measurement and Evaluation</li> </ul> <h2>Contributing authors</h2> <p>This guide was created by Michelle Goodall, a consultant with more than 18 years' experience offering digital transformation and social media strategy advice to B2B and B2C organisations, both client and agency side. The guide also features input and insights from the following practitioners:</p> <ul> <li>Christie Burnum – VP, Group Manager, Paid Media, Ketchum</li> <li>Debra Forman – President, Ketchum Digital</li> <li>Joanna Halton – Director and Founder, Jo &amp; Co.</li> <li>Andrew Hood – Managing Director, Lynchpin Analytics</li> <li>Paul Kasamias – Head of Performance Media, Starcom|Performics</li> <li>Dave Lowe – Paid Media Manager, Regital</li> <li>Oscar Romero – Head of Performance Media, Spark Foundry</li> <li>Becky Steeden – Social Media Manager, RNLI</li> </ul>