tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/digital-transformation Latest Digital Transformation content from Econsultancy 2016-08-23T14:32:40+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68185 2016-08-23T14:32:40+01:00 2016-08-23T14:32:40+01:00 Four different approaches to digital transformation: Which suits your needs? Andy Budd <p dir="ltr">Organisations can’t help but be affected by the new digital economy, whether they like it or not.</p> <p dir="ltr">For individuals and organisations who have accepted the need for change, there are four key approaches for tackling <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">1. Top-down culture change</h3> <p dir="ltr">The most obvious approach - and the one that is most likely to succeed - comes from massive, top-down culture change, sponsored by the leadership team.</p> <p dir="ltr">This requires understanding, determination, expertise, commitment, and a significant amount of investment to break existing patterns of behaviour and impose a new organisational culture.</p> <p dir="ltr">Large parts of the organisation will need to be restructured, new skills will need to be brought in, and some people’s jobs will inevitably be made redundant.</p> <p dir="ltr">This change will be uncomfortable for some. But the result is hopefully a leaner, more efficient and more digitally savvy organisation.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8340/gds.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p dir="ltr">If you are going to follow the top-down approach, it’s vital that the leadership is fully committed, and has the support of both their shareholders and their board.</p> <p dir="ltr">True digital transformation can take many years to achieve, and may initially be at odds with the desire for quarterly results.</p> <p dir="ltr">Government Digital Services in the UK adopted this approach after the success of their Alpha Gov exemplar project.</p> <p dir="ltr">Subsequent members of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63430-the-digital-beauty-of-gds-government-digital-service/">the early GDS team</a> have taken this approach to other institutions like The Co-op, Citizens Advice Bureau, and Saga.</p> <p dir="ltr">Other, more commercial companies like IBM and Tesco have followed a similar route.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">2. Testing the waters</h3> <p dir="ltr">When senior leadership haven’t fully bought into the digital transformation agenda, somebody lower down the chain may suggest a trial project to demonstrate the benefits of this new approach.</p> <p dir="ltr">This would typically be an influential product owner or discipline head like the head of digital or head of marketing.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ideally the trial project would have senior support, allowing barriers to be effectively cleared away. Occasionally these activities will happen under the radar, in which case they are run as skunk-works projects. </p> <p dir="ltr">If the chosen project becomes a success, it will be used as an template for this new way of working. To get noticed, it helps if the project has a relatively big impact, while not being business critical.</p> <p dir="ltr">To that end, most exemplar projects require a large internal comms effort to demonstrate that this new way of working is having the desired results.  </p> <p dir="ltr">Project blogs, posters, and presentations all become useful communication tools in the transformational agenda.</p> <p dir="ltr"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q_lWLm5qtg?list=PL1-kPkZBw50H8ta2BnbQDq-3rl6IRywvH&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">It's common for those who led the successful project to receive some kind of promotion, and be allowed to oversee further transformation efforts.</p> <p dir="ltr">The members of the successful team will typically go on to lead other teams, sharing the knowledge they gained throughout the process. As such, the career benefits for pushing such an agenda can be sizeable.</p> <p dir="ltr">If the project fails, it’s easy to blame the failure on this new way of working, and assume the organisation isn’t ready for such a radical change.</p> <p dir="ltr">While this may be true, it can be very difficult for the project team to fully adopt the new way of working if they have to significantly interact with the wider organisation and the old way of doing things.</p> <p dir="ltr">As such, the project will be much more likely to succeed if it is relatively stand-alone and doesn’t require a lot of inter-departmental co-ordination. This makes picking the perfect project something of a skill.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">3. Departmental change</h3> <p dir="ltr">When changing the entire organisation is too much, many organisations start by changing the digital team.</p> <p dir="ltr">This typically involves hiring significant numbers of in-house designers and technologists to replace incumbent agencies and underperforming staff.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ideally this process will be led by a new board-level hire in the form of a Chief Digital Officer, Chief Design Officer or Chief Experience Officer.</p> <p dir="ltr">While this can be done at VP or Director level, they often lack the organisational power to renegotiate project governance between departments.</p> <p dir="ltr">Governance often becomes a key battleground with this approach as senior product owners are required to cede a certain amount of control over to digital domain experts.</p> <p dir="ltr"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TotoIZdle3c?list=PL1-kPkZBw50H8ta2BnbQDq-3rl6IRywvH&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">It’s typical for product owners to set business outcomes, but product managers and UX leads to decide how those goals are to be achieved.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s worth noting that large organisations are resilient to change, and favour a natural state of equilibrium.</p> <p dir="ltr">Alterations in management - as we’ve recently seen with GDS - can undo many years of good work.</p> <p dir="ltr">Because of this, senior leaders need to ensure departments don’t revert back to the old way of doing things when new managers are put in place.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">4. Bottom-out culture change</h3> <p dir="ltr">The final approach is driven by people with a passion for the digital way of doing things, spreading that knowledge amongst their peers.</p> <p dir="ltr">They do this by sharing new tools, thought processes and approaches through the organisation via meet-ups, brown bag sessions, talks, and training.</p> <p dir="ltr">I call this bottom out rather than bottom up as these talented individuals have typically tried and failed to convince middle management about the need for change.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a classic internet era approach, they’re attempting to root around the blockage.</p> <p dir="ltr">They’re trying to expose as many people in the organisation as possible to this new way of doing things, in the hope that the culture will eventually transform from the bottom out.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sadly this approach is often frustrated by middle management, forcing these precious and talented individuals to leave the company for a culture that is more appreciative of their efforts and input.  </p> <h3 dir="ltr">Digital transformation is hard</h3> <p dir="ltr">All worthwhile changes are hard, and digital transformation is no exception. Most organisations will need to try a few times before fully adopting a “digital mindset”.  </p> <p dir="ltr">However with more and more services being mediated through technology, and an increasing share of revenue being made online, there is little doubt that digital is the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">As such, it is the responsibility of all future-facing organisations - and their leaders - to embrace digital transformation.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>For more on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67248-the-a-z-of-digital-transformation/"><em>The A-Z of digital transformation</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66536-digital-transformation-in-financial-services-challenges-and-opportunities/"><em>Digital Transformation in Financial Services: challenges and opportunities</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68210 2016-08-22T14:57:44+01:00 2016-08-22T14:57:44+01:00 How programmatic advertising is helping drive the digital transformation agenda Seán Donnelly <p>By combining automation and data, programmatic can enable marketers to make use of everything they know about their audience to send them personalised advertisements and customised messaging in real time.</p> <p>For this reason, the implications for marketing professionals, marketing departments and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68066-top-100-digital-agencies-2016-the-state-of-the-industry/">the agency landscape</a> are revolutionary. </p> <p>The reality though is that many marketers have been slow in getting to grips with this new approach.</p> <p>To try and understand why, I caught up with Head of Digital at Disrupt the Market Ltd and Econsultancy trainer Andy Letting. </p> <p>Andy, an established senior digital leader, has worked across a range of digital transformation projects supporting traditional businesses to adapt to the fast paced world of digital marketing.</p> <p>He will be delivering a programmatic workshop prior to Marketing Week and Econsultancy’s <a href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/mc/programmatic/getwiththeprogrammatic">Get with the Programmatic 2016</a>, taking place on September 21.</p> <h4>Programmatic has been around for several years now. Is there are a reason why some organisations have been hesitant about making it a part of their marketing activities? </h4> <p>“If I put a digital hat on, the process is straightforward in terms of data and technology. </p> <p>"For marketers schooled in traditional marketing and non-marketers within a business, it might be easy to get confused by the vocabulary used to describe programmatic and so it can be difficult to get your head around. </p> <p>"My background is all digital and so I am used to thinking about data, reaching the right audiences and rigorous measurement.</p> <p>"I can however understand how programmatic may not have evolved as quickly within mainstream marketing departments due to organisational structures, marketing skillsets and leadership teams which may not have come from a digital background."</p> <h4>Digital transformation is a topic that we spend a lot of time thinking about at Econsultancy. Is it fair to say that programmatic is another lever driving the transformation agenda? </h4> <p>“Digital is disruptive by its own nature; whether that's from a customer’s perspective or within an organisation.</p> <p>"I think programmatic could be seen as disruptive within the media buying space but then again digital as a whole is disruptive. Mobile has been disruptive for many years now.</p> <p>"There are different areas of digital from website design, media buying, tracking customer journeys, operations and ecommerce.</p> <p><em>A hub and spoke model for organisational structure</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8319/hub_and_spoke.png" alt="" width="336" height="323"></p> <p>"Programmatic is just another iteration that to some extent is simplifying a way of buying media that was fairly clunky and not straightforward."</p> <hr> <p>Andy makes a good point. Programmatic is another step along the path to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>.</p> <p>Another theme that regularly surfaces from Econsultancy research, analysis and client discussions is the requirement to become more customer centric.</p> <p>A key barrier in becoming more customer centric cited by many businesses is that of organisational structure. </p> <p>Econsultancy publishes a very popular report called “<a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-marketing-organisational-structures-and-resourcing-best-practice-guide/">Digital Marketing: Organizational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide</a>” which offers guidance to companies on organisational restructuring and digital transformation.</p> <p>The report first came out in 2011 but has been revised since. Among other things it proposes a digital maturity model which has five stages of evolution:</p> <ol> <li>Dispersed</li> <li>Centralised</li> <li>Hub and spoke</li> <li>Multiple hub and spoke</li> <li>Fully integrated</li> </ol> <p>The end vision for ‘digital’ is essentially that it becomes so much part of the organisation that it ceases to exist as a separate function.</p> <p>Many organisations though, are currently somewhere between the centralised and hub and spoke stages. This means that they still have separate marketing and digital teams.</p> <p>I asked Andy how the separation between digital and marketing teams might impact upon the effectiveness of programmatic campaigns.</p> <hr> <h4>You mention the separation of digital and marketing teams. Could there be an issue where programmatic campaigns are run separately to other marketing initiatives?</h4> <h4>Or could there be an issue where digitally minded people are able to structure a programmatic campaign but may not have the same marketing and commercial awareness as their colleagues in the marketing team? </h4> <p>“Yes that's a good point. From my experience programmatic has always been a nice to have. I've generally seen it sit within the digital team.</p> <p>"How closely the digital team works with the marketing team depends upon the organisation.</p> <p>"I think you'll find that because it's perceived as technical, you will find traditional marketers may be wary either because of a lack of exposure or knowledge. </p> <p>"As digital becomes more immersed within the marketing department and the marketing framework, we still start to see the two working in more harmony. </p> <p>"Until digital is fully integrated into the business and the marketing team has been skilled up on digital, that knowledge gap and challenge will remain.</p> <p>"The reality is you need both. You need to know who your customer is and also the technical know-how of how to reach those people.</p> <p>"If you take an FMCG company like P&amp;G or Unilever that owns multiple brands, one approach to integrating programmatic into other marketing activities may involve testing.</p> <p>"One brand could test programmatic by having an internal sponsor who can put the building blocks in place and take other business stakeholders on a journey. </p> <p>"Ultimately though, programmatic is all about focusing on the customer and pulling together skillsets within the organisation to reach that customer in ways that you haven't done before.</p> <p>"That means getting brand buy in and support. You will also need to bring together legal and data teams.”</p> <h4>In <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2016-digital-trends/">Econsultancy’s 2016 Digital Trends report</a>, 7 out of 10 marketers said that optimising the customer journey across multiple touchpoints was going to be very important for their marketing over the next few years.</h4> <h4>Is there an opportunity for programmatic to serve different kinds of advertising depending on where somebody is along that journey? </h4> <p>“So there are a number of things here. Of course, advertising needs to be relevant.</p> <p>"If you are in the infancy of your programmatic journey, you will have your lookalike models, CRM models and your prospecting models and you'll put them into the data pot (DMP) to try and get them all to work together. </p> <p>"I think the reality is that relevance is the utopia but at the same time that is only as good as your data.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8318/touchpoints.png" alt="" width="700" height="583"></p> <p>"From my experience, a lot of brands have really struggled in terms of getting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65425-what-is-the-single-customer-view-and-why-do-you-need-it/">a single customer view</a> and (so) have been very reliant on partnership data, second-party data and even third-party data.</p> <p>"Ultimately where the real value lies is in creating unique data sets that are so refined to that customer and that need that ultimately you are driving greater conversion and greater revenues.</p> <p>"There are many different scenarios that you play out that you then have to adapt and make use of the learnings. For instance, programmatic buying on Facebook is probably one of the most advanced in terms of data available.</p> <p>"The data that Facebook has on people is phenomenal. That's why there's this huge head-to-head between Facebook and Google. </p> <p>"My point is that programmatic can help marketers to see opportunities. For example, you can do A/B testing and seed videos on Facebook for 24 hours.</p> <p>"Then, Facebook can scale up the video that gets the most traction after 24 hours to meet your budget automatically. It's all done in an automated fashion. </p> <p>"Also, what can actually happen is that brands find out that they've inspired audiences that they never knew were interested in their brand and so suddenly they get all of this insight back from testing that can completely reshape their customer profiling and awareness. </p> <p>"For me it's about bringing that insight back into the business to reform campaigns.”</p> <h4>If marketers are going to launch and optimise ad initiatives as opportunities emerge, does this suggest that the process of setting advertising budgets on quarterly cycles may not be appropriate for managing campaigns that need to be managed in real time?</h4> <p>“The Financial Controller will give you a budget but it’s important that you make some of that budget available for some sort of innovation. You take a percentage of your budget and that's your innovation pot.</p> <p>"If you don’t make budget available for testing, you won’t be able to benefit from programmatic and other new tactics."</p> <hr> <p>As organisations continue to respond to digital and the opportunities available through tactics like programmatic, we can expect to see a new marketing model that marries the ability of marketers to think creatively with the precision of utilising multiple data sets to create a single customer view and deliver automated campaigns that can be adapted on the fly.</p> <p>For this reason, marketers may need to embrace programmatic and the opportunities it brings or they risk being left behind.</p> <p>To continue your programmatic education, why not attend <a href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/mc/programmatic/getwiththeprogrammatic">Get with the Programmatic</a>, Econsultancy and Marketing Week’s conference on the topic, taking place on in London on September 21.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:RoundtableEvent/827 2016-08-10T11:52:32+01:00 2016-08-10T11:52:32+01:00 Digital Transformation: Developing a Customer Centric Culture <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Aimed at those leading transformation initiatives</strong>, our <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation</a> roundtable series is designed to give you both insight into the trends and findings from our latest research, and the opportunity to discuss with your peers the issues you’re facing.</p> <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Agenda</strong></h3> <p>To be added shortly </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/2961 2016-08-10T05:00:41+01:00 2016-08-10T05:00:41+01:00 Econsultancy's Certificate in Digital Marketing & Google AdWords Qualified Individual Certification - Singapore <h3><strong>Course benefits</strong></h3> <p>Econsultancy and ClickAcademy Asia are proud to launch the first world-class Certificate in Digital Marketing programme in Singapore catering to senior managers and marketing professionals who want to understand digital marketing effectively in the shortest time possible. Participants who complete the programme requirement will be awarded the <strong>Econsultancy's Certificate in Digital Marketing</strong> and <strong>Google AdWords Qualified Individual</strong> <strong>Certificate</strong>.</p> <p>The double certification programme is uniquely positioned to deliver these benefits:</p> <ul> <li>Course content and curriculum provided by Econsultancy of UK, the world leading digital marketing best practice community and publisher with 250,000+ subscribers</li> <li>Certification in Google AdWords, a highly sought-after professional qualification by Google for digital marketing professionals</li> <li>3 free credits to download 3 Econsultancy reports (worth USD695/report) from Econsultancy's portal containing 500,000+ pages of digital marketing resources, reports and best practice guides</li> <li>Short 8-week course with lesson once or twice a week</li> <li>Practical and real-life training by certified digital marketing practitioners</li> <li>Conducted locally in Singapore with ‘live’ face-to-face training, and not webinars or online learning</li> </ul> <h3>Econsultancy's Reports (Complimentary)</h3> <p>FREE 3 Credits to download Econsultancy's reports from Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/">portal</a> containing 500,000+ pages of digital marketing resources, reports and best practice guides.</p> <h3><strong>Course Details</strong></h3> <p>This double certification course is a 8-week part-time programme for working professionals who intend to upgrade their knowledge in digital marketing. Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will obtain a double certification, and are awarded the Certificate in Digital Marketing (powered by Econsultancy) and the Google AdWords Individual Qualification. </p> <p>This is a part-time programme with 64 contact hours (total 8 days) spread over 8 weeks. Participants will only be certified after passing the Google AdWords exams and the digital marketing project, and complete at least 52 contact hours. </p> <p>The part-time programme covers topics ranging from the overview of digital marketing, customer acquisition channels to social media marketing. </p> <p><strong>Start Date:</strong> 11 Oct 2016</p> <p><strong>Venue:</strong> Lifelong Learning Institute, Singapore, #04-02</p> <p><strong>Course Fee:</strong><strong> SGD 5,880/pax</strong><br>(SGD2,000 discount for Econsultancy’s paying subscribers at SGD 3,880/pax.)</p> <p>To find out more and register, click <a href="http://www.clickacademyasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/doublecert-brochure-sg-my-2H2016.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <h4>For enquiries, please contact us<strong> </strong>at +65 6653 1911 or email<strong> <a href="mailto:%20apac@econsultancy.com" target="_blank">apac@econsultancy.com</a></strong> </h4> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68123 2016-08-04T13:00:36+01:00 2016-08-04T13:00:36+01:00 A day in the life of... Head of Digital at Formula E Ben Davis <p>N.B. If you're looking for a new challenge in digital our <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">jobs board</a> lists hundreds of open positions, and you can benchmark your own digital knowledge using our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index</a>.</p> <h3>Please describe your job, Tom!</h3> <p>I lead the development of all our consumer-facing digital products and innovations; from the more traditional website and app channels to the <a href="http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2014/december/fanboost-a-unique-interactive-experience.aspx">world-first FanBoost activation</a> and our <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/25/11303932/formula-e-races-virtual-reality-oculus-vive-playstation-vr">virtual reality</a> and <a href="http://fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/march/formula-e-launches-breakthrough-race-off-pro-series.aspx">eSports trials</a>. </p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>Currently I sit within the Media team, reporting into our Director of Media.</p> <p>I work closely with our Marketing and Communications team to ensure the platforms and products are fit for purpose and built based on fan feedback.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7604/tom_halls.jpg" alt="tom halls" width="350"></p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p>Project management skills are important, but equally the ability to manage multiple agencies to deliver on a unified vision is key.</p> <p>You have to be able to articulate complex <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67500-what-is-digital-product-management/">digital projects</a> in layman’s terms, whether you're presenting to our board or sponsors, through to the smallest details required at an executional level with our agencies.</p> <p>Effective delegation and the ability to prioritise is essential, but a passion and deep understanding of the existing and upcoming digital landscape goes a long way in ensuring that every experience is best in class, or heading in that direction.</p> <p>We sometimes forget we’re only two years old as an organisation and won’t get everything right first time, so the ability to learn from mistakes and evolve from there is critical.</p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day…</h3> <p>I’m not sure a typical working day exists; there’s an element of routine to my working life, but with a full race calendar throughout the year and our ambition to drive innovation, every day feels different!</p> <p>I tend to start my mornings on my commute around 6:30am, running through my daily to-do list and ignoring emails until 8am. I then tend to have stand-up calls with some of our agencies in Australia before they head to sleep and the rest of our office arrives.</p> <p>From there onwards it’s a blend of project stand-ups, agency meetings and pitches, and at the moment, strategic planning for Season 3. From 4:30pm it tends to be a mixture of stand-up calls with our West Coast US agencies and planning for the next day.</p> <p>I keep a methodical checklist of critical tasks throughout the day and review on my commute home whilst covering emails; I find preparing and planning for the next day allows me to attack it far more effectively than coming into it ‘cold’.</p> <p>Generally I’m home by around 7pm, when it’s a few more emails and sometimes calls with the US – the beauty and challenge of being a global organisation and working in digital is that I rarely turn off, but I always prioritise spending time with my son and making sure I’m there to put him to bed whenever possible!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7610/Screen_Shot_2016-08-01_at_14.05.57.png" alt="formula e website" width="600" height="315"></p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>The rate at which we innovate excites me on a daily basis.</p> <p>We have access to some of the latest and upcoming technology and I love that we’re constantly approached by technology and software startups to trial and work with them on iterating their product offerings.</p> <p>I’ve been fortunate to experience some really revolutionary products (often that I can’t talk about in public!) months before most people see them; and my desk is a treasure trove of technology – I always have colleagues coming up to play with all the gadgets and toys I get to test out. </p> <p>What sucks? We still have gaps between some races that are a bit too long – that gives us a fairly unique challenge of driving constant engagement over a prolonged period where we don’t always have a story to tell.</p> <p>We get around that by careful planning of our content, and we see digital as being a gateway for stimulating further engagement – '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63299-gamification-for-marketers-what-old-school-games-can-teach-us-about-engagement/">gamifying</a>' the everyday digital experience for our fans through interactive competitions, voting and content activations will allow us to create more artificial peaks that keep fans hooked between races. </p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p>Our ambition is to create a seamless experience across all our digital platforms, so we measure all the various touchpoints, whether that’s driving traffic (marketing) or converting first-time viewers to fans (content and product). </p> <p>I’m a big fan of measurable KPIs that provide you with actionable insight, not the vanity metrics you sometimes find in organisations.</p> <p>Social followers, traffic etc are all good to understand, but none of those mean anything if you’re not converting them effectively.</p> <p>Conversion could be getting someone to follow us and engage with our content on social, or registering as a member on our website or logging in to watch qualifying on our app. </p> <p>We monitor all these on a regular basis and measure their performance in relation to the common journeys our fans experience – this is the most effective way of understanding where we are succeeding and failing on that experience and allows us to address challenges quickly.</p> <p>For instance, we might find we’re doing a fantastic job of driving traffic to our channels through a targeted Facebook campaign, but these visitors aren’t converting and buying a ticket because of a non-optimised ticketing journey – we can identify the challenge and work with our ticketing partner to address that, using the original baseline metric to highlight improvements in conversion and fan experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7611/formula_e_app.jpeg" alt="formula e ios app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7612/formula_e_app_2.jpeg" alt="formula e app" width="300"></p> <p><em>The Formula E iOS app</em></p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <p>With multiple complex projects and ongoing product development to manage, being organised is critical.</p> <p>I use Evernote to catalog all product roadmaps and feature requests, as well as meeting notes, Trello to keep tabs on upcoming innovations and potential partners and Slack to communicate with our agencies and internal teams.</p> <p>In terms of project management I’ve recently migrated from Basecamp to Omniplan; super simple interface and ability to create simplistic or complex roadmaps for our board really helps articulate our digital strategy.</p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h3> <p>I’m a huge fan of what the US sports leagues do; I think their approach to social is far more innovative than most other brands, both on a retail and sporting perspective.</p> <p>NASCAR and the MLS are fantastic on Snapchat for instance and well worth a follow, even if you’re not a fan of the sports.</p> <p>Specifically, I’m a massive advocate of what Major League Baseball and their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67610-digital-transformation-in-sports-from-diamond-to-gridiron/">Advanced Media arm</a> are doing. The end to end experience, from buying a ticket to getting to the ground and ordering food, all through one app is fantastic, and creates real advocates of what is quite a traditional sport compared to our own.</p> <p>I think their expertise is evidenced by the fact the Advanced Media arm has now been tasked with completing digital projects for other sports – they’ve essentially developed a technology company out of a traditional sporting league – an amazing and fascinating achievement.</p> <p>From a brand perspective, I really admire what the industry leaders like Amazon and Apple do.</p> <p>Both have great customer experiences and make products and services that just work seamlessly. That’s often taken for granted in the digital experience, but thinking back to 10yrs ago I do wonder how we ever managed without some of their services in this day and age. </p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in digital?</h3> <p>Be passionate about digital; it’s such a persistent part of our lives that you really need to appreciate the value it can bring to consumers and equally the negative effect it can have on your day (remember all those horrendous ticketing experiences when you want gig tickets?).</p> <p>In digital, acceptance of change is key, working in an industry that can pivot around one product phenomenon (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68060-what-brands-can-learn-from-nintendo-s-digital-transformation-and-pokemon-go/">Pokemon Go</a> anyone?) means you need to be super flexible.</p> <p>Wide-eyed curiosity and a desire to create great products that you’d use day in, day out goes a long way.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68102 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 Why there should be more plaudits for digital audits Chris Bishop <p>Those at the top of organisations don’t feel they have the strategic sweep to justify the time and effort required to commission them.</p> <p>Audits are viewed at times as a little “too tactical” or only done once every blue moon by agencies aiming to impress for your business, only to then collect dust on top of Econsultancy buyers guides print outs or even your old New Media Age magazines (<strong>Ed</strong>: We let this lie, but only to show we have a sense of humour).</p> <p>For the in-house Head of Ecommerce, requesting a digital audit might sound dangerously like a turkey voting for Christmas. </p> <h3>Are we selling audits wrongly?</h3> <p>Or is it the slightly cheesy marketing of website or marketing auditors themselves that is putting people off?</p> <p>All that tired ‘digital health check’ stuff might be the kind of foot in the door tactic that make brands feel suspicious of then giving access to their precious AdWords account, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67171-what-is-affiliate-marketing-why-do-you-need-it/">affiliate network</a> or analytics suite.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7503/healthcheck.jpeg" alt="health check" width="275" height="183"></p> <h3>How important are digital audits anyway?</h3> <p>In reality, though, digital audits are absolutely vital. And third party objective auditing ensures that you’re not marking your own home work or ignoring long term problems.</p> <p>Proper auditing, UX testing and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67473-seven-conversion-rate-optimization-trends-to-take-advantage-of-in-2016/">CRO analysis</a> means you can elongate the lifetime and effectiveness of your website and digital media activity, in a way that can be done on any budget.</p> <p>Your digital real estate is often an expensive investment - you’ve got to maintain it properly to get results.</p> <h3>Regular servicing is vital</h3> <p>Think of that shiny new website you’ve just spent months developing as a new car you’ve just acquired.</p> <p>To start off with, it’s the envy of everyone who sees it. After-sales support is pretty good and you can see years of trouble free motoring ahead of you. Before you know it, though, your warranty is up and you’re on your own.</p> <p>As the car ages, small problems become big problems. It performs less effectively. You’re paying for petrol, but it’s becoming less and less economical to run. There are so many things going wrong with it you don’t know where to start. Eventually the car's value is so diminished you might as well scrap it and buy a new one.</p> <p>It’s the same with websites and digital marketing campaigns. They can’t be left to look after themselves – and even the mechanic themselves might need some fine tuning or training themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7504/service-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="car service" width="380"></p> <h3>What a digital audit can do for you </h3> <p>Audits can show you how to balance your budget more effectively through action and prioritisation. They can identify common issues like plateaus in activity and drop offs in acquisition; all the elements that reduce profitability. </p> <h3>The Lessons of the Audit</h3> <p>Constantly learn, constantly improve, constantly trade! A timely and constructive audit will help you:</p> <ul> <li>Keep up to date with the latest channel trends - Google changes, new publishers in affiliate, new platform or techniques for social. </li> <li>Use competitor analysis to keep your enemies close! It’s crucial to analyse and understand market share/spend and its consequences for your brand. </li> <li>Help you (re)define your goals.</li> <li>Confirm your objectives or KPIs so you can measure success.</li> <li>Understand new opportunities.</li> <li>Benchmark improvements or conversely measure areas of decline.</li> <li>Ensure corporate compliance – its best practice to have someone external “rubber stamp” your activity.</li> <li>Encourage serendipity – the uncovering of that nugget of information that transforms your understanding and makes the commercial difference.</li> </ul> <h3>Should you take the plunge?</h3> <p>Regular and skilled digital auditing is a detailed and never ending task.  It can transform the effectiveness of your digital advertising, website and budget.  </p> <p>Is it sexy? It’s showing your website a lot of love and attention. It’s optimizing and maximizing your marketing profitability and performance. Sounds pretty sexy to me.</p> <p><em>More on auditing:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68031-answering-the-key-question-of-content-auditing-where-do-i-start/">Answering the key question of content auditing - where do I start?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68066 2016-07-19T11:18:49+01:00 2016-07-19T11:18:49+01:00 Top 100 Digital Agencies 2016: The state of the industry Amy Rodgers <h3>The top 10</h3> <p>The digital agencies included in our Top 100 have had an impressive year. Total fee income surpassed the £2bn mark.</p> <p>Up by 20%, this growth is being accounted for at the top of the table rather than the bottom, which continues to see flux with new entrants and exits as acquisitions and mergers take place. </p> <p>The weighting of fee incomes at the top of the table is more pronounced than in 2015, with the top five agencies commanding 34% of the entire fee income of the 100.</p> <p>Half of the total can be explained by just nine agencies.</p> <p>This year, SapientNitro has slipped from the number one spot for the first time since 2007.</p> <p>However, it must be noted that it was not able to disclose 2015 financials after the acquisition by Publicis Group last year.</p> <p>As a result Sapient's fee income has remained static while that of other agencies around them has increased.</p> <p><em>The top 10 digital agencies</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7050/top_10_agencies.png" alt="" width="800" height="379"></p> <p>An increase of around the same proportion as last year would put it almost exactly equal to IBM iX, so it will be interesting to see the standings next year if SapientNitro is able to disclose its financials.</p> <p>In addition, a number of the top 20 firms from the 2015 ranking were unable to disclose financials or unwilling to participate this year.</p> <p>This sees the loss of iProspect and Salmon from the Top 10; both part of large agency networks which tend to come with complex financial organisation.</p> <p>Though we still believe fee income to be the most accurate way of ranking digital agencies, the difficulties in calculating and disclosing the value does result in inevitable omissions through the table.  </p> <h3>The rise of the consultancy</h3> <p>Though the big agency groups are still very much present at the top of the ranking, a notable shift in recent years has been the rise of consultancy firms moving into the digital agency field.</p> <p>This shift has developed as the term <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">‘digital transformation’</a> has come to the fore and the need for technological and strategic changes led by digital have been realised. </p> <p>This year’s top five shows that the emerging dominance of consultancies continues. IBM iX have been joined by Accenture Interactive (a new entrant for this year) and Deloitte Digital.</p> <p>All historically consulting firms in IT and management, these giants have bridged the gap between technology consulting and traditional digital agency work with digital transformation services, and are fast expanding their provision to include a full spectrum of digital marketing capabilities. </p> <p>Agencies with this background are well-placed to be able to guide businesses through ‘transformative’ changes; changes that have become necessary due to the vast amount of technology associated with marketing and the need to be agile enough to embrace and onboard appropriate technology quickly.</p> <p>Growing technology stacks and increasingly cloud-based services are core parts of the very modern form of marketing that marketers are grappling with today, and which often require guidance to move towards.</p> <p>In fact, only one of the top five agencies has a ‘traditional’ agency background, which explains why many in the industry are worried about competition from this new breed of agency and the prospect of adapting to a changed role. </p> <p>When asked about challenges for the year ahead, one agency said:</p> <blockquote> <p>Our challenge is two-fold. With management consultancies continuing their expansion into the digital services arena, it’s the clients with the large digital transformation briefs and corresponding deep pockets, which are being seduced by the big consultancy brands.</p> </blockquote> <p>The rise of the consultancy model of digital agency has developed within an environment of wider agency change.</p> <p>In 2016, agencies are describing themselves as having a new role and a new relationship with their clients. </p> <blockquote> <p>We’ve seen more and more businesses hiring skills that were previously unique to agencies (such as digital or creative) in-house, meaning that clients are savvier and less inclined to outsource projects they think they can do themselves.</p> <p>This has led to clients wishing to work with agencies on a project-by-project basis rather than the more traditional retained approach and so agencies have had to up the ante broadening their services and innovating their offerings.</p> </blockquote> <p>A number of factors are playing a part in this changing role:</p> <p><strong>1. Digital skills are improving in-house</strong></p> <p>Brands have realised the need for training and skills within their internal staff, and with this improved understanding of digital has come increased expectations of their agencies to deliver excellence.</p> <p>Clients are now participating in many stages of the agency’s work, increasing the pressure on agencies as they become more scrutinized by their clients.</p> <p>Digital transformation strategies, now present in the majority of companies in some form or other, are connecting the dots internally between departments, technologies and strategies.</p> <p><em>The top 10 full service agencies</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7049/Top_10_full_service_agencies.png" alt="" width="800" height="378"></p> <p>This creates efficiencies but agencies have also recognised a greater sophistication and complexity in the briefs they are given.</p> <p>As brands become increasingly aware of everything they can do with their data, across channels and devices, the role of agencies becomes to consult on which they should, and equally shouldn’t, be using.</p> <p>One agency referred to their perceived need to offer a ‘whole system’ way of thinking that delivers a coherent, channel neutral experience for the consumer, and the client.</p> <p>This step change is not only affecting the way agencies work with clients, but also causing them to look internally.</p> <p>One agency explained: “We need to find the right balance of structure and process versus the need for fluidity and dynamism to service our ever-evolving client needs.</p> <p>"The agency landscape is facing a rethink and having told our clients that technology is changing their communications relationships, we must continue to turn the spotlight on ourselves by trialling different models to support an increasingly diverse range of outputs that stem from a cohesive narrative.”</p> <p><strong>2. Growth is doing battle with agility</strong></p> <p>The age of digital – the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-the-internet-of-things/">internet of things</a>, the cloud, big data, interconnectivity – means an age of agility for both agencies and their clients.</p> <p>Agility was spoken of as both a challenge and an opportunity by Top 100 agencies.</p> <p>An opportunity, in that agile strategies enable ideas to be realised and tested rapidly on a small scale, producing a minimum viable product that can be brought to market quickly.</p> <p>This encourages creativity and productivity within teams and maintains an innovative culture.</p> <p>However, agility rarely comes hand in hand with growth, and therein lies the challenge. Agencies that are very large can struggle with remaining agile as teams grow and communication begins to require more effort.</p> <p>The smaller, independent agencies in the ranking would claim that it is their independence (and therefore relatively small size) that allows them to maintain their agility.</p> <p>The agency holding companies continue to acquire independent specialists, adding to their expertise and maintaining their dominance, but this does justifiably provoke questions around how agile they are able to be. </p> <p>However, their success in terms of fee income would suggest that red tape is not affecting them financially so far, despite the claims of the independents.</p> <p>The Top 100 agencies predict an average of 24% increase in fee income over the coming year.</p> <p>Growth, despite its threat to agility, is seen as a key opportunity for agencies over the coming year. International expansion in response to escalating demand was highlighted by a number of the Top 100.</p> <p>Greater global connectivity and at the same time greater localisation and personalisation of content has created a need for campaigns with international scope, but regional relevance.</p> <p><strong>3. Agencies continue to struggle with recruitment</strong></p> <p>This growth opportunity is being hampered by the perennial challenge of recruitment.</p> <p>Overwhelmingly the biggest challenge facing agencies is in hiring the best talent to enable them to keep doing innovative and engaging work.</p> <p>Digital is a relatively young industry and always developing, meaning that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67263-skills-shortage-the-biggest-barrier-to-digital-progress-overtaking-legacy-systems/">specialist skills are scarce</a> and competition strong.</p> <p>Increased client expectations mean that the pressure on agencies to find ‘the best’ is ever-present.</p> <p>When there exists a shortage of skills, finding those top individuals and enticing them to choose you, is a consistent challenge.</p> <p>Many of the challenges raised by Top 100 agencies circle back to recruitment.</p> <p>The emergence of consulting firms is increasing competition, as is the movement of skills from agency to client-side as companies strengthen their in-house capabilities.</p> <p>One agency explained:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s never been a more competitive landscape into which we now have to recruit and retain people.</p> <p>Their choices of employer range so broadly that we find ourselves competing against huge technology companies, exciting-sounding start-ups and traditional agencies of all types, as well as other digital agencies and more direct competitors.</p> </blockquote> <p>The digital agency industry is evidently one which is changing, and though change is not always welcome or easy to adapt to, there is no denying that it is an exciting time for digital marketers.</p> <p>Technologies such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">virtual reality</a>, geo-location and the Internet of Things (IoT) are opening up exciting new opportunities for marketing campaigns.</p> <p>Even so, the IoT has probably not yet moved to the heart of most agencies and their work.</p> <p>On the contrary, many are now doing good work with mobile as standard; campaigns which, importantly, have produced real results.</p> <p>Though <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-wearable-technology/">wearables</a>, virtual reality and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">artificial intelligence</a> may not yet be close to their full potential, it is down to agencies, with the necessary knowledge, skills and passion, to drive brands towards them.</p> <p>Technology advances mean the speed of advance is exponential.</p> <p>R/GA, the peer-selected ‘most respected agency’ for 2016 is using this speed to great effect in its Accelerator programme:</p> <blockquote> <p>The speed at which start-ups can be created and grown has unlocked a new source of innovation for brands – the accelerator.</p> <p>This offers the ability to rapidly address ‘third horizon’ innovation. R/GA’s accelerator programme is delivering transformative ROI in months where other approaches can take years.</p> </blockquote> <p>Possibly this is where the larger agencies who want to grow can compete in an environment where agility is key.</p> <p>Certainly ensuring innovation will be vital to remaining competitive in an industry where technological advances are having such an impact. </p> <p>With the role of agencies changing and in-house skills increasing, the opportunity for agencies over the coming year will be to make the most of these increased skill levels, utilising the ambition they generate within companies to find new ways to engage with the consumers of today.</p> <p><strong><em>This article was originally published in Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/top-100-digital-agencies/">Top 100 Digital Agencies 2016 Report</a>.</em></strong> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68025 2016-07-18T09:50:00+01:00 2016-07-18T09:50:00+01:00 How hotels can create a more convenient customer experience Anton Schubert <p>In my previous digital hospitality blogs I talked about the need for both <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67493-how-digital-can-revolutionise-the-customer-experience-in-travel-leisure/">recognition</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb/">personalisation</a> within the hospitality industry - mega trends globally in most consumer facing industries as well as in our society as a whole. </p> <p>Let’s face it; most of the digital tools we use these days require registration and personal profiling, forcing us to allow others to track every detail of who we are and how we live. Companies use this data to build a relevant and meaningful dialogue with us to create brand loyalty, and when done well, this is truly helpful.</p> <p>There is an ongoing need for convenience, too, and during the past half-century we have seen incredible advances in our never-ending desire to make things easier and faster.</p> <p>However, many of us do still feel inconvenienced is when we stay in hotels. The hospitality industry still manages to get some of the most basic things wrong.</p> <ul> <li>You’re trying to check out after a business trip only to find the queue is some 40 people long.</li> <li>You need to access your booking email to check in with your kids in tow but the Wi-Fi code is tediously long and complicated.</li> <li>Which light switch is for which lamp? Where is the mains plug?</li> </ul> <p>Regardless of whether your stay is for business, pleasure or necessity, there isn't an excuse for these issues of inconvenience. </p> <h3>So what can hotels do to solve these convenience problems?</h3> <p>Well as a designer you've got to put yourself into these contextual situations and consciously force yourself to create desirable solutions.</p> <p>It's an exercise in mapping all possible scenarios and designing in fixes or fall back strategies if things go wrong.</p> <p><strong>Check-in</strong></p> <p>Hilton Worldwide hotels are one of the many hotel chains now <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67930-12-outstanding-mobile-customer-experiences/">leveraging mobile</a> to bring super convenience to their guests.</p> <p>For the frequent business traveler especially, being able to skip the check-in and out queues without ever talking to another person is a very welcome development.</p> <p>Of course this kind of service also alleviates a considerable amount of work from front desk staff allowing them to focus on more valuable face-to-face interactions.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6672/third_image-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="248"></p> <p><strong>WiFi</strong></p> <p>Scandic hotels in the Nordics listened and responded to the frustration of their guests, who had to type in long codes from paper vouchers given at front desk.</p> <p>The Scandic 'Easy Wi-Fi' allows returning guests the benefit of clicking one button to reconnect whenever they visit a Scandic hotel. Guests only provide an email or phone number once, the first time they sign up to the service.</p> <p>Again this very simple kind of digital initiative not only meets a convenience need from the guest, but also saves back of house operations from managing millions of printed paper codes. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6673/wifi_scan-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="294"> </p> <p><strong>Plug sockets</strong></p> <p>In regards to the physical problem of charging and mains plugs, many of the more user-centric hotel chains now have super handy devices on the bedside tables that double up as clock, mains unit and USB charger.</p> <p>If all hotels just did this one thing, it would make me stay with them again and again.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6670/bedside_clock-blog-flyer.png" alt="bedside clock" width="400"> 
</p> <p><strong>Taxis</strong></p> <p>We've all done it right. Not only do you often have to wait in the tedious check-out queue, you also need to ask the front desk staff to do something other than check-out, slowing everything down and making all the other angry waiting people behind you even more frustrated.</p> <p>A much better solution in this case is to take the digital self-service approach and build a cab ordering service right next to the exit so you press one button on your way out with no hassle. Failing that just use an Uber.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6671/Taxi_stop.png" alt="taxi stop" width="300"></p> <h3>We need a guest-centric mindset</h3> <p>It has to be said though that delivering this kind of convenience is usually not at all convenient for the hotel brand to implement.</p> <p>Behind the scenes, hotels often need to make radical changes to their IT infrastructure and the physical hotel environment. They are also dealing with legal and contractual issues that have been in place for many years and cannot easily be changed.</p> <p>Hotel tech systems are usually bought and maintained from third party providers that supply the whole industry and these commercially- driven tech companies have never really had the end user needs in mind.</p> <p>In order to create real convenience for the guest, all staff must ultimately adopt a different, more guest-centric mindset. Staff usually have to go through a time consuming and expensive training programme to learn to adopt new ways of working.</p> <p>So as easy as it looks from the outside, this level of digital seamlessness requires hotels to transform the way their organisation is set up and forces them to prioritise different developmental decisions.</p> <p>It means balancing the investments differently and putting more money aside for digital service.</p> <p>The hotel business is as old as the hills and built around physical assets so it's true to say that building a desirable digital service layer has come to the hotel businesses rather late in the game. Many are feeling the pain of being left behind from the digital disruption happening all around them. </p> <p>In the end, to deliver convenience or not is no longer a choice, or else hotels risk losing guests.</p> <p>There's only one way for the hospitality industry to go and that's toward a more user centric, convenient delivery. It's already underway and staying at a hotel is about to get better.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68060 2016-07-12T14:01:00+01:00 2016-07-12T14:01:00+01:00 What brands can learn from Nintendo’s digital transformation and Pokemon GO Bola Awoniyi <p>If you haven’t already seen, Pokemon GO is the new joint venture between The Pokemon Company, Nintendo and Niantic, Inc. that has reprised the original Pokemon game into a smartphone-only, augmented reality experience.</p> <p>The app already has more active users than Twitter, despite it only being officially released in Australia, New Zealand and USA. </p> <p>Instead of the brand languishing at the bottom of a nostalgic refuse collection, this merger of legacy brand and storytelling with new platforms and technology has created AR’s first killer app.</p> <p>And there are a number of lessons that can be learned regarding how brands should be thinking about their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a>.</p> <h3>Stop being romantic about the past</h3> <p>Pokemon GO is a perfect mix of something users care about, with something that is relevant today. </p> <p>The asset that is the Pokemon franchise is extremely valuable and it’s as evident today as it was two decades ago.</p> <p>However, this product could only be executed because Nintendo got out of its own way.</p> <p>The company has famously resisted smartphone games as mobile inherently devalues the intellectual property that it owns. </p> <p>However, now it is finally listening to the market as it relates to the business of casual gaming and the results are clear.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Nintendo's mobile strategy:<br>2008: what's an iPhone <br>2010: what's an Android <br>2012: nope<br>2014: still no<br>2016: change how society functions</p> — Aaron Levie (@levie) <a href="https://twitter.com/levie/status/752358516950642688">July 11, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Much has been made of Nintendo’s 58% increase in stock price ($11bn+) since last Tuesday’s launch.</p> <p>However, the increase isn’t just because this game promises to make that much in revenue; rather Nintendo is realising that in a mobile-driven world, it needs to focus on being an IP licensor rather than just a game maker, as <a href="https://stratechery.com/2016/the-pokemon-go-phenomena-nintendos-pivot-additional-notes-on-pokemon-go/">analyst Ben Thompson explains</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The potential that Nintendo has truly woken up to is the latent value in its intellectual property and it is poised to take advantage of mobile’s scale in a far more effective way than anyone thought possible.</p> </blockquote> <h3>New technology needs brand, storytelling and good use cases</h3> <p>This is not the first ever AR experience. It isn’t even the first AR game by Niantic, the creator of the technology that used to be incubated in Google and is now part owned by Nintendo and The Pokemon Group.</p> <p>However, it is the first to get this degree of success.</p> <p>While the emphasis in many digital transformation efforts has been around the technology that needs to be created and integrated, the value of brand should not be underestimated in not only creating relevant experiences, but even making new technology commonplace.</p> <p>Google Glass has struggled to become anything more than a fringe accessory for users in very specific circumstances, yet users of Pokemon GO are happily engaging in augmented reality, as are users of Snapchat via its filters and lenses.</p> <p>The difference with Pokemon and Snapchat is that AR is simply a byproduct of engaging with a brand and narrative that users are already invested in, rather than the focal point of the product.</p> <p>This might be the way forward for legacy companies - resurrecting much-loved characters and brands to create meaningful experiences that are enhanced by new technology.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2sj2iQyBTQs?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Double down on the strength of your brand and collaborate for the tech  </h3> <p>As mentioned previously, Pokemon GO is a three-way venture between Nintendo, The Pokemon Company and Niantic. </p> <p>The technology that powers the game was created in 2010 by Niantic, which went on to release AR-based games in 2012 (The Field Trip) and 2013 (Ingress).</p> <p>Rather than Nintendo attempting to create the same capabilities from scratch, inside a culture that has been historically anti-mobile, it made far more sense to invest in the technology startup and work together to build the game.</p> <p>In fact, one reason for the relatively rapid turnaround (the app took around 10 months to develop) is because it was built off the back of the Ingress game's infrastructure, but with Pokemon IP.</p> <p>While most businesses don’t have the spare cash to invest in AR startups, it is entirely possible to outsource and/or partner with a technology specialist to handle what they know best.</p> <p>This way, brands are free to focus on how their IP can be reimagined in a new world.</p> <h3>What's next?</h3> <p>Now all of this doesn’t mean Nintendo is saved: Pokemon GO could still be just a fad, albeit one of viral proportions. </p> <p>Making money out of mobile games is notoriously hard, but the fact that it is both the most downloaded and top grossing app on iTunes bodes well.</p> <p>Moreover, if history is a reliable teacher, only 1%–2% of users will actually go on to make in-app purchases; are there other ways to monetise Pokemon GO?  </p> <p>Also, is this success something that can be duplicated for Nintendo’s other brands and franchises?</p> <p>Only time will tell. However, what is clear is that in this fringe case of nostalgia meeting augmented reality, a path for digital transformation has appeared in the quest to catch ‘em all.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68047 2016-07-08T11:34:00+01:00 2016-07-08T11:34:00+01:00 The Sales & Marketing departments: Why & how they should merge Ben Davis <h3>Why merge Sales and Marketing?</h3> <p><strong>1 Effectiveness of marketing and sales is under scrutiny</strong></p> <p>The combined cost of sales and marketing <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Profit-Maximization-Paradox-Marketing-%20Alignment/dp/1419691791">is estimated</a> to be between 15-35% of an organisation's total costs.</p> <p>With any activity costing so much, its effectiveness must be under scrutiny.</p> <p>This is especially true in the UK at the moment, where, as Mark Patron points out, every CFO will be looking to trim the fat from their organisations in the wake of a referendum-induced economic downturn.</p> <p><strong>2. The consumer expects one joined up sales journey</strong></p> <p>The customer has never seen their own path to purchase as a funnel, nor do they want to be clunkily handed from one department to another.</p> <p>Improving the customer path to purchase is common to every model of digital transformation, whether it be customer focused, technology focused or organisation focused.</p> <p>The fact that so much of the research phase for customers now occurs online means the remit of marketing draws ever closer to the moment a customer decides to buy.</p> <p><strong>3. Qualifying leads is not as simple as BANT any more</strong></p> <p>Just as marketing is more involved in the sale, salespeople are having to reach up the funnel to understand their prospects.</p> <p>Hubspot defines this by breaking down the N of the BANT lead-scoring acronym (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline). 'Need' is further broken down into 'goals, plans, challenges and timeline'.</p> <p>Essentially, the customer need becomes a lot more nuanced, with salespeople tailoring the product/service/pitch to fit.</p> <p>This nuance is gauged from a wide range of interactions, often online, between the customer and the organisation's people and resources.</p> <p>McKinsey neatly sums this up with the chart below, showing how the organisation interacts with the customer in different stages of their journey.</p> <p><em>Impact of different touchpoints over the customer’s path to purchase journey (Adapted from McKinsey 2009)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6845/Screen_Shot_2016-07-07_at_15.07.37.png" alt="marketing/sales touchpoints" width="615" height="487"></p> <p><strong>4. Qualified leads need integrated technology</strong></p> <p>With salespeople qualifying leads in a much more engaged way, they need access to more customer data - most of it collected by marketing in the awareness and consideration phases.</p> <p>Access to data dictates a single view of the customer that marketing and sales teams can share. Typically, this means <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">a single CRM</a>, but impacts on many data-gathering technologies.  </p> <p><strong>5. Marketing at scale (automation) requires further integration</strong></p> <p>As data and processes are aligned, marketers can look to nudge customers along the funnel at scale, by automating some communications.</p> <p>To achieve the benefits of automation, organisations must see the logic of bringing sales and marketing closer together.</p> <h3>How to merge Sales and Marketing?</h3> <p>So how do organisations unite sales and marketing?</p> <p>Mike Baxter, author of the best practice guide on this topic, says it's all about serving the customer with the right message at the right time.</p> <p>This requires data capture, the right content, and an understanding of customer intentions. Mike splits the process into strategy development and strategy deployment.</p> <h3>Strategy development</h3> <p><strong>Process design</strong></p> <p>Diagnosis of current processes of sales and marketing. This involves analysis of possible customer paths to purchase and comparing them to the ideal.</p> <p>Looking at your service proposition, as well as the identification of and communication with prospects, process design entails examination of data and tech.</p> <p>It may be that opportunities for personalisation are earmarked, or a lack of a joined-up CRM is identified.</p> <p>This is extensive work and often involves a full capability audit (for more on this, see Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/68047-the-sales-and-marketing-departments-why-and-how-they-should-merge/edit/%20https:/econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation hub</a>).</p> <p><strong>Competitor analysis</strong></p> <p>Looking for opportunities for differentiation from your competitors.</p> <p><strong>Content management</strong></p> <p>Conducting a content inventory and audit to understand what content is required at each customer touchpoint and how it can be optimised.</p> <p><strong>Measurement planning</strong></p> <p>Understanding where improvements have been made by planning what to measure.</p> <p>The measurement framework below is one adapted and refined by Econsultancy during work with Digital Transformation clients.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6846/Screen_Shot_2016-07-07_at_15.07.09.png" alt="framework for measurement planning" width="615" height="357"></p> <h3>Strategy deployment</h3> <p><strong>Team organisation</strong></p> <p>This is the determination of whether job roles, org structure, targets and remuneration are in line with newly designed sales and marketing processes.</p> <p>Typically there may be expansion of mid-funnel roles, such as in sales development. New targets and leadership may be developed. Low touch sales teams may be identified.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Econsultancy's new report <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-convergence-of-marketing-and-sales/">refines the model for sales and marketing convergence</a>, giving much more detail and several more frameworks (than featured in this post) for managing this process.</p> <p>The drivers of this change are fairly widely recognised and many organisations have already begun to respond to new customer behaviours by changing org structure and process.</p> <p>If you are interested in help with sales and marketing convergence, or want to conduct a capability audit as part of a digital transformation journey, you can find more information on our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/68047-the-sales-and-marketing-departments-why-and-how-they-should-merge/edit/%20https:/econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation pages</a>.</p>