tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/influencer-marketing Latest Influencer marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68815 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 Becoming an influencer: Notes from a fledgling travel blogger Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently caught up with Marion (while she was on a jealousy-inducing trip to Guatemala) to find out how she has generated such a large following, how she works with brands, and her thoughts on travel influencers in general.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3939/Marion_Payet.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="534"></p> <p>Here’s what she said.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Could you start by explaining a bit about your blog and how you got into the industry?</h4> <p><em>Marion Payet:</em> I initially started my blog because of an interest in creating something more authentic than I was seeing elsewhere. </p> <p>I recognised that I could offer more than standard recommendations from huge companies like Lonely Planet. I mean, a brand like that might tell me to go to a specific market – but how will I know if it’ll provide me with anything unique or truly interesting? I’m more inclined to trust someone with a personal point of view rather than a book that’s been written for the masses. </p> <p>So, I aimed to build something based on the notion that if you like my lifestyle and the way that I am travelling, then you would like the recommendations I make too.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Did you start your blog with any knowledge of influencer marketing? </h4> <p><em>MP: </em>In terms of my own background, I started in the hospitality and travel industry in Florida, then I moved to London where I worked in retail – specifically ecommerce and digital marketing. </p> <p>This is how I knew I could offer something different from other travel websites, because I already knew many tricks of the trade. </p> <p>I had worked with influencers myself through affiliate channels, and had general knowledge of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">SEO</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC</a>, coding, etc. – so I knew I could use this to my advantage, especially compared to other bloggers I was seeing at the time.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What are the main strategies you have used to build your audience?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> I obviously have the main website, but as I didn’t originally have much money to invest, I knew that in order to drive traffic to it I needed to use another organic channel like social media. </p> <p>So, I started <a href="https://www.instagram.com/hibiscusandnomada/">with Instagram</a>, spending days and days just being really active on it, engaging with the community and making friends with mutual interests. </p> <p>Over time my presence grew. From last June to now I have managed to reach 29,000 followers, and that’s just organically, from being super active and building my own community.</p> <p>Eventually, this audience has also found its way back to my website, so now we’re at about 1,500 visits per month.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3941/HN_insta.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="420"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> At what point did you start getting interest from brands?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> Quite recently. Before that, it was purely me reaching out to brands through email and social media, saying this is what I do if you are interested. </p> <p>Then, about a month ago, it seemed to flip – I started to get emails every day from brands and websites saying that they had found me. As soon as I reached about 25,000 followers on Instagram, it started to happen, and then I also got quite a bit of press coverage from online and print magazines. Combined, this seemed to really ignite interest.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you only work with a certain type of brand, and how do you decide who to work with?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> Absolutely, since the very beginning I’ve made a point of being picky. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers on Instagram being quite blatant, posting photos of a watch with a mountain in the background.</p> <p>I would never want to get paid to promote a brand that I don’t believe in, so I only work those that I think are a really good fit for me.</p> <p>For example, I am now working with a brand that offers travel insurance, because I have used it myself and I know that my audience will find it useful. If I am holding an expensive watch – why would a backpacker be interested in that? I’m not scared of saying no or explaining that it won’t be a good fit, either.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What would you say is the best way for a brand to approach an influencer?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> A brand can usually get my attention if it is a personalised message, so not just mentioning that they have seen my blog, but pointing out a specific article or photo that they liked. </p> <p>I get countless emails saying that someone wants to work with me, so I really need to feel that there is some kind of personal connection. I can also tell if it is an email they have sent to hundreds of other bloggers – I can read between the lines. </p> <p>Lastly, I have to feel like it’s not just about them, that it’s about both of us, and that all parties will be able benefit from the deal.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you see influencer marketing evolving? Do you think it will reach saturation point?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> I do think it will reach saturation point. You can tell this, not just from the amount of influencers, but the type and quality of content that they are promoting. You can usually tell that it’s not authentic, that they are staying in a hotel simply because they are being paid to – it doesn’t align with their identity or approach to travel in any way. </p> <p>This weekend I was in the south of Mexico, in a hostel that paid for my entire experience, and while the hostel is definitely a place I would stay at (and promote), my article will also include detailed information about the day-trip I went on and every single activity I did. It’s always better to promote a story rather than just a straightforward recommendation. </p> <p>I think authentic influencer marketing will evolve in this way, telling the story and entire experience of a place rather than just one aspect.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Finally, what’s the best place you’ve been or experience you’ve had thanks to your blog?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> The best feedback I’ve had has been from my Iceland trip - I was there for a whole week over New Year. I didn’t even really plan anything, then I slowly realised that it was winter, there would only be four hours of daylight, we’d be freezing. </p> <p>Who goes to Iceland in winter? But we embraced it and ended up taking the most incredible photos. The feedback was amazing, with people commenting that they now want to visit during the winter time rather than summer, and asking questions about how we got there, how we travelled and so on. </p> <p>People don’t even think to go to a place like Iceland before they see photos and then they get obsessed with it. For us, this is so rewarding – it shows that you can truly inspire.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3940/Iceland.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="429"></p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, check out the following research from Econsultancy:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/">The Voice of the Influencer</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68809 2017-02-15T11:44:00+00:00 2017-02-15T11:44:00+00:00 The Outnet is using satirical humour for ‘Pretty Influential’ Fashion Week series Nikki Gilliland <p>The online video series is a satirical look at the world of influencer marketing, depicting what life is like <em>without</em> an Instagram filter.</p> <p>Here is a bit more info on the series and a few reasons why I think it works.</p> <h3>The Foster sisters</h3> <p>Pretty Influential is essentially a mock documentary, portraying a pair of aspiring influencers as they attempt to sneak behind the scenes at fashion week.</p> <p>Before we go on, it’s important to point out that the Foster sisters are <em>not</em> social influencers in real life.</p> <p>Despite stemming from a Hollywood background (and looking rather model-esque), they are in fact comedy writers and actors, best known for the VH1 show, Barely Famous, which pokes fun at the world of reality television.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D_Iod9kOg1o?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>A refreshing approach</h3> <p>So why has the Outnet – a fairly high-end ecommerce fashion site – chosen to satirise the world of influencer marketing instead of harnessing its power?</p> <p>Perhaps the decision stems from last year’s controversial Vogue article, which saw a number of editors harshly criticise bloggers for supposedly “preening for the cameras in borrowed clothes”. </p> <p>The feature was a scathing take-down of the influx of influencers within the fashion industry, but instead of being met with agreement, the criticism was labelled as petty and unnecessary by many other media companies as well as influencers themselves.</p> <p>Regardless of the Outnet’s opinion on the topic, Pretty Influential is a rather clever nod to the fact that – as a result of the controversy – influencer marketing is now ripe for parody. </p> <p>Taking the opportunity to do just that, the Outnet manages to come across as both refreshing and self-aware. Likewise, it also makes fun of both sides of the coin, laughing at influencer clichés as well as the highfalutin nature of fashion designers.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/99N-ZXXJ6qw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Short-form content</h3> <p>As well as the humorous concept, Pretty Influential is also another example of a brand using short-form video content to engage consumers.</p> <p>Following a six-video series, with a new video being released every day, it aims to give the audience a reason to invest, and in turn, to continuously interact with the company.</p> <p>We’ve already seen brands using storytelling in this way, with one of the most high-profile being Nike’s YouTube series, Margo vs Lily. While the series itself was not particularly well-received, it still shows that video content is becoming the medium of choice for many big brands.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">2 sisters. 1 bet. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nikewomen?src=hash">#nikewomen</a> presents Margot vs Lily, an original show series. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/betterforit?src=hash">#betterforit</a> <a href="https://t.co/Ev6gnP6NHf">https://t.co/Ev6gnP6NHf</a><a href="https://t.co/Qn1RU03Yw3">https://t.co/Qn1RU03Yw3</a></p> — NikeWomen (@nikewomen) <a href="https://twitter.com/nikewomen/status/691662259693563904">January 25, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Ecommerce tie-in</h3> <p>As well as entertaining its audience, Pretty Influential is also designed to point consumers in the direction of products on the Outnet website. </p> <p>Beside each video, there is the call-to-action of ‘Like what you see? Shop their look here’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3903/Foster_Sisters.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="576"></p> <p>It’s a simple touch, but means that viewers might be inclined to check out the fashion after they watch the video, as well as offering extra value and the incentive to check back for another daily episode.</p> <p>It’s also good to remember that, although the site sells luxury clothes, it is fundamentally a discount designer e-tailer.</p> <p>Consequently, the series cleverly aligns with the desires of its demographic, with consumers likely to respond to the self-deprecating and humorous take on high fashion.</p> <h3>Could it alienate influencers?</h3> <p>Lastly, while Pretty Influential is likely to be met with appreciation from consumers, there is the question of whether influencers will feel the same way.</p> <p>For the Outnet, this might not be too much of an issue. The company has a reputation for capturing the attention of everyday consumers through fun and quirky content rather than the aspirational.  </p> <p>Its ‘Shoe Hunter’ campaign, which saw Sergio the dachshund provide a dog’s eye view of London Fashion Week, is a prime example.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just a tiny bit in love with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sergioshoehunter?src=hash">#sergioshoehunter</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/THEOUTNET">@THEOUTNET</a> - off to buy cam for my dachshund <a href="http://t.co/JblyyQ69qQ">pic.twitter.com/JblyyQ69qQ</a></p> — Katie Iggulden Exon (@katievi) <a href="https://twitter.com/katievi/status/641251677379670016">September 8, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Also, with the series using gentle ribbing rather than scathing humour, here’s hoping most influencers have to ability to laugh at themselves.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Four key trends within the world of influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/"><em>Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</em></a></li> </ul> <p><em>For even more on this topic, you can also download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">Rise of the Influencers</a> report.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68785 2017-02-08T14:44:21+00:00 2017-02-08T14:44:21+00:00 How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales Nikki Gilliland <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What a trend <a href="https://t.co/Vp78zN8nfL">pic.twitter.com/Vp78zN8nfL</a></p> — meredith faust (@mere_faust) <a href="https://twitter.com/mere_faust/status/822921744512065538">January 21, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The brand has come a long way since the term ‘Adidad’ was coined. Maybe this was something that only occurred in my school, but it was used to denote somebody who typically wore unfashionable sportswear or offensively white trainers. Kids can be so cruel.</p> <p>But what’s made the brand cool again? </p> <p>Interestingly, Adidas Originals now has more followers on Twitter than the main Adidas account, cementing its position as a truly cult lifestyle brand. On the flip side, this also proves that it is definitely doing something right on social.</p> <p>Here are a few ways it has made its mark.</p> <h3>Creating hype</h3> <p>Social media is a natural extension of Adidas’s wider approach to marketing, especially when it comes to creating hype around its high-profile collaborations.</p> <p>Since the brand famously snatched Kanye West from Nike in 2014, it has carefully crafted a series of product launches, cleverly building on the rapper's wider (and fanatical) fan base.</p> <p>Tweeting and posting on Instagram in the run-up to shoe releases, the brand creates massive excitement and interest from followers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The V2’s Primeknit upper features SPLY-350 in mirrored text on both feet, engineered as part of the knit. Coming February 11th. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YEEZYBOOST?src=hash">#YEEZYBOOST</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bb5H09LLwO">pic.twitter.com/Bb5H09LLwO</a></p> — adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasoriginals/status/828630759548317696">February 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, from Pharrell Williams to Stella McCartney, Adidas Originals is also shrewd in terms of how it collaborates with high profile personalities. Unlike other brands, who might merely use celebrities to front campaigns, Adidas put a huge focus on the personal and direct involvement of influencers in the actual designing process.</p> <p>In doing so, it ensures its collaborations feel entirely authentic rather than purely sales-driven.</p> <p>Again, this is reflected in how it posts on social, continuously reinforcing the core topic of originality and creative and artistic expression.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Strikingly similar. Completely unique. Nothing is original except your true self. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SUPERSTAR?src=hash">#SUPERSTAR</a> <a href="https://t.co/5TyKfEbN4H">pic.twitter.com/5TyKfEbN4H</a></p> — adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasoriginals/status/827435119375941632">February 3, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Giving control to consumers</h3> <p>Adidas’s resurgence truly began with the relaunch of its iconic Stan Smith shoe. Not only did this draw on feelings of nostalgia, but by emphasising its heritage, it also helped to reinforce the brand’s influence on streetwear and subcultures such as Brit pop and hip-hop.</p> <p>The social media campaign surrounding its release cleverly made consumers feel part of the story.</p> <p>The ‘Stan Yourself’ initiative involved asking users to tweet a photo of themselves for the chance to win a personalised pair of shoes. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Stan yourself! Send us a selfie using <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stansmith?src=hash">#stansmith</a> - the best will get their own personalised Stan Smith tongue logo! <a href="http://t.co/csFEvnVb6k">pic.twitter.com/csFEvnVb6k</a></p> — adidas UK (@adidasUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasUK/status/422704045229219840">January 13, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p>This customer focus has been integral to the success of Adidas Originals in recent years, with the brand aiming to create conversation about youth and street culture rather than simply promoting its products.</p> <p>One example of this is the brand’s recent series of live events called TLKS. Featuring high profile influencers within fashion and music, each one was <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68075-who-will-win-the-live-streaming-battle-facebook-live-or-periscope/" target="_blank">streamed live on Facebook</a>, while giving fans a unique opportunity to relate to Adidas on an experiential level.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FadidasOriginalsUK%2Fvideos%2F1838108906404925%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Organic content</h3> <p>Lastly, we can see how social media is not simply a one-way marketing tool for Adidas Originals, but also a way for fans and consumers to show their appreciation. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">User-generated content</a> is particularly widespread on Instagram, with fans posting their love for the brand as well as excitement about product launches and exclusive events.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3713/Adidas_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="670" height="656"></p> <p>Likewise, the Adidas Originals Instagram feed (also with more followers than the main account) typically makes use of imagery from musicians, fashion designers and models to reinforce its tagline of ‘We Are Originals’ – including the consumer in the collective ‘we’.</p> <p>Using influence and artistic expression, Adidas Originals has managed to make its brand relevant again.</p> <p>By delivering its message on social media in a natural and authentic way, it has truly connected with a new and highly engaged young audience.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68778 2017-02-07T11:55:00+00:00 2017-02-07T11:55:00+00:00 Four ways travel & hospitality brands are targeting younger consumers Nikki Gilliland <p>Younger generations aren’t just looking for shareable experiences, of course, and with an increasing percentage of ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67327-six-ways-brands-can-relate-to-generation-z/" target="_blank">Generation Z</a>’ influencing travel decisions, millennials aren’t the only demographic worth engaging.</p> <p>As brands tap into a desire for authenticity, digital convenience and customisation, here are a few examples of how many are tailoring travel experiences to the young.</p> <h3>Utilising design and technology</h3> <p>While companies like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> have capitalised on millennial travel sensibilities - promoting a sense of local authenticity and flexibility – hotels are beginning to figure out how to do the same.</p> <p>Aloft, part of the Starwood group, is one example of this. Described as a hotel for ‘global travellers who love open spaces, open thinking and open expression’ – everything is designed to appeal to younger generations. </p> <p>Communal pool tables and live music encourage social interaction, while free Wi-Fi and keyless entry cater to a desire for seamless and sophisticated technology. </p> <p>In turn, this encourages visitors to take photographs of all their surroundings, with the hope that they will then post about it on social media.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Falofthotels%2Fvideos%2F10155043087562728%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Appealing to ‘experience-based’ interests</h3> <p>Hilton is another hotel chain that has been targeting younger people, partnering with Live Nation to run a series of live music events in various hotels in both the UK and US.</p> <p>Hilton@Play wasn’t just a marketing ploy, however, but an initiative to foster loyalty. The idea was that only HHonors members with 30,000 to 80,000 points could attend the concerts, creating an exclusive incentive specifically for regular guests.</p> <p>Featuring popular artists such as Jess Glynne and Nick Jonas, interest from a specific age-bracket was guaranteed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">RT if you streamed the Hilton@Play concert featuring <a href="https://twitter.com/nickjonas">@NickJonas</a> last night thru <a href="https://twitter.com/periscopeco">@Periscopeco</a>! <a href="http://t.co/y51en6tIky">http://t.co/y51en6tIky</a></p> — Hilton (@HiltonNewsroom) <a href="https://twitter.com/HiltonNewsroom/status/591310866081062912">April 23, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, the hotel chain also live-streamed the event on Periscope, ensuring that non-attendees would also be able to participate in the fun.</p> <h3>Working with social influencers</h3> <p>When it comes to picking a destination, both millennials and Generation Z are said to place greater trust in online peers rather than travel advertising.</p> <p>Consequently, brands are able to target potential travellers through collaboration with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">social influencers</a>.</p> <p>Just one example of this is Turkish Airlines’ campaign with 10 high-profile YouTubers. With a collective audience of over 40m – over 6m belonging to Casey Neistat alone – the brand was able to reach a large and highly engaged audience.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_5Q93Z8LAxA?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Similarly, Marriott’s chain of Moxy Hotels (which is a similar concept to the aforementioned Aloft) has also made use of influencers, creating an online series hosted by comedian Taryn Southern and featuring a number of influencers like Mamrie Hart.</p> <h3>Promoting travel as a lifestyle</h3> <p>Lastly, we can also see how travel companies are turning into lifestyle brands, using inspirational content to evoke concepts of exploration and adventure, and capitalising on interest from young travellers.</p> <p>Take Generator Hostels, for example, whose Instagram account is solely made up of location and experience-based imagery.</p> <p>There is not a photo of a bed or breakfast table in sight, meaning the company sells itself on the travelling experience above and beyond the actual product (i.e. a place to sleep).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3681/Generator_Hostels.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="649"></p> <p>In a twist on this trend, camera brand Leica recently began trying to capitalize on people’s taste for experiences by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68737-why-brands-are-increasingly-creating-experiences-adventures-to-woo-consumers/">launching a holiday adventure for photography enthusiasts</a>.</p> <p>The pricey adventure is limited to 15 participants, offering a chance to be guided around exotic locations by professional photographers. It seems everyone is trying to get in on the craze for unique adventures.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68747 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 2017-01-30T11:47:08+00:00 From buzzword to bullsh*t: celebrating 144 years of ‘influencer marketing’ Ian McKee <p>Yeah, you read that right — 1873. Jules Verne, a hugely influential author, was known to be writing another adventure novel <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement#Origins">when he was lobbied by transport companies for mentions</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps if Jules had been a millennial, then ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ would have been an Instagram Story featuring definitely-not-awkward contract-fulfilling selfies taken on the Orient Express. </p> <p>I’m sure the world would have been a richer place. </p> <h3>New tricks for old dogs</h3> <p>You can see my point, through the dripping sarcasm — <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">influencer marketing</a> is not a new thing. </p> <p>In the decade I’ve been in PR, I’ve been involved in activity that today you might term ‘influencer marketing’ from day one. And I’m a relative whippersnapper compared to the transport industry lobbyists of the 1870s. </p> <p>It goes like this — this person holds sway over our audience. Give them free stuff, or some other compensation, to talk about our brand. Bingo, consider that audience influenced. </p> <p>Coining new terms for old tactics is something we love doing in the internet age. Look at fake news (or, propaganda), <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native advertising</a> (what we used to call advertorial) and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> (all marketing involves content, people). </p> <p>Just because the media has changed immeasurably doesn’t mean the ways we use it have. And influencer marketing is another buzzword coined more for tech companies to sell software than it is to describe anything new. </p> <h3>Rule of diminished returns</h3> <p>Which isn’t to say it’s not of value. There’s a reason marketers have been using this tactic for over a century. </p> <p>However, gaining buzzword status has inevitable negative effects. Just as in B2B content marketing when it started getting harder and harder to attract attention to your latest white paper, if everyone’s employing the same tactic then the rule of diminishing returns comes into play. </p> <p>In the case of influencer marketing, if it continues to grow there are only two routes we’ll plausibly go down.</p> <p>The first is a world where literally everyone’s an influencer to some degree. Like in the Black Mirror episode <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5497778/">Nosedive</a>, whether you can live in a certain place, buy your coffee from a certain café or do a certain job will all depend on your influencer score. Social media armageddon, basically.</p> <p>The second (and far more likely) outcome is a backlash. Consumer cynicism reaches the point where your average Instagram user can spot a plug from a mile off, and the returns of influencer marketing are significantly diminished. </p> <p>I think it’s fairly obvious that we’re approaching the second outcome right now. Stories like <a href="http://digiday.com/agencies/confessions-social-media-exec-no-idea-pay-influencers/">confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing</a>, or from the other side, Bloomberg’s <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-11-30/confessions-of-an-instagram-influencer">confessions of an Instagram influencer</a> show the cracks are forming. </p> <h3>Gaming the system</h3> <p>Of course, I’m aware of the long tail argument — don’t pay over the odds for a superstar ‘influencer’, go with the person that has 10,000 genuinely engaged followers, or even 1,000 but they’re all actual friends and acquaintances. </p> <p>There’s Brian Solis's ‘<a href="http://www.briansolis.com/2012/03/the-pillars-of-influence-and-how-to-activate-them-in-business/">Pillars of Influence</a>’ — reach, relevance and resonance. Make sure your strategy is balanced. </p> <p>The problem is that at the moment, consumers are becoming more cynical, destroying the trust that these pillars are founded on. And this is not helped by the fast-growing phenomenon of the self-made influencer — those that are gaming the system. </p> <p>As any social media guru knows, you can game followers, likes and shares, and plenty of self-proclaimed ‘influencers’ are doing just that. All this makes it harder for any software tool to tell true influence.</p> <h3>Human intuition</h3> <p>Cue influx of software vendors protesting that their tool is super intelligent and can weed out the bogus influencers. </p> <p>I’m sure some of them do, to some degree. But just as in the earlier days of influencer marketing when it was just choosing which media outlets to send a product to, human intuition and experience come into play. </p> <p>I would always tell clients that when choosing media targets that circulation (reach) was one metric, audience (relevance) was another, but so was our own intuition and knowledge. And not just in ‘resonance’ — that should come from the story, the message, or the content. </p> <p>I’m talking about understanding who really knows what they’re talking about and commands attention on a topic. </p> <p>For this there’s no substitute for reading, interacting with and working with the media full time. And the same applies whether you’re talking about a steel industry trade mag or a health and fitness Instagrammer. </p> <h3>‘Influencer marketing’ won’t die</h3> <p>As much as I wish the buzzword would disappear, at the very least the practice will continue. But hopefully it will be <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/26/more-must-be-done-to-educate-brands-on-online-ad-rules-says-asa/">under better-observed regulations</a>, and with growing consumer cynicism the market will bottom out to a more measured approach. </p> <p>If you’re planning an influencer outreach programme anytime soon, obviously you won’t just cream off the top 10 Instagrammers using a relevant hashtag. But hopefully, you also won’t just use what your fancy software’s proprietary algorithm tells you are the top 10 either. </p> <p>By all means take those factors into account, but also spend time reading and reviewing content, understand the audience you want to reach and work transparently with people you know they’ll trust. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68751 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 10 superb digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week we're covering news about cart abandonment, adspend, dodgy ads, and lots more. Don't forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for even further info.</p> <h3>76% of marketers see ad blocking as a positive</h3> <p>According to a survey by YouGov and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the majority of marketers believe that ad blocking will be a positive for the industry, encouraging better practice and greater levels of creativity.</p> <p>On the other hand, 38% of respondents believe that it could lead to a decline in online marketing.</p> <p>Other key stats from the research include the key areas of focus for the year ahead, with 42% of marketers citing personalisation, 37% citing data-driven marketing and 31% saying influencer marketing.</p> <h3>Emojis generate 17% more interaction on Instagram</h3> <p>A new study by Quintly has revealed that emojis result in 17% higher interaction when used on Instagram.</p> <p>From analysis of 22,000 profiles and 6.2m posts, those which included emojis were found to have a 2.07 interaction rate compared to 1.77 for those without.</p> <p>Other findings include the most popular emojis of 2016, with the most-used being the camera emoji, followed by the ‘OK’ hand signal and the pink hearts. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3441/Quintly.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="369"></p> <h3>43% of marketers still experimenting with influencer marketing</h3> <p>According to Altimeter’s Traackr report, 71% of marketers rate influencer marketing as a strategic or highly strategic area of marketing.</p> <p>However, 43% of those that agree are still experimenting with the practice, and 28% are only involving influencers at campaign level.</p> <p>The report also found the influencer budgets are still small compared to other areas of focus, but a shift in prioritisation means that 55% of marketers plan to spend more on influencers in 2017.</p> <h3>Trump’s inauguration generates 15m social media engagements</h3> <p>4C has revealed how social media users reacted to Donald Trump’s inauguration.</p> <p>The day’s event saw over 15m engagements across Facebook and Twitter, with the new President generating over 5m of them.</p> <p>Engagement peaked for the inauguration when the Obamas met the Trumps at the White House – a moment that’s now famous for Michelle Obama’s awkward reaction towards <em>that</em> Tiffany box.</p> <p>While the #inauguration hashtag generated 2.6m engagements on the day itself, the #womensmarch hashtag drew 7.3m engagements the day after.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3443/Trump.PNG" alt="" width="653" height="439"></p> <h3>Google removes 80m misleading ads in 2016</h3> <p>Google’s Bad Ads report has revealed that 80m bad ads were removed in 2016 for deceiving, misleading or shocking users with false information or clickbait headlines.</p> <p>Similarly, Google also took down 7m bad ads for intentionally trying to scam consumers or deliberately trying to trick its detection systems.</p> <p>In 2016, 1.7bn ads were removed overall, which is double the amount of ads removed the year previous.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3444/Google_Ads.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="339"></p> <h3>82% of customers over 55 feel undervalued</h3> <p>A new study by ICLP has found that customers over the age of 55 often feel overlooked, with 82% saying that retailers do not understand their needs.</p> <p>Consequently, 95% of over 55s would consider abandoning their favourite retailers in favour of others.</p> <p>ICLP’s survey also discovered what would make this demographic more loyal. The results found stronger reward programmes, communication and reliability to be the top three factors.</p> <h3>Adding touch to mobile ads increases engagement</h3> <p>In a study of 1,137 Android users, IPG Media Lab discovered that capitalising on consumer’s sense of touch during mobile video ads can produce a 50% uplift in brand favourability.</p> <p>While a standard video ad achieved happiness and excitement levels of 37% and 30% in consumers, video ads with touch-enabled elements resulted in rates of 44% and 38% respectively.</p> <p>This also resulted in a halo effect, with a 6% increase in positive brand perception overall.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3447/Touch.JPG" alt="" width="513" height="303"></p> <h3>Global cart abandonment rates up 2.4%</h3> <p>SalesCycle’s <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/post/remarketing-report-q4-2016/" target="_blank">Remarketing Report</a> details the latest global cart abandonment stats. It shows that global cart abandonment rates were 76.8% in Q4 2016, a figure up 2.4% on the previous quarter. </p> <p>In terms of industry, fashion cart abandonment remains the lowest at 67.4%. Meanwhile, utilities is the highest, with an abandonment rate of 84.4%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3446/Abandonment_rates.JPG" alt="" width="710" height="502"></p> <h3>58% of B2B buyers distrust vendor claims</h3> <p><a href="https://vendors.trustradius.com/b2b-buying-disconnect/" target="_blank">Research from TrustRadius</a> has found that tech vendors are failing to keep up with expectations, as nearly 60% of B2B buyers cite vendor-provided materials as the least trustworthy source.</p> <p>Despite many feeling sceptical over claims, buyers still acknowledge that vendors play a significant role in the purchasing process, with 62% saying they help answer questions, facilitate basic demos, and provide technical support.</p> <p>Additionally, the report found product demos and free trials to be the best and most trustworthy resources for buyers.</p> <h3>UK adspend increases following Brexit</h3> <p>According to the latest figures from the Advertising Association, UK adspend increased 4.2% in the quarter following Brexit.</p> <p>This news comes on the back of a Deloitte survey which found that 22% of advertising businesses have lost contracts since last June, and 62% believe the decision has negatively affected their business.</p> <p>On the other hand, the survey also found that 23% see Brexit as an opportunity for growth, and as a result, 8% plan to increase investment in the UK. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68716 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 2017-01-19T11:50:18+00:00 Four common mistakes brands make with influencer marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>As highlighted in Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer" target="_blank">Voice of the Influencer</a> report, there appears to be somewhat of a power struggle between brands and influencers, with the main challenges involving strategy and motivation.</p> <p>So, here’s a bit of insight into the biggest mistakes brands can make, and why it’s important to avoid them.</p> <h3>Choosing influence over authenticity</h3> <p>The natural instinct for brands is to choose an influencer with the largest audience. While this makes sense in theory – as in the bigger the influence, the greater the reach – it can also backfire.</p> <p>This is because real influence comes from a sense of authenticity. In other words, a person who is staying true to their own beliefs or values, and in turn, promoting a product that somehow reflects this.</p> <p>It’s recently been proven that micro influencers (those with 500 to 10,000 followers) generate greater engagement that those with a larger audience. So, just like you might be more inclined to trust the opinion of a friend rather than a celebrity, consumers are more likely to trust someone with a smaller reach but who is a respected authority on a particular topic.</p> <p>For brands, it’s important to get this balance right, choosing the person whose identity best fits the campaign rather than chasing who is the most popular. </p> <p><em>Read why Iceland has chosen to work with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/" target="_blank">micro influencers instead of celebrities</a>.</em></p> <h3>Over-branding</h3> <p>Despite 93% of influencers believing that they should be in charge the narrative of a campaign – brands often struggle to relinquish control.</p> <p>Historically, brands determine everything from the copy to the look and design of a campaign. However, with many influencers used to creating their own content, complex negotiation is required to determine exactly what will be said or how it will be done.</p> <p>The key appears to be compromise – especially when it comes to brand marketing messages. </p> <p>On a platform such as Instagram, for example, overly branded images can come across as unnatural and disruptive to the style of the feed. So, while it’s important for branded messages to be included, it’s also crucial that influencers incorporate them in a natural and subtle way.</p> <p>The below example strikes me as one that gets the balance right. </p> <p>Watch brand Daniel Wellington worked with a number of lifestyle influencers on Instagram. It chose selectively, however, only teaming up with bloggers whose feed already reflects the brand’s pared down aesthetic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3156/Daniel_Wellington.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <p>While a discount code was included to drive sales, the product itself was barely highlighted, being a small part of the overall image.</p> <h3>Campaign overkill</h3> <p>This leads us nicely onto the next common mistake, which is flooding users with multiple messages or posts relating to a campaign.</p> <p>Influencer marketing is built on the notion that the audience already exists – the brand is simply using the influencer as the vehicle to send the audience a message. </p> <p>Consequently, it is easy to alienate audiences (who are coming to a channel for a certain type of post) by bombarding them with brand slogans.</p> <p>This means that subtle campaigns, such as one-off posts, can be more effective. Alternatively, using multiple influencers in a campaign hosted on the brand's own marketing channels, such as Styld.by from Gap, uses storytelling elements rather than blatant advertising.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Step-by-step style with <a href="https://twitter.com/Judith_Hill">@Judith_Hill</a> in a look that easily transitions from day to night. <a href="https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw">https://t.co/ahAHEpC8jw</a> <a href="https://t.co/XXjoVQsZQT">pic.twitter.com/XXjoVQsZQT</a></p> — Gap (@Gap) <a href="https://twitter.com/Gap/status/755507510568779778">July 19, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Focusing on the numbers</h3> <p>Lastly, with 75% of influencers citing frustration over reach and follower figures being of primary importance to brands, it again falls to marketers to change the perception of sponsorship deals.</p> <p>Like choosing influence over authenticity, brands can make the mistake of measuring success in terms of reach or sales following a campaign.</p> <p>Rather, factors like positive sentiment, increased awareness and online interaction can be equally important measures of success (for both brands and influencers alike).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PPChNyCwMEo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em>Dodi Clark, a YouTuber and musician, speaking about her brand-related troubles.</em></p> <p><strong><em>Further reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68230-two-different-paths-to-influencer-marketing-which-is-best-for-you/">Two different paths to influencer marketing: Which is best for you?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67555-the-three-biggest-challenges-in-influencer-marketing/"><em>The three biggest challenges in influencer marketing</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/">Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68705 2017-01-16T14:14:50+00:00 2017-01-16T14:14:50+00:00 Why Oprah’s endorsement could be the key to success for Weight Watchers Nikki Gilliland <p>But is Oprah a unique case due to her super-stardom?</p> <p>Here’s some insight into why she (and big celebrity endorsements) could still be the key to success for Weight Watchers and other brands like it.</p> <h3>Brand challenges</h3> <p>Weight Watchers has had a tumultuous time over the past couple of years, with shares rising and falling sharply. In 2015, Oprah bought a 10% stake in the company, which sent investment rocketing. A year later, CEO James Chambers left, leading to renewed doubt over the brand’s declining membership.</p> <p>One of the brand’s biggest challenges has undoubtedly been competition from emerging areas within the health and fitness industry, such as apps and wearables with tracking technology.</p> <p>It’s been estimated that <a href="http://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/how-many-apple-watches-sold-2016" target="_blank">36.7m FitBit trackers</a> have been sold since 2014 – an impressive figure when you compare it to Weight Watchers’ 1.4m active online subscribers.</p> <p>Of course, for Weight Watchers - a brand that is rooted in the emotion-driven diet industry rather than rationally-focused fitness sector – this kind of comparison is a fruitless exercise. That being said, reversing dwindling membership is undoubtedly a big aim, and this brings us to its renewed marketing efforts with Oprah front-and-centre in a series of new ads.</p> <h3>The personal factor</h3> <p>Part of the ‘Live Fully’ campaign, Weight Watchers rolled out two new ads in time for autumn and winter 2016, both featuring Oprah “revealing her own story”.</p> <p>In both, she is seen announcing the fact that she has lost 40 pounds on the plan, putting it down to a focus on ‘living well’ and not feeling deprived in the process.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UNlaMUnOVUg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>The campaign depicts losing weight in a healthy and positive way by highlighting the amount Weight Watchers members are allowed to eat rather than what is off-limits. And with the brand promoting such a positive and life-affirming attitude, there’s certainly an empowering feel to the ads.</p> <p>Though this style of marketing is well-worn ground for Weight Watchers, Oprah’s influence injects a fresh boost of authority, and in turn gives the campaign greater value. Unlike a celebrity that’s merely been paid to promote a product, Oprah’s involvement is rooted in both personal and professional reasons.</p> <p>Of course, cynics might say that her shares in the company are motivation enough to front a campaign, but with Oprah’s well-documented association with Weight Watchers in years previously, it would suggest her association is authentic.</p> <h3>Building consumer trust</h3> <p>For brands using high-profile personalities in marketing, this authenticity is key when it comes to instilling consumer confidence.</p> <p>While research suggests that a celebrity endorsement can lead to a <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2016/07/20/how-brands-should-use-celebrities-for-endorsements/#77eb58cc5556" target="_blank">4% increase in immediate sales</a>, it is vital that it is seen as a genuine and natural reflection of their personality and values. </p> <p>Oprah, who is well-known for championing female empowerment, philanthropy and entrepreneurialism, therefore aligns with, not only the values of Weight Watchers, but also its core consumer.</p> <p>Likewise, with social media also allowing us greater insight into the daily lives of celebrities, it’s becoming easier to see through those who are disingenuous. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3054/oprah_insta.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="437"></p> <h3>Positive results</h3> <p>In the third quarter of last year, <a href="http://www.weightwatchersinternational.com/file/Index?KeyFile=36547514" target="_blank">Weight Watchers reported</a> that subscribers were up 10.1% compared with the same period in the year previous. </p> <p>Similarly, revenue was up 3% year-on-year to $281m. Overall, it looks as though Oprah’s ad campaign contributed to these positive results.</p> <p>With a revamp that cleverly aligns with the TV star’s female fanbase, Weight Watchers has proven that celebrity endorsement still offer value – as long as it is done with transparency and real authenticity. </p> <p><em><strong>To learn more about this topic, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-celebrity-marketing" target="_blank">Future of Celebrity Marketing</a> report.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68691 2017-01-11T11:37:38+00:00 2017-01-11T11:37:38+00:00 Why Iceland has replaced celebrities with micro-influencers Nikki Gilliland <p>In place of Andre and other (arguably) recognisable faces like Michael Buble and Stacy Solomon, the brand has introduced a campaign featuring real-life mums.</p> <p>Teaming up with YouTube community, Channel Mum, it now works with a number of vloggers to promote its products in a more ‘authentic’ fashion.</p> <p>So, why the move? Here’s a few reasons behind Iceland’s shift in marketing strategy.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iQlZcEh4u4c?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Value of micro-influencers</h3> <p>Last year, Iceland’s boss, Malcolm Walker, reportedly labelled the supermarket’s association with celebrities as ‘brand damaging’ – a hint at the troubles of Iceland’s front-woman, Kerry Katona.</p> <p>While it's hard to say whether this has had a truly negative impact, what we <em>do</em> know for sure is that social media influencers have simultaneously risen in popularity.</p> <p>More specifically, we've begun to see a greater demand for micro-influencers.</p> <p>If you’re not familiar with the term, a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67807-is-micro-influencer-marketing-viable/" target="_blank">micro-influencer</a> is someone with anywhere between 500 to 10,000 followers on social media. With a smaller but more in-tune audience, many brands are recognising the power of working with them instead of top-tier influencers or celebrities.</p> <p>In fact, a recent <a href="http://markerly.com/blog/instagram-marketing-does-influencer-size-matter/" target="_blank">study by Markerly</a> proved that bigger doesn’t always mean better.</p> <p>From analysis of 800,000 Instagram users, with the majority having at least 1,000 followers, it found that the rate of engagement (in the form of likes and comments) decreases as the number of followers rises.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2930/Markerly.JPG" alt="" width="638" height="323"></p> <p>For brands like Iceland, it’s clear that micro-influencers offer a unique opportunity to tap into an existing and highly engaged audience.</p> <h3>Changing brand perceptions</h3> <p>Influencer marketing is based on honesty and authenticity. Instead of spinning brand-designed messages, the idea is that micro-influencers are natural advocates - either loyal customers in their own right or recently converted fans. </p> <p>Iceland has chosen to capitalise on this with Channel Mum, a medium-sized community, and an existing demographic that aligns with the supermarket’s own target audience.</p> <p>For its most recent Christmas campaign, it focused on changing brand perception, asking vloggers who had previously avoided the supermarket to re-consider their opinion.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gaLG-sUO4RY?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>By inviting viewers into real-life homes, the vloggers are able to build a sense of authenticity and trust that is often missing from celebrity-driven marketing. </p> <p>With recent research showing that 35% of young mums are more likely to <a href="https://www.warc.com/LatestNews/News/Mums_turn_to_online_video.news?ID=36220" target="_blank">trust online videos</a> rather than traditional mediums, Iceland aims to win back former customers as well as lure in new ones with this upfront approach.</p> <p>While previous TV advertising was merely focused on ‘showing’ products, YouTube enables the 'tell' aspect - using honest opinions and relatable storytelling.</p> <h3>Cost effective campaign</h3> <p>For Iceland, the benefits of using micro-influencers does not just lie in immediate levels of engagement. With a direct and laser-focused approach to targeting, it can be a more cost-effective solution in the long run.</p> <p>Instead of using the medium of television to speak to a large audience – the majority of which may not be part of Iceland’s target demographic or even that interested in the food sector – the brand is able to tap into a smaller but far more attentive audience online.</p> <p>By creating an entire series for a single campaign, it's also able to reach customers on a regular basis.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S-AFcg_4rl0?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Lastly, with platform algorithms now favouring other factors <a href="http://blog.instagram.com/post/141107034797/160315-news" target="_blank">over chronological ordering,</a> micro-influencer content is more likely to be visible online.</p> <p>In turn, it’s also more likely to be shared, building on word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends. </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Following on from its success with Channel Mum, Iceland has recently introduced dads into its online marketing campaign, planning 36 new videos from a male perspective.</p> <p>Proving the continued value of micro-influencers, Iceland is a great example of how to tap into and engage (and re-engage) a target market.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, download these Econsultancy reports:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/"><em>The Rise of Influencers</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/"><em>The Voice of the Influencer</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68676 2017-01-04T11:44:47+00:00 2017-01-04T11:44:47+00:00 10 important stats from Econsultancy's 2016 research Nikki Gilliland <h3>Agencies predict low growth rates for 2017</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-agency-rate-card-survey-2016/">Digital Agency Rate Card Survey 2016</a> revealed that predicted year-on-year growth in the UK has reached an all-time low.</p> <p>From an online survey of 398 UK digital agencies, it found that the proportion of agencies expecting their businesses to grow by over 50% has more than halved in the last two years, going from 24% in 2014 to 11% in 2016.</p> <p>Meanwhile, agencies predicted that their daily rates will grow by an average of just 2% this year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2738/Digital_Rate_Card_Survey.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="564"></p> <h3>Disparity between customer needs and marketer capabilities</h3> <p>Our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-recognition-how-marketing-is-failing-at-its-top-priority">Customer Recognition Report</a> highlighted how marketers are falling short on customer experience management due to a lack of digital capabilities.</p> <p>While up to 84% of marketers cite identifying users, personalizing messaging and measuring impact as “very important to growth,” only 10%-14% are able to deliver in these areas.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2739/Customer_Recognition.JPG" alt="" width="649" height="491"></p> <h3>60% of marketers lack a cooperative culture</h3> <p>In the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/trends-and-priorities-in-the-media-and-entertainment-sector/">Trends and Priorities in the Media and Entertainment Sector</a> report, the biggest barriers for digital transformation were found to be organisational factors.</p> <p>59% of marketers said they lack a cooperative culture, while 49% said management is against investing in data and tech, and 46% said that boards fail to understand digital strategy.</p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2745/Trends_and_Priorities_Media.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="473"></em></p> <p><em>You can find out three further priorities for marketers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68129-four-urgent-priorities-for-marketers-in-media-entertainment" target="_blank">in this article</a><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/trends-and-priorities-in-the-media-and-entertainment-sector/" target="_blank">.</a></em></p> <h3>Companies to increase CRO budgets this year</h3> <p>In October, our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/" target="_blank">Conversion Rate Optimization report</a> was released, looking at the strategies companies are using to improve conversion rates.</p> <p>With 52% of companies seeing a significant increase in sales from adopting a structured approach to data, research also found that over half of companies plan to increase their CRO budgets this year.</p> <p>This appears to be an effective strategy, with 73% of those who have already increased their budget seeing a marked improvement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2742/CRO.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="470"></p> <h3>84% of influencer research is carried out manually</h3> <p>At the beginning of 2016, Econsultancy published the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">Rise of Influencers report</a> in association with Fashion &amp; Beauty Monitor.</p> <p>Exploring the role influencers play in the fashion and beauty industries, it found that there are some big challenges for brands navigating this new marketing realm.</p> <p>According to the survey, finding the right influencer is one of the biggest tests, with 84% of research being carried out by manually searching platforms like Facebook and Twitter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2743/Influencers.JPG" alt="" width="343" height="629"></p> <h3>74% of agencies are working with celebrities</h3> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-celebrity-marketing/">Future of Celebrity Marketing report</a> further reflected the growing demand for both social media stars and high profile personalities.</p> <p>While 74% of agency respondents said that they are already working with celebrities, a further 12% said that they aim to embark on a celebrity endorsement within the next year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2751/Celebrity_Marketing.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="419"></p> <h3>35% of organisations believe technology is key to understanding customers</h3> <p>At every level of maturity, organisations agree that having the right technologies for data collection and analysis is key to understanding customers.</p> <p>This statistic comes from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/secrets-of-elite-analytics-practices/" target="_blank">Secrets of Elite Analytics Practices</a> report, which also found that the more advanced the analytics capabilities, the more adept companies are at sharing knowledge between teams.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2744/Secrets_of_Analytics.JPG" alt="" width="637" height="587"></p> <h3>48% of organisations do not have a mobile strategy</h3> <p>Despite the fact most organisations agree that mobile deserves a strategic approach, last year's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-taking-advantage-of-the-mobile-opportunity/">Digital Intelligence Briefing</a> found that nearly half are failing to put this into practice.</p> <p>The report explained how even the 20% that do have a well-defined mobile strategy are not making the most of customer analysis, proving the untapped potential of data.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2748/Digital_Briefing.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="536"></p> <h3>Email rated top for ROI</h3> <p>2016 marked the 10th anniversary of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census-2016/">Econsultancy's Email Marketing Industry Census</a>.</p> <p>In an online survey of 1,150 marketers in February and March, 73% of respondents ranked email marketing as 'excellent' or 'good' for ROI.</p> <p>Increasing from 66% in 2015, this meant that email marketing was ranked 9% higher than SEO (organic search).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2749/Email_marketing.JPG" alt="" width="640" height="544"></p> <h3>B2B marketers lack confidence in CX</h3> <p>Last May saw the release of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-tension-in-b2b-customer-experience-management/">Tension in B2B Customer Experience Management report</a>, highlighting how B2B organizations are improving the customer experience.</p> <p>Surprisingly, despite B2B companies realizing that they're being evaluated on the same level as consumer brands, just 16% believe customers rate their CX on a par with B2C.</p> <p>Internal silos and a lack of long-term strategy were reported to be just two of the reasons why.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2750/B2B_CX.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="574"></p>