tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/multichannel-marketing Latest Multichannel Marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-07-20T17:43:59+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69265 2017-07-20T17:43:59+01:00 2017-07-20T17:43:59+01:00 The evolving relationship between brand marketers and agencies [New research] Nikki Gilliland <p>Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/partners-in-transformation-what-brand-marketers-need-from-agencies/">Partners in Transformation report</a> in association with IBM delves into this topic, specifically looking at the areas agencies should be focusing on in future.</p> <p>Before we take a closer look at the research, note that the companies who took part in the study are split into ‘high performing’ and ‘mainstream’, with the former significantly exceeding their top 2016 business goals compared to others that are defined by a poor to average marketing performance.</p> <p>So, what do brands need from agencies in 2017 and beyond? Let’s get into it.</p> <h3>CX support for different stages of the journey</h3> <p>Improving customer experience remains at the heart of most brand growth strategies, however, agency input usually depends on where companies are in the process of implementation (and current levels of success).</p> <p>Our research shows that high performing companies are far more engaged with their agencies in areas related to customer service – 65% compared to 40% of mainstream companies. </p> <p>High performing companies also draw on different kinds of expertise, with 44% citing new and innovative ideas for improving CX as most important. In contrast, mainstream companies still in the early stages of development largely cite execution and implementation.</p> <p>This shows us that – while CX presents a massive opportunity for agencies of all sizes – it is vital to understand and recognise where brands are in the journey and to determine how they can move forward.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7612/CX.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="507"></p> <h3>Turning data into insight</h3> <p>90% of brands agree that knowing more about their customers is the key to improving CX. However, with an increasingly fractured customer journey – with people moving from one device to another and back again – it’s becoming all the more challenging for marketers.</p> <p>Intelligent use of data is the answer, with agencies able to play a vital role in more technical aspects of analysis. However, this doesn’t mean all companies are willing or well-prepared to heed agency advice.</p> <p>High performing companies are nearly 30% more likely to take advantage of their agencies’ ability to turn data into insight than the mainstream. </p> <p>This tells us that lower performing companies tend to get stuck in the cycle of collecting data but doing the minimum with it, whereas real success is generated from making sense of it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7613/Data.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="368"></p> <h3>Technology and training</h3> <p>Similar to the challenges presented by data, many brands struggle to take full advantage of the existing technology they have in place. As a result, agencies can offer value by stepping in and helping brands understand and execute technology-driven marketing.</p> <p>What’s more, agencies can also play a vital role in helping brands to stay on top of innovation, with 42% of high performing companies citing the importance of them ‘helping to source technology providers’.</p> <p>Meanwhile, agencies can help to foster long-term partnerships with brands by providing technology training. This emphasises the fact that value does not just lie in providing greater access to tech, but in helping brands gain a deep understanding of it themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7614/Technology.JPG" alt="" width="709" height="354"></p> <h3>Collaboration is key </h3> <p>Despite 92% of all companies saying that it’s important for agencies and internal teams to collaborate, levels of satisfaction are relatively low. </p> <p>Just 19% of mainstream companies say agencies’ collaboration with internal teams is ‘quite effective’, while just 13% say the same for collaboration between multiple agencies.</p> <p>In contrast, high performing companies are much more positive about the situation, citing close relationships, leadership, and regular reviews as the key to successful relationships. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7615/collaboration.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="369"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>In such a highly pressurised and competitive landscape, brands often need to turn to agencies in order to drive growth as well as expand their own internal capabilities and expertise.</p> <p>Perhaps the most important takeaway from the research is that there is no single or overarching strategy for success. </p> <p>Rather, the most successful agencies demonstrate the ability to adapt and hone relationships based on client-need, fostering communication, fast decision-making, and collaboration every step of the way.</p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the full report: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/partners-in-transformation-what-brand-marketers-need-from-agencies/">Partners in Transformation: What brand marketers need from agencies</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-06-30T11:33:00+01:00 2017-06-30T11:33:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to two sector-specific reports, B2B and Healthcare &amp; Pharma) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69205 2017-06-29T15:00:00+01:00 2017-06-29T15:00:00+01:00 The marketing (to) automation problem: How will IoT products sell their services to other devices? Duncan Shaw <p>Sharing data appropriately can give any device a missing piece of the puzzle, allowing it to provide a more personalised service. </p> <p>But devices in IoT ecosystems can share capabilities as well. Your refrigerator is quite limited in what it can do on its own but if it knows what is inside it, it can guess when food needs reordering. And if you link it to a shopping app then it can reorder items for you as well.</p> <p>The logic of getting data from external sources is easy to see because firms themselves are starting to share data more and more. But sharing capabilities is a bit trickier to understand. Think of IoT devices as a team of royal servants helping a queen (the user). A single servant can only do a small part of the job but together they ‘wait on the queen hand and foot’. </p> <p>IoT products are starting to join up their individually limited capabilities to help each user. And joined-up working needs information sharing – for devices as well as for firms.</p> <h3>But how can a refrigerator choose the right app to help it restock? </h3> <p>There’s a general problem for all IoT firms. In any given user’s personal situation how can a product be aware of which other products it can work together with to help that user? </p> <p>Right now, device manufactures are working with their normal business or supply chain partners to set up relationships between devices. For example, IoT cars are more likely to be set up to book their annual services with garages that are already affiliated to their brand, because there is already a relationship to build on. </p> <p>But most IoT products will not be aware of all the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69024-three-ways-the-internet-of-things-will-improve-business-efficiency-by-harnessing-big-data">potential data sources</a> and potential useful capabilities that they can draw on in any given situation. They will just know that their user has a problem. They will look around with their web connection to see what other devices can help them. Then they will evaluate the alternatives and make a purchase decision. </p> <p>Sounds familiar? Yes, it’s a conversion funnel for machines.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7162/nicolas-barbier-garreau-267667.jpg" alt="fridge" width="600" height="400"></p> <p><em>Could a fridge make purchase decisions? <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/rdplhEXsSL0">Image via Barbier Garreau</a></em></p> <h3>Conversion rate optimisation for IoT products</h3> <p>Conversion strategies for human customers are getting pretty sophisticated. But how do you drive device traffic into your IoT funnel using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69185-low-cost-iot-will-redefine-the-consumer-purchase-path/" target="_blank">M2M (machine-to-machine) communications</a>? There is no such thing as a Google Search for IoT devices. Although the IoT operating system <a href="https://developer.android.com/things/sdk/index.html" target="_blank">Android Things</a> and the communications platform <a href="https://developers.google.com/weave/" target="_blank">Weave</a> go some way.</p> <p>First, there’s the technical problem of context: how can a device understand our complex human world? This problem might be solved by looking at the customer journey. Devices don’t need to understand the whole human world, just the customer journey that their user is on. And many firms are thinking long and hard right now about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">mapping customer journeys</a>.</p> <p>Plus there’s the 'marketing (to) automation' problem – how do you spread awareness to toasters, drive them into your funnel and then increase the conversion rate? And how do you do it for toothbrushes, refrigerators, cars, phone apps? Or anything with a chip and an internet connection that could help the user of your product?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7163/things.jpg" alt="android things" width="600" height="280"></p> <p><em>A visualisation of Android Things, which "extends the core Android framework with additional APIs provided by the Things Support Library. These APIs allow apps to integrate with new types of hardware not found on mobile devices."</em></p> <h3>Use customer journey thinking</h3> <p>The most important thing for any IoT product is user experience (UX). And the best UX is produced by devices helping each other in communities that are centred on each individual user’s journey.</p> <p>So be clear about what sort of journey your user is on. Don’t just map touch points and small parts of customer journeys. You need to understand their broader life journeys to get the full context. </p> <p>If you understand the journeys that your users are on then you can specify to your product what data and capabilities it needs to look out for. The logic of the journey explains what outside help is needed. </p> <p>Customer-journey thinking also helps your product to market the idea of collaboration to other devices – or their product designers – because the purpose of partner devices is also to help the same user on the same journey. </p> <p>So, use customer-journey thinking to design your IoT product to work with any device that might be able to help your users along their journey.</p> <p><em><strong>More IoT fun:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67372-atmospheric-marketing-riding-the-tidal-wave-of-iot-data/">Atmospheric marketing - riding the tidal wave of IoT data</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67372-atmospheric-marketing-riding-the-tidal-wave-of-iot-data/">Why won't internet fridges go away?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69106 2017-05-24T13:37:52+01:00 2017-05-24T13:37:52+01:00 How to upgrade pharma brand planning for a multichannel world Gregg Fisher <h3><strong>The problem: Plans focused on product vs. customer engagement strategy</strong></h3> <p>The typical pharmaceutical brand plan does a good job of establishing a brand-centric strategy for the business.</p> <p>The precise elements vary but an average plan includes a brand situation analysis, including a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis">SWOT</a>, competitive analysis and issues summary. It includes the brand’s positioning, key messages, basic customer segmentation and targeting, strategic imperatives for each functional area, and key performance indicators. Finally, most plans include a section listing tactical initiatives, timing and budgeting information.   </p> <p>As illustrated below, what’s usually missing or sparsely covered is a customer engagement strategy section to provide a bridge between the brand strategy and tactics. Most brand plans typically jump straight from brand strategy information to information about discrete tactics in various categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6319/brand_strategy.png" alt="" width="750" height="242"></p> <h3><strong>The impact: Sub-optimal customer experiences</strong></h3> <p>Skipping the customer engagement strategy step typically results in negative symptoms that ultimately hinder the quality of the customer experience a brand delivers. You may recognize some of these symptoms in the table below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6320/customer_engagement_strategy.png" alt="" width="750" height="530"></p> <p>In the old days when brands interactions with physicians were unencumbered and limited to reps, medical meetings and journal ads, the need for a customer engagement strategy was less important. However, in today’s world of multiple customer groups, mounting access restrictions and numerous channels and content formats, customer engagement strategy has become an essential discipline for commercial leaders.  </p> <p>The annual brand planning process provides an excellent opportunity for brands to fully articulate the customer experience they will deliver to each customer group and how it will advance brand objectives and fulfill customer expectations. </p> <h3> <strong>The short-term solution: Customer engagement planning (at the brand-level)</strong> </h3> <p>To bridge the gap between brand strategy and effective experiences, we have worked with pharmaceutical commercial teams to embed a customer engagement-planning module into their standard brand planning process and calendar. As illustrated in the table below, the module includes elements that can be added on top of the traditional situation analysis and brand strategy pieces. These elements should be included for each discrete target customer group (e.g., physician, patient, nurse, IDN, etc).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6321/customer_engagement_planning.png" alt="" width="750" height="262"></p> <p>From a calendar point-of-view, the situation analysis steps should be completed or near complete before brand planning begins so the foundational knowledge is in place. Next, time should be allowed for customer engagement strategy work to occur before the final tactical plan and budget is in place. </p> <p>Additionally, time should be budgeted to allow discrete functions to work on integrating their customer engagement strategies into a cohesive solution that reflects how customers will experience the brand (vs. siloed functional plans).</p> <p>To make this happen, brand and medical leaders should assign accountability for discrete plans per customer group.</p> <h3><strong>The longer-term solution: Customer engagement planning (portfolio level and beyond)</strong></h3> <p>We have identified four levels of maturity related to customer-centric brand planning as illustrated in the figure below. The majority of Life Sciences companies are at level one, making the transition to level two, which as been described above. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6323/long_term_solution.png" alt="" width="750" height="297"></p> <p>A few organizations are making the shift from level two to level three, where companies start to become organized around customer groups and create plans that ensure a cohesive experience for common customers across a multi-product portfolio. These companies have created a customer engagement function to drive this outcome.</p> <p>Even fewer have advanced to level four to develop solutions for customer groups that span disease areas.  </p> <h3><strong>Concluding thoughts</strong></h3> <p>For the majority of companies at level one, the brand planning ritual offers a useful opportunity to start getting better at customer engagement strategy by embedding these processes alongside traditional brand planning activities. Taking this step will drive noticeable change in the quality of plans quite quickly. From there, senior leadership should think about how to tune the organization to take on a more sophisticated and encompassing approach to customer-centric planning.</p> <p>Finally, it’s worth remembering the annual planning process is a start but ultimately we should strive to manage customer experience as an ongoing, data-driven and and iterative process of improvement.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68851-six-ways-digital-is-changing-the-pharma-healthcare-industry/"><em>Six ways digital is changing the pharma &amp; healthcare industry</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68221-embracing-digital-transformation-in-the-pharma-and-healthcare-sectors/"><em>Embracing digital transformation in the Pharma and Healthcare sectors</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/pharma-trends-and-developments/">Healthcare and Pharma: Digital Trends and Developments April 2017</a><br></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69038 2017-04-26T15:30:00+01:00 2017-04-26T15:30:00+01:00 Shea Moisture's customer backlash was caused by poor brand management, not bad advertising Patricio Robles <h4>The backstory</h4> <p>Shea Moisture was founded by Liberians Nyema Tubman and Richelieu Dennis, who came to the US as refugees. They built a business reportedly valued at $700m by developing natural beauty products that cater to a market historically underserved by large beauty brands – women of color.</p> <p>But with outside investment from Bain Capital and skyrocketing consumer interest in natural beauty products, Shea Moisture's parent company Sundial Brands is betting that there is a bigger market for Shea Moisture's products.</p> <p>With that in mind, the company recently unveiled a 60-second ad developed by agency VaynerMedia as part of its #EverybodyGetsLove marketing campaign. The ad features a black woman, but it also features a blonde woman and two redheads. That did not sit well with some Shea Moisture customers who felt that the ad was a sign the company is moving away from the market segment that made it what it is today.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">SheaMoisture is CANCELLED <a href="https://t.co/T4Dru1JgAq">pic.twitter.com/T4Dru1JgAq</a></p> — NANA JIBRIL(@girlswithtoys) <a href="https://twitter.com/girlswithtoys/status/856563772223365122">April 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Black women have supported and gave free press to Shea Moisture for YEARS. And then they have a "hair hate" commercial with white women?</p> — no. (@DatGirl_ICEY) <a href="https://twitter.com/DatGirl_ICEY/status/856569496508747777">April 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>On Facebook, the company's Page has been inundated with more than 7,000 one-star reviews.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5738/shea.png" alt="" width="774" height="531"></p> <p>The backlash was fast and big enough that the company quickly pulled its ad and Richelieu Dennis, Shea Moisture's founder and the CEO of Sundial Brands, took to social media <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SheaMoisture/photos/a.108636299188014.8145.108628512522126/1495966387121658/">to apologize</a>. "Wow, okay – so guys, listen, we really f-ed this one up," he wrote. "Please know that our intention was not – and would never be – to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate."</p> <p>He further stated, "While this campaign included several different videos showing different ethnicities and hair types to demonstrate the breadth and depth of each individual’s hair journey, we must absolutely ensure moving forward that our community is well-represented in each one so that the women who have led this movement never feel that their hair journey is minimized in any way."</p> <h4>When marketing mistakes aren't marketing mistakes</h4> <p>While the media coverage of the backlash caused by Shea Moisture's ad largely focuses on the notion that the company made an advertising mistake, this is really a brand management mistake because the truth of the matter is that Shea Moisture is a company that was probably going to have a hard time extending its brand without alienating the customers in its core segment.</p> <p>Strong brands that focus on underserved market segments risk upsetting their customers when trying to expand beyond those segments or to "go mainstream" because the customers in those segments feel strongly about the brands. </p> <p>In Shea Moisture's case, the segment it built its brand serving – women of color – know Shea Moisture as a company that for years has focused on their needs when other beauty brands didn't. That gives them a stronger-than-usual level of perceived investment and ownership in the brand.</p> <p>This can be a powerful asset, and it's one of the reasons there are riches in niches. But with the wrong strategy, this asset can become a liability because loyal customers, when they feel slighted or abandoned, are more likely to speak out. Unfortunately for Shea Moisture, its parent company, Sundial Brands, appears to have made a major brand management faux pas that caused just that to happen.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/shea-moisture-ad-falls-flat-after-backlash-n750421">According to</a> CEO Richelieu Dennis, the decision to extend Shea Moisture into new market segments was based on the notion that "we have to grow the business." He elaborated...</p> <blockquote> <p>Brands that didn't service women of color for decades are all of the sudden creating campaigns for them to go after that because of the growth they've seen come from us. The competition that we now see, puts businesses like ours at risk.</p> </blockquote> <p>But it's not clear to this author that trying to extend the Shea Moisture brand to market segments already dominated by the very newcomers he speaks of represents a wise growth strategy because this type of brand extension is very difficult and actually risks brand dilution.</p> <p>In my opinion, a better strategy would have been for Shea Moisture to double down on the market segment that it built its success on by playing to its strengths, which include brand loyalty and a reputation as a pioneer, rather than intentionally trying to bring the Shea Moisture brand to segments that are already saturated by bigger companies that are hoping to make inroads in Shea Moisture's segment.</p> <p>If Sundial Brands truly believed there are opportunities in other market segments, it should have explored launching one or more new brands for the effort. While doing that would not be without its own challenges – building a new brand is never easy or cheap – clearly the company did not fully grasp how risky the attempted extension of the Shea Moisture brand to new customer segments would be.</p> <p>Risking customer segments in which you have a strong position for new, competitive segments is usually not a pillar of sensible brand management. </p> <h4>It's too easy to blame advertising</h4> <p>At the end of the day, had Shea Moisture better managed its brand, it never would have produced a backlash-inducing ad in the first place.</p> <p>So while many are focusing on the company's ad, it's important for brands to remember that good advertising can't fix bad brand management, and advertising shouldn't be blamed for consumer backlash when poor brand management all but ensured that advertising couldn't be good in the first place.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69009 2017-04-20T11:31:51+01:00 2017-04-20T11:31:51+01:00 Can Wells Fargo's new brand platform help it restore consumer trust? Patricio Robles <p>Wells Fargo recently revealed that new checking account openings have dropped by 43% year-on-year and new credit card applications have plunged by an even greater amount – 55%.</p> <p>According to some observers, dealing with the fallout from this scandal represents perhaps the biggest challenge the bank has faced since it was founded in 1852. Ironically, the scandal could have been avoided if the company had heeded the advice of its largest shareholder, Warren Buffett. The legendary investor famously once stated, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."</p> <p>Now faced with the task of rebuilding its reputation, Wells Fargo <a href="https://stories.wf.com/new-brand-platform-wells-fargo-building-better-company-every-day/">has unveiled</a> a new brand platform dubbed Building Better Every Day.</p> <p>According to Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo's CMO, "Our research clearly shows our customers are ready to hear a different message from us, and the 'Building Better Every Day' platform behind this advertising came directly from the research results. In addition to showing our customers how we are building a better bank – fixing things, and making them right – this effort is focused on how we are helping customers achieve their financial goals."</p> <p>The Building Better Every Day platform will rely on marketing across virtually all channels, including digital, television, print, radio and billboard. It aims to highlight how Wells Fargo is helping customers through "customer-centric" technological innovation, guidance and personalized service, security and community involvement.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WJGAO63-IKs?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Phil Wang, a marketing manager who was involved in the platform's development, says that the ads will focus a lot on interactions between Wells Fargo and its customers. "Team members are front and center in these spots, and portrayed as helping customers in a way that's in keeping with our vision and values."</p> <p>To hammer home the bank's commitment to the diverse communities it has a presence in, Wells Fargo is even creating ads for specific audiences in other languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.</p> <h4>All of this sounds like a textbook plan from a marketing perspective, but will Wells Fargo's new brand platform really heal the damage caused by its scandal?</h4> <p>There are reasons to be skeptical because not only was the scandal itself really, really ugly in nature, the timing couldn't have been worse for the banking behemoth.</p> <p>First, big banks are among consumers' least favorite institutions today thanks in large part to the financial crisis of 2008, which was widely blamed on out-of-control financial institutions. While Wells Fargo had the most pristine reputation of any big bank following the crisis, having emerged from the Great Recession largely unscathed, the unauthorized account scandal plays right into Wall Street critics' argument that big banks are out of control and simply can't be trusted. </p> <p>Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, banks find themselves under attack from fintech startups that are attempting <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68159-five-ways-fintech-upstarts-are-disrupting-established-financial-institutions/">to disrupt</a> their business models. From consumer, business and mortgage lending to brokerage services and everything in between, many of the financial services that consumers used to obtain from the bank where they kept their checking and savings accounts are increasingly acquired through standalone non-bank service providers in an unbundled fashion. By some estimates, this <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68981-could-established-financial-services-firms-lose-a-quarter-of-their-revenue-to-fintechs/">could soon cost established financial institutions a quarter of their revenue</a>.</p> <p>In fact, that Wells Fargo employees were opening unauthorized accounts to meet aggressive sales quotas hints that it is increasingly difficult for banks to successfully cross-sell to their customers <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68334-wells-fargo-scandal-shows-why-banks-are-vulnerable-to-fintech-startups/">in the age of unbundling</a>. </p> <p>Unfortunately for Wells Fargo, the damage caused by the actions of thousands of its employees probably won't be undone with a new brand platform and an aggressive and expensive marketing campaign. While it's not too soon for the bank to start employing marketing in an effort to re-engage consumers, ultimately Wells Fargo will probably have to accept that the old Buffett nugget of wisdom is pretty accurate.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68991 2017-04-19T01:00:00+01:00 2017-04-19T01:00:00+01:00 Three reasons why brands should improve their cross-channel marketing Jeff Rajeck <p>When asked whether their organisations 'could effectively deliver cross-channel marketing', fewer than one in ten (6%) brand marketers indicated that they could to any great extent.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5420/a.png" alt="" width="800" height="570"></p> <p>Yet in the same report, marketers also stated that brands should endeavour to improve their cross-channel marketing and gave three good reasons why.</p> <h4>1) To increase conversions</h4> <p>Consistent, well-orchestrated messaging across channels is always worthwhile - doing so produces a better customer experience. Cross-channel marketing also, according to <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/omnichannel-consistency/">a recent Nielsen Norman Group report</a>, builds user confidence, sets correct expectations, and earns users' trust.</p> <p>While desirable, improving the customer experience is not an end unto itself, though. For a marketing campaign to be successful, it needs to help the business as well.</p> <p>When asked to rate the effect cross-channel marketing had on their business, more than three in four (77%) client side marketers indicated that cross-channel marketing has a 'major impact' on 'increasing conversions'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5421/1.png" alt="" width="638" height="474"></p> <p>Additionally, three in four (75%) use 'sales / revenue' figures to measure effectiveness indicating that their goals are in line with the business. That is, marketers use cross-channel marketing to increase conversions which, in turn, boosts top-line performance.</p> <p>One example of using cross-channel marketing to improve conversions is by retargeting website visitors with relevant advertising.  A consumer may see a product initially on the website but it takes a reminder via display advertising to turn the browser into a customer.</p> <h4>2) To enhance advocacy</h4> <p>Interestingly, survey respondents also indicated that they use cross-channel marketing for business objectives which are much more difficult to measure than revenue. Namely, more than half (57%) of company respondents indicated that cross-channel marketing has a major impact on 'enhancing advocacy' as well.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5422/2.png" alt="" width="626" height="477"></p> <p>While it is more difficult to directly associate advocacy to business growth, industry thought-leaders feel that advocacy may be equally, if not more, important to the business than conversions.</p> <p>According to management consultancy Bain &amp; Co, <a href="http://www.bain.com/consulting-services/customer-strategy-and-marketing/customer-loyalty.aspx">only one in nine companies achieve sustainable profitable growth</a> and successful companies have twice the level of customer advocacy as their competitors.  If cross-channel marketing can increase word-of-mouth exposure, then it is a powerful tool, indeed.</p> <p>Using cross-channel marketing to enhance advocacy may be as simple as including social media icons on a website or emails or be as sophisticated as asking happy customers to leave a review on a third-party, industry-specific site.</p> <h4>3) To improve customer retention</h4> <p>Acquiring new customers and having them advocate your product or services is great, but ideally brands would like each new customer to be a loyal, repeat customer.</p> <p>The reason for this is that, again <a href="http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/1590.html">according to Harvard Business Schoo</a>l, a "5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit". And, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexlawrence/2012/11/01/five-customer-retention-tips-for-entrepreneurs/#602fa51717b0">in another study</a>, Gartner found that "80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of existing customers."</p> <p>So, it was encouraging to see that more than half (54%) of marketers responding to our survey felt that cross-channel marketing has a 'major impact' on customer retention as well.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5423/3.png" alt="" width="646" height="481"></p> <p>Abandoned cart emails are perhaps the most common way brands use multiple channels to improve retention but many marketers also use custom audiences on Google and Facebook to advertise to their existing customer base through search and social advertising.</p> <h4>So...</h4> <p>Cross-channel marketing is not easy, yet brands who do it well will enjoy improved conversion rates, increased advocacy, and more customer retention.</p> <p>They will also be head and shoulders above their peers which is always a worthwhile, if difficult-to-measure, goal!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68983 2017-04-11T13:05:00+01:00 2017-04-11T13:05:00+01:00 You're (still) not tracking CPA properly and here’s why Depesh Mandalia <p>Every business for decades has struggled with two common things: which channels to focus marketing spend on and how much return every dollar spent returns. This isn’t as simple a question as it may initially look.</p> <p>Marketing channels have evolved hugely since television, radio and print ads were key ways to reach a mainstream audience. Despite the advancement in tracking technology and ad platforms, the question of how best to utilise each marketing dollar remains a challenge, even for the most advanced marketing operations and platforms (despite what they tell you) and here’s why.</p> <h4>Scenario 1 - a customer sees an ad in a single channel and purchases there and then</h4> <p><strong>CPA challenge:</strong> ensuring there is tracking in place, which for digital is usually in the form of digital analytics and for offline is primarily in the form of promotion code.</p> <p>How often does this scenario occur? There will be a good percentage of your acquisitions that only ever see your one ad on one platform or through a single medium and decide to buy all within the same ‘session’. For clarity we define a session here as a stream of events all happening one after the other.</p> <p>For simplicity I'm focussing on a visit to a website as the journey to complete a transaction (as opposed to a shop visit or app download via an app store). So:</p> <ol> <li>Customer sees ad</li> <li>Customer clicks/responds to ad</li> <li>Customer visits website and adds item to cart</li> <li>Customer buys item</li> </ol> <p>In this scenario, the customer does this without a break to browse other sites or coming back later. For a business with limited brand and product awareness, it is less likely that someone will see an ad for the first time, click <em>and</em> buy in one go.</p> <p>Of course, we marketers would love to think our ads are spot on <em>and</em> the target audience have been reached in one hit <em>and</em> that audience is in the mindset to buy <em>and</em> they visit your website <em>and</em> buy without even thinking about other important things in their day like what's for dinner or the latest cat gif on Facebook.</p> <p>There are also factors around trust which affect consumer behaviour - trusting how legit the company and website is, whether the product quality can be trusted, whether the product price is going to be the best you can get etc.</p> <p>What kind of company has enough <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66013-brand-activation-and-its-role-in-driving-consumer-engagement-and-awareness/">brand awareness</a> and product range association that seeing a single ad will prompt you to both trust the business and purchase in one go? Amazon comes to mind as a company that can do this, as may other well established businesses, where the consumer is fully trusting of the brand and broadly aware of the product range. But how quickly do you need to increase sales? And how long have Amazon taken to establish themselves?</p> <p>Trusting that a company like Amazon aren't going to defraud you, are going to deliver your product, and are going to deliver a known quality - these are questions which for most people are answered on the Amazon site or through strong brand association. You, the smaller brand, simply can't match that.</p> <p>Chances are that if your data suggests that a given transaction occurred from the first ad the customer saw in the same session, there's something else at play. Let's look at scenario 2.</p> <h4>Scenario 2 - a customer sees an ad, doesn’t interact, but comes back later to buy from you via the website directly <em>or</em> via another marketing channel.</h4> <p><strong>CPA challenge:</strong> tracking the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-state-of-marketing-attribution/">attribution</a> of the source channel due to the lack of connection to the final conversion channel. </p> <p>This is a very common (if not the most common) scenario and essentially how brand-led campaigns make their mark by creating an uplift on trackable channels. In this scenario a customer will see an ad, for example on TV, outdoor display, a leaflet, print ad or even digitally such as Facebook or Youtube as follows:</p> <ol> <li>Customer sees ad</li> <li>Customer doesn’t interact with ad</li> <li>Customer visits website directly at a later time/date and adds item to cart</li> <li>Customer buys item. Ka-ching! </li> </ol> <p>If you’ve ever run or been involved in a brand campaign you’ll know what a struggle it can be to truly measure the impact of the campaign on bottom line numbers. As a performance marketer you’ll know how fluffy ‘brand awareness’ can seem as a metric.</p> <p>To fully measure brand impact requires many more tools such as a brand impact test which measures trackable channel performance with and without the brand campaign, baselining your organic/non-paid channels to measure uplift and things like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">paid search</a> brand keyword uplift in particular.</p> <p>That being said, not every 'brand campaign' is big budget, massive exposure stuff. Every supermarket carrier bag shows branding at play. Every time you read a newspaper with the logo facing outward branding is at play. Branding plays a big part in our everyday interactions with companies, whether we notice it or not. And as a marketer, the impact of brand awareness is often neglected when calculating the ROI of your dollar spend.</p> <p>If you’ve scaled a business, you’ll know the importance brand plays in creating the foundation for sustainable growth. Sustainable growth is that which doesn’t rely on any single marketing channel (eg Facebook ads) and has a good blend of non-paid acquisition acquisition channels.</p> <p>Scaling a business solely focussed on the hard metrics of spend, sales and CPA will hide the subliminal impact your marketing is having, like how <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html">Pavlov had his dogs salivating</a> at the sound of a bell, or how those that have dined there, have an instinctive, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201108/7-reasons-we-cant-turn-down-fast-food">uncontrollable reaction to seeing the Golden Arches</a> through the release of dopamine.</p> <p>Find me a direct response ad that can release dopamine better than a well placed brand campaign. Are you tracking the DU (Dopamine Uplift) of your marketing campaigns? Surely this will trim your CPA by a percentage or two, yet we're often having to make budgeting decisions based on the reaction of the rational brain when neuroscience studies confirm the unconscious, deep thinking part of your brain as being a key driver to decision making, including what and where we buy.</p> <p>The brand funnel is about creating awareness in defining your <a href="https://www.startwithwhy.com/LearnYourWhy.aspx">‘who’ and ‘why’</a> - who you are and who you are relevant is what creates meaning and connection to your target audience. Too often, businesses focus on what they do, completely bypassing the customer need. This is a typical sales-led approach to growth and not a customer-centric view.</p> <p>It is the channel CPA-centric view that drives marketers and businesses to focus heavily on what they do and this isn't what your target audience will primarily care about. Give them a reason to not just be interested, or to like you, but to love you as a brand and watch those CPAs fall. </p> <h4>Branding 101</h4> <p>Below is a good illustration of the brand journey and impact on your acquisition funnel - moving from a wide audience, some of which are not your target consumer, and funneling those that are toward your business.</p> <p>As a business, if your audience is everyone, then whilst your product may well cater for every single person you can market to, until you create relevance for that person you’ll struggle to help them determine how your product improves or complements their life. This is the role of brand marketing, to sift out non-consumers and attract potential consumers from a wide funnel of prospects.</p> <p>The ‘indifference’ stage noted in the diagram refers to the fact these people have no positive or negative opinion on the business.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5367/1.jpg" alt="brand funnel" width="400" height="295"> </p> <p><em>Via <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/demystifying-brand-funnel-sean-kelley">Sean Kelly on LinkedIn</a></em> </p> <p>The relevance of this user journey scenario is this: whilst you may measure and try to improve acquisitions that come through to the website or through brand searches, do you really know what the first interaction for that customer was? If not, then deciding where to place that next dollar is not going to be entirely fact or numeric based.</p> <p>As a Chief Marketing Officer your growth decisions need to rely on a variety of datasets to analyse impact, performance and future actions.  </p> <h4>Using multi-data points for indirect attribution analysis</h4> <p>An important and often used piece of attribution analysis is a question asked to customers after the point of purchase: "how did you hear about your us?".</p> <p>Don't underestimate the importance of this simple question. Although we have the ability online to track the channel from which a visitor landed on a website (eg search engine, facebook, youtube, affiliate etc through web analytics), this question gives us a valuable first-touch data-source for channels which we can’t track so well such as TV and print media.</p> <p>In the case of ecommerce companies, many rely on promotion codes in order to track the marketing source but in this scenario, where a customer has seen an ad in one source and purchased via another source, you’ve lost the originator marketing channel.</p> <p>For example if you distribute leaflets and a customer sees one, then goes online and purchases through an affiliate code, you have no concept of the performance of the leaflet and may make the incorrect decision to stop distribution of inserts due to low uptake. </p> <p>At toucanBox we use a post-transaction survey to ask customers how they heard about us at the point at which we are front of mind. The reason to have this in the checkout confirmation page and not in the confirmation email or later is because it would otherwise only serve to dilute the quality of response.</p> <p>The positive impact brand awareness has is best demonstrated when we look at TV advertising performance. We have a certain CPA target we are aiming for and use a promotion code on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMy9bFitXBM">the TV ad</a> to help us track customers coming directly via the TV ad. However, if we follow scenario 1 above and assume all customers that see the TV ad, will come <em>directly</em> to the website, our CPA looks quite astronomical and unprofitable. Decision? Let’s trash TV it clearly doesn’t work! Ah but if you add additional data points, it tells a very different story. </p> <p>If we look at just one of our many paid search keywords related to brand searches (see below), we see that there was a rise and fall of searches on that particular keyword when we ran TV advertising in February, denoted by the rise, peak and fall which correlates with TV spot timings. This gives as an additional attribution back to TV because the increase in paid search hits for this one keyword can be directly matched back.</p> <p>We analysed all brand keywords that we could track, alongside those people directly visiting the website and those coming through non-paid search and found similar patterns. The uplift in visits also correlates with an uplift in transactions confirming both volume and quality of TV impact for this keyword.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5374/2.png" alt="keyword uplift from tv" width="800">  </p> <p>Now if you tally up the additional sales TV brought in as the originator channel into the trackable channels (brand paid search, organic search and direct visits) the combined CPA comes in within target. The correct decision therefore based on this data is to continue with TV advertising. I may not know the complete, numerical positive impact TV has across all channels but I can be convinced with this data that it is worthwhile. </p> <p>Another data point we used was the post-transaction survey mentioned earlier. In response to ‘how did you hear about us’ we gave some relevant options such as TV, print, search etc. When analysing the data for the same period, the majority selected ‘TV’, which was of course great news but unsurprising.</p> <p>However where this was even more interesting was matching this back into Google Analytics as an event and analysing those that said they heard of toucanBox via TV and the final channel they converted on. Through this we also found TV impacted sign ups that came via Facebook ads, online partnerships and affiliates.</p> <p>Essentially we added a layer that analytics tools cannot yet add - where did they remember seeing or hearing about the brand first? This is important because we're looking for the trigger ad that prompted them to move from the indifferent stage to the like stage for the brand.</p> <p>TV for toucanBox had played an even bigger part in uplifting the entire marketing mix. Without the additional data points, a singular view of CPA and attribution would have led us to making the wrong decision and hindered growth. </p> <h4>No surprise, CPA tracking is still an issue </h4> <p>Despite this level of insight and understanding, can we answer how best to place every single marketing dollar?</p> <p>No we can’t, because the true CPA of every channel, considering what percentage of the customer journey each channel contributed, is a thing of data science beyond the scope of this article. You can search for and sift through <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=multi+channel+attribution">tens of thousands of articles</a> written on this subject in the last 5-10 years yet we’re still not able to 100% define a true CPA.</p> <p>The challenge is that typical tracking of budget and transactions, from channel to channel, device to device, across web analytics and crucially your customer database rarely match up. This occurs because of how each tracking system sees the view of a single transaction.</p> <p>If a customer visits the site from a Facebook ad, based on the attribution window you are looking at Facebook will record it as a transaction via Facebook, regardless of whether that person converts subsequently via another channel or not. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics register the last channel the customer came through and although GA offers a way of <a href="https://www.kaushik.net/avinash/multi-channel-attribution-modeling-good-bad-ugly-models/">viewing multi-channel attribution</a>, at best some marketers and analysts are still inexperienced with how to use it for budget decision making and at worst are not even aware it exists.</p> <p>GA will also often under report against what your customer database shows due to cookie/tracking issues and so as a marketer it is a constant struggle to optimise channels, marketing-mix and internal KPI reporting. The screengrab below is a typical view of what our customer journey might look like from first click to last. Quite the journey. And if last click was all we went on, we might ditch email or organic search from our marketing mix.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5375/3.png" alt="attribution" width="800"></p> <p>Whilst at toucanBox we are highly data-driven in our marketing analysis and decision making, we’re also in fast-growth stage and so require a balance between data accuracy and growth agility which often increase inversely. Making decisions on hard, measurable data points isn't enough to make a fully qualified decision to assigning the true CPA for a given campaign or a channel.</p> <h4>So after all of that, how exactly do you evaluate the return on your dollar spend? </h4> <p>The simple answer is through complex data modelling, tracking and attribution. Well no, actually the simpler answer is you don’t.</p> <p>Instead marketers will often take stock of a blended view of marketing in order to determine the success of a campaign. If tracking and accounting the return from every dollar is your priority (and there's no reason it shouldn't be) then you will need to have the time and resource available to create a system which at best, will get you close to answering this.</p> <p>However if you’re a fast-growth company looking to make the the next best decision to that, on how your marketing performance stacks up, then a combination of in-channel optimisation to get the best from your macro metrics such as cost per click (CPC) and clickthrough rate (CTR) on top of a blended view of marketing performance might just get your growth machine whirring that much faster.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68934 2017-04-03T14:11:00+01:00 2017-04-03T14:11:00+01:00 How chatbots and AI might impact the B2C financial services industry Alasdair Graham <p>Because of this, a significant proportion of FS businesses may not have felt the need to invest in digital. This is also potentially exacerbated by the fact that their competitors and cohorts are also lagging in terms of digital. Research by Econsultancy and Adobe shows that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-financial-services-and-insurance-sector-2016/">9% of FS businesses claim to be digital-first</a>, compared to 11% across all sectors.</p> <p>As younger, digitally native clients begin moving into the market for financial services at both a consumer level and professional level, becoming ‘digital first’ is now imperative for the financial services industry.</p> <p>In addition to the changing workforce and consumer landscape, the FCA also launched the <a href="https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-advice-market-review-famr?field_fcasf_sector=unset&amp;field_fcasf_page_category=unset">Financial Advice Market Review</a> in late 2015 which aimed to review and explore ways in which financial institutions can take actions to:</p> <ul> <li>Provide affordable advice to consumers.</li> <li>Improve and increase access to advice.</li> <li>Address industry concerns relating to future liabilities and redress without watering down levels of consumer protection.</li> </ul> <p>With these goals in mind, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/">AI</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68046-five-pioneering-examples-of-how-brands-are-using-chatbots/">chatbots</a> and digital tick a range of boxes, particularly under the “affordability” and “accessibility” criteria.</p> <p>Like some systems that consumers may be familiar with, such as virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana or Amazon’s Echo platform, chatbots are essentially pieces of software that simulate human, natural language conversations and can respond to and act upon queries and commands from users.</p> <p>The advantage these systems have over a ‘real’ conversation with a human is that they are able to extract and analyse a user’s needs and intent and ultimately return the information a user has requested or perform actions for them faster, at any time of day or night, more accurately and at significantly lower cost than a human counterpart.</p> <p>This new AI technology has been taken note of by financial institutions on a global scale, with 80% viewing them as an opportunity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5222/bots_opportunity.png" alt="" width="565" height="402"></p> <p><em>Image Source: <a href="https://thefinancialbrand.com/63596/financial-banking-bots-chatbot-voice-ai/">The Financial Brand</a></em></p> <h3>Bots are viewed as an opportunity by the financial services sector</h3> <p>As with most emerging technologies, smaller, agile fintech startups have been quick to adopt chatbot technology out of both necessity and choice. This mitigates the issue of expensive traditional customer service interactions and ultimately benefits the end users through savings and improved customer experiences.</p> <p>UK startup <a href="https://www.habito.com/">Habito</a> built the world’s first AI mortgage advice chatbot which queries applicant’s financial status, asking questions covering an applicant’s salary, personal life and employment.</p> <p>After this 10-15 minute ‘chat’ the bot then collates all the data given and queries hundreds of products, as opposed to the handful that a human advisor would be able to query, and in a fraction of the time.</p> <p>In line with the FCA’s ‘financial advice market review’ this results in a far less stressful process for the consumer, free of having to schedule and attend appointments within office hours, paying a premium for advice, or interacting with a potentially biased party.</p> <p>According to Habito's CEO and founder Daniel Hegarty: "Our digital mortgage adviser is a huge step forward in making mortgage advice accessible for consumers in the way they need it most: unbiased, always available and, most importantly, free.”</p> <p>Ultimately, this move to fully automated, impartial chatbot-based advice could result in consumers saving thousands of pounds per year.</p> <p>The benefits of this type of technology are clear with many people choosing to apply and research mortgages online through these types of systems rather than spending the extra time and potentially cash on a human mortgage broker that may not necessarily have the best deals available. These systems could potentially pave the way to a fully automated mortgage approval, further removing the potential for human error and bias from the process.</p> <p>American bank Capital One also launched a chatbot called ‘Eno’.  Eno is able to interpret text-based conversational queries and commands alongside emojis.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jvyHcjZoGJk?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>This includes the ability to check balances and pay off credit cards, while cash transfers are also in the works. Additionally for customers with Amazon Echo, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68791-should-financial-services-brands-follow-capital-one-on-to-amazon-echo/">Capital One has also built out a ‘skill’ that allows for voice commands</a>.</p> <p>The benefits of this are clear from both sides – consumers get what is equivalent to an ‘always on’ personal assistant at the bank that can perform actions for them without having to interact with cumbersome apps or websites and convoluted log-in processes for basic requests.</p> <h3>Percentage of FI's that believe bots will take over many of today's customer conversations</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5223/percentage_of_fis.png" alt="" width="565" height="362"></p> <p><em>Image Source: <a href="https://thefinancialbrand.com/63596/financial-banking-bots-chatbot-voice-ai/">The Financial Brand</a></em></p> <p>At the business side, Capital One stand to make significant savings in terms of time and manpower as users transition from face-to-face and telephone queries to simply asking Eno.</p> <p>Given the abundance of data available to financial services firms and the often methodical, process-driven nature of consumer financial advice, chatbots seem like an easy decision for most consumer-facing financial services companies.</p> <p>The fact that mobile is now a huge factor in financial services and particularly banking is also a huge opportunity for chatbots and AI. Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile given that messaging is arguably one of the most used features on smartphones.  </p> <p>Not to mention that financial service chatbots could easily be integrated into applications that billions of consumers already have and are using daily such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This removes a significant barrier to entry in that consumers don’t have to download another app or alter their existing mobile behaviour patterns.</p> <p>With the above in mind, businesses within the financial services industry will only truly realise the advantages of AI and chatbots if it is implemented as part of a well-considered, omnichannel strategy.</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68934-how-chatbots-and-ai-might-impact-the-b2c-financial-services-industry/"><em>How chatbots and AI might impact the B2C financial services industry</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/"><em>Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68932-how-we-built-our-facebook-chatbot-what-does-it-do-and-what-s-the-point/"><em>How we built our Facebook chatbot: What does it do, and what's the point?</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68951 2017-04-03T11:44:55+01:00 2017-04-03T11:44:55+01:00 What makes Premier Inn the world’s strongest hotel chain? Nikki Gilliland <p>With total sales up 12.9% and like-for-like sales up 4.2% in 2015 and 2016, it marks a successful period for the hotel chain.</p> <p>So, what exactly makes Premier Inn so strong? Here’s a breakdown of its <a href="http://brandfinance.com/knowledge-centre/reports/brand-finance-hotels-50-2017/" target="_blank">BSI score</a> along with some further insight into what it’s been doing right.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5139/BSI.JPG" alt="" width="368" height="400"></p> <h3>Familiarity and consumer confidence</h3> <p>As one of the first mass market UK hotel chains to be advertised on prime time television, Premier Inn has infiltrated the consumer mind-set as a go-to brand. By using high-profile celebrities in its TV ads, most notably with comedian Lenny Henry, it has further cemented itself into the consumer consciousness.</p> <p>Alongside this sense of familiarity, Premier Inn has worked hard to instil a sense of confidence in consumers – and this has mainly been achieved by differentiating itself from the competition.</p> <p>With its ‘great night’s sleep guaranteed’ pledge, it goes above and beyond the promise of convenience or value to offer something that all consumers crave from a night in a hotel – real comfort and a sense that it is a home away from home. </p> <p>By using its partnership with Hypnos beds in this way, and even going as far as offering a money-back guarantee, it has been able to beat out similar chains that solely rely on factors like low cost.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpremierinn%2Fposts%2F1469295463100686%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="662"></iframe></p> <h3>Emotionally-led campaigns</h3> <p>Having established itself as a well-known and familiar brand, Premier Inn has widened its marketing approach to focus on more emotionally-led campaigns – recently using director Ben Wheatley for a new series of adverts. </p> <p>‘Great Aunt Mabel’s Birthday’ – a decidedly Wes Anderson-inspired ad – portrays the experience of getting ready for a special birthday party, building on relatable family-driven elements to engage viewers. </p> <p>Similarly, its ‘Working Girl’ ad depicts a different but similarly emotionally-driven experience of giving an important work presentation, which is conveniently made easier thanks to Premier Inn’s free Wi-Fi, unlimited breakfast and king-size Hypnos beds.</p> <p>With an emotional response reported to have a far greater influence on a consumer’s intent to purchase than the ad’s content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials – Premier Inn’s decision to veer into this territory is likely to resonate with consumers. </p> <p>What’s more, it aims to show the brand in a fresh and multi-faceted light, removing the perception that it's <em>only</em> about a good night’s sleep.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dbpH2F-kn8Y?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Value-for-money and employee focus</h3> <p>With value-for-money having a direct influence on consumer satisfaction, Premier Inn’s commitment to offering a quality service for less appears to be at the heart of its success. But more than this, it is its ability to strike a balance between value and quality which sets it apart – and a reason why it has also ranked consistently highly on YouGov’s BrandIndex.</p> <p>Lastly, with staff satisfaction and corporate reputation contributing to brand strength, Premier Inn’s commitment to equality is also worth a mention.</p> <p>As well as a student placement scheme, the brand runs the Premier Inn Hospitality Apprenticeship programme to recruit people from diverse class backgrounds, regardless of academic achievement. The chain employs around 700 apprentices in the UK at any one time, offering the opportunity for apprentices to rise up the ranks and even run hotels or large teams at corporate level.  </p> <p>In doing so, it has demonstrated its position as a fair and socially-aware employer, undoubtedly contributing to its status as a powerful brand. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpremierinn%2Fposts%2F1349966288366938&amp;width=500" width="500" height="488"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65315-which-hotel-sites-offer-the-best-user-experience/" target="_blank">Which hotel sites offer the best user experience?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb/" target="_blank">How hotels can personalize the customer experience to compete with Airbnb</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68025-how-hotels-can-create-a-more-convenient-customer-experience/" target="_blank">How hotels can create a more convenient customer experience</a></em></li> </ul>