tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/performance-marketing Latest Performance marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-01-17T10:00:01+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68706 2017-01-17T10:00:01+00:00 2017-01-17T10:00:01+00:00 Ashley Friedlein's marketing and digital trends for 2017 Ashley Friedlein <p>You can <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">read my 2016 post</a> to see whether I had any success in predicting the major trends from last year, and here are the trends that I think will have the biggest impact in 2017.</p> <h3>1. The F word </h3> <p>I believe the guiding star for marketing, and digital, for 2017 will be: Focus. </p> <p>In part, this is because the economic outlook is uncertain so there is less appetite for risk and instead a desire to focus on either fixing what is not working or doubling down on what is working and scaling that.</p> <p>Businesses want growth, brands want saliency in a cluttered landscape, but there is not the money to ‘throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks’ so focus has to be the answer. </p> <p>In part, it is also a reaction against the ever-increasing complexity and fragmentation within marketing. Both at the highest levels (What even is ‘marketing’ now? What is ‘digital’ really?) and at the tactical levels (Which new emerging platforms do we now also have to manage? Have we really nailed our responsive programmatic social video campaign? What are we doing about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/">dark social</a> and messaging?). </p> <p>Focus is an antidote to ambiguity and complexity. In part, I think shareholders and boards are starting to lose patience with marketing and digital strategy and execution which lacks focus.</p> <p>There are only so many times you can say “for us digital is like changing the engines on the plane whilst still flying!” or cunningly pass off what is really indecision, lack of competence or lack of operational clarity as “agile”. </p> <p>In 2017 prioritisation is the top priority. Focus on the focus. So I expect to see:</p> <ul> <li>Brand portfolios being rationalised. This started in 2016 but I expect to continue this year. Weaker brands will be killed off so energies can be focused on the strongest. </li> <li>As well as cutting some brands completely we will see more ‘zero-based branding’ thinking (cf. “<a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/01/26/why-unilever-is-right-to-adopt-zero-based-budgeting/">zero-based budgeting</a>” from 2016) where marketers revisit a brand's purpose, promise, positioning and audience. Again, to ensure clarity of focus. </li> <li>Agency/supplier relationships being rationalised. Again, in the name of focus, I expect to see brands favouring fewer, deeper, supplier relationships. This will be a challenge for mid-sized agencies. I believe it will favour the big consultancies and systems integrators over the agencies too.</li> <li>Media partners being rationalised. There will be less appetite for continual experimentation and fragmented efforts. Rather marketers will want to do better what is already shown to work. In the digital space this is good news for Google and Facebook in particular.  </li> </ul> <p>2017 will be more about refinement than reinvention for most marketers. More about consolidation, embedding and stratification than diversity and fragmentation. Time to get better at ‘operationalising’ marketing in a digital age.</p> <p>Take a cue from Google which has been busy cutting back projects to focus on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">artificial intelligence</a>. In 2017 your hardest decisions will be about what <em>not</em> to do. </p> <h3>2. Macro trends impacting marketing in 2017</h3> <p>Following are some broader trends that are shaping marketing, and digital, through 2017 and beyond. </p> <h4>2.1 The democratisation of AI (artificial intelligence)</h4> <p>AI is <em>the</em> hot technology trend. But a bit like ‘big data’ I do not see it as a thing in isolation. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/">AI will permeate all aspects of marketing</a> and beyond.</p> <p>From quite specific applications like AI-powered email subject line optimisation (like <a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a>) through smart devices and right up to Samsung-acquired <a href="http://viv.ai/">Viv</a> the ‘global brain’ and ‘intelligent interface to everything’.  </p> <p>AI is already powerful: <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/alphago-deepmind-google-wins-lee-sedol">Google’s Go-winning DeepMind technology</a>, Facebook’s <a href="https://research.fb.com/publications/deepface-closing-the-gap-to-human-level-performance-in-face-verification/">DeepFace</a> facial recognition is better than a human’s etc. But the exciting opportunity for us all is that AI is becoming democratised, becoming a utility, being made available as a service. </p> <p>In 2017 you should not ‘do AI’ but you should keep on top of how AI can help make smarter things that you are already doing and make sure your suppliers and vendors are using AI to improve their services to you. </p> <h4>2.2 Conversational interfaces</h4> <p>I could have gone with bots, chat, messaging, even the ‘conversation economy’. But let us focus on conversational interfaces for now.</p> <p>Messaging, bots and smart home devices, like Amazon’s Echo, are the main actors on the stage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">conversational UI</a>. This is an exciting area of development, possibly even a ‘<a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">paradigm shift</a>’? </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KkOCeAtKHIc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Conversational UIs can help remove friction in a process. Before long we will expect to say “Find me three of the best tents that sleep up to five people for under £300”, get a good answer, and then purchase, all by voice. Interfaces will have API access to marketplaces like eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon etc. </p> <p>From a brand point of view this conversational paradigm is also compelling. Perhaps we can have conversations like we used to with businesses and recapture some of the intimacy that technology to date has caused us to lose? Can conversational interfaces re-humanise technology? </p> <p>The big question for marketers and brands in 2017 is whether you choose to play directly in this space, by creating your own <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbot</a> for example, or whether you figure out how best to integrate in the ecosystem of much larger players, e.g. building a ‘skill’ for Amazon’s Alexa platform <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/help/insideguardian/2016/sep/28/introducing-the-guardian-skill-for-alexa">like the Guardian</a>. </p> <h4>2.3 Realtime</h4> <p>Building on the conversational paradigm, we should also expect experiences to become more realtime.</p> <p>Whether that is messaging, live customer service, live location tracking or live video streaming, we can see expectations rising for experiences that are ‘in the moment’. Just recently Google updated its “Popular times and visit duration” information for destinations to include realtime information on how busy the place is. </p> <p>In 2017 and beyond we need to look at how we can deliver <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/customer-experience/">customer experiences</a> that are realtime which is a challenge across technology, people and process. </p> <h4>2.4 Google/Facebook duopoly unchallenged</h4> <p>I cannot see how Google and Facebook will not continue to gain momentum. This will be aided by the focus and consolidation I described earlier.</p> <p>For many marketers who need to get good at a few things that they know have scale and can work, it is much easier to concentrate on a few platforms than many. </p> <p>Over 2017 it will be interesting to see how the video wars play out between Google (YouTube) and Facebook and also the degree to which brands work more directly with Google and Facebook which threatens to relegate the importance of the agency relationship. </p> <h4>2.5 Consultancies and systems integrators steal share from agencies</h4> <p>Speaking of agency relationships... I fear agencies may increasingly lose out to the big consultancies in winning large <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital and marketing transformation</a> work.</p> <p>Creativity and media planning/buying may hold out best against the consultancy attack but, as media becomes more programmatically driven, it is access to (increasingly backend) data and smart business logic that is required.</p> <p>And ‘digital transformation’ is a lot about change management, business strategy, data architecture, process, systems integration, cultural transformation etc. This is home turf to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68570-consultancies-are-buying-agencies-what-does-it-mean-for-marketing/">consultancies who have also been aggressively acquiring</a> or hiring agency talent.   </p> <h4>2.6 Identity management and authentication</h4> <p>We know devices are proliferating, we know we want to deliver personalised experiences across channels, we know multichannel marketing and (re)targeting can work if well executed and we know we want to measure ROI in a properly attributed way across channels. But we also know the sensitivities around data control and privacy.</p> <p>At the root of these challenges is how, and if at all, we can reliably identify who someone is. And even if we can, what the legal and perception challenges are around what we then do with that knowledge.</p> <p>This is another reason for the rise and rise of Google and Facebook who can address these challenges at scale and whose users are pretty much logged in all the time wherever they go online. Not a luxury most of us have.  </p> <h4>2.7 Talent</h4> <p>Yes, there is still a war for that.</p> <h3>3. Marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>And now the key trends in marketing. </p> <h4>3.1 Marketing transformation</h4> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68009-it-is-the-end-of-the-beginning-for-digital-but-is-it-the-beginning-of-the-end/">‘death of digital’ debate</a> rumbles on but certainly I have noticed brands talking not only about ‘digital transformation’ but also about ‘marketing transformation’.</p> <p>Usually the initial focus is a restructure of the marketing organisation, often with the (re)integration of digital marketing, and often with a new person at the top who is increasingly likely to be a CCO (Chief Customer Officer) rather than CMO. </p> <p><a href="http://theoystercatchers.com/">Oystercatchers</a> (a sister brand to Econsultancy and part of Centaur Media plc) note a trend towards clients bringing more marketing teams in house – maybe not permanently but building dream teams for specific tasks. </p> <p>Accompanying this internal transformation is a re-evaluation of supplier relationships, the likely outcome of which I address earlier, and zero-based budgeting has become more popular as another way to ‘reset the clock’. </p> <p>The area that I find most interesting is the idea of ‘marketing ops’: the operating system for marketing. This is one effective way of keeping focus but also dealing with complexity and delivering operational efficiency.</p> <p>Just as (enlightened) IT has ‘dev ops’ it makes absolute sense to me that marketing needs ‘marketing ops’. Marketing is adopting ‘agile’ from the world of technology (incorrectly in many cases, but still…) and could do well to adopt ‘ops’. </p> <p>If you want to get some insight into this emerging area of marketing I recommend you look at <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/MarTechConf/marketing-ops-is-a-philosophy-not-a-department-by-justin-dunham">this presentation on marketing ops by Justin Dunham</a> of Urban Airship.  </p> <h4>3.2 Customer experience still top of the agenda</h4> <p>Customer experience has been a hot topic for a few years now but it shows no sign of cooling in 2017. Every single piece of market research Econsultancy does into what topics marketers are prioritising, and indeed the equivalent data I have seen from other analysts, shows customer experience topping the charts. </p> <p>The drivers for this are partly just to meet customers’ rising expectations, i.e. improved experiences, particularly digital and multichannel ones, are something that you just have to do. Partly, of course, it is in an effort to improve ROI through better conversion and retention rates.  </p> <p>2017 will see more ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">customer journey mapping</a>’, more defining of personas and further efforts at personalisation. And, according to Econsultancy’s recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">Implementing a CX Strategy</a> research, it is the marketing function which is most likely to own CX within a business. Yet only 8% of companies view themselves as 'very advanced' in terms of customer experience maturity.</p> <p>Multichannel will remain a big focus for customer experience improvements. Amazon Go, which entirely automates the in-store experience using sensors and machine learning, shows what is possible when blending the digital and physical.</p> <p>Multichannel should not be about the distinction of physical and digital channels but about experience fulfilment: what works best for what experience and customer need.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NrmMk1Myrxc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>In 2017 we will move away from channel execution to thinking more about touchpoints and brand (“omni-brand” anyone?) experience.</p> <p>Rarely is there a single linear customer journey; more usually customer journeys are pretzel-shaped. </p> <h4>3.3 Data lakes and data ops</h4> <p>The move towards brands taking greater, first-party, control of their data as a strategic asset will continue. Expect to hear more about ‘data lakes’ in 2017 and dedicated ‘data/analytics ops’ teams comprising data scientists, engineers and analysts.</p> <p>The focus will be on getting better access to the data that is already available and smarter reuse of analytics assets like algorithms and models. Perhaps this year more marketers will finally be able to get a universal view of cross-channel performance.  </p> <p>In 2017 we will also start to recognise the need to use data to market to machines. We already know the value of structuring our data properly through schematic language to enhance how we appear in search results. But as personal assistants and IoT (internet of things) devices increasingly intermediate between our offerings and our customers we will need to learn how to ‘teach’ these machines with data.</p> <h4>3.4 Measurement scrutiny</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot happening in the area of measurement, performance and metrics: <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/08/30/mark-ritson-mcdonalds-zero-margin-omnicom-deal-sets-welcome-precedents-for-agency-contracts/">McDonald’s zero-margin Omnicom deal</a> setting a new precedent for agency contracts; <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas/">Facebook’s erroneous video metrics</a>; the <a href="http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/industry-initiative-media-transparency">ANA’s concerning report</a> into lack of transparency in media buying by agencies.</p> <p>As a result, there will be a lot of scrutiny from senior management around how marketing is being measured. Some may reach the nirvana promised by the aforementioned data lakes, assuming they can find the talent to realise them and harness their value, but for many this year’s focus will mean having fewer KPIs but being more rigorously held to account over those.</p> <p>Marketing attribution will still be challenging (less so for Google and Facebook): according to Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-state-of-marketing-attribution/">State of Marketing Attribution</a> research 76% of respondents are struggling to find the right staff to deal with attribution. </p> <h4>3.5 Rethinking segmentation and targeting</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot of debate around approaches to customer segmentation and targeting. How granular is too granular? Is ‘mass targeting’ the answer? How does programmatic work in the mix?</p> <p>In 2017 we need to focus on resolving this question. As ever, the answer will be ‘it depends’. It depends not just on your product and audience but on your business strategy e.g. if you are going after market share at any cost versus focusing on profits and margins. </p> <p>Approaches to targeting are interesting in as far as they expose the sometimes differing philosophies and approaches of ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ marketing. The former typically has a higher degree of planning and research up front and the segmentation and targeting models often built on more prescribed geo-demographic data attributes. </p> <p>Digital, meanwhile, espouses a ‘test and learn’ approach to validate hypotheses, starting small and scaling what works, and using technology and data to optimise for successful outcomes.</p> <p>For example, using programmatic advertising to optimise for sales using lookalike targeting which may not care what geo-demographic segment a prospect belongs to.</p> <p>Digital focuses on assessing potential customer value based on realtime, dynamic and contextual data variables which might include the weather right now, your precise location right now, what device you are using, what transport you are currently in, what you have just searched for, just clicked on etc.</p> <p>This year, as part of our marketing transformation (see earlier), we need to resolve these tensions between ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’. This will play out in organisational design but also in our processes, culture and capability development.  </p> <h3>4. Digital marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>There is an increasingly blurred line between ‘digital marketing’ and ‘marketing’ but the following trends focus on the digital elements of marketing.</p> <h4>4.1 Digital Transformation</h4> <p>Econsultancy’s recent research on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-marketing-reality/">The New Marketing Reality</a> with IBM highlights the many challenges facing digital marketing:</p> <ul> <li>fragmentation and complexity.</li> <li>challenges in understanding the customer journey.</li> <li>challenges with organisational and data silos.</li> <li>confusion around metrics and what good looks like.</li> <li>managing both generalist and specialist agencies and vendors at the same time.</li> <li>lack of capability in areas like data and customer experience.</li> <li>lack of clarity in strategy and leadership. </li> </ul> <p>There is nothing particularly new here and there will not be for 2017. The challenges in becoming a digitally adept and mature organisation are many and will take years to work through.</p> <p>2017 will continue to see a mix of initiatives which, on the one hand, deliberately create ‘elite’ digital units (McKinsey talk about ‘<a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/agile-marketing-a-step-by-step-guide">war-room teams</a>’) in an attempt to move at speed and, on the other hand, attempts to integrate and unify ‘digital’ and ‘traditional’ within a single marketing function. In practice most organisations will do both at the same time.</p> <p>Digital will also need better ‘ops’ (see the earlier section on marketing transformation), particularly in the area of data. Ops can help corral disjointed data and wrangle the complexity of channel silos.</p> <p>Digital will also be in the vanguard as organisations seek to become more agile and better at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68503-what-is-design-thinking/">design thinking</a>, customer experience optimisation and product management. </p> <p>Non-Executive Directors with digital expertise will stay in great demand. There will be more Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) but the rate of growth in this job title may have peaked. </p> <h4>4.2 Data and marketing automation</h4> <p>2016 was a big year for marketing automation. Martech outshone adtech. Companies like Oracle, Adobe and IBM went on a spending spree to acquire capabilities to bolster their martech offerings across areas including programmatic, personalisation, video and social.</p> <p>Last year also saw a lot of talk about using data to optimise marketing including customer insight, personalisation, automation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">conversion rate optimisation</a>, multichannel, and predictive analytics. </p> <p>2017 will primarily be about putting these things into action. For most, ‘marketing automation’ is, initially, just better <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>. Improved customer onboarding, retention or renewal sequences, more refined trigger-driven messaging, more personalisation, introducing lead scoring and lead nurturing.</p> <p>This practice is then extended into other channels as data becomes more joined up and the ‘direct marketing’ of email becomes joined to the ‘above the line’ of advertising with programmatic media. </p> <h4>4.3 Artificial intelligence </h4> <p>Earlier I noted that AI will permeate all areas of marketing so is not a discipline in itself. But it will be the digital experts within the marketing function who will be expected to take the lead in how AI is adopted by organisations.</p> <p>Indeed, Econsultancy researched our subscribers to ask who is responsible for defining the role of AI-powered marketing within their organisations and 61% stated it was the marketing function.</p> <p>The applications of AI in marketing for 2017 sit most obviously in the digital marketing disciplines: AI for content curation (e.g. smart recommendations); AI for customer service (particularly digital/social service); AI for content generation (e.g. email copy or video content); AI for sentiment analysis (e.g. social listening); AI for CRM (e.g. smarter loyalty or sales insights); AI for intelligent digital advertising optimisation; AI to power chatbots (e.g. for assistance in finding products or content). </p> <h4>4.4 Content marketing</h4> <p>As per <a href="http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp">Gartner’s Hype Cycle</a>, 2017 sees content marketing moving through the slope of enlightenment and entering its plateau of productivity. There will be more focus on understanding return on investment, more refined approaches based on learnings to date, more focus on scaling the things that are working, more clarity on roles and capabilities.  </p> <p><em>Gartner's Hype Cycle</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3103/Gartner_hype_cycle.png" alt="" width="589" height="411"></em></p> <p>Scott Brinker has an interesting view on what he terms the <a href="http://marketingland.com/4th-wave-content-marketing-marketing-apps-84108">4th Wave of Content Marketing</a> and I agree that 2017 will see more focus on interactive experiences beyond static content or even rich content like video.  </p> <p>Video, as a form of content, will still be an active area of experimentation during 2017: vertical video, shorter and longer form video, video captioning and optimisation for stream viewing, live streaming, social video ads etc. </p> <h4>4.5 Social</h4> <p>“Social” is a very broad term these days. Plenty of activity to expect in 2017 across social:</p> <p><strong>Social care</strong> – deeper integration of social channels into customer service and care.</p> <p><strong>Social CRM</strong> – similarly to customer care, social data and touchpoints will become more closely integrated with backend CRM systems. </p> <p><strong>Dark social and messaging</strong> – more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing/">brands running private social groups</a>, experiments with chatbots, greater usage of messaging as a medium both internally (e.g. Slack) and externally through integrations with Facebook Messenger or trials with WhatsApp groups and, for B2B, setting up messaging groups on LinkedIn. </p> <p><strong>Emerging platforms</strong> – social is at the forefront of experimentation with emerging platforms and formats. Last year it was Meerkat and Pinterest; this year I expect we will see more activity around Snap, Instagram and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> (even in the West). </p> <p><strong>Social answering</strong> – I have not yet come up with a name I am happy with for this... but essentially it is about listening for relevant conversations, or questions, taking place online and then participating and answering in order to drive awareness, traffic and search rankings.</p> <p>In B2B this might be answering, or commenting on, content posted to LinkedIn; if you were targeting developers you would do this but on Stack Overflow; Quora, among others, has become a much bigger driver of traffic so it is worth answering relevant questions there. </p> <p><strong>Social amplification</strong> – thankfully there is less talk of ‘going viral’ as relates to social. But 2017 should see efforts in understanding how to use social to distribute, augment and amplify content and messaging.</p> <p>There is a skillset to optimising this: the best practitioners know how to orchestrate social channels to maximise amplification. In its simplest form this is about choreographing how, and when, content is published. Enterprise social management software now allows for more sophisticated scheduling and provides the analytical insights to optimise it.  </p> <p><strong>Influencer marketing</strong> – this is not just about ‘social’, of course, but 2017 will see continued efforts to identify and understand who the ‘new influencers’ might be for your brand and then engage with them, socially, commercially and through PR. </p> <p><strong>Social media advertising</strong> – driven largely by the emerging platforms as well as increasing experimentation by more traditional media owners, 2017 will offer a whole range of new ad formats, experiences and commercial models for agencies and their clients to experiment with. </p> <h3>5. Hot topics but still not significant in marketing for 2017</h3> <p>Our own Econsultancy research says that marketers are excited about VR, AR and IoT for 2017.</p> <p>So perhaps I will get some criticism for having the temerity to suggest these are not likely to form a significant part of an average marketer’s job this year. Unless you work for GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) that is. </p> <p>My thoughts on some of these topics:</p> <p><strong>AR (augmented reality)</strong> – sure <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/">Pokémon Go was a great use of AR</a> but most of us are not gaming businesses. AR has many great applications but it still does not feel like it will go mainstream for marketers in 2017.</p> <p>That said, the iPhone 8 release this year could change that with ‘mixed reality’ getting a big boost. </p> <p><strong>VR (virtual reality)</strong> - there is huge hype and investment around VR including from GAFAM (I have added <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68442-microsoft-s-hololens-a-review-of-the-mixed-reality-headset/">Microsoft because of HoloLens</a>) so it should go large some time. But this year?</p> <p>The hardware requirements are still too onerous, the tech and apps too fragmented, the use cases mostly gaming or too niche, for most marketers to spend much time focusing on VR this year. As with AR, VR’s adoption could be turbocharged by the iPhone 8 release this year. </p> <p><strong>IoT (Internet of Things)</strong> – there are some fantastic examples of successful IoT services, a lot in B2B, and this will only grow. But I am less convinced there is an obvious opportunity for marketers yet.</p> <p>As more products and things become connected, however, there is a really interesting customer-product relationship marketing opportunity. We should see more early examples of that this year.  </p> <p><strong>Wearables</strong> – I am still not convinced there are enough use cases for most marketers to get excited about the wearables opportunity.</p> <p><strong>3D Printing</strong> – <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2014/08/14/3d-printing-whats-in-it-for-marketers/">I wrote about 3D printing</a> almost three years ago. The technology has improved, of course, but I’m still not clear how this is particularly relevant for marketers?</p> <p><strong>Blockchain</strong> – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68693-the-importance-of-the-blockchain-the-second-generation-of-the-internet/">important, exciting, disruptive</a>, but not clear to me how marketing can <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">leverage</a> this, unless perhaps for identity management and authentication.  </p> <p><strong>Beacons</strong> – still not doing it for me.</p> <p>But what do you think? Feel free to post any thoughts or links to your own digital/marketing trends and predictions for 2017. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68661 2016-12-23T00:01:00+00:00 2016-12-23T00:01:00+00:00 Five trends which will define data-driven marketing in 2017 Jeff Rajeck <p>Speaking to company marketers at a recent Digital Cream Singapore, though, it seems that others have a much different view of marketing data.</p> <p>Many attendees indicated that they are no longer just handing over their data to demonstrate return on investment (ROI), but they are instead using it to change the way their marketing team works.</p> <p>Below are five trends which roundtable participants felt will define data-driven marketing in the coming year.</p> <h3>1) Marketers will increasingly use data for decision making</h3> <p>One trend that most participants agreed on is that that data will be used more often to drive marketing decisions in 2017. Attendees said that data analysis was the best way to find the 'low-hanging fruit' which improves marketing performance.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measurement-and-analytics-report">A 2016 Econsultancy survey</a> of client-side marketers backs up this notion. In the study, marketers were asked to indicate what percentage of their data was useful for decision making and less than one in three (29%) indicated that very little (0-25%) of their data was useful.</p> <p>In the same survey, marketers also agreed overwhelmingly (84%) that analytics drives actionable recommendations which make a difference to their organisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2614/figure1.png" alt="" width="800" height="367"></p> <p>While optimistic in general, participants also felt that using data to help make marketing decisions also raises new issues.</p> <p>First off, many said that marketers are suffering from data overload. Each channel, every customer touchpoint, and each marketing system has its own data and participants felt that all the data was becoming overwhelming.</p> <p>One delegate mentioned that their customers use chat apps when purchasing and the marketing team found it difficult to use this data for attribution.</p> <p>Another problem with using data for decision making is that additional resources are required to make sense of the data. Companies with small or stretched marketing teams struggle to find the time to analyse the data to an extent where it offers useful insights.</p> <p>Also, while using data can make some decisions easier, data-based decisions can become politicized, too (see point 3 below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2619/2__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2) Agile marketing will become more popular</h3> <p>Interestingly, attendees said that the increased use of data in marketing will allow marketers to work in a more agile manner.</p> <p>Described in a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68373-what-is-agile-marketing-and-what-do-marketers-think-about-it/">previous article</a>, 'agile marketing' is essentially a working method which encourages individual efforts and frequent collaboration.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9892/agile-wall-3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> <p>According to participants agile marketing is enabled by data because group decisions are guided by facts rather than 'the HIPPO' (Highest Paid Person's Opinion). As a result, marketers feel empowered to share details about their work and meetings become more productive. </p> <p>Those aiming to implement agile marketing will still face challenges, though. Companies with a conservative culture may find it hard to accept its unorthodox working methods.</p> <p>Additionally, for agile to work, marketers must be willing to put in extra hours to learn about how to run tests correctly and explain results in detail.</p> <p>Attendees who had already implemented agile marketing said that the results were encouraging. One reported that projects which used to take two to three months, now only took two to three weeks.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2620/4__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>3) Marketing attribution will still be difficult</h3> <p>While all attendees agreed that they would like to attribute conversions across channels, many feel that they are still some ways away from being able to do so.</p> <p>The first problem attendees highlighted was that the marketing attribution has become political at some organisations. This happens because channel budgets are often set according to how much revenue a channel provides. Channel managers, therefore, are motivated to 'talk up' the value of their channel even if the data does not support it.</p> <p>Another problem was the number of channels. Delegates reported that some of their customers hit 10 or more touchpoints before converting. Piecing together a customer journey of that length and attributing value to each step is a difficult, if not impossible, task.</p> <p>Finally, marketers said that even if the journey could be mapped and an attribution model agreed upon, not all of the data is available. New digital channels are popping up all of the time and many do not integrate with analytics systems (see <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68223-dark-social-it-s-worse-than-we-thought-in-asia-pacific/">Dark social: It's worse than we thought in Asia-Pacific</a>). To add to the problem, offline data is typically even more difficult to obtain than online.</p> <p>So, while marketing attribution will remain a goal of many companies, participants predicted that few will make as much progress toward marketing attribution in 2017 as they would like.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2618/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></strong></p> <h3>4) Marketers will personalise using data-driven customer insights</h3> <p>Personalisation is already in use at many organisations, but often this meant using segments to deliver content which resonates more with the target audience.</p> <p>In the coming year, attendees felt that personalisation initiatives will be expanded so that consumers will be delivered the 'next best piece of content' to help them make buying decisions.</p> <p>In order to do so, marketers must be able to use the 'data exhaust' of consumer behaviour and use that as a way to determine which content to deliver via email, web, and mobile.</p> <p>Some participants felt that there were issues with this approach to personalisation. Many organisations still suffer from 'data silos' where one department would not allow another to use its data.  This is particularly true between sales and marketing.</p> <p>Others said that their marketing technology stack was not yet up to the task to handle individual personalisation. According to a recent Econsultancy survey, this seems to be the case at many organisations as only 7% strongly agreed that their current data architecture is an 'enabler for personalisation'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2615/figure_20.png" alt="" width="800" height="478"></p> <h3>5) Media agencies will be held accountable for online advertising</h3> <p>Finally, attendees said that in 2017, client-side marketers will require that their agency partners provide more data about their online advertising.</p> <p>In the past, it seems that many marketing teams did not have the analytics capabilities to manage detailed data about ad performance. As a result, many agency reports contained only high-level figures.</p> <p>Now that client-side teams are becoming more data-driven, their expectations for both the quantity and the quality of the data will increase. Issues such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67531-fake-likes-clicks-followers-in-asia-what-you-can-do-about-them/">click fraud</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67366-three-display-advertising-issues-to-watch-in-2016/">viewability</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67334-disproving-the-myth-about-display-clicks-conversions/">view-through conversions</a> will become frequent topics of conversations between agencies and data-driven marketing teams.</p> <p>There are still hurdles though. First off, advertising data is complicated and it will take some time for agencies and marketing teams to 'get on the same page', according to one participant.</p> <p>Also, as mentioned above (point 3), even when ad data is understood it still may not help marketers allocate media spend by the effectiveness of the channel.</p> <p>Finally, agencies suffer from the same issue that marketing teams do - they simply do not have all the data. Many online conversions and purchases come through channel partners, such as marketplaces, which do not provide attribution data to their members.</p> <p>So, even with all of the view and click data at hand, marketers who use channel partners will still struggle to know which advertising platforms provide the most value to the business.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated at Digital Cream Singapore 2016 and our table moderator for Data-Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management - Frederick Tay, Associate Director, Marketing Operations, INSEAD.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2621/end__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68633 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 2016-12-13T11:17:11+00:00 How Britain's favourite brands are attracting consumers this Christmas James Collins <p>Our recent research revealed that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68590-10-dazzling-digital-marketing-stats-from-this-week/" target="_blank">Marks &amp; Spencer is the UK’s favourite Christmas shop</a>. Of the 2,000 consumers we surveyed, 28% said they will spend the most on gifts at M&amp;S this month, with Boots, John Lewis, Next and House of Fraser making up the rest of the top five.</p> <p>Attracting Christmas shoppers pays off for these brands, and not just in the short term. Our survey also revealed that 84% of UK shoppers plan to carry on spending in their chosen stores after the Christmas season has ended.</p> <h3>The modern consumer journey</h3> <p>The top five brands are ones which UK shoppers have known and loved for a long time. Although the stores aren’t new, their methods of attracting customers have changed dramatically since the stores were founded.</p> <p>These changes have been driven by the transformation of consumer behaviour. According to research by Webloyalty &amp; Conlumino, the average consumer typically used around two touchpoints during their path to purchase in the year 2000. By 2015, this had increased to around five.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2364/christmas-shoppers-on-smartphone.jpg" alt="Christmas shoppers on smartphone" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>Shoppers are interacting with more touchpoints across more marketing channels and devices than ever before.</p> <p>But which of these is having the biggest impact on consumer choice, and how are Britain’s favourite brands making the most of it?</p> <h3>The famous Christmas TV ad campaign</h3> <p>Despite the big budgets and hype, our research found that only 27% of people make a purchase based on brands’ TV adverts alone.</p> <p>This may seem a small percentage in return for the huge investment in TV ads, but no channel performs in a silo. As multi-device ownership increases – according to the IAB’s 2015 Full Year Digital Adspend Results, there are an average of 8.3 connected devices per home – the ways to reach consumers increase too.</p> <p>For a TV advert to be most effective, it must be part of a multichannel campaign delivering consistent messaging across channels and devices. </p> <p>John Lewis – whose Christmas campaign is often the most talked about – is taking this multichannel approach seriously, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68512-john-lewis-combines-tv-ad-with-snapchat-lens-and-email/">combining both on and offline experiences</a>.</p> <p>Buster the Boxer soft toys and picture books are on sale, and the brand has partnered with Snapchat to produce a custom filter, created bespoke Twitter stickers, and offered an Oculus Rift VR experience in the Oxford Street flagship store. </p> <p>The brand’s creative multichannel approach pays off. Speaking before the release of this year’s campaign, John Lewis’ head of marketing, Rachel Swift, said that the Christmas TV ad campaign is the store’s most profitable return on investment. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sr6lr_VRsEo?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Advice from friends and family</h3> <p>Our survey found that 31% of people listen to advice from friends and family about where to purchase Christmas gifts from.</p> <p>Social media is the modern equivalent of word of mouth. Today’s brands understand the importance of using social media as part of a multichannel campaign.</p> <p>For example, M&amp;S has ‘Mrs Claus’, the star of its TV ad, taking over its Twitter account, has created the hashtag #lovemrsclaus, and has even designed its own Mrs Claus emoji.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A delightful morning full of giving (and receiving) awaits. Stay tuned... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LoveMrsClaus?src=hash">#LoveMrsClaus</a> <a href="https://t.co/au6wzme7AC">pic.twitter.com/au6wzme7AC</a></p> — M&amp;S (@marksandspencer) <a href="https://twitter.com/marksandspencer/status/806770300905848833">December 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Waggener Edstrom, from 4–20 November 2016, M&amp;S clocked up 43,376 mentions across social media, second only to John Lewis (which had a huge 203,199).</p> <p>Again the scale of the social buzz surrounding these big campaigns helps hammer home the importance of creating a campaign that is active across multiple channels.</p> <h3>Browsing a retailer’s own website</h3> <p>Our survey results also showed that 33% of shoppers browse a brand’s own website to help them decide where to buy gifts. So, it’s essential to make sure people can navigate around your site easily.</p> <p>Next’s online Christmas store is a prime example of so many retail websites at this time of year – there’s an obvious Christmas section in the main navigation, ‘gifts for…’ category pages, Secret Santa guides, the list goes on. It’s easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for in whatever way that suits them.</p> <p>But this on-site experience is only beneficial if people are actually visiting your website in the first place. Attracting relevant traffic isn’t just about the short term tactics, like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68573-seven-examples-of-black-friday-email-marketing-from-retailers/">the barrage of Black Friday emails</a> we experienced last month.</p> <p>Campaigns that focus on the long term, like partnerships with relevant blogs and online magazines, can help you attract more of your target customers over a longer period of time. </p> <p>The tricky thing is measuring the impact of campaigns like this. If a customer reads your Christmas gift guide on their favourite fashion blog and then visits your website a few days later, last-click measurement won’t acknowledge the contribution of the content campaign. </p> <p>Brands, including some of those in our top five, are moving towards attributed measurement to help them understand the value of marketing channels that appear earlier in the user journey.</p> <p>House of Fraser, for example, saw an 83% rise in the number of affiliate touchpoints awarded commission when it moved away from the last-click model.</p> <p>This view of the full user journey allowed House of Fraser to recognise the touchpoints that were driving customers to its website on a longer term basis.</p> <h3>Saving money with vouchers and loyalty schemes</h3> <p>Finally, we found that 44% of consumers are encouraged to buy from a store if they know they can use a voucher code, and 23% are persuaded by the chance to build up loyalty points.</p> <p>Boots is a great example of a store that uses vouchers and loyalty points well. You can quickly find offers on voucher and cashback sites, the brand’s Advantage Card is extremely popular, and its 3-for-2 offers at Christmas practically fill the store.</p> <p>Typically, online vouchers are associated with short-term gains at the last click – arguably perfect for the Christmas push. But it’s important to understand the incremental value that vouchers offer.</p> <p>As our survey shows, they can prompt shoppers to choose one brand over another. Vouchers can also add value across the whole user journey: We found a 22% uplift in revenue from voucher sites when taking earlier touchpoints into account, rather than just last click.</p> <p>So, we’ve seen that the modern consumer journey is complex. Christmas shoppers are influenced by lots of different touchpoints – there’s no one channel that trumps them all. The UK stores that win the Christmas retail battle are the ones that target their audience across all the relevant channels available to them.</p> <p>The brands that truly win at this time of the year, however, are the ones that understand the importance of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">lifetime value</a>. Attracting customers and encouraging them to buy Christmas gifts is only the first step.</p> <p>Retailers that succeed are those that use their data cleverly to help them make the most of the 84% of Christmas shoppers who intend to shop at their chosen store again – and attract as many of the remaining 26% as possible.</p> <p>Having a rounded understanding of the user journey, and the many touchpoints that users encounter both pre- and post-purchase, allows you to test and discover what messages to use – and when – to encourage more customers to return again and again.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68634 2016-12-13T01:00:00+00:00 2016-12-13T01:00:00+00:00 Three ways brands will use cognitive marketing Jeff Rajeck <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2367/machine_learning.png" alt="" width="800" height="365"></p> <p>These same forces are also being used in marketing. AI, or 'cognitive', marketing systems use industrial computing power, big data, and machine learning to improve marketing performance. </p> <p>While cognitive marketing has not yet been deployed to a great extent, it soon will be. According to IDC, <a href="https://martechtoday.com/now-entering-age-cognitive-marketing-169117">more than half of all companies will be using cognitive marketing by 2020</a>.</p> <p>So, what exactly is cognitive marketing and how will brands use it?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy, in association with <a href="https://www.ibm.com/watson/marketing/">IBM Watson Marketing</a>, recently held roundtable discussions in Delhi. There, senior client-side marketers discussed the impact of cognitive marketing on brand messaging and how they see the technology developing.  </p> <p>Below is a summary of the three main ways marketers on the day plan to use cognitive marketing.</p> <h3>1. Segment audiences in new ways</h3> <p>Segmenting audiences is a key part of providing relevant messaging to consumers. Participants noted that most marketers use demographics to segment their audience into groups with similar wants and needs.</p> <p>In contrast, cognitive marketing systems search massive data sets from a wide variety of sources, such as web analytics, social media, and purchasing behaviour, to find customer segments which exhibit similar behaviour.</p> <p>In some cases these segments may resemble traditional demographic groups, but in others <strong>cognitive marketing may find common behavioural characteristics among people who appear to be very different.</strong></p> <p>What this means for marketers, according to attendees, is that <strong>cognitive marketing will transform the customer list into a database where each member is connected to others in many different ways</strong>. The result is that one customer will be part of countless segments depending on their observed behaviour.</p> <p>So, a woman aged 34 would no longer be simply considered as 'female, 30-35' but, instead, she would be a 'fashion lover' who 'takes three months to buy', 'travels to Bangalore twice a week', and 'tends to open emails on Tuesday'. </p> <p>Without using cognitive marketing, one participant noted, these sorts of segments would be nearly impossible to build, manage, and use effectively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2368/delhi3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2. Personalise content</h3> <p>With these behavioural segments, marketers can use cognitive marketing systems to personalise content more effectively than ever before.</p> <p>After receiving core content, <strong>a cognitive marketing engine could redesign the messaging so that virtually every person saw something different</strong>. Participants envisioned that the system would use data from social media, browsing behaviour, and even sentiment from customer service communications to reformat content for an individual.</p> <p>Attendees offered a couple of reasons why brands will use this approach. First off, <strong>cognitive marketing would ensure that the brand message was delivered in the right way at the right time for each customer.</strong> Long-form, engaging content could be sent when you know a customer is at home and shorter, easy-to-consume messaging would appear when they are commuting, for example.</p> <p><strong>Personalisation would also ensure that brands avoid delivering irrelevant messages and risk being 'tuned out' by the customer.</strong> Put another way, one marketer said, 'you have five seconds to get their attention with something relevant, otherwise you are done'.</p> <p>Following the event, Antonia Edmunds, business leader at <a href="https://www.ibm.com/watson/marketing/">IBM Watson Marketing</a>, had a few more words to say on this topic:</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/M_VeJapDEsU?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Help customers make better decisions</h3> <p>Delivering a personalised message at the right time benefits the brand for the reasons mentioned above, but delegates noted that<strong> cognitive marketing will also help the customer make better decisions.</strong></p> <p>As cognitive marketing can make inferences using data from a wide variety of sources,<strong> it can also help brands identify customers who have a particular unstated need</strong>, said one attendee.  This will allow the brand to deliver personalised offers and guidance. </p> <p>For example, if someone is price sensitive at the moment, they could be told about a lower-priced product range. If they are time poor, the brand could let them know about a new convenience. And if they are in the middle of a major life event, say moving or getting married, the brand could offer to help them with the process.</p> <p>In this way, according to participants, <strong>cognitive marketing will help companies start conversations with consumers around topics which matter to them</strong> and not just around what the brand wants to say about itself.  </p> <p>This, in turn, will demonstrate that the brand anticipates a consumer's wants and needs and, ideally, make it easier for them to choose the brand above all others.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2369/delhi2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>A word of thanks...</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and our table leaders: </p> <ul> <li>Antonia Edmunds, Business Leader - IBM Watson Marketing.</li> <li>Gowri Arun, GBS Marketing Leader - IBM India/South Asia.</li> <li>Joseph Sundar, Business Development Executive, ISA/ASEAN - IBM Watson Marketing.</li> <li>Harsh Anand, CSP Leader - IBM Commerce. </li> </ul> <p>We hope to see you all at future Delhi Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2373/delhi4.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68578 2016-12-01T12:12:39+00:00 2016-12-01T12:12:39+00:00 The Weather Company on programmatic, ad fraud, and how extreme conditions affect business Olivia Solon <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> What proportion of The Weather Company’s ad sales are done programmatically?</h4> <p><em>Jeremy Hlavacek:</em><strong> </strong>There are two sales channels at The Weather Company. We have our direct sales organization and then I run the side of the business where we put our inventory up for sale through online platforms and exchanges.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1975/Jeremy_Hlavacek.png" alt="" width="246" height="194"></p> <p>It’s about half and half at the moment and the trend is towards more programmatic. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you make sure that your programmatic sales don’t cannibalize direct sales?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> We’ve spent a great deal of time looking at yield and pricing across the two channels. From our point of view it doesn’t matter if an advertiser wants to buy through a human being and a handshake or a technology platform as long as the inventory is priced appropriately.</p> <p>The second part is that both me and the gentleman who runs direct sales report to the Chief Revenue Officer, who can see the performance of both channels and make strategic decisions.</p> <p>He may want one client to buy through automated platforms and another to buy through direct sales channels, maybe because of the client relationship or the type of buy they want to execute, but both divisions are on equal footing. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Some media companies think of using programmatic for unsold inventory. What do you make of that?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> That’s an outdated way of looking at the business. At this point we see lots of premium advertisers who want to use automation technology to execute their buys.</p> <p>As long as the price works with the yield model we have no problem with that.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1976/weather_channel_map.png" alt="" width="800" height="413"></p> <p>We are finding that inventory can be worth even more when we sell it through automated platforms. When a buyer uses a DSP [demand side platform] they can get very precise with the impressions they want to buy so they get good return on investment. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What data points can you use to target consumers more accurately?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> As a weather company we are unique in that we have many first-party data sets, primarily weather and location data.</p> <p>If a beverage advertiser wants to advertise they can use typical programmatic tools to identify the audience of, say, young men between 25 and 35 on the weekend when they are more likely to drink beer.</p> <p>We can then tell them when it is hot and sunny in New York City that’s a good time to run Budweiser ads for drinking a beer on the beach or whatever.</p> <p>Or if it’s cold and stormy in Chicago but it’s football season, it might be a good time to run a beer ad with a different message like “stay inside and watch the game with your friends and enjoy a Budweiser.” </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Earlier this year the east coast of the United States had to deal with Hurricane Matthew, how does such a major weather event affect your job?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> To really understand how publisher yield management works for digital properties a hurricane is a great unusual use case.</p> <p>In media traditionally lots of planning goes into forecasting inventory, understanding how many impressions you’ll have and selling those out in advance. That works well for our direct sales business.</p> <p>However, when a hurricane, snow storm, heatwave, tornado or other major weather event hits, it’s not unusual for us to see anywhere from a 200% to a 400% increase in traffic.</p> <p>It’s almost impossible to forecast that with enough precision to sell directly, so it’s really beneficial to have programmatic as we can immediately put that inventory up for sale in an exchange and monetize it. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What is the biggest challenge facing the programmatic industry?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> One problem that has arisen in this space is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67659-three-things-that-show-the-scale-of-the-ad-fraud-challenge/">ad fraud</a>. Companies running the exchanges have perhaps been a little bit liberal in terms of who they let into that exchange.</p> <p>This means advertisers are spending good money on properties that are either very long tail, have non-human traffic or might not have highly viewable ads. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How does this affect your own business?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> The good news is that advertisers are getting a lot more serious about that issue to the benefit of companies like Weather, which can offer premium inventory at scale without any of the worries of fraud, viewability and non-human traffic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1977/weather_channel_map_2.png" alt="" width="800" height="399"></p> <p>We can give advertisers what they want: efficiency through automation and targeting through data. We want people to buy real legitimate impressions.  </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How can the problem of ad fraud be solved?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> It’s gone on in media for a long time if we’re honest – from the early days of TV and print. That’s why third-party verification companies like Nielsen were invented, to track exactly what was served.</p> <p>This is just a case of the programmatic industry growing up and recognizing it needs to be held to the same standard as other media.</p> <p>When it was a new and disruptive emerging industry maybe it didn’t matter as much, but now $20bn+ is being spent in programmatic ad technology it’s not okay to say, “We’re going to let this slide.” The stakes are too high.  </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What are some of the innovations in programmatic?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> It really grew out of web display inventory and the targeting technology has been pushed to the limit, but there is a huge opportunity in mobile.</p> <p>On the web side we have cookie targeting, but that doesn’t exist for mobile in-app inventory.</p> <p>We know there are huge audiences there, but advertisers haven’t figured out how to use data to target yet, so they are dumping most of their dollars into Facebook or Google.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you solve the mobile targeting problem?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> To me the key is data. Look at web. People used to buy impressions blindly and would use the site as a proxy.</p> <p>So to reach young men they would probably buy ESPN, but then you would also reach women who may not be in your target so would be wasting your dollars.</p> <p>Weather.com, the New York Times and other brands also have large audiences of young men. So we need to move away from contextual targeting where companies’ brands represent the audience towards truly defined audience targeting. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What’s the future of programmatic?</h4> <p><em>JH:</em> In 2017 we’re looking at ways to apply our data across all media. Display is great but social advertising, outdoor advertising and TV advertising are very powerful.</p> <p>There’s no reason why our data shouldn’t be effective across all channels, but it’s early days. The operational systems behind all these media channels are very different from what we do to put an ad on a website.</p> <p>That’s an area where the industry needs to get smarter. Once you master the ad serving technology, you can then think about targeting programmatically. </p> <p><em>For more information on this topic, check out these resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/"><em>A super accessible beginner’s guide to programmatic buying and RTB</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-cmo-s-guide-to-programmatic/"><em>The CMO's Guide to Programmatic</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/programmatic/"><em>Programmatic Training Course</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68564 2016-11-28T15:13:35+00:00 2016-11-28T15:13:35+00:00 2016: The good, the bad and the future of digital marketing Blake Cahill <p>However, while some of my “predictions” turned out to be fairly accurate, there have also been more than a few surprises over the last 12 months.</p> <p>Here are a couple of the most unexpected trends that have taken off this year, two of the biggest digital disappointments and my personal trend pick for 2017.</p> <h3>The surprise revival of silent video</h3> <p>One of the most unexpected trends that made a real comeback this year was silent video. Over <a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/">80% of internet users own a smartphone</a>, but average video viewing time is <a href="http://www.campaignlive.com/article/facebooks-everson-agencies-lagging-mobile-creative/1388780">1.7 seconds</a>, meaning consumers are in rapid consumption mode and marketers have had to become even savvier at grabbing their attention.</p> <p>What this means is there’s a real need for content that packs a punch at the beginning of the clip. If you only have a miniscule amount of time to grab a customer’s attention before they scroll past, then the video needs to have an immediate hook.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/glX_vgRCmKE?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>A perfect example of this is the social media clip that Apple pushed out following the release of the new iPhone 7. The advert is completely silent and simplistic in nature, with each frame changing every 0.5 seconds. </p> <p>In an age where most of us have our smartphones on silent, Apple has managed to discover a way to capture our attention in the most straight-forward of ways.</p> <h3>Hail to the community managers</h3> <p>2016 has also become the year of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/">community manager</a>. It’s common for brands to think of social as a one trick pony, but the brands that are succeeding on social don’t just have someone schedule 10 tweets a day and like the occasional @ comment. </p> <p>The brands that allow their community managers to become the human face of the company add an extra dimension to their social media capabilities and provide the consumer with a real sense of personality.</p> <p>Some brands that really know how to do this are Innocent Drinks, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61946-how-tesco-uses-facebook-twitter-pinterest-and-google/">Tesco</a>, Virgin Trains and <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2015/12/010/10-of-the-most-brilliant-customer-service-exchanges-ever-seen-on/">Oreo</a>. They understand the importance of employing empowered community managers and with any luck, 2017 should see more brands following in their footsteps.</p> <h3>The problem with live content</h3> <p>Of all the successes and surprises in 2016, some of the newer marketing methods are still proving problematic.</p> <p>One of these is live content – it just isn’t working out. Despite the potential, all too many brands still don’t seem to realise how to properly manage live content. </p> <p>Maybe the production value is too low, the content is too tedious, the functionality is broken... Ultimately, without a high value exchange, live content is never going to have any impact with consumers.</p> <p>One example of a brand that has really nailed live content, however, is <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/creditchat/">Experian</a>. It holds straight-forward, weekly chats via YouTube Live, Snapchat and <a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/creditscope/">Periscope</a> to talk directly with consumers about their money worries.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FExperianUK%2Fvideos%2F1062124017192953%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="665"></iframe></p> <p>Experian understands that for live content to work, companies need to accept that what a brand thinks is interesting for customers is rarely what they will actually spend time watching.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">10 pioneering examples of brands using Facebook Live</a>.</em></p> <h3>Where are the iBeacons?</h3> <p>Back in 2014, I was convinced that retail use of iBeacons would swiftly take centre stage in our marketing strategies. </p> <p>We all <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">saw the </a><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65221-ibeacon-trials-13-brands-trying-to-find-a-use-case/">potential</a> and several big brands got on board – <a href="https://blog.virgin-atlantic.com/t5/Our-Future/Virgin-Atlantic-lights-the-way-with-Apple-s-iBeacon-technology/ba-p/26359">Virgin</a> used them in its Heathrow airport lounges and Macy’s rolled them out in over 800 stores to track customer movements <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/macys-taps-ibm-watson-to-improve-in-store-shopping-app/">in-store</a>, push product recommendations and discounts and to inform shoppers about sale items.</p> <p>But despite these examples, they just haven’t made it to the mainstream yet. </p> <p>Despite predictions that 85 of the top 100 retailers would be using them by the end of 2016, only 3% of retailers had implemented beacon technology by 2015 and only 16% had plans to implement them in the near <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-paul-neil/is-ibeacon-marketing-fina_b_10508218.html">future</a>.</p> <p>So what’s the hold up? Well, they can be hard to manage and maintain from a logistical point of view, as all beacon marketing requires user opt-in and customers just aren’t sold on it yet. </p> <p>This could change in 2017 but my bet is that it’ll be a slow process before they start to become a standard part of our marketing efforts.</p> <h3>The democracy of content</h3> <p>Enough about 2016, let’s look to the future.</p> <p>In 2017, brands need to be able to engage and connect with their customers better than ever before (one nice example of this is Philips’ <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBGcW5AtKyg">Every Day Hero</a> campaign). Nowadays however, companies aren’t just competing with another brand’s marketing anymore; they’re competing with the entire internet and this is where it starts to get tricky.</p> <p>Any company hoping to inspire consistent engagement has to accept that consumers now have access to tools (like <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/boomerang-from-instagram/id1041596399?mt=8">Boomerang</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hyperlapse-from-instagram/id740146917?mt=8">Hyperlapse)</a> that can result in better, more engaging pieces of video content than the stuff many of the brands are developing themselves.</p> <p>Earlier this year, a survey found that 85% of users find visual user-generated content (UGC) more influential than brand photos or <a href="http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/why-consumers-share-user-generated-content-infographic/639636">videos</a>. Another report found shoppers who interact with UGC are <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/278152">97% more likely to convert</a> with a retailer than customers who do not.</p> <p>What this means is we can expect to see a huge surge in marketers working with UGC in 2017. It’s nothing new (Burberry launched its <a href="http://artofthetrench.burberry.com/">Art of Trench</a> website back in 2009 for example), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it quickly becomes a much more common feature of brand campaigns.</p> <p>So roll on 2017. I’m looking forward to finding out if I’m right!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68539 2016-11-17T14:28:23+00:00 2016-11-17T14:28:23+00:00 How are disruptive brands redefining marketing? Nikki Gilliland <p>We’ve gathered insight from six executives from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/top-100-disruptive-brands-2016/" target="_blank">Top 100 Disruptive Brands</a> list, a report produced in association with Marketing Week.</p> <p>You can watch the full interviews in the video below – or read on for a summary of what they said.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/191140074" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Focusing on the right channel</h3> <p>While startups are typically small in terms of budget and scale, Justin Basini, the co-founder and CEO of Clear Score, explained how this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put limitations on your marketing model. </p> <p>Or, that digital channels have to be the only way forward.</p> <blockquote> <p>What’s unique and different about the way we approach marketing at Clear Score is that we have focused from our earliest days on how we get to scale as quickly as possible.</p> <p>Ironically, we didn’t do any of the normal startup marketing that you might expect, like Facebook, PPC, Google.</p> <p>We went straight onto TV – and the reason we could do that was because we had a bunch of people around the table and we’d raised enough money to really go into the market hard.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Capitalising on word-of-mouth</h3> <p>Copa90 is a company that relies on the enthusiasm of its audience to further its own marketing. </p> <p>Building on word-of-mouth recommendations and online search interest, CTO James Kirkham described how it uses its own content as the biggest tool in its arsenal.</p> <blockquote> <p>So much of Copa90's marketing is built around our own shows. They are flagship pieces that fans look to find themselves - they have their own viewerships and become marketing properties in their own right. </p> </blockquote> <p>For Eren Ozagir, founder and CEO of Push Doctor, the unique nature of his company’s product creates a similarly unique approach to marketing.</p> <blockquote> <p>I know people think ‘marketing healthcare has been done for years and years’. </p> <p>Yes, as an insurance product, but not as a fully packaged digital experience. And so, there are very few people that have been pushing the boundaries on Facebook to directly acquire customers [in this way]. </p> </blockquote> <h3>Using personalisation and education</h3> <p>Many of the executives interviewed spoke about how their marketing models are based on delivering something of value.</p> <p>For Kirsty Emery, the co-founder of Unmade, this is creating promotional videos to help guide customers as well as raise awareness about what the company does.</p> <blockquote> <p>For us, because the customer is involved in every single area... we have to be able to talk to them and show them how to go along this process.</p> <p>A lot of what we do is very visual and dynamic, so we make a lot of videos to help our customers, so they can see how to use the site, where to click, what to do, etc. </p> </blockquote> <p>Similarly, Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder and CEO of Evrythng, focuses on tapping into people’s interest but <em>lack</em> of knowledge in the technology sector.</p> <blockquote> <p>The way we approach marketing is shaped a lot by the market itself, which is in a certain stage of evolution.</p> <p>So, because it’s emerging, and people’s understanding of the Internet of Things and the possibilities of smart products is changing all the time – part of what we do is rooted in education.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Investing wisely</h3> <p>Finally, Stephen Rapoport, founder of Pact, takes a much more measured approach.</p> <p>Focusing on performance marketing, he explains how having a detailed and comprehensive plan for investment is the key to the company’s growth. </p> <blockquote> <p>I know exactly what the return on investment of every pound I spend will be and over what period of time. </p> <p>That is incredibly powerful because it means we can make trading decisions in real time, about where our next marketing pound is spent, and exactly what we need to optimise for at that point in time – whether it is payback, ROI, top line growth. </p> <p>If you look at the coffee brands with who we are competing and we are a speck of dust in terms of size and budget and resource. All we have is nimbleness and insight.</p> </blockquote> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68405 2016-11-15T13:56:48+00:00 2016-11-15T13:56:48+00:00 The programmatic hiring challenge: How to find and retain talent? Ben Davis <p>Here are some thoughts on the issue.</p> <h3>Writing new and tricky job descriptions</h3> <p>Whether a publisher developing their own sell-side team or an advertiser hiring a buying team skilled in targeting audiences, this stuff is (fairly) new.</p> <p>Many of these organisations are at a standing start and need to find employees that understand sophisticated platforms and their integration.</p> <p>Working with specialist recruiters may be vital in the first instance.</p> <h3>Finding people with soft skills and technical nous</h3> <p>For programmatic sales jobs, you ideally need a mix of two personalities.</p> <p>The most suitable candidates are media-sales people who are smart enough to understand programmatic disruption and are motivated by continually evolving technology.</p> <p>Likewise, when hiring more tech-minded people to work in operations, you should also look for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64780-have-changes-in-modern-marketing-led-to-a-soft-skills-revolution/">softer skills</a>, awareness of customer needs and of the bottom line.</p> <p>With programmatic advertising often challenging existing advertiser behaviours, new hires need to have this combination of soft skills and technical nous in order to educate customers.</p> <p>On the buy-side, too, whether agency or in-house, candidates must understand about getting the most bang for buck, but will also be tasked with defining and documenting best practice, collaborating with other teams and educating internally.</p> <p>What does this look like in the real world?</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Great communication:</strong> The ability to convey fairly abstract concepts and tell the story of programmatic both to stakeholders and the wider industry.</li> <li> <strong>Strategic thinking:</strong> Long term understanding of customer objectives within the programmatic world but also as a part of wider marketing and advertising.</li> <li> <strong>Media planning experience:</strong> Knowledge of ad formats, viewability, inventory, data management platforms etc.</li> <li> <strong>Measurement and optimisation experience:</strong> Tracking, troubleshooting and reporting.</li> </ul> <h3>Investing time and money in staff</h3> <p>Even when you find the right person for your team, the intricacies of different platforms means it takes time before they bed in.</p> <p>The danger for companies is that they get into a cycle of recruiting, training and then losing people from programmatic roles.</p> <p>Staff retention is important for any company trying to innovate with media. Recent emphasis on the role company culture plays in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a> has meant many organisations have invested in this area.</p> <p>From the use of personal devices, to remote working, more money for training and office perks, as well as finding <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/effective-leadership-in-the-digital-age/">the right digital leaders</a> that can both inspire and listen to the workforce.</p> <p>Short-termism is the enemy here.</p> <h3>Doing a good PR job for programmatic</h3> <p>One of the problems remains an issue of PR.</p> <p>Media has no problem in attracting intelligent young people away from other industries or studies, but to what extent is programmatic advertising a draw?</p> <p>Agencies and the advertising industry as a whole perhaps need to paint a better picture of this new technology, one that hasn't yet fulfilled its potential but may shape the future of advertising and creative.</p> <p><em>For more information on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/"><em>A super accessible beginner’s guide to programmatic buying and RTB</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-cmo-s-guide-to-programmatic/"><em>The CMO's Guide to Programmatic</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/programmatic/"><em>Programmatic Training Course</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68423 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 How fashion and travel are leading the way in m-commerce Gregory Gazagne <p><a href="http://www.deloitte.co.uk/mobileuk/">Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey</a> found that UK citizens look at their smartphones over a billion times a day, declaring that “no other personal device has had the same commercial and societal impact as the smartphone, and no other device seems likely to.”</p> <p>Around the same time in late September the IAB released its ‘<a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160927005394/en/Three-Quarters-Mobile-Users-World-Purchases-Smartphones-Tablets">Mobile Commerce: A Global Perspective</a>’ survey, which found that three-quarters (75%) of smartphone and tablet users say they have purchased a product or service on their smartphone or tablet in the past six months, and nearly a quarter (23%) buy on mobile devices on a weekly basis.</p> <p>As the retail industry rapidly adapts to mobile usage, at Criteo we’re able to analyse millions of online sales in real time, on all devices and from thousands of brands across all industries.</p> <p>With this front-row seat to the very latest in mobile commerce, we’re especially interested in looking at the way different retail industries are keeping pace with the rate of change.</p> <p>Because of the specific challenges facing them, we’ve seen that the fashion industry in particular is blazing a trail in smartphone targeting, including cross-channel strategies, and travel is making its mark by providing superior customer experience/ better conversions via apps.</p> <p>What’s driving these industries to lead in these areas – and what can others learn from them?</p> <h3><strong>The rise of the ‘Smartphonista’</strong></h3> <p>Last month’s New York-London-Milan-Paris Fashion Weeks saw the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/30/us-vogue-editors-ridiculous-fashion-shows-changed-bloggers">old guard of print fashion journalism clash with the fashion world’s new digital influencers</a>, who rely on blogging platforms and Instagram to communicate with their thousands of followers.</p> <p>Their argument is symptomatic of a wider trend: that smartphones are revolutionising the way the fashion industry markets and sells its wares, and this is causing headaches for traditional media – but driving strong results on digital channels.</p> <p>According to Criteo <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/fashion-flash-report-2016/">data</a>, clothes have quickly become the premier mobile purchase in the UK, with 55% of online fashion purchases now being made through mobile (smartphones or tablets), and four out of 10 of all fashion purchases in the UK being made through smartphones.</p> <p>This makes fashion shoppers that purchase on smartphones (who we’ve coined ‘Smartphonistas’) a particularly valuable audience for fashion retailers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0592/criteo_slide.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <p>Mobile is perfect for this kind of off-the-cuff purchase, allowing consumers to browse flash sales on their phone, shop while watching TV, or buy an article of clothing on a whim.</p> <p>In addition to impulse, these purchases can also be driven by social connections and social influence (as evidenced by the rise of the fashion bloggers so vilified by Vogue).</p> <p>Social media – particularly Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest – appears to strongly influence clothing purchases on mobile.</p> <p>Heavy Snapchat users are 139% more likely to buy clothes on mobile than the average Brit, while heavy Instagram (113%) and Pinterest (83%) users are also much more likely than average to buy clothing on mobile, according to <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/a-portrait-of-mobile-performance/">Criteo’s Portrait of Performance report</a>.</p> <p>Despite all this, acquiring new fashion customers is notoriously hard.</p> <p>What’s more, it can take several purchases before a customer earns you a profit, and turning new customers into loyal buyers takes finesse.</p> <p>In response to these challenges, fashion retailers are starting to recognise what products drive the best response on what device.</p> <p>For example, fashion shoppers favour small screens for low-risk items (T-shirts etc.) and products they don't need to try on (e.g. accessories).</p> <p>In addition, the new breed of Smartphonistas often use multiple devices on the path to purchase, so retailers are starting to track more effectively across devices in order to send the right message to the right person, at the right time.</p> <p>Nadya Birca, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at New Look told us that the key to successfully engaging with the Smarphonista is to recognise that he or she expects a truly cross-channel experience:</p> <p>“With mobile usage soaring in the UK, the experience we’re aiming to deliver on mobile is significant for our interactions with customers both on- and off-line.</p> <p>"When browsing on mobile we shouldn’t expect users to purchase straight away - allowing them a seamless navigational exploration, and later consideration experience, is what should drive any mobile commerce business focus.”</p> <h3><strong>Destination App</strong></h3> <p>As the 36th annual <a href="http://wtd.unwto.org/en">World Tourism Day</a> reminded us at the end of last month, the tourism industry continues to drive positive social, cultural, political and economic impacts worldwide.</p> <p>In many countries, including the UK, the travel industry is feeling the positive impact of the rise of smartphone use.</p> <p>Criteo’s latest Travel Flash Report shows that one in five Brits now browse for travel options on their mobile phones, and close to one-third of online travel bookings worldwide took place on mobile devices in Q2 2016 (up 24% from the year before).</p> <p>During the same period, smartphones captured nearly one in five online travel bookings.</p> <p>But that’s not all – the travel industry, more than most other verticals, is seeing particular success when it comes to mobile apps.</p> <p>According to our data, with investment in in-app tracking and advertising, committed travel advertisers are seeing a surge of bookings made from apps.</p> <p>Apps generated 57% of mobile bookings in Q1 2016, up from 40% in Q3 2015.</p> <p>Over the past two years, travel brands that invested in their apps saw constant growth in app bookings from 12% to now over half of all mobile bookings. </p> <p>For one-night stays, apps have a clear lead over other devices or platforms, with nearly three in four app bookings made for one-night stays.</p> <p>The most effective travel mobile strategies encourage app installs with services that really make a difference:</p> <ul> <li>Personalising recommendations based on searches, selection criteria, past travels and wish lists</li> <li>Sending up-to-date, useful and non-intrusive notifications (e.g., check-in reminders, traffic, delays, alternatives, cancellation, nearby offers)</li> <li>Offering better deals on your app to temporarily capture downloads and bookings, but be consistent to sustain them</li> <li>Enabling one-click bookings with intelligent auto-fill of personal details (while highlighting payment security)</li> </ul> <p>App bookings are on a roll, and we can see that merchants who invested in and promoted apps early are now reaping the benefits. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68347 2016-09-29T01:00:00+01:00 2016-09-29T01:00:00+01:00 Seven ways to supercharge your data-driven marketing Jeff Rajeck <p>Nine out of ten put it in their first three, more than any other topic.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9633/data-driven.png" alt="" width="565" height="315"></p> <p>But what are marketers actually doing with their data?<strong><br></strong></p> <p>What tips can professionals give for those who may be just starting out with data-driven marketing?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy recently held roundtable discussions at our fifth annual Digital Cream Sydney.  </p> <p>There, client-side marketers from across the industry discussed trends, best practices, and the issues they are currently facing.</p> <p>The roundtables were moderated by subject matter experts from the industry. Participants brought their own experiences, questions, and challenges to the table for open discussion.</p> <p>Here are the highlights from the discussion at the Data Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management table.</p> <h3>1. Use personas and customer journey mapping for attribution modeling</h3> <p>We now live in an omnichannel world. People often use the web, social media, mobile, and search before buying something.  </p> <p>How can marketers determine the right amount to invest in each channel?</p> <p>Participants agreed that doing so, also known as attribution modeling, is one of the toughest tasks marketers now face.</p> <p>Figuring out which channels drive awareness, which help with research, and which lead to conversions is not easy - even with all the data in the world.</p> <p>While attendees admitted that there is 'no silver bullet' for determining the right model, delegates suggested that using customer experience data can help.</p> <p>They said that <strong>creating audience personas and then mapping each customer journey can provide insight into the path-to-purchase for different customers.</strong>  </p> <p>This can then provide the foundation for the elusive attribution model which helps marketers allocate their spending for optimal results.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9626/data-driven__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2. Avoid using personas for more granular data-driven marketing</h3> <p>While the customer-centric approach may work for modeling attribution, delegates agreed that<strong> personas and customer journey maps were not so useful when doing more personalised data-driven marketing.</strong></p> <p>That is, when buying programmatic media or providing on-site personalisation, broad segments and models do not help.  </p> <p>Instead, attendees stated that <strong>marketers should use an individual's behavior to deliver relevant ads and personalised content.</strong>  </p> <p>What a person has viewed or purchased previously is much more likely to attract their attention in the future than something which fits a particular persona, one participant argued.</p> <h3>3. Look at <em>your</em> data when optimizing</h3> <p>Another dilemma marketers often face is how to optimize their website and ad buying based on outside trends.</p> <p>Recently, there have been many charts showing that mobile traffic is outpacing web traffic. Does this mean that marketers should go 'mobile first'?</p> <p>Not at all said the delegates. While it is useful to be aware of the trends in mobile, video, and messaging, <strong>marketers should prioritise their own customers' behaviours to help form strategies.</strong></p> <p>As an example, at one table on the day, there were some marketers who said that mobile usage was plateauing while others said that tablet traffic is becoming increasingly important to them.</p> <p>So, the recommendation is that marketers should first keep a close eye on the trends in their own data before making any drastic changes as a result of industry reports.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9627/data-driven2__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4. Use data for more than just conversions</h3> <p>Marketers these days are typically required to produce data to justify their budget.  </p> <p>Metrics such as cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS) are commonly used by the business to gauge performance.</p> <p>Because of the need to demonstrate that marketing spend matters to the business, <strong>attendees agreed that most of the effort spent on marketing attribution and data-driven marketing is used to lower customer acquisition costs</strong>. </p> <p>However, delegates also agreed that we now have the data to do much more. <strong>Data should also be used, they argued, to improve customer retention and loyalty.</strong></p> <p>Doing so will, in turn, increase the lifetime value of customers and improve the bottom line, albeit in a less direct way.</p> <p>Marketers should, therefore, look for opportunities to use data for customer experience and resist the tendency to look for the immediate gratification of a lower CPA.</p> <h3>5. The best third-party data is from sites where users log in</h3> <p>While marketers tend to have a good handle on the data from their own sites (first-party data), many are still wondering about the value of data from other sites (third-party data).</p> <p>This concern was made apparent because, when asked, only around 10-15% of marketers at the tables admitted using a data management platform (DMP) as a 'single source of truth' about their customers.</p> <p>The reasons for hesitating are well-founded. Many third-party data services guess at aspects of users' identities from the sites they visit or activities they have done in the distant past.</p> <p>Attendees asserted, however, that <strong>sites which require users to log in can provide much higher-quality third-party data.</strong></p> <p>Specifically, Google and Facebook can both link extensive browsing and posting behaviour to a particular person.  </p> <p>For this reason, delegates said that such sites do offer third-party data worth using for advertising and analytics.</p> <p>Interestingly, one participant noted, both Google and Facebook are also starting to offer data which allows brands to track consumers offline.</p> <p>That is, they will know whether someone has entered a particular location (e.g. a store) after viewing an ad on their platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9628/data-driven3__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>6. Aim to make small changes with insights from data</h3> <p>While most of the day's discussions were positive, one negative aspect of data-driven marketing emerged. </p> <p>Even with insights from data,<strong> delegates admitted that it was rare that recommendations based on data were actually implemented</strong>.</p> <p>Data was more likely, they said, to be used for retrospective reporting and business-oriented statistics.</p> <p>One way around this, one participant suggested, is to adopt a more 'agile' way of working.</p> <p>What this means is that marketing teams should avoid gathering vast amounts of data in an attempt to influence strategic decisions.  </p> <p>Instead, <strong>marketers should use insights to drive incremental changes on a frequent, tactical basis.</strong></p> <p>In this way, the 'agile' approach will change an organisation's approach to marketing iteratively over time and have a much higher likelihood of succeeding.</p> <h3>7. The biggest hurdle? Finding the right people.</h3> <p>In previous years, marketers have lamented about quality of marketing technology and the difficulty of obtaining data to drive marketing strategy.</p> <p>While these are still concerns, <strong>delegates this year said that their biggest challenge was finding the right people to drive data-driven marketing initiatives.</strong></p> <p>Attendees agreed that that finding people who could interpret data both technically and commercially was really hard. Additionally, these people are critical for getting insights out of data.</p> <p>Newly-hired data scientists are often too technical and abstracted from the operational business to help. Experienced marketers, though familiar with the business, often lack the statistical modeling skills to extract new insights from data.</p> <p>One suggested approach is for marketing teams to recruit analysts with business acumen and data crunching skills.  </p> <p>But in lieu of staffing up with the right people,<strong> participants felt that marketers could also take a more active role in interrogating the data themselves for insight. </strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9630/data-driven4__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></strong></p> <h3>A word of thanks...</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and especially our Data Driven Marketing &amp; Marketing Attribution Management table moderators,<strong> Beaudon McLaren, APJ Ecommerce Manager at Symantec</strong> and <strong>Ashley Friedlein, President of Centaur Marketing &amp; Founder of Econsultancy.</strong></p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9632/moderators__Custom_.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"> </p>