tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/personalisation Latest Personalisation content from Econsultancy 2018-01-25T14:27:59+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69730 2018-01-25T14:27:59+00:00 2018-01-25T14:27:59+00:00 Ask the experts: Email marketing optimisation Ben Davis <p>Here are their pearls of wisdom. Note you can skip between questions using the links below.</p> <p>(Additional note: Econsultancy provides <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/email-marketing/">face-to-face and online training</a> in email marketing, and subscribers can download our <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/email-marketing-best-practice-guide">Email Best Practice Guide</a>).</p> <ol> <li><a href="#There%20are%20lots%20of%20things%20to%20optimise.%20Where%20should%20marketers%20look%20first?">There are lots of things to optimise. Where should marketers look first?</a></li> <li><a href="#Is%20there%20a%20particular%20metric%20marketers%20should%20be%20optimising%20for?">Is there a particular metric marketers should be optimising for?</a></li> <li><a href="#What%20new%20technologies%20or%20consumer%20behaviors%20are%20having%20most%20impact%20on%20email%20optimization?">What new technologies or consumer behaviors are having most impact on email optimization?</a></li> <li><a href="#What%20types%20of%20emails%20can%20be%20optimized%20most%20effectively?">What types of emails can be optimized most effectively?</a></li> <li><a href="#How%20far%20will%20AI%20take%20us?%20How%20important%20is%20the%20creative%20person%20and%20their%20instinct?">How far will AI take us? How important is the creative person and their instinct?</a></li> </ol> <h3>1. <a name="There%20are%20lots%20of%20things%20to%20optimise.%20Where%20should%20marketers%20look%20first?"></a>There are lots of things to optimise. Where should marketers look first?</h3> <p><strong>Kath Pay, founder and senior consultant, Holistic Email Marketing:</strong></p> <p>I would focus firstly on the subject line, as if they don’t open/read the email, then it’s hard to test everything else. But over and above that I recommend testing motivations as the more you know about your customers, the better you can speak to them.</p> <p>So, ask them what they like best; via testing in the channel that is one of the key drivers of traffic to your website – email marketing. Your email database contains your target market, so use email’s unique push ability and treat every email as a survey by asking your customers what they like via a scientific A/B testing program.</p> <p>By using a hypothesis and testing to determine a motivation, you are not limited to just testing one factor (i.e. subject line, CTA, landing page, copy, imagery). As long as they all support the hypothesis, for example “benefit-led copy will increase conversions over loss aversion-led copy” – you will be able to test the subject line, CTA, headlines, copy, imagery and landing page as you are testing a motivation rather than a factor or element of the email.</p> <p>This is what we call Holistic Testing.</p> <p>By seeking these long-term valuable insights through email marketing, you not only increase results within email marketing but you can share them across other channels to drive the business objectives that are common to all channels. Apply what you've learned to your website copy and organisation, to your search keywords, PPC campaigns and related landing pages, and in ads and banners you run on third-party sites in remarketing or network campaigns.</p> <p>Email gives you a good basic testing structure that you can build on to sharpen your insights and improve your marketing efforts bit by bit across all channels. It's another one of email's superpowers that marketers so often overlook or ignore. </p> <p>Ultimately, it's another reason why investing both time and money in email pays off across your entire marketing program.</p> <p><strong>Parry Malm, CEO, Phrasee:</strong></p> <p>Well, here’s the thing. I run Phrasee, a company that uses AI to create better subject lines than humans. So what am I gonna say here?</p> <p>Still, jokes aside: your subject line is the crux of your email marketing programme. If it sucks, then your snazzy content won’t get seen, no matter what time you send it. So yeah, logic and statistics indicate the subject line is where to start. Sure, I’m biased. BUT - that doesn’t make me wrong.</p> <p><strong>Dale Langley, head of deliverability, Emarsys:</strong></p> <p>Searching the Internet for ways to optimise your email program can often lead marketers into a crazed frenzy of making changes with little understanding of whether it’s sensible to make those changes and what the long term consequences may be. My advice is to remember one thing; no-one knows better what your customers want than you. You just need to read the signals and have a plan in place for measuring results. Different optimisations can work better for different stages of the customer lifecycle and some are better suited to short-term gains at the expense of long-term results.</p> <p>For example, using tempting offers in your email subject line such as 50% off will surprise (some of) your customers and lead to an increase in clicks, but where do you go from there? Some brands are now so perpetually stuck in the discount game that they’re unable to get out. Instead, use different offers for different segments (such as lapsing high-value customers) and use other channels, such as social media, to encourage one-time purchasers to re-engage.</p> <p>You also have to recognise that a customer’s profile will change over time. This includes when they prefer to read email, the frequency that they want to receive it at and the topics that interest them, a common mistake of marketers is to build a marvellous customer journey but to forget that customers can switch personas at any point. Our advice is to build out your personas and understand the motivation for each persona to engage with your brand, model the customer journey for each persona and built-in the ability for personas to change over time. This requires effort but it’ll pay dividends in the long-run.</p> <p>And if you’re interested in testing things like subject line, send time, content etc. make sure that you’re using a proper control group. This means that for a particular campaign, you will exclude a group of customers (the control group) who are similar to customers in the rest of your database and are only excluded for this one campaign. When you make your change (to subject line, send-time etc), measure the revenue generated by the control group vs. the campaign and you can determine whether the tactic you’ve employed yielded any results.</p> <h3>2. <a name="Is%20there%20a%20particular%20metric%20marketers%20should%20be%20optimising%20for?"></a>Is there a particular metric marketers should be optimising for?</h3> <p><strong>Parry Malm, Phrasee:</strong></p> <p>Many will say to focus on end conversions, and, in related news, many also don’t have a strong grasp on statistics. </p> <p>Think about it like this. Say you’ve got a list of 1m subscribers, and 20% open. That’s 200,000 events you can learn from. But then let’s assume a 10% click-to-open rate. You’re down to just 10,000 events - and you run the risk of making decisions on insignificant numbers. Let’s say you get a 10% conversion rate of clicks - that’s just 1,000 events. You’re unlikely to get a statistically significant result, and thus will be making decisions based upon random variance. (Pro tip: anyone who doesn’t understand this should not be in your analytics department)</p> <p>Here’s another fact: the data shows that, in the long run, open rates correlate very strongly with click rates. And guess what? Click rates correlate very strongly with conversion rates. Therefore, the dominant strategy is to use opens as a proxy metric for email marketing success.</p> <p>There are, of course, caveats to this. For example, you shouldn’t resort to spammer techniques just to get a few more opens in the short-run. Never forget that email marketing is, in essence, a form of advertising. You wouldn't put an ad on TV that was off-brand, so why would you send out emails that are?</p> <p>The sweet spot is when you’re maximising open rates whilst remaining on brand. That’s when you’re winning at life. Well, winning at email, but still, you gotta take the wins you can get.  </p> <p><strong>Dale Langley, Emarsys:</strong></p> <p>I’m tempted to say revenue since that’s the ultimate goal of most email programs. However, I’m going to say inbox placement rate since if your email isn’t in the inbox, it’s not generating revenue!</p> <p>If you’re having difficulties due to inbox placement then you need to figure out which levers you can pull to persuade the spam filters that your email should be delivered. Spam filtering mostly occurs these days when you’re sending email to people who aren’t engaging with your brand - so improve the acquisition tactics, introduce a re-engagement program and be prepared to suppress subscribers to your email program (or target through other channels) when they’re ignoring your efforts.</p> <h3>3. <a name="What%20new%20technologies%20or%20consumer%20behaviors%20are%20having%20most%20impact%20on%20email%20optimization?"></a>What new technologies or consumer behaviors are having most impact on email optimization?</h3> <p><strong>Dale Langley, Emarsys:</strong></p> <p>Consumers now have a relationship with the brands they engage with, right from the first interaction you’re influencing whether a consumer will turn into a loyal advocate or a one-hit wonder</p> <p>The days of your IT team triggering an email from the website upon signup and purchase, before the marketer takes over with batch and blast are gone. Every interaction a consumer has with your brand should be influenced by the marketer and through smart, AI-driven marketing automation platforms (like Emarsys), on which you have the ability to craft programs that adapt to the changing needs of the consumer.</p> <h3>4. <a name="What%20types%20of%20emails%20can%20be%20optimized%20most%20effectively?"></a>What types of emails can be optimized most effectively?</h3> <p><strong>Parry Malm, Phrasee:</strong></p> <p>To exist as a concept, “optimisation” inherently requires measurement. Therefore, the key feasibility driver is universe size. If you’ve got a list of 1000 people on your list, well, you can “optimise” to your heart’s content… but you’ll just be doing it for the lols, as any significance measures will be unattainable.</p> <p>It’s pretty simple, really. Focus on your campaigns with the biggest audience, which will in turn have the biggest impact on your bottom line. You’ll have way more data to experiment on and learn from. Then, apply what you learned to your smaller campaigns, and boom goes the dynamite. You’ll get that promotion you’ve been haranguing your boss about for the last six months. Congrats, big timer!</p> <p><strong>Kath Pay, Holistic Email Marketing:</strong></p> <p>All types can be – whether they’re campaign-based or automated. For either of these, processes and planning are key to success. With automated programmes, the hypothesis is being tested over time, which reduces the chances of time-sensitive anomalies, world events etc. affecting the results. However, with campaign-based tests, ideally, the hypothesis should be tested multiple times to ensure that the results are valid. A statistical confidence calculator should be used in all cases.</p> <h3>5. <a name="How%20far%20will%20AI%20take%20us?%20How%20important%20is%20the%20creative%20person%20and%20their%20instinct?"></a>How far will AI take us? How important is the creative person and their instinct?</h3> <p><strong>Parry Malm, Phrasee:</strong></p> <p>AI can do a lot less than what you probably think it can. For every <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/18/its-able-to-create-knowledge-itself-google-unveils-ai-learns-all-on-its-own">AlphaGo</a>, there’s a <a href="https://gizmodo.com/here-are-the-microsoft-twitter-bot-s-craziest-racist-ra-1766820160">Tay, the racist chatbot</a>. Everyone seems to think we’re approaching an AI apocalypse, where the machines take over. When that happens, I, for one, will welcome our new robot overlords.</p> <p>Here’s the reality. There are limited - and powerful - use cases for AI currently, and also for the foreseeable future. Here’s one powerful use case as a (totally unexpected amirite?) example: using AI to generate optimal subject lines. It is a known business requirement - to increase eyeshare on your marketing messages - that we solve by combining two forms of AI (NLG &amp; deep learning). It's a niche problem, for sure, and that's by design.</p> <p>The fact that we use AI is super dope. But – and it’s a Sir-Mixalot-sized BUT – that in itself doesn’t solve your problems.</p> <p>Instead, here’s my advice: if you have 60 minutes to solve a problem, spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem, and 5 minutes on the solution. If the solution uses AI, awesome, and if not, that’s OK too.  The important thing is that your problem is solved.</p> <p><strong>Dale Langley, Emarsys:</strong></p> <p>In simple terms, human-driven personalization can’t scale. It just can’t deliver on true 1:1 experience that consumers want and brands strive for. AI can, which provides an opportunity for brands that understand how to introduce hype-free, tangible AI solutions effectively. AI allows us to analyze vast amounts of data, understand consumer patterns and channel preference and to craft incredibly personalized consumer journeys. Furthermore, AI allows us to do this in real-time rather than spending hours creating huge (or many micro) segments. It’s taking us much closer to the 1:1 consumer-brand relationship that we’re all striving for….the promise of marketing.</p> <p>However, AI isn’t human. It can’t (yet) build something from scratch without basing it on what it knows from the past and it can’t cater well for emotion and a true personal connection. This is why the combination of AI and human ingenuity is the key to successful marketing. We believe that AI can take on the burden of marketing execution, leaving the marketer more time to focus on strategy, content and what we believe will be a new creative renaissance.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69732 2018-01-17T14:39:32+00:00 2018-01-17T14:39:32+00:00 TD Bank's acquisition of an AI firm highlights the growing importance of AI in banking Patricio Robles <p>While Layer 6's AI tech is used by clients in a number of industries, TD Bank ultimately decided that the company's technology was critical enough to its business that it made sense to buy its vendor out.</p> <p><a href="https://td.mediaroom.com/2018-01-09-TD-Bank-Group-acquires-artificial-intelligence-innovator-Layer-6">According to</a> TD Bank Group CEO Bharat Masrani, “Anticipating and meeting customer needs are at the heart of our promise, and we are excited to further accelerate our innovation agenda to deliver well into the future.”</p> <p>Masrani's comment refers to TD Bank's use of Layer 6's AI tech to create “predictive and personalized” customer experiences, which it says are at the heart of its digital transformation strategy. Layer 6's platform can be used to generate product recommendations, deliver personalized pricing, predict customer complaints and attrition and identify next best actions.</p> <p>All of those can be integral to creating user experiences that keep customers happy and strengthen TD Bank's relationship with them. Increasingly, some of these user experiences are taking place in a variety of new channels, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68934-how-chatbots-and-ai-might-impact-the-b2c-financial-services-industry">chatbots</a> and voice assistants, that will realistically require good AI to function well.</p> <p>Case in point: TD Bank was the first bank in Canada to launch a Twitter chatbot and it recently launched an Alexa skill that allows customers to bank by voice using one of Amazon's Echo speaker devices.</p> <p>While TD Bank is trying to position itself as an innovator and is clearly ahead of many banks, the reality for the industry is that AI is likely to be a necessity, not a differentiator, in the very near future. </p> <p>Accenture's Banking Technology Vision 2017 report found that four in five bankers believe that AI will “revolutionize” the way they gather customer data and interact with customers, and Accenture believes that AI-based applications <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/28/ai-to-become-main-way-banks-interact-with-customers.html">will become</a> the primary channels through which they interact with them within a few years.</p> <p>The reason: according to Accenture's banking practice chief, Alan McIntyre, AI-powered applications “will give people the impression that the bank knows them a lot better, and in many ways it will take banking back to the feeling that people had when there were more human interactions.”</p> <p>He added, “The big paradox here is that people think technology will lead to banking becoming more and more automated and less and less personalized, but what we've seen coming through here is the view that technology will actually help banking become a lot more personalized.”</p> <h3>Banks need an AI strategy, and soon</h3> <p>If AI is key to the customer experiences that banks need to deliver to win, 2018 will be a critical year for banks to incorporate AI into their digital strategies. This not only involves determining where and how to adopt AI but who should develop or provide it.</p> <p>There are numerous challenges, including the widespread use of legacy systems within banks and the more stringent compliance requirements they must adhere to.</p> <p>Additionally, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69151-a-day-in-the-life-of-senior-data-scientist-at-asos">AI talent</a> has never been more in demand, creating a challenge for banks hoping to build in-house AI capabilities. And while the number of companies offering AI platforms is growing, not all AI platforms are created equal. </p> <p>TD Bank's acquisition also highlights the risk that large players in financial services or other industries that are embracing AI could acquire a platform outright, making outsourcing AI capabilities to a third-party somewhat risky. After all, the wisdom of relying on an AI platform owned by a competitor is questionable.</p> <p>Given just how critical AI could be to banks' ability to deliver the kinds of experiences their customers will demand, each bank's AI decisions could determine whether it thrives or falters in the coming years.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69673 2018-01-15T10:15:32+00:00 2018-01-15T10:15:32+00:00 A day in the life of... an account manager at Certona Ben Davis <p><em>And remember, if you're looking for a new role, check out the <a style="font-style: normal;" href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs board</a> yourself.</em></p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><em><strong>David Hall:</strong></em> I’m a Senior Account Manager at Certona, a company that provides real-time <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69690-what-is-cross-channel-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it/">omnichannel</a> personalisation solutions to B2C and B2B ecommerce organisations. In a nutshell, we work with the world’s largest brands and retailers, helping them to create individually tailored and engaging shopping experiences for their customers across all touchpoints – in-store, web, mobile, email and contact centre. In doing so, these retailers and brands can achieve a 1:1 personalised shopping experience, increasing engagement and customer lifetime value.</p> <p>My role is to support clients in getting as much from our platform as possible. I am the first point of contact for my client portfolio, so my job is to first understand my client’s business goals and the customer experience they are looking to achieve. With that knowledge, I assess a client’s performance and make optimisation recommendations. I am there to advise clients on how to use our AI-powered capabilities to best utilise their own data.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>DH:</strong></em> I actually work remotely from home in South East London. I’m part of Certona’s European Account Management Team and I report into the Director of Account Management.</p> <p>I also work closely with our European General Manager, Client Support Specialists, Support Engineering and Experience Optimisation teams to ensure the best support and growth paths for my clients. I continuously work with product managers to showcase new software releases, and our marketing team on client case studies and event activities. I occasionally participate in new business pitches; usually when a prospect wants a better understanding of what their support may look like! At Certona, we’re a pretty integrated group.  </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><strong><em>DH:</em></strong> In my role, I find you need to be a ‘people person’ and good at managing and nurturing relationships, both with clients and colleagues. My clients can often have complex organisational structures to navigate; one minute I am dealing with a director, the next, a graduate.</p> <p>It’s important to be responsive and organised as there’s a fine line when juggling multiple accounts with differing support plans. Being strategic is also important as it helps me prioritise and have more impact, and being focused helps with productivity.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1667/david_hall.jpg" alt="david hall" width="309" height="309"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Tell us about a typical working day… </h4> <p><strong><em>DH: </em></strong>First things first, I log on, check my emails and calendar, and then I crack on with my list of priorities which I work around client calls.  </p> <p>I like to work on my most challenging items in the morning after some bullet proof coffee. It’s typical to have a couple of client calls before lunchtime, and on these we would normally go through a client’s priorities, before confirming next steps. </p> <p>For any internal projects, I’ll create engineering tickets with instructions for our engineers or analysts, and I may have a custom reporting request for Certona’s reporting team. </p> <p>The majority of my colleagues are in the US so internal team meetings are mostly held later on in the afternoon via Skype. I find there is certainly a lot more internal communication later on in my day, and normally between 4pm and 6pm there are meetings which involve my colleagues and clients based stateside. These calls could be anything from a weekly account management meeting, a client experience optimisation call with a Certona Analyst, an internal educational presentation, or a product or marketing update. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><strong><em>DH: </em></strong>I love being an expert in the personalisation space. AI, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69112-what-s-the-difference-between-ai-powered-personalisation-and-more-basic-segmentation">machine learning and personalisation</a> are hot topics right now and I don’t see this changing any time soon. Being prescriptive, tactical and consultative brings a sense of fulfilment to my role, and I definitely get a kick out of knowing that my work drives value for our clients, which I can see in the test results.</p> <p>The job role itself is a great fit for what I’m good at, and it’s been a challenge to develop all the necessary skills needed to do this very well. </p> <p>Despite Certona being a US headquarter company, I’m employed to service our European clients, so I need to be in Europe and need to be within commutable distance to get to central London every week for face-to-face meetings as the majority of my clients are based here.</p> <p>Therefore, I find the only real challenge is not working in the same office as an engineer or analyst, which would enable me to discuss things face-to-face. However, this has allowed me to focus and improve on other communication to compensate, which I’m grateful for. I also enjoy working from home and the challenge of being a self-starter who’s organised and productive, and the freedom of being location independent.</p> <p>I’ve been doing this role for over five years, and if anything really sucked which I couldn’t make work or use as a challenge to improve myself, I wouldn’t still be doing this.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success? </h4> <p><strong><em>DH: </em></strong>For Certona, as with many companies, our goals are based on clients’ success, client retention and business growth in terms of annual account revenue. We don’t have any individual targets as our work is a collaborative effort here at Certona. We do have project-based revenue outside of licence fees but not targets, as it is more important to Certona to nurture long-term partnerships. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><strong><em>DH: </em></strong>The Certona Experience Manager (CEM) is my favourite of Certona’s tools as it is powerful, configurable and transparent. The platform enables us and our clients to look analytically at their digital offering to see how it is performing in terms of consumer interaction. We are then able to make suggestions based on our findings, and advise on a marketing strategy befitting the client. CEM gives marketing teams absolute control and visibility, enabling improvements to be made on a granular level to optimise performance. </p> <p>Personally, I also use Evernote for taking notes and organising projects, and Skype is a fantastic communications utility. LinkedIn helps our understanding of client roles and organisational structures. Jira is powerful for project management, and I also use a host of other tools and services.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How did you get into ecommerce/AI, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><strong><em>DH: </em></strong>I came from a media sales background; I sold exhibition space and sponsorship on Internet World and learnt about internet marketing and all the supporting areas.</p> <p>I then worked for an online advertising agency in New York, and then a creative agency in London called We Are VI, which is sadly no more. I was part of their 2009 team short-listed for an Econsultancy Innovation Award.</p> <p>Later, I worked for Venda, an ecommerce platform, before joining Certona. I like being an expert in ecommerce personalisation and AI, as opposed to a ‘Jack of all trades’.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Which AI-powered ecommerce websites do you admire?</h4> <p><strong><em>DH: </em></strong>I admire Farfetch as I particularly like the execution of its category listing pages. Farfetch’s combined cart and wish list page makes total sense from a modelling perspective, as items added to cart and to a wish list would be scored similarly in terms of importance to the user. </p> <p>Outside of my clients I keep an eye on what Thread.com is doing as I’m big into fashion and home improvements and most of my clients are in these verticals. I like the ‘frequently bought together’ bundle deals offered on sites like Victoria Plum and Axminster, which are contextually based on items already added to the cart. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you have any advice for people who want to use AI technology in ecommerce?</h4> <p><strong><em>DH: </em></strong>Firstly, before you implement an AI solution, you need to ask yourself <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69714-the-five-ps-of-ai-strategy-for-marketers/">what is the business goal you’re trying to achieve</a>. AI is a powerful solution for comprehending large amounts of data and can be a key enabler for predicting and delivering the best 1:1 customer experience. </p> <p>AI in retail helps to create sophisticated shopper profiles, in real time, to predict and present the next best action in their journey. An AI personalisation platform, like Certona, ingests big data and uses AI and its subsets to continuously learn about individual shoppers and their preferences to re-rank and re-score the catalogue within milliseconds to capitalise on their in-the-moment intent.</p> <p>I believe AI in e-commerce is not going away, so look to find the right partners that can support you on this journey.</p> <p><em><strong>If you're new to ecommerce and need to skill up quickly, try our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-ecommerce-online-retailing/">Fast Track Ecommerce training course</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69649 2017-12-08T11:30:00+00:00 2017-12-08T11:30:00+00:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Check out the trusty <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for more.</p> <h3>Emotion is the key to creating customer loyalty</h3> <p>Capgemini <a href="https://www.capgemini.com/resources/loyalty-deciphered/" target="_blank">recently surveyed</a> more than 9,000 consumers and 500 executives in a bid to understand the main drivers for customer loyalty. </p> <p>The results indicate that emotions have the strongest impact, as 82% of consumers with high emotional engagement always buy the brand they are loyal to (compared to 38% of consumers with low emotional engagement). The report also suggests that 70% of consumers with a high emotional engagement are willing to spend up to twice as much with those brands.</p> <p>However, while marketers are increasingly recognising this need to tap into emotion, it appears there is still work to be done. While eight in 10 executives say their brand understands the emotional needs and desires of consumers, just 15% of consumers say that brands do a good job of emotionally bonding with them beyond a functional relationship.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0989/capgemini.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="323"></p> <p>So, what does it take to create this emotional connection? I recently wrote about how <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69643-four-key-traits-of-human-brands/" target="_blank">being a human brand</a> can forge better and more meaningful relationships, and why factors such as speaking like a real person and even admitting fault can make an impact.</p> <h3>Personalisation is now a necessity, no longer ‘nice to have’</h3> <p><a href="https://www.eagleeye.com/personalisation-beyond-name/" target="_blank">New research</a> by Eagle Eye has found that the majority of consumers consider personalisation in marketing a must-have, with a lack of relevance resulting in brand apathy.</p> <p>In a study of over 2,000 consumers, it found that 81% cite relevance as a key driver in whether or not they redeem promotions. Similarly, 75% are unhappy when they receive generic offers.</p> <p>The research also revealed an increasing demand for predictive offers, with 73% of respondents saying they would find it useful to be offered promotions for items they had run out of. This desire could also open greater marketing opportunities, as there is clear potential for brands to recommend or upsell a different or more expensive product.</p> <p><strong>Case studies on effective personalisation:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67839-how-l-oreal-uses-personalisation-to-increase-brand-loyalty" target="_blank">How L’Oreal uses personalisation to increase brand loyalty</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69187-channel-4-on-the-future-of-tv-personalisation-gdpr" target="_blank">Channel 4 on the future of TV, personalisation &amp; GDPR</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69574-personalised-ad-campaigns-examples-from-argos-20th-century-fox-microsoft" target="_blank">Personalised ad campaigns: Examples from Argos, 20th Century Fox &amp; Microsoft</a></li> </ul> <h3>Smartphone ownership among UK children increases</h3> <p>MediaCom’s ‘<a href="https://www.mediacom.com/uk/think/reports/connected-kids-2017-report" target="_blank">Connected Kids</a>’ report has revealed that - while the number of UK kids owning tablet devices has fallen in the past year – ownership of smartphones has significantly increased among eight to 12 year olds.</p> <p>In line with this trend, the report also states that there has been a rise in watching TV on smartphones, with 33% of eight to 19 year olds now doing so compared to 25% last year. It appears kids are also accessing inappropriate content, as 84% of eight to 12 year olds say their parents often express concern over their internet safety.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0990/smartphone_ownership.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="493"></p> <p>When it comes to social media, Snapchat is the platform of choice for the majority of youngsters, largely because it gives users freedom to share and communicate with friends, without so much of a focus on general feedback. 35% of teens say Snapchat allows them to express their true self, while just 7% say the same for Twitter. </p> <p>Recently, Snapchat announced a new redesign that further enhances its focus on personal relationships. But what does this mean for brands? You can read <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69623-how-will-snapchat-s-redesign-affect-branded-content/" target="_blank">more on that topic here</a>.</p> <h3>Customer experience for mobile travellers becomes a priority</h3> <p>Econsultancy's Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality report in association with Adobe has revealed that customer experience is now a top priority for travel executives. In fact, it has now overtaken customer acquisition as the number one business focus. This comes from a global survey of more than 600 senior digital marketing and ecommerce executives.</p> <p>Achieving these priorities in future will mean adapting the customer experience to mobile devices, with the rise in usage resulting in new demands for customer service and digital interaction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0996/Travel_report.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="545"></p> <p>You can read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69652-four-key-digital-trends-impacting-travel-and-hospitality-brands/" target="_blank">more on other digital trends impacting the sector</a>, and subscribers can <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-travel-and-hospitality-sectors/" target="_blank">download the report in full</a>.</p> <h3>Plain packaging could cost the beverage industry nearly $300bn</h3> <p>In response to <a href="https://www.talkingretail.com/news/industry-news/plain-packaging-chocolate-alcohol-fizzy-drinks-next-claims-tobacco-firm-jti-20-03-2017/">calls for plain packaging</a> to be introduced by FMCG brands, Brand Finance <a href="http://brandirectory.com/BF-Plain-Packaging-Report-EMBARGO-7th-December-2017.pdf" target="_blank">has revealed</a> that it could result in significant losses for the industry.</p> <p>It reports that companies with alcohol or sugary drinks brands could be most at risk, with Pepsi predicted to lose 27% of its enterprise value if plain packaging is enforced. Similarly, due to its larger size, Coca-Cola could take an even bigger hit of $47.3bn. Overall, the beverage industry could potentially see losses of $292.7bn. </p> <p>With packaging a huge part of brand marketing strategies, the suggestion is likely to have been met with derision from those at the top.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0988/Plain_packaging.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="418"></p> <p><strong>More on product packaging:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69600-four-examples-of-persuasive-packaging-copy" target="_blank">Four examples of persuasive packaging copy</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68783-the-pros-and-cons-of-personalised-packaging-for-fmcg-brands" target="_blank">The pros and cons of personalised packaging for FMCG brands</a></li> </ul> <h3>One in ten Twitter users have deleted old tweets</h3> <p>Recent scandals involving celebrities and politicians have led to a large number of social media users ‘auditing’ their own histories to remove potentially offensive tweets. This is according to Online Spy Shop, which <a href="https://www.onlinespyshop.co.uk/blog/how-celebrity-twitter-scandals-changing-behaviour/" target="_blank">conducted a survey</a> of over 2,000 UK social media users.</p> <p>It found that 54% of users have performed a Twitter audit in the past month, and out of those, 32% deleted multiple posts. Users aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to do this, with 68% of this age group saying they have checked for regrettable content, and 48% going on to delete content in the past month.</p> <p>With high-profile names including Stormzy, Zoella, and Jared O’Mara recently coming under fire for offensive tweets, the general public appear to be showing greater awareness of how social media activity can resurface, potentially affecting future job or career opportunities.  </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69589 2017-11-17T12:28:41+00:00 2017-11-17T12:28:41+00:00 Are retail brands ditching mobile apps? A look at some stats & case studies Nikki Gilliland <p>While initial downloads of retails apps are actually on the rise, app abandonment and preference for mobile web remain big roadblocks. So, are consumers simply bored of retail apps? Or is the technology failing to live up to expectations? Here’s a bit of analysis on the subject.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0539/flurry.png" alt="flurry app stats" width="615" height="461"></p> <h3>Lack of investment</h3> <p>In a recent study, <a href="https://www.l2inc.com/research/fashion-us-2017" target="_blank">L2 found</a> that 44% of luxury retail brands have removed their apps from the app store since 2015. Meanwhile, 56% of brands with an app currently in the store have not updated it in the past year.</p> <p>It's unclear whether apps being outdated is the reason that consumers are failing to download them, or whether retailers are not updating them because of this lack of interest.</p> <p>It’s a tricky one, but interestingly, it appears consumers might not be too fussed either way. <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/luxury-shopping-in-the-digital-agehttps://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/luxury-shopping-in-the-digital-age" target="_blank">McKinsey found</a> that just 4% of the shoppers it surveyed had ever downloaded a luxury retail app, with many citing that they’d only be interested if it has something exclusive to offer, such as discounts or rewards, or something highly useful, like an easy-to-browse catalogue. </p> <h3>Greater focus on mobile web</h3> <p>The fact that mobile apps don’t tend to offer anything different to mobile sites seems to be the main cause of disappointment for consumers – not just in the luxury market. </p> <p>In an Apadmi survey, <a href="https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/six-ten-brits-unhappy-retail-apps-want-integrated-ar-vr/1421574" target="_blank">54% of consumers cited</a> better incentives and loyalty schemes as something they’d like from retail apps, while 38% said rewards, and 33% said customer service. </p> <p>Elsewhere, 26% of consumers said they would like to see retailers implement AI tools in apps to offer a more personalised shopping experience. </p> <p>Despite this demand, it seems a lot of retailers are failing to deliver, choosing to invest in optimising the mobile web experience instead. There’s good reason, of course. Last Christmas, a third of all online purchases came from mobile, with this predicted to rise to 54% this year. </p> <p>That being said, shoppers may turn to mobile browsers to conduct product research before turning to apps to make purchases, while people who buy regularly from a brand are more likely to use an app.</p> <p>This begs the question, are retailers losing out on loyalty by failing to invest?</p> <h3>Function vs. fun</h3> <p>Amazon is one obvious example of a brand that has furthered loyalty through its mobile app. And while some consumers might cite innovation as a ‘must-have’, Amazon shows that functional features can be far more effective than flashy technology when it comes to satisfying users. </p> <p>With simple navigation, one-click ordering, and cart sync with web, shopping via the app is the natural choice for Amazon consumers, with a reported seven in ten doing so. Of course, this is bolstered by general trust in Amazon, with its business model and reputation perhaps contributing to its success in this channel.</p> <p>Meanwhile, it’s also important to remember that Amazon is a third-party marketplace, as are other popular retail apps like Etsy and Ebay, which tend to draw in regular customers rather than one off shoppers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0521/Amazon_app.JPG" alt="" width="220" height="410"></p> <h3>Where should retailers focus?</h3> <p>One of the main issues for retailers is simply grabbing the attention of consumers. Nine out of every 10 minutes on mobile apps are said to be spent in the top five user favourites (which are usually the big guns such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram etc). This means that retailers need to provide something of real value in order to justify taking up space on a user’s smartphone.</p> <p>So, how can retailers do this?</p> <p>As I previously mentioned, rewards and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64185-the-five-most-interesting-mobile-loyalty-apps" target="_blank">loyalty programs</a> appear to be a big driver for consumers, also giving brands a way to differentiate an app from their mobile site. </p> <p>Augmented reality is another innovation worth exploring. This works by allowing users to view products in different contexts. One example is Ikea Place, which lets you see how furniture might look in your own home. By providing shopping inspiration as well as help in a more functional aspect – i.e. how a product looks or if it is suited to a certain context - AR automatically gives users an incentive to use the mobile app.</p> <h3>Innovations in retail apps</h3> <p>So, what other retailers are investing in mobile apps, and is it paying off? Here’s a few final examples.</p> <h4>ASOS</h4> <p>With users reportedly spending 80 minutes per month in the ASOS app, the retailer has clearly got its strategy right. One of the main reasons is that it is super easy to browse, making use of catwalk videos to effectively showcase products.</p> <p>Other features also help to differentiate the app, giving users a reason to choose it over mobile browsing. There’s the one-touch pay feature, for example, which makes purchasing quick and hassle-free. More recently, it’s also integrated <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68984-how-visual-search-is-helping-ecommerce-brands" target="_blank">visual search</a> into the app, allowing users to find items based on imagery rather than keywords. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0522/visual_search.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="396"></p> <h4>Gucci </h4> <p>While most luxury brands are shutting down apps, Gucci is one that continues to heavily invest in the area. In fact, it’s recently added a whole host of new updates to drive interest during the Christmas period, such as the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ feature that only works when users scan a mobile sticker in store window displays. This shows how the brand is not merely using the app to drive in-app purchases, but rather, as a way to connect both the online and offline shopping experience. </p> <p>Other features, such as Gucci emojis and stickers and a <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68401-virtual-reality-content-marketing-s-next-big-trend">virtual reality</a> video also demonstrate the brand’s intention to attract users through fun and immersive elements, which ultimately might increase the chances of a purchase direct from the brand rather than from a department store or elsewhere.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Presenting the new digital <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GucciGift?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GucciGift</a> campaign illustrated by artist <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IgnasiMonreal?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IgnasiMonreal</a>. The Cabinet of Curiosities opens into a surreal and spellbinding world featuring the 2017 gifts selection. Discover more <a href="https://t.co/RKGldfZEDN">https://t.co/RKGldfZEDN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AlessandroMichele?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AlessandroMichele</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GucciCruise18?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GucciCruise18</a> <a href="https://t.co/Csu04xpJTI">pic.twitter.com/Csu04xpJTI</a></p> — gucci (@gucci) <a href="https://twitter.com/gucci/status/930483830879813632?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 14, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4>Warby Parker</h4> <p>The iPhone X’s new face mapping technology has given brands another way to elevate their apps. One of the first to take advantage of it has been Warby Parker, which uses the technology to recommend glasses that will suit a person’s face shape.</p> <p>Previously, the brand used augmented reality to let users virtually try on glasses, however with face mapping, they are automatically given suitable recommendations, revolutionising the way people are able to buy the product.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just getting fitted for glasses at home in a recliner. No big deal. New Warby Parker app uses Face ID scanning to recommend frames that fit. <a href="https://t.co/Ae9wzktQ76">pic.twitter.com/Ae9wzktQ76</a></p> — Kevin C. Tofel (@KevinCTofel) <a href="https://twitter.com/KevinCTofel/status/928307448607313921?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69455-five-new-and-innovative-examples-of-augmented-reality-in-retail-apps">Five new and innovative examples of augmented reality in retail apps</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63446-10-inspiring-uses-of-mobile-in-retail">10 inspiring uses of mobile in retail</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69574 2017-11-09T12:00:00+00:00 2017-11-09T12:00:00+00:00 Personalised ad campaigns: Examples from Argos, 20th Century Fox & Microsoft Nikki Gilliland <p>This is the level of personalisation that Argos is promising this Christmas, with the retailer launching a personalised social advert as part of its festive ad campaign. </p> <p>Of course, this type of advertising can be risky (as Walkers crisps can certainly attest to – more on that later) but with consumers increasingly demanding personalised experiences, the benefits can be huge.</p> <p>So, along with more info on Argos’s ad, here’s a few examples of brands using personalisation in advertising campaigns.</p> <h3>Argos</h3> <p>Unlike retailers such as John Lewis or Morrisons, which typically use sentiment to drive brand awareness at this time of year, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69450-what-makes-argos-the-uk-s-top-multichannel-retailer" target="_blank">Argos</a> tends to use its Christmas campaign to promote USPs such as super-fast delivery and convenience. </p> <p>Its 2017 campaign is no exception. The ad – which depicts one of Santa’s elves going above and beyond to get a forgotten present delivered – is geared around its promise of ‘delivery in as little as four hours’. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WNqm-sgz86Y?wmode=transparent" width="578" height="325"></iframe></p> <p>It’s a decent enough ad, however, in order to build further hype and engagement Argos is also giving consumers the chance to be featured in a personalised version.</p> <p>Encouraging parents on Facebook to submit pictures of their kids, it will send winners their own ad to share on social media, as well as pick a lucky three to feature in ads aired on television.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fargos%2Fvideos%2F1718696121524981%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>But is this a risky concept? Both Walkers and the National Lottery have previously launched similar personalised campaigns, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69153-how-big-brands-coped-with-social-media-crises" target="_blank">both have fallen foul of pranksters</a> who hi-jacked them with controversial and offensive imagery. </p> <p>It looks as though Argos is well aware of this, as the brand has stated that it will be manually checking each image to prevent misuse. Meanwhile, personalisation is just one element of the campaign, which indicates that there is much more of a strategy behind it than the Walkers example. </p> <p>Essentially, instead of creating small-scale engagement on just one platform (like Twitter), Argos is aiming to use TV and digital channels in conjunction to generate greater brand awareness. In this sense, the personalised videos are not vital to the campaign, and yet without them, it would be much less impactful.</p> <p>The personalisation element creates a memorable connection with the consumers involved (potentially increasing brand loyalty in the long run). It also helps differentiate Argos in a period of heavy seasonal advertising.</p> <h3>Channel 4</h3> <p>Earlier this year, Channel 4 announced a new VoD format to allow brands to personalise ads on its All 4 streaming service. By using data from Channel 4’s 15m registered users, advertisers would be able to insert personalised audio and video clips into ads.</p> <p>The first brand to take advantage of this was 20th Century Fox for its film, Alien Covenant. At the end of a spooky trailer, viewers names were incorporated into the final call to action (“Nikki, run!”). Similary, beer brand Fosters also name-checked users in adverts, telling them that “…this one’s for you”. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0345/Channel_4_ad.JPG" alt="" width="590" height="385"></p> <p>But is it too creepy? There’s definitely a fine line when it comes to this kind of personalisation in advertising. Channel 4’s defence is that by registering with the service, users are willingly giving away their data for advertising purposes. However, that of course does not stop a viewer being put off or mildly freaked out in the moment when they hear their name (a potential concern for advertisers thinking about the GDPR).</p> <p>On the flip side, this type of personalisation certainly creates an impact – if a viewer is not focused on the ad, hearing their own name is pretty much guaranteed to grab their attention. Similarly, in the case of the movie trailer, which was intentionally designed to be creepy, the final call to action amplifies the scary effect.</p> <p>In this sense, Channel 4’s format allows brands to bypass other problems association with personalisation, such as irrelevant or overly intrusive targeting. Used as a way to cut through the noise – it’s a good example of how to use personalisation in a restrained yet effective way.</p> <h3>Microsoft</h3> <p>As well as consumers getting actively involved in campaigns (as with Argos), real-time data is another way brands can create personalisation in advertising. </p> <p>One notable example of this is from Microsoft, who launched an <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing" target="_blank">out-of-home</a> campaign in 2015 to promote its personal assistant Cortana. It ran digital ads on billboards and bus stops, with screens dynamically changing depending on variables such as weather, day of the week, time of day etc.</p> <p>While this is not super-personal (in the sense that it is not tailored to individuals), Microsoft did take it to another level on the back of a viral tweet about the campaign.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Said nobody in the east end of Glasgow ever. <a href="http://t.co/pxenKTMmbv">pic.twitter.com/pxenKTMmbv</a></p> — Chris (@Chris72600702) <a href="https://twitter.com/Chris72600702/status/606456238625431553?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 4, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>When a passer-by criticised one of the screens, saying “said nobody in the east end of Glasgow ever” – Microsoft fired back by tracking down the same ad and replacing it with a direct response to the user.</p> <p>As well as being a great example of real-time marketing, this shows how personalisation can forge consumer relationships – and even turn around negative brand sentiment. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/Chris72600702?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chris72600702</a> We weren't kidding when we said <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cortana?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cortana</a> was personal <a href="http://t.co/PO2PrPu4eN">http://t.co/PO2PrPu4eN</a> <a href="http://t.co/Nyc730us5P">pic.twitter.com/Nyc730us5P</a></p> — Microsoft UK (@MicrosoftUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/MicrosoftUK/status/611079180894228481?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 17, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>The consumer in question is likely to have been amused at Microsoft’s efforts, with the stunt raising the profile of the marketing campaign (as well as cleverly tying in with the personal nature of the Cortana product).</p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69360-how-to-build-a-personalisation-strategy-for-your-content-website" target="_blank">How to build a personalisation strategy for your content website</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67070-why-personalisation-is-the-key-to-gaining-customer-loyalty/" target="_blank">Why personalisation is the key to gaining customer loyalty</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68285-six-things-to-consider-when-implementing-personalisation" target="_blank">Six things to consider when implementing personalisation</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69443 2017-10-31T10:00:00+00:00 2017-10-31T10:00:00+00:00 A day in the life of... a marketing optimization & personalization consultant Ben Davis <p>As always, if these interviews spark the desire to change your own career path, you can look at open positions on the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs website</a>.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><em><strong>Paul Knutton:</strong></em> I work directly with Monetate’s clients to help them formulate their personalisation strategies. That means digging into their businesses, working with the client to formulate a personalisation roadmap, then helping the client execute on the plans and analysing success. As you can imagine, this often requires me to work across siloed departments for any given client, and I frequently find myself helping clients navigate the relationships between eCommerce, marketing, analytics, and IT.</p> <p>Working with some of the top brands in the UK is incredibly rewarding and the strategies we are collaborating on are cutting edge, so I get a first hand view of the future of retail in the UK.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0077/paul_knutton.jpg" alt="paul knutton" width="293" height="293"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>PK:</strong></em> Monetate has a global presence, but my focus is on EMEA since I am based out of our new offices in Soho, London. I am a member of our growing team of strategic experts at Monetate called “Strategy and Insights,” that sits within our Professional Services organisation. Strategy and Insights has leadership in both the US and UK, and we are highly collaborative internationally, which makes it much more interesting, rather than adhering to rigid reporting structures.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><strong><em>PK:</em></strong> Before joining the team at Monetate, I was a Monetate client myself at Boden. Being a former client is by no means a requirement to fill my role, but it does give me firsthand experience of being in the marketer’s shoes. For that reason, I am well versed in many of the pressures, cross-departmental dynamics, and organisational constraints that marketers face, and I am better prepared to help them execute an effective and efficient personalisation and optimisation plan.</p> <p>What I do is both commercially and technically focused. I have to understand multiple web technologies, be well versed in ecommerce, and be able to go deep into digital marketing. On top of that, I have to be customer focused...meaning that I need to focus on our client’s customers. Having such a diverse background and focus is necessary to generate ideas that are both creative and business-driven.</p> <p>I find that a pragmatic, honest and candid approach builds client-trust. And you need to love this stuff, employ common-sense, and be a little bit geeky about it too.  </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Tell us about a typical working day…</h4> <p><em><strong>PK:</strong></em> I split my time between the office and spending time onsite with our clients.</p> <p>A typical office-based day is spent producing and prioritising tactical roadmaps that align with the client’s business objectives. This often requires wireframing to ensure the client understands how to execute the tactics in the most efficient way within the Monetate platform. I devote a great deal of attention to ensuring that recommendations are practical, easy to implement, deploy, and reuse.</p> <p>A typical client-onsite day involves reviewing the client’s optimisation and personalisation ideas. Because the Monetate platform is so flexible, there are often multiple ways of designing a customer experience. Helping a client understand the advantages of each approach helps the client build robust tests and experiences and get the outcome they want.</p> <p>I also spend some time convincing clients not to do things. Because the Monetate platform is easy to use and flexible, the answer to ‘can I do this?’ is often ‘yes’, but I encourage clients to focus on meaningful changes that are likely to return commercial rewards. I tend to discourage ideas that only look cool, like inserting a slide-out video half way down the product listing page. It does look cool, but it’s unlikely to increase products added to your shopping bag over other more straight-forward changes we could make to that page.</p> <p>I also like to encourage a continuous approach to testing. For example, I often suggest that clients use a simple A/B test to determine a winner, and then iterate by trying to beat that winner in a new variant one step at a time. That way the team working with Monetate on the ground can see the progress they’re making, and they have something tangible to share with senior stakeholders. There’s nothing worse than running a complex MVT test with 64 permutations, and when the boss asks “which one is winning” you have to say “it depends” as you glance at your shoes.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>PK:</strong></em> I really enjoy helping brands make their customer experiences better and meeting the people in organisations who also love this stuff and want the same thing. I enjoy challenging ideas using common-sense, customer-centric thinking.</p> <p>I get a great deal of satisfaction when Monetate is considered by the organisation as a ‘partner’ much more than a ‘third-party supplier’.</p> <p>Don’t tell them I said so, but the Monetate team is fantastic. Everyone, without exception, is highly capable in their roles. This reduces the pressure on me. If you ask them to do something, you know it will be done on time and to a very high standard.</p> <p>‘Sucks’ would be too strong a term, but it is frustrating when brands get so distracted by focusing on big projects, that they don’t do some of the easy things - like personalising new customer journeys for example. There should be no excuse for not pointing out your brand’s USPs to new visitors throughout their session and not just on a landing page.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em><strong>PK:</strong></em> One of my personal goals is always to build friendly, honest relationships with our clients and to establish a culture of collaboration and partnership. When we have that kind of trust, it is much easier to help clients first see the potential of the Monetate platform, and then help them to execute and use the platform to create winning experiences, which demonstrate the ROI of personalisation. </p> <p>As for client goals and KPIs, it is important to have a strong hypothesis for every experience you run, as well as a realistic goal metric. Goal metrics must make contextual sense: for example, setting conversion rate as your goal metric for a change on a homepage would be optimistic to say the least. A more realistic metric would be to reduce bounce rate. When deploying personalisation and optimisation at all levels of your conversion funnel, focusing your goal on moving the visitor to the next progressive stage will help you build a program that gives you real tangible results.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><strong><em>PK:</em></strong> Besides Monetate, Slack is invaluable for effective team communication. Evernote helps me keep all my notes and to-do list organised. I love the simplicity of Balsamiq for creating effective wireframes quickly. When I’m on the road, Waze gets me where I need to be on time and Trip It keeps my travel plans to hand if I am travelling further afield.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How did you get into personalisation, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em><strong>PK:</strong></em> I’ve been working in ecommerce for the last 18 years, the majority of those years at Boden. Boden has always taken a strong customer-centric approach and was an early adopter of website testing tools. In 2008 Boden started to run MVT and A/B tests for all visitors on the website. We often found that after running a test we would see differences in behavior between new visitors versus returning visitors, and desktop versus tablet. Naturally, we wanted to address these different audiences by running segmented experiences for these groups, ultimately using Monetate as our tool of choice.</p> <p>I really believe in the product—which is why I decided to switch from being a client to a practitioner by joining the team here at Monetate, and I haven’t looked back since.</p> <p>At Monetate, we are now moving into machine learning and AI which is very exciting. I predict that this will precipitate a drastic change in how organisations interact with consumers. </p> <p>I’m already enjoying developing the expertise to help clients offer compelling 1-to-1 personalised experiences to each individual customer, across multiple channels, using all the data we have at our disposal.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Which brands do you think are doing personalisation well?</h4> <p><strong><em>PK:</em></strong> I’d say Jack Wills, the British fashion and lifestyle brand, has been particularly successful. It has made a number of important changes to its online store, including personalised rules for displaying products and ‘sticky filter’ functionality, which provides their customers with a better, more engaging user experience.</p> <p>We have a number of clients that are already taking advantage of the new machine learning capabilities of the platform that are doing personalisation well (and also doing well from personalisation).</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you have any advice for people who want to work in personalisation/ecommerce?</h4> <p><em><strong>PK:</strong></em> Being able to see the bigger picture will help you thrive in this industry. Try not to specialise in just one area of ecommerce: I read somewhere that to succeed in any industry, you need to be able to do at least two things well, and I find that principle holds true.</p> <p>You must also cultivate a strong sense of the customer perspective. One of the ironies of the profession is that in order to be a great ecommerce marketer you must learn to see websites from a customer’s perspective, rather than a marketer’s point of view.</p> <p>Finally, and most importantly, you must have a passion for delivering personalised experiences. For those who are truly invested in working with brands to offer their customers the best possible experience, this exciting field will bring great challenges and rewards.</p> <p><em><strong>More on personalisation:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69360-how-to-build-a-personalisation-strategy-for-your-content-website">How to build a personalisation strategy for your content website</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3337 2017-10-26T18:26:34+01:00 2017-10-26T18:26:34+01:00 Usability and UX in Successful Web Design <p>UX (User Experience) improvements can radically increase your users’ engagement, conversions and loyalty.</p> <p>Our world-famous 1-day course will support you in creating a great User Experience across all your digital platforms. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3265 2017-10-26T12:05:57+01:00 2017-10-26T12:05:57+01:00 Creative Thinking for Digital Marketers <p>“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein.<br> <br> </p> <p>Our highly interactive 1-day course introduces practical tools to help you think more creatively about your digital marketing challenges.  Your day will be filled with hands-on exercises and examples from many areas, but with a special focus on digital.  </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3262 2017-10-26T12:01:24+01:00 2017-10-26T12:01:24+01:00 Creating Superior Customer Experience (CX) <p>When the competition are a click away differentiation can be hard. Competing on price is a fools game and erodes margins. If you want to stand out from the crowd the experience you provide customers is everything.</p> <p>This course will show you how to create an outstanding customer experience whatever type of site you run. Customers who are more engaged and more loyal. Customers who will take action and convert.</p>