tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/personalisation Latest Personalisation content from Econsultancy 2017-06-08T15:28:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69157 2017-06-08T15:28:00+01:00 2017-06-08T15:28:00+01:00 B2B marketers: Share your thoughts on account-based marketing Arliss Coates <p>Our aim is to line up perspectives from within the still-nascent ABM industry - along with the view from outside - for a report that will look at account-based strategy holistically.</p> <p>That means sourcing a variety of stakeholders - from industry leaders who have adopted an account-based approach, to ABM professionals' with a take on the future of their field and those B2B marketers who aren't yet sure if it's the right way to go.</p> <p>Please <a href="http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3620403/Interview-Participation-Form">click here</a> if you are available for a short interview by phone or email.</p> <p>For those unfamiliar with Account Based Marketing, read on for a brief explanation:</p> <p><strong>An overview of ABM</strong></p> <p>"How do you know when two marketers are talking about Account-based Marketing?" goes the new joke. "Their lips are moving"</p> <p>Terrible jokes aside, "account based marketing" is sometimes criticized for being a new buzz term for an old approach; the idea of crafting individualized marketing strategies for specific accounts is as old as a handshake.</p> <p>Enterprise-level organizations have long recognized the value in treating accounts as individual markets, paying managers handsomely to know the players and politics at key customers since the middle of the last century.</p> <p>As markets commoditize and the distinctions between products shrink in the minds of consumers, ABM has grown in importance as a method of outbound targeting.</p> <p>Increasing commoditization means B2B organizations have begun leaning on a specialized approach to gain, and retain, key accounts that may otherwise be lost to more competitive pricing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6672/arrows_in_target.jpg" alt="" width="272" height="204"></p> <p><strong>The Northrop Grumman case</strong></p> <p>During Northrop Grumman's 2003 push to secure the state of Virginia's $2 billion IT infrastructure contarct, the well-known munitions producer had to advertise its expertise in a sector most supposed was outside its wheelhouse.</p> <p>Northrop Grumman enjoyed a reputation as a capable ships and munitions manufacturer, but even in Virginia (where NG is headquartered) few were aware of the company's experience in IT.</p> <p>NG's leadership recognized this as an obstacle that had to be overcome if they were going to convince VITA (Virginia Information Technologies Agency) that Northrop Grumman was the best firm for a 10-year long job that aimed to support economic development across Virginia.</p> <p>To remedy its reputation problem, Northrop Grumman adopted what ITSMA calls the "Understanding the Customer, Collaboration with Sales" approach. The first step was to spend significant time connecting with important players in VITA's initiative so that NG would better understand VITA's concerns.</p> <p>Once done, NG understood that its target account wanted top-notch IT expertise, obviously, but that a presence in Virginia was also very important and would likely determine which firm would ultimately win the contract.</p> <p>With that information, NG launched a marketing campaign that brought in its best IT experts for speaking opportunities, ran advertisiments across Virginia highlighting Northrop Grumman's long history in the state, and had its own executives speak at local community events and universities as part of a grassroots good-will initiative.</p> <p>Northrop Grumman's focused marketing effort worked - the defense contractor won an enviable contract for work not known to be its specialty. Other companies, particularly in IT where cusotmer base is small and the product is highly commoditized, report similar success stories with ABM techniques.</p> <p><strong>Technology changes the game</strong></p> <p>While most marketers can believe in the effectiveness of a specialized approach to account marketing, the cost of providing that attention was too high to implement at scale until recently.</p> <p>Companies like Demandbase, Engagio, and Terminus have seized on predictive analytics and the ability to assemble and select from databases of thousands of potential leads to help organizations overcome this problem.</p> <p>These companies operate by drawing on large pools of B2B professionals in an automated process that identifies leads according to segmentation and marketing specifications.</p> <p><strong>ABM at scale presents new problems</strong></p> <p>As with any innovation, the new scalability of ABM comes with its own problems.</p> <p>For instance, ABM has been known to fall flat when it excludes existing customers from special deals designed for newly qualified leads.</p> <p>Other tentative users of ABM have worried that targeted outbound techniques might be "creepy."</p> <p>Econsultancy's research will delve into these and other issues around deciding to adopt an account-based strategy, implementing it, and gauging its success. An understanding of classical ABM and tech-driven ABM is critical for marketers on the cusp of adopting this strategy, as is an understanding of others' experiences for well-versed ABM practitioners.</p> <p>The report will draw on expert testimony, case studies, and a survey of several hundred B2B marketers to lay out benefits, drawbacks, and the future of ABM.</p> <p>If you have an opinion you'd like to share, please <a href="http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3620403/Interview-Participation-Form">click here</a>. We will share a free copy of the resulting report to all those who are interviewed.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4502 2017-06-08T11:00:00+01:00 2017-06-08T11:00:00+01:00 Digital Transformation in the Financial Services and Insurance Sector <p>The<strong> Digital Transformation in the FSI Sector: Gearing up for success in a changing market</strong> report builds on our <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-financial-services-sector-2016">previous report</a> looking at digital transformation in the sector. The report aims to explore the approaches new entrants are taking and their focus on the customer experience and marketers' responses to challenges, as well as providing recommendations on approaches to and opportunities related to digital transformation.</p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>We carried out a series of in-depth interviews with senior executives from across the financial services and insurance industries to understand how a range of organisations were responding to different opportunities and challenges.</p> <p>Companies interviewed included: The AA, Atom Bank, Aviva, AXA PPP Healthcare, Bought By Many, Lloyds Banking Group, Monzo, National Australia Bank, OCBC Bank, HSBC Singapore, Salesforce and UBS Wealth Management, APAC.</p> <p>We also looked at sector-specific data from our <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-financial-services-and-insurance">2017 Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance sector</a>.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <p>The financial services industry has seen more disruption in the last few years and continues to face significant challenges as new players are seizing the opportunity to enter these markets and new models emerge.</p> <ul> <li>Customer experience continues to be a major focus for marketers and new entrants are focusing on differentiating the customer experience and making the financial lives of customers easy.</li> <li>Having the right strategy and culture to deliver digital transformation is seen as essential with strong leadership from the top.</li> <li>Data is perceived as being a huge part of the digital transformation journey.</li> </ul> <h2>You'll discover findings around:</h2> <ul> <li>How companies are looking to differentiate the customer experience and deliver value to their customers.</li> <li>Ways in which companies are re-orientating their focus around customers and moving away from being product-focused to putting the customer first and delivering products and services more aligned to their needs.</li> <li>The importance of earning trust in the sector and delivering more transparent services to customers.</li> <li>Practices companies are adopting to work in a more agile way. </li> <li>Encouraging a digital culture where digital is not a bolt on. </li> <li>Unlocking the value of data to understand customer journeys and behaviour to deliver more personalised and relevant communications.</li> <li>Importance of innovation starting with the customer and how companies are collaborating and partnering to drive change. </li> </ul> <p>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</p> <p>A <strong>free sample</strong> is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.</p> <h2>How we can help you</h2> <h2 style="font-weight: normal; color: #3c3c3c;"><a style="color: #2976b2; text-decoration: none;" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation" target="_self"><img style="font-style: italic; height: auto; float: right;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/8296/rgb_dt_logo-blog-third.png" alt="Digital Transformation" width="200" height="66"></a></h2> <p><a title="Digital transformation - Econsultancy" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital transformation</a> is a journey that's different for every organisation. To enable delivery of your digital vision (or help you shape that vision) we’ve designed a comprehensive approach to tackle your transformation.</p> <p>Covering everything from strategic operational issues, down to specific marketing functions, we will work with you to achieve digital excellence.</p> <p>Talk to us about an initial, no-cost consultation.</p> <p>Contact our Digital Transformation Team on <a href="mailto:transformation@econsultancy.com">transformation@econsultancy.com</a> or call</p> <ul> <li>EMEA: +44 (0)20 7269 1450</li> <li>APAC: +65 6653 1911</li> <li>Americas: +1 212 971-0630</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q_lWLm5qtg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69113 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 Delivering data-driven content marketing for the travel industry Ray Jenkin <p dir="ltr">Paid media opportunities for content marketing are now truly scalable with programmatic delivery of content through existing ad formats and native placements. As marketers shift from talking at customers to speaking with them, the time is ripe to use data and content to add value to the consumer's purchase journey by finding them at the most relevant time and tailoring the content to them so it is informative and engaging.</p> <p dir="ltr">It is exciting to see the likes of <a href="http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/">Thomson</a> and <a href="https://contently.com/strategist/2015/11/05/were-a-media-company-now-inside-marriotts-incredible-money-making-content-studio/">Marriott</a> who are executing this across paid, owned and earned channels. This article will focus specifically on how brands can better activate their content utilising data across paid media channels. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">Understand your audience, then shape your content and targeting</h3> <p dir="ltr">With the abundance of data available from social and paid media channels, the opportunity to uncover strong insights about your audience, in near real time, has never been greater. By understanding the primary travel-led concerns and motivations of your audiences you can quickly develop and adjust content to address these concerns.</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to tackling your audience's questions effectively, you should also use this information to shape audience targeting strategies and paid media activation of that content, finding defining moments in the consumer journey and matching the most relevant content to these audience behaviours.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Data allows you to listen and act: don’t just broadcast</h3> <p dir="ltr">Balance the message you would like to share with the needs and wants of your audience. Travel brands run the risk of using the content channel as another broadcast tactic, pushing use of their app or overly touting their offers. Be cautious not to alienate your audience.</p> <p dir="ltr">Utilise the data-driven insights you uncover to create a balanced editorial strategy that weaves your key commercial messages with useful and valuable content that addresses consumer needs.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6375/thomson_blog.png" alt="" width="700" height="487"></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Thomson's blog</em></p> <h3 dir="ltr">Be relevant at all the stages of the consumer’s journey</h3> <p dir="ltr">Using data enables you to really match content with the consumer at pivotal touch points. Much like over-broadcasting, mismatching content at the wrong times will lead to consumers ignoring you.</p> <p dir="ltr">For example, if you are building out content that elevates travel inspiration be sure you can activate those audiences at that stage of their journey, by looking at some of the behavioural triggers such as browsing travel photos, writing travel blogs or search terms around broader travel-related terms.    </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, make sure the shape, structure and features of your content reflect the relevant point in the consumer’s journey. For example, consider travel inspiration as a period where consumers are looking for validation and affirmation of the travel desires. With that in mind is your content shareable? Is it rich in visual elements to capture the imagination? Paid media activation now allows for far more variety in content than in recent previous years so leverage these opportunities to make the content more relevant.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Go beyond where your audiences are to find what your audiences are doing</h3> <p dir="ltr">Naturally, context is a valuable part of your content strategy. Make sure you are aligning your paid content with relevant contextual environments such as travel comparison, OTA’s, and travel magazines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Granular data access for audience targeting can help you reach those relevant consumers at other pivotal touch points. For example those sharing content with friends and family on social channels, those searching with specific search terms or consumers browsing hard to reach travel inspiration environments can be identified through more sophisticated audience targeting solutions and also found programmatically in other non-travel environments where the opportunity to deliver them paid content is available.   </p> <h3 dir="ltr">Harness the power of the crowd</h3> <p dir="ltr">According to research undertaken by Edelman, 70% of global consumers say <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/">online consumer reviews</a> are the second-most trusted form of advertising, and Trip Barometer uncovered that 93% of travellers said their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/">User-generated content</a> can be powerful. Consider how this impacts both content production and also existing traditional paid media strategies. Look at how you can marry this content with audiences engaging with review-led content to create stronger resonance with your brand.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Go further than the written word - 66% of all travellers watch videos online when researching </h3> <p dir="ltr">The plethora of paid media options available programmatically has increased significantly in the last few months. Leverage these to get a range of content in front of relevant audiences.</p> <p dir="ltr">From video placements of various lengths and <a href="https://vimeo.com/155542137">f</a><a href="https://vimeo.com/155542137">ormats</a>, to <a href="https://flixel.com/cinemagraph/51r5jmmylwommtwzwt12/">cinemagraph native formats</a> to get engaging imagery in front of audiences, the possibilities to make the right content fit at the right stage have never been greater. With programmatic access to these formats now reaching meaningful scale, you can combine data and placement to truly get the most relevant content in front of the most relevant audiences.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><em>For more on this topic see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68871-how-travel-brands-are-capitalising-on-youtube-adventure-search-trend/"><em>How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/"><em>The impact of artificial intelligence on the travel industry</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69112 2017-05-25T14:02:00+01:00 2017-05-25T14:02:00+01:00 What's the difference between AI-powered personalisation and more basic segmentation? Ben Davis <p>I have no more than a mathematics A-Level and am certainly not a developer, but I thought it worth writing a very simple blog post to discuss what machine learning brings to the party when compared with plain old segmentation.</p> <h3>Segmentation</h3> <p>Segmentation can be extremely simple, often using only one data point. A website may serve different content to different nationalities, or perhaps different content for men as opposed to women. The reasons for this are obvious - there may be different delivery details or pricing depending on where you live, or gender-specific categories and products.</p> <p>Every marketer is also familiar with segmentation as a means of optimising email campaigns. Rather than blast everybody with the same message, marketers might switch things up based on attributes such as recency of purchase, frequency of purchase, and monetary value of purchases (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64481-finding-your-best-customers-with-the-rfm-matrix/">traditional RFM analysis</a>).</p> <p>Using paid social media, such as Facebook ads, marketers may take things a bit further, taking advantage of Facebook’s abundance of data to target, for example, men on the East coast of America over the age of 50 with household earnings above $200,000 and with an interest in sailing.</p> <p>When segmentation of an audience is taken to its logical conclusion, too much data becomes a problem. The more segments you create, the more difficult it becomes to understand the relationship between each variable, and exactly what the success or failure of a particular campaign means.</p> <p>The more segments that are manually assigned, the more content variations that have to be decided upon. The point is that segmentation is often a very effective but manual process, with little sophistication.</p> <h3>Collaborative filtering</h3> <p>Collaborative filtering is a type of recommender system that can be used for product or content recommendation. At a simple level it looks at relationships between users and products/content and uses heuristics (assumptions) to predict what users will like. In the simplest terms – a user will like a product that a similar user likes, or a user will like a product that is similar to a product they have already liked.</p> <p>These types of models don't have to be particularly sophisticated, and in the past may not have strayed into machine learning territory.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6374/suits-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="353"></p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT-b1qXznKI"><em>Suit you</em></a></p> <p>However, they can be more sophisticated. A latent factor model is another method of filtering – using many factors (possibly hundreds) about users and products in order to explain user actions (e.g. purchases/ratings).</p> <p>This method is useful because it can use implicit user feedback, looking at past browsing behaviour for example, and does not need to know what a user likes in order to make predictions about them.</p> <p>The algorithms involved in latent factor models are examples of machine learning.</p> <h3>Content analysis</h3> <p>Going further down the route of machine learning, and perhaps the easiest part to understand for the layman (me), is the method of analysing products or content to give them meaning (semantics).</p> <p>Advances in natural language processing (a much-publicised product of machine learning and deep learning) mean that content can be explored for explicit and implicit meaning. This is a kind of contextual analysis – very simply, if the content talks about pugs, this is linked to dogs, and other parts of that phrase or paragraph may be interpreted in a doggy context.</p> <p>Fairly obviously, the ability to find meaning in unstructured content will be helpful in recommending things that a user may like.</p> <p>Implicit semantics make use of wider learning, allowing characteristics of a product to be implied by looking at third-party information. If a product title includes reference of James Bond, for example, theoretically a recommender system could analyse the internet (e.g. Wikipedia) for context around James Bond, and incorporate this information into recommendations (Aston Martin, secret agents, Sean Connery etc.).</p> <p>Semantics are also important in user behaviour – knowing what page of a particular third-party website a user browsed isn't that useful unless you can understand the content on that page, for example. All this, as you might of gathered, is the kind of technology employed by search engines for some time now.</p> <p>This semantic analysis is what <em>sentiment</em> analysis is all about, too, and a big area of new marketing solutions that learn. If you want to optimise an email subject line, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67739-according-to-32-198-emails-most-retailers-use-boring-subject-lines/">your algorithms need to look for the sentiment</a> behind particular words, phrases and sentences, in order to model open rates based on the emotions they evoke.</p> <p>It's not just natural language processing that is of interest here. Computer vision means that marketers can potentially use <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68777-10-uses-of-computer-vision-in-marketing-customer-experience/">recommender systems that look at the visual affinity between images</a> (e.g. product photographs) and perhaps eventually video (e.g. movies) if Google's progress is anything to go by.</p> <h3>So, is this the study of everything?</h3> <p>There's a question to be raised here. If machine and deep learning keep jumping forward and we are able to find meaning in every bit of information and every user action, won't that make marketers obsolete and everything automated, fully optimised and democratic?</p> <p>Though big data analysis seemingly has no limits (marvel at the ability of Google <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69025-six-fascinating-ways-google-is-innovating-in-healthcare/">to diagnose retinopathy effectively</a>), it's important to note that efficient recommender systems are not simply the study of everything. There still needs to be an understanding of what it is that is most likely to inform marketing success.</p> <p>Let me heavily quote <a href="https://www.quora.com/How-exactly-is-machine-learning-used-in-recommendation-engines/answer/Hermano-Veronese/comment/22333875">Quora user Ethan Macdonald</a> who properly articulates this in the context of a logistic regression algorithm (used in machine learning):</p> <p>'I think one key thing to recognize is the importance of selecting good features for the task at hand. There are an infinite number of features you could use to describe a user, but some of them are more useful abstractions for the classifier and the task.</p> <p>'For example, I could describe a user by the precise location of every molecule in their body, and encode this information as a set of features where one location is one molecule. If I feed this to a logistic regression algorithm the computation will probably be prohibitively slow and the final classifier would likely be useless. On the other hand, I could instead encode the user as features by more important abstractions: their gender, hair color, whether or not they wear glasses, etc.</p> <p>'..One key thing to notice is that the features in the first example can not be easily extended to describe multiple users: each molecule is encoded as its own feature and people don’t generally share molecules. Features like “has brown hair”, on the other hand, can be used to describe many different users — even users that have never been encountered in the training set. In a standard machine learning classification task, we want to learn the best setting of the parameters that allows us to use the information in the features to generalize to examples that we have not seen before.'</p> <p>In short, recommender systems can not draw meaning from everything, they will always be an extension of the sort of common sense logic we use in very basic segmentation – finding factors (even if latent) that explain the success of a message/product within a particular audience.</p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>I know Econsultancy's readership includes some heavyweight AI experts and so I am prepared to be called out on some of what I have written above, but it's what I have drawn from a layman's reading of some of the literature.</p> <p>The easiest way to think about machine learning in personalisation is not as a magic and giant leap away from plain segmentation, but simply as a statistically powered refinement of those same instincts, also incorporating some kind of feedback and optimisation.</p> <p>See, easy.</p> <p><em><strong>And if you don't want to take my shaky word for it, why not attend Econsultancy and Marketing Week's event about AI in marketing? Supercharged takes place in London on 4 July 2017. <a href="http://conferences.marketingweek.com/supercharged/home">Buy your tickets here</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69114 2017-05-25T10:41:00+01:00 2017-05-25T10:41:00+01:00 How Subaru uses a data-driven marketing strategy to target customers Nikki Gilliland <p>Led by Iain Lovatt from BlueVenn, it was all about Subaru’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68822-where-is-data-driven-marketing-headed-in-2017/" target="_blank">data-driven marketing</a> strategy. More specifically, how the automotive brand uses data to create an emotive and personalised customer experience. Here are a few key takeaways.</p> <h3>Utilising actionable data </h3> <p>One of the main talking points of the whole conference was the importance of using all types of data. Or rather, not being limited to a certain kind. </p> <p>Hard data, such as gender or age demographic, is obviously helpful for gaining general insight into the consumer. Soft data, meanwhile - things like personal preference or opinion - is equally important for fleshing it out.</p> <p>While this is a good basis, actionable data is what ultimately helps to drive and inform real-time marketing. For Subaru, this type of data might involve how often a consumer is browsing the website or what type of car they’re looking at. </p> <p>By taking all this data into consideration (and from all sources), Subaru can build a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65425-what-is-the-single-customer-view-and-why-do-you-need-it/" target="_blank">single customer view</a>. This enables the brand to treat all consumers as individuals rather than large segments, meaning they are able to deliver more timely and relevant content based on real-time needs and desires.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Need a car that can go the distance? The average Subaru will clock up 200,000 miles in its lifetime. Find out more: <a href="https://t.co/wcT8TnyyvE">https://t.co/wcT8TnyyvE</a> <a href="https://t.co/9ZM1dW8Ppx">pic.twitter.com/9ZM1dW8Ppx</a></p> — Subaru UK (@subaruuk) <a href="https://twitter.com/subaruuk/status/864579942541131776">May 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Creating relevancy</h3> <p>So, how exactly does Subaru deliver this?</p> <p>One thing that has dramatically helped the brand has been its decision to centralise and combine both online and offline marketing data. </p> <p>Let’s take Tomas - an example Subaru customer that might have first been identified via online browsing behaviour. While using this data might help to inform <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69015-three-key-findings-from-the-2017-email-marketing-census/" target="_blank">relevant email targeting</a> – it also means that Tomas would be treated entirely differently if he were to visit an offline dealership. </p> <p>On the other hand, Tomas’s offline persona would not be taken into consideration online either.</p> <p>The solution for Subaru has been to create a unified customer-base that integrates dealership information with online data. This has enabled the company to tailor email newsletters based on exactly where the customer is in their journey, as well as monitor customer behaviour and satisfaction levels.</p> <p>Ultimately, marketing becomes all the more relevant as the customer further engages with the brand – regardless of the channel or how fragmented their path to purchase is.</p> <h3>Turning test drives into sales</h3> <p>Alongside general customer satisfaction, Subaru has seen a marked increase in conversion rates as a result of its multichannel data-driven strategy. The number of enquiries leading to test drives has risen by a factor of 3.2.</p> <p>With the experience of buying a car being highly based on both senses and emotion - involving everything from the sound of the engine to that new car smell – test drives are a hugely important factor.</p> <p>Of course, encouraging test drives is not enough. By using data insight to match consumers with the <em>right</em> car – one that suits their specific lifestyle, budget and needs – Subari has managed to increase the number of test drives leading to sales by a factor of 1.6.</p> <p>This shows that data-driven marketing is not only about attracting and engaging customers in the first place, but using data to deliver a more rounded and emotive experience across the board.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6351/Subaru_test_drive.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="346"></p> <h3>What does the future hold for the automotive industry?</h3> <p>Iain finished by asking what the future of the automotive industry might look like. From driverless cars to telematics, there’s no doubt that data will be at its core. </p> <p>Last year, the company partnered with IBM to explore the idea of a data analytics solution involving Subaru’s ‘EyeSight’ driver assistance system – a feature that uses stereo cameras to detect other vehicles and pedestrians. The end result could be the creation of a ‘connected car’ network that shares and communicates data between cars and control centres. </p> <p>Whether or not it actually comes to fruition, Subaru insists that – much like its use of data in marketing – technology will always be built around how it can truly benefit and enhance the customer experience.</p> <p><em>(Ad for the Subaru Impreza with EyeSight)</em></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pprehPwyCgU?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67877-how-automotive-brands-are-blurring-the-lines-between-digital-reality/">How automotive brands are blurring the lines between digital &amp; reality</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67700-what-can-automotive-brands-learn-from-the-tesla-website/">What can automotive brands learn from the Tesla website?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69053-how-maserati-uses-influencers-to-drive-its-instagram-strategy/">How Maserati uses influencers to drive its Instagram strategy</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69083 2017-05-18T15:00:00+01:00 2017-05-18T15:00:00+01:00 Let’s put the ‘personal’ back in personalization by using living profiles Glen Hartman <p>It’s obvious that one of marketing’s widely used crutches – the segment-centric approach – isn’t up to the job anymore (but when was it ever). Given that the top 20% of customers typically represent 80% of the profits, companies cannot afford to treat people – especially their most valuable customers – as segments.</p> <h3>“I’m not a segment!” </h3> <p>Let’s not forget customers’ growing frustration with the way they are treated. For example, the websites of many retailers and brands take a one-size-fits-all approach – they offer a flood of options that cause many customers to simply abandon the pages and go elsewhere to get information or make a purchase, according to research from Accenture Interactive. </p> <p>The same research tells us that half of the customers in the US and UK have never(!) bought something recommended to them on a retailer’s website. This is customers’ way of telling brands, “I’m not a segment!”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6203/orange_segment.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="360"></p> <p>At the same time, people constantly share what they want and need. It’s in each of the choices they make, the products they buy, and the way they contact and comment on companies and brands. </p> <p>Brands should hone their abilities to decode these interactions und use the information to the benefit of the customer. This is no longer just a matter of technology. Rather, it requires shifting the focus from the ‘What’ to the ‘Why’ – from identifying correlations of consumers’ socio-demographics and purchase histories to understanding motivations. </p> <h3>From customer segments to living profiles – and true personalization  </h3> <p>Brands can accomplish this by getting from segments to individual, ‘living’ profiles of their customers. </p> <p>Customers base their buying decisions on various aspects such as features, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/">ratings and reviews</a>, and brand name. These product attributes make up the product’s DNA.</p> <p>In addition, each interaction a customer has with a brand (such as mobile app usage, email responses, social interactions, poll submissions, in-person events attended, etc.) is also characterized by descriptive attributes that shed light on their unique preferences, motivations and passions. </p> <p>Combining attributes across all interactions creates a living profile of the most unique aspects of each individual as they evolve in real time. </p> <p>For example, as a customer decides to purchase new clothing her living profile may reveal preferences for a casual fit, scoop neck shirts with motivational sayings, that are machine washable and also goes well with jeans.</p> <p>This approach takes customer insight way beyond segments and the ‘people who bought, also bought’ logic. From here, it’s only small step to offering experiences to customers that are personalized in the true sense of the word, starting with recommendations that are much more accurate and relevant. </p> <p>The opportunity, however, is much bigger. Think of offering what you know about your customers back to them, as a digital service acting like a personal assistant or shopper. Building living profiles of your customers can also help you drive innovation not just in marketing but in business, including the development of new products, services, and, most importantly, experiences.</p> <p>Brands’ biggest battles for a place in customers’ lives and hearts are fought with experiences. And the best experiences are when a brand knows us better than we know ourselves – and makes it easier for us to engage with what we want on our terms versus theirs.</p> <p><em>The author would like to thank Jeriad Zoghby, global personalization lead at Accenture Interactive, for his contribution to this post. </em></p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic, see:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69065-five-advanced-data-and-segmentation-tactics-for-marketing-and-sales/"><em>Five advanced data and segmentation tactics for marketing and sales</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68431-how-to-combine-attribution-and-segmentation-data-to-achieve-marketing-success/"><em>How to combine attribution and segmentation data to achieve marketing success</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69095 2017-05-18T14:10:00+01:00 2017-05-18T14:10:00+01:00 How Coca-Cola is using smartphone data to personalise in-store ads Nikki Gilliland <p>It’s not such a far-fetched notion. Recently, Coca-Cola started using Google technologies to target consumers in US grocery stores. So, how does it work exactly? Here’s a bit more on the story.</p> <h3>Ads in grocery aisles</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing/" target="_blank">Digital out-of-home advertising</a> typically uses contextual data to display relevant ads, e.g. a Coke billboard that changes depending on the weather. Digital signs (such as those at bus stops or in buildings) also use data in this way.</p> <p>The problem for brands like Coca-Cola, however, is the high cost of these ads, combined with a lack of any real <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67070-why-personalisation-is-the-key-to-gaining-customer-loyalty/" target="_blank">personalisation</a> or targeting to individual consumers. This is where Google-integrated ‘endcaps’ come in – a term used to describe advertisements at the front of grocery store aisles. (Endcaps are fairly common in the US, but less so in the UK.) </p> <p>These endcaps serve ads to passing consumers based on their smartphone data, using a combination of Google’s DoubleClick and location-based technologies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6150/Endcaps.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="439"></p> <p>The data includes anything from your basic gender or age demographic to previous browsing history. So, an ad could change from Coke Zero to Glacéau Smartwater if it recognises a preference for healthier products, for instance.</p> <p>The aim is to connect and engage with consumers to drive sales of the brand in retail stores – however Coca-Cola has also suggested that it benefits other brands and products within the same category (in this case soft drinks). This sounds somewhat improbable, but moving on. </p> <h3>Creepy or enhanced customer experience?</h3> <p>The real question is: Will consumers will be happy to receive super targeted ads, or does this level of personalisation veer into creepy territory? This generally remains one of the biggest issues for marketers, with <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/01/14/privacy-and-information-sharing/" target="_blank">research from Pew</a> suggesting that consumers do not want to trade privacy for personalisation. </p> <p>It found that people are particularly negative about targeted ads if they are unaware of what is happening or do not provide outright consent. However, the study also found that consumers are more willing to accept data tracking if ads are highly relevant or beneficial, e.g. offering discounts or coupons.</p> <p>Fortunately, Coca-Cola’s endcaps also involve communicating wirelessly with devices to send tailored offers or coupons, also meaning people do not have to log-in or stand still. This could be one benefit, but it is unlikely to satisfy all consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6151/Google_tech_Coca_Cola.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="544"></p> <h3>Will it catch on?</h3> <p>While this example from Coke appears to be a first, it’s clear that tracking physical consumers is becoming a pressing concern for the retail industry as a whole. </p> <p>Online retailers can easily hone strategies based on metrics like click-throughs and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">basket abandonment rates</a> – so it’s understandable that offline retailers want to build a similar picture of consumer behaviour. </p> <p>Interestingly, a report by <a href="https://dxc.turtl.co/story/55ee93d8bbfd077f2d4e22ee" target="_blank">CSC</a> recently suggested that as many as 30% of retailers are now using facial-recognition technology to track customers in-store. By comparing certain facial characteristics with browsing or buying behaviour, retailers are able to predict intent and deliver relevant ads. Unsurprisingly, CSC also reports that 33% of consumers think the technology is intrusive, while 56% do not even know what it is.</p> <p>Whether consumers are creeped out or keen for this kind of in-store tech – with Coca-Cola set to roll out endcaps to thousands of US stores – we could be seeing much more of it in future.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/">What's now &amp; next for digital technology in retail stores?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67418-what-is-location-based-advertising-why-is-it-the-next-big-thing/" target="_blank">What is location-based advertising &amp; why is it the next big thing?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67038-11-ways-to-track-online-to-offline-conversions-and-vice-versa/" target="_blank">11 ways to track online to offline conversions (and vice versa)</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69078 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 How brands are tapping into the transformation economy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what brands are taking this approach? Here are just a few examples. </p> <h3>Nike</h3> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63129-10-awesome-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-nike/">Nike’s branding</a> has always evoked notions of self improvement and positivity, this has been in more of an inspirational sense rather than in terms of the actual product offering. Of course, sports gear can be a key tool when it comes to physical transformation, but examples like the Nike+ app offer a much more tangible way of achieving it.</p> <p>Through the Nike+ app users can join local running clubs, track and monitor progress, and even set goals based on personal ability. By offering data in return, customers are essentially able to use the Nike brand to help make getting and keeping fit a much richer personal experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5979/Nike_.JPG" alt="" width="752" height="633"></p> <h3>Selfridges</h3> <p>According to the 2014 Boston Consulting Group report, of the $1.8trn spent on ‘luxuries’ in 2013, nearly 55% was spent on luxury experiences. More often than not, these experiences tend to be rooted in a quest for health or wellness – which is also the idea behind retail initiatives like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68034-how-selfridges-s-body-studio-blurs-the-lines-between-digital-in-store/" target="_blank">Selfridges’ Body Studio</a>.</p> <p>Located in the London Oxford Street store, the space includes a clean-eating café and a hair studio. It also holds regular fitness events and motivational talks.</p> <p>You could argue that the Body Studio is more of a marketing exercise, simply a selection of products packaged up and sold under the umbrella of ‘wellness’. After all, shoppers aren’t going to feel all <em>that</em> different after a visit. Having said that, I think it still demonstrates how brands and retailers are using the power of transformation and related experiences to drive the sales of products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uObtsABLuhY?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>District Vision</h3> <p>While District Vision is largely an ecommerce brand – selling eyewear for runners – it also sees its events and experiences as part of its product offering.</p> <p>The company, which began in New York, is based on the idea that ‘mental wellbeing is the foundation of every form of physical exercise’. As a result, it also offers a meditation and running program that helps runners to – you guessed it – run and meditate at the same time.  </p> <p>So, as both a wellness company and an ecommerce business, District Vision is one of the first real examples of a brand set up to be transformative - rather than as a by-product of a marketing strategy. By using its values as the very basis of its product research and development – as well as the paid-for events it offers on top – it is able to offer consumers a way to better themselves both physically and mentally.</p> <p>It’s a tall order, of course, but it’s certainly a bit more enticing than just paying for a designer logo.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5978/District_Vision.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="462"></p> <h3>Headspace</h3> <p>Headspace, the mindfulness app, proves that meditation can be the basis of a viable business model. In fact, it has used a subscription-based service – which offers unlimited access to sessions for £7.96 a month – to generate a reported annual revenue of over $50m.</p> <p>Naturally, this would not be possible if there was not the demand from consumers. And with the increase in technology and social media, issues relating to anxiety, mental health, self-esteem, and exhaustion are also on the up.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What are you trying to cram into your day that could wait until tomorrow? <a href="https://t.co/vNsT7zoaIi">pic.twitter.com/vNsT7zoaIi</a></p> — Headspace (@Headspace) <a href="https://twitter.com/Headspace/status/861279481318617088">May 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While the transformative aspect of Headspace is clear – with the aim of reducing the stresses and strains of everyday life – it could also be seen as revolutionary in a wider sense. By helping to bring awareness to mental health issues, it has also helped to change common perceptions, while making meditation a widely accepted part of modern life. </p> <p><em><strong>Related article:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68701-the-impact-of-the-sharing-economy-on-retail/" target="_blank">The impact of the sharing economy on retail</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69091 2017-05-17T14:19:02+01:00 2017-05-17T14:19:02+01:00 How Mr & Mrs Smith differentiates itself from digital competitors Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently heard Tamara Lohan, the CTO and co-founder of Mr &amp; Mrs Smith, speak at Abode Summit on the subject. Here are a few key points from her session.</p> <h3>Carefully curated hotels</h3> <p>Mr &amp; Mrs Smith originally began after a disastrous hotel stay, whereby Tamara and her then-boyfriend (now husband and business partner) were met with a decidedly different experience than the one they’d imagined. </p> <p>Realising that most travel agencies skip over what actually makes a holiday special - i.e. the little but memorable details – they set out to create a company which has the customer’s needs and desires in mind.</p> <p>With the core aim of inspiring people to travel to extraordinary places, it researches the best and most overlooked boutique hotels, which are often unique in terms of design and architecture. The company also values hotels that are environmentally-friendly or dedicated to local issues. Its selection of hotels in the Maldives is a clear example of this. With waste management becoming an increasing issue on the island, Mr &amp; Mrs Smith only chooses eco-friendly and sustainable hotels that aim to counteract the problem. </p> <p>Alongside this, one aspect that also sets Mr &amp; Mrs Smith apart is the fact that its hotels go through a rigorous testing and review process, with employees visiting each one to ensure it delivers a truly memorable experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6074/MR___MRS_Smith_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="568"></p> <h3>Creating loyalty</h3> <p>So, while its value proposition is clear, how does Mr &amp; Mrs Smith capture clicks – crucially even before customers turn to search? Instead of serving intent, the brand aims to create it by fostering loyalty.</p> <p>It differentiates itself from competitors like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68505-a-closer-look-at-booking-com-s-customer-focused-strategy/" target="_blank">Booking.com</a> and On The Beach by being a ‘travel club’ rather than an online booking platform. This idea builds on customer’s long-term interest in travel as well as their desire to forge relationships with like-minded people.</p> <p>While membership to Mr &amp; Mrs Smith only means booking through the website (there is no cost or fee to become a ‘member’), this idea aligns with the brand’s promise of offering something extra special. Booking with the brand means customers can enjoy perks such as being met with champagne on arrival, as well as exclusive offers and experiences throughout the year. </p> <p>Not only does this evoke a sense of exclusivity – making members feel recognised and inspired – but the included benefits mean consumers are much more likely to return again in future.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bye <a href="https://twitter.com/FoxhillManor">@FoxhillManor</a>, it's been epic! <a href="https://twitter.com/smithhotels">@smithhotels</a> <a href="https://t.co/tp1GTjGuwt">pic.twitter.com/tp1GTjGuwt</a></p> — Olivia von Halle (@OliviavonHalle) <a href="https://twitter.com/OliviavonHalle/status/819945671620968449">January 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Delivering unique content</h3> <p>‘Does everything have to be digital?’ was the title of Tamara’s talk. The answer is pretty obvious, of course, with Mr &amp; Mrs Smith typically partaking in both online and offline marketing activity to ensure it reaches customers in multiple ways.</p> <p>But while not everything has to be digital, it <em>does</em> have to be unique – which is a philosophy reflected in branded events like the ‘Smith Boutique Hotel Awards’. </p> <p>The annual awards ceremony honours the best hotels in the industry, with voters being made up of tastemakers, specialists and industry insiders. Unlike typically stuffy or corporate award ceremonies, it is consumer-facing, inviting customers and influencers to also attend. </p> <p>As well as forging one-to-one relationships with consumers, the awards are also a great way to create valuable content. Two weeks before this year's event, the company sent photographer Polly Brown on a whistle-stop tour of the winning hotels, documenting the results on both Instagram and a printed newspaper that was sent to a few select and loyal customers. </p> <p>Just like the travel experiences found in its hotels, it is special and meaningful touches like this that truly sets Mr &amp; Mrs Smith apart. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6075/Punch_Room.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="369"></p> <p><em><strong>Recent travel articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body/" target="_blank">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69018-how-airline-brands-are-improving-customer-experience-in-flight/" target="_blank">How airline brands are improving customer experience in-flight</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68989-three-ways-language-can-affect-conversion-rates-on-travel-sites/" target="_blank">Three ways language can affect conversion rates on travel sites</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69086 2017-05-16T11:20:00+01:00 2017-05-16T11:20:00+01:00 How Adidas uses digital to enable powerful experiences Nikki Gilliland <p>This might sound like a rather lofty notion, but when it comes to a brand like Adidas – whose core belief is to inspire individuals to harness the power of sport – it’s slightly more believable. </p> <p>At Summit I also heard Adidas’s VP of digital strategy &amp; delivery, Joseph Godsey, speak about how the brand uses digital to enable powerful experiences. Here are a few key points from what he said.</p> <h3>Building relationships</h3> <p>For Adidas, digital is the best way to build direct relationships with consumers. To be successful, it must create an experience that is premium, connected, and personalised.</p> <p>So, what does this mean exactly? Premium is about inspiring love for the brand and a desire for the products. In other words, to create excitement and enthusiasm about sports, whether it’s on a small personal level – such as fitting in a spin class before work – or on a highly competitive or team-oriented basis, like professional football.</p> <p>Connected means taking all the touchpoints that a consumer can interact with and making it consistent. So much so that it does not matter where they started or where they finish, but that they always have a seamless experience. </p> <p>Lastly, personalised means connecting the consumer – taking into account their individual love of sports - with content that they want to hear about. By using data and customer insight, Adidas is able to deliver on its promise of this unified, multichannel and unique experience. </p> <h3>Engaging the ‘creator consumer’</h3> <p>According to Joseph, Adidas considers the customer as the starting point for everything it creates. Whether this involves focus groups or online reviews, customer feedback helps to inform and shape the entire brand.</p> <p>Joseph also went so far as to say that it views this person as the ‘creator consumer’. Essentially, this is someone who wants to be given the tools to co-create <em>with</em> the brand – to be able to tell their own stories and connect with others – rather than simply be sold to. </p> <p>So, who is this target consumer? Adidas considers digital natives – or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68554-how-retailers-are-targeting-generation-z/" target="_blank">Generation Z</a> – to be its embodiment. After all, by 2020, this demographic will make up 40% of the world’s population and have the buying power of two trillion dollars.</p> <p>With this generation typically viewing sport as intrinsic to culture – or as a mindset rather than an activity – a brand like Adidas has a real opportunity to connect with them in new and meaningful ways.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6036/IMG_0112.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="585"></p> <h3>Using technology to fuse online and offline</h3> <p>This aim is all well and good, of course. But how exactly does Adidas reach customers? Taking into account the fact there is no longer a linear customer journey, the brand aims to interact with people on a one-to-one level across all touchpoints – including mobile, social, and physical retail.</p> <p>It created Adidas Confirmed with this in mind – an app that allows customers to reserve products for pick-up in store. It also alerts them about new product launches and asks for feedback on purchases, allowing Adidas to create an experience that bridges the online and offline worlds. </p> <p>Another example is Glitch – a football boot with a changeable inner and outer shoe. It’s also the first product built with an entirely digital business model, only being available to buy through a dedicated app. As well as facilitating the mobile experience, it also offers a premium one – allowing consumers to talk to others, arrange a customised fitting session, or get same day shipping. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6037/Adidas_glitch.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="646"></p> <p>By creating memorable experiences such as this – while Adidas might not be able to make consumers actually participate in sport – it’s hard not to feel inspired enough to want to.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68785-how-adidas-originals-uses-social-media-to-drive-sales/">How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67859-adidas-creates-b2b-content-to-help-with-recruitment/">Adidas creates B2B content to help with recruitment</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68467-nike-vs-adidas-vs-under-armour-email-signup-welcome/">Nike vs. adidas vs. Under Armour: Email signup &amp; welcome</a></em></li> </ul>