tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social-2 Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2018-06-18T09:19:07+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3545 2018-06-18T09:19:07+01:00 2018-06-18T09:19:07+01:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media - Malaysia <p>Brands are increasingly turning to content driven marketing strategies to gain marketplace attention and increase customer engagement in a multi-channel environment. For your marketing to be effective, you will need to provide content that’s useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content.</p> <p>The discipline of content marketing provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant traditional and digital platforms. In addition to covering the basic principles of content marketing, this 2-day workshop seeks to address the challenges of marketers in developing a content strategy and help marketers to create a realistic and sustainable content plan.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3544 2018-06-18T09:12:05+01:00 2018-06-18T09:12:05+01:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media - Malaysia <p>Brands are increasingly turning to content driven marketing strategies to gain marketplace attention and increase customer engagement in a multi-channel environment. For your marketing to be effective, you will need to provide content that’s useful to your customers and that advances your business objectives in a measurable way. It is also vital to create high engagement by building and maintaining a community around your content.</p> <p>The discipline of content marketing provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant traditional and digital platforms. In addition to covering the basic principles of content marketing, this 2-day workshop seeks to address the challenges of marketers in developing a content strategy and help marketers to create a realistic and sustainable content plan.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70086 2018-06-13T12:16:39+01:00 2018-06-13T12:16:39+01:00 What’s behind the success of China’s social commerce app Pinduoduo? Rebecca Sentance <p>At least, in the west. In China, it’s a slightly different story. The world’s largest ecommerce market is currently being disrupted by a fast-growing new app called Pinduoduo, which has discovered a highly successful recipe for making ecommerce social.</p> <p>Pinduoduo’s model, which combines low prices with group discounts that users can lock in by rounding up their friends on social media, has seen it quickly rise to the ranks of China’s top ecommerce companies, threatening ecommerce titans like JD.com and Alibaba.</p> <p>Despite being less than three years old, Pinduoduo already has more than 300 million users, is ranked by <a href="http://data.cmcm.com/rank">Cheetah Mobile</a> as the second-most popular ecommerce app in China (behind Taobao), and was valued at nearly $15 billion in a recent round of funding.</p> <p>So what is behind Pinduoduo’s incredible success as a social commerce app? Can it be sustained? And is it a unique phenomenon – or a model that others can follow?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5206/pinduoduo_ranking.png" alt="" width="650"></p> <p><em>Pinduoduo is ranked #2 in Cheetah Mobile's ranking of China's most popular ecommerce apps, second only to rival Taobao for penetration and weekly open rates.</em></p> <h3><strong>How Pinduoduo does social commerce</strong></h3> <p>Most social commerce ventures that we’ve seen so far in the west, in spite of their name, are geared towards individuals. The ‘social’ part comes from either integrating ecommerce features into an existing social network, such as by adding a ‘Buy’ button to Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest; or by fusing social and ecommerce features on a new platform.</p> <p>Pinduoduo, by contrast, has found a way to make commerce truly social. The app allows customers to lock in low-price deals by rounding up a certain number of their friends to purchase the same item.</p> <p>Pinduoduo integrates seamlessly with China’s most popular chat app, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-wechat-an-overview-of-china-s-social-payment-and-messaging-giant">WeChat</a>, thanks to its “mini program” functionality, which allows users to open up other apps within the main app, using different programs without ever leaving WeChat.</p> <p>In this way, consumers can use WeChat to access Pinduoduo, and also to share product links with their friends, locking in deals and spreading the word about the app at the same time. These deals can involve discounts of up to 90%, as well as cashback incentives and even free products for loyal customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4994/pinduoduo_product_discovery.png" alt="Mary Meeker Pinduoduo" width="650"></p> <p><em>Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report 2018 featured Pinduoduo as an example of 'socialising' product discovery, as users can refer their friends to reduce the price of products.</em></p> <p>For anyone who used Groupon in its early days, Pinduoduo’s model will sound familiar – and comparisons have often been drawn between the two. However, there are a couple of key differences between Groupon’s take on group purchases and Pinduoduo’s.</p> <p>Groupon’s vouchers required much larger numbers of people to sign up to each deal, forcing its users to wait around for strangers to join their group, and giving them limited control over the whole process. In addition, when Groupon launched in 2008, social media and smartphones weren’t widespread, making email the most common way to spread the word about vouchers – not exactly efficient.</p> <p>Unlike Pinduoduo, Groupon also wasn’t an ecommerce vendor in its own right, but instead relied on retailers and restaurants to propose and agree to the discounts it offered on their behalf. This meant it had to lower the risk for businesses participating in its service, adding an extra layer of friction. All of these factors caused Groupon to later abandon the ‘group discount’ model in favour of a marketplace format.</p> <p>WeChat’s ubiquity and flexibility has allowed Pinduoduo to spread like wildfire among Chinese consumers, who are eager to snap up a good deal. Many Pinduoduo users have reported being introduced to the app by their WeChat friend circle.</p> <p>By basing its model on social sharing, Pinduoduo turns its customers into brand ambassadors, and rewards them well for it.</p> <p>With that said, the social element is only half of the reason for Pinduoduo’s immense success. It has also managed to tap into an entirely new market of consumers which have so far been overlooked by its more well-established competitors.</p> <h3><strong>Tapping into a new market</strong></h3> <p>China-focused tech publication Pandaily <a href="https://pandaily.com/alibabas-worst-nightmare-pinduoduo-becoming-the-no-1-e-commerce-app-in-china/">wrote of Pinduoduo</a> that, “The lure of Pinduoduo is not its low prices, but the satisfaction of getting a good deal”.</p> <p>However, Pinduoduo’s low prices are still a big lure in and of themselves – especially for Chinese citizens living in its less affluent cities.</p> <p>Major Chinese ecommerce companies tend to focus their attention on the increasingly wealthy consumers in China’s big cities, appealing to them with luxury goods at high prices. These kinds of products are much less likely to appeal to ordinary workers in third- and fourth-tier cities, who find shopping websites like Tmall (owned by Alibaba Group) too expensive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5234/tmall_burberry.jpeg" alt="Tmall Burberry" width="656" height="429"></p> <p><em>Alibaba Group websites like Tmall promote luxury goods, whereas Pinduoduo's customers prefer to search for a bargain.</em></p> <p>This is also a demographic who are only recently on the internet, and so depend on apps like WeChat as a source of information. According to consultancy Analysys International, nearly 60% of Pinduoduo’s users are from third-tier cities and beyond.</p> <p>“The Pinduoduo model is based on social media and has wider reach into a lot of new Internet citizens,” Jason Ding, a partner at consultancy Bain &amp; Co., <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/ywang/2018/04/06/pinduoduo-the-1-5b-startup-challenging-e-commerce-giant-alibaba-in-chinas-towns-and-villages/#5cf5730444d7">told <em>Forbes</em></a>. “Alibaba is trying to serve more high-end customers, but there are people who don't want to pay for premium, but value."</p> <p>For the same reason, smaller merchants and manufacturers are starting to migrate their wares over to Pinduoduo to increase exposure. Again, with companies like Alibaba much more focused on high-end products, China’s small businesses are left to look elsewhere for an ecommerce partner.</p> <p>Pinduoduo’s value products haven’t come without some complications, however. The platform has been plagued by fake and shoddy goods, with a Pinduoduo spokeswoman telling <em>Forbes</em> that the company took down 10 million problematic listings in 2017, and has set up a $24 million fund to compensate users.</p> <p>This could be a problem for Pinduoduo’s presence on WeChat if the company can’t keep on top of things, as in the past, WeChat has shut down hundreds of mini programs for selling counterfeit goods.</p> <p>However, Pinduoduo has stated that it is handling the problem.</p> <h3><strong>Can Pinduoduo’s ecommerce success be replicated?</strong></h3> <p>China’s big retail companies aren’t taking the success of Pinduoduo lying down. In March, Taobao (a part of Alibaba Group) launched its own app aimed at selling bulk goods at cheap prices: Taobao Tejiaban, or Taobao Special Offer Edition.</p> <p>Taobao Tejiaban also has a social component, in that users can earn cash rewards of up to 10 yuan (about £1.17 in GBP) by successfully inviting others to use the service.</p> <p>However, Taobao’s deals may not come close to Pinduoduo’s for value: China commentary blog Sixth Tone found that “some deals on Taobao’s new app weren’t particularly cheap, or even exclusive” – such as a pack of marinated bean curd that was only one yuan cheaper than its price on Taobao.</p> <p>What about outside of China? Could another company succeed with Pinduoduo’s model elsewhere in the world? Maybe. If Groupon had launched its group discount service in 2018 instead of 2008, it’s quite possible that it would have seen more success.</p> <p>The western world doesn’t have a single, universally dominant chat app in the same way that China does – while WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger might come close in terms of ubiquity, neither of them boasts the same flexibility that WeChat offers, with payment functionality, social sharing and mini programs all integrated into one app.</p> <p>However, the well-established presence of social media and smartphones could still enable a group discounts app to catch on and scale much more effectively than it did in 2008.</p> <p>There might also not be an obviously underserviced market in the western world that compares to China’s lower-tier cities, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t demand. Even now, no businesses have really stepped up to fill the niche left vacant by Groupon – many companies offer group deals, but not at scale or as their primary business model – leaving it open as a potential opportunity for the right start-up to snap up.</p> <p>Despite Pinduoduo’s many initial successes, the company is still young and faces challenges around monetising its service. The cheapness that has attracted so many users to the app means sales margins are slim, and nor does Pinduoduo charge merchants a fee for listing their products on the service. While the app might be hugely popular, it won’t matter if Pinduoduo can’t turn that popularity into profit.</p> <p>But if its model does prove sustainable, watch this space – we might just see some more entrants into the world of social commerce.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on innovative social media, join us at the <a href="https://www.festivalofmarketing.com">Festival of Marketing</a> in London, 10-11 October, with 10 stages (including one dedicated to social) and some amazing headliners.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69990 2018-06-01T15:57:00+01:00 2018-06-01T15:57:00+01:00 Why user-generated content can be a key differentiator for brand marketers Blake Cahill <p>Unlike authentic influencers, creators of UGC aren’t contracted. They’re closer to fans of the brand than partners. By purposefully drawing on an individual’s use of social media, companies can help boost their online presence and provide them with a third party endorsement that’s easy to replicate. It creates a virtuous relationship between consumer and brand.</p> <h3>Mixing in UGC increases brand engagement</h3> <p>Whilst most brands are still creating their own campaign content, using UGC and social media can spread brand messaging in a fun and engaging way. </p> <p>According to a study by <a href="https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2012/3/comScore-Study-Finds-Professionally-Produced-Video-Content-And-User-Generated-Product-Videos-Exhibit-Strong-Synergy-in-Driving-Sales-Effectiveness?cs_edgescape_cc=GB">ComScore</a>, brand engagement rises by 28% when consumers are exposed to a mixture of professional marketing content and UGC. The organizations that make the biggest gains in this space will be the ones that cleverly and authentically combine the two.</p> <p>Traditional advertising and earned media can’t be overlooked. That said, trends such as increasing use of ad blockers and the fake-news phenomenon becoming more prominent are having an impact on the effectiveness of these methods.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69723-how-philips-has-benefitted-from-authentic-influencer-marketing/">previous blog post</a>, I drew on an example of how influencers pointed out increased self-confidence as a benefit of using Philips Sonicare toothbrushes, something that never could’ve been authentically achieved using traditional owned media. Incorporating personal stories into Facebook ads boosted the average time spent looking at a post from 4 seconds to around a minute.</p> <p>Consumers themselves are highly effective at unlocking precious insights and touting product features, without the bias of vested interests, which ultimately helps with wider marketing efforts. Removing the constraints of traditional advertising methods also has a dramatic impact on engagement levels.</p> <h3>The classic Starbucks example</h3> <p>Consider, for example, a simple but effective campaign which ran back in 2014, where Starbucks invited customers to decorate their cups and submit their designs to Twitter under the tag #WhiteCupContest. Garnering over 4,000 responses in just a few weeks, this was an excellent example of how you don’t need a large budget to generate a lot of social media content in a short space of time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The winning design from our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WhiteCupContest?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WhiteCupContest</a> is now available! <a href="https://t.co/e3coGxSlbw">https://t.co/e3coGxSlbw</a></p> — StarbucksDeals (@starbucksdeals) <a href="https://twitter.com/starbucksdeals/status/512666446711644160?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">18 September 2014</a> </blockquote> <p>When you realize that <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Millennials-Social-Media-Posts-Influence-Peers-Buy-New-Products/1010576">68% of social media users</a> between the ages of 18 and 24 take into account information shared on social media when they make a purchasing decision, it is easy to see why UGC has become so appealing. </p> <p>This means doing away with outdated misconceptions of passive consumers led by TV commercials and billboards. Instead, they are active participants in relationships and dialogs with brands, influencing others in the process. </p> <p><a href="http://investors.bazaarvoice.com/news-releases/news-release-details/bazaarvoice-and-center-generational-kinetics-release-new-study?releaseid=649677">86% of millennials</a> have said that user-generated content (UGC) is a good indicator of the quality of a brand. The important next step for any business is to show that their core values align with those of their audience and build lasting relationships through mutual confidence. </p> <p>Brands of all sizes can follow the examples from these larger campaigns, having customers involved in the brand’s online activity while showing customers that their thoughts and opinions matter. </p> <p>As consumers become less reliant on traditional media methods like advertising, UGC will become more prevalent in ensuring brands engage with their customers while using their social networks to promote the brand in a positive way. </p> <p>With the volume of marketing and internally-driven corporate chatter ever rising, looking outside-in to user generated content can be the differentiator in making you the brand that consumers like and trust.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69894 2018-03-28T11:28:30+01:00 2018-03-28T11:28:30+01:00 How Philips is experimenting with shoppable social media Blake Cahill <p>“Shoppable social” – the trend that sees consumers make direct purchases through social platforms – is helping establish a causal link between user engagement and a brand’s success; effectively converting social media into its very own revenue stream. </p> <p>It makes sense. Why not give consumers the option to buy the products they see – and love – while engaging with brands on social media? </p> <p>MikMak is one platform that allows advertisers on the likes of Snapchat and Instagram to run video ads that direct users to swipe up to see more content, with a link to add-to-cart on the retailer's website.</p> <p>Rachel Tipograph, MikMak’s founder and CEO, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-brands-are-cashing-in-on-social-commerce-with-shoppable-instagram-stories-and-snapchat-ads/">told AdWeek</a> that “the No. 1 pain point that I heard, no matter how large or small the business, was the friction that they currently experience going from social media to check-out.”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3217/mikmak.png" alt="mikmak" width="300"></p> <p>Other platforms such as Shopify and Soldsie are also tackling this scaling issue by letting brands easily integrate their online shops with social channels, allowing customers to purchase directly from social media. </p> <p>With the the 'fourth industrial revolution' bringing pronounced changes to the way we do business, it pays to be an early adopter of such technology. The retail sector, for example, was forced to adapt with the dawn of digital, meaning more and more people were choosing online shopping over the high street experience. Suffice to say no industry will avoid the effects of ongoing digital transformation, which promises to disrupt age-old business models in everything from insurance to healthcare and transport. </p> <p>Further evidence in favour of using social media for purposes beyond brand recognition can be found in developing countries, where the growth of messaging services like WhatsApp has enabled small businesses to access greater numbers of customers than ever before.</p> <p>According to WhatsApp, <a href="https://qz.com/1197682/whatsapps-slow-paced-innovation-is-leading-it-to-dominance-in-the-worlds-biggest-markets/">over 80% of small businesses in Brazil</a> and India already use the platform to reach their customers, leading to the recent creation of standalone app, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69738-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-whatsapp-business">WhatsApp Business</a>. Its mission: to “make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for our 1.3 billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them.” While early adoption has been impressive, many users have said it lacks certain important features, such as receiving payments in-app – further making the business case for shoppable social.</p> <p>With clear advantages for both customers and brands, not only does social ecommerce make shopping easier for customers, it also allows the effectiveness of campaign conversions to be reviewed in real time. Philips in Czech Republic created the Facebook chatbot FOUSBOT, driving awareness, advocacy and ultimately conversions of One Blade. The campaign strategy included “razor-sharp” targeting and numerous creatives.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_8BB9Vd8mhs?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Another example of how at Philips we are moving towards the shoppable social model can be seen in a new agreement recently finalised with LinkedIn, which allows us to connect a new LinkedIn program via our website – driving the ability to convert and sell. The Global Digital Group will also be activating a number of social selling pilots throughout 2018. </p> <p>In the current model of social media marketing, content is at the centre of the experience. In the future, content will of course still be important - but it’s the customer who will be at the centre of the experience. Data will allow us to create personalised, timely, location-based experiences. Utilised with new channels, this will help shorten the path to purchase, thereby enhancing the experience of our customers. </p> <p>To help maximise this opportunity brands must understand the value of visual ecommerce on social platforms. As traditional methods of formal advertising begin to lose their effectiveness, <a href="https://revelry.south.io/data-science-ugc-ed2d0c3a709b">77% of consumers</a> today say that they are more influenced by authentic customer-focused photos, rather than professional campaigns, when making purchasing decisions. By leveraging user generated content, we can now move towards truly customer-first methods as we move towards shoppable social. </p> <p>Shoppable social is set to expand over the coming years as brands continue to invest in creating multi-channel social storefronts. Like the digital revolution before it, shoppable social has the potential to connect brands with consumers in unprecedented ways. Those at the forefront of this will enjoy the biggest gains. </p> <p><em><strong>Further resources:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-social-media-advertising">Paid Social Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69532-tottenham-hotspur-put-focus-on-user-generated-content-to-boost-ecommerce-sales">Tottenham Hotspur put focus on user-generated content to boost ecommerce sales</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4680 2018-03-27T10:00:00+01:00 2018-03-27T10:00:00+01:00 Social Quarterly: Q1 2018 <p>The <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> is a series of presentations by Econsultancy, which curate the latest trends, developments and statistics in social media. The reports focus on distilling the most recent data and trends, aiming to provide a guide to what's happening now in social media and what you should be keeping an eye on.</p> <p>Social media evolves rapidly, and the <strong>Social Quarterly</strong> provides an overview of the latest trends in the industry. It contains information which can be integrated into your own documents, allowing you to prepare a pitch or use internally at a moment's notice.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly examines the current social media landscape, trends and updates on various social platforms and considers what will happen next. Updated four times per year, it will help to quickly surface statistics and trends you can use and react to immediately.</p> <p><strong>This edition of Social Quarterly includes</strong> stats about the importance of <strong>dark social</strong> and ad engagement on premium sites compared with social media. It also looks at updates to <strong>Instagram’s</strong> feed, the launch of <strong>WhatsApp Business</strong>, the global expansion of <strong>YouTube Go</strong> and new organisational tools on <strong>Pinterest</strong>.</p> <p>Bringing to life data from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/">Econsultancy blog</a>, the Social Quarterly is the best of social in an easy-to-digest format.</p> <p>The Social Quarterly will allow you to:</p> <ul> <li>Stay up to date with regular developments across multiple social media platforms.</li> <li>Present and pitch at short notice with clear and effective data.</li> <li>Pinpoint areas in which you want to find out more and use the linked Econsultancy resources and blog posts to do this.</li> <li>Spot potential ways your company could be using social media but is not currently.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3501 2018-03-08T15:44:29+00:00 2018-03-08T15:44:29+00:00 Multichannel Marketing and the Customer Journey <p>Consumers don’t see “channels”. They only see brands to facilitate their needs in the moment. Yet despite this, businesses are often structured, resourced and budgeted around individual marketing channels, which can lead to a disconnect between consumers and brands….or even within businesses themselves.</p> <p><a name="h.c2ixnqwvr8bh"></a>This is no chalk and talk session. Using a case study throughout the day, this practical one-day course provides you with the strategic planning tools to take a compelling campaign proposition to market, with a multichannel marketing strategy that ensures you can deliver the right content, to the right person, through the blend of channels they prefer.</p> <p>Having mapped out the multichannel activation plan for your brand, you will then gain an understanding of the key measures and how to bring these together in a meaningful context.</p> <p><strong>June Booking Offer:</strong> Book our June date and <strong>get 1 week’s free access</strong>  to the Econsultancy platform – the richest online content and insight available to modern marketers today. You’ll benefit from our market-fresh research reports and best practice guides, as well as the latest news and views and blogs. What’s more, you will be guided personally through the platform by one of our consultants to ensure you have access to the content most relevant to you as a modern marketer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3500 2018-03-08T15:43:55+00:00 2018-03-08T15:43:55+00:00 Multichannel Marketing and the Customer Journey <p>Consumers don’t see “channels”. They only see brands to facilitate their needs in the moment. Yet despite this, businesses are often structured, resourced and budgeted around individual marketing channels, which can lead to a disconnect between consumers and brands….or even within businesses themselves.</p> <p><a name="h.c2ixnqwvr8bh"></a>This is no chalk and talk session. Using a case study throughout the day, this practical one-day course provides you with the strategic planning tools to take a compelling campaign proposition to market, with a multichannel marketing strategy that ensures you can deliver the right content, to the right person, through the blend of channels they prefer.</p> <p>Having mapped out the multichannel activation plan for your brand, you will then gain an understanding of the key measures and how to bring these together in a meaningful context.</p> <p><strong>June Booking Offer:</strong> Book our June date and <strong>get 1 week’s free access</strong>  to the Econsultancy platform – the richest online content and insight available to modern marketers today. You’ll benefit from our market-fresh research reports and best practice guides, as well as the latest news and views and blogs. What’s more, you will be guided personally through the platform by one of our consultants to ensure you have access to the content most relevant to you as a modern marketer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69829 2018-02-27T12:54:00+00:00 2018-02-27T12:54:00+00:00 Only 4% of marketers are taking dark social seriously Nikki Gilliland <p>This phenomenon refers to any type of social sharing that can’t be tracked, or in other words, the activity that takes place in private messaging channels such as Messenger, WhatsApp, or Snapchat. </p> <p>But what does this changing behaviour mean for brands? Econsultancy’s second <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-dark-dark-social/" target="_blank">Marketing in the Dark</a> report, published in association with IBM Watson Marketing, delves into this question. Subscribers can download the report in full, but in the meantime, here’s a snippet of what you can expect.</p> <h3>Marketers are failing to take dark social seriously</h3> <p>The report comes from a survey of over 1,200 brand marketers. One of the biggest takeaways is that just 4% of respondents regard dark social as a top-three challenge.</p> <p>This is a small percentage to begin with, but is perhaps more surprising considering that the research also suggests the vast majority of consumer outbound sharing from company websites takes place via dark social.</p> <p>From this, it's clear that the majority of marketers are failing to take dark social seriously. Either that, or they’re unaware of the complexity and scale of the challenge itself.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2521/Dark_social.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="462"></p> <h3>Marketers need to mimic user behaviour</h3> <p>Another interesting stat from the report is that outperforming companies are around twice as likely as mainstream organisations to be using WhatsApp to engage in dialogue with consumers. </p> <p>This shows that, instead of tempting users away from dark social, the best tactic is to recognise and embrace it – and to optimise strategy accordingly.</p> <p>We’ve already seen a number of brands begin to use <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing" target="_blank">WhatsApp for marketing</a>. Naturally, marketers might face an uphill battle, mainly due to the fact that consumers are used to having natural, personal, and emotional conversations with people they know. However, with consumers <em>also</em> eager for communication about utility and customer service, the channel holds big potential for brands that are able to get it right.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2522/whatsapp_hellmans.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="549"></p> <p><em>(<a href="http://cubo.cc/whatscook/" target="_blank">WhatsCook by Hellmans</a>)</em></p> <h3>Is AI technology the way forward?</h3> <p>Chatbots are one way that brands have increased presence in dark social channels. It’s not a full-proof method, of course. Bots can do more harm than good if they fail to provide any real value to users.</p> <p>That being said, AI-driven technology can be one of the most cost-efficient ways to improve customer service. And when it comes to how consumers want to interact with brands in private channels, there’s a lot to learn from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/" target="_blank">the best examples</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/162458358" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Don't forget to download Econsultancy's second report in the Marketing in the Dark series, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-dark-dark-social/" target="_blank">Dark Social</a>, </strong></em><em><strong>in full.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69823 2018-02-26T12:01:42+00:00 2018-02-26T12:01:42+00:00 How digital helped Domino's overtake Pizza Hut Patricio Robles <p>While Domino's ascendancy to the global pizza throne was expected given <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63017-can-pizza-hut-catch-up-with-dominos-online">Pizza Hut's late digital start</a>, the milestone is a demonstration of just how important digital can be to businesses that even little more than a decade ago might have seemed far more insulated from digital disruption than others.</p> <p>Here's a look at some of the key ways Domino's embraced digital and used it to grow.</p> <h3>Digital ordering</h3> <p>Domino's recognized early that the internet would critical to its business and launched digital ordering a decade ago in 2008. Today, it has a large portfolio of digital ordering tools, including a Domino's Tracker that provides customers with real-time tracking of their orders from start to finish and a Pizza Profile feature that gives customers the ability to save all their personal information, such as delivery address and payment method, to speed their orders. </p> <p>Customers can also create an Easy Order profile, which represents their favorite order. Once created, customers can place their favorite order in less than a minute.</p> <p>The most important thing about Domino's digital ordering tools is that they're not just available on desktop and through common mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Instead, they're available across a multitude of platforms, including SMS, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger">Facebook Messenger</a>, Twitter, Slack, Ford Sync, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Pebble and Samsung Smart TV.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/2485/dominos-smartwatch-app-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="247"></p> <p>Domino's calls its cross-device and cross-platform technology Domino's Anyware and its purpose is simple: make it possible for customers to order pizza anywhere, anytime with as little friction as possible. Whether a customer wants to order using a popular voice-driven smart speaker or with an emoji on Twitter, Domino's has them covered. </p> <p>That has proven critical to keeping Domino's popular with younger consumers, many of whom have demonstrated a preference for brands that allow them to seamlessly engage across platforms.</p> <h3>Social</h3> <p>In 2009, Domino's <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/business/media/16dominos.html">got a crash course in social media crisis management</a> when two of its employees filmed a disgusting prank while on the job. The video they posted to YouTube went viral, putting Domino's in a very tough spot.</p> <p>Despite the fact it was no master of social media yet, the company did what many companies have failed to do when faced with a crisis: it responded aggressively as quickly as it could. It took quick action to fire the employees in question, set up a Twitter account so that it could engage in the conversation customers were having on the then still nascent social platform, and published a video with its CEO in which he addressed the matter.</p> <p>Domino's would go on to use social to good effect later that same year when it launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69597-10-deliciously-creative-domino-s-pizza-marketing-campaigns">its Pizza Turnaround campaign</a>, which incorporated the #newpizza hashtag. The campaign generated a lot of buzz and for good reason: in it, Domino's admitted that its pizza sucked and wanted the world to know that it had reinvented its product to make it not suck. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AH5R56jILag?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>While obviously bold in a risky way, the campaign was lauded for its honesty and was an overall hit with consumers on social platforms.</p> <h3>Customer experience</h3> <p>Competition for companies like Domino's is rife – there are over 60,000 pizzerias in the U.S. alone – and that means customer experience is critical for large chains like Domino's. </p> <p>One area where Domino's focus on maintaining a high quality, consistent customer experience can be best seen is in its commitment to using employee drivers to deliver pizzas. </p> <p>While Pizza Hut recently partnered with GrubHub for online orders and delivery, and invested $200m in the company, Domino's <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/02/20/dominos-q-4-earnings-missed-analysts-sales-estimates/354126002/">is adamant</a> that third parties won't ever come between it and its customers.</p> <p>"The efficiency of the delivery process is something we know and understand very, very well. That's not something you’re ever going to see us outsource," Domino's CEO J. Patrick Doyle stated. "The only way to bring a long-term competitive advantage is to do it yourself."</p> <h3>Hard technology</h3> <p>While Domino's has no plans to outsource delivery, one day of course pizzas might effectively deliver themselves thanks to self-driving cars. This possibility could obviously help Domino's bottom line, so last year, <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/08/28/ford-and-dominos-team-up-test-driverless-pizza-delivery/610350001/">Domino's teamed up with Ford</a> and launched a pizza delivery test using a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle. </p> <p>Randomly-selected customers in Ann Arbor, Michigan were given the opportunity to participate in the test, which also included another new technology: a Domino’s Heatwave Compartment located inside the self-driving car. This experimental device allows customers to retrieve their pizzas upon delivery using a unique code that unlocks the compartment.</p> <p>It wasn't the first time that Domino's had experimented with the application of new technology for deliveries. It had previously built a prototype delivery car, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/creativity/dominos-just-unveiled-radical-pizza-delivery-car-took-4-years-build-167707/">dubbed the DXP</a>, which contained a warming oven capable of holding 80 pizzas as well as storage for sides, dipping sauces and bottles of soda. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/2484/dominos-dxp-chevrolet-spark-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="312"></p> <h3>Staffing</h3> <p>Domino's is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which thanks to the presence of the University of Michigan, is fast becoming one of the Midwest's most promising innovation and tech hubs. That has no doubt helped Domino's orient its employee ranks to a culture of innovation.</p> <p>According to Domino’s CEO Doyle, "we are as much a tech company as we are a pizza company" and that is evidenced by the fact that at Domino's headquarters, half of its 800 employees work in software and analytics.</p> <p>While having a large digital staff doesn't necessarily guarantee that a company will be innovative, innovation is hard to achieve without adequate talent and Domino’s results suggest the company's investment in building a digital-heavy staff has paid off handsomely.</p> <p><em><strong>Interested in customer experience? Econsultancy subscribers can download our Best Practice Guide – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/69823-how-digital-helped-domino-s-overtake-pizza-hut/edit/Implementing%20a%20Customer%20Experience%20(CX)%20Strategy%20Best%20Practice%20Guide">Implementing a Customer Experience (CX) Strategy</a></strong></em></p>