tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/strategy-operations Latest Strategy & Operations content from Econsultancy 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68204 2016-08-19T10:29:29+01:00 2016-08-19T10:29:29+01:00 All the digital news stories you missed this week Ben Davis <h3>Olympics going well on Snapchat</h3> <p>In the first seven days of the Olympics, 49m unique users viewed content on Snapchat.</p> <p>That's an astonishing number, bearing in mind the platform has 150m daily active users.</p> <p>Live Stories is showing footage from international broadcasters, and Discover includes a channel using BBC, NBC and BuzzFeed created content.</p> <p>This Discover content is exclusive (see a still below from a video with Britain's gold-medalling synchronised divers).</p> <p>Advertisers have been running spots within Discover, with the revenue generated shared between the content creators and Snapchat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8208/IMG_3093.PNG" alt="olympics snapchat" width="300"></p> <h3>Pinterest introduces Promoted Video</h3> <p>Pinterest ads now allow for video. <a href="https://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/introducing-promoted-video">The blog post announcing the move</a> stated that 'In the last year alone, we’ve seen a 60% increase in videos on Pinterest featuring everything from workouts and home projects to hair &amp; beauty tutorials'.</p> <p>Video ads are therefore an increasingly natural fit. Featured Pins sit below the video, for the user to engage with - the video below shows all.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k7-6B3erKEk?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Tencent now worth more than Alibaba</h3> <p>Tencent (owner of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a>) is now China's most valuable tech company.</p> <p>This comes in the wake of promising second quarter results for Tencent, 52% up year-on-year at $5.4bn. Monthly active users (MAUs) on WeChat were up 34% YoY to 806m.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/17/tencent-overtakes-alibaba-as-chinas-most-valuable-tech-company-as-wechat-owner-posts-strong-results.html">CNBC reports</a> data from IG showing Tencent's market capitalization at $246bn on Wednesday morning, compared to Alibaba's market capitalization of $242bn. </p> <h3>Pepsi to be first Twitter Stickers partner</h3> <p>Pepsi will get prominence in the Twitter Stickers library across 10 countries as the first sponsor brand, a move that fits nicely with Pepsi's PepsiMoji campaign.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Introducing Promoted <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Stickers?src=hash">#Stickers</a> A fun way to express your brand and engage with consumers! <a href="https://t.co/wIIDHAC0KK">https://t.co/wIIDHAC0KK</a> <a href="https://t.co/usc4HRwrPU">pic.twitter.com/usc4HRwrPU</a></p> — Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) <a href="https://twitter.com/TwitterAds/status/765095632185032704">August 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Instagram starts rollout of business profiles</h3> <p>Instagram has begun the rollout of the business tools it announced in May, across Europe.</p> <p>Business Profiles feature a 'contact' button so users can connect with brands.</p> <p>The other major feature is Insights, an analytics interface. See the video below for highlights.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/173675853?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>McDonald's was giving out activity trackers in Happy Meals, had to withdraw the toy</h3> <p>As part of McDonald's increasing promotion of a healthy lifestyle (including sponsorship of the Olympics), the restaurant was giving away a pedometer with every Happy Meal.</p> <p>Due to complaints about skin irritation, the product has had to be replaced with a more conventional toy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8196/activity_tracker.jpeg" alt="mcdonald's pedometer happy meals" width="615" height="377"></p> <h3>Nationwide first UK financial services brand to advertise on Snapchat</h3> <p>A-Level results were released yesterday, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67682-a-look-inside-nationwide-building-society-s-new-cx-design-lab/">Nationwide</a> seizing the opportunity to promote its FlexStudent account.</p> <p>To do this, Nationwide became the first UK financial services brand to advertise on Snapchat, sponsoring both a Lens and a Geofilter.</p> <p>I'm not exactly a power-user of Snapchat, but below you can see a creepy picture of me pretending to be an ecstatic 18-year-old.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8188/IMG_3091.PNG" alt="snapchat nationwide" width="300"></p> <h3>Google Cloud Platform ready for enterprise use</h3> <p>On Tuesday Google <a href="https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/08/why-Google-Cloud-Platform-is-ready-for-your-enterprise-database-workloads.html">announced</a> that <a href="https://cloud.google.com/">Google Cloud Platform</a> is no longer in beta, and is effectively ready for enterprise use.</p> <p>Database management, machine learning and big data analytics are all now open to brands, putting the big G into Amazon Web Services' territory.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8195/Screen_Shot_2016-08-18_at_12.01.23.png" alt="google cloud platform" width="615"></p> <h3>Alipay accelerates push into Europe</h3> <p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ingenico-group-alipay-idUSKCN10T0G9">Ingenico Group has signed a deal</a> with Alipay allowing the app to be used across Europe through the Ingenico payment gateway.</p> <p>Alipay has 450m active users. 10m Chinese visited Europe in 2014, with purchasing power of $21bn(!) according to Ingenico.</p> <h3>New Instagram Events channel</h3> <p>Instagram Explore now has a <a href="http://blog.instagram.com/post/149085463737/160817-eventchannels">new video channel called Events</a>, currently available in the US only.</p> <p>The content (sourced from users) will be personalized according to each user's interests and include videos from live events.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8214/Screen_Shot_2016-08-18_at_14.39.21.png" alt="instagram events" width="500" height="441"></p> <h3>Cisco cutting 14,000 of 70,000 jobs</h3> <p>The tech beast is pushing into software and the cloud, away from hardware.</p> <h3>Hike valued at $1.4bn</h3> <p>India's Hike messaging app (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68196-the-latest-messaging-app-unicorn-india-s-hike/">handy introduction here</a>) has announced funding of $175m led by Tencent and Foxconn.</p> <p>This points the apps valuation at $1.4bn.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8093/hike-messenger-L.jpg" alt="hike messenger" width="615"></p> <h3>Uber to use 100 self-driving cars in Pittsburgh</h3> <p>CEO Travis Kalanick <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-08-18/uber-s-first-self-driving-fleet-arrives-in-pittsburgh-this-month-is06r7on">revealed as such to Bloomberg</a>. Each car will have an engineer to take control where needed and monitor the drive.</p> <p>The rides will be free.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68128 2016-08-15T16:04:27+01:00 2016-08-15T16:04:27+01:00 Do startups and small businesses really need a CTO? Ben Davis <p>I recently spoke to Will Grant, a director at D4 Software, which runs <a href="http://ctoforhire.uk/">CTOforhire.uk</a>.</p> <p>We discussed company culture, the skills shortage and digital trends.</p> <h3><strong>Why did you decide to pitch technical consultancy like a SaaS (software as a service)?</strong></h3> <p>We wanted to somehow 'package up' our experience and make it available 'pay as you go' to people.</p> <p>It gives customers the best of both worlds - strategic insight and advice with a low financial commitment. </p> <p>If you said "consultancy" to a startup they'd probably run a mile. That's because they'd expect it to be overpriced and deliver no practical benefits. Just a lot of hot air.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7839/office_space_consultants.jpg" alt="consultants" width="500"></p> <p>But the more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/search/?only=BlogPost&amp;q=start%20me%20up">startups</a> we worked with, the more we realised that what they needed most wasn't more code, more features and more tech. They needed advice.</p> <p>We don't mean that to sound arrogant, we actually did this because we felt bad about entrepreneurs spending their life savings on an idea we felt had zero chance of working. Or in many cases, even launching.  </p> <p>The best code is no code at all. There are no bugs, it runs fast and it's very cheap.</p> <p>If you can achieve the outcome that your customer wants with an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67815-why-marketers-are-failing-to-make-the-most-of-automated-emails/">automated email</a> or an online google form, then you should do that first and scale up when you really need to and there's proven demand for it.</p> <p>So, we spend most of our time figuring out how little tech a startup can get away with: then implementing that. It takes a lot of experience, but it's not a full time job, so CTO for hire is the perfect way to package it.</p> <p>It's healthy for us as a business too - as we grow the 'CTO for Hire' client base - if clients turn our services 'on and off' month to month, it makes us less reliant on one single customer and more resilient to fluctuations in workload. </p> <p>We also wanted to make sure that startups who use our services could go on to raise investment without a full time CTO.</p> <p>We have secured a relationship with Ascension Ventures and their CEO Jean de Fougerolles, as a Venture Capital fund who recognises that we are as good as a CTO for early stage / MVP startups.</p> <p><em>The virtual CTO is priced liked software-as-a-service</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7837/Screen_Shot_2016-08-08_at_16.28.18.png" alt="virtual cto" width="450" height="381"></p> <h3><strong>Leadership and culture are a big part of digital transformation. What have been the biggest changes to tech and I.T. roles over the past few years? </strong></h3> <p>There are several big technology trends that are still unfolding throughout our economy, like the railways and electricity before them.</p> <p>The biggest challenges that tech leaders face, particularly in large organisations, have been shifting people's mindsets to the new realities of software, the internet, and mobile. </p> <p>One of the biggest trends is what we call "software is eating the world". It comes from an essay written in 2011 by venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.</p> <p>It says that almost all companies and industries are becoming software companies. </p> <p>From music, to fashion, to logistics, to financial services. Software is now an indispensable part of what they do. And in many cases, it's the only way they can differentiate themselves.</p> <p>With that in mind, all incumbents need to be thinking about how to deliver software more rapidly and to a better quality. </p> <p>For example, retail banks are now software companies: think back to 2012 when RBS failed to update a computer system correctly and the bank couldn't process electronic transfers for a few days.</p> <p>The branches were open, but the bank was effectively shut down because its software wasn't working.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7838/rbs.jpg" alt="rbs" width="500"></p> <p>Traditional retail banks are now software companies with local support offices in every town, but for some of them, awareness of how to build and run a good software product hasn't broken through to board level yet. </p> <p>Another big trend that's happening right now is the move to mobile.</p> <p>The smartphone is already bigger than the PC ever was, and it's growing at a shocking rate.</p> <p>Right now, any new systems that are being developed need to be designed for the mobile device first. But sadly many companies are still treating mobile as an afterthought.</p> <h3><strong>Every CEO has thought about taking a coding course (probably). But what else should they be doing?</strong></h3> <p>While programming computers is, of course, the highest form of art there is - I'm not totally sold on the "everyone needs to learn to code" meme.</p> <p>In our experience, no software project went wrong because the developers didn't know how to write code.</p> <p>It's almost always about planning, communication, resource, external factors like markets and deadlines - and very rarely about the code itself. </p> <p>So yes, it helps a CEO understand what their engineers are doing all day, but does it make them more innovative and successful: probably not.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7840/Screen_Shot_2016-08-08_at_16.44.25.png" alt="learn to code" width="270"></p> <h3><strong>What are your thoughts on the much talked about 'skills shortage', within marketing and business more generally? </strong></h3> <p>What seems to be happening in our economy, is that there's a race to the bottom and the top.</p> <p>So there's lots of poorly paid jobs around, and then there are smaller and smaller groups of very smart people making lots of money. Not just tech geeks, but entrepreneurs, financiers, pop stars, football players, you name it. </p> <p>This is probably (at least partly) caused by the leverage that the internet gives you. You can go global from anywhere.</p> <p>Hiring and retaining good people has been the hardest part of my job for many years.</p> <p>I'm not sure it's a skills shortage, I think it's more that the freedom and democratisation of the 'career' process brought about by the web has meant we all have an enormous pool of opportunity to draw from. </p> <p>In the '90s, you would maybe hire an engineer because they had the right skills. Now, you can search LinkedIn for 100 people with exactly the right skills, but finding someone who is right for your business is still really hard. </p> <p>Google, Facebook, et al have attempted to 'brute force' the retention issue; give their teams so much free stuff (dental, healthcare, every meal, gym, laundry, etc) that they feel locked in.</p> <p>Maybe accepting that people will move on is a more realistic approach.</p> <p>Make their time at your company a two-way thing, and make people feel like they can naturally move on with no hard feelings.  </p> <p>But - we've had areas of the economy that have operated like this for years.</p> <p>Take video games. Most of them don't make money, but the ones that do, make a lot of money.</p> <p>So we have a model of game publishing companies that take bets on games, learning from their mistakes all the time, and hoping that sooner or later they'll win big. </p> <p>If we want our industries to keep up in this "winner takes all" economy, not just in terms of 'skills' in the traditional sense, but also in terms of developing individuals with experience and networks of contacts: we need to keep taking bets.</p> <p><em><strong>To benchmark your own digital skills against industry peers, take Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68183 2016-08-12T13:01:36+01:00 2016-08-12T13:01:36+01:00 10 spectacular digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for more, and ready, set, go…</p> <h3><strong>Only 21% of businesses track return on digital marketing spend</strong></h3> <p><a href="https://www.ruleranalytics.com/Are-Businesses-Using-Analytics-&amp;-Call-Tracking-Effectively.pdf" target="_blank">New research</a> from Ruler Analytics has highlighted how marketers are failing to practice what they preach, with the industry being the worst at measuring the ROI of its marketing activity.</p> <p>Out of an index of 100, marketers and PRs scored just 28.6.</p> <p>In contrast, retailers are the most likely to be using analytics, closely followed by the travel and tourism industry.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8000/ROI_marketers.PNG" alt="" width="400" height="594"></p> <h3><strong>Brits will spend over 3.8bn hours reading about the Olympics online</strong></h3> <p>Teads suggests that there is a huge opportunity for brands to reach beyond traditional audiences this summer, as Olympic fever sweeps the nation.</p> <p>A study found that 55% of people who aren’t normally interested in sports plan to watch events in Rio. What’s more, 76% of them plan to read Olympic-related articles online.</p> <p>Overall, Brits will reportedly spend over half an hour each day reading sporting content this summer, amounting to 3.8bn hours in total.</p> <h3><strong>Official suppliers of Wimbledon comprise less than 1% of tournament conversion</strong></h3> <p>A new study by Black Swan has found that being an official supplier of a high profile tournament doesn’t guarantee automatic success. </p> <p>When comparing Pimms (an unofficial supplier) and Lanson (an official supplier), the latter ranked seventh in terms of volume of mentions, while the former ranked second out of nine.</p> <p>This demonstrates how sponsorship deals are no longer enough, with brands now needing to create opportunities for social sharing and earned coverage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8002/Wimbledon_official_suppliers.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="493"></p> <h3><strong>Online conversation means that hotels can no longer rely on legacy reputation</strong></h3> <p>A new <a href="http://pages.crimsonhexagon.com/WC-2016-08-01-IR-AnalysingTopEuroHotels_Registration.html" target="_blank">report from Crimson Hexagon</a> has highlighted how the openness of customer feedback continues to disrupt the travel and accommodation industries.</p> <p>With 78% of conversation on hotels involving people seeking or giving feedback, brands can no longer rely on the long-standing reputation of their brand.</p> <p>Out of the most-talked about topics, 14% related to comfort and luxury, while 9% focused on convenience of hotel location.</p> <h3><strong>Adobe reports Pokemon Go and Brexit impact consumer goods prices</strong></h3> <p>Adobe’s monthly Digital Price Index has identified how the value of online consumer goods has fallen in the last six months.</p> <p>For the UK, Brexit is continuing to impact travel prices, with flights to London falling 13.3% and hotel prices in the capital dropping 9.8% since the EU referendum.</p> <p>Despite the explosion in popularity of Pokemon Go, the report also found that sales value for Pokemon items fell 2.9% month-on-month. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8013/pokemon.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="599"></p> <h3><strong>UK viewers clock up over 165,000 tweets during the Olympic opening ceremony</strong></h3> <p>With a live UK audience of 1.838m, data from Kantar Media has revealed how the UK reacted online during the Friday night opening ceremony.</p> <p>Londoners were the most vocal during the coverage, accounting for 15% of unique authors tweeting throughout. Moreover, men were the most active, making up 60% of the most active authors.</p> <p>Out of the 165,409 tweets overall, there was a third more positive tweets than negative ones, with the most common emotion being admiration and respect for those involved.</p> <h3><strong>60% of travel searches start on a mobile device</strong></h3> <p>Research by Hitwise, a division of Connexity, has revealed how consumers are heavily relying on mobile phones during the early stages of holiday planning.</p> <p>Based on the activity of 3m UK shoppers and 1m mobile devices, a study found that 60% of all travel site searches originated from a mobile device.</p> <p>In terms of the subject, 83% of searches were for the ‘best time’ to visit a destination, 68% for ‘flights from’ and 83% were for ‘flight status’.</p> <p>The report also found that mobile phones were the device of choice while on holiday, with ‘near me’ generating 88% of searches.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8009/Travel_search.PNG" alt="" width="543" height="377"></p> <h3><strong>81% of organisations have problems achieving a single customer view</strong></h3> <p>The 2016 Digital Marketer Report from Experian has found that, despite 95% of organisations wanting to achieve a single view of the customer, 81% find difficulty in doing so.</p> <p>The biggest obstacles include using technology to integrate customer data in real time, as well as gaining access to data from across organisations. </p> <p>With 95% of enterprise companies planning to run cross-channel campaigns next year, it is vital to overcome these challenges in order to do so.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8012/single_customer_view.PNG" alt="" width="620" height="520"></p> <h3><strong>Over 90% of publishers find off-site distribution has positive impact</strong></h3> <p>AOL have just released its <a href="http://www.aolplatforms.com/blog/2016-publisher-outlook-monetizing-age-mobile-video" target="_blank">Publisher Outlook Report</a>, based on insight from 300 premium publishers in the US.</p> <p>Despite initial panic, opinion about third-party publishing platforms now looks to be largely positive, with 90% believing distributed media has had a positive impact. Likewise, 53% deem it ‘extremely positive’</p> <p>With publishers receiving 25-50% of traffic via syndication referrals, it has become an essential part of strategy for many.</p> <h3><strong>25% of influencers asked not to disclose brand involvement</strong></h3> <p>A new survey by SheSpeaks has found that online influencers are being asked by brands to deny compensation.</p> <p>In a survey of 347 online influencers, while 95% said they were upfront with their audience about taking payment from a brand, 25% also reported that they had been specifically asked not to divulge the information.</p> <p>Despite the Federal Trade Commission stipulating that compensation or free products should be disclosed, even large corporations like <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/07/warner-bros-settles-ftc-charges-it-failed-adequately-disclose-it" target="_blank">Warner Bros have failed</a> to be up-front.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:RoundtableEvent/827 2016-08-10T11:52:32+01:00 2016-08-10T11:52:32+01:00 Digital Transformation: Developing a Customer Centric Culture <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Aimed at those leading transformation initiatives</strong>, our <a style="border: 0px; font-weight: inherit; font-style: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004dcc; font-variant: inherit;" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation</a> roundtable series is designed to give you both insight into the trends and findings from our latest research, and the opportunity to discuss with your peers the issues you’re facing.</p> <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Agenda</strong></h3> <p>To be added shortly </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68155 2016-08-08T14:20:00+01:00 2016-08-08T14:20:00+01:00 BrewDog turns to equity crowdfunding for US expansion Patricio Robles <p>Thanks to <a href="https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2015-49.html">Regulation A+</a>, which contains new rules adopted by the United States Securities &amp; Exchange Commission that allow companies to raise up to $50m from non-accredited investors in what have been described as "mini IPOs," BrewDog has launched a crowdfunding campaign called Equity for Punks USA.</p> <p>Modeled after BrewDog's four rounds of equity crowdfunding in the UK, which saw over 40,000 individuals invest, BrewDog's American crowdfunding campaign represents one of the highest-profile Regulation A+ offerings yet.</p> <p>It also demonstrates how companies can now tap small investors in the world's most attractive consumer market without going the IPO route.</p> <p>Under Equity for Punks USA, American investors can purchase shares in BrewDog's US business for $47.50. The minimum investment is two shares.</p> <p>According to the company's prospectus:</p> <blockquote> <p>With BrewDog USA we plan to combine the experience and success of our explosive European craft brewery with the world’s largest craft beer market.</p> <p>BrewDog beers have been available in the US in limited quantities since 2008, but our Scottish brewery has simply not been able to keep up with the demand for our beers in America.</p> </blockquote> <h3>What's in it for shareholders?</h3> <p>BrewDog is in the process of building a brewery outside of Columbus, Ohio and is "close to finalizing distribution deals with many craft beer distributors in the US ready and waiting for our beers."</p> <p>Craft beer is expected to be a $22bn a year business in the US by 2020, so if BrewDog can replicate its British success in the US, it will have a lucrative business on its hands.</p> <p>But potential shareholders looking to profit from Equity for Punks would seem to face a high bar. </p> <p><a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/09/will-investing-in-brewdog-ever-make-you-money/">As with BrewDog's Equity for Punks IV crowdfunding campaign</a>, the valuation of BrewDog's American operation implied by its Regulation A+ offering – $250m – is quite high, especially when one considers that the American business has not yet launched and will face fierce competition when it does.</p> <p>But even equity crowdfunding isn't always motivated by the desire to profit. </p> <p>BrewDog is offering Equity for Punks USA shareholders a slew of benefits that could make the offering appealing to BrewDog fans and customers.</p> <p>These include a 5% discount in all BrewDog bars globally, a 20% lifetime discount in the BrewDog USA shop, free tours and an invite to BrewDog's shareholder-only American beer, music and food festival. </p> <p>Additionally, investors who invest $500 or more will receive additional benefits.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7815/brewdog2.png" alt="" width="504" height="605"> </p> <p>Will such benefits lure investors?</p> <p>While BrewDog's Equity for Punks IV crowdfunding campaign fell short of its £25m funding target, perhaps due in part to the valuation, it did raise £19m.</p> <p>This suggests that as equity crowdfunding gets underway in the US, companies that take advantage of Regulation A+ and Title III of the JOBS Act will want to think about prospective shareholders differently and develop shareholder benefits that encourage investors to become loyal customers and brand ambassadors.</p> <h3>The impact on Wall Street</h3> <p>Equity crowdfunding could add fuel to the crowdfunding fire, especially in light of the fact that many young companies have been shut out of the IPO market in recent years due to regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley.</p> <p>Given the shareholder-customer-evangelist dynamic, financial services firms involved in raising capital for companies may also need to adapt as equity crowdfunding in the US gains a foothold.</p> <p>Already, WR Hambrecht + Co, an investment bank founded by the investment banker who helped take companies like Apple, Adobe and Genentech public, <a href="http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2016/06/86874-wr-hambrecht-at-the-forefront-of-the-a-ipo-marketplace/">is betting</a> that the regulation making BrewDog's Equity for Punks USA offering possible will become an increasingly important part of how growth companies will raise capital.</p> <p>Expect upstarts and other established investment banks to crowd into the equity crowdfunding space as it becomes a common way for companies to raise capital and build relationships with their most loyal customers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68153 2016-08-08T11:09:00+01:00 2016-08-08T11:09:00+01:00 The National Theatre launches new VR studio Nikki Gilliland <h3>How will it work?</h3> <p>The National Theatre is known for being a “pioneer of dramatic storytelling” – and its VR studio is a reflection of this dedication. </p> <p>One of its main features is to allow those involved with a production to become fully immersed in the story and the lives of its characters.</p> <p>The technology was recently used for the first time by the cast and crew of The Plough and the Stars – a play that marks the centenary of the Easter Rising. </p> <p>Wearing Oculus Rift headsets, the cast were able to live through the experience of 19-year-old William McNeive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7731/Plough_and_Stars.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="394"></p> <h3>A transformative medium</h3> <p>Like cinema, the beauty of theatre is that it transports the audience to another place. Consequently, there is a natural tie-in with virtual reality and its similarly transformative ability.</p> <p>With its VR studio, the National is certainly keen to explore the technology for the benefit of its performers.</p> <p>The question is – will the next step be to use the technology during actual productions? </p> <p>We’ve already seen the National use VR as part of its wonder.land exhibition.</p> <p>Designed to accompany the main production, the digital installation allowed visitors to tumble down the rabbit hole and experience Alice’s famous world.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7730/wonder.land.PNG" alt="" width="696" height="390"></p> <p>Similarly, with the <a href="http://www.techradar.com/news/wearables/the-world-s-first-virtual-reality-cinema-opens-up-in-amsterdam-1316418" target="_blank">world’s first VR cinema</a> opening earlier this year, it’s already becoming the norm in other areas of the entertainment industry. </p> <p>That being said, there is still a big difference between going to the cinema and seeing a theatre production.</p> <p>The National's focus on digital is evident - it's 'Backstage' app offers a wealth of online content such as digital programmes.</p> <p>However, whether theatre-goers be willing to experiment any further with what is essentially a very traditional pastime remains to be seen. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PloughandtheStars?src=hash">#PloughandtheStars</a> digital programme is out now (once you finish Jenersky's Thesis): <a href="https://t.co/CMFf6OKx1K">https://t.co/CMFf6OKx1K</a> <a href="https://t.co/Vu431SYWga">pic.twitter.com/Vu431SYWga</a></p> — National Theatre (@NationalTheatre) <a href="https://twitter.com/NationalTheatre/status/758352418740531200">July 27, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Storytelling at its finest</h3> <p>If the monumental <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68060-what-brands-can-learn-from-nintendo-s-digital-transformation-and-pokemon-go/" target="_blank">popularity of Pokémon Go</a> has taught us anything, it’s that new technology is big business. </p> <p>As a result, there has been criticism that brands are using it just for sake of it or for PR value.</p> <p>However, the National is one the few examples of a company using VR purely for the purposes of creativity.  </p> <p>Head of digital development at the National, Toby Coffey recently commented on this staunch commitment:</p> <blockquote> <p>We’re not trying to be the first or the biggest or the most, it is about creating the best. We’ll throw stuff away as readily as we will push it forward... it is about creating the right things.</p> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>As one of the first theatre companies to experiment with VR, it's certainly a groundbreaking move by the National.</p> <p>So, who knows what’s next for the theatre world. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in VR, perhaps?</p> <p>Good luck trying to get tickets for that.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/"><em>A Marketer’s Guide to Virtual Reality</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67834-why-virtual-reality-is-the-ultimate-storytelling-tool-for-marketers/"><em>Why Virtual Reality is the ultimate storytelling tool for marketers</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66587-10-ways-marketers-can-use-virtual-reality-right-now/"><em>10 ways marketers can use Virtual Reality right now</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68065 2016-08-02T14:40:00+01:00 2016-08-02T14:40:00+01:00 What does the digital agency of the future look like? Jim Clark <p>This has led to a shift from ‘campaigning’ to ‘always on’ – whether it’s serving customised ads based on real-time analysis of data to targeting audiences across devices.</p> <p>This trend has changed the scope of many agency’s offering with implications for the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67263-skills-shortage-the-biggest-barrier-to-digital-progress-overtaking-legacy-systems/">kind of skills required</a>, how they structure their capability and remuneration models.</p> <p>For example, according to Brad Jakeman, president at Pepsico in a recent <a href="http://adage.com/article/print-edition/agency-future/303798/">Ad Age interview </a>– whereas once Pepsi might have produced four TV spots a year, spending $1m over eight months developing a single piece of content: “four pieces has (now) turned into 4,000; eight months has changed to eight days and eight hours; and budgets have not gone up."</p> <h3>Advertising is no longer the main manifestation of creativity</h3> <p>In the past clients might have had a defined budget and then asked agencies to deliver creative against that budget.</p> <p>But the increased focus on customer experience has meant that clients are now seeking partners who can build systems that not only provide platforms for customer interaction, but help them integrate with existing technologies. </p> <p>Agencies are acquiring or developing new skills in data and technology. For example, in early 2015 Publicis Group completed its deal to acquire Sapient.</p> <p>More recently Rufus Leonard launched engagement tool ‘Embla’ in partnership with Thunderhead to guide contextual, personalised interactions based on emotional insights and real-time behavioural data. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NVBW9eBOP_M?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>On the plus side, these developments have the potential to take agencies work further upstream with clients.</p> <p>But some agencies are likely to face an uphill battle convincing clients that their expertise and technology can successfully re-imagine brands.</p> <p>Another challenge will be to work out how to charge for these services, and then encouraging clients to pay for their recommendations.</p> <p>This new dynamic is also spurring new ways of working and the term “agency” may even start to seem old fashioned.</p> <p>Agencies are increasingly seen as partners, with clients expecting involvement in creating and owning the end product.</p> <p>This has led to a move away from a reliance on ‘the big reveal’ as agencies open up their black boxes to let clients into the creative process. </p> <h3>Growth of content and the launch of Truffle Pig</h3> <p>Content will continue to be a key growth area for agencies – in our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-agencies/">Future of Agencies report</a>, one interviewee noted how broad a range of agencies are now saying that they are a “content marketing agency” (whether it’s PR, Media, or digital).</p> <p>Specialist content agencies have also sprung up, specializing in co-creation, content strategy and even through proprietary workflow tech.</p> <p>Elsewhere, agency groups are ramping up their content expertise and capability through acquisition.</p> <p>In September 2015 for example, Snapchat, The Daily Mail and WPP joined together to launch digital agency Truffle Pig, focused on the development of bespoke content that can sit on all types of platforms - not just The Daily Mail and Snapchat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7642/truffle_pig.png" alt="truffle pig logo" width="615"></p> <p><em>via trufflepig.farm</em></p> <p>According to its CEO, Alexander Jutkowitz, Truffle Pig's vision is to offer clients “access to strategy, production and distribution under a single roof”.</p> <p>There’s a lot to commend with the Truffle Pig model; agencies are increasingly challenged to keep on top of new platforms and emerging ad platforms, and an agency backed by some of these popular platforms potentially has an advantage. </p> <p>Whether or not Truffle Pig represents the agency of the future isn’t clear – detractors have noted there’s a potential conflict of interest between distribution and strategy, especially when an agency is owned by a distribution platform.</p> <p>As a result it will have to prove that it’s a true agency, not just a sales organization for media sellers. </p> <h3>So what could an agency of the future look like?</h3> <p>Agencies are rapidly improving their capabilities in user experience, customer experience and the front end.</p> <p>But this is a complex environment of technology, and to engage audiences across the customer journey, the right technology partnerships will be a key point of differentiation and competitive advantage – if only to provide flexible, nimble, cost effective client solutions.</p> <p>Some predict that agencies will have to move to adopt “Uber-style” models to keep up with emerging technologies.</p> <p>According to Ad Age, this could see the marketing agency “owning the relationship with a client, the strategy and data without owning the execution” and in some respects we’re already seeing Uber-esque approaches with the launch of Truffle Pig.</p> <p>But while technology will continue to change the client/agency relationship – and with that, business structures and operating models - one area that will remain unchanged will be the role of agencies in persuading consumers to buy products – which means delivering engaging stories along every touchpoint, driven and enabled by data. </p> <p>Brands need people more than people need brands, and more than ever clients are looking to their agencies to deliver real benefits to consumers in real time.</p> <p>This is precision work, and the most successful agencies will be the ones that can use data to drive insights that deliver meaningful, discreet experiences that elevate clients to new heights. </p> <p><strong><em>This article was originally published in Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/top-100-digital-agencies/">Top 100 Digital Agencies 2016 Report</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68114 2016-08-01T15:36:11+01:00 2016-08-01T15:36:11+01:00 Six tips for loyalty program success Patricio Robles <p>Here are six tips for brands looking to build successful loyalty programs.</p> <h3>Don't overplay the discount card</h3> <p>Discounts are a common part of loyalty programs and probably always will be. But just as discounting outside of loyalty programs isn't always effective, discounting inside loyalty programs isn't always effective either.</p> <p>For example, when a loyalty program provides a discount to a customer already likely to make a purchase, the program really isn't engendering loyalty and moving the needle.</p> <h3>Find ways to make members feel special</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66128-consumers-demand-experiential-rewards-from-loyalty-programs">Consumers are increasingly demanding experiential rewards from loyalty programs</a>.</p> <p>As Director of Search Marketing at 17 Agency and Econsultancy contributor Andrew Broadbent explained, "Simple discounts do not give people an experience that touches their five senses."</p> <p>But emotional, memorable connections <em>can</em> be developed through experiences, such as access to exclusive offers and events.</p> <p>What's more: these experiential rewards are far more likely to be promoted by customers on social media.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0129/experiential-rewards-sparks-loyalty-program-engagement.png" alt="" width="470" height="429"></p> <h3>Understand the customer and personalise accordingly</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67070-why-personalisation-is-the-key-to-gaining-customer-loyalty">Personalisation</a> is key to gaining customer loyalty, and savvy brands <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67839-how-l-oreal-uses-personalisation-to-increase-brand-loyalty">like L’Oreal</a> take advantage of this.</p> <p>While personalisation should be employed broadly, brands often have the greatest opportunities to use it in loyalty programs because the data collected through the programs gives brands the ability to understand customer behavior in great detail.</p> <p>With that data, brands can implement effective, personalised discount strategies, as well as experiential rewards that really resonate with specific customer groups. </p> <h3>Avoid unnecessary complexity, but recognize your VIPs</h3> <p>Loyalty programs should offer a clear and compelling value proposition to customers, and that usually means that less complex is better than more complex. But customers aren't created equal and it's important to make sure that the most valuable customers feel valued. </p> <p>Numerous programs have tiers, and as customers establish their loyalty, they can move into tiers that provide greater rewards.</p> <p>For instance, beauty brand Sephora has a three-tiered program and members in the highest tier have access to free two-day shipping, custom makeovers and invitations to private events.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7426/sephoratiers-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="354"></p> <h3>Be thoughtful and careful about changes</h3> <p>As with any initiative, loyalty programs should be monitored closely and adjustments made when appropriate. Sometimes major changes are required, but it behooves brands to be thoughtful and careful about such changes. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/Starbucks">@Starbucks</a>, your new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/starbucksrewards?src=hash">#starbucksrewards</a> is NOT about loyalty anymore, but gouging your loyal customers $62.50 for a free coffee. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoodBye?src=hash">#GoodBye</a></p> — Jeff Johnston (@jeff_a_johnston) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeff_a_johnston/status/702189442006515712">February 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Case in point: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67568-starbucks-shows-perils-of-loyalty-program-changes">when Starbucks updated its rewards program</a> earlier this year, tying rewards to dollars spent instead of visits, it upset many of its customers, creating a backlash that the company had to weather.</p> <h3>Put a time limit on it</h3> <p>In some cases, brands with specific goals can consider implementing short-term loyalty initiatives <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68015-chipotle-launches-a-loyalty-scheme-to-win-customers-back">like the one Chipotle recently announced</a>. </p> <p>Its Chiptopia scheme, which is running for three months only, was launched to help the restaurant chain recover foot traffic after E. coli outbreaks dented its business.</p> <p>Chiptopia offers members free entrées after a certain number of visits, and customers who visit Chipotle 11 times in three consecutive months even receive free catering for a party of 20. Such generous rewards are probably not warranted, or sustainable, over the long term, but if the brand has its way, Chiptopia will help it get customers back into its stores.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68129 2016-08-01T11:46:56+01:00 2016-08-01T11:46:56+01:00 Four urgent priorities for marketers in media & entertainment Nikki Gilliland <p>For more insight, subscribers can download the full report. But in the meantime, here are four key graphs.</p> <h3>Move to mobile is a key challenge</h3> <p>The shift to mobile is having the biggest impact on businesses, with this being the underlying factor for a number of key trends.</p> <p>First, the sheer amount of content available has led consumers to access it in fragmented ways. In turn, this makes it more difficult for brands to build a strong and consistent identity across multiple channels.</p> <p>To counteract this, marketers are increasingly looking to data, however this also poses its own challenges with consumer concerns over privacy on the rise. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7548/mobile_use.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="582"></p> <h3>Organisational barriers are preventing digital transformation</h3> <p>The need for digital change within the industry is clear, and yet, many marketers cite organisational factors as the biggest barrier. </p> <p>60% of marketers say they lack a cooperative culture.</p> <p>However, it seems the most resistance stems from the top down. Half of respondents said management is against investing in data and tech, and 46% said that boards fail to understand digital strategy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7549/organisational_barriers.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="551"></p> <h3>A focus on expanding data assets</h3> <p>Adding value to audience segments is the top priority for many marketers, by expanding data assets.</p> <p>The rise of new content formats (such as VR) is clearly impacting strategy in media and entertainment, too, with expansion here coming second in terms of product-related priorities.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7550/data_assets.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="632"></p> <h3>Reducing content creation costs a top priority</h3> <p>As I previously mentioned, consumers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed with content. And yet, there is still a desire for more.</p> <p>Marketers are now looking to cut costs in the production of content to meet the growing demand.</p> <p>With more platforms to publish on, producing valuable content in volume is a big challenge.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7551/cutting_content_costs.PNG" alt="" width="750" height="591"></p>