tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/strategy Latest Strategy content from Econsultancy 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68423 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 How fashion and travel are leading the way in m-commerce Gregory Gazagne <p><a href="http://www.deloitte.co.uk/mobileuk/">Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey</a> found that UK citizens look at their smartphones over a billion times a day, declaring that “no other personal device has had the same commercial and societal impact as the smartphone, and no other device seems likely to.”</p> <p>Around the same time in late September the IAB released its ‘<a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160927005394/en/Three-Quarters-Mobile-Users-World-Purchases-Smartphones-Tablets">Mobile Commerce: A Global Perspective</a>’ survey, which found that three-quarters (75%) of smartphone and tablet users say they have purchased a product or service on their smartphone or tablet in the past six months, and nearly a quarter (23%) buy on mobile devices on a weekly basis.</p> <p>As the retail industry rapidly adapts to mobile usage, at Criteo we’re able to analyse millions of online sales in real time, on all devices and from thousands of brands across all industries.</p> <p>With this front-row seat to the very latest in mobile commerce, we’re especially interested in looking at the way different retail industries are keeping pace with the rate of change.</p> <p>Because of the specific challenges facing them, we’ve seen that the fashion industry in particular is blazing a trail in smartphone targeting, including cross-channel strategies, and travel is making its mark by providing superior customer experience/ better conversions via apps.</p> <p>What’s driving these industries to lead in these areas – and what can others learn from them?</p> <h3><strong>The rise of the ‘Smartphonista’</strong></h3> <p>Last month’s New York-London-Milan-Paris Fashion Weeks saw the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/30/us-vogue-editors-ridiculous-fashion-shows-changed-bloggers">old guard of print fashion journalism clash with the fashion world’s new digital influencers</a>, who rely on blogging platforms and Instagram to communicate with their thousands of followers.</p> <p>Their argument is symptomatic of a wider trend: that smartphones are revolutionising the way the fashion industry markets and sells its wares, and this is causing headaches for traditional media – but driving strong results on digital channels.</p> <p>According to Criteo <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/fashion-flash-report-2016/">data</a>, clothes have quickly become the premier mobile purchase in the UK, with 55% of online fashion purchases now being made through mobile (smartphones or tablets), and four out of 10 of all fashion purchases in the UK being made through smartphones.</p> <p>This makes fashion shoppers that purchase on smartphones (who we’ve coined ‘Smartphonistas’) a particularly valuable audience for fashion retailers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0592/criteo_slide.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <p>Mobile is perfect for this kind of off-the-cuff purchase, allowing consumers to browse flash sales on their phone, shop while watching TV, or buy an article of clothing on a whim.</p> <p>In addition to impulse, these purchases can also be driven by social connections and social influence (as evidenced by the rise of the fashion bloggers so vilified by Vogue).</p> <p>Social media – particularly Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest – appears to strongly influence clothing purchases on mobile.</p> <p>Heavy Snapchat users are 139% more likely to buy clothes on mobile than the average Brit, while heavy Instagram (113%) and Pinterest (83%) users are also much more likely than average to buy clothing on mobile, according to <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/a-portrait-of-mobile-performance/">Criteo’s Portrait of Performance report</a>.</p> <p>Despite all this, acquiring new fashion customers is notoriously hard.</p> <p>What’s more, it can take several purchases before a customer earns you a profit, and turning new customers into loyal buyers takes finesse.</p> <p>In response to these challenges, fashion retailers are starting to recognise what products drive the best response on what device.</p> <p>For example, fashion shoppers favour small screens for low-risk items (T-shirts etc.) and products they don't need to try on (e.g. accessories).</p> <p>In addition, the new breed of Smartphonistas often use multiple devices on the path to purchase, so retailers are starting to track more effectively across devices in order to send the right message to the right person, at the right time.</p> <p>Nadya Birca, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at New Look told us that the key to successfully engaging with the Smarphonista is to recognise that he or she expects a truly cross-channel experience:</p> <p>“With mobile usage soaring in the UK, the experience we’re aiming to deliver on mobile is significant for our interactions with customers both on- and off-line.</p> <p>"When browsing on mobile we shouldn’t expect users to purchase straight away - allowing them a seamless navigational exploration, and later consideration experience, is what should drive any mobile commerce business focus.”</p> <h3><strong>Destination App</strong></h3> <p>As the 36th annual <a href="http://wtd.unwto.org/en">World Tourism Day</a> reminded us at the end of last month, the tourism industry continues to drive positive social, cultural, political and economic impacts worldwide.</p> <p>In many countries, including the UK, the travel industry is feeling the positive impact of the rise of smartphone use.</p> <p>Criteo’s latest Travel Flash Report shows that one in five Brits now browse for travel options on their mobile phones, and close to one-third of online travel bookings worldwide took place on mobile devices in Q2 2016 (up 24% from the year before).</p> <p>During the same period, smartphones captured nearly one in five online travel bookings.</p> <p>But that’s not all – the travel industry, more than most other verticals, is seeing particular success when it comes to mobile apps.</p> <p>According to our data, with investment in in-app tracking and advertising, committed travel advertisers are seeing a surge of bookings made from apps.</p> <p>Apps generated 57% of mobile bookings in Q1 2016, up from 40% in Q3 2015.</p> <p>Over the past two years, travel brands that invested in their apps saw constant growth in app bookings from 12% to now over half of all mobile bookings. </p> <p>For one-night stays, apps have a clear lead over other devices or platforms, with nearly three in four app bookings made for one-night stays.</p> <p>The most effective travel mobile strategies encourage app installs with services that really make a difference:</p> <ul> <li>Personalising recommendations based on searches, selection criteria, past travels and wish lists</li> <li>Sending up-to-date, useful and non-intrusive notifications (e.g., check-in reminders, traffic, delays, alternatives, cancellation, nearby offers)</li> <li>Offering better deals on your app to temporarily capture downloads and bookings, but be consistent to sustain them</li> <li>Enabling one-click bookings with intelligent auto-fill of personal details (while highlighting payment security)</li> </ul> <p>App bookings are on a roll, and we can see that merchants who invested in and promoted apps early are now reaping the benefits. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68426 2016-10-19T10:41:59+01:00 2016-10-19T10:41:59+01:00 A brand that loves you: How Buzzfeed uses empathy to connect with its audience Nikki Gilliland <p>When previously asked how he maintains a strong relationship with his fans, Snoop said that the key is not to view them from on top of a celebrity pedestal, but rather, to lift them up to join him.</p> <p>At the recent IAB Digital Upfronts event, I heard how this sense of empathy - the ability to step into the shoes of the audience - is at the core of Buzzfeed’s strategy.</p> <p>Here’s a summary of the talk, with further insight into how the brand uses this core emotion to drive its content.</p> <h3>A brand that loves you</h3> <p>Buzzfeed believes that content created by brands can be just as meaningful as that found on any platform.</p> <p>Likewise, it can also be just as relevant and enjoyable to the person that is consuming it.</p> <p>However, in order to get a consumer to connect, or to think ‘I love that brand’ - they need to first feel as if the brand loves them.</p> <p>According to Frank, this is done through empathy - or the ‘the ultimate brand-building super power’ as he called it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0435/See_me.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="493"></p> <h3>Buzzfeed is built with empathy</h3> <p>By feeling empathy with the audience, Buzzfeed is able to create content that helps people connect on a personal level.</p> <p>A great example of this is its true crime series, Buzzfeed Unsolved.</p> <p>Unlike shows like Serial or Making a Murderer, which were created from the point of view of the expert, Unsolved is created from the perspective of the viewer.</p> <p>The stars of the show are the fans themselves, and by including both a sceptical opinion and a conspiracy theorist, the majority of people watching are also able to relate.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j2KKUcxAdjc?list=PLVAvUrL_VQiNZYyMnmzLZs8_W9l-WBqm-&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Similarly, Buzzfeed’s new food platform, Proper Tasty, is a world away from the idealised view of cooking that we see on television shows or films.</p> <p>Instead of the quest for the perfect meal, Proper Tasty aims to create relevant and realistic recipes for everyday people and their friends.</p> <p>In other words, it uses food as the connector - not the spectacle.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1754452048100801%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>Another example of Buzzfeed using empathy to create a connection is the series ‘Weird things that couples fight about’.</p> <p>The video garnered a huge response, but this was not necessarily due to its relevancy - it did not set out to depict all relationships.</p> <p>Instead, what it aimed to to do was create a sense of intimacy with the viewer.</p> <p>Essentially, it sparked a conversation, giving people the permission to talk about their own relationships, and encouraging them to share the video in response.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SRMXzq3bN_8?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>How brands can create human connection at scale</h3> <p>So, how can brands emulate Buzzfeed’s ability to connect with consumers?</p> <p>During his talk, Frank cited three ways to create a human connection on a large scale.</p> <h4>See your true audience</h4> <p>Instead of seeing the audience as a single demographic, based on factors like age and socio-economic background, it is helpful to start from an individual perspective. </p> <p>By using empathy as the foundation of their content strategy, brands are much more likely to create content with momentum, which in turn trickles out to a wider audience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0437/See_your_true_audience.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="511"></p> <h4>Think about the storytelling</h4> <p>Authenticity is incredibly important to Buzzfeed's audience. </p> <p>Unlike traditional media outlets, it is rooted in the everyday reality of its users, whereby humour and hard-htting topics go hand in hand.</p> <p>Let’s take the recent example of when Buzzfeed partnered with Facebook Live to hold a debate on the EU Referendum.</p> <p>A live segment of a girl offering her opinion (complete with profanities) garnered 7.5m views - more than coverage of interviews by both ITV and Sky News combined.</p> <p>It's not difficult to see why.</p> <p>With its raw human element, it was far more relatable that the filtered depiction offered elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0439/Buzzfeed_debate.JPG" alt="" width="617" height="405"></p> <h4>Be agile and adapt </h4> <p>Lastly, Frank suggests that the key to creating quality and empathetic content is to test and test again.</p> <p>Instead of jumping in head first and making big changes, it is more helpful to make small bets, over and over again.</p> <p>From tweaking headlines to moving the position of embedded videos, making tiny changes can actually have the biggest influence over time.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0438/Adapt.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="562"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>Like the legendary Snoop Dogg himself, Buzzfeed’s ability to relate to its audience is fundamental to its success.</p> <p>The approach might not be particularly ground-breaking, but in a world where most media outlets talk down to the audience, it is surprisingly underused.</p> <p>For brands eager to create a more meaningful connection with consumers, it's the best place to start. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68373 2016-10-10T00:01:00+01:00 2016-10-10T00:01:00+01:00 What is 'agile marketing' and what do marketers think about it? Jeff Rajeck <p>Google Trends shows us that the search term 'agile marketing' has increased in popularity over the past few years.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9888/trends.png" alt="" width="800" height="278"></p> <p>...and there are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67346-agile-development-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/">many</a> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65184-what-is-agile-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it/">blog</a> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62965-agile-marketing-the-70-20-10-rule/">posts</a> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Hacking-Marketing-Practices-Smarter-Innovative/dp/1119183170">and</a> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Agile-Marketer-Experience-Competitive-Advantage/dp/1119223008">books</a> which hail agile marketing as the next big thing for our profession.</p> <p>But what exactly is 'agile marketing'?  And how useful is it to marketers, in practice?</p> <p>To find out, Econsultancy recently held roundtable discussions at our fifth annual Digital Cream Sydney.  </p> <p>There, client-side marketers from across the industry discussed trends, best practices, and the issues they are currently facing. </p> <p>The roundtables were moderated by subject matter experts from the industry. Participants brought their own experiences, questions, and challenges to the table for open discussion.</p> <p>Here are the highlights from the discussion at the Agile Marketing table.</p> <h3>What is agile marketing?</h3> <p>Before discussing marketers views on agile marketing, it is useful to define what is meant by the term.</p> <p>From Wikipedia:</p> <blockquote> <p>Agile Marketing is an organizational effectiveness strategy that drives growth through focusing team efforts on those that deliver value to the end-customer.</p> <p>This emerging practice in marketing applies key principles of agile software development to increase speed, quality, flexibility, and effectiveness of a marketing department.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is helpful as it tells us where the term came from (software development) and that <strong>the focus of agile marketing is coordinating team efforts to deliver value to the business.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9891/agile-3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></strong></p> <p>Michelle Accardi-Petersen in her book <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Agile-Marketing-Michelle-Accardi-Petersen/dp/143023315X">Agile Marketing</a></em> builds on that definition by discussing how agile marketing is used in practice:</p> <blockquote> <p>Throughout the agile marketing process, there should be a constant priority on business values, and meeting what the market, the business, and customers demand.</p> <p>Agile marketers follow a process of plan, iterate, fail, and succeed to keep them in line with these demands, ensuring successful projects/programs/campaigns.</p> </blockquote> <p>So from these two definitions we can see that <strong>agile marketing is a process which helps teams deliver continuous value to the business through an iterative process.</strong></p> <h3>But what do marketers think?</h3> <p>At our recent event in Sydney, we asked marketers to describe agile marketing as they see it and also tell us about how their organisations have adopted it.</p> <h3>Agile vocabulary</h3> <p>Participants on the day generally agreed with the above definitions, but added some of their own terms to describe agile marketing: </p> <ul> <li>Nimble</li> <li>Responsive</li> <li>Data-driven</li> <li>Customer-focused</li> <li>Flexible</li> <li>Fail fast</li> </ul> <p> Delegates also discussed the vocabulary which is particular to the agile methodology, such as: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Stand-up meetings:</strong> Self-describing, but agile because they are intended to make meetings uncomfortable and, as a result, short.</li> <li> <strong>Sprints:</strong> Sprints are duration of time given to a particular task. The word connotates 'fast' which indicates that tasks should be small and done quickly.</li> <li> <strong>MVP or Minimum Viable Product:</strong> This is the end result of a sprint, according to attendees. The idea is to have something (campaign, design improvement, or even product) done to the minimum requirements so that it is ready to launch. </li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9889/agile-1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Agile tools</h3> <p>Participants then identified a number of tools which support agile marketing, such as: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Project management tools:</strong> Jira, Asana.</li> <li> <strong>Group collaboration tools:</strong> Slack, Trello, Facebook for Work.</li> <li> <strong>Group file management:</strong> Google Docs, Smartsheet.</li> </ul> <h3>Agile culture</h3> <p>Finally, attendees discussed how agile marketing is working, in practice, at their organisations.</p> <p>One participant mentioned that <strong>its agile marketing team uses physical project walls instead of software to collaborate</strong>.  </p> <p>They felt doing so was essential to build awareness and accountability.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9892/agile-wall-3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> <p>Another attendee said that to prove its methods to the business, <strong>agile marketers should 'say yes' to challenging tasks</strong>.  </p> <p>This ensures that agile teams get permission to bring campaigns and products to market quickly and demonstrate results.</p> <p>And finally, another advised that <strong>agile marketers should 'ask forgiveness, not permission'.</strong>  </p> <p>That is, it is more important to get to market, get the results and report results than it is to get buy-in for everything the team wants to try.</p> <p>All decisions, though, should be supported by data.</p> <h3>Agile challenges</h3> <p>Attendees also pointed out that agile marketing faces a number of challenges.</p> <p>First off, the <strong>company culture must be ready to be agile.</strong>  </p> <p>Not having the right people who are open to change and willing to champion agile was a problem when trying to get started.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9890/agile-2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p>Additionally, people who have worked for the company for a long time will be afraid of experimenting in the way that agile marketing requires.  </p> <p>This results in conflict between those who are agile and those, particularly in management, are fine with the status quo.</p> <p>Finally, most companies are not organised to support a key component of agile marketing;<strong> continuous testing</strong>.  </p> <p>That is, there is not the collaboration between departments to make iterative changes.  </p> <p>Instead, most companies use a 'hand-off' or waterfall method of project management between departments.</p> <p>Overall, though, marketers felt that it was their duty to prove to the business that being in the market is better than not, even when you fail, and so<strong> agile marketing should continue to rise in popularity.</strong></p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and especially our Agile Marketing table moderator, Adriel Cahir, Digital Marketing Manager from Simply Energy.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9893/hosts.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68384 2016-10-06T13:44:56+01:00 2016-10-06T13:44:56+01:00 How Cosmopolitan reinvented itself & became the number one women's magazine in the UK Nikki Gilliland <p>Speaking at the <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome">Festival of Marketing</a>, editor-in-chief Farrah Storr and commercial strategy director Georgina Holt, explained how the brand has turned around its fortunes in a short space of time.</p> <p>Here’s a summary of what they said:</p> <h3>Competing for millennial eyes</h3> <p>When Farrah joined as editor-in-chief in the summer of 2015, her first task was to determine how and where the magazine was going wrong.</p> <p>It was obvious that print was in decline, but the main problem seemed to be the sheer amount of competitors in the market, and increasing difficulty in grabbing the attention of the target audience.</p> <p>While Glamour or Marie Claire might be Cosmopolitan’s most obvious competitors, in today’s digitally-driven and content saturated world it is also the likes of YouTube, Net-A-Porter and even Bitmoji.</p> <p>Farrah explained how, essentially, a rival is anything that millennial eyes might otherwise be drawn to.  </p> <p>As a result, it was clear that the brand needed a new strategy - one that focused on innovation around the core product of the magazine.</p> <h3>How Cosmopolitan generated growth</h3> <h4>Rule 1: Look in the mirror</h4> <p>The first action Cosmopolitan undertook was to ‘slay the sacred cows’.</p> <p>In other words, it decided that the very things that it was most famous for – like horoscopes, centrefolds and sexually-charged headlines - were the very things that were holding it back. </p> <p>So, it was out with the old, and back to re-discovering what current consumers actually care about.</p> <p>Farrah explained that this new direction also meant losing some of the old editorial team. </p> <p>However, in the face of continued decline, change was the only way forward.</p> <h4>Rule 2:  Forget about ego</h4> <p>With the realisation that Cosmopolitan needed to shake off its old stereotypical hallmarks, it also reassessed how it was distributing content.</p> <p>Before, the assumption was that millennials would be willing to spend up to £4 on a glossy magazine or that a free gift would drive sales.</p> <p>This relied on consumers seeking out Cosmopolitan in traditional ways like newsagents and supermarket shelves.</p> <p>However, with content consumption changing, it was apparent that the magazine needed to do more to engage new and loyal consumers elsewhere.</p> <p>As well as making changes to its distribution model – such as reducing the price to £1 and its reliance on gifting – it also focused on a ‘pop up’ approach.</p> <p>This meant working with retail partners to curate ‘Cosmo’ experiences in locations like Westfield and the Trafford Centre.</p> <p>One example of this is the #RimmelKate15 campaign, which allowed consumers to enjoy a free makeover along with complimentary copy of Cosmo.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Come to the Cosmopolitan x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RimmelKate15?src=hash">#RimmelKate15</a> event <a href="https://twitter.com/westfieldlondon">@westfieldlondon</a> this weekend for FREE manis &amp; makeovers<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/spon?src=hash">#spon</a> <a href="https://t.co/i9z90LJqd2">pic.twitter.com/i9z90LJqd2</a></p> — Cosmopolitan UK (@CosmopolitanUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/CosmopolitanUK/status/756458122328301569">July 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>This served to add value for loyal consumers as well as get the brand into millennial’s hands.</p> <p>Alongside this, Farrah highlighted the brand’s other attempts to engage and excite its audience, in the places where they live.</p> <p>Last year, it joined Snapchat Discover, and has since seen great success on the platform. </p> <p>While it might not own the audience there, by taking the time and effort to invest in creating unique and quality content, it has connected with an entirely new audience, and in turn, has been able to convert them into loyal readers of the magazine. </p> <h4>Rule 3: You are way more than you think you are</h4> <p>The talk finished on how it is important to think of a brand as an eco-system.</p> <p>As well as the areas of print and digital, Cosmopolitan has started to place more focus on events, as well as its commercial partnerships.</p> <p>By monetising often neglected parts of its print magazine and launching pop-up channels on its website, like the Estee Lauder sponsored ‘Edit’, it has been able to find value in new areas. </p> <p>Lastly, Cosmopolitan has also started to think about how it can extend its impact and actually make a difference in the lives of its readers. </p> <p>In finding out more about young women who read its magazine, it recently discovered the fact that many are turning down first time job offers in London due to unaffordable rent prices.</p> <p>As a result, it is soon to launch a new sponsored campaign, where it hopes to set up 20 apartments across London in order to provide opportunities for its readers.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Great to hear how <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/engaged?src=hash">#engaged</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CosmopolitanUK">@CosmopolitanUK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Cosmopolitan">@Cosmopolitan</a> have been in order to get in touch with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/millenials?src=hash">#millenials</a> Definitely <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/inspired?src=hash">#inspired</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FOM16?src=hash">#FOM16</a> <a href="https://t.co/bza7Ejzdcj">pic.twitter.com/bza7Ejzdcj</a></p> — Vanessa Yu (@Yu_V_Lights) <a href="https://twitter.com/Yu_V_Lights/status/783967097516883968">October 6, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>The brand's efforts to reach out and engage with its audience has certainly paid off. </p> <p>With sales of the magazine up 60% year-on-year this January to July, Cosmopolitan is once again the number one women’s magazine in the UK. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68357 2016-10-04T11:04:32+01:00 2016-10-04T11:04:32+01:00 Brand Commerce: What is your brand's key feature? Michael Sandstrom <p>But what is it in a challenger brand, and especially so within a successful challenger brand, that makes it more successful than others?</p> <p>In our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68176-brand-commerce-a-new-planning-model-for-marketers/" target="_self">previous blog post</a>, we introduced Brand Commerce, a new planning model based on heuristics - the mental shortcuts we all take when making decisions.</p> <p>For the second part of our Econsultancy exclusive blog series, we dive into successful challenger brands and how they use heuristics, or sales triggers to win in their category.</p> <h3>The challenger brands</h3> <p>If asked to think of successful challenger brands, many in our industry might mention Under Armour or Tesla Motors as recent examples.</p> <p>Under Armour is seen as challenger in an already saturated sector, successfully taking significant market share from both Nike and Adidas.</p> <p>Tesla in turn is both changing the perception of electric cars and challenging an entire industry, with large manufacturers now playing catch-up.</p> <p>When looking into both of these brands and their success, one of the things that sets them apart from the competition is they both have a clearly defined mission statement.</p> <p>Putting it in Brand Commerce terms, they both understand what their key feature (their One Key Thing) is and allow it to permeate through their whole organisation.</p> <p>This in turn allows them to provide consistent and relevant messaging in all of their marketing activities.</p> <p>Tesla’s stated mission as a company is to "accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”.</p> <p>As part of its strategy, Tesla decided to remove the traditional middleman and instead focus on providing a great online retail experience.</p> <p>Even when visiting one of its stores, Tesla provides a consistent experience by letting the customer place the order through the website.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9740/Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_19.14.11.png" alt="Tesla Motors" width="640" height="320"></p> <p>Ultimately for many, owning a Tesla becomes a clear statement of one’s personal commitment to the environment.</p> <p>Not only the brand but also its advocates are seen as leading the charge towards a more sustainable world.</p> <p>Under Armour’s mission is to "make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation.”</p> <p>This mission has allowed Under Armour to branch out into the territory of tech companies such as Fitbit and Apple, providing its own ecosystem of digital fitness products.</p> <p>While this could be seen as a gimmick, what makes this relevant to the brand is how it strengthens its claim of making all athletes better.</p> <p>Looking at Under Armour's sponsorship marketing, instead of going straight for the larger athletes, it has been signing up athletes before they become superstars while also creating marketing campaigns around athletes in secondary sports.</p> <p>One example is the recent campaign ‘Rule Yourself’. While featuring Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, it also includes the US Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team and young talent Memphis Depay from Manchester United.</p> <p>Through this campaign Under Armour provides consistency by embracing its mission, to make all athletes better, not just the LeBron James's of the world.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CDM1FPFxbVk?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>With so many industries being saturated with competitors, inconsistency is often enough of a reason for consumers to switch brands.</p> <p>By ensuring that the whole organisation, from product design to marketing and sales, understands the mission, brands stand a better chance at providing a consistent message that resonates and feels natural to the consumers.</p> <p>Are you making the most of your unique key feature and are you using it effectively to stand out from the competition?</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68336 2016-09-29T11:35:00+01:00 2016-09-29T11:35:00+01:00 Content marketing at The British Library: Is it as easy as it sounds? Nikki Gilliland <p>You'll find the video interviews in full below, handily divided into two parts as we know people have short attention spans these days.</p> <p>Or, you can scroll down to read some of the highlights of what he said.</p> <p><em><strong>Part one</strong></em></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dhb6Iuyt2I4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>Part two</strong></em> </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hfCohNN352M?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>What is your role?</h3> <p>My job is to extend the library’s reach, so that means bringing more people to our building here at St. Pancras and online to our website.</p> <p>It’s also to increase engagement amongst our users - getting people to use the collections that we have (again both online and offline), and ultimately to generate revenue.</p> <p>We want more people to be buying from us, so that means retail sales and ticket sales and so on.</p> <h3>What is the British Library’s content strategy?</h3> <p>In short, it is about owning the domain.</p> <p>Essentially that means becoming the natural destination for the thing our customers are looking for.</p> <p>At a high level that’s pretty easy – we want to be the home of medieval history or English literature. These things fit really nicely with our audience’s brand perceptions.</p> <p>However, below that, we need to be challenging those audience perceptions.</p> <p>For example, the library has an extensive patents collection, which makes us a great destination for researching and developing your next great business idea. </p> <p>With these things we need to work a bit harder on the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">content strategy</a>.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9565/British_Library_business.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="424"></p> <h3>Is content marketing for the British Library as easy as we all think it is?</h3> <p>Anyone who believes in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67985-what-is-the-future-of-content-marketing/" target="_blank">content marketing</a> would kill to work somewhere like the British Library, because you’re working with such unique items and a world class collection.</p> <p>But there are challenges around that.</p> <p>Metaphorically, we say that the British Library has 150m items, so when you’ve got 150m things to talk about, just working out where you start is a big problem.</p> <p>But we’re getting really good at that, with the marketing team working with the curatorial team as well as the library’s expert bloggers, getting together regularly and bringing to life these incredible stories.</p> <h3>What channels are the most effective for bringing the British Library to life?</h3> <p>The channels we find most effective vary for different things.</p> <p>We find Twitter and Facebook particularly effective for audience engagement, so surprising people with what we’ve got and getting them interested in using it.</p> <p>And we do that through features like item of the week and #onthisdayinhistory.</p> <p>When it comes to more of the commercial measures, we find some of the performance channels most effective, so <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC</a> and paid social etc. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/InternationalRabbitDay?src=hash">#InternationalRabbitDay</a> and they're all over our collection! <a href="https://t.co/S16j1DS1EL">https://t.co/S16j1DS1EL</a> <a href="https://t.co/F91ft0o9g1">pic.twitter.com/F91ft0o9g1</a></p> — The British Library (@britishlibrary) <a href="https://twitter.com/britishlibrary/status/779621696533921792">September 24, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Do you think there’s an appetite for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66656-eight-examples-of-effective-emotional-video-content" target="_blank">video content</a> among your audience, or are you sceptical about it?</h3> <p>I’m not sceptical about the audience’s appetite for great video content, but for the time being, I think the priority for the British Library is the words and pictures.</p> <p>As we build the muscle for content marketing, we should be able to move quite naturally into video, and in fact we are doing a lot of that.</p> <p>We have fantastic speakers who come here week in, week out, and we are already experimenting with capturing that and distributing it to a much larger audience than the 250 people in our theatre.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbritishlibrary%2Fvideos%2F10154492014972139%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Are you experimenting with new distribution platforms, such as personal messaging services?</h3> <p>We’re experimenting with distribution all the time, but the remit of this content and community team is not just the content development – it’s the distribution of that content.</p> <p>So, we’re always trying new things, like native advertising and more paid social. Everything that we do has that multi-channel mix.</p> <p>We look at the performance afterwards and figure out what works well, as well as what we can do better.</p> <p><em><strong>Find out more about the British Library’s content strategy by attending <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">the Festival of Marketing</a> in London on October 5-6.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68301 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 2016-09-19T15:40:00+01:00 Instant messaging: An introduction to the future of communication Blake Cahill <p>For those of you that don’t know – I’ll assume you must have been trapped on a desert island for the past few years – instant messaging (IM) is a catch-all name for a range of different services that primarily provide users with the opportunity to engage in real-time communication.</p> <p>Typically led by text conversation, messengers often also provide a range of additional functionality that varies wildly from provider to provider.</p> <p>This additional functionality has, on some platforms, led to them being considered as full-blown social media networks, on a par with Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.</p> <p>In 2015, mobile phone messaging apps were used by 1.4bn consumers and eMarketer predicts that, by 2018, the number of chat app users worldwide will reach 2bn, representing 80% of smartphone users worldwide.</p> <p>In a nutshell, it’s only a matter of time before everyone and their granny, in practically every country on the planet, are using IM.</p> <h3>So who are the Big Players?</h3> <p><strong>WhatsApp</strong></p> <p>Owned by Zuckerbeg &amp; Co. and with over 1bn users, most of which are tech savvy millennials, WhatsApp is the clear front-runner in the IM community and the only truly global IM service with any significant uptake in all continents around the world.</p> <p>Offering text chat, voice recording, media sharing, group broadcasts and a robust network, you would surely bet your house on this IM giant being the one to pave the way for the future of IM [insert smiley face emoticon].</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/4627/whatsapp-facebook-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="whatsapp" width="300"></p> <p><strong>Facebook Messenger</strong></p> <p>Formed from the online chat function of the social network, Facebook Messenger has made real inroads in the EMEA and US regions with over 800m users.</p> <p>However it’s clear that with certain restrictions in places such as Asia, its move out of these two markets and into the APAC region will be a tough one to tackle. </p> <p><strong>WeChat</strong></p> <p>With 650m users, primarily in the APAC region, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> is, significantly, dominant in the Chinese market offering users the chance to chat in a ‘walkie talkie’ style conversation, as well as other typical features such as group chats and video calls.</p> <p>WeChat is also a social network and an extendable transactional platform. It gives its users the opportunity to shop, talk to brands, order taxis (its ‘Didi Dache’ service is essentially China’s Uber) and read the news.</p> <p>WeChat is also the only social platform 80% of Chinese millennials use every day.</p> <p><em>WePay</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1483/wepay.png" alt="wepay" width="615"></p> <p><strong>kik</strong></p> <p>With over 240m users, kik has its biggest presence in the US with an impressive 42% of US users being between 16-24 years old.</p> <p>It’s a promising start, however kik has seen very little uptake out of the US and it’s still dwarfed by the progress of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for the moment at least.</p> <p><strong>Others?</strong></p> <p>Though there are some exceptions to this global picture – KakaoTalk is the most popular chat app in South Korea, for example, while Line dominates in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan – there’s no doubt that it’s Facebook that’s winning the race so far.</p> <p>And before you say, “but what about Snapchat?!”, though this service is doing some serious business with teens in the UK and USA (over 40% use it), one a global level it’s still early days with only 7% market penetration.</p> <h3>The future of IM</h3> <p>With the landscape of IM changing and its scope reaching all aspects of the user's life, both personal and professional, it’s clear to see that IM offers real opportunities for businesses to get involved – but how will this play out? </p> <p>Firstly, IM is not a place to advertise, it’s a place for marketing. It gives us a powerful new space for brands to change the way consumers think about retail and customer service.</p> <p>The promise of IM is that if offers a near perfect form of personal, intimate, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">direct link between brands and customers</a>.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger has already started to make real inroads in expanding the capabilities of its own IM platform, recently announcing the introduction of so-called <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbots</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7478/kiksephora-blog-flyer.png" alt="sephora chatbot" width="300"></p> <p>Similar (but arguably less advanced AI) has been prevalent in WeChat and other channels previously, but inclusion in Facebook Messenger is likely to see increased quality of functionality.</p> <p>Chatbots will offer the ability for businesses to create bespoke responses based on natural language input. </p> <p>As the use and complexity of chatbots expand, users will find themselves being able to order goods simply by messaging the brand – as users of WeChat are already doing – receive tailored news updates based around your interest and even control connected smart devices.</p> <p>The future of commerce and customer service could well be a hybrid of IM as it steadily becomes our primary way to interact with companies, buy things, provide service and build loyalty.</p> <p>As the big players (and the many smaller innovators) continue to expand and develop the platforms’ potential, it’s safe to say we’re only at the beginning of what looks to be a long and interesting road.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3077 2016-08-16T14:25:11+01:00 2016-08-16T14:25:11+01:00 Content Marketing for Web, Mobile and Social Media <p>For your digital marketing to be effective you 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. As users spend an increasing amount of time on a range of social media channels, brands need to understand where their users are most active and how they can interact and engage with them most effectively. </p> <p>All of this requires careful analysis and planning. The disciplines of content strategy provides the framework for ensuring that your content delivers on these essential requirements across all relevant digital platforms.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4208 2016-07-29T15:00:00+01:00 2016-07-29T15:00:00+01:00 Trends and Priorities in the Media and Entertainment Sector <h2>Overview</h2> <p>This Trends and Priorities report, focused on the <strong>media and entertainment</strong> sectors, is produced by Econsultancy in association with <a href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a> and explores an industry caught between its past and future, with many having high aspirations but held back by culture and siloed budgets.</p> <p>The report, which is based on a survey of more than 200 senior-level marketers and executives in North America, discusses where the sector's digital trends are headed and the strategic priorities for media and entertainment companies as they attempt to stay ahead of the curve.</p> <p>The media and entertainment industry is responding to change with a set of interlocking strategic priorities focused around data, addressable audiences and technology partnerships. Throughout the trends report there are signs that media organizations are working to better understand their consumers and build the new capabilities to serve them.</p> <h2>You'll discover findings around:</h2> <ul> <li>What are media companies' top strategic priorities?</li> <li>How media companies are looking to partnerships to address emerging needs in addressable audience expansion.</li> <li>Are KPIs changing to accomodate the new priorities of media companies?</li> <li>How technology is a focus but media marketers struggle with selling it into the enterprise.</li> <li>Which technologies are media companies pursuing to improve their digital capabilities?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68078 2016-07-25T09:57:47+01:00 2016-07-25T09:57:47+01:00 Automated video: considerations for publishers and advertisers Patricio Robles <p>Consumers love video and advertisers can't get enough video ad inventory. As a result, publishers and media companies are increasingly doing whatever they can t<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67958-if-video-is-the-future-of-the-internet-here-s-what-brands-need-to-know">o embrace video</a>.</p> <p>Historically, video production has been a costly undertaking. After all, creating compelling, high-quality video is far more involved than creating compelling, high-quality written content or photography.</p> <p>To address the consumer and advertiser demand for video while at the same time avoiding breaking the bank, publishers have turned to technology that is capable of churning out video content in a highly-automated fashion.</p> <h3>Wochit and Wibbitz</h3> <p>As <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/11/business/media/as-online-video-surges-publishers-turn-to-automation.html?_r=0">detailed by</a> the New York Times, two companies, Wochit and Wibbitz, have come to take an early lead in the automated video production space.</p> <p>A wide range of publishers are making these companies' tools a big part of their online video strategies. One of those publishers is Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, which has newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Orlando Sentinel in its portfolio.</p> <p>Tronc chairman Michael W. Ferro Jr. told the New York Times' John Herrman that his company is currently producing a "couple hundred" videos each day, but sees that number increasingly substantially. "We think we need to be doing 2,000 videos a day," he said.</p> <p>Such volume is probably impossible without automated video, and as automated video becomes a bigger and bigger source of video on the web, here's what publishers and advertisers should keep in mind.</p> <h3>How it works</h3> <p>Automated video platforms like Wochit and Wibbitz analyze input text content (eg. for a news story) and identify images and video clips that are related, typically from stock and video photography services.</p> <p>Through partnerships, Wochit and Wibbitz offer human voice narration, but fully-automated computer-generated voice-overs can also be used.</p> <p>Wochit and Wibbitz can also automatically caption the videos they assemble, important for creating videos that are suited for social channels that have <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67442-how-to-create-facebook-video-ads-that-cater-for-silent-autoplay">silent autoplay</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7283/automatedvideo-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="265"></p> <p>For publishers that don't trust Wochit and Wibbitz to produce production-ready videos in a totally automated fashion, publishers have the flexibility to make their own edits and add their own content to videos before publishing. </p> <h3>Limitations</h3> <p>While adoption of automated video is growing significantly – major publishers that are clients of Wochit and Wibbitz include Hearst, Gannett, Time, CBS Interactive, Bonnier and The Huffington Post – automated video is not without its limitations. While consumers love video, they still have expectations around quality and it's hard to meet those expectations in a fully-automated fashion. </p> <p>According to USA Today's Chris Pirrone...</p> <blockquote> <p>The data came back very quickly that text-to-video alone, if you don't touch it, consumers can quickly recognize it is not a high-quality product.</p> </blockquote> <p>Even Wochit and Wibbitz agree: their tools are best used in conjunction with a human touch.</p> <p>But even with that human touch, publishers and advertisers need to recognize that the most compelling kinds of videos, which are emotional and tell powerful stories, are probably not going to come from an automated video platform any time soon.</p> <p>So video automation tools, while a potential contributor to the online video ecosystem, aren't a panacea and shouldn't be relied on too heavily.</p> <h3>Supply and demand</h3> <p>A bigger consideration for publishers and advertisers is the fact that automated video is going to change the supply and demand dynamics in the online video market.</p> <p>Since the beginning of the year, Wochit's clients have doubled the number of videos they're producing using the company's technology. That figure now stands at 30,000 videos a month.</p> <p>While consumers love video, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-habits-are-bad-news-for-digital-media-2016-7">attention is finite</a> and the growing number of videos will make it harder for publishers to stand out. At worst, video in some content categories could be completely commoditized to the point that it isn't a point of differentiation with consumers and prices for ads drops significantly.</p> <p>At the same time, if the rise of automated video comes at the expense of truly original video, demand for original video content, including longer-form content, could increase as it becomes less common, benefiting publishers that continue to invest in its production and making it more expensive for advertisers looking to market their wares through non-commoditized video content.</p> <h3>Risks</h3> <p>The limitations of automated video, combined with the possible supply and demand effects, mean that adoption of automated video on a larger scale presents risks for both publishers and advertisers.</p> <p>For publishers, too much reliance on automated video could backfire, reducing the quality of the video content portfolios. Eventually, that could threaten a publishers' brands and leave them with audiences and ad inventory that are less valuable.</p> <p>For this reason, publishers should be strategic about how much of the video content mix they create using automated video tools. Specifically, they should consider focusing their use of automated video on channels for which this kind of content might be better suited, such as social platforms, where silent autoplay means short, captioned video content is more acceptable.</p> <p>For advertisers, the risk is that the ad inventory created by automated video won't be as high in value, and might even become of limited value if publishers oversaturate the market.</p> <p>For this reason, advertisers should recognize that video ad inventory is not all the same and make sure that they're not paying a premium for inventory that is not premium.</p>