Thursday, October 30, 2014

Real-Time Marketing Is Now Right-Time Marketing

Something delivered at right time doesn't have to be created in real time 

It’s time for the conversation about real-time marketing to move on. It’s not that the conversation is over. Rather, it’s that real-time marketing needs to evolve into something bigger and more important than simply sending out catchy posts timed to news events.

That’s the upshot of a series of interviews we conducted with brand and agency executives for a new eMarketer report, “The Evolution of Real-Time Marketing: What Marketers Are Thinking—and Doing—Now.” Their viewpoints provide a snapshot of the current state of real-time marketing and how companies can expand their thinking about this important topic. The definition of “real-time marketing” is changing. Many now refer to it as “right-time marketing.” The difference is subtle, but important: Something delivered at the right time doesn’t necessarily have to be created in real time. Even if it was developed days or weeks before, if it is delivered at the optimal moment, it feels real time. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Global Search Marketing Myths and Best Practices

Best Practices

Here are some specific search and localization practices to consider including in your strategy:
1. Have a Clear Localization Commitment for New Products
It's important to differentiate between concepts of "country" and "language." So it's best not to use flags to represent languages. Also don't limit support to the official language(s) of a country/region. Some languages may need to be supported even though they don't have official status. Finally, since languages don't have borders and need to be supported globally, it's key to capture users' preferred language(s) so you can serve them in their language independently of their location.
2. Tight Alignment Between Localization Stakeholders
Once a localization strategy is in place, there must be a commitment to localization vendor search marketing training. By doing vendor and reviewer training in region, you invest in their success. There also needs to be in place a strong partnership between global search, localization, and international Web production teams. With this in place, respect for deadlines between all three increases efficiency. Specifically, SEO is not considered an afterthought or simple checklist item, but integrated into the loc process early on. Consistent information sharing between teams naturally leads to a shared commitment to results.
3. Adhere to an SEO Localization Workflow Process
Having a defined and agreed upon process keeps all stakeholders informed, communications clear, and deadlines adhered to. Below is a step-by-step summary of our localization workflow process:
  1. Future launch event initiated by a business unit or product introduces a need for new content to support future products
  2. North America and in-country keyword research begins
  3. Localization process started with International program managers and country-specific localization vendor reps
  4. Final review and agreement on keywords based on local nuance, intent, and in-country demand initiated
  5. Content localized using keywords (mapped to content, videos, images, and other assets) and integrated with overall SEO best practices
  6. Localized content goes live and quality assurance (QA) completed to ensure accuracy

Next Up for Marketing Technology: Measuring Its ROI

Nearly 80% say data quality solutions have positive effect on ROI, but many have no hard metrics 

Marketing technology adoption will continue to grow next year, and thanks to the massive amount of data marketers now have, tools focused on making sense of all the figures are of particular interest. In September 2014 polling by Experian Data Quality, 89% of US data management professionals said they were investing in data quality solutions, and the majority were spending more than $500,000 on such technologies.

Data tools that helped with monitoring and auditing, standardization, data profiling and data cleansing were the most popular, each used by more than half of respondents. But as marketers continue to funnel dollars toward data quality solutions, can they prove they’re worth it? Experian found mixed results. On the positive side, nearly 80% of data management professionals said these tools had a positive return on investment (ROI); however, around one-quarter of those respondents weren’t actually backing this up with metrics—an issue in the long term, as solid figures are typically needed to maintain budgets for those solutions. 

Looking at a broader range of marketing technologies, platforms and solutions, Q3 2014 research by CMO Council and Tealium found slightly worse results. Here, less than half (46%) of marketers worldwide said the marketing technologies they used were producing ROI. The remaining 54% of respondents weren’t seeing ROI from such tools, weren’t sure if there was a return or were still working on determining this. The report noted that these results were likely why 39% of respondents were also struggling to make a business case for marketing technology spend in the first place. Despite this struggle, when asked how marketing technology investments affected business economics and marketing ROI, 54% of respondents said they provided a greater return and accountability of marketing and advertising spend—the second-highest response. Just 14% said such tools hadn’t had much of an impact. 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mums and supermarkets

A survey from Starcom MediaVest and Mumsnet into mums’ supermarket shopping habits reveals erosion of loyalty. 1,000 Mumsnet users were surveyed - here are the results:

  • 10% of mums claim to have swapped from the ‘Big Four’ in last six months in favour of discount supermarkets.
  • Half of mums top up shopping at least twice a week .
  • Mums now shop at an average of three supermarkets a week for their main shop.
  • 30% of mums surveyed now regularly do a main shop at Aldi.
  • 33% of mums claim to have switched supermarkets in the last six months, stating lower prices, better products and a better in-store experience being the top reasons for switching.
  • 24% of respondents who earn between £50-69,000 and 21% who earn £70-99,000 shop at Aldi. 22% of respondents also within the £70-99,000 salary bracket shop at Lidl.
  • A third of M&S and Waitrose shoppers topped up at least three times a week, in comparison to just under a quarter of Aldi shoppers doing the same.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bitcoin: Will Consumers Say, 'Show Me the Virtual Money'?

Over the past 12 months, the virtual currency Bitcoin has experienced major price swings and a mysterious break-in at a major online exchange, Mt. Gox. But it has also gained wider acceptance, with a growing number of major brands signing on to accept Bitcoin as a form of digital payment, according to a new eMarketer report, “Alternative Payments: Bitcoin and Beyond.”

For the unfamiliar, Bitcoin (with a capital B) is an open-source, decentralized virtual currency, comprising a digital payment system and unit of value also called “bitcoin” (with a lowercase b). Instead of relying on a central institution to issue currency and manage transactions, Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to perform these functions.

A May 2014 study by the Massachusetts Division of Banks and Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) found 51% of US adults had heard of Bitcoin or another virtual currency, mostly from sources like the internet and television. However, just 3% had purchased or used virtual currency, with 18% reporting they would likely do so in the future.
In a June 2014 survey of US adults conducted by 451 Research, around 60% had heard of Bitcoin, though more than half of those who had heard of it didn’t know what it was. Just 2% reported already using Bitcoin, with another 3% waiting to use it.
A December 2013 survey of US internet users conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers highlighted many of the concerns consumers have about using Bitcoin, including the unpredictability of its price, the experimental nature of the virtual currency and the fact transactions cannot be reversed.
Not having chargebacks may be an attractive feature for online merchants that are often victims of chargeback fraud, but not as intriguing for consumers who might legitimately need to reverse a transaction.
Security is another consumer concern related to using Bitcoin. The Massachusetts Division of Banks and CSBS survey found that security was the most important factor among consumers in deciding whether or not to purchase or use Bitcoin, followed by insurance and regulation related to the virtual currency.