Thursday, July 31, 2014

App Marketing Costs Continue to Rise

Photograph showing Apple Newton hand held comp...
According to app marketing technology company Fiksu, the cost of app marketing reached new heights this summer and it's likely to keep climbing. How should marketers deal with these rising costs?
The cost of app marketing is at an all-time high, according to app marketing technology company Fiksu.
Boston-based Fiksu has been analyzing trends in app marketing for the last four years and in June of this year, the Cost Per Loyal User Index (CPLUI) - which measures how much money brands spend to acquire regular users of their iOS apps - peaked at $2.23. According to Fiksu, a regular user is someone who uses the app at least three times.

Huge Differences in Digital Buyer Penetration Across APAC

Digital buying activity in Asia-Pacific is high in the region’s three most developed markets—Japan, Australia and South Korea—and much lower everywhere else, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of worldwide business-to-consumer ecommerce activity. Even when measured as a percentage of internet users, rather than of the total population, the split between these three countries and the nation with the next-highest digital buyer penetration, China, is massive. - 

Nearly eight in 10 internet users in Japan and Australia will make at least one digital purchase in 2014, eMarketer estimates, along with 73.0% of those in South Korea. In China, the figure will pass 50% for the first time this year, reaching 55.2%. In the less developed digital markets of India and Indonesia, only relatively small minorities of internet users will buy anything at all online, via mobile or via tablet throughout our forecast period. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Transformers: Age of Digital

Altimeter
Digital marketers better like change, because it’s coming. According to an April 2014 study by Altimeter Group, digital transformation is now a significant movement. The research found that definitions of “digital transformation” varied greatly among industry professionals, and in the end defined it as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.” 

Fully 88% of US digital strategists said their firms were undergoing a formal digital marketing transformation effort. The different types of digital transformation initiatives listed underscored the fact that, while technology was important, understanding the consumer journey was critical for such efforts. 


Who's Penny-Pinching When It Comes to Online Shipping?

A row of shopping carts.
Female and older shoppers aren’t feeling digital shipping costs, according to a June 2014 study by Harris Interactive. 

Among US internet users surveyed who had at least one digital shopping pet peeve, shipping costs were the most common, cited by 66% of respondents, compared with 38% who said getting an item that didn’t look like it did online was irritating, the No. 2 response. Broken down by gender, more than seven in 10 female internet users said shipping costs peeved them, compared with 60% of male respondents. Meanwhile, millennial web users, often considered frugal, were the age group least likely to care about shipping costs. Six in 10 18- to 36-year-olds cited shipping fees as annoying, compared with 68% of Gen Xers and 69% of baby boomers. This percentage dropped slightly for those 68 and older. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Connecting the Dots: Consumers Mixed over Connected Future

Onde fica a internet?  ~  Where is the internet?
The premise of the internet of things (IoT)—that everything can and will be connected—is by turns enticing and intimidating. Who wouldn't want the ability to cool a room before returning home or have the oven start to cook the evening meal remotely? What business wouldn't want to keep closer, more up-to-the-minute tabs on inventory thanks to stock items that can communicate levels and whereabouts? 

On the other hand, the prospect of having to, in effect, “reboot” an entire home or warehouse when a virus strikes or the internet glitches is an unwelcome extension of the challenges consumers and enterprises already face daily with their various computing devices, according to a new eMarketer report, “Key Digital Trends for Midyear 2014: The Internet of Things, Net Neutrality, and Why Marketers Need to Care.” 


Email: The Old Kid on the Block's Still Got It

Mobile-phone-advertising
Email’s not dead. In fact, Q2 2014 research by Gigaom found that 86% of US digital marketers used email marketing regularly—the highest response rate out of all programs listed. 

On top of that, the June 2014 report detailing the survey results, underwritten by Extole, called email “the digital marketing workhorse,” meaning it was effective—and often considered the single most effective—for reaching all goals, including awareness (41% of respondents), acquisition (37%), conversion (42%) and retention (56%). 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Ready or Not, the Internet of Things Is Coming

Onde fica a internet?  ~  Where is the internet?
Think the net neutrality debate is all about streaming videos? Think again. It’s actually much more than that: It’s about streaming your life. Internet connectivity might seem ubiquitous today, between the use of PCs, mobile devices, and smart TVs, but there are major swaths of daily life that aren’t connected yet that soon will become so, such as homes and cars, according to a new eMarketer report, “Key Digital Trends for Midyear 2014: The Internet of Things, Net Neutrality, and Why Marketers Need to Care.” 

SEM the Most Effective Acquisition Channel for 85% of Retailers [Survey]

A study by Shop.org and Forrester Research shows 85 percent of retailers surveyed said search marketing (including paid and SEO) was the most effective customer acquisition tactic. And, the research showed paid search was the channel most heavily invested in.
state-of-retailing-online-2014
PPC drove more revenue in 2013 than 2012, according to 76 percent of survey respondents. For 19 percent of the respondents, paid search accounted for more than 50 percent of their marketing budgets.
Even with the glowing reviews for paid search, Shop.org's executive director, Vicki Cantrell, said retailers should expand their horizons. 
"While much of the ground work has been laid for perfecting paid search and how well it works for retailers' customer acquisition goals, the fact of the matter is that retailers still have plenty of opportunities to learn more about their customers' needs."
Display ads were seeing a comeback as well. From the announcement:
Display ads are seeing something of a resurgence: specifically remarketing, retargeting, and behavioral targeting ranked among retailers' leading customer acquisition tactics, and display ads now collectively rank as the second highest area of marketing spend behind paid search.
Vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, Sucharita Mulpuru, said the renewed interest in display advertising makes social a more viable option for acquisition.
"Thanks to the effectiveness and renewed budget focus on display advertising, Facebook cannot be counted out from a retail advertising stand point. People think of Facebook as a social network, but in reality it's another medium for personalized display advertising – likely explaining why Facebook has surfaced so high in planned budget spend this year."
Organic traffic was also mentioned as an effective channel, with 41 percent saying so. The announcement said retailers were investing more in organic this year than last, among other tactics like affiliate programs and remarketing. 
You might remember another study back in June 2013 from Custora that showed the organic acquisition channel held the most value over time (i.e., customer lifetime value) for ecommerce sites. 
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 Types of Experiential Customers

Unevolved Brand #95
The great thing about experiential marketing is that it allows consumers to become active participants in the marketing effort and a brand gets to interact with the consumer directly, face-to-face. A new stat says 78% of millennials are more inclined to become part of a brand if they experience the face-to-face interaction of experiential marketing. There are three challenging experiential customers: the non-loyalist, the independent spirit, and the tastemakers.
The Non-Loyalist
AKA:
Sample Queens

Usually hear them saying:
“Ooooh samples!” or “I’ll try anything if it’s free.”

Marketers Must Understand Digital Transformation In a Modern World

This is a photo of a computer lab on the Unive...
Marketers need to be on the forefront of the digital revolution, or else they risk becoming expendable and irrelevant in their industry.
The world is changing faster than ever and digital disruption is right at the heart of it. It's something we see frequently in the media, and it's often mentioned by our work colleagues. Whether it's Google's self-driving cars, the role of Twitter in the Arab Spring, or the fact that "selfie" is now in the dictionary, the digital revolution is changing things all around us.
However, it's not all positive news, fun and frolicking. And when the bad news arrives, it's often more noticeable in the corporate world. A stark fact that brings that point to life is from Forrester Research, which reported that more than 70 percent of the companies on the Global 500 list 10 years ago have now vanished. And if you consider the impact this might have on an individuals' career path as an example, at the current rate of change the chances are that the company you're working for today may not be around in 10 years' time, or be operating in a much more diminished capacity.

Mobile Is the Message for Facebook Q2 Earnings

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Mobile ad revenue surpasses desktop in Facebook's Q2 earnings, driven by m-commerce, an industry that is expected to generate $500 billion by 2017.
Facebook's advertising business is growing healthily as the company continues to test new ad placements and units. Reporting on its Q2 financials on Wednesday, Facebook revenue totaled $2.91 billion, 61 percent year-over-year (YoY), beating analysts' estimates of $2.81 billion.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Which analytics tools do marketers use?

  • In the past digital analytics mainly focused on desktop activity, but now businesses have to employ a broader range of analytics products to measure activity across relatively new channels such as mobile and social. 
  • The new Econsultancy/Lynchpin Measurement and Analytics Report examines the extent to which different analytics tool are used by surveying more than 1,000 digital professionals.
  • Web analytics predictably came out as the most widely used (36%) followed by Excel (90%).
  • Two-thirds of respondents (65%) use some form of social analytics while 27% are ‘planning to use’ them, which is indicative of the fact that businesses see value in social media interactions but are still getting to grips with how to measure the ROI.
Which data-related tools or types of technology do you use?

You Know Who the Consumer Is, Until You Don't

Mobile Phones
As we continue to improve our skill levels as marketers, it's essential to recognize the areas where we might get caught by surprise. Here are some tips for how to spot and serve for the mobile data curveball.
We've come a long way with audience-based planning and buying, beginning with more accurate audience definition, propensity modeling, targeting, and optimization over the course of any given marketing execution. Being on top of our game is all golden until you get a curveball. As marketers, and the partners and agencies supporting us, we've got to know a curveball when we see it and know how to solve for it.

Curveball #1: Knowing How, When, and Where to Accurately Identify Your Target Mobile Consumers.

This ball has practical and technical implications. At the beginning of any initiative, when we say we understand and then articulate who our customers and prospects are to anyone trying to help us with our marketing, we tend to think and express the definition in descriptive terms. Then, we strive to find data that consistently aligns with those descriptions. This description always includes obvious things like age, family size, living in a particular geography, and having distinct interests, when it comes to purchases or lifestyle.
But data that aligns with our descriptions, and data that aligns with our customers, and who they truly turn out to be, as a campaign plays out, can be different. This difference exists at the point where our expectations and true outcomes diverge. And such a divergence is likely to crop up when we move into a newer channel like mobile. The moment we spot this divergence of what we believe and what is really happening is the curveball.
What's happening in practice here is that the data available for marketers' use is collected through various channels and comes from a variety of sources that are compiled, self-reported, or based on surveys. These settings and sources are reflected, whether intentionally or not in the inherent resulting data values. When those data points are used in new channels, where you have not marketed before, such as mobile, they may or may not apply, and drive outcomes, in the same way we expect.
Imagine that you are a mattress manufacturer, and you have a new luxurious and feature rich mattress set, which you've found to appeal to a niche market. You've been able to define your target audience purely because you know your existing customers, with very detailed data points that describe things like, "I'm in market to buy a new mattress," and/or, "I'm a busy mom," and, "I enjoy home décor sites."
Further, you even design the perfect creative unit, with an attention-grabbing line or visual and a compelling offer. Let's even assume you've found a way to "know" the person receiving your message matches your provided descriptions. What if those descriptions don't apply to the mobile channel?
Though we've surely said it about every emerging channel, mobile once again delivers a unique and often initially unpredictable profile swing. This mobile-specific profile, and thus demand for a new way to accurately reach the mobile consumer, comes from two intersecting observations:
  • The description of the mobile consumer population doesn't match the description of the overall consumer population. A simple illustration of this is that while your total customer population might be 20 to 60 years old, your mobile population is almost always going to be younger (at least for now).
  • The general consumer profile or persona doesn't match the mobile consumer persona. For this example, look no further than the mattress maker story above.
With the very descriptive and well-defined profile in hand, applying it to reach busy moms, on home décor and related sites, on mobile, although your audience could very well fit that description, it's equally possible you could miss them altogether with this strategy.
Why? Well, suppose it's the middle of the day, and this target audience isn't in "mom" mode while on her smartphone, because she's also a business professional, and that's the hat and mindset she has on while using her phone. Suppose also her interest in décor sites is an evening relaxation thing she likes to do at home on her 21-inch monitor. In other words, while not captured by our initially described target, this ideal consumer is still available to be reached throughout the day, as she uses her phone while standing in line to pay for coffee, checks news, stock tickers, and sports scores, and admittedly takes in an occasional gossip story, or plays a game, for that needed five-minute mental break.
Your target audience descriptions, no matter how well culled, or even accurate, when not aligned with thecurrent channel, can result in two things: one, you may be in front of your target prospect, but you have the wrong message for their current mindset, or two, you never get in front of them because you're looking for them in the wrong places at the wrong time.
So, rather than regarding this discovery curve as unfortunate, as you might be inclined to do, when you realize your former descriptions are inadequate - you might realize the power of this level of discovery. The key is to work ahead with your team to develop meaningful audience models that incorporate an understanding of mobile behaviors, and allow for constant learning and adaptation of those models.

Curveball #2: Knowing the Person Receiving Your Message Matches the Description of the Inventory as Sold.

The opt-in world aside, it has always been, and will continue to be, a challenge to know the actual human being receiving your digital message is the person you're hoping to reach. Desktop digital can fairly effectively get to an understanding of the household, but still must solve who in the family or group of users is engaging, or must overcome a significant data gap when otherwise relied on cookies are turned off. Mobile on the other hand is almost completely 1:1 (people don't often share phones), and thus the curveball is that it's easy for the mobile audience to not act or look like you expect. And certainly, the audience won't act like users in a desktop environment. The marketer's pending benefit in this very personal and 1:1 channel, is the opportunity to make individual engagement decisions, assuming you have the ability to truly know who is on the other end of the smartphone screen. This can be achieved in a couple ways.
For one, we rely on real-time behavior as one way to effectively target in a new channel, without leveraging lots of previous data. We use technology that can learn in the moment. New technology systems allow the machine to learn who is doing what and what they are not doing. This data of the moment is incredibly powerful when factored into your models.
In addition, marketers would be wise to find a partner who has the precision and ability to capture and compile individual mobile insights at a device-by-device level, and also has the knowhow to apply those insights in an effective but privacy sensitive manner. A number of smart companies are building both cookie-based and cookie-less recognition systems to solve this problem while keeping both the buyers and sellers in mind.
And the best way to nip the curveball of surprise audience behavior is of course to do both of these things: keep a beat on mobile moments and partner well to zoom in on privacy compliant device-by-device analysis.

Curveball #3: Not Knowing If the Person Who Matches (and, in Fact, Proves to Be) Your Target Customer, Is Also Mobile Ad Responsive.

The background insights you need, in order to understand how to define, and in turn distinguish, your target audience, are the same insights you need to gauge responsiveness. You have to know who is in the mobile population, who is getting your message and not responding, and who is getting your messaging, and in turn engaging in meaningful and attributable ways. Get caught without this understanding, and you've just been whacked by curveball number three.
Direct marketers excelled at this idea of understanding message responsiveness. They knew that it wasn't enough to know if they were reaching their right target; they also needed to reach a responsive subset. Of course, they also had the advantage of easy access to name, address, and phone files. They also were able to easily track the subset they sent a direct message to through one of these direct channels, and once the consumer took action or not, they could thoroughly analyze the responders and non-responders - and then used this predictable and distinguishing information to define who they marketed to the next time.
Email marketers picked up where offline direct marketers left off, employing the same type of predictive response analysis for determining when, who, and how often to deliver an email communication. Of course, with email, exists the luxury of receiving response information in real-time versus in weeks.
Mobile marketers can and should be doing the same, especially in so much as this channel offers for the first time, the reality of individual 1:1 recognition, personalized messaging, and real-time response. Further, because it's more personal than desktop, and more disruptive than email, it can't and shouldn't stop with simple observations and predictions based on clicking ads. Mobile marketers should employ precise identifications of who is on the other end of the mobile device, what distinguishes them uniquely, what is relevant to them at the time, and what kinds of messages they'll appreciate receiving when. After all, we're boldly throwing our unsolicited message out there on their tiny personal screen and kindly ask for their time. The experience is better for all parties when this is done with insight and skill.
Of course in any given ballgame, there are more than three curveballs. But, you get the idea. As we improve and master our skill level, it's important to recognize a few areas where we might get caught by surprise or unprepared. But as data and technology systems evolve and allow for smarter preparation, we can work ahead of those surprises, and treat them as opportunities to learn and adapt.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Despite Time Spent, Mobile Sites Grab More Moola than Apps

E-Commerce forced upon you
eMarketer projects 19.0% of US retail ecommerce sales will stem from mobile devices this year. By 2016, the share will rise to 25.0%. Traditional retailers, ecommerce players and mobile-only businesses are all vying for the money consumers are increasingly spending through their smartphones and tablets, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mobile Commerce Deep Dive: The Products, Channels and Tactics Fueling Growth.” 

Apps may be where mobile users spend most of their time—86.0% of US smartphone internet time was spent in apps in 2013, according to Flurry’s analysis of data from comScore and Net Marketshare—but when it comes to spending money, mobile websites are where consumers funnel their funds. For example, 55% of the adult shoppers polled in a December 2013 survey conducted by Baynote and the e-tailing group said they used their smartphone to make a holiday purchase directly on a website, up from 43% who said they did so during the 2012 holiday shopping season. Comparatively, only one-third (34%) sealed the deal using a retailer-branded app on their smartphone or tablet in 2013. 


How to Optimize Your Content Strategy With Social Listening

Social media has grown drastically in the past decade. With several successful social networks, accompanied by the continuously broadening user base, the data and insights available through social listening can drastically help improve your marketing efforts.
If you aren't familiar with social listening, sometimes called social media monitoring, it is the practice of collecting tweets, Facebook shares, blog posts and much more, sorting through the data, and finding key insights and trends related to your product, service or industry.
Companies engaging in social media often leverage tools such as Sysomos, Radian 6, Hootsuite and others to "listen" and utilize this data to help inform their social strategy.
But social listening can actually do much more than inform your social strategy. It can help you find new keywords to target via paid search, find new networks or websites to run display ads on, and it can also help you optimize your content strategy.

Optimizing Your Content Strategy Through Social Listening

Having rich, unique, engaging content has become a solid way to help grow your business and audience. How that content is used is dictated by your business model, but the fact is, content plays a role in getting users to your website and getting them to come back for more.
One area where agencies and companies struggle is determining what content should create and provide to their audience. That's where social listening comes in.
Each day, millions and millions of tweets, status updates, Tumblr posts, and any other forms of social postings touch on a wide array of topics. Chances are, they are talking about your product, service, or industry. By understanding what is being said, you can help craft your content strategy.
For example, let's take a look at an industry such as yoga equipment. Through the social listening tool Sysomos, we can see that the term ‘yoga' was mentioned over 12.5 million times in the first half of the year across the most popular social networks.
Yoga Total Mentions
We also can see that a significant portion of the conversation is happening on Twitter. So let's dive deeper into that specific channel.
When using social listening tools, you can dive all the way down to specific blog post, forum post or even a tweet or status update. You also can look at trending information to understand what types of conversations occur most frequently.
Yoga Social Listening
In the case of yoga, various other terms are mentioned frequently alongside the term yoga. Due to the very broad nature of yoga, many people on Twitter are talking about products, working out, fitness and even some things that may not be related to your business. The great thing with social listening tools is you can constantly update your query. If you feel some of terms shown aren't relevant to your business, you can update your query to not include those terms.
This is the just the tip of the iceberg. Through social listening, you can understand who your most influential tweeters are related to your product or service. From there you can review the content they share, what questions they ask, and help inform what content you should have on your site.

Making Recommendations from Social Insights

Continuing with the yoga theme, if your business happens to sell yoga equipment, you can easily see there are significant conversations occurring around what type of equipment to buy. People new to yoga as well as aficionados both use social media to gather information prior to purchasing new mats and other gear.
While you could jump on your blog and create the next Top 10 Yoga Poses to Lose Weight post, your time may be better used creating something your audience is asking for.
By creating reviews and comparison shopping information related to your products, you answer their needs. Strengthening your product descriptions and providing insights on how specific gear matches up with body weight/size could help sway those users to making the purchase through your site.
You also can get an understanding of what format your audience wants content in. Instagram and other photo/video based social networks contain a significant amount of conversations related to yoga.
Search for #yoga on Instagram and you'll be bombarded with more than 5 million unique posts from this year. With many users sharing pictures of yoga poses with pristine backdrops, a company selling yoga products could potentially follow suit, and feature their products within the photos and videos they share.

Summary

This type of thinking is applicable to almost all businesses. If you understand what your customers are saying, what they need, and how they want to get it, you can craft the right content that meets their needs.
Unfortunately, just publishing great content isn't enough. You must also leverage social listening, content marketing, and SEO to ensure your audience reaches your content. But having an understanding of your audience and what they need is the first step.
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The era of data-driven marketing [Infographic]

Analytics produces insights which drive business improvements, though more companies need to provide the staff and resources to make the most of this technology. 
Our Measurement and Analytics report, produced in association with Lynchpin, found that there is an analytics skills gap which is holding back implementation. 
Skills shortages are most apparent in the use of digital analytics tools, statistical modelling and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). 
This infographic summarises some of the findings from the report...
(Click image for a larger version)

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Worldwide Ecommerce Sales to Increase Nearly 20% in 2014

E-Commerce forced upon you
Business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales worldwide will reach $1.471 trillion in 2014, according to new figures from eMarketer, increasing nearly 20% over 2013. As internet usage continues to mature across the world, ecommerce growth will slow over time, settling around 10% by the end of our forecast period. However, with sales reaching $2.356 trillion in 2018, a 10% growth rate still represents more than $200 billion new dollars that year. 

eMarketer’s definition for B2C ecommerce sales includes all products and services ordered or booked via the internet on any device, including leisure and unmanaged business travel. 

Connecting the Dots to Deliver Context

Data drives experience in today's marketing machine, with data and automation forming the perfect union to deliver the right message to the right place at the right time - with the end goal of driving specific consumer actions.
A first step to connecting the data dots is to assess available data based on actions across channels. Below are useful and commonly available customer interaction data types listed by channel:
  • Email: Opens and clicks on content such as articles, offers, products, surveys/poll, social links, preference centers, and more.
  • Social: Clicks to social links, sharing links, social login, social content, and social data.
  • Mobile: Mobile email and site engagement data such as email opens, device type, mobile app downloads, alert actions, mobile account access, mobile purchases, text to join email, and more.
  • Display Retargeting: Response to incremental display touch points driven by site browsing, email response dormancy, and more.
  • Web Commerce: Visits, time on site, browsed products, carted products, wish lists, and favorite products.
  • Click-to-Call or Chat: Clicks to get additional assistance are key behavioral triggers.
  • Real World Dots: Email sign-ups in-store or at an event, catalog or direct mail response, and purchases are all valuable data dots.
Understanding how channels work together to drive consumer experience and actions is key. By combining customer interaction data from brick-and-mortar, events, Web commerce, email, social, mobile, display, phone, and even direct mail catalogs, marketers are able to paint a more accurate picture of individual customer behaviors and preferences. As automation puts the data into campaign action, the goal is to create a one-click contextual ripple effect, where insights gained from previous interactions inform subsequent messaging to more effectively drive future customer engagement.
As marketers, you've earned those click actions, so put them to good use to fuel your automated email and cross-channel experiences. Then, once you have a clear strategy of how to put your data into action, test your theories and, as Steve Jobs said, start to "trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."

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