Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Biggest Opportunity For CPG Brands On Mobile: A Killer Loyalty Program

Mobile is the new first screen. On average, people check their phones 150 times per day. More than one-third of consumers are“mobile-only.” 
With stats like this coming out daily, we (should all) get it. Mobile plays an undeniably critical role in the customer journey, and brands without an engaging mobile strategy will continue to lose loyalty and revenue. But for CPG brands, mobile presents a harder challenge than most other consumer-facing industries. Retailers like Target are providing fun and engaging experiences to make the in-store experience thrilling — everything from in-door mapping to disseminating offers as a person moves about the store. Sports and entertainment arenas are using beacons to help people find their seats or nearby food or restrooms. Hotels are letting people unlock their rooms with smartphones. 
Mobile innovation is all around us, except, that is, for most CPG brands. Apps draw the most engagement, but the go-to app for many CPGs thus far — a straight coupon distribution channel — fails. Without selling direct-to-consumer (online or physical), coming up with a creative enough utility app that people will use and talk about, like the Zyrtec AllergyCast Appis challenging. 
The biggest opportunity for CPG brands on mobile lies with loyalty programs. Loyalty programs lend themselves perfectly to mobile because they focus on building customer relationships, and, with mobile’s ability to be real-time and context-aware, participation, engagement, and advocacy in loyalty programs will soar. Marketers can’t simply bring an existing loyalty program to mobile; a winning mobile loyalty program will follow the below rules: 
  • Be Simple: Like us on Facebook. Check in at a partner retailer. Share this fun content. Watch a video. Take a picture of the proof-of-purchase. Mobile is about simplifying tasks, so whatever it is you’re asking your customer to do in exchange for rewards needs to be completed in a single step, swipe, or tab. 
  • Have Creative CTAs: Consider how you can leverage the uniqueness of emerging channels to engage with your customers. A healthy snack, for instance, can reward people on steps tracked on a fitness-tracking bracelet. A sports drink could reward people when they check into a gym or stadium. Identify the scenarios in your customers’ lives where you can organically participate, and the brand will be top-of-mind throughout daily activities. 
  • Be Context-Aware: Because mobile allows you to have an understanding of what is happening around a person, marketers have the opportunity to contextualize the experience by setting rules of engagement. Do you serve a different video when it’s raining versus sunny? Something as simple as tailoring the message to the time of day or complex as upping the offer value when the market takes a tumble will resonate more with the individual — driving conversions, engagement, and social conversations. 
  • Provide a Frictionless Experience: Connect to the mobile wallet for seamless redemption of offers and points management. If an offer is about to expire or the deadline is approaching to redeem points for a reward, remind your users via push alerts. Similarly, if an offer is redeemable at a specific retailer, draw geo-fences around locations to target people as they come close, luring them inside to redeem the offer today. 
  • Leverage the Coveted Place in the Mobile Wallet: Once a person has a loyalty card or offer saved in their Passbook, iBeacons can interact with the phone providing opportunity for engagement in the physical world. Partner with retailers that have beacon technology in their stores to remind people of offers in their Passbook or to disseminate product information or other specials as they move throughout the store. 
As more CPGs explore ways to build and strengthen customer relationships on mobile, loyalty programs will be one of the primary strategies pursued. To break through the noise, CPG brands must be able to automate contextually aware programs by setting up rules of engagement that dictate how a person should be treated in a specific situation.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What Brands Did on YouTube, Facebook & Twitter in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Facebook organic reach may have tanked, but that didn't stop brands from doing awesome things on social media.
Here's an infographic timeline, created by Unmetric, that highlights the most shared advertising campaigns, tweets and videos.
Laugh, cry and cringe at the best Facebook, Twitter and YouTube highlights of 2014: how many can you remember?

Awesome Things Brands Did On YouTube, Facebook and Twitter In 2014 - #infographic
H/T [Adweek]

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Paid Media Strategy Review Tips

These tips can help you review and ready your paid media strategy for the new year. Are you prepared?
As the new year approaches, it's a great time to review your paid media strategy, even it is not in a formal plan. Here is a checklist to get you started and hopefully save you a little time as well.

Goals

A first priority is to review paid media goals. Oftentimes advertisers are too focused on the pursuit of revenue from paid media that they forget that occurs at the bottom of the funnel where potential customers are ready to buy. There are several top- and mid-funnel goals that should be considered:
  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Content promotion
  • Market share growth
If one of these goals is appropriate, make a timeline to create and launch campaigns for these. It’s important to remember to set up conversion tracking, whether it is tracking code from the platform or tagging links so that you can view results in your website analytics programs.

Trends

It may also be helpful to review trends and determine if it makes sense to incorporate into the current plan. For example, in my post "Marketing Trends to Watch and Apply to PPC," I write about reviews in AdWords ads. PPC advertisers can use review extensions to surface positive reviews. The review extensions attach a review line to the ad. If you have a review or award from a third-party publication or organization, this is good way to call it out. Reviews are not only for AdWords or consumer companies - any type of company or product would benefit from incorporating reviews or testimonials into paid media. This is only one example of considering how trends impact and can enhance your online marketing program.
review-extensions

Paid Media Channels

It's important to review a selection of ad platforms on a regular basis to ensure you are reaching online audiences. Determine if one of these platforms can be added to the paid media mix.
  • AdWords
  • Bing Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Mobile and App Ads
  • Twitter
  • AdRoll
  • Amazon Sponsored Links

Current Campaigns

Check your current campaigns to ensure they are all updated with the most recent features. AdWords and Bing Ads have some very interesting new features out that are important to consider when optimizing campaigns. Phone call conversions, mobile, and device targeting will be areas where features will continue to grow in 2015 and it’s better to start now. Likewise Twitter has created a Website Cards ad unit that is intended to drive website clicks or conversions from the social platform.
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Friday, December 26, 2014

The Year in Stats - SEO, Content, and Data Analytics

Create quality content, optimize for search engines, track in analytics, repeat. Sound familiar? We know that each of these activities is crucial for organic search success, and it’s well documented. So if you’re planning SEO in 2015, take this big list of stats and research to your team and show them it’s time to get serious about these key marketing activities.

Organic Search Statistics 2014

No doubt that the organic search channel has proved its place in marketing over the past few years, and data points from 2014 show it:
  • According to BrightEdge data, organic search was the largest driver of traffic to websites across sectors studied, and the largest driver of revenue – even over paid search – in most sectors studied.
  • Thirty percent (30) of traffic to insurance sites in June 2014 came from search, according to a study by Millward Brown Digital.
  • According to an experiment conducted by the Groupon marketing team, up to 60 percent of direct traffic is actually organic search traffic.
  • Mobile implementation errors cost websites 68 percent of organic search traffic, according to BrightEdge data.
  • Search engine marketing, including SEO, is the most effective acquisition channel for 85 percent of retailers, says Shop.org.
  • Search is the starting point for 60 percent of travelers, according to data from Kenshoo.
  • According to BloomReach, 49 percent of U.K. consumers use organic search to find retailers.

Content Statistics 2014

Fueling organic search success is content, and it has its own set of unique opportunities and challenges. From the Content Marketing Institute’s most recent research on content for the B2B and B2C sectors, we find the following stats …

B2B Content Stats

  • Eighty-three (83) percent of B2B marketers use content for lead generation.
  • Website traffic is the key metric for tracking content success, according to 63 percent of B2B marketers, while 39 percent say SEO rankings is.
  • Eighty-one (81) percent of B2B marketers say articles on their websites are a most-used tactic; 80 percent say blogs are, and of those that use blogs, 60 percent say it’s the most effective.
  • Publishing new content multiple times per week was the norm for 26 percent of B2B marketers; the next largest data set was "weekly," at 17 percent.

B2C Content Stats

  • Seventy-seven (77) percent of B2Cs use content marketing.
  • Engagement was the primary goal for content for 88 percent of B2Cs.
  • Sixty-two (62) percent of B2Cs say website traffic is a key metric for content success.
  • Blogs were the most effective platform for content, according to 54 percent of B2C respondents.
  • Thirty-one (31) percent of B2Cs publish new content multiple times per week.
Earlier this year Kapost published a list of more than 200 statistics that prove content marketing is here to stay. The statistics included could be great for use in your 2015 presentations and meetings.
LookBook HQ, Oracle Eloqua produced also produced a useful infographic on how digital marketers are building out content strategies.

Analytics Technology Statistics 2014

"Big data" can be a big problem with the wrong technology or lack of technology, and many marketers are still working to find the best solutions to help them process data in a meaningful way. Despite best efforts, many C-level marketers still struggle in that area.
According to 2014 data from CMOSurvey.org:
  • Forty-four (44) percent of CMOs say they lack quantitative metrics to demonstrate the impact of marketing spend.
  • Approximately 20 percent of CMOs use the manager’s "judgment" to measure marketing ROI.
  • Sixty-seven (67) percent of companies do not formally evaluate the quality of their marketing analytics.
  • Despite all the previous stats, spend on marketing analytics is set to increase by 73 percent in three years.
Research data gives us a great benchmark for what other companies are dealing with, and really, shows that many of us share the same challenges and wins. If you’re struggling to gain support in a key area in 2015, or just want to show off in your next meeting, perhaps use couple of the powerful stats in this list.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mobile Ad Spend in Mature APAC Markets to Grow by Double Digits in 2015

Japan and South Korea are both mature advertising markets, where total paid media spending is expected to grow slowly throughout eMarketer’s forecast period. In Japan, single-digit growth also extends to digital ad spending—though in both countries, mobile internet ad spending is expected to increase at much faster rates in coming years.


This year, eMarketer estimates, digital ad spending in Japan constitutes 22.7% of all paid media spending in the country; by 2018, that figure will reach nearly 27%. Even as digital ad spending growth slows to 4.5% that year, it remains faster than total media ad spending, which is expected to remain all but flat. Mobile internet ads already account for 28.6% of digital spending in Japan, but their share is expected to rise significantly, to 59.6% by 2018. That year, 16.0% of all paid media spending in Japan will occur via the mobile internet, including search and display formats served to mobile phones and tablets. 

Mobile will play an even larger role in the South Korean advertising landscape. Mobile internet ad spending in South Korea has more than doubled two years running and is just shy of $1 billion this year. 

Though growth will slow to 18.0% by 2018, that will still give the mobile internet a 73.2% share of all digital ad spending and 26.4% of all paid media ad spending in the country. Digital ad spending overall is expected to grow more quickly in South Korea than in Japan in coming years, maintaining double-digit growth rates through at least 2018. 

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPS IN 2015: 6 EXPERT PREDICTIONS

Talking to those in the know, CBR gives you the top 6 enterprise mobile app predictions for 2015.
Throughout 2014 we have seen growing adoption of mobile apps in the enterprise. As organisations embrace mobility, what will 2015 bring to enterprise mobile applications?
Talking to those in the know, CBR gives you the top 6 enterprise mobile app predictions for 2015.

1. Software development will be brought in-house

Chris Mills CTO, EMEA at Pivotal predicts: "Historically, enterprises outsourced their software development to places like India, with highly skilled and cost effective workers willing to take on their projects. In response to changing market conditions however, corporations are increasingly bringing software back in-house to create applications that actually respond to their customers' needs."
"Enterprise computing has transformed dramatically over the last 30 years -- from the mainframe to the client-server model and now to the cloud. Much of the disruption has come from agile start-ups who have leveraged cheap infrastructure, storage, networking and open source technology to run their businesses with software at the core."
"Organisations that don't learn how to manage custom app development - like Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix do - will lose out.

2. The rise of the app store

Mark Bishof, CEO at Flexera Software commented: "As organisations accelerate their adoption of enterprise app stores, the utility of these self-service stores will expand beyond that of simply providing employee access to company apps."
"IT will discover that app stores are an ideal environment to consolidate disparate and separately managed systems, such as mobile and desktop application management."
"App stores will also be used to enable proactive license management by tying application requests into existing Software License Optimisation processes, and enabling employees to partner with IT in managing application usage, reclaiming unused applications, and minimising waste."

3. Enterprises will embrace native applications

Yorgen Edholm, CEO of Accellion told CBR: "There will be more emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user this year, which I think will be the year of the enterprise mobile applications."
"The IBM/Apple partnership and HP's push into the mobility market illustrate just how large this market has the potential to be. So far, the apps created for enterprise use have been a mobile skin on existing desktop solutions. In 2015 enterprises will be looking to develop new, native applications that take true advantage of the mobile device form factor and unique mobile features to create streamlined business processes."

4. Shift towards a more collaborative approach

"Enterprise mobile app development will move towards a more collaborative approach." Cathal McGloin, vice president of Mobile Platforms at Red Hat, told CBR.
"This is partly in response to the increased number and complexity of mobile app projects that will need to be managed by businesses, but is also a reflection of the iterative nature of mobile app development and the need to speed it up and make it more cost-effective."
"A typical mobile app project can involve several different developer skills (from UI/UX front-end coding to back-end services development, analytics, administration, DevOps and more). The adoption of more component-based approaches to app development will create the need to provide more granular access control: locking-down functionality and securing sensitive components."

5. Focus will be on supporting infrastructures and architectures

Red Hat's Cathal McGloin said: "As organisations mature beyond point solutions, the focus will shift to the underlying architectures that support agility and continuity of mobile projects."
"In addition to increasing adoption of open, cloud-based mobile application platforms, we predict that this maturation will create opportunities for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) vendors to offer a broad set of enterprise services. PaaS and mobile as traditional middleware could be offered as a true application platform "as-a-Service" that can run across the public cloud, private cloud and the on-premise data centre."

6. Vulnerable apps riskier than vulnerable operating systems

Kevin Mahaffey, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Lookout, told CBR: "As of January 2014, mobile apps (not mobile browsers) replaced desktop web browsers as the primary way people use the Internet. Mobile operating systems have been getting more secure over the past several years; however the attack surface due to mobile apps has increased."
"As developers seek to churn out apps faster than their competitors, security and privacy are often an afterthought. Apps can contain vulnerabilities that put both their data at risk as well as open a hole for a network-based attacker to run arbitrary code on a device."
"For example, with a recent vulnerability (unsafe usage of addJavascriptInterface on Android), Lookout measured over 90,000 apps that were likely vulnerable. This is an impossible patch logistics problem. Operating system patch cycles are still a problem, but the numbers are relatively tractable relative to the huge numbers of mobile apps."

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Report shows super-spenders are more reliant on organic search

internet search
How do you typically find online information or websites you’ve recently visited?

Forrester asked 4,600 US adults this question and we would say “the answers might surprise you” but that would be cliche. Let’s just take a look at what happened and see what we can do with the results.
Organic search landed in the number one spot (no surprise) but the second, third and fourth options weren’t that far behind.
Search only got 36% of the vote. I expected it to be closer to the 50% mark. Want to guess what came in second?

Monday, December 22, 2014

PPC Marketers Prepare: "All of the Things" Are Coming

What can PPC marketers expect in the coming year? To put it bluntly, they should prepare themselves to be ready for "all of the things."
As we close out December and the holiday e-commerce hail storm that is the lifestyle of the PPC practitioner (yeah, you planned; but face it, there were some hairy moments), it’s time to start thinking about what 2015 could bring. Read: what features will get thrown at us (or taken away) now; or at least, that may be your feeling. But after participating in several PPC prediction round-up posts, a PPCChat discussion, and staring at the wall in my office, I bring to you what it’s really going to come down to next year, and not just in 2015 but beyond, and its "all of the things."

63 Percent of Global Digital Ad Spend Will Go to Mobile by 2018

eMarketer predicts that next year, advertisers will spend $64.3 billion on mobile advertising, up 60 percent from 2014. And by 2018, mobile ad spend will reach $159 billion, or 63 percent of global digital ad spend.
emarketer2015
As 2014 winds to a close, everyone is looking forward to 2015, but eMarketer is jumping ahead a bit further with its new worldwide ad spend tool and predicting that from 2014 through 2018, digital ad spend will see a strong growth, primarily driven by mobile.
The interactive tool enables users to view ad spend across 22 countries. Users can select and filter shares by year (throughout the forecast period), by market, and by category (total media ad spending, digital ad spending, and mobile ad spending). It estimates that global digital ad spend will reach $171 billion in 2015, up 17 percent compared to 2014.
Digital will further represent more than 30 percent of total media ad spend in 2016 and forward.
Meanwhile, eMarketer predicts that mobile advertising will be a key growth driver worldwide through 2018. In 2015, advertisers will spend $64.3 billion on mobile, up 60 percent from 2014. Looking forward, mobile will reach $159 billion in 2018, representing a whopping 63 percent of total digital ad spend.
A look at different markets shows that the U.S. has a critical presence in digital media, especially in mobile, followed by China and the U.K. In 2015, mobile ad spend in the U.S. will increase by 50 percent from a year prior and reach $28.2 billion, representing 44 percent of global mobile ad spend.
China and the U.K. will also invest heavily in mobile, according to the prediction tool. Next year, both markets will account for 19 percent and 7 percent of the global mobile ad spend, respectively.
By 2018, the U.S., China and the U.K. combined will account for 66 percent of worldwide mobile ad spend.
In comparison, Japan and Germany rank fourth and fifth, respectively, for digital and mobile ad spend throughout the forecast period.
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Can Marketers Overcome Cross-Device Targeting Barriers?

Cross-device targeting is still in its early days, even as growing numbers of advertisers, publishers and ad platforms participate in the practice. Today, there’s no shortage of people promising cross-device targeting solutions, but the incompatibility of those solutions across publishers, platforms and devices can leave advertisers frustrated and their efforts fragmented, according to a new eMarketer report, “Cross-Device Targeting: Success Hinges on Device Identification Methods.” 
For years, the cookie served as the universal online advertising identifier, enabling buyers, sellers and third-party go-betweens to effectively recognize and reach individuals. But today, as non-web-based digital activities on mobile phones and apps, connected TVs, wearables, connected cars and other IP-enabled devices continue to compose an increasing portion of consumers’ digital media footprints, the cookie’s utility is waning. Yet the need for a universal identifier has never been greater.
Marketers’ interest in cross-device ad targeting is clear. In a January 2014 survey of US agency media professionals conducted by research firm Bovitz on behalf of digital marketing personalization firm Conversant, the greatest number of respondents (70%) cited cross-device advertising as the digital advertising topic they wanted to know more about.
An April 2014 survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by demand-side platform (DSP) Simpli.fi, found 53% of US advertising and publishing decision-makers were already selling full cross-platform integrated programs. Significant numbers of respondents also said they sold cross-device advertising capabilities between pairs of screens, such as phones and tablets or desktop and video.
Inarguably, the biggest shift that both buyers and sellers must first undergo before making cross-device targeting a reality is to move from sole reliance on the cookie to some other identification tag capable of recognizing an individual across all digital screens, operating systems and browsers. In the absence of such technology, cross-device ad targeting just won’t work.
But accessing and applying that technology at scale can prove challenging, further complicating advertisers’ ability to track and target audiences across screens. In a Q2 2014 survey of US agency professionals conducted by digital display ad platform Jivox, more than half of respondents (54%) cited audience tracking and targeting as the biggest impediments to multiscreen advertising.
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

What's Mobile's Role in the Omnichannel Experience?

Consumers don’t think about online or offline—they’re shopping. Most retailers, on the other hand, are still having trouble providing a unified shopping experience. Omnichannel marketing as a term may be trendy, but there’s nothing ephemeral about the idea that customers prefer a seamless, cross-channel shopping experience, according to a new eMarketer report, “Omnichannel Trends 2015: Mobile Is the New Retail Hub.”

While the vast majority of retail purchases still take place in stores, the purchase decision process increasingly flows through smartphones. There are a few exceptions: Most groceries and packaged goods aren’t reconsidered each time. But for considered purchases, people are researching online before and during their time in a store.
Mobile is the catalyst for sales captured elsewhere. eMarketer estimates that there were 145.9 million mobile shoppers in the US this year, up 23 million from 2013. Only about half of smartphone shoppers, however, will buy anything on their phones. In 2015, we expect mobile to account for only 1.6% of total US retail sales.
A Placecast survey conducted by Harris Poll in October 2014 confirmed the multifaceted role of smartphones in shopping. Only 14% of US smartphone owners said they planned to make a purchase on such devices this holiday season. Far more consumers intended to use their phones to find a local retailer (39%), get social feedback on a potential gift (38%) or find a coupon in-store (33%).
Even so, most mobile research leads to a purchase, just not on the smartphone. In a March 2014 survey conducted by Nielsen for xAd and Telmetrics, between 70% and 80% of US smartphone or tablet users said they had completed or would soon complete a purchase related to their smartphone search. The study also found that more than 40% of consumers considered a smartphone or tablet their most important media resource for a purchase decision.
In-store mobile use is prevalent across age groups. comScore reported that in April 2014, 35% of US internet users showroomed, including nearly half of millennials and even 28% of seniors 65 and older. In a more recent Q3 2014 comScore survey, 44% of smartphone owners said they participated in showrooming.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Buy Buttons to Soar in Asia in 2015

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram began trialing Buy buttons in the U.S. this year, but the real promise could be in Asia.
"Buy" buttons are set to take off in Asia in 2015, as e-commerce becomes increasingly popular in the region, industry experts say. 
shutterstock-234409663-buy-buttons


The call-to-action functionality lets users make purchases from online platforms without leaving the site, giving them the option to store their payment information for future checkouts and giving marketers increased access to consumer data. 

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram unveiled Buy button trial services in the U.S. earlier this year and rumors that search giant Google will be introducing its own Buy button were revealed just earlier today. But burgeoning e-commerce sales coupled with high smartphone penetration rates across Asia mean the real potential could lie in this region, experts believe. 

"The Click will be replaced with the Buy," says Paul Srivorakul, regional chief executive (CEO) for aCommerce – a Bangkok-based e-commerce business. "All the major platforms are moving to it, including Apple Pay, Google Wallet, eBay with PayPal, and Alibaba with Alipay." 

Asia already boasts some of the world's highest social media penetration rates, and is tipped to surpass North America as global leader in e-commerce sales next year, according to eMarketer

China in particular will make up more than half of the region's e-commerce sales this year, and 70 percent by 2018. 

"Asia is a lot more e-commerce-focused than other parts of the world and Buy buttons will bode well here, especially markets like China – where they will buy anything at all and the platforms are enabled already to facilitate buying," says Andy Radovic, regional director for digital (APAC) at Maxus.

Radovic advises brands already in e-commerce to also get on platforms offering Buy buttons, as they eliminate some steps in the purchase journey. 

Companies who are moving in this direction include Korean instant messaging app Line. The firm boasts more than 560 million global users, with concentrated markets in Korea, Japan, and parts of Southeast Asia including Thailand, and recently announced plans for its new payment service, Line Pay. This comes shortly after China's WeChat launched its WeChat Pay in March. 

"I think people in this region are already ahead of the curve," Radovic says. "Twitter has almost come in a little late." 

Mobile devices are expected to further accelerate Buy button use across Asia, by allowing users access to the technology on the go. 

In China alone, mobile payments for the first 10 months of the year accounted for 54 percent of all transactions conducted over Alipay, according to the company's annual spending report.  

"Mobile is making purchasing even faster," says Srivorakul. "You see an advertisement, and you are now 30 seconds away from a purchase. You now have a cash register and a research tool in the palm of your hand with mobile." 

"The Buy button revolution will be led by Facebook as it continues to experiment with its e-commerce offerings, but once they open it up, every company will be asking which other platforms they can be on." 

Ohad Hecht, the chief operating officer for digital marketing agency Emarsys, believes Buy buttons will be particularly popular in China, where the market is controlled by e-commerce giant Alibaba with its Taobao and Tmall platforms. 

"There is an ability to influence the market quite quickly. If Twitter and Amazon do it, China will do it as well," he says. 

Hecht predicts that after China, Buy button use in Asia will be followed by Korea and Japan. New Zealand and Australia, with existing strong e-commerce infrastructure in place, will also join this group of early adopters. India will catch up in the second half of 2015, alongside other countries in Southeast Asia. 

The challenges for brands in Asia will be around infrastructure and ensuring the entire e-commerce ecosystem is in place from customer service to deliveries, Hecht says, adding that privacy could be the make or break with consumers. 

"We will see a reality of Buy buttons, but at the same time, companies will be able to gather more data. The technology will be there but not all buyers will like it." 

As Buy buttons become more popular, brands will also need to consider their points of differentiation. 

"It's going to be more competitive to get people to click on that Buy button. The challenge will be the ability to stand out and this will be around the message, the creative, the timeliness, the brand's reputation, and the content," says Radovic. 

"For any platform to be successful in this region, there needs to be an instant ability for e-commerce. I feel we are already here, already buying, and any platform that wants to be successful in Asia must have a Buy button."

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Extra Mile: Customer Service and the Sharing Economy

customersWith the growth of the sharing economy, brands must be ready to respond to customers' grievances and issues in a timely manner, or face losing valuable market share.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Internet advertising to grow 15 percent, with display taking the lead

A new forecast from ZenithOptimedia tells us that global ad spend is likely to top $545 billion dollars in 2015. That may sound like a reason to celebrate but it’s actually a slight step down in growth compared to 2014. (4.9% in 2015 vs 5.1% in 2014)
ZenithOptimedia Growth Adspend 2014
Part of the reason for the decrease in the increase is the lack of large, global events in 2015. In 2014, advertisers took advantage of the huge audience that tuned in to follow the Winter Olympics and the World Cup but 2015 is going to be a quiet year. That’s good, we need the time to rest up because 2016 is going to be a wild one with the Summer Olympics, the UEFA European Football Championship and the US Presidential elections. Wow. The news media is going to have to hire a lot of extra help.
Display drives internet advertising
Internet is the fastest growing medium in advertising with 16.9% growth in 2014 and a forecast of 15% growth for the next two years.
Ten years ago, Internet was only 4% of global spend, now it’s 24%. Where’s all the extra coming from? Magazine and Newspaper ad budgets. These are the only two types of ads that are on the decline. Even radio showed a small increase but it’s nothing compared to the powerhouse that is online advertising.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tablet users visit a site 5 times before buying and other mobile commerce facts


This intriguing missive came to me from a company called Content Square. They’re a French start-up whose raison d’ĂȘtre is optimizing digital platforms to increase conversion rates. A noble cause.
Their first infographic is called the “E-Commerce Tablet Barometer“. The English translation is a little wonky, but the data is interesting and so I thought it was worth sharing.
The main point of the piece is that tablets aren’t exactly the “one-click” wonders we expect them to be. Few, if any customers sit down with a tablet, go right to the product they want and buy it with a single tap. I can hear you rolling your eyes and sighing. . . ‘well, of course not’ but there are mobile apps that let you can buy just that easily – Amazon, eBay, any site that takes Apple Pay. . .
Here’s what customers do before they hit the “buy” button:
  • They visit a site 5 times before making the decision to buy
  • They spend an average of 18 minutes poking around on the site
  • During an average session, a buyer will click 70 times on a website, looking at different items, checking out options, viewing images, etc.
Content Square Prepurchase
That’s a lot of information consumption.
But here’s the thing; how we consume data on a tablet isn’t the same as how we consume data on a desktop.
Content Square tablets
The average website “fold” lands at 775 pixels. Granted, going below the fold isn’t the issue it used to be. We have bigger screens than we did a few years ago. Also, blogs and continuous scrolling websites have slowly trained people to go below.
However, no one is going to bother scrolling if you don’t catch their eye with the top 775 pixels.
When we move to the tablet, it’s a different story. If your site has been optimized for mobile, it probably shows up best in portrait mode. Now, 3357 pixels are on screen at a glance. That’s more opportunities to catch the consumer’s eye. And because we like putting our hands on things, people are more likely to scroll down on mobile than on a desktop.
If you’re not optimized, the consumer will likely see a version of your website that doesn’t fit on the screen and that won’t hold their attention very long.

2015: The Year Online Marketing Changes Just as Much as Every Other Year

The world of digital marketing is in a constant state of flux, so what will this next year bring for those of us in the industry?
2014 is drawing to a close, so naturally everyone is looking ahead to 2015. As our chief marketing officer (CMO) at Marketo frequently reminds us, "Marketing has changed more in the past five years than the past 500." What monumental changes can we expect next year? What new skills will we need to learn to keep up? Will we become outdated and obsolete? If you work in online marketing, then you have never known a world without big changes from year to year. Next year will be no different.
So gather 'round online marketers and I’ll tell you tales of the future to be. It’s time to gaze into the quarters to come and prepare for the changes that will define the year. Here are some of my predictions for all of those marketers tasked with those various activities that fall under that giant umbrella called "online marketing." Or "digital marketing." Or "search marketing." Or whatever…

1. SEO Will Not Die. Neither Will the Rumor That It Already Has.

SEO, like every form of online marketing, is in a constant state of evolution. It doesn’t die. It’ll never die, it’ll just change. This means you should not let you SEO strategy die, either. Keep pushing forward, keep evolving your approach, and keep maintaining your best practices and you’ll always have the advantage. If you don’t have an SEO strategy…better late than never?

2. Companies Will Get Social or Get Left Behind.

The argument that "social media isn’t right for my business" is just plain incorrect. Having a social media presence is increasingly important in relation to SEO and is, arguably, as important an online marketing channel as SEO itself. If your audience isn’t using social media now, then you’re in a great position. Build a presence now and you’ll be an expert by the time they do join in. Resistance is futile.

3. Mobile Will Continue to Be "the Next Big Thing."

Mobile has been the future for a few years now and I don’t think it’s fully materialized yet. For some industries, marketing targeted specifically to mobile users is already paying off. For most it’s still a work in progress and standard online ads are just carried over onto the mobile experience. As more and more time is spent on mobile devices over laptops and desktops, though, Web pages, content, creative, and ad delivery must become mobile-specific and not just mobile-friendly.

4. People Will Expect More Personalized Ads Without Advertisers Collecting the Data to Make It Possible.

The ultimate catch-22. As evil marketers we’re constantly collecting data to push our way into people’s private lives and exploit their weakness for lattes and power tools. Why did the NSA have to ruin the game for us all! OK, we all know this isn’t true, but it’s not far from some perceptions out there. Highly relevant and targeted ads are the most useful and least annoying to a potential buyer, but they can’t come from a vacuum of information. Personalization is the future and you should be using it now as much as possible. Just don’t be creepy and respect your potential customer’s information.
That’s all I’ve got for now. These areas are just the tip of the iceberg for challenges and opportunities facing online marketers next year, but they are at the top of my mind. Good luck in 2015!
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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Year of the Customer: The UX Checklist for 2015

The coming year is shaping up to be even more centered on the consumer's experience. So to help you prepare, here is a list of things to focus on.
With 2015 just around the corner, it’s time to make sure you’re ready to tackle the challenges the year will bring. 

More and more, we see the challenges that businesses face as being driven by deficits in the end customer experience they deliver to customers. To that end, we’ve prepared a way to help you think about user experience (UX) in your own organization, along with a few tips to help you get UX ready for the new year! 

Thinking About Experience: Knowing What to Measure and Do Next 

Experience is a tricky byproduct of a business to manage. On the one hand, it’s probably the single-most important factor in acquiring and retaining customers, while on the other, impacting it and quantifying the returns of doing so are difficult tasks to master. 

When tackling this problem, we tend to think of this as a model that is comprised of three stages. Each of these stages helps you to identify where your own organization is at in terms of managing this dynamic, but also gives you a sense of what you should do next. We see this as three interlocking stages, each progressing on the one before it: 

1. Visibility

Do you have visibility over the customer experience in your business right now? Do you know where it begins, ends, the stages it is comprised of, or the knowledge of customer motivations at each point in the journey, and how these contribute to pain or delight points? 

2. Influence

Given your knowledge of the customer journey, does your organization make deliberate attempts to influence customers at different points in the journey, outside of acquiring customers to begin with? Once you have visibility over the customer experience, you are in a position to intervene selectively at distinct phases where you know you can make an impact. 

3. Control

Your organization actively and explicitly develops and deploys products and services in the context of a larger customer experience. Products and services are what you make, though experiences are what you deliver, and this is understood universally within the organization as the best way to think about your business. You actively plan for direct intervention at selected touchpoints that map back to your strategy, and aim to consistently provide a high quality experiential outcome for your customers. 

Identifying where you are at in this model will help you understand what actions you need to take in the new year in order to increase the effectiveness of experience in your business. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mobile Search: Not Just on the Go

mobile usabilityA new study from Yahoo shows that more and more mobile searches are happening in the home, where PCs or laptops are also available. How can marketers take advantage of this?

Sometimes conventional wisdom gets it wrong, like the old assumption that mobile search only happens on the go. A recent Yahoo study of nearly 6,400 searches discovered that mobile search is not limited to consumers on the go, with about half of searches happening at home. Roughly three-quarters of mobile searches occurred in settings with an available PC or laptop, such as the home or office. And mobile search preference continues to climb, with four in 10 consumers conducting more searches on mobile devices than PCs.


The study provides marketers with an unique context to understand the role of mobile both as a critical point of influence in the shopping decision and a means to re-evaluate a campaign's effectiveness .

Key findings include:

  • Mobile search is just one step among a series of related actions. After the initial search, users completed an average of four follow-up actions, giving marketers multiple opportunities for reaching consumers throughout the purchase cycle:
    • 91 percent took another action on their mobile device
    • 77 percent acted in person
    • 62 percent used a PC or laptop next
  • Showrooming appears to be an urban myth, with only 7 percent of searches happening in-store.
  • Half of mobile shopping-related queries led to a purchase, with 69 percent of those purchases happening within five hours of search and 76 percent occurring in person at a store.


Making the Most of Mobile Search

These days, the path to purchase looks more like a grid, with each intersection between location (home, work, store, car, and more) and device (smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs), representing critical points of influence. Mobile searchers respond to ads at these touch points, with about half agreeing that sponsored listings could persuade them to consider an additional brand while shopping.

To deliver a message, marketers have to get consumer attention first, which is why the position of an ad within the search results is so important when consumers are on the hunt for information. Copy and content counts with mobile searchers.

Here are some pointers marketers can use to maximize the impact of mobile search:
  • Tip #1: Bid competitively to earn a top spot on search engine results pages, as most mobile searchers respond to the first or second listing.
  • Tip #2: Test ad copy with brand names or superlative claims (like lowest or best) to drive greater engagement on mobile devices.
  • Tip #3: Use mobile-specific Sitelink, Location, or Call extensions to lead searchers directly to your business.
  • Tip #4: Consider that half of shopping-related queries happen at home when making location-based mobile media decisions.

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