Digital Trends 2019 – Data is key to creating greater customer experiences

This presentation from Sean Donnelly and Jamie Brighton will focus on the most significant digital trends 2019 that are driving marketing and customer experience strategy.

Digital Trends 2019: Data is key to creating greater customer experiences

Hi, my name is Sean Donnelly. I’m a consultant and senior analyst at e-consultancy, where independent providers of research train in best practice. I am here to introduce you to a topic that is on the minds of all marketers.

Presently, I am going to talk to you about technology and marketing trends.

We have been working very closely with Adobe to reach out to the marketing community, in order to:

  • ask them what kind of things they identify as opportunities,
  • what they see as challenges and so on.

This gives us a very unique perspective to identify the operational reality in terms of marketers’ findings.

So, we have done a survey of 12 500 marketers, techies and so on. It’s actually the largest global survey of its kind. We also accompany that with a series of qualitative interviews to draw additional insights.

Agenda:

  • State of customer experience strategy

  • Importance of customer data

  • Control of customer data: compliance and walled gardens

  • State of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

PRESENTATION N°1: Sean Donnelly

Just for clarification, we will define customer experience as being the sum of all the interactions a customer has with a brand, and their emotional reactions to those interactions.

1. The accelerated loyalty journey

Importantly, first-class personalised customer experience is really important for sustainability.

So, marketers might remember the 4 ‘P’s: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. But this old model changed. Somewhere along the lines, marketing became very much just about promotion. Promotion isn’t good enough. We need to think about the wider customer experience journey across Google, Social Media…

the accelerated loyalty journey

Clearly, this really expands the role of marketing beyond driving intention to purchase. If you can get a customer to advocate for your brand online, you may be able to deliver him to this loyalty loop for ongoing relations with you.

Now, customer service is increasingly focused and accompanied by technology and data.

Therefore, evaluate if your marketing technology infrastructure is fit for purpose. The technology platform is viewed as the engine room that drives customer experiences and marketing activities. Whereas, the data is the oil that lubricates and empowers this increasingly sophisticated machinery.

2. Data is the new everything

Likewise, a big part of the marketing is the ability to understand and utilise data. As such, data skills are becoming increasingly integral. Marketing continues to transition from being an analogue activity to a digital activity with real-time data analysis.

a) Data and measurement

We can see that data serves 3 primary functions:

  • Customer insight
  • Tactic evaluation
  • Demonstrate value of marketing activities.

We have asked marketers to draw out what they are interested in and what they see as important.

b) The most exciting opportunities in 2019

  • Data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual
  • Optimising the customer experience
  • Creating compelling content for digital experiences.

3. Customer journey management holds the key to personalisation

a) Top digital priorities in 2019

Digital Trends 2019 – Data is key to creating greater customer experiences

There are 4 top priorities which are as follow:

  • Customer Journey Management: key requirement for data informed customer experiences
  • Targeting and Personalisation: right message, right place, right time
  • Content Marketing: continuing importance of creativity and design
  • Customer Data Management (CMS): convert data into knowledge.

Now, to achieve all this requires a highly integrated technology stack. So, the key  is to have a more unified approach to marketing channels.

Example: Unilever increases investment in marketers as it shifts from ‘big ad campaigns’ to smaller real-time campaigns. This results in the:

  • creation of digital hubs in about 20 countries.
  • recruitment of marketers with data capabilities
  • investment in cloud-based tools, in order to be able to centralise and surface data from more than 150 different data points.

Unilever example

3. DATA COMPLIANCE AND WALLED GARDENS

data compilation and walled gardens

As you can imagine, data management and data control are becoming more and more intertwined. So, here are some factors to consider:

  • Security: marketers and developers need to be responsible for the users’ data security
  • Privacy: GDPR is the beginning of an era where marketers need to be very careful about how they use customer data
  • Integration: continued efforts to centralise online and offline touchpoints (by marrying transactional data, sentiment data, social media data)
  • Machine Learning: turning data into insights (google analytics) and personalising customer experience.

Please let me provide you with few examples:

Lloyds bank identified GDPR as an opportunity to educate its email subscribers about the parameters and requirements around GDPR. They did this through an email campaign and  helpful pages using laymen’s language under their website. Following this re-direct of emails (bank statements and so on), customers have been very appreciative of this action. This is a kind of boost of customer trust and loyalty.

L’Occitane did a research into the abandoning shopping cart on their site. Essentially, they fired up a layer onto the screen. This led to an increase by 2.65 % of the conversion rate per visitor. It had a major impact on the bottom line.

L'Occitane revenue uplift

4. Top marketing challenges

Yet, what are the top marketing challenges organisations face?

Top marketing challenges in 2019

Here are the main identified challenges:

  • Lack of internal resources
  • Inconsistent experiences throughout the customer lifecycle
  • Difficulty in tracking marketing effectiveness and media/ad spend
  • Difficulty getting a holistic view of customers across all interactions.

Ultimately, marketers need to think about the flow of information through the entire partner ecosystem.

Withal, interviewees for this report identified issues with walled gardens, principally Facebook and Google. Marketers must determine whether the long-term commercial objectives are best served by operating in these closed platforms. Inarguably, these platforms offer only a bridged insight in customer data. This theme brought an increased attention on data retention of sharing practices of Facebook and Google.

5. Increased uptake of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

We can review on a broad spectrum and split it into two classifications:

  • Human-styled artificial intelligence
  • Task-oriented artificial intelligence.

How is the Artificial Intelligence (AI) being applied?

It’s been mostly used to analyse data. That’s because humans can’t analyse large amounts of data. Inasmuch as AI can mine huge amount of structured and unstructured data generated by campaigns and user interactions. This freezes up time for marketers to deliver higher value tasks.

In terms of analysing data, AI and marketing can be used to:

  • create unique customer profiles (personalisation)
  • provide relevant experiences such as delivering dynamic website content, based on personal behavioural data
  • generate content well to increase engagement rates
  • optimise intelligent digital advertising, based on buying history and interactions.

In summary, I would like to leave few with the following recommendations:

  • Educate your organisation about the potential of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning
  • Strive for integrated customer experience, marketing technology and advertising technology
  • Activate customer data on prescriptive and predictive meaningful analytics insights. This requires the right tools to compile first, second and third-party data, in order to enable that timely and personalised interactions. This can also improve attribution capabilities as well as leading to a better optimisation of the media mix.
  • Cherish your data as a marketing asset to the wider business. Be wary of walled gardens. By combining data from various touchpoints, you can create that personalised experience and a ‘single customer view’. Data must be fully harnessed and companies need to be able to access it without restrictions.
  • Keep pushing the customer-first agenda within your organization. It might also mean educating your customer facing colleagues about their own value proposition. You need to help them understand their role in the customer experience strategy, by empowering them to make decisions.

And now, I’m handing back over to Jamie Brighton.

PRESENTATION N°2: JAMIE BRIGHTON

At this point, we’d like to think what you can take advantage of in the digital trends. Now, I highlighted at the start of the presentation that we’ve seen things like Social Media Management, Video Advertising coming up as focuses.

1. Platform for Personalisation

a) 3 areas of focus for 2019

Digital Trends 2019 – Data is the key to creating greater customer experiences

Needless to say, Personalisation has come out as a key area of digital focus for marketers over the last 9 years of consultancy research.

However, I think it’s probably no surprise to see that Personalisation is again part of 2019’s priorities.  ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Personalisation’ and ‘Having the right platform in place’ are key areas I’d like to concentrate on.

Let me give you an example. Harvard Business Review shows us that people organisations focusing on Personalisation have successfully:

  • reduced costs by 50%
  • increased revenues by up to 15%
  • improved their marketing capabilities overall within the business.

Personalisation marketing strategy

Often, marketers don’t know where to start due to lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, this is holding organisations back.

However, Personalisation really needs to start with people and process and technology. I’m stating the obvious but it’s really important to remember.

We, at Adobe, believe that there are 3 fundamental pillars to getting ‘Personalisation’ right.

b) 3 Key building blocks to success

building blocks to success

  • Data and Audiences: you need a data platform to understand who your customers are. Then, you need to segment those audiences and communicate with them via your Personalisation strategy.
  • Content: Once you understand your audience, you obviously need to communicate with them and give them the right content. So, having content and data together in the same platform becomes critical.
  • Strategy: When you have those things together, you’ll need to know:
    • where to personalise
    • how to personalise
    • what’s the right time within the customer lifecycle to put a message in front of your customers or prospects.

So, I’d like to spend a bit of time thinking about these key requirements.

2. Key requirements

a) Content Foundation

Content Foundation

Any platforms that you invest in should enable you and your teams to offer content in an intuitive way. The interface/environment should make sense to them to use and re-use core components out of the box (your sites, your apps, your general interfaces).

This means you can get time to add value, instead of investing in re-building, or re-inventing the wheel. Also, content you produce in your team’s build must not be locked up in the Content Management System (CMS) or HTML system (that can only be rendered in a web page).

Intuitive authoring, Reusable content, Content anywhere

We need to be able to:

  • syndicate content, whether it’s to affiliates’ social sites
  • understand how that content is going to be displayed
  • make sure it complies with all the guidelines for your brand
  • get content out to whatever channel/device your customers use to engage with you.

b) Insights

Insights

Insight manifests itself in a number of ways. Fundamentally, we should be able to understand how that content is being consumed. This will allow people who are building that content, to have all the data they need. This will result in informed and intelligent decisions about the next iteration of that content or the next campaign that they want to set up.

Besides, this also means that they need to be able to visualise where customers/prospects are engaging with that content through things like Heatmaps, Clickactivity maps.

Moreover, if you have already the data in a platform like this, you should start leveraging Artificial Intelligence, in order to detect abnormalities in the data.

This means alerting you to how the customer behaviour is changing, in order to present with potential opportunities.

This might be:

  • spiking customers’ visits
  • dropping conversation rates.

Then, you can adjust in real-time the experience for your customers, to make sure you are not missing out.

c) Personalisation

Personalisation

So, it should be very straightforward for you to create a page and an element of content.

Yet, within a couple of clicks, test that content and work out whether it resonates better with different segments of your audience.

Or even, use AI through Adobe Sensei to target individual customers within your customer base with the most relevant experience within their customer journey.

3. Unlocking the value in data

a) Move faster and smarter with an integrated DMP and Analytics

Well, I’d like to get a little bit tactical here. Often, organisations want to marry together their analytics platform with their Data Management Platform (DMP).

Unlocking the value in data: move faster and smarter with an integrated DMP and Analytics

b) How it works

This effectively means bringing together:

  • the first-party data (your owned customers’ data)
  • analytics tool
  • with the second and third-party data (available from the Customer/Data Management System).

As a result, you can get a little grainier about the reports/segmentation you are running on your customers.

How it works

c) Quantify value of 2nd and 3rd-party data insights

Next, let me give you a few examples on how it’s going to help you. Having these two platforms/pieces technology together means you can have a much better understanding about who your customers are and how they are behaving.

Quantify value of 2nd and 3rd-party data insights

Increasingly, organisations invest in second-party data, where there is a trusted relationship between the two brands and an overlapping of their customer base. They share the customer profiles within their organisations. Thus, they can provide a better experience for the customer in the long run, through better targeting of content and advertising.

That also means a better understanding of how your campaigns are performing.

d) Calculate media campaign effectiveness

It also enables to think about how we can use information from on-site behaviour to be more targeted off-site. These first, second and third-party data enable the use of online customer data and information, to drive more advanced targeting of off-site advertising. By using that information and surfacing it in the DMP, we can make more informed decisions about what advertising to serve to customers or prospects, based on that site’s behaviour.

Calculate media campaign effectiveness

Another idea is to consolidate online and offline data.

e) Consolidate reporting across online and offline assets

Through analytics platforms, there is the ability to import purchase history and behaviour in physical points of retail, for example. By tying these together, we can understand the impact of digital behaviour, digital experience on the in-store or offline experience, and vice-versa.

I’ll just call out an example here. A travel company is able to:

  • overlay destination preferences with purchase behaviour
  • see which audiences have a high propensity to book with this particular travel organisation.

That can be used to re-target individuals off-site. It could be somebody who has abandoned half-way through the booking process. That information can be used to do a much more targeted serve. This will get them to come back later and complete that transaction on the site.

Consolidate reporting across online and offline assets

f) Audience Analytics: Real World Success

Consequently, organisations are starting to take advantage of this type of capability.

Audience Analytics: Real World Success

4. How we can win a digital transformation?

McKenzie’s research shows they are some challenges to getting digital transformation right.

What is blocking your digital transformation?

The organisation fails when it is not making sure that organisational culture is actually on-board for the change they are trying to bring about.

a)The Adobe digital marketing capability maturity model

First and foremost, we, Adobe, believe that one of the best way to understand this, are to:

  • benchmark your own organisation and its competition
  • understand where you fit within a maturity scale.

The Adobe digital marketing capability maturity model

The Adobe digital marketing capability maturity model (continues)

b) Prioritise areas of improvement with your stakeholders

Indeed, Adobe can help you focus on recommended actions for each pillar and dimension via a workshop with an Adobe representative.

Any output of the process is a very detailed report, which shows you:

  • your current score for each of those 7 dimensions
  • any gaps between where you are and where you would like to be.
  • a set of recommendations on how to bridge that gap
  • where you can have the biggest impact with the most effective spend.

Prioritise areas of improvement with your stakeholders

c) Re-evaluate priorities based on resources, complexity and reward size

Furthemore, you can also apply a standard cost/benefit analysis to understand where are the gaps compared with how the spend is going to be. This wil make a difference to your particular business.

Re-evaluate priorities based on resources, complexity and reward size

Additionally, that helps with building a case within your organisation.

d) Build the case beyond Return On Investment (ROI) and cost-saving

Build the case beyond Return On Investment (ROI) and cost-saving

So, to wrap up, a maturity assessment will give you an understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses are. They identify as well the key opportunities you can embrace when it comes to people processing technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips on how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy

I recently attended a really interesting webinar about how to build the perfect Social Media Strategy.

Although some of the information in this post may not surprise you, you will definitely learn a thing or two!

So, let’s start with the Social Media Strategy agenda points. You can then decide to deep dive into what you feel you lack information about.

 

The first presentation was delivered by Tilo Kmieckowiack from @quintly who talked about:

Social Media Strategy

  • What excellent social posts have in common in terms of length, content type and hashtags
  • How to write the perfect Social Media post.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention who dived into Social Media Strategy:

  • How to and Why focus on engagement
  • Learn from your competitors
  • Monitor your campaigns.

1. Let me share with you a bit about Tilo’s background

Tilo is the Brand/Product and Communications Manager of Quintly for the German-speaking markets, i.e Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He works from Cologne, Germany.

His daily job is to create a Social Media Campaign analysis and case studies to optimise the company’s social media strategy. One of the perks of being part of this company is access to a big database. Indeed, the Quintly Marketing team analyses over 10 million posts from Facebook and Instagram per month. In this presentation, he shares his findings of how the perfect social media post looks like.

Social Media Strategy

2. So, let’s start with the Facebook Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 239,327 pages
  • 11,472,559 posts

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag Social Media Strategy
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Interactions
  • Reactions
  • Emojis Social Media Strategy
  • Hashtags #⃣

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users most commonly post links, however, videos and also photos receive much more interactions on average
  • The Post volume is highest during the week but posts on weekends get more interactions
  • Most posts contain either 0 or 30-150 characters. According to the findings, a text of 1-50 characters receives the most interactions
  • A large number of posts does not contain emojis. Nonetheless, moderate emoji usage of 1-8 shows higher interactions
  • Hashtags are seldom used on Facebook, besides posts without hashtags receive more interactions.

Consequently, what does the ‘perfect’ Facebook post looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Doesn’t use hashtags
  • Is posted at weekends
  • Uses videos and images wisely

⚠ Bear in mind that content quality is important, too! This analysis only covers objective technical factors. Analyse your own performance and compare it to the presented results, in order to optimise your own strategy.

3. Now let’s move on to Instagram Analysis

a) Data Range analysed

  • January 2018
  • 41,389 Instagram profiles
  • 1,019,978 posts.

b) Analysed Dimensions

  • Message length
  • Message type
  • Date
  • Tag
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Interactions
  • Emojis
  • Hashtags

c) Means of Success: Average Interaction per Post

Results:

  • Users post images most often, yet videos get the most interactions
  • Most posts are published during weekdays. However, posts on weekends receive more interactions
  • Most posts contain between 0 and 150 characters, but posts with up to 50 characters get the most interactions
  • Many profiles don’t use emojis, yet posts with 1-3 emojis show most interactions
  • Most posts contain no or few hashtags. Posts with 1-3 hashtags receive most interactions. Note that with Instagram, you can up to 10 hashtags but you need to ensure that they are relevant to the post.

So, what does the ‘perfect’ post on Instagram looks like? It looks like this:

  • Limits to 50 characters in length
  • Uses emojis moderately
  • Reduces hashtags to max 10
  • Is posted mostly at weekends
  • Uses videos and carousel wisely

Additionally, you can also check his presentation with graphs on Quintly’s Website.

All in all, Social Media Analytics can help you benchmark your content performance against our analysis.

The second presentation was delivered by Patrick Whatman from @Mention.

Social Media Strategy

1. Now let’s move on to Patrick’s background

Patrick is from New Zealand and works in Paris, France. He is the Digital Content Marketer of Mention. His presentation focuses on Social Media Strategy around the following topics:

  • Engagement
  • Social Listening 
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Data Tracking.

Patrick started off his talk with a fun quiz to make a point about engagement.

2. Do you know the answer to this quiz question?

Q: Who is the most re-tweeted musical artist of all time?

A: BT K-Pop Group with:

  • 252 000+ re-tweets
  • Winner Billboard for ‘Best Social Artist’ in 2017-2018
  • More than 10 million followers
  • Performed at 2017 American Music Awards.

3. EVEN SO, why should you care?

This data proves that social media success is closely linked to engagement.

Mention’s Twitter Report 2018 -Top 5 hashtags (for engagement):

  1. #Love_Yourself
  2. #Jimin
  3. #BTS
  4. #DNA
  5. #THELASTJEDI

Amongst these hashtags, the top 4 are coming from this K-Pop band.

4. YET, how do they do this?

It’s all about engagement. They engage with their fans by:

  • Holding contests. They ask their fans to draw, respond, and tell stories about their faves
  • Rewarding fans for their re-tweets. They send personal ‘Thank you’ messages
  • Creating their own emojis.

Their success lies in the creation of online communities, mainly on Twitter, but also a bit on Instagram and a lot of forums, where fans do all the stuff for them.

5. then, why engagement matters?

It is important to emphasise engagement in your social media campaign because of:

a) The Snowball effect

Indeed, Social Media is all about connections: your followers, their followers…Your message reaches much further if shared with all these connections

b) Platforms reward engagement

Organic Reach is about winning in ‘the feed’. The more likes, shares and comments, the more likely Facebook, Twitter, etc will promote your post for you.

c) Respond early and often to foster a community. This is valid for viral campaigns or simple customer support

  • When a social media user gets in touch, you need to be there to help
  • Build momentum for key posts and campaigns
  • Catch issues before they get out of hand.

d) Social Listening comes in handy

Social Media Strategy

Here are the reasons:

  • You can’t respond to messages you don’t know to exist
  • You may not be able to stay glued to all your social media account at all times
  • Social Listening tools tell you when you (or your keywords) have been mentioned and let you respond directly.

A good Social Listening tool such as Mention saves you time and efforts. It also lets you focus on creating winning campaigns.

6. SINCE SOCIAL MEDIA IS CONSTAnTLY EVOLVING, WOULD YOU CONSIDER a Bot AS PART OF A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY?

In short, the answer is ‘No’ for Social Media and here is why. On Social Media, bots aren’t necessary or advisable. Unless you are a very big brand, you are not going to miss too many things. However, Social Listening will help you not miss all these little things and details.

Still, if you build or use a bot for your website, make sure you set it up with narrow parameters, it can be a good thing. Though, don’t show too obvious automated responses.

7. CONSECUTIVELY, The next step of YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY success is to work with influencers

Social-power users help build the brand by:

  • Expanding your reach (because their customer/fan base is engaged)
  • Increasing buying decisions for your products/services through their audiences thanks to their advice
  • Making you look good! When you hang out with the cool guys, it makes you look cool, too!

8. NOW, How to get started?

  • Find influential users relevant to your business (similar brands/topics within your network). They can be macro-influencers or micro-influencers. This article will help you find cost-free micro-influencers
  • Figure out what you can offer: free product, exposure, money
  • Reach out to influencers and kindly suggest to work together. Many will say ‘no’ but not everyone.

9. AFTER ALL, Why should you care about what your competitors do?

Social Media Strategy

Because a competitive analysis helps you solve your problems, understand and learn from your prospects and customers.

It will allow you to easily find out:

  • What your customers are interested in
  • What content or marketing strategies might be effective
  • Possibly even find new customers this way by interacting with them.

10. BESIDES, How can you track campaigns? And why would you bother?

Simply because you need to evaluate with tracking tools for the success of your campaign.

Indeed, the best campaigns are data-driven:

  • Learn from your last campaign to optimise the next
  • Influential people and outlets talk about you (eg on public holidays when your business may be closed)
  • Find out key events in the campaign that affected your performance
  • Assess the overall response to the campaign based on factual evidence to build engagement (eg top 10 content pieces per month or year).

11. Last but not least, Patrick shares his top tips

  • Use unique and branded hashtags for brand awareness and engagement. Why? Because non-popular branded hashtags are easier to track
  • Watch for sudden changes (spikes and dips) and understand why
  • Identify your most and least effective content
  • Measure key metrics such as volume, reach, countries, languages…

Finally, SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY presentations were wrapped up with Questions and Answers.

Social Media Strategy

Q: Can 15-30 hashtags work?

A: No. You need to concentrate on using relevant hashtags. Bear in mind as well that some hashtags are banned, temporarily or permanently. Let me give you one piece of advice: relevant hashtags in Instagram captions (descriptions). You may add some other hashtags after the description following blank spaces but they may not be as relevant.

Q: Do you think it’s good practice to post the same content on multiple platforms?

A: No. Every platform is different. Cross-posting isn’t recommended. Besides, consider that Twitter has recently changed its rules. They do not allow anymore the same content posted on different Twitter accounts or similar channels. Furthermore, hashtags aren’t been used on Facebook. As for the message length, Twitter restricts messages to 240 characters, which is lower than most other Social Media Networks.

Q: How to better utilise Instagram for stories?

A: Keep an eye on trends and news and be aware of the new features and tools. As discussed previously, stay engaged with informative or funny content. Another important news recently surfaced on Later, the exclusively Instagram scheduling app. They said that the algorithm prioritises people’s different content. Indeed, Instagram can tell and promote brands and people who use all of its features and have varied content (not only the same format or type of content over and over). Thus, they will bring further up your content into the feed. An interesting feature that has been rolled out is Instagram ‘highlights’ on your profile page. You can highlight a particular story to be viewed over and over again without any time limitations.

Q:  What channels do you advise to focus on?

A: That depends on the market(s) you are working for. You need to adjust your strategy to the country/market specifics. For eg, in Germany, there are very few people using Twitter, while there are 30 million users on Facebook.  Twitter is quasi-exclusively used by journalists and politicians. However, journalists can pick up topics to write about, which will be brought to the mass media. So, Twitter shouldn’t be completely written off.