Tag Archives: digital marketing

Differentiated Customer Experience: Easier Said

By: Rick Kieser,

This post was recently
published on Ascribe’s

Differentiated customer experience (CX) is a deceptively
challenging goal shared by growing numbers of companies. In a recent presentation on Digital
Marketing Trends
 by Mike Corak to
the Cincinnati AMA,
we heard a lot of valuable insights, but one statistic in particular caught our
attention.  On slide 36 in his presentation, Mike quoted an
independent study that said ’89% of companies plan to compete primarily based
on customer experience in 2016.’
It sounds smart and admirable, but what does really
mean to compete on customer experience, and what does it really take?  One
thing it means is ‘something different for every company,’ because to compete ‘
to differentiate ‘ means that you are setting yourself apart as better,
special, even unique.
Easier Said Than Done

In order to truly compete on the basis of differentiated
customer experience, you must:
Identify what makes (or could make) you special
Understand the underlying drivers of your
differentiated customer experience
Deliver it consistently and monitor customer
sentiment relative to your differentiator
So how do you tackle the differentiation challenge and turn
it to your advantage?  The answer is this: ask, analyze, act and ask
again.  Simple, right?  Well asking can be, but what comes next can
set leaders apart.  If you process your open-ended feedback in context
with the rest of your survey data, you can very quickly generate actionable
insights to identify, understand, deliver and monitor your unique customer
Build on Customer

In our own independent research, 91% of respondents said
they collect some kind of unstructured comments, but only about 60% do anything
at all with that feedback and a mere 30% drive their data all the way to real,
actionable insights.  That’s a far cry from the 89% who recently claimed
they would be differentiating based on customer experience!
To us, that translates tremendous opportunity for companies
to capitalize on assets they already have (survey data and open-ends) to
generate insights that can reveal and strengthen their own differentiated
customer experience proposition.

This Week In Market Research: 8/24/15 – 8/28/15

Crowdfunding is celebrated most for being the ‘grand democratization of finance,’ simply meaning it stands out from the bureaucracy of the traditional fundraising paths. However, an article on Entrepreneur this week discussed the shockingly close correlation between the recent Wall Street dip in markets and crowdfunding. The argument goes, that due to the frightening plunge by the Dow Jones, peers who would normally invest in startups on websites like Kickstarter, may not be so free with their money now. ‘After all, watching the Dow dive off a cliff doesn’t do much for consumer nerves. And investing in the next creative, neat gadget on Kickstarter falls into the category of discretionary spending that is first to go when a person is feeling anxious about his financial life.’ The point makes sense due to previous market research which shows that people are more frugal with their money when markets aren’t doing so well. Experts like Anindya Ghose, professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, also believe that this decline in value is the beginning of a three year bear market. What do you think?

‘Have I mastered social media’? If you’re working in the marketing field, specifically the digital marketing field, you’ve probably asked yourself this question over and over again. The truth is, social media can have a profound effect on your professional life, and learning how to harness this power is essential to any well-crafted digital marketer. This week Fast Company released a very informative video that essentially breaks down certain social media habits and myths and shares the best practices of social media that will result in an overall success for your business. A few of these things include, posting a Facebook post during lunch hours when social activity is heightened as well as following many people on twitter. In other words, focusing only on people who have 500 followers or more is not necessarily beneficial as, research shows these individuals are less likely to retweet and engage anyway. I highly recommend this video to anyone looking to learn more about the best practices of social media and the reasons behind these guidelines. 

This week Fast Company wrote an article about 8 different ways to improve your focus. Many of these tactics are simple and, if done properly, effective. However, there were a few on the list that I had trouble seeing value. Let’s see what you think! Among the 8 listed, the author lists grabbing some coffee and doodling. The reason behind coffee are ”morning coffee doesn’t just help you wake up; it helps you focus on the day. If you need an attention booster in the afternoon, a coffee shop run might do the trick. In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, French physiologist Astrid Nehlig identifies a connection between caffeine and cognition.’ I remain skeptical that coffee is something humans should rely on to be focused. In the reasons for doodling, the author cites a study from the University of Plymouth in England that claims doodling aids cognitive performance. This one I can be convinced upon further evidence, but what do you think?
Want to work for Google? Well you might just have the chance if you search the right keywords. In an article on entrepreneur this week, the author reveals that Google actually has a sneaky way of hiring some of its employees. It works like this. A random person could put something into a google search, (usually just genuinely hoping for that particular search) and then be directed to page that says ‘You’re speaking our language, up for a challenge’? This was the case for Yale educated mathematician Max Rosett. As the article explains, Rosett searched ”python lambda function list comprehension” and was taken to a page with a box that said, ”You’re speaking our Language. Up for a challenge”? From there Rosett took multiple puzzle quizzes and tests that finally landed him an interview with the organization. This is certainly in interesting tactic for recruiting and gathering a decent amount of research before viewing a candidate’s resume. Well done, Google. Can’t say I expected anything less.
Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at Ndicharry@iirusa.com 

This Week In Market Research: 4/27/15 – 5/1/15

Using Big Data In A Crisis: Helping find missing persons in the Nepal Earthquake

Should We Be Storytelling or Story Making? Make the brand story part of the experience

How Big Data Has Changed Sports: 97% of MLB teams employ analytics professionals and 80% of NBA teams do as well

Creating Better Digital Marketing: 4 Strategies to tackle engagement

8 Mobile Marketing Tips You Don’t Want To Miss

Winning And Monetizing Users: Optimizing experiences in gaming

Embracing Technology: What marketing chiefs can do

Effective Social Sales Content: Clickable assets and visual enhancers

Generating Leads With Mobile Marketing: Master the basics before moving forward

Building Customer Loyalty In A Programmatic World: Following the journey of building loyalty

About the Author:
Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

This Week in Market Research: 9/1/14 – 9/5/14

Knowing your audience is crucial to being successful, doing it wrong can be harmful.

What Actually is “Big Data” there are 12 definitions?!?

Would you sell your privacy for $100 a month? Luth Research is buying.

How to take advantage of the Web: 3 Ways to Conduct B2B Market Research Using Digital Marketing

An Infographic on Social listening

How Mobile Market Research Is Evolving via a Museum Experience Lens

Using competitive technology to enable monetization of intellectual property

Eliminating wasted ad money by using competitive intelligence 

Sellers ignoring buyers even though they have leveled the knowledge playing field.

Twitter opens its analytics to everyone, not just advertisers and verified accounts.

Dollar Shave Club, what is their marketing strategy since “that video?”

About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing writer
concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

The Best Time To Post On Social Media is…?

We’ve all been there before. We are about to post across Social Media (SM) and that foreboding question finally hits us. ‘When is the best time and day to post on SM’? I mean, we want as many relevant (maybe even irrelevant) people to see our postings and content, right?

This ever evolving digital social process is called ‘The Science of Timing’ (SOT).  If we get it right, everyone lives happily ever after.  If we get it wrong, no one gives us a second thought.

The “Science of Timing” predicts the optimal time to post on Social Media

SOT (a.k.a. the optimal time to post) revolves around 5 different paradigms and approaches otherwise known as: The Common Sense Approach, The Segmentation Approach, The Best Practices Approach, The Auto Scheduling Approach, and the Contracompetitive Timing Approach.

Huh?  Keep reading.

The Common Sense Approach is based on an intuitive sense of when people would or would not be on SM. For example, when people are asleep, at work, or at school, they are probably less likely to interact with SM. Whereas, if people are awake and the timing is before, after, or outside of work or school, their likelihood to use SM increases on average.

The Segmentation Approach involves timing based on the SM habits of your targeted audience, which coincidentally, you’ve collected over time. For example, if you and your organization are targeting teenage gamers during the upcoming summer, you’ve likely monitored their SM patterns over time, and will run a campaign based on the SM idiosyncrasies they’ve displayed. In all likelihood, their SM behavior will be different when compared to the entire online population as a whole.  Hence, the Segmentation Approach.

In contrast, The Best Practices Approach is based on how the entire SM audience acts as a whole and provides optimal timings based on aggregate online behavior.  You can think of it in terms of talking at a cocktail party, where there is a lot of chatter at its peak attendance point.

The optimal time to post on Twitter is late in the weekday, between 2pm ‘ 5pm EST

Dan Zarella, SM Scientist for Hubspot, recently addressed the SOT Best Practices Approach for both Twitter and Facebook.  ‘The optimal time to post on Twitter is late in the weekday, between 2pm ‘ 5pm EST, as this maximizes ReTweets. Coincidentally, we’ve found there is no significant difference in clickthrough rates according to the time of day or the day of the week, so it’s okay to experiment with your Tweets on the weekends and during late hours.’

Zarella further explains, ‘We’ve discovered clickthrough rates dramatically reduce, the more you post within an hour.  The clickthrough rate for a second post drops to 50%. The clickthrough rate for a 3rd post within an hour is almost nil.’  Zarella is not suggesting to Tweet less as he points to a strong relationship between the number of tweets per day and total followers.  Instead, he suggests not to ‘crowd out’ your tweets per hour.

Zarella also suggests three key timing points for Facebook: (1) post every other day as  mainstream pages that did this displayed the most likes, (2) post content on the weekends since it elicits the most amount of shares and (3) post content in the morning as shares tend to do marginally better than those published at other times.

Don’t “crowd out” your Tweets per hour

But if everyone uses The Best Practices Approach, wouldn’t the SM landscape become overcrowded during those specific times and diminish the likelihood of anyone hearing your message?

Great question.  Keep reading.

The three previous methods require someone from within to personally determine optimal timing.  Whereas with The Autoscheduling Approach, 3rd parties determine optimal posting times.  But what are these 3rd parties’ optimization practices you say?  And how do they measure up to yours?

After investigating Autoscheduling practices, two unique terms surfaced: static vs. dynamic. A static Autoscheduling system optimizes timing based on The Best Practices Approach, not on individual behavior. While a dynamic system optimizes timing through individual / follower behavior, and gets better over time. So which method would you prefer? Find out which method your provider utilizes.

Last but not least, there is The Contracompetitive Timing Approach. This approach is actually the opposite of The Best Practices Approach and circumvents its downside.  This territory lies at the beginning and tail-end of the cocktail party, where crowds are smaller in number, thereby improving the odds of individual engagement.  By utilizing Contracompetitive Timing, smaller crowds are more likely to hear your voice that would otherwise be lost in the chatter of a full-swing cocktail party.

So which SOT approach is the best? The Common Sense Approach of when people are online? The Segmentation Approach that profiles your specific target audience?  The mega-blast to a crowded room, Best Practice Approach?  Perhaps the best is The Autoscheduling Approach which leaves it in the hands of the experts? Or maybe the Contracompetitive Timing Approach seems like a valid alternative, so your messages aren’t lost in the masses? Perchance it is a combination of all the above? 

In your personal experience, the best SOT approach is _________. (Please comment below)

Chris Ruby is an award-winning Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive with Fortune 500 consulting experience. His niche is the ability to turn complex data into compelling stories that induce a call for action among key decision-makers. His work has been featured by MRA, MRIA, IIR, Norstat Times, Chadwick Martin Bailey & the Optimization Group. Keep up with Chris Ruby by following him on Twitter @ChrisRubyMRX or by reading the Chris Ruby Market Research Blog.

Real Time Marketing or Video Marketing?

As we’ve witnessed already, evolution is distinct from change. Especially in the context of the social media world.

The landscape of digital marketing and social media evolves so
rapidly that it becomes tricky for marketers to plan strategies ahead of
time. Contrary to the industrial age of budgeting and planning, the
modern age requires adaptability, spontaneity and competitive
understanding. Amidst other digital trends that are covered in 5 Trends in Digital Marketing, two that stand out are the battle between Real Time and Video Marketing.

Real Time Marketing
Is almost as if something is memory, vintage, expired or extinct on its maiden voyage. As the antithesis to traditional advertising
which worked on repeat value, real time marketing is more than just the
hype of being current, but is more agile, in the moment. As social
media experts have it, its not a project but a process, and is thus
fluid, ongoing, instead of a one shot advertising campaign. For
marketers, this obviously means that the content marketed as real-time
needs to be brand relevant and not just a hype driver.

Video Marketing

introduced videos as competition to Vine, despite both evolving into
separate uses of video: one for viral marketing and the other for
personal sharing. Even Snapchat enabled video, as Facebook improved its
platforms. Video marketing is likely to wrinkle out any glitches it may
have, since while mobile and tablet markets embrace video happily, apps
have improved video platforms as an enabler. Owing to a visual medium
that is a step further in than still images, video will become the
biggest trend of the year, owing to its visual prowess. And watch for a
photo video fusion with the likes of Flipagram catching on.

So what is more catchy in today’s world – the real time nature of marketing, or the format of video that has blended so easily in the consumer world?

Either way, as marketers, the key pieces of interrelated advice are as follows: beware and be aware’ both of evolution and change.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2013_03_01_archive.html#sthash.DwQUug1X.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2013_03_01_archive.html#sthash.DwQUug1X.dpuf

Live from #TMRE13 Consumer Behavior & Consumption Across Media: The Digital State of Play

Remember the days when you put down your pen and paper, turned off the TV and enjoyed what you called “computer time”? Listening to that dial up internet static was something I looked forward to all day because it meant I got to explore and “play” on the computer. I’m sure you remember the AOL running man icon right? Classic.

Fast forward to 2013 and you’ll find that there is no such thing as “computer time” anymore, because computer time is ALL the time. Your phone is not just a phone anymore, its become your life – its your email, your calendar, your notebook and your entertainment. Everything you need in one small portable device and the world at your fingertips.
We are constantly connected and usually in several different ways. Have you ever found yourself walking through a store, shopping for groceries while talking to your mom on the phone while browsing your phone’s calendar to let her know if you are free for dinner tomorrow night? I have. 
According to Yahoo’s Tony Marlow in his presentation on Consumer Behavior & Consumption Across Media: The Digital State of Play, our brains are re-wiring themselves in order to help us navigate our digital lives, which is why younger people are significantly better at multi-tasking. This explains why my grandmother can’t seem to figure out what a “tweet” is or how to “tag” someone on Facebook. She wasn’t wired for this kind of activity.
I won’t hesitate to admit I would be LOST without my phone and I get anxious when I don’t have it right next to me. Makes me wonder how we ever functioned before cell phones and the internet. And I certainly don’t know how we ever survived without iPhone’s handy navigation!

Talia Short is Chief Wrangler at April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.

Prepare for the Proactive CXM of the Future

Today, enterprises are struggling to keep up with the ways consumers are accessing their products, through physical and digital channels. CXM (Customer Experience Management) often remains siloed within the organization, in marketing and customer service. It tends to remain reactive ‘ dealing with problems presented to them instead of identifying progressive strategies that create a positive experience. So, according to Jayakrishnan Sasidharan, vice president & Global Head, Business Collaboration, Content and Customer Experience, for Wipro Business Applications Services, enterprises must prepare for the next generation of CXM, which integrates consumers, retailers and suppliers
By 2018, the next generation CXM will be proactive and engage the entire organization. It will strive to understand what customers are thinking and provide a consistent brand experience in all available channels.  According to Sasidharan, CXM in the future is about ‘channel independence.’ Customers will use the channel of their choice to interact with the brand.
CXM adoption has been siloed, on a single channel focusing on product-based interactions and with customers. Recently, it has evolved to incorporate multiple channels and mature from being transactional to being interactive. But, many organizations have not transformed their customer experience.
‘The next generation CXM will put customers first to drive customer satisfaction. It will engage them proactively before the product is purchased, and long afterward, to understand what they are thinking and create market-relevant products,’ he said.
In fact, Sasidharan sees four trends that global enterprises are grappling with and how digital advances will affect the next generation of CXM including:
Engaging the customer proactively. Enterprises want to move closer to the customer with interactions that occur before the product is consumed. Future CXM will make that engagement event-driven and pull from every aspect of the organization.
Context-aware customer interactions with geo-location intelligence built into devices. Instead of an enterprise partnering with a specific app or adopting a specific solution, future CXM solutions could call for a sustained interaction with context-aware solutions within every interaction.
Immersive interactions.  Users gain control over how content is delivered, whether through touch, gesture, 3D visualization, voice-enabled biometric, or something not yet invented. In the next five years, he expects immersive interactions to be incorporated in home entertainment devices, in-vehicle devices, and increasingly smart mobile devices.
The multi-channel of the future. Even as new channels have emerged or replaced traditional points of sale, customer interactions remain siloed. By 2018, multi-channel for enterprises will transition to an omni-channel experience, meaning customers can browse through product information on any medium while conversing with friends on social media.
By the next five years, Sasidharan envisions a repeatable CXM maturity model that implies that an enterprise has synchronized CXM and IT strategies with an integrated roadmap ‘ supported by an integrated training and communication plan. The key to reaching this repeatable stage is to pursue a CXM strategy across the enterprise, not one for every channel. So, enterprises must create original products and services; ensure integration across all stakeholders; change business models beyond silo solutions to enhance customer experience; and invest in digital technologies that integrate digital marketing, operations and digital commerce.
These days, companies are recognizing that digitally savvy customers can become influencers in their own social media circles. An integrated CXM strategy will give enterprises the ability to create a repeatable customer experience that can be adapted to future digital evolutions.

Audience Measurement Guest Post: Improve digital marketing with new ROI metrics, Google tells CPG marketers

This blog is co-posted with the Joel Rubenson on Market Research Blog.  Rubenson is a partner for The Audience Measurement Event taking place this May 21-23, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois. The event is focused on the business value and actionability of understanding and translating consumer media consumption, the event features a robust agenda filled with real world-case studies and new, never before seen content by visionary thinkers and industry pioneers.  When you register to join Joel for this program and mention AM12BLOG, you’ll receive 15% off the standard rate!  Visit the webpage to download the brochure and find out more about this year’s event.

Improve digital marketing with new ROI metrics, Google tells CPG marketers

This is the third of a three part interview with Catherine Roe, head of CPG for Google, leading up to the IIR Audience Measurement Event in Chicago May 21-23 where Catherine and I will both be speaking. Through special arrangement, I can offer my readers a 20% discount to this event. Just use the code AM12JR

Joel: Catherine, in our last two interviews, you dropped two bombshells saying that searches on Google.com related to recipes are up 38% in 2011 over 2010 to 7.8 billion. Then you gave CPG marketers a failing grade of 3 on a scale of 0-10

Catherine: Yes, a lot of it is cultural. They still fall back on what they know. They don’t want to crash the plane or sink the ship.

Joel: someone in media once said, ‘If we can’t measure it we can’t sell it’. In the first interview you talked about the importance of digital to the CPG path to purchase. How should this be measured?

Catherine: It’s funny you say that, quite honestly Joel, because that has been the biggest challenge. Marketers for years have been able to associate or correlate the value of traditional media such as their GRP or their TRP or their TV spot and model out the sales lift, even though there’s not a direct linear equation that she saw the Downey TV commercial on TV on Monday night and when she shopped on Wednesday she bought Downey because of the TV commercial. But, the fortunate thing is that marketers have figured out that correlation. Then you start throwing digital and all these additional touch points that I talked about into the mix and it’s not as easy because they don’t necessarily measure and correlate exactly the same as a TV TRP.

Joel: so what do you do about that?

Catherine: The way we like to coach our advertisers through it is to think about what all these moments that matter are on the way to the path to purchase and think about them as KVTs or ‘key value tasks’. To be able to associate a value to every one of those tasks that hits her in the path to purchase. So, as one example, I work with an advertiser that leverages a lot of online recipes as far as a way to engage consumers because they know that if their ingredients are used in a recipe, then that consumer is much more apt to go to the store and purchase that specific ingredient for their recipe. And through this key value task type of thought process, they’ve equated and they’ve modeled out for their group that one out of every ten recipe views correlates to an actual purchase in the store. So, by doing that they are able to back into the math that says: ‘Okay, if I get ten visits to my site and they view a recipe, then the value of that is X because the value of a purchase of one of these ingredients in a store is X’.

That’s what advertisers need to do today to say: ‘What is the value if somebody visits my website’?

‘What is the value if somebody downloads a coupon off of my website’? ‘What is the value if someone downloads a recipe’? ‘What is the value equation if somebody clicks on a click-to-call type of advertisement on mobile’? So, being able to identify along the path to purchase is not as simple as the TV commercial and the offline media and then jump to the store shelf. There are media points all along the way and it’s translating the value of each one of those points.

Joel: if we can think into the future, let’s say three years, what is the one demonstrable proof point that says: ‘They were listening. They got it.’

Catherine: I think the biggest challenge to not getting it today is that CPG companies for the most part use some type of media mix modeling and they try to use a square peg/round hole effect of just applying the same media mix modeling that they’ve used on TV, print, radio and their historical, traditional advertising. (In digital) But, what would be different in three years is that the CPG companies, coupled with the measurement companies (whether that’s the Nielsen’s of the world, the comScores) have to figure out which is the right way to measure these media and what is the ROI that I’m getting out of my digital dollar in comparison to my TV. If and when they do figure it out, they will actually put enough media (spend) in there to warrant a test.

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.