Entering the world of hyper-personalisation

18 01 2014

In a recent interview in the Sunday Independent Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, talked about the airline’s future marketing strategy. While the announcement of a collaboration with Google caught the attention of the headline writers I was more interested in a comment he made towards the end of the interview. “We will be doing more individual marketing” he said. “We will build individual profiles for each passenger.”

This struck a chord with me because it echoed a very interesting presentation at the CMO Summit 2013 organised by the Marketing Institute of Ireland last November. Amanda Gosling, Associate Partner – Strategy, IBM, introduced the idea of hyper-personalisation. The simple idea is that mass communication, even with segmentation and tailoring to audiences, is not going to succeed in the future. What will succeed is having “real connections at relevant moments delivered with relationship care”. This means having a deep understanding of each individual customer rather than a generic customer persona.

Amanda was presenting the results of a major survey entitled “The Customer-activated Enterprise“. A key finding of the report is the need to create engaging customer experiences. This is driven by social media in particular as it gives customers the ability to “bang on the door and demand to be heard”. This trend demands that a company be more than just customer centric. It needs to be customer activated. The customer needs to be part of the company’s decision-making process. There are clear overlaps here with the concept of open innovation.

The report is well worth reading if only to get an idea as to how some of the world’s largest companies are thinking about the challenges of creating an effective digital strategy and a winning customer experience.

To learn more about the CMO Summit 2013 please read my guest post on the Marketing Institute blog.

To learn more about the IBM report visit IBM’s Institute for Business Value.





Social Media trends for 2014

9 01 2014

The Social Media Today website recently published a very interesting article on UK Social Media statistics for 2014.

Some noticeable trends that interested me:

  1. Facebook’s growth has come to an end as it is now fully “mainstream”
  2. 40% of Twitter users prefer to simply read content and use it as a way to curate news feeds
  3. LinkedIn is by far the most effective social media platform for driving visitors to corporate websites which also reflects a move away from using LinkedIn as an online CV
  4. No confirmed user statistics for Google Plus
  5. Pinterest and Instagram are growing quickly but from very small bases
  6. Snapchat and WhatsApp are growing also, especially among younger age groups

What struck me most, however, is the lack of hard statistics for most of the platforms. One of the great strengths of digital marketing is its ability to provide measurable numbers but they seem to be sadly lacking here.





CMO Summit 2013

3 12 2013

Change is an interesting process. It excites us and scares us probably in equal measures. An underlying theme that ran through the CMO Summit 2013, organised by the Marketing Institute of Ireland, is how the marketing profession is constantly changing and perhaps changing at a faster rate than ever.

Peter Fitzgerald, Country Sales Director for Google UK, highlighted the rapid growth in the number of smartphones, bandwidth and in ecommerce as evidence to support the rapid growth of the internet economy. The key challenge facing mobile is to be relevant to what the consumer wants.

Francois Nicolon and Vanessa Lynch of Kantar Media challenged us to look again at the role of marketing and communications. They spoke about changing the traditional roles so that Communications looks after creating all types of content and Marketing takes responsibility for taking that content and using it to create leads and convert them into sales. They also highlighted their view of the marketing team of the future which includes experts in graphics, technology, search, content and social.

Amanda Gosling of IBM continued with the theme of change when discussing the IBM report on The Customer-activated Enterprise. Amanda pointed out that many organisations still present to the customer in a way that reflects corporate structure. She highlighted necessary changes in approach including:

  • moving from being campaign driven to being always on

  • moving from batch interactions to realtime or location aware interactions

  • increasing use of hyper-personalisation

  • having an attraction approach rather than a transaction approach

In common with Francois and Vanessa from Kanter, Amanda strongly suggested that marketing needs to parter with technology in order to achieve this level of change.

The challenge of truly delivering a high quality customer experience is to have “real connections at relevant moments delivered with relationship care”. To really deliver this require significant levels of change requires a real effort and a dedicated change agent to make it happen.

In the afternoon session Simon Bailey of Interbrand and Phil Rumbol of 101 (and formerly of Cadbury) continued to highlight the ways in which the interaction with the consumer is changing. In discussing the 10 elements of strong branding Simon included responsiveness, relevance and presence or being where the customers are, which echoes some of what Peter Fitzgerald said at the beginning of the day.

Phil Rumbol talk about how we still see marketing communications “through an outmoded lens”. Phil talked about the highly successful “gorilla” ad campaign for Cadburys which he said consumer understood immediately but corporate executives objected to as it did not include traditional element such as the product of the brand. The campaign was hugely successful increasing revenue by £150m from just £5m in spend.

Phil also spoke about the subsequent “Bring back Whispa” campaign which was essentially a customer driven initiative. As part of that Cadbury handed over the outdoor advertising to personal messages created by consumers. You can just imagine the reaction in the Legal/Compliance department when that idea was first discussed.

Change is also under way in Enterprise Ireland where Julie Sinnamon has just taken over the reins. Julie highlighted the incredible innovation and international success among Irish companies and pointed out that they contribute as much to the economy as multinationals.

To sum up, the pace of change in the way marketing works is only going to increase and the need to move away from old models, relinquish control and genuinely collaborate with customers is more urgent than ever. We are, I believe, moving from a Business to Consumer model to a Consumer to Business model driven by the power of digital channels.

This article on the CMO Summit was first published by the Marketing Institute of Ireland in November 2013.





Promoting your app

22 11 2013

A second post on the mini conference organised by Techspectations in DCU on mobile marketing concerns how to promote your app. These tips were provided by Conor Winders of Redwind Software.

Firstly, if you have the money to promote your app then spend it. Advertising is a key way to tell the world about your app. Conor particularly highlighted that ads in the Facebook mobile app deliver high conversions rates. He estimated an advertising cost of €5 per install.

Secondly, and to my mind more importantly, provide an excellent user experience. If your app delivers for the user then this will help reviews and encourage people to recommend the app. A few things to consider when looking at the user experience:

  1. the app should be intuitive. The user should be able to find their way around the app easily and explore its features
  2. avoid tutorials or other ways of guiding the user as they just get in the way
  3. watch and learn. By monitoring how people use the app you can learn how to make it better

Thirdly, get noticed by Apple. If you get featured by Apple in the App Store then your downloads will multiply. To get noticed by Apple use the latest Apple technology (so that Apple can use you as a showcase) and offer exclusivity to Apple.

Fourthly, build a website to support the app including images and video.

Finally, optimise your app store listing with a great icon, a good selection of screen shots and well written text





Taking the ‘yes’ from the ‘no’

6 12 2012

Thanks to the Ryan Academy I had the pleasure on Tuesday of listening to Rory O’Connor and Anita Murphy of Rory’s Story Cubes and The Creativity Lab tell their story. This is a marvellous story of innovation, creativity, perseverance and hard work. If you are looking for a creative yet simple Christmas present for someone you could do worse than buy one of these.

There were a few key messages that really struck me.

  1. If people don’t help you then have the courage to do it yourself. Not everybody will see what you see.
  2. Don’t hold their failure to see your vision against them. If they can help you in the future then accept their help.
  3. Be prepared to try the less obvious route to solving a problem.
  4. Try to clarify the real need. If someone says ‘no’ then try to understand why they said ‘no’ and then meet that need.

Marketing, innovation

Finally, what struck me most was Rory and Anita’s absolute passion for what it is they do. A truly great Irish success story.





Media 360 Conference via Twitter

23 11 2012

I could not attend the Media 360 conference this week but did follow it on Twitter. I thought it might be interesting to summarise the views of the Twitterati under a few headings.

General comments

  1. The decisions you make now will determine how successful your brand will be when the recession ends
  2. Short term decisions to cut [marketing] spend leads to long-term damage to your market share
  3. Aside from numbers, the biggest strength of radio is the one-to-one relationship people have with it
  4. Deadlines work on ads. Creates a sense of urgency and spurs people into action
  5. Deliver a strong call to action and focus on the goal

Research

  1. Invest in good research and monitoring to see what parts of your ad campaign work
  2. Don’t trust research (this from the head of a leading market research company)

Digital

  1. Digital has a place in all marketing plans
  2. Brands that are winning in the digital world are those that are open to participation
  3. Ensure that your website is accessible through all devices
  4. Direct mail and digital work well together
  5. SEO your website and use mobile search
  6. Search is the bridge between traditional and digital advertising
  7. Digital will drive the recovery of media

Social

  1. All about social media for 15-24 year olds
  2. 40% of all Tweets during peak viewing times are TV related
  3. Implement social listening
  4. Social content is NOT advertising
  5. Create a content schedule for social media

Mobile

  1. Mobile is a key area of growth, RTE say they see 60% of their traffic coming via this channel
  2. Don’t use your desktop as a digital frame of reference, use mobile




The importance of your staff

25 10 2012

At recent Marketing Breakfast Nigel Blow, the CEO of Arnotts, gave some excellent insights into the ongoing work of rebuilding the classic Irish retail brand that is Arnotts. You can see the entire presentation on the Marketing Institute You Tube Channel but what struck me was the emphasis Nigel put on the workforce.

Nigel started by saying that he inherited a very demotivated workforce. This is hardly surprising given that they had been told they were being made redundant during the planned redevelopment and were very much aware of Arnotts’ financial problems. However, despite all this, the staff were very passionate about Arnotts and wanted to contribute to its turnaround. Because of their great loyalty and passion Nigel was very keen to involved them in the process.

Nigel and his team held coordinated sessions with all staff . These sessions usually had about 100 people at a time and included the full range of staff for longing serving to new, from Arnotts staff to concession staff. The key points to come out of these sessions were:

  • feedback was hugely positive even though you would have expected negativity
  • staff were very grateful for being included even if many of them had seen it all before
  • you must implement at least some of what comes out of the session in order for them to have any credibility
  • the level of honesty was impressive: “you have to get rid of the s**t people”
  • a lot of time was spent on vision and values and on the ‘bullseye customer’
  • all of the results were communicated clearly
  • annual goals for staff were based on the tone set by the values

Nigel finished his section on staff by reminding us that change is difficult. As much as people say they want it you must be aware that when it is happening it is very difficult.

If you want to learn more check out my interview with Nigel conducted after the breakfast event.

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