Last week, in association with the Institute of Directors (IoD) and Avondale, we held the second in the series of 'Accelerating Growth in the Digital Age'; a one day thought leadership conference for senior marketing and business directors at the IoD in London.
The day provided ample food for thought around using digital marketing to fuel growth in an ever competitive and fast information consuming economy.
In this second blog roundup of the day we look at technology itself and the digital marketing strategies that can benefit from this fast technological evolution.
Innovation, technology and consumer behaviour
Martijn Bertisen the Director of Retail at Google commenced by stating that:
Today is the slowest day of innovation we will experience for the rest of our lives.
The hard hitting facts didn’t end there, he shared that 40% of the world’s population is now online and demonstrated a stark reminder of the pace of technology take-up, for instance the Apple product sale:
‘How quickly did one million of each of these devices get sold?’ Referring to the Apple iPod and iPhone 6.
The answer? Apple iPod took 365 days to sell 1 million. Whereas the latest Apple iPhone 6 took 6 hours.
The pace of growth is accelerating faster and faster, this was a 14 year time difference, if we carry on at this rate, what will the next 14 years look like?
The purpose of technology? He defined as:
"Technology is designed to make our lives easier, safer and more efficient"
Take-up is not the only adoption, but the evolution in consumer behaviour is changing what is adopted, for example, 40% of the American population now use voice search. And voice search is a prime example of where technology is headed – predictive.
Voice search is intelligent to the point of actually having a conversation with you, not just answering a question. It can continue the conversation through its use of memory (of what’s previously been said) and intelligence (i.e. location knowledge).
Location is a key area for predictive now as Google are seeing that 49% of searches include ‘local intent’ – i.e. they are looking for something in their area and location technology can supply information before they go to search for it, such as pointing out local restaurants and bars.
Consumers, however, are still ahead of businesses in what they demand. So enabling consumer to reach you by channels that make their lives easier, and not preventing barriers for how they want to interact with you is key.
For example John Lewis found that 53% of customers during the Christmas period clicked and collected their purchases – this was not anticipated, but they were able to facilitate that demand and provide an good customer experience.
Are all your routes to purchase open for your consumers?
There’s a successful retail trend for companies providing intermediary, value-add services.
Zappos, for example, enable you to take a picture of any product, then it locates it on the web and you can choose to buy it through Zappos or other retailers. They are providing an amazing service by using image recognition technology.
“Stores are not dead”
Through technology we are now even connecting the likes of tennis rackets so you can store and review your performance statistically – technology is even adding value to products themselves.
Martijn’s final point was forward thinking is vital. If you are not looking and thinking 5-10 years ahead, your company, will soon, no longer exist.
Joined up, informed digital journeys
Brad Guin an Account Director at Jellyfish shared a brand building case study, in particular the challenge of building a brand from the ground up – Hari Ghotra.
Learn more about Hari by clicking on the image below:
Not only did the brand not exist, the strategy was flipped on its head by not using paid media but using ‘earned’ media – building the brand through social and word of mouth.
How was this achieved?
- Careful campaign honing using demographic and content intelligence gained through analytics
- Seeking ‘red flags’ i.e. why is there a big web page bounce rate? Is the content being promoted in the right place?
- Repurposing content for different social channels
- Expanding opportunities to monetise your offering and turn your audience into customers
In this case, engaging with the audience by giving them content (i.e. value recipes and how to’s), they then went on to sell spice packs and curry kits. The success has led to Hari being scouted to be the executive head chef at Tamarind in Soho.
Showing you really can create a business with very little resources, content, social and determination.
Social transformation: The how to’s and the proof
Jellyfish’s Senior Social Manager, Hannah Rainford, acknowledges the role of social media in our lives; to entertain, discover, learn and seek information.
“It’s very unlikely that you haven’t been influenced by social media”
Hannah shared that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as (or more than) they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
Social media is not only a source of intelligence for users, it’s the new word of mouth.
Social media monitoring is useful for those who invest the time to gather the invaluable business intelligence it can provide - to pinpoint trends and hot topics and to aid forecasting.
Hannah shared Domino’s intent to purchase what pizza toppings by state and quantity of purchases by region to highlight the very intelligence that could inform your sales and marketing strategy:
- 58% of smartphone users don’t go an hour without checking their device
- 161 million minutes are spent on social sites via a mobile device every month
- The Apple brand opt to not have any social media platforms
Have you got Nomophobia…? …The fear of being out of mobile phone contact!
Hannah emphasises the importance of audience centricity, it’s so easy to push out content, but establishing what your audience want to read and what they will value enough to share changes content, into popular content.
Jellyfish case study examples of social transforming businesses:
- Pet Plan insurance saw an 87% increase in new site traffic with a 12.5% increase in insurance quote requests in the first quarter of using Pinterest.
- Simply Business saw an increase in traffic of 86 per cent during the year after creating a content hub to house content that is interesting to their ideal customer which was promoted on social media. (To see more Jellyfish case studies click here.)
Which proves Hannah’s next point – B2B social is successful, in particular by these channels:
“On social media, 58% of consumers actively share their positive experiences with a company, and ask family and friends for their opinions on brands”
Hannah closed by reflecting on the value of a loyal customer to a brand - by providing them with the platform to become your brand advocate helps as an engaged customer is a loyal customer.
Technologies of the future
Dave Coplin Microsoft’s Chief Envisioning Officer concurred with Martijn in that technology is supposed to be a force for good.
“Smartphones are our windows into the digital world”
Dave joked about scanning barcodes of products in shops to see if he can get them cheaper on Amazon – i.e. technology can enable consumer advantage.
Dave talked about data and its ability to empower us through technology, the more data you have the more predictive your business decision-making can become.
The more data you have the more you can use statistics for recognising patterns – which we can do outside of technology – but within it results in “machine learning” which is transformational.
Skype is developing the capability to translate foreign languages – will this eradicate the need to ever learn one, he questioned.
“The best technologies are the ones where we remain human”
Dave’s ability to visualise the many ways the merge of physical and digital can happen is aided by Microsoft’s research labs being able to experiment.
Dave Coplin’s examples of how technology might impact your life in the near future included:
- Holograms might be part of your ‘blended reality’ – for examples you will be able to put glasses on and interact with your world using holograms – check out their HoloLens project
- Digital marketing could evolve so when you walk past a digital panel in the street it can read who you are from your mobile device and tailor a digital billboard to market personally to you
- Self-driving cars of course, and even the floor would be able to tell you how many times you’ve stood on it.. and much more
Click to view Microsoft’s video on HoloLens:
Dave shared his views on the key skills needed for this digital age:
- Critical thinking
- Deep thinking
- Staying safe online – ‘it is your responsibility and the cooperation’s like ours’
Find out more about Jellyfish’s flagship event – Digital Journeys – where we’ll examine this the technological impact on digital marketing.