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Millennials are a tough market to nail down and marketers have been collectively scratching their heads since the demographic became economically independent, digging for a catch-all strategy for the phone-obsessed, advertisement-sceptical whippersnappers.

Digital and social influencers may be the answer to this question, however. Social influence theory has been around since the 1700s, but the modern interpretation of the strategy uses non-celebrities – divided into micro, middle, and macro levels – who share a product on social media in an implicit manner, bypassing the millennial distrust of traditional advertising.

In a world of manufactured clout and internet fame, influencers are growing more and more in unregulated power, meaning the blooming avenue for influencer marketing does come with its risks and limitations.

Cases of rising tensions between marketers and influencers have been growing for a while, so a question remains: where does the power lie? How influential is social media? How much power do influencers really have?

Influence Pays

Paying influencers depends wholly on their following. A micro-influencer – who has 10,000 followers – is typically paid anywhere from £100-500 per post. Macro influencers of 100K+ followers, on the other hand, can ask for figures around £1,000. Kylie Jenner, who has 120M followers on Instagram, has been known to quote a price of £750,000 for a sponsored post!

Despite that eye-watering figure, having Jenner on your side pays. The entrepreneur’s economic power can be seen in her apparent decimation of Snapchat’s stock with one errant tweet, where she said the following:

sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.

— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018

Jenner, who cultivated most of her fame on the platform, ended up facilitating a market move that wiped $1 billion worth of stock from Snapchat, six per cent of its total value. That, in its purest form, was influencer power beyond anything a marketing agency, or even a corporation, could foresee or cause.

Or Was It All A Coincidence…

A lot has been made of Jenner’s impact on Snapchat’s blip, but the narrative that she impacted Snapchat alone may be wide of the mark. The saga proved how influential she is on social media, but not necessarily her impact on the stock exchange.

Snapchat’s stock returned to normal by February 22nd. Plus, its stock was already forecasted for a decline regardless. What was originally seen as a high watermark of influencer impact may have been a coincidence, but Jenner’s power in terms of gains cannot be understated.

Back in August, Jenner posted four Snapchat stories of her wearing a dress by a small clothing label called Johansen. The consequence: an overnight $4 million boost to revenue for the label.

Generally, as Jenner shows, influencers pay. However, this isn’t true across the board as it is markedly clear that the Kardashians/Jenners are outliers. For the majority of influencers, marketers can estimate ROI from influencer marketing, but cannot guarantee it in raw figures.

Why is this? Well, marketers cannot guarantee what their ROI is exactly, as influencer marketing is renowned for being difficult to track. With other types of marketing, it’s easy to calculate a cost and return, but finding exact figures can be complicated with influencers as there are so many interconnecting factors at play.

Investment Returned?

By and large, influencer marketing is estimated to return $7.65 per dollar spent, but the point remains: it’s difficult for businesses to know their ROI exactly.

Despite this, marketing agencies are increasing the amount of funds towards influencers. Mobile Marketer states that 92 per cent of marketers said they plan to increase budgets for Instagram influencer programs, while, according to v3b, 79 per cent of marketers said they have trouble determining the exact ROI. Effectively, marketers are banking on a strategy of firing from the hip.

Businesses have no way to accurately measure the success of a relationship with influencers, instead relying on rough estimates and guesswork. Dealing in abstracts means strained business relationships, especially when influencers have the upper hand.

Trouble In Paradise

A marketer being left in the dark leaves influencers in more power, as seen by a recent court case with actor and influencer Luka Sabbat, who was sued by Snapchat for not promoting its Spectacles feature enough.

Despite being paid roughly $60,000 to make four unique posts on Instagram about Spectacles, Sabbat failed to live up to the deal, leading to him being sued.

This is one of many cases drip-feeding through the court systems, resulting from marketers being unable to see their ROI and influencers failing to live up to commitments.

The Shift To Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers are becoming the way forward for influencer marketing, as larger personalities tend to come with additional baggage. Micro-influencers have a smaller following, smaller costs and, generally, a much better ROI in terms of percentages.

According to Expertcity, 82 per cent of purchasers take recommendations from their favourite micro-influencers. Influencers needn’t be reserved for the dizzy heights and problematic business procedures of Hollywood.

A micro-influencer tends to have a more committed following, meaning when they advertise a product, their audience has a greater chance of believing their message. Typically, according to PerformanceIn, micro-influencers, with a following up to 100k, have been known to drive eight-times more engagement than celebrities do.

Larger influencers are beginning to scupper due to the low per cent of ROI and the high-risk associated with costs, lack of communication, and general apathy to commitments.

So, Is Influencer Marketing Going Downhill?

Influencer marketing is still the go-to for effective advertisement, but larger influencers are starting to butt heads with marketers-at-large. While ROI is normally guaranteed, the relative transparency and smaller risk of micro-influencers is becoming more attractive to marketers as it’s a fairer transaction.

Generally, the power lies with influencers, but marketers do have options. Social influence psychology is a powerful tool, whether someone has 10,000 followers or 100 million. If firms take their eyes off the impressive numbers of macro influencers, micro may be the way of the future.

Want to stay ahead of the influencer curve and learn which influencers will guarantee a ROI? Then brush-up on our digital marketing case studies; we offer comprehensive advice on how to bank on influencer marketing the smart way.

The post How Much Power Do Social Influencers Really Have? appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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UX and Optimisation Analyst (and Disney fan) Amy Fleming writes about how Disney Parks and Resorts have nailed the seamless user experience.

As a UX and Optimisation Analyst, it’s no surprise that I spend a lot of time both consciously and sub-consciously critiquing experiences I encounter in my everyday life.
Doors that say ‘push’ when it has a pull handle, the ordered confusion of shopping in Ikea; I often think to myself, ‘I wish someone had put more thought into the user experience!’.

DISNEYLAND UNVEILED (1954) -– In front of an early rendering by Disney legend Peter Ellenshaw, Walt Disney unveils his plans for Disneyland to a national television audience during the premiere of “Disneyland” the television show, October 27, 1954.

Trivial or otherwise, people are constantly expecting more from products and experiences. It’s our job as designers, developers, even door makers, to challenge the status-quo and deliver quality user experiences, regardless of the product. One company which I think does this brilliantly is Disney; specifically Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

You could say I’m a big Disney fan. My family has travelled to Walt Disney World and Disneyland multiple times; my sister is currently on a year-long college program working as a Cast Member at Walt Disney World. As I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the ‘world’ multiple times, I can honestly say I’ve always had a brilliant guest experience.

The customer service, attention to detail and the level of technological sophistication combines to give guests a unique experience. So, what is it that Disney does which sets it apart from the competitors? And, what lessons can we, as designers and developers, learn from Disney and apply to our user experiences? Here are a few examples which perfectly illustrate user experience at its finest.

“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it requires people to make the dream a reality.” Walt Disney

Mickey’s Ten Commandments

Walt Disney was a revolutionary, possibly even one of the first UX Designers . He had a passion for bringing families experiences they could share together, which culminated in the building of Disneyland in 1955.

Sadly, Walt didn’t live to see the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971, but his ideas and legacy are still at the heart and soul of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Marty Skylar, former President and Principal Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering and one of Walt’s most trusted advisors, formally documented key lessons from Disney into what is known as ‘Mickey’s Ten Commandments’:

1. Know your audience – Don’t bore people, talk down to them or lose them by assuming that they know what you know.

2. Wear your guest’s shoes – Insist that designers, staff and your board members experience your facility as visitors as often as possible.

3. Organise the flow of people and ideas – Use good storytelling techniques, tell good stories not lectures, lay out your exhibit with a clear logic.

4. Create a weenie – Lead visitors from one area to another by creating visual magnets and giving visitors rewards for making the journey.

5. Communicate with visual literacy – Make good use of all the non-verbal ways of communication – colour, shape, form, texture.

6. Avoid overload – Resist the temptation to tell too much, to have too many objects, don’t force people to swallow more than they can digest, try to stimulate and provide guidance to those who want more.

7. Tell one story at a time – If you have a lot of information divide it into distinct, logical, organised stories, people can absorb and retain information more clearly if the path to the next concept is clear and logical.

8. Avoid contradiction – Clear institutional identity helps give you the competitive edge. The public needs to know who you are and what differentiates you from other institutions they may have seen.

9. For every ounce of treatment, provide a ton of fun – How do you woo people from all other temptations? Give people plenty of opportunity to enjoy themselves by emphasising ways that let people participate in the experience and by making your environment rich and appealing to all senses.

10. Keep it up – Never underestimate the importance of cleanliness and routine maintenance, people expect to get a good show every time, people will comment more on broken and dirty stuff.

How Do The Ten Commandments Serve UX?

Wear your guests shoes – Crucial to good UX is an empathy for users. In my article on collaborative user research, I advocated for stakeholders to be hands-on in the design of their products.

Create a weenie – Visual magnets and rewards for completing a journey are concepts we can use when designing a purchase journey. Showing users where they are on the journey using a progress bar will give them an idea of what is expected of them. Gamification in UX is a huge talking point with more companies creating fun experiences to increase user engagement, such as Duolingo.

Avoid overload – Cognitive overload is an issue which can affect us all. We all know about the ‘less is more’ adage, but effectively applying this to our designs is often a challenge. In my article ‘4 Essentials for user research in 2018’, I wrote about how accessibility is often neglected, and that we need to avoid information overload as this will deter many from using our product.

Keep it up – Broken links, old content, 404 errors; if you don’t maintain your website, it will become outdated and harder for your users to navigate. No website will ever be perfect, so allow time to conduct a website audit, using tools such as Screaming Frog and SEO SiteCheckup.

Your Key To The World

Speaking of omnichannel experiences; Disney is pretty good at them too. At Walt Disney World, you can feel like you are in a ‘bubble’ where you leave the outside world. Disney has capitalised on this by developing a seamless experience for customers that caters for your every need while on holiday.

Magicbands, introduced to Walt Disney World in 2013 as the central part of the MyMagic+ Experience, are RFID controlled bracelets which are given to Disney Resort guests on arrival. In short, they are your ‘Key to the World’. It’s the key to your hotel room, your ticket into the parks, and your primary paying method while in Walt Disney World.

Customers no longer need to rummage around their backpacks trying to find park tickets, or find themselves locked out of their hotel room; keep your Magicband on and you’re set.

Internet Of Things For Experiences

Magicbands work like, well, magic. Using RFID and being connected to the My Disney Experience app on your phone, guests are given personal, seamless experiences. Here are some fun examples:

1. Personalisation: if you tap your Magicband when you enter ‘It’s a Small World’, as you exit the ride your name will show up on a screen.

2. Some attractions have on-ride photography. If you tap your band as you enter, once you exit the ride, your photo will be available for download on the My Disney Experience app.

3. If you make a reservation at a restaurant and you’re wearing your Magicband when you show up, a host will greet you and already know your name.

So, what can Magicbands teach us about good user experience? Nick Franklin, who oversaw the project, summed it up perfectly:

“What people call the Internet of Things is just a technological underpinning that misses the point. This is about the experiential Internet. The guest doesn’t need to know how it happened.” Nick Franklin

So, while not every company has the same budget as Disney (the MyMagic+ Experience system cost $1 billion to develop!), we can still apply the principles of their seamless experience to our products, regardless of the amount of technology at our disposal. For example, a 2015 campaign by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home used RFID to activate digital billboards showing images of rescue dogs. The campaign increased website visits by more than 35 per cent. Disney’s Four Keys

Quintessential to the guest experience at a Walt Disney Park or Resort are the employees (known as Cast Members). The “Disney Experience” is unique, and Cast Members are expected to give guests unparalleled customer service. In training, Cast Members are taught The Four Keys – four words they follow as their service standards when interacting with guests:

Safety
  • I practice safe behaviours in everything I do.
  • I take action to always put safety first.
  • I speak up to ensure the safety of others.
Courtesy
  • I project a positive image and energy.
  • I am courteous and respectful to guests of all ages.
  • I go above and beyond to exceed guest expectations.
Show
  • I stay in character and perform my role in the show.
  • I ensure my area is show-ready at all times.
Efficiency
  • I perform my role efficiently, so guests get the most out of their visit.
  • I use my time and resources wisely.

Having a positive Cast Member experience makes guests feel special and will stay with them, well after they have returned home. That’s the feeling we should strive for when creating digital experiences for users. Considering the user, going above and beyond with an efficient route to a goal will lead to deeper brand loyalty with users returning because they enjoyed the experience.

Conclusion

Visiting a Walt Disney park or resort is special; you get to escape reality and enjoy a high quality, seamless experience. Disney’s attention to detail and user-centred approach to the design and development of their parks and resorts sets them apart from the competition. Nothing is impossible, and they are constantly exploring other ways to enhance a guest’s visit. As designers, developers, even door makers, we can take these principles into our current products and beyond.

As Walt Disney once said: “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” So, let’s keep moving forward.

The post Seamless UX: A Lesson From Disney appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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Referral marketing platform, Mention Me, launched in 2013 as a software-as-a-service solution that allows businesses to switch on and optimise the referral marketing channel, significantly boosting customer acquisition without requiring tech resource. They now power refer-a-friend programmes for hundreds of brands including some of the most well-known and fastest growing retailers in the UK, Europe, and the US.

In October 2017, they undertook research in collaboration with OnePoll to survey over 2000 UK consumers to gain insight into the demographics most likely to refer brands and products, and to further understand how to cook up a referral storm. Figaro Digital spoke to Tim Boughton, CTO & Co-Founder of Mention Me, to discuss the company’s research and resulting infographics exploring the demographics most likely to refer products and how to cook up a referral storm.

In the first instalment of this two part interview find out why demographics are so significant to referral marketing and how to close the referral gender gap. The referral conversation will continue this time next week, so look out for Back To Basics: How To Cook Up A Referral Storm.

FD: How important is it for businesses to be able to switch on and optimise a referral marketing channel?

TB: One of the things my co-founder, Andy, and I learnt at our previous company, HomeAway, was that tech teams are consistently stretched and there’s always a massive backlog of projects. So brands who manage to get referral schemes to the top of their tech team’s backlog usually only get a thin version of their first hypothesis of what a full programme could look. Once it has been successfully delivered they rarely have the resources to go back and amend it.

Referral isn’t like other channels, it is something you have to coax into working. It’s not a slam dunk as there are different factors to configure and no one refer-a-friend programme will work across multiple brands. You have to fine tune it.

We designed Mention Me in a way that puts control back into the hands of the brand marketing teams to unshackle them from having to rely on their own tech support. Other than the very simple set up process, they generally don’t need any further tech changes after the scheme has gone live, meaning they can easily and quickly amend the programme to move it forward from that first hypothesis. In our experience it takes around six months to ramp up to performance level and develop a truly successful refer-a-friend programme. Which is why outsourcing refer-a-friend makes a lot of sense.

FD: What makes referral marketing so profitable and easily measurable?

TB: We can measure referral so accurately because we tieback referral purchases to individual customers rather than using cookies for example, which a lot of other channels use to track their performance. We use the email address of a customer as a unique reference, and so we check each new customer that goes through the referral program against the entire lists of customers that belong to one of our clients. So we can guarantee that we’re only giving them incremental new customers that they don’t already have in their customer list. That’s really important because of the incremental nature of the channel and its measurability through transactions.

FD: Why are demographics so important?

TB: Fundamentally it’s a channel about humans. What we’re trying to do is persuade two people to have a conversation, which is often a real life conversation. We are getting one of those people to put their neck on the line and recommend something to their friend, which is a really interesting social transaction to be involved in. In referral there are certain things that that make it easy to get someone to recommend a brand to someone else. If they’re going to be able to give their friends a discount then it’s going to make them look great in front of their friends, removing any barrier to making that referral.

On the other hand there are going to be negative aspects to referral programs, such as: how much hassle is it going to be to make this referral? Will I actually get a discount that I can give them? The last time I ordered something from that brand it didn’t turn up on time, so I’m a bit frustrated. Those are the key things that stop someone from referring. What you’re trying to do is make sure pros outweigh the cons.

The interesting thing about the demographics is that each brand has a different set of constraints because of how much discounting they are doing in the marketplace and various other factors that are in the mix. But demographics matter because you need to think of ways that you can make a referral program positive enough and make sense to your customers, so they’re going to have a great interaction with your brand that leads to a recommendation. So you have to accurately identify the demographic of a brand and use the knowledge we have about how those demographics behave.

It’s important to remember that it’s not an exact science, there’s no rule of thumb that says if your site is primarily shopped on by women and they are in this age demographic, that your referral scheme is guaranteed to work. It’s not that simple. But what we can do is use the demographics to make educated guesses about what we think will resonate, and A/B test the fine details. So we’ll provide a brand with two options and will track their performance all the way from a consumer seeing the offer to the point of them sharing it with their friend, and ultimately whether they make a purchase. That’s the referral cycle and can take up to three months.

FD: With women more likely to recommend in almost every sector, can you explain the referral gender gap?

TB: Although this referral gender gap looks like it would put off brands who are selling in male dominated sectors, the opposite is happening. Men do tend to share and talk about products less than women, but this means that when they do make a recommendation their friends tend to pick up on it faster because there’s less saturation. The men who receive those recommendations tend to follow up on them more, so there’s an offsetting that takes place.

We know referral can work in any sector; it’s not always intuitive as to what will work in that category, so you need to test and learn. You need to find and capitalise on the organic conversations where recommendations are already are taking place, and then the gender gap doesn’t necessarily affect it. It’s important to be aware of it and realise that it doesn’t mean that targeting men isn’t going to work.

FD: Why do you think consumer are so much more likely to recommend brands offering experiences – food and drink, travel, leisure, and entertainment – compared to other sectors?

TB: What we’re seeing here is the process of natural human connection taking place. These are the things that people talk about and make up social collateral. You are simply more likely to tell someone about a great experience like a meal at a good restaurant than something material or monetary. It’s common currency to talk about experiences that naturally occur in conversation, which would in theory make them easy to attach referral programmes to. This is also the case amongst women in relation to women’s fashion and beauty. There is a culture of complimenting each other, so again those conversations about products naturally happen. Partially explaining the Gender Gap as men don’t have the same culture of complements.

The referral sweet spot is in fashion and retail. This is the case as it’s a sector where marketing teams are hugely enthusiastic about referral, but have struggled to get it to work. In comparison food and drink can be difficult as there are less margins to play with, so incentives can be less attractive and recommendations tend to happen offline. We’re actively trying to capture that moment of natural recommendation online and are working on adding features that will make referral really grow in those sectors.

Download the Referral By Sector infographic here.

The post Deconstructing Demographics: Referral By Sector appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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Digital marketing has drastically changed over the years. There are various jobs in digital marketing which simply didn’t exist a decade ago, with many of them being absolutely essential to any company’s strategy. Whether you’re studying at university and thinking of going into marketing or thinking of a career switch, consider the five following jobs as an option. Becoming adept at any of these roles will allow you to stay in high demand and relevant in the industry.

Social Media Manager

 2.62 billion people all over the world use social media. And by 2021, it is estimated that over three billion people will be social media users. A lot of people are on social media every day – it’s where many people source their news and information.

It’s no wonder, then, that businesses are eager to find highly skilled social media managers who can help communicate their brand and message on a variety of social media platforms.

Social media managers are tasked with strategising, managing, and maintaining the company’s social media accounts. They need to ensure that social media profiles and activity are brand consistent. Part of their role is making sure that the company is effectively engaging with customers and influencers.

Every company needs a social media manager who is up-to-date with social media trends.

SEO Analyst

 Search engine optimisation (SEO) analysts are always thinking about how to make websites rank higher in online searches. Being able to rank on the first page of Google will massively boost your company’s visibility and make it easier for customers to find you.

An SEO analyst will assess a website and then develop and implement strategies that will help the website to climb up the ranks in Google search results. However, SEO is changing all the time, as Google is constantly altering its algorithms and rules.

A business, therefore, needs an adaptable, seasoned SEO analyst who can stay on top of these shifting trends. They need to expertly monitor website analytics and figure out where improvements need to be made.

Data Scientist

 A data scientist is someone who accesses, collects, interprets, and utilises large data sets belonging to a business in order to create effective data strategies. A data strategy ensures that data initiatives carried out by a business follow a common method and structure that can be repeated.

Data scientists play a crucial role in helping companies better understand their market. They are able to take key information about its customers and turn that into data visualisations and insights.

Having access to large amounts of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data can reveal a lot of useful information. However, only if it can be handled by someone with the right kind of training and experience.

Trying to interpret this kind of information without a background in data science is likely to be overwhelming and time-consuming.

UX Designer

User experience (UX) designers, as the name suggests, focus on how a company’s website or applications can be enhanced to offer a better experience for the user.

A UX designer will employ different approaches and use A/B testing. This involves creating two versions of a webpage to see which one performs better in order to determine the most effective landing pages, product pages, user subscription page, and call to actions.

If you want to formulate a successful digital marketing strategy, then you need to pay close attention to your customers’ experience when they visit your site or app. By improving this experience, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as boost your brand.

Chief Listening Officer

This is a relatively new type of role, which may be why you’re hearing about it for the first time. Nevertheless, it exists because of how much value it provides to a digital marketing strategy. In a way, you can think of the role as being similar to a social media manager’s but taking a broader approach.

Chief listening officers keep track of both internal and external communications in order to gain a clearer understanding of what clients appreciate (and dislike) about a company’s brand. They will then gather this information together and devise a strategy that will maintain what clients appreciate and fix those things they dislike.

Chief listening officers work closely with social media managers in order to achieve these aims.

A chief listening officer will also outline their research to stakeholders, highlighting relevant information, such as complaints, advice from consumers, novel product ideas, and more general feedback. Fortunately, people are generally quite open when it comes to expressing their opinions and ideas on social media.

Chief listening officers are able to monitor these comments and pinpoint ways in which a company can stay ahead.

When hiring for any of the above five roles, a company should always make sure that the candidate in question is tech-savvy and aware of the latest trends in their profession and in digital marketing at large.

Ultimately, a successful digital marketing team is made up of individuals who are passionate about staying ahead of the game and taking a business to new heights.

The post Five Vital Jobs In Digital Marketing appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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At Figaro Digital we are busily getting ready for our last event of the year; the Winter Digital Marketing Conference. As the final (and dare we say the best) event in the industry calendar, we can’t wait to see everyone thoroughly immersed in all that our jam-packed agenda has to offer. With an incredible schedule of thought leadership presentations from a line-up of industry expert speakers from IBM Watson Marketing, Ticketmaster, Phrasee, Blue Cross, and more, this is not one to miss.

Throughout the year and in the run up to the big day we have been publishing content produced by the brands, agencies, and technology companies that will be speaking at the Conference. Have a look through some of the amazing interviews and articles below.

Superstar Pets: Digital Innovation at Blue Cross

Animal Welfare charity, Blue Cross, has been helping sick, injured, and homeless pets since 1897. The charity’s vast legacy means that they are no stranger to change and the transformation of their relationship with their audience. This is evident in their innovative campaign, the Superstar Pets app, which is the first use of technology facilitating organic customer generated content for pet adverts that ran from 22 March until 6 May 2018.

The app, supported by TV dancing stars Katya and Neil Jones and their dog Crumble, aimed to help millions of users make their pet a Facebook superstar and put the nation’s pets at the heart of the Blue Cross message. Figaro Digital spoke to Cressida O’Shea, Brand and Communications Partner at Blue Cross, earlier in the year to find out how the charity is innovating to keep up with their evolving audience and the inflated spend of larger charities in the hugely competitive animal welfare sector.  Find out more here.

Maintaining Equilibrium: How The NHS Stays Relevant At 70

NHS Blood and Transplant are embracing digital innovation as part of their marketing strategy. They have realised the need to constantly evolve with the times and are hoping to implement AI and chatbots as part of their targeted outreach to donors.

As 2018 marks the 70th birthday of the NHS, Figaro Digital caught up with Gareth Humphreys, Head of Insight, Strategy and Innovation at NHS Blood and Transplant, to see how their digital strategy has evolved. Every year around 200,000 new donors are needed to maintain the supply of blood to hospitals and research indicates that many young people have a neutral attitude to blood donation so regular marketing campaigns are needed to recruit new donors. Gareth discusses some key ways that his team ensures that donating blood remains relevant in a digital age. Read on to see how NHS Blood and Transplant are keeping up in the digital age.

Why It’s Time To Rethink Customer Loyalty

In the digital age, customer or brand loyalty is a tricky one. Many in the industry and beyond bemoan the Millennial generation for having killed loyalty card schemes with intensive and thorough pre-purchase online research. In fact, in August 2018 Retail Week reported that 76 per cent of consumers research online before making a purchase, either online or in-store. Floris Oranje, Managing Director Digital Marketing at Dept, suggests that this has resulted in significant challenges for brands to maintain relationships and achieve loyalty. In their research of 1000 UK consumers, ‘How Brand Loyal are UK Customers?‘, Dept concluded that it is time to leave traditional loyalty schemes behind and adopt a new approach to loyalty.

From looking at the state of the market with the decline of the three most renowned loyalty card schemes – Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage Card, and Nectar – to ‘In-The-Box’ Innovation, Floris explores some of the elements of digital loyalty he will be covering in his presentation at the Conference. Read the article here to find out more.

Ethical Marketing: Putting The “Why” Back Into “Please Buy”

Riverford Organic Farms sell veg boxes to 50,000 households across the UK every week and are staunchly proud of their values – being 100 per cent organic, having the best relationships with other growers and producers both ethically and financially, and being a force for good in the community.

In the run up to his talk at the Figaro Digital Winter Conference, Daniel Lennox shares some of the things Riverford have learnt on their journey of ensuring the Riverford brand, and what it stands for, doesn’t take a back seat in their digital marketing. From rebranding and focusing on their brand story to maximising how they tell this story, Riverford have put the “why” back into “please buy” and want you to do the same. To find out more about their approach to ethical marketing read the article here.

Uber And Airbnb Have The Best Referral Schemes: Or Do They?

It is often thought that tech giants Uber and AirBnB have the best referral schemes, having written the metaphorical referral rulebook. However, Robin Bresnark, Director of Client success at Buyapowa, argues otherwise and suggests that, “as is common with many in-house software projects, their schemes have evolved very little over time and now look desperately neglected and unloved compared with industry-leading programmes from the likes of River Island, Boohoo, Expedia, Vodafone, and Travelex.”

To prepare for his presentation about the psychology of referral marketing in new customer acquisition at the Conference, Robin outlines the areas in which Uber and AirBnB fall short of their constantly evolving and innovative competitors’ referral marketing schemes. From customisable emails to the Pareto Principle, this article covers the five simple but serious ways that the likes of Uber and Airbnb have fallen behind the curve. Find out more here.

The post Winter Digital Marketing Conference: The Content Covered appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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NHS Blood and Transplant are embracing digital innovation as part of their marketing strategy. They have realised the need to constantly evolve with the times and are hoping to implement AI and chatbots as part of their targeted outreach to donors.

As 2018 marks the 70th birthday of the NHS, Figaro Digital caught up with Gareth Humphreys, Head of Insight, Strategy and Innovation at NHS Blood and Transplant, to see how their digital strategy has evolved. The National Blood Service was formed in 1946 by the RAF after the Second World War and continues to supply blood to hospitals in England. Every year around 200,000 new donors are needed to maintain the supply of blood to hospitals and research indicates that many young people have a neutral attitude to blood donation so regular marketing campaigns are needed to recruit new donors. Gareth discusses some key ways that his team ensures that donating blood remains relevant in a digital age.

FD: With the NHS turning 70 this year, how have NHS Blood and Transplant updated their marketing strategy to operate in a digital age?

GH: Our marketing strategy evolves over time. You can see how it has moved on if you look at our database, which was first introduced in the 90s and designed to just send out letters. Now, we are looking to incorporate voice and chatbots into our strategy. Also, where we advertise is changing, there’s less on TV and radio. We are focusing more on digital adverts and social media posts; often they are cheaper, create less operational issues and reach a larger audience than traditional press releases.

When we first started moving towards a more social plan, we were trying to market to everyone. Now with segmentation, we have to adapt so we are not just recruiting everyone, but ideally targeting young, black men, who are a very difficult, but in demand, segment to reach. Our strategy is constantly evolving and we are trying to use the right channels on social media to target the right people.

FD: As blood is always in demand, how do you manage to keep your content relevant and ensure that awareness is sustained?

GH: Seasonality is key. New Year is a very good time to get people thinking about donating blood because it’s quite an easy New Year’s resolution. We conduct market research with focus groups made up of our donors to see if our messages are getting through. Our campaign this year has done okay and we are hitting our targets, but we feel like there’s always more we can do. We were weighing up whether to do even more market research, or start working with a small agency to measure our adverts and do some tests online. We have a test and learn approach and we’re trying to shut out the noise and filter out what’s working, so that our content is always relevant.

Seems like everyone is talking about alternative xmas adverts so here is my favourite and it costs nothing but is the most valuable @NHSBT @SCoRMembers @CCCUStudents pic.twitter.com/kRY1o3KzJH

— Paul Lockwood (@radio_grapher) November 23, 2018

We always have to keep messages on to sustain awareness. We know how to generate a lot of coverage and awareness, previously we have appeared on This Morning. From exposure like this, we can get massive interest, but it can also cause huge operational headaches. If too many people want to sign up or book an appointment at once, it could cause our website to crash. The mass media will drive people over a short period, but it can be better to keep everything constant. You’ve got to strike the balance between always on and spamming and giving too much. As with everything it is important to create a balance.

FD: Would you say that social media is the biggest way to engage and outreach to the younger generation?

GH: Yeah, definitely! However, it isn’t just for the younger generation. Again, it’s about getting the right channel for the right people. We know our younger audience tend to be more on Instagram than on Facebook. Facebook is more where people my age tend to be (40+), so it’s brilliant for targeting existing donors. Whereas, Instagram is very much a place where we are able to talk to young people.

Social media is becoming a popular place for donors to ask questions. Eventually, we’d like to have a bot to answer straightforward questions like: can I donate if I smoke? At the moment we have a call centre answering those kind of questions, but using a chatbot could really speed up the process. WhatsApp and instant messaging are areas that we would like to focus more on.

FD: How would you like to see digital transforming the public healthcare sector in the coming years?

GH: For us as an organisation, we have a lot of data and there’s a lot we can do with chatbots. Especially if we implemented machine learning or AI to ensure that our messages are well crafted. We’d love to get down to a segment of one marketing approach. It would be great if we had a spare slot at a donation centre and were able to contact someone in the area to attend the appointment.

I think if we had more AI and machine learning powering our technology, instead of relying on human systems, we’d be able to contact people by a channel they respond well to. We’d be able to target people from the right blood group and with a time slot they favour. Increased targeting is definitely something we are moving towards. I think the key thing to remember is that things are constantly changing and we try to adapt as fast as we can. You’ve got to make sure that content is constantly hitting the mark as everything changes so quickly. You don’t just go digital and stay there, you keep evolving and keep moving.

nhsbt.nhs.uk

The post Maintaining Equilibrium: How The NHS Stays Relevant At 70 appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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We took a look at a few examples of great PR and Marketing campaigns from global leaders in manufacturing, and we were not disappointed.

When you think of B2C marketing, you probably think of extravagant brands oozing personality and charm. When you think of B2B marketing, the word ‘boring’ probably springs to mind.

As a B2B digital agency, we have the challenging job of making the brands we represent memorable, even when they have less-than-memorable products or services.

B2B And B2C Marketing Methods – Whats Different?

In the age of marketing in the digital realm, are there still solid boundaries between what works for B2B and what works for B2C? Driven predominantly by the ‘frictionless’ apps of B2C disruptors such as Uber and AirBnB, the expectations of B2B customers have increased profoundly. This is where our Bye2Boring philosophy comes into play, and therein lies the opportunity for digitally-savvy B2B brands to come up with some really smart and eye-grabbing marketing campaigns.

We surfed the net to find B2B campaigns and marketing initiatives that really entertained, moved or made us think. Here are a few of our favourites within traditional manufacturing sectors:

GE’s ‘CompressorHead’

How often do people take for granted the heavy machinery that makes modern life possible? In order to promote products that are invisible on a consumer level, GE created their ‘Brilliant Machines’ campaign featuring some great old-fashioned rock and roll – performed by an all-robot heavy metal band.

Compressorhead, Live Concert NYC 2013 - YouTube
HP’s ‘Meet The Intern’

Tech giant Hewlett Packard (HP) used B2C techniques such as influencer marketing to build a classic B2B strategy.

Meet The Intern: Charissa Thompson at The Boutique Real Estate Group | HP OfficeJet Pro | HP - YouTube

Featuring ESPN sportscaster Charissa Thompson in HP’s series ‘Meet the Intern’ was just what HP needed to showcase their brand as being relevant and comedic, as well as their products being the answer to daily problems for the average person.

GE’s ‘Fallonventions’

GE wanted to show their relevance and ingenuity, what better way than to team up with one of America’s most loved faces?

Fallonventions: eDrink - YouTube

Fallonventions is a GE sponsored segment on ‘The Tonight Show’, where young engineers and inventors are given the opportunity to present their ideas to Jimmy Fallon and the audience. Not only is it entertaining and adorable, but it’s also a great platform to showcase impactful technology and put engineers into the spotlight (which rarely happens!).

Samsung’s ‘Voices Of Life’

Every year, around 15 million babies are born premature. Without being able to reach full development in the womb, and the comforting sound of their mothers being replaced by beeping machinery in an intensive care unit, these premature babies are at higher risk of developing language and attention deficits.

That’s why Samsung developed ‘Voices of Life’, a revolutionary app that allows mother and baby to connect whilst physically being separated.

Samsung Voices of Life - YouTube

The app records the mother’s voice and heartbeat, “wombifies” the recording for the baby’s ears, and plays the sounds inside the incubator. Not only does it help the mother feel close to her baby, but research shows these maternal sounds help a premature baby’s brain develop.

Lloyd’s Register VR Training Simulator

This campaign addressed the challenge of making health and safety training engaging, informative and relevant using the latest digital technology.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb8HgXtwpXgUsing Toyota’s ‘Start Your Impossible’

With the kick-off of Toyota’s first global campaign “Start your Impossible,” the Japanese automaker is forcing the world to notice that their brand has shifted from vehicles to overall mobility. No longer are they purely a car manufacturer, but instead they have branched into a company whose broad offering includes a variety of futuristic devices that enable human motion in ways that go beyond road driving.

The campaign ran as a set of seven creative ads throughout the Olympic and Paralympic games, whose mission was to spread the brand’s message that every person, in every part of the globe, should have the “freedom of movement.”

Toyota Mobility For All Campaign - YouTube
The ads feature real life and real people, including noted Olympic and Paralympic athletes, using Toyota products to help them do everything from competing to simply living their daily lives with ease. The campaign actually captured 736 hours of film and 100 different stories, and while only a few made the cut, the rest of the material will be used for other areas within the campaign, including a documentary series and a range of digital and social campaigns.
Personal. Creative. B2B Marketing.

In a world saturated with information and shorter attention spans, it’s difficult enough to catch consumers’ attention, never mind trying to catch their attention with “unsexy” B2B products. However, given these hurdles, we’ve seen instances of great B2B marketing campaigns that raise company and product awareness through the effective implementation of digital marketing.

We’ve also seen that B2B brands no longer stand for B2C brands having all the fun with their marketing campaigns. Done right, B2B campaigns can certainly rival the effectiveness of B2C campaigns with the use of typical B2C marketing techniques; from user-generated content, to even throwing in a few celebrities to do the pitching.

The times are-a-changing, and B2B marketing isn’t the same as it was five years ago. It’s more personal, more creative, more colloquial, and more transparent. And if you truly want to set your company apart, you must embrace these new realities.

The post Campaigns: How The Biggest Traditional Businesses Stay Relevant appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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Georgios Chiotis’ career path has been anything but linear. He has studied psychology and worked as a counselling psychologist for the NHS, dabbled in retail, publishing and fashion, before winding up in marketing. Now he works as the Brand and Marketing Director at Scape, a company supplying student accommodation with a difference.

He sees the past diversity of his job roles as a strength. He has curated the most valuable skills from across these industries, which don’t traditionally collide, to inform an effective-and occasionally unorthodox-marketing strategy.

FD: A lot of your roles have been focused towards the younger generations – Millennials and Gen Z – in education, hostels, and student accommodation. What is it about targeting these audiences, or being a part of companies that target these audiences, that is so fulfilling?

GC: Gen Z and Millennials are often seen as nothing more than target groups to market to. They’re often painted with a broad brush, generalised and are victim to lot of bad press (millennials are accused of killing everything, from the napkin market to recently, divorce). I feel really strongly about championing them, empowering them, and being part of a brand that truly benefits and improves their lives.

We, as marketers, have the opportunity to affect the current zeitgeist and we should use this power responsibly. Instead of aiming to increase their FOMO, perpetuate unattainable beauty standards or induce a culture of exclusivity, we should aim to promote diversity, inclusivity and empowerment through our campaigns. Purposeful marketing is the way to go!

FD: What motivates you?

GC: Usually doughnuts do the trick.

I have always had an internal locus of motivation which predominantly stems from not only embracing, but celebrating difference. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a Greek Londoner, I have always viewed these differences as strengths, not weaknesses. These aspects allow me to understand and empathise with all walks of life and build teams, campaigns and environments that are focused on empowering and nurturing all types of talent.

Additionally, and potentially more importantly, is the desire to truly make a change. Injecting purpose and creating authentic experiences is the motivation behind everything I do. I truly care about my work and the people I’m impacting. I take immense pride from it – it’s very selfish, really.

FD: What do you hope to take into your new role at Scape and what do you hope to achieve?

GC: What attracted me to Scape was the passion that everyone in the team exudes about enriching our residents’ lives. Every detail, from the design of the buildings, to the range of events that are crafted around them. We work tirelessly to craft a year that lasts a lifetime. Our residents are the driving force behind everything we do, so we need to engage them in an authentic and meaningful way.

My main goal is to bring the brand to life, by showcasing the power of our community and positioning Scape as the definitive leading lifestyle student brand. I will use my deep understanding and love for Gen Z to truly provide our residents with a year that lasts a lifetime.

FD: What is driving innovation within the student accommodation and rental market?

GC: I would say technology and a thorough grasp of the demographic; technological adoption is key to every industry that incorporates experiential methods and touches. For example, we recently brought a bespoke VR ride to one of the resident parties we did. This created an instagrammable moment that took the reach out of our hands and into the devices of the people that matter – our residents and audience.

The second part would be understanding, supporting and championing Gen Z; not simply selling to them, but enriching their lives through our marketing activities. Injecting purpose into your marketing is crucial, regardless of your industry.

FD: How do you see the way we market to the younger generations transforming in the coming years?

GC: Without sounding like a broken record, I would repeat authenticity. Gen Z is more technologically advanced, socially savvy and switched on than ever. They can cut through the noise and see the truth behind campaigns.

Also, we will see the death of traditional public relations and the evolution of public relationships. Talking to customers is one thing, but truly communicating with them is another. Brands will be pushed to embrace, genuine two-way communication; authenticity will be a key factor to drive this change.

FD: Any words of wisdom for your fellow marketers or those just starting out?

GC: Be patient. The current social climate dictates that you need to be super successful, super-fast, but allow yourself the space to learn and develop. Try to expand your knowledge and check out what other departments are doing – you might be surprised how much you enjoy other facets of the business. Roles are constantly evolving so the more skills you collect, the better.

Last but not least, in the early stages of your career imposter syndrome can be strong; mute that internal voice that tells you that you are not good enough, accept that you can develop in the areas that you are weaker in and celebrate the areas in which you excel.

Oh, and doughnuts. Doughnuts always help.

scape.com

The post Marketers Who Matter: Georgios Chiotis At Scape appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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Ok everyone, GDPR has happened and the impact hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as everyone feared (are you old enough to remember the Millennium Bug?). But for some it’s had a serious effect on their database and specifically their ability to communicate with as many people as before. Chances are, you fall into one of three camps:

1. You were given bad advice that led to losing a large proportion of your database
2. You were not affected too badly, but it took up a large amount of time and stopped you doing strategic projects
3. You saw it as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and align everything to your customer needs.

It’s Happened, Dwelling On It Won’t Change The Situation

GDPR exists and it’s not going away. Yes, more guidance would have helped everyone, but the reality is, this ruling exists for a reason. Too many companies persisted in having bad practices in place and controls were clearly needed. In many ways, we, the marketing industry, brought this upon ourselves and the customers are rightly taking back control.

I personally know of some good companies that have great marketing departments that were caught out by some terrible advice. Unfortunately, that’s happened and going back over it won’t drive your business forward. Trust me, the authorities are not suddenly going to listen and change the guidelines!

If you want proof as to how and why change can be a positive – one of the people that asked us a lot of questions about how we collected their details as a prospect, has recently included us in an RFP, partly because of how well we handled their questioning. Here are some of the ways you can deal with the aftereffects of the implementation of GDPR and survive any of the damage done to your database.

I’ve Lost My Database, Panic!

So, you’ve got a smaller pot of people to communicate with. It seems many are reverting to type and focusing solely on acquisition and spending millions on filling up the database again, probably with names that are not engaged with your brand – which may well be what got you into a mess in the first place.

Instead, why not focus on building it with quality over quantity. Collect new people in the right way, only adding people that are clearly engaged with the brand and want to hear from you. Take the opportunity to clean house and link this to a better communication strategy for the future. Too often companies confuse database size with customer base size and certainly engaged customer base size. Just because you had a large database, it doesn’t mean it was successful.

As you rebuild your database, take the opportunity to learn more about these new people as you add them. Give them the chance to tell you more about themselves so as you begin this new communication journey with them, you might actually end up sending them things that are relevant to them. Then maybe, just maybe, they will be more likely to join the loyal base that you build your business around. This is your chance to stand out as a brand that understands and considers your customers.

Treat Your Loyal Customers Better

Talking of a better communication strategy, how about you put a far greater emphasis on those customers left on the database. They, more than anyone else, deserve your attention. They deserve a personalised communication plan that delivers them what they want, when they want it, via the channel they want it in.

So, now is the time to seek out the right MarTech to fit your future. What should you look out for? I’m glad you asked.

1. Deliver real automation: Integrate CDP with your MA tool

You need to maximise your database now more than ever, so you need to ensure that your core data is directly linked to the tool you are using to deliver communications. This gives you the only real chance of delivering a joined-up message to your customers, regardless of the channel they are using. It also gives you true automation, which is key if you are to do the things you are good at. The brand. The messaging. The strategy.

To do that, you need to automate as much of the comms plan as possible, take the grunt work away and let the system do the work. Ensure your provider can deliver seamless automation and that you can have hundreds of campaigns in place that are working for you on an hourly basis.

2. Predict the future

Why not take that one step further? Don’t just rely on customers performing key actions that kick off an automated campaign, anticipate their needs and send campaigns that will actually make a difference.

Choose a solution that delivers genuine predictive models. They should work across your data to predict next likely actions and help you decide on the best way to communicate with those customers that have stayed loyal to you. Work hard for them, they deserve it.

3. Proper support – not sales people

A recent Gartner CMO Report stated that one of the principle reasons CMOs are not maximising their MarTech spend is a lack of good human resources. So, either you need to fully staff your teams, which is often hard to justify in your budget, or find a solution that is properly supported. That isn’t your provider allocating a glorified sales manager, it means people working on the account that know your strategy, understand your brand and who will add value – it’s a cliché but they need to feel like part of your own team. That way, you get strategic support as well as advice on maximising the tool you bought.

So, in a post GDPR world, remember the following:

1. Stop grumbling, it’s happened already
2. Rebuild your database responsibly and with customers who are genuinely engaged
3. Put a greater emphasis on those loyal customers you still have
4. Use this opportunity of change to get the right strategy in place, supported by the right MarTech.

Discover more about GDPR here.

The post GDPR: Time To Move On appeared first on Figaro Digital.

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