Friday, December 4, 2015

Personalization Personalization Personalization

- Personalization is important
- Instagram CTR outperforms
- 3 in 5 companies NOT there!
- Baby Names
- Google Quality Rater guidelines
- L2 Predicts, Yahoo Acts
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday recap
- Amazon drops mic

Special Bonus: The extended Trailer

Let's spend some time today talking about personalization. Almost all companies agree that it's important and most are working towards it in some way. When asked to name one marketing capability that will be the most important in the future, 1/3 of businesses say Personalization is their top priority. Customers want personalization and are beginning to demand it. Nonetheless, Many companies find themselves hamstrung by privacy concerns. Very few are doing personalization well. In fact, according to Greenlight research, even though personalization capabilities are most advanced on Web sites and in email, with 54% of companies doing it on both these channels, Mobile, which is perhaps the most personal experience, lags behind with less than a quarter of businesses personalizing on mobile sites or in-apps. In fact, 9 out of 10 brands are failing to personalize effectively. They don't recognize customers across channels, which is a shame because, according to L2, customers are twice as likely to buy from a brand who knows them wherever they are.
  • Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates but only 30% of brands use them.
  • Only 39% of retailers send personalized product recommendations via email
  • 3/4 of online consumers get frustrated when content has nothing to do with their interests. I know I do.
  • Customers want personalization, but they also want control: 2/3 want the option for privacy controls and just having privacy controls available makes customers 30% more likely to trust a company with their data.
  • 58% want personalization based only on information that they proactively provide and 38% are willing to specify their individual interests so that the company can deliver content tailored to their needs.

Based on all this, I would like to see Philips offering our customers a subscription to a customized newsletter which allows them to specify what Philips-related topics they're interested in and how often they want to receive it. An offer like this would help build our opt-in database, it would keep us in regular touch with these customers with content that interests them, giving us the opportunity to market to them in a personalized way.

In addition, we should be building a sophisticated back end into our Web presence which allows us to track customer behavior on the site so we know what their interests are and where they are in the buying cycle.

These technologies aren't just possible. They're widely available and absolutely necessary for us to succeed in a world where personalized marketing is increasingly expected by our customers. And the fact that most companies aren't getting this right yet gives us a window of opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. Let's make 2016 the year Philips moves into this important space to make our mark with best in class personalization.

Instagram advertising has been available for a couple of months now and the first reports are making people jump up and down. Not only does the new ad platform have the reach to connect with 400 Mn people, but the clickthrough rate is 17x higher than standard ad clickthrough and 1.5x higher than Facebook ads. It's possible this will wane as more ads show up. but take opportunities when you can get them. The platform offers full-funnel marketing capabilities to raise brand awareness, attract prospects, retarget site abandoners and retain current customers.

The bar has been set high for creative imagery. Stock and studio photography won't work on Instagram. But when good creative is combined with all of the targeting and optimization capabilities available on Facebook, Instagram advertisements provide a powerful and visual way to reach target audiences. If you're not on Instagram already, you should at least be considering it.

Couple other cool comments about Insta, while we're on the subject...
3 in 5 marketers are not targeting Instagram users. but half are planning to, mostly to boost brand awareness
The platform is so influential that parents have started naming their children after it's filters.
The boy's names Lux and Ludwig are up 75 and 42% respectively since last year. And for girls Valencia and Juno are up 26 and 30% Amaro, Willow and Reyes are also up, though not quite as much. Yikes! This is the first time ever that a technology has inspired baby names.

Followers of SearchEngineLand and SearchMOS know that Since at least 2005, Google has been using a large, worldwide focus group to help refine the algorithm. These highly trained people review search results from Google's current algorithm side by side with results from a proposed new algorithms to determine which delivers the best results. The people in this program are called Quality Raters and, as you can imagine, the work they do is important to search marketers everywhere. So it's big news that Google just published their updated Quality Rater guidelines. The document gives us a look inside Google’s decision-making processes and what the search engine wants to see from a site. Reputation is a big factor. Google expects big brands to generate positive and trustworthy mentions (not just links) and it will be problematic to a brand’s SEO if that’s not happening. This will force SEO and PR people to work together.
Google also added several other exciting new capabilities in 2016. Offline measurement, which is when a search concludes with a searcher arriving at a new physical location rather than a Web page. And app search, which delivers content from apps in search results and in some cases, through app streaming, allows users to engage with an app they don't have on their device through the Search Engine Results page interface. In fact, the results page, especially on a mobile device has become a much more transactional engagement space where searchers can click to do something concrete rather than just to choose a Web page to visit.
I'm an android user and I definitely crossed the chasm this year to treating my phone as a personal assistant, especially when I'm driving, telling it, through the Google Voice interface to do things like send a text or call someone, get directions, set an alarm or play a song or artist. It's really a different way of interacting. You don't even need to look at your phone to get what you want.

On November 19th, L2 Research offered a recap of Yahoo's management under Melissa Meyer, suggesting that this company should be sold. Ms 'lean in' has one of the best known brand names in the world, among the world's oldest and top trafficked sites with a solidly respectable reputation for news, finance and sports yet after all this time, they haven't been able to monatize their considerable assets. Right now if you subtract their stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, their core business is worth negative $5 Bn. Scott Galloway is the first to say he get's this stuff wrong all the time, but that's apparently not the case here as on December 1st, The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo's board is planning a series of meetings this week to discuss spinning off the Alibaba investment and finding a buyer for the core business. We with them the best of luck.

I've never liked the term Black Friday, it's incredibly cynical and unfestive for the name of the beginning of the happy holiday shopping season and it seems a lot of people agree. 82% of tweets about Black Friday in November were negative. That may be because past Black Friday incidents have left a lot of people cold. In store sales over this THanksgiving weekend dropped over a $Bn -- almost 10% -- since last year to 10.4Bn while Cyber Monday was the largest US online sales day in history, up 16% year over year, topping $3 Bn. and that's after $4 Bn in online shopping on Thursday and Friday. By the way, a quarter of consumers began their Christmas shopping before Halloween this year so a LOT of spending has already happened.
The online shopping was so robust that a number a retailers, most notably Target experienced Website overload on Monday. They were putting visitors into virtual lines where they had to wait before they could even browse Target's sweet deals which included at least 15% off on everything on the site as well as doorbusters on many larger items.
More than half of Online transactions over the weekend happened on mobile -- 3/4 of those on Apple devices, a quarter on Android -- and for the first time, Average Order Value was higher on Tablets than on Desktops.
Finally, we may think of email as an out of date technology, but it drove almost a quarter of all sales over the weekend, outperforming organic, paid, direct traffic, affiliates, social and display. So email is still very much alive and well.

I'm sure no one will be surprised to hear that Amazon crushed it this weekend. Largely through their unprecedented presence in paid search. You should think of search as the biggest store window in the world. And in that all-important shelf space, Amazon scored the highest in paid search visibility in almost every holiday product category. Electronics, sporting goods, toys, you name it. As L2's Scott Galloway says, you CAN buy your way to happiness on Google. Unlike organic, paid search isn't a skill set. It's just a function of deep pockets. And with $115 Bn market cap and a stock price up 105%, no company has ever had access to such cheap capital for so long. As a result, they have more chips to put down on more numbers, they are going underwater with the world's biggest oxygen tank and forcing other retailers to join them. But the other retailers are beginning to drown.