Sunday, July 9, 2017

Why is Digital Integration important across your enterprise?

You have a successful company and you're quickly moving up the digital maturity curve. Many of your business units are pursuing digital practices, some very effectively. And you've realized you're at the point where you need to take your digital marketing to the next level -- to drive the internal disruption that will make you a truly Integrated Digital Enterprise. That means all business units working together and leveraging each others' strengths and insights -- to make Digital Capability an integral component of everything you do rather than something you do that's extra.

So this post is about how to make that vision of a mature, integrated digital enterprise a reality.

First Things First - The Customer

As we're going through this thought process, I'm going to encourage you to put yourself in your customers' shoes and look at everything you do from their point of view. Because we can implement all the best practices in the world, leverage the most cutting edge technology, create the most beautiful campaigns, the cleverest promotions and the most intuitive and easy to navigate mobile sites. But if these elements don't come together to answer our customers' questions, if we don't deliver the content they're looking for, if we don't make it easy for them to meet their needs, we're not going to be successful digital marketers.

KNOW What the Customer Needs. Don't Guess!

So let's start by knowing what their needs are. How do you know? Well, digital capabilities are literally bursting with sources of customer insight. Some you can leverage now, other are capabilities that can be built.

Deep Keyword Research goes beyond Keyword Discovery to tell us, not only what keywords to optimize our pages for, but what kinds of content our target audiences are looking for. We can understand which topics are trending and where customers are finding this information now. We can know FOR SURE what will draw them to us.

Social Listening gives you insight into conversations that are happening in the social space that are relevant to your business. What your customers and potential customers think about your brands and your competitors. Social Listening tells you what makes them happy, their challenges and frustrations, their needs, their ideas. It tells you where these conversations are happening so you can join in. And it tells you who's leading those conversations. The influencers.

Tracking and Scoring It's possible to follow customers' activity on your Web and Mobile sites to see what they're interested in. And you can go beyond that to score their behavior at the individual level so you know when they're ready to be presented with an offer or talk to a sales person.

The Sales Force is an astonishing trove of customer knowledge about what influences customers to pull out their wallet or press the buy button. And, by the way, sales people like to be asked.

Surveys can fill in any information gaps you're left with by asking customers for the information directly.

Advocacy Channels happen when you invite your customers to work with you directly to create products or features they need. And those people will become the most valuable marketers you could dream of as they talk to their friends, families and personal networks about you.

Drive the internal disruption that will make you a truly Integrated Digital Enterprise.
The 3 Legs of Customer Experience

Once you understand your customer, the next step is to insure they have a good experience when they interact with you. And Search, Social and Content are the 3 legs of customer experience. Let me start with a couple of words about content. Discussions of User Experience often give content short shrift but for me, content is arguably the key ingredient of the user experience.

You use search and social listening to gain insights into the content your customers are looking for, create the content from the ground up based on that information, then use Social to syndicate it and Search to bring them to you.

Why Integrate?

Getting everyone focused on the customer is the first step toward integration. You want your visitors to have a consistently good experience, no matter where they touch your business. So how do you make that happen and what's at stake? What's the advantage? Why do you want to do this?


Well, if all your businesses are using the same content strategy and templates, your customers see a single company, speaking with a unified voice and common messages. There's no confusion or dissonance to create friction or distract them from their reason for interaction with you. And it strengthens the brand.

Shared Insight

If all your businesses are sharing customer insights, you know your customers better and can recognize them no matter where they're connecting with you.

Avoid Search Competition

Competition between business units for SEO keywords is a SHAME because if more than one of your pages is optimized for the same keyword, none of them can rank highly. But competition within the same company for paid keywords is a CRIME because internal units are all driving up the cost of keywords for each other and the company. It's much better to cooperate, assign a single page to each high-value keyword and optimize other pages for longer tail keywords. This expands the keyword universe you capture, drives incremental traffic and higher rankings. It also drives huge savings in paid search.

Reuse and Consolidate Content

Content development is expensive, whether for product pages, collateral, press releases, blogs, social, email, packaging or whatever. But it becomes dramatically more expensive when it's created in silos that are sometimes creating the same content at the same time. Events, for instance, tend to be huge forcing functions for the creation of high-volume content. But once the event is over, that content is often abandoned and often never used or seen again. Much better to have all business units work from a common editorial calendar, tag and store all content in a common repository so that when content is needed on any topic, it can be easily found in the repository if it already exists. Think of the savings!

Common CRM

Are your customers receiving multiple emails from different parts of the company on a monthly basis? Maybe even weekly? Do you know? This exhausts customers and makes your email far less effective. A common tool and good governance can fix that.

Operational Cooperation

Integration isn't just about working across business units though. It's also building relationships with other teams like Sales and Customer Care. Both are rich sources of customer information. And they'll love marketing for partnering with them to get them better leads and solve customer problems.


So, all the ideas we've talked about so far can be facilitated with a stack of digital enablement tools. Again, I'm not suggesting anyone do all of these at once. But you can start with some insights projects, like the deep search listening I mentioned before. This is called Consumer Intent Modeling and it's a process of taking unstructured keyword data and turning it into structured semantic maps by categorizing keywords into topics and sub topics to understand customer interest, trending and seasonality. This helps determine what content needs to be created to meet customer search demand.

A shared, cloud-based editorial calendar and a simple, taggable, filterable content repository would be an easy and inexpensive next step.

A Social media tool allows you to listen and respond in a coordinated, consistent, and real-time manner to the insights you gather.

Web content management and a data analytics dashboard to help optimize

Later, you can move on to more sophisticated tooling that lets you track and score your visitors' behavior on the site to see where they are in the buying cycle and even begin some level of personalization.

You can also activate your employees to advocate for your brand and empower your sales people for social selling by way of an employee advocacy platform.

But through it all, remember: Integration drives significant growth, but only if it's centered on the customer.

Let us know if we can help 914 715 6715.

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Ken Godfrey

Friday, March 31, 2017

Marketing Madness

Dunkin’ Awesome
This just in hit’s the Target
Gettin' Giphy with it
Bumper Tube
Google Goofs
Random acts of Stats

Dunkin' Awesome

I had the opportunity to attend the Mobile Marketing Association's Mobile Video Event last week in NYC and saw 2 kinda jaw dropping things there.
The first was Dunkin Donut's brilliant Social Video campaign, the World's Fastest Dunkin Run, to promote the start of On The Go Ordering for DD perks members. Sure, they could have driven a race car or a plane, but what fun would that have been really?

Instead, they built a Dunkin Donuts store on top of a mountain in the Rockies, then got Ellen Brennan, the world's fastest flying woman, to don her pink wingsuit, order up a donut on their new app from the top of a higher mountain, then jump off the cliff and fly 200 miles per hour, grab the back off the 'Flight Pickup' hanger and open her chute. She enjoys a bite of her donut on the float down to earth.

Brilliant, almost a million views so far on You Tube and they used stills of it on Insta, promoted the video on Snap, then created and promoted more videos about the making of the video, about Ellen and about Wingsuit basejumping. #WTFast

Target This just in!

The Digital Marketing Manager of target also spoke at MMA, they recently introduced a weekly video series. They call it This just in! And it's like a video circular, highlighting a few interesting and timely products.

When they were looking into this, they were finding that doing it with an agency, locations and talent would be crazy expensive. So the Digital Marketing team decided to rent a house near their minneapolis headquarters. They decorated it with Target furniture and accessories and bought some camera equipment. They call this the Target Style Studio. Then they recruited a sales associate from one of their stories to be their spokesperson. And they shoot and edit all their videos in-house.

A couple of key learnings: Keep the video right around a minute AND show all the products they're going to talk about in the video in the first 4 seconds. And they have a small team that writes, shoots edits and distributes this each week via social and email. The first one had an 18% conversion rate and it's improved from there.

Gettin' Giphy with it

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so an animated gif may be worth many more. Our messages have morphed from text to emoji to pics and now gifs are beginning to dominate the textosphere because they can convey really complex emotional content in seconds

Anybody here send animated Gifs to their friends via email or text message? I know my digital teammates are big fans of Giphy. News or congratulation notes are often accompanied by a telling gif. So the old graphic interchange format, which was created by Compuserve in 1987 is enjoying a rennaissance 40 years later. Of course it started with mobile device users, but it's been picked up by Brands which are creating branded gifs to express topics or emotions that are relevant to them. You'll find Dominos gifs when you search for party, hangover or hungry and Starbucks gifs when you search for Happy, Good Morning and You Got This. Which people do over 2 Million times every month. And when their gif is shared, the brand has slipped it's presence into places where advertising doesn't usually show up.

Gifs are becoming a key part of campaigns and requirements in agency briefs. What themes, emotions, situations and topics would fit with Philips? How about indescribable, yummy, clean, cut, breathe, what else can we come up with. Let's get some clever gifs into Giphy so people can start sharing them.

Bumper Tube

While we're on the subject of short videos, YouTube is doing away with 30 second unskippable preroll and pushing brands to create 6 second bumper ads instead. These are designed for snackable consumption on mobile devices. But the question is, can a company tell a story in 6 seconds. YouTube went so far as to commission an agency competition to create 6 second versions of popular novels, like Jayne Eyre, Dracula and The Origin of species. You can enjoy a whole reel of them.

There's a lot of skepticism out there in the marketing world about whether this will catch on. But I love it. It really requires stretching the creative muscles and thinking differently about how to do it. Long time readers know I have always been a big Vine fan and this is like Vine revisited. So I'm hopeful. How about a whole camnpaign of 6 second ads? Wouldn't that be a cool breakthrough thing?  

Google Goofs
 The Times of London chose the week before advertising week Europe to ramp up its investigation into brand ads inadvertently appearing next to extremist content on YouTube and, thereby funding the videos' extremist creators. Within a day, more than 250 Brands from McDonald's and Audi to HSBC -- had suspended their campaigns on YouTube and Google's display ad platform until Google could assure them that their ads wouldn't appear next to hate, terror or other content that would be damaging to their brand. Google has promised updates to it's policies, controls and hiring strategy to fix the problem, but the bleeding is still going on. Verizon and ATT pulled their ads this week.

While it's a legitimate problem, there's some opportunism here where people are enjoying being able to bash the big primary color and some advertisers might be hopeful that this will give them some leverage in their ad negotiations.

This is a hard problem to fix though. 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and thousands of sites are added to their network each day. And there's no easy way to determine what is offensive vs a 'legitimate voice'. So the Search and advertising giant has a long slog ahead of it to get this figured out and flattened. But they will. They rise to challenges exceedingly well.

Random acts of Stats

In the last 6 months the number of monthly advertisers on Instagram has doubled, growing from 500k last September to over 1Mn according to their announcement this week. And there are 8Mn businesses using a business profile on Instagram.

74% of shoppers will abandon a purchase after putting an item in their cart. Consumer electronics items are abandoned most often at 78.8% while beauty items are abandoned least at 68%. 27% of abandonments are due to issues with shipping

83% of shoppers will shun a retailer that they've had a bad returns experience with. Shoppers return 10% of goods they buy online and 40% of shoppers buy multiple items to send back what they don't want. That's a surprise to me, but the message is clear. Online retailers need to streamline their returns processes and make them user friendly.

Only 50% of charities have a digital strategy in place most of them cite lack of funding but 75% believe they could increase fundraising but growing their digital chops.

25% of shoppers surveyed say they're planning to spend more this year on Mother's Day than last year and 45% said the planned to shop for Mom online. Finally, 38% of shoppers want more gift ideas and inspiration from retailers

44% of advertisers are considering establishing an on-site or in-house capability. Why? Speed of turnaround. 68% of marketers with exteral agencies express frustration over the time it takes to get things done while this figure drops to 20% for inhouse agencies and 8% for on-site agencies. Interesting. Agencies with on-site presence are more than twice as fast as in-house agencies.

See you next month!

Friday, January 27, 2017

2017 Begins!

What to look for in 2017
The year of Amazon...again!
Probably not happening
Customer experience vs Capability
Microsoft officemates
Insta engagement

What to look for in 2017 

As a service to our loyal community members, we've scanned a number of digital content sites to capture an overview of what they think the most important trends are for 2017. Here's what we found:

With live video platforms now available on all the major Social networks, live video is now TVs biggest competitor. But it's just beginning. While lots of brands experimented with it last year, it'll likely shift to mass market use in 2017. Live enables brands to break out of the traditional advertising mold, letting them create a more real connection with customers in real time. Also look for more vertical video.

74% of agencies are working with celebrities. But Micro-influencers are a thing now. Attention is currency and anyone who has the attention of a discrete, specialized group of people can be a valuable influencer for some brand. Moving away from expensive celebrities with millions of followers, some brands have realized that they can generate an impressive return partnering with people who have about 1000 followers. We're seeing success with this approach with our Male Grooming social presence. I think we'll see more tools popping up in 2017 to match these micro-influencers with brands who want to leverage their attention.

We'll see an explosion of messaging apps driven by Chatbots or 'Conversational Marketing'. In fact, our own Philips Customer Care group is launching a Chatbot pilot. I'm really interested in seeing how that goes. Facebook will be releasing Whatsapp for Business sometime this year. AI is increasingly playing in this space, whether on company sponsored text chats or in-home interfaces like Amazon's Alexa and Google Home which will really come into their own this year. Controlling your home and entertainment with just your voice is really seductive and I can tell you from experience with my new Google Home that it feels really natural really fast. So voice interfaces will start to creep up on text as more people become more comfortable talking to their devices. One other point about voice interfaces: Voice Responses from devices don't come with advertising -- yet. This could be a big game changer if the trend continues.

AI will also find its way to become more of a player in testing and analytics, sowing the seeds of automating some agency and marketing tasks.


I was really pleased to see a number of my sources citing Employee Advocacy as a trend to watch this year. It feels great that Philips is leading rather than lagging on this. our PhilipsVoice initiative, which we started in March, now has over 200 North America employees who can share approved Philips content with their personal networks and we've received requests to train over 400 more. About half of these are Sales people who want approved content to share with their clients in their own Social networks. This is a runaway train -- in a good way! And I'm also happy to let you know that our little pilot will be picked up and scaled by the Global team this year. Yeah us!

The year of Amazon...again!

I wonder if you guys get tired of hearing about Amazon on these calls. I find it really interesting to talk about it though. This company is breaking new ground all the time and the implications are breathtaking. 2017 will be another Year of Amazon. With the Kindle Fire, they put happy little Amazon stores into the hands of millions of people. With Prime, they built a huge barrier to entry to other retailers online or off and created a level of loyalty that has never been seen before. (More than half of American households are prime members who default to Amazon for most of their non-food purchases.) Then pushbutton replenishment with the Dash button. A year ago Amazon Alexa made it possible to buy without a click. Just say the word. Amazon buy me batteries. (if you say it that way and you don't specify a brand, you'll get Amazon private label batteries.) It's the same with anything Amazon has a private label for: Amazon Basics, Amazon Elements, Happy Belly, Wickedly Good and others are all taking over their categories. They've just launched grocery stores without checkout lines. These are all steps to removing friction from the buying process. One click, free shipping, voice ordering, no checkout. But all these methods capture data. So what's the next step? No ordering. Amazon knows what you buy. With your permission, they can send you what you need when you need it. If you get something you don't need, you just send it back. But we know that'll almost never happen. Don't we? Yup, within just a few years. Amazon will ship us just about everything we need when we need it and we'll never have to order again. And they'll be the first Trillion Dollar company.

Probably not happening soon

So on the flip side, what's NOT likely to happen in 2017?

Drones, certainly not at scale, lot's of challenges still to be worked out. And they're not all about FAA restrictions. How would a drone deliver to an apartment? If there were tons of drones in the air all the time and they started to get annoying, would people start shooting them down? Aren't they at risk of being stolen and reprogrammed? I think drones will remain mostly a PR story for another couple of years.

My Hue lighting addiction notwithstanding, Connected devices aren't all that cool unless they really make something better or easier. Do you really need a cup that tracks your water intake? Probably not. I'm still suspicious of the fridge that knows when to order more milk.

VR for marketing is still a head fake, no one has figured out how to use it as anything other than a PR gimmick yet and it may not be worthwhile to do so unless the prices come down and the hardware shrinks significantly. Nobody is going to don a headset to watch an ad so the communications will have to evolve to something else.

Customer experience vs Capability

Marketers are failing on customer experience because they lack digital capabilities. 84% of companies studied say identifying users, personalization and measuring impact is 'very important to growth,' but only about 10% are able to deliver in these areas. I don't think we have a capability problem. Philips has done well training us in Digital and the importance of Customer Obsession. We're ahead of the game in North America on leveraging Search and Social insights. I do think we're still falling a little short in technology. But we're looking at fixing that problem from a number of angles. Customer behavior tracking and scoring, CRM development and hygiene, just to name two.

Microsoft officemates

We don't talk very much about Microsoft, because it's just not that interesting. But it's talent is. It's the number one place that other digital companies recruit from. Over 12,800 former microsoft emnployees now work for Google, Apple, Facebook or Twitter.

Insta engagement
This week, Scott Galloway mused about Instagram. It's become the dominant platform for brand engagement when compared to Facebook and Twitter, commanding 92% of the social interactions for the 420 brands L2 tracks. But when you add YouTube to the mix, Insta only account for 42% of interactions while YouTube gets 55% and the others fight over the crumbs. But interestingly, the platform's organic reach has declined in the face of recent changes to it's algorithm. THe frequency of brand posts is up 6% but the interaction rate per 1000 followers has decreased 30%. I bet we'll be seeing more changes to the platform's algorithm to bring its attractiveness to advertisers back up.