Archive for category Social Media
We talk about unified platform, data driven marketing, big data and so on, unfortunately, when we look at feasibility of such practices among brands, its far-fetched reality and just a board room discussion. Just the way we have clutter in customer segment so is the IT platforms in many of the organization, which are a sheer tick mark in terms of investments or legacies which have not been reviewed with changing trends, but not seen from one vision point of view.
For example, today if we have to perceive the persona of a customer from the company’s prospective, he would be seen through different filters such as CRM, Loyalty, Social Analytic, web analytic, BI tools drawing different persona of the same customer instead of building one customer persona, resulting in irrelevant & multiple campaigns, promotions targeting the same customers, most of the time irrelevant and not hitting the ROI mark.
The crux is customer centricity, not in terms of a single department, but in terms of the entire company looking at it. A persona is a result of collation of various signals from different sources; offline & online modes. It is matter of drawing a strategic view to draw those visions, because they translate the investment pattern into technologies which help you to optimize, predict and monetize in terms of understanding the right behavior, customer segment, place to target and offer.
Just as time & tide waits for none, so is the customer today, it doesn’t take time to become irrelevant to them, with irrelevant messages which flows in from various sources where he/she are in at the time of display. For instance, the FB ads or any other form of displays, excepting contextual mapping, how many time do you even look at it, forget click “know more”, the answer is majority of you ignore or don’t even see it.
The digital DNA, is just not building websites and creating brand presence across various online vehicle, it is more to understand your customers by delivering the right content at right time. The time has come where in your brand should deliver the experience by making the customer feel special, through knowing or predicting who he/she needs and innovating your offering to them.
Industrialization brought in masses with economy in scale whereas digitization is going to bring in personalization with understanding customer behavioral signals. As said by Marcel Proust “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes”. Implementing the right unified platform which integrates applications of business technology & Information technology holds the key of success. The digital empowerment today is going to fade data silos in organization, in a vision of building one single customer persona.
As customer engagement evolves through the social media & mobile technology, more & more brands are aspiring with customer centrism. Technology has been at it’s best in the recent time with web 2.0, which has evolved a new paradigm changing the codes & architecture of once CRM & now social CRM. One of sequential of CRM is Loyalty Program, a program to entice shopper to the brand, build in a much required dosage of adrenaline through the veins of buying decision of a shopper, to make them loyal. But what we see now is that, these programs are done to death, monotonous, daunting & cumbersome, which are not fairing as it is expected.
The trends started from driving consumption in the same category, went on to cross category, not necessarily the same brand through strategic alliance to benefit shoppers with wide range of products & services. Take the hot example of Kingfisher Airlines, there are cards like American Express who have tied up with other brands, to convert the loyalty points into miles to fly, the question here is are these “wow” and has it boasted the much required usage. No doubt these program are meant to engage and encourage usage, unfortunately not every plan flies.
We have also seen professional bodies, coming into existence whose day job is management of Loyalty programs; they on behalf of brands manage in their name & build alliance across categories in segments to boast usage collaboratively. But the very customer engagement goes missing in these programs. If we rig and use a crystal to granularity, we would see a fine phrase in loyalty programs called customer engagement, where one of the principles of engagement is aspirations.
Understanding customer aspiration is the key to any program and cherry in the icing would be to have understood trending behavior. For example “Gaming” there are hundreds of infographics which talks on how gaming is been engaging people online & once such statistics which pinned me down is 57% of the people who played games had never used gaming before, isn’t this rising your eyebrows. Well if that is the case, have you thought even Loyalty programs could be influenced with gaming.
If Farmville had to be popular in India, it was because every one of us had the aspiration of farming, but in reality knowing the difficulty, limits them to venture, but when they found virtual people jumped, across the globe, to a extent of day talks on what was the cultivation in their farm, isn’t it astounding. Then why not try the same principle of aspiration in your Loyalty programs using gaming methodology.
Creating an Avatar
This is how you do it, Loyalty Avatars, which are your shopper’s aspiration in terms of superheroes, personality, film characters, relevant personalities, brands & so on. Helping your shoppers in understanding the Virtual Avatar they want to be and helping them to recreate in virtual world through the consumption of your product. Every quantity the shopper buys goes closer to that of what he wants to be. There by you allow quantity, consumption across your product range & to top it, point to brag among his friend, moreover you build a close connect and wall of fame.
Virtual Environment through real life actions
Now that you have the avatar ready, let the avatar face some challenges, you model an environment of constraints & challenges in terms of activity related to the consumption or to the character or in the virtual interface for it, thus creating season & campaign calendar for yourselves. And in the process you have built a community which engages, fans to applaud leading to the second moment of truth, reviews boasting your product and before you realize you have them talking on product ideas which have a ready target audience.
Thanks to technology enhancement, we have tools & applications which help you to engage & such ideas are not farfetched but opportunity which knocks only once, one who adopts first has first mover advantage. This concept is ideal synchronization of the social world (engagement), gaming (environment) & mobile technology (reach). The words in brackets explain the impact of each activity. If you are into the Consumer Product Group (CPG) or FMCG or eCommerce or Multi-retail outlets this works so well, limiting yourselves to just the branding merchandise of your promotion is hampering your engagement.
Use this concept in synchronization of the trending like social world (engagement), gaming (environment) & mobile technology (reach). While I was on customer engagement through the social media, I found an interesting application using facebook, by a company Adepto which calls its products as Trolly, they have an interesting feature where they gamify the way the customer shares the purchases, this methodology not only helps in engaging them but also shares in the network there by creating ripples and excitement. This application is a clue to what can be done. Check the video
These are just the clues what I call Grey Munchies for you to think a loud and engage your consumers. Customer engagement is the key in today’s worlds as shoppers’ are informed, social & mobile device savvy, if you are not there, you have lost your game.
Tips of the trade
- Brands adopt the recent trends such as social media just not to gain fans, but engaging them too.
- Innovation, Relevance & Reach is the new mantra
- Adopt gaming to create excitements
- Not to forget mobile technology while you lay your plan in integration.
You Could reach me on email@example.com or connect with me on linkedin
If Facebook would have to be a country, they would have been the third largest country in the world after the heavy weights like china and India. It has users which are 2 times of US population and enjoying the market share of 76%. Applauding to the success of Facebook, in specific, verticals like games, commerce, brands, fund-raising have been latching on to enjoy the fanfare & engaging with customers. On other hand the platform also enjoys the chunk of active users resulting of the later, thus web 2.0 serves the perfect example of symbiotic relationship.
This insights only goes to show, how the social media has penetrated into the life of an individual, being synonymous to the social identity, waving across the truths introduces by Procter & Gamble, Google’s of the world, making the world smaller and bringing in the channel of communication in terms of updates, streams, tweets, share, likes, +1 and so on. Every new release, launch or upgrade on the platform is just another beginning to lure brands to optimize them to the fullest and bring in the ideas which are out of the box that goes to electrifying its fans and challenging the marketing professional only to explore the extreme. Check how advertising strategy has changed in Facebook alone; The History of Advertising on Facebook
Electrifying of experience of subscribers, followers, likes or +1, through various widgets and applications which enable social media platform to interact directly with the audience, on mobile devices of the individual, which today are supported with infrastructures which are getting upgraded to the 3G networks in many part of developing countries, making the most viable & lucrative option for the entertainment industry to use it to build their community along with the fanfare around it. This medium could be grown as one of the channel in terms of Social Broadcasting Media, given the usage of internet today and penetration it is achieving.
The one minute Snapshot, from Infographics, in the above graphics is just a feeler to showcase, the competition which internet and user-generated content, is now giving to the entertainment industry. We have already seen the way smart technology is laying it’s footprints on what was once called the ‘Idiot Box’, now the Smart Television, with internet connectivity and loads of applications on to the market place. Check how television has changed over 10 years
Very soon, we would have Social Broadcasting Media, where people would be able to select the feed they want to view, follow the character, share emotions live, bring in more viewer, dedicate scenes and the list goes endless, which now happens more on archives. Check the following statistics on Infographics: The State of Internet , there are 35 hrs of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, 30 billion of content have been shared on the Facebook, number of videos watched per month comes to 136 per user and with Smart TV’s this relationship even grows stronger.
Social Networking Platform, not only provides ready base but also creates access to the netizens, growing the market share and tapping a newer segment, thus giving run for the advertisers money and also a model which could allow to promote and share the word of mouth. In past few months, I have seen radio’s tapping Social Media to engage their audience on a real-time basis and build a bigger fanfare, but Fever Fm on Facebook has gone beyond just maintaining a page, to developing an application where in, you could dedicate the songs from the list, share and listen, which I feel is just a start of how the symbiotic relationship would envisage.
Social Media Revolutionizes The TV Industry
Let’s slice E-commerce, an online store or retail which enables shoppers to be where they are and by using the power spell WWW.ABCD.COM , they could have products and services of their choice underneath their eyeballs, ready for the consumption, although not immediate but gradual. On the flip side, the biggest challenge which e-commerce faces today is the perception, in terms of acceptance on feeling the product to virtually seeing and ordering.
Though, the internet penetration have been fairly a primary deterrent for the success of e-commerce across the geographies where they have not gained prominence, but with advent of 3G services, e-commerce is slowly seeing it’s acceptance, but where it still sees it’s roadblock is on the perceptions. Perception is all in the minds, generally through one’s experience or word of mouth. These are those strong impulses, which could drive a shopper for immediate consumption which is a gradual one or not. To top it, shoppers love to feel the product, look at it, have a face to converse & bargain and shoulder on in case of bad experience or clarification. Last but not the least to pick freshest one in the rack, which in case of e-commerce is just the virtual and the thought keeps lingering, ‘hope I have got the freshest piece’. Perception generally relies on the positioning strategy or the business model of the e-commerce led marketer.
What goes beyond perception is sustainability, how to have the shoppers think about us in their buying decision process is a challenge and being where consumers are interacting & engaged is innovativeness. Usually, when marketers are working on these thoughts, the first approach is to be in there on the informative sites, social media, branded merchandise and prime sponsorships to grab as many eyeball as possible, as the low hanging fruits in their checklist, this gives them the much-needed spikes but could this be sustained for a long run in front of the giants, who have been in the industry for ages & have built-in fats which could sustain by shedding in terms of big bang activity. The answer would be “no”.
The answer lies in theory of Moment of Truths, what once Proctor & Gamble defined First Moment of truth, as one of the science of shopping, which concentrated on the display of products in the store, then came Second Moment of Truth which was on the consumption of the product. These two truths are more or less very well followed by the marketers across the brands in positioning and displaying. What is now coming in might with the adaptation of new mobile devices, which are changing the consumer line of thought, buying behavior and a trend which is far emerging in terms of product knowledge among the shopper even before he decides on the products.
The shoppers today are far well versed with knowledge on what they want to buy, where they want to buy, what is the best deal available while they are in the process of buying a product. Google defines this as Zero Moment of Truth, ZMOT. In the words of Jim Lecinski, Managing director, U.S. Sales & Service, Google, It’s a new decision-making moment that takes place a hundred million times a day on mobile phones, laptops and wired devices of all kinds. It’s a moment where marketing happens, where information happens, and where consumers make choices that affect the success and failure of nearly every brand in the world. At Google, we call this the Zero Moment Of Truth, or simply ZMOT
The Zero Moment Of Truth, is a paradigm which focuses on the buying decision process, this is when shopper is deciding on the product, in parallel, checking where & how to buy (which is what format to go with), and if you are not here you have lost an opportunity. Lets’ try to dig into the science and understand what ZMOT has in store while buying decision process is happening, both online and offline, for e-commerce, which could work towards getting shoppers.
When we look at the buying behavior of a shopper after having a desire to buy a product, he has different ways today to gather more information, either he gets on to his mobile device like Laptop, iPad, smart phone or get on to stand alone PC, hit the search button, the best in today’s world what people say is ‘Google’. Your favorite search engine is able to throw loads of information from the product details, availability, location, feedback to reviews; they are so intrinsic that no brand can actually neglect any of these details, if they want to win their shoppers’ heart. So in the case e-commerce, not only the site would have to be optimized to the search engine but it would have to be calibrated for various devices from the smart phones to other smart devices, making it friendly for the shopper to view the information. The last thing you would want is the opportunity loss for unfriendliness in viewing the product.
Being in the minds of the shoppers, would mean 6th sense of your product prospect, what I mean is understanding the key word definition used or related phrase from the ad copy to the attributes of the product, being reflected in your site so as to bring you there when the prospect, enters queries in your ‘Google’ world. There are shoppers who would have the desire to buy, but wouldn’t be remembering the product, they would either vaguely remember the attributes or message from ads and would have entered the query, if you would have reflected in top 5, that is an opportunity win.
ZMOT for e-commerce, just doesn’t mean the ad words, it could also mean understanding your footprint’s queries either in terms of review, feedbacks, comparison, product details, Q&A, ratings & so on, which could act as a differentiation and comes out while the query have been run on Google, by the prospects. What you have done using ZMOT analysis is you have not only made your e-commerce site more shopper friendly but also search engine too, apart from the SEO tools.
The other way to look at ZMOT strategy, is to understand the Socio-economic environment of the products you are selling, to capitalize on queries regarding the event which wouldn’t have been related directly to your product on the site, but subtly conveys the message what you are trying to sell. Let me give you an example, the people leaving in India are seeing a big movement on Jan Lokpal Bill, an anti corruption movement, by the Social Activist Anna Hazare, during the movement there were lot of silent protest which were happening with people printing posters, messages on T-shirts & caps and so on, if any agency wanted to capitalize on them, they could have had customized the offerings as per the movement to be in the search results which would have had the query on the movement.
Zero Moment Of Truth is just not online, this principle could be used on Offline too, and being where your shoppers are is the secret for sustainability of unique & continuous engagement with your users. Using the online strength, an e-commerce Marketer could either device a mobile application on any of the widely used platform, enabling the smart device user to evaluate his product of the choice through it. The other way of being in smarter devices would be through the service provider; this would enhance the opportunity prospects for the marketer. These work as a double-edged sword, on one hand the application icon sits on to the shoppers smart device home page, increasing your chances for continuous engagement, as he could evaluate deals, which could look lucrative for him while he is on the store or on information gathering phase and on other hand the recall is made significantly.
This application need not be just restricted to mobile devices but could be made an add-on to the social networking platforms, enabling the users to view their queries, share, engage with their network and compare brands, making it even more lucrative. The application strategy would be incomplete, without social networking, looking at the prominence which it has in our daily lives; these systems would also encourage fans on their pages. These moves help to play on perception and move the users slowly to the e-commerce platform and increase confidence on it
To Know more on Zero Moment Of Truth, click http://www.zeromomentoftruth.com/
You could reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org or connect me on Linkedin
Applications, Behavioral trends, Business Model, Consumer Behavior, e-Commerce, eCommerce, Engagement Model, Engaging Shoppers, eyeballs, Facebook, footprints, google, Jim Lecinski, Mobile devices, queries, search engine, search engine optimization, SEO, Shoppers, Socio-economic environment, Zero Moment of Truth, ZMOT
Web 2.0 saw revolution which went on to change the political scenario, babies named after the giant ‘Facebook’ and to top it, marketers found answer to their long lasting query on ROI. They have changed the way people used to reach their prospects and more over countering business opportunity. Life is been more focused and even smaller, the phrase ‘world is small’ has more meaning to it now than before.
The closer analogy to social networking is of the iPhone ad which states “if you don’t have an iPhone you don’t have the apps….. and if you don’t have a iPhone, well you don’t have a iPhone”, which is (when applied to social networking) if you are not in one of the social networking sites, you are missing on the networking and to top it, today even recruiters have jumped into it, of course now it makes more sense to be in, then losing something.
Social networking today could be categorized into Business, Casual and Micro-blogging. We have seen good number of players moving into the space and making it big, and many of these are the pioneers, who have traced the path and been the part of the revolution, who are the leaders and category by itself. Competition now is becoming intense among the category leaders, and some renowned biggies who have tried and backed off are consistently trying to get in, to still carve a pie for themselves. The advantage with these biggies are, their application stack and power of innovation, which makes them prospective leaders only if, they crack the platform.
The battle lines are drawn and the success would be based on differentiation; which would be user interface, platforms, applications and engagement model. The leader would now have to be constantly on the drawing board and working on the differentiator model, as they would have to keep pace with new applications & concepts being developed using the existing model by the partners, in parallel ensuring the constant revenue streams from the existing model. The challenge now is on retaining the users and withstanding the migrations to newer platforms, which could be mouth watering.
The question which haunts every category leader, in different verticals, to answer on the differentiation, today hangs on to Social Networking Platform, as it is a successful model and others would definitely follow to cash in.The key here would be to stick on to User Engagement and Redefining Evangelism, which would mean drilling down to the levels of analyzing the database and bringing in the right kind of interface and application which could glue the user tightly to the platform, to the extent where the user feels incomplete without it. Like how the customer centricity brought the Social Networking into their business, today the same paradigm needs to be imbibing into their platform.
The essence lies on Social Networking Site being the one stop shop for a user, apart from just networking and being in touch. We have seen the progressions here too in terms of; communities, forums, skills, News, creating groups, pages and so on. This would have to move in a step into associating with user’s individual planning, which he/she would associate to and use it as bench marking himself/herself for his/her development which could be either career, skill sets, evaluating options, consumption patterns, financials and so on.
Application Stack, Biggies, Business Model, Competition, Consumer Behavior, Differentiations, Engagement Model, Evaluation, Evangelism, Facebook, Migration, Paradigm, Platforms, Redifining, Skill sets, Social Networking, Social Networking Platform, Web2.0, World is Small
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Check Out the new PostIndustrialization for Masses & Digitization for PersonalisationJuly 6th, 2014
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- Creating Single Vision of a customer – The Digital DNA
- Building experience flow which matters, through adoption of right analytics and tools- A part of engaging Idle Mind Strategy
- Creativity is no longer an elective, it’s the future.
- Subliminal Moment of Truth – Redefining engagement with captive minds through Mobile technology
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