Social Technology Quarterly 08
 

Social Technology Quarterly 08

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In issue 08, we examine the crucial nature and value of social data and why it has become essential for brands to perform all functions of branding, marketing and selling to their customers.

In issue 08, we examine the crucial nature and value of social data and why it has become essential for brands to perform all functions of branding, marketing and selling to their customers.

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Social Technology Quarterly 08 Social Technology Quarterly 08 Document Transcript

  • SocialTechnologyQuarterly08April to June 201308© 2013 Kuliza Technologies Ltd.All Rights Reserved.In this IssueCarpe Datum!Who knows whoyou are?Divide and Rule: Tactics togrow conversion ratesMining the FacebookFanbase
  • 2 3Carpe Datum! Who knows who you are?Diarmaid ByrneFunctionality vs. Aesthetics in DesignAnindya KunduThe Power of Advocate MarketingAnn BurgraffThe End of Gadget ClutterAmit Mirchandani and Nithin Anthony06111618Divide and Rule: Tactics to grow conversion ratesPavan SudarshanLearn to Imitate; Imitate to LearnVandana U.Can do. Will do. Still do.Saurabh GuptaCommerce with a TapKaushal Sarda24293238Mining the Facebook FanbaseAchintya GuptaFostering Communities through GeolocationVandana U.Technology and the Changing Creative CultureMrinalini SardarClocking Time on Social NetworksDiarmaid Byrne40465056CampaignsCommerceCommunitiesNUMB08
  • 4 5Social Technology Quarterly and the STQ logo are trademarks of KulizaTechnologies Ltd. Their reproducion without the proper permissions is unlawful.© Copyright 2013 Kuliza Technologies Pvt. Ltd.You are free to share and make derivative works of this publication only for non-commercial purposes and under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it,and that you distribute it only under a license identical to this one.ContributorsAchintya GuptaProduct Evangelist at KulizaAmit MirchandaniChief Creative Officer at Kuliza & MD at Lucid DesignAnindya KunduVisual Designer at KulizaAnn BurgraffChief Marketing Officer at KulizaDiarmaid ByrneChief People Officer at KulizaKaushal SardaChief Product Officer at KulizaMrinalini SardarCommunication Designer,National Institute of Design,AhmedabadNithin AnthonyProduct Designer at Lucid DesignPavan SudarshanCo-founder at NudgeSpotSaurabh GuptaManaging Director at Human Factors International,IndiaVandana U.Marketing & Communications Specialist at KulizaSocial Technology Quarterly 08April to June 2013Published by Kuliza Technologies Ltd.Print 2 Last Solutions Printing#7 Poorvi, 1st Cross, Shirdisai NagarBangalore 560 077www.print2last.comSubscribeto Social Technology Quarterly at:stq.kuliza.comDiarmaid Byrne Editordiarmaid.byrne@kuliza.comVandana U. Editorvandana.u@kuliza.comAmit Mirchandani DesignLucid Design India Pvt. Ltd.www.lucid.co.inThe Social Technology Quarterly is aresearch publication that distills thesignal from the noise in the fluid socialand mobile web domain. From multipleperspectives it analyzes commerce,campaigns, and communities throughthe lenses of business, technology,design, and behaviour.EditorialSocial data has begun to fuel intelligent selling. A delugeof data is created every day. Giant retailers and start-upsalike proliferate large amounts of data as a routine, becausea fundamental interest for any commerce platform is tounderstand how social networks are used and how these areinstrumental in affecting purchase decisions.In social data’s filtered and sifted state, there is a realizationof its potential capabilities. Through analytics we can studypopulation trends, predict the magnitude of a disease’soutbreak, optimize resources and even save lives. On afundamental level the number and kinds of interactions andconversations open opportunities to understand peopleand their patterns. Researching on influencers, this datahas enabled brands to go beyond identifying fans aloneand engaging them. This trend then reveals to us thepower of concerted actions implemented through socialdata. On this note STQ 08 looks at some of these actionswhich have stimulated brands to connect with fans andadvocates in relevant ways by mining their databases.Addressing significant trends in today’s market scenariossuch as segmenting conversion rates and using technologyto transform experiences, this issue looks at concentratedactions of big data from the perspective of design, psychologyand technology.However, along with this relevance, the issue of privacysurfaces. Multiple networks and channels have their ownpersuasive ways to make people share information. If Obamacould use big data to target his political messages better andif Facebook Home can easily track my activities and thatof my friends and family through a phone’s accelerometer,privacy concerns will continue to rise. The STQ aims to bringthis issue to the forefront. As brands realize the monetaryvalue of social data, so should they respect its ownershipand accessibility.Diarmaid ByrneVandana U.Editors
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 76CampaignsCarpeDatum!WhoKNowsWhoYouare?Inthe face of rising demand fordata, privacyand ownershipbecomeacritical concernasvastamounts of dataareaccessedandbartered withoutthe knowledgeof people. In such scenarios, itis crucialto determine practicestowards maintaining privacy.byDiarmaid Byrne
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 088 9ThereIsaLackofcontexualintEGRITYINHOWSOCIALnetworksutilizethedatawegivethemIBM estimates that every day the world produces 2.5 quintillionbytes of new data. That is a billion, billion. While it is incrediblyfrustrating for businesses to wade through, manage and makesense of this ocean of ever-expanding data, there is also atremendous opportunity for individuals and companies. A 2011report by the McKinsey Global Institute projected that the UnitedStates requires 140,000 to 190,000 more workers with deepanalytical expertise and 1.5 million more data-literate managers towork in fields such as politics, sports, advertising, healthcare andscience as businesses move towards data-driven discovery anddecision making.There are several examples of companies making decisionsbased on sophisticated data analyses. A retailer such as Wal-Martanalyzes sales, pricing, economic, demographic and weather datato determine the range of products that should be availalbe at aparticular store and when to offer discounts. In the case of publicsafety, police departments use various data points on weather,payday, sporting events and arrest patterns to predict crime hotspots and deploy police in advance. In healthcare, increases inGoogle search requests for ‘flu symptoms’ and ‘flu treatments’indicate an increase in flu patients that will visit hospitals. Ineconomics, house-related searches on Google are a moreaccurate predictor of house sales for the upcoming quarter thanforecasts of real estate economists.There is, however, a troubling aspect to all this: who ownsmy data? What rights do I have over it? Can I determine how itis used? Do I have a right to earn money from my data if othercompanies can earn money from it?People have very little information on how their information isshared. Of course there are user agreements, but how opaqueor transparent are these? Also, how many people read eachline and understand the consequences of what they agree to?Privacy policies and fairer information practices are inadequatebecause these assume that users understand all the details andimplications. Public reactions to changes in Facebook’s privacypolicies are a realization of what we as users have signed away.But how many other social networks and websites receive fullrights and access to use their users’ data? Facebook is merely themost common one that gets the most coverage.The biggest concern, from my perspective, is the lack ofcontextual integrity, an argument postulated by Helen Nissenbaum.She argues that online services share information in ways thatviolate social norms. In the case of Facebook, I cannot controlwhere the information I share with a friend or a specific groupends up. In the case of Google searches, I do not know whomthat information is sold to or how they choose to utilize it, exceptwhen I have furniture advertisements following me for weeks afterI google ‘furniture’.One area recently where this has been a cause of concern isthe discussions within the US Democrat party about whether tosell voters’ political opinions. Obama’s two presidential electionvictories have partly been due to a deep understanding of voterinformation and the utilization of various media. His election teamrelied not just on publicly available voter data – name, address,party affiliation – but party volunteers also collected information ontheir views and preferences. This enabled the Democrat party toestimate how likely a voter is to vote Democrat, support Obama, orwhat opinions they have on gun control or tax rates.It is possible for the Democrat party to contemplate this becauseindividual states have different laws about how voter data is used;some mandate that it can only be used for political purposes andothers ban using it for commercial purposes. However, informationthat is freely provided by the voter is not subject to any mandate,
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 1110of data flows and bartering practices by companies they sharetheir information with, opt-ins as part of privacy agreements, or theability for users to sell their data to advertisers. There are a numberof companies offering this service already, such as Eliken, BlueKaiand eXelate. The evolution of such services may be the most likelymethod of solving privacy concerns while maintaining contextualintegrity of a user’s data.ReferencesBeckett,Lois.“Will Democrats SellYour Political Opinions to Credit CardCompanies?” Salon,06 Feb 2013.“Big data:The Next Frontier for Competition.” McKinsey & Company.Bruder,Jessica.“What ifWeb Users Could Sell Their Own Data?”The NewYork Times,02 Oct 2012.Lohr,Steve.“The Age of Big Data.”The NewYork Times Sunday Review.TheNewYork Times,11 Feb 2012.Milian,Mark.“Data Bartering Is Everywhere.” Bloomberg BusinessweekBloomberg,15 Nov 2012.McKee,Steve.“Big Data Can Make a Big Difference in Marketing.”Bloomberg Businessweek.Bloomberg,14 Sep 2012.Nissenbaum,Helen.“A Contextual Approach to Privacy Online.” Dædalus,the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.(2011): 32-48.Functionalityvs.Aestheticsin DesignWhen analysing theimportance of functionalityand aesthetics in design,we notice that it is thecontext that determineswhich of the two takesa dominant role in aparticular instance. Butin the larger picture bothneed to complement andbalance each other.by Anindya KunduPhoto Credit: Made in Designthe undercurrents of society. However, artcan also have a hidden function, as it oftenhelps to educate people about nature orphilosophy, and fulfils the emotional andspiritual needs of human beings.Form plays a key role in both art anddesign. In design, form complementsusability by adding aesthetic appeal,which helps to motivate the user to use theproduct. Hartmut Esslinger, the founder ofFrog Design, sates that form should followemotion rather than function or we canend up with products or architecture thatneither relate to people nor the context.Hence we meet a paradox of form andfunction. Aesthetics and functionalitybecome intertwined and interdependent ofeach other as in the case of the BuddhistYin-Yang symbol.In the debate of form versus function, thelatter can be equated with the aggressiveBroadly, design can be defined as aprocess in which form meets function. Itis about planning or configuring from theinitial stages of an idea ultimately leadingto a solution to a problem. Problemscan range from simple ones such ascommunicating about an event throughthe design of an event poster to onesas complex as designing a concept tosolve urban transportation problems andpollution.By its very definition, design is gearedtowards functionality. It is always meant toserve a purpose. On the other hand, artis predominantly defined by aestheticsand by notions of beauty. Some schools ofthought have even branded art to serve noother purpose.Various pure forms of art such aspainting, poetry or music are significantlydevoted to self expression and to mirrorsuggesting that the Democrat party can sell it to retailers, marketingagencies and credit card companies.This shows how little information people have about how theirdata is used. It is an issue of contextual integrity. I share mypolitical opinions as a means of supporting a political party. I donot expect that six months later I will receive marketing materialand offers for a specific retailer based on the type of political viewsI hold. Irrespective of legal impediments, there is a breach of trustthat has deeper implications for collecting such politically crucialinformation in the future.The flow of data from one organization to another makes itincredibly difficult to determine, restrict or limit where it will endup. A new trend called data bartering will make this even moretroublesome. Companies exchange their databases, often at nocost. Businessweek discussed the case of Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app in which drivers share real-time traffic and road information. In order to break quickly intothe Brazilian market, they traded traffic, roadwork and collisiondata they would collect via their app for geographical mappinginformation from Multispectral.A similar case is that of Factual, a company that maintains adatabase of restaurants and retailers in the US. Businessweeknotes that Facebook, Groupon and Yelp provide user-contributedinformation on retailers to Factual’s database. Any company thatwants to access this information typically has to pay, but they canreceive discounts by trading relevant information with Factual. Forlarger companies access to the database can even be free.Another major trend emerging is wearable technology thatmeasures different aspects of a user’s health and fitness. TheBasis watch measures sleep patterns, heart rate, distancewalked and calories burned, amongst other things. For exerciseenthusiasts these figures are very informative, but once the watchor wristband, in the case of Amiigo, is connected to a computerand the data is transferred to your account for you to view a recordof your exercise, health and sleep, who owns that data? Who elsewould be interested in that data? What can a company similar toBasis do with the information? With whom can it be bartered? Assomeone who is very physically active, were they to trade or sellmy data there would be many interested sports manufacturersand insurance companies to buy it. While this may benefit me,it breaches my trust with the provider as there is no contextualintegrity about where my data flows.If data bartering is restricted to location data, there may be littleharm. However, if it includes bartering thousands of users’ personaldata, opinions and medical information it becomes problematic.There is no way of ensuring the contextual integrity of a person’sdata. One’s perspective may change if users have control overhow their data is used. This could be partly through greater clarityCampaigns
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0812 13SovietArchitectureAutomated TellerMachinesPackaged DrinkingWaterSatelliteDishesIndividual BananaPackagingIndian RailWebsiteIndian HighwayTrucksEames Chairand OttomanChristian Bird’sCeramic knifeThonet woodenbicycleHigh SpeedTrainsiPadAncient GreekVaseFerrariBook ofKellsAestheticsEgyptianJewelleryPhilippe StarckJuicerFunctionality
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0814 15Typography has become more defined and functionalTypography has become more defined and functionalTypography has become more defined and functionalTypographyhasbecomemoredefinedandfunctionalTypographyhasbecomemoredefinedandfunctionalTypographyhasbecomemoredefinedandfunctionalTypographyhasbecomemoredefinedandfunctionalTypography has become more defined and functionalnotable example is the ‘Book of Kells’produced in the late 6th to 9th centuries,which was adorned with intricately detailedartwork.With the development of techniquessuch as wood block printing, newdesigns evolved. Typography becamemore defined and functional. Limited bythe technique, minimalistic black andwhite wood-cut prints and the limitedcolour but exquisitely detailed Japanesewood block prints evolved. With modernlaser printing, highly sophisticatedprinting methods, high resolution digitalphotography, and computer based imageprocessing software such as Photoshop,CorelDraw, Illustrator or InDesign, almostanything can be achieved by modernprint designers. So while technology hasmade many aspects of the design processmore standardized and methodical,designers are also completely liberatedby the freedom offered from the incredibleamount of parameters in their control:colours, textures and accuracy.Interactive screen devices are becomingincreasingly popular and print has becomemore personalized and exclusive. Hence,there is an explosion in the field of user-interface design because of their interactivenature, dynamism and responsiveness.Also, it is highly likely that even the screenwill disappear as we enter the new era ofholographic augmented reality. Currently,UI design is restricted by the display andinteraction capabilities of devices. Whiledesigning a web based app for a tablet,a designer is limited by the resolution,aspect ratios and limitations of the touchfunctionalities. Hence functionality gearedtowards a smoother user experience isfundamental to the design process. Butin the future when such limitations willdisappear, it is highly likely that aestheticswill be at the forefront.Moreover, this is not unexpected. Alook into Maslow’s hierarchy of needsclears the picture. The lower order needsmasculine energy or the starting point ofdesign. The former, however, is relatedto aesthetics and is similar to feminineenergy which is accepting and impartsbeauty and grace. While we aim to strikea fine balance between the two, thereare contexts in which either can play amore dominant role. Graphic design, forinstance, is related more to commercial artand has tremendous scope for aestheticsto take the lead when space is not aconstraint. However, in user-interfacedesign, while developing an interfacefor a computer or handheld device,functionality becomes a priority becauseof the limitations posed by the interface.Similarly in case of automotive design,functionality is dominant when creatingaffordable public transport, while designingluxury sports cars aesthetics can be at theforefront.History grants us evidence and existingpatterns in relation to this. In ancientcivilizations wealth and power were limitedto a privileged few. Aesthetics played amajor role in design. The architecture ofpalaces, the furniture and other implementsdesigned for the royalty, priests or templeidols were often elaborately decorative. Alook at the ornately carved Indian temples,artefacts found with Egyptian mummies orthe remnants of Mayan civilization indicatethis. With the advent modern thinking andmore equitable society, there was a shifttowards more functional objects. Mostmass produced items consumed by peopletoday can be called more ‘functional’ than‘aesthetic’.Technology aids this mass production,and design is intimately related totechnology. With every step ahead intechnology, corresponding design in thatparticular medium has furthered it to moveahead in leaps and bounds. The evolutionof books illustrates this. Before theadvent of printing, every manuscript hadto be tediously handwritten and requiredelaborate hand-drawn illustrations. Acan be loosely correlated to functionality,the higher order needs are associated toaesthetics. The world is battling it out forbasic needs such as food, shelter, healthand basic human rights, there is alsothe need for status, esteem and luxury.Similarly, both aesthetics and functionalityare ingrained in design. Both remainprevalent, but for the future we can onlyhope for a more harmonious balance.ReferencesEsslinger,Hartmut.Advice For Designers.2013Video.“Yin andYang,”Wikipedia,The FreeEncyclopedia.Cherry,Kendra.“Hierarch of Needs.”About.comPsychology.Poster Credit: Jancso Aron
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0816 17Social media has realized the power ofadvocate marketing. Most brands havea huge untapped resource in the form ofdelighted customers.These are advocates,the tireless promoters that believe in yourcompany, evangelize your products andshare their positive experiences. No onesells your products better than they do. Butare you tapping their potential?Smart marketers invite their bestcustomers to join advocate communitiesand participate in marketing and salescampaigns around social media, generatedemands, conduct events and providesales references.Brand advocates bring in more than justword of mouth. They will recommend yourcompany and products because they havehad a fantastic experience and want to helpothers. However, the key challenges for abrand trying to leverage advocates includeThe PowerofAdvocateMarketingAdvocacy has become anincreasingly importantpursuit and objective formarketing as it becomesimperative for marketersto understand how brandsare being discussed byconsumers.by Ann BurgraffPhoto Credit: idovermanirecognising advocates, encouraging themto promote your brand, and sustaining thisrelationship.In my opinion, Jim Williams, VPMarketing at Influitive denotes thesignificant impact of brand advocacy inhis article “Capital, not Cash: How toAppropriately Recognize Your Advocates.”Brand advocates become enthusiastsfor a few innate reasons, one of thembeing the rule of reciprocity. At the startit’s pretty simple: advocates are fulfilled bythe appreciation they have for somethinga brand does or makes. In return, theyprovide unsolicited support for that brand.But the exchange doesn’t stop there –the rule of reciprocity evolves. Over time,support turns into loyalty. Loyalty turnsinto advocacy. And as customers increasetheir level of commitment, they expecta corresponding increase in recognitionFred Bals is the Media and CustomerRelations Manager at Ektron, an EnterpriseDigital Content Experience Managementsoftware company.The Challenge Fred needed a new levelof energy and excitement at Ektron’sannual SYNERGY Customer Conference.He wanted to tap into his customers’ lovefor Ektron.The Plan Fred created a community usingInfluitive’s Advocate Hub through whichcustomers and partners could easilyadvocate for Ektron.The Result Fred built a program that:• Crowdsourced 40+ customer-generatedvideos for the opening keynote address• Captured dozens of hours of customerinterviews during the conference• Generated a tidal wave of speakersubmissions for conference tracks - 90% oftracks were customer-generated content• Gained a 500 percent increase in awardsubmissionsCustomers were highly involved.Many became stronger advocates andthe conference was a huge success. AEktron Embraces Advocate Marketing Case Studyfrom the brand.Here’s where it gets a little tricky,because appropriate recognition requiresa bit of finesse. In other words: you can’tjust pay people for liking you.As Biggie Says: Mo’ Money, Mo’Problems Most of us do things for oneof two reasons: business or pleasure–a.k.a. money or fun. Yet in the world ofadvocate marketing, combining the two isproblematic; getting paid to do somethingfun takes all the fun out of it.Consequently,incentivizing has become a bit of a taboowhen it comes to advocate marketingbecause it can result in some unintendedand unsavory consequences:Great Expectations Exchangingmonetary value for promotion conditionsconsumers to expect something in returnfor their advocacy. If and when you failto meet those expectations, their level ofappreciation can suddenly drop.Inauthenticity Paying for arecommendationimmediatelycompromisesthe value of the recommendation and thereputation of the recommender. Advocatesaren’t shills. They pride themselves on theirindependence and authenticity.Greedy Spammers When consumerstalk up a company because they havetheir eye on a prize, it becomes prettyobvious to third parties. They overfillFacebook feeds, Twitter feeds and productreview sites, effectively cheapening theirrecommendations and likely peeving afollower or two.Recognize and Thank Reciprocity isabout giving back, so make sure you’rerecognizing the people who have alreadydisplayed solid support for your brand andnot those who simply like you on socialplatforms, for example. Understand thedifference between recognition and reward.Advocates should not be made to feel likethey’re being paid for their support; rather,they should feel like the brand is genuinelyand personally thanking them.ReferencesWilliams,Jim.“Capital,not Cash: How toAppropriately RecognizeYour Advocates.”Influitive.29 Mar 2013.“Advocate Marketing Case Study: Ektron.” 22Jan 2013.Influitive,Online Posting to SlideShare.video montage, “I am Ektron,” was shownduring the opening of the conference.No recruiting was needed. Over Fortycustomer-generated videos were easilyput into a compelling montage.Fred was able to mobilize attendees atthe conference to create “one great song”to be played during conference breaks. Healso captured hours of customer insightson a video that can be leveraged for futuremarketing, sales and product developmentpurposes.Campaigns
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 1918LIFEHUBTHE ENDOF GADGETCLUTTERSay goodbye to eight space and resourceconsuming devices that have to beindividually purchased, used, managed,and cared for. Say goodbye to syncing, wires,chargers and misplacing important things.Say hello to LifeHub by Lucid Design.by Amit Mirchandani & Nithin AnthonyPhoto Credits: Lucid Design India Pvt. Ltd. www.lucid.co.inModel: Lock Weng PoProduct Feature
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 2120LifeHub is a Watch:You wear it on your wrist. Memory polymer and a bendable O-ledscreen create a stylish and secure bracelet that lets you tell thetime, read important messages, see the weather and listen toyour music.LifeHub is a Smartphone:You can bend the bracelet into a candy bar where the simplestof interfaces, built with clear icons and bold colors, gives you allthe functionality you expect from a Smartphone. You can makeand take calls. You can also make video calls by bending just thebottom half of the device and setting it on a surface. Your apps,contacts, messages, email, games, media, and feeds greet you inhigh definition and with stereo sound.LifeHub is a Headset:Two discreet Bluetooth earpieces with microphones are securedin the device and have to be snapped off to use as a headset.While snapped in, they function as an earpiece + microphone orexternal stereo speakers when activated.LifeHub is a Key:A password protected programmable key pops out the side ofthe device. Physical locks enabled with LifeHub access, can belocked or unlocked. The key also acts as a data transfer device.LifeHub is a Wallet:Credit card and debit card data from several cards can be storedon the device with password protection, and used as desiredby instantly programming the key when making a purchase orwithdrawing money.LifeHub is a Speaker:Docking the device into the base opens a host of additionalfeatures such as portable audio speakers with rich bass. Thedevice is also automatically backed up when docked.LifeHub is a Projector:Motion controlled in both flat and tilted positions,all your videos can be projected on an open wall orceiling. You can also use it to make a presentation at work, orhave an extremely large video call!LifeHub is a Companion:On your bedside or on your desk, LifeHub is recharged on acharging pad (featuring the only wire it’ll need to draw powerfrom the mains). It can be your alarm clock, notepad, gamecenter, message panel and weather station. It can even playyou Internet radio.EIGHT THINGS ROLLED INTO ONE
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 2322LIFEHUBTHE ENDOF GADGETCLUTTERDesign: Lucid Design India Pvt. Ltd.www.lucid.co.inDesign Director: Amit MirchandaniProduct Designer: Nithin AnthonyModel: Lock Weng Po1: Key4: Docked in Base3: Video Call Mode2: Portable Base & Charging Pad5: Base angled up & Projector Open7: Projector Mode6: Rotating Projector
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0824 25Divide and Rule:Tactics to growconversion ratesSegmenting conversion rates enablese-commerce sites to track their mostvaluable visitors and can enhance the typeof conversion that is most relevant andimportant to their businesses.by Pavan SudarshanPhoto Credit: Digg.comCommerce24
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0826 27321neither representative nor actionable.On this basis, seven conversion rates have been identified thatare a lot more granular. Each of these uncovers a specific problemand allows you to come up with solutions.Checkout ConversionThis conversion focuses on monitoring the “checkout initiated”to “checkout completed” conversion.Visitors who initiate the checkout process have most likely foundwhat they want to buy and have already made a decision to buy.Losing a visitor who has initiated a checkout is the closest youcome to losing a real customer. It is necessary to understand whatinfluences abandoning a checkout. Typically visitors abandona checkout because of hidden shipping charges, fear of beingcheated in delivery, payment gateways that they do not trust, thesite is slow while talking to third party systems, etc. Assuring yourvisitors along the way about payments, having secure modes andchannels and efficient shipping help alleviate this fear and getthem to convert.Cart Recovery ConversionThis conversion focuses on how many abandoned carts wererecovered.Adding an item to the cart is a form of expressing interest in aproduct. If a visitor leaves the site with a cart and never returns,or comes back but does not complete the checkout process, itis important to try and recover the visitor’s cart. Offering betterprices and deals, availability, shipping charges and selectionrange contribute to effective recovery of carts and decreasethe cart abandonment rate your site has been experiencing.Reminding returning visitors about an existing cart or offeringpeople an incentive such as a coupon or free shipping to start theircheckout process can be very useful. For SDS Market in the US,targeted promotion has been instrumental in recovering and in factpreventing cart abandonments.Brand ConversionThis conversion focuses on how many visitors who searched foryour brand resulted in buying from your site. Improving this ratehelps you reduce the cost to acquire customers.Visitors who land on your page after searching for your brandare valuable. They are the ones who are aware of your brand.Once you have a steady stream of traffic it is important for youto start establishing your brand identity. Improving credibility isone way to retain these shoppers. It is for these sets of shopperthat you must take up brand building exercises in order to givethem a sense of being a great platform to buy from and where theyare highly unlikely to have a bad experience. A great design, anMMost leading e-commerce stores generate a steady streamof traffic from paid as well as organic sources. Search EngineOptimization, content marketing, affiliates, online marketplacesare few among the many tried and tested solutions to generatetraffic to one’s store. However, one problem that remains is thenumber of visitors who end up buying is still very low. Conversionrate, one of the most important Key Performance Indicators(KPI) of e-commerce businesses, is too low. According to theInternet Retailer, the overall conversion rate lingers depressinglysomewhere between 2 percent to 3 percent.Given that conversion is vital to e-commerce sites, this articleexplores the causes of low conversion rates, the possible factorsresponsible, and what are the different ways in which conversionrates can be improved.An overall conversion rate implicitly treats all visitors identical,i.e. each visitor has the same likelihood of buying from your storeon every visit. Even common sense suggests that this is mostlikely not true. Most people do not buy something the first timethey see it.Alex Brown, who has been teaching internet marketing since1997, talks about six phases in the buying cycle: problemrecognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives,purchase decision, purchase and post-purchase evaluation.These phases are indicative of the fact that visitors are onyour site for different reasons. Each time they visit, they may bein a different phase of buying. By not catering to these visitors’needs and only optimizing the selling phase affects conversions.Along the different buying phases several measures and steps toengage visitors ensure conversion.Overall conversion rate is an aggregate data point. It is a singlenumber that represents all the visitors and customers on yourstore. Web analytics expert, Avinash Kaushik, elaborates on theproblems with aggregate data, what to avoid in KPIs and the needfor segmenting. He opines that measuring conversion rate withouta goal is not very effective. For example, if a store’s currentconversion rate is 1.5 percent and is aiming to double it andmake it 3 percent. The number alone does not indicate anything.1.5 percent can be great or pathetic. Increasing it to 3 percentcan be a piece of cake or a walk in the desert. There is just noway to tell without understanding a lot of other things, such asmerchandize issues, offers, lengthy process, shipping costs, etc.Improving conversion rates thus begins by identifying a specificproblem and fixing a goal you want to reach. It is segments ofdata that need to be monitored in terms of the different problemsfaced and the different sets of actions required for each one.Approaching an overall conversion rate improvement withoutunderstanding important details is definitely not actionable. It isthe most important metric that every serious store monitors, but is54easy and noteworthy experience on the site and being consumer-friendly are factors that influence buying. By keeping a track ofsources through which you receive the highest amount of trafficwill help you determine what your next step should be.Organic ConversionThis conversion focuses on how many visitors who arrive on yousite from organic sources convert to consumers.Organic traffic is great. It is the indicator that show that yourattempts at SEO, brand building, content marketing, referrals andsocial media are all working for you. Catering to this traffic helpsreinforce the brand and spread the word about your store. Whileorganic visitors should be treated like any other new visitor onyour store, they are important in spreading word about your store.Exalt them with a great service, on-time delivery and handling theirreturns well. Leverage social media effectively to get these visitorsto talk about you and in turn increase your organic traffic. Dataanalytic tools are the most effective method to acquire the data youneed in order to estimate the sources of organic traffic on your site.This helps to determine how to evolve your site and focus on thesources that brought you highest amount of traffic.New Visitor ConversionThis conversion focuses on how many new visitors buy on yoursite. Improving this helps determine how relevant the landingpages are and how good the traffic sources are in providingqualified leads.Photo CreditsTop: JohanLBottom: Seattle’s Big Blog
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 292876New visitors represent new opportunities. These visitors may notknow what your store has to offer, but figuring out what you wantto show based on the channel, keyword, source and campaignmay result in converting your first time visitors into customers.Relevance is the key to improve new visitor conversion. Landingpage optimization, A/B testing and content are the tools to grabattention of new visitors. An extra layer of personalization cancome in the form of good product suggestions and ads. Forexample, IndianStage shows ads for plays that are running intheaters in the city that a visitor is landing from. Not only has thismade their site more relevant, their visitors now do not have to doan extra step of searching for plays from their cities. It is a simplestep, but very effective.Repeat Customer ConversionThis conversion focuses on figuring out how many returningcustomers purchase again from the site.The goal is to increase the lifetime value of a customer and forany serious e-commerce business this remains a primary goal.To increase lifetime value one needs to understand that it is notabout conversion alone on the first purchase, but getting repeatorders from a customer. To do that, you need to meaningfullyengage with them. Instead of sending a lot of emails to engagewith the customer, sending what could be useful informationwill help nurture your customers. Email campaigns remindingcustomers about accessories for a product they bought, such asbatteries or lenses after a camera purchase, suggesting a pair ofred earrings to go with that red dress a customer bought recently,understanding the age of a baby based on the size of the diaperpurchases and then doing age-based email campaigns - there aremany ways to engage with returning customers and giving themrelevant information. To identify who is a returning customer youneed to use tools that analyze profiles at granular levels, suchas KissMetrics, MixPanel and NudgeSpot rather than aggregateanalytics tools.Unique Visitor to Customer ConversionThis conversion focuses on figuring out how many uniquevisitors become customers.Visitors may visit your store multiple times before buyingsomething. Instead of focusing on visits, determining how manyunique visitors buy is useful in understanding the quality of yourtraffic sources.One problem with focusing on granular, micro conversions is thatyou may lose sight of why you are doing any of this. It is stillimportant to understand what your overall conversion rates areand compare them to previous rates. Using focused conversiondoes not mean you throw away overall conversion rate. Instead,you should use these granular conversions as an implementationdetail to improving your overall conversion. This means that if youwant to go from an overall conversion of 1.5 percent to 3 percent,you use these other conversion rates so that you can pinpointwhere you are not performing well and start improving.ReferencesKaushik,Avinash.“Web Analytics Segmentation: Do Or Die,There Is NoTry!” Occam’s Razor.18 May 2010.Demery,Paul.“Retailers plan to spend more on text ads this year.” InternetRetailer.12 May 2011.Rueter,Thad.“A conversion boost for online retailers.” Internet Retailer.13Sep 2011.Brown,Alex.“Stages of the Consumer Buying Process.” udel.edu.Redbord,Michael.“How to Leverage the 5 Stages of the Customer BuyingCycle for More Sales.”HubSpot.HubSpot,Inc.,06 Jul 2011.Convenience, availability and value formoneyarethekeyreasonsthee-commerceindustry is thriving. The business modelof e-commerce firms, especially leadingones such as Amazon, Ebay, Walmart andSears Holding Corp., come with potentialadvantages in their operations. Althoughdigital capabilities have grown strongly,the e-commerce industry can identify andlearn strategies from other industries thatfit best. Sometimes (and sometimes not)online stores need to mirror offline stores.So while we have considered that forboth online and offline different businessmodels and approaches are required,trends indicate that both have beenlearning from each other and implementingthese learnings in their own contexts tomaximise profits. As Gianfranco Casatiputs it, “E-commerce is an evolution,not a revolution.” Strategies of offlineindustries can be implemented to help thee-commerce industry overcome its virtualchallenges by integrating new conceptswith conventional business ideas.SupermarketsIt is no hidden fact that the layout of asupermarket is structured to maximiseprofit through the way a customer moves,stops, sees, smells and thinks. Givingoptimal positions to products with thehighest profit margins and groupingcomplimentary products together topersuade users to buy more are all a partof the up-selling strategies a supermarketoffers. In supermarkets up-selling atthe cash counter is one way of gettingpeople to buy more and e-commercemajors can adopt this. The limitation in thesupermarket is the seller does not haveas much data to sell something that theLearn toImitiate;Imitate toLearnconsumer will eventually buy, but this is apossibility in virtual stores where there isplenty of data and suggestions to purchasea related product can work wonders.Another principle that works is the “feel-good” factor. While completing a purchasewe feel good about ourselves and buyingsomething for oneself makes one feelgood. Since shopping makes people feelgood, this happiness is furthered by up-selling. It makes one feel good to have“bought more and thus saved more.”This is why supermarkets keep candies,chocolates, chewing-gums, and othersmall items at the cash counter. Amazon’sup-selling strategy has been lauded bymost marketing experts. It would be aprofitable move for other online shoppingplatforms to up-sell. As Fiona Low puts it,“The concept of positioning complimentaryitems next to each other can work incrediblyE-commerce may haveevolved into a more radicalindustry. However, thetype of transformation thatthe e-commerce industryrequires today to an extentlies in the strategies ofbusiness models of otherindustries.by Vandana U.Photo Credit: ArtificialproductionCommerce
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0830 31well for e-commerce sites. In the sameway a supermarket shopper buying flourto bake a cake needs eggs and sugar, anonline customer buying a dress can alsobe cross sold the shoes and accessoriesthey need to make a complete outfit.”There is a lot that e-commerce can takefrom a supermarket’s persuasive mannerof making shoppers not only buy, but makethem as regular online shoppers.AirlinesIn his January 2013 article inFastCompany, Jeff Katz explicates howthe future functioning of e-commerce willbe similar to that of the airlines industry.Shannon Warner and Samrat Sen pointout the common factors that influencepeople in online retail and an airlineprogram. In both people look for the bestdeal. Comparisons, coupons, inputsfrom friends and frequent shoppers andflyers contribute towards decisions. Priceremains the most significant factor andperhaps no other industry has realisedthis better than the airline industry. It iscommon for people to switch differentairlines to save money despite robustloyalty programs of airlines are so robust.Realizing this, over nearly three decades,the industry has managed to keep track,manage and thereby provide great pricescoupled with great services. Katz bringsto our notice that such unflinching effortshave contributed to their revenues forthirty years and this is the cue e-retailersmust take. In social commerce an entireexperience is what helps sell best.Therefore people are likely to rememberthe name of the site they purchased fromonly if they have found value for money.He suggests retailers go customer-centricand similarly use data the way airlines do,to provide people richer experiences. Byapplying predictive analytics, retailers canunderstand varying needs of customers,determine the impact of factors such asprice, product positioning or staff skills,economic indicators, competition andcustomer demographics. This transformsmass social commerce into personalizedcommerce that is targeted and relevant.Adopting customer-centric methods is thebest lesson from the airline industry thatonline marketers can incorporate.GamingThe gaming industry provids anotherrelevant guide for e-commerce to learnfrom. There are several reasons people getengrossed in games. What if e-commercesites began to get such attention? Thisalso means thinking beyond game theory,game elements and gamification. Whatif e-commerce were to think as gamers?By asking this question analytics expertBrian Smith opens the possibilities ofusing metrics just the way the gamingindustry does in order to understand fans.He opines that gamers’ use of cohorts,engagement and retention, and eventtimelines, are what drive the success ofgames such as Farmville, The Godfatherand The Sims Social, and predicts thatthese will start to blend into general webmetrics. The gaming industry is purelyfan based and it designs games that aregoing to be targeted not at the lowestcommon factor but fans who really playthe game. It has cutting edge analytics totrack all actions. Every action in a gameis an event. He describes how gamingcompanies keep a track of every actionand based on that they log and analyzethese actions to determine how to improveengagement, retention, and monetization.His view is that these metrics will driveecommerce growth in the coming years.However, for that to happen e-commercecompanies will need to move beyondtheir obsession with driving traffic andimproving conversion and begin to relyon cohorts and other metrics to find whatimportant actions result in other actions.Strategies of offline industries can beimplemented to help the e-commerceindustry overcome its virtual challenges byintegrating new concepts with conventionalbusiness ideas.Photo Credits:Top: Julizan HBottom: Vox EfxReferencesSmith,Brian.“The New Ecommerce Metrics:What Etailers Can Learn from GamingCompanies.” Kontagent.29 Nov 2012.Carmichael,Stephanie.“Video gamee-commerce: It’s about serving the fansventurebeat.com,19 Nov 2012.Casati,Gianfranco.Interview by Rohit Nautiyal.“E-commerce is an evolution,not a revolution.”Business Standard.24 Mar 2013.Warner,Shannon,and Samrat Sen.“HowPredictive Analytics Elevate Airlines’ CustomerCentricity,Driving Competitive Advantage.”Cognizant.Heath,Dianne.“Panda Changed AffiliateMarketing,What eCommerceWebsites CanLearn From Stores to Recover.”Analyst District,28 Mar 2012.K,Carol.“WhatYour Local Supermarket KnowsAbout Upselling ThatYou Don’t.” Small BizDiamonds.12 Jun 2012.Katz,Jeff.“FastenYour Seatbelts:The Future OfShopping Looks A Lot Like Airline Travel.” FastCompany.31 Jan 2013.
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0832 33Can do.Will do.Still do.Persuasion, Emotion and Trust take designingbeyond usability to building deeper relationshipswith customers.They enable brands to understandwhat triggers customers to respond and makepurchase decisions.by Saurabh GuptaPhoto Credit: ApdkIndia is witnessing an e-commerceboom. Undoubtedly, adapting to severalplatforms, whether it is the web, Android,iOS or other mobile platforms, has resultedin increased sales. But the questionremains whether the usability of web andmobile channels are going to be enoughto win the battle for elevated customerattention, acquisition, interaction, andloyalty? The answer is definitely in thenegative unless it is realized that design inthe information and digital age is all aboutdesigning for Persuasion, Emotion, andTrust (PET design™). E-commerce storesused to be clones of brick and mortarstores. However, issues of usability andnavigation have been tackled by the mostprimitive of e-commerce platforms. Butbeyond usability, the need of the hour isto spruce up the overall user experience.The online experience must be enticing,besides being easy and satisfying. It hasto be the kind that makes consumers feelengaged and ultimately committed.Commerce32
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0834 35Rule ofReciprocityIn the 1970s, the Disabled AmericanVeterans, while soliciting donations,decided to send potential donorspersonalized labels in a mail. Theytold people to keep the labels evenif they did not make a donation. Theresult of this strategy indicated anincrease in the number of peoplewho made contributions, whichnearly doubled—jumping from 18percent to 35 percent. Made popularby Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence:The Psychology of Persuasion,” therule of reciprocity is about the deeplyingrained human instinct to repay adebt. If someone gives somethingto us, we feel obliged to repay thatdebt. This rule operates not onlywith familiar people, but also withstrangers. Be it refreshments servedin a store while shopping or an offer,the underlying assumption withthis rule is that it nudges people topurchase.Once it has been made usable, a web ormobile channel needs to persuade clientsto transact or convert.It is this step of persuasion that PETdesign is primarily concerned with. Ausability engineer can make it easy for aperson to purchase insurance online. Butthe need for insurance is not the lone reasonfor a person to buy the policy; a dominatingfactor is the persuasive nature of the site.Several methods and tools for persuasionare implemented ranging from selling avalue, making an emotional statement tothe extent of making one feel frightened andinsecure about what could happen to theirfamily if they did not buy insurance.There is an exhaustive list of persuasivetechniques to choose from when designingfor PET, but here are seven principles thatcan make web and mobile channels moreengaging and influential. These principlescan not only answer what solutions canbe implemented immediately, but also layfoundation for future strategies that willwork in the long run. Also, significance hasto be given to the context of the productsand services, the objective and theemotional drives and blocks of your targetaudience. There are key questions everye-commerce platform should answer tounderstand the contexts before any ofthese principles are implemented:1. Can do• Can users find the information they’relooking for?• Can they find the button they need topress?2. Will do• They can find the button, but will theypress it?• They can find the information, but willthey act on it?3. Still do• Will they come back?• Will they be loyal?These principles work on theassumption that high level of engagementis necessary for people to associate with abrand. It must be taken into considerationthat although people can do somethingdoes not mean they are bound to do thoseactions. The future of design is aboutcreating engagement and commitmentto meet measurable business goals. Itis therefore a necessity to understand indepth the subtle and emotional triggersthrough different sets of practices.ReferencesSchaffer,Eric.Dr,perf.“Beyond Usability:Usability is No Longer Enough.” Human FactorsInternational,Inc.2008.Weinschenk,Susan.Dr,perf.“7 principles thatmake your website more engaging.” HumanFactors International,Inc.,2011.Amabile,Teresa M,and Steven J Kramer.TheProgress Principle: Using SmallWins to IgniteJoy,Engagement and Creativity atWork.USA:Harvard Business Review Press,2011.We Love to get Moreof AnythingIn a coffee shop there were two dealsfor a cup of coffee. The first dealoffered thirty-three percent extra inthe regular cup of coffee. The secondtook thirty-three percent off the regularprice. If we were to analyze which dealwas better, both would seemingly beequal. However, it is not so. Peoplewould tend to go for the first dealbecause we do not use math to arriveat the decision, but use emotionalmath. In this case getting somethingextra “for free” feels better than gettingthe same for less.ScarcityAs a corollary to the previousprinciple of wanting more, ifsomething is unavailable or is scarce,it is perceived as more valuable.Therefore, on a website whennotifications are provided such as“only four more days to order yourplane tickets,” or “only three itemsleft,” these notification act as triggersand signals to the brain to fastenthe process of buying and induces afear of losing out on something. Thehuman brain is sensitive to messagesthat have to do with losing. Fear ofloss is a trigger that causes people totake action.It is not Always Bestto be FirstResearch shows that people are lesslikely to choose the highest ratedoption in a quality ranking whenit appears first on the list. Peopletend to gravitate toward choices inthe middle. When given an arrayof five options, they tend to choosethe fourth one, especially when thechoices are presented side by side.The middle position has somethinginherently attractive to the humanmind. As social creatures, the middleseems a good and safe place tobe in comparison to being at theedge, towards the end or at the verybeginning.
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0836 37Conscious MindsareVery Sensitive toFood,Sex,Dangerand Protection ofOffspringTo get and hold the attention ofhumans and get them to act, you needto engage with their old brains. A majorjob of the brain is to keep us fromharm. A threatening situation, evenif unreal or happening to someoneelse, can cause the brain to set offan alarm, putting our information andemotional processing systems on highalert. This implies that anything thathappens while we are on high alertwill be processed through emotionsand thereby will be deeply ingrained inmemory. Marketers thus use images,references and related content of food,sex or danger in order to stimulateactions. This helps a viewer connectdeeply and therefore one is boundto remember the product because ofstrong emotions attached to it.Use the Power ofSmall WinsAccording to Teresa Amabile andSteve Kramer in the book TheProgress Principle, of all things thatcan boost emotions, motivations, andperceptions, the single most importantthing is the perception of makingprogress. The more frequently peopleexperience a sense of progress, themore likely they are to be motivated inthe long run. Whether it is an attemptto solve a major scientific mystery orsimply fill out a form, even a small wincan make a difference to how peoplefeel and their next set of actions.Designers can use this to principleto leverage progress and motivatepeople to perform more actions.Popular networking site, LinkedInefficiently uses the concept of progressto motivate people towards profilecompleteness. The design consists ofa graph that indicates completenessof one’s profile, which would resultin better opportunities. This ensuresthat every piece of information that isadded to the profile is perceived as asmall win.Social ValidationWhen people are uncertain ofwhat to buy or whether an offer isgood enough, they look to othersto decide what to do. This is whyratings, reviews and testimonialsare powerful. The more informationavailable through ratings and reviews,the more powerful and the moreinfluential that rating and review is.Research even shows that reviewsfrom other people, especially onesfrom peers are the most influential.Peer reviews are more influentialthan reviews or testimonials fromexperts or recommendations from thewebsite itself. According to a surveyof US internet users by online videoreview site EXPO, consumer reviewsare significantly more trusted - nearlytwelve times more than descriptionsthat come from manufacturers.It isnecessary tounderstandin depth thesubtle andemotionaltriggers thatmotivatecustomers tobuy.Photo Credit: Kuba Bozanowski
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0838 39Commercewith aTapIt is estimated that around 300 million NFC enabled devices wouldbe sold in 2013 and by 2015 this number would reach a whoppingone billion.Near Field Communication is the technology responsible fordevices such as smartphones and tablets to communicate withnearby devices and objects with a simple tap.Most new smart phones contain a chip that is capable of sendinga radio wave that gets picked up by another NFC device or anyobject with an RFID tag. The tag, which is small enough to beattached to a product or an ad poster with a sticker, when tappedby a device like an NFC enabled phone can ask the device to opena link, download an app or a file make a payment. The best partabout this communication is that it is secure.Businesses have employed Near FieldCommunication to bolster better experiencesand engagement, leading to a revolution incommerce. NFC as a technology can makereal world commerce engagement moresophisticated and personalized by making thetap act as the equivalent of an online “click”.by Kaushal SardaReferencesBoden, Rian.“Hointer adds NFC to next generation store concept.” NFCWorld. 06 Mar 2013.Clark, Sarah.“London pub picks NFC for social media marketing.” NFCWorld. 13 Feb 2013.Deffree, Suzanne.“Near-field communications to go far in 2013.” EDNNetwork. 07 Dec 2012.Dyer, Karl.“Adspace to roll out NFC advertising in 140 US shoppingmalls.” NFC World. 11 Mar 2013.Tode, Chantal.“Kraft NFC pilot delivers 12 times the engagement level ofQR codes.” Mobile Commerce Daily. 18 Oct 2012.Wheeler, Judd.“2013 Mobile Trends and Predictions.” The Mobilists. 22Jan 2013.There are three key advantages using of NFC for commerceand customer engagement:1. NFC removes the friction that exists in engagement with thehelp of QR codes, as it requires one to load the app and scan thecode before triggering the desired action2. NFC enables businesses to leverage seamless connectivity ofonline to offline engagements3. A tap is equivalent to a consumer’s expression of intent. Thistechnology allows brands to serve a pre-crafted personal brandexperience based on intent.4. AdspaceAdspace Digital Mall Network added NFC capabilities to itsvideo advertising displays in 140 US shopping malls. The newAdspace’s Smart Screens enabled advertisers to offer consumersan access to content downloads, web-based games, promotionsand coupons, maps and social media integration by tapping orscanning the attached mTag placard on the side of the unit withtheir mobile phones.1. KraftKraft recently piloted an NFC program at select grocery stores. RFIDchips that could be read by NFC-enabled smart phones were placedin signage on the shelves right in front of Kraft cheese and Nabiscocookie brands. The goal was to encourage consumers to tap theirsmart phones to access fun recipes, download the i-Food Assistantapp or share their experiences on Facebook. The pilot campaignresults showed that NFC “tap” engagement level was twelve timeshigher than for QR codes, which also appeared on the signs.3. HointerThe Seattle-based fashion retailer used NFC to move away froma traditional sales assistant-driven customer experience to a morerich, scalable, personal and engaging experience. Customersvisiting the store tap a tag or scan a QR code on an item they wishto try, and then select the size using the Hointer application ontheir smartphones. They then wait for their items to automaticallydrop into a chute in the changing room from a robot-operatedstockroom in under thirty seconds.2. Public HousesThe Cavendish Arms pub in Stockwell, London, installed an NFCand QR codes based platform to promote the venue via socialmedia. Customers could scan the QR codes or tap their NFCphones to tags located in the pub and connect through Facebookto pick up a special offer like a free drink. In turn, a message wouldbe sent to their friends on Facebook and Twitter stating they are atthe pub along with details on current events that night.Commerce
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 4140MiningtheFacebookFanbaseWith vast amounts of data availableabout shoppers and their networksthrough Facebook, retailers are turningtowards a better understanding andimplementation of this data to createopportunities for profit.by Achintya GuptaIllustration inspiration: Bob Noorda for Pirelli, 1959Communities
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0842 43S long run you are engaging a very small set of fans today that youpaid for.The need of the hour is a tool that can extract information basedon understanding and analyzing fans’ Facebook profiles, activitiesand relationships, with their permissions. The tool can be used toderive various forms of intelligence: interest, activities and socialinfluence. This understanding of target market and consumers willhave an outstanding impact on a social media campaign.If a football club wants to leverage its one million Facebookfans, with such tools it can recognize its most diehard fans,gauge highest activity levels, sentiments and participations. Theycan reach these fans for their local, offline promotions and evengive them inventories to host parties to boost ticket sales. Thus,the simple task of identifying the biggest brand evangelists fromthe crowd will help the brand generate immense word of mouthat low cost marketing. Similarly a business-to-business softwarebrand can understand who their potential customers and buyersare based on the professional interests and workplaces of theirFacebook fans.Although the value that the aforementioned consumerintelligence layer adds to your online marketing efforts is huge, it isoften intriguing how this customer intelligence layer should be builtand on what level it should analyze or segment the communitymembers.There are many Facebook marketing tools in the market, suchas 8th Bridge, Votigo, Crowdtwist, Booshaka and Kuliza’s Elevate,that provide customer analytics and Facebook fan intelligence.It is encouraging to see that many marketers and brands arewilling to pay for such intelligence. Here is a list of six essentialsyour consumer intelligence tool should have for you to get aSocial media marketers invest significant sums of money to acquirethousands of fans to build their online community or Facebook fanbase. Traditional social media marketing strategies dictate twocommon modes of gaining returns from such investments. Oneis having meaningful conversations with customers using statusupdates and comments. These, however, often go unnoticed bycustomers. If the edge rank of a post is not very high, which oftendepends on how relevant a post is to a fan, a big chunk of the fanbase might never read these updates, leaving the very large fanbase of no use.The other tactic is to conduct Facebook contests and campaignssuch as sweepstakes, photo contests and ideas contests. Theproblem with using such tactics is that they are relevant to certainsets of fans but are pure noise for the rest. An example of thisis ‘#mcDStories’ campaign, in which a hashtag was created forfans to share their experiences at McDonald’s, but only resulted innegative chatter from sceptics.The root cause of both the issues is that brands do not knowor understand fans at all. Fans can be die-hard brand promoters,users, potential customers and even sceptics. They might havedifferent levels of social influence within the community. Fansbelong to different cultures, have different interests, opinions andpreferences towards brands. Although you have targeted fans ofcertain interests and geographic location on your fanpage, theyhave different ways of tolerance to issues, have different levelsof online or offline influence and have different social mediabehaviours. Treating customers uniformly with the same messageor campaigns on a media that gives immense power to thecustomer is a waste of marketing efforts. You might be satisfiedwith the number of ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ you get today but in thecomprehensive picture of your Facebook fanbase.Loyalty Discovering your most loyal fans has huge payoffs.Think of the many ways you can leverage an army of brandfanatics. Brand Ambassador Programs, offline word of mouthmarketing events, meet-ups and franchising are just a few of them.It is important to ensure how your tool is deciding who is a loyal fanand who is not. One way is by understanding his engagement andactivity level on the fan page. The most loyal fans will be the oneswith heavy participation in form of content creation (forum posts,comments, photos or video uploads) or content curation (sharing,recommending or voting on the posts) and in general will havepositive sentiments towards the brand.Influence Influencers play a major role in the virality of brandmessages. There are brands such as Dell that have made themistakes of angering influencers like Jeff Jarvis, while Old Spiceleveraged influential Twitter celebrities in their ‘Smell like a man’campaign. Knowing influencers in your online community is hencevery critical. Klout is one tool that does this. The other, but lesseffective, way is to understand their influence from their Facebooknetwork data, which includes number of friends, shares, commentsand likes on posts.Profile The profile data of your fan base is a small but importantpart of your consumer analysis. Understanding location, hobbiesand personal or professional interests of your fans can help a lot inyour marketing. For example, if an online retail store is aware thata set of customers is interested in snow jackets or Metallica music,they can immediately target them on Facebook.Themes Listening and understanding what your community istalking about is a great insight for any branded Facebook page oronline community. Understanding ‘who’ is talking ‘what’ can helpDiscovering your mostloyal fans has hugepayoffsInfluencers playa huge role in thevirality of brandmessagesProfile data ofyour fan base isan important partof your consumeranalysisListening to andunderstanding fromyour communityprovide greatinsightsYour consumerintelligence toolshould analyserelationshipsamong your fansA CRM tool isessential to convertfans into customersor brand advocatesThe SixEssentials ofa ConsumerIntelligenceTool
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0844 45intelligence tool is CRM, in which, intelligence gained on relevantfans can be fed into a database so that they can be effectivelyconverted into customers or brand advocates.All of the above activities are easier said than done. Collectingsuch information about consumers is subjective to theirpermissions, creation of appropriate applications to pull data, andplug-ins with other applications. Such a consumer intelligence toolcan give a whole new direction to social media marketing effortsand help managers make more sense of their investments intoacquiring Facebook fans or community members.Data analytics is a very powerful field and advantages generatedfrom the aforementioned capabilities are just the tip of the iceberg.A lot more can be achieved through analyses of information aboutconsumer demographics, psychographics and past purchasepatterns. For example, using data mining tools, an online retailstore that knows its Facebook fans’ purchases from its store canpredict purchase patterns using the available data. Target wasable to predict the chances of its shoppers being pregnant basedon their demographic and past purchases, although Target did notuse Facebook.With Facebook marketing efforts, marketers are sitting on a goldmine of data. It is only a matter of time that they start digging it too.References“What is EdgeRank?”What is EdgeRank.com.Duhigg, Charles.“How Companies Learn Your Secrets.” New York Times. 16Feb 2012.Hill, Kashmir.“#McDStories:When A Hashtag Becomes A Bashtag.” Forbes.24 Jan 2012.What should you know about yourfans’loyalty?1.LoyaltyHow loyal is the Facebook fan to the brand?2.InfluenceHow influential is the fan?3.ProfileLocation, ethnicity, religion, interests4.ThemesConversation topics5.RelationsHow are people connected in the network?6.CRMAdding relevants fans into a CRM databaseHow do you measure their activitiesand influence?Activity levels on the page divided among degree ofcontent creation and content curationCentral position on the brand page network;Klout scoreCreate customer segmentsSentiment analysis or keyword analysisAnalysis of the brand page networkSegmenting customers according to theirpersonas: fan, critic, customer, lead, super user, etc.brands identify potential leads, happy customers who will be willingto give testimonials, and unhappy customers who need attentionor conversation topics your brand should address.Relationships A lot of dynamics happen on a brand’s Facebookpage. Many page members become Facebook friends due tointeractions on the brand’s Facebook page and become a brandpage’s fan because they saw their friends becoming a part of thecommunity. It is imperative for your consumer intelligence tool toanalyze these relationships since these determine who is morelikely to have an influence on the community. Members or fanswho have social ties with a large number of other members or whobridge the gap between two different network groups are likely toplay an important role. Many social network analysis tools such asNodeXL, Gephi, UCINET have the capability of analyzing ties incomplex social networksCustomer Relationship Management Ultimately your socialmedia marketing efforts should result in sales or brand buildingefforts. Hence the last capability I recommend for such a consumer
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 4746FosteringCommunitiesthroughGeolocationGeolocation posits newer ways for people to network,engage people beyond offering discounts and dealsbased on check-ins. Location-based technologies havethe incredible potential to form and sustain meaningfulcommunities.by Vandana U.We arealways looking out for places. Beit the ones that are happening, the ones for a quiet holidayor the ones to buy. An immediate action is to check places friends havebeen to, have given great reviews, have checked-in upon visiting a place and are ravingabout it.The understanding of location based behaviour is simple: Every action is local! Shopping, hanging out andeven taking part in community services: all actions happen within a certain radius. Brands and marketers havealready begun to work around their campaigns, their promotions and strategies based on such information broadcasting.They are maximizing the effectiveness of their social outreach by tailoring and targeting messages based on location. It wouldnot be exaggeration to state that almost every app and every site has embedded location. This spells an interesting convergenceand divergence of spaces at the same time. While we wonder the world is only getting smaller, geolocation is widening spaces.As marketers leverage location data to learn more about customers’ needs and offer highly personalized experiences that is where it getslimited to. The question is, “What after a tweet, a status update and a check-in?”Considering actions tend to be mostly local, geolocation can be used beyond offering discounts and coupons. Apps such as Foursquare andGowalla have incorporated game mechanics have recognized and continue to incentivize their most loyal brand advocates; all these are keycomponents of the experience. However, building a strong community is perhaps the next best thing to offer after recommending more places forpeople to visit based on the analyses of their profiles. After all developing any application or providing newer experiences all target the same thing-loyalty. Building a strong community presence is directly proportionate to having a loyal community of buyers who love to talk about their brands andwillingly spread word of mouth. If there can be apps to find love then how far can it be to foster development of communities?Translating geolocation presence into community-building presenceThere is a value proposition to a person checking-in at a location of a particular brand. One is looking for great deal, expecting some form of socialinteraction or further information. Brands need to offer targeted value propositions to their customers, complemented by a meaningful and engagedcommunity that people are attracted to being part of.Nextdoor is a geolocation service based on networking within neighbourhoods. What is appealing is Nextdoor’s attempt at making a self-sufficient neighbourhood and promoting peaceful living. The app enables people to connect with nearby neighbourhoods, includes focuson creating a virtual neighbourhood watch to help fight crime in an area. Posts about a local break-in and other crime and safety issuesare among the top two categories of things the app does. One great thing about the app is that neighbourhoods are encouragedto create their own social networks. These are private and restricted to only those who live in the designated areas. There is averification process for users. Nextdoor CEO, Nirav Tolia talks about emerging behaviours, ones that go beyond finding greatdeals. These range from finding people to carpool, setting up a neighbourhood watch, borrowing something, findingbabysitters, creating classified ads, and discussing community issues amongst those umpteen things one can dowithin a neighbourhood. The app is now available in 8,000 neighbourhoods in all 50 states of USA. Theapp goes on to prove the effectiveness of building a community of supporters and a clear benefit:the kind of relevance and support we seek when building or joining groups.From this perspective what sounds cool and at the same time isrealistic is a community of life-saving super heroes.Turning intent into action,Communities
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0848 49PulsePoint app looks at creating a locationbased community of people trained incardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)and are willing to assist in case of anemergency. People are notified if someonenearby in a public place is having acardiac emergency and may require CPR.The most significant aspect of the app isencouraging more people to be trainedin CPR and thereby be of assistance andaid in cases of medical emergencies.The free app also notifies about theexact location of the nearest AutomatedExternal Defibrillator (AED). The app wasoriginally developed and tested by the SanRamon Valley, California, Fire ProtectionDistrict. Reported cases and incidents goon to illustrate the usefulness of merginglocation and technologies. Mobile usershave real-time access to emergencyactivity as it is occurring. By providinglocations on an interactive map, the appalso notifies whether the emergency hascaused a traffic tie-up so that peoplecan plan an alternate route. The apphosts other sets of features and reportedcases illustrate how this app has beensuccessful so far in its public outreach.The app certainly changes perceptionsabout location-based apps being all aboutadding value to shopping alone. A mixof content, skills and location ultimatelybuilds better connections than shallowendorsement based check-ins.What is required in the current scenariois the reinforcement of a belief that addinglocation into a social network is not onlyfor enhance social connections but also toleverage the power of these connectionsto achieve greater goals.Engagement is the key word that drivessocial technologies. Building a communityis perhaps the easier part. The realchallenge is engaging the members of acommunity. More often people discussproblems in their areas and what better ifan app can help people fix these problems.SeedSpeak built an iPhone app that helpsengage people to be more civic-minded.Residents can call attention the areasthat need fixing by creating “seeds” andpost photos and locate other seeds andusers. The motivating bit about buildingthis app is the vision of it. It looks at beingof use to nonprofits, advocacy groupsand even to test how viable the chosencommunity projects are. Retha Hil, co-founder of SeedSpeak asserted, “If youcan show there are people behind an ideaor momentum and show it to officials inpower you can make a difference.”There is a mix of virtual space andphysical space. Geolocation platformsand apps are bridging social media andthe physical world. No wonder the hypeabout geolocation a few years back stillremains justified. Allowing a number ofpossibilities, geolocation technologieshold the potential to strengthen andsustain communities. As developments indata, mining existing networks for insightsinto customer behaviours and needs cangive meaningful and useful information inorder to generate ideas for appropriatelocation-based experiences. The wordsof Alistair Goodman, CEO, Placecast(location-based marketing company) sumup the purpose of this article, “Locationand granular geo-targeting are actuallystrong predictors of consumer intent –because where someone is and when theyare there says a lot about what they mightbe interested in.” Therefore while manylocation-based apps still rely on check-ins,others have gone on to utilize geolocationto spur more powerful actions.ReferencesChaey,Christina.“Can Nextdoor TurnYour Neighbors Into A Billion-Dollar SocialNetwork?” Fast Company.13 Feb 2013.“Enabling Citizen Superheroes.” PulsePoint.Ellis,Justin.“SeedSpeak:A geolocation app forbetter civic engagement.” NiemanJournalism Lab.24 Jan 2011.Butcher,Dan.“Location-based marketingcan increase average order value,frequency,loyalty.” Mobile Marketer.29 Mar 2011.Photo Credit: Erik Daniel Drost
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0850 51Technology andthe ChangingCreativeCultureDigital technologieshave significant effectson creative domains,especially impactingthe relationship amongdesigners, designs andtools, creating a whole newcreative culture.by Mrinalini SardarPhoto Credit: WacomThe power of digital design is spreadinglike wild fire. The possibilities of creativityhave magnified. From the days of carvingand spreading inks on wooden blocks,creating letterpress lovelies to using theweb as a medium for social expressionand sharing creativity, the world is movingrapidly.Technology is changing perceptions andthinking. But it is not changing ideas. AsKevin Kelly, Founder Executive Editor ofWired magazine proclaims, “Technology isonly a tool driven by human energy” and “itneeds an identity.” In the creative domain,the identity of technology lies with us, thedesigners. As designers, there is a hugeresponsibility on us to shape not only thefuture of technology, but also the futureof the microcosm as it progresses to facemore challenges and complexities.For cultures to flourish, they need to re-invent themselves and keep up with thetimes. Similarly, designers have to updatethemselves with trends in technology todevelop their designs.The purpose of design is to solve aproblem. With technology intercepting thedesign process at the right phase, it willhelp in creating more functional solutions.An example of this would be the adaptationby creatives to new age drawing tools andgestural capabilities of such devices. TheWacom tablet, foremost in digital drawingtools, is experimenting with newer ways toreduce time required to create a piece ofartwork. Integrating the hand touch with thestylus doubles its capabilities. The attemptis to bridge the gap between the physicaland digital disconnect which indicates aparadox between how the physical drawingtool will be replicated in a digital way to lastlonger and be more functional. With theintroduction of the Wacom Inkling, physicaldrawings in notebooks can be instantlyconverted into vector art. Touch tabletsand smartphones have enabled gadgetsto become sketchpads for creatives. Asdrawing tools evolve, so have designerswho are adapting to these tools.Open-source economics is changingcreative cultures. Open platforms, such asOpen IDEO, ideate on design challenges.Open IDEO is a global community thatdraws concepts from one’s optimism,inspiration, ideas and opinions in order tosolve problems together for the collectivesocial good. More and more companieshave begun to tackle issues through thisglobal network wherein good ideas aregenerated to come to the best possiblesolution instead of a pre-conceivedsolution. Organizations such as AmnestyInternational and Barclays have sponsoredchallenges to help technology aid peopleto uphold human rights against the face ofunlawful detention.Another important insight is theinformation and usage of open source toolslike “processing” for creating unique visualsolutions and new generative art. It is artthat interacts with humans and has theability to change the concept of branding.Photo credit: KnovelCommunities50
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0852 53Time is a sort of riverof passing events, andstrong is its current;no sooner is a thingbrought to sight thanit is swept by andanother takes its place,and this too will beswept awayMarcus Aurelius
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0854 55Projection mapping is another innovativemethod of representing ideas. In this, thesubstrate or base for projection changesto a daily object instead of a screen. In thefuture, product projections themselves willbe editable and shared easily for feedback.Open-source will be a key trend to clustercreatives to experiment and innovate.Projection motion is the current trendin the creative circuit especially amongadvertising and branding professionals. Amotion graphic communicates an improvedway of communicating with culturesand transforming a brand experience.Building motion typography is also the waythrough which designers have adaptedthemselves to technology, as they arenot only creating stagnant, decorative orlegible fonts but also are creating radicalways of interactions through typographyand motion.Digital and more interactive publicationsare changing the publishing culture.Almost every print magazine has an onlinepresence and information is being stored atmany levels in these publications. PatrickBurgoyne, Chief Creative Editor of TheCreative Review recounts about the timewhen major design print publications wereshutting down in the U.K. and he managedto save his own company by having a web,mobile and touch surface present. AdobeDigital Publishing suite is a good start tounderstand the potential of interactivepublishing wherein ads come alive andpages turn. Wired Magazine, along withAdobe, is trying to generate novel waysof how magazines and publications will beread in the future. Print will become moreexclusive, limited and customized.With the addition of HTML 5, the webculture is undergoing a massive change.Technology is being used in creating toolsin order to provide designers simplerand more functional tools. Designerscan best assert their merit and potentialthrough the way they share their workon the web. Online portfolio sites andPhoto CreditsTop: WiredMiddle: GizmodoBottom: Emma’s Design Bloga metamorphosis, from print to digitaland from research to prototyping. But itis important to understand that designand technology are both powered byhuman energy. The functionality ofdesign to solve a problem will remain,but what will transform are the tools andmethods through which problems willbe solved in simple ways. Technologywill help transform social structures andcultures because we have allowed themto. The more adaptive designers are totechnology the more it will mould theirdesigns and creations for a more creativeand better tomorrow.ReferencesKelly,Kevin.Kevin Kelly tells technology’s epicstory.2010.Benkler,Yochai.Yochai Benkler on the new open-source economics.2008.“HTML,”Wikipedia,The Free Encyclopedia.Sommer,Ryan.“Q&A: Patrick Burgoyne ofCreative Review on what makes a greatdesigner.” Econsultancy.22 Jan 2013.creative communities are thriving throughsites such as Deviant Art and Behance.Portfolio sharing sites are making hugebusiness out of customizing and makingthe construction of a website simpler,less time consuming and devoid of code.Behance Pro Site and Cargo Collectivecan be considered as potential platformsthat allow more designers to engage andshowcase their work to the world.Another transformation in process is inthe way we design and purchase design.With the advent of three-dimensionalprinting, the power to design lies inthe hands of consumers. Trends leanheavily towards customization andpersonalization. Maker Bot brought the3D Printer to homes and have not onlychanged the way designers constructprototypes but also paved way for peopleto customize designs and detail theirexperiences with products.When looking at the way design itselfhas changed, one perspective is that ofhow technology has brought designerscloser to nature. There are several studiesbeing conducted in the field of biomimicry.Designers are coming close to emulatingmodels closer to nature and building moresustainable human models.Another perspective is that of how bigdata has influenced design. 2012 was theyear of big data. But 2013 is the year ofnano data: data that has been intelligentlyfiltered according to recorded profileinformation. Analytics and data havehelped businesses grow and understanduser patterns. In the future nano data willhelp creatives to make smarter choicesby filtering and focusing on content.Reliability ratings will help artworks sell.Cloud services will flourish in the futurewhere all creative personnel will be digitalnomads working across multiple locationsaround the globe.With the sands shifting in technology,creative cultures are bound to change.Every domain of design will undergo
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0856 57Social Networks Women spend their time onClockingTimeon SocialNetworksPeople spend an ever-increasing amount of timeon social networks, butwhere are they spendingtheir time?by Diarmaid ByrneIllustrations: Amit MirchandaniAs new social networks grow quickly,and their new member rates increaseexponentially, they generate a tremendousamount of hype. Part of this is of coursePR-created and part is ‘word-of-mouth’and referrals, as more of one’s socialgroup joins a new social network, peopleare compelled to join as well so as to feelinvolved.For all the hype these generate, how muchof their time do people actually spend onsocial networks? While the vast majority oftime is unsurprisingly spent on Facebook,people spend very little time relatively onother social networks. In fact, looking atrecent research by Pew Research Centre,38% of 18-29 year olds plan to spend lesstime on Facebook in 2013. It would beinteresting if Pew had been able to breakthis down further and identify what activitiesin particular people spend their time on,and which activities are encouraging themto take a break from Facebook.Referencesvan Grove,Jennifer.“Facebook grabs mostattention among social sites.” CNET.14 Feb2013.Popkin,Helen.“We spent 230,060 years onsocial media in one month.” CNBC.4 Dec 2012.Communities Social Networks Men spend their time on
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 0858 5921,000,000,000minutes
  • Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 6160We Make Social Sense.Better understand, monetize & amplifyyour facebook fans.Build Instant CustomerLoyaltyApps that steer loyalty byunderstanding and engagingfans meaningfully throughrewards and incentive programsto stimulate repeat purchase andword of mouth.Fuel Your ReferralTrafficApps that make your brandsharable by enabling sharing,expressions, and stories and fuelreferral traffic.Increase On-SiteConversionsApps that personalize siteexperiences by enablingrecommendations, referrals, andadvice that easily increase on-site traffic conversion.Drive High ConversionTrafficApps that drive high-conversiontraffic through socially engagingactivities that trigger virality andallure relevant traffic.
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