Digital Trends Snapshot 2010

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This is a presentation I gave to the digital marketing and e-Commerce teams at Vodafone on digital trends including complaint sites, online customer service,Crowdsourcing, social and mobile commerce.

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  • People love complaining. Offline or face to face on average people tell up to 16 people about an issue they have and when they have a something positive to share they share it with up to 9 people . Since blogs first exploded on the internet people have been empo wered people to complain and make their opinions and experience public. Fuelled by the advent and growth of social networking sites these complaints can reach and influence much larger numbers of people. In recognition of this and the fact that many brands are simply not offering any online customer services sites like get satisfaction have blossomed. These sites are providing a means for customers to be vocal where at least the company may come to help them or get answers from others sharing their experiences. Most complaint sites have similar business models in that they charge brands to respond to customer complaints and provide customer support and service. You will see in the examples I give above that customers are venting frustration and sharing their issues with others via the social web. There is certainly a trend in the rise of complaint sites in terms of popularity (visitors and content) a number of them are gaining traction and are growing very fast. These sites will be replicated as they gain in popularity as their content grows and they rise up in the search engines.
  • EasyJet are using get satisfaction to provide customers with resolution to issues. This is interesting as they have removed their contact number off of their contact us page and hidden it in the FAQ section of their web site. I can only think this is intentional as they are using this to reduce the cost of call centres handling enquiries. 2,665 complaints near 4,000 members 8 staff FAQ section - provides resources to customers It’s interesting how many members there are vs complaints and postings. Some of the members are answering
  • Complaints are not always a bad thing and plenty can be gleamed from them to bring back into the business. You need to take services to where the customer is and provide solutions at that point of customer contact.
  • “ The phenomenon of corporations creating goods, services and experiences in close cooperation with experienced and creative consumers, tapping into their intellectual capital, and in exchange giving them a direct say in (and rewarding them for) what actually gets produced, manufactured, developed, designed, serviced, or processed. Many companies are starting to recognize crowd sourcing as a fantastic way to build brand loyalty, advocacy whilst co creating assets for the business. I am going to show you several examples of how crowd sourcing has been adopted by the enterprise. Seem to fall into two distinct camps - Branding and design and Product and innovation Yahoo Answers, Linked In Answers as well as Digg, Stumbleupon, and delicious are examples of web 2.0 platforms and companies which rely on the wisdom of the crowds. In addition, Google, Amazon, iStockphoto and Netflix embed various crowd sourcing mechanisms to deliver superior, targeted content.
  • MSN Viral Ad about the changing relationship advertisers have with the consumer.
  • PAPA JOHNS: Papa John’s is using Facebook to find their next specialty pizza. The Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge tasks Facebook fans with creating the winning recipe for the company’s next specialty pizza. The top three submissions — as selected by “Papa” John Schnatter and corporate taste testers — will be integrated into the Papa John’s menu and sold in stores from August 2 to August 29. The applicant with the highest-selling pizza receives quite a nice prize – 1% of pizza sales post challenge (up to $10,000), pizza for life and a guest appearance in a Papa John’s TV commercial. Papa John’s is quite savvy when it comes to incorporating social media into the campaign. Since the contest is housed within Facebook, sharing is essentially baked in throughout, increasing the number of eyeballs on the campaign.
  • Here are a couple more examples of how crowd sourcing has enabled brands to source great idea that inform the design and development of their products. Connecting on and offline activity through social media is a smart move and tied to product even smarter. Mindstorm - Lego have created to allow fans and enthusiasts to design Lego androids - Linked to a physical product - 4 Robot designs are provided in the kit - Visual programming language - Site encourages users to create a design photograph, upload and share it with the community. - Site make you set up a Lego.com account to become a member - drops users into marketing loop
  • Lego have clearly understood that it’s the big kids looking for nostalgia who make them money. In growing community of near 12,000 members who are all paying £199.99 for the kit Lego would made approximately £2,400,000 in sales. I am sure looking at some of these bots that fans have bought multiple kits and would buy any ad-ons that Lego brought to market. This is huge revenue just from one product and a simple and well executed concept.
  • Gartner, hype cycle - This generally how technologies are adopted. I would say we have had the early hype about crowd sourcing and have heard a number of over hyped success stories. That early hype has worn off for many and I think we are now in what Gartner call the Trough of disillusionment. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with this term but there are barriers that businesses have and decision that need to be made that means that Crowdsourcing is not no.1 for many. In 2011 I think we will be entering what they term as the slope of enlightenment as we hear of more crowd sourcing successes.
  • 81% of holidays booked online are researched online - Thomas Cook, 2009 Consumers will pay between 20% - 90% more for items rated 5 star over 4 star items
  • Visa have officially launched Rightcliq, a new social commerce service that allows US shoppers to get second opinions from their Facebook and email contacts on potential purchases – and then buy them. Rightcliq is essentially a social bookmarking service – like Best Buy’s universal wishlist Giftag service with an image/price grabber to facilitate comparison shopping combined with an autofill credit card payment feature – from card details stored with Rightcliq (not necessarily Visa). The web-browser plugin-powered service from Visa is also partnering online retailers (1-800 flowers, Barnes & Noble, Avis…) to offer users of Rightcliq special discounts, and offers tracking services for online purchases. Check out the screenshots and the video below – but in a nutshell what Rightcliq does is create a browser bookmarklet that saves selected items to a private online “wishpace” that can be shared with friends to get feedback on shopping ideas, and from where members can compare and buy bookmarked items. In other words, Rightcliq is a social version of PayPal. Whilst the Rightcliq site design and navigation are well, different, and the plugin heavy-handedly brands your browser with Visa – Rightcliq is an interesting, and potentially useful service. It’s also a concept that other financial service providers could, and we think, should build on – but perhaps in a less intrusive way. A useful build for Visa would be to offer members Visa payment card protection services (which require registering all your cards anyway), and perhaps add in a price comparison engine. Should all retail banks and card providers be looking to offer similar social shopping services on their secure websites to drive transactions and loyalty?
  • So Facebook and Amazon have just reinforced their status as the ‘IT couple’ in social commerce right now. Hot on the heels of an Amazon powered store on Facebook for consumer goods giant P&G, Amazon is deploying Facebook-powered recommendations on its own site. There’s also a natty birthday reminder function – with gift recommendations – for your Facebook friends. Specifically, when you now login to Amazon – you can activate your “Amazon Facebook Page” (in public beta – screenshot below), which is accessible from your Amazon personalized store – and shows: * Your Facebook photo and profile (seems trivial but it makes the experience so much more personal) * Upcoming Birthday and Gift Suggestions for Your Facebook Friends – from info. scraped from their social graph * Amazon Items Popular Among Your Facebook Friends * Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Books on Facebook * Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Music on Facebook * Recommendations Based on Your Favorite Movies on Facebook All this is entirely optional, and Amazon goes to some length to lay to rest any privacy qualms that tend come with all things Facebook - stating clearly that it will not share account and purchase details with Facebook, nor will it contact Facebook friends. Social commerce is a two-sided coin – helping people buy where they connect, and connect where they buy – and Amazon looks like it wants its logo printed on both sides of the coin. By deploying Facebook-powered recommendations on its site, Amazon is making the e-commerce experience more personal and social. This greatly improves the Amazon experience. But the current beta is still a far cry what’s possible, in terms of real-time social shopping, or even simple deploying Facebook social plugins. Whilst Amazon might have ‘issues’ with outsourcing too much social functionality to the social network – for most brands and retailers it should be a quick, easy and inexpensive win. And he very fact that Amazon has jumped into bed with Facebook should be pause for thought for all brands and retailers – whilst there can be a number of good reasons not to emulate Amazon, there are also good reasons to do just that – and here, we think, emulating Amazon by deploying Facebook connectivity could be a smart move.
  • Want to set up a fashion store selling top labels such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Gap, Barneys New York, Juicy Couture, Banana Republic, Tory Burch and TopShop? Well now you can. The Sugar Inc. blog network (ShopStyle, PopSugar, FabSugar, BellaSugar) targeting 18-40 women, has just partnered with leading fashion brands to launch a Facebook-based game app, pitched as a ‘FarmVille of shopping’, called Retail Therapy (app, site), where you set up and manage your own virtual store (a bit like the Fashion World and Mall World Facebook apps, but with heels). The idea is simple and familiar; manage inventory from in-season fashion items, and build your clientele. Upgrade your retail store with Facebook Credits that you win, earn or pay for – and build the best store in Facebook. What’s different about Retail Therapy are the brand partnerships, which effectively transform the Facebook game into a vehicle for in-game advertising, and a Facebook promotional platfrom for exclusives, scoops and promotions for brand fans. What would be really interesting is if the game evolved to include a social affiliate program – whereby visitors to friends stores could actually purchase items for sale – and the store owner receive an affiliate commission. But virtual social commerce is an interesting twist on social commerce – with many marketing opportunities, and if you are a fashion brand, it’s perhaps worth investigating. And for non-fashion retail brands too, there’s the opportunity to set up your own Facebook game for in-game advertising and promotions – perhaps a virtual social commerce game for your category…
  • This is not an example of social commerce but I do think it’s a good example of social media marketing and online advertising working hand in glove. This is an ad created by thisisopen who widgetise content to serve as advertising based on a ROE model. Ad served every week during the European part of the F1 season. Over 100,000 interactions (5 sec + mouse or click starts an interaction) per 1,000,000 imp served. Avg time spent (overall) is over 3 minutes. Avg time spent with telemetry is over 15 mins (during practice, qualifying and the race).
  • Pretty much 25% of all sear
  • In this graph you can see year on year growth for the sale of mobile phones compared to fairly static growth of other that consumers are spending their money on.
  • Ebay have annouced a mobile commerce of $1.5 billion USD for 2010. Partly driving this is their acquisition of RedLaser an app that allows users to make product comparisons. - Featured on an iPhone commercial shortly after debut and quickly went on to become one of the most popular iPhone apps. Over 2 million downloads 4 star rating 8,600+ user ratings Hold up to product bar code in store / provide more info on product and a price comparison Ebay Increase product catalog by adding 200+ million listing from their site Plan to add 7,000+ global merchants from shopping.com Will include 95 of the top 100 online retailers
  • O2 have built an app that provides users with access to their account, their account allowances and iphone help information. The next step would be to use the app to create a 2 way channel between the customer and the business to provide an opportunity for up sells and cross selling of products, accessories and services. This channel should also be used to provide customer service and reduce the costs of call handling and FAQ section could be added and even a customer forum so that customers could self service.
  • Vodafone have a number of apps available to customers and non customers that provide utility mainly around friends, contacts, social web and around lifestyle such as sports and entertainment. However Vodafone does not provide customers with up to the minute information about their account and pricing plans. None of the apps allow me to purchase from Vodafone. Here is a fantastic opportunity to open up a channel and start selling to your consumers.
  • Complaints - Every cloud has a silver lining. Always remember where the is a complaint is a lead waiting to be closed a customer waiting to be converted.
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