“>[≈ US oil/gas subsidies, 2011] worldwide. And we will probably never get back there — because music is so easy to get for free, and because there are so many other things to spend$10 a month on. Equally important: It’s unclear whether companies that only sell music — like Spotify — can be a going concern, given industry economics. Again, we may get an answer to that next year.
Zero-based budgeting becomes the new normal
Several trends have coalesced to make zero-based budgeting an imperative for marketing teams in 2017. The practice requires marketers to justify spending on all new activity, rather than having set budgets based on revenues or the previous year’s spend. This carefully costed approach reflects the economically uncertain and austere conditions under which many marketers now operate.
The latest IPA Bellwether report forecasts that ad spend in 2017 is set to decline by 0.7% as business investment is pared back in line with the continuing uncertainty over Brexit. Moves to consolidate agency services, payment-by-performance agency models and increased scrutiny of digital metrics will also lead more companies to adopt zero-based budgeting as a way of keeping a closer check on their spend.
The motivations are not just financial, though, and are also driven by the need to work in a more focused and targeted way. Charles Ireland, Diageo’s new general manager for GB, Ireland and France, recently told Marketing Week that the drinks group adopted zero-based budgeting earlier this year as “a requisite of being a world-class organisation”. The company wants “to get the same services but more efficiently”, he said.
Marketers will face a series of challenges as zero-based budgeting becomes the normal way of doing business in 2017. Agency relationships will have to be renegotiated as tighter cost controls and targets increase the burden on both sides. Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson has already suggested that clients should consider paying a pitching fee to agencies to account for a more onerous and complex pitch process.
Internally, marketing teams will require people who are both financially-minded and effective planners. They will also need to keep creative marketers happy and create working environments that do not feel too stifling or rigid as the purse strings tighten in 2017.
With the threat of influencer fatigue becoming increasingly real, seeking out the next wave of influencers who can establish an authentic connection with consumers is high on the marketing agenda.
Brands should look beyond celebrities like Kim Kardashian if they want to create viral campaigns, says global managing director at Social@Ogilvy, Thomas Crampton. He argues that while big influencers offer an initial boost, second-tier influencers give a campaign heft and momentum.
Beauty heavyweight L’Oreal has already tiered its influencer strategy into gold, silver and bronze categories. The gold group represents bloggers with the biggest online following, while the bronze group have fewer followers or are in the early days of growing their beauty blog.
L’Oreal is building relationships with these bronze influencers in anticipation that they may wield more influence in the future, according CMO for Western Europe Hugh Pile.
For Adidas, the next phase of influencer marketing is Tango Squads – communities of hyper-connected 16- to 19-year-old football obsessives operating on direct messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Adidas senior director of global brand communications Florian Alt argues that the message is far more authentic if you give it to 500 kids than one global influencer.
“It’s not about sheer reach. What the hyper-connected kids bring is mass awareness. They give it longevity and authenticity, because they are talking in a private messaging environment. If it comes as a referral from your mate, you’re much more likely to pick it up than if it comes from a brand.”
TV’s resurgence gathers pace
Next year, expect more marketers to reassess their opinion about the value of TV. Much has been written about the surging popularity of online video at the expense of more traditional media, yet in 2016 we have seen many online brands invest heavily in television content and advertising.
News and culture website Vice.com launched its first TV channel in the UK, Viceland, through a partnership with Sky, while Facebook Live and YouTube are both running TV campaigns to promote their services and self-made stars. Such advertising shows that while these brands live and breathe online, they also need the huge reach and pull of TV to attract consumers in the first place.
Recent research by Ipsos Connect and Thinkbox revealed a large disparity between advertisers’ assumptions of TV viewing habits and actual behaviour. According to the study, advertisers estimate the average person watches two hours 41 minutes of television a day, when in reality they consume three hours and 35 minutes.
Greater faith in TV will exist alongside more scrutiny of online advertising metrics. In November, Facebook admitted to a number of errors in the way it measures audiences across a range of its products and announced updates aimed at giving advertisers “clarity and confidence”. WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell has already called for improved ad measurement and validation on social media sites, arguing that a three-second view on Facebook is not the same as a TV ad.
The online giants will continue to grow video views and advertising revenue next year, but they may think more carefully about how TV fits into their broader marketing strategies. At the same time, marketers from all industries will not be so quick to dismiss the value of TV in 2017.
While many companies now accept the necessity, and in some cases inevitability, of becoming digital-first organisations, their progress has been a decidedly mixed bag so far. Some businesses have only launched a few isolated initiatives aimed at increasing social engagement, while others have begun to formalise their digital efforts, and have taken steps toward developing company-wide digital-first strategies. However, very few companies, if any, have undergone complete transformations into digitally innovative organisations.
The 2016 Altimeter Study “The Six Stages of Digital Transformation” breaks down the process into six distinct steps, from “Business as Usual” all the way to digitally “Innovative and Adaptive.” In the first article of this series, we looked at the transition from “Business as Usual,” in which a company operates primarily on legacy principles and paradigms, to “Present and Active,” in which isolated teams of digital experimenters begin to measurably increase return on investment (ROI) in spaces like social and mobile.
Early successes in these areas awaken some companies to the power of digital-first innovation, pushing them toward the “Formalised” stage, in which digital experimentation becomes more directed, intentional, and bold. Companies that reach this stage begin to gain a fuller understanding of their customers, and expand from generating individual conversions to building ongoing relationships at scale.
The whole customer
As marketing teams recognise the power of personalised customer interactions, they may also begin to notice that they have little idea how individual customers engage with their brand across channels, let alone with departments outside marketing, such as sales and support. If they could gain holistic views of their customers’ attributes and behaviours, these marketers realise, they could make data-driven decisions about marketing investment and user experience personalisation.
The most logical way to go about this is to unsilo customer data; in other words, to integrate data points from multiple departments into robust profiles that can drive useful insights—or, better still, actionable predictions—about customer behaviour and preferences. However, this unsiloing process can be challenging, because different departments often store and organise customer data in entirely different ways. Even if multichannel data can be successfully integrated into robust customer profiles, few organisations have in-house experts capable of deriving actionable insights from those assets.
French automaker Renault faced exactly this challenge, as it recognised the limitations of its legacy campaign platform, and saw significant opportunity to strengthen relationships with customers and dealerships with consistent, centralised campaign content. To this end, the company adopted a centralised digital marketing platform, enabling it to bring previously outsourced campaign activities in house, improving control over data, increasing responsiveness to customer needs, and cutting agency costs.
This centralised platform not only enables Renault to support international, regional, and local campaigns with consistent messages and branding, it also provides actionable insights into cross-channel customer behaviours and preferences, helping formulate more personal, targeted messages. The result has been a 20 percent increase in conversions. What’s more, Renault’s scalable marketing technology stack will continue to support sophisticated digital marketing campaigns.
Renault’s innovation points back to a significant aspect of the “Formalised” stage: it’s not simply about expanding and integrating digital marketing efforts; it’s equally about building a solid, scalable infrastructure for ongoing digital innovation.
Repetition leads to recognition. As digital marketing teams manage campaign after campaign, they begin to recognise that it takes days—or perhaps even weeks or months—to put together a suitable environment for creating digital experiences. They begin to grow frustrated with the costly, time-consuming processes of stitching together different digital marketing tools, and rationalising differing data sets and methodologies; and it becomes clear that a streamlined, systematic digital go-to-market foundation would result in less overhead, stronger security, and greater agility.
Thus, as companies enter the “Formalised” stage of digital transformation, they often seek out integrated digital marketing solutions, which combine features like experience hosting, profile analytics, personalisation, and campaign metrics into a single platform. A unified digital marketing foundation can enable teams to self-serve and discover insights; and to leverage those insights in streamlined workflows that minimise the time from concept to execution, all within the same secure environment.
The internationally recognised Chelsea Football Club, playing in the British Premier League, recently recognised the need for just such a solution, as it sought to provide intimate multichannel experiences for a worldwide community of more than 500 million fans. Although Chelsea already had a cutting-edge media team creating compelling video content, as well as marketing teams crafting tweets and social posts, the company recognised the need to bring all this content into a single data-driven marketing workflow, which would enable content to adapt dynamically to changing community needs.
While continuing to operate its existing digital solutions, Chelsea researched customer segments across Europe and around the globe, and discovered that most customers’ primary desire was to feel connected to their favourite football players, and to Chelsea’s social content. To execute on these insights, Chelsea designed a fresh customer experience strategy, then onboarded a new cloud-based marketing architecture, including a database environment, an analytics suite, and support and hosting abilities.
Leveraging the customer data it gathered, Chelsea used its new digital marketing foundation to roll out a cross-channel campaign, delivering highly personalised experiences across all available touchpoints. Worldwide engagement with Chelsea’s social content skyrocketed almost immediately. The club’s marketing platform gathered behavioural data from this sharing activity, empowering marketers to interact with fans in the most impactful ways possible—and creating a foundation for even more engaging, data-driven multichannel campaigns in the future.
Companies that step firmly into the “Formalised” stage equip themselves to experiment with new marketing initiatives across all channels, with minimal time investment and overhead; and to leverage data gathered from those experiments in consistent, directed ways. Soon, they’re no longer just seeking to improve engagement, they’re actively building new digital strategies on a foundation of unique, proprietary insights about their own customer segments.
It’s with those steps forward that some companies enter the “Strategic” stage, in which individual groups begin to share their research and techniques, contributing to new strategic roadmaps for digital transformation. We’ll examine that stage more closely in the next article of this series. See you there!
On Monday, the tech giant unveiled Amazon Go, its new initiative for in-store shopping. The first store opened in Seattle, Amazon’s headquarters and offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
At Amazon’s stores, customers don’t need to wait in line or checkout formally. There are no cashiers. Customers simply use Amazon’s new Go app.
The store is powered by what Amazon has dubbed its “Just Walk Out” technology, which includes computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning.
The technological singularity is a hypothetical event in which artificial general intelligence (constituting, for example, intelligent computers, computer networks, or robots) would be capable of recursive self-improvement (progressively redesigning itself), or of autonomously building ever smarter and more powerful machines than itself, up to the point of a runaway effect—an intelligence explosion—that yields an intelligence surpassing all current human control or understanding.
Because the capabilities of such a superintelligence may be impossible for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is the point beyond which events may become unpredictable or even unfathomable to human intelligence.
During TEDx at the Rotterdam School of Management Scott Mongeau, manager analytics for Deloitte, gave an interesting talk about how we can be tricked by the analysis done with big data. He explains that models used in big data analytics should be driven bye the data and not the other way around. Essentially all models are wrong, but some are useful and data analytics can help solve some of the problems that we have currently, but it is important to have better diagnostics and semantics.
Thill will ensure that the models used are sound and can better describe computers what we are trying to achieve. He says that we should not become so focused on the engineering part of big data analytics that we forget the social context, which is important to understand as well in order to create true insights.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and smart things promise an intelligent future.
Today, a digital stethoscope has the ability to record and store heartbeat and respiratory sounds. Tomorrow, the stethoscope could function as an “intelligent thing” by collecting a massive amount of such data, relating the data to diagnostic and treatment information, and building an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered doctor assistance app to provide the physician with diagnostic support in real-time. AI and machine learning increasingly will be embedded into everyday things such as appliances, speakers and hospital equipment. This phenomenon is closely aligned with the emergence of conversational systems, the expansion of the IoT into a digital mesh and the trend toward digital twins.
Three themes — intelligent, digital, and mesh — form the basis for the Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017, announced by David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, atGartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016 in Orlando, Florida. These technologies are just beginning to break out of an emerging state and stand to have substantial disruptive potential across industries.
AI and machine learning have reached a critical tipping point and will increasingly augment and extend virtually every technology enabled service, thing or application. Creating intelligent systems that learn, adapt and potentially act autonomously rather than simply execute predefined instructions is primary battleground for technology vendors through at least 2020.
Trend No. 1: AI & Advanced Machine Learning
AI and machine learning (ML), which include technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing, can also encompass more advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. Systems can learn and change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs. The combination of extensive parallel processing power, advanced algorithms and massive data sets to feed the algorithms has unleashed this new era.
In banking, you could use AI and machine-learning techniques to model current real-time transactions, as well as predictive models of transactions based on their likelihood of being fraudulent. Organizations seeking to drive digital innovation with this trend should evaluate a number of business scenarios in which AI and machine learning could drive clear and specific business value and consider experimenting with one or two high-impact scenarios..
Trend No. 2: Intelligent Apps
Intelligent apps, which include technologies like virtual personal assistants (VPAs), have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier (prioritizing emails) and its users more effective (highlighting important content and interactions). However, intelligent apps are not limited to new digital assistants – every existing software category from security tooling to enterprise applications such as marketing or ERP will be infused with AI enabled capabilities. Using AI, technology providers will focus on three areas — advanced analytics, AI-powered and increasingly autonomous business processes and AI-powered immersive, conversational and continuous interfaces. By 2018, Gartner expects most of the world’s largest200 companies to exploit intelligent apps and utilize the full toolkit of big data and analytics tools to refine their offers and improve customer experience.
Trend No. 3: Intelligent Things
New intelligent things generally fall into three categories: robots, drones and autonomous vehicles. Each of these areas will evolve to impact a larger segment of the market and support a new phase of digital business but these represent only one facet of intelligent things. Existing things including IoT devices will become intelligent things delivering the power of AI enabled systems everywhere including the home, office, factory floor, and medical facility.
As intelligent things evolve and become more popular, they will shift from a stand-alone to a collaborative model in which intelligent things communicate with one another and act in concert to accomplish tasks. However, nontechnical issues such as liability and privacy, along with the complexity of creating highly specialized assistants, will slow embedded intelligence in some scenarios.
The lines between the digital and physical world continue to blur creating new opportunities for digital businesses. Look for the digital world to be an increasingly detailed reflection of the physical world and the digital world to appear as part of the physical world creating fertile ground for new business models and digitally enabled ecosystems.
Trend No. 4: Virtual & Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) transform the way individuals interact with each other and with software systems creating an immersive environment. For example, VR can be used for training scenarios and remote experiences. AR, which enables a blending of the real and virtual worlds, means businesses can overlay graphics onto real-world objects, such as hidden wires on the image of a wall. Immersive experiences with AR and VR are reaching tipping points in terms of price and capability but will not replace other interface models. Over time AR and VR expand beyond visual immersion to include all human senses. Enterprises should look for targeted applications of VR and AR through 2020.
Trend No. 5: Digital Twin
Within three to five years, billions of things will be represented by digital twins, a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system. Using physics data on how the components of a thing operate and respond to the environment as well as data provided by sensors in the physical world, a digital twin can be used to analyze and simulate real world conditions, responds to changes, improve operations and add value. Digital twins function as proxies for the combination of skilled individuals (e.g., technicians) and traditional monitoring devices and controls (e.g., pressure gauges). Their proliferation will require a cultural change, as those who understand the maintenance of real-world things collaborate with data scientists and IT professionals. Digital twins of physical assets combined with digital representations of facilities and environments as well as people, businesses and processes will enable an increasingly detailed digital representation of the real world for simulation, analysis and control.
Trend No. 6: Blockchain
Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger in which value exchange transactions (in bitcoin or other token) are sequentially grouped into blocks. Blockchain and distributed-ledger concepts are gaining traction because they hold the promise of transforming industry operating models in industries such as music distribution, identify verification and title registry. They promise a model to add trust to untrusted environments and reduce business friction by providing transparent access to the information in the chain. While there is a great deal of interest the majority of blockchain initiatives are in alpha or beta phases and significant technology challenges exist.
The mesh refers to the dynamic connection of people, processes, things and services supporting intelligent digital ecosystems. As the mesh evolves, the user experience fundamentally changes and the supporting technology and security architectures and platforms must change as well.
Trend No. 7: Conversational Systems
Conversational systems can range from simple informal, bidirectional text or voice conversations such as an answer to “What time is it?” to more complex interactions such as collecting oral testimony from crime witnesses to generate a sketch of a suspect. Conversational systems shift from a model where people adapt to computers to one where the computer “hears” and adapts to a person’s desired outcome. Conversational systems do not use text/voice as the exclusive interface but enable people and machines to use multiple modalities (e.g., sight, sound, tactile, etc.) to communicate across the digital device mesh (e.g., sensors, appliances, IoT systems).
Trend No. 8: Mesh App and Service Architecture
The intelligent digital mesh will require changes to the architecture, technology and tools used to develop solutions. The mesh app and service architecture (MASA) is a multichannel solution architecture that leverages cloud and serverless computing, containers and microservices as well as APIs and events to deliver modular, flexible and dynamic solutions. Solutions ultimately support multiple users in multiple roles using multiple devices and communicating over multiple networks. However, MASA is a long term architectural shift that requires significant changes to development tooling and best practices.
Trend No. 9: Digital Technology Platforms
Digital technology platforms are the building blocks for a digital business and are necessary to break into digital. Every organization will have some mix of five digital technology platforms: Information systems, customer experience, analytics and intelligence, the Internet of Things and business ecosystems. In particular new platforms and services for IoT, AI and conversational systems will be a key focus through 2020. Companies should identify how industry platforms will evolve and plan ways to evolve their platforms to meet the challenges of digital business.
Trend No. 10: Adaptive Security Architecture
The evolution of the intelligent digital mesh and digital technology platforms and application architectures means that security has to become fluid and adaptive. Security in the IoT environment is particularly challenging. Security teams need to work with application, solution and enterprise architects to consider security early in the design of applications or IoT solutions. Multilayered security and use of user and entity behavior analytics will become a requirement for virtually every enterprise.
David Cearley is vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research and is a leading authority on information technology. Mr. Cearley analyzes emerging and strategic business and technology trends and explores how these trends shape the way individuals and companies derive value from technology.
C’est une tradition dans la présentation annuelle de l’équipe Etixx-Quick Step. La formation de Patrick Lefevere commence toujours avec un film de la saison écoulée. Ce sera encore le cas le 11 janvier, au Kinepolis de Courtrai. Avec cette fois un vrai film, One Year In Blue (une année en bleu), tourné par la société Woestijnvis, qui a suivi l’équipe de Tom Boonen depuis son stage de préparation, en janvier, à Calpé, jusqu’au Championnat du Monde, au Qatar, en octobre.
« Ce n’était pas habituel pour nous d’avoir une équipe en train de nous filmer constamment, mais je dois bien dire que le résultat est vraiment bien », commente Tom Boonen. « J’aime la façon dont toutes les petites histoires du vélo ont été mises ensemble. En tant que coureur, tu ne te rends pas toujours compte de ce qu’il se passe autour de toi, car tu es concentré sur ta course. C’était donc très chouette de voir la façon dont le staff ou les autres coureurs réagissaient dans des moments importants. Je pense que nos fans vont aimer ! »
Ils pourront acheter leur ticket à 12,5 euros (les tickets VIP sont à 120 euros) pour la première du film, en présence des coureurs (http://www.etixx-quickstep.com/en/teampresentation). En attendant, voici la bande annonce du film sur l’équipe la plus victorieuse de 2016, avec 57 succès.
The travel industry is among the most volatile when it comes to customer loyalty. From booking flights to finding a place to stay after a long trek, engaging travelers is a constant point of focus for airlines, hotels, and any brand with a stake in the travel industry. A recent report from CrowdTap explores engagement opportunities in the vertical and how they continue to shift according to customer preferences. The report demonstrates, above all else, the need for user-generated content (UGC) in engaging increasingly tech-savvy travelers. According to the data, 75 percent of millennial travelers look to UGC like reviews and blog posts as opposed to travel advertisements when booking a trip. This number only serves to underscore the significance of sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor in further crowdsourcing the travel review space.
Specifically, when it comes to getting around the destination, travelers have made it clear that they prefer to find their own way: 39 percent rent a car as opposed to using taxis or ridesharing apps, while another 22 percent simply prefer to hoof it, either walking or riding a bike. This paints a clear window of opportunity for the rental car industry to engage these walkers, potentially tapping into an entirely new market segment “With holiday travel on the horizon, travel brands and marketers need to keep their ears to the streets, or in this case, the web, to best engage today’s travelers,” says Peter Storck, SVP of research and analytics at Crowdtap. “Our research shows now, more than ever, consumers are relying on UGC and word of mouth to ensure their travel experiences are successful, reliable, and authentic. Brands and marketers should take the time to truly understand the conversations happening across social and blogs to implement the most influential campaigns.”
The tendency for customers to blaze their own trails extends beyond transportation: 65 percent also noted preferring adventurous outdoor activities. While airlines and hospitality chains are the obvious benefactors of increased millennial travel, local businesses that may have previously been overlooked also stand to profit from these adventure-seeking travelers. Brand loyalty, at least in the travel industry, continues to move further away from traditionally accepted methods like advertising and promotional discounts. Travelers, as seen by the CrowdTap research, continue to show a preference for user reviews, placing the onus on these brands to advertise through exceptional customer experience and positive content from previous guests. –