The 30 Things Customers Really Value

Focus on needs, not breakthrough ideas.

Source: The 30 Things Customers Really Value

Executive teams often struggle to land innovations that will significantly grow the business. A chronic problem is their emphasis on searching for breakthrough innovation — the creation of a truly new, highly valued product or service that could redefine their industry and lead to unprecedented revenue growth. “Where’s our iPhone?” they wonder.

Almost by definition, breakthroughs are rare. When they do occur, they usually come from insurgent entrepreneurs who founded companies such as Nest or Netflix (today), or Eastman Kodak or Ford Motor (over a century ago). Rarer still are breakthrough innovations from established enterprises, Apple’s iPhone being an obviousexception. Breakthroughs may be worth pursuing, but most companies benefit more from incremental innovation efforts that add new forms of consumer value to their present products and services. The trick is to determine what elements to add in order to boost the perceived value of your offering. You don’t want to expend resources adding features that consumers don’t care about.

While what constitutes “value” can be nuanced and vary from person to person, my colleagues and I have identified 30 universal building blocks of value that meet fundamental human needs. These are basic attributes of a product or service that address four kinds of needs: function, emotion, life changes, and social impact. Functional elements, for example, include saving time, reducing risk, and organizing. This latter element is central to brands like The Container Store and to Intuit’s TurboTax, because both help consumers deal with complexities in their world. The pyramid below shows how value elements fit into the four categories.

In our September 2016 HBR article, “The Elements of Value,” my colleagues and I discuss the power of the 30 elements in themarketplace and describe how companies can select and integrate innovations into their products to provide value that consumers actually want. Companies that deliver well on multiple elements of value tend to have stronger customer loyalty and higher revenue growth rates, as Bain & Company’s analysis shows. The research documents 50 companies that deliberately added elements over time to improve their propositions, either to turn around a flagging business or to accelerate growth.
In financial services, for example, Charles Schwab has outperformed many other investment companies by excelling on four elements of value: variety (a wide range of investment products), providing access (multiple contact and advice channels available around the clock), making money (generates income for customers), and quality (numerous Lipper Fund Awards for investment performance).

Since 2013 Schwab has added several new elements of value to its services. Schwab’s Accountability Guarantee reduces risk by refunding fees if clients are not fully satisfied with the product. Its Intelligent Portfolios tool informs customers about the status of their portfolios and provides investment advisory services with no advisory fees. StreetSmart Edge reduces effort with an online trading platform to simplify complex trading and provide an intuitive experience for active traders. And its low-fee college savings plans provide heirloom value to parents saving for their children’s college education.

Likewise, in the retail pharmacy industry, CVS Health has embarked on a health initiatives strategy by adding new elements of value for consumers, including providing access, saving time, wellness, and therapeutic value. For example, CVS Health bought Target’s pharmacies, adding over 1,600 locations in 47 states. Many consumers now have more convenient locations, which helps them save time. The company has expanded access to health care through its MinuteClinics, providing both basic medical services, such as general exams, summer camp physicals, vaccinations, and the like, as well as assorted wellness services, such as contraceptive care and smoking cessation.

Other companies have judiciously added elements of value to their core proposition. Throughout 2015 Uber added services to integrate multiple aspects of consumers’ lives, from delivering meals and groceries to providing flu shots. Discover added a feature that allows cardholders to instantly freeze and unfreeze their accounts without canceling their cards, reducing risk and reducing anxiety for cardholders. And Spotify added a feature for runners in 2015 that detects their pace and finds music to match it, hitting on elements of wellness and motivation.

The search for elusive breakthroughs can make the entire innovation process intimidating and discouraging. To help, think about which new elements of value will resonate with your customers and which can be delivered effectively by your company. Judiciously adding elements can bring new life and growth to existing products as well as build customer loyalty — with far less risk and lower costs than hunting for breakthroughs.

Eric Almquist is a partner with Bain & Company’s Customer Strategy & Marketing practice and the global head of consumer insights for Bain.



New York – 27 July 2015 — Despite the escalating Greek debt crisis, Consumer Confidence in the Belgium jumped four index points in the second quarter to 83, marking the country’s highest confidence level in almost three years, according to Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence Index Report released today. Global Consumer Confidence stayed relatively consistent for more than a year, declining one index point in the second quarter to a score of 96. The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. The global survey was fielded May 11-29, 2015 during a time when news of the Greek debt crisis was developing.

“Contrasts within and across markets continue to be a dominant feature of the global economy,” said Louise Keely, senior vice president, Nielsen, and president, The Demand Institute. “Consumer confidence in Eurozone markets has been relatively stable, with the notable exception of Greece.  While quantitative easing is largely viewed as doing as intended, Europe is now moving through the Greek debt crisis. A relatively strong starting point for confidence will support consumer spending as the crisis unfolds.”


Despite the recent Eurozone economic uncertainty, consumer confidence grew throughout the European region in the second quarter, as 21 of 32 markets (65%) were more optimistic than at the start of the year. Confidence in Germany, the region’s largest economy, declined three index points to 97—the first decline in a year. In the U.K., confidence increased two points to 99—the sixth consecutive quarter of increases. Regionally, confidence increased most in the Ukraine (48), rising seven index points from the first quarter, but still leaving the country far below 100, the equilibrium point of pessimism/optimism.


Confidence in Greece, however, declined by 12 index points to a score of 53—the largest quarterly decrease of the 60 countries in the survey. Confidence also declined by four points in both Ireland (88) and Italy (53).


Consumer confidence declined in six of seven Latin American markets measured in the second quarter, with Brazil (81) reporting the steepest drop of seven index points from the first quarter. The decline represents the third consecutive quarter of declines for the region’s largest economy, and the score is the lowest Nielsen has ever recorded (the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index was established in 2005).

In Brazil, sentiment for the three economic indicators hit new lows, as future job prospects declined four percentage points to 23%, personal finances sentiment decreased four percentage points to 56%, and immediate spending intentions declined nine percentage points to 32%. Nearly all Brazilian respondents believe they are in recession, as the sentiment increased five percentage points to 90% from the first quarter.

Peru’s index (95) declined four points, followed by declines of three points each in Chile (84) and Venezuela (62). Consumer confidence in Mexico (84) and Colombia (93) declined two and one point, respectively, from the first quarter. Argentina was the only country measured in the region with a confidence boost, rising six points to 81 in the second quarter.


U.S. consumer confidence decreased six index points in the second quarter to a score of 101, but remained at an above-the-baseline optimistic level. “Confidence in the U.S. remains at elevated levels,” said James Russo, senior vice president, Nielsen Global Consumer Insights. “However, it’s an uneven recovery, as more than half of Americans still feel the effects of the recession and nearly 40% are still living paycheck to paycheck.”

Consumer confidence in Canada, however, increased two points to 98, after declining six points in the first quarter. Immediate spending intentions increased four percentage points in the second quarter to 41%, reversing the decline from the first quarter.


Reversing the performance at the start of the year, consumer confidence in the Asia-Pacific region improved in only four countries in the second quarter, while it declined in nine others. The Philippines showed the biggest quarterly confidence increase of seven index points, rising to a score of 122—the country’s highest level on record. Confidence also increased one point each in India (131), China (107) and Japan (83) from the first quarter.

“In China, consumers’ desire to spend is growing, especially in the lower-tier cities and in the rural parts of the country,” said Yan Xuan, president, Nielsen Greater China. “Higher income levels and growing e-commerce penetration in these areas represent important steps for increasing domestic consumption. The East China region is leading the country’s economic transformation with the highest confidence and spending intention levels and where online, offline, traditional and specialty channels are converging and driving upgraded product choices.”


Consumer confidence decreased in three of five countries measured in the Middle East/Africa region and held steady in two in the second quarter. At 108, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had the highest index in the region, but it decreased seven points from the first quarter—the biggest quarterly decline in six years. Confidence declined five points in Egypt to 85 and two points in Saudi Arabia to 105. Confidence levels in Pakistan (102) and South Africa (87) were unchanged from the first quarter.

Recessionary sentiment increased in four of five Middle East/Africa markets: Egypt and South Africa each increased three percentage points to 82% and 73%, respectively, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates increased two percentage point to 45% and 41%, respectively.


Consumer confidence increased eight index points in Kenya (112) and three points in Nigeria (132) in the second quarter. Conversely, confidence decreased five points in Ghana (94), the second consecutive quarter of declines. The outlook for jobs increased significantly in Nigeria and Kenya, rising 11 and eight percentage points, respectively, from the first quarter. Eighty-five percent of Nigerian respondents and 67% of Kenya respondents believe the state of their personal finances are good/excellent, up two and three percentage points, respectively. Conversely, sentiment for all three indicators declined in Ghana. 


The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted May11-29, 2015 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

Five steps to bring marketing operations into the digital era (McKinsey & Company)

How digital marketing operations can transform business | McKinsey & Company.

Full version:


Digital marketing operations involves the application of capabilities, processes, structures, and technologies to cost-effectively exploit and scale the interactivity, targeting, personalization, and optimization of digital channels. As the example of the consumer-products company shows, marketing operations has a critical role in driving bottom-line growth. That capability directly enables the speed, agility, iterative development, experimentation, and responsiveness that successful companies need to react to and shape the marketplace.

Marketers are aware of what needs to be done, and many are taking action. But that often boils down to implementing new technology platforms, adding head count, or increasing digital allocations within the marketing-spending mix. While these are important steps, they won’t solve the challenge. Fundamentally, modern marketing operations calls for the thoughtful, deliberate development of new processes, coordination, and governance. We’ve identified five attributes of effective marketing operations (exhibit).

1. Truly understanding customers

Like any meaningful relationship, getting to know your customers well is a commitment. Tracking, analyzing, and interpreting customer behavior and attitudes should be an ongoing, often moment-to-moment undertaking that is critical not only to targeting and shaping relevant content and experiences but also to optimizing how they’re delivered—an important capability, given that during the buying process consumers add an average of 1.7 brands to those they are considering.2 This requires a wide range of data and sophisticated tools to analyze specific customer segments and their behavior to spot opportunities and predict future actions. Companies should map detailed customer decision journeys for their most valuable segments, using technologies such as ClickFox,3 which track customers across channels to not only determine their cross-channel behavior but also isolate those moments where companies can influence the journey.

Feeding these insights into marketing operations requires processes and teams that focus on collecting and making sense of the data, as well as quickly delivering the analysis in a digestible form to the right decision makers—often continuously. Scaling this capability means organizations need to automate processes that don’t require human intervention, for example, personalizing web pages, delivering e-mail, or generating dashboards for managers to track customer behavior.

Most companies are only at the beginning of creating comprehensive customer-insights programs. While establishing “war rooms” to monitor and react to social-media conversations is a good example of how companies are moving in that direction, what’s needed are organizations that integrate and make sense of all sources of customer insights. One global hotel chain, for example, has combined its customer-research group and marketing-analytics group in an effort to better understand its customers—specifically, those who engage with their marketing, stay in their different hotels, and spend their money once there. These two groups have been combined into one insights team that reports directly to the chief marketing officer.

2. Delivering a superior experience

What happens when customers have a bad experience? They stop doing business with a company. And a souring of the customer experience can take place at any point, which is why getting the consumer journey right requires getting everything right. Meeting customer expectations calls for mapping out each of the steps that define the entire customer experience, highlighting not only the technologies and processes needed to enable a smooth journey but also the various functions across the organization that must coordinate to deliver it.

Marketing, sales, support, service, and operations play key roles in many customer journeys, of course. But there are other functions that are critical as well, such as order management and fulfillment. Those are not typically top of mind for marketers, but the experiences enabled by these back-end systems are instrumental to the way a customer perceives a brand’s ability to deliver on expectations.

Consider the technology and operations required for L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app, which uses webcams to enable customers to virtually try on different shades and styles of makeup. To the customer, it is an easy, seamless, and enjoyable experience. But it is enabled by complex technology that involves coding dozens of makeup shades, matching them to a near infinite variety of skin tones, and collecting data on which types of customers try on which shades, then tracking their satisfaction levels after purchase—all of which are analyzed to further refine the matching process and improve the customer experience.

This two-way flow of information is an important aspect of modern marketing operations. As an experience is delivered to the customer, there needs to be a system to capture how that shopper responds and feeds that information back into the organization, which then adjusts its offer or message accordingly. And this feedback loop is not just about optimizing the customer experience. It also helps decision makers adjust campaign spending based on trends and opportunities, for example, or direct salespeople to stores where product inventory is low. We’ve found that best-in-class companies reallocate up to 80 percent of digital-campaign budgets during a campaign.4

3. Selecting the right marketing technology

Delivering on omnichannel customer experiences requires marketing technology that can automate processes, personalize interactions, and coordinate actions. Marketing technologists, in particular, have a critical role in navigating the ecosystem of more than 2,000 marketing-technology providers to create solutions that deliver the most effective customer experiences.5 They effectively act as a bridge between the customer experience and marketing operations.

An important element of managing a capable marketing-operations function is building a system that has the flexibility to work with large platforms that are becoming more dominant, such as Adobe or Oracle, as well as point solutions that are constantly introducing innovations. That requires developing a thoughtful application-programming-interface strategy to make sure your system has enough flexibility to hook into both current and emerging technologies, which will only become more important as the Internet of Things moves mainstream.

Yet the “best” marketing technology isn’t necessarily what’s best for an organization. For example, an overriding consideration may be how well a particular solution integrates with legacy systems or how well it meets specific requirements. One global technology original-equipment manufacturer, for instance, set out to create a personalized content-delivery system across all touchpoints. Beginning with a clear vision of its ideal customer-delivery needs, it defined key performance indicators, outputs, and levels of personalization, and then it set out to assemble the technology that could do it. But it also needed a solution that could play nicely with the company’s many legacy systems and would also be easy for a large group of global marketers to implement and manage day to day. The company wound up combining off-the-shelf data, content, and analytics platforms with a personalization engine.

4. Implementing processes and governance

Technology enables the customer experience, but it requires people, processes, and governance to ensure technology does what it’s supposed to do. The failure to establish guidelines for how business units might pilot new technologies, how data will be shared across the organization, or which capabilities will be managed in-house versus by external agencies and partners could result in a patchwork of efforts across the enterprise that sow confusion and hamper attempts to scale.

To address this challenge, one global consumer-packaged-goods company rethought its entire approach to bringing a new product to market, beginning with a complete overhaul of the marketing brief. The existing briefing process was not standardized, which resulted in varying levels of input, lack of clarity around the insights that were driving the campaign, loose definitions of the goals of the campaign, and inconsistencies regarding the specific role of each agency, as well as that of the internal team. As would be expected, much time was wasted as both the briefs and campaign development underwent multiple iterations.

The new approach required every agency involved in the product launch to participate in the creation of the briefs. Having everyone at the table formalized responsibilities, while aligning roles and resources ahead of time helped to mitigate the “land grabs” that can occur among competing agencies. In addition, bringing everyone together at the beginning made for stronger briefs, as it generated healthy debate on such key issues as which agencies would take the lead in the launch, which key performance indicators should be measured, and how and where to incorporate feedback loops that would allow teams to tweak and iterate after launch. The new approach paid off: the time spent writing a marketing brief and rolling out a new product dropped from four months to just one.

Establishing such clarity up front requires the client to be a strong orchestrator and the agencies to stick to their defined roles. Rather than being restrictive, this level of governance can enhance creativity, as it frees people to focus on their responsibilities instead of wasting time and energy jockeying for position with other agencies.

5. Using the best metrics to drive success

Technology is now catching up to the holy grail of marketing: the ability to monitor, track, and manage the effectiveness of marketing investments. Measures of marketing effectiveness need to move beyond what has often been limited to a narrow set of metrics. As companies become more customer-centric, for example, metrics should focus on customer activity rather than simply product or regional activity, as is often the case. Metrics should also reinforce new behaviors and processes, such as how fast a product is launched or how quickly lessons from the field can successfully be integrated into the next marketing offer.

To be most effective, however, metrics need to deliver insights quickly—often in real time—so the business can actually act. They need to be delivered in a way that is easy for decision makers to understand, and they need to be forward looking to identify future opportunities rather than focus on reporting what has already happened.

It’s sad but true: marketing operations has traditionally been overshadowed by sexier marketing tactics. Yet as consumers become increasingly empowered and sophisticated in the way they make purchasing decisions, it’s never been more important to use data to map customers’ DNA, understand exactly what they want, and then take those insights to develop and deliver a superior (and flawless) customer experience. As outcomes go, we think that’s pretty sexy indeed.

About the authors

David Edelman is a principal in McKinsey’s Boston office, and Jason Heller is a senior expert in the New York office.

A Facebook ID is the marketer’s Holy Grail: high-fidelity ID for a consumer

Facebook Extends Reach With Ad Platform – WSJ.

Facebook Inc. next week will unveil a new advertising platform designed to improve how marketers target and measure the advertisements they buy across the Web, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.

The product, called Atlas, is a re-engineered version of the Atlas Advertiser Suite business Facebook purchased from Microsoft Corp. in 2013. It promises to help marketers understand which Facebook users have seen, interacted with or acted upon ads that appear both on Facebook’s services and on third-party websites and apps.

It will also provide an automated ad-buying tool known in the industry as a “demand-side platform” or “bidder,” which will offer marketers the ability to buy ads that target Facebook’s members as they move around the Web.

The move is aimed at helping Facebook challenge Google Inc. ‘s dominance of the online ad space. Some advertising executives say Facebook could provide marketers with better targeting capabilities and more detailed and accurate information about ad campaigns than they previously have had access to.

Google reported second-quarter ad revenue of $14.36 billion. Facebook said it generated $2.68 billion in the same period.

Marketers increasingly crave data to help inform and measure their ad campaigns. In addition to the demographic information it holds about its members, Facebook also collects valuable data about the sites users visit and the types of content they click on and post across its service.

“What Facebook is doing is potentially more powerful than what Google can currently do,” said Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategist of advertising holding company Publicis Groupe SA, in reference to the ad targeting and tracking potential of the companies.

Google declined to comment.

Currently, advertisers typically target and track the performance of online ads by dropping small pieces of code on Web users’ computers called “cookies.” The problem with cookies, advertising executives say, is they are often inaccurate, unreliable and they don’t work effectively on smartphones and tablets.

With Atlas, Facebook hopes to fix those problems by linking users’ ad interactions to their Facebook accounts, which can be used to track users across both desktop and mobile devices, albeit on an anonymous basis. For example, a marketer using Atlas might now be able to understand that a customer purchased a product on a desktop computer, but first saw an ad for it on their smartphone device. Facebook already tracks users this way across its own service, but Atlas will now extend the functionality to other sites and apps.

“The biggest impact of this will be in mobile. People spend more time on mobile than on desktop, but marketers don’t spend there because cookies don’t work,” said an ad executive familiar with Facebook’s plans. “This could finally enable us to spend more money in mobile,” the ad executive added.

The website The Information earlier reported on some aspects of Facebook’s plans.

Facebook also plans to pitch marketers on the concept of using Atlas to tie consumers’ offline behaviors to their online ones. For instance, a consumer who purchases a pair of shoes in a store might volunteer her email address at the checkout. Facebook could then use that email address to inform the retailer if, when, and where the consumer saw its ads across the Web, if the email address is tied to a Facebook account.

“A Facebook ID is the marketer’s Holy Grail: a persistent, high-fidelity ID for a consumer,” said Antonio Garcia-Martinez, vice president of product at ad-tech company Nanigans, who worked on Facebook’s advertising technology products until April 2013.

Facebook will reveal the Atlas platform at next week’s Advertising Week conference in New York, people familiar with the matter said. Facebook will begin pitching marketers on the concept of “people-based marketing,” while arguing cookies are a dated and flawed method for targeting and tracking online ads, the people said.

Google also is working on a cookie alternative of its own, although it hasn’t been formally offered to marketers.

—Suzanne Vranica contributed to this article.

Le « Consumer Barometer » 2012 plébiscite la recherché en ligne

Le « Consumer Barometer » 2012 plébiscite la recherché en ligne.

Actualités – Media – Research – 27/11/2012
Le « Consumer Barometer » est un projet mondial d’IAB Europe mené en collaboration avec TNS Infratest et Google afin de déterminer le rôle de l’Internet dans le comportement des consommateurs. Dans ce cadre, le Consumer Barometer montre le comportement d’achat et met en perspective la façon dont les consommateurs utilisent le web comme source d’information avant de prendre une décision d’achat. Où et comment les Belges achètent-ils aujourd’hui? Et quel est le rôle de l’Internet dans leurs achats? Google a effectué une analyse claire du comportement des consommateurs belges en ligne et hors ligne pour l’année 2012. Les données ont été obtenues grâce au « Consumer Barometer » Cet outil de recherche en ligne gratuit donne une vision d’ensemble du comportement des consommateurs dans 39 pays, classé en fonction de diverses catégories de produits. Il montre clairement la façon dont les consommateurs belges et étrangers utilisent le web pour trouver des informations sur des produits et pour faire des achats.

L’Internet a trouvé sa place en Belgique: 79 % de la population belge a aujourd’hui accès au web. L’Internet mobile ne cesse lui aussi de progresser: 22 % des Belges disposent d’un smartphone et l’utilisent pour chercher des produits en ligne. Avec l’aide du Consumer Barometer, IAB Europe, Google et TNS Infratest sont parvenus à montrer le rôle que joue l’Internet dans le comportement d’achat des consommateurs de 39 pays. Ainsi, il est désormais possible de comparer la quantité d’informations qu’un consommateur belge cherche en ligne sur une destination de vacances avant de la réserver hors ligne ou les recherches qu’il effectue en ligne avant de procéder à un achat en ligne. Cet aperçu clair des comportements de recherche et d’achat en ligne et hors ligne aide les entreprises à encore mieux répondre aux souhaits et aux attentes de leur public cible.
Comportement de recherche: en ligne ou bien rien ne vaut de voir?
Il ressort de l’étude qu’un quart (26 %) des consommateurs belges font des recherches en ligne avant d’acheter un produit. Simultanément, 26 % attachent de l’importance au fait de voir les produits de visu ou de demander des conseils en face à face à un expert. Nos voisins français et hollandais montrent toutefois une nette préférence pour les recherches en ligne. Les consommateurs hollandais sont en tête – 38 % n’effectuent que des recherches en ligne et seuls 19 % glanent des informations hors ligne. La différence est moins marquée en France – 34 % font des recherches en ligne, mais 21 % préfèrent effectuer des recherches hors ligne.
En ce qui concerne les produits qui font déjà l’objet de recherches en Belgique, les biens immobiliers, les billets, les hôtels, les vols, les logiciels et les caméscopes enregistrent de bons résultats.
Comportement d’achat: remplir un caddie virtuel ou trimballer un panier?
Chose commune à tous les pays étudiés: les produits qui sont recherchés en ligne sont aussi souvent achetés en ligne. Le consommateur belge suit cette tendance. Les produits précédemment cités – tels que les billets, les vols et les hôtels – sont bien plus souvent achetés en ligne que les produits cherchés hors ligne. Si nous analysons la part des ventes en ligne, la Belgique se démarque de la France et des Pays-Bas: alors qu’aux Pays-Bas, 37 % des consommateurs achètent un produit en ligne, ils ne sont que 28 % à passer à l’achat en ligne en France et 18 % en Belgique.
Julien Blanchez, Country Marketing Manager de Google Belgique, déclare: « Ces résultats permettent de mieux comprendre le consommateur belge. On considère parfois qu’il figure parmi les derniers à adopter une nouvelle tendance – mais en fait, le Belge est tout simplement plus prudent lorsqu’il s’agit de s’approprier de nouvelles habitudes et technologies. Le processus d’apprentissage est parcouru étape après étape. »
Les entrepreneurs belges feraient-ils donc mieux d’attendre encore un peu avant de mettre en œuvre leur stratégie numérique, jusqu’à ce que les comportements de recherche et d’achat soient mieux entrés dans les mœurs? Au contraire, assure Goedele Soetemans de « Nous vendons des bottes de pluie dernier cri et lorsque nous nous sommes lancés dans cette aventure, nous étions conscients que les achats en ligne étaient moins populaires en Belgique qu’ils l’étaient dans d’autres pays. Cependant, nous avons choisi de voir dans ce constat plus une opportunité de croissance qu’une menace. Nous avons donc tout misé sur un magasin et une stratégie en ligne. Nous sommes convaincus que si l’on vend un produit de qualité et que l’on fournit un bon service, les consommateurs vont rapidement comprendre les nombreux avantages des achats en ligne. Veillez à ce que les clients potentiels puissent trouver très facilement votre magasin en ligne et vos produits et offrez-leur le meilleur service possible. Les clients qui ont eu une expérience concluante ne manqueront pas de revenir. »


Un comportement inadapté sur les médias sociaux favorise le boycott par les consommateurs



Près de sept consommateurs sur dix sont prêts à blacklister une marque ou un produit dont le marketing via les médias sociaux les agace

• En 2013, les dépenses liées aux médias sociaux représenteront environ un quart du budget marketing des entreprises, soit un niveau jamais atteint auparavant.

• Seuls 26 % des consommateurs se servent des médias sociaux pour suivre des entreprises et interagir avec elles.

• La recommandation par un ami a un impact généralement positif alors que l’envoi de messages marketing non sollicités est considéré par les consommateurs comme la pire expérience possible sur les médias sociaux.

• 65 % des personnes interrogées ne feraient plus appel à une entreprise si son comportement sur les médias sociaux les agaçait ou les importunait.

Levallois-Perret, le 19 novembre 2012 – A cause de leur comportement en ligne exaspérant, certains responsables marketing bien intentionnés risquent de pousser au boycott leurs clients et prospects. Voilà la principale conclusion d’une étude mondiale concernant l’efficacité des activités marketing sur les médias sociaux, réalisée pour Pitney Bowes Software, éditeur de solutions logicielles et données pour l’analyse et la gestion des communications clients, par Vanson Bourne.

Cette étude conduite entre août et septembre 2012 auprès de 3000 consommateurs et de 300 décideurs marketing d’entreprises BtoC, compare les tendances en matière d’opérations marketing sur les médias sociaux et la façon dont ces dernières sont perçues, ceci dans cinq pays : Australie, France, Allemagne, Royaume-Uni et Etats-Unis.

Selon l’étude, près de 70 % des décideurs marketing se concentrent de plus en plus sur les médias sociaux pour leurs communications externes : ils estiment que les activités marketing sur les médias sociaux représenteront un quart des budgets marketing en 2013.

Cependant, l’enthousiasme des responsables marketing pour les opérations marketing sur les médias sociaux n’est pas nécessairement partagé par les consommateurs. Seul un quart d’entre eux (26 %) les utilise pour suivre des marques ou entreprises. 78 % des personnes interrogées s’en servent avant tout pour rester en contact avec leurs amis et leur famille.

Dans ce contexte, les marques « suivies », c’est-à-dire dont les consommateurs ont choisi d’être fans/followers, se portent plutôt bien. Les messages marketing qu’elles envoient sont perçus positivement par près de la moitié des membres des médias sociaux (48 %). A l’inverse, 40 % des personnes interrogées indiquent qu’elles seraient vite agacées si elles recevaient des messages de la part d’entreprises qu’elles ne suivent pas. En outre, les consommateurs considèrent que le spam et les bannières et encarts de publicité sont les pires expériences sur les médias sociaux. Encore plus inquiétant : 65 % des consommateurs déclarent qu’ils arrêteraient d’utiliser une marque dont le marketing les agacerait ou les importunerait.

En revanche, les recommandations d’amis sont très bien accueillies : 68 % des personnes interrogées ont déjà fait des recherches sur des entreprises qui leur ont été recommandées et 15 % ont même effectué un achat auprès de ces dernières.


Des entreprises en décalage avec les attentes consommateurs

L’étude révèle qu’en matière d’interaction avec les marques, les consommateurs sont avant tout intéressés par les coupons, bons de réduction, informations sur les nouveaux produits ou services, soldes, événements à venir, etc. Or moins d’un responsable marketing sur dix mentionne ces éléments et les compte dans ses priorités. La majorité se concentre sur les newsletters, les informations sur la responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise ou encore des enquêtes de satisfaction clients, aspects qui intéressent beaucoup moins les consommateurs.

D’autre part, si consommateurs et responsables marketing s’accordent sur un point, à savoir que Facebook est le média social le plus populaire et le plus fiable, ils n’ont pas la même appréciation de l’importance des autres médias : les décideurs marketing allouent la majorité de leurs ressources à Twitter (57 %) et Google+ (51 %) alors que les consommateurs préfèrent largement YouTube (qui n’arrive qu’en cinquième position de la liste des responsables marketing).

Selon Thierry Teisseire, Directeur général Europe du Sud de Pitney Bowes Software, « l’intérêt de cette étude est de révéler le décalage entre les efforts des responsables marketing concernant les médias sociaux et les attentes des consommateurs. Les décideurs marketing bien intentionnés, utilisant encore des modèles marketing classiques de diffusion, risquent involontairement de repousser de potentiels ambassadeurs de marque ou pire, de les inciter à se désengager complètement et à boycotter la marque. »

Principaux chiffres sur la France

• Avec 98 % des responsables marketing français d’entreprises BtoC interrogés déclarant avoir une équipe dédiée ou une personne qui se consacre à la gestion de leurs campagnes sur les médias sociaux, la France fait partie des deux pays qui investissent le plus dans les spécialistes des réseaux sociaux avec le Royaume-Uni.

• Les décideurs marketing français ont tendance à s’appuyer sur les principaux médias sociaux internationaux : Facebook (88 %), Twitter (82 %) et LinkedIn (76 %) font partie du top 3 des canaux utilisés. De leur côté, les consommateurs français placent Facebook en tête (93%) suivi par YouTube (48%) ; Copains d’Avant occupe la troisième place avec 38 % alors que ce n’est que le cinquième choix des responsables marketing (22 %).

• Les décideurs marketing français sont les plus confiants des cinq pays étudiés : 92 % d’entre eux considèrent que leurs campagnes sur les médias sociaux sont efficaces. 90 % voient un lien clair entre dépenses liées à ces médias et rentabilité, alors qu’à l’échelle mondiale, ce chiffre n’est que de 64 %. Et lorsqu’il s’agit d’évaluer la perception de leurs opérations de marketing via les médias sociaux par le public, 92 % d’entre eux déclarent que les réactions sont positives.

• Pourtant, c’est en France que le nombre de consommateurs suivant des marques sur les médias sociaux est le plus bas (46 %) et que le nombre de personnes se disant agacées par les messages marketing est le plus élevé (24 % pour les marques « suivies » et 42 % pour les marques « non suivies »). La France compte aussi le plus grand nombre de personnes prêtes à ne plus utiliser une marque dont le comportement sur les médias sociaux les agacerait.


Livre blanc à télécharger sur :

A propos de l’étude

Entre août et septembre 2012, Vanson Bourne a mené des entretiens par Internet avec 300 décideurs marketing seniors travaillant dans des entreprises B2C intervenant dans cinq pays (Royaume-Uni, France, Allemagne, Australie et Etats-Unis) et sept secteurs d’activité (distribution, assurance, banque de détail, utilities, télécoms, biens de grande consommation et secteur public). Le questionnaire a porté sur l’utilisation des médias sociaux comme canal marketing (dépenses marketing, canaux utilisés, tactique utilisée sur les réseaux sociaux, mesures et défis associés au marketing sur les réseaux sociaux).

Dans le même temps, 3 000 consommateurs adultes des mêmes régions, utilisant ou ayant utilisé les médias sociaux, ont été aussi interrogés par Internet. L’étude avait pour but de couvrir les éléments suivants : réseaux sociaux utilisés, finalité de l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux et réactions aux messages marketing reçus et à la fourniture d’informations personnelles.

A propos de Pitney Bowes Software

Pitney Bowes Software (PBS), précédemment connu sous le nom de Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI), est un éditeur de solutions multicanal qui transforment les données brutes en informations utiles. Les entreprises engagent ainsi un véritable dialogue avec leurs clients.

Ces solutions optimisent la connaissance et les interactions sur l’ensemble du cycle de vie du client : elles couvrent le data management (profiling, intégration, qualité, enrichissement), legéodécisionnel (bouquets de données cartographiques, géomarketing), l’analyse prédictive et la gestion des interactions client cross-canal. Pitney Bowes Software (PBS) a pour principale mission d’accroître la valeur de chaque communication client tout en améliorant son efficacité opérationnelle.

Pitney Bowes Software est une division du groupe Pitney Bowes Inc., leader des technologies de gestion des communications client. Pour plus d’informations, visitez






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Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare as Corporate Focus Groups –

Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare as Corporate Focus Groups –



Frito-Lay is developing a new potato chip flavor, which, in the old days, would have involved a series of focus groups, research and trend analysis.

Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

Ravi Raj, standing, of @WalmartLabs with Pankaj Risbood and Ken Turner examining social media data.


The Frito-Lay Do Us a Flavor contest on the company’s app.

Now, it uses Facebook.

Visitors to the new Lay’s Facebook app are asked to suggest new flavors and click an “I’d Eat That” button to register their preferences. So far, the results show that a beer-battered onion-ring flavor is popular in California and Ohio, while a churros flavor is a hit in New York.

“It’s a new way of getting consumer research,” said Ann Mukherjee, chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America. “We’re going to get a ton of new ideas.”

While consumers may think of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare as places to post musings and interact with friends, companies like Wal-Mart and Samuel Adams are turning them into extensions of market research departments. And companies are just beginning to figure out how to use the enormous amount of information available.

When Wal-Mart wanted to know whether to stock lollipop-shaped cake makers in its stores, it studied Twitter chatter. Estée Lauder’s MAC Cosmetics brand asked social media users to vote on which discontinued shades to bring back. The stuffed-animal brand Squishable solicited Facebook feedback before settling on the final version of a new toy. And Samuel Adams asked users to vote on yeast, hops, color and other qualities to create a crowdsourced beer, an American red ale called B’Austin Ale that got rave reviews.

“It tells us exactly what customers are interested in,” said Elizabeth Francis, chief marketing officer of the Gilt Groupe. Gilt asks customers to vote on which products to include in a sale, and sets up Facebook chats between engineers and customers to help refine products. “It’s amazing that we can get that kind of real feedback, as opposed to speculating,” Ms. Francis said.

Wal-Mart acquired the social media company Kosmix last year for an estimated $300 million, chiefly because of Kosmix’s ability to extract trends from social media conversations.

The unit, now called @WalmartLabs, looks at Twitter posts, public Facebook posts and search terms on, among other cues, to help Wal-Mart refine what it sells. Its technology can identify the context of words, distinguishing “Salt,” the Angelina Jolie movie, from salt, the seasoning, for example. It sets baselines for what a normal level of buzz around, say, electronics or toys is, so it can measure when interest is getting high. It also analyzes sentiment, because if people overwhelmingly dislike a new video game, ordering pallets of the game is not a great bet.

“There’s mountains and mountains of data being created in social media,” said Ravi Raj, vice president for products for @WalmartLabs, adding that the company used the data to decide what merchandise to carry where.

In one of its first analyses, performed last summer, @WalmartLabs found that cake pops — small bites of cake on lollipop sticks — were becoming popular. “Starbucks had just started getting them in their cafes, and people were talking a lot about it,” Mr. Raj said.

His team alerted merchants at Wal-Mart headquarters. The merchants had also heard about the product, and decided to carry cake-pop makers in Walmart stores. They were popular enough that the company plans to bring them back this holiday season.

More recently, @WalmartLabs found that enthusiasm for “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” was surging before the movies were released, and suggested that stores increase their orders of related merchandise. And after Walmart started carrying a spicy chip called Takis, @WalmartLabs found that most of the positive chatter about it was coming from California and the Southwest.

The merchants, judging that they could sell additional products in those states, commissioned a similar spicy chip from Walmart’s private-label brand and hurried to introduce another, called Dinamita, from Doritos. Walmart began selling both lines in California and the Southwest earlier this year, and is now adding them to other stores.

For Frito-Lay, seeking product ideas on Facebook, via the Lay’s Do Us a Flavor app, has a few advantages.

Once the company sees what is popular and where, it can tailor its products to specific areas of the country. While Frito-Lay will produce three of the flavors from its contest and give a $1 million prize to the creator of one of those flavors, Ms. Mukherjee said the company would also study other suggestions. “This is a real competitive edge for us,” she said.

Frito-Lay has already run the contest overseas, resulting in chip flavors like hot and spicy crab in Thailand and pickled cucumber in Serbia.

The social media approach also attracts younger customers. People who sign up for focus groups or consumer panels are generally not young fad followers, but Facebook users often are, so adding social media to the mix lets Frito-Lay get a wide range of consumer feedback.

Kohl’s, which started asking its Facebook fans in July to pick products for inclusion in sales, said those fans were more heavily represented than its overall customer base in the 18-to-24 demographic.

Marketers are trying to find a balance between privacy concerns and the rich data available online. Mr. Raj said Wal-Mart analyzed only Facebook posts that users made public. On the other hand, apps like Frito-Lay’s require access to a user’s location, gender, birthday, photos, list of friends and status updates; the products for which he or she has clicked “like”; and more.

For the most part, when someone uses a brand’s Facebook app, the brand can obtain a range of personal information, said Mark LaRow, senior vice president for products at the software company MicroStrategy. MicroStrategy has built its own app, Wisdom Network, that can gain access to about 13 million private Facebook profiles once a user gives it permission.

The app gathers information about users and their friends. Marketers might use the data to see what current or potential customers do and like, or what rich customers prefer versus poorer ones. (MicroStrategy cross-references app users’ job titles and locations, part of the standard information Facebook asks for, to estimate their likely salaries.)

For instance, Mr. LaRow said that if the soccer team FC Barcelona, a MicroStrategy client, saw that a large number of its fans liked the actor Vin Diesel, it might pursue new partnerships.

Not everyone is a believer in data alone. “Data can’t tell you where the world is headed,” said Lara Lee, chief innovation and operating officer at the design consultancy Continuum, which helped design the Swiffer and the One Laptop per Child project.

But companies using data from social media said the ability to see what consumers do, want and are talking about on such a big scale, without consumers necessarily knowing the companies are listening in, was unprecedented. “This is like the biggest focus group someone could ever imagine,” Mr. LaRow said.


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