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How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business
Table of Contents
MarkeTING aT THe INTerSeCTIoN of CoMMuNICaTIoNS aND CoMMerCe Alan Herrick MoBIle MoMeNTS Hilding Anderson, Rachel Zinser
Mobile 47 Context — The New Gold of the Mobile Industry Torsten Schollmayer 51 Could Mobile Lead Your Customer Experience? Paul Bevan Technology 54 Digital Marketing Platforms: Taking Back Control Dan Barnicle 57 After the Release: Maximizing Value From Your Commerce Platform Investment Sheldon Monteiro 61 Platforms in the Cloud: Deciding to Use or Own Scott Petry 65 INTerNaTIoNal PerSPeCTIVeS
19 VIewSIGHT Marketing and Media 21 What’s New in Digital Nigel Vaz 24 Rise of the Machine — Death of the Media Planner? David D’Alleva 27 The Cross-Channel Challenge: Building Pervasive Information Architecture Michael MacLennan 31 Media of the Moment David Bradfield 34 Predictions for the Next 5 Years in Retail Banking Alex Sion Social Media 36 Branding Out Loud Without Losing Your Voice: How to Avoid Social Dilemmas in the Digital Knowledge Marketplace Erik Gottesman 39 If a Tweet Falls in the Forest: Using Listening to Drive Social Media Strategy Annicka Campbell 42 Social Commerce — Beckoning New Opportunities Chitranjan Sood 45 Is Social Commerce Exempt From ROI? Uwe Tueben
North america: Justin Barkhuizen, Rob Murray australia: Mark Krebs China: Jennifer Tan Singapore: Jue Lu India: Vidhya Sankarnarayan russia: Yulia Rubina Middle east: Matt Horobin Germany: Torsten Schollmayer uk: Paul Bevan, Chad Cribbins
85 foreSIGHT: THe oNe To fIVe Year TreND ouTlook Rob Gonda, Hilding Anderson 94 NoTe froM THe eDITor Hilding Anderson
we believe in the intrinsic relationship between brands and the brand experience and that, ultimately, all communications will be interactive.
Marketing at the Intersection of Communications and Commerce
Written by Alan Herrick, President and CEO; Sapient Corporation
“revolutions never go backwards.”
– Wendell Phillips
we live in interesting times. The way we go about living our lives has been forever transformed by the unceasing march of digitization and device proliferation. In the wake of this transformation stands an emboldened, digitally armed consumer who is an opportunity — and therefore — a target. The challenge for brands? Get to that consumer first … and last. Television’s monopoly is over. The couch is no longer the main seat of brand impact. And the lines that used to distinguish communication from commerce are barely discernible. More sales are occurring via digital channels but, more importantly, the brand experiences being delivered by those channels are influencing the traditional retail shopping pathway. Add the silo-breaking effect of mobility to the equation and you end up with a $500 billion advertising industry in desperate need of an integrated, seamless solution that blends traditional with digital, marketing with sales. Shortly after Sapient acquired Nitro Group, a traditional, brand-led agency, in June 2009, I was often asked why we made, what many considered, an upside down decision: a digital shop acquiring a traditional agency. The answer I gave then is the answer I give today. Because we believe in the intrinsic relationship between brands and the brand experience and that, ultimately, all communications will become interactive. Clients ask how they can stay ahead of the curve and navigate change. For CEOs to achieve these goals it must start by letting go of the “above the line, below the line” mindset. There is no line. Brand success hinges on two key capabilities: optimizing investments and creating high-impact, integrated customer experiences, which is at the heart of what we, at SapientNitro, call Idea Engineering. Empowered consumers are dictating when and where they interact with brands. They don’t think in terms of touch points; they see, hear, and feel the collective brand experience, regardless of where or how it’s being delivered. That is why we must create robust, technology-enabled brand experiences that will allow CMOs and CIOs to get the most out of the multi-functional nature of digital channels. Experiences like Unilever’s Share Happy, the world’s first smile-activated vending machine that was created to help
spread Unilever’s mission to encourage people to share life’s small moments of happiness. This “ice-cream truck for the digital age” leveraged facial recognition and 3G technologies to create an industry-leading, award-winning brand experience. Another great example of how technology is liberating the traditional boundaries between marketing and commerce channels is Tesco. To increase its online market share in South Korea, the UK’s leading grocery chain developed a mobile app that allows customers to view and purchase products at virtual stores installed in subways. The campaign reflects some of the earliest examples of how brands can create and satisfy demand in the same environment. As a result of its virtual stores, Tesco increased online sales by 130% becoming the number one online grocery store. More and more, clients are turning to SapientNitro to understand how they can evolve to thrive in this new world. This is exactly what SapientNitro was built for, and why our distinctive ability to create brand experiences at the intersection of multi-channel marketing and multi-channel commerce is so relevant today. In the following pages of Insights, SapientNitro subject matter experts present their perspectives on how business leaders can successfully face the challenges posed by today’s complex business environment. From harnessing the voice of the consumer through social media management and listening tools to constructing optimal multi-channel experiences using pervasive information architecture, the cloud, and user content, our authors address a diverse range of market, marketing, and design topics. At SapientNitro, we see the challenges facing our clients and are inspired by the array of opportunities they present for companies to create truly groundbreaking experiences. In this complicated world where connections and capabilities are being reinvented, Insights is the ultimate accelerator. We appreciate your participation, your interest, and your support of SapientNitro, and I wish you all success as you navigate this ever changing, always exciting business world.
Written by Hilding Anderson, Sr. Manager, Research + Insights; SapientNitro Washington, DC and Rachel Zinser, Associate of Research + Insights; SapientNitro Chicago
exploring Multi-Channel Mobile experiences
Mobile represents the next major frontier for interacting with the digital world. Be it the Amazon Kindle, Redbox reservation system, Google Wallet, or M-PESA’s Kenyan experiment, great mobile apps create interlocking connections between the web, kiosks, physical stores, and other platforms.
U.S. and W. Europe Smartphone Sales
MOBILE DEVICE SALES ACCELERATE
Global Tablet Sales
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Companies are now able to — and should strive to — provide a single, cohesive experience in the store, at home, or on the go. These new experiences place the customer at the center of a company’s ecosystem of apps and devices, which have the potential to create genuine value for both the company and the consumer. Demonstrating genuine value for consumers is a test for any mobile application. To get past the initial "trial and forget" model of 80% of mobile apps, there must be consistent and repetitive value. even among applications that are commonly used, we still found troubled user experiences. applications such as Google Maps, eBay Mobile, and amazon kindle meet the test. others do not.
we interviewed 23 mobile professionals, conducted heuristic evaluations for each app, and asked our top strategists to identify the most important, influential offerings in each of the following categories: • • • • • • Mobile wallet In-store mobile Integrated experiences (multiple devices or channels) location-based technology emerging technology International experiences
a guide to scoring: We evaluated the strength of each application across three equally-weighted sections. example
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The mobile wallet is an ambitious experience — much more than just touchless payment with near field communication (NFC) at the point of sale (POS). Ideally, a mobile wallet will allow mobile devices to store all the elements of a physical wallet digitally. It will include photos, government-issued IDs, credit card information, cash-equivalents, and loyalty cards. It will use location and preferences to notify users of nearby brands, sales, and deals. It will allow payment processing with a simple swipe of the phone. At the time of this report, there is only one mainstream, full-fledged digital wallet technology in the U.S. The mobile wallet will have profound implications for a variety of applications including: • • • • • • Personal financial management and banking Shopping and product comparison tools Payment and card services Promotions and couponing Loyalty and customer services Tickets, passes, and event integration
consumer behavior. In addition, our interviewees emphasized five key challenges of implementing a mobile wallet: security, versatility, customization, ease of use, and design. Google wallet: a brand new platform that holds promise As the first mobile wallet solution, the Google Wallet combines tap-and-pay mobile payment, location-based offer discovery, integrated loyalty cards, and a digital transaction history to create the first true mobile wallet experience. The mobile professionals polled emphasized Google’s strong relationships with banks (Citi, Visa, Discover, American Express have all announced partnerships), its in-house mobile phone engineering prowess, and its substantial financial resources as key factors. In our initial testing, we found that tap-and-pay works well with the thousands of PayPass devices deployed at major retailers. But more significantly, Google’s SingleTap connects a purchase to a loyalty or reward card, and can apply coupons during checkout. Boarding passes, tickets, digital receipts, and other personal transaction information are also core elements. Location-based offers can shape consumer behavior and drive in-store traffic.
Our research suggests that substantial NFC mobile wallet adoption is at least four years off, based on the pace of adoption and the complexities of the service model. As Gartner noted,1 the biggest challenge isn’t the technology but changing
Gartner “Market Trends: Mobile Payment, Worldwide, 2011"
The initial Google Wallet rollout is quite limited. It is available only in the U.S., only on the Sprint version of the Nexus 4G phone, only on the Android marketplace, and supporting only two payment types (Citi Mastercard and Google prepaid). The Google Wallet delivers the first salvo in what promises to be the next major wave of mobile technology — perhaps the most significant mobile innovation since SMS and broadband connectivity. It opens doors for more secure transactions, real time offers, and a brand new real-time marketplace. Google wallet
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Starbucks Mobile application: a widely adopted, in-store payment tool The Starbucks App doesn’t offer the fullest set of functionality compared to Google Wallet or PayPal. It only works with Starbucks stores, and the app was not always intuitive (especially on initial setup). Yet based on our interviews, it is one of the most influential mobile wallet applications. It has the key elements of any mobile wallet application: multi-platform, multi-location (over 7,800 locations), multi-payments, and an integrated rewards program. Ultimately, it is a promising start, which shows the potential for the digital wallet, but may be swept away — certainly from this list — when multiple wallet solutions come out. Starbucks Mobile application
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eBay’s PayPal: Peer-to-peer player with opportunities A leader in online payments, PayPal has invested heavily in building out its mobile payments platform, although it falls short of a true mobile wallet offering. PayPal lacks a mobile phone of its own, reducing its ability to influence future mobile wallets design and implementation. It does allow easy peer-to-peer mobile bill payment, and mobile web purchases, but doesn’t integrate with any physical retail stores — yet. Its NFC-based peer-to-peer payment technology is a start of a mobile wallet capability. As one of our interviewees said, “[PayPal’s] mobile can serve as a unique bridge between the digital and physical worlds.” Another noted, bluntly, “PayPal will be big.”
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others of note: Verizon and Payfone, Bling Nation, ISIS, and Apple
The domestic mobile wallet challenge: Changing consumer behavior NFC and the mobile wallet face a substantial challenge in the U.S. Internationally, consumers are already using touch-to-pay technology. According to our interviewees, Canadians commonly tap credit cards for payment, while in Japan they’ve been using mobile tap payment technology for years. Yet in the U.S., our interviewees feel it will take substantial incentives to transition us from a credit card swipe culture to a tap-to-buy technique. Many of our interviewees feel that the key to accelerating adoption will be loyalty programs, simple and easy-to-use offer redemption and couponing, and real-time offer delivery as promised by Starbucks, Sparkfly, Shopkick, and many others.
The in-store mobile experience has, as one of our industry interviewees delicately put it, “a great opportunity for improvement.” We’re seeing glimmers of that future now: integrated bar-code scanners, practical mobile tools, inventory visibility, and location. A few of the best applications serve as a guide while you browse the store. Some of the strongest even offer concierge services, allowing you to make appointments with sales associates and experts for custom services (think: clothing tailors or personal shoppers). Core elements of leading branded applications include reviews, ratings, recommendations, cross-sell and up-sell, features comparison, or video. More advanced functions include ordering from the aisle and shipping it directly home, or integration with social networks. With a few exceptions, most in-store mobile applications are largely disconnected pilots, apps, and mobile sites with low adoption (just 20% of smartphone consumers have downloaded and used their shopping application to receive coupons, price alerts, and product deals).2 The result: confused consumers and low ROI. we identified three main issues: • ease-of-use. Getting set up and then using these apps is too difficult, inhibiting adoption. Most require multiple steps, and require the consumer to remember to activate the app while in the store. Can a consumer opt-in to a brand on one device and receive those messages wherever they are in another? Not today. • lack of value. Functionality generally doesn’t show enough value to be compelling. Most apps haven’t quite figured out the right value proposition for users — narrow enough to be easily used by consumers, valuable enough to be regularly used. Promotion and rewards plans are anemic; special offers are not very special. • Integration points. The third issue is weak integration with existing processes and back-end technology. Problems include non-imaging POS systems, untrained sales associates, and a lack of integration between the mobile phone, POS, and the back-end CRM system that should drive the loyalty, personalization, and customization options presented. Our interviewees believe these in-store mobile experiences should be a core, strategic area of investment for many large consumer-facing firms. And recent research shows the firms are responding, with 40% of surveyed online business managers planning on building a mobile-optimized site.3 But, creating a fantastic in-store mobile experience takes a long-term commitment. According to a recent Forrester report, 60% of all eBusiness managers either do not have a mobile strategy, or have one that has existed for less than a year.4 While there remains overall room for improvement, we did identify several examples that show the strong potential of mobile devices and their use in-store. apple Store app: Your personal concierge Apple’s application enables users to make purchases, read reviews, reserve products, view in-store events, and schedule Genius Bar appointments. The in-store mode also lets users see how many people are in line and estimates wait times. The differentiated value is transparency. This same technique could be applied to any sort of one-on-one service, and could be applied at many different major retailers. Solid scores across our heuristic evaluation in ease-of-use, feature set, and design round out the product. apple Store app
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Home Depot: Bringing utility to the in-store mobile experience The Home Depot application delivers genuine value to its users — it's useful and relevant to the consumer while still remaining on brand.
http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/06/02/one-five-smartphone-ownersuse-shopping-apps-survey-finds 3 Forrester Research “Mobile Channel Strategy: An Overview,” June 2, 2011 4 Ibid
Practical tools add value in-store or when preparing to shop: everything from the basics (finding Home Depot locations) to more complex features (using the toolbox's caliper, tape measure, and converter). The integrated barcode scanner holds promise of in-store integration, but wasn’t working during our testing. However, most online reviewers of this app had no problem with the barcode. Home Depot has made a substantial investment in the application, and it shows. The interface is well designed and makes goal completion easy and intuitive. Yet even a top in-store experience still has technical glitches and ROI concerns. Home Depot
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a gift certificate has been earned. It delivers rewards and special offers in-store and allows users to purchase products directly from the app. Our testers' main disappointment with the experience was the app’s inability to save what the user had looked at. Scanned items are not automatically saved into a history. Also, the manual “save” feature was not functioning correctly when we audited the app. Best Buy reward Zone
Heuristic Evaluation Mobile Professional Review Strategic Importance
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others of note: Barnes & Noble, Redbox, ShopSavvy, RedLaser, My Coke Rewards, and Shopkick
Best Buy reward Zone: In-store shopping for technology geeks The Best Buy Reward Zone app is another full featured application. In our review, we found that the Best Buy Reward Zone app is a complement to the store and works to infuse the social content from the website into the shopping experience. The most helpful capability within the app is the QR scan feature, whereby users can surface additional product information like users’ reviews and other nearby Best Buy locations where a product may be available. It also allows Reward Zone members a quick view into the points that they’ve earned at Best Buy as well as the opportunity to redeem points directly from the phone when
a fight with your partners: Grocery store chains versus CPG companies Grocery store chains and CPG companies, long partners, are seeing their relationships evolve in this new digital world. Increasingly, large CPGs and grocery store chains are investing in mobile experiences. Yet they’re targeting the same customers with similar applications. Long-time partners are becoming competitors over who will own customers' search and discovery methods, developing a parallel system of marketing to traditional in-store facings. This is another example of how a mobile and digital world is upsetting existing relationships and business models.
Integrated experiences offer the holy grail of our digital future: one device, many channels, and multiple devices, with a single profile. The ability to seamlessly jump across devices or channels is the key. Soon, you'll be able to create a wish list on Target’s mobile app while waiting on the train, purchase those items on your PC at work, and change the shipping address on your iPad at home. Your personal information and ordering data won't change across devices. Many of the early leaders we’ve found are those facing industry disruption, forcing them to rapidly change. Airlines, books, banking, and car rentals are all facing a challenge. Other industries like retail have taken a slower path to multi-channel. While many are talking about it, few have mastered the multi-channel consumer journey. Our interviews identified several best practices for building these journeys: • Meet the consumer where they are. Provide the right set of tools — mobile, kiosk, digital display, salesassociate devices — for where and how your consumer wants to engage. • Think and organize beyond silos. Many business professionals are still thinking in silos, and developing a separate solution for PC, mobile, TV, and social. Organizations should consider the overall experience this creates for their customer, and optimize that experience across organizational boundaries and silos. • Consider back-end technology. Digital tools are built on top of your existing technology. If you don’t have one view of the consumer, or your technology stack is unstable, it will impact the quality of the offer. • Support in-store technology. Traditionally, most in-store IT support is focused on the PC platform. Make sure you have a plan to support products when they go down. Do you have the right skills in-house? • Plan for ongoing upgrades. Just as with any in-store product, you’ll need to have a plan for regular upgrades to new displays, interfaces, and product offerings. • repurpose content. Make sure you reuse any video or static content created for one channel to others. This benefits the company by reducing rework, and benefits the consumer by creating a single, easier to learn experience. amazon kindle: one profile, many devices The Amazon Kindle is reshaping media consumption. With tremendous scale and a quality product; today, Amazon is selling more eBooks than paper books. The Kindle suite of products sets a new baseline for multi-device integration (seamless switching across devices). Consumers can read on a mobile phone, review it with a PC, and continue on the tablet at home.
our interviewees identified six key components of future in-store mobile experiences: 1. Integrated loyalty, personalization, and customization options. Based on past buying history and level of loyalty, the retailer will push specific offers. For example, Sparkfly offers progressive discounting — 10%, 20%, 30% over time, rewarding repeat customers. 2. real-time deals and messages. Retailers will be able to push relevant, real-time messages to the user as they walk through the store, perhaps personalized by the area of the store. 3. ability to digitally "like" or share a product on a shelf. Retailers will be able to connect the in-store shopping experience with social networks. 4. enabling sales associates. Store associateenabled mobile devices will help improve demonstrations and provide richer, more personalized selling. 5. Digital displays. There will be a roll out of new digital merchandising options, including tablets attached to the aisle, large touch screen kiosks, and interactive displays. 6. New physical configurations. Look for mobile POS devices (think: Apple store), or being able to scan on your phone as you shop.
This ability to pass profile and status information between devices, and the cloud, is of strategic importance far beyond the Kindle. It represents the future of integrated experiences: multiple specialized devices, while simultaneously making the device irrelevant. amazon kindle
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and a highly regulated industry, airlines have been forced to aggressively cut costs, particularly in customer service. The Delta Airlines kiosk, mobile, dot-com, and loyalty program integration scored highly. Mobile ticketing and check-in highlights the potential of multi-channel integration. Delta’s efforts integrating loyalty programs with other channels (e.g., personal SMS messages to platinum flyers after flight delays) helped put them on top. Mobile ticketing, combined with enhanced loyalty programs, digital status updates of upgrades, flight delays, seat options, post-flight feedback, and even those apologies due to cancellations or delays become possible through the consumer's channel of choice. While our evaluation found data integrity issues, and slow performance hampered our ease-of-use score, the promise of an all-mobile ticketing and rewards future is glimpsed. airline kiosks
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Banking (uSaa): Mobile deposit and banking from home A pioneer in an industry not known for innovation, USAA’s mobile application is a leader in multi-channel experiences. USAA’s pioneering work allowed consumers to deposit checks from their phone for the first time. The mobile app reinforces its strategic position: as a branchless bank (USAA has only a handful). Tight integration between the remaining channels: web, mobile, and call center is essential. The app offers remote check deposit, quick (and secure) mobile login, and accident claim photo submission. USAA changed expectations of what service from your bank really means — without investing in thousands of branches. Suddenly, the ROI for mobile becomes clear. Banking (uSaa)
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others of note: Zipcar and Streetcar (UK), Banking (Chase), and Shazam Mobile, social, and location: an era of radical transparency For better or for worse, combining mobile, social, and location is going to transform shopping experiences. For retailers, it's no longer easy to have unique pricing and product selection for each regional store. Consumers can sniff out the best possible price quickly and easily — either at your store or on the Internet at your competitors' sites. Increasingly, the shopping experience becomes infused with entertainment, on top of a much more robust set of fulfillment options. Multiple screens, interactive elements, and even gaming have become a potent part of the retailing world.
airline kiosks (Delta): Cut-throat competition drives kiosk, mobile innovation The modern airline experience is a fiasco. With their backs against a wall by high fuel prices, cutthroat competition,
Few technologies show the societal impact of digital technology for average Americans as clearly as the rise of GPS. The ability to instantly access a vast database is incredibly powerful, and opportunities are still being discovered. It is easy to take for granted the tools that Yelp and other similar community review sites offer. You shouldn’t. Just five years ago, getting this information required a paid subscription, or a physical guide. Information was largely undated, and reflected expert views. The ideal future for location-based technology is for all mobile activity to be filtered based upon its current location, and areas of recent activity. Location becomes a layer, which defines all the other functions — you can find your friends who are nearby, shop nearby deals, find good restaurants, and more. Google Maps: an uncredited, yet essential location tool Mobile mapping and routing technology represents the greatest practical application of mobile technology that we’ve seen over the past 10 years. These tools have a new sophistication: mode of transportation options, contextual layers (traffic, hotel finder application, restaurants, gas stations), GPS integration, special offers, and rewards integration. These tools, not coincidentally, are an excellent fit with the Google Wallet. This cloud-based technology allows computation-intensive displays on simple, low-power devices (so long as you have good data). In the end, Google should be appreciated for what it is: the definitive location application. Google Maps
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Yelp: Global, crowd sourced service evaluation tool Yelp’s aggregation of comments and ratings, augmented reality, and location create tremendous value for consumers. Its search features are its strongest asset, allowing users to conduct manual searches where the user designates search parameters, while also leveraging location-aware technology. Additionally, the augmented reality integration, the Yelp Elite Squad rewards program, and local relationships have helped to sustain its growth over the past three years. Yelp has also started to make inroads into Foursquare's and Groupon’s territories with a check-in feature that can unlock special deals for users, although this initiative has had limited success and is being reconsidered. The bottom line: Yelp is in the process of becoming a global taste arbiter. Yelp
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“ one of the amazing things with Google Maps is that every day there is some other new things going on there. The latest is being able to download maps for offline access on your mobile phone.” – Mobile Business Professional
foursquare: flash in the pan or genuine value? Foursquare has had a continuing struggle to stay relevant and active. Their recent partnership with American Express — which allows consumers to pay with an American Express card and receive deals and coupons after check in — is a strong effort to make the tool more valuable and relevant for consumers. Foursquare's tips for individual locations is another differentiator. As one interviewee stated, “Foursquare is still a leader [in location-based tools]. Amazing work. They’ve come up with a value proposition for consumers and businesses that may become less of a recommendation engine but more of a check-in service.” foursquare
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facebook Places: Beyond the check-In Facebook was the first large network to acknowledge the lack of value of a check-in. They officially removed all check-in notifications from their feed, and instead allowed users to seamlessly Geotag status updates, photos, and videos. Users find much higher value in adding location to their digital assets. In the end, Facebook has effectively integrated location across the 600-million user platform, even though the location tag is only used by a tiny percentage of users. Location is evolving from an action or service, to a ubiquitous attribute that simply adds value, and plays a key role as brands become situationally aware and contextually relevant. In our research, most felt Facebook's location tagging remains important, and highlighted the event location check-in and ability to check in friends. The lack of tips in locations and limited mobile commerce integration remain a weak point. Much more public facing than Foursquare, several noted the different makeup of friends on the two platforms. In the end, most people’s go-to tool for location check-in remains Foursquare — for now. facebook Places
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others of note: Gowalla, SCVNGR
The Emerging Technology section of this report examines the most interesting future and emerging technologies developments relevant to marketing services. By 2013, when mobile web traffic is expected to exceed desktop traffic on the Internet, many of the nascent technologies we identify in this report will be more developed. Others will be gone. Here are the top emerging technologies identified by our interviewees. augmented reality: Combining the digital and analog worlds Augmented reality (AR) has been an emerging technology darling for years. The technology superimposes digital images on the real world, often using smartphone cameras and displays to capture and display this view. It holds more promise for consumer applications today than ever before. Early examples included automotive head-up displays, Yelp’s Monocle, and webcam-based virtual try-on. More recently, Facebook and Google have rolled out applications capable of recognizing human faces and landmarks and then presenting relevant information. These tools combine data from GPS, digital cameras, broadband, and cloudbased information. Overlay databases such as Wikipedia and Google Maps can present special offers, or allow a mobile device to quickly find and display important and relevant information near a location. Examples include pure-play firms such as Layar, which has more than 700,000 active users worldwide using their AR platform. World Lens allows users to point their mobile device at street signs for instant language translation. Panasonic offers the virtual VIERA TV simulator to model how the TV will appear in a consumer's room. Key applications, according to include exploration (finding things in your vicinity), suggestion (indicating realworld objects of interest), and direction (indicating where consumers should go). As AR continues to evolve, business applications will include branded points-of-interest, local relevant Gartner,5 information, special offers that allow consumers to find and learn using their mobile device, and businesses to present and market to this audience. Gesture recognition: Taking touch screen to the next level The gestural interface (e.g., Microsoft's Kinect, Apple's iPhone, or Microsoft’s Surface) was a surprising top-scorer in our mobile expert survey. In some ways, this is just a natural evolution from the touch screen revolution that has occurred over the past five years. A whole generation has grown accustomed to not needing a mouse, keyboard, or button to manage their digital tools. Combined with the accelerometers built into mobile devices, gesture or natural interfaces could control one or many screens and interactive elements in the retail setting. Examples such as the Kinect or MIT’s SixthSense lab — which explore the new technologies of full-body gesture and augmented reality experiences — highlight how far we have come and how much further we have yet to go. Other examples such as the Kymera Magic Wand — which controls devices at a distance through motion — can create engaging user experiences.6 In terms of practical business applications, our respondents highlighted this type of technology as a major opportunity in three to five years. But they also pointed out that, right now, there is a lot of hype but few scalable options. "There are examples related to building a campaign, or dropping a single kiosk in a mall, but few operate at scale." Nevertheless, when combined with augmented reality, voice recognition, and even telematics, there is a long-term opportunity to reinvent human-computer interaction, with massive applications for consumers and the enterprise alike. Telematics: when computers talk to computers Every year, millions of new devices are connected to the Internet. Some are devices we understand today — mobile, tablets, PCs. Others we are less familiar with — vending machines, IP telephones, elevators. And increasingly, everyday sensors (and networks of sensors) are being enabled.
5Gartner “Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies, 2011” 6Ibid
Applications range from remote sensing, building management/automation, logistics, automotive, eHealth, and agriculture. Wi-Fi, RFID, Bluetooth, and WiMAX are some of the enabling networking technologies. There are substantial opportunities for efficiency improvements: remote monitoring of fuel, gas, electricity, tracking the location of a fleet of vehicles, or optimizing delivery truck routing. Increasingly, this data is being sent over the Internet. In the future, data sent and received by sensors and machines will dominate traffic online. The rise of these sensors will have major efficiency benefits, but will also raise real challenges with data, analytics, and modeling, as information threatens to overwhelm our ability to process it. Voice recognition: The natural communication technology A surprisingly high-scoring technology, voice recognition has an opportunity to transform computer interaction.
Yet with over 15 years of investment, it is still not perfect. Mobile phone manufacturers from Google to Apple to Samsung have also been offering it successfully for some time, often using crowd-sourcing models to minimize the training the older systems needed. Virtual assistants such as Siri — which was acquired by Apple in 2010 and may be included in the iPhone 5 — allows a personal assistant to provide recommendations and assistance. Google has offered a more basic voice-to-text transcription service for some time. And the promise was enough for Ford and other large automotive companies to begin offering voice recognition as an option in some vehicles. Driven by continued investments in mobile, voice recognition will continue to improve, from a hit-or-miss call center tool to a reliable partner for consumers and businesses. others of note: Content provider paywall, E-Ink daylight color display, Mobile device barcode scanning, QR codes/2-D barcodes, and translucent displays
Despite the lead of Asia and Europe in 3G adoption, SMS usage, and QR codes, the surprising consensus among our pool of international mobile professionals is that the U.S. remains the leader when it comes to mobile offerings — at least in terms of smartphone-based mobile apps and the mobile web. Indeed, in most of the world, mobile represents the “first screen” — the go-to device for digital information, entertainment, and conversation. According to comScore, smartphone penetration in Japan is around 10% — far below the U.S.’s 32%, and also far below the penetration rates in the UK and Spain (each around 40%).7 International users are doing more — or at least a lot — with less. Our interviewees also mentioned that a combination of device fragmentation across Asia and Europe are slowing the adoption of new technology. But there are some exciting applications coming from overseas, and we highlight several below. M-PeSa: Mobile banking for the unbanked M-PESA, Vodacom’s offering in Kenya and select other countries, is an exciting application of emerging mobile technology to improve the lives of the unbanked in the developing world. This financial platform for low-cost, peer-to-peer payments has seen massive growth. It has seen particularly large growth in Kenya, where 13.5M have an M-PESA account, while only 3.5M have a bank account. It supports the ubiquitous and low-cost feature phone. In many cases, it represents the entire set of financial tools for Kenyan users.
7eMarketer “Asia-Pacific Mobile: Redefining the Digital Landscape,” July 2011
As a result, people in these countries are starting to use their mobile devices for more. Over the next decade in emerging countries, many people’s first exposure to the Internet will be through a mobile device. And this, in turn, will change their expectations of future devices. Homeplus Subway Virtual Store: Grocery shopping while waiting for the train The 2011 winner of a Grand Prix Lion for Media, for “Best Use of Outdoor,” the Homeplus Subway Virtual Store is a remarkable business and mobile breakthrough. Homeplus (rebranded from Tesco to gain local audience relevance) is a South Korean/British discount store retail chain jointly owned by Samsung and Tesco with 113 local branches throughout South Korea. Customer research revealed the urgent need to avoid rush hour in the supermarket. The solution from Tesco was to save time by doing the grocery shopping on the way home. For its "shopping on the move" campaign, Homeplus created virtual stores in subway stations at rush hour using floor-to-ceiling pictures of actual store aisles. Each product includes a QR code, which adds the product to the
shopper's cart. Once purchased, the goods are delivered to the customer's door right after they get home.
In this report we’ve highlighted six major categories of research we examined — mobile wallet, in-store mobile, integrated experiences, location-based technology, emerging technology, and international experiences. We found that while there are a great many mobile applications, in total, the space is uneven. Mobile represents a major new frontier for brands. As we look at the top mobile applications available to date, what is most remarkable is how much opportunity remains to get the product right. Years after the first smartphone arrived in the market, sophisticated experiences remain in development. Whether it is mobile payments, in-store shopping and brand experiences, or integration with location, social, and loyalty programs, there is still ample time and room in the competitive landscape to be successful.
Notes on Methodology We spent over three months of intensive research to identify and evaluate leading mobile experiences across six key categories. We conducted in-depth interviews, followed by an online poll, of 23 mobile business professionals. These experienced leaders (40% with over a decade of professional experience in mobile) discussed what they felt were the leading examples in each category, and scored them in the poll. A heuristic evaluation was conducted across nine elements in three major categories — ease-of-use, feature set, and design. Finally, a strategic review was conducted to understand the long-term significance of each offering.
SapientNitro clients that would otherwise be eligible were excluded from a final ranking in this report. Among the companies we interviewed for this report: Sparkfly 360i Major National Retailer Smartsoft Mobile Major Mobile Wallet Provider Banking 2.0 Author Digby Kurt Salmon In addition, we consulted with SapientNitro’s top mobile strategists working with major brands such as Coca-Cola, Foot Locker, New Balance, Dove, Chrysler Ram and Dodge, Mars, MetLife, Volvo, Vail Resorts, and the TSA.
Category Name Mobile wallet eBay Paypal Mobile App Google Wallet Starbucks Mobile App In-Store Mobile Apple Store App B&N App Best Buy Reward Zone App Home Depot App Redbox App RedLaser App ShopSavvy App Integrated experiences: Multiple Devices or Channels Airline Kiosks (Delta) Amazon Kindle Banking (Chase) Banking (USAA) Macy’s iShop Mobile App location Based Technology Facebook Places Foursquare Google Maps Gowalla SCVNGR Yelp
Sapient Nitro: Strategic Mobile Professional review Importance Heuristic evaluation Ease-of-Use Feature Set Design Familiarity Importance Strategic Overall Rating
4.0 3.7 4.0
4.3 4.7 3.3
3.0 3.3 3.0
3.7 3.1 3.9
4.1 4.4 3.1
3 4 3
3.6 2nd 3.9 1st 3.3 3rd
3.7 3.7 3.0 2.7 3.7 4.0 4.0
3.7 4.0 3.3 4.3 4.3 2.0 3.7
3.7 4.0 3.3 4.3 3.0 2.0 3.7
4.6 2.9 3.0 3.1 1.9 3.7 2.5
3.9 3.1 3.5 3.3 2.4 3.7 3.2
4 3 4 4 4 2 3
4.0 1st 3.3 3.5 3rd 3.6 2nd 3.3 2.8 3.2
2.0 4.3 3.3 4.3 3.0
3.3 3.7 3.7 4.0 1.7
3.3 3.7 3.7 4.0 2.3
4.2 4.1 3.1 2.5 2.7
4.1 3.8 3.8 4.1 3.2
3 5 3 4 2
3.3 3rd 4.3 1st 3.3 3.8 2nd 2.4
4.0 3.7 4.3 2.7 3.7 4.0
3.0 3.7 4.7 2.7 3.7 3.7
3.3 4.0 4.0 3.0 3.7 3.3
3.9 4.1 5.0 3.3 2.7 4.2
3.9 4.2 4.7 3.2 3.2 4.1
3 4 5 1 2 5
3.4 4.0 4.7 2.3 2.9 4.3
4th 3rd 1st
emerging Technology Augmented Reality Augmented Social Experiences Content Provider Paywall E-Ink Daylight Color Display Mobile Device Barcode Scanning Motion-Gesture Technology QR Codes/2-D Barcodes Telematics/Internet-Enabled Vehicles Translucent Displays Voice Recognition
4.1 3.3 2.8 2.7 4.6 3.8 4.7 3.3 2.5 3.9
3.9 4.0 3.2 3.5 4.1 4.1 3.7 4.1 4.1 4.2
5 3 4 2 3 5 2 5 4 4
4.5 3.3 3.5 2.6 3.7 4.5 3.1 4.3 3.6 4.0
2nd 3rd 4th
A collection of essays, written by Idea Engineers, on a broad spectrum of topics affecting commerce and technology.
Marketing and Media
what’s New in Digital
Written by Nigel Vaz, Managing Director; SapientNitro UK
"what’s new in digital?" might just be a misleading question. It’s tempting to try and pick the Next Big Thing — mobile and social are the new trendy buzzwords, the latter epitomised recently by properties like friendster and MySpace. Consumers make or break trends, just like a popular new song that drops off the charts a few months later. The focus instead should be on the fact that, for thousands and thousands of businesses and brands in every imaginable market, the digital age has already changed or is about to — in a profound, fundamental way that cannot be ignored. Digital — that incredibly broad concept — is no longer the teenager that brands flirt with to simply pretend to be current. It is a fully-grown adult and it is punishing those who are not ready to embrace it, especially since consumers have. The convergence of consumer behaviour, innovation in business models, and technology is changing everything. Take, for example, the video rental chain Blockbuster that managed to replace every mom-and-pop video shop. Then the world got "digitised" and its business model became as good as redundant. What Blockbuster needed was not a digital campaign or a television campaign, or even a really brilliant Twitter feed before anyone else "got" Twitter. It needed someone to tell them they had to change their business with a whole new business strategy and then redefine the roles for communications, technology, and customer experience in that. When Tourism Queensland came to us with a problem that would normally have been solved by a simple TV ad and some posters and calendars distributed to travel agents, we came back with a suggestion that turned out to be "The Best Job in the World." That campaign illustrates the fundamental way that the digital age is changing the guts of most businesses and how that, in turn, requires all of us to do things in a radically different way. One of the reasons that SapientNitro is in Fortune magazine’s Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies is that our clients come
to us with business problems and we have the strategic, creative, and technical expertise to come up with solutions. Another example of this is the situation faced by publishers like The New York Times. They came to us because the days of breaking news to readers every morning are now gone. It needed to fundamentally change how it engaged users to maintain its relevance where news was being broken around the clock, and many times not by news reporters. The solution was to look at what The Times does best and use the digital medium to redefine its relationship with its consumers and maintain its legacy of relevance. That’s how we came up with the concept of Breakingviews, and how The Times went from having a strategy of selling news printed on paper in a 24-hour editorial cycle to breaking insightful content around the clock a few minutes after an event. High street retailing, or retail activity in the traditional areas of towns or cities, is another industry that is undergoing a profound change. Ten years ago, mainstream thinking was that online stores were an adjunct to the main high street business. So when thinking about how Foot Locker could enable their brand promise of “sneaker enthusiasm beyond reason,” the answer wasn’t to create just another campaign to gain their customers' attention for a second. It was to create a community for the global audience of the sneaker obsessed — a resource that appeals to collectors and fans: Sneakerpedia. What’s different about it? Sneakerpedia isn’t really a campaign. It’s a growing, living social space that has already generated 4.5 million mentions online, even though membership is currently limited while the site is in beta. And it isn’t created by a team of marketing pros; it’s created by the fans for the fans and powered by Foot Locker. Our clients often come to us and ask for a mobile app. But we deliver only a few.
Conversely, exactly none of our clients has ever come to us and asked us to build them a vending machine that can recognise when people are smiling, but we’ve built one anyway. Why? Because it was the solution to one of Unilever’s problems — getting people to buy ice creams. In many stores, the ice cream freezer is burried in the back. We found a way to make ice cream more accessible. Unilever's Share Happy became a lot more than just a way of getting ice cream up in front. It was a beautiful campaign because it created a phenomenal commerce channel for Unilever and, at the same time, a very cool brand impression (yes, with a great social media aspect). So, Share Happy was not just a digital campaign with a cool new mechanic, but a fundamental change to ice cream selling that blurred the lines between sales, marketing, retail, and digital. What is big in digital? It is realising digital doesn’t really exist. The brand is the experience, and the experience is an amalgamation of the perception created by all
communications and interactions, across all brand touch points from marketing and communications to sales and service. To give consumers an excellent brand experience, businesses and their advisers need real focus on business problems, and a mix of marketing, communications creativity, and deep technological expertise to deliver the answer to these problems. It’s hard to ignore the hype and instead focus on tackling complex issues, but with Idea Engineering, we can conceive and execute real ideas that deliver real results. The takeaway Understanding what’s The takeaway isn’t about obsessing over the next hyped trend; it’s seeing how it digital is changing businesses on a profound level.The successful approach is to tackle business problems with strategy, creativity, and technology: Idea engineering. First published by Campaign in July 2011.
Marketing and Media
rise of the Machine — Death of the Media Planner?
Written by David D’Alleva, Media Director, North America; SapientNitro Boston
You say you want a(nother) revolution? Technology. Can we imagine what our lives would be without it? It is the fabric of our day-to-day experience — and we both demand and anticipate its continued evolution. This rapid evolution — rather revolution — isn’t the final frontier or last chapter of its story. It’s just the latest chapter. If we dust off our history books (or, more realistically, conduct a Google search on our computers, smartphones, or iPads), we would learn that this revolution began over 250 years ago when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transportation had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of the times. It marked a major turning point in human history where almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. Today, we are living in an “Age of Innovation,”
an emphatic "yes" — or "no" for that matter. Simply put, we know they haven't yet, but media planners must certainly evolve to hold their ground. Media’s new face Let's first step back to understand the changing media landscape. Over the past three years alone, there has been rapid innovation taking place like never before. Media is becoming measurable. Media is becoming attributable. The worlds of traditional and digital are on a collision course. Just think about it. Out of home is rapidly becoming digitized. Television is becoming a targetable monitor for digital content. Even the standard newspaper size has shrunk to fit an 8”x10” (or smaller) screen — one that can’t be tossed on the front porch or rolled up to swat a bug. Even in the display media world, nearly two decades since the first clickable ad, and after a decade of struggling with remnant inventory and sheer tonnage, ad networks are now more "tech-ed up" to make network buys safer and more effective. We witnessed a plethora of alphabet soup surface during this time as well. RTB (real-time bidding) emerged at the intersection of data and inventory liquidity, creating an explosion of choice where display ads could run. Three other letters became one of the most searched media terms in 2009: DSP. The rise of DSP (demand side platform) machines gave way to the promise of efficient and scalable audience buying. Today, display isn’t just banners and buttons, and shouldn't be seen as a dirty word. It’s any advertisement that can be displayed across many devices and in many formats. It is mobile. It is video. It is contextual. It is viral. It is social. It is search. It is everywhere advertisers want and need to be. Users are in control — billions of times a day. we can rebuild the media planner — with technology Fact: There are millions of sites accepting display ads, significantly increasing the level of effort for a media planner. It would be too difficult for media planners to explore them all. Even a few dozen sites would require a planner to spend an inordinate amount of time, even before
A media planner's purpose is to select media for advertisement placement on behalf of their clients. They must achieve business objectives through their advertising budgets by recommending the best possible use of various media platforms available to advertisers. Their roles may include analyzing target audiences, keeping abreast of media developments, reading market trends, and understanding consumer motivations.
where technology continues to act as both a catalyst and fuel to change. In the last 30 years alone we’ve seen the personal computer and the Internet become as common as the television or the telephone. This evolution has given rise to the idea that the Holy Grail of media attribution and measurement is getting closer every day. But it has also made us question the role of the media planner. Can machines and technology — the modern day R2-D2 or Optimus Prime — replace them? The answer is not
the campaign launch. So technology in the online display arena is certainly helping media planners not only find audiences at scale but also become more efficient. Yet it's not a fact that the “human lens” can be replaced by robots, and this lens will continue to be a crucial driver for agency clients — one that won’t be replaced by hardware, software, algorithms, and artificial intelligence — at least not in the foreseeable future. But the planner’s role in the campaign process requires an evolving skill set in order to succeed. Media planning is no longer just about reaching audiences. Today’s it’s also about engagement. Planners of today must look, listen, and respond to real-time insights and strategies. Gone are the days where planners could "set it and forget it." The DNA of the new media planner must accomplish these three things. 1. Master relationship management. The media planner should continue to work closely with their key vendors in creating and identifying the right media opportunities for their clients. These relationships will continue to lead planners to a plethora of unique opportunities and first mover advantages — a value add that cannot be taken for granted.
2. exhibit search-like prowess. Given the campaignempowering tools at a planner's fingertips (e.g., vendor dashboards), the media planner must harness and master this Pandora's box of raw insight to their advantage. They must unleash a search-like approach to campaign management, roll up their sleeves, be proficient with the tools available, and dive into the day-to-day intricacies. 3. Be a data geek. The media planner cannot be afraid to roll around in the mud with the data nuggets available. While they understand the client objectives, they must also be able to understand the data, which truly blends art and science. The ability to quickly interpret raw campaign data in order to drive proactive conversations, develop key insights, and leverage them quickly is paramount. While the rise of the machines has brought the media landscape many changes and efficiencies, the fall of the media planner has been exaggerated. However, there is certainly a change in the air that is forcing planners to evolve if they want to remain relevant and valued to agencies and clients. In the end, those who want to evolve will succeed. Those who choose not to evolve won't. Time and technology will wait for no one.
Marketing and Media
The CrossChannel Challenge: Building Pervasive Information architecture
Written by Michael MacLennan, Senior Information Architect; SapientNitro Toronto
Consumers, now more than ever, are engaging with brands across multiple channels. No longer do they interact with brands solely through traditional media like television, radio, or print. and, since 2009, the number of people browsing the web has more than tripled; this number continues to grow as more devices offer browsing experiences comparable to a desktop experience.1 additionally, social networking sites like Twitter and facebook now present companies with new opportunities to interact with their consumers and promote products and services. How, then, do we bridge the gap? Information architects and user experience designers are tasked with creating new platform experiences by considering how these varied touch points build a brand’s cross-channel relevance. As a result, these individuals must consider how their efforts will create a seamless experience1 that transcends beyond these new channels. In response to this growing challenge, a new idea has surfaced in the design community. Pervasive Information Architecture, coined by Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati, promotes a holistic methodology to user experience design in order to create a seamless cross-channel experience. Sapient incorporates an approach that aligns with this methodology.
As Aristotle aptly put it, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” There is no quote more relevant when examining cross-channel experiences. Blunders happen every day, whether it's a customer who has downloaded a retailer’s mobile application but struggles to understand its structure or someone who has researched a product online only to find out that it’s no longer available at the store. In one study, over half of those asked reported buying products offline after first researching online. Additionally, another 43% reported starting their research on a computer or mobile device only to contact the company directly because they could not find the information needed to complete the transaction online.2 In an effort to reduce customer frustration, Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati proposed integrating a small set of heuristics to keep in mind when creating cross-channel experiences. These heuristics concern themselves with ensuring that this experience is consistent across every platform, adapting to user needs and to the context of the experience, and suggesting relevant connections among the varied pieces of information offered by that particular company.
See Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati (2011), Chapter 3
Sprint SapientNitro's efforts building both the web and mobile experience for Sprint inherently used key design approaches to ensure those experiences were seamless and integrated. With SapientNitro's cross-channel expertise, we were able to ensure that every Sprint channel built a strong sense of place through consistent connections, both visually and structurally. As illustrated in Figure 1, maintaining the look and feel of the experience allows Sprint’s customers to easily orient themselves as they move between platforms to perform various tasks including paying bills, viewing cell phone usage, and exploring incentives to upgrade phones or service plans.
Figure 1. The image above left represents the mobile experience while the image on the right illustrates the web experience. The similar look and feel ensures a strong sense of place for Sprint’s customers.
Jeep The redesign of Jeep’s history site sought to make it easy to navigate over 70 years of the company's history. As a result, the current design breaks up vehicles by decade allowing a simple and effective navigation structure for browsing the different generations of Jeep vehicles. And, when the client chose to use the iPad application, the challenge became experience-based within a different context that made the large set of data usable and pleasurable for the consumer. In the end, the solution culminated in an interface that leveraged the touch screen of the iPad in a unique way that allowed users to explore the history of Jeep in a simple way.
As illustrated in Figure 2, the interface of the application also aligns to a similar structure found on the website itself, making it intuitive to familiar users. Cross-channel experiences are pushing users toward a holistic and ubiquitous approach to products and services. This means that designers must incorporate strategies that consider the larger context, as interactions become one seamless flow between the real and the virtual. SapientNitro's approach to cross-channel challenges makes it easier to provide solutions that inherently align with new emerging ideas like Pervasive Information Architecture.
Figure 2. Each thumbnail allows the consumer to browse Jeep vehicles by decade.
Figure 3. Similarly, each grill image represents a specific Jeep decade.
References: Andrea Resmini and Lucia Rosati (2011). Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences, Albany (MA): Burlington.
Marketing and Media
Media of the Moment
Written by David Bradfield, Director, Marketing Strategy and Social Experience; SapientNitro Toronto
life is made up of moments: good and bad, happy and sad. In today’s connected world, moments happen in many different places and spaces. They shape customer impressions and notions of what a brand represents. Too few marketers effectively harness these moments in a social world, losing opportunities to optimize brand and social equity in conversations and communities. But it is challenging to create authentic moments. People often resist intrusive brand pushes because they lack context, relevance, or personal appeal. So how do you effectively humanize your brand and create channels out of moments that amplify the consumer voice and generate genuine engagement around the brand? Organizations that succeed listen to and respect their customers. They recognize brand value from the customer’s perspective. They work to create meaningful moments that build on customer preference and reinforce business priorities. If those moments are significant enough, community members can be motivated to share them in an instant, turning experience into action. Every marketer wants their customers to advocate for the brand, to share their positive experience and impressions. Context | Conversation | Community | Captivate SapientNitro has developed a model called Media of the Moment to help organizations understand the way people experience brands and interact with others. There are four elements to these seamless multi-channel experiences.
Context Conversation Community
1. Context Context frames the moment. It can be physical or digital, and is shaped by the “here and now.” Where am I? Why am I here? Who am I with? What does this mean to me? Context opens peoples’ eyes to options. As they consider new brands, products, or services, context may emerge through a conversation with a friend, Internet search, product review, or advertisement, to name a few. Moments can be unpredictable because context is such a moving target. Marketers need to understand consumer context and align with those conversations and communities. That doesn’t mean being intrusive, but respectful and useful instead. Effective marketers understand that a multi-channel strategy is a necessity in today’s fragmented world. With people trusting media less and seeking alternate sources of authority, understanding the consumer journey is essential. 2. Conversation Moments spur conversation with people who are personally close to “me” or close to the moment based on proximity or context. Conversations represent potential points of entry for brand representatives and advocates. This is not an opportunity to interrupt. It is a chance to align, a moment to understand your brand through the eyes of the consumer. Conversation does two things in the modern marketing mix: 1. It allows you to move beyond push tactics into a dynamic relationship with individuals who care about your brand enough to share their opinion — good or bad. These people can be influential. Conversations teach, and insights gleaned can impact your entire marketing ecosystem. 2. It forces you to let go a bit. Online conversations are personal and informal. They don’t often happen on your turf; conversations happen in person, over the phone, via email, and on social messaging platforms such as Twitter and Google+.
eMarketer reports that 60% of U.S. social network users were at least somewhat likely to take action when a friend posted something about a product, service, company, or brand on a social media site. Only 18% were not at all likely to take action.
4. Captivate Many brands strive to captivate the customer through engaging experiences such as games, applications, or loyalty programs that drive value. Captivating experiences have a longer duration and carry a higher value proposition to the customer. A captivated customer can create context, drive conversation, and engage a community in a way that traditional media is currently unable to achieve. Concluding thoughts Media of the Moment is a model designed to pull customers closer to the brand. Context establishes fit and relevance. Conversations build alignment. Community drives engagement. Captivate encourages people to spend more time within branded experiences. Ideally these experiences build deeper moments that are valuable and shareable. It's one thing to meet customers in the moment, but in order to convert a customer into an advocate we need to motivate them to share that moment. Sometimes just asking is enough. Provide them with digital keepsakes that can be shared. Photos, videos, facts, coupons, and group incentives all help people tell their stories and carry them forward. Our ability to turn experience into action holds incredible brand potential. It is powerful, authentic, and “of the moment.”
3. Community Conversations are not always 1:1. The right context and conversations may lead customers to a community sparked by the moment — where sustained engagement and an “always on” environment add depth to their experience, connect them with others, and can reinvigorate a brand by offering insight into the subtext behind the community activity. Additionally, communities are more private. As a result, the members set the direction for terms of engagement and community tone. Social networks such as Facebook, even if a presence is branded, are not owned channels. You can manage but not control the conversation.
Marketing and Media
Predictions for the Next 5 Years in retail Banking
Written by Alex Sion, Vice President, Digital Strategy and Financial Services; SapientNitro New York
while many customers are still satisfied with their banks, it's no surprise that the banking industry — from products to channels to transactions — has changed and will continue to do so. and, in the next five years, the following shifts will affect everything. 1. a giant will fall. Somewhere, sometime within the next five years, a historically significant retail banking institution will run out of steam. And the culprit will not be the wizards of Wall Street. It will be a broken distribution model. For many firms, the cost of branch-centric distribution, service, and acquisition through traditional media techniques continues to rise while the fundamental profitability of core banking products gets squeezed by government regulations, competition, and savvier consumers. For these firms, the fundamental cost model is out of whack with the ability to generate profits. Banks will scramble to re-align distribution costs to profitability, launching bold multi-channel technology initiatives. One won’t do it, won’t be able to move fast enough, or will struggle with execution and change management. It won’t survive. 2. New stars will rise. As a giant falls, several new stars will rise. And the catalyst will not be a game changing product, interest rate chicanery, or an unbeatable rewards program. It will be a steady but fundamentally transformative change in the distribution cost structure and client experience. These will be the firms who are aggressively investing now — whether they are startups, traditional players, or challengers from the technology, retail, or telecom space — in a new client experience. They won’t all be digital- or mobilecentric. In fact, expect several to be fairly low tech and take cues from high-engagement, high-touch businesses like direct selling. What they will have all figured out is a better way to distribute engaging products, services, and experiences to customers. 3. a bank will slash its traditional marketing and media spend by 90% while increasing customer acquisition and engagement. One bank out there will soon embrace what many Internet and technology companies already understand: Your customers are your marketing machine and the
experience you deliver them is your message. This bank will slash its traditional marketing budget and re-allocate all those dollars into amazing customer experiences and then provide a platform for those experiences to be “heard.” This doesn’t necessarily mean awesome Facebook pages and lots of tweets, but it will likely mean some contemporizing of the notion of community. 4. a completely “crowd-sourced” bank will emerge. P2P payments, social lending, stock tweeting, social credit scoring, and underwriting — will somebody connect the dots already? A “bank of the people” will pop up somewhere, and it won’t be “off the grid.” It’ll be mainstreamed: a legitimate alternative to the traditional banking system. Money will be deposited, loans will be made, secure payments will clear, and risk will be managed. And guess what, it’s not going to be The Communist Manifesto: Part II. It will be wildly profitable with 10 “employees” and a million customers. 5. The main battleground for distribution will not be on the street corner or online — but in the workplace. As some banks learn that building relationships with errand-running multitaskers isn't easy and other banks realize that non-stop email spam about interest rates is just plain irritating, they’ll start to understand that grounds for a relationship-oriented approach can exist at the workplace. While workplace banking is nothing new, the approach will dramatically transform. What banks will realize is that workplace distribution is not just about bulk discounts — it’s about demographics and psychographics. It’s about a community of colleagues and friends. Companies have personalities and often hire like-types. Banks that figure out how to craft workplace experiences that add value to a company and then leverage its natural community will have caught on to something special. The current retail bank experience looks nothing like it did 10 years ago, or even last year for that matter. As these predictions come true in the upcoming months, there will be implications and new challenges that arise in the new retail banking world. And that's something you can bank on.
How to avoid Social Dilemmas in the Digital knowledge Marketplace
Written by Erik Gottesman, Director; SapientNitro Boston
Branding out loud without losing Your Voice:
Your workforce and your customers are your new “shadow management.” Social tools for sharing knowledge, solving problems, and shaping new ideas are increasingly pervasive both inside and outside the enterprise. Consequently, organizations risk flirting with age-old free market problems in a new context imbued with the power to not merely transform the organization — but the total brand experience. Two markets, connected Television personality and Twitter aficionado @PiersMorgan’s recent and well-publicized Delta flight debacle provides but one example of branding’s participatory new stage. The CNN talk show host slammed the airline after missing America's Got Talent auditions following a string of airplane troubles and bad customer service. Social messages such as Morgan’s, combined with nearobsessive re-tweeting, create a market force that is not fully controllable. This effect occurs equally inside the enterprise. Endowed with social tools, employees reveal their do-ityourself tendencies, innovating solutions to procedural inefficiencies, synthesizing new products and services, and generating real value while simultaneously exposing the firm to new risks and confounding management. It is within these Systems of Engagement (to use the term coined by Geoffrey Moore) that an increasing volume of brand knowledge is created, challenged, and even destroyed. The individual experience, swept into vibrant and inclusive dialogue, has usurped the official experience methodically crafted by few. The social marketing trifecta Over a decade has passed since Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak suggested, in their well-regarded book Working Knowledge, that knowledge markets are subject to three distinct but inseparable sets of forces: economic, political, and social. At that time, the commercial Internet was still in its infancy, and “social” on the scale evidenced by Facebook or Twitter had barely been contemplated. Yet, Davenport and Prusak’s observation proved prescient. Recognizing social forums as knowledge markets
impregnated with brand-transforming power reveals their susceptibility to the many social, political, and economic foibles they predicted. As real-world markets have shown, economics are inseparable from politics and underlying social contracts, whether explicit or assumed. And while measures used to treat these market inefficiencies vary, the fundamental problems (e.g., information asymmetry, over-exploitation) are common and solutions must treat all three forces — in a balanced way that works for each individual corporation. Market-based problems call for market-aware solutions One example? Ratings and reputations. While they may reduce some problems on many social platforms, they still provide only partial answers to social dilemmas such as reciprocity and complacency, and expectations of social and material incentives. Another example concerns moderation policy. Open or un-moderated platforms allow diversity, but invite a flood of shallow or negative contributions. Closed or moderated platforms increase quality, but sacrifice diversity and participation. The solution isn't always clear cut, but establishing a workable market design sensitive to these concerns involves making trade-offs — with real-world consequences — that, if poorly chosen, will inhibit marketplace efficacy, value, and fairness. In an article entitled, "How to Find Answers Within Your Company," which appeared recently in MIT Sloan Management Review and Harvard Business Review, authors Hind Benbya and Marshall Van Alstyne offer guidance for dealing with such market-design dilemmas. Benbya and Van Alstyne suggest that executive leadership function like a Federal Reserve, promoting flexibility and liquidity instead acting as a central planner. Evidence suggests that embracing this paradigm shift produces benefits not solely limited to the company, but offers opportunities externally to the consumer as well. Despite the privacy, property, and governance challenges it poses, this approach may indeed offer the greatest reward.
To establish a vibrant and durable marketplace, your company should invoke the following six strategies: 1. Identify the brokered social objects (e.g., testimonials, support requests, product ideas) that create maximum market liquidity. 2. Invite participants to collaborate in the market’s procedural and structural design. 3. Build market authenticity and trust by connecting real-world and virtual indicators of repute. 4. Balance the system of social and material incentives that engender self-identification, contribution, and reciprocity without measurable dilution. 5. Adopt a floating pricing mechanism to focus and agitate the most valued forms of participation and discourage monopolistic behavior. 6. Partition or de-partition markets to optimize for size and time perspective of decisions affecting the brand experience.
The takeaway Social technology is blurring the boundaries of the organization. But, by employing these new "social strategies," your organization can mute the negative network effects that present a threat to today's socially transformed brand experience.
If a Tweet falls in the forest:
using listening to Drive Social Media Strategy
Written by Annicka Campbell, Associate, Marketing Strategy and Analysis; SapientNitro Chicago
as a marketing research practice, social listening (also known as social media conversation analysis, social media monitoring, or digital anthropology) has been growing steadily in popularity in recent years. In its most basic form, social listening can be described as the analysis of consumer conversation happening on social media platforms in order to distill insights related to products, brands, or behavior. for researchers and strategists, in particular, social listening has revolutionized the way we study consumer behavior online. Social media lends itself to oversharing, passionate debate, and self-expression, often in a very public context. New behaviors predicate new methods of study; today, marketers have access to a vast universe of rich, real-time data being generated by social media users related to nearly any topic, brand, or behavior imaginable. With access to this kind of data, researchers are able to identify and understand the way consumers behave, perceive, and discuss brands and products online. While social listening isn’t a replacement for other forms of market research, it does add a layer of insight and perspective to strategy and creative messaging that is completely unique. In such an ever-changing space, the potential applications of social listening are nearly endless — as are the means of culling this type of data, as new listening platforms emerge and evolve as quickly as the tweets they track. Major brands are also quickly increasing their investment in such research. We’ve seen companies like Gatorade and Dell adopt internal social listening "command centers" as a means to identify and address the needs of their customers (and potential customers) in real time. Other companies, like Xerox and Kodak, have built out their listening capabilities to drive specific business objectives like acquisition and product development research — all by paying attention to what their customers are saying on social media sites. At SapientNitro, we’ve developed a range of ways to apply social listening to our clients’ needs. In addition to community management and influencer identification, our Research + Insights team also specializes in studying consumer behavior
online through social listening. With studies ranging from a few days to a few months, the insights generated through listening research are frequently used to inform, drive, and evaluate strategy for our clients. In recent years, the Research + Insights team has conducted social listening research specific to a wide range of industry verticals. Over time, we’ve begun to identify a number of conversation patterns that are industry-unique. For example, commercial banking brands tend to generate high volumes of negative sentiment. We’ve found that these conversation patterns aren’t just true for the client in question — they hold true for the way consumers are talking about many brands within an industry. Therefore, these conversation patterns can act as unique guides to development of social media strategy, by industry. While the development of a more comprehensive framework is a long-term undertaking, we have provided our initial thoughts below. financial services In the financial services space, the most obvious application of listening is customer relationship management. With unhappy users frequently taking to Twitter to voice concern over unresponsive customer service representatives and ailing online banking websites, providing customer support via this microblogging channel is a no-brainer. Moreover, in the realm of using listening as a behavioral research tool, Twitter can be a great place to understand customer perception towards aesthetic design and creative work: “Why does the Chase website look just like the PayPal website? O_O are they related? Or is that just the standard thing for money sites?” Another one of the most consistent themes emerging from financial services listening is a high volume of negative sentiment, particularly on Twitter and forums. The global economic crisis and resulting bailout in the United States have coupled to produce feelings of cynicism and mistrust from consumers online. As one Twitter user recently said: “I don’t understand my bank. They attach chains to their pens?! If I’m trusting you with my money, you should trust me with your pens!”
Banking customers are often turning to web forums and message boards as a means of finding (and providing) unbiased answers and support specific to mortgage, credit card, and small business financial products. Listening to the concerns and questions expressed by customers on these forums is an integral step toward rebuilding the trust lost between bank and customer over the past five years. There are many active forum communities and blogs for bank customers to share problems, advice, and news related to their personal finances. One forum dweller gave the following advice to his peer regarding the expected closure of an account: “The guy IS responsible to you as a customer to tell you who took them, and it is ABSOLUTELY NOT his responsibility to tell you to ‘get a lawyer.’ The person at your actual bank branch also knows exactly what is going on … you need to go bug them about it first thing in the morning. Did you, by any chance, make two deposits into separate accounts that may have totaled more than $10k if they were on the same deposit slip?” automotive In the case of automotive brands, we’ve found that social listening is a wonderful way to inform creative messaging. Cars and car brands have an emotional connotation in the U.S. (as in other countries), and for auto fans, social media is a great way to connect with like-minded enthusiasts and discuss what they love the most about their vehicles: "I love driving down dark country roads in my truck. #luckytoliveinthecountry #newhashtag"
In turn, auto brands can use listening as a way to understand what values and stories their core advocates are using to describe and discuss their brand. CPG Not surprisingly, we’ve found that social listening research holds substantial potential for CPG brands, particularly in terms of generating product use cases and behavioral insights. Through listening, traditional brands can uncover innovative uses and applications of their product that would otherwise go undetected by traditional research methods. “Tartarus, the most effective toothpaste for children under the age of twelve, can also be used for dogs!” This can help identify new demographic targets and messaging opportunities — specific to season, day of the week, region, and more. We would also note the effectiveness of social listening as applied to tracking of media campaigns. “As an owner of both a hamster and an Xbox 360, I find myself hating the most recent Kia commercial for multiple reasons.” In addition to qualitative analysis, the tracking of sentiment, volume, and topical reaction to both traditional and digital messaging can provide granular information on brand perception before, during, and after a campaign or new product launch. We’re excited to continue this study in understanding social media conversation patterns as a way to develop more meaningful and relevant social media strategy. We continue to share these new insights with clients through research deliverables, thought leadership, posts on the SapientNitro Idea Engineers blog, and academic publications.
Social Commerce — Beckoning New opportunities
Written by Chitranjan Sood, Senior Associate, Business Consulting; SapientNitro Gurgaon
Social media has had a profound impact on the way brands interact with consumers. Invariably, all consumer-facing companies use at least one social media channel to engage customers. Social media’s role as a marketing tool has assumed so much significance that a number of companies now have dedicated senior-level positions for social media. The next phase of social media evolution is its convergence with e-commerce channels — popularly known as social commerce. Increasing numbers of consumers are using social media platforms to access brands’ websites, research products, and post comments. Consumers are also "following" brands to know more about product updates, promotions, and discounts. This rapidly-evolving consumer behavior is forcing brands to use social media along the entire consumer engagement process from brand awareness to conversion to retention and growth. Now and later — social commerce by the numbers Social commerce has taken the digital world by storm. Social commerce startups have proliferated and, in the first quarter of 2011, received funding of nearly $2 billion. Groupon alone received $950 million. The market is also ripe for consolidation — 2011 has seen big-ticket acquisitions of social commerce players by companies such as Yahoo! and Walmart. But now, the social commerce market is set to explode in the years to come. Dollar value of products such as electronics, apparel, and movie tickets sold through social media is expected to rise to $30 billion by 2015. Wireless, cable, and financial services companies will also have multi-billion dollar opportunities.
Social Commerce Market Size 2010-2015
$30 +56% $20 $9 $5 $1 $4 $3 $6 $14 $5 $8 $12 $9 $16 Rest of the World $14 U.S.
The six pillars of strength Social commerce is based on six main elements. They are as follows:
● Social shopping. This involves use of social media stores on Facebook or other social media sites, which get users to bring their online social network to e-commerce sites in order to make purchases. 1-800-FLOWERS and Levi's are examples of brands already making use of social shopping. ● ratings and reviews. Customer opinions are integrated into e-commerce sites or comparison shopping sites, sponsored reviews, and customer testimonials. Marks & Spencer used Bazaarvoice’s ratings and reviews solution to allow its customers to share their opinions and provide feedback on over 24,000 products. ● recommendations and referrals. Customers are rewarded for referring new consumers, and shopping recommendations are based on similarities in profiles of customers. Think: Apple’s iTunes Genius and Netflix’s Cinematch. ● forums and communities. In discussion forums, people often solve each other's problems or answer questions. And online communities can be linked to an e-commerce site with a loyalty, advisory, or social CRM purpose. Juicy Couture’s conversion rate increased 162% following the implementation of an online community portal called Club Couture. ● Social ads and apps. Ads can be placed in media space on social media platforms as well as within blogs and forums. Social apps are widgets that support social interactions and contributions. Chick-fil-A ran a successful ad campaign on Facebook, whereby users who clicked on the fast food chain's ads received coupons.
"If I had to guess, social commerce is the next area to really blow up." - Mark Zuckerberg
Social media optimization. As part of social media optimization, services can be offered such as news feeds, deal offerings, or online social media events. Leading brands such as Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, and Dell currently run feeds on various social media platforms. How does social commerce benefit brands? Social commerce can benefit your brand in three primary ways. First, it allows you to monetize your social media investment. Companies have already invested time and effort to have a social media presence. But by adding commerce functionality, social media investment can effectively generate ROI too — which can easily be measured in terms of sales and profit increases as a result of investment and promotion of social media. The tools social commerce can leverage (some that have never been available before) — things like live chat, feeds with deals, or social media events — all help to facilitate online sales. And social commerce apps, ratings and reviews for instance, are also integrated on e-commerce sites, resulting in additional prospects for increased sales. Second, it helps gather market insight. Through social commerce, brands can make important observations on buying behavior, key themes of consumer conversation, and trends with respect to particular age groups or specific locations. And last, it can improve customer loyalty. Enhanced customer experience as a result of a variety of social apps will drive consumers to use social media channels again and again, and brands will reap the rewards of a one-time investment in social apps many times over. Hot trends to watch Social commerce will be in style for the foreseeable future. There are five trends to keep a close eye on — and consider using in your business strategy:
loyalty and referral marketing. Brands will use social media platforms to run a variety of loyalty and referral marketing programs in their bid to maximize customer experience. Consumers are enamored with special deals and discounts; giving them reward points for purchasing and referring products will further strengthen their bonds with brands. ● Social CrM. Social media is also seen as a customer retention tool. The CRM market is buzzing with activity and all the leading vendors have added social dimension to their CRM suite. Vendors are also reporting robust growth in revenues on the back of increased focus on the use of social software for marketing and customer service. ● Mobile social commerce. Integration of social media with e-commerce on mobile platforms is also expected to hold fort. More consumers are using smartphones for accessing customer reviews on products, and brands will certainly look to incorporate ratings and reviews in their mobile offerings. ● location-based marketing. Consumers using locationbased apps are heavy users of social media. These users are also not averse to data sharing, and brands will focus on this important user group to drive social commerce. ● Group buying. The success of Groupon has attracted a number of companies to move into this space. Given that discounts and promotions are the most important reason for consumers to indulge in social commerce, there is hardly any doubt that group buying will be among the hottest trends. The market can see consolidation and expansion in new territories and broaden the product portfolio. Social commerce will continue to capture the imagination of consumers, brands, and agencies. Ever-growing numbers of people accessing social networks on smartphones, emphasis on word of mouth marketing and user-generated content, and clear-cut measurement will further aid the growth of the social commerce market. And social commerce will be an integral part of companies’ multi-channel strategies. Capturing mindshare, enhancing customer experience, and generating commercial value out of strong relationships will be among the top priorities of brands — and agencies and technology companies will play an increasingly vital role in helping brands realize the true value of social commerce.
Is Social Commerce exempt from roI?
Written by Uwe Tueben, Director, Technology; SapientNitro Dusseldorf
Social commerce is on everybody’s minds — and on the minds of most marketers in particular. at a recent conference, I saw a presentation delivered by a young, successful online store specializing in bikes that was gaining positive customer feedback and revenue. These cutting-edge guys decided to launch a store on facebook as part of their social strategy. Their regular online store is great — highly tailored to the needs of bike enthusiasts. It has ratings and recommendations and even product videos. The facebook store is … well … a store that kind of works — once you figure out how to enter it. as with many facebook applications, users often have trouble finding and launching f-commerce capabilities. As a market launch campaign, the company offered a 10% discount on each purchase within Facebook. When I asked what their strategy was to pull people into the Facebook store after the 10% campaign had ended, the response was, “Well, we believe we will grant the 10% permanently.” Why is that? Because without a discount, there is no reason to buy with Facebook over a traditional online store. Is this social commerce? Yes, but social commerce can be much more. As with their traditional online stores, e-retailers need to understand their customers’ needs, and they need to be open to experimenting with social channels to make it work for them. Taking social commerce to the next level A better example of the potential of social commerce — be it on Facebook or another platform — involves pulling in social comments and social affirmation to drive higher conversions. Start with what we have today: Consumers have the opportunity to show on Facebook that they “Like” your products. But you could go much further than this. Imagine a “conditional checkout process” for consumers who are unsure whether they should buy your product or not — either online or in-store. At the end of the online checkout, or on a mobile device in-store, the consumer publishes his or her pending purchase to Facebook. The transaction is kept in the pending state until a certain number of friends have
“supported” the purchase with their comments; once it reaches “critical mass,” the deal is done, and the transaction is settled. These techniques can increase the quality of the customer experience of the online store. a good customer experience drives increased conversion In fact, we recently evaluated the customer experience quality of online stores run by the 25 leading multi-channel retailers in Germany. We also conducted consumer research into digital and traditional behaviors of their customers. Together, this data demonstrated a clear link between the customer experience and key business success metrics. This documented correlation should simplify the justification of an investment in an improved customer experience — particularly in social commerce. Yet many times, investments in customer experience are delayed or cancelled, due to a lack of confidence in the ROI. With modern web analytics and social media monitoring in place, those doubts should be lifted. A good social commerce strategy should, without any doubt, lead to conversion and/or margin improvements in the short term. This is not to say Facebook commerce is the answer; rather, we view f-commerce as a promising but still unproven new technology. When combined with elements of social commerce (e.g., reviews and ratings) and other channels (e.g., Twitter or SMS), it can be an effective way to leverage social interactions between friends and families to achieve your social commerce strategic goals. Social commerce remains an evolving set of technologies. As part of the maturation process, we'll see more experiments like the ones described in this article. To maximize success, companies should focus on customer need, measurement, and ROI as part of the social commerce strategy.
Context — The New Gold of the Mobile Industry
Written by Torsten Schollmayer, Mobile Experience Strategist; SapientNitro Dusseldorf
what we are seeing today is only the surface of the real potential for mobile services. This is because producers, brands, and agencies are still doing what people do when they discover a new channel: They transport existing products and ideas into the new channel, but neglect to dig deeper to reach "the gold." Because banner and display advertising had worked well on desktop screens, the obvious reaction is to simply reduce the size of the ads on mobile screens regardless of where users were or what they were doing. This mistaken behavior happens because it is too exhausting and time consuming to think disruptively and consider the user context. Unfortunately, we are often “prisoners of our own ideas.” We tend not to be objective and are therefore bound by our own thinking most of the time. However, according to The Next Web article, "Everyone Sits in the Prison of His Own Ideas," new thinking is needed for developing successful mobile services. There are several ways to accomplish that goal:
● ● ● ● ●
Second, we need to distinguish if it is a proposition that will serve every user with the same need or if we need to design the product in ways that serve different people with different needs. Let's start with two case studies, from the least complex to the most elaborate. autoTrader's iPhone app. This app was created and developed by SapientNitro, and only available in the UK market, which originally focused on one specific idea: Users were in the streets (a very mobile situation) when they spotted a vehicle they liked. SapientNitro asked, "How can we leverage that moment into a mobile opportunity for AutoTrader?" The initial information that these users needed was the make and model, its price, and how to purchase it. The solution was to use the iPhone camera to identify the car model by taking a photo of the number plate and then match it with the government database. As a result, the user got the exact model, could search for it within the AutoTrader market, and then could contact the car dealer. This was not an adaptation of the desktop AutoTrader portal. There were no sitemap or navigation elements. The entire focus of the concept was to serve the needs of the user to identify and shop from the street.
Trying to get an idea of what people want by doing market research, Building something you really need yourself, Building something your friends say they need, Copying and pasting someone else's idea and improving upon it, or Letting a thousand flowers bloom and watching what happens.
Context will certainly be the key driver for popular mobile offerings that serve specific customer need. And while there is no best way for victories in mobile, there are strategies for building a winning mobile service. Case studies: user context considerations for mobile So how do we design, create, and develop a mobile service with user context in mind? First, we have to look at the existing assets of the mobile product or service and what the core value might be. If we can identify these things, we are halfway there. Figure 1. The AutoTrader iPhone application
The Homeplus Subway Virtual Store. This product was the 2011 winner of the Cannes Lions for “Best Use of Outdoor.” For its "shopping on the move" campaign, Homeplus created virtual stores in subway stations at rush hours showing their goods on displays that looked exactly like those in real stores, including prices and advertising. The difference was that people shopped with their smartphones by scanning the QR code and putting the products in virtual shopping baskets. Once purchased, the goods were delivered to the customer's door after they get home. Users could avoid rush hour in the supermarket and save time by shopping on the way home.
In the second phase, when the user wants or needs to “Swim,” he or she gets a richer level of detail for the content or the function that enables shopping or browsing quickly and securely. In the final stage, when the user is “Diving,” he or she has extra time and is able to use all the functionality that leads to the desired goal. Think disruptively and create simple + social Along with accepted design principles for mobile services, there are other determinants for creating successful mobile products that leverage the idea of “considering user context.” When thinking about a user's behavior in a mobile environment and how to match this to mobile products, a common mistake is to copy a great idea or adopt alreadyknown behavior patterns and market offerings that exist in the non-mobile space. To be successful, however, the principles need to be based on disruptive and creative thinking that are very different to known offerings and highlight the core value and function of the mobile service. Additionally, we should also consider what the mobile device means to us in the context of “being on the move.” Every user is unique and uses the device in a personal way — and often under severe time pressure. This means that we need to build mobile services that are social, simple, and connected to the personal environment of the user. To illustrate that theory, take the example of Gigalocal. Gigalocal is a service that describes itself as the first “microworking” mobile application that offers a marketplace for micro deals and offerings. Users will be able to suggest and provide service delivery via their smartphones from two perspectives: buyer and seller. Gigalocal is focusing on city or local markets, which means that users can immediately act on offerings in real time. Typical services that could be offered and consumed via
Figure 2. Homeplus Virtual Subway Store Complex mobile services need a “Paddle, Swim, and Dive” approach But what if the mobile service that needs to be designed and created must serve different users with different needs? For this scenario, SapientNitro recently introduced the “Paddle, Swim, and Dive” approach, which generally fits well and provides the right level of detail to initiate the concept. In the “Paddle” phase of a mobile product, we see a person who urgently needs to solve a problem or save time. This might be a quick look at the news, a pop-up reminder, or anything that is only “one-click” away.
this mobile service include repairing a bike, getting glasses from the optician, or buying a Big Mac and Coke for a special price. Gigalocal uses the power of user context by combining the time the user has with the urgent need to get a problem solved while providing a unique, social, and simple service.
insurance cards, IDs, subway tickets, event tickets, and the list goes on. A digital wallet is not just a way to pay. It’s taking that actual wallet in your back pocket and all of its contents and associated behaviors and integrating it into some type of digital device.” To convince the user of the benefits of using a mobile device as their digital wallet, we need to rethink the user's context and what would provide the added value to bind the customer to the service permanently. The digital combination of one place and continuous availability will be the core values of the digital wallet.
Figure 3. Gigalocal The digital wallet of 2012 If we look at the trends that may greatly impact the near future, it is obvious that the technical environment for mobile payment will soon be a reality. Global banks, credit card companies, and Internet companies like Google are attempting to position themselves as the first contact point for payments with mobile devices. One of SapientNitro's “Idea Engineers,” Christina White, phrases our perspective:“Most of us carry some sort of payment method [in our wallets], but you probably have a bit more — loyalty cards, business cards, receipts,
Figure 4. The digital wallet If you are thinking about creating and delivering a digital wallet, a mobile commerce solution, or any other mobile service, you must consider user context. Once this is recognized and appreciated by your customers, usage and distribution can be built on a solid base — leading to success and satisfied users.
Could Mobile lead Your Customer experience?
Written by Paul Bevan, Mobile Strategist; SapientNitro UK
Just a few years ago, the idea of mobile taking the lead in customer experience would have seemed ridiculous. However, thanks to the iPhone charge, mobile is now significantly more important to most brands, and has become an integral part of their multi-channel experiences. The opportunities that accompany this new technology is real, but taking advantage of them will not be easy. Brands will have to create great customer experiences, and this comes with challenges and questions that must be answered. Is mobile working? To understand how far mobile can go, it is important to understand how far it has come. The audience for mobile interactive customer experiences has grown quickly. Mobile ownership is now nearly ubiquitous. And while phone and text still dominate usage, interactive usage has grown significantly in two major areas of mobile — Internet and native apps. In fact, people now spend on average 32 minutes a day using mobile Internet services, and more than 15 billion apps have been downloaded from the iTunes App Store alone. Customers are consuming these mobile experiences on both phones and tablets, at home, at work, and on the move, and are looking for experiences that are fun, useful, usable and/or convenient. Customers are also becoming increasingly comfortable transacting on mobile, which has led to impressive revenue figures. Online retailer ASOS brings in more than £1m a month through mobile transactions, Amazon brought in $1bn from 2009 to 2010, and eBay sold $2bn worth of products last year. However, the influence of mobile reaches far beyond just direct sales. Brands are using mobile to build awareness through advertising and create affinity through customer care and loyalty programs, and consumers are using mobile to research products both at home and in-store. Because mobile devices are carried with the consumer constantly, they become powerful tools for creating multi-channel brand ecosystems that can deliver real value.
On the other hand, mobile services aren't perfect: 90% of apps are deleted after 30 days and 38% of people are not satisfied with their favorite brand's app. The mobile web does not fare much better; 25% of people would not revisit a retailer’s mobile site after a bad experience and and 75% of the UK top 100 retailers do not have mobile-optimized versions of their website even though people spend three-anda-half times longer and look at three-and-a-half times as many pages on optimized sites, compared with non-optimized. will mobile continue its rapid ascent? The demand for mobile services and their commercial importance will only increase — and quickly. We have identified four areas that have influenced mobile growth, and will continue to do so. 1. rise of the smartphone and tablet. Mobile has been propelled by the explosive sales of smartphones and tablets that give people a far richer experience. Sales of smartphones in the UK jumped 74% between 2010 and 2011. Tablets were virtually non-existent 18 months ago, yet worldwide tablet sales in 2010 almost hit 16m units, and this is expected to grow to 56m units by 2012. 2. availability of cheap, fast data. The availability of cheap data bundles, the rollout of 3G across the UK, and the launch of LTE/4G in 2014 will mean greater mobile broadband speeds and even more mobile growth. 3. awareness of mobile services. Many mobile solutions fall at the first hurdle because firms fail to pay proper attention to launching their services. One example? There are over 420,000 apps in the Apple App Store alone. To compete with the saturation, smart brands are looking at how to best tag apps, categorize, and drive participation. 4. Better technology. In the past few years, a range of improved technologies such as cloud-enabled, NFC-enabled, and location-based services have started to deliver more complex experiences. Over the next few years, technology will continue to improve. This trend will only continue.
Can you meet the challenges? Just because the screen is smaller doesn't mean the obstacles are any less. Key challenges to keep in mind follow: Match your offering with your audience. Understanding your audience is the first step. This is particularly important in mobile as audiences are fragmented by form factor and usage, which are also heavily influenced by culture and geography. Mobile behaviors should also be considered. This includes filling spare time, performing small jobs that are ideally done on the go, and offering a third screen at home. Then, the real value comes from detailed understanding of your audience and unveiling key insights. Craft the right experience. The range of front-end technology is broad and changing by the day. They include native apps, hybrid apps, NFC, 3D, and good old SMS, to name a few. From the business point of view, a deep understanding of the technology is not necessary. What is important is choosing the right technology. These decisions have a direct impact on the consumer. For example, typing in a URL is very different than downloading an app. The end solution may accomplish the same goals, however the consumer expectations can be wildly different.
See what the customer doesn’t. Richer mobile experiences frequently require access to back-end systems such as product catalogues, e-commerce systems, and account information. Too often, companies do not consider their back-end architecture sufficiently. As a result, mobile experiences that rely on good access to back-end systems are often delayed or never come to life at all. Think strategically. When creating consistently great mobile experiences that deliver customer and business value, strategy matters. The time for one-off mobile experiments has now passed. The first step is to have a clearly defined mobile strategy in place that includes a roadmap. This needs to be supported by a conviction that warrants the growing investment required. Many analysts will suggest that there is no such thing as a “mobile strategy” — only a multi-channel strategy. While this is true, mobile often carries the load for innovation and business transformation. Conclusion Could mobile lead your customer experience? The simple answer is yes! And even if it does not lead, it will without doubt play a critical role. There are a series of mountains to climb, but consumers are demanding it and the opportunities are huge, so the time to act in a serious fashion is now.
Digital Marketing Platforms: Taking Back Control
Written by Dan Barnicle, Vice President, Content Management and Collaboration; SapientNitro Munich
Planning, delivering, and measuring sophisticated multi-channel marketing campaigns has never been more difficult. Marketing was once much more straightforward: TV, radio, print, and physical store channels were taken care of by one agency. Today, two main factors are changing everything: the explosion of channels to meet communication needs, and the push toward personalized engagement marketing. We now have microsites, mobile, apps, VOD, real-time social conversations, and a vast number of other channels, leading to specialized agencies, organizational challenges, profit nightmares, fragmented technical governance, asset inefficiencies, and new competition. Multiply that across a portfolio of brands across a number of local markets in a fast-paced social world and what do you get? An overwhelmed marketer with a big problem. Hence the rise of the digital marketing platform, designed to centralize digital assets, group and manage content, reuse processes, connect with external sites, and apply advanced analytics. The result enables rapidly launched experiences using pre-built and tested digital components, and shifts the cost from developing digital functionality to providing marketing services.
1. The early years. In this initial stage, the retailer is "dabbling" with digital marketing. There is no common process or technology approach. Numerous silos of agency and technology partners create flexibility, but only occasionally share assets or technology investments. Small scale means that these inefficiencies can be considered a cost of doing business, and worthwhile given the flexibility and time-to-market benefits. 2. The awkward years. The retailer is struggling with scale and cross-campaign analysis. It is frequently "reinventing the wheel," but isn't sure how to evolve. Symptoms include overspending on redundant technology investments. This company may also experience occasional security and liability incidents due to inconsistent processes. 3. The adult years. In this phase, scale is fueled by a standardized operating model and consolidated technology. Additionally, coordinated consumer data, campaign analytics, and reporting across campaigns are optimized. The benefits of this fully mature platform include: • Marketing innovation • Speed-to-market and nimbleness • Intimate consumer-brand relationships • Effective and holistic consumer intelligence • Measured campaigns in real time • Optimized technology investments • Reduced liability and data security risk The digital marketing platform solution The digital marketing platform toolset allows marketers to maximize their campaign or marketing strategy, and can also enable important organizational changes, which are essential for productivity. Digital marketing enablement touches on eight areas: 1. an organizational model. There are a number of interweaving elements that are critical to a successful campaign including content, production, and technology. Strong organization is paramount and the key is in building out those connections.
The digital marketing platform is no longer a technology problem, which has become relatively straightforward; it is now a business problem, a philosophy, and a working model.
The digital marketing maturity model Marketing organizations’ digital marketing maturity falls into three distinct "ages."
2. Campaign production processes. Inefficient and redundant processes are minimized, and a consistent process — critical to reuse — is rolled out across the organization. Benefits are seen by all the players involved. 3. Technology governance. A close working relationship, and clear governance structure is essential to overcome the inevitable technical challenges. 4. Standardized campaign types. Clients typically develop a core set of campaign types to speed time-to-market. The common technology platform must anticipate and support these types. An actual campaign could be a hybrid of long-lived (e.g., websites, brand affinity, content syndication, social networking, mobile apps) or short-lived campaigns (e.g., promotional web or mobile sites, social networking campaigns). 5. Managed platform capabilities. Identifying and enhancing the core management platform capabilities is essential. Content management, digital asset management, social or community presence, marketing and campaign management, measurement and analytics, or consumer data management make up this set of opportunities. 6. Digital production toolkit. Creation of a set of reusable asset libraries — from copy to HTML to video and more — can deliver a campaign much quicker, with better results. 7. Multi-channel campaign delivery. Combining the asset libraries with the standardized processes and campaign types allows rapid multi-channel campaign delivery. From iPhone apps to in-store end-caps to viral videos, multi-channel is all about quickly executing cohesive marketing on every appropriate touch point. 8. Campaign management and analytics. Testing, learning, tracking, and adjusting are all tremendously challenging. But for true engagement marketing, it is essential.
One global consumer products company estimates that, due to a lack of coordination and process subordination, over 50% of their digital marketing spend goes to production and technology capability costs alone — which could be better spent on creative strategy, concepts, and experience design.
In the end, the challenges of a true multi-channel digital marketing enablement can be accelerated with a platform. But we believe that how you integrate the platforms — with their various capabilities — is critical. Accountability for digital marketing, long divided among various traditionally and digitally focused constituents, must be explicitly defined. Governance must focus on enablement and acceleration, not on constraints. Incentives become a critical part of the driving platform adoption across an organization — whatever your agency and partner model. Does one production model fit all? Choosing the right balance between centralizing production partners, and allowing a modest set of loosely coupled firms to operate relatively independently is a tradeoff between capability, coordination and overhead costs, and ability to scale. And, in most cases, allowing fully ungoverned production procurement should no longer be an option. Conclusion The digital marketing platform is a tool to meet the complex needs of the marketing creative process, creative agencies, and production agencies. Tactically, it offers the opportunity to accelerate specific campaign roll outs, and optimize those campaigns from existing assets and processes. Strategically, it addresses governance gaps, optimizes digital marketing processes, and provides a level of nimbleness, control, and insight that allows marketers to focus on driving marketing innovation and effectiveness.
after the release: Maximizing Value from Your Commerce Platform Investment
Written by Sheldon Monteiro, Vice President; SapientNitro Chicago
“There will come a time,” wrote louis l'amour, the great american storyteller, “when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." l’amour passed away more than a decade before digital commerce went mainstream, but he eloquently captured the gestalt of a digital platform going live. launching a platform today is no small feat, typically taking months — perhaps years — of effort. Yet, on the eve of launch day, the real work has just begun. The operational and evolution challenges are many, and it’s no surprise that we see some platforms thrive while others stumble and fail. There are nine things every customer experience executive should know on launch day: 1. It feels like you just gave birth. No matter how much you planned, you will be surprised in the first few months, and not in a pleasant way. There will be issues, whether related to scalability, stability, operations, or content. Peak business periods and hours tend to reveal quite a bit about the behavior of your new platform under stress. And after a few 3 a.m. calls, it might feel less like you launched a system and more like you brought a colicky infant home from the hospital. Smart firms take a pragmatic approach in the first six months. They realize that the only true test is one with real customers and traffic — a staged go-live — where the platform is gradually opened up, in parallel with existing platforms. In addition, they invest T+180 continuously stabilizing, improving processes and reviewing analytics. Every anomaly is a learning opportunity, which should not be squandered. This critical period should be used to fine-tune your release process. 2. New platforms start out with a mortgage. And, no, we are not referring to the check for your platform signed by your CFO. Going live on time and within budget likely requires some compromises in the business tools or technical maintainability. You can view these deviations from the optimal solution in a manner similar to a mortgage or debt — the loan you took
that will result in more work down the road. Debt is not necessarily a bad thing (you did launch after all), unless you let it get out of control. Then you find yourself applying patch after patch, resigned to inefficient operational work-arounds or foregoing opportunities because change simply costs too much or takes too long. There is a real temptation to focus all investments in post live releases on adding new user features, which may worsen the problem by actually adding debt. How to avoid this fate? Avoid interest-only mortgages. Create a list of operational and technical debt, and address items that improve future agility and reduce recurring work. One of our major telecommunications clients conducted four major platform releases, but then invested their fifth release almost exclusively to reorganizing the platform code for easier and more streamlined maintenance supporting their organizational structure. That meant foregoing new functionality in the fifth release in favour of non-user facing features, but which enabled less friction, cost and time, and higher through-put, in every subsequent release. 3. Design, build, and test must evolve to listen, respond, and evolve. Today, no platform investments lack technology to measure customer experience. Analytics are commonplace, yet all too often we see firms stumble with listening or responding to their customers. Data may be plentiful, but it isn’t worth a dime if you don’t have an effective process to make changes based on the information. Often, it’s measuring too many things, an over-reliance on generic metrics, or a lack of a working process that cripples insights from driving action. Empirically, we have observed that firms that initially choose no more than three top-level core metrics have an easier time making informed changes — especially those requiring material investments. 4. Marketing, business, development, and operations must converge. At go-live, it's unlikely that the marketing, business, development, and operations teams are on the
same page. We commonly observe organizational structures and incentives tailored for slowly evolving enterprise resource planning systems, rather than those required to facilitate customer expectations. We have two proven suggestions to drive change: For one, you can force alignment by establishing a fixed and firm calendar of “global releases.” Global releases are a vehicle for major feature changes that require enterprise coordination, and complement smaller, interim releases that are localized in scope of impact. Every business unit, department, and individual knows that any significant change happens on set release dates that are established in advance every year, and negotiation of what goes into each release happens on set dates prior to the releases. If scope is not closed by the due date, the desired change does not make the release. Or, consider using iterative, incremental time-boxed practices for enhancements and operations. Agility is an acute challenge within a “design, build, transfer” model that is prevalent in enterprise IT, where the developers who build the system and know most about its workings hand over the code to a junior, inexpensive maintenance group. In contrast, those development teams that continue to work using agile methods integrated with marketing, business and operations are able to increase feature through-put and respond faster to change. 5. Time + attention + resources = value. During the initial platform launch, it’s common to work alongside senior executives. But as time goes by, we see less focus from the C-Suite, with operational management relegated to someone two or three levels removed. One telecommunications firm we worked with immediately moved post release into a functional silo structure, and a modest budget was almost fully consumed by routine maintenance. Larger enhancements were funded via capital requests through a lengthy and bureaucratic approvals process. It took them five years after go-live to introduce a sorely needed technology feature — functional clustering — that they knew was needed three months after go live. In contrast, another client, also with a modest
budget, actively incentivized development and operations to improve deployment and process efficiency, with sustained C-Suite visibility. In a few months, the team was steadily deploying platform changes to production every two weeks. Notwithstanding executive focus and attention, significant financial resources are required to maintain the platform and stay competitive — after the first year post live, the typical enterprise IT application devotes 80% of on-going spend to maintenance and only 20% to enhancements and upgrades. For digital commerce platforms to remain competitive, we have observed that an even split is more appropriate between lights on and evolution spend on an on-going basis. 6. New platforms need help fitting in with established channels, structures, and incentives. Though discussed often, few firms have truly mastered multi-channel today. In many instances, their ability to get there is compromised due to organization and scale constraints. At one major office supply chain, the store associates will literally intercept customers headed towards the in-store kiosks to make a purchase — an egregious example of incentive misalignment. Regardless of how delightful the online platform experience or the in-store experience is, multi-channel fails if the organization and incentives are not aligned. Conversely, another Fortune 50 client aligned all digital platform investments under a single program executive reporting directly to their COO. Their in-store, call center, and digital experiences are synchronized across brands. Incentives are aligned. Digital is not a channel; it’s a part of the business, enabling every channel. While technology plays an enabling role, your best hope for realizing the promise of multi-channel is to understand why your employees act the way they do and then plan accordingly. 7. Content is not the redheaded stepchild. In the race to go live, content is commonly not treated with the same rigor as development or system testing — and may not even be fully defined. Often, content teams are too anemic
to sustain the effort needed, but consumers still demand personalized, differentiated content. Prior to launch, one major retailer realized they would require several million dollars of additional funds to re-shoot thousands of product images (based on hard data that product imagery was a major conversion driver). Another retailer disbanded their catalogue business only to realize 18 months later that authoritative content on their website was strongly correlated with increased dwell time and conversion. It took them considerable time to staff and rebuild their content capability. 8. additions will be needed — just avoid spit and duct tape. Your significant investment and robust platform will feel like it's falling behind before the year is out as customer expectations and industry innovation forge ahead. Think through new feature additions with a custom (not vendor-provided) business case — including what you might learn from smaller investments that can inform future decisions. Also, create a vision — user journeys relayed through video narratives, rich media prototypes placed in a test area of your site to stand trial in the court of customer opinion. While being first with new features may not always be the wisest, being a fast follower is often prudent, and maintaining experience parity with your direct competitors is a cost of business in a digitally connected world. 9. Your platform is a product — sell it. Whether you think about (and manage) your new platform as an IT application, a channel, or as a product will have a massive implication on its success. At the height of the dot-com boom over a decade ago, it was fashionable for organizations to anoint a dot-com czar, and essentially view the investment as a new channel, even a new business. In large part, that was driven by investor appetite to pursue e-business metrics as distinct from business metrics. In the bust that followed, companies retrenched, czars went out of fashion, and the former platform investments were typically folded under a
mid-level IT manager. Unsurprisingly, starved of executive focus, many of those investments languished and were ultimately written off. In hindsight, digital was not and is not a channel — it’s simply part of business, across channels and customer touch points. The trap many firms fall into is that digital is viewed as “infrastructure” — or an enabling technology commodity. The net result is bespoke or duplicative investments in technology, business process, and operations. In contrast, the platforms that support digital are maximal in their business value when viewed as an integrated and strategic product suite across channels and business lines. A major CPG client has invested in a global marketing platform that operates across their brands, business units, and partner marketing agencies. It provides common infrastructure, content administration, and analytics. A small, full-time staff of platform account managers interfaces with each global business and their marketing agencies. It’s an effective “platform as a product” model — one with direct focus from their CMO and CIO. Chances are, you are aware of some of these issues. But if you have gained some valuable insight from these proven practices, then consider leading the change. Making change happen takes some doing — it takes destroying some notions and creating some positive friction to do things in a new way. louis l'amour once again provides us inspiration: “I would not sit waiting for some vague tomorrow, nor for something to happen. one could wait a lifetime, and find nothing at the end of the waiting. I would begin here, I would make something happen." This is an excerpt of a longer article series, which is available at http://ideaengineers.sapient.com/
Platforms in the Cloud: Deciding to use or own
Written by Scott Petry, Director of Technology Strategy; SapientNitro Atlanta
a decade ago, digital marketing and e-commerce involved building websites. any substantial website was built using technologies like content management systems, personalization servers, rules engines, and e-commerce platforms. and the first step in the process was to make a fundamental decision about whether to buy or build. Since the available solutions could often meet business requirements, most companies chose to buy, rather than getting into the business of developing and maintaining software (though buying often led to the need for a team to develop, maintain, and operate software regardless). Today, digital marketing and e-commerce are infinitely more complicated than websites alone. Consumers engage with brands across a dizzying array of digital channels that are integrated into the traditional physical world in ways that make it impossible to distinguish real from virtual. The complexity of consumer experiences and interactions across all these channels presents a daunting technology challenge for anyone tasked with building the platform to support it all. Fortunately, several leading software companies and a few innovative startups have been able to keep pace with the proliferation of digital channels.
However, just because your software provider has a new version, doesn't mean you can use it. In fact, you probably can't. The latest version is probably a complete overhaul of their solution, and the customizations you've deployed over time are probably not compatible. we need a new strategy Marketing is a nimble industry, and marketers are looking for their technology partners to deliver all the latest and greatest capabilities swiftly and cost effectively. The decision we need to make today is whether we can effectively take on ownership of the platform required to achieve the business objectives or not. If we don't want to be in the business of software development and maintenance, we need to find built-for-purpose solutions (or services) to use. If we don't want to be in the business of software development and maintenance, we need to find ready-built solutions to use. The big question is how to decide. The criteria for the decision needs to be objective and measurable, not emotional. We all take great pride in our work, and we enjoy ownership and relish control.
In IT, this often leads to a desire to own and control the platforms that run the business, so the systems can be deeply understood, and when something breaks, the situation can be addressed within the team to get the business back on track. It seems harder to manage a bad situation when we are dependent on a vendor to fix it. Conversely, in the business team, the need for control often leads to a desire to avoid IT as much as possible; IT has few resources to deliver new solutions, limited capabilities with the latest concepts, and spotty performance when it comes to swift resolution of issues. It is often more effective to put pressure on a vendor who is motivated by the same metrics as the business, and expect them to deliver the best solution or resolve the issue swiftly.
But those are all emotional criteria. Objectively, it comes down to value — benefit versus cost. In marketing, value is the ratio of working spend to non-working spend — the higher the ratio, the higher the value. Working spend goes toward media, content, conversations with customers, merchandising, and taking orders. Non-working spend goes toward infrastructure, development, process management, and operations and maintenance. We also need to consider the timing of non-working spend versus working spend. The value of working spend depends on the success of the campaigns being executed. If non-working spend associated with a particular campaign is high upfront and the campaign fails, we'll be left with a very low ratio of working spend to non-working spend. We need to be able to align the costs to the benefits. (And, of course, we need to measure to understand if our working spend is really, well, working.)
own Versus use
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Working spend Non-working spend Business value
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Working spend Non-working spend Business value
Figure 1. Own (left) versus Use (right) quarterly spend and value over 3 years The Use model delivers 35% greater business value on 18% lower non-working spend
enter, the cloud This is where cloud-based platform services can really change the game. In the cloud, we can have the latest innovations and capabilities readily available, and pay-per-use pricing models — everything we need to balance the value equation for marketing and e-commerce. There are some situations where owning the platform really does make sense. For example, with unusually complicated back-end systems to integrate, highly-specialized requirements, or if the business is so large that managed solutions just aren’t scalable enough, owning the platform is in the best interest of the company. Maybe.
However, we’d still rather get to the cloud if the offerings were there. While most new concepts are built in the cloud (e.g., ratings and reviews, recommendations engines, video serving with in-stream tagging, multivariate testing, location-based targeting, etc.), few fully-featured content management and e-commerce platforms are available in the cloud today. And when they are, they tend to have generalized capabilities, limited scalability, or unproven vendors. It is not a small task for software vendors to become cloud service providers. It represents a fundamental shift in their business models, their sales forces, and their organizations. The question that still remains is who — not when. The time is now.
Seven questions. Nine markets. Nine local perspectives.
In this section, we explore what's hot and trending in major markets around the globe. From the iPhone, Foursquare, the digital wallet, and QR codes to Angry Birds, Vodafone, and even Jay-Z — read on to hear what our counterparts around the world think about consumer behavior, technology, trends, multi-channel experiences, the future of privacy, and the best media campaigns out there.
SINGaPore CHINa MIDDle eaST
Written by Justin Barkhuizen, Strategist; SapientNitro NYC, Rob Murray, Strategist; SapientNitro NYC
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? evolution from GuI to NuI. The rise of gesture-based interactivity has radically changed the way we engage with machines, and has allowed digital activities to be consumed by a much broader audience. Apple's latest OS "Lion" is based entirely on NUI learnings; Wii, Move, and Kinect immerse the gamer in ways we only dreamed of before. Just ask any parent on a long road trip with their 6-year old what price they'd put on that iPad.
location-based bias. Whether we’re checking in at the U2 concert and sharing that experience on Instagram with anonymous fans, or snapping QR codes at Best Buy to make sure we’re getting the best price, geo-based technology has accelerated the recession of the divide between the physical and digital realms. And we can’t go back. always public, all the time. The socialization of media and the mobilization of connectivity means that every activity, question, cry for help, and status update is packaged, published, and public — usually in the moment. It's no longer behind the walled garden.
QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? Marketers will have an e-dentity crisis; smart marketers will find a successful solution. They will be challenged by the everyday barrage of content, options, and opinions their consumers face. They will understand that iPads and
smartphones consume more data than PCs. And that data is ingested in large part through apps. Smart marketers will also understand appification — that content is being chunked into packets of digestible experiences. And they will adopt an "86/4" not “24/7" mentality; they will realize they are no longer fighting for day-parts or a share of 24 hours, but for the 86,400 seconds in a day.
QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? One success was Bing's Jay-Z: Decoded campaign.
QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? The Ralph Lauren 4D experience stands out.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? There are many. Flipboard for iPad is an elegant display of personal content. Instagram offers a visual, social story of
everyday life. Spotify contains every song ever sung in the cloud and is available on demand. HBO GO lets its users take their living rooms with them. And Evernote makes it possible to save thoughts and then access them anywhere.
QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? Supercookies, zombie cookies, and history stealing — industry self-regulation is not working and consumers are more privacy-aware than ever. In the next 6 – 24 months, we will see the federal government enter the world of online privacy regulation. If there is one issue where Republicans and QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? facebook. Its hush-hush music platform, Instagram-esque photo filters, and video chat innovations show that the leader is aware (unlike MySpace) that it needs to evolve to stay on top. Twitter. They are the de facto live search provider, and continue to make the proposition make sense for brands with their "sponsored" suite of products. YouTube. The world's number 2 search engine is simply a synonym for online video, and is a continually leading innovation in the display world. Their latest suggestion?
Democrats agree, it is online consumer privacy protection. The implications for marketers are both unclear and profound at the same time. What is known is that every channel and touch point will now have a new layer of privacy requirements that will affect creative and user experiences. What will always remain is that consumers will surrender personal data for a valuable and relevant experience.
Maybe they're the best place to test new shows before sinking millions of dollars into production and network expenses. foursquare. The race to own check-ins is over. Foursquare won — hence the demise of Facebook Places. Innovations include their masterstroke American Express deal, opening up monetization opportunities and silencing the cynics. Google+. This platform cleverly exposed a chink in Facebook. It has a bunch of features, and is integrating them into their properties pretty well. There's a lot riding on this — including becoming the number 1 web destination again.
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? "always on." Smartphones have truly flooded the market, with many consumers upgrading to the most current generations of products (largely, the iPhone 4) after their first 24-month phone plans. Tablet devices such as the iPad are also increasingly common, particularly around the workplace. QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? From a brand point of view, it will be about delivering added value across the entire customer experience (Australian consumer confidence is currently at its lowest levels since the Global Financial Crisis). From a channel point of view, mobile will be key as will connecting it with social CRM. QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? Drambuie's "The Premise" campaign and Foot Locker's Art Prize.
Written by Mark Krebs, Strategy Planner; SapientNitro Brisbane
Connectivity. The ubiquity of social media has seen the number of social "creators" plateau, giving rise to the social "spectator" — largely driven by voyeurism. This can be seen from an APAC region point-of-view with Australia having some of the highest usage levels for Facebook globally. e-commerce. This trend is driven by the trends above, as well as the strength of the Australian dollar.
QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? Tesco's virtual stores in Korea are exciting. In Australia, CommBank's augmented reality newspaper ad could be the future of advertising.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? Pocket Hipster. As one enthusiastic consumer put it, “It’s like, the best music app ever!”
QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? Privacy? What privacy? With Google Street View, WikiLeaks, and data harvesting, public is the new private. The implications are far-reaching and yet to be seen.
QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? Facebook, thanks to the connectivity it offers, and YouTube, the content king.
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? Micropayments via social gaming, online commerce via Taobao, and group buying platforms have reigned supreme. QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? Integrating social media with e-commerce plus the prevalence of micropayment online will lead to successful social commerce. In addition, marketers should take advantage of video-based marketing and in-store interactive marketing via digital screens.
Written by Jennifer Tan, Chief Creative Officer, China; SapientNitro Shanghai
QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? Lynx has one of the most successful multi-channel campaigns. It relies on humour, celebrity endorsement, and sexual innuendo to sell its products, and attracted 70,000 followers on Weibo and Renren in the first three months alone.
QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? Mercedes, 7UP, and Levi's. QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? Currently Nokia and its app store are dominant, with 90% market share in China. QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? Consumer privacy is still a nascent issue in China, but there was a recent move to enhance consumer protection. This will have some implications on businesses who are used to paying about $250 USD for thousands of pieces of vehicle owners’ information, including their names, cell phone numbers, home addresses, vehicle models, colors, and more.
China's Social Media Market
Youku Renren Tudou Sina Weibo
QueSTIoN 7 1,300m what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? 2,500m Video sharing via Youku.com and Tudou.com is the most popular social media activity, followed by messaging on 3,300m QQ.com (China's instant messenger) and bargains on Taobao.com (China's eBay). Search on Baidu.com is also important as every search allows users to create or join a forum thread.
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? Smartphones and tablets, social networking, and digital data in marketing and public service campaigns. QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? The Taiwan Tourism Bureau's Fun Taiwan Challenge on TLC has found great success. QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? A clever use of technology and design for retail interaction was Melvyn's Nike Trackball campaign. Formula 1 and Samsung Smart TV also developed successful interactive campaigns.
Written by Jue Lu, Senior User Experience, Design; SapientNitro Singapore
QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? Marketers must focus on digital interactive street media, including digital signage, and figure out how to effectively use mobile, real-time data, and innovation via a crowd. And social networking is poised to become a future driver in purchase through social video and live TV. Additionally, the digital wallet will become a reality.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? Currently, FlightLover and taxi booking apps are paramount.
QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? Privacy is government driven. Singaporeans are quite mindful (but sometimes a bit naive) of their security. While we take it seriously, we are certainly reliant on the government to ensure the technology is safe and secure.
QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? Facebook still the most popular social networking site. Facebook is like an extended arm of the individual‘s personality and voice. That, and Twitter.
Written by Vidhya Sankarnarayan, Director; SapientNitro Gurgaon
QueSTIoN 1 Base: All India Internet Ever Users (Urban) (All figures in Million) In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? Top 8 Metros Other Metros 5-10 lake towns Less than 5 lake towns Mobile social media usage has increased. Active mobile 63 Mn 12 Mn 16 Mn 32 Mn 46 Mn 50 Mn 9 Mn 5 Mn Internet users have increased to 26.3 million in India, as of March 5% 4% 19% 20% 2011. E-mail, chat, search, social networking sites, and portals are 20% 29% 30% 36% 29% 13% among the most commonly used applications. Lower subscription 6% 7% 7% rentals, the availability of Internet-enabled cell phones at cheaper 10% 12% 15% 19% 12% 20% 12% prices, and increased digital literacy are some of the reasons why 21% 21% 20% mobile Internet penetration has risen. 18% E-commerce sites are hugely popular among consumers. 38% 34% 77% 58% 55% 55% 41% 37% Indian e-commerce is on the rise, with around 17 million users. The fact that they feel comfortable shopping on the Internet in a country that has historically been shy of online 2000 2001 2003 2004 2007 2008 2008 2009 spending speaks about the rising acceptance of the digital medium in India. Sites like Flipkart.com have built a strong network of customers and escalated their business and valuation considerably over the last year. Additionally, group buying and discount sites are gaining ground at a rapid pace. For example, Snapdeal.com attracts 500,000 visitors every day. Internet usage is also skyrocketing. Small town India is edging out metropolitan cities in terms of Internet usage. QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? With Internet-enabled mobile phone penetration going up, Indian digital consumers are getting excited about the possibilities it offers. Metro consumers are using mobile phones for social networking, searching, and more. Social networking is in fact beginning to emerge as one of the biggest motivations to use the Internet on mobile, especially among the youth. Internet on TV has also entered the Indian market and could take-off in the next two years, offering marketers the opportunities in brand tie-ups, applications, games, etc. Additionally, Foursquare is showing signs of lucrative growth in the India market. It has caught the fancy of metro youth and youth marketers in particular and is increasingly waking up to its potential.
QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? The Vodafone ZooZoo campaign is one of the most successful examples of multi-channel marketing in India. ZooZoos were launched as Vodafone’s brand mascots in 2009 and became
a mania across the nation over the last couple of years. MTV India’s experience also comes alive across a variety of youth-centric media touch points including mobile, social networking, and TV. The brand currently has one of the fastest growing and most highly engaged communities on Facebook and Orkut in India.
QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? Nike Bleed Blue. Cricket and Bollywood are India’s two biggest religions and every Indian marketer is constantly seeking opportunities to leverage them. The simple, yet evocative, "Bleed Blue" mantra, which ran across traditional and new media, captured India’s imagination during the World Cup cricket frenzy of 2011. The campaign leveraged cricket fervor in India by collecting over 11 million handprints via an innovative digital and events-led campaign that inspired fans to express their loyalty to the team by simply marking their
handprint in blue (Team India’s colour). Fans continue to "Bleed Blue" today. In addition, Parle Hippo developed a very successful campaign. Hippo chose to partner with its consumers in one of the most inventive and simple Twitter campaigns India has seen. It asked them to tweet whenever they could not find Hippo at outlets near them, with a promise to stock the outlet as soon as possible. Hippo’s campaign resulted in not just resolving the brand’s distribution problem, but also kick-starting brand sales to the point of selling out across over 200,000 stores.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? India is one of the most exciting emerging mobile markets across the globe. Over the last few years, costs of handsets QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?
and mobile service offerings have plummeted making these the most attainable digital devices. Smartphones are currently the hottest mobile device. Android is already investing in this trend by setting up its largest development hub in India. India’s relationship with personal space and privacy is very different from that of the rest of the world. India’s current buy in to digital media comes from the way they expand and improve an individual’s life. It remains to be seen whether and in what sense privacy will be a concern in India. Facebook ousted Orkut as the number one platform in July 2010. Orkut now rests at #10. LinkedIn has also evolved into a highly popular and influential social networking site among Indian professionals. LinkedIn has grown at a rate of 76% in the past year and with a user count of 9 million, it is poised to get bigger.
QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? Facebook’s popularity among Indian online users is at a high with around 31.5 million users, double of what it was in 2010. Over a third of Indian Internet users are on Facebook. Orkut had been the leading social network in India since 2005, but
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? Smartphones. Mobile Internet audiences were two times bigger versus general Internet audience last year and mobile content and applications demonstrate active growth. QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? Integrated campaigns with interactive cyber elements, advocates who are willing to recommend and talk about your brand or product in social networks, and mobile marketing will be dominate opportunities.
Written by Yulia Rubina, Senior Strategic Planner; SapientNitro Moscow
The Internet. The amount of users and their activity is growing on the Russian Internet (Runet), as well as the amount of viewed pages and time spent. In general, the typical urban person spends two hours a day on the Internet, with half of this time devoted to social networks. IPTV. With more diversity, and higher quality, the amount of people watching TV (federal and online channels) is increasing.
russian Internet activity
Portals Social Networks News Resources Education Software Video Product Catalogues Blogs Weather
26 MMH. 51 MMH. 5 MMH. 5 MMH. 2 MMH. 9 MMH. 6 MMH. 5 MMH. 2 MMH. 15 MMH. 10 MMH. 6 MMH. 7 MMH. 5 MMH. 5 MMH.
QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? Red Quest aimed to engage a young audience. This mobile tariff plan from MTS was developed to save Russia from the increasing smog and heat. At the heart of this campaign is a team game that resulted in 3.5 million unique visitors in the first two months, 1.04 million registered participants, and 800,000 app installations.
QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? Red Quest, Windows with noise insulation, and BCE PABHO.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? Red Quest, Angry Birds, and Foursquare.
QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? Many Russians do not care about privacy. In fact, there is no direct translation of the word. We are quite open and comfortable posting pictures in social networks and sharing details of our private lives. Perhaps because we are used to living in limited spaces and were given no privacy during Soviet times.
QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? In August 2010, Russia ranked #1 worldwide in time spent on social networking sites, with Vkontakte, a site geared toward socialising and fun, at the top. Also highly popular is Odnoklassniki, a social network service primarily for classmates and old friends.
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? We've seen two. The first is significant growth in popularity and prevalence of social media usage. The most popular social media sites are international versions such as QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? Despite the above activity on such networks, social media marketing has yet to be truly maximised. Brands are active in the online social space but in a very timid, traditional way. This lack of confidence likely stems from the "mystification" of the social space and a general lack of understanding. Brands are also concerned about the implications of engaging with consumers in an open, two-way dialogue and the ceding of
Written by Matt Horobin, Strategic Planning Director; SapientNitro Dubai
Facebook but we have local versions as well. The second is increased smartphone ownership. While Smartphone sales are trending, this ownership is not necessarily leading to high levels of usage of smartphone technologies due to prohibitive data costs.
control that comes with this — as well as a perceived lack of measurability. Transforming such activity into genuine consumer engagement, leading to accountable brand- and revenuebuilding opportunities, will be the next step. The next opportunity will be mobile engagement. With mobile penetration at nearly 200%, this channel offers massive potential. Currently brands rely on push SMS campaigns to engage with mobile users, mostly alienating rather than allying them. Critical to success will be a more competitive mobile landscape with more affordable pricing, which is on the horizon.
QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? There are very few examples of campaigns using mobile as part of a multi-channel campaign. However, a leader in innovative communications within the region is Batelco, the leading Bahraini Telco, with its "Infinity" campaign.
A second example of harnessing online consumer behaviour is the Standard Chartered "Food Explorer" concept — although this was almost entirely online and not so multi-channel in its approach. It involved establishing an online dining community to promote SC's credit cards and an associated discount at selected restaurants.
QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?
Again, Batelco launched a much-acclaimed brand campaign, which is probably as creative a campaign as has ever come out of this region.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? Tablets — either in form of an iPad, a Samsung Galaxy, or a BlackBerry PlayBook. These big-ticket items tend to come at
a high price and therefore remain niche amongst wealthier audiences. However, these audiences are key influencers and will define wider consumer behaviours as prices decrease and associated up-take broadens.
QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? At a governmental, social, and legal level, privacy is not such an issue. Given the mostly non-democratic nature of the
Middle East (well, until recently!), there is little concern regarding personal privacy at an institutional level. This privacy issue only becomes a concern at a personal level where individuals may not be comfortable sharing content (e.g., imagery) of themselves and their lives, given the custom of women remaining veiled in public at all times.
QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? Facebook is the most popular social platform. Twitter is gaining ground but is still relatively niche. In a region that struggles with self-expression and individuality in the real world, the virtual opportunities for self-expression are very compelling. Community is also a critical pillar of Arab culture and the instant, real-time connectivity that such platforms enable is unrivalled.
Facebook recently proved itself as a formidable catalyst of social change by facilitating uprisings across the Arab world. At the same time, Facebook is also being used by youths looking to date, meet, and marry. Blogging is also big — particularly in Saudi Arabia where this serves as really the only means of self-expression — particularly for women. As a result, blogs are now tightly controlled.
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? QR codes as marketing tools for mobile microsites, the growth of e-commerce (especially for brands like Adidas or electronic goods), and social media campaigns and activities within Facebook. QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? The remote EPG of the IPTV service of Deutsche Telekom is available via mobile website, mobile app, and desktop website
Written by Torsten Schollmayer, Mobile Experience Strategist; SapientNitro Dusseldorf
QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? Mobile commerce and the digital wallet (NFC) will drive the next wave of marketing meets technology. The smartphone will be the most used Internet device and will be complemented by tablet devices. Consumers and sales personnel will interact with these devices and will be standard in-store. in order to manage (e.g., add, edit, delete) recordings on the IPTV box in the users' living rooms. Additionally, the Audi car campaigns are the most advanced offerings on all channels, presenting quality and brand value continuously.
QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? Vodafone launched several real-time campaigns promoting moments with music in combination with social networks. QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? Historically, German customers are very sensitive with privacy in general, and with data security in particular. A lot of regulations are currently in place and the media acts quickly if there is a breach in any kind of privacy. The fear of giving away privacy and owning the data is huge.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? The most used and downloaded mobile app is the WhatsApp Messenger application, which offers simple text messaging for all mobile platforms. Despite any availability on web or desktop platforms, the traction still grows: Group chatting and picture and video sharing are the key functions. QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? Facebook is heads and shoulders above the others. But Twitter, and the VZ-group offerings (StudiVZ and SchuelerVZ) are valuable too.
QueSTIoN 1 In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region? Higher adoption of smartphones and tablets. There has been a huge increase in touch screen devices. Greater maturity of QueSTIoN 2 In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region? Health and mobile apps. Being able to use your mobile device as a health monitor will become even more popular. Consumers will use phones to remind themselves to take drugs, measure heart rates, and track their loved ones with dementia via GPS. Standardization. When you visit a company’s page in a given region, it needs to feel the same as those in other areas.
Written by Paul Bevan, Mobile Strategist; SapientNitro UK, Chad Cribbins, Associate Creative Director; SapientNitro UK
industry. We've gone from “I must have an app” to a more mature and business-driven approach. Increasing customer demands. Fun, useful, and usable experiences on mobile devices whenever, and wherever they want have become standard and expected. Particularly important to international firms. Yet many times, offers, pricing, and stores vary. Branding needs to feel consistent, but regional leaders need to be able to tailor their offerings and merchandise according to local needs. Collaborate and leverage technology. More and more in mobile, you can only offer the caliber of experience that people are requiring if you have a solid set of front-end and back-end technology to support it. Until you get the technology stuff sorted, you can have nice ideas, but all those things are reliant on effective technology behind the scenes. That’s often the painful bit.
QueSTIoN 3 what would you highlight as examples of multi-channel marketing campaigns in your region? British Airways' mobile ticketing campaign allows users to check in on the way to the airport and use a QR code to get to their gates as quickly and easily as possible.
Additionally, the Aurora Group, a major UK retailer, will deliver orders from any channel — mobile, in-store, eCommerce — within 90 minutes, thanks to a fantastic, organized inventory system. They also recently announced an iPad point-of-sale device for sales associates to take payments, and to browse and order on the brand's website.This sets a new benchmark in this space and has delivered huge success in the UK.
QueSTIoN 4 In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region? Using clever campaigns to connect with consumers in the region. Generating great ideas, which deliver real value and deliver them using innovative technology. One example is a bus shelter campaign run by VitaminWater — "Recharge." By recharging your cell phone while you’re waiting in the bus stop, VitaminWater stayed on-brand — and offered their customers a positive experience to boot. In addition, mobile and associated technology, location-based services, and the mobile wallet are massive opportunities. Ability to form truly multi-channel experiences — and delivering on those experiences.
QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications? It's important. A client is currently engaging us on a project related to this topic, in which future monetization of data relies on permissions to enable business services like location driven advertising and targeted marketing. The key is to provide trust and reassurance, and to show, wherever possible, the benefits to the customer. So whilst reassurance and privacy is key, more and more consumers are also realistic that data can make modern services better.
QueSTIoN 5 what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region? Vouchercloud displays vouchers for restaurants, retailers, and evening out events. The interface is nice and intuitive. web app, which uses HTML5 technology to provide native-like experience through a mobile browser. TripAdvisor isn't the newest, but their mobile app uses the hybrid model quite effectively.
QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why? Facebook is the obvious leader in the UK. It offers a nice global platform, with an intuitive mobile offering. LinkedIn provides huge amounts of value in the B2B space, and is growing in popularity.
THe oNe To fIVe Year TreND ouTlook
Written by Rob Gonda, Global Head of Innovation; SapientNitro Miami and Hilding Anderson, Sr. Manager, Research + Insights; SapientNitro Washington, DC
Tomorrow’s consumers are increasingly empowered to participate and share their perceptions of brands, products, and their environment. The implication? Brands will be forced to respond and react faster and better than they have in the past. Social, geo, local, mobile — all these terms reflect a new reality: an empowered consumer with more information and tools than any one brand or individual can handle. Interesting, yes, but also scary, as major brands rise and fall. watch for these new trends — what we call the SapientNitro Seven.
The SapientNitro Seven: Trends to Shape the Next one to Three Years
Trend 1: Transmedia Storytelling Marketing has evolved from the traditional one-value message broadcast, and the consumer has evolved from passive to engaged. Technology has empowered people to consume media at their own pace, in their own terms, and shifted the notion of trust — from the brands to other people. Over the past few years, research has demonstrated that the power of a recommendation drastically improves conversion; people have found an easy way to tap into their friends' networks for recommendations, disrupting the focus of brands attempting to influence this new space. But the wheels keep turning and, by 2014, we will have reached an era of data and friendship overload. In fact, studies show trust has shifted so much that people worldwide need to hear the same thing three to five times before they believe it; in the U.S., it gets as high as eight to nine times. People will have so much advice online that the true value of that advice will be reduced — the law of diminished returns. People will revert back to seeking expertise, not just friendly input; they will seek expertise from a subgroup of their social circles or from experts in the field elevated by brands. It is an opportunity for brands to regain their voice. Messaging and information will need to be consistent across channels — TV, radio, print, digital, mobile, and social will all have to confirm, extend, or complement the same information to gain that trust of the skeptical consumer. The truth is that today's art of storytelling goes beyond narrative and requires the understanding of networks, group dynamics, and social spread. The introduction of social media has further coined terms such as "social currency," "likeonomics," and "attentionomics," all attempting to put a structure around the art of word of mouth, conversation propagation, and influence. Brands will succeed when they understand the proper media mix, allow stories to run free, take their own shape, empower liquid content, and understand that their brand experience is the sum of all the little moments — and they need to make each one of them count. when will this trend be relevant? It is relevant now, and will continue to be increasingly relevant over the years. who will be affected? Brands, advertising agencies, PR agencies Trend 2: Data Is the New Holy Grail Data is the most undervalued aspect of our business. It is traditionally misconceived as analytics and afterthought, and more recently upgraded to mining results to refine strategy. However, those who undercover the power of data to drive personalized experiences that optimize outcomes will succeed. There's a new notion of "big data" and specialized databases optimized for NoSQL. The amount of data collected today is far greater than the amount of data possible to consume. Companies are investing in data scientists and experts in visualization; the art of making the most complex relationships easy to absorb by the business minds is becoming highly valuable. Advancement in storage capacity and processing power, especially the one delivered by cloud computing, is making it possible to quickly process and understand the data in macro and micro levels, allowing it to be used to customize real-time experiences. The holy grail of data is a centralized database with a single view of the customer and all related dimensions: customer data, their relations, sales, marketing, advertising, transactions, behaviors, and social. We will not only have all these dimensions and be able to apply advanced business intelligence, but be able to use them in real time to predict the next action and optimize brand exposure. The semantic web has been a long time coming, the true web 3.0, if we dare to keep the term web in this new era. Semantic computing will allow all brands to be contextually relevant and aware, driving an optimized value exchange between brands and consumers.
when will this trend be relevant? Early traces are surfacing, mainly focused on behavioral display advertising and socially driven commerce. More integrated solutions should start appearing in two years and a fully formed contextual computing ecosystem should take shape in five. who will be affected? Brands, media companies, technology companies Trend 3: Technology Invades and enables advertising and Marketing There should be no doubt that today’s customer experience is enabled and driven by technology. Everything from the very basic notion of connectivity: broadband to cloud computing to mobile devices and tablets to smart televisions to in-store kiosks to digital merchandising. The consumer drives, and the money follows. Many top venture capital dollars reside in the technology domain, sponsoring high-tech and innovation startups, which are fueling the evolving customer experience. It is — and will continue to be — interesting to observe the impact of pure technology companies in the world of marketing and advertising. Take Google Labs. It wasn’t until 2010 that they started to get recognition: Super Bowl ads, the Ad Age A-List, and in 2011 appearing at Cannes, winning five Lions, and winning "Media Person of the Year." They have been shaking the industry not just by being creative, but by using technology to bend the limits of what’s possible. A perfect example is their ongoing Chrome Experiments, which use HTML5 to build dynamic new experiences in the browser, which weren't possible before. HTML5, for instance, has opened the doors not only to innovation on the web, but is particularly strong in the crossplatform application arena, enabling building applications that run on multiple mobile platforms, tablets, even on TV. when will this trend be relevant? Venture capitals are betting on disruptive technology. There is a mass overvaluation in the private equity section, and all eyes are on tech companies that are going public to either predict a sustainable growth or another bubble.
who will be affected? Venture capitals, startups Trend 4: Digital Invades retail Integrating the physical world with digital technology (and vice-versa) is one of the most interesting and opportunity-rich territories of our age. It happens everywhere, but one of the largest opportunities and demonstrations is happening in retail environments. Innovative brands are using digital experiences to draw new customers, enhance their shopping experiences, extend and facilitate social communications, and — soon — will integrate mobile payments. 1. enter, customer. The digital retail experience starts before customers have even entered the store. Back projections, cameras, and gesture recognition (made easy through Kinect), allow people to engage with stores without stepping in. 2. ambient in-store interaction. Once hooked, digital installations engage, immerse, and entertain, enticing the customer to stay and shop. 3. a richer product experience. Once shopping, digital technology including short code, RFID, reader displays, and augmented reality will be able to provide a wealth of detail around the item the customer is interested in, from related products, to reviews, to promotions. 4. lean on me. The shop assistant will use digital technologies as well to help the customer evaluate and compare choices and offer advice. 5. The fitting room. Augmented reality browsing and customization will be increasingly possible. 6. a second opinion. People seek validation by close social circles. Retailers that understand the purchase lifecycle and provide a shortcut — such as validation without leaving the store — will have the power to increase the conversion significantly.
when will this trend be relevant? We’ve seen initial prototypes in store, though not many have shown significant results and ROI. Over the next couple of years, the cost of these experiences will go down, allowing deeper experimentation and growth. who will be affected? Retailers, design companies, technology companies Trend 5: Collaboration and Co-Creation Brands and products used to be a closed system. Research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and retail were all different silos. But the system has changed — feedback loops are now open, and everything is interconnected. Brands used to hire research focus groups to understand consumer perception, whereas now the feedback is immediate and everyone has a voice. Not only that, but consumers are passionate about becoming part of the community and having a say in the product’s future. Smart brands are allowing their advocates to evangelize them, influence connections, and provide critical feedback. They build systems and tools to elevate their brand advocates and give them an even larger voice. By building and moderating these communities, brands have the opportunity to sit on a gold mine of insight and data that will not only drive their product and release strategy, but will potentially inform every aspect of their business. A great example is Sneakerpedia by Foot Locker, a community that enables sneaker fans to post and share their collections. By providing tools for an existing community to communicate, get closer together, and elevate their status, Foot Locker built themselves an insights factory that can understand demand through many dimensions such as demographics, cultures, locations, and seasonality. These insights can inform stores about inventory, fulfillment, marketing strategy, and drive vendor relations — all because of what seemed to be a simple community repository for "sneakerheads."
A further step in brand advocate involvement is true co-creation — everything from the store experience (Starbucks), the advertising (Old Spice), or the product (VitaminWater). It gives fans a sense of belonging, ownership, early buy-in, and guarantees success as the end result. when will this trend be relevant? Brands are already betting on, and building, communities, though some are still learning to identify tribes and understand complex relationships. Co-creation requires a much more liberal approach but after a few success stories over the next few years, it will begin to push stronger adoption. who will be affected? Brands Trend 6: Cloudification “The Cloud” has been picking up rapidly with growth of a combination of software-as-a-service, platform-as-aservice, and infrastructure-as-a-service solutions; but despite the level of abstraction or solution layer, easy access to endless storage and processing power is reducing barriers to entry and giving birth to more start-ups and services than ever before. Amazon AWS is leading the charge in the infrastructure side, hosting massive services such as Netflix, Foursquare, BackType, HootSuite, IMDb, and Yelp just to name a few. The race however, is to win the connected experiences: iCloud, Google+, Spotify, Pandora, and Kindle are all allowing users to sync content through the cloud and allowing mobile phones, tablets, and TVs to converge. Led by the music industry, and extended by Google and other brands, the ability to move licensed content, shared content, and, in the future, even entire operating systems to the Internet will create substantial value for organizations and customers alike. For instance, Google+ might be a much closer competitor to iCloud than to Facebook. It will embed itself natively into Android mobile devices, Google TV, Chomebooks, and the Google ecosystem, allowing people to socialize, and store, and share all their pictures, videos, music, and more —
exactly the same promise as Apple iCloud. Ultimately, these giants are not fighting to own your data, friends, or social networks; they want to own the experience. Benefits will include easy access across devices (a key expectation for the new multi-channel consumers), lower hardware requirements, and integrated community and social networks. Downsides will include a reliance on data networks, privacy concerns related to the data being stored and shared without your permission, and performance. But the cloud is here to stay, even when it doesn’t make sense for all applications. when will this trend be relevant? The cloud is the de-facto platform solution for every solution provider start-up, music and videos are rapidly adopting, and will play a revolutionary role in user-content storage over the next 36 months. who will be affected? Large companies, consumers
environmental, political, and economic data. Calculating correlations and causality among all the different variables allows the brand to build predictive models to optimize every interaction — ultimately gaining relevance with the consumers, but with the goal of increasing the conversion ratios and sales. Access to real-time data — and being able to process and compute in nanoseconds — is changing the decision making engines. Small and large technology companies are all investing in real-time decisions, using a wide array of techniques: neural networks, statistical models, and even genealogy. One example of this trend in the media space is real-time bidding (RTB). A simple concept, RTB matches real-time supply and demand of media properties to maximize relevance and gain. RTB is slowly evolving to incorporate more sophisticated decision engines that are not solely based on price, but actually value and yield. Data is abundant and will be soon commoditized; context will continue to gain relevance and soon create a context marketplace. In the near future, the money will reside in the media properties and the right audience segments. Real-time everything represents predicting every outcome and constantly adapting to responses, applied at the macro and micro levels. when will this trend be relevant? Real time, now. who will be affected? Large companies, consumers
Trend 7: real-time everything In the age of constant connectivity, information travels at the speed of light. Technology enables instant communication — although it’s nothing new. People use more SMS instead of email, social network chats and feeds, and Twitter to announce earthquakes before the mainstream news channels can mobilize their traditional channels. All these experiences are setting expectations of responsiveness — and brands need to evolve to provide them. However, the real opportunity is for the brands. Access to real-time data allows brands to be more relevant in every engagement, and brands must be situational-aware and contextually relevant to succeed. The world of data has evolved from being used to analyze the past, to optimize the present, and ultimately to predict the future. Real-time data gives brands the ability to combine and compute massive sources of data — including demographic and psychographic, historic purchases, sales and marketing, social and conversational, and externalities such as
The long Term: what to watch for in Three to five Years
Marketing services are experiencing a major and rapid evolution. Predicting the future in this space is difficult. we have created four future scenarios, which illustrate visions of the world in 2014 to 2016. Most likely, none of these scenarios will be completely accurate. rather, they should be used as a tool to help make crucial business decisions. Invest in a portfolio of capabilities which, when combined, will strategically position your company most advantageously across a combination of these scenarios. Implications for major brands Don’t over-invest in social commerce and tracking tips. Respect consumers privacy concerns today to help reduce the risk of this scenario. Be prepared for potential regulatory changes. Scenario 2: Digitally enabled retail Business Models Major advances in digital retail will transform the way we shop and enable the creation of entirely new retail business models. Moving beyond the integration of digital we discussed in Trend 4, above, in this scenario the retail industry is forced to adapt to an ever-more digital business in order to compete with new business models. Kiosks and mobile integration will become routine. New layouts will optimize flow, remove checkout aisles, and allow associates to check out consumers anywhere in the store, maximizing sales per square foot. Major pharmacies will roll out kiosk-only stores (think: Redbox writ large). Rich, interactive exhibits in retail stores will delight and entertain younger shoppers, and create an entirely new level of brand engagement. New business models around virtual goods, extensive multichannel delivery options, just-in-time inventory, and pop-up stores become important levers to complement the stilldominant traditional retail channel. Efficiencies gained from nimbleness and reduced overhead will result in lower cost, which will allow small businesses to complete with the massive capitalized investments of large retailers. Pure digital offerings will allow businesses to mobilize quicker, perhaps enter a new time-share or charter model — leasing only the time they need. Meeting the customer at the moment of truth is a timeless guiding principle, which will hold and sustain value as technology improves customer segmentations and is able to better predict consumer behavior. Implications for major brands If you have a retail presence, be prepared for a major investment in your physical footprint, along with the back-end technology, which drives these experiences. Those companies who lag in their investment will find their in-store experience fails to attract this new demanding consumer.
If these trends continue, we expect a privacy response across the three main areas: mobile, shopping, and online. Mobile. Major new controls will be built into systems to allow precise, app-level control of location-based, geo-fencing, and personal information. Shopping. In-store biometrics and tracking will be delayed or pushed off, digital innovation in-store will suffer, and the dot-coms will be the ultimate winners, as consumers seek anonymity. online. All ISPs will be required to conceal and block cookies and other tracking mechanisms when requested by the consumer. Personalization, email, and cross-sell effectiveness will be greatly reduced.
Scenario 3: Mobile everywhere Goodbye, desktop computer. The mobile device (including tablets) will continue its rise, becoming the dominant device on the Internet. Mobile shopping, mobile advertising, consumer behavior shifts, and the mobile wallet will converge to make mobile the go-to choice for shopping, reading, and watching while on-the-go or at home. Tablets will have overtaken laptops for typical users, while desktops and laptops will be mainly for content creators: developers and designers. U.S. usage will begin to track more closely to Southeast Asian behaviors, and mobile will be the way to have personal time while at home, on the bus, at school, or spending time with a group. Carriers will make major investments into data networks as bandwidth (despite upgrades to WiMAX or LTE) will continue to be a major issue.
Smartphone users will become the majority and adoption will continue to increase at an accelerated pace, at which point they will not be called smartphones anymore, they will be just phones. New phones, enabled with GPS, cameras, Bluetooth, and NFC will connect, pay, and become full-featured tools to enable consumer digital lifestyle. Wearable devices — eyeglasses and contact lenses — will use integrated sensors, cloud-based processing, and cloud-based data to present additional layers of information of the world around us; but at their heart, they will still be powered by the universal connected device: the mobile phone. Implications for major brands Mobile will no longer be another track, channel, or extension of a web-centric campaign; instead mobile will take the front seat and be the center piece, core and essential as the primary digital medium, with all other media as extensions. Mobile commerce is no longer a luxury — in this scenario, your mobile presence will influence the majority of your sales across all channels. Multi-device support will continue to transition from an optional luxury to an essential element of a company’s strategy.
Scenario 4: Context will Be king Social networks and major Internet players are making headway in storing every aspect of our lives. Facebook is effectively tracking people, their relations to each other, and their relations to brands, objects, things, and tastes. Google is tracking click behaviors, keywords, and interests, and with Google+ it will bring in personal data such as videos, photos, music, and games. Apple iCloud is playing in a similar space, trying to capture all user-generated assets and commoditize the storage, sharing, and socialization aspects. They are all becoming master social data warehouses. However, smart and effective engagements will be the ones who can consume, process, and act on all this data in real-time, at the moment of truth. We will see new types of companies surfacing and providing enormous value: RTDE (real-time decision engines). These RTDEs will use advanced semantic analysis and statistical models to leverage the massive amount of data, understand the nature of every engagement, and predict the best possible scenario for a brand to engage. There will be a strong emphasis in value exchange. People will perceive much greater value when brands understand their needs, in context of the exact moment, and help them fulfill them. Brands become more situationally aware, and therefore more contextually relevant. Raw data, highly valuable today, will slowly get commoditized — giving room for media, audience identification, and contextual brokers to take the main stage. Implications for major brands Brands have to evolve from broadcast message delivery, beyond enabling social conversations, into understanding context of conversations. There is great value to be unveiled by fusing existing data sources with new ones. Yet the focus in the future should not be on data collection, but rather on technology or services that allow access to the valuable data when needed. Real-time usage of this data — to predict outcomes and maximize the chances of success — will separate leaders from followers.
Note from the editor: We do live in interesting times. Consumers are in the midst of a dramatic change — mobile is hitting critical mass and digital is influencing up to 45% of all retail sales, even as companies struggle and, too often, fail to move beyond their silos to connect with their customers across channels. As I reflect on the content of this report, I'd like to highlight eight key insights: • The Google Wallet, PayPal, and Starbucks (and perhaps Apple) represent the future of payment, loyalty, and rewards programs. (Mobile Moments: Mobile wallet) • Companies must escape from "desktop thinking" when developing new products and services. Specific techniques, including user research, can help envision new mobile services. (Context — The New Gold of the Mobile Industry) • Apple’s mobile app accelerates face-to-face interactions in store; for in-store mobile applications to be successful over the long-term, they must represent a tangible, genuine value for consumers. (Mobile Moments: In-Store Mobile) • Digitally enabled retail stores and, more importantly, new retail business models (pop-up stores, large kiosk-only stores, and rich interactive exhibits) have substantial potential. (foresight: The one to five Year Trend outlook: Trend 4 and Scenario 2) • Device-agnostic multi-channel experiences, like the Kindle, will paradoxically allow for increasingly specialized devices, while enabling seamless switching. (Mobile Moments: Integrated experiences) • Digital Marketing Platforms are allowing marketers to plan, deliver, and measure sophisticated multi-channel marketing campaigns. (Digital Marketing Platforms: Taking Back Control) • Challenges remain after you roll out your new commerce platform: we explore what they are, and how to overcome the inevitable compromises you’ve made along the way. (after the release: Maximizing Value from Your Commerce Platform Investment) • Thoughts from the Middle East team revealed the search for self-expression and individuality on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs amid the Arab Spring. (International Perspectives: Middle east) We hope you’ve enjoyed reviewing Insights 2012. Our goal for this report was to pull together some of the best thought leaders across SapientNitro globally, and share our perspectives on the evolution of communication and commerce. We hope this report has succeeded in helping you better understand this ever-changing landscape.
Hilding Anderson, Research + Insights Editor of Insights 2012 acknowledgements: This report could not have been assembled without the support of a great many people. Several I’d like to highlight include: Lauren Cohen, Todd Cherkasky, Rob Gonda, Rachel Zinser, Abby Adolph, Julie Capron, Seijen Takamura, Annicka Campbell, Scott Tang, David Hewitt, Steven Fisher, Byron Cunningham, Sherie Freedman, Allison Bistrong, Sarah Bosch, and many others.
about SapientNitro SapientNitroSM, part of Sapient®, is an integrated marketing and technology services firm. We create and engineer highly relevant experiences that accelerate business growth and fuel brand advocacy for our clients. By combining multi-channel marketing, multi-channel commerce, and the technology that binds them, we influence customer behavior across the spectrum of content, communication, and commerce channels, resulting in deeper, more meaningful relationships between customers and brands. SapientNitro services global leaders such as Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Foot Locker, Singapore Airlines, Target, and Vodafone through our operations in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.sapientnitro.com or follow us on Twitter@sapientnitro. for additional information: lauren Nguyen Cohen Director, Marketing SapientNitro San Francisco firstname.lastname@example.org @ltnguyen for media inquiries: David laBar Global Communications Director SapientNitro NYC email@example.com @dlabar Design aaron Thornburgh Art Director SapientNitro Washington, DC emily Carroll Designer SapientNitro Miami editor Hilding anderson Sr. Manager, Research + Insights SapientNitro Washington, DC
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