Missed last week’s roundup on voice search, Snapchat adverts & luxury eCommerce? Well then click here. It was a bloody good one. If you’ve got your coffee ready, let’s get into this week’s. We’ve got news that:
– Data is the new oil.
– You’re disconnecting your customers.
– Testimonials and live support are more important than you think.
– Google are releasing a new AdSense policy centre.
– VR isn’t as big as we were all lead to believe.
Data Has Becomes The World’s Most Valuable Resource
Around 100 years ago oil became, well, oil. During the industrial revolution, people realised that oil could be used as a new, explosive fuel source. In America, the industry was catalysed by the discovery of the Spindletop geyser in 1901. Within a year more than 1,500 oil companies had been chartered, and oil became the dominant fuel of the 20th century, shaping global politics and economies over the following century. Now thing’s have changed.
Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have become the most valuable listed firms in the world, and their value is growing: earning $25billion in the first quarter between them. Aside from the products that Apple and Microsoft produce, what do these companies run on? Megalithic banks of data. All of our information is being logged. All the time. And this isn’t just your browser history and buying habits being stored. This is where you are running, where you take your break, the route you take to work, the words you use in your text messages, even the words you say. This is only going to increase more and more as A.I. and machines become more deeply integral to our day-to-day lives.
And whilst such dominance called for the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911, we seem to be corralling ourselves into the clutches of the tech giants without a second thought. We are aware that there are privacy issues, but are we really aware there are privacy issues? Is anyone really aware of the amount of data that is being pulled from our human lives to be used to better sell to us?
The answer is no, and the question is what can be done about it? Well, for one we need governments to better step in to protect the rights of the private citizen, perhaps managing crucial parts of the data economy as public infrastructure. In addition, antitrust authorities need to get better at determining what are incumbent and which are nascent threats – and how to actually deal with the issue.
It may seem rich of a digital marketing agency to say – but data privacy is important and the big business it has spawned can and will be used nefariously. Something needs to change. For more information on this topic, I highly recommend giving this Economist article a read: Regulating the Internet Giants.
Disconnected Experiences Put Your Customer Loyalty At Risk
According to their Connected Consumer Report 2017, Mulesoft – a builder of application networks – claims that disconnected customer journeys across brands’ channels are damaging customer loyalty. The report, which looked at the quality and consistency of consumer experiences across different industry sectors, argues that businesses are, “unable to provide seamless experiences across channels and timely access to information.” In turn, this leads to a reluctance from the consumer to stick with the brand, searching instead for a company that can give them the better, more holistic service they desire.
Delving into the numbers, 63% of UK consumers claimed they would consider changing their insurance company; 61% their retailers and 55% their bank due to such inconsistencies. Going further, 58% of respondents claimed that the public sector provided the most disconnected services, and 44% affirming that they, or someone they know, have experienced a poor quality of service from the healthcare sector due to substandard information sharing.
So what can be done to combat this?
Forty-six percent of respondents believe that retailers provide a personalised service, 45% for insurance, 39 for public services. This is as a result of poor targeting and personalised offers and information. As we discussed last week, businesses need to take a more sophisticated approach to digital marketing campaigns, creating segmented operations to deliver better marketing to the customer.
With 34% of consumers dissatisfied with how rapidly public services respond to both on and offline requests, (30% for banking, 28% for both retail & insurance), businesses need to develop better infrastructure to deal with consumer requests. This can be achieve through bespoke application development to better help sales teams track and handle leads.
Across the sectors, between 19-23% of consumers have given up on interacting with companies because they found sharing information too difficult, or too problematic. Businesses need to consider their online information architecture, as well as their customer needs in order to better allow consumers to get the services they require.
Ian Fairclough, vice president of services, office of the CTO, EMEA, MuleSoft had this to add:
“Businesses across every industry need to prioritise connecting applications, data and devices, enabling customer loyalty to pervade every aspect of a business and provide a seamless experience for their customers. For businesses that don’t, they risk consumers disconnecting from them.”
Why You NEED To Use Testimonials
It really should go without saying, but customer testimonials are extremely important to your conversion rate. In fact, a recent survey conducted by iAdvize has found that 75% trust their peer’s opinions over your retail staff, and that over 50% find previous customer reviews to be more influential than sales advice. In fact, 17% of those surveyed claimed they would rather speak to a prior customer than speak to a member of staff. Which is all pretty understandable. You’re likely to be biased. Others are not.
Following on from the previous section, this just goes to show how important customer loyalty can be to your conversion rate. And just how important it is to get people onboard to become your brand advocates.
Though that’s not all you can do. The report also revealed that 85% of consumers said they would like a choice of customer service options to be offered to them throughout their journey. Choice being the keyword there. Live web chat was the most desired, with 73% of those surveyed saying they found it helpful, 79% claiming that good advice from live chat could influence their buying decision. Further, 26% claimed that they would be more likely to shop with you if you offered them customer service options.
So what have we learnt here? To give your customer options. Make it easy to share your website with their peers, display previous customer reviews and offer a variety of support options in order to make those sales. Easy.
Google Ads Now Blocked On Specific Pages
That’s opposed to entire sites for AdSense policy violations.
Delivering a new Policy Centre, Google is now giving AdSense publishers more information about why they have been penalised, or had adverts removed from a website. Listening to publishers’ demands, the new policy centre will give more transparency over policy enforcement.
The new tool will give significantly more information over how penalties are enforced and how they publisher themselves can address the issue.
Having just updated its hate speech policy to a more succinct definition, Google has put new technology in place to allow users to remove adverts from a specific page which don’t meet standards. And not just in the body of the page, but in the comments as well.
When a page is found in violation of a policy, publishers will get a notification email explaining that they’ve discovered a new page on the site that doesn’t comply with the policy. Additional details will be offered as to what page and the generic issue, but it will also allow publishers to directly request a review for the policy change, which will take a week to complete. Whilst the whole YouTube fiasco continues, at least Google are doing something.
Why Aren’t We Buying VR?
It’s been knocking around in one form or another for the best part of a decade now, though recent advances have taken virtual reality headsets to a whole new level in the last few years. But how many people do you know that actually own one? I’m gonna guess the answer is one, at most. And I bet they’re bathing in disposable income.
However, a recent survey conducted by Thrive Analytics has revealed that it’s not the price point that’s preventing uptake. It’s because people just aren’t that interested. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed claimed that they just didn’t find VR that appealing. Of course this skews to the elder generations; 67% of over 65s said they didn’t care for VR, whereas just 39% of respondents aged 25 to 34 said the same thing, but the evidence still points to the same place. People like real life.
Of course, 43% did actually say they thought devices were too expensive, and 22% of 18-24 year olds found that there was a lack of interesting content that would actually warrant purchasing one.
So it seems that VR, whilst getting good, is still the future, and not the right now.