Weekly Roundup #91 – Promote Mode, AI & Customer Loyalty & Bots

Enjoy another roundup of the week in digital advertising – and if you missed our last one, we tool a look at how to tackle high return rates, GDPR and the role of copywriting and the impact of visual search in eCommerce… When you’re all caught up, return to this week, where we cover:


How Industry Leaders Use Bots

With the ever-growing amount of content, not to mention the epidemic of fake news, it has never been more important to speak directly to customers with personalised messages sent at the right time. The Drum has released a short film that explores how media companies can use bots to send effective, personalised content to their consumers. The film includes interviews with Dennis Publishing, Facebook and OgilvyOne, with each explaining how bots are helping their companies to create the best service for their customers – from filtering news stories to choosing the right products to show them.

Paul Hood of Dennis Publishing gives an example for Black Friday – a shopping event that more often than not leaves consumers feeling overwhelmed and unable to make decisions. Hood notes that, “Bots can personalise that experience to help bring us just the products we’re interested in and perhaps send us notification alerts when there’s a particular deal on, or when an offer falls into the price range that we’ve specified. That can be a useful service for end users.”

Check the video here:

Twitter Launches ‘Promote Mode’

Twitter Promote Mode
Source: business.twitter

Twitter has launched a new ad offering – Promote Mode (currently in public beta) – that aims to help SME marketers advertise with Twitter. Promote Mode is a new way for SME marketers to create Promoted Tweets campaigns – when the Promote Mode is turned on, the first ten tweets of the day will be amplified by a Promoted Tweets campaign.

Crucially, the tweets must first get through Twitter’s quality filter, which assesses the content and destination URL of any links that it contains, meaning that Twitter has the majority of control when it comes to deciding which tweets are promoted. Twitter explains that,

“Not every Tweet that is added to your Promoted Tweet campaign will serve an impression, and the extent each Tweet is promoted may vary based on that Tweet’s performance. Retweets, Quote Tweets, or replies will not be promoted. Promote Mode will also run a Promoted Account campaign which will attract new followers.”

Promote Mode is being offered on a subscription basis – $99 per month – as this gives SME marketers access to an ad offering that has a predictable cost each month. Currently, Promote Mode is said to offer the most benefits to those with up to 2000 followers, although Twitter says that, “In the future, higher prices and promotion tiers will be available for people with larger followings.”

Twitter says that, “on average accounts will reach 30,000 additional people and add 30 followers each month,” when using Promote Mode, however that comes with the caveat that “performance may vary based on factors including your account type, your targeting selection, the type and frequency of your Tweets.”


How to Target the Modern Christmas Consumer

Many consumers are doing their Christmas shopping outside of the traditional time frame – the period from Black Friday to Christmas Eve – preferring instead to shop early, and to shop online as well as in store. This longer Christmas shopping period is both a challenge and an opportunity for retailers, so how can you position your brand to make the most of this new consumer habit?

Firstly, be aware that consumers from different generations tend to have different spending habits – this is true all year round, however this can be particularly relevant at Christmas. Plan to create your campaigns and increase engagement with your brand in the period that best suits your target audience.

Yes Lifecycle Marketing conducted a study that found that a third of Centennials (those who are 21 or younger) start their holiday shopping after Black Friday, which compares to the generation above them – the millennials – where 25% of them shop all year round for holiday gifts. Gen X and baby boomers have also shifted their shopping habits – with the majority of these generations doing their holiday shopping from September to November.

Even with the change holiday shopping habits, the retail sales in November and December 2016 totalled $658.3 billion, with was a year-over-year increase of 4% according to the National Retail Federation. Holiday sales accounted for roughly 20% of total retail sales in 2016. So this is still an important time to invest in brilliant marketing campaigns, as well as positioning your brand to benefit from shopping activities outside of the traditional holiday shopping windows.

Three ways to improve your holiday retail marketing:

  1. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are important big shopping events, however, try to plan events and unique opportunities that are more relevant to your brand and your consumers. Company birthdays, fake holidays and other seasonal brand-appropriate events will catch the attention of your consumers, making you stand out and bringing in further profits.
  2. Incorporate generational insights into your holiday retail marketing strategy – as it has been shown that consumer preferences and behaviours divide along generational lines. Do not treat your database as one single entity, segment your campaigns in order to provide interesting, engaging content in the preferred format for each generation in your customer base. For example, Centennials prefer to digest information in the form of Top 10 Lists, whilst Millennials look for customer reviews.
  3. Do not forget that consumers also shop for themselves during the holiday period, so embrace the idea of self-gifting. Many of the purchases made by Centennials, Millennials and Gen X-ers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are for their own use. Play up to the ‘Treat Yourself’ message in your marketing, making the consumer feel special in themselves, rather than simply gifting everything they buy to others…


Using AI to Increase Customer Loyalty

According to a new study launched by Forrester and commissioned by Sizmek, 80% of marketers say that increasing customer loyalty and reducing customer churn will be a priority for 2018.

As customers tend to jump from channel to channel, it can be difficult to engage and interact with them in a way that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable or negative about your brand. Personalising the customer experience is the key – and marketers are keen to improve their abilities in this area, with 86% of marketers putting it as a priority for the next year. In a separate survey by Sizmek, consumers showed that they were happy to receive advertising messages related to brands or products that interest them – which is another reason to invest in personalisation.

The best type of personalisation delivers the customer with an engaging message that delights rather than annoys them. In order to increase the likelihood of a conversion, this message must be sent at the right time of day, and on the device that they are most likely to be using. This is a tough task, but there are several steps that can be taken to bring you closer to achieving this…

The vast amounts of data available to marketers is unprecedented – with 2.5 quintillion (a billion, billion, billion) bytes of data created every day. This data is useless without the right technology to sift through and organise it into understandable insights and patterns on consumer behaviour, which is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.

AI improves with both masses of information and with time, as it has continual learning capacities, meaning that the AI can start to predict behaviours and enable marketers to act accordingly. AI is empowering marketers to optimise operational and ad buying efficiency, grow revenue through cross-selling and drive unprecedented marketing insights. AI actually enables brands to deliver perfect personalised marketing – sending the right creative at the perfect moment across any device – something that would be impossible to do manually.

With the AI system taking control of the data, turning it into valuable insights for the marketing team – what should the marketers do with it? Consumers wish to have consistency in the content from brands across all of their channels, which is another area that AI can assist in. An AI will continuously decide the right content, time and device to send a message to the consumer, however, with creative optimisation, this can go one step further. Creative optimisation for AI means that an ad is sent at the perfect moment – with the right customer receiving at the right time and on the right device – as well as deciding which product, offer or information to send from a set of predetermined options.

The modern consumer can be loyal, but it takes a lot more work from the marketers to foster a sense of loyalty. One way to do this is to only send relevant information at the right time – anticipating their needs and offering them excellent solutions. AI will help brands to get ahead, and if it does not seem essential now, it soon will do…


Digital Marketing Statistics for the Week…

holiday social media

To finish off, here are nine fascinating fact from this past week in digital marketing:

  1. 58% of marketers don’t think of chatbots as a priority, according to LiveWorld, with the majority (56%) citing a lack or expertise or bandwidth as the reason not to invest, as well as lack of strategy (43%) and budget limitations (32%).
  2. 63% of shoppers will make a purchase from Amazon this Christmas, says a report by Astound Commerce. 7 out of 10 consumers plan to do at least a quarter of their Christmas shop through Amazon, whilst more than 40% plan to do half of their purchases through the site.
  3. A study looking at the effectiveness of social media ads has found that personable and natural language is a key for successful social media adverts. Data from Facebook and Instagram campaigns by over 110 different brands saw that human language in ads generated greater levels of brand and product awareness.
  4. Visualsoft research has revealed that the UK’s top retailers are under-prepared for Black Friday events, as they have poor ratings for performance metrics such as page load speed. Retailers with poor page loading speeds can expect to lose 29% of all potential customers, as they are not willing to wait out the 9 second delay in loading the site.
  5. Millennials are becoming more open to buying a car online, with 36% of 18-35 year olds saying that they would do so. Amazon is reported to enter the car market in the near future, and 56% of Millennials say that they would trust Amazon with such a big purchase.
  6. With Cyber Monday on the horizon, DomainTools has predicted that consumers are likely to be victims to phishing scams – with 53% of Brits saying that they have received phishing scams more than once, and 20% of UK consumers having clicked on a link falsely believing it to be from a trusted brand.
  7. Consumers are more likely to share major milestones on social media than they are in real life, according to data from Sprout Social, with 80% saying that they regularly do so. Facebook is the most popular site to share personal information, such as holiday celebrations, relationship milestones and the death of a loved one, with Instagram and Twitter following behind.
  8. 75% of marketing leaders are failing to understand contemporary consumer behaviour, whilst those brands who do keep up to date – using personalisation and AI – are said to outperform them by as much as 14%.
  9. Despite technology suppliers having access to their consumer’s data, 59% of customer believe that brands do not know them – an increase of 16% from 2015. As such, 8% of customers would change suppliers if they were to more effectively use their data, and 14% would change suppliers for a better service.


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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.