We are back with part two of the Figaro Digital Marketing Summit roundup, bringing you the second half of presentations from our jam-packed schedule. A wide range of topics were discussed on the day and our speakers introduced some intriguing new angles and perspectives on the latest trends in digital marketing. Subjects ranged from influencers in referral marketing, the consumer apocalypse, and customer decision making science.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing is a widely contested subject, Robin Bresnark, Director of Client Success at Buyapowa, reveals a number of ways to amplify its capabilities. Recent figures have shown just how huge this industry is, with over £3 billion being spent on sponsored Instagram posts. However, it’s not only celebrities and bloggers who can be influencers, but through referral marketing you can turn the everyday consumer into an ambassador of your brand, or an ‘alternative influencer’. By having a genuinely great product or service that your customers want to recommend to their families, you can capitalise on this with a referral scheme that will help capture these new leads. Traditionally, budgets were concentrated on enlisting one mega-influencer to promote products. However, recently there has been a shift and more value has been placed on macro and micro-influencers who allow for the budget to be spread more widely and diversely.
In Robin’s characteristic style, he gives us an overview of the changing face of influencer marketing, cherry picking examples from popular culture to illustrate his point. He asks the audience to envision that they are Head of Marketing at Thermacure (heat pad specialists for those of you who have never suffered back pain) and have been tasked with using influencers to promote their product. He demonstrates how spreading the budget more carefully across a number of different micro-influencers will reach a more diverse, but still highly relevant audience. He cites equestrian and fitness influencers as ideal brand ambassadors for Thermacure, who will help increase reach by targeting two separate demographics. Robin outlines three important tests to determine influencer authenticity: have they helped create it, do they have a financial stake in it, or is it their own company? If the answer is yes to any of these, then they are more likely to be genuinely recommending the product. He also suggests that the future of influencer marketing lies in the marriage of AI with a new, even smaller category: nano-influencer. With the help of AI, the brand will be able to answer questions about their products that have been asked in the comments section of their influencer’s social media page. This would revolutionise influencer marketing, Robin claims, as it will increase engagement and organic discussion of the product, leading to more sales.
Watch Robin’s presentation here.
What are the successful content strategies and tactics in digital commerce? What works and what doesn’t? What are the winners doing? Georgia Barry, eCommerce Strategist at Vaimo, will share some insights into how to drive success with content in digital commerce. The best way to uncover the effectiveness of your digital commerce strategy is by plotting it against a customer experience graph. This allows marketers to see their performance rating in four key sectors; acquisition and engagement, the purchase journey, key channels and disciplines.
The key to success is a seamless blending of your content and commerce, ensuring that they work in alignment. Other factors such as the style of content you want to showcase needs to be considered: do you want sleek editorial imagery, or user generated content? Georgia shares best practice examples for whichever route you chose to go down. Filipa K, who have partnered with Vaimo, use beautiful videos, curated social integration, carefully closed loops and deeply relevant product stories as a way of lifting sales. On the other side of the spectrum, you have another of their clients, Helly Hansen, who have a heavy use of content but with a focus on user generation and information, providing reviews and Q&As for specific products. Ultimately, the purpose of content, regardless of your approach, is to boost commerce through increased conversions and traffic, inspiring customers and engaging with them.
Watch Georgia’s presentation here.
Over the last decade, there have been tectonic shifts in consumer behaviour and even the bastions of retail have fallen foul. Major brands that have previously survived recessions have sleep walked into receivership or cut back on their operations. In 2018, the UK saw the closure of many outlets, with major brands planning to shut down more of their stores in the future. The challenges that brands now are facing are unlike any other, multifaceted, and cross-market.
Paul Fennemore, C Suite Level Digital Transformation and Customer Experience Consultant at Sitecore, sums up eight major forces that are driving these changes. The first key factor that he explains is ‘Technological Determinism’, which is basically the Marxian way of saying that our values and societal systems are dictated by technological advances. Secondly, the customer journey is becoming increasingly slippery and difficult for marketers to pin down as a result of the expansive range of channels and touchpoints. The shift to online sales, is another reason behind the consumer apocalypse, particularly in relation to disintermediation. Political, environmental and economic concerns all help shape consumer shopping habits and when brands fail to react swiftly to changes, they get left behind and surpassed by brands who are able to tap into these new trends. As for the other four tectonic forces moulding this change, you’ll have to watch the video to find out more…
However, Paul explains, not all organisations are doomed and some are in fact thriving by fundamentally changing their business models and marketing strategies. Examples of areas seeing high level of success are fin-tech, law-tech and edu-tech, who are not only keeping up with the change in customer experience expectations, but are the ones reinventing them.
Watch Paul’s presentation here.
Focusing on speed across all digital journeys can be the fastest way to increase your bottom line and prove digital success. However, speed is often reduced to purely focusing on site speed. Ian Miller, CEO at Crafted, highlights that there are other factors to consider. Site speed is of course integral to the customer experience; page load time has a direct correlation with bounce rate. Ian gives the example of the BBC who lost an additional 10 per cent of users for every additional second their site took to load. Therefore, its importance is undeniable and measures need to be undertaken to ensure that your website is running as quickly and efficiently as possible. Ian talks through a number of ways to test your site speed; Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Crafted’s data and Webpagetest.org.
Design speed is another key element to be considered, essentially ensuring that your users can sort through and process the information quickly. Ian reveals that you can test your website usability simply by blurring out the homepage. Your users should be instantly able to spot your CTAs, anything else should be kept to a minimal so as not to distract from your primary aim of converting them to customers. Ian recommends the Usability Hub and Google UX Playbook to help guide you through this process. Speed is now expected and needs to match the users’ pace of accessing information. It is important to identify customer desire paths and map them out. Reducing friction and removing barriers from the purchasing process are key to generate more sales. Usage behaviour varies from customer to customer, but you need to be able to increase your speed across these three key areas to cater to those who are most capable.
Watch Ian’s presentation here.
Customer Decision Making Science: Understand How Your Customers Make Purchase And Retention Decisions
Understanding decision processes equips marketers with the power to tip customer decisions in their favour. Daniel Gold, Head of Research at House Of Kaizen, looks at customer decisions through the lens of cognitive science and behavioural economics. He outlines the cognitive principles behind customers’ decisions to purchase, which are often counter-intuitive and worth analysing.
Decisions are easy to understand if you know what you are looking for. A common analogy amongst marketers is the image of the sales funnel, which can be applied in the case of decision making. The options and parameters enter the top of the sales funnel and are whittled down by the consumer’s decision processes and exit the other end in the form of their final choice. When providing options, it is crucial to find the perfect amount; too many and it could cause the consumer to feel overwhelmed, but too few and it could result in feelings of powerlessness. Daniel explains that grouping, ordering and sequencing options makes decisions easier for potential customers. Removing product uncertainty by including informative feedback and product details can help increase conversion rates. People have one of two different decision making systems and marketers need to learn how to identify and differentiate between them. One group prefer ‘maximising’ strategies where they compare all the options extensively before coming to a decision, whereas those who opt for a ‘satisfying’ strategy select the first half decent choice. It is also important for marketers to bare in mind that the purchase journey happens in stages with many micro-decisions preceding the final purchase decision. Daniel’s three key takeaways are; optimise decision situations, involve different strategies and systems and use a diverse range of research methods to capture the journey accurately.
Watch Daniel’s presentation here.