Results for

""

  • > All Sections
  • > NEUIGKEITEN & EINBLICKE
  • > Gebaut, um besser zu liefern.
Image not found

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and more national governments order shutdowns, people are moving online for their daily purchases. According to research by Microsoft Advertising,[i] search volume for Buy Online Pick Up in Store queries increased by more than 1,200% between January 1st and March 18th, 2020. From logistics and IT infrastructure to advertising and customer support, the pandemic represents a real test for commerce. In 2019, iProspect introduced the Commerce Success Framework (CSF) to help marketers drive their commerce strategy across four key areas: Availability, Findability, Buyability and Repeatability. In these challenging times, wherein it is important for brands to help consumers easily find and order what they need, the CSF can provide marketers with a useful lens to prioritise the key actions necessary to build or maintain a robust commerce presence. This article covers some actions that brands can look into for each dimension of the model, and is intended to encourage marketers to think about what initiatives they can activate for their business. Availability Availability is all about getting the right products to the right people in the right places, and this is particularly critical in this time of crisis. At the moment, supply chains are severely stretched. Manufacturers and factories are shutting down, many shipping companies are over strained, and retail inventory is stretched thin, if not completely sold out. As a consequence, people are desperate to find certain products, and, conversely, they don’t want to hear about other products. It is important for brands to communicate with empathy and honesty by giving as much information about their product availability as they can, as soon as possible. This is even more true for those companies that have items that are in high demand right now. If your supplier is closed, let people know. If you expect shipping delays, let people know. Don’t hide your business disruption in fine print on your website and instead, update all the places where people can find information about your business (e.g., update your Google My Business listings to mark your locations “Temporarily closed”). For the brands selling through third parties like Amazon or Lazada, it is also important to work with these platforms to stop unacceptable behaviours. For instance, set purchase limits on necessary products to avoid people hoarding and trying to resell with a huge mark-up to profit off this situation. This is the last kind of association marketers want for their products. Technology can be of great help to deliver fast and accurate information to consumers. For instance, as people are looking for the most up-to-date information, a direct feed into your product information and your inventory catalogue enables you to deliver information in real time. When people know that what they're seeing online is accurate, they're able to purchase what they need without additional frustration in an already stressful context. However, technology can be a double-edged sword for your operations, if not optimized properly. Marketers need to work hand-in-hand with their IT departments to ensure they have the infrastructure in place to absorb increased server loads and make sure their load times are not surging, as this could frustrate consumers and discourage them from buying what they need. Research from Google has demonstrated that increasing load times can strongly augment the probability of users bouncing away from the website. The pandemic and its consequences are a critical test for online commerce operations. For some brands, it will simply challenge their capacity to communicate fast enough. For others, it may start a full reconsideration of their supplier relationships, maybe through more diversification, or accelerate their transformation to online commerce in order to compensate the falling foot traffic. In the US, foot traffic dropped 75% for shopping malls between week of March 9th and week of March 16th, according to research by NinthDecimal. Findability Once brands have taken the necessary measures to be in the right places and have their inventory ready and available, they need to be discovered, which can be challenging when many other brands are also shifting their focus and budgets to increase their online presence. Again, the golden rule is first and foremost to avoid appearing to be insensitive. Make sure to use negative keywords in your campaigns to avoid any sensitive searches that could be misconstrued to be tone deaf. You also want to make sure that your consumers are protected from harmful options from third party sellers, which is why close monitoring is critical to combat fake products and people trying to take advantage of shoppers when they are vulnerable. Digital shelf analytics tools such as Stackline, Profitero, or Edge allow marketers to monitor third-party sellers on platforms like Amazon, to then be able to take the appropriate actions to discourage or take down profiteers and fraudsters. These actions not only help consumers favour official sales channels, but they also ensure that negative associations with your products will not have a long-lasting impact on your brand. It is important for brands to continue their paid media and to keep promoting their products to be found by consumers. People go on commerce platforms to shop, so relevant product ads in these environments have very little chance to be seen as inappropriate, especially if you put in place the safeguards described previously. By making sure you are easy to find, you will provide helpful support to consumers, so make sure you are keeping up with your organic search and paid search activities. Feeds can also be used for Findability, enabling advertisements to synchronize with your offering evolution in real time. Keep in mind that not everyone necessarily knows all of the benefits of your products. There could be a certain product that is sold out everywhere, and you may have an alternative product that is not as well known. By keeping people informed of your product benefits, you may help them to find a new solution to meet their needs. Buyability Once brands are easily available to consumers and easily discoverable, they need to focus on Buyability, which means providing the right information for people to proceed with purchase. As for the two previous steps, the most important aspect is ensuring that your actions are aligned with the current context. One of the measures you can take is updating product information. For instance, we have seen false rumours going around that drinking isopropyl alcohol could destroy the virus. A company selling this product could revise their product information to debunk the rumours. This requires being aware of the noise surrounding the pandemic, your brand and your industry. Rigorous social listening (e.g., emerging and trending news, mentions, keywords evolution) is a recommended practice in order to be able to quickly counter or encourage what's being said about you. In these times when people cannot look at products in stores or shop in familiar ways, content has a critical role to provide reassurance, offer solutions and be uplifting. Video content is an excellent way to achieve these objectives. Live streaming commerce, which combines a live stream and some checkout options for products featured in the video, is a well-developed practice in Asia-Pacific that has been getting traction across regions and is now proposed by platforms such as Amazon. Social commerce should also be a key consideration to help people purchase what they want and what they need. As people are turning to social platforms, brands can make the most of the platforms’ shopping capabilities to simplify purchases. Native solutions such as Instagram Checkout or third-party solutions such as Jumper.AI can help people easily order the product they need without leaving the platform they’re on, saving stress and time. Another consideration of Buyability is pricing. Pricing has become such a critical facet of e-commerce that many brands have set up dynamic pricing algorithms. These algorithms look at various data signals (e.g., margin, competitors’ prices, demand level) and automatically adjust prices. In times like these when people are purchasing a lot to stock up, you need to tread carefully because your dynamic pricing algorithm could get out of control and you could be seen as profiteering or trying to price gouge. So, make sure that is in check, and maybe even turn it off and revert to static pricing for now. Also, look at possibilities to offer promotional bundles where they could bring value to consumers, such as the initiative of Woolworths, which introduced a $80 Basics Box to support vulnerable families in Australia. Repeatability Repeatability is about building a relationship with the consumer beyond the first sale. In light of COVID-19, it means looking after your customers and exploring ways to help them out as much as possible. The first consideration should be looking at and adjusting the conditions of your loyalty programme. If you have a loyalty programme that's based on how often people do something and there is a time limit, consider freezing those requirements or dramatically lowering them. A good example is the one of airlines. Obviously, people are not flying nearly as much as normal, so adjusting frequent flyer miles programmes makes sense. The last thing you want is to alienate customers who really enjoy your product and services by making them feel punished for something that is out of their control. A good example of a sensible approach is the one of Hilton, which recognised that earning and using points is not possible for many of its customers at the moment and extended its 2020 Hilton Honors Status through March 31, 2022. You should also proactively communicate the actions you take to help the community and minimise disruption. For instance, you could send an email to your customers to show how your brand is ensuring the highest levels of cleanliness in the production chain, or to let them know about new delivery options. However, it doesn’t mean you should mass-email every single person who has bought your products once, which could have the opposite effect and appear as opportunistic. Focus on the engaged and regular customers to show them how you can help them. As people are trying to adjust their daily lives to the new normal, they might want to cancel subscriptions, might want to return orders, might have additional questions about delivery… and customer support will become even more important. Ensure your customer support team receives clear guidelines on how to handle consumer requests with empathy and honesty, both in one-on-one communications (e.g., chat) and in public user reviews. Monitoring tools can alert the support team when negative reviews are posted so that they can quickly address them. Additionally, check-in with the support team more frequently than usual to identify recurrent concerns. It can help you continuously improve the information you provide upfront, as seen in the Availability section (e.g., communicating a bigger shipping window). Support bots can also relieve stress on customer service by providing useful information to users. Brands with chat bots or voice activated digital assistants must ensure they are updated as well in terms of content and tone. Brands that do not have a bot should look into this opportunity. The main platforms have a lot of templates available for building actions and skills very quickly. For instance, an FAQ is one of the easiest things to program and you can build and launch a simple and efficient bot in a few hours. You can then progressively add more information, for instance product feeds, to turn the bot into its own shopping channel over time. Using the Commerce Success Framework as a Lens The examples described above provide a glimpse of what brands can do to build or maintain a strong online commerce presence in these challenging times. As each business is going to be affected differently by the consequences of the pandemic, we believe that the Commerce Success Framework will provide marketers a useful lens to focus on the main areas (Availability, Findability, Buyability, Repeatability) and to prioritise the actions that make the most sense for their customers. Above all, remember to protect yourself and your relatives by following the World Health Organisation or your local authorities’ guidelines. We will get through this together. iProspect constantly monitor the impact on COVID-19 on brands and work with partners to support clients with the most up-to-date actions to ensure business continuity. ---------------- [1] Microsoft Advertising, How COVID-19 is affecting in-store pickup interest, March 20th, 2020 0

Image not found

Before the COVID-19 crisis, Dentsu Aegis Network's survey of 1,000 CMOs found that 79% believed they must transform, not just optimise, their businesses through digital technologies. A new report by Dentsu Aegis Network, The Reality of Recovery: A Post COVID-19 World, based on the responses of 700+ clients across 36 markets, shows that if we are to derive one truth from the current events, it is that the pandemic accelerates brands’ transformation, especially regarding their digital capabilities.     1.  Content is king in times of crisis, and investment in content is likely to stick    When the crisis amplified and lockdown measures spread, many brands made theirs the ‘First, do no harm’ adage, by quickly adapting their content to not appear out of touch with the current events. More than half (55%) of respondents have adapted their creatives and content to respond to the consequences of the pandemic. It is by far the measure the most frequently taken by marketers (it ranks #1 across all regions), and 50% declare they will need to invest more in content over the long term.     What does it mean for brands?        To generate a consistent consumer response, brands must have a clear understanding of the content created across the organisation, even when it is not under the direct responsibility of the marketing department. The buck doesn’t stop with rolling out an emotional hero TV commercial, and brands should not neglect the other types of content that serve consumers from either an emotional, informational or transactional perspective. A successful content strategy encompasses many facets such as delivering accurate information about logistics (e.g., up-to-date store hours in maps), temporary customer practices (e.g., clear return policies), product information (e.g., stock levels in search ads), etc. Making sure the content is consistent from the first interaction to the product page is fundamental.    In the midst of the pandemic, brands should consider the following when reviewing their content strategy:    Culture and process: How resilient is the creative process in the new ways of working? While working from home can provide more focus to creative teams, how does the organisation compensate for the missing energy of the office?  Content optimisation: How is the existing content optimised for performance? Is the information easily accessible when people go to search engines or land on the brand’s website? SEO, UX and CRO should not be afterthoughts.   Technology: Is the business equipped to update content fast while minimising the risk of mistakes? Solutions like Product Information Management platforms can help brands centralise information so that each environment can be updated at once.  2.  The pandemic acts as an e-commerce catalyst    It is clear the current crisis will accelerate the adoption of e-commerce, both in terms of consumer usage and in terms of investment from brands. A third of respondents (33%) have already expanded their e-commerce presence amid the crisis. The push for e-commerce has been particularly strong for offline-driven businesses (37% vs. 17% for online-driven businesses) and for industries relying heavily on retailers (49% of FMCG and 53% of F&B respondents expanded their e-commerce presence) in an attempt to partially offset their lost offline sales. As many people still don’t feel comfortable leaving home (e.g., 48% in the US according to the Dentsu Crisis Navigator) and are still relying on online channels for their daily purchases (e.g., +74% online demand YOY for fashion collections in the NL according to iProspect), this e-commerce arms race shows no signs of slowing down in the immediate future. It should also continue beyond the pandemic, with six respondents out of ten (59%) declaring they need to invest in their e-commerce capabilities on the long term.         What does it mean for brands?  Growing online sales to be both profitable on the short term and viable on the long term is no easy feat. What worked for traditional retail isn’t guaranteed to work online, and the volume of parameters to consider, from logistics and technical infrastructure to advertising and customer support, can be overwhelming for brands, especially for the ones playing catch up. How can we make the most of marketplaces in a limited time? How can we quickly optimise our existing tech stack to optimise sales? How can feed management provide flexibility to adapt media efforts to real-time inventory? All these questions are all the more difficult when the company doesn’t have e-commerce specialists among its ranks.     In 2019, we introduced the Commerce Success Framework (CSF) to help marketers drive their commerce strategy across four key areas: Availability, Findability, Buyability and Repeatability. In these challenging times, the CSF can provide marketers with a useful lens to prioritise the key actions necessary to build or maintain a robust commerce presence.       3.  The pressure to get closer to customers has increased    With media budgets under pressure, many marketers have paid particular attention to their existing customers: 32% of respondents increased their CRM activity, and 45% believe they will need to invest in CRM long term. Online-driven businesses, which typically have more direct relationships with their consumers, have been leveraging CRM more than their offline-driven counterparts. We can see clear differences between categories with stronger CRM programmes and the ones that don’t have access to a lot of customer data due to intermediation: while more than 40% of respondents in the Finance & Insurance, Travel & Tourism and Automotive categories have increased their CRM activity, only around 20% in the FMCG and F&B categories have done so. This deficit in direct access to customers is not news for categories depending on retailers, and many have started Direct-To-Consumer initiatives and tried new models (e.g., subscriptions) over the last few years to regain control over customer relationships (and data). By shutting down many points of sale, the COVID-19 crisis has exposed remaining disparities in CRM maturity.    What does it mean for brands?    Upgrading CRM capabilities is not an investment that proves useful only in times of crisis, it is a winning strategy in the long term. New depth of customer data can help the product development team adapt the product portfolio to address emerging consumer needs. It can help marketing and creative teams tap into new insights to build messages more aligned with customer priorities. It can be leveraged to build new services (e.g., customer frequent questions can help build a simple support chatbot in a few hours). First-party data can also power media targeting and help customer acquisition (e.g., modelling of similar audiences), and becomes all the more important as browsers are cracking down on third-party cookies and as legislators around the world are promoting more restrictive policies around data practices. All these applications for CRM enable stronger customer experiences, which are critical in a period where big life changes push consumers to reconsider their routines and purchase habits.    It is particularly important for brands to have a clear strategy according to the engagement levels of their clients, and to avoid alienating customers and draining their existing customer base. Too many brands fell into the trap of suddenly mass emailing every single person who bought their products once, taking the risk of appearing opportunistic and damaging customer relationship. Additionally, brands need to have the technical infrastructure in place to support their long-term CRM ambition, and should avoid panic buying oversized solutions that are not be adaptable to their future growth needs or are inconsistent with their data strategy.    Download your copy of the The Reality of Recovery: A Post COVID-19 World report today.    0

Image not found

Google is reinvigorating their marketplace product Buy on Google (formerly called Shopping Actions) by removing commission fees and giving control of the brand experience back to the hands of merchants. These updates represent a direct effort to compete with Amazon and evolve Google’s online shopping experience at a time when people are shopping online more than ever due to COVID-19 closing down physical stores and altering consumer habits.   The announcement made last week highlighted several major changes. Google showcased new payment service platform partnerships with PayPal and Shopify and also expanded data feed integrations within Merchant Center. Google also passed back responsibility to brands for managing customer support, shipping, and returns. Finally, Google has even created a solution which builds feeds directly from Google’s own database.   Buy on Google will disrupt small and large retailers.  A streamlined checkout process has several highlights that are covered in a bit more detail below. 0% commission fees: This is a major change which will encourage all retailers to rethink their Buy on Google strategy.  A comparison that highlights the magnitude of this change:  Previous commission rates on Shopping Actions for apparel product categories was 12%! Updated merchant and financial requirements: The requirements to sell on Shopping Actions are now gone and Google is pulling out all the stops to remove excuses for brands to not onboard. Marketers no longer need a US bank account after linking to GMC with an approved payment service platform account (PayPal and Shopify, to start with). Barriers of entry have been removed: Google has relinquished complete control of payment transactions, managing customer support, as well as returns & shipping. Returning ownership of important brand-owned processes back to the retailer shows that Google is confident in brands meeting customer expectations for purchases made on Google Shopping. Product feed integrations: Google Merchant Center is supporting non-Google product feed uploads, by their greatest ecommerce and marketplace competitor - Amazon. Focus on supporting small businesses: Consumers will soon be able to filter and view products sold by small business merchants specifically.   What was missing in the announcement Google has been slowly rolling out new features and updates over the past several months around other organic and unpaid feed-powered listings. Retailers activating on the Buy on Google program can also opt-in at the same time to these free Google products listings called Surfaces Across Google. The same product feed powers both programs so merchants not only have commissions removed for Google’s marketplace but their catalog will now serve across multiple shopping experiences without paid media.  We predict that in the near future to see Buy on Google checkout options begin to show on organic search results, such as on the Knowledge Graph - a previously paid ad listing placement. While this experience is what we expect next, the details still follow suit on aggregating paid and free product listings to their specific ad placements across Google properties. Shopping Actions:  A solution in search of a problem...until now The Google marketplace (Shopping Actions) has struggled to burst through the bubble of mass adoption by merchants with spending the last seven years expanding and rebranding the program. The removal of commission fees is a unique value proposition and explicit advantage against marketplace rivals like Walmart and Amazon, but also a deep benefit for small businesses that started digital ecommerce on eBay and Etsy. The payment system partnerships have made up for years of minimal merchant integrations. To compensate and attempt to counter Amazon’s two million+ small businesses already selling on that marketplace, Google chose to integrate the Amazon catalog into Google Merchant Center. This has never happened in the history of Google and is unprecedented. What Google now has is a data set of product information far more robust than their own catalog. Shopify has a small business customer base of one million (and growing) on the platform which now brings a larger assortment of products, and new small businesses that have minimal reason to not now sell on Google marketplace. What does this mean for your business? Brands who have refused to launch on marketplaces like Amazon now have minimal hesitation to begin selling on Google. Nike has refused to sell on Amazon for some time due to not being able to own the customer experience. Brands should focus on evaluating their media plan and product feed strategy. This would entail identifying product lines, seasonality SKUs, and less profitable products to be specifically assigned as eligible to serve in a marketplace, organic/unpaid listings or paid campaigns. This granular setup is especially important due to limited reporting features and forecasting features within the Google Merchant Center--feature gaps which will hopefully be addressed by Google in the future. Google is placing a strategic bet on small businesses to lean into their marketplace by removing commission fees and reducing barriers to entry. These changes were driven by Google’s Bill Ready, a former PayPal executive, executive leader at Braintree & Venmo, and supporter of small business commerce for over a decade. When it comes to steering a ship such as Google marketplace in a new direction, his vision shows the understanding of how small businesses are driving the future of marketplace commerce. However, even if the primary focus of these changes appears to be small businesses, if large brands don’t take the time to review their current Google Shopping approach and leverage these new features, they will be the ones missing out on a major commerce opportunity during this coming holiday season. 0

Image not found

During these challenging times, it’s important to understand what type of content you should be creating. It’s likely you had a content strategy and were working to a content plan, but now is the time to revisit that approach and be cognizant of what will land in the coming weeks and months. To tackle this conundrum head on, we’ve devised five key considerations for your content team and strategy. Consideration #1 Refer back to your current strategy and draw up an adapted approach that considers the wider circumstances. There are a number of ways to go about plotting what content you should be creating: Your customers – what questions is your customer service team receiving? What are people asking of you as a brand on social? Search listening – what is the current keyword demand for COVID-19 relating to your brand? If you’re a beauty brand, what home tutorials can you provide them? If you’re a bank, how can you assure your customers their money will be safe in these times?   Your brand – what do you stand for? What topics do you have the remit to talk about and how can that be applied to everyday customer queries and issues? Social listening – what are customers saying on social, and how can you create content around that to mitigate fears or concerns? Media interest – what is the media talking about? This seems to change on a weekly basis at the moment, but keeping an eye on the news agenda will help you understand what consumers are reading about It’s important to note that people’s interest in digital content has increased significantly since COVID-19. Consumers have more time and in the evenings are turning to the web for news, inspiration and humour. Consideration #2 This is perhaps the biggest consideration: things keep changing. By that, I mean people’s attitudes, behaviours and journeys to purchase are changing all of the time. The content you created or had planned to create three months ago is probably not something customers want right now, but don’t fear; it’s content they’ll want again one day, so it isn’t wasted. The search intent around products will change week to week, potentially day to day. If you look at something like travel insurance, terms relating to that broad topic usually mean people are looking to take it out for an upcoming holiday, but now the intent of that topic and terms related to that product have changed massively; it’s all about “Am I covered?” The intent of people’s searches now takes on a new meaning but mostly people are trying to find answers to complex questions, for which, in some cases, there aren’t any answers at all. However, as a brand you have the right and responsibility to provide customers with content that is useful, offers a solution and addresses a fear or concern. The temptation is to pull back on creating content but, right now, your customers need you more than ever. The relationship you’ve created over years, decades and potentially centuries is always something to think about to ensure you’re still holding a relationship with your customers during these uncertain times. To summarise, the world is changing and the situation is changing rapidly. We need to be able to understand what people want week to week, day to day, hour to hour, and offer them content that satisfies that need. Consideration #3 This seems obvious but a consideration that is crucial right now: your content needs to be found. This splits out into two parts: Website architecture Your website and owned properties need clear navigation to useful content Your site must be quick. People have short attention spans at the best of times and what people are demanding right now is answers fast, so you must improve the speed of your site Your content needs to be able to be indexed by Google so it can be listed and customers can find it The structure of your page is a hugely important. Think about questions like “How to get Vitamin D in my diet?” or “How to work out at home”. These both trigger a featured snippet in Google, so if you’re a fitness or food brand you can provide genuinely helpful responses to this. However, if the structure of your page hasn’t been set up correctly you’ll never be featured in position zero Positive PR It’s likely that your PR activity is paused, cancelled or postponed, and is now only about crisis management, which is understandable. However, people are looking for positive stories. You’ve only got to put the term “positive stories” into Google Trends to see that people want them right now. In addition to this, journalists want positive, non-Coronavirus stories:   The media is crying out for content. Remember, most journalists need to be able to produce a new article every 45 minutes, so it’s likely that they’ll run out of COVID-19 stories eventually. What they want is motivating, surprising, useful and positive content for their audiences. There is a captive audience out there right now, and PR shouldn’t stop because of COVID-19. If you want your content to be seen by a wider audience, then PR is the best way to do this. We’re currently working with brands to plan small reactive campaigns that help customers but are also of interest to journalists. Consideration #4 Google has been quite open about its algorithm and guideline changes over the past couple of years. First we had E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) then there was YMYL (Your Money Your Life) and most recently we had BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) and actually during COVID-19 all of them take on an even heavier importance. It's now that people are looking for a layer of expertise beyond fluffy content. This presents brands with an opportunity to offer customers expert advice, perhaps in the form of employees who have decades of experience in a sector. For example, do you have a beauty consultant who can offer expertise on skincare at home? Do you have a mortgage advisor who has been at your bank for 30 years? If so, can they give their expert opinion? If you’re creating this content, ensure that readers know who the author is. This builds trust between the brand and the reader, and is widely encouraged by Google. Google’s approach to YMYL is that every page you create should impact a customer’s Money or Life. So, think about that in relation to COVID-19. Give your customers content that delivers tips on how to improve their life right now (and for the future) but also make sure you’re giving them solutions for intricate financial decisions. Lastly, BERT is a deep learning algorithm that understands the nuances and context of words in a sentence, to better match queries with search results. Make sure your content is structurally sound and can be processed by BERT so that it can be visible in Google. Consideration #5 The last consideration for every piece of content, whether it’s on your website, social or in email, is whether it is purposeful or profiteering? If you have an inkling that the content you’re creating doesn’t provide people with purpose or a point (the point could be handy DIY tips or how do your eyebrows at home), then tweak it so it does. Now is not the time to be taking advantage of people’s vulnerability and most customers will see through it. Your content should deliver significance and not be overly commercial. You can absolutely provide customers with products that solve problems and solutions, but don’t piggyback on COVID-19 for the sake of it. Lastly, it’s important to not go ‘dark’ and turn the lights off on your marketing activity. If anything, now is the time to make sure you’re connecting with customers. There is an obvious temptation to avoid the topic or in some cases withdraw any content at all, but it’s been proven that brands that don’t cut budgets during periods of uncertainty are best placed to prosper when the upturn returns. Numerous studies have proven this over many years. 0

Image not found

Welcome back to this two-part blog series focusing on all things Voice. ICYMI, part one covered the top 6 lowest hanging fruits to make your website content Voice Search ready. In part one, we learned that winning Position 0 is critical to gain Voice Search visibility. However, conversational AI technologies and voice user interfaces (AKA: Voice-based applications) offer opportunities for brands to engage with consumers beyond the search engine results page.  When we take a step back to look at the evolution of media consumption it becomes clear that consumer behaviour and purchasing habits have shifted following the succession of technological revolutions. With the rise of the Internet of Things and Smart Devices, interactivity has become the new standard. We went from passive mediums such as print, radio, and TV to user-generated content, to customer-initiated communication with mobile and tablets.  As a result, simply producing a piece of content and hoping it reaches your target audience, is not enough. Much more must be done for brands to respond effectively to how humans and machines interact. As it stands now, Voice Search does not necessarily allow brands to measure user engagement and understand trends to improve user experience. Also, most voice answers about a specific brand come from other highly authoritative sources (ex. Yelp, Wikipedia), which are not controlled by a brand. As a result, brands risk weakening their customer experience and even losing market share to competitors who are Voice ready. That's where Voice-based applications come into play. So, What is a Voice-based Application?  A Voice-based Application or Voice App is a conversational interface designed to extend the functionality of voice-enabled devices such as smart speakers (just like screen-based apps would do on mobile). Users can interact with this easy-to-use voice-directed technology using its invocation name. A few favorite examples… H&M Home Stylist The H&M Home Stylist voice application allows users to ask questions on décor inspiration for different rooms in the house. How it works: Ask for help with a specific room Choose from a range of styles such as classic or modern Receive inspiration and mood boards based on your preferences See example products from H&M Home, along with suggestions for materials and colour schemes Mystery Oreo Mondelez turned to Alexa to promote a new Oreo flavour contest. The purpose was to boost awareness, interest and engagement with the brand as part of a two-month long “Mystery Oreo” campaign.  How it works: Users activate the voice technology with the query: “Alexa, what’s new with Oreo?”  User receives weekly flavour cues When prompted, order cookies via Amazon  Domino's Anyware As part of the Domino’s Anyware initiative, the restaurant chain launched voice-activated pizza delivery for pizza lovers. How it works: Speak to a voice device (Google, Alexa, Siri) and ask it to "Talk to Domino's" Build a new order from scratch or reorder a most recent order Integrates with Domino's Tracker Also integrates with Slack and Facebook Messenger Voice expert lives in the Domino's app to take voice orders  In my opinion, these examples prove that the best voice interactions are usually not approached as an advertisement but as an extension of the brand experience. How are Voice-based Applications Being Used by Consumers? Voice devices are everywhere. They are often in shared spaces in the house (living room, family room) such as smart speakers like Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Home. They are usually on your mobile (Siri, Bixby). They are also on-the-go in your Car or Smart Watch. Voice devices are mainly used for education (asking questions to a bot), utility, and entertainment. People enjoy interacting with Voice Apps while multitasking to get things done faster (save time from not having to type) or enhance daily routines (to-do list, commute times, weather, reminders). Taking the first steps towards launching your own Voice-based Application may seem daunting without in-house expertise or a proven roadmap. When working with clients in developing an Application, we focus on 4 key considerations. Consideration no.1: Find your “Why” When thinking about how to engage with Voice, the first thing to do is identify how your brand can provide value within the voice ecosystem. The goal here is to figure out what are the top use cases for Voice Applications, understand different ways in which customers approach these cases and how it refers to your products and services. That is going to allow you to find natural connections between your brand and consumer needs. This can be done by applying a creative approach. You can begin by brainstorming and ideating with your team. You can also adopt a data-driven approach by taking an in-depth look at your internal data. Whether they are coming from a website chatbot, call transcript, or findings from a digital footprint analysis, all data is welcome. We have identified 3 ways that brands can bring value to the customer in a business setting. Product Extension: Extending the value of the product through a Voice Experience (ex. Unboxing moment, instructions on how-to put a piece of furniture together)   Content Strategy: The brand may have existing content that can be translated into an interactive experience on Voice platforms (e.g. Educational, curated lifestyle advice, tips, CSR). Customer Support: Makes any information a customer might need accessible through Voice with ease and convenience.  Once you have decided what the main focus of your app will be, you will then need to decide what phrase or invocation name will be used to activate it.  Consideration no. 2: Put the User at the Center of the Design Process If it is not easy and enjoyable to use, it is not likely to succeed. In order to design meaningful user experiences that work through voice-enabled devices, it is important to take into account how people naturally use their voice to communicate, and what they expect from a voice interaction. We recommend the following: Do not settle to a machine's limitations. Instead, be willing to stretch technology to meet user expectations. Your voice app should be able to accommodate multiple variations of the answer, rather than just requiring the question be answered precisely the way you phrase it. Think of the best way to help users and then consider the level of technical complexity required. Allow users to use natural language. All of us use slang and have unique ways of saying the same thing. So, if you know your niche audience, it is essential to adapt the speech and tone accordingly. We recommend spending some time thinking of how users will interact, what questions they will ask, and how you intend to respond. Take context into account. Not every consumer will interact with your Voice Application under the same conditions. They could be experiencing it at home or on-the go.  It is essential to adjust the experience and level of information to the user's context. Give users a good reason to come back by providing new and returning visitors with relevant information. People are most likely to go back if the content is updated regularly. Consideration no. 3: Don’t be Afraid to Iterate We are at a tipping point in the adoption of Voice Technology where an early majority of Canadians have started using Voice-activated devices. Close behind, brands, marketers and agencies are still trying to figure out what to do to attract consumer's attention. At this stage, it's important to not focus on having the perfect Voice Application from the get-go, but to have something out on the market and see how your customer base interacts with it. We recommend focusing on proven use cases and low effort implementation. The sooner you launch, the more time you will have to experiment, learn and improve your voice-based application. Consideration no. 4: Promote your Voice App There are currently over 100.000 Alexa skills and over 33,300 Google Assistant Actions available. Unlike mobile apps, when it comes to the voice ecosystem, there is no popular distribution platform to promote your voice application. This general lack of awareness about what voice-based applications can do and how to find them makes driving voice discovery and engagement a critical challenge for brands to overcome. In order to get more users, we recommend integrating Voice with existing digital & offline channels as support. Discoverability is hard in the voice assistant market. Voice experiences seem to do a better job at creating a deeper user engagement than creating awareness.  The scale is not necessarily the metric by which the success of Voice application should be measured. Looking ahead... Times are changing and search is not just about keyword rankings anymore. While optimizing on-page content for Voice Search is a good first step towards entering the Voice ecosystem, we believe there are several moments within the customer journey where the effective use of voice-enabled applications could create a game-changing shift. A smart voice-first strategy should start with putting a simple voice application out there to see how users interact with their AI assistant. Keep in mind this is a new channel for both your customers and your brand so there is lots of experimenting to be done - but the time to get started is now.   0

Image not found

Originally published in Danish and most links are in Danish   The 2020 plan is dead! Long live the 2030 plan! We have looked deeply into the crystal ball for 2020 and the years to come to identify a number of emerging trends. Maybe you are already at the forefront of several of them. If not, it's time to get started.   Video, video, video! Visual storytelling becomes the key   It is no surprise that video is a constantly growing part of the Internet. It was already one of the big things in 2019, but we expect video and visual storytelling to be even greater in the coming years, with 82% of Internet content expected to be video by 2021. Already 72% of users prefer to learn more about a product or service through video.   When talking video, it's not just the classic videos you know from YouTube. We will see more and more brands replace the traditional video format with live streams and live videos. Eighty-two percent of today’s viewers prefer live video over social media posts from a brand.   But how do live streams benefit you as a brand, you might ask? The same survey shows 67% who saw a live stream bought a ticket for a similar event, and 45% of respondents would even pay for live videos of their favorite teams and influencers.   Maintaining User Interest (Hubspot) The above shows that video users get the content they want and pay more attention to the content. It's win-win. The video quality of the latest smartphones is so good that you can easily use your mobile to make your videos.   Video can increase organic traffic to a website by up to 157%. Visitors spend, on average, 2.6 times more time on a video page than one without video. And it's not just in the B2C market that video has a big impact. Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers say video has a positive effect on their ROI. Google has even taken a closer look at why we remember a YouTube ad.   The video format itself has also begun to change. Vertical videos are becoming more popular. It makes good sense because we position our mobile phones that way 94% of the time. In other words, it is the natural way to use the mobile phone.   YouTube still dominates when we look at the major video platforms with 1.5 billion users watching one billion hours of video every day on the platform. On Facebook 75 million users watch eight billion videos every day. On Twitter, 82% of users primarily use the app to view video content and on Snapchat, users see ten billion videos every single day. So video is already hugely popular - but its potential is even greater. Local content can go viral (globally) if you hit the right mix of content and optimization.   Here's how to succeed with video Using the video format does not automatically guarantee success. If you don't focus on the quality of the content, you won't get more than a handful of views on YouTube.   This is where storytelling comes into play. Engage and entertain your users - and not just with video, but with all content. Share authentic stories and moments that matter. Users love behind-the-scenes content and personal narratives.   Make it present, personal and transparent. The first ten seconds of a video are the most important, so make sure this is where you really deliver your message. After 10-15 seconds, users will slowly begin to drop off.   Make videos that you can use and reuse on multiple platforms. You might have a longer video for YouTube, parts of it for Facebook and Instagram, and micro elements of it for Stories.   Consider subtitles on Facebook (and YouTube) where 85% of viewers watch videos without audio while it’s just the opposite on Instagram where 60% watch Stories with sound.   From superficial to in-depth content Content will be a significant part of 2020 and the next several years when we will see a significant shift from superficial to in-depth content as brands realize superficial content produces superficial results.   The first ranked organic search result has, on average, a text containing 1,890 words according to Backlinko.com. The same study reveals that pages with content that goes deep into a topic outperform pages that deal with the topic superficially.   In short, it means that your content should be anything but short. To the contrary, you really have to go in depth with it so that you can turn every single stone. At the same time, it is important that you get into related topics. Your content should cover everything around the topic so that the user is not left with questions.   Credibility and authority also play a big role when it comes to content. You can read more about this in the upcoming trends.   Related topics you should mention in your content include those found at the bottom of the search results page. Below are, for example, searches that Google has assessed to be relevant. The search is "mortgage price." Years ago, search was all about keyword density, meaning how many times you could use the keyword in your text. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. Now, your text must add value to the reader, with keyword density playing a much smaller role, and even less so moving forward.   It is still important for users and search engines to find your text. For many years, search engines have used Entity Salience to understand a page's content - places, people, topics, etc. You can use Google's Natural Language API demo to see what entities and sentiments your text has according to Google. Unfortunately, though, it does not support all languages.   Of course, the primary keyword should be mentioned on the page - especially in headlines - but it is also important that you use naturally related words and topics in your content.   We've published a blog post about Google My Business (GMB) that contains just around 7,000 words. In it we cover everything about Google My Business, as well as related topics such as Local SEO, tracking and reviews. Source: Backlinko   As the charts show, the length does not do it alone. Content should be in easy and unpretentious language and, wherever possible, spiced up with video and pictures. It provides a much better user experience - and the search engines love rich media.   Once you’ve written your post, don’t just sit back. Add ongoing content to the page, such as new, relevant sub-topics. It's also a good idea to keep the page content up-to-date and correct. This is especially true if you are writing about YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics in such fields as the banking world or the pharmaceutical industry.   How to succeed with in-depth content Good content takes time. Therefore, it may be a good idea to present it in small chunks. Make the sections a part of a sprint that you work on every week/month. Your first step is to make a skeleton outline that contains all the topics you wish to cover. Identify and describe the main theme. You can then add other relevant sections that fit the content. Start with the most important points and finish with details and background. Make it easy to scan the page with relevant and descriptive headings. Consider also placing anchor links at the beginning, which link directly to the following sections.   Don't be afraid to include - and link to - external sources. It will strengthen your credibility in the eyes of users, as well as Google.   Think about the best possible user journey. If there is someone else who describes something absolutely perfectly, you can, for example, summarize and link to their page. Then, interested parties can go in depth with it if they want.   Remember to use more than text. Give the content more value with a descriptive image. It's true that a picture says 1,000 words, and many people prefer pictures and videos over text.   Ultra-Targeted Content - Customized content based on data Even though we live in the GDPR age, do not drop all hope of personalization. Of course, the data needs to be mastered, but there are still many opportunities to create tailor-made content for the unique user. Your website is not the only place where you can personalize content. Source: Evergage   There is nothing more boring (and KPI-wiping) than completely dry, generic content. The more personal and relevant you can make your communication, the better.   Google performs some personalization already when you do a search, producing results based on user search history and preferences. Source: CXL   Data-inspired creativity is the future of effective marketing. We are all different - both in terms of preferences and needs. Some users need many touch points while others are ready to convert right away. Therefore, they must have different content. This also applies after the purchase. Specifically, data-based marketing is about using all the data you have about the users and comparing it with predefined variables. What devices are they on, what keywords have they used, are they first time visitors, have they purchased before (and what), time of day, etc.   If done correctly, there are several benefits to ultra-targeted content. The user gets a better experience, revenue increases, and users engage more with content. SOURCE: Evergage   There can be large increases in relevant KPIs with personalized content. The Evergage survey shows that 34% of respondents experience an 11-20% lift, while for another 10% of respondents there is a lift of 31-50%.   Here's how to succeed with tailor-made content It goes without saying that it is important for you have both the time and the necessary resources before you begin personalization. The website and other channels must also be geared to deliver personalized experiences.   The biggest hurdle will typically be the data - both access to it and quality.  It is important that you sit down and get an overview of what kind of data you require. What do you already have and what do you need? Don't invest your resources in collecting data simply because "it's nice to have." Moreover, this kind of data collection is also not GDPR compliant.   Equally as important as access to quality data is the support you need from across your organization, from your colleagues in marketing to IT and management. Personalization requires investment and maintenance. Automate yourself out of as many things as possible Let users speak Remember recommendations The above is from Search Engine Journal, where you can find a more in-depth article on how to succeed with personalized content. CXL also has a good guide for this.   Credibility and authenticity become essential We cannot downplay the important roles credibility and authentic communication have in communications today. Credibility is what your business and my business are built upon. Without it, we have nothing. Ninety percent of consumers say authenticity is important.   Confidence in companies and institutions is generally grounded. Dansk Industri (Denmark's largest business and employers organization) has said we must (re) build trust in companies . At the same time, a new study shows that confidence in businesses has declined over the past five years.   Brands having a significantly different view than their users can suffer disastrous declines. They may develop blind spots where they cannot see the erosion of credibility and confidence until it is too late.   Are you and your company authentic in your communication? The figures indicate that you will undoubtedly answer yes to that. The problem is just half of consumers will say the same. Source: Stackla   There is a clear discrepancy between what we as businesses think and what consumers experience.   Credibility and trust can create an opportunity to differentiate you and your business. If you dare to take a stand (and can endure the scrutiny that will undoubtedly come from consumers), you can positively stand out from the crowd.   Consumers are ready to reward you. This applies both to recommendations and sales. A global study by Cohn and Wolfe shows that consumers are looking for a brand that is authentic.   When consumers define authenticity, they talk about "high quality" (66%) and "keeping what they promise" (70%). CSR (57%) and environmental responsibility (55%) are further down the list.   In 2019, Google made a blog post about one of their major updates and what it means to you and me. Here they emphasized, among other things, that you must focus on what they called E-A-T, or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.   It is important that your content and website reflect expertise, authority and credibility which are measured, in part, based on the knowledge and skill of the author as well as the data and statistics you use to support your text. In addition, when you link to reliable sources, like we do in this blog post, you grow your own credibility.   Here's how to create credibility and authenticity It can be a difficult exercise if your brand has already suffered damage due to falling or lack of credibility. Therefore, it should have your focus in 2020 onwards.   We in the Dentsu Aegis Network performed an analysis, Rewriting the Trust Equation for the Digital Age, where we looked at how brands can build a trusting relationship with consumers. The work resulted in a specific trust equation that can be used to illustrate how brands can use digital marketing to create deeper relationships with consumers. The equation is quite simple: Trust = C + R1 + R2 C = Credibility, R1 = Relevance and R2 = Reliability. Brilliant basics are important and once you have those in place, you can build on them and take your confidence to new heights. The legacy of past decisions and communication also does not disappear. Embrace the past as it will always be part of your story, and turn it into something positive.   The entire analysis resulted in a framework you can use in your future work: Reliability: the ability of a brand to deliver consistently Credibility: the extent to which a brand is recognized as legitimate and authoritative Consumer first: how a brand puts consumers' interests ahead of its own Transparency: how open a brand is with consumers Provenance: consumer understanding of the origins behind a brand Closeness: How close or intimate consumers feel to a brand Mutual disclosure: the responsiveness of a brand (e.g., to feedback or reviews) Established: the extent to which a brand is perceived to have a history or legacy.   The analysis shows that different channels drive different forms of trust. The important thing is to choose the one that suits the market and consumers you want to contact. The above should not be seen as a fact list for all markets and brands. It shows the effectiveness of various media in Germany to drive different forms of trust.   Consider user-generated content. The survey by Stackla shows that 79% say user-generated content is of great importance in the buying process. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to see it as authentic. At the same time, it is 9.8 times more effective than influencers. Read more about authentic content marketing here.   Want to know what confidence is in your industry? We have done an extensive trust study where we take a closer look at what confidence really is and how you can work with it. Use the link to request a calculation of trust in your industry as well as copy of our book, which addresses the topic in greater depth   The world is becoming more local Local results and Google My Business (GMB) will become major focus areas by 2020, or they should be. Google My Business is actually the part of Google that has received the most updates/changes in recent years.   To think big, it is sometimes necessary to think small (locally). Google figures show that organic traffic increases after GMB optimization. Google completed an update in December 2019, which is of great importance to local search. Now, using neural matching for local results, they can better understand the meaning of the search and match it with the best local results.   Featured local SEO facts: 4 out of 5 use search engines to find local information 46% of all Google searches have a local purpose 88% of users who do a local mobile search will either call or visit a business within 24 hours 18% of local searches on mobile lead to a purchase within 24 hours 78% of all location-based mobile searches end up with offline sales 92% of users will choose a business on the first page of local results   You can read more about local SEO in our blog post. At the same time, you can learn more about the possibilities in a larger context in our Google My Business blog post. People using local searches spend more time in the buying journey, which speaks even more to an increased focus on this.   Here's how to succeed with local SEO If you want to succeed with local SEO, you should start by creating a Google My Business profile if you don't already have one. It is an "easy and fast" way to become visible in local results.   First, update your profile with all relevant information. There is a lot of information about your business you can share with users (and Google), such as business hours, whether or not you accept NFC payment, have an elevator, and much more. If you are a restaurant or hotel, you can make a direct booking link through your GMB profile.   It is especially important that you select relevant categories for your profile. This is where Google learns the most about your company and uses this information to display local results. The key is to share information that is truly relevant. Category stuffing can earn you a "penalty" from Google.   Not only do you get local results with Google My Business, you also need to have some local content on your site - and link to it from your GMB profile. On-site SEO is often hyper-local as it involves cities or areas. We recommend that you use Schema for your local pages.   You must (1) use local keywords for your local pages. (2) You will use them to create unique quality content. (3) Feel free to add great photos and videos to the content. (4) Ask yourself does it make sense to make an international edition. (5) Optimize against Rich Snippets with structured data. (6) Get positive reviews.   When it comes to local content, it's also worth working with Micro Moments by adding information you can naturally include, such as knowledge of an area, exciting places to experience, and where to find cheap food or good museums, to name a few.   Search Engine Journal has published a great article on Local SEO Strategy.   The Amazon Prospect - Will Amazon arrive in Denmark in 2020? The jungle drums have long been sounding with rumors that Amazon is right at the door. First it was supposed to arrive in 2019, but that didn't happen. While nothing is official yet, there are many indications that 2020 will be the year Amazon Denmark sees the light of day, and Danish e-commerce will have yet another major competitor.   Of course, the platform is already big in Denmark, where we typically buy from the German or English divisions of the company. With Danish warehouses and a local presence, Amazon will probably gain a large market share quickly because they are already known for low prices and extremely fast delivery.   New figures show that 49% of all product searches in the US begin on Amazon, not Google (which accounts for only 22%). Many users both start and end their journeys on Amazon, which means that it is worth considering whether you as a company should be present on the platform. Even though these are American (only) numbers, it can be daunting for any company to think that users never leave Amazon. eMarketer has also looked at how often users use Amazon Prime. If you decide to become part of the platform, you will need to know more about SEO on Amazon, which is different from traditional Google SEO.     The Pinterest Prospect: The overlooked social media We’ve already talked about video and visual storytelling, but we need to talk a little more about something related to this, namely Pinterest.   Pinterest is the often-overlooked little sister of the very big media brands. This may be because it is not, in fact, a social media in its true nature. However, this should in no way deter you because Pinterest users are looking for inspiration, not specific brands.   The platform has hidden potential for you to reach many users without having to pay a lot of money if you go about it properly. Twenty-three percent of Danes have a Pinterest profile - which is a 9% increase over 2018 - but only 4% use it daily.   According to Pinterest's own report, 82% of users have made a purchase based on brand content they have seen on the platform.   In 2019, Pinterest actually overtook Snapchat in the US in terms of monthly active users. Furthermore, it doesn't look like Snapchat is catching up with Pinterest right away. On the contrary. The big difference between Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter is that the primary features on Pinterest are pictures, not words. Here, the medium differs significantly from most others.   Many marketers follow interest and traffic on Pinterest, but traditional SEO metrics such as keyword search volume do not exist. For those who can create successful brand experiences, however, there may be a pot of gold at the end of the Pinterest rainbow. It's easy to get started. Simply create a company account, verify your domain, and link an ad account to get ready. Ads on Pinterest are still very new, but this means there is great opportunity if you dare throw yourself into it and invest time and money in the medium. Much of the content is typically already found on your website in the form of first-class images.   BO BEDRE is a brand that has successfully established itself on Pinterest where it reaches a lot of users. They share, among other things. quality content from their other channels. Quality is an important parameter on Pinterest, both in the eyes of the platform and users.   Can we help you? Do you already have control over the various trends? Cool, then you are well on your way to succeeding in the years to come.   If you would like to hear more about how to make the most of the various trends, please feel free to contact us to hear more.   Download Future Focus 2020, where we go in depth with what's going to happen in the next ten years. In more than 100 pages we address how to avoid the pitfalls of digital transformation as well as how to get ready for the future of machine learning and automation today.   0

Image not found

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our experts have compiled 5 quick tips for each of their areas of expertise.  Watch these short videos for brief updates which will help you pivot your strategies in each channel to better serve your clients as the effects of the pandemic continue to influence consumer behavior. 5 Considerations for #commerce in Light of COVID-19 by Nate Shurilla, Global Director of Commerce and Voice. 5 Considerations for #commerce in Light of COVID-19 by Nate Shurilla, Global Director of Commerce and Voice.   Laura Flores, Chile, presents five ways analytics and CRO can help brands today.   Erika Vonderwall, London, shares  five ways using influencers and video brands can help brands now.     Jack Cantwell, Client Director iProspect Singapore, shares five consideration for CRM in light of COVID-19.   Anna Calciolari, Global Head of Products and Partnerships, shares five ways marketing automation can help brands in these challenging times.   0

Image not found

According to the 250 top marketers surveyed in the iProspect Global Client Survey, Amazon will be the third most influential tech company for their target audiences in 2020, after Google and Facebook. This is hardly a surprise considering the ever-growing importance of the platform in consumers’ daily lives. More than 78 million people in the United States alone already use Amazon on their mobile phones to compare prices or availability when shopping in a physical store (Dentsu proprietary data). For marketers, this situation comes with the critical challenge of correctly understanding the influence of their media efforts on Amazon sales to better drive their marketing investment. Until recently, Amazon hasn’t offered marketers the right tools to do so, but with the launch of Amazon Attribution, the e-commerce giant is actively working to close the gap with its competitors regarding marketing measurement solutions. Does the Amazon Attribution beta live up to its promise of better visibility on media performance? What are the benefits and limitations of the solution? To find out, iProspect specialists tested the solution on a leading apparel retailer in the United States, which is both an Amazon brand vendor and works with third-party sellers. Through the example of paid search, our specialists share what you should know before getting started with the beta. How Amazon Attribution Works What Amazon Attribution Solves The Amazon Attribution beta measurement solution aims to enable brands who sell on Amazon to better understand the impact of the digital media campaigns off Amazon (search ads, social ads, display ads, video ads and email) on their activity within Amazon. Let’s take the example of search ads (including Google Shopping ads): Anna searches for a product online in a search engine (i.e., outside Amazon), clicks an ad from brand X and lands on brand X’s website. After reviewing options, Anna may purchase on brand X's website, but may instead buy brand X's product on Amazon or perform additional research on Amazon. If she ends up buying on Amazon, it is clear the ad had an effect on her purchase, but without a proper attribution solution, it is impossible to demonstrate this indirect influence. This undermines the actual performance of search ads and limits brand X’s capacity to optimise its media dollars. This is exactly what Amazon Attribution addresses by providing brand X with sales impact analysis across media channels, so that brand X’s marketing team can now uncover the insights needed to optimise their campaigns and plan future activations.   Getting Started The two-step setup process is simple: Vendor brands and agencies work with their Amazon team to apply for the Amazon Attribution beta. Following the launch of the Amazon Attribution beta in 2018, Amazon expanded its availability in 2019, and the solution is now available both in the US and the UK (with limited access). The program has also expanded to include social campaign support. Teams should categorise reporting data and create pixels through orders in the Amazon interface accordingly. The media pixels are created for each publisher type and then added to specific campaigns or elements. For this test we created pixels based on search term categories and applied the pixels within tracking templates in Google’s Search Ads 360. This allowed Amazon to track clicks from Google search and shopping campaigns to Amazon detailed page views (DPV). What we found Three Considerations About Attribution and Performance (Results below combine data from first-party and third-party sellers on Amazon.) On average, 48% of clicks on Google search and Google shopping also tracked to DPVs on Amazon. Although DPV rate varied by campaign theme the fact that almost half of paid search clicks influenced DPV on Amazon on average demonstrates the importance of having all of your brand’s shopping experiences optimised. This indirect impact on Amazon casts a new light on the real performance of paid search and budget allocations within paid search programs. When factoring in paid search and shopping campaign influences, our .com campaign ROAS increased by 25%. Search engine campaigns to brand’s .com experience helps to influence potential customers before they go (or go back to) a platform like Amazon where they could easily buy from multiple or other brands. But particularly high DPV rates and conversion rates among certain segments helped us also re-evaluate our search campaign budgets to prioritise incrementality. Not surprisingly, the average order value (AOV) on Amazon was significantly lower than the client’s site, which has higher free-shipping thresholds and higher-end items.   Three Implementation and Measurement Implications Keep things simple at first: Marketers can add as many pixels/orders as they want, but they must consider how they will report and combine this information with the non-Amazon data. They should also keep track of precisely when they apply click pixels to media; not doing it all at one time can make the process of combining data rather complex. Keep in mind Amazon Attribution is still in beta: The program is subject to changes and Amazon may not be able to solve all questions or data discrepancies. Amazon changed the format of pixels from the initial launch into 2019. New publisher support may be added overtime with more specific pixels. Amazon has added new bulk features to streamline creation and implementation of pixels. Amazon Attribution tells what happens, not how: Although we uncovered a more robust picture of the shopping landscape, Amazon Attribution does not tell us how users get to Amazon after they click on a search text or shopping ad, for example, if they come to Amazon directly (i.e., typing the Amazon domain in the URL bar) and then convert, or if they land on Amazon via an Amazon ad in Google or an organic listing in Google. It also doesn’t confirm which products they buy on Amazon.   Additional Opportunities to Explore With the Beta Analyse performance over time if prices on your brand’s .com and Amazon experience are affected by promotions.  If you are using results from the beta to help guide budget shifts and allocations for your search and shopping campaigns, launch incrementality tests to validate learnings from the beta. For example, if we reduce coverage purposefully on a subset ofsearch campaigns that drove high conversion rate with the beta, would our brand’s Amazon experience pick up enough of the revenue loss so we can focus our budget on other search and shopping campaigns? Consider expanding pixel strategy to analyse performance by audience segments. Launch the beta across more than one media channel for your brand to better understand performance impact across your media mix.   Verdict Keeping in mind the current limitations, Amazon Attribution provides a great tool for brands to gain insights through Amazon sales impact analysis, develop in-flight optimisation strategies and plan future marketing activations across channels to maximise ROI and product sales. Needing guidance to implement Amazon Attribution for your brand or for other marketplace and retailer optimisation tactics? Contact global.marketing@iProspect.com today to explore opportunities. 0