Straight Talk About Why Marketers Should Get Involved with Clubhouse and Social Audio

Straight Talk About Why Marketers Should Get Involved with Clubhouse and Social Audio

iProspect has contributed to the Insider Intelligence Clubhouse and Social Audio 2021 report which offers extensive knowledge into social audio and its rise. It gives us insights into social audio apps including Discord and the newfound favourite, Clubhouse, and shares vision into how and when marketers should get involved.   Current circumstances have introduced issues unmatched to anything we have previously seen. Minimal and limited daily human interaction and video conference fatigue are becoming the norm. “Participating in conversations in social audio apps—or even just listening to other human voices speak about topics that are important to them—fills yet another need for connection,” the report explains. It gives an opportunity for “authentic, unfiltered discourse” so many of us are craving.   Launched in 2015, the app Discord, notable for its voice chat feature, has experienced significant uptake since the start of the pandemic. “Discord is perhaps the most scaled and mature platform among social audio venues,” said Rohan Philips, chief product officer at performance marketing agency iProspect. “That’s primarily driven by gamers but it’s increasingly being adopted outside of gaming by communities and individuals.”   Discord hasn’t been the only app to prosper since the pandemic. Despite being just over a year old, Clubhouse has “became the poster child for the social audio trend after it entered a period of hyper growth.” Clubhouse is filling the void the pandemic accelerated and is exceeding many expectations in doing so. The report commented on its potential saying, “[P]eople who are aware of it believe it could eventually challenge its audio and social media progenitors.”   The recent rise of social audio and Clubhouse are hot on every marketer’s radar. Click here to download the report to find out more. This article is excerpted from the report Clubhouse and Social Audio 2021 report.  0

2 mins read

Shoppable AR Transforms eCommerce

Shoppable AR Transforms eCommerce

This article has been written by David Roter, VP Global Agency and Brand Partnerships, Snap Inc. and Heather O'Shea, Marketing Science Lead, Snap Inc.   Augmented reality (AR) is redefining the future of shopping and brand experiences. It empowers people to experience brands and products up close without needing to go to a store, enabling the ability to comfortably “try before you buy” and comparison shop with ease. For brands, AR is an incredibly powerful tool and helps solve business challenges — from reducing return rates to increasing loyalty with immersive experiences — AR unlocks avenues to reach potential customers far beyond traditional eCommerce offerings. The ongoing rise of smartphone ownership and camera usage enhances the impact of augmented reality for brands. Helen Papagiannis, the author of Augmented Human, details these trends in an article published in Harvard Business Review [1] . Her conclusion is that “AR has proven that it can add enormous value for consumers in the shopping journey”. Over the past year, Snapchat has been experimenting with Shoppable AR formats and evaluating the role of augmented reality as a performance channel, going beyond entertainment and fun to a true utility that drives business results. Our findings outline the immense opportunity for brands to amplify their eCommerce strategy and equip their business for these consumer habits of the future.   Augmented reality is truly a full-funnel format. Brands leverage AR on Snapchat to enable conversation about their brand, invite people into an immersive experience, facilitate product try-on and in-home-visualization, and activate useful formats for education. As such, we’ve found that augmented reality delivers full funnel performance. Through a global meta-analysis with research firm Kantar, we identified that when Snapchat CPG campaigns include an AR Lens, they drive 2.5x growth in ad awareness and 1.1x lift in action intent compared to Kantar's global CPG market norms benchmarks[2]. This trend holds true for the retail category as well - when Snapchat retail campaigns include an AR Lens, they drive 2x growth in ad awareness and 2x lift in action intent compared to Kantar's global retail market norms benchmarks [3]. Beyond brand lift, augmented reality campaigns also deliver significant ROI. In the US, Snap partnered with NCSolutions to analyze over 2 years of Snapchat CPG campaigns. We learned that campaigns that include AR Lenses demonstrated a 46% higher lift in penetration on average compared to campaigns without Lenses and drove 14% more incremental sales [4]. This inflated growth of incremental sales indicates that highly engaging branded AR experiences can convert users more quickly than traditional media formats.   Augmented reality is also gaining ground as the future of product trial and try-on. Nearly 200 million Snapchatters engage with AR every day [5], and 46% have used AR or VR as a virtual shopping tool. And interest continues to climb - nearly 8 in 10 are interested in visualizing products in the space around them as a way to enhance their shopping experiences [6]. We’ve built a behavior of daily AR use in the Snapchat camera, and consumers are ready to fully embrace this technology as a part of how they shop and compare products.   In 2020, we began deeper testing of Shoppable AR formats as we recognized a desire for our audience to interact with brands while safely staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic. We partnered with select advertisers, including dentsu clients, to test these formats over Q3 and Q4 of 2020. We developed tools like SnapML that offer users the ability to try on products such as shoes, sunglasses and makeup directly within Snapchat’s camera and seamlessly make a transaction if they like what they see. These immersive experiences have delivered outsized results for participating advertisers. 9 out of 10 of these campaigns drove an increase in ad awareness [7], and because of the immersive experiences the camera allows for, we’ve seen these Product Experience Lens campaigns were 2x as likely to drive Intent lift than Snapchat Q3-Q4 Norms [8].   Notably, dentsu partnered with Snapchat for two recent best-in-class shoppable AR campaigns. Gucci embarked on their first-ever global AR shoe “try-on” campaign, using SnapML technology to let Snapchatters virtually try on Gucci shoes. After seeing how they looked in the brand’s latest sneakers, Snapchatters were able to purchase the shoes directly from the Lens via a “Shop Now” button, generating positive ROAS as a result [9]. Using their Business Profile as their virtual storefront, Dior (LVMH) launched several new Lenses for their B27 sneaker launch that delivered 3.8X ROAS for their overall campaign [10]. Augmented reality is no longer simply an experiment. For many marketers, it’s becoming a core element of their eCommerce strategy. The wide variety of AR formats can be activated to achieve marketing objectives throughout the funnel, and as more consumers seek out AR shopping experiences, brands have an opportunity to own shoppable innovation within their category with a high rate of proven success. Platforms like Snapchat are best positioned to help retailers tap into this powerful new format. We have a highly engaged audience of 265 million daily active users [11], nearly 200 million of which engage with AR on a daily basis [12]. We’ve evolved our AR products to address utility and commerce in response to consumer needs and we make it easy for advertisers to build creative through our best-in-class creative strategy team and free turnkey products like Lens web builder. This brings newfound opportunities for brands to cut-through the clutter and achieve growth while future-proofing their approach to eCommerce.     [1] Source: Helen Papagiannis, “How AR is redefining retail in the pandemic”, Harvard Business Review, October 2020 [2] Source: Kantar Snapchat CPG campaign brand lift meta-analysis commissioned by Snap, Inc., February 2021 [3] Source: Kantar Snapchat Retail campaign brand lift meta-analysis commissioned by Snap, Inc., February 2021 [4] Source: NCSolutions CPG Reaction studies Q1 2017 - Q4 2019 [5] Source: Snap Inc. Internal data Q1 2020. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC. [6] Source: Alter Agents study commissioned by Snap, Inc.; May 2020 [7] Source: Snap Inc. internal data as of February 2021 [8] Source: Snap Inc. internal data as of February 2021 [9] Snap Inc. internal data June 28-August 17, 2020 [10] Source: Data from Snap Ads Manager as of October 29 - December 20, 2020. Lookback window: 28 days post-swipe, 1 day post-view. [11] Source: Snap Inc. internal data Q4 2020 vs. Q4 2019. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC. [12] Source: Snap Inc. Internal data Q1 2020. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC.     0

6 mins read

Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated

Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated

The new iProspect Future Focus report explores the intersection of consumer attention, commerce and data.    Today, we officially launch Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as the essential read for conscientious marketers seeking to explore and exploit the latest consumer and industry advancements for brand growth. The 75+ page report addresses some of the most pressing aspects of modern marketing including; the battle for attention, wholesale changes in data privacy, and the emergence of assisted commerce.    Combining evidence-based research with interviews and responses from over 200 brand marketers in 29 countries, the Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated report delves deep into the challenges and opportunities faced in the current global climate and within the immediate media landscape. And, convenience and relevancy of media to the consumer is key, as 61% of marketers, polled for the report, considered ‘building a highly convenient experience for the consumer’ as the most powerful lever to generate business growth.i    The content of this sixth edition of the Future Focus series typifies the intricacies of bringing brand and performance together to achieve growth.     “Despite the challenging times we live in, I believe there have never been so many opportunities in media. With our new and unique approach of performance-driven brand building, we are firmly optimistic about the future and resolved to make it happen, today. With Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as their guidebook, I hope all marketers will be able to leverage the growth potential afforded at these significant intersections of media, data, commerce and culture.”  Amanda Morrissey, Global President of iProspect    The findings showed that around 2 in 5 marketers (42%) still think the linear path to purchase is as relevant today as it was decades ago, despite the rise of digital. While at the same time 32% of marketers feel that expanding commerce capabilities is important for the 2021 roadmap, however 26% see this as one of the most difficult challenges this year.ii      Practical advice to marketers.   In addition to discussing and dissecting the impact of major global industry trends and innovations, the report spotlights the relevancy and opportunity for brands, regardless of sector, to capitalise on these seismic shifts in the media landscape. Examples of the report’s advice and guidance for marketers worldwide include:    #1: Commerce is Everywhere    Organisations should strive to build and maintain an accurate picture of their commerce capabilities across five key dimensions: desirability, availability, findability, buyability, and repeatability. This will help them define the most profitable commerce model for their brand, better integrate their e-commerce and stores into an actionable omnichannel strategy, explore new growth channels, and turn media opportunities into transaction opportunities.    #2 The Battle for Attention  Brands should consider factoring attention into their media optimisation and measurement efforts to elevate the impact and efficiency of their investment. To maximise audience attention, they should ensure the content and experiences they design truly align with consumer intent, and that the campaigns they develop do not relegate diversity and inclusivity as afterthoughts.  #3 The New Data Playbook    On the data front, organisations should embrace the new privacy-conscious world by re-evaluating the value exchange they offer to their audiences and anticipate technological changes to minimise business disruption. This is the occasion to explore opportunities for automation, evaluate the quality of the data they collect and process, and more broadly reflect upon how data is effectively used to inform decisions.    The last point is of particular significance as the report found in some circumstances there are huge disparities between what the consumer and brand marketer think, when it comes to assessing data value. Only 9% of marketers believe helping a company improve products or services is an incentive for consumers to share their data, while 44% of consumers believe it is a good enough reason to release personal identifiable information (PII) to the brand.iii      Download your copy of Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated now.    -----------------------------------------   [i] Proprietary omnibus survey: iProspect, 2020 Global Client Survey, 12 Oct–11 Nov 2020, 202 respondents. [ii] Proprietary omnibus survey: iProspect, 2020 Global Client Survey, 12 Oct–11 Nov 2020, 202 respondents. [iii] iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey (Oct 2020) and iProspect and Microsoft Advertising, Consumer Privacy and Data Survey (Mar 2020) 0

4 mins read

The Renewed Importance of Structured Data

The Renewed Importance of Structured Data

There are multiple benefits of automation for brands, from more consistent user experiences across platforms to a competitive edge in performance optimisation to reduced media waste. According to the iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey, about one marketer out of two has already automated data and analytics (54%), search (50%) and programmatic (47%) activities – at least partially. One out of three (32%) has automated social efforts and one out of four (24%) has automated effectiveness measurement. As automation is increasingly accessible to brands, with increasing numbers of automation focused solutions made available by vendors and tech platforms, it is relatively easy for brands to launch decent campaigns – but it also makes differentiating from competition more difficult. This is why structured data and feeds continue to grow in importance.   Structured data and feeds power automation Structured data and feeds are collections of data (e.g., price, product availability, weather) with useful associations that can be used consistently across a large array of marketing channels (e.g., search, social, email). By organising information to be understood and utilised by various systems, structured data is the true cornerstone of automation, powering the brands’ ads across many verticals, such as airlines (e.g., flight rates), hospitality (e.g., hotel listings) and automotive (e.g., nearby dealerships). Structured data is becoming increasingly important for three reasons: Structured data can be used to automate the integration of any data signal into the media ecosystem, especially the brand's products and service details. Products and service data sets do not include personally identifiable information (PII) data and are not impacted by data privacy concerns, which means marketers can confidently invest in these specific structured data to deliver the best value for audiences regardless of the ever-changing privacy landscape.   Six marketers out of ten (61%) declare the most powerful lever to business growth is building a highly convenient experience for the consumer (iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey). Feeds enable marketers to make the most of shoppable media opportunities, which make the consumer path to purchase more convenient. They also improve the relevance of ads through more personalisation possibilities. For instance, iProspect helped a retail apparel company to dynamically adjust which product image to use for each product via the feed and connect it to media campaigns. Analysing performance data, we realised that for women's products, images featuring models performed much stronger than images of the product by itself. For men's products, it was the exact opposite. We were able to increase the relevance of ads by optimising the images featured for each product, resulting in stronger engagement and increased average order value.   With the current recession putting marketing budgets and resources under pressure, structured data and feeds can make media management more efficient. For example, campaigns can automatically be paused when a product is momentarily out of stock, reducing media wastage. They also make maintaining ad accuracy of large catalogues more efficient. For instance, we augmented the feed of all the properties managed by a real estate client with point-of-interest data and neighbourhood data - both critical to how people search for properties - so that the ad copy could be updated automatically with minimal human intervention.   How to get started with structured data and feeds There are three challenges most marketers will face when exploring how to use structured data and feeds to create a positive value exchange: identification, access and execution. The following considerations are key to overcoming these challenges. Data signal audit (People): Conducting a thorough data audit to understand what data sets are available to you and what signals are relevant to your brand is the first step to tap into structured data. When it comes to automation, bad data input can quickly turn into a very bad output, which is why collaboration is critical at this stage. Involving internal stakeholders (e.g., IT department) to align on how to structure data sources and setting quality standards for third-party feeds is a good practice to prevent potential issues later. Data acquisition (Platform): Securing continuous, real-time access to the right data signals requires identifying a technology platform able to both connect to your own internal data systems to pull in relevant data and ingest third-party data sources into a single data environment, such as iProspect’s FeedConnect and iActivate. Data management activation (Process): Connecting structured data to active media programmes can be challenging, as each platform has its own technical integration, and each channel its own requirements. For instance, paid search keyword campaigns typically call for short titles of products without brand names, while product listing ads and organic search require longer titles and descriptions. On top of technical know-how, it is important to include a complete testing strategy to make the most of each data signal in the feed and inform campaign management decisions, for instance, by factoring product seasonality to adjust bids throughout the year, or by including margin data to the feed to optimise against bottom-line performance.      Product-to-audience affinity is the future of structured data We believe the future of structured data leans toward optimising how likely a given audience segment is to purchase a specific product, and we predict there will soon be an opportunity to use additional data signals to maximise the affinity at the product level. It could mean using analytical data at the CRM and product SKU levels to determine which products drive the highest contributions to a consumer's lifetime value, looking at the types of products that most often drive a second purchase to boost them through advertising and drive customer retention, etc. For instance, a smartphone brand will be able to use structured data and feeds to increase the bid of ads featuring their most recent device - and not the bids for its entire smartphone range - when communicating specifically to early adopters.   The possibilities are endless, but it is crucial to coordinate between departments to create models with tangible applications.     This article is excerpted from the report Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated. Download it now for key insights on how brands can make the most of brand and performance to accelerate their growth. 0

6 mins read

Building Powerful Experiences to Capture Attention

Building Powerful Experiences to Capture Attention

Desire, confidence, shock, delight. Emotions play a critical – if not the most important – role in communication. They capture hearts and minds, build relationships, and urge action. Yet, according to the iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey, a third (34%) of marketers declare the lack of emotional connection is a challenge for increasing long-term consumer trust in their brand. Here are three inspiring and recent examples of companies embedding emotions such as excitement, fascination, and surprise at the heart of their communications to build attention-grabbing experiences.   Enhanced reality Brands able to add a new layer of reality to everyday experiences and provide a new perspective, as a result, can deliver a deep yet scalable immersion into their world. Not all experiences have to be grandiose and high tech - simple ideas with impeccable execution are often the best. To promote tourism amongst New Yorkers, the Austrian Tourism Board designed an immersive AR audio wherein Vienna’s most famous son, Beethoven, guided users through specific Manhattan locations that are related to Austria. Through the combination of geofencing, 3D sound effects, and exciting stories, people were able to discover the Austrian connection of locations such as Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, Café Sabarsky and Carnegie Hall. By letting New Yorkers experience their city in a whole new way, this campaign created five times more impressions through owned and earned media than paid media budget.   Where music and culture meet  Sonos have always focused on ensuring their products deliver greater sound quality than the competition and wanted to showcase this in a campaign that would deliver premium sound messaging through environments where music and culture meet.  To do so, Sonos used out-of-home (OOH) advertising to deliver visual impact across iconic locations with a connection to music such as the Opera station in Paris and the Hamburg docks. To own relevant cultural environments, Sonos also used OOH during an audio exhibit at Barbican station in London and around the major music complex Philharmonie in Paris. This OOH strategy increased aided awareness by 82%.  Additionally, Sonos partnered with popular podcast hosts, specifically those who were Sonos fans, to give authentic testimonials to their audiences about the sound quality of Sonos products. This strategy delivered a 19% uplift in consumers’ association of Sonos with superior sound quality and a six-fold increase in unaided awareness vs. control.  Sonos also created a bespoke “Brilliant Sound hub” on Amazon Prime offering discounts on select films with quality sound and connecting their brilliant sound proposition with the big screen. More than 40% of Prime users clicked to view the hub, and that increased consumer searches for Sonos products on Amazon.    Multi-sensory experiences As most brands mainly rely on visual cues to communicate their messages, the ones leveraging other senses as well stand a much better chance of creating deep-rooted memories. Sound drives brand recognition like nothing else, while smells are a shortcut to emotions. Hendrick’s Gin wanted to offer a surprising and refreshing detour to Londoners during the dullest time of the day: their commute. The brand used a 1,000-square-metre vinyl wrap to cover the floors and walls of the 74-meter-long tunnel in the capital’s busiest station with illustrations from its imaginative world, such as floating beluga whales, hot-air balloons, and dapper gentlemen atop unicycles. The installation featured 20 scented posters immersing commuters in Hendrick’s signature scent, a rose-and-cucumber infusion. More than 400,000 people experienced this multi-sensory and distinctive campaign, and five times as many through the pictures shared on social media by delighted commuters. Guides such as Lonely Planet even featured the experience as a must-visit in the city.     These examples show how brands can build powerful experiences to capture the attention of new and existing consumers. By combining emotional value for people and fidelity to their brand territory, marketers can turn attention into memorable experiences that build their brands, one moment at a time.     This article is excerpted from the report Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated. Download it now for key insights on how brands can make the most of brand and performance to accelerate their growth. 0

4 mins read

Shoppable by Design

Shoppable by Design

According to the iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey, the main advantages of a better integration of brand and performance are a more effective measurement of marketing ROI (60% of respondents), more consistent consumer experiences (54%), and more efficient touchpoints that build customer relationship (38%). On the flipside, one out of two marketers (51%) sees the difficulty in measuring the contribution of brand initiatives to business performance as a key barrier to brand and performance integration.   In the context of less predictable shopping patterns, a shoppable-by-design approach, wherein brand interactions offer consumers a convenient path to transactions at any given time, can help marketers make the most of both their brand and performance efforts to elevate the consumer experience, maximise impact and track business results.   Shoppable media connects brands and commerce Shoppable media is nothing new for digital advertising which has embedded interactivity since its infancy. One could also argue that traditional channels have had shoppable mechanisms for a long time (e.g., newspaper coupons, direct response TV). However, technology is now driving an acceleration in this space, bringing commerce features to media without compromising brand experiences. All the main digital platforms have recently intensified their efforts to create more shoppable formats. For instance, people can now use the Google App to simply tap and hold any image in order to shop the exact item featured in the image or similar items. On YouTube, brands can pair their video ads with a browsable catalogue, so that while the video showcases the brand key message, the catalogue facilitates navigation towards the product page that matter. The TV industry is also active in this space, and networks have been leading the charge. Following the launch of ShoppableTV (a QR code-based solution for letting viewers shop products featured in shows they’re watching), NBCUniversal has announced Checkout, a unified shopping cart across its TV and digital properties, and recently partnered with PayPal to facilitate payments on the platform. TV manufacturers are keen to get their share of the shoppable media pie as well. For example, LG has announced a solution powered by artificial intelligence enabling its clients to easily purchase what they see on screen. These types of solutions could improve how brands measure the profitability of product placement and TV ads, and lead to new product personalisation opportunities (e.g., selling a limited edition tailored to what is happening on screen). In the long run, they may also change the nature of TV investment through the development of commission-based business relationships alongside the more traditional GRP-based trading. In the meantime, brands should focus on collecting insights through testing and building consumer habits through clear instructions when content is shoppable.     Livestreaming reinvents TV shopping channels for the digital age Today, the most dynamic place for creating shoppable-by-design brand experiences sits at the intersection of social platforms, influencer marketing and livestreaming. By combining the unique strengths of these three channels - collective experience, personal touch and sense of urgency - brands have a powerful recipe at their disposal to boost their commerce strategy. The most emblematic example of this convergence is TikTok, which has seen a spectacular audience growth over the last twelve months and is now expected to join the very exclusive club of +1B monthly active users in 2021. The platform has rolled out a series of shopping features that natively fit the content from creators, such as Shop Now buttons, shoppable livestreams with in-app transactions, and shoppable ads in partnership with Shopify - all of that while topping the other major digital platforms in terms of ad equity according to Kantar. It is no surprise that brands targeting Gen Z are investing in TikTok. For instance, Levi’s tapped into the #oddlysatisfying movement and partnered with TikTok influencers to create customised denim products that consumers could buy for a limited time. Livestreaming is an important growth opportunity for brands selling through third-party commerce platforms as well. In China, Taobao Live (Alibaba Group’s livestreaming channel) alone generated roughly $48B in gross merchandise value in twelve months. In Japan, the department store Isetan used Instagram and YouTube livestreams to introduce products to a user base larger than what would show up in-store. As livestreaming continues to grow, marketers should explore how they can make the most of this format that connects entertainment and commerce to design experiences improving both the image and sales metrics of their brands.   Technology advancements prefigure better shopping experiences The future of online shopping has never seemed so bright. Many of the technologies that were much anticipated over the last years are finally getting into consumers’ hands, opening new commerce possibilities for brands. Certainly, the most discussed is 5G, and, to a lesser extent, Wi-Fi 6. As coverage increases and the list of compatible devices grows, consumers are starting to experience these new networks that promise lower latency (e.g., enabling better livestreams) and higher reliability in environments congested with connected devices (e.g., enabling a smarter home). These improved connections could lead to smoother brand and shopping experiences, but they could also heighten consumers’ expectations, for instance, in terms of speed standards for brands’ websites and apps. Another exciting technology, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), is gaining increasing attention. It uses laser pulses to scan the environment around the device and create high-fidelity three-dimensional maps. While most of its applications to date have been reserved for professionals, it is now literally at our fingertips, with the latest iPhone flagship models featuring a LiDAR scanner. For consumers, it is an opportunity for more accurate augmented reality (AR) experiences, which can help visualize items at scale before purchasing. For instance, Apple announced that the IKEA Place app (which enables users to place furniture in their home in AR) will feature a new Studio Mode harnessing its LiDAR scanner. Tech platforms are also seizing this opportunity, with Snapchat now enabling brands to create LiDAR-powered lenses. These examples are only a glimpse of the various technologies that already, or will soon, make it easier for consumers to shop and easier for companies to create compelling experiences that bring brands and commerce together. Now is a good time for marketers to examine how they can make the most of these opportunities in the near future to bolster their commerce capabilities.     This article is excerpted from the report Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated.  Download it now for key insights on how brands can make the most of brand and performance to accelerate their growth. 0

6 mins read

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dentsu bolsters global media offering by bringing together iProspect and Vizeum brands to form future-focused iProspect brand globally

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Inclusivity Drives Attention

Inclusivity Drives Attention

One of the most important considerations in building experiences that truly capture attention is to make sure everyone feels included. It may sound obvious but is yet to be a reality for many population groups, despite their growing economic influence (in the US alone, the buying power of racial and ethnic minority groups is close to four trillion dollars). Like attention, diversity and inclusivity should not be taken for granted and require continuous effort. Brands have a critical role to play in that space. According to dentsu and SeeHer, 81% of US consumers agree media plays a crucial role in shaping gender roles, but less than a third (32%) think media usually portray women accurately.     A pivotal moment in time 2020 has been pivotal in allowing many to realise for the first time the disparities endured by minorities. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit minorities hardest and several tragedies in the US such as the murder of George Floyd have spotlighted systemic discrimination against people of colour. The global public outrage that followed made waves across all aspects of society, including consumption, through movements such as #BlackoutDay2020, and brands, with many major companies publicly confronted for the lack of diversity in their boards.   Brands can no longer neglect diversity and inclusivity. It may lead to uncomfortable realisations, difficult conversations and mistakes along the way, but embracing inclusivity is now an imperative for brands to become or stay relevant to population groups that have been overlooked for too long.     There has been progress, but the road to diversity and inclusivity is still long. According to the iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey, 96% of marketers now believe inclusive marketing is important, most of them (63%) seeing it both as a moral imperative and a business opportunity. Interestingly, the percentage of marketers who believe it is only important for the business potential it represents is decreasing (-7% YOY), while the percentage of respondents seeing it as important solely on moral grounds is increasing in the same proportion. It could be a sign that more companies are growing more comfortable with embracing a societal role.     Reflecting on the campaigns they ran over the last six months, 55% of marketers declare they featured people from a different ethnicity/caste than the dominant one in their market at least once in a positive way. This increasing figure (+3% YOY) could hint that the increasing visibility of movements like Black Lives Matter progressively change perceptions and actions around social justice.   However, not all population groups follow the same trend. For instance, we observe the percentage moving down for people with disabilities (-4%), which makes them underrepresented compared to the global share of people living with some form of disability (15%).   These figures show that, although inclusive marketing is gaining traction, there is still a lot left to do to improve the visibility of minorities in media and advertising and to build authentic stories that accurately reflect minorities’ experiences. Although there is no inclusive silver bullet, there is definitely a starting place: the diversity within the organisation. Building inclusive marketing campaigns requires inclusive marketing teams wherein diverse voices can be heard. This is a sine qua non condition for brands to resonate with all their potential customers.     The fight against bias   Bias is everywhere in society, and technology and data are no exception. Far from being neutral, technology and data can perpetuate and exacerbate disparities, prejudice, and discriminatory patterns. Many fields at the core of data marketing can be subject to bias, from insights to algorithms to targeting and performance analysis.   However, tackling bias is a difficult challenge as it can appear in many forms and on multiple occasions. It can be intentional (e.g., a decision to exclude a certain ethnic group from a campaign) or unintentional (e.g., combining multiple data targeting dimensions such as income and location that could de facto exclude minorities living in certain areas). It can play out at an individual level (e.g., due to the personal values of an employee) or at a company level (e.g., due to a lack of diversity in a product development team). It can stem from organizational inertia, negligence, or ignorance. (e.g., if a community was never targeted by the brand, a predictive model using historical data can incorrectly conclude the community is less likely to purchase its products and thus that the brand should not target this community in the future). It can emerge from within or be imported into the organisation (e.g., by using incomplete or poor-quality data from third parties). It can be a combination of the factors listed above and more, which makes bias detection even harder.   Because of the omnipresence of bias across organisations, it is crucial for companies to actively seek to identify and eliminate bias through various, overlapping strategies.   According to the iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey, a majority (52%) of marketing teams are now diverse and inclusive (+9% YOY). This is an important milestone as minority groups should not only be visible in consumer personas, but also around the marketing table.     Guidelines and best practices on diversity and inclusion are the second option favoured by brands (44%), followed by multidisciplinary bias training (32%, +8% YOY).   From the results, it seems that brands are increasingly concentrating their efforts on the people within the organisation (e.g., through recruitment, training, committees) to drive change, rather than relying on external partners or focusing on processes. However, the latter should not be overlooked. An external perspective can be useful for organisations to look beyond their filter bubble (e.g., through advanced analysis of data and algorithms, hiring process testing, or consulting on website design accessibility), and a systematic audit of product development and marketing campaigns can prevent oversights.   Marketers should keep in mind these additional considerations to reduce bias specifically in data marketing: As with the move toward privacy and Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), the fight against bias calls for better data. Question the quality of the data you use in your marketing campaigns to prevent bias from spreading into data-powered activities. Your teams are not the only ones who should have frequent bias training. Your predictive models should be retrained regularly as well to learn from new, real-world data. Tools such as the AI Fairness 360 by IBM and The Linux Foundation can help you understand the bias in machine learning models. Keep investing in diverse teams. Human critical thinking is an essential safeguard to remove blind spots automation can generate.     This article is excerpted from the report Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated. Download it now  for key insights on how brands can make the most of brand and performance to accelerate their growth. 0

6 mins read

The Tracking Prevention Revolution

The Tracking Prevention Revolution

As consumers look for more privacy, they are increasingly enabled by technology to escape tracking. Since 2017, all the main web browsers have put in place or announced initiatives to make online user tracking more difficult and transparent. Although the specific policies of these initiatives - commonly referred to as tracking prevention – vary between browsers, they all undermine the use of cookies for marketing purposes.   Third-party cookies, tracking codes used for targeting audiences across websites, are particularly challenged by tracking prevention. For brands, it means a wide array of marketing techniques, such as remarketing or multi-touch attribution, are affected.       Not all organisations have been impacted in the same manner by tracking prevention so far. Factors such as in-market penetration of each browser and the sophistication of each brand’s digital marketing strategy all play a role in how companies have been absorbing the tracking prevention shock. According to our 2020 Global Client Survey, about one marketer out of four (23%) declares that tracking prevention has already had an impact on their marketing to this point. One in ten (11%) declares no impact. More worryingly, 60% declare they are not familiar with tracking prevention or are unsure about the consequences on their business, showing that this fast-changing landscape is not completely understood by everyone.   There are two simple truths for brands to remember.   First, collecting user-explicit consent is and will remain paramount to build long-term data strategies. Depending on the market wherein you operate, it can be a matter of compliance with data regulation. It is also a matter of transparency and trust between your organisation and the users of your services. Second, third-party cookies will be obsolete by 2022. Therefore, the clock is ticking to reassess the data strategies powering their marketing efforts. In light of this privacy targeting shift, marketers can have the most confidence in the long-term usability of their own first-party data, as well as data leveraged in partnership within closed ecosystems.     Building a first-party data infrastructure   This approach aims to shore up your first-party data (i.e., data that you collect directly through loyalty logins, in-store signups, lead forms, etc.) in place of existing cookie-based programmes. By building and cultivating rich sources of user identifiers, companies can get a better understanding of their audiences and leverage one-on-one targeting opportunities, all without relying on third-party cookies.   As you develop bespoke segmentation models, you can pass lists of known users between Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) to target users with personalised creatives across media channels like social and paid search. You can also build lookalike profiles that you can then incentivise to join your loyalty programme in order to grow your first-party data set and CRM.   Although this approach can be costly, the deep understanding of customer lifetime value (CLTV) it enables is highly beneficial to brands looking to drive engagement over time. All customers are not equal and should not be valued as such. A robust CLTV perspective can drastically change how brands drive their business. It influences performance indicators and bidding strategies (e.g., the target ROAS is not only based on the revenue from the most recent purchase). It influences predictive modelling and targeting (e.g., building and targeting lookalike profiles with the highest profitability over time). For public companies, CLTV can also impact their stock market valuation, with new analytical companies such as Theta Equity Partners specialising in analysing customer behaviour over time to inform investors. A first-party data infrastructure is therefore a robust foundation for truly understanding the data you currently own before making other structural data-based decisions.   Leveraging closed ecosystems   In lieu of cookies, a closed ecosystem approach relies on signed-in users of platforms such as Google or Amazon, often referred to as walled gardens. This approach allows brands to upload their own historical audiences in the form of CRM data into the platform. This can be a straight upload, or it can be a more complex integrated solution, for instance, Google BigQuery. Within BigQuery, advertisers can cluster audiences into segments based on behavioural and purchase history (e.g., top spenders), look up similarities across Google's own data, and pick out key similar attributes within those segments (e.g., 40+ men in market for dating services). From there, advertisers activate by applying both CRM and Google owned audiences like lookalike Similar Audiences to existing Google marketing campaigns (e.g., search, YouTube) and optimise visibility, investments and performance according to data.   Leaning into closed ecosystems has its own set of benefits. It starts with ease of activation, thanks to integration with the platform’s native activation products. It is especially interesting for brands that are both comfortable sharing their first-party data and already rely heavily on components of those ecosystems. Additionally, this approach is particularly useful for brands with CRM data that are unable to immediately invest in a nurturing program.   The trade-offs between the paths to activation   Which path is the most advantageous for your brand? A few considerations can help you make an educated choice.     Although the choices you make now will impact long-term modelling projects and your eventual source of truth, the two paths are not mutually exclusive. For instance, a better handle on your first-party data will enable you to make more informed decisions about what is needed from a closed ecosystem down the line.   This article is excerpted from the report Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated. Download it now for key insights on how brands can make the most of brand and performance to accelerate their growth. 0

5 mins read

New Expectations Emerge Around Data Privacy

New Expectations Emerge Around Data Privacy

In recent years, data privacy has become an increasingly significant issue for people and brands. In the wake of publicised privacy scandals and heavily discussed regulations such as the European Union’s GDPR and California’s CCPA and CPRA, consumers have grown more aware of the importance of protecting their data privacy. Some of the world’s most famous and beloved brands like Apple have even made privacy a key differentiator at the core of their strategy, bringing major attention to this topic.     According to an iProspect and Microsoft Advertising survey of more than 25,000 consumers in 16 countries, 87% of respondents now believe data privacy is a right, not a privilege, 64% are concerned about the amount of data being collected, and half have already stopped using a service or changed their purchase behaviour due to privacy concerns.   Brands cannot ignore these concerns. It is not only a matter of complying with regulations, but also a critical consideration to preserve their image and business over time. Today, an increasing share of marketers understand that data privacy should not be an afterthought of their strategy, with 68% believing they should make proactive compromises in how consumer data is used to build consumer trust (iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey). Although the traditional value for money equation is not obsolete, it needs to be revisited to factor data privacy as a new variable.   Finding the right balance in the value exchange between data and privacy is no easy feat.   According to our research, marketers generally tend to overestimate the value of the benefits they provide. Half (49%) believe they offer a fair exchange to consumers for the value of their data, while only 37% of consumers agree.   However, as illustrated in the below table, marketers tend to underestimate consumers’ motivations to share their data. Interestingly, only 9% of marketers believe helping a company improve products or services is an incentive for consumers, while 44% of consumers believe so.     These disconnections can create a perceived imbalance in the value exchange, which can result in distrust from consumers or missed opportunities for brands. For that reason, it is important for brands to develop a clear understanding of the specific factors influencing their audiences’ attitudes and behaviours around privacy, and to build upon these insights to adjust the value exchange they propose to consumers.   It is equally crucial to keep in mind the consumer perception of the value exchange is not shaped only during transactions. It is the sum of all the interactions people have with the company and is conditioned by the company’s credibility regarding privacy issues. With two thirds of consumers (67%) having little to no understanding about how their data is used by companies, brands that proactively reach out to customers about how they approach privacy can help alleviate concerns, explain the value they deliver in exchange for data, and seize the opportunity to differentiate from the competition. As only 22% of consumers declare they always read privacy policies, regularly educating your customers about your privacy practices in clear and concise language can demonstrate greater attention to consumer privacy needs compared to competitors reaching out sporadically and in legal jargon when they update their policies.   To explore further our global consumer research on privacy and value exchange, download the report In Brands We Trust: The Intersection of Privacy and Trust in the Age of The Empowered Consumer by iProspect and Microsoft Advertising.   Additionally, brands should not look away from the worst scenarios. No company is fully immune to data breaches, which is why now is a good time to review your response plan in order to be better positioned to conserve or regain your customers’ trust in case of a breach. Assembling a response team, training your employees about the key actions to take in face of a breach, documenting a plan of action and preparing templates to swiftly disseminate communications are best practices to be prepared to respond to a breach transparently and effectively, and doing so, mitigate the damage.   Building trust is a long-term endeavour and protecting data privacy is an integral part of it. As such, data privacy should underpin every action brands take today and tomorrow.   This article is excerpted from the report Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated. Download it now for key insights on how brands can make the most of brand and performance to accelerate their growth. 0

4 mins read

dentsu bolsters global media offering by bringing together iProspect and Vizeum brands to form future-focused iProspect brand globally

dentsu bolsters global media offering by bringing together iProspect and Vizeum brands to form future-focused iProspect brand globally

London, Jan 12th - dentsu today confirmed its intent to integrate iProspect and Vizeum to create a new, future-focused, end-to-end global media agency under the iProspect banner. By integrating these two award winning agencies, dentsu brings Vizeum’s media strategy and planning, storytelling, and brand building capabilities together with iProspect’s digital expertise, audience knowledge, and performance mindset. Clients will have access to the unique capabilities of both agencies, all from one integrated team leading the new territory of performance-driven brand building by delivering digital-first media strategies underpinned by data and technology at every touchpoint in the consumer journey. The new iProspect media agency will draw from the broader dentsu capability set, allowing clients the flexibility to seamlessly build bespoke and specialised teams with resources from across the network. Clients will gain access to expansive new audience insights, integrated and more effective strategies, market-leading planning and activation, and unparalleled business performance. Carat and dentsu X clients will continue to access industry leading digital performance services through our dentsu Media Scaled Services. The new iProspect entity will be led by Global President Amanda Morrissey, bringing together more than 8,000 media and performance specialists across 93 key global markets. “iProspect is designed for clients at the intersection of brand and performance. We believe brand drives performance, and performance drives brand. We no longer exist in an ecosystem where these elements can be planned and bought separately. We must look at business and brand goals through a combined lens, bringing accelerated growth for our clients,” said Amanda Morrissey, Global President, iProspect. “By focusing on how consumers behave in their digital world and applying that to real world scenarios via a highly connected and creative use of all channels, we position our clients to combine the learnings from the short and long term to drive more effective business growth today and tomorrow.” Peter Huijboom, dentsu international Global CEO Media & Global Clients, said, “At dentsu our goal is to help our clients to make meaningful progress and thrive in a world of change. Because we know people better than anyone else, we deliver human-centric solutions designed to drive growth for our clients and good in society. By bringing iProspect and Vizeum together we are creating a global digital-first, end-to-end media proposition. This will give our clients a scaled choice that sits alongside Carat’s brand-first approach and dentsu X’s experience-driven approach while also allowing greater access to our Creative and CXM service lines.” The new agency will now be launched through a phased market plan over a three-month period with a target completion date of 31st March 2021. This integration is a proof-point of dentsu international’s strategy to simplify how it operates to deliver even greater agility and flexibility for clients through a more focused portfolio of six leadership brands. 0

3 mins read

INTRODUCING A NEW iPROSPECT

INTRODUCING A NEW iPROSPECT

Hello and welcome, I have the great pleasure of introducing the new iProspect, a brand new digital-first media agency which will define a new era of performance-driven brand building at a global scale. As Global President for iProspect, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a front row seat at the creation of this new agency as we’ve fused together skillsets, teams, and resources into something new and something different, with enhanced capabilities to accelerate our clients’ brand growth.  The essence of this new agency and its people is rooted in a single, fundamental belief: We are an agency where the promises of tomorrow are our building blocks for today, where uniting performance and purpose creates brands that can change the world by getting better one moment at a time. Simply put, iProspect is a new agency born at the intersection where the science of performance marketing and the art of brand building come together.  This unrivalled perspective, grounded in deep digital specialism, married with brand building strategic firepower enables us to optimise in real-time and with precision in order to accelerate brand growth in the short and long term. And, we can do all of this at scale. At iProspect we focus on how consumers behave in their digital world and apply that to real world scenarios via a highly connected and creative use of every media channel.  As digital specialists, our perspective allows us to rapidly optimise our work and adapt to ever-evolving human intent at those pivotal intersections in life where culture, content, data, and technology meet. We also understand people are different and behave differently the world over and it is through rich insights and our network of iProspect and dentsu teams globally that we can adapt, flex and scale to meet unique client, consumer and market demands.  We are an inter-operable organisation which builds solution-orientated teams via our agile teaming platform, underpinned by data and technology enabled infrastructure.   The heart of this agency is our immensely talented people and their unparalleled understanding of media, of local culture and, of course, their clients. We have built our new brand working with teams in more than 90 markets to ensure we have both global consistency and also local relevancy in everything we do. In short, this new iProspect is powered by our shared passion and restlessness to create momentous work which makes us proud, transforms brands, provides effective business growth, and sets us on a path to change the world by getting better one moment at a time. We want to drive growth for good through our commitment to a fairer, equitable and sustainable society that works for everyone. We are a different type of agency built for the future.   Amanda Morrissey 0

3 mins read

Optimisation of Checkout Flow on the Mobile

Optimisation of Checkout Flow on the Mobile

Want to improve your website's checkout flow on your mobile in order to increase your conversions? 9 out of 10 Danish webshops miss sales.   By focusing more on your users' experience through the flow, it is possible. In this blog post, you will get some pointers on what a good user experience (UX) is on mobile and how you can improve your checkout flow on mobile with a focus on UX.   What is good UX on mobile - and what is not? There are several different definitions of what good UX is. However, the core definition centers around meeting the specific needs of users in specific contexts. By focusing on mobile, you will also be ready for Mobile-First indexing.   When we talk about good UX for mobile, there are some best practices that are an important part of the design process, such as: ·       Prioritise the user ·       Make the navigation intuitive ·       Focus on the user's goals ·       Make the user’s tasks easy to do ·       Build speed into the UX ·       Give feedback to the user ·       Minimise the amount of extra information ·       Layout the design according to the user's hand (see image below)       By having these best practices in mind, you can create a better user experience for users who either visit your home page via mobile or app. Remember that the future of search is about one overall user experience.   How do I create a better checkout flow? Buy-ready users often leave the checkout flow because they experience some form of frustration during the buying process, giving them a poor user experience. Below are some best practices for how you can minimise the users’ feeling of frustration in the checkout flow and thereby give them a better user experience. Getting started with conversion optimization is easy.   Visualise the curve It should be easy and clear for the user to understand and control what is in his/her basket. A rule of thumb is that the user must have clarity about the product, which includes product images and information, such as price and delivery costs. In addition, the user should have the feeling of control when it comes to making changes to the curve. Therefore, the user must be able to update the number, colors, size, etc. as well as remove products from the basket.   Save for later The Save for later feature can be an important factor in the checkout flow, as it allows users to save a product on the page itself and come back to buy it later. Some users assume that websites or apps automatically store the information in the basket, which can create great frustration when they return and discover the basket is empty. Delivery information Filling out a long form is both time consuming and can result in errors and frustrations among users. Therefore, minimise the number of fields to make it easy and fast for users to enter their information. Another thing you can do to optimise the process here is to insert a field with the option to use shipping address as billing address. This eliminates the need for users to enter the same information twice. Auto-fill and error One of the primary purposes of auto-fill is to make it easier and faster for users to fill out a form. At the same time, auto-fill reduces the risk of user error which creates a better user experience. There are several different types of auto-fill options, such as filling in delivery information or finding an address by entering a postcode. Should it happen that a user enters information that contains an error, it is important that the user receives feedback on this. This could be, for example, if the user has entered his telephone number with a 7 or 9 number instead of 8. Then it must be clear in the form where the error is, so that the user can easily and quickly correct the error. The feedback that helps the user detect the error provides a better experience as the user can quickly and easily locate and correct the error. Order overview In the order overview, it is important that the structure of the information is organised in a way that will help streamline the users' checkout. Therefore, the shipping address should be at the top where users have the option to change it. Then the number of products and their details should be displayed to avoid the user going back in the process to make sure that they are the right products. Discounts, delivery costs, VAT and the total price should also be included in the order overview. This way, you avoid an unexpected cost for users later in the process, which prevents them from converting. Payment methods For many users, entering card information on their mobile phone can be cross-border and time consuming. Therefore, you can create a better user experience by offering different payment methods - including the ability to use MobilePay. That way, users avoid entering card information, and some users perceive the method as more secure compared to entering it directly on the website. Another way to create a great user experience is by displaying security and verification images in the payment step. It gives users a sense of confidence and security in the checkout flow.     Purchase confirmation Last but not least, a purchase confirmation contributes to a good user experience, as users now know that the transaction has been completed and a confirmation email has been sent. There are several elements you can consider including in the purchase confirmation to create an even better user experience. For example, you might add an image or illustration that clearly shows the purchase has been completed. Here, users get a sense of a successful checkout process and confirmation  they completed their goal, namely, to buy a product. How do I know if it works? As mentioned earlier, good UX is characterised by meeting the specific needs of the users in specific contexts. The optimizations that are meet your users’ needs and work for your business may not work for another business and their users. It is important to be clear about what your optimizations should improve. The easiest way to do this is to set up different KPIs. With a KPI framework, you always have an overview of what to measure and how it goes. Although the previous sections provide examples of best practices in UX optimization of a checkout flow on mobile, it is not possible to know in advance whether the optimizations you make on your website or app will work with your users. Therefore, it will be important to perform A / B split tests of the optimizations before they are implemented. Here, the different versions are tested against each other, making it possible for you to find out whether the optimizations perform in your checkout flow or not before they are implemented. You should never implement anything without testing it first.   Need help getting started?   You are always welcome to contact us if you want to hear more about how we can help you optimise your checkout flow and UX. We are happy to help you get started, so that together we can create a digital success that drives business performance. 0

6 mins read

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