Sig goddag til din personlige shopper-robot

Tekstbeskeder er de unges foretrukne kommunikationsform. Hvordan sælger man noget til en generation, som i stigende grad giver private chatservices monopol på deres kontakt med omverdenen? Mød chatbotten. 

(Klumme bragt i Berlingske Business 16/5/2017http://www.business.dk/debat/sig-goddag-til-din-personlige-shopper-robot)

En trofast talemåde inden for markedsføring fastslår, at man skal møde målgruppen, hvor de er. Når det gælder millenial generationen (unge i alderen 15-35), skal det møde helst foregå digitalt via messaging services som WhatsApp og Facebook Messenger. Brugen af messaging apps overstiger nu brugen af sociale medier. Ligeledes viser undersøgelser, at 2/3 af alle unge foretrækker at kommunikere og interagere med virksomheder direkte gennem tekstbeskeder. Det er belejligt, hurtigt og nemt.

Ændringen i adfærd afspejler dog endnu ikke den virkelighed, forbrugerne møder, når de interagerer digitalt med virksomheder og handler på nettet. I dag er langt størstedelen af virksomheders e-commerce centreret omkring store digitale shopping sites, apps, og kommunikationen med forbrugerne er ofte drevet gennem e-mails og nyhedsbreve.

Messaging services bruges derimod (hvis overhovedet) primært til kundeservice. Men potentialet er langt større, og nye digitale landvindinger gør virksomheder i stand til at føre 1:1 samtaler med forbrugeren og sælge direkte gennem beskedservices. Et område kendt som ”conversational commerce”.

Det er her, chatbots kommer ind i billedet. En chatbot er et computerprogram, du kan kommunikere med via lyd eller tekst. En simpel version af kunstig intelligens, som kan aktiveres gennem enhver større beskedservice – eksempelvis Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik eller Apples Siri. I stedet for at skulle igennem en hjemmeside eller app, kan forbrugeren her gå i dialog med virksomheden og købe direkte igennem en personlig shopper, der guider forbrugeren frem til det rigtige køb. Et eksempel er H&M chatbot på servicen Kik

Det lyder måske som noget, der hører fremtiden til, men fremtiden er nu, og antallet af brandede chatbots vokser hver dag. Chatservicen Kik beviste for nyligt i et samarbejde med flere store brands – herunder H&M, Yahoo og Sephora – at conversational commerce har potentialet til at blive den nye webshop. På bare 5 måneder havde de brandede chatbots modtaget op imod 2 mia. beskeder fra interesserede forbrugere.

At erklære den traditionelle webshop for død eller døende er lige tidligt nok, men med tiden vil de nuværende platforme langsomt overflødiggøres, og den primære kontakt mellem kunde og virksomhed vil foregå gennem personlige shopper-robotter.

Rådet herfra er derfor: Tag godt imod chatbotten. Brug nogle af din virksomheds digitale ressourcer på at lære teknologien bedre at kende. Jo før du starter, jo bedre er du positioneret til fremtiden.

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Ad blockinger en gave

Klummen kan også læses på:markedsforing.dk

ss-ad-blockingAdam Kleinberg postede tidligere på ugen et indlæg på Ad Age under titlen “Why Ad Tech Is the Worst Thing That Ever Happened to Advertising” (link). Indlægget beskriver udfordringerne ved reklameteknologi, og det vilde vesten som datadrevet bannerannoncering, click-bait annoncer og til dels native advertising har udviklet sig til at være. Kleinberg anerkender fuldt ud mulighederne i databrugen, men sammenligner det samtidig på amerikansk manér med det at bære våben; gode til at forsvare dit hjem og gå på jagt med men livsfarlige i hænderne på de forkerte. Sidstnævnte fylder desværre langt størstedelen af fladen, og forbrugernes holdning er til at tage og føle på. Flere og flere søger redskaber der kan begrænse eller helt afskære dem fra at blive eksponeret for digitale reklamebudskaber. Populært kaldet Ad Blocking.

Udbredelsen af ad blocking er ikke længere et nichefænomen – heller ikke i Danmark. Ifølge et tal, der for nyligt blev nævnt i en artikel på Markedsføring, skulle hele 25 pct. af danskerne efter sigende have benyttet sig af ad blocking i 2015. En fjerdedel af befolkningen forsøger altså helt bevidst og aktivt at undgå digitale reklamer. Sammenholdt med det faktum at næsten halvdelen af alle husstande i Danmark også siger ”Nej tak til reklamer” på postkassen, tegner der sig et tydeligt mønster, der giver klare udfordringer for den måde, vi arbejder med reklame og markedsføring.

For den etablerede mediebranche er det klart, at ad blocking på den korte bane er en gevaldig udfordring. Langt over halvdelen af alle mediekroner investeres stadig i push-medier, og dermed trækkes tæppet hastigt væk under det som traditionelt har været det bærende element i forretningsmodellen.

Omvendt rummer udviklingen masser af perspektiver for de bureauer og annoncører, der forstår de nye spilleregler og evner at engagere og aktivere forbrugeren på en anderledes og respektfuld måde. For de der har evnerne er det nye medielandskab en kreativ legeplads af muligheder for at sammentænke medie og idé. En af mulighederne er gennem samarbejder med YouTubers,bloggers og instagrammers, der som de nye mediestjerner står med et direkte, ægte, troværdigt og magtfuldt talerør til forbrugerne. Alene i Danmark har flere af disse influencers mange hundredtusinde loyale følgere, og har på den måde udviklet sig til små selvstændige mediekraftcentre. Og i kølvandet dukker der nye mediespillere og services op som f.eks. Splay og Sponsta, der bygger deres forretningsmodel på at facilitere samarbejder mellem brands og henholdsvisYouTubers og instagrammers. Nøgleordene er samarbejde og kreativitet, for modsat traditionel digital annoncering er de nye ”annoncørers” værdi bundet op på forholdet til deres publikum. En relation funderet på troværdighed og kvaliteten af det indhold de leverer.

Det stiller nye krav til brands, der i højere grad skal være villige til at slippe kontrollen. Og det stiller krav til de kreative bureauer, der skal indstille sig på at lægge ”not invented here”-filosofien på hylden og i stedet med åbent sind kaste sig ud i co-creation med uvante samarbejdspartnere. Det kræver en omstillingsparathed, men for de der formår at gribe stafetten, er det kun idérigdommen og samarbejdsevnen der sætter grænserne.

Image from marketingland.com

Walk the talk. Design agencies are better at addressing the challenges of a modern business

Recent reports show that design agencies are leading growth (20% increase) in the Danish communication industry, followed by the digital agencies.

In my opinion this trend emphasizes the point that the processes of strategic design agencies are better suited to tackle the challenges of modern businesses.

The primary reason for this is in my opinion the decreasing value of traditional advertising. People don’t trust advertising, at least not as much as they trust recommendations from friends and consumer opinions expressed online. Recent stats from Nielsen again reveals word of mouth as the primary resource for decision making. 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising – an increase of 18 percent since 2007.

The growth in word of mouth means traditional advertising has taken a backseat when it comes to driving growth and sales. More and more companies have realized that their product, services and the experience they provide to their customers needs to be the primary focus area. If you can optimize and innovate those areas, customers will reward your efforts by sharing the positive experience with others.

This increased focus on services and products naturally puts design agencies in the drivers seat. Unlike traditional advertising and PR agencies optimizing and developing these areas is the core competence of strategic design agencies. Their processes  are centered around identifying user needs and focussed on tangible solutions that address those needs.  Unlike empty communication messages the output of their work (most often) results in value adding solutions for customers and hence the business. You can no longer hide the flaws of your product by wrapping it up in a glossy campaign. You need to ‘walk the talk’.

“Jagten på indsigt ofres på hastighedens alter”

“Nothing is so powerful as an insight into human nature, what compulsions drive a man, what instincts dominate his actions, even though his language so often camouflages what really motivates him. For if you know these things about a man you can touch him at the core of his being.”

Ordene stammer fra legendariske Bill Bernbach, og er i høj grad et udtryk for 60’erne og 70’ernes kreative revolution, som Bernbach var en af drivkræfterne bag. Han så om nogen, at forståelse for den menneskelige natur er et helt afgørende element i udviklingen af effektfulde kreative løsninger

Læs hele min klumme på bureaubiz:  Jagten på indsigt

Why are people drawn to #KONY2012?

Today March 9th 2012 the documentary “Kony 2012” by Invisible Children is close to passing 50 mill hits on YouTube.

As the awareness of the campaign to stop Joseph Kony continues  to spread like wild fire, criticism regarding the objectives and methods of the organization Invisible Children has started to appear all over the web arguing that the organization is over-simplifying and distorting the reality of the situation in East/Central Africa.  As a co-worker of mine pointed out “As always reality is a little more messy”. History provides plenty of examples of how dangerous it is to oversimplify and not understand the full complexity of an issue.  Just thinking of the US government’s involvement in the Middle East and Vietnam will remind you of that. The geopolitical complexity of an issue and the ramifications of action is clearly something that is highly relevant to discuss in the case of Joseph Kony and the actions of his LRA rebels, but I will leave that discussion to greater political minds.

The Kony 2012 campaign is although less important also very interesting from a communications and social behavior perspective. It’s not the 50 mill hits on YouTube in it self that makes the Kony 2012 an interesting case study. What does though, is the extraordinary accomplishment in the fact that 50 million people actually consumed a piece of content on YouTube that is 29 minutes and 59 seconds long. I don’t recall that ever happening before. So why are people drawn to this particular campaign? What is it about Kony 2012 that inspires people to view, share and participate? In the following I have highlighted a couple (of probably several) reasons that I believe answers these questions.

Simplicity in communication message

The simplicity in the presentation of the campaign is key. The fact that the objective is simple to understand and digest is the first reason. “Stop Kony” is easy to understand; one man, one picture, one problem. Again the The Kony 2012 campaign may over simplify the issue, but sometimes simplifying the complex is exactly what’s needed to gain attention and raise awareness. The path or means to how you as an individual can address the issue and solve the problem is also clear (at least in the presentation and minds of the Invisible Children). Make Joseph Kony famous by watching the video, sharing the video and participating in a massive overnight poster campaign, planned for April 20, 2012.  In other words, the viewer is presented with a clear and simple problem and the tools to tackle the problem. Easy to understand and easy to relate to.

Yes we can

The second reason is the campaigns ability to evoke empowerment. Globalization has made the world smaller and every minute we are bombarded with information and impressions of suffering and injustice in places like Africa, the dangers of global warming, the potential consequences of debt crisis and so forth. As individuals it makes us uncomfortable and makes us want to do something – act! But often we end up feeling powerless to act and address these problems, believing that I alone can’t make a difference.  The Kony 2012 campaign again shows people a way and how the objective can be achieved.  It shows the audience how you can make a difference, not as an individual but as part of a collective. It shows how you are a part of a movement. The force of the many.

The Kony 2012 draws upon the exact same tools, mechanisms and rhetoric that President Obama so successfully managed to deploy in his 2008 election campaign. Obama managed to spark the hope of the people feeling powerless and became a symbol of how change can happen if people rally together. The mechanism and tools to spread the message both used by Obama and Kony 2012 is of course social media. Over the last couple of days we seen the power of those tools at work, millions of tweets and status updates from all over the world has resulted in every single news source in the world picking up on the story.

In terms of awareness and support I don’t think the Invisible Children in their wildest dreams could have imagined the amount of publicity they are currently getting. They have already achieved the objective of making Joseph Kony famous. How? by simplicity in their communication and their ability to mobilize the masses through social media and the “yes we can” attitude.

Will this campaign result in the successful removal of Joseph Kony? Maybe, Kony is indicted by the International Criminal Court and US forces have or will be deployed. Is the Invisible Children’s simplistic approach the right one? Maybe not. What I am pretty sure of however is that the world will be a better place without Joseph Kony.

Timeless observation: “When any new form comes into the foreground of things, we naturally look at it through the old stereos.”

It’s is incredible that the words uttered by McLuhan in 1960’s still hold such relevance. A timeless observation indeed:

“When any new form comes into the foreground of things, we naturally look at it through the old stereos. We can’t help that. This is normal, and we’re still trying to see how will our previous forms of political and educational patterns persist under television. We’re just trying to fit the old things into the new form, instad of asking what is the new form going to do to all the assumptions we had before.”

Marshall McLuhan, 1960

Mobile Marketing is at a standstill

A shortened english version of my recent column on the Danish marketing site bureaubiz.dk. 

Mobile Marketing is at a standstill

As mobile phones become ever-more advanced, their potential for reaching out to consumers is growing rapidly, yet very few companies have exploited this potential. 

One of the most influential and widely used inventions of our time, the mobile phone has become an essential part of everyday life. Arguably, it has become part of our anatomy: 67% of Danes polled say that they wouldn’t leave home without their mobile phone (source: Google Mobile Planet), and there will be an estimated six billion mobile phones worldwide by 2012. This is equivalent to around 86% of the world’s population. Yet advertisers and agencies seem oblivious to the clear-cut opportunity this presents to both communicate more effectively with consumers and generate substantial revenues.

The mobile phone market has been revolutionised by smartphones, and – led by Apple’s iPhone – the smartphone market is booming, now accounting for 44% of the entire mobile phone market. In Europe alone, smartphones sales doubled in the past year (source: comScore). The numbers speak for themselves. The potential is huge, but where are the advertisers? Have they exploited the potential?

I went to the annual Mobile Marketing Forum (MMF) in London looking for some inspiration and the answers to these questions, but I was disappointed. Babs Rangaiah (Vice President of Media Innovation at Unilever), who spoke at the conference, summed up the problem: “The internet is still in kindergarten, mobile is in its infancy”.

Despite the presence of some of the world’s most influential advertisers, few of the cases shown featured the kind of creative and innovative solutions needed to tap into mobile media’s huge potential. Even companies like Unilever and Coca-Cola seem to be spending an almost imperceptible part of their large advertising budgets on mobile marketing. And these funds are often allocated to traditional ‘text to win’ campaigns or simple stand-alone solutions such as apps.

Coca-Cola generally applies a 70-20-10 model, where 70 % of marketing resources fund existing and previously proven solutions.  In the mobile marketing context this means that 70% of their budget is spent on SMS services, 20% is spent on mobile web, and only 10% on mobile apps.

Coca-Cola exemplifies the general approach to mobile media. Like most businesses, the company is content to transfer existing web, TV and print solutions to mobile platforms, rather than developing content to match the medium’s functionality. Essentially, they’re treating mobile platforms as an afterthought. This approach usually leads to low quality content, poor user experience, and misses opportunities for cross-platform integration. Quality mobile content adds value to consumers’ lives – everything else is irrelevant – and good user experience is crucial to delivering this content.

At Hello Group, we call this ‘de-junking advertising’, and – by putting the aim of adding value to consumers’ lives ahead of adding value to the advertiser’s brand and message –

it’s an approach that turns the traditional advertising process on its head.

A good example of this approach, and a highlight of the MMF conference, came from the American airline company JetBlue. Their mobile marketing fully exploits the medium’s potential, because it’s based on essential consumer insights.  A thorough analysis of passengers’ journeys – from ticket booking to final destination – allowed the company to identify crucial touch points where user experience could be improved by mobile solutions.  These include mobile check-in, text messages with targeted offers in the airport, QR codes with travel offers and music apps for the flight. TrueBlue, the customer loyalty program, is fully integrated via the Go Places Facebook app, so customers can earn extra frequent flyer points by ‘checking in’ to destinations and airports with their mobile phones.

Source: Google

Why are so few advertisers this consistent and thorough in their use of mobile marketing? As the only medium that users are in almost 24/7 contact with, and given its enormous potential for delivering targeted messaging, mobile marketing should clearly be integral to any marketing and media plan. The number of people using mobiles for primary access to the internet and social media channels is increasing, their interaction with games, videos, and other multimedia content via mobile is growing, and the range of advertising platforms and formats is multiplying. Facebook and Google, for example, have realised mobile’s potential, and are working continuously to keep up with its progress. Erick Tseng, Head of Mobile at Facebook asserts: “Within a year or two we’ll be a mobile company”.

With this much potential, why is mobile marketing still so widely viewed as an add-on to media strategy?

The most obvious answer is advertisers’ lack of awareness, and we – the media and advertising agencies who advise them – have to take responsibility for this. The advent of social media showed a weakness in our industry: often, we’ve been too slow to develop and integrate the skills necessary to deliver innovative solutions that can cut through the clutter.

As an industry, we need to give mobile marketing the attention it deserves, or risk missing out on its potential. Consumers have long since boarded the train – we need to join them, before we get left behind.

Read it in Danish:

http://www.bureaubiz.dk/content/dk/nyheder/klummer/2011/oktober/mobile_marketing_star_i_stampe?showform=1#NewThread