As marketers, many of us start our careers mastering our craft and learning the art of marketing, advertising and communications. A few years pass and we start managing teams, and with this comes the development of new craft: balancing the needs of the day-to-day job whilst inspiring our colleagues and team members to help them achieve their full potential.

Then, there’s leadership – not just leadership of large marketing teams but leadership within the organisation, flying the flag for business growth and the ability to inspire everyone with a vision that will rally the troops towards a common goal. Unfortunately, that’s not a skill that is directly taught but, it’s an area where most of us want to be successful.

However, the path to becoming a marketing leader presents inherent challenges which can, in part, be progressed if we have honest, uncomfortable and brave conversations around the topic with peers and leadership experts.

With this setting in mind, the Marketing Society and Gain Theory partnered to host a dinner for marketers in Delhi, India addressing two topics:

  1. Marketing leadership
  2. Challenges and pain points around measuring marketing’s value

Our 20 high-calibre dinner guests spanned a range of industries – banking, telco, tech, retail – and passionately took part in the conversation. The opinions expressed were lively and arguments were passionate – there was no place to hide for those lacklustre in opinion.

The table was set and by god, the conversation was going to crackle throughout the evening.

 

Find the Value Creation Zone

To set the scene, Thomas Barta – a marketing leadership author and speaker – spoke about what it takes to drive business impact and career success based on research of over 8,600 leaders in 170 countries worldwide. He highlighted 12 specific ‘marketing powers’ that help mobilize your boss, colleagues, team and yourself. Amongst many inspiring insights, some of the truths that resonated with us are:

  1. Marketing is often perceived as a cost, the ‘fortune teller’– with little tangible value attributed to efforts, specifically value defined in business metrics that impact the bottom line
  2. Many marketers spend time on things that don’t really matter to the business
  3. You have to find the ‘value creation zone’ – projects that matter to your CEO and your customer. Where the two overlap should be your point of focus.
  4. Spend time getting commonly agreed metrics in place, to validate marketing contribution to the business
  5. …and articulate marketing value in business KPI terms

 

Mad Scientist Effect

When it comes to focusing time on the right things to become a marketing leader, a few bemoaned the ‘Mad scientist’ effect where many spend time following the latest shiny marketing toy which, in the end, distracts them from becoming a leader. One marketer said, “you need to heavily prioritise what you take to your CEO/CFO/CIO.”

However, the lesson is simple – when it comes to investment in innovation, test and learn and rather than wait to sell in change, just get on with it prudently under the radar with small portions of budget. One marketer at the dinner said, “Cypher off an amount of investment in your annual marketing budget for innovation and see this as ‘under-the-radar’ investment.”

 

Balancing the Spinning Wheels

One of our guests pointed out that whilst we try to become leaders, marketing is under immense pressure to answer a multitude of questions. Who are our high value customers? How do we cross-sell across category? How do we invest in innovation? How can you deliver and exceed customer experience?

Then there is the tug of war between short term results and long-term effects of marketing activity.

There is no other department being asked such a range of questions.

One solution offered was to balance the expectation of these questions, how they ladder up to business objectives and agree metrics by which to measure them.

 

De-Glamorise Marketing

When the conversation shifted to the trend that marketing initiatives and budgets are getting the last slot at the board meeting, there were a number of empathic nods around the table. There’s an expectation for marketing to come into the Board meeting with the fun campaigns, the pretty pictures and talk about softer metrics which don’t resonate with business language used in that forum.

One marketer said we need to ‘de-glamorise marketing’ and present the numbers that ladder up to business key performance metrics. Once you do this, the Board will start to lean in and take notice of the value that marketing brings in. Marketing can then start to be perceived as an investment that has tangible impact on the P & L instead of being perceived as a cost.

 

Marketing Value – Challenges & Pain Points

Manjiry Tamhane, Gain Theory’s Global CEO shared some insights from an independent research commissioned earlier this year with CMOs from brands representing over $1.9bn in advertising spend. The research revealed several marketer challenges and pain points around marketing measurement. A sample of quotes from the research were:

  • “Can’t agree on which few metrics to measure or focus on”
  • “Too many data points = paralysis”
  • “We are making observations versus true insights into what’s driving the business”
  • “Still too many silos in our organisation and not enough sharing between the data scientists and marketing”
  • “We need one source of truth, a True North, that will drive our metrics and resulting insights”
  • “No agreed method for cross media attribution”

Many of these quotes resonated with our dinner guests but on the last point,

one senior marketer pointed out that Marketing Attribution – understanding which marketing investments are working, in real time – is a real challenge and there is no common standard. There’s a need to understand which tech platforms to invest in, education around the topic and a need to invest in the right skillsets.

 

Metrics – the Cornerstone of Success

Metrics were a recurring theme, underpinning most conversations during the evening. Thomas pointed out that agreement on the key success metrics takes time, it might even take a year, but is worth investing the time.

“Ask sales what is meaningful to them in terms of metrics and work hard to satisfy and if not exceed this” said one marketer. Another said “It is your job as a marketer to set expectations. Satisfaction is ultimately about managing expectation and matching that with the right delivery”.

 

What we learned

As W.B. Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.”

Whilst the take outs listed above are all immensely helpful to our journey in becoming leaders, W.B. Yeats’s quote rings particularly loudly in relation to our dinner in Delhi. Mostly because the fire that was lit that evening through honest, uncomfortable, passionate and brave conversation led to the education of all around the table.

 

This article was originally published on The Marketing Society site.

 

 

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London, New York, Shanghai (July 27, 2017) – Gain Theory, the global marketing effectiveness consultancy, is proud to announce a partnership with EffWorks, an initiative that champions accountability in marketing and is committed to promoting a culture of marketing effectiveness from C-Suite, all the way through organizations.

EffWorks, an initiative led by the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising, aims to achieve culture change across the industry and will focus on three key areas:

  1. Promoting marketing: raise the awareness for robust and consistent measurement to support marketing investment in the short, medium and long term.
  2. Managing marketing: provide guidelines and best practice on how marketing works. How to develop the best processes for planning and executing marketing programs
  3. Monitoring marketing: help the industry raise the bar to develop the best models, tools and techniques to plan, monitor, direct and measure the impact of marketing activity.

The initiative is championed by a heavyweight list of client side advisors from brands including Diageo, Jaguar Land Rover and O2 and is supported by various industry associations across US, UK and China including ANA, ISBA and CAA.

As well as taking part in advisory groups to lend an unbiased perspective on marketing measurement, Gain Theory will lead a project, collaborating with the likes of Google, Facebook, L’Oreal, Thinkbox and many more to create a green paper provocation piece around Marketing Measurement Strategies in the Digitized Era which will form the basis of ongoing research to help the clients and industry determine best case studies and ways in which to solve common measurement challenges.

Manjiry Tamhane, Gain Theory’s Global CEO says ‘Championing marketing effectiveness best practice and culture sits at the core of our business. We truly believe that by collaborating with clients, industry bodies and media partners we can unlock the challenges and pain points we hear around marketing effectiveness to enable faster, smarter decision making that positively impacts the bottom line.’

Janet Hull, Director of Marketing Strategy at the IPA, who has spearheaded the project says, “Having Gain Theory on board will lend an unbiased view on marketing measurement from one of the world’s leading marketing foresight consultancies.”

ABOUT GAIN THEORY 

Gain Theory is a global marketing foresight consultancy that brings together data, analytics, technology solutions and consumer-insight capabilities. It combines WPP’s intellectual capital in media, marketing, data and technology to create a consultancy that helps brands make smarter, faster, predictive business decisions.

The Gain Theory team is a fusion of 200, world-class creative minds from the data, technology, marketing analytics and effectiveness domains operating out of hubs in New York, London and Bangalore.

Global clients include: Diageo, Target, Unilever, HomeAway, Vodafone and Aldi.

ABOUT EFFWORKS

EffWorks is a reservoir of learning, research and debate about marketing effectiveness. It was established in 2016 by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and a host of industry partners. The ambition is to set the agenda for marketing in the digital era, to inform and inspire all stakeholders, and to create culture-change. Truly accountable and effective marketing is a key agent of business transformation and growth.

Effectiveness Week 2017 is sponsored by Facebook, Gain Theory, Google, Newsworks, Royal Mail, System 1 and Thinkbox.

For more information on Effectiveness Week 2017 and to book tickets visit http://effworks.co.uk/.

 

Through Q1 2017, the major talking point in marketing, especially in the U.S. and U.K., was brand safety. This is a challenge which has existed for years, but two events caused a brighter light to be shone on the issue.

First, Marc Pritchard of P&G called for more transparency in media buying, honestly admitting that he did not know where and how some of his advertising was being used. Second, a front page on the Times, a U.K. newspaper, revealed that some of Britain’s top brands were being seen alongside unsafe often highly explicit and violent content, setting off a chain reaction of brands boycotting platforms like YouTube.

Since then, as we would expect from marketers, there has been a lot of chatter. But is online brand safety the only issue here?

The short answer is no. The main issues in digital marketing are still viewability, robots and bad measurement, all of which have their roots in short-termism. Here’s why:

Beyond reproach

Let’s consider, for a moment, the type of people who would be consuming unsafe content for brands. There’s an argument that frequent viewers of this kind of stuff are beyond reproach to start with; if they already have such a low opinion of themselves, then who really cares what they think about a Jaguar XJ or Head and Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo?

However, what is true is that this advertising is wasted, because if you think they’re contemptible enough to not care for their opinion, then you shouldn’t be advertising to them in the first place.

So this media buying goes into the waste basket, alongside non- or barely-viewed videos or display ads.

List keeping

As an aside, let’s take a second example. Let’s say a German discounter takes out a full-page ad in a leading right-wing tabloid newspaper, which goes directly opposite a Brexit polemic. Suddenly, a 2 million-strong group of people will associate, consciously or unconsciously, this company which is not from Britain with the very closed-ranks Britishness of the Brexit tribe.

Which is more damaging to a brand? Two million people or a single loser?

But what does this have to do with short-termism? Short term KPIs, such as conversions, or clicks, or impressions or reach, can easily, and badly, be achieved with a spray and pray approach. This kind of approach often results in low levels of viewability and an unsafe environment — making it tricky to deal with.

A lot of companies use white or black lists —  the difference being that white lists aggregate sites on which you can advertise; blacklists, conversely, identify which sites should be avoided. The challenge for blacklists is that bad sites continue to proliferate and, for whitelists, there will be some sites previously labeled safe which suddenly become unsafe due to some regretful content. Keeping both lists up to date can be a Sisyphean task.

And even if the buying is against a specific audience, be it demographic or behavioral, showing no care for which sites the content ends up on, or where on that site it exists (i.e. if it’s viewable or not), is going to get you into trouble.

The bigger picture

This is why brands should focus beyond short-term, easily measurable metrics, and into the complex but ultimately more rewarding world of long-term payback. Remember, not everything that can be counted counts.

The best brands are those which are salient, different, and meaningful; the best brands outperform the market. No brands achieved salience, difference or meaning by having un-viewed or bot-viewed advertising, or by being in unsafe environments.

The real concern for advertisers should be about how to change hearts and minds of consumers by telling a great story to the right audience. Brand safety is only one part of the puzzle, and when advertisers are trying to measure payback, they need to look at the whole picture.

Read the original article here.

Predicting the future requires understanding the recent past.

The world changes in an instant. Just a few months ago, political experts confidently explained why Donald Trump could never win the Republican nomination; now he is president.

Many marketers are equally challenged at making predictions. They approach data analysis and predictive metrics under the same general assumption that the world will remain fairly static.

Brands put past campaigns under the microscope, assess what did and didn’t work during an activation. Essentially, they look in the rearview mirror and apply that knowledge to the road ahead. It’s a disaster waiting to happen for business planning just as it is on the open road.

We live in a world where anything from the economy to a tweet can shift our priorities and behaviors. Data that was valuable months ago are far less significant today and essentially useless tomorrow. Hidden within the firehose of data are the metrics that matter: leading indicators that are most predictive of future business outcomes.

These insights are truly crystal balls providing a clearer picture of how various marketing initiatives will perform against a brand’s business objectives. More importantly, these metrics can be re-aligned as the world changes, providing early warnings if a planned media activation will no longer achieve its intended goal. Ultimately, they can be used to optimize marketing expenditure and mix to maximize the likelihood of success.

But how do marketers pan for gold in a never-ending stream of data? How can they know what matters now let alone next quarter? Typically, marketers have made the mistake of turning to market mix models, using advanced statistical techniques to relate movements in key explanatory variables like price or advertising to a business outcome. This technique is great for establishing an ROI for each media channel and can be of use for media planning and phasing. However, it can be slow and cumbersome to build and implement and, most importantly, generates results by looking at historical data, often the past three years—a pivotal mistake if you want to foresee future trends.

Key Lead Indicators

While marketing mix modeling will continue to be an important tool, marketers should supplement this work by identifying key lead indicators through advanced analytics. Key lead indicators are the set of recent factors most strongly correlated with future business performance.

The technique has been successfully applied to highly seasonal businesses, discrete sales events and new product launches. Take, for example, retailers who have periods of peak demand: Mother’s Day, back-to-school season, Halloween, Christmas, etc. Marketers might find that 20 weeks out from the event, the lead indicators that are best correlated with success are fairly general, such as the general state of the economy, consumer purchasing power within the target segment, confidence and usually unaided awareness.

As we get closer to the launch date, from four weeks out, things start to get a lot more specific. Unaided awareness will still feature, but we’re also looking at data from Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, time spent on website, depth of website visit and so on. Things are now more specific as consumers have already decided they will spend; now they are deciding where.

Using retail as an example, Pinterest provides an example of a strong leading indicator. The number of pins begins to increase steadily long in advance of the event as users are posting pictures, discussing within their social network and generally becoming engaged with the event.

gain-theory-1

Course Correction

There are three important things to note with the leading indicators approach.

1. It’s not a forecast: Rather, it is a course correction framework that lets us know the probability of hitting key business targets and, critically, what to do if the probability is low.

2. It shows correlation, not causation: Rather than being direct cause and effect, the lead indicators should be thought of as indicators of customer engagement, which itself is indicative of future success.

3. There’s no one set of indicators: Lead Indicators vary by vertical, brand and across time.

Predicting the future requires understanding the recent past. What happened a year or three ago will not only fail to accurately predict the future but may lead you down the wrong path. Marketers need to look at the leading indicators around them every day to find their crystal balls, rather than trying to drive their business full force ahead with their eyes firmly planted on the rearview mirror.

Read the original article here.

We all thought Google had injured paid search as we know it.

The company rolled out significant changes to its desktop Search Engine Results Page (SERP) layout last year. Essentially, it removed the sidebar of paid search results to the right of the page, leaving paid search with up to four ads at the top and three new added ads at the bottom of the page, leaving organic search sandwiched in the middle.

The sidebar change caused much panic among search marketers, who anticipated an increase in costs due to the reduced inventory, but some months in, there seems to have been minimal impact in cost. However, there is a casualty: paid search’s overlooked counterpart, Organic Search (SEO). Now pushed further down the page, reduced and generally maligned, it’s caught between two big paid search slices.

The SERP changes were followed by the arrival of extended text ads, arguably the most significant change in many years, which gave advertisers double the characters available. It was designed for mobile experience and the name of the game is now making sure you are taking better advantage of the longer ads than your competitors. This often means knowing when not to use them, but generally speaking, more text should equal more information to searchers, more pertinent responders and thus better Click Through Rates (CTRs) and conversions.

The quest to improve paid search has diminished the real estate for organic search results. And there is a less noticeable consequence: as traffic through free Organic Search decreases and is replaced by traffic through paid ads, there is actually a decrease in the incremental impact of Paid Search.

What do I mean by this?  Paid Search incrementally is the proportion of visits to a site, coming through the paid search channel, which disappears if the search ad doesn’t run. Incrementality excludes visits coming from alternative channels. A large factor in incrementality is the likelihood of getting to a site in the absence of a paid ad.

Every action that Google takes to expand Paid moves traffic away from Organic. This is a zero sum game for visits: the same number of people are making searches, arriving at the SERP, but are ever more likely to click a paid ad. Marketers are paying for a proportion of clicks that would have come anyway via organic. Paid Search is cannibalizing clicks from Organic Search.

This cannibalization has always been happening, but it is a growing and becoming a bigger problem for the advertiser. Google has addressed this by suggesting the cannibalization is small. It calculates that only 8 percent of paid ads have an associated organic ad on same page, but that still doesn’t address a number of key issues.

Firstly, the scope for direct cannibalization may be smaller across all paid ads but it will be larger for the bigger brands that have a strong organic ranking.  Secondly, it does not take into account indirect cannibalization. Paid search is usurping more traffic from Organic on the whole.

At the individual advertiser and SERP level, one brand’s PPC ad is stealing clicks from another brand’s Organic ad, whose own PPC ad is stealing from yet another’s SEO. There are winners and losers, but indirect cannibalization is difficult to quantify. One thing for sure is Paid is improving at the cost to Organic and delivers “less bang for your buck.”

Search can be a zero-sum game. The silent decline of SEO is matched by an increase of Search Engine Marketing. It’s generating a revenue boost for Google, but at the expense of everyone else. The more paid search, the more advertisers will pay for what was once free.

Article originally published by Campaign here

 

 

As consumers, we are subjected to it every hour, every day and, in some ways, we have already accepted this as inevitable and positive part of our online experience. For instance, beauty and luxury car companies almost entirely withhold their ads from my laptop screen. Instead I’m the prey of food and beverage companies, and thanks to my girlfriend, female fashion. But I’m ok with this; it means I see adverts that are likely to be of interest. It wouldn’t be possible without brands being able to access data to enable programmatic advertising which in 20151 grew in the US and UK by $5.91 billion to $17.5 billion.

Targeted advertising is just the start. The evolution of brands involves using social data and online behavior to help them set prices based on the individual, otherwise known as price discrimination. The word “discrimination” carries a stigma, but in the world of digital media, it’s a good thing.

Price discrimination is not a new concept in the Financial Services industry. Banks charge interest rates based on how likely a customer is to be unable to repay – this seems fair, people with good credit ratings don’t pay for those without. Car insurance companies charge premiums based on a number of characteristics such as experience and claim history.

In November 2016, Admiral intended to launch their tool, firstcarquote, to use individuals’ Facebook activity to help determine a suitable premium. However, on the day of the planned launch, Facebook made the decision to prevent Admiral from using Facebook post data in order to protect the privacy of its users2.

Despite the setback for Admiral, other companies have had more success in using personal data to inform price. Vitality, a health and life insurance provider, enables members to factor in consumer activity levels into the price of an Apple Watch. People pay a small upfront cost ($57)3 and then 24 monthly payments between $0 and $13 depending on how active they have been. In other words, Vitality price discriminates based on the activity level of each customer.

So why did Admiral get shut down and Vitality pass muster? In both cases, the customer has to agree to their data being used. In the case of Vitality, however, the rules are transparent: the wearer gets points for different types of activity, and points mean prizes. For Admiral, the rules were less clear, in fact the principal data scientist, Yossi Borenstein said “Our algorithm for calculating what ‘safe’ looks like is constantly learning,”4 In other words, it will constantly change.

There are also concerns regarding how peoples’ behavior on social media will change if they are aware that it is being used by companies to set prices. How might you change your posts, what you like and the groups you join if it impacted the price you pay? One of the core concepts of social media is for people to have the freedom to share their lives and interests with the world.

Personal data is no longer limited to just targeted advertising (e.g. programmatic display and video) – it is now also used for price determination and perhaps in the future this may extend to product eligibility.

To quote the epitome of advanced technology (the Borg – Star Trek) “Resistance is futile,” and it may even result in harming the consumer through higher prices and less choice. Better instead to direct the flow of innovation by participating in the conversation. Digital discrimination can create win-win situations; Christmas shopping for my girlfriend was made easy this year by positive discrimination being applied to me by women’s fashion through retargeting. Rather than going hunting for gifts my girlfriend might like, gifts my girlfriend had already viewed came hunting me.

1 E-Marketer, 2016
2 BBC, 2016. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37847647. Accessed on 12 Dec 2016.
3 Vitality, 2016
4 Guardian, 2016. Admiral to price car insurance based on Facebook posts. Accessed on 12 Dec 2016.

Article originally published by MediaPost here.

We are proud to announce that the Gain Theory team in India scooped the Best Omnichannel Customer Experience Initiative at the Customer Experience Awards for ongoing services delivered to Nestlé, India.

The awards, now in their tenth year and part of the Customer Engagement Summit in Mumbai, honour the highest level of achievement in customer experience across the Indian community and pay tribute to organizations that lead the way in providing best-in-class customer service.

best-omnichannel-customer-experience-award-image

Winning this award validates Gain Theory’s outstanding delivery to create a world class consumer engagement services model for Nestlé.

In the digital age, the ever-evolving world of consumer services either makes or breaks the way in which an organisation is perceived – all it takes is one tweet or a Facebook post for a trivial issue to be blown out of proportion. The Gain Theory Customer Engagement Services (CES) team for Nestlé India ensured customer service is approached holistically with the help of our multi-channel engagement process.

The Approach: Enhancing Consumer Experience 24/7

The number of consumer contacts received at the CES centre has increased almost three-fold. The goal for Nestlé India was to produce a multi-channel always-on engagement strategy that could successfully handle consumer complaints and queries received at the centre.

With this goal in mind, a three-step strategy was created:

  1. Cross platform consumer engagement (social to ‘traditional’ and vice versa)
  2. Personalising the experience
  3. Keeping consumers involved in the engagement journey

Execution of this three-step strategy was enabled via the help of our cross-platform engagement process. When a query or complaint is received it is approached with a 360-degree perspective – the communication medium is made irrelevant and consumer experience is given the highest priority. A complaint received on Facebook, for instance, is immediately picked up by our social media team, the consumer is contacted directly to get a better understanding of the complaint and a resolution is provided in the shortest possible time.

During the engagement journey at the CES centre, a consumer is kept involved in the resolution process. From the moment a complaint is registered until it is resolved, all concerned stake holders are kept updated every step of the way.

Outcomes

At Nestlé’s CES centre in India, Gain Theory has consistently set industry standards for others to follow. Customers now determine the experience they want and expect companies to deliver it. Our trail blazing approach to consumer engagement has not only delivered beyond these expectations but also made competitors stop and do a bit of course correction. Our approach has resulted in:

  • Leaving consumers feeling pleasantly surprised off the back of real time responses to positive and negative queries on social media
  • Helping Nestlé India earn the trust of the consumer
  • Helping to create a positive outlook about Nestlé and give consumers the confidence to register a complaint with the guarantee of a resolution to a query or complaint.
  • Developed a positive environment not only for the consumers but also the employees, who take pride in resolving consumer concerns.

The awards and accolades have further strengthened Gain Theory’s resolve to provide best-in-class consumer engagement.

To read excerpts from the interview with Mr. Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, Head of Communications, Nestlé South Asia Region, published in afaqs! click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AI and voice recognition promise to accelerate consumer adoption of smart devices, writes the global CEO of Gain Theory.

Last year, CES was most aptly described as more of an evolution than revolution. The reverse is true in 2017. This year’s event was a complete game-changer. Behind the high-profile, attention-grabbing gadgets is a very clear commentary on how voice recognition, artificial intelligence and smart technology have combined to irrevocably change the relationship between brand and consumer for the better.

“Smart” was the prevailing theme at this year’s event—and I saw (and heard) it everywhere. From lightbulbs to toasters and TVs to vacuum cleaners, the devices on display didn’t just “do”—they thought. Smart devices themselves are not the real game changers here. It is AI and, in particular, voice recognition, which promise to accelerate consumer adoption.

Relevance, ease-of-use and trust have all been barriers to consumer adoption and, until recently, many smart devices were controlled by a smart phone. The ability to turn lights on and off via a smartphone has been around for some time but not necessarily widely adopted. Frankly, why get off the sofa to grab your smart phone to turn off the lights when there’s minimal additional effort to simply walk over to the light switch? Voice recognition was the crucial missing component—and it was all over CES.

So it wasn’t surprising that Amazon’s Alexa stole the show.

Next generation smarter devices
With seven microphones embedded into the Echo device and machine learning at scale with automated speech recognition, Alexa’s response is almost instantaneous in helping to control lights, thermostats, door locks, sprinkler systems and even order an Uber at the command of voice. Amazon has opened up Alexa for integration using a free API and, according to GeekWire, Alexa now has over 7,000 “skills” (Amazon’s word for integrations) from just a 1,000 in June 2016. With reportedly 5 million units of Echo sold to date and fast growing integration of Alexa with other devices, the ease of use and relevance of smart devices is likely to accelerate consumer adoption with some predicting that 2017 will be the year smart home goes mainstream.

On another front, traditionally non-tech brands are moving into the smart device market, partnering with tech creators to fashion an array of new products. For example, Hair Coach, the world’s first smart hairbrush, is a collaboration between Kérastase (part of the L’Oréal Group) and Withings, who bring sensor technology and app connectivity to everyday products. The brush has microphones that pick up on various audible cues on the state of your hair and shares its data via a mobile app.

There were also a multitude of toys and educational devices for children. Fisher Price announced its intent to launch a high-tech exercise bike for toddlers and Lego announced a robot-making toolkit for kids. Lego’s “Boost” toolkit enables children ages seven and up learn to code and build robots, bringing their creations to life by adding movement, sound and personality.

Manufacturers as maintenance managers
Until recently, retailers held the keys to unlocking direct conversations with consumers. Having a detailed understanding of customers purchasing habits and demographics have helped them to communicate one-on-one with consumers, build strong relationships and increase future sales.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, have remained relatively in the dark beyond the number of units distributed, relying on third parties to help inform them of the end sales volumes, pricing and demographics of customers. The advent of smart technology has the potential to change that by enabling the manufacturer to gain a deep understanding of customer behaviour after the product has been purchased (assuming the customer grants permission). Smart fridges will automatically reorder items when they run out. Automotive manufacturers will know when your journey cannot be completed with your current fuel levels and alert you when driving to your nearest/most convenient/cheapest gas station.

Implications to marketers
Smart devices with voice recognition and AI will not just dramatically change the way in which consumers interact with computers, but also the way in which brands market to and build relationships with consumers due to the vast increase in data and resulting insights.

Retailers of consumer electronics, manufacturers, energy providers, telco operators and others will have a real opportunity to build even stronger relationships with customers by helping them to navigate the smart home. Joining up all the devices, ensuring strong security, diagnosing and solving problems for consumers as they integrate new technology as well as providing on-going subscription based support will strengthen brand relationships if done at a level that results in surprise and delight.

Machine learning, the ability to process data at scale and make intelligent decisions and recommendations in real-time will require a different approach to marketing in the future.

On its 50th anniversary, CES has indeed (re)found its voice and it’s clear that there’s a major step change in the technology we interact with every day, with voice recognition likely to be the biggest revolution in our lives since the smart phone.

Manjiry Tamhane is the global CEO of Gain Theory.

Article originally published by Campaign US  here

 

 

In a competitive pitch, Gain Theory – the global consultancy that helps brands maximise value from marketing – has been selected by Aviva, the multi-national financial services company, to deliver an always-on measurement and optimisation programme that will help them understand and predict the impact of media on short and long-term sales.

Aviva will utilise Gain Theory’s cutting edge proprietary cross channel measurement techniques across TV, Online Video, Social, Out of Home, and Display to boost their brand and sharpen their response spend in channels such as paid search, SEO, and Email. Gain Theory will continuously measure campaign results to help Aviva optimise their media investments and achieve their strategic goals.

James Henderson, Head of Marketing Performance at Aviva says “We’re on a journey of brand evolution and Gain Theory are the ideal independent partner to support us in really understanding the value of our total marketing effort.   We are already yielding powerful insights allowing us to optimise our spend and increase commercial return across a changing media and channel mix.”

In December last year, Aviva launched its Good Thinking strategy, which has helped evolve the brand from marketing campaigns primarily focused on motor insurance to a brand that has a bigger social purpose. The strategy objective is for consumers to recognise Aviva as a key player in the savings, investments and pension arena but more importantly empower them to take control of their finances by encouraging them to examine their own financial behaviours and attitudes. Aviva partnered with Gain Theory before the launch of Good Thinking to help develop an optimal media plan, optimize their marketing investment and identify which products within their portfolio should be supported. The campaign delivered a higher ROI than any previous Aviva brand campaign.

Matthew Chappell, Partner at Gain Theory says “I am delighted that Aviva has selected Gain Theory to continue on a partnership that is delivering the company sustained growth. The results so far on the Good thinking strategy are testament to how best-in-class measurement, optimisation and advice can have a positive impact on all areas of Aviva’s marketing spend. It’s really exciting to know that our advice will help them to grow and adapt to the ever-changing world of financial services.”

 

For more information contact:

Claudia Sestini
Global Marketing & Communications | Gain Theory
claudia.sestini@gaintheory.com

 

JOIN GAIN THEORY AT THE FINANCIAL TIMES FUTURE OF MARKETING SUMMIT, NEW YORK

 

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The influence of the marketer within organizations is continuing to grow. Due to real-time marketing, social media and data analytics, marketers are becoming more informed about the competitive landscape and the customer than other functions within the company. This invaluable knowledge means that their authority is increasing and they are frequently being looked at to drive the strategy within their organizations.

As the need for measurable ROI increases, data analytics presses its prominence and we’re seeing the rise of the marketing technologist. The future for marketers is bright, but also exceedingly encumbered and the marketer wins will be the one who can sort the substance from the noise.

Preparing for a connected future with next-generation technologies

Wearable devices, the Internet of Things and virtual reality are all proving themselves to be valuable tools for reaching out to consumers in an ever-more connected world. Developing clear strategies for a connected future is vital for marketing professionals, but what will they look like and how can marketers fit into the emerging technology eco-system?

In an on stage interview, Manjiry Tamhane – Gain Theory’s Global COO & CEO EMEA – will delve into the topic of the Internet of Things and whether it is indeed a marketer’s friend or foe.

JOIN US

If you are a client-side marketer or insight professional and would like to join us please email Claudia.sestini@gaintheory.com

Date: Weds, September 16
Venue: 10 on the Park, 60 Columbus Circle, 10th Floor, New York 10019
Time: 08:00 – 17:00 EST

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