Walmart and Google team up for voice-enabled commerce – with Amazon in sights

Perhaps this was, in some way, inevitable: Walmart has got Amazon square in its sights after announcing a partnership with Google for voice-enabled shopping.

The partnership, which will become available in ‘late September’, will enable customers to pick thousands of Walmart items through Google Assistant. Carts can also be personalised, with Google having access to Walmart shoppers’ purchase histories, so enabling a smoother, more efficient shopping experience.

Perhaps most tellingly...

By James Bourne, 24 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Commerce, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing, M-Commerce.

Beyond personalisation: Why it’s time to ‘be brave’ to transform the customer experience

“The painful reality is that establishing a personal bond with individual customers is hard for omnichannel retailers,” an article for Fourth Source recently opined. “While it’s true that digital retail generates a lot of data relating to individual customers, which can be extracted and utilised both online and in the store, few businesses have successfully struck the balance between helpful and...

By James Bourne, 14 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Personalised Marketing.

Programmatic exchanges remain ‘persistent challenge’ for marketers

A new study from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) argues that achieving transparency in programmatic media buying remains ‘a persistent challenge’ for marketers – although noting there are steps companies can take.

The report, titled ‘Programmatic: Seeing Through the Financial Fog’, analysed 16.4 billion media impressions purchased on behalf of seven major advertisers across five programmatic demand-side platforms...

By James Bourne, 05 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Programmatic.

Marketers getting to grips with mobile but not confident about mastering it

Good news: marketers have definitely understood the importance of mobile in their campaigns. Bad news: they’re not confident over getting the most out of it.

That was the verdict from a study issued by the Mobile Marketing Association and RadiumOne comprising interviews with more than 300 senior marketers. Six in 10 (61%) said they were not fully confident in their ability to find new profitable customers on mobile, while more than half are unsure when it comes to their ability to acquire new customers...

By James Bourne, 17 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing, Mobile Marketing.

How social media storms, Brexit and GDPR are impacting marketers’ efforts

Social media is giving consumers more power to effect change over brands, while marketers feel as though there is more pressure on brands to ‘behave ethically and provide a role model for society’.

That is the verdict from a new study conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), who polled more than 100 members on challenges and opportunities facing marketers in 2017.

When it came to handling whatever social media could throw at them, one in five (21%) respondents said they would find...

By James Bourne, 14 March 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Branding, Social Media Marketing.

IBM and Salesforce AI partnership offers ‘landmark’ strategic opportunity

IBM and Salesforce have announced a strategic partnership to ‘seamlessly connect’ its Watson and Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) products for an ‘unprecedented understanding of customers’.

The companies mused on possible new offerings from the combined AIs. One interesting example was through retail; through integration of weather and industry data – with The Weather Company being officially acquired by IBM at the start of 2016 –...

By James Bourne, 08 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Customer Experience.

Retail CEOs increasing tech investments: IoT, beacons, big data at forefront

More than two thirds of retail executives polled by JDA Software Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) say they plan to increase their technology investments to enhance their customer experience.

The study, which polled more than 350 CEOs in the retail and consumer goods space, found that for bricks and mortar implementations, almost four in five (79%) chief execs have invested in smart mobile devices for staff in store, while beacons (76%) and clienteling (76%) – using data to enhance long-term...

By James Bourne, 23 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Commerce, M-Commerce.

Hootsuite acquires LiftMetrix, aims for greater social ROI

Social media management platform provider Hootsuite has announced the acquisition of analytics firm LiftMetrix to further bolster its portfolio and give organisations greater insight into their social campaigns.

The two companies have been partners for several years, with LiftMetrix being one of the primary players in Hootsuite’s open partner ecosystem – and with return on investment (ROI) practically a necessity in today’s marketing landscape, the deal makes sense in terms of getting as...

By James Bourne, 22 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Mergers and acquisitions, Social Media Marketing.

Can AI and IoT influence CRM? Only one in three firms have ‘ambitious’ plans


Getting customer relationship management (CRM) right has always been pivotal, yet only a third of companies polled by marketing tech provider Wiraya say they have dedicated and ‘ambitious’ plans in place for their systems.

The study, which polled more than 500 respondents responsible for CRM systems within the UK, found a relatively even split; 34% say they work in a ‘traditional’ setting, using it continuously and commonly employing a CRM manager but without an...

By James Bourne, 21 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, CRM, Customer Experience.

New report assesses content marketing best practices and why “age of infographics is dying”


Content, content, content; it’s the mantra which every marketing team worth its salt today lives by. Yet focusing on quality over quantity should be the defining factor, according to a new study released by B2B analyst firm Clutch.

Almost 80% of the 300 survey respondents in the report agreed that increasing their company’s online visibility is the main goal of content marketing campaigns compared to the rest who prioritised lead generation. But how much is too much before you...

By James Bourne, 15 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

JC Oliver: On ‘disruptive permission’ and changing the face of advertising

“No-one needs more advertising,” Jonathan 'JC' Oliver, chief creative officer at Unlockd, explains. “There’s a lot of shit advertising in this world, and for whatever reason, businesses feel like because the inventory is there to push ads, the more we put into the system, the more we’re going to get out – and that’s not the case.”

This was, in essence, the opening to Oliver’s speech at the NOAH Conference in London last November. Since then – in...

By James Bourne, 13 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Content Marketing.

Salesforce launches extra-strong AI-flavoured Service Cloud Einstein


Salesforce has announced the unveiling of Service Cloud Einstein, a new customer service platform which includes a beefed-up AI engine and aims to add intelligence ‘to every service interaction’.

The platform, which is a mix of the firm's current Einstein AI tool and Service Cloud, will be fully connected to CRM data across sales, commerce, and marketing departments, and offers a variety of features. Einstein Supervisor is a mix of...

By James Bourne, 13 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing, Data Science.

Number of marketers who understand consumer mobile usage ‘underwhelming’


The number of marketing executives who understand the importance of keeping pace with consumer levels of mobile engagement is ‘underwhelming’, according to a new report from MobileBridge.

The report, which surveyed more than 50 professionals in the EMEA and US, argued marketing teams have a ‘rich opportunity’ to integrate ‘beyond push messages’ and create greater integration with consumers. Key initiatives for respondents in their road to digital...

By James Bourne, 08 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Mobile Marketing.

Google replaces Apple as world’s most valuable brand with Lego most ‘powerful’

(c) Nikolic

It has been a bunfight between these two tech behemoths over the past few years, but now Google has replaced Apple as the world’s most valuable brand with a value of $109.5 billion (£83.8bn), according to a new report from Brand Finance.

The report, the annual Global 500, also evaluates a variety of factors, from marketing investment, to familiarity, to corporate reputation, to work out the most ‘powerful’ brand beyond brass tacks, ranking Lego as the...

By James Bourne, 02 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Case Studies.

Research argues how brands can benefit through subtitling adverts


You’ve put together what looks like a knockout campaign; the creative has been done to perfection, the budget is all on side, the analytics have been mined for the best possible reach. Wouldn’t it be a shame if all that hard work was undermined because people viewed the advert with the sound off?

The issue of how to get consumers to connect with advertising has been one marketing teams have faced since time immemorial. Yet a new piece of research from AdColony –...

By James Bourne, 01 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Branding, Campaigns, Mobile Marketing.

Ad blocking will nurture greater creativity among marketers, CIM argues


Will ad blocking be a boon or a burden for marketers? It’s a question which has fuelled many an industry event and roundtable over the past 12 months – and this publication has weighed in with its fair share too – but a new study from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) aims to give a more definitive answer.

The study, which was in partnership with YouGov and comprised...

By James Bourne, 31 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Customer Experience.

DataSift partners with LinkedIn to take marketer insights to the next level through AI


Data marketing firm DataSift has announced it is to join forces with LinkedIn to provide greater insights into the Microsoft-owned B2B network for marketers.

The company, which describes itself as a ‘human data intelligence’ provider, is unveiling PYLON for LinkedIn Engagement Insights, which gives users various methods of increasing their engagement, from discovering new audiences for brands and products, to benchmarking, and learning which content works best with...

By James Bourne, 23 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing, Data Science, Social Media Marketing, Web Analytics.

Vine loops its last as service closes to move into Vine Camera


The ephemeral world of social media rumbles on: today represents the last day that social media video platform Vine remains a standalone app before being folded into a wider part of Twitter.

The news has been coming since January 4 when Vine tweeted that its app will become the Vine Camera on January 17. At the time of publication, videos can still be viewed and downloaded. Not surprisingly, the most popular videos on the left-hand column...

By James Bourne, 17 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

Salesforce becoming ever more valuable for marketers – but data integration still a problem


Two in three UK companies say Salesforce is more valuable to them today than this time last year, according to a report from Bluewolf.

Bluewolf – an IBM company but also a Salesforce strategic partner – issued its global State of Salesforce study, which this publication duly covered back in September. Yet the company’s latest missive shows UK...

By James Bourne, 10 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing, Marketing Cloud.