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Archive: Nov 2015

  1. Don’t let your customers walk away from their carts

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    by im Davidson

    E-commerce retail brands can use these four strategies to decrease cart abandonment rates and optimize their marketing campaign strategies during the holiday shopping season.

    E-commerce marketers used to be hard-pressed to do so much about preventing abandoned carts. Online security concerns, high shipping costs, and the practice of revealing order totals late in the check-out process have fueled chronically high abandonment rates.

    Though this initially seemed like an insurmountable problem, it’s not anymore. According to Forrester Research, about 87 percent of consumers abandon carts. But that doesn’t mean you should give up, especially during the holidays. With automated cart abandonment messages, you can recover some of that $18 billion thought to be lost each year.

    With this in mind, here are four things you need to consider when mapping your abandoned cart strategy for the holidays:

    1. Shoppers don’t necessarily think they are abandoning carts

    A Bronto survey of 1,000 shoppers found that 73 percent of online consumers use the shopping cart to store items to buy later. They might park an item in a cart to look at it on another device or check out the item in the store – 12 percent do the latter every time they shop.

    Additionally, if you’re marketing to millennials, consider that 88 percent use carts as idea storage lockers.

    2. Some shoppers like reminder emails

    If you think your customers will get all Grinch-like on you if you remind them about their cart, think again.


    Bronto’s study showed that 42 percent of shoppers think the messages are helpful. Because the remaining 58 percent see these emails as intrusive or annoying, you’ll want to segment your audience.

    Consider how cart reminders are perceived by different genders and age groups to help you determine a good segmentation strategy, to avoid turning off shoppers during this crucial holiday season.


    According to the survey:

    • 45 percent of females consider reminder messages helpful.
    • 61 percent of shoppers ages 18 to 29 also appreciate reminder emails.
    • 45 percent of those ages 30 to 39 respond positively to cart abandonment email reminders.

    3. Shoppers aren’t necessarily looking for discounts

    At 48 percent, nearly half of those surveyed only expect a reminder about their cart in their inbox, with no strings attached. Contrary to these users, 37 percent of shoppers are interested in receiving a coupon or discount code, particular those ages 49 and younger. Likewise, 15 percent of people expect free shipping, and this interest is especially prevalent amongst males and younger shoppers.

    E-tailers that also have brick-and-mortar store locations can and should also remind shoppers that they have the option to check items out in person, as 40 percent say they plan to do so anyhow.

    4. Give free shipping top-billing

    While only 15 percent of those surveyed expect a free shipping offer with a cart reminder message, 38 percent of shoppers say they won’t purchase from an e-commerce retailer that doesn’t offer free shipping during holiday season. My advice to the 12 percent of online-only retailers that do not intend to offer free shipping throughout the holiday shopping season this year is: reconsider your strategy.


    If your brand is adamant about not offering free shipping, there are other strategic avenues you can take to maintain consumer engagement with your brand. In this case, it’s vital that retailers compensate by promoting other value propositions in cart reminder messages, including:

    • Loyalty program information.
    • Coupons for future purchases.
    • Any other services that make your brand unique.

    Free returns, a generous exchange policy, and personalized customer service can also give shoppers a reason to reconsider their purchase. Multichannel retailers that offer free in-store pickup, free returns, or extended store hours, should emphasize those options in your messages.

    In conclusion

    A perk of working in e-commerce is that you never have to worry about a cart being abandoned due to a checkout line that’s too long, but you still need to work to keep your online browsers engaged and ready to buy. Implementing any of these tactics into your holiday marketing strategy is a surefire way to decrease cart abandonment rates; enabling you to have a holly jolly revenue filled holiday with ROI even Ebenezer Scrooge would envy. Ho ho ho.

  2. What Twitter marketers can learn from JetBlue, Emirates and Royal Dutch Airlines

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    by Yuyu Chen

    What are the most important Twitter marketing strategies you can learn from JetBlue, Emirates and Royal Dutch Airlines?

    I’ve been learning the ropes of social media marketing lately. A few days ago, my friend Brian Honigman, a marketer and social media analytics instructor at New York University, gave me access to his Socialbakers account.

    When I was playing around with this analytics platform, I found that three major airlines – JetBlue, Emirates and Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) – are leading brands in their own right on Twitter. All of them have a strong presence on the platform and work hard to develop high quality campaigns for Twitter.

    But there are nuances in their Twitter marketing strategies. For example, KLM is very focused on customer service on Twitter, while JetBlue and Emirates put more effort into branding.

    Below is my analysis on their Twitter marketing techniques over the past three months. Hope it can help your Twitter account take off.


    KLM has around 1.96 million followers. On average, it gains 31,000 followers per month and tweets 12 posts per day.

    The airline remains authentic on Twitter. Like other airlines, KLM posts information around pricing, flight details and destinations in the form of images, videos and text-based tweets.

    Unlike its peers, KLM constantly promotes its company blog with the hashtag #KLMblog. This is a smart plan because in doing so, KLM is not only able to drive tons of traffic back to the blog, but also tell unique stories around the brand and nurture a relationship with travelers.

    Aside from blog marketing, KLM uses Twitter mainly for customer service. As the airline’s cover photo indicates, KLM aims to answer every customer request within 17 minutes and update every five minutes! It even includes the hashtag #happytohelp in its bio line.


    KLM has a response rate of 67 percent, according to Socialbakers, meaning that the airline is responsive compared to others. KLM receives an average of 1,000 mentions per day, most of which could be genuine queries that need to be investigated.


    JetBlue has the most followers (1,97 million), followed by KLM and Emirates. On average, JetBlue gains 4,000 followers per month and posts an average of four tweets per day.


    Different from KLM’s blog marketing strategy, JetBlue seems to be more focused on offers, ongoing events and partnerships with high-profile brands. For example, its most engaging tweet over the past 30 days taps into NYC Marathon.

    JetBlue also creates specific content for its business partners like American football team New York Jets, and gives them @mentions in its tweets.

    When it comes to content formats, JetBlue has a knack for rich media such as videos and GIFs. Lately, the airline has been circulating funny yet thought-provoking GIFs, memes and videos around its 16-minute film “HumanKinda” on Twitter. This film is JetBlue’s first foray into long-form content.

    Since JetBlue doesn’t use blog marketing, the airline occasionally creates original hashtags to give Twitter users useful information. For example, on Fridays, it introduces a place to go with the hashtag #DestinationFriday.

    JetBlue also rewards its followers on Twitter to find even more new followers.

    Like KLM, JetBlue doesn’t have a separate Twitter account to take care of consumer requests. With a response rate of 62 percent, JetBlue is less responsive than KLM on Twitter and has some room for improvement in terms of customer service.


    Compared to KLM and JetBlue, Emirates has fewest followers (590,000) and the airline only posts an average of one tweet per day.

    However, on average, the airline gains more than 23,000 followers per month, according to Socialbakers!


    While Emirates doesn’t post as often as KLM and JetBlue, why are the airline’s Twitter followers growing so rapidly? This huge gain can be partly attributed to unique services, high quality visual content as well as global sponsorship deals, particularly those involving famous soccer clubs.

    For example, the airline posted a #HelloJetman tweet with a link back to an original video featuring two intrepid “jetmen” flying in carefully choreographed formation with a huge Emirates’ luxury A380. This tweet received 396 favorites and 289 retweets.

    Meanwhile, it promoted a special edition aircraft model to celebrate its long-standing partnership with Premier League football team Arsenal. This tweet has been retweeted for 3.3 thousand times, showing that both Emirates travelers and Arsenal fans love this idea.

    Emirates also offers Twitter exclusive promotions to reward its followers.

    On average, Emirates has around 1,300 mentions per day, but its response rate is zero. This is because Emirates has a separate customer service account @EmiratesSupport to handle consumer requests.

    Major takeaways

    Over the past three months, JetBlue topped Twitter lists with the most followers, while KLM saw the most growth.

    The three airlines have different purposes on Twitter. KLM uses the platform as a customer service tool, while Emirates leverages Twitter for branding. In comparison, JetBlue takes a mixed approach for both customer service and branding purposes.

    Although KLM, JetBlue and Emirates all talk about pricing, flight details and destinations on Twitter, they execute social marketing in different ways. KLM specializes in blog marketing.

    JetBlue has done a great job in rich media, while Emirates smartly utilizes partnerships and offers Twitter exclusive rewards to attract more Twitter users.

    The most important Twitter marketing strategies one can learn from the above three airlines include:

    • Figure out your goal of Twitter marketing and then produce content around that goal.
    • Go multimedia with a focus on still images, GIFs and video content.
    • Post more often to generate more interactions, though don’t overdo it. Remember, not everyone can become Emirates.
    • Create Twitter exclusive promotions to find more followers.
    • Include trending hashtags and mention other brands in tweets.
    • Create original hashtags and tell a story on Twitter in sequence with those hashtags, especially when you don’t have a blog.
    • Partnerships with other brands help drive Twitter engagement.
  3. How Executives Feel About Tech: Top Opportunities and Fears

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    by Ayaz Nanji
    Nearly three-quarters (72%) of business leaders think technology will transform their company’s competitive landscape in the coming years, according to a recent report from IBM.

    The report was based on data from a survey of 5,247 C-suite executives (CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, CIOs, CMOs, and COOs) from more than 70 countries. Respondents—most of whom were interviewed face-to-face—work for a wide range of large public and private enterprises.

    Technology is seen as having the biggest impact on the competitive landscape, followed by market factors (cited by 71% of respondents), regulatory concerns (55%), and macro-economic factors (51%).

    Below, additional key findings from the report.

    Important Technologies

    Executives say cloud computing, mobile, and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the most important technologies in the near term.

    Benefits of Technology

    Respondents say the top benefit of technology is the ability to develop better products/services; the ability to build stronger customer relationships ranks second.

    Top Concerns

    Executives say IT security is their top technology-related concern, followed by potential reputational damage.

    About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 5,247 C-suite executives (CEOs, CFOs, CHROs, CIOs, CMOs, and COOs) from more than 70 countries.

  4. ‘Nostalgia is the enemy of progress,’ says Hasbro’s Lee

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     by Mike O’Brien

    During his opening keynote at ClickZ Live Chicago, Hasbro’s Victor Lee discussed the fearlessness it takes to get ahead in digital marketing – an industry too new and ever-changing to have been mastered yet.

    The first thing Victor Lee, the senior vice president of global digital marketing at Hasbro wants you to know about digital marketing is that you’re not an expert in it.

    How could you be? The Internet as we know it is only 20 years old, too young to visit the beer brands’ websites that live on itself. It’s too recent for anyone to have truly mastered it and besides, all the marketing terms have been around forever – just not in their current buzzwordy state.


    “Cavemen worked together. Did they call it integration? They counted how many animals they killed and ate. Did they call it big data? It’s always been around,” said Lee.

    During his keynote speech opening ClickZ Live Chicago yesterday, Lee discussed the idea that if you accept the fact that you don’t know anything, you’re more likely to try something new.

    “Nostalgia is the enemy of progress”, he commented. With that approach in mind, you might be more likely to fail but you’re also more likely to break through the status quo and achieve something great.

    You’ve heard the regretful tales before. Blockbuster passed on Netflix. One of the original Apple founders sold his stake because it was too risky.

    “Change is hard. We love to accept average,” said Lee. “We do it because it’s safe. It’s safe because someone told us and wrote it down and put it in a slide and put it in a case study because this is what the majority of the world is doing.

    “We know the outcome so we’re hiding our fear of failure. I tell my team, ‘Don’t be afraid to fail; be afraid to win,'” he continued.

    Illustrating his point, Lee pointed out that the average click-through rate on a banner ad is 0.1 or 0.2 percent, roughly the same odds of surviving a plane crash. Yet, everyone buys them anyway.

    To keep Hasbro ahead, Lee tries to keep those principles alive in his hiring. He angers his HR department by refusing to look at resumes, and instead focuses on confidence, will, eagerness to try new things, and willingness to not only fail, but admit failure.

    Rather than ask candidates where they see themselves in five years, Lee likes to ask about the most embarrassing song on their playlist, just to see what they say.

    “One girl said, ‘I just love Kris Kross’ Jump’ and I was like, ‘You can have my office and my parking space,'” Lee said. “Those are the people who don’t care and will stand up in the room and say, ‘I think we should go to the moon.’ I like Kris Kross and I’m proud of that. If I stood up and said Bon Jovi, Elton John, or Billy Joel, I know everyone else in the room will get up and say, ‘Me, too.'”

    The person confident and bold enough to admit that Kris Kross makes them “jump jump” is also the person who’s confident and bold enough to try to be a trailblazer. That person won’t be content to just do things as they’ve always been done, just because.

    Two years ago, Hasbro decided to do something new and replace the least popular Monopoly game token with a new one, per public vote.

    Some brand higher-ups were initially skeptical of the idea, given what an icon the game is. But they went along with it and the campaign generated a lot of buzz, with brands like Zappos and Tropicana going on social media to rally their support for the shoe and the wheelbarrow (since that’s what you carry oranges in), respectively.

    Monopoly has been around forever, but by adopting the “nostalgia is the enemy of progress” mentality Lee likes so much, the game was somewhat refreshed. And really, who liked the iron anyway?

    “When I get off the stage in a couple of minutes, [the Internet] has already changed,” concluded Lee. “The only thing I can do is try to understand what’s going on in the world and try not to get washed over by data and marketing words and pontification, but never, ever go back and say, “But that’s how we’ve always done it.'”

  5. Eliminating the fear factor of programmatic buying in China

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    Home  › Media › Media Buying
    youku-tudou-game-appCharlie Wang

    Brands need not be afraid of programmatic buying in China if they understand the difference between real time buying and more premium, targeted models.

    In China, there are many models of programmatic trading. A common mistake made by advertisers, is confusing programmatic with real time buying (RTB).

    RTB for instance is mostly associated with remnant inventory due to the way programmatic and ad exchanges in China have evolved as an extension of traditional ad networks.

    It means programmatic has largely developed as a way to increase publisher fill rates from a centralized inventory repository. And, as a result of this origin, the inventory associated with programmatic buying is the same as traditional ad networks: remnant.

    Remnant inventory

    This type of inventory mainly attracts performance-based clients from the e-commerce, online gaming, and travel sectors. Performance clients are more focused on conversion metrics such as sale and registration, hence they do not care much about inventory quality.

    As long as an ad results in a sale, then it doesn’t matter if the ad is in a premium homepage position, or a remnant inner-page position.

    Here is an example of a gaming ad on a pre roll for V.QQ.Com – Tencent’s video arm. (It’s also worth noting that consumers cannot tell the difference between a programmatic ad, so in the below example we are not 100 percent certain if this is being delivered as a programmatic ad.)


    Point of sale

    For brand advertisers, it is a very different scenario. The key difference being the lack of point of sale (POS) control. For performance-based advertisers, their ads and sales channels are all online forming a complete loop.

    So they can measure from an impression all the way to the final sale or conversion. For most other brand advertisers, they have almost no control of their product’s point of sale, and therefore cannot directly measure the impact of online ads on offline sales.


    Even though more and more brand advertisers are establishing an e-commerce presence, an overwhelming majority of their sales still comes from offline. Hence, for brand advertising on digital, they can only try to cover as much of their target audience as possible, helping the consumer maintain product top of mind and increasing the chance of a sale at the last mile.

    Here are the main reasons why brand advertisers are afraid of programmatic:

    1. Inventory quality is long tail

    Brand advertisers are very sensitive to media inventory quality. For example, in video advertising, most advertisers prefer to place their ads on popular channels such as drama shows from the U.S. or movie channels.

    They will be a lot more worried about placing ads on user generated channels (UGC), because the risk of brand safety is higher. This is because UGC content is less predictable and also, reputable brands don’t want to be associated (or placed) alongside less well-perceived or smaller-performing brands that dominate remnant inventory channels.

    Hence, brand safety risks greatly outweigh the pricing efficiency that programmatic brings.

    Here’s an example of pre-roll ads from a top-viewed segment on one of China’s biggest video platforms, Youku Tudou. (Bear in mind we cannot be certain which ads are programmatic – this is just a guess). Here, a pre-roll ad for an Omega watch is followed by a pre-roll ad for a Huawei smartphone, followed by an ad for a gaming app.





    Gaming app:


    2. Media procurement pricing lacks transparency

    Programmatic brings in quite a few new participants to media procurement. These include demand side platforms (DSP) and ad exchanges, investment flows from advertisers to publisher through to brokers.

    In western markets, pricing transparency issues aren’t as common because these participants charge a transparent tech fee with no actual markups on media costs.

    In China however, many DSPs have evolved from traditional ad networks, hence their business models still focus on mark-ups. In these kinds of market conditions, brand advertisers will lose pricing transparency if they opt-in for programmatic.

    3. Loss of the direct publisher relationship

    For big brand advertisers, media investment with publishers is usually done in the form of an annual contract. This contract signifies the publisher’s responsibility in ensuring inventory quality as well as advertising KPIs.

    On the publisher side, internal priorities are set based on the annual contract’s volume. But in programmatic buying in China, the broker – such as a DSP or ad exchange – is actually in charge of media procurement. Hence, brand advertisers lose that direct relationship with publishers. This in turn reduces the amount of control they have on publisher inventory quality.

    4. Non-fixed media share of voice

    The targeted advertising that programmatic brings is a benefit for a lot of brands, but it’s not the most important media KPI. Instead, share of voice is the most important metric, especially when compared with competitors.


    Research shows that share of voice has a direct correlation to share of market. Advertisers therefore have to balance targeted ads against mass ads.

    That means if advertisers are only buying ads through programmatic models, they will decrease their share of voice.

    Moving forward with programmatic

    These issues merely describe one model of programmatic trading: the open exchange or RTB inventory. Because of market hype, advertisers often equate programmatic to RTB, which in turn is associated with remnant inventory. Many don’t know that there are multiple types of programmatic trading models.

    For example, RTB inventory is best suited for performance advertisers, while programmatic guaranteed/direct is a reliable model for non-performance brand advertisers. This guarantees inventory quality on a fixed price, making it a safer starting point for brands trialing programmatic for the first time.