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4 technologies every business should use to achieve their goals effectively in 2021

What are 4 technologies every business should use to achieve their goals more effectively in 2021?

1. Digital Automation

What is automation? Automation is the elimination of all manual labour through the use of automatic controls that ensure accuracy and quality.

The term automation was first coined in the 1940s at the Ford Motor Company and was applied to the automatic handling of parts in metalworking processes.

The industrial revolution leveraged the power of machines to produce goods at scale. The digital revolution began in the late 1970s and ushered in a new way to manage business processes.

The benefits of automating business processes are many, ranging from efficiency boost, reduced costs to increased productivity.

Automation in business means using technology to replace manual effort and repetitive tasks allowing employees to tackle creative tasks or other projects where they can add real value.

In October 2020, leading Robotic Process Automation software (or RPA) UiPath’s survey on automation skills found that 70% of senior executives want non-technical employees to have automation and AI skills.

Here are 6 examples of business automation tools:

  • ServiceNow is a cloud-based workflow automation platform that enables enterprise organizations to improve operational efficiencies by streamlining and automating routine work tasks;
  • ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform, combining advanced email marketing features and an enterprise standard CRM;
  • Hootsuite automates your social media marketing;
  • Grammarly automates proofreading and spell-checking;
  • Agile CRM automates workflows across sales channels;
  • Zoho Recruit helps HR managers source, track, and hire the best candidates;

The global marketing automation market size alone was valued at USD 4.06 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow with 9.8% from 2020 to 2027 (source).

Is your business automating its processes? How much of your employees’ tasks are automated to reduce time, cut costs and increase productivity? Is your organization going through digital transformation?

2. Robotics

In 1947, science fiction author Isaac Asimov devised the Three Laws of Robotics, a set of rules created to protect humans interacting with robots.

The robots that we see now are yet to achieve the sophistication level of the robots that Asimov has imagined seventy-three years ago.

Our robots come in many shapes and sizes. From standard robotic arms working in factories to Amazon’s cobots packing orders five times faster than a human warehouse worker and Sophia, the humanoid AI Robot who can simulate a full range of facial expressions, look people in the eyes and conduct natural conversations with them.

The robotics industry market is predicted to exceed USD24 billion by 2030, an increase with a CAGR of 28.6%. Find other interesting robotics industry statistics and the latest challenges in robotics.

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Mos Burger’s remote-controlled robot (source: japantoday.com)

The latest innovation in robotics comes from Mos Burger, a Japan-based burger chain which tested the OriHime robots in its restaurants. These robots are remote-controlled by restaurant employees from home. Each robot is clad in a trainee uniform and equipped with a microphone and camera, so workers can personally serve customers and answer their questions about the menu (source).

In this example, the robots are not taking the jobs of the restaurants’ employees but act as a replacement, a body double if you will. An innovative solution perfectly adapted to pandemic times.

Farming is another industry with great potential for automation. Spot, the now-famous Boston Dynamics dog-like robot opens doors, walks up and down the stairs, carries payloads of up to 14kg and can haul a truck together with nine of his “siblings”.

Recently this year, a fleet of Spots was deployed to a farm in New Zealand to conduct agricultural tasks: inspecting crops, navigating rough terrain and gathering data in real-time. It was strange seeing the robot successfully herding sheep. Yes, the robot-like dog could prove more useful to any farmer, but it won’t replace a dog’s playful bark and loving eyes any time soon.

3. The surprising use of gaming in business

It’s been almost a year since the pandemic started. At first, we were happy to use Zoom and Zoom was certainly happy to see its stock more than double (up 107.2%) over the past three months and skyrocket nearly eightfold (up 680.2%) year to date (source).

Now we’ve grown increasingly tired of going on Zoom meetings. Mental health experts identified two new work-related conditions: Zoom fatigue and Zoom burnout.

Is there a more pleasant way of conducting team meetings or business meetings?

Gaming seems to be the answer for some professionals. Why stare at your colleagues inside six or nine small screens when you can bond on Red Dead Redemption 2? Why add to your business partner’s zoom fatigue when you can relax first, go shoot some guns in Grand Theft Auto and then discuss business details as this New York Times article points out.

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Unilever Russia went even further and designed a career fair in the format of an online game, where users could visit 8-bit versions of company office buildings, learn job details and communicate with virtual representatives.

4. Augmented Reality experiences for a touchless economy

2016 will go down in history as the year the world saw a cultural phenomenon go global, the PokemonGo.

It is estimated that 27 million users played the AR-based game and $950 million in revenues were generated.

The same year, Snapchat bought Augmented-Reality start-up Cimagine Media.

Today Snapchat is synonymous with AR. Recently, the company rebranded itself as a camera company, with the goal of empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.

AR is Snapchat’s unique feature that attracts over 170 million Snapchatters, nearly 30 times every day according to the latest reports by Snap.

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Snap Local Lense (image source: wired.com)

This year, the social media company launched Local Lens, a new feature that promised to transform whole neighbourhoods into digital canvases.

Apart from the obvious entertainment opportunity, AR is also a tool that can be used by businesses to drive engagement and fulfil customers’ needs.

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image source: Trendwatching.com

Augmented reality firm Moviebill launched Inflight, AR versions of airlines’ safety cards, duty-free magazines, and inflight menus.

How does Inflight work? Passengers can use their smartphones to scan an image (such as an airline’s logo) on their tray table to see the content ‘come to life’ in 3D. The idea is to help airlines get rid of items that are touched by many crew members and passengers, as well as create more engaging customer experiences.

Do you think your business could implement this technology for the benefit of its customers?

3 Creative Augmented Reality (AR) Award Winning Marketing Campaigns

Curious to learn how brands use AR (augmented reality) technology to design creative award-winning marketing campaigns?

Here are 3 creative augmented reality (AR) award-winning marketing campaigns for your inspiration

JFK MOONSHOT Campaign – Winner in Augmented Reality, at the 12th annual Shorty Awards

The JFK Moonshot campaign was launched in 2019 by the JFK Presidential Library & Museum to celebrate 50 years from the Apollo 11 Mission. The mission was the first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon and one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century.

Seven years earlier, John Fitzgerald Kennedy gave his now-famous “We choose to go to the moon” speech in which he characterized space as a new frontier and outlined the pioneering spirit of the American nation.

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.

John F Kennedy, “We choose to go to the Moon”

In 1969, almost 600 million people around the world tuned in to watch man’s first steps on the moon with excitement and awe. In 2019, thanks to its augmented reality-based campaign, the JFK Presidential Library & Museum prompted the same emotions of bewilderment and curiosity.

JFK Moonshot was a fully-synchronized augmented reality recreation of Apollo 11 where every moment, manoeuvre, and milestone unfolded in real-time, second-by-second.

Campaign challenge:

Celebrate 50 years from the launch of Apollo 11

JFK Moonshot Campaign features:

  • Dedicated mobile app;
  • Interactive AR games;
  • Archival NASA footage;
  • Educational multimedia experiences;
  • a 363-foot, full-scale replica of the Saturn V rocket, one of the largest AR objects ever created;
  • Livestreaming of the AR launch and entire mission on Twitch, the popular gaming platform.

Campaign viewers were invited to:

  • Explore and launch an AR replica of the Saturn V rocket;
  • Track 100+ hours of the Apollo 11 mission in real time with archival NASA footage;
  • Play AR games designed to extend their knowledge of the mission with JFK-related trivia questions;
  • Learn about JFK’s critical role in the moon landing through educational multimedia experiences;
  • Record and share the mission’s most epic moments with friends and family;
  • Practice their own moon landings with interactive AR games.

Campaign results:

  1. 110,000+ rocket launches around the world;
  2. 140,000+ downloads of the app;
  3. 8x more social mentions than competitive museums;
  4. 240,000,000+ global brand impressions;
  5. An 11% increase related to JFK inspiring innovation.

ADIDAS ORIGINALS DEERUPT Campaign – Winner in Augmented Reality, at the 11th annual Shorty Awards

Adidas’ campaign, Originals Deerupt was created with a specific community in mind: the sneakerheads.

What is a sneakerhead? A sneakerhead is someone who collects, trades and or admires sneakers as a hobby. Sneakerheads see sneakers as status symbols and they are mostly Millennials and Generation Z-ers.

The sneakerhead culture began in the 1970s and the internet turned it into a global phenomenon. These days sneakers are like stocks and last year, Financial Times estimated the sneaker resale market close to US$2billion.

Some say the rarest and the most desirable sneaker ever made is the Nike MAG, the sneakers worn by Marty McFly when he time-travelled to 2015 in the Back to the Future II movie.

The biggest sneakerhead? The biggest sneakerhead is entrepreneur Miles Nadal, who spent more than US$1.2 million on a collection of rare sneakers in a sale managed by Sotheby’s last year. The collection includes a pair of 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoes”, one of the most significant artefacts in Nike’s long history.

Campaign challenge:

Launch Deerupt in such a way to combat low-quality photos that emerge on the internet as a result of product leaks and democratize unboxing.

Adidas Originals Deerupt launch campaign features:

  • The AR rendering of the DEERUPT;
  • A dedicated mobile web platform that allowed Sneakerheads to use their smartphone cameras to see and interact with an AR rendering of the DEERUPT;
  • Empty shoe boxes sent to high profile sneakerheads;
  • In-store experiences around the world.

Campaign results:

  1. 110 Million views;
  2. 50,000+ virtual unboxings;
  3. 123+ countries.

#ROMANOVS100 AR PHOTO ALBUM Campaign – Winner in Creative use of technology, the 12th annual Shorty Awards

#Romanovs100 is an educational project designed to bring to light a part of Russian history which has been erased from the history books by the Soviet rule. The Romanovs were Russia’s last Royal family, executed by the Bolsheviks 100 years ago.

The inspiration for this campaign came from the Romanovs themselves. They were pioneers of photography capturing almost every meaningful event in their lives with Kodak cameras, the world’s first portable cameras.

Fortunately, the Romanov archive has been preserved. The team unearthed over 4000 photographs which were adapted to digital formats allowing the campaign to make history easily accessible and engaging as well.

Campaign challenge:
Transform content to an interactive AR book which makes learning experiences an emotional journey into history.

Campaign features:

  • 180° retro images in spherical view, 3D immersive experience;
  • 42 short documentary-style videos;
  • A limited print edition of the project using AR technology to create an interactive history book;
  • Ambrotype posters – Photo teasers using 160-year-old ambrotype photography technique;
  • Original soundtrack;
  • Music video combining photos & VR Animation;
  • The world’s first-ever digital colourization contest.

Campaign Results:

  1. 25 million impressions;
  2. 55,000 fans and followers;
  3. +1 million post engagements;
  4. +1 million video views;
  5. 500,000 minutes watched;
  6. #Romanovs100 on Twitter grew 2000%
  7. Global media coverage: BBC Newshour, History Extra etc

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2019 Webby Awards – 3 Winners in Brand Strategy & Experience Marketing

Established in 1996, The Webby Awards is honouring the best of the internet.

The 23rd Annual Webby Awards received 13,000 entries from 70 countries and all 50 states and generated over 9 billion media impressions worldwide.

Here are 3 winning campaigns in the Brand Strategy & Experience Marketing categories:

1. Burger Kingthe Whopper Detour

The competition between Burger King and McDonald’s began over sixty years ago. With the advent of the internet, these two giant fast-food restaurant chains brought their rivalry into digital. Both Burger King and McDonald’s have entered the creative race where each of them is looking for the next most creative marketing campaign to earn media buzz, fans attention and sales.

The Whopper Detour campaign is a great example of beacon marketing.

Beacon marketing is a form of communication between brands and their consumers based on beacon technology.

You can read all about this technology here: How can Beacon Digital Marketing Help Your Retail Business Thrive?

Using this technology, Burger King essentially turned 14.000 McDonald’s locations into Burger King restaurants.

Pretty smart, right?

According to official statements, it took Burger King almost a year to prepare the promotion. The campaign is entirely reliant upon technology (beacon technology, the app) so it was vital to the campaign’s success that everything goes smoothly.

Campaign goal:

Get people to download the Burger King app.

Campaign results:

  • 50.000 Twitter mentions;
  • Going from #686 to #1 in the app charts in 48 hours;
  • 1.5 million downloads in 9 days;
  • 3.3 billion impressions;
  • Mobile sales 3x during promotion and 2x after the promotion ended;
  • Highest store traffic in 4 years.

The Whopper Detour campaign won in the Advertising & Media Category for Brand Strategy.

2. One Strange Rock – Astronaut Reality Brand Experience

One Strange Rock is a TV-series documentary filmed by Hollywood movie director Darren Aronofsky and hosted by Will Smith.

The documentary explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth by following eight astronauts who share their unique perspective on our planet.

But this experience is quite exclusive, isn’t it? Only 536 people have been to space.

To launch the show, the team at McCann NY asked themselves the following question: what could we do to allow other people – people who will never be astronauts – to enjoy a similar experience?

Learn more: These 7 Brands Used Augmented Reality Creatively

To answer this question they came up with the Astronaut Reality Helmet, which provides users with one-of-a-kind VR space experience.

Campaign goal:

Raise media attention.

Campaign results:

  • 312 million impressions;
  • 47 pieces of press coverage;
  • over 457 social shares;
  • 1.27 billion readers online;
  • One Strange Rock viewership was 13% higher than the channel’s non-fiction average performance.

The Astronaut Reality Brand Experience won the People’s Choice Award in the Experience Marketing category.

3. Carlings – ADDRESS_THE_FUTURE

There are digital influencers on Instagram with millions of followers promoting real-life clothes. Miquela, a non-human influencer is one example. 

How about real-life influencers promoting digital clothes?

Norwegian retailer Carlings took this idea and turned it into reality.

The brand designed a digital clothing line to illustrate its brand values: sustainability and fashion creativity. The clothing line is a collaboration between the brand and CGI model Perl and includes various fashion pieces: jeans, vests, jackets and coats at prices ranging between 10 euro to 30 euros.

With this digital line of clothes – called Neo-Ex, Carlings helps its customers share their style online – via 3D rendering – without leaving a negative footprint on the world.

With this project, we wish to challenge ourselves and the entire industry into taking the next step. We really believe it’s an interesting issue to address – do all clothes need to be physical?

Carlings

Campaign goal:

Raise awareness of water consumption in the clothing industry

Campaign results:

  • +25 pieces of press coverage;
  • +10k impressions for the Instagram post announcing the launch of the clothing line.

The ADDRESS_THE_FUTURE campaign won the Webby Award in the Experience Marketing category.

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Learn A New Language With This Innovative App

Have you learned English or French in school from old worn out paper manuals?

Well, this old-fashioned way of learning languages is gone!

There’s a new and more exciting way introduced by this app: the Mondly Languages app.

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What is the Mondly Languages app?

Mondly Languages is an app which combines solid neural science with cutting-edge technologies to help its users speak languages.

Mondly Languages uses AR and VR to offer its users immersive experiences. In this way, the user learns faster.

It also allows you to learn any of the 33 languages from your native language.

Mondly’s Mission

We founded Mondly to revolutionize the way people learn languages. We are passionate about using the latest technology in order to create the best and most effective language learning experience for our users.

Alexandru Iliescu, CEO of Mondly Languages

Mondly’s innovative features

  • The first voice-enabled chatbot for language learning;
  • The first Virtual Reality language app with speech recognition available for GearVR, Daydream and Cardboard;
  • The first Augmented Reality experience in the world that uses speech recognition to help you learn languages;
  • There are no computer-generated voices, all recordings in Mondly are made with native speakers.

Benefits of using Mondly Languages

  • It’s fun, fast and easy;
  • It offers immersive experiences;
  • The app’s virtual teacher engages you in conversations, giving instant feedback on pronunciation;
  • The Mondly chatbot brings language lessons to life.

Mondly in the media

INC.com – “The New Way to Learn Languages”

Bloomberg.com – “The closest thing to Classroom Education”

Forbes.com – “A practical approach to language learning likely to be widely adopted.”

Digital Trends – “The Mondly experience leverages the immersive quality of VR”

TheNextWeb.com – “The Closest Thing to Actual Immersion”

Huffington Post – “Virtual reality the new and sexier way to learn languages”

VentureBeat – “A lot more fun and easier than just reading flashcards”

Mondly by Numbers

  • Founded in 2013 by brothers Iliescu, Alexandru and Tudor;
  • 40 million downloads worldwide to date;
  • Used by people in 190 countries;
  • An average rating of 4.7 out of 5 from over 1M reviews;
  • 33 languages.

Awards and Recognition

  • Was chosen as “Editors’ Choice” by Google Play in late 2017;
  • Won Facebook’s FbStart “App of the Year” in EMEA;
  • Alexandru Iliescu, CEO of Mondly won Founder of The Year Award at the 2018 Central European Startup Awards.

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These 7 Brands Used Augmented Reality Creatively in 2018

2018 has seen brands fighting tooth and claw to attract consumers’ attention. Competition is fierce in every market so successful brands are using digital tools to support their creativity.

Augmented Reality is one such tool and brands are using it to raise brand awareness, increase engagement as well as sales. According to emarketer.com, the global augmented reality ad revenues are expected to top $2 billion by 2022.

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Let’s see how these 7 brands used Augmented Reality creatively in 2018:

1. National Geographic

The National Geographic is one of the oldest publishing houses in the world: this year it turned 130 years old (Happy Birthday, Nat Geo!).

The magazine managed to keep itself young and appealing to readers of all ages by embracing new and up-to-date channels of communication.

One of this year’s monthly edition delighted readers with an Augmented Reality cover:

2. Barilla

For retail products, the battle is fought on the shelves of the supermarkets.

Brands are implementing various marketing strategies to stand out and get their products from shelves to checkout: smart packaging design, discount prices, 2-in-1 offers etc.

Barilla joined the ranks of technology driven brands and used Augmented Reality for their pasta boxes to trigger pasta recipes:

3. LEGO

LEGO is kids’ favourite play game and the world’s largest toy company by revenues, with sales amounting to $2.1 billion in 2015. Founded in 1932, today’s parents grew up playing with LEGO and are passing down this game to their children.

Over the past years, the brand embarked on a new direction, shifting towards entertaining both kids and their parents with two blockbuster movies: The Lego Movie (2014) and The Lego Batman Movie (2017).

Everyone loved seeing the tiny yellow figurines coming to life on the big screen, so the brand now offers the same experience although on smaller screens using Augmented Reality.

This is what Lego in AR looks like as presented at the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference:

4. Moschino and H&M

Fashion and technology have a history together. Alexander McQueen was the first fashion designer to include robots: he used two robots in his 1999 fashion show. In 2006 he took it one step further and sent Kate Moss down the runway not in flesh and blood, but as a holograph.

In 2018, Dolce and Gabbana used drones to show its handbags collection and Moschino paired with H&M to create an Augmented Reality experience for their global launch event in New York:

5. Walmart

For retail chain stores, it’s not enough to display great products at discounted prices.

You need to go even further and add entertaining to your offer!

With the help of Augmented Reality tech, Walmart is providing its shoppers with in-aisle fun and entertainment.

6. BMW

For anyone passionate about cars, going to automobile events or launches and seeing so many shiny new cars on display would be a dream come true!

But not many people are fortunate enough to have such an experience.

BMW caters to their needs and uses Augmented Reality to bring the car to them:

7. 19 Crimes

Every wine label tells the story of the wine: how man and nature worked together to produce that particular wine variety.

What if you could use more than words to convey the story?

Well, now it’s possible.

Here is how this Australian wine brand uses Augmented Reality to tell the story of its lineup wines:

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BRAND MINDS’ Guide to Successful Digital Marketing in 2019

Do you want your digital marketing to be successful in 2019?

Use BRAND MINDS‘ Guide to Successful Digital Marketing!

The world of marketing, especially digital marketing, is fast paced and ever changing. Blink and you might just miss the next big trend.

Implement the following 8 tips for digital marketing success in 2019:

1. Use Digital as a Key Component to TTL Campaigns

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The important thing to remember with marketing today is that it’s no longer just about marketing digitally. Digital marketing has transitioned to marketing in a digital world, which creates more scope for campaigns.

I believe that digital marketing should be used as part of TTL marketing campaigns, so that your message gets attention from both ATL and BTL audiences. Online or offline, all areas should be explored when it comes to positioning your brand and aligning it with your audience. This will help you to maximise your reach and generate more leads and conversions.

It’s important to remember that by advertising across a variety of different platforms, you are expanding your audience. Some people believe that to be a good marketer, you should focus on one platform and do that right, but I believe that by advertising in as many places as possible, you gain increased visibility and generate stronger branding.

PR and Digital Marketing are also becoming ever more intertwined, with brands gaining exposure and building links across a variety of platforms. Co-marketing and influencer marketing are also great ways to increase reach and awareness.

[bctt tweet=”Use Digital as a Key Component to TTL Campaigns” username=”brand_minds”]

2. Personalisation

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Clever personalisation is the key for effective marketing in 2019.

Gone are the days when a blanket email campaign would suffice. It is vital to segment your audience into relevant sub categories and to target the relevant cross sections with the most relevant offers and information.

Generating personal recommendations on your page is also a great way to get more sales. Link sell by showcasing popular items purchased by others after searching on the page that your user is on. If consumer behaviour is anything to go by, you should definitely see an increase in your conversions. This tailored user journey is also easy to navigate and enjoyable for your customer.

[bctt tweet=”Clever personalisation is the key for effective marketing in 2019″ username=”brand_minds”]

3. Chatbots

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Chatbots and AI have become essential tools for online customer service. Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively.

Over the next five years, the use of bot messengers will be ramping up and chatbots will perform 80% of all communication with customers. Chatbots can be connected to websites, apps and social media platforms to answer customer enquiries and to gather important user information that can be used to create better marketing strategies.

Learn more: How To Use Chatbots To Increase Sales

Grand View Research did a study in to the global chatbot market and discovered that the market had a 24% annual growth rate which amounted to $1.2 billion last year alone. 45% of end users also prefer using them as a primary mode of communication in customer service too apparently.

[bctt tweet=”Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively” username=”brand_minds”]

4. Voice Search

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Voice interfaces are becoming an ever more common feature in modern homes and people are using voice searches and features to search quickly and to share information via soundbytes.

According to Google nearly one third of the 3.5 billion searches performed on Google every day are voice searches. Personal assistant devices are used for the majority of these searches.

Like any form of SEO, voice search gives precedence to high ranking sites. Being an authority in your industry, responsive search functions and active social channels will help to boost your ranking. According to studies content with high levels of social engagement performs well on voice search, with content with over 1199 shares on Facebook and 44 on Twitter featuring more predominantly in search.

Other factors to consider are the use of https instead of http and remember to pay attention to your snippets. You’re increasing your chance of being discovered in voice search if your snippet becomes a featured one.

Take care to tailor your description of what your page is about for good ranking. Backlinko state that 40.7% of voice searches come from featured snippets which is staggeringly high. Be sure to use this to your advantage.

[bctt tweet=”Optimise your website for voice search” username=”brand_minds”]

5. Social Stories

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With popular culture reigning supreme, Stories have quickly become the marketing choice for savvy marketers.

Since the launch of Snapchat back in 2011, social media users everywhere have been getting to grips with advanced technologies such as filters, augmented reality, boomerangs and superzoom to allow them to get creative and to generate captivating and engaging stories for their followers.

Learn more: 3 E-Commerce Brands Using Instagram Stories Effectively

Instagram Stores and Facebook Live became pivotal tools for story-telling in 2018 and will continue to do so in 2019.
According to Instagram, one in every five organic stories prompts at least one customer message. This is probably because these ads appear native in their format and are less interruptive than other social media ads. Either way the potential is huge.

[bctt tweet=”Be smart in 2019 and use Stories to your advantage.” username=”brand_minds”]

6. Video

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Video will continue to grow in 2019.

Live video is being used more and more to showcase and raise awareness for important brand moments. Videos have 135% times more organic reach than your typical Facebook post with 1200% more engagement than image and text posts (Forbes).

Learn more: How To Increase Conversions With Video Marketing

The stats below show the importance of video for brand:

  • 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video (via Wyzowl);
  • 72% of businesses say video has improved their conversion rate (via Wyzowl);
  • 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video (via Forbes);
  • 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions (via Invodo).

The important thing to remember is that several companies have created 360 videos in the past year – especially for showcasing things like weddings and interiors. This trend will continue to grow in 2019.

The full capacity of 360 video has yet to be uncovered. This is just the tip of the iceberg and what’s to come will be even more exciting.

[bctt tweet=”Use 360 videos to showcase your products” username=”brand_minds”]

7. Micro Moments

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Google’s research teams have uncovered a new type of consumer behaviour called the micro moment. These moments seemingly occur when people reflexively turn to a device to either learn something, do something, get to know something or buy something.

Google have coined these moments the:

  • I-want-to-know
  • I-want-to-do
  • I-want-to-go
  • I-want-to-buy

Users experience these moments 150 times a day according to Think with Google. The trick with this is to target consumers with exactly what they want at that right moment to increase conversion rates.

[bctt tweet=”Leverage the Micro-moments to increase conversion rates” username=”brand_minds”]

8. AR/VR

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Both augmented reality – which layers virtual components on a real life backdrop, and virtual reality – which creates an entirely virtual world that can be accessed via a headset, will become a bigger part of experiential marketing in 2019.

These tools aid in the decision making process for products that need to be visualised before purchase. The AR/VR experience is incredibly beneficial for interior design, weddings, clothing and beauty products to name but a few.

Learn more: 3 Snapchat Campaigns Powered by Augmented Reality

Clothing giants Gucci and Zara have both used AR in their marketing campaigns over the past year. Gucci launched the ‘Gucci Hallucination’ in 52 of its stores, while Zara introduced AR screens that showcase their lookbook in 120 stores. These screens have sensors that interact with mobile devices to facilitate easy shopping in one simple click, bringing a truly futuristic element to their marketing and marking a significant increase in conversions.

[bctt tweet=”Use AR/VR to shorten your customers’ decision making process” username=”brand_minds”]

Key Takeaways

  • Marketing today is no longer just about marketing digitally;
  • Use digital marketing as part of your TTL marketing campaigns;
  • Clever personalisation is key for effective marketing in 2019;
  • Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively;
  • Optimise your website for voice search;
  • Pay attention to your snippets: 40.7% of voice searches come from featured snippets;
  • Use Social Stories to your advantage;
  • Use 360 videos to showcase your products;
  • Leverage the Micro-moments;
  • Use AR/VR to shorten your customers’ decision making process.

Join the Conversation

Now that you’ve read our BRAND MINDS’ Guide to Digital Marketing in 2019, we’d love to hear what you have to say. What will you be implementing in your marketing plan for the coming year?

Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear your views!

3 Snapchat Campaigns powered by Augmented Reality

Snapchat is undoubtedly leading the user experience of augmented reality in social media. In 2016, the Pokemon GO frenzy took the world by storm and showed the incredible appeal of AR for users.

In the following years, brands have looked for ways to use AR to raise engagement on Snapchat and draw users’ attention to their products.

Discover 3 brand campaigns powered by augmented reality and delivered through Snapchat:

BMW

As part of its 2017 ad campaign to launch the BMW X2, the famous carmaker became the first brand to create a 3D augmented-reality version of a product with Snapchat.

During the campaign, consumers on Snapchat began seeing ads from BMW that linked to the augmented-reality version of the new car. When someone swiped on the ad, it opened the camera and the gold car appeared in the frame. A person could then virtually walk around the car and see all its details and even change its color.

Nike

Nike partnered with Snapchat and Shopify earlier this year for the pre-release of Air Jordan III Tinker. 2018 marks 30 years since Michael Jordan made history with his free throw line dunk in 1988 Slam Dunk Contest win. It is one of the most memorable moments in NBA history and Nike wished to celebrate it.

Using 3D and augmented-reality technology, Nike brought Michael Jordan through Snapchat to the younger generation that has never seen him play. But the experience didn’t stop here. With a tap on the screen, the user was able to purchase a pair of Air Jordan III Tinker which was delivered to their home address within two hours. The pre-release shoes were sold out in 23 minutes.

Watch the video here.

Foot Locker

The holidays tend to bring out the best in advertising, leading to fierce competition to make an impact. This often means clever brand partnerships.

One such example is the collaboration between Foot Locker and Snapchat on Christmas 2017. Foot Locker designed an unboxing experience for Snapchatters in which they delivered animated Jordans that users could customise and dunk.

Instagram stories, AR, short-term content and chatbots – to be watched in 2018

Until now there has been a lot of talk about the Millennials, about how present they are in the digital environment and what type of content they prefer. After them comes strongly the Z Generation, meaning the people born between 1995-2012, that will represent 40 percent of the consumers’ market in 2020.

The manner in which they are changing the rules of the game and re-configuring the experiences with the brands is analyzed in the report Digital Recap 2018, created by The Bridge – Golin’s social media & digital hub – and the blogger Alex Ciuca (Hoinaru), available on www.digitalrecap.ro.

In the new Digital Recap we took a look at 2018 in which the relevance, measurement and analysis will count more than ever. The last year’s trends in content, storytelling, influencers and communities are refining and re-defining themselves in a new communication equation in social media. How memorable is in fact the ephemeral content and how are the brands adapting themselves to the new messages’ temporary reality, through what are the influencers differentiating themselves from the content creators and how is the social media influencing the buying power on this year’s digital agenda,” said Irina Roncea, deputy managing director, Golin.

Found at its seventh edition, the report presents the evolutions and trends in the digital environment, offering at the same time predictions and recommendations for the brands that want to be relevant for the new generation of consumers.  

The star remains in 2018 the Instagram Stories, a channel that already attracts massive investment at a global level – almost 25 million companies worldwide publishing stories on Instagram. At the same time the Augmented Reality brings new changes in the interaction between brands and consumers, therefore it will rise the mix of offline-online experiences through viral elements added in real time to a store visit or while looking over a flyer. Also on a growing trend is the Virtual Reality, powered by the diversity and rising accessibility of the VR glasses’ models.

The ephemeral content represents an excellent manner of attracting and keeping the users for a longer period of time, if the brand is telling its story well. Insta Stories can contain teasers of product launches,
making ofs from their creation, exclusive content that can be discovered only in Stories, awards for fans and new communication opportunities with them. From its launch and until the present, the time spent by users in stories has been growing with 28 minutes, while 1 in 5 stories from a brand has been receiving a private message as response. Those are the reasons for which we believe is very important that the things a user sees bring him/her a plus value, in a way or another: to be useful and /or to be funny. A brand that will make its user feel privileged and rewarded for the times pent on its page will for certain have a future,” said Roxana Ionescu, Senior Digital Manager Golin.

Another visible trend for 2018 are the chatbots. Their number grew significantly in the last years, especially with the launch of the Facebook Messenger, in 2016. Therefore, 80 percent of the businesses are already using or planning to use them until 2020, while the global chatbots market is expected to reach USD 1.23 billion in 2025.

How 2017 looked in terms of numbers:

  • Facebook has 2 billion users monthly;
  • Time Warner invests USD 100 million in shows and ads on Snapchat;
  • EUR 2,7 billion has to pay Google for a UE fine regarding a series of wrong doings on the comparing prices’ software of Google Shopping;
  • 3000 people are hired by Facebook to check the posts and the videos reported as being hate speech or related to crimes;
  • Intel paid 15,3 billion for the acquisition of Mobileye.
  • EUR 1,7 million are invested by eMAG in the Zitec company;
  • NBC holds 25% of Euronews;
  • Amazon spent USD 13,7 billion in order to buy Whole Foods;
  • The American company Equifax lost 143 million accounts.

Top trends in shopper marketing in 2018

With a more and more savvy consumer and digital and technology re-shaping it, shopper marketing became in the last years almost a science, relying a lot on research and customer observation. While in the US, the Shopper Marketing magazine developed a very strong research on this year’s trends that can be read here, we asked 3 local advertising specialists to give us their thoughts as well.

 

Cristina Oncescu, Head of Strategy pastel

What do you believe will be the biggest shopper marketing trends of 2018?

I don’t know if they are the biggest, but they are certainly hot in 2018:

  • Personalised shopping

There are many in-store technologies that can be used to provide a personalised shopping experience. NFC (Near Field Communication) chips, QR codes, iBeacons and Visual Light Communications are just some of the emerging technologies used. These, when linked to previous shopping histories via a loyalty app for instance, can provide disruptive yet compelling interactions with the shopper as they enter the store.

  • Virtual assistance

From voice to chatbots, going through messenger apps, one-to-one communication is on the rise. Being available and being helpful, when the shopper needs you, is making the difference.

  • Augmented Reality

The use of Augmented Reality on mobile devices provides an engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience – it’s quick, easy and very interactive. With the integration of AR on iPhones, it will be easier for marketers to engage larger audiences during their path to purchase.

What are they influenced by and why?

Technology, and especially mobile, led shoppers becoming more and more omnichannel. Now, this is an actual behaviour that the shoppers engage in (of course in a subconscious way). Web, mobile, social, apps – it’s all just shopping to consumers. The separation between retail channels is growing even more blurred by the day. Can they return online products in-store? Can they check if the store has their size and colour on their mobile phone before they leave their homes? Consumers expect a seamless experience across all channels.

What is pastel advising its clients this year?

Great content will always engage. Have an interesting, consistent story and a seamless experience throughout the whole omnichannel path to purchase.

Anton Gherca, Chief Innovation Officer at g7

What do you believe will be the biggest shopper marketing trends of 2018?

We believe that shopper marketing is an area of brand communication that has been kept largely untouched by the digital revolution that is reshaping the advertising industry for the past 10 years. So we expect that „digital BTL” will start gaining momentum, as today’s practices are deeply engrained in traditional approaches of point of sale communication. We think that we will see more connections between social media and shopper marketing, and geofencing and point of sale promotions, with the aim of delivering a more integrated omnichanel shopper experience.

What are they influenced by and why?

Like many things in advertising, the move towards a more „digital” shopper marketing approach is driven by the consumers themselves, or more precisely, by their lifestyle. As of 2017, the penetration rate of smartphones in Romania is 70%, while 41% of the population are already mobile social users. Peer-to-peer ridesharing like Uber makes people understand the benefits of the sharing economy,  on-demand services like Netflix put them in the driver’s seat while the wide 4G coverage makes them want everything now. This means people are getting more and more accustomed to having everything at a push of a button and they expect higher levels of service, increased transparency, embedded interactivity and all in all a better customer experience out of everything.

I know this sounds like a bunch of buzzwords cramped togheter in one sentence, and our agency has never been in the „buzz” business, but the reality is that the shift in consumers’ lives is happening with or without us. I think the bottom line is that today’s shoppers are just expecting something more out of marketing communications. More relevance, more engagement, more customization. This doesn’t mean that we, the shopper marketers, can’t still get away with the old „buy one – get one” or „scratch this to win a prize that you don’t even want” mechanics. But wouldn’t that be a pity?

What is g7 advising its clients this year?

Our agency has embarked in a digital transformation journey and once set in motion, it can’t be stopped. We will continue an initiative started in 2017, of hosting periodic innovation workshops together with our clients for identifying the opportunities put forth by today’s technology, and see where that gets us. Still, there are a couple of areas we keep tightly in our focus: Proximity marketing, Loyalty management and Gamification. We work towards integrating in an organic manner these three capabilities in the approach our clients are already used to: honest creative work, deep understanding of shopper behavior and solid deployment in the retail ecosystem.

Ondina Olariu, Business Director Geometry Global

“Fragmentation, increased competition and e-commerce are key words for 2018 and beyond in our region. After seeing a huge expansion, somewhat even inflated for some of the retail players, we will witness a new battleground, named proximity. As global retailers keep expanding, we will live through a great variety of formats, more flexibility and adaptation to micro-retailing needs. Proximity will be influenced as well by the increasing degree of urbanization, as well as the new generations of shoppers, more dynamic, digital savvy and format switchers (in Romania, 25 cities cover 31.3% of total population and 55.6% of urban population – source:  INS, Romania, 2017).

And when we say flexibility and adaptation, think beyond format, as we see discounters aggressively stepping in the services territory, while share of consumer spend reached 68% in services vs 32% in goods in 2016 (source: Kantar Global Trends 2018). Goods subscription – meaning bundle goods as a service is something that we preached our clients for a couple of years already and it’s approaching it’s turning point in 2018.

E-commerce in Europe is predicted to reach 10% of total retail (source: Kantar 2018 Global Predictions, WPP Data), with a clear future towards what we call omni-channel, especially since gen Z takes the scene as newest shoppers. At global level we see the switch and struggle of most pure e-commerce players in becoming physical as well, to the level where blogs impersonate the physical space in temporary shops where experience blends with sales, while in Europe we are taking steps into developing the brick-and-mortar into e-commerce, especially for FMCG area, which are the most shopped for categories. Retailers will continue or start monetizing opportunities through their own apps, following the evolution of more mature markets, such as Spain (+210% in app sessions growth in the last 2 years) or Germany (+130%). Here again, it seems that pure digital players have a degree of advancement, since digital-first retail apps saw more that 2x the average sessions / user each month and saw stronger growth in the last 2 years. (source: App Annie 2017 retrospective report). This means we will see accelerated growth for digital players apps, as the new arrivals from physical retailers will need to extract good lessons and apply on fast track.

Blending online and offline expresses also in automation, such as automated cashiers. As retailers will increasingly see value, watch for a retail unemployment crisis, especially in more mature markets. The proliferation of private labels will increasingly force out brands from the physical shelf. Most of these private labels continue to be supported as brands rather than price options, from food to fashion (see Esmara for Lidl and Tex for Carrefour) and home appliances (eg Carrefour Home consumer electronics). Health and Wellness is an increasingly appealing theme, for both brands and retailers. Watch the shelf space growth in store, as well as the latest positioning of certain private labels, trying to capture value and exploit the trend.

As a shopper agency, we are not only advising but already working with our clients on the omni-channel shopper journey models, including retailer strategies and new channels opportunities in this process. We build with them strong e-commerce fundamentals for the Romanian market and expand to e-commerce experiences and integration of channels for more mature markets. We operate with an increasingly complex model that includes data management and A/B testing applied to shopper initiatives and integrate thorough shopper knowledge in every solution we bring to the table. Bonus: an emerging trend, still less visible to this market is the return to D2C (Direct to Consumer). It will be highly influenced by retailers’ behavior, however, more brands become conscious they cannot rely exclusively on retailers and distributors in building their relationship with shoppers and consumers, therefore they’ll be trying to find ways to cut it short to them and bypass the “official” channels.”

 

 

 

Top marketing trends for 2018 -part II

AI and Machine Learning are influencing the whole marketing process

According to Salesforce research, quoted by cmo.com.au, artificial intelligence (AI) use by marketers will grow more than 50 per cent in the next two years,with some putting it at 20 per cent of all business content authored by machines in 2018. At the same time, with AI at the forefront, marketers will be better able to understand the likes and dislikes of a customer, determine what specific branded content should be served to that consumer, and track all their interactions through the customer’s journey.

Moreover, according to channels.theinnovationenterprise.com, 2018 will see chatbots develop to a point where they will become genuinely useful for both brands and consumers alike,with the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025. “The rise of chatbots is part of the effort to exploit ‘dark’ social – the platforms on which your interactions and information aren’t public. People are spending more and more time in messaging apps (Facebook Messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp, etc), actually eclipsing the time spent in social media apps, which makes them a huge area for brands to be getting involved in. Over the course of 2018, AI in chatbots will develop to the point at which they become genuinely useable. 80% of businesses already use (or plan to use) chatbots by 2020, and next year will see big steps taken towards that end,” they added.

Video live streaming

If you weren’t using live video to interact with your customers in 2017, it needs to be a priority for you in 2018, considers Neil Patel, for quicksprout.com. “Studies suggest 80% of consumers prefer watching a live video from a brand as opposed to reading a blog. And 67% of people are more likely to purchase a ticket to events like a concert after watching a live stream of a similar event,” added Patel.

Live video streaming represents one of the best ways of connecting with your audience, because people tend to attach on a deeper level thanks to the visually stimulating and interactive nature of a live broadcast. The more immersive the live content is, the better — live streaming has been used to conduct interviews, share live events, and grant exclusive, behind-the-scenes access, but its possibilities are nearly endless.

Augmented Reality straight from the phone

Apple seems anxious and aims to have technology ready for an augmented-reality headset in 2019 and a product by 2020. Unlike the current generation of virtual reality headsets that use a smartphone as the engine and screen, Apple’s device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system.

The company began putting together a team to work on AR-related projects a couple of years ago, Bloomberg reported in March 2017. Led by Mike Rockwell, who previously ran engineering at Dolby Labs, the group has now grown to several hundred engineers from across Apple, the people said. Scattered across office parks in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale, California, the team is working on several hardware and software projects under the umbrella code name of “T288.”

Apple’s new technology, named ARKit, seemed to arrive at the perfect time. It works by imposing bright virtual objects into the real world – at a time when reality has never seemed darker. The feature is the kind of world-changing technology that’s on a par with the introduction of the iPhone 10 years ago, Tim Cook told The Independent.