With the ever changing digital landscape, where do our CMO's see the future of their marketing departments?

The economist recently published their report The path to 2020: Marketers seize the customer experience, which is based on a global survey of 499 CMOs and senior marketing executives, plus in-depth interviews with leading CMOs to research which technologies and customer trends are likely to change marketing organisations.

The research eluded to some interesting trends, the first of which is that it takes into account that all CMO's have some form of strategy and a goal they are trying to achieve. At Smart Insights, we're big advocates of having a strategy in place to help you reach your goals. If you want to do a little further reading on developing your own strategy, have a read of this post.

Launching a brand 'Snapchat Takeover'

Snapchat now has over 130 million daily active users and is growing rapidly. Snapchat is popular with users of 20s and under, so potentially, it's a great way to reach younger consumers as it's offering grows more mature. Top influencers on Snapchat are able to get 300,000-400,000 views on a post on their story.

What is a Snapchat takeover?

A Snapchat takeover allows a brand to reach a large larger audience than would otherwise be possible. It works by a brand letting a popular 'Snapchatter' or other social media influencer/celebrity take over their branded Snapchat for a day or just a few hours. During this time the

During this time, the influencer directs their followers to watch their takeover on the Brand's Snapchat, thus referring a large volume of traffic. It's a novel tactic and has proven effective for the big name brands that have tried it, like McDonalds, Disney and…

Virgin Holidays Case Study: How to use virtual reality to show off your product

Particularly relevant for travel retailers, virtual reality provides an opportunity to showcase their product in a way that was previously impossible. Perhaps it's the best new technology for the sector since the jet engine! This first example shows how can now take your customers under the sea, to the top of mountains and onto the sunniest of beaches without them having to leave the branch, as this 360° video from Qantas shows.

The Virgin Reality initiative

Many travel brands have started experimenting with using VR to let customers 'try before they buy', and have done so by creating 360° videos which viewers can pan around. We've got to admit, they're pretty darn cool, and a lot of fun. But technically, they aren't virtual reality.  Virtual reality means being able to look around the virtual world…

Data from 65 million ecommerce orders shows the crucial sources of traffic for ecommerce websites

Ecommerce and online retail is a booming sector, but because the latest marketing techniques change so rapidly it can be tricky to keep up with the latest trends whilst also keeping your feet on the ground.

In a new report, Yotpo collated data from 65 million ecommerce orders representing $2 billion dollars in transactions over 120,000 ecommerce stores, and established what the industry average is for digital media.

The results make for slightly surprising reading. On the face of things, Social makes up a healthy 6%, but this is still a relatively small slice over the overall pie. Paid makes up 5%, which leaves considerable room for growth, whilst email makes…

Recommended design patterns and best practices for your Basket/Shopping Bag

Here is the 6th in my series of posts on recommended Ecommerce page layouts. We've been working our way down the funnel, so now we move from product pages to improving your Basket or Shopping Bag Page. Given it's the launchpad to checkout, it plays a vital driver in pushing the buyer down the conversion path.

As with checkout, the basket page has to serve two user types:

1. New users: Reduce barriers to purchase and persuade them to trust your brand and website, with their payment. 2. Returning users: Provide a quick transition to check-out, summarising key information which commit buyers to purchase.

If you work in an ecommerce team at a retailer, or are involved in design for your client’s accounts, then I hope these templates and tips will guide you along the design/re-evaluation process to maximise results for your pages.

Key Ecommerce Basket Page Wireframe requirements

There…

Selling to your existing customers is much easier than attracting new ones. So keep them coming back.

Do you want more returning customers? The kind of customers who spend more and visit more often?

Then a loyalty program could be the perfect tool to add to your customer retention arsenal.

Why? You may ask. Let’s start with the most reasonable fact: because it makes you more money. That is, of course, if you do it the right way.

Here’s a quick stat that’s worth remembering: Keeping a current customer costs you 3-10 times less than acquiring a new one, depending on the industry you are in. According to WordStream, small businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 trying to attract new customers on Google paid search campaigns in just each month on average. Just image how much more efficient you could be if you could switch that re-activating existing customers and getting repeat…

How to avoid letting these PPC Myths Corrupt Your Marketing

Have you heard about some of these PPC (Pay Per Click) myths before? As so many businesses use PPC, it’s not surprising there are lots of myths about them. Over the years, PPC has changed and been updated. Some of the old strategies that were successful ‘back in the day’ are now outdated.

Common misconceptions have allowed many myths to spread and have negatively influenced how people understand PPC advertising.

There are many PPC myths out there so we’ve picked some of the most dangerous. The myths we’ve chosen are so believable, they have the potential to corrupt marketing strategies or stump success.

1. PPC guarantees instant and fast results

Some marketers quickly jump on the PPC train because they believe it will win instant results. In truth, sometimes you can see a rapid rise in traffic but it definitely does not guarantee positive results.

China to drive growth of global eCommerce sales

eCommerce has been a booming sector for several years now. The good news is that isn't about to stop. Global retail sales are expected to  almost double between now and 2019.

However if we look at the data for established markets like the US, we see a less exciting picture. eCommerce will still grow, but the growth has pretty much plateaued. The big growth is in emerging markets, and China with over 1 billion people is the biggest emerging market of them all. Chinese eCommerce sales are already enormous yet are predicted to more than double between now and 2016. This will present enormous opportunities to international eCommerce businesses. That said, China is a tough market to crack so don't rush off too fast to established a Beijing office. Dip your toe in before taking the plunge.

Recommended design patterns and best practices for retail Search Results Page

This is the 5th in the series looking at key Ecommerce pages, we hope it gives you some ideas for testing and improving your on-site search page. It's a key page on retail sites, since a high proportion of sessions can involve a search and typically average order is higher when a search takes place.

In the context of different types of user journeys, this page can sit in different places in the conversion path. It may support early stage research to help visitors learn more about your different product categories or services or it can be an end-stage conversion driver to match people to specific products as they search for specific product names, types and product labels/SKUs.

Key Ecommerce Search Results Page Wireframe requirements

This template provides an outline of the core elements, with colour coding definitions referenced in the Guide. UX and UI designs can vary across…

Are Spotify and Valve models to be followed or impossible to replicate?

We live in an age of Digital Disruption. The biggest transport provider (Uber) owns no cars, the biggest accommodation provider (Airbnb) owns no rooms, the biggest content provider (Facebook) creates no content. These new businesses have brought with them radically different models of organisational structure which was part of the reason they were able to do better than anyone before in their respective industries. Many of what were once new and exciting little start-ups, involving young folks tinkering in their garages are now massive businesses with more conventional corporate structures. Google and Apple are now two of the Worlds largest companies, and have all of the usual trappings of corporate hierarchy, like Presidents, CEOs, and managers of all different types.

But there are some companies which have retained their start-up culture and really do have radically different structures, which most marketers would…

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