Essentials of social media engagement [research infographic]

Engaging their community on social media is what all community and brand managers are striving for. Social media may be the best place to interact with audiences, but without clear understanding of the psychology of how people engage , brand efforts may fall flat and fail to reap the expected social media ROI.

In my latest paper, I discover top characteristics of social media engagement every manager should keep on top of their mind.

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The paper goes on to explains in more detail driving factors of social media engagement and its benefits for brands. It is forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Management – watch their space or get in touch for more details.

PS: To find out more about creating an infographic from research papers, click here and here. This time, I created mine with Canva

Is marketing dead? Two trends turning marketing thinking up side down.

The traditional marketing “segmentation-targeting-positioning” approach requires you to try and find a homogenous customer segment with specific needs, and serve it with a product that answers that need. Some people advocate that this approach is dead, stupid and outdated. I don’t think so: it is just that it has slowly been robbed from its utility.

The reasons for this are twofold: product overload & technology dominance

“With markets overloaded with products, opportunities to truly create disruptive innovation and new products are scarcer”

The reality is that most marketers in their daily jobs are dealing with existing products, not truly inventing new ones. Let’s admit it, consumers are overloaded with products as they are.

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source: syntagmaviaggi.it

Truly engaging in new product creation is more and more rare, and the best marketers can usually do now, is bring them tiny incremental innovations, to try and sell more of them to increasingly bored consumers.

Think you are going to go and work at Unilever and revolutionize the global ice cream industry? (dear students, I am talking to you) Think twice. The segmentation-targeting positioning framework is obsolete because we don’t truly innovate anymore.

Another reason why we don’t innovate so much in marketing anymore is because more and more product innovations are concentrated in the technology/digital areas. And believe it or not, technology products are not so much ideated by marketers, as they are by IT guys or engineers. Technology specialists gain more and more marketing skills and use their own product development tools.

“Tech specialists are taking marketers’ jobs

Yes, IT guys like them. Source: The IT Crowd.
Yes, IT guys like them. Source: The IT Crowd.

As a result: a) adjust your expectations if you are going into marketing and want to do product development and b) if you don’t want to adjust your expectations, get into technology…or social marketing. With the world turning its head upside down an markets as well as economic and political climates being more and more uncertain, there is dire need to design solutions with social and societal impact (but even then, you will probably need an IT guy on board!)

 

Snapchat: 10 seconds to convert teenagers into consumers

I was asked by Harvard Business Review France to contribute with an article on the latest trends in digital marketing. So, I wrote for them my thoughts on Snapchat and why it should be used by brands. Here is the English translation of the original article

The phenomenon

Launched in 2011, Snapchat has the highest penetration rate among teenagers and young adults, according to Statista’s latest figures. It has already clearly asserted its strength in certain regions like North America, and is now in full expansion in Europe.

Snapchat has now become the holy grail of media companies and advertisers are flocking this new platform. The reason for this craze is simple: Snapchat is one of the only media that truly allows capturing and maintaining the attention of the younger generation, thanks to two of its core characteristics: transience and authenticity.

Snapchat in figures

Snapchat’s target market is the 13 to 34 year-old segment, with a core target of 13 to 24 year-olds. In the United-States, 60% of this segment that owns a smartphone is a Snapchat user. With an expected revenue of $300 million for 2016, valuation at $20 billion and 150 million active daily users worldwide, Snapchat has nothing to be ashamed of, even in the face of the other big social networks which have existed for much longer. It even had the luxury to turn down the 3 billion acquisition offer of Facebook in 2014. More than just a fun network for teens, Snapchat offers real opportunities for marketers to engage with a highly captive audience and convert young users into consumers.

Marketing applications

Snapchat offers various opportunities to brands. First, brands can pay to have their ads displayed in the Discover Channels. On these channels, media companies such as CNN, National Geographic or Vogue publish informational and entertaining content, in a digital magazine type of format. On these feeds, brands can display their ads, like they would on TV. Video format is the most popular, with more than 10 billion daily views.

Live Stories are published by users, often in relation with a particular event, and can be linked or sponsored by a brand. Coachella festival in California, for instance, saw its popularity peak with this technique, as they virtuality gave access to the festival to over 40 million young users worldwide. Practically, a Snapchat user attending the Coachella festival could make a video of his experience and submit it for review to Snapchat, which would then broadcast it on the Coachella Live Story, making it visible to all. Brands can also sponsor geographic filters, which are stickers with creative designs that can be pasted onto content posted by users. These filters use geofence and are thus only accessible in a designated geographic area.

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Snapchat naturally monetises all these marketing actions, as none of them is free for brands. A brand can also naturally have its own Snapchat account and post content for free through this account. However, in this way, the content is only visible to users who are actively following the brand.

Two keys to success

Attention. Content disappears after 24 hours on the platform, and it can only be seen for a maximum of 10 seconds. For a manager, it can seem absurd to invest in content that is not made to last, however this transient aspect is precisely what makes the platform so attractive : content is instantaneous and rare. The reason for the success of transient content can be explained by the “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO), which is typical of generation Z. For them, happiness can never be reached because they cannot experience everything : modern day teenagers are thus constantly dissatisfied. This fear of missing out is so strong and deep for that generation that they try and consume as much content as possible to live as many experiences they can and stay « in ».

Thus, this functionality of a disarming simplicity is in fact the reason for Snapchat’s success : by making content ephemeral, they increase its rarity. Because of this, users are 100% attentive to what they watch, since they only have 10 seconds of their precious time to sacrifice to see it.

Intimacy. Since content is transient and because it disappear, shared content can be much more personal. In the same way in which it is consumed, content is produced rapidly, without fuss and with the emotions of the moment.

For these two reasons, brand have the ability to interact with an extremely engaged and receptive audience. By launching campaigns on Snapchat, brands can increase their visibility, reputation and relevance for young adults and propose innovative forms of content. WWF, for instance, launched a campaign called #Lastselfie, where they surfed on the selfie trend and aimed to raise awareness of endangered species. The campaign was one of the first international campaigns on Snapchat and it raised unexpected levels of attention and awareness, with over 5000 tweets seen by 6 million users in the first 8 hours following its launch. Their visibility objective was thus achieved and they won a Webby Award for the campaign.

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Tips for businesses

  1. Creativity

The first crucial element of communication on Snapchat is creativity. The tool has developed a wide array of functionalities to increase creativity : emojis can be placed over pictures and videos to express emotions, as well as coloured text or filters. Young people look for entertaining content: using a light and humorous tone is thus key. In order to know and get to grips with what makes young people laugh nowadays, the easiest way is to recrute one of them internally. Many businesses now have Gen Z consultants in order to improve their Snapchat strategy. Companies such as GoSpooky in the Netherlands are flourishing: they were created by teenagers in order to provide strategic insight to business and manage their Snapchat campaigns.

  1. Relevance

On Snapchat, there is no complex algorithm that pushes specific content on people’s feeds: from the moment that someone is following your account, they have 24 hours to view what you have posted. Thus, contrary to platforms like Facebook where you have to publish regularly in order to be well positioned in people’s feed, Snapchat does not have that problem. As soon as there is content posted on your account, your followers can see it and decide to visualise it or not. This way, it is only relevant to post something if you really have something to share – otherwise, it would just be noise. For instance, if a music festival is happening during the summer, its Snapchat can burst with content during the event, but have much more spaced out posts during the rest of the year. Activity can then resume when pre-sales are opening, for instance, and this would not be a problem.

  1. Verticality

Posting on Snapchat means entering a logic of verticality, a little bit similar to magazine content, given that smartphone are most often held vertically. This means that creative content creation needs to be adapted to this new format. If Snapchat users have to turn their phone in landscape to be able to enjoy the content, it creates frictions and disengagement.

  1. Exclusivity

Snapchat, is a platform where content is not embellished. Like its target audience, Snapchat is raw, authentic. Therefore, a way to engage Snapchat audiences is to make them perceive the real and authentic aspect of a brand; to invite them to see behind the scenes. This makes exclusive content particularly appreciated on Snapchat: the most popular celebrities on Snapchat are those that let their fans enter their every day lives, posting selfies without make-up, with their real friends or families, such as Kylie Jenner or Macklemore. This genuine aspect sets Snapchat aside. In this line of thinking, brands can decide to launch a Takeover, whereby they give control of their account to a chosen influencer. Using consumers insight and (quite literally) their lens is a fantastic way to signal that your brand is authentic and bare.

These methods can help brand willing to engage the 13-24 year-olds on a relevant medium with high engagement potential. By telling a fun, authentic and relevant story, opportunities to differentiate on markets that are not yet « Snapchat mature », like France, should be grasped.

This article was initially published in French on the website of  Harvard Business Review France on this page. You can reach HBR France on LinkedIn.

Luxury: immediate boarding to the “phygital” store?

A post by Chloé RIGOMIER, MSc student in Digital Marketing, @KEDGE Business School. 

Who has never hesitated to enter in a luxury shop, frightened by so much prestige and coldness? I definitely have (in spite of the fact that I love luxury), and I’m sure you have too! Strangely, we speak about a place of contact with the customers, a showcase for the image of luxury brands. Dissuasive guards, immense and spotless shops, absence of prices, rarity of products… Everything is reunited to institute a distance with the customer. Yet, luxury brands use these spaces to demonstrate their power: the surface must be the most spacious, the neighbourhood very posh, the layout designed by prestigious architects… I believe that luxury attracts us, moves us and makes us dream… But luxury can also scare us off! Then, how can luxury brands develop their stores towards a pleasant and attractive customer experience? Is digital the key?

Première photo Chloé jpg

Source : http://bit.ly/25oHRxp

Are Luxury and digital incompatible? There’s a huge stereotype claiming that digital would put luxury in danger because it would oblige the brands to lose some of their prestige and secret aura. Well, let us take the example of the pioneer in the domain: Burberry and its digitalized luxurious flagship store (London). The ambition is clear: make visitors live the same experience online and offline. Sellers have iPad to consult the last purchases of the customers. They can create the trench of their dream on tablets. There are screens to broadcast fashion shows and concerts. Products have RFID chips to show similar articles thanks to screens also acting as mirrors. Customers can pay by mobile terminal. Nevertheless, Burberry is a brand with a traditional image, very anchored and backward-looking codes (tartan, trench). They included the current stakes by proving us that there aren’t borders anymore between the real and the digital world. If you wish to see images of this remarkable Burberry store, it’s this way:

In an oppressing context where e-commerce faces the exclusive distribution of luxury, it’s time to enter in the “phygital”. The digital needs to enter in physical stores to appeal to the future clientele: the Y generation. It will revolutionize the point of sale making people live a memorable experience. However, luxury needs to stay a singular world inventing its own digitalization: an astonishing and magic digital experience. The human needs to be put back at the centre to provide a real distinction between online and offline. Sellers need to find the pleasure of the customer relationship again, delighting the experience with a refined quality of service.

In the video below, Eric Briones (the famous @darkplanneur) proposes strategies for a singular digitalisation of the luxury:

Let us be carried away by the imagination of the luxurious shop of tomorrow: I dream of an immense cosy space (noble materials, furniture design, wine and smoothies bar, makeup and hairstyle spaces, personal shopper, sound and olfactory atmosphere…) but still very modern (sellers informed about our needs, connected shop windows for a shopping 24 hours a day, hangers with RFID chips for further information on screens, connected fitting  rooms to share on social media, customization of products on tablets, mobile payment…).

What about you? What could incite you to enter a luxury store? Tell me what you think about the “phygital” for these brands. Comment, share, like… And have an amazing day!

Deuxième photo Chloé jpg

Source : http://bit.ly/1L1uIhf

Chloé RIGOMIER

To get in touch with Chloé, find her here on Twitter & LinkedIn

The phygital trend: a good thing or not?

A post by Frédéric PAILLET, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School. 

PAILLET 1

Day after day we can see in retail spaces the emergence of more and more digital platforms. I am sure that, like me, most of you have seen these and wondered, what is that? How does it work? With these platforms, customers can, for example, check the product offer on interactive terminals, they can see demonstration of product on TV screen and many other things. But are all of these digital platforms really interesting for brands who decided to implant them in their stores?

In this article, we are trying to identify what are the arguments for and the arguments against the utilization of this type of platforms in retail space.

First, the arguments for:

The “phygitalisation” allows brands creating a real customer experience in their store and improving and facilitating customers’ shopping . Customers can have more information about the product, more quickly. Moreover, the experiences into the store are more playful and allow to the customers to have a good time. Sellers can be more efficient because they can use tablets to find information more quickly. Moreover, “phygitalisation” allows concluinge sales which would not have been done in the past. For example, before the digitalisation, when a product was not available for size or colours reasons, the sale failed. Today, the seller can find the product in another store and propose to the customer to deliver it at home in two days.

For all of these reasons, the “phygitalisation” of retail space is a good things for brands and for customers, but on the condition that is it done in an intelligent way.

Second, the arguments against:

For some customers, the utilization of digital platforms is difficult and it’s not unusual to find them deserted by customers because there are no people to help them use them. In consequence, that makes the usefulness of this type of platforms flawed, and particularly unnecessary. Moreover, most of the time, sellers are not trained to use these platforms and are, as a consequence, powerless to help customers with it. The last more common argument for detractors of these platforms is the loss of human contact in stores.

To conclude, digital platforms in a store are a good thing for brands and for customers, but it is also required to have trained staff so they can help customers to use them. Even customers can appreciate the utility of these platforms and to keep the human relation with the seller. The most important thing to understand for a brand is that “phygitalisation” is not a tool which allows to spend less time with customers but rather to improve customer experiences and to allow customers to enjoy moments spent in store.

Frédéric PAILLET

Capturing the real consumer engagement

During my PhD, I created a measure of online consumer engagement. In other words, it is a list of questions that people answer to help gauge their level of engagement with a brand, product or even community.

With this tool, we can find out how emotionally, behaviourally and cognitively engaged consumers are. This is really useful, because most online metrics at the moment only allow you to say how engaged people are by counting “likes”, “comments” or “shares”… If this was enough to know how people REALLY react to marketing content, we would live in a dream-world!

My results show that people with high online consumer engagement  are more likely to trust, commit and be loyal to a brand.

The tool is therefore useful for managers who want to find out the engagement level of their audience and improve it to sustain their growth.

The infographic belows explains what my metric of online engagement is about and how it works. 4 years of hard work nicely summarised for you!

infographic, engagement, consumer engagement, emotion, thinking, action, behavior, behaviour, metric, measure, score

To find out more about the metric, the project and related publication, you can go on the blog of The Journal of Marketing Management, here or get in touch with me directly.

“Gary told you so”, or the secret key to Snapchat’s marketing success

In 2013, Gary Vaynerchuk predicted that Snapchat would soon be the biggest social media marketing tool and urged advertisers and brands to use it. As today is #Snapchatday (yes, that’s a thing), it’s the perfect time to support the prediction.

The problem about Snapchat is that it’s really, I mean REALLY, confusing and hard to figure out if you are not a Millennial or tween, i.e. born with a smartphone in your hands (and that IS on purpose). So when dear G. made this statement, although people believed his flair, everyone was quite skeptical.

Now we are in 2016 and Snapchat has an estimated ad revenue of $300 million for the year and is valued at $16 billion, this are looking differently. I could not help but share this “I told you so” video from Gary Vee and give my two cents on it below.

The thing that I absolutely love and strikes me most is this idea of ATTENTION.

Forget about metrics and likes, comments and impressions. What matters and what Snapchat allows you to gain, is the attention of users.

In a world flodded with information, getting these few seconds of attention from users is the key to influencing their behaviour. On Snapchat, if you do not view content when it is available anf for the seconds it is set to be viewable, it’s gone. It does not mean that people cannot select what they watch and swipe away, but they still pay more attention because content is volatile. I truly believe in the importance of conscious attention in consumer engagement and in its power (more on this in a next post about my research). Far from being perfect, I think Snapchat is indeed activating this very important feature of digital consumer behaviour. Time to get your Snapchat on!

Using technology to increase student engagement: my top tools

Between 10 and 15 minutes.

That’s, according to psychologists , the attention span of students in class these days. A bit of an issue when most classes last between 60 and 90 minutes, right?

Good indicators of a teacher loosing his/her student’s attention are, in my experience, students smiling at their computer or phone screens (they got a message from a friend/lover), or them typing frantically and never looking up at you (they are working on something else, sending an email).

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Alongside all the “traditional” strategies to increase student’s attention and engagement, some apps and technologies can also make a difference.

Forget the time you banned students from going on their phones and computers in class!

Now, you need to push them to use this very technology – that supposedly distracts them – for purposeful use in and out of class. That is, according to me, the way forward.

Here are a few tools that me and my colleagues use and that are worth discovering for improved levels of student engagement:

  • Hstry : I discovered Hstry at a meetup in Brussels where the CTO pitched it. It’s a brilliant tool to create interactive timelines for students, which they can populate themselves too and use for studying purposes out of class. They also share community timelines created by other users, like this cool history of the Internet.
  • Padlet : used by many and available in web and mobile app format, Padlet also has a timeline format where students can post content (videos, documents, pictures, ideas) and structure presentations, topic discussions. It’s a bit more advanced than Hstry in terms of functionalities but equally cool and can be edited directly in class.
  • Jamstorming : another great tool for in-class engagement, which allows teachers to create interactive workshops by adding questions that students will aswer to in class. Students can also vote for the best answers, rate them, and organise them. Data is then downloadable for further use.
  • Cocertify : I just discovered this tool and will try and use it asap, because it allows something I am really keen on, which is peer assessment. You build your assessment with the desired criteria, then share it with students and analyse results afterwards.

I hope these reviews help. And you, which tools do you use as an educator, or even manager to engage your audience? Which ones do you recommend as a student?

 

Introducing: the KEDGE students guest blog series

For the first time since the inception of this blog, I’m going to host not only one guest blogger, but  15 of them!

What?guest blogger blog blogging contribution marketing

As a professor at KEDGE Business School in Bordeaux, France, and I am teaching on the digital marketing specialisation in our Msc programme. Within our “digital customer experience”, course kicking off today, I’m inviting my students to contribute to this blog with a guest post each.

Why?

It think it’s important for a future marketer to learn to produce quality content for a vast audience. It’s also part of a student’s job to articulate critical ideas and be able to share them convincingly. The point of this series of guest posts is getting the students out of their zone of comfort and providing them a friendly, yet professional outlet to do so.

How will it work?

Student will write on a topic of their choice, related to customer experiences. I’ll post the work and they will then promote it.  At the end, they will peer-assess each other’s work and this will count toward their final grade.

I am really excited to see their output and share it with you, which will come out in March and April.

Stay tuned for 15 insightful, smart and fresh posts from my students! They’ll be waiting for your support and tons of shares and comments to get their grades up, so watch this space!

Photo credits: huffingtonpost.com

Top tech tools for web marketers

Last week, I had the pleasure to welcome Bertrand, the director of “Le Wagon Bordeaux” in my digital marketing class. Le Wagon is an international coding school for entrepreneurs,  (a little like Dev Bootcamp in the US) and they know their coding business! But what Bertrand talked about was not code this time.

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The aim of the session was to get students aware of the importance nowadays to “speak tech” for a marketer and give them easy, “no-code-needed” marketing communication and analytics tools that they can (and will!) use as part of their job later on. I find it hard, when you are not part of the world of developers, or have no particular ambition to learn to code, to become acquainted with these tools. However, if you have a simple project you want to launch (a student association, a bakery on the corner, or an internal company innovation), it’s paramount to be able to have a simple landing page for your product or service, with a clean design and user experience.

I’ve selected here the 4 tools Bertrand talked about that I think are musts for markeUJ6cUSZKT2ynPTyWeGmYting application

To create your landing page, Strinkingly. It proposes ready-made site templates that are customizable. You can ad sections, edit the text, fonts, templates, colors and pictures, ad blogs, galleries and forms. It gives you a clean and customized landing page to present your project.

To set userfeedback-wufoo-round1up a questionnaire, Wufoo. I am a bit of a questionnaire addict…market research deviance I guess. So I love anything that helps me get insight into the market & collect consumer data. Wuffo allows you to create easy drag-and-drop forms (to create a signup, ask for insight, ask for contact details, whatever.) that you can then intergrate on your strikingly page.

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To manage a newsletter, Mailchimp. Set up this super easy email service provide to create campaign, manage your subscriber list and then have analytics insight into your campaign performance. Again, you can link it to your Strinkingly page. It’s easy to use and you can get a lot done with the free account.

sketch-logo

To design and create mockups, SketchApp. As Bertrand put it, it’s the revolution or “kiff complet” of the marketer. It removes the complexity of designing mockups, gives marketers credibility when they want to get a developer on board of their project and again, helps create engaging, clean visuals.

These tools all have loads of free functionalities or work with trials periods, so you can just get strated straight away. I’m now getting my hands on all these tools, and I hope this review helps you develop your project as well, whether as part of your studies, job or personal hobbies. Tech away, monkeys!

Find Le Wagon on Twitter @Lewagonparis @LeWagonBordeaux @LeWagonBrussels and more cool European locations.