Coca-Cola dividing their products into three categories – leaders, challengers and explorers is a good way of defining the future of any brand. Those who are successful need to be at least one of these, preferably two, ideally all three. Here are five ways I see brands (and a continent) leading, challenging and exploring in 2019.
“The only way to remain in business is creating brands. The moment we stop creating brands then the e-retailers are going to rule.” Javier Meza, CMO of Sparkling at Coca-Cola
In an interview with Marketing Week CMO of Sparkling at Coca-Cola, Javier Meza, shared how the brand remains current by aiming to be extraordinarily agile. He said in Japan, for example, the business was launching two new products a week. Each product is tracked for six weeks and then a decision is made whether to keep or cull.
There’s now a separate entity for Coca-Cola called Global Ventures who scale new products as the business diversifies away from fizzy drinks. Rodolfo Echeverria, Coca-Cola’s global vice-president of creative, says explorer brands require “a typical West Coast, California attitude” which means looking towards healthier products. In China, for example, they have recently launched a tea brand for the eighth time as well as having Coca-Cola Clear with lemon. In Japan the brand has Coke Plus Fibre, which lowers the body’s fat absorption and is targeted at over-40 year olds.
Other big players we can expect to see being uber-agile in 2019 are Samsung (who spent around US$15.3 billion on research and development in 2018), Volkswagen and Apple. But will they be swift enough to match Amazon’s meteoric innovation? Bearing in mind Amazon’s R&D spend in 2018 was a cool US$22.6 billion.
2) On-Site Robotic Personalisation
“There are new possibilities for self-assembly, replication, repair in our physical structures, our buildings, machines.” Skylar Tibbits, Founder of the Self-Assembly Lab
The Ministry of Supply in collaboration with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab in the US are rolling out a service which introduces the next level of on-site robotic personalisation. Now robots will resize a jersey (or sweater) to fit you while you wait.
Skylar Tibbits, Founder of the Self-Assembly Lab speaks of the innovation, saying there’s something psychologically rewarding about watching a garment transform before your eyes, “You want to see that it’s actually active, that it’s alive and transforming with you and around you.” This is the future of customisable products – not just fashion – robotics sprinkling electronic fairy dust and personalising your product while you wait.
3) I’m Still Standing: Bricks and Mortar
“We’ve found that interacting with the brand in store makes a customer more loyal.” Paul Hedrick, CEO of direct-to-consumer cowboy boot startup Tecovas
Retailers housed in bricks and mortar will still be around but not necessarily in a way we’re used to. Some of the new stores going up are to support their online sales offering, designed to complement the customer’s digital experience. Digital retailers Everlane, for instance, created technology in a bricks and mortar setting, with the checkout using online customer profiles and their saved credit card details. As VendHQ writes, “Technology will fuel – not curb – the rise of brick and mortar retail.”
We are also seeing some retailers launch stores which stay open all hours. For example, BookXcess in Malaysia has just opened its doors to the country’s biggest-ever bookstore and it will stay open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Within the shop of 3,437m² they stock half a million books. The space (more like a mall) also has individual reading areas and a cafe to entice readers to stay for longer. We may see more stores like these in the Asia Pacific region as their middle class is predicted to rise to 65% of the continent’s population by 2030, and physical 24/7 is a way of shopping which suits their lifestyle.
4) More Specialised: Less Spend
“2019 will be the year of conspicuous conservation.” Elizabeth Segran, FastCompany
While brands are working overtime to meet customer needs there are real benefits in store (and app!) for the person who wants to streamline their consumer spend. The recent reveal at CES 2019 of L’Oreal’s My Skin Track pH is an example of this. It’s touted as the first “wearable sensor and companion app to easily measure personal skin pH levels and create customized product regimens.” If it works as well as promised the reality will be ways of really knowing what our skin needs and less experimenting with products, therefore less wastage.
The My Skin Track opens intriguing doors to the future of beauty, health and technology, but brands need to hold on to the human touch. I recently read a list of ways the BBC World Service engages younger audiences which can be applied to what customers want. They are: update me, give me perspective, educate me, keep me on trend, amuse me and inspire me.
5) Brand Africa and the Wisdom of emerging markets
“90% of the media’s 24/7 coverage is concerned with the West, whereas 90% of the opportunity is in emerging markets.” Stephen Jennings, CEO, Renaissance Capital
According to Africa Business Communities, the World Bank estimates economic growth in the Sub-Saharan regions to be at a positive 6% average in 2019-20 and McKinsey says Africa is the world’s next “big growth market”. CBNC Africa also reports there’s a trillion-dollar opportunity to industrialise Africa, “meeting rising domestic demand and create a bridge-head in global export markets.”
But tt’s not only in the business facts and figures that position the continent of Africa to become a powerful challenging and exploring brand – it is the people. We’ll be seeing more ideas and products being created by Africans to meet our most pressing needs. For example Nigerian college student, Segun Oyeyiola, recently upcycled a Volkswagen Beetle and turned it into a wind and solar-powered car, made up of scrap parts, for less than US$6,000, paving the way for more local innovation in this field.
With consumer spending in Africa expected to hit $25 trillion by 2025, our emerging markets are amazing opportunities for international trade and growth, but it will be our spirit of Ubuntu (a quality representing compassion and humanity) which will keep Africa creating innovative products to improve quality of life.
Jainita Khatri, Managing Director, Prana Business Consulting
About Prana Business Consulting
Prana Business Consulting is a marketing partner to your business. Using omni-channel principles, Prana builds a connection between your brand and your client. Prana drives high performance and tangible results in Marketing, Branding, CRM and Social Media. Prana leverages industry specialists to deliver customized solutions for baby, beauty, health and wellness brands, locally and internationally. Prana is a level 1 BBBEE certified company.
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Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve ( marketing automation) from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it learn for themselves.
For example, facial recognition software learns by being fed datasets of labelled pictures, and trying to guess which contain faces and which don’t, until it can eventually identify faces with a high degree of accuracy. Eventually, with enough data, the software can even learn to recognise who is in the picture (this is how Facebook’s tagging prompts work).
The process of learning begins with observations or data, such as examples, direct experience, or instruction, in order to look for patterns in data and make better decisions in the future based on the examples that we provide. The primary aim is to allow the computers learn automatically without human intervention or assistance and adjust actions accordingly.
The purpose of marketing automation software solutions is to help you deliver quality content to the right people efficiently, so that you may increase your sales and fortify your company’s branding. It is equipped with a plethora of tools that let you create campaigns, identify quality leads, improve your content, and manage your emails and social media accounts.
Whether you own a large business that executes long sales cycles or a start-up company that doesn’t have enough staff to manage marketing campaigns full-time, marketing automation can ease your troubles. Here are some of its features:
- Campaign Automation
- Social Media Management
- Email Management
- Content Management
- Lead Nurturing
- Lead Scoring
- Lead Conversion Tracking
- Customer Segmentation
- A/B Testing
- Campaign Tracking and Reporting
- Customer Engagement Analytics
- ROI Analytics
- Website and CRM Integration
How to Integrate Messaging Apps In Your Marketing Strategy
More than ever, online marketers have more reasons to implement messaging technology to engage their customers. This is especially true for those in e-commerce and online retail sales.
Research data continue to show us that time spent on messaging apps is constantly on the rise, with no end in sight. Dark social platforms such as messaging, email, and private browsing account for almost 70 percent of online referrals when it comes to sharing.
Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of July 2018, based on number of monthly active users (in millions)
Here are some examples as demonstrated by the brands that have implemented Messaging Apps to improve customer service, increase website conversions, and generate a loyal following.
- Using Bots To Make Shopping Easier
- Make Checkouts Easy with Payments Via Messenger Apps
- Go full-throttle with in-app shopping?
- Engage Your Customers Through Public Chats To Keep Your Brand In Their Heads
- Use Messaging Apps to Conduct Contests, Promotions and Other Gimmicks
- Make Your Own Emoticons and Stickers Unique to Your Brand
Messaging apps have over 5B monthly active users worldwide. With this kind of growth in user base and penetration, it is no longer a question of whether it’s time to start engaging customers through messaging apps. The more pertinent challenge is how we can harness this technology in a way that would improve how we transact with them.
What is the origin of the term ‘lifecycle marketing’?
Lifecycle marketing is the process of providing your audience the kinds communications and experiences they need, want, or like as they move from prospects to customers then, ideally, to advocates.
Generally, a lifecycle marketing plan is a three-phase framework, Attract, Sell, and Wow. Each phase consists of three stages that include basic strategies and tactics that coalesce into a single, self-sustaining process. Rolling out a customer lifecycle marketing plan is a lot easier when done in these phases and can be done quickly and affordably with easy-to-use automation technology.
The attract phase
The goal of the Attract Phase is to get the attention of the consumers you want to buy your products or service. The stages include Target, Attract Interest, and Collect Leads.
- Target – Targeting is when you identify specific types of individuals then address them directly with your marketing. Most common ways to target an audience are by interests, behaviour, demographics, location, context, (targeting by topic on the page which is matched with the corresponding message of your ad to reach and connect to an audience with an interest in your product or service), device, etc.
- Attract Interest– Attract visitors to your website with great content like e-books, infographics, research reports, webinars, social media, and blog posts.
- Collect leads – Use a web form that includes offers, free consultations or premium content to encourage visitors to sign up for your email list.
The sell phase
Sell is the second phase of the Lifecycle Marketing model. This is your unique strategy that makes your product or service the obvious choice when those you’ve attracted are ready to buy. Sell Phase stages are Educate, Offer, and Close.
- Educate – Create a consistent campaign of useful information with automated, personalized follow-up messages.
- Offer – The best way to craft an offer is to observe past customer actions and create a buying process map, then provide an irresistible offer.
- Close – Closing the sale is more than the transaction. The close involves clear communication, good presence, and written documentation.
The wow phase
Getting to Wow involves three key stages: Deliver and Wow, Offer More, and Referral. Deliver and wow – Fulfil your commitments on time, follow through when and where it is required. Offer to provide additional value that surprises and delights customers.
We put together 7 steps to help you influence your customer’s lifecycle marketing
Step 1 Welcome campaigns
- Your content marketing has worked its magic. You’ve attracted someone to part with their email address in exchange for some juicy content.
- Now, ease your new subscriber along to their first purchase with this.
- A welcome campaign is an automated series of emails that’s triggered when someone joins your email list. It gives you the opportunity to introduce your brand and position your products in bite-sized chunks.
- Design a series of messages that build a relationship between your brand and your potential customer. Help to nurture their initial interest, so it develops into an intention to purchase.
Step 2 Reviews and ratings
- Reviews and ratings aid customers in the consideration stage of their lifecycle.
- They act as a form of social proof. This helps customers to feel confident that a product will meet their needs.
Step 3 Browse and cart abandonment
- Browse abandonment emails are triggered when your customer has been looking at a product but abandons their browser. This form of personalisation aims to entice the customer back to buy.
- Cart abandonment emails are triggered when your customer puts an item in their basket but abandons your site without buying. Often, they include a discount to sweeten the deal.
- These automations help to drive up conversion rates and are key to the conversion stage of your strategy.
Step 4 Personalised call-to-action
- Personalised call-to-action in your emails and across your website are another way to increase conversions.
- Despite being easy to implement, they are not widely used. This allows your brand to stand out and adds to the persuasive nature of this tactic.
Step 5 Product recommendations
- Product recommendations are a form of personalisation that consistently deliver, throughout the customer lifecycle.
- They are a way to show customers products that meet their needs (consideration). They entice customer to purchase (conversion). And they remind the customer why your brand it still relevant (retention).
Step 6 Countdown timers
- Countdown timers are an eye-catching feature that you can add to your emails or your website.
- A good way to use this feature is to countdown to the beginning of an exclusive offer, or to the end of a sale. The sense of urgency they create helps drive conversions.
Step 7 Re-engagement campaigns
- An inevitable part of E-Commerce marketing is that some customers will lapse. Re-engagement campaigns are an effective way to win-back those sleeping subscribers. Whether you use “we miss you” messaging, list out benefits, or try something more tongue-in-cheek will depend on your brand’s voice.