November 16th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

Despite consumers’ desire for new apps—with more than a third (37 percent) indicating that they believe they are missing out on great new apps—mobile marketers are falling short when it comes to app discoverability, according to a report from mobile partnership platform Button and app market data and insights company App Annie.

More specifically, 38 percent of consumers reported feeling that new apps are hard to discover, and the study indicates that while more than half of mobile ad dollars go towards Google and Facebook, those channels are not the ones that convert best. Mobile partnerships see an average purchase conversion rate of 25 percent compared to 4 percent for paid search and 1 percent for paid social. Furthermore, 64 percent of consumers said that they would be more willing to purchase via and/or install an app if prompted by a source that they trust.

“Consumer intent lies elsewhere in mobile, beyond Google and Facebook and in significantly higher-converting channels,” Michael Jaconi, founder and CEO of Button, said in a statement. “For instance, affiliate partnerships see purchase conversion of 25 percent on average, whereas paid social and search see conversion rates of 1 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Brands on mobile need to focus on targeting the moments of intent among users, connecting people to what they want in the moment they want it.”

November 9th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

47 percent of marketers believe that artificial intelligence (AI) is more fantasy than reality, according to a study by Resulticks, a marketing cloud platform provider. The study—which surveyed more than 300 marketers—also found that 42 percent of respondents have no plans to implement AI technologies while 6 percent have already given up on the concept. In addition, 43 percent believe that vendors “overpromise and under-deliver” on AI.

“All eyes are on AI these days. With so much industry attention and so little to show for it, marketers have already grown weary of the term,” Redickaa Subramanian, CEO and co-founder of Resulticks, said in a statement. “Software vendors have to up their game and give marketers the equipment they need to get into shape on AI.”

The study also yielded findings regarding marketers’ perceptions of personalization. 61 percent said that personalization is a priority for their company, and 60 percent reported that they have fully or partially implemented personalization. Furthermore, vendors ranked better with regard to delivering on their promises for personalization, with just 28 percent of marketers saying that they “overpromise and under-deliver” in that area.

November 6th, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

Logic suggests that, when applying for jobs, people gravitate towards the companies they know and admire. This means that there’s a good chance that someone who is applying to work at a firm is also one who is, or could become, one of its most valuable customers.

Yet many would argue that top companies have failed to recognize this, and have neglected to treat job applicants with the same respect and kindness they reserve for their top buyers. And in doing so, they’ve risked ruining a relationship for good.

One hurdle firms have to overcome is the software that has traditionally been available to their human resources departments, argues Gaurav Ragtah, CEO and cofounder of Profillic, an AI-driven solution designed to help companies screen and test technical job candidates.

“The majority of HR and recruiting solutions are focused on making hiring and recruiting better for companies, and ignore the candidate experience,” Ragtah says. For most candidates, then, the experience “involves a dehumanizing combination of vague, intermittent communications with recruiters, long and unreliable screening processes, haphazard interviews, a lack of transparency,” and overall poor treatment. “It’s a huge turn off.”

Organizations that make an effort to create candidate experiences that parallel their customer experiences are doing themselves a huge service. “Even those candidates they pass on may become friendly advocates” within their networks, while those “who come on board will feel highly valued by the company and engage better as employees,” Ragtah says.

Profillic, Ragtah explains, tackles a common issue in technical recruiting, where engineers are asked to complete long coding challenges that sometimes don’t test them for skills that are relevant to the role. “Not only does this lead to many false positives and false negatives, but many great candidates choose to opt out, and all this costs companies lots of time and money.” The software uses short, role-specific technical quizzes that exclude puzzles and “whiteboarding” (or timed coding exercises with tool restrictions). “We focus on ensuring that candidates have a much shorter, less stressful, mentally satisfying, and hopefully rewarding, experience than they otherwise would.”

Another software vendor, Beamery, is working to help companies seem more attractive to prospective hires during the interview process. Self-described as a provider of “recruiting CRM and marketing software,” the company recently improved its software with a product called “Pages.” The package includes the option of customizing web landing pages, streamlining candidate data collection, and sending candidates automated marketing messages during and after their consideration period. Recruiters can leverage analytics to reach each applicant using data-driven decisions.

Efforts to treat recruiting as a component of CRM make a lot of sense. It’s all too easy to forget that customers typically have to work to earn money before they can spend it on a company’s goods and services. And many of these customers are employed by companies–hopefully ones that they like and would do business with even if they didn’t work for them.


November 2nd, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

81 percent of organizations are using marketing attribution, according to a report conducted by AdRoll in partnership with Econsultancy. The report—which surveyed nearly 1,000 brand marketers and agencies across North America, Europe, Japan, and the Asia-Pacific—found that 51 percent of companies in North America are performing marketing attribution on most or all of their marketing activities, compared to 39 percent of companies globally doing the same.

Marketing attribution is the practice of assigning credit for a sale to specific marketing touch points and allocating spend accordingly. When asked about their primary motivations for performing marketing attribution, better allocation of budget across channels was the top reason (70 percent of company respondents), followed by developing a better understanding of how digital channels work together (64 percent of company respondents).

“Attribution continues to be one of the hottest topics in the industry for a reason: it has huge consequences, such as lost revenue and wasted ad budget, if not done properly,” Shane Murphy, vice president of marketing at AdRoll, said in a statement. “Marketers are being held to higher standards of measurement and accountability than ever before, and attribution models have the ability to show the true impact our discipline has on the bottom line of a business.”

October 30th, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

Last week, retail behemoth Walmart announced that it will soon be piloting robots in 50 of its United States stores, located in Arkansas, California, and Pennsylvania. The robots, measured at about two feet tall and equipped with cameras, will travel through store aisles to check what’s in stock, identify misplaced and missing items, and find pricing and labeling errors. They’ll then pass these details along to employees who can use the information to fix the problems.

The robots are “50 percent more productive than their human counterparts and can scan shelves” more accurately, and three times faster, Jeremy King, CTO for Walmart’s U.S. and e-commerce divisions, told Reuters. With luck, they’ll help Walmart ensure that their customers find the items that they need, and secure them more sales.

Of course, all of this begs a question that has come up so frequently lately: What does this all mean for the human beings that have usually done such jobs?  

WalMart has taken the predictable stance, saying that the move will enable store employees to focus on the tasks that they prefer–those that are more interesting or enjoyable to them. “If you are running up and down the aisle and you want to decide if we are out of Cheerios or not, a human doesn’t do that job very well, and they don’t like it,” King told Reuters.

With the assistance of machines, presumably, employees will be in a better assist their customers with other service questions they might have, for instance.

In agreement is Javier Minhondo, vice president of technology at the Artificial Intelligence Studio at Globant, a software development company. In an email to CRM magazine, Minhondo called the move an ideal example of how AI can aid humans in their work environment, while making customer experiences more efficient and relevant. “Walmart’s robots can provide support that will allow humans to perform the task with higher added value, hence making their jobs much better, and more fulfilling,” he said. For instance, given the current state of the art, he said, there’s no way that a robot will be able to replace the human interaction required of a sales representative. “The robot and the human are both able to execute on the functions that they perform best, improving customer experience and business efficiencies, while at the same time enhancing the experience of the human in the loop.”

Whatever the case, it will be jarring to see the store continue to evolve, as robots begin performing more and more tasks that have traditionally been carried out by people.


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