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vol. 32 • No. 11 • November 2019

The Authority on Data-Driven Engagement & Operations

Windows of opportunity ❱6

Targeting customers enroute

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Why use UGC

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Global eCommerce considerations


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Courtesy FrontRunner Technologies

Vol. 32 | No. 11 | November 2019 EDITOR Brendan Read - brendan@dmn.ca PRESIDENT Steve Lloyd - steve@dmn.ca DESIGN / PRODUCTION Jennifer O’Neill - jennifer@dmn.ca Advertising Sales Mark Henry - mark@dmn.ca

On the cover

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Hardisty Kaitlin Narciso James Gagliardi Stephen Shaw Amrita Gurney Mike Wilson Rafael Lourenco Evan Wood LLOYDMEDIA INC. HEAD OFFICE / SUBSCRIPTIONS / PRODUCTION:

Digital Marketing

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Customer Centricity

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Too easy to ignore Why brands are losing the war for attention in the “Era of Peak Content”

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Targeting customers enroute

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The case for third-party data Events

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Why use UGC

Digital Marketing

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Solving the premium pricing puzzle DMN.ca ❰


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Avoiding false declines

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Rafael Lourenco is executive vice president

and partner at ClearSale, a card-not-present fraud prevention operation that helps retailers increase sales and eliminate chargebacks before they happen. The company’s proprietary technology and in-house staff of seasoned analysts provide an end-to-end outsourced fraud detection solution for online retailers to achieve industry-high approval rates while virtually eliminating false positives. Follow on Twitter at @ClearSaleUS or visit http://clear.sale/.

erchants, what worries you more, getting ripped off by fraud or offending your customers? If you said fraud, that’s reasonable. Organized criminals using stolen card data and hijacked customer accounts can steal your merchandise and cost you chargebacks and extra processing fees. But too often, good customers get caught in the antifraud net and end up seeing their orders rejected, i.e. false declines. That unintended consequence of fraud control costs merchants much more than fraud. It may seem like false declines are the cost of doing business without being swarmed by fraudsters. But that’s not necessarily true. It’s possible to maintain strong fraud prevention without losing revenue from good orders. To do so, merchants need to understand the scope of the false decline problem and the steps needed to solve it. Comparing losses Card-not-present (CNP) fraud will cost North American merchants US$5.5 billion in 2019. That figure comes from an Aite Group report sponsored by ClearSale. But to put that in perspective, although it’s a large number, it’s not as big as the losses from false declines. Lost revenue from false declines is projected to reach US$370 billion this year. That’s roughly 67 times more money lost to false declines than to completed fraud. And 62% of the merchants surveyed for the report said their false decline rates have increased during the past two years. False declines can cause problems for any merchant, but they’re a bigger problem for CNP transactions than point of sale (POS) purchases. The authorization rate for POS purchases averages 97%, while approval rates for CNP orders range from 80 to 85%. Besides missed sales, false declines can create other long-term losses that are hard to estimate. According to a Motley Fool article 63% of consumers say one bad experience is enough to make them quit shopping with a brand1. That reduces the customer’s lifetime value and drives up the merchant’s customer acquisition costs. Three steps to take Clearly, reducing false declines is good for merchants and their customers. However, doing so is a challenge. Make the checkout process too onerous for customers and you’ll lose them before they place orders. Loosen your fraud controls and you’ll end up trading false declines for more fraud. There is a path to fewer false declines without more fraud or undue customer friction. It starts with data, moves to analysis and develops into a plan that fits your store’s situation.

1 Daniel B. Kline, “How Much Damage Can 1 Bad Experience Cause a Brand?”, Motley Fool, April 22, 2019.

❱ DMN.ca

1. Gather data Most merchants (79%) track their false declines, which is important. If your business doesn’t do this, it’s time to start. How can you tell which declines are false? Merchants typically use three methods. The most common is to track orders that are successful on the

second try and don’t result in chargebacks. Another option is to track which declined orders are followed up by inbound contact from customers. Some merchants pursue a third approach—setting up control groups that approve some orders with fraud flags—and then tracking how many if those result in chargebacks. It’s a good idea to track your false declines by channel as well as your overall rate. That’s because each channel has its own fraud risk profile and authentication options. For example, it’s one thing for a merchant to know that their overall false decline rate is 4%. But knowing that 80% of those false declines happen in the mobile channel makes it easier to decide where to start making changes. 2. Find your problem areas Once you have data on your false decline rate, look at your order approval process. At what stages do transactions get declined in error and why? ❯❯ Is your automatic fraud screening program set to automatically reject orders that are suspected of fraud? ❯❯ Have you set overly broad fraud-screening parameters, such as automatically rejecting all crossborder orders? and ❯❯ Is it possible that other parties to your transactions, like acquirers and gateways, are declining good orders? 3. Correct the problems When you know your false decline rate, and where the problems are, you can improve the situation. You might consider adding security steps that put the burden of proof on customers, like two-factor authentication (2FA). However, keep in mind that the more steps the customer must take to make a purchase, the more likely they are to abandon their cart. Other options to reduce false declines require more resources on the merchant side. The benefit of these approaches is that they don’t add friction to the customer’s experience. ❯❯ Adding behavioural biometrics, fraud scores and machine learning models to your fraud screening program can make your fraud screening more accurate; ❯❯ Manually reviewing suspect orders, instead of automatically rejecting them, can reduce false declines and customer churn; ❯❯ Feeding the manual review results into your machine learning model will make it even more accurate over time; and ❯❯ Sharing your false decline data with other transaction parties may help you collaborate to reduce false declines. Keep monitoring your order metrics after you implement changes to see if they’re having the intended effect. This is especially important if you add 2FA to ensure you’re not losing orders to cart abandonment. Figuring out your false decline rate and solving it takes an investment of time. Done right, it can yield more revenue and better customer service while protecting your store from fraud. November 2019


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Digital Marketing

Courtesy Waze

Targeting customers enroute

By Mike Wilson

❱ DMN.ca

receive. The element of consent also contributes to this method’s appeal. Enter destination-based marketing As location-based marketing is refined, some companies are looking beyond it to the next step: destination-based marketing (DBM). DBM is what it sounds like: targeting consumers based not just on where they are, but on where they’re going. It has the potential to change behaviour: like to persuade a driver to add a detour on their journey or change their destination altogether. This is an exciting approach with lots of room for creativity, and it’s already proving to be effective. To understand how DBM works, let’s take a look at a campaign executed by McDonald’s and Waze, a navigation app powered by insights on road conditions from users. The campaign was rolled out in Southern California in 2018 and introduced to Canada in summer 2019 alongside ongoing advertising efforts by the companies. In these executions, McDonald’s billboards were geofenced to trigger ads in the Waze app. When Waze users came to a complete stop near a billboard, such as at

Courtesy Waze

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ocation-based marketing (LBM) has provided marketers with a fruitful way to reach people on the move. A survey from BIA Advisory Services found that marketers will spend over US$26 billion on geotargeted campaigns in 2019. LBM’s popularity comes in part from its ability to use opt-in location data to reach consumers in context, using a few different methods. In proximity marketing, near-field communication (NFC) is used to allow a consumer to interact with a beacon near them, such as bringing up more information about a product while in the store. Geotargeting looks backward, using historical GPS data about someone’s location, like targeting people who visited a resort the previous year. With geoconquesting, retailers might try to reach people when they visit a competitor’s location to encourage them to take advantage of a better deal elsewhere or to influence future behaviour. In each case, location-based marketing is opt-in. The users will have agreed to provide their location data when installing an app and may already understand the kinds of offers they might

November 2019


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a red light, the app offered them coupons for their next visits to McDonald’s. This is where “destination” comes into play. These drivers were on their way to set destinations, using Waze for turn-by-turn navigation. The ad offered them the opportunity to drive to McDonald’s right away, to a restaurant along their routes. The restaurant would become their new destinations, or they could make stops and then continue their original destinations. This call to action was only possible because Waze already had insight into where drivers were headed and could offer new routes that made sense as part of the overall journeys. DBM benefits One of the benefits of DBM is that it does a lot of lifting for the consumer. They don’t need to think about how a stopover at a store will fit into their trip—those details are handled by Waze—and the driver just needs to make one decision to accept the offer and then follow the turn-by-turn directions. What’s interesting is how this approach incorporates a more traditional advertising channel, namely billboards. As it’s become harder to reach consumers through other ad formats, outof-home (OOH) advertising has remained effective and attractive. A TNS survey found that 57% of November 2019

Canadians aged 18 or older take action upon seeing OOH ads. They might visit a web site to learn more or visit a store. In the same survey, 71% of respondents said they would be interested in receiving coupons from OOH ads. When they’re used together, OOH and Waze ads amplify each other. A driver might spot a McDonald’s billboard and then be more receptive to an in-app ad appearing on their phone a short time later. Each encounter is nonintrusive and happens in a shared context. McDonald’s and Waze’s first OOH campaigns were successes. In Southern California, there were 8,400 navigations to McDonald’s restaurants during the campaign period of October to November 2018, more than the average before the campaign began. Initial analysis from the Canadian campaign indicated positive results. Ad recall results also demonstrated the effectiveness of this type of execution. This blending of old and new advertising formats recognizes that our lives are not so easily demarcated into the physical and the digital. The two are increasingly entangled. Destination-based marketing helps drive people into brick-andmortar stores which, despite the rapid growth of eCommerce, still make up most consumer spending. That might be the key to its success

Courtesy Waze

Courtesy Waze

Digital Marketing

moving forward: however new its technology or approach, it solves the basic problems every marketer seeks to solve. Mike Wilson leads Waze in Canada and was

the company’s first Canadian employee. He manages Canadian and central U.S. operations, helping companies reach an audience that’s on-the-go and working with a growing list of government partners in the

Waze For Cities program. Waze is where people and technology meet to solve transportation challenges. It’s a platform that empowers communities to contribute road data, edit Waze maps and carpool to improve the way we move about the world. Thanks to Wazers everywhere, Waze is able to partner with municipalities and transit authorities to reduce traffic and congestion: leveraging current infrastructure while impacting city planning. DMN.ca ❰


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Digital Marketing

Courtesy FrontRunner Technologies

Windows of opportunity By Kaitlin Narciso

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etail vacancies are plaguing prime locations in some of the North America’s biggest cities. Noticeable in shopping districts like Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and Toronto’s Queen Street, store closings have grown increasingly common, leaving an abundance of storefronts empty and dark. With the absence of light and movement in these spaces, real estate takes longer to lease out as there is nothing drawing potential occupants to the space. In Calgary, Alta., 29 businesses on a oncebustling street closed up shop over the span of two winter months. The cause? Everything from the increasing cost of labour and property taxes to a consumer shift towards eCommerce. Transforming spaces Public space pioneers like FrontRunner Technologies offer a solution to this epidemic. By leveraging these vacant streetlevel spaces, this digital-out-ofhome (DOOH) company creates windows of opportunity for real estate owners, as well as for companies and agencies looking for unique and targeted ways to reach their audiences. Through its WindowFront Matrix, FrontRunner transforms these vacant windows into advertising realms, driven by an app and projection technology that deploys vibrant and captivating content. Not only does this allow real estate owners to brighten their dark spaces, attracting new tenants, but it also gives them the ❱ DMN.ca

ability to monetize spaces that would otherwise be costing them money. Recognizing the light and vibrancy that this technology offers to otherwise lifeless spaces, CBRE, KingSett, Cushman & Wakefield and First Capital Realty have partnered with FrontRunner to display striking art, film, news, sports, music and advertisements to expedite leasing opportunities. “We have partnered with FrontRunner to deploy its technology on several KingSett properties, from the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, to Cornwall Centre in Regina,” says Theresa Warnaar, senior vice president, Retail, KingSett Capital. “They are helping to bring our spaces to life.” From static to moving content The DOOH and OOH industries have typically remained unchanged and stagnant for decades, utilizing the typical static billboards, posters and wallscapes that dominate the industry. This means that companies are putting advertising dollars behind targeting more individuals versus specific demographics, which although is fine, is not costefficient. Moreover, the static advertising that outdoor marketing typically utilizes is no longer captivating consumers: who are surrounded by ever-evolving technologies that delivers beautiful content to their smartphones, laptops and televisions. With the advancement of CGI in Hollywood, in blockbusters, Photoshop creations and extravagant drone footage,

people’s expectations for incredible visionary masterpieces grows exponentially. Naturally, the expectations for incredible, thought-provoking content produced by the advertising and marketing industry is no exception. In today’s market, if a company wants to attract their audience and be competitive, its content must be visual, captivating and ahead of the curve. “We know people are attracted to colour and movement,” says Nathan Elliott, CEO and founder of FrontRunner Technologies. “The vibrancy of moving digital content is currently unrivalled in capturing the attention of consumers. But what we’re most excited about is interactive integration. We’re working on tech that offers a completely immersive experience that touches multiple senses including sight, sound and touch.” The company’s ability to reach hyper-targeted locations at the click of a button in any given window of time is unprecedented. This means that companies that are looking to target a certain kind of consumer can leverage select locations at specific times of day based on when that demographic is populating a given area. Proximo Spirits is a company that builds brands to match the world’s changing tastes. For its national campaign promoting 1800 Tequila, it needed a platform that was a step further than anything being offered in the OOH realm. Targetting on-the-go Millennials, Proximo Spirits partnered with FrontRunner to

deploy an exclusive, street-level digital campaign that reached over 230,000 hyper-targeted onlookers over a four-week span. By activating five windows in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District with large-scale, fullmotion digital content, the response from the launch was tremendous. Darra Naiman, previously media supervisor at Bensimon Byrne, the agency responsible for the campaign, recognizes the value that a DOOH company can provide as a creative visual platform. “FrontRunner has been a staple in our highly impactful DOOH strategies over the last year. They have created street level placements that do not exist in the Canadian market right now,” says Naiman. “Their activations are inventive, eye catching and impressionable. On top of the quality of the ad placement, they have also been able to share eye-sight and mobile data from passersby that very few companies are doing as well and accurately.” With the retail renaissance moving in full force, brands still have a bright future thanks to new digital developments and innovations in how digital space is used to engage and interact with consumers. Guided by disruptive companies elevating traditional outdoor advertisements with a new generation of DOOH tech, public space will never be the same. With a background in multimedia journalism, digital marketing strategy and media relations, Kaitlin Narciso is a senior media consultant at PUNCH Canada. November 2019


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Digital Marketing

The case for third-party data By Evan Wood

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hile it is challenging to keep up with the digital landscape and its ever-evolving technologies and tactics, it’s also hard to argue against its growing influence on marketers. The recently released 2019 Canadian Digital Marketing Pulse Report from Ipsos and the Canadian Marketing Association indicates that threequarters of the marketers and agencies surveyed feel that a digital presence is critical to their success. So, it’s no surprise that digital advertising surpassed traditional advertising in Canada in 2018 and will account for $8.8 billion in 2019. This represents almost 54% of the total ad spend, according to eMarketer’s Digital Ad Spending 2019 Canada report. However, this shift to digital has not been without its shortcomings. In particular, some organizations have more of a “black box” approach around what data is being used for audience targeting, which raises cause for concern. Is the targeting based on basic demographics only? Does it rely solely on inferences made by some incremental online behavioural activity? If a marketer can target

based on key beliefs or attitudes, how was this information derived? While these answers may (and should) be available to marketers by more transparent organizations, the lack of clarity in this environment continues to be a source of confusion. Marketing disconnects In the Digital Marketing Pulse Report referenced above, the top digital marketing best practice for 2019 is knowing your target audience and market (rated as Important by 93% of respondents). Yet in the digital ecosystem (and often in traditional marketing), there is often a disconnect between how marketers may have defined their target audiences (e.g. with potentially more comprehensive sources of data) and their ability to effectively execute against these audiences in digital channels, due to a platform’s lack of audience precision. Some media companies may argue that their first-party behavioural data are enough for this purpose. There is some truth to this claim; first-party data is good and can be effective. However, if this first-party data can be significantly enhanced by thirdparty data, or if third-party data

can act as a practical and actionable proxy for first-party data (if it is not available), then why not use it? Comprehensive, authoritative and privacy-compliant third-party data, (such as demographics, financials, media and shopping habits), help organizations define, develop and effectively execute against relevant target customer groups. The effectiveness business case The case for using third-party data for marketing effectiveness is a strong one: ❯❯ Most organizations’ customer databases are incomplete; third-party data can help fill in essential gaps to give a complete picture of the customers; ❯❯ National-level third-party data can provide a universe view (e.g. a denominator); this helps businesses identify market share or wallet share; ❯❯ For organizations that do not have customer data, third-party data can be linked to privacycompliant mobile location data to provide a reliable proxy for consumers in or around a particular location; ❯❯ Third-party data that uses a geodemographic approach can leverage a range of rich survey

Events Calendar November

November 12-13 Customer Experience for Financial Services Toronto, Ont. www.cxfinancialservices.com November 13-21 National Philanthropy Day Victoria, B.C., Ottawa, Ont., Lethbridge, Alta., Montreal, Que., Hamilton, Ont., Winnipeg, Man., Vancouver, B.C. and Edmonton, Alta. https://afpglobal.org/afp-canada/eventscanada

November 2019

November 19 Brick & Mortar Retail Forum Toronto, Ont. www.retailcouncil.org/events/brickmortar-retail-forum/ November 19 Retail Cannabis Forum Toronto, Ont. www.retailcouncil.org/events/cannabisin-retail-forum/ November 22 CMA Awards Gala Toronto, Ont. www.the-cma.org/education-events/ awards

data to make them practical and actionable at small levels of geography, such as a six-digit postal code; ❯❯ Custom audiences can be defined using third-party segments and refined with any existing firstparty data; this enables more relevant, tailored messaging to different audiences; and ❯❯ Creating robust segments using or enhanced by third-party data are not only effective and measurable but easy for marketers and executives to understand. In an increasingly fast paced marketing environment, where consumer expectations from brands have never been higher, marketers and agencies must leverage all relevant data sources to inform their initiatives. A bestcase approach is to combine all available data (first-, second- and third-party) with the knowledge and expertise to know what data to use for which purpose. In our datadriven world, failure to do so could well become just that: failure. Evan Wood is chief sales and marketing officer at Environics Analytics, helping organizations leverage data and analytics to address key business objectives.

November 25-27 AFP Congress Toronto, Ont. http://afptoronto.org/congress-2019/

December December 2-3 Data & AI Marketing Toronto Conference and Expo Toronto, Ont. https://datamarketing.ca/2019/

Visit us online for complete list

www.dmn.ca DMN.ca ❰


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Content Marketing

Why use UGC By Amrita Gurney

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hether they are revelling in the majesty of Lake Louise, the shininess of the latest tech gadget or the craziest new burger in town, Canadians enjoy capturing and sharing photos and videos of their experiences across social media. Perhaps this is unsurprising given that in 2018 there were approximately 25.3 million social network users in Canada1. What may be surprising is the fact that user generated content (UGC) is now preferred by consumers, outperforming stock images when it comes to conversion and cost. In fact, UGC is shown to result in 25% higher ad performance, a 29% increase in web conversions2 and a 28% increase in brand engagement when it is incorporated in marketing materials3. UGC is also 20% more influential among Millennials than other media types4. A key contributor to this trend is that people trust the opinions of others above all other sources. Recommendations or word of mouth are the most trusted source of information for Canadians (76%), with trust in companyowned content and advertising trailing behind at 43% and 45% respectively5. Marketers leveraging UGC in their outreach are seeing impressive results. There are several reasons why. UGC is everywhere With Insta-worthy goals and impressive cameras on every smartphone, UGC has evolved from blurry selfies into the realm of amateur photography. With approximately 2.2 billion people using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger every day6, consumer brands have a treasure trove of high-quality images right at their fingertips: captured by their own customers and shared on social media at ❱ DMN.ca

a volume unmatched by any marketing team. Tapping into this wealth of visual content enable marketing teams to push out fresh, frequent and effective content on limited budgets. UGC differentiates the brand Your brand needs to stand out in the minds of current and prospective customers. Whether your brand identity is all about customer service, luxury or being on-trend, UGC can capture what your customers actually experience when they use your product or service: the things that make your brand unique and appealing to your target market. Canadian travel and fashion brands are currently leading the way in using UGC to reinforce brand image. UGC is more authentic People are becoming immune to stock photos of perfect, homogeneous models acting like they’re having fun. UGC is a great counterpart for marketers to consider as it shows real customers enjoying a product, service or experience in a genuine, real-time and unfiltered way. And with UGC, people of all backgrounds, shapes, sizes and families are represented: resulting in authentic visual content that feels more like native social media content than advertising. With a goal to attract global tourists, authenticity and diversity are key to Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ marketing strategy. Prior to 2017, Hornblower was spending $10,000 annually to produce visual marketing: hiring models to represent many ethnicities. Yet the resulting images never captured the awe of global tourists seeing “the Falls” for the first time. In May 2017, Hornblower started using UGC in its marketing: requesting permission to share or repurpose tourists’ images. Based on the success of this approach (and a cue from Niagara Falls Tourism), Hornblower soon found a visual

With impressive cameras on every smartphone, every day people are capturing and sharing high-quality visual content on social media.

content marketing partner to automate UGC sourcing and permissions. Over time, it amassed 14,000-plus diverse visuals in their UGC library, leading to new advertising opportunities in foreign markets. 2018 saw Hornblower welcome 2.3 million visitors, far surpassing previous attendance records. UGC engages your customers Unlike stock images, UGC lets brands actively engage with their customers, first by requesting permission to repurpose UGC and

then by making those customers proud by sharing their visual content with a target audience. This results in fresh, real-time visual content that puts customers at the centre of your marketing campaigns. Over time, these interactions can turn one-time buyers into loyal customers. Some brands go a step further; encouraging customers to generate UGC. Nelson & Kootenay Lakes Tourism, a destination marketing organization (DMO) promoting a diverse range of activities and hobbies, encourages visitors November 2019


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to tag UGC with the hashtag #FindingAwesome. They entice them through photo and video contests and by featuring UGC on a cool microsite. This stretches the DMO’s budget and successfully reaches their target psychographic of “free spirits and well-rounded squares”. Getting started If you’re unsure how to leverage UGC to support your brand’s marketing goals, start by incorporating UGC into your existing outreach. November 2019

First, try sharing some of the photos and videos captured by your customers on your Instagram or Facebook account. Gain permission by leaving a comment asking if you can re-share the photo on your own feed. Ensure you give people a specific way to say “yes”! You can also repost customers’ Instagram stories to your own story if they tag you. Edit their posts a little by adding stickers and text before you share them with your own followers. Second, once you’ve started to see the results of using UGC on

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Content Marketing

Savvy brands benefit by leveraging the volume, authenticity and diversity of today’s user generated content in their marketing campaigns.

social media, consider repurposing it in other marketing materials. Whether brochures, billboards or your web site: the sky’s the limit when it comes to UGC! Amrita Gurney is vice president of marketing

at CrowdRiff (https://crowdriff.com/) a visual content marketing software company that works with over 700 digital and social teams at travel and hospitality brands.

1 J. Clement, “Number of Social Network Users in Canada from 2017 to 2023”, Statista, 2019. 2 2. Irfan Ahmad, “What Brands Need To Know To Close The Gap With Consumers On User Generated Content”, Digital Information World, infographic, May 20, 2016. 3 “Comscore Study Finds Professionally-Produced Video Content And User-Generated Product Videos Exhibit Strong Synergy in Driving Sales Effectiveness”. Comscore, press release, March 28, 2012. 4 Louis Foong, “Millennials Love User-Generated Content”, Business2Community, infographic, March 29, 2016. 5 Proof, “Canada is Seeing Cracks in the Foundation of Trust”, report, Proof Company Info., 2019. 6 Facebook, Newsroom, 2019.

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// 13

Content Marketing

Too easy to ignore Why brands are losing the war for attention in the “Era of Peak Content” By Stephen Shaw

Arms race for attention How can any brand, no matter how much effort they put into producing quality content, expect to get noticed in this arms race for November 2019

Courtesy Kenna

C

ontent marketing may be nearing a saturation point. Most brand content is invisible, lost in the clutter. To have any chance of being noticed, marketers have to find a way to make the brand story impossible to ignore. Content marketing has become a victim of its own excess. In the analogue era, content existed in limited form. It lived on paper or over the air. It was stored on bookshelves, on magazine racks and on microfilm. Supply was limited because content was expensive to produce and distribute. Therefore, all content had a price tag. Today, content takes a more fluid form. Almost all of it is free. It seeps into every nook and cranny of digital life. It gnaws at attention spans. It steals time. It uses the slightest pretext to distract. It unfurls in front of people as an infinite scroll. It baits them with listicles. And invariably “learn more” is “more of the same”. Absorbed in their screens, people skim through an endless stream of content, scrolling, swiping, tapping and clicking, pausing only to share the stories that arouse momentary interest. Time spent on digital media may have grown dramatically, but attention spans have shrivelled. Now consider what branded content is up against these days. About 500 million blogs pumping out over four million posts daily. Almost five billion videos watched on YouTube every day. A galactic war amongst streaming services to monopolize attention. Hordes of self-published books. User generated content: vast amounts of it, belching out every day and competing for attention with legitimate publishers. Welcome to the “Era of Peak Content.”

From Purpose to Post: The content strategy needs to connect the brand purpose and ethos with the stories it wants to tell.

attention? Content marketing may have hit a saturation point. And yet marketers seem undeterred, continuing to devote about 25% of their budgets to content creation, knowing the only option at this point is invisibility. When the digital form of content marketing first emerged as a recognized discipline, it promised to rescue marketers from the predicted death of mass advertising. Instead of buying people’s attention, marketers could lure them by masquerading as publishers, using the social web to drive traffic. But with the democratization of publishing, brands everywhere decided to become media companies. And when the newspaper business started to crater, the news field was left wide open to a swarm of clickbait publishers and content farms eager to swoop in. Quantity over quality became the formula for chasing traffic. What followed was a content

deluge. And so, the world is now drowning in shallow, disposable and transient content. Discoverability is subject to the whims of algorithms, curators and micro-influencers. For brands desperate to be noticed, the time has come to hit the reset button on a practice area corrupted by malpractice.

are committed at the leadership level to content marketing: the business case is wobbly at best. The gulf between engagement metrics (views, likes, shares) and the corporate dashboard (market share, revenue growth, net promoter score) is too immense to cross. Attempts to justify the investment in content marketing is usually an exercise in dart throwing. Unable to conclusively prove return on investment (ROI), content marketing remains a field trial. As Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi says, “Content marketing programs do not get killed because they don’t produce results. They get killed because the person who controls the purse strings doesn’t get it.” Another dysfunctional practice is the ghettoization of the content team, who is often walled off from the rest of the marketing group, and seen as orphaned journalists. Left on their own, they robotically churn out zombie content, trying to please dual masters: the demand generation crew, solely interested in lead nurturing, and brand marketing, looking to insert their commercial messaging everywhere. Which explains why customers feel that most of the brand content they see is too generic, self-serving and dull to be of much value. This struggle to deliver captivating content explains why engagement

Unable to conclusively prove ROI, content marketing remains a field trial. Aversion to complexity The most pervasive example of malpractice is the absence of a formal content strategy. Even if a strategy does exist, it is often disconnected from higher order marketing goals, such as driving growth. No wonder so few companies

rates are humiliatingly low for most brands. The failure to win attention has two root causes: a tendency to make assumptions about what customers want and an aversion to the complexity involved in versioning content to suit different audiences. DMN.ca ❰


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GE Reports is a content hub dedicated to showcasing how General Electric is becoming an Industrial Internet company.

From purpose to post The place to start is to identify the nexus between the business mission, the street-level Ben & Jerry’s uses its content platform to take a bold stance on social justice issues. concerns of customers and the social, technological and cultural changes influencing everyday conversation. This is where it helps to think like a true publisher: knowing the stories that will resonate emotionally with an audience. should be converted into ideas: a purpose statement that makes Where content marketing proof points into stories. it easy to connect with young, hip, programs go wrong is focusing progressive urbanites who make up exclusively on the block-and-tackle Identifying a thematic platform its core audience. “It doesn’t matter content: the stuff salespeople like But none of that is possible without how many people hate your brand to send out to prospects. But the first agreeing on why the brand as long as enough people love it,” more sustainable conversations exists: making it clear that it says Nike co-founder Phil Knight. with people start with just three stands for something more than Nike is not alone. Other popular questions: What do you care about the sum value of products and lifestyle brands have also proven most? What keeps you up at night? services. By declaring its purpose that becoming a leadership voice What do you value above all else? —its “North Star”—the brand is on behalf of a shared cause, The goal is to come across as positioned to lead the conversation movement or passion leads more than just another vendor with with customers. to a devoted fanbase. Look no out-of-the box solutions. The brand Take Nike, for instance. Its further than the energy drink should be seen as a fellow traveller willingness to take a bold stand— Red Bull—or the outdoor clothier who sees the world through eyes of exemplified by its award-winning Patagonia—or the recreational its customers. The content needs to Kaepernick campaign—is clearly retailer MEC. All brands with feel like it was written for them and paying dividends. Nike shares are believable credos and a heartfelt about them. It needs to inspire and at an all-time high. The Nike brand commitment to the communities motivate them. It needs to make is all about inspiring people to they serve. their dreams seem attainable. Facts realize their full athletic potential, Another strategic route is to

be seen as a challenger brand—a provocateur—a game changer. Here the goal is to get customers to think differently by serving as an advocate of transformational change. Dove “Real Beauty” remains the classic reference case, earning cultural notoriety through truth-telling more than storytelling. Ben & Jerry’s, another iconic Unilever brand, fights for climate justice. In fact, the entire Unilever portfolio of brands adheres to its Sustainable Living platform in one way or another (“Together we can change how the world does business”). Yet another approach is to be seen as a go-to authority—a teacher—an educator. This is probably the most common route to take because it is the safest and least controversial. The direct-to-consumer (DTC) mattress company Casper considers itself a sleep wellness expert. The Cleveland Clinic is a health advisor. GE is all about the Industrial Internet. IBM wants to make the planet smarter. HubSpot is the go-to expert on Courtesy Kenna

Companies are still struggling with “personalizing at scale”: even when there is a wealth of digital assets. People get driven to a content hub, where they face a bewildering mosaic of tiles, beckoning them with click-worthy headlines. The onus is on them to tunnel through the site, digging for the answers they want. And even when their browsing patterns trigger related content suggestions (“You might also be interested in…”), the clues to their broader interests and passions get lost in the digital fumes. Anticipating and serving the content needs of customers requires mastering three disciplines: 1) connecting the content strategy to the business mission, 2) making brand content central to the lives of the people it serves and 3) developing an integrated ecosystem that serves up the right content to the right people at the right time.

Courtesy Kenna

Content Marketing

The brand should be seen as a fellow traveller who sees the world through eyes of its customers.

❱ DMN.ca

inbound marketing. P&G serves up tips for “Busy Moms on the Go”. Whatever strategic direction is taken, the goal is to identify a “thematic platform” consistent with the brand purpose and paired with a “stand-by-you” ethos. Think of it as a manifesto: an urgent call for change. A “missionary statement” instead of a mission statement. Once that editorial high ground has been staked out, the content pillars can be defined, laying out the main storylines. But this is where confusion usually sets in. Does thought leadership take precedence over more utilitarian content related to the buying journey? Where does help-related content fit in? Or are they all treated as separate content November 2019


// 15

Kicker Content Marketing domains, with different owners, publishing goals, models and processes? Needed: a unified content strategy That’s why a unified content experience strategy is essential. Otherwise it becomes too easy for finance to defund content production not directly tied to selling: when the only way to break through the clutter may be to challenge the status quo, or question accepted wisdom or champion a cause. Development of a cohesive content strategy should be a holistic planning exercise, framed around the lifecycle of a customer. It should involve all stakeholders and content producers in marketing, sales and service: anyone who has anything to do with customer communications. It should be based on deep insight into the subjects that customers care about. And it must allocate the investment impartially across

demand generation, customer engagement and relationship management, based on revenue attribution. If current customers are disproportionately accountable for sales, the content funding should be weighted accordingly, with more of the budget devoted to serving them. The next content frontier Even the most airtight content strategy will fail if the operational technology to support it is not up to the job. Go back to the content hub dilemma: the only way to minimize the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who never get past the home page) is to make the most relevant content instantly visible, instead of forcing a visitor to excavate the site on their own. Most of the popular content marketing platforms (like Percolate, Sprinklr and Kapost) are primarily orchestration engines that streamline the production workflow. So, the job of managing the content experience must

be handed off to a specialized platform, such as Uberflip, which supports the creation of personalized content hubs, or an all-in-one experience management suite (such as Sitecore or Adobe Experience Cloud). Using this technology, it should be possible to customize the content experience based on different relationship states, whether someone is an early-stage buyer acquainting themselves with a topic for the first time or a long-time customer seeking deeper knowledge. Instead of working across different systems—a content management platform, a marketing automation suite, a digital experience platform—the marketing team is able to configure personalized content pages according to the knowledge profile of an individual. The displayed content can be based on where the customer is in the buying cycle, the tenure and depth of the relationship, their viewing history, their

inferred intent according to third-party browsing data and any declared interests acquired through a preference checklist. The habitual skimmers can be treated differently from the knowledge junkies—ardent followers from new signups—occasional visitors from the highly engaged. The next frontier of content marketing will couple artificial intelligence (AI)-driven personalization technology with the story-telling mastery of a content team whose singular mandate should be to make the brand a publisher of record for the audience they serve. Only then will brands be able win the attention they so desperately crave. Stephen Shaw is the chief strategy officer

of Kenna, a marketing solutions provider specializing in delivering more unified customer experiences. He is also the host of a monthly podcast called Customer First Thinking. Stephen can be reached via email at sshaw@kenna.

Do you make decisions about your marketing operations? Are you responsible for customer acquisition, retention or loyalty? Is your department in charge of fulfilling orders or customer service?

Sign up NOW for a free subscription to Direct Marketing magazine. Visit our website at www.dmn.ca and learn more about the magazine DM Magazine is a Lloydmedia, Inc publication. Lloydmedia also publishes Contact Management magazine, Canadian Equipment Finance magazine and Payments Business magazine.

November 2019

DMN.ca ❰


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Feature

Global eCommerce considerations By James Gagliardi

W

ith the surge in popularity of online retail and availability of Internet access across the globe, the eCommerce industry has grown exponentially. As the digital world continues to change at a rapid pace, sellers are working hard to keep up with increasingly complex shopper needs and expectations. ECommerce is allowing businesses to capitalize on this global economic opportunity. But in order to be successful, they must take into consideration the steps needed to personalize the online experience in order to fit local market nuances and shopper preferences. Ditching the accent To successfully go global, businesses must also go local by providing familiar experiences that meet the expectations of customers, no matter their location. By offering consumers the option of local currencies and languages, and by providing payment methods (more later on this) they are comfortable with, retailers signal their brands have the broad cultural understanding necessary for seamless and successful eCommerce transactions in those locales. Additionally, these localized experiences help keep potential customers engaged and satisfied. Not just through the initial buying experience, but for the entire customer relationship. I often refer to offering localized language and shopping experiences as “eCommerce without an accent.” It’s much more than simply translating your web site to the local language. Idioms usually don’t directly translate between languages, and dialects can even vary from region to region in the same country. Native experts are key to giving shoppers the localized messaging ❱ DMN.ca

they prefer. The more complex the content, the more important it is to have someone knowledgeable on the region. In China, for example, localized language and shopping experiences are essential in gaining the trust of Chinese shoppers. Using trusted payment methods As consumers shop online, they are constantly evaluating their level of trust in the merchants. One of the ways brands can help instill confidence is to offer the local payment methods that consumers know and trust. Each region has different preferred payment methods that change over time, so staying current on preferred methods is key to converting customers. For example, eWallets are predicted to become the preferred payment method in the U.S. in the next few years. On the other hand, German consumers often prefer to pay by direct debit from local banks. If the eCommerce channel is not set up to accept desired payment methods, brands can expect higher instances of cart abandonment. In Spain, 41% of shoppers say they would abandon their cart if they were charged for using their preferred payment method1. Currency is more than just the symbol ($) and the three-letter code (CAD). When showing currency options on a product or checkout page, it is important to include the preferred local currency in the correct format, even if that means including more than one currency. For example, there are a large number of Canadian expats that live in the U.S. So, for a Canadian company selling a product in the U.S., whether it be a clothing apparel company or a consumer electronics manufacturer, it can be beneficial to include both USD and CAD prices. North American divide North America accounts for over

half a billion people across Canada, the United States and Mexico. This represents a huge geographical area with diverse socioeconomic factors that influence different levels of technology and eCommerce adoption from province to province, state to state and country to country. Online retailers therefore need to know how to properly tailor services to specific audiences to provide the best experience. In Canada, cross-border online shopping is so popular some

experience and differentiate their brands from the competition. Canada also has been one of the countries at the forefront of the consumer privacy and data protection with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Canada is more aligned with European countries on issues like data privacy than with the U.S. If any merchant neglects a PIPEDA requirement in place they are liable to pay fines of up CAD$100,000. Consequently, U.S.-based brands

Businesses must also go local by providing familiar experiences that meet the expectations of customers. estimates show approximately 50% of online purchases are from foreign retail sites2. However, alternative survey data indicates over 60% of Canadians prefer .ca web sites because of a strong sense of national pride and a desire to support Canadian retailers3. Merchants selling to Canadian consumers need to understand cultural differences. For example, it is vital for eCommerce businesses to provide both English and French languages in order to offer a fully localized experience for shoppers. Interestingly, fewer than half of Canada’s businesses have a web site, which presents an opportunity for brands interested in entering this market. In 2018, Canada’s mobile penetration was expected to be 83% and it was projected that mobile eCommerce transactions account for approximately 30% of retail eCommerce and 2.6% of total retail sales4. With the right mobile commerce technology, businesses can deliver a superior mobile

hoping to expand into Canada need to understand the emphasis on privacy, while focusing on building confidence, partnering with trusted suppliers and highlighting data information policies. As technological advances make borders disappear for online retailers, knowing individual markets’ laws, preferences and expectations will be critical for global expansion without facing delays, litigation or pushback from local governments. Most importantly, knowing how to speak the local language and preferences will win customers’ business. James Gagliardi is chief product officer at

Digital River (www.digitalriver.com), a leading provider of global eCommerce and payment solutions. 1 Jade O’Donoghue, “How-to guide: cracking Spanish ecommerce in three steps” Retail Week, report, May 15, 2018. 2 eMarketer, “Ecommerce in Canada 2018: eMarketer’s Latest Forecast, with a Focus on Grocery,” report, January 25, 2018. 3 Canadian Internet Registration Authority, “2019 Canada’s Internet Factbook”. 4 “Ecommerce in Canada 2018”, Ibid.

November 2019


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// 18

Excellent Execution

Solving the premium pricing puzzle I

David Hardisty and Dale Griffin from the

University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business co-authored “When “More” Seems Like Less: Differential Price Framing Increases the Choice Share of Higher-Priced Options”, with Thomas Allard from the Nanyang Technological University. The study (https:// bit.ly/2MK03OJ) was recently published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

t’s no secret that for consumers, product upgrades can be a huge draw. After all, who wouldn’t prefer a direct flight over one with multiple stops, or a hard drive that can store more data or a charitable donation that does more good? For businesses, those premium offerings can be just as beneficial, because they encourage customers to spend more, which boosts earnings. But according to our research, it’s not only how much companies charge for those upgrades that decides whether a consumer will answer yes or no: it’s how they ask the question. Imagine a customer is booking a plane ticket. The airline offers a flight for $200, but it involves a twohour layover or there’s a direct flight for $250. Put another way, the customer can book a regular ticket for $200 or upgrade to a direct flight for $50 more. Which scenario is more appealing to consumers? According to our study, When “More” Seems Like Less: Differential Price Framing Increases the Choice Share of Higher-Priced Options, when the extra cost is expressed as an add-on—that is, the direct flight costs $50 more—consumers are far more likely pay for the premium option. But the effect doesn’t only work with plane tickets. Through multiple studies involving participants from a range of ages, incomes and education levels, we found it applies whether participants are being asked to donate to a local food bank, buy a computer monitor, choose an external hard drive, subscribe to a newspaper or even order breakfast.

So why is it that consumers are consistently more drawn to add-on prices? Why framing the pricing works So why is it that consumers are consistently more drawn to add-on prices? In short, it boils down to the size of the numbers. Using the airline example, customers may experience a bit of “sticker shock” when they see $250. They may feel it is too expensive, and opt for the cheaper flight based on this feeling. However, when they see “$50 more”, it doesn’t feel as expensive, and people are more likely to choose the upgrade. Mathematically the prices are the same and ❱ DMN.ca

consumers understand that. But intuitively the add-on price feels less expensive. The effect also works with socially-conscious purchases—so if someone buys coffee and it’s $4 for regular or $6 for fair trade—they’re more likely to opt for the pro-social upgrade if it’s expressed as “$2 more.” Interestingly, the strategy is effective even when the upgrade isn’t a particularly good deal. So, if an airline charges $300 for a connecting flight from New York to Los Angeles, or non-stop for $650, customers would be more likely to accept the higher fare if it’s expressed as “$350 more.” Strategy limitations But before businesses overhaul their pricing strategies, it’s important to note there are some limitations. First, the effect only applies to pricing, as opposed to upgrades in quantity or quality. For example, if an electronics shop is selling twoand four-terabyte hard drives, customers won’t be more drawn to the four-terabyte hard drive if that upgrade is presented as “two terabytes more.” (Because two is a lower number than four, the add-on version could even be perceived as a less appealing). Second, the add-on pricing effect doesn’t work on everyone. People who are very careful and deliberate when making decisions—known as “systematic decision makers”—tend to naturally compare the prices, whether they’re expressed as higher inclusive prices or as add-ons. In other words, they intuitively see both prices as the same. Implications and recommendation Add-on pricing is common in practice, but our study is the first of its kind to examine the effect and explain why it works. And it could have significant implications for marketers across a range of industries, in particular those offering high quality products and services. Our study found that some managers can be resistant to this pricing strategy: ironically because it makes them feel like they’re not earning as much. (If you earn “$50 more” on that $200 flight, rather than earning $250, the increase in earnings doesn’t seem as significant). But because consumers want the highest quality offerings at the lowest possible prices, and businesses typically earn higher margins on upgraded versions of their products and services, we recommend trying the additional price framing approach when promoting higher-quality items. Otherwise marketers could be inadvertently subtracting from the bottom line. November 2019


// 19

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