“Content is King”

“Content is King”

The internet has transformed the marketing and commercial landscape to such a point that the relationship between a company and its clients has dramatically changed. Companies are using every resource available to reach new potential clients and convert them into loyal clients. The recent trend, however, has been that these prospects prefer neither to be bothered by sellers nor disturbed by their advertising. By early 2017, more than 236 million people were using ad blockers on their devices. This number had been multiplied by 10 within 7 years. They want to be informed, advised and accompanied along the customer path. “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting” said Bill Gates 23 years ago. His pioneer vision of the world of tomorrow still holds today true and remains inspiring for many marketers.

Attract with Content

New technologies have changed how people obtain information. Upon us is the age of inbound marketing, driven by the Internet and social media. Inbound marketing is based on marketing activities that use content without any advertising or promotion for products or services to attract and inspire prospects and customers towards a business. Much of inbound marketing relies on creating content and attracting visitors with it. The “one-size fits all” approach is dead. Inbound marketing is about  developing content and adapting it for each of the identified targets and to distribute it on the best channel for each target. The content must be also adapted at each stage of the marketing funnel. Content improves SEO, brand awareness and increases traffic. It also makes strangers care about your business throughout the content experience and it allow to creates a link between the company and the prospective customer. Content can provide the information they need to decide which kind of solution might help. The attract step is the Top Of The Funnel (TOFU). Through the use of inbound marketing, whether it’s in the form of a blog post, white paper, videos or social media posts, it encourages users to engage with the brand.  

Convert with Content

The goal is to create content that is customer-oriented. The content must be interesting and useful for them. The less a company talks about its products, the more they will be interested.  The Internet has returned power to the consumer. This is the Middle-of-Funnel (MOFU).  At this stage, leads consider their alternatives. The content, across specific landing pages, or Call-To-Action aims to reassure customers and bring them closer to their purchasing decision. To stay top-of-mind in customers’ minds, companies must engage with their leads, through a form, for example, to be able to begin the use of  nurturing e-mails marketing. The goal is to get them to come back to the website.

Close With Content

This step is crucial. It is where leads become customers in order to generate revenue. All the previous content work will bear fruits. This is where a lead become actual customer. Once leads reach the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), this means that they are ready to buy. Content during this stage is meant to trigger buying impulses in the customer. CRM and emails strategies are keys to success.

Delight With Content

Closing a sale is hard, but retaining customers is more difficult. Sending clients smart content through a newsletter can make you stay relevant.   Reassuring the client once a purchase is made and also giving him information about “how to use the product” can make this one-time client a loyal client. For example, after buying plants on the internet, receiving an e-mail on how to take care of it can be really interesting for the client. It gives the feeling that the client’s purchase matters to the company. It’s all about keeping a long-term link between a company and the client.

Few tips

#Inbound Content Marketing is investment versus an expense. Inbound marketing is cheaper, but companies have to invest a bit in it. According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2017, 76% of companies globally reported that they’re primarily focused on inbound. Certainly inbound provides a better ROI: inbound marketing efforts are 62% less expensive than outbound. Therefore inbound marketing takes some times to develop. #Content can help Customer Service FAQ, Blog Posts, customers’ review can provide useful help for other clients. #Some Figures Inbound marketing generates x8 times more traffic and about x3 times more qualified leads. 94% of the links search users click on are organic, not paid. 60% of B2C marketers said their organizations are extremely/very committed to content marketing.

Digital Learning in Companies

“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” – Henry Ford

Training focuses on the development of new skills or skill sets that will be useful in the future. Henry Ford was one of the first one to understand that.

Let’s start with some figures :
92% of CEOs do not perceive the impact of training on business.
However, 70% of employees believe training could help them do their job. There is a considerable gap between employees and CEOs.
So, what are the opportunities and challenges of digital training today?

The importance of e-learning is now a given fact. It can offer an alternative that is much faster, cheaper, and potentially better.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, new technologies’ development enabled a new era of online learning.
It exists a lot of different e-learning systems called LMS and methods, which allow courses to be delivered. Traditional e-learning is boring. Training managers have to create interactive content and motivate employees to train themselves.

THE FIVE RULES OF DIGITAL LEARNING
How can we create engaging learning experiences?

1. First of all, keep it short.
Fast training, less than 15mn. Microlearning makes learning 17% more effective because human concentration is limited.
Cutting information into smaller parts and spacing it out can lead to higher rates of engagement and retention.

2. Keep it simple; it’s 1 idea = 1 module
Otherwise, you may be confusing and losing your learners.

3. Diversify Formats.
It is essential to use and mix every tool we have in every format to make training interactive and fun.
Courses, Videos, Challenges, Quiz, Webinars, Gamification, or Social learning. Social learning is a collaborative and collective training, making it a group experience or shared activity; It also favorises user-generated content that can be integrated into modules for examples.

4. You must give rhythm to your content.
Remember, top-down training is annoying. Make your employees interact! Quizzes are often used as a modality for knowledge acquisition.
Advice: Less theory and more practice!

5. Make training available ATAWAD.
Content should be available at any time, anywhere, on any devices. That means No boundaries and no restrictions.
It is possible through mobile learning.
As people, we are looking at our phones more than 150 times per day. This a where training should be delivered.

HUMAN-ORIENTED TRAINING
Another challenge facing digital learning is the fact that employees and learners have to feel that there is somebody behind the screen, and they are not alone in this training. There are many strategies to feel closer to people.
Let’s have a look at blended learning, for example.

Blended learning is a combination of both digital learning and classroom-based training.
Being more human-oriented can be done through Social Learning.
Social learning is learning with and from others. It can either happen online (for instance, over popular social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on) or offline (during group discussions, over coffee or during conferences).
Social Learning can take several forms like blogs, discussion forums, challenges, and videos and be directly integrated through an LMS (Learning Management System).

To sum up, these are the best practices to have in mind while implementing a digital learning strategy in a company.
Always create engaging learning experiences, with short, simple, and available content. Make them feel that a human being is behind the screen by implementing blended learning or social learning.
It is crucial to assess training; quizzes are a formidable lever to stimulate learners and facilitate the acquisition of knowledge intellectually.
And finally, always ask for feedbacks to create learning paths that meet employees expectations.

Last word from Richard Branson Virgin: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first? If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”.

Luxury Brands and Digital Technology: The Inevitable Alliance

Luxury Brands and Digital Technology: The Inevitable Alliance

Who said the luxury market could live without taking the digital transition? Who? Phoebe Philo. Céline’s previous creative director has been quoted a few years ago as having said  “I’d rather walk down the street naked than join Facebook”. She might think the future will tell. And time proved her wrong! Céline has digitally integrated itself in many ways: an e-commerce platform, social media strategy, a website improving the overall online customer experience, as well as content strategy, among other things (digitization not being limited only to an online shopping platform). The various methods paved the way for the brand to achieved a fully digitized marketing strategy.

Céline was one of the last luxury companies to make the digital transition; a necessary step due to the onset of new luxury sociology. Aside from some remarkable exceptions, luxury brands remain sluggish in establishing an online presence.

Are they fearful of losing their untouchable status? Are they hoping to preserve their exclusiveness? After having lost many opportunities, brands seek to conquer the proverbial “goose that lays golden eggs,” A.K.A., “Millennials.”  

Opposites’ Alliance

For decades, the two realms of luxury goods and digital technology have progressed without ever overlapping each other. Nonetheless, the digital revolution has been ongoing. Now all market sectors, including luxury goods, are influenced by new technologies which in turn enable new products and services.  In 10 years, the internet transformed the marketing and commercial landscape to such an extent that the relationship between a company and its prospects/clients has drastically changed. The digital revolution merged accessibility with transparency and conveyed an ideal of the mass market. Digital technology is about “anywhere, any time,  on any device”.

”Luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends” said Coco Chanel.

The luxury market in essence evokes symbolism, creates inspiration and stimulates desire. Iconic, timeless pieces, rarity, preserving exclusivity and an air of  mystery—this is how the luxury market could be defined. Luxury goods and e-commerce have continued to expand the market. Indeed, according to Deloitte, the sales of luxury goods in 2017 grossed US$212 billion.
In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021. With 8,5% of luxury sales done online, market growth is on the horizon. 2022 is anticipated to a 6% growth for the luxury market and 18% for the  e-commerce market: the latter metric is the newest challenge facing the industry.

78% of sales that were influenced by the internet along with new fully digital retailers—Baume, Net-a-porter, HudaBeauty—have given a boost to this timeless sector. The desire is now for brands to preserve their ability to inspire and trigger the “impulse buy” reflex by enhancing psychological attractiveness.

The Emotion Appeal of Luxury  

Why do people buy luxury products? Studies have shown that our decisions are driven by the emotions associated with our judgment. Purchase behavior is the outcome of how a consumer perceives the emotional benefit delivered by a brand through its products while buying them. Luxury brands understand this challenge and use myriad ways of manipulating this psychological appeal in order to drive people to buy their products through this emotional phenomenon.
According to a study conducted by Bain, by 2025, Millennials will represent 45% of the global luxury goods market. Millennials want a new shopping experience: one more personal and tailor-maid. To reach this new clientele, brand are implementing new strategies.

How to become more attractive?  

Luxury brands had to think twice about their strategies in response to their new target, the Millennials. They knew that they had to generate key emotions in order to hit the target. What is better than storytelling? Storytelling allows them to enter a world, to take part in a brand’s creations and to escape their life. Storytelling speaks to young people and all of the strategies implemented regarding the branding, such as inbound marketing, have shown really high return on investment. More strategies were developed since—for example—new jobs like “online promoters”emerged thanks to social media visibility.
Companies changed their schemes in order to implement digital marketing: traditional 4p was scrapped and made room for 4E: Evangelism, Experience, Everywhere, Exchange.
All these strategies required more investment from companies, and now, investments in digital marketing are superior in those in traditional marketing.

Omnichannel Experience

“Consumer-centric,”“consumer insight”— I am sure that you have heard these words before. Even today, experience is paramount and companies are trying earnestly to put the client at the heart of their strategies. To implement the online/offline or “drive to store” concept they use a huge asset: data. Turning data into consumer insights is one of the keys to taking advantage of this digital transformation. Data enables the creation of a consistent relationship between the client and the brand. At any time and on any device (or even in store) the brand can access a client’s preferences and past purchases in order to better assist the client.

Between digital and luxury brands it is only the beginning of a long story.
This relationship will improve in the future due to the ever-increasing demand from millennials.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©AnaelleThomas

Luxury Brands and Digital Technology: The Inevitable Alliance

What will the retail food store of tomorrow look like?

In the early 70s, the “supermarket” concept in France was really successful due to the changing society: woman started to work, consumer habits were evolving and cities started to expand. But now, the industry is facing new challenges since technology has revolutionized the grocery retail landscape.

Retail food stores are part of daily life: nearly half of the French population is going to supermarkets at least once a week. But, who among us has never left out of frustration due to excessively long lines at the checkout? Or who never thinks twice before walking into a store when it is crowded?  The retail food industry is now looking to resolve these issues. People are now used to getting whatever they want whenever they want thanks to e-commerce. The time delay between ordering and receiving a package is practically nonexistent through the internet. This means that in order to maintain in-store traffic, retailers need to rethink the traditional retail food model in order to fit customers’ expectations.

How will French food retailers face these challenges? Is the French market ready for the change?

4 Casino, A cutting-edge store

Almost one year after Amazon Go’s tremendous opening in Seattle, the French Casino Group has followed suit with its own answer to the innovation of retail distribution.

Casino, through its new Parisian Flagship “4 Casino,” introduces its new vision of retail. A high concentration of novelties and innovations aiming to provide an optimal clientele journey. This “phygital” (alliance between physique and digital) store is more than a retail store. It is a living and sharing space.

Customer Oriented Services

Even before you step inside, Casino sets the tone with a massive augmented reality window. This surprising traffic-stopper offers to window shoppers the Paris of the “Twenties”.

The client does not come into a retail food store—he comes into a bar, a restaurant, a co-working space where every single element’s intent is to create a “cozy” atmosphere and not a place of overconsumption.

Where Casino revolutionizes the retail food industry, however, is on the inside. Thanks to little details the digital influence takes shape: a product picking wall, enhance product information display systems such as a “smart” wine cellar, or in-store product geolocalisation provided by Max, Casino’s voice assistant which speaks 4 languages.

On the second floor, Cdiscount displays some products sold online. The client can easily identify himself thanks to website codes: clients’ rates and customer reviews are indicated on the price tag in red (as found online). An amazing internet-linked mirror evaluates customers’ age and advises them on which product they would be interested in.

Casino wants to upgrade the shopping process by creating an “Omni-channel” and tailored in-store experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is Casino facing the industry’s challenges?

96%: this is the proportion of retail sales within supermarkets, and therefore Casino has taken into account the significance of this figure.

Can you imagine a store where you never waste time in lines, where you can just walk into a store, grab a product, and walk out without any pause?

Well, that is what Casino proposes. In a society where more than 60% of people think that it is not acceptable to wait more than 4 minutes for a checkout line, there is a necessity for streamlining the payment process. Thanks to the application “Casino Max”, the customer can now scan his selections and pay through his smartphone.

Understandably, you may think that this new model is killing jobs. The answer is no. There is a transition period of course, yet instead of creating Cashier positions, there are many advisors in-store, wine specialist, or even waiters whom the goal is to create added value to the customer experience.

Is the French market ready?

Statistically, approximately 67% of the population owns a smartphone. This means that a lack of up-to-date equipment cannot constrain French people. However, the digital retail food store concept raises other issues.

What about GDPR? The retail sector has a veritable gold mine of information about their clients. What time do they shop? How often? What are their favorite brands?

How do we manage underage consumers? What about older people without advanced phones and computers and for whom these newer technologies are unfamiliar?

France is not as digitally developed as Asia is with types of mobile payments thanks to WeChat or Alipay.  Indeed, in China 50% of payments are made through E-wallet methods, while in France it is only 16%.

 

To conclude, digital retail food stores in France has been a recent trend, aiming to upgrade the client experience. They are trying to solve some of the underlying and taking up new challenges the industry is facing. Bringing a tailored and Omni-channel client journey, this first laboratory flagship is open to the public 24/7 with a high level of anticipation to fit customers’ expectations.

 

Sources: Statista.com

Photo credits: Anaëlle Thomas