I’ve just spent the last couple of days in Scotland to mark the opening of the new Endava office in Glasgow. We ran one event in Edinburgh (which mainly focussed on the Financial Services sector) and one in Glasgow, inviting local companies to hear about our view of the Digital Media industry, and the trends that we’re seeing.
The key topics were:
- Social Media
- Consumer Insight
The key starting point with Social Media, is that even Financial Services organisations who don’t understand or want to acknowledge it exists, people are discussing your company, products or service, in one channel or another. Too many people associate social media with Facebook, then perform a search on Facebook and don’t find any results, and then dismiss it. However we recommend that you widen the search, even use Google, and you’ll find specialist forums and other places where you’re being discussed.
After listening, the next step is to formalise a strategy. In Financial Services, this needs to include regulation, governance, security and staffing. The technology (subtle plug – this is where Endava comes in) starts from the listening exercise, through to implementation and operations.
Another key point on social media is that it sets the expectation of the user interface. Look at Facebook, Google + and Pinterest to see how easy a user interface can be, and then look at other sites to see how they lag behind.
Financial Services companies are catching up – my bank’s website has recently been overhauled and most of my monthly tasks can now be done simply rather than the several steps it took a few weeks ago.
Sometimes referred to as ‘Big Data’, consumer insight is important at the moment because understanding the customer is vital to increase ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) and/ or profit.
I always give the analogy of the shopkeeper who knows his customers and can advise them on the most appropriate product based on their relationship and previous experiences. Consumer insight is the memory of the shopkeeper.
Firstly, you need some consumer insight to do some personalisation. The better quality insight, the better personalisation.
Amazon is still one of the best personalised websites – with recommendations based on not only what you’ve bought before, also what you’ve looked at, and how other customers have behaved too.
Personalisation can be applied to push communication too – email newsletters and text messages. However it’s vital to keep analysing, in detail, how these personalised messages are improving ROI (Return On Investment) and to keep tweaking them.
We’re seeing four key trends in Digital Media at the moment:
1. Mobile, mobile, mobile. Despite the title, it’s not just mobile. It’s about the expectation that consumers can access your service wherever and whenever they wish. It doesn’t need to be via Internet Explorer version 8 on a desktop device bigger than 1028 pixels wide. I recently carried out some competitor analysis for a large bank and showed each of the rival’s services on a mobile device – they were unusable.
2. Single platform – consumer insight and personalisation are linked. Push communication and Content Management Systems need to be linked. You’ll need analytics for all your channels. This all leads to a single platform requirement.
3. Collaborate. We’re seeing multiple brands work together on joint initiatives because the sum of their efforts is so valuable. This requires some lateral thinking, strategic commercial awareness and clever marketing messaging.
4. Consumer Insight. We’re seeing two trends linking distributed organisations together. One is social media and the other is consumer insight. The owner of the consumer insight strategy needs to communicate and work with the rest of the organisation. Every touch point with consumers needs to include data collection, and it takes mindset change to achieve this.
The two sessions were really interesting, and I always enjoy meeting companies and people who either haven’t thought about the discussion points, or who are on the path and share their experiences with others.