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Internet World 2013

Source: Phoenix UX, 13 May 2013

Phoenix UX team has gone to many different events in the past and our latest adventure saw us go to Internet World in London, one of UK's biggest events for online and digital business.

The event primarily focused on 6 main areas (Digital Marketing World, ecommerce World, Cloud & Hosting World, Social Media World, Content Management World and Mobile World). We picked out areas that we are interested in and attended the seminars and left with very insightful information by speakers across small to large organisations.

Tuesday 23rd April

The first day of Internet World covered some of the hottest topics of the online arena. Dara Nasr (Head of agency sales at Twitter) discussed Twitter's increasing influence on all the aspects of our lives and gave some interesting (and a bit worrying) stats into TV behaviour. TV is a huge interest on Twitter, with 40% of all Twitter traffic around peak time being about TV, and 60% of UK Twitter users use Twitter while watching TV.

James Allsopp, partner at PlayGen, revealed some of the common misconceptions of gamification. For businesses interested to use gamification, remember the following before crafting your gamification strategy: adding gamification will not sell products that customers have little interest in. What gamification will do is help your customers engage with your products. Also, games will not make your employees work harder(sorry for spoiling this one), they will rather help streamline business processes and help your employees become more creative.

There is no doubt that Social Media data has not changed the game for market research. Social media is the largest source of unsolicited consumer opinions. The challenge here is, how to quantify all the qualitative insight on such a massive scale and as close to real time as it can be. There are a lot of digital marketing, social media analysis and analytics tools out there, but while these automation tools can do the heavy lif  ting for you, don't forget to get the human interaction right.

David Coplin (Chief envisioning officer, advertising and online, Microsoft) talked about how businesses should move forward and re-imagine themselves. He highlighted some painful truths: Humans are slow at adopting changes while also facing a problem of productivity, we are living in the age of 'email ping-pong', and while email is important, we spend most of our working day reading and replying to emails, forgetting to be creative.

The last seminar, allowed the audience to ask questions to the panel members that summarized the key themes and strategies discussed during the day. Personalization is seen as vital for businesses survival and performance, but to create that 'seamless customer experience', businesses must also adopt a new culture of collaboration internally across all departments. HMRC definitely needs to work on this aspect, every time we call the department in charge of issuing Double Tax Treaty certificates, we are a given a different address to post the letter requesting it. A bit confusing and frustrating, isn't it?

Wednesday 24 April

Tiffany St James, CEO at UK Government Stimulation, talked about 'Practical digital strategies for impactful change and growth'.

What does Digital strategy mean to you?

For Tiffany it was about:

  • Identifying business opportunity where digital can provide solutions
  • Identifying unmet needs of customers
  • Identify how digital can help Prioritising help/ideas

Tiffany identified the following commonly used methods for Digital strategy:

  • Action orientated strategy Data led strategy ­ 'The Great Schlep' was a good example of this, used by President Obama.
  • Audience perception strategy
  • Content in context strategy

Insights gathered from strategy pieces are most effective when:  

  • Unexpected Create disequilibrium Change momentum
  • Highlight a USP

So this means when you are conducting an online survey or focus groups and you get unexpected feedback that is different from what you expected ­ be happy that his has happened, because it could be the difference between a successful strategy project and an unsuccessful one.

The second talk of the day saw Dr. Nicola Millard (customer experience futurologist) talk about how to serve the social customer, and how online brands have transformed consumer expectations of value and services, such as Amazon, eBay and ASOS. The online world sets expectations of experience even for offline and as you can get support offline, 9 out of 10 consumers also want support while online. Dr. Nicola Millard also revealed some interesting stats into smartphone usage. People aged between 16-34 of smartphone users are statistically more likely to call you, while 39% of smartphone users do social media 'on the move'.

Key stats from the talk included:

  • 9/10 consumers want support while online
  • Video conferencing is 100% up on 2010 as video culture grows
  • 16-34 years olds are driving smartphone commerce
  • 55% of social customer have interacted with companies through social media
  • 84% of social media contact was about failure with other channels offered by companies Facebook if where loyal customers gather to support their companies

Thursday 25 April

Tim Woollias (Retail industry Head at Google UK), literally was 'exploiting' digital ­ but in a good way The statistics for how we use different multichannel devices now is staggering. 1 billion unique users a month use video, e.g. YouTube, and globally over a billion people are on mobile subscription and by 2015 more people will be on mobile rather than computer which is a transition that will be 8 times faster than the transition people made to go to the desktop.

The talk was very engaging as Tim related the statistics to what is currently happening in the UK in terms of exploiting digital. UK now is the number one user of mobile data but businesses have not yet caught onto the trend of mobile e.g. selling your products on digital devices. 73% of mobile searchers trigger additional research, whether it would be going on to social networking or looking into further details of a particular product, but is this a trick that businesses are missing? 55% of purchase related conversions occur within ONLY an hour. Customers don't want to be bombarded with ads on their phone because they will just ignore it. Has any of you been on Facebook, seen an ad and clicked on it and then bought whatever that ad was selling you? I doubt many of you. People in store are more likely to notice ads compared to people on the go or at work.

Has the customer journey changed? Of course it has. You can go on your mobile phone to compare websites and prices, use a map to find your nearest store, or even if you are in the store, you can find your way around it using your mobile phone. So why are businesses not picking this up by getting a  responsive designed website?

Last year stats showed that only 40% of the top 100 UK brands had a mobile optimised website. I wonder how long will take the rest, 60% of the top 100 UK brands to realise this is the direction we are heading in and if they want to stay ahead of competitors they would need to 'explore digital' more than what they are currently doing.

Tom Valentine co ­ founded the company Secret Escapes with the idea to be different from their competitors and has led by the saying: 'Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement; if you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand, you can't control it, if you can't control it, you can't improve it'.

Warren Knight (Founder and CEO of Gloople) spoke about the future of connecting with your online customers and stated that social media was key within business for this. If you share content within a community and they  want to share your content with their own community then your content is getting out there and being followed or recognized by many people across the world

Social media is crucial to businesses and how customers are influenced by what people are tweeting about a particular product. It is like ratings and reviews, if you want to buy a product most people read the reviews first which could influence their decision in purchasing that particular product. Social networking influence is no different, but if a product is being purchased several times in the space of an hour, then would you be more influenced to get it? 'Fab' has live feeds of what people are buying and sharing, 'Naked Wines' use social proof to talk about how popular a particular wine is.

The great thing now is we have different tools to help us build our online presence, 'Stipple' allows you to buy a particular product on the page and not get re-directed so if you wanted a picture that was taken from Instagram you would be able to select that picture from where you are and not be redirected to Instagram. Tools like 'Dropify' allows you to share white papers, case studies to get your name out and not just in your own community, and allows you to analyse and track social graphs.

Social networking is still not at its peak with all these different type of tools coming out to support it and it can only help enhance businesses. Warren summarised the talk with the 5 C's:

  • Coverage ( target audience - where are they in terms of social networks)
  • Collection ( build your community, get more followers so they can share your information
  • Curation ( re-write information and curate it to shared to their target audience)
  • Context ( share info, get context across so customers will share it to)
  • Confidence ( build confidence, social proof is key, customer acquisition journey)

See website for further details