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Data

Online sellers ‘not using own data to improve business performance’

Online sellers are using e-commerce solutions to gather better data insights, yet many are failing to use it to make better business decisions, according to new research.

Whilst 42% are using data to improve customer service, only 24% are using data for buying behaviour analysis and two thirds are not using it to improve the user experience.

The survey of 559 global B2B organisations by Sana Commerce found that many are still only focused on using e-commerce for sales and improving online shopping for customers – traits associated with e-commerce 1.0 and 2.0.

48% identified driving sales as the top priority for their e-commerce solution and 38% said it was to improve the user experience.

Despite having data available at their fingertips, online sellers are not using their data to achieve desired business performance outcomes. The main response to tackling competition is competing on price (47%) and increasing the online customer experience (38%) rather than enhancing the proposition.

Only a third said they would use data to improve personalisation and 26% said they would use data to improve targeting and account-based marketing.

Sana says many online sellers seem to be overlooking the true value of e-commerce 3.0 and improving integration with key business systems such as the ERP to drive broader business benefits.

Michiel Schipperus, CEO and managing partner at Sana Commerce, said: “It’s encouraging to see online sellers building on their digital transformation strategies and considering the implementation of these advanced technologies, but it’s important to first establish how they can be implemented strategically. E-commerce 3.0 has enabled better integration between internal systems as a growth strategy and way to improve businesses agility. M2M and other forms of automation represent a significant investment, so e-commerce businesses need to ensure they’re being used to their full potential and improving key business drivers.”

The survey of B2B organisations in Europe and the US was undertaken by independent market research company Sapio on behalf on Sana Commerce. You can download the report here.

Complaints to the ICO ‘have doubled’ since GDPR came into force

Complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about potential data breaches have more than doubled since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, according to law firm EMW.

There were 6,281 complaints between May 25 2018, when GDPR came into force, and 3 July 2018, a 160% rise from just 2,417 complaints over the same period in 2017.

EMW says that businesses should be concerned about the significant increase in complaints and the size of potential fines that can be levied under the new GDPR.

Under the new regulations the cap on each fine will be raised to £16.5 million (or 4% of worldwide turnover of the entity being fined) – 33 times more than the current maximum £500,000 fine.

Increasing numbers of individuals are making complaints over potential data breaches, including some more disgruntled consumers making several, repeated complaints. Greater media publicity and Government advertising means there is a heightened awareness of individuals’ new data rights under GDPR. There is now a greater public focus on the accountability of businesses of all sizes in handling personal data.

EMW says individuals are most likely to make complaints when their sensitive personal and financial data is at risk. The financial services sector received over 10% of all complaints (660), with businesses in the education and health sectors receiving a combined 1,112 complaints.

James Geary, EMW Principal for Commercial Contracts, said: “A huge increase in complaints is very worrying for many businesses, considering the scale of the fines that can now be imposed. There are some disgruntled consumers prepared to use the full extent of GDPR that will create a significant workload for businesses.”

“We have seen many businesses are currently struggling to manage the burden created by the GDPR, whether or not an incident even needs to be reported. The reality of implementation may have taken many businesses by surprise. For example, emails represent one of the biggest challenges for GDPR compliance as failing to respond promptly to subject access requests or right to be forgotten requests could result in a fine. The more data a business has, the harder it is to respond quickly and in the correct compliant manner.”

37% of UK businesses ‘still not GDPR compliant’

New research shows that over a third of UK business haven’t fallen in line with GDPR, while a similar amount still send marketing emails without consent.

A survey of 1,021 UK workers carried out by MarketingSignals.com, revealed 37% confess they are still not following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

When asked to elaborate on why the business wasn’t falling in line, 35% said they are still sending marketing emails without the expressed consent.

In addition:

  • 31% say they still have the data of those who haven’t agreed to opt in to having their data stored.
  • 27% say they haven’t secured the data in case of a ransomware attack.
  • 22% say they have a longer process for those choosing to opt out from receiving information.
  • 14% say their firm hides privacy choices from people
  • 17% say they are still unsure as to what the benefits of GDPR are

Gareth Hoyle, managing director at MarketingSignals.com said: “The research shows there are many ways that businesses are admitting to not following the newly enforced GDPR regulations. GDPR is the most fundamental change to ever happen to data privacy, so it is imperative that businesses follow this and complete the process as soon as possible.

“Businesses need to understand that acting responsibly and ethically with customer data is crucial to protect and enhance brand reputation and ensure customer trust. Not only this, but it will enhance the quality of data collected which is a good thing for UK businesses.”

Online video viewing to exceed an hour a day this year

The average person will be spending 84 minutes a day watching videos online by 2020, according to the latest forecasts from Zenith.

In that year, China will have the keenest viewers, with the average person spending 105 minutes a day watching online video, followed by Russia (102 minutes) and the UK (101 minutes).

Zenith says this rapid rise in consumption is leading to a significant shift in the way brands plan campaigns across both television and online video.

The research covers 59 markets and encompasses all video content viewed over an internet connection, including broadcaster-owned platforms such as Hulu, ‘over-the-top’ subscription services like Netflix, video-sharing sites, e.g. YouTube, and videos viewed on social media.

Global online video consumption grew by 11 minutes a day in 2017, and we expect it to grow by an average of 9 minutes a day each year to 2020.

It accounts for almost all the growth in total internet use, and is growing faster than media consumption overall, so it is taking consumption time from traditional media.

Although some of this extra viewing is going to non-commercial platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, Zenith says plenty of it is going to commercial platforms, so the supply of commercial audiences is rising rapidly.

In fact, the firm estimates that online video adspend grew 20% in 2017, to reach $27bn. Growth peaked at 36% in 2014 and has fallen steadily since then, but still remains high. It forecasts 19% growth in 2018, and an average of 17% annual growth to 2020, when online video adspend will reach $43bn.

Video’s share of online display advertising is rising steadily: it accounted for 27% of display adspend in 2017, and Zenith expects it to account for 30% in 2020.

Online video advertising is still only a fraction of the size of television advertising, but because television is stuck at 0% to 2% annual growth, this fraction is rising rapidly. The online video ad market was 10% of the size of the television ad market in 2015, and 14% in 2017. By 2020 Zenith expects online video adspend to be 23% of the size of television adspend.

“Online video is driving growth in global media consumption, as smartphones with high-speed data connections make high-quality video available to people on the move, and smart TV sets give viewers unparalleled choice in the living room,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence. “The rapid rise in video viewing makes online video the world fastest-growing advertising format, creating new strategic and creative opportunities. Brands that do not currently have a strategy for online video need to think about getting one.”

INFOGRAPHIC: DMA reveals global consumer privacy trends

The Digital Marketing Association (DMA) has detailed consumer attitudes to privacy across 10 nations, encompassing attitudes, opinions and preferences and how they change depending on their location.

The research, conducted in partnership with Acxiom and Foresight Factory, found that:

  • 51% of people are ‘data pragmatists’ who exchange their data as long as there is a clear benefit.
  • 21% are ‘data unconcerned’ who do not mind how and why their data is used.
  • 23% are ‘data fundamentalists who never share their data for any reason.
  • The data pragmatists are most likely to be found in the US, Spain and Singapore, while data fundamentalists are found en mass in in Australia, Germany and The Netherlands.
  • Nearly half of all consumers would use their data to negotiate better offers.
  • 83% of consumers would like more control over their data.

The DMA concludes: “Although each nation differs in some ways, globally consumers are remarkably similar – most aspects of privacy remain the same wherever you are. Globally, the majority of consumers are pragmatists – willing to share their data so long as there is a benefit. Trading data is a common desire among consumers and data as a commodity will become more important to companies in the years to come.”

The DMA has produced a handy infographic to break down its findings and will be running a webinar on July 11th to delve deeper into the results.

28% of media consumption will be by mobile internet in 2020

24% of all media consumption across the world will be by mobile internet this year, with figures suggesting that by 2020 this number will increase to 28%, according to new data published in Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecasts 2018.

The figures show a dramatic increase in media consumption by mobile across the world, which was just 5% back in 2011, with mobile eroding the consumption of nearly all other media, including newspapers and magazines.

The report reveals that time spent reading traditional print media such as newspapers has fallen by over 45%, and 56% for magazines. However, those that have adapted to online have gained from what was lost in print readership.

The rise of mobile has directly influenced the way that brands now plan communications, focussing less on channels and more on consumer mind-set and behaviour.

TV and radio are also losing the battle against the rise of mobile, although not as dramatically as traditional print media, with the average time spent watching TV shrinking by 3% between 2011 and 2018, along with time spent listening to radio down by 8%.

Brands can now take advantage of the various boundaries that mobile offers through different channels, entertainment, news, information, research, communication and socialising building awareness with the ability of creating direct responses and one-to one communication.

Zenith says the rapid expansion of mobile internet use has increased the amount of time the average individual spends consuming media, by giving people access to essentially unlimited content almost everywhere, and at any time of the day. We estimate that the average person will spend 479 minutes a day consuming media this year, 12% more than in 2011. Zenith forecasts the total to reach 492 minutes a day in 2020.

“Under traditional definitions, all other media are losing out to the mobile internet,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global Intelligence. “But the truth is that the distinctions between media are becoming less important, and mobile technology offers publishers and brands more opportunities to reach consumers than ever.”

“Mobile technology is challenging brands to rethink how they communicate with consumers,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president. “Brands need to understand both the consumer’s mind-set and where they sit on the consumer journey, to determine how to communicate with them. By using data, ad tech and now artificial intelligence, brands can co-ordinate their communications across media and mind-sets to move them along the consumer journey most effectively.”

UK marketers ‘burying their heads in the sand’ on automation

A new survey has revealed that low-level, repetitive tasks are stifling the flow of creative juices and operational efficiencies among UK marketers.

And yet a third are choosing not to do anything about it.

The Digital Work Report 2018, commissioned by Wrike, found 33 per cent of UK marketers say that automation is not something they are considering, while 34 per cent saying they do not believe it would give their company a competitive edge.

However, nearly all (98 per cent) who took part admitted some aspect of their work is repetitive or cognitively routine, with a quarter estimating as much as 61-80 per cent.

Crucially, the survey found over two-thirds (69 per cent) believe they could achieve more work if technology could take on repetitive tasks such as filing, copying information between systems and documenting action items from meetings – with a quarter saying as much as 50 per cent more if that was the case.

If they could win back some valuable time, marketers would choose to focus more on creative work (32 per cent), team management (26 per cent), developing strategic projects (21 per cent), time spent listening to customers (20 per cent) and creating a better work culture in the office (19 per cent).

The report found that the ability to be efficient is hampered by some of the processes in place in their organisations; 27 per cent felt work is done across too many systems, creating duplication of work and communications, for example.

While 48 per cent said they have a culture of operational excellence in place, whereby they constantly review and improve how they are doing things within their team and organisation, only 10 per cent scored their company’s ability to consistently deliver high-quality work on time with existing resources as ‘excellent’. 30 per cent of UK marketers say their company strives to improve processes but changes are just too slow.

“Traditionally marketers are at the cutting edge of technology trends when it comes to the work they deliver, but these results suggest they are not always finding time to practice what they preach,” said Andrew Filev, CEO and founder of Wrike.

“With ever-increasing pressure around delivery times, personalisation of products and predictability, the marketing craft is being slowly buried under a mountain of disparate processes that leave little time for adding real creative value. With business automation developing at pace, change management is becoming an increasingly important part of the role.”

Interestingly, 34 per cent of marketers said they believe that when it comes to flawless execution they could do a better job than their boss. Worryingly, out of frustration with a lack of operational efficiency, 32 per cent of marketers have searched for a new job.

Firms still not ready for GDPR with less than 3 weeks to go

Only 6 in 10 company directors say they are confident their organisation will be ‘fully compliant’ with new data protection laws set to come in later this month, a new survey from the Institute of Directors reveals.

The poll of 700 bosses shows many businesses remain unprepared for the changes with just three weeks to go until GDPR comes into force.

Business leaders’ confidence in their preparations has declined over the past six months as the sheer scale of the regulations has come into view. Many business leaders are also less sure about how the new rules will affect their firms, with around 40% reporting they are not confident or unsure as to how GDPR will impact their company.

In preparing for the reforms, businesses were most likely to turn to external private advisors, business membership organisations, such as the IoD, and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for guidance. The IoD has so far directly assisted over a thousand of its members, providing guidance and template policies.

The new laws predominantly impact how businesses engage with customers and clients. However, directors also report that GDPR compliance is affecting processes in HR and IT, as well as their governance practices.

“GDPR has been a long time coming for businesses, but it is only proving more formidable as the deadline looms and companies drill down into the detail. The regulator has assured small businesses that there will be not be a sudden inquisition once the rules enter into effect, but with such large penalties for non-compliance, firms must assess what they have to do to avoid falling foul of the legislation, and they must do so soon,” said Jamie Kerr, Head of External Affairs at the Institute of Directors.

“While the regulations may be burdensome, the overriding impulse amongst company directors now is simply to follow the rules. However, SMEs, who are facing a whole host of competing priorities and generally cannot rely upon dedicated compliance teams, are still finding it difficult to digest the sheer scale of the legal changes.

“The Government’s immediate priority should be to ensure the ICO has the resources it needs to make a big final push to assist small businesses in the run up to this month’s deadline”.

Data management firm Axis Media goes into administration

Database management specialist Axis Media has entered administration, citing “challenging trading environment” following the loss of a major contract, with several redundancies set to follow.

Founded in 2001, the company created business supplements that were published in newspapers such as Wall Street Journal, The Times, Telegraph and City AM. Clients included Benende, the FT, The Times, NHS, Bayer healthcare and The Herald.

Accountancy and business advisory firm Donald McNaught has been appointed as joint administrator.

Matt Henderson, head of restructuring at Johnston Carmichael, said: “Axis Media Limited managed the databases for a number of organisations and employed staff who will all unfortunately be made redundant.

“Over the last few years, the directors have managed the company through a challenging trading environment, however they took the difficult decision to enter administration following the loss of a major contract. We are now working to maximise value for creditors and minimise any disruption to the company’s customers.”

Email marketing top of the ROI Charts

The 2017 Econsultancy/Adestra email Marketing Industry Census has revealed that email marketing is top of the ROI Charts for the third year in a row.

Based on a survey of over 1,200 marketers undertaken between February and March 2017, 73% of companies along with 76% of agency respondents rated it excellent or good.

Budget allocated, however, was only 15% of total marketing budget, with a feeling that the growing complexity of the digital marketing landscape still left many marketers confused as to how best allocate funds to create a more complete campaign.

Those marketers who are more tech savvy and able to master the data and successes within email marketing are set to gain business advantages over competitors over the next 12 month period.

“The results of this year’s Census show that marketers are struggling to see the bigger picture and stand by their choices,” explained Henry Hyder-Smith, Adestra CEO. “By getting the fundamentals working together – personalisation, automation, integration, optimisation – they can make the most of the technology available, offer their customers the experience they are looking for, and realise the benefits of becoming First-Person Marketers.”

Monica Savut, head of research services at Econsultancy, said: “Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels and it’s encouraging to see that marketers are looking beyond standalone campaigns by embracing marketing automation and personalisation. However, this year’s Census shows that marketers need to adopt a more rigorous approach, keeping a sharp focus on both technology and strategy while never losing sight of the customer.

“The rewards are there for the taking, but reaping maximum value is dependent on two key success factors: investment that is proportional to any potential returns and a comprehensive strategy that focuses on continuous measurement, testing and optimisation.”

The full report can be downloaded here:

2017 Email Marketing Industry Census

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