Footie and Techie Meet to Create the Future of Football

The quadren1nial event that brings the world to a standstill – the ‘FIFA World Cup’ was recently held in Brazil. It was one of the most widely viewed sporting events across the world. The tournament has seen a lot of changes since its inception in 1930- in its format, the number of participating teams, rules, etc.

Moments of brilliance

In today’s day and age, like everything else, technology plays a very important role in a team’s success. Technology has evolved a lot since the first World Cup was played in 1930. From having the 1954 tournament televised for the first time, to having an estimated 26.29 billion viewers watch the 2006 tournament, to goal line technology being introduced this year, things have indeed come a long way.

Playing footie with technology

For the first time in history, the 2014 World Cup saw the use of SMAC (social media, mobility, analytics and cloud) on a large scale. All major professional clubs around the world used data analytics to help improve their team’s performance. Right from training sessions to live matches, huge chunks of data were collected and analyzed. Many top ranking clubs had tied up with software firms to analyze the data collected. Using this data, the analysts were able to provide vital statistical information to the clubs. Live matches provided billions of data points which were analyzed to gauge the team’s performance.

Mapping it all

On a typical football field, there are about 24 cameras to provide live streaming of the match (there are also player cams which allow a person watching at home to watch a particular player’s movement across the field), there are various behind the scenes cameras that capture about ten data points per player, every second. These are the ones that make the statistics visually appealing to us.

To keep the viewers glued to their television screens, TV networks have football pundits analyze the game. Typically there is a pre match analysis, half time analysis and post-match analysis, all beamed live across countries. With the help of data analysis software that has been designed to crunch the live data points, the pundits are able to seamlessly analyze the performance of key players and the team as a whole. Match stats like goals scored, total shots, shots on target, offside, fouls, yellow/red cards are pretty simple data points that one can track over the duration of the match. Other stats like total distance covered by each player and the team, player speed profiles, player movement tracing, visualized passes (attempted and converted), and heat mapping, etc. are provided by these software using real-time data measurements.

Real-time data measurements have now been adopted in the training schedules. Here, trackers and sensors are used across the training field on the goal posts, players, ball, etc. and each player is given a number of sensors. These trackers and sensors send out live data, which is analyzed in real time. One of the advantages of using data analytics is in helping reduce the risk of player injuries. The data points collected from these sessions and matches are analyzed and using these it is possible to reduce the risk of player injuries due to overload in training, etc. It is also used to help players address their weaknesses.

Apart from the above examples, data analytics is used to scout players, study opponents, analyze the season’s performance, examine players’ work rate and for many more practical applications. Betting companies also use analytics to derive the odds and predict match results. Companies like Prozone, SAP, Opta, and Kizanaro are a few that develop mapping software.

Getting mobile and social

In today’s digital age, social media and mobility too has its fair share in the future of this beautiful game. They provide the perfect platform for football clubs to reach out to their fans, keep them updated with all the latest news, match day programs, get constant feedback from fans among others. All teams have their official pages on all social networking sites giving constant updates. Match days see a lot of buzz in social media right from live match updates to posting selfies by both fans and players alike.

It’s amazing how technology binds things together and helps us get multiple perspectives of the game. Do the geeks at Aditi have anything more to add in to this? If yes, we would love to hear from you.

Below are a few things that might interest our geeky football fans:

World Cup in the Social Media:

  • More than 261,026 tweets for Pepe’s red card
  • 2 million tweets for WC opener between Brazil and Croatia
  • 1,967,657 tweets mentioning Mexico goalie Ochoa during the Brazil vs. Mexico match
  • More than 2.1 billion searches on Google related to World Cup
  • 6 million tweets, during the semifinal between Brazil & Germany – The single most discussed game ever on Twitter
  • Overall a record of 672 million tweets during the tournament
  • 6,18,715 tweets/minute during the final
  • More than 3 billion interactions on Facebook during the course of the tournament

By Pradeep Narendran

 

The essentials for building a great brand

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A brand is defined as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” – American Marketing Association (AMA).

Going by this definition, building a brand is all about creating brand recall and building a positive perception of a company, the products and services in the minds of people via attributes mentioned in the definition of “brand”. When we think of famous brands like Coca-Cola or Mc Donald’s, what comes to mind is our feelings associated with the brand. So, it is very important to make sure that customers have positive feelings associated with a brand at any stage, be it during product research or purchase or post sales.

Now, let us try to understand how to achieve brand recall. There are 3 key aspects of brand building in the Internet age – positive online presence, good customer service and differentiated products.

Thanks to the evolution of the internet and online information on the product and its reviews, customers are no longer fooled by television commercials. So, companies need to work towards having good brand reviews of products and services on the web. The more a company invests in doing this, the more successful it will be in making higher profit margins. Employee branding and a good work culture also contribute to the company reputation. So, it is safe to say that “Internal employee satisfaction is a reflection of external customer satisfaction.” Ultimately, every feedback and every comment matters if a brand wants to achieve the top spot.

Other than the regular means of brand building until purchase stage, we must work on customer satisfaction post purchase. Gone are those days when the payment for a product or service was considered to be the end of a sale. Now, companies must focus more on providing great post purchase service to the customer. Social Media channels like Twitter are good means of being in touch with happy customers and sorting out issues with disgruntled customers on a daily basis.

Compared to before, customers in the current generation consider it a matter of privilege to be associated with a good brand. For example, owning brands like Apple and Nike induce a feeling of pride and satisfaction among the customers, thanks to their cutting edge/ world class product designs and promotional strategies. So to say, brands must work on creating a unique experience of products and services for its customers by investing heavily in R&D of its products and services.

Another factor that is important in building a brand and retaining customers is introducing loyalty programs/ discounts /prizes to keep the loyal customer glued to your brand for as long as possible.

Once all these above factors have been taken care of, another thing a company must focus on is, the kind of celebrities associated with the brand as they make or break the brand. For example, Tiger Woods was associated with Accenture, as he was considered a celebrity with a huge fan following, until an unfortunate event in his life, changed that perception.  In such a situation, a brand would immediately want to break the contract with such a celebrity to save itself from brand damage.

Overall, a brand must focus on each and every aspect of a customer lifecycle in order to build a sustainable brand over a period of time.

If you have any views on building a brand, please share them on the comments below.

 

 

The power of customer experience to shape brand perceptions

 

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Scene #1

One fine morning, when I was going through the daily chore of checking my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a post by one of my friends about her delightful experience with a particular cab service provider. She had written how she had left her cellphone in the cab and the driver came back to return it in the evening. More than a 100 people had liked the post and a few commented about their similar experiences with this company. A couple of other folks also joked about her phone being an old featured phone model which nobody would want to keep.

Scene #2

I was travelling by bus and a lady sitting in front of me made a call to the customer service department of a leading e-commerce company in India. She got through to a representative and described the product she bought online a few days back. She explained the hardware problem she had found with the newly bought phone.

The executive, I guess, suggested she go through the user manual, installation guide etc. and offered to try and resolve the issue over the call. She got a bit irritated since she had already mentioned that it was a hardware issue, which would presumably be impossible to resolve over a call. Although it didn’t go into shouting and screaming since she was in a public bus, her agitation could be felt easily by all the fellow passengers. I could sense the lack of empathy and bad quality of solution provided by the executive.

The problem was finally resolved when the call was transferred to the manager, who agreed to pick up the product from her address and give her a full refund. She explained to the manager how she had always been shopping from this ecommerce giant and had liked the experience overall; but this particular purchase which was worth thousands of rupees had shattered her faith in the company.

What I learned from these stories

It’s quite clear what happened in the above two cases. In today’s world, the customer holds the power of making or breaking a brand in the true sense. It’s an era where the customer is the marketer! I am sure more than a hundred people who liked the post, including me, about the cab service provider company, would have more faith in that brand now. Whereas, the poor experience passed on by the online shopping giant would be shared with more friends, colleagues and relatives and some of them might hesitate to go ahead with such purchases, even though their past experiences have been good.

We, as humans, give a great deal of importance to empathy and emotions. Even if we don’t know someone personally, we somehow feel connected to their experiences. Sometime, somewhere, we have gone through it too.

However, we should not forget that an experience is always a perceived one. It totally depends on how an individual feels about the experience. An experience can be overwhelming for somebody but maybe not so intriguing for others at the same time. A lot of this perception depends on our expectations as a customer.

In conclusion, we can say that the need of this hour is to identify your customers as individuals, understand their expectations, segment them and treat them in such a way that they become promoters of your brand. Word of mouth indeed travels far and fast!

 By Sona Todi

 

 

 

Stop guessing! Decipher your customer’s intent with touch point analysis

96% of unhappy cucustomer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-thumbnailstomers don’t complain and 91% of those will simply leave and never come back.

For businesses to create deeper, meaningful and empathetic customer connect,  it is indispensable to experience their brands as their consumers do to determine every possible way to make the product or service experience better, more pleasant, more human, and more productive.This is possible only when every brand carefully analyzes every touch point throughout the customer journey – before, during, and after purchase.

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Today’s customers are more demanding and less forgiving than ever before.

Getting the Touch-Point Analysis Right. First Time. Every Time.

Any organization that performs touch-point analysis with utmost care, can uncover powerful customer insights as well as opportunities to improve how well customer-segment needs and wants can be met.

Establishing a Cause and Effect Relationship between Each of the Customer Actions

Human experience is complex, and mostly intangible. Several companies that do touch-point mapping exceptionally well, establish a cause and effect relationship between all the customer actions to arrive at a deep and meaningful understanding of each engagement.

Piecing together the bigger picture of why and how customers are interacting at various touch-points can help in delivering a predictive and proactive experience. The questions listed below can drive meaningful insights about customer behavior at each touch point.

Context and Device

What are the devices used for engaging with the brand and how best can you leverage all the contextual data gathered by the device, such as time and location?

Engagement channel

Which is the actual site or media through which the customer first engaged? (Email/Social/Website/Paid Ad/SMS)

Touch-point sequence

How did the customer progress through the buying journey? What and where did the customer stop before and after engaging at each touch point?

Content consumed / action taken

What are the various content viewed/clicked/downloaded by the customer?

Time elapsed between each engagement

What is the time frame of each engagement, and the time elapsed between each activity and between activity and inactivity?

Finally, spot the touch-point that can trigger emotional connect.

Touch points with high volumes of customer interaction and those that can evoke strong emotions in customers turn into loyal advocates and will be ever willing to spend with the brand even if meaningful and available alternatives are presented.

Here are a few examples of the brands that have capitalized on this very fact to create a steadfast advantage over the competition.

Case In Point

PayPal’s Customer Effort Score

In the E-commerce industry, reducing customer friction is extremely important. Every extra second the website takes to load, costs you a customer. Reports suggests that even just a 1 second delay in page load time could reduce conversions by 7%. If that increases to 2 seconds, you’re looking at an abandonment rate of 40%.

PayPal was one of the early players to realize and act on optimizing this particular customer touch point. And the result? Well, a $2 billion increase in transactions. Now that’s quite a big win!

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Starbucks

So, how is Starbucks keeping pace with competition even now? Simple, personalization at every touch point and their ability to cater to each individual customer as a segment on its own. The “My Starbucks Rewards” and the loyalty mobile apps was a great step towards customer delight.

By optimizing the mobile touch point with a killer mobile app, Starbucks saw a whopping 4 million dollar mobile payments every week. customer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-starbucks1         customer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-starbucks2  Tesco’s Social media strategy to show they care

Tesco like any other retail giant, has a myriad of touch points. Tesco has always been right by their customer’s side to assist them at every step.

The most remarkable is Tesco’s efficient use of Twitter as a customer service channel. Tesco uses Twitter really well for social customer service. Tesco is able to build a stronger relationship with customers by connecting at a personal level by adding a bit of humor to every interaction. customer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-tescoThese are just a few example of impactful touch point experiences.

Have you been overwhelmed recently by any such experiences? Share it in the comments below.
By Mohan Krishnaraj

5 Key Business Functions Social Media Can Enhance

Fact: ‘72.6% of salespeople who use social media outperform their colleagues who aren’t using it.’

There is no denying the fact that social media, if done right, can do wonders for a business. Most organizations depend on some kind of funding or revenue. They have to keep either customers or stakeholders or both happy. Social media can help satisfy these needs. Let’s get into the specifics of which business functions can be amplified with social media.

Sales

Like all other communication channels, social media can help drive sales revenue. When it comes to leveraging social media to increase sales for an organization, acquiring net new customers via social channels and converting them via social engagement are two basic ways of driving sales. If you try to be creative enough, you can also leverage social media to increase the number and frequency of customer transactions in addition to increasing the yield (buy rate) of customer transactions.

You can also increase sales by amplifying the reach of the marketing campaigns.

EXAMPLE:

You want to increase sales of your newly launched perfume. You create an ad campaign for it, with PR and other marketing and promotional collaterals. 10 years ago, this would mean TV, radio, print, billboards, events, dealer incentives, point of purchase displays, and trade reviews. It is still relevant today, except that media environment is richer today. Television ads and other videos have huge audience on YouTube. Blogs can enhance the relevance and depth of content around the new perfume. Facebook presence can be leveraged to promote discussions, publish videos and articles, schedule events, launch contests and distribute offers.

Companies can also promote special sales and offers directly through social platforms without being too pushy!

Customer Support

Today brands are at an advantage since most of the conversations and mentions of a company or brand happen openly out there on social. It implies that your customer support department can easily monitor on what is being talked and how the public opinion of your brand is faring. A brand now has the power to spot trouble, help the customers in need and immediately sort out the issues. It all depends on the brand whether to make or mar its reputation in front of the customers.

Human Resources

You can either sift through piles of resumes or hire through trusted networks of peers, colleagues and friends. You can either take your chances on strangers or trust someone you know has your best interest in mind to recommend only qualified applicants they think will be a good fit.

I am sure it’s easy to make a choice here. 🙂

Public Relations

Social media has direct and immediate impact on the way your business is perceived in public. The ability to monitor online mentions of a company name or particular product or service gives companies the opportunity to respond to negative attitudes, invalidate false humor and separate myth from fact.

This practice is commonly called as ‘online reputation management’ or ‘digital reputation management’.

Business Intelligence

Everything in social media is easy to monitor and searchable. Access to Business Intelligence is now cheaper, faster and richer.  From keyword searches to analysis covering share of voice, sentiment, and volume of mentions, the amount of actionable information a company can capture on the social web is mind blowing!

Social media is one of the most important areas of focus when it comes to social media integration for organizations. It’s the first area a brand should look into.

Get your social stuff going then!

By: Prerna Singh

Paid Search Ads vs. Paid Social Ads

If you are spending any part of your marketing budget on advertising online you should currently be in a dilemma about what baskets to put your eggs in. For a long time the formula was simple: buying media meant search and content networks and a few variations of the same. But then, along came social networking that supplied a new channel of ads to invest in. It’s not an obvious comparison and you should be paying attention to a few factors while considering the two. For the sake of convenience, let’s represent search using Google as an example and Social using Facebook (because most other social networks do not have an evolved ad platform just yet). Continue reading

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) – Benefits and Best-Practices

CRO is now seen as an important tool intended to significantly improve the effectiveness of your online efforts.

So what is CRO?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a unique and fresh approach to online marketing. While online marketing efforts (SEO, Paid Search) focus on traffic generation and new visitors to the website, CRO is solely focused on traffic monetization: getting the most value out of the users already visiting your site.

CRO becomes important for e-commerce websites with low conversion rates. Opting for CRO could increase conversions by up to 300%. CRO is seen as a direct measure to achieve business objectives. The ultimate goal of conversion optimization is to make every visitor count.

The benefits of CRO include:

• Convert website visitors into customers
• Establish a stronger, more- engaged user base
• Improve user experience
• Increase revenue and profits
• Generate more repeat business
• Continuous optimization

Having listed the benefits of CRO, it is equally important to know how it can be achieved and what the best- practices are for the same. CRO is based on the concept of understanding consumer behavior and delivering them the right results.

The key pillars include:

• Responsive web design
• Ease of navigation
• Use of language
• Content placement
• Strong call-to-actions
• Better engagement and user interaction

After all of the time and investment put into your website and other marketing assets, it makes it even that much more important to improve customer acquisition and conversion. CRO is a great tool to add to the mix.

CRO makes sense because your profit margin is directly tied to your conversion rate!

-Chetan Rajashekharaiah
Interactive Media Manager

Inspiration From: Soubhagya Mohakud – Program Manager Aditi Litehouse

Influencing the Influencers

When we talk about identifying influencers on social media, there is a tendency to look at the big picture: ranking by celebrity or industry status, by traffic, by number of followers, by number of comments, etc.  There are, however, several nuanced areas that need to be considered. Some of these may seem obvious, but are often ignored or poorly implemented.  Successfully engaging and working with influencers requires equal parts research, PR skills, psychology and common sense.

What follows are several steps that should not be overlooked when developing a relationship with influencers.  Considering one or more of these might just help you avoid some common communications pitfalls.

POV of the Influencer:

Influencers come in many degrees of positive, neutral and negative.  It is important to establish where your influencers fall.  Once objectively rated, the next step is to develop an intelligent plan to address each, strengthen the positive, shift neutral to positive and the negative to neutral.  The consideration should be how to best approach or “influence” the influencers.  Don’t just rush to contact, as some influencers may be open to it, but in some cases it can backfire.  It is important to know who they are and what they are saying about you and your competition, even if contact is not advised.

In a sense, it’s like hiring an employee or a spokesperson. Your reputation with an influencer’s audience is proportional to the audience’s respect for said Influencer.  This is where credibility is more important than impressive site traffic or celebrity status.

POV of the Company:

You need to fully understand the dynamics within the company you are representing.   Your social media engagement team may have covered all the bases from an influencer contact perspective. However, if the company doesn’t have a cohesive communications plan and policy, a rogue comment or post can undo any relationship.

Damage Control

Influencer marketing should be joined at the hip with your company’s PR efforts to ensure consistency of the message and to develop a damage control strategy that can be implemented quickly. Often times, this is not the case, leading to conflicting and expensive “issues and crises” management.

Ongoing Reputation Monitoring:

Many, if not most, influencers are not contractually tied to those entities they influence.  An influencer who is not regularly monitored can do a lot of damage if his/her position suddenly shifts.  Be cautious of individual temperament and do some checking. Try to build a trusting relationship if you are actively courting an influencer. Even influencers with the best intentions might inadvertently publish false or damaging information.  If you invest time, effort and budget to engage influencers, invest in accurate monitoring.

Don’t Deceive:

As was the case with the Whole Foods CEO’s fake postings a few years ago, deceptions are uncovered and the consequences usually outweigh the benefits.  Be truthful if you are engaging on behalf of another person, company, or client. When BP tried to assuage the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, they posted a picture of their central damage control room. Almost immediately, the Internet was buzzing with graphic experts who pointed out that several of the computer screens appearing in the control room photo had manipulated images on them.  Again, an unnecessarily damaging issue arose due to carelessness and a lack of common sense.

Out of the Box Influencers:

There may be a potential influencer just sitting out there.  An example:  Several years ago, a major manufacturer of breakfast cereals created a TV commercial featuring a man who builds birdhouses. I did an analysis of online comments and found a young country singer who had a passion for birdhouses and was repeatedly tweeting positive comments about the commercial and the product.  No one at the manufacturer, ad agency or digital agency had heard of her, yet she had over 700,000 twitter followers, many of whom re-tweeted or commented positively on her posts.  There’s a great opportunity to engage with an audience that will never be identified if not for accurate monitoring.

Don’t Overestimate Your Client’s Knowledge of Influencers:

As the above story indicates, even sophisticated marketers miss good opportunities because they are looking in the wrong places or just not considering creative options.

I worked at an ad agency (in the years leading up to online marketing) where we used a term, “The Backyard Fence Syndrome”.  We would spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars launching an advertising campaign for a new client. A consumer would be exposed to TV ads, radio, print, direct mail, promotions, etc.  We’d spend so much time and effort to establish our product on the consumer’s consideration set.  Then, one comment by a neighbor over the backyard fence about how his “brother-in-law bought one and it was a lemon” and our potential buyer was lost.  Today, that backyard conversation has gone global. The difference is you have the ability to manage it.  Do so wisely.

Scott Marticke

Director – East

An Introduction to Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing Trends 2012

Influencer marketing is an emerging technique where the focus is on specific individuals, or types of individuals, rather than on the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.

It’s hard to ignore the buzz around social media marketing today. It has become one of the easiest ways to engage with your target audience. One of the most effective ways to drive social media engagement and start seeing results quickly is to have an Influencer Marketing plan in place. A successful plan starts with identifying your influencers, is followed by interaction and engagement with those influencers, and continually provides value to them in order to build a relationship that will in turn benefit you and your brand.

Malcolm Gladwell, a social scientist and author of The Tipping Point, states that, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.” He defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” Gladwell also discusses “The Law of the Few,” which states, “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” In most situations, the majority of the work is done by a small percentage of the participants. Similar to how “early adopters” drive adoption of a new product or technology into the marketplace, social influencers can also drive significant impact to a broader audience.

There are several things to consider when identifying your influencers:

Relevance:

Who is interested in your brand? How often does their audience look to them for recommendations and content related to your industry? Keep in mind that people typically follow or engage with brands/social communities that they find an interest in. Focusing on what people are interested in and what they actively share or talk about will uncover the influencers that will appreciate your brand and are most likely to advocate it.

Reach:

How many people does this person or organization actually reach? Even if the person has a large following on their social channels, it’s not necessarily an indicator of whether their audience will like your brand or pay attention to your message. This can become a bit of a numbers game, but if done right, it’s more efficient to target one person who has the potential to influence 1,000 people rather than targeting 1,000 people separately.

Relationships:

Who follows your prospective influencer and who does that influencer then follow? The reason we “subscribe” to people is because we’re interested in them or their content. As a savvy marketer, the first thing to keep in mind is to always think about what motivates people and why. Take this example: If I’m looking to buy a car, I’d likely refer to a friend or even a popular blog to get car buying tips and advice. If this trusted friend or blogger referenced your product/company in their posting, I’m more likely to consider your product/company when making a purchase.

Now that I have covered how to recognize the influencer, I encourage you to discover the top five influencers in your industry that you can start engaging with to effectively drive your social marketing reach.

-Andy Karuza
Social Media Specialist