The future of retail with Hello Soda

The Future of Retail: Our Round Up

It’s been a few weeks since we held our panel discussion around The Future of Retail. We had an incredible line up of panelists, including Hannah Anderson, Director of Social & Creative at Media Chain and Founder of The Pud Store, Frances Bishop. A huge thank you to all eight panelists for joining us and making the event as fantastic as it was!

Here’s what we took away from the event.

The Future of Retail Marketing

The Future of Retail Marketing

In this day and age generalised blanket messaging results in low engagement and click-throughs, gone are the days of competing with price reductions and seasonal, overly generalised coupons and offers. It is now simply expected by customers that promotional tactics such as email marketing are not only relevant, but personalised.

We’re going to Money20/20 Europe

Following the success and fun we had at this year’s events, including ICE Totally Gaming and SXSW, we can finally announce that Hello Soda will be exhibiting at Money20/20 Europe for the first time!

Hello Soda will be present throughout the event in Amsterdam – you will be able to find us at Stand L45 from Monday 4th June through to Wednesday 6th June. Pop by to find out more about how your company could benefit from the ID and Personalisation big data solutions that we have to offer.

Three of our big data specialists will be attending the event from our Manchester HQ and would love the chance to catch up with other businesses.

The future of money

We’re excited to hear talks on payments, artificial intelligence and data analytics – all areas that we’re experts in. Let’s catch up while we’re there and build the future of money together.

Our diaries are filling up quickly, so get in touch now to booking a meeting with the team, or simply pop down to our stand for a quick chat.

We look forward to seeing you there!


2 steps to better ad engagement

When it comes to understanding your consumers, there are many factors to consider.

Regardless of demographics, a consumer’s interests and personality type can determine how they are likely to react to certain products, services, and types of messaging, and – most importantly – whether are likely to engage with the content that you are presenting them with.

Every individual is different and blanket messaging results in low engagement and click-through rates. While it may appear cheaper to spend less time on segmenting your audience and developing your content, it actually is counter-productive in getting results due to consumers becoming frustrated when presented with irrelevant marketing – many admit that they are less likely to purchase from a brand that continually market to them in this way. (get stat)

Let’s go through the process of increasing engagement without increasing spend by creating hyper-targeted ads.

Step 1 – Get to know your audience

There’s very little to gain by segmenting audiences demographically anymore. Perhaps you could get away with this minimalist approach a few years ago when personalisation wasn’t so rife but these days, consumers expect more so – to garner their attention – you have to give more.

The factors to consider when segmenting audiences are seemingly limitless, think beyond age, gender and where they live (you can obviously factor these in too) towards interests, hobbies, personality, frequent locations and much more.

When we say ‘interests’, we don’t just mean are they interested in yoga for example, we mean are they fanatical about Bikram yoga, are they a potential customer (frequent class attendee or beginner), or are they an influencer (perhaps a popular yoga teacher with a mass following.)?

Now you have the ‘what’, consider the ‘how’. How would these consumers respond to your messaging and how can you tailor your approach for maximum engagement? Segmenting by personality type can allow you to determine who will respond to messaging emphasising socialising and who would prefer informational ads over aesthetic ones.

There are services out there that do this hard work for you – all you need to say is the kind of audience you want and the type of product or service you are marketing and boom you can get the hyper-targeted audience that will deliver a much higher engagement rate at a lower cost-per-click than our typical campaign based on keywords.

Step 2: Create your content

Now you have your audiences, you need to tailor your content to each persona. Whether you’ve settled on 3 audiences or 10, relevant content for each is crucial to the success of your campaign.

Let’s use the example of a kitchen-wear retailer. You want to know what product to present and how to present it. Consumers living in a city centre flat, interested in artisan coffee and vegan, gluten-free cooking probably won’t respond to an ad in the same way that consumers with large families living in the countryside with more interest in convenience.

With this advanced insight you can market a vegetable spiralizer to the first audience with emphasis on health benefits and playing on the trend and a slow-cooker to the second audience with content highlighting the convenience of cooking multiple portions in one pot and allowing it to cook while you go about your day.

There you go. Make these two steps part of your targeted marketing process and watch your engagement increase…


Give your consumers a taste of what they want

Have you ever wanted to know when your customers dine out, what cuisines they like, or who they’re likely to go out with? All of this data is like a goldmine waiting to be discovered in their digital footprint. Below I am going to discuss a few ways you can leverage this data to adapt your customer communications for optimised timing and content to maximise your marketing ROI.

Today’s abundance of promotions and offers are driving 31%* of individuals to dine out at least once a week, but how can you tailor your marketing to make sure that they want to dine at your establishment, or order from your delivery service?

Know when your customers dine out

A huge 79%* of adults have dined out for their birthday, with a further 67%* doing so for a partner’s birthday, 61%* for a trip to the cinema, 47%* for a child’s birthday, and 28%* for a trip to a sporting event. Connecting to your consumers’ digital footprints with advanced text analytics tools can give you the insights that you need to predict when these occasions occur including real-time alerts for life events such as anniversaries, graduations, and birthdays.

Make their day

Payday is one of the prime times that people go out for food, with 18%* of consumers marking the date with a meal out. Predicting this key date in your customers’ diaries can accurately enable you to determine when they are likely to go out for a meal and time your marketing or offers for optimum engagement. As well as many other meaningful insights, with PROFILE’s advanced text analytics techniques, you can identify date of pay of your connected consumers and leverage this insight to maximise ROI. 

A social activity

Dining out is rarely a solo activity. With PROFILE you can identify who they interact with the most and predict who they would be likely to share your offers with. As well as this, you can also identify their social influence levels and target offers based on who has the most reach (after all, one in two consumers give recommendations to their peers and what better way to boost brand awareness than through a friendly recommendation?) 

Give your customers a taste of what they want

It’s not enough to just predict when your customers want to treat themselves, fending off the competition and ensuring that your establishment is the most tantalising option can be tricky. This is where interests and preferences come into play. Research from American Express has found that 34%* of 18-34-year-olds will go out of their way to used a customised offer. With PROFILE, you can identify their frequent and recent locations, their specific interests (for example if they love football and their favourite team is Manchester United, you could send an offer for when you’re showing the match), their favourite cuisines (so you can tailor marketing to make their mouth water), and even their dietary requirements (are they vegan?)

Each piece of insight available at your fingertips can be used to build a better, more complete picture of your consumers and tailor your marketing to drastically improve engagement and ROI.

Get in touch to book a demo or find out more




The value of customer loyalty and how to increase it

How to increase customer loyalty by leveraging consumer digital footprints to personalise offers

A Lack of Loyalty

The big issue with benefiting from the increased value of loyal customers is that, in today’s digital society, consumers are overwhelmed with options meaning that you have to do something different in order to win them over in such a competitive market.

One frustration is an inconsistent experience, with 7 in every 10 connected consumers feeling negatively toward brands that fail to deliver consistent user experiences, and 10% say these inconsistencies will make them stop interacting with a brand altogether.

How to increase customer loyalty

Although 57% of consumers are happy to share their personal data with trusted brands, 50% stated that they did not feel like they were benefiting from sharing this and expressed frustration in the lack of personalisation. With 89% saying that they would be more loyal to retailers offering benefits that they want the most, a clear way to boost loyalty is to use this additional insight wisely rather than continue to lose custom with the same generic marketing efforts.

By connecting to your consumers’ digital footprints (and with the right big data analytics tools) you can gain real-time actionable insights into aspects of their behaviour, personality and lifestyle that indicate their wants and needs so that you can customise communications and offers accordingly.

An individual’s online footprint holds a wealth of data which can be analysed to reveal key interests and hobbies, life events such as graduations or anniversaries, socio-demographic information like what family members they have and their age, recent and frequent locations, and even personality type. All of these can be utilised in the personalisation process, for example rewards timed to key life events and occasions, offers on products they’re more likely to be interested in, or even communications tailored to their personality. A study by Disney Research found that personality type can be used to predict the type of images that people prefer, meaning that marketers can use insights into consumer personality to tailor their visual advertisements to be optimised for maximum engagement.

The magic of loyalty schemes

Nine out of every 10 consumers say they want loyalty programmes, however only 11% currently offer personalised rewards. Considering that over half would give up on a loyalty scheme because the offers were irrelevant to them, it’s time to re-think your rewards and incentives and use the valuable insights mentioned above to earn your customers’ loyalty with rewards to suit them. Making offers more relevant to each individual has been shown to positively impacts revenue, with over 36% of consumers purchasing from that brand again.

The true icing on the cake is that, not only do loyal customers give your revenue a boost with their repeat custom, they can also increase your reach with valuable brand evangelism (an organic word-of-mouth form of marketing.) When offers are personalised based on individual interests and lifestyle, 27% go on to recommend the brand to family and friends, in turn helping to increase your customer base.

PROFILE Personalisation delivers unique, real-time insights into your customers’:

  • Interests & hobbies
  • Life events
  • Location
  • Socio-demographic data
  • Personality

and more so that you can truly personalise communications, offers, and rewards to earn loyalty, boost reach, and in turn significantly increase revenue.

How to increase re-purchase rates with interest-based audience segmentation

Imagine being able to discover all of your customers’ likes and interests. Not only that but what brands they are talking about, what celebrities they discuss, and even how they feel about certain topics or companies, all by inputting just one unique identifier. Here’s how to increase re-purchase rates with interest-based audience segmentation.

With Discovery, you can identify in-depth interests and likes, personality, and sentiment for better targeted marketing including:

  • what to offer
  • how to tailor messaging
  • when to contact
  • which contact method to use

for maximum engagement. For example, you can find out that this person really likes sports, that they are particularly passionate about football and they support the Texas Longhorns. So instead of a generic social ad or email campaign, with Discovery you can tailor these to specific factors and – as a result – massively boost click-through-rates.

Say you are a major mobile phone company, you can identify which of your prospective customers use Apple, which of them feel negative about this, identify whether they are passionate about photography or music, and discover their favourite band or artist. You can then utilize these insights to tailor offers as to precisely why they should (and why they actually want to) move to your brand instead.

While standard social listening tools identify trends and hot topics – and can flag mentions of your brand or competitors – Discovery holds capabilities which go far beyond this, delivering real-time advanced breakdowns of interests, likes and personality (including sentiment) in a format that can easily be integrated with your existing CRM for more effective marketing.

You can gain these actionable insights through inputting any one unique identifier for each consumer that you look up (such as an email address or social media handle) in batch form for easy, more in-depth segmentation and more accurate targeting to maximize engagement and ROI.

Discovery uses this initial input as a jumping off point, and traverses from one piece of publicly-available data to another to thread together a detailed image of the individual consumer, all in real-time. We call this the ‘Hop-Hop’ method.

Personalizing marketing based on individual insights like interests has positive impacts on revenue, with 39% going out of their way to use a customized offer, 36% of consumers purchasing from that brand again, and 27% recommending it to their social circle

Turn the list of email addresses or Twitter handles into a plethora of detail with minimal effort so that you can segment your audience by specific or combined interests, what celebrities they follow, what their favorite band or football team is, or even by personality type so that your email campaigns or social advertising will be always be relevant to each individual recipient.

Discover more, with Discovery



The travel data goldmine

Holidaymakers and travellers alike are leaving huge data trails in their wake. Whenever a destination is researched, a trip booked, a place visited or comments and reviews left online, insightful travel data is being created. Travel companies have cottoned on to this and are now utilising big data to their advantage. The challenge lies in deciphering this unstructured data to determine relevant insights that have the potential to boost revenue. Like a goldmine, the raw materials for these insights already exist, and travel companies now need to drill down in order to extract and apply them.

Times have changed

Big data analysis lends itself particularly well to the travel sector. Smartphones are ubiquitous amongst millennials, who are now the largest generation in history and constantly connected. This combination makes for incredible volumes of data production and the data insights that can be gleaned from one aspect (such as geo-tagging) alone are vast.

“Bored of the same old French Ski resort? Excitement isn’t far away – get 10% off a 2 night stay in Grenoble Ski Resort if you book before Friday”

It should come as no surprise that fewer people are heading into a high street travel agent in person to discuss their travel options. The global online travel industry was responsible for a staggering $498 billion of revenue in 2015. The percentage of adults who purchased travel arrangements and accommodation online was almost 40% in 2014. The rise of online travel websites and platforms has brought convenience to consumers, as well as greater choice and the ability to make quick and easy comparisons. By extension, this has granted more power to consumers but also results in more effort being required on their part. And without the human element within the buying cycle (eg. a travel agent who can make suggestions based on your likes, interests and requirements) the dilemma that online travel companies now face is how to establish a customer’s perfect holiday and to suggest it to them before they’ve even opened Google.

The holy grail of personalisation

True personalisation to the consumer’s wants and needs brings with it greater customer loyalty. In the current comparison-driven market, building brand loyalty has become a greater focus than ever before. 46% of travellers stick to using just two or three different websites when making a purchase online. And whilst 34% agree that online travel companies have nailed down the basics of search and shopping, more than half (53%) think that they can do more to improve.

With the aid of the right tools, big data can allow travel companies to be proactive rather than reactive to their customer’s wants and needs, and the personalisation of travel offers and services is becoming a hallmark of good customer service­­­­. Tailoring how you market your business’s goods or services to particular interests and needs is the key to obtaining the best conversion rates and ROI and – while traditional data sources can segment audiences by factors such as age and gender – in an ever connected world, this data quickly becomes outdated.

Using advanced text analytics, our flagship software solution PROFILE establishes a person’s likes and interests with astonishing accuracy. Utilising this technology opens up a wealth of marketing possibilities, and – in a busy marketplace – this can provide online travel companies with a much needed edge over the competition. The same technology also enables you to establish a customer’s personality traits, allowing you to make more informed decisions about how you promote or advertise your carefully tailored offer.

PROFILE uses the scientifically-backed Big Five method of scoring an individual’s personality. For instance, an individual who scores highly in conscientiousness is much more likely to respond better to comparative adverts which show how one deal compares to another. Perhaps they score highly in agreeableness, in which case the emphasis of your campaign should focus on the enjoyment and feelings that the consumer is likely to experience. Unique insights including these can empower your marketing campaigns by enabling you to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, boost customer loyalty, and in turn uplift revenue.

Why wait until everyone else does it first? Get in touch to book a demo and revolutionise your marketing with PROFILE Personalisation.


How to leverage big data to improve customer experience

Enticing new customers and understanding existing ones in order to encourage brand loyalty is essential in every sector, and has arguably never been more important than it is today. Consumers are saturated with marketing when it comes to products and services of all types, and the financial services industry is no different.

Fintech start-ups have been appearing at an increasingly rapid rate, leaving consumers with plenty of options for lending, insurance, banking, and much more – rather than having to rely on the handful of traditional players.

With so much choice, differentiation is key in order to win new business. One reason for the popularity of many fintech providers, including online banks and lenders, is their seamless user journey. From using a smartphone to make contactless payments and being able to chat to an expert on demand, modern consumers demand quick and easy access to services they require. Too many steps before a payment, too many details to input into a form or a complicated user interface can each prevent a customer from using a service or completing a payment. Word travels fast in the digital age, and if a fintech company can make the customer’s life easy, it is bound to be popular.

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