SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

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Insights 2012, a new annual report that examines the key marketing trends and digital technologies that will impact businesses in the year ahead. Through a combination of proprietary research and commentary, SapientNitro subject matter experts present their global perspectives and recommendations on how business leaders can successfully embrace the challenges posed by today’s complex business environment.

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Page 1: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business
Page 2: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

Table of Contents

Mobile 47 Context — The New Gold of the Mobile Industry

Torsten Schollmayer

51 Could Mobile Lead Your Customer Experience?Paul Bevan

Technology54 Digital Marketing Platforms: Taking Back Control

Dan Barnicle

57 After the Release: Maximizing Value From Your Commerce Platform Investment Sheldon Monteiro

61 Platforms in the Cloud: Deciding to Use or OwnScott Petry


North america: Justin Barkhuizen, Rob Murrayaustralia: Mark KrebsChina: Jennifer TanSingapore: Jue LuIndia: Vidhya Sankarnarayanrussia: Yulia RubinaMiddle east: Matt HorobinGermany: Torsten Schollmayer uk: Paul Bevan, Chad Cribbins

85 foreSIGHT: THe oNe To fIVe Year TreND ouTlookRob Gonda, Hilding Anderson

94 NoTe froM THe eDITorHilding Anderson

3 MarkeTING aT THe INTerSeCTIoN of CoMMuNICaTIoNS aND CoMMerCeAlan Herrick

5 MoBIle MoMeNTSHilding Anderson, Rachel Zinser

19 VIewSIGHTMarketing and Media

21 What’s New in Digital Nigel Vaz

24 Rise of the Machine — Death of the Media Planner? David D’Alleva

27 The Cross-Channel Challenge: Building Pervasive Information ArchitectureMichael MacLennan

31 Media of the MomentDavid Bradfield

34 Predictions for the Next 5 Years in Retail BankingAlex Sion

Social Media36 Branding Out Loud Without Losing Your Voice:

How to Avoid Social Dilemmas in the Digital Knowledge MarketplaceErik Gottesman

39 If a Tweet Falls in the Forest: Using Listening to Drive Social Media Strategy Annicka Campbell

42 Social Commerce — Beckoning New OpportunitiesChitranjan Sood

45 Is Social Commerce Exempt From ROI? Uwe Tueben

Page 3: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

we live in interesting times.

The way we go about living our lives has been forever transformed by the unceasing march of digitization and deviceproliferation. In the wake of this transformation stands an emboldened, digitally armed consumer who is an opportunity— and therefore — a target. The challenge for brands? Get to that consumer first … and last.

Television’s monopoly is over. The couch is no longer the mainseat of brand impact. And the lines that used to distinguishcommunication from commerce are barely discernible. Moresales are occurring via digital channels but, more importantly,the brand experiences being delivered by those channels areinfluencing the traditional retail shopping pathway. Add the silo-breaking effect of mobility to the equation and you end upwith a $500 billion advertising industry in desperate need of an integrated, seamless solution that blends traditional withdigital, marketing with sales.

Shortly after Sapient acquired Nitro Group, a traditional, brand-led agency, in June 2009, I was often asked why wemade, what many considered, an upside down decision: a digitalshop acquiring a traditional agency. The answer I gave then isthe answer I give today. Because we believe in the intrinsic relationship between brands and the brand experience andthat, ultimately, all communications will become interactive.

Clients ask how they can stay ahead of the curve and navigatechange. For CEOs to achieve these goals it must start by lettinggo of the “above the line, below the line” mindset. There is noline. Brand success hinges on two key capabilities: optimizinginvestments and creating high-impact, integrated customer experiences, which is at the heart of what we, at SapientNitro,call Idea Engineering.

Empowered consumers are dictating when and where they interact with brands. They don’t think in terms of touch points;they see, hear, and feel the collective brand experience, regardless of where or how it’s being delivered. That is why wemust create robust, technology-enabled brand experiences that will allow CMOs and CIOs to get the most out of the multi-functional nature of digital channels.

Experiences like Unilever’s Share Happy, the world’s firstsmile-activated vending machine that was created to help

spread Unilever’s mission to encourage people to share life’ssmall moments of happiness. This “ice-cream truck for the digital age” leveraged facial recognition and 3G technologies tocreate an industry-leading, award-winning brand experience.

Another great example of how technology is liberating the traditional boundaries between marketing and commercechannels is Tesco. To increase its online market share in SouthKorea, the UK’s leading grocery chain developed a mobile appthat allows customers to view and purchase products at virtualstores installed in subways. The campaign reflects some of theearliest examples of how brands can create and satisfy demandin the same environment. As a result of its virtual stores, Tescoincreased online sales by 130% becoming the number one online grocery store.

More and more, clients are turning to SapientNitro to understand how they can evolve to thrive in this new world. This is exactly what SapientNitro was built for, and why our distinctive ability to create brand experiences at the intersectionof multi-channel marketing and multi-channel commerce is sorelevant today.

In the following pages of Insights, SapientNitro subject matterexperts present their perspectives on how business leaders can successfully face the challenges posed by today’s complexbusiness environment. From harnessing the voice of the consumer through social media management and listeningtools to constructing optimal multi-channel experiences usingpervasive information architecture, the cloud, and user content,our authors address a diverse range of market, marketing, anddesign topics.

At SapientNitro, we see the challenges facing our clients andare inspired by the array of opportunities they present for companies to create truly groundbreaking experiences. In thiscomplicated world where connections and capabilities arebeing reinvented, Insights is the ultimate accelerator.

We appreciate your participation, your interest, and your support of SapientNitro, and I wish you all success as you navigate this ever changing, always exciting business world.

Marketing at the Intersection of Communications and Commerce

2012Written by Alan Herrick, President and CEO; Sapient Corporation

we believe in the intrinsic relationship between brands and the brand experienceand that, ultimately, all communicationswill be interactive.

“revolutions never go backwards.”– Wendell Phillips

Page 4: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business


exploring Multi-Channel Mobile experiencesMobile represents the next major frontier for interacting with the digitalworld. Be it the Amazon Kindle, Redbox reservation system, Google Wallet,or M-PESA’s Kenyan experiment, great mobile apps create interlocking connections between the web, kiosks, physical stores, and other platforms.


U.S. and W. Europe Smartphone Sales

Global Tablet Sales


Written by Hilding Anderson, Sr. Manager, Research + Insights; SapientNitro Washington, DC and Rachel Zinser, Associate of Research + Insights; SapientNitro Chicago

2010 2011 2012

Page 5: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

The mobile wallet is an ambitious experience — much morethan just touchless payment with near field communication(NFC) at the point of sale (POS).

Ideally, a mobile wallet will allow mobile devices to store all the elements of a physical wallet digitally. It will includephotos, government-issued IDs, credit card information,cash-equivalents, and loyalty cards. It will use location andpreferences to notify users of nearby brands, sales, anddeals. It will allow payment processing with a simple swipeof the phone.

At the time of this report, there is only one mainstream,full-fledged digital wallet technology in the U.S. The mobilewallet will have profound implications for a variety of applications including:

• Personal financial management and banking• Shopping and product comparison tools• Payment and card services• Promotions and couponing• Loyalty and customer services• Tickets, passes, and event integration

Our research suggests that substantial NFC mobile walletadoption is at least four years off, based on the pace of adoption and the complexities of the service model. As Gartnernoted,1 the biggest challenge isn’t the technology but changing

consumer behavior. In addition, our interviewees emphasizedfive key challenges of implementing a mobile wallet: security,versatility, customization, ease of use, and design.

Google wallet: a brand new platform that holds promiseAs the first mobile wallet solution, the Google Wallet combines tap-and-pay mobile payment, location-based offerdiscovery, integrated loyalty cards, and a digital transactionhistory to create the first true mobile wallet experience.

The mobile professionals polled emphasized Google’sstrong relationships with banks (Citi, Visa, Discover, American Express have all announced partnerships), its in-house mobile phone engineering prowess, and itssubstantial financial resources as key factors.

In our initial testing, we found that tap-and-pay works wellwith the thousands of PayPass devices deployed at major retailers. But more significantly, Google’s SingleTap connectsa purchase to a loyalty or reward card, and can apply couponsduring checkout. Boarding passes, tickets, digital receipts,and other personal transaction information are also core elements. Location-based offers can shape consumer behavior and drive in-store traffic.


The initial Google Wallet rollout is quite limited. It is availableonly in the U.S., only on the Sprint version of the Nexus 4Gphone, only on the Android marketplace, and supporting onlytwo payment types (Citi Mastercard and Google prepaid).

The Google Wallet delivers the first salvo in what promises tobe the next major wave of mobile technology — perhaps themost significant mobile innovation since SMS and broadbandconnectivity. It opens doors for more secure transactions, realtime offers, and a brand new real-time marketplace.

eBay’s PayPal: Peer-to-peer player with opportunitiesA leader in online payments, PayPal has invested heavily inbuilding out its mobile payments platform, although it fallsshort of a true mobile wallet offering. PayPal lacks a mobilephone of its own, reducing its ability to influence future mobile wallets design and implementation. It does alloweasy peer-to-peer mobile bill payment, and mobile webpurchases, but doesn’t integrate with any physical retailstores — yet. Its NFC-based peer-to-peer payment technology is a start of a mobile wallet capability.

As one of our interviewees said, “[PayPal’s] mobile canserve as a unique bridge between the digital and physicalworlds.” Another noted, bluntly, “PayPal will be big.”

Starbucks Mobile application: a widely adopted, in-store payment toolThe Starbucks App doesn’t offer the fullest set of functionalitycompared to Google Wallet or PayPal. It only works with Starbucks stores, and the app was not always intuitive (especially on initial setup).

Yet based on our interviews, it is one of the most influentialmobile wallet applications. It has the key elements of anymobile wallet application: multi-platform, multi-location(over 7,800 locations), multi-payments, and an integrated rewards program.

Ultimately, it is a promising start, which shows the potentialfor the digital wallet, but may be swept away — certainlyfrom this list — when multiple wallet solutions come out.

others of note: Verizon and Payfone, Bling Nation, ISIS, and Apple

NFC and the mobile wallet face a substantial challenge in the U.S.

Internationally, consumers are already using touch-to-pay technology. According to our interviewees, Canadians commonly tap credit cards for payment, while in Japan they’ve been using mobile tap payment technology for years.

Yet in the U.S., our interviewees feel it will take substantial incentives to transition us from a credit card swipe culture to a tap-to-buy technique. Many of our interviewees feel that the key to acceleratingadoption will be loyalty programs, simple and easy-to-use offer redemption and couponing, and real-time offer delivery as promised by Starbucks,Sparkfly, Shopkick, and many others.

1Gartner “Market Trends: Mobile Payment, Worldwide, 2011"

a guide to scoring: We evaluated the strength of each application across three equally-weighted sections.

Companies are now able to — and should strive to —provide a single, cohesive experience in the store, athome, or on the go. These new experiences place thecustomer at the center of a company’s ecosystem of appsand devices, which have the potential to create genuinevalue for both the company and the consumer.

Demonstrating genuine value for consumers is a test for any mobile application. To get past the initial "trialand forget" model of 80% of mobile apps, there must be consistent and repetitive value. even among applications that are commonly used, we still found troubled user experiences. applications such as Google Maps, eBay Mobile, and amazon kindle meet the test. others do not.

we interviewed 23 mobile professionals, conductedheuristic evaluations for each app, and asked our topstrategists to identify the most important, influential offerings in each of the following categories:

• Mobile wallet• In-store mobile• Integrated experiences

(multiple devices or channels)• location-based technology• emerging technology• International experiences

Mobile wallet


Feature Set





1st 3.9 overall

Google wallet


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance


Feature Set





2nd 3.6 overall

eBay’s PayPal


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





3rd 3.3 overall

Starbucks Mobile



Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set







Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

The domestic mobile wallet challenge: Changing consumer behavior

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1st 3.9 overall

Page 6: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

The in-store mobile experience has, as one of our industry interviewees delicately put it, “a great opportunity for improvement.”

We’re seeing glimmers of that future now: integrated bar-code scanners, practical mobile tools, inventory visibility, and location. A few of the best applications serveas a guide while you browse the store. Some of the strongesteven offer concierge services, allowing you to make appointments with sales associates and experts for customservices (think: clothing tailors or personal shoppers).

Core elements of leading branded applications include reviews, ratings, recommendations, cross-sell and up-sell,features comparison, or video. More advanced functions include ordering from the aisle and shipping it directlyhome, or integration with social networks.

With a few exceptions, most in-store mobile applicationsare largely disconnected pilots, apps, and mobile sites withlow adoption (just 20% of smartphone consumers havedownloaded and used their shopping application to receivecoupons, price alerts, and product deals).2 The result: confused consumers and low ROI.

we identified three main issues: • ease-of-use. Getting set up and then using these apps is too difficult, inhibiting adoption. Most require multiplesteps, and require the consumer to remember to activatethe app while in the store. Can a consumer opt-in to abrand on one device and receive those messages whereverthey are in another? Not today. • lack of value. Functionality generally doesn’t showenough value to be compelling. Most apps haven’t quite figured out the right value proposition for users — narrowenough to be easily used by consumers, valuable enough to be regularly used. Promotion and rewards plans are anemic; special offers are not very special. • Integration points. The third issue is weak integrationwith existing processes and back-end technology. Problemsinclude non-imaging POS systems, untrained sales associates,and a lack of integration between the mobile phone, POS, andthe back-end CRM system that should drive the loyalty, personalization, and customization options presented.

Our interviewees believe these in-store mobile experiencesshould be a core, strategic area of investment for many largeconsumer-facing firms. And recent research shows thefirms are responding, with 40% of surveyed online businessmanagers planning on building a mobile-optimized site.3

But, creating a fantastic in-store mobile experience takes along-term commitment. According to a recent Forrester report,60% of all eBusiness managers either do not have a mobilestrategy, or have one that has existed for less than a year.4

While there remains overall room for improvement, we dididentify several examples that show the strong potential ofmobile devices and their use in-store.

apple Store app: Your personal conciergeApple’s application enables users to make purchases, readreviews, reserve products, view in-store events, and scheduleGenius Bar appointments. The in-store mode also lets userssee how many people are in line and estimates wait times.The differentiated value is transparency. This same technique could be applied to any sort of one-on-one service,and could be applied at many different major retailers.

Solid scores across our heuristic evaluation in ease-of-use,feature set, and design round out the product.

Home Depot: Bringing utility to the in-store mobile experienceThe Home Depot application delivers genuine value to itsusers — it's useful and relevant to the consumer whilestill remaining on brand.

Practical tools add value in-store or when preparing toshop: everything from the basics (finding Home Depot locations) to more complex features (using the toolbox'scaliper, tape measure, and converter).

The integrated barcode scanner holds promise of in-storeintegration, but wasn’t working during our testing. However, most online reviewers of this app had no problem with the barcode.

Home Depot has made a substantial investment in the application, and it shows. The interface is well designed and makes goal completion easy and intuitive. Yet even a top in-store experience still has technical glitches and ROI concerns.

Best Buy reward Zone: In-store shopping for technology geeksThe Best Buy Reward Zone app is another full featured application.

In our review, we found that the Best Buy Reward Zone appis a complement to the store and works to infuse the socialcontent from the website into the shopping experience. The most helpful capability within the app is the QR scanfeature, whereby users can surface additional product information like users’ reviews and other nearby Best Buylocations where a product may be available.

It also allows Reward Zone members a quick view into the points that they’ve earned at Best Buy as well as the opportunity to redeem points directly from the phone when

a gift certificate has been earned. It delivers rewards and special offers in-store and allows users to purchase productsdirectly from the app.

Our testers' main disappointment with the experience was the app’s inability to save what the user had looked at.Scanned items are not automatically saved into a history.Also, the manual “save” feature was not functioning correctly when we audited the app.

others of note: Barnes & Noble, Redbox, ShopSavvy, RedLaser, My Coke Rewards, and Shopkick


In-Store Mobile

a fight with your partners: Grocery store chains versus CPG companiesGrocery store chains and CPG companies, long partners, are seeing their relationships evolve in thisnew digital world.

Increasingly, large CPGs and grocery store chains areinvesting in mobile experiences. Yet they’re targeting thesame customers with similar applications. Long-timepartners are becoming competitors over who will own customers' search and discovery methods, developing a parallel system of marketing to traditionalin-store facings.

This is another example of how a mobile and digital world is upsetting existing relationships and business models.

2http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/06/02/one-five-smartphone-owners-use-shopping-apps-survey-finds3Forrester Research “Mobile Channel Strategy: An Overview,” June 2, 20114Ibid


Feature Set





1st 4.0 overall

apple Store app


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





2nd 3.6 overall

Home Depot


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





3rd 3.5 overall

Best Buy reward Zone


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

Page 7: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

Integrated experiences offer the holy grail of our digital future: one device, many channels, and multiple devices,with a single profile.

The ability to seamlessly jump across devices or channelsis the key. Soon, you'll be able to create a wish list on Target’s mobile app while waiting on the train, purchasethose items on your PC at work, and change the shippingaddress on your iPad at home. Your personal informationand ordering data won't change across devices.

Many of the early leaders we’ve found are those facing industry disruption, forcing them to rapidly change. Airlines, books, banking, and car rentals are all facing a

challenge. Other industries like retail have taken a slowerpath to multi-channel.

While many are talking about it, few have mastered themulti-channel consumer journey. Our interviews identifiedseveral best practices for building these journeys:

• Meet the consumer where they are. Provide the rightset of tools — mobile, kiosk, digital display, sales-associate devices — for where and how your consumer wants to engage.

• Think and organize beyond silos. Many business professionals are still thinking in silos, and developing a separate solution for PC, mobile, TV, and social. Organizations should consider the overall experience this creates for their customer, and optimize that experience across organizational boundaries and silos.

• Consider back-end technology. Digital tools are built on top of your existing technology. If you don’t have one view of the consumer, or your technology stack is unstable, it will impact the quality of the offer.

• Support in-store technology. Traditionally, most in-store IT support is focused on the PC platform. Make sure you have a plan to support products when they go down. Do you have the right skills in-house?

• Plan for ongoing upgrades. Just as with any in-store product, you’ll need to have a plan for regular upgrades to new displays, interfaces, and product offerings.

• repurpose content. Make sure you reuse any video or static content created for one channel to others. This benefits the company by reducing rework, and benefits the consumer by creating a single, easier to learn experience.

amazon kindle: one profile, many devicesThe Amazon Kindle is reshaping media consumption. With tremendous scale and a quality product; today, Amazon is selling more eBooks than paper books.

The Kindle suite of products sets a new baseline for multi-device integration (seamless switching across devices). Consumers can read on a mobile phone, review it with a PC, and continue on the tablet at home.

This ability to pass profile and status information betweendevices, and the cloud, is of strategic importance far beyond the Kindle. It represents the future of integrated experiences: multiple specialized devices, while simultaneously making the device irrelevant.

Banking (uSaa): Mobile deposit and banking from homeA pioneer in an industry not known for innovation, USAA’smobile application is a leader in multi-channel experiences.

USAA’s pioneering work allowed consumers to deposit checksfrom their phone for the first time. The mobile app reinforcesits strategic position: as a branchless bank (USAA has only ahandful). Tight integration between the remaining channels:web, mobile, and call center is essential.

The app offers remote check deposit, quick (and secure)mobile login, and accident claim photo submission.

USAA changed expectations of what service from your bankreally means — without investing in thousands of branches.Suddenly, the ROI for mobile becomes clear.

airline kiosks (Delta): Cut-throat competition drives kiosk, mobile innovationThe modern airline experience is a fiasco. With their backsagainst a wall by high fuel prices, cutthroat competition,

and a highly regulated industry, airlines have been forced to aggressively cut costs, particularly in customer service. The Delta Airlines kiosk, mobile, dot-com, and loyalty program integration scored highly. Mobile ticketing andcheck-in highlights the potential of multi-channel integration. Delta’s efforts integrating loyalty programs with other channels (e.g., personal SMS messages to platinum flyers after flight delays) helped put them on top.

Mobile ticketing, combined with enhanced loyalty programs,digital status updates of upgrades, flight delays, seat options,post-flight feedback, and even those apologies due to cancellations or delays become possible through the consumer's channel of choice.

While our evaluation found data integrity issues, and slow performance hampered our ease-of-use score, the promise of an all-mobile ticketing and rewards future is glimpsed.

others of note: Zipcar and Streetcar (UK), Banking (Chase),and Shazam

our interviewees identified six key components of future in-store mobile experiences:

1. Integrated loyalty, personalization, and customization options. Based on past buying history and level of loyalty, the retailer will push specific offers. For example, Sparkfly offers progressive discounting — 10%, 20%, 30% over time, rewarding repeat customers.

2. real-time deals and messages. Retailers will be able to push relevant, real-time messages to the user as they walk through the store, perhaps personalized by the area of the store.

3. ability to digitally "like" or share a product on a shelf. Retailers will be able to connect the in-store shopping experience with social networks.

4. enabling sales associates. Store associate-enabled mobile devices will help improve demonstrations and provide richer, more personalized selling.

5. Digital displays. There will be a roll out of new digital merchandising options, including tablets attached to the aisle, large touch screen kiosks, and interactive displays.

6. New physical configurations. Look for mobile POS devices (think: Apple store), or being able to scan on your phone as you shop.

Mobile, social, and location: an era of radical transparencyFor better or for worse, combining mobile, social, and location is going to transform shopping experiences. For retailers, it's no longer easy to have unique pricing andproduct selection for each regional store. Consumers cansniff out the best possible price quickly and easily — eitherat your store or on the Internet at your competitors' sites.

Increasingly, the shopping experience becomes infusedwith entertainment, on top of a much more robust set of fulfillment options. Multiple screens, interactive elements, and even gaming have become a potent part of the retailing world.


Integrated experiences


Feature Set





1st 4.3 overall

amazon kindle


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





3rd 3.3 overall

airline kiosks


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





2nd 3.8 overall

Banking (uSaa)


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

Page 8: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

Few technologies show the societal impact of digital technologyfor average Americans as clearly as the rise of GPS. The abilityto instantly access a vast database is incredibly powerful, andopportunities are still being discovered.

It is easy to take for granted the tools that Yelp and othersimilar community review sites offer. You shouldn’t. Justfive years ago, getting this information required a paid subscription, or a physical guide. Information was largelyundated, and reflected expert views.

The ideal future for location-based technology is for all mobile activity to be filtered based upon its current location,and areas of recent activity. Location becomes a layer,which defines all the other functions — you can find yourfriends who are nearby, shop nearby deals, find goodrestaurants, and more.

Google Maps: an uncredited, yet essential location toolMobile mapping and routing technology represents thegreatest practical application of mobile technology thatwe’ve seen over the past 10 years.

These tools have a new sophistication: mode of transportationoptions, contextual layers (traffic, hotel finder application,restaurants, gas stations), GPS integration, special offers, and rewards integration. These tools, not coincidentally, arean excellent fit with the Google Wallet.

This cloud-based technology allows computation-intensivedisplays on simple, low-power devices (so long as you havegood data).

In the end, Google should be appreciated for what it is: thedefinitive location application.

Yelp: Global, crowd sourced service evaluation toolYelp’s aggregation of comments and ratings, augmentedreality, and location create tremendous value for consumers.Its search features are its strongest asset, allowing users toconduct manual searches where the user designates searchparameters, while also leveraging location-aware technology. Additionally, the augmented reality integration, the YelpElite Squad rewards program, and local relationships havehelped to sustain its growth over the past three years.

Yelp has also started to make inroads into Foursquare's and Groupon’s territories with a check-in feature that canunlock special deals for users, although this initiative hashad limited success and is being reconsidered.

The bottom line: Yelp is in the process of becoming a global taste arbiter.

location-Based Technology

foursquare: flash in the pan or genuine value?Foursquare has had a continuing struggle to stay relevantand active.

Their recent partnership with American Express — whichallows consumers to pay with an American Express cardand receive deals and coupons after check in — is a strongeffort to make the tool more valuable and relevant for consumers. Foursquare's tips for individual locations is another differentiator.

As one interviewee stated, “Foursquare is still a leader [inlocation-based tools]. Amazing work. They’ve come up witha value proposition for consumers and businesses that maybecome less of a recommendation engine but more of acheck-in service.”

facebook Places: Beyond the check-InFacebook was the first large network to acknowledge the lack of value of a check-in. They officially removed allcheck-in notifications from their feed, and instead allowedusers to seamlessly Geotag status updates, photos, andvideos. Users find much higher value in adding location totheir digital assets.

In the end, Facebook has effectively integrated locationacross the 600-million user platform, even though the location tag is only used by a tiny percentage of users.

Location is evolving from an action or service, to a ubiquitousattribute that simply adds value, and plays a key role asbrands become situationally aware and contextually relevant.

In our research, most felt Facebook's location tagging remains important, and highlighted the event locationcheck-in and ability to check in friends. The lack of tips inlocations and limited mobile commerce integration remaina weak point. Much more public facing than Foursquare,several noted the different makeup of friends on the two platforms.

In the end, most people’s go-to tool for location check-in remains Foursquare — for now.

others of note: Gowalla, SCVNGR


“one of the amazing things with Google Maps is that every day there is some other new things going on there. The latest is being able to download maps for offline access on your mobile phone.” – Mobile Business Professional


Feature Set





1st 4.7 overall

Google Maps


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





2nd 4.3 overall



Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





3rd 4.0 overall



Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5


Feature Set





4th 3.4 overall

facebook Places


Mobile Professional


Strategic Importance

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

Page 9: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

Despite the lead of Asia and Europe in 3G adoption, SMSusage, and QR codes, the surprising consensus among ourpool of international mobile professionals is that the U.S.remains the leader when it comes to mobile offerings — at least in terms of smartphone-based mobile apps and the mobile web.

Indeed, in most of the world, mobile represents the “first screen” — the go-to device for digital information, entertainment, and conversation. According to comScore,smartphone penetration in Japan is around 10% — farbelow the U.S.’s 32%, and also far below the penetrationrates in the UK and Spain (each around 40%).7 Internationalusers are doing more — or at least a lot — with less.

Our interviewees also mentioned that a combination of device fragmentation across Asia and Europe are slowing

the adoption of new technology. But there are some excitingapplications coming from overseas, and we highlight several below.

M-PeSa: Mobile banking for the unbanked M-PESA, Vodacom’s offering in Kenya and select other countries, is an exciting application of emerging mobile technology to improve the lives of the unbanked in the developing world.

This financial platform for low-cost, peer-to-peer paymentshas seen massive growth. It has seen particularly largegrowth in Kenya, where 13.5M have an M-PESA account,while only 3.5M have a bank account. It supports the ubiquitous and low-cost feature phone. In many cases, itrepresents the entire set of financial tools for Kenyan users.

International experiences

The Emerging Technology section of this report examinesthe most interesting future and emerging technologies developments relevant to marketing services. By 2013,when mobile web traffic is expected to exceed desktop traffic on the Internet, many of the nascent technologies we identify in this report will be more developed. Others willbe gone. Here are the top emerging technologies identifiedby our interviewees.

augmented reality: Combining the digital and analog worldsAugmented reality (AR) has been an emerging technologydarling for years. The technology superimposes digital images on the real world, often using smartphone camerasand displays to capture and display this view.

It holds more promise for consumer applications today thanever before.

Early examples included automotive head-up displays,Yelp’s Monocle, and webcam-based virtual try-on. More recently, Facebook and Google have rolled out applicationscapable of recognizing human faces and landmarks andthen presenting relevant information. These tools combinedata from GPS, digital cameras, broadband, and cloud-based information. Overlay databases such as Wikipediaand Google Maps can present special offers, or allow a mobile device to quickly find and display important and relevant information near a location.

Examples include pure-play firms such as Layar, which hasmore than 700,000 active users worldwide using their ARplatform. World Lens allows users to point their mobile device at street signs for instant language translation.Panasonic offers the virtual VIERA TV simulator to modelhow the TV will appear in a consumer's room.

Key applications, according to Gartner,5 include exploration(finding things in your vicinity), suggestion (indicating real-world objects of interest), and direction (indicating whereconsumers should go).

As AR continues to evolve, business applications will include branded points-of-interest, local relevant

information, special offers that allow consumers to find andlearn using their mobile device, and businesses to presentand market to this audience.

Gesture recognition: Taking touch screen to the next level The gestural interface (e.g., Microsoft's Kinect, Apple'siPhone, or Microsoft’s Surface) was a surprising top-scorerin our mobile expert survey. In some ways, this is just a natural evolution from the touch screen revolution that hasoccurred over the past five years. A whole generation hasgrown accustomed to not needing a mouse, keyboard, orbutton to manage their digital tools. Combined with the accelerometers built into mobile devices, gesture or naturalinterfaces could control one or many screens and interactive elements in the retail setting.

Examples such as the Kinect or MIT’s SixthSense lab —which explore the new technologies of full-body gestureand augmented reality experiences — highlight how far we have come and how much further we have yet to go. Other examples such as the Kymera Magic Wand — which controls devices at a distance through motion — can create engaging user experiences.6

In terms of practical business applications, our respondentshighlighted this type of technology as a major opportunity inthree to five years. But they also pointed out that, right now,there is a lot of hype but few scalable options. "There are examples related to building a campaign, or dropping a single kiosk in a mall, but few operate at scale."

Nevertheless, when combined with augmented reality, voice recognition, and even telematics, there is a long-termopportunity to reinvent human-computer interaction, withmassive applications for consumers and the enterprise alike.

Telematics: when computers talk to computersEvery year, millions of new devices are connected to the Internet. Some are devices we understand today — mobile,tablets, PCs. Others we are less familiar with — vending machines, IP telephones, elevators. And increasingly, everydaysensors (and networks of sensors) are being enabled.

emerging Technology

167eMarketer “Asia-Pacific Mobile: Redefining the Digital Landscape,” July 2011

5Gartner “Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies, 2011”6Ibid

Applications range from remote sensing, building management/automation, logistics, automotive, eHealth,and agriculture. Wi-Fi, RFID, Bluetooth, and WiMAX aresome of the enabling networking technologies.

There are substantial opportunities for efficiency improvements: remote monitoring of fuel, gas, electricity,tracking the location of a fleet of vehicles, or optimizing delivery truck routing.

Increasingly, this data is being sent over the Internet. In thefuture, data sent and received by sensors and machines willdominate traffic online.

The rise of these sensors will have major efficiency benefits, but will also raise real challenges with data, analytics, and modeling, as information threatens to overwhelm our ability to process it.

Voice recognition: The natural communication technologyA surprisingly high-scoring technology, voice recognitionhas an opportunity to transform computer interaction.

Yet with over 15 years of investment, it is still not perfect.Mobile phone manufacturers from Google to Apple toSamsung have also been offering it successfully for sometime, often using crowd-sourcing models to minimize thetraining the older systems needed. Virtual assistants suchas Siri — which was acquired by Apple in 2010 and may beincluded in the iPhone 5 — allows a personal assistant to provide recommendations and assistance. Google has offereda more basic voice-to-text transcription service for some time.

And the promise was enough for Ford and other large automotive companies to begin offering voice recognition as an option in some vehicles.

Driven by continued investments in mobile, voice recognitionwill continue to improve, from a hit-or-miss call center tool to a reliable partner for consumers and businesses.

others of note: Content provider paywall, E-Ink daylightcolor display, Mobile device barcode scanning, QR codes/2-D barcodes, and translucent displays

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Category Name

Mobile walleteBay Paypal Mobile AppGoogle WalletStarbucks Mobile App

In-Store MobileApple Store AppB&N AppBest Buy Reward Zone AppHome Depot AppRedbox AppRedLaser AppShopSavvy App

Integrated experiences: Multiple Devices or Channels

Airline Kiosks (Delta)Amazon KindleBanking (Chase)Banking (USAA)Macy’s iShop Mobile App

location Based TechnologyFacebook PlacesFoursquareGoogle MapsGowallaSCVNGRYelp

emerging TechnologyAugmented RealityAugmented Social ExperiencesContent Provider PaywallE-Ink Daylight Color DisplayMobile Device Barcode ScanningMotion-Gesture TechnologyQR Codes/2-D BarcodesTelematics/Internet-Enabled VehiclesTranslucent DisplaysVoice Recognition

Ease-of-Use Feature Set Design Familiarity Importance Strategic Overall RatingHeuristic evaluation

Sapient Nitro: Strategic

ImportanceMobile Professional review






3.6 2nd3.9 1st3.3 3rd

4.0 1st3.33.5 3rd3.6 2nd3.32.83.2

3.3 3rd4.3 1st3.33.8 2nd2.4

3.4 4th4.0 3rd4.7 1st2.32.94.3 2nd

4.5 1st3. 2nd3.14.3 3rd3.64.0 4th

Notes on MethodologyWe spent over three months of intensive research to identify and evaluate leading mobile experiences across six key categories.

We conducted in-depth interviews, followed by an online poll, of 23 mobile business professionals. These experienced leaders (40% with over a decade of professional experience in mobile) discussed what they felt were the leading examples in each category, and scored them in the poll.

A heuristic evaluation was conducted across nine elements inthree major categories — ease-of-use, feature set, and design.

Finally, a strategic review was conducted to understand the long-term significance of each offering.

SapientNitro clients that would otherwise be eligible were excluded from a final ranking in this report.

Among the companies we interviewed for this report: Sparkfly360iMajor National RetailerSmartsoft MobileMajor Mobile Wallet ProviderBanking 2.0 AuthorDigbyKurt Salmon

In addition, we consulted with SapientNitro’s top mobile strategists working with major brands such as Coca-Cola, Foot Locker, New Balance, Dove, Chrysler Ram and Dodge,Mars, MetLife, Volvo, Vail Resorts, and the TSA.


As a result, people in these countries are starting to usetheir mobile devices for more. Over the next decade inemerging countries, many people’s first exposure to the Internet will be through a mobile device. And this, in turn,will change their expectations of future devices.

Homeplus Subway Virtual Store: Grocery shopping while waiting for the trainThe 2011 winner of a Grand Prix Lion for Media, for “BestUse of Outdoor,” the Homeplus Subway Virtual Store is a remarkable business and mobile breakthrough. Homeplus(rebranded from Tesco to gain local audience relevance)is a South Korean/British discount store retail chain jointlyowned by Samsung and Tesco with 113 local branches throughout South Korea.

Customer research revealed the urgent need to avoid rushhour in the supermarket. The solution from Tesco was tosave time by doing the grocery shopping on the way home.For its "shopping on the move" campaign, Homeplus created virtual stores in subway stations at rush hour using floor-to-ceiling pictures of actual store aisles. Eachproduct includes a QR code, which adds the product to the

shopper's cart. Once purchased, the goods are delivered to the customer's door right after they get home.


In this report we’ve highlighted six major categories of research we examined — mobile wallet, in-store mobile, integrated experiences, location-based technology, emerging technology, and international experiences.

We found that while there are a great many mobile applications, in total, the space is uneven. Mobile represents a major new frontier for brands. As we look at the top mobile applications available to date, what ismost remarkable is how much opportunity remains to getthe product right. Years after the first smartphone arrivedin the market, sophisticated experiences remain in development.

Whether it is mobile payments, in-store shopping andbrand experiences, or integration with location, social, and loyalty programs, there is still ample time and room in the competitive landscape to be successful.

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ViewsightA collection of essays, written by Idea Engineers, on a broadspectrum of topics affecting commerce and technology.

Page 12: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

what’s New in DigitalWritten by Nigel Vaz, Managing Director; SapientNitro UK

"what’s new in digital?" might just be a misleading question. It’s tempting to try and pick the Next Big Thing— mobile and social are the new trendy buzzwords, thelatter epitomised recently by properties like friendsterand MySpace. Consumers make or break trends, just likea popular new song that drops off the charts a fewmonths later.

The focus instead should be on the fact that, for thousandsand thousands of businesses and brands in every imaginablemarket, the digital age has already changed or is about to —in a profound, fundamental way that cannot be ignored. Digital — that incredibly broad concept — is no longer theteenager that brands flirt with to simply pretend to be current. It is a fully-grown adult and it is punishing those whoare not ready to embrace it, especially since consumers have.

The convergence of consumer behaviour, innovation inbusiness models, and technology is changing everything.Take, for example, the video rental chain Blockbuster thatmanaged to replace every mom-and-pop video shop.

Then the world got "digitised" and its business model became as good as redundant. What Blockbuster neededwas not a digital campaign or a television campaign, or evena really brilliant Twitter feed before anyone else "got" Twitter. It needed someone to tell them they had to changetheir business with a whole new business strategy and thenredefine the roles for communications, technology, andcustomer experience in that.

When Tourism Queensland came to us with a problem that would normally have been solved by a simple TV ad and some posters and calendars distributed to travelagents, we came back with a suggestion that turned out to be "The Best Job in the World."

That campaign illustrates the fundamental way that thedigital age is changing the guts of most businesses andhow that, in turn, requires all of us to do things in a radically different way.

One of the reasons that SapientNitro is in Fortune magazine’sTop 50 Fastest Growing Companies is that our clients come

to us with business problems and we have the strategic, creative, and technical expertise to come up with solutions.

Another example of this is the situation faced by publisherslike The New York Times. They came to us because the daysof breaking news to readers every morning are now gone.It needed to fundamentally change how it engaged users to maintain its relevance where news was being brokenaround the clock, and many times not by news reporters.

The solution was to look at what The Times does best anduse the digital medium to redefine its relationship with itsconsumers and maintain its legacy of relevance.

That’s how we came up with the concept of Breakingviews,and how The Times went from having a strategy of sellingnews printed on paper in a 24-hour editorial cycle to breaking insightful content around the clock a few minutes after an event.

High street retailing, or retail activity in the traditional areasof towns or cities, is another industry that is undergoing a profound change. Ten years ago, mainstream thinkingwas that online stores were an adjunct to the main highstreet business.

So when thinking about how Foot Locker could enable theirbrand promise of “sneaker enthusiasm beyond reason,” the answer wasn’t to create just another campaign to gaintheir customers' attention for a second. It was to create a community for the global audience of the sneaker obsessed — a resource that appeals to collectors andfans: Sneakerpedia.

What’s different about it? Sneakerpedia isn’t really a campaign. It’s a growing, living social space that has already generated 4.5 million mentions online, even thoughmembership is currently limited while the site is in beta.And it isn’t created by a team of marketing pros; it’s createdby the fans for the fans and powered by Foot Locker.

Our clients often come to us and ask for a mobile app. But we deliver only a few.


Marketing and Media

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Conversely, exactly none of our clients has ever come to us and asked us to build them a vending machine that canrecognise when people are smiling, but we’ve built one anyway. Why? Because it was the solution to one ofUnilever’s problems — getting people to buy ice creams. In many stores, the ice cream freezer is burried in the back.We found a way to make ice cream more accessible.

Unilever's Share Happy became a lot more than just a wayof getting ice cream up in front. It was a beautiful campaignbecause it created a phenomenal commerce channel for Unilever and, at the same time, a very cool brand impression (yes, with a great social media aspect).

So, Share Happy was not just a digital campaign with a cool new mechanic, but a fundamental change to ice creamselling that blurred the lines between sales, marketing, retail, and digital.

What is big in digital? It is realising digital doesn’t reallyexist. The brand is the experience, and the experience is an amalgamation of the perception created by all

communications and interactions, across all brand touch points from marketing and communications to sales and service.

To give consumers an excellent brand experience, businesses and their advisers need real focus on businessproblems, and a mix of marketing, communications creativity, and deep technological expertise to deliver theanswer to these problems.

It’s hard to ignore the hype and instead focus on tacklingcomplex issues, but with Idea Engineering, we can conceiveand execute real ideas that deliver real results.

The takeawayUnderstanding what’s The takeaway isn’t about obsessingover the next hyped trend; it’s seeing how it digital is changing businesses on a profound level.The successfulapproach is to tackle business problems with strategy, creativity, and technology: Idea engineering.

First published by Campaign in July 2011.

rise of the Machine — Death of the Media Planner?

Written by David D’Alleva, Media Director, North America; SapientNitro Boston

Marketing and Media

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the campaign launch. So technology in the online displayarena is certainly helping media planners not only find audiences at scale but also become more efficient.

Yet it's not a fact that the “human lens” can be replaced byrobots, and this lens will continue to be a crucial driver foragency clients — one that won’t be replaced by hardware,software, algorithms, and artificial intelligence — at leastnot in the foreseeable future.

But the planner’s role in the campaign process requires anevolving skill set in order to succeed. Media planning is nolonger just about reaching audiences. Today’s it’s also aboutengagement. Planners of today must look, listen, and respond to real-time insights and strategies. Gone are the days where planners could "set it and forget it." TheDNA of the new media planner must accomplish thesethree things.

1. Master relationship management. The media plannershould continue to work closely with their key vendors increating and identifying the right media opportunities for theirclients. These relationships will continue to lead planners to aplethora of unique opportunities and first mover advantages— a value add that cannot be taken for granted.

2. exhibit search-like prowess. Given the campaign-empowering tools at a planner's fingertips (e.g., vendordashboards), the media planner must harness and masterthis Pandora's box of raw insight to their advantage. They must unleash a search-like approach to campaignmanagement, roll up their sleeves, be proficient with thetools available, and dive into the day-to-day intricacies.

3. Be a data geek. The media planner cannot be afraid to roll around in the mud with the data nuggets available.While they understand the client objectives, they must alsobe able to understand the data, which truly blends art andscience. The ability to quickly interpret raw campaign datain order to drive proactive conversations, develop key insights, and leverage them quickly is paramount.

While the rise of the machines has brought the media landscape many changes and efficiencies, the fall of themedia planner has been exaggerated. However, there iscertainly a change in the air that is forcing planners toevolve if they want to remain relevant and valued to agencies and clients. In the end, those who want to evolvewill succeed. Those who choose not to evolve won't. Time and technology will wait for no one.

You say you want a(nother) revolution?Technology. Can we imagine what our lives would be without it? It is the fabric of our day-to-day experience— and we both demand and anticipate its continuedevolution. This rapid evolution — rather revolution —isn’t the final frontier or last chapter of its story. It’sjust the latest chapter.

If we dust off our history books (or, more realistically, conduct a Google search on our computers, smartphones, or iPads), we would learn that this revolution began over 250 years ago when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transportation had a profoundeffect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of thetimes. It marked a major turning point in human historywhere almost every aspect of daily life was influenced insome way. Today, we are living in an “Age of Innovation,”

where technology continues to act as both a catalyst and fuelto change. In the last 30 years alone we’ve seen the personalcomputer and the Internet become as common as the television or the telephone.

This evolution has given rise to the idea that the Holy Grail of media attribution and measurement is getting closer everyday. But it has also made us question the role of the mediaplanner. Can machines and technology — the modern dayR2-D2 or Optimus Prime — replace them? The answer is not

an emphatic "yes" — or "no" for that matter. Simply put, weknow they haven't yet, but media planners must certainlyevolve to hold their ground.

Media’s new faceLet's first step back to understand the changing medialandscape. Over the past three years alone, there has beenrapid innovation taking place like never before. Media is becoming measurable. Media is becoming attributable. Theworlds of traditional and digital are on a collision course.

Just think about it. Out of home is rapidly becoming digitized.Television is becoming a targetable monitor for digital content. Even the standard newspaper size has shrunk to fitan 8”x10” (or smaller) screen — one that can’t be tossed onthe front porch or rolled up to swat a bug. Even in the displaymedia world, nearly two decades since the first clickable ad,and after a decade of struggling with remnant inventory andsheer tonnage, ad networks are now more "tech-ed up" tomake network buys safer and more effective.

We witnessed a plethora of alphabet soup surface duringthis time as well. RTB (real-time bidding) emerged at theintersection of data and inventory liquidity, creating an explosion of choice where display ads could run. Threeother letters became one of the most searched mediaterms in 2009: DSP. The rise of DSP (demand side platform) machines gave way to the promise of efficient and scalable audience buying.

Today, display isn’t just banners and buttons, and shouldn'tbe seen as a dirty word. It’s any advertisement that can bedisplayed across many devices and in many formats. It ismobile. It is video. It is contextual. It is viral. It is social. It issearch. It is everywhere advertisers want and need to be.Users are in control — billions of times a day.

we can rebuild the media planner — with technology Fact: There are millions of sites accepting display ads, significantly increasing the level of effort for a media planner. It would be too difficult for media planners to explore them all. Even a few dozen sites would require aplanner to spend an inordinate amount of time, even before

A media planner's purpose is to selectmedia for advertisement placement on behalf of their clients. They must achievebusiness objectives through their advertisingbudgets by recommending the best possible use of various media platformsavailable to advertisers. Their roles mayinclude analyzing target audiences, keeping abreast of media developments,reading market trends, and understandingconsumer motivations.

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The Cross-Channel

Challenge: Building

Pervasive Information architecture

Consumers, now more than ever, are engaging withbrands across multiple channels. No longer do they interact with brands solely through traditional medialike television, radio, or print. and, since 2009, thenumber of people browsing the web has more thantripled; this number continues to grow as more devicesoffer browsing experiences comparable to a desktop experience.1 additionally, social networking sites like Twitter and facebook now present companies with newopportunities to interact with their consumers and promote products and services.

How, then, do we bridge the gap?Information architects and user experience designers are tasked with creating new platform experiences by considering how these varied touch points build a brand’scross-channel relevance. As a result, these individualsmust consider how their efforts will create a seamless experience1 that transcends beyond these new channels.

In response to this growing challenge, a new idea has surfaced in the design community. Pervasive InformationArchitecture, coined by Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati,promotes a holistic methodology to user experience designin order to create a seamless cross-channel experience.Sapient incorporates an approach that aligns with this methodology.

As Aristotle aptly put it, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” There is no quote more relevant when examining cross-channel experiences. Blunders happenevery day, whether it's a customer who has downloaded aretailer’s mobile application but struggles to understand itsstructure or someone who has researched a product onlineonly to find out that it’s no longer available at the store. In one study, over half of those asked reported buying products offline after first researching online. Additionally,another 43% reported starting their research on a computeror mobile device only to contact the company directly becausethey could not find the information needed to complete thetransaction online.2

In an effort to reduce customer frustration, Andrea Resminiand Luca Rosati proposed integrating a small set of heuristicsto keep in mind when creating cross-channel experiences.These heuristics concern themselves with ensuring that thisexperience is consistent across every platform, adapting touser needs and to the context of the experience, and suggesting relevant connections among the varied pieces of information offered by that particular company.


Written by Michael MacLennan, Senior Information Architect; SapientNitro Toronto

Marketing and Media

1http://www.quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2011/01/2010_mobile_bro.html2See Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati (2011), Chapter 3

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Case studies

SprintSapientNitro's efforts building both the web and mobile experience for Sprint inherently used key design approachesto ensure those experiences were seamless and integrated.

With SapientNitro's cross-channel expertise, we were ableto ensure that every Sprint channel built a strong sense ofplace through consistent connections, both visually and

structurally. As illustrated in Figure 1, maintaining the lookand feel of the experience allows Sprint’s customers to easily orient themselves as they move between platforms to perform various tasks including paying bills, viewing cellphone usage, and exploring incentives to upgrade phonesor service plans.

JeepThe redesign of Jeep’s history site sought to make it easy tonavigate over 70 years of the company's history. As a result,the current design breaks up vehicles by decade allowing asimple and effective navigation structure for browsing the different generations of Jeep vehicles. And, when the clientchose to use the iPad application, the challenge became experience-based within a different context that made thelarge set of data usable and pleasurable for the consumer.

In the end, the solution culminated in an interface thatleveraged the touch screen of the iPad in a unique way thatallowed users to explore the history of Jeep in a simple way.

As illustrated in Figure 2, the interface of the applicationalso aligns to a similar structure found on the website itself,making it intuitive to familiar users.

Cross-channel experiences are pushing users toward a holistic and ubiquitous approach to products and services.This means that designers must incorporate strategies thatconsider the larger context, as interactions become oneseamless flow between the real and the virtual. SapientNitro's approach to cross-channel challenges makesit easier to provide solutions that inherently align with newemerging ideas like Pervasive Information Architecture.

Figure 1. The image above left represents the mobile experience while the image on the right illustrates the webexperience. The similar look and feel ensures a strongsense of place for Sprint’s customers.

Figure 2. Each thumbnail allows the consumerto browse Jeep vehicles by decade.

Figure 3. Similarly, each grill imagerepresents a specific Jeep decade.

References: Andrea Resmini and Lucia Rosati (2011). Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing

Cross-Channel User Experiences, Albany (MA): Burlington.


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life is made up of moments: good and bad, happy andsad. In today’s connected world, moments happen inmany different places and spaces. They shape customerimpressions and notions of what a brand represents.

Too few marketers effectively harness these moments in a social world, losing opportunities to optimize brand andsocial equity in conversations and communities. But it is challenging to create authentic moments. People oftenresist intrusive brand pushes because they lack context,relevance, or personal appeal.

So how do you effectively humanize your brand and createchannels out of moments that amplify the consumer voiceand generate genuine engagement around the brand? Organizations that succeed listen to and respect their customers. They recognize brand value from the customer’sperspective. They work to create meaningful moments thatbuild on customer preference and reinforce business priorities.

If those moments are significant enough, community members can be motivated to share them in an instant,turning experience into action. Every marketer wants theircustomers to advocate for the brand, to share their positiveexperience and impressions.

Context | Conversation | Community | CaptivateSapientNitro has developed a model called Media of theMoment to help organizations understand the way peopleexperience brands and interact with others. There are fourelements to these seamless multi-channel experiences.

1. ContextContext frames the moment. It can be physical or digital,and is shaped by the “here and now.” Where am I? Why am I here? Who am I with? What does this mean to me?

Context opens peoples’ eyes to options. As they considernew brands, products, or services, context may emergethrough a conversation with a friend, Internet search, product review, or advertisement, to name a few.Moments can be unpredictable because context is such a moving target. Marketers need to understand consumercontext and align with those conversations and communities. That doesn’t mean being intrusive, but respectful and useful instead.

Effective marketers understand that a multi-channel strategyis a necessity in today’s fragmented world. With people trusting media less and seeking alternate sources of authority, understanding the consumer journey is essential.

2. ConversationMoments spur conversation with people who are personally close to “me” or close to the moment basedon proximity or context. Conversations represent potentialpoints of entry for brand representatives and advocates.

This is not an opportunity to interrupt. It is a chance to align,a moment to understand your brand through the eyes of theconsumer. Conversation does two things in the modernmarketing mix:

1. It allows you to move beyond push tactics into a dynamicrelationship with individuals who care about your brandenough to share their opinion — good or bad. These peoplecan be influential. Conversations teach, and insightsgleaned can impact your entire marketing ecosystem.

2. It forces you to let go a bit. Online conversations are personal and informal. They don’t often happen on yourturf; conversations happen in person, over the phone, viaemail, and on social messaging platforms such as Twitterand Google+.





Media of the Moment

Written by David Bradfield, Director, Marketing Strategy and Social Experience; SapientNitro Toronto

Marketing and Media


Page 18: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

Predictions for the Next 5 Years in retail Banking

Written by Alex Sion, Vice President, Digital Strategy and Financial Services; SapientNitro New York

Marketing and Media

3. CommunityConversations are not always 1:1. The right context and conversations may lead customers to a community sparkedby the moment — where sustained engagement and an “always on” environment add depth to their experience, connect them with others, and can reinvigorate a brand by offering insight into the subtext behind the community activity.

Additionally, communities are more private. As a result, themembers set the direction for terms of engagement andcommunity tone. Social networks such as Facebook, even if a presence is branded, are not owned channels. You canmanage but not control the conversation.

4. CaptivateMany brands strive to captivate the customer through engaging experiences such as games, applications, or loyalty programs that drive value. Captivating experienceshave a longer duration and carry a higher value proposition to the customer.

A captivated customer can create context, drive conversation, and engage a community in a way that traditional media is currently unable to achieve.

Concluding thoughts Media of the Moment is a model designed to pull customerscloser to the brand. Context establishes fit and relevance.Conversations build alignment. Community drives engagement.Captivate encourages people to spend more time withinbranded experiences. Ideally these experiences build deeper moments that are valuable and shareable.

It's one thing to meet customers in the moment, but in orderto convert a customer into an advocate we need to motivatethem to share that moment. Sometimes just asking isenough. Provide them with digital keepsakes that can beshared. Photos, videos, facts, coupons, and group incentivesall help people tell their stories and carry them forward. Ourability to turn experience into action holds incredible brandpotential. It is powerful, authentic, and “of the moment.”

eMarketer reports that 60% of U.S. social network users were at least somewhat likely to take action when a friend posted something about a product, service, company, or brand on a social media site. Only 18% were not at all likely to take action.

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Branding out loud without losing Your Voice:

Written by Erik Gottesman, Director; SapientNitro Boston

Social Media

while many customers are still satisfied with theirbanks, it's no surprise that the banking industry — fromproducts to channels to transactions — has changed and will continue to do so. and, in the next five years, the following shifts will affect everything.

1. a giant will fall. Somewhere, sometime within the nextfive years, a historically significant retail banking institutionwill run out of steam. And the culprit will not be the wizardsof Wall Street. It will be a broken distribution model. Formany firms, the cost of branch-centric distribution, service, and acquisition through traditional media techniquescontinues to rise while the fundamental profitability of corebanking products gets squeezed by government regulations,competition, and savvier consumers. For these firms, thefundamental cost model is out of whack with the ability to generate profits. Banks will scramble to re-align distributioncosts to profitability, launching bold multi-channel technologyinitiatives. One won’t do it, won’t be able to move fast enough,or will struggle with execution and change management. It won’t survive.

2. New stars will rise. As a giant falls, several new starswill rise. And the catalyst will not be a game changing product, interest rate chicanery, or an unbeatable rewardsprogram. It will be a steady but fundamentally transformativechange in the distribution cost structure and client experience.These will be the firms who are aggressively investing now —whether they are startups, traditional players, or challengersfrom the technology, retail, or telecom space — in a newclient experience. They won’t all be digital- or mobile-centric. In fact, expect several to be fairly low tech and takecues from high-engagement, high-touch businesses like direct selling. What they will have all figured out is a betterway to distribute engaging products, services, and experiences to customers.

3. a bank will slash its traditional marketing and mediaspend by 90% while increasing customer acquisition andengagement. One bank out there will soon embrace whatmany Internet and technology companies already understand:Your customers are your marketing machine and the

experience you deliver them is your message. This bank willslash its traditional marketing budget and re-allocate allthose dollars into amazing customer experiences and thenprovide a platform for those experiences to be “heard.” Thisdoesn’t necessarily mean awesome Facebook pages and lots of tweets, but it will likely mean some contemporizing of thenotion of community.

4. a completely “crowd-sourced” bank will emerge.P2P payments, social lending, stock tweeting, social creditscoring, and underwriting — will somebody connect thedots already? A “bank of the people” will pop up somewhere, and it won’t be “off the grid.” It’ll be mainstreamed: a legitimate alternative to the traditionalbanking system. Money will be deposited, loans will bemade, secure payments will clear, and risk will be managed. And guess what, it’s not going to be The Communist Manifesto: Part II. It will be wildly profitablewith 10 “employees” and a million customers.

5. The main battleground for distribution will not be on the street corner or online — but in the workplace.As some banks learn that building relationships with errand-running multitaskers isn't easy and other banks realize that non-stop email spam about interest rates is justplain irritating, they’ll start to understand that grounds for arelationship-oriented approach can exist at the workplace.While workplace banking is nothing new, the approach willdramatically transform. What banks will realize is thatworkplace distribution is not just about bulk discounts —it’s about demographics and psychographics. It’s about acommunity of colleagues and friends. Companies have personalities and often hire like-types. Banks that figureout how to craft workplace experiences that add value to acompany and then leverage its natural community will havecaught on to something special.

The current retail bank experience looks nothing like it did10 years ago, or even last year for that matter. As these predictions come true in the upcoming months, there willbe implications and new challenges that arise in the new retail banking world. And that's something you can bank on.

How to avoid Social Dilemmas in the Digital knowledge Marketplace

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To establish a vibrant and durable marketplace, your company should invoke the following six strategies:

1. Identify the brokered social objects (e.g., testimonials, support requests, product ideas) that create maximum market liquidity.

2. Invite participants to collaborate in the market’s procedural and structural design.

3. Build market authenticity and trust by connecting real-world and virtual indicators of repute.

4. Balance the system of social and material incentives that engender self-identification, contribution, and reciprocity without measurable dilution.

5. Adopt a floating pricing mechanism to focus and agitate the most valued forms of participation and discourage monopolistic behavior.

6. Partition or de-partition markets to optimize for size and time perspective of decisions affecting the brand experience.

The takeawaySocial technology is blurring the boundaries of the organization. But, by employing these new "social strategies," your organization can mute the negative network effects that present a threat to today's sociallytransformed brand experience.

Your workforce and your customers are your new “shadowmanagement.” Social tools for sharing knowledge, solvingproblems, and shaping new ideas are increasingly pervasive both inside and outside the enterprise. Consequently, organizations risk flirting with age-old free market problems in a new context imbued with thepower to not merely transform the organization — but the total brand experience.

Two markets, connected Television personality and Twitter aficionado @PiersMorgan’srecent and well-publicized Delta flight debacle provides butone example of branding’s participatory new stage. The CNNtalk show host slammed the airline after missing America's GotTalent auditions following a string of airplane troubles and badcustomer service.

Social messages such as Morgan’s, combined with near-obsessive re-tweeting, create a market force that is not fullycontrollable. This effect occurs equally inside the enterprise.Endowed with social tools, employees reveal their do-it-yourself tendencies, innovating solutions to procedural inefficiencies, synthesizing new products and services, andgenerating real value while simultaneously exposing the firmto new risks and confounding management. It is within theseSystems of Engagement (to use the term coined by GeoffreyMoore) that an increasing volume of brand knowledge is created, challenged, and even destroyed. The individual experience, swept into vibrant and inclusive dialogue, hasusurped the official experience methodically crafted by few.

The social marketing trifectaOver a decade has passed since Thomas Davenport andLaurence Prusak suggested, in their well-regarded bookWorking Knowledge, that knowledge markets are subject to three distinct but inseparable sets of forces: economic,political, and social. At that time, the commercial Internetwas still in its infancy, and “social” on the scale evidenced by Facebook or Twitter had barely been contemplated. Yet,Davenport and Prusak’s observation proved prescient. Recognizing social forums as knowledge markets

impregnated with brand-transforming power reveals theirsusceptibility to the many social, political, and economicfoibles they predicted. As real-world markets have shown,economics are inseparable from politics and underlying social contracts, whether explicit or assumed. And whilemeasures used to treat these market inefficiencies vary,the fundamental problems (e.g., information asymmetry,over-exploitation) are common and solutions must treat all three forces — in a balanced way that works for each individual corporation.

Market-based problems call for market-aware solutionsOne example? Ratings and reputations. While they may reduce some problems on many social platforms, they stillprovide only partial answers to social dilemmas such asreciprocity and complacency, and expectations of social andmaterial incentives. Another example concerns moderationpolicy. Open or un-moderated platforms allow diversity, butinvite a flood of shallow or negative contributions. Closed or moderated platforms increase quality, but sacrifice diversity and participation. The solution isn't always clearcut, but establishing a workable market design sensitive to these concerns involves making trade-offs — with real-world consequences — that, if poorly chosen, will inhibit marketplace efficacy, value, and fairness.

In an article entitled, "How to Find Answers Within Your Company," which appeared recently in MIT Sloan Management Review and Harvard Business Review, authors Hind Benbya and Marshall Van Alstyne offer guidance for dealing with such market-design dilemmas. Benbya and Van Alstyne suggest that executive leadership function like a Federal Reserve, promoting flexibility and liquidity insteadacting as a central planner. Evidence suggests that embracingthis paradigm shift produces benefits not solely limited to thecompany, but offers opportunities externally to the consumeras well. Despite the privacy, property, and governance challenges it poses, this approach may indeed offer the greatest reward.


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If a Tweet falls in the forest: using listening to Drive Social Media Strategy

Written by Annicka Campbell, Associate, Marketing Strategy and Analysis; SapientNitro Chicago

Social Media

as a marketing research practice, social listening (alsoknown as social media conversation analysis, social mediamonitoring, or digital anthropology) has been growingsteadily in popularity in recent years. In its most basicform, social listening can be described as the analysis of consumer conversation happening on social media platforms in order to distill insights related to products,brands, or behavior. for researchers and strategists, inparticular, social listening has revolutionized the way westudy consumer behavior online.

Social media lends itself to oversharing, passionate debate,and self-expression, often in a very public context. New behaviors predicate new methods of study; today, marketershave access to a vast universe of rich, real-time data beinggenerated by social media users related to nearly any topic,brand, or behavior imaginable. With access to this kind ofdata, researchers are able to identify and understand the way consumers behave, perceive, and discuss brands andproducts online. While social listening isn’t a replacement forother forms of market research, it does add a layer of insightand perspective to strategy and creative messaging that iscompletely unique.

In such an ever-changing space, the potential applications of social listening are nearly endless — as are the means ofculling this type of data, as new listening platforms emergeand evolve as quickly as the tweets they track. Major brandsare also quickly increasing their investment in such research.We’ve seen companies like Gatorade and Dell adopt internalsocial listening "command centers" as a means to identifyand address the needs of their customers (and potential customers) in real time. Other companies, like Xerox andKodak, have built out their listening capabilities to drive specific business objectives like acquisition and product development research — all by paying attention to what their customers are saying on social media sites.

At SapientNitro, we’ve developed a range of ways to apply social listening to our clients’ needs. In addition to communitymanagement and influencer identification, our Research + Insights team also specializes in studying consumer behavior

online through social listening. With studies ranging from a few days to a few months, the insights generated throughlistening research are frequently used to inform, drive, andevaluate strategy for our clients.

In recent years, the Research + Insights team has conductedsocial listening research specific to a wide range of industryverticals. Over time, we’ve begun to identify a number of conversation patterns that are industry-unique. For example,commercial banking brands tend to generate high volumesof negative sentiment. We’ve found that these conversationpatterns aren’t just true for the client in question — they holdtrue for the way consumers are talking about many brandswithin an industry. Therefore, these conversation patternscan act as unique guides to development of social mediastrategy, by industry. While the development of a more comprehensive framework is a long-term undertaking, we have provided our initial thoughts below.

financial servicesIn the financial services space, the most obvious applicationof listening is customer relationship management. With unhappy users frequently taking to Twitter to voice concernover unresponsive customer service representatives and ailing online banking websites, providing customer supportvia this microblogging channel is a no-brainer. Moreover, in the realm of using listening as a behavioral research tool,Twitter can be a great place to understand customer perception towards aesthetic design and creative work: “Why does the Chase website look just like the PayPal website? O_O are they related? Or is that just the standardthing for money sites?”

Another one of the most consistent themes emerging fromfinancial services listening is a high volume of negative sentiment, particularly on Twitter and forums. The globaleconomic crisis and resulting bailout in the United Stateshave coupled to produce feelings of cynicism and mistrustfrom consumers online. As one Twitter user recently said: “I don’t understand my bank. They attach chains to theirpens?! If I’m trusting you with my money, you should trustme with your pens!”


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Social Commerce — Beckoning New opportunities

Written by Chitranjan Sood, Senior Associate, Business Consulting; SapientNitro Gurgaon

Social Media

Banking customers are often turning to web forums andmessage boards as a means of finding (and providing) unbiased answers and support specific to mortgage, creditcard, and small business financial products. Listening to theconcerns and questions expressed by customers on theseforums is an integral step toward rebuilding the trust lost between bank and customer over the past five years. Thereare many active forum communities and blogs for bank customers to share problems, advice, and news related totheir personal finances.

One forum dweller gave the following advice to his peer regarding the expected closure of an account: “The guy IS responsible to you as a customer to tell you who took them,and it is ABSOLUTELY NOT his responsibility to tell you to ‘geta lawyer.’ The person at your actual bank branch also knowsexactly what is going on … you need to go bug them about itfirst thing in the morning. Did you, by any chance, make twodeposits into separate accounts that may have totaled morethan $10k if they were on the same deposit slip?”

automotiveIn the case of automotive brands, we’ve found that social listening is a wonderful way to inform creative messaging.Cars and car brands have an emotional connotation in theU.S. (as in other countries), and for auto fans, social media is a great way to connect with like-minded enthusiasts anddiscuss what they love the most about their vehicles:"I love driving down dark country roads in my truck. #luckytoliveinthecountry #newhashtag"

In turn, auto brands can use listening as a way to understand what values and stories their core advocates are using to describe and discuss their brand.

CPGNot surprisingly, we’ve found that social listening researchholds substantial potential for CPG brands, particularly in terms of generating product use cases and behavioral insights. Through listening, traditional brands can uncover innovative uses and applications of their product that wouldotherwise go undetected by traditional research methods.“Tartarus, the most effective toothpaste for children under the age of twelve, can also be used for dogs!”This can help identify new demographic targets and messaging opportunities — specific to season, day of theweek, region, and more.

We would also note the effectiveness of social listening as applied to tracking of media campaigns. “As an owner of both a hamster and an Xbox 360, I find myself hating themost recent Kia commercial for multiple reasons.” In addition to qualitative analysis, the tracking of sentiment, volume, and topical reaction to both traditional and digitalmessaging can provide granular information on brand perception before, during, and after a campaign or new product launch.

We’re excited to continue this study in understanding socialmedia conversation patterns as a way to develop moremeaningful and relevant social media strategy. We continueto share these new insights with clients through research deliverables, thought leadership, posts on the SapientNitroIdea Engineers blog, and academic publications.

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Social media has had a profound impact on the waybrands interact with consumers. Invariably, all consumer-facing companies use at least one socialmedia channel to engage customers. Social media’s roleas a marketing tool has assumed so much significancethat a number of companies now have dedicated senior-level positions for social media.

The next phase of social media evolution is its convergencewith e-commerce channels — popularly known as socialcommerce. Increasing numbers of consumers are usingsocial media platforms to access brands’ websites, research products, and post comments. Consumers arealso "following" brands to know more about product updates, promotions, and discounts. This rapidly-evolvingconsumer behavior is forcing brands to use social mediaalong the entire consumer engagement process from brand awareness to conversion to retention and growth.

Now and later — social commerce by the numbersSocial commerce has taken the digital world by storm. Social commerce startups have proliferated and, in the first quarter of 2011, received funding of nearly $2 billion.Groupon alone received $950 million. The market is alsoripe for consolidation — 2011 has seen big-ticket acquisitionsof social commerce players by companies such as Yahoo!and Walmart.

But now, the social commerce market is set to explode in the years to come. Dollar value of products such as electronics, apparel, and movie tickets sold through socialmedia is expected to rise to $30 billion by 2015. Wireless,cable, and financial services companies will also havemulti-billion dollar opportunities.

"If I had to guess, social commerce is the next areato really blow up." - Mark Zuckerberg

Social Commerce Market Size 2010-2015

The six pillars of strengthSocial commerce is based on six main elements. They are as follows:

● Social shopping. This involves use of social media storeson Facebook or other social media sites, which get users tobring their online social network to e-commerce sites inorder to make purchases. 1-800-FLOWERS and Levi's areexamples of brands already making use of social shopping.● ratings and reviews. Customer opinions are integratedinto e-commerce sites or comparison shopping sites, sponsored reviews, and customer testimonials. Marks &Spencer used Bazaarvoice’s ratings and reviews solution to allow its customers to share their opinions and providefeedback on over 24,000 products. ● recommendations and referrals. Customers are rewarded for referring new consumers, and shopping recommendations are based on similarities in profiles of customers. Think: Apple’s iTunes Genius and Netflix’s Cinematch. ● forums and communities. In discussion forums, peopleoften solve each other's problems or answer questions. And online communities can be linked to an e-commerce site with a loyalty, advisory, or social CRM purpose. JuicyCouture’s conversion rate increased 162% following the implementation of an online community portal calledClub Couture.● Social ads and apps. Ads can be placed in media spaceon social media platforms as well as within blogs and forums. Social apps are widgets that support socialinteractions and contributions. Chick-fil-A ran a successfulad campaign on Facebook, whereby users who clicked on the fast food chain's ads received coupons.

● Social media optimization. As part of social media optimization, services can be offered such as news feeds,deal offerings, or online social media events. Leadingbrands such as Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, and Dell currently run feeds on various social media platforms.

How does social commerce benefit brands?Social commerce can benefit your brand in three primary ways.

First, it allows you to monetize your social media investment.Companies have already invested time and effort to have asocial media presence. But by adding commerce functionality,social media investment can effectively generate ROI too —which can easily be measured in terms of sales and profit increases as a result of investment and promotion of social media.

The tools social commerce can leverage (some that havenever been available before) — things like live chat, feedswith deals, or social media events — all help to facilitateonline sales. And social commerce apps, ratings and reviews for instance, are also integrated on e-commercesites, resulting in additional prospects for increased sales.

Second, it helps gather market insight. Through socialcommerce, brands can make important observations on buying behavior, key themes of consumer conversation,and trends with respect to particular age groups or specific locations.

And last, it can improve customer loyalty. Enhanced customer experience as a result of a variety of social appswill drive consumers to use social media channels again and again, and brands will reap the rewards of a one-time investment in social apps many times over.

Hot trends to watch Social commerce will be in style for the foreseeable future.There are five trends to keep a close eye on — and considerusing in your business strategy:

● loyalty and referral marketing. Brands will use socialmedia platforms to run a variety of loyalty and referral marketing programs in their bid to maximize customer experience. Consumers are enamored with special dealsand discounts; giving them reward points for purchasingand referring products will further strengthen their bondswith brands.● Social CrM. Social media is also seen as a customer retention tool. The CRM market is buzzing with activity andall the leading vendors have added social dimension to theirCRM suite. Vendors are also reporting robust growth in revenues on the back of increased focus on the use of socialsoftware for marketing and customer service.● Mobile social commerce. Integration of social media withe-commerce on mobile platforms is also expected to holdfort. More consumers are using smartphones for accessingcustomer reviews on products, and brands will certainly lookto incorporate ratings and reviews in their mobile offerings.● location-based marketing. Consumers using location-based apps are heavy users of social media. These usersare also not averse to data sharing, and brands will focuson this important user group to drive social commerce.● Group buying. The success of Groupon has attracted anumber of companies to move into this space. Given thatdiscounts and promotions are the most important reasonfor consumers to indulge in social commerce, there is hardlyany doubt that group buying will be among the hottest trends.The market can see consolidation and expansion in new territories and broaden the product portfolio.

Social commerce will continue to capture the imagination of consumers, brands, and agencies. Ever-growing numbersof people accessing social networks on smartphones, emphasis on word of mouth marketing and user-generatedcontent, and clear-cut measurement will further aid thegrowth of the social commerce market. And social commercewill be an integral part of companies’ multi-channel strategies. Capturing mindshare, enhancing customer experience, and generating commercial value out of strongrelationships will be among the top priorities of brands — and agencies and technology companies will play an increasingly vital role in helping brands realize the true value of social commerce.


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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Rest ofthe World

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Is Social Commerce exempt from roI?

Written by Uwe Tueben, Director, Technology; SapientNitro Dusseldorf

Social Media

Social commerce is on everybody’s minds — and on theminds of most marketers in particular.

at a recent conference, I saw a presentation delivered by a young, successful online store specializing in bikes thatwas gaining positive customer feedback and revenue.These cutting-edge guys decided to launch a store onfacebook as part of their social strategy. Their regular online store is great — highly tailored to the needs of bikeenthusiasts. It has ratings and recommendations and evenproduct videos. The facebook store is … well … a store thatkind of works — once you figure out how to enter it. aswith many facebook applications, users often have troublefinding and launching f-commerce capabilities.

As a market launch campaign, the company offered a 10%discount on each purchase within Facebook. When I askedwhat their strategy was to pull people into the Facebook storeafter the 10% campaign had ended, the response was, “Well,we believe we will grant the 10% permanently.”

Why is that? Because without a discount, there is no reasonto buy with Facebook over a traditional online store. Is thissocial commerce? Yes, but social commerce can be muchmore. As with their traditional online stores, e-retailers needto understand their customers’ needs, and they need to beopen to experimenting with social channels to make it workfor them.

Taking social commerce to the next levelA better example of the potential of social commerce — be iton Facebook or another platform — involves pulling in socialcomments and social affirmation to drive higher conversions.Start with what we have today: Consumers have the opportunity to show on Facebook that they “Like” your products.

But you could go much further than this. Imagine a “conditional checkout process” for consumers who areunsure whether they should buy your product or not — eitheronline or in-store. At the end of the online checkout, or on amobile device in-store, the consumer publishes his or herpending purchase to Facebook. The transaction is kept in thepending state until a certain number of friends have

“supported” the purchase with their comments; once itreaches “critical mass,” the deal is done, and the transactionis settled. These techniques can increase the quality of thecustomer experience of the online store.

a good customer experience drives increased conversionIn fact, we recently evaluated the customer experience quality of online stores run by the 25 leading multi-channelretailers in Germany. We also conducted consumer researchinto digital and traditional behaviors of their customers. Together, this data demonstrated a clear link between thecustomer experience and key business success metrics.

This documented correlation should simplify the justificationof an investment in an improved customer experience — particularly in social commerce. Yet many times, investmentsin customer experience are delayed or cancelled, due to alack of confidence in the ROI. With modern web analytics and social media monitoring in place, those doubts should be lifted.

A good social commerce strategy should, without any doubt,lead to conversion and/or margin improvements in the shortterm. This is not to say Facebook commerce is the answer;rather, we view f-commerce as a promising but still unprovennew technology. When combined with elements of social commerce (e.g., reviews and ratings) and other channels(e.g., Twitter or SMS), it can be an effective way to leveragesocial interactions between friends and families to achieveyour social commerce strategic goals.

Social commerce remains an evolving set of technologies. Aspart of the maturation process, we'll see more experimentslike the ones described in this article. To maximize success,companies should focus on customer need, measurement,and ROI as part of the social commerce strategy.


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Context — The New Gold of the Mobile Industry

Written by Torsten Schollmayer, Mobile ExperienceStrategist; SapientNitro Dusseldorf


what we are seeing today is only the surface of the realpotential for mobile services. This is because producers,brands, and agencies are still doing what people do whenthey discover a new channel: They transport existingproducts and ideas into the new channel, but neglect todig deeper to reach "the gold."

Because banner and display advertising had worked well on desktop screens, the obvious reaction is to simply reduce the size of the ads on mobile screens regardless of where users were or what they were doing.

This mistaken behavior happens because it is too exhaustingand time consuming to think disruptively and consider theuser context. Unfortunately, we are often “prisoners of ourown ideas.” We tend not to be objective and are thereforebound by our own thinking most of the time. However, according to The Next Web article, "Everyone Sits in the Prison of His Own Ideas," new thinking is needed for developing successful mobile services. There are severalways to accomplish that goal:

● Trying to get an idea of what people want by doing market research,

● Building something you really need yourself,● Building something your friends say they need,● Copying and pasting someone else's idea and

improving upon it, or● Letting a thousand flowers bloom and watching

what happens.

Context will certainly be the key driver for popular mobileofferings that serve specific customer need. And while thereis no best way for victories in mobile, there are strategies for building a winning mobile service.

Case studies: user context considerations for mobileSo how do we design, create, and develop a mobile servicewith user context in mind?

First, we have to look at the existing assets of the mobileproduct or service and what the core value might be. If wecan identify these things, we are halfway there.

Second, we need to distinguish if it is a proposition that willserve every user with the same need or if we need to designthe product in ways that serve different people with different needs.

Let's start with two case studies, from the least complex to the most elaborate.

autoTrader's iPhone app. This app was created and developed by SapientNitro, and only available in the UK market, which originally focused on one specific idea: Users were in the streets (a very mobile situation) when they spotted a vehicle they liked. SapientNitro asked, "How can we leverage that moment into a mobile opportunityfor AutoTrader?"

The initial information that these users needed was themake and model, its price, and how to purchase it. The solution was to use the iPhone camera to identify the carmodel by taking a photo of the number plate and thenmatch it with the government database. As a result, theuser got the exact model, could search for it within the AutoTrader market, and then could contact the car dealer.

This was not an adaptation of the desktop AutoTrader portal. There were no sitemap or navigation elements. The entire focus of the concept was to serve the needs of the user to identify and shop from the street.


Figure 1. The AutoTrader iPhone application

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The Homeplus Subway Virtual Store. This product was the 2011 winner of the Cannes Lions for “Best Use of Outdoor.” For its "shopping on the move" campaign, Homeplus created virtual stores in subway stations at rushhours showing their goods on displays that looked exactlylike those in real stores, including prices and advertising.The difference was that people shopped with their smart-phones by scanning the QR code and putting the products in virtual shopping baskets. Once purchased, the goodswere delivered to the customer's door after they get home.

Users could avoid rush hour in the supermarket and savetime by shopping on the way home.

Figure 2. Homeplus Virtual Subway Store

Complex mobile services need a “Paddle, Swim, and Dive” approachBut what if the mobile service that needs to be designed andcreated must serve different users with different needs?

For this scenario, SapientNitro recently introduced the“Paddle, Swim, and Dive” approach, which generally fits welland provides the right level of detail to initiate the concept.

In the “Paddle” phase of a mobile product, we see a personwho urgently needs to solve a problem or save time. Thismight be a quick look at the news, a pop-up reminder, oranything that is only “one-click” away.

In the second phase, when the user wants or needs to“Swim,” he or she gets a richer level of detail for the content or the function that enables shopping or browsingquickly and securely.

In the final stage, when the user is “Diving,” he or she hasextra time and is able to use all the functionality that leadsto the desired goal.

Think disruptively and create simple + socialAlong with accepted design principles for mobile services,there are other determinants for creating successful mobile products that leverage the idea of “considering user context.”

When thinking about a user's behavior in a mobile environment and how to match this to mobile products, a common mistake is to copy a great idea or adopt already-known behavior patterns and market offerings that exist in the non-mobile space.

To be successful, however, the principles need to be basedon disruptive and creative thinking that are very different toknown offerings and highlight the core value and function ofthe mobile service.

Additionally, we should also consider what the mobile device means to us in the context of “being on the move.”Every user is unique and uses the device in a personal way— and often under severe time pressure. This means thatwe need to build mobile services that are social, simple,and connected to the personal environment of the user.

To illustrate that theory, take the example of Gigalocal. Gigalocal is a service that describes itself as the first “microworking” mobile application that offers a market-place for micro deals and offerings. Users will be able tosuggest and provide service delivery via their smartphonesfrom two perspectives: buyer and seller.

Gigalocal is focusing on city or local markets, which meansthat users can immediately act on offerings in real time.Typical services that could be offered and consumed via

this mobile service include repairing a bike, getting glassesfrom the optician, or buying a Big Mac and Coke for a special price.

Gigalocal uses the power of user context by combining thetime the user has with the urgent need to get a problemsolved while providing a unique, social, and simple service.

The digital wallet of 2012If we look at the trends that may greatly impact the near future, it is obvious that the technical environment for mobile payment will soon be a reality. Global banks, creditcard companies, and Internet companies like Google are attempting to position themselves as the first contact pointfor payments with mobile devices.

One of SapientNitro's “Idea Engineers,” Christina White,phrases our perspective:“Most of us carry some sort ofpayment method [in our wallets], but you probably have a bit more — loyalty cards, business cards, receipts,

insurance cards, IDs, subway tickets, event tickets, and the list goes on. A digital wallet is not just a way to pay. It’staking that actual wallet in your back pocket and all of itscontents and associated behaviors and integrating it intosome type of digital device.”

To convince the user of the benefits of using a mobile deviceas their digital wallet, we need to rethink the user's contextand what would provide the added value to bind the customer to the service permanently. The digital combination of one place and continuous availability will be the core values of the digital wallet.

Figure 4. The digital wallet

If you are thinking about creating and delivering a digitalwallet, a mobile commerce solution, or any other mobileservice, you must consider user context. Once this is recognized and appreciated by your customers, usage and distribution can be built on a solid base — leading to success and satisfied users.

Figure 3. Gigalocal

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Could Mobile lead Your Customer experience?

Written by Paul Bevan, Mobile Strategist; SapientNitro UK


Just a few years ago, the idea of mobile taking the lead in customer experience would have seemed ridiculous.However, thanks to the iPhone charge, mobile is now significantly more important to most brands, and has becomean integral part of their multi-channel experiences.

The opportunities that accompany this new technology is real, but taking advantage of them will not be easy.Brands will have to create great customer experiences,and this comes with challenges and questions that mustbe answered.

Is mobile working?To understand how far mobile can go, it is important to understand how far it has come. The audience for mobileinteractive customer experiences has grown quickly. Mobileownership is now nearly ubiquitous. And while phone and textstill dominate usage, interactive usage has grown significantlyin two major areas of mobile — Internet and native apps.

In fact, people now spend on average 32 minutes a dayusing mobile Internet services, and more than 15 billionapps have been downloaded from the iTunes App Storealone. Customers are consuming these mobile experienceson both phones and tablets, at home, at work, and on themove, and are looking for experiences that are fun, useful,usable and/or convenient.

Customers are also becoming increasingly comfortabletransacting on mobile, which has led to impressive revenuefigures. Online retailer ASOS brings in more than £1m amonth through mobile transactions, Amazon brought in$1bn from 2009 to 2010, and eBay sold $2bn worth of products last year.

However, the influence of mobile reaches far beyond just direct sales. Brands are using mobile to build awarenessthrough advertising and create affinity through customercare and loyalty programs, and consumers are using mobileto research products both at home and in-store. Becausemobile devices are carried with the consumer constantly,they become powerful tools for creating multi-channelbrand ecosystems that can deliver real value.

On the other hand, mobile services aren't perfect: 90% ofapps are deleted after 30 days and 38% of people are notsatisfied with their favorite brand's app. The mobile webdoes not fare much better; 25% of people would not revisita retailer’s mobile site after a bad experience and and 75%of the UK top 100 retailers do not have mobile-optimizedversions of their website even though people spend three-and-a-half times longer and look at three-and-a-half times asmany pages on optimized sites, compared with non-optimized.

will mobile continue its rapid ascent?The demand for mobile services and their commercial importance will only increase — and quickly. We have identified four areas that have influenced mobile growth,and will continue to do so.

1. rise of the smartphone and tablet. Mobile has beenpropelled by the explosive sales of smartphones and tabletsthat give people a far richer experience. Sales of smart-phones in the UK jumped 74% between 2010 and 2011.Tablets were virtually non-existent 18 months ago, yetworldwide tablet sales in 2010 almost hit 16m units, andthis is expected to grow to 56m units by 2012.

2. availability of cheap, fast data. The availability of cheapdata bundles, the rollout of 3G across the UK, and thelaunch of LTE/4G in 2014 will mean greater mobile broadband speeds and even more mobile growth.

3. awareness of mobile services. Many mobile solutionsfall at the first hurdle because firms fail to pay proper attention to launching their services. One example? Thereare over 420,000 apps in the Apple App Store alone. Tocompete with the saturation, smart brands are looking athow to best tag apps, categorize, and drive participation.

4. Better technology. In the past few years, a range ofimproved technologies such as cloud-enabled, NFC-enabled,and location-based services have started to deliver morecomplex experiences. Over the next few years, technology will continue to improve. This trend will only continue.


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Can you meet the challenges?Just because the screen is smaller doesn't mean the obstacles are any less. Key challenges to keep in mind follow:

Match your offering with your audience. Understandingyour audience is the first step. This is particularly importantin mobile as audiences are fragmented by form factor and usage, which are also heavily influenced by culture and geography.

Mobile behaviors should also be considered. This includesfilling spare time, performing small jobs that are ideallydone on the go, and offering a third screen at home. Then,the real value comes from detailed understanding of youraudience and unveiling key insights.

Craft the right experience. The range of front-end technology is broad and changing by the day. They includenative apps, hybrid apps, NFC, 3D, and good old SMS, toname a few. From the business point of view, a deep understanding of the technology is not necessary. What is important is choosing the right technology.

These decisions have a direct impact on the consumer. Forexample, typing in a URL is very different than downloadingan app. The end solution may accomplish the same goals,however the consumer expectations can be wildly different.

See what the customer doesn’t. Richer mobile experiencesfrequently require access to back-end systems such as product catalogues, e-commerce systems, and account information. Too often, companies do not consider their back-end architecture sufficiently. As a result, mobile experiences that rely on good access to back-end systems are often delayed or never come to life at all.

Think strategically. When creating consistently great mobile experiences that deliver customer and businessvalue, strategy matters. The time for one-off mobile experiments has now passed.

The first step is to have a clearly defined mobile strategy inplace that includes a roadmap. This needs to be supportedby a conviction that warrants the growing investment required. Many analysts will suggest that there is no suchthing as a “mobile strategy” — only a multi-channel strategy.While this is true, mobile often carries the load for innovationand business transformation.

Conclusion Could mobile lead your customer experience? The simpleanswer is yes! And even if it does not lead, it will withoutdoubt play a critical role. There are a series of mountains toclimb, but consumers are demanding it and the opportunitiesare huge, so the time to act in a serious fashion is now.

Digital Marketing Platforms:Taking Back Control

Written by Dan Barnicle, Vice President, Content Management and Collaboration; SapientNitro Munich


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Planning, delivering, and measuring sophisticated multi-channel marketing campaigns has never beenmore difficult.

Marketing was once much more straightforward: TV, radio, print, and physical store channels were takencare of by one agency. Today, two main factors arechanging everything: the explosion of channels to meetcommunication needs, and the push toward personalizedengagement marketing.

We now have microsites, mobile, apps, VOD, real-time social conversations, and a vast number of other channels, leading to specialized agencies, organizationalchallenges, profit nightmares, fragmented technical governance, asset inefficiencies, and new competition. Multiply that across a portfolio of brands across a numberof local markets in a fast-paced social world and what doyou get? An overwhelmed marketer with a big problem.

Hence the rise of the digital marketing platform, designedto centralize digital assets, group and manage content,reuse processes, connect with external sites, and apply advanced analytics. The result enables rapidly launched experiences using pre-built and tested digital components,and shifts the cost from developing digital functionality toproviding marketing services.

The digital marketing maturity model Marketing organizations’ digital marketing maturity fallsinto three distinct "ages."

1. The early years. In this initial stage, the retailer is "dabbling" with digital marketing. There is no commonprocess or technology approach. Numerous silos of agencyand technology partners create flexibility, but only occasionally share assets or technology investments. Smallscale means that these inefficiencies can be considered acost of doing business, and worthwhile given the flexibilityand time-to-market benefits.

2. The awkward years. The retailer is struggling with scaleand cross-campaign analysis. It is frequently "reinventingthe wheel," but isn't sure how to evolve. Symptoms includeoverspending on redundant technology investments. Thiscompany may also experience occasional security and liability incidents due to inconsistent processes.

3. The adult years. In this phase, scale is fueled by a standardized operating model and consolidated technology.Additionally, coordinated consumer data, campaign analytics, and reporting across campaigns are optimized.The benefits of this fully mature platform include:

• Marketing innovation• Speed-to-market and nimbleness• Intimate consumer-brand relationships• Effective and holistic consumer intelligence• Measured campaigns in real time• Optimized technology investments• Reduced liability and data security risk

The digital marketing platform solutionThe digital marketing platform toolset allows marketers to maximize their campaign or marketing strategy, and canalso enable important organizational changes, which are essential for productivity. Digital marketing enablementtouches on eight areas:

1. an organizational model. There are a number of interweaving elements that are critical to a successful campaign including content, production, and technology.Strong organization is paramount and the key is in buildingout those connections.

2. Campaign production processes. Inefficient and redundant processes are minimized, and a consistentprocess — critical to reuse — is rolled out across the organization. Benefits are seen by all the players involved.

3. Technology governance. A close working relationship,and clear governance structure is essential to overcome the inevitable technical challenges.

4. Standardized campaign types. Clients typically developa core set of campaign types to speed time-to-market. The common technology platform must anticipate and support these types. An actual campaign could be a hybrid of long-lived (e.g., websites, brand affinity, content syndication, social networking, mobile apps) or short-livedcampaigns (e.g., promotional web or mobile sites, socialnetworking campaigns).

5. Managed platform capabilities. Identifying and enhancing the core management platform capabilities is essential. Content management, digital asset management, social or community presence, marketing andcampaign management, measurement and analytics, or consumer data management make up this set of opportunities.

6. Digital production toolkit. Creation of a set of reusableasset libraries — from copy to HTML to video and more —can deliver a campaign much quicker, with better results.

7. Multi-channel campaign delivery. Combining the assetlibraries with the standardized processes and campaigntypes allows rapid multi-channel campaign delivery. From iPhone apps to in-store end-caps to viral videos,multi-channel is all about quickly executing cohesive marketing on every appropriate touch point.

8. Campaign management and analytics. Testing, learning, tracking, and adjusting are all tremendously challenging. But for true engagement marketing, it is essential.

In the end, the challenges of a true multi-channel digitalmarketing enablement can be accelerated with a platform.But we believe that how you integrate the platforms — withtheir various capabilities — is critical. Accountability for digital marketing, long divided among various traditionallyand digitally focused constituents, must be explicitly defined. Governance must focus on enablement and acceleration, not on constraints.

Incentives become a critical part of the driving platformadoption across an organization — whatever your agencyand partner model.

Does one production model fit all? Choosing the right balance between centralizing productionpartners, and allowing a modest set of loosely coupledfirms to operate relatively independently is a tradeoff between capability, coordination and overhead costs, and ability to scale. And, in most cases, allowing fully ungoverned production procurement should no longer be an option.

ConclusionThe digital marketing platform is a tool to meet the complex needs of the marketing creative process, creativeagencies, and production agencies. Tactically, it offers theopportunity to accelerate specific campaign roll outs, andoptimize those campaigns from existing assets andprocesses. Strategically, it addresses governance gaps, optimizes digital marketing processes, and provides a levelof nimbleness, control, and insight that allows marketers tofocus on driving marketing innovation and effectiveness.

The digital marketing platform is nolonger a technology problem, which hasbecome relatively straightforward; it isnow a business problem, a philosophy,and a working model.

One global consumer products company estimates that, due to a lack of coordination and process subordination, over 50% of theirdigital marketing spend goes to production and technology capability costs alone — which could be better spent on creative strategy, concepts, and experience design.

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after the release: MaximizingValue from Your Commerce

Platform InvestmentWritten by Sheldon Monteiro, Vice President; SapientNitro Chicago



“There will come a time,” wrote louis l'amour, the greatamerican storyteller, “when you believe everything isfinished. That will be the beginning." l’amour passedaway more than a decade before digital commerce wentmainstream, but he eloquently captured the gestalt of adigital platform going live. launching a platform today isno small feat, typically taking months — perhaps years— of effort. Yet, on the eve of launch day, the real workhas just begun. The operational and evolution challengesare many, and it’s no surprise that we see some platforms thrive while others stumble and fail.

There are nine things every customer experience executive should know on launch day:

1. It feels like you just gave birth. No matter how much you planned, you will be surprised in the first few months,and not in a pleasant way. There will be issues, whether related to scalability, stability, operations, or content. Peakbusiness periods and hours tend to reveal quite a bit aboutthe behavior of your new platform under stress. And after a few 3 a.m. calls, it might feel less like you launched a system and more like you brought a colicky infant homefrom the hospital.

Smart firms take a pragmatic approach in the first sixmonths. They realize that the only true test is one with realcustomers and traffic — a staged go-live — where the platform is gradually opened up, in parallel with existingplatforms. In addition, they invest T+180 continuously stabilizing, improving processes and reviewing analytics.Every anomaly is a learning opportunity, which should notbe squandered. This critical period should be used to fine-tune your release process.

2. New platforms start out with a mortgage. And, no, we are not referring to the check for your platform signedby your CFO. Going live on time and within budget likely requires some compromises in the business tools or technical maintainability.

You can view these deviations from the optimal solution in amanner similar to a mortgage or debt — the loan you took

that will result in more work down the road. Debt is notnecessarily a bad thing (you did launch after all), unless you let it get out of control. Then you find yourself applyingpatch after patch, resigned to inefficient operational work-arounds or foregoing opportunities because changesimply costs too much or takes too long. There is a realtemptation to focus all investments in post live releases onadding new user features, which may worsen the problemby actually adding debt.

How to avoid this fate? Avoid interest-only mortgages. Create a list of operational and technical debt, and addressitems that improve future agility and reduce recurring work.

One of our major telecommunications clients conductedfour major platform releases, but then invested their fifthrelease almost exclusively to reorganizing the platformcode for easier and more streamlined maintenance supporting their organizational structure. That meant foregoingnew functionality in the fifth release in favour of non-user facing features, but which enabled less friction, cost and time,and higher through-put, in every subsequent release.

3. Design, build, and test must evolve to listen, respond,and evolve. Today, no platform investments lack technologyto measure customer experience. Analytics are common-place, yet all too often we see firms stumble with listeningor responding to their customers. Data may be plentiful, butit isn’t worth a dime if you don’t have an effective process tomake changes based on the information.

Often, it’s measuring too many things, an over-reliance ongeneric metrics, or a lack of a working process that cripplesinsights from driving action.

Empirically, we have observed that firms that initiallychoose no more than three top-level core metrics have aneasier time making informed changes — especially thoserequiring material investments.

4. Marketing, business, development, and operationsmust converge. At go-live, it's unlikely that the marketing,business, development, and operations teams are on the

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same page. We commonly observe organizational structures and incentives tailored for slowly evolving enterprise resource planning systems, rather than thoserequired to facilitate customer expectations.

We have two proven suggestions to drive change:For one, you can force alignment by establishing a fixed and firm calendar of “global releases.” Global releases area vehicle for major feature changes that require enterprisecoordination, and complement smaller, interim releasesthat are localized in scope of impact. Every business unit,department, and individual knows that any significantchange happens on set release dates that are establishedin advance every year, and negotiation of what goes intoeach release happens on set dates prior to the releases.If scope is not closed by the due date, the desired changedoes not make the release.

Or, consider using iterative, incremental time-boxed practices for enhancements and operations. Agility is anacute challenge within a “design, build, transfer” modelthat is prevalent in enterprise IT, where the developers whobuild the system and know most about its workings handover the code to a junior, inexpensive maintenance group. In contrast, those development teams that continue to workusing agile methods integrated with marketing, businessand operations are able to increase feature through-put andrespond faster to change.

5. Time + attention + resources = value. During the initialplatform launch, it’s common to work alongside senior executives. But as time goes by, we see less focus from the C-Suite, with operational management relegated tosomeone two or three levels removed.

One telecommunications firm we worked with immediatelymoved post release into a functional silo structure, and a modest budget was almost fully consumed by routine maintenance. Larger enhancements were funded via capital requests through a lengthy and bureaucratic approvals process. It took them five years after go-live to introduce a sorely needed technology feature — functionalclustering — that they knew was needed three monthsafter go live. In contrast, another client, also with a modest

budget, actively incentivized development and operations toimprove deployment and process efficiency, with sustainedC-Suite visibility. In a few months, the team was steadily deploying platform changes to production every two weeks. Notwithstanding executive focus and attention, significantfinancial resources are required to maintain the platformand stay competitive — after the first year post live, the typical enterprise IT application devotes 80% of on-goingspend to maintenance and only 20% to enhancements andupgrades. For digital commerce platforms to remain competitive, we have observed that an even split is moreappropriate between lights on and evolution spend on anon-going basis.

6. New platforms need help fitting in with established channels, structures, and incentives. Though discussedoften, few firms have truly mastered multi-channel today. In many instances, their ability to get there is compromiseddue to organization and scale constraints.

At one major office supply chain, the store associates will literally intercept customers headed towards the in-storekiosks to make a purchase — an egregious example of incentive misalignment. Regardless of how delightful theonline platform experience or the in-store experience is,multi-channel fails if the organization and incentives are not aligned.

Conversely, another Fortune 50 client aligned all digitalplatform investments under a single program executive reporting directly to their COO. Their in-store, call center,and digital experiences are synchronized across brands. Incentives are aligned. Digital is not a channel; it’s a part of the business, enabling every channel.

While technology plays an enabling role, your best hope forrealizing the promise of multi-channel is to understand whyyour employees act the way they do and then plan accordingly.

7. Content is not the redheaded stepchild. In the race togo live, content is commonly not treated with the samerigor as development or system testing — and may noteven be fully defined. Often, content teams are too anemic

to sustain the effort needed, but consumers still demandpersonalized, differentiated content.

Prior to launch, one major retailer realized they would require several million dollars of additional funds to re-shoot thousands of product images (based on hard data that product imagery was a major conversion driver).Another retailer disbanded their catalogue business only to realize 18 months later that authoritative content on theirwebsite was strongly correlated with increased dwell timeand conversion. It took them considerable time to staff andrebuild their content capability.

8. additions will be needed — just avoid spit and ducttape. Your significant investment and robust platform will feel like it's falling behind before the year is out as customer expectations and industry innovation forge ahead.

Think through new feature additions with a custom (notvendor-provided) business case — including what youmight learn from smaller investments that can inform future decisions. Also, create a vision — user journeys relayed through video narratives, rich media prototypesplaced in a test area of your site to stand trial in the court of customer opinion.

While being first with new features may not always be the wisest, being a fast follower is often prudent, and maintaining experience parity with your direct competitorsis a cost of business in a digitally connected world.

9. Your platform is a product — sell it. Whether you thinkabout (and manage) your new platform as an IT application,a channel, or as a product will have a massive implicationon its success.

At the height of the dot-com boom over a decade ago, it wasfashionable for organizations to anoint a dot-com czar, andessentially view the investment as a new channel, even anew business. In large part, that was driven by investor appetite to pursue e-business metrics as distinct frombusiness metrics. In the bust that followed, companies retrenched, czars went out of fashion, and the former platform investments were typically folded under a

mid-level IT manager. Unsurprisingly, starved of executivefocus, many of those investments languished and were ultimately written off.

In hindsight, digital was not and is not a channel — it’s simply part of business, across channels and customertouch points. The trap many firms fall into is that digital isviewed as “infrastructure” — or an enabling technologycommodity. The net result is bespoke or duplicative investments in technology, business process, and operations. In contrast, the platforms that support digitalare maximal in their business value when viewed as an integrated and strategic product suite across channels and business lines.

A major CPG client has invested in a global marketing platform that operates across their brands, business units,and partner marketing agencies. It provides common infrastructure, content administration, and analytics. A small, full-time staff of platform account managers interfaces with each global business and their marketingagencies. It’s an effective “platform as a product” model —one with direct focus from their CMO and CIO.

Chances are, you are aware of some of these issues. But if you have gained some valuable insight from theseproven practices, then consider leading the change.Making change happen takes some doing — it takes destroying some notions and creating some positive friction to do things in a new way. louis l'amour onceagain provides us inspiration: “I would not sit waiting for some vague tomorrow, nor for something to happen.one could wait a lifetime, and find nothing at the end of the waiting. I would begin here, I would make something happen."

This is an excerpt of a longer article series, which is available at http://ideaengineers.sapient.com/


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Written by Scott Petry, Director of Technology Strategy; SapientNitro Atlanta



a decade ago, digital marketing and e-commerce involvedbuilding websites. any substantial website was built using technologies like content management systems, personalization servers, rules engines, and e-commerceplatforms. and the first step in the process was to make a fundamental decision about whether to buy or build. Since the available solutions could often meet businessrequirements, most companies chose to buy, rather thangetting into the business of developing and maintainingsoftware (though buying often led to the need for a team to develop, maintain, and operate software regardless).

Today, digital marketing and e-commerce are infinitelymore complicated than websites alone. Consumers engagewith brands across a dizzying array of digital channels thatare integrated into the traditional physical world in waysthat make it impossible to distinguish real from virtual. The complexity of consumer experiences and interactionsacross all these channels presents a daunting technologychallenge for anyone tasked with building the platform to support it all. Fortunately, several leading software companies and a few innovative startups have been able to keep pace with the proliferation of digital channels.

However, just because your software provider has a newversion, doesn't mean you can use it. In fact, you probablycan't. The latest version is probably a complete overhaul oftheir solution, and the customizations you've deployed overtime are probably not compatible.

we need a new strategy Marketing is a nimble industry, and marketers are lookingfor their technology partners to deliver all the latest andgreatest capabilities swiftly and cost effectively. The decisionwe need to make today is whether we can effectively take onownership of the platform required to achieve the businessobjectives or not. If we don't want to be in the business ofsoftware development and maintenance, we need to findbuilt-for-purpose solutions (or services) to use. If we don'twant to be in the business of software development andmaintenance, we need to find ready-built solutions to use.

The big question is how to decide. The criteria for the decision needs to be objective and measurable, not emotional. We all take great pride in our work, and we enjoy ownership and relish control.

Platforms in the Cloud:Deciding to use or own

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enter, the cloudThis is where cloud-based platform services can reallychange the game. In the cloud, we can have the latest innovations and capabilities readily available, and pay-per-use pricing models — everything we need to balance the value equation for marketing and e-commerce.

There are some situations where owning the platform reallydoes make sense. For example, with unusually complicatedback-end systems to integrate, highly-specialized requirements, or if the business is so large that managedsolutions just aren’t scalable enough, owning the platformis in the best interest of the company. Maybe.

However, we’d still rather get to the cloud if the offeringswere there. While most new concepts are built in the cloud(e.g., ratings and reviews, recommendations engines, video serving with in-stream tagging, multivariate testing,location-based targeting, etc.), few fully-featured contentmanagement and e-commerce platforms are available inthe cloud today. And when they are, they tend to have generalized capabilities, limited scalability, or unprovenvendors. It is not a small task for software vendors to become cloud service providers. It represents a fundamentalshift in their business models, their sales forces, and theirorganizations.

The question that still remains is who — not when. The time is now.

own Versus use

The Use model delivers 35% greater business value on 18% lower non-working spend











0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 2

Working spendNon-working spendBusiness value











0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 2

Working spendNon-working spendBusiness value


In IT, this often leads to a desire to own and control the platforms that run the business, so the systems can bedeeply understood, and when something breaks, the situation can be addressed within the team to get the business back on track. It seems harder to manage a bad situation when we are dependent on a vendor to fix it.

Conversely, in the business team, the need for control oftenleads to a desire to avoid IT as much as possible; IT has fewresources to deliver new solutions, limited capabilities with the latest concepts, and spotty performance when it comes to swift resolution of issues. It is often more effective to put pressure on a vendor who is motivated by the same metrics as the business, and expect them to deliver the best solution or resolve the issue swiftly.

But those are all emotional criteria. Objectively, it comesdown to value — benefit versus cost. In marketing, value is the ratio of working spend to non-working spend — thehigher the ratio, the higher the value. Working spend goestoward media, content, conversations with customers, merchandising, and taking orders. Non-working spendgoes toward infrastructure, development, process management, and operations and maintenance.

We also need to consider the timing of non-working spend versus working spend. The value of working spend depends on the success of the campaigns being executed.If non-working spend associated with a particular campaign is high upfront and the campaign fails, we'll beleft with a very low ratio of working spend to non-workingspend. We need to be able to align the costs to the benefits. (And, of course, we need to measure to understand if our working spend is really, well, working.)

Figure 1. Own (left) versus Use (right) quarterly spend and value over 3 years

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Seven questions. Nine markets. Nine local perspectives.In this section, we explore what's hot and trending in major markets around the globe. From theiPhone, Foursquare, the digital wallet, and QR codes to Angry Birds, Vodafone, and even Jay-Z —read on to hear what our counterparts around the world think about consumer behavior, technology,trends, multi-channel experiences, the future of privacy, and the best media campaigns out there.




NorTH aMerICa






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QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?Supercookies, zombie cookies, and history stealing — industryself-regulation is not working and consumers are more privacy-aware than ever. In the next 6 – 24 months, we will seethe federal government enter the world of online privacy regulation. If there is one issue where Republicans and

Democrats agree, it is online consumer privacy protection.The implications for marketers are both unclear and profoundat the same time. What is known is that every channel and touch point will now have a new layer of privacy requirements that will affectcreative and user experiences. What will always remain is thatconsumers will surrender personal data for a valuable andrelevant experience.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?facebook. Its hush-hush music platform, Instagram-esquephoto filters, and video chat innovations show that the leaderis aware (unlike MySpace) that it needs to evolve to stay on top.Twitter. They are the de facto live search provider, and continue to make the proposition make sense for brands with their "sponsored" suite of products.YouTube. The world's number 2 search engine is simply a synonym for online video, and is a continually leading innovation in the display world. Their latest suggestion?

Maybe they're the best place to test new shows before sinkingmillions of dollars into production and network expenses.foursquare. The race to own check-ins is over. Foursquarewon — hence the demise of Facebook Places. Innovations include their masterstroke American Express deal, openingup monetization opportunities and silencing the cynics. Google+. This platform cleverly exposed a chink in Facebook.It has a bunch of features, and is integrating them into theirproperties pretty well. There's a lot riding on this — includingbecoming the number 1 web destination again.

QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?evolution from GuI to NuI. The rise of gesture-based interactivity has radically changed the way we engage withmachines, and has allowed digital activities to be consumedby a much broader audience. Apple's latest OS "Lion" is basedentirely on NUI learnings; Wii, Move, and Kinect immerse thegamer in ways we only dreamed of before. Just ask any parenton a long road trip with their 6-year old what price they'd put onthat iPad.

location-based bias. Whether we’re checking in at the U2 concert and sharing that experience on Instagram with anonymous fans, or snapping QR codes at Best Buy to makesure we’re getting the best price, geo-based technology has accelerated the recession of the divide between the physicaland digital realms. And we can’t go back. always public, all the time. The socialization of media and the mobilization of connectivity means that every activity,question, cry for help, and status update is packaged, published, and public — usually in the moment. It's no longer behind the walled garden.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?Marketers will have an e-dentity crisis; smart marketers willfind a successful solution. They will be challenged by theeveryday barrage of content, options, and opinions their consumers face. They will understand that iPads and

smartphones consume more data than PCs. And that data is ingested in large part through apps.Smart marketers will also understand appification — that content is being chunked into packets of digestible experiences. And they will adopt an "86/4" not “24/7" mentality;they will realize they are no longer fighting for day-parts or ashare of 24 hours, but for the 86,400 seconds in a day.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?One success was Bing's Jay-Z: Decoded campaign.

QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?The Ralph Lauren 4D experience stands out.

QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobileproduct in your region?There are many. Flipboard for iPad is an elegant display ofpersonal content. Instagram offers a visual, social story of

everyday life. Spotify contains every song ever sung in thecloud and is available on demand. HBO GO lets its users taketheir living rooms with them. And Evernote makes it possibleto save thoughts and then access them anywhere.

Written by Justin Barkhuizen, Strategist; SapientNitro NYC, Rob Murray, Strategist; SapientNitro NYC

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QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?"always on." Smartphones have truly flooded the market,with many consumers upgrading to the most current generations of products (largely, the iPhone 4) after their first24-month phone plans. Tablet devices such as the iPad are also increasingly common, particularly around the workplace.

Connectivity. The ubiquity of social media has seen the number of social "creators" plateau, giving rise to the social"spectator" — largely driven by voyeurism. This can be seenfrom an APAC region point-of-view with Australia having some of the highest usage levels for Facebook globally.e-commerce. This trend is driven by the trends above, as well as the strength of the Australian dollar.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?From a brand point of view, it will be about delivering addedvalue across the entire customer experience (Australian consumer confidence is currently at its lowest levels since theGlobal Financial Crisis). From a channel point of view, mobilewill be key as will connecting it with social CRM.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?Tesco's virtual stores in Korea are exciting. In Australia,CommBank's augmented reality newspaper ad could bethe future of advertising.

QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?Drambuie's "The Premise" campaign and Foot Locker's Art Prize.

QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobileproduct in your region?Pocket Hipster. As one enthusiastic consumer put it,“It’s like, the best music app ever!”

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?Privacy? What privacy? With Google Street View, WikiLeaks,and data harvesting, public is the new private. The implicationsare far-reaching and yet to be seen.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?Facebook, thanks to the connectivity it offers, and YouTube, the content king.


QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?Micropayments via social gaming, online commerce viaTaobao, and group buying platforms have reigned supreme.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?Integrating social media with e-commerce plus the prevalence of micropayment online will lead to successful social commerce. In addition, marketers should take advantageof video-based marketing and in-store interactive marketing via digital screens.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?Lynx has one of the most successful multi-channel campaigns. It relies on humour, celebrity endorsement,and sexual innuendo to sell its products, and attracted70,000 followers on Weibo and Renren in the first threemonths alone.

Written by Mark Krebs, Strategy Planner; SapientNitro Brisbane Written by Jennifer Tan, Chief Creative Officer, China; SapientNitro Shanghai

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QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobileproduct in your region?Currently Nokia and its app store are dominant, with 90% market share in China.

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?Consumer privacy is still a nascent issue in China, but therewas a recent move to enhance consumer protection. This willhave some implications on businesses who are used to payingabout $250 USD for thousands of pieces of vehicle owners’ information, including their names, cell phone numbers,home addresses, vehicle models, colors, and more.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?Video sharing via Youku.com and Tudou.com is the most popular social media activity, followed by messaging onQQ.com (China's instant messenger) and bargains onTaobao.com (China's eBay). Search on Baidu.com is also important as every search allows users to create or join aforum thread.


TudouSina Weibo

China's Social Media Market




QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?Mercedes, 7UP, and Levi's.


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QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?Smartphones and tablets, social networking, and digital datain marketing and public service campaigns.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?Marketers must focus on digital interactive street media, including digital signage, and figure out how to effectively usemobile, real-time data, and innovation via a crowd. And socialnetworking is poised to become a future driver in purchasethrough social video and live TV. Additionally, the digital wallet will become a reality.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?The Taiwan Tourism Bureau's Fun Taiwan Challenge onTLC has found great success.

QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?A clever use of technology and design for retail interaction was Melvyn's Nike Trackball campaign. Formula 1 and Samsung Smart TV also developed successful interactive campaigns.


QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobileproduct in your region?Currently, FlightLover and taxi booking apps are paramount.

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?Privacy is government driven. Singaporeans are quite mindful(but sometimes a bit naive) of their security. While we take it seriously, we are certainly reliant on the government to ensure the technology is safe and secure.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?Facebook still the most popular social networking site. Facebook is like an extended arm of the individual‘s personality and voice. That, and Twitter.

Written by Jue Lu, Senior User Experience, Design; SapientNitro Singapore

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QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?Mobile social media usage has increased. Active mobile Internet users have increased to 26.3 million in India, as of March2011. E-mail, chat, search, social networking sites, and portals areamong the most commonly used applications. Lower subscriptionrentals, the availability of Internet-enabled cell phones at cheaperprices, and increased digital literacy are some of the reasons whymobile Internet penetration has risen.E-commerce sites are hugely popular among consumers. Indian e-commerce is on the rise, with around 17 million users. The fact that they feel comfortable shopping on the Internet in a country that has historically been shy of onlinespending speaks about the rising acceptance of the digitalmedium in India. Sites like Flipkart.com have built a strong network of customers and escalated their business and valuation considerably over the last year. Additionally, group buying and discount sites are gaining ground at a rapid pace. For example, Snapdeal.com attracts 500,000 visitors every day. Internet usage is also skyrocketing. Small town India is edging out metropolitan cities in terms of Internet usage.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?With Internet-enabled mobile phone penetration going up, Indian digital consumers are getting excited about the possibilities it offers. Metro consumers are using mobilephones for social networking, searching, and more. Socialnetworking is in fact beginning to emerge as one of thebiggest motivations to use the Internet on mobile, especially

among the youth. Internet on TV has also entered the Indianmarket and could take-off in the next two years, offering marketers the opportunities in brand tie-ups, applications,games, etc. Additionally, Foursquare is showing signs of lucrative growthin the India market. It has caught the fancy of metro youth andyouth marketers in particular and is increasingly waking up toits potential.


QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?Nike Bleed Blue. Cricket and Bollywood are India’s twobiggest religions and every Indian marketer is constantlyseeking opportunities to leverage them. The simple, yetevocative, "Bleed Blue" mantra, which ran across traditionaland new media, captured India’s imagination during the WorldCup cricket frenzy of 2011. The campaign leveraged cricketfervor in India by collecting over 11 million handprints via aninnovative digital and events-led campaign that inspired fansto express their loyalty to the team by simply marking their

handprint in blue (Team India’s colour). Fans continue to"Bleed Blue" today. In addition, Parle Hippo developed a very successful campaign. Hippo chose to partner with its consumers in oneof the most inventive and simple Twitter campaigns India hasseen. It asked them to tweet whenever they could not findHippo at outlets near them, with a promise to stock the outletas soon as possible. Hippo’s campaign resulted in not just resolving the brand’sdistribution problem, but also kick-starting brand sales to the point of selling out across over 200,000 stores.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?The Vodafone ZooZoo campaign is one of the most successfulexamples of multi-channel marketing in India. ZooZoos werelaunched as Vodafone’s brand mascots in 2009 and became

a mania across the nation over the last couple of years.MTV India’s experience also comes alive across a variety ofyouth-centric media touch points including mobile, social networking, and TV. The brand currently has one of the fastestgrowing and most highly engaged communities on Facebookand Orkut in India.

2000 2001 2003 2004 2007 2008 2008 2009

Base: All India Internet Ever Users(Urban) (All figures in Million)

Top 8 Metros Other Metros 5-10 lake towns Less than 5 lake towns

5 Mn 9 Mn 12 Mn 16 Mn 32 Mn 46 Mn 50 Mn 63 Mn

77% 58% 55% 55% 41% 38% 37% 34%


15% 19% 20%

20% 21% 21%18%


7% 7% 6%

10% 12% 12%12%



Written by Vidhya Sankarnarayan, Director; SapientNitro Gurgaon

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QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobileproduct in your region?India is one of the most exciting emerging mobile marketsacross the globe. Over the last few years, costs of handsets

and mobile service offerings have plummeted making thesethe most attainable digital devices. Smartphones are currently the hottest mobile device. Android is already investing in this trend by setting up itslargest development hub in India.

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?

India’s relationship with personal space and privacy is very different from that of the rest of the world. India’s current buy in to digital media comes from the way they expand andimprove an individual’s life. It remains to be seen whether andin what sense privacy will be a concern in India.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?Facebook’s popularity among Indian online users is at a highwith around 31.5 million users, double of what it was in 2010.Over a third of Indian Internet users are on Facebook. Orkuthad been the leading social network in India since 2005, but

Facebook ousted Orkut as the number one platform in July 2010. Orkut now rests at #10.LinkedIn has also evolved into a highly popular and influentialsocial networking site among Indian professionals. LinkedInhas grown at a rate of 76% in the past year and with a usercount of 9 million, it is poised to get bigger.

Q&aQueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?Smartphones. Mobile Internet audiences were two times bigger versus general Internet audience last year and mobilecontent and applications demonstrate active growth.

The Internet. The amount of users and their activity is growing on the Russian Internet (Runet), as well as theamount of viewed pages and time spent. In general, the typical urban person spends two hours a day on the Internet,with half of this time devoted to social networks.IPTV. With more diversity, and higher quality, the amount ofpeople watching TV (federal and online channels) is increasing.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?Integrated campaigns with interactive cyber elements, advocates who are willing to recommend and talk about yourbrand or product in social networks, and mobile marketingwill be dominate opportunities.


QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?Red Quest aimed to engage a young audience. This mobiletariff plan from MTS was developed to save Russia from theincreasing smog and heat. At the heart of this campaign is ateam game that resulted in 3.5 million unique visitors in thefirst two months, 1.04 million registered participants, and800,000 app installations.


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Written by Yulia Rubina, Senior Strategic Planner; SapientNitro Moscow

russian Internet activity

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QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?Red Quest, Windows with noise insulation, and BCE PABHO.

QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobileproduct in your region?Red Quest, Angry Birds, and Foursquare.

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?Many Russians do not care about privacy. In fact, there is no direct translation of the word. We are quite open and comfortable posting pictures in social networks and sharing details of our private lives. Perhaps because we are used to living in limitedspaces and were given no privacy during Soviet times.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?In August 2010, Russia ranked #1 worldwide in time spent onsocial networking sites, with Vkontakte, a site geared toward socialising and fun, at the top. Also highly popular is Odnoklassniki, a social network service primarily for classmates and old friends.


QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?We've seen two. The first is significant growth in popularityand prevalence of social media usage. The most popular social media sites are international versions such as

Facebook but we have local versions as well.The second is increased smartphone ownership. While Smartphone sales are trending, this ownership is notnecessarily leading to high levels of usage of smartphonetechnologies due to prohibitive data costs.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?Despite the above activity on such networks, social mediamarketing has yet to be truly maximised. Brands are active inthe online social space but in a very timid, traditional way. Thislack of confidence likely stems from the "mystification" of thesocial space and a general lack of understanding. Brands arealso concerned about the implications of engaging with consumers in an open, two-way dialogue and the ceding of

control that comes with this — as well as a perceived lack of measurability. Transforming such activity into genuine consumer engagement, leading to accountable brand- and revenue-building opportunities, will be the next step. The next opportunity will be mobile engagement. With mobilepenetration at nearly 200%, this channel offers massive potential. Currently brands rely on push SMS campaigns to engage with mobile users, mostly alienating rather than allyingthem. Critical to success will be a more competitive mobile landscape with more affordable pricing, which is on the horizon.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?There are very few examples of campaigns using mobile as partof a multi-channel campaign. However, a leader in innovativecommunications within the region is Batelco, the leadingBahraini Telco, with its "Infinity" campaign.

A second example of harnessing online consumer behaviour isthe Standard Chartered "Food Explorer" concept — althoughthis was almost entirely online and not so multi-channel in itsapproach. It involved establishing an online dining community to promote SC's credit cards and an associated discount at selected restaurants.


QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?

Again, Batelco launched a much-acclaimed brand campaign,which is probably as creative a campaign as has ever comeout of this region.

Written by Matt Horobin, Strategic Planning Director; SapientNitro Dubai

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QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?QR codes as marketing tools for mobile microsites, thegrowth of e-commerce (especially for brands like Adidas orelectronic goods), and social media campaigns and activitieswithin Facebook.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?Mobile commerce and the digital wallet (NFC) will drive the nextwave of marketing meets technology. The smartphone will bethe most used Internet device and will be complemented bytablet devices. Consumers and sales personnel will interactwith these devices and will be standard in-store.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?The remote EPG of the IPTV service of Deutsche Telekom isavailable via mobile website, mobile app, and desktop website

in order to manage (e.g., add, edit, delete) recordings on the IPTV box in the users' living rooms.Additionally, the Audi car campaigns are the most advancedofferings on all channels, presenting quality and brand value continuously.

QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?Vodafone launched several real-time campaigns promotingmoments with music in combination with social networks.

QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region?The most used and downloaded mobile app is the WhatsAppMessenger application, which offers simple text messaging forall mobile platforms. Despite any availability on web or desktopplatforms, the traction still grows: Group chatting and pictureand video sharing are the key functions.

QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobileproduct in your region?Tablets — either in form of an iPad, a Samsung Galaxy, or aBlackBerry PlayBook. These big-ticket items tend to come at

a high price and therefore remain niche amongst wealthieraudiences. However, these audiences are key influencers andwill define wider consumer behaviours as prices decrease andassociated up-take broadens.

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?At a governmental, social, and legal level, privacy is not suchan issue. Given the mostly non-democratic nature of the

Middle East (well, until recently!), there is little concern regarding personal privacy at an institutional level. This privacy issue only becomes a concern at a personal levelwhere individuals may not be comfortable sharing content(e.g., imagery) of themselves and their lives, given the custom of women remaining veiled in public at all times.�

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionallyand why?Facebook is the most popular social platform. Twitter is gaining ground but is still relatively niche. In a region thatstruggles with self-expression and individuality in the realworld, the virtual opportunities for self-expression are verycompelling. Community is also a critical pillar of Arab cultureand the instant, real-time connectivity that such platforms enable is unrivalled.

Facebook recently proved itself as a formidable catalyst of social change by facilitating uprisings across the Arab world.At the same time, Facebook is also being used by youths looking to date, meet, and marry.Blogging is also big — particularly in Saudi Arabia where this serves as really the only means of self-expression — particularly for women. As a result, blogs are now tightly controlled.

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?Historically, German customers are very sensitive with privacy in general, and with data security in particular. A lot of regulations are currently in place and the media acts quicklyif there is a breach in any kind of privacy. The fear of givingaway privacy and owning the data is huge.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?Facebook is heads and shoulders above the others. But Twitter, and the VZ-group offerings (StudiVZ and SchuelerVZ) are valuable too.

Written by Torsten Schollmayer, Mobile Experience Strategist; SapientNitro Dusseldorf

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Q&a UK

QueSTIoN 1In the past three years, what were the top three trends in digital consumer behavior and activities in your region?Higher adoption of smartphones and tablets. There has beena huge increase in touch screen devices. Greater maturity of

industry. We've gone from “I must have an app” to a more mature and business-driven approach. Increasing customerdemands. Fun, useful, and usable experiences on mobile devices whenever, and wherever they want have become standard and expected.

QueSTIoN 2In the next 12 – 24 months, what do you see as the key opportunities for marketers in your region?Health and mobile apps. Being able to use your mobile device as a health monitor will become even more popular.Consumers will use phones to remind themselves to takedrugs, measure heart rates, and track their loved ones withdementia via GPS.Standardization. When you visit a company’s page in a givenregion, it needs to feel the same as those in other areas.

Particularly important to international firms. Yet many times,offers, pricing, and stores vary. Branding needs to feel consistent, but regional leaders need to be able to tailor their offerings and merchandise according to local needs. Collaborate and leverage technology. More and more in mobile, you can only offer the caliber of experience that peopleare requiring if you have a solid set of front-end and back-endtechnology to support it. Until you get the technology stuff sorted,you can have nice ideas, but all those things are reliant on effectivetechnology behind the scenes. That’s often the painful bit.

QueSTIoN 3what would you highlight as examples of multi-channelmarketing campaigns in your region?British Airways' mobile ticketing campaign allows users tocheck in on the way to the airport and use a QR code to get totheir gates as quickly and easily as possible.

Additionally, the Aurora Group, a major UK retailer, will deliverorders from any channel — mobile, in-store, eCommerce —within 90 minutes, thanks to a fantastic, organized inventorysystem. They also recently announced an iPad point-of-saledevice for sales associates to take payments, and to browseand order on the brand's website.This sets a new benchmarkin this space and has delivered huge success in the UK.

QueSTIoN 6 In the next 2 – 3 years, to what extent do you view consumer privacy as a concern in your region? what are the implications?It's important. A client is currently engaging us on a project related to this topic, in which future monetization of data relieson permissions to enable business services like location drivenadvertising and targeted marketing. The key is to provide trustand reassurance, and to show, wherever possible, the benefitsto the customer. So whilst reassurance and privacy is key, moreand more consumers are also realistic that data can makemodern services better.

QueSTIoN 7 what are the most important social platforms regionally and why?Facebook is the obvious leader in the UK. It offers a nice global platform, with an intuitive mobile offering. LinkedIn provides huge amounts of value in the B2B space, and is growing in popularity.

QueSTIoN 4In the last 12 months, what were the most creative, design-driven campaigns of note in your region?Using clever campaigns to connect with consumers in the region. Generating great ideas, which deliver real value anddeliver them using innovative technology. One example is abus shelter campaign run by VitaminWater — "Recharge." By recharging your cell phone while you’re waiting in the bus stop, VitaminWater stayed on-brand — and offered theircustomers a positive experience to boot.In addition, mobile and associated technology, location-basedservices, and the mobile wallet are massive opportunities.Ability to form truly multi-channel experiences — and delivering on those experiences.

QueSTIoN 5what is the latest, hottest mobile application or mobile product in your region?Vouchercloud displays vouchers for restaurants, retailers, and evening out events. The interface is nice and intuitive.web app, which uses HTML5 technology to provide native-likeexperience through a mobile browser. TripAdvisor isn't the newest, but their mobile app uses the hybrid model quite effectively.


Written by Paul Bevan, Mobile Strategist; SapientNitro UK, Chad Cribbins, Associate Creative Director; SapientNitro UK

Page 44: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business


Tomorrow’s consumers are increasingly empowered to participate andshare their perceptions of brands, products, and their environment. The implication? Brands will be forced to respond and react faster andbetter than they have in the past. Social, geo, local, mobile — all theseterms reflect a new reality: an empowered consumer with moreinformation and tools than any one brand or individual can handle.

Interesting, yes, but also scary, as major brands rise and fall. watch for these new trends — what we call the SapientNitro Seven.

Written by Rob Gonda, Global Head of Innovation; SapientNitro Miami and Hilding Anderson, Sr. Manager, Research + Insights; SapientNitro Washington, DC

THe oNe To fIVe YearTreND ouTlook

Page 45: SapientNitro Insights 2012 - How Digital Innovation Impacts Your Business

4321Trend 1: Transmedia Storytelling Marketing has evolved from the traditional one-value message broadcast, and the consumer has evolved frompassive to engaged. Technology has empowered people toconsume media at their own pace, in their own terms, andshifted the notion of trust — from the brands to other people.

Over the past few years, research has demonstrated thatthe power of a recommendation drastically improves conversion; people have found an easy way to tap into theirfriends' networks for recommendations, disrupting thefocus of brands attempting to influence this new space.

But the wheels keep turning and, by 2014, we will havereached an era of data and friendship overload. In fact,studies show trust has shifted so much that people world-wide need to hear the same thing three to five times beforethey believe it; in the U.S., it gets as high as eight to ninetimes. People will have so much advice online that the truevalue of that advice will be reduced — the law of diminishedreturns. People will revert back to seeking expertise, notjust friendly input; they will seek expertise from a subgroupof their social circles or from experts in the field elevated bybrands. It is an opportunity for brands to regain their voice.

Messaging and information will need to be consistent acrosschannels — TV, radio, print, digital, mobile, and social will all have to confirm, extend, or complement the same information to gain that trust of the skeptical consumer.

The truth is that today's art of storytelling goes beyond narrative and requires the understanding of networks,group dynamics, and social spread. The introduction of social media has further coined terms such as "social currency," "likeonomics," and "attentionomics," all attempting to put a structure around the art of word ofmouth, conversation propagation, and influence.

Brands will succeed when they understand the propermedia mix, allow stories to run free, take their own shape,empower liquid content, and understand that their brandexperience is the sum of all the little moments — and theyneed to make each one of them count.

when will this trend be relevant?It is relevant now, and will continue to be increasingly relevant over the years.

who will be affected?Brands, advertising agencies, PR agencies

Trend 2: Data Is the New Holy GrailData is the most undervalued aspect of our business. It istraditionally misconceived as analytics and afterthought,and more recently upgraded to mining results to refinestrategy. However, those who undercover the power of datato drive personalized experiences that optimize outcomeswill succeed.

There's a new notion of "big data" and specialized databases optimized for NoSQL. The amount of data collected today is far greater than the amount of data possible to consume. Companies are investing in data scientists and experts in visualization; the art of making the most complex relationships easy to absorb by the business minds is becoming highly valuable.

Advancement in storage capacity and processing power, especially the one delivered by cloud computing, is makingit possible to quickly process and understand the data inmacro and micro levels, allowing it to be used to customizereal-time experiences. The holy grail of data is a centralizeddatabase with a single view of the customer and all relateddimensions: customer data, their relations, sales, marketing, advertising, transactions, behaviors, and social.We will not only have all these dimensions and be able toapply advanced business intelligence, but be able to usethem in real time to predict the next action and optimizebrand exposure.

The semantic web has been a long time coming, the trueweb 3.0, if we dare to keep the term web in this new era.Semantic computing will allow all brands to be contextuallyrelevant and aware, driving an optimized value exchangebetween brands and consumers.

The SapientNitro Seven: Trends to Shape the Next one to Three Years


when will this trend be relevant?Early traces are surfacing, mainly focused on behavioraldisplay advertising and socially driven commerce. More integrated solutions should start appearing in two yearsand a fully formed contextual computing ecosystem shouldtake shape in five.

who will be affected?Brands, media companies, technology companies

Trend 3: Technology Invades and enables advertising and MarketingThere should be no doubt that today’s customer experienceis enabled and driven by technology. Everything from thevery basic notion of connectivity: broadband to cloud computing to mobile devices and tablets to smart televisionsto in-store kiosks to digital merchandising. The consumerdrives, and the money follows. Many top venture capital dollars reside in the technology domain, sponsoring high-tech and innovation startups, which are fueling the evolving customer experience.

It is — and will continue to be — interesting to observe the impact of pure technology companies in the world ofmarketing and advertising. Take Google Labs. It wasn’t until 2010 that they started to get recognition: Super Bowlads, the Ad Age A-List, and in 2011 appearing at Cannes,winning five Lions, and winning "Media Person of the Year."They have been shaking the industry not just by being creative, but by using technology to bend the limits ofwhat’s possible. A perfect example is their ongoing Chrome Experiments, which use HTML5 to build dynamic new experiences in the browser, which weren't possible before.

HTML5, for instance, has opened the doors not only to innovation on the web, but is particularly strong in the cross-platform application arena, enabling building applications thatrun on multiple mobile platforms, tablets, even on TV.

when will this trend be relevant?Venture capitals are betting on disruptive technology. Thereis a mass overvaluation in the private equity section, and all eyes are on tech companies that are going public to eitherpredict a sustainable growth or another bubble.

who will be affected?Venture capitals, startups

Trend 4: Digital Invades retailIntegrating the physical world with digital technology (andvice-versa) is one of the most interesting and opportunity-richterritories of our age. It happens everywhere, but one of thelargest opportunities and demonstrations is happening in retail environments. Innovative brands are using digital experiences to draw new customers, enhance their shoppingexperiences, extend and facilitate social communications, and — soon — will integrate mobile payments.

1. enter, customer. The digital retail experience starts before customers have even entered the store. Back projections, cameras, and gesture recognition (made easy through Kinect), allow people to engage with storeswithout stepping in.

2. ambient in-store interaction. Once hooked, digital installations engage, immerse, and entertain, enticing thecustomer to stay and shop.

3. a richer product experience. Once shopping, digitaltechnology including short code, RFID, reader displays, andaugmented reality will be able to provide a wealth of detailaround the item the customer is interested in, from relatedproducts, to reviews, to promotions.

4. lean on me. The shop assistant will use digital technologies as well to help the customer evaluate and compare choices and offer advice.

5. The fitting room. Augmented reality browsing and customization will be increasingly possible.

6. a second opinion. People seek validation by close socialcircles. Retailers that understand the purchase lifecycleand provide a shortcut — such as validation without leavingthe store — will have the power to increase the conversionsignificantly.

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when will this trend be relevant?We’ve seen initial prototypes in store, though not many have shown significant results and ROI. Over the next couple of years, the cost of these experiences will go down,allowing deeper experimentation and growth.

who will be affected?Retailers, design companies, technology companies

Trend 5: Collaboration and Co-Creation Brands and products used to be a closed system. Researchand development, manufacturing, marketing, and retailwere all different silos. But the system has changed —feedback loops are now open, and everything is interconnected. Brands used to hire research focus groups to understand consumer perception, whereas now the feedback is immediate and everyone has a voice. Not onlythat, but consumers are passionate about becoming part ofthe community and having a say in the product’s future.

Smart brands are allowing their advocates to evangelizethem, influence connections, and provide critical feedback.They build systems and tools to elevate their brand advocatesand give them an even larger voice. By building and moderating these communities, brands have the opportunityto sit on a gold mine of insight and data that will not only drivetheir product and release strategy, but will potentially informevery aspect of their business.

A great example is Sneakerpedia by Foot Locker, a community that enables sneaker fans to post and share theircollections. By providing tools for an existing community tocommunicate, get closer together, and elevate their status,Foot Locker built themselves an insights factory that can understand demand through many dimensions such as demographics, cultures, locations, and seasonality. These insights can inform stores about inventory, fulfillment, marketing strategy, and drive vendor relations — all becauseof what seemed to be a simple community repository for"sneakerheads."

A further step in brand advocate involvement is true co-creation — everything from the store experience (Starbucks), the advertising (Old Spice), or the product (VitaminWater). It gives fans a sense of belonging, ownership,early buy-in, and guarantees success as the end result.

when will this trend be relevant?Brands are already betting on, and building, communities,though some are still learning to identify tribes and understand complex relationships. Co-creation requires amuch more liberal approach but after a few success storiesover the next few years, it will begin to push stronger adoption.

who will be affected?Brands

Trend 6: Cloudification“The Cloud” has been picking up rapidly with growth of a combination of software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and infrastructure-as-a-service solutions; but despite the level of abstraction or solution layer, easy access to endless storage and processing power is reducingbarriers to entry and giving birth to more start-ups andservices than ever before.

Amazon AWS is leading the charge in the infrastructureside, hosting massive services such as Netflix, Foursquare,BackType, HootSuite, IMDb, and Yelp just to name a few.The race however, is to win the connected experiences:iCloud, Google+, Spotify, Pandora, and Kindle are all allowing users to sync content through the cloud and allowing mobile phones, tablets, and TVs to converge.Led by the music industry, and extended by Google andother brands, the ability to move licensed content, sharedcontent, and, in the future, even entire operating systems tothe Internet will create substantial value for organizationsand customers alike.

For instance, Google+ might be a much closer competitor to iCloud than to Facebook. It will embed itself natively intoAndroid mobile devices, Google TV, Chomebooks, and theGoogle ecosystem, allowing people to socialize, and store,and share all their pictures, videos, music, and more —

exactly the same promise as Apple iCloud. Ultimately, these giants are not fighting to own your data, friends, or social networks; they want to own the experience.

Benefits will include easy access across devices (a key expectation for the new multi-channel consumers), lowerhardware requirements, and integrated community and social networks. Downsides will include a reliance on datanetworks, privacy concerns related to the data being storedand shared without your permission, and performance. Butthe cloud is here to stay, even when it doesn’t make sensefor all applications.

when will this trend be relevant?The cloud is the de-facto platform solution for every solution provider start-up, music and videos are rapidlyadopting, and will play a revolutionary role in user-contentstorage over the next 36 months.

who will be affected?Large companies, consumers

Trend 7: real-time everythingIn the age of constant connectivity, information travels at the speed of light. Technology enables instant communication — although it’s nothing new. People use moreSMS instead of email, social network chats and feeds, andTwitter to announce earthquakes before the mainstreamnews channels can mobilize their traditional channels. Allthese experiences are setting expectations of responsiveness— and brands need to evolve to provide them.

However, the real opportunity is for the brands. Access toreal-time data allows brands to be more relevant in everyengagement, and brands must be situational-aware andcontextually relevant to succeed.

The world of data has evolved from being used to analyze thepast, to optimize the present, and ultimately to predict the future. Real-time data gives brands the ability to combine andcompute massive sources of data — including demographicand psychographic, historic purchases, sales and marketing,social and conversational, and externalities such as

environmental, political, and economic data. Calculating correlations and causality among all the different variables allows the brand to build predictive models to optimize every interaction — ultimately gaining relevance with the consumers, but with the goal of increasing the conversion ratios and sales.

Access to real-time data — and being able to process andcompute in nanoseconds — is changing the decision making engines. Small and large technology companies are all investing in real-time decisions, using a wide array of techniques: neural networks, statistical models, and even genealogy.

One example of this trend in the media space is real-timebidding (RTB). A simple concept, RTB matches real-timesupply and demand of media properties to maximize relevance and gain. RTB is slowly evolving to incorporatemore sophisticated decision engines that are not solelybased on price, but actually value and yield.

Data is abundant and will be soon commoditized; contextwill continue to gain relevance and soon create a contextmarketplace. In the near future, the money will reside inthe media properties and the right audience segments.

Real-time everything represents predicting every outcomeand constantly adapting to responses, applied at the macroand micro levels.

when will this trend be relevant?Real time, now.

who will be affected? Large companies, consumers


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2 3 41Marketing services are experiencing a major and rapid evolution. Predicting the future in this space is difficult. we have created four future scenarios, which illustrate visions of the world in 2014 to 2016.

Most likely, none of these scenarios will be completely accurate. rather, they should be used as a tool to helpmake crucial business decisions. Invest in a portfolio of capabilities which, when combined, will strategically position your company most advantageously across a combination of these scenarios.

Scenario 1: PrivacyA combination of government intervention, over-aggressiveuse of cookies and tracking technology, a well-publicizedmurder based on a privacy invasion, and poorly managedadvertising and marketing business will result in changesfor privacy. Governments will intervene, severely restrictinga number of key marketing technologies.

Nevertheless, we will see the next generation of existingtracking technologies. Today, facial recognition is already in use by Facebook (and called illegal by the UK and German governments) and in select retail locations to identify visitors by gender, ethnicity, and age. Cookies arebeing replaced by alternative tracking technologies such as flash-shared objects, HTML5 storage, and HTTP ETags.Companies like Phorm are conducting behavioral analysisof ISP data to deliver targeted behavioral ads.

If these trends continue, we expect a privacy responseacross the three main areas: mobile, shopping, and online.

Mobile. Major new controls will be built into systems to allow precise, app-level control of location-based, geo-fencing, and personal information.

Shopping. In-store biometrics and tracking will be delayed or pushed off, digital innovation in-store will suffer, and the dot-coms will be the ultimate winners, as consumers seek anonymity.

online. All ISPs will be required to conceal and block cookies and other tracking mechanisms when requested by the consumer. Personalization, email, and cross-sell effectiveness will be greatly reduced.

Implications for major brands Don’t over-invest in social commerce and tracking tips. Respect consumers privacy concerns today to help reducethe risk of this scenario. Be prepared for potential regulatory changes.

Scenario 2: Digitally enabled retail Business ModelsMajor advances in digital retail will transform the way weshop and enable the creation of entirely new retail businessmodels. Moving beyond the integration of digital we discussed in Trend 4, above, in this scenario the retail industry is forced to adapt to an ever-more digital businessin order to compete with new business models.

Kiosks and mobile integration will become routine. Newlayouts will optimize flow, remove checkout aisles, andallow associates to check out consumers anywhere in thestore, maximizing sales per square foot. Major pharmacieswill roll out kiosk-only stores (think: Redbox writ large).Rich, interactive exhibits in retail stores will delight and entertain younger shoppers, and create an entirely newlevel of brand engagement.

New business models around virtual goods, extensive multi-channel delivery options, just-in-time inventory, and pop-upstores become important levers to complement the still-dominant traditional retail channel. Efficiencies gained fromnimbleness and reduced overhead will result in lower cost,which will allow small businesses to complete with the massive capitalized investments of large retailers. Puredigital offerings will allow businesses to mobilize quicker, perhaps enter a new time-share or charter model — leasing only the time they need.

Meeting the customer at the moment of truth is a timelessguiding principle, which will hold and sustain value as technology improves customer segmentations and is ableto better predict consumer behavior.

Implications for major brandsIf you have a retail presence, be prepared for a major investment in your physical footprint, along with the back-end technology, which drives these experiences. Thosecompanies who lag in their investment will find their in-storeexperience fails to attract this new demanding consumer.

Scenario 3: Mobile everywhereGoodbye, desktop computer. The mobile device (includingtablets) will continue its rise, becoming the dominant deviceon the Internet. Mobile shopping, mobile advertising, consumer behavior shifts, and the mobile wallet will converge to make mobile the go-to choice for shopping,reading, and watching while on-the-go or at home. Tablets will have overtaken laptops for typical users, whiledesktops and laptops will be mainly for content creators:developers and designers.

U.S. usage will begin to track more closely to SoutheastAsian behaviors, and mobile will be the way to have personal time while at home, on the bus, at school, orspending time with a group. Carriers will make majorinvestments into data networks as bandwidth (despite upgrades to WiMAX or LTE) will continue to be a major issue.

Smartphone users will become the majority and adoptionwill continue to increase at an accelerated pace, at whichpoint they will not be called smartphones anymore, theywill be just phones. New phones, enabled with GPS, cameras, Bluetooth, and NFC will connect, pay, and become full-featured tools to enable consumer digitallifestyle. Wearable devices — eyeglasses and contact lenses— will use integrated sensors, cloud-based processing, andcloud-based data to present additional layers of informationof the world around us; but at their heart, they will still bepowered by the universal connected device: the mobile phone.

Implications for major brandsMobile will no longer be another track, channel, or extension of a web-centric campaign; instead mobile will take the front seat and be the center piece, core and essential as the primary digital medium, with all othermedia as extensions.

Mobile commerce is no longer a luxury — in this scenario,your mobile presence will influence the majority of yoursales across all channels. Multi-device support will continue to transition from an optional luxury to an essential element of a company’s strategy.

Scenario 4: Context will Be kingSocial networks and major Internet players are makingheadway in storing every aspect of our lives. Facebook is effectively tracking people, their relations to each other,and their relations to brands, objects, things, and tastes.Google is tracking click behaviors, keywords, and interests,and with Google+ it will bring in personal data such asvideos, photos, music, and games. Apple iCloud is playing in a similar space, trying to capture all user-generated assets and commoditize the storage, sharing, and socialization aspects. They are all becoming master socialdata warehouses.

However, smart and effective engagements will be the ones who can consume, process, and act on all this data inreal-time, at the moment of truth. We will see new types ofcompanies surfacing and providing enormous value: RTDE(real-time decision engines). These RTDEs will use advanced semantic analysis and statistical models to leverage the massive amount of data, understand the nature of every engagement, and predict the best possiblescenario for a brand to engage.

There will be a strong emphasis in value exchange. Peoplewill perceive much greater value when brands understandtheir needs, in context of the exact moment, and help themfulfill them. Brands become more situationally aware, andtherefore more contextually relevant.

Raw data, highly valuable today, will slowly get commoditized— giving room for media, audience identification, and contextual brokers to take the main stage.

Implications for major brandsBrands have to evolve from broadcast message delivery,beyond enabling social conversations, into understandingcontext of conversations. There is great value to be unveiled by fusing existing data sources with new ones. Yet the focusin the future should not be on data collection, but rather ontechnology or services that allow access to the valuabledata when needed. Real-time usage of this data — to predict outcomes and maximize the chances of success —will separate leaders from followers.


The long Term: what to watch for in Three to five Years

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Note from the editor: We do live in interesting times. Consumers are in the midst of a dramatic change — mobile is hitting critical mass and digital isinfluencing up to 45% of all retail sales, even as companies struggle and, too often, fail to move beyond their silos to connectwith their customers across channels.

As I reflect on the content of this report, I'd like to highlight eight key insights:• The Google Wallet, PayPal, and Starbucks (and perhaps Apple) represent the future of payment, loyalty, and

rewards programs. (Mobile Moments: Mobile wallet)• Companies must escape from "desktop thinking" when developing new products and services. Specific

techniques, including user research, can help envision new mobile services. (Context — The New Gold of the Mobile Industry)

• Apple’s mobile app accelerates face-to-face interactions in store; for in-store mobile applications to be successful over the long-term, they must represent a tangible, genuine value for consumers. (Mobile Moments: In-Store Mobile)

• Digitally enabled retail stores and, more importantly, new retail business models (pop-up stores, large kiosk-only stores, and rich interactive exhibits) have substantial potential. (foresight: The one to five Year Trend outlook: Trend 4 and Scenario 2)

• Device-agnostic multi-channel experiences, like the Kindle, will paradoxically allow for increasingly specialized devices, while enabling seamless switching. (Mobile Moments: Integrated experiences)

• Digital Marketing Platforms are allowing marketers to plan, deliver, and measure sophisticated multi-channel marketing campaigns. (Digital Marketing Platforms: Taking Back Control)

• Challenges remain after you roll out your new commerce platform: we explore what they are, and how to overcome the inevitable compromises you’ve made along the way. (after the release: Maximizing Value from Your Commerce Platform Investment)

• Thoughts from the Middle East team revealed the search for self-expression and individuality on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs amid the Arab Spring. (International Perspectives: Middle east)

We hope you’ve enjoyed reviewing Insights 2012. Our goal for this report was to pull together some of the best thought leadersacross SapientNitro globally, and share our perspectives on the evolution of communication and commerce. We hope this report has succeeded in helping you better understand this ever-changing landscape.

Respectfully submitted,

Hilding Anderson, Research + InsightsEditor of Insights 2012

acknowledgements: This report could not have been assembled without the support of a great many people. Several I’d like to highlight include: Lauren Cohen, Todd Cherkasky, Rob Gonda, Rachel Zinser, Abby Adolph, Julie Capron, Seijen Takamura, AnnickaCampbell, Scott Tang, David Hewitt, Steven Fisher, Byron Cunningham, Sherie Freedman, Allison Bistrong, Sarah Bosch, and many others.


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about SapientNitroSapientNitroSM, part of Sapient®, is an integrated marketing and technology services firm. We create and engineer highly relevant experiences that accelerate business growth and fuelbrand advocacy for our clients. By combining multi-channelmarketing, multi-channel commerce, and the technology thatbinds them, we influence customer behavior across the spectrum of content, communication, and commerce channels,resulting in deeper, more meaningful relationships betweencustomers and brands. SapientNitro services global leaderssuch as Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Foot Locker, Singapore Airlines, Target, and Vodafone through our operations in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.sapientnitro.com or follow us on Twitter@sapientnitro.

for additional information:lauren Nguyen CohenDirector, MarketingSapientNitro San [email protected]@ltnguyen

for media inquiries:David laBarGlobal Communications DirectorSapientNitro [email protected]@dlabar

Designaaron ThornburghArt DirectorSapientNitro Washington, DC

emily CarrollDesignerSapientNitro Miami

editorHilding andersonSr. Manager, Research + Insights SapientNitro Washington, DC