Perspectives 2013

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  Perspectives 2013 is a collection of Reactive's viewpoints from our offices around the world. Download the PDF version from The authors live and work in New York, London, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
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  • 1. Perspectives 201311 Chapter Heading
  • 2. Contents
  • 3. The Great Work ManifestoStephen FoxworthyStrategy Director, Melbourne0106 – 08 00IntroductionTim O’NeillCo-founder & Joint Managing Director04 – 05 The Customer Experience Maturity ModelTim O’NeillCo-founder & Joint Managing Director0209 – 10What Shapes Design?Tim KotsiakosExecutive Creative Director0311 – 14Can’t Touch This! New Interface ChallengesTim BüesingCreative Director, Sydney0415 – 16Shoppable Media: Content Meets CommerceKatrina ScottDesigner, New York0517 – 20Who Owns Your Content?David JonesStrategist / Analyst, Melbourne0621 – 22Chris ThomasChief Search Engineer, Melbourne Richard RamGeneral Manager, Auckland  0723 – 26The Personalisation of EverythingTim O’NeillCo-founder & Joint Managing Director 0827 – 30The New Rules of eCommerce0931 – 32The Future of Connected RetailBradley GrinlintonManaging Director, London1240 – 43Thoughts?1344 – 45The Rise of eCommerce in AsiaRuth HenryProduct Development Manager, Melbourne1137 – 39SoDA Digital Marketing Outlook1033 – 36Measure, Test, Optimise
  • 4. IntroductionTim O’NeillCo-founder &Joint Managing DirectorWelcome to Perspectives 2013, an insidelook at the hearts and minds of theReactive team, a collection of viewpointsfrom our offices around the world.
  • 5. IntroductionWe were thrilled with the response to the 2012 edition ofPerspectives. Our goal was to help our clients (and digitalmarketers around the world) filter through the never-endinglist of ‘next big things’ and invest their hard-earned budgetswisely. We think we succeeded in identifying what to watch.In this issue we explore topics that on the surface seembroad, such as evolving touch devices, shoppable films,connected retail environments and Asian eCommerce.But each has a common-thread, and it’s not just theobvious — that they are all ‘digital’. Each article covers away to communicate in a relevant and personal way to youraudience. This theme is explored in The Personalisation ofEverything (page 28), which also asks the question “atwhich point does amazing relevancy become creepy?”.We hope you enjoy Perspectives 2013, and we certainlyhope you find the content relevant to your business or brand.If you agree, disagree, or have a question or comment onany article, please tweet @reactive with #perspectives2013.Thanks for reading.Perspectives 201305
  • 6. The Great Work ManifestoStephen FoxworthyStrategy Director, MelbourneAt Reactive, our purpose is to produce Great Work.But what is Great Work? Andhow do you know when you’ve produced it?01
  • 7. The Great Work Manifesto01The Great Work ManifestoReactive’s Great Work Manifesto keeps us focused onproducing work that is creative, effective and challenging.Our clients are GreatFor any business, one of the keys to success is to havehappy, engaged customers. So we strive to produce digitalmarketing that meets and exceeds our clients’ needs, andthe needs of their customers. We push the boundariesof what’s possible in digital, and develop award-winningexperiences that help them reach, engage, convert andretain customers. By doing so, we work to build long-termpartnerships with our clients and help deliver effective returnon their investment.To ensure we’re continually improving our client relationships,we actively measure client satisfaction, which gives us greatinsight into what clients really want from us. We use theNet Promoter System to benchmark ourselves, and use theresults of client interviews and surveys to inform the processof continuously improving our services.But delivering Great Work for clients is just one piece of thepuzzle (albeit a very important one).Our team is GreatNext, we pride ourselves on our team and culture. Reactiveis made up of multi-disciplinary teams of creative digitalexperts — designers, developers, account service andproject management all collaborating to produce digital workof outstanding quality.For any project to be deemed Great Work by our team, itneeds to be of a very high standard. We’re all proud of thework we do, so we continuously strive to produce uniqueand engaging solutions to client problems, and we considerourselves some of the best in the world at what we do.If the work is not original, challenging, creative and innovativefor our team, then it probably isn’t Great Work.Perspectives 201307
  • 8. The Great Work ManifestoOur business is GreatFinally, it’s possible to deliver outstanding work that meetsall client needs, wins awards, and gives our team a sense ofpride and purpose, but that ends up costing the businessmoney (and eventually would force us to shut up shop!).Thankfully, at Reactive this isn’t an issue because we payvery close attention to the third part of our Great Workequation: our business. We choose to partner with clientswho understand the value of digital marketing and who allowus to do our best work for them.If a project doesn’t come with a fair budget, and theopportunity to deliver the work profitably, then it’s unlikely tobe sustainable — and unsustainable client engagements aredefinitely not Great Work for anyone involved. By assessingour work against these three key outcomes, we can decide ifa project has been worthwhile — and we can find the areaswhere we need to improve in a simple, effective way.At Reactive, we always set out to produce Great Work, soif we find that we haven’t ticked some or all of the boxes,we have to look long and hard at what went wrong in ourprocess, with our client, or with the team to identify how wecan improve in the future.Putting it all together is really GreatSo that’s how you produce Great Work. Make sure your workexceeds the expectations of your clients, is fulfilling for yourteam and allows your company to grow sustainably, andyou’ll be producing Great Work too.Our Clients Our Team Our BusinessDid it solve the problem? Was it challenging? Does it build our reputation?Was it delivered on time? Did it utilise our strengths? Was it profitable?Was it within the budget? Was it best practice? Was it efficiently executed?Was it effective and delivered results? Was it high quality? Was it creative and bug-free?Was it rewarding?Perspectives 201308“We push the boundaries of what’spossible in digital, and developaward-winning experiences that helpcompanies reach, engage,convert and retain customers.”01
  • 9. The Customer ExperienceMaturity ModelTim O’NeillCo-founder &Joint Managing DirectorSitecore has recently released their Customer ExperienceMaturity Model, a framework for assessing an organisation’sdigital maturity and planning a roadmap for the future.02
  • 10. The Customer Experience Maturity ModelReactive recently took a look at the model and believe theframework is relevant to any company (not just those thatuse Sitecore) and furthermore to any agency (such asReactive) that provides digital services.The Customer Experience Maturity Model begins with asimple, frank assessment of where in the seven levels ofdigital maturity your company sits. The first step Initiate isappropriate for companies that have ‘brochure-ware’ sites,with little complexity. At the other end of the scale are verymature companies that focus their digital efforts on creatingLifetime Customers. They use intelligence and predictions tooptimise cross-channel customer experience.Each of the seven levels has typical Objectives, KPIsand Focus Areas, making the assessment a reasonablystraightforward process. (Although some may think theyare more “mature” than reality!)Where the model starts getting really interesting is themapping of each level with typical customer experiencesoftware ‘features’, such as Content Distribution, CampaignManagement, Personalisation and Predictions.Interestingly, the model can also be “flipped” by clients andused as a digital agency assessment tool — how mature isyour digital agency? How many of the recommended actionshas your agency actually implemented?The model doesn’t stop there. It goes to extremes outliningmultiple levels of maturity within each feature (such as RulesBased Personalisation to Behavioural Targeting), and thenthe appropriate roles within an organisation for each of thesecustomer experience features.We believe 2013 is the year of Customer Experience. Usingassessment models such as Sitecore’s Customer ExperienceMaturity Model, Reactive can help companies provide ahelpful and beautiful experience for their customers.For more information on the Sitecore Customer Experience MaturityModel, please get in touch with Reactive: www.reactive.comPerspectives 201310
  • 11. What Shapes Design?Tim KotsiakosExecutive Creative DirectorWhen used successfully, design provides real business value.As the digital world matures and the audience impressionof a brand relies upon their online experience, it can be thedifference between engaging an audience and confusing them.03
  • 12. What Shapes Design?03In recent years…A lot has changed. Clients have changed. Whereas theyonce sat within the IT department, clients are now fromwithin the marketing, innovation or customer experiencefunctions of a business. Digital budgets are increasing.The user, who is more mobile and more socially connected,now has a greater expectation of their experience. Theuser also has less patience, exacerbated by the growingmagnitude of choice. The technology landscape has alsochanged, resulting in production challenges and advantages.These changes have driven the industry to think aboutthings differently. More interactive experiences require lessclicking from one page to the next, thanks to better browsertechnology and improved on-page production techniques.We have seen an influx of long scrolling pages, parallaxingcontent and clever interactivity or loading sequences (akinto what Flash once provided). And all of these featuresnow work on mobile and tablet. There has been less of anemphasis on fixed navigation appearing along the top layoutand more consideration around how content can be revealedwithin the guts of the page, allowing users to discovercontent as they explore.What Shapes Design?Recognising what has worked well in the past and whatwill be the next big thing with regards to design, is a prettyslippery slope. The first thing to acknowledge is that designfor digital is informed by the following three demands:• The client: their appetite for innovation and risk, theirsuccess criteria, their budget and their deadline• The user: who they are, where they are, whattheir expectation is and what device/technologythey are using• The technology: the ability to produce the experience,on time and on budgetClients sponsor the projects, the user provides the businessopportunity and the technology provides the means. Themost successful projects find perfect harmony betweenthese three demands — the project becomes viable at theintersection of all three. But what is important to note is thateach of these three elements are changing rapidly. Clientsare becoming more experienced, users more demanding andtechnology more innovative. As these elements change, newopportunities within the landscape are created, and a few areworth discussing. Before we get into them, it’s worth goingback in time.Perspectives 201312
  • 13. Perspectives 2013Responsive Design has made a definite impact on theindustry in recent years, challenging the way we work, alongwith altering finished outcomes. More and more websiteshave incorporated a modular design approach that shufflesthe layout from one device to another, from one resolution toanother. The grid has been an important tool for designers,helping them to create rationalised interfaces and negotiatethings like ‘breakpoints’. Combining all of this with thingslike the visual impact of the new Windows 8 Interface, thechoice for some has been a rather rational, mosaic, andblocky approach.On top of all these trends, typography has finally come tothe party. Today there are many ways for designers to usefonts on the web. Retina displays make for sharper, crispertypography, re-establishing the likelihood of longer formcontent being read by users.In the near future...The changes of recent years will continue to influence theevolution of design in a number of ways. Content is at the topof the list, with most in the industry declaring the importanceof content accessibility on any device, anywhere, and somegoing so far as to suggest the need for content to adapt tothe user. There is no doubt that user profiling and contentpersonalisation will increasingly become a serious part of anycompelling experience.Simplicity, in every aspect, will be a big theme. Design willbe influenced by the requirement for vector graphics andmodular layouts that scale to respond to different settings.Information graphics will be employed more often to help turncomplicated data into information that can be absorbed moreeasily by the user. Thanks to multi-touch technology and anincreasingly confident audience, gestures will become morevernacular and provide more content, allowing interfacesto appear simpler without compromising on functionality.Experiences will become increasingly single-minded as thepopulation of the internet will overflow with new experiences,each one struggling to differentiate.The proliferation and widely accepted usage of applicationsacross multiple devices, combined with users’ growingdemand for consistency between them all, will stretch andchallenge designers. As desktop experiences start adoptingsome ‘app style’ interaction patterns, newly internet-enableddevices like smart TVs and in-car entertainment will needto be considered as part of the ‘eco-system’ of digitalexperiences. Users won’t be satisfied if their experience isinconsistent, incomplete or inappropriate from one device tothe next. Over time the device itself will become transparentin the mind of the user and will simply serve as a windowinto their pool of content.What Shapes Design?13“The user, who is more mobileand more socially connected,now has a greater expectationof their experience.”03
  • 14. Perspectives 2013 What Shapes Design?‘Signs of life’ will grow in popularity, as more of the audiencewill be looking for experiences and brands that connect withthem on a personal level. We will see more subtle examplesof interactivity mimicking organic shapes or physics andbigger visual statements like water colour brushstrokes,hand-drawn lettering and very personal copywriting. Digitalmarketing campaigns will connect online users with real lifeobjects, in real time, in real environments. Users will engagemore willingly with experiences that make them feel like ahuman again.In summaryThere is definitely a pressure on us to create better and moreinnovative experiences for our clients and their customers.The overall standard of this type of work is strengthening,and it’s only reasonable to engage in the race to be first.Whilst I don’t like using the words ‘trend’ and ‘design’ in thesame sentence, there is no doubt that there are influencesbigger than us contributing to the success (or failure) of somedesign choices over others. My gut feeling is that the mostsuccessful projects, those which will be timeless, will bebased on good old thinking, an empathy for the user, andtraditional design principles that have been around for years.If the experience provides no meaning or convenience to theuser, its days are numbered.“Over time the device itself willbecome transparent in the mind ofthe user and will simply serve as awindow into their pool of content.”1403
  • 15. Can’t Touch This!New Interface Challenges“Either work hard or you might as well quit.That’s word because you know…You can’t touch this.”– MC HammerTim BüesingCreative Director, Sydney04
  • 16. Can’t Touch This! New Interface Challengeswell as touch and swipe. While many professional reviewershave called the Surface experience confusing, tests indicateusers prefer its touch interface. They even neglect cursorand keyboard for tasks where they are generally consideredsuperior, such as filling out longer forms. Instead, they grabthe Surface’s screen as if it was a tablet only. Additionally,most websites or applications can’t tell which ”interactionmode” the user is in at any given moment. That’s whyuser interface experts like Josh Clark advise, ”If a devicecan be used for touch, its interface should be finger-friendly.”From a creative standpoint, this sounds like a lot of BFBs(Big F!#&ing Buttons), a somewhat chunky layout of thefuture web.Responsive Design — creating websites that respond to avariety of screen sizes and thus avoid the need for separatesites — is only part of the solution. What responsive sitescan’t quite address are users’ motivations, behavioralpatterns, and ergonomics specific to using mice, fingers,arms, and voices. Touch interfaces, for instance, work betterwith navigations placed at the bottom. But can we expectpeople to learn different interfaces with every device? Andcan we expect budgets to cover every optimisation?That’s why it’s best to stay on track with your audience andanalyse which devices are significant in terms of current andfuture share. Project and estimate what your audience willmove towards, budget accordingly, and be open with userson less common devices. After all, you’re working hard sothey can touch this. And that’s very’s Hammertime! Once again I’m stuck on aneCommerce website that apparently hasn’t consideredI might want to purchase from a tablet. My fingertipsseem well within what web experts define as average(approximately 44 pixels). Yet here I am, grappling with anasty popup window that I just cannot touch. It would workwell if only I used a mouse. On my iPad it feels like theshop owner is pressing the door shut as I’m trying toenter his store. Grmpfh...After switching to the mobile site, my big fat fingers workmuch better, but now my previously loaded shopping cart isempty. Shall I give up, return to my laptop, search, andselect the items again? And would it recognise me if Ireturned, neatly perched on my couch, using Xbox or asmart TV where my spoken commands mix with gesturesand a wand-like remote control?These situations pose very real questions for brands,publishers, and start-ups. We users have grown to expectoptimised experiences from them on every one of ourdevices. Touch, voice, and gesture have matured andadded variety to how we access services, purchase goods,entertain ourselves, and share stories. And eCommerce isespecially ripe with users hopping between devices. Etsy, forexample, sees a desktop/mobile split of 75/25 in terms oftraffic but 80/20 for purchases, meaning one out of every fivemobile window-shoppers switches over to a PC to completethe transaction.Microsoft’s new Surface computer has made this dualityapparent. On a single device, users can type and click asPerspectives 201316Can’t Touch This! New Interface Challenges04
  • 17. Shoppable Media:Content Meets CommerceKatrina ScottDesigner, New YorkThe arrival of Shoppable Media in the formof Shoppable Films signals a shift frombranded content back to commerce.It is the strongest sign yet that videomight be where traditional media anddigital media ultimately converge.05
  • 18. Shoppable Media: Content Meets Commerce05Shoppable Media: Content Meets CommerceBranded content has facilitated customer engagementin unprecedented ways. It has also redefined therole of advertisers or more specifically what we defineas advertising.Recognising the recent trend in the consumption of onlinevideo and with an understanding that film enables deeplevels of engagement — the ability to tell a brand’s story ina way that static content simply cannot — online retailershave been quick to explore the potential of ‘Shoppable Films’(video content which includes eCommerce features). So far,success has been varied.When UK online retail powerhouse ASOS began
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