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Isobar 2016 Trend Report: Australian Edition

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K E Y T R E N D S
F O R 2 0 1 6

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Our overarching theme
is the continued rise of what
we call brand commerce

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The gap between brand
experiences and retail experiences
was once immense
Inspiration Transaction

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Isobar 2016 Trend Report: Australian Edition

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Our overarching theme is the continued rise of what we call brand commerce. This world of brand commerce manifests in a number of ways, each of which we see as being underpinned by a series of sub trends with their own challenges and opportunities and this is what we unpack in our trend report. Broadly speaking, we cover four key areas:

1. The rise of artificial intelligence. It’s fast becoming a constant part of our lives and we’re starting to see the transition on behalf of consumers out of being surprised by these highly predictive and tailored interactions and into minimum expectation territory. In other words, if you’re not getting clever about how you use your data and automating the application of it, you’re going to get left behind.
2. The on-demand economy. A new economy is growing up based on fulfilling the needs and expectations of the new on-demand consumer. This is the Uber model applied across a host of other industries, creating a flexible, on-demand workforce, enabled by mobile and powered by a new currency – trust. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTqgiF4HmgQ].
3. Invisible interfaces. What we commonly understand to be an ‘interface’ will dramatically shift over the next few years as we experience the rise of the invisible interface and we’ll see more and more sophisticated interactions, from authentication to transaction, taking place with minimal conventional interaction.
4. The new storytelling. It almost goes without saying, but all this juicy data and unprecedented connectivity of consumers presents us with some pretty spectacular opportunities for reinvigorating brand narratives in ways which are highly tailored and meaningful to customers.

Our overarching theme is the continued rise of what we call brand commerce. This world of brand commerce manifests in a number of ways, each of which we see as being underpinned by a series of sub trends with their own challenges and opportunities and this is what we unpack in our trend report. Broadly speaking, we cover four key areas:

1. The rise of artificial intelligence. It’s fast becoming a constant part of our lives and we’re starting to see the transition on behalf of consumers out of being surprised by these highly predictive and tailored interactions and into minimum expectation territory. In other words, if you’re not getting clever about how you use your data and automating the application of it, you’re going to get left behind.
2. The on-demand economy. A new economy is growing up based on fulfilling the needs and expectations of the new on-demand consumer. This is the Uber model applied across a host of other industries, creating a flexible, on-demand workforce, enabled by mobile and powered by a new currency – trust. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTqgiF4HmgQ].
3. Invisible interfaces. What we commonly understand to be an ‘interface’ will dramatically shift over the next few years as we experience the rise of the invisible interface and we’ll see more and more sophisticated interactions, from authentication to transaction, taking place with minimal conventional interaction.
4. The new storytelling. It almost goes without saying, but all this juicy data and unprecedented connectivity of consumers presents us with some pretty spectacular opportunities for reinvigorating brand narratives in ways which are highly tailored and meaningful to customers.

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Isobar 2016 Trend Report: Australian Edition

  1. 1. K E Y T R E N D S F O R 2 0 1 6
  2. 2. 2 Our overarching theme is the continued rise of what we call brand commerce
  3. 3. 3 The gap between brand experiences and retail experiences was once immense Inspiration Transaction
  4. 4. 4 The connected world has closed that gap
  5. 5. 5 Bringing points of inspiration and points of transaction ever closer together Social commerce Connected stores Shoppable content Same day delivery One click as standard Mobile payment
  6. 6. 6 We call this brand commerce Using technology to bring moments of inspiration and points of transaction ever closer together, delivering seamless, delightful and secure shopping experiences throughout customer journeys.
  7. 7. 7 The world of brand commerce manifests in a number of areas we’ll explore now T H E R I S E O F T H E M A C H I N E S AI disrupts everything T H E O N D E M A N D E C O N O M Y Now is the new normal I N V I S I B L E I N T E R F A C E S When is an interface not an interface? T H E N E W S T O R Y T E L L I N G Emotion in the digital age
  8. 8. 8 Each of which is underpinned by a number of sub trends T H E R I S E O F T H E M A C H I N E S AI disrupts everything T H E O N D E M A N D E C O N O M Y Now is the new normal I N V I S I B L E I N T E R F A C E S When is an interface not an interface? T H E N E W S T O R Y T E L L I N G Emotion in the digital age Virtual workforces The last mile reimagined Data driven narratives New narrative touchpoints Prediction as expectation Virtual companions Big data, small things Messaging as interface The rise of biometrics Invisible commerce
  9. 9. 9 The rise of the machines AI DISRUPTS EVERYTHING AI is becoming a constant part of our lives, from predicting what we’re going to say, to predicting where we need to be next. This will create a new set of minimum expectations from customers, where brands will be expected to not simply meet but to anticipate needs. Virtual assistants will move beyond the realm of clunky interfaces to become genuinely valuable. S U B T R E N D : P R E D I C T I O N A S E X P E C T A T I O N S U B T R E N D : V I R T U A L C O M P A N I O N S S U B T R E N D : B I G D A T A , S M A L L T H I N G S
  10. 10. 10 Prediction as expectation From recommendation to prediction: while recommendation is at the core of today’s digital commerce experiences, we will see brands begin to use data to predict when and why customers are likely to transact with them next.
  11. 11. 11 N O W PREDICTIVE MESSAGING Our reliance on AI is already deeply embedded in our daily lives. Both Android and iPhone now offer the ability to predict the next part of a message based on your and many thousands of others’ prior conversations. PREDICTIVE SHOPPING Pinterest is experimenting with visual search – a system which combines image recognition and machine learning to enable users to select an image then explore thousands of visually similarresults. The ability to “learn” users’ aesthetic preferences, not simplyrecommend product based on data tagging is a potential game changer. PREDICTIVE SHIPPING Amazon have patented “anticipatory shipping” – a system of shipping product before a consumerhas even placed an order. The algorithm predicts future shopping decisions based on previous behaviours on site, enabling the retailer to ship packages to a generalised location in advance of, and anticipating, a future purchase. “The (Amazon) patent exemplifies a growing trend among technology and consumer firms to anticipate consumers’ needs, even before consumers do. Today, there are refrigerators that can tell when it’s time to buy more milk, smart televisions that predict which shows to record and Google’s Now software, which aims to predict users’ daily scheduling needs.” - W a l l S t r e e t J o u r n a l F U R T H E R O U TF U R T H E R O U T
  12. 12. 12 Prediction as expectation: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. A N A I P O W E R E D F A S H I O N S U B S C R I P T I O N StitchFix is a subscription fashion service powered by Artificial Intelligence. Each month users receive a curated selection of product personally chosen for them by a combination of machine learning and human stylists.
  13. 13. 13 COMMERCIAL EFFICIENCY Knowing what your customers want can be a game changer when it comes to the commercialside of the business; it allows businesses to more effectively plan and deploy their resources. CONSUMER LOYALTY Predictive analytics have the potential to transform our approach to loyalty. Anticipating user needs before they have the opportunity to look elsewhere can create smarter auto-replenishment models and build brand habits. CROSS MARKETING OPPORTUNTIES With a clean data set that allows you to predict consumer habits, there is an opportunity for smarter cross selling across a brand portfolio. This adds a layer of intelligence to consumer segmentationsthat might not have previously have existed. AVAILABILITY OF DATA (AND DATA SCIENTISTS) Prediction relies heavily on having a robust and dynamic data set. Not every brand will have access to a volume of user data which will make retailer partnerships increasingly important. Even those brands with a body of data will require investment in talent to make that data meaningful - Stitch Fix for example employ some 50 data scientists. THE CREEPINESS CONUNDRUM There’s an extremely fine line between a company knowing enough to delight you and a company knowing enough to creep you out. Brands will have to walk this line carefully and understand how ready their customerbase is for this. In almost all instances however, perceived value will override privacy concerns. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  14. 14. 14 Virtual companions The last few years have seen the rise of virtual assistants, yet interfaces have been clunky and responsiveness low. The next few years will see the growth of super-powered companions able to fulfill complex tasks with little or no input from the user.
  15. 15. 15 N O W CORTANA / SIRI We’ve all used Siri, either to get it to say something funny (try asking Siri to beatbox) or to complete a basic task – such as ‘what’s the weather like outside?’ These services primarily pull data from the web and still lack the intelligence or personalisation to be truly useful. FACEBOOK M Human operators are assisting a beta group of Facebook messengerusers in everything from buying flowers to plane tickets. Each of these interactions is training an AI which when fully trained will shift over to being the operator. Everything in future may be a facebook message away: need that cab? Simple, send a cab emoji to FB M and it will be with you in 5 minutes. F U R T H E R O U T
  16. 16. 16 Virtual companions: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. C O R T A N A P O W E R S B U S I N E S S I N T E L L I G E N C E The power of ‘the companion’ goes beyond consumer applications. Microsoft recently integrated Cortana with it’s BI intelligence software allowing users to quickly mine large, complex data sets using voice commands. Once connected, Cortana can answer spoken and written questions such as ‘revenue for last year’ or ‘how many leads has Jeff Jones got in the last month?’. In future ‘companions’ can effectively become middle management, drawing data and making simple recommendations that improve businesses.
  17. 17. 17 PERSONAL SERVICE MEETS PERSONALISED DATA A well trained AI can offer personal service at scale, particularly when you add voice recognition. This would enable digital platforms to replicate at scale the kinds of service currently offered by personal shoppers, concierge services or high end showrooms. BALANCING MACHINE LEARNING AND HUMAN INTERVENTION Even the largest technical platforms occasionally suffer outages. What are the implications then if a majority of your customerservice function is outsourced to AI, or delivered via a third party? Even when everything goes according to plan, AI still needs to “learn” its responses from human interactions. An intriguing challenge for the future will be to train virtual assistants in a set of brand values and tone of voice. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  18. 18. 18 Big data, small things As data processing capabilities become more sophisticated, we will see the power of small actions, at scale, to make big differences. Think of them as AI driven ‘nudges’ in the right direction.
  19. 19. 19 N O W SMART METERS THAT LEARN Nest has progressed significantly over the last couple of years to become a learning thermostat. It can detect if you’re at home, how long it takes to heat the home and even wakes up when someone is near. SMART CITIES WORKING FOR US Barcelona is not only a cultural capital, it’s fast becoming one of the most tech-enabled cities in the world, with bins that alert the council when they need emptying and sensors that measure air quality every minute. EMOTIONAL NUDGES Facebook ran a controversial study in 2015 where they altered the newsfeed mood of almost 700,000 users, and then observed the tone of their subsequent posts. As you can imagine, both positive and negative emotions proved infectious. It is not hard to imagine a scenario in which these behavioural “nudges” are the new norm. “Today’s adtech has within it the glimmerings of a computing architecture that will underpin our entire society. Every time you turn up your thermostat, this infrastructure will engage... Every retail store you visit, every automobile you drive (or are driven by), every single interaction of value in this world can and will become data that interacts with this programmatic infrastructure.” - J o h n B a t t e l l e N E A R F U T U R E F U R T H E R O U T
  20. 20. 20 Big data, small things: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. A M I C R O C H I P I N A H A Y S T A C K Farmers in Australia are using yield monitors to act like personal agronomists supplying information to optimise the real world – a little less fertiliser here, more weed spray there. With this data, equipment can be programmed for optimal results, not only resulting in increased yield but also decreased costs which can run to late six or early seven figures depending upon the size of the farm. Data is now gathered across farmlands from sensors built into just about any piece of equipment, from tractors, sprayers, harvesters and cattle tags to milking machines and aerial drones. At this stage, the data is used mostly by individuals, however the opportunity and capacity for sharing and associated macro analysis is enormous.
  21. 21. 21 SMARTER SYSTEMS As AI “learns” about situations, it becomes progressively smarter and more effective, whether that be Nest learning how to optimise energy within the home or smart cities learning how to balance traffic volumes versus air pollution. These smart systems have the potential to impact everything from supply and distribution to pricing models. NEW DATA SETS As sensors become smaller and lighter, new data sets are opening up all the time, enabling us to track everything from mood to movement at scale. The more data we capture, the more opportunity we have to use that data in imaginative ways. DATA ARCHITECTURE Combining diverse data sets in intelligent ways requires significant skill in data analysis and architecture. Even where those skills exist, it will take time, trial and error for AI to learn and respond in appropriate ways to complex situations. As anyone who has ever been mis-targeted online knows, precision targeting is no easy feat, even within the relatively simple world of online advertising. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  22. 22. 22 The on demand economy ‘NOW’ IS THE NEW NORMAL If next day delivery once seemed impressive, our expectations are rapidly shifting to encompass same day or even two hour delivery windows. Flexible workforces enabled by mobile are springing up to meet the demands of our Uber-fied and Tinder- fied world. “Consumers’ expectation that they can get what they want with ease and speed will continue to rise. This changes fundamental underpinnings of business” - Mary Meeker, State of the Internet Report S U B T R E N D : V I R T U A L W O R K F O R C E S S U B T R E N D : T H E L A S T M I L E R E I M A G I N E D
  23. 23. 23 Virtual workforces A new economy is growing up based on fulfilling the needs of the new on-demand consumer. This is the Uber model applied across a host of other industries, creating a flexible, on demand workforce enabled by mobile and powered by reputation.
  24. 24. 24 N O W “AN UBER FOR…” The Uber model is expanding across industries, from drinks to domestic cleaning. Services like Airtasker match users with trusted local cleaners, errand runners and handymen, enabling them to filter by reputation and book a one off or regular service. On the other end of the spectrum, services like Tipple and Cocktail Runner will deliver alcohol to your door in less than an hour. HEALTHCARE ON DEMAND A cluster of companies such as 13SICK are competing to offer healthcare on demand, offering bulk-billed appointments for an in home consultation around the clock. ON DEMAND EMPLOYMENT In the US, the Wonoloapp offers a glimpse of the future of hiring and resourcing – sourcing workers in a matter of hours or even minutes for tasks where companies have difficulty predicting demand. In Australia we’re seeing the emergence of some startups in this space, such as TikForce. N E A R F U T U R E F U R T H E R O U T
  25. 25. 25 Virtual workforces: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. A N U B E R F O R L O S T D O G S Pedigree has created ‘Pedigree Found’, an app to help find lost dogs. Owners download the app and create a profile for their dog. If their dog gets lost, tapping the alert button inside the app will immediately generate Google Ad Network banners acting as instant ‘Lost Dog Posters’ for users in the surrounding area. The app was downloaded by 10% of all Auckland dog owners, with twice as many more people visiting the mobile web site to check for lost dogs in their area. An amazing 91% of people who downloaded went on to register their dog’s details.
  26. 26. 26 INSTANT GRATIFICATION The power of mobile means it has never been easier to match supply and demand. This opens up a host of new possibilitiesfor brands eager to surprise and delight their users. COMMUNITIES OF INTEREST The peer to peer economy has the power to bring together communities of interest, not only those interested in a more transactional relationship. Services like “Borrow my Doggy” bring together dog owners with dog lovers in a scenario where everyone wins. EVERY BUSINESS IS A SERVICE BUSINESS In the age of the virtual workforce, any business can be a service business; employees are no longer a fixed cost and service design is king. There is a huge opportunity for brands across categories to add a service layer to their proposition, such as Audi’s Unite co-leasing programme. EMPLOYEES RIGHTS AND STATUS As Uber have demonstrated, the virtual workforce raises significant questions about what constitutes an employee, and what rights and responsibilities the new virtual economy confers on both workforce and corporation. BUILDING A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL MARKETPLACE Virtual marketplaceswork when they work to everyone’s benefit. It is important to consider the dynamic from the perspective of both buyers and sellers, borrowers and lenders, employers and employees in order to build a vibrant and enduring community. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  27. 27. 27 The last mile reimagined In order to fulfill the expectation of ever faster and more responsive deliveries, companies are being forced to reinvent the last mile, creating new infrastructure and new business models.
  28. 28. 28 N O W ON DEMAND DELIVERY A host of start ups are competing to reinvent the click and collect model and enable same day delivery beyond urban locations. Pass my Parcel leverages a network of convenience shops to provide same day delivery to over 3,000 locations in partnership with Amazon. Doddle provide a network of stores, linked to commuter hubs, where users can pick up or return eCommerce deliveries. RESPONSIVE DELIVERY In yet another example of the uberification of everything, Amazon are experimenting with an “On Demand” workforce, equipped only with their car and their smartphone, enabling them to meet ever more demanding timeframes. UberRush are experimenting with a similarproposition. RISE OF THE ROBOTS Whiledelivery drones are beset with safety and legislative concerns, few are betting against them for the long term. In the interim, Starship Technologies are hard at work on their land based robots – small autonomous vehicles designed to travel on pavements alongside pedestrians. N E A R F U T U R E F U R T H E R O U T
  29. 29. 29 The last mile reimagined: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. PREMIUM FOOD DELIVERY Suppertime and Deliveroo have recently launched in Australia, enabling some of the most fashionable food outlets in our cities the ability to deliver to your door in under 30 minutes with just a few swipes. When combined with services such as that offered by Pink Flamingo Pizza in Paris (pizza delivered in a park to your location marked by a balloon), the opportunity for impromptu takeout picnics is obvious.
  30. 30. 30 NEW PATHS TO PURCHASE New delivery models open up entirely new paths to purchase for brands. As new delivery models proliferate and barriers to entry come down we will see brands experiment with shorter and shorter delivery windows, particularly around key peaks in demand. FIRST MOVER ADVANTAGE Data shows that online grocery baskets are often habitual purchases – shopping lists and favourites are useful shortcuts. The first brands to experiment with new models such as Amazon Pantry will gain a disproportionate advantage from their place in the list. CRACKING THE BUSINESS MODEL Whileone hour delivery windows for everything from shoes to soap sounds utopian, not every category will justify a delivery charge when in many cases a convenience store is within reach. Yet, looking to the WeChat model, which has proved successful in China, we see willingnessto invest in delivery models for relatively low cost purchases – Durex for example have successfully adopted WeChat commerce for the Chinese market. DISPERSED POPULATION Whilst our international friends enjoy the opportunities of high density populations, in Australia they simply set largely unachievable expectations for consumers. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  31. 31. 31 Invisible interfaces WHEN IS AN INTERFACE NOT AN INTERFACE? Currently when we think ‘interface’, images of typing on our mobile phones, laptops and tablets spring to mind. However, this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what an interface can be. What we understand by an interface will dramatically shift over the next few years. Force touch, Amazon Dash buttons, voice and facial recognition mean we are ready for the rise of the invisible interface. More and more sophisticated interactions, from authentication to transaction, will take place with minimal conventional interaction. “You’ve probably heard the argument that for an app to be truly successful it needs to earn a place on your home screen…. we could see another whole class of apps that not only don’t need to fight for a home screen slot, they don’t need to be opened at all to add value. And that’s interesting.” Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch. S U B T R E N D : M E S S A G I N G A S A N I N T E R F A C E S U B T R E N D : I N V I S I B L E C O M M E R C E S U B T R E N D : T H E R I S E O F B I O M E T R I C S
  32. 32. 32 Messaging as interface SMS and messaging apps don’t have the complex UI of other apps. They’re something all of us know how to use. Increasingly complex interactions are now being carried out via messaging apps due to their ubiquity and ease of use.
  33. 33. 33 N O W ORDER WITH AN EMOJI Domino’s famously created a service that allowed people to order a pizza by simply tweeting a pizza emoji. This removed the need to login, choose toppings or even press pay. Using twitter as the interface was novel but it shows the potential of using social apps as an interface for transactions not just communications. TEXT ME ANYTHING GET IT ASAP is an SMS based service that will complete most tasks for a user, over SMS. Want to order a pizza? Need something picking up? Want a flight? GET IT ASAP has operators available that will complete a task over SMS. The next frontier (see the Virtual Companions trend) will be to begin to apply machine learning to these kinds of services. TRANSACT WITH A MESSAGE The WeChat messaging app in China is a glimpse into the future of messaging as an interface. Users can interact with multiple other brands via “Official Accounts” without leaving the WeChat app. They are able to access the core functionality of those brands – e.g. book a taxi or order food – within WeChat and with full access to their WeChat Wallet. Facebook and Google’s experiments with peer to peer payment via messagingsuggests real potential within this space across multiple platforms. N E A R F U T U R E F U R T H E R O U T
  34. 34. 34 SCALE Messenger apps have huge built in audiences using them, be it Facebook messenger or Whatsapp. This will allow brands to reach audiences at scale, without the cost of building an audience for an owned platform. SIMPLICITY Messaging apps are ingrained in their users’ daily habits. They are effortless to use, and constantly at the user’s fingertips making transaction as effortless as possible. CONTEXT Messaging platforms have huge contextual understanding of their users – where they are, who they know, how they’re feeling. This creates an opportunity for uber (pun intended) relevant targeting, with the opportunity for each transaction or interaction to capture further data and build ever more sophisticated targeting, albeit within a “walled garden” environment. THE MESSENGER ARMS RACE From SMS, to whatsapp, to Facebook messenger, to wechat, there are a number of players in the market with significant user numbers. One of the key challenges for brands will be understanding the role of multiple platforms and which platforms will triumph against which audience segments and use cases. OWNING CUSTOMER DATA As with any retail platform, data ultimatelybelongs to the retailer – in this case, the messaging app. The challenge will be to broker partnerships where the app is willing to open up audience insight to brands. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  35. 35. 35 Invisible commerce Commerce as we know it will be transformed. Contactless payments have already created a step change in our comfort levels with new interfaces. A host of new technologies promise to make secure payment as frictionless as taking a selfie, or walking out the door.
  36. 36. 36 AUTO REPLENISHMENT Amazon’s Dash Button and subscription-based services are now old news, but signposted the beginning of a trend oriented around convenience and it’s a theme throughout this report. With the rise of connected homes, it’s not hard to see how subscriptions and items like Amazon’s Dash will soon not be manually operated or time based, but rather triggered on actual usage. PROXIMITY PAYMENTS From PayPal’s beacons to ApplePay’s NFC to Uniqul’s facial recognition software, cashless, location-based payments are on the up and a logical continuation of the convenience theme. Moreover, they present a range of opportunities for retailers looking to offer speed of service and slick customer experiences. N O W F U R T H E R O U T
  37. 37. 37 FEWER BARRIERS TO TRANSACTION Abandoned shopping carts are a challenge for every business, online and offline. When transaction becomes as effortless as swiping a wristband or pushing a button, opportunities for users to drop out of the path to purchase are dramatically reduced. INTEGRATING THE ON AND OFFLINE USER EXPERIENCES New technologies such as Facebook’s Atlas Platform make it increasingly possible to recognise users across devices. The ubiquity of mobile in store, the advent of beacon technology and the rise of new interfaces will make it increasingly possible to recognise the user across on and offline channels, building a continuous dialogue across channels and devices. CONSUMER ADOPTION It remains to be seen how comfortable users will be with new interfaces when it comes to transaction. The phased acceleration of contactless payment has helped mitigate concerns but it remains to be seen whether users will find a degree of friction reassuring when it comes to payment. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  38. 38. 38 The rise of biometrics Just as we have been moving beyond the mouse and keyboard since 2007, we are now starting to move away from the touchscreen interfaces of our mobile phones. New ways to interact are opening up which take more of our senses into account: voice, facial recognition, even smell and taste.
  39. 39. 39 N O W FACIAL RECOGNITION L’Oreal have experimented with smart vending machines which map users’ features and enable them to virtually try on new cosmetics. If they like the look, they can purchase then and there. Meanwhile, Listerine Mouthwash have created a smile detector app designed to notify visually impaired users when someone is smiling at them. PAY WITH A SELFIE Mastercard are rolling out a “pay by selfie” feature that allows retailers to verify an online shopper’s identity using a picture of their face. The functionality will be available in the US by mid 2016, and in the rest of the world by 2017. In parallel, Halifax are experimenting with a bank account you unlock with your heartbeat. BODY AS AN INPUT One of the big challenges with buying clothing online is knowing if it will fit your body type. A range of technology providers are springing up to tackle this problem by allowing users to scan in their body types and create a ‘size passport’ that travels across the internet with them. N E A R F U T U R E F U R T H E R O U T
  40. 40. 40 The rise of biometrics: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. A T O V O I C E I D E N T I F I C A T I O N The Australian Tax Office has begun using voice biometrics to identify people calling the department with plans to roll the technology out to the service’s App in the near future. The projected impact of the technology is a reduction of around 75,000 hours per year in call times. From a customer service perspective though, it’s not just a matter of time. Callers no longer need to remember passwords or other forms of identification for a service they don’t frequently use.
  41. 41. 41 MORE INNOVATIVE AND INTUITIVE INTERFACES Being able to interact with brands in more than one way opens up new commercial and creative opportunities across all media. Imagine being able to order from a billboard with a smile, or pay with a song. NEW DIMENSIONS IN BRANDING Typically we have thought of branding in two dimensions: audio and visual cues. The new world of biometric interfaces opens up a new world of branding opportunities, prompting us to think about the rhythm, texture and ergonomics of a brand in a world where consumers can touch, and be touched by, brands in ways never before possible. PRIVACY CONCERNS As interfaces become increasingly intimate, privacy concerns will inevitably arise. As alarming is it may be to feel passwords or email data is vulnerable, our biometric data feels more private and precious still. DEMONSTRATING UTILITY Whilebiometric interfaces feel innovative and attention grabbing, demonstrating genuine utility will be important in securing long term adoption (versus one off gimmicks). A real opportunity does seem to exist in categories where face to face interaction would once have been vital-beauty or skincare consulting, trying on clothes, etc. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  42. 42. 42 The new storytelling EMOTION IN THE DIGITAL AGE Storytelling remains at the heart of everything we do as marketers. New technologies are opening up new ways to tell those stories, and new narrative opportunities. In the world of programmatic, the opportunity is to see data as a new canvas for storytelling, experimenting with new, non linear and personalised stories at a scale never before possible. As Google’s Ben Jones puts it: “Data is waiting for its Scorsese” More broadly, we must begin to think of a brand narrative as something that lives across every touchpoint – where commerce, packaging and delivery are not interruptions to the story but opportunities for the story to reach its climax. S U B T R E N D : D A T A D R I V E N N A R R A T I V E S S U B T R E N D : N E W N A R R A T I V E T O U C H P O I N T S
  43. 43. 43 Data driven narratives Programmatic at its simplest is about marrying context and content to deliver more personal, relevant messages. We see 2016 being the year in which data and creativity come together, to create new models and opportunities for storytelling.
  44. 44. 44 N O W RESPONSIVE CREATIVE The last 18 months have seen the rise of responsive creative, reacting in real time to real world events. On a global scale, this was most obvious during 2014 World Cup activities, where smart brands such as Adidas and Nike responded in real time to events on the pitch and served up relevant copy to joyous or despondent fans. In Australia, Isobar have worked with Holden to create responsive social content during NRL matches. DYNAMIC STORYTELLING Few brands have as yet grasped the potential of programmatic as a new canvas for telling brand stories. Yet the opportunity is ripe for personalised narratives, narratives played out in different ways to different audiences, narratives pieced together by fans. The “Lost my Name” book is a superb example of the power of technology to deliver personalised narratives offline - how long before we see its equivalent online? DATA DRIVES ALL MEDIA More and more channels are now available to buy programmatically, from TV to Outdoor. This opens up the opportunity to bring data driven context to every creative interaction. Imagine a billboard that alters its messaging based on weather, time of day, your gender or the data stored on your phone? Whiledynamic messaging based on facial recognition has been trialed to great impact in a few cases, expect responsive creative to become much more widespread. N E A R F U T U R E F U R T H E R O U T
  45. 45. 45 Data driven narratives: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. S E E K G E T S D Y N A M I C Together with Isobar, SEEK have been exploring the boundaries in creativity and programmatic. Six industries within the SEEK target market were identified, offering more than 70 different creative permutations in all. It’s early days for the campaign however results to date are very strong, providing an early indication of where we might be able to go in the near future with personalised ads. The promise of the internet allowing one to one communications may yet become a reality.
  46. 46. 46 PERSONALISATION AT SCALE The tension between making the most of data and targeting opportunities while delivering at scale has been a challenge for many brands, particularly in the FMCG category. The opportunity going forward is to deliver personal relevance with no loss of reach. A NEW CREATIVE MEDIUM Programmatic offers brands new ways to stretch their creative muscle. Seek is just one example, but it is relatively straightforward in its approach despite the many variations. We predict 2016 will be the year when brands begin to use this canvas to deliver completely new kinds of narrative. COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS Although agencies will seek to find ways to deliver more assets more cost efficiently, inevitably multiple copy variations means increased cost. The question will be: when does the cost outweigh the benefit? Is the increased personal relevance (and likely impact on conversion) delivered by dynamic copy worth the increased cost? And how many variations prove effective before diminishing returns set in? BRINGING DATA AND CREATIVITY TOGETHER Great storytellers are not often great number crunchers and vice versa. The challenge (and opportunity) will be to bring these diverse skillsets together in ways that inspire rather than intimidate. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  47. 47. 47 New narrative opportunities As the gap between moments of inspiration and moments of transaction shortens, we must think not just about how to enable effortless transaction but how to ensure every touchpoint is an opportunity to build brand equity.
  48. 48. 48 N O W PACKAGING AS NARRATIVE Mast Brothers have built an extraordinary narrative around their “bean to bar” chocolate, a narrative made tangible through it’s quirky, covetable packaging. That narrative has recently come under scrutiny, with questions around provenance demonstrating the importance of authenticity and transparency. RETAIL AS NARRATIVE Starbucks understand better than anyone the importance of building a compelling, integrated narrative across their stores. Not only does their mobile ordering app form an indelible link between online and offline brand experiences, capturing rich cross channel user data, their “Starbucks Reserve” stores capture the authentic theatre of coffee making. DELIVERY AS NARRATIVE Whilefew brands have a clearly differentiated delivery proposition today, the Net a Porter group have long lead the way. With same day delivery, the ability to schedule free returns, iconic packaging and slicklysuited delivery teams the experience embodies the brand from start to finish. Similarly Ocado, having built a clear delivery proposition (and technology infrastructure) are expanding far beyond their origins in grocery. N E A R F U T U R E F U R T H E R O U T
  49. 49. 49 New narrative opportunities: in practice From rec om mendationto predic tion:while rec om m endationis atthec oreof today’s digital c om m erce experiences ,wewills eebrands begin to us e datatopredict whenandwhy cons umers are lik ely totransactwiththem nex t. L Y R I C C O K E Isobar China partnered with Coca-Cola to turn every bottle of Coke into a conversation starter. Each bottle featured a QR code that could be scanned to activate a short music clip – a “musicon” as the agency put it. Those short clips featured fun, playful lyrics that users could then share on WeChat. The animated musical clips were designed specifically to be shareable in social media, and to leverage WeChat’s QR code scanner, making every bottle of Coke a social object that extended the brand narrative of fun and shareability.
  50. 50. 50 EVERYTHING BRANDS, EVERYTHING SELLS Opportunities to connect everything from packaging to stores in a seamless digitally enabled journey enables brands to tell a connected brand story at every touchpoint. CONSISTENCY AT EVERY TOUCHPOINT As the number of brand touchpoints proliferates, and the number of third parties involved expands, ensuring a consistent and distinctive narrative at every touchpoint will become challenging. Brands will need to identify key points in the journey which become signature experiences - opportunities for them to surprise and delight. O P P O R T U N I T I E S C H A L L E N G E S
  51. 51. 51 The world of brand commerce is enabled by a number of technologies we’ve explored T H E R I S E O F T H E M A C H I N E S AI disrupts everything T H E O N D E M A N D E C O N O M Y Now is the new normal I N V I S I B L E I N T E R F A C E S When is an interface not an interface? T H E N E W S T O R Y T E L L I N G Emotion in the digital age
  52. 52. Act or accept. - Anon

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