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Today's users expect a lot from technology, like connecting us or giving ubiquitous, up-to-date information at all times. We expect technology to adapt to our specific user profile, to inform us about the future for unknown events, and to support us in decision-making.
A consumer who is looking for a product on the Internet is an ideal recipient for targeted online marketing since the person indicated an interest. The start-up Nano Interactive can help in proving search-intent targeted advertising, “based on a technology that even the search engine giant Google cannot keep up with”, the company states.
At first glance, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two different worlds. The consortium is considered the authority for web standards and ensures that everyone can find information on the World Wide Web regardless of their device. Both the relatively simple web development and the so-called service composition (mashup) work relatively smoothly when integrating and offering different and partly external services such as road maps, weather data or translation services. But it is precisely this orchestration of services that is less trivial on the Internet of Things. IoT devices offer data and services such as sensor values for the temperature or switching a lamp on and off. Communication works smoothly when companies use all devices from a manufacturer and rely exclusively on its app or ecosystem, but a cross-manufacturer service composition is much more difficult, especially since security requirements differ from one another. And that exactly the gap the W3C wants to close with the standardization activity for the Web of Things (WoT).
A customer journey is the entirety of the experiences that a person has in direct or indirect connection with a brand – online or offline. It encompasses everything from the moment the brand is discovered, through pre-purchase activities, consumption, and the post-purchase phases, including building trust, loyalty, and advocates. It is important to realize that every customer journey can be different. It's also constantly evolving since any new interaction has the potential to reshape the journey – and one negative experience could bring it to a complete halt. Considering that and the growing expectations of customers when it comes to interacting with brands, it is crucial to make sure that each touchpoint in the customer journey can be analyzed and mapped.
Customer journey analytics and customer journey mapping are often used as synonyms, but customer journey analytics encompasses a wide range of analysis methods, of which journey mapping can only be viewed as a subset. Gartner, for instance, defines customer journey analytics as “the process of tracking and analyzing the way customers use combinations of channels to interact with an organization, that covers all current and future channels that interface directly with the customer.”
Customer journey analytics enables companies to evaluate enormous amounts of customer data collected along all customer contact points, to then search for patterns and trends in the data to generate crucial customer insights. Instead of analyzing and optimizing individual touchpoints, companies get an overall picture and can recognize where customers encounter obstacles and what influence certain company activities have on customer behavior.
Customer journey mapping and analytics differ above all:
- When mirroring complexity: customer journey analytics make it possible to map and record the complexity of today's customer journeys in an omnichannel environment. Instead of a generic view of all customers or a few personas, it offers a holistic overview of the entire journey on an individual customer basis. This enables the company to see the total number of interactions, and thus the value of each individual customer in itself.
- With regard to quantitative vs. qualitative data: while customer journey maps are usually created on the basis of small amounts of qualitative data, e.g., from user interviews or focus groups, customer journey analytics consider large amounts of quantitative data from various sources, including millions of customer interactions. A great advantage of solutions for customer journey analytics in this context is that they can include data from many different sources in different formats and different data types, and thus help companies to overcome data silos.
- Considering real-time and actionable insights: in contrast to the more static snapshots that journey maps provide, customer journey analytics generate real-time insights that can also be reacted to in real time. If you combine this analytical knowledge with marketing automation, triggers and alarms can be set up to react immediately to changing customer behavior. In addition, A/B tests can be used and the effects on the customer journey can be analyzed immediately. The collected data can also be used to predict customer behavior in real time. For example, customers who are at risk of churning can be identified and preventive measures initiated. Since you are looking at a much larger time frame than journey maps, journey analytics can also examine multiple time spans that can be used to determine how journeys and interactions change over time.
In summary, we can say that the sole use of customer journey mapping leaves many questions unanswered. In combination with the wide range of customer journey analytics methods, however, it is possible to quickly answer even complex questions, to carry out optimization measures in real time and to obtain a realistic picture of a customer's actual experience with the company. Only this depth of knowledge creates the framework for a personalized customer experience that promotes customer loyalty and ultimately business success.
By Daniela La Marca
IoT cloud services, such as those offered by Microsoft Azure or Amazon, are complex and therefore not ideal platforms for developers who work in the Raspberry, Arduino and Co. environment.
Palo Alto Networks, a global cybersecurity leader, released its predictions for the cybersecurity trends that will shape the digital landscape for the year ahead.
In 2021, the company saw the sustained acceleration of innovation and digital transformation as organizations continued to navigate the effects of the global pandemic. As a result, cyber attackers also grew in sophistication. The impact of ransomware attacks reached an unprecedented scale, threatening thousands of organizations worldwide and holding critical infrastructure hostage.
With the pandemic-induced shift in digital behavior and adoption here to stay, looking ahead, organizations should remain vigilant of the emerging trends listed below to ensure they have the appropriate solutions in place to stay ahead of threats, Palo Alto Networks states:
Prediction 1: The meteoric rise of bitcoin will create a well-funded adversary
Cybercriminals are getting richer than ever
Over the past year, the APAC region has seen a prominent increase in ransomware attacks. The 2021 Unit 42 Ransomware Threat Report revealed that the average ransom paid by an organization in the first half of 2021 was US$570,000 – an 82% increase from the year before. This demonstrates how cybercriminals continue to profit and dominate the cyber threat landscape.
It’s no secret that cryptocurrency fuels the ransomware economy. Due to the rising value of cryptocurrency and anonymity in ransomware payments, cybercriminals will have more funds and resources to launch bigger attacks on critical infrastructure. Beyond monetary loss for businesses, the systems and services entire populations depend on could be crippled.
We can also expect cybercriminals to take data exploitation to the next level with “shameware” attacks – double extortion in ransomware campaigns – to inflict lasting reputational damage on targets who do not accede to their ransom demands. We will also see quadruple extortion tactics rising to the forefront, as threat attackers add pressure points to coerce their victims into paying up.
Safeguarding what really matters
As a first step, organizations can improve their cybersecurity posture by undertaking a Ransomware Readiness Assessment to determine their level of preparedness for an attack or run tabletop exercises to identify any security gaps.
With cyberattacks getting more sophisticated, organizations can further protect themselves with AI and other new technologies as part of their arsenals. Correlation capabilities that provide continuous validation of authorized use and accurate detection of anomalous activities will also help.
Cybersecurity is a team sport where everyone – individuals, businesses, and the authorities – needs to work together to safeguard the data and integrity of assets belonging or connecting to any organization’s network. Close collaboration between cybersecurity providers and cloud and telecommunications operators is critical to disrupting successful ransomware attacks and imposing real costs on adversaries.
Prediction 2: As physical and digital lines blur, who or what we trust will impact our security even more
Cyberattackers now have a bigger playing field
As we enter the era of Web 3.0, we will be interacting with smart devices that have intuitive and sensory triggers such as geolocation, computer vision, and biometric or commands.
The ubiquity of IoT devices in our everyday lives has further blurred the lines between our physical and online worlds. Web 3.0 will make data breaches and other cyberattacks a lot more impactful, as these attacks are on cars, buildings, and physical lives and could lead to far-reaching consequences in the real world.
Navigating a mixed reality
The good news is that organizations are making progress in shoring up their cybersecurity defense in the Web 3.0 era. According to the IoT Security Report 2021 by Palo Alto Networks, 41% of Hong Kong respondents said their IoT devices are segmented on a separate network, and 51% adopted micro-segmentation – an industry best practice where organizations create tightly controlled security zones on their networks to isolate IoT devices and keep them separate from IT devices to avoid hackers from moving laterally on a network.
Given the hyper-connectedness of our networks today, organizations will also need an ironclad strategy that offers complete visibility of all devices connected to their networks. AI is a powerful tool that can help to accurately profile, correlate, and contextualize every digital entity. The combination of these capabilities will help organizations validate, authenticate, and apply threat prevention technologies across their entire infrastructure.
Prediction 3: The API economy will usher in a new era of digital fraud and exploits
Greater reliance on digital services presents more opportunities for cybercriminals to carry out identity theft, fraud, and unauthorized data collection
While digital banking brings greater convenience and accessibility, it is not without potential risks. Especially with the rise of open banking and solid fintech growth in the region, poor programming done at the API level can have serious repercussions as they are the glue that holds most digital apps and software together. New services like “Buy Now Pay Later” are no exception.
Any security misconfigurations in APIs could be exploited as an entryway for cybercriminals to gain access to personal data, manipulate a transaction, or shut down a key service. Such data is of great value to attackers, who can not only sell the information on the dark web but can also use it to carry out spear-phishing, account takeover attacks, or business email system compromise.
Shoring up defenses against online fraud
Financial institutions can build customer trust and enhance anti-fraud measures by including customer education as part of their security strategy. Special care should be given to groups like the elderly, who may be more susceptible to fraud as new users of digital banking platforms.
On the backend, financial institutions need to integrate security into all stages of the software delivery process and ensure that they have visibility on their entire API ecosystem. This approach, also known as DevSecOps or “shift left” security, ensures that software is tested for security problems before it goes public, allowing IT teams to plan for any security issues that might appear after deployment.
Prediction 4: Attackers will set their eyes on countries’ critical digital infrastructure
Expect bigger and bolder attacks in the coming years
Critical infrastructure, with its confidential and lucrative data, is a key target for cybercriminals. Palo Alto Networks has witnessed several high-profile attacks in the region, including
attacks that have shut down New Zealand’s Stock Exchange and disrupted the operations of Taiwan’s state-owned energy company.
These attacks exposed a damaging weakness on critical infrastructure: the rate at which cybersecurity protocols are implemented is significantly slower than the rate of digitalization. Time-sensitive and highly lucrative critical infrastructure will see more attacks from cybercriminals that can easily exploit weaknesses within their digital systems.
The interconnectedness of supply chain and business applications creates further complications as cyber attackers can infiltrate critical infrastructure from the periphery. In other words, organizations that have taken the necessary precautions to secure themselves might still be exposed to threats through third-party vendors and partners.
Examining the cyberthreats embedded within our systems and supply chains
We’ve seen some of the most damaging cyberattacks amid the acceleration of digital transformation efforts in recent years, and the situation may continue. Moving forward, governments will continue to expect best-in-class supply chain security practices among ICT companies that supply critical infrastructures.
Better global collaboration among governments around the world on policy and regulation is needed to navigate these complex challenges, especially those targeting critical infrastructure via supply chain weaknesses.
Cyber attackers are likely to have already infiltrated numerous organizations and are lying dormant just waiting for the opportune time to strike. As such, strong threat prevention and response strategy is indispensable for all critical infrastructure and organizations should adopt a multipronged approach. Correlating endpoint threat data helps to better identify the source and spread of advanced attacks. Technologies like behavioral analytics and SOAR can alleviate the burden on time-strapped security teams.
Prediction 5: A borderless workforce needs a borderless solution
The “work-from-anywhere” genie is out of the bottle, and we can’t put it back
With our homes now evolving into our workplaces, threat actors have switched their focus from targeting corporate headquarters or branches to attacking individual homes. As more people settle into their home offices, the number of corporate-issued devices increases correspondingly, these can include video conferencing equipment, IP phones, printers, and more. All of these devices can be points of vulnerability if they are not adequately configured and secured.
Keeping safe while working from home
As remote work becomes a critical long-term strategy for most organizations, they need to extend their corporate networks and bring unified security policy management to their work- from-home employees.
This should include the deployment of new integrated solutions like secure access service edge (SASE) that combine security, networking, and digital experience management. The best of SASE solutions brings about not just security but also operational efficiency.
Organizations can enjoy operational efficiency as SASE centralizes the security of remote sites and users to the cloud where it can be managed holistically.
A Zero Trust mindset will also have to become an important part of this new security paradigm where organizations will need to “trust nothing and validate everything”. It will be essential to continuously validate every stage of a digital interaction across multiple locations to give organizations the peace of mind and assurance they need in today’s digital workforce.
We can also expect a lot more harmonization, or application rationalization, around the all- remote-access technologies that people use, such as VPNs, which can be complex to work out. Conversely, with a home environment, there will be more expectations from both organizations and employees for remote work solutions to be simple to both deploy and manage.
Neuromarketing is a commercial marketing communication field that applies neuropsychology to market research, studying consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective responses to marketing stimuli. So far, neuromarketing is still an expensive approach that requires advanced equipment and technology such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), motion capture for eye-tracking, and the electroencephalogram.
The potential benefits to marketers include more efficient and effective marketing campaigns and strategies, fewer product and campaign failures, and ultimately the manipulation of the real needs and wants of people to suit the needs and wants of marketing interests.
Collecting information on how the target market would respond to a product is the first step involved for organizations advertising a product. Traditional methods of market research include focus groups or sizeable surveys used to evaluate features of the proposed product. Conventional research techniques used in this type of study are in general the measurement of cardiac electrical activity (ECG) and electrical activity of the dermis (AED) of subjects. However, it results in an incompatibility between market research findings and the actual behavior exhibited by the target market at the point of purchase. Human decision-making is both a conscious and non-conscious process in the brain, and while this method of research succeeded in gathering explicit (or conscious) emotions, it failed to gain the consumer's implicit (or unconscious) emotions. Non-conscious information has an enormous influence in the decision-making process.
In general, the concept of neuromarketing combines marketing, psychology and neuroscience. Research is conducted around the implicit motivations to understand consumer decisions by non-invasive methods of measuring brain activity. These include electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye tracking, electrodermal response measures and other neuro-technologies. Researchers investigate and learn how consumers respond and feel when presented with products and/or related stimuli. Observations can then be correlated with participants surmised emotions and social interactions.
Market researchers use this information to determine if products or advertisements stimulate responses in the brain linked with positive emotions. The concept of neuromarketing was therefore introduced to study relevant human emotions and behavioral patterns associated with products, ads, and decision-making providing theorization of emotional aspects of consumer behavior. (Source: Wikipedia)
Quadient's Inspire Flex software release delivers customer experience built for a digital-first world
Quadient a leader in helping businesses create meaningful customer connections through digital and physical channels, announced the general availability of Inspire Flex Release 15 (R15), Quadient's flagship enterprise omnichannel Customer Communications Management (CCM) software solution. The new release advances Inspire's evolution from CCM technology to an expanded solution designed to foster greater Customer Experience Management (CXM).
Inspire Flex R15 integrates more than 300 robust enhancements that empower users to elevate and accelerate their ability to meet customers wherever they are through their preferred communication channels and on the devices they use.
Based on customer feedback and market data, Inspire Flex R15 is designed to help companies respond to the increased mobility of both employees and consumers. The new release is part of the company’s continuous drive for innovation in its cloud-based suite of advanced software solutions that is bringing together CCM, customer journey mapping and orchestration, document automation, accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR). Inspire Flex is the only fully integrated, any-premise enterprise CCM solution that enables organizations to create and deliver personalized, compliant customer communications across all channels from one centralized platform.
Today, many companies are combining the power and versatility of Inspire Flex with the benefits of cloud operations to reduce capital outlay, accelerate return on investment and deliver peace of mind. For companies interested in moving to the cloud but don't want to manage the application or infrastructure, Quadient offers a Hosted Managed Service (QHMS) allowing customers to focus on using the power of the latest version of Inspire Flex without having to worry about the technical complexities of operating and maintaining the infrastructure and applications themselves. Additionally, to help companies meet storage and audit needs, Inspire Flex integrates with Quadient Archive and Retrieval, a software solution that enables quick and easy access to past communications and data across all channels.
"Quadient's latest Inspire release continues to raise the bar on the customer experience with intelligent communication automation," said Marci Maddox, research director, Digital Experience Strategies, for IDC, a global market intelligence and advisory services firm. "Quadient brings empowerment and interaction to the forefront with a modernized user interface, data-driven journey decisioning and features designed to help companies give business users more control over content, expanded delivery channels and faster time to value."
Inspire Flex R15's streamlined, modern user interface empowers faster adoption by new users, the ability to analyze key business metrics directly in customer journey maps to promote better decision making and more relevant communications. Inspire Flex also offers the ability to create, manage and execute cross-channel communications delivery workflows, including message distribution to WhatsApp users, extending its reach to more than 2 billion consumers. Additionally, users can build responsive HTML5 emails using a drag and drop interface with reusable design components and proof email communications in more than 100 different email clients through its integration with Litmus, a leader in email marketing.
Users can also speed up template design by importing content from the latest versions of InDesign and QuarkXpress and design Inspire Dynamic Communications faster and easier leveraging more than 60 of the most popular design objects from Bootstrap 5, a front-end opensource toolkit. To accelerate time to value, deeper integration points and accelerators simplify deployment to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
"We are excited to be rolling out a new release of Inspire Flex as we know our customers will be just as excited to see that their investment in it continues to be enhanced and protected with capabilities that respond to the many ways people work today," said Chris Hartigan, chief solution officer, Intelligent Communication Automation, Quadient. "This release is another demonstration of Quadient's commitment to customer-driven development and underscores our dedication to ensuring our solutions effectively respond to a dynamic marketplace, evolving as our customers' business demands do." (Source: Quadient)
Microsoft just unveiled the latest cloud and IoT innovative technology at the inaugural 2035 E-Mobility Taiwan Exhibition, further unlocking potential of cloud computing for smart mobility industry, besides highlighting its partnership with MIH Consortium (MIH), global manufacturing leader Foxconn's electric vehicle (EV) software and hardware open platform. Leveraging the power of Microsoft's cloud service, Azure, the partnership delivers secure and innovative cloud-native solutions.
In Southeast Asia, the growth of the digital economy has contributed to the addition of 70 million new online shoppers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that clearly accelerated shifts in shopping behavior since physical retail came to a standstill amidst global restrictions and lockdown orders. Adobe expects global e-commerce sales to reach US$4.2 trillion this year, making clear that competition is heating up, and data from the region’s leading e-commerce player, Shopee, shows a 60% year-on-year uplift in the number of active sellers on the platform.
What this means is that even though the e-commerce opportunity is apparent in the region, retailers need to work harder than ever to win consumers’ attention and share of wallet.
Meltwater studied online consumer conversations across the Southeast Asia region to help retailers stay on top of consumers’ ever-changing preferences and identify emerging trends and opportunities to make the most of the shopping season.
Anyway, mega-sales are as popular as ever among Southeast Asian consumers, with more than half a million online conversations on the subject in 2021, Meltwater data found. Most of these conversations took place on Twitter, and peaked right before the annual 9.9 shopping sales, as consumers sought discounts and deals during campaign days. Corroborating this, Shopee found that consumers across the region started adding their desired items to cart as early as 30 days in advance.
Shopping events like 9.9 have become an annual affair, as e-commerce players in the region beef up their calendars to maintain a steady pipeline of year-round sales events. But even with the increased frequency, these sales events haven’t lost their luster. Data from Shopee shows that sellers participating in the 11.11 event for the first time last year saw 10 times more orders than on an average day.
Mega-sales are also an opportunity for brands to engage their audiences at scale and in more meaningful ways. Many e-commerce companies do this by bringing in big names from the entertainment world to bedazzle at these events. And consumers are lapping it up: nearly one in every five conversations about mega-sales this year revolved around e-commerce partnerships with popular K-pop groups like Mamamoo, BTS, Twice, and Treasure. Retailers need to go beyond price and promotions to attract and engage audiences in the long run
Having spent over a year-and-a-half in some form of lockdown or pandemic induced restrictions, consumers are missing the experiential aspect of shopping in physical stores. As a result, shoppers are now increasingly seeking differentiated and immersive shopping experiences. One example of this is livestreaming, which has quickly grown to become a billion-dollar global phenomenon. In Southeast Asia, more than 1.4 million social media conversations around livestream shopping have taken place in 2021 so far, which is twice (213%) more than the same time last year. Shopee also reported 2.5 times increase in annual live stream viewership on its platform. Notably, the fastest growth came from audiences aged between 34 to 50, proving that the popularity of this format is not limited to younger generations only.
Gamification is another trend consumers are toying with. Social media conversations around this increased by 48% in the region this year, as consumers took to Twitter and online forums to discuss different aspects of gamified shopping experiences. Importantly, three in five (60%) consumers say that they are more likely to buy from a brand if they enjoy playing a game with it. Shopee found that brands that incorporate interactive elements like quizzes to engage customers saw 6 times more likes and 7 times more clicks per post on the platform.
The fact is that the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated people’s reliance on e-commerce for a range of essential needs. According to a report by Facebook and Bain & Company, groceries were this year’s fastest growing online shopping segment and the enthusiasm trickled to social media, as conversations around online grocery shopping nearly doubled (93%) since last year. But not only are shoppers buying more – and different – products than they used to, but they’re also transacting differently. Changing necessities and preferences have accelerated the shift towards real-time payments as nearly half (53%) of Southeast Asian consumers report using these more frequently now.
Consumers are nowadays not only driven by prices and discounts, but they are also seeking deeper, more real-time engagement in their online shopping journey – and they’re being vocal about this. The post-pandemic e-commerce surge is real, and it’s here to stay. Brands that want to make the most of this growth need to keep up with shifts in shopper preferences. The key to capturing these emerging opportunities starts with keeping an ear out for what consumers are saying.
Speech recognition is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science and computational linguistics that develops methodologies and technologies that enable the recognition and translation of spoken language into text by computers. It is also known as automatic speech recognition (ASR), computer speech recognition or speech to text (STT). It incorporates knowledge and research in the computer science, linguistics, and computer engineering fields.
The Internet of Things (IoT) not only offers new opportunities for marketing communication but confronts companies at the same time with new challenges – especially in the areas of data protection and data security.
The spread of voice assistants, such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, heralds a new evolutionary stage for user interfaces.