Brilliant Reads: The future of Alexa, influencer marketing and scaling personalisation

Insights from Universal Pictures – a roundup of last week’s breakfast briefing

Working with Brilliant Noise, Chris Massey, SVP of Digital Marketing at Universal Pictures, set out to understand the studio’s current state as a global marketing operation, in an industry which has been transformed by digital. With the help of Sonar, our digital maturity assessment tool, Chris found that the perception of the organisation’s digital maturity varied across teams and markets. Universal Pictures used the insights gathered to identify priority areas and focus on driving tangible change, at pace, throughout the organisation.

Transform marketing in 2017 with these insights from Universal Pictures
Brilliant Noise, 3 mins

Amazon’s head scientist on how solving customer issues accelerates innovation

Solving customer-facing issues accelerates innovation, and the team behind Amazon’s Alexa device know this more than anyone. In this wide-ranging interview with Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist and VP of Alexa, we’re given an insight into the future of the conversational platform. One of the most interesting developments Prasad reveals is the Alexa Prize competition, a $2.5 million challenge to create a social bot that can converse for 20 minutes on topics such as scientific inventions or the financial crisis.

Alexa, tell me where you’re going next
Backchannel, 9 mins

The secrets behind influencer marketing

When journalist Max Chafkin set off on a journey to become an influencer, he found there was more to becoming popular than a beautifully plated breakfast or sun-tinged selfie. Firstly, most photos on influencer feeds are not spontaneous, but taken professionally. He found that bots are often in action too. For $10 a month, you can pay for a bot to trawl the platform, liking and commenting on various photos in order to acquire followers. He also found that influencers may pay a third-party for content. By the end of the experiment, which gained Chafkin 1,400 followers and a fashion collaboration, he was left with one question: wouldn’t this photo look better with a filter?

Confessions of an Instagram influencer
Bloomberg, 19 mins

Influencer marketing will take hold in 2017

So becoming an influencer may not be as easy as it first seems – but there’s a real future in it. Influencer marketing, and all that comes with it, will come to the fore next year. Influencers hold great value for brands and this means a shift away from treating influencers as just another media platform, and instead acknowledging that they are people who require relationship management. We’ll see a more balanced relationship, where micro influencers (accounts with 10,000 to 100,000 followers) want to work with you just as much as you would like to work with them. Next year influencer marketing is set to outpace paid media efforts.

8 Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Lead You To Success
Forbes, 11 mins

The right processes for personalisation at scale

Personalisation can increase revenues, reduce acquisition costs and greatly increase efficiency in marketing spend. Collecting and organising behavioural data, reacting to customer needs effectively, creating a team devoted full-time to personalisation, instilling a culture of test-and-learn, and acquiring the right tech stack, are all key. As is a solid and unwavering focus on the customer journey. Great personalisation will make customers return again and again – badly executed personalisation will cause them to run for the hills.

Marketing’s holy grail: digital personalization at scale
McKinsey, 7 mins