Alipay Tops Forrester’s Review Of Chinese Banks' Mobile Services

Xiaofeng Wang

Mobile banking is gaining momentum all over the world, and China is no exception. In August 2015, for the first time, Forrester evaluated the mobile banking offerings of five of China’s largest retail banks plus Alipay; we’ve just published the results in our 2015 China Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark report.

To help mobile banking teams benchmark their mobile banking capabilities, identify critical mobile features, and plan for the future, we used our Mobile Banking Functionality Benchmark methodology to evaluate the mobile banking services of six of the largest retail banks in China, including five traditional banks — Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Bank of China (BOC), China Construction Bank (CCB), China Merchants Bank (CMB), and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) — and one nontraditional bank: Alipay.

The Chinese mobile banking services we reviewed achieved an average score of 55 out of 100; while this is slightly better than banks in Singapore and the UK, many Chinese banks still lag behind their peers in Australia, Europe, and North America. The headlines:

  • Alipay outperforms the five traditional banks. Alipay started as a third-party online payment platform but now fulfills the same functions as a bank. The only nontraditional bank in our review, Alipay not only earned the best overall score of 67, but also scored highest in four of the seven categories in our benchmark: account and money management, transactional features, service features, and marketing and sales. Alipay excels with many mobile features that none of the major traditional banks currently provide. For example, it allows customers to easily find a past transaction using sorting, filtering, and natural language keyword search.
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It All Comes Back To The Basics

Rebecca McAdams

Last week, Sailthru held it’s annual Lift 2015 conference, where it debuted new product releases and enhancements, and delved into the strategies and tactics that leading digital marketers have employed with success to increase retention, decrease churn, and create lasting profitability. One-to-one personalization was a resounding theme throughout the conference, that hit on three critical components marketers should keep in mind:

 

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Join Forrester's 2015 China Social Marketing Online Survey

Xiaofeng Wang

Forrester’s 2015 online survey for social marketing in China is now open. If you’re a marketing leader who is involved in social marketing in China, please take this opportunity to provide your perspective.

Based on the survey results, we will update the Benchmarking Social Marketing Efforts In China report published in November 2013. The updated report will help marketers check if their social marketing efforts are keeping pace with those of their peers.

Why is your input important? This survey will help us:

  • Understand your key focuses in social marketing. Marketing leaders in China put a lot of faith in social marketing and adopt various social platforms and tactics. This data will help you benchmark your key focus for social marketing.
  • Outline your pain points in achieving your social marketing goals. Marketing leaders in China are increasingly investing in social media and expect positive returns, but face internal and external challenges to achieving their business goals.

We will use the results to help marketing leaders in China:

  • Understand key trends to prioritize social marketing efforts. We will highlight the most important social platforms and tactics that you need to focus on and help you prioritize your social marketing efforts effectively.
  • Overcome key social marketing challenges. We will analyze the main challenges that social marketers face in China and help you plan and evaluate your social marketing strategies better.
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Joining The B2C Research Team Ranks

Rebecca McAdams

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been at Forrester over a year and a half now, originally coming from an analyst support role, to more recently, working with Shar VanBoskirk to drive our research around email marketing. I’m excited to announce that, going forward, I will be leading our coverage of the technologies, services, and analytics that support email marketing.

My first report in this new role was an update to our email marketing playbook assessment chapter. This report allows marketers to assess their email marketing campaigns around specific benchmarks defined by Forrester that assess both their business processes, as well as the user experience of their campaigns. Building off of this assessment, I will be publishing an update to our “Best And Worst Of Email Marketing” playbook report, with an assessment of 70 email campaigns, benchmarked against the criteria from the report mentioned above.

I am looking forward to getting to know many of you better and following the evolution of this exciting space. Whether you have insights to share, questions to ask, or email technology and services that you want to tell me about, I want to hear from you! Please engage with me via our inquiry and/or briefing teams, or track me down at Forrester’s upcoming Marketing 2016 Event (April 26, 2016).

A Successful Case Of Positive Social Marketing ROI

Xiaofeng Wang

Marketing leaders face the challenge of achieving a positive ROI —in fact, it is the top challenge for the digital marketers we surveyed in China earlier this year. Fortunately, a few marketers have managed to achieve this, and Spring Airlines is one of them. My recently published report, Case Study: Spring Airlines' Digital Business Takes Off With Social Marketing, tells its success story. From it, B2C marketers can learn how to achieve positive returns on their investments in social marketing initiatives and support their transition to a digital business.

As a private airline and the first budget carrier in China, Spring Airlines is performing well despite fierce competition from much larger state-owned competitors with more resources. Since the airline’s launch a decade ago, Spring’s B2C marketing professionals have focused on making the airline's business operations as digital as possible in order to:

  • Keep operating costs low.Unlike its main competitors, Spring receives no financial support from the government. To keep operating costs low, Spring bypasses travel agents, selling tickets exclusively via its official website and some designated ticket offices.
  • Support its challenger status and catalyze customer obsession. To compensate for its smaller scale and resources, Spring successfully differentiated its brand as an early adopter of digital, mobile, and social and built an extremely close relationship with its customers.
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Does The New Facebook Reactions Get A ‘Like’?

Erna Alfred Liousas

This week Facebook released “Reactions” for two pilot markets: Ireland and Spain. The new reactions available for posts? Love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry.

Myself and Forrester analysts Jennifer Wise, Samantha Ngo, Brigitte Majewski across mobile, social, and advertising pow-wowed on this new addition.  Here are our thoughts: 
 
  • Facebook wins from this move. Hello new and granular consumer data. Facebook can continue to optimize its own news feed experience, and grow monetization of its data with improved audience profiles and targeting for ads – on its site, and everywhere else.  
  • Brands may get better sentiment data... Marketers need to go beyond counting likes, so what about counting “angries” vs. “yays” instead? Counts can suddenly mean positive or negative sentiment. Funneling these sentiments into consumer insights can help 1) inform ad targeting with refined consumer preferences and affinities, 2) test emotional story arcs, and 3) fuel retargeting. A clothing retailer could target consumers who react “wow” to dress posts. But the big “if” is: will Brands own Reaction data? We’re hoping yes. 
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Introducing Unified Marketing Impact Analytics

Jim Nail

“Hey…you got chocolate in my peanut butter!”

This line from a 1980’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups campaign is a classic in advertising…and aptly describes what is happening in marketing measurement today. (For a blast from the past click here to view this oldie!)

Two proven techniques that work great separately – attribution and marketing mix modeling – work even better when merged into a unified measurement approach.

I suspected the convergence of different marketing analytics approaches was inevitable so earlier this year, my colleague Tina Moffett and I began sharing our ideas on where marketing measurement was headed.   We agreed each approach provides only a partial answer to the marketing ROI puzzle and they shared enough methodological similarity that merging them was plausible.

We’ve just completed research that shows that our intuition is correct and in our new report "Embrace Unified Marketing Impact Analytics to Deliver Value Across Interactions" we dubbed this converged approach as Unified Marketing Impact Analytics (UMIA), defining it as:

blend of statistical techniques that assigns business value to each element of the marketing mix at both a strategic and tactical level. 

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Go Native To Strengthen Your Brand Engagement

Clement Teo

Digital advertising is akin to a carpenter’s toolbox. Each tool in the box serves a different purpose and was made to accomplish a specific task. Similarly, native advertising, or sponsored content, is a marketing tool that marketers can use as a complement to other forms of digital advertising to achieve a specific purpose.

Forrester defines native advertising as: Any form of paid or sponsored content that directly and transparently contributes to the experience of the site or platform where it appears by aligning with the format, context, or purpose of that site or platform’s editorial content page.

While Asia Pacific marketers have yet to invest in native advertising in a big way, native advertising provides them with an additional avenue to better engage with customers and win their preference. Native advertising is more engaging than display advertising and is also showing early success on consumers’ mobile screens. For example, content marketer Contently saw a clear 10% rise in brand opinion among its engaged subscribers, while Virgin Mobile USA claimed that native ads led to a 200% uplift in the likelihood to consider its brand. Taboola, Virool, and Skyword are examples of companies that can help marketers drive discovery of their content and improve engagement. I discuss how marketers can work with them in my latest report.

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All Things Hair: A case study about brand-building in 2015 AD

Ryan Skinner

I just published this case study about All Things Hair. If you haven’t heard or come across ATH before, it’s a series of YouTube channels initiated by Unilever’s hair care products division. On each national channel (they’re in about a dozen countries now), a half-dozen teenage and twenty-something video bloggers describe how you can get some really important look or style going.*

There are a lot of interesting things going on in this ATH thing that I’m not really going to focus on here, such as predictive search, marketing innovation, influencers, video marketing, product positioning, brand measurement, ecommerce links, audience targeting and paid content promotion. This was Unilever working with Razorfish, so you knew it wasn’t going to be “How VO5 got better email open rates”.

No, what interests me most is how this whole ATH burrito here represents a new way of building brands based on how customers work and think today. Unilever’s not the first to do this, by any means, but – given the fact that they have a little bit of experience thinking about brand-building – they seemed to have done it with their “eyes wide open” if you will. They knew they were reengineering how they built brand value, and proceeded methodically from that standpoint.

So what did this awareness mean when push came to shove?

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Consumers Will Manage All Brand Interactions Via Their Smartphones

Thomas Husson

I spent the last couple of months interviewing marketers and vendors to understand how brands integrate push notifications and in-app messages in their marketing strategy.

Even though my research was primarily focused on mobile apps, I was convinced that there was much more at play. In fact, brands that can harness the power of contextual data to consistently deliver customer value will deliver compelling brand experiences that will build brand preference and, ultimately, loyalty.

Even with the emergence of connected objects that send notifications, smartphones will remain the primary interface in which consumers will personalize their digital experiences. Smartphones will become the hub for most interactions between a brand and its customers. In the next five to 10 years, consumers will use smartphone apps to define and control the communication environment in which brands can interact with them. In particular, we see that:

  • Mobile will become the primary touchpoint for brands to engage consumers. Mobile traffic has already overtaken desktop traffic in five major countries: Nigeria, India, South Africa, Indonesia, and Poland.No doubt this will happen across the globe in the next couple of years. B2C marketers will become smarter in engaging customers via mobile, maturing their approach and moving progressively to the holy grail of one-to-one marketing.
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