McDonald’s Snaplications: 10s Job Applications

McDonald’s continues to be a fast-growing business and needs to recruit a lot of young people every year, and with their target young worker becoming harder and harder to engage, McDonald’s tuned Snapchat into their biggest recruitment channel, and made applying for a job a snap! With applicants activating a Snapchat lens from highly targeted […]


Digital Buzz Blog

Gatorade Active Water: 3D Rain Installation

So what if your water was as active as you? Well, that’s what Gatorade and Unit9 + TBWA out to find out in the launch of the new G Active by Gatorade, a water plus electrolytes combo that helps replace what you lose in exercise… But that’s just the start. This near impossible 3D rain […]


Digital Buzz Blog

Uber and Yandex merge their ride-sharing services to form a new $3.8 billion company targeting Russia and neighboring markets


Here’s a bolt out of the blue: Uber is partnering with Yandex, the Google of Russia, to launch a new standalone company that merges their respective ride-sharing services to target Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, and Georgia.

The new company, tentatively titled “NewCo,” will be 59.3 percent owned by Yandex, 36.6 percent owned by Uber, and 4.1 percent owned by employees. Additionally, Uber will roll its UberEats food delivery service into the new venture.

Though Yandex is perhaps better known for its online technologies across Russia and nearby regions, it has actually operated an Uber-style taxi-hailing app for a number of years already, and it recently announced it was slashing its prices to stay ahead of the local competition, which includes Uber and Gett. Uber, for its part, has faced stiff regulatory hurdles in Russia and though it was given the green light to continue operating in Moscow last year, it was restricted to only using licensed taxi drivers.

As a result of this new deal, Uber is investing $ 225 million into NewCo, with Yandex only stumping up $ 100 million and the post-money valuation pegged at $ 3.725 billion.

That Uber is putting more cash into the new company, yet is only gaining a little more than one-third of the ownership, indicates that Yandex holds a much larger share of the local market, and Uber has effectively failed to overturn the incumbents. Indeed, according to a set of slides issued by Yandex, it is currently on track to do 285 million rides in 2017 across the various regions, while Uber is on for more than half of that, at around 134 million.

Above: Uber vs. Yandex

The announcement also echoes a similar move Uber made in China last year, when it chose to be swallowed by local etaxi giant Didi Chuxing in a $ 35 billion deal rather than continue to haemorrhage cash in its efforts to infiltrate the local market. The more modest nature of this latest tie-up with Yandex reflects the smaller market in question, but it also goes some way toward improving Uber’s balance sheet.

“Combining our business with Yandex will give us a very significant stake in a new company which will initially serve more than 35 million trips each month and operate in an incredible 127 cities in six countries across the region,” explained Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s head for EMEA, in an email sent to employees. “Uber will also have three of the seven seats on the new company’s board and — together with the $ 225 million cash investment we are making in the new company — our 36.6 percent ownership stake will be worth almost $ 1.4 billion.”

The new company — which will be headed up by Tigran Khudaverdyan, who currently serves as the CEO of Yandex.Taxi — will also tap Yandex’s existing technologies, including maps and navigation.

Once the transaction is complete, which is expected to happen in Q4, riders will be able to use both Yandex and Uber apps, but the driver apps will be integrated, “leading to shorter passenger wait times, increased driver utilization rates, and higher service reliability,” according to a separate Yandex statement.

It’s also worth noting here that Uber’s and Yandex’s boards of directors have already approved this deal (as you’d expect) and shareholder approval isn’t required — the only potential sticking point would be regulatory approval.

Social – VentureBeat

Tracking Forms Effectively in Google Analytics

Tracking Forms Effectively in Google Analytics

Quick wins, low-hanging fruits – we’re all looking for the shortest, most effective route to improve sales. As optimizers, it’s what we do.

Think of the most important actions a customer can take on your website. Registering for a new account, making an inquiry about a product, filling out billing and shipping information – each of these vitally important actions are made through forms, which means: Optimizing those forms can have a big effect on your conversion funnel.

Of course, to optimize these forms, you have to understand how visitors are reacting to them, and what their behaviors indicate. And to do that, you have to measure their activity on your website or app.

Form analytics data is, perhaps, the most important information you can have to understand how your conversion funnel works. When you have access to this type of user data, you can start to see where you’re losing potential customers, determine why they drop off, and create concrete steps towards funnel improvements that will reap huge rewards. All of this begins in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager with Tracking Forms.

This article will show you how to create events in Google Tag Manager that will allow you to track the behavior of visitors interaction with forms. Having this data will enable you to optimize the forms to fit it with visitor expectations and increase the form conversion rate.

Find your ideal form to fit the purpose

Purpose 1: Simple data collection

Simple data collection forms are just used to gather basic data on visitors, like name and email address – common examples are newsletter subscriptions and short surveys. Data gathered can be used to personalize web and marketing efforts, and contribute to customer research. These types of forms can be considered micro conversions and can give important indicators of visitors’ motivations (like how confident they are in your site, and whether your site looks credible enough to merit their time and attention).

Contact Form

Purpose 2: Lead generation

Lead generation forms are the bread and butter of B2B websites. To be really useful, lead generation forms must enable the sales department to quickly and effectively identify the strongest prospects.

Lead generation form

Lead generation forms ask for more information, and typically offer something of value in return, like a free ebook, study, or e-course. The amount of value offered is directly related to how many form fields you can expect people to fill out.

“According to FormStack’s research, only 6% of users will fill out an average of 19 (!) form fields on an order page, but people entering a contest will go nearly to the ends of the earth to submit, tolerating 10 form fields with a 28% submission rate.” – Crazyegg, Little Known Form Facts That Can Increase Conversion Rates

It’s a delicate balance to strike. Ideally you want only qualified leads to fill out the form, but if you add too many qualifiers, even motivated visitors may drop out or leave the form unfilled.

To avoid this outcome, you can use form analytics to determine the forms effectiveness and eliminate or change the questions that cause visitors to skip or drop out.

Purpose 3: Shipping & billing

Finally and most importantly, you need to track shipping and billing forms. For the most part, the content of these forms is mandatory. However, accurate form analytics can tell us if there are areas we need to improve.

Shipping & billing form

For example, if you realize that many of the visitors drop out at shipping, it may indicate that the shipping options offered are inadequate. Visitors may need more of them, consider them too expensive, or are unpleasantly surprised at the shipping estimate.

Large dropout rates in billing forms often indicate a lack of trust in the security of the site, making customers unwilling to leave their billing information. Think of it this way: hese people want to be your customers, hey wouldn’t reach your billing page if they didn’t, which means that if you can fix these issues, they are sure wins.

Often, form issues are low-hanging fruits that, if fixed, can result in instant (and large) conversion increases. And to solve them, we need to track our forms and see what our users are really up to. We can do this in Google Analytics.

The Nitty-Gritty How-to: Tracking HTML Forms in Google Analytics

Tracking HTML forms is relatively easy. All you need to do is to establish events for every form. You can go through the forms in your code and add the following line at the submission button code:

ga('send', 'event', [eventCategory], [eventAction], [eventLabel], [eventValue], [fieldsObject]);

This will result in reporting an event every time a user clicks the submission button.

However, what we really want to do is to track the completion of each individual field, not just when the entire form is submitted.

To achieve this, we need to insert a custom code into the form code. You can find an excellent solution for this on the LunaMetrics blog. It is easy to implement and you only need to change a few lines, such as the name of the form you use (the formId line).

When you implement this code on your website, it fires an event every time a visitor fills in a form field or skips it. These events enable you to track the completion and abandonment of your forms.

Tracking AJAX forms – it’s a li’l more complicated

AJAX is an acronym for Asynchronous Javascript and XML – it’s a way for web applications, like forms, to send and receive data from the server asynchronously, without having to reload the entire page. For example, you might use AJAX forms so that if a user fails to fill out all the necessary fields, the incomplete ones will be marked in red – without erasing all of the other information they did put in.

The problem with AJAX forms is that by dynamically creating content on the same page, it makes tracking harder; the page information is rewritten every time the event happens, deleting the data layer.

So how do we track AJAX events?

For this we’re going to need Google Tag Manager (GTM), and for illustration purposes, we’re also going to use Gravity Forms, a plugin for WordPress (and websites that use WordPress hosting). Don’t have that exact setup? Don’t worry, this use case will likely also work with minor modifications for other types of AJAX forms and other types of forms that use single page.

First off, you need to ensure that your AJAX pages populate the data layer with variables that enable you to put triggers on your tags. The easiest way to do this is to open the configuration tab of the plugin in WordPress’ admin panel. There you can set the plugin to send variables to data layers or even directly to Google Analytics.

Gravity forms setting

If you have only one form you care about, this solution may be the easiest way to accomplish basic tracking.

But you might want to put in your own values in those event definition fields so you have more control over reporting. If you want to create your own events in GTM, configure the plugin to populate the data layer with variables. This is the option you can find in the plugin settings in the form of a check box. The checkboxes are located immediately below the fields shown in the previous image. If checked it will create Tag Manager variables you can use as trigger conditions to set up event tracking.

Once you configure the plugin, it is time to open Google Tag Manager. In order to configure the tags correctly, you should go into preview mode. To do this, simply click the ‘Publish’ button in the interface and select ‘preview.’

Go to the page on your website that contains the form you want to track. Once you open it, you should see the bottom part of the page populating with events, such as:

  1. Message
  2. Page View
  3. DOM Ready
  4. Window Loaded

You might see other events too, depending on your individual configuration in Tag Manager.

To determine which variable should be the trigger to your tag, go into the first field of your form. If you have enabled Google Tag Manager tracking correctly in the Admin panel, you should see the following:

Form tracking datalayer

Google Tag Manager for the WordPress plugin has created the #19 event highlighted in grey. It populates the data layer with following variables:

Form tracking datalayer

To start tracking individual events, such as form fields being filled, you just need to create a new tag, make it an event, and add triggers containing inputID or inputName values. That way, every time the visitor goes from one field to the other, an event hit will be reported to Google Analytics and you will be able to track each field directly.

Of course, you need to give the event definition values so that it is easy for you to understand and track what is happening.

Once Tracking is Enabled on your Forms, the Optimization Fun Begins

Your own users will show you where to focus first in your optimization journey, but while they’ll show you where something has gone wrong, they won’t tell you why – not without further research and A/B testing to verify your hypotheses.

A few form best practices may give you a jumpstart to reaching some of those quick wins.

  1. Use a clean, clear form design that visually stands out, and is consistent with your brand.
  2. Keep it simple – the simpler the form, the better your odds of completion.
  3. Avoid two-column forms – they just don’t get filled out at the rates single-columns do.
  4. Asking for user age reduces conversion rates by 3%, phone numbers reduces it by 5% – avoid too-personal questions.
  5. Don’t label your “submit” button “Submit.” Instead, label it with what the user will get in return for giving you their information, like “Send me my ebook!”

The most common issues that prevent visitors from completing forms are the format requirements themselves (too many or too personal), unclear instructions for how to fill out the form, and unclear expectations for what they will get if they do.

But, by and far, the issue that kills conversions fastest is this: Credibility. Users won’t give you any information if they don’t trust you. This lack of trust must be addressed much further up the conversion funnel, long before the visitor encounters the form. Trust indicators like posting user reviews on product pages and displaying security badges can help.

Of course, there are alternative ways to track data and analyze forms – there are dedicated pieces of software that do an excellent job. These are mostly paid software-as-a-service solutions, but you can’t beat the ROI of tracking through the Google Analytics interface.

Even though it initially requires some effort, Google provides these insights free of charge. Not to mention that implementing form tracking this way has the advantage of everything being in one place.

image 
Contact Form
Lead generation form
Shipping & billing form
Gravity forms setting
Form tracking datalayer
Form tracking datalayer


Online Behavior – Marketing Measurement & Optimization

WordPress.com gives you more options to share your posts on social networks

 WordPress.com is slowly but surely replacing all those clunky social sharing plugins that you use. With today’s update, you can now schedule tweets, Facebook posts or LinkedIn updates in WordPress.com’s admin interface. WordPress.com has had social sharing features for years, but it used to be very basic. You could connect your Facebook or Twitter accounts with your… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

Revamping Your App Analytics Workflows

Revamping Your App Analytics Workflows

Every mobile app professional today uses mobile app analytics to track their app. Yet there are some key elements in their analytics workflows that are naturally flawed. The solution is out there, and you might have missed it.

The flaw, and a fairly big one at that, is in the fact that app analytics pros sometimes focus solely on quantitative analytics to optimize their apps. Don’t take this the wrong way – quantitative analytics is a very important part of app optimization. It can tell you if people are leaving your app too soon; if they’re not completing the signup process, how often users launch your app, and things like that. However, it won’t give you the answer as to why people are doing it, or why certain unwanted things are happening in your app. And that’s the general flaw.

The answer lies in expanding your arsenal – adding qualitative analytics to your workflow. Together with quantitative analytics, these tools can help you form a complete picture of your app and its users, identify the main pain points and user experience friction, helping you optimize your app and deliver the ultimate product.

So today, you are going to learn how to totally revamp your analytics workflow using qualitative analytics, and why you should do it in the first place. You’ll read about the fundamentals of qualitative analytics, and how it improves one’s analysis accuracy, troubleshooting and overall workflows. And finally, you’ll find two main ways to use qualitative analytics which can help you turn your app(s) into mobile powerhouse.

Exploring the qualitative

Qualitative analytics can be split into two main features: heatmaps and user session recordings. Let’s dig a little deeper to see what they do.

Touch heatmaps

Touch heatmaps

This tool gathers all of the gestures a user does in every screen of the app, like tapping, double-tapping, or swiping. It then aggregates these interactions to create a visual touch heatmap. This allows app pros to quickly and easily see where the majority of users are actually interacting with the app, as well as which parts of an app are being left out.

Another important advantage of touch heatmaps is the ability to see where users are trying to interact, without the app responding. These are called unresponsive gestures, and they are extremely important because they’re very annoying and could severely hurt the user experience.

Unresponsive gestures can be an indication of a bug or a flaw in the design of your user interface. Also, it could show you how your users think they should move through the app. As you might imagine, being bug-free and intuitive are two very important parts of a successful app, which is why tackling unresponsive gestures can make a huge difference in your app analytics workflow.

User session recordings

User session recordings

User session recordings are a fundamental feature of qualitative app analytics. They allow app pros to see just what their users are doing, as they are progressing through the app. That means every interaction, every sequence of events, on every screen in the app, gets recorded. This allows app pros an unbiased, unaltered view of the user experience.

With such a tool, you’ll be able to better understand why users sometimes abandon an app too soon, why they decide to use it once and never again, or even why the app crashes on a particular platform or device.

Through video recordings, it becomes much easier to get to the very core of any problem your app might be experiencing. A single recording can shine light on a problem many users are struggling with. Obviously, the tool doesn’t just mindlessly record everything – app pros can choose different screens, different demographics, mobile devices or their operating systems to record from. It is also important for this tool to work quietly in the background and not leave a strain on the app’s performance.

Standard workflows- totally revamped

App Analytics Workflows

Qualitative analytics is too big of a field to be covered in a single article. Those looking to learn more might as well take a free course via this link. For all others, it’s time to discuss two main workflows where they can be used – ‘Data-fueled Optimization’ and ‘Proactive Troubleshooting’.

Data-fueled optimization

Both qualitative analytics and quantitative analytics tools are ‘attacking’ the same problem from different angles. While both are tasked with helping app pros optimize their mobile products, they have different, even opposite approaches to the solution. That makes them an insanely powerful combo, when used together.

Employing inherently opposite systems to tackle the same problem at the same time helps app pros form a complete picture of their app and how it behaves ‘in the wild’. While quantitative analytics can be used as an alarm system, notifying app pros to a condition or a problem, qualitative analytics can be used to analyze the problem more thoroughly.

For example, using quantitative analytics tools you are alerted to the fact that a third of your visitors abandon their shopping cart just before making a purchase. You identify it as a problem, but cannot answer the question as to why this is happening.

With tools like user session recordings, you can streamline your optimization workflow and learn exactly where the problem lies. You could try to fix a problem without insights from qualitative data, but you’ll essentially be “blindly taking a stab“.

By watching a few user session recordings, you realize that the required registration process prior to making a purchase is simply too long. Users come halfway through it and just quit. By shortening the registration process and making checkout faster, you can lower the abandonment rate. Alert, investigate, resolve. This flow can easily become your “lather, rinse, repeat.”

Proactive Troubleshooting

Can you truly be proactive in your troubleshooting? Especially when using analytics? Well, if you rely solely on quantitative analytics, probably not. After all, you need a certain amount of users to actually be using the app for some time before you can get any numbers out, like app abandonment rates or crash rates. Only then will you be able to do anything, and at that point – you’re only reacting to a problem already present. With qualitative analytics, that’s not the case.
By watching real user session recordings and keeping an eye out on touch heatmaps, you can spot issues with your app’s usability or user experience long before a bigger issue arises, therefore proactively troubleshooting any problems.

For example, by watching user session recordings you notice that people are trying to log into Twitter through your app and post a tweet. However, as soon as they try to log in, the app crashes. Some users decide to quit the app altogether. Spotting such an issue helps you fix your app before it witnesses a bigger fallout in new user retention.

Not being proactive about looking for bugs and crashes doesn’t mean they won’t happen – it means they might go longer unattended. By the time you spot them through quantitative analytics, they will have already hurt your user experience and probably pushed a few users your competitor’s way.

Wrap-up

They say new ideas are nothing more than old ideas with a fresh twist, and if that’s true, than qualitative analytics are the ‘fresh twist’ of mobile app analytics. Combining quantitative and qualitative analytics is a simple process that has incredible potency in terms of your workflows and app optimization. Plus, when you understand the reasons behind the numbers on your app, you are able to make crucial decisions with more confidence.

image 
Touch heatmaps
Online Behavior
App Analytics Workflows


Online Behavior – Marketing Measurement & Optimization

Why You Need A Content Marketing Strategy For Your Blog And Social Media Posts

In today’s digital marketing landscape, a growing number of social media platforms and channels are competing for a limited number of marketing resources. Many brands are realizing that they can’t have an active presence across every single platform, and that they need to be strategic in how they create content for different channels. That’s why you need a content marketing strategy for your blog and social media posts.

Create one unified brand identity

In the rush to create new content for social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just creating as much content as possible, and waiting to see what “pops.” The basic thinking here is that, if you create enough Facebook, Twitter and Instagram content, something is going to go viral sooner or later.

The problem here, though, is that you might be creating the wrong content for the wrong customer. Or, you might be spreading your resources so thin that you are no longer staying true to your overall brand identity.

Say, for example, you are a brand that prides itself on having a customer-centric focus and responding to all customer inquiries quickly and professionally. So what happens when you’re failing to check your Twitter feed, and a long string of customer requests are being left unanswered? That reflects negatively on your brand.

Stay on schedule

Creating a content marketing strategy can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like. For example, some brands actually come up with a content calendar, where they think several weeks ahead about the type of content that they would like to post. This helps to keep everybody on the team updated on what type of content will be appearing soon, and helps to ensure a smooth, integrated marketing strategy.

But you don’t need a formal calendar to make a content marketing strategy work. All you need is a basic framework about how often you are creating content. For example, 1 Facebook update per day, 2 tweets per day, and 1 Instagram photo every Friday. This makes it possible for different members of the team to handle social media responsibilities, without wondering: What in the world am I supposed to post today?

Boost your ROI

Yes, social media has an ROI, just like any other form of marketing. And that’s where a content marketing strategy can help you generate the highest possible return. As part of any content marketing strategy, you’ll determine certain basic metrics — such as the number of new followers or the level of engagement — you can track. Then, over time, you can see how much you are moving the needle on these metrics. If you are seeing your Facebook followers “stuck” at a certain number, which might be a real clue that either you’re not updating the page enough or you’re posting content that’s not resonating with customers.

By setting up a content marketing strategy, you’ll have real insights into the performance of your social media campaigns. And, best of all, you won’t wake up one morning to find out that one of your team members stayed up late last night, firing off a series of tweets that are completely off-brand.

Accountability in marketing means one thing: can you deliver on what you promised? Get this Guide to Advertising Accountability to see how revenue accountability can cut marketing costs by reducing waste and dramatically improving your ROI.

Guide to Advertising Accountability

This article originally appeared on Social Media HQ

Image credit: Pexels


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LinkedIn jumps on video sharing bandwagon


Linkedin now allows users to upload native video through its app. Videos can be shot horizontally or vertically and like Facebook, will play automatically when browsing. Video creators can record up to 10 minutes of video and will have access to analytics such as view count, likes, and shares. LinkedIn is also adding their own spin to the video feature by sharing information about video viewers. This information includes where the viewers currently work and their job titles. The company is one of the last social networks to hop on the “stories” bandwagon, but it still stands a chance to be a major…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: LinkedIn
Social Media – The Next Web

The NRL’s Real-Time “Instabilia” Campaign

The NRL’s Instabilia campaign was a real-time in-game activation creating one-of-a-kind State of Origin memorabilia items instantly as those special moments happen on the field, packaged as promotional ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and then immediately placed on eBay for auction for the games biggest fans. Designed to turn traditional memorabilia (you know, the […]


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