The September round-up: longer tweets, fingerprint payments and how to fix a toilet

Neil Dawson
Reading time: 4 minutes
6th October 2017

September was another busy month in the digital world, we’ve seen Tweets doubling in size, new insight from Google on our ‘how to…’ search habits, biometric authorisation demands from shoppers and further proof that smartphones are gaining more of our screen time.

We summarise some of the best stories to hit the digital space last month in the Ayima September round-up.

The results are in, smartphones 2 – PCs 1

For 10 years, since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have been steadily stealing screen time from the PC. New data released by Verto Analytics shows that smartphones are now twice as popular as PCs when it comes to searching the internet. In this great report by Econsultancy, we see that smartphone use reaches its peak (63% penetration) between the hours of 8 am and 11 am.

Gathering this kind of information, although seemingly broad, provides valuable insight into user behaviour. Marrying your peak customer flow with device trends can paint an accurate picture of your user intent. If the experience isn’t up to scratch, or doesn’t match the intent well enough, then you’ll start to see customer attrition.

If the majority of your customers are visiting your site on their phone whilst eating breakfast or on their morning commute, it will change the way you see their experience. It should influence your copy, your navigation and your optimisation.

If your site isn’t yet optimised for mobile you’ll already be slipping down Google’s listings, but this insight shows that you could be losing loyal customers too.

It’s official – we’ve got more to say

Last month saw Twitter doubling their 140-character limit, but only for the English, French, Spanish and Portuguese markets. It seems we have a lot more to say…

We suspect the main prompt for Twitter was to drive growth where it has failed to keep up with its rivals, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In fact, Twitter states that 9% of English users are frustrated by the limit so it looks to be a valid reason to make a change and hit the headlines. Although in true Twitter user style there has been a mixed response, as highlighted in the BBC’s cheeky summary.

We’ll be watching to see whether the user base shifts as a result of these changes. Could it be the start of new opportunities for targeted marketing in this channel?

Could we soon be using our fingerprints, face or eyes to pay for our shopping?

One of our key clients, Worldpay, released a great piece of research last month on the consumer drive for using in-store biometrics to authorise payments. Inspired by the convenience of facial recognition software to access devices, such as the new iPhone model, many consumers are receptive to this technology being used in other areas of their life.

Worldpay state that “…the combination of these two technologies is starting to win the battle for hearts and minds when it comes to simplicity, convenience and seamlessness across all channels.”

It turns out that 69% of consumers are willing to use their fingerprint to authorise a transaction, 33% their iris, 24% their face and 18% their voice.

Well, it certainly would help on those occasions when you’ve left your wallet at home.

Ayima makes the top 100 for the fifth year running

We are really honoured to have made it into the Top 100 Digital Agencies list again this year. In a rapidly changing and diversifying marketplace we’ve been commended for data-driven digital marketing as an independent agency, ranking 47th in this year’s report and 18th in independent agencies alone.

The report makes a great read in itself with the main findings expertly summarised in Econsultancy’s state of the industry report.

Amongst the findings are some new challenges for agencies: Brexit and the US presidential election topping the list. Worryingly, it is marketing experimentation that is losing out on the budget spend, but we predict that the companies who protect this crucial budget line will win out in the long run.

It’s the changing face of agencies that has seen the most discussion. Trends include:

  • Digital agencies taking a more advisory role on new technology
  • Agencies taking a more consultative route, rather than simply fulfilling a brief
  • Knowledge being transferred from agency to client through training and development

At Ayima, we have definitely been embracing these changes and helping our clients to become more empowered in their digital strategy.

The article also addresses the changing landscape of the traditional agency model as consultancies and agencies increasingly diversify across the boundaries between the two. Something that looks set to continue into 2018 and beyond.   

And finally, “OK, Google, how do I fix a toilet?”

Google released a fascinating report last month on the upward trend of the ‘how to’ question teaming up with an award-winning designer, Xaquín González Veira, to present their finding in an engaging graphic format. It turns out that ‘how to’ searches have increased by 140% since 2004 and we’ve been turning to Google to answer our most pressing, urgent and personal problems, including how to tie a tie, how to kiss, how to cook asparagus and more obscure questions like how to make money (presumably not on a tree as the graphic suggests).

As banal and silly as some of these questions seem, there is some useful insight here. Providing genuinely useful content that answers a specific question could give you the edge when it comes to search.

Take a look at the infographic to see the most common searches for yourself, but be prepared to be sucked into an infographic hole for a while as you explore the great content.

Written By Neil Dawson
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