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Why Online Advertisers Need To Start Caring About Their End Users

23. May - 2015

It’s great when online ads offer something useful. Not because consumers are blind and willing to buy the next shiny thing, but because so many marketing messages are just noise. When the right message appears in the right context, it’s as informative as it is rare.

According to PaigeFair, 2014 was the year that ad blocking “went mainstream.” At least 40% of Internet users aged 18 to 25 use some form of ad block, and from June 2013 to June 2014, ad block usage grew by 70%. In some countries, over a quarter of all Internet users have ad block turned on.

Advertisers ought to be seriously worried. If younger generations are embracing the concept of ad blocking now, it will be difficult to convince them to respond to advertising when they have more buying power. That means fewer marketing dollars spent on less effective advertising campaigns, which means smaller payouts for sites and apps.

Essentially, the ad-based Internet could be in jeopardy of running out of revenue. This isn’t a short-term problem, but if content creators don’t become proactive about shaping the future of advertising, it could be too late for them to pivot to another revenue source. Without reliable, scalable inventory, brands too will have to scramble to find new ways of delivering their messages.

Users Find Ads Intrusive

Users are rejecting online advertising because it’s intrusive. There’s a reason why few advertisers buy popup or popunder inventory anymore — users hate them. Interstitials and site wraps are somewhat less disruptive, but many ad block users still consider them a nuisance.

And it’s not just the content of ads, either.  It’s the placement, the frequency and the contextual relation to the surrounding content. Display advertising is really good at hijacking an ad’s relationship with users. 

The simple truth is that better response rates come from better ads. Seth Godin coined the term “permission marketing” to refer to marketing that treats its prospects with respect and consent, as one person should treat another.

Making Ads More Human

The online advertising equivalent of this are native ads that integrate their message into the form of the site or app, perhaps as sponsored content, sponsored searches, or in-feed items. As the incredible financial success of Google AdWords shows, this works. The brand offers its message to users without disrupting them, and the ad unit indicates that it has been sponsored, keeping the transaction transparent.

Ad block users have said in surveys that they would be willing to experience less intrusive forms of advertising. In fact, AdBlock Plus whitelists sites that are willing to be transparent and reduce disruptions.

The other concern users have about online marketers is privacy. Users want to know who is using their data, which is why browser extensions like Ghostery are popular. This becomes difficult when there are many ad tech players shuffling analytics in the middle of the advertising transaction. The key is for advertisers and publishers both to be transparent. The process to opt out of data collection should be straightforward, and all parties should make it clear how they are using user data.

Better advertising won’t happen by itself, and a single player can’t take it on, either. It’s the responsibility of the industry as a whole to move away from intrusive ads and shift towards new forms of advertising where the user is the focus. Their experience is key, and it must be taken into account to build better ad units — everything from how ads are integrated into the content to control over their personal data. Otherwise, online ads will eventually lose their audience completely.

By James Avery (

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends 2015

09. May - 2015

1. Computing Everywhere

As smart-phone technology advances, smart-phones will be used in new contexts and environments. Along with wearables, smart-phones will offer connected screens in the workplace and in public. User experience will be key.


2. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is big and it will continue to grow along with user-oriented computing. Prediction: The Internet of Things will be the focus of digital business products and processes in industrial and operational contexts. Expect technology to be embedded everywhere.


3. 3D Printing

3D printing is about to get cheaper, and its market will grow over the next three years. The expansion will be biggest in industrial, biomedical, and consumer applications helping companies reduce costs.


4. Advanced, Pervasive, Invisible Analytics

Analytics will continue to grow propelled by the Internet of Things, creating large pools of data. Every app will need to be an analytic app. But big data isn’t the most important thing: instead we’ll need big questions and big answers.


5. Context-Rich Systems

Thanks to embedded intelligence and analytics, systems will become alert and responsive to their surroundings. Expect context-aware security as well as other trends.


6. Smart Machines

Analytics and context will pave the way for smart machines that can learn for themselves and act accordingly. These machine helpers will continue to evolve. Prediction: The smart machines era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.


7. Cloud/Client Architecture

As mobile computing meets cloud computing, centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device will continue to grow. Apps that can use intelligence and storage effectively will see lower bandwidth costs. Expect to be able to use applications simultaneously on multiple devices.


8. Software-Defined Infrastructure and Applications

Software defined networking, storage, data centers and security are maturing. Cloud service software is configurable thanks to rich APIs. Computing will have to move away from static models to deal with the changing demands of digital business.


9. Web-Scale IT

More and more companies will begin thinking like Amazon, Google and Facebook. As cloud-optimized and software-defined methods become mainstream, we’ll see a move towards web-scale IT, starting with DevOps.


10. Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection

While 100% security solutions aren’t feasible, advanced risk assessment and mitigation will come into play in the next few years. Security will move away from perimeter defense to multi-faceted approaches. Expect security aware application design, dynamic and static application security testing, and runtime application self-protection.





Design for Experience: Bottom Line Impact

28. Apr - 2015

User-centricity and a commitment to the quality of user experiences are not generally ends in and of themselves.

They serve a much greater purpose: driving business success.

“Bertucci’s (a 30-years old restaurant chanin) saw that it had to throw out its old restaurant model in order to court (and keep) a younger generation of diners. They decide to create an entirely new brand. The restaurant group partnered with a design and innovation consultancy to create a new restaurant concept called 2ovens, using in-depth research into Generation Y and Millennial diners’ eating preferences and social habits to create a dining experience relevant to hip youngsters.

They also decided to tap into one of their core competencies: brick oven cooking. “As the 2ovens name implies, two giant ovens—one wood-fired and one gas—sit in plain view of customers. This allowed the restaurand to expand its offering without forcing a new skill onto the organization—and that increases the new restaurant’s chances for long-term success. The open kitchen also exposed Bertucci’s culinary strengths and provided a point of differentiation from the throngs of fast-casual restaurants that microwave their food behind closed doors.”

To test the 2ovens concept, Bertucci’s rolled out a prototype restaurant in an off-the-beaten-path strip mall in a Boston suburb. The prototype surpassed revenue targets, far exceeding executives’ expectations. The restaurant also experienced strong employee engagement, with one assistant chef actually tattooing the 2ovens logo on his forearm.”


(by UX Magazin Staff/ Design for Experience:





Why so serious? Let’s add some fun!

22. Apr - 2015

We all know the usual online shopping experience: we search for the stuff we want, find it, add it to the cart and buy it. Yes, it is functional and quick but wouldn’t it be nice to experience something exciting during finding and buying it? And no, that doesn’t mean a wiggling shopping cart.

Fortunately, some online shops manage to surprise us again and again with their creative shopping experience ideas.

One example we discovered lately is the online shop „TwoSocks“.
The shop isn’t just nice to look at, also the fun is not missing out.

The Button “in case of emergency PULL“ doesn’t lead to a help page. It leads to a one-armed bandit – for socks. If you have no time to shop, press the “Play” button and the one-armed bandit shows you a combination of their most popular socks. TwoSocks says “Fashion-forward yet fuss-free shopping. Excellent.“ And in addition to that it is a nice feature to enhance the shopping experience.!/emergency

by Tamara Kober

It’s at home – our MYO

25. Mar - 2015

Finally arrived!


The Myo armband created by thalmic is released now and Youspi is one of the first who received it. Being more than curious we also immediately tested it. Now we want to share our experiences of using this technical milestone!


What Myo is and how it works


The Myo armband is a technical gadget to operate several gadgets like pc’s, laptops, smartphones or tablets only with a gesticulation. It is the start of a new technical generation where you can control things without being in visual contact or touching a surface. The armband works with EMG sensors, which measure electrical activity from the muscles of your hands. By measuring them it can recognize five poses and using a 9-axis IMU it reads off the motion, orientation and rotation of your forearm. This information is transfered over a Bluetooth connection to your laptop, pc, tablet or other gadgets.


Getting started!


Before you can start the Myo armband has to be loaded. There aren’t any instructions in the box but every information you may need is on the website. The software can be downloaded there and a “getting started” guide opens when the software starts. An important point is the Bluetooth adapter, it has to be connected all the time. After you have done that you can put the armband on. Before you can use it for controlling your personal gadgets you have to sync it, so that the armband knows and understands your gestures. Afterwards you can start to work with it!


What Myo can be used for


Even if the Myo armband is still in the early stages and there are some restrictions like no single finger detection, it can be a useful tool. It is compatible with windows, android and mac OS and can also be used on different gadgets like iPad, Laptop, PC or even on Smartphones. The possibility of connecting it with the smartphone offers a variety of other possibilities, for example controlling a stereo system or a thermostat connected to the phone. There are also some standard softwares like PowerPoint, keynote or acrobat which can be controlled with the armband.















CX – Is Today’s Business Benchmark

18. Mar - 2015

Not so long ago, every business assumed that the keys to success were the highest quality product, the best value for the buck, and the best customer service. Now all we hear about is providing the best “customer experience.” Exactly what is that customer experience that every modern marketer is talking about, and how do you measure it?

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review “The Truth About Customer Experience” defines it as your customer’s end-to-end journey with you, not just the key touchpoints or critical moments when customers interact with your organization. Customer experience is the cumulative impact of multiple touchpoints over time, which result in a real relationship feeling, or lack of it.

The advent of social media and real-time interactive feedback via the Internet allows every customer to build and expect a relationship with your business, rather than just touchpoints. Yet we are all still learning what that means, in terms of hard business practices.

I like the insights outlined in the new book “Summit,” by F. Scott Addis, who is an experienced business executive and recent Inc. “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist. He ties business success and your personal summit to elevating your customers’ experience with the following specific recommendations and key differentiators:

  1. Listen to the individual customer. Every relationship requires listening, as well as talking. You have to hear your customer’s dreams, goals, passions, and aspirations. That opportunity for your customers to talk and be heard is pleasurable and memorable, and defines their customer experience, more so than just satisfying business touchpoints.
  2. Exploit your product and service differences. A memorable experience has to have something different from the norm. You must be able to highlight these differences between your products and services, and those of your competitors. If not, you are part
  3. Demonstrate the value of your offering. The first step in being able to demonstrate your value is being willing to find out what your customers want or need. This will create a connection with them, which demonstrates more value than price or quality. You create a loyal customer that wants to buy from you, and will recommend you to others.
  4. Demonstrate your personal commitment. When in contact with customers, focus 100 percent on them, and do all you can to determine and meet their needs. Remember, customers are the reason you do what you do. Give them the respect and results they deserve and they will tell others about your good work and your business.
  5. Shoot for the customers’ hearts. Engagement and an emotional connection will make a customer relationship the driving force for loyalty and differentiation. Move from customer friendliness to customer charisma. A business with charisma gives the customer something very special, and they want to tell others about it.

Weiß man schon mal, wie man Customer Experience verbessert, ist es auch wichtig zu wissen, wie man es vergleicht – „If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.“ Wie misst man nun Loyalität und Kundenbeziehungen? Eine neue, häufig genutzte Methode nennt sich Net Promoter® Score (NPS).

Dabei werden die Kunden um Feedback gebeten und danach in folgende drei Kategorien geteilt:

Once you know how to improve your customers’ experience, you need to also know how to benchmark it. Remember the old adage, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” So how do you measure customer loyalty and relationships? One new metric now commonly used is called the Net Promoter® Score (NPS).

This works by asking your customers for feedback, and dividing them into three categories:

  • Promoters. Loyal enthusiasts who keep buying from you and urge their friends to do the same.
  • Passive. Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who can be easily wooed by the competition.
  • Detractors. Unhappy customers who feel trapped in a bad relationship.

The formula for the Net Promoter® Score is the percentage of customers who are detractors, subtracted from the percentage who are promoters (NPS=P-D). Legendary companies like Amazon and Costco operate with an NPS between 50 to 80 percent. But the average venture sputters along at an NPS of only 5 percent to 10 percent, or even negative.

Maybe it time for all of us to focus more on the customer experience. There is other evidence that companies with the highest customer experience typically grow at more than double the rate of their competitors. The inverse case is that you can lose you competitive lead very quickly by focusing on the wrong things. Have you checked your customers’ experience lately?

(by Martin Zwilling,

Customer support via Social Media

02. Mar - 2015

Social media can be a blessing or a curse, providing instant access to customers and a way to reach them on their own terms but also offering them a platform to complain. Getting social media interaction right is not as easy as it appears at first glance – and many companies have learned that the hard way. So what represents best practice in terms of social media customer interaction?

Social media is a good way for companies to show their reactivity and how important their customers are to them. They need to respond rapidly and in a friendly way. It is not enough to advise customers to call the service hotline. This doesn’t show reactivity and could even damage the company’s image, as customers expect a quick resolution to their problem. Using social media should therefore be part of a global strategy on customer service.

A social media complaint might be the right way forward for the customer because responsible and responsive companies are likely to see the tweet, react to it and solve the problem. The satisfied consumer may then comment positively about the company’s rapid response. And so, both parties benefit from the interaction process. Customers contact a company via social media because they want a clear, brief and direct answer immediately. Companies need to provide a wide range of ways for customers to contact them and to provide answers in a timely manner whatever the channel. Customers feel valued and companies improve their brand image and increase customer satisfaction rates. A win-win for everyone.

For the right use of social media channels it’s necessary to train your staff as they require different skills as if they deal with complaints face to face. Don’t forget to treat social media channel with the respect it deserves.

  • Understand your customers: their age, their profile, what device they typically use and what method of communication they leverage when interacting with you.
  • Recognize that social media is not right for every customer or for every dialogue or scenario. “Often, conversations will be initiated through social media but resolved through a more traditional channel like email,” he said. “As such, the ability to integrate the channels and provide an omni-channel customer experience is crucial in giving the customer what they want – in the fastest and most effort-free way possible.”
  • There is an expectation of immediate response from customers. Businesses therefore need to put in place well-trained or highly skilled staff to deliver the quickest possible response.
  • Organizations who get it right trust and empower their customers to become part of an extended community that acts to support itself. This helps to improve customer service and reduce costs by leveraging the power of social media. Rewarding super users and customers who share knowledge, information or experiences that help the broader community is a good way of achieving this.

Social media, like any other customer interaction channel, requires the right skills and the right strategy to ensure that it is best utilized and becomes an asset instead of a potential liability.