Today was our Mobile Marketing Retail Summit, where we brought together retail brands with key thought leaders from the mobile marketing world to help explore the opportunities and challenges that mobile can offer to businesses of every size.
With such a constantly changing market, where innovations are occurring every day, brands need to develop a flexible but consistent mobile strategy that works in concert with the rest of its marketing efforts, and takes advantage of the technological breakthroughs that developers, technology providers and advertising platforms are making.
If you weren't able to make it to the Summit, you missed out on some fantastic guidance from leading industry figures, but you can still access some of the gems of wisdom here, with our top 10 quotes from the day.
"Increasingly, the journey is getting shorter and shorter; mobile is so important in that mix, because I can go from seeing something on Instagram to asking 'can I pick that up in store tomorrow?'" – Sienne Veit, director of online product for John Lewis
The days was kicked off by Sienne Veit, who has led the mobile strategies of retail brands including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. She explored the changes that mobile has brought to our shopping habits, and what John Lewis calls the 'Master Shopper', who is fully connected, knows what they want and how they want to access it. The job of retail brands is to make sure they are as connected, in-store and online, as the consumers they are targeting.
"How many sales have you lost in the past when someone couldn't visualise the product in their home?" – Alex Moss, vice president of sales in Europe for YouAppi
Looking at the latest developments in mobile technology, Alex Moss addressed the evolving landscape of retail and how tools like virtual reality, chat bots and native advertising can all reduce the friction between a person first being exposed to a brand and becoming a regular customer. He emphasised the importance of a holistic approach to mobile, positioning it within a wider context of omnichannel marketing.
"There's never been a better time to engage with a creative format for mobile" – Mandeep Mason, general manager for EMEA at PlaceIQ
Mandeep Mason explored the impact of location when it came to retail marketing, and how this essentially mobile feature could be used to inform everything from consumer insights and analytics to targeting, attribution and data collection. What's more, location can be used to power ad formats that can only exist on mobile, providing your consumers with unique experiences that engage them in new and interesting ways.
"Maybe the future of the business directory is that every entry is also a shop" – Alex Schlagman, CEO of Pocket High Street
Alex Schlagman walked us through the evolution of Pocket High Street, and how the business transformed from a dedicated app for local businesses to an API that could join together the disparate elements of physical and online retail, providing brands with new ways to connect with consumers and empowering small and medium-sized businesses to market in a similar way to large international brands, but with an emphasis on local relationships.
"On average, it takes 24 hours to report a lost wallet. For a smartphone, it takes only 68 minutes" – Surash Patel, chief operating officer of mGage
With mobile phones more central to our lives than ever before, Surash Patel spoke about how important it was to choose the right way to communicate with consumers, taking the time to explore options, analyse data and pick the most appropriate channel for any given interaction. He also highlighted the consistent power of SMS, which still boasts a 98 per cent open rate within five seconds of being received, and eight times higher engagement rate than email.
"Saying 'mobile internet' should be like saying 'colour TV'. We'll use the word 'mobile' a lot less in the future, because it will just be assumed that's how we're communicating" – Peter McLachan, chief product officer and co-founder, Mobify
Peter McLachlan presented with Paul Kinlan, lead developer advocate for Chrome at Google, and introduced us to Mobify's new Progressive Design, which is a way of packaging mobile internet content in a way that mimics native apps, enabling customers to save content to their home page and speed up their interactions, and letting brands send push notifications to internet consumers in the same way they already communicate with app users.
"For each of these brand experiences, purchasing a product is the subplot to a story" – Tim Hutchinson, managing director, Eighteen Digital
Speaking on the power of mobile storytelling, Tim Hutchinson looked at how mobile experiences can compliment brand messaging, and how consumer reaction to emotive marketing can be measured beyond just KPIs, using natural language technology. Machine learning technology can now provide brands with insights far deeper than before, on a much larger scale, and measure the real effect of individual experiences.
"Everyone starts believing retail is about rational actors researching products that they really need, and browsing for best prices and top deals, but spend five minutes with my daughter in Tiger and you can see that really, shopping has nothing to do with rational actions" – Tom Farrell, director of marketing, Swrve
Tom Farrell led a whirlwind tour of common sense solutions that brands can apply to their mobile marketing strategies, in particular the need to adopt principles like A/B testing to content and messaging within apps. Through the use of an ad platform, brands can react far quicker to consumer data, and tailor their app content to reach customers in the most effective way.
"It's incredibly easy to adapt creative for mobile, but when you ask creative agencies, the amount they'll charge you is ridiculous" – Chris Childs, managing director for UK, TabMo
Focusing on the power of programmatic advertising in mobile, Chris Childs addressed the need for multi-channel campaigns to adapt and take advantage of the unique opportunities that mobile offered when it came to ad format. He showcased the power of vertical video formats, ads that reacted to movement and campaigns that changed depending on demographic, location and even weather factors in real-time.
"There's very little listening going on in advertising anymore. We see the first advert as the start of the conversation, but really it should be about two-thirds of the way through the journey when it comes to understanding and relating to your customer" – Ilicco Elia, head of mobile, DigitasLBi
Presenting alongside media director Katherine Sollers, Ilicco explored the personal nature of mobile, the wealth of signals that are given out by consumers as they interact with their smartphones, and how this can drive campaigns that truly understand what the customer wants. In the age of big data, constructing a powerful database of information to power your campaigns is more important that creating a beautiful app.
These are just a few of the highlights from our Mobile Marketing Retail Summit. If you're interested in attending one of our events in the future, you can explore the range of verticals we cover here.