As part of the Mobile Smart Roundtable Dinner Series, The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and IMImobile hosted an exclusive dinner on Tuesday, 17th February at one of London’s most sought after dinner locations, The Shard. The evening brought together executive marketers from many leading industry players including Citi Bank, Pizza Hut, Unilever, American Express, ITV, IKEA, MediaCom and Mindshare to discuss and debate the latest trends in implementing and delivering smarter mobile engagement.
With the evening providing an inspirational view across London’s night skyline, the dinner was the perfect platform for cultivating discussion. As the conversation flowed, it quickly became apparent that marketers are overwhelmed by the rapid progress of mobile technologies and proliferation of devices and datasets. With new consumer trends popping up almost every month, marketers face a relentless challenge in adapting strategies to define and measure customer engagement.
The mobile phone is often cited as the most ‘personal’ device and all the attendees had made impressive efforts to personalise their customers’ experiences. The question being posed at the table was “How can we deliver a one-to-one conversation to each individual customer on mass scale?”. In turn this brought up the challenge of how large companies create a link between datasets held across different teams/departments within the business, and how this ‘joined-up’ view can then be used to automate marketing campaigns.
This challenge appears to be a common one. By unifying data sources to make actionable data available across the entire business, companies enable agility, personalisation, relevance and context when communicating and serving a specific customer. But, how far do you need to go to extract the true potential of data? At what level does personal identification or optimisation of communication become feasible?
The discussion around data and how to identify a customer across multiple channels led to one of my favourite debates of the evening – the search for the unique identifier. Brought up by a representative of one of the largest media agencies, the debate focused on who can create one common unique identifier of customers across all devices, channels and interactions. One unique identifier would allow businesses to assign insight gained from data analytics to a specific customer across multiple touchpoints enabling for complete personalisation of services and understanding of customer behaviour. This solution is a marketer’s dream.
Although it is undeniable that data drives decisioning, all guests agreed that it does not solve the need for creating an emotional attachment with a customer. Consumers are drawn to brands that exude a personality they can identify with and use to express themselves. In this aspect, creativity is still king, as it is creativity that builds a customer’s emotional connection with a brand; data does not solve branding challenges but lays the foundation for enriching services and engagement.
“Data is the brick, creative is the paint, contact channels are the doors”
The evening went deep into the night, and when attendees left their minds were full of food for thought. The Mobile Smart Roundtable Dinner series is unique in its informal, cooperative approach, to discussing the challenges we are all facing as marketers and how technology can help to achieve smarter mobile engagement.
If you would like to attend the next MMA & IMImobile Mobile Smart Roundtable Dinner then do not hesitate to contact me via my LinkedIn account.
Written by Alex Klose,
Head of Marketing,