Despite Issues, Mobile Provides “A World of Possibilities”

Written by: on April 23, 2018

POSSIBLE Mobile’s Mobile Strategist, Jeff Hasen, looks back on the Mobile Marketing Association’s Impact conference in New York

To describe where we are in mobile, one major brand marketer at the recent Mobile Marketing Association’s Impact conference in New York used the word “crisis.” A second top executive described the device as “a key that allows customers to unlock a world of possibilities.”

It actually was refreshing to hear Lou Paskalis (Chairman, North American Board of Directors at Mobile Marketing Association) call out issues like data breaches, ad fraud, and less than perfect attribution tools and methods. Those of us in mobile for quite some time know the Senior Vice President, Customer Engagement and Media Investment for Bank of America Merrill Lynch is actually bullish about mobile marketing.

But in his secondary role as Chairman, Paskalis took to the stage to implore the conference attendees to take bigger swings and make bigger efforts to answer some of the questions and issues that still face marketers.

Later in the conference, Macy’s Chief Product and Revenue Officer Jill Ramsey was much more upbeat. She offered up the many ways that mobile is indispensable for brands.

“One out of two Americans have shopped in a Macy’s in the last year, yet we know our front window is a mobile device and we can make it a smarter, more dynamic and more inspirational experience than retail by tailoring it to individual customers’ needs,” she said.

“As we all know, the mobile phone is the key to unlocking a world of possibilities. For us, the Macy’s website and app are the gateways to our brand and the inspiration, fashion, value, and great experience that await for our customers.”

Ramsey sees her shoppers’ appetite for technology as insatiable. “Consumers today don’t just adopt technology, they are absorbing it at a tremendous pace,” she said. “With this powerful tool in hand, she can engage with us on her terms — anyway, any time, and anywhere she chooses.

“We keep adding exciting new features based on what she tells us. We know that increasingly her first engagement with us comes through mobile, and in order to meet her needs and evolving preferences, we make great strides in improving the overall user experience on the web and app.”

And rather than force customers to choose between mobile and brick and mortar, Macy’s is taking significant steps to combine the two.

“In-store Mode is the key connecting the customer with her local Macy’s,” Ramsey said.

That includes the availability of information like floor directories, hours, features and services, as well as free Wi-Fi.

Plus, the app has a barcode scanner that enables consumers to check prices, read reviews, see additional colours and sizes that may be available, and even order on the spot and have the item shipped.

“We’re also working to provide her with relevant in-store savings and offers based on her location in the store,” Ramsey said. “So actually, knowing what department she’s in, we’re tailoring personalised offers to her, helping to further personalise her shopping trip.”

The next innovation to be brought out in all stores is mobile self-checkout.

“It’s going to help alleviate a major pain-point in our stores,” she said. “It’s a simple scan, pay, and go.”

That contrasts with the issues brought up by Paskalis – they are anything but simple. Privacy concerns, for one, have heightened in light of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony before Congress.

But from where I sat, the discussion both on stage and in the audience provided hope that with collaboration and more dedicated efforts, the industry can take mobile to places that it has never been.

This article was originally published on LBB Online.

Jeff Hasen

Jeff Hasen

Jeff Hasen is Wunderman Thompson Mobile's Senior Strategist and is one of the leading evangelists in mobile and emerging technologies. He enables brands to get closer to their customers in times upended by new devices and behaviors. The results are increased sales and loyalty and businesses doing the disrupting rather than being disrupted.

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