Green light for Project Oscar
Last week the major UK network operators – Vodafone, O2 (Telefonica UK) and EE (Everything Everywhere) received the go-ahead from the European Commission for their mobile payments joint venture (JV). Project Oscar intends to provide consumers with a streamlined way to buy products and services via mobile. The initiative creates a single contact point for media agencies and retailers to market and sell their goods to opted-in consumers both in store and online.
The shareholders have said that they are committed to make the JV services open to all. If this proves to be the case, the MMN expects the move to stimulate innovation and healthy competition.
Store tries on multichannel for size
Meanwhile, the gap between offline and online shopping is narrowing on the High Street. Marks and Spencer’s opened a superstore in Cheshire last week which offers customers multichannel shopping.
Most large retailers have stores to test concepts and with their scale, it’s right that M&S is flexing its muscle in this direction.
Enabling assistants to access detailed, quality data and converse with customers on is great. Can M&S expand its demographic using technology? MMN has already helped Thornton’s reach a younger demographic by enabling them to purchase their products via instant mobile checkout.
M&S are following other supermarkets by introducing free Wi-Fi in their UK stores. MMN believes connectivity is the cornerstone of a good in-store shopping experience.
In-store Wi-Fi helps differentiate from the competition and increases footfall. But implementation for the sake of it could lose you customers; especially if they use that connectivity to find products elsewhere.
The key is to add to consumers’ encounter with a free or useful service, within a branded environment.
Improving marketing one pixel at a time
Marketing magazine The Drum has invited a bevy of creative digital leaders to discuss the impact of mobile on brands. One commented: ‘strategy needs to move away from reaching consumers when they’re technically available, to when consumers are behaviourally ready to engage.’
We think smartphones open up a massive canvas for one-to-one marketing: the ability to exercise rich data, anywhere and everywhere via a two-way conversation. But if targeted mobile marketing feels invasive, users will switch off.
It’s got to be done right. When data is linked together cleverly, based on factors such as ‘where I am’, ‘who I am’ and local events, mobile offers almost unrivalled marketing opportunities. By linking all available consumer data to create contextual insight, you can provide targeted, useful information at the point of need. Consumers are likely to welcome this and, importantly, act on it immediately.
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