Context, cars and connection in the new media landscape
Through conversations with Mondelēz, Westpac and MediaCom, and a smattering of examples from GroupM’s mLab event and the Mondelēz Mobile Futures program, Peter Roper explores some of the new media landscape brands face.
No matter how old we get, ‘new media’ still stays new. It’s funny that way. In 2015, it’s all about context and personalisation. Even ‘mobile’ is past the point of being a ‘trend’. The smartphone as its owner’s passport to the digital world is so prevalent that ‘mobile’ is not even worth calling a theme anymore. You’ll see throughout this article
that the mobile phone is the key to many experiences in day-to-day life and therefore is not a channel for brands but a common denominator in brand experiences.
Mondelēz looks for its mobile future
The Mobile Futures initiative, launched in 2013 in the US and Brazil, aims to “ignite the company’s consumer connections by collaborating with some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the mobile space – start-up entrepreneurs”.
The program in Australia paired five brands – Cadbury Dairy Milk, Marvellous Creations, Cadbury Favourites, Philadelphia cream cheese and BelVita breakfast biscuits – with five start-ups to accelerate and scale existing mobile innovations in 90 days.
“Around half of Australian consumers’ online activity occurs via mobile or tablet devices, but there’s a big gap between that mobile usage and where compa- nies are investing their ad budgets,” says Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelēz International.
“Digitally savvy markets like Australia will play a lead role in our plan to invest 10% of our global marketing budget in clever and engaging mobile activations that span the entire consumer journey. Our goal is to become one of the top mobile marketers in the world.
“This program will further drive innovation within our own organisation and create a culture of ‘intrapreneurship’. Out of that new culture will emerge new, innovative ideas that will shape the future of mobile,” he says.
Cadbury Favourites (‘What to bring when you’re told not to bring a thing!’) is taking part in the Mobile Futures program and partnered with location-based marketing start-up SkyFii.
One of the key challenges for the Cadbury Favourites brand is finding ways to increase purchase occasions from the usual once or twice per year. That was the main objective of the brand’s Mobile Futures pilot with SkyFiim a start-up that positions itself as a data and analytics business for retail. By providing people in a particular environment with free Wi-Fi, it can capture and analyse customer movement and online behaviour.
“We’ve been able to identify a couple of different ways to do that, whether it be a relevance piece, targeting that way, or a behaviour-led piece,” says Jessica Finger, senior brand manager, Cadbury Favourites.
By identifying a location to geo-fence that has a healthy distribution of venues where Cadbury Favourites is stocked, the pilot program aimed to identify members of the broad audience for Cadbury Favourites, those over 35 years old. Behaviour is then observed over a period of time, and opportunities to interact and drive users in-store more often are assessed.
“It’s really about Favourites reminding them of the occasion and the suitability of the product. Where this technology gives us an opportunity that we haven’t had in the past is really around that context piece and the relevance to consumers,” Finger says.
The pilot test in November 2014 centred on a promotion for the Favourites Christmas large pack, measuring shopping patterns to identify the right time to connect with consumers, drive them in-store and measure the conversion rate.
In conversation: Westpac’s Karen Ganschow on navigating the modern media landscape
Karen Ganschow is general manager of customer relationship marketing and digital at Westpac, and speaks to Marketing after an afternoon at mLab, an event held annually by GroupM to open the eyes of clients and partners to emerging channels.
Marketing: How would you characterise today’s media landscape for Westpac compared to even two years ago when you joined?
Karen Ganschow: You’re certainly able to see now a shift from ‘I as a brand’ stand on a podium and shout my story and hope someone will listen, to ‘I as a brand’ should sit in an ecosystem where my customers are hanging out, and move to have a conversation with them. If you look at what we’re seeing today it’s now really taking the traditional broadcast media into a point where you can be very one-to- one and be very personalised and be very targeted. So maybe we will have a day when we can say ‘I now know 50% of our advertising is not wasted’.
After 100 or more years since [John] Wanamaker famously said that, we should probably be able to say we’ve made progress. Yeah, it’s not true at the moment, is it? For all the terrific targeted buys you can do on Channel Seven and Channel Nine, you still know that a lot of the people you spend money trying to get to are not the ones that are really going to be interested in your product anyway.
M: Was targeting the main theme you took from mLab?
KG: For me, the theme came out as personalisation and contextual relevance, wherever the customer is.
Even the notion of walking into the Jaguar dealership and, by using the ambient sound, interacting with a customer on their phone, so they can have something that gives them a lot more of an experience than perhaps taking a brochure [see breakout on Shazam, right].
For us, it’s if you walk into a Westfield shopping centre. Banking’s about enabling the things you do every day, and the thing that customers interact with us more than anything else is the credit card, so we could interact with a customer in a shopping centre and say, ‘Remember, you’ve got an amazing rewards offer sitting on your credit card if you go and use your card at XYZ retailer.’
M: So it’s not just about the branch?
KG: We already have a capability now, which we want to enhance, which is a notification that notices, using geo-fencing, when you arrive at the airport.
Its absolute intent and purpose is to say, ‘We can see you’re travelling; it would be good to let us know where you’re going so we don’t block your card.’
We now send a push notification when you arrive at an international airport.
M: Your mantra is mobile first: does that flow from being where customers are right now? So it’s important right now, but could change?
KG: Absolutely. If customers end up interacting with us in another way we’ve got to follow. I declared to you that we’re ‘mobile first’ because customers are engaging with us more on their mobile device. So, if the majority of your interactions with your customer base are coming through a small screen or a tablet device, you need to make sure it’s a sensational experience and then look after the big screen as well.
If some other new device comes along, or some new way of interacting, and customers go there and we can have an active role facilitating what they want to do in that ecosystem, whatever that is, then we will try to follow fast.
M: Another theme from mLab is that there are a lot of things to choose from, and deciding what to use as a brand is a big decision and challenging. How do you go about making that decision?
KG: Yes, it’s a challenge. The only channel we’ve turned off is the fax machine. There are just so many more choices, whether it’s targeted radio, Shazam-ing something, interacting on Facebook…
There are lots of things you can do, and we give ourselves permission to experiment, but there’s got to be, first and foremost, a use case.
You’re absolutely right, there are so many things you can choose from, and your biggest challenge is actually your opportunity cost of doing one and then missing something else. So you’ve got to place a couple of bets and know some of them are not going to work out.
M: You were involved with Second Life [at Telstra, where the telco set up shop in the virtual world], was that one of those experiments where you were happy to find out whether it would work out?
KG: Well, Telstra was a buzzy brand, and Telstra actually went quite all out being an online brand. Telstra and BigPond bought an island in Second Life and we actually had a store and we had people manning the store and you could actually buy mobile phones in the store.
When there was a rush of people there, it was fine to support that, but when everyone else moved on to Facebook, the joke was that we had more people manning the store than there were customers in the store. There’s a time when you decide it’s not worth it anymore, because the customers are no longer there.
M: That leads into the role of the media agency, where they’ve almost become a tech consultant or an educator – would you agree with that?
KG: MediaCom are an absolute partner for us. We now put everything through them, from TV [to] outdoor, search, display, social media buys. The whole point is that we want them to help us understand the exploding ecosystem, and work with us on the emerging pilots and tests with the new platforms, while we make sure what we know works continues to work.
Media agency as technology adviser
Education, and at a hands-on level, is the impetus for GroupM’s annual mLab event, says Geoff Clarke, MediaCom’s New South Wales managing director. “MediaCom and GroupM collectively put this on because the landscape of media and the way consumers are interacting in their own worlds has radically changed,” he explains. That’s a cliché, yes, but at the end of the day there are very few events put on where we can put clients face-to-face with the technology that can influence their marketing plans.”
The importance of an advisory role is highlighted by the fact that, in some ways, every marketing decision today is an IT decision, says Joshua Rex, MediaCom’s head of digital. “It’s both an opportunity and a challenge that we face. There’s no doubt digital has led to a proliferation in the number of ways we can connect with audiences. So technology, like it or hate it, is at the heart of commu- nication today,” says Rex.
“A lot of what vendors are presenting [at mLab] are ways in which content or communications can be delivered to audiences in a seamless way, in a non-interruptive fashion. I think that’s the opportunity technology has: to better personalise content and deliver it in a way that is more in line with our day-to-day habits and, quite frankly, in a less disruptive fashion.”
“Things like mass personalisation are going to become even more important, as marketers have a limited investment they are allocated each year. So every single dollar they spend needs to be spent attracting and targeting that consumer,” says Clarke.
“In a way, we are technology consultants, because there’s so much technology out there, the skill sets we’re bringing in to the media communications business now are very different to what we did a few years ago. But with all that technology out there, it is our job to digest what that is. Is there a real benefit for our client. And then advising them – ‘This looks sexy but isn’t going to deliver you any value,’ or ‘This platform over here is going to make a real difference.’
“The beauty of it is that of all these technology choices out there, one piece might not work for one client, but is certainly going to work for another client. We’re very much able to decide with our clients together, what piece of technology is going to work and what piece of technology is not.”
Breakfast biscuits en route
Buzzwords: mobile, location, geoanalytics
Spotted at: Mondelez Mobile Futures
What: BelVita used the start-up’s technology to geo-target consumers on mobile to amplify its ‘Morning Wins’ campaign by connecting with consumers and sending geo-targeted offers to direct the path to purchase, resulting in click-through rates of 32%. A geo-targeted offer for a free coffee and sample of BelVita during the pilot recorded a 43% redemption rate. Next step is to scale through retailer partnerships.
Pandora’s betting the car
Who: Pandora Internet Radio
Buzzwords: cars, cross-device
Spotted at: mLab
What: The next big opportunity for brands, says Pandora Internet Radio, which now reports two million users in Australia, is the automobile: where the majority of people’s passive listening takes place. According to Pandora, 60% of new cars sold in 2015 will have Pandora enabled, adding the car to Pandora’s already encompassing array of compatible devices.
Philly takes issue
Buzzwords: shoppable media, personalisation
Spotted at: Mondelez Mobile Futures
What: Philadelphia cream cheese launched a pilot with Issue, a platform to create mini-magazines for mobile and tablet readers, that created a mobile magazine with shoppable stories, reaching 75,000 people in three weeks. The next step is retail partnerships to bring the mobile magazine experience directly in-store.
Take me out to the ball game
Who: Local Measure
Buzzwords: social, location
Spotted at: mLab
What: Local Measure’s pitch to brands is that it’s a platform for social listening around events occurring in a defined area, such as the SCG or Flemington Racecourse. Brands can respond to the conversations with offers or comments, or can take relevant social content generated by fans and amplify it to an audience beyond the specific event.
Smells like beacon
Buzzwords: location, mobile, loyalty
Spotted at: mLab
What: Get ready for beacons, ladies and gentlemen, because they’re going to be all over retailer and other branded environments very soon. And with your permission, they’ll keep track of you via your mobile as you move through those environments. For example, a particular beacon may alert you to a special deal on havarti… and it knows havarti is your favourite. Indeed, one of Lighthouse’s key talking points is the opportunity for retailers to combine loyalty programs with beacon technology.
Buzzwords: social gifting, mobile
Spotted at: Mondelez Mobile Futures
What: Cadbury Marvellous Creations partnered with MyShout, an app that allows consumers to ‘shout’ vouchers to their friends at participating outlets that can be redeemed via their mobile device. The pilot in Sydney CBD achieved an above target click-through and overall 11.7% claim rate.
Shazam goes to the mall
Buzzwords: mobile, location
Spotted at: mLab
What: Finding fame as an app for identifying music, Shazam’s role as a platform for brands to leverage evolved first through Shazam-able TVCs. It currently reports 2.5 million users in Australia. The next step is for marketers to make their physical environments Shazam-able, allowing visitors to access content. Nike’s new Sydney store recently became the first in Australia to launch an installation of this nature.